Saturday, March 5, 2011

Bitty in a Tree

Since we have been having an occasional sunny, warm day I started taking the cats out into the backyard and letting them play and explore for a bit. Our backyard is fenced in, but I KNOW they could eventually figure out how to climb over it. For that reason they only go outside if I have the time to actually stay out with them and keep an eye on things.

One afternoon this past week, Bitty found the pecan tree. She climbed up to a fork in the branches just out of our reach. It made me nervous but after about 10 minutes of my coaxing and pleading and rustling a twig like one of her toys, she climbed down. Bruce and I scooped up cats and headed inside because I didn't want to deal with anymore trouble like that. I put Bitty inside and headed back out to help round up the rest of them. As I came back in with one cat or another, Bitty shot out the door past me, ran right to the tree and without thinking another thought just ran right up to a height way beyond where she had been.

She wouldn't come down. She seemed a bit nervous and we don't know if she was afraid to start climbing down from that far up or what. I KNOW cats can climb down and that she would eventually figure it out if she got hungry or tired enough. The problem was that I didn't want to wait around, and I also didn't want her climbing down when noone was around to make sure she didn't go over the fence. We called and we coaxed but nothing was making her budge. Bruce finally went into the garage and got out a ladder. Now this was SERIOUSLY making me nervous. He used the ladder to get up high enough to the forks in the branches and climbed up and got Bitty kitty. It was an ordeal and it made me really uncomfortable. We haven't gone back out with the cats since.

Our house makes a U shape, and there is a courtyard space in the middle with the house on 3 sides, and an open area to the backyard on the fourth side. Bruce is looking into buying a piece of sports-type netting to close in the open side. Its a golf net, 10 feet high and wide enough to attach to the house on either side. It should safely contain the cats so they can go outside but not be in danger. 2 of the cats never venture outside of the courtyard area anyway, no matter how long we stay out or how far Bitty goes. I think it will be a good solution. We have read that cats don't like to climb unsteady fabric netting that moves when they climb. It should solve the problem. We have to order it so they will be stuck inside until that comes in.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

American Idol

I say every year that I am NOT going to watch this show again. And then somehow I do anyway. I swear it sucks you in even when you don't want it to. I HAD to watch the first couple of auditions because I wanted to see how the new judges were. And then I decided that I actually liked JLo and Steven Tyler, and how they were dealing with the contestants and that was it. I was hooked. Again.

Tonight the top 10 were picked. Actually it ended up being the top 13, because in addition to the top 10 that the public voted in, each of the judges got a wild card pick. I am happy to say that all of the contestants I wanted to make it....made it. And now I have favorites, and I will have to keep watching and hoping my favorites make it to the next round and so forth and so on. I will say one thing about this season though....I don't know if there has ever been a group with so much talent. Usually there are a few standouts and the rest are good or charming and make it through based on their appeal. This year all of them are really capable of being stand outs. ALL of them. Its going to make for good competition. But its also going to make it sadder to watch eliminations, too. I just remind myself (whenever I start to feel bad for the ones who get cut) that there are lots of Idol finalists who go on to have a great career even without the Idol title. Jennifer Hudson, Clay Aiken, Constantine Maroulis.....the list is long and the achievements are fabulous.
I just wish they ALL could make it. Oh, and I also happen to LOVE Steven Tyler too.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Like Gold

Forget how high the price of gas is climbing (well, don't actually forget because it is ridiculous, sad, and scary). Trying to buy a decent tomato right now is like buying gold. Both expensive and precious. The thing is that I LOVE tomatoes. Especially fresh ones. I love slices of tomatoes on sandwiches, tomatoes in salads, and I take baggies of the little cherry tomatoes to work with me to snack on. But this week I bought only 1 tomato at the grocery store. We ate it tonight because I made BLT's. It was good, but not as ripe as it might have been. There is apparently such a shortage, I was grateful to have even that one. They were so expensive that I didn't even consider buying the little tubs of the cherry tomatoes.

I have seen several local restaurants posting notices that tomatoes are in such short supply that they will only serve them upon request. Apparently you have to really want one to get it. Hopefully a new crop will come in soon. I mean seriously its making me think about trying to grow tomatoes this summer. I hope it doesn't come to that....LOL. But I guess I will if there is no other way to have some ripe juicy tomatoes. I must really REALLY want it to break down and consider digging around in the dirt outside with the bugs and the blistering heat. Oh God, Please please please let our local farmers have good luck so I won't have to resort to that.

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Old Lady

I know you have all heard one version or another of a joke about the old lady staring back at you from the mirror, right? Who IS she? Or more sanely, when did THIS happen? I had a long phone chat with my sister yesterday and this was the main topic of conversation, brought to the forefront by her impending birthday tomorrow. I let her rant and rave because I know exactly what she is talking about. She is mid-forties. I am latter forties. I have been there, the early to mid-forty point where you first start noticing an old lady replacing your image in the mirror. She also jumps in front of you whenever a camera snaps your picture. Annoying old hag.

This is all new for my sister. She is devastated that her size 2's no longer fit no matter how much she diets. Do I sound bitter? Well, I try not to be, but the fact is that I have never fit into a size 2 even during the thinnest times of my life. My bone structure alone is bigger than a 2. But its all relative. A larger size IS a larger size no matter how low the number. I know what she is talking about. I feel her pain.

I try not to interject even more misery by warning her of even worse things to come.
I KNOW the weight gain and the strange things happening to skin and facial features and body parts is awful. You think its the end of the know you do.
But whats worse than that is the aches and pains that start to creep in. Now you not only feel UGLY, but you HURT! Bones creak, joints ache, stiffness changes the way you walk....Oh wait, Christ almighty, I am starting to depress myself....LOL!!

Anyway, its an uphill battle. You can't win the war. I am starting to make peace with that. You have to figure out how to make peace with it or it will kill you. She is depressed right now, but I have faith that she will find a way to accept what is and just move on with it. Diet and exercise are extremely important. These things can do a LOT for how you feel, and how you handle the aches and the stiffness. But no amount of obsessive compulsive work out will stop the clock, so.....? My advice to her is this: Do what you can to insure your health and after that? Just be kind to yourself. Love yourself and love and accept what is. Yes its new and different. By the time you get used to it, there will be something else (maybe worse?) to face. Its a never-ending process and no amount of food deprivation or surgery or exercise can ever make any of us look like we are in our 20's again. Its a fact. Either its going to kill you or you can find a way to get over it and let it be whatever its going to be. I am trying to take my own advice. Its simple, really, but it is NOT all that easy.