Friday, July 31, 2015

kittens and tea...

We took the feral kittens to the Adoption Room at our 
No-Kill Shelter yesterday. They were 5 weeks old, but because there are 6 of them, they are very small. In fact, the mama is pretty small herself. Since we haven't been able to catch her, we would have preferred to wait another week to give them more time to nurse - but it's been our experience, that after they are 6 weeks old, catching the kittens gets difficult. We will continue to try to catch the mama as we feel that she is too small and thin to risk getting pregnant again. But we have to say that for a first litter (and having 6!) she was a very good mama - very loving and attentive.

We were also very tempted to keep the little gray one that looks like our Ghost. He is really cute. We started calling him Yoda. But in the end we decided it was best to give someone else a chance to adopt him. Our inside cats live close to 20 + years and at since we are both 70, decided that the 4 we have now could possibly outlive us, so best not to take on any others.

We also have other visitors to our yard. Here are some raccoons that come by occasionally for a snack. They seem to really like the cat food - as do the box turtles.

Interesting tidbit:  Although the cats don't go for sweets... the raccoons love pies, cakes, cookies, etc. I think they definitely have a sweet tooth.

BTW, if you look closely at the next picture, you can almost see the magic rabbit hole that goes down the back all the way to the creek. 

look carefully at the V shape in the bushes directly behind raccoons...

The yard drops off there and it slopes down about 4 feet to a lower patio and then extends maybe another 10 feet to the creek. There are stone steps far to the left and an overgrown ivy path on the far right... but the critters all prefer to use the rabbit hole.

And although the yard is fairly well shaded, they also seem to prefer to hang out on the back porch... possibly because of the ceiling fan and the availability of fresh water.

I probably should be posting this to my other blog page, "Cats, Coffee, and Chocolate" but I find it hard to separate my posts (and my readers here are interested in the critter updates too... I think?). Oh well, I'll just put a link on that site to this one and vice-versa. That should work, yes?

On another subject - the heat - it was 104 F here yesterday. Since everyone everywhere seems to be suffering, I guess 104 isn't that unusual. But it is hot!  I don't know what people who don't have A/C are doing.  Can't imagine, really. I know we didn't have A/C when we were growing up (and believe me, it was HOT and HUMID in New Orleans in the 40's and 50's!), but we survived with the old time ceiling fans as well as those small black iron oscillating fans. But then, we didn't know any different - so maybe our bodies acclimated better? (or now we're just old and spoiled?)

All I know is that DH and I don't venture out too much when it's this hot. However, we do still see people out there in the neighborhood running in the middle of the day in the sun and the heat... and we wonder what they are thinking. It can't be healthy?

And speaking of healthy, I bought some "peaches and cream" tea at Ham's Peach Orchard a few weeks back. It's what I'm drinking now as I sit here at the computer. It's Premium Ceylon Tea by the Metropolitan Tea Company - and it comes in this cute little wood box... and it's very good.

Also it's Friday! Have a wonderful safe week-end... and stay out of the heat! (if you can)

Sunday, July 26, 2015

bits and pieces to share...

Here's a few more pics taken either in or around the house...

You have to look close to see Tux... and my reflection!

DH and I were coming back from an errand and I saw Rose in the window. Decided to take her pic. Once I was inside and looked at the shot I'd taken, there was Tux... and my reflection! Surprise extras!

Turtle on the run out back

DH always alerts me to turtles that he sees outside so I can check to see if it's a new one or one of our "regulars". This one  recently wasn't new. See the red "2" on his back (looks more like a backwards S - it's hard to mark a moving target...).

2 turtles eating out front

These 2  came to eat together in the front.  When we checked them, one was already marked, the other was new. We marked him/her #5 (5th new one this year!).

As I'm writing this, Julie in hiding behind the lamp on my messy desk... acting like I can't see her. 

(Julie) "If I just don't move, she won't see me..."

Julie is not a lap cat. Her brother, Tux, is... but it's an odd day that Julie will curl up in anyone's lap. However, on the evening that Molly left us, Julie did just this. To our surprise, she came to the sofa and curled up in my lap for the longest time...

Next pic is one I snapped a few minutes ago of the litter of kittens outside whose feral mama just moved all 6 of them to our back porch. You can only see the one little gray head in the mass of tiny black bodies.  Looks like a little Ghost...

And I started working on a new quilt... a  pastel colored one (blue and cream) that I did in strips. Getting ready to add the borders next.

It's not a large quilt... guess it could be considered lap size (about 40 X 40?) 

Well, that's about it. Nothing too news-worthy, but I thought the bits and pieces worth sharing. 

Hope you have a wonderful week!

Thursday, July 23, 2015



We lost Molly this week... not unexpected, but still hard to deal with. She was 22 years old. We got her as a kitten in 1993. She and Thibbadeux (our orange tabby) were good friends and constant companions. He was the same age as Molly, but we lost him a few years back.

Molly and Thibs
Molly and Thibs

Molly was such a good cat... even tempered and friendly. She got along with all the others as they came along (whether as kittens or adults) and accepted them easily into the house-hold. 

She did occasionally hiss at the outside ferals whose faces appear in the kitchen window panes of the french doors each morning. We always thought she was making it known to them that "there was no more room in the inn".

We will miss her very much.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

A walk around our house...

Nothing interesting to post today, so I thought I'd take a walk around the house...

(Rose)  "Please let me nap..."
(Ghost) "What DO you want??"
(Julie)  "my mouse..."
(Molly in sock drawer) "How'd you find me?"
(Tux) "oh, she's good..."

My friend and I in New Orleans email each other fairly often. Lately we've begun sending silly "Selfies"... and believe me, at our age.... they're pretty silly... silly seventy selfies. People who do these things generally have too much time on their hands. Well, we do have time on our hands.... but I doubt if it's *too much*.

Here's the one I just sent her:

whoops! Did I take that?

Have any silly selfies you'd like to share?

Friday, July 17, 2015

Traditionalists or Baby Boomers?

My brother-in-law was here this past week and he got to talking about the generations. Apparently he had heard a talk recently where they described the different generations from the Traditionalists to the Baby Boomers to Generation X (Baby Busters) to the Millennials (or Generation Y). This is some of the info he passed on to me.

I know there are books about this, but I haven't read any. However, it is interesting. Since we were born in the summer of 1945, DH and I actually fall right between the Traditionalists and the Baby Boomers. And as we were infants in 1945, we consider ourselves Baby Boomers since we really grew up during that period... (1946 - 1964) graduating from high school and starting college in 1963-64.

The following information shows the events and experiences that formed these groups... as well as the characteristics that became a part of each. 

I found it interesting reading. Thought you might also.

Find your generation:

1. Traditionalist – Born 1922-1945

2. Baby Boomers – Born 1946-1964

3. Generation X or Baby Busters – Born 1965-1979

4. Millennial or Generation Y – Born 1980-2000

Events and Experiences of Traditionalists: (1922 - 1945)

Great Depression
New Deal
World War II
Korean War

Events and Experiences of Baby Boomers : (1946 - 1964)

Civil rights
Sexual Revolution
Cold War
Nuclear Bomb Drill in School
Space travel

Events and Experiences of Gen Xer’s: (1965 - 1979)

Fall of Berlin Wall
Women’s liberation
Desert Storm
Energy crisis

Events and Experiences of the Millennials: (1980 - 2000)

Oklahoma City Bombing
Bill and Monica
Columbine Shooting
September 11, 2001
Child Focused World

Characteristics of Traditionalists: (1922 - 1945)

Resourceful Savers
Pay With Cash
Face to Face
Family Traditional 
Hard Work Obligation 
Duty Before Pleasure
Survival Mode

Characteristics of Baby Boomers: (1946 - 1964)

Wealthiest Generation
Work Hard-Earn Reward
Call Me Anytime
Television Generation
Information Delivered
Justice for All
Civil Rights
Life is an Adventure
Time to Ponder

Characteristics of Generation X: (1965 - 1979)

Grew with Technology
Service Economy Accepting
Over 60% Attended College
Achieve 'On Their Own Terms'
Cherish Time with Family, Friends
Don’t Like Structure
Hands Off
Values Freedom
Self Sufficient
Less Team Oriented

Characteristics of Millennials: (1980 - 2000)

Achievement Oriented
Pampered by Parents
High Expectations
Question Authority
Daily, Instant
Tweets, Blogs, Facebook
Smart Phones
Merged Families
Most Accepting Group
Family Centric
Work/Life Balance
Flexible Schedules
Tech Savvy * (first digital natives)
Attention Craving
Team Oriented
No Child Left Behind
Seek Input 

As I go back and read through these, I tend to look for the characteristics that stand out in DH and I,  our children, and grandchildren. Not all experiences and characteristics stand out in every person of each generation, but certain ones seem clear. 

For DH and myself (Baby Boomers), growing up in the South (New Orleans) civil rights was a prominent issue. I remember the Beatles (although personally I was more an Elvis fan), duck and cover practiced in the classroom, the space program, and the assassination of Kennedy.

We believed in a healthy work ethic, remember the first TV's, and believed that life was an adventure (still do).

Our kids (Gen X) experienced dessert storm and grew up with technology.They all went to college, and achieved on their own terms.

Now our grandkids (Millennials) experienced the bombings, shootings, and 9/11.  They are pampered, definitely 'connected', and tech savy (digital natives).

It's 2015 now and the next generation (2001 - ?) is here... and on their way to adulthood. What experiences and characteristics will they hold. Technology is continuing to explode. Communication is all powerful. School shootings, ISIS, and climate change seem to take top news these days. How will history document this generation? I wonder...  

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Molly's mulberry days are here...

Molly stares for long periods of time...

Our Molly (22 years old) is starting her decline these last 2 weeks. Up until just recently she was doing fine. She has been sleeping a lot, but has kept a good appetite and always used her litter box without fail... still purrs when you pet her, and although she has been losing weight, we didn't  find this unusual for her age.

But now she has pretty much stopped eating... not completely... she will eat a little on occasion, but in general doesn't seem interested in food. She stares into space for long periods... and sometimes stops when she walking somewhere and just stands there... like she forgot where she was going. Yesterday I found her sleeping in her litter box? She'd never done that before. So I picked her up and put her on her blanket on the sofa. 

And last night we decided to put her in the upstairs bathroom (we call it 'the convalescent room' because we only use it now when one of the cats needs to be contained). This way she could have her bed, food, water, and litter box all close at hand during the night. 

She did fine. It was obvious that she had eaten her food and used her litter box during the night... and was glad to see me when I took her down this morning to be with the other cats.

row of cats on bed... Molly on far right

Molly is again the one on the far right - cuddled up with Thibs who left us at 19 + a few years ago

It's so hard to know what to do... and when to do it. We've always felt that as long as they seem comfortable, we let them be... catering to their wants as best we can. If it looks like they're in pain, then we make the decision as to what may be the next step. Molly doesn't seem to be in pain... although when I tried to look in her mouth to check her color, she cried out.

I don't think she is in any condition to be anesthetized and running blood and urine tests at her age seems like unnecessary torture. So... we are playing it 'day by day'. Right now she is sleeping comfortably on our bed. We could bring her to the Vet and see if there's anything they could give her to make these days more comfortable (a tranquilizer/pain meds?). But even stressing her to take her might push her over the edge...

So this is where we are this week... waiting and watching.

Molly sleeping with Tux

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

at a loss for words...

This past weekend our 3 kids and their families put together a Surprise 70th Birthday Party for DH and I.  We were under the impression that we were going over to our son's house for a Bar-b-cue  -  but when we arrived, about 25 people yelled "SURPRISE!" ...   and we definitely were... surprised that is. We had no idea that they would do this as none of us have ever been the type to do surprises - or even to give parties. We generally celebrate low-key with just a family dinner or get-together.

After getting over the initial shock, it was great fun. The house and decorations looked lovely and there was an abundance of food and drink. The best part is that they actually took tons of family pictures.  I haven't seen the pictures yet, but hope to do so later this week. Once I get them, I will post a few.

It's hard to put into words what a lovely thing it was that they did... even though if they'd asked us if we wanted a party, we'd probably have said no (maybe they knew this and that's why the surprise?). But non-the-less, we love them for taking the time from their busy lives to put this together.  Although totally unexpected, it meant a great deal.

My daughter sent this collage she put together last night after they returned home to the Hill Country.

DH and I with grandkids

(youngest grand daughter kept bringing me her kitty... so that's what I have in my hand - upside down)

Sunday, July 5, 2015

flag in the front, armadillo in the back

Pic taken when outside waiting for the 4th of July neighborhood parade yesterday!

armadillo in the backyard 
This little visitor came by Saturday morning. He was rooting around and Polly (one of the feral kittens) was fascinated. She was following him ... but not too close. This is what caught my attention. 

In the top picture, I actually walked almost right on top of him and he wasn't intimidated - just looked up at me.  We see lots of possums and raccoons in our yard (which is by a creek) and they they are very wary, so I was surprised at his boldness. But I took pictures and he eventually went off down the rabbit hole*.

While I was out there I decided to take some pics of our figs which are getting larger every day. Hopefully they will be ripe by next week.  We have 2 fig trees;  a Turkey fig and a Celeste. The Celeste are smaller and much sweeter. We generally leave the Turkey figs for the squirrels and mockingbirds... and pick the Celeste for ourselves and friends.

and we have a *Bay leaf tree* also.  It does wonderfully well and supplies us with plenty of fresh bay leaves for cooking.

Bay leaves
* I starred rabbit hole as many of you may not know what was meant by that. Well... there's a hole in our bushes which runs directly from our backyard down an incline into the lower yard which is next to the creek. This hole and path was made over the years by the critters that have used that path for the 30 years that we've lived here. My grand daughter when she was younger disappeared down that rabbit hole to check it out. She said it was "awe-some".

Have a good week!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

July 4th, 2015

Rose taking a quiet moment... before the neighborhood 4th of July parade!

Happy 4th of July to All!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Happy July 1st!!

Yesterday I was feeling strange.  I think I've reached a different stage in this journey into retirement. Wrote about it here if you're interested...