Wednesday, December 15, 2021

almost done... but always something

 The tree is done... for what it's worth... but it's beautiful to us!


The outside cats have been around a lot lately, so I've been trying to get some good pics:

ferals looking in from back yard

First pic is mama cat, others are her kittens

...and of course this is One Eye

The pics are taken through the back French doors (which are always grubby due to little feral paws) so sorry the pics aren't terribly clear.

We've also got a family of raccoons coming by these days... but no pics. They usually come by after dark.


Cardiologist report:

Results from heart monitor, Echocardiogram, and Nuclear stress test shows tachycardia, premature ventricular contractions, and some valve leakage. But none of this is too serious. He wants to do a CT of my heart to make sure he hasn't missed anything. But he thinks a Rx of Beta Blockers should help with the episodes I've been having. So that's pretty good news in my opinion


Just about finished all my Christmas baking and sending. Most have received their packages by now. FedEx is pretty good at getting things out in a day or so. USPS - not so much. I sent 2 packages of goodies to N.O. on the same day. The one by FedEx took 2 days. The one by USPS still hasn't arrived and it's been a week (?).  And others sent all over by Fedex were delivered on time. Guess the Post Office is having a tough time...

It's also time to start doing some Christmas cleaning. We may not be getting together with family this Christmas, but there's still a lot to do. There's Christmas boxes, bags, wrap, ribbon, etc. all over the house. And there's Christmas dinner shopping to do (although we aren't doing a big Christmas dinner since there's only 3 of us). We will probably do a roast with gravy, potatoes, carrots, and onions... and maybe some bacon and green beans. Since we have turkey on Thanksgiving and a pork roast (with black eyed peas and cabbage) on New Years, Christmas is not always traditional - although we have had baked ham in the past.

Also today they are putting in our house generator (we are not waiting to see if the Texas grid will stand up to extreme winter weather). They have been digging trenches and using loud machines all around the outside of the house today... and will have to turn the electricity and gas off for a few hours. So we may be calling for pizza this evening. The outside feral cats are at a loss as to what all these workmen are doing. However, it hasn't deterred One Eye or Squeaky from coming to the back door... even though they have to jump over the dug trenches. But Olivia (the mama cat) has not brought her babies by... (she is a smart mama).

These were dug manually along backyard and side yard....  and I'm not sure what is going on everywhere else.  But you can see how long and deep the trenches are from these pics. I will take more pics as the process continues. 

On a 'not so great' note, they did turn the electricity and gas off for a while and when they turned it all back on... the Aga wouldn't come back on. Now we have to find an Aga repair person and that's not always easy as there aren't too many Agas around Texas. And I still have a few things to bake before Christmas (like rum cake for our neighbors) so hopefully we can get it repaired before too long.  

That's enough ramblings for today. Hope you are all enjoying your week before Christmas. 

Oh, I've been reading some rants on our neighborhood network (called Next Door) that includes several neighborhoods in the area. Someone started complaining about stray cats or ferals coming into their yard. I was surprised at the number of people that defended the ferals (although there were quite a few that want them gone). I don't get into those group neighborhood discussions. To me Next door should be used for safety and alerts, not petty annoyances. There are enough real problems in this world that need attention to worry about a few homeless animals that wonder into your yard. 

Really going to close this now. Thanks for taking the time to visit. And I really appreciate your comments - if you wish to leave any. If not, that's OK too.

Hugs (virtual), 


  1. Your tree is *beautiful*! What a joy to sit and look at it in the evenings. :-)

    I think it's good news re: all your tests. Anything that can be well-managed with a med is a win, IMO.

    Good luck with the generator; you're smart to do it. I've even wondered if I should have one installed for the townhouse, but so far it hasn't been high on the "to do" list.

    Take care and enjoy the lead-up to the holidays. It's another crazy pandemic year (at least in our small city, which now is the worst in the entire province with omicron running rampant through the community). But even so, there still are so many things for which to be thankful.

    My best to all.

    1. The generator has been on our mind for years... but as you said, not a priority. But last winter when we had that Arctic freeze, it brought it up to the front of our list. Can't count on the grid with Climate change... although I do hope we won't ever have to use it.
      As for the pandemic, we are probably in this for a long haul. So we will continue to play it as safe as we can. Eating out and socializing can be put off without much hardship... although I do miss having the family all together. But keeping them all safe is the most important thing.
      Stay home and stay safe and wishing you and Derry a good (if not merry) Christmas!

  2. your christmas tree is so beautiful, to you and to me - for what it's worth!!

    i agree with you about those neighborhood watch sights, we have one and some of what people comment about is "funny"...not funny. i don't think i have ever written anything on it, but i do read it!!

    we recently received a price for that generator and it was so costly. we could afford it but i think we are "cheap"!! one day we are going to wish we had installed one!!

    sounds like good heart news!!

    1. Yes, some people use the neighborhood watch site like a gossip site, that's not what it's there for (IMO).
      And yes, the generator is expensive, but a form of insurance for when the power goes out - which seems to be happening more frequently. But again, hope we never have to use it.
      And the heart news seems good to me too... thanks for commenting, Debbie.

    2. i figure if we buy a generator, we won't need it...that's the way it seems to go!! since we didn't, we are probably in for some big storms, with power outages for sure!!

  3. Whew!! You sure manage to keep yourself busy Rian, I don't know how you do it all--well, I think your tree looks beautiful, the cardiology news I'm not sure how to take but hoping for the best of course, your generator sounds like a REALLY great idea given last year's mess and I am a sucker for those feral cats, I laughed when I saw the lot of them outside your home! I consider them part of your family you know :^)

    1. I'm with you on the heart news, Dug. It seems that it's not serious, but sure is a bother and worrisome when it happens. The beta blockers I'm taking make me feel funny... so may not continue them. We'll see.

      The generator is a form of insurance. Hope we never need it.

      The ferals know they have a safe place in our yard... but they're not our cats so we have no way to control where they go. If someone feels that any cats/ferals are a nuisance then they should either trap them and take them elsewhere or call animal control... not complain about it on Next Door (IMO anyway). Luckily the person who started the thread isn't in our neighborhood.

  4. That does sound like good heart news.
    You have been busy. I have (I think) finished Christmas Baking. And started Christmas cleaning (while shuddering at just how grubby things have become).
    Thank you (again and always) for your support of the ferals.

    1. I still have a little Christmas baking to do... rum cakes for the neighbors. But unless they get my Aga up and running, that may not be doable.

      The ferals (cats and others) are always going to be there. The Catch and release program for the feral cats is good, but will never get them all. We are fine with sharing our yard with them.

  5. Good news about your heart only needing meds. I've been on them for years. Love the ferals at your door. You do know they are no longer ferals--they are community cats--so tell the haters to just cool it. They all look prosperous.

  6. I too love all your community cats. I especially like to see One Eye for some reason, he's won my heart. Hope you get that Aga fixed soon, and thanks for the Christmas card. I only felt guilty for a short while. :-)

    1. One Eye and Squeaky have won our hearts too. Squeaky will probably leave as they seem to do as they mature... but One Eye is old and may stay around. As for the Christmas card, I had your address since I sent you some Cheeky Chickens once... so thought I'd add you to my Christmas list. People don't send as many Christmas cards as they used to - but I still like the tradition.

  7. Your Tree is Beautiful! One Eye reminds me so much of a Feral that Adopted us Years ago that we named Jackie One Eye because she'd had some terribly accident that caused terrible facial deformity that had healed, but she'd never let us catch her to bring her in to a Vet. We let her live out her Life on our Property, we had Acreage and the Ferals always seemed to find us.

    1. One Eye came to us after some fight which left him almost dead and one eye missing. He was feral and would take off if we tried to get too near, but he put himself into one of the baskets on our front porch and stayed there for days. We thought we'd find him in it dead one day, but he gradually healed, and has stayed around. He won't let us touch him, but he comes a little nearer now to get fed. We don't have acreage, but we do live on a creek and greenback... so there are lots of feral animals about.

  8. Wonderful news about your heart issues. Fingers crossed the prescription takes care of what ails you.

    The cats seem to do well in your yard so I suspect they don't go too far. It seems the neighbours should have more to worry about than that.

    Good luck with the Aga.

    1. The 'community cats' do come by every morning and afternoon to be fed. Sometimes as many as 6 or more... usually the same ones. But only One Eye and Squeaky hang around the yard during the day. Olivia (the black and white mama) brings her babies on some days, but not all. We have lived here for 36 years and have seen generations of ferals come and go, taken some to be spayed/neutered, and taken their babies to the Adoption room at the local Animal Shelter. But there will always be ferals... and we're OK with that. Luckily 'our' neighbors have never complained.

  9. Your tree is beautiful. I love all the white lights. We were without electricity for over a week one hot September after Hurricane Fran, and then again for almost a week during an ice storm. We had a Generac generator installed a few years ago and have never regretted it. It is worth every penny. It runs the whole house when the power is out. Even when the power is out for 12 hours we appreciate having the generator so much. Oh the feral cats are so pretty. The mama cat looks just like my Bickett that died a few years ago, and One Eye reminds me of Smokey. You and your husband have a wonderful Christmas!

    1. Thanks, Henny. I'm hoping we may never need to use the generator, but it is good insurance... with the Texas Grid being what it is as well as climate change. And to be honest, we're more concerned about the 100 F plus degrees in the summer than the winter cold.


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