Saturday, April 14, 2007

Steven's Feline Friday: It's Just A Spider Mommy :)

"In nine lifetimes, you'll never know as much about your cats, as your cat knows about you."

-Michel de Montaigne

I was hoping to one day get a photo of Elvis just before he kisses me, he does this funny little pucker thing, that always makes me laugh. Tee Hee. Elvis has been taking such good care of me this week, and at one point, he saved me from a spider!

Last Wednesday morning, I decided to go to bed a little early, around 3:30 am, I was feeling a little under the weather, running a slight fever, so I thought I might climb in bed and cuddle up to Alan and Elvis, to get warm. When I pulled back my sheets and blankets, I saw a big, yucky spider go running off my pillow and down between my sheet and blanket. I screamed! LOUD! Poor Alan jumped from the bed with a slightly panicked, "WHAT?" "Sppppiiiiiiidder," I said, slightly frightened. LOL. "Where is it?" Asked Alan, but before I could tell him, Elvis sprang up in the air and pounced down flat on top of his stuffed monkey, Cap-n-Federick. Alan gently peeked under Elvis's chin, to see a slightly slightly hairy, slightly slick, black spider moving just a few of his many legs. Alan made a face, and then reached in with a tissue and removed the spider from under my hero kitty.

Blech. It gave me the wiggins like you wouldn't believe. I turned on the lights, pulled back all the covers, and began to look for the rest of the gang. LOL. After about 20 minutes of searching, Alan finally talked me into going back to bed, safe in the knowledge that I would be ok, at least from an invasion of a spider gang out to get me. A little later, Alan left for work, but not before tucking me in, with some cold medicine, some Kleenex, and several stuffed bears, and monkeys. He then gave Elvis his usual daily instruction to "mind his manners, and take care of his mommy." I felt better, but I sill had the wiggins a good bit.

I tossed and turned for about 30 minutes or so. I turned on the bathroom light, and climbed back into bed. I closed my eyes, and was trying to think nice thoughts, when I felt Elvis stand up in the bed, I opened my eyes to see him standing over my face. He was smiling down at me, and then his ran his paw down my cheek. He petted me, gave me a little kiss on my forehead, and then he snuggled down in the covers, put his head on Alan's pillow, and closed his eyes. I knew right then, I was the safest woman in the world. My kitty loves me. :)

It's fun to play along with Steven's Feline Friday. Lots of great people and kitties to be found on the net. Drop over to Steven's blog, (sometimes photoblog) to learn all the details, and meet his beautiful cat, Pickle.

Berkeley, California
April 11, 2007

Friday, April 13, 2007

Art About Town... Pacific Grove, California

"Art is contemplation. It is the pleasure of the mind which searches into nature and which there divines the spirit of which nature herself is animated."

-Auguste Rodin

Yesterday, it was an absolutely beautiful day along the Monterey Bay peninsula, especially in the town of Pacific Grove. I had forgotten how amazing that place is in the spring, when all the wildflowers are in bloom, and the cliffs become alive with the colors of the season, the most striking of which is the purple, it is planted all along the cliffs and waterfront. My favorite park in Pacific Grove is, Lovers Point. It offers a gorgeous view of the peninsula, and although not too big as parks go, it is more than just lovely... it's stunning! It truly lives up to it's name. :) The park has two prominent sculptures on display, my favorite being the above, "Butterfly," by Petaluma born sculptor, Gordon Newell. Engraved on the base of the sculpture are the words...

Gift of Hilda Van Sicklen
Sculptor George Newell

Pacific Grove is "Butterfly Town USA," after all. Every year, in the autumn, I look forward to visiting the Monarch sanctuary, where thousands of monarchs can be seen settling in the eucalyptus grove, during their annual migration. According to a one volunteer I spoke with last October, there can be as many as 15,000 clustered high in the Monterey Pines, Eucalyptus and cypress trees within the sanctuary. :) It is a place of peace and comfort for me, I guess that's why I love this sculpture so very much, and yesterday, I finally got the opportunity to photograph it. :)There really isn't a bad time to visit the Monterey peninsula, even on a rainy day it portrays a romantic atmosphere, and there is natural beauty to be found everywhere.

Lover's Point Park
Pacific Grove, California
April 12th, 2007
Early Afternoon

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A Jackass Walks Into The Presidency With A Duck On His Head...

"The only real diplomacy ever performed by a diplomat, is in deceiving their own people after their dumbness has got them into a war."

-Will Rogers

Anyone else remember when the Commander-in -Chief was the one who actually ran the war? I have got to stop reading AOL news before I go to bed, because really, no good could come of it. What the HELL is Bush up to now? Is he looking for another buffer so he can say that the next disaster of policy in Iraq is not his fault? He wants to create yet another made up position. And not just any made up position, he wants a "War Czar." "A War Czar?" I would laugh my ass off, if it wasn't so damn scary, and so damn sad for our troops. You know, I once asked a question, which I thought was an honest one, which was, 'why didn't Bush's parents get him him a tutor, in that he was a "C" student?'

No one has been able to give me an answer to that question, because no one really knows what the deal really was with the current President Bush's education. Bush himself admits he had to knock on some doors to go as far with his education as he did. So, I have been thinking, considering every lame ass excuse, and decision that comes out of the White House these days, I have to wonder if maybe we shouldn't all chip in an extra... oh say... $1.00 on our tax returns, and get our little George a tutor, to help him in his service as our president. After all we are stuck with him for another 648 days, unless someone, somewhere, grows a backbone and actually pushes for impeachment.

But say for the sake of argument we did get him a tutor, we would need someone who can teach him how to lead, read reports, engage in diplomacy, and take responsibility for his actions, or rather his lack of action, like a man. Someone who will help him learn that lying is wrong. Someone who can teach him the courage to admit a mistake when he has made one, and that you don't keep digging, when you have found you're in too deep. A good history lesson and some flag etiquette wouldn't hurt. I wonder, is there such a teacher? If there was, I would be the first to chip in that dollar, because I am just really tired of him not actually learning anything, despite his creation of an "Office of Lessons Learned." Then again, how can he learn anything, when he gets others to do his homework. Sigh. No teacher in the world, can teach a pupil who refuses to learn. :(

-White House Considers Naming War Czar

-ABC News Exclusive: Pentagon To Extend Service For All Soldiers In Iraq And Afghanistan

So tell me, do you think America needs a War Czar? Would such a position give you more confidence in policies regarding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I Know Who Shot J.R.Ewing!

"If you have to be in a soap opera, try not to get the worst role."

-Judy Garland

Sigh! Raise your hand if you watch SOAPnet. Go ahead... I won't give your secret away, I watch it too, although, not as much as I used to. This past week, the powers that be decided to revamp the schedule of the all soap opera oriented network, by adding reruns of The OC, One Tree Hill, and inundating the daily schedule with repeats of the 1980's hit nighttime soap, Dallas. Sigh. You know, as much as I don't like change, and if you have been reading me for any length of time, you know just how MUCH I don't like it, I do understand the need for networks to shake things up a bit from time to time to keep it all fresh, but the latest schedule changes have me scratching my head! Why exactly would I want to watch Dallas, not just once a day, but four times a day?

Dallas has it's rightful place in American pop culture, but really now, where would you have to have been not to know the answer to the biggest question of the 1980's, "Who Shot J.R.?" I know who shot him, it was his sister-in-law, Kristen. She was mad at him or something. LOL. I saw it play out originally, back in the 80's, and it was an interesting subject to ponder at school and at parties. Heck, eventually Trivial Pursuit made "Who Shot J.R.?" one of their questions. We all know the answer now, so why in the world would SOAPnet air reruns of Dallas, when it has been showing in reruns to death on every channel imaginable for the last 20 years or so? It's boring programming, four times a day. Sigh.

TY Treadway

I am a night owl. I enjoyed watching the shows that were removed from the schedule. Ryan's Hope, Port Charles, Another World, and the original SOAPnet talk show, Soap Talk. Ty Treadway is a little bit of heaven. That man is gorgeous! He has had my attention since his days on One Life To Live, where he played the hunky, shirtless, Dr. Troy MacIver, and his evil twin, Dr. Colin MacIver. That guy made getting sick, look like it could actually be fun. :) After leaving One Life To Live, he c0-hosted SOAP TALK, with Lisa Rinna, who I can take or leave, but the show must have had something going for it, because it was recently nominated for a daytime Emmy award, for Best Talk Show. So why would SOAPnet cancel it? Sigh.

I liked watching reruns of Ryan's Hope. I began watching that show when I was in junior high, and on through high school. I couldn't keep up with it when I started college, but my sister and mother would fill me in about it when I got home. It was ok, but being told about a show, is never as good as being able to see it for oneself. A couple years ago, I was kinda happy to find out that SOAPnet was carrying it, and I began to watch it again, getting a second chance to see what I had missed the first time around. It was a silly guilty pleasure. Like watching Another World, which was cancelled by NBC in June of 1999. I was a huge fan of that show, and even met local soap star, Tom Eplin. I told you about that time I met him, you remember, my head was upside down in a bowl of warm water at the time. I was at a "BEAUTY" shop. In that particular moment, I sure didn't feel beautiful... but goodness... that man was gorgeous even upside down! And yes, his eyes are indeed that beautiful!!!

Tom Eplin

Sigh. Well, Ryan's Hope will be airing 2 episodes on Sunday mornings at 3:00 AM Pacific time, so I do have that. I tried to download an episode of Another World today from AOL Video, but I am on dial-up, so I gave up after 18 hours and only 36% progress. Sigh. I have been looking into getting a high speed connection, and it looks like it will be possible soon, until then, the schedule is what it is. What can you do? Right? Of course if you are a fan of these shows like I am, and you miss them too, please consider emailing SOAPnet and telling them to put our shows back. Or if you don't really watch these shows, but you think I am just nifty, please consider emailing SOAPnet and telling them there is a rather distressed lady in California, who really wants her favorite old soap operas, and Ty Treadway brought back where they belong, on her TV, at their regularly scheduled times, because sometimes, she doesn't want to think of her real life soap opera, she wants to think about a hunky shirtless fictional doctor, and his evil twin, and ponder what might happen next. :) How come real doctors never go shirtless? ;)

SOAPnet Schedule


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Get Close Part III

"In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality."

-Alfred Stieglitz

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Take a picture of something in extreme close-up - so close it's hard to tell what you are looking at. Ask people to guess. On Thursday, reveal what you've photographed. The only catch: If you've done this before, no reusing old pictures. Get close to something new.

-John Scalzi (By The Way)

I need to work on my macro photography... I bet you can tell what that is in the above picture.Oh well, John says we should ask you to take a guess... OK... go ahead... guess! :) Come back here on Thursday, for the update to this entry, in which, I will reveal everything! :) BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA! That was my EVIL laugh just then, tee hee.

The Reveal...

TaaaDaaaa... It's Wilton's Peppermint Sprinkles :)

"Secret Ingredient"
Berkeley, California
April 9th, 2007
Late Evening

Monday, April 09, 2007

Half A Serenity Chip Is Better Than No Serenity Chip At All...

"If you as what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn't ask me, I'd still have to say it."

-George Burns

Easter, as it turns out, was a plan "B" kind of day. Elvis and I did make cookies, and had a pretty nice time, and then he and I went on a hunt. No, not an Easter egg hunt, no we went on a "where-the-HELL-did-mommy-put-her-keys" hunt. The last time I had seen them, was the wee hours of Saturday morning when I made a late night run to Taco Bell for nibbles. It's not good for me to eat nachos at 2:00 a.m., but you know, sometimes it just feels good to go for a ride, when it's dark, and I can just play the CD player loud, and sing my brains out. I have really good neighbors, for the most part, but even they don't want to hear me singing in the middle of the night. Nope. So, I took my voice elsewhere, and when I got home, I could have sworn I put my keys on the desk next to Alan's laptop computer.

Yesterday afternoon, I decided to take a drive. It was a pleasant Easter day, and I was hoping to perhaps, maybe, see a bunny or two, flopping about up here in the hills. When I went to retrieve my keys, they weren't in the last place I remember them being. Nope. Gone were they! So, I spent the rest of the day, looking under things, looking over things, looking in the oven, refrigerator and on top of the water heater. I looked in my unmentionables drawer, my purse, my scrunchies purse. I looked under the lemon tree, no small feat there, and I even looked in my spice drawer. No keys. I gave up looking at about 7:00 p.m., and sat down to have a good cry and watch Dateline.

A good long cry it was. I was missing my keys, and the silly items I carry on that ring. Items that would mean nothing to anyone else but me. The cross a friend gave me when I was going through a difficult time, which she said would ward off emotional vampires. I feel like Buffy when I look at that thing. The serenity chip I got when I graduated from Adult daycare in 2001, the year I went all "eccentric," LOL. I accidentally cut it in half one day, when I slammed it in the trunk of my car. I cried that day too. It was so symbolic, imagine cutting your own serenity in half! Still, half a serenity chip is better than no serenity chip at all! LOL. As you can see, I also have a Stuart Little on my key chain, a gift from a tiny friend... so I would never be alone.
A silver butterfly, which was a gift from Alan, and a Winnie The Pooh, that I bought myself. I don't know, just made me smile.

I think the tears were about more than my lost key chain treasures.It was about some lost friendship treasures as well, and I needed to let some sadness out. My friend Pam died last year on Easter. It wasn't the same date on the calendar, but it was Easter, so I guess I will always think of her on that holiday. I miss her. Sigh. I wish I could email her and ask her for some of her recipes for pet food, because I am worried about feeding Elvis his usual prescription food. Pam would know what to do. She loved animals and devoted a lot of her time to them. Sigh. I hate Lung Cancer's guts! :(

After the second commercial of Dateline, I decided to dry my eyes, and try looking one more place, the bag containing the decorations and accessories for Elvis's birthday party. We are doing a Spongebob Squarepants theme, for his party this year, and I had just bought the items on Friday, at Dana's Party Planet. The bag was on the floor, in my office, next to my desk. Hmmm... could they be there? Yes! OMG... I found them! :) I have a feeling Elvis may have found them on the floor, and placed them inside the bag. He knew the bag had things for him in it, as I chased him out of it several times. Each time he scampered away with a silly grin.

He always knows when something is especially for him. I don't know how he knows, but then again, he is just special. So, I think he was trying to pick up my toys for a change, and of course he put them in an important place. He is fussy about things being just so. He is Elvis. And with the finding of my keys, came relief and happiness, and a few minutes later my pal H.P. called to wish me a Happy Easter. :) All was well with the world. I just know Pam would have laughed.

Spongebob Squarepants Theme Song

Are you ready kids?
I said are you ready?
Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?
Spongebob Squarepants
Absorbant and yellow and porous is he
Spongebob Squarepants
If nautical nonsense be something you wish
Spongebob Squarepants
Then drop on the deck and flop like a fish
Spongebob Squarepants (Repeat Four Times)

"Keys To Things"
Berkeley, California
April 8th, 2007

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter

Awake, thou wintry earth
Fling off they sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!

-Thomas Blackburn "An Eastern Hymn"

It should be a quiet day at my house for Easter. Alan is working a double shift, so that leaves Elvis and I with each other's company. Always fun. We have big plans. He is going to help me make Peanut Butter Blossom cookies, his father's favorite, and we might even make a batch of macaroons or maybe some Lemon Poppy Seed muffins. Maybe I will take a picture of him in his little apron, yes, he really does have his own apron. He is an excellent kitchen assistant. :) Wherever you are, I hope your Easter Sunday is a relaxing one. :) Happy Easter!

"I think of the garden after the rain;
And hope to my heart comes singing.
At morn the cherry-blooms will be white,
And the Easter bells be ringing!"

-Edna Dean Proctor, "Easter Bells"

"Happy Easter"
Berkeley, California
April 7th, 2007