Sunday, November 24, 2013

Out of the Weather

And no, they are NOT in my house!

The weather has sure turned freakin' cold these last couple of days.  It has gotten absolutely frigid out there.

These two month old kittens and their mama have been on my porch.  Mama has been with me for over a year and this is her second litter.  My kitten Lily, is from her first litter.

With the weather changing, I have been worried about these babies.  I thought Adrienne, the mama, would be ok.  She's lived through winters before on my porch.  But these little ones . . . yeah, I'm getting soft in my old age.

We know I am a foster failure.  That's how I got Maggie and that's how I got Lily.  Once they come in my house, it's almost impossible to let them go.  But, I didn't want anything happening to these helpless babies out there.

So, I found someone to foster all three of them!  I set traps on my front porch where I feed them.  Last night, Saturday night, I caught Adrienne.  The kittens were no where to be seen though.  I sent Adrienne to the foster home and put the traps back on the porch.

I was so worried about the kittens getting caught during the night and then sitting in a cold metal cage all night long in that cold.  I was up half of the night, going out checking if the traps have been sprung!  Ok, now that I'm typing this, I probably should have just turned the traps so I could see them from the window!  Duh.  Hindsight and all of that.

Anyway, the big trap kept getting sprung but with nothing in it.  I don't know if the high winds last night kept setting it off or what.  Early this morning though, I finally caught one kitten.  The litter mate stayed by the caught sibling.  I tried to catch her with a net but she was too smart for that.

I took the trap upstairs into my bathroom, took my big cat carrier, put a nice towel in the bottom of it and transferred the kitten from the trap to the carrier.  I took the trap right back outside and with the kitten watching me, I put the food back in it, set the door and covered the trap with a towel.  Believe it or not, in about 20 minutes, I had caught the second kitten!  Back upstairs, transferred her to the carrier with her brother and at least they were warm and out of the weather.

I took them to the foster mom who already had Adrienne.  She gave them a quick look over and then took them to the vet.

The little brown one on the left is a girl, Alice, who is 1 lb 9 oz.  The little gray striped one on the right is a little boy, Alfonzo, and he is 1 lb 15 oz.  They both have colds and are on antibiotics and eye ointment.  No surprises there.  The foster mom will get them healthy, work with them so that they get used to people and are hand tame.  Once they are healthy and over 2 lbs, they can go be spayed and neutered and then put up for adoption.

Adrienne hopefully will get spayed this coming week.  Once she recovers, she will be evaluated.  She has always been wild and has never even let me get near her.  The foster mom will work with her and see if she can get her hand tamed.  She can work miracles with cats, so I am hoping!  If she can be hand tamed, she can be sent for adoption.  If not . . . Adrienne will be re-released back on my porch.  At least if she's released, she will be spayed and not producing any more litters.  If she's brought back, I will continue to put food out there for her and will make a shelter out there for her.

For now, the kitties are all out of the weather and hopefully on to better lives.

I leave you with two really good and really important announcements.

1.)  If you have outside pets, please make sure they have adequate shelter in this weather or bring them inside! 

2.)  Please spay or neuter your pet.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Deer vs Car? Who Wins?

Like is full of peaks and valleys.  You have to experience the bad so that you can appreciate the good.  Right now I seem to be in the valley, taking a few hits from life.  Literally.

I was coming home Friday night around 6:30 in the evening.  As you all know, it's freakin' dark by then.  I was on North Ridge Road in Amherst heading towards Oberlin Avenue from Leavitt. 

I've been on that road before, probably quite a few times but rarely in the dark.  I'm a little familiar with that road but not in the dark.  As I was heading towards Oberlin Avenue, a car coming at me was blinking their high beams at me.  That tells me that something is up ahead to watch out for, usually a police car watching for speeders.

I'm not a speeder.  I had one speeding ticket in my life and that was an expensive lesson to never do that again.  Plus, with my phobias, I hate being in the car anyway. I'm trying to get from point A to point B alive so speeding is not usually something I am willing to do.  So, I saw the flashing high beams and thought fine, I'm not speeding, I don't care.  Well, I guess they were warning us about something but it wasn't the police.

Suddenly, BAM!  There was a deer hitting into my car by my driver's window.  She ROCKED my car and scared the crap out of me.  I slammed on my brakes and came to a stop in the middle of North Ridge Road.  I was frozen, I had no idea what to do.  I never saw her coming until she was right at my window.  I never saw her.

The car that was directly behind me came slowly up next to me, then turned right in front of me into a driveway.  I thought OH!  That was a good idea, so I pulled into this driveway next to him to get out of traffic.  The rest of the drivers proceeded through slowly.

The guy that stopped was named Randy and I definitely owe him big time.  I don't do well in stressful situations and I was shaking, my heart was pounding in my chest and I was in a panic.  He came right up to me, put an arm around my shoulder and just talked to me.  He made sure I was ok (I was) then just held my hand until I could get my breath back and get my thoughts together. 

Randy checked out my car for me to assess the damage.  The driver's side mirror is broken.  It's sort of attached to the car but not by much.   From there the deer went forward and crashed into the fender that goes from the driver's door to the front bumper.  Originally, the fender was up against my tire.  Randy was nice enough to pull that out by hand so that at least my car is still drivable.

In the dark, he checked out my car the best he could.  He looked for blood from the deer and thank goodness there wasn't any.  Randy told me that he saw the doe get up from the street and run back to the left between some houses.

Randy also told me that you have to report an accident with a deer to the police.  Who knew?!  I didn't consider this an "emergency" since I thought I was ok and the car, thanks to Randy, was drivable.  I called 911 assuming they would send Amherst police to take a report.  For some reason, the State Police were called for this accident.

Randy offered to stay until the police got there but I didn't know how long that was going to take.  Why should both of our Friday nights be ruined!  Besides, it was getting colder and he had gone above and beyond for me already.   He did give me his name and number in case the police or insurance company needed it and he went on his way.

After the report was taken, one of the officers did go across the street with a flashlight to see if the deer collapsed behind the houses where it was last seen.  He found no deer, so I am hoping that she is fine.

Just what I needed.  Here's a $500 deductible down the drain.  And that didn't help my car phobia any.  On the plus side, there are still genuinely good people out there.  A huge thank you to a perfect stranger, Randy, who stopped in my time of need and just acted like a human being.  Thank you for holding my hand, thank you for putting my mind at ease that my car was drivable, thank you for just making sure I was ok.

Phil was nice enough to come outside with a camera when I got home Friday to document my new owie.  This is after he pulled that fender away from the tire.  This doesn't look so bad.   This was the first deer I ever hit and hopefully it will be the last.

It's only a car.  I hope the deer is ok.

And Then There Were Four

From the right, there is my Benny and then Ava.  The little gray one is Maggie and her mom Blondie.  Last on the left is my latest rescue, Lily.

I had Benny and Ava and then I rescued Blondie and her only surviving kitten Maggie.  After their quarantine was lifted, I tried integrating them into the house, and that didn't always go well.  From the beginning we have had issues as Blondie would go after Benny especially and to a lesser extent Ava.  I attributed it to the fact that Maggie was so tiny at only four weeks old that she was just protecting her kitten.  Then came my last rescue, Lily.  My heart was in the right place and I committed to the financial responsibility of keeping all five cats.  Now Maggie is a whopping seven months old and able to hold her own against Benny and Ava when they are playing.  Unfortunately, Blondie has never gotten along with Benny and it just wasn't getting any better.

I don't know if it was the dynamics of having five cats or if something happened between the adults that I didn't see, but Blondie kept getting worse and worse with Benny.  She was ok next to him until she wasn't.   She would suddenly get so terrified of him, she would hunker down and scream.  It wasn't a meow, it wasn't a screech or a caterwaul, it was a scream.  She was totally stressed out which started stressing out the other cats and the kitty mama.  Hey, I'm stressed out enough, I didn't need this on top of everything else.

I did everything I could possibly do.  I talked to my vet and he told me to just keep moving their wet food closer and closer to each other until they can be next to each other.  Hey, this isn't my first time to the rodeo.  I could get them eating side by side and all was well.  Until it wasn't and she would try to crawl under the toe kick of the kitchen cabinets and just scream her lungs out.  It was absolutely heartbreaking.  I've even had her on pheromones which have not helped at all.

I finally had to keep either her or Benny on lock down.  I would lock Blondie up in the bedroom which she hated.  Or I would lock Benny in the basement which he hated.  It wasn't fair to any of the cats and especially those two.  I'd let everyone out at meal time and all would be ok while they were eating . . . until they weren't ok.  If they were out in the house together, Blondie would spend her time hiding from Benny, hoping he wouldn't see her.  She'd be inside of back of the floor clock or she'd hide behind the garbage can.  If he saw her, or even just glanced her way, she'd run and she'd scream.  Then he'd think it was a game so he'd chase her. 

I finally did what I thought was right and I surrendered her to the Friendship Animal Protection League (APL) so that they could find her a home.  Hopefully a home with no other pets.

Blondie really is a loving and beautiful cat, as long as she isn't by other cats.  I've never had a dog so I don't know how she would be around a dog or how she would be around kids for that matter.  I do know she hates to be by other cats.  Trust me on this one!  But this girl loves to play, loves her toys, loves her belly rubbed.  She will lay there and purr for as long as you are willing to rub her belly!  The pictures don't do her justice, she is really beautiful with such striking golden eyes and just wants to be loved.  I just wish I could be the one to love her enough to make her happy.

She has all of her first year shots, she is front declawed and she is spayed.  She just needs a loving home.  Here is a link to Blondie's APL page.

If anyone is looking for a furever friend and you don't have other animals, please head up to the APL in Elyria and consider my girl.  I know you won't be sorry!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tick . . . Tick . . . Tick

I had the strangest day at work yesterday.  One of those days that make you really question your sanity!

Yesterday afternoon, I was sitting at my desk working away when suddenly I heard it.  Tick . . . tick . . . tick.  You heard me.  It went tick . . . tick . . . tick.  Seriously, what in the heck.

After the raccoon coming through the ceiling recently, all I could think of was that something was walking up over the drop ceiling and was going to fall on my head any minute!  Tick . . . tick . . . tick.  GRRR

I stopped what I was doing and looked behind me up at my one ceiling tile that has been broken for a long time.  If something is coming through my ceiling, that's where it's going to happen.  Good news / bad news is that it wasn't anything walking over the crop ceiling.  It was a BUG!  A BIG BUG!  And the ticking I kept hearing was this bug hitting the plastic cover of my ceiling lights!

My next thought was holy crap there is a huge bee in my office!  I grabbed my phone (I don't know why!) and I ran to the doorway of my office.  I don't know what I thought I was going to do there but I felt safer.

I watched this dang bug keep slamming himself into the ceiling light.  Finally, he came to a stop on a ceiling tile.  Against my better judgement, I had to walk closer to see what kind of bee it was.  MUCH to my surprise, it wasn't a bee at all, but a STINK BUG!  It's been all over the news about the stink bugs this year.  We have had more than our fair share of them around.  Well, now one of them found his way into my office.

This is not the picture of the actual stink bug that was in my office.  At least I don't think it is the same one.  This one just hitched a ride on my car recently.  But in case anyone doesn't know what a stink bug looks like, this is it!

I'm afraid of a lot of things but I really didn't think I was afraid of a stink bug.  I put my phone down, put my big girl panties on and came up with a plan.  I grabbed a small plastic cup and some paperwork off of my desk.  I got up on a chair, put the cup over the stink bug sitting on my ceiling and then used the paperwork to slide between the cup and the ceiling, trapping the bug in the cup.

Without breaking my leg, I got off of the chair, took the cup and paper to the front door and released the stink bug!  I was SOOO proud of myself!  I came back into the building, shut the door and not one minute later, Mike came out of the shop and went out to his car for something.  He came back into the building and went back to the shop as I went back to my office to finish what I was doing.

Then, there it was again.  Tick . . . tick . . . tick.  CRAP.

I look up and sure enough, a stink bug, hitting himself again and again against my light covering on the ceiling.  I really have no idea if this was the same stink bug that followed Mike back into the building or if it was second stink bug.  

I grabbed the plastic cup out of my recycling bin, grabbed my paperwork again and got the chair ready.  Once again, I put the cup over the stink bug, used the paper to trap him inside of the cup and walked his little butt outside.  This time however, I didn't just release him outside of the door, I walked him to the opposite end of the parking lot!  My good deed for the day!

That was supposed to be the end of my story.  Unfortunately, I keep seeing the title of this post and it reminds me of an old ditty.  I've had this little thing stuck in my head for more hours than I can count!  Go ahead and watch it if you dare!  Then, I challenge YOU to get that song out of your head.

You're welcome!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Happy Birthday, Aunt Mary

Today, my Aunt Mary is 91 years young!

Is she beautiful or what!!!

I got to thinking about Aunt Mary today.  Aunt Mary is not only my Aunt, she is my Godmother, she was my partner in crime, my role model, my friend.

I grew up in a flat.  My Aunt Mary, a young widow with two babies lived downstairs in the flat and my family lived upstairs.  We did everything together, our two families.  I think me being the baby of this group, plus with Aunt Mary being my Godmother, we were especially close.

Aunt Mary is the one that taught me that you are allowed to celebrate your entire birthday MONTH, not just your day!  Is that genius or what!!  Aunt Mary has taught me a lot of good stuff like that over the years.

I got to see her a couple of weeks ago.  As always, she was thrilled to see me.  C'mon now, who wouldn't be!  I got to play some pinochle with her and chat about everything.  I don't know if she remembers that I was there, but I remember.   She is still beautiful, she is still happy and her smile still lights up a room.  Thanks to my brother Jim for sending me a picture of her today sitting with her birthday flowers.

Happy birthday, Aunt Mary!  91 years young and still going strong!  I hope you ate too much cake and I hope you celebrate all 31 days of YOUR month, because it's the right thing to do!  Aunt Mary - the queen of birthdays who taught me all I know about celebrating them to your fullest.  That kind of teaching is priceless.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

I Lauged, I Cried, I Wanted More!

What a weekend!

My friends Ruth and Jeff came to town for the weekend.  We had a great time!

There was a lot of laughs, a few tears, lots of hugs and good food.  I don't know what more you could ask for.  You see, we have known each other for more years than I'd like to admit.  We've been through it all together: births, weddings, break ups and deaths.  We have always laughed together and cried together.  That's the thing about really good friends - you don't need to see each other every day or talk every day.  But when you DO get together, it's like you were never apart.

We really didn't do touristy stuff this trip.  This trip was all about relaxing, catching up and of course laughing.  We did take a small road trip on Saturday up to Findley State Park up in Wellington to check out their camping facilities for future trips.

The state park was done up right.  They are totally into the Halloween spirit!  There was a little marshy area that was haunted by a few ghosts!

And to make sure you got a better look at the two boaters:

It was way too funny!

Another cool feature of Wellington believe it or not was the ATM machine at the LorMet Credit Union!  As we were driving to the state park, I thought I saw something and I definitely wanted to check it out on the way home.  Now THIS is a drive up ATM machine!

That doggone horse looked real!

Wellington really is a nice little town.  So full of character and that's a good thing!

After all is said and done, I just noticed that I took absolutely no pictures of the four of us!  Nor did I take any pictures of any of the great food I cooked over the weekend.  I just wasn't thinking.

We had a great visit and I stocked up on hugs from my friends.  It was great to see you guys and I miss you already.  I love you both and thank you from the bottom of my heart for making the trip to come out and see us.  Hopefully the next visit will be soon!

Friday, October 25, 2013

When There is a Raccoon in the Building . . .

Lock yourself in your office!

I am the first one to work in the morning.  I unlock the doors, turn off the alarm, go to my office to change into my work shoes, then I turn the lights on throughout the building and back to my office to start work. This takes a little while since it's a BIG building!

A few weeks ago, I walked into the building, turned off the alarm and then turned the corner.  There is a garbage can next to the water cooler and the can was knocked over and some of the garbage was on the floor.  I knew something was wrong in my world.

I went into my dark office and changed my shoes, all the while telling myself that there is nothing to be worried about.  All was good in my world.

I walked out of my office, turned to the left towards the lab (where all of the office light switches are) and THERE it was!  A freakin' raccoon, turning the corner towards the lab!  AARGH!

I went back to my office, grabbed my purse, closed my office door and went back to the front door.  There, I kept my eye on the hallway to make sure that the raccoon stayed where he was.  I wanted to make sure he did not come back to my part of the building.  I called just about everyone I had on speed dial.

First I called our property manager, no answer.  Then I called one of the owners, no answer.  Then I called one of the guys that works in the shop, no answer.  I called 911!  They answered but were kind of unimpressed.  She gave me a few numbers for local wildlife trappers, but wouldn't send someone over with a gun or a net or a fire truck with a hook and ladder.  Hey, I was in panic mode.  I would have been ok with the National Guard coming over at that moment.  What the hell.  I was so frustrated that I called my brother, in CHINA.  Lucky for him because I went to his voicemail and swore at him like a marine would.  Yeah, not my proudest moment.

This is on one side of me:

The raccoon was obviously inside of the building above the drop ceiling.  As he walked across this tile, the tile gave away and he crashed to the floor.  Sheesh, not good.

On the other side of me was the last place I saw the critter.  There is a door right around the corner that goes into the lab, and I felt if I could just get that door shut I could stop my panic because the raccoon was on the other side of that door. Unfortunately, I wasn't going to be the one to walk down that hallway and around a blind corner and shut that door!  Who knows if that raccoon was just around the corner on MY side of the door ready to bite me!?!?

Yes, I was in the middle of a hissy fit and a panic attack.  I guess that would be a hissy attack!  Whatever it was, it wasn't pretty.

I started on my list again.  I called the property manager and this time he answered the phone.  I gave him an earful and he promised he be there in 30 minutes.  I think he was hoping that by then I'd pull my claws back in.

I called one of the owners.  I woke him up and gave HIM an earful on why he needed to be in the building immediately.  I don't think he agreed with my hissy attack but whatever.  He wasn't in the building with a killer raccoon!  He did show up pretty quickly at the building with this:

Now that I think about it, I'm not sure if he walked in the building with this because of the killer raccoon or because of me!  Makes ya think, huh?

Lo and behold, one of the guys from the shop came in first.  In the middle of my hissy attack, I explained what happened so far that morning, and he was nice enough to walk down the hall, around that blind corner and close the door to the lab.  That meant that I know for sure he was not on my side of the building, but closed in between the lab and another office.  I was sort of jiggy with that, but I closed myself in my office for the rest of the day just in case.

Eventually, I had the guy from the shop, the property manager and an owner, all trying to find and catch this raccoon.  Granted, I was in a self imposed lock down in my office, but I was imagining a little bit of a three stooges routine happening out there.  After all was said and done . . . they could find NO raccoon in the building.

I know there are a kajillion hiding places in the lab alone so there was no way I was trusting their opinion that the raccoon found his way out.  I stayed locked in my office.

The next day, kinda the same thing.  I ran through the building screaming like a banshee making a lot of noise and turning on all the lights when I first got there in the morning.  If he was still in the building, I wanted to make sure that he was more afraid of me than I was of him, as if that was possible. 

Finally, the guys showed me why they thought the raccoon found his own way out.  I'm not sure if I buy it but whatever.

First, the footprints where he tried to climb up the wall:

I guess he couldn't reach up high enough.  There was a shelving unit just to the right of this, so they assumed he climbed up the shelving unit, then up and out:

It may not be obvious in these pictures, but you can definitely see raccoon hand prints up this wall.  I can almost get behind the fact that the raccoon made it up to the ceiling but I find it hard to believe that he was smart enough to lift the ceiling tile and then put it right back down where it belonged!

Up above this drop ceiling is the hole to the outside where they figured the raccoon was getting in and out.  They set a live trap outside of that hole and they did end up catching a raccoon that first night.  I caught such a fast glimpse of him in the building, I couldn't guarantee that was the same raccoon, but . . .

The property manager took the live cage away and released the raccoon far away from our building.  Here's hoping he finds a new and safe life, away from this crazy lady.

So, I no longer lock myself in my office.  But I definitely keep an extra eye open when I walk into the building in the morning!  And for now the drama of wildlife in the building is thankfully over.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Turn on the A/C Because Christmas is Here!

Seriously, I went to Sam's Club on Monday after work. I am not ready to be seeing this on October 14th.

What ever happened to waiting to start Christmas after Thanksgiving?? Heaven forbid that we don't all bow down to that almighty dollar.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Mayor's Personal Car is Stolen

This kind of pissed me off today.

According to an article on the Chronical Online written by Steve Fogarty, the Mayor of the city of Lorain, Chase Ritenauer, had his personal vehicle stolen Friday night/Saturday morning.   You can read the entire article here.

I'm sorry the mayor had his vehicle stolen.  That sucks.  What pissed me off was the fact that, according to the article:

Lorain police Lt. Roger Watkins said fingerprints were taken from Ritenauer's vehicle.
 "We'll wait and see if they turn up anything," Watkins said.

Ya know . . . about three or four years ago, my garage was broken into and numerous items were stolen.  Whoever broke into my garage also tried to get into my car which was parked in the garage but locked.  This unknown person(s) left numerous finger prints as well as full hand prints all over my car.  I asked for someone to come to take fingerprints as I thought this was going to be an easy case to solve, even for the Lorain PD.  The way they broke into my garage, I have a feeling they have done this before.  I'll even go out on a limb here and say they already have a record of incarceration for this type of activity.

But, I was told that the Lorain CSI team was too busy to come take fingerprints.


Too busy.

I guess just being an ordinary tax paying citizen didn't rank me high enough to warrant the CSI team coming over for 10 minutes to get those very obvious prints off of my car.

No one was ever arrested for my break in.

My property was never recovered.

The mayor got his car back undamaged but with a handful of change stolen.  By the way, the mayor's car was stolen because he left a key to the ignition hidden, albiet not well, inside of his unlocked car.

My estimated $1,000 worth of equipment was gone from my locked garage after the motion detector flood light was disabled.  With a $1,000 deductible on my insurance, it was useless to file a claim with them and I still haven't been able to afford to replace most of them.

Lesson learned?  If you're the mayor, who was irresponsible in leaving his vehicle unlocked with a key in it, resources are available to get your pocket change back.  If you're a regular tax paying citizen who tried to have security measures in place including locking the door, then the generator, power washer and snow blower weren't worth the CSI team's time.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

You Don't Know You're Spoiled, Until it Stops!

My brother Phil lives here with us.  Some days that's good, some days not so much!  But when he's good, he's very good!

Phil actually spoils me.  I don't always realize it until he goes away for a long weekend.  Let me give you a couple of examples.

With my shoulder problem, I have very little strength in my right arm/hand.  We buy milk by the gallon.  To open a gallon for the first time, takes a little strength to twist the cap hard enough to break the seal.  I can't do it.  Whenever new gallons of milk are brought in the house, Phil will break the seals on all of them so I can get into them.  I never realized how important that was until the last time he went to Erie for the weekend!

I had bought milk the night before.  In the morning, I went to have my cereal.  Granted, I only use 1/4 cup of milk for my morning cereal, but the gallon wasn't opened yet, Ron was still sleeping, so I couldn't have cereal for breakfast just because I couldn't twist hard enough to break that seal!  Not good.  Seriously, not good!

Another of our "routines" is that Phil walks me out the door in the morning.  Phil goes over a check list with me.  He makes sure I have my:

* Purse
* Cup of coffee
* Book (I read at lunch!)
* Lunch
* Fruit
* Keys
* Garage Door Opener

Once he makes sure I have all I need, Phil walks me to the door and then locks it behind me since my hands are full with the list above.  That's really a handy feature when I'm on my way out the door to work in the morning.

Again, Phil was gone for the weekend.  So, I didn't have my apple one day for lunch.  And really, who needs to have a cup of coffee in the morning??  Yeah, I missed you brother.

So, as much as I complain some days, I really need to remember that I AM spoiled!  I just didn't realize it until it stopped!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Story of Hemingway

I have to share the story of Hemingway. 

Hemingway is the cat that started me on my journey to being the crazy cat lady in my neighborhood.  About five years ago, this little, skinny, sickly looking cat found his way to my front porch.  He looked horrible.  I went out and got a small bag of cat food and started putting a bowl out on the porch for Hemingway.  He was so skinny that when he sat down to eat from the bowl, his shoulder blades were so pronounced and sharp looking that I thought I could have cut paper on them.  He was a sickly little thing.

From the kindness of just putting food and water out there, he flourished.  He got bigger and stronger and eventually became my friend. 

Hemingway spent four years with me as an outside cat.  He was there before Benny and before Penelope.  Hemingway seemed to find all of the kittens in the neighborhood and we've seen HIM bring the kittens to my porch.  A few years ago, he brought three little gray kittens to my porch that stayed around my porch throughout the winter and then when spring hit they went on their way.  When I'd take food outside, Hemingway would step aside, let the kittens eat their fill and then he'd eat his share.  He always gave way for the kittens first.

While the kittens came and went through the years, Hemingway remained.  Once in awhile, he'd go on a "walk about" and be gone a few days but he always came back.  

I have posted a video before of how Hemingway would meet me at the garage when I came home and he would "escort" me to my door.  This walk of about 20 feet from my garage to my door could sometimes take me 10 minutes.  He would wind in and around my feet, and purr and drop to the ground and show me his belly. 

I know the life expectancy of a stray cat is much shorter than a house cat, but when Hemingway went on walk about, and didn't come back, I knew I had lost my friend.  Hemingway has now been gone for over a year. 

Tuesday, Ron and I went out for the evening.  As I was walking to the door after putting my car in the garage, I hear a cat meowing.  It's dark and I see orange, so I assume it's Junior.  He meows at me when I come home, just like Hemingway used to do.  So, I bent over and scratched his ears a bit while I talked to him, then I tried to walk to the door of the house. The cat was all about rubbing his entire body up and down my legs, making it very difficult to put one foot in front of the other.  THIS was unusual for Junior.  He'll come and butt his head into my legs a few times then he'll walk with me to the door.  This cat was all about the contact with me and I have a very hard time walking.

I really didn't think much of it.  I figured the food bowl on the porch was empty and this was a little suck up move for some extra food tonight.  Hey, I'm all about a good suck up move!  I went inside, fed and watered everyone inside and then I went to the porch to check the food bowl for Junior.  Imagine my surprise when I saw it wasn't Junior!  Once I got into the light, I could see this cat was HEMINGWAY!!!  I couldn't believe that after a year it was my Hemingway on my porch! 

I really thought I was seeing things.  I yelled into the house for Ron to come out and look at this cat.  He definitely wasn't Junior since he didn't have any white on him.  This cat was all orange, and it's hard to explain but Hemingway has an unusual shape to his head and neck.  I KNOW from looking at this cat that he's Hemingway!  Ron came out, took one look at him and even he said it was Hemingway!  He wanted some food but I was amazed that he remembered me after all this time and was all about some attention from me. 

I pet him, loved on him, and fed him.  He really looked good!  He looks well fed, his coat was beautiful, and he just looked happy.  I don't know where he's been for the last year, and he hasn't been back since Tuesday night, but for one night, he was home.  He came to say hello, and let me know he was ok.  He did my heart good.  It wasn't a long visit, but I know he's doing well.  I guess I can't ask for more than that.

I hope he's out there being taken care of by another good kitty mama, or that he's taking care of the neighborhood kittens helping them find the food bowls.  Whatever he's doing, there will always be a food bowl on my front porch for Hemingway.  He will always be welcome here.

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Houston Astros, That's Just Wrong Page 30

Here is another page from the book that I will eventually write.  The title to my new book will be "That's Just Wrong" and it will be about the absurdities that I find in life.

Today's edition of That's Just Wrong, comes to us from the Houston Astos of all places.

Way back in a previous life, I used to live in Houston Texas.  While I've always been a Cubs fan, it made games interesting since most of my friends in Houston were Astros fans.  Robert, for example.  We spent many an hour discussing, arguing about, dreaming of, and rehashing games.  We even spent a few hours with out butts in the seats at the Astrodome (awesome place!) and at their new ball park that was still called Enron Field back when I was there. Gotta have a good rivalry while watching the games.

Both the Astros and the Cubs were in the same division in the National League Central and neither team were historically known to be powerhouses to beat for the division.  Sometimes fighting for last place was all we had to fight about.

Then, Bud Selig (the commissioner of baseball) in his infinite wisdom (sarcasm here) moved the Astros from the National League to the American League starting with this 2013 season.  The fans of Houston were outraged and they lost a lot of fans just announcing this change.  Their attendance is way down as is their television viewership.

The only reason I cared about the Astros like I said was for some good ribbing, some good rivalry.  With them moving to the American League, in my mind there is no reason to even think of them any longer.  I am NOT a fan of the pansy ass ball that is played in the American League and even living in the Cleveland area, I can't get behind it enough to even go here to see a game.  Sorry, Indians fans, I just don't like American League rules.  But, that is really neither here nor there.

The Astros, in their finite wisdom, along with State Farm Insurance, sponsored an event at the ball game:  Ladies Night.  Promotions are not new at ball games. Even Ladies Night isn't a new idea.  However, the Astros and State Farm Insurance seem to be unaware that this is 2013 and NOT 1953.  Here is a quote from an article online at Fox Sports:
According to the link in the tweet: "Astros Ladies Night, presented by State Farm, is a women-only event that allows our female fans to get the inside scoop on the Astros and meet some of the staff and players. The event starts at 4:00 pm with a 'Baseball 101' talk, followed by a happy hour event themed 'Diamond, Bling and Glittery Things' with music, specialty drinks, exclusive Ladies Night gift courtesy of State Farm, group photos with Astros players, and complimentary beauty treatments. Package includes a View Deck II ticket to watch the Astros take on the New York Yankees following the cocktail hour."
I am BEYOND offended by this entire idea.  Do you really think you're going to teach ME about the fundamentals of baseball???  ME????  I've been watching baseball with my MOM for more years than the idiot that came up with this promotion has probably been alive.

Beauty treatment?  Because after all, that's all us women folk are interested in, right? That is IF our men folk let us out of the house for something called a ball game.

You can read the whole article from Fox Sports here.  Some of the twitter responses to this inane idea are comical.  And spot on.  Here is the tweet that the Astros put out announcing this promotion:
Houston Astros         @astros
9/27 is Ladies Night by @StateFarm! Ladies can learn about baseball, enjoy music, food, drinks & more! For info & tix
I wanted to go on record with the Houston Astros organization and with State Farm Insurance who sponsored this event and tell them a little bit about me:

I have a full time job, own my own home, pay my own bills.  I can change my own oil in my car, I can mow my own lawn, I can shovel my own driveway.  I know what to do if there is a problem in the breaker box.  I plunge my own toilet when it needs it.  I watch and follow baseball, football and boxing.  (My dream job is to be in the corner as a cut woman for a fighter.)  I am also a sister, a friend, an aunt, a niece, a cousin and I think an all around decent person.  I cry when I hear the National Anthem, the commercials on TV around Mother's Day and Lifetime movies. I have never had a facial, a manicure or a pedicure.  I love my family, my friends, my country, babies, Chipotle's burritos, birthday cake and animals.  I am a Renaissance woman and I, and women like me, was your target audience with your promotion.  Yeah, you missed the mark on that one, didn't you.

Instead of you giving ME the fundamentals of baseball, send me a job offer.  I'll come down there and teach you a few things about not only baseball, but about women too.  With one of the worst records in recent baseball history with a record of 51-108 (.321) the Astros need someone like me in their organization to get them back on track. 

As for the people in your organizations that thought this promotion was a good idea?  I'm here to tell you . . . That's Just Wrong.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Shout Out to Muzik's Auto!

Muzik's Auto Care at 3671 Oberlin Avenue in Lorain Ohio.  Seriously, an honest mechanic in this day and age, even to a woman!  This is the picture of the garage from their Facebook page.

My disclaimer is that I am in no way affiliated with Muzik's Auto other than being a customer.  I am not related, involved with or financially responsible for this business.  What I am is a huge fan!

I have had years under my belt of trying to find a mechanic.  You want someone that will fix your car first of all, but you want someone who will tell you honestly if something is actually broken or something just came loose and needs reconnected.  We have all heard the horror stories of high mechanic bills for work that was never done.

Ron and I have been taking our vehicles to Muzik's Auto for almost as long as we've lived in Lorain.  They are fair, honest and do good work to boot.  If it's broke, they'll tell you.  If it's not broke, they will tell you that too.  Unfortunately, twice now Ron has gotten the "I would junk that car before I put any more money into fixing it" from them!  Ok, not what you really want to hear, but it's better than "here's a bill for $3,000 to fix a $1,000 car!"

I just had to give a shout out to the guys because they fixed my squealing brakes.  It was suggested that I take the car back to the dealer who replaced the brakes since they might still be under warranty.  But, as I told John at Muzik's, I have had nothing but trouble from the dealer since I bought the car.  I was not taking the car back to them even for warranty work.  The only reason I took it there in the first place was for my 100,000 mile check up.  Oh well, lesson learned.

So it cost me a few bucks but the brakes that have squealed since I got them no longer squeal.  And, they fixed a few other little odds and ends as long as they had the car.  I know it's a 10 year old car but it's paid for so I want to keep it as long as I can.

I just had to do a shout out to Muzik's Auto.  Seriously, if you need any work done, go check them out.  Tell John that the crazy woman with the squeaky brakes sent you!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

How Tight is Too Tight?

Ron and I have been having "discussions" lately.  Either he doesn't know his own strength or he's just messing with me to mess with me.

I can tell where he's been in the house.  Our friends Mike and Kathy made some kick ass banana pepper mustard.  I was making a sandwich for lunch the other day and I love this stuff on sandwiches.  For the life of me, I could not open the jar.  I had to have a banana pepper mustard-less sandwich that day.  People, that is just wrong!

Last night when I was mowing the lawn, before I start, I fill up the hand mower and the riding mower with gasoline.  Ron had cut the grass last, so I am blaming him for putting the gas cap back on the riding mower so tightly I was ready to flag down a passing motorist to come help me get it off!  Sheesh!

Part of the problem could be that I don't have any strength in my right hand due to my shoulder problem but still . . . I should be able to open stuff with both hands, right?

So, we have been "discussing" this issue a lot over the last few weeks.  Milk bottles, soda bottles, whatever.  I know when Ron has been there last because I can't get into there next.

Then yesterday, I saw this headline on the internet:

Ore. man killed wife for closing ketchup bottle too tightly
Of course I sent the article right to Ron.  I am not threatening him bodily harm, trust me!  I am just trying to keep him honest!

Loosen up on the muscles, honey!  Don't keep a woman from her milk or her banana pepper mustard!

Friday, September 20, 2013

What Time Is It??

Holy crap do the days drag on but the weeks fly by.  (I stole that line from a woman who used to blog.  I miss her blog!  But, I digress.)

I know the calendar says September but I don't think the reality of that fact has hit me yet.  Last night, I ran a few errands after work and got home around 6:30.  By the time I fed, watered and loved on the cats a bit, it was just after 7:00.  The grass REALLY needed cut and I knew that rain was predicted for the rest of the weekend so I figured it was now or next week.   Hey, it's only 7:00, I know I have time to do a fast whip around the yard and get it mowed.  No weed whacking or anything fancy, but I could get the grass cut.

I started as always with the hand mower and got around the trees, the house, the road signs and the water shut off valve.  I am looking up and the sky and I am really wondering if this was a good idea or not.  It is really getting DARK!

I hopped up on the riding mower and started my circuit.  The tree lawns are done, the front is done and I started doing the laps around my yard.  Each lap, it was darker and darker outside.  Seriously, it can't be THAT late!   And by the way, WHY don't riding lawn mowers have head lights?  I need to talk to Craftsman about that.

Anyway, I'm trying to do my turns in the yard by using landmarks because I really can't see the grass.  Suddenly, I am coming from the street side to go west down my yard and I realize that there are really tall weeds to my left, the side I THOUGHT I was done with!  Obviously my landmark theory of mowing the lawn sucked.  But, it was dark outside so who could tell?  I didn't think it looked too bad with what I had done but I was definitely having to call it a night.  I couldn't see a dang thing.

I put the riding mower back in the garage, then pulled my car into the garage and got it all shut up for the night.  I got in the house and looked at the clock.  I figured it had to be after 9:00 because it was so dark.  Seriously, it was 8:00 pm on the dot according to my kitchen clock.  8:00???  We haven't even changed the clocks back yet for daylight savings time. How in the heck could it be DARK by 8:00 in the evening?

The pictures didn't come out great but you get the idea.   It rained today and right now it is pouring.  By the time I get back to cut the grass, it's all going to need cut again!  Ugh, what a waste of an hour last night and THIS is what I have to show for it!  And I'll let you in on a little secret.  Once all of the leaves start falling from the trees, if your grass is short, the wind will blow them all to your neighbor's yard and you won't have to rake them.  See, I am full of good advice for you!

September.  No more doing yard work after running errands after work.  Before you know it I will be coming directly home from work and it will be dark.  At least the lawn won't need to be mowed.  I may have to shovel snow . . . but I won't be mowing the lawn.

***  Who is the dumbass now??  Ron just read my blog and informed me that the riding mower DOES have headlights!!  Serious!  Who knew??!!  Dammit, had I known that, I could have finished the lawn last night.  Grrr.  I've only been using it for like 5 or 6 years now.  What do I know!

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Looking back to 1975

Talk about a blast from the past!

My brother Michael came across this picture and sent it to me today.  I remember this so very well.  This was taken at Micheal's wedding, and I believe that was in 1975!  Yes, I am OLD!!

Who are those three gorgeous YOUNG broads???

That is me on the left, my sister Barb in the middle and my sister Cathie on the right!  Dang, are we gorgeous or what!!

This is a few lifetimes ago but seeing this picture sure brought back memories. A lot has happened to the three of us since this picture was taken.  But one thing didn't change - I have the two best sisters in the world. 

Thanks for the walk down memory lane, Michael.  Send me the rest of the picture next time!  I think this one has all of us in there!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Reality TV Junkie

One of my guilty secrets . . . I am a reality TV junkie!

I do have SOME standards, I don't watch them all.  I've never seen an episode of the Kardashians nor do I have any idea why Honey Boo Boo is on the air.

But give me some Housewives of just about ANY city (except Washington DC and now New York is off of my radar) and I will tell you all about the ladies, their men, their kids, who fights with whom and who is right and wrong.  And don't get me started on my Andy Cohen!  I want him to be MY gay BFF!!

I know absolutely nothing about fashion. I tend to buy my clothes at the Mart.  Wal or K, it doesn't matter to me.  But heaven knows I won't miss an episode of Project Runway!  I love me some Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum!  I just got started on another train wreck, I mean reality show, on Lifetime.  Pretty Wicked Moms.  Are you kidding me?  Vapid isn't a strong enough word.  But I love it anyway.

There's not many cooking reality shows that I don't watch, even though I can barely boil water myself.  America's Worst Cook?  Love it.  Hell's Kitchen?  Can't miss it.  Top Chef?  Loving my Tom Colicchio!

I could go on and on and on.  I haven't even started on Deadliest Catch, Ice Road Truckers and a slew of other reality TV shows that I waste my time on.  Do you see why I spend so much money on cable/satellite dish access?  I do have a sickness!

But the worst one I watch . . . the biggest train wreck on MY opinion . . .

The Bachelorette!!!  Or the Bachelor!!!  Both equally as terrible!

You get one single gal or guy, and then bring 25 single guys or gals around to try to compete to see who gets to profess their love for the bachelorette or bachelor and propose marriage!  I've been watching this show for a long time.  It's rare of one of the "contestants" on this show isn't educated.  So you have 25 educated, beautiful people, making an ass of themselves on national TV for their 15 minutes of fame.  C'mon, people!  Is this country great or what?!!!

Even though I bad talk this show, I always pick out MY favorites, and I know who should be kicked to the curb every week and who should be given a rose to stay.  And, every year, once the show has wrapped up and the inevitable press release comes out that says the latest couple has agreed to part ways and they are not getting married, I always tear up just a little.  Hey!  Who of you that watch the show didn't get upset when Allie and Roberto broke up???  Aww, that was horrible!  I'm surprised that Sean and Catherine haven't announced THEIR break up yet!  But wait for it . . . it's coming!  Mark my words!

Which leaves us with this season of the Bathelorette.  I have had my front runners since the beginning of the season and honestly, Michael was right at the top.  He's a little cutie, a federal prosecutor, and seemed like a nice guy.  I was SHOCKED when he was sent packing on the last episode.  I thought for sure that Desiree has lost her mind when she kept one of the other guys and let Michael go.

Until his exit interview in the mini van.

He called his Mom.

He told Mom something along the lines that Mom's not going to get to meet Desiree after all, and why does this always happen to him????

Um, dude.  A federal prosecutor and you call your Mom to cry on her shoulder???  On national TV?  Hmm, maybe Desiree got it right after all.  I'm not too pumped on any of the guys that are left, so it really doesn't matter which of the final four she has get down on one knee to propose to her.  But I'll still keep watching.  Maybe there will be more TV gold of someone calling Mommy to cry that he got dumped.  We can only hope.

Tune in tonight.  You know I'll be there!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Party in Sheffield Lake!

Our neighboring city to the east of us is Sheffield Lake.  Sheffield Lake is celebrating their Community Days this weekend.

You know I love a fair and I love a parade!  The weather finally took a turn for the better and it was a gorgeous night for a parade.  The grassy areas were filled with water and mud, but as long as you watched where you were walking, all was good.  Plus, there was a surprise at the end of the parade so I had to be there!

A fair has to have rides and fun!

There was a lot to see and do and of course eat, all through the fair.

And while this was not Weight Watchers friendly, it was worth each of the 30 points I took for it!  Yum!

Then it was time to try to get a good spot for the parade.  I thought there were a lot of people, but regulars at this parade thought the turn out was sparse.  Well, I think I stole some one's fun because I had a blast at the parade.  People were lining up early:

This parade started with the hotties.  That would be men in uniform for anyone that doesn't know me!

My personal favorite, the firemen!!  The neighboring towns showed up to represent!

Next, came the Colors.  I may not forward a ton of emails to "prove I love this country" but I do love this country.  I cry every time I hear the National Anthem, I am grateful to all service men and women past present and future, and seeing the Colors fly, gives me goosebumps.

A lot of people were either not taught correctly or have forgotten what to do when the flag is flying or the National Anthem is playing.  This gentleman in front of me, stood up as the Colors went by, took off his hat and placed it over his heart.

I wanted to give a shout out to this gentleman for doing the RIGHT thing and setting a great example.  Thank you sir, for your service.

I wish I would have switched to video mode for this float!  This was one of them hover crafts and they had a blast with it!  Everyone dressed as Star Wars characters and they had that hover craft DANCING in the street!  Props, people!

The only negative thing I could say about this parade was that there was only ONE marching band.  Next to the emergency vehicles, the marching bands are my favorite!  This was a large marching band but still . . . you can never have too many of them in a parade!  Kudos to Brookside High School band.  Good job!

Wowway digital cable and high speed internet had a great float!

And no parade is complete without Santa!  I guess this means that Christmas is almost here!  Yikes!!

What a great evening.  The celebration is happening all weekend, so if you're looking for something to do, head over to the Shoreway Shopping Plaza at 4128 Lake Road.

There always has to be one bad apple or moron in any group.  This is a family event, and full of kids.  What in the heck was this moron thinking when he got dressed to go out in public?

You want to wear that shirt out at the bar or out with your friends, have at it.  At a festival with your KIDS, that's just wrong.

Moron aside, it was a great time.  And a great excuse to dust off my camera and get out there taking pictures!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

When Did THAT Happen?

I have a tiara that I keep at work.  When I'm having a particularly bad day, I wear my tiara at work and I call myself the "princess".  Ok, I'm not REALLY a princess, but at least when the guys see me in my tiara, they know I'm having a bad day and they normally back off.  Go me!

I have a vendor that is very similar to me in many ways.  We talk often due to business, but we always add some personal stuff in there, too.  She likes to take a lot of pictures and she also takes in stray and/or abandoned cats!  She's my kind of woman!

We were talking yesterday about bad days and I told her about my tiara and me being the princess.  She thought that was pretty funny!  You know my theory on things . . . it doesn't mean anything without pictures!  So, today I got Mike in a slow moment and I asked him to take a picture with me.  My vendor also thinks it's comical that I work for my brother!

Here is Mike and me in princess mode, tiara and all.

Mike wasn't sure if my vendor could really get a good look at my tiara, so he thought he'd take a close up of just the tiara for me.

Look at that picture!  WHERE IN THE HELL DID ALL THAT GRAY HAIR COME FROM????  I was kinda freaking out about that!  Mike tried to talk me down, telling me it's not gray hair, it's the glare from the flash!  Yeah, that's it!  He was going to take another picture without the flash to show me it's not as bad as it looks.

That did NOT help!

Holy crap, how did this happen?  I've never put hair dye in my hair.  I've never "colored" it as I always figured that gray WAS a color!  That was easy to say when you just had a few gray hairs.  My hair may not remain virginal for long after seeing this.

Holy crap, some how I got old when I wasn't looking.

I'm gonna need more than a tiara to fix this.  Dang, how did this happen?!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Ugh. That Was MY Fault

One thing about being a grown up . . . I should KNOW better!

I know I've had a food sensitivity to eggs since I was about 19 years old.  I used to eat eggs all of the time and then suddenly, I couldn't.  I'm not so sensitive that eggs bother me IN food.  Luckily I can eat breads and cakes and meatloaf with no problem.  But, scramble them, poach them, sunny side up them or even coat some bread for French Toast and I can't do it.  I will be sick, sometimes violently.

Some times, if I take an antihistamine like Benedryl, it will help with some of the side effects.  Not always, but some times.

The worst part about this food sensitivity, or allergy as I call it, is that I LOVE eggs.  Why couldn't I be allergic to peas?  Or lima beans??  I could easily live the rest of my life without ever eating either of those two items ever again.  But eggs???  O M G

The worst offender was at Easter time.  In Slovak, and this is kinda spelled phonetically, not correctly, is our ceetetz.  I don't think I could make it if my life depended on it, but it was an Easter tradition in our house.  My Mom would start with like three dozen eggs in a pot, add sugar and milk and cook it down sort of like scrambled egg consistency.  Then, we'd take it out of the pot and put it in a cheese cloth.  The egg mixture would be squeezed and pressed into a ball in that cheese cloth and hung up over night to get most of the moisture out of there.  In the morning, this "ball" would then be put into a pan and baked until the top was golden brown.  It ended up being a solid mass of egg and it was the most delicious thing I can remember!  Every year I'd whack me off a chunk of the ceetetz on Easter, and enjoy every single bit of it.  I'd be sicker than a dog for about 24 hours afterwards, but dang, it was worth it.

I no longer have ceetetz in my life but maybe once a year I still have to splurge and have some eggs.  They are just too good to stay away from for ever!

If I'm going to get that sick, I want to make it worth it.  My favorite way to have eggs is over easy with some wheat toast to dunk into the yolks.  I can't make over easy eggs to save my life though, so I like to go to a diner and order them up.

Last night, I was having trouble thinking of what to make Ron and I for dinner.  I have had eggs on my mind for a few weeks now, and I knew my resistance was down and I was going to end up eating some soon!  So, last night I told Ron we were having breakfast for supper!

I made some turkey bacon, then did a huge veggie omelet for the two of us.  I can't do over easy, but anyone can make an omelet!  I sauteed up some onions, green peppers and mushrooms and then added the egg.  Holy cow was it GOOD!  I just took a small portion of the omelet, but it was probably still two eggs worth.  I wasn't even done eating my small portion when my stomach started to protest.

Now, Ron tends to get over protective of me when I talk about eating an egg or even wanting to taste his when he has them for breakfast.  Hey, I'm a big girl, I'm an adult, I know what I can and can't do.  I don't need him to be the egg police on me!  Or at least that's what I tell him.

Last night, he was watching me and starting to mutter "I told you so" under his breath.  I did NOT want to give him the satisfaction!  I tried to put on a brave face and hold down my dinner until after he went to bed!  I tried to write this blog last night when the feeling was fresh in my stomach, but I was too busy being doubled over at my desk!  Sheesh, what I don't do for an egg!

Lo and behold, I got through the night in one piece with only a few "are you ok"'s from Ron!  I know I'm a adult and should be making better decisions about how I take care of my body.  I've been paying the price for my decision all day.  But sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

Was it worth getting that sick for the last 24 hours over a veggie omelet?  Damn skippy it was!  It was an awesome omelet!

Did I make another one tonight for supper?  Not on your life!  It will probably be another year or so before I put myself through THAT again!

Being an adult doesn't mean I can't sometimes make bad decisions.  But I will own my decisions, I have no one to blame but me.  This was a self inflicted sickness and I know it was all my fault.  It will be all my fault again about a year from now.  Next time, two eggs over easy with some wheat toast!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Mowing the Lawn, What an Adventure!

Friday I came home from work and I mowed the lawn.  As always, it's an adventure.

I start with what I call "policing the property".  I put a plastic glove on my hand, grab a garbage bag and go out and pick up the garbage from the lawn before I can mow it.  I've told stories before of stuff I've found in the yard.  Fast food bags are common as are beer and liquor bottles.  I've found condoms (see why I wear the glove?), dip sticks, home work papers, utility bills (not mine), a bag of crack and recently, I found this beauty.

As a side note, I have a new phone and I can't quite get how to get the pictures off of my camera and on to the blog.  On my computer hard drive, the picture is the right way!  But, I upload it here, and it's freakin' sideways!  I've done everything I can do, deleting and re-down/up/over/loading the damn picture and it remains the same.  So, turn your head to the right and you'll see the knife the way I intended you to see it!  Sheesh, what I go through for my blog!!

Anyway, a nice sharp knife on my tree lawn.  Ok, this was found a week or so ago and not yesterday, but still.

And, I've been looking through my pictures for a picture I've posted before of my water valve on the tree lawn.  Mine sticks up so far, I've hit it repeatedly with my mower and busted the top all up.  And, bent the blades of my mower and almost knocked myself off of the mower.  More than once!  While I can't find the picture, perhaps my explanation will at least paint a picture in your mind of what I'm talking about.

I was talking to my brother Mike at work about this recently.  The problem with the water valve is that I "forget" about it when I'm mowing the lawn and hit it.  My back can't take the beating it takes when I hit it with the riding lawn mower.  I've tried hand mowing a good 10 feet around that valve to give myself enough room, but still!  I HIT it!

I told Mike I was thinking of getting one of those "flags" that snow plow drivers put up so they know where the end of driveway is or where there is an obstruction in a parking lot.  Mike had a better idea.  We had some construction cones at work that we no longer used.  He suggested I take a cone, hand mow around the valve like I normally would, but before I got on the riding mower to put the cone over the valve.  Hopefully that would remind me that it's there and then prevent me from hitting it.  Sounded good!

It WORKS!!!  I see the cone and am able to drive around it, saving my mower, the mower blades, my back, my sanity.  Such an easy fix but such a life saver.  So, if you're driving by my house and you see my cone up, beep and wave!  I'll be the one on the riding mower cutting the grass!  It looks cheesy but it works.

Last, this DID happen Friday.  I have a couple of bird feeders in the yard.  It's a BIRD feeder, not a CAT feeder.  This is not what I wanted to see.  Yuck.

In case you can't tell, this is a line of bird feathers.  I'm assuming it was a kitty lunch.  Dang it, I don't put food out there to attract the birds for the cats!  I know it's the law of nature.  Big fish eat little fish, cats eat birds.  Mother Nature can be a bitch!

See?  Mowing my lawn CAN be an adventure.  I always mow the lawn to music.  I put my ear buds into my nano and I jam out mowing the lawn.  Before my shoulder messed up, my neighbors used to enjoy a good show of me air drumming on the mower all around the yard!  Since my arm doesn't work so well now, I've had to give up air drumming.  At least I still sing!  Loudly AND badly.  I am hoping the noise of the mower drowns me out an no one really HEARS me singing.  If you do hear it . . . I am sorry!  See?  It is an adventure when I mow the lawn.  C'mon over, pull up a chair and enjoy the show.  As long as you're sitting there, please pick up them feathers, huh?