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!