Friday, September 29, 2006

A Toad Interlude

Thought I would post what I have been doing while not posting. I am trying to prepare for two pottery sales. And though, Mommie and Daddy gave me the perfectly lovely, middle name of "Annette"- I have changed it to 'The Procrastinator'. So, I'm potting and glazing and firing right now, trying to make up for wasted time. All the time chanting to myself "don't do this again, don't do this again". This is a close-up of one of my stoneware functional froggie bowls. I'll post more pics to show the kiln opening, it's like Christmas to a potter, just without the wrapping and ribbon carnage.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

And With No Repeats

With The Hummingbird Channel gone for the season, I'm glad The Sunset Channel is still on the air. And no technical difficulties, ever. Awesome...thank you, Abba.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

That's All Folks...

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am most sad as I tell you- The Hummingbird Channel has left the airways(sic) for the season. (I apologize for my pic as I can't sneak very well, and must depend on the zoom.) This little guy will be the last of his kind at my house for the year. I watched him plump, like a Ballpark frank on the grill, in the gentle rainfall that came last week. He also seemed preoccupied with the tennis match he was attending. He sat there in the drizzle, almost motionless, for long moments at a time. Only his tiny head swinging, to and fro, as he watched the phantom game.

When The Hummingbird Channel airs its programs for the Spring ratings sweeps, it is at its best. Awesome surround-sound capabilities makes the 'twitter-chitter' and resonating wing thrum, must-hear experiences. And the dog-fight scenes have excellent aerial choreography. Such drama, such action and all in amazing jewel-tone colors. Sigh...I suppose I'll have to be content with my feathered memories until next Spring, since this channel doesn't syndicate its programs. But stay tuned, tomorrow I'll post the other channel available here. New episodes daily, with no repeats.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Of Furkids Past- Part Two

Harrigan was named for a song in the musical, Yankee Doodle Dandy. As a kitten, he was a very active, cheeky fluffball. He grew and grew(and grew) into a 13 lb chunk of DLH brown/white tabby- my "kittyboy". He did have a littermate sister, Hillary, who was let out by a roommate too soon after a move. She was gone, never to be seen again, within moments.

Harrigan was one of those kitties that, had he grown an opposable thumb, should never play poker. Everything he thought was immediately evident on his naughty whiskered face. He was declawed(before I knew better) and he loved to entice Cardigan into a lively chase about the apartment. "Monster Cat" would go to the back of a chair and proceed to 'scratch' the dickens out of it. "Tell the kitty- NO!" was Cardigan's favorite command because it meant a kitty head needed honking. You go to the kitty, grab his head and squeeze(gently) a couple of times. Honka. Honka. Just like a bicycle horn. GAME ON. It was just what a frustrated herding dog longs for- running feet just begging to be nipped. And the perfect excuse for 'Lewis and Clark Cat' to blaze new trails across the furniture and walls.

Harrigan was my lovable, purring "lap-lump". He made many a cold evening of book reading, a very cozy time. He didn't like 'people food' and would actually give a very melodramatic gag-action if you let him sniff it. Oh, but how he loved to hunt and he was adept without claws. Snakes, geckos, and water roaches were all brought to me in feline adoration. Snakes went into the 'Catch and Release Program', the roaches were screamed at and then stomped on, and a couple of geckos, unfortunately, weren't found until they had become lizard jerky. Small, desiccated, twig-like things that, when finally noticed, always made me cry. Poor critters.

In his later years, Harrigan developed arthritis in his declawed broken-down paws and his kibble bowl was up high, being kept away from doglips. A thick multi-layered pile of rugs made a soft, impact absorbing landing site, but better still: The Kitty Cafe. I took a medium-sized plastic totebox, turned it upside-down, cut out a "U" shaped door in one end and placed the box back onto its lid. Voila! Inside it an old kitty can satiate, while just outside, dogs salivate.

His health declined rapidly in 2003 and medication could no longer provide him a quality life. I held Harrigan while Dr. Paul made him pain-free. A life well pounced, purred and scampered through: April 6, 1988 to December 3, 2003. Good "Kiddles".

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Pic of Yesterday's Blog Subject

This is my sweeters, Cardigan. She was with me from December 17, 1987 to June 3, 2003. And on the morning of June 3, I was there when Dr. Paul ended the pain caused by her failing body. It's my opinion that, if they accompany you in life, you need to be there with them in their last few minutes. I know that, through my Faith in Jesus' life, death and resurrection, I am assured of Heaven. I hope that Cardigan and my other babies will meet me there. I can't say for certain, but neither can anyone else this side of Heaven's Gate. So I think I'll consider I Cor 2:9, "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.", until I get there. Pooh, you'll always be my rootin'-tootin'-snortin'-pig-dog. Good girl.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Of Furkids Past- Part One

I can't introduce the current Furfamily members without beginning with two who have been gone only a short time. The 'short time' is actually 3 years, but these sweet ones were with me for 15 years. My heart doesn't go by a calendar.

Cardigan(Pooh) was a blue merle Australian Shepherd cross. So named because of her resemblance, or so I thought, to a moth-eaten sweater. Pooh was small and dainty by Aussie breed standards. At only 31 lbs, she fit nicely into the apartment du jour. She had what I called the "apartment bark"- a light, barely audible percolating sound which she kindly taught to her brother Gunther. However, upon seeing a beloved human, she let out a screeching aahoo-ike-oooh, continuously until she thought that person well met. A very interesting sound, indeed, when in a underground parking garage.

She padded softly beside me through an In-patient stay for depression, a poorly chosen marriage(what was I thinking?) and The Divorce. In an attempt to salvage that marriage, I even offered to give Cardigan away, as my husband was not a dog person. And, though he declined the offer, giving away a family member will never be offered again- to anyone. I kept the dog and lost the husband, the best choice hands(or paws) down.

While I loved Cardigan dearly, she was the result of human ignorance. Born out of the belief that if you let a dog have one litter- she will be a better pet after being spayed. *Soapbox Alert* Nope, still have the same dog, plus a litter of mixed-breed puppies that may never find responsible homes. Added to that, the dog now has a higher chance of breast cancer because of not being spayed before her first heat. And should someone feel the need teach children the "miracle of birth" by allowing(making) the family dog or cat have a litter, be sure the curriculum also includes a fieldtrip. Strap those kiddos in the ol' SUV and head on down to the local Animal Shelter. Where on Euthanasia Day(just a tad different than Earth Day), they can learn what happens to all the leftover Life-ED Course 'materials'. Please find another way to teach the children. Fluffy thanks you, and so do Shelter workers around the world. *Soapbox now stowed away*

Thursday, September 14, 2006

No Pets Allowed

I've been on this journey road for nearly forty-nine years, and most of it has been spent walking side-by-side, hand-in-paw with pets. These same pets found a way to pounce, romp and wriggle their way into the Mapsco of my heart, as well. Somewhere along that journey, though, they have managed to shed more than hair- they shed their noun. No longer are they pets: they are Furkids. Mommie's Furkids. I suppose as the years vaporized and no real children materialized, I made the fuzz-covered vocabulary change.

I know that some people have a difficult time with this particular definition of family. Activities after work have to be carefully planned, overtime possibly turned down and spontaneous travel doesn't happen because of the 3 dogs, 2 cats and 1 bird waiting for Mommie to return. I've been asked, "Is it really worth it, you're life's really limited?" The fact that the question was posed means you won't understand the answer given. Like I said, "It's a Furkid thing".

In coming posts, I plan to introduce you to my Furfamily. Well, anyway, I hope to do this and not wander into Soapbox Land. Ahem...that was not, however, a promise to reduce my soapbox to kindling. My apologies.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Next Year's Butterflies?

I was staring out the window above the kitchen sink, one of my most fave views, and noticed a fluffy, fluttering lump in the backyard. I assumed it was the remains of something's fast-food meal. So I went out expecting to find bunny parts, but was surprised to see it was an exploded milkweed pod.

This is the plant where Monarch butterflies lay eggs, and on which the caterpillars feed. An empty chrysalis, found on my porch railing earlier this year, meant I had just missed a birth. I am tickled pink (red, orange, black & yellow, too) to discover these plants on their journey to becoming next year's butterfly chow. My neighbors probably aren't- I don't mow very often in the Spring or well... ever for that matter. A major plus in moving here, was being able to see the countryside in all its glorious green imperfection, and not to live on a golfcourse. I'm thinking that one man's weeds, are this girlie's wildflowers.

Why Must We?

Yesterday, I visited a Blog-of-Interest and left a comment. The author was bemoaning the use of a certain dead celebrity's likeness, with added computer generated dance scene, to sell clothing. I whole-heartedly agreed with the author on this subject. I know the advertiser in question had to receive permission from the celebrity's estate, but I still disagree with using people who can no longer voice their objections.

Here it is-wait for it, wait for it... Why must topical comments always become fodder for someone to de-evolve into a political rant? Geeze, we were talking about dead people being exploited for monetary gain. Most comments suggested other famous dead people who could peddle products, and that it would most likely be against all they were about. Then Maytag-man (agitator) suggests that it could be worse- said celebrity could be dancing the mambo(actually, he wrote mamba) with President Bush. It was a wild slide downhill from there. Lobbyists, Iran, bi-partisan socialism and then the mentioning of living celebrities getting out of drunk driving charges. Whoa Moma! My head hurts.

Come on, let's post on the topic used by the author. If the comments have a pulse that is lighthearted; keep it that way so there will be no need to administer literary CPR. Supply your own wooden soapbox if you feel a rant coming on, climb on up and "may the slats be with you".

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Oh Just Run Me Over, Already

'Hate' is usually such an ugly word. But when used to describe irritating commercials, the word becomes the Miss Universe of the dictionary. I am speaking of the new genre of automobile TV ads. The car, truck or SUV is shown leaping tall mountains, making maneuvers of super-mechanical strength, or whizzing bullet-speed through various terrains. (By now, I'm thinking I'm hearing a whiz of a different kind.) Then the small print flashes across the bottom of the screen- "Professional stunt driver on a closed course". Uh, I seem to have misplaced my driver's license with that option listed. And, Rhett, wherever shall I find the closed course that they speak of?

One new ad shows a queue-jumping scene at a playground line. Mom and kid load into a mini-van and drive straight to a dealership. Once there, she signs papers, straps the kid in and away they drive in a new Hummer. In the next scene, it's not hard to miss the I'll-show-you-smirk plastered on her face. Gosh, I've always wanted to be on the road with drivers who are toting attitude as cargo. Now, I don't actually need those closed courses to drive like a stunt driver. (lightbulb moment) Wow, those ads were accurate after all. Happy Trails, ya'll.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Up on the Rooftop- Drip, Drip, Drip

Oh my... is that rain?! My back deck has a metal roof and the sound now emanating from it, is ambrosial. Liquid manna from the Father's hand. My area of rural Denton county is down 34" of rain for the last 20 months. The "Goodnight-Loving Trail", a.k.a. my backyard, will become gooey toe-sucking mud. With three large dogs, one of them being an XL at 85 lbs., all of them have been taught the request- "show me your toes". Toes are then presented so I, The Mommie, can clean all the nooks and crannies of 12 pads and 48 toes. Old T-shirts and towels are always at the ready. With no grass in the dog area (a 365 ft. linear fence-line) because of the drought, it should be a toe-showing Autumn and Winter. But as I cerebally wander through my B.C. (before country) apartment life, I shudder and ecstatically proclaim "Let the MudFest begin!".

Sunday, September 03, 2006

All Things Unimportant

I've come to a stop-the-presses-announcement moment. This blog, at least on one level, will be my catharsis. (The first dictionary definition- not the one connected to "purgation". Although, some readers may liken my writing to such.) While I will write about topics that have a serious side, I can still prattle-on about inane subjects, as well. This way I might be able to spare myself from actually hearing, again, the ominous martyr death sigh succinctly punctuated with the sound of a closing door. Um... Yes, this happened to me last week at work, whilst in mid-prattle. I had become the very person (moi?) I inwardly roll my eyes at and try to escape from. So when I post here, I will have no need of ears with skin-on. So there! (nya-nya) ;)

I made a most delightful discovery this morning. One of my most favored mugs, Erika Oller's "Happily Dying of Chocolate", fits under the spout of my new Senseo Coffee Machine. I am a potter with no pots, or mugs for that matter, that I have made for myself. The cobbler's kids have no shoes and this potter has no pots. So I buy mugs with snappy sayings and this one was right up my dark chocolate alley.

Have you ever watched an infomercial and been tempted to buy the product? Do yourself a favor and Google the product before you break out the plastic. Find a site that has customer feedback about the product, read both pros and cons and you might find yourself not buying the product. This happened to me this morning- I was highly tempted by the Magic Bullet food processor set. What I read online convinced me to step-away-from-credit-card. I wish I had used this tactic when I wanted to purchase the Black and Decker Home Cafe Coffee System. I bought three: work, home and as a gift for my niece. Both of mine went Super Nova or fell apart within one week of each other, after only 15 months of light use. I would have known to purchase the Senseo in the first place, had I followed my own aforementioned advice. So Google before you gamble.