I was amazed she had never miscalculated in her leap down and impaled herself.
Cats are amazingly agile....when they want to be, it seems!
I can't stand cats being on kitchen counters or tables, and have never let any of our cats do so; I don't want cat hair in my food, and paws that have been in a litter box and then walking across somewhere where food is prepared or served grosses me out. While LX's cats never got on the counters while they were here, I'd find them sprawled out on the kitchen table, catnapping in the sun. Didn't matter how many times I moved them, I'd come back later, and find them back on the table. Hellions either never learn...
...or have learned how to drive me crazy.
Last night I went to a Christmas program at the library - a nostalgic local history of Christmases past type thing. It seemed kind of early to me for a Christmas program (it was still November after-all!), but a couple of friends were participating in it, so I went for moral support. Intermittently between the stories, a ladies bell choir played. It was really a nice program, and afterward, my friends and I went to one of the restaurants for a drink and chat. Beautiful evening for the walk home - downtown is all decorated for Christmas, and the neighborhood I walk through too; every house it seemed had lights and decorations, reminding me I'd better get the front porch decorated before too long. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and it gave me another little nudge toward getting in the Christmas mood.
My two learned to stay off of tables and counters, but my sister's cat was a 'witch' with a capital 'B.' My niece brought her home when she was a few weeks old. She told us she and friends were driving in the bottoms and found her, but years later told us the truth. She was walking in the park with friends, and saw some kids throwing rocks at the kitten. As she walked by, she scooped up the kitten and kept on walking.
The kitten had a bent tail, broken in several places, and had one bad eye, and a hernia-like nub on her belly. She was mean as a gar, and she acted like she didn't much like me at all. I got a tall post that went to the ceiling, with shelves on it so she could climb it. She'd lay there giving me these hateful glares while I watched TV. During commercials, I'd stare at the TV, but whisper her name, and she'd growl me a warning. Or I'd just look at her without saying anything, and she'd growl me a warning.
I might get a few strokes in, here and there, but couldn't do more or I'd lose my hand. I think she did like me some, as every now and again she'd climb into my lap and curl up to sleep. And then I'd sweat fearing I'd make a wrong move and get ripped to shreds. So ... she did as she pleased whenever she came to visit. She'd stay a few days, weeks, months at a time, and then go back home. She had claws, but not my two. They didn't mingle too much of the time, but they'd play every now and again. Mine feared her as much as I did, so they seemed to know when to stay out of her way. She ran off super fast one day when I let her out, and I got the feeling I wasn't going to ever see her again. --- And I haven't.
Last Edit: Dec 1, 2017 19:38:03 GMT -6 by Mini Mia
OMG, I'm done! Made twice as many table arrangements as last week, just as many berry bundles and three additional ones for a special order, and a dozen huge bundles of mixed greens and berries. Everything loaded into the car, kitchen cleaned, care tags printed and strings attached (I can price them tomorrow as I'm arranging everything on the table...or at least what will fit on the table at one time).
Is this time of year the only time you can make these items? I mean, can't other plants throughout the season be used for all the seasons over the year? Or are you far too busy at the nursery to be able to create these? (Wasn't thinking that the demand is higher during the Autumn/Winter holidays.) I know of several people in my area who sell their crafts year round, though theirs are mostly artificial.
...but my sister's cat was a 'witch' with a capital 'B.'
Dusty was sort of like that. We used to call him "Devil Kitty, the Cat from Hell". He had a strange personality - very cuddly and always purring around the family, but a total hellcat toward anyone outside of us who came into the house. Nobody believed he was really a sweet cat, because all they'd see was this mean, growling beast that would just as soon kill you as look at you. LX had a bunch of high school friends over once, and I went upstairs to put away laundry or something, and found one of the girls in LX's room; she'd gone up to get something quite a while beforehand....and said the cat wouldn't let her leave! He was just sitting in front of the door to LX's room growling and hissing at her.
I think he was just very protective of what he regarded as his possessions - which included the entire house and us as well.
Is this time of year the only time you can make these items? I mean, can't other plants throughout the season be used for all the seasons over the year? Or are you far too busy at the nursery to be able to create these?
Yeah, I could do floral arrangements for spring, summer, and fall - I've certainly got enough of a variety of plants in my yard to use. Having enough time, and finding a venue to sell them would be almost impossible though. I know from Crazy Cheryl that having a booth at the farmer's market is both very expensive and requires a season-long commitment - you can't just do a few weekends here and there. It'd take at least two full days out of my schedule for each day at the market - a day to cut flowers and make the arrangements so everything would be fresh, and the following day to sell; since the market is held two days each week, that's four full days of work. It'd be a full time job. I'd also have to pitch whatever didn't sell; it wouldn't keep until the next market day, and that'd be a whole lot of work wasted.
The Holiday Market for two Saturdays is enough (and cut evergreens last for weeks, unlike fresh flowers so the people buying them can enjoy them throughout the Christmas season). Yesterday's market was both good and bad - good because I pretty much sold out, having only one table arrangement and a few berry bundles left at the end of the day, and bad because that's all I had left to donate to the Humane Society. I don't even have any supplies left to make up a few baskets to take to their open house today!
I've actually thought about that from time to time!
I put up the lights on the porch railing yesterday, and used the gnarly branches I had up for Halloween to wrap the wispy evergreen garland around (artificial evergreen! It's almost sacrilege to use fake greenery for someone in the horticultural field!). There were enough scraps of the real stuff though, leftover from making the centerpieces to fill the wall basket by the front door, and a big, low antique galvanized bucket. The porch is decorated...but it feels like something is missing to me. Maybe it's because I didn't hang the stars from the roof over the railing; they get so twisted together in the wind sometimes, and it's a pain in the @ss to get up there and untangled them. It could also be the galvanized bucket - I like the way it looks, but I usually have a big red metal container that I fill instead; I didn't use it this year because it's a lot taller, and since I only had shorter scraps of evergreens left, they would have been out of proportion to the container. I need to figure it out, because it's going to bug me until I do.
I also need to start shopping! I had the kids write wish lists while everyone was here at Thanksgiving, but I haven't done anything yet except put them on the refrigerator with magnets. My brother's ex-wife called this weekend, so I've got their kids figured out - same thing as for more Christmases past that I can remember; a sporting goods store gift certificate for my nephew, and a Barnes and Noble gift certificate for my niece. It's nice, I think, that after all these years, they still look forward to the same things, kind of like a tradition. And bonus! All The Boyfriend put on his list is a few books; I can order those and the Barnes and Noble gift certificate on-line at once. One-stop shopping makes things so much easier!
... hmm ... I wonder if you added a thin/stiff wire to them if it would keep them from getting entangled?
I thought the same....or similarly, anyway. While I was dropping of the stuff left-over from the market at the resale shop last weekend, I found a wooden star, about a foot across, painted blue, and marked at $2.00. I repainted it yellow. I would have preferred white, but for some reason had a can of yellow spray paint in the garage; for the life of me can't remember what I'd ever used yellow spray paint for, but there was about half a can left, so I figure I'd use it, instead of buying a can of white. Hubs had some medium weight wire; I wrapped two pieces together for extra strength, and hung the star from the porch. It only hung down from the beam about 4 inches, but it was so windy the next day, even with the reinforced wire, the star was whipping around as if it hung from just a thread. I shortened the wire, didn't like the way it looked, and took it down. I really wasn't happy with the way it looked on the longer wire either.
Rethinking things...hhhmmm. I was at the drug store, and browsed through the Christmas decorations while I was there, finding a roll of ribbon sort of like burlap, but finer. I made two very full and fairly large bows with it, and tied them to the pillars on either side of the railing with the garland and lights; I wanted to make a third for the middle of the railing, but only had about a foot left of the ribbon - the two bows I'd made took nearly 25 feet of ribbon! For the center of the railing, I ended up finding a smaller red, green, and burlap colored bow at the box-store while grocery shopping. Then I wired the smaller white metal stars to the branches and garland, and propped the big yellow star against the metal bucket of greens, along with some long pieces of drift wood I'd gathered from the beach this fall. I love the way it all looks together, especially after the snow yesterday!
The inside of the house is all decorated too - and I love the way it looks just as much as I do the porch. I never used to decorate for Christmas much except for the Christmas tree and a few odds and ends here and there. For the past three years though, I've gotten into it more, adding additional decorations with each Christmas. This Christmas, I figured out how to fool the Hellions (I think), by using one of my suggestions to you, and decorating the table top tree with Mom's Christmas cookie cutters on ribbon instead of the fragile ornaments - for the most special ones of those, I bought a foot-tall flocked tree, and have it along with some other decorations on top of the bookshelf (hoping the cats won't jump up that high; they've never attempted it previously). Lots of fresh mountain laurel and Eastern hemlock branches in vases, and bowls of pine cones and drift wood together with vintage decorations give everything a natural, but very festive feel.
It's kind of weird. I honestly don't know why the sudden interest in decorating for Christmas...or why, like the front porch, everything has to be just so. I think it's nostalgia - I've got all this stuff of Mom's, which of course, reminds me of Dad and my brothers too. With everyone gone except for my brother, Bobby, I like to be reminded of what good times we used to all have together. That, in addition to LX living so far away, but home for Christmas, it's become important to me for the house to feel extra warm and cozy during the holidays.
... every room had a Christmas tree and tons of other displays, even the hallways and bathrooms.
Sounds like "Christmas at Evergreen Lodge", "Christmas at Holly Inn", "Christmas at Blah-Blah-Blah Mansion" or Palace or Castle or whatever place those Hallmark movies that they play non-stop this time of year take place (not actual titles, except maybe the Blah-blah-blah part). There's also a sister channel called Hallmark Movies and Mysteries that plays the same movies, and I wonder what the mystery is - all the plots are exactly the same!
I've yet to send out a Christmas card.
Things I ordered on-line have been trickling in the latter part of last week and all this week, and I've been wrapping them as they come. I love wrapping presents - it's one of my favorite things about Christmas preparations. Everything I ordered has come - except one thing, and dang it, it's the one thing I have to package and get to the post office to mail.
Oh, that one thing, and a dress BP ordered on-line three weeks ago for LX's graduation ceremony. It still hasn't come. The dress will probably come today after we leave, and the Christmas gift I've got to mail will probably come a day too late for me to mail it and have it get there in time for Christmas.
a dress BP ordered on-line three weeks ago for LX's graduation ceremony. It still hasn't come. The dress will probably come today after we leave, and the Christmas gift I've got to mail will probably come a day too late for me to mail it and have it get there in time for Christmas.
I was right about one thing - the dress was here waiting when we got home. I hope I'm not right about the other. Keeping fingers crossed that it comes tomorrow!
I received an e-mail notification that the package shipped on Friday, so hopefully it'll come today, and I'll get it mailed tomorrow!
We got some Christmas carolers yesterday afternoon, singing a very off-key rendition of Jingle Bells. Opened the door to find Xena Sis and her grandson. I don't know if I'll see him again before Christmas, so I gave him his gift early - a copy of the book "The Big Red Barn"; it was a favorite of mine and both the girls, (we've still got it on the bookshelves; I tried to take it to Goodwill once, but was met with extreme protest from both of them), so when I saw it, I had to get it for him.
He's not yet two years old - an age when most of the fun in getting gifts, is opening them, so I had the book wrapped in gift wrap, and also placed in a felt bag with lots of tissue paper. Very methodically, he pulled out the paper, handing each piece to his Grandma, and when he found the gift-wrapped book inside the bag, he started tearing the paper, little snibble by little snibble. Soon as the corner was unwrapped, I'm like "Crap! It's the wrong gift!" I'd put a CD for BP in the bag by mistake! Thank goodness it took him so long to unwrap it. While he continued to s-l-o-w-ly tear off the paper, I searched under the Christmas tree for a gift the same size and shape of the book. Found it just in time, and before he got interested in the CD, I handed him his actual gift, whisking away the wrong one without him even noticing.
When he finally got the book unwrapped, both LX and BP at the same time said, "That's not my book, is it?" Hopefully, he'll grow to love the book as much as much as they do!
I remember that story too! I don't think I ever had the book; I know the girls didn't. I remember it from the T.V. show, Captain Kangaroo (or maybe Mr. Rogers?). A narrator would read it every-so-often, while the illustrations were shown on-screen.
The Big Red Barn is more of a toddler's book than a children's story; it just basically describes the animals' day on a farm in rhymes. It was written by Margaret Wise-Brown, who wrote more than 100 children's books in the '30s and '40s, "Goodnight Moon" being one of her most famous - that was another of the girls' favorites, and is still on our bookshelf too. I may be mistaken, but I believe "The Big Barn" was published posthumously, in the '50s.
Yesterday, I almost had another mishap similar to putting the wrong gift in the bag for Xena Sis' grandson. I'd found an old black and white photo of my aunt and uncle when they were a young couple in probably in their 20s, sitting in front of a Christmas tree; my aunt is close to 90 now, and I thought she might like to have it. I enclosed the photo in the Christmas card I wrote her, and put it, along with a few other cards I wrote yesterday, out for the mailman...and about an hour later, saw the photo still sitting on my desk!
Luckily, the mail hadn't been picked up yet!
The annual food flood has started to roll in! Yesterday, a friend brought by a couple of wrapped gifts; I knew what one of them was even before I unwrapped it, by the shape. A huge wedge of cheese! Not only one of my favorite foods of all time, but one of my favorite cheeses too - Merlot BellaVitano. The other gift was a jar of cocoa dusted almonds - 2 pounds of them! Love them also. And the best thing about this gift? The family loves them just as much as I do! That means, unlike most Christmas cookies, I won't be the only one eating them....which means I won't be the only one putting on holiday weight!
My parents were both avid readers, and never can I remember a time when either of them weren't reading a book during the evenings in their spare time. I was the same way in high school; my brothers not so much. The girls either - they loved books when they were little of course, up until about the time they got through middle school. In high school, neither of them read much for pleasure. LX and I were talking about this when she was home for Thanksgiving - with all of her classes and part time job, she just doesn't have the time, but plans to read more after graduation. BP, like LX did in high school, has required reading, but doesn't read on her own just for fun.
It's interesting - I read an article fairly recently, which said research shows that teenagers and young adults read more words per day than ever in the past, but what they are reading isn't books. Most of what they read is on a screen in the form of some type of social media.
There are exceptions of course, my niece being one of them; ex-sis-in-law says that my niece eagerly looks forward to the Barnes and Noble gift card I send her every Christmas. I finally got that off in the mail yesterday, because my nephew's gift card finally arrived. It's for a sporting goods store that we don't have around here so I have to order it on-line; I have it sent here because I like to send his and his sister's gifts together.
One more thing checked off my Christmas to-do list!
This conversation gave me an idea for a Christmas gift for Hubs! He doesn't read books much either....which isn't to say that he's not a reader; he reads the newspaper front to back, always has a bunch of trade publications for his job he's reading, and will pick up Time, or Life magazines whenever he sees them.
I just wanted a little something additional to give him, so I ordered a 3 month subscription to New Yorker magazine, a nice mix of politics, pop culture, satire, editorials, and even some fiction. It'll start coming weekly probably not for another couple of weeks, but I printed the current issue's cover, boxed and wrapped it to put under the tree.
He is so difficult to buy gifts for...actually, he drives me nuts. No hints or wish list what-so-ever, but in the last few weeks, he ordered his fix of Jelly Bellies on-line (I don't know how many pounds he orders at a time, but it's a lot - $99 worth), picked up a dozen wool socks while he was at the farm supply store where we get the bird seed for the feeders, and purchased a boat-load of his other addiction - turkey jerky - while he was at the box store. I'm like, "Seriously? You couldn't have put any of this on a list for Christmas?" Grrrr. Thursday evening, he announced that he's going to the home improvement store because the space heater for his man cave gave out. I told him, "No; at least let me get one thing you actually want for Christmas." I bought it yesterday.
His other gifts include a bottle of whiskey, a roll of quarters, and two CDs...to be opened according to the directions in an itinerary/instruction booklet (which I have yet to make): Hubs and Phalon's Day of Fun. The whiskey: I booked a tour and tasting at an historic corset factory turned distillery; after the tour, we'll have lunch in their restaurant. Next, the roll of quarters: on to the casino, and Hard Rock Cafe for maybe a drink and munchies before Gift #3. The CDs - "Leftoverture" and "Point of Know Return" by Kansas: tickets for their 40th Anniversary Leftoverture concert. Yes, Kansas. The concert tour is getting excellent reviews, and what rock music fan who grew up in the 70s, doesn't love the album "Leftoverture"?
Kansas was also the first concert Hubs ever saw - at the state fair when "Leftoverture" was first released in '76.
I hated having to make a list of things I wanted so that others could just pick from the list. It wasn't a surprise. So, we don't draw names, or get each other gifts for Christmas. Well, my sister still does for her kids/grandkids.
I like to have wish lists from them for specific things they want or need - certain CDs, book titles, or movies, for example, or things they need but don't necessarily want to spend their hard-earned money on; both girls wrote socks on their list. But there has to be surprises too!
I'm finished - I wrapped the last gift just a bit ago, which, uhm...isn't actually finished, and is the one thing I had the most time to do. LX had a cookbook on her list, which she wanted for graduation....high-school graduation, over four years ago! It's not as easy as it sounds - she wants all the family recipes she grew up with, few of which are written anywhere but in my head. Oh, and doodles too; she'd like each page to contain doodles - I admit I am, and always have been, a habitual doodler, and there's probably not a scrap of paper in this house that I haven't covered in doodles. I dug out a bunch of family photos too - some as far back as the ancestors from the old country - to go along with the recipes. I haven't got it complete - I only pulled out about half the recipes from my head, and haven't done a single doodle yet - but it's complete enough to wrap, to let her know I've finally started working on it. She's planning on making a trip back down this way in February, and I plan (fingers crossed) to have it done by then.
We'll definitely have snow for Christmas - it started coming down a few hours ago, and everything is already blanketed. Hubs and I went out for a walk - beautiful; you couldn't ask for a better Christmas Eve walk in the snow.
Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas. Peace, love, and hugs.
Phalon: When Mom was in the hospital one year, my sister got me all three seasons of Roswell that I had on my list, and I was really surprised. I expected to have to buy the other two seasons. That is one of my best memories since learning about Santa as a kid.
When Mom was in the hospital one year, my sister got me all three seasons of Roswell that I had on my list, and I was really surprised.
It's those little unexpected things that create special memories.
We had a great Christmas Eve. Hubs played Santa's Helper, and along with going on the "Emergency Meat Run", took the gifts to the neighbors, while the girls made cookies, and I got preparations done for an evening of family and friends, which turned into a late night of playing board games...until two in the morning!
Quiet, but nice day yesterday, with just the four of us. No. Scratch that - the four of us, plus the dog, and three cats. Anything involving the Hellions is not quiet!
I did though, empty the red teapot sitting on the butler's window shelf of the Christmas greenery...which wasn't exactly the greenist of green anymore because I haven't refilled it with water for a couple of weeks.
Oh! And I read an article about New Year's trees. Who knew there was such a thing? Apparently though, they've been around since the 1600s. Figuring I'll just reclassify the Christmas tree as a New Year's tree, and call it good for a while.