Archive for August 9th, 2011

Quick update

It started raining here — we have had either a shower or a substantial rain every day for the last five days.  What a relief!  We had suffered through over two weeks of no precipitation coupled with temperatures up near 100°F and the gardens were really suffering.   Now we have had rain pretty much every day in some quantity for about five days.

Okay, this is why I haven’t gotten a post up recently.   That section above was as far as I got before I was called away to do something important and then after that I got taken off to Springfield to celebrate the 26th annversary.   Seems like it was just a few weeks ago that we went to St. Louis to celebrate the big 25th!  We had a nice dinner at the Farmer’s Gastropub — wonderful place to eat, by the way!  And we went off to a couple of flea markets to see if we couldn’t find a set of china to buy, since the one we have has not responded to being in the dishwasher very well plus we have broken some plates and so we can’t even serve 6 people with a matched set.  Don’t know why this bothers me so much, but it does.

So, back to not posting.  In addition to wandering around running the water about 18 hours a day on various and sundry gardens in an attempt to keep them from dying, there is a kitten in the house.   This requires literally hours of amused attention, as watching the antics of what we now refer to as Mallory Three-socks, Acrobrat Felixitous can occupy countless hours.   And this kitten needs to be played with as well as being observed while playing solo.   If one does not interact with her when she is young, one will not have a decent cat later on.

I have to say, I spend quite a lot of time watching the cat-child play, she is so darned cute it is almost choking.  She loves her dog, but Ruby has mixed feelings about being playground equipment for a teething being, so their relationship is a little fraught at present.   Right now, this is about the only way Ruby tolerates Mallory sleeping with her, which is at a distance.

Mallory on the couch or not actually touching her is okay.   Otherwise, Ruby gets up and moves.   Lately, though, if Mallory is very polite and respectful, she is allowed slight contact.  I figure when the kitten grows into a cat who no longer feels the need to attack every thing that moves, which includes Ruby’s tail and toes, the relationship will warm up.

She acquired a new toy, Mallory’s Moose.   (Okay, I’m lying, I spent my hard earned money to buy this item for her since she is teething and needs something to chew on.)

As you can see, she doesn’t just chew on it.   She sleeps with it.  And she rassles with it in a most amusing manner.  She also drags it around the house by one leg in the classic “lion bringing its kill home” posture; since it is still almost as big as she is this is quite comical to watch; she doesn’t so much drag it as waddle.

She has developed a fascination with her tail and spends a lot of time trying to catch it.   Sometimes she tries to catch it when she is on her cat tree:

She also tries to catch it while she is balanced on the top of the chair rail:

In addition to being sucked into watching all these antics, there is the paper ball madness to contend with.   If Mallory hears paper tearing, she must investigate the situation because it is very likely that tearing paper will be crumpled into a ball she can play with, and that is of primary importance in Mallory’s Universe.

The other night I was relaxing, we were watching a movie, and I happened to have a beer in my hand.  As is my usual sort of unthinking habit, I was slowly removing the label from the beer bottle.  It is a challenge for me to get the whole label off in one piece, don’t ask me why this is important because I do not know, but it is.   However, as I was slowly peeling the label down, I suddenly felt a Presence at my left shoulder.  I looked in the general direction and discovered that Mallory had apparated on the back of the couch right by my head and was staring fixedly at the label as it was being peeled off.   “Oooh, for ME??” was writ large in her face and attitude.

Quickly, I smoothed the label up back onto the bottle and informed her that there was nothing going on here, no paper was being torn, she could leave.   A look of great disdain, disgust and disbelief was the response I got to that taradiddle, so I got back to work and finished peeling the label off.   It was a label that had foil on the outer layer, and so when I wadded it up into a ball for her it was rather small, held its shape very nicely and had an interesting texture and taste.   A very wonderful paper ball indeed, quite satisfactory.   She dropped it into one of Jim’s shoes, and proceeded to spend the next five minutes trying to get it out of the toe of the shoe, where it had rolled.   The process involved sticking both forepaws and her head into the shoe.   Quite entertaining, even more so than the movie we were “watching”.

But I can’t just play with the cat.   If I do, then Ruby’s nose is bent all out of shape, I must play with the dog too.   And rub her ears, and take her for her walk (3.5 miles every morning), go outside and throw her ball for her, etc. etc. etc.

Then there is a certain amount of massage to be done, as I still have plenty of clients to attend to, more than there were a few months ago (hooray).   For some stinking reason, I feel that it is also necessary to keep my house clean and my garden weeded.   Now that the vegetables are coming on, we are canning tomatoes.   So far I have about 40 pints put up, and there are 50 pounds on the stove getting ready to be canned.   Also, a case of plums came home with Jim, and those had to be processed in some way.   Many are in the freezer but there are several sitting on my counter that I intend to make jam and plum butter with, soon, before they spoil.

There is over a gallon of yellow squash in the refrigerator awaiting my attentions.   They need to be sliced, salted, drained, seasoned and roasted so they can be frozen.  That is on the agenda today, and of course you see what I am doing instead!

A few days ago took Ruby for a walk out at Bennett Spring State Park, we had a wonderful walk and I acquired some very nice photographs.

Unfortunately, at the same time I also managed to acquire about 100,000 seed ticks, which ran up and over all of my body during the time it took me to get back to the car and drive home.  I stupidly went out into the woods without my duct tape, which would have removed the majority of them when they were down on my ankles if I had had it with me.   As it was, on my way back to the car I found a nice swimming hole and got in there and scrubbed my legs and arms as best I could with a mixture of sand and gravel, which apparently did nothing to deter the little ticks.   The process did leave several bruises and abrasions on my skin, and since I was completely soaked I also got the car seat wet when I drove home.

When I did get home, I showered and scrubbed off as many as I could — mostly what we call “runners” (which means they haven’t settled down to eat yet).   That took care of about 99,650 of the 100,000 that I had picked up.   The rest of them were firmly attached to my skin, everywhere from my ankles to my eyebrows (no kidding), and many in places I could not see or reach.   Bear in mind that even if you can see the places they are, the little ticks are about the size of a grain of sand, so they aren’t that easy to see anyway.  After I showered, I gave Ruby a bath in Flea/Tick shampoo.

I wish there was such a product safe for humans, but there is not that I know of, and so in order to de-tick myself, they had to be picked off of me.   This necessity resulted in an hour and a half “romantic” encounter as my husband spent some quality time picking the tiny ticks off of my body with tweezers instead of mowing the lawn as he had expected to be doing.   There was a moment there when he was working over an area that is intimate in the extreme and is NOT improved by having itchy ticks attached to it, when I commented that if someone was taking pictures of us in action it would make for a rather interesting photo shoot.  In spite of the rather horrendous situation, this made us both laugh merrily.  Needless to say, while I was lying there getting ticks picked off of me, I was NOT blogging.

Greater love hath no man than he meticulously picks hundreds of itty bitty biting bloodsucking parasitic arachnids off his wife, one by tiny one.   I will happily report that as far as I can tell, he did not miss a single one.

Anyway, should life settle down into a less interesting phase, I may be posting more frequently.  Meanwhile, I must be off and tend to my tomatoes and plums.


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