Thursday, February 27, 2014

Dr. Doolittle

This picture is poorly apologies...but I think you can still get the gist.
Jeff apparently has the most comfortable lap in all of Christdom.  There have been relatively minor scuffles (like one cat just continually nudging until the other cat jumps down) to all out warring factions vying for the treat of curling up and taking a nap in his lap.

I took this blurry picture a couple of evenings ago.  This was a completely non-violent skirmish, thank goodness.  What you see here is approximately 115 pounds of spoiled rotten beast all trying to sit in his lap at once.  And that's not even all of them.
I should note: Simba won this round.  He was sprawled all over Jeff's lap and half-oozed onto the couch.  He was snoring about 7 minutes after this picture was taken. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Not a real post: Cats

Yeah...not a real post...more like a snap shot in the life of the crazy cat lady.

So anyway, can you count the cats?  There are three.

Look at little Daisy.  Like a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma...Except it's a cat inside a box within a box.

Saturday, February 22, 2014


Jeff and I have been married almost 24 years.  We started dating 28 years ago.  We have had A LOT of Valentine's Days, birthdays, anniversaries, Christmases, etc. together. 
Sometimes, our lives are so hectic, or so frantic, or so strapped for cash that we've celebrated the occasion with a "Look, let's just go out to dinner or something."  Or a "I could not think of a thing to get you, so here's some of your cologne."
But SOMETIMES when things slow down, when inspiration hits, when the planets align; one of us can still surprise the other.
Jeff really knocked my socks off this year for Valentine's Day.  And Valentine's Day is not even a particularly favorite holiday of his.  In the first few years of our togetherness, he OFTEN got the day wrong.  He always insisted it was the second Tuesday of some Bizarro World Thanksgiving.
This year, however...well, he done good.
He started out with this:

First off, you simply can't go wrong with chocolate.  And the white roses were beautiful...AND, most importantly, they were without a lot of filler stuff.  I love an arranged bouquet as much as the next girl...but in my house, baby's breath equals many, many piles of cat puke to clean up later.
Here's some free relationship advice: Cleaning up cat vomit has never put anyone "in the mood." Ever. 
And finally, a lovely bottle of Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut Cava.  When I unwrapped it I immediately said, "This is what we had on our honeymoon!"  And it was.  Except on our honeymoon, Jeff had bought a Magnum of it...we called it "champagne"...and we thought we were FANCY for buying the "good stuff."

 Look at us...Jeff is 21...I am 20.  Are we not the most adorable little things you have ever seen?  Are the matching Jams shirts too precious?
So anyway...I thought it very sweet that he had found us a bottle of the "fancy""champagne" we'd had down in Panama City Beach, FL some 23 1/2 years ago.  (It was 4 times as expensive as the Andre Cold Duck!) Then he got up and left the room...and came back in carrying this:

"Well, that's all we could afford then," he said, "But you deserve this." 
I know, right?
Young and na├»ve, I may have been at 20.  But not foolish...I picked a very good one.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Sometimes there's no going back.


I had a really great weekend.  Jeff and I went out to a nice Valentine's dinner.  I got an awesome Valentine's Day present (more on that in a later post). I got some chores around the house done.  Jeff replaced the outside flood lights that we haven't been able to get to for weeks because of the weather.  And the weather?  The weather itself was pretty awesome.  Considering that we had an ice storm on Wednesday...the fact that I got to do my grocery shopping in shorts on Sunday was really nice.
I had us all locked and loaded for the upcoming work week.  I even had our LUNCHES packed for the next day, that's how together I was  And then it happened...
I spent midnight 'til 4:00 am in the throes of a heinous roto-stomach-virus...allegedly (by me) conjured from the bowels of Hell.  I threw up in three different beds.  Jeff and the animals retreated downstairs to the living room after my initial bout...I assume due to the God-awful inhuman sounds I was making from the Master bathroom.  It was a full-on total digestive tract virus...not to put too fine a point on it.
I drug myself to the spare room where, an hour and a half later, the whole process repeated itself.  There was no getting to a waste basket or toilet...the act of sitting up actually triggered the retching.  I called downstairs for this time I had made it to the hall bathroom.  Jeff brought me clean PJs, some Immodium and unmade the second bed.  The dogs and cats huddled at the bottom of the steps, waiting to see if he came back or if the warthog/demon hybrid they could hear had gotten him too.
And so the night progressed.  He came to check on me in the morning...and I could tell it was over.  I felt wrung out from the inside.  Totally dehydrated.  Poor Jeff was exhausted and I'm afraid, a little shell-shocked.  Whatever feminine mystique I had re-cultivated after he watched me give birth 18 years ago was totally obliterated.
Also? I had left a vomit-soaked mountain of bedding behind me.  Jeff gamely gathered up our lovely down duvet, two more mundane comforters and three sets of sheets and two blankets and drove to the laundromat.  After running to the store and getting me several gallons of Gatorade.
$18 in quarters and a couple of hours of talking to the crazy old man in the coin laundry and he was back with our stuff.
Apparently, there are some things in life that you can't undo...and puking all over your 800-thread count Egyptian cotton, down-filled duvet is one of them:
Large blob above is the duvet when he brought it home.

No, that's not a badly distorted dead body underneath it...those are clumps of sad, sad downy softness.

There is no fixing this hot mess.
Looks like there is a trip to Bed, Bath and Beyond in my future....and lots of praying to GOD that Jeff doesn't come down with this vile, evil bug himself.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Swamp thang

I don't go into my daughter's room often.  I find that it is more peaceful in the house if I just remain blissfully ignorant of its state.  It's better for my sanity...and apparently, my safety.

A few weekends ago, she went to the University of Alabama for a tour & to spend some time acclimating herself to the area.  She was gone two nights, so I went into her room to feed her fish and found this:

I texted her, "Why is your aquarium a black swamp?"
Her reply, "It's not so bad with the fish tank light on."

Ah yes, with the fish tank over head light on, it was more mucky green than gooey black.  I could also faintly tell that there were some fish in there (look over to the can see a guppy).  At one time the decorations in the aquarium were replicas of SpongeBob, Squidward and Patrick's houses.  Through the murky, gloomy water, I could tell that the houses had somehow been over turned.
One of the fish that Daughter had had in the aquarium was a Golden Algae-eater.  She'd had him for years...he was about 1/2 inch long when she first got him.  The last time I saw him (months ago) he was a good 4 inches long...sucker was HUGE.  I had to wonder if he had gone on some type of rampage through the tank in protest of its filth, which would account for the toppled ornaments.  I got a net out intending to stir around and try to find him.  Flipping the lid back on top of the aquarium was a mistake.  Imagine green swamp and river backwaters with hints of low tide.
Resolutely, I stirred around...I caught flashes of some other survivors...but not of the big boy. I don't know what happened to the big fish. Either he got disgusted with his environment, mutated, grew some legs and walked out of here without us noticing, or he starved to death and the remaining fish ate him.
I knew I wasn't gonna rest easy until I did something about this atrocity.  For the next three hours I caught fish, drained the swamp and cleaned everything about the fish rid of the old rocks and put in new and refilled the tank:

There were a total of 6 surviving fish...none of them the big algae eater.  Sadly, only one of the 6 lived past the shock and trauma of the journey out of the darkness.  After two days...only an albino catfish remained...but he was a CLEAN albino catfish.
Of course, upon her return, I made lots of dire threats to Daughter of what horrific fates awaited her if she ever let the aquarium get like that again.
She's been very good about taking care of the tank in these last few weeks, so I'm hoping she's as contrite as she seems.
I'm still left with two nagging worries:
1. How is she EVER going to live peacefully in a dorm with 3 other girls?
2. Is there a mutated, air-lunged, legged (or winged!) algae eater lurking somewhere in my house...just waiting on his chance to exact revenge?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Hare-y Situation

Meet Skippy and Thumper.  Or as I like to call them, Belzeebub and Gozar.  Don't they look sweet?  Don't they look cute?  Aren't their little twitchy noses the most adorable things you've ever in your life seen?  Doesn't their fur seem like it would be all soft and fluffy?
Yeah...the little demons lured me in with all of that crap too.

Last night, Daughter's bestie...who's like a second child to me, came to spend the night.  The school had already called to say that they were going to be closed the following day due to possible inclement weather.  So the girls were gonna get a jump on a Physics project.
Apparently, in the last couple of days, bestie's boyfriend got her a couple of rabbits.  And since Daughter is her bestie...she had to bring them over to oooh and aaaah over...even though I pointed out that the house was filled with no fewer than 8 carnivores.  I also reminded Daughter about how, a few weeks ago, Simba and Libby chased a wild rabbit across the yard and through the fence where Ker-flunk! it fell over dead from fright.  I'm guessing it was from stress...or it had a heart attack or something.
Despite my words of caution...the rabbits came for a visit.  We put the dogs outside...they seemed the biggest threat.
I was lured into the floor of the livingroom to interact with the little beasts...and then it happened.  I was almost assasinated.  Who would have thought that with the variety and number of animals I have lived with, that I would be horribly, horribly allergic to rabbits.
At first, I just sneezed a few times...then my eyes started itching and the back of my throat felt funny.  15 minutes later, I am clawing through the medicine cabinet after an antihistimine. Snot barely contained as the frequency of my sneezing became nearly constant.  I found a box Allegra-D and a box of two-year-old expired Benedryls.  I took the Allegra-D and went outside for some fresh air.  The symptoms kept getting worse and worse...I became convinced that I was about to be the first person ever to die of bunny poisoning....and finally took the expired Benedryl.  Fortunately, that did the trick and I was able to resume normal breathing.
I'm getting a sticker to slap onto the side of Belzeebub's and Gozar's carrying case:

Saturday, February 8, 2014

In a Pickle

Don't you love it when you have people in your life that "get" you?  My husband's best friend, Brad, has been hanging around my family forever.  He's about 7 or 8 years younger than me...and growing up, he was by brother's friend.  He spent lots of holidays and summers with us...I've always considered him a younger brother of sorts.  Since Jeff's been around since I was 16, he first met Brad as a kid much younger than us...
After Jeff and I got married, bought our own house, etc...Brad started going to college near us and would drop in for company and frankly, cooking that didn't come from a drive-thru.  He and Jeff had the same interests in video gaming and became best friends and have stayed that way over the last 20 years or so.
Sadly, Brad has recently gone through a divorce.  We all hated to see it, but Jeff and I are at least glad we've been there for him.  Until his house sells and different living arrangements can be made, we have custody of Brad every-other weekend.  It's not a bit of trouble, really, since he's such a long-established friend of the family.  However, when he's staying here...he tries to bring in little things to show us that he appreciates  a place to come to on his weekends without the kids.
This visit, he brought me this:

Yes!  It's exactly what it says it is!  An electronic yodeling pickle!!!
I lurve it!  I mean who WOULDN'T????  The fact that Brad saw it and knew I'd love it warms the cockles of my heart.
I know that some of you are probably wondering about the usefulness of a yodeling pickle.  Well, besides making me crackup into an asthma attack...yodeling pickles are also apparently the siren song for little girl cats:

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tiny bubbles

There are but a few certainties in life.  Taxes will rise.  All civilizations, no matter how great, will eventually fall.
And if I am travelling, there are two things you can be certain of...One: I will forget to pack something (this time? saline solution and toe nail clippers) and Two: something bad will happen at home.
I don't know why in the world I forgot those damn toe nail clippers.  This isn't the first time....I swear, I have bought so many toe nail clippers on the road...for some reason especially when I travel to Maryland.  Then I have some rougue nail go terribly, terribly awry and I end up stopping at some Pak A Sak and buying another pair for $6.99 before the monkey talon on my foot (which was a perfectly manicured nail 24 hours ago) punches a hole in my sock.  I will throw it in my luggage and when I get home, I'll unpack and toss it into my makeup drawer to rattle around with the other eleventy-five toe nail clippers I've thrown in there.
Yes, I could just leave it in my luggage but I won't.  I'll think, "Well, next time I might just be taking the smaller suitcase" and I'll unpack it.
I've been gone two whole days and nothing had gone wrong at home.  Jeff and daughter seemed to be getting along just fine.  There were no hysterical teenage angsty calls about errant boyfriends acting like jerks.  The cats had not set themselves on fire. The dogs had not staged a coup to take over the back porch...even if it meant ripping out the cat door or breaking in a window.

Then today, after having dinner with a local friend, I get back to my hotel room and call Jeff to see what they were up to...
He answered the phone, "I'll have to call you right back."
Not. A. Good. Sign.

Then he sends me a picture of this:

And this:

Apparently, there was some kind of build-up crud in the dishwasher, and daughter thought she should put some of the liquid dish detergent (that you use when washing dishes in the sink) in along with a gel pack to get rid of it.
Then she went and took a nap.
Jeff came downstairs to feed the dogs and found things as you see them above.
Guess what you probably didn't know?  Stealing towels while your humans are trying to staunch the bubble flow from going under the refrigerator and running around the house while they try to take then out of your mouth is the bestest happy fun time EVER!!! (If you are a golden retriever).
By and by the towels were retrieved from the retriever, the bubbles mopped up and order was restored.  Everyone was actually in a pretty good humor about everything...for which I was greatly relieved (Jeff's statement "Glad she did it here to me instead of at college to her roommates.")
All's well that ends well...
Except I forgot to stop and buy those God-forsaken toenail clippers! Argh!