Sunday, January 29, 2012


The week before Christmas, I wandered into a Calloway Nursery and found a bushel basket of half-price paperwhite narcissus and amaryllis bulbs. I picked out a dozen of the former and set them up as forced bulbs for myself, my daughters-in-law and a friend. They have all bloomed beautifully and been planted in everyone's respective yards.

Alas, in the amaryllis basket was but one which I believed had sufficient good roots to be worth the $3.49. I bought it, planted it, nurtured it as I have the many in the past, and this week we've been rewarded handsomely with two bloom stalks and 8 blooms.

It just brightens up a winter's day!

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Sam, the escape artist

Given cat Sammy's proclivity for jumping into the neighbor's animal trap, it was thought best by all to put a collar on Sam. Trap the cat, see the collar, know he belonged to someone, release him. Easy, peasy. Or, easier said than done.

The problem is Sam. In less than two weeks, he's lost two collars and managed this morning to drop a new, different one in the driveway. It was a breakaway collar (well, they all are) that's for cats because cats climb and cats fall and a dog-type collar would hang said cat.

I picked up this newest collar and headed for Sam's neck. Sam must believe in the adage of 'fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice (or three times in this instance), shame on me.' Sam is having nothing to do with me.

Until I can collar him again, I can only hope that his blue eyes will get him out of the trap.

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Starman, a review

One of my favorite sites for romance reviews and general information about ebooks, ereaders, how-tos, and what's going on in the publishing world is Dear Author. On Fridays, they post a film review and today the review is mine of STARMAN, the 1984 Jeff Bridges movie.

It would appear from the comments, that I'm not the only one who remembers this film fondly.

Go read and enjoy!

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

What the armadillo left me

Since armadillos not only like to dig holes in pretty lawns while they search for grubs, but also destroy flower beds in the hunt for bulbs and my flower beds were a mess before I caught up with my own personal armadillo last fall, I overcompensated when it came time to buy daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths.

This morning, with the sun shining and the temps in the 50s, I got to rue that decision.

Normally, I wouldn't have bought daffies or hyacinths since they come back year to year. But I didn't trust that to happen, so armed with 45 hyacinths, 100 tulips, and 40 daffodils, I started digging my own holes.

I've never held to the theory that they have to be planted WAY deep. Two or three inches has served me well and digging any deeper in our black clay soil requires more strength than I have or have had. I made my plan and put foot to shovel and found...

... bulbs. Several inches high in fact, nestled under piles of large sycamore leaves from our neighbors' down the street. I shall save my ire and think of them as a protective layer against the cold. I had to hunt around my previous hyacinths and indeed find a few new places, to plant the 45.

I ran into similar circumstances with the daffodils because I always go back to the same holes to dig. Go figure. However, there weren't any signs of budding tulips and really, not that many daffies.

My armadillo had a thing for tulips, would take a daffodil if hungry, and snubbed the hyacinths. Lucky me?

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Getting my feline "child" from behind bars

Sammy cat is my special blue-eyed baby, the only blue-eyed cat in the neighborhood that I know of. He's gentle and sweet and would rather love than eat, but preferably do both at the same time. He also proved himself to be a glutton and stupid on Tuesday night.

Upon occasion, he is late for breakfast on the patio at 6 in the morning, so while I wasn't happy with his absence Wednesday morning, who doesn't want to sleep in sometimes? But when he didn't show for lunch, I feared he could be injured somewhere or be pinned down by another cat. Sam is, after all, lover more than fighter.

I go calling for him throughout the neighborhood and happen to see my new neighbor across the street. Had he, by chance, seen a yellow cat? Yes, he had. He'd trapped one the night before and it was already at the pound.

My heart bumped along furiously and my stomach knotted. It took me three hours to connect with the animal control officer. We met at the pound. There were a dozen or more dogs and about 6 cats in cages. Sam was so upset by the barking that his pupils almost eclipsed his blue irises. His cage-mate was patiently sitting it out. Sam was scared witless.

I was reminded of old Westerns where the righteous rancher stands with the Sheriff and looks into the jail cell. Then he says, "Yep, that's my boy. What's he done now?"

As the officer pulled Sam out and put him into my carrier, I was grateful I'd seen my new neighbor. I wouldn't have thought of Sam wondering away from home in that direction and being trapped until it would have been too late and he would have been put down. All because of a can of cat food. I feed Sam three times a day, but some smells must be irresistible.

I hope he's learned his lesson and taken wandering across the street off his agenda. I know that next time he's late for breakfast, I'm going on an immediate hunt.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

An old dog and a new technology

My daughter-in-law Mary had shared a wonderful recipe with me for baked shrimp scampi. I wanted to make it but had left the recipe at home. I texted her from the grocery store parking lot: Any unusual ingredients or would I most likely have everything on hand?

Instead of a phone call or a "nothing unusual" text in return, I got an SMS with a photo of the recipe! What a clever idea! Mary says she now photographs all her recipes and therefore has them with her at the store.

Now why didn't I think of that? Don't know, but this old dog now has her iPhone at the ready.

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Monday, January 09, 2012

Girls' Day Out!

I love girls' day out. I don't think we realize how much we tailor our conversations to men until we're just together by ourselves. Take this last Saturday, for example.

My friend Sue has a birthday this week. Being so close after Christmas, I thought we might DO something rather than wrap something. We've done this before, going to a book lecture and luncheon (Jeanne Ray's Eat Cake at the Dallas Museum of Art) or a cooking class. Fun things that someone has to make the effort to plan. This time, it was me. For my birthday in August, my friend Cindy took me to the Genghis Khan exhibit in Irving. Different and fun and--get this!--educational!

For this celebration, I asked Sue if she'd like to go again to the DMA, this time to the showing of Jean-Paul Gaultier's fashions. Sounded like a good idea to her. What if we invited our "daughters" I asked.

I put daughters in quotes because between us we only have one by-blood daughter. The other three are daughters-in-law and I don't want to confuse anyone who happens to have kept up with the blog and knows, or thought they knew, I only had sons. I haven't been hiding any females. All the daughters know each other through Easter times at Sue's house. They all live in the same area. What a wonderful excuse to get out and about on a Saturday morning!

We met up at the Museum, toured the exhibit (eye opening would be an apt description and I really appreciated knowing how many hours some of the ensembles took to complete), then settled into lunch. As one of the girls is beautifully pregnant, talk centered on birth stories. Nurseries. Husbands. Current labor and delivery as compared to the old days when they were born.

We laughed and talked and laughed some more. As I think on it, I now know why our waiter may have at times been scarce: he heard what we were talking about and any man with any sense didn't want near the table! I don't know if they would have been bored or horrified.

We were neither and our girls' day out was over too soon.

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Sunday, January 01, 2012

A new year, a new calendar

Calendars are a big deal around here. We have them stationed at various points about the house. There are the kitchen calendars, plural. One is a date book kind of thing which is opened to the current week and in which I keep everything: appointments, recipes to try immediately, notes on when the cats get flea treatments, etc. The other one hangs on the wall and is both color- and theme- coordinated. In other words, it'll have a lot of Tuscan colors to match the walls and will feature cats or... cats.

Upstairs in my study are two month to month calendars, one of them most likely a freebie. This year's is from the World Wildlife Fund although I didn't monetarily support them, but must be on someone's "she might" list. The other is of sunrises and sunsets and color-coordinates with the walls. I bought it at Walmart.

The final calendar in my study fills a bulletin board and sees The Big Picture of trips and schedules.

So, today is calendar swap day. And I'd best get to it. 'Tis a new year.

Have a good one. May it be blessed.

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