Saturday, March 15, 2014

Annoyances, tears, and transitions, not necessarily in that order

It's been a couple of weeks ago now that I was having fun adding book cover thumbnails to my "Books I've Actually Finished Reading" page.  It's listed there in the blue bar above, just to the right of Home Page. I finished up the project, pressed publish, and the page looked suitably -- if minimalistically -- decorated. Unfortunately, the thirty-one photos and text about a tour through an exotic garden in France called I Was Looking for Something Yellow had disappeared in the effort.

You might have read it. What you read is gone irrevocably. I've put the photos back online, without the text. I normally compose online in the Blogger software. Sometimes I make personal PDFs to archive after the fact, but isn't the cloud where you send things to back them up? Isn't Blogger my cloud? I'll be working on recreating text for Looking for Something Yellow, because I love the pictures and they need a story.

Meanwhile, things turned into drama around here, what with cats and cars.  You remember Sami, the faux Siamese, pictured below? This was taken before she was captured to be spayed. The afternoon before her spay was scheduled, I also captured Barefoot, the mom of Sami and the black kitty. She's tamer than most of the cats that come through the neighborhood and I suspect she once had a home. She had been looking a little mauled and filthy for a couple of days, and had cleaned herself up some. Impulsively, I grabbed a carrier and some cat food, and, with a combo of luring and pushing, caught her in the carrier and left her in it in the garage for the night. Up close, I suspected she was pregnant, leading to a  quip in the vet's office about "barefoot and pregnant."

Sami, her Sib and -- maybe -- Little M

Barefoot and Sami made it through their surgeries fine. Barefoot had been pregnant (a tear-drop for that) and Sami had been very feisty. I now had a sewing room room with three little post-surgical patients that I was trying to make friends with. Little Gray Kitty turned into a little cuddler. She'd lie on my lap purring and kneading my tummy while we watched a TV show or two. Barefoot twined around my feet, stopping for a scritch behind the ears. Sami bolted for the nearest carrier to hide out whenever I was in the room. She could not be lured out, and eventually, when LGK and Barefoot began sharing a plate to eat their canned food treat together, I'd put a plate in the crate she was in to try and buy her favor.

Once everyone was healed, I would arrange to get LGK to Daughter and let Sami and Barefoot back outside. Except one morning after I'd fed the cats, I went to retrieve the plates. As usual, when I reached in for Sami's plate, she hissed at me. She'd left a few crumbs of cat food on the floor of the carrier, so I was picking them up when, with more hissing, teeth and claws lashed out and sunk into my hand. A certain amount of screaming and tears took place. And blood. Yeah, I guess that's what feisty meant.

I walked around whimpering and sluicing wounds with various liquids and bandaging for awhile and reached the conclusion that Sami didn't want to be friends with humans. I know she's afraid. She was only protecting herself from these big creatures who'd taken her from her home, kept her locked up, and driven her in cars to a place where she'd been manhandled by even more creatures that left her hurting. I didn't blame her.

I hadn't wanted to release any kitties with forecasts of rain still ahead, but it was sunny that day, and maybe for the rest of the day, so I took the crate out onto the deck and opened its door. Sami walked out and disappeared with another kitty around the corner of the garage to the side of the house I have no view of.

My first view later that day of Sami, out on the wood pile. 

She is not alone. Look how much better hidden the tabby cat is.

It was a day for camouflaged animals. On a walk I spotted deer among the daffodils. Here's one.

Throw a week of high anxiety into the pot. Grandson sent me checks for some business he had conducted for me. I tore a deposit slip out of my check book and folded it (uncompleted) in half with the two checks, one of them a good-sized cashier's check, and . . .

My mental image stops there. My intent was to take them with me to NeedleCrafts and deposit them after it was over. When we left, I couldn't find the checks. I got lots of suggestions to look in places I'd already looked, one, two, three times. I worried that part of my banking info was floating around out there on that deposit slip. They could literally be floating, as it was a ferociously windy day if I had dropped them either outside at home or at The Little House. Notice to the bank, monitoring my account, and considering whether to try to stop payment on the checks ensued.

A week later as I was signing out for the NeedleCrafts group, Sister spotted the checks propped up on the counter behind a frog statue. I would not have noticed them and it was happenstance that she did. Thank you, Sister. What a relief in so many ways.

Cars. Another aggravation. Daughter's high mileage car has required a lot of mechanical work over the past year. Daughter's job requires a lot of driving and she  needs a reliable vehicle. My truck has been her go-to vehicle to fill in when hers misbehaves, but it is so not an economy ride. She brought her car from her former home in Arizona. It needs to be registered in California but will likely need more work on it to pass the California smog inspection. Right now. Have you ever had a car that you've put a lot of miles and repairs on and wondered whether it's throwing good money after bad to do one more thing? Or is it time to replace?

As obsessive as I sometimes am about wanting to describe things in correct sequence, I've lost track of two or three weeks. I'll give you key words. You can fill in the descriptions.

Old car needs smogging.
Technical delays.
Mom and Daughter stop in at car dealer.
Test drives, new car. Put old car smogging on hold.

Daughter takes LGK and Barefoot home in new car.
New car making pinging engine noise.
Returns to see dealer. Mechanic says that car is just noisy.

Daughter disagrees that engine noise is normal. People think a diesel is coming. (Daughter is engineer so not without technical knowledge!)
Daughter explores options for turning the new car back.
(It's not easily done.)
Smogging of old car put back on the table.

At this moment, turning the  new car back is off the table, but resources are mobilized to get any engine noise problems taken care of.
Old car is in limbo about being smogged for California or taken back to Arizona.

LGK and Barefoot are not happy, hissing at Daughter.

If this is out of sequence, that's not really important. You get the idea.

Here again at NeedleCrafts this week, there was lots of animation and knitters threw all their new scarves out on the table. While people in the rest of the country want to put an end to winter and usher in Spring, we were buoyed by a few days of rain. There are nice days right now, but when we greet each other with a comment about the niceness of  the weather, we add, "but I wish it would rain some more." And we mean it. Scarf-knitting weather. Fancy new yarns and patterns.

It's time to do a Soroptimist newsletter and then some income taxes.


Saturday, March 1, 2014

I was looking for a picture of something yellow . . .

NOTE: The original blog of this name was accidentally deleted. The photos have been reinserted here and my redescription of this exotic garden tour in Menton, France is pending. There's no way I can recall it exactly as it was.