Sunday, October 12, 2008

Wow, I've been very bad

I read somewhere (don't remember where) that when a person is keeping a blog, the worst thing that person can do is to not keep it current! And that is exactly what I have done. As I look back at my blog I see that I have not written in here since July. Shame on me. My life has been so busy since then, but that is really no excuse. My daughter Leslie and her family came to visit in July for almost two weeks and we had such a nice time. It was so much fun to spend time with the grandkids. I miss them because they live a thousand miles away so I only get to see them a couple times a year. I'll post some pictures of their time here. Then I got busy advising at school and our school started early this fall. And here I am today getting ready to head back to classes after fall break--which was actually only two days and went VERY quickly. I have lots I want to write about, so I'll post some new articles.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Oh My Aching Body

Well, today was an exercise in stamina for me. My friend Dawn (referred to in an earlier post as the "cat lady") came over today to help me do some landscaping--planting, weeding, mulching, etc. She arrived at 10:00 a.m. and we worked solidly, except for a half hour lunch break, until 6:00 p.m. I don't remember when I have ever been so sore! I climbed the ladder and cleaned out the gutters--which was really too bad because we had a nice little forest starting in those gutters! I pulled weeds and dumped wheelbarrows full of weeds into the ravine. But I still didn't work as hard as Dawn. She is a one-woman steamroller. I know I would have given up long before 6:00 (say, around 10:30 a.m.) if it hadn't been for wanting to keep up with her! But the results so far are amazing. We are far from done, but we have made amazing progress. What a difference it can make to the looks of the property. Now I only have to worry about moving my body parts when I get out of bed tomorrow morning! I have taken two Advil already and I'll see how well that works. I'll let you know . . .

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Update on the Kittens

Well, today I found out the gender of my kittens. You would think that I'd know how to find that on my own, but I had to have a friend come and look--I also wanted her to give me an estimate on how old they are. This friend has had cats all her life, so she is a good "cat lady." It appears that I had them figured all wrong, while my husband is bragging about the fact that he knew which was which all along. The black kitty (Dennis has named that one Flash) is a female and the tiger kitty (Dennis has named that one Slick) is a male. I don't care for either of those names, but Dennis claims that since he found them and "saved," them, they are officially "his" kittens, and he gets naming rights! I actually wanted to call them Bonnie & Clyde, since they are so good at runnning and hiding from us, but I'll give him his little satisfaction.

My "cat lady" also told me that the kittens are about 8-9 weeks old now and that cats have no moral integrity and don't care whether they are siblings, so we need to get them "fixed" by late August so we won't have even more little kitties to play with. That's good to know. Now I just need to practice calling them Flash and Slick (instead of the black kitty and the yellow kitty as I have been doing!). Yes, indeed, I am getting attached.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Green Acres

Sometimes I feel like Lisa Douglas, the wife in that old television sitcom Green Acres, who moved from New York to the farm and never quite adjusted! While I really like our little plot of land (it's only 3 acres), and while I tell people that we live in the country (although we're technically within the village limits), sometimes I think this is just too much rural living for me. It's the weeds--it's impossible to keep up with them. Ohio has quite a market on rain, and the weeds sure do prosper here! Last night I pulled weeds for what seemed like hours--but when I checked my watch, it appears that I had only been at my task for 15 minutes! I don't make much progress when I work for 15 minutes, then rest for 15 minutes, then continue the cycle again. Maybe I'll get everything pulled just in time for the first frost! Sorry, my 15 minutes are up and it's back to the weeds again. More later.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Kittens

The most interesting activity in our lives right now is trying to tame the two feral kittens that Dennis discovered and "rescued" from our garden shed about two weeks ago! We think they were about 8 weeks old when we found them. They are so darn cute, and even though neither of us are really what you would call "cat people," we have found ourselves fascinated by them. Luckily, just before Dennis caught the kittens we had removed the UGLY carpeting from our screened-in porch off the kitchen, in preparation for putting down tile (or something), so the floor is now bare concrete. How perfect for transformation into a "kitten house."

We've printed everything that we could find on the Internet about taming feral kittens and we've followed the directions to a T. As of today the kittens have a very large kennel (it was big enough for our 75-pound dog when she was alive); a "kitty condo," which is a two-story carpeted "thing" with sleeping areas on both floors plus the top side; one play mouse that squeaks; three fluffy toys with feathers for tossing around; four balls with bells in them; three different heights from which to have a view out of the sunporch (which has windows on three sides and lots of shade). I think they should feel very pampered.
You'll see by the picture that they seem to enjoy spending time in their litter box (this is a litter box in their kennel--they don't use it for a potty, however--they just sleep in it! They use a litter box outside the kennel to do their "jobs.") I guess somehow we'll have to teach them to sleep on the nice sheepskin that we put in their box! Any suggestions about how to do that?

We are working on socialization skills right now--whew, that's tough. In order to spend time one on one with them several times a day, we first have to catch them! They hide and they run--they do anything to avoid being caught. The little black kitty even bit me one day when he was really scared (I think he's a he, but we don't really know yet). Once I catch them I spend time petting them and brushing them, which they seem to enjoy, but when I put them down they run for cover once again! This could be an interesting experience. I'll keep you posted regarding my progress.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Welcome to my blog!

OK, I'm taking a cue from my daughter and starting my very own blog. If she can keep up a blog with three children and all that entails, a full-time professional job, and numerous volunteer obligations, then I guess I can find the time to keep one too! As a college English teacher who encourages her students to write often, I guess it's time I took my own advice. So welcome to my blog and I'll try to keep things interesting!