My 2018 cat shelter (Part I)

Time to update the outside cat shelter.  Lots of straw, tarps, assorted crates and wood…and a big table… plus more to come.

Barbara, for faithful followers’ information, is the wild Calico Cat that lives outside and was rarely seen…until the greenhouse where she hung out for years was torn down last spring, leaving poor Barbara rather confused and homeless.    But now she has apparently decided to move into the shelter on my back deck.  She is not afraid of me, and comes out when I call her name.  All of the cats locally defer to and respect “crazy Barbara” as she is sometimes called…they make room at the food dish and water pan, and apparently tolerate the tough old lady.

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Barbara, an old soldier, three feet, feral, numerous kittens. Bad foot is from being hit by a car, we didn’t know until later.
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This guy doesn’t really live here, but is a frequent visitor who apparently likes the food..
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Fluffy staked out this nest early on.
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An early arrangement, under temporary cover.
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This big grey tarp from “mail away” covers the entire deck and stays up year round. There will be at least one more heavy tarp draped over the umbrella. The temps could get down to Zero degrees Fahrenheit later in the winter…or not. This is Ohio, we try to be prepared for whatever comes our way.
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early rain protection, the plants have moved into the house.
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under construction

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This is the house the APL Lady, Joyce, made a few years ago. It was Peggy’s house but now two or three cats call it home. It’s a big tub like for Christmas trees. I put new straw inside this year, and checked out the inside…very impressive, built with ledges and windows to allow light, fully lined with insulation.
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Fluffy
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View from the kitchen, the shelter will include the swing, several tarps and assorted boxes. It was still green outside when I took this shot.
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a view inside, the light in back of the tarps is coming from heavy plastic “windows” in the back of the right side, so it isn’t just a dark hole.
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The (R) edge of the tarp will come down to anchor the main part of the shelter.

 

137 thoughts on “My 2018 cat shelter (Part I)

    1. Hi…nice to see you! These are not just wild drop-ins, they live on our “compound” as my soninlaw next door calls it, and all were born here. I make the shelter adjacent to the back door so I don’t have to wade through snow, etc. Do you use straw? My favorite ingredient. I’m thinking of using bales of straw as walls for a future structure, straw is cheap and lasts for years in the bale.

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    1. Hey! What’sup? I haven’t been blogging lately, still sulking but the midterm election last week has really brightened the picture. skullduggery and all that… re the cats, the population is stable here on the compound. Sad to say Barbara’s cute kid Callie died, but I offered her adoption but she declined. Barbara has decided to take up regular residence though, and the other cats all defer to the old lady, she’s sort of crazy, but interesting in her own way.

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      1. I thought you’d been way too quiet. 🙂
        I’m sorry to hear about Callie, but now that Barbara’s moved closer in, perhaps you’ll be able to look after any future kittens. She really does look like a scarred old veteran, doesn’t she? Indomitable.

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      2. oh, I doubt that Barbara will stay this close, but she does seem comfortable right now. She is safe here and enjoys friendly company in the other cats. Callie decided early on that she was going to avoid me, probably saw a threat to freedom. Her brother Tiger (I called him Little Grey) is still around and gorgeous.

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      3. ha…Barbara learned early on, apparently, to be careful crossing the road. Her bad foot, completely useless, happened when she got hit by a car, and she got hit one more time that I know of personally…she drew quite a little crowd at the greenhouse when some customers actually saw Barbara get hit by a car. The driver of the car stopped, several customers drifted over, someone decided to come over here and pound on my door, and my neighbor Glenn was also summoned. The houses here are few and far between, and the one thing that is sure to gather the neighbors is when a cat gets hit. Glenn and I…our entire relationship is based on my holding a big bag while he transfers a carcass from the berm of the road into the bag. From there I haul the bag over to my house and we bury the carcass. That time we determined that it was indeed Barbara that got hit…not yet a carcass…and as I peered at her closely she did a vicious snarl and claw act at me. I just said “Barbara! WTF?” We explained to the little crowd that Barbara was an independent cat that belonged to no one.

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      4. She is still in and out of my shelter, I saw her last night and this morning. One of my sonsinlaw peeked under the blanket and she came shooting out like a cannon ball. 🙂

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      5. I think she just likes me, she always responds to me to some extent. This morning she didn’t panic when Scott put food out in the dish…maybe she’s just old and tired.

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      6. 🙂 yes, also that she may have faced the fact that she’s a decrepid old lady…not an easy thing to do…but she is a lot safer in my nice straw shelter than in a grimy woodpile someplace. I do have to add a layer of cover today because we are expecting the coldest Thanksgiving in recorded history.

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      7. Thank you. This year we are going to a local place called Lone Tree…a nearby bar/pub/place to watch football/and restaurant. Good food but pricey. They do a very nice buffet at holidays, and our men all love the idea of a quick dinner with a TV on the wall. I love it too, and this year I claimed the holiday as mine and announced we are going to Al’s. (Scott worked for Al for years back in the day and we have been to the buffets several times since.) I am going to pick up my sisterinlaw, who is 98, so she can be there. She likes that sort of thing. We will have 13 people…no I’m not superstitious because I was born on Friday the 13th. Maybe 14…

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      8. Going out to a restaurant for xmas would be my ideal way of spending the day. No cooking, no cleanup. Haven’t managed it so far. Congratulations on getting everyone to see sense! And enjoy. 🙂

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      9. Yes! The food isn’t as good as it would be if I cooked it myself, and my daughters are pretty good cooks as well. And I missed the cranberry sauce, and our good gravy, stuffing, and all. Mac and cheese wouldn’t have been one of the “starches” but what do I know? The restaurant food was sort of middlin’ but the saving thing was that there were 12 of us there, two granddaughters and all three soninlaws and daughters, one son. My Minnesota contingent is too far away, they would be at least six more…sometimes my grandson brings a “date” sometimes not.

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      10. my oldest, who lives next door, absolutely loves holidays; she always has since she was old enough to realize a holiday. She adores big get togethers and parties, organizing them at MY house. I am not known to be a gracious hostess. 🙂

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      11. not from me, nor from my mother or grandmothers. I used to do holiday-stuff back in the day when the kids were young, and she was my oldest and only for about four years, so I spent more time with her…especially since her Dad was in the army and served a year in Korea, so she and I were winging it in our house trailer here in Ohio.

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      12. one of my SIL’s works for the power company, and is on night shift now, so we will have the dinner reservation for 4:00 p.m. My two youngest granddaughters will be there….my favorite! 🙂 The rocker (31) , and the 22 year old. I always think of them as my “little kids.” Their cousins are several years older, late 30s-40.

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      13. these are my own kids, grandkids, in-laws. I have five children, six grandchildren, five great-grands. Lord help me had I lived in Florida where my own siblings (mostly) live….my sister has as many kids as me and numerous grandkids. I don’t even know most of them. I was a lot older than the others.

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      14. Not sure whether you’re lucky with all those relatives or not! My family has always been tiny, on both sides. Dad was one of two. He only had me. His sister had none. Mum was one of three. Again, she only had me, her brother only had 2 and her older sister had none.
        Then there’s me. I never planned on having an only child but that’s how things turned out. Maybe our genes are ‘tired’. 🙂

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      15. LOL I used to tell my husband that my family “had the courtesy to live in Florida.” I hate holidays and “company” that I have to leave my weird-world and entertain. I like to be basically left alone, although I love my kids, I don’t need to chat with them all the time.

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      16. Funny, the Offspring and I are pretty much the same. We both live on the internet and come together for cooking, meals and heated political discussions. Thank god we both vote the same way or this house wouldn’t be big enough for the two of us. 😀

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      17. well I am the family left-wingnut, and the range of politics goes way off the right side… I am a historian, so tend to have more information to work with. Others get their information (and opinions) from the likes of facebook.. Daughter says I think I’m better and smarter than everyone else…not true, more like better formally educated and fact-oriented. I like to think of myself as “flexible.” lol

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      18. It’s funny, the one thing no one ever mentions about education is that it gives you perspective, and the capacity to think logically instead of just emotionally.
        My Mum was a very canny woman, but she had little formal education so she was an emotional thinker. Dad and I were logical thinkers. Family arguments were…painful.

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      19. I admit, I have too, but I’m now changing my mind again! I’m talking about Capitalism. I read Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and went through an existential crisis during which I had to admit that capitalism was very ‘human’ and not such a bad thing. These days I’m going back to my original distrust of Capitalism because it’s been abused so badly.

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      20. my late BFF, who was my best friend for 30 years, often said Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged was her favorite book. Her position was much like yours. At the time I was making my own transition away from capitalism, and towards…well the opposite. Now that the very worst possible world crisis (Donald trump) has been put into power and is maintained despite 60% disapproval, the destruction has begun. Wow, that is sort of convulted trying to watch what I say.

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      21. lol – I know what you mean though. I’m no economist, but I believe the fatal flaw with Capitalism, as distinct from the commercial activity pursued by small businesses world wide, is that it stifles competition. The mantra is ‘bigger at any cost’, but the only real way to get bigger is to eat up smaller companies. Once you eat up all the smaller companies though, the few mega corporations left divvy everything up between themselves…and they /don’t/ compete. The net result is that they charge whatever they want for the only products in town. Ironically, it’s the exact opposite of the scenario put forward by Ayn Rand. Meh. 😦

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      22. maybe, but imho the worry is the appearance of evil…not necessarily the actual deed itself. The epic photo of the Honduran woman with the twin girls running from the tear gas has probably already become icon for the US border crisis…which is manufactured but still atrocious.

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      23. -sigh- Yes, you’re right. The appearance of evil goes hand in hand with the appearance of goodness. Gods I hate that. I was raised a Catholic and that’s the one good thing I’ll hand them – it’s actions that count when it comes to good and evil.
        As an ex-Catholic-current-atheist, I find those religious nuts to be evil personified. :/

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      24. yeah, the well we don’t want anyone to think we are the sort that condone using chemical weapons (tear gas) on children…but really why not? Yes indeed, the religious nuts are the worst kind.

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      25. I never try to force my opinions on anyone, and resent it when people try to “educate” me about various view points. I respect the right of anyone even to be directly opposed to my ideas, but they need to respect me in return. Never say someone is “wrong,” but “misinformed.”

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      26. by the way, we had a lovely time thanksgiving, and I was very pleased to have everyone together. That said, the food was awful…except for SIL who ordered a burger and fries, while everyone else ordered the official thanksgiving dinner. The server was informed when she walked in the door…literally as we were walking in for the reservation…and she did a great job and I gave her a wildly generous tip. It was good going to the restaurant (more a bar, actually) but next time we will order from the regular menu. amen.

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      27. It wasn’t that the food was inedible…in fact I thought it was just too much on a too small platter, and sloppy service, no cranberry sauce…and not enough dark meat turkey. On the other hand that restaurant actually has excellent food, and we have in the past attended other Thanksiving dinners there. The Easter buffet was very good this year. They had yams instead of sweets, scalloped potatoes instead of mashed, not enough gravy on the stuffing, mac-n-cheese (I never get enough mac, so I didn’t mind.) Then there was ham, as well. Someone messed up on the dinner…who knows who? They tried to blame it on the Fire Department, something about butane. But I was married to a fireman, and I understand that maybe they did refuse to let them do it buffet style because of butane; or not. I don’t care. They still make the best burgers, not to mention ribs and steaks, and yummy innovative salads…even great desserts! So I forgive them. Next year I’ll let everyone order what they want from the menu…probably less costly. My granddaughter can have her chicken tenders or whatever she eats that week; my SIL can eat without terror about butter, cheese, or mayonnaise. Actually no one complained to me. My middle daughter’s birthday was yesterday, the 25th. Sometimes it falls on Thanksgiving day, so she loses out on the birthday thing.

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      28. Oh, so it wasn’t so bad then, just not as good as expected. I was kind of imagining a terrible meal so that’s a relief.
        I used to go out with a guy who was born on xmas day. Such bad luck for your daughter as well.

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      29. one of my first cousins was born on Christmas Day…we cousins were never close while we were growing up so it was very late in life that we met Lynn, unfortunately she drowned last year in a terrible accident. Alas.

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      30. I think it has to do with comments made when I was very young, my Dad resented the in-laws for various reasons… long story. I grew up with that feeling of not-quite-good-enough, which never seems to pass completely.

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      31. When I am in charge of arrangements I have one rule: the event will be at (a certain time and date) and everyone is invited….and they either show up or not. I am easy to get along with.

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      32. actually it was very nice yesterday, usually I am not into big family goings-on. OH…I forgot my sister-in-law, who is 98 years old. She needs help getting around (ha! when I’m that old I’ll probably be dead…) She was sister of my late husband, Bob.

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      33. yes, she is. She is a retired registered nurse and keeps up with medical stuff, reads widely, and is up on the latest political carryings-on as well as other reading sources. She doesn’t do the computer…doesn’t know what she missed, she would have loved it. Her hearing is not good, especially in a group…hey, so is mine.

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      34. I sometimes joke about turning 90 and being the oldest gamer in the world. Your SiL is proof positive that we don’t have to lose our marbles just because we get older. And yes, from what you’ve said, I’m sure she would have found the internet an incredibly liberating digital ‘world’.
        My hearing is deteriorating as well. Crowded restaurants are hell.

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      35. My grandfather was a typewriter salesman…back in the day when typewriters were not found in the average home. He absolutely loved his typewriter, which I still have, and spent time cleaning it and playing with the ink and etc. like some guys will play with a gun. I’m sure I get my love for all things written and for computers…if he had had the chance Grandpa would have been one of the first to jump on the band! Yep, my SIL is remarkable, fascinating to talk with…not only medical themes (she was/is a registered nurse) but various other fields. She’s up on political shenanigans, and is a left-winger like me. Actually she came from a long line of dim-witted women…but enough of that. I used to refer to the aunts as “the nutbreads.” They were as right-wing and obsessed with their episcopal minister…who conned them into leaving everything to the church…by contract they could not get rid of the deal ever. So I who was a widow, not a “blood relative” literally, ended up without so much as a little picture on the wall. Yes…I am bitching, but as they say a smile is a frown turned upside down… 🙂

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      36. lmao – go for it! I’ve never understood how so called Christians can display so little Christian charity and compassion. I was brought up a Catholic before I decided to become an atheist, so I know the bible and that type of behaviour is more Jehovah/Old Testament than New Testament, Christian. Weird.

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      37. What did you think about the nutcake that got killed trying to introduce the natives of that little island in the Indian Ocean to Jesus. His mother never told him to mind his own damn business, apparently. Who the hell knew there were stone-age natives in India?

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      38. This American (what else?) missionary took it upon himself to “introduce Jesus/Christianity” to the Sentinilese primitive natives who are under the protection of India. (I am not making this up.) The natives did not appreciate the visit, and so killed the guy with a barrage of arrows.

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      39. Yes! I actually hold to all the ‘parables’ attributed to him. I think those aspects of Christianity are my moral compass. The dogma though? pfffttt….

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      40. the chat room/comment sections etc generally think the guy was a nut and a conceited/zealot besides… The islanders have the right to be left alone. If Jesus wanted to meet them surely he would have found a better way.

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      41. I don’t know, what I read just said that they had forgiven the people that killed their son.
        when I first read it, my reaction was anger at what I saw as blatant pomposity (I just looked up that last word, and pleased that it is indeed a real word.)

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      42. possibly, but I don’t know enough about them to have an opinion. I do resent the over-arching “holier than thou” attitude that pervades a lot of Christians…the “thoughts and prayers” bs, when what is needed is often material help and tolerance.

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      43. Well now our former president Bush the First has passed on. He was, in retrospect, respectable and decent…but from here on in the benchmark is how they compare to or differ from trump… I never was a big Bush fan…or Clinton fan, for that matter. I just don’t approve of the overall bully stature of the nation. The over-arching policy has always been dominance. IMHO 🙂

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      44. as we speak the furnace people are here putting in a new furnace/AC system. Just what I needed…I’ve been looking for a way to blow that little bank account that is left over from the land sale proceeds. not… its not fair, I should be allowed to spend that money on nonsense and fancy boys or something.

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      45. on a more pleasant note, the news this morning is that the FBI had been raiding 45’s lawyer offices…. on top of recent news that his former lawyer, Cohen, spilled the beans to the special prosecutor Mueller, that (please-god) may prove collusion with Russia AND obstruction of power. The latter is what brought down our two former presidents who were impeached or nearly so.

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      46. So much for ‘taking a bullet’ for 45. 🙂 I have all my fingers and toes crossed. I really can’t help feeling that the whole world would become a nicer place if he were impeached.

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      47. I think Cohen really wanted to please “the boss,” and went all out thinking of himself as the protector. Of course 45 treats everybody like sh.t and has no worries about loyalty and all that stuff.

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      48. The key is that the Rs… “rats/republicans” finally decide to jump the sinking ship. 🙂 Now that the Dems have taken over the House they have the power to turn some of the horrors of 45 around. of Reps

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      49. I admit that I did drag my feet on getting a microwave oven…and I admit to being something of a Luddite…I was hell-bent on being “computer literate” long before the first computers became within my price range.

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      50. lol – we had a microwave and got rid of it! The Offspring was worried about ‘microwaves’. Me, I just thought it was a waste of space. I only ever used it to heat up meals or defrost the animal meat. I guess that makes me a Luddite as well. 😀

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      51. I just acquired a huge stash of dollhouse stuff, and should get my butt in gear and get some of the stuff listed on eBay post-haste! The demand is hotter than for books, although I have made some good sales lately. To me a $40 profit might as well be a million dollars! What I need is some organization…stay off the damn keyboard … ha! that will never happen. They will have to pry my keyboard out of my cold dead hands. 🙂

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      52. I had two book shops and two dollhouse shops at the flea market and an antique mall. Now all that stuff is cluttering up my house. Once mid-daughter and I bought $3,000 worth of dollhouse stuff (the woman had had a fancy shop in New Hampshire.) Daughter sent me half that money back on sales on ebay, and I’ve sold lots and pieces since. I would much rather sell books, but the dollhouse stuff sells at better prices and faster, its just the sorting and listing…and practicing my photography skills.

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      53. I sold a lot of the best stuff that I had previously. The things that Daughter2 brought over are very nice items that should bring a nice price on ebay. I have an ebay store called Gradmama’s Galaxy, which has only a few items right now…I don’t have my book inventory list there for logistical reasons. My Alibris store will be opening back up on Dec. 1, I can’t always justify paying for the “Gold” membership instead of the simple $1 a Sale charge (plus a smallish annual fee.) The Gold lets me have my own storefront site with various options. I’ll put up the URL it has its own address.

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      54. my hearing is going, and now I have an effing limp? on my left leg…a sidebar from my ear infection and the antibiotics/steroids. I made the doctor watch me limping around the other day…the one thing I DO have is good bones. He had xrays made, and then lectured me about the perfect bones…no crunchies or nicks on my perfectly round hip socket balls and super bones. I drink a lot of milk, always have. My poor kids all seem to have inherited their Dad’s bones, he suffered from bad arthritis since he was a teenager; he had a life-long disability from the army because of it.

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      55. 45 is blaming the California fires on poor management, plus just now being snide about global warming because it is 18 degrees F in Boston…the coldest temps on the east coast for ever I guess. We aren’t going to have the extreme cold this weekend, although I said we were going to have cold…what do I know? I do have to go out and shore up the cat shelter though, so I’m not out there fighting tarps in a blizzard.

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      56. Global Warming is an accurate title, as far as it goes, but it should really have been more like Era of Extreme Weather. Maybe then people would recognize the swings for what they are. Be careful out there, even if it isn’t Siberia. 18F in Boston is…-counts on fingers-…. 14 degrees below freezing! Ouch.

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      57. Boston is far from here, actually. The coldest I remember here is in 1990 about when our local temps got down to -22 Fahrenheit. I was in grad school at the time and drove over there for classes and to teach. The temps stayed below Zero for two weeks! Normally our winters only get down to around Zero occasionally.

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      58. well actually my son and daughterinlaw used to live in Boston; he worked for a South African paper company headquartered there. Once year they went to S.Africa for a conference, a formal affair, and I went to Boston and house-sat for two weeks while they were gone. They moved back to Minnesota when their granddaughters were born. Minnesota is really cold in winter…lots of snow. The last two times I was there to visit my departure was delayed a day or two because the airport was closed because of snow! Both years! Boston is in Massachusetts, on the East coast, normally doesn’t have too much snow and cold. The residents there are not very friendly, not chatty/smiley like we are here in Ohio (most of us) .. I always chat with people at stores, etc., and in other places I am looked at as weird. Ahem…

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      59. Ah, I’m with you now. So Boston would be more like our coastal cities here and Minnesota would be…Hmm. Actually, we don’t really have any real inland ‘cities’. Alice Springs is probably the closest to a real city in size. Almost every city in Australia is on the coast because of the climate and agriculture. The inland is pretty inhospitable.

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      60. They often refer to inland as “fly over country,” as disdained by Californians and New Yorkers. The nations corn and wheat, etc., are grown here. The settlers settled (!) on the East coast, Massachusetts, various New England states, and later sent out the covered wagon caravans that used to haul people across the country to California. Fascinating history, the great land companies that “acquired” and divvied-out parcels of land.

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      61. Today I spent hours working with my photos, and succeeded in mixing several hundred by letting them be placed in alphabetical order. I have a giant file now entitled “Alhambra, San Cristobal, Spain, Mexican pyramids, Mexican indigenous villages, and at least one Mexican rebe group…and Cats; also some pictures of my granddaughter Gina who is a teeny baby then. I am going to send her a shot of her with one of those pink bow head things. She’s 22 now. I have a tee shirt that says “sometimes I amaze myself.” I think I’ll get it out lol

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      62. I’ll get it out. oh oh oh, I forgot to tell you I got my teeth implants, which not only improves my looks (as much as can be) it also helps my self confidence. I should take a photo and post it….after I do something about my hair! 🙂

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      63. Oh! Tell me about them. I still have [most of] my own teeth but they’re starting to fall apart and I’m terrified of having to get dentures some time in the future.

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      64. well, ass that I am, I told the dentist that I refused out of hand to wear removable/adjustable dentures. So, to cut to the chase, my insurance paid for at least 2/3 of the bill, and I just ate the rest of it (just short of selling my soul…but still…) So now the implants look as good as possible, so when I smile I don’t have the big gap and snaggletooth/teeth. :-{ To be very brief…the prep was nearly painless, what they do insert a two-piece screw-like thing that in effect grows into the gum…half of it ..and after it heals they attach the second part which is the actual tooth… er, thingy/prosthesis? Then, I gather the teeth become my own and not subject to getting stuff underneath them, moving around, etc.

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      65. Ah, okay so it was definitely an implant not a bridge or anything. That’s definitely a better option than dentures. -shudder- My Dad had to have dentures, top and bottom, and he never got used to them. I’ve had a horror of them ever since.

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      66. yes, a real implant, literally drilled into my upper jawbone and inserted with help of a ratchet…I kid you not! I heard the sound and asked my dentist “is that a ratchet” and he said yes it is. Weird. I highly recommend the procedure and told him yesterday that if I was wealthy I would send him over to Australia to attend to the subject for my friend… that’s you. lol

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      67. jaw…not gum…duh (inserted into the upper jaw)… after the new year two others will be inserted on the other side of my mouth. The only problem I have had is that there was a delay because ,my system rejected the original pin and we had to wait for healing, inserting new, and healing again for several months.

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