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.

 

things to wonder about on Thursday…

During the early footage of yesterday’s bomb threats against Democrats, there was included on FOX News a long, long segment of wide footage of New York City when tracing the ominous looking “bomb truck” and showing detailed highway intersections, neighborhoods, buildings, trees and various other features.   Fascinating to watch, but it begs the question:  Is this a good idea to provide detailed lengthy close-ups of the heart of the city for anyone in the world who wants a view of the key to New York City traffic terrain?     What a great strategic tool for surveillance.   Beats a sketch on the back of an envelope any day for culprits with evil intent who need to understand the lay of the land.

Why was I watching FOX News?    Easy answer, switching back and forth between FOX and the “others” like CNN  and MSNBC is always fascinating…observing the contrast of coverage tailored to the Trump fans who will believe almost anything, and the opposition like CNN that can serve as a sort of control group for comparison. 

Another thing, which may or may not be related: has anyone considered the possibility that the “mysterious” detonation mechanisms might actually be the computerized “bots” which might activate the explosives from afar?   Is that even possible?   To paraphrase Alice of Wonderland, who  once said, it is possible to believe six impossible things at once…

What would happen if the networks just boycotted the Trump rallies?   Air-heads and bully-boys cavorting in silly hats is not an attractive sight, especially accompanied by the “CHEER” and “CHANT” signs telling the rally-ers how to respond to the mostly false Trumpisms.      I always wonder if these people are for-real fans and fanatics, or just folks that turn out for a good show?    Some of these rally-ers look familiar…could they be stock photos cropped shots of some of the most picturesque or outrageous local usual-suspects that can be counted on by the local Republican party to turn out?

…just wondering.

Cat Decisions

 

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Now what?

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Pearl isn’t sure.

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Bob considers the situation.

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say what?

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Closer, so we don’t have to shout

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Time for a nap.

(photos ©Sometimes,2018)  The colors in these shots are overwhelmed by the bright sunlight coming in the windows…except for Pearl, who is completely black and requires different camera settings to see her face.   The green paint is prettier than it appears, but could use a fresh coat of paint.   (The very thought of painting scares me!    and yes, I know we should have painted before we put the flooring down.   yikes!)

No more kittens…but here’s a possibility

 

The latest kittens from next door.   Barbara has been featured in this blog before…she is a rough and tumble lady that appeared from thin air long ago; she lived in the now defunct greenhouse across the road.   Not sure where she lives now, she is very illusive.

[all photos ©Sometimes, 2018}

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going next door

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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.   Approach at yer own risk!

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Little Sister kitten

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Barbara & Son

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Here he is: Little Grey

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Little Grey posing

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beautiful markings

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hmmm…what’s over here?

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Nosy Little Grey

A Word About Words From the OED

The Oxford English Dictionary remains THE word bible of the English language.   The OED is available online, with a Word-of-the-Day feature to which one can subscribe without cost.   A full subscription is beyond my budget, and I do respect the OED’s the prohibition against re-posting in its entirety.   Anyone can subscribe to the daily word post  through the OED web site at http://www.oed.com/ to receive the without-cost daily.

Often these selected words grab my attention for various reasons, not only to find out what they mean, but also as discussion topics.

A recent word that intrigued me especially is  —  dis-candy — which means literally liquifying or melting candy (lemon drops, or life savers for example,) from its candied/solid state to the sticky gooey mess that sticks to everything when melted.

Shakespeare used the word to good advantage, with a metaphorical meaning, as taking the overly-sweet or romantic useage of cleaning up “purple prose” or misplaced or just overstated descriptions in a line of poetry or speech.    English teachers often like to “dis-candy” students’ writing.

My wonder isn’t really the word itself, but the prefix (DIS -candy. )    Some substance that starts out as a sticky-sweet solid that  deteriorates into a liquid, or disappears; or a cringe-worthy saccharine sweetness in speech or prose.     Upon consideration I suppose that (DE-candy) would have a different connotation, perhaps meaning some of the  ingredients or adjectives of said substance (i.e. lollypop,) or line of spoken words would be present originally, but removed from the final product never having existed.

Beside the point, neither of my two little desk go-to-dictionaries: The New Oxford Spelling Dictionary, 2014;   nor  The Merriam Webster Dictionary New Edition, 2004 include the word dis-candy.     My criteria for go-to-dictionaries is that they are small paperbacks that sit on a shelf above my computer and can be retrieved with one hand.

 

 

 

 

 

Books of Childhood

In a previous poem I wrote about a gift I received for Christmas, which my mother had concealed in an Oxydol Soap box…a book which our teacher had read out loud to the class.  That book, is called Snow Treasure, by author Marie McSwigan, was first published in 1942.

At age eight or nine I was very impressed with this book about Norwegian children who smuggled their town’s gold down mountain, past occupying German troops,  to a fiord, where an uncle waited with his ship to whisk the treasure away to safety.    The story is said to really have happened.

About 70 years later I obtained a copy of the book that had been discarded by a public library, and available at a book sale.    Marveling at my luck, I quickly paid the pittance asked and left with this great treasure of my own.

 

bringing down the trees: a study in accuracy & precision

I spent most of three days watching the clearing of a 1.8 acre lot which I sold recently.   The operation was both sad and fascinating.   The company that did this work was efficient, the crews worked magnificently together, and the huge trees fell precisely as intended…where they had stood for a hundred years.     (All photos are  my own.)

 

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The last apple tree, my house in the background. 

 

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The last apple tree, facing Southeast.    

 

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There goes the last tree after it was cut down, on its way to the chipper.

 

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Here is the Eastern corner while some trees on the tree line are still standing.  

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Man in red shirt in bucket…others working on downed branches.

 

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Tree top down.  

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Chainsaw dangling from top of crane; dragging tree top to chipper.   The yellow machine is a stump digger, operates by remote control.  The white building is the church.   The clump of ornamental grass in the foreground is on the very edge of the property, so far spared by the operation.  

 

Enter a caption

 

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Cleared field, the last apple tree standing.   

 

 

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There goes the last tree after it was cut down, on its way to the chipper.

 

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Here is the Eastern corner while some trees on the tree line are still standing.  

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These were healthy old growing trees.

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Excellent team work and organization.  

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Chainsaw hanging down; big log being lowered by chain; branch on way to chipper. 

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This is way the edge looked before the pathway was created. The red ribbons marked the approximate location of the property pin.

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Tri-corner section.

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Dusty landing… exactly where it was headed.  

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The last tree on the tree line, moments before it came down.  

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Chomp…moving to chipper.  

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Down comes the log; stump digger waits its turn.

Housewife Work revisited

Once my youngest son commented that there were tasks that definitely fell under the rubric “Housewife Work.”     That immediately got my attention, and the phrase has become part of our family lingo.

One of the things I have always enjoyed about moving household was that it involved clean cupboards, drawers, closets, having been cleared of collections and extra belongings that did not and never did belong to anyone who ever lived in the house.   Although I admit there is the occasional “junk drawer,” that defies sorting out and/or disposal of its contents, that arrives intact at the new location.

We have arranged to have a flooring company come in and install vinyl planking in our main living, kitchen and dining room areas.   What that entails is packing up the things from the china cabinets, moving all the small furniture like tables and chairs, and moving out the refrigerator, which really moves pretty easily on wheels…and the stove, which has never been moved since it was installed about 17 years ago.

The problem is that all those things removed from the affected areas have to go someplace temporarily.

I do have a lot of stuff, but the bulk of it is books, as I’ve written before.   I sell books exclusively online now, but my inventory is housed here, in addition to my personal book collection and thousands of unlisted (that is not in the inventory) titles in the process of being listed.    A few years ago I had two bookshops, one at the indoor flea market, the other at an antique mall.

So my dilemma is that before I can accomplish A I need to complete B; and so on from room to room.   Sigh.   A bit of organization goes a long way, that’s true…so I better get to work.

Writing about it helps to solidify my thought process…such as it is.

 

 

Why is it called Latin America? (re-blog with new title)

Q 1 —Why do we hear so little about countries in Central and South America?

Q 2 — Do citizens of all Latin American nations speak Spanish?

Q 3 — What was the Treaty of Tordesillas?

 

See the source image

 

 

  Q. Why do we hear so little about Latin American countries?  

For one thing, we Americans tend to get our news from a relative few sources, including local television as the most personal news…about our neighborhood, the city, county and state.     Local news bring us details about local sports teams, schools with leaky roofs, who is being arrested or has excelled in something.

The other major news source is cable news like CNN, MSNBC, FOX.  These news networks follow major events around the world—almost always from a standpoint of the United States involvement with the current “newsworthy nation.”    Friends or foes get the news coverage in order of their relative importance to Washington.

Mexico and Canada tend to get the most news coverage, being our immediate neighbors to the north and south.     Other nations, notably Venezuela, which usually has an adversary position with the United States—as one of the chief “bad boys” that are not on the favorites list.    Cuba held that position as thorn-in-the-side for more than half a century, and was rewarded with punative embargoes that tried to crush the island’s fortunes.

Why is it called Latin America?    Because it was dubbed with that name at various times in History, including by Napoleon and Jose Martí (a Cuban writer) and others for various conversational purposes.    The collection of nations included in the designation Latin America were originally settled by the European countries speaking Latin-based (Romance) languages: Spain, England, Portugal, France.       Some of the islands in the Caribbean were originally romance-language speakers after colonialization, although others speak Dutch or English..

The Spanish settled all of the South American continent except Brazil, which was and is Portuguese speaking.

The Treaty of Tordesillas, signed at Tordesillas on June 7, 1494, and authenticated at Setúbal, Portugal, divided the newly discovered lands outside Europe between Portugal and the Crown of Castile, along a meridian 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde islands, off the west coast of Africa.    Following is an excellent Wikipedia.org article about the Treaty of Tordesillas and its lasting influence on the division of the world between the Spanish and Portuguese.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Tordesillas

Here is an excellent site that I found while researching the above material.  http://www.dosmanosnederland.com/en/index.php    The succinct  but thorough History of Latin America  contained here is highly recommended for the casual interest in the region, and provides a good review and timeline.

Poppies & lilacs & rhododendrons O My!

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Poppy looks real, doesn’t it?  (Yes, it is)   

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Front walk.  Roses on right, Blue Holy on left.   

 

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Bob 

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Clematis

 

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Some kind of berry bush leaning on a tree for support.   

 

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Poppy close upEnter a caption

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other Peony  

 

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glorious peony  

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Peony. 

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Li’L Kims…  smell divine.

 

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Li’l Kim lilacs  

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Nice hay field.   I wish the neighbor’s horses could come over.  

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Two beauties.  

 

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This old plant is a wreck…until its ready to bloom.