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!)

Flooring update half-way there!

The workers are here installing the new floor, which looks great.    We will paint or stain the baseboards so they are nice when they go back up.    The living room area is about half of the job, so it’s a relief to have it so far along.   However, everybody knows what happens when major new infrastructure goes in…. right…. the walls look crappy now and also incidental window frames and of course the cabinetry in the kitchen, which needs only a good cleaning.

The rest of the walls in the house were re-painted a couple of years ago when the ceilings had to have major replacement work due to ice getting in below the roofing and the insurance company paid some big bucks to repair the ceilings.   It was mostly drywall, but the insurance also covered having the ceilings AND the affected rooms re-painted.      Now we need to paint the living room walls, because they look shabby compared to the new floor and the recently-new rusty-orange paint of the kitchen/dining area.

Man…these people make a LOT of noise.   The owner(s) of the company do much of the labor themselves.   Incidentally, I have known these people for decades…the owners’ mother was a police dispatcher when I was a news reporter, and although I haven’t seen her in decades the name came to me as I thought of a local flooring company.

I’d like to paint…well, to rephrase that, it would be nice if the walls were painted.  The dusty green color is still nice and I like it as much as when it originally went on the walls fifteen years or so ago.

Well the living room part of the floor is in place, and Thursday they will do the kitchen and dining area.   The baseboards need to be spruced up, so I bought a can of water-based stain (at Home Depot) to paint them with.   The paint/stain dries in one hour, so that is a break.   All the paintings and miscellany are off the walls, all the furniture is lounging in the dining area.

ah…those of you who are still awake…thanks for following along on my housewife work musings.

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.

 

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.

 

 

U.S. Business as usual in Latin America the age of Trumpism

Ever wonder what is going on down South…way down the continent?

No matter what havoc the US wreaks in the world, it is the same method of operation in Latin America…Imperialism is alive and well.      Our current leadership in Washington is fully involved in the often-nefarious goings-on, not missing a step in the affairs of the Central and South American countries.    The Latin American policies of former administrations: Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush, etc., etc. back to the dark ages of U.S. history… are intact under Trump.

TeleSur is a Venezuela news site that daily features news of a myriad of developments from an other-than-Washington point of view.    As some of my blogging pals know, my education and background in Latin American History makes me keenly interested in that area of the world.

https://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/NicaraguaVenezuela-One-Enemy-One-Fight-For-Democracy-20180526-0024.html

[NOTE:  This particular link is to an opinion piece written for Telesur.   While it is <ahem…opinionated> I recommend it as informative and knowledgeable.]

 

 

A walk with Sister down back…

The closing date is near, and soon most of these blooming trees in the photos will be gone forever.   Not all…the part being sold is about 1.7 acres, but the remaining six or so acres will remain family property.   Here are a few of the phots I took the other day when Sister (my calico house cat) and I took a walk to the back, where the highway fence marks the edge of our land.   Thanks for tagging along!

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Daisies and a little bug.  

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Sister surveying from a bird’s eye view.  

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Pond through the trees.  

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Redbud and other blooming trees.

 

 

 

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ambiguity about volcano

CNN this morning had some breathtaking coverage of the erupting volcano in Hawaii.   The headline or titles on the screen read something like this:

Hawaiian Residents prepare to evacuate

Hawaiian Residents listen for eruptions and dodge lava bombs.

Hmmm, this just begs the question… is it only Residents of Hawaii that are worried about the Volcano?   What about tourists and non-residents that live there?   Non-Hawaiian residents?

 

 

 

A walk with Peggy through nature’s beauty…and the heavy hand of man.

Here are some shots from my walk to the back of our property.    The flowers and trees are glorious this time of year, but as is obvious from some of these pictures the church clean-up crew did not seem to notice.   They wanted to trim the foliage along the highway fence so traffic could see their church.   We refused them access from our side of the fence, but the highway side was pretty well vulnerable to attack…the fence cut and some kind of heavy destruction equipment used to “trim” the trees.    Reminds me for all the world of a small scale Mt. St. Helens after the volcano.

Farewell the Muse

… and yet again with an oldie from “back in the day.”

SOMETIMES

I’ll never write another word
–ever– I think, maybe a bit longer.

The Muse has left me, alone and mute
singing quietly inside…but it isn’t writing
not bringing forth words of rhyme
or golden thoughts or phrases that soar
with the uplifting quality that speaks of fulfillment
of the annunciation of the soul
(if that is even the right word.)

What does that mean?   My Muse does not respond.
Silence echoes across the lines, across the fields,
rich and full, and absence of sensation…or character.
There is no solution, no evolution…no rhythmic flow
of syllables, or stanzas, flights of fancy…
clever ways to express a notion
…or just to form  a simple phrase–
no silver tinged sunsets,
no tales from the depths of despair…
no soaring ecstasy of the bliss of a kiss.
Words which once were at the edges of my
repertoire –within easy reach of the empty…

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will o’ the whisper

More about me and my Muse…

SOMETIMES

OH!     Where do the great ideas go…
those flashes of brilliance
that should have better resilience
and remain in the Brain Cabinet
long enough for establishment
to take hold in the Eureka! compartment.

How many times in the course of the day
does  the lightbulb flash in the idea flow
and tug at coat-tails for attention;
hoping and praying that no intervention
takes precedence over the outstanding thought
that begs to be recorded–NOT discarded!

That’s it!   Hurry–get to the tablet or pad
and hope there’s a pencil or pen nearby
Scribble or print in quick succession
the words piling together inside…
One after another the poignant confession
or ground-breaking thought to abide
ensconced forever in handwriting or symbol,
keywords or brilliant asides.

The Muse is waiting and prompting the prose
or rhymes that are aching to flow ever forth,
to leap from the pen to the pristine page–

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