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.

 

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.

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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when the Muse keeps quiet

Here’s a re-run of a blogging commentary I published here on Sometimes a while back….

SOMETIMES

One of the things I love about blogging is the great bloggers…all kinds of people, all over the world, young and old (is that politically correct?) and all political and religious persuasions.   I like that.   How boring life would be if we never got out of our particular little niche.     I DO care about all my … uh…blogging acquaintances…and their opinions and points of view…even the ones that don’t think like I do.   That’s OK, feel free to say what ya want and I’ll deal with it.    My best friends usually don’t agree with me on everything…some don’t agree on anything…

Blogging is fun because there aren’t many rules, and when it isn’t fun there is always the unfollow button.

This post is supposed to be about My Muse.    She stays out of the way, mostly, and pops out with a brainstorm of an idea, or nags me to comment…

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Why are we here? Why do we Blog?

 

Why Blog?

All it takes to write in a Blog
Is a Writer who is a Blogger
and a Reader who reads Blogs.

If someone is reading that Blog
–even if the blog is about nothing–
then all the components are there:

the Blogger blogs,
and the Reader reads.
And IF he is reading,
and she is blogging,
then there is a connection…
a piece of her mind
–for good or for bad–
is read and ingested
and taken to heart

.So what if the Post is about Nothing?

If its being read… someone is interested,
this is obvious right from the start.
The Key to blogging may be
not so much clever phrases
or figures of speech
as simply a communication.

So, if a blog is about Something
then it can’t be about Nothing.

What does that all mean?

If one is blogging…
well, they are blogging.
and if Reading?
Thank you for reading along!

©Sometimes, 2015

Politics – do we really care? Re-blogged from Meeka’s Mind

This excellent post from friend acflory on her blog MEEKA’S MIND is the best thing I’ve read about the coming Year 2018 and Australian voters in particular and all Voters in general. Thanks for the re-blog!

Meeka's Mind

I’ve always had a problem with ‘-isms’ – communism, socialism, facism, capitalism, republicanism, you name it – because they all seem to miss the point about people. Homo Sapiens doesn’t give a flying fruit bat about politics until things go wrong.

I was a kid in the late Menzies era of Australia [1949-1966], and I remember hearing some adults moan about elections while others moaned about the general apathy of the Australian voter. You see, in Australia, we have compulsory voting…and the times were good.

In fact, by the early 60’s, the populations of the Western world were better off, generally, than they had ever been before. Not quite the age of surplus envisioned by Marx, but close, and some of us really were able to live ‘…from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.’ That’s what the Age of Aquarius, Flower Power and Free…

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Quoting Flip Wilson & a Post from Gronda Morin.

 

As comedian Flip Wilson once said in his “Ruby Begonia” monologue: “The King said: Those who have nothing, shall have less—and that which they have shall be taken from them.” And the people cheered, “Yay King, Yay King…”

 

 

Gronda Morin

It is bad enough that the republicans in the US Congress are hard at work to pass their 2017 Donor/ Corporation tax cut bill around December 19, 2016, which does little to grow the economy; where the economy is on an upswing and unemployment numbers are low, where at least 1 trillion dollars will be added to the deficit; where a major blow will be dealt to Obamacare with the ending of its mandate; and where it is very unpopular with Americans (about 26-29%), but it will please their donor base by which some lawmakers have been honest enough to admit this. If a corporation was acting on this bill, it is so bad that the executives would be guilty of malfeasance and for not honoring their fiduciary duties to their clients.

With this bill, we taxpayers who pay their wages are being shortchanged. Every tax break for the middle/…

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Promise of Spring

 

My entry for Cee’s Flower of the Day: Tulips.  ©Sometimes, 2017

Just what the Doc ordered for a December day!    These tiny Parrot Tulips are among the first flowers to make themselves known in my Littles Garden patch.     These are from April of 2017.

marching band music…sing loudly, don’t worry too much about lyrics

marching music please…. just try ignoring the band blaring out the Sousa beat, adoring crowds lining the streets… drummers drumming, flutes tweeting, symbols clashing… but I digress.       Back in the day I was a Girl Scout leader, and part of my duty as such was to lead the girls down the main street during the Memorial Day Parade (or other parade.)     In high heels no less….no, not stilettos…which were not worn by ordinary women for another thirty or forty years.

The Stars and Stripes Forever   must be sung very loudly… and if by chance ya don’t know the words (wink wink who does?)  just join the singers who use the alternate version….

“Be kind to your web footed friends,
for a duck may be somebody’s mother…”

John Philip Sousa – The Stars And Stripes Forever lyrics
Let martial note in triumph float
And liberty extend its mighty hand
A flag appears ‘mid thunderous cheers,
The banner of the Western land.
The emblem of the brave and true
Its folds protect no tyrant crew;
The red and white and starry blue
Is freedom’s shield and hope.

Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom’s nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free!
May it wave as our standard forever,
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

Let eagle shriek from lofty peak
The never-ending watchword of our land;
Let summer breeze waft through the trees
The echo of the chorus grand.
Sing out for liberty and light,
Sing out for freedom and the right.
Sing out for Union and its might,
O patriotic sons.

Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation,
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom’s nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free.
May it wave as our standard forever
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray,
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.
These Lyrics are informational only. No representation is made or warranty given as to their content. User assumes all risks of use.   Lyrics assumes no responsibility for any loss or damage resulting from such use. All lyrics are property and copyright of their owners, and provided for educational purposes only.
http://www.elyrics.net

Then there is the Battle Hymn of the Republic:     Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord… he has stampled out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored… deal with the bullets with his terrible swift sword…  the TRUTH goes marching on!!!  oops…

uh….  folks, I really am embarrassed that I don’t know all the words….when singing the Battle Hymn one is excused if they just mumble over the tricky lyrics.    always there is “boompa dee,” “dee dum,”

I’m not good with remembering lyrics…

Now I will never get that out of my head… “Be kind to your web-footed friends…”

Caribbean geography lesson…

Every now and then I like to get out a map and reassure myself that when not knowing the location of Yemen, or Utah, or Antiqua (for example) all I have to do is look it up on a map. A paper map, preferably, but sometimes even an online map will do.

So I wanted to see if Puerto Rico was really far out in the middle of the ocean someplace, or, as I suspected…in the Caribbean. So I did a search “Puerto Rico” and Bing zeroed in on a nice map of the island, in great detail of cities and even roads and topographical details like mountains. Zooming out to get the big picture…including the Pacific Ocean and all of Russia…the exact location of Puerto Rico became instantly remembered.

Looking Southward, from Florida, the island is sort of beyond Cuba, north of Venezuela, and in a line with other islands and chains of islands in the Caribbean, forming a line of defense reinforced by territories possessed by friendly allies: the French, Dutch, and British. This was perfect—especially back in the days of the conquest by Spain of the New World.

Actually the United States was interested in keeping the Spanish at bay as much as possible, while maintaining a strategic position of buffering between the British (our best friends forever) and “other” European or South American nations from getting any ideas. Or Japan…or anyone else.

The last good-size war the U.S. had with Spain was the Spanish-American War, which effectively booted the Spanish out of the area and declared US hegemony in the close-in islands, including Puerto Rico. It is true that the U.S. had a good line of defense in the Caribbean, and although U.S.-Cuban relations suffered during the Cold War…to the point where until the Cubans would acquiesce in being beaten by the U.S. Embargo, which effectively put Cuba and the Castro Dictatorship in its place as an oppressed and bullied island which “refused to straighten out” and endured sixty years or so of hardship and political hassles because of it.

At the end of the Spanish-American War in 1899, part of the spoils agreed on by the two nations was the prize of Puerto Rico…ceded to the U.S. by Spain. One of the results was that the Spanish-speaking citizens were required to speak and use English-only.

Puerto Rico is a U.S. Territory, and thus Puerto Rican citizens are citizens of the United States, and are entitled to vote in U.S. elections…except for the office of President. They elect representatives to the U.S. Congress, who are on the same basis as reps and Senators from the 50 other states.

One difficult hang-over from the early 20th Century is THE JONES LAW, which forbids Puerto Rico to receive shipments of any materials or products from any sources except on officially sanctioned United States registered Ships. The result of this is that now that Hurricane Maria has devastated the Puerto Rican island, the Jones Law limits what foreign aid they can receive. The U.S. Congress has the power to rescind or modify the law…but has so far declined. It may be nteresting to note that the Jones Law has been suspended in other U.S. ports under emergencies created by Hurricanes that hit Texas and Florida, as well as other U.S. controlled islands in the Caribbean.

The U.S. Navy Hospital Ship Comfort has, as of this Wednesday morning, been sent to Puerto Rico. The reasons for the delay apparently have been worked out, especially the excuse of the ship being “too big to park in the harbor…” and the hospital ship will anchor off-shore and apparently transfer patients from the mainland of the island by helicopter.

https://www.bing.com/maps?&ty=18&q=Puerto%20Rico&vdpid=202&mb=19.029888040912922~-69.22080993652341~17.464867724672842~-64.03526306152341&ppois=18.2491397857666_-66.6280364990234_Puerto%20Rico_~&cp=18.2491397857666~-66.6280364990234&v=2&sV=1&style=r&trfc=&lvl=7

Beware—more shots of my late great Spider web

DSC00151.JPG WEB YARD GOOD
NOW WE SEE IT
DSC00148.JPG INVISIBLE WEB
NOW WE DON’T

 

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FROM THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF WEB

“Late Great” because this web was in a very precarious position…as is normal for spiders, apparently…as this splendid construction was demolished quickly when I ran right into it and ended up wearing the web like a hair-net…or veil…I forgot it was there.   (Please see yesterday’s post for more web photos if you are so inclined.)

The deck is eight-feet wide.

By the way— my spider web photos are more about photography than spiders or webs.    I have tried repeatedly to capture various topics, and consider it a learning experience.

OH!    The spider is not really as big as she appears, she has a very large bug in her grip, we call it a stink-bug, triangular in shape.

 

Johnson’s Island, Confederate officers prison on Lake Erie, Ohio (Part Two)

(all photos on this page © Sometimes, 2017)   These photos were taken in May 1981 by Bob Dreger, my late husband.

The island prison housed Confederate military officers who were originally  captured during Civil War battles, and imprisoned  at Camp Chase, Columbus Ohio.   The object was to separate the officers from the rank-and-file soldiers and house them in the Northern prison where they remained until the end of the Civil War in 1865, or their death, which ever came first.    Over two hundred of them remain there, in their graves, to this day.

There is more to come from SOMETIMES, so please check back for more information about Johnson’s Island.     (I would continue now, but I have a lunch date with my best friend where we will fight the Civil War again.   We are on the same side…North, anti-Slavery, but present upheaval over Civil War statues opens up new debate across our nation—as if we don’t have plenty to debate! 🙂   For what it’s worth, this on-going perennial battle never dies.

 

 

Johnson’s Island confederate cemetery on Lake Erie, Ohio….photos of Southern soldier statue (Part One)

Here are two photos of the statue at Johnson’s Island, Ohio, taken by Bob Dreger in 1981.   The cemetery is a protected U.S. site, where more than two hundred Confederate military officers are buried.    I do need to clarify that Bob Dreger was the photographer, in 1981.  The copyright  is ©Sometimes, 2017.

This island is far North, half way to Canada.   It was important because all of the prisoners were Confederate military officers (Lieutenant and higher) who were separated from the rank-and-file soldiers incarcerated at Camp Chase, Ohio, and transferred to Johnson’s Island.

Later today I will try to post several more photos from this same batch.

This is the first part of this post on SOMETIMES, photos of the statue itself, including the pedestal, or base, which clearly explains the presence of a Southern monument this far North.   Johnson’s Island is located off of Sandusky, Ohio, in Lake Erie.   The island itself is privately owned, with controlled access.     Visitors to the federal cemetery do have access to the cemetery grounds, however.

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U.S.Civil War. Statue of Confederate Soldier, at Johnson’s Island, Ohio. Photo by Bob Dreger, ©Sometimes, 2017
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Base of Confederate Soldier statue on Johnson’s Island, Ohio, Civil War Prison. ©photo by Bob Dreger, Sometimes 2017)