ODDS AND ENDS AND CHECKING IN


EXCUSE #1 FOR NOT POSTING:  I am volunteering again for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program through United Way of the Coastal Bend.  Volunteers are trained and certified through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to prepare  tax returns for lower levels of income for free.  In past years I acted as a greeter/screener but did not do tax returns.  This year we have fewer volunteers so I have been doing returns (simple!) as needed.   I find that I enjoy it (not as hard as I thought it would be!) and feel that I am helping in the community.  We get questions about Hurricane Harvey damage but that is out of our scope. The site opened January 17 and will close April 17.  I am there Monday through Thursday, nine am to 1 pm.

SPRING EQUINOX:  In January we reluctantly had our veterinarian put our cat, Wiccan, down.  She was our last cat and would have been eighteen years old in May; we will not seek another cat.  Our other cats have been buried in the back yard, but we chose to have her cremated and saved her ashes to be scattered on a warm sunny day.  April 20 was the perfect day.  Near the back fence there was a small patch of dirt where the grass has not grown back yet and near where other cats are buried.  We toasted her with wine as she joined the other angel cats.  We will miss her.

VISIT TO HOUSTON:  On St. Patrick’s Day weekend Husband and I visited Son in Houston to celebrate their birthdays early.  We chose to have dinner at a restaurant called Tango and Malbec where Argentinian style food is featured.  We had been there before but this time we were delighted to find that we would be entertained by tango dancers during dinner.  They were excellent and each wore a bit of green.  I don’t know the style of tango but blogger A Frank Angle would surely have known; go to his blog but a video of a sultry Argentine tango.  We also visited the Rothko Chapel and the Cy Twombly Gallery.

READING AND WRITING: There does not seem to be enough time to read blogs, books, news and write.   Perhaps when tax season is over I will have time for all of them.  Cheers!

MONDAY MADNESS: Wake up! It’s Monday!


 

1987 06 New Orleans 019

DO YOU HAVE A CAPTION TO SUGGEST?

Suggested so far via comments:

“Loving life!” Eric Tonningsen

“Elegantly simply sleeping platforms. I do adore them. The waterbeds were fine, but darling they were so ‘last year.'”Belocchio

“Just for once, I would like to see you get the  gazelle in the morning.”John W. Howell

“Why does SHE always get the top bunk?” – crowingcrone

Can you keep it down to a dull roar please, we’re TRYING to sleep…” clinock

“Wake me when its over!” oilpastelsbymary

“She always gets the best spot!”Andrea Stephenson

“Sweet dreams!”Virginia Views

“Superbowl and Marti Gras in the same week is just too much!” – philosophermouseofthehedge”

You just HAD to complain about the thread count on the sheets at the hotel, didn’t you?”WriterinSoul

“Wake not a sleeping lion – which apparently means (Don’t ask for trouble.  It’s safer to leave things as they are) – Chez Shea

Monday Madness: CAT CONFESSIONS


cat-holic

Once upon a time I had six cats and two cat doors; three were inside cats and three were outside cats.  These were their names.

SAMSON

MACAVITY

JELLICLE

SYLVESTER

CALLIE

WHITE CAT

All but Macavity are buried in the back yard. Today I am down to my last cat, Wiccan.  She is 15 years old.  I hope she goes before we do because no on else would take her. She does not like to come inside.  We bring her in only in bad weather.  Daughter, who loves cats, would not take her because Wiccan does not like her and hisses if Daughter tries to come near her.  Son would not take her as she does not play well with his two dogs when he visits.

 WICCAN RESTING IN A FLOWER POT

My beautiful picture

BIRD WATCHING CAN BE DANGEROUS


scan0001

One morning this spring Husband and I were having our morning coffee in the living room and watching the birds in the back yard.  Two hummingbird feeders were up on the edge of the veranda cover to welcome the first of those visitors.  A large flat  feeder hangs from a tree and small one on the fence stay up all year-long that provide seeds for the usual birds – many doves and an occasional pigeon.  Recently we had seen colorful spring visitors – a pair of cardinals, a painted bunting.  Squirrels stop by also to check their  feeder in a tree for peanuts and sunflower seeds.

Normally our thirteen year-old cat, Wiccan,  just naps in a chair outside after her morning meal or attempts to hide beside some ornamental grass near the bird bath in the hope of catching a feathered creature.  She has slowed down with age, but I still occasionally find a pile of bird feathers as evidence of her success.  However, I do try to protect them from her when I can.

As I sat there enjoying a second cup of coffee and the bit of nature in the back yard, a black streak raced across the veranda.  Wiccan was after a bird.  Husband jumped up and rushed out the back door.  I followed quickly and held the door open as I watched him come back to the door with a small brownish bird in his hands.  Perhaps it was hurt.

2012 10 08 Bodega & Bodega Bay 001

THIS BUILDING IN BODEGA, CALIFORNIA WAS USED AS THE SCHOOL HOUSE WHERE THE CHILDREN WERE ATTACKED BY THE BIRDS. HUSBAND TOOK THIS PHOTO WHEN WE VISITED THE AREA IN 2012.

The bird slipped swiftly out of his hands and seemed to be flying straight toward me.  I raised my arms up in natural defense as Tippi Hedren did so many times in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 thriller,”The Birds.”  This frightened bird veered off to the freedom outside while I lost my balance (one foot inside and one foot outside) and twisted to the left.  I fell inside the house as I crashed into my favorite ornate floor lamp.  My left ear hit it first…then my left arm…then my left hip…final stop…stunned on the floor.  Blood dripped from my ear.  All I needed was that green suit like the one Tippi wore!

My first thought as I sat there on the tile floor was concern for my lamp.  Was the glass shade broken?  One glance upward confirmed that it was not harmed.  Startled Husband came to help me up.  After I wiped the blood from my swollen and red ear, I needed another cup of strong coffee. (Didn’t Tippi get something stronger?  Brandy, perhaps?)  I had no broken bones – only a few bruises the next day.  So be careful when you are bird watching.  It can be dangerous!

 The 50th anniversary of “The Birds” is this year.  I may have to watch it again with new appreciation!

Chasing away the cold…


A cold north wind is hurrying toward the bluff.

Giving thanks for all I have today…

Mate, daughter, son, grandson, family and friends to count;

And more…rainwater for herbs, feathery-white pelicans floating

on Nueces Bay, black fluffy cat grooming in a chair, flour for baking, music,

strength for running, courage for living, happy hearts and hugs,

connection with the world, purpose for the day,

words to write, memories in scattered black and white,

sunlight sliding through my kitchen window,

moonlight on the bay at night,

laughter, tears and life.