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The BOMB

Welcome to the BOMB.



The Blog Of the "Mother" of Bandit.
Bandit is my Hairless Chinese Crested--he's the "normal" one. I, on the other hand, am unrepentantly "pet-crazy." You know the type--the spinster who lives in the haunted house three blocks over with 72 cats...okay, so I don't have 72 cats, and my house isn't haunted--but my dogs wardrobe is better than mine! Need I say more? :~)
I've never been consistant at journaling, so the timing of my blogs will be sporadic at best. I just hope they are as entertaining to you as they are to me; however, be forewarned: Most of my blogs will be about The BaldOne. In spite of his Don King "do," I think he's just as cute as any of the Brothers B!
Now, if I can just remember not to get him wet--or feed him after midnight...

About Me

My photo
My bags are packed and I'm always ready to seek out an adventure with Bandit and Moggy in tow. Bandit is my ten year old Chinese Crested, who I frequently call The Bald One or The BaldOne Boy (like he was one of the Baldwin Brothers). Moggy’s full name is Pip-Moggy. He’s my gansta-resuce kitty. I couldn’t decide between Pip (which are the spots on die and domino tiles) and Moggy (or Moggie when I mistakenly thought he was a she), so I combined the two. Moggy refers to the British term for "cat of unknown parentage .” So in essence, I have an almost bald dog, and I’ve named my cat “Spot.”

Fun Stuff (I'm doing now or have done)

  • Artistic Attempts weekly (alternating between Painting With A Twist, That Art Place, and Peniot's Palette).
  • Bunko with the Belton Bunko Babes monthly.
  • Participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge.
  • Spades and Liverpool Rummy with the Spadetts weekly.
  • The Mighty Texas Dog Walk, Austin (fund raiser for Service Dogs, Inc--they train shelter dogs to be Service Dogs, then give them free of charge to people with disabilities.)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Some People Make Me Want to Screem! (Or Hang Up on Them)


So I had my windshield replaced while I was at work today. Pretty cool. Actually, it was replaced because of the cold—I had a pre-existing nick and the extreme weather change yesterday put a swirly crack all the way across the windshield. 

This morning, I called the Tax Accessor Office to see if I needed to do anything extra when I renew my tags (other than have the car inspected, hold on to the receipt, and  enter the information on line).  I had forgotten that this is the year I go to a one-sticker system.  So, trying to be an upstanding citizen (albeit a procrastinator), I called and the  woman on the other end of the phone actually tried to intimidate and bully me—doesn’t work. I don’t intimidate. And I fight bullies.

Power Tripping Government Employee:   “You know you can get a ticket for not having the tag displayed on your windshield.”

Angelic Me:  “It just cracked yesterday  and the first available repair was today.  I will have it inspected and entered into the computer tonight.”

PTGE:  “But you can still get a ticket because it will take a week for the tag to come in the mail.”

AM:   “I’m sure any police officer that stops me will see the receipts and cut me some slack.”

PTGE:  “Well they don’t have to!”

AM:   “Even if I had already had my vehicle inspected, it would not have the sticker today, because I’m getting the new windshield today. I’m sure they will not ticket me.  Especially since they will likely be focusing on actual criminals.”

PTGE:   “You can still get  a ticket!!!! It will be up to the discretion of the officer.”

Not-so Angelic Me:   “You know what, they give me a ticket and I’ll contest it in court. I cannot be expected to have a sticker on a windshield I don’t have yet.”   Thinking to myself:  You’re an idiot!  
Click.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Idiot? Or Not?



In Junior High School (7th -9th grades) I had a friend who fancied herself a linguist. She was always showing off a new language she was learning. I don't recall if she was ever fluent in anything; however, she taught me many phrases from some eclectic dialects. And from time to time I have occasion to remember her and one of her phrases.  My recent funeral trip was one such occasion when I recalled the Siamese phrase she taught me...


A couple of weekends ago, on a  Sunday we buried my cousin in Melissa (tiny town north of McKinney). Because it's a bit of a drive and I didn't want to be late, I decided to make a weekend of it and get a hotel in Seagoville, which is about a 45 minute drive away.  It's also the town where one of my paternal Aunts lives, so I thought I would be able to see her as well sometime during the weekend. That was the plan.


On the drive to Seagoville, I either ran over something in the road or hit a jarring pot hole.  A couple of months ago, when I turned too close to a culvert, I popped a tire and the sensor light came on immediately, and I learned an expensive lesson—blingy  tires are okay; however, they must be standard size—otherwise you will be purchasing a wrong-sized, over-priced  tire when it is the only thing available after hours on a weekend night.  


After the jarring jolt, I anxiously stared at my dahs console—the one with more gadgets and gauges than the cockpit of a Lear Jet. Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration.  But the warning lights are pretty impressive—and very responsive—so when the warning light did not  immediately  come on  I thought I might have dodged the new tire bullet.


And then I noticed the light.


I don’t know how I missed it before, but there it was.  Next to the little car outline, in the passenger front position, there glowed a little orange light.  It's near the triangle emergency flasher. I was in the middle of nowhere. Again.  At the next exit  I turned off the interstate and drove into a small town with absolutely no night life.  And more importantly, no gas station or air compressor.  In fact, the only establishment open was a small country store akin to Sam Drucker's General Store in the town of Hooterville, on Petticoat Junction and Green Acres. I’m sure Sam Drucker would have had the odd sized tire my SUV requires, but this particular general store was nothing like Drucker’s.


I was told the closest air compressor would be in Italy.  So, I drove to Italy and found an automatic air compressor (it stops automatically when your tire pressure reaches 30 psi).  I added air and rechecked my sensor.  It was still on. However, there was a truck stop nearby and it was suggested that perhaps the mechanics there would be able to repair my tire if it was in fact repairable.  


Alas, their tools were all for semis, but even though it was after 6pm on a Saturday evening, the guy was awfully nice, and he aired up all four of my tires (he told me they were all running a little bit low and that the sensor light would come on if it was as little as 5 psi too low). He also told me about a tire chain that is supposed to be open at 7am even on Sunday. If I could just make it to the hotel then I could have my tire repaired or buy a new one before the funeral Sunday afternoon.


Then he told me a back roads “short cut”  close to where  my hotel was.  Before you gasp in disbelief—No, I did not tell a total stranger where I was heading. I said South East Dallas. And unbeknownst to him, he told me directions to one of the two exits that go to my Aunts house. My hotel was an exit or two away. While he was telling me about the shortcut, my vivid imagination was already thinking about all the things that could go wrong if I took his shortcut:  he could be setting me up; the shortcut was dim and back woods country—no mile markers to use if I needed to call for assistance; I could be stranded in a no phone service area;  he could be working in cahoots with a nefarious slave trade ring…the scenarios got darker with each tick of the clock. I thanked him sweetly, asked his name and he pointed to his jacket with the embroidered name of Alpha. I immediately thought of Jesus being called the Alpha and Omega (the Beginning and the End), but I would not let this sway me into believing he was one of the good guys: the jacket could be someone else’;  the name could be a made up plant to lure unsuspecting girls with a little knowledge of the Bible into trusting him… and again, the imagination got kind of wild.


Anyway, I ended up driving in the direction of the short-cut, fully intending to turn around once I was out of sight (so it would appear I was following his advice), and then turning around in another parking lot and getting back to  the relative safety of the interstate.  That was my intention.


However, I’m an idiot. I  ended up taking the short cut all the way. Even though I knew better. Even though I tell the idiots in scary movies to be smart, I was being dumb. I knew better. Yet here I was making the wrong choice. Idiot. Idiot. Idiot.


I watched my rear-view mirror like a hawk. No one was following me. I was starting to relax. Maybe he really was one of the good guys. Maybe he was my Guardian Angel. Maybe...


My thoughts turned dark again as I arrived at a very dark and secluded stretch of road. Nothing was in front of me except blackness. But there in the distance behind me were two sets of headlights.


They were gaining fast.


The sign said I was 12 miles from the nearest town. I sped up.  The cars behind me gained on me. I didn't want to drive too fast and stress the tire; however, I also didn't want to lollygag and get caught between a couple of semis. I sped up.


The next sign loomed ahead:   9 miles.  I sped up a little bit more. I didn't think I would make it before the cars  behind me caught up.  A third set of headlights appeared close in pursuit of the other two.


Cresting a hill I saw lights twinkling in the distance.  The sign said:  6 miles. there was hope. I might make it after all. But then a fourth car had joined in. And by now they were close enough I could tell they were not cars at all—but they were also not semis. They were the Cadillac of Texas:  a mixture of Dooley’s and  SUVs. That did not reassure me. They could, and would, out run my dinky little mid-size SUV. I floored it.


The next sign: 4 miles. 


But by a miracle, when I checked the rearview mirror I saw  all four trucks turn down a dirt side road!


I was once again alone. Was it a trap? The false security to lull me into letting down my guard?
I didn’t let up on the gas until I was in town. I’m lucky I did not get a speeding ticket. Actually, the police office on duty had someone else pulled over. I thanked the other driver as I coasted past.


I found the interstate and got back on. I’d take my chances with blowing a tire on the interstate.  After all, I had already proven the higher speeds weren't too much of a stressor on the tire.


I arrived at my hotel, and as I parked, I noticed the sensor light was off—then I remembered: some sensor lights  need to reset with a total “reboot” of the engine before they will go off. I had not turned off the engine. Maybe that was all I needed to do after I aired the tire. Maybe I really am an idiot!


The next morning when I took Bandit out to potty, I checked—the sensor light did not come on.
At least not until that afternoon when I started to make the 45 minute drive to the cemetery.
I just hoped Melissa was large enough to have a WalMart with a tire shop.


The light never went off. But the tire never read as if it were losing air. So I kept driving. Maybe the sensor light needed to be recalibrated post-jolt.


I stopped at the Dealership Monday after work to have them check it out.


I am an idiot—the car outline? Not a car. It is the outline of a lock. The orange light? Not a tire sensor—it's a light that comes on when the car doors are locked. Unless I manually lock the doors (which I usually don’t) they automatically lock when I reach a predetermined speed. In other words, the reason I didn’t always see the light didn’t have anything to do with the fact that the tire was low on air (at least not this particular sensor light)—it was merely reporting the locked status of the doors.


It was at this point that I had cause to remember my Junior High School friend who was interested in linguistics, and the  Siamese (now known as Thai) phrase she taught me syllable by syllable. I repeated the phrase over and over until I got it down pat. Then she taught me to say it faster and faster until it liltingly left my lips. The phrase was: “Ohhh—wha—tah—goo—si—ham.”  


I will leave it to you to decide….




Tuesday, December 22, 2015

My Charmed Life

A friend, I’ll call her Linda,  recently received a speeding ticket for doing 100 mph in an 80 mph speed zone, in a po-dunk west Texas town on Interstate 20. I know that interstate.  It’s hard not to get sucked into speeding there.  Even doing 80 mph, you will be the slowest driver on the highway. In fact,  everything on the road, including the tumbleweeds and free-range cattle,  will pass you as if you are a statue. I didn’t give Linda  too hard a time about the ticket; but, I did ask if she had to return to the little town and go before the Judge. She couldn’t recall—she had just paid the ticket and forgotten about it.  I thought 20 miles over the posted speed limit was an automatic date with the Judge. So I teased her about the possibility of needing me to  post her bail when they arrest her for failure to appear. 

Linda’s near brush with the Texas Judicial System got  me to thinking:  I need to be hyper defensive in my driving, because I’m living on borrowed time.  At risk of jinxing myself, I’ll tell  you I haven’t had a ticket or an accident in almost 4 years.

Both the ticket and the accident occurred on the same day, in two different towns, and my tags were expired 2 days past the unofficial grace period most police give you. It was not a very good day. I respect and admire the police; however, the less I see of them, the better I like it. Since I’ve been driving the speed limit (for the most part), I figure I’m probably due for a police visit.

I hope I haven’t  jinxed myself by thinking about the absence of police in my life.

Last night my mind was wandering a little as I drove home, I didn’t think I was speeding; however, when the blue flashers appeared in my rearview mirror, I couldn’t tell you what my actual speed was. To make matters worse, I was on the downside of a viaduct—a place I know is a favorite speed trap of the local police force.

Shielding my actions from view (I hoped) as I turned into a parking lot,  I snapped my seatbelt into place. It would not do to add a seat belt fine, to what I already feared  was going to be an epic ticket. Waiting for the Officer to approach my  window, I began the show of rummaging through my purse. I call it a show because I had realized earlier that I did not have possession of my wallet, money, credit and debit cards, or driver’s license and insurance card. They were all in my tote bag.  At work.  Luckily, I knew my tags were not expired—at least not until the end of this week.

So, in review:   I pulled over for an as yet to be announced reason (perhaps speeding, perhaps not); however, I was not wearing my seatbelt, and  I did not have my driver’s license,  or my insurance card. I was the poster child for moving violations. I felt it imperative to keep my mouth shut, speak only when spoken to, and then do so in the most respectful tone I could muster. Otherwise the need for a single phone call attached to bail money and an attorney might soon be required.

The Officer introduced himself and asked me where I was headed and where I had been. I told him I was coming from a small country community (it was easier than telling him where Linda actually lives), and I was on my way to WalMart to pick up some DDP for work. He asked me another question and had to repeat it four times because I could not understand what he was asking me!  The encounter reminded me of the Twilight Zone episode where the spoken words of others were replaced with progressively more gibberish words. We finally were able to communicate and the Office told me the reason he pulled me over was  “failure to maintain my lane.” I finally realized, he thought I was drunk!  I could hardly keep a straight face—and I hoped he would not ask me to walk the line, because with my neuropathy and balance problems, there is no way I would pass the test, even though I was not drunk. Tired?  Yes—I had been up since 2 am. Distracted?  Maybe—I had been mentally making my list so I could be in and out in under five. But drunk?  Nope.  I don’t play that game.

The Police Officer  was able to pull my information up using my work ID and he decided I was neither drunk nor crazy, or at least I was not a menace to myself or society. I am  actually an upstanding, employed, citizen with a valid driver’s license, and current insurance.  He let me off with a written warning. He never mentioned the seat belt, and I didn’t mention it. I asked if I needed to present proof of my license and insurance to the Court like I had another time I didn’t have my proper documents, he assured me I had to do nothing. Computers can be a good thing. Although their Big Brother aspect is kind of creepy. 

I decided I must have a guardian angel looking out for me—and she deserves a raise.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

New Trick vs Old Memory

Before I left this evening I looked at the space heater and wondered how cold it was supposed to get tonight. I usually only leave it on for Bandit if it's freezing or below freezing. There are plenty of blankets and throws for him to snuggle under.  Besides, he's got a better wardrobe than I have (if he'd only keep his clothes on!). Moggy has hair that keeps him a little warmer.  He mostly snuggles on top of the covers, but on a couple of really cold nights he has made his way under the duvet. 

I thought I decided not to turn the heater on, so I was quite surprised to come home to a toasty house. Either I'm getting forgetful, or one of The Boys has learned a new trick. 

I'm  torn--Bandit would be the one who would benefit most; however, he's been my Roomie for about 8.5 years now, and although he's honked the car horn at me (three times) and rolls the windows down (every time the child locks are inadvertently turned off), and strips neked when I dress him (except in freezing and below freezing weather), he's never turned on any of the space heaters. At least I don't think he has. 

Moggy, on the other hand, has only lived with us a little over a year, and he's proved himself to be quite the clever prankster:  hiding and pouncing on all feet/paws as they approach and playing Houdini by escaping from the carrier, and the house, into the great outdoors.  And the heater has never come on before--except by my hand. At least I don't think it has. 

Speaking of hands, on the other-other hand, I am increasing in cake candles, so it is possible I actually turned it on and forgot.  That's scary. Although I qualify for certain discounts, I don't have that many cake candles!! 


At least I don't think I do. 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Assimilation


In a recent Facebook post on a friends wall I spoke of the need for assimilation when coming to the USA from another country.  A third person stated there was no absolute right or American ideal and then commented that she wanted to know what I meant by assimilation since it is not cut and dried. This is how I responded: 

Assimilation is taking on qualities of another. It is becoming like them. I do not mean they should become our clones—every culture has a rich heritage that can enhance our own. We are after all a melting pot of cultures.  


To all aliens seeking refuge legally, I say "Come"—However, don't come to my country and then demand that I give you a better life than some of our own people have (work for it). Don't demand that I learn your language in order to communicate with you (learn the language accepted as ours). Don't attempt to impose your religious beliefs and practices on me—find ways to worship and honor your beliefs without infringing on my freedoms and rights to worship in the way I see fit. Keep your customs as long as they do not violate our laws. Share them with me, and if I find beauty, relevance, or value in them I may add them to my own belief system and customs—but don't try to force them on me, and don’t expect my beliefs and customs to conform to yours. Be a positive influence on my country rather than a blight on our society. Add flavor to my country—don't try to destroy it.


If you are unable, or unwilling, to assimilate in these ways, then get the heck out of my country!


For several years I worked in the English as  Second Language Ministry of my Church. I know for a fact that some of the students that I taught were illegals. I wish that were not the case. I wish they were all here legally. Many of them did come forward and seek legal status. I applaud that action. I write this, not to take glory for my "open-mindedness," I write it to say I want refuges to continue to come to the greatest country in the world!  Refuges are what have made this the greatest country. 

However, I take exception to the illegals that come and demand special treatment. I take exception to the refuges who think they should be handed the American Dream without any work or sacrifice on their part.  I take exception to countries who dump their criminals on us. I take exception to suicide bombers posing as refugees fleeing their homeland due to persecution. Again, I say: If you dream of a better life, come to the USA to work for it—but come legally. Come and assimilate. Bring the best of your customs and beliefs and add them to the melting pot, I may find use for them in my own life, but don’t expect me to assimilate to you.

Monday, November 23, 2015

The "Lucy Day"


I have two types of Lucy Day. The first is the  I Love Lucy  Lucy Day—a little craziness and a enabling trusted sidekick.  The second is the Peanuts Lucy Day—a little bossiness doled out with nickel advise.

Yesterday was a Peanuts Lucy Day.

It occurred as I shopped in a small store and the urgent need  to visit the facilities came upon me. I made it quickly to the Ladies Room at the far end of the store only to find the two staller was less than stellar.  

Oh, it was clean enough; however, the first stall was crowded and the bowl was barely a foot off the floor. This would make my visit uncomfortable for several reasons:  my knees are stiff and don’t like to bend, and my weight is such that rising from a position that low is not graceful. Additionally, the door swung inward into the empty stall and almost scraped the front of the bowl. Did the stall designer not  realize if the door is almost hitting the bowl in an empty stall, a full stall will necessitate  the person straddling the bowl to open the door to exit?! Again, not a graceful picture. 

My second choice was the handicapped stall. It was door less.

While crouching over the toy bowl, with my knees simultaneously hitting the stall door and my chin, I pondered the reason for the door less state of the handicapped stall. I decided anything less than, “The door fell off the hinges less than 3 minutes ago,” was unacceptable and in true Peanuts Lucy fashion, after I finished, flushed, and washed my hands, I sought out the Store Manager to dispense some free nickel advice.

As anticipated, the Store Manager attempted to say the door has a work-order pending, the maintenance man had told her he was in a nation-wide search, and the hinges, which are no longer made, are on back-order; however, I ungraciously over-talked her. That is not something I am proud of doing. I should have been more courteous.

However, my dander was up and my inner censor was down. I stopped her feeble excuse by saying, “One dollar. That’s what a plastic shower curtain from Dollar Tree would cost. One dollar is all it would take to provide a small measure of dignity and privacy to your handicapped customers.” 

I actually saw the lightbulb above her head as her eyes popped open and she said, “I never thought of that. I can get one right now and fix it.”  She could have left it at that and we would have both been happy...until she added, “But that stall is rarely used.”

“That’s not true.” I replied,  “I am not handicapped, but when I come across an inferior,  non-handicapped stall," (and I explained in detail about my aversion to tiny toidies—to which she wholeheartedly concurred and stated she was remodeling her home bath and chose the elongated toilet because it was taller). I regained my focus and returned to the use of the taller toidie, and continued, "If there is not a handicapped person, or a mother and small child waiting, I use the larger stall with the taller bowl.”

She was mercifully called away to the register at the front of the store, but as she left, she promised she would hang a curtain.

I was just glad my unsolicited advice had accomplished some good...and my Peanuts Lucy, Lucy Day had not turned into an I Love Lucy, Lucy Day.

I shudder at the thought and try not to allow my over active imagination to conjure up pictures of that scenario...

Thursday, November 19, 2015

My Newest Dream-Twist.

I dream vivid dreams. I always have. As a kid I sleep-talked and sleep-walked.  And from time to time I still do--but now mostly I just dream the actions within the dream. 

There was a period of time when I dreamt the same dream every single night. I did not like this dream--even as a child I knew my choices in the dream were leading me into danger. One day I decided I was going to change the dream. And that night, when things started to go wrong in the dream I told myself, in my dream, "I don't like this. I'm going to stop this and I'm going to do something different."  I knew I was dreaming, but I was determined to change my dream. And I did. The outcome was much more pleasant, and I never had that particular bad dream again. Dreams can be powerful.  But we, even as children in our dream-state, can be more powerful. 

Here are a few of the more interesting characteristics of my dreams:  

On many occasions I have woke myself up giggling, crying, and singing.

I feel pain when I dream--both physical and emotional. I feel stress, terror, pinches, broken teeth, falling sensations--everything I dream. 

My dreams are played out in vivid colors. Bright, sometimes psychedelic, strong colors. Technicolor. 

For a while, I did not see faces--I recognized people more by their personalities than by physical attributes--so a friend who has brown hair and green eyes might appear in my dream as a blue-eyed blonde, but I would know who they were by their kindness, ability to salsa, or whatever is unique to them. But in recent years, I have started dreaming more realistic appearances of my friends--the situations I find myself in continue to be bizarre, totally disjointed, and frequently play out like an episode of "I Love Lucy,"--but my people are more realistic looking. Go figure.  

I also love to analyze my dreams. I can usually find a connection to something from my real life. Sometimes good. Sometimes bad. Always with an interesting dream-twist. 

Tonights dream twist was a bit of a shocker.  Evidently I now dream with an accent.


For some reason I think it was Columbian-Peruvian.  

I'll have to analyze this to find out what it means. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Deer Chicken

I almost meet Potential Suicidal Deer Number Three in the gloaming last evening. I'm nicknaming him Potty, which is rather apropos since that's what I almost did.

Potty was across the roadway from his Travel Companion. I actually saw TC first. He wisely flipped his white tail at me and pounced up the embankment to the safety of the tree line. And when I say pounced, I mean cartoonish pogo-stick pouncing.

At this point I revisit  the questions I always ask myself when Bambi takes me off guard by being a little too close for comfort when the lighting is less than optimal:  Why have I not installed a Deer Whistle?  And second, Would a Deer Whistle emit a high-pitched sound that would hurt Bandit's ears?

Back to the deer:  Potty on the other hand, and on the other side of the road, raised his grazing head and looked directly at me, then looked at TC as if he were judging the distance and speed of the SUV, the distance to his Friend, and calculating his possibilities of safely joining him.

"Don't do it." I said. "You'll lose this contest." I honked my horn and slowed down.

Potty again looked first at me, and then at his Friend.  Then again at me, and again at his Friend. Potty wisely chose to run parallel to the road rather than attempting to cross it.

Knowing we were not out of danger yet, I honked my horn again and slowed even more as I passed TC, who had disappeared deep into the trees.

Up ahead, I noticed Potty had stopped and once again looked at me and the place TC had disappeared into safety.

Unbelievable, I thought, He's still considering trying to beat me across the road!

And again, he looked at me, then the trees, me, the trees. I knew in that instant he was going to try it. I braced myself for impact.

Sure enough, he dashed into the road, and then froze as if he was taken by surprise when he saw me bearing down on him.  I laid on the horn and the only reason he did not become Actual Suicidal Deer Number Three is because I also slammed on my brakes. By this time we were traveling at a crawl--even still, Bandit was almost dislodged from his back seat perch.

So now I have added a third question to my near deer miss repertoire Is this the Deer equivalent to playing the stupid daredevil car game of Chicken?


Copy Catting

I thought when I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, I might be able to do so in privacy since the FurKids stayed where they were.  However, they stirred and as usual felt the need to join me. It's a circus sometimes. 

Anyway, Moggy came in first (quite unusual), walked a circle, and left. Soon thereafter Bandit arrived with nose to ground, walked the same circle, and left as well. He appeared to be tracking Moggy which was comical since there's only a small area for the FurKids to be. 

Bandit returned to the bathroom, placed his front paws on my knee and stretched his back--this is what he usually does as soon as he enters the bathroom--no matter how long he's been up and running around. It's like his bathroom ritual. But then Moggy came in and did the very same thing. He's never done that before. Usually, he hops up on my lap on his way to the sink. 

I realized both of the FurKids are copy catting each other and I got tickled--to the  point I couldn't stop laughing. 

It was funnier at 3am. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Some Days I Just Can't Help Being High Maintenance--No Matter How Hard I Try Avoiding It.


I  don't think of myself as High Maintenance. In fact, I think I'm pretty self-sufficient. I own my house and SUV. I put myself through Nursing School at a private college 950 miles away from my family. (Okay, that may not be a great feat since I was older when I finally decided what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I still count it since I did it by myself.) I travel all over the country by myself. Well, maybe not all by myself since I have my Chinese Crested in tow, and we've added a Domestic Short Hair rescue kitty. (And since traveling with a dog and a cat is not challenging enough, I have been known to also travel with a plant, or six). While traveling sans human companion, I have dealt with a trip and fall in Vegas, my steering going out in the middle of nowhere, and a tire blowing out in Utah.  All occurred during the same trip last year. And I handled it. I am the one my friends come to for advice. I am the one people come to for answers. I am the one that gets things done. I am the strong one. I'm not usually the High Maintenance one. I don't like being High Maintenance. But every once in awhile that's where I find myself. 

So when I finally made a reservation for a cabin in Northern Georgia after several days of phone tag and instant messages, I laughingly told the rental agent that I really wasn’t High Maintenance—just computer challenged.

That I couldn’t find the cabin by the directions they sent, didn’t mean I was High Maintenance—I found the cabin on my own—without resorting to calling them, or asking for assistance from anyone. And no, I did not use GPS—the data was insufficient.

I did feel kind of High Maintenance when, still dressed in my PJs, I locked myself out of the cabin the first morning and had to find a neighbor whose phone I could use.  The maintenance increased when I had to call back about some non-functioning items (microwave and kitchen lights), and again, when I couldn’t get logged onto the internet…and yet again, when I couldn’t figure out the gas fireplace. However, in my defense, the previous guests had left the cabin binder with all the cabin information and instructions on the porch, under a drip.  When I finally found the binder, the day after I arrived, it was a soggy mess. I don’t think a High Maintenance person would have taken it apart and dried it in front of the fireplace, and then reassemble it—which is what I did.

After I locked myself out of the cabin and made all the calls to the office, I decided I would not call the office again. No matter what. I was going to be the model guest, even if it killed me. Even when the neighbors told me they had seen the Mama Bear and her two cubs romping near the cabin.

I didn’t call when I started hearing noises outside, and found the back porch screened door open—twice. I didn’t call when the phone rang and no one answered, like I was being stalked—four times in two days. I didn’t call when Moggy found the mouse caught in the trap, brought it into the living room, and started to play with it to the large dog bed provided by the cabin owners. I didn’t even call when the water went out late at night—by this time the cabin binder was sufficiently dry for me to separate the pages, and I read the section on whom to call when the water goes out. Since it was late at night and likely not going to be fixed during the night, I waited until the morning to call the guy listed in the binder.

When I called the next morning, the guy said it had been reported already, they thought it was a water pump that had gone out, and there was the possibility that I would be changing cabins, but in the meantime, they would try to fix the water pump by the end of the day. 
I had already planned to visit with my Second Cousin and his Wife—I had recently learned that they were in the neighboring town when they come stateside (she works for the National Forest Department—in the Virgin Islands, lucky girl), and they happened to be stateside for medical treatments this week (not so lucky girl). So I spent some time visiting with them. Then I visited a few antique stores in their town, as well as in mine. All in all, it was a very nice day.  And since I had passed a water truck coming up my mountain that morning, and I had not received a phone call to the contrary, I assumed the repairs had been accomplished during my absence and I was not going to be required to change cabins.

You know what they say about assuming…

The first thing I did when I entered the cabin was check the water, fully expecting it to be back on. Nope. So I called the cabin rental office. Jerry and I are on a first name basis by now. I told her the water was still off and she was puzzled. She asked who I had called and I told her I had called Keven as the binder instructed.

It seems, Binder Kevin is also Water Kevin—but he is not Cabin Kevin.  Therefore, the water department was aware of the water situation; however, the cabin rental office was not. 

Jerry made a few calls, came up to the cabin to check the water herself, then came back a second time when she could not reach her husband, Terry, to request him to bring up some bottled water for my use. 

Jerry hugged me and said I was being very nice and understanding.  She told me not to worry about washing the dishes or starting the linens to wash when I leave in the morning (I am going to wash my dishes though, that’s why I needed the water—to flush the toilet and clean up my kitchen mess).  She also asked if I would like two free nights on a future rental. I told her I would love to return to Laurel Knoll! We hugged again. 

Not only are we on a first name basis, we are also on a hugging basis.

And the icing on the cake—I won’t have to fret about where I’m going to spend my next vacation.  I just have to decide when—and this is the time of year we place our leave requests for next year….I think a little earlier in the season for the Apple Festival and more of the Leave Turning might be nice, and I think I want to drive up the Natchez Trace—it’s only 3.5 hours away. Or maybe I’ll come back during the Spring—the Scenic Train Ride is supposed to be spectacular during both the Fall and Spring.

Decisions, decisions…

Whatever time of year I decide to return, I think I’ll bring a couple of gallons of water… in case the water goes out again, I'll be prepared and won’t end up being High Maintenance.

Again.



Wednesday, November 11, 2015

High Maintenance--Trying to be Low Maintenance.

I promised the rental agent I would not be high maintenance once I arrived–too bad I was unable to keep my promise.

During the online reservation process, I experienced technical difficulties. After two days volleying instant messages back and forth, and playing answering machine phone tag, we finally had a completed reservation. I’m sure the technical difficulties were user error. They almost always are when they pop up on my screen. And being under a time crunch didn’t help.

You see, last year when it was time to place requests for our 2015 annual leave, I was still grieving Daddy’s death.  I didn’t want to do anything or go anywhere. As a result, I never got around to placing my requests. In fact, the year was almost up, and I was in “use or lose” status:   use 2.5 weeks by the end of November, or I would lose the time. There are ways around it—the possibility of obtaining a waiver to allow you to take the time later in the year, or even to roll the time over to the next year, but the process is a hassle and your request can be denied.  I already give them way too much free time, so I started looking for places to go.

My plan was to find an out of the way cabin or beach house that had internet access. I would use part of the time to travel, see Mama and other relatives, and possibly attend a couple of the away games of my Alma Mater (that didn’t happen) with a week of rest, relaxation, and writing. My time off coincided with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) so maybe I would finish the stalled novel. Or at least work out some major plot points. In preparation, I had purchased a new lap top, and taken an online creative writing course. There really would be no excuses. I should at least get a large chunk of the writing done. What I needed was a quiet place, with few distractions. A Jacuzzi bathtub and an outdoor hot tub would be nice—as would a fire pit or fireplace—even though I know nothing about building fires.  My needs were modest. My wants less so.

I started looking at different options as diverse as a solar powered shack in the middle of 80 west Texas acres. That was definitely out of the way. But maybe a little too remote since it would just be Bandit (my 10-year old Chinese Crested), Moggy (my 1-year old Domestic Short Hair rescue kitty), and tech-challenged but highly imaginative yours truly.  Although, come to think of it, the remoteness combined with my overly active imagination could result in some highly suspenseful scenes if my Cozy-turned-straight Mystery-turned Romance-turned-Suspense-returned to Cozy, returns once again to Suspense. It would be a major step forward for me if I could just nail down the genre. I chickened out of total seclusion.

Then I found a renovated narrow gauge railcar in New Mexico—complete with a claw-foot soaker tub with a view. Soaker tubs have higher backs, and may also be called slipper tubs. The only thing wrong with this rental was the fact that the outdoor hot tub was not private. I guess that means it was not quite remote enough. I needed something in between the secluded solar shack and the relaxing railcar.

I revisited some of the more memorable places I’ve vacationed recently, cabins in Ruidoso and Oregon, condos on the beach in Navarre, a yurt in Hot Springs. Humm…maybe another visit to the yurt. I checked, and it was booked. So I looked at a couple of really cool places in Hot Springs. One of the places was a renovated garage. Another was a quaint attic apartment. Neither panned out. Then I decided to try eastern cabins and stumbled on to a site where each of their cabins were dog friendly, and six were also cat friendly. During this process I found out the reason many places are not cat-friendly, is because of the dander.

Because I am me, and love the planning process, I made charts comparing all the amenities, cost, and availability of the six cat-friendly cabins. Finally I settled on Laurel Knoll. I went to make the reservation, and hit major snags with the process. After two days of phone tags and volleys of instant messages, my last comment to the rental agent was my promise to not be high maintenance.

I stayed in a nearby town the night before check-in which was 3pm or later. No exceptions. It was a good thing because the night before, the weather turned rainy and cold and I realized my clogs were at home and the only shoes I had with me were the flip-flops I wore. As I took Bandit out to potty that night, I noticed a SAS (San Antonio Shoemakers) in the small strip mall next door. SAS is the only place I can find wide and double-wide shoes in stock.  The next morning I stopped in and bought the most expensive pair of shoes I have ever worn, and a pair of socks. I was ready to drive the final hour to the cabin.

The driving instructions to the cabin told me to turn off my GPS when I arrived in Ellijay, the small town near my cabin. I dutifully did as instructed, and ended up driving in circles. Either this was another case of user error, or the instructions were not clearly written. Since I never found the road they listed (I ended finding the second street off of Main Street in the historical downtown), I am thinking perhaps it was not entirely me that was at fault. Before I stumbled onto the second street in the directions, I almost broke down and called the office. But I had promised. I was not going to be high maintenance. The third time I made the same loop, I realized I would have to call before the office closed, and it was getting close. I decided to make one more attempt on the road I was on, and then I found the place the road dead ended into a cross street. The instructions said it might not have a sign. The cross-street didn’t have a sign (this was good), but it was also a divided highway (this was not good). However, as often happens when I take a scenic tour before I came to a turn-around, I found something interesting—a sign pointing to the next turn in my directions. Somehow, against all odds, reading directions that did not name streets correctly, I had lucked onto the correct street!

I continued on, looking for the Emergency Response Building that was a landmark mentioned in the driving instructions. I never saw an Emergency Response Building; however, I did find a Fire Station. Close enough. The next named street was actually my next turn. When I came to the street where the instructions cautioned to drive slowly, but not slower than 10 mph, and definitely don’t stop because the grade was too steep, I laughed—this was not bad!  It must have been paved since the instructions were written, or else what they called “gravel” in the Northern Mountains of Georgia, is really what we call pressed tar in Texas.

I shouldn’t have become cocky. The pressed tar road which was barely wide enough for one SUV, let alone two, had several blind curves—on the tops of rises. It was harrowing to say the least.

I found the steep gravel finally. It was actually a hairpin left-hand turn into the driveway to my cabin. I had arrived, and it was exactly as the video tour and photo slideshow had depicted it. Laurel Knoll was picture perfect. I nearly wept with relief.
Unfortunately, I did weep when I attempted to extract the house key from the lock-box. It had turned very cold and my frozen fingers were not cooperating. Blowing on my fingers, I warmed them up and finally, I retrieved the key and opened the door. I propped it open and unloaded the $140 of groceries I had purchased when I hit town, the small bag with pet food and dishes (even though the cabin furnished a dog bed, food and water dishes, and dog treats—my kind of “pet-friendly” abode), and my overnight bag.  Everything else could wait to be unloaded.  The food took several trips—I had been hungry when I shopped and bought way too much. I decided after I pottied Bandit, and set the pet feeding station and cat litter box up, my first order of business would be to make an early people dinner.

In preparation of my trip I had watched several recipes on you tube. For my first meal in the cabin I made a four cheese macaroni from scratch, green bean casserole (Mama never made this when I was growing up and in the last few years I have become obsessed with it), and  a garlic pull apart bread. Even though I haven’t cooked in years, it all came together at the same time. In record time. I was feeling pretty cocky. The cockiness didn’t last long.

The next morning, I took Bandit outside and I grabbed the remainder of my luggage from the car, only to realize when I started back inside, I had locked myself out of the cabin. I was wearing my robe and PJs. I had my car keys.  Luckily a second copy of the rental agency office telephone number was in my car. But my phone was locked inside the cabin. I looked around the front porch, tried all the windows and doors even though I knew they were all locked. Then I saw a second lockbox for the housekeeper. I tried my code, just in case. As expected, it didn’t work. My choices:  drive to the rental office in my robe, or bother a neighbor. Again, in my robe. I opted for the neighbor since I didn’t have a clue where the office was located.  When I sat in the SUV, I noticed my iPhone was still synced. I was going to avoid anyone seeing me in my robe. I dialed the number from the touch screen on my dash thanking Ford for overdoing the options (there are like seven different ways to perform every function involving the navigation, entertainment, and communication functions in my Escape). I was too quick to believe it would work. It didn’t.

So, off to the nearest neighbor with a car in the drive I went. I drove because the driveways are all treacherously steep. I pulled into one and a young girl was out on the porch in her PJs as well. She went for her Mother, who was also dressed in her PJs. It was still pretty early. I called the agency. The phone numbers didn’t work. But I knew they did, so I assumed they were vacationing as well and I dialed the number as a long distance number. Success!  I told the office girl what I had done and she gave me two codes to try on the Housekeepers Lockbox. I also reported several problems:  the cabin binder had been left on the screened porch by the last renters and it was soaked. I had found it that morning and had it drying on the hearth, but I could not find the instructions for the gas fireplace. Also, the microwave and kitchen light were not working. She told me to check the fuse box but was unsure where it might be. As for the fireplace, she told me it is activated by the thermostat. Easy Peasy.

The second housekeeping code worked. I found the fuse box (in the bedroom), but none of the fuses had been tripped. I checked the GFCI and that fixed the light above the sink and the microwave. I love two-fers.

I was feeling a little less high maintenance. Maybe medium maintenance. Until I tried to log on to the internet. Once again, the soggy cabin binder did not appear to have the internet instructions, so I called the office.  Again. They told me what they thought it might be and said to call again if it didn’t work. So much for my not being high maintenance.

And making breakfast took longer than dinner the night before. Since it didn’t come together as well as dinner did the night before, I decided to start the prep-work for lunch (homemade tomato soup and grilled cheese) and dinner (cauliflower bread, roasted potatoes, leftover mac and cheese, and homemade apple turnovers).  I don’t know what got into me, I never cook—yet here I was making all my meals from scratch. On my vacation.

I finally sat down and tried to log onto the internet after lunch. It only took three attempts before I got the right combination of characters.  All I needed to do now was make a copy of the email with my soon to be worked on novel, and transfer it to a word document.  Only, for some reason, I couldn’t make a copy. I’m so not tech savvy. I have no idea how to accomplish this task. So, rather than working on my novel, I’m watching the NCIS marathon. And cooking up all the remaining food.

So far the rest of my stay I have been the model, low-maintenance guest.

So far. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Private Blue Angels Air Show--Just Me and Daddy.

I visited Daddy's grave today and was treated to my very own private showing of the Blue Angels.  Actually, I think I read a sign as I entered the Base announcing the air show was in honor of the Blue Angeles Change of Command. For what ever reason, I had the cemetery to myself.

Daddy was Navy for a couple of years before he joined the Air Force and he loved to see the Blue Angels perform. As a result, every time they came to whatever base we were stationed at, we went to the Air Show to support them.

Today's show reminded me of all the good times we had on those family outings.  While there is nothing like the pomp and circumstance of military traditions, we only went to the viewing stands once. Most of the time we would find a quiet, out of the way place, throw down a blanket and picnic while we watched their daring acrobatic maneuvers.

Even though I stumbled on them today,  and I didn't plan a picnic, it was still a treat to share the Air Show with Daddy.   The icing on the cake came when the Cemetary sound system played a lone bugle song. I'm not sure of it's name but I'll have to find out.

The Blue Angles were thrilling Daddy. You would have enjoyed today's show.

Love ya!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Day One

It's vacation time again!  I love my job, but I also love my time off. This year I had no idea what I wanted to do. So I went to VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner) to see what was available in the way of pet friendly rentals  I wanted something secluded  with  no distractions so I can finally finish the novel I've been not writing for the past couple of years.

I looked at an off grid solar cabin in west Texas. Perhaps a little too secluded.

Then I looked at a renovated narrow gauge railcar in New Mexico. Very cool, but the hot tub was shared with the owners.

I remembered the Arkansas yurt I stayed in and looked to see what else was in the area. I found several possibilities, but nothing that spoke to me.

Same with the beach condos and private beach houses along the east coast.  Nothing seemed to be what I was looking for.

I looked to see if the Ruidoso cabin I rented two years ago was available. I loved that cabin. Nope.

I finally found several cabins in the northern mountains of Georgia. They were all dog-friendly, and six were also cat-friendly. I charted out the cabins that were available during the time I have off and finally made a decision. I'm going to have a blast!  The outside spaces are as cozy as the inside spaces. I can't wait until I go next week. 

So how is this Day One?  I have a little over two weeks off. I had planned to visit Mama in Panama City, and Alicia and Bill in NOLA this week; however, aging relatives in Houston will occupy some of that time, so I'm hanging close to Texas this first week.

Except yesterday. I drove to Monroe, Louisiana to paint one of my favorite Painting With a Twist paintings: Saint Peters Cathedral from Jackson Square. It's a very simple rendition, even simpler from my paint brush.

There is no La Quinta here, so I rented a Motel 6 room. Only I didn't have the room rented when I arrived. Nor did I have a seat reserved for the painting. I just got in the SUV with the FurKids in tow and drove here. That's my kind of vacation.

I came to the first Motel 6 and pulled in to see if they had a room.  It was not the one I had originally thought I would be staying at, which is probably a good thing because, online the original place said their pet policy was no animals to be left alone for any reason. That's unrealistic. What about going out to dinner. Or needing to grab something at a store. Or attend a painting class.

The place in West Monroe did not post any pet restrictions. And I didn't ask. I was running late and only had enough time to rent, set it up for the kids, wash-up, change and drive to PWAT.  Even still, I was about 10 minutes late. This was not the Motel 6 I was supposed to be at--I ended up in West Monroe.  It was the best mistake of the night. They were very nice and helpful.

I arrived at class and finally got situated. I'm kind of iffy about how the painting turned out, but the people I met were very nice.

After class, I went to get dinner. The first place, wouldn't even take my order. Maybe because it was late, I don't know.  I left in a huff. The second place, was just down-right rude. I left in a second huff.
Then I plugged in the address for the hotel into GPS and it took me to the hotel. The wrong hotel. The one I was originally going to stay at, but I had just pulled into the first one I saw.  I realized I had no clue what its address was, since I left everything except the key itself in the room. Monroe has at least 2 Motel 6's. Neither is the one I was in. Then I remembered I crossed the Mississippi River. I needed to return to West Monroe.

Once in West Monroe, I tried another place for dinner--and was accepted with open arms even though it was getting to be really late.  Just goes to show you how different two places can be:  with the exception of the PWAT folks, everyone in Monroe was snotty. But just across the river, in West Monroe, everyone I met was helpful and friendly.

Nice start to my vacation. I plan on exploring a little and driving back to Texas tonight. I still have stuff I need to do before next week.

Besides, isn't West Monroe where the Duck Dynasty folks have their headquarters?  Maybe I'll see Si.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Odd Elevator Noises


Slish-slug… Slish-slug… Slish-slug…

I heard odd noises as the elevator doors closed. They were slow ratcheting noises. I do not find odd elevator noises comforting—especially when the doors are closing at the same moment I realize neither my work cell phone nor my private iPhone are with me—they remained on my desk.

The hair on the back of my neck rose up a fraction as I looked around the empty box.  Attempting to reassure myself,  I told myself the odd noises didn’t mean the elevator was experiencing problems—but even if I did get trapped in the elevator, I was on my way to a late lunch,  so I had my book and the remaining half of my third DDP (Diet Dr Pepper) in hand. What more could I want? In fact, without a way for everyone to contact me, it might even be relaxing and peaceful.

Only, I was down to the last five pages of my book. Optimistically, I hoped five pages would be enough to last through lunch. Realistically, I knew they would not last through a protracted solitary confinement.  Of course, behind the remaining five pages, is the preview for another book....but I was loath to start the preview since I didn't have that particular book in my "To Read" stacks.

You didn't think libraries were the only ones with stacks of unread reading material lying around did you? Okay, so my stacks  are not exactly like the stacks at the library, but that's a minor point.

Anyway, the mental image of my stacks reminded me I need to grab two books from my stacks tonight—I also finished my bedtime book last night. 

Clink.

The elevator doors locked as it prepared for our descent into the basement.  The sound of finality reminded me,  in a day or so, I’ll also finish the audio books I checked out from the library, so I need to check out another half dozen or so.  It was odd I was finishing all my books at once—normally, the end on a staggered time line.  This group evidentially did not get the memo.

Groan. Sigh.  

The elevator sounded tired.  Isn’t this one of the newly replaced elevators? Or was this elevator merely reworked? I feared it was the latter since it was not a main elevator. However, the  marble floors gleamed and the softly muted wall color was relaxing. Perhaps this is the color I should paint my bedroom walls….If I ever get out of here. How long would it be before any one missed me?   My tummy tightened as I realized I could be sealed away from the rest of the world.  Forever.

My minds ear heard Mr. Rogers gently asking, "Can anyone say, 'Melodramatic' boys and girls?"

My nervous titer bounced off the elevator walls.  Squaring my shoulders, I pragmatically reminded myself of the phone in the elevator—a phone I had used before when the elevator actually had gone on strike for a short while. The elevator continued to mosey along at the speed of winter-time molasses.  Even with my bad knees and extra stiffness I thought  I could have made better time hobbling down the two flights of stairs. Maybe not. I guess it could be worse—the elevator could be out of control and plummeting to our final destination. 

Shudder. Clank. Whew.

The elevator rested.  Finally.  It took its time, then gathered it's courage, and ever so slowly it reverse ratcheted its doors open and released me. 

Laughing, I exited the elevator and breathed sigh of relief. I’m not sure, but I think my exhalation rivaled the whew of the elevator. Once again my over active imagination had gotten the best of me—kind of like my over active bladder—which was kicking in right about then.

That's not quite true.  My bladder’s not over active. It’s diuretic enhanced—and it was telling me it had been a while since I had been to the LGR.  Luckily there was one nearby. I darted into the stall, threw my DDP and book onto a shallow ledge, slid the door lock to the closed position, and once again sighed with relief.

Until I remembered the lock on this particular stall sometimes sticks.  In almost ten years, I can count the number of other people I’ve encountered using this bathroom at the same time as I have, on one hand.  I guess I tend to use remote elevators and bathrooms.

Oh well. I still have my half DDP and five pages to while away the time—and an added bonus—now I have a throne on which to sit.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Terror Twins Have Been Talking

What are the odds that I would have not one, but two homicidal Furbabies? Seriously. What. Are. The. Odds? 

The first time occurred a couple of years after Bandit took over my life. We were visiting Mama in Florida, while Mama and I went to town, I left Bandit in the bathroom. I made sure he was quite comfortable with his pillow and blankie, food, water, and a toy. When we returned, the toy, a floppy pink flamingo was in the water dish. I assumed it had escaped from The BaldOnes Death Shake (his favorite way to play), or he had tossed it in the air but couldn't catch it due to the confines of the small room. I'm not sure if he tosses the toy on purpose or if it simply escapes the Death Shake. For whatever reason, the flamingo was wet.
The second time occurred a few months later, while we were on another trip. I left to go to a BBQ place, and left Bandit in the bathroom with the same setup:  bedding, food and water, and a couple of toys. Upon my return I found a serial killer had struck. His M. O.:  death by drowning, with the intended victims being pink flamingos. At first I thought perhaps this was a freak accident. However, when I fished Pinky out of the water dish he came out in pieces. For real. Not only was Pinky drowned--his legs had been severed from his body.  This was no accident. Pinky got the Double D--Drowning and Dismemberment. 

In the ensuring years Bandits violence has escalated. He has progressed to the Tripple D Stage:   Drowning, Dismemberment, and Disembowlment. Returning to his carnage is never a pretty picture. 

The destruction of his toys is not the only way he conveys his displeasure with me. A time or two I have come home, to find shredded socks and drowned night clothes. He had to drag my night clothes through three rooms to his water dish.  He was not assigned the chore of doing the laundry, so I finally got it. He was angry with me. 

In an attempt to connect with the "why" of his outrageous behavior, I thought back to his pre-bathroom confinement.  He used to roam the hotel rooms free, just like he does at home. However, one night I returned from dinner out, to find he had peed on my pillow.  Since I knew he had pottied before I left, and I had only been gone a couple of hours, I deduced he was pissed off at me. Pun intended. 

From that time on, when left alone in a hotel, he is confined to the bathroom. 

Until we adopted Moggy. 

With the addition of Moggy, Bandit has a playmate. Or someone to hide under the covers from, depending on how well they are getting along at that particular time. 

Our new morning routine:  I take Bandit outside, while  Moggy eats his kitten food in peace. Once Bandit and I return, I feed Bandit, then I get ready before I leave for the day.  If the night before included a late night potty break for the BadBoy, I might get ready first, then take Bandit outside. However, the constant is Moggy being fed in peace while Bandit goes outside.

Thursday was such a night. After I lost at Bunko (yet again), I returned home and took care of some chores, then I took Bandit outside for a late night potty-break.  Friday morning I bathed and dressed for the day before I took Bandit outside.  When we returned,  I found my night gown in the water dish again. 

Moggy had motive, means, and opportunity. 

Bandit had an airtight alibi. 

However, I do not for one second believe Bandit is totally innocent. I'm pretty sure the TerrorTwins have been talking. 


Monday, October 12, 2015

Vampire Kitty Strikes Again!

Moggy tapped my hand tonight signalling he wanted to play. He was very gentle and his claws were mostly retracted. Mostly. They were out just enough to give a little tickle. I overlooked this because he's been pissed at me ever since the blood moon incident--except at dinner time--then he has been all up in my lap wanting to love on me. 

So tonight, when he politely tapped, we played. Until he invited himself into the recliner with me. Then he stayed still while I petted him. He usually does not like to be petted--unless I am rubbing under his chin. He LOVES to be rubbed and scratched under the chin. So I threw in some chin action, as I also stroked down the length of his back. His tail never twitched (which is his "tell" just before he attacks) so I petted him for quite a while.  

After he had received as much attention as he could stand he stayed close but moved to the arm of the recliner. After all, he might, or might not, want more attention. I picked up my book with the thought to continue reading. 

Meanwhile, Bandit had different plans for my attention and time--he decided HE  was missing out and he needed to get in on the petting action. He came up to the recliner looking like he would join us, but he was puzzled at how to jump over Moggy into my lap. Moggy seemed to know what he was thinking and swiped the air close to Bandit's head as a discouragement. Of course, I could be giving him more credit than he deserves because his claws did not appear to be retracted. He could have simply not had enough reach in his legs. 

I told Moggy "No" and placed my hand between them. Moggy took that as an invitation to take a nip at my hand. I said "NO, Moggy," which he must have misinterpreted to be an invitation to bite me, because he pounced on my hand, wrapping both paws around my wrist, and drew my hand to his mouth, and bit me pretty hard. Not hard enough to break the skin mind you, but definitely harder than allowable in playtime. He has over-sized incisors resembling dime store Vampire teeth. They are also sharp as razors. Luckily, even though he bit harder than he should during playtime, he showed a little restraint. I'm sure that's the only reason Vampire-Kitty did not draw blood. 

Although Moggy showed some restraint, he still bit harder than allowable; therefore, he became (softly) acquainted with my paperback book, which has a few vampire characters in it. 

How apropos