Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Suggestions?

 The bone bruise is quite possibly the most painful thing I've ever done to myself. Since the fall was a month ago now, I kept thinking at some point things were going to settle down. They are not. I did some reading and discovered that it can take 2-3 months for a bone bruise to heal.  That was sure discouraging. 

I don't think that I am accident prone, but I cannot believe the number of times that I've bumped my knee against something, or bumped something against my knee, or absent mindedly knelt to do something. The pain is just awful. I was loading groceries in the trunk of the car, and lightly bumped my knee against the bumper. The pain was instantaneous and I was leaning against the car with tears in my eyes. People looked at me curiously. Tim stood there waiting for me to get over it. The previous night, he'd come in to find me rolling on the kitchen floor after dropping something, and kneeling to reach under the table to pick it up. 

We braved the Black Friday crowd at the Walmart, and got a bottle of glucosamine chondroitin. I didn't know if it could help, but I didn't think it would do any harm. 

After four straight days of indigestion, I finally looked up the supplement, and one of the side effects is (you guessed it...) indigestion. 

If anyone has any suggestions, I am open to them. 



Monday, November 28, 2022

Clarification

 There are two comments that I specifically wanted to address: 

The first: Guns and hunting for an 11 year old seems to sum up the biggest difference between our country and yours! 

America has a gun problem. I will be the first to admit it. We surely do. I will also admit to having more guns locked away in this house than I am aware of. Tim is NOT, however, a member of the NRA. He never would be. We believe in common sense gun laws. We believe that assault weapons (my definition of that is a weapon which shoots multiple rounds per second.) Nobody needs a weapon like that. Likewise, high capacity magazines should be outlawed. To us, this is just common sense. 

To us, it is also common sense that not everyone in this country should have access to a weapon. We need to start from that premise and move forward. 

We don't believe that we should arm teachers to prevent school shootings. Not all teachers are good people and I would hate to think of weapons in their hands, in our schools, with our kids. The whole focus of preventing school shootings is keeping guns out of school, not bringing more in. 

Unfortunately, the NRA has a strong lobby and lots of money. They have a tight grip on the testicles of those who have the power to change the laws. 

(It is also common sense to us that there is no difference between lobbying and bribery but that is a whole different tangent. Pretty sure that I will piss off enough people with the tangent I'm on, let alone marching off on another.)

William understands that a gun is a tool, just like a knife or a chainsaw. He understands that you can do a great deal of damage with each of these things but used for the purpose they are intended for, they are important and useful tools. 

I also understand that there are dangerous mindsets out there. People who are harping on about guns and personal protection are fools. They are exaggerating the dangers to justify their weapon. Those are the people you see walking around with a weapon on their hip. The ones who ease back their coat in a casual way to make sure you know they are carrying. To me, they are simply masturbating in public, getting off on watching your reaction to realizing that they have a weapon. 

I can't abide people like that. 

I also can't abide people who talk about preparing for the civil war. 

I can't abide people who strut around saying, 'Nobody messes with me, because I'm carrying.' I always want to point out that nobody messes with me, either...and I don't carry. I've got a niece who likes to talk like that. She sounds like an idiot. 

Those are the twisted sorts of attitudes that turn gun ownership into such a problem. They are, without a doubt, American attitudes,  and it shows plainly in our daily news. 615 mass shootings in this country this year. So far. Even as I type this, I imagine that the number has become outdated. 

America does have a gun problem but I can assure you it has nothing to do with an 11 year old boy learning to hunt. 

The second comment that I specifically want to address is the idea that William might feel compelled to hunt to please his grandfather. That is not the case, and he has been assured over and over again that it is, ultimately,  his own choice. He thinks that he wants to hunt now. His grandfather and I have both told him (together and separately, many times over) that it will be ultimately his choice. We are both actively involved in making sure that DOESN'T happen. We both believe we know him well enough to recognize when he is struggling. 


Sunday, November 27, 2022

The No Grandma Zone.

 This morning I woke up to a message from my youngest daughter suggesting that Spook's name be changed, since 'Spook' is an old perjorative term for a person of color. Of course, I knew that but the 11 year old boy that named the cat did NOT know it. I felt no need to educate him in that regard. Spook is also an old term for a haunt and the cat is slipping around, sticking to the shadows and dark corners of our house like a little spook. Hence the name. 

It was brought up that even if William did not know this term, if he discussed it at school, other children might be aware of the connotations, especially if they are brought up in racist homes. Some teachers might wonder if William was being raised in a racist environment. 

In the end, there is no reason to create controversy for William. His life is difficult enough without any extra bullshit. So we discussed it and we bounced around names for a while, finally deciding on 'Houdini'. William is a fan of magic and Houdini is a apt name for a disappearing cat. 

William and Tim went out hunting today. William is a junior hunter, and this is his first year. Tim is a big fan of hunting and he really enjoyed teaching our two boys the craft. Having his hunting buddies grow up and move on was a sad transition for him. He was anxious that William give it a try and William seemed quite amenable to the idea. 

I keep trying to tell Tim that William might give it all a try and decide it's not for him and that he needs to be prepared for that possibility. He swears that he is, but he went out and bought William a deer rifle to use that will 'grow' with William. He was excited as could be to find a new blaze orange hunting jacket for William in the Goodwill. They've been practicing with the gun. William is a bit afraid of it. He wears ear plugs but he does not like the kick. He is fairly consistent hitting the target. (He's a dead eye with his bb gun and spends a lot of time target shooting the spinning woodchuck target during the summer.)

In any case, they went out today. Tim did not take his gun. He's been keeping a close eye on the deer and he knew where a spike and a four point were coming in nightly. He set up a blind a couple months ago. We have antler restrictions here, so they were not legal for Tim, but they were legal for a junior hunter like William.

They waited inside the blind and the deer came as is their habit. Tim and William sat side by side in the blind and grandpa began coaching him in a whisper about setting up the shot. In the end, William couldn't do it. He got nervous. He refused to make the shot. 

They sat side by side in the blind, one patient man, one nervous boy. The deer finally strolled away. 

Once they got home, I told Tim, 'You know, he just might not be cut out to be a hunter, and you need to let him decide on his own. If he doesn't want to go out..." At that point, William walked in on the discussion. He got upset, and made it perfectly clear that he does want to hunt, and he does want to go out tomorrow morning and he does want to get a deer. 

Grandpa was getting ready for bed tonight. He's had a chest cold for the past three days and is pretty tired, but he wants to take William out tomorrow. I began to quietly express my concerns. Patiently but firmly, he told me to leave it alone. First time hunters get buck fever sometimes. He assured me William would do better tomorrow. 

I left it alone, but I see it plainly. My grandson is becoming a man. This is between him and his grandpa. 


Predictable.

In the beginning there was Mangey. After a summer of treating him, I made the decision to bring him inside. Tim said, "I think he belongs over in that green house on the next block. That's where I see him sitting anyhow." 

Did I listen? No. No I did not. I got all manner of stuff for Mangey and we made the move indoors. William renamed him Ash and they played laser tag together. It was a delightful two days. Then Mangey decamped. 

William cried. 

I felt terrible about it. I'm a grandma after all. Three weeks later, a tenant caught the feral kitten. He was part of a litter. One kitten disappeared very early on. Another tenant took the first one Paula trapped. When she trapped this second one, she had no idea what she was going to do with him. She just wanted him off the street before something happened to him. 

Because William was so sad about losing Ash, I decided to take that kitten. I brought him home from the vet visit. I knew William would be happy. This is how we've come to have a traumatized cat who lives somewhere down the basement. I assured William that when he gets over being afraid, he will be more interesting.
 
Today, William was loading some books in my car for a trip to the Goodwill. I heard a delighted sound from the kitchen. I walked out, and there was Mangey/Ash. He was loving on William and William was loving him right back.

Greeeeeeeaaaaattt....After over a month, the prodigal cat came back, carefully timing his return with the adoption of another cat. 

Mangey raised holy hannah at my feet and got fed. He looked a bit disgruntled when his food went outside, but he followed along willingly enough. 

William and I went to the Goodwill and when we came home, Mangey was waiting and happy to see us once again. 

"But WHY can't he come in?" William pleaded. 

I explained all the reasons...that he seems to have another home, that we have taken in a kitten, and (mostly), that Grandpa will kill me if we wind up with two cats, all while trying to block a cat from scooting inside. 

William cried. "But we can't just not FEED him!!!!" 

I pointed out that he had gotten his handout, just as he always has, and that we will continue to feed him (and who ever else shows up at the door).

Darn cats.

One change: I went down to pull the sheets out of the dryer and Spook was curled up quietly in his cozy bed. For a change he did not run for the dark recesses of the old coal room when I stepped off the stairs but he did keep his eye on me. That's an improvement. He comes upstairs to eat every night when we are in bed and the house is dark.


Saturday, November 26, 2022

Ms. Moon's Post

 Ms. Moon posted her 'how did you meet' story, and it was sweet and it is funny, and she is right. The smallest choices can be life altering. What would have happened had she not gone to a dive bar the day after Thanksgiving? 

My story lacks the romance, I suppose. Tim is very shy. I was also coming out of a very bad marriage to a very bad man who was on his way to a very bad place. How did a woman who considered herself intelligent get tangled up in that? I didn't know, but what I did know was that it was never going to happen again. I had 3 children to rear and then I was going to be a genial old lady with a nice garden and a cat. 

Life goal, people. It was my life goal. 

So I'm working night shift at a factory, and Tim was a machinist/mechanic there. He was very quiet, very efficient, slipping around from machine to machine keeping everything running. Sometimes his friend would be with him.

Now John was a talker. He'd talk your leg off. Tim would just stand quietly by and listen. Laugh. Add the occasional word to the conversation. 

One day, my machine was having difficulty and Tim stood by to see what it was doing. During the course of the observation, he talked a little. More than I'd ever heard him talk, anyway. He'd heard that I'd just had a birthday. "Yes," I said, "It was one of those milestones. I just turned 40." He looked very surprised. His chin lifted off his hand and he said, "So did I. When's your birthday?" And I said, "May 21st. When's yours?" and he lauhged and said. "April 21st." He had the most pecuiliar expression on his face. "Do you go to church?" he asked. Intent on what I was doing, I answered, "Yes. Every Sunday. I'm an Episcopal Lay Minister." 

I turned around and the man had vanished. He was gone. I thought 'that really is the shyest man that I have ever met.' 

After that day though, Tim began to put himself forward. He coordinated his breaks with my breaks. He ate lunch when I ate lunch. He began to talk a bit more. He was a good friend at a time when I needed a good friend. And when I bought a bed for one of the kids, he had a truck that he offered up right away. He stayed for supper and liked it a lot. 

And so it began. 

I was very clear about the fact that I was never going to marry again. Not ever. 

It didn't stop him from asking. Multiple times. He took every turn down in stride. What I didn't know was that he'd been divorced for 8 long years. His shyness was a problem. He had a prayer. He wanted to meet a sensible woman his own age who went to church. He prayed that for months. That was what he wanted. 

He knew I was the answer to his prayer from that first day at my malfunctioning machine. 

I know he is lucky that I was unaware of all of this. 

He asked me many times. Finally, shortly before Christmas, he asked yet again. I studied him. He was a good man. A quiet person. I decided that I could trust my own judgement on this one, and so I said yes. His astonishment was plain to see. He asked me to repeat myself. I did. He got up and put on his boots and left. 

The kids got home from school and we had a quiet supper. We were getting ready for a Christmas party at my parents' house. "Where's Tim?" they asked. 

"I don't know," I answered.

"Isn't he going with us?" they wanted to know. 

"I don't know," I answered. I didn't believe that he was coming back, and the ironic thing was that he'd been really pestering about marriage for so long. I didn't know that all I had to do was to say 'yes', to put a halt to all of that. 

Shortly before we were to leave. Tim came walking back in the house. It was my turn to be astonished. "I didn't think you were coming back!" 

He said, "Why would you think that?" 

I said, "You didn't say anything. You just left." 

He said, "I've got a big family. I wanted to tell them that we were getting married. That's a lot of phone calls." 

The kids said, "Wait, you're getting married?"

I said, "My God, Tim. You need to learn to talk." 

I've been saying it for 25 years now. 

Late edit: Sorry that Ms. Moon's link was not initially included. 


Friday, November 25, 2022

The Holiday and That Cat

 The cat is named Spook. He haunts the basement, much to my chagrin. You know that he's there when you go down to throw in a load of laundry. There is the sound of a cat scooting to a dark corner. Disappointing, but we've moved his litter pan down there and his nice cozy bed. He has to come to the landing at the top of the stairs to eat though. His food and and water bowls are at the top of the stairs. We fill the dry cat food bowl each morning. We give him fresh water.  The wet food dish gets food in it twice a day, once in the morning, once at supper time. He is called when the bowls are filled, but he does not 'here kitty, kitty'. 

Thanksgiving was a nice celebration. My niece firmly told us that we were going around the room to say what we were grateful for: for retirement, for a new grand daughter, for the fact that the matriarch has made it through a difficult year to be with us still. The prodigal nephew said, "I'm grateful for my new family, which has brought me back to my old family. 

I said that if that recitation of blessings was going to become a tradition, we needed to make Thanksgiving a no-mascara zone. 

As a family, our gratitudes far outweighed our challenges. I hope it was so for you as well.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving.

 Well, after the strange day of the broken leg that wasn't, Tim and I dashed to the store to get sweet potatoes and pecans for the sweet potato souffle, and to pick up a quick throw together supper. Tim picked William up from school. 

Today, William is baking 4 loaves of bread, two apple, two pumpkin. We will whip up some cinnamon butter to take along. That is his contribution to Thanksgiving. I will put together a sweet potato casserole, a bowl of cranberry orange sauce. and one stuffed 12 pound turkey. Someone else is bringing a 23 lb turkey. My sister is bringing a ham. There is a family chat group that keeps my phone pinging as someone else offers up yet another contribution to the meal. Nobody will go away hungry. 

We will be sitting down to have Thanksgiving dinner with my sister's family once again. Fifty are coming.  This is the first year that the party is so large that it has outgrown anyone's house. We will be having it in their church recreation hall. 

It is a busy couple of days coming up. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates it. If you don't, I hope you feel it. 

Cat update: I left his door open to give him freedom to explore. Haven't seen him for two days. I know he's around here someplace. He comes back to eat and use his litter pan. It's like having a furry little ghost. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Unexpected news.

 I have a bad knee. I've gotten used to having a bad knee. I have had it for many years now. I had surgery on that knee at least 4 years ago. It solved absolutely nothing, despite the assurances that it would solve absolutely everything. I just made up my mind that it is something that I have to deal with. "This is my life now. I have a bad knee."

When I look around at others, I see people with far greater challenges. I also have a high threshold of pain so it seemed like a manageable, minimal 'handicap'. As long as I was careful about how I set my foot down, the problem was not a big deal. 

Last month, Tim and I were unloading wood and we heard a child screaming bloody murder. It just went on and on. It was a school day. We kept unloading and the screaming kept on and finally Tim said, "We need to take a little walk and make sure that no one needs help."

So we set off down the sidewalk trying to pin point the noise when it happened. My left foot teetered off the edge of the side walk and left my right leg in charge. My right knee said, "Aw hell no, man," and gave way. I went down knee first on the sidewalk. 

It hurt something awful. I thought that I would throw up, it hurt so bad. Tim said, "Your problem is you don't pick up your feet." I didn't say anything at all. I got up and hobbled back to the house to get myself back in order. It was embarrassing, the truth be told. A neighbor was out walking her dog. Probably thinks I am a day drinker. 

Anyway. 

So for the past few weeks, I've been, once again, babying that bad knee. I can't kneel, which is a real pain when one has taken in a feral kitten who hides every single chance he gets. Sometimes it's okay. Other times it's awful. Tim rolled over in bed one night and bumped his knee against my knee and I thought that I would die. 

(Spoiler alert: I didn't)

It just didn't seem to be getting better and so I made an appointment to see my family doctor. Yesterday, I hobbled in to explain the situation.  She chided me for waiting three weeks, but she knows me. She pressed around until she found the place that hurt. 

"Yep," I gasped "that's it."

She continued to press around, trying to gauge the scope of the problem. 

"You've got it," I said. 

She made hmmmm, sounds and looked at me strangely, and said, "Right here?" 

I said, "Yes, that's it, Lindsey, and it would be just super if you could stop now." 

She laughed. I sort of chuckled.  

She explained that where I was having the pain didn't involve the knee at all. She sent me straight over to X-ray.  I texted Tim and drove over. I caught them at a slow time, so I was in and out quickly. 

The x-ray tech doesn't give anything away, but she did say, "When do you see Lindsey again?" I told her that I didn't have a follow up, that Lindsey would call me when she got the results of the x-ray and we would take it from there. "Good," she said.

I was starting to get suspicious.

This morning, I got the expected call while I was making my coffee. I have a leg fracture. 

Late edit: not broken. Orthopedic doctor not even sure what the Dr. who read the x-ray was seeing. I am pretty sturdy stuff but stumping around on a broken leg was quite a bit of a stretch even for me.

Monday, November 21, 2022

A different world.

 There was a flurry of activity across the street over the weekend. You might remember me talking about the situation back in July. It was obvious that they were struggling, but it was hard to figure the situation out. There was a man who came with a loud truck. There was a woman who once sat in front of the place blowing the horn for like a half hour before someone got pissed and walked out and told her to knock it off. (Not from my house). Her excuse was that her boyfriend worked nights and was sleeping in the apartment. There was a skinny woman (a different one) who seemed to be living there with the three kids. Although there was often a vehicle there, the woman also did her grocery shopping, pushing the cart five blocks home, and then wheeling it across the street to dump it in our yard when she was done. 

Just chaos, really. It seemed like chaos. 

William out grew his bike. It was a nice bike, but we found a very nice bike second hand, and got it for him. Tim and I discussed it and the next time that I saw the oldest boy, I walked across the street. "Hey, I said, "my grandson has a bike that he's out grown and if you'd like it..."

His eyes got wide. "I want it!"

I said, "Well, run upstairs and ask your mom..."

"I want that bike." He was so eager for it, I wasn't going to say another word. "Come on over and get it then," and headed across the street. He ran after me after cautioning the two younger boys not to leave the sidewalk. They stood there obediently. When I wheeled the bike out, he was thrilled, but as befitting a near teenager, he played it cool. He jumped on it, and rode off down the driveway. There were many summer nights that I saw him out biking with a group of boys. It always made me smile. It also always made me smile that he recognized our car and gave me a solemn 'cool guy' wave whenever he saw it. When I walk over to meet William after school, I always see him and he says, "Whaddup?" Very cool, you know. Very cool.

And now there was a flurry of activity across the street, furniture hauled down the steps, and loaded on a truck, and gone. just gone. 

It is the week before Thanksgiving, and I think about those kids. I wonder where they are. I hope they have a good holiday. I'm glad that the bike went with them. 


And remember the yellow wagon? Tim saw her walking with her little boy. It was cold, in the teens. He stopped the car and offered them a ride, even though he had no car seat.

They climbed in. They were headed to the Family Dollar. She was going to buy a treat for the little boy while they waited for a bus to take them to the Walmart to do some Christmas shopping. Tim drove them there. That's where he was headed anyway, to pick up his weekly supply of Pepsi. 

They all walked in the store together. Tim got what he came for as the little boy kept a close eye on him. When he saw Tim headed to the door with his purchases, he called out, "Wait, wait! Wait for us! Don't go." 

It broke my heart a little to think of it, a little boy not even three. He's hiking along in the cold with his mother. Too young really to know what is going on, but old enough to know that there was a man with a warm car who was kind to him. 


Could the adults in these stories being doing better for themselves? Are they 'working the system'? Probably, but I don't know. I don't know the back stories. But what I see is the faces of the children. Not a one of them has a choice in the matter. 

I'm not going to begrudge them. 

Sunday, November 20, 2022

The Shameful Secret

 I heard that a friend was dealing with breast cancer, and for the second time. Although I made the appropriate shocked expression and the correct 'what can we do?' noises, what was going on in the inside was completely different.  I'm ashamed to admit that. 

I asked my questions, delicately, trying not to seem intrusive. "It's been quite a while since her first diagnosis..." and the answer came. "2003, I think..." 

And my mind  clicked like a calculator, Nearly 20 years. 6 years before me.

"She's guite positive and upbeat, the strongest woman I know," I was told. 

"Was it caught early?" This last question asked with bated breath, because, because, because, I am an absolute ASS about making those appointments, about keeping up with them, my illogical mind assuring me that if I just don't think about it, it won't happen again. 

"Is there anything she needs? Anything that we can do?" I really am making all the appropriate sounds. 

Inside, I was taut and watchful, once again. 

My exterior is not mirroring my true feelings. Role playing is familiar to me. I've done it all my life. When cancer came along, it was quite a stutter step in my life. Never saw that curve ball coming, but I chose the role of an optimisist, and I played it well, for everyone in my life. On the last day of radiation, they march you to a bell that you ring. Everyone cheers. Everyone claps. Treatment is finished. Hurrah. 

My face was happy that day in keeping with my chosen role, but inside, what I felt was...well...I don't know how to describe it. I didn't feel like it was over. "Your cancer, unfortunately, is a type of cancer that has a tendency to break off and travel in the bloodstream," I had been told when I asked about recurrence. I took that knowledge and buried it deep because I didn't know what else to do with it. 

As the years passed (unbelievably 14 years of them), I thought about cancer less and less, except,..today, I am thinking about my friend. Selfishly, I am also thinking about myself. 

No one knows. Don't rat me out. 


Saturday, November 19, 2022

Cat Update

I thought that I remembered everything for the new cat. I realized when I got up this morning that I'd forgotten one thing. A litter scoop. Believe it or not, I went to four stores and they were all sold out. Craziest thing I ever heard. 

We resorted to caging the cat. Left to his own devices, he'd have hidden away forever. Putting him in a dog kennel, with a box 'cave' to hide in, he remained in his cave for all daylight hours, slipping out to eat and drink and use his litter box after the lights went out and the house got quiet. 

I've been fretting about it. The cat smells bad. He's a feral. He has had surgery. 
He comforted himself at the vet clinic by sleeping in his litter box. 

For two days. 

I knew that he needed a bath, but I hated to traumatize him even more. 
Today, I just couldn't stand it. 

So he got a bath. 

Surprisingly he was quiet. No blood was shed. No fight was waged. He simply laid there limply while I washed him in the bathroom sink, gave him a leisurely soaping and then rinsed him off. William and I wrapped him up in an old towel and dried him as best we could. We wrapped him in a soft blanket and gave him some cuddle time on the couch. He kept his face hidden, but he did purr. 

Tonight, we all watched a movie. 

I took the cat from the kennel and cuddled him on the couch for the entire movie. 

This time, he did not hide his face in his blanket. 

He was taking it all in. 



Finally, he relaxed. 


When I put him back in the kennel, he didn't run back into his cave. 

He stretched and then he wandered over to check out his cat dish. 

We are supposed to be getting lake effect snow tonight. It should begin shortly. We are supposed to be getting 5-10 inches over night. That's nothing, really. My nephew is stationed at Ft Drum, New York. Read about it here

Late Edit: 

Red, I noticed that you had a Ivan Doig book on your book list. I enjoy him as well. I came across one of his books that I'd never read. The Sea Runners. It was a dandy. Last night I couldn't put it down. I finished it. It was a very good read. I enjoyed it a lot and I think that you would as well, since it takes place in a part of the world that you are acquainted with. 

Friday, November 18, 2022

Owning it.

 I talked to my oldest grand daughter on the phone today. She's four. She had a new haircut, and she was excited about that. I asked her about school and she began to relate a story about a little boy that she didn't like so much because he wouldn't stop chasing her at recess, and "she had to run faster than she wanted to", and he did it for all the recess.

I said, "You know what though? I wouldn't run. I would not run and I would tell him to quit chasing me."

Her mom said, "Tell grandma what you did." 

And all by herself, she had figured it out. If a four year old girl does not run, four year old boys don't waste time chasing them. 

"Good job!" I said. "Hooray for you!"

She's quite a confident little pipper pot. 

Thursday, November 17, 2022

*Surprise!*

In my kitchen, right now, there is one tiny feral kitten who has just been retrieved from the vet. 


However, he's not. 

Two little eyes glint from under the hoosier cabinet. 

This will take a while, I think. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Too Hot to Handle

Tim and I were grocery shopping and we saw this: 


We like a little spice. I'm actually more adventurous that way than Tim is, always topping my hamburger with a split jalapeno, but Tim likes a little jolt of heat as well. 

We picked up a couple containers of this "medium hot" vegetable broth, and the next day, I got the container of collected leftover vegetables from the freezer, I gathered a carrot, onion, celery, a few mushrooms from the fridge and did some chopping. I added a handful of lentils.

It was snowing outside, and we were both looking forward to our nice bowl of soup with a thick slice of bread for dipping. 

The soup was so spicy that neither of us could get past the first mouth full. 
"Medium hot"? 
It was more like threshold of pain hot. 

I ended up wasting that entire crock pot of soup.

********

Jaycee wrote about a walk she and her husband took. Suddenly emergency vehicles were rushing into a side street. Her husband wanted to 'have a nosy'. She did not. 

I have a husband who also likes to have a nosy. If there is something going on in the neighborhood, he wants to see what it is. Then, there is me, the great oblivious one. One night, my husband came in the driveway and stormed into the house in great temper. Our front yard was filled with police. There were police officers in the bushes at the side of the house. They tried to tell him he couldn't pull the car into the driveway, 
to which he responded furiously "I LIVE HERE!" 
He pulled in our driveway and stormed into the house angrily.
. "What the hell is going on?" he wanted to know. 

Me: (rousing from a book) "Really? Are you joking?" 

We had a brief discussion re: 'he was the one who had been outside, why hadn't he asked before coming inside' to which he responded 'how can something like that have been happening outside our very door and you don't even notice????' 

*ahem* 'Some people just mind their own business, Tim!' 
(Which sounds far more reasonable than 'the book is really good, though, Tim...')

I went to the side door and opened it. Sure enough. I whispered to the nice officer in the bushes, "Um...can I ask what is going on?" and he whispered back that the house next door was being watched. He asked me if I knew the tenant. "No," I whispered. 

The shameful admission: 
This scenario has played out twice in the 12 years we have lived in this house. 

Anyways, I read Jaycee's post, and giggled because I recognized the people in that story. 

So I was putting together a new supper in the crock pot (after pitching the too hot soup) and I was referring to a recipe on my phone. There was a ding and I checked the notification. Someone asked what was going on. There was a slew of firetrucks and emergency vehicles between the 400 and 500 block (where I live). "Huh," I thought. "Wonder what that is all about?" 




There was a gas leak, turns out. 

Lucky I have facebook. 

 

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

The Pence Interview

 Like many people, I stayed up to watch Mike Pence's interview with David Muir last night. His new book comes out today. "So Help Me God". ABC has been running teasers about this interview for some time now. 

In the end, this is what I think: Our government is made up of checks and balances. It was designed that way to prevent the fate of our nation from ever being placed in the hands of one person. 

During the ignoble reign of Donald Trump, we saw people of power abandon their vow to serve our nation and begin to aid and abet a bombastic, unintelligent blowhard of a man with very dangerous ideals that ran counter to the constitution. Everything that he did was to benefit himself. Because he was in power, the people who should have been protecting us abdicated on their responsibilities to a nation and swore allegience to him instead.

Mike Pence spent a lot of time really trying to highlight the courage it took to stand up to Donald Trump and his enablers on January 6th. I do not mean to minimize that in any way. 

BUT I watched his foot jiggle nonstop during the interview and I listened to him dodge the really hard questions, questions about his knowledge (in early December) that a 'protest' was happening on January 6th. He said that he felt it could be a good thing, something to highlight the 'irregularities'. 

Except that, by his own admission, by that point, he felt that the president had lost the election. He claimed that he told the president this "many times". On January 4th, Pence told a cheering crowd that the nation's concern about those 'irregularities' would be brought to the floor to challenge the ratification. 

Two days before the riot. TWO DAYS.  

Think of it. Even as he's claiming that he told the president over and over again that he'd lost the election, he's still standing before a radical fringe group and, in essence, validating their rhetoric. Fanning the flames, some might say. 

Yet, he did, as he reminded us over and over again, he DID stand firm on January 6th. He pointed out that "it takes more courage to uphold the law, rather than break it". 

^^^truth^^^

Nearing the end of his interview, he was asked about the classified documents. He got a little impatient then. He felt that there were better ways to handle that than to raid the house of a former president, but he offered no suggestions on any of those better ways. 

The documents had been requested, over and over again. (Clickable link, btw)

At the end of the interview, Tim shut off the television and we headed for bed. Yes. Pence was very courageous on January 6th and we can all thank our lucky stars that he was. However he showed a singular lack of courage in the preceding four years. Now, nearly 3 years later, he shows it still. 

He teased at a possible run for election in 2024. He will not get the vote of the far right radicals who believe that on January 6th, they were screwed by Mike Pence. He will also not get the vote of an equal number who believe that we were screwed by Mike Pence well before January 6th.

Hindsight is 20/20, he says as his foot jiggles. He is trying to insure that no shit splatters his expensive shoes. 

I will not buy his book.

Monday, November 14, 2022

The Kitchen Witch

Sunday is a big day at our house. The Steelers play. I don't pay much attention to that, but it is my writing day, to get my letters out for the week. It is also laundry day, My second load is in even as we speak. It is snowing outside, so it is a good day to putter around the house. 

"What do you want for dinner?" I asked Tim this morning as I drank my morning coffee. He paused and said, "Pizza." 

I went down a mental checklist and said, "We can do that. Can you stop by the store on the way home from church and pick up a bag of mozzarella cheese? " (He passes the store). 

He fidgeted a little. "I was just teasing you. You don't have to make a pizza from scratch."

"It's not hard. I will make up the pizza dough. We already have sauce, peppers, onions, mushrooms, pepperoni, sausage. I don't have enough mozzarella, but we have everything else."

The look, people! He looked at me like I was a magician pulling a rabbit out of my hat. 



Sunday, November 13, 2022

The Charitable Liar

 Now that the relentless political phone calls are over, we can get back to the fundraising calls. Tim always listens politely. I simply cut to the chase. I tell them that we never make a phone donation, but that they are certainly welcome to send us material. Once we do a bit of sleuthing on line, we can usually decide if this is something we want to donate to. 

Anyway, I don't generally answer a phone call from a number I don't recognize. I let the machine get it, but Tim takes the calls, and as I said, he listens politely. 

He came out of the office holding the phone with a puzzled look on his face. A breast cancer charity called to thank him for last year's monthly donation and ask if he'd like to continue his donation this year. 

"Did we give money to *******?" he asked, with a confused look on his face. 

No. We did not. 

Interesting way to fundraise, 

Saturday, November 12, 2022

The Thing About Housework

 I retired at the end of January, so it's been about 10 months now. 

Let's knock off about 2 months while I was getting ready to head off to visit with my daughter and son-in-law for a month, but when I got back and got recovered from jet lag, I began taking a look around me. 


When I was working full time, I will admit that housework was rather slapdash. Just keeping up with the laundry and the cooking and keeping the kitchen cleaned up was about all I could hope for. It was complicated by the fact that we do have a much larger house than we actually need. If your house is huge, eventually you accumulate enough stuff to fill it. (Unlike, say, bras)

For the last 8 months, I've been focusing on putting my house in order. I keep a laundry basket in the front hall and every week as I clean, I come across stuff and wonder what the heck I'm holding on to it for. I drop it in the laundry basket and every week, like magic, I haul a couple bags of stuff to the thrift store, or drop some books off at one of the free libraries. 

I also get things done like cleaning out cupboards, or cleaning under, behind, or on top of things. Window sills cleaned, glass wiped (a lot of french doors in this house), Woodwork cleaned and polished (a lot of woodwork in this house too), The mud room got sorted. Rugs get shampooed. Little stuff that I just never quite got to on a regular basis before started getting done. 

It's a good feeling. Saying this out loud makes me feel like some throw back to the 1950s housewife 



After 8 months of all of this, last week....

....Tim noticed. 

Friday, November 11, 2022

In Breaking News...


 In breaking news: the cat came back. I'm not sure why. He was not interested in food. Just stopped in to say 'hey', I suppose. I haven't seen him since Saturday morning, so if he's not hungry, he certainly has a home some place else. He came into the kitchen while I bagged up some pumpkin puree for the freezer. He rubbed against my legs and meowed a little and then went back out the door. I'm not sure what to do with him now. Continue treating his mange (which does look better), I suppose. 

He's decamped once again. 

William is coming after school. He is excited that his books have arrived in the mail. His mother called. He's been taking bagpipe lessons and needs to practice every night for a half hour. It's been a while since we've had a musician in the house. 

It is supposed to snow on Saturday, with light accumulations possible. I will not complain...I've read Red's post


Thursday, November 10, 2022

Exceeded Expectations


I walked over to vote at the courthouse yesterday morning. I really had no hope of making a difference in my county, but I still do it. It seemed busier than usual, which struck me as a good sign. I cast my votes, and walked back home. I'm just so heartily sick of the predictions. I wish the media would stick to broadcasting the news rather than trying to forecast it.  I decided to avoid television, social media and the online reports. 

I spent the day cleaning the bedroom. Moving the bed to watch the eclipse had revealed a large herd of dust bunnies quietly breeding under it. (Really, they could have killed us in our sleep).  I set off to do battle with them and am pleased to say that in the end, victory was mine. I spent the rest of the day in the kitchen making beef stroganoff for supper. We were having company.

We watched Jeopardy and when that was over, all stations took up the election reports. I went to bed. I just couldn't bear to listen to any of it.


I slept soundly, secure in the knowledge I was safe from dust bunnies. 


The world looked much brighter today. 
We have a new governor. By 9:30 we had a new senator. 
Oz conceded and went back to New Jersey. 

Tim and I were very happy.

I said, "It just feels like we stepped back from a precipice." 

Tim said, "I know it. This could have been very bad." 



I've been experimenting with my bread recipe. I make a nice rustic wheat bread, good and dense, perfect for soups, but I've been unhappy with my soft white bread recipes. I studied more recipes online, and picked one, and lo...what I pulled out of the oven looked very promising. Tim walked in the door and I cut him a piece. "Mmmmm..this is perfect!" he said, 

I also found my orange mug. Somebody (who shall remain nameless) had been cleaning and did a bit of rearranging. I had plunked it down on a side table. It was behind a picture on a table that it is never set on. 

Some days go just a bit better than you expected, don't they?

    

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Unsolved Mysteries.

Last night, William set his phone alarm for 4 am. He was very anxious to see the lunar eclipse. I told him to wake me up because I wanted to see it too. Tim decided that he was going to join in as well. 

When William came in to wake us up, we were already awake and delighted to see that the best place to view it from was the french doors in our bedroom. We raised the blinds, pulled back the curtains, pushed our bed over in front of the doors and climbed right back into bed to watch the show. William was stretched out at the bottom of the bed with his fuzzy blanket and a pillow, 

I had to wake William up 3 or 4 times to see the changes. He couldn't keep his eyes open. He mumbled, "That's neat..." and buried his face in his pillow once again. I woke him one more time when the moon was orange and glowing and then Tim herded him back to bed. 

I wasn't even sure if he'd remember anything about it this morning, but he did.
 


It has been a strange couple of days here. 

When William came over Friday night, he was so pleased about Mangey. He named him 'Ash' and spent an evening playing with him. Like any cat, Ash is very intrigued by the 'red dot' and like any kid, William enjoys flashing the laser around and watching the cat pounce. Hours of entertainment. He fed the cat and took pictures of him to send to people. The next morning he got up and fed the cat breakfast. 

Haven't seen that cat since. 

Where he's gone is a mystery, but cats are mysterious creatures. 

Another mystery. I was cleaning the bathroom and going through stuff, cleaning out drawers, throwing old mascaras away, organizing the fingernail clippers back in their box, gathering all the tweezers I never can find back together to get misplaced all over again. Anways, I opened a drawer and found a black hairdryer. 

I looked at my black hairdryer hanging on the wall and I looked at the one in my hand. I had a hairdryer burn out on me over the summer. I gingerly plugged this one in. Nope it worked just fine. Did I buy another and forget? Did someone leave it behind? We don't get a lot of overnight guests, really. I have a hair dryer at camp...did I accidently bring it home? (Answer to that: Nope. It is still there.)

I have no idea. Another mystery.

The final mystery really irks me. I have a coffee mug. It is big and it is orange and it fits my hand just perfectly. Ticks all the boxes. I drink one cup of coffee (albeit a big one) a day and this is my go-to mug. Now my morning rut seldom varies. I get up, take a detour to the bathroom to brush my teeth, etc. and then I head to the kitchen for my coffee maker and brew my morning cappuccino. Once that cup is made, I head for the office and the computer to see what everyone is up to. If Tim is on the computer, I sit at the kitchen table with my tablet. Sometimes, I sip my coffee while getting ready for my day, so it might be on the bathroom counter. Occasionally it winds up sitting on the newel post because I was walking from one room to another and got distracted by something and never got back to it. But every day, I gather it up and it gets washed. It goes in the dish drainer. Sometimes it even makes it from the drainer back into the cupboard. (I know, I know. Sometimes I even amaze myself,)

But I got up and reached for my orange cup. It was not in the cupboard. No surprise. I began putting away the dishes in the dish drainer. The cup was not there. I went to the office. I looked at the steamer trunk that serves as an endtable in our livingroom. I looked on the bathroom counter. Not there. 

Long story short, I've looked everywhere .obviously not everywhere or I'd have found the blasted thing, but I looked a LOT, I'm telling you. I was working with my plants...did I set it down for a minute? Tim and I had moved a cedar chest that needed to be repacked. Did I take it upstairs? Laundry? Surely I wouldn't have taken my cup to the basement because I would have been carrying the clothes down, but I looked anyway. (My logic was right.)  William and I had given the mudroom a good cleaning, but it was not out here either. 

I still have not found my orange mug, and that is the unsolved mystery that bugs me most of all, mostly because my mind cannot deal with that kind of nonsense before I've had my morning coffee. But after diligent investigation, I believe that the cat absconded with my mug. I still can't explain the hairdryer. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Baggage

 I know someone, an ordinary sort of woman, just like me, except for one thing: she is very much into designer clothing, jewelry, that sort of thing. I am not saying that this is a bad thing. It's her thing. It is just not a lifestyle that I understand. 

I know that she is regularly on the local on line market place selling her boots and shoes. They seem like nice things, but I have a pair of boots. I have enough shoes. It's just not something I pay attention to, but she's always got something for sale. She alway has them in their boxes. She advertises them as slightly worn, and that look (to my untrained eye) as if they've never been worn at all. 

Over the weekend, she posted yet again. This time,  she's getting rid of 33 of her purses, all designer, Coach, Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton, Dooney and Bourke...more names that I can't remember or don't recognize and I'm too lazy to go back and look at her post. 

But....33 purses! And that's what she's getting rid of...I wonder how many she's keeping? Can you imagine the size of her closet??!

I don't understand that, the need to acquire let alone acquiring to an extreme like that, only to shed the excess and begin the process of acquisition all over again. 

Question: 


Answer: 

It says that I like a sturdy bag that will hold up a long long time

 because I'm going to carry the darn thing until it falls apart. 


Monday, November 7, 2022

Explain it to me like I'm in kindergarten.

"Remember, remember the 5th of November, 

Gunpowder, treason and plot

We see no reason 

Why gunpowder treason 

Should ever be forgot.  

Explain Guy Fawkes day to me, please. My poor daughter tried. 

I understand that he was part of a group who tried to blow up parliament and assassinate King James. I understand that he was not successful. He was hanged, and then drawn and quartered. His pieces and parts were then tossed into the Thames, the resting place of many convicted of high treason. 

So, why then is Guy Fawkes immortalized? He wasn't even the leader. Why isn't it Robert Catesby day, the head of the plot? Why is his name all blended into other easily forgotten names in history, while the unfortunate Guy Fawkes is celebrated forever?  The first Guy Fawkes day was mandated the year after the scheme failed by the British government. I could see if they celebrated it as a triumphant moment in British history, but this doesn't seem to be the focus. 

Perhaps it is because we're coming up on the third anniversary of our own 'treasonous plot' that it is making it harder for me to understand. 






I'm trying to imagine a day of fireworks and bonfires and celebrations on January 6th. 






I have already forgotten this fine fellow's name,

but what if children made effigies of him and marched around collecting pennies?



What if there was a poem: 

Remember, remember January sixth. 

A day of loud and ignorant hicks. 

I see no reason 

why we'd remember such treason, 

The thought of it makes me quite sick. 



I never gave Guy Fawkes much thought before, but hearing about it from my daughter the first time, and then reading about it, I didn't understand. All this time later, I still don't understand what makes this a celebration. 

My daughter tried to explain it to me. "It's like us celebrating the Fourth of July."

My internal voice: 'But no. No it's not. We celebrate in the US because we won. Britain sees it as treason. It is not celebrated there." 

But I kept silent because I know that I was making her impatient. Afterwards, I wandered off to read some more on the topic. For all the reading, I still don't understand exactly what is being celebrated. 

Understand that I am not complaining or ridiculing or anthing like that. 
No disrespect is intended.
To be honest, it looks like quite a celebration, good family fun.
 
I'm just so curious about how this all came to be. 


Explain it to me. 
Explain it to me like I'm in kindergarten. 

Sunday, November 6, 2022

The Book Fair

 I walked over to meet William after school Friday. We walked home and he was plenty excited to work for his grandfather. There was a book that he wanted from the book fair. 

We had a couple trees taken down at a rental, and Tim has been cutting the huge logs up to firewood length. Once that was done, he hauled the log splitter down and went to work. William cheerfully ran down to help him. Tim said later, 'Boy, he was ambitious today. He was rolling those logs up the bank right to me at the splitter." 

I was getting supper together and I smiled. "The book fair," I said. There's a book that he's excited to get his hands on." Tim paid him $5 because it really was a big job, and William saved his old back from having to roll the logs up hill. I said, "Well, he should have $10 from last week, so there's his $15. Later that night, we worked together raking three yards, and Tim paid him another $5 bill. He worked cheerfully, and he worked hard, and we really feel like a job well done deserves a reward.

Tonight, getting ready for bed, William asked if Grandpa had any more work he could do. 

"I don't know," I said. "You'll have to ask him. 

William stood at the door watching me brush my teeth with a worried expression on his face. 

"You've got the money for your book, right?" I asked after I spit. 

It turned out he didn't. He had dropped his lunch, and paid for $1 for a slice of pizza. He had also bought a pen that wrote in invisible ink, which appeared magically under UV light, Luckily, the other end of the pen provided the light. That had set him back $3.18 including tax. He said, "I have $5 and change." 

"You have $5.82," I said. "and you earned $10 today." 

"Yes. I have the money for my book, but I don't have the money for the bank. You told me that I always have to put money in the bank when I get paid."

"Right," I said, "So how are you going to solve this problem?" 

"Maybe Grandpa needs my help for something else." 

"Maybe. You can ask him tomorrow." (Grandpa was already in bed.)

This was not good enough for William who wants his assurances right this very ding-danged minute. 

"I could ask my mom to borrow some money."

"That's a poor habit to get into, really, William. What you're doing is spending money before you get it. You hear those advertisements for pay-day loans? Those folks are spending their next paycheck before they get it, and the worst part is that they are paying other people interest, so they're basically spending next week's paycheck plus paying someone else to be able to do that. Not cool." 

He started getting emotional. "So, you're saying that I can't get the book?" 

"No, I'm not. I'm saying that it is a bad idea to borrow money for every little thing you want. My question is 'can you get this book someplace else  cheaper?' 

Long pause. 

We went to the online used book store and found the book he wanted. It was $4.50. He protested because he would have to wait to receive it  I said, "So you're willing to spend every last penny you have to get the book two days earlier. If you buy this book, you get free shipping AND it will be here by November 9th. The other thing to consider is that you can also buy this (and I pointed out another book in the series), and get both books for about $9. Do you think it is worth it to wait the two extra days?"

I saw the light break over his face. "I could get two books, plus I'd still have money to put in the bank, and money left over, too. Heck, yeah. That's worth it!" and he was actually enthusiastic about it. 

So, we sat down and placed the order for his book. When it was done, I said, "It's always wise to shop around for the best deal, William. You made a very smart financial decision today." 

He carefully counted out the $9.08 he owed me and put the rest of his money carefully back into his wallet. "I need to text mom and tell her," he said. 


Saturday, November 5, 2022

The Thanksgiving Cactus

Steve  showed a picture of his Christmas cactus and commented that it should be called a Thanksgiving cactus, given the timing of its blooms. It made me laugh because:   

Mine is happily blooming as well. 


My "Christmas cactus" has always been called a Christmas cactus, as long as I can remember. It was my great grandmother's for many years, and then it went to my grandmother.   It stayed in her southern  window for many years. When my grandmother died, my father got the house, The 'Christmas cactus' stayed put in its self same southern window for several more years. My dad has been gone for over 20 years now. My mother for 11. Now I have the cactus. 

The first year I had it, I thought "Kind of early for a Christmas cactus to bloom, innit?" 

Except: 

See those spikey protuberances, Steve? Like me, you actually do have a Thanksgiving cactus. I have to admit that I knew nothing at all about an Easter cactus. 

My plant looks rather small for a 50 + year old cactus, doesn't it? It is because I nearly killed it two summers ago. I tried to nurse it back to health, but there was no saving it. I set it aside to be thrown out, meaning to save the pot. When I got around to it, I discovered beneath it, one lonely green bract. I barely dared to hope, but I brought the pot back in, leaving that tiny little plant right there in that huge pot. I didn't want to risk killing it by replanting it in a smaller pot and possibly disturbing the roots. It looked pretty goofy for a long time, that tiny little nubbin all by itself in a huge pot. 

I am happy to say that the old cactus is thriving once again. I think it actually looks much nicer started over again without the woody thickness that all old cacti seem to get.

(My way of saying, "I meant to do that.")

It's interesting reading all the exacting complicated instructions to make it bloom.  total darkness vs light, temperature, humidity. I've never done a thing with it. It's thrived for fifty years on being ignored. What killed it? I read about people taking theirs outside for the summer. I changed things up. I will never do that again. Some things are best left to bloom where they are planted. 

Friday, November 4, 2022

Shocked

 I was standing in line at the grocery store, waiting my turn. I had my stuff on the conveyor. The woman in front of me was paying for her stuff and having a bit of trouble with her debit card and the card reader. The young man had her pull her card out and restart the transaction. 

I felt sorry for her. She was embarrassed, but the young man waited with not one sound of impatience, which I thought was very kind. I looked over at him to say something...

... and... 

...he was standing at his register with a far away look on his face 

...and...

HE WAS PICKING HIS NOSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

The transaction completed at about the same time, and he handed the woman her receipt and began picking up my items one at a time to scan them. 

I stood there stupified and silent. I wanted to say something

What the hell is wrong with you? 

GROSS!

Get your hands off my food. 

 I decided I don't want to get groceries today.

Yo, buddy, you ever hear of covid?

Most of my best responses come well after the fact, and as usual, it occurred to me as I put the groceries in my car, that I should have simply said, 'Hey...do you mind using some of that hand sanitizer before you start ringing me up?' 

I imagine that is how Ms Manners would have handled this.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Decisions made.

Tim has a habit and it is something that really does bother me. He's forever accumulating stuff. I say, 'so why are we keeping this? Why can't we just get rid of it?' He patiently tells me that it's worth money. I tell him to do something with it then. He tells me that he will. But he doesn't. 

It doesn't help that he's got stuff stashed all over the place. 

Last week, he decided that this was the week: he was going to get his stash of stuff all cleared out. He had enough for a dump truck load, which would make it worth his while. So he made the rounds of the various garages and he collected his junk and brought it all home.

Having all the junk here didn't please me, much, but he had a lot of copper pipe to cut up, and he had to separate the copper, aluminum, brass, cast iron and steel. 

He has been loading his truck for 2 days and he headed off to the scrapyard after lunch. 

He called me on the way home. "Just heading for home now," he said. 

I said, "Good." 

Tim hesitated for a few seconds. "Aren't you going to ask me what I got for the scrap?" 

"Buck-98..." I guessed being goofy. 

I could hear him smiling through the phone. 

"Nope. I got a little over $900." 

(Gobsmacked silence on my end)

I decided that I needed to shut up about his junk.


Look who showed up today:

 

I fed him outside, half a can with a dose of his medication and he gobbled it down. He immediately came to me, rubbing against my legs, meowing loudly. 

I studied him. 

You know when he first showed up here, he would not come close enough to be petted. 
Now he seems almost desperate for the contact. I want to bring him inside. I have a four foot long dog kennel waiting for him in the basement. I bought litter for him last night. My idea is to keep him confined until his mange is cleared up again. 

A friend who has done multiple cat rescues thought this was a very bad idea, because a feral cat can go nuts when it is confined. I imagine. But the thing is, I don't want him all over the rugs and furniture with active mange. I just told her. "Listen, I know it is not ideal, but it is what it is. If I took him to a vet, he'd be kept in an even smaller cage. He's sick." 

That conversation went through my mind today as I petted that poor cat, 
staying away from his 'patches'. 

He meowed and meowed and rubbed against me over and over. 

I took an old kitchen rug I'd stashed for outdoor use and put it down in front of the door. It's warm out today and he could sit in a sunny spot while I figured it all out. 

This summer, I couldn't touch him. 
Now he seeks out the attention.
So.
He trusts me, at least that much. 
I decided the thing to do is to build on that trust. 

I went into the kitchen and gathered up all the kitchen rugs and set them out into the hall.  I shut all the doors so that he could not go anywhere else in the house. I left the outside kitchen door open and let him make up his mind what he wanted to do here. In very short order, he walked into the kitchen. He came over to where I was sweeping and once again, he began to meow loudly, staring with those big unblinking eyes. 

I shut the kitchen door and he showed no sign of panic.

I went to the fridge and got out the rest of his can of catfood, and I grabbed one of the clean 'cat dishes" on the counter; I scraped the rest of the food into the dish as I talked to him. He sat silently with big eyes and waited. I set down the bowl on the floor and he went to work on it. 

While he ate, I continued sweeping and I cleaned the stovetop. 

Once his bowl was clean, he licked his smackers a few times in a satisfied way and then walked to the mudroom door and sat down. Tim walked into the kitchen from the livingroom with the mail. "What are you going to do with him?" he wanted to know.

"He's asking to go back out. I think we should let him out. If he comes and goes regularly, it gives him a chance to build up some trust. It also gives us a chance to get some regular doses of medication in him. Now that he's letting me pet him, I can even get some topical medication for him. Maybe this is a chance to get that mange under control before he moves inside full time." 

Tim went to the door and asked him if he wanted outside. 

When the door opened, Mangey quietly sashayed out the door. 

BUT: 
We left the mudroom door open to the back yard and he has spent the entire afternoon there, having a bath in a sunny patch on the old rug that I put down for him. 

It is getting dark. He is there still, folded up on his old rug.

He came back inside for a bit of milk and then sat at the door waiting patiently.

He nibbled on some dry food, arranged himself comfortably on his rug. 

I think that Mangey has decided to stay.

I got an old heating pad and an old sheet and used a crate to make a cozy place for him to curl up. We will leave the door of the mudroom ajar so that he can go outside if he wishes. 
I wonder where I will find him tomorrow.

 

Laughs

 It was a day of getting ready to go, getting everything packed up. We are headed east to see Iris' ballet recital.  I picked up some la...