Monday, July 31, 2006

By Request

Is there no privacy in this house?? Apparently not!! I never thought I would be writing a post about litter boxes, but there have been so many questions on my "Booda Domes" that I thought I would just pass the info on here.

Yep, they're called Booda Domes, guess because they look like a big ol' Buddha belly. Of course, as soon as I go in to take some pictures, it's business time for the cats. Lovely. After Dave was done, Miss Bev had to go in and tidy up. These cats crack me up.

It looks like these boxes are sold just about everywhere in the states--Petsmart, Target, etc. They are the best. Keeps (almost) everything concealed. The cats do, however, always manage to sling litter everywhere, somehow. Even the little tray I keep outside doesn't keep it all from getting on the floor, but it does help. Now, I first line the box with newspaper, then I use one of the Booda bags and then cover that one with a larger bag that ties to keep it tight. Then the litter goes in. (I know, I know . . . excessive, but it lasts longer this way.)

I also have this Litter Locker--quite like a diaper genie, if you're young enough to know what that is. Of course, when my babies were born, we didn't have those. You scoop the dirty litter into it, turn the knob and it seals it. With three cats, I change this once a week. It's quite a good contraption, especially with multiple cats and a lazy household.

The litter I use is Tidy Cats' Small Spaces. It is just about (if not) the best I have come up with. The boxes are in the laundry room and I think that constitutes a small space. It really does keep the smell down. Of course, I have to add more litter each week.

So, you can see my neurosis regarding cat litter boxes. I've had cats all my life, and by far, this is the best system I have come up with.

P.S. I like Mr. English's idea of keeping a clean one ready to go in the garage. That man is just way too organized! And for those who asked about Code 12, it's just something the teenager came up with when he needs to get picked up from a friend's house that lives way out! That is soon to be over as he gets his license in two weeks. Believe me, I am counting the days!!! 1 2 3 4 . . . . And with that new stage, my worries truly will begin.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Another Day on the Ranch

Now doesn't that look satisfying? It is. I have been enjoying my large cup each morning filled to the brim with cafe au lait. More lait than cafe, as you can see. There's something about this cup that makes coffee so much better. The handle is wonderfully engineered--the thumb fits perfectly on top, the pointer finger through the center and a there's a little notch on the bottom for the middle finger to sit comfortably while lifting the oversized cup. It's just lovely. The design is so pretty to look at too. I love it!

The teenager survived his first concert. He called about midnite with another code 12 (stranded out at his friend's house who lives in the country). Apparently, they had used more gas sitting in traffic trying to get out of the parking lot than expected (newbies). They stopped off at the driver's house to get some gas money from his mom, to no avail; and thus came the code 12 call. Of course, I was already in my PJs; and since I was on E too, I had to get half dressed in order to pump at the gas station. Then we had to drive another friend who was also a code 12 and he lived even further out! By the time I got home, I was WIDE awake and was up until about sunrise this morning, tossing and turning. Awwww, motherhood. I'm not complaining though. I was happy to get him and make sure he was still alive and breathing! He was totally dehydrated, muddy from head to toe and down-right tired. He didn't even want the radio on during the ride home. hehe. Poor guy. His initiation into live rock and roll was totally exhausting. He was able to get an autographed copy of Korn's new cd and was picked out of the audience to wait and meet the band (he had a Korn t-shirt on which I guess helped). Unfortunately, there were a lot of kids who were asked to stand in line to meet them; and by the time the teenager got even close, it was almost time for them to go onstage. Poor guy. He wanted "Fieldy" to just touch his hat. haha. Too cute. He woke up this morning sore. I had to laugh. Awww, the good ol' days. I told him he used muscles he probably didn't even know existed! He said his jaw (from head banging/gritting his teeth, I guess) was sore and he had a couple of bruises from the mosh pit. I just had to smile (and thank God he lived through it!).

I've already begun to re-decorate my new piece in the powder room. Of course, I didn't like the off-white basin on the white marble. The hub had given me this basin set when we were first married and lived in Georgetown. There was a little consignment shop around the corner that sold the most lovely things. This is also French so I knew it would fit. I forgot to mention my favorite part of the table. It has these two swinging arms under the drawer for towels. Isn't that genius? Of course, Miss Bev had to get in to smell it. (Look at her poor scratches from her allergies. She seems to be doing better on her duck & green peas--faw faw faw!). I put my lavender batches on the shelf underneath and added some extra towels and soaps in the drawer. I'm having so much fun with it.

I've been doing odd jobs all weekend. Since it's been quiet without the kid and the hub, I've got some work done. I replanted some petunias in the window box that had fallen when I had the house cleaned on the outside. Of course, when it fell, all the flowers were knocked loose and they died. Grrrr. It looks kind of funny with one flourishing and the other brown and dead. Too late in the season to plant a lot, so I just added a pot of petunias and called it done.

I got the litter boxes cleaned out. A major job in itself. I can be a tad neurotic when it comes to those icky things. I'll let them go for a month or so before I do a complete overhaul. (Of course, they're scooped out every day, ew.) Each one is scrubbed out, set outside for the day to dry and air, the floor scrubbed and then I begin the task of my neurosis taking over. I line the floor with newspaper, then cover that with art paper, tape it down and then I start filling the litter boxes. I swear. I even found a new fandangled filter/register that fits over my vent in the floor. Extra fresh air coming in now! hehe. Look at it while it's clean. The cats will have litter and shredded paper within a day or two! P-I-G-S! And of course, they can be outside all day but wait to use the litter box when they come in. Duh.

I cleaned out underneath the kitchen sink which was despicable. Ew. It smelled mildewy for some reason. I didn't find anything wet, so dunno. Probably something I threw away was stinky. I hate my kitchen, period. Everything is starting to go in it. The faucet is loose and drips (which is probably where the moisture comes from). I won't even go into it. Nevermind. But, that job is finally done.

Now, I only have to decide where to put this, which came out of the powder room. Once you start with something new, it's a domino effect. And then there's this ...... still sitting on the island waiting to be put somewhere else since moving from the powder room.

My kitchen table (and floor) is still a mess with art supplies just calling my name. I just wanted to get things cleaned up while I could before I start another mess. Now I'm too tired to start tonight. Maybe tomorrow. hehe. Famous last words, right?

The hub and kid are one their way home from St. Louis. They had a fabulous time. I can't wait to see them!! Overall, it was a pretty productive weekend. Got more done than I normally do when there's everyone running around. Yahoo.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

First Concert

My baby is almost grown up. He's 17 and going to his first concert. And a doozy, I may add. His first concert is the Family Values Tour (as if). I think the family values just went out the window for the day. I gave him a hug and said a prayer. Hey, I've been to these things. I know what goes on!

I told him to be gentle in the mosh pit. (Ha, yea right.) No drugs, no sex, just good ol' rock and roll. I've taught him right from wrong (I think) and we had a long talk last night. Little did he know it was leading up today. I made sure he knew he could talk to me about anything, his friends could talk to me about anything and if he ever needed me, I was there. He's about to enter adulthood; and what an exciting time. Sniffle, sniffle. He's going to have to learn to make mistakes, learn from them and move on. So far, he has. There's been a few and he has learned that some consequences just aren't worth the risk of having "fun." I hope he's his own man and won't follow others. He'll be ok, I know. And I also know he will have a blast. I have them all coming over tonight to sleep here where I will proceed to give them each a drug test. (Kidding!)

My first "loves," Alice Cooper and Michael Bruce

I still remember my first concert well, it was Dr. John and the Night Trippers, probably around 1971-72. My second and most memorable was Alice Cooper a month later. You see, I was in LOVE with Alice. (The teenager calls me pre-goth, hehe.) This is where I bought my first pack of Marlboro's (and proceeded to drop them in the toilet bowl because I was sooo nervous!). Someone caught my huge bellbottoms on fire as I was walking up the stairs. I tape recorded the entire concert, my gabbing, my screaming and all. I found a lot of cassettes at my mom's when I was there, and I wonder if it is in with them. Wouldn't' that be a blast to listen to? Couldn't get away with that now! Lord forbid.

Awww, the teenager just called me from the festival. Isn't that sweet? He was saying it's like a carnival, games and tents and stuff. Boy, how concerts have changed. He waiting for Korn to play, which is the headliner. He said the other bands were good though. How fun. Memories in the making. I love that kid (today).

Think it's time to put some Alice Cooper on, blast it and be nostalgic.
Lines form on my face and hands
Lines form from the ups and downs
I'm in the middle without any plans
I'm a boy and I'm a man
I'm eighteen and I don't know what I want
Eighteen I just don't know what I want
Wouldn't go back there if you paid me!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Christmas in July

I have more goodies to share! It was like Christmas morning without the chaos. I slowly opened each box as if it were my birthday. Slowly and carefully, I unwrapped each precious item. After I started looking at everything, I couldn't help but wonder how much all these pieces have seen. They are from a town not too far from Normandy; and we all know what happened there. What was said while sipping coffee or tea out of these cups? How terrifying it must have been when the old clock chimed and war was raging not too far away. I love to think about such things. It's simply amazing to me that people lived through such horrific times--world wars raging in your own back yard. I can't even imagine. My heart goes out to all of those with wars in their lives as we speak. (Ok, off the soapbox....)

I really didn't know what I was getting. Raphi was "pretty" sure I was getting the flowered tea set but I wasn't certain it wasn't the Napoleon one. I am happy this is the one I got. This is the one I really wanted! It's a demitasse set of 12. Pretty petite brown flowers all around. Isn't it just lovely!

Here's the breakfast cups. I can't wait to have a cafe au lait in one on a cold morning. The blue one is a beautiful shade and looks older than the other two. Although, each is pretty in its own rite, I love the old blue one. The shape is so nice.

Also, won at auction were these pretty Japanese pieces--four tiny sake cups and a pretty tea cup and saucer. The blue is just brilliant!

But, these, no doubt, are my favorite pieces--a last-minute addition to my bidding from afar. These pieces (along with the clock) were not in the brochure. (Except the wash stand,which the hub wanted me to get. Uhhuh, it would have been an easy shipping without it and a whole lot cheaper!! But I love it, hub. Oh, yes I do!!) Raphi sent me pics of these piles that were just kind of sitting in a corner. I eyed the wash basin and the clock straight away. I had no idea the basin and pitcher had two other pieces with it. I think it may be quite rare to have a set like this. I have never seen one in the states. In addition to the basin and pitcher, it came with the soap dish (soap that Raphi sent me many, many years ago) and a small bowl, I'm assuming for shaving. The blue is a pretty blue and the floral motif is just magnificent. So very pretty.

Oh Raphi, I can't begin to tell you how special these pieces are. I know they are a part of your mother and your grandparents. I will cherish them dearly as they are now part of our family. Thank you for everything you did to get them over here! Geesh. It was worth the effort though. Not one piece was broken and I adore each and every item. Merci beaucoup! Merci, mon ami!

Friday's Favorite Corner

I've been bad lately about posting my FFCs. Today, I remembered; and low and behold actually have something new, a not-yet-decorated corner--which is quite an oddity for me. It's been there for a whole ten minutes and nothing on top yet! Go figure.

Ya got a minute?? This is a doozy.
Guess what this is? And, guess where it came from. 1-2-3. Give up? For those that have been with me for a while, this is a piece from the now-notorious French auction! Yahoo! I received my crate today--today as in three months later today--three months and a week, to be exact. Lordy Lordy. Isn't it gorgeous (but not as in Johnny gorgeous, of course)? I am just beside myself to finally get everything! RAPHI! I got my shipment!! He probably was wondering if I would ever get it. For those of you not familiar with the saga, you can catch up here. Was it worth the wait? Abso-fabu-lutely! Oh, and right up there with receiving it, I didn't even have to pay duty! Uh huh, I said duty free. Because all the pieces were antiques, it was duty-free baby! Wooohoooo. Since I almost had to take a second mortgage out on our house between paying the auction, having the crate built and shipping, I was just expecting to have to give up my first born (sometimes not a bad thing) to pay the duty. What a pleasant surprise.

The lovely crate has been in a warehouse in Nashville for almost a month. I was first scammed into thinking I had to pay $125 to pick it up and found out this was a fee that the shipping company would charge me to do all the paperwork running around--basically to take the paperwork to Customs. After I figured that scam out, I ran out last week on the day it was 110 degrees outside, with my son and his friend (who just happened to have a truck--with no air condition) to get the paper work and then get the crate. No can do. We pick up the paperwork, go to Customs and they say they have to inspect the contents. Well, gee, it's only been sitting there for three weeks, why has no one told me this? I didn't have to ride with my son's crazy driving friend to find this little tid bit of info out!! GRRRR. Okay, the guy's only doing his job, trying to keep our country safe from crazies. Ok. I agree. Fine. They say they will call me after they get to it. Hmmmm hmmmm hmmm, yesterday I receive an email from the shipper saying she was going to have to start charging me to store the crate! Excuse me? I tell her I'm waiting to hear from Customs. She calls them, they say it's been ready since the day after I dropped the paperwork off. Grrrrrrrr. Can I go NOW and pick it up???? Uhuh. Gee, thanks.

So, I was hoping I wouldn't ever have to drive with my son's friend again, but I did. He's a sweet kid, but he scares me behind the wheel. Even the teenager has admitted to his not being such a great driver, hehe. (Now that amazes me. Maybe there's hope for the teenager, yet. Let's hope!) First, they have very loud music playing, some of it good, but some of it really, really bad. They they expect to be able to talk to me while I'm in the back seat the the music is blaring. Hey, I like my music as loud as the next person; just don't expect me to be able to give you directions while some crazy cracked out guy is screaming at the top of his lungs, ok? Oh, and then, after I had given the kid $50 to drive me out and run me around in 100 degree weather, the teenager asks me to fill his tank up, AGAIN! I give him $10 and that's it! Can you believe these kids today!! Man. Ok, so now it starts to rain. We're on the highway, going 75 in the rain. I begin my prayers. All of a sudden, they start talking to me. "Move your purse, get the papers off the seat..." "Wha??? I can't hear you, wha????" MOVE YOUR STUFF OFF THE SEAT! Hmmm, I know the truck is old, but does it matter if I put stuff on the seat??? Lordy, are you ready for this. "A girl threw up there, so get your stuff off the seat...." OMG. Lovely. I'm transported back to my teenage years. Windblown, sweaty, music blaring and the sudden smell of puke. (I hadn't noticed it before, of course.) Lovely.

Ok, I'll speed this up. Of course it gets even better. OF COURSE, it does. We get to Customs, they finally locate where the crate actually is (hey, didn't you guys just inspect it????) --uhhuh, no one knew where it was. We go to the warehouse; and you know the crate doesn't fit in the truck. Nope. Too big. Won't fit. OMG. I just start to laugh. This is way too funny. Thank goodness the guy helping us found it funny too. This crate is now infamous in a select Nashville circle, it's true. We have to take everything out of the crate and get rid of the crate without the "boss" seeing us do it, or else he'll charge us. OMG. Of course, the crate weighed more than the contents. Luckily (for the teenagers), a dumpster was just outside the loading dock. Yep, this is my custom-made French $$$$$$$$ crate in the dumpster. Isn't it beautiful. Is that not the funniest story ever? (Well, not the funniest, but close, huh?)

I haven't even begun to open my china yet. I will save that for another post tonight, perhaps. But, I couldn't resist getting this whole saga down on paper so the kids will know how much this piece really is worth and all the trouble we went through to get it. haha. Someone better appreciate it, damn it! hehe.

Back to Friday's Corner. You know about the French wash table now. Ok. I have two Polish watercolor prints here also. (Oh, and by the way, this is my powder room on the main floor. Gee whiz.) I have this thing for Polish watercolors. Guess it's the Ukrainian on the hub's side that brings it out in me. At any rate, he does beautiful work. I can't find anything on him in English to link to, sorry. But, you can see how beautiful the paintings (prints) are.

Well, just got a call from the teenager. Code 12, he says. He's stranded out in the country with no ride home, joy. Guess where I'm off to. But, first, I must take the old chairs I just bought from the back of my care--a WHOLE other story!! hehe. By the way, I now have a cramp in my upper thigh/byoo-tocks. Must have been from the bracing for sudden impact while driving with the teenagers today. Wonderful.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Like, Oh My Gawd

Johnny Depp is da man, da bomb. The kid calls me from St. Louis to tell me that Johnny is on Letterman. Of course, we know that ALL women love Johnny Depp (especially me and Leenda). After watching him on the show, all I have to say is, HAS he not aged to perfection? Oh, yes, he has. Oh, yes. (Sorry, hub.) Wow. Enough written. Sigh.

Phone Calls and Then Some

I've been busy today. Still working in real estate. I should just go ahead and get my license. It's become difficult with the house in VA and me in Nashville. Now, I have to worry about where the keys should go. Alicia (whose deal fell through) still has the keys. The problem is one of the persons who wants to buy it was the "keeper of the keys" before this saga began. Now that they want to purchase the house, I feel very reluctant to give them back the keys. Therefore, I have a call into another neighbor who may be able to hold on to them for me. Geesh.

I did speak with Alicia today. I had sent a little bouquet of flowers to cheer her up and she called to thank me. It was so nice talking to her; and we both agree that this was all meant to be if for no other reason than for us to be friends. She is so sweet. I asked her about the sore on her throat; and it is NOT cancer, thank God. Prayers were answered. I was so relieved. She is feeling better about the house and knows that this happened for a reason. She admitted that her and her husband work so very hard and couldn't work any harder if it came to that in order to be able to afford the house. I agreed. It's simply not worth it. Of course something better for them will come along when the time is right. I am positive of this.

I know so many of us go through this heartache when we are first starting out with little money in our pockets and such big dreams. I remember when the hub and I began looking to buy our first house, we began in pricey neighborhoods in DC, of course. It was not meant to be. We ended up with a little 1950s rambler in Falls Church, Va, that was the perfect love nest for us (he hates me calling it that!). It still holds a very special place in my heart as our first home and where our babies were born.

And so, I feel better about that end. Now if we can move ahead on the sale and then put that money into an investment, I'll be happy. I'm trying to keep mom out of it as much as I can because she is a bit dazed these days. She's very happy to sell the house (and I haven't even mentioned that the sale fell through), and she is excited to find a little place on some water where we can all go and spend time whenever we want to get away from here. She refuses to go anywhere anymore without her dog; and I don't like to leave her here too long on her own. She has always loved the water and can sit and fish for hours (who can't?), even at her ripe old age of 82. I guess it doesn't take too much to do that, eh. I just want her happy because she deserves it. As the hub says, she has been through enough in her life--if she wants to sit and watch TV all day, then so be it; if she wants to have lunch out everyday, then so be it. It's the least I can do to make her life as comfortable as possible. I'm trying my hardest--even though I complain every once in a while--so sorry.

The hub and kid went off to St. Louis this weekend. He had some business and wanted us to go. With mom a little out of sorts, I thought it best that I stay here to make sure she's doing ok. The kid was so excited to go away with "dad." I can see those two now driving down the road just gabbing away. Too cute. Gotta love them two!

Dinner time. No need to cook. It's left-over take out Indian from last weekend. Yummmy. My favorite!! Mom is already in bed, the teenager is working; so it's just me, myself and I. Yahoo!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Friends always know when you need a lift even when they're many miles away. My dear friend Leenda (it's really Linda, but I just like to say Leenda) in Virginia sent me a sweet package filled with love today. It was just what I needed.

The first item was a little pewter pocket cross to carry in my pocket, which I did and will. It has a meditative swirl on the back which feels "right" when I rub it between my fingers. She also sent me an ankle bracelet made of hemp with purple beads woven into it. (We're just a bunch of hippies, afterall!) The purple beads represent peace. I've already tied it to my ankle (but will spare you another picture of my ugly feet). I made a wish when I tied it; and I was told that when the bracelet breaks or falls off, it means your "wish" will come true. I made a wonderful wish so I may just need to break it off -- kidding! Isn't that lovely though? Linda somehow knew I needed a pick-me-up; and just out of the blue, she sent me these wonderful presents.

Aren't friends wonderful? Indeed they are.

Allergies, Again

Except this time, it's not me. Poor little Bev is afflicted with an allergy (or allergies)! Gee whiz. She's been through the ringer, hasn't she. Remember, she was on all types of antibiotics because she had been bitten by a mosquito? She was a really sick kitty. After she finished her meds, she started scratching. I thought, well, maybe a reaction to the antibiotics (been there), and so I waited. And I waited. It didn't get any better and I finally, I took her in to see the vet today. Poor little boo was starting to look like she had the mange. Ew. At first, they thought it was fleas. First of all, the cats wear Frontline; and granted, she had not been on it since June because of her illness and then the itching, but still, I doubted the flea scenario. Of course, they didn't find any fleas or signs of any being on her. When they checked her records, they noticed I had changed her to kitten food when she was so sick. Bingo. They think it's all the protein in the food. Otherwise, Lord only knows what she's allergic to (kinda like me). The vet brings out a sample bag of--get this--Duck and Green Pea cat food. Hello. DUCK and GREEN PEA! haha. I cracked up. These cats are going to be eating better than us. (At least, it's not PEKING DUCK! hehe) And of course, it's special order. Duh. I have to call a week in advance to get the stuff. Like I'm that organized!! (But I do know how to fold a t-shirt.) Lord have mercy (Lord have mercy). Is that not hilarious?

The sky around Nashville was bee-u-ti-ful today. I wish I had my camera this morning. Clear blue skies with white fluffy clouds dispersed about that you could almost reach up and touch. It reminded me of the sky in Texas. They made me feel so good and reminded me that fall is right around the corner for us. Fall is always my rejuvenation period; and last year's was taken away by crazy woman. I so look forward to it this year. I will rejuvenate--if it kills me! ha.

One little flower for you. I have had this hydrangea from my garden above my stove for almost a month! I can't believe it is still as fresh as it is. I love the gorgeous green and a pinch of purple. I am so thankful today for everything around me. I am, indeed, a fortunate soul.



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