Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Never trust your cat...

...they'll look at you with those big yellow-green eyes of theirs and sit next to you on the couch and you think everything is okay. Yeah, you were mad this morning, but everything is fine this afternoon, as you give them a piece of bread and they recuperate in their favorite hiding spot.

And then...BAM! You leave for an hour or two to see some family and you come home and the cat's in the garage. And before you realize it's your cat, they've run off into the bushes. And of course, it's a black cat, and it's now 9 p.m., so you have to run to your in-laws to borrow their super-bright flashlights.

Yeah, Hecate got out again today...tonight, to be more exact. My uncle was visiting my mom and dad, so I ran over there to say hi and when I got back, I almost ran her over in the garage without realizing it. Then when I saw her, I thought, no, that can't be her...we've done this already today. And then I went inside and she was nowhere to be found.

Nathan and I looked around and found her hiding in the hostas around the back of the house after about an hour. She is such a troublemaker.

We also found out how she was actually getting out. A couple of days ago it was really stuffy in the office, so we opened a window and thought the screen looked okay. Not so much. It flaps badly enough that she was able to slip through it. You can bet we're never opening that window again.


The Adventures of Half-Cat and Fat-Cat

Hyperion had a bad weekend, see two blog posts ago. But that was nothing...nothing...compared to what Hecate put me through this morning.

I woke up and made breakfast, toast, and didn't see her anywhere. (Side note: she lost her collar in the house somewhere last week and we still haven't been able to find it.) This is strange because she usually follows me everywhere, and loves bread, so toast is enough to make her come running.

I came back upstairs to check the news and the blogs I read and get ready to start applying for jobs for the day and still didn't see her. I started to get concerned, so I went and looked under the new couch, where she likes to hide and she wasn't there. I checked all the other rooms and could not find her, so I started to panic.

For those of you who don't know, Hecate has a habit of turning up in very strange places when I don't know where she is, like inside my in-laws' couch or behind a wall. But this time she didn't seem to be anywhere. Finally I went to the side door and looked out and there she was, sitting on the stoop outside...OUTSIDE...meowing. I hadn't closed the inside door, so I was standing in our breeze way with Hecate outside and Hyperion right next to me. I was terrified to open the door because Hyperion would try to slip out.

I put him back inside and opened the door, to call to Hecate and she ran from me into the bushes and I couldn't see her. I ran back into the house and called Nathan at work, who asked if I wanted him to come home. I assured him I didn't, (he came anyway) and called my dad, who said to put some food out and call him back later if I still hadn't found her. My mom was at work and my in-laws weren't home, though I left them a rather panicked message.

So it was left to me to run around the house and put little dishes of cat food at all the doors and sit on the front stoop and cry (this was partially a lure, usually when I cry Hecate comes to console me.) But this time she didn't. I circled the house calling for her. I checked the food dishes repeatedly and didn't see her. Finally, I stood on the stoop in front of the house and looked into the bushes. There, I could barely see her back as she lay in the bushes. I ran around behind them and she walked to the front, so I ran to the front and grabbed her by the neck and pulled her out.

I was so happy, but Hyperion was sitting at the door when I wanted to put Hecate inside, so I couldn't just open it. And I waited too long...she jumped out of my arms and back into the front bushes again. About five minutes later, Pam showed up and I accidentally chased Hecate out of the bushes around the side of the house. Nathan came home about two seconds later and the search continued. Eventually we found her laying close to the foundation at the side of the house. She let Nathan pick her up and we got her safely inside.

Nathan didn't remember seeing her this morning, either, so the closest we can figure is that he went out for a cigarette last night and she followed him out. But it was dark and she is dark and now soundless without her collar, so he didn't realize it. So she was outside all night last night.

All the doors and windows are now closed, but if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go check and make sure she's still under the couch.

Monday, June 29, 2009

In a funk

This makes no sense to me. Yes, a life was lost and that is a tragic thing. However, ever since Thursday when I learned of Michael Jackson's passing, I have been depressed.

I never took much notice of his music and I only took an interest in the man when I had an assignment to do internet research about his 2005 child molestation charge and developed an unwavering opinion that he had done nothing wrong and was being preyed upon.

I don't understand why I've reacted this way, but I pray for the eternal rest of his soul.

Also, I think I'm depressed because I haven't found a job yet.

Poor 'Peyrion

Nathan and I are very fond of our cat, Hyperion. However, owning him has taught us one thing about ourselves. He is the very last long-haired cat we will own. First there was that whole business with his being this.

To be fair, this is mostly our fault. We were not very diligent about brushing him. Before too long, his coat began developing thick un-brushable matts in different places. There was a particularly thick one on his back. His back fur started to get dirty and a dingy grey color. We decided it was time to do something about it. Nathan's first three day weekend (which he gets in the summer at work) we spent shaving Hyperion.

I kid you not.

Nathan wanted to do his whole body, except his head and puffs on his paws and tail, go for a "lion" look. However, once we got the matts taken care of, we decided we had tortured him enough and just evened up his back. It's a little hard to see in this picture, but from where his back foot is folded up on his body, on back is shaved. He has little pink patches showing through.

We think, though that this might actually help keep him cooler during the humid summer.

Monday, June 15, 2009

I have been emotionally abused by a children's movie

Disclaimer: if you haven't seen "Up!" there is a little bit reavealed here, not enough to ruin the movie, though.

Two years ago this month, Nathan and I went to see my cardiologist and we asked him if I was healthy enough to have children. The whole way there I was afraid he was going to say no, and he did. It was an incredibly devastating event which took me a year to recover from. We talked about adopting and decided that we wanted to be parents more than we wanted to have our own kids. I made it my Lenten resolution last year to work my mind around to adoption and it worked. I prayed hard about it and suddenly one day, I was making plans about where in our little apartment we would put a crib and everything was fine.

That is not to say I don't still think about having our own children, especially when the adoption process seems too daunting. And I definitely still have difficulty with some things, pregnant women usually bother me, but I make an effort for some. (Love you, Bonnie!)

But we have been getting in touch with adoption agencies and even though things look a little bleak right now with me not working and our finances not being in the best shape, we are still hoping to be able to start the process at some time soon.

My sister Anne is home this weekend and Nathan thought on her last night we could all go to a movie, so we all went to see Up! Pixar's new flick. It is an incredibly cute film with a lot of nuances that are hilarious. On the way there, we were talking about how movies these days tend to coddle children into thinking that nothing bad will happen and provide some kind of Utopian view of society. Up! is not this kind of movie. There are very few things which actually go right in the movie.

There is one scene in which the main characters, a young married couple are preparing a nursery and in the next scene, they are in a doctor's office and the woman is sitting in a chair crying. And after two years, something snapped. I jumped up and fled the theater in tears.

I thought I was okay, I thought I had moved on. I was wrong. I am very excited about the idea of adopting. I'm excited about bringing our baby home and being parents, but I think something inside me will always experience a tiny little sense of loss. I'm afraid if anyone finds out about that they will think it makes me unready to adopt. But I am, I am very ready and very happy. I just pray that our baby has eyes like Nathan's.

I need to go watch The Duke shoot someone

Throughout my life, I have discovered a series of ways to relieve stress. From playing pool to kicking a soccer ball against my parents' garage. But it's only been in the last few years that I have come across one of my favorite stress relievers.

I was really little when my Papa (my mom's dad) first had us watch McLintock and True Grit. It wasn't long before I developed a deep and abiding love of both these movies. And for a long time, that was it. Three and a half years ago, however, Nathan and I were planning our wedding and one evening after a long stressful day, we found ourselves at Dollar Video in DeKalb. Typically, when we rent movies, we get two, one for each of us. Nathan had picked his movie and asked me what I wanted and I said "Really, I just want to watch John Wayne shoot someone." After that, I discovered that this actually was an incredible stress reliever and that I love just about every movie he ever made.

I mean think about it, in most of his movies he's strong and handsome and wins in the end. I find that kind of assurance very appealing when I'm stressed out. You already know what's going to happen, the fun part is finding out how. Since then, I have seen many more John Wayne movies than I would have otherwise I think. But for right now, I've gone back to an old favorite, I borrowed True Grit from the library. I had forgotten whole segments of it. Sorry, Papa.

By the way, because I discovered this facet of my personality while I was planning my wedding, it also led to one of the best bridal shower invitations I have ever seen, created by my good friend Bonnie. It started with the word "Wanted" and ended with "Hope you can make it, Pilgrim." And included a picture of The Duke firing a gun. It was fantastic.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


I have been applying for jobs almost daily for almost a month now and I've learned a few things:

  • I can only do it hard-core for so many days in a row before it starts to become soul-crushing.
  • Conversely, any day I haven't applied for a job, regardless of what else I've done that day, I feel like I've wasted.
  • I HATE writing cover letters (Nathan warned me about this)
  • What I really want to do if I can't get back to a newspaper, is freelance and substitute teach, which sounds kind of lazy, but I think freelancing could be very challenging
  • I'm not really worried about not having a job for my own sake, but we were hoping to be able to start the adoption process this year.
  • I miss working for the newspaper...a lot.
Nathan keeps trying to assure me that I'll get a job, but I have a hard time being optimistic. I've tried offering it up and forgetting about it, but it's been a month and no phone calls. It gets harder.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Netflicks War

For the last year or so now, I have been trying to convince Nathan to let us have Netflicks. Almost everyone we know has it, and they love it. I love movies and could watch tons of them if I had access to something like Netflicks.

But Nathan is a librarian's son and his answer to this was always "Go to the library, we can get movies there for free." While this is true, and I love libraries, my movie tastes tend to blend the old and new in a way most libraries have difficulty accommodating. Then I realized the library is hooked into a giant system in which I can order movies from other libraries and keep them for a week, since that is the way the Waterman library handles movie check-outs.

I went on their web site to test my new found theory. The system passed the Margaret test. I found a movie I had been wanting to see forever but had only been able to find audio recordings of. I don't think even Netflicks had it.

So the library has become my very own Netflicks...for free! I've already placed a few holds on things. I'm so excited. Sorry, Pam.

The downside to this system is that libraries have due dates...but that seems like small potatoes now.

How does our garden grow?

I have never been much of a gardener. I never had a garden before, I never really did any weeding, except as a punishment I think, once or twice. So when we moved in here and the gardens were in such horrible shape...still are...I was a little intimidated. It turns out I actually don't really mind weeding and we planted some vegetables as well. It actually looks kind of nice.

These peonies have been here since before we moved in and they just bloomed this past week. I think they're quite pretty, even if I don't enjoy how peonies smell.
This is our vegetable garden, which my dad actually planted because I had no idea what I was doing. The plants were a birthday gift from my sister-in-law Janelle. We have four tomato plants, two cucumbers and two squash. And the really weedy leafy thing to the left is a patch of rhubarb that was there when we moved in.

My parents separated their hostas and donated the separations to us. We planted them under a big tree in our side yard, which is having a bit of a problem with ground cover. As you can see, we attempted to sod and it didn't take very well.