2/2/10 – Tuesday

So, my parents (and Benjie!) have come and gone. They arrived Thursday evening and left this morning, about ten minutes ago. In between, we went out to breakfast several times (I don’t believe there’s one single time in my entire life that I have turned down the offer of breakfast at a restaurant!), spent Friday … Continue reading “2/2/10 – Tuesday”

So, my parents (and Benjie!) have come and gone. They arrived Thursday evening and left this morning, about ten minutes ago. In between, we went out to breakfast several times (I don’t believe there’s one single time in my entire life that I have turned down the offer of breakfast at a restaurant!), spent Friday in the house waiting out an ice and snow storm, did lots of shopping over the weekend, and went to Tuscaloosa on Sunday to visit family.

Fred and I made breakfast for us all on Saturday morning, serving up Crooked Acres bacon, sausage and eggs, sausage gravy, and biscuits (served with Caramel-Apple Jam and Pineapple Jam!). Once we were stuffed, my mother and I decided it was time to head out and do some shopping. I opted to swing by Lowe’s first to get it over with, because I needed a curtain rod, a bucket (to make another litter box), and some bird seed. We found the bird seed quickly enough, but that was the ONLY thing we were able to get. The size bucket I needed (2 1/2 bushels) was three shelves up, and no matter how hard we looked, we couldn’t find a Lowe’s employee to give us a hand. Finally, I said “Let’s go get the curtain rod and come back.” We went to look at the curtain rods, all I wanted was a simple damn curtain rod, NOTHING FANCY, and wouldn’t it figure? The longest plain and simple curtain rod they had in stock was 84″ long, and I needed one in the area of 109″ long. After much searching, I threw up my hands, and we went back to the storage aisle.

Still, not a single damn employee anywhere to be found. I pushed the button at the end of the aisle (which would summon help), but it wasn’t working. Finally, I used a board to reach up, hook the bucket, and lower it down to our level so my mother could grab it, and we could put it in the cart.

I half wished that an employee would wander along while I was doing that, so they’d yell at me, and then I could give ’em hell, but no such thing happened. We left Lowe’s, then stopped by TJ Maxx. I don’t remember what I bought, but I’m sure it was fabulous.

Oh! A hanging bird bath, is what I bought. And I was right, it was fabulous.

We went to Marshall’s, where I stocked up on Mrs. Meyer’s dishwashing liquid among other things (lemon soap, if you must know), and then finally I said to my mother, “I keep grabbing boxes of chocolate and putting them in my cart. I must be hungry. Are you?” She was, so after I paid and we left, we went down the road to O’Charley’s and had some really good salads for lunch.

Then I dragged her into Petsmart, so we could see what cats were there. (Locals. Seriously. Someone adopt Buddy. He’s the coolest looking cat, you can tell he’s got loads of character, and his story breaks my heart.) I eyeballed the cat toys, but for the first time in my life, I left Petsmart without buying a toy for the cats!

(Mark that one on your calendar. I don’t expect it’ll ever happen again.)

We went over to the fabric store and then finally, we made it to the mall. We went to the Hallmark store (local readers: the Hallmark store in the Madison Square Mall is going out of business, and everything in the store except Valentine’s cards are 50% off. That includes a TON of Yankee Candles.), Bath and Body Works, and then hit JC Penney.

I’ve lived in this house for almost 3 years now, and all of a sudden, I’m having this very strong urge to put up curtains in all the rooms. Nothing fancy, just valances, but I’ve got valances up in my bedroom, I’ve bought them for the computer room (thus the reason I needed a curtain rod), and also for the foster kitten room. I’ve had a hell of a time finding curtains for the guest bedroom, because that bedroom is painted in two shades of purple. I wanted to find curtains with just a touch of purple in them, because I felt that completely purple curtains would be too overwhelming. I found some on the JC Penney site I thought I’d like, and since my mother and I were at the mall, what better time to look?

I found some curtains I kind of liked, but they were waaaaaay more than I wanted to spend, so I shrugged and was ready to leave when a saleslady came along. She told us that the curtains I was looking at were going on sale “tomorrow” (Sunday) for 50% off, but she could pre-sell them to us at the sales price. I asked her to double-check that the curtains I wanted were part of the sale. She said they were, and I told her I wanted them. She took me to another register, filled out a form with my name and address, accepted payment and…

And then.


She took the curtains, put them in a bag, and told me I could pick them up Sunday or after at the catalog desk. Which she had CONVENIENTLY not mentioned at any point prior. I thought I was going home with the goddamn things.

But what can you do? I wanted them, so I just nodded and thanked her and left.

We headed home, getting there just in time for dinner (pizza). Then we sat down and watched a movie.

That movie was called Whiteout, and I will tell you what, I am stunned and amazed that they were able to cram such a large amount of suckitude into a 90 minute movie. The only – ONLY! – thing worth watching was the first five minutes, when Kate Beckinsale got mostly naked and then into the shower. Aside from that, the movie was horrifically bad. It was like someone took a crappy screenwriting course, did a heavy-handed job of following the instructor’s hackneyed outline (“Movie shall contain at least three flash-backs to a traumatic event in the protagonist’s former life, explaining why she’s now where she is.”), and then got some serious blackmail material on a studio exec, ensuring that this horror would end up being released onto an unsuspecting world.

The only question is what the hell Kate Beckinsale and Tom Skerritt were doing sleepwalking through this piece of shit.

If you’re at the movie store and your significant other holds up Whiteout and says “Should we try this?” your only recourse is to cold cock him or her and run for your life. Trust me.

Sunday morning, we got up and headed for Tuscaloosa early (Fred stayed home because he’s a party pooper). Benjie went with us, and he’s such a good little traveler. He was in the back of the vehicle (the “way back”, if you will), and he had his bowl of water and his dog bed, and he made nary a peep over the two hour drive, just dozed and occasionally woke up and looked out the window. We went out for breakfast with my aunt and uncle, then went back to their house for a few hours and sat around and talked.

My aunt and uncle have a couple of Shi-Tzus (Tillie and Izzy), who were thrilled to see Benjie prance through the door.



Benjie and his wimmins.

Around 3:30, we hit the road back to Smallville.

Yesterday morning, we got up and went to breakfast (did I mention I love to eat breakfast out?), then went back to the house, and my mother and I headed for the mall again. I asked my father if he wanted to go with us, but he opted to stay home and “watch the cats.” HA.

At the mall, my mother went into the nail salon to have her nails done, while I headed to JC Penney to pick up my curtains. I half-expected that I’d been the victim of some sort of scam (like they’d try to charge me a second time, or claim to have no record of my purchase), but they handed the curtains right over to me. I browsed the purses, decided to buy one, stood in line, got annoyed at how fucking ASS-ACHINGLY SLOW the sales clerk was moving, put the purse back, and went down the mall to Hallmark. I bought some candles and some cards (everything, half price!), then went back to the nail salon to see how my mother was doing. She was almost done, but she’d made an appointment for a hair cut at the salon next door, so I put my packages in the car and went to check out the Yankee Candle store. I browsed the book store (given the prices at book stores these days vs. the price on Amazon for Kindle versions, I expect there to be a mass closing of book stores any minute now) for a few seconds, then wandered through the mall and ended up back by the hair salon, where my mother was almost done. We browsed through Dillard’s, and then headed for home.

I had to stop by Publix on the way home to pick up a few things, and when I went to check out, I took one of the reusable bags I keep in my purse and handed it to the bagger, who acted like he had never seen such a thing in his entire life. He put two items in the bag, and then started bagging the rest of my stuff in plastic bags. (Please note that if I had been doing the bagging, everything would have fit perfectly fine in that one bag.)

“I HAVE ANOTHER BAG IN MY PURSE,” I announced, and pulled one of them out. Again, he was bemused, like he’d never seen such a thing. And after thinking about it for a while, I am 99% sure that that exact same bagger has acted exactly that way in the past, and now that I have engraved his stupid face on my brain, I will bitch-slap him if he pulls that a third time BELIEVE YOU ME.

For dinner last night, steak, pineapple casserole, and salad. YOM.

Later this morning, they’re headed back to South Carolina, where they’ll be for the next six weeks or so. It sure was nice having them here. IF I weren’t having surgery next week, and IF it weren’t such a long drive, and IF tickets weren’t so expensive, I’d totally go visit them. Where they’re staying sounds really nice, and it’s on the ocean.

I wonder if I can convince Fred that we need to take a trip to Florida this Spring/ Summer?

On another note, guess who not only allowed my parents to pet her, but actually approached them and demanded it – and then spent the evening on the couch with my mother? Maxi! (AKA “Outside Mama.) Like Fred said, “This is the cat that the previous owners of the house didn’t take with them because they ‘couldn’t catch her.'” And then we all rolled our eyes at each other.

Also, Jake spent the first three days of my parents’ visit hiding from them and the dog. This morning, he decided not to only let my father pet him, he also decided it would be a good time to get up in Benjie’s face. Poor Benjie was hiding behind me, because Jake was approaching him, then growling and hissing until I shooed Jake away. What an ass.


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Last Wednesday, the shelter manager called and asked if I could take five 3 month-old kittens. I hesitated because my parents were coming, and so the guest bedroom was going to be occupied, but then I decided that I could either put Steely Dan and Fagen in my room, or the upstairs bathroom. But then I let Fagen out into Gen Pop (and yes, referring to it as Gen Pop always makes me laugh too!) for the day, and he did pretty well, so I decided to leave Fagen and Steely Dan out for the night, and see how it went.

It went just fine, except for 2:30 in the morning when I woke up to find them fighting on my feet. I sprayed a blast of compressed air at them, and they scattered and didn’t wake me up again.

Thursday, I went to pick up the new kittens. The story on these guys is that they were all five crammed into one carrier and left outside a local business. Obviously, I don’t know what their story was before they were abandoned, but the shelter manager reported that they were gorgeous and friendly, and told me I could pick them up at the vet (where they were being spayed and neutered) that evening.

When I got the five of them home, I let them out into the foster room, and they came slowly out of the carriers, and proceeded to growl and hiss at each other like they’d never seen each other before in their entire lives. They wanted nothing to do with me, they wanted nothing to do with each other, and they all scattered to various parts of the room to hide.

We wrote the hissing and growling off to the spaying and neutering (and also I’m sure the whole experience was freaking them out). They continued with the hissing and growling until Sunday. I was starting to wonder if they were going to hiss and growl at each other FOREVER, but it finally stopped.

When I first found out that we were getting four girls and a boy, I immediately decided to name them after Charlie’s Angels (totally stealing the idea from Elephants Upstairs), but when I got the name list, I found that all the names had been used in the past. We bounced some name ideas around, and half decided to name them after the characters from Glee.

(“Sue Sylvester”? Possibly the BEST cat name ever!)

Then I was sitting in the living room with my parents, reading a magazine, when a better naming scheme came to me. I immediately got up and checked the name list, and found that none of them had been used.

I named the gray and white kitten Ouiser because she was the hissingest and growlingest of the bunch (since Sunday, I have heard neither a hiss nor a growl from her, though), Drum was the only boy, and Truvy is the super-friendliest girl. M’Lynn and Clairee got their names by default, really.

For those of you who don’t know, the kittens are named after characters from the movie Steel Magnolias, and they’ll be collectively known as The Magnolias, of course. (I can’t speak for everyone else, but Shirley Maclaine as Ouiser (correctly pronounced “Weeza” in the South) is far and away my favorite character, and Olympia Dukakis as Clairee is close behind. Though honestly, I love all the characters in this movie. But I think Ouiser gets the best lines, my favorite being I’m pleasant. Damn it! I saw Drum Eatenton this morning at the Piggly Wiggly, and I smiled at the son of a bitch ‘fore I couldn’t help myself. Everyone loves a cranky old Southern woman.)

After their first few unfriendly days, the Magnolias have come around with a vengeance. Drum and Truvy are very friendly and will sit in your lap the instant you sit down. Drum’s a talker (I’m sure I’ll get LOTS of “I HAZ A COMPLAINT” pictures of him!) and Truvy will lay in your lap on her back and insist that you rub her belly while she squirms around happily. Something about her sweet, open expression reminds me of Orange (from the Cookies litter). Clairee and Ouiser will climb in your lap briefly to let you pet them before they go racing off. M’Lynn is the hard case – she’s a bit skittish and doesn’t want to be approached or picked up. At least she’s not hiding under the chair anymore, thankfully, and I suspect she’ll be climbing into my lap before the end of the week.

M’Lynn the skittish.

Ouiser. (I’m calling her gray and white, but honestly I don’t know what to call that color. It’s more gray than brown, but it’s almost a grayish-brown. Whatever color she is, she’s gorgeous!)

Clairee in the carrier. They like to hang out in the carrier. They also love to smack at each other through the carrier “windows.”

Drum. He’s a great big baby.


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“Stupid kittens. They hiss at me under the door! I just wanna be their friend!”

“I do not approve of kittens.”

Steely Dan and Fagen are out in the house all day every day, and it’s going just fine. Dan will let you approach him and pick him up, and he’ll lay in your arms like a big baby and purr. Fagen doesn’t like it if you walk toward him when he’s sitting on the floor, but if he’s a little higher (say, on the back of a couch or on my bed), he’ll let you approach him and pet him as much as you’d like.

Neither of them spent much time downstairs while my parents are here, but one night Dan came into the living room to sniff at Benjie, and he actually reached out and grabbed Benjie’s tail. So I think it’s safe to say that he’s not scared of dogs!


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Stinkerbelle, in the porthole window of the dining room. I have to guess that she gets into the window by coming off the mantel (to the left). I’ve never actually seen her move from the mantel to the window, but she’s spending a lot of time there lately. (That blue box on the wall to the right is our medicine cabinet.)


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2009: I was fairly certain one end of the piece of roofing was going to come right through the window and split my skull in half, but luckily I was incorrect about that.
2008: No entry.
2007: Spoiled rotten brats. The cats AND me.
2006: So, that’s the state of things with me.
2005: “Oh my god!” he said. “There’s a dead mole under here!”
2004: The man thinks that “hot” and “good-looking” are the same thing!
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: We all know I’m lazy, but this is ridiculous.