Thursday, December 31, 2009


It would be nice if the wind would stay away and all this would just freeze in place for awhile. If I could figure out how to anchor the bottom of the panels about 3 feet off the ground, I'd have this finished.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The marriage problem

Once upon a time people didn't move much. It was not unusual for someone to live, work and die within 50 miles of their birthplace. The major worry when crossing state lines was during the holidays when the police would watch for Pennsylvania residents returning from Ohio with booze which was much cheaper there. Not only would a fine be levied but the cargo would be destroyed. Ouch.

Times have changed radically. People freely move about the country. Educational diplomas are honored everywhere even tho each state determines its own requirements. Driver licenses and car registrations are honored until the person can schedule necessary tests and file paperwork. Nobody needs to get remarried in the new place of residence.

Wait a minute. What's that? Some marriages in Iowa, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and DC, not to mention Canada or Spain are not valid in Pennsylvania?

What if you had to pass a test to prove that you graduated from high school? What if your driver license was invalid and you had to give up driving until you passed the test in the new state or using the car until you had the new license?

It's time to pass a federal law making marriage in one state valid in all. If a couple is married, they are married. Period. While individual states may discriminate against who may or may not marry there, they should not be able to discriminate against other states any more than they can say that an educational diploma is invalid from state to state.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Harder to lose?

Critter blogging

Little One was in the narrow space between PuddyTat and Dude when I left for church on Christmas Eve.

World's cutest grandnephew and grandniece

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas shuffle

1. The Coventry Carol - Taverner Consort
2. The Runaway Christmas Tree - Christine Lavin
3. Silent Night - Wynonna
4. While Shepherds Watched Their flocks by Night - Taverner Consort
5. We Three Kings - Toby Keith
6. Riu, Riu Chiu - Taverner Consort
7. Poulenc: O Magnum Mysterium - Westminster Choir
8. The All Purpose Carol - Christine Lavin
9. Noel Ayisyen - Concordia Choir
10. A Christmas Carol - Tom Lehrer
Bonus: Walton: What Cheer? - Trinity Choir

Before and during

This was the scene when I arrived at 12:30 am.
This was 9 hours later.
Merry Christmas to all!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ready and waiting

The flowers are in place. The choir is rehearsed. All is ready and waiting. Tonight hope enters the world once again. Tonight unconditional love comes as a newborn child. For some, worship will present memories both happy and hurtful. May the love of Jesus fill the voids left by those who have departed our world this year. Hugs and blessings to all!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Insurance insanity

From a Friend:
One small example of why we need Health Care Reform -- just got the cardiac surgeon's bills from the hospital where Jim died -- insurance company denied all payments because there was no fracking referral from his primary care physician. They tell me I can get one backdated but why in the hell should I deal with the primary physician's office -- this the guy who hung up the phone on me when I was tyring to get information from him about my husband's blood presssure medications. How and why does one need a referral through the HMO when one is in the process of dying? Grrrrr...............

Creative Canada

If You Build It, THEY Will Come...

This is the actual turn-off From Banff, Alberta, Canada to the #1 highway to Calgary .

Great picture isn't it? They had to build the animals their own crossing (especially the elk) because that was where the natural crossing was and after the highway was built there were far too many accidents.

It didn't take the animals long to learn that this was their very own bridge!
And then you have some people saying 'Animals are stupid.'


HT to Bill T

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Friday cat blogging on Sunday

Guess who almost never ascends to the cathouse roof but now seems to have taken over Little One's box which is cozier and heated. Both Dude and PuddyTat know to close the eyes when the camera is around. Yes, that is a little plate of chicken in front of Dudie. PT wasn't hungry so I took hers away.

The world's cutest grandnephew

Magic pjs help the kid fly...

Winter berries

For most of the year, I dislike this hedge intensely. Its thorns are nasty. It has spread like wildfire all over the property thanks to the birds who eat these berries in winter. On grey days like today, however, I appreciate the bit of color.

Christ Church children sing and play violins

Click on the photo of the church at the top of the right column to go to the church's website then scroll down to see a short movie.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Another one for Padre Mickey and MadPriest

For Padre Mickey and MadPriest

who are posting, um, interesting "music". I actually prefer the accordian version I heard on my favorite radio station from Cortland, OH this morning. I don't recommend you listen to the postings on either Padre Mickey's Dance Party or OCICBW.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Anyone have access to a large quantity of voodoo dolls? I need one for each Republican senator and a few folks who think they are Democrats. And a couple pounds of straitpins.

Friday cat blogging

Scritch me, Mom!
PuddyTat watches while Tommie, Tim and Little One eat.
Dude barely gets out of his box to eat.
Meanwhile Jellico waits in his box until everyone else has eaten.
Outdoor cats don't do the cute things indoor cats do.

Friday shuffle

1. Wonderful, Wonderful - Johnny Mathis
2. Vivaldi: Concerto for 2 Trumpets, Allegro
3. Tears on My Pillow - Little Anthony and the Imperials
4. Incense and Peppermints - Strawberry Alarm Clock
5. I'll Be There - Jackson Five
6. One Bad Apple - Osmonds
7. arr. Rutter: Now Thank We All Our God - Cambridge Singers
8. You're That Certain Someone - Warrior River Boys
9. Only Love Can Break a Heart - Gene Pitney
10. Tennessee Rag/Beaumont Rag - Chet Atkins & Doc Watson

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Prayers for Whiteycat

Samantha has been losing weight. So far no diagnosis. Please pray for Sam and especially for Sam's biped Whiteycat who is very worried.

Friday cat blogging on Wednesday

Dudie now has his own box on the middle shelf of the cathouse. PuddyTat changed boxes yesterday so Little One took over the box with the heating pad.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday cat blogging

Here are the cats who are braving the winter here or nearby. PuddyTat is barely visible behind Little One and Tommie while Tim goes for the warm water. Dudie is on the middle shelf.
Behind Dude is the pillow where he is spending these 15° nights. Sometimes Little One joins him.
I don't know where Tommie has been staying but he was in the garage when I got home a bit ago. As soon as I drove in, Little One ran over to see what was happening. Tim has decided she likes the heating pad after all. I haven't seen Jellico for several days.

The food accumulates and freezes so I have to collect it and bring it in to thaw. I don't think any of the usual night critters have been around as the water is clean.

The latest iPhone saga

Tuesday was a miserable driving night. The rain, the 34° temperature and lots of traffic made my weekly drive home from Pittsburgh more scary than usual. When I got to Mercer, I thought I'd check the weather. I couldn't find my iPhone. It wasn't in any pocket. It wasn't on the dashboard where I usually put it. It wasn't on the other seat. ARGH!!! It wasn't in my backpack. It wasn't in the car anywhere.

Wednesday morning I called Rodef Shalom. The lovely woman who answered the phone took a flashlight and looked for my phone. She couldn't find it. If it turned up she would call me.

I checked MobileMe but had no idea what the password to try to locate the phone was. Ugh. Would have to take care of that next time.

Yesterday I decided to drive to Pittsburgh and check up on it in person. Perhaps it was still lying on the parking lot. I had a difficult time getting thru Greenville with school buses and amazingly stupid drivers. At one point I asked Godde if I were not supposed to go and roadblocks were being placed in my way. But I realized that, for a change, I was calm about the delays. Normally I would be irritated and restless. I asked for another sign that I wasn't supposed to go and nothing happened so I continued.

There were no broken pieces of a phone in the parking lot. I thought about going in but knew she would call if they found it. Drove off to find a place for breakfast as I hadn't even had coffee. Stopped at Bob Evans which has free wifi. Had a wonderful waitress who kept my cup filled.

Felt compelled to return to Rodef and went back. Gracious lady said the cleaning people had looked carefully and found nothing. They even moved the seats in case it was stuck. She asked if I wanted to look myself. I said I trusted them. She INSISTED so I went and looked where I'd sat.

AND THERE IT WAS. Hallelujah.

I had put it on the arm of the seat to look for water bottles which had escaped on the inclined floor. Apparently I hit it and it fell. It was carefully tho almost invisibly balanced on the mechanism between the seats. The wonderful lady gave me a big hug as everyone seemed to rejoice including the maintenance man. Really nice folks at Rodef Shalom!!!

And thanks to my guardian angel, the Holy Spirit, Godde and all the hosts of heaven who take such amazing care of me. This is yet another example of why my faith is so strong and I try to listen. If only I were better at it!

Friday shuffle

Preface: I am most grateful to be able to post this today. I lost my iPhone last Tuesday night. Yesterday I found it. More about that in a separate post.

1. Since You Asked - Judy Collins
2. Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered - Stefan Scaggian Trio
3. I'll be Faithful - Dusty Springfield
4. How Can I Be Sure - The Young Rascals
5. Tutti Frutti - Little Richard
6. A Summer Song - Chad & Jeremy
7. Widor: Allegro from Symphonie VI - Michael Farris
8. Reflections - Diana Ross & the Supremes
9. Where the Boys Are - Connie Francis
10. Stravinsky: Ave Maria - Westminster Choir
Michael Farris was the organist at Holy Trinity Lutheran when I was in the choir. He was teaching at Eastman when he died suddenly in his 30s. Sad.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Friday cat blogging on Wednesday

Little One is still coughing and his eye is still awful but he is eating today. Here a little chicken has made strange companions. Normally Tim hisses at Little One. I'm always amazed that the cats will eat with each other but not tolerate each other otherwise. I'm hoping she and PuddyTat will be friendlier with him once he is neutered.

The plastic below them has caused a problem for Little One. Since he was tiny he would stand on the middle level, reach up and hoist himself onto the roof where they are eating. The new plastic which should keep at least some of the coming snow off that shelf prevents him from doing that. He will have to learn to jump like the others. Poor kid.

Little One is funny. This morning he was in the blanket where he was supposedly locked in. He has no fear or a poor memory. There is a big dog that comes around occasionally and eats the catfood but wanders home when I tell him to. He doesn't chase the cats so he didn't scare Little One who just sat and watched. While I was taping, stapling and cutting plastic, he hung around wanting attention. He seems to have forgotten or forgiven me for taking him to the vet. I've never seen a cat so desperate for attention. He is a cutie.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Friday cat blogging on Monday

This morning I heard a horrible hacking noise when I fed the cats. Located the source on a pillow back in the corner on the bottom of the cathouse. It was Little One coughing and sneezing. His right eye was glued shut. I scrubbed the carrier in the bathtub and got an appointment with the vet. I told them I'd call if I couldn't catch him.

The gals took one look at the carrier and disappeared. They know what it is about. Fortunately Little One didn't catch on. He ran away for a bit but eventually came back and let me scritch then grab him. On the table he went nuts. I'm always amazed by what cats can do with their bodies. An assistant with a towel and I managed to control him. I got one little claw mark but no blood. He has an infected eye and upper respiratory trouble. He is too sick to risk anesthesia so castration will have to wait. They told me to try to catch the boys on Monday and Wednesday mornings then give them a call when I'm successful. They will work the boys in.

Meanwhile I have to try to get some powder into Little One twice a day. How to do that with him running around and eating with the other cats. Suddenly I remembered that I have another cathouse at the back of the garage. Perfect. I closed off the catdoors and put a litterbox in there. Washed the water dish, filled it and plugged it in. Rearranged the blanket Tim had been using and put a heating pad under it. Carried Little One in there, opened the carrier door, exited and quickly closed the big door behind me.

I've checked in on him three times. The first time he was up on the shelf - see the photo a couple of posts below. He launched himself and flew around the room finally ending up near the litter. The second time he was curled up in the blanket and got out but didn't go far. I removed the carrier. Last time I couldn't find him and couldn't figure out how he got out. Then I found him hiding behind the blanket. That's the photo. I've given him some tuna and some chicken but he hadn't eaten anything the last time I looked. Doesn't look happy, does he?
Meanwhile PuddyTat is happily snoozing on her heating pad. I finally turned it off awhile ago as the temp won't go below 30. Teens are forecast for midweek so she will need it then.
I doubled Tim's foam over and he figured out how to get between the layers. Didn't get a photo tho.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

More comments on Anglican, um, stuff

I'm very happy that the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles elected two women as suffragan bishops tho I wish the words referring to sexuality could be omitted. Both people are wonderful priests who will be wonderful bishops according to what people who know them are saying. Why we have to know that they are women or that one of them is a lesbian is beyond me. Godde doesn't discriminate so why should we? I fear that many men especially will not want to confirm one of the ladies. To some, qualifications mean nothing. It is all about whom she chooses to live with. May the Holy Spirit wield the hammer she uses on my head to knock some sense into their theology.

Meanwhile the Episcopal Diocese of Lousiana chose a person who seems to have been the most moderate on the slate. There was one candidate our little group of OCICBWers prayed would not be chosen. We are happy.

And who should have something critical to say about the American choices for bishop? Why it's the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. Bless him. He all but threatened TEC with expulsion if we consecrate another homosexual bishop. Has he said anything about Uganda and the possible genocide of homosexuals if the proposed law is enacted? Has he rejected the labeling of homosexuals as cockroaches by one of his Ugandan Anglican bishops at a funeral recently? Nary a peep. He needs to hold his head in shame.

I know a whole bunch of wonderful LGBT people whose lives are boringly normal and totally nonthreatening which is more than I can say for some "evangelical Christians'". I pray those in Uganda can be like the insects they are labeled and outlive many times over those who would persecute them. I'd prefer the Ugandans study their Bibles and quit listening to the American hatemongers however.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Friday cat blogging on Saturday

This is the retreat I had built for the cats in the garage. There are two kitty doors but I don't know if either has ever been used. They come and go under the big door I leave up by 8 or so inches. There are plenty of places for a feline to find a burrow - a huge doggie pillow, a couple of towers, the box with the new green blanket and a blanket on cardboard on the floor which Tim was in a couple of days ago. The water dish is heated.

If you think it looks like bloody footprints, you are correct. Dudie still has the growth on one paw which gets bloody occasionally. I hope to catch him and get him to the vet soon. He hasn't been around for a couple of days. Don't know if he found a woman or another place to roost for awhile. Reminder to me - scrub the carrier.
Meanwhile Tim is in the foam in the canoe this morning. I think I will double it over so she can get underneath like she did with the old pad until it deteriorated into bits.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday cat blogging

PuddyTat liked her green blanket so much that I decided to get them for all the boxes. At $4 each, it wasn't a huge expense. Jellico seems happy to have one in his larger box originally created to house both Tommie and PuddyTat.

I partially blocked off and covered the space above the windowsill so Little One had a place when Jellico was in the smaller box by the window. Looks like Little One likes his windowsill tho I suspect he will move to the roomier, now empty box eventually.
Now I need to hook up the electric so the water isn't frozen in the morning.

In case you are wondering about the cardboard on top of the boxes - it is to keep the cats and other critters off the boxes. Hopefully.

Tim seems to be wrapping herself in a blanket on the floor of the garage's cathouse these days. Dudie has usually stayed in a box on the shelf there. I gave him a blanket too. Guess I should photo that too, eh?

Friday shuffle

1. Hosa Dyna Polka
2. In the Rain - The Dramatics
3. Innamorata - Jerry Vale
4. Satie: Prélude #3, "Prélude Du Nazaréen #1 - Riri Shimada
5. Shop Around - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
6. Lilies in the Moonlight
7. Beethoven: Mass in C, Agnus Dei - Shaw/Atlanta
8. Singing the Blues - Guy Mitchell
9. Make Me Smile - Chicago
10. Talk Talk - The Music Machine

I have no idea who the polka bands are so I'm just choosing a video so you can hear the happy music I love. Don't pay any attention to the performance, please! Most are excruciating in one way or another.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Friday cat blogging on Thursday

I think territorial decisions have been made. Each cat in the same place as yesterday. (See below)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Friday cat blogging on Wednesday

Dude and Little One enjoyed a brief bit of sunbathing.
If Tommie weren't so obviously male...
one would think he is pregnant.
Meanwhile the weather seems to be deteriorating and several of the felines have decided they want to stay on the cathouse roof. There was serious contention for the big box. I added a box but that only caused more struggles. So I added a third box and lined all of them up, nicely squeezed in so neither the wind nor the wilder critters should dislodge them. Then I covered the space between the boxes and the window making yet another small space. The three characters are Little One, Jellico and PuddyTat.