Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More Than Toes

"Ow! Hey! What is wrong with these shoes?!" The cries of #2 Son, as he struggled to get his shoes on and walk out the door to head for school at the same time could be heard all over the house.

Thunk, thunk. He banged them up against the wall, and peered in, and thunked them again. Then he looked up and said, "There's something alive in there!"

He wiggled the tongue around, and again looked into the depths, then said, "There's a gecko lizard in there!"

Sure enough, he shook and banged, and eventually a very startled little mottled reptile made its appearance, falling to the driveway and running off.

That does it. From now on, I'm shaking my shoes out before putting them on. I don't want anything in there alive that isn't part of me.

Today is

Festal Day -- Order of the Eastern Star

Limba Noastra -- Moldova (Day of Our Language)

Independence Day -- Kyrgyzstan; Malaysia (Hari Merdeka); Trinidad & Tobago

Love Litigating Lawyers Day (Yes, God tells us to love everybody, even litigation attorneys. He never said doing it would be easy.)

National Trail Mix Day

Day of Solidarity and Freedom -- Poland

St. Aidan's Day

Birthdays Today:

Jeff Hardy, 1977
Richard Gere, 1949
Itzhak Perlman, 1945
Marva Collins, 1936
Frank Robinson, 1935
James Coburn, 1928
Buddy Hackett, 1924
Alan Jay Lerner, 1918
Arthur Godfrey, 1903
Maria Montessori, 1870

Today in History:

Traditional date upon which Ayonwentah (Haiwatha) and Deganawidah (The Great Peacemaker) assist the Iroquois tribes in establishing the Confederation of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy, or League of Five Nations), 1142
Lewis and Clark begin their expedition, 1803
A nuts and bolts machine is patented by Micah Rugg, 1842
The first professional football game is played in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, 1895
Edison patents the Kinetograph, 1897
Mrs. Adolph Landenburg, a horse rider, debuts the split skirt, 1902
Debut of Foghorn Leghorn, 1946
Solidarity Labor Union forms in Poland, 1980
Diana, Princess of Wales, her companion Dodi Al-Fayed and driver Henri Paul die in a car crash in Paris, 1997

Monday, August 30, 2010

Why Do They Want to Remember?

Yesterday is the day everyone talks about, but the memories for me stem from today.

Around here, it comes creeping every year like an unwanted houseguest, the anniversary of Katrina. The call for stories. The remembrances. The ceremonies.

My most vivid memories were from the next day, today, the day after. I stood in the back of the lobby of the hotel, watching the people as they glued their eyes to the large screen, wondering what was going to happen. It was as if we knew something was wrong, something bad, but we didn't know yet exactly what, or how bad.

Then, live, the first pictures of New Orleans came streaming in. Water everywhere. Familiar landscapes erased. Levies broken.

I watched the people. Stunned and shell shocked, they never expected any of that. They left for a weekend, and some have never moved back.

As we watched, the camera panned in, and a woman started crying. The young man sitting next to her, probably her son, had a look of pain I will never forget, and he was at a loss as to how to comfort her. They sat there and watched as their home, everything their family had ever worked for, burned to the water line. Right there on national television.

Why do they want us to retell? So we won't forget, and so we won't let New Orleans die.

Today is

Alexandrian New Year -- Alexandrian/Coptic Calendar, used in Egypt

Frankenstein Day (Interesting, when juxtaposed to the next entry.)

Huey P. Long Day, Louisiana

International Day of the Disappeared

Julienne Fries Day

Liberation Day -- Hong Kong

Mind Day

National Holistic Pet Day

National Toasted Marshmallow Day

Ould Lammas Fair -- Ballycastle, Ireland, through tomorrow

Santa Rosa de Lima -- Peru

St. Fiacre's Day

St. Pammachius' Day

Victory Day -- Turkey

Birthdays Today

Cameron Diaz, 1972
Peggy Lipton, 1947
Frank "Tug" McGraw, 1944
Jean-Claude Killy, 1943
Warren Buffett, 1930
Ted Williams, 1918
Fred MacMurray, 1908
Shirley Booth, 1898
Huey P. Long, 1893
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, 1797

Today in History

European leaders, in an attempt to end war "for all time", outlaw the crossbow, 1146
One of the largest naval battles in history, during the last decade of the ailing, Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty, begins between the forces of two Chinese rebel leaders, 1363
Capture of the entire Dutch fleet by British forces under the command of Sir Ralph Abercromby and Admiral Sir Charles Mitchell, 1799
Founding of Melbourne, Australian, 1835
Founding of Houston, Texas, 1836
Hubert Cecil Booth patents a vacuum cleaner, 1901
The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in south Louisiana, the longest bridge over water that is not also a viaduct, opens, 1956
The Hotline between the leaders of the U.S.A. and the Soviet Union goes into operation, 1963
Thurgood Marshall is confirmed as the first African American Justice of the United States Supreme Court, 1967
Guion Bluford becomes the first African American astronaut in space, 1983
NATO launches Operation Deliberate Force against Bosnian Serb forces, 1995

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Cats All Around

I have decided that if I have to be reincarnated as an animal, I want to come back as someone's bottle feed kitten. What a cushy life!

The older ones are at the able-to-learn-to-drink-from-a-bowl-but-still-want-a-bottle stage, where they pull the "I'm sta--a--arving" act when you try to get them to lap formula from a bowl instead of sucking on a bottle. They are also somewhat imperfectly litter trained.

All of them are running around the kitchen now, so we do the kitten shuffle, a walk that involves not lifting the feet from the floor much at all, so if we do accidentally step on something, it is usually just that we caught the tip of a paw or tail under the edge of a shoe. You should also never move without looking down, as they tend to fall asleep snuggled between your feet when you stand at the sink or stove for a few minutes.

The two litters have taken well to each other, and tumble and play and flop on each other when they sleep. I have their litter pan in a cardboard box turned on its side, used to help block one end of the kitchen, and their "sleeping den," a box with their blanket, also on its side at the other end.

David, a/k/a Chunker, the biggest of all the kittens, is not happy at all with being boxed in. He wants out, to wherever "out" happens to be. He is very determined and persistent in his attempts to get past any and every barricade. A Grady in training, it seems. He also is the big strong he-man of the bunch, very friendly unless you pick him up from behind or startle him, when he will jump, arch, spit, hiss and generally prepare to sell his little life dearly. Yesterday he prepared to defend himself to the death against the dishwasher, which was making threatening noises in his estimation.

Tsula, the smallest of the older litter, is still the least pretty Siamese type I've ever seen, though she is getting better. She managed, despite our best attempts, to get behind the refrigerator the other day, and stayed there a couple of hours. Sweetie was frantic, though I told him she had to be back there and would come out when she got hungry enough.

He was all for moving the fridge, but since I had done that the day before to clean behind it, and found unidentifiable decaying objects back there, along with dust bunnies that had grown fangs and fought back, I was reluctant in case I find I had missed something.

Bigger Girl finally moved the other fridge barricade, the one Tsula had not gotten through, and found her curled up right next to it. I have since wedged something even tighter in there, and since Chunker knocked it down on his own head trying to climb it, none have gone near it. I hope it knocked a bit of sense in his head.

Frostfur is the other girl in the colorpoint litter, and while her fur is not as soft as Oreo's at the shelter, it is thick and soft for her type. She is beautiful and about twice the size of her sister.

Of the 4 smaller kittens, only one has a name so far, and that is the boy, Raab Himself. Screechiest cry for a kitten I have ever heard, very loud and obnoxious. #2 Son is very proud, as he intends to "train" David and Raab in what he calls "the way of my kittens." I'm not sure what all he does in his training, as he takes them in his room a good bit, but his kittens always turn out to be very friendly and yet "manly," if that makes sense. His also always prove to be the most entertaining somehow. Just like him, I suppose.

We have moved the adult cat food bowls, and I want the change in location to be permanent, because they were too easily knocked over in their kitchen placement before. This means the cats only have to come through the kitchen to get to the litter box in the hall, and as much as I want to I cannot move it. There really is no convenient place in a house for a litter box, I don't care how big or small the place.

So yesterday when Hope came back to her old feeding place, even after eating at the new one several times (she is our "special" cat), she met the kittens and sniffed a bit, without hissing. Kida, our wheezing Siamese came in to greet them, too, and didn't hiss at the colorpoints. The marble tabbies she gave a wider berth. I think she recognizes kin.

I haven't seen any interaction between kittens and either Horizon or Little Girlie, nor do I expect to. They are both notoriously shy, and are seldom seen even going to eat or use the box. They only feel safe in a bedroom.

But Badlands Blackie came in and sniffed curiously, and then moved on into the hall toward his box. So far, the adult cats are not acting out their displeasure at the invasion of their territory, which is good. Their usual methods involve loud middle of the night cat fights and "forgetting" where the litter box is, using beds instead. This time, they just don't seem upset. Maybe they are getting used to the fact that kittens come and go, but the 5 of them are forever.

Today is

According to Hoyle Day

Day of Loose Talk -- Fairy Calendar

Feast of Augustus -- Old Roman Calendar

Feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist

First Day of Thoth -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (first day of the Egyptian Calendar)

More Herbs, Less Salt Day

National Sarcoidosis Awareness Day (Sarcoidosis involves inflammation that produces tiny lumps of cells in various organs in your body. Just so you can be aware. Now one more thing for us to worry about.)

National Whiskey Sour Day

Notting Hill Carnival -- Notting Hill, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, England, through tomorrow

Slovak National Uprising Anniversary -- Slovakia

St. Sabina's day (Patron Saint of Housewives)

Birthdays Today

Michael Jackson, 1958
Elliot Gould, 1938
John McCain, 1936
Richard Attenborough, 1923
Charlie "Bird" Parker, 1920
Isabel Sanford, 1917
Ingrid Bergman, 1915
Preston Sturges, 1898

Today in History

Era of Diocletian (Martyrs), the last major time of persecution for the early Christian churches, begins with Gen. Gaius Aurelius V Diocletianus Jovius becoming emperor of Rome, 284
Japan mints its first copper coins, 708
The last Incan King of Peru, Atahualpa, is executed by order of Francisco Pizarro, 1533
The first Indian "reservation" is formed by the New Jersey Legislature, 1758
Michael Faraday discovers electromagnetic induction, 1831
The United Kingdom legislates the abolition of slavery in its empire, 1833
Treaty of Nanking signing ends the First Opium War, 1842
The first motorcycle is patented in Germany by Gottlieb Daimler, 1885
The chef of a visiting Chinese Ambassador invents "chop suey" in NYC, 1896
The Goodyear tire company is founded, 1898
The Quebec Bridge collapses during construction, killing 75 workers, 1907
Ishi, considered the last Native American to make contact with European Americans, emerges from the wilderness of northeastern California, 1911
The Soviet Union tests its first atomic bomb, 1949
Speedy Gonzales makes his debut, 1953
The Beatles perform their last concert before paying fans at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, 1966
Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union suspends all activities of the Soviet Communist Party, 1991
Hurricane Katrina devastates much of the U.S. Gulf Coast, 2005

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Brother-in-Law, a/k/a The Mouth for how much tucker he can put away (he is a champion trencherman, I would say world class), has us busy. He is a Boy Scout troop leader, and has earned the highest honor an adult scout can receive, the Wood Badge.

So we spent Friday evening coloring his hair (as well as running the kids all over creation so they could go to the mall and the movies), and Saturday will be the day to make him some banana pudding to take to his ceremony, and then Sunday will be spent rushing to get to the doggone thing across town from our church service, which only lets out a few minutes before it starts.

Add the Angel Food pick up, getting cat food from the shelter for the foster feeding program, and all of the other "stuff" on the agenda, and I might be able to breathe by Monday, except that then I have to get the kids back to school and prepare for co-op, and no wonder I am tired.

The school year just started.

Today is

Crackers Over the Keyboard Day (Are we supposed to go crackers over our keyboard, or tempt fate by eating crackers over our keyboard?)

Dream Day

Festival of Neon Revolution

Green Corn Pow Wow -- Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation

National Cheese Sacrifice Day (Now you know why you purchased the cheese for the sacrifice! To let it age properly before the actual sacrifice. Still doesn't answer why we sacrifice it, anyway, or to whom.)

National Cherry Turnover Day

Nativity of Nephthys -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (goddess of love)

Race Your Mouse Around the Icons Day

St. Augustine of Hippo's Day (patron Saint of brewers and printers)

St. Hermes' Day

World Sauntering Day (So saunter somewhere.)

Birthdays Today

LeAnn Rimes, 1982
Jack Black, 1969
Jason Priestley, 1969
Shania Twain, 1965
Scott Hamilton, 1958
Ben Gazzara, 1930
Charles Boyer, 1899
Leo Tolstoy, 1828
Elizabeth Ann Seton, 1774
Johann von Goethe, 1749

Today in History

The Third Crusade begins with the seige of Acre, 1189
6,000 Jews are killed in Mainz, accused of being the cause of the plague, 1349
St. Augustine, FL, founded, making it the oldest continuously occupied European city and port in the US, 1565
Henry Hudson discovers Delaware Bay, 1609
The first locomotive in the US, the "Tom Thumb", runs from Baltimore to Ellicott's Mill, 1830
The first issue of Scientific American magazine is published, 1845
The United States takes possession of the, at this point unoccupied, Midway Atoll, 1867
James E. Casey begins the United Parcel Service in Seattle, WA, 1907
WEAF in NYC airs the very first radio commercial, for Queensboro Realty, at a cost of $100 for ten minutes, 1922
Toyota Motors becomes an independent company, 1937
Motown releases what would be its first #1 hit, "Please Mr. Postman" by The Marvelettes, 1961
Martin Luther King, Jr. gives his I Have a Dream speech; Emily Hoffert and Janice Wylie are murdered in their Manhattan flat, prompting the events that would lead to the passing of the Miranda Rights, 1963
The National Centers for Disease Control announce a high incidence of pneumocystis and Kaposi's sarcoma in gay men; these will soon be recognized as symptoms of an immune disorder, which will be called AIDS, 1981
Iraq declares Kuwait to be its newest province, 1990
Charles, Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales divorce, 1996

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Good, The Bad, The Adopted

First, the adopted. Besides kittens on adoption day itself (we get a few of those most weeks), sweet Georgie was adopted to a lady who specifically wanted a dog friendly already declawed adult. Perfect match. Also, Simba and Sheba, both of whom are pure entertainment on four legs, went to new homes from the shelter.

The "bad." They really aren't, and weren't tonight for certain. Grady didn't escape! Not even once! He has learned to stand between the two doors to the clinic and wait to see which one you are heading toward, so you have to fake him out and be quick, but we managed. Prissy didn't get out, either, and she still hisses every time Ginny gets too close to her. They are both very loving toward people, though, and love attention. The Miss Priss waited until I was through cleaning boxes to go, also. Primadonna.

I only saw silly boy Clint's tail. He how hides behind a storage box on a shelf, and isn't careful to tuck his tail in there completely.

Frieda, as usual, is happy alone in the office, let my kids pet her like crazy, and hissed at me. Another primadonna.

Our long-suffering Rory is back and in isolation for an upper respiratory infection. He is still loving and friendly and hungry.

Noonie is no longer wearing her collar and is in a much better mood. She is back in a colony room and off all medication, another reason to be happy.

Gidget still misses her kitten, poor thing. She hisses whenever anyone walks in the room, but if you bend down and hold out your hand, she will come out of her sleeping box and be petted. She is also gaining weight finally.

Lucky, a new resident of the cages, is not gaining yet. He has an overactive thyroid and eats and drinks enormous quantities. He also took his medicine easily, for which I was grateful.

Rosie and Nacho, who by the way does not have ringworm (thank heaven) are both on meds, but I had to make two calls to Miss W to confirm, as they forgot to put the checkmark boxes on the caretaker sheets. The only way we know when to start and stop medicine is by those boxes that are supposed to be written in for any cat which needs it. I put in the missing boxes, checked them off for the evening, and Rosie is still shy but getting better, Nacho still friendly, and now sharing a room.

He is with Curly Sue and Devon, and they seem to be getting along better than Curly Sue and Simba ever did. Too much high energy in a room is not a good thing.

Oreo has such soft fur that the children asked, "Hey, why do they have a rabbit in here, and how did they get it to look like a cat!" He seriously feels like a soft, fluffy bunny. I think he will be easy to adopt out.

Room One now has Runt, Allie, and Gabbie, and Runt is the big guy in the room. Just like our Runtie was the huge one of our 3 elderly, neurotic group. Funny how that happens, isn't it?

Bowie and JuJu, Roxanne, Corrie and Nanette, and Angel and Dustie round out the rest of the rooms, and they are all doing well.

Today is

Feast of Incandescent Rebellion

Just Because Day

Moldova National Day/Independence Day

National Pots de Creme Day

Nativity of Isis -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (goddess of fertility)

Petroleum Day

St. Caesarius' Day

St. Monica's Day

Volturnalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (god of water)

Birthdays Today

Paul "Pee-wee Herman" Reubens, 1952
Barbara Bach, 1947
Tuesday Weld, 1943
Martha Raye, 1916
Lyndon B. Johnson, 1908
C.S. Forester, 1899
Samuel Goldwyn, 1882

Today in History

The Persian invasion of Greece is halted with Greek victories in two separate battles, BC479
Koreans battle and prevent Japanese invasion, 663
The first unmanned hydrogen balloom flight reaching 900 m altitude, 1783
Petroleum is discovered in Titusville, Pennsylvania leading to the world's first commercially successful oil well, 1859
The shortest war in world history occurs from 09:00 to 09:45 between the United Kingdom and Zanzibar, 1896
Edgar Rice Burroughs' publishes "Tarzan of the Apes", 1912
First flight of the turbojet-powered Heinkel He 178, the world's first jet aircraft, 1939
The Mariner 2 unmanned space mission is launched to Venus by NASA, 1962
Turkish military diplomat Colonel Atilla Altikat is shot and killed
in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 1982
The Rainbow Bridge, connecting Tokyo's Shibaura and the island of
Odaiba, is completed, 1993
Mars makes its closest approach to Earth in nearly 60,000 years, 2003

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cicada Chorus

As I was standing at the clothes line, sorting and folding into piles, I missed the bird song of the morning hanging it out there routine.

The cicada chorus was instead drowning out any and every other sound. They are so loud, I couldn't hear the children yelling as they played across the street, as I usually do.

Their sound is very similar to an electrical buzz, which gets very annoying after a while. It is just not pleasant for some reason, and this year they are so many and so loud that I can even hear them indoors sometimes.

A few wouldn't be too bad, but this is like listening to a choir and only the bass section has a microphone, and outnumbers everyone else.

On another outdoorsy note, this morning was a little cooler when I walked outdoors, so the season will change. Not right away, but it is on the way.

I hope summer takes the cicadas with it. I want my quieter evenings out by the clothesline back.

Today is:

Alice Doesn't Day

Blessed Dominic of the Mother of God's Day

First Thnork of the Year -- Fairy Calendar

Heroes Day -- Namibia

Ilmatar (Finnish goddess of the Water Mother)

Make Your Own Luck Day

National Dog Day

National Cherry Popsicle Day

Sky Day (Well, we do sort of take it for granted, this is a nice one, celebrate that we have a beautiful sky.)

Sultan's Birthday (on Zanzibar), Tanzania

Susan B. Anthony Day, Massachusetts

St. Zeohyrinnus' Day

Watermelon Festival -- Winterville, North Carolina, through the 28th

Women's Equality Day

World Peace Festival -- Berlin, Germany, through the 28th

Zucchini Festival -- Obetz, Ohio, through the 28th

Birthdays Today:

Macaulay Culkin, 1980
Branford Marsalis, 1960
Ben Bradlee, 1921
Mother Teresa, 1910
Christopher Isherwood, 1904
Peggy Guggenheim, 1898
Albert "Bertie" von Saksen-Coburg-Gotha, husband of queen Victoria, 1819
Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, 1743

Today in History:

Michelangelo is commissioned to carve the Pieta, 1498
The Pennsylvania Ministerium, the first Lutheran denomination in North America, is founded in Philidelphia, 1748
John Fitch is granted a US patent for his working steamboat, 1791
Charles Thurber patents a typewriter, 1843
Major eruption of Krakatoa, 36,000 dead, 1883
19th Amendment to the US Constitution, granting women the vote, takes effect, 1920
The first Major League Baseball game is telecast, 1939

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I Have a Home?

Yesterday I felt like I could just never get home.

Up early and off to the co-op. A crazy first day, everyone needed me to be everywhere during set up time. This class wants extra tables, and took them from study hall, which roared loudly at the indignity. We are outgrowing our facilities again, and we need more chairs.

We have Little Girl in only 3 classes, and both of us leave early so I can get #2 Son and Bigger Girl to school for the afternoon.

So when I got home yesterday it was to find Bigger Girl sick. As in "I need to see the doctor" sick. Called and made an emergency appointment, took #2 Son to school, came home and took her to the doctor, then went to the pharmacy to drop of the prescription.

I got home just in time to have to leave to go get #2 Son, because there are both a major street and a portion of the interstate closed right now, and traffic is bad. It was not as bad as it could have been, and I managed to get back to the pharmacy to pick up the prescription on the way back.

By the time I got home, though, I was starting to wonder if maybe having a home was just my imagination. Dinner was a hurry up affair, but it went over well enough. Except with #2 Son, who tried to get away with eating only leftover whipped topping from the day's cooking class. Unfortunately for him, I wasn't buying it.

I hope this is not the vision of Tuesdays to come this year, especially when we have kittens. It really isn't fair to the children when they get left with kitten care for the majority of the day.

Oh, and all 7 kittens, by God's grace, are still with us. We are up to giving the bigger ones a whole dose of inoculation each week, instead of a partial. All of them are still vultures, and scream to get out of their boxes and run around. Then, when we let them out, building a kind of "cage" with big pillows to keep them to certain areas, they just sit and stare. When they do "run," it is with the baby wobble that has their back legs splaying out with each step.

Later this week the bigger ones will graduate to being taught to lick formula from a bowl, and use the litter box. It goes so fast. Another good reason to stay home and watch.

Today is

Constitution Day -- Paraguay

Discovery of the Runes

Great American Duck Day

Independence Day -- Belarus, Uruguay

Kiss and Make Up Day

La Tomatina -- Buñol, Valencia, Spain (annual citywide food fight festival with tons of tomatoes -- last Wednesday in August)

National Banana Split Day

National Don't Utter A Word Day (I can't try this and teach a class, but I might suggest it for the daughter who talks my ear off! Then again, I'm glad she talks to me, so maybe I won't utter a word about it.)

National Second-Hand Wardrobe Day

Odin's Ordeal ends -- Ancient Norse Calendar

Opiconsivia -- Roman, Vestal Virgin Festival in honor of Ops

St. Genesius' Day (Patron Saint of Comedians, Secretaries, Actors, Lawyers, and Patron against Epilepsy)

Birthdays Today

Claudia Schiffer, 1970
Rachael Ray, 1968
Billy Ray Cyrus, 1961
Ann Archer, 1947
Regis Philbin, 1933
Sean Connery, 1930
Leonard Bernstein, 1918
Walt Kelly, 1913
Ruby Keeler, 1909
Clara Bow, 1905
Hans Adolf Krebs, 1900
Ludwig II, "Mad King" of Bavaria, 1845
Allan Pinkerton, 1819
Ivan the Terrible, 1530

Today in History

The Council of Nicaea ends with the adoption of the Nicene Creed, 325
The Children's Crusaders under Nicholas reach Genoa, 1212
The Honourable Artillery Company, the oldest surviving regiment in the British Army, and the second most senior, is formed, 1537
Galileo demonstrates his first telescope to Venetian lawmakers, 1609
Hundreds of French settlers arrive in New Orleans, which had been founded only a few months before, marking its true beginnings as a city, not just an outpost, 1718
James Cook begins his first voyage, 1768
Alice Meynell becomes the first female jockey, in England, 1804
British forces destroy the Library of Congress, which then contained about 3,000 books, 1814
The United States National Park Service is created, 1916
Zimbabwe joins the United Nations, 1980
Voyager 2 spacecraft makes its closest approach to Saturn, 1981
Tadeusz Mazowiecki is chosen as the first non-communist Prime Minister in Central and Eastern Europe, 1989
Voyager 2 spacecraft makes its closest approach to Neptune, the outermost planet in the Solar System, 1989
Mayumi Moriyama becomes Japan's first female cabinet secretary, 1989
The Tli Cho land claims agreement is signed between the Dogrib First Nations and the Canadian federal government in Rae-Edzo (now called Behchoko), 2003

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Co-op Again, Hooray, Hooray

Back to it.

Why am I not happier?

Mississippi Mud Pie

1c chopped pecans
1c flour
1 stick butter

Melt butter, mix, press into 9X13 pan and bake 350*/20 minutes

Meanwhile, mix

8 oz softened cream cheese
1 c whipped topping, thawed
1c powdered sugar

Spread over crust.


2 packages instant chocolate pudding
3 c milk

Let stand to set a moment, spread over cream cheese mix.

Top with more whipped topping, or chocolate shavings, or graham cracker crumbs, or whatever you happen to have around.

Don't get your hands too close to the children's mouths as they inhale it.

Today is:

Bartholomew Fair -- London, UK

Full Sturgeon Moon a/k/a Full Red Moon, Green Corn Moon, and Grain Moon

Independence Day -- Ukraine

Knife Day

Mania Begins (Really? I thought it had been around forever, especially from watching the behavior of politicians all my life.)

Mundus Patet -- Ancient Roman Calendar (harvest festival that includes ancestors spirits)

National Peach Pie Day

National Waffle Day

Raksha Bandhan -- Hindu (Celebration of the bonds between brothers and sisters -- I don't know about you, but in my house brothers and sisters celebrate their "bonds" by trying to put each other in them!)

Schaferlauf, Germany (Festival to honor St. Bartholomew, Patron of Herdsmen)

St. Bartholomew's Day

St. Owen of Rouen's Day (Patron Saint of Innkeepers, and against Deafness)

Vesuvius Day

Birthday's Today:

Rupert Grint, 1988
Marlee Matlin, 1965
Cal Ripken, Jr., 1962
Steve Guttenberg, 1958
Yasser Arafat, 1929
Hal Smith, 1916
Duke Kahanamoku, 1890
Daniel Gooch, 1816
William Wilberforce, 1759

Today in History:

The eruption of Mt. Vesuvius buries Pompeii and Herculaneum, 15,000 die, 79
King John of England, a/k/a Humpty Dumpty for having to issue the first Magna Carta, marries Isabella of Angoileme, 1200
Six thousand Jews are killed in Mainz after being blamed for the bubonic plague, 1349
The printing of the Gutenberg Bible is completed, 1456
The first English convoy lands at Surat, India, 1608
Calcutta, India is founded, 1690
British troops invade Washington, D.C. and burn down the White House and several other buildings, 1814
Charles Darwin is asked to travel on HMS Beagle, 1831
The Panic of 1857 begins, touching off one of the most severe economic crises in US history (Which just goes to show you, the more things change, the more they stay the same), 1857
Cornelius Swarthout patents the waffle iron, 1869
The Wolseley Expedition reaches Manitoba to end the Red River Rebellion, 1870
Captain Matthew Webb became first person to swim English Channel, 1876
Thomas Edison patents the motion picture camera, 1891
Workers start pouring concrete for the Panama Canal, 1909
Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly non-stop across the continent, 1932
The treaty creating NATO goes into effect, 1949
France explodes its first hydrogen bomb, thus becoming the world's fifth nuclear power, 1968
Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as head of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, 1991
Argon fluorohydride, the first Argon compound ever known, is discovered at the University of Helsinki, 2000
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) redefines the term "planet" such that Pluto is considered a Dwarf Planet, 2006

Monday, August 23, 2010


Back to the shop with the van. Another bill to stretch to cover.

The dank darkness that
Holds my soul prisoner
Of the deepest night
Damned black crows perch to assure
I cannot escape its grasp

Today is

Black Ribbon Day -- Estonia; Latvia; Lithuania

European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism -- European Union

Flag Day -- Ukraine

International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition

National Plumber's Day

National Spongecake Day

Nemeseia -- Ancient Greek Calendar (local festival to the goddess Nemesis)

Permanent Press Day

Ride the Wind Day

Romania Liberation Day

St. Apolinaris' Day

St. Rose of Lima's Day (Patron Saint of Peru, Central and South America, the Philippines, florists, and gardeners)

Umhlangaaa -- Swaziland (Reed Dance)

Valentino Day

Vulcanalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (festival to the god of fire)

Birthdays Today:

Kobe Bryant, 1978
River Phoenix, 1970
Queen Noor of Jordan, 1951
Shelley Long, 1949
Barbara Eden, 1934
Mark Russel, 1932
Vera Miles, 1930
Gene Kelly, 1912
Louis XVI, 1754

Today in History:

On the feast of Vulcan, Roman god of fire, Mt. Vesuvius begins to rumble, 79
Visigoths storm Rome, 410
Edward I executes William Wallace, Scottish patriot, for high treason, 1305
French explorer Jacques Cartier lands near Quebec City in his third voyage to Canada, 1541
Rabbi Joseph Caro completes his commentary of Tur Code, 1542
The St. Bartholomew's Day massacre of Huguenots in Paris, 1572
The first one-way streets open in London, 1617
Steamship service begins on the Great Lakes, 1818
Great Britian abolishes slavery in the colonies, 700,000 slaves are freed, 1833
Automobile tire chain is patented, 1904
Bryan Allan, in a Gossamer Condor, completes the first man-powered flight of one mile, 1977

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Personal Assistant

Bigger Girl got an offer from a friend of mine to become her personal assistant a few hours a week.

This is a woman with several children, some of them grown and gone, some still in grade school. She is also in school, majoring in disaster management. She volunteers for the Red Cross, is her church's part time secretary, coordinates disaster management for her church, and may be getting a full time job with the diocese soon.

She needs an assistant, all right. She wants Bigger Girl to come with her a few hours a week, see what she is doing, and train her to help. She especially wants her to brainstorm ways to address issues of how to care for pets during disasters and evacuations.

Bigger Girl can't wait.

Today is:

America's Cup Day

Be an Angel Day

Feast of the Queenship of Mary

Hoodie Hoo Day, Southern Hemisphere

Hug Your Boss Day (Be careful with this one!)

Immaculate Heart of Mary Festival

National Pecan Torte Day

National Tooth Fairy Day

Rumpleskunkskin's Wedding (Goblin celebration)

St. Symphorian's Day

Tunamint, Natural Chimneys, VA

Birthdays Today:

Cindy Williams, 1947
Valerie Harper, 1940
Carl Yastrzemski, 1939
Norman Schwarzkopf, 1934
Ray Bradbury, 1920
John Lee Hooker, 1917
Dorothy Parker, 1893
Claude Debussy, 1862
Samuel Pierpont Langley, 1834
Virginia Clemm Poe, 1822

Today in History:

St. Columba reports seeing a monster in Loch Ness, 565
The Battle of Bosworth Field, in which King Richard III is killed and his forces defeated by Henry VII, 1485
Madras, India (now called Chennai) is founded by the British East India company on land purchased from the local Nayak rulers, 1639
Jacob Barsimon, the first Jewish immigrant to what would become US territory, arrives in New Amsterdam/Manhattan, 1654
The Newport, RI newspaper, Mercury, becomes the first in the US to hire a female editor, Ann Franklin, 1762
Austria laundches pilotless balloons against the Italian city of Venice, thus staging the first air raid in history, 1849
Gold discovered in Australia, 1851
William Shepphard patents the first liquid soap, 1885
Founding of the Cadillac Motor Company, 1901
President Theodore Roosevelt becomes the first US chief executive to ride in an automobile, 1902
The first Victor Victrola is manufactured, 1906
The Mona Lisa is stolen, 1911 (recovered 2 years later)
Althea Gibson becomes the first black competitor in international tennis, 1950
The first ring of Neptune is discovered, 1989
The Storm botnet, a botnet created by the Storm Worm, sends out a record 57 million e-mails in one day, 2007

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Routing Madness

We now, thanks to the wonderful work of my fearless friend Brent the Nerd, from RentANerd, have a router that can handle every single thing that can get online that is currently in this house, all at the same time. Two desktops, three laptops, a Wii, and an XBox can all get on at once and if a friend came in, we would have wi-fi to spare for their netbook or whatever is carried in.

This makes school, and especially homeschool, so much easier. Even from home they can get training from great teachers everywhere. It is an amazing time we occupy.

Brent also updated all of our virus protection and cleaned out my laptop and the desktop that hadn't been cleaned out lately. I hope one of my kids grows up to be a computer nerd. They are really handy to have around.

Today is:

Carrot Fest -- Ontario, Canada

Consualia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (festival of Consus, god of grain and silos)

Daffodil Day

Festival of Goliath -- Ath, Belgium

Good Roads Day

Men's Grooming Day (Don't tell my Sweetie! He already prinks in front of the mirror forever every morning!)

National Homeless Animals Day

National Spumoni Day (I don't think I've had really great spumoni since I went to Italy all those years ago -- nothing like getting things at the source.)

Ninoy Aquino Day -- Philippines

Old Thresherman's Reunion -- Kinzers, Pennsylvania

Poet's Day

Senior Citizen's Day

St. Bernard Tolomei's Day (Patron Saint of Olive Growers)

St. Francis de Sales' Day

St. Jane Frances de Chantal's Day

Anniversaries Today

Hawai'i becomes the 50th US state, 1959

Birthdays Today

Ozma, Queen of Oz, year unconfirmed
Jackie DeShannon, 1944
Clarence Williams III, 1939
Kenny Rogers, 1938
Wilt Chamberlain, 1936
Friz Freleng, 1906
Count Basie, 1904
William Murdoch, 1754
Francis de Sales, 1567

Today in History

Minamoto Yoritomo becomes Seii Tai Shogun and therefore de facto ruler of Japan, 1192
Pueblo Indians capture Santa Fe from Spanish during the Pueblo Revolt, 1680
James Cook formally claims eastern Australia for Great Britain, naming it New South Wales, 1770
The Nat Turner slave revolt in Virginia leaves 55 dead, 1831
Mighty Casey (Dan Casey) is struck out! In a game against the N.Y. Giants, 1887
William S Burroghs patents the adding machine, 1888
Oldsmobile is incorporated as a division of General Motors Corp., 1897
Arthur Rose Eldred becomes the first Boy Scout to earn the rank of Eagle Scout, 1912
Physicist Harry K. Daghlian, Jr. is fatally irradiated in a criticality incident during an experiment with the Demon core at Los Alamos National Laboratory, 1945
James Anderson, Jr. posthumously receives the first Medal of Honor to be awarded to an African American U.S. Marine, 1968
Mary Langdon becomes the first female fire fighter in England, 1976
Coup attempt against Mikhail Gorbachev collapses, 1991

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Shelter Front

It's that time again, shelter update. Yahoo.

Little Girl went along to pick up Bigger Girl and #2 Son from school, and we fought traffic to get across to the place. We were there by ourselves today, and the kids were happy. They headed for the snacks first as usual and I made the rounds to see who was where.

My first stop is always to see who has been adopted since the last time. Pip, ChiChi, Stella, Billy, Duke, and of course Zeus, are all on the "have a new home" list.

Next to that list is the "here's what we need to worry about list." Nacho, who has had that spot on his neck for quite a while now, is quarantined for possible ringworm. Ouch.

Other than that, no real difficulties, so we took our assignments, filled the water pitchers so we could easily change water in the rooms, and got started.

The clinic room is still occupied so that Grady and Prissy can roam. They have been joined by Ginny, a very dark tortie, and Clint is still hiding in the room if anyone goes in. He has been given a soft-sided kitty cube in which to bury himself so he doesn't have to block off one of the litter boxes. They now have 3 of them, all clear to use, and yet they all use one. What's with that? And somebody in there has very soft stool.

I decided that this time, I wasn't going to let Grady escape at all. I faked him out when leaving the room to get things by standing next to the kitchen door, then ducking over and running out through the office where Frieda is before he realized it. It worked! I didn't let Grady out at all! Bigger Girl did. They can't wait 3 minutes for you to finish and get out of the room, they have to come in and talk to you right that exact minute.

The second time I ducked through the office, I went ahead and took care of Frieda. She was not happy to see me, although she loves the kids. Go figure.

Roxanne, who is so painfully shy, is still in the back cages, but the rest of the occupants are in there for the first time. Rosie is back there for oral medication and ear drops. Gidget is so skinny it is scary. She has a full food bowl which she ignores, and her litter box is empty. I'm not sure what they are going to do for her, but it better be done soon. Noonie is suffering the indignity of a clear Elizabethan collar so that she won't rub the medicine out of her eye. Then there is Cosmo.

Cosmo is one of the prettiest cats I have ever seen. He is a white and silver tabby, and he has only 3 legs. He is only about 6 months old and crawled under someone's car to find a cooler spot to rest. The lady noticed he was dragging his useless front left leg, and since he is so friendly she took him right to the vet for surgery to remove the leg and something else as well. He is so very, very loving and I hope no one renames him Tripod, he is just to pretty.

Angel and Dustie are both doing well for now, and Angel has quit hiding when someone comes in as no meds are being dispensed in that room. Charles, Francie, Nikki, and Candy are each in a room alone, and are doing well. In fact, now that Candy is in a room, she is not so crazy. She doesn't dump water and throw litter so as to get attention, and her friendliness isn't as frenzied.

JuJu is also much friendlier in her room with Princess. Buddy and Tiger are holding their own, and Simba and Curly Sue are still a couple of fruitcakes. Those two are hopeless clowns, and they are going to mightily entertain anybody who adopts them. Bundles of limitless energy.

Poor Nacho is not happy being isolated in a cage. He has two sores that really don't look like or make hair fall out like ringworm, but no one wants to take any chances. He is on two oral meds, both of which are pills that he takes quite easily if you stuff them both in a pill pocket. He is not, however, on any type of topical medicine. That's why it seems strange that they suspect ringworm. Being that I am just the Thursday night shelter caretaker, I don't ask questions, I just do as I am told.

So everything was left in good shape, and since I had cooked dinner before I even went to go get the kids, we came home and I warmed dinner and made the salad.

Today is:

Constitution Day -- Hungary

Father's Day -- Nepal

Feast of Asma -- Baha'i

Independence From USSR Day -- Estonia

Moon's Birthday -- Aztec Calendar

National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day

National Radio Day

Pony Express Day

Revolution of the King and People -- Morocco

St. Bernard of Clairvaux's Day (Patron of bees, beekeepers, candle makers, Gibralter)

St. Stephen's Festival -- Budapest, Hungary

Virtual Worlds Day

Birthdays Today:

Al Roker, 1954
Connie Chung, 1946
Jacqueline Susann, 1921
Edgar Guest, 1881
H.P. Lovecraft, 1880
Benjamin Harrison, 1833
Bernardo O'Higgins, 1776

Today in History:

Hungary established as a kingdom by Stephen I, 1000
The Dutch bring the first African slaves to the colony of Jamestown, VA, 1619
The Spanish establish the presidio that will be the town of Tuscon, Arizona, 1775
The Lewis and Clark "Corps of Discovery", exploring the Louisiana Purchase, suffers its only death when sergeant Charles Floyd dies, apparently from acute appendicitis 1804
Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" opens in Moscow, 1882
Rotary Dial telephone is patented, 1896
Adolphe Pegoud makes the first parachute jump from an airplane, 1913
Stainless steel is first cast, 1913
WJM,8Mk, Detroit, becomes the first commercial radio station to start daily broadcasting, 1920
UK becomes the first to use radar, 1940
Plutonium weight determined, 1942
Launch of Voyager 2, 1977
George and Joy Adamson, the Born Free conservationists, are gunned down by poachers, 1989

Thursday, August 19, 2010


We are not raising baby kittens over here. We are raising tiny vultures.

All 7, both litters, are doing great. I'm not certain what has gotten into the 4 younger ones, but yesterday they ate every half hour on the dot! I have never made so much kitten formula in my life. I would no sooner get them fed and start to do something else than they would start making those initial whining noises that become screams when they are not fed fast enough.

The bigger 3 didn't do that. They ate regularly, with the biggest, the male, David a/k/a Chunker, never going back for seconds. He has the Garfield attitude about seconds, never bother, get it all the first time! He pretty much clears the bottle, then goes right back to sleep. Maybe we should change his name.

The tiniest of the older litter is still only half the size of the other two, and is still one ugly kitten. I've never seen an ugly colorpoint before, but I am seeing one now. We bathed her good, and she looks better, but she is still more drowned rat looking than cat looking. Ball bearing eyes, too. And if you look down on her face from above, she has the very short muzzle, but not quite a "push-face" as Sweetie calls it. I hope it is a case of ugly duckling syndrome and she gets better looking, so she can be adopted.

The marble tabbies are all beautiful, and I've figured out how to tell the difference between them.

Despite the vultures' constant eating, I have made great progress in getting the library ready for the visit of the nice Nerd, Bret, from RentANerd. He will come today and set us up with a router and get us all set. Now everybody in the house will have a way to be online at the same time if we all want to. No more having to set timers or break up arguments over whose turn it is. Yea!

We got the van back from the mechanic with the check engine light still on. Apparently something else went on while we went a month waiting for parts for the first repair. It will go back into the shop on Monday, so that the new problem can be fixed. I will not be able to get the kids to school that day, so I have told their teacher and they will have extra assignments given Friday so they can go back Tuesday and not have missed much.

Next repairs on the docket are repacking the bearings on the Fan Van, and then buying new tires for the car. If we ever get through, maybe I can fix my stove at some point. With all of the other repairs needed, even with the home warranty we can't have anything done in the house unless it is an emergency, and since two burners are still going okay and the 3rd can usually be convinced to work, it isn't an emergency.

So, vultures of all sorts, now that I think about it. I still tell people my kids come from a broken home because I am married to their dad but everything else is broken -- cars, stove, front door, house foundation, etc.

At least my little kitten/vultures have the advantage of being (mostly) beautiful.

Today is:

Bratwurst Festival -- Bucyrus, Ohio

Buhe, Ethiopia (Christian remembrance of the Transfiguration.)

Candlelight Vigil for Homeless Animals Day

Edinburgh International Festival -- Scotland, through Sept. 5

Festival of Random Access Memory

Independence Day -- Afghanistan

National Aviation Day

National Medical Dosimetrist Day

National Soft Ice Cream Day

Potato Day

Saviour's Day -- Russian Orthodox and Gregorian Orthodox Churches, popularly known as the Apples Feast

St. John Eudes' Day

St. Sebald's Day (a/k/a Sebaldus) (Patron Saint against Freezing)

The Rustic Vnalia -- Old Roman goddess Venus, Festival of Ripening Grapes

World Humanitarian Day

Birthdays Today:

Snuffleupagus (year unconfirmed)
LeAnn Womack, 1966
John Stamos, 1963
Adam Arkin, 1956
Mary Matlin, 1953
Jonathan Frakes, 1952
John Deacon, 1951
Tipper Gore, 1948
Bill Clinton, 1946
Jack Canfield, 1944
Jill St. John, 1940
Diana Muldaur, 1938
Willie Shoemaker, 1931
Gene Roddenberry, 1921
Malcolm Forbes, 1919
Jimmy Rowles, 1918
Ring Lardner, Jr., 1915
Philo T. Farnsworth, 1906 (inventor of television!)
Ogden Nash, 1902
Coco Chanel, 1883
George Bellows, 1882
Orville Wright, 1881
John Dryden, 1631

Today in History:

Roman Senate compelled to elect Octavian, later Augustus Caesar, Consul, BC43
Augustus Caesar dies, 14
Crusaders defeat the Saracens in the Battle of Ascalon, 1099
Mary Queen of Scots arrives in Leith to assume the throne, 1561
Five people are executed for witchcraft in Salem, Mass., 1692
Presentation of Jacque Daguerre's new photographic process to the French Academy of Sciences, 1839
The New York Herald reports the discovery of gold in California, 1849
The first All-American Soap Box Derby is held in Dayton, Ohio, 1934
Hurricane Dianne kills 200 and does about $1 Billion in damage, 1955
Leonard Bernstein conducts his final concert, ending with Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, 1990
A series of strong storms lashes Southern Ontario spawning several tornadoes as well as creating extreme flash flooding within the city of Toronto and its surrounding communities, 2005

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

How to Wake Your People -- by the Cats

There are various ways, and we hope this will give you just a few ideas. Feel free to build on them and come up with your own variations and additions.

The Kida Method: It helps if you are an asthmatic, and being a Siamese with great patience doesn't hurt either. Stick your nose and whiskers in your person's ear and wheeze loudly. Continue until the desired behavior is achieved.

The Horizon Method: (also used successfully by Fat Boy, now deceased, for over 18 years) Learn how to knock at the door. Yes, you can do it with paws. One paw, slipped under the door at just the right angle to rattle the door does it, as does learning to use your forehead to move the door just enough to make a knocking sound when you pull back. They cannot resist a knock at the door.

If you are in the room and want out, jump from the bedside table, to the pillow, to the windowsill, and back again, over and over and over until someone gets up to let you out.

The Hope Method: Easy to do, as Hope is mildly mentally retarded (yes, really, she gets lost in the hallway, and it is a short hallway). Sit on your person, or get lost in the hallway just outside the bedroom door and wail plaintively.

The Badlands Blackie Method: Start a very loud cat fight with Kida outside of the bedroom door. Make sure it is over a dominance issue, and make sure you keep it up until the person comes barreling out of the room to break it up.

The Newborn Foster Kitten Method: Get hungry. (Easy enough to do when you are a bottle fed baby.) Scream with that newborn baby cry, continuously, until the noise finds the spine of an adult person, who then cannot remain in bed but has to come make a bottle and feed you.

The Little Girlie Method: Stand by while one of the other cats uses an above method for you. C'mon, sweetie, you can charm one of them into it!

Additional tip: For real fireworks, several cats get together and employ a combination of methods, either one after the other until it is normal person wake up time, or all of you use them all at once for maximum noise. The latter usually results in the fun effect of having a large male human run out of the room yelling about how he just can't stand it.

We hope you learn from these, and share you own methods so we can learn new techniques.

Today is:

Bad Poetry Day

Cupcake Day

Long Tan Day a/k/a Vietnam Veterans Day -- Australia

Mail Order Catalog Day (Do yourself a favor and opt out of the doggone things, save a few trees: www.catalogchoice.org )

National Ice Cream Pie Day

National Science Day -- Thailand

St. Agapitus' Day

St. Helena's Day (Patron Saint of Archaeologists)

Toe-Pogling Season begins -- Fairy

World Peace Festival

Birthdays Today:

Malcolm-Jamal Warner, 1970
Patrick Swayze, 1952
Elayne Boosler, 1952
Martin Mull, 1943
Robert Redford, 1936
Roman Polanski, 1933
Rosalynn Carter, 1927
Shelley Winters, 1920
Greta Garbo, 1905
Max Factor, 1904
Meriwether Lewis, 1774
Virginia Dare, 1587

Today in History:

Founding of the oldest known Roman temple to Venus, BC293
Rome is occupied and plundered by Visigoths under King Alarik I, 410
Death of Genghis Khan (fell from his horse), 1227
A Portuguese ship drifts ashore in the Japanese province of Higo, 1541
The Boston, Massachusetts Evening Post begins publishing, 1735
Eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, 1834
Pierre Janssan discovers helium, 1868
German engineer Karl Jatho allegedly flies his self-made, motored gliding airplane four months before the first flight of the Wright Brothers, 1903.
Mayor of Tokyo Yukio Ozaki presents Washington, D.C. with 2,000 cherry trees, which President Taft decides to plant near the Potomac River, 1909
A Great Fire in Thessaloniki, Greece destroys 32% of the city leaving 70,000 individuals homeless, 1917
19th US Amendment ratified (gives women the vote), 1920
Premier of The Wizard of Oz, 1939
James Meredith becomes the first black person to graduate from the University of Mississippi, 1963
Massive power blackout hits the Indonesian island of Java, affecting almost 100 million people, 2005

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Row Your Troubles Away

I got two email responses to my plea for a piece of exercise equipment on Freecycle.

The first was from a person with an elliptical type machine that also has a seat, but it was over an hour drive away, in the middle of nowhere. Plus the fact that the person wanted me to come out and get it right away, at 9pm on a Saturday night when I go to bed by 10 so as to be ready for church in the morning, made it untenable.

The second is a rowing machine, which stands up out of the way in a corner and can be used for other exercises. It is here. It was located less than a 3 minute drive, just up the highway, and I was able to go get it at a very convenient time.

So, rowing is now my cardio exercise of choice.

Someday I am going to have enough money to join that very nice gym a half a mile up the road. Until then, rowing it is.

Today is:

Archaeology Day

Festival of the Hungry Ghosts -- China (through Sept. 7)

Independence Day -- Gabon; Indonesia

Meaning of "Is" Day

National Thrift Shop Day

National Vanilla Custard Day

Odin's Ordeal begins -- Ancient Norse Calendar, through the 25th

Prekmurje Union Day -- Slovenia

San Martin Day, Argentina

St. Hyacinth's Day (Patron Saint of Lithuania)

Birthdays Today:

Robert DeNiro, 1943
Maureen O'Hara, 1920
Mae West, 1892
charles I, last emperor of Austria-Hungary, 1887
Samuel Goldwyn, 1882
Davy Crockett, 1786

Today in History:

The Peace of Bergerac gives political rights to the Huguenots, 1577
John White returns to Roanoke, Virginia, to find no trace of the colonists he had left there 3 years earlier, 1590
Robert Fulton's steamboat Clermont begins its first trip up the Hudson River, 1807
Solymon Merrick patents the wrench, 1835
The first bank in Hawai'i opens, 1858
Patent granted for an electric self starter for automobiles, 1891
Fantasmagorie by Émile Cohl, the first animated cartoon, is shown in Paris, 1908
First meeting of Narcotics Anonymous in Southern California, 1953
Quake Lake is formed by the magnitude 7.5 1959 Yellowstone earthquake near Hebgen Lake in Montana, 1958
East German border guards kill 18-year-old Peter Fechter as he attempts to cross the Berlin Wall into West Berlin becoming one of the first victims of the wall, 1962
Category 5 Hurricane Camille hits the Mississippi coast, killing 248 people and causing $1.5 billion in damage, 1969
Venera 7 launched. It will later become the first spacecraft to successfully transmit data from the surface of another planet (Venus), 1970
Double Eagle II becomes first balloon to cross the Atlantic Ocean when it lands in Miserey near Paris, 137 hours after leaving Presque Isle, Maine, 1978
The first Compact Discs are released to the public in Germany, 1982

Monday, August 16, 2010

Too Friendly?

"Mo--o--om! Stop it!" The whine from the back seat was Little Girl, age 12, complaining because I wave to the neighbors as I drive by.

"We don't even know those people! Why do you wave to them?"

Yes, I do know many of them, partly because I have gone out of my way to know them. Those I don't know, I tell her, are still neighbors, and therefore we should be friendly. It keeps the neighborhood nice when people know that we look out for each other, greet each other.

All she can think of, however, is how embarrassing it is that her mom waves to people, and talks to them when they jog past the house, too.

Sorry, kid, get over it. I'm going to continue to do this. It's a lost art in parts of the country, and it's time to bring it back.

Today is:

Baba Au Rhum Day

Children's Day -- Paraguay

Elvis Presley Day

Festival of the Minstrels -- Tutbury Castle, UK

Gozan no Okuribi -- Kyoto, Japan (a/k/a Daimonji, culmination of the O-Bon Festival)

Harmonic Convergence Day

Independence Day -- Cyprus

Joe Miller's Joke Day

Madonna del Voto Day -- Italy (a/k/a Palio of the Contrade)

Monty Python Day

National Airborne Day

National Tell a Joke Day

National Rum Day

Restoration of the Republic -- Dominican Republic

St. Joachim's Day

St. Stephen of Hungary Day (Patron Saint of Hungary)

Xicolatada -- Palau-de-Cerdagne, France (hot chocolate festival)*

Birthdays Today:

Angela Bassett, 1958
Madonna, 1958
James Cameron, 1954
Kathie Lee Gifford, 1953
Leslie Ann Warren, 1946
Eydie Gorme, 1932
Frank Gifford, 1930
Ann Blyth, 1928
Fess Parker, 1925
Menachem Begin, 1913
Hongxi Emperor of China, 1378

Today in History:

Henry VIII defeats the French at the Battle of Guinegate/Battle of the Spurs, forcing the French to retreat, 1513
Jack Broughton formulates the earliest code of rules for boxing, 1743
Chang and Eng Bunker, the original "Siamese" twins, arrive in Boston to be exhibited, 1829
U.S. President James Buchanan inaugurates the new transatlantic telegraph cable by exchanging greetings with Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, 1858
Arica, Peru (now Chile) is devastated by a tsunami which followed a magnitude 8.5 earthquake, 1868
Gold is discovered in the Klondike, at Bonanza Creek, 1896
Edwin Prescott patents the roller coaster, 1898
In Valparaiso, Chile, an 8.6 earthquake followed by fire destroys the city and kills 20,000, 1906
The first color sound cartoon, called Fiddlesticks, is made by Ub Iwerks, 1930
Democrats nominate Adlai E. Stevenson as presidential candidate, 1956
A solar flare from the Sun creates a geomagnetic storm that affects micro chips, leading to a halt of all trading on Toronto's stock market, 1989

*Yes, they celebrate a hot chocolate festival in the summer. It all started when the 15th of August was a feast day on which the locals always drank a bit much, and the chocolatier of the town claimed his brew was a good remedy the day after. The original festival on the 15th
has ceased, but the hot chocolate is brewed to this day, served at 11am promptly.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Well, in the Great Exercise Equipment Search, I have come up with a couple of possibilities. One person, who lives within a stone's throw of us, has a rowing machine type of thing, and another person has what he says is a type of stand up stationary bike, I think he means an elliptical. I'm not sure where the second person lives, his email gave no details.

So I am waiting for two phone calls to see what pans out.

Meanwhile, the work on rearranging the library is slow and painful. I really want to sort every book in the house, put everything in order, but that is too tall of a job right now. I need to just move stuff, and pick up the pace. We will see if I can get over my urge to putter along and get it done.

Today is:

Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary -- Catholic Christian

Best Friends Day

Bon Festival -- Japan (biggest day of the festival)

Chauvin Day

Dog Days end (tell that to the heat wave!)

Dormition of the Theotokos -- Orthodox Christian

Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary -- Catholic Christian

Ferragosto, Italy (Oven of August)

Flooding of the Nile -- Egypt and the Coptic Christain Church

Fool's Dance -- Japan (part of the Awa Dance Festival)

Great American Tomato Canning Tournament

Great Mother Goddess Day

Gwangbokjeol -- South Korea "Liberation Day" (liberation from Japan)

Independence Day -- India; Republic of the Congo

Indian Independence Day (A National Day of Celebration of Indian and American Democracy)

Jogukhaebangui nal -- North Korea "Fatherland Liberation Day" (liberation from Japan)

Loaded Dice Day

National Day -- Lichtenstein

National Failures Day (May I suggest a book called "Fail Better", a small quotations book about how failure is just the beginning.)

National Homeless Animals Day (I got plenty of those, will be up for adoption in 6-10 weeks if you are interested.)

National Lemon Meringue Pie Day

National Relaxation Day (Wow.)

Our Lady of Flowers Festival -- New York, Florida

Our Lady of Monte Festival -- Portugal

Sandcastle and Sculpture Day

St. Mary's Day

Birthdays Today:

Joe Jonas, 1989
Ben Affleck, 1972
Melinda Gates, 1964
Jimmy Webb, 1946
Linda Ellerbee, 1944
Mike Connors, 1925
Rose Marie, 1925
Huntz Hall, 1919
Oscar Romero, 1917
Julia Child, 1912
Elizabeth Bolden, American Supercentenarian, 1890 (d. 2006)
Ethel Barrymore, 1879
E. Nesbit, 1858
Sir Walter Scott, 1771
Napoleon Bonaparte, 1769

Today in History:

Battle of Roncevaux Pass, the Basques defeat Charles the Great (Charlemagne) and Roland is killed, 778
Macbeth defeats his cousin and rival King Duncan I, who is killed in the battle, and becomes king of Scotland, 1040
Battle of Lumphanan, in which King Macbeth is killed by the forces of Mael Coluim MacDonnchada, 1057
The foundation stone of Cologne Cathedral, built to house the relics of the Three Wise Men, is laid, 1248*
The "Mainz Psalter" is completed, the earliest dated book, 1457
Founding of Panama City, 1519
Jesuit priest St. Francis Xaverius land in Kagoshima, Japan, 1549
The Mayflower sets sail from Southhampton, carrying 102 Pilgrims, 1620
Joseph Haydn departs England, never to return, 1795
Country of Liberia is founded by freed American former slaves, 1824
Tivoli Gardens, one of the oldest still intact amusement parks in the world, opens in Copenhagen, Denmark, 1842
San Sebastian Church in Manila, the first all-steel church in Asia, is officially inaugurated and blessed, 1891
A male servant of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright sets fire to the living quarters of the architect's Wisconsin home, 1914
The Panama Canal opens to traffic with the transit of the cargo ship Ancon, 1914
Will Rogers and Wiley Post are killed in a plane crash, 1935
The birth of stadium rock: The Beatles play Shae Stadium, 1965
President Richard Nixon completes the break from the gold standard, 1971
The "Wow! signal": The Big Ear, a radio telescope operated by Ohio State University as part of the SETI project, receives a radio signal from deep space, 1977

*Yes, we just noted the other day the date of completion in 1880!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Because a full shelter report twice in one week would be redundant, I will only say that the shelter was about the same Thursday evening as it was Tuesday morning, with one notable exception.

Noonie had been adopted, and her family was to pick her up Friday morning so they could all leave to move to Alaska! In preparation, she was taken to the vet for a final checkup. They found a problem, and she cannot travel. The family is disappointed, but they have decided they will take Zeus instead. They were originally vacillating between those two anyway, and while they are a bit disappointed, they are still happy to be moving and taking a cat with them.

In other crazy "why does this happen" questions, why do the kittens cry to be fed only when my hands are full or something on the stove is burning?

Why does someone else losing something always turn into my problem?

Why does a kid who can put hundreds of miles on a bike in a couple of months need to be driven around the corner to the store?

Why does making an "easy" dinner like BLT sandwiches and fruit salad always turn out to be so much work?

Oh, and Friday held a nice surprise. The cable on my stairclimber snapped. While I was in the middle of an interval. Because of the upcoming car repair, I can't afford another, even at garage sale prices. Off to check Freecycle.

Today is:

Assumption Eve -- France

Husbands in Love Day

Independence Day -- Pakistan

Kool-Aid Day

La Torta dei Fieschi -- Italy

Liberty Tree Day, Massachusetts

National Creamsicle Day

National Navajo Code Talkers Day

Pramuka Day -- Indonesia (Scouting Day)

St. Maximillian Kolbe's Day (patron against drug addictions)

St. Werenfrid's Day

Anniversary Today

V-J Day

Birthdays Today

Halle Berry, 1966
Earvin "Magic" Johnson, 1959
Gary Larson, 1950
Danielle, Steel, 1947
Susan Saint James, 1946
Steve Martin, 1945
Lynne Cheney, 1941
David Crosby, 1941
Alice Ghostley, 1926
Russell Baker, 1925
John Ringling North, 1903
Doc Holiday, 1851
H.C. Oersted, 1777
Emperor Hanazono of Japan, 1297

Today in History

The young Emperor Antoku and three sacred treasures are taken by Taira no Munemori and the Taira clan, fleeing to western Japan to escape pursuit by the Minamoto clan, 1183
Kublai Khan's invading fleet disappears in a a typhoon near Japan, 1281
Three years after Gutenberg, the oldest known exactly dated printed book is published, 1457
Queen Elizabeth I refuses sovereignty of the Netherlands, 1585
Great Britain annexes Tristan da Cunha (remotest occupied island), 1816
Oregon Territory created, 1848
Magazine "Field and Stream" begins publication, 1873
Construction of Cologne Cathedral in Cologne, Germany, is completed, 1880
Japan issues its first patent, for rust-proof paint, 1885
A recording of English composer Arthur Sullivan's The Lost Chord, one of the first recordings of music ever made, is played during a press conference introducing Thomas Edison's phonograph in London, 1888
The first claimed powered flight, by Gustave Whitehead in his Number 21, 1901
Mt. Rushmore project first proposed, 1925
United States Social Security Act passes, creating a government pension system for the retired, 1935
British troops are deployed in Northern Ireland, 1969
Lech Walesa leads strikes at the Gdansk, Poland shipyards, 1980
Widescale power blackout in the northeast United States and Canada, 2003

Friday, August 13, 2010

Without the Recalcitrant Furniture

Without the huge coffee table, the library is going to be transformed.

I am going to get a new wireless router and redo that room. It will have both of the desktop computers in it for #2 Son and Little Girl.

Bigger Girl, #1 Son, and I will all have our laptops. Yes, she now has a laptop! It was one the pastor of the church was throwing out, he said it was not fixable. $150 later and she has a machine that will carry her the rest of the way through high school, so we won't have to buy her a bigger new one until she goes to college. Hooray!

Then, of course the Wii and the XBox 360 both get online, too, so a much stronger router that can handle that many items is needed. Especially since friends come in and ask if they can temporarily hook up their own machines to our router while here.

So, I am going to arrange for one of my favorite Nerds from RentANerd to come over here and set up the new system for us, hooking it to the modem and getting it all up and running. It will be worth the money spent from the education trust, which I try to use sparingly, because they must be online, and regularly, to get their school things done these days.

Now to clear all of the stuff for the garage sale out of the way so we can move the furniture and computer desks around and get the room situated. A great deal of work cut out for me over the weekend.

Today is:

Blame Somebody Else Day (I wouldn't suggest it, it will only start a fight you are too tired to finish.)

Daughter's Day

Festival of Huitzilopochtis -- Ancient Aztec Calendar

Hecate, Goddess of the Crossroads -- Ancient Roman Calendar

Hercules Victori -- Roman Empire

Independence Day -- Central African Republic

International Left-Hander's Day

Lao Issara -- Laos (Day of the Free Laos)

National Filet Mignon Day

Occupation Day


Skinny Dipping Day (I no longer skinny dip. I chunky dunk!)

St. Cassian's Day (patron of teachers -- yes, they are back in school already, heaven help them)

St. Concordia's day (patron of nannies)

St. Hippolytus' Day (patron of horses)

St. Pontian's Day

Women's Day -- Tunisia

Birthdays Today

Danny Bonaduce, 1959
Midori Ito, 1969
Dan Fogelberg, 1951
Philippe Petit, 1949
Don Ho, 1930
Pat Harrington, Jr., 1929
Fidel Castro, 1926
George Shearing, 1919
Ben Hogan, 1912
Alfred Hitchcock, 1899
Bert Lahr, 1895
Annie Oakley, 1860

Today in History

The English army under King Henry V lands at the mouth of the Seine River, 1415
Tenochtitlan of the Aztecs is conquered by the Spanish, 1521
Tenbun Hokke Disturbance, in which Buddhist monks from Kyoto's Enryaku Temple set fire to 21 Nichiren temples throughout Kyoto, 1536
John Smith submits the story of Jamestown's first days for publication, 1608
Christiaan Huygens discovers the Martian south polar cap, 1642
Founding of Litchfield, CT, 1651
Marie Antoinette and other French royals are imprisoned by Revolutionaries, 1792
Nat Turner sees the solar eclipse which he interprets as a sign from heaven to begin his ill-fated slave rebellion, 1831
Earthquake in Peru and Ecuador kills 25,000, 1868
Ferdinand von Zeppelin patents his "Navigable Balloon", 1889
First production in the UK of stainless steel by Harry Brearley, 1913
Opha Mae Johnson is the first woman to enlist in the United States Marine Corps, 1918
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) is established as a public company in Germany, 1918
The Apollo 11 astronauts are released from a three-week quarantine to enjoy a ticker-tape parade in New York, 1969
Michael Phelps sets the Olympic record for most the gold medals won by an individual in Olympic history, 2008

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Recalcitrant Furniture

It was a very nice coffee table at one time.

Carved wood, lots of glass, it looked nice in the library which is a symphony of blue and brown for the most part.

Problem was, it was big. Worse problem was, it had a bum leg.

Well, it started with one bum leg. Every once in so often, Sweetie or one of the kids would bump into it, and the leg would fall out from under, and the consternation was loud in the land as I would run in there to grab it, jam the leg back in, and clean up whatever fell off of it.

Eventually it happened so often that another leg went bad. Then, when it got knocked into, we would sometimes hear the tinkle of glass along with the wailing and yelling. First one small piece broke, and I put a mirror over it, because beveled glass is too expensive to replace. It looked fine, especially with the globe on top, reflecting beautifully.

Then another piece cracked. Later another broke. Finally, yesterday, the longest piece of glass ended up in half, and I called "Uncle!"

Bigger Girl picked up the broken pieces, and I grabbed all the whole plates of glass and set them aside. Then Little Girl and I hauled that recalcitrant piece of furniture to the curb, I threw the broken legs on it, and set the glass out with it.

Good-bye coffee table. You were useful while you lasted, but I am not sorry to see you go.

Today is:

Awa Dance Festival -- Tokushima, Japan

Grouse Day/Glorious Twelfth -- England; Scotland

Her Majesty the Queen's Birthday and National Mother's Day -- Thailand

International Youth Day

Lights of Isis, Ancient Egypt

National Toasted Almond Bar Day

Old Time Farm Day

Sewing Machine Day

St. Porcarius' Day

Vinyl Record Day

Zaraday a/k/a Zarathud's Day -- Discordianism

Birthdays Today:

Pete Sampras, 1971
Skip Caray, 1939
George Hamilton, 1939
William Goldman, 1931
John Derek, 1926
Jane Wyatt, 1912
Cantinflas, 1911
Joe Besser, 1907
Alfred Lunt, 1892
Cecil B. DeMille, 1881
Edith Hamilton, 1867
Katharine Lee Bates, 1859
"Diamond Jim" Brady, 1856
Robert Mills, 1781

Today in History:

The last ruler of the Egyptian Ptolemaic Dynasty, Cleopatra VII Philopater, allegedly commits suicide by asp bite, BC30
A conjunction of Venus and Jupiter occurs which may have been what the Bible calls the Star of Bethlehem, 3
Crusaders win the Battle of Ascalon, 1099
Juan Ponce de Leon arrives in Puerto Rico, 1508
Chicago is founded, 1833
Isaac Singer is granted a patent for his sewing machine, 1851
Asaph Hall discovers Deimos, 1877
The last quagga, a subspecies of zebra once plentiful in South Africa, dies at the Artis Magistra zoo in Amsterdam, 1883
Hawai'i annexed by the US, 1898
William Somerset Maugham published "Of Human Bondage", 1915
Alleged date of the first Philadelphia Experiment test on United States Navy ship USS Eldridge, 1943
Echo I, the first communications satellite, is launched, 1960
The first free flight of the Space Shuttle Enterprise, 1977
The IBM Personal Computer is released, 1981
Canada, Mexico, and the United States announce completion of negotiations for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), 1992

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Our Chyna got adopted!!!

Yes, this is indeed cause for celebration. It couldn't have happened to a nicer cat.

She is the feline leukemia positive cat who has lived in the office of the shelter, away from interaction with any other cats, for longer than I care to remember, and much longer than any cat should be so isolated. She is friendly to people and other cats, very sweet tempered, prone to be overweight, and needed a forever home with the understanding that once she starts showing symptoms of her disease her life will be short.

Finally, finally, she got that home. I am deeply glad.

In other good news, we also found when we substituted for a morning person at the shelter, that Molly, former roommate of Mouse, and also a delightfully sweet girl, has been adopted. Others going to new homes this week are Icarus, Callie, Annie, and Noonie, who is still at the shelter and will be picked up by her new family on Friday.

Also, JuJu is now in a room, with Bowie and Rory. Rory is calming down, and Ju is not hissing at everyone any more.

Frieda is getting sweeter! She is now in the office, where Chyna was, and loves the extra room and attention when work is going on.

Angel has gotten to where she is not as friendly as she was before. She is so wary of getting medicine in her eye that she would rather hide first, and once she is sure she doesn't detect a tube of ointment in your hand, come get petted later. Dustie is still camping out in the chair, in easy reach, and taking her medicine even though she doesn't like it.

Grady, Prissy, and Clint are in the clinic area not for isolation, but simply so they will have more room to run. Grady is still escaping as often as possible, and Princess scoots behind him as usual. Clint just hides in the litter box and growls. I think there is no such thing as enough room for Grady, and Clint prefers a steady, small space. Whoever adopts Grady will have a chore keeping him indoors only.

Nikkie is new and will become Nacho's new roomie, since his neck is healed up.

Candy the crazy is scheduled to go in the room with the equally nutty Curly Sue and Simba -- we let them out together any time people are around, so they can get used to each other. So far, so good.

We have two who were dumped at the pet store, long haired tabbies who look like sisters but one is about 6-7 months and the other about 3 months, in an isolation cage in the kitchen. They are scrawny, with burrs in their fur, and yet cautiously friendly.

Jinny has such a bad case of the runs I had to just change out her whole litter box, Roxanne is shy as she can be, Princess, Zeus, Rosie, Stella, Francie, Tiger and Buddy are all doing well.

Tiger, by the way, is the fattest cat I have seen since our own Runty. He is 17 pounds if he is an ounce, poor thing.

I believe we are full up now, so send prayers and good vibes for lots more adoptions.

Meanwhile, back on our own front, the 7 kittens are doing great. My kids have started naming them, mostly crazy names as usual, but at least we will never have another Bam Margera or Raab Himself in the rescue again.

Today is:

Independence Day -- Chad

Ingersoll Day

National Marina Day

National Raspberry Bombe Day

Play in the Sand Day (Yeah, like at the beach, nothing like sand in your
shorts, I get enough of that on vacation, thank you.)

Presidential Joke Day

Son and Daughter Day

St. Susanna's Day

Birthdays Today:

Hulk Hogan, 1953
Arlene Dahl, 1928
Mike Douglas, 1925 (Note: he also died on this date in 2006)
Alex Haley, 1921
Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici, 1667 (Last of the Medicis)

Today in History:

First day of the Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar, used my the Maya and other pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilizations, BC3114
Traditional date of the defeat of Bel by Hayk, progenitor and founder of the Armenian nation, BC2492
Battle of Artemisuim, naval battle of the Greco-Persian War, fought at the same time as the Battle of Thermopylae of the same war; Leonidas, King of Sparta, dies in the land battle, BC480
Papandayan Java volcanic eruption kills 3,000, 1772
Charles Lawrence gives expulsion orders to remove the Acadians from Nova Scotia beginning the Great Upheaval, 1755
The world's first roller rink opens in Newport, RI, 1866
Animation is patented by John Wray, 1914
The first civilian prisoners arrive at Alcatraz, 1934
A bomb explodes on Pan Am Flight 830, en route from Tokyo to Honolulu, killing one teenager and injuring 15 passengers, 1984

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Laundry Mountain

Somehow, I fall down in the folding.

I wash. I hang up to dry. I bring it in. Sometimes I fold, sometimes I don't.

More often I don't.

Then, because it isn't folded, or all folded, it doesn't get put away. It sits in baskets, or on the table.

This is not fun.

I have shown each child the fun of folding their own clothes. It doesn't work. Even if they take it to their rooms, they don't fold, it just sits. Because it sits, it gets knocked to the floor, and stepped on, and dirty again before being worn.

So the cycle starts again.

I want off this treadmill.

As soon as I feed seven kittens, I will fold laundry. I will have to stop after every 10 pieces or so to feed someone who is still crying, but it has to be done.

Oh, for a folding fairy. I'll take care of the rest, just fold it for me.

Today is:

Battle Flag Day, Iowa

Chemistry Set Volcano Day

Edinburgh Militarty Tattoo -- Edinburgh, Scotland -- through the 28th

Feast of San Lorenzo -- Spain

Independence Day -- Ecuador

Lazy Day

Middle Children's Day

National S'mores Day

Opalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar, festival of Ops

St. Lawrence of Rome's Day

St. Oswald of Northumbria's Day

Anniversaries Today

Missouri becomes the 24th US state, 1821
The Smithsonian Institution is chartered, 1846

Birthdays Today

Antonio Banderas, 1960
Rosanna Arquette, 1959
Schim Schimmel, 1954
Ian Anderson, 1947
Bobby Hatfield, 1940
Rocky Colavito, 1933
Jimmy Dean, 1928
Eddie Fisher, 1928
Rhonda Fleming, 1923
Leo Fender, 1909
George Crockett, 1909
Norma Shearer, 1902
Henri Nestle', 1890
Herbert Hoover, 1874

Today in History:

Nineveh is destroyed and Sinsharishkun, King of the Assyrian Empire is killed, BC 612
Temple at Jerusalem is burned, 70
Ferdinand Magellan sets out with 5 ships to circumnavigate the globe, 1519
The foundation stone of the Royal Greenwich Observatory in London is laid, 1675
Word of the US Declaration of Independence reaches London, 1776
Mozart completes "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik", 1787
First ascent of Finsteraarhorn, the highest summit of the Bernese Alps, 1829
Candid Camera makes its television debut after being on radio for a year as Candid Microphone, 1948
The highest temperature ever recorded in the UK – 38.5*C (101.3*F) in Kent; it is the first time the UK has recorded a temperature over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, 2003

Monday, August 9, 2010

#2 Son's Appetite

Never mess with a 14-year-old and his food.

Two hours after receiving permission to go out to dinner with a friend, he came in groaning.

"Oh, mom, I think I'm gonna be sick!"

What's wrong, I foolishly ask. I should know.

"We went to a Japanese seafood buffet. I had shrimp sushi, crab sushi, crawfish sushi, flounder sushi, another flounder dish, cold shrimp with this really great sauce, a couple of other kinds of fish, and a boatload of crab legs. Oh, my stomach."

"By the way," he added, "when's dinner?"

Today is:

Assistance Dog Day

Book Lover's Day

Chih Nu, China (Feast of the Milky Way)

Goblin Ugly Contest -- Fairy Calendar

Independence Day, Singapore

International Day of the World's Indigenous People

Jesse Owens Day

National Peacekeeper's Day -- Canada

National Rice Pudding Day

National Women's Day -- South Africa

St. Matthias' Day

Veep Day

Birthdays Today:

Gillian Anderson, 1968
Delon Sanders, 1967
Hoda Kotb, 1964
Whitney Houston, 1963
Sam Elliot, 1944
P.L. Travers, 1899
Joseph Locke, 1805
Amedeo Avogadro, 1776
John Dryden, 1631

Today in History:

Battle of Pharsalus, in which Julius Caesar defeated Pompey, who fled to Egypt, BC 40
Start of construction of the Tower of Pisa, 1173
Sistine Chapel opens, 1483
First horses arrive in Hawai'i, 1803
Thoreau's Walden is published, 1854
Thomas Edison receives a patent for a two-way telegraph, 1892
Mahatma Gandhi is arrested in Bombay by British forces, launching the Quit India Movement, 1942
The United States Forest Service and the Wartime Advertising Council release posters featuring Smokey Bear for the first time, 1944
Richard Nixon becomes the first President of the United States to resign from office, 1974
The Liberal Democratic Party of Japan loses a 38-year hold on national leadership, 1993

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Now We Are Seven

The plan for the afternoon was yet another interminable parent meeting. You know the kind, where they go over the exact same information they went over last year at the parent meeting, and the only people who want to be there are the ones who are doing the talking. I'm just the
janitor, the advanced cooking class teacher, and the treasurer. I don't have anything much to say. Our Director makes up for that.

As I gathered the chequebook and a few other papers to take with me, of course the phone rang. There is never enough going on that you can't use just a bit more excitement. From the caller ID I knew it was Meg from the cat rescue, and she doesn't call from adoption day just to chat.

"Mimi, we have a live one, and I was wondering if you were up to it."

"Sure, what's up?"

"A guy threw 4 kittens in a pond to get the mother to go away."

D*mn, ain't humanity great?

"My friend Sara who works with A. Rescue fished them out of the pond, but the mom never came back. They are only about 3-4 days old. Do you think you have room for them? I'm not sure if it was 3 of them, or 4, or if she even told me."

"How can I say no?"

"May I give her your number? She can't get them to you before this evening because she is working with the A. Rescue bake sale fundraiser right now." It seems Sara works with 5 of the seven rescue groups in this area. I later found out she also bottle feeds raccoons and squirrels, and fosters dogs. Wow.

"Sure, have her call me."

She called, and said she could have the kittens to our adoption day site before I went out there to get Bigger Girl after my meeting.

Then, before I could get out the door for the meeting, the doorbell rings. I'm paying for the quiet morning, it seems.

"Miss Mimi, can you give me directions to the rescue shelter?"

It was Bigger Girl's friend Tris. The child has had a long string of bad in her life, and it isn't over yet. Druggie birth father tried to kill her and her birth mom, she was taken from her birth mom because they were homeless. Foster homes, then her adoptive parents tried to get her on the right path. She did very badly in school, always in trouble, then her adoptive mother died 6 months ago, adoptive father is dying of cancer and going into assisted living because the house is
being foreclosed.

As I said, her bad news isn't over yet. She needs to get to the shelter because she is having to rehome all of her animals. She has managed to graduate from high school by a wing and a prayer and is working full time at a vet clinic. She wants to go to vet school, but the apartment complex where she will be moving is only allowing her to keep one of the dogs and one of the cats.

We talked for a few minutes, and I gave her directions. I wish I could give her more.

I grabbed (almost) everything I needed and went to the parent meeting, where it was a mayhem of greeting everyone after a summer apart. I was especially glad to see Kay. She has 6 daughters, only two left at home. She has homeschooled them all while, over the past almost 60
years of her life, she has been a rodeo coordinator, a bottle feeder of English Bulldog puppies for a rescue group, and a missionary in West Africa for 10 years. That is where she adopted the two daughters she is homeschooling now. Still raising children while her 4 older girls have given her 25 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. She is my hero.

The meeting was just about interminable, a rehash of the rules we all have printed up anyway. No really new information at all, except to the couple of new people. The list of banned items has not grown since #2 Son left co-op; quite understandable, as he was the reason most of those got on a list to begin with.

I ducked out fast and high tailed it to the adoption day event. I asked where the kittens were as I started to help them pick up cages and move tables.

"What do you mean, where are the kittens?" Meg asked.

Great. Sara had gone home to get them, gotten distracted as it turned out because of some scuffle between her Pomeranian and the other dogs, and had forgotten! Meg called her and handed me the phone.

"I'm sorry!" she just about yelled into the phone. She was so embarrassed. I told her not to worry about it, that these things happen. "I'll meet you at the McDonald's on Drew Drive, is that okay?" I told her that would work great, as it would give me time to run to the shelter for extra KMR and a couple of doses of 4in1 vaccine.

It worked out that we both got to the McD's within a minute of each other. She pulled out a carrier with 4 beautiful tiny marble tabbies, two boys and two girls. The story was a bit complicated.

There is a retirement home that does not allow pets, period, amen, and a pregnant stray turned up there about a week ago. Two concerned residents called Sara and asked if she could take the mama before the management did anything. She went out there, but the mama pulled a
disappearing act.

A few days later, mama showed up again, having obviously given birth. They tracked her back and found a den, a hole in a hill, with her and the kittens. The ladies called and Sara rushed out there.

As she traveled over, the management of the home called, screaming at her as she drove that she better get there right now, or they would take care of it themselves. She said she was driving over as fast as the law would allow, and would be there in a few minutes.

She got there in time to see an elderly resident throw a bag into the creek. Apparently, even the time it took her to drive over was too long for them to wait, and they asked him to take care of it. She ran down the bank and fished them out before the bag could sink, and came up screaming. She told me, "I am a b*tch, and I don't mind going to jail for standing up for animals!"

Back at her mom's house, the mama cat was very friendly and cared for the babies, but managed to escape. She is apparently unused to being confined in a house. She never returned, and that was two days ago.

So, now we are 7. Two blanket lined boxes in the kitchen, two warming socks, two bottles, and a whole 5 pound bag of KMR in the fridge.

Prayers that they stay healthy, please. We are inoculating very early and often, doing everything else we can, too.

Including 2am feedings. They are worth it.

Today is:

BaBa Day -- Taiwan (ba ba is Mandarin for both "father" and "8-8")

Bonza Bottler Day

Ferry Fair and Burry Man Parade -- South Queensferry, Edinburgh, Scotland

Flag Day -- Sweden

Dollar Day

Independence Day -- Bhutan

International Character Day

Finest Fairy Finals -- Fairy Calendar (Do only the finest fairies take finals? How do the others get a final grade? :D )

Fourteen Holy Helpers' Day

Happiness Happens Day

Nane Nane -- Tanzania (farmer's day, means "8-8" in Swahili)

Nudist Convention -- Coeur D'Alene, through the 15th (Nope, not for me. Nobody sees these spider veins, sorry.)

National Frozen Custard Day

National Garage Sale Day

Odie Day (Garfield's pal Odie.)

Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Night (Please, I love the stuff but can't grow plants to save my life, I'll leave the porch light on for you!)

St. Cyriacus' Day

St. Dominic's Day

The Date To Create

Victory Day -- Rhode Island

Birthdays Today:

Keith Carradine, 1949
Connie Stevens, 1938
Dustin Hoffman, 1937
Mel Tillis, 1932
Esther Williams, 1923
Rory Calhoun, 1922
Dino De Laurentis, 1919
Matthew Henson, 1866
Emperor Horikawa of Japan, 1079

Today in History:

The Romans destroy the Tower of Antonia, 70
Otto I (The Great) crowned German king, 936
Vijayanagara Empire is rebegun with the crowning of emperor Krishnadeva Raya, 1509
The cornerstone for Tycho Brahe's Uraniborg observatory is laid on Hven, 1576
John Davis enters Cumberland Sound in search of the Northwest Passage, 1585
The first known ascent (indoors) of a hot-air ballon by Bartolomeu de Gusamao, 1709
Jacques Balmat and Dr Michel-Gabriel Paccard become the first to ascend Mont Blanc, 1786
Metal bullet cartridges are patented by Smith and Wesson, 1854
Mimeograph is patented by Thomas Edison, 1876
The millionth patent is filed in the United States Patent Office by Francis Holton for a tubeless vehicle tire, 1911
The United Nations Charter is signed by the United States, the 3rd nation to join, 1945
Iraq occupies and annexes Kuwait, leading to the Gulf War to liberate Kuwait within a couple of weeks, 1990