Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Commenting on the Comments

I rarely respond to comments and questions on my blog now that I use the Pop Up commenting.  I can’t reply in real time on the same post unless I choose to add a separate comment of my own to my post.  I am not sure if that method of reply would be seen since most people never look backwards on the blogs they follow.  Then I got to thinking ... why not have a “Reply Post” that follows the main post a few days later.  So here is my Reply Post.  We will see how this goes.

”Have you made a date [to see Esk] with dear Eskarina and her parents?”  YES!!  I should have mentioned that in my previous post.  In fact, the date was scheduled on my calendar the very first moment I snagged the first shot date!!  I went right to my calendar and counted out the days and marked my “Liberation Day” in bold red print. And there will be a blog post, Michelle, when it happens. “Liberation Day” is April 20 around 12:30 pm (yes I know the time as well) -  not that I am counting the minutes or anything.   However, she goes to day care during the workweek so we are holding off our reunion until the weekend when we have a “Sleep over at Grandma’s" condo all planned on April 23.  It will be joyous in the extreme.  I hope I can get through the first hour of the visit without crying.  Even in the Google Video calls with her - which do happen frequently - I can see that she has grown and matured.  During one of those video calls Esk asked me if I could show her the toys and her bed at my house through the phone 😢.  As I "walked her” on the phone into the guest room, I was fighting tears. While it is lovely she remembered these things and wanted to see them again,  it made me so sad that the only way we could do that was through a cell phone.   And although I am looking forward to seeing her parents as well, I know they are just as eager to have some time to themselves - even if it is just to get some sleep.  😄

And as for Aja!  She is definitely a female, Cynthia.  And I can assure you that the difference between female and male cats is like different solar systems.  The males (we have had 9 of those) are the party, party, party animals.  Pretty much happy-go-lucky!  More dog-like than cat-like.  The females (we have had 2 counting Aja) are the business end of the species.  It is nature’s way of assuring that kittens will survive.  Even in the wild, the female lions are the hunters and the male lions are the “figure heads” who wait for the meal to be brought down by their female mates. The true power is in the female.  It is probably true of most mammals.  It is just more evident in animals like cats - who are unlikely to hide their true nature.

I also learned some interesting things about orange female cats yesterday.  Orange females are relatively rare. This info came from another female orange cat owner who asked if Aja’s personality was “spicy.”  Why, funny you should ask.  Yes!  What a perfect description of her personality.  Spicy. This informal source said spicy personalities are a common trait of orange females.  So off I went to Google to do a little research.  Yes,  pretty much all sources agree - about 81% of ginger cats are male.  Ginger females carry the orange gene on both X chromosomes.  Both her parents had to be orange according to the sources I read.  But the “spicy” personality observation was not supported.  In fact, it was suggested be  the reverse.  While the strongest influence on personality tends to be early socialization, males tend to be the “spicier” of the two.  That observation does not appear to be based on any science like the color of the fur.  You can’t help but wonder, however, ... since there is only observational evidence on personality, maybe there is something to it - just not proven.  Everyone agrees, however, that orange cats are very friendly.  And Aja is.  She just doesn’t always know how to contain that joyous feeling at times.

Terra, Leigh, Marie and Lefty, thank you for your kind comments on the crochet.  I am definitely a novice in crochet.  The actual stitches aren’t hard but knowing where to begin and end rows still is sometimes a mystery.  Last year I started a crochet blanket and got about 5 inches done when I discovered the blanket was getting wider.  Obviously I had been unintentionally increasing on the edges.  I ripped it all out and decided crochet just wasn’t for me.  Then I discovered the Annie’s Club Kits - I liked the patterns and each kit came with video assistance. You could see quite clearly where the hook needed to go to begin or end.  While the cost of the total Kit is pretty high for what is acrylic yarn, the assistance and knowledge building more than make up for the cost.  And when you commented on the colors in the blanket I had to smile. I like browns and tans also, but there are no browns and tans in the blanket.  I tried so hard to capture the colors and failed miserably.  The colors are in the plum family with a pop of turquoise for contrast.  Even the professional pictures that came with the directions don’t show the colors correctly.

Finally to my walking friend, Karen, Happy One.  I think of you often and how lucky you are to have such a beautiful place to walk every single day (for 6 miles - yes, folks, she walks 6 miles every day - my hero!)  While our move to this condo was perfect in many ways, walking paths or even just sidewalks are in short supply in Elkridge.  It is not Columbia, where the developers were following the vision of James Rouse with pedestrian friendly neighborhoods. And Sandy, your idea for audio books while walking is something I used to do when I was on my own walk.  It does pass the time.  I am trying to get out later in the evening by myself when he has gone to bed.  He is an early to bed (7:00 pm) but late to sleep (10:00 pm) person - listening to his audio books for a few hours before sleeping.  With the longer days this works ok.  I get in a short walk around my condo development. (boring, but walking). But I miss wandering around randomly and spontaneously like Happy One does. 

Not sure how this worked for you guys.  I feel like I closed the loop on the last post with responses.  I probably won’t be back blogging again until I see Esk - in the flesh - on the 23rd - with a box of tissues in my hand and my other arm around her slim little body.    

Stay well all! 

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

A "Don’t Fence Me In” Update

The habit of writing seems to be lost on me of late!  The thought of writing pops up at regular intervals but the action seems absent.  Lately, if there is a structure to anything in my life - I seem to resist it!  Regardless, I am here now, so update time.


I am within a week of being fully vaccinated - meaning that I will soon pass the 2 week waiting period after the 2nd shot.  I won’t be barred from seeing my family anymore (specifically my dearest grand daughter.)  FREEDOM!  But I have been fortunate in this pandemic.  No illness and little to no reaction to either shot.   But I will continue mask wearing and social distancing until we are closer to herd immunity ... because that is the sensible, logical and the “adult” thing to do - until we ALL can be free!!

DIET update 

I spent time thinking about my diet - not for weight loss but mostly for health.  I finally settled on a mostly Mediterranean diet.   But it isn’t really ‘mediterranean' if you aren’t being semi compliant!  In the end I settled on listening to my body’s needs! And what is needs are smaller meals, more veggies, less meat, lower carbs and no 'no-nos!’ That is as much limitation as I am willing to do.


I miss walking.   Walking "my way."  And during this pandemic,  any kind of walking has been scarce.  I refuse to blame the pandemic. Nothing has kept me from going outside and walking during these months.  Nothing but myself and one small deterrent.

What is most satisfying about walking is the solitary time, walking by myself.  Setting my own pace, viewing the scenery, thinking about things - mind drifting, no socialization or expectations.  But my husband also needs to walk and due to is disabiity, he cannot walk alone.  Oh I know there are blind folks who can do absolutely everything independently, but those kind of people are very rare when you lose vision as a senior.  That means when I walk (with him) I am "on duty."  I have to be on alert the whole time to make sure the obsticals are announced or avoided, always checking our pace since he has exactly one speed - fast - but he doesn’t have the heart and lung capacity for that speed any more.  His mind drifts, he forgets to “listen” to the messages his cane gives him.   I know it sounds (and feels) a little selfish to want to have some alone time on my walks.  But the only fix for this is to find time for 2 walks a day.  Working on this.


I joined a blog event last fall called Making Space. But as I suspected, I found the discipline of blogging about it hard.  I enjoy reading the posts of others, but I am happy to clean out on my own when the spirit moves me.  

My current decluttering has focused on exercise tapes and cook books.  

I get absolutely NO satisfaction out of exercising indoors.  If I am forced to exercise inside, I prefer to have a list of exercises that I can do while I watch some sort of distracting TV.  And yet I had a shelf and a half of exercise disks - each one I thought would be “the one” that helped me get in shape indoors. I am down to about 5 disks.  Big declutter there.

I hardly ever crack open a cookbook.  Same logic - I buy the book thinking this is “the one” that will help me enjoy cooking.  I will make wonderful tasty things from that book. Never! When I want a new recipe, I just hop on my computer and print something out.  I have several loose leaf binders of recipes I have pulled from the internet that I use when menu building.  I have donated a great number of cookbooks, and now I am in the process of cannibalizing a few - pulling out any recipes I made that were good, but never repeated because ... well ... hardly ever crack open a cookbook.

Funny, I never thought I would get rid of exercise tapes and favorite cookbooks.  And here I doing both.


Scarf - my only knitting project right now. Finger weight yarn and it will take a long time finish because ...

... I started an Annie’s Club project called Plumberry Sampler Afghan in crochet.  

This is an indoor shot of the first 6 rows of this Afghan.  The colors are hard to capture correctly.

This is an outdoor shot and the colors are closer to normal.  
And even with natural light, the colors don’t show as true.

I am enjoying working on this - it is a great crochet learning project.  And the yarn they use for this is wonderful stuff.  Acrylic, but hard to tell without the label.

Queen blanket, also crochet, is well underway.  This is the most satisfying project I am working on at present.  No pictures to share yet but the finished object should look something like this.

My colors will be somewhat different, but you get the idea.  It really is a fun and easy project.

And then there is this little lady, Aja.

Yes, that is a smug and self-satisfied face.  Don’t those eyes say it all.  

She has made large strides with my husband.  And he has put great effort into it.  Several times a day, he goes into the bedroom to “visit” Aja.  He sits on the bed and she jumps up and rubs and rubs and rubs - and he pets - and usually it ends peacefully.  She gets herself over stimulated ending in a hiss or a swipe, but that is more rare now.  Oh, she does come out of the bedroom and wanders around the condo regularly, but she is most comfortable where her two beds are and food and litter - and she has safety behind the gate at the bedroom door (it has a cat door in it - and no one but her can pass through.) So she can come out any time she wants.

Here she is behind my recliner.  And if you look close, Milo is in the recliner.  Guess she felt the coast was clear if he was asleep.

Next month it will be the first anniversary of her adoption.  She has come sooo far since that skinny frightened and distrustful cat came to live with us.  Change is hard for her.  Not everyone could give her the time and distance she needed to adjust.  I kind of feel like she was just meant to be with us.  We love her so much and she has shown in her own way that those feelings are returned.

I think I hit all the topics.  Until next time ...