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Tuesday, July 7th, 2015
3:25 pm - Time/Temp
3:25 pm 73.9°/68.5° sunny

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1:30 pm - Time/Temp/
overnight low 18°, partly cloudy
11:00 am  70.3° in back bathroom, 22.6° on front porch  overcast
  1:30 pm  71.1°/31.3°  sunny

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Monday, July 6th, 2015
10:48 am - Coon Caught, But...
Oh, I was so excited last night when I saw a huge coon on the porch before dark.  I set the trap, went back inside, and heard it snap.  Pale Face, happily eating the cat food in the cottage cheese carton, front feet firmly on the trap's trigger.  I glanced at the cat food pan and looked at the only young male from the last litter minus one.

Opening the trap door, I reached inside to remove him, setting him on top of the food out in the open of the porch.  He climbed out and stalked down the porch steps.

I reset the trap and went back inside.


I had Sleeper this time.  Yup, cat food still available without setting off the trap.  She came to me when I called, but wanted to help me reset it.

Sigh.  I went back inside.

CLICK!   Thump, rattle, clank.

By now, it was dark.  The trap door sheilded my clear view of the inside.  Walking to the edge of the porch, I noted THE COON.  He quieted.

I fingered the spring, making sure it was tight.  I wondered if I should look for a welding rod or something else stout to stick through the squares of the trap's woven wire, just in case.  I've had coons that dumped the trap off the porch and got the door opened in the fall.  I wiggled the trap - the screws holding it to the board were still in place.  I saw the trowl, but the handle was too big to fit through the gap between the wires.

Inside, I found a stout screw driver, but it was too short to reach down to the bottom wire.

Right before I went to bed, about 1:30, I checked.  Coon quiet, but not happy.

5:30 this morning, the trap, door still closed, was empty.  I still have the fresh coon crap in the bottom, however.  Lucky me.  Oh, and the cat pan was licked clean.  He wasn't even in a hurry to leave.

current mood: resigned

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Monday, June 22nd, 2015
8:56 am - Evidence of Coon
Late last night, after I'd already gone to bed, I heard a ruckus on the front porch, but was too tired to go check if my resident cats were squabbling over the food pan's contents or if I were being invaded by coons or possums. None of the traps are currently set, so either could be true without dragging myself out of bed when I was almost asleep and knowing that I had a lot of irons in the fire here today to deal with, I chose to roll over.

Sometime after 6 this morning, when I fumbled my half-awake way through the mandatory early morning chores, I noted that the metal cat food pan looked as if it had been licked clean.

Cats always leave bits too small to bother with. Coons clean the entire thing. 'Nuff said.

current mood: tired

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Sunday, June 21st, 2015
2:42 pm - Time/Temp
Sunday 6/21/15
  9:10  2162# (old scale) 208.2, 206.4 (Too good to be true; cleaned feet of new scale) 218.22# (sigh, unfortunately,         that's more like it) 75.7 back bathroom/82.0 front porch, sunny

 11:35  215.8, 216.82 # (os) 217.62 # (ns) 77.7 back bathroom/93.0 front porch, overcast

current mood: confused

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12:44 pm - Quick! Think!
Pat's brother's mother is Sam's father's wife; Pat and Sam are better known as __________.

current mood: laughing

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Wednesday, June 10th, 2015
5:02 pm - On Scars - Robyn Carr in A New Hope
 Robyn Carr in A New Hope, p. 105 writes, "Her scars were thistles; they were velvet artwork on her heart.

current mood: truthful

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Sunday, May 31st, 2015
12:02 pm - Time/Temp/Weight
Sunday 5/31/15 Time/Temp/Weight

  9:25 220.22 # (old scale) 221.22 # (new scale) 68.9° (master bath) 61.7° (front porch) sunny
  4:40 219.0/220.4                                                74.8°                        79.3° sunny

current mood: chilly

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Saturday, May 30th, 2015
9:49 pm - Pandemonium Hits Gamble's

So I went to Gambles after the kittens were done.  Nobody got sick, nobody "griped", only one, Orange Spot, squeaked when the needle went it (Lucus told me Monday when he did BS Freckles, Blackie's Cali and Blackie's One Eye that one of the shots could sting, but none of those reacted that day.)  The "real" small animal vet among the trio worked on them this time, and he set up four syringes with several different vaccines in each one, giving each kitten just one shot.

I got two dust pans, a sprinkler head for the long hose, three ugly fly swatters in clashing garrish colors, and a neat (heavy) solid wooden two cat sleeper tube coated in carpet, and a cat crate.

I took it out to the car, intending to transfer the kittens at once, as the box leaked What Me Worried on the trip in, leaving her loose on the leather seats... Driving around to the back of the store, which I was told was really the "front" when it came to loading heavy stuff, as Highway 2 is the front of the store, with a steep side parking lot that is wicked to negotiate on, I lifted up the box with the handle, only to have the bottom open up, dumping all four kittens, who have never been outside before, out on the paving.  Swooping down quickly, I got three of the four, stuffing them into the crate, but could not get Orange Spot before she dashed under the car.  The owner tried to move her toward me with a grabber, but she bolted from one side to the other, finally streaking over to the dumpster, behind it, tangling herself around a pallet leaning vertically against the next building's wall.  I used the grabber to reach for her as a friendly customer who had a way with cats tried to coax her to him.  It was five to ten heart stopping minutes of sheer pandemonium, involving both cashiers and three or four customers before she rejoined her litter mates.

If I had to do it all over again, I'd have gotten IN the car, shut the door, and at worst case, lost them in the vehicle, rather than outside.

current mood: relieved

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9:13 pm - Bandita's Beauty's Kittens to Vet
7:00 am 50° (front porch)

Today Bandita's Beauty's litter got named.  As the vet worked on each one, I christened them... Most changed from what I thought I'd call them earlier.  The Spelunker-colored male became BB's Pale Face (mostly white face capped by yellow above the eyes/on the ears, who really impressed the vet - biggest, fattest, most timid/lethargic.  Then the mostly dark tortoise shell that I was calling One Spot got renamed BB's Orange Spot, the venturesome calico
BB's What Me Worried (for the comic look on her face that suits that monicker), and the "normal" tortoise shell is BB's Three Faced.  I'm not real fond of that name for her, but her pattern is so bland that nothing pops out.  She has more personality, but as one of the trio of holy terrors the girls are, I didn't come up with anything smashing on that front, either.  Until Mark came.

He'd brought a pine "spacer" to even out the warp we were getting from having left pieces sit unattached to the wall.  All four of the kittens were loose in the hallway, so I put them into the bathroom and shut the door.  One was missing, but I couldn't see into the back corner, so we thought she was back there, as it is pretty tough to hide in an empty hallway with book cases along one wall.
BB's Sleeper found a way.  She got on the second shelf up from the bottom, on top of a row of paperbacks, stretching out so that she was nearly invisible underneath the shelf.  She was there over an hour before we spotted her and locked her in with the others.

He still has not completed the "second" Friday's stack.  Promises, promises.  The kittens that were unborn when he told me "one a week, on Fridays" are now seven weeks old, with only one useable full case installed, and the bottom of the one next to it.  Sigh.

They are the only kittens here that are NOT SICK.  I didn't get a good scrub job on the crates, so I decided to take just the kittens in a box.  I used a vertical one with a handle, taking them in and out safely, then buying another crate at the hardware store on the corner.  (I was getting embarrassed.  Every time I went in there, I'd ask for something they didn't have.)

Saturday 5/30/15 Time/Temp/Weight
  9:35 220.4
2 # (old scale) 221.22 # (new scale) 68.9°(master bath) 61.7° (front porch)

Pizza, steakburger, velvet cake in town -- bet I gain tomorrow!

current mood: ambivalent

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Friday, May 29th, 2015
12:08 pm - Time/Temp/Weight
Friday 5/29/15 Time/Temp/Weight

  7:45 219.22 # (old scale) 220.22 # (new scale) 73.8° (master bath) 66.6° (front porch) sunny

current mood: satisfied

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Thursday, May 28th, 2015
12:13 pm - Time/Temp/Weight
Thursday 5/28/15 Time/Temp/Weight

  11:25   218.62 # (old scale) 220.22 # (new scale) 76.6° (master bath) 50.1° (front porch) overcast
    1:55   218.4/219.4                                                77.9°                       74.7°                     drizzle

current mood: pleased

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Wednesday, May 27th, 2015
12:17 pm - Time/Temp/Weight
Wednesday 5/27/15 Time/Temp/Weight

 6:55   219.02 # (old scale)  221.02 # (new scale) 70.5° (back bathroom) 59.0° (front porch)  sunny

current mood: satisfied

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Tuesday, May 26th, 2015
12:20 pm - Time/Temp/Weight
Tuesday 5/26/15 Time/Temp/Weight

 9:50  220.42 # (old scale)  220.82 # (new scale) 72.5° (back bathroom) 69.4° (front porch)  overcast

current mood: happy

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Monday, May 25th, 2015
9:59 pm - Memorial Day Escapade (Time/Temp/Weight)
Before the large black and white cat got himself into the back trap, he beat up Black Stripe and Four on the Floor pretty badly.  Saturday night, she was moaning in pain, so when Monday came around, I loaded BS into the crate that lives in the utility room and set off to get her treated.  Part way there, I heard a weak kitten cry... I had Freckles, Cali, and One Eye all in there,  hiding in the dark.

Lucus did a very thorough check of Black Stripe, then treated her for the tape worms on her, the cold she had, and suggested "rest" for the ribs, etc.  As with humans, they are painful, but relatively untreatable.  Usually, if she curls up for ten minutes, that is a long stay for her.  She's been under my chin between me and the keyboard for three entries, now.  She look his advise to heart, it seems.  She seems to be breathing easier now, too, cold/cough wise.  (Moved from 5/30)

Monday 5/25/15 Time/Temp/Weight

  3:55  220.02 # (old scale)  222.02 # (new scale) 78.6° (back bathroom) 81.9° (front porch)  partly cloudy
       (Black Stripe, BS Freckles, Blackie's One Eye, and Blackie's Cali to vet)

current mood: embarrassed

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Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015
12:20 am - Best Expression of Extreme Surprise

Nora Roberts - The Search

copyright 2010

My sister sent me a copy of one of my favorite Nora Roberts books, The Search.  As soon as I finished what I’d been reading, I started re-reading it.  When I got to page 169, I ended up laughing out loud, which startled Freckles, who was asleep in the crook of my arm.

The MCF runs a dog training school, and uses her three personal labs as part of a search and rescue team.  She actively trains other area’s volunteers around the state.

The local veterinary (female) is part of her team, and at the start of the story, the two best friends, both single, are trading “I’ve gone longer without” stories.

The MCM enters with a chewing pup he’s named JAWS.  Even though he’s missed the first two beginner lessons in a series that builds on past training, the bond is formed, and she begins to work with the pup and his owner.  She only accepts dog/human teams.

Shortly after both the MC amd her best friend, a female vet, line up interesting men in their lives, they have a redo of an earlier conversation frankly describing their romantic encounters.  The vet, mock offended that she didn’t receive an immediate follow up after the date took place, pops out with the line that made me laugh.

“Sweet magnetic Jesus on the dashboard.  On the table?”

current mood: amused

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Tuesday, April 21st, 2015
11:19 pm - Black Stripe's New Trick -- The Silent Meow
Last week, Bandita's Beauty has, in the recent past, "defended " her kittens from Black Stripe's invasion (who was innocently thinking sharing a kitty litter was not a provocation) when I stepped out to use the scale, leaving Freckles and BS at the much larger Bandita's Beauty's mercy.  Turns out, she has none.

I stomped back into the room, picked BB up and plopped her back in the tub with her kittens.  The instant the doorway was clear, BS shot out into the hall.  I collected the scattered litter, refilled the water, and turned the cat food container right side up.  Had it not been tipped, I probably would have had to toss the whole panfull out... Nobody wants litter garnished Science Diet!

I hadn't even taken the dust pan and broom back to the holder beside the kitchen cabinets yet.  Normally, I put it back when I refill the cat pan with food.

Finally, I realized that Freckles had not fled with her mother.  I found her in a kitten-sized space between the tank and the toilet cleaner.  She's too little to have been on the seat, and the smooth holder for the scrubber is twice her height and offers no claw holds, so I'm not sure how she got back there.  She seemed to be unhurt, but her little heart was really thumping.  I now take her for litter walks periodically, as though she were a puppy.

Afterward, I'd have to move the litter into the hallway and close the door before BS would use it.   Even then, she took to using a silent meow.  It's been years since I had a cat who did that.  She's in stealth mode.

Tired of switching the litter pan back and forth every few hours, I decided to leave the door open.  I still "walk" the kitten in, sitting on the end of the tub so I was between the other mother and Freckles, but she has never reacted to her presence.  (When I first took her into the room a few weeks ago, I took BB's kittens and held them in the skirt of my night gown, then added Freckles.  No problems there, so I let her go into the bath tub with her new friends.  BB ignored her after the first sniff.)

One more attack took place when Black Stripe went into the room when I'd started leaving the door open, but when I hollared, they quit.  BS growled when I finally arrived (I was in the kitchen when the row started), so I tapped my finger on her head lightly.  I moved the litter box back into the hall for another day of shifting it back and forth.

Yesterday, after several quiet days, Bandita's Beauty came out into the living room.  As they tried to pass each other in the entryway to the living room, they got vocal, and I hollared at them.  Black Stripe ran to me, while Bandita's Beauty took off back down the hall to her kittens.

Tonight, I had again left the door open.  BB streaked through twice, running sliently into my bedroom.  Hopefully, the detaunt will stabilize as her kittens become more mobile.  This afternoon, Hint of Orange came into the kitchen for the first time since losing her kittens.  She and Black Stripe politely sniffed noses.  Freckles sometimes sleeps in the utility room in the same crate with HOO, sometimes with BS and I.  She's a really bright little girl; no accidents, and one lesson in how much force she could use when she played chew or bat the fingers.  She will play with the pink ball with the bell inside, but gets distracted easily.  I shut her in with it while I cleaned the litter pan, then set her in it.  She dug five holes before she'd use it.  Without someone else's poop already there, she didn't seem to be sure she was supposed to make a deposit there.  

current mood: long winded

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11:44 am - Bandita's Beauty's Litter
Bandita's Beauty is a dedicated mother, and has not dropped weight as she constantly lies on on side or the other, purring.  At least one kitten also purrs loudly.

Using my newly devised naming nomenclature, Bandita's Beauty's litter have acquired some names.

The calico one who died Easter morning had the most interesting pattern, of course.  She had an inverted black pyramid over her nose, and was a lovely distribution of orange and black spots on a white background.  Her name, BB's Inverted Pyramid, was, therefore, a no-brainer.

Not to be far outdone, the other calico, whose white background covers a bit wider area, has a black spot the size of a No. 2 pencil's circumference on the side of one eye.  At present, it is approximately the same size as the eye.  Needless to say, she is now BB's Black Eye.

One of the tortoise shell females is the squealer of the bunch.  She is marked quite a bit like her mother, and is as yet unnamed.  Squealer may be what she earns, should she not outgrow it.

The last tortoise is very dark.  She has tiny white dots around her eyes, creating a reverse raccoon style black mask in white.  Hers is not as well-defined.  She is a pretty close match to BS Freckles, with larger orange patches on her front half.  She is therefore called BB White Mask.

The yellow and white male is also still nameless.

current mood: tickled

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Wednesday, April 15th, 2015
7:28 pm - Correct Punctuation Use Sighted in Selection Demonstrating GOOD WRITING!
Maybe I'm going about this backward.

Same website, a few days earlier:

gibber Audio Pronunciation
\JIB-er, GIB-\
1. to speak inarticulately or meaninglessly.
2. to speak foolishly; chatter.
Representation gets a bad rap.  Its inadequacy is inbuilt; it’s doomed to fail us; the thing it strives to capture and communicate endlessly eludes it.  But it’s what we have, so we use our crude visual and verbal tools to circumscribe, gibber, and gesture.
-- Cassie Packard, "Martha Rosler Tackles the Problem of Representation," Hyperallergic, October 16, 2014
Gibber entered English around 1600 and is of uncertain origin. It is perhaps related to the obsolete word gib meaning "caterwaul, to utter long wailing cries."


Perfect score on some difficult seeming distinctions in our modern rush to minimize everything:

Punctuation: +10

Its inadequacy/it’s doomed/it’s what (first one is the possessive, next two the contraction for it is)

Maintaining a long series of correctly punctuated items in a series, [extra points for the balanced parallel structure, allerative diction thrown in :-) ].

Parallel: Complete sentence; c
omplete sentence; complete sentence.

Its inadequacy is inbuilt, (especially inadequacy/inbuilt), capture and communicate, endlessly eludes, crude...circumscribe, (tools to), visual and verbal, gibber and gesture

Rhyme: (near/slant) bad rap

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6:53 pm - And In Other News
Several of the yellows from Black Stripe's latest litter are now successfully pouncing, and producing squeals and in one case, a turned back ear.  Mostly boys, again, I'm assuming.  One black and orange, but not a typical tortoise shell or calico pattern.  Front half, black.  Back half, brindle.  She does seem to have the "unique" down.  She's a lighter shade of brindle over most of her body, with tiger stripes visible on her legs, where solid orange happens in a few places large enough to discern the stripes.

And, I've now named her - BS (the official designation for Black Stripe's kittens, for as long as I remember that I decided to do this) Freckles.

Her face has orange/white dots across nose and underneath eyes...

current mood: tickled

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