Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Alphabe-Thursday - K is for Kitty

Oh, the bell is ringing! Time for my favorite class, Mrs. Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. This week our essay is on the letter K. Since I work for a vet, the first word that popped into my head was kitty. So I thought I'd share the story of our sweet little fur baby. Everyone meet Sax! Some of you may have seen parts of this post before - I apologize in advance, but I've been pulling 50 hour weeks at work and DH and I are starting our own business. The brain can only process so much, so I had to reach back into my blog archives and change an old one up!

When our daughter was in high school, she worked part time at the veterinary practice that I manage. We had lost our 3 dogs and 2 cats within 2 years, and just could not bring ourselves to get another. DH and I thought that it would be best to hold off on any pets with Cait getting ready to go to college. It's a big responsibility to care for one of these little creatures, and we assumed (and we were right!) that we might be taking alot of weekend trips for football games, recitals and the like. One day, Cait came home from work and was acting rather odd. I asked how her shift went, and she would not turn to look at me. It was February and she had on a heavy coat. As she turned to go to her room, I saw a little fuzzy head pop out of her jacket! "But Mom," she pleaded. "She was laying in a rain puddle next to the dumpster at work, I couldn't just leave her there" Of course, at this point we had not had a dog or cat in the house for over 2 years. So, we had no cat food, litter, litter pan, or any of the kitty "necessities" I also did not want to get attached to a stray cat that had not been checked out first. So I told Cait to take her up to the clinic and put her in the isolation room, and I would have one of the Doctors check her the next day. If she got a clean bill of health, and Cait purchased the basic cat necessities, we would keep her on a trial basis. The next day, Dr. Webster checked her over well, tested her for all the nasty kitty viruses that are out there, vaccinated her and gave us the thumbs up to take her home. We also discovered that she had a spay scar and was declawed! Sax has turned out to be the best cat we have ever had. She is very social and loves nothing better than laying in our lap or on our chest, attempting to con us into a nap! Turns out napping is the thing she does best, she is the QUEEN of naps! I have read that the average house cat spends 13-18 hours a day sleeping, I think she is trying to beat that average.

This is her "pout pose" when I remove her from my lap to use the computer! DH says I bought the new sofa because it matched the cat - hey at least the hair doesn't show as badly!

Just "resting her eyes"

She likes to hide around the corner and pounce on your leg when you come through - she thinks you can't see her!

Staring out the window at her neighborhood boyfriend - Romeo, oh Romeo! She's not allowed outside, daddy is very protective, and remember, she's been declawed. Besides, we have some wicked mockingbirds in our yard! And please, please, please forgive the holy mess in this room - this is Cait's room (I promise you Barney purple was not my idea) and until we redo this room it has become a storage shed! Notice the unframed art on the chair? The glass table top leaning against the window? You should see the other side of the room, or no, maybe you shouldn't.

Thought I'd better post an updated picture of this room after painting. Didn't want to leave you with that vision of purple dancing in your head all day!

This is Sax saying so long, it was nice to visit, but she needs her beauty sleep! I hope you enjoyed meeting our little fur person. Please remember that stray and shelter pets need a home too, and they usually make the very best pets. It's almost as if they understand that you saved their lives, and the unconditional love and patience they offer is beyond compare!

Hope you enjoyed the story of Sax the Kitty. Don't forget to stop by and help Mrs. Matlock read this week's essays!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Weekend Reflections - Blue Hole

We had an absolutely gorgeous day on Saturday, so we quit doing all the things we were supposed to do and took a jaunt to Blue Hole to take some photos. This is my contribution to Weekend Reflections, so graciously hosted by James every week at Newtown Area Photo.

Blue Hole is a gem of a swimming hole on the San Gabriel River, right smack in the middle of town. Not what most people imagine when they think of Texas. We have cliffs and everything! All pictures will enlarge when clicked to see more detail.

Be sure to stop by and say hey to James and to see some beautiful photography from all over the world.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Alphabe-Thursday - J is for ....

Time for my favorite class of the week, Alphabe-Thursday. Make sure that you're not late, Mrs. Matlock is a stickler for punctuality. This week our assignment was the letter "J". J is such a great letter. It stands for June, my favorite month. It stands for jam (yum!) It stands for Jenny - so sue me, I like to be the teacher's pet. But my favorite J word is "Jazz"

I was fortunate to grow up in a household where all types of music was played, all the time. Mainly Motown and Elvis (thanks Dad), but you never knew what you might hear when you walked into the den. Stravinsky? Check. Gershwin? Check. The Righteous Brothers. Check. But my favorites were the big band jazz ensembles. Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Coleman Hawkins. I just loved these guys! This stuff can make you smile no matter how bad your day has been. And if you don't automatically start tapping your foot when you hear Sing, Sing or Jumpin' at the Woodside, you might want to see your Dr and have your pulse checked!

As I got older, I began listening to more pop and rock. And if you pay attention to my playlist at all, you know I have very eclectic taste. (If a psychiatrist examined my Ipod, they would probably diagnose me with some horrible personality disorder. ) But I also discovered more "modern" jazz. John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker. Alot of people say they don't like jazz music. Do you love the Charlie Brown theme? Of course you do! Vince Guaraldi is one of the most amazing jazz pianists ever. Prefer vocals? Take a listen to Joni Mitchell's Twisted. Not only will you gasp at the vocal pyrotechnics, the lyrics are hysterical!

My favorite movie in the last few years is "Chops", the story of a Florida high school jazz band competing at the Essentially Ellington Festival in New York. I've included the trailer so you can see how much fun jazz can be!

Chops Trailer from B-Side Entertainment on Vimeo.

Now, turn up the playlist and dance like a fool. I won't tell a soul. Honest, it will be our little secret. .. Oh, and don't forget to help Mrs. Matlock read all of this week's essays!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Weekend Reflections - Invasion of the Ants!

Well, it's Friday, which means it's time to visit James at Newtown Area Photo for
another edition of Weekend Reflections.

My entry this week just proves the old saw that "Everything is Bigger in Texas" Click to enlarge for more detail.

An added bonus for everyone who grew up loving the old 50's Sci-Fi horror flicks...
Our little buddies in monochrome!

Be sure and stop by James' blog to see some wonderful reflection photography!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Alphabe-Thursday - I is for Indiana Jones

Yippee! It's time for my favorite class, Alphabe-Thursday, instructed by everyone's favorite teacher, Mrs. Matlock. This week we are to write an essay on the letter I.

The first thing that popped into my head was "Indiana Jones"! This movie has a special place in my heart. I was very young, and had just moved to Philadelphia from a small town in Indiana. I certainly was not prepared for summer in the city! Rowhouses with window units could not keep up with the heat and humidity, and there was no relief in going outside, because I was surrounded by concrete! DH and I decided to splurge and go to a mall in New Jersey (free air conditioning!) While we were there, we saw a sign for a "sneak preview" of a new movie called "Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark". It was worth a buck to sit in an icy cold theatre, so we went in. I will never forget the feeling of discovery that seeing this movie gave me. At last, I understood what my grandparents and parents had been talking about when they recounted the amazing movie serials they would see every Saturday. The lighting, the production, the score all had that same magical feel. And the map with the little plane moving over it - genius! I just loved the premise of the mild mannered college professor turned swashbuckling hero. He even shared my snake phobia! And I will admit, if Harrison Ford had been one of my teachers I probably would have paid alot more attention in class!

All images from Google Images

I love the entire Indiana Jones series, although the Temple of Doom was probably my least favorite. But Raiders will always be my number one, because it was such an unexpected and pleasant surprise. And yes, we do have the entire series on DVD, as well as all the soundtracks. But these movies really are best when seen in a theatre, preferably an old fashioned one with a gigantic screen and reclining seats.

Now run to Mrs. Matlock's class to hear everyone's essays. You wouldn't want to get detention for being tardy!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Outdoor Wednesday - Spring at Last!

It's Outdoor Wednesday, so graciously hosted every week by Susan at A Southern Daydreamer. Make sure to stop by and see some beautiful outdoor photos!

I think Spring has finally sprung! I spent last Saturday at the LadyBird Johnson Wildflower Center, and captured some evidence that Spring has arrived in Central Texas.

A beautiful flowering fruit. And just look at that sky...

Happy yellow wildflowers waiting to greet you....

Look at these cute little guys catching some rays...

Beautiful and fragrant Confederate Jessamine climbing a silo...

The number one sign that Spring has arrived - a bluebonnet patch! (click to enlarge, there aren't many yet)

Don't forget to swing by and say hello to Susan and see what everyone is sharing this week.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Weekend Reflections - Downtown Columbus

I missed Weekend Reflections last week, due to a trip out of town for a family wedding. While we were there, we took the time to photograph some of the local sights. I've already shown you Friendship Cemetery, as well as the family farm and a wedding. These are a couple of shots that we took in downtown Columbus.

I like the way the doorway cut the reflection of the SUV in half. And I love the juxtaposition of the old theatre with the sat dishes on top of the building next door.

I shot this because the thought of a "House of Bacchus" in Columbus, Mississippi just had me rolling on the floor laughing. The distorted reflections were an added bonus.

Make sure to stop by and visit James and see some amazing reflection photography.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Alphabe-Thursday - H is for Homecoming

Good morning Mrs. Matlock! I'm back from my trip and ready to turn in my essay on the letter H. For me, H stands for Homecoming. (Thanks Anna at Anna's Adornments for the idea!)

Last week, I told you that G stood for Going Away. We made a whirlwind trip this past weekend to Columbus Mississippi for my cousin's wedding. It truly was coming home for me. I had not seen some of these family members in over 30 years. I'll be honest, I was afraid that I wouldn't recognize anyone. Didn't happen. Most of my cousins look exactly as I remember them, just older. Of course, I haven't aged a bit lol.

We made a stop at my grandparent's farm. The old home place has long since been torn down, but the farm is still going strong, thanks to my cousin Chuck. He has changed production from dairy to beef, but most of the old buildings remain. They have quite a little family compound there. My Aunt still lives on the property, and 4 cousins have homes on our family land. Join me on a little tour . . .

Boys will be boys - notice the holes in the sign. I doubt they are from hail ...

Bricks from the old home place. Chuck left these at the site of the old homestead, the rest were used to face his new home. I think that's a wonderful idea!

Are you talking to me???

Ever wonder what to do with old campaign signs? Patch the old milking barn! I was so happy that Chuck didn't tear this down when he changed from dairy to beef production. It was my second favorite place on the farm - the first being my grandmother's kitchen lol!

DH asked why the cows were so noisy. The vet was there. And they weren't getting vaccinated. He turned a bit green when I explained ...

Soon it was time to return to our room and clean up for the wedding. It was a beautiful ceremony, and the church was packed. There were only about 3 empty pews. When I looked around, I realized that I was related to about 85% of the people there! After the ceremony, there was a small reception in the fellowship hall.

A group of the "cousins". I have 21 first cousins on my daddy's side. While not all could attend, a good number did. But trying to round everyone up for a group photo was like herding cats! A little funny - the very tall gentleman on the left is my cousin Joe - his nickname when we were growing up was "Little Joe" If we'd only known...

There was no way this group was going to stay serious for long. The twins directly behind me were my best friends - we are 3 months apart in age. And boy did we ever get into some pickles! Pam was telling tales on Tammy and I and everyone just cracked up.

A very small group of the second cousins. I don't even know how many of them there are. I don't think I can count that high. We took over a BBQ joint Saturday night, and when someone told the waitress that we were all cousins, she couldn't believe it.

Hope you enjoyed my little trip down memory lane. I've got more pictures of Columbus, but I'll save them for another post. You must be bleary eyed by now!
Make sure to stop by and say hey to Jenny and see what everyone else has come up with for the letter H. (Note to Muse: I did not milk a cow, and I sure as heck didn't offer to help the vet lol!)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Outdoor Wednesday Friendship Cemetery

It's been awhile since I've joined Susan for Outdoor Wednesday, and I've really missed it! Please visit A Southern Daydreamer to see some beautiful outdoor photos.

On a recent trip to Columbus, Mississippi for a family wedding, we took some time to visit historic Friendship Cemetery. Y'all are going to start thinking I'm morbid, but I just love old historic cemeteries. It is truly an amazing place to visit. The sheer scale took our breath away. And looking at the old monuments and inscriptions is like looking through a history book. Friendship cemetery is credited as the founding site of Memorial day. It has a huge number of war veterans buried there, including Confederate and Union soldiers. Columbus was a hospital town during the Civil War, which enabled it to remain relatively unscathed during the war. They say that a Confederate Soldier can be seen patrolling the back of the grounds, with his pack and his musket. He must be camera shy, because I think we walked the entire 65 acres and didn't see hide nor hair of him. Maybe he only comes out at night?

Click to enlarge to see more detail. This is a stunning monument with the light playing over it.
A small portion of the Confederate field

The grounds have numerous large magnolia trees. This is one of the biggest I've ever seen

I love this monument, she seems to be guarding the cemetery

Some of the monuments remind us of how difficult life was. This family lost their little boy when he was 3 months, 15 days old according to the inscription.

And then their little girl just 2 years later at the age of 4

The Weeping Angel monument of Reverend Teasdale is probably the most photographed of all the sites at Friendship Cemetery. The pictures do not do it justice. It is truly breathtaking when seen in person. The detail of the stonework is just beautiful.

Don't forget to visit Susan to see some beautiful outdoor photography!