Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Riddle me this, Batman

 I made a mistake earlier.  I lit three yummy apple cider-scented candles to make the house feel warm and cozy.  The mistake wasn't in lighting the candles; the mistake was in forgetting about the kitten.

Chester strikes again.

J walked into the dining room to find two candles burning.  The third had been flipped over on its top with wax sprayed for a good two feet, all over my dining room table.

 Since this is November, the month of Thanksgiving, let's see if I can focus on the positives here

I am thankful that she managed to flip it over upside down and the flame went out.  I shudder to think about what would have happened if that flame had kept burning.

I am thankful that she didn't set herself on fire.  She is a puffy cat, after all, with a big, puffy, feather-duster of  a tail and tufts of hair growing between the pads of her paws.  My first cat, Galileo, got too close to a candle one winter and singed his whiskers.  The smell brought me running and there he was, blinking and confused.  He never got near a candle again.  I'm not sure that Chester is that smart.

I am also thankful that I had some of those handy-dandy Pampered Chef scrapers in the kitchen.  They made quick work of the wax without scraping my table up.  Thank you Pampered Chef. Let me add that it's a good thing it is the winter, so it's cooler in the house.  That allowed the wax to come up off the table much easier.

All in all, it wasn't nearly as much of a disaster as it could have been.  For that I am grateful.  But here's the mystery.  I can't find any wax on her.   You would think that for all that mess that she made, her fur would be covered in wax.   For sure, there has to be some wax on one of her paws, or in all of that tail fur.

There isn't.

Upon closer inspection, which she loved, I found one single drop of wax inside her one ear.  ONE DROP.  She reeks of Apple Cider Yankee Candle, but all I can find is One. Stinking. Drop. Of. Wax. 

How in the world did she manage that?

Monday, November 7, 2011

My Better Half

I am going to admit something.  One of the many things that I love about J is the fact that he is so handy.  I don't think that I could have married someone who couldn't do things like fix a faucet, hang drywall, or put some under-cabinets lights in my not-so-new kitchen.
Don't get me wrong.  I am not some helpless female.  My father made sure of that.  I learned how to mow the lawn, how to hammer a nail without smashing my thumb, how to help hold the 2 x 4s that are being cut with a circular saw and still sort-of protect my ears.
I have been taught to appreciate the sheer beauty of a cordless drill (Makita was the early love, but nowadays it's all DeWalt yellow.) 
I learned how to check the air pressure in my tires, how to check and add oil, how to drive a stick shift.  In fact, I even knew how to find the fuse box and change the fuses on my 1984 Fiero.  That came in handy the day a fuse blew and my windshield wipers quit working.  I just pulled over to the side of the road, wiggled down under the dashboard (not a lot of room in those Fieros!) changed the fuse and I was on my way.  Well,  after a triumphant little dance, I was on my way. 

It was important to my dad that my sister and I be self-sufficient.  As we grew up, my dad did all of the repair projects around the house, teaching us a little here and there.  As I got to know J better, and learned that he had many of  the skills that were valued in my family, I loved him all the more.  He has done the vast majority of the improvement work on our house, with help from my dad and his dad.  When something goes wrong, I know he can fix it.  And as much as I hate to sound like a wimpy woman, I love knowing that I will be taken care of.  I am spoiled by him and his handiness.
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Sunday, November 6, 2011

I am thankful for traditions

I am trying really hard to write more this month. I want to focus on the things that I am grateful for. As irreverent as I can be, I do realize that I am surrounded by many wonderful
people and things.
Yesterday, I packaged up the dress that Keebles wore for her baptism back in 2002. I sent it to my sister so that her daughter can wear it for her baptism his month. And I cried.
Sentimental things kill me. I hate to cry, but show me a Kodak commercial about kids growing up and I turn into a sniffling mess. Show me a wedding, of the friends- or soap-opera-type, and I am a weeping wreck. If I read a story about one person sacrificing for the good of others, and I am a blubbering boob. Don't you dare do something kind for me, or I will completely lose it. Yeah, I'm weird.
Back to the dress. My niece will wear it this year. My daughter wore it in 2002. My sister wore it in 1977. I wore it in 1974. My mother wore it in 1951. It is this beautiful, ivory 4-piece affair. I imagine what my grandmother was thinking when she picked it out for my mother, her only daughter. Apparently she didn't like the length of the overcoat, and had it cut shorter than the dress. (See photo.). But, my Gram was like that. She liked things done her way.
I am grateful for this tradition that ties the women in my family together. Even if it made me cry a little.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Playing in the leaves

I am pushing 38 years old. Pushing very hard. But I still act like a 5-year-old sometimes. Lots of times. More often than I care to admit.
Today, when I got home from school, I found this pile of beautifully colored leaves. And I couldn't resist tossing them up in the air and watching them swirl down. Which, of course, led to me getting out the camera and attempting to photograph them as they fell. You would have done the same thing, right?
This is difficult for several reasons. First, they fall a heck of a lot faster than you'd think. The camera can't focus on them.
Second, in order to actually catch them as they fell, I had to switch to manual focus, pick a focal point and hope that as they fell, *some* of the leaves would actually end up in the focal plane.
Third, it's hard to balance the bright sky against the leaves. I opted for exposing for the leaves, which meant the sky was blown out, but whatever. Your mind is wandering now. :)
Fourth, how in the world do you explain to your neighbors why you are in your backyard, tossing handfuls of leaves into the air (repeatedly) and taking pictures of them. And giggling. Not that I looked up to see someone in their driveway. That would have been embarrassing.
So, here are the pictures. They aren't perfect, but they are fun.