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Does that ever happen, really?

I don’t think so. I, for example, would undoubtedly be better about — and perhaps even caught up with — blogging if I were able to blog something every time I think about blogging it. But then again, with today’s technological advances, not to mention the amount of time a day I spend sitting at a computer, I probably actually could blog anything and everything I ever wanted, the very second it crosses my mind.

However, I will never be that organized. Nor that committed. I mean: Gimme a break!

So, here are a few shots I have taken over the last, oh, 3 weeks or so … in no particular order … as usual!

This was taken yesterday on my way back from Akin Grade School. I had to snap it because of the haystacks/bales and the telephone poles and the water tower and the truck. Plus it reminds me of Jane and Ray.

Those shots were from our quick trip to Chicago, during which it was basically too cold to walk anywhere — except for a short jaunt down 2 or 3 blocks of Michigan Avenue on Saturday … and we did manage to mosey over to the big Christmas tree at Daley Plaza.

On Thanksgiving Day, Diane and I stopped at the Goat Tower en route to The Ville. She had read about the tower in American Profile: Apparently, a Shelby County farmer built it for his goats, which are from Saanen, Switzerland — where, apparently, the terrain is rather mountainous. (I have no idea if that’s true or not, but … well, it must be, no?)

Apparently, mountain goats the relocate to the flatlands of Illinois don’t mind relaxing on the decidedly un-mountainous terrain!

Later in the day, we relaxed in the recliners in front of my parents’ new doors, watching a little bit of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

I posted this on another site as “Joey and Chandler” (like the Friends characters), but I have now decided maybe we’re more like “Alan and Denny” (as in “Shore” and “Crane” from Boston Legal, which I already miss more than I ever imagined possible).

Except for the scotch. And the cigars.

After dinner came the best part of the day (next to the pumpkin pie, of course!): Christmas crafts, courtesy of mi madre. From left are Aunt Janie, Diane, Delra, Di and Mom. We made Christmas trees, gingerbread men (complete with rolling pins!) and tiny bell angels.

I have the cutest cat in the entire world.

Which is kind of funny because — and I may have mentioned this earlier — the first time I saw her, I thought she was the strangest-looking cat I’d ever seen in my entire life.

I’ll post some pictures of her helping me decorate our Christmas tree and wrap presents … eventually. Maybe. Unless I get busy doing something else.

… what Kiddle’s been up to:

Just hangin’ out, really; actually, she was about half-asleep when I snapped this shot. She also seems to enjoy lying near my bedroom window, taking in the bright fall sunshine. And at night, of course, she likes to wake me up (at all hours), trying to get me to play Fetch with her toy mice.

Kiddle & Pictures

So, I had grand intentions this holiday weekend of getting my “spring cleaning” done started, but as we all know, I am a complete slacker, so the majority of housework that I had planned to do went basically undone.

Shortly after lunch today, though, I decided to get my photos organized, and I started making various piles of different subjects (for example, Hummingbirds, Poppies and Arizona 2006). And shortly into the project, Kiddle made her way onto the coffee table and decided to lie down right in the midst of some pictures … and the remote … and the salt shaker … and an empty Coke can.

I think she’s enjoyed having me around the past three days.

I hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend and a happy-as-possible Memorial Day.

My sister was born on Memorial Day, so I’ve always viewed the holiday as A Good Thing rather than A Day to Be Sad. The past 12 months have been rather difficult, deaths-wise, so, of course, I did find myself thinking about people I and/or others know and care about, and the losses I/we have had.

What or when was your very first memory of someone (or something) dying?

I have three, actually.

My first, probably, was when Mom took Debra and me to the Kay Drive-In to see The Jungle Book. I don’t remember much about the movie, but I do know that I cried when Baloo took a nap — because I thought he had died.

Another recollection of death that stays with me is when Grandpa Dido died. What I remember is Bob picking Debra and me up from school and driving over to the Route 16 (bar) in Pana. It was about a 20-minute drive, and the entire time, Bob was talking to us about how sometimes, a person’s body becomes too sick or tired to go on, and how, at that point, God comes to take the person’s soul to heaven. And I’m pretty sure I wasn’t paying too close attention, but right as we pulled up to the Route 16, he told us that our grandpa had died.

Probably my most vivid memory of someone dying occurred sometime when I was a kid, and my mom told me that this little boy, Ryan Mingus, a toddler who couldn’t have been more 12 to 16 months old, had fallen into a well and died. And I didn’t know the boy — I was a fairly young girl myself — but I had seen him at least a couple of times (his mom was my step-uncle’s brother’s girlfriend), and all I could do was visualize his bald head and his baby face and his ears, and wonder how scared he must have been.

Anyhoo, Memorial Day means summer is here, even if the calendar doesn’t necessarily agree. Let’s hope it’s a good one!

Spiked-Hair Kiddle

Kiddle on Bedspread

Teaching my kitty to play Fetch.

Fetch

OK, I’ve been around cats long enough to know that you never really teach them anything. They have an innate (or is it “inborn”?) ability to use a potty box, and if you douse them enough times with water from the squirt bottle, you can almost teach them NOT to do certain things.

Still, for the most part, it’s pretty much always about the cat … and what he or she WANTS to do, at any given moment.

However, I am quite pleased that Kiddle has shown a willingness to retrieve her chew toy and also her new mouse* when I toss them.

When I was a kid, we had a psychotic Siamese cat named Simon who would fetch a wadded-up piece of paper from one of my Uncle Merlyn’s note pads. (Uncle Merlyn was an insurance agent; that’s why he had his own pads of paper, and he and Aunt Toots would give them to us — along with an assortment of pens and balloons and tops [the kind you spin!] — every year for Christmas.) Simon would also play Keep Away (a.k.a. Monkey in the Middle) with Debra and me, serving as the “monkey” as we’d toss the paper wad back and forth. He’d leap and contort himself, trying to bat away the paper; occasionally, he’d even catch it between his paws, and one time, he jumped up, twisted himself about three feet into the air, landed right in his water bowl and then shot out of the room!

My beloved Mitty would fetch a small ball made out of gauze tape. I’d throw it down the stairs and she’d run down after it, then bring it back upstairs to me, dozens of times, until she basically was too tired to run anymore. She also would occasionally “roll over” at my command — but, again, this was something that was mostly up to her. (I can recall any time Jenn would come over, I’d “command” Mitty to “Roll over!” and Mitty would usually just lie there, purring, looking up at me as if I were crazy for thinking she’d do anything that wasn’t her own idea … and, of course, Jenn would just giggle!)

New Mouse

* — I went over to Diane’s the other night and she held up a small red stocking with white trim and said, “Guess who got a stocking?” And I said, “Who? You?” And she said, “No.” And I said, “Me?” And she said, “No. Kiddle!” The sock was filled with five stuffed mice in varying colors. Needless to say, Kiddle adores them!

Or perhaps just comfy.

Me & Little Kiddle

A few shots from Kiddle’s first couple of weeks hangin’ out with me:

Watchful Kiddle

Wistful Kiddle

Wrapping Kiddle

I decided, a couple of weeks ago, that it might be a good idea to get caught up on what’s been going on in my life. I thought I’d present it “The Week in Review”-style, but then I realized: There really wasn’t anything going on in my life.

Which is a good thing/bad thing-sorta thing, depending on your perspective. (I’ve begun to believe that less, indeed, is more … which, for me, translates to “The less upheaval going on in my life at any given moment, the better.”)

Of course, I did get a cat! Which means more than a dash of chaos has been added to my life, but so far, it’s all been quite good. Better than I imagined, actually.

Two weeks ago or so, maybe three, I had Little Kiddle over for a sleepover. JUST to see how it would go, to get an idea whether she actually could be happy — and somewhat well-behaved — indoors. And to be perfectly honest: Kiddle was a dream! She snuggled with me on the couch for three hours, and then when I headed into the bedroom, she beat me to the bed! She was all warm and purr-y, and I fell asleep feeling like I might’ve found a perfect feline companion. (She even used the litter box, properly, a couple of times!)

Then, around 3 a.m., the mewing started. And for most of the next three hours — hours that I would have preferred to spend sleeping, mind you — Kiddle traipsed around the house, dodging from window to window, acting as if she couldn’t wait to get to her usual spot: outside!

After getting ready for work, I crammed Kiddle into the pet carrier and took her back over to The Lovely’s house.

Sleepover: OVER!

Fortunately, we hit a warm spell, weather-wise, over the next couple of weeks, so Kiddle was perfectly happy to be back outside. In the meantime, I had to figure out if I was “ready” for another kitty-cat.

On one hand, I didn’t want to force Kiddle to become an inside cat if she preferred to be outside. On the other hand: Let’s be honest, she’s not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed. I mean, not so long ago, she was getting ready to mix it up with a red-tailed hawk! I had a bad feeling her somewhat overly aggressive attitude was going to get her in trouble — especially against those in the animal kingdom who were bigger & stronger (& possibly even smarter) than she.

Then it got really, really cold here over the weekend, so I decided to invite her over for another sleepover. And once again, Kiddle was the perfect house guest … until 3 or 4 a.m., when the mewing began again. That earned her another trip back across town.

This time, though, I couldn’t bear the thought of her being out in the rain and cold, so when I left work, I went over to check on her. She was standing under an eve of the neighbors’ garage, and when she saw my car pull up, she came runnin’!

I drove her home, and she’s been at my house ever since!

(I did inform her, in no uncertain terms, that if she insisted on getting up at 3 a.m., she would be banished from my room. She was fine the first night, but early this a.m., she decided to play, so … she got the heave-ho! However, all that amounted to was me closing my bedroom door and giving her the run of the house for a couple of hours!)

Aside from Kiddle, what else is there?

Well, my holiday shopping “officially” got started last weekend when I spent a great day with The Lovely and her mother, visiting Shoe Carnival, Barnes & Noble, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Best Buy and the Carbondale mall, with lunch at Panera fit nicely in-between all that.

Also over the last few days, I had a great phone conversation with a long-lost friend and also a wonderful lunch with another pal who has returned to the area (yay!).

And I have a minor tennis injury (sore calves, possibly a strained muscle or two; who knew?), but I really think I’ll be OK.

Cousins

Cousins! (Kevin, Debra, Karen and Di)

REO Speedwagon

REO Speedwagon

Arts & Crafts

Arts & Crafts (Diane and Karen)

Snowmen

Snowmen (Di and Mom)

Izzy

Izzy’s Bored

Here’s a recent picture of Kiddle:

Kiddle

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