Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Kitty Update

The day after the kittens were born we moved them out from under the kitchen sink because I needed to plug in and use the garbage disposal. (I went for 99% of my life without a garbage disposal and thus it is rare that I ever dump food in the sink, however Andrew has never known life without a garbage disposal and because of this my kitchen sink was quickly filling up with Beef-A-Roni. I am not making this up. Anyone who knows me well knows that I would never allow Beef-A-Roni in my house but in the interest of the possibility of ever getting my house painted I have looked the other way and have allowed Chef Boy Ardee into my home.)

We put the kittens in a box and put them in this huge dog kennel that we were going to use to keep the cats out of the way when we were going to paint my living room 3 months ago. (editors note: living room still not painted.) Here is Lorenzo acting as Uncle Daddy the Sentinel.

All parties seemed happy with this arrangement until the morning that Ashleigh tried to conduct the kitten relocation program. Apparently she needs peace and quiet and lots of darkness to raise her family so we moved the brood in to my living room closet.

This little kitty can almost see Uncle Daddy. I think we will have peepers in the next few days.

And here is the whole happy family. I can always tell when he is in there with them because I can hear him talking to them. It is a very quiet and low mumble, almost a purr. Ashleigh talks to them, too, but her voice is much higher and everything she says to them sounds like it has a question mark in it. Ashleigh is a very good mom cat. She is attentive and loving and keeps the babies very clean.

Have you ever seen a more involved dad cat? He simply adores these babies and his wife/sister. I'm tellin' ya, I'm gonna rename Ashleigh & Lorenzo because I think the names "Magenta" and "Riff Raff" might better suit them. ("Rocky Horror Picture Show" reference.)

An Uncle/Daddy's work is never done.

"...2, 3, 4...."

"...and...5. All present and accounted for. Now I can go for a walk in peace."

Dear Nana,
I don't think Mama is going to take me to Subway anymore. The last two times I went there I squalled my head off. Last night I really whooped it up because I could smell the meat and I wanted some. Mama and Andrew kept telling me to be quiet but I just couldn't help it. "Maaaa-RRROOOOWWWWW" I said, but I still couldn't get anyone to give me some meat. Mama had Andrew take me outside. I thought maybe we could discuss my dilemma man to man but apparently Andrew is far too cool to stand next to a white cat in a pink stroller because he took me outside and left me there all by myself. It was kind of cool because I had some sun beams in my stroller and I could feel the sea breeze but I really wanted to talk about this lack of meat problem I was going through. I called for Andrew but he just ignored me. By the time Mama got out of the store I had given up. I wasn't gonna talk to anyone. My lips were sealed. Andrew offered me a piece of turkey and I was gonna show him who was boss. I wasn't going to eat it. I made a big show out of it and even walked away from it for a second. But then I came to my senses and decided that I didn't want to eat it but I did want to lick it. Andrew only held it for me for a few seconds and then he threw in inside the stroller so then I had to eat it. I'm a neatnick you know. Couldn't have a piece of turkey just laying around in my stroller. A place for everything and everything in it's place I tell ya. On our walk back home I didn't feel very good so I had to complain a little bit. Mama thought I had to go potty so she hurried as best she could. When we got home I forgot that I had to go potty until Mama was all snuggled up on the couch. So I had to RUN to the potty and then I had to dig, dig, dig. There. All better. I got up on the couch so I could watch "Who's Line is it Anyway" with Mama and Andrew but then Mama started yelling, "Lorenzo, URGH! You have poop and sand all over your nads!" And then she grabbed me and took me in to the kitchen and you wouldn't believe what she tried to do! I wiggled and squirmed and tried to scratch her. Andrew came in and tried to hold me down, but I'm pretty squirrely when someone is doing THAT to me. Andrew finally let me go and then Mama came at me with a comb. She wanted to comb my nether regions. I. DON'T. THINK. SO. I tried to run but they caught me. Just for the record I do not like to have my "nads" combed. Mom told me that in the next few weeks I'm going to wish I had nads to be combed. What is she talking about? Are they going somewhere that I don't know about? Well, anyway, after the comb attack I was much cleaner and I layed on the couch for a while and then I snuggled in with the fam in the closet. Mama wouldn't leave us alone and kept flashing a light at us. I whispered to Ashleigh to grab a baby and make a run for it while I distracted them. It's so much more quiet in that back bedroom closet. Andrew caught Ashleigh with the baby and he made them both go back in to the front room closet. I hope we got our point across....if she would just leave us alone we might stay where she want us to stay.

This morning when I woke up I found that Andrew had closed Mama's bedroom door and I couldn't get in there to wake her up. If I'm not in there to roust her out of bed at 5:00 then she will never get up and I will never get fed. I cried at her door and I stuck my paws under the door, I scratched at the door and nothing worked. I walked away. Rejected. I finally pulled my "sure thing" out of my arsenal of trick. Cough-cough....HORK! I threw up right outside of Mama's door and wouldn't you know it...she was up and out of that room in 2 seconds flat. I am such a smart boy!

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Got my hair did!

I have had blond hair for most of my life. It has gotten darker over the years but then the grey came in and voila!..instant highlights. As the grey got more predominant I decided that it was time to color my hair. Over the last 2 years I have colored my hair every few months and pretty much no matter what color I asked for I wound up with, what nice people tell me is strawberry blond, hair. However, when I look in the mirror this is what I see:

Bozo the Clown had nothing on me! I finally decided that going to the illustrious house de beaute otherwise known as Super Cuts, Fantastic Sams or JC Penny was not in my best interest. I bit the bullet and went back to a real live, (read: expensive) beauty parlor and I walked out with this:

I am a blond again. This shouldn't require too much maintenance considering that my natural color is about one shade off of black.
I don't know how that happened, but I saw the swatch match myself. I would look like Wednesday Addams if I had black hair. I'm going to blame this on the chemo from 14 years ago.


Friday, June 22, 2007

The Kitten Relocation Program Commences

When I woke up this morning I heard Ashleigh rummaging through my closet. This is not unusual as she used to do this all the time. Her goal was usually to climb up my garment bag, that houses my fancy dresses, and then spelunk up to the top shelf. Then she likes to see how many things she can knock off of the shelf. She hasn't done this in a while. At first I tried keeping my closet door closed but since it's a slider she has no problem opening it. Then I resorted to keeping my bedroom door closed only letting them in the bedroom at night so they can sleep with me. As Ashleigh grew more and more pregnant she stopped hanging out in the closet. So, this morning I shoo'd her out and went ahead and got in to the shower. When I got out Lorenzo was trying to tell me something and the last time I ignored him he and Ashleigh went awol through an open window. I discovered that he was trying to tattle on Ashleigh and the Kitten Relocation Program she was instituting. I caught her as she was trying to move one of the kittens to better digs. I walked out of the bathroom just in time to see that she had moved the kitten from the dining room and had dropped it in the middle of the hallway. Then she went back toward the dining room toward her box. I don’t know if she was going to put all of them on the floor in the hall and then go on to start phase two and put them in the closet or if she was trying to feign ignorance and wanted me to think that she had no idea how that one kitten wound up in the middle of the hallway. So I put Jr. back in the box, told Ashleigh that this was where we were raising kittens, then resumed getting ready for work. Moments later I could hear a kitten squalling again. I was in my room, ironing, with the door open. Then I heard Andrew say, “Ashleigh!”, so I ran over and closed my bedroom door. I have to give him credit for waking up in the 6:00 hour when he heard the baby crying. I asked Andrew to put her box in the living room closet and just leave the door slightly ajar. I hope this meets with her obviously high standards for housing. I was going to take a picture of the turn of events but figured my main priority was to get the baby back into the box before it got too cold.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Odd & Ends

Midwife Lorenzo, medicine man, has always loved having a club house. Here he is as a toddler hanging out in an office trash can.

(Lorenzo has that same look on his face in this picture as he does in the last one. I guess I'm going to have to learn how to take pictures without a flash unless I want him to have that very same look in every shot.)
A couple of weeks ago I brought home a new wicker table. When I brought it home I put it on the floor upside down. Here, Ashleigh and Lorenzo share the club house. Ashleigh only stayed in there for less than a minute. I thought I was going to have to serve Renzo his dinner in there. He only got out because I wanted to put the table in the living room and not directly in the path of the front door. After looking at these totally cute pictures you are going to wonder how I can possibly accuse either one of these precious darlings of doing this:

One of them customized my brand new, yet apparently boring, black sandal. I hadn't even taken the tags off of these shoes yet and now they are full of bite marks. You can also clearly see white fur on the strap. Coincidence? I doubt it. Do you think I could take them back to Kohls and swear to them that they were like this when I bought them? Maybe Kohls has a rat problem like that KFC in New York. It could happen.

And in closing I would like to share with you two new pictures in my ongoing "Free Paint" expose'...

I have to point out that there is a Mercedes and a BMW at this house. Apparently the home owners spent all of their money on luxury cars and didn't have any money left over for paint.

And these pictures weren't even taken in La Puente! These lovely shots were taken in Monrovia.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Calling Dr. Lorenzo, OB/Midwife, to the kitchen cupboard STAT!

Last night after dinner when I settled in for the night Ashleigh came and layed down on my chest. This is very unusual. Ashleigh is the lone wolf. She never wants to sit on me or with me. She doesn't even really like to be petted and here she was laying, splayed out across my chest. I rubbed her pregnant belly and was taken aback by how hard it felt. Ashleigh rolled on to her back and let her head fall, encouraging me to rub some more. I watched as the kittens tumbled around inside her crowded womb and then they stopped moving. Then Ashleigh's belly tightened and her hind legs kicked. She was having a contraction. Wow. Was she going to attempt to give birth to her babies whilst laying across my chest? Not my idea of the perfect delivery location...but I didn't want to move this poor creature at such a tenuous time. The contraction only lasted for a second and Ashleigh got up, walked around in a circle and put her self right back down on my chest. About 15 minutes later she had another contraction. She let out a tiny little "mew" and then she dozed off. After her snooze she got up and wandered around. I had opened the living room closet door thinking that that would lend her some privacy if that's what she wanted. It took her a while but she did go in there and Lorenzo was right behind her. I decided to just let them hang out in the closet. If Ashleigh didn't want Lorenzo in there I'm sure she'd have no problem letting him know to get the heck out. After a few minutes of quiet I heard some rumblings in the closet. I figured they were probably fighting and I was going to have to physically take Lorenzo away from the fascinating goings on. When I opened the closet door I saw Ashleigh hunkered down in the corner and Lorenzo right next to her. They were both playing with the cord to a space heater that was on a shelf above them. I rolled up the cord so that they wouldn't pull the heater down on their heads and then I figured that Ashleigh's contractions must have just been braxton hicks and that she was feeling much better now. Most women in the throes of labor don't take time out to play with dangling toys.

Ashleigh came out of the closet and just wandered around. She stopped to let Andrew pet her and that is when I knew for certain that something was up. Ashleigh hates Andrew with a raging passion. All he has to do is look at her and she hisses at him, and tried to claw his eyes out, so for her to actually allow him to touch her really let me know that something was up. For the next couple of hours Ashleigh walked around, ran around, layed I figured that it was all a false alarm and allowed myself to doze off on the couch.

I woke up because I heard Andrew talking. He was down on the floor in the kitchen trying to get Lorenzo out of the cupboard underneath the sink. I asked him what was going on and he told me that Ashleigh had had 1 kitten and Lorenzo wouldn't leave it alone. I've heard too many horror stories about male cats and kittens so I had Andrew wrastle with Lorenzo and get him out of the delivery room. We layed some towels down for Ashleigh and took all of the toxic items out of the cupboard then let her continue the birthing of her babies.

We could not keep Lorenzo out of the delivery room so I decided to let him in and just stay right there with them so I could make sure he wasn't being a nuisance or attempting to harm the babies. The minute I let him back in there he went right over and started to lick Ashleigh's head. She licked him back and then they both licked the brand new baby. Lorenzo got a little more voracious and I thought he was losing his mind but on closer inspection I discovered that he was biting on the umbilical cord. Lorenzo was being the midwife! As each kitten was being born, Lorenzo would continue to lick Ashleigh's head then help stimulate the kitten and get them out of their birthing sac.

I didn't want to intrude on them during such a difficult time but you know me...I had to document this with my camera so here we go:

Yes, Lorenzo is tangled up in the garbage disposal cord. After I took the pictures I unplugged it and wrapped it around a pipe so there is no chance of anyone getting choked.

In the end there were 5 babies. We will now refer to Lorenzo as "Uncle Daddy".

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Grevious Personal lnjuries June 2007

Last week I met up with my mom so we could go see our favorite local band, "Suave'". We've been following them from park to festival, from celebration to swap meets for the last couple of years. They are a cover band and they play a middle of the road
style of music such as selections from Earth, Wind & Fire, Chicago, Michael Jackson and Al Green. They also play a few Mexican songs. I have to admit that I'd never thought I hear myself saying this but I enjoy these Mexican songs. I have no idea what they are saying but the lyrics seem light hearted and fun and the crowd loves to dance to them. The band has two lead singers, (a guy and a girl), a small horn line, a couple of guitar players, a key board player and a drummer. In all I think there are 10 people up on stage. However.. the main reason I go to see this band again and again is:

This is one of the lead singers and his name is Devin. He. Is. So. Cute. He sings his heart out and he dances up a storm. He used to have long hair and I almost had a heart attack when I saw him last week. Why, oh why would he cut his hair? This picture does not do him justice. I must have taken 100 pictures of him and this is the best one and it is actually pretty crummy. I have a theory on why I couldn't take a good picture that night....

My mom and I got there early enough that we were able to park our chairs right in the front row. In all the times we've seen them we've always been off to the side or towards the back. They draw a very big crowd and I wouldn't dream of trying to cut in front of any of their familia. (I grew up in the mean streets of La Puente. I had to learn something..!) Before the band actually started to play they were doing a sound check. I figured I had plenty of time to go to the coffee shop and get my mom and myself an iced coffee drink. This sounds like an easy task, right? Well, for those of you reading this who don't know me very well...I have quite the propensity for tripping. In public. In front of God and everyone. See the picture below:

This is what I tripped over. No, not the big, obvious hazard that says "CAUTION" in big huge letters....that is for amateurs. I tripped over the 1/2 of a milimeter of uneven-ness where the grey cement meets the green cement. Only a skilled ballerina such as myself could trip over such a minor exposure. Was I wearing 4 inch high heeled peek-a-boo pumps that would surely assist in the tripping factor? No, I was wearing these sexy numbers:

When I tripped I landed on my hands and knees which is a very, very attractive stance for a woman of my age, especially in a public place. And just to make it even more embarrassing I almost landed in the lap of another Suave' fan. As I scrambled to get up and put on my, "I meant to do that" face I noticed that the sound check people had played a clip from the song "Low Rider" that goes: "Take a little trip, take a little trip, take a little trip with meeee". I'm sorry to say that I saw no humor in that particular display of immaturity. (When I'm injured my sense of humor goes right out the window. That's normal, right?)

By the time the show was over and I dropped my mom off and drove the 45 minute drive home, this is what my knees looked like:

Yesterday my entire knee was a brilliant shade of purple and today it is mostly green. It's almost as pretty as the peacocks from yesterdays post.

I'll close this post with a picture of a woman who has to have more self esteem in her little finger than I have in my whole body. This woman was dancing directly in front of me at the Suave' show. She was wearing a scarf and jeans.


Monday, June 18, 2007

How am I supposed to pick one favorite?

On Saturday my mom, sister and I went to the sidewalk chalk drawing festival in Pasadena. For anyone ever anticipating attending a chalk drawing festival that runs for two days...please take note: DO NOT ATTEND ON THE FIRST DAY. We got to see drawings being drawn on the sidewalk. Actually what we got see was many sweaty artists covered in chalk from head to toe. It took all I had in me not to offer each and every one of them a squirt from my Purell bottle and a paper towel.

We left Pasadena and went to the world famous tourist attraction in Rosemead known as "The Whole Foods Market". Well, it isn't actually a tourist attraction but my family can easily spend hours in there. We like to peruse the aisles and eat the many samples that are offered through out the store. Even the kids love to do this. Hours of fun and if we spend money we can justify it by saying we bought groceries.

We ate lunch at the market and then headed on down the road to the Lucky Baldwin Estates. This is a very exclusive neighborhood in Arcadia that backs up to the arboretum. When they built the arboretum they brought in peacocks. Peacocks don't honor the fencing that was built around the arboretum and thus they have infiltrated the Lucky Baldwin Estates. These beautiful creatures just roam around the yards and in the spring time you can see the guys trying their best to impress the lady folk as pictured below. (Not only do they spread their tails as shown, but they shake them, too.) We saw a few hens with their babies in tow but I didn't take any pictures of them. My sister and I agreed that if we lived in this neighborhood we'd be the ones setting peacock food out on our front porch in order to attract the peacocks. Then I lamented that I'd be the one trying to explain to the powers that be how my cats managed to kill so many peacocks. So with out any further adieu, may I present to you, the wonder and the splendor of peacocks in Arcadia....


Friday, June 15, 2007

Bob Vila has no competition at my house

The other day I came home from work and immediately noticed the smell of paint thinner. Whoo hoo! That could only mean one thing; Andrew had finally risen to the occasion and applied paint to one of my walls. I saw that the bathroom trash can was in the hallway so I figured that had to be the room with the fresh paint. I gleefully skipped down the hallway and this is what I saw:
A caulking gun, a tube of caulking, a couple of extension cords, two drills, a scraper, blue masking tape, a paint stir-er that goes on a drill and a yellow can of something.

Lorenzo doing his best Carrol Merril job at showing you the items close up.

There were no paint brushes or paint cans. No containers of paint thinner, either. I thought a miracle had occurred and Andrew had actually cleaned up after himself, but as I searched the room I couldn't help but notice that there was no fresh paint. Any where.

Surely with all of these tools laying around something of the home improvement genre had to have taken place.

It took me a minute or two but I finally found the accomplishment that had required the making of such a mess:

For those of you unfamiliar with all that is hardware...these are the brackets to which you attach the toilet paper holder.

Am I wrong to wonder how in God's name Andrew managed to create such a mess and yet accomplish so little?


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The World According to Jake

This is Hannah and Jake on their very own water slide. It was more fun than a barrel full of monkeys, (for the entire week they had it.) Last weekend Jake told me that he wanted to show me "the punch". "The punch?", I asked, with my brow furrowed. "Yes, the PUNCH", Jake said to me like I was totally out to lunch. I thought he was going to take me to the refrigerator and show me some fruit juice so imagine my surprise when he took my hand and led me out the back door. We walked up to the deflated blob of yellow plastic and he said, "Look, there's the punch." He was pointing to a hole in the plastic. "I PUNCHED it!" "Jakey, how did you punch it so hard?, I enquired, trying not to laugh at his choice of words. "I PUNCHED it with the broom!" I have to give this guy many points for sticking to his enthusiastic convictions. He was not one bit sorry for punching the water slide with the broom handle. I thought perhaps he had fallen off of it and hurt himself and the water slide got what it deserved. Or maybe he was trying to smash a bug that was crawling up the side and he thought he was saving his siblings from sure death. I asked him why he needed to punch a hole in the water slide...and in a tone of voice that told me that I should have known the answer but he'd spell it out for me because I was so stupid...he said,"Because it was YELLOW!"

Thankyou, thankyouverymuch! ELVIS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING!

mimimimiiii..."ABDDEFG HIKK ETTLE MENO P QRS ABC WXY and ZEE now I know my ABC's next time won't you sing with me!"
Jakey...make your "rock 'n roll face.."
Apparently he's got the Craft Macaroni & Cheese blues....


Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize!

I can't believe Mama finally got with the program and got me some accessories. Look at my beautiful new necklace!

The necklace is pink and the charm is pink...coordinating your jewelry is very important. Here's a view from the side...

Sigh, do you think Mama will take me to a Cookie Lee jewelry party?
(Doesn't my profile look just like I should be in the same family as John Barrymore?) Do you like how I've customized the curtains? I'm all about home decorating.

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What did I do to deserve this? I'm a GOOD boy.

The other day I was taking a bath,just sitting there minding my own business when Mama comes up to me and tried to murder me!!! She put a noose around my neck and left it there to choke the life right out of me.

I tried to bite the shiny thingy off but I got it wedged in my mouth like a dog tag on a dead sailor.

I tried to chew my shoulder off but that didn't work either.

I did a couple of somersaults and twirls hoping that it would fall off but it was still there, tight as ever, when I landed.