Monday, April 30, 2007

Happy Birthday 315 days early or 50 days late

I got to ride in a fabulous car...

and on a very fast boat...

with a fabulous person...

drank some fabulous wine...

got a fabulous gift...

which is something I never thought I'd own...

It was a great day to be alive.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Someone's gonna have to explain it to me**

Last Friday when I got home I had two unexpected guests sitting out in front of my house. I always welcome guests to my humble home but I couldn't get these two to come inside. Go Figure.

The water they were floating in was at the very most 1 inch deep. After seeing this picture, Tori and I decided that they were curling their little webbed feeties up underneath their bodies and simply wiggling their toes to navigate this puddle. They were both very friendly and didn't appear to be afraid of me. It struck me as funny that there was a swimming pool about 30 yards north of this puddle and the entire Pacific Ocean about 50 yards south yet they chose to hang out at my house and they appeared to be very content with their choice. The puddle was in a spot where Ashleigh and Lorenzo couldn't see them or I'm sure Donald & Daisy would have opted for the swimming pool. (when I was deciding what to name this cute couple I did a google search for fictional ducks...would you believe there are 91 fictional ducks from which to choose? The only two fictional ducks that I could find that were dating/mated/married were Donald & Daisy.)

This may sound silly but when events like this happen I feel like God did this on purpose just to make me smile. It wasn't much, but, coming home to find two ducks trying to float in 1 inch of run off rain water in front of my house was fun. They are such beautiful creatures. The sun was shining on their iridescent feathers and they were so calm and peaceful as they sat for their pictures.

Then when I got inside my house any and all thoughts of peacefulness went right out the window. Aside from the usual things strewn around the house I discovered this:

Please notice that their feeding dish was completely full to the brim yet they still had to claw their way in to the bag of food as if they had been starved to death. Why do they do this? Is it their ancestry coming back to them...they feel that they need to tear something apart before they eat it...was it because the food in the bag was it that they like to eat paper with their food...what? I just don't get it.

And then this:

Ashleigh and Lorenzo both think that laundry baskets full of clean laundry are for their sleeping and dancing pleasure. Their kitty bed sits empty in the back ground while Ashleigh does the cha-cha on my clean laundry. Ashleigh had just finished watching in amazement as I scoured the sink with Ajax. Did I say "watching"? I meant participating. No matter how many times I attempted to discourage her she insisted on putting her foot in the sink. When it looked like that wasn't going to work she turned around and her tail "accidently" "fell" in to the sink. When I tried to get the Ajax off of her tail she ran off and jumped in to the laundry basket. It was easier to take a picture of her than it would have been to try to catch her and get the cleanser off of her. I can only hope she doesn't get sick and die when she cleans it off of herself.

**Opening line to Jackson Browne's song, "Ready or Not".


Party time for Paul

I got up early Saturday morning and drove to Tori's house in Riverside. I had a date with Paul to attend his "Best Buddies" movie day suarez. He and I were supposed to meet the rest of his "Project Team" mates at the "Project Team" site. The Buddies were scheduled to pick up the students and take them to the location of the party. I figured Paul and I would follow the caravan to the venue and I couldn't have been any more wrong. The instant we got to "Project Team" Paul was out of my car. I thought he just wanted to greet his friends but no, he wanted to ride with one of the Buddies. One of Paul's friends asked if I was Paul's mom and Paul said no. When their conversation about me was over, Paul's friend walked away with this knowledge: I live in my car, I do my laundry every day and that is why I keep it in my car, I couldn't give friend a ride because there was no room in the back seat because of my laundry and I have two cats. This conversation was very matter of fact and simply taken for the gospel truth. No questions asked.

There was enough room for all of the student in the Buddies cars and that made them all very happy. I followed the Buddy to the dorms of UC Riverside. I was starting to panic over the idea of 15 handicapped young adults and 3 Buddies and me all in one dorm room so I was happy to discover that this was actually "off campus" housing and it was a 2 bedroom suite with a living room large enough to accommodate everyone. The students were all very nice and couldn't have been happier about getting to go to someones apartment on a Saturday afternoon and "par.....taaaaay." Most of the students brought snacks so there was plenty of junk to eat. Paul brought 3 bags of microwave popcorn that was burned up in the microwave. Not to worry because that didn't stop them from eating it.

We were supposed to watch the cartoon "Happy Feet" but for some reason that DVD didn't work. The students were all very full of suggestions on how to make it work but the Buddy decided that it would just be better if they watched "Chicken Little" instead. The young man who was sitting next to me asked me approximately 10 times if we were going to watch "Chicken Lego".

I tried to explain to him that it was "Chicken LITTLE" as I didn't want him to be disappointed when the cartoon started and there was no mention of Legos, but no matter how many times I enunciated "LiTTle"...he insisted that it was "LEGO". Ok, "Chicken LEGO" it is.

We watched the movie and they all laughed and laughed. Paul had a good time "inventing" a new snack: burned popcorn, nacho cheese Doritos and potato chips. He loved it and they all ate it. At one point I caught him eating a cookie sandwich. (3 cookies piled on top of each other. There was no actual bread involved.)

Some students had a little more fun than others. I caught two of them sitting in a corner MAKING OUT. With their tongues!

Ack! Paul is by far the most capable one of their group and I've never heard of him making any attempt at such a thing so I was completely bamboozled when I saw the smooch-fest going on. I tilted my head and stared at them with my eyebrow raised. This look usually causes people to stop whatever it is they are doing and confront me. Not these two. They were not coming up for air. I went over to the host and asked him what their thoughts on PDA were. He said that they try to discourage it but it's not usually a problem. I tattled and told him that there was a grab-ass-athon going on in the corner. He thanked me for the info and then went to break it up. There was a handful of buddies who were not watching the movie because they were thoroughly ensconced in the show going on in the corner. When the show was broken up there was a lot of laughing and complaining and none of it was coming from the two actual participants. Praise the Lord for Paul's innocence. I don't know what my sister would do with a sexually mature mentally retarded man/child.

After the movie was over they put out some craft items. Colored paper, markers, stickers, foam sticky letters and a big cardboard display card. Paul and some of the other buddies went right to work drawing masterpieces. Some of them scribbled and some of them wrote their name. That is what I expected from Paul. He likes to see his name, but when I looked over at what he was drawing I found that he had drawn a very tiny picture of a penny and was searching through the foam letters so that he could spell out "penny". When he was done with that picture he turned the paper over and drew and labeled another picture. This one was of a plum. I would love to know what or who is Paul's muse. Why would he draw pictures of a penny or a plum? I asked him if he wanted to make a thank you card for the Buddy whose car he rode in and whose apartment we were in and he said, "no." I told him that it would be a really nice idea and he still said no, so I told him that I would do it by myself. He changed his mind and we did it together.

I found the letters and he peeled the backs off and stuck them to the paper. You can see by this picture of Paul and his card that he was thrilled to pieces. NOT.

While Paul was busy giving the Buddy his card I helped one of Paul's friends, Richard,(the one who was under the impression that I lived in my car.) make a card for his friend. I picked out the letters and gave them to him and he layed them out on a piece of paper. He wanted it to look like a card but he couldn't figure out how to fold the paper in half and he asked me to do it for him. Once again he set the letters on the paper and then he told me that I didn't give him the right letters. His friend was named Jessica. How many different ways was there to spell Jessica? I thought he was telling me he needed a "C" and I told him that I gave him a "C". "NO", he said, "a "V!" I told him that there was no "V" in Jessica but I found a "V" and gave it to him. He took the offending "C" out and spelled "Jessiva". I will forever wonder if the girl was actually named "Jessiva" or if that is what he thought her name was.

When it came time to leave Richard asked me if he could have a ride home. While I have no problem giving him a ride home I am in awe of the parent who lets her retarded son go places without securing a ride home in advance. As we pulled out of the parking lot of the apartments Richard told me that he had a cousin who lived around there. He gave it a minute of thought and said, "You can drop me off at my cousin's house." I asked him if his cousin was going to take him home or if his mom would come and get him. Then while he was thinking about that I asked him if he knew where his cousin lived. "No.", he said. "THAT will slow you down. Why don't I just take you all the way home?"

I didn't really know where I was but I figured that I would just point the car in what I believed to be the way home and hope for the best. As I was driving down the street I saw the freeway and figured that I was home free. I jumped on the freeway and all hell broke lose in the car. "YOU'RE GOING THE WRONG WAY! NOW WE'RE LOST." "I'M SCARED. NOW WE'LL NEVER GET HOME!" "WHY DID YOU GET ON THE FREEWAY?" Yikes! Apparently I made a huge mistake. I asked both of them what they were talking about and they both agreed that I didn't need to get on the freeway and even if I did I was going the wrong way. Now what they were saying went against everything I felt at the time. So now what do I do? Do I continue on in what I think is the proper direction or do I trust 2 non driving handicapped man/children to tell me how it's done? In an effort to not have another panic-alooza I went the direction they told me to and before I knew it we were in the correct neighborhood and Richard's house was on the horizon.

They really put me in my place. Go figure.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

This is what I see

This Sunday I was suffering from lack of breathing ability due to a cold or allergies or the scurvy...who knows, and apparently I wasn't providing enough fun and stimulation for the terrorists so as usual they were forced to entertain each other.

They love to look out of the window so I put a bar stool in front of the front door window and they fight over who's going to sit on it. Occasionally they share the stool but usually Ashleigh insists that there is only room for one kitty butt.
I dozed off while watching television and I was awakened to the sound of scratching. It was very syncopated scratching, not the usual rat-a-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat sound ones equates with cats scratching. I sat up and looked around and saw Ashleigh dangling from the front door screen by the nails on one paw and thrashing at the screen with the other. I jumped up and rescued her and was feeling so sad for this poor little kitty who had probably pulled her leg out of the socket. Who knows how long she had been hanging there. Once I got her unstuck and tried to cuddle and comfort her she jumped out of my arms and climbed back on to the stool and resumed digging at the screen. That little weasel had ripped the screen and apparently was not finished when I interrupted her. I took her off of the stool and I closed the window. If she wanted to sit on the stool and look out the window that would be fine but she would no longer get to feel the sea breeze in her whiskers.

Since my cats have no toys of which to speak Ashleigh turned her attentions to her ongoing remodeling of the window treatments in the living room and bedroom. Renzo was not impressed so he had to run around the house squalling his head off. When he squalls he sounds very much like a peacock and I swear it sounds like he's trying to say, "Mama". I have yet to figure out what all of his squalls mean, and there are times when I don't think he knows what they mean either. He squalls when I leave the room, he squalls when he finds me, he squalls when he wants canned food, he squalls when he needs to go potty, he squalls after he goes potty, he squalls when he can't find Ashleigh, he squalls when he finds Ashleigh, he squalls when he wants to get in to the shower with me, he squalls when he gets wet in the shower, he squalls if his dry food dish is empty, he squalls when I fill it up. I should have named him Paul.

After Ashleigh was finished with her work on the big windows she changed locations and tried to leap from the arm of the couch to the divider wall jamb. It took her a couple of tries but she was finally able to jump with enough force to be able to dig her ample nails in to the wall and then just hang there. I saw a split second of satisfaction in her eyes and then she and I both wondered what she was going to do now that she was hanging on the wall. She allowed herself to slide down the wall and went and got a sip of water and a bite of food. Apparently spelunking takes a lot out of a girl.

With food in her belly Ashleigh finds a sunbeam to take a nap in and Lorenzo lays under the wicker chair. Thinking this meet of the Idiot Olympics is finished for the day I, too, decide to take a nap.

I am awakened by the sound of horking. Cat horking to be exact. My first thought is that the cat food I've been feeding them is tainted and one of them is on their last leg and will spent their last moment on this earth barfing. I don't have to go far to see that it's Ashleigh, and she is doing what all barfing cats do; horking and running around in circles backwards. I am trying to get her to barf on a paper towel but apparently the paper towel is most offensive because she keeps jerking away from it. At the last second I am able to get a dish towel under her mouth and save my carpet from another kitty induced stain. Poor kitty, I am such a bad mommy, feeding you tainted food. Pet, pet, sweet talk, sweet talk..etc. I have purchased all of my pet food at Pet Smart and was under the impression that they had been on top of keeping the tainted food off of the shelves. I've been paying through the nose so that they can have decent food that does not include melamine. Curse the pet food companies, curse Pet Smart! Curse all ya all, curse...hey, wait a minute...sparkly barf? What. Is. That? Upon closer inspection I conclude that Ashleigh had eaten silver curling ribbon. The exact curling ribbon I had picked up off of the floor and put in the kitchen drawer a couple of hours ago. I looked around and sure enough in the corner of the dining room was the spool of ribbon. She had gotten in to the drawer and taken it out and chewed off a hunk and swallowed it. I realized I was off the hook and she hadn't been poisoned by eating bad cat food. I breathed a sigh of relief and thought that she'd sit still for a while. Most living beings do not feel energized after eating and subsequently barfing up ribbon but Ashleigh is not most living beings. It didn't take her 2 minutes to get Lorenzo all fired up and they were running around like maniacs. Ashleigh took a running leap and swatted at the crystal cord that hangs from the ceiling fan. She has been trying her hand/paw at that for months now and you should have heard the marching band start to play when she actually connected with the cord hard enough to cause it to wrap around one of the fan blades. I decided to leave it there hoping that it will cause her to lose interest in swatting at it, but if I know Ashleigh I will probably come home one day to find her sitting on the fan blade trying to figure out how to unwind the cord that that she can play with it once again.

I sat on the couch thinking, "Ha ha! I'll bet that's not what you had planned.", as Ashleigh sat looking up at the ceiling fan. She got up and sauntered down the hall with Lorenzo in toe. Minutes later they both came storming down the hallway, turning in to the living room leaping from the floor across my face, over the couch, knocking the floor lamp completely over, breaking the light bulb, and then they landed on the bakers rack. I'm ready to yank a knot in their tails. I. HAVE. HAD. IT. I get up and turn around and this is what I see:

How can I be angry with two little baby kitty angels like this?

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I need to stop putting anchovies in my purse!

Labels: ,

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Easter Saturday

Hey, did any of you see that odd ball dressed in 4 different shades of black, with white cat hair all over her clothes, wearing a pink baseball cap with a breast cancer ribbon on it, with her iPod plugged in to her ears, laughing all by herself until she had tears in her eyes, walking on the Huntington Beach Pier?

Yeah. That was totally me.

I put on clean clothes right out of my closet and yet when I got out in to the sun light I found that I was covered in cat hair. It looked as though I had been rolling on the floor before I left.

I don't own hats in any other color than pink and I had to wear a hat because it was really windy and my hair would have been looking like a bush monkey and I really didn't want to scare anyone.

I was listening to my iPod on shuffle mode and my play list went from "My Chemical Romance" singing "I'm Not OK" to "Veggie Tales" singing "The Cheese Burger Song". Two songs that couldn't be any more opposite from each other and it just struck me as funny. And the more I listened to which ever vegetable it is who is singing about his need, want and desire for a cheeseburger ... the funnier it struck me. The more I laughed the more I realized how stupid I must look. The wind was making my eyes water so I had tears rolling down my face.

As usual, it was very pretty and I'm just sorry y'all missed it.


Monday, April 02, 2007

Do you all grow weary of reading about Ashleigh and Lorenzo? Well, too bad!

I searched and searched for this bakers rack. I specifically wanted one that was green and had a wooden top, one that I could afford and especially one that didn't look like it was made out of tin foil. I used to have many house plants and this bakers rack made the perfect display case for them. Unfortunately when I made my swift departure from my marital home I didn't have any place to put my plants so like a total fool I left them there. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a firm believer in cooties and once my plants became possessions of my ex-husband they were immediately full of cooties and the scurvy and thus I let him keep, (kill), them. When I moved in to my new cool beach house I set up my beautiful plant stand/bakers rack in the perfect corner. Sun from every direction... Even though I didn't yet have any plants, once I got some I knew they'd enjoy the sun and the misty beach air coming from both windows. I couldn't have an empty rack gracing my living room so I put a few of my things out for display. I put a couple of framed pictures on the big shelf, my dad's infamous fishing hats on the top shelf next to my favorite painting in the world...(done by an unknown impressionist named: Paul Pendell, circa late 1980's).

When Ashleigh and Lorenzo came along they decided that THEY needed to sit in the sun and enjoy the balmy sea breeze. As they got bigger they needed more and more room so they simply knocked everything off of the bakers rack until they could comfortably spread out. Everyday I would come home from work and all of my carefully placed treasures that I had put on the bakers rack would be on the floor. Smaller frames were found under the couch, Daddy's hats were in the bathroom. Larger picture frames were on the floor in pieces. It took me a couple of months to learn to stop putting these things back on the bakers rack as it had clearly been declared "Cat Property". Now the only thing that remains on the bakers rack is Ashleigh and Lorenzo and the statue of Jennifer Emily. And the only reason the statue is still up there is because it is quite heavy. I'm sure getting that statue off of the shelf is #1 on Ashleigh's list of "things to do".

Oh, and the picture from my favorite impressionist that you can barely see in the has since been relocated.

Labels: ,