SUMMER: Twelve years ago, we were living in Ft. Campbell, Kentucky when a woman pulling a red ryder wagon with 6 beautiful kittens in it walked through our yard. I had only ever had male cats, but my son, being two and a temper-tantrum thrower, convinced me to take this long haired calico. Another neighbor would call animal patrol every time Summer wandered in her yard...two "arrests" later, we started hooking her up to a long leash in the front yard, where she still managed to kill birds.

Summer has moved across country multiple times, even flown to Germany (all 14 lbs of her packed in a little cat carrier, poor thing). She comes running when you call (although I think she has some arthritis setting in from when my ex- ran her over) and "sits" for cat treats. She also single-handedly decimated the mole population in Northern Michigan.

Mental health style

The #1 sign of depression in women?
Unshaven legs.

Not to brag, but I'm thinking of trying little French braids on mine this weekend.


Final Rejection Scene in 4, 3, 2, 1...

My marriage could have been the spokesperson for bipolar disorder. Occasional highs and sleepless nights, punctuated by tears, flying objects and black days. Our relationship lifecycle went something like this: a few months of dating, fifteen years of marriage (somehow), quickie divorce, second engagement, monster fight, then limbo after he got back from Iraq in January. I wasn’t sure what our current status was, but didn’t necessarily want to ask, so there we were in a holding pattern, with this giant purple polka-dotted elephant standing between us.

He told me this weekend that we would always be incompatible, so we should stop prolonging this, move on with our lives and look for happiness elsewhere. Freshly rejected and strangely relieved, I discovered it’s one thing to be over someone – entirely different when they are over you. After the discussion, he bought me a microwave* then we went to dinner and a movie, The Break-up. Yeah, isn't it ironic?

*some sort of odd Bostonian traditional parting gift that says "thanks for playing"?

Being alone doesn't bother me - I've had my whole life to practice - but somehow I imagined him as my security blanket, waiting in the wings for us to grow old and travel together after he improved his personality a little. Apparently, he had a different Plan B.


Sans Claws

It's too difficult to fit all my cats in the little hand-held pet carrier, so I've been taking my six cats to the vet's office in groups of two. The males were fixed last month, and today I dropped off the two females to get spayed.

The receptionist was kind enough to call and leave a message where I work after their surgeries:“The surgeries went well, your cats are fine, and you can pick them up Friday afternoon because of the declawing.”

Huh? De-claw-ing? DECLAWING?! That's like going in for a hangnail and coming out with no legs! I went through three tiers of crazy and six shades of purple, took a labored breath, then called back. I was fully prepared to suggest crazy glue, Lee press-on nails and a lifetime of free pet healthcare for this very MAJOR faux pas.

The vet came on the line and apologized profusely for the misunderstanding - he'd performed several declawings, but NOT on my felines, who will still be able to climb the kitty condo and tear up my carpet. It would still be in his best interest to give them extra kitty drugs tonight, though.

November 16, 2005 flashback moment
When all four kittens DID fit in the same carrier. With room to spare.


Today's Tom Sawyer


My boy's got wheels!

The car: a 1987 Chevrolet Camaro. It has 86,000 miles, new tires, 6 cylinders and no air-conditioning, which is supposedly a plus because the car will ride lighter and faster. I imagine WE will be riding lighter, at the very least, since it's been in the high 90's all month.

The cost: $2,400. Patrick paid half from his hard-earned dish-washing stashed cash, his father paid the other. I'm actually prooud of the two for setting aside their pigheadedness long enough to agree on a car, and the police weren't called once the entire weekend.

Bonus Tom Sawyer moment: since we weren't able to pick up the car until 6 p.m., Ed demonstrated proper waxing technique ON MY CAR.



The year of 24

On my half-sister's fifth birthday, she walked into her mother's bedroom and asked if she knew what day it was. Her mother, no doubt recalling the birth of the ten-pound butterball, answered in the affirmative. My sister gleefully informed her, "it's the year of five!"
Today starts the year of twenty-four.


To wipe or not wipe - the battle du jour with a rebel yell

Sure, they lead you to believe the Civil War was caused by issues such as slavery, industrial vs. agrarian society, and State's rights. I beg to differ.

Last night, the following question was asked: after sex, who cleans the man up?

My friend/coworker Jessica, southern belle extraordinaire: I ALWAYS bring him a washcloth and clean him up afterwards.
Me: Are you sleeping with men in wheelchairs? Why can't they jump in the shower or wipe themselves off?
J.: It's a sign of respect. They would do the same for me, so I like to take care of my man like that.
Me: Do you wipe his ass for him, too? I personally like men that are self-sufficient.
J.: that's the reason you'll never be married down here, with an attitude like that.
Me: Well, I don't want to be married if it means a man can't take care of his own hygiene.

(this continued for a heated 10 minutes, untill she asked me to leave, which I did with a huff, a "FINE!" and a squealing of tires).