Thursday, December 30, 2010


My younger sister is bossy. She tells me to start a blog. She tells me I need to post. She tells me what I need to post about. She thinks I am neglecting the third and final fur baby in our household.

Sorry, kiddo, the problem is not neglect, but lack of a decent photo. Your brother-in-law did come through, though, by emailing me several hundred pictures to wade through. Just don’t make fun of my photography skills…there are limits to my talents!

Hello, Dolly!
(aka WCC, so named by none other than the aforementioned bossy sister)

This little girl was discovered on our wood pile one cold, rainy February morning in southern Oregon. (Actually, our female cat discovered her first and was none too thrilled with her presence.) She was a tiny little thing with a lame paw and a grateful purr. She was hungry and wet and oh so sweet. Our daughter, who was 6 years old at the time, fell instantly in love with her. So did I, but I had no intention of keeping her. I honestly believed that there was a sweet child somewhere in our neighborhood missing their kitty cat. I put up signs, checked with the kids and parents at school, animal shelters, the vet…no leads.

She remained an outside kitty until it became obvious that the “special operation” was necessary. I certainly couldn’t allow her to recuperate outside, could I?

The rest is history.

Miss Dolly charms her way through life with her cherubic face, fluffy coat, and a purr that can be heard across the room. 

Dolly purrs.
She purrs when you talk to her.
She purrs when you feed her.
She purrs when you simply touch her on the head.

Dolly is all cat.
Dolly has short legs.
Dolly has a bulls-eye on her belly.
Dolly is an extraordinary huntress. Birds and mice fear her, but she specializes in moles.
Dolly loves to warm her belly in the sun.
Dolly loves her girl; and her girl loves her.

Dolly hates going to the vet.
Dolly hates having her picture taken.
Dolly hates Sassy.
Dolly hates tablecloths.

Dolly is a living, breathing, purring stuffed animal…squishy and warm and snuggly.

World’s Cutest Cat.
(my pictures don't do her justice)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Trouble in Paradise

I crossed the line, and now my home is in turmoil.
I apologized...several times. 
Really, I did.
But he’s a sensitive soul, and his feelings are easily hurt.
I reach out to touch him.
He shrugs me off.
He won’t look at me.
He keeps staring at the wall.
He slept elsewhere last night. 
I don’t know where, but it wasn’t with me.
This morning he was sullen and refused to utter a single word.
He picked at his breakfast.
It’s all my fault.
He is getting old, and he isn’t as fastidious about his hygiene as he used to be.
I tried to help him out.
But he felt insulted and attacked.
I hope some day he can forgive me for….

washing his face.

Kitty boy has issues.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Pastry Blender Mystery - Solved

I just received a call from my sister about the Pampered Chef Pastry Blender referenced in my previous post. Apparently, it is the bees knees at mushing avocados for guacamole.

Guacamole is a culinary gift...go make some!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Totally Mundane, But Enough To Blow Your Skirt Up

I believe we are a wasteful, lazy society. We spend far too much money on over-packaged, over-priced convenience items. And it really scorches my behind that most of these types of products are merely gimmicks aimed at children. At the top of my list are bottled water, juice boxes, Lunchables, and the numerous other cutesy tootsey food items that could be easily duplicated in reusable containers for half the price. I could rant for a long time about trash flotillas in the ocean and the general demise of our planet due to this wastefulness, but that’s not really what this post is about.

There are certain mundane items, which certainly fall under the category of convenience, but are so wonderful they make us want to kiss the feet of those people who brought them into our lives.

I polled my sisters, daughter and a friend for their favorites, and this is what we came up with.

First and foremost…Rotisserie chicken! Regardless of whether you’re going to just eat the chicken as is or if you’re planning on using it in a recipe or salad, half the work is done and you have half the mess. Most of the time these perfectly seasoned little devils are less expensive than a raw roaster from the meat case.

Other food items…Reames Frozen Egg Noodles, Pillsbury Pie Crusts, and single-cup mac and cheese. Again, half the work, half the mess, totally delicious.

More for the kitchen…the Hand Chopper. This little dealie-o makes quick work of chopping everything from eggs to veggies to nuts, cuts down on nasty slicing accidents, and is great for taking out aggression.  There is also the Tupperware Vegetable Brush. Seriously, this thing will practically peel a potato. One of my sisters, obviously not the one who recommended the Pillsbury Pie Crusts, also loves her Pampered Chef Pastry blender, but did not tell me exactly why it is so special.

If you kill or grow your own food apparently those vacuum seal bag thingies are an absolute necessity.

Next up…Flushable Wipes! I don’t think anyone wants me to go into detail on this one. Just suffice it to say that they are worth their weight in gold. I know one of my sisters wishes that a certain friend of her son used these…I will say no more.

Along that line…Pre-moistened Make-up Remover Cloths. These little gems make quick work of an otherwise wet and messy job. No more leaning over the sink, water dripping down your arms and onto the floor, fumbling for a towel. You don’t even have to hoist your butt from the couch. Cuts down on laundry, too.

Speaking of hygiene…Pre-loaded Toothbrushes. I was especially grateful for this little gadget after an unplanned overnight stay at my mother’s house. I’m sure everyone else was, too.

Which leads us to…those handy dandy Flossing Picks. Much, much better than trying to fit both your hands in your mouth as you do with regular floss. And very convenient to have when you’ve eaten something green and leafy for lunch.

Dawn Dishwashing Liquid makes the list for all purpose cleaning…in addition to dishwashing, it’s a great spot remover for laundry, excellent for cleaning cat yak out of carpet and oil from unfortunate animals caught in yet another of mankind’s screw ups. Dawn Direct Foam is really, really good at removing stuck on food, too…don’t know how it works or why it works better than regular dish washing liquid, but it does.

A Tide Stain Stick is a great purse item for those times when you end up wearing your lunch, and you don’t want to go back to work looking like a total slob.

Wired Ribbon is one of my personal favorites…let’s face it, comparatively speaking, there are very few “bow aficionados” in the world (my mother is one of them), so wired ribbon keeps the rest of us from looking like dumb asses when a bow is called for.

Other praise worthy items include mascara - because, really, it does have the ability to make or break your day; long skirts - this was on my daughter’s list for the ultimate in comfort dressing, but she’s got the legs and skinny butt to pull them off; she also feels that it’s absolutely necessary to have nail clippers on your key chain (not just for your nails) and Peachy-O’s in your pantry (apparently they can turn a bad day into a decent day); finally, the older we get the more we need a needle threader!

So there’s the list…let’s give the go-getters and thinkers of the world a round of applause for giving us these totally unnecessary necessary products!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Eyelashes...the Ugly Truth

Eyelashes…the long, luxurious ones for which women all over the world yearn, are not all they’re cracked up to be. The truth of the matter is that they can be a real pain in the patootie.

Unlike my husband and daughter who won the genetic eyelash lottery, I was handed inferior ones…pale, short, sparse. Mascara is one of my closest friends.

Now, imagine my delight when my eye doctor explained that one of the side effects of my prescription eye drops would be increased eyelash growth.  Sweet!

My brother-in-law, who incidentally is my age and who also has to employ these drops, warned me of “crazy eyelashes”. I ignored him…what do guys know about the joys of dreamy lashes?

I should have listened.

Are they thicker? Yessiree!
Longer?  Whoa, Nellie!

I know what you’re thinking.
You want to smack me.

Well, the first issue is that they truly are crazy. They come in at all angles, occasionally cris-crossing; so they still need to be whipped into submission with mascara.

The next issue is the fact that I can actually see my lashes without looking into the mirror. At all times, their faint featheriness (apparently, that's not a real word) frames my line of vision.

The final, and most irritating, side effect is that they are little Venus Flytraps…something is always getting caught in them…lint, hair, leaves, small birds.  I am constantly picking schtuff out of them!

I find it interesting that neither my husband nor my daughter have ever complained about this issue. Could it be that because they’ve always had to deal with the trinkets their eyelashes trap for them, it has become commonplace, and they have no idea that the eyelash-challenged people of the world have no knowledge of this type of suffering?

I do have to admit, though…

I still kinda love the lashes!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

An Ugg Moment

All day, every day I witness heinous fashion decisions and almost all of them involve Ugg boots. Now, before, anyone gets insulted, you should know that I have absolutely nothing against these fuzzy little accessories. The problem lies in the delivery.

Hour after hour, day after day, I witness bleached blonde, over-tanned sorority girls (no, I don't have anything against them either) traipsing past my door for their daily tanning bed fix. And, 90% of the time, regardless of season, their toasted tootsies are adorned with Uggs. Generally speaking, not a problem.

Now, call me old and out of touch if you will, but in my day sorority girls would only present themselves perfectly coiffed to the general public tastefully accessorized in the latest fashion trends. It was their job. Their social responsibility, for crying out loud!

HOWEVER, something has gone horribly awry.

In addition to rampant and intentional bed head, I've witnessed strange and confusing Ugg (both literally and figuratively) combinations. Apparently, it is now okay to wear whatever you grab first as long as you pair it with a pair of Uggs.

Gym shorts with Uggs...fabulous!
Sweatpants cut off above the knee w/ calf-high Uggs...beautiful!
Sundress with shin-length Uggs...perfection!

I wish I had a Polaroid.
I would snap a quick picture.
Hand it to the offender du jour, and
tell them to put it in a safe place for five years.

I guarantee that when looking at this picture five years from now, they will wonder...


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Disturbing Picture

I have to warn you. The following is a very disturbing photograph taken at our family Christmas gathering in 2002. I ran across it recently, and I was stunned by what a saw.

"But, Lisa", you say, "what's so upsetting about this picture?"  I know, I know, it's a lovely shot of our family enjoying each other as we always do. There are "the sisters", nieces and nephews, grandma in the background, and that gorgeous fluffy kitty cat I'm snuggling.

I emailed both of my sisters, attaching the picture and asking if they could tell me what was wrong with it. They both knew instantly. 

That sweet little kitty cat is the problem.

The very fact that I am brave enough to be holding her, on her back no less, and scritching her neck has to say something about my mental health. Either that or there was too much rum in the toddy.

The very fact that that kitty cat is ALLOWING me to do those evil things to her is astonishing, to say the least.

That kitty cat likes one person, and one person only. That person is my mother. In kitty cat's opinion, everyone else must die. She will even take pot shots at you while you are attempting to feed her.

That kitty cat's name is Reba.
Remember it and...
Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

PSA: How Not to Refer to Your Wife

I was told I needed to post again. I am busy, busy at the store so this will be a quickie.

It is inspired by one of my male customers who referred to the woman he has been married to for over 30 years as "The Wife". This is a pet peeve of mine. So here is the list of things not to call your wife:

1.  The Wife
2.  Woman
3.  The Old Lady
4.  The Ball and Chain
5.  The Witch (or any variation thereof)
6.  Baby Mama

I'm sure there are others, but you get the idea.  Just so you know, it is perfectly okay to say, "my wife". It is even better to say, "my lovely wife", "or my beautiful wife", or "the love of my life"...again, you get the idea. This is the woman who agreed to marry you. She is not a possession. She deserves to be referred to with respect.

If you say things like this in front of me, you can expect to get the Lisa Look.
This is not something you want.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Summer of '69

This morning as I was preparing for another day at the bird store, Bryan Adams sang to me about the summer of ’69. Apparently, those were the best days of his life. Really, Bryan?

For some reason, this song, on this morning, sent my poor little sleepy brain into overdrive. Let’s see…in the summer of ’69 I was 8 years old. My siblings and I spent the summer as we always did…outside with the rest of the neighborhood kids. We explored the woods, built forts, played with Barbie dolls, and acted out numerous and strange make believe scenarios. We went inside only for dinner, and afterward met up for several rounds of hide-and-seek, which lasted well into the night. Fun, yes…but the best days of my life? No.

My brain took another path, and I realized in the summer of ’69 my husband was 19 years old. This would make him closer in age to Bryan, and they probably had more in common. Somewhere in that time frame my husband backpacked through Europe with his friend, Ivan. I wonder if, looking back now, my husband considers those the best days of his life. I hope not.

Interestingly, this song came out in 1984…the year we were married. So, it is possible that at that time, both my husband and Bryan did consider the summer of ’69 the best days of their lives. But life brings us many gifts, and the summer of ’69 was a long time ago.

It is my sincere hope that things have gotten better for Bryan.

I’m weird at 7:00 a.m.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Sassy Marie Pupalina Dogarina. Sassamundo. Sassarino Jelly-beano (spoken with a bad Italian accent). Sasquatch. Pupcake. And when it's cold outside...Pupsicle.

If Sassy were human, she'd be that beloved kindergarten teacher that greets everyone with smiles and happy guitar music. Sassy is enthusiastic...about everything. Enthusiastic about getting up in the morning and going to bed at night, enthusiastic about going outside, enthusiastic about coming inside, enthusiastic about lawn mowing, and snow, and soccer balls, and tennis balls, and squirrels, and her kitty cats, and doggy dinner, and cat food, and company.

Everyone needs a Sassy.

But Sassy has a dirty little secret...she is also enthusiastic about...

Dear Lord, Sassy!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Here We Go

My sister suggested that I start a blog, and to be perfectly honest I've always resisted doing it, because it would be just more thing added to the list of stuff that I need to do. But here we here we go!

In the past 26 years my husband and I have lived in 6 states (3 times in Missouri), owned 7 homes, 8 cars, 5 cats, one dog, 2 hamsters, 2 gerbils and a multitude of fish. I am not an adventurous soul, but over time that is what I have become. I've certainly enjoyed the ride. The one thing I've learned in all this hopping around is that you've got to "bloom where you're planted".

I am a Missouri girl, born and raised. Shortly after marrying the most wonderful man in the world in 1984, we moved to Boulder, Colorado and later to Estes Park, Colorado, where we bought our first house. I love Colorado. The mountains, the intensely blue sky, and the pine-scented air all soothe my soul.

After 5 years we came back to Missouri to be with family, and in 1992 our daughter, Anna, came into our lives. She truly is our sweetheart.

In 1996 we moved to Medford, Oregon. Again with the mountains, but with the added beauty of the wild Rogue River, Crater Lake, and rose bushes with blooms the size of dessert plates.

We took off for Flagstaff, Arizona in 2000. There are so many things to love about Flagstaff.  I would move there again in a heartbeat.

In 2003 we moved to Riverton, Wyoming. Not my favorite place, but still the scenery was lovely, and we had a lot of fun.

While we were in Wyoming, my husband and brother-in-law hatched a plan to start a business, and in 2006 we landed back in Missouri...running a birding business. When the economy took a nosedive, we decided to sell...which still hasn't happened. My husband is working in Georgia, and I'm here manning the store. In 2011 I will join him in Georgia.

Somewhere in the last 26 years I discovered my creative side, so this blog will be a hodge podge of my latest creations, random thoughts, tales of adventure, family updates, and whatever else strikes my fancy.