Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My beloved cat, Balthasar, left this world on Tuesday, July 23, 2011. I will someday post a remembrance, but I am working on gathering all I can from my memory and my pictures to be sure the story is as complete as possible. I don't want to forget a single detail. In the meantime, Kelly and I have added to the family - a bit of distraction in hopes that someday I'll have another little buddy who claims me as his own.

Kelly and I spent a long time looking at kittens in the area on Petfinder.com. We decided to go to the Gladstone Animal Shelter because Kelly’s previous beloved kittens, Renny and Sahara, had come from there. The shelter had listed a litter on Petfinder.com with the following description ”What a fun litter of kittens! The have been with us about a month and are just as playful and fun loving as can be. The calico kitten is a female and the other two kittens are males. Mom is a calico as well and needs a great home, too. These babies (and mom) are really fun and we are anxious to see them get into the permanent homes they so deserve, can you help?” I was interested. What sweet little babies.

Sebastien (the little white and orange guy in the picture) was the calmest of the litter. When we brought him out to play, he was affectionate and sweet. We were sold. Kelly also picked a little black and white female that was too new to be adopted out right away. She will come home with us in a week or so. They didn’t even have a picture of her on Petfinder.com yet, so you’ll just have to wait for pictures when we bring her home next Monday.

Sebastien was adopted right away, on July 30, 2011 and came home Monday, August 1, 2011 after going to Kendallwood Animal Clinic for a checkup and neuter. The staff loved him, said he was very quiet and playful. He has ear mites and they suspect he also had fleas as Sara said she saw some flea dust during the exam. He tested negative for FIV. They gave us medicine for ear mites and some flea/mite/roundworm medicine and sent us home. I sat in the back seat of the Forrester with him and played with him on the way home. He didn’t seem to mind the car ride at all.

Once home, I bathed Sebastien and then took him upstairs to show him the litter box.

He went potty right away. He spent the rest of the evening exploring upstairs, making friends with Harper and Zeus, both of whom he was not scared much, especially Zeus. 

He seemed thrilled with every toy we offered, from the cat fishing poles to the vibrating mouse, the smaller mouse toys, the animal print ball, and the crinkle ball. He had a hard time with a feather he pulled off of the cat fishing pole - we finally noticed that it wasn't just that he was carrying the feather around in his mouth. He couldn't get it out.

We noticed that he is a chewer. We may have trouble with exposed electrical cords, as he chewed on everything he came in contact with.

He is very affectionate with both of us, rubbing his little head against ours. Kelly seems to get him to purr easily. I don’t notice it as often, but Kelly says that is because it isn’t always an audible purr. I also noticed that Sebastien wants very much to cuddle with Zeus, who tolerated his advances well until Sebastien seemed to be looking for a snack. Sara told me that she believes he is 4-5 months old. The Gladstone Animal Shelter website states that they have had the litter for a month, so he had probably never spent a night away from his mother. Poor little guy.

 I tried to get him to stay on the bed to sleep, but he left us. Kelly found him in her room beside her cabinet this morning. Kelly gets up much earlier that I do, so she feeds the animals while I am still sleeping. She described a standoff between Harper and Sebastien at Harper’s food bowl, where the kitten fearlessly forged ahead to partake of the dog food while Harper gave a low little growl. Apparently, Harper gave in and walked away. What a good girl. Sebastien seems to like her very much; though in the very beginning he gave her little warning hisses of fear. His walking between her legs and rubbing up against her indicate things have changed quickly. Kelly also said that Sebastien attacked his own food with great enthusiasm.

He was very vocal this morning. His charm and zeal were hard to leave behind. I remember being anxious to get home to see Balthasar when he was a kitten. It seems that this new fuzzball has a similar effect on me.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Housewife of Notre Dame

It’s Monday morning, about 8:30.  I’m at home, doing the things I’d be doing if I were a kept woman. No, I didn’t quit my job. I’ve been struck by some bizarre allergy that has made my face, including my eyes, swollen and itchy. So my momentary lapse into housewifedom comes with a price – disfigurement and a powerful itch. Oh, and did I mention that I leave for vacation in days?

I’ve had a pretty good morning despite the pox.

I slept an hour later than usual, rising to call in to work. I decided I might as well stay up and get ready to go see the doctor, so I took a shower and listened to NPR, as usual. Today, the Beastie Boys were on promoting their new album. They began the interview just as I was wrapping things up. On most days, I would miss the rest of the broadcast, but today I was able to go online and listen to the entirety of the interview. Sweet! And, of course, I have decided I must have the new album, Hot Sauce Committee Part 2.

K wants the Adele album, so maybe I'll go pick up both of them sometime today if my face ever gets to a less ghastly configuration.

Next, I began thinking about the luggage tag project I started last night. It all started well, but I have run into a snag.

No matter how hard I press with the iron, I can not flatten the tag enough to fit underneath the presser foot on my sewing machine, so I am unable to sew on the clear vinyl piece that would hold a card with name and address. I tried hand stitching the piece, but the vinyl is hard to pierce and it shifts too much, so my hand stitching looked awful. I love the way the rest of the project turned out, so I’m eager to find a solution. I’ll be spending some time today looking for solutions online, but if you have some knowledge and experience to share, I’d sure appreciate it.

Balthasar is glad I’m home. And he seems to really enjoy the dish towel with the bag of ice I’ve been using to help reduce the swelling around my eyes. Even with the pox, life is pretty good.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

More Sewing Success!

Here it is, the reversible bag I mentioned in my last post:

I learned many things making this bag. Most importantly, to allow 3 inches of height for making the bottom of the bag. It's much shorter than I intended. Now that I "get" the construction, I'll be able to make something a little closer to what I really want next time. K is already asking for a beach bag, so it won't be long before I get a second chance at getting this right.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Craft Bug

The craft bug has bitten again. This time, inspiration and motivation arrived after I picked up Stitch by Stitch: Learning to Sew, One Project at a Time

A few Black Fridays ago, I purchased some fat quarters of beautiful fabric I intended to make into cloth napkins. Using this book, especially for the mitered corner tutorial, I was able to make these little beauties:

Up next? The reversible tote with a flat bottom on page 108.

I have also been struggling with how to decorate the house for spring as well as how to make the space above the kitchen cabinets look nicer. More on that later, 'cause I've been doing some shopping and making K crazy as I deliberate. Anyhoo, back on the crafty track...I found a tutorial online on making easy robins eggs out of Dollar Tree styrafoam eggs. That turned out pretty cute:

My "decor store" is set up on a shelf in the basement, so please forgive the not so cute background.

In other news, I began a casual search for a sewing box yesterday. I didn't want just any ol' thing, so I looked at Etsy and Ebay first. Look what I came across and immediately rearranged my evening to drive to Olathe to get:

Yep. Perfect.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentines Day and Penis Touching

First, let me share what a fun, indulgent, sweet Valentine's weekend I have experienced. First, I took K to her favorite place, Buffalo Wild Wings, on Friday night for beer, wings, and trivia. On Saturday, I treated us to frou-frou drinks at Starbucks while on our way to the vet's office for Harper's annual checkup. She gained 9 lbs this year! We did some household shopping as well as digging through Hot Wheels at various locations for K's collection, and then had a casual lunch at 54th Street. I left her to enjoy a beer while I did some shopping at Zona Rosa. We finished the grocery shopping and then headed home for movie night and some quality time with my sewing machine.

Today we met our friend Laura at the dog park. Harper and Jake romped while I held onto the chain link fence for my dear life - the park was a mess of ice. We hadn't seen Laura and Jake for weeks, so we had a great time despite the treacherous conditions.

I did some laundry and housecleaning while Kelly ran to get the car washed, then we headed out for another super casual lunch, this time at Outback, before going to the Screenland Armour to see Casablanca on the big screen! I hadn't seen the movie before - I loved it. There were a few laugh out loud funny moments I didn't expect.

I also received some gifts that were pretty awesome:

If you can't make it out, that is 1) a box of chocolate turtles, 2) a glass head and 3) a SoCo tin. Yes, there is a bottle of SoCo in the tin. Pretty awesome, right? And we haven’t even made it to Valentine's Day yet.

On tap for tomorrow - gifts and dinner at Lulu's.

Don't you just love Valentine's Day?

On our way home this afternoon, we drove by Kessler Park where a group of guys were playing soccer. More than one of the participants was in some stage of touching his penis. I commented on it and K explained that while the average man can keep his stuff in place without excessive touching, those with small penises must constantly re-adjust that slippery little flopper. It made sense. Probably some of those who were holding the thing outright are afraid they might lose it completely if they let go too long.