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ARCHIVES: September 24-30, 2003



September 30, 2003 - Tuesday

New Food

My daughter decided to buy a small can of moist kitten food. All Little Kitty had before now was the crunchy stuff. She prepared of plate of food away from the other cats and set it down before Little Kitty who took one sniff of it and started digging the floor to try and bury it. We died laughing - so much for moist cat food. I always knew that stuff stinks. Apparently, Little Kitty agreed.


This kitten is like no other cat I've lived with. He wants me to hold him wherever I go - even to answer the door or to try and do laundry one-handed or sitting at the computer. None of the other cats are this happy being carted around. I wonder if he will grow out of it, but then he is such a small breed of cat that he's not much trouble. When I get up from the computer, he raises his head to see where we are headed. When I get back, he goes back to sleep. When I insert a CD, he leans over to watch it. He's content with everything, especially getting his head scratched (picture).



September 29, 2003 - Monday

Names and Puzzlemakers

My daughter's current favorite names for our grandkitty are "Mystic" or "Silver." In the meantime, I am having fun playing with my  camera and Photoshop. A very, wonderful book with tutorials and geared to beginners is Adobe's Classroom in a Book. The lessons are easy enough for the totally unexperienced yet cover advanced features. It's amazing what this program can do. I often find myself going "wow."


Our lesson in church (for the 1 to 3 year olds I teach) was about being kind to animals. I brought pictures of our cats and we talked about the different pets some of the  children owned, what to do with a baby animal, Noah's Ark and colored pictures. Fortunately, most of our children did not eat the crayons this time. They love making animal sounds. We made "baby" animal sounds, too. I was having so much fun that I was hoarse by the end of the 2-hour period. How do teachers keep their voices going all day long?


My husband teaches 9 and 10 year olds. He brings puzzles and games pertaining to the lesson. They especially love hidden word searches. Here's a great site for creating these. It offers a variety of puzzles - easy to make and printout while online: Discovery School's Puzzlemaker. (Thanks to my sister, Deborah, the mother of 5 children, for telling me about this.)



September 28, 2003 - Sunday

Craft Shows and Parking Lots

Yesterday, my daughter and I went to the craft show -- well, I thought we were going to the craft show. Apparently, the show was last week. This week, we found several parking lots with people standing at the entrance and signs that said, "Park Here $5.00." It was the Big Spring Jam. I didn't think the craft show would draw those big crowds. My daughter had been attending all of the Big Spring Jam. She saw Alice Cooper on Friday night -- said he had a stack of $100 bills that he threw out to the audience (she did not get one, alas). I guess at his age you have to pay your fans to come see you.



September 27, 2003 - Saturday

AL.com's List of Blogs

Thanks to a note from largeheartedboy I found out about AL.com's Blog List and was happy to find my site listed there. If you have a blog here in Alabama and want to be listed, I am sure they would like knowing about it.


AL.com's Blog List



Cats and Fleas

(This is a picture of Muddy looking out the front door.) Even though we have housecats, it seems like they get fleas about this time every year. I read where September was considered the worst month for fleas. Oh well, we just go get that goo which is applied to their backs. It usually kills everything within 24 hours. Thank goodness we don't have to suffer with the problem for long.


I remember 20 years ago, we had kittens with fleas. My husband took them out into the garage and put flea powder on them. Unfortunately, the powder did not kill the fleas, but it did repel them from the kittens and into our garage which became badly infested. My brother told me how to get rid of them, though. He said to buy plenty of flea spray and saturate the place once a week until they were gone. It worked, but who knows how much poison we all inhaled?


Fortunately, today's flea killers are more effective and the problem is easily taken care of (if caught soon enough).


P.S. My daughter has switched from Paws back to Little Kitty for the cat's name. Oh, the vacillation of it all!



September 26, 2003 - Friday

Everyone's Named Him

Things are going to be a bit confusing around here. Little Kitty has acquired several names. His real owner, my daughter, is calling him "Paws" because he is always wiggling his paws (see his paws in action in the picture to the left). Her father likes "Sparky" because his white fur is lightly tipped in gray, making one think of sparks. Last night I suggested "Fuzzy" or "Fuzzy Paws." My sister likes the name "Chilly" for his wintry look, but I think I will try to call him Paws since my daughter has the last word in this.


Muddy is getting very attached to him. I know Muddy will miss him when he goes. Muddy has come a long way from hissing at Paws, to glaring at Paws, to following Paws around and now plays with Paws and wants to be with him.



September 25, 2003 - Thursday

Unhealthy Americans

How do we die? This article says "Nearly one-third of Americans succumb to cancer. Just under half die of heart disease. And 70 percent of both those cancers and heart disease are lifestyle-related."


It goes on to say, "People who eat red meat more than once a week subtract 3.9 years from their lives. A vegetarian lifestyle adds 1.5 years. Exercising regularly adds 2.5. One of the best things you can do is eat a fourth-cup of nuts five times a week, adding 2.5 years because of healthy fats and fiber. Some studies say obesity reduces life span by as much as 11-13 years. And research shows that 'you'll die sooner if you're inactive than if you're a smoker.' Adding 1.5 years to life may not seem like a lot, but 'doing all the right behaviors' could make a difference of 20 years."


"American men live, on average, 74 years; women, 80." In general, that time can be lengthened with a healthier lifestyle. I guess I can comment on this because, until I turned 40, I was a real couch potato. I've seen a tremendous difference in my life with the daily walks I take. Even psychologically, I have more confidence and just plain feel better about myself by walking - some physical activity.



Little Kitty

His unofficial name is "Little Kitty" -- it may be a long time before my daughter decides on a permanent name. She had a macho name chosen, then this little kitty turned out to be a smaller-than-average, delicate baby with a quiet meow -- unlike Muddy who is all brute strength, brashness and noise. I took this photo with my low-quality cell phone camera. It's only redeeming value is that it's handy for shots otherwise missed.




Five Signs We're Getting Way Too Lazy

Gotta love modern science - even if it kills us. This was in the Oct. 2003 Reader's Digest.


1. Ballparks that now let fans order food by cell phone. No need to make the arduous hike to the concession stand, or even to raise an arm to flag the peanut guy. [Of course, you pay extra for this service.]


2. Campbell's Soup at Hand, packaged in insulated sipping cups. Who has the energy to keep hoisting a spoon? [Hey, I like this idea - adult sippy cups, but you can eat one-handed, at least.]


3. Talking Caller ID, now on many high-end phones. Pity the poor soul who still has to look to see who's calling. [I love this! No need to get up and answer solicitors.]


4. The remote-control living room - lights, fireplace, fan, venetian blinds. Ugh, you still have to push all those buttons. [And all those remotes are a pain to keep track of. It might be easier to open the blinds rather than look for the remote.]


5. Pooper-scooper services that clean your yard while you watch TV. [I have cats and there's already an invention for us that combs the stuff out of the litter box and bags it.]




September 24, 2003 - Wednesday

Telemarkets Get Do-Not-Call List Stopped

Shoot, just as soon as I mention this, the entire list is delayed by some judge. Sheesh.



California Outlaws Spam

It's a law with great intentions, but will it really help? Spammers can send from China, if they want. This reminds me of the new almost useless "do-not-call" registry which allows too many exceptions. Oh well, every little bit helps. Funny how lawmakers allowed for policital solicitations, though.


California Outlaws Spam



Anti-Bacterial Soap - Good or Bad?

In the same paper, results from a study on antibacterial soaps were published, stating that the soaps did not create "super bugs." Of course, that study was funded by an anti-bacterial soap maker. I suppose next year, a regular soap maker will come along and sponsor a study with, ta-da, the opposite results. The problem here is, its hard to find a truly neutral party - if they don't have an interest, they probably won't bother to fund such a study.


I am not sure what I believe, but I suspect over time, the antibacterial stuff could do more harm than good. I'd rather use good ole soap and water in everyday situations and leave the antibacterial for more serious reasons.



Toyko Steakhouse

Good friends contacted me on the spur of the moment and we went to eat at a place we've never been before: Toyko Steahouse, next to the Wal-Mart on University Drive.


I love going to places I've never been before. This was like Benihana's, where customers are seated at a table with others. A chef puts on a show as he cooks the food. We were first given soup and a light salad. I ordered shrimp tempura (any chance I get to eat shrimp, I take). The chef served us a LARGE amount of rice, followed by vegetables and lots of shrimp (but then we paid enough). The portions were generous. The food tasted good but very slightly like dishwater, although this was lunch and few folks were taking the time to eat here. I noticed a little place right next door called "China Express" which was full and busy working a business lunch crowd.


One problem with their food made me chuckle later. The last thing our chef served was pea pods. Normally, these are snow peas, but they served us English pea pods -- too tough to chew. The only way to eat them was to open each pod and pull out the pea. Nobody wanted to bother with it, so everyone at our table left their peas on the plate. I wonder if someone ordered the wrong kind of pea by mistake.


My friends ordered green tea ice cream for dessert. They said it was very good. All in all, this was a nice restaurant. I am glad I came, but I still like good ole Meteor Buffet just off the corner of U.S. 72 and Memorial Parkway better.



Sun Valley Gossip

Speaking of friends, one just got back from Sun Valley, Idaho. She said many stars have homes there and the community had much to say about them. For example, some stars are bad about paying their bills and in the way they treat people. Tom Hanks' wife was not well-respected. On the other hand, Demi Moore and Bruce Willis were loved for their kindness and money they put into the community.


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