Feline Friday: Peepaw and the Cat

My dad is the last person I ever expected to bond with a cat.  Some of my most memorable moments as a child are the ones where he flung a cat out the front door by the tail simply because the cat made the mistake of sampling Daddy’s supper plate.  Stray cats wanting only to find a home full of children would suddenly disappear from the homestead without a trace.  We dared not ask what happened to the cat.  Mama wouldn’t have told us.  She was always in cahoots with Daddy anyway.

Imagine my surprise–and that of my three siblings–when Daddy suddenly began to show kindness to a black female cat that showed up at their house a few years ago, years and years after we kids had grown up and after mine had left home.

Instead of running her off or providing an untimely demise for the poor stray cat, he and Mom began feeding her and even had her spayed!  They even provided Ebony (named by my daughter) her own little “house” sheltered from the wind and heated with a lamp.
Daddy had a pet cat.  Daddy the cat hater.  Wonder of wonders.

It wasn’t long after Ebony took up residence there that Lucy showed up at our house.  In the second shock of the century, my hubby allowed her to stay.  Is he becoming another Peepaw?  Wait.  He needs grandkids for that, and that is another blog post.

Ebony in her favorite spot.
Lucy is a people person cat.  She stayed with us for a long time, content to be fed in the evenings and petted a bit, but ever so slowly she began to migrate next door because my parents are outdoors more often than we are, and she craves people company.  She began to spend more time there than here, even though Ebony has never been a hospitable host.  She’s been downright mean, in fact.  But Ebony isn’t getting any younger.  I mean, her fur is starting to fall out and she isn’t moving around as much, so we figure she is an old cat.  

Lucy, on the other hand, is a young cat.  She is playful and has finally figured out that she can outrun Ebony.  So she decided to stay at Mom and Dad’s, which is a mystery since Daddy greets both cats with a friendly and affectionate lifting off the ground with their tails.  I guess they just put up with that kind of thing for the attention.  As for my part of cat ownership, I cover the vet bills and buy food and treats, though, because technically she is our cat.

Lucy quickly took a liking to Peepaw.  Because of his bad knees, he drives a golf cart around quite a bit–to the shop behind the house, to the mailbox, you get the idea.  Lucy has decided she likes to ride on the golf cart with Peepaw, and Peepaw likes to carry Lucy on the golf cart, so it has become a daily habit with them.

Lucy and her Peepaw
When he decides it’s time to open the shop, he gets on the golf cart with his coffee cup and Lucy jumps up beside him.  They ride to the driveway for the newspaper, then they take a tour of the property, Lucy jumping off now and then to chase a rabbit or mouse, then jumping back on to finish the ride back to the shop.

I was getting my coffee this morning and caught a glimpse out the window of the top of the golf cart moving through the pasture.  Peepaw was giving Lucy her ride.  All is right with the world.


Meaningless Drivel Monday: Scamp Update (Lots of Photos!)

Remember this little guy? (gal?)

Progress has been slow on her restoration but today I got back inside and made some progress!

I caulked the gaps between the pieces of Ensolite that line the walls.  I had already painted them a light sage green using Behr ultra latex paint.  I am so happy with that color!  
When the caulk is dry I will go in and paint it the same color as the walls.  Yes, I know that foam around the air conditioning unit is ridiculous.  It was a temporary fix until I can get in there and trim it to fit.  

I finished all the rag curtains but had to take them down to caulk and paint.  I can’t wait to show you what they look like up.  So cute!  Visit my Etsy shop to order some for yourself!  
Hubby had to extend the floor in front of the door because the door was bent out a bit.  It was much easier to fix it that way than to try and bend the door back.  We just need to add a threshold and carpet now.
I primed the cabinet doors which will be painted red to match the upholstery fabric.  That hole in the countertop was where the cooktop stove used to be.  It will be covered with a board and a microwave oven.
This opening held the furnace which we removed.  It will be made into storage and covered with another rag curtain.
I haven’t decided where the butterfly chalkboard will end up, but it is cute!
The sitting area with potty cabinet door primed and floor ready for carpet.
The cupboards over the bed and bench, and the potty chair door, will be painted turquoise.
This is the door to the closet primed and ready for red paint.  Some turquoise paint was left on the paintbrush but it will be repainted anyway.
Lucy the cat keeps me company while I work.  She usually ends up with some paint on her fur!
Molly (left) and Maggie, two of our Boston terriers, watch Lucy from the backyard.  
Whitey also watches Lucy.
Lucy ignores them, of course.
There is still much work to do.  She also needs a good scrubbing and some new paint on the exterior.  All in due time, all in due time.  

Let me know what you think of our progress!



AT HOME MONDAY: It’s Fall, Ya’ll!

Even if it doesn’t feel like it!  Go away, 90 degree temps–we are ready for some cool!  I usually wait until October 1 to get out my fall decor, which requires a trip to the storage building and sorting through all the plastic tote boxes to find it all.  Last year I got it down to five boxes.  This year I want to downsize to four.  Hm. . .I wonder if that is possible?

But I didn’t wait to haul everything out this year.  As soon as the autumn solstice was announced by the calendar and weatherman, I dragged hubby out to help me gather the boxes.  Taking each item out one by one is like seeing old friends again.  But I will be ruthless.  If it doesn’t make me smile, out it goes. . .

That said, I just love seeing all the new fall decor in the stores and find it difficult to restrain myself from collecting more and more!  But my favorite things are always the vintage, well-loved finds that I discover while foraging at antique shops, flea markets, and garage sales.

Here is one of my favorites–a grinning little fellow I found several years ago at an antique shop in Waco, Texas for only $4.00!  I stopped there to stretch my legs during a business trip.  

That kind of stop is SO much better than a convenience store. . .you just have to hope they have a restroom as well.

Back to the cat–is he not the cutest thing?Don’t you love his Cheshire cat grin?  He’s either REALLY happy or he is hiding something!

I’ve almost finished my scaled-down fall decorating now. I just need to purchase some pumpkins and gourds and mums and such, and hope that the weather realizes that fall is here.  In a few days I will be traveling to Indiana where the weather did get the message:  It’s Fall, ya’ll!




RANDOM FRIDAY ON SATURDAY: Glorious Rainy Day. . .

Today I got to actually live a dream:  a Colorado-like summer day in the middle of a Texas August!  And I wasn’t dreaming!  Clouds began to build early in the day, and it became overcast and surprisingly cool, so I grabbed a magazine and decided to get some use out of the front porch swing.  Lucy the cat, in a much better mood in 80 degree temps than in 95+, joined me on the swing and batted at a weather-worn toy I had placed on one arm rest last summer.

My sister made me this sign for Christmas.  Cute, huh?

We sat there, Lucy purring contentedly, I relaxing while flipping through a couple of magazines I had saved for such an occasion.  I really thought it would be later in September before I could do so.  Trying to enjoy a late afternoon or early evening swing on my front porch on a typical August day is more like sitting in a sauna where someone released a bushel of mosquitoes and flies.  Not a pleasant prospect for someone who would have melted in a hoop skirt and corset back in the days BAC (before air conditioning).  Those antebellum Southern women must have been made of something else.  I guess they would have enjoyed air conditioning, too, if they’d had the chance.  How spoiled we would seem to them!  There are many things I am nostalgic for, but hot summer days without the miracles of electricity and a/c are NOT among them!

Little Lucy enjoying the unusually cool afternoon.
Yes, the swing needs painting and the window needs shutters. . .we’re getting to it!

Sit down and swing, Mommy!

My ride sits out in the rain while my daughter’s ride is repaired
by my husband (always something) in the carport.  It needed a bath anyway.

I’m sure it will be back to the steamy dog days of summer soon, but at least today was a lovely respite from the relentless heat.  The green grass of spring has given way to crunchy straw and dirt.  If you look closely at the photo above, you can see that even the porch posts have bent from past summer heat.  It ain’t for sissies!  Meanwhile, we will wait eagerly for the cooler temps of fall. . .

Ap ril  


AT HOME MONDAY: Autumn dreams. . .

Will autumn EVER get here?  As a former teacher,  I would never have said those words because they meant wishing for school to start!  Although I generally enjoyed returning to school every August, a few more weeks of vacation would have certainly been welcome. . .

Now, all I can think of is cooler temperatures with crisp nights and the possibility of going outdoors without becoming a sweaty, oily-faced, hair-drooping mess.  At least this summer hasn’t been as bad as the Summer of 2011 when Texas found itself in the drought of a century.  Yes, I realize that this century is still new, but last summer was HOT and DRY!  Lakes, rivers, and creeks dried up, trees died, and paint peeled.  I don’t remember reports of windshields breaking, though.  That really happened back in 1980, when the sliding glass doors on our one-bedroom apartment shattered with such a large crack that I thought someone was shooting at us!  Maybe windshields and sliding glass doors are made of tougher stuff these days.

I really despise the summer heat and will do almost anything to avoid being outdoors for very long, even curtailing my shopping.  Naturally I don’t spend any time in my yard after 9 a.m. or before 8 p.m.   As a result, the plants with such promise and beauty that I eagerly bought back in the spring begin to suffer when the temperatures climb above 90 degrees.  For some reason, they don’t survive very long without regular watering.  I have streamlined my flowers so that they can be watered from the backyard deck or the front porch without me having to stand there for more than 5 or 10 minutes at a time.   The faucet and hose for my deck plants is actually on the deck so that is pretty easy.  And with a soaker hose along my front porch, all I have to do is walk to the end of the porch, kneel down, and reach to turn on the faucet.

Too bad my soaker hose blew out.  The very nerve!  And this is my second one!  The first one blew out as well!  Do you think it might have happened because I leave them out all winter?  Who wants to dig out a soaker hose from among the mulch, fallen leaves, weeds and plants, lizards, beetles, spiders, and cat poop?  Less trouble to go buy another one every year or two.  Wonder if the hoses will eventually turn to mulch?

Why couldn’t the newer soaker hose have at least lasted through one more summer?  Now, in the hottest part of August, I am forced to stand outside for a half hour or more just to give my stupid azaleas their necessary drink.  (Don’t worry, they didn’t hear that.)  I didn’t realize the soaker hose wasn’t functioning until those poor azalea bushes began to turn brown and crispy.  I figured I better start watering if I don’t want to replace every single one of them next spring.

To add to my discombobulation, my mother’s lush and green flowers scornfully harken to mine from across the yard, leering in their abundant blossoms and full leaves.  They get water in abundance, even in the hottest weather, because my mother doesn’t mind the heat.  She gets cold if it dips below 85 outside.  Oh well, maybe if I give my plants a little pep talk next time I water, they won’t notice the Garden of Eden next door.  Even this poor hydrangea which would desperately love to produce flowers if it wasn’t concentrating so hard on getting a drink. . .

Can you see the dead cow skull?  No tumbleweeds, though. . .
And for all you plant activists:  don’t worry, I watered immediately.

My outdoor cat Lucy meows louder when its hot.  It isn’t her cup of tea, either.  Can you see the scowl on her face?  Wonder if the first freeze might be early this year?  We would both be much happier. . .

Ap ril