Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Food Fight!

I was thinking what I'd like to do for my next birthday, and I decided I'd like to have a food fight.  Then I was trying to figure out where it should take place, and I thought, by the beach!  How perfect.  Everyone could clean up afterwards by just going into the ocean.

We could have vats of pudding and jello and rice and spaghetti.  Am I the only one who wants to do this?  I mentioned it to a couple of friends, and they've already told me "I think I'm going to be out of town when you're having your party."

My husband suggested using silly string instead of a food fight.  I told him I already did that at my retirement party.  Then he suggested shaving cream.  We already did that for my brother before he left to enlist with the Marines.

I have always thought that I missed out having a food fight in the school cafeteria.  Well, this would be the next best thing.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


I stayed up until 5 a.m. and didn't get out of bed until noon.  By the time I put on my robe and went outside to get the paper, it was one in the afternoon.  My neighbor drove up and stopped her car in front of me.  She said, "shameful!" but I knew she was teasing me.  All my friends know not to call me before noon.

It is so nice to be able to go to sleep when you want to and get up when you're not sleepy any more.  That's one of the best things about being retired.

I stayed up so late because I've been cleaning my office.  When I was working, I didn't have time to go through my files, and things were getting so crowded, I couldn't put anything more in the file cabinets, so I'd just put a rubber band around my papers, and throw them in the plastic bin in the closet.  Then the bin got too full, so I put the rubber-banded bundles beside the bin.

My cousin recently moved, and she told me how much stuff she'd been throwing out, and that inspired me to start de-cluttering.  Once I get started on a project, it's hard to stop just because it's one in the morning.  I looked at the clock, and it was two hours later.  Then it was two more hours, and that's how I went to bed at 5 in the morning.

I'm a night owl and always have been.  My mother told me she used to hold a mirror up to my face when I was a baby sleeping in the crib.  I slept so long, she worried that I wasn't breathing any more.  I saw that scene played out with Shirley MacLaine in Terms of Endearment.  I wonder if the author knew my mom.
Perimeter Check

Since Walter has become such an adept escape artist, I've been doing a perimeter check of the backyard every day.  We've fortified areas where he's dug under the fence.  He's a persistent little canine though, and he re-visits those previous tunnels, trying to tunnel out again.  You would not believe the things that a 44-lb. canine can move once he sets his little doggie mind to it.

While I'm checking the perimeter, I'm also on a poop treasure hunt, kind of like an Easter Egg Hunt, but the prizes are more odiferous.  I roam back and forth in a grid pattern, with plastic grocery bags in my hand, looking for Walter's land mines.  Sometimes I see him pooping in the backyard, so I know exactly where to go.

It's weird what shows up in his poop.  He ate some birdseed, so his poop was sprinkled through with millet.  He's been ingesting pieces of his mattress pad bed, which is blue.  That showed up in his poop, too.  At first, I thought I was looking at dryer lint and wondering how it got in the backyard, but thank Goodness, I used a plastic bag to touch it, and I realized it was poop.

I'm becoming a scatological expert.  Who would have foreseen that?  What's funny is that I've become so matter-of-fact about the things that come out of my animals' bodies, whether they're tapeworms from Violet's butt, or eye and nose buggers, ear wax, vomit, pee, fleas, or poop.  Good thing I'm balancing out this with things like music and art!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Feed Us!

We had to figure out where to feed the cats so that Walter would not eat all their food.  We settled on the counter right next to the refrigerator.  If Walter wanted, he could stand on his back legs and eat the food off the counter, but I don't think he's figured that out yet - I hope.

The cats let us know when their plates are empty.  They hop up on the counter and stare at you, and if that doesn't work, they start crying and staring.  They have us trained really well.
Please Walk With Me.
Love, Walter

That's what the note says.  I'm not walking that well because of knee problems, so walking Walter has become Wayne's domain.  Wayne brought me to the orthopedist today, went grocery shopping, cooked, and cleaned up the kitchen.  Is he good or what?  Well, I didn't want to ask one more thing of him, but Walter needed to be walked, so I thought of a way to ask that would be funny.  I wrote the request on a piece of paper and watched as Walter went to Wayne, who laughed when he saw the note (thank Goodness!).

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Walter & the Sofa

We had originally said that we wouldn't let Walter on the sofa.  Well, that lasted three months.  But there's a good reason.  You see those crutches in the picture?  Those are mine.  I started using them yesterday after severe knee pain in my right leg.  (It was the left knee that I had surgery in two and a half months ago.)  I am not moving around very well, so I parked myself on the sofa.  And today, it just seemed the right thing to do to invite Walter to sit next to me.  It's very comforting, you know?  I think Walter is very happy.....

Walter's Snuggie

You know those blankets with the built-in sleeves?  They're so comfortable when you're watching TV or reading.  I got a blue one for Wayne and a green one for me.

And you know how Walter thinks everything is his?  Especially if it's on the sofa or chair within easy biting distance?

Well, he pulled the blue snuggie off the sofa so often, and he chewed so many holes in it before we got it from him, that I finally just gave it to him.  I got the idea of dressing him in the snuggie.  He's very cooperative.  Doesn't his snuggie fit him well?
Two Baths in One Day

Saturday was the day I was supposed to give all the animals their flea and heartworm prevention treatment.  Once you give them that, they're not supposed to have a bath for two days.

Walter needed a bath, and I didn't think I could wait for two days, so Wayne gave him a bath that morning.  This meant that the treatment had to wait for two days.  But Walter really needed a bath.

Later that day, Wayne was working in the backyard garden, while Walter was enjoying running around in the yard.  All of a sudden, Wayne says to me, Walter escaped!  He tunneled under the fence into Bill and Geri's back yard (Bill is the neighbor who says we should ask for a refund from obedience school).  This happened even though Wayne was in the yard.  Walter is a stealth digger.  He moved the boards we had at the bottom of the fence to prevent his digging.

By the time Wayne retrieved Walter from the neighbors' yard, Walter was filthy, so he got another bath.  Two baths in one day!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Distracted and Exploring

You know how you go into one room, get distracted and start doing something else, then leave that room, and realize, "Oh, I forgot what I was supposed to be doing," and then you go back to the room, and almost get distracted again, but you do the thing that you originally set out to do?  Yeah, well, that happens all the time to me.  Anyone else like that?

Today, I went to my office to get a glue stick to glue a magnet onto the back of a pad of paper to use on the refrigerator for a shopping list, and of course, I got distracted by the pull of the computer, and an hour went by while I browsed Pinterest.  That's my newest thing.  I really like Pinterest.  I find all kinds of things on there.

I found a recipe for making your own laundry detergent.  It was on a blog called "Being creative to keep my sanity: Homemade Laundry Soap! Then I found a site that gives you suggestions for what book you might like to read next.  The site is http://www.whatbookshouldireadnext.com/index/php

I've been looking for ideas on how to de-clutter my office and get more organized.  That's a project I aspire to complete this year.  We shall see how that goes...

Anyway, I remembered what I went into the office for in the first place, and I got the glue gun to glue the magnet to the back of the pad of paper.  I was distracted by all of that because I set out to write a grocery list for the coming week, as I was going through my recipes.  It is so easy to get off task, but the wonderful thing about being retired is that there's no pressure to get things done immediately.  How wonderful life is!

Friday, April 13, 2012


United Cats Against Walter is what that stands for.  Today, the youngest cat, Zoe, wanted to go outside in the backyard.  Normally, she is an inside cat.  I have four cats inside: Harry, Henry, Violet, and Zoe.  There are four outside cats: Linus, Sally, James Bond, Jr., and Moneypenny.

Linus used to be an inside cat until I caught him peeing in my suitcase.  Every day, I'd been finding cat pee in my shoes.  All this time, I thought it was Harry, and then I caught Linus in the act. I picked him up, kissed him, and put him outside.  If you pee in the house in undesignated areas, you live outside.

Harry is an inside-outside cat.  Every morning, he cries and cries to go outside.  He comes in at the end of the day, but he has to explore outside every day.  My neighbors across the street tell me that Harry visits with them on a regular basis.  Brian finds Harry waiting to be petted when he goes out in the morning to get his paper.  He hangs outs a lot under their car.

Violet was a feral cat who lived in the backyard, and she tamed herself when she came inside our house.  She has never been outside again, and I don't think she has any interest in ever going outside again.

Henry occasionally runs outside, but he ends up pitifully crying right by the door until we let him in again.  He learned how to push the screen door open and run outside.

Zoe just started going outside.  She threw herself down on the patio bricks and sunned herself.  She's a little princess with a wicked attitude toward other cats.  She growls and hisses at the outside cats like she owns the whole place.

Since we got Walter, every time he goes out in the backyard, the outside cats run for dear life, and climb the tree.  Sometimes, he is between them and the tree, so they just stand their ground, hissing and growling, and doing their impressions of "Halloween cats," with all their fur fluffed out until they look twice as big.  Walter really wants to play with them, but he has gotten bopped upside the head so many times, you'd think he would have given up by now, but in a puppy, hope springs eternal.

Normally, there is enmity between the outside and inside cats, but now they are united against Walter.  It was kind of funny to see the inside and outside cats sitting together "yelling" at Walter.  Poor Walter...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Walter's Gaining Weight

Brought Walter to the vet today to get his nails trimmed, and I asked to have him weighed.  He weighs 44 pounds.  He's gained almost 20 pounds since we got him three months ago.  The people at the shelter said they thought he would get to be about 50 pounds.  He's almost there now, and he's only nine months old.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Walter's Rearranging the Furniture

Walter has been busy today.  He moved one of the cat's beds from the window seat in the kitchen, and he dragged it to the Persian rug by the sofa.  Then he dragged another cat's bed from the guest bedroom into my office.  He's sleeping in it as I write this.  You can see he doesn't fit, but it doesn't matter to him.
I don't know how long it will take before he starts chewing up that bed like he did to the two he's already destroyed.  Doesn't he look peaceful though?  Maybe it's just that he's trying to adjust the feng shui of our house.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Eventful Weekend for Walter

Walter had an eventful weekend.  He escaped from the backyard three times yesterday - it took us a while to find the hole under the fence, and when we did find it, we couldn't believe he could fit through it.  As a result of his tunneling efforts, he had another bath.

When I took him outside to pee tonight, he growled at something.  We rushed over to the side of the house - him running, me flying attached to his leash - we saw a critter running.  I didn't have my glasses on, and it was dark.  It was either a possum or an armadillo.  Walter is strong!  When he wants to go after something, hold tight to his leash.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Walter was in the backyard, and he heard something in the neighbor's yard, so he commences barking.  I say, "Bill, is that you?"  And he says, "yeah."  I tell him, Walter graduated from puppy training class last Saturday, but he tried to mate with one of the dogs in the class, and then last night, he pooped on the floor.  Bill says, "Did you get a refund?"
Holy Thursday Escape Artist

Right after I took Walter's picture with his Easter ears, I put him in the backyard.  About 20 minutes later, I hear a knock on the door, and it's my next door neighbor telling me that Walter's dug a hole under the fence and he's in their yard.

Walter was a muddy mess because we've had rain for the past three days.  I thought I could just wipe down his paws, but it's a full out bath for him.  So Walter had an eventful day: Easter ears, an escape, and a bath!
Walter the Easter Puppy

I'd forgotten all about these Easter ears.  I was trying to find the tape measure to find out how many inches Walter's chest and neck are to see what size backpack halter he would take, and I found the Easter ears on top of the sewing tin.  Eureka!  I can dress up the dog in something else!  (Yeah, I'm sure Walter will like this....)

Is he cute or what?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Baby Alligator

Friday, driving home down Airline Highway, I saw a baby alligator on the side of the road.  He must have crawled out of the canal, and it looked like he was contemplating crossing the road.  Hope not.  It was just so unusual to see that.  He was probably more like a teenager than a baby alligator, because he was about three feet long, but I didn't stop to measure him....
Another Toy Bites the Dust

I bought several toys at a dollar store.  Good thing they weren't expensive.  Walter sits next to me while I'm on the computer.  The next thing I know, the innards of the toy, including the squeaker mechanism, are scattered all over the floor.  And Walter, exhausted, naps next to the remains of the battered toy, his work done for the day...