Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving To Go

We had "Thanksgiving to go" this year. My sister always has the whole extended family to her house for a big, traditional dinner. She had planned to put two turkey breasts in to roast in the morning, and to have family members bring side dishes. Well, it didn't happen that way.

Our mom had a transient ischemic attack ("mini stroke") on Tuesday, and was admitted to the hospital. She had to stay there over Thanksgiving. She lives 90 minutes away and the hospital is about two hours away. My sister wanted to take Thanksgiving dinner to our mom in the hospital, but her turkey wasn't cooked. I had roasted a turkey breast on Wednesday and we decided to take that. My stepfather couldn't drive to the hospital to see Mom because he is almost blind from macular degeneration. So, his daughter-in-law drove him to the hospital.

In the meantime, my sister's in-laws in Kentucky decided they weren't going to come to the big Thanksgiving dinner because her kids had colds and they didn't want to be exposed. Also, the weather was bad and getting worse. We called our grown niece, her husband and three small children, and told them not to make the 90-minute drive to Kentucky. Instead, we stopped on our way home and had dessert with them (they had already had dinner for his family).

So, we saw everyone (except my sister's in-laws) by driving around in the pouring rain. We took food with us to Mom, had dessert at a niece's, and finished the day by eating turkey at my sister's house after she finally had a chance to roast it and her husband was home from the hospital (he was on call that day). It was a kind of "hodge podge" Thanksgiving, with no big sit-down dinner. But it worked... it kind of reminded me of a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving!

p.s. Mom is home now, and says she feels fine.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Quilting on the Big Island

I have always loved Hawaiian quilts. The designs are based on nature, and are intricate and colorful. While we were on vacation in Hawaii I took a class on how to create one. There I am (third from left) learning how to make a Hawaiian style quilt. It was a great experience!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Gimme Shelter

Two of the feral, half-tame kitties that live behind our house: we call them Little Sister (spayed female) and Spot (neutered male), brother and sister. Yesterday they were curled up together on the bench.

This morning I brought out the new igloo I bought for their winter shelter. I caught them checking it out.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I'm no Ridley Scott, but I'm gonna make movies! Really... I've been thinking about getting one of these so I could take some videos. The simplicity of it appeals to me. So, yesterday I went and got it. This morning I took it out of the box, put in the batteries and started it up. I did a little test video starring my cat Tiger. Hopefully, I will be posting some here soon... if I can take the next step and upload them.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Crazy Cat Lady?

Our back yerd has become home for a number of feral cats. Two of the adult females have had kittens. Over time we have trapped all of them and had them spayed or neutered. This one little cat family. The mama kitty is in the front, along with her two kittens:

This is the female kitten. We call her "Little Sister".

This is the male kitten. We call him "Spot".

This is mama kitty number 2:

This is where I digress for a minute. The picture below is mama kitty number 2 watching one of her kittens eat.

This kitten's story is interesting. Her name is Pip.

Pip was one of a litter of four. As feral cats will do, they all ran from us when we came outside. All except Pip, that is. One day I came outside and, as usual, the mama and three kittens ran from me. But little Pip was just sitting there looking at me. She was so tiny and she had what looked like a bad eye. I thought maybe she was sick. I reached over to her... and she let me pick her up! I was so surprised. I took her next door to show my cat-loving neighbors. Then I took her to the vet. They proclaimed her basically healthy, just a little dehydrated and with an eye inflammation. They gave me medicine for her. We kept her inside for a few days and her eye cleared up. We let her go back outside to play with her littermates. She remained friendly to us, and ran to come in the house when we opened the door. It was clear that this little kitten wanted to live indoors. My cat-loving neighbor knew a woman who was looking for a kitten. Pip found a home with the woman and her family. As it turns out, the woman has a son who is autistic, and he loves this kitten and cares for her. Her bed is in his room, but she usually sleeps in his bed. It seems to have turned out great for both the kitten and the family.

Okay, the third cat family is the "little black kitties". They were the first ones we discovered, under our next door neighbor's porch. They are all female, and have all been spayed as well. They were a litter of four. We adopted the friendliest one, who lives in the house with us and our other three cats. The other three make themselves at home outside, as you can see.

My husband and I feed all of these cats every day. They have become tame enough not to run away from us, but they do back up just out of reach! We have put out little shelters that consist of "kitty cubes" (sold at Walmart) inside stacking bins to provide stability.

The photo above was taken last winter. You can see the kitty shelters we made in the background, as well as all the snow we had to shovel around them. I am hoping to provide some more substantial shelter for them this winter and, now that cold weather is upon us, I am looking around for materials to use. I've been looking on ebay for second hand kids' playhouses. There are some reasonably priced ones, but they all require local pickup and they are not close to me. This is where my husband calls me the "crazy cat lady". He thinks they will be fine with the little shelters. But I still worry about them. If I had a handyman in the family, maybe we could build a little "cat house"; but we don't. So... what would you do?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Hawaii Cure?

We have been back from Hawaii for three days. Guess what is happening to me?

My allergies are coming back! Stuffy nose, itchy eyes. Every morning when I wake up, I need to use eye drops and nasal spray before I can function. I even need them before coffee! So, of course, I took them with me when we went on vacation. But... guess what?

When we were home and I was unpacking, I realized I hadn't used either of them once the whole week of vacation. No stuffy nose! No itchy eyes! Hawaii agrees with me. All of my allergies disappeared while we were there! Oh well, I guess I will have to go live there. For medicinal reasons, of course.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hitting The Road In Hawaii

I enjoy staying at a resort, with the beach and the pool and all the amenities. But I always want to go exploring, too. I love exploring new places. As my husband could tell you, I like to take every road as far as it goes and beyond, just to find out what is around the next bend in the road.

Each time we go to Maui, he knows I will want to drive the Road to Hana... all the way to Hana. I took these pictures there... we had gone as far as we could.

The photo below was taken last week, on the Big Island. Once again, we took the road as far as it would go. We drove to the northern tip of the island. Here are some photos I took along the way:

I love going to "the ends of the earth"! Isn't it beautiful?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hawaii... Things I Love

The flowers. There are flowers in Hawaii that I never see at home. I could spend the whole week just taking photos of flowers.

The birds. Some day I need to take a bird-watching tour in Hawaii. As "background sound" I always hear the most amazing bird calls coming from somewhere in all the green. I would love to see who they are. There are many little birds visiting inside the hotel, and this is one of them. (That's another thing I love about Hawaii... the indoor/outdoor way of life.)

I love the quilts. At home I do a lot of patchwork, but not much applique work. The applique in Hawaiian quilts is intricate and I have always admired it. So, I found a lady in a quilt shop who gives lessons. I signed up for a class, and learned some of her secrets. There were four of us in the class; a woman from Iowa, and a mother and daughter from Tokyo. We learned together and laughed together.

Grasses blowing in the breeze. The simplest things are beautiful, and the colors all complement each other.

Palm Trees. As I am not a good tanner, I appreciate the shade they provide on the beach. Of course, I have to watch out for the fruit falling on my head if there is a strong breeze!

Floating in the pool. I love the feeling of being buoyant. Just floating on my back, looking up at the sky. It's better to me than any massage.

Umbrellas on the beach, just the colorful look of them (and the shade).

Sailing. Any time we go on vacation where sailing is available, we do it. I wish I had learned to sail when I was younger.

Luau shows. Better than anything in Vegas!

Restaurants right on the beach. The best way to eat and drink is with sand between your toes!

And even trick-or-treaters. We were in a mini-mall. The children went from store to store, gathering candy. In the food court, they went from stall to stall, and everyone gave them candy.

More Hawaii...

This is the view from our car as we drove from the Kona Airport north on the Kohala Coast toward our hotel:

Arriving at our hotel, the sun was beginning to set:

The next night, we went on a sunset dinner cruise:

The crew was great, the food was good, and the sunset was gorgeous:

The passengers were exuberant. Hawaii has that effect on people:

This couple renewed their wedding vows. The captain officiated, and we all had a champagne toast.

Here we are:

And here is the sunset. Gorgeous!

In Hawaii, the light and the clouds do amazing things. Minute by minute, the sky changes constantly.