Archive for Life worth living

Sweet Pea and Basil (not a garden post)

There is a new chapter in life.

I added two kitties to my home, for better or for worse.

Skol! Sweet Pea and Basil

Sweet Pea and Basil watch the Vikings. Skol!

Sweet Pea and Basil first came to me as fosters. Their mother, reportedly an excellent mouser, was tragically killed. She left behind five hungry little offspring, who may have gone days without a meal until they were discovered.

They were born on a horse farm. A very loving horse farm, in that the matriarch desperately fed all the kitties every four to six hours until she couldn’t do it any longer. A plea went out on Facebook, to see if any foster families were available.

I grew up on a farm, with a steady stream of kittens to entertain me. I hadn’t really been around kittens for an extended period of time in about 15 years. So I decided, yes, I would take two little ones in, feed them until they were strong, and then send them back to the farm.

Sweet Pea

Sweet Pea, being sweet.

I couldn’t follow through on that last step.

After asking several people to see if they would like a couple kitties – and after having several come to the tough decision that they couldn’t take in two little furballs – I decided they would be mine.

Despite not wanting fur on anything.

Despite not wanting scratches on anything.

Despite not wanting to clean out a litter box.

Despite my partner-in-crime being allergic. And despite finding out that I’m more-than-likely allergic, too.

Despite all that, they became part of my home.


Basil loves to watch cars.

They spend their days while I’m away locked in a basement room. It’s not as bad as it sounds. I have a walk-out basement, so they get a ton of sunlight every day. When I get home from work, they are free to roam my house, minus my bedroom, bathrooms and laundry room. And on the weekends, they get many hours of roaming.

I think I will soon put a door on the entrance to my basement so that they get a little more space as they get bigger.

They have grown so much already. They feel like full-grown cats, through at only about four months now, I realize they will get much bigger yet.

Sweet Pea and Basil. My little sillies.


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Tribute to a neighbor

Yesterday, you saw a wave of snow on my neighbor-to-the-north’s home: snOMG.

She is no longer living there. The home is vacant.

Pam was a great neighbor, not only in that she was quiet, clean and kept to herself. She took great care of her yard.

Her backyard was a haven for honey bees and bumblebees. Her flowers brought all the bees to the yard.

She had inherited her home from her mother, who set up the beautiful landscaping. Pam was quick to point out that she was just taking care of what her mother had started.

She had tiered layers of gorgeous perennials. She had a wonderful flowering tree, in which I saw my first — and only, so far — blue bird. She had so many knick-knacks and gnomes and doo-dads, I think she moved them around her yard every day.

One day a couple months ago, as she and her daughter were selling Girl Scout cookies, my neighbor-across-the-street asked if I had seen Pam lately. I hadn’t. I had been on a week-long trip, and since home, had been sick. She pointed out that Pam’s car had been sitting in the driveway for a few days.

The next night, we found out Pam had died, when Pam’s friends stopped by to check on her and called the police.

Her family started visiting the house a couple days later, and for many weekends after that, to clean things out and get the house ready for sale.

Just this last week, the listing went up. And though I was only home for a few hours, I saw at least five groups of people come to check it out. One of them, I know, which is pretty cool. As long as everything goes through, they will be my new neighbors.

My only wish was that the new owner would take care of Pam’s flowers, and I believe my new neighbors will. Pam and her mother left a legacy that will live with this house for years to come.

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Today is definitely a snow day. The TV weather people had been forecasting it for a couple days, to start Saturday night and dump 6-13 inches through Sunday night.

Last night at midnight, there were only a couple flakes. When I got out of bed at 9 a.m., there was at least a half foot, blown into drifts. Now mid-afternoon, I would guess there is a foot of snow.

I will tell this story via Tweets, since that’s easier. And Lord knows, I haven’t been blogging unless it’s easy.

The other big Twitter news today was Justin Bieber’s thoughts on Anne Frank.

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Everyday happiness

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Victories in landscaping

I understand. You may click on a link with a title like that and expect to see something amazing.

But landscaping is hard work, yo. Seriously. I spent lots of muscle and sweat and hours to make this happen. And I had help. I cannot imagine doing projects like this on my own.

The rocks in the front of my house were a horrible large white craggy type. I did not like them, and unfortunately did not take a picture of them. I spent the first weekend I could on my hands and knees, picking them up, throwing them in a new wheelbarrow, and hauling them to my backyard to deposit in my shed. It felt like slave labor, like those cartoons where the minions of hell are forced to pick up rocks and put them in another place for no apparent reason.

You could see in this post a bit of the work in progress. One side was finished, with new pretty rocks, the other yet unfinished, but at least devoid of the old ugly craggy rocks.

Now, before I introduce the photos of the finished product, I must explain one more thing. My city was hit with a horrible flood in the spring of 2011. My house, thankfully, was not in the flooded area. However, everyone spent the first weekends and weekdays of summer filling and hauling sandbags and moving people’s furniture from their homes. Nobody planted flowers.

Once I was able to get to the flowers, they were well into clearance. I don’t remember when I planted them, but I think it must’ve been close to July. So, not only are these the first flowers I’ve ever planted in my own home, but they were purchased at a steep discount. I love this, but I really was expecting more voluminousness.

Small plot of flowers 2011

The first, easier and simpler, of the front yard landscaping. Picture taken July 8, 2011.

Large plot of flowers 2011

The bigger, more intricate, plot. Look at those lovely curves. That doesn't happen overnight, folks. That happens on a Friday evening.

As I look at these photos, I realize I don’t think I took a picture once the flowers had hit their height of gorgeousness. That’s a shame.

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Clutter anxiety for the generally not-so-neat Nelly

Those first few months after moving in to my place were stressful to me. I didn’t have a schedule or routine to follow. I have never been one who needed that sort of thing, or so I thought. I misplaced my keys, coat, shoes… just leaving my house was pretty stressful until I figured out a rhyme and reason for departure.

Office clutter

Makes me want to scream.

One room I had to allow to remain cluttered was the office.

That’s where all the unpacked boxes with all the nonessentials went. Except I remember spending lots o’ precious time opening and closing all the boxes on these piles over and over looking for things. I would sometimes open and close every single one of them, just to start over again.

My Christmas gifts were not wrapped until late late on Christmas Eve because I couldn’t find the ribbons. Remember, I had moved in mere days before the holiday.

Office clutter

At one time, I really thought I would like to store my shoes in my office. Really?

Of course, the boxes were unpacked slowly but surely. I went to Lowes and bought a fun ladder shelf and bins to organize my office items into.

Office clutter

Starting to come together.

And note the lovely color on the wall. Still blue, but much less chalky and dark. Eventually, I’d like to refinish the floor, perhaps. I do love the real hardwood in here.

Office furniture

So needed.

And I got a desk and office chair for my birthday, which I now sit at to pay bills, and look at Pinterest and Facebook.

Give me some time and I’ll take a couple photos of my office all pulled together now (giggle) and clutter free (HAHAHAHA)…

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Softly ascending and descending

After the monster blog post I already put out here today, I decided a second post published today should be much simpler. Read the rest of this entry »

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