Meet Oliver….

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the newest addition to my ‘family’ of one – Oliver.

So, for those of you who may have missed it, I have been living the solitary life for a few weeks now since my last baby, Mugzee had to be euthanized.   In that time I’ve learned a thing or two about myself….one, my life doesn’t seem normal without a pet in it.  And two, I am not a fan of being that completely alone.

I don’t want to lament about how horrible my life has been for the past month.  It really hasn’t.  I’ve spent lots of time with friends, I started that dance class I talked about, I even took myself on the now ‘officially’ titled world’s-worst-garage-sale-run-in-all-of-human-history.  (Important note:  It is always best to prepare in advance for a Garage Sale Saturday, and early starts are a plus.)

However, that’s been my life for the past month – try to stay as busy as possible outside of the house.  My home had quickly become my own personal prison.

Now, I have been determined since way before Mugzee passed that I would not – no way, no how – get another dog.  While I loved my boys dearly, they messed up my house almost daily.  I couldn’t handle that anymore.  Also, as a dog owner, I am tethered to my house for the most part unless I pay someone $20+ a day to let them sit in their house, and I just wanted to be a little freer (is that a word?) for a while.

So you know…kudos to my best friend who kept me on track with that in my weakest of moments.  There were several occasions where I would scan Petfinder.com and debate adopting another dog to have her swoop in a little later and save the day, reminding me of my resolve.

So skip forward a few weeks……

**As a side note, I’ve been dealing with a little ‘issue’ with some raccoons in my attic (there will be a full blog post about that as soon as I get someone up in my attic to assess the damage) and as a means to capture and relocate them I have had “Haveaheart” traps in my back yard.**

So Wednesday of last week I walked outside for my nightly ‘Raccoon Roundup’ field trip.  No raccoons, but in trap number two was a cat.  I released it and being as animal-deprived as I was, and he as (I assume) grateful for release as he was, we ended up hanging out for the next hour or so.  I sat out in my back yard with him for the longest, just petting him.  Finally I went inside and he hesitantly followed me.

I had no intention of keeping him by any means, but I think on some level I just wanted that feeling of having a pet in my house.  Make it a home again – even for just a little while.  So he’s checking everything out and I’m just watching him.  It feels good to see a living being in my house again besides myself.

The next day I’m retelling my story to that same best friend when she asks, ‘Well, why don’t you just get a cat?’  We go back and forth on this topic with her heralding all the benefits of cat ownership (as she herself owns the most regal and beautiful of giant, solid white cats – Winston) as opposed to dog ownership.  We discuss the independence, the fur, the litter box….on and on.

I log onto a Facebook site where local animals are offered ‘Free to Good Home!’ on occasion and lo and behold, there he is.  This precious little furball face with these big eyes staring hopefully into the camera.  He and two siblings were left in a basket at a local vet’s office and were looking for good homes.  Merely 3 – 4 weeks old he shouldn’t have yet been separated from his momma, but here he is staring at me on Facebook.

I mean….seriously?!?!?  How could I not?

So I message the vet employee who posted them and by that afternoon he was mine!

He’s so young that I bottle feed him.  This girl who has never owned a cat as an adult is now caring for this brand new one that probably doesn’t even realize that’s what he is yet!

On Day 1 (Friday) he came to work with me.  He was so brand new – to life and to me – that I couldn’t just leave him at home by himself.  That day I got tons of pointers from several co-workers who turned out to be cat lovers.  He barely ate all day and that concerned me.  Every time he woke up or walked around I would shove a bottle in his face.  I was so worried I wasn’t doing something right!  That night I went to dinner with friends and upon returning home he ate like he’d been starved all day.  Problem solved!

Today is Day 6 and I’m guessing that makes Oliver either 4 or 5 weeks old.  I must say, I’ve had a great time with him already!  I don’t know if this is just typical ‘cat’ or if he’s the best mannered genius of a kitten ever born.  (I’m leaning towards the latter in my most unbiased of opinions.)  Regardless, I’m thrilled with him.

In just these few days I’ve already seen so much progress from him.  When I first got him he was so wobbly when he walked.  It was obviously a brand new skill for him.

 

Today, though he’s still a little unsure of himself, he struts all over my house.  Yesterday afternoon he even attempted his first leap, which was entertaining.

Oh, and each day he comes up with some new form of playing.  At first he would just bat softly at my finger, over the weekend he would nibble a little and even bat after a ball or feather.  Just yesterday he began some form of what I can only assume is ‘Murder/Death/Kill’ where he will wrap his front paws around his bottle or my hand and bite it while scratching at it with his back nails.  Yeah, that’s a fun one.  Personally, I’m looking forward to the next game.  Unfortunately, he seems to get much enjoyment from this one.

His favorite nap spot is either on my shoulder or in my hair.  I have to admit, this I kind of love.  And when he wakes he’ll roll over on his back and bat softly at my chin or hair like a little ‘Good morning!’.

He’s barely beginning to taste some solid (soft) cat food.  His teeth aren’t all in yet so it’s a bit of a process right now.  And we’re also working on the litter box training although he’s picking that up quite easily on his own.  He’s already using it if I’ll put him in it, but this morning he actually walked to it, got in, and used it all himself!  I was quite proud.

I think I’m really gonna enjoy this new endeavor with Oliver.  I’m loving it already.

Beachin’ It

I was browsing through my pictures this morning and realized I took a trip to the beach recently that I’ve already forgotten all about.  You know why I forgot all about it?  Because I spent the entire trip – after day 1 – in the condo with a monstrous head cold.  This normally doesn’t sideline me, but there was also the edge of a tropical storm barreling down the coast with 50 – 60 MPH winds (I think).  Talk about timing!!!

You know what ruins your beach fun more than a tropical storm?  A tropical storm with a head cold cherry on top.  So I spent my time sniffling and sleeping, curled up on in a chair or on the couch or in my bed.

We will not get into why four grown, seemingly intelligent women took themselves down to the beach with an impending tropical storm headed our way instead of running in the opposite direction  like other sane people would do.

Alas, I was not able to take my usual 724 pictures of waves, seagulls, or sand.  Bummer!  But on Day 1 I did manage to take two pretty good pictures.

This was day 1.  Since watching the beach from my condo was about the only thing I could be bothered enough to do, I entertained myself by checking the progression of this chair each morning.  On Day 2 the chair was buried about halfway up in sand.  On Day 3 you could only see the top 3 inches or so, and on Day 4 it was completely covered.  Today, in my healthy state, this sounds extremely boring.  I can assure you at the time it was like watching National Geographic!

Just go with it, ok?

So after I take the obligatory 13 or so pictures of that chair, I wander down the beach.  The storm has not officially arrived yet but the waves are high, water is rough, sky is gray.  There’s not really much to photograph but I can always find something.  This time it was the wheat grass.

Some of you may scoff at the sight of those “high” waves.  It’s Alabama.  Give me a break.  It usually looks like a river out there.

Some things I don’t understand about Facebook.

As most of the modern world does, I find myself on that mecca of social interaction we all know as Facebook on a daily basis.  Did I say daily?  I meant practically hourly….on a really boring day, it may be more.

Alas, spending all this time on the site I consider myself to be some level of pro.  There’s gotta be some kind of reward, right?  I mean besides knowing what all your closest – and most distant – friends are doing at all times of the day.

I think we can all agree that as Facebook popularity increases we have noticed the change.  We’ve all seen an influx of *those* people.  You know who I’m talking about.  The ‘not so cool’ people….the internet-illiterate….the posers.

Just as I am sure you have a few on your friends list, I too suffer at their hands.  Well, there are a few things that I see some of these ‘special’ friends do that really leave me baffled.  To the point that I feel like maybe a Facebook Instructional How-To book might be of good use.  Or desperately needed, whichever.

I’m sure the fine employees of Facebook are already on top of such a thing as this so I’m just going to list a few things that need to be addressed, in the off chance they’ve been overlooked by said employees.

 

1)  Chain letters

I think it was back in 5th grade – the day I received my last chain letter. That would’ve put me around 10 years old.

Back in those days they were handwritten.  Can you imagine?  You think your grandpa’s story of walking miles through snow and muck shoeless to get to school was bad???  Try writing 10 page-long letters to your closest buddies.  There were no copiers back in my day, you bunch of PANSIES!!!  Our hands fell off at the wrist by letter #8.  And don’t even think of not finishing!  Are you kidding me?!?!  Do you want the ghost of 2nd Grade Hall Bathroom to come find you?!? For shame!!!

After fighting my way through all that childhood trauma, you can possibly imagine why it makes my now 33-year-old eyelid twitch to see statuses such as:

Fri(END), Boyfri(END), Girlfri(END), Bestfri(END). Everything has an END except…Fam(ILY)! It Has 3 Letters that says I LOVE YOU.
If you love your Family, post this as your status

 

Ok, I’m confused.  So all my friends are ending and my family are the only people I love?  Are they ending life?  What’s happening here?  If I post the status can my friends just stay?  I kinda like them.

Or how about:

May I ask a personal favor…. only some of you will do it,and I know who you are, if you know someone who fought cancer and died,or someone who is still fighting…please add this to your status for 1 hour as a mark of respect and remembrance, I hope I was right about the people who will–thank you!

 

Well obviously if I don’t post it on my status for all the world to see I’m a heartless little worm.  Thank you.

Show of hands.  Who around here realizes we’re not 10 years old anymore?  Newsflash:  The 2nd Grade Hall Bathroom ghost isn’t around to come get you these days.

I mean, can we just stop the madness???  Please?!?!  How’s about….if you love your friends and/or family, you spend the time posting a note saying so on their wall instead of posting this inane status that does nothing but waste my time?  Or if you know someone who fought cancer, why don’t you go sign up for a marathon or donate some money?  We’re adults now, people.

 

2) Shout-outs to the dead

I thought I had concurred the hardest part of losing u, then it has hit me the easy part was letting u go to be n heaven the hard part is knowing I have to pick up the pieces, be strong and face the days were I’m not able to run to u and hide…… I will b strong and push ahead with the wonderful thought of knowing one day I will see u, Cousin Curly & Uncle Moe again that will b my inner strength 🙂

 

(Names changed to protect the innocent.)

First off, I gotta point out that in your grief you used the word ‘concur’ incorrectly.  Sorry.  It’s just my nature.

So….yeah.  I know you’re hurting.  I know you miss the person who is gone.  It’s sad and I really do feel for you.  However, I can assure you the person you’re talking to is not spending their days now reading your Facebook statuses to get your shout-outs.

This is the thing.  If you’re missing someone and you just want people to know it, then put something to that effect as your status.  ‘Hey, I’m really missing my Aunt Myrtle today.  I saw a possum and I remember that good ol’ stew she used to make….’

Whatever.  We’ll get the point.  You miss your aunt.  I just don’t understand writing a letter to the person who is gone and will not be reading it, then posting it as your status on Facebook.  Why?  Is it drama or do you seriously think Comcast has installed some supernatural high-speed internet line to the other side?  For future reference, the last time I checked they didn’t service that area.

 

3)  Drama

i hope you know honey,i can turn into a crazy ex girlfriend if you keep on…

 

Or….

the ppl that call themselves your “friend” then never talk to you are not a very good friend..i need to clean my friends list out..on the other hand..everyone have a safe day:) off to work i go till 12:)

 

Or what about…

if anyone sees that me and earlie broke up again. It was his doings this time..he took stuff outta hand and i aint dealin with no guy mistreatin me. So thats over for good..

 

And finally…

So and So went from being “in a relationship” to “single.”

 

Yes, those are all actual statuses.  Statuses that I’ve had to waste my time reading because one of my ‘friends’ thought it was worth posting for everyone she knows to see.

How annoying can you be?!?

Why do some people insist upon living their entire lives on Facebook like some kind of Shakespeare tragedy up on a stage?

Lots of people have allergies, right?  Well, mine is drama.  It breaks me out in hives.  Or at least I wish it did to give me an excuse to get away from the people causing it.

Seriously, I don’t care.  If you and the boyfriend are making up and breaking up every other day, I don’t need to know.  Whatever wall you are choosing to repeatedly bash your head into, I promise I don’t want to know.  I couldn’t care less.

 

4) Prayer statuses

Oh. My. Holy. Cow. Bells.  Seriously, people.

Heavenly Father, walk through my house, and take away all my worries and any illnesses, depression & sadness, and please watch over and heal my family and friends. Bring quiet where there is chaos, bring light where there is darkness and put love in our hearts. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

That’s a copied status.  Here’s a freestyle:

ok lord u open the door to this job for me.i no not to doubt u but i must say today is one of those days.their is this one lady that i work with that is just tryin to make me go off and today she is real close.she is only a floor worker like me but she thinks she owns this place so since u put me here i need ur help to keep my temper under control qand my mouth SHUT.and i ask this in ur name AMEN…..

 

Let’s make this quick and painless, shall we?  Ahem.  Here goes.

Jesus is not on Facebook.  *gasp*

Breaking News:  Posting your prayer as your status is not going to get it to God any sooner.  It’s not going to make it seem any more important.  It’s not going to make it any more visible in the sea of other prayers.

Much like #2, I do not understand why people think this is something to do.  Are you having a hard time and want your friends to pray for you?  Is this something I should find funny?  I don’t really know what to do with this.

Sometimes it’s ok to keep things old school.  Don’t make this harder than it has to be, ok?  Just bow your head – or not – and talk to God.  It’s that simple.

 

5)  Songs

This one has just been brought to my attention recently.  I apparently have a few friends who wanted to be Radio/Video DJs when they grew up and didn’t quite make it to the station.  Unfortunately for all of their friends (me included) they have moved their passion to the Facebook stage.  This means I now am forced to wade through link after link of random songs that I suppose relate to whatever mood they are in at the moment.

For the love of all that is holy.  Calm. Down. People.

If you hear a song you like, or maybe remember a song dear to you by all means, share it.  However, notice the use of the word ‘it’.  That signifies ‘one’ or a singular object.  Spare me your entire iPod playlist.

 

6)  Games

Directly related to item #5 are the gaming friends.

So and so needs a hat.

So and so needs some tree bark.

This one over here needs a giant jug of milk.

What they all need is my foot up their rear.

Let me preface by saying, I myself play games on Facebook so I do understand why you’re posting all this nonsense.  I do it too.

HOWEVER…..I am a respectful game player.  First off, I only post my game posts to my friends who play those games.  Not to everyone who views my wall.

Secondly – and this is very important – I use some self-control.  Never will my game friends open their news feed to 38 posts in a row of stuff I need.  Seriously, who wants to look at all that?

Make some priorities.  Post a few things, get those done, then start on some more.  It all doesn’t have to be done at once.  It’s a Facebook game, not the end of world hunger.

*~*~*~

Dancing Queen

A few weeks ago at Girls Night we were watching some grand finale of So You Think You Can Dance.  I’m not a follower of the show but from what I gather, the top two dancers of the season were performing a menagerie of the top dances ever on the show.  After a few particularly impressive ones, we girls decided we needed to start dancing.

That was one of my personal favorites as in, I was amazed.  Powerful.

But skip forward a few weeks and one of the girls has found a 12-week Ballroom Dance class and we’re gearing to go.  The original group whittled itself down to three but we made it out last night for Class Number One.  Of course, we’re not doing anything similar to what you see on So You Think You Can Dance – mainly because those people really can dance.

Another of my favorites from the show.

So last night we head over to a local church gym to start our 12-week session.  We walk in and it’s an interesting mix of people.  You’ve got your 60+ crowd, and your couples who look like they may be practicing up for an upcoming wedding dance, then you’ve got the random couples who may or may not be on a first date (interesting choice, I’d say), and finally you’ve got people like us who just showed up for a good time.

As we walk in there’s a guy already dancing.  In the middle of the gym floor.  By himself.  Looking for all the world like Telly Savalas’ slimmer, blue-eyed brother.

I’m pumped.  Like I might win $1 mil at the end of this kind of pumped.  Somehow I’m convinced I’m gonna look like this at the end….

(This may secretly be my favorite.  This or the first one.  It’s close.)

Alas, they weren’t teaching me how to properly writhe around on my dining room table.  We learned the fox trot instead.

Slooow, sloow, Fast!, Fast!     Slooow, sloow, Fast!, Fast!

Need a visual?

Zz..Wait..where’d you go?  Exactly.  The excitement level plummets.  Wah Wah Waaaah.

Being as I’m solo, I get paired with one of the “experienced” men who has a name tag that reads, ‘I CAN HELP”.  He’s about my height (5’1″) but he’s the sweetest guy.  My first spin around he tells me quietly, “You’ll get used to it eventually and not have to watch your feet.”  Oh yeah.  Forgot about that.

That becomes my silent mission.  Stop looking at your feet.  Before long I’m getting compliments.  ‘You’re doing really good!’  ‘That’s right!’  ‘You’re doing great!’  My head is getting bigger and bigger with each new praise.

Next up I find myself dancing with That. Guy.  The one who was dancing by himself when we first walked in.  I’ve heard he’s a drill sergeant and I’m a little nervous.  Oh no, what if I mess up?  What if I don’t do it right?  He gives me some pointers here and there (‘Your arm needs to be poised, not limp.’) but he also jokes about teaching me the grapevine so I feel like overall, I passed his test.  I’m a fox trot pro!!

Lastly I dance with a 17 year old guy who walked in playing the role of Fashion Don’t.  Tight tapered jeans with black cowboy boots…with a silver chain going under the heel…and don’t forget the obligatory Alabama Crimson Tide t-shirt!  Roll Tide!!!  Bless him.  But he was a sweet guy too.  He’d been taking classes since January and was a decent little fella.

The class was – sadly – over after that.  I had a GREAT time!!!  Loved it!

The Telly Savalas guy found me afterwards to ask how I liked it.  He joked again about the grapevine and asked if I’d ever seen Fred Astaire movies.  Um, no.  I mean, I can only assume he asked because I was dancing so much like Mr. Astaire.  Right?  Hello?  Crickets.  lol

Just one more of those awesome dances.  Check out the jump around the 1:17 mark.