Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Happy Adoption Day, D!

Ten years ago today, I decided it was time my beloved George had a cat companion.  I went to the local Humane Society and looked for an older cat. All were kittens save one two-year-old, who'd been there for a couple of months already. The card on her cage said she was friendly. I love tabbies, but didn't want another gray one, because I thought it would remind me too much of my beloved Camille. This one, however, was a long-haired brown tabby, close enough, but distinct enough in her own right. I adopted her right then and there. I had to leave her overnight, for spaying, but when they shaved her belly, they found that she'd already had the surgery. So the next day she came home.

She then spent 6 weeks in the back bedroom, scared to death of the dogs. Finally, she decided to venture out. Naturally, Pupgirl was all over her and she fled back into sanctuary. But seeing George freely moving around, unmolested by the dogs, all those weeks and that little taste of the rest of the world was too much. Two days later she came out and never went back to hiding again.

She still doens't like the white fluffy dogs. But she likes DoodleBug, and will even lick and groom his face and head. I guess brown pets have to stick together against the white fluffsters of doom.

D's very first photo.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Universe Is Mocking Me

We all know 2013 was a very stressful year for me, with Mr. Big sick for half of it, and a new puppy. Exercise went out the window, although at least through November I was still able to walk the two younger dogs every morning. When Biggie got so sick in November, that walk time became clean up after Mr. Big time, or coax Mr. Big to eat breakfast so he can get his insulin time. Even the dog walks went out the window.

What came back through the window? About 8 lbs of fat that settled on my stomach. These were on top of the five or so that had crept on over the past few years, partly due to stress and partly due to aging. After all, my friend perimenopause has moved in, after making a few occasional visits, and so she's brought luggage with her now.

Friday of last week I stepped on the scale and saw a number I'd never seen before. It was Time for Action.

Several years ago I went on the South Beach Diet to lose 5 or 10 lbs, and wound up easily losing 14 lbs. It's a bear, that Phase 1, but I figured it would probably work again, so Friday morning, after the shock had worn off, I vowed to start Phase 1 again. Friday was fine, Saturday I was starving and craving comfort food--I cheerily admit to loving my sweets and bread. Sunday I was fine, and then Monday dawned.

Monday. My coworker went to my favorite bakery and brought a loaf of bread in for us to use to sample his homemade orange marmalade. And then two coworkers brought their daughters around to all our cubicles, selling Girl Scout Cookies. I cannot resist a 5-year-old cutie in a blue visit quietly and politely asking "Would you like to buy Girl Scout cookies?" with her tow-headed, equally adorable brother (a Cub Scout) with her.

Why oh why is the Universe mocking me???

On the plus side, 1 lb lost Saturday morning, about 1 lb. lost Sunday morning, not quite 0.5 lbs lost Monday morning, 1lb.lost Tuesday morning. About the same rate of loss as last time, although at a different pace. Last time, I lost 2 lbs the first day, 2 lbs the second day, nothing days 3 and 4, and then about one-half or 1 lb a day till I'd lost 14 lbs total. Yes, I kept a record, and I only took it down off the bathroom wall in December. I should have left it up.

I am tired of lettuce and onions.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Faux Palms

Not so long ago, in a land not so far away, some design team came up with what seemed a great way to disguise cell phone towers so that residential viewsheds weren't affected. You see, many people think cell phone towers are ugly and don't want them outside their picture window, although you probably couldn't pry their cell phones out of their hands if you tried. Anyway, someone decided that disguising the towers as trees would be a great idea. Towers are tall like trees. Boughs wouldn't really get in the way of reception if judicious 'pruning' was incorporated into the design. The team suggested the idea, and to their astonishment, cell phone companies loved it.

Here in the southwest, they decided to use the same tree they use in southern California--the palm tree. Never mind that palm trees really aren't native (there's that one stand of native palms out in the Kofa Wilderness I've visited a couple of times, but you can't really count one remnant stand clinging precariously on the side of canyon). Never mind that palms generally aren't that tall out here. Never mind that a lot of community activists have been trying for years to get landscapers and homeowners to get rid of their non-native palms.

Sadly, no one on the team thought about what might happen when the boughs or leaves fall off. No one ever replaces fallen or missing boughs or leaves. Case in point:

Fooled you, didn't it? Because that last photo shows how much the fake palm looks like the real palm. About as much as those plastic, inflatable palm trees.

Friday, January 10, 2014

One Small Step for the Puppy...

One large step for household harmony.

Wednesday was Pipsqueak's first homecoming anniversary. I cannot believe she's already been here for one year. What a year it has been. Probably the most stressful in my life. No wonder I've gained 10 lbs.

In December, I started leaving her out of her crate, loose in the house, while I was gone, first for an hour, then an hour and a half, the next weekend two hours, and so on. Yesterday I left her out with her 'brothers' all day while I was at work, almost 9 hours. I returned home to find...

...nothing had happened. One of her toys was on my bed. That's it. She behaved like a champ. I'm very proud of my little Pipsqueak.

Now, if she wouldn't pull on  leash (my mantra of 2013) and wouldn't bully her brother over toys, all would be well.

We're getting there. We're slowly getting there.