Month: March 2008

The phrase ‘like a cat in heat’ has never meant so much as now

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I were having our weekly-stay-at-home date night, watching our $1 Redbox movie, and munching down on some buttery-goodness microwave popcorn when our unusually affectionate cat jumped from my lap down into the floor and proceeded to limp away as though both her hips had been broken. She was crouched down on the floor and every time her back legs would try to gain footing under her, her hips would give out and she couldn’t move.

I paused the movie and watched her intently for a few minutes, noting how she kept wincing in pain and trying to get back up on the couch. She was bawling like a baby and really had stirred my feelings of empathy when I asked my husband what he thought we should do about it. I was concerned that she had hurt herself in some way and we were going to have to take her to the vet, something we couldn’t really afford to do at the moment.

He said, “Turn the movie back on, Karen.” I thought he was so heartless. Anger stirred in me. I refused to do so until he at least checked her legs out. He raised one eyebrow and said, “She’s just telling you she wants to go to a drive-in movie show.” At this point, I should tell you that I have never been to a drive in movie show and had no clue what that referred to (I was called a goody-two-shoes at my high school graduation, okay?). So I kept insisting that he look at her – her cries had become so loud I thought she would wake up the kids.

And then she did it. She looked at me and winked. It was then that I understood. She was propositioning me. Suddenly I didn’t feel so badly for her. I was instead repulsed by the aforementioned actions. Suddenly her extreme affection for me all made sense. The fact that I was the object of her desire? Not so much.

Obviously, she WILL be spayed as soon as I can find the money to do it. And for your information, here are some signs that your cat is heat:

~Immediately preceding oestrus, your female cat may become unusually affectionate, by sidling up and rubbing her hind quarters against furniture, stuffed toys, other cats, and/or her favorite human. (This would have been oh-so-nice to know beforehand)

~She may spend excessive time licking her genital area. Note: Lacking the other behavioral traits on this list, genital licking can be a symptom of a urinary tract disorder, which can be serious, if not treated promptly. (I do not pay attention to such things…so I have no idea whether she did this or not)

~The Queen (name for female cats of breeding age) will vocalize loudly. This “calling” may go on for several days, unless she mates. (“Hello, is it me you’re looking for? ‘Cause I wonder where you are and I wonder what you do.Are you somewhere feeling lonely or is someone loving you?”)

~She will assume a mating position: head down, forelegs bent, rear quarters raised to expose the perineum (this raised posture is called lordosis), with the tail raised and held to the side of the body. Her rear legs will tread rhythmically, as if walking in place. (Don’t ever assume that her legs are broken. ever.)

~Queenie may also spray vertical surfaces with a strongly scented fluid. She will accomplish this by backing up to the surface and raising her tail high. The tail may quiver, and she may perfom the rhythmic treading described in step four. (This act will be followed by furious spraying of Lysol by owner over any and all surfaces dear Queenie may have come into contact with.)

~If your female cat does not mate, she will go into oestrus as often as every two to three weeks, for several months each year, until she either mates or is spayed. (Oh myLANTA…I might have to sell a kidney to get the money to pay for her spaying, but it WILL happen. Mark my words.)

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Ten Words That Don’t Exist (But Should)

1. AQUADEXTROUS (ak wa deks’ trus)adj. Possessing the ability to turn the bathtub faucet on and off with your toes.

2. CARPERPETUATION (kar’ per pet u a shun) n. The act, when vacuuming, of running over a string or a piece of debris at least a dozen times, reaching over and picking it up, examining it, then putting it back down to give the vacuum one more chance.

3. DISCONFECT (dis kon fekt’) v. To sterilize the piece of candy you dropped on the floor by blowing on it, assuming this will somehow “remove” all the germs.

4. ELBONICS (el bon’ iks) n. The actions of two people maneuvering for one armrest in a movie theater.

5. FRUST (frust) n. The small line of debris that refused to be swept onto the dust pan and keeps backing a person across the room until he finally decides to give up and sweep it under the rug.

6. LACTOMANGULATION (lak’ to man gyu lay’ shun) n. Manhandling the “open here” spout on a milk container so badly that one has to resort to the “illegal” side.

7. PEPPIER (pehp ee ay’) n. The waiter at a fancy restaurant whose sole purpose seems to be walking around asking diners if they want ground pepper.

8. PHONESIA (fo nee’ zhuh) n. The affliction of dialing a phone number and forgetting whom you were calling just as they answer.

9. PUPKUS (pup’ kus) n. The moist residue left on a window after a dog presses its nose to it.

10. TELECRASTINATION (tel e kras tin ay’ shun) n. The act of
always letting the phone ring at least twice before you pick it up, even when you’re only six inches away.

What are some words you use that you think should be included in the English language?

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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to My Blog…

One plausible explanation for my 2 week blog absence is that I have been stuck in a time warp of such behemothic proportions that it has taken me this long to extricate myself in order to write an entry. Or, I could just say that I’ve been busy?

But somehow “busy” just doesn’t describe the last two weeks. I was feeling a tad bit overextended, as though I was a size small sweater that had been stretched out on a drying rack to fit a very large woman. Frazzled, with strings unraveling, but trying to hold it together for the sake of my family. Then a funny thing happened. Right smack dab in the middle of my little storm, I found something I’ve been searching for – peace.

I am just beginning to understand after 38 years what the term “living in Faith” really means. Charles Spurgeon said that Faith was made up of three things – knowledge, belief, and trust. I have had knowledge and belief for years, it’s the trust part I have always had issues with. Hebrews 13:5b tells me “for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Faith means believing that Christ is what He is said to be, and that He will do what He has promised to do, and then expecting this of Him. So I am now learning to be expectant of his promises, something I have never done before.

I have had “hope” and “expect” confused for years. But there is definitely a difference and those two words are not interchangeable, as I once thought. You can expect a tornado, but I don’t know of anyone that would hope for one. Expect is anticipation, hope is a desire. I expect to go to Heaven, I hope I my children are all there with me. See the difference?

It’s been a breakthrough for me personally. My prayer life has had a complete makeover – I am able to pray with a boldness that I have never had before. It has been a wonderful time of spiritual renewal for me and I am so thankful for what the Lord has done. We still struggle financially, but I expect a change in that area any moment as well. God has taken such wonderful care of our family – providing for every need (and even some wants) that I would be remiss not to shout it out from the rooftop (or at least from the pages of my blog) that Jesus Christ is Lord and I am so grateful for what He has done in my life.

And thanks to those of you who have emailed me, checking up on me. It’s such a blessing to have you all as bloggy friends – you don’t have to “hope”, you can “expect” that I will be better at updating my blog. Even when I don’t feel like it.

UPDATED TO ADD: My husband about had a heart astroke when he read this, because (and rightly so) he feared that many people would misread this and think that I am saying that you shouldn’t have “Hope” – because the Bible says that Jesus is the “Blessed Hope”. He pointed me to the Webster’s 1828 Dictionary and it states that Hope is “Confidence in a future event; the highest degree of well founded expectation of good; as a hope founded on God’s gracious promises; a scriptural sense. A well founded scriptural hope,is, in our religion, the source of ineffable happiness. That which gives hope; he or that which furnishes ground of expectation, or promises desired good. The hope of Israel is the Messiah. The Lord will be the hope of his people. Joel 3.”

True Hope is a mixture of faith and emotions, or longing. And that is something we all need.

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Pi and Coffee

I spent the day yesterday with my mom, working in her yard so she wouldn’t have to. I think I weeded approximately 42 miles of flowerbeds on my hands and knees, leaving my palms raw and my knees severely bruised this morning. Now I remember why I don’t have flowerbeds. Pretty to look at, but definitely ugly to maintain. Unless you’re my mom. I asked my son if he wanted to help out and he said, “Nope! I’m going to stay inside and watch the news with Granpa!” But I had the two girls and they were immensely helpful. Katie weeded right along side of me and Abby transferred the piles of weeds into bags to be thrown away.

On the bright side, it was a beautiful Texas day. Sunny and warm, with just the right amount of breeze. I sometimes wish that our weather was a constant 70 degrees, as it was yesterday – I do not care for the heatwave that is called Summer. I can’t even get a good tan – all I get is freckles. I used to joke that maybe someday all my freckles would get it together and I’d have a nice tan, but now I just stay out of the sun unless I have sunblock on. Who wants to look 92 when they’re 40?

Speaking of premature aging, did you know financial stress can pack on the pounds and the years? I should know – we have had a very rough start to our year. Our business has not been able to provide for some of our most basic needs and now my husband is out looking for a job. I wonder how many other people work a full time job and are able to maintain their own business? To top it all off, I feel so guilty for not getting a job myself. I just don’t know what we’d do with our two kids that are homeschooled (our town’s public school is NOT an option – it is horrible), plus my husband says he really wants me to stay at home with all three of them. I don’t know how this is going to work, but something has got to give. We’ll see how it goes. Finances are blechy right now. ‘Nuff said…I know we’re not the only family feeling the crunch, and to complain about it is wrong. I truly believe that God gives us all a measure of faith and I feel like mine has surely grown over the last year, but I must say that I feel as though I’ve had enough. This is the closest I’ve ever, ever been to what I think depression must be like.

So after all that, who still wants some coffee? and Pi? Okay…I probably should explain the “pi” thing. Today is 3.14 – you know, Pi. Sorry, it’s the math nerd in me. I got a kick out of my daughter this morning when I said we were having some coffee and pi for breakfast – her face lit up like a Christmas tree and she asked me, “What kind of pie is it?” I felt so badly for teasing her, but not bad enough to cook a real pie. I’m a nerd and a meanie.

My son now calls me a “mean mom” when I don’t let him have his way all the time. It reminded me of a poem I read once that I have always liked, but never fully appreciated until I was a mother myself. Unlike me, he hates math and doesn’t really want to learn this terrific song I made up for my oldest daughter to teach her about the value of money. It has to be sung to the tune of the Beverly Hillbillies (complete with an imaginary banjo played by Earl Scruggs and Lester Flatt):

“Five pennies make a nickel and two nickels make a dime,
Two dimes and a nickel make a quarter really fine.
Four quarters make a dollar, you can spend it at the store.
To get five dollars, you just add four more….ones that is.
George Washingtons…”

Wish I had me some of those George Washingtons right now…I’d have you ALL over for some Pi and coffee.

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13 Things My Mama Taught Me (TT#9)

1. My mother taught me to APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.
“If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning.”

2. My mother taught me RELIGION.
“You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”

3. My mother taught me LOGIC.
“Because I said so that’s why.”

4. My mother taught me FORESIGHT.
“Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.”

5. My mother taught me IRONY.
“Keep crying and I’ll give you something to cry about.”

6. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.
“Shut your mouth and eat your supper.”

7. My mother taught me about STAMINA.
“You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.”

8. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.
“If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a million times. Don’t exaggerate.”

9. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
“Just you wait until we get home!”

10. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
“If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way.”

11. My mother taught me GENETICS.
“You’re just like your father.”

12. My mother taught me about my ROOTS.
“Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?”

13. My mother taught me JUSTICE.
“One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!”

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