Monday, January 31, 2011

Running with a Great Book!

Just finished a great book called Little Bee by Chris Cleave.  It was the kind of book that you can breeze through.  It was a really engaging book that I didn't want to put down.

It's the story of 2 women - Sarah, an Englishwoman, and Little Bee, a Nigerian refugee.  I love books like this - the kind that start in present day and then catch you up with the story by taking you back to the past.  There was a terrible thing that happened to Little Bee and Sarah in the past.  They reconnect when Sarah's husband dies and we learn about the integrity of both women.  I have to admit that the ending was a little disappointing; however, it's still a good read.

I'm linking over to a great book blog that I found recently called Food for Thought.  This blogger must read around the clock - I'm so envious.  She gives great book reviews and relates the books to food - two of my most favorite things!  Check it out!

Oh, and tell me...what are you reading lately?

Thanks for visiting today!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Running Cool!

If you asked people I know to use a word to describe me, the word "cool" probably wouldn't make the top 10.  I'm funny, caring, and I wear great shoes, but cool - that would come way down on the list.  So, it really thrilled me that I did something totally cool on Friday night!  I went clubbing!  Not just visiting clubs, I went to the Grand Opening of a local night spot and saw a concert!  The Grand Opening Night - very cool!

I live in a city with a deteriorating downtown.  Over the years there have been grand promises to revitalize it - usually by out-of-towners.  One truly "genius" idea (notice the quotes - I really don't mean genius) was to build a Bass Pro store.  Now, I have nothing against those huntin' and fishin' people, but really, will a Bass Pro store revitalize downtown?  I think not - and thank goodness that idea died.  But in the last few years some locals have slowly been rebuilding our downtown.  Now we have some honest-to-goodness lofts and artsy areas that just may, slowly, be the guiding force to bringing back our downtown.  

Well, last night a 500 seat club venue called Fulton 55 opened near a new section of residential/business lofts.  And the opening act was a local musician named Patrick Contreras.  He plays the violin.  Now, stop yawning - I see you, and you over there - stop rolling your eyes!  He doesn't just play the violin - he takes his violin to places that violins have never visited - never even believed they could visit.  He plays rock and roll with his violin!  And it is...AMAZING! 

 I like the violin, but WOW - to hear him play it - I fell in love with it!  He made it haunting and rockin and toe tapping and hip grinding - and VERY SEXY!!  I mean REALLY, REALLY, SEXY!  (I'll be back in just a minute - I need to go splash my face with cool water - while I'm gone, check out this little clip.)

Ok, I'm back.  Did you hear it?  AMAZING!  He plays Hendrix and the Beatles, and many of his original pieces!

So - I'm feeling pretty cool right now - I should be over it by tomorrow!  But, if you live anywhere near the Central Valley in California - you must...must...check out Patrick Contreras - and Fulton 55!  I'm feeling very proud to support my local musicians and our newest club!  And guess what - I'm going back next Friday to hear some blues!  Thanks Mr. & Mrs. Wine Guru's - I'm going to change your names to Mr. & Mrs. Cool!  (At least till tomorrow!)

P.S. - Baby Girl wishes to thank all of you for your comments about her ringworm - she made $8.00 which certainly has helped to tolerate the "horrible shame" of her ringworm episode!  You can stop commenting now...please!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Running with...Ewww!

Ring - (noun) a circular object usually made of a precious metal, sometimes encrusted with jewels.

Worm - (noun) -a small, elongated soft-bodied animal

Ringworm - (noun) something that makes a mother feel guilty because she tries to treat it with clear nail polish instead of taking her daughter immediately to the doctor

Yes, we not only brought home 2 new kitty friends, we also brought home a fungus.  Baby Girl noticed a spot on her side, and thought it was from falling off her scooter.  Then it just got bigger...and redder...and rounder.  Ringworm!  Turns out Sophie carried ringworm into the house with her, but apparently it incubates for 2 weeks.  And, in those 2 weeks, Baby Girl caught it!

So, I looked on the internet to find out how to treat it - (the internet is great, but very dangerous too!)  I saw many comments about treating it with clear nail polish - kind of suffocating it.  It didn't seem to work for us, so we made a trip to the doctor.  I didn't know this, but ringworm involves no actual worms - thank goodness - it's actually just like athelete's foot.  We ended up getting athelete's foot cream to treat it.

At first I was kind of embarassed and felt bad about this, but most of the people I talked to had actually had ringworm at some point in their life!

Now I love my blogging - and of course, I wanted to blog about ringworm.  So, I got my camera out and told Baby Girl to lift up her shirt.  She looked at me like I had asked her to unscrew her head!  Well, Baby Girl made me a deal.  She said that I could blog about it if I gave her a dollar for every comment that I got.  Now, dear readers, please be generous - but not too generous!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Running with New Friends!

Well, after much contemplation, I decided that I couldn't be happy without pets in my life.  I just love the idea of the selfless love that pets give you.  They don't get in bad moods, they don't hold grudges, they don't wake up cranky...I missed that simple, pure,  love and affection.  Still, I couldn't get over the bad feeling of getting a new kitty so soon after Simon died.  But, I figured, we saved Simon from the side of the road - he would want another kitty to be saved as well.  His heart was that big!

So, we went to a local shelter, The Cat House on the Kings.  I had done some research on the internet, and saw some picture of available kitties.  They had a lot of Siamese kittens - I've got a thing for Siamese.  One in particular was calling out to me.  He had one eye.  That's me - a sucker for the most needy.

The kids and I made a weekend trip to the shelter and on the way I asked the kids how they would feel about adopting a one-eyed cat.  My daughter said no.  Well, we got to the shelter and fell in love with this little guy.  It wasn't the one from the website, but he was just as cute.  We named him Captain Jack!

We also fell in love with this little cutie!  We call her Sophie!

I gotta tell you, my heart was just filled - truly - there was a lightness in my spirit that I hadn't felt since Simon had passed away.  I'm a pet lover at heart!  I've honestly never been without a pet.  My parents had cats since before I was born, and we always had a dog or a cat in the house.  It was just so empty without one.

Well, Jack hardly ever sits down.  His favorite past time is chasing a laser light - it's our favorite thing to do also!  He's a sweety - even though he bumps into doors and our legs sometimes.  One eye will do that for you!

Sophie is such a little princess.  She's got the cutest little face and a little tiny head!  Please don't think I'm weird - but her head is so cute it's like it would fit right inside your mouth!  Yeah, I know that's weird, and I swear, I would never try it!  I swear!!

So, here we are - 2 new friends in the house.  I'm loving it and the kids are loving it too!  
Here's a funny thing - as we were leaving the shelter my daughter looked at me and said, "You know when you were asking about the one-eye cat?  I thought you meant one eye right here!" - and she pointed to the middle of her forehead!  She thought we were going to come home with "Cyclops Cat!"  She's hilarious! 

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Running without Simon

It hasn't been a good year for our family and pets.  We lost our cat Bunny back in May, and we lost our last sweet kitty cat, Simon, last month.  

Simon was 14 years old.  He just started to slow down in the last few months.  Simon was the absolute sweetest cat.  I actually found him by the side of the road one summer day as I was driving to teach summer school.  He was a tiny little thing and he was just sitting there.  I went to go pick him up and he came right to me!  He was a crazy little kitten.  I found him "pre-children".  Our first baby toy was actually his - a Winnie the Poo fabric rattle that we picked up when we were shopping for a friend that had just had a baby.  Simon would chase it down like a dog, and bring it right back.  He'd do the same for a crumpled up piece of paper.

Simon had kidney failure, and by the time it was diagnosed it was just too late.  Sadly, our vet told us that kidney failure can't be diagnosed until there is at least 50% failure - and there's not much you can do by that time.  We had to make that agonizing decision to put him to sleep. 

Baby Boy and Baby Girl are 12 and 10 years old.  They are old enough to really feel the loss of a pet, and they took it really hard.  But I'm really proud of how we handled everything.  We talked a lot and cried together.  Baby Boy went with me into the vet's office when we put Simon down.  I don't think anyone that is loved so much should be alone when they die, so we stayed with Simon till the end.  Baby Girl didn't feel comfortable going with us, but when we buried Simon in the backyard, she shoveled the dirt into the hole.  We all said goodbye and spent the rest of the day talking about our crazy memories of Simon.

So, that was the last of our pets.  I told myself that once all the cats had died we wouldn't get anymore.  It seemed appealing not having to face a litter box, cat stains on the carpet, and cat hair on my clothes and furniture.  And I never liked the idea of replacing one pet with another pet. 

But, I've got to tell you, having a little friend greet you when you come home, wow, I really missed that.  Having a little warm creature curl up next to you, wanting nothing but to just sit by you, I missed that too.

Well, I wanted to honor Simon today.  I'll tell you what choice we made on another day. 

Thanks for stopping by and sharing my story of Simon.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Running too fast!

I've seen him almost everyday for the last year...his steely eyes starting at me behind mirrored sunglasses.  I knew he was hoping to talk to me...hoping that he could make me stop...and spend some time with him.  But, it was always someone else he chose...never me.  It was a relief, really.  I mean, I'm a married woman, with kids.  I don't make it a habit to stop and talk to strangers.  Until today.  He convinced me.  I don't know what it was that made me stop.  Was it his piercing glance?  His leather jacket?  His fast motorcycle?  No, none of those things.  Finally today, there was only one reason that made me stop...his flashing blue and red lights. 

CRAP!  I was doing 55 in a 45...on a foggy day...1/2 a mile from my house! 

I swear, I've seen him sitting there just about every morning.  And when I would see him pulling someone over, I'd smile to myself, thinking, "how embarrassing, glad that's not me!"  DANG!  Plus, my kids were in the car with me.  He pulled me over and that eternally hopeful part of me thought, "maybe he'll give me a warning".  He asked me where I was going and why I was going so fast, and I know I should have said, "To the son is deathly ill!"  I just wasn't quick enough.  I said, "just to the store."  I guess that wasn't a compelling enough reason for the "breakneck" speed I was going.  So he went back to his bike, generated me a computerized ticket, and told me to have a good day!  AARGGH!!  There goes the extra money I was putting away for Hawaii! 

But truthfully, and this is what I told my kids, the speed limit was 45, and I was going 55.  Which technically, is over the speed limit, technically.  I was speeding. 

Well, please learn from careful out there!  And tell me, dear reader, when's the last time you got a speeding ticket?  Help me feel better by reading your speeding tales!

Thanks for stopping by today!
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