Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Pussy Galore

Who doesn't remember her. I always giggled at her name even when I was too young to know exactly why I was giggling! I needed to use up some film a bit ago and decided to take some pictures of those who greet me each morning and evening when I arrive in the kitchen as well as some other shots. Yes, I am the CRAZY CAT LADY!

This is Tigger. He is the Patriarch of the family. He is 16 years old. He has taught all of our cats how to hunt over the years. He never meows and minds his own business. Sad to say he is on his last life. Over the summer he has lost almost 12 pounds and now is a shadow of himself. He is not sick he is just old. I will be sad when he goes.

This is his favorite thing to do. While all the other kitties eat or wait in line for their turn at the food dish, Tigger gets the can. He will stay dipping his paw and licking it off until the can is clean. I indulge him.
Here is a group photo. This is what my breakfast bar looks like each morning and evening when it is feeding time. From left to right, Junior (Bug); he has 7 toes on each of his front feet, next to him is his sister Malory, she has 6 toes on each front foot. Behind her is Dudley, better picture to follow, next to Malory is Tipper, he has the smallest white tip on the end of his tail and lastly is Tig. The one you can only see the tail end of is Willamina-we call her Miana.Another shot showing the boys being sweet.
This is Dudley when he was a kitten. He is now 9. He has no front teeth, top or bottom so his tongue is always hanging out. His fur is so soft it feels like an angora sweater. He is very sweet and will hold your face with both of his paws to give you a kiss. I know, I know.. I need to be hospitalized.

This is "Teddy-Bear" Guess why we named him that! He is the son of Mallory. Really! She weighs about 4 lbs, he weighs 22. He is solid muscle and has a habit of reaching out to touch you as you walk by. Teddy is 5.

This is Samantha, she is the sister of Miana. They are both annoyingly affectionate. Perhaps they are still grateful to me for saving them from a place where hunks of raw meat was thrown on the floor for these 5 week old kittens to chew on. Samantha's trick is when she wants your attention she will take one nail and lightly touch you with it. Never enough to hurt but enough to get your attention. She has striking stripes. She and her sister are 7.

This is Cleopatra. This picture does not do her justice. She is really quite lovely. She was given away as a kitten with her brother to a work mate. After 3 weeks he asked if he could give her back. It seems she didn't like them very much and she kept peeing in their daughters toys. I brought her home and she has been my constant companions since. She has not since done the dirty deed in the house. Maybe it was them and not her! Cleo is 4 and the mother of the next two.
Tipper on the left you have seen in the first photo. On the right is Pippy, like Pippy Long Stockings because her left front leg is totally Orange. I tried to find homes for them but they are content to live with me. This is about 2 years ago.

This is Tipper today, all grown up. He is a talker. He can be annoying. He is very loving and can be insistent about it.

This is Pippy all grown up and her son Lovey. He is grown now and he is not, lovey, except at 3:00am and he thinks he is a dog. He eats out of the dogs dish and sleep under the covers with the Jacks.

Well that ends the animal show for today folks. Have a great day.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving People

Whew, after my reivew of Bill, I am exhausted by my own emtions. I almost forgot to wish those here in the States a Happy Thanksgiving. I am off until next Monday and will need the time to recoup as I am the hostess.

Good night to you all! See you Monday.

Fantasy Meets Reality

Sunday night, I have been looking forward to this one for months. I was going to see one of my favorite artists perform. The place The Stone Church a small intimate setting in a town that could have been plucked off the front of a Currier and Ives Christmas card. Narrow streets lined with hundred-year-old mill building now turned into tastefully landscaped condos. Small shops catering to whimsical creations beautifully lit to attract the early Christmas shoppers. The perfect setting to see Bill Morrissey, a two time Grammy nominated folk singer that resides in a picturesque town not far from my own here in New Hampshire. I guess having him so close by further solidifies my solidarity with him. He sings of small town life and the struggles of the average “Joe”, the Birches that are so common place here of love lost, found and damaged to its root, all the things common to my life. His alliterations in Party at the UN will make you laugh out loud. He can send you into a tail spin when he takes his old dog out behind the barn with a borrowed 22 on These Cold Fingers. I discovered Bill about 2 years ago although he has been busy since the early 80’s. Although I have lived in NH since 1972 I had never heard of him until I ran across his music by chance.

When I purchased the tickets I was giddy. Not unlike my trip to see Lindsey Buckingham. Lindsey amazes me with his guitar work but Bill does this with his words. I took my mom with me she likes folk music. We rode to Newmarket in her VW Bug and we listened to Bill all the way there. She hadn’t heard him before so I pointed out those lyrics that to me were poignant, “Strangers don’t do favors and nothing comes for free you gotta pay for everything, it’s just with different currency” or “There’s only so much snow and cold that you can take, so many strangers eyes before you have to get yourself back home and fill your family full of lies” “He said you know this rides a trade-off”, she says “Yea, isn’t everything?” Powerful words for me and the life I lived in my twenties and those things I did that are still partitioned off in my mind. Things I could never tell some of my friends never mind telling my folks. His sense of loss and damage touches me. Perhaps part of me wanted to share some of those things with my mom without admitting he was singing about me. I wonder if she got it? She didn’t say and I didn’t ask.

We arrived an hour before the show, enough time to have a bite; they have a nice little kitchen there too. I had Curry with shrimp. It was great. Mom had the nachos. We chatted about family situations, Thanksgiving and she mentioned wanting to take a road trip to Alaska and not wanting to travel that far alone. My mind raced frantically to come up with a way to back out of having to being her traveling companion. This concert will be one of the biggest chunks of time I have spent with my mom alone in quite some time; years in fact. It’s better for us that way, sad but true. Bill was due on stage at 7:00pm. We were the 2nd couple there. I had ordered tickets on line in the first moments they went on sale, we were seated practically on stage. I couldn’t have been more pleased. Finally a stagehand placed two guitars on stage; Bill appeared in the doorway. I had known he had put himself in rehab last winter to try and get a grip on his drinking. I was unprepared for the wisp of a man that now stood in front of us. No, I had never seen him in person before. I had only album covers and his website pictures to go by. His Manager Ellen, who also happens to be his ex-wife, spoke of how much better he was looking since he stopped drinking. He gained back some weight and had color in his cheeks again. He was feeling healthy. I wondered how bad he had looked then! He wore faded green Dickey workpants speckled with stains. A pinstriped green collared shirt coved by an LL Bean fleece that had more dog hair on it than the floor of a kennel. His hair was much too long for a man his age and was askew under the tattered, grimy baseball cap. What really threw me were his eyes. They no longer contained a pupil and an iris. They had seeped into each other creating a dark deep hole, not light seemed to penetrate. They were deep, dark and flat. No glimmer of the man I imagined had penned, “ Fix your hair the way you used to”. I have always been someone who notices hands, so much so that my parents bought me a photography book of hands once for Christmas. As he picked up his guitar and started to pick out the notes of his first song, “Inside” my eyes were drawn to his hands. His fingernails on his picking hand understandably long, almost as long as mine, were grimy from the strings, enough so you might think he was a mechanic not a musician. The skin on his fingers was transparent and papery. His fingers were narrow and bone thin; hands of an 80 year old, much to old for his 56 years. He looked like he had been released on a work detail from the local jail. He didn’t look like a Grammy Award Nominee by a long shot.

His first notes were sweet though. His crackly, cagey voice so familiar to me from hours of listening made me smile. He winked as I mouthed each word, yes we were that close to him. Two more song and another musician joined him on stage. His name oddly enough was Cormack McCarthy. He is a superb harmonica player who just happenes to have the same name as the famous writer.. He and Bill bantered back and forth performing 3 or so songs together, they had played together for years. Bill reminisced about when they toured with Johnny Cunningham, the famous Scottish fiddler in his best Scottish accent, "We played at a convention in Austin, Texas, and he spent most of the night teaching the members of a punk band how to drink," he said. The next afternoon, when their tour bus arrived in Houston, a harp festival was in progress at the venue at which they were to play that night. "There were about 11 harps on stage," said Morrissey, and the musicians asked if Mr. Cunningham would honor them by sitting in. Mr. Cunningham was back in the bus sleeping off the previous night's excess. Morrissey woke him. Mr. Cunningham quickly got dressed and stepped out from his hangover and onto the stage. "I'm not at my best," he explained to the audience in his thick Scottish accent. "I had 36 margaritas last night. I was lying in me bunk and heard this beautiful harp music and I thought me liver had gone out for good this time." (Boston Globe-2003) We all laughed loudly. Bill did one more song after Cormack took his leave and then a short intermission.

Returning to the stage Bill seemed tentative, almost timid of being there alone and unsure about what was he should do next. He told a few more stories, read, more like stumbled through the first paragraph of his book Edson and sang a few of his new songs off his Come Running cd. He told us of the evolution of By The Grave of Baudelaire which was amusing. As he sang I watched his face and singing style noticing some words seemed to hang up in his throat and he would squinch up his face as he forced them out into the air. He seemed to have to force his concentration too. By this time it was close to 10pm and he began to forget the words to some of his older songs. His playing faltered and his speech would trail off like it was chasing after his thoughts. By the end of the show, he simply apologized for being almost 56.

I met him in the back where he was hoping to peddle some of his stuff. I told him I wanted the copy of Edson he read from and he graciously made it out to me and signed his name. Sadly there were less than 30 people in attendance and his ticket price was an insulting $15.00 a head. At least I feel he should have been insulted. That’s not much for a Grammy Nominee.

I am not sure how to express how my heart feels about having seen this man, this legend in my mind, the frail shell of what he must have been to have written and given birth to beautiful tender songs I know so well. I can only say, it makes me sad that this man who has touched me so may not be around for much longer. This is the feeling I have.

His rehab may have been to late.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Eagles-Long Road Out of Eden

Dive asked for a review of the Eagles new CD. My moto regarding labor is "Work smarter not harder". I found this review and it is exactly what I would have written. So, here ya go Dive.

Eagles' 'Long Road Out of Eden' is a bit too slick -Jim Farber

There's an oppressive competence to the Eagles' first album of new material in - yes, folks - 28 years. The close harmonies still hold. The sweet melodies continue to flow. And the words uphold a vintage mix of sentimentality and indignation. No true Eagles fan will walk away from these 20 tracks feeling wholly ripped off or misled.

But where's the spark? The inspiration? In their stead, we find a grinding craft, a dutiful resolve to deliver just what's expected and nothing more.

Such blandness and calculation have always laid at the Eagles' heart. They were conceived in the early '70s with the steely purpose of malling late '60s country-rock, of planing down all the edge and dust off guys like Gram Parsons until his style ended up sounding more like Bread. But the care of the Eagles' vocals, and the singability of their tunes, forgave a decent amount of their smugness, slickness and greed ( I am not so sure I agree with this paragraph).

"Long Road Out of Eden" ups that slick element considerably. The sound is so well-oiled, it makes their '70s efforts sound like the Sex Pistols by comparison. Many of the ballads suggest as much a reunion of Air Supply as the Eagles, especially Glenn Frey's "I Love to Watch a Woman Dance," which, if possible, is even sappier than its title.

Such corn contrasts tartly with Henley's prickly speeches against humanity. A true oracle of the obvious, Henley piles up the usual suspects (America's arrogance, consumerism and ignorance of the consequences of war) like he's telling us something we don't know.

For comic relief, the group shoehorns in two songs from Joe Walsh, one of which, "Last Good Time in Town," boasts a fetching little bass line.

Timothy B. Schmit's voice has such innocence, it forgives the gooeyness of the material he sings. But old fans will probably be most charmed by the songs that blatantly reference the past. "How Long," written by J.D. Souther, has whiffs of the brisk country rock of "Take It Easy," while the final, "It's Your World Now," harks back to "Tequila Sunrise."

It's telling, though, that the latter song, addressing death, sounds so free of consequence. It epitomizes the tradeoff on "Long Road": Sweet tunes, professional playing and earnest intent in exchange for anything like a deep or uneasy feeling.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Where Is The Outrage?

Judge: Remove 10 Commandments From Alabama Judicial Bldg.-11/18/02

Newdow sued the Elk Grove Unified School District in Sacramento County, California, which his daughter attended, claiming public recitation by students violated her religious liberty. While legal precedent makes reciting the pledge voluntary, Newdow said it becomes unconstitutional when students are forced to hear it. He argued that the teacher-led recitations carry the stamp of government approval.

SAN FRANCISCO — In pursuit of his goal to kick God out of government, atheist Michael Newdow has filed a lawsuit in federal court in an effort to remove the words "In God We Trust" from all U.S. coins and bills.


On June 19, 2000 the United States Supreme Court ruled 6-3 on SANTA FE INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DIST. v. DOE (99-62) that student-led, student-initiated public prayer before football games violates the separation of church and state, and is not private speech protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution. The result of the Santa Fe ISD v. Doe eliminated Public School sanctioned pre-game prayers in all States.

Here we are yesterday:

ATLANTA -- Bowing his head outside the Georgia Capitol on Tuesday, Gov. Sonny Perdue cut a newly repentant figure as he publicly prayed for rain to end the region's historic drought."Oh father, we acknowledge our wastefulness," Perdue said. "But we're doing better. And I thought it was time to acknowledge that to the creator, the provider of water and land, and to tell him that we will do better."

Yes there were some protesters but all of the major TV networks presented this story in a more than "favorable-acceptable" light.

"We the People" are a bunch of Hypocrites!

Friday, November 9, 2007

R.I.P. Common Sense

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.
He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, life isn't always fair, and maybe it was my fault
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend morethan you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not children are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job they themselves failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer Aspirin, sun lotion or a sticky plaster to a student; but could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar can sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason.

He survived by three stepbrothers; I Know my Rights, Someone Else is to Blame, and I'm a Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

Author unknown

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

This is why I worry so....

I thought I would share some of the proofs of my daughter for her Senior Pictures. I would have picked out the one with the tree but she decided on the black and white one. I also had the woman take one of her and I . I told my daughter it would be a Christmas present for my mom. (maybe it was really for me)

Boy is my hair getting gray!