Wednesday, January 23, 2008


That old Telephone Stand

thumbOh, I sure have memories that started with this style phone. My mother was wishing she had a table to sit her phone on. So, I bought her a desk style table. It had wrought iron legs and framework with a soft leather covered seat and a nice white desk for the phone. It was handy as you just sat on the seat with the phone on the left side of you. There was also a shelf under the desk top to hold your phone book. My mother loved it. Years later my parents got a wall phone which they moved onto the kitchen wall. Not needing the desk in the dinning room any longer, she offered it back to me to sit my phone on. All was great for quite a while until the day a daughters cat came suddenly running out in front of me. I had to take an over-long step to keep from stepping on the cat. My foot slipped on the waxed floor and slid right into one of those iron legs breaking my little toe. As much as I hated that stand right then, I was glad it was handy so I could sit down fast. I still remember how much it hurt. Today that little toe still doesn`t move with the rest. It has this habit of moving back and forth sideways while the other toes are going up and down. One stubborn toe with a mind of it`s own. Over the years i have broken both big toes, plus the other little toe, but they all healed better and continued to move the way they should, some arthritis in them, but otherwise are ok. To get back to the phone desk, it didn`t take me long to buy a new wooden stand for my phone and I put the metal stand upstairs in the back of a closet. It is a nice looking stand and I always figured someday i might find a useful safer place to use it. While writing this, it has come to mind that it might come in handy sitting out on my back porch. Would give me a place to rest, a table to hold a drink or for working puzzle books on while resting. Wonder why I never though of that before. Just might try it out when warmer weather arrives.
Phones are so cheap today and some are even sold in pairs. I have too many portable phones in my home, but can you actually have too many? There are two in my bedroom, but one isn`t portable and that one is for safety`s sake as it has no battery to run down. Then there is the oldest one still working great after many years. That one is in the dinning room located in the center of the house. Then there is the one at my computer in the dining side of my kitchen, plus the second one that came with the one at my computer sits on it`s charger in the front room. I used to hurry trying to reach a phone before the caller hung up. Ever stubbed your toe or bumped into something while hurrying for the phone? Now, I can more safely take my time as no matter where I am in the house ( except the little room-Hahaa) there is always a phone just a short walk away. My real old phone is the one I take with me when working either outside or in my shop. I often carry it upstairs or down cellar when I am working there. Funny how that old phone works longer on one charge than the newer ones, plus it seems to work at a longer distance from it`s base than any of the others. I hope they never stop making batteries to fit it.

Today, even though the phone is more modern, I still have a phone that resembles this phone sitting on a stereo speaker beside my bed. Yes, a stereo speaker instead of a table. You see years back I bought a new stereo system when Cd`s first appeared on them. My old set only had the record player, disk player and radio on it. Plus I can attach my 8 track player to either the old or new stereo combination. But when I am working out by the back porch, I like hearing music while I work. My bedroom is on that side of the house, so I can just open the back door, or open a bedroom window and start playing some tapes or 8 tracks ( I still have two 8 track players that still work fine, but one is for the car), or the radio and hear it outside. I do have a radio that runs on batteries and also one that you just wind up the side crank that I take outside when I`m not on that side of the house. I find I rake faster with the music playing, plus it doesn`t get boring before I am finished. The only place I seldom have music playing while I work is in my shop. First, some of the saws would just drown it out and it is too important to keep my mind on what I am doing , not on what song is playing. But, if I am just varnishing or painting, then the music is ok. But, since one radio also has the TV stations on it, I have also listened to the afternoon soaps while transplanting some plants and while doing other small jobs. Gee, I never thought of it till right now. Since they are changing it so people can`t use their aerials on their house roofs to bring in TV stations, I wonder if I will still be able to hear the TV stations on my radio??? I think that is bad as some people can`t afford to buy cable, or even have money to waste buying the special boxes that will be required to even get our local TV stations. I heard that the Gov. will give out coupons to help the poor buy the boxes. but where do they find the balance they will still need.


Friday, January 18, 2008


Days of the minor earthquakes.

Days of the earthquakes.

I was talking to a friend the other day and the topic of earthquakes came up. She said there was one time when the dishes in her kitchen cupboard were suddenly rattling. Until she read in her local newspaper , she didn`t realize it had been an earthquake causing the dishes to rattle.
I told her about the two earthquakes that hit our locality . The first one just shook our home, but it also destroted some camps where people lived near the river. That was about 2- miles from our home.
But the last one was about 6 or 7 years ago. That time I had gone to bed and was sitting up in bed watching some TV. My husband was sitting on the couch in the front room watchint another movie. Suddenly the house started shaking and then just as quickly my bed started moving back and forth across my bedroom. I am sure glad there wasn`t a very large space for the bed to move back and forth in. Every time the bed hit against the wall at the top of the bed, it jarred my head so it slammed against the wall. My head was hitting over and over every time the bed moved back and forth. It was happening so fast that it didn`t give me even a couple seconds to protect my head in. After a lot of head whacks I finally had the strength to put my head down towards my chest and I held it there so it stopped connecting to the wall. The house seemed to be shaking sideways while the bed was moving back and forth in the opposite direction . That made it hard to control your own body against such a strong force. While this was going on, things were falling off both dressers and landing around the room. It seemed like it was lasting for a very long time, bvut it probably was only a few minutes at the most.
When things finally calmed down and everything was again silent, my husband yelled in to me asking me What was that ? I told him it must have been an earthquake. I put on the radio on our local station and yes it was an earthquake. I forgot what number they gave it. I waited for hours before going outside to see if we had any real damage anywhere. I had read once that there is often aftershakes shortly after the first quake and i didn`t want to chance being outside if it happened this time.
What I discovered was a broken window in my shop. Then I opened the garage which connects to one side of my shop. There I saw my thick cement garage floor cracked . The crack had started in one place and went off into three different directions. On one side of the cracks the ground under the cement had lowered below the other side. I covered the broken window with cardboard that night and the next morning I replaced the broken window. Luckily we had another window almost the same size in our cellar. But the garage floor was never repaired. Today I wish we had turned the damages into our Property Insurance and had it repaired. But we didn`t and now about 6 or 7 years later the cracks have grown even longer and wider- leaving almost an inch space in some places. The hardest part now is making sure I don`t drive my car in and stop it so the tires would rest half on and half off one of the cracks. Seeing how the ground has lowered near some cracks leaves me wondering if repairing it back then would have been worth while. Maybe the ground would still have loweredand just caused more cracks to appear on the new cement.
After that last earthquake they said there was a big fault underground, not only in our area, but also in the neighboring city which is only about 3 miles from where I live. So, I am hoping those faults underground never again cause us more earthquakes in the future.

We were lucky that there wasn`t worse damage. Leaves me feeling more for those who have gone thru worse earthquakes, tornados and other such damaging storms. God Bless those who have lost everything from a horrid storm and those who have lost loved ones due to these storms. It reminds me of how lucky we were back then.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Sunday, January 13th, 2008, What to expect?/

Here it is another new year. Wonder what to expect, good times, bad times, good weather, bad weather, making new friends, losing some wonderful friends, new babies and wedding mates in the family, losing loved ones and possible some members mates, one never knows??

Yesterday they delivered the oxygen , plus extra travel tanks to my oldest daughters home. I have known she had sleep apnea and spent most of the last year trying to convince her to get checked for it. Well, she finally did and first they checked her for the amount of oxygen she was receiving-- only 76%, so they signed her up for the oxygen to be used at night while sleeping. Soon she will go back again to be tested with the sleep apnea machine, which the oxygen will be connected to. I knew she had sleep apnea because I could see her having the same symptons I was having with sleep apnea. The thought of using oxygen sure is scarring her. I think a lot is due to watching her Dad during his last few years when he was using oxygen around the clock. I have watched her working so very hard at the exercise places trying to loose weight. I know how hard she works because I was there working with her . I once read that the loss of sleep with sleep apnea can cause weight gain. Sounds like one viscous cycle, working hard to lose weight, little sleep, gaining weight, then working hard some more. Seems like an endless cycle. Sometimes I ask myself if all this work is worth it, then my next thought is God gave us life but what we do with it is up to us and I`m just too stubborn to give up without a big fight. Since I don`t like to drive in bad storms unless it is very important, I won`t be hitting the Hosp Wellness Clinic Monday or Tuesday if we get the bad snow storms they are saying to expect. The daughter and son-in law who do most of my shoveling and snow blowing have left for a few days fun skiing. My little snow blower won`t work in deep snow and I don`t do a lot of shoveling if I don`t have to. But when Wednesday rolls around, Hopefully I will be back using the exercise equipment and praying to lose some weight.

I did more searching and listening in my cellar this morning to be sure no new kittens were left there. I keep looking because I still can`t understand why the mother cat didn`t rush off to her babies the moment she was outside the window. I can`t understand why she just sat there looking thru the window at me.
Hard part is there is only a crawl space under the two kitchen additions. One I can see well using the flashlight, but the other half is off the side where I can`t see into it. If anyone heard me while I was in the cellar they might have thought I had lost my mind. I know newborn kittens make little noise until they get large enough to be moving about. So, I figured they should be hungry and they might react to a sucking type sound. So, I walked around the cellar making such noises with my mouth, hoping if they were down there they might start moving around searching for their mommy. I haven`t seen that mother cat since that day. So, I`ll just hope her and her babies are all doing ok. We really don`t need more wild cats running around. But I can`t stop hoping they are ok. In the past I used to feed them, first on my back porch and later I got braver and would leave the back door open and set food in front of my washer and all but one came in to eat.Only the new babies came in while the mother would sit on the porch watching them. Makes me think that mother must have been one I had fed in the past. There was a couple baby kittens that I actually picked up and petted and the mother on the porch just watched me.
Later on I started leaving the side door open and sat the food in front of the frig across the room from the door. It got so I could sit still at the table and they would walk right by me to eat. But one day my husband reached across and pushed the door shut while the last kitten was eating. Wild!!! That kitten took off so fast into my dining room, jumped over a lot of things and landed on that small casing of my pitcher window. Hardest part was trying to get it back outside. I opened all three doors- front , side and back doors. After what seemed like ages ( probably only 10 - 15 minutes) the kitten finally noticed the front door and sped like on a race track right out that door and out of our yard. Even wild baby kittens can be dangerous. it had such a mean face as it hissed at us whenever we entered the dining room. It was bent like it was ready to spring if we got too close. You can bet my Husband never shut the door on them after that.
I tried to get some cages from the humane society, but they just kept saying they were all out and would call me as soon as any cages were returned, which never happened.
Last summer when we re-did the whole side of my shop, I finally closed up all around the bottom of my shop and garage building so no more animals could get underneath them.
Earlier this past summer I would see them heading behind the neighbors garage across the street from me. So, guess they are still finding hiding places, but I haven`t seen any new babies this past year, just a couple of wild expectant mothers crossing thru my yard. I still toss out some food for them so they won`t go after the birds at my feeders on the back porch.

There was a time a long time back when my youngest daughter was small and the dog we had then hated cats. A cat had scratched her face when she was a puppy. This one day I heard my daughter screaming " Mommy"!! I ran ouside to see what was wrong and found our dog Prince holding a tiny kitten in her mouth. Prince was part Police dog and part Collie. I removed the kitten from her mouth, brought it inside and placed a clothes basket over it to keep it confined. I told my daughter not to remove the kitten from under the basket. She went back outside to play. Then I again heard her yelling to me. When I got outside there was Prince with a little kitten in her mouth again. I thought it was the same little kitten. So, I told my daughter that she shouldn`t have taken the kitten back outdoors. Of course she said she didn`t, but there was noone else home with us at the time. When I brought in the kitten to again place it under the basket, there was the first kitten still there. So, I had two identical kittens and had to go apologize to my daughter for thinking she had removed that first kitten.

Then there was the time when the neighbor who used to live behind me on the next road. Her cat had kittens in another neighbors yard. That lady was dangerous. This one day she came out to the fence where my neighbor and I were standing talking. She said " Send your cat over to feed it`s baby. She had returned all the litter except for this one which she decided to keep. When my neighbor Mary tried to ignore her she again told her to tell her cat to get over and feed her kitten. So, inorder to shut her up, Mary called her cat, who of course came thinking it was going to be fed. I had to turn my back to the crazy neighbor so she would see me laughing. Mary told her cat Gee to go over and feed the kitten. When gee just looked at Mary, saw no food, she just walked off. The neighbor told Mary "Your cat doesn`t mind any better than your kids do". Would have gotten worse if she had known why I had my back turned. Mary just told her that if she sent the kitten back home then her cat would feed it. The neighbors reply was that she could have kept all the kittens if she had wanted to since they were born on her property. Mary told her she could have them all back if she wanted them, but that lady only wanted the one. Mary`s kids were all nice kids and we missed them all when she re-married years later and moved away.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


Tri-Colored Wild Cat!!!

January 3 rd, 2008

Tri-colored Wild Cat!!!

This morning I figured I better check to see how much fuel I still have in my 250 gallon fuel oil tank in my cellar. It will be a month on the 11 th since I bought it and I only got a little over 1$ back from paying $600. for just 3/4th of a tank full. But being so cold, I know I will be needing it again soon. Now, here is where the dilemma started!!
When I opened my cellar door I saw this trt-colored cat standing at the foot of the cellar stairs. Knowing this is a wild cat, I knew there was no way I could ever get close to it and that I better be careful so that cat wouldn`t feel trapped. I know a wild cat can be dangerous if it feels it is in danger. Later, I will tell you about the wild baby kittens from a few years ago. I remembered this tri-colored cat when it was a baby kitten and was born under my shop. Since it is the only cat I have seen around my home over the past few years, I figure it might be the same one. She is only tri-colored on her neck and face- so she does stand out.
But to get back to this wild cat in my cellar. First I couldn`t think of any way it had to get into my closed up cellar. Then I suddenly remembered that I had felt a cool draft coming thru the cellar door as I had opened it. So, I grabbed my flashlight in case I needed it to look under the kitchen as it only has a crawl space under it. We added on the kitchen and the kitchen addition years after we built the house and we never built a full cellar under them. But there is a cement block cellar wall enclosing the crawl space so there was no way the cat got under that way.
Well, my problem was soon solved. As I went down the cellar stairs I noticed it was realy cold in the cellar. It is only -1 F outside right now. I found one of my cellar windows was open. I know it was closed tightly because I had checked it when I was down there shutting off the outside water line so the water line wouldn`t freeze and break where it goes to the outside faucet. And living alone, there is noone else who could have unlatched it. Here it is freezing in my cellar, fuel being wasted due to all that freezing weather entering the house thru that opened window.
Now, What should I do? If I shut the window there is no way for the wild cat to escape, if I leave it open I am wasting a lot of fuel and it is way too expensive to waste. Fuel has gone up again since I last bought it. My daughter, who lives next door, just paid about $800 yesterday to fill her tank. If I didn`t get the cat out of my cellar, it could die under the crawl space where I couldn`t get it out and that sure wouldn`t be good for the cat or healthy for me. I knew I had to find some way for that cat to reach that high window to get back outside. So, I hunted around the cellar for something I could put under the side of the window to allow her to reach it. I noticed the rack that goes to the pool table and figured it could be used for steps like a ladder effect, but it was too short. I had the old cellar stairs still laying sideways- leaning against the bottom of the cellar wall under where the window is. The stairs were both too heavy and too long to be helpful as a ladder effect, but I was able to set the pool table racK up on top of the side of the ladder and found other boards to force it to stay put. It reached up to about 1 foot ot the opening side of the window. I knew this cat could easily stretch up that far.
Now, came the problem of how can I tease the cat to use this way back out. I then came uipstairs, opened a small can of tuna fish, splattered a little onto the rack with hopes the tuna smell would draw the cat that way. Then I went outside, shoveled a path in the deep snow from my back porch to the window , where I splattered a little more tuna fish onto the outside of the window , hoping to draw the cat up the fake steps and thru the window to follow the tuna trail. Then of course I knew I would have to still leave the window open, go up stairs and try to be patient to give the cat long enough to again feel secure enough to come out from hiding and hopefully get herself back out doors. All the time I was tryting to be patient, all my mind could think of was how expensive fuel was and here I was leaving a cellar window wide open for a stupid wild cat. But then if she was so stupid, how did she ever manage to shake that window latch open to get inside where it was warmer? If you could see how hard I had to push to shut that latch, you would be left wondering just as I still am. The latch is on the inside of course.
I went back downstairs a few minutes ago and there was that same tri-colored cat looking at me thru the opened window. It had used my fake stairs to climb back outside. Well, It better be the same cat, there better not be a second one still in my cellar. I have no way of knowing how long that cat has been in my cellar, or how long that window has been opened. You can bet I rushed fast across the cellar and shut that window and securly latched it so it wouldn`t jump back in. Thinking about it, I bet that window was opened most of the night as I did feel a little cooler last night and my bedroom is up over that cellar window and the cellar inside door is in a hall just beyond my bedroom door. I might have noticed it sooner if I didn`t keep my bedroom door shut at night to keep out the dog and her shedding hair. But since I had turned down the thermostat a speck last night, I thought that was why I felt a little cooler sleeping.
I noticed the cat never stopped long enough to eat the tuna, so it is waiting there for me to go back down and clean it up. But, still the cat wasn`t glad enough to be free or it should have taken off once outside. Yet it stood there watching me. Outside in front of that window sits my 2 long garden standards-- one on top of the other. I had just tipped them up on their side close to the house for the winter. They are too long and heavy to be stored any place, so I had to leave them there. The snow from the eaves slides off beyond them so they are partly protected from the falling snow and that leaves a small area where animals can get out of the wind and snow. Thats what probably drew the cat there in the first place.
2008 has started off with a bang as usual. Plese let that cat find another place tohide nest time. I am now wondering if she has a litter waiting for her someplace as she sure looks a lot skinnier than when I last saw her about a week ago. Gee, maybe I should go back down and hunt my cellar to be sure she didn`t leave me any late Christmas gifts.

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