Thursday, August 28, 2008

It Depends on How You Look at It

The drain in the kitchen sink is clogged. That means I can’t do dishes or cook. Mr. Fixit said he would look at it when he gets home from work. What a pain!

Wait a sec—can’t do dishes, can’t cook? It's not all bad, is it?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Fay On Her Way Out

The weather seems to be settling down a bit. There were no further problems last night. Today there are intermittent showers. I wish it would rain steadily at a moderate rate for a few days. We seem to go from one extreme to the other.

Tornadoes were reported over a wide area of the state yesterday. No major injuries have been reported as far as I know.

This is one of the hibiscus plants in the box on our deck after a rain shower. The blooms only last one day, but they bloom often so we always have a few flowers. Pretty, isn’t it?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Remnants of Fay

This morning I suggested to Mr. Fixit that we should go out for lunch after my dental appointment. We drove into Clemson about 12:45; it was sprinkling rain. When we left the restaurant it was raining just a bit harder. We stopped to do an errand on the way home. While we were in the store, the rain began to pour. We got home about 2:00 pm. I was upstairs preparing to watch a DVD, and Mr. Fixit settled down for a movie on TV.

A few minutes later the phone rang. It was Jason calling from his job. He works about an hour and a half away from our house. He wanted to know if we knew that a tornado warning had been issued for Clemson and our town. Of course, we didn’t. We seldom watch the local channels. He said, “Get the cats and head for the downstairs bathroom.” We checked the local channels. Sure enough, a warning was on the screen saying that a tornado was imminent for Clemson and our town.

I spent a few minutes opening a few windows and shutting down the computer. I grabbed my purse and Mr. Fixit grabbed the box holding our “important” documents. The cats decided to ride out the storm in the middle level of the house. I certainly wasn’t going to risk life and limb carrying them downstairs. It was raining very hard. The warning was in effect until 3:30. I sat on the steps in the downstairs hall reading a book, and Mr. Fixit changed clothes to leave for work at 3:30.

A tornado did touch down in Clemson on the campus very near to Death Valley (the huge football stadium). There were trees down around the university and near downtown Clemson. The power is still out in parts of town. There have been no reported injuries. The university has a very good alert system.

I heard one report that a tornado may have hit somewhere in our little town, but we are so small that I guess no one cared to follow up on the report.

Right now the rain has stopped and the storms have moved into western North Carolina and another band is moving a little further east into NC. We aren’t out of the woods yet. There are two more bands of storms headed for us from Georgia. I think I’ll gather a few more things together and put them in a safer place.

I would like to take my new flat screen TV (it’s less than a month old), Mr. Fixit’s big TV, and the computer and its peripherals to safety, but if I unplug all that stuff, it would probably take us a long time to reconnect everything. I could be in for days of Spanish swearing and thinned lips. I think I’ll just put the CD’s with all the family pictures and my meds in a plastic bag for safekeeping and keep it with me if another storm is imminent.

Wish us luck!

Monday, August 25, 2008


When I turned on the television this morning, a flash flood warning for the adjacent county was being broadcast. We live about six miles from the county line. According to the announcement, that county had received 3 to 5 inches of rain overnight. Our streets were barely damp. They were completely dry under overhanging trees. I was so disappointed. We need rain badly.

Our town is under mandatory water usage restrictions—no car washing, lawn or garden watering, no house washing, etc. We’re trying to cut back on personal water usage.

It’s now just after noon, and it is pouring! Yippeee!!!! Maybe it will take the crunch out of grass. I’m not even going to complain that it’s raining so hard the satellite signal has been lost. I hope it lasts for a while.

* * * * * * * * *

The rain lasted about half an hour. The sun is now shining and the humidity is high.
Outside it feels like I'm trying to breathe in half-set Jello.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Cat-astrophe Avoided; Civic Duty

About a week and a half ago, the white cat came in with a wound on his face just below his ear. Of course, he wouldn’t let me look at it. I needed to take him to the vet to have him tested for feline leukemia, feline AIDS, and several other fatal diseases. He had been exposed to the cat that we had euthanized a couple of weeks ago. I delayed taking him to the vet because I wanted to give the wound a chance to heal. Cats are restrained by holding them by the scruff of the neck; I thought pulling tightly on the wound would hurt him.

Yesterday evening when he came to eat, the wound was bleeding again and it looked like the skin had been abraded. Nasty! He was also acting a little strange. I began to worry that maybe he had contracted rabies. It is so difficult to put him in the carrier, I had neglected his yearly boosters. I was in a state by the time I caught him this morning and took him to the doctor. I just knew that I wouldn’t be bringing him home.

He had all the necessary tests; all were negative. The doctor cleaned the wound and gave him a super-duper antibiotic that only has to be given once a week, and he said that since the cat had received rabies shots in the past, there was little chance of him contracting the disease even though he had missed the boosters. Good news all 'round!

Today I served on a jury; the miscreant didn’t show up for trial. He was tried in abstentia. He was found guilty of possession of less than an ounce of a controlled substance and guilty of driving an unsafe motor vehicle. I have to report tomorrow morning to serve as an alternate. I think this one concerns someone accused of driving 70 mph in a 40 mph speed zone. I hope all the jurors show up so I can leave early.

Friday, August 15, 2008

No Complaints

In the past, I have used this forum to “vent” about poor service in retail establishments and the generally shoddy products on the market. Today I have a few good things to say.

Several months ago I wrote about a letter of apology sent to me by AT&T for the outage of my DSL service. I thought it was very nice of them. After all, the service was only interrupted for a few hours.

Tuesday I received notification from Netflix a movie was being mailed to me. I received and returned it Wednesday. Usually, I received two emails the next day—one informing me that they received the returned movie and another saying that they are mailing the next DVD in my queue. I received no email from the company. I was surprised because they are usually so reliable. But Thursday evening I received an email explaining that they are experiencing shipping problems. And get this! The note said everyone who was affected by the delay in shipping would get a credit. What a nice surprise! (AT&T didn’t offer a credit.)

A couple of weeks ago I found in the mail a “Thank You” card. The man who cut our tree sent it thanking us for our business. A very nice gesture.

I quit using iceberg lettuce in my salads years ago. It turns brown too quickly, and I won’t eat brown lettuce! I use green leaf lettuce or romaine as the base ingredient for my salads because they last at least three days. Therefore, I don’t have to make salads on a daily basis. Even when I put the iceberg in a vacuum sealed container it would still turn brown in about three days. Still there are instances when iceberg is absolutely necessary. Romaine on a hamburger or topping a taco just isn’t the same. Iceberg is called for. I found myself wasting a lot of money because of my aversion to brown lettuce.

Rubbermaid has a food storage container called the “Produce Saver.” It has a green lid and a little platform in the bottom. This thing works! I wash the iceberg lettuce, break it into pieces suitable for sandwiches, spin all in water off in the salad spinner (the drier the better), and place it in the Produce Saver. I’ve kept lettuce for two weeks and it stayed crispy and non-brown. Yea! Rubbermaid!

While I'm in this mellow, non-complaining mood, I tried to find something nice to say about the people with whom I share the highways. . .

I tried; I really did!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

One Man Mystery Explained

After living for almost 63 years and being married for 42 years, I think I finally understand the way men think about their vehicles.

I very seldom drive Mr. Fixit’s truck, and when I do drive, he is usually in the passenger seat. He probably serves as a calming influence on me. The last time I drove it alone was back in the spring when he went on vacation. Then I only drove it once or twice.

Yesterday he drove my car to work, and I was left with the truck. I had to go to the post office to return a Netflix movie so I drove the truck. Driving that big truck had a curious effect on me. I felt powerful! There I was sitting so much higher than people in cars in the lane next me. The muffler on the truck are a bit louder than the one on my sedate Buick; varoom, varoom! I found myself hunched over the steering wheel wanting to go faster, faster. Suddenly I was thinking “I am strong; I am invincible; I am Woman! Get the heck out of my way; I’m coming through.” It must have been the rush of endorphins brought on by the power of those eight cylinders and the dull roar of the engine.

When I arrived back home one thing deflated my feelings of power and invincibility. As I prepared to leave the truck, I had to turn sideways in the seat and slide out because my feet were about a foot and a half from the ground. I felt like a four-year-old kid.

I can understand now how men feel when they are in a big ole truck and the testosterone starts running like maple sap in the spring and the endorphins kick in. Whoa! It’s no wonder some men change from Jekyll to Hyde when behind the wheel of their trucks.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Way It Was

Last night I received another essay from an acquaintance in one my hometowns in Kentucky. Entitled “Things I Miss About Summer,” Hugh writes of spending whole days at the city swimming pool, swimming “nekkid” in Devil’s Lake, catching lightning bugs, fishing, pick-up baseball games, catching crawdads in the creek, going to the icehouse, cranking the ice cream freezer, BB guns, comic books, the clandestine smoking of unfiltered Camels filched from Dad, camping with the Boy Scouts, the county fair, visiting relatives in the “big” city, exploring the woods, riding bikes for miles, building soap-box type cars, and riding the ferry across the Green River. It is a wonderful piece written about another time and a great place in which to grow up.

As I read each new essay, I have come to realize how much more freedom and fun boys in that era had than girls did. I can relate to many of his memories; I remember catching lightning bugs, my granddad taking us to the icehouse, cranking the ice cream freezer on the front porch after Sunday dinner, fishing, and reading and trading comic books. He has also written of the many pranks that he was in on and hitchhiking home from college on the weekends. Girls (perhaps I should only speak for myself) weren’t allowed so much freedom. When bike riding, I had to stay within view of our house. When we lived in town (as opposed to the country as we usually did), I wasn’t allowed to wander the streets as my brother was. The only place I was allowed to swim "nekkid" was in the bathtub with the door closed tight. The night my father died he told me to be home by 10:00 pm. I was 17 years old, had graduated from high school, and was gainfully employed. I didn’t resent it. That’s just the way it was.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sometimes Doing the Right Thing. . .

When Mother Cat brought us her first litter five or six years ago, one of the males had Siamese-like markings even though Mother is a Tortie and Dad Cat was just plain black and white. Dad Cat took a dislike to the “Siamese” kitten when the kitten began to mature. The kitten left the abuse and move to safer surroundings. He found a nice lady up the street from our house who fed him and several other strays in the neighborhood. He would come back to see us every now and then after we captured Dad Cat and took him to the pound. Over the years I would see him at the neighbor’s house and while he was a bit rough looking with his shredded ear and scars on his face, he always looked well-fed.

About two weeks ago he showed up again at our house emaciated. The poor thing didn’t look as if he would last the night. I fed him and he ate. I thought maybe the lady had stopped feeding him because we had seen several puppies playing in her yard. After the first week I realized that even though he was eating pretty well, he wasn’t putting on any weight, and he seemed to be getting weaker. I took him to the vet yesterday.

The vet checked him out and noted that his colon was huge. He said that any steps that we could take would be risky and would be “unpleasant” for the cat. We made the decision to have the cat put down.

It broke my heart. He was a sweet cat who had enjoyed very little comfort in his life. I think that he had to find warm places to sleep in the winter and suffer in the hellish South Carolina heat in the summer. At least I know that in the last few weeks of his life, he could come in to stretch out on the cool floor in my kitchen and he received a little affection from Mr. Fixit and me, Mother Cat, and his half brothers.

I asked to vet to test him for feline leukemia after he had been euthanized. The test came back positive. Now my other cats are at risk since they ate together and were associated for these past few weeks. I dread having them tested because a positive test is a death sentence. I don’t know if I can face making the final decision when my four best friends are concerned.