Sunday, November 22, 2009

Facebook Frustration

Doggonit!! When I want to post something, I find myself being thwarted by Facebook, and I'm tired of it.

I post to the blog (as in The Blog, which is Marshall Ramsey's blog on the Clarion Ledger), but everyone is so all UP on Facebook, many go to fb instead of The Blog. Well, that's just fine. They can do as they will, but I, for one, am hanging with MR. He's been there for me through some of my toughest times and I am thankful for that.

OK, so my access most of the time is limited to this tiny little device known as a Blackberry; BB for short. My BB does NOT like fb. Period. I don't like not having ready access to other friends, but until I can get internet access on a real pc from home, I am limited to this scrawney little device.

So, I'll check in on fb when I can. Otherwise, if you want to find me, you can go to Marshall Ramsey's blog on the Clarion Ledger.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

True Power

Do you know what this is? I pass this little reminder of the power of nature pretty much every morning. Look closely. Do you know how much force it would have taken to wrap a piece of corrugated tin around a power line?
A WHOLE lot.

Look a little closer

On April 18 of 2008, a tornado formed in Copiah County and made its way north into southern Hinds County. When it crossed Lebanon Pinegrove Road, it took out several trees, some roofs, a barn and at least one brick mailbox. I’m thinking this tin came from the barn across the road, but there is really no telling. I just know that it had to take a considerable amount of force to wrap a piece of tin like a glove around two power lines at least 25 feet in the air.
Just think about it.
It looks a little like a large metal hand gripping the line. I know there are different weights of tin, and maybe this was really thin...but it doesn’t look like it.

I also find it interesting that it's bent back TOWARD the direction the tornado came from.

Like I said, I see this pretty much every morning. Sometimes I vary my route and don’t go this way into town, but every day that I do, I always look up at this. I find it a profound statement to mother nature’s fury. Her power. Her awesomeness (if that’s not a word, it should be). To think that the very air we breathe can become wind so strong it not only rips things apart, knocks things down and basically wreaks havoc, it can also place little momentoes to remind us we are only borrowing the space we take up on this earth.
It also serves as a reminder that we cannot control any aspect of nature, although mankind is constantly trying.
Ain’t happenin, folks. She’ll win every time.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Crystal Springs Fall Flower Show

Every year I like to try to visit the Fall Flower Show at the Mississippi State Truck Crop Experiment Station in Crystal Springs.

This year was no exception. An added bonus was that I got to see some of my MRBA family.

As usual, there were lots of stunning flower displays:

It's hard to get a feel from this pic, but these angel trumpet blooms were almost a foot long:

And some humongous cabbages and other veggies:

Norman Winter was there:

You can't see it in the pic, but his name tag said "Norman Winter".

Oh, and yes, there were more KKK pumpkins. If you don't get it, check out the blog from last year:

It was very brisk (actually it was pretty darn cold and windy) but I came away with my 10 lb box of Vardaman sweet potatoes and some pretty pics.

Looking forward to next year!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


No, this pic is not a mistake. Well, it is a mistake, but I posted it because I'm trying to show what was happening while trying to take a pic of TJ in the act of retrieving.

In all the years I've owned cats, I've never had one actually retrieve a toy to be re-thrown.

Well, TJ does. But he moves SO fast, that I was having a hard time actually getting a pic of him before he got back up on to the arm of the sofa.

He was so close in this one, the glare from the flash ruined the shot.

Darn! Missed him again.

TJ has an obsession with paper that I get out of my purse, crumple up and throw for him. To the point where I have to watch him now because I've caught him a few times digging around in my purse for scraps of paper to pull out.

But, until the other night, he had not been bringing them back to me. Well, this particular night, he did. REPEATEDLY. I literally threw the thing 30 times before he finally got distracted by something else and stopped bringing it back. He would run back up on the arm of the couch, turn around, drop the thing in my hand and get back into position. I'd crumple it a bit more and toss it and he was OFF like a light. Flying across the room to grab it and RUN back up to the couch.

This picture looks pretty much identical one of the ones above, but I swear it's not the same picture. I just couldn't manage to be quick enough with the shot to get him far enough away not to glare against his fur.


I GOT IT!! Far enough away not to glare, but close enough that you can see the excitement in his face just before he jumps back up on the arm of the couch.

He's about 5 months old now. I wonder if he'll keep this up into adulthood? It'll be interesting to find out.

I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Goodbye, my little JB

He's gone. My little JB is gone. My precious, whining, foot biting little baby is gone.

I'm not quite sure where to begin, but I feel like I need to write a bit about JB in order to grieve properly. I keep hearing the cat door and anticipating him to come running in here, jumping up on the couch and meowing (whining) for attention. It's not him. He won't ever be coming in again...

JB was special in several ways. He was born in my closet back in May to the wild one I call Junior. He was one of six. At about six weeks, four of the six figured out how to use the cat door and became indoor/outdoor kitties. The other two, still unnamed at this point, showed no interest in going out.

Time passed and the kitties got bigger (and busier) and the lady that had said she would take them backed out at the last minute due to a coyote problem on her property. Oh crap! What to do now?? I have more cats than I can count because of all the wild cats that I can't catch having kittens, and how I have six that I have pretty well tamed, and no home for them!

Time rocks on and I continue to work with the six and have begun to establish relationships and names. The little calico was obvious - "Callie". There was one with this strange grey coloring with a partial white tail that I called "Possum". The extra large one of the bunch was a handsome orange tabby with a prominent white chest that I named "Tux". The runt of the litter was a tiny, solid black kittie that I called ...wait for it... "Runt". The pure orange tabby became "TJ" due to his looking so much like my friend's cat Tigger. Thus, Tigger Junior, or TJ. The last one I was having trouble with. He or she, since at the time I wasn't sure, was a beautiful, creamy white color, with orange ears and a tabby-like orange and white ringed tail (well, actually, the colors were not so pronounced at this stage, but got stronger over time). For the life of me, I couldn't "feel" a name for this cat. Historically, I'll get to know a cat and a name will come to me. It just happens. I can remember nights, sitting here on this couch with the little one walking all over me and meowing (he talked a LOT) and asking him "What AM I going to call you!" And he'd respond with a "MEOW".

One night he/she was just meowing and meowing and meowing and I said "You sure do whine a lot!! A light went on and I thought "OH!! whine = wine! I'll call you Merlot!! No...not the right color. It would have to be a white wine. OH! Kendall! I love Kendall Jackson chardonnay. Kendall it is! I was happy with the name choice. For one, that it suited the "whining", and also because I believe cats living in the same house need distintive sounding names. Kendall sounded nothing like Ringo, Gracie, Scooter, Bruno, or TJ. Of course, I also have Tammy Fay, Junior and Magma, but they are the truly wild ones. Anyway...

A day or two later, I was reading the Blog (and when I refer to the Blog, I'm talking about THE Blog of Marshall Ramsey on the Clarion Ledger where I have a huge family of friends) and something was going on with our friend, jb, and someone (probably tank) said something about his whining. We were all the time calling him whiney so I jumped in and threatened to name my whiney cat after him. That brought a rise out of him since he professes to hate cats and that clinched it. When I got home that night I called the little one JB and it stuck. From that point on, I got a kick out of calling the kitten JB and then talking about him on the Blog. It got to where my fellow bloggers were asking about JB.

It made it even funnier that, at this point, I still didn't know if it was a boy or a girl, so I made it a point to call him a girl every chance I got. It got to where I was posting some comment about JB regularly. Saying something like "JB did such-and-such. She is so cute!" Just to get a rise out of jb. I intentionally used capital JB to refer to the cat and lower case jb to refer to my friend. An added bonus was the JB loved my feet.

I don't remember exactly when it happened, or what circumstances caused it, but for some time now one of the things we pick on jb about is having a foot fettish. We love to pick on him about everything. It's part of his life on the Blog. So, when kitty JB developed a fondness for biting my feet and toes, I made sure the Blog knew about it. That got some laughs.

The time came when one of my Blog friends found a home that would take 4 kittens. I started naming the possibilities and she told me she thought I was too attached to JB and TJ to give them up. I got to thinking about it and knew she was right.

I took the other 4 (Callie, Possum, Tux & Runt) to the farm. JB and TJ were officially MINE. BTW, I'm writing with help now. TJ is participating. He's been a little lost without his buddy.

Time passed and I got more and more attached to JB and TJ. I enjoyed buying new toys for them, although their favorite toy was a crumpled piece of paper I would throw them every morning. Neither one ever showed any sign of interest in going outside. That was unusual, but fine with me.

TJ did run out the door one time and immediately freaked out and started acting like the wild cat that I know is in him. I got him back in and he hadn't gone out again until last night...but that's another story.

Then, this past Monday I was getting ready for work and saw JB watching one of the wild ones going out the cat door (yes, I'm still feeding several I've never laid a hand on) and the thought went thru my mind "Uh oh. I wonder if he'll try it." That night when I got home from work, no one met me when I got in the house. I made a quick walk thru calling to JB, TJ and Ringo and found none. By the time I got back to the kitchen, TJ was clinging to the screen door. Good! I got him and put him in and went looking for JB. He was beside my truck, but acting skittish. I finally caught him and brought him in and he immediately went back out the window (that's where the cat door is). I gave him a few minutes and went back out and caught him again. This time, I went over to the cat door (window) and pushed him thru. My intent was to make sure he knew how to get back in. He came back out. I turned him around and pushed him back in. We did this a few times and when he came back out again, I carried him back in the house and shut the door, feeling a little better that when/if he went back out, he would know how to come back in. He stayed in for a while, then I heard him leave. I was very anxious about it, but had to believe he would be okay. I was thrilled when I heard the door and he came running in. YES!! He now knows how to go in and out by himself!!
But, goodness!! He was filthy!! I don't know what he had gotten in to, but it didn't matter. TJ was SOOO happy he was in! I was too. This is the last picture I have of him. A joyful TJ getting in a neck bite on his best bud.
Well, I guess, since he was a late bloomer and didn't discover the great outdoors until he was over 5 months old, which is like being a teenager for a cat, he explored a little too far. I live WAY off the road and have never seen any of my cats near the road. Yesterday morning I was leaving for work after just posting on the Blog that JB must be exploring because he hadn't come in. I had no choice but to leave because I had to get to work. I left my driveway heading down the road and saw something creamy white in the road and started saying "OH NO! OH NO!". Then my eyes focused on the tail. A beautiful, orange and white ringed tail......

That's all I managed to get written this morning.
Since I wrote this, I have buried our little friend with the help of my Friend in CS.
He is now buried in the little pet cemetary my Friend established on his property. He's buried next to my beloved Merle and Friend's pup Babsy.
It's a beautiful place and I'll be able to visit as often as I wish. I'll fix him a little headstone. Something tells me it will involve a shoe.
Goodbye little friend. We'll miss you.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Just Jo

Those of you who know me know that I am a member of the MRBA (Marshall Ramsey Bloggerholics Anonymous) and have developed quite a few friends there. It's like a huge disfunctional family with some unique characters and personalities.

About a year and a half ago we had a lady join in the fray on pretty much a daily basis that went by the name of JustjoGA. I went back and looked at her comments and it looks like she had been lurking for a while before she started posting on our Free For All every day. She was drawn to Marshall because of his cartoons, then started following the blog.

It wasn't long before we determined that she was the oldest member of our growing group, but very computer savvy to be in her late 60s. A delightful lady, she would join in each day and usually give us an update on the weather in her part of the world. She would jump in on most any of the conversations and was witty and very good with words. She called herself a "wordsmith"

We all have avatars, mine being the smiley frog, and we tend to get used to seeing the same avatar all the time for someone and it'll throw us off when it's changed. Jo was different. She made it a habit to change her avatar periodically. It might be a painting she had done, or something else that struck her fancy. It became "normal" for her avatar to be different regularly, just as it is "normal" to see the same avatar over and over for someone else. That was just Jo. Her latest and last one was a beautiful scene of fall colors.

When we've got a member that needs prayers, we pray for them. When something great happens to someone, we cheer for them. If someone doesn't check in periodically, we worry about them. That was the case with Jo. Her health had been failing and we had not heard from her all day yesterday. Her last post was Saturday night. We discussed it on the blog and MrsH posted a note to her on her facebook page and one of Jo's friends in Georgia saw it and responded that she had passed away in the wee hours yesterday morning. Cornpop saw the response on fb and immediately called me. I posted a comment on the blog and all of a sudden posts were flying, calls were being made to those that don't have access to the blog in the evenings, each of us trying to make sure the rest knew what had happened. All the while I'm crying my eyes out over our loss. People that had not posted a comment in months appeared on the blog offering up their condolences. I think we broke a record for number of posts on a Sunday because of it. Jo would be proud.

She would tell us periodically how much she enjoyed being included in our little world. I don't know if she realized how attached we had all gotten to her and how much we enjoyed having her as a part of the group.

When I pulled up my blog to write this, I saw that smiling face, right there in my followers. No way am I going to remove it.

We are going to miss our dear friend, but we know she is no longer in pain and can breathe again.

I hope she is looking down at all her "kids" as she'd call us and know that we love her dearly.

Rest in peace my dear friend, Jo. Rest in peace.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Get it OFF me!!!

If you've been following me at all, you already know that I'm nuts about critters. Well, meet Joe.

Joe in the process of removing his little sweater.

We have anoles everywhere at the office, and there are a few that we've named. I'm not quite suire why we named this one Joe, but he's a big boy. A good bit bigger than CT (the crooked tail one), and still growing. Obviously. The other day I caught him in the midst of a big time molt and got some great shots.

He was girating and squirming and bobbing up and down, trying really hard to take his little white sweater off.

Bless his heart.

I was wishing I could reach over and help him.

I could tell that he was really irritated with the whole business, but it's a natural part of his growth. He doesn't have any choice.

Finally, he decided to head into the holly. I'm sure that running around in prickly leaves would help him in his process. I've seen them molting before, but this was the first time I had ever gotten such good pictures of it.