Saturday, August 30, 2008

Words that are their own opposites

The announcer for the football game just mentioned that one of the players is favoring his injured shoulder. My husband commented that one would imagine he would favor the one that didn't hurt, as it would be more useful during the game.

That got us onto the subject of words that are their own opposites, such as "favor", which can mean to not use because of injury (i.e., a body part), or to prefer. Those aren't exactly opposites, but pretty close in the circumstance of, say, an injured football player.

The only other two we could come with right away were "inflammable" and "cleave". There may be others, but even just those three provide good examples of why English is such a challenging language.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Warm August night

Late August in Ohio.
It's not too hot, not too humid. It's windows-open weather. (OK, with a fan going, but still, the windows are open, so the cats and I are happy.)

It's been a lovely day, made lovelier by the fact that I had a vacation day today and therefore didn't go to work -- or anyplace else!!

The initial plan (sigh) was that Mom and I were going to go see Uncle John in Pennsylvania (Mom's younger brother), who is not well. Unfortunately, Mom ended up not feeling well enough to make the trip. There was a lot of disappointment from all sides, but that does seem to be the hand we're dealt on occasion.

So yesterday, today & tomorrow are vacation days without a *major* plan to go with them. (With the system we have at work, once you've put in leave paperwork, it's pretty much a done deal. I probably *could* have pulled the paperwork back before it was fully processed, but I had a pile of things I needed/wanted to do around the house, so I went ahead with it -- and I'm SO glad I did!)

Yesterday I ran a number of errands. Today I decided I was going to spend the day at home. Home, home, home. I haven't had a full day at home for over a month. So I was staying home. So there.

All this is leading up to the fact that the next few posts will be the result of the accomplishment of one of the projects that I've been wanting/waiting to do for a terribly long time -- I cleaned out my main file cabinet and the drawers full of papers and articles and notes waiting to be organized, sorted, filed and/or recycled. (Quite a bit is ready for recycling this evening. That is part of tomorrow's projects ... or maybe Saturday's.)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Happy Birthday, Butterscotch!

Our little Butterscotch is now five years old, give or take. 

When we rescued her last year, she was starving and her teeth were in awful shape. The vet guessed her age at about three. We assigned her a birthdate of Aug. 21, since that was the day she became part of our household. 

Today, a week after Butterscotch had to undergo some nasty dental work (from which she is recovering beautifully!), the vet revised the estimate of her age. Instead of celebrating her fourth birthday, we will have five candles in ... well, whatever we might put candles in for her. Maybe we'll just show her a picture of five candles and give her some kitty treats.  

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Autumn quarter is coming!

WHEE! Just got the word that I'm going to be teaching ESL100 again Autumn quarter. It's been pretty regular for the last couple of years -- I get the Saturday class Spring quarter and Autumn quarter. Since I work full-time in my coordinator position, I can't teach very often, and my schedule means that the Saturday class is my only option. But it's a fun class -- and quite a challenge to plan and carry out, since the class meets on Saturdays for 5 hours.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Don't WHAT?

Seen at a nursing home:

Oxygen in use.

No smoking.

No open flame.

And then below that, a Spanish translation –

OxĂ­geno en uso. (OK.)

No fumar. (OK.)

No abra llama. (Ummmmm … not OK.)

Even though the reason we were there was very grave, this last bit caused some smiles. Why?

Well, because “No abra llama” does NOT say “No open flame”. It says one of two things, and I must say prefer the second one:

1 – Do not open the flame.

2 – Do not open the llama.

The entire family complied with the sign while we were there. We didn’t open a single llama.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ahhh ... our back yard

Ahhhh ... our back yard. The home of ...
 ... our little veggie garden (which will be bigger next year!)
 ... the mulberry trees (which produced many yummy mulberries this year)
 ... our little quiet place (pictured here)

 ... our very own woodchuck. (?!?!?!)
Yes, we appear to have ourselves a woodchuck. However, since he generally chucks weeds (that is, assuming "chuck" is another word for "eat") and not wood, we have named him Weedchuck. 

For some reason, I have always remembered a line from the old "Rhoda" sitcom, when the title character found herself dating a forest ranger: "I wanted a wild life. He gives me wildlife." 
Well, we never wanted a wild life. But we do seem to have wildlife. And frankly, I like that WAY better than a wild life. I love the life we have. 

As far as wildlife goes, the raccoon-and-pepper-spray story will have to keep for another day. 

Momcat needs a break

Since the stray momcat and kittens haven't been to the vet, we need to keep them separated from our cats to avoid the transmission of anything ... well, transmissible. This means they are in the bathroom in the basement. The kittens don't have a real problem with this -- although it does appear they are ready to go explore the world -- but clearly, Momcat is more than ready for a break from the 24/7 childcare duty. I think this picture says it all:  

"I've been doing nothing but looking after these kittens for-EVER! I want a margarita, a massage and a pedicure!"

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Guinnie being elegant

Before I post any more pix of the momcat and the 3 kittens we still have, I'd better post one of Guinnie before she reads this at some point and gets jealous. (What? You don't think your cat can get into your computer and on the 'net? ... Think again ... )

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Free to Good Home

A couple of weeks ago, we discovered that a stray cat had decided that our garage was a splendid place for a nursery. We came home one evening to discover her and her brood of five (count 'em, FIVE!) kittens (approx. 4 weeks old) in the garage. 

How did they get there? No idea. Walked through the walls, maybe. Some cats can do that, you know. 

It was stiflingly hot there, so we took them to the bathroom in our basement (safe from outdoor threats and quarantined from our four indoor cats). 

We've found homes for two of the kittens, so we're looking for homes for the momcat and the three remaining kittens (two males, one female). Individually or together. 

Just to give you an idea of their adorableness ....

As you can see by this short video, we have a climber on our paws ... er, hands ... er, knees ...

A playhouse for our cats

Yesterday I went out to the thrift store that just opened two blocks from our house. What makes this store particularly interesting is that the building was formerly a brothel. (Everybody in the area had known it for years, but it was only recently shut down.) 

As soon as I walked in, I saw a cat playhouse (see picture). It was only $2.00, and light enough to walk home with, so I got it. The cats love it! 

It was only after I got home that I realized ... I bought a cat house at a former cathouse!