While the Minnesota State Fair was taking place, I received a phone call from the our local community television station asking for an interview.
In honor of the day, I thought I would post some photos of my feline friends.
Our first cat, Squigglez, enjoyed 14 years in our house. This was much longer than we expected to have him. Shortly after adopting him, he was diagnosed with the cat version of Ehlers-danlos syndrome. EDS a connective tissue disorder that is caused by a genetic defect in the production of collagen. This weakens the skin, gastrointestinal system and heart. The average lifespan of a cat with EDS is five years. Even the slightest scratch can damage and tear the skin of affected animals, leading to scarring. Heart failure is the usual cause of death. Amazingly, his heart remained strong, but sadly his GI system was too fragile and deteriorated with age. But, we had many more years with him than we expected.
About a year later, we adopted another cat. Comet was a really young kitten that was abandoned in the ditch near a friends farm.
My second son, Sam, adopted him as his own. Comet was incredibly playful and loved to run around – thus the name!
Comet also got along with everyone, human or pet. Both Squigglez and Duke (our Yorkie who past away a few months ago) would allow him to eat and sleep near them. That’s saying a lot because both of them were very independent and did not get along with any of our other pets.
Eleven years ago, Comet got out of the house one night. Now this wasn’t too unusual for him. Comet loved to roam the woods behind our house when it was dark outside. Usually around 5:30 am I would be awakened by him meowing as he walked through the front yard asking me to let him in. Unfortunately, one morning he never returned. We searched the neighborhood and contacted Eagan Animal Control, but he was not to be found. Every Monday and Friday I would go by the South Metro Humane Society to see if he may have been taken there. After six weeks, he was not to be found.
Each time I stopped at the Humane Society, I would spend some time in the cat room playing with the kittens. After six weeks, I had fallen for one of the kittens that was really affectionate. I decided I would adopt her. However, this was early October and I was told that the Humane Society policy was not to adopt out black cats the weeks before Halloween (apparently there are some people that have done evil and cruel things to black cats at that time of the year). Sadly, I left without her but I would return and visit her several times a week. My plan was to adopt her after Halloween to take her home. Luckily about a week before Halloween, the staff decided that I was not going to harm her and allowed me to adopt her earlier than I had anticipated.
Onyx has since become my constant companion. She is close by me almost all the time. In fact, as I write this posting, she is sitting right next to my computer! Of course, she is sitting on the computer case because it is the softest thing near me.
Hopefully we have several more years to enjoy her companionship!
My favorite way to relax is to work on one of my crafts. And, yes, I have been doing that a lot.
But, today was a day to do something very different. With the temperature in the low 70s, low humidity and, most importantly No Bugs, it was a day to work outside. I was able to crossed something off of my to-do list that has been on the list for a while (okay, so actually a couple years).
A few years ago, we had three large oak trees taken down by a local arborist (Branch and Bough, if you are in MN, is a great tree service). These trees were hanging far over our driveway and the concern was that they might fall onto our vehicles. At the time, we had the tree crew take the trees down and then cut them into 1 foot length intending to split the wood to use in our firepit and fireplace. Since then, these large pieces of wood have been stacked by our driveway.
Well, today I finally got around to splitting the wood.
We made a trip to Home Depot last night to rent a log splitter for a day (my husband was kind enough to help with this since I am not confident towing something behind my vehicle). Then around 7:30 this morning, I started working through the stack of logs. Eight hours later and I had about a full cord of wood (8 ft x 4 ft by 4 ft) split and stacked. At the current rate of $550/cord, I’d say it was a productive day.
But, boy am I tired.
I think I’ll go back to my craft room before tackling another task like today. But, it was certainly nice to get the log splitting off of my to-do list!
Very early this morning, I returned from Phoenix where I spent a few days with my parents. My father’s 83rd birthday was last Thursday and I flew down to celebrate with him. Happy Birthday Dad!!
For his birthday, I made him a quilt to use when he is sitting in his recliner and/or sleeping. Because he really likes eagles, I purchased two different fabric panels from Amazon and incorporated the printed eagle pictures into a pieced quilt. The other fabrics were pieces I already had in my fabric stash.
By using panels, this was a really quick quilt to make. I think I spent a total of 12 hours cutting, piecing, quilting and binding the quilt. That’s certainly a lot quicker than most of the quilts I make!
To celebrate his birthday, we went to Thee Pitts Again in Glendale, AZ. This restaurant has been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and is well known for their tasty BBQ.
When planning my trip, I was looking forward to some warm, sunny weather in Arizona. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. The news headlines while I was visiting my parents was all about the record levels of snowfall throughout the state of Arizona. While no snow fell in Glendale, where my parents live, it did rain almost the entire time I was there.
Poor weather seems to like to create havoc with my recent travels. My departure on Wednesday fell on the day of a snow storm. All of the schools in the Twin Cities were closed that day due to the storm. After working in the morning, I went straight to the airport, only to find out that my flight was delayed by about two hours due to the weather. Again last night, my return flight was during a snow storm with another two hour delay.
Both of these were better than the flight I took to Tampa two weeks ago. My departure flight for that trip also fell on the day of a major snow storm. That time I was delay five hours.
Dealing with weather delays in an airport calls for creative ways to help pass the time. Waiting for my flight to Tampa, I was sitting near the gate working on a hat. Knitting was a good way to fill the time, but when another major flight was posted, I realized that I needed to move around rather than sit for so long. So, I set out on a challenge to discovered the distance that a person could walk in Terminal 1 of the MSP airport. Utilizing my Fitbit, I discovered that if a person walks to each gate of all of the concourses (A-G) it involves 11,266 steps (4.6 miles) and takes two hours and 15 minutes.
This was a great way to fill the time and do some people watching. And, until setting out on my walk, I had never been to Concourses A or B. Now I know where they are if I ever need to quickly get to one of their gates.
On Wednesday, learning that my flight was once again delayed, I completed my walking circuit again. This time my goal was to try to walk faster – kinda hard to do in a crowded, busy, snow-delayed airport. I did, however, successfully reduced the time to 1 hour, 45 minutes.
Last night, being delayed yet again, I decided to do the same thing at the Phoenix airport. Starting at gate A30, walking to the end of each concourse, and returning to gate A30 required 6,951 steps (2.8 miles) and took just over an hour to complete. Terminal 4 of the PHX airport is definately smaller than Terminal 1 at MSP.
I may have started a new challenge for my self! Whenever I am in an airport for longer than two hours, I think I will set out to measure the airport walking distance.
With Christmas just a few days away, I decided to show some holiday treats I have recently shared with my staff.
For our December Saturday clinic, the staff enjoyed an eatable village that included:
Pound cake houses (each staff member could have their own house):
- Pound Cake (recipe found here)
- Cookie glazing frosting (recipe found here)
- Mini M&Ms, chocolate chips, colored sugar, almond slivers, Andes candies, lemon wafers, green frosting, and sugar flakes.
Spritz cookie Trees (recipe found here, peppermint extract used instead of fiori di sicilia)
Marshmallow cereal trees (recipe found here, shaped into trees rather than wreaths)
Cream wafer cookies (recipe found here) – these are really good!!
Meat and Cheese Tree
On another day, a demonstration of a new piece of equipment we are considering, was held over our lunch break. So, I brought in some meat and cheese for the staff to eat. Keeping with the holiday spirit, these were put together in a decorative fashion.
After seeing the idea in an ADA Morning Huddle email, I also made a tray of fun fruit treats. These Grinch Poppers (original idea posted here) were enjoyed by everyone.
Merry Christmas to everyone who reads my blog!!