Thursday, December 31, 2009

Farewell to the Uh Ohs

That is, farewell to the last decade, which seems full of uh-ohs. And most of all, farewell to 2009. About the best we can say is that we survived.

I'm looking forward to 2010. While I don't make New Year resolutions, there are some things I think about.

I think about writing. And that is not good, because if I am thinking about writing, I am NOT writing. I will do more in 2010. I must resolve the last known issues with Mad Max 1 before I send it out again to agents. I must be more productive with my semimonthly column. I will send out selective poems, short stories and essays to a limited number of contests. I will write at least three NPR radio essays.

I think I will write more in the blog, but only when I think I have something to say.

I think I will keep the calico-with-an-attitude happy and away from my desk ball.

I think about retiring. One of these days, I will bite the bullet and retire. I still like my golden handcuffs, however, so I am not quite ready to leave my gainful employment.

I think about my husband and how wonderful he is. He's my best friend and I am the luckiest woman in the world to have him.

And I think about how I can do my small part to control global warming, pollute less, recycle more, and drive less. I think I will educate myself on global issues so that I can see through the spin to the truth (if we can ever decide what is true).

And I think I will wish everyone a happy new year. On to 2010 and happy scribbling to my writer followers.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Let It Snow

We had snow over the weekend. It comes as no surprise to folks who live east of the Blue Ridge Mountains that the weather forecast of between 2" and 12" was still wrong. Try over 16". The snow started on Friday, when I was running my last pre-Christmas errands. It was light but slippery as I drove back roads home. I counted seven cars already in distress. Five minivans skidded off the road into ditches or into pastures. From the skid marks, I deduced that speed and lack of experience in driving in snowy condition were the culprits. One truck in a pasture -- think this was speed. One sports car on its side in a ditch. The driver was all right -- I stopped and asked. He was waiting for a tow truck. Good luck. He knew he shouldn't be out in that weather, but he was on his way home when he got caught. Oh yes, he admitted he was driving faster than the road conditions allowed.

We were snowed in all day Saturday. By Sunday, our private contractor plowed the roads in our community, but the county road leading to our community hadn't been touched. Good news is we didn't lose power. We lost Internet and part of our cable service (all CNN/ESPN stations vanished for two days from Comcast). Not all that bad being off the grid for a couple of days.

So what do you do when you can't get out. Roast a chicken for my husband's birthday dinner. Snuggle. Light the fire. Snuggle down with a stack of books and DVDs. Pet the cat. Did I say snuggle?

We are back on the grid as they say and ready for our holiday trip to Hyde Park, NY. I'll be offline until next week. Have a terrific, politically incorrect Christmas. No "Happy Holidays" for me. See you next week.

Monday, December 21, 2009

With Apologies, But I Couldn't Stop Her

Dear friends, family, cousin cats, and not a single (or married) dog,

Another wonderful year, nearly completely lacking in drama, at least from a pussycat’s perspective, is winding to a close. My humans, Terry and Betsy say otherwise – their cruise, Betsy’s company’s bankruptcy, and decisions on Betsy’s retirement – provided drama enough. They’re still news junkies and get all riled up over silliness. Like Sarah Palin’s book. Or Lou Dobbs leaving CNN. Or Glenn Beck on everything.

The year started with my humans abandoning me for nearly two weeks. They went on a cruise, whatever that is. All I know is that involves water and a boat. We live on a lake. They have a boat. Why did they have to leave me?? At any rate, they cruised in the Caribbean, got suntanned, and loved it. I, on the other hand, was jailed. They call it camp, but it is jail. They better not take a cruise this coming year.

Terry and his ski buddies went to Vermont for their week of falls, sliding downhill on butts, beer, and no wives. It was the 15th annual Men to Pigs ski trip and another is planned for 2010. Sigh. I don’t like snow. I can prove it. Why would anyone want to go where it’s cold? I don’t get it.

After the ski trip, when it began to warm up, Terry’s motorcycle friends, the Wild Hogs (do you see a pattern here? I do.) began their summer touring season. They took a couple of longer trips to races and day trips all over the area.

My other human, Betsy, worried about her company’s bankruptcy. While it was supposed to be short, and while they had funding lined up – they thought – turned out that they didn’t have the money, couldn’t get more money, and ended up being pecked into small pieces by a flock of ducks. Betsy was really planning to retire, until one of the acquiring ducks, Deloitte, made her the same offer she already had. She took it and remains paying into social security. And keeping me in nice cat food, thank you very much.

Betsy continues to write. She won a regional “best unpublished novel contest” for Unintended Consequences, made the transformation from “free”lance to freelance, and is now paid for her bi-monthly column in the local paper.

Both of my humans remain involved volunteering for not-for-profits. It keeps them busy, but at least neither travels for work. I get to have both of them around all day every day.

Once again, my humans left me for several weekends this year. They went to see Cousin Aleta, Cousin Neal and Dickens in New York, and Navy football in Annapolis for five weekends.

My humans are healthy, but I have “the Arthur,” as locals call it. I’m getting creaky at 15.

And speaking of age, my male human, Terry, turns 70 this year. My female human through him a surprise birthday party early in December, well before the actual date. My cousins Aleta, Rachael, Chris and Laura came down from New York. Auntie Betty and Uncle Arthur came over from Indiana, and Uncle Chan drove up from North Carolina. Terry said he had no idea that she was planning the party. I thought she’d be in the dog house – ROTF LOL – but he loved his party.

To all my friends – Dickens, Amber and Ashley, Rosie and O’Grady, Anubis and Slinky, Midnight and Queenie, Jasmine and Gracie, Biscuit and Waffle, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Chloe and Jim-Bob, and Blackie and Spats – I wish you a Meowy Christmas and a Happy 2010.

Anyway, that’s all the news from Smith Mountain Lake. We love our life down here. Y’all come and see us, you hear.

Note from the blog owner: I really tried to stop Nikki, but she demanded to have her way. And now, I'm going to wrap up my scratches and bites. Never mess with a calico who is armed and dangerous. Happy holidays to one and all.