Herding Cats – Mickey Goes Missing

Herding Cats – Mickey Goes Missing

MickeyPets can be a wonderful source of comfort but they come with a price. In a previous blog, I posted that  I was the proud human of four cats. Now it is three.  Our female, Reinette, managed to lose her way home a few weeks ago. She came to us as a stray and spent quite a bit of time outdoors so I don’t want to believe something bad happened. She wasn’t overly attached to us. Mostly we were a place to eat and sleep, so  believing she simply wandered off eases my mind. But not all cats are quite so outdoor savvy and when Mickey went missing, I imagined the worse.

Mickey is a young tuxedo cat, one of Reinette’s kittens. He’s a real character, with a distinct meow. Many times I come into the room and he is laying on his back, his white underside exposed. Like all cats, Mickey is  nocturnal and once the sun starts sets, he wants to go outside.  Mickey does not wander from the fenced-in front yard. I don’t know if he doesn’t know he could jump the fence or is just to lazy. Mickey is also a bit of a fraidy-cat who races back to the front porch when something scares him.

My husband and I are on vacation and my daughter is taking care of the cats. When she texted me that Mickey had not come home the night before, I was worried. I think my fear was worse because I was away from home and couldn’t do anything to help find him. I thought if I were home, he  would come when I called or I could go back into the woods and see if he was stuck in a tree. As the day progressed, I imagined the worse: what if the coyote that roams our area got him? What if he was hit by a car? Instead of enjoying my vacation, I worried, not only for my cat but also for my daughter who doesn’t deal with the death of a pet well.  I tried to cut-off the bad feelings by just admitting that he was gone and wasn’t coming back. That’s what happens when you own a pet, especially one that goes outdoors.

But this story does have a happy ending. While my husband and I were at dinner, I got a text from my daughter, asking if it was OK to take in a stray that came to the house. Attached was a picture of my Mickey. We think something scared him and he had been hiding under the tractor in the back yard all day. Knowing that something, or someone, you love is safe is the best feeling in the world. I could feel the transition from blah to jubilation.

Being a human to a pet, or even being a parent, a spouse, or a friend, means accepting that bad things eventually happen. That’s why we need to enjoy the time we  have and live each day to the fullest. When I get home, Mickey gets a great big hug.

Who Knew? Oklahoma – Discovering a Cobblestone Town

Who Knew? Oklahoma – Discovering a Cobblestone Town

 

My husband  once told me a story about a visit from his brother Charles’ and his family . Charles lived in California and although he was born and raised in Oklahoma, he must have forgotten to tell his children that Oklahoma had obtained Statehood many years before. The cousins were genuinely surprised by the lack of teepees dotting the landscape, or stagecoaches circling the women folk in case of a raid. Too many bad Hollywood westerns may have given them the wrong impression of this beautiful state. Visiting Oklahoma is not at the top of many people’s bucket list, unless you are like my friend Michael who wants to visit so he can say he has been to all 50 states. Yet there are hidden treasures that can be found, even for long-time residents like myself. Take for instance, Medicine Park.DSCF8461

 My husband and I first visited this quaint, cobblestoned town in the fall of 2011. And I do mean cobblestoned! Almost every building is constructed using red stones found in the nearby Wichita Mountains. Medicine Park is an old resort town, once popular among the affluent and known for its healing waters. I was struck by the rustic beauty of this quaint town. DSCF8452

A tree-line path hugs a stream that flows through town. Geese, ducks and large tortoises can be seen near the water’s edge. A small bridge crosses over to a diving platform, used by swimmers during the summer months. Back in the  1940’s this place bustled with activity, but that day there were few people to disturb the tranquil quiet. Who knew Southwest Oklahoma could boast of such a unique and beautiful place.

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Monday Morning Blues

Monday Morning Blues

Monday’s may not be anyone’s favorite day of the week, but I absolutely hate them. Monday should be a day I  gently slide back into the routine of real life, which for me is my job. I am the lead  business analyst of a large project with many problems. Our delivery date will not be met, yet no one will admit it. My team is inexperienced and needs lots of guidance. My boss  lives in some sort of fantasy world where I am Superwoman and I will save the day (so that mere mortals like herself can sleep well at night), so telling her things are bad doesn’t do much good. And countless project managers who cannot see past the end of their MS Project Plan. Instead of a gentle breeze, Monday blows in like a May tornado, hitting quick and hard, leaving  a trail of debris that needs to be cleaned up.   Between 7:00 am and 9:00 am, I will  have at least two meetings. My e-mail inbox  will include new items to be concerned about, take care of, or do myself. My task list grows longer each day and my inability to complete anything holds up other people from completing their tasks.  I am literally the clog at the bottom of the funnel.  And as I look ahead to the rest of the week, I see no hope of things improving. Monday has barely begun and I am defeated.

For anyone reading this, I’m sorry this is nothing more than a rant and a woe-is-me pity-party. It’s been a week since I last blogged (due to work travel) and I felt I needed to post something. This was all I could muster.  Feel free to add your own “I hate Monday” post. Misery loves company!

Off to my first meeting!

DAY 19 – Try a New Posting Style

DAY 19 – Try a New Posting Style

The following was an assignment from a writing class I took. It is a short fiction loosely based on my Grandmother Daisy and her brother George. I welcome all feedback .

Unexpected Messages
 

Daisy peeled potatoes and daydreamed about hats, or at least one in particular; a stylish black hat with a large feather plume that she saw in the window at Eaton’s Department Store on her day off. Daisy pictured herself wearing the hat as she strolled down King Street, dressed to the nines, with her head held high and her dainty nose in the air. Gentlemen would tip their Homburgs and say Good Morning, Miss Webb, while women draped in pearl would huff with jealousy. Image

Just as she was about to stick her tongue out at Mrs. Jenkins, a loud knock at the front door yanked Daisy back to the kitchen. Wiping her hands on her dirty white apron, Daisy hurried to the front of the stately house where she worked as a domestic servant. A cool morning breeze off Lake Ontario chilled Daisy as she opened the door. Should have grabbed my shawl, she thought.Image

A young boy, no more than 15 years old, stood on the front steps. In his dark wool uniform with brass buttons down the front, the boy could easily pass as a young soldier. Only the red bicycle at the foot of the stairs and the small pouch attached to his belt said otherwise. The telegram messenger, an omen of bad news, was an all-to-frequent visitor in the upscale Ontario neighborhood.

“Telegram for Miss Daisy Webb,” he said. His outstretched hand held a pale envelope, imprinted with a small red cross.

Uncertainty echoed in her voice. “I’m Daisy.” As she reached for the envelop she noticed a heaviness in the boy’s eyes. Although the Great War was less than a year old, Daisy suspected this boy had delivered many such messages.

 The envelope felt heavy in Daisy’s hand. Instinctively she already knew what it said. After 10 long years, Daisy had received another unexpected message late last summer from her brother George. In it, he told of his long search for her. The home in Peterborough had given him her current address, he wrote. He had wanted her to know he would soon go to France to fight in the war. Would she write to him, he asked? Once settled, he promised to send her his address.

George’s letter never mentioned their last day together. Daisy had been 10 years old, George 12, when authorities had abducted them from their grandmother’s London home. Grandmother could not care for them anymore, they said. The authorities had placed her in a school where she learned domestic skills. At 16, they sent her to Canada as an indentured servant until she was of age. Until the letter arrived, Daisy thought George was dead. Daisy understood. They were Home Children. Some things were best tucked away and forgotten.  

She never received George’s address and Daisy thought it just as well. Daisy lost her brother 10 years ago. The George who went to war was a stranger. 

Daisy gently folded the unopened envelope and placed it in the pocket of the dirty apron and went back to peeling potatoes.  Image