Friday, October 27, 2006

I stumbled on to this video and I thought that it was interesting. I am trying at this time to load the picture that goes with it, but if the picture does not get loaded, just click on the link above. It only takes a minute or so to watch, but I think that it is well worth the time.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Happy Halloween From Us and Our Cast of Thousands!
From left to right: Our son (The Cowboy), Pizza Puss (Mr. Jack O'Lantern), Pooh (The Wizard), Bad Little Dog (The Princess), the author (Arrrg, A Pirate), Sugar Pie (The Scarecrow), my beautiful wife (a beautiful butterfly).

Friday, October 20, 2006

This is our son's cat, Pizza Puss, another member of the "cast of thousands". I KNOW that Pizza Puss is an odd name. Our son, who is now 20, named the cat Pizza Puss when he was 8 years old. Pizza Puss took to our son immediately. One of our cats had a litter of kittens in a laundry basket. When they got old enough to climb out of the basket, one kitten would climb out and run right to our son. Of course, this endeared the kitten to him. He chose the name Pizza Puss because he had yellow-orange fur, like cheese on a pizza. You have to understand that we have had cats with odd names throughout the years. We had Donut, ABC, 123, Donut #2, and dogs with names like Peeves and Mr. Body. So you see, Pizza Puss is not that strange. Anyway, this cat loves our son SO MUCH, I've never seen a cat bond to anyone like that. When our son is here, Pizza Puss is sitting on him. He sits on him while he reads, while he studies, while he watches tv, while he plays video games. The ONLY time Pizza Puss is not on him is when our son is eating. When our son goes to visit his father and grandmother, 100 miles away, Pizza Puss sits in his chair and waits. If he is gone for an extended period of time (for instance, he stays several weeks at a time during the summer), Pizza Puss comes and sits by me, and waits. (Maybe Pizza Puss can tell that there is a genetic link from me to our son, I'm not sure exactly why he sits by me.) Pizza Puss prefers to drink from running water. He meows to tell you to turn on the water in the bathroom sink, so he can drink. If he has to drink from still water, he dips his paw in the water and licks it off. Pizza Puss is 12 years old now, and not in good health. About 2 years ago, one of his ears started bleeding. We thought that he must have ear mites and that all of the scratching caused it to bleed. We treated the ear mites, but it continued to bleed. Finally we took him to the vet, and the diagnosis was cancer. The vet said that they could operate, and hopefully get it all. They did operate, but they couldn't get all of it. We were informed that we could do another surgery, but that might not get it either, and that they would not put him through another surgery if he were their cat. They sent him home with the diagnosis that he probably wouldn't live another year. Well, he is a tough cat, and he has lasted more than a year. He gets a little off balance when he tries to jump from one piece of furniture to another, but I would get off balance if I did that too. He is getting a canned cat food diet, (the other kitties are extremely jealous-even when we tell them that he has cancer and needs some special attention). He doesn't get fussed at nearly as much as he used to. And he is the only cat that can get on the kitchen counter without getting shooed away or sprayed with the water bottle. I will hate to see him go, first because I like him, but more because of our son. When Pizza Puss dies, it will hurt our son down to his very soul. They have been inseparable since Pizza Puss climbed out of that laundry basket 12 years ago and chose our son to be his person. Pizza Puss has been his companion and confidant, offering unconditional love. He has seen him through divorce, a move to a new city, a move to this house, the loss of a greatly loved grandfather, adolescence, elementary school, middle school, high school and two different colleges. If love could keep someone here on earth, Pizza Puss would be here forever. Personally, I am just grateful for every day we have with him.

Friday, October 13, 2006

This is a picture of me in my Mighty Mouse costume, in 1959. Note the hard plastic mask, held in place by a thin piece of elastic. When you breathed, the inside of the mask would become very moist and uncomfortable. This was before the powers that be decided that makeup was better than masks and started encouraging those who wore costumes to wear makeup instead, to make it easier to see. I doubt very seriously that this costume was flame retardant either. You know, the way things used to be, I'm surprised that many of us baby boomers survived to adulthood. But we did, and now we have fond memories of Halloween past. You know, I’m going to sound like I am REALLY old in this post, but I am compelled to write it. I have been watching and thinking about how much everything has changed in my 50 years on this earth. Things have become…I don’t even know what to call it. Too complicated, maybe? Too materialistic? I’m not sure, but I know that things are very different than they were when I was growing up. Take Halloween, for example. As everyone probably now knows, I’m 51. I was born in 1955. This means that I grew up during the late 50s and the 60s. Back then, you could carve a pumpkin, put a candle in it, and you were set for Halloween. Go get that plastic Halloween costume with the hard plastic mask that was held on by a elastic band, (as shown above) and you were all set to get a sack full of candy. Maybe, if you were lucky, you made some things at school that you could tape up in the windows of your house. The only kind of candy you could really expect to get back then were those peanut butter things, maybe Pixie Sticks. Or perhaps some caramels or an apple. If you hit a really great house, a homemade popcorn ball or maybe a candy bar of some kind. That was it. I don’t remember whole aisles of Halloween candy in the grocery stores. No “fun size” candy bars, no sacks of every kind of candy imaginable. But we didn’t care. Back then, we were happy with anything! We had fun. And you could go Trick or Treating anywhere, becasue we weren’t afraid of everything. We didn’t know that there were predators lurking out there, waiting to snatch us up, or at least give us tainted candy. (which is a myth, anyway, but don't get me started on that) Nowadays, Halloween is an entirely different thing. First of all, we start decorating for Halloween around the first of October. And even then, it seems late, because the stores have had Halloween merchandise since the first of September. Halloween is no longer a holiday for kids. OK, let me say now that I KNOW that Halloween was not originally for kids, but when I was a little girl, in the 50’s and 60’s, it was for the kids. You didn’t even see costumes for adults. I can’t imagine my mother or father putting on a costume and going to a Halloween party. Instead, one person (my mother) had the task of taking me Trick or Treating and the other person (my father) had the job of staying home and handing out Halloween candy at our house. No partying for them! Back then, people didn’t decorate their houses for Halloween, other than the jack o’ lantern. There were no Halloween lights, no Halloween garland, no wreaths for the front door and decorations to put on the lawn. There were no Halloween nick-nacks to put around the house. Things were so simple then. And to tell you the truth, I think that I miss the simplicity. I say that, knowing full well, that I like to decorate for holidays. But I’ve been very nostalgic lately, (hmm, I wonder if it has anything to do with turning 51?) and I'm just not sure if I would like for things to be that way again or not. I know this..these days there is so much pressure (and expense) to keep up with the neighbors. And with the coworkers. I am always looking for some “cutesy” vests or shirts or jewelry to wear to school. As a teacher of small children, I am required by law to wear these types of things for holidays. And here in the south, people actually come to your house for no other reason than to see your decorations. Talk about pressure! Yes, these things are cute, but do we really need them? Well, obviously we don't NEED them, but is it a good thing that these things are out there, available for purchase? Or was the simplicity of that point in time better? I'm not sure. But one thing that I am sure of...we can't go back.