Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is days away and I’m going to do my shopping tomorrow (I have been in far too much pain today to actually psych myself into it. I was also far too drained to focus on anything other than staying in my PJ’s and not going out in 22 degree temperatures. I’ve wanted a nap since a little after 9:00 this morning. I’m seriously eating dinner and going to bed as soon as humanly possible.), which is unusually late for me, but I have a list and I’m sticking to it, even though it’ll be crazy in the store no matter what.

I honestly don’t think I’ve made a Thanksgiving meal in about 6 or 7 years. It’s been long enough that I simply don’t remember the last time I did it (though I do know that my father was in the hospital at the time), but this year I decided that, despite only cooking for a few people, I’m not making ten plus pounds of turkey for anyone. It’s a lot of food, food that will absolutely go to waste because no one around here eats dark meat (Based on personal preference, nothing more. ), so I am going to re-vamp the menu slightly, but I’m still going to make stuffing because I’m craving it and it’s one of the most awesome things about Thanksgiving in terms of food.

Everyone makes stuffing differently, providing they make it at all, as everyone likes different side dishes this time of year. I don’t know anyone that makes stuffing the way I do, but I inherited the recipe from my mother and it’s good enough that I will pass it down the generational line because there is no way in the world this chick is genetically producing children that can’t cook.

I’m keeping things healthy by including a salad, even if I’m the only person that eats it. Truth be told, I like to tear up my turkey or chicken and throw it right into a salad, even on Thanksgiving. I do not feel guilty about food EVER, but I especially don’t like bringing food issues of any kind to the table during the holidays.

So, I’ve got a nice meal planned, there will be plenty of leftovers, but I’m completely sidelined and baffled by dessert. For the last couple of years I’ve ordered pies and cheesecake for the holidays from a local Italian bakery. I’m not a pie maker, I know my baking strengths and I don’t have the patience for pies, so when it comes to things of that nature, I turn to those who do it for a living. I made the mistake last year of ordering a Pumpkin Pie that was so bad, I refused to eat it. From the crust to the filling, it was one of the worst things you could ever possibly taste.

Pumpkin Pie is hard to screw up, it’s a pie I know how to make without a lot of effort, but I was exhausted last year and there would not have been pie at all if it were left up to me. I think I ordered four or five different pies between Thanksgiving and the end of last year, and the only ones worth eating were Caramel Apple Walnut & an amazing Chocolate Cream that was downright sinful (it took me two weeks to finish it, it must have weighed ten pounds!). All the others stunk, but the Caramel Apple Walnut is consistently good.

I eat fruit year round like it’s a sport, and I have an immense sweet tooth, so even though I had not previously thought about it, I am going to try to snag a Caramel Apple Walnut to cap off this year’s meal. Personally though, at least for myself, I’m thinking of making my awesome brownies. It will take me the next month and a half to eat them because they’re truly divine, and full of dark chocolately goodness and other healthy things that help reduce any issues one might have at eating a small chunk or two, but a lot will depend on how long it takes me to get the main course and the stuffing in the oven.

Fibromyalgia makes it virtually impossible for me to prepare a huge meal in a few hours like I used to, so I’m thinking I will prep the stuffing Wednesday since it’s not a long amount of prep work, and then do the main course and the salad on Thursday. Each takes less than 20 minutes, the oven does all the real work. If I have energy after that, brownies will be made. If not, I’ll settle for a tiny wedge of pie. However, I guarantee that pie will not see the light of day. It’ll come into the house tomorrow afternoon and by Thursday evening, the box will be in the trash. I have serious pie eaters here, they don’t mess around.

My only other real “plan” for Thanksgiving is to watch movies and read. I just want a nice meal and a relatively quiet day. Black Friday will be spent chasing newly acquired black kitten who is SO at home right now, it’s not even funny. Every day she learns something new and shows me a new trick. Yesterday it was the fact that, small as she is, she can open closed doors. I have to admit, I was impressed. Today she ran up and down the stairs like a mad woman, and every time I’d go to check on her, she’d go flying back up the stairs like she’d just committed a crime. If you saw the behavior on video, you’d crack up. It’s entertaining as hell. She doesn’t make a lot of noise, so when she meows, which she finally did Saturday, it is the cutest thing ever. She’s pretty possessive of me, but I don’t mind, except when she speeds after me, nearly knocking me down. She’s a little beast when it comes to following me when she wants to. She’s sound asleep, the next minute she’s right under my feet or bumping her head into my legs. She is the gift that keeps on giving, and I’m thankful that I decided to come from a place of yes and bring her home. She’s already helping me feel a lot better about certain things. I’ve had less headaches/migraines since she’s come home, which cannot be a coincidence. I’m calmer and more centered, and I am not yelling nearly as much as I normally do.

I am not gifting anyone anything this year, other than my love, loyalty, and friendship, and for some people, all three. I might treat myself to something small, but I really just want to survive the remainder of this year with my head above water, and move into a New Year where I can prosper.

I feel bad that I won’t technically be doing anything for Chanukah this year, which begins Thanksgiving night, and is my favorite of all the Jewish holidays. I have such great memories of the happiness of Chanukah that it makes me sad, but it’s also not about gifts. Right now, for me, it’s about remaining focused. I’m doing my best.

This year has taken huge chunks of my soul, but others things have been given back to me, like unconditional love, loyalty, confidence, respect, new friendships that I treasure, old friendships that are the untarnished Platinum in my life, and the knowledge that the more I grow, the more content I am with who I am and where I’m going. Nothing is set in stone, and I’m learning that every time someone tries to break me, I come back stronger from the trial.

I hope everyone has a wonderful, peaceful, happy, healthy, and safe holiday.

Maybe I’ve Found A New Mini-Me…

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Just spoke with a lady that has a kitten I might be adopting this week. I will be meeting with her and said kitten. I am sort of looking forward to it because it’s become very clear to me that I need to have a kitten to get me through the shit I’ve been dealing with. Normally I would not bring just one into my home on its own, I’d take two, but she only has the one that I am interested in, and at this point, maybe I will bring two in next year if this adoption works out. I’ve got to go with my intuition and see how it feels. This will give me a few days to prep, just in case. I’ve got everything she would need immediately except for a few little things that I can pick up before picking her up. I guess I’ll know for sure if it’s meant to be when I meet her. I feel very torn. I feel like I’m cheating on my deceased cat, but I also wonder if she sent this kitten to me. I guess I’ll find out when I meet her.

Wish me luck!

*This might be the new little Miss Kitty. Don’t worry, that will NOT be her name. I’m far more creative than that!!*

Quinn Needs Our Help!

Quinn Needs Our Help!

http://www.animalleague.org/support/support-rescue-medical-programs/help-me-heal/animals/quinn.html

I saw this on Facebook and it broke my fucking heart (Yes, I do have one.). Later on, I received an e-mail from NSAL because my family & I have been a part of their family for an incredibly long time. I’ve never had an animal that didn’t come from this great organization, and my kittens were the greatest gift anyone could ever have given me. They are both gone now, but NSAL remains a huge part of my heart and an even bigger part of my adoption decision making process. This is where I will return next year when I have mourned a little more, and settled things in my own life enough to make room for new little babes.

Quinn is a Tortie in need of major eye surgery to help stop her from suffering so much pain day in and day out. My little girl was a Tortie in need of nothing, but a good home and she lead such a long, healthy, happy life full of love, always receiving the medical care she needed, even when it was outrageous beyond words. When it came to my babies, I just shook my head and wrote the checks. If I could have saved her life with a check, I gladly would have written another, but there truly was nothing more I could do for her, but hold her paws and stay by her side, which I did.

In lieu of birthday acknowledgements, please send what you can to NSAL for Quinn. I’m doing my part, so please think of her for me tomorrow and even if you send just $1, it will be a dollar closer to whatever amount is needed to help her live the life that she deserves. When in doubt, a donation can be mailed to them in her name with a copy of the announcement.

I thank anyone in advance if they do this because I know so many of us feel strongly about our animals and about helping when we can. Many of us are struggling, myself included, but as I said, in this case, even just a $1 can and will help.

Thanks everyone!

Hugs…..Li

Fearless Cat Chases Fox Intruder Off His Land

Fearless Cat Chases Fox Intruder Off His Land

http://www.pawnation.com/2013/10/09/fearless-cat-chases-fox-intruder-off-his-land/?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmaing8%7Cdl16%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D389183#photo=1

This just plain makes me smile. Way too many people think dogs are guardians, but they probably don’t know that cats are deeply protective when it comes to their families and home. Plus, most animals freak out when a cat comes after them. Norwegian Forest Cats are known for their predatory instincts. Lots of people like to keep them as mousers. They’re a beautiful breed.

Mission: Catch A Kitten

This morning my little visitor showed up again, much to my delight. I actually smiled for the first time since I last saw her. This time she was right on my patio. She was looking for me, but got scared when I opened the door to greet her and hopped off to hide behind my storage shed. She hopped the entire way like a bunny, cutest thing EVER! Seeing her up close like that, I’m thinking she’s maybe six months old. I want her. This was not my original plan, but I feel like she’s been sent to me and I can’t ignore that sign.

I am going to see what I can do to get her to keep coming back and trust me. It’ll start by picking up some dry cat food when I hit Walmart within the next day or so, as my macaroon was on a Royal Canin diet and I can’t give that to a kitten or a cat that doesn’t have the same health problem. She wasn’t into the wet food I’d originally put out for her and since we do have opossum in the area, I think the dry food might help, though I’ve seen opossum eat dry cat food in the past (and scare the hell out of me to boot), so I’ll have to figure out how to leave it out for her without attracting an animal that might harm her. This means she’ll need a little food dish as well as one for water, just in case. I’m going to keep on trying to catch little Miss. In the meantime, I am trying to come up with a name for her. I want something sweet and original.

Her upper body is sleek and black and her entire bottom half is white, including her paws. Her face is a typical tuxedo blend, but she needs the right home. She was at the door asking to be let in, which is a big step, but got scared when I opened it. It’s cold and I want to catch her before our first snow fall. I do not want anything to happen to her.

Time to dig into my book of languages and come up with a name for this sweet little babe. Even if I am unable to keep her, which would mean that she’s microchipped and needs to be returned to her actual owner, she still deserves a proper name. I want something unique and distinctive. I don’t do common.

Caturday Came A Day Early…

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Yesterday was my “day off” after a pretty tumultuous week. My pain levels are driving me up the wall, and a few people in my life are choosing now, of all times, to be idiotic, pathetic, childish morons. Do you all wait for me to have PMS and be raring to go after you with a hockey stick or are you really just that stupid?! For the record, I could be talking about a plethora of people, so please, don’t flatter yourself into thinking I’m talking about you unless you actually know you’re a moron and have been behaving in a childish, pathetic manner.

It has been my experience that morons are completely oblivious to the shit that comes out of their mouth, as well as how they act and behave. If you’ve said or done something stupid and I have kept my mouth shut thus far, trust me when I say that I’m being merciful.

Yesterday morning I discovered a black & white kitten in my back yard. I was on my way upstairs and out of the corner of my eye was a kitten in typical cat like predatorial position, seemingly staring at something near the storage shed. I opened the door and called out to her, but she refused to leave her post. After about an hour or so, she slowly started to move around the yard, still watching something that I couldn’t see or hear, and I decided to put some food out for her and see if she’d bite.

She had no collar or visible tags and she kept looking right at me, so I know she’s not afraid of me (and yes, I know she’s actually a she because male cats have a totally different look to them facially and physically.). I’ve seen her in passing for a few months roaming around 4-5 houses close to mine, darting across the street in the early evening hours, but I have no idea if she’s microchipped and belongs to someone, if she’s been abandoned, or if she’s a stray. It’s possible she belongs to someone and is an outdoor cat, but to not have a collar or tags is usually a good indicator that the owner doesn’t really give a shit about their animal, and it pisses me off big time when people do that.

I suspect she’s been sleeping in my yard at night for quite some time because I’ve been hearing some major purring underneath my window pretty much every night. If you’re not a cat owner or cat lover, you have no idea what it’s like to have a purring little being lull you to sleep. I miss that SO MUCH after losing my macaroon in January. I felt like I was cheating a bit calling out to this kitten, I actually looked around as if she might hear me, but it comes down to me simply not being able to allow a kitten to hang out in my yard without feeding it and making sure it’s safe and belongs to someone. I’ll see if we develop trust between us because right now, I don’t want to spook her. She was here for several hours and then walked around the yard and left. She’s beautiful, but young. Maybe a year old, if that. Still a baby. I would take her in, in a New York Minute, and I don’t usually say that about an animal older than 10 weeks. Kittens are my personal preference and are such a joy to raise. I am well aware that older cats need homes too, and plenty of people in my area are adopting them, so I am not about to change my preference unless a situation presents itself. I do not compromise who I am to make other people feel better about themselves.

As of right now, I am supposed to attend a kitten/cat adoption event the day of my birthday in a few weeks. Initially I was really looking forward to this, I was so excited at the possibility of coming home with “little people”. It’s in the Main Line (outside of Philly), so it’s still close enough that if I don’t find a kitten or two to take home I can always attend their November event, but I’m honestly just going to wing it. If I wake up that morning and I’m feeling good, then I’ll go. If I wake up and I don’t feel it, then I will wait until next Spring and give myself that much more time to heal because in all honesty, I have a feeling that’s what I really need.

This has been a year that has shown me who I am. It has brought out a deeper strength I did not know I possessed, a fighting spirit that is so much fiercer than she used to be, and a person who sees things and people in a much clearer fashion. I will no longer hold on to things, relationships/friendships, or anything that doesn’t give me a sense of peace and happiness. I will not change to make others feel better, but I will change if I see something within me that needs fixing, for me. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being yourself. I now fully realize that some people don’t know how to take that, and that some people simply want to run and hide from it because they’re really running and hiding from themselves. That’s not my issue. If you ask me to be a part of your life in any way, shape, or form, then I am going to be myself. If you ask me for advice, help, honesty, or to listen, then I will do exactly that. If I extend the hand of friendship, fully consider it before smacking it away as if you’re two years old.

I’m going to spend my weekend writing, reading, resting, and healing. I will squeeze some cleaning, laundry, and cooking into the fray, and I will try to catch the Pirates game tomorrow as well. Beyond that, I really just want to be left alone with my own thoughts. What next week holds is a whole other story, but I already know it’ll be challenging. I will make it through, and so will you.

Enjoy A Laugh

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This made me laugh out loud when I saw it. Anyone who is a cat parent KNOWS what I’m talking about. Try coming home smelling like another cat, they will stalk the answer out of you until you walk around for days saying “I’m sorry. I was just being friendly. I won’t do it again. Don’t be mad.” LOL.

What Does It Take?!

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I’m upset, very much so. Now I have a LOT to be upset about, I’m going through a really horrible time in my life right now. I keep a lot of things private for obvious reasons, as I am sure most of us do, but the thing I am upset about in the moment is that I lost out on kitten #2 a few nights ago. If you’ve been reading this blog for longer than two minutes, you know that I lost my baby girl in January (They say time heals all wounds. Whoever “they” are, I’m going to take a bat or a hockey stick to them the next time “they” come around.) and that I have slowly been trying to adopt again. A shelter adopted out a Bombay kitten I thought would be mine without even telling me, so I am pretty much sick of dealing with these places since they’ll take your money and then say “Whoops!” when they adopt out the kitten/cat you’ve applied for. At least let a person know that the animal is being adopted, that way they don’t get their hopes up, prepare for their arrival, etc. I called a place the other day and they assured me that once I pay, those kittens are MINE. However, I don’t look forward to this specific trek because I’ve never been there before and I don’t want to be told the kittens are available and after three hours, find out they’ve already been adopted, so I’m taking a pass after this most recent heartbreaking episode.

My sanity pretty much depends on kittens at this point. It might seem ridiculous, but if you’ve had animals your entire life, or for an immense chunk of your life, and suddenly the only person you have to talk to each day is yourself, you can understand why I feel borderline insane at the moment.

I’d finally found a kitten (pictured above. Have you seen anything this gorgeous?! I’m blown away by how beautiful she is.) that I 100% connected with on Craigslist. So gorgeous and unique, I had that sudden surge of “Woo hoo! I FOUND HER!!”, which I have not had once in my entire search. I’ve been lukewarm or “I’ll grow to love her.” in my choices thus far. No one is going to replace my baby, that’s like trying to replace your child, it doesn’t happen. I contacted the owner/foster parent to meet with her and a few hours later she e-mails me back to say she’s being adopted, but that if the people adopting her don’t want her, she’ll let me know. Later in the evening the ad was deleted, so clearly she was taken. I actually sat and cried, which I don’t usually do over much. Maybe it was frustration, maybe it was a feeling I simply had, I don’t know.

I’m sick of all this. I can’t tell you how many phone calls I made the other afternoon (and how many I’ve been making since March/April) inquiring about kittens within a 100 mile radius. I shouldn’t so much as look at them because each time I inquire about one, there is something wrong with the animal health wise (they don’t want you to know that until after you’ve paid them, but I demand the medical records for a reason. Naturally I expect normal vet bills with any animal, but I’d also like to be able to do that from the confines of a roof over my head, and I am sure many people can relate and/or agree with me on this. We want our animals to be happy and healthy.) or they’re halfway out the door. I get it, I really do, but if every shelter is “full to capacity with kittens”, shouldn’t there be more kittens, not less, for a person like me to adopt?

The places I refuse to do business with are the ones that literally want to move in with you for a day or two to find out what kind of “parent” you will be (I’m exaggerating, but you get the general idea). I get annoyed when anyone wants to invade my personal space. I do NOT play well with others, unless they’re small and fluffy. Get a reference from my vet, from close friends, but in a house with no other pets and only a visiting child under the age of three, I think we’re good here, ya know? I was told Craigslist was a great way to adopt an animal (or several) that has already been de-wormed, with all their shots, that would already be spayed, etc., but thus far I’ve mostly found shelters pushing animals I don’t want at me. If I wanted a dog, I would have one. I don’t, ’cause I’m basically a cat myself and want to be around my own kind.

The last time I went more than a few years without a cat, I just about lost my mind. So, if you’re any kind of animal person and understand where I’m coming from, wish me luck on my search.  My next adoption option is in the Main Line (Maybe I’ll run into the Pretty Little Liars…). It’s close enough that if I don’t find a special little someone to bring home, I can go back until I do. This place is helping out several shelters that are overcrowded and they’ve already adopted out close to 1500 cats and kittens. $25 to adopt a kitten that already has everything it needs (and has already been spayed/neutered), but a microchip is a steal and cats over 6 months old are $1. I will be posting an ad for this event because I think if anyone wants to check it out, it’s worthwhile. Lord knows I am not the only cat person in the state of Pennsylvania, but I still get the distinct impression I will have to go back to my roots and adopt at North Shore Animal League. Either way, I am looking forward to bringing home some light into the darkness that is my life.