Thursday, July 9, 2020


            A little more than 19 years ago my son who had just started living on his own, called me to tell me that he had found a kitten and would be keeping it.  She was a calico that he named Crash, because she seemed to be always crashing into walls when she was playing.
            When she was about 6 months old, while chasing a fly through the house, she pushed the screen out of the window and made it to the outside world.  She was missing for a few days when I came down to Woodhaven and joined the hunt for Crash.  It wasn’t hard to find her.  The garage behind our house had an extension where all the neighborhood strays always went in the afternoon to sun themselves.  I looked out the window and there was Crash on the garage extension.
            A year later another kitten was added to his family.  He was named, Burn (who I called Burnie).  Burnie just walked into the house and made himself at home.  This did not sit well with Crash, but she tolerated him.
            About a year and a half later, my son died in a construction accident.  Since my cat, Midnight, had died a month earlier, I inherited Crash and Burn.  They settled into their new home and when I moved to my new home, they complained continually through the 4 hour drive.  When I released them from their carriers, I vowed that the next time they left this house would be when they died.
            About 5 years ago Burnie started getting sick.  Through the skill of our vet he lived until 2 years ago when I had to make the decision to let him go.
            That left just Crash.  She didn’t mind being an only cat, in fact she really enjoyed it.  She never had to fight for a seat next to me on the couch, she would sleep next to my pillow every night. She didn’t have to share her food.   She was my buddy, my companion.  She seemed to sense whenever I had a problem or was feeling stressed.  Then she would be by my side.  One night, about 3 or 4 years ago, I had a nosebleed in the middle of the night.  It was severe, so I called 911.  All the while that EMS was here, Crash was right next to me.  It was comforting.
            About two weeks ago, at age 19+ she started retaining water and losing her appetite.  I took her to our vet and had a liter of fluid removed from her belly on Monday.  Since then she hasn’t eaten, or even tried to take some of my meals.
Yesterday I made the decision that, as much as I hated to do it, I had to let her go.  I just returned from the vet, where she died peacefully. I know I did the right thing, she had several medical problems and she was deaf, but I really wish I hadn’t had to make the decision.  I wish she would have just gone to sleep on her own, never to wake up again.
She will be cremated and I will take Crash and Burn’s.ashes and put them on my son’s grave so they will be together again.
Crash and Burn, you will be missed.
For the first time in 43 years, I will not have a cat in the house. It will be strange to not be woken up at 5:30 tomorrow morning by a cat asking for attention because, if the sun is up, I should be up.  I don’t know if I will get another cat or two, there are so many things to consider.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

It's All About Choice

Let me start by saying that I am a very strict law and order woman. I don’t litter, I stop at stop signs, I don’t pass on the right, don’t park in handicap stops, even for a minute, etc.   I believe that rules and laws are necessary for an orderly life. 

I’m watching reports of small business owners defying local orders that they stay closed, while larger companies are open even though they offer the same product as the small business.  Why?

I would rather shop in a small store which is able, because of its size, to be kept clean.  Small store owners take pride in the appearance of their store and can often be seen wiping down surfaces and sweeping the floor.  How often do you see Costco or Walmart employees sweeping and wiping.  They also have fewer people coming and going, therefore less chance of being infected.

I was speaking with a friend recently.  She’s a waitress on unemployment, but can’t wait to get back to work.  Restaurants should be allowed to open for in-house dining.  I saw that a restaurant, I believe in Australia,  has installed plexiglass between tables.  That would be one way to make for safe dining.  There is a restaurant near me that opened about 2 months before the lockdown, I doubt they will survive this lockdown.  They barely had enough time to develop a reputation and clientele. 

Now back to my original reason for writing this.  I am cheering the owners who are defying governors’ orders to stay closed.  I admire their courage and hope that, if I saw my rights being threatened or taken away, I would have the courage to fight back.

I realize the virus is real and very dangerous, but I believe strongly that we should be given a choice.  We can choose whether or not we want to eat out or shop in a small local store or go to the local salon.  The small business owner also has a choice.  He can choose whether or not he wants to stay closed and wait for a vaccine for the virus, or he can reopen his business.


Thursday, May 21, 2020

The World is Upside Down

Here I am early this morning listening to the news, some of it good, some of it bad.

This lockdown is affecting people in many different ways.  Some are terrified, some accepting and others frightened of losing their constitutional  rights.

The rules don't make any sense.  The mayor of New York City won't open NYC beaches even though state beaches will be open.  What will stop NYers from heading to Long Island for some time at the beach.  All those beaches, both city and Long Island border the Atlantic Ocean, same water.

Residents of many states are still in lockdown, not allowed to do more than shop for food (which some probably cannot afford since their place of employment or business has been closed) while governors have decided that, for the safety of inmates, prisoners should be released into the general public.  Surprise, surprise, many have been rearrested.

Elective surgeries have been stopped.  At first, I didn't see anything wrong with that, since I didn't realize that biopsies and cancer surgeries are considered elective.  But, abortion is elective and that is allowed.  I don't understand that rationale  People can die if they don't have their cancer removed, but it is OK that an inconvenient or unwanted baby dies.

I went along with closing places of worship for Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday since they are the days that the churches are packed, standing room only.  But on a normal Sunday, most masses are not crowded and there could be 6 feet between attendees.

I've been hearing that there is a risk of more people dying, not from the virus, but from the isolation imposed.  In some states, you can buy liquor, but you can't go to a gym.  I guess it's OK to become an alcholic, but it's not OK to be physically fit.  There is fear of increases in suicide and child abuse, but at least they won't get the virus.

Initially, I agreed with our president that the decision to reopen should be left to the states since the situation in each state is different with density of population and size.  But now, many state and city leaders have become addicted to their power and and holding their citizens hostage because they love the power they have and don't want to give it up..

People across the country are realizing that they have done their job by flattening the curve by staying home and now they have to go back to work, school and church. They rightfully fear they are losing their constitutional rights.  It is NOW time to release the law-abiding citizens of our cities and states and reopen all businesses, parks, beaches, etc. and let common sense prevail and cover our faces, wash our hands carefully.  We can choose whether or not we want to go out and circulate.  Taking a motto from one segment of our society, "My body, my choice."

Saturday, April 18, 2020

More frightening than the virus

I know I'm going to receive a lot of criticism for what I am about to say and that's OK.  I still have the freedom to speak my mind.  There is something more frightening than this virus in my opinion.

I've been watching how quickly we citizens have accepted the limits on our freedoms.  I've heard stories from small business stores that have shut down while the big box stores carrying some of the same products have been allowed to stay open.  Farmers are not able to sell their produce because restaurants and small groceries are closed.

Some state governors have put into effect regulations that make absolutely no sense.  In Michigan, if you live in one part of Michigan and have a summer home in another part, you cannot visit your summer home, but if you live in one of the neighboring states and have a summer home in Michigan, you are free to travel to that home.  You cannot go fishing, but you can take your kayak on the lake.  Unless you are on a large party boat, which I doubt they have on the lakes in Michigan, fishing is a solitary sport.  You don't want to be close to another fisherman, you don't want competition for your bait.

I watched an interview with a man in New Mexico who owns a small gun shop.  He also has a target range which was used by law enforcement to maintain their skills.  His shop was shut down, however, the local Walmart continues to have the ability to sell guns.

Our elected officials need to have a lesson in civics.  My own governor has said that he believes the Bill of Rights is above his pay grade.  Does he not know that the Bill of Rights is part of our Constitution which he swore to uphold and defend.

I have no problem with wearing a mask when I leave my home, even though it fogs up my glasses  There is an advantage of wearing a mask.  You only need to use eye makeup to look properly groomed.

Elective surgeries have been  cancelled.  Imagine if you discovered a lump or suspect you may have cancer, you would want to know immediately so you could start treatment.  Then, you hear from your doctor that the biopsy procedure is considered elective and has been postponed.  How many of you would be willing to wait to find out.  Wouldn't you want to know as soon as possible so you could start treatment.

I agree with our president that we must start reopening our country.  The price of this shutdown is too high.  There have been reports that  domestic abuse,  and suicides have increased.  If people would use common sense, we could go back to our normal lives.  Wear a mask, keep your distance from other people and stay home if you're not feeling well.  Naturally, there are areas, like New York City that do need more stringent rules.  There would have to be limits on the amount of people using the subways, or maybe the subways could be shut down.

Lest you think that I am a callous youngster, let me say that I am in a higher risk group - I am considered "elderly", but I believe that with some common sense, we could reopen our country.  Every job is "essential", especially if it is your job.

If we can be made to stay home, close businesses and schools because of a virus, how easy would it be for some elected official to declare that it is necessary to stay home because the sun is too strong, it's too cold, etc.

Just use your common sense and you will be OK.

(Signed) The Mouse that Roared

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Bad Day

This has started out as not a good day.

First, Crash decided at 4:00 am that she was thirsty and wanted a drink from the faucet and she expected me to get up and give it to her.  I managed to ignore her for about 2 hours.  Then I got  my revenge (sort of).  I got up and fed her, but couldn't understand why she was still meowing.  Then it dawned on me.  I had dreamed that I fed her.  Her meows had penetrated my sleep, so I fed her, but not really.

Now I was up and decided to check my mail.  Hmm.  My phone did not charge overnight, and my Fitbit didn't sync.

Not a good start for my day.  Time to shower and have breakfast.

Turned on the TV in the bedroom where I have a firestick.  For some reason, AT&T needed me to sign in again.  I hate signing in using the remote.  I'm a trained typist and don't enjoy the "hunt and pack" system, using only one thumb.  Oh well, typed in my user name, then the password, which was wrong.   Went to the office to check.  Only one letter off, should have been upper case.  Back to the bedroom.  Now, how to return to sign in screen.  That worked, but I couldn't correct the password and kept trying to sign in, instead of editing the password.  Now I'm locked out for a little while.

Maybe I should go back to bed, maybe I'm still sleeping and this has all been a dream?  Nah, it has all been real.  This is my life with a 19 year old, deaf, spoiled cat and electronics in the 21st century.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020


Happy St. Patrick's Day to all

Well, the corned beef is on the stove and the soda bread is in the oven.  Making it brought me back to when I first got this recipe.   My son was 4 years old and in Nursery School.  On St. Patrick's Day in 1975 he came home with some soda bread and a recipe.  The bread was delicious and I saved the recipe and made it for many years.

I still make that same recipe, but today, I marveled at the patience of those two teachers with a room full of busy 4 and 5 year old boys and girls.  If I remember those teachers, Miss Judy and Miss Ruth, they probably would have let the children be hands on when making the bread.  Oh, the patience they must have had.  I thank them now, many, many years later.

Miss Judy and Miss Ruth, thank you for that delicious recipe and I can't wait until my bread is baked so I can have a piece with some butter and think of you.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

The Ban on Plastic

I heard on the news today that this is the day that New York City bans stores from using plastic bags.  In my opinion, this is a big mistake.

First, I must say that I believe in recycling.  I have been recycling long before it was mandatory.  When I was younger, I would return cans and bottles for a deposit.  We saved our newspapers for our neighbor who would collect them and take them to a recycler and receive cash which he would then put into a savings account for his grandsons' college. The supermarkets used paper bags then and they were reused as garbage bags.  We even used them to make covers for our school books.  When we switched to plastic, I used them as small garbage bags or to cover shoes when I travelled.

Any pet owner will tell you that these plastic bags are necessary and not wasteful.  They are not one use plastic, they are used by dog owners on their daily walks.  I have a cat and use these plastic grocery bags when I clean the litter box daily.  They are NOT one use bags, however, when all cities ban these bags, I will have to buy bags that I will use only once to clean the litter box.  How is that good for the environment?

I have also heard of another use for these bags.  Many food pantries use them to distribute food to the needy.  These pantries rely on donations of food, money and plastic bags.  If the bags are banned, the food pantry will have to buy bags leaving less food available for those in need.

I hope city leaders will rethink their plans to ban these bags.