1002 hits

One thousand and two times someone came to this blog. Out of curiosity. Out of familiarity with the eclectic, quirky style of the writer. Out of incredulity that anyone actually spent the time to get such odd results. Ha! Frankly I can’t imagine why 1002 hits registered on this blog when so few people even know it’s around!

Thank you, whoever you are. People who read it and tell me, an even bigger thanks to you!

The horned Moses, inspiration for my blog self-portrait, above!

This blog started as an experiment. It is meant to keep my mind engaged during my retirement years, to give my hands purpose. It works well toward those goals! But I didn’t realize it would be a documentation of the process rather than then process itself, which makes it- this blog – a happy surprise!

I have no idea what I will write about to take this blog to 2000 hits. If you are a faithful reader of this blog, I hope what I write till then is, for you, a happy surprise, too!


I’m not happy when I have to deal with money matters, yet that is my position in the family. My father and mother’s financial affairs became mine, and I strived not to be consumed in the details and twists and turns insurance companies and the Nebraska Health and Human Services put you through.

Dad was very competent in financial matters, but had macular degeneration in both eyes. He was unable to take care of their financial matters easily in the last years of his life. He managed because I was his surrogate eyes.

Mom has never been interested in her financial affairs, which means I have more to do for her than I did Dad.

Stressed. That’s how I am anymore when I work on her financial matters. Dad isn’t here to advise me. I don’t want to cause her any complications- money shortages primarily- but I feel I am inadequate to the task without Dad.

So, having taken one more step only to find there’s exactly (I hope!) one more step to move her over to Medicaid, I am not happy. Time for me is advised. Do something that clears out the cobwebs of doubt, places the strains of dealing with institutions and social welfare organizations behind me for the time being: that’s what I need!

I decide to listen to music. Not any music but music I know has the curative powers I need just now.

J.S. Bach. My first choice. I listen to Angelika Kirchschlager sing Bach arias so pure and restorative, I feel tears of joy just to listen to such mastery of a difficult repertoire. Angel indeed! Angelika Kirchschlager, with that awful German surname (!) sings with as pure a soprano voice as I’ve ever heard. This is my single most favorite CD.

You know Gamelan music is a favorite of mine if you’ve read this blog site all the way through. I listen to one from Central Java that is particularly strong on singing. Many times, in Gamelan recordings, the female voices sound forced and nasal. On this particular recording, the voices are natural (by Western standards, I suppose!) and a better match to the Gamelan players.

All I know is I’m starting to feel a bit happier. No! A lot happier!

Wow! Do I know how to pick ’em! The next CD is Bix Beiderbecke and the Chicago Cornets. 20s and 30s music played by the greatest Jazz legends of that time. Happy, bouncy music! Brilliant! My cares drift away. I don’t know if I even need the last CD to fill that spiritual void created by endless paperwork and endless regulation.

It’ll hold till Monday, that final step, as long as The Check clears by Wednesday.

What!? Get those thoughts out of your mind for now, weggieboy! It will clear, and this next “final step” will be done. No need to become stressed again!


The black crowned night heron comes to mind when I think of “crepuscular”, meaning active just before and after dawn and twilight. That’s when you’ll find this handsome little heron in the marshes and lakes out in the Nebraska Sandhills.

A crepuscular black crowned night heron.

Once I decided it was time to have a cat companion, I had an idea they were active at night, or, at least, were active sometimes during the day, or why would they become the current favorite companion animal? If you just wanted a fur ball, you could get a Pomeranian. They’re cute! “Doggy”! Companionable! Diurnal! And perfect hand warmers in winter time!

I had an impression of what I wanted in my pound cat...!

I did have some sense of what I wanted in a cat. A neck warmer, perhaps, a lump that was active enough to engage me in cat fun, but not so active as to interrupt things like writing this blog. I mean, I didn’t want a needy cat, I wanted one that was copasetic, comfortable, a purrbunny in fact. A cat that had a dog-like love of attention, but a cat-like independence (i.e. didn’t attach itself to my leg and never leave me alone).

One expects certain demanding behaviors from the cat!

Nor did I want one that demanded so much of me that I didn’t have a life at home short of doing the cat’s bidding, a little dictator!

How demanding can a cat that sleeps 23-3/4 hours a day be!?

Louie’s veterinarian estimates him to be five years old, which makes him a mature cat but not an old one. I like to think of him as a 30-something cat, just embarking on a new job, that is to be a perfect companion for me.

And it means settling in here, learning that 2:30 AM isn’t feeding time, Louie. (“Eat some crunchies to tide you over, cat!”). Learning that the scratching board will have endless supplies of catnip pellets if you use it, Louie. That you don’t have to be up all the time I am, but best sources say I’m supposed to give you 12-1/2 minutes of attention a day for you to be properly socialized. Please, let’s not make that 50% at night when you hog up half my bed, and 50% when I find you asleep on the guest bedroom bed and wake you up for some kitty quality time! And help me with this cat toy business. What is it you need and want? Hunh? I can’t continue to buy cat toys you don’t use.

"Wuv" my kitty!

In the meantime, my job is to give my kitty “wuv”. I don’t care if he is crepuscular!

a little death

I had a call from the veterinarian this morning, 8:00 o’clock.

Freckles had died during the night. They were very sorry. They- the vet who spayed Freckles and another vet, who is an old friend of mine from over at the last place I lived- would do an autopsy on her, would let me know what they learned. She would be cremated. Would I like the ashes (“No.”) Would it be OK if they spread them, then, around a tree they have in front of the clinic? (“Yes.”)

Picture 63

Freckles and Me

Who accepts death immediately? I fight denial as I type. She was such a sweet little cat. She was so gentle, I’d hoped to take her over to the care center, for her to become the cat version of the dog, Benji. Benji belongs to one of the staff, and everyone loves him, he’s such a sweet little dog. See the pattern? She’d be a therapy cat or just something sweet and alive to cuddle in old arms and hands. No way can she be dead!

Freckles died. Is dead. Won’t come home. She will be cremated, and her ashes will be scattered round a tree that grows in front of the clinic. I like that. I drive by the tree many times a month. Her new home.

The vet reported the findings of the autopsy to me. Clear lungs. (I’d mentioned she sneezed a lot.) Normal kidneys. (She was a young cat, her life measured in weeks.) Nothing out of order where she’d been opened surgically. (The vets at the clinic all have great reputations, for cause.) In short, Freckles died of an “undetermined cause”.

In the human mind, though, “undetermined cause” is the start of outrageous speculation!

What of her three weeks in the pound, listening to and smelling the barking dogs? The stress of surgery plus the return to a cage while she recovered? That the recovery cage was surrounded on two sides by recovering dogs? Did they bark? Did she cower in her cage, frightened she was returning to this hell?

When the mind runs wild, anything is an answer. Stress. That’s my guess. It’s as good as “undetermined cause”, though I grant the two veterinarians involved in the autopsy the credibility that comes of their long years of study and practice as veterinarians.

guard cat

Louie and Me

What next?

Louie still lives with me. He is a charming, quirky cat. I will use him to fine-tune my knowledge of cat companionship. When I feel I’m suitably trained, Louie and I will adopt another pound cat. Or maybe a dog. No, a cat.

Today has been sad, there have been tears. A little death can do that to your day.

p.s. While I write, Louie holds vigil at the backyard window above my computer desk. Several times every night, he sits in the window, then backs out, comes over to me for a little loving. Or to stretch out over my mouse, mouse hand, and part of my keyboard, a good spot to snooze, by Louie standards. We’ll get on just fine.