Post 782: the boys have fun with their human

Andy watches me from atop the computer.... Hew's a bity obvious about it!

Andy watches me from atop the stereo…. He’s a bit obvious about it!

“Nyah! Nyah! Take a picture…it’ll last longer!”
Why, that cheeky cat!

Dougy's up to something, too.

Dougy’s up to something, too.

Scat, cat!

Scat, cat!

Hiding in the skinny box.... Dougy waits for toes to come by. RAWR!

Hiding now in the skinny box…. Dougy waits for toes to come by.

Post 781: a new “hidey” place…

I’ve lived long enough with cats I shouldn’t be surprised when they find yet one more place to take a snooze. Dougy lives up to the cat code by converting a shopping bag into a cozy spot for a cat nap.

It's quiet. It's dark. It's there! (So's Dougy, if you look closely...!)

It’s quiet. It’s dark. It’s there! (So’s Dougy, if you look closely…!)

Dougy's new nap place! Sun's up a bit more in this photo, but the bag is just right for a quick nap.

Dougy’s new nap place! Sun’s up a bit more in this photo, but the bag is just right for a quick nap.

Post 780: itch…

Andy posed nicely in the dark. I tried taking a photo of it, but he immediately recognized the flash gizmo, then ran off! (His momma didn’t have a stupid kitten!)

I tried a random shot in the dark when he stopped near my computer desk. Wonderful! After a long pause, the camera made its adjustments for exposure and tripped the shutter: A shot of Andy scratching an itch, and not even a good shot. 003I just know Andy is being cute outside of camera range, and I won’t be able to shoot it to show you! Tomorrow. I’ll try to do better tomorrow.

Post 779: afternoon at the museum…and thoughts on a cousin

I spent the afternoon at the Sallows Military Museum yesterday, Wednesday, my usual day for volunteering there. Several people came in, which always is encouraging, and some were from out of town. Nice!

Some volunteers put 1000-piece puzzles together. The conference table works fine for that!

Some volunteers put 1000-piece puzzles together. The conference table works fine for that.

I used some of the time to read my cousin Sharon’s 2015 Special Beef Issue, a masterpiece of journalism and local history, if this proud cousin says so himself! Sharon is something else — a dynamo, a hard-working, intelligent, and thorough historian/journalist for this part of the Nebraska Sandhills. Though many people help on the annual beef paper, it largely is the work and effort of my cousin and a staff of one.

Fifty-six pages

Fifty-six pages. Sharon Outdid herself…again!

I turned to the editorial page of Sharon’s annual beef paper and got something like confirmation of why she missed decorating graves here this year:

“Sass and Sentiments”, Sharon’s lead editorial each issue.

Yeah, take a closer look at what she wrote in this week’s special edition “Sass and Sentiments”:

“…work hard — like ’till you drop…!‘”

Sharon sticks with a job till it’s done, which often enough is long after she should hand it over to someone else to finish.

She’s something else, my cousin Sharon! She views documenting the history of Grant County as a holy quest, something she must do, will do till she draws her last breath. She’s a Thomas. We’re stubborn as hell that way!



A fly got in the house yesterday, and the boys are having great fun trying to catch it. I’m fighting the urge to get out the swatter and end its miserable existence as long as the cats show interest. (Andy just about caught it a moment ago by the fountain!.Now he’s poised to pounce again. Good kitty!)

Post 778: more flowers…

I stopped my car in front of the sidewalk leading to my apartment so I didn’t have to carry the three potted flowers so far. The neighbor in the other half of the apartment (a duplex) saw me and offered to help carry the flowers, which I gladly accepted! Walking in the thick grass and uneven ground at the cemetery left me a bit worn. flower3

The flower above is the third one I set out at the cemetery. It got a little beat up in the heavy rains, but will recover nicely.


The boys got a little excitement this morning. I have the doors open for  the fresh air, which means the boys get to view what shows up in the yard. Today, it was a yowling all-white kitty. That caught their attention!

I suspect it is one of the four kittens another neighbor says a neighborhood feral cat had a while back. I’ve seen a white and black cat and one that looks amazingly like Andy and Dougy, so that makes (I think) three of four I’ve spotted.

If you are familiar with “kitty love”, you’d recognize the yowling as a warm up to making more kittens. I think the neighbor said she’d caught and had some of the kittens neutered or spayed. I hope this white cat is one of those. 

Post 777: bringing the flowers home…

Thanks to cool, rainy weather the past few days, the potted flowers I put out for Memorial Day survived nicely.
Today, though, it was time to bring them home. After a few days, the city removes flowers and decorations not retrieved by family and friends, so I always err on the side of “too soon”.

gram thomas

They have, after all, served their purpose on the holiday, and now it’s time to serve a happier, more decorative purpose on my front and dad

My camera battery “died” after the first two floral portraits. A third flower will have to wait to be photographed. This is how I let my brother and sisters know I took care of Memorial Day here.

A cousin who usually decorates two of the same graves I do (her father and our paternal grandmother; my parents) didn’t make it up to Alliance this year for whatever reason. I’ll call her because it is very unusual for her to miss Memorial Day. She publishes a major issue of her newspaper this time of year — I just got it in the mail the other day — and I am concerned she may have worked herself into a bad cold or something. This special edition always takes a lot out of her, so I am concerned she missed the holiday here.

I know she will feel better knowing those two graves were tended to, so this is how I will let her know, too. I pray she is OK.

Post 775: uneven ground…

I walk with a cane. Some days I am very wobbly and most days I get along as well as one can.

The past few days I’ve been very wobbly. I kept putting off looking for potted flowers for the family graves, thinking, “Tomorrow, surely, I will be better!” I wasn’t. My worst fear, though, was not getting flowers on the graves this year, breaking a Memorial Day practice going back three generations. 

Then, today, I woke up with very little pain and found I could walk reasonably well. No, fairly well! I would buy flowers after all!DSCN0677

I was greatly relieved. Then I couldn’t cash a check because the bank was closed. It struck me I’d somehow missed a day this week, that it was Sunday. Oh no! I would pay for the flowers with plastic, but that meant I had to take them out to the cemetery today, not tomorrow, when I thought tomorrow was Sunday!

I had to pause a few times walking to the graves. Uneven ground is the bane of people with canes, and cemeteries are just that: lots of uneven ground.

But I got the flowers out! 

Post 774: big decision…

It’s Caturday and Andy has to make a big decision about how to spend it. Should he snooze in the tub? Or should he snooze on top of the carrier? Maybe he should just snooze on the settee arm.

Whew! Being a cat is a tough job!

I'm betting he snoozes on top of the carrier!

I’m betting he snoozes on top of the carrier!

Post 773: snow fountain

The City of Alliance posted a photo of a local landmark today on Facebook:

snow fountain

When I went to the Sallows Military Museum for my Wednesday afternoon volunteer activity this week, we’d just had a springtime snowstorm. In the meantime, the Memorial Day preparations in the Central Park went on on schedule. Hence a fountain operating in a snowy scene!

That doesn’t come close to another anomalous moment further north. The city swimming pool is filled, in preparation for the first day of swimming, which most likely won’t be Memorial Day, the traditional first day of swimming.

alliance pool after snow

The building in the back is the Jean R.A. Thomas Bathhouse, which was named for my mother, who taught Red Cross swimming in this town for 60 years.

The nickname for the pool is “Big Blue Bay”, perhaps more appropriately than ever this cold May!