Cats and Dogs

When my four kids were living at home, for some unknown reason, I thought our household needed both an indoor dog and an indoor cat. I feared there might be a moment of calmness, and an animal might fill that moment. Mostly, though, the animals just shed their hair. Once in a while, one of them messed on the floor.

Oh, the dog was very protective of my sons, and every couple of years, the cat positioned himself in a corner of the kitchen and stared at the corner cabinet until a mouse appeared.

That yippy little dog passed on, and the cat, at age 17, finally completed his ninth life. I missed them, but they were my last indoor pets. I sometimes think I would like to have another indoor pet, and perhaps I will again someday.

However, in the meantime, I’m content with my outdoor animals. A couple of weeks ago I spotted something odd on the floor of the screened-in porch. Pete, the outdoor dog wagged his tail, and Big Cat, formerly known as Little Kitty, licked his paw. Between them was a very large, dead rat.

Oh yes, I like cats and dogs–it’s rodents I dislike.




Without thought, I looked at my hands each day. I typed, played the piano, washed dishes, sorted and folded laundry…held little hands. One morning, though, I saw not my hands, but my mother’s hands. What happened to my soft, smooth hands—the ones with only one joint larger than the others? (It was the result of a jammed finger from a childhood softball game.)

That morning I saw only wrinkled, creased fingers with knobby, swollen knuckle joints. Were they really my hands? How long had I had purple veins on the tops of my hands?  I looked away from the brown age spots. What happened to the strong, firm hands that changed diapers, picked up toys, and caressed the foreheads of my young children?

Soon my daughters’ hands will look like mine, and they will wonder how time passed so quickly. My granddaughters’ hands will change over time, too. So, for now, I’ll cherish each moment my timeworn hands get to hold their beautiful young hands—those smooth, soft hands with the beautiful, many-colored nails.

You did What?

Within the last several weeks John and I have each done things…well…just things that might indicate we had momentarily lost focus on the tasks at hand. I thought at the time if made aware of our actions, our adult children might call a family meeting to discuss and possibly make decisions about our futures.

John may fare better than I will. Long ago, one of our sons offered his dad a “forever” home if he would fry bacon every morning and grill “weekend meat” (chicken or steak) every Sunday.

Our daughters, though, have only promised to provide me with enough flowered dusters (house coats) to last a week in the “home.” I’ve overheard their conversations, too, about placing me in a facility with only two other people who play bridge. I know they are well aware of the fact that it takes four people for a bridge game.

Oh no, I’m certainly not going to tell the children about any goof-ups John and I might make in the future. Nor will I tell them about any past goof-ups. How could I? I would have to remember them first.


It’s not a good idea for me to name my pet peeves. After all, I strive to maintain a happy-go-lucky, positive outlook on life, and making a list of my pet peeves would plunge me into a deep, dark state of mind.

Nevertheless, I’m going to mention cords–phone charger cords, computer cords, printer cords, television cords, toaster cords, blender cords, hair-dryer cords, coffee pot cord, and all those random cords found behind sofa cushions, in drawers, car glove boxes, and purses.

One cord connected to one item, such as an iron, toaster, or lamp even irritates me. That lone cord is usually on the wrong side of the ironing board, dangerously close to the kitchen sink, or on the floor where I might trip over it. The cords tangled behind my computer, printer, server, television, DVD player, and surge protector really irritate me. You can guess how I feel about the multiple orange extension cords scattered around the deck and yard during the Christmas season.

Sometimes I just want to unplug. Hmmm, well, yes, never having the right size battery in the house is also a pet peeve of mine.