Thursday, October 21, 2004


I guess that could be the title of nearly every entry here, couldn't it?

Despite the dire forecast, the weather was fairly decent for my days off, though the winds were howling about thirty knots today. That's okay--it keeps the casual pilots on the ground and lower our stress-level at work.

Anyway--I actually got a few things done around the house Tuesday. I cut down the dead tree on our "Christmas tree" hill out back and took the lights off of it. (Now to get the lights checked out on the remaining trees before it gets colder and their needles get so painfully sharp!)

Then I marked the graves in our cat cemetary out back. I had bought some wooden stakes last spring and put several coats of white paint on them this summer. I was waiting for the frost to knock down some of the tall grasses to make it easier to find the graves. Most of them are marked with stones or wooden planks and surveyor's tape, but I wanted something easy to see and consistent, so I am going with the wooden stakes and writing names with permanent marker. Eventually, I would like to make small mounds with white-washed stones but the wooden markers will work for a few years. I wanted to get them in the ground before it started freezing.

It was rather sad and thoughtful work. The fresher graves still cause a sharp pang, a sense of loss...Newt, Lucy, even Rosie. I wish I could have done more for them. I have the sense that they should still be here. I *want* them to still be here, I guess that's it.

With the older graves, there was a bittersweet feeling, that I am glad I had these cats in my life. Whiskers, the grand dame; Hannah, the foster cat; Sparky, who died too young, and the whole string of Tobys--Toby II, the foster cat who came back here to die where he had known love; Little Tobie, the sick kitten we fought to save back in 1998; and the original Toby who by his grace and character has given all our gray-and-white cats his name in memory.

Farthest back, in the little thicket where she liked to sleep, is Kisa, whose loss I will always feel and whose gentle warmth I will always miss. A houseful of cats can soothe but not fill the void. I will forever miss my Darling Companion and there is still a piece of my heart lying in that cold earth.

Time and memories drifted and merged in the cool air under the chill sky, but in the end, when I returned to the house, I felt at peace.


Wednesday was volunteer day. Another four hours at the Shelter, cleaning, feeding, combing and loving. A mystery virus has been haunting the kittens--we have lost several and it has the vet baffled. The remaining little ones seemed healthy enough. Two little black ones would not stay out of my lap as I combed Toby John, wiggling in between us and purring up a storm.

I was tired by the time I got back home, so I stripped off my clothes and threw them in the washer then went upstairs and jumped in the shower, letting the warm water beat on me. After I had my hair washed, I let the tub fill with water and enjoyed a long soak.

Today, I joined an on-line club for owners of deaf cats. Maybe I can get some ideas to help with Frannie.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Great Barrier

Two mornings in a row of below-freezing temperatures are motivating me toward getting ready for winter. I was hoping that the clear weather would last until tomorrow, as there is a lot I need to do outdoors, but we are forecast to get rain--and possibly snow--late this evening.


"Criminal Intent" was pretty good last night. As much as I have come to loathe that character of Nichole--and D'Arbo's moist-lipped, googled-eyed portrayal of her--I was forced to concede that the story and the interaction of the characters had my attention. There was also a bit of grim satisfaction in seeing Nichole on the slab in the morgue and being able to cast my vote that she stay there.

Not that there's a ghost of a chance Dick Wolfe and the PTB will *actually* do away with the character. This particular story arc is the closest thing the writers have got to giving the fans some understated sexual angst for Bobby. There seems to be a large portion of the fan base that wants to see Goren in some sort of sexual situation and the tension between Bobby and Nichole gets them all ramped up on speculation. Vincent has been pretty adamant against letting his character reveal too much of his private life or get involved in "soapy" storyline, but this particular facet of the series seems to be devolving into pure soap, IMO. I don't find D'Arbo particularly convincing as a criminal mastermind--she doesn't make me believe she is another Moriarity. I was hoping that they would just drop juicy little Nichole as a character. I really don't want Bobby Goren to turn into just another man whose intellect is overruled by his gonads. That's not dramatic. It's not even tragic. It's pathetic. And I don't want Bobby to be pathetic.

Whatever happens, it should be interesting to see how this all plays out.

Sunday, October 17, 2004


Hard frost under clear skies last night. The deck was covered with thick frost this morning, and when I ran out to jump in the car, I realized that I don't have an ice scraper in the Crown Victoria.

Now, you would think that ice scrapers would be one thing Alaskans are well-equipped with. I *know* we must have a dozen or so. But could I find one this morning? No.

Maybe it is the dichotomy of our climate. Winters are long but by the end of May, ice scrapers are lying on the floor boards or are kicked under the seats--completely superfluous until just such a morning as this. By June, frost removal is the last thing on my mind.

I started the car then ran around the yard, opening various vehicles and searching the dashes, floors and behind the seats for any sort of ice removal implement.

I know where there *is* an ice scrapper--maybe two. In the Chevy S10. The one Denny drove to Anchorage.

At least the ground was frozen hard enough so I didn't get my feet muddy during my search. When I started my second round of the closest vehicles, I found a scraper under a pile of Denny's found treasures in the Dodge pickup.

I stopped on the way home from work and bought three ice scrapers.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004


I cut off two or three inches of my hair last week--the ends were getting so brittle and split and old that I had to do something. My hair is still several inches below my shoulders, but looks a lot better without the scraggly ends and seems a bit bouncier without those few extra inches of dead weight pulling it down. I cut a few layers going from front to back--nothing too dramatic but something I can work on over time to soften the shape of my hairdo, such as it is. I can't very well wear it long and plain forever.

I pretty much have always worked on my hair myself. The few times I have gone to someone else, they always cut it too short and styled it in whatever is the standard 'do of the moment and I end up not looking like myself and not feeling comfortable.

Monday, October 04, 2004


It is hard to believe it is October already!

I got up about one this morning to see Denny off to Anchorage to catch his flight to OKC. We had gone to bed early but he had trouble going to sleep, so if he got more than three hours of sleep, I would be surprised. He has a long day of travel ahead of him, so I hope he can get some sleep on his flights.

He has been home nearly three weeks. It seems we just get into a pattern for living together and he has to go somewhere, either Cold Bay or Oklahoma or Florida. I suppose it keeps our relationship from getting stale and it certainly keeps us from taking each other for granted.

Friday, October 01, 2004

The wind has swapped around 180-degrees from yesterday, when it was blowing out of the southwest. The sky cleared off overnight and this morning a fairly stiff breeze was coming out of the northeast.

I went outside this morning to pick some grass for the cats in the shop and ended up slicing my fingers pretty good with the sharp edges. I had a handful of blood by the time I got to the downstairs bathroom to rinse under cold water. Wrapping a couple of paper towels around my hand, I went upstairs to get bandages and antiseptic ointment. Then I had to keep pressure on my finger for a few minutes until the bleeding slowed enough so we could bandage it. Since Denny did the bandaging, I have a couple of impressive wrappings around my thumb and one finger. My pinky has a slash on it as well but it was smaller and will heal without any care. actually, my hands are looking pretty rough, since I have a couple bandages on my left hand as well--one of the kittens at the Shelter was startled Wednesday and kicked off against my hand, leaving a long scratch down the side of my index finger. It started hurting so I have been diligent about putting antiseptic on it and keeping it covered.

Mt. St. Helens erupted this morning--just a little steam and ash but pretty exciting for the folks in Washington, I guess. We were watching a live camera shot of the mountain, as I said, "Cool!"--being something of a geology nerd.

"No, it's not!" said Denny, who has to fly to Oklahoma on Monday. (He later had to admit that, yes--it really was cool...even if it did lead to flight delays.)

Speaking of which, I sort of lost my cool today with my Mom and sister-in-law. Via email, of course. I am on their list to get forwarded everything they feel is of critical importance, and not unexpectedly, I am 180-degrees different from them in matters of religion and politics. Maybe it was their blind assumption that of course, being a reasonable person, I would agree with them on the need to ban gay marriage and preserve references to Christianity in governmental affairs and share their view that John Kerry is obviously unfit to serve as president. (Hello? George Bush was qualified?) Anyway, I finally shot back that the last Republican I voted for was Gerald Ford, so no doubt they will be shaking their heads and clicking their tongues over what a fuzzy-thinking liberal Laura is....

I don't mind them having their own opinions of things, but I do feel that 1)by the time a person reaches my age, they aren't going to have their basic spiritual or political beliefs change by an email and 2) religion and politics really are too personal to make good topics for polite conversation, just like my Grandma always told me.

Why do people feel the need to force-feed their opinions and views onto others? Denny pointed out that there is always the "delete" key, but on the other hand, I didn't want to appear to condone by silence the continued attacks on non-Christians and political compassion. So I put my foot in it and we'll see what comes of it.