Sunday, December 30, 2007

Day Five's Random Photo

My sweet, kind, gentle Andrew happens to be a die-hard rock and heavy metal fan. His absolute favorite band in the whole wide world is KISS (you can read his thoughts about the band here). As for myself, well, I can't stand KISS. I think their music is lackluster, unoriginal, and really repetative (the songs are all about the same thing- yeesh!).

Yet, as this is Andrew's favorite band, and I love Andrew, I try to be supportive. As a result, our basement could be a shrine to the band- we have pillows and throws and pitchers and mugs and models and posters and incense burners and rubuic's cubes and, well, you get the picture. We have a lot of KISS stuff. Andrew also has all their CDs and DVDs and tons of tee shirts bearing their make-up landen images.

Loving wife that I am, I even own a few tee-shirts like the tank above and their KISS perfume (Andrew has the cologne naturally). I have even gone to a KISS concert in full makeup, although photos of that are top secret. Sigh. The things one does for love!

Day Four's Random Photo

Day four's much delayed photo is of my calendar. Why? Because I apparently think that a week has an additional 14 days in it, which is the length of time between this random photo and my last random one. Sigh. So I took a picture of my calendar to help me remember to keep track of the days!

Andrew and I found this calendar at the Renaissance Fair in Pennsylvania several years ago. It is based on an old monastery calendar, and we fell in love with the unique design. You simply slide the three hanging pieces into the proper place to keep track of the days. I just love the simplicity of the design and its timeless (oh, bad pun!) nature.

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

I hope everyone has a joyous holiday season!

Thursday, December 27, 2007


The holidays have eaten me!

I have not forgotten my week of "Random Photos," its just been seasonally delayed! Stay tuned for more photo fun!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Day Three's Random Photos

Welcome to day three's random photos! Any guesses what today's photo of randomness is?

If you guessed "Card Catalog," you'd be right! Now, quick, run to your local library and check out a book as your prizes!

Isn't an old fashion card catalog just beautiful? I spied this beauty on a recent tour of a neighboring library, and I just had to snap a picture!

I remember using card catalogs when I was a kid. I loved flipping through all the little cards, searching for just the right book. There was a wonderful, tactile experience to searching through the catalog, and when searching for one book in the catalog, I would often stumble upon other interesting books because those little cards were so hard to resist reading.

These days, the old fashion card catalogs have been replaced by modern, computerized catalogs that do a wonderful job of searching for books and other materials. I love using them, but sometimes, I get a little nostalgic for those little, typed cards.

This library I visited actually still uses their card catalog, although it has been re-purposed for another use:

Some would say this is ironic, but I think its a little sad.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Day Two's Random Photo

Today's random photo is of the stairs in my house. Aren't they exciting? No? Really?

Well, for me, stairs are kind of like the white picket fence dream. All my life I've lived in apartments, completely flat apartments, so I've always dreamed of a house with stairs. When Andrew and I moved into this home, I spent months playing a little game: I would climb up the top stairs and call out to Andrew:

-Hey Andrew!
-Guess what?

-I'm upstairs!

Sometimes, I would climb downstairs, and call out:

-Hey Andrew!
-Guess what?
-I'm downstairs!

Hysterical laughter followed- at least on my part. Andrew, the kind man, would just smile and try not to roll his eyes.

I've now lived in this place for over two years, and I still really love my stairs. They are as white picket fence great as I always thought they were. I love the fact that my home has levels! The upstairs is the private area, the bedrooms; the main floor is for entertaining; and the basement, which is furnished, is a fun rec room. Plus, I discovered a fantastic benefit to stairs: they make a great bookshelf! All of my overflow of books stack so nicely up the sides of my staircase

Ah, bliss!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Day One's Random Photos!

Long, long ago, taking pictures was a luxury. Film- remember film?- was expensive, and a roll of film only had 24 shots in it. Therefore, each picture taken was carefully planned and executed so that precious strip of film would not go to waste. Still, after each picture was taken, questions would form in your mind: "Did the picture come out right?", "Did Aunt Sally just blink?", and "Was my thumb in the viewfinder again?" Since it was also expensive to develop film, these question would linger for quite a while. I remember one time when my mother and I waited so long to develop a few rolls of film that when we finally did it, the photos were from three years previous. Now that was one long wait!

These days, however, taking pictures is much simpler. With a digital camera, you can take as many pictures as your heart desires. If you don't like the way your picture turns out, take another one; If Aunt Sally blinks, you can take another picture; If your thumb is in the way, delete the shot and take a new one! With one little memory card, you can take hundreds of pictures until the card is full to bursting, then download them all onto your computer and then take even more pictures on your newly empty card! If you want to actually print out your pictures, you can simply pick and choose the ones you want printed. It's a far cry from those long ago days.

With this new found photo freedom, I tend to go a little overboard. There's no film to waste, no money to spend, just one little button click and instant photo gratification! Therefore, I take lots and lots of photos. Some of them are great photos, some of them are silly, and some are just plain ridiculous. One of my most frequent photo subjects are my cats. They do such sweet and cute things that I simply must take pictures of them!

Pompey, Sleeping
Pretty Octavian
Peaceful Caesar

Aren't they cute? See why I can't resist snapping pictures of them? The only problem is, of each of these shots, I probably have six more examples of each shot, because I just can't stop taking pictures!

Sometimes, the pictures I take turn out quite amusing:

What did you say?!

So I like to fish, got a problem with that?

Get that camera out of my face!

But, sometimes I can catch the sweetest moments, like these:

Thanks for sharing with me!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Witty's New Toy!

The other day, the C.O.P* was acting so cute and cuddly that I just had to take a picture. I grabbed my digital camera, took aim, and -click- snapped the picture. But, tragedy of tragedies, nothing happened. I clicked again and still nothing happened. So I tried once more- hey! Three times a charm, right? Nope, not for me. Nothing.

I decided the batteries must be dead, so I replaced the batteries. Still, nothing. Then it must be the memory card. I switched out the memory card. Again, nothing. Maybe it was an operator error- i.e. me- so I handed it over to Andrew. Once more, nothing. Nothing, nothing, nothing!

My poor digital camera had died. It had served me well for many a years, and I was heartbroken.

Well, okay, I was heartbroken up until the point when Andrew pointed out that this was a perfect time for me to get a new digital camera and my techie heart rejoiced!

So, although I still mourn for my dead first camera, I am jumping up and down with joy for my lovely brand new camera.

Now, in celebration of my new toy, I've decided to spend the week posting all the strange and random things I take pictures of with my digital camera simply because my camera is so cool and new and fun to use. I hope you enjoy the celebration!

*The C.O.P is the brand new nickname for my three boys, Caesar, Octavian and Pompey.

The Cats got Elfed!

Enjoy the video!

*C.O.P= Caesar, Octavian, and Pompey!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Sweet Octavian

Recently, Andrew and I welcomed into our home a new set of pitter-pattering little paws. Our newest little fur-baby is a lovely, sweet natured cat with big blue eyes, chocolate and caramel colored fur, and the most charming ability to flop in adorable positions. He’s also a special type of cat, a breed called a Ragdoll*. Ragdolls are known for their mild manner, blue eyes, and soft long fur. Their name derives from their incredible ability to melt in your arms when you hold them. Our Sweet Octavian** is a delightful new member of our family, and his arrival at our house was quite a story!

It all started two days before my birthday. My mother was spending an idle afternoon browsing the ads on, having fun looking at all the items people try to sell or giveaway. There was the usual assortment of goods: free sofas, boxes, haircuts, etc. Nothing too exciting until her eye was caught by a posting at the top of the page. It was an odd posting, with an unusual headline: “Free Ragdoll Cat to a Good Home.”

“A Ragdoll? Witty’s favorite cat?***” My mother clicked on the ad “It’s too good to be true” she thought. Yet the ad seemed innocent enough. A family had moved and their beloved Ragdoll wasn’t adjusting well to the new house. It seemed a plausible enough scenario, so mom figured that it was at least worth forwarding to Andrew and me.

My mother’s email floated off into cyberspace and landed in mine and Andrew’s inboxes. Usually, during the course of a day at work, Andrew never has a chance to read his email as he’s swamped by experiments, but on this day, he had a rare moment’s break, and decided to see if he had any good email awaiting him. As he scanned through his inbox, my mother’s email jumped out at him: “Free Ragdoll Cat to a Good Home.”

“A Ragdoll?” Andrew knew it was my favorite type of cat. He remembered how delighted I was at a local cat show when I had the opportunity to hold one and felt it melt into my arms. It had been a little joke of ours, that on every birthday or gift-giving holiday, that I would grin and say “I want a Ragdoll,” whenever he asked what I wanted as a present. He also knew that although I loved Ragdoll cats dearly, I thought I would never own one because they were too expensive and there were so many other homeless cats that needed help. Yet, here was an offer for a free Ragdoll cat, one who needed a safe home to come home to, and two days before my birthday no less.

Andrew wanted to consult me about the Ragdoll, but there was a slight problem: I was at an all day conference, with no access to a phone or internet. I had no idea about the ad my mother forwarded to me. Andrew thought for a moment: getting a third cat is a big decision, one he normally would never make without me. Yet, a Ragdoll was my dream, it was two days before my birthday, and this was an opportunity that couldn’t be missed. He picked up the phone and called the number in the ad.

It was an interesting call. A very nice woman answered the phone and talked to Joel about her sweet cat. She was heartbroken to think of giving him up, but he was not adjusting well to a recent move. Her family had moved from a big house to a much smaller one. They had another cat and a dog, and the Ragdoll had suddenly become terrified of the dog, and spent all his days hiding from the dog. He was normally very affectionate and very social, and now he was never seen.

After almost three months of the cat hiding from the dog, the woman decided to take him to stay at a friend’s house for a while, to see how he managed. The change was immediate. The sweet and cuddly cat returned, and the woman, though sad, realized that her Ragdoll needed a new home. So she placed the ad on to see if anyone might want her lovely cat and provide him a good home.

Andrew told her all about us and our fur-babies. He told her of Caesar and Pompey, how well they got along, how they joined our family. He told her of our years of fostering cats: how we had tamed feral cats; treated diabetic cats; nursed back to help sick cats; gave love and affectionate to lonely cats. He explained about my love of Ragdolls, how I always said I wanted one, and how, believe it or not, my birthday was just around the corner.

The woman couldn’t believe it. She had been reluctant about placing the ad, but Andrew and I sounded like the perfect candidates for her cat. She agreed to meet with us to see if we were indeed as good of a match as we sounded. A time and place was arranged, and Andrew hung up the phone, delighted that my dream was coming together.

Then, Andrew’s phone rang. He picked it up. It was my mother. “Andrew,” she said, “I’m sorry to call you at work, but I sent you an email about a free Ragdoll cat a little while ago. I know Witty’s always wanted one, so I thought I should pass it on, but I just checked out craigslist again and the ad’s gone! Animals aren’t supposed to be posted on the free section. And I just realized that Witty’s not going to get my email until late tonight since she’s gone! Do you think you should call?”

The ad was gone! Andrew couldn’t believe his luck. He reassured my mom that he had already called about the cat. He told her he just couldn’t pass up the chance at that cat. They both breathed a sigh of relief- my mom because Andrew had called, and Andrew because my mom thought he should call. Now all that was left to do was to tell me about the cat.

That evening, when I got home, Andrew was grinning like a Cheshire cat. I couldn’t figure out what was going on. He asked about my day, and I told him all about my meeting and my day. I then asked him about his. “Well,” he said, “It was interesting. Do you think you might want to get a Ragdoll this weekend?”

My jaw dropped. I asked him to repeat himself. He then explained the whole story of the craigslist ad, the long phone conversation, and his and my mom’s wish to make my wish come true. I couldn’t believe it. I threw my arms around Andrew in a big hug, and didn’t let go for a long time. It was incredible!

Our meeting with the woman was the very next day, and in preparation, Andrew and I put together a little photo album of Caesar and Pompey, and of all our foster cats. We wanted her to see them all, so she could know that we were serious about our love of cats and our ability to care for them. Eagerly, we drove off to the meeting, hoping against home that a Ragdoll would soon be ours.

We met the woman at her friend’s home. She was very nice and sweet. We spent time talking about her cat, why she was giving him up and how hard it was. We told her some more stories of our cats, and all of our adventures fostering. We should her out albums, and she couldn’t believe the number of cats we had taken care of. She asked us how we would handle adding a third cat into our family, and we explained how we would go about incorporating another cat: a safe room to himself for a while, then slowly allowing him to mingle with our cats, until they all adjusted to each other.

As we talked, she grew more at ease with us and told us, that although she had been unsure about giving up her cat, having met us and heard our stories, she knew that we were the right home for her cat. So she got up, went into another room, and brought out the cat.

Oh, he was beautiful! His fur was so soft and silky, his eyes so big and blue. He immediately flopped down on the floor in front of me, begging to be pet. I happily obliged. Immediately, a loud, rumbling purr started- the loudest purr I had ever heard. Oh, it was love at first purr! This beautiful, sweet fur-baby was mine.

Seeing the cat’s reaction to me, the woman made up her mind, and told us that we could have the sweet cat, and if we wanted, we could take him home right away. We were thrilled! We thanked her profusely, and I gave her a big hug in thanks. We exchanged phone numbers and email addresses so we could keep in touch, and we promised to send pictures of the cat when he got settled. We then went home with the newest member of our family.

Since then, it has been a delight getting to know Octavian. He has adapted well to his new home. He likes to follow us around the house, always right at our heels. At night, he sprawls across the foot of the bed, his contented purr a nice compliment to Pompey’s sighing snores. Of his two new brothers, he’s very intrigued by them. In Pompey, he sees a great play fellow, and in Caesar, he sees someone to admire. He does the most amazing flops around the house, begging for us to take a moment to scratch his fluffy tummy. We adore our little Octavian, the dream come true that he is, and the best birthday present I've ever had, thanks to my mother and Andrew!

* Want to learn more about Ragdolls? Check out this site for more information:

**As always, names have been changed to protect the furry. Octavian’s name derives from the second season of Rome, of which Octavian Caesar was the star. I thought it fit nicely with Caesar and Pompey’s names!

***By the way, I’m Witty, nice to meet you!