I’m a crazy cat lady now
July 30, 2010, 1:39 pm
Filed under: daily, Photo

A few minutes ago, the kitten and I had a bit of a photo shoot.

I haven’t said much here about Dora. We adopted her a few weeks ago when she and I became friends at my bus stop one morning.

After a few days of seeing her every morning and evening around the bus stop, I took the car down and threw her in the back seat. You might say it was a catnapping.

In the few weeks since she’s been here we’ve learned just how much poo cats make; how to install a cat door; just how much cats are capable of sleeping; and just how hilarious it is when a cat embarrasses herself and tries to play it off like she totally meant to do that, thankyouverymuchstoplaughingatmejerks.

She’s turned into a gorgeous creature. And crap! She knows it, too.

By the way, getting a ‘free’ street kitten is not as cheap as it sounds. We had to pay the brunt of the costs of getting her vaccinated and treated for intestinal parasites. We had no way of knowing if anyone has ever done that for her, or if she’s ever had a home. She’s super friendly (with me at least, not so much with strangers, or men, or … anyone, really), so surely she’s had contact with humans before in a good way. We also had to get her fixed because she was in heat and DAYUM did that turn her into a bitch. And more importantly, I don’t want kittens. From a kitten. No thank you.

Two days after we got her girly-bits removed, she decided to pull out her stitches. I went to pick her up to check on her belly before I left work and HELLO INTESTINES! Kevin had to fly home from work after just getting there so we could take her to the vet to have her parts put back inside and then she got a CONE OF SHAME. It was hilarious. The cone of shame, that is. The intestines were gross.

This is the first cat we’ve owned. We both come from dog people, with relatives who are allergic. We’re both kind of allergic but can get over it with a little Claritin and extended exposure. I was nervous about it, to begin with, especially when the expenses added up big time and then when I saw intestines.

But now that we’re all settled, and she’s mostly stopped trying to escape, and no longer has stitches to yank out, I’m glad we kept her. It warms the cockles of my heart to take in a sad, homeless creature, even if it mean stepping out of my comfort zone. She’s turned into a beautiful cat, and while she sometimes tricks visitors into petting her and then attacks their hands with all 5 pointy ends, I think she’s become a nice part of our little family.

And when I look at the above picture of her, from the day we brought her home, I’m so glad we gave her the opportunity to grow her hair back in and take up residence in our house. No one should be forced to live with a head that tiny if they can help it.

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Who wants to see dress pictures?
July 27, 2010, 8:57 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

To Kevin: Do not read this.

To Everyone Else: Unless you feel obligated to be surprised, or just don’t care, these are pictures of my wedding dress when I tried it on the first time at the salon. It was a size too big, so the real dress makes my boobs look better.

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Who knew?
July 26, 2010, 12:31 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Is it just me, or is my dad testifying to Congress in secret?

That’s my dad on the left. The guy on the right is James Clapper. He is either my father’s alter ego, or evidence of a pre-marital lapse of judgment on the part of one or both of my grandparents.



I know you care about my house as much as I do.
July 20, 2010, 11:50 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

So, we bought a house last year.  And by we, I actually mean just Kevin. We were too skittish about mixing finances so deeply when we weren’t even engaged yet. Also, I was still in school, and thus had NOTHING to contribute. So. There’s that.

Anyway, we’ve done a lot to the house. And by a lot, I actually mean not much because we’ve also been planning a wedding, and frankly, I don’t have enough money or brain cells to handle both.

So, because I’m a faithful follower of BurghBaby, and also lack the brain cells to have any sense of creativity or originality in my blog, I thought I’d show you what we’ve done.

This is the house before. Four rather pathetic bushes that were planted WAY too close together considering how large they are inclined to get. Those were the only plants on the property. Grass up to the foundation everywhere else.

That’s the house after. We ripped up the grass in front of the bushes and expanded the garden.

We carried the garden all the way down the side of the house to the fence we also installed. I don’t have any pictures of this view, or of the lack of fence.

This is the front hall before. Flat. Stark. White. Everywhere. It struck me as rather bright and also unfinished. Boring, even. And most of all, not very welcoming.

So I painted it green and put some plants in there.

And a mirror and carpet.

So. The dining room. I complain about it, and lots of people say, “Oh, it’s not so bad!” Okay, YOU try living in a butter yellow dining room. A dining room that has TWO windows, only one of which is an actual window. Windows that never ever see direct sunlight in the winter, turning the room into a cave:

See? Also, the room is very large, and very broken up. A bookshelf/nook on one wall, bathroom, stairs, cut out in the ceiling where the stairs turn before they actually hit the 2nd floor, doors, etc. And why yes, we do have 2 back doors. One in the (blue) kitchen, and one in the dining room. We never use the one in the dining room. They go to the same place. No, we don’t understand it. Anyway, the bright yellow really emphasized how irregular the room is, and in the winter and at night it took on a really ugly cast that you can’t see in these pictures.

So!

The dining room is still a mess because I just finished this today.  So this is all you get to see. It’s white, let’s be honest. I normally don’t like white (just ask me how I feel about my white cabinets or the white that used to be in the bathroom). But it’s white with a touch of peach! I know, I know, keep telling yourself that. It’s still white, but it gives a nice warm cast to the dining room, especially when the sun is setting. Then you can really see the peach.

Here. See? Look closely. The woodwork is pure (but dirty) white, and the walls are SLIGHTLY peachy. Have I convinced you? Come over and see it for yourself then, jerks.

Here’s the entirely white bathroom. Hated this. I painted this last summer, actually.

I know the whole aqua/brown combination is pretty trendy and will look dated in a few years. But here’s the deal: we have an aqua window in there. The paint looks great with it, so until we change the window, the aqua/brown stays. And more importantly, I really like it. Did you notice how freakishly tiny that bathroom is? Won’t it be fun trying to bathe children in there?

That’s Kevin (isn’t he DREAMY?!) digging post holes for the deck. Yum yum. Our only outdoor space is that skinny little porch up there, the one that gets BAKED by the sun all afternoon and is entirely unpleasant to sit on. It’s also where both back doors lead do.

And three months later…. this is where we are. It’s about 2 feet off the ground at that corner, and is flush with the ground on the far side. Later this year we’ll rip up that grass and it will start being turned into a very large garden full of things like hydrangea, azaleas, butterfly bushes, and lilies. We have a wisteria vine or 6 growing along the fence back there that will eventually fill in and mask the ugly chain link fence. We’re going to put lattice on the two sides that have the posts, and a railing. We’re also going to build a landing between the cement steps and deck so that it’s easier to get onto the deck. Next year, hopefully, we’re going to build a large arbor supported by the two sides that have posts (which will obviously be extended) and grow wisteria over that. The sun sets behind me as I was taking that picture so we can’t sit out there in the summer until after the sun goes down. The arbor will address that issue. Yay!

It’s hard to see in this photo, but that’s a new garden filled with perennials like daisies, bee balm, black eyed susans, and some other things I don’t remember the name of. They all have the ability to get large and bushy so hopefully they will be bigger and more visible against that fence/hedge by next year.

That’s my herb garden. Left to right: thyme, parsley, basil. I also have rosemary in a pot on the porch, lavender and sage in the side garden, and mint on the far side of the house.

Tomatoes and peppers oh boy! The sawhorse is supporting the tomato plant so it doesn’t crush the peppers until I can tie it up better. I also have another tomato plant next to the back stairs, and two peppers tucked into my garden in the front yard. Who says you can’t plant veggies in a flower garden?

So, I guess we have done a lot in the past 15 months or so. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it.

Things we have to do:

1. Replace 6 windows. Not vital, but needs done.

2. Replace hideous, poorly installed, filthy carpet. Probably will be done after the wedding.

3. Roof needs to be fixed in the back. It isn’t leaking or anything, yet. Should be done next year sometime.

4. Repaint our bedroom. It’s currently the same beige as the living room and other bedrooms. Kind of bleh. That can wait.

5. Repaint the kitchen. All that blue first thing in the morning is enough to knock me over.

6. Replace lighting in the kitchen. I know that track  lighting is trendy and it lights up the counters nicely, but hello. I need a ceiling fan, please.

7. Expand all gardens in general. We’ll eventually have gardens on all sides of the fence that we own to mask it as much as possible. I’d also like a larger vegetable garden, and a tree in the front yard to keep the house cooler.

That’s all I can think of.Thanks for listening to my babble about my house. I think about it a lot.



The Care and Feeding of Humans
July 8, 2010, 11:47 am
Filed under: daily

Hi, my name is Katrina, and I don’t blog much.

Also, I’m a slob. A recovering slob, that is.

Per the request of a certain twitter friend, I was not only inspired to return to my blog a little more frequently, but also discuss how to manage slobby tendencies.

Do you follow your family members around picking up after them? Do you come home on Friday nights and wonder what happened to the delightfully neat and clean house you had on Sunday? Are you just as much at fault as the rest of your family? Most importantly, DOES IT BUG YOU?!

Then I have some tips for you. These were strategies my mother used to deal with my father and I, habitual shedders of trash, junk, books, dishes, and other miscellanea.

1. Throw it out. No, seriously. If it’s someone else’s, and they’re leaving it where it doesn’t belong, throw it out. If it it’s important enough to be saved, it’s important enough to be put somewhere that it won’t be lost, torn up by the dog, or stolen by elves. My mom would throw away permission slips, knowing full well that they were important. It learned me real quick to hide important stuff from her. But remember: there have to be safe zones. I was allowed to keep my room a pigsty as long as I kept the door closed, and didn’t spread it throughout the house. Everything else is fair game!

2. Regular purges. How much stuff do you really need? Really? Do you need to save the photocopy of the reading you did at your grandmother’s funeral, or can you just mark that page in your Bible that you already have? It’s the same thing! Do you need to save every little scrap of paper, every ticket stub, every receipt starting at the first date with the person to whom you will marry? I don’t think so. Go through your storage areas, your clothes, your drawers at least once a year and pitch stuff that serves no useful purpose anymore. The less you have, the less you have to pick up and the more places you have to store things you do use. If you have children with too many toys, entice them to purge their toy boxes by letting them keep the proceeds at a yard sale. Money talks, baby.

3. Form an over-developed fear of spending money. If you don’t buy things, you don’t have to pick those things up.

4. Go through the mail every day and sort as needed. This is my biggest issue: I let junk mail pile up and then BAM. Where did my dining room table go? Also, junk mail piles are actually living organisms, and have been known to consume pieces of mail that are very important. Best to sequester the important mail immediately.

5. Do the laundry as often as possible! My biggest issue with keeping things orderly is laundry. I don’t mind DOING it, I just forget to do it. And then I really dislike putting it away. It sits in the laundry baskets, and then because there’s clean laundry in there, where does the dirty laundry go?! On the floor, of course! And suddenly we can’t find the bedroom floor. I’ve been working on doing at least 2 loads of laundry a week, and then I make Kevin put it away. It seems to help.

7. Leave cleaning supplies out in view. I guess this wouldn’t work if you have wee ones who are tempted to drink them, but I started keeping the bathroom cleaner, sponge, glass cleaner, and paper towels next to the sink in the bathroom. Not only do they take up enough space to prevent other things from accumulating (tiny, tiny, TINY bathroom) but magically they seem to get used fairly regularly. Not by me, either. I can only assume by the elves. The same ones that steal important mail, perhaps? They are confusing buggers.

8. Pay attention, this is the important one: ten minutes every day should be spent tidying. Loading the dishwasher, wiping down counters, going through the mail, picking up sundry items and putting them away. Then it’s easier to want to vacuum regularly because you don’t have to spend an hour picking up the house JUST to vacuum. I still work on this one. And sometimes those 10 minutes are spent tidying my garden, which needs the same level of care.

The other big idea that my mom instilled in me is that if you are a neat freak, and the other person is not, the neat freak is responsible for keeping the house at the level that pleases them. It’s not fair to get angry, or to force them to do things to your level when doing them at all is good enough. There have to be ground rules (things outside of safe zones will get thrown away, dishes must be put in the dishwasher, etc), but no one else is responsible for meeting my standards other than me. I simply refuse to spend my free time following around someone else and cleaning up after them. If they manage their own clutter, I can set about washing baseboards and dusting.

And since I have a hard time meeting my own standards most of the time, it’s only fair to take responsibility for those standards.