Saturday, September 24, 2011

Still works..........

Good to know my "Idiot Magnet" is still working.

Went to WalMart this morning.
Oh this is the place to go if you are idiot hunting.
Personally, I don't seem to have to do any actual hunting. They come out of the woodwork to find me.

It was pouring with rain. Thunder, lightning - the works - which was very good.
We haven't had any rain in ages and the ground has turned to concrete. The grass was crispy and I was totally ticked off with having to keep watering the plants.
Fortunately, we don't have such things as hosepipe bans over here. They did try to do that one year and it caused uproar.
There were radio presenters who put the case that it was a ridiculous suggestion.
I quote,
"So they are telling that when we have had no rain and the garden needs watering that I can't water it, but, when we have plenty of rain and the garden doesn't need watering then I can "
This did come across as oddly logical.
But I digress.
On entering WalMart with a dripping brolly, the greeter (do you have 'greeters' yet over in Blighty? Wondrous beings 'greeters'. I don't know how we could possibly shop without them), oh yes, the greeter handed me a "wet umbrella plastic bag".
What a fab idea!!!
I know you lot over there are all very excess plastic bag conscious, but over here they still hand them out willy nilly.
As I was putting my wet brolly in my wet brolly bag and thanking the 'ancient greeter lady' a nearby idiot said "Oh sounds like you are not from around these parts."
This prompted my standard reply of, " No, I am from Texas."
His face sort crumpled a bit as his three brain cells fought each other to try to work this out.
I tried to escape.
No deal.
He chased after me. "Where are you really from?" he said in the worst British accent it has been my misfortune to hear.
Now this really winds me up. Why do some people think it is endearing to try to mimic the way someone speaks?
And, why do they think it is alright to do that to British people in particular?
I wonder, do they do a Basil Fawlty, goose step and mimic German people?
Would they pull their eyes and say "Ahh so" to Japanese businessmen?
What about Indian people? They could really let loose on those.

Anyway, he continued to follow me around the store still speaking in this monstrous accent, telling me that his great uncle came from England.
I am pretty sure he expected me to compliment him on his mastery of English. I did not.
I asked him where his uncle came from. Of course, he didn't know and gave up the chase.

I had an all too frequent experience with the nurse who gave me my flu shot on Thursday.
Philip gets his done at work but I have to go to the chemist for mine.
Anyway, the nurse asked me where I was from and I was kind this time and just said England.
Well, she was about to stick a needle in my arm so I wasn't going to upset her.
Her grandfather came from England.
"Oh", said I "Whereabouts?"
"The county of Kent", she replied.
"Oh really. I was living in Kent before I came over here. Do you know where in Kent he came from?"
"Totton Street", she said.

At least she didn't ask if I knew him.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A what a wondrous kitty.....

YAY.......Tootsie found my bracelet.

There I was embroiled in an altercation with a small mountain of ironing, not something I find utterly enjoyable, so my mood was a little low.
As I flung yet another shirt onto the torture device known as the ironing board, I noticed Tootsie playing in the cupboard under the stairs.
The very same cupboard under the stairs that I had cleared a landfill of old toot from the day before.
I had undertaken this herculean task for two reasons.

Firstly - There was a load of old toot under the stairs........the kittens had been playing under there during their stay and had had riotous times shredding up paper and emptying the winter "Bloody Hell it's Chuffing Freezing" bag (this contains lots of spare gloves, scarves, hats etc in readiness for that which must not be mentioned.

Secondly - I was hoping to find Looby Loo's stash and thusly my bracelet. Of course I failed miserably on both counts. But, I had taken the whole lot out, thrown the paper out and put the woolly stuff back into the "Bloody Nora It's Enough To Freeze Your Tabs Off" bag. There was no stash and no bracelet - as "Great Boo" is my witness, it was not there.

So, after ironing a couple or maybe a dozen spiffing shirts for my better half, I was more than surprised to see glistening in the sunlight, on the floor right in front of the previously mentioned, well cleared , cleaned and tidied wovely bracelet.
I had thought I would never see its likeness again, but there in all its gorgeousness it sparkled.
Tootsie had succeeded where I had failed.
I think she must be a bit of an Indiana Jones Tootsie......or maybe a Captain Kirk Tootsie ........ rummaging around where no cat had rummaged before.
Looby Loo is probably spitting feathers that her security has been breached.
I, on the other hand, am so pleased to have it back.
Never again will I leave the precious thing lying around where that evil cat burglar can whisk it away.

The ironing didn't seem anywhere near so bad after I got my bracelet back.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


This is the little sauce dish thingie I got in the charity shop.
I have photographed it next to a mug to show how dinkie it is.
I love it.
It will be tra la posh on my table when I have a dinner party.

What was also tra la posh was the bracelet that I got last Sunday.
I had been looking for a leather one as I used to have one years ago which I loved.
It was so comfortable to wear.
I was a bit fussy about how wide it should be and it had to have a popper fastening as I don't like the tie up ones.
Nothing ever seemed to be just right or if it was then the price was anything but right.
But, in Cedarburg last Sunday I found the perfect one. Soft, blue and with sparkles.
Loved it.

I wore it Monday and Tuesday but on the way to work Wednesday I realised I had forgotten to put it on.
Promptly forgot all about it until Thursday when I discovered it was missing.

Our feral cat, Looby Loo, has always had a habit of stealing little things. Things you mostly don't notice. As I looked for my new bracelet the truth started to dawn and with a sinking feeling my searching became more and more frantic.
The little cow had pinched it.

She has a stash somewhere but we have never discovered where.
When the kittens were here they must have found it during their adventures as they would turn up with nail varnishes I hadn't seen for ages, make up brushes I hadn't realised were missing, plus an assortment of hair bands, nail files and even one of Lauren's plastic horses.
Looby Loo must have been in despair to see all the little buggers prancing around with her treasures.
I have been a bit complacent, I suppose, in as much as I did leave the bracelet lying around.
Soft leather.......yummy.....easy to pick up.....OH and SPARKLES !!!!
She must have been in heaven when she found it.
We have searched this house and cannot find where she is hiding her stuff.
I suppose I will have to look for another one. It was lovely though :(

Tootsie had a ball with this paper during the week.
I love the innocent "What?" expression on her face.
I wish she would find out where Looby Loo has hidden my bracelet.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


A funny couple of days.
Yesterday, before I went out, I noticed some people (locals) complaining on Facebook, of a strange smell outside.
To be honest I thought people might be imagining things.
But, when I took myself off for a trawl of a huge charity shop........I could smell something, and it wasn't the usual charity shop smell - you know the one - old clothes and lord knows what else.
It was like a distant bonfire.
Then when I walked to the bus stop, everywhere was hazy.
It reminded me of the smog that I say hanging over Los Angeles on the two occasions I have been lucky enough to visit there.
It was quite heavy and made the air thick.
After having a fruitful rummage through the treasures (old toot) in the charity shop.....I found a beautiful little dish with lid, tray and spoon that you could serve apple sauce etc in, for $1.99 AND a brandy glass for 49 cents......I returned home and switched on the local news.
Oh it was full of it.
Apparently there is a wild fire burning in Minnesota, which is something like 700 miles away.
The wind direction has changed and the haze/smell was the smoke from this wild fire.
I was amazed that we could be affected so much by something so far away.
Mind you it is massive. Something like 60,000 acres has been burning since mid August.

Yesterday and until 11pm this evening people with breathing problems and other various ailments have been advised to stay indoors.
Also, schools etc have been advised against doing outdoor activities.

I find this just a trifle worrying really. That something so far away can affect us. I am glad that it only smoke.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Who knew???????

When we got Bubba we were told he was a Maine Coon mix. He is a big boy .
Anyway, we took Tootsie for her vet check on Saturday.
We had to laugh ......they took her into the back rooms to weigh her and clip her many, many claws.....and all we could hear were "ahhs and ooohs". She was popular.

After telling us that everything is ticketty boo, the vet paused and then told us she thought that Tootsie was probably best part Maine Coon.
Apparently, it is part of the breed genetics to have the extra toes (polydactyl), and her general body shape, ears and laid back personality, points to Maine Coon.
Hah !!!
I thought she might be a little cat. I have always fancied a little cat but it seems she is going to grow into a monster too.

Dear Bubba we do love him as he is a silly old sod.

Sunday we had a brill day out in Cedarburg. Fabulous. Lots of little shops to browse around.
Donna would hate it .......Lauren would love it.
Lauren is my shopping partner. She can spend hours looking at things (shiny things) in shops without ever really needing to buy anything. Oh ok........that is me. Lauren does like to spend money.
Donna on the other hand, shops like a bloke.
She will only, ever, go shopping if she has something specific to buy.
Then she will go to that one shop, ONE SHOP, march directly to the item she requires, buy it and then leave the store and head home.
This is not natural.
This is probably what every man would like in his dream woman, but it isn't every mother's dream. How lucky I am that Lauren was genetically wired (not with lots of toes) but with the "Shopping Gene".

Whilst in Cedarburg I had another lump of Peanut Butter Cookie Dough ice cream which was delish.
Then lastly we went shopping for a cat flap.
Cats are not allowed outside in Wisconsin so we don't need one to let them out, but it would be great to have one on the basement door.
When you come in the back door the basement steps are in front of you and to your right side is the door to the kitchen. We have always kept this door permanently open to allow the cats access to the basement, food etc.
We have had/ still are having , a glorious summer but I know winter is lurking in the wings.
I started thinking that if we could keep that door closed then it would help keep the house warm in those dreaded months of ice age Milwaukee.
So, a cat flap in that door would allow this.
Sounds easy........go buy a cat flap. T'isn't.
We found lots of cat flaps, dog flaps etc.....starting at around $20....BUT they were for "normal" sized cats. Up to 15lbs.
It has been a long time since Bubba was on the right side of 15lbs.
He would never fit through.
We thought about getting a dog flap but they were over $50.
Isn't Amazon wonderful.
A few clicks on good old and a cat flap will soon be heading our way.
I won't tell Bubba we had to order the "Tubby Kat" one.
He likes to think he just has a lot of "floof".

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A bit of a posh do.........

I had a wonderful invitation on Tuesday.
A couple of friends have generously donated their skills and time to the above event.
They are an interior designer and a floral artist. They are creating beautiful floral displays to the Paws & Claws Gala Dinner.
This is in aid of the Wisconsin Humane Society......not the place I volunteer at now but somewhere I volunteered when we first arrived 14 years ago (yes really it is that long!).

Anyway, I hadn't been invited to the 'do' $250 a head that is just a little beyond me....but my friends had been invited to a 'thank you reception' for all the people who had donated in one way or another but one of my friends couldn't make it.
So the other one took ME !!!
It was fab.
I got a chance to wear my posh frock & high heels.
It was in a very tra la posh lakefront restaurant. We had wine and appetizers (silly name for nibbles on plates brought round by waiters).
We were treated like royalty (bout time too) and I got to talk to some very nice people. I even spoke to the executive director of the humane society.......and she was very pleasant.
My friend said we made some good contacts, hopefully for his business and who knows, maybe even for me.
It was brill to go out unexpectedly in the middle of the week.
So kind of him to ask me. I secretly think it was because he knows I will talk to anybody and he is a bit shy.

The International Kite Festival is on at the lakefront this weekend.
It made me a little sad.
I would usually be heading over the pond around this time of year but this year money has been a bit tight with unexpected bills etc, so for the first time since we have been here it looks like I won't be going.
I have been fortunate that Donna and Lauren have visited 3 times this year but I won't get to see Glenn or any of my old mates.
And I miss them.
When I heard about the kite festival it made me think of some of my friends as they often get together for kite flying weekends.
The kite festival here is a huge event and I have to admit, I wonder if it would be as good as the events they attend.
When we first came over here we were thrilled that Milwaukee hosted GenCon.......a huge gaming & scifi convention. We could walk there from where we lived at the time....downtown...and we did.
We had been to a few European GenCons. They had been held in Camber Sands and the last one we went to was in a university in Leicester I think.
They were a lot of fun. People were very friendly and everything was laid back and easy going.
People could set their own games up in the bars etc.
But, the ones in Milwaukee were nothing like that. They were so totally organised. You had to book up to play games laid on only by the organisers or makers of the games.
There was nowhere you could just set something up yourself. The food was outrageously expensive and there no bars.
Beer or any alcohol.......forget that.
Sure they had some big names who came in to sign autographs or to speak to the masses, but the whole feel of the event was different. It was sort of indifferent.
I happened to fall in with a bunch of live action role players who were a lot of fun and I made some friends I still have contact with all these years later.
But we much preferred the Euro GenCon which done on a much smaller scale, with far less outlay and far more improvisation.
I just wonder if the kite festival would be a similare experience. It is probably wonderfully organised but it could suffer from this and be over organised.
Anyway, it has made me miss my mates. I shall just have to hope to be able to see them next year.
Facebook is a wonderful tool. It enables me to keep up with all their "goings on"....outings, weekends away etc. Plus I get to see all the photos too. Really helps me to still feel part of it all even though I am not there.

Frank Mots International Kite Festival at Veteran's Park

30 Great Years! The World will be Watching Us Fly! The 30th Annual Frank Mots International Kite Festival will be held on Saturday, September 13th,& Sunday September 14th, 2008, in Veterans Park on Milwaukee's Lakefront from 10a.m. -5p.m. Sat. and 10a.m.-5p.m. Sun. County Executive Scott Walker will kick off the festival at Non with a grand launch of hopefully 500 kites. That's right...two great days of flying. The event is sponsored by the Kite Society of Wisconsin and Illinois, and Gift of Wings, and our newest sponsors, Milwaukee County Parks, 102.1 WLUM, B93, and 1290am WMCS. Featured performers include Chicago Fire, feraturing Eric Wolfe, the new Revolution Kite Flying Team...IQUAD, featuring John Barresi. Mots also will feature Josh and Zack Gordon, Charlie Sotich, Team Pegasus, Dan Newman, Paul Koepke, Paula Schenk, Mike Delfar, Ann Brinnehl, & Donna Schenk as Mrs Kite Lady, and the kites of Yves LaForest. Yves Laforest will feature 2 GIANT Octopi kites flying high over Milwaukee. The Grand Launch of around 500 kites will take place directly at noon. The professional kite teams will start performing at 12:30 pm followed by the Kids Mad Dash at around 2:00. See Roscoe from the Milwaukee Admirals, and Bango from the Bucks. This festival is FREE with plenty of FREE parking. This kite festival is one of the largest in the country and will draw nearly 25,000 folks during the two days of kite flying. Veterans Park in one of the top ten best kite flying park in the United States.

I suppose it is free which can't be bad.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Rather quiet here now.

Treacle & Rascal went to their new forever home this morning.
I found this rather difficult.
They are both super loving kittens.   Treacle has such a big personality.  She is in everything you are trying to do.......very helpful !!!!
Rascal is just as adorable but such a baby.  My baby.
The young couple who have adopted them seem very nice and super excited to be taking them home.
I am sure they will be fine but I am still sad.
Tootsie seems a bit lost but in a day or two she will be ok too.

It is our holiday weekend.   Labour Day weekend.
The weather is a bit cooler today which is rather nice.   We are not doing anything exciting as Philip has to monitor a work process from home.
Saturday we had a bimble around the shops.   Philip was most impressed with a kitchen rubbish bin that sensed when you approached and opened the lid for you.  It also told you when it was full.
He wasn't amused with my rendition of
"Do,da, do, da, do....Inspector Gadget, do, da, do, da ,dooooo, do, do........woo hoo!" I sung it in the store.
Why do guys go for gadgets so much?
He never empties the bin unless I ask him......I am sure he would soon tire of the bin telling him it needed emptying.

I am using the new blog set up they suggested.
I am not impressed with the typing....very awkward.
What do other people think?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Two down.........

Had a phone call from the animal rescue centre on Tuesday saying that someone would like to come and see Benny and Bootsie.
The young lady above duly arrived. After a little chat she sat on the floor and Benny immediately climbed onto her lap, grabbed her arm, rested his head and went to sleep.
Well, he sold himself.
She got me to take photos of her to send to her partner who was itching to meet them.
He had been awake all night afraid that they might have already gone.
She left and then they both came back, plus his mother, in the afternoon.

They were a lovely couple. So kind and so excited about Benny & Bootsie.
They have a 3 bedroom house with a basement so the kits will have lots of room to play.
I really liked them.
They left to go shopping for the kits' toys, food, equipment etc and to go back to the shelter to complete the paperwork.
A little later they collected the boys. I was sad to see them go but so pleased for them at the same time. It seems to be a perfect home and I got some satisfaction out of it after all the ups & downs I have had with the little buggers for the last 3 months.
Now I hope we can find an equally good home for Treacle and Rascal.

Wednesday was the last night of River Rhythms.
5 Card Studs were playing and they were brilliant.
Caesar Palace came out into the audience to entertain "The Ladies".
It was a lot of fun. This summer has flown by way too quickly. I don't want winter to start yet.
Hopefully we will have a warm autumn.
Today the temperature was in the mid 90s.
Just need to keep the white stuff away until at least December.

The balloon man was at River Rhythms.......or Balloonie as Gary calls him.
He made this fab hat. Just had to get a picture of it.

It was Lauren's mates dad's birthday on Tuesday.
We had bought him a couple of videos and, as they live just up the street, I was walking up to give them to him.
Just then the youngest son, aged about 6, (who always cracks me up) came flying down the street towards me.

"It's my dad's birthday." he grinned at me.
"I know, " I said.
"Is that present for him" he asked.
"Yes it is old is he .....21?, " I joked.
"No........he is 43," he replied.
"Oh really," said I.
"And do you know how that happened?" he asked me seriously.
"No, how?" I enquired.
"Well, last year he was 42," he said looking at me as if I should be in the special needs class.

I giggled all the way to their house.