Sunday, June 30, 2013


So, the corn I put out for the squirrels to try to make them leave the bird seed alone, has been disappearing at a rate of knots.
I now know why.
This little chipmunk has found a way to climb up the fence and steal the corn right off the cob.
Look at his cheeks !!!
He fills up and then buggers off - rinse and repeat.
He has no right being so cute either.   How can I get cross with him?
As someone once said,  "Oi, Chippy - NO!!!!".

Here is Tootsie.
Strange girl.
Loves her dad......well, loves his pants actually.
Yes, those are his previously worn pants lying on the floor before making their way to the laundry basket.
If she ever finds them there, she loves to snuggle into them.
Brave too is our Tootsie.

It has been an odd weekend.
The weather has been bloody gorgeous.
Warm, without being too hot, sunny, dry and very low humidity.
I wish the whole Summer - or even the whole year could be like this.

Facebook is a double edged sword at times.
A friend of mine (at least I thought he was) has apparently got the arse with me for something.
I think I know why but I am not entirely sure.
He has put me on a 'restricted' list to stop me seeing his page etc.
I was upset about it at first and almost deleted him entirely, but now I realise how childish it all is.  I have spoken to other people about it and they confirmed my feelings about it all.
So, I have decided to let him sulk.
I will give him a while to get over it but if he doesn't then I will delete him.
Sad really as I was only being honest in the first place. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Parading gaily

It was Milwaukee's Pride Parade the weekend before last.
I think I have seen the two above in Black Adder.
Our chum went along and took some photos.  For some reason Philip isn't keen on going.
Strange that.

It looks like everyone was having 'gay old time' so to speak.
It seems that the dress code is somewhat relaxed.
There are generally people with banners proclaiming everyone is going to hell, but I don't see any in the pictures.
Perhaps they have found something better to do at last.

I think they all look like they are having a wonderful time and there is nothing wrong with that - as far as I am concerned.

The storms here never seem to end.
Philip is mean to be playing golf this evening after work but the thunder is rumbling as I type.
Maybe, as he is playing nearer to Illinois, the weather won't be so bad.
Extremely hot though - remind me of this when I am complaining about how bloody cold it is in January.

I have almost finished my tiger painting.  It has taken me weeks, partly because I have to let the oil paints dry off a bit each time.   You cannot do this sort of painting without allowing some drying as it is more precise work and would end up as mud.
I have used about 4 different techniques in this one.  The next bit I hope will be the last and I can just allow it to dry completely then glaze it.
I love trying new things but wish my hands didn't hurt quite so much.
AND...I have a bad knee.
I have to blame it on the weather, hot & humid, as I don't remember doing anything in particular to it.
A friend in England has a bad knee too, so I hear.  His is the right is mine.
Must be a bug going about.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Zombies....they march.

On Saturday the Zombies marched on Chicago.
They do this every year apparently.
Most of Milwaukee Zombies seem to be at the various bus stops I use.   I wish some of those would march.
Anyway, our friend, Gary, set off to take pictures.  He promised to send me some so I have included a couple here.

I would love to do some zombie make up.  I wasn't too bad at Klingons, Cardassians etc, many moons ago.
It would be fun to see how nasty I could make them look.

I love this photo.
It is good to see that zombies have families too.  
I thought these little zombies were very frightening.   I remember having groups of the creatures in my former existence in England.
Those were bigger and even more scary.
I have some of them as facebook friends now and they have turned out rather well.
They are lovely in fact.

I think these are good.
I bet they had a lot of fun marching through Chicago.  

Donna is still reeling from Tommy's sudden death on Sunday.
She phoned from work last night, in floods of tears again.  She says she can't seem to get her head round the way it all happened so fast.
Lovely people have made some really kind comments on facebook.
I really do thank those people for caring.....and I now know the ones who don't care too !!!!
But that is ok, I will send the Chicago Zombies after them.

I think they may get another cat when Lauren goes back from here.
It is less than a month until she arrives.  I can't wait to see her.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Another one

 Tommy RIP

Donna phoned this morning in floods of tears.
It took quite a while before I could make any sense of what she was trying to say.
All I got was "I can't believe it".

Apparently just about half a hour before, her gorgeous cat, Tommy, had popped out into the garden. He was gone for virtually seconds, before he came back in again.
Only when he came in he was dragging his back legs.
She and Lauren had rushed him to the vet's where they told her he had a blood clot on his spine.
There was no pulse in his feet and there was nothing they could do.
They had to euthanise him.
Tommy would have been 4 years old next month.
They are both devastated.   I expect people who have never loved a pet would find it hard to understand how terribly upset they are.
Poor Lauren.  Tommy was a very special cat.
He loved to lie in your lap.  He liked to bring you presents home, mostly empty crisp packets, empty cigarette packets and other rubbish he found.
He was always very proud of his gifts.
Last year when I was over there, he made me late for my bus most days because he would settle himself in my lap and nod off.
He was so comfy that I never had the heart to move him, so the bus came and went without me.
Most people on facebook have been so kind.
Many of them know that Donna's husband died when Lauren was only 4 years old and they really could do without any more drama in their lives.
I think they have been through more than most and never make a fuss about anything - unlike some other people I know.
I posted a status on facebook and I do appreciate the people who took time to say how sorry they were to hear about poor Tommy.
I was a little surprised by some who didn't, but only the ones I would have expected to say something.  I do understand that some do not develop a fondness for animals so that is fine - I do get that.
Others....not so much.

Friday, June 21, 2013

River Rhythms....yay.

Last week was meant to be the first River Rhythms of the summer.
But, as we had severe storms and tornado warnings, it was called off.
So Wednesday was the first one.
And out they came.
The guy above had a whale of a time wearing his plastic, toy fireman's helmet.....and why not?
He danced all night and never, ever took his hat off.
We did think the band were pants though.
Well........that is unfair, they were probably good if you like that sort of thing.
They were some sort of Cuban band.  They played...ermm....I suppose salsa type, Latin American music which just sounded like one long song with a few breaks in it.
It really did just sound all the same.  
They did a little bit of singing but this was all in "foreign" so who knows what it was about.
Even I got totally bored with them.  I also found it irritating that they kept wanting us to "put our hands together for",  Fred - on trumpet, Bert - on bongos, Bill - on kazzo, Dave - on the toilet etc.
Not once or twice but over and over again.

The regular 'oddities' were back and there were a few new ones too.   No doubt we shall share in their joyfulness as the weeks go on.
Next week we won't go as it is the opening day of Summerfest.
This is held every year for about 10 days right on the lakefront.   About 6 stages, brilliant bands, loads of booze and about 10 billion people.
All these people need to park somewhere so we have given up on River Rhythms while Summerfest is on.
We have been to Summerfest ourselves a couple of times.  We saw Metallica there when we first came over here.  They were absolutely brilliant.
We don't go any more though.  The crowds are just too much for me and I start to panic.
There are plenty of other festivals I can go to so I don't mind missing that one.

The Chicago Zombie March is on this weekend.
Our friend Gary is going so that he can take photos.   It is so much fun.
I shall post some of his photos.

We bought this solar light for the garden a few months ago, little knowing at the time that we would lose Lollipop.
We got it because it looks so much like her. 

The roses are starting to come out now.
They do look pretty.  I have noticed that the sunflowers are growing well too.

June and I have been swimming twice a week again.  I do so enjoy it.  We had to cancel today though as we are in the middle of another major storm.
I think the next few days are looking stormy too.  This storm season seems much later than we usually have.  At least it is warm though.
Not long, just about a month, before Lauren comes over.  We have booked our week in the Wisconsin Dells and booked the kitty sitter too.
She came round last night to meet Sally as we didn't have her when she was here before.  Oh she loved the little monster.
We are lucky to have someone who is comfortable giving Bubba his 'zoomie juice' (fluids).

Sally loves her new 'kicker' toy.

We are so looking forward to Lauren being here.  We have such fun with her.   We need the break to the Dells too.  It has been a stressful year so far.
I suppose I shall soon be looking at ticket prices for my trip over there.
Hopefully no one will be ill this time.
It is getting more and more expensive though.  Flights used to be much cheaper out of season but not so much now.
I love coming over though and would hate to miss it.

Friday, June 14, 2013

I'm Free

Philip playing with Aunt Sally.
She is a hoot.
We took her for her first vet visit on Thursday.
Dr Thomas ( the best vet ever) was so impressed with her.  He was chuffed that we had given a home to another cat.  He had been the one who had to euthanize Lollipop after trying so hard to get her well for months.
He petted her, hugged her and said that, although we wondered if she were younger - she is so small - he agreed with the rescue that she is a year old.
He could not get over how fine and dainty she is.  This is a new thing for us.  Our animals have never been dainty.
Tootsie, who is just two, she was one of our foster kittens, is enormous.  She fits right in with everyone else.  Sally is tiny.  Look at this photo of Philip getting stuck by all those pointy bits, this kitty is tiny.
I do hope she stays this way.
Anyway, this was a very good experience for Sally.  I felt really bad putting her in the cat carrier to take her to the vet.
I guessed she was thinking, " Oh yes, they have had me for this time but now I am going back to THAT place."
I wish we could explain.
Dr Thomas made her feel good, did nothing nasty and didn't charge us a really.......we had to pick up Bubba's fluids and that is all they charged us.
I did point out that we had had a full new pet exam but he said that there was no charge as we had adopted from a humane society.
You cannot imagine how unusual this is over really you cannot.  We love this vet.

Back to Wednesday
I was at work and I got this phone call...not about 'danglers' this time.
The lady said " Can you please verify the name of the appointments management system you use."
"Yes", I replied. "Me"
Me - laughter
She - penny dropping - " Oh, you mean you?"
"Yes", said I.
After a little bit of laughter she understood that as a small business the appointments management system is me.
It reminded me of my nephew.
He too worked for a small business.
One day someone phoned and asked to be connected to their accounts department.
My nephew replied, " Ok, just a minute, he is just sweeping the yard."
I was in Sears on Tuesday.
Sears is a department store.  They had a recorded voice playing, telling everyone about a sale in the jewellery dept.
Oh my goodness it was awful.
For some reason they have the worst British accent you can imagine.
It tells you there is 20%  - ORF of jewellery.  Worse than any royal accent.
It quite gave me the giggles...really....I wanted to tell one of the assistants that I would have done that announcement with a pucker British accent for far less money.
It was like something out of "Are You Being Served?".
Oh Mrs Slocombe we so needed you .

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


What is Looby Loo looking at?

Yup....... Aunt Sally playing with the dickie bird on a stick.

I hope some people remember Aunt Sally from Worzel Gummidge.
Well, our Aunt Sally seems to be making herself at home.  She mostly gets on with the others, although Lily is still in a bit of a snit.
I hope she gets over it soon.


Heroes come in various shapes and sizes.  I didn't realise we had our very own hero just across the street.
No I don't mean Merv.
There is an idiot who lives at the end of the street, who last year, had one of those motorized scooter thingies.
He started buzzing up and down the street even though they are actually illegal on the roads over here.
One day I even saw him riding it, very fast, holding on to the handlebars with one hand and holding a baby on his other arm.  I had a pink fit.  If he had hit a pebble that baby would have been killed.
I found out that my chum down the end had yelled at him that she would call the police if she ever saw him do it again.  She then told me all would be well now as they had broken the scooter.
It didn't happen again ........until this Sunday.
I was trying to read the paper and Philip was downstairs in the basement fighting orcs and goblins when I heard it start.  It made a dreadful noise.
Of course when I looked out of the window, there he was on a new, bigger scooter whizzing up the road.  A few minutes later he whizzed back.
This went on for a while and I was getting sick of it.  This is a very nice, quiet neighbourhood.  We don't want or need anything like this on a summer's Sunday afternoon.
Just as I was getting really miffed I noticed that the guy across the road was outside.  He was leaning against his car, ciggie in hand....waiting.
He is a big bloke.  He is the sort of bloke you don't want to upset.
Could he be waiting for the idiot to whizz back?   Oh I hoped so, but I couldn't really believe it.  He was probably just outside to have a smoke.
I heard the distant buzz of the scooter.
The bloke across the road was looking this way and that.
It grew louder as idiot features got nearer.
He appeared round the bend doing about 30 miles and hour on this thing.
Super Bloke Across The Road jumped out in front of him, with his hands out, bellowing, "STOP, STOP, STOP!!!"
Idiot features stopped abruptly right in front of Super Bloke Across The Road.
Super Bloke Across The Road was speaking to Idiot Features and it didn't look like he was enquiring as to the health of his mother.
Pants I couldn't hear what he said.
Super Bloke Across The Road now had his hand on Idiot Features shoulder and sort of turned him and the scooter around.
Idiot Features quietly went back the way the had come and we didn't see him again.
I was cheering!!!!
Several neighbours congratulated Super Bloke Across The Road.  I would have gone out to congratulate him too but I had just washed my hair and it was all over the place.
Funny thing.....I didn't see Merv go out there.

Lastly, it is barbeque season.........sigh.
We have a gas grill complete with bells and whistles.  So, why don't I like barbies.
I think the food is pants.
Just saw a photo of a friend's barbie complete with a couple of boring burgers and sad looking sausages.
It always smells better than it tastes.
I have tried doing fish, shrimp and kebabs on the grill but what a lot of messing about.
To be remotely successful you have to do loads of sides.  By the time I have prepared, baked spuds, coleslaw, pasta salad, roast tomatoes etc.......I could more easily have cooked a proper meal indoors.
Plus, you don't have all the stuff to lug out and then lug in again when you are done.
I really don't get the attraction of "grilling out" as they call it here.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

THEM !!!

We get bloody big ants here.
You could have put a saddle on this one.  
He was making his way around the kitchen this morning.   I put the pen there just to show how big this bugger was.
I wrestled with him for an hour (or it might have been a couple of minutes) and then I hurled him into the back garden where he is probably terrorizing the squirrels.

My idiot magnet was on top form yesterday.  It has been a bit quiet lately and I thought I may have left it somewhere.
I got to the bus stop and there was a lady already sitting on the bench.
She immediately told me the bus would be about 5 minutes.
I replied that I hoped so.
She then said, "Are you from down south?  Your accent is funny."

RIGHT THEN, I should have known.   Did I twig?  Course I didn't.
"No," said I, "England".
"Oh" she continued, "I think some of my boyfriend's family were from English (ENGLISH !!)"

She then proceeded to tell me that she lived a couple of blocks away but didn't feel save there as 'they' kept banging on her door and 'they' called the police and told them she had tried to kill herself.  Her boyfriend had got into trouble and wasn't allowed there anymore and anyway, once she had collapsed and he called the ambulance and got her to hospital where she had her appendix out and she was in there for 6 days and then she came home, got a fever and went back and they kept her for another two weeks and wanted to send her to rehab but she wouldn't go...and she had a big scar on her stomach but she hadn't felt any of the cutting or anything when she had the operation....and.....and.....and......and....and.

Wow, that bus takes a long time to arrive when you really, REALLY want it to.
She asked my name and told me her name is Cookie.  Well, that's nice.

Sally is part of the family now.....well except for Lily who is still in her snit.
Here she is with Tootsie working out how many of the birdies on the bird feeder they could catch.
She really is a delight. We are so glad she found us.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Crazy Cat Lovers Weekend.

We had a lot of fun at the Crazy Cat Lovers weekend.
We only went for the day on Saturday but the hotel was lovely.
A few of the ladies brought their cats.  AND...the cats didn't fight or hiss.  I was amazed.
One girl came on her own with a 3 month old baby and her cat.
I was surprised that the hotel allow people to bring cats, but they didn't mind at all.
If they do it next year I think Philip and I would like to go for the whole weekend.
We wouldn't bring any cats though.
Whilst we were there, being cat nuts, we all had a little excursion to a shelter which had a rescue cat event going on.
I wondered if we would find our next kitty there as it seemed odd that this was held in Madison and we had got Lollipop from Madison.
But, although the cats were lovely, none were right for us.
Happily one of the other ladies adopted one (a boy...can't have any more boys because Bubba doesn't like them).  He was a big orange and white cat who looked so sad and depressed.
I was so happy that she took him.
A lucky day for him.

Sunday we were out shopping in Milwaukee and popped into our local pet store.
There was a rescue organisation showing some cats in there.   They rescue cats from animal control who would be put to sleep.
We found her.
Here she is.
We named her that.
She is one year old and very small.  I am actually wondering if she might be younger than one year as she is also very lively.
I loved this organisation.  They explained that by taking a cat from them you actually save two lives.  As we adopted Sally they now have room to rescue another one.  They are then held in foster homes until they can be adopted out.
She has been spayed, been micro chipped, has had all her vaccinations etc. and they gave us a pack of stuff to bring home.  Including a pretty pink collar.
All this for $60.  It would have cost us three times that amount just to have her spayed.
She is in the spare bedroom until the introductions can be made slowly.
Philip slept in there with her last night and apparently she snuggled with him all night.
Today.......I have got nothing done.  I have been in with her a lot.
She is extremely playful and lively, but very gentle.
Tootsie was busting to meet her so I let her in for a little while to see how things went.
It went well.  Tootsie loved her and wanted to play.
We always wondered if she missed her brothers and sister when they left and I think maybe she did.
Once Sally had worn herself out, she climbed into my lap and fell asleep.
Oh I love her.
Another nice thing the rescue place did.  They said they shall name their next rescue Lollipop in tribute to our lovely girl.
Dear have saved two lives.  We still miss you.

Oh yes, almost forgot.  The can of Spotted Dick was well received.
They are going to make it into a yearly trophy so whoever wins it gets to keep it for a year before it is passed on to the next winner.
Who'd 'a' thought it.