Inside and Outside at The Hill

The Schmenkman’s have more than sassy cats on their Hill. In addition to 6 inside and 2 outside Sassy Cats, they have 2 rabbits, a quail, 2 pheasants, Cedric the turtle (who is their oldest pet at 17, I think Schmenk said), a rooster and a bevy of chickens, a beaver, several released back into the wild squirrels, and 3 next door neighbor horses. I am quite certain Schmenky will correct me if I am wrong!

Since she is a certified wild life rehabilitator, she often has babies in cages. This was the last of her spring squirrel babies, Pippy. She is adorable and BUSY. She is a total ADHD squirrel.

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She was all over that cage! My favorite was when she jumped straight up and down, just to release some energy.

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Sideways, upside down, in and out of her bed and a play box. Schmenky thinks she will have her another couple of weeks before she is released into the Sassy Gardens.

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Here is my best friend Poppet giving me what Schmenk calls “special loves”. That’s when she crawls up on your shoulder and purrs. I have not been blessed to have them before so I felt special special!

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Oh yeah, she loves me.

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And I love her back.

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This is the yard chicken, Prudence. There are many others in a coop down the hill but Pru gets to wander the yard during the day. She is like a dog following Schmenky and she even comes running when she is called!!!

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My camera was not working when Paddy the beaver was up and about, but I show you his compound so you can see that he is learning to do beavery things very nicely. All that stuff in the back is his handiwork.

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I was having battery problems all weekend until I bought some that are supposed to last NINE TIMES LONGER than regular batteries. That did the trick. I think our rechargeables have bit the dust or the charger has, one or the other.

There you have a small smackeral the Sassy pets.

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A Peek at Sassy Cat Hill

I flew down to Virginia last Thursday after BSF Sharing Day, with my little suitcase packed in my empty big suitcase, my carry on purse filled with my People magazine, camera and iPad, and armed with my latest round of antibiotics. I was going to make something out of this lost month of May, or die trying!

What we made was a very swell holiday weekend! My flight was about 45 minutes late coming and going, which is very out of character, but we managed nicely. We ate at one of our two favorite troughs (buffets for you newbies), this one had yummy pulled pork, roast beef and chicken, and then we let the shopping begin!

One of my favorite treats this year was the Merchandise Return Card from Ross Dress For Less. We do not have Ross in The Mitten, it seems to be a southern store, so I shop there only when I am in Virginia or Florida. Mousey has a fondness for the Ross as well. Ross has a very generous return policy. Just keep your receipt. That’s it. I am accomplished at keeping my receipts, I am my Mother’s daughter, and she taught me well.

For some reason I had a plethora of returns to the Ross this year, accumulated from my last years trip to Virginia and our trips to Florida. Some clothing I had never worn for a variety of reasons, a pair of Converse high tops The Boy did not like the fabric on, and 2 prom dresses Mousey bought the last time we were in Florida, for the home school prom she did not end up going to. We were both sad to return one of those prom dresses. It was a sleek black Calvin Klein number that looked adorable on her, but I ask you, how often do you need a darling, floor length prom dress? We had to let it go.This is what I received in return for the plethora;

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$199.03 in returns, and still $45.84 left!! It was like shopping with FREE money!!! When I told Honey this story he said it wasn’t FREE, but he just doesn’t get my logic. I whittled that baby down to $45 dollars with no additional charges to my well used Visa card, that is as FREE as it gets for me!!!!! Mousey will be happy to help me whittle even further the next time we are in Floridy!

In years past, I have shopped extensively for my family. Since I can no longer predict their needs or wants, save the obvious choice as a surprise twinkie I shopped primarily for myself. I was quite comfortable with this arrangement.

So far this post seems to be about shopping, but I have not photographed my purchases yet, so it all seems to be a big tease. We are going to fast forward to the Schmenkman’s home, Sassy Cat Hill. You know all great southern homes have names. They live in the hills of the Blue Ridge mountains, and they definitely have sassy cats, hence the awesome name.

This little pond is right outside their front door.

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It has many trees in front of it.

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And the Blue Ridge mountain, Skyline Drive in particular, in front of them.

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Quite a change for a flat-lander like myself.

Now, to the back yard. Everywhere you look, there is an array of purty. I always feel like I need to get home and get BUSY.

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Love, and more love.

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This path takes you down to the chicken coop. A very nice path to free eggs.

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There were many frogs sunning when I started my photo shoot, but I skeert them all into the pond when I walked by.

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This is the newest addition to The Hill. Literally and figuratively. The beautimous new sunroom.

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It is the perfect addition, lots of windows to take in all of the …..nature that goes on around there. Birds and squirrels, deer and BEARS.

Schmenk spends a LOT of time right here. Watching, computering and such.

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The Sassy Cats have also declared this their prime napping spot. Note the princess pillow, scattered cat beds, and de-furring towels that mark the favorite spots.

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Very cozy, to be sure!

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That’s all for today. There are still some animals and people to show, plus the purchases, I don’t know how many posts I can milk out of this trip! Have a good Thursday!

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Hi Guys!!! It’s been a sweet forever since I have Hodgepodged! I am back in the land of the living and off our couch, The Scourge of 2013 laid me low but I have returned to blob all the random bits of nonsense you never knew you needed to read!

If you have a hankering, head over to Joyce’s and join the party, they are a nice, chatty bunch!

1. What question do you often ask yourself?

What was I going to do? I then have to walk back to where I was, and then it comes back to me!
2. Do you grow roses? What’s your favorite color of rose?  Ever been given a dozen roses?  Where was the prettiest rose or rose garden you remember seeing?

I have never had roses at our current house, although my Mother gave me some when we lived at our last house. She was a fan of roses, like her Mother before her. They devoted much time and energy to their rose beds. Did this and that and fed them unicorn dust and trimmed them with magic pruners in an attempt to have the fairest roses in the land.

My Mom gave me several as Mother’s Day presents and, for lack of a better idea, we planted them at the back of the house, near the hose reel. The only time I ever noticed them was when one bloomed and I had the fleeting thought of “oh, that’s pretty!”. My Mother was frequently in our backyard with her young grandchildren, so she had the opportunity to view the rose bushes she had so thoughtfully given me. Unfortunately at that time my gardening skills hovered a notch above the thumb of death. Certainly not green.

What I like to remember about this scenario is the occasion my Mom asked me what I did to make my roses so spectacular??!! You can imagine how I enjoyed the look on her face when I told her I did nothing. I did observe that our hose leaked a little and maybe they liked the extra water. I have liked remembering this little story!

I like the pinks, prefer not to receive them (although I have) and I could not tell you whose garden was the fairest in the land. Roses are not my Precious.

3. Do you read the freshness dates on grocery store products?  Will you use eggs past their ‘use by’ date?  Take medication that’s expired? Buy a dented can?

Food does not usually linger that long around here, but I have looked at a date if something has been kicking around in the pantry a while. I have had a tossing fiesta on occasion. I hate to be wasteful, but I am a little grossed out by old food. Honey is even worse than I am about that.

I am not usually aware of an egg expiration date, but as I said, they don’t linger long. I try and buy the undented can, although my recollection of why is somewhat fuzzy. Something from junior high homec class. Our teacher, Mrs. Fane, said it wasn’t a good idea and that is all I recall. Good enough for me.

I have taken somewhat expired medication with no ill results. Usually my back pain medication, because HEY, that cannot be wasted, they are like pure gold! I have purged the kids medicine cabinet and been shocked at how old some things were. They weren’t using them though.
4. Should athletes be role models?

That certainly depends on a multitude of factors. Of course they can be role models for their particular sport and athletic prowess, you can’t take that away from them. Putting their whole life on a pedestal is quite another thing. I am sure there are a lot of athletes that are worthy of being a role model, but there are just as many, if not more, who are self serving, egotistical JERKS. I would have steered our kids to the whole package type of athlete. I remember The Boy often liked the sports hero who was a professing Christian.
5. Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal became the first explorers to reach the top of Mt. Everest on this date (May 29) back in 1953. What’s something you hope to achieve in your lifetime?

I would like to finish this life, in all areas, knowing that I finished strong, held true to the Christian walk that the Lord has given me to travel. As a faithful, loving wife, a  helpful mother who points her adult children God’s truth always, a grandmother who can sow seeds of God’s love, and grace in little hearts, a family member who makes the time to stay in touch, a friend worth having, and a loyal servant of the living God. That would be quite the achievement.
6. What would you do if you had twenty acres of land and the money to develop it any way you choose?

I would give it to Honey to do as he saw fit. He likes that sort of stuff.
7. If I invite you to a party with a 7 PM start time, what time will I actually see you there?

7 PM, and I would not stay super late because I am old and can’t stay up that late anymore.  
8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I returned from The Memorial Day Extravaganza Hootenanny with Mrs. Schmenkman in Virginia last night. I feel like I am majorly behind in all areas of my life. Three weeks of The Scourge of 2013 have not helped one iota. There are weeds to pull, the patios to get together, flowers to buy and plant, housework to be done, and new clothes purchased on my trip to be put away. I feel like the month of May was lost to me! There is MUCH to blob about, I hope you will come back to hear about all of the many topics that have been simmering on the back burner for the last 31 days! I leave you with a couple pictures from my Virginia trip. I miss them all.

Beautiful gardens.

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Mr. C and Schmenky

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Poppet. She loves me.

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Evening tv with Poppet and Mr Casey Lee Bumgardner. He liked to have his tail on me at all times.

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Thanks for stopping by and hope to see to tomorrow!

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I’m on my way, come get me Schmenky!

On The Fly

Hi Guys. I am so behind due to The Scourge of 2013 and blobbing has definitely been kicked to the curb. I leave for Virginia and Mrs. Schmenkman’s house tomorrow after Sharing Day at BSF, and I am in no way ready to go.

I have things to say and lists to share but they will have to wait. I may be able to type at you whilst at Sassy Cat Hill because I am taking the iPad with me. I can blob on that, but have yet to figure out how to download pictures from the camera. I have to continue with my new job, Words With Friends. Really, no one would miss me but my Aunt Phyllis, since we have about 98 games going at any given time. Oh, that’s a lie, but at least 10 and I am not kidding there.

I am heading out to BSF leaders meeting where we will be having our end of year fellowship that requires I bring food. I will then come home and get my act together so I can actually get out of Dodge.

In conclusion, I would like to say Happy Birthday to my most devoted reader, HONEY!! He celebrated another year yesterday and we are so thankful to have him as our Commander in Chief, Head Honcho, and Captain Kirk! I am thanking God for the birth of my other half!

Horatio Saves The Day

Hi Guys! Holy Moly, where has the month of May gone?? It’s like the weeks after childbirth, tired, incoherent, and tinged with suffering.

I can’t remember when I have been laid so low for so long, GEEZ LOUISE, it seemed never ending! Spring was just starting when I succumbed to The Scourge of Twenty Thirteen. At one doctor appointment, spring was in the air. The second doctor appointment was full on spring, the third, spring was on the wane and it seemed mostly like summer had arrived. All without my knowledge, and seriously, I could have cared less.

Thank you all so much for your comments, prayers and concern, good friends are a kiss on the cheek from God!

The Sickness is broken into three weeks, each highlighted by its own brand of suffering. The first sign of illness began on a Tuesday. The Ab-Cat and I had gone on a dry run to Detroit for her jury duty date. We were looking for the parking garage options, because there was NO WAY she was going to park far away and have to navigate the People Mover, she might have never found her vehicle again! Honey had programmed the GPS with one of the addresses and it kept telling us the parking was on the right, where there was parking, but not the parking we were supposed to use. We just kept going around and around the block, looking for other places.

We finally had a plan, there was a choice A and a choice B, and if those didn’t work I told her to come home and she could be rescheduled. I realize that is probably not the best solution, but Girlfriend was getting stressed, and her hand that works the hand controls was seriously tired. I would have done the same thing, COME AND GET ME COPPER!!!!!

Anyway, all that to say that we were stressed and hot and that is when we made the discovery that the air conditioning in her new van was not working. Not even a little bit. I was very warm, but as you might remember, it is a common state to find myself. I also had a headache, also not uncommon, considering the situation and location. Detroit is not my favorite place to be, and we were not keen on sending our sweet little vulnerable, handicapped daughter down there by herself. I can’t think of an adult who is 100% calm about jury duty, and Detroit is a big, busy place.

So the air conditioner was broken and I was unnaturally warm. You can imagine my surprise when I was freezing a short time later. Something in my memory, from decades past, was jogged and I took my temperature. 101, well that was unusual. I seriously cannot tell you the last time I had a fever. We are not a feverish bunch around here. It was very odd. By the evening it was 102 and my only symptoms were the headache and my body felt achy. I figured I had the flu and called Jip the Farm Dog to let her know that I was iffy for BSF. I never did go.

The rest of the week was passed on the couch. Really, on the couch. I did nothing except drink fluids, take my fluctuating temperature, alternate between sweating and freezing, and watch CSI MIAMI and Criminal Minds, because they are on all the time. I felt terrible, but was sure it was just a virus. I had a scheduled doctor appointment on Friday for something unrelated and decided to keep it as I had already rescheduled it once. It felt good to be cleaned up and dressed for about 5 minutes, and then I longed to put my jammies back on and lay back down on the couch.

Around this time Honey said he wasn’t feeling well. Honey is rarely sick either. He had a horrible cold and cough and he then took up residence on the other couch for the week. As you know, we are married and we have to do everything together. Including the sickness and health part evidently.

We were at Judgment Call Friday. Does that happen to you? It has happened here many times, usually involving children. You either go to the doctor now, or you wait until after the weekend.I had considered going to see the doctor, but I had only had a fever for 4 days and it seemed like it was just flu-ish, and what was she going to do for that? I made the decision that I would go to the doctor on Monday if I didn’t feel better. The decision ensured I would have the worst weekend I could have anticipated.

Oh, the headache, the body aches, the SWEATING, the freezing, and the feeling that can only be described as my eyes bugging out of my head. The fever was 104 and that was going the wrong way. I made a date with the doctor on Monday. She knows that I like to have a strange illness every May, right before I head down to Virginia for my annual Memorial Day Weekend Extravaganza Hootenanny at Mrs. Schmenkman’s house. She took blood and urine and then gave me the sad, sad news. I had a symptom free UTI. I have heard of this ailment on three other occasions, and all three involved elderly women!!! What exactly was she trying to say????

The last UTI I had was when I was pregnant with Mousey, some 19 years ago. And let me tell you, it was not symptom free. How could this be? I guess I am old. Elderly Capri Kel.

She put me on a five day course of Cipro. Did you know that they give Cipro if you might be exposed to anthrax? I learned that from Criminal Minds, fancy that! I felt a change by the next day. I had a couple of days when I thought I was returning to the land of the living. I had great hopes and dreams that I would be off the couch and could say goodbye to my new best friends from CSI MIAMI. I had switched from regular tv to Netflix, where I could watch episode after episode, with no thought or care. It was at this point that I let the good folk from Criminal Minds go. They still had commercials. It became all CSI Miami, all the time.

Then I entered the second phase of sickness. I caught Honey’s horrible cold that weekend and slipped back into my haze of ill health. By that time I was thoroughly disgusted with our faulty Netflix. It is of the devil. It only connects when IT wants to, it interrupts for NO GOOD REASON, and sometimes it tells you, right in the middle of an episode, that it’s done for the day. Netflix, you are dead to me. Abby graciously went and got me seasons of CSI MIAMI from our library. Did you know that show was on for 10 years!!?? She had to make two library runs. I have now completed the first four seasons of CSI MIAMI. Yea me.

I finally made it back to BSF last Thursday, with my tail hanging about half mast. But I still wasn’t feeling good or right. I had finished my anti-anthrax meds a few days before and my cold was improving, but I was having some familiar unwelcome symptoms again. I had a headache, I resumed with the sweating, what is up with the sweating, and had that eyes bugging out of my head feeling again. Jip the Farm Dog convinced me to call and get a doctor appointment that day, and she was right. It was back.

The doctor thinks the cold diverted my immune system, and she put me on a different antibiotic for ten days. I reminded her that I am leaving for Virginia this Thursday and I need to not be dealing with the sweating, eye bugging girl while I am gone. She agreed. This round should carry me through until I get home. Not that I am expecting it to come back again, but you never know. 

It’s a good thing I am feeling better, I am all finished with the CSI MIAMI’s Abby brought from the library. Thanks Lt. Horatio Caine and all of your CSI team, you have served me well.

Potent Quotable

Sickness comes on horseback but departs on foot.  ~Dutch Proverb, sometimes attributed to William C. Hazlitt

I am back in the land of the living, thank you for your prayers and concern.

On and On

Hi Guys. Still sick. Round of antibiotics are finished, but now Honey has graciously shared his terrible cold and cough with me. I will see you when I see you.

Potent Quotable

Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.  ~Linda Wooten

What things do you say that your own mum said? xS

Grown don’t mean nothing to a mother.  A child is a child.  They get bigger, older, but grown?  What’s that suppose to mean?  In my heart it don’t mean a thing.  ~Toni Morrison, Beloved, 1987

Tail is Lifting

Thank you all so much for your kind words and prayers! I got into the doctors office at 3 yesterday, donated fluid and blood, picked up a prescription at Target, and was home by 4:30. I took 1 pill around 5:30 and have to say I felt a little better by bedtime!

This morning, the crushing headache is gone and fever is down. Except for the three hours that I was FREEZING, and used every cover on the bed, it would appear that I spent the majority of my night sweating. The new day seems to be dedicated to that as well. But my tail is no longer dragging on the floor!

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