The Kitty Cat Caper

This caper was posted 2 years ago. Loretta and I relocated more ferals last night and recalled this adventure. So here you go…

It’s 11:30 p.m. and I won’t be sleeping anytime soon. My adrenaline is surging like a spewing fire hydrant. That’s because I just got home from stealing 4 cats with Loretta, my partner in crime.

woman hiding

Loretta won’t let me take her photo so this will have to do

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not normally a cat snatcher. I’m more a cat trapper…as in trapping feral cats for sterilization. Tonight, however, was different.

Marin Friends of Ferals has relocated over 500 un-adoptable cats to act as mousers that also receive daily food and water. Only 4 times we’ve had to retrieve them for inadequate care. (Read The Great Escape for another cat caper I chronicled.) Tonight’s snatch was equally exhilarating. Except last time we didn’t get caught. Continue reading

Growing Up Rich

My family, 1963

My family, 1963. Brother Bill, Dad, Mom, sister Vicki and me, the shrimp

Being a weekend of remembrance, I drove by my childhood home, taking the familiar road I ventured down for 44 years until my parents died in 2004. Our once tan and brown home is bright blue now. Concrete sits where plants once grew and our paneled wood door is painted white and harbors a metal security door that screams STAY AWAY.

Parked in front of a house that holds special memories for me (but today looks almost unrecognizable), I realize it’s not really about the house but the people inside who made it a home.

I grew up in Santa Venetia, which sits in an unincorporated section of Marin County, CA. Situated along a canal, the small community was originally planned to resemble the water roadways of Venice. That never happened but some winters seemed to prove otherwise.

Santa Venetia in 1914

Santa Venetia canal in 1914

You see, whenever it stormed, sections of our neighborhood flooded, especially during high tide. Since our home sat near a dip in the road, my parents bought a sump pump they shared with our neighbors. In hindsight, a rowboat might have been a better investment. That’s because during severe storms, water often seeped into our dining room, ruining the floor and staining the grass-cloth wallpaper. Both needed replacing more than once so every winter Mom worried herself sick.

Our family home from 1950 to 2004

Our family home from 1960 to 2004

When my parents bought our home on Galerita Way, it was intended to be our “starter” house. But we never left. And thank goodness for that. Now don’t get me wrong; it was a modest home for sure; not much to look at and not in a desirable neighborhood. But what a spectacular upbringing.

Day at the beach

Day at the beach

I grew up back when kids played outside until way past dark, grudgingly coming inside only when summoned. Money was tight even though both my parents worked, yet each year they managed a 2-week family vacation to Lake Tahoe. That was our big treat. And most Sundays during summer we skied at Lake Berryessa with friends. It was bliss.

dad in boat with us

To us kids, new shoes were a big deal. Just going to a drive-in movie caused my sister and I to dance excitedly in anticipation. We lived in a tiny house with bedrooms the size of matchboxes but that didn’t matter to us. We’d never heard of a family room and didn’t care that our dining room was once a bedroom.

I grew up in the 60s with orange shag carpet, a one-car garage and an above-ground Dough-boy pool neighborhood friends helped us erect. We had block parties and dinner parties; on weekends the adults often gathered in front yards to visit. It was a simple, innocent time. At least it seemed that way to me.

The day we got a color TV, neighbors piled in to watch; it was quite an event. I remember the first time I saw the colorfully bright NBC peacock.

NBC peakcock

Sunday evenings after dinner we gathered in front of the TV. I’d sit on that orange shag while we all watched Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color.

I still recall many of my neighborhood friends, which is pretty amazing considering my pathetic memory. My young life was filled with ping pong games, carefree days of swimming and countless summer BBQ’s. I tell ya, I couldn’t have asked for a better childhood.

Remembering those days now, I wouldn’t change a thing; not the community we lived in or our tiny tan and brown house on a street that flooded. Although we didn’t have much, we had what we needed.

Celebrating my birthday

The truth is, I always knew I was adored. And if you’re blessed enough to have that, you somehow know you have all you need.

My family

My family, 1985

 

I haven’t been able to post anything new the last couple weeks. Just got my internet back today, so here’s a post from May, 2015. I’ll be back next week tho!

Please Don’t Steal My Stuff

Since we’re having a sudden rash of thievery in my cute little, normally safe, Leave it to Beaver neighborhood, I thought I’d reprint this posting from 2015.

I’ve been violated.

Let me rephrase that. I feel violated. And a little stupid, if you want to know the truth. I’m assuming you do since this is a non-fiction blog. So here’s the scoop:

My vehicle was broken into a couple nights ago. Technically, it was entered without my permission because it was unlocked. That’s the stupid part. Both my cars were unlocked in my driveway.

Scene of the crime

Scene of the crime

I live in a safe neighborhood, or thought I did, so I got complacent concerning diligence toward thwarting thieves who count on my complacency. But if you’ve ever had someone steal your property, you know how creepy it feels. That’s the violated part.don't steal

Continue reading

10 Things I Find Ridiculous, Chapter 1

You might think this particular post is similar to my “Pet Peeve” posts. But my peeves are totally different than what I find to be ridiculous. Peeves annoy me; ridiculous things baffle and sometimes amuse me. So here are 10 things I can only describe as being simply…

Continue reading

How to Become Old as the Hills

Just about everyone has an opinion on how people can live to a ripe old age. Old as the hills is often used to describe one well into their 90s. That saying must be getting lots of use these days since people living over 90 are the fastest growing segment of our population, according to a recent 60 Minutes broadcast. Can you believe that? Hard to imagine in 1900 people only lived an average of 49 years. I’d be dust for 9 years already…

Theories abound as to the tricks needed to reach that wrinkly old age where you can get away with just about anything simply because you’re ancient. Personally, I’m looking forward to that part of it, at least.

Hopefully me in 35 years

Hopefully me in 35 years

So the few perks we can look forward to as we inch closer to decaying are things like no longer carrying groceries to the car  because some nice young man will help us with that. It’s his pleasure. At least that’s what he’ll tell us.

Here, let me take that

Oh, it’s my pleasure, ma’am

We will never be without a seat on a bus and I bet we’ll get to move to the front of any line because people will feel bad if we’re standing at the back of one. If we drop something, someone will rush to pick it up. No more unnecessary bending for us.

Oh, it's my pleasure

Don’t strain yourself, I’ll give you a hand

Ah, the joys of slowly becoming decrepit.

Now don’t get me wrong; getting old is not something to look forward to, but what’s the alternative? When you look at it that way, I say embrace the wrinkles, accept the aching muscles and brittle bones and just go with it. But wait. There’s good news to report on this front.

The 60 Minutes program I mentioned featured the results of a study conducted in the early 1980s with 14,000 seniors living in a retirement community in LA. The study attempted to determine what the seniors did or didn’t do that might eventually contribute to a long life.

Thirty years later they compared data from the original questionnaire to one recently conducted featuring those same seniors who were still alive and kickin’ – many now in their 90s:

And here’s what they found:

1) Doing just 15 minutes of exercise a day is all that’s necessary to maintain good physical health. Up to 45 minutes is optimal but it doesn’t have to be all at once or even aerobic. How sweet is that? Makes me question whether I need to take that hour-long Body Works class at the gym anymore. 2) As we already know, keeping the mind mentally sharp is important to ward off dementia. Join a book club, play board games, make new friends, travel to unfamiliar places…anything to keep those neurons firing so the old noggin’ doesn’t lose more precious brain cells.

Anyone for a game of Yahtzee?

Anyone for a game of Yahtzee?

3) Vitamins didn’t make a bit of difference. Nil. Nada. None. Most of the 90-plusers didn’t take them. There goes my stash of Cs, Bs, Es and any other letters I have in my medicine cabinet.4) Dessert is our friend. Don’t deprive yourself of sweets. I’ve got this one covered since, lucky for me, I’m not familiar with deprivation where sugar is concerned.desserts5) Those who smoked died earlier. A no-brainer.flirting with death6) Caffeine is a good thing. Having 1-3 cups a day was better than having more than that or none at all. So glad my espresso machine and I are inseparable.7) Late in life it’s better to weigh more than to weigh less. Those who were average or over-weight outlived those who were underweight. I absolutely LOVE this one, don’t you?no more diets8) And perhaps the best news of all? Having 1-2 glasses of alcohol a day (any alcohol) reduced the risk of death by 10-15%. I don’t know about you but that pretty much seals it for me. Vodka martinis and I shall be seeing a lot more of each other.

Come to Mama

Come to Mama

So there you have it ladies and gentlemen. I think overall the news is pretty promising, don’t you?

It appears if you want to live into your 90s, don’t kill yourself with exercise, do new things you enjoy with people you like, chuck your vitamins, always eat dessert, get your caffeine fix and stock up on the booze.

Who knew getting old could be so much fun?

 

This week’s blog is dedicated to Dee Dee Dalton, 95-and-three-quarter-year-old mom to my friend Sue. Mrs. D is my inspiration. She’s independent, feisty and engaging. You rock, Mrs. D!

Mrs. D with her great grandson, Liam

Mrs. D with great grandson, Liam

Pumpkin picking

Pumpkin picking

An inspiration

An inspiration

This is a previous post from 2014. What can I say? Life’s been busy of late…