Chasing Tales

It is almost a year since our youngest cat came to live with us.  She was found by our son,  abandoned at about 8 weeks of age in his neighborhood.  She is one of the nicest cats I have ever met. She is loving, affectionate, and playful. She always thinks inside the litter box, and has excellent manners. She fetches paper balls and carries them back to us so we can throw them again.  She follows us around the house like a dog would. She is utterly charming. If she were a middle school girl, she would be the one who you hated because she was pretty, everyone liked her, and she seemed too perfect.

Daughter recently got a new kitten, a real terror, who was bottle fed after being found abandoned in Tacoma, and who demands constant attention and loves to attack and scratch. She even jumped into the bathtub with daughter one night.   Daughter won’t listen to tales of our kitten, and says “I know, mom. Luna is the perfect cat. Don’t remind me!”

One of Luna’s more endearing games is to sit on the arm of a dining room chair,  reach her paws under the chair arm, and try to catch her tail. She appears to derive a great deal of pleasure from this.   She is oblivious to the silliness of it, playing catch and release with her tail and then attempting to catch it again.

PG Wodehouse wrote some terribly funny stories about cats. Luna reminds me of one who Wodehouse described as being owned by a C of E bishop, and who liked to sit in the pools of light that streamed through the stained glass church windows and listen  to the organ play. Such perfection is always a sham in these stories, and the cat was eventually outed to reveal feet of clay.  I wonder how Luna will slip up and show us some imperfections.  I think I will find our Wodehouse compendium and read about some cats.


Tell some good cat stories.


For the Birds

I am afraid of birds. I like to watch birds, but I get anxious if they are too close, or swoop at me. I don’t mind the  scolding wren who upbraids me in the garden, since he keeps his distance and scolds me from the safety of a tree.

I think my bird fear started when I was very young and I went with my grandmother to collect eggs from her hens. I remember the birds pecking me and flapping their wings as I tried to retrieve the eggs. Flapping birds really scare me.  I also remember a parakeet we had who escaped from its cage all the time and who was devoured right before my eyes by a very proud and self-important pug when I was a preschooler.  Alfred Hitchcock didn’t help the situation at all with The Birds.

A couple of weeks ago I noticed what I thought was a robin crash into the French doors leading out to our deck. Robins tend to do that, momentarily stunning themselves and then flying away. This bird fluttered at the door a couple of times.  Husband noticed, too, and went to see what was happening. Imagine my surprise when he announced “Renee, it’s a parrot!” It was trying to get into the house.

We don’t see many parrots in our backyard as a rule. I phoned the police to see if anyone had reported a missing parrot. The dispatcher said no, but that a man had phoned to report two small parrots sitting in his tree.  Our parrot appeared to be alone, and was sitting in the grape vines that grow up our deck. Husband made a couple of unsuccessful attempts to catch the bird with a net. It flew off each time and then returned to the grape vines on the deck.

It was 99° that day, and I was really worried about the bird’s safety.  I asked Husband to get our cat carrier, and I placed it on the deck with some cherries in it. Then I slowly approached the parrot, speaking to it in a gentle, high-pitched voice.  It let me come close, and I extended my finger. It hopped right on.  I tried to stay calm and not think about having a bird perched on me.  It allowed me to walk over to the cat carrier and pop it in. Thank goodness it didn’t flap at me. It started devouring the cherries.

Here is the bird I rescued after the police took it to the shelter.

I learned that it was a Green Cheeked Conure, and that its buddy was apprehended the next day two blocks from our house.  They were placed together in a foster home. A work friend knows the foster mom, and she showed me a photo of the two exhausted birds cuddled up to each other on the foster mom’s shoulder.  She will adopt them if no one claims them.

I still am afraid of birds,  but glad I could help  a grateful bird who had enough of the outdoors and just wanted to feel safe and eat cherries.  It was the perfect bird for a therapeutic intervention to reduce a phobia.

How do you tackle your fears?


200 down

Today’s post comes from tim


Its been 6 months and hard to believe

The things that come out every day

The embarrassing premises incredible ugliness

Simply wrong things in every way


The sidemen and toadies the yes men galore

Looking over their shoulders for cues

The lies have become so much a part of the image

Were numb to the garbage he spews


I long for the elegant words to describe

The world in a nutshell we had

Instead of the tweets the trash talk and threats

And the pointing the finger from a man who’s gone mad


We stand at the crossraods, the result of the times

Where corruption and lies lead the way

The integrity of a whole nation is less

In a most unamerican way


I think this has taught us a lesson for sure

But the damage that’s done is far reaching

The whole ugly American persona weve witnessed

Is fantastic for how not to teaching


Impeach or hang in there its hard to decide

I can’t wish that Mike Pence were boss

The whole ugly mess is a travesty royal

What adverbs mean feeling the loss


The whole human race should go down on one knee

and vow to never allow it again.

There isn’t a question of if we will heal

But im not sure I can wait until when.


6 months puts us 200 days down the road

Another 1000 left before the election

I saw that they’re bashing bernies wife in their prep

Just in case he becomes our selection


Please lets all work together we are getting nothing done

Implore the majority brats

Didn’t they note nothing done in the 8 years preceding

When their directive was precisely that


Back in the day we’d compromise down a path

And the chips would be allowed to fall

You didn’t get what you wanted but you got what was fair

And America won overall


It will make us much better in the long run I hope

My mantra keeps telling myself

Lets hope this experiment dies a quick death

And the results go back on the shelf


It seems highly unlikely that these guys will ever

Be considered our superiors again

Their world’s made of toadies and yes men galore

But do you really want to go out and vote for them?


Do you like Al Franken as President?




Teaching a Toddler

Today’s post comes from Cynthiainmahtowa.

Joe asked his 2 ½ year-old son, Jack, if he would please take his empty coffee cup to the kitchen. Jack said no. Joe then explained to Jack that when he asked his father to help, Joe always did. So it was only right and proper that Jack should honor his father’s request and help him when asked. Jack thought about that for a while, picked up the coffee cup, held it up to Joe and said, “Help me.“

I’ve heard that smart dogs are not for everyone. Neither are smart children.

Have you ever been outsmarted by a toddler…or, any child (or, dog)?

RIP Michael Johnson

today’s post comes to us from tim.

i was a huge fan of michael johnson’s rooty toot toot to the moon and other on his there is a breeze album in 1972.

he encompassed all the attributes of the ideal performer. great ability, great artistic sense, very pleasant personality. I saw him play in a small auditorium at normandale jr college ( full house was probably 60.) ansd at the guthrie and then i think i saw him a time or two at orchestra hall the day after christmas in kind of a celebration of one more year and we are still here. even when he moved to nashville and was having reasonable success as a singer songwriter he considered minneapolis st paul his home

he was originally from denver but was so loved in the twin cities that he felt this was his true home. a year ago I saw him play at the dakota which is a wonderful small intimate club downtown and it was great. he forgot a few lines and was embarrassed by it but getting old is part of the deal. I saw him play at the hopkins theater a he was as much into telling stories about his life and observations as he was about playing the next song. I had told my daughter emma that i wanted to have her take classes from him at mcnalley smith in stage presence. i took a master class from him at mac phail and was very impressed with his gentle direction and basically the philosophy that when you perform you are offer your audience a gift. once i heard him say that i understood why i enjoyed his stage presence so much. that was it.

when I thought of how I would like to be seen when on stage he is what I came up with.

who are some role models you’d want to emulate?



A week ago Friday, Husband went, able-bodied, to play volleyball at the Y. He returned hobbling on a right leg that had sustained, as it turned out, the rupture of its Achilles tendon. One Urgent Care and three visits to Winona Health later, his leg is wrapped and he has been on crutches all week. Luckily the location of the tear means that he will not need surgery… just three months of not walking on said leg as it heals. SIGH.

As I prepare to mow our (admittedly miniscule) lawn, I recall the days (just a week ago) when I had only my tasks on my plate. (Poor me.)

Have you ever had to get around on crutches?

If you were on crutches, what activities would you have to give up?


Work & Fun

Today we had summer fun at work.  Out on the big patio, all the tools and t-shirts were ready for tie dying so we just wrapped up our shirts and squirted away.  And I got a temporary tattoo (logo for our summer program).  None of this has anything to do with my actual job, but it was fun and made the day go by a little faster.

What activity makes your work go faster?


%d bloggers like this: