Thursday, December 06, 2007

Not to offend other photographers in our midst ...

... but I've found yet another artist I'm loving. Interesting concept with vintage equipment. And I like her first name ... if not the spelling ...

Friday, November 16, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Last night after I went to bed, Merlin pinned my head down with his front paws and scrubbed my face clean. I started giggling, which I guess caused my forehead to wiggle, 'cause he kept biting my forehead (which is every bit as strange as it sounds) and then combing my eyebrows with his teeth. Possible conclusion: Merlin likes the taste of tea tree oil ...?

At any rate, cheapest microdermabrasion ever.

(On a side note, Michael had to stop using hair gel because Molly kept grooming it out of his hair, and we were worried that perhaps a tiny cat shouldn't be ingesting so much of that stuff.)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Secret Lives of Cats

I've been home sick for the past two days (a cold that grew into a Sinus Infection) and I have discovered something about the kittens: from 9 to 10 am, they Destroy Things. They separate and find something in the house that shouldn't be chewed or torn and then they, well, you know. Miri likes to rip at the binding in notebooks and sketchbooks, Molly likes to shred paper, and Merlin just knocks things over and gets them stuck under furniture. (Michael, I believe this is when your water bottle finds its way under the bed. And your alarm clock. And your chapstick.)

Why 9 am, you ask? Why not 8 am? Simple: from 8 to 9, kids are lining up for the bus stop (same bus comes back and picks up different age groups for different schools) right across the street. Various groups stop by our window and watch the kittens, who watch back. Ten am to one pm they play with each other (with snack breaks), 1 to 2:45ish they nap. Then it's time to Watch Kids again. This takes a little longer than the morning, because some of the kids drop off their stuff at home and come back for an encore. The kittens will tag-team and take turns napping, so as to keep up the show a little bit longer. Somewhere in here is when I come home from work, and it's time to Sit On Mama And Make Her Take A Nap. (I don't mind -- wouldn't want to disappoint the kids, you know.)

A Quiet Month

I was just scrolling through my blog folder and saw that I hadn't posted in almost a month ... yeah, that happens sometimes.

Although I had promised Husband that I would post this one really, really daft thing I did. So I'd better get it over with.

We were coming back from a Trinity (College? University? There's two of them, and it's not the first one you're thinking of) somewhere southeast of here. It was a little late (7:30 -- I get to work at 6 am, people! 7:30 pm is Late!) and I was admittedly very tired. But I was driving 'cause Michael was sick and it was my car, so yeah. I was heading down a long, light-free, two-lane stretch of Roosevelt when the road curved a little bit to the right. So little, in fact, that I didn't notice and thought the truck in the right lane was drifting toward me. I honked and swerved out of the way -- and back into my lane.

So essentially, I almost swerved into a truck, then honked at him and swerved back.

If anyone drives a truck and this story sounds familiar, I'm sorry. I know I'm an idiot.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Who needs Metamucil?

I just freed Merlin from a two-foot length of poopy pink yarn that was hanging out of his butt.

Reminds me of Scratchy, who used to leave me intact rubber bands in the litter box (he left them with the rest of his leavings; that would be a very strange place for a cat's cache). I viewed them as a gift: a reminder of the vet bill I wouldn't be paying, causing me to send up a prayer of thanks that my cats have Digestive Tracts of Steel.

Which would be a good name for a band.

-- But still, feel free to visit us

A couple nights ago I was sitting on the living room couch, having just got off the phone with a friend who was offering to help me out in a pinch. After telling Michael about it, he turned to me and said,

"You have very good friends. We must tear their flesh and grind their bones."

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Molly with eat anything.

F'rexample, two days ago I had to fight her for the right to eat my own Garlic, Parmesan & Herb pita chips.

Today it was popcorn.

Also, she doesn't just lick the food or chew the food but not eat it (Scratchy would do that -- very messy), she wolfs it down and demands more. And her interest goads the siblings on, because they never want to be left out of anything.

There must be a middle school football game going on soon, because I've seen several neighborhood boys walk by in the last few minutes in full uniform and pads. Miri got a little spooked by the helmets and Doesn't Approve. Skateboards Are Better, she thinks.

Friday, September 07, 2007

The Down Side of Up

It's my day off, which means that I'm trying to get some "work" done online as quietly as possible, so as not to attract the attention of the Kittens, who can quickly derail Computer Time into No-Don't-Bite-That-Cord-Or-So-Help-Me-OUCH-Don't-Bite-Me-Either Time. Which is why my blog entries are generally not very long.

After 4 months now of cat parenting, I'd say we've done a pretty good job. All 3 of the little guys are incredibly well socialized and will go right up and make friends with strangers, be they adults or toddlers. If fact, the only thing they're really afraid of at this point is the vacuum cleaner. Some interesting points:

  • They like water. Getting wet will surprise them initially, but they don't mind being wet. I think this has to do with how many baths they had as babies (at least one a day, sometimes more -- they were very messy eaters). This afternoon I was cleaning out their fountain (yes, they have a fountain ... what?) and left a large bowl filled with water out for the kittens' drinking water. When I got back to set up the fountain again, the bowl was almost empty ... and Merlin was standing in it, with the other two hovering nearby, waiting for their turns. The carpet was soaked, as were all the kittens from the knees down.
  • Molly and Merlin especially like riding on people. Correction: Molly likes riding on people, and Merlin is not about to be outdone by Molly. I have yet to teach them to 1) ask permission first (or at least give a warning noise) or 2) jump, not climb, to a person's shoulder.
  • A surprise effect of having Daffodil around for a few months is that the kittens now know how to approach a strange animal with respect. Case in point: we had made our bed (rare occurrence) and put some stuffed animals on the bed. Merlin jumped up to see me, and as soon as he saw the teddy bear, he slowed down and started doing the deferential head-bob as he approached. When he got to the bear, he reached out his head and touched noses with it. Once he knew it wasn't alive, he snapped back into normal Merlin mode (and started attacking my hair).
  • Molly loves exploring our kitchen surfaces. She has both stuck her head down into the garbage disposal and jumped up onto our gas stovetop (this morning).
Finally, most of our clothes are now on the floor of our bedroom, because putting away clean clothes would involve opening the closet door.
Miri, however, is not much of a climber.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

When species collide

So how are the kittens and Kermit dealing with each other? See for yourself ... (Kermit can be hard to see in some of the pictures, but rest assured that he's always there -- look toward the edge of the frame, usually)

OK, the last two Kermit's elsewhere. Stop trying to find him.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Who needs an alarm system?

Word of warning to those who would visit unexpectedly: they're Watching For You. They haven't decided yet whether they'll make you answer three riddles first (Miri's in favor, Molly thinks "riddle" is a funny word).

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Long time, no pics

As much as I love to see pictures from all my friends, I should be more diligent in posting my own ... but that would require pulling files off a data chip into Photoshop (Mac users please abstain from commenting), cropping/adjusting levels, fixing the image size so people can see the entire picture on the screen, and then posting.

In short, it requires Effort. Which, for those of you who know me, can always be done Later.

So here I'm going to post as many pictures as Blogger will let me, and hopefully more tomorrow, etc. until I'm caught up. Or I forget a day. Which will probably happen tomorrow.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

This just in

There've been so many kitten stories I usually forget to post, but this just happened and I've got the two minutes ...

I needed to unload the dishwasher this morning, which always poses a problem (see also previous post re: Merlin and Major Kitchen Appliances). Merlin must be in the dishwasher while I'm unloading it, and it makes the annoying task take that much longer, fishing a kitten out every two seconds.

Then I had a flash of brilliance.

I turned on the kitchen faucet until there was one skinny continuous stream of water. Soon enough, there were three kittens in the kitchen sink trying to catch the water. Success!

Then I saw what Merlin was doing. He was sticking his head in the stream of water to catch it right before it got away down the drain. Well, this would divert the stream of water and make it go somewhere else, which he then had to turn and chase, which would make the water run off his head in a different direction, etc.

He still hasn't noticed that he's soaking wet.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Trump This

Michael has said (paraphrasing here) that I'm by no means stupid; I am simply a smart person who "occasionally does daft things."

I'm on my feet for at least 7 1/2 hours every day. This results in a lot of wear and tear on my shoes, and I usually need a new pair every 3 months (I usually get a new pair every 6 months, because I hate buying sneakers. It's boring.).

I know I need to get new shoes when I have trouble falling asleep at night because my back and hips hurt so much. OK, it's not a very healthy way to go through life, but a new pair of sturdy shoes and my back is fine again.

So yesterday my back was killing me by the end of my shift and I went directly to Famous Footwear to get some new shoes. I have simple requirements: they must be sneakers (or "trainers" for those who got the British Harry Potter) with decent arch support, they must not be white (white shoes are ugly any time of the year), size 7 1/2, and As Cheap As Possible.

These qualifications usually narrows down my selection considerably.

I picked a pair, put them on, they fit OK. The right one was a little tight around the toes, but my feet were probably swollen from the crappy old shoes. Whatever. I paid and wore the shoes out the door.

This morning I put my new shoes on. Yay! New shoes!

By the time I got to work, I knew Something Was Wrong. Checked the labels in the shoes. Yep: Left Shoe is Size 7 1/2. Right Shoe is 6 1/2.

So at the end of my shift today I had to go and exchange one shoe. Thank God they let me! The manager there rang me up yesterday, too, and remembered following up to make sure the shoes fit OK. I had said they were fine.

Today I asked her if this happens often, and she said, "Yes -- but it's always kids."

Kitten Antics

  • Miri's favorite toy: rabbit's foot. It usually finds its way to our vestibule, where she likes to put it in my shoe and fish it back out. This morning, I found it in the laundry basket with a load of clean clothes. Hm.
  • Molly's favorite toy: alternately our hair and plastic drinking straws. When I make smoothies, I must maintain constant vigilance! lest she run off with one of our straws, leaving a trail of fruit sludge in her wake.
  • Merlin's favorite toy: closets and major kitchen appliances. This guy thinks big. If a closet door is open, he must Get To The Top -- which he does in about 3 seconds flat. If we let him, he'd stay in there for hours, just taunting his sisters from The Top Of The World. He can sometimes cajole Molly into joining him. Much to our delight. As for the appliances, well, let's just say it's my newest excuse not to bake. Like I needed one.
  • Molly continues to ride on our shoulders, sometimes climbing up there from the floor. Michael has learned to wear multiple layers; I have not.
  • Merlin likes to walk with me right between my feet. He'll match my pace, and if I stop he'll flop on my feet and Be Cute. Needless to say, he's been accidentally sideswept across the room many a time. It doesn't stop him.
  • Merlin and Miri both know their names (also the "Merlin/Miri no!" command). I suspect that Molly has an inkling of her name and chooses to ignore it, because she doesn't want to stop misbehaving. If we do get her to stop by telling her no, she goes and takes out her frustration on poor Mr. Bill, our stuffed tyrannosaurus, whose days are numbered.
  • Even though she looks pure black (save a white cravat and panty line), Miri is actually striped and spotted, black on very, very dark brown. You can only see it in bright, direct sunlight, but it's there. I'll try to get a picture up, but no promises.
Kermit eggs them all on every night, darting in and out of hidey places to drive them nuts. Yes, it's deliberate.

Monday, August 13, 2007

8 Obscure Things About Me

Thanks to Jordana, who tagged me.

1. My legal birth name was supposed to be Alysia-Marie Arlene Williams. I just arrived a month early, before my mom thought to tell my dad her final choice, so he had to wing it on the birth certificate. Thanks, dad! That was a close one.

2. I have the word "Hi" written in the veins of my inside left wrist.

3. I have a "thing" about the inside of my knees -- particularly the tendons. I must protect them. I won't let anybody near them. Just the thought of someone touching the inside of my knee creeps me out.

4. Scatological humor will always make me laugh. Embarrassing but true.

5. My first choice of instrument in the 4th grade was percussion, which my mom told me I could play Over Her Dead Body. So I picked the French Horn. I wasn't able to take any lessons in percussion until senior year of college when I finally had time to take Percussion Techniques. My suspicions were confirmed: Percussion Rocks, and I Would've Been Good At It. So moms, let your kids play what they want to play. My horn, it is located Somewhere In The Basement.

6. My favorite comfort food is graham crackers smushed up in milk.

7. My first dance recital was to the tune "Yes, Sir, That's My Baby." I was 5. I still have the costume.

8. I have better-than-average hearing in the high frequencies; I hate the sound our TV makes when it's on and not playing anything. I have much worse-than-average hearing in the low frequencies; it can be difficult for me to, say, understand male customers if there is a register in use right behind me. This is the only sane reason I can come up with for why I dislike talking on the telephone so much. (FYI, I much prefer email.)

Now for the new tagees: I tag Kyle, Susan and Andrea W, who (should she see this entry) will have to post in the MatheBlog. Ha ha!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

More juicy literary stuff

-- Will blog more later, but I just saw this and couldn't resist putting it up -- read classics in installments! (Does anyone else hate the "in installments" bit? I hate saying that, but can't come up with anything better in the 15 seconds I've dedicated to thinking about it.)

This might hold me until I realize my dream of an eBook reader I can afford (not to mention some kind of standardized format of eBook!).

Friday, July 27, 2007

Over and out

Won't be able to post much this next week (OK, at all) ... am going to the Wilds of Minnesota for a week. If someone needs to reach me:
1) Check out the link, I'm sure there's a contact number on there. Use that -- no cell phone reception anywhere in the area.
2) The contact number will be for the main lodge, which is across the county highway and down a hill from where I'll be.
3) The lodge owners will answer. Tell them it's a message for "One a' them Williamses." They'll take the message.
4) If we're lucky, my dad (or Uncle Bob, or Aunt Lynn, or cousins Mackenzie or Andrew ... you get the idea) will get the message when they stop by for coffee or doughnuts.
5) If we're really lucky, someone will remember to tell me later.

Friday, July 20, 2007

They Don't Sleep Much

The kittens are now Officially Our Problem! In other words, we've adopted them. God help us all.