Saturday, November 5, 2011

Day 248 of 365

It's quite interesting how when parents become empty nesters, pets become the new kids.

I've always chuckled at older folks with their little dogs. But since we're empty nesters and we have a cat, I shouldn't be chuckling anymore. When our daughter was at home, the cat played a somewhat small role in our lives. Not now.

Our cat was born to a barn cat. She was several weeks old, bright blue eyes, a tiny little body, and a big bushy face when she was given to us by one of my fourth grade students. We started out calling the cat Furby because of how her facial features looked in comparison to her body.

She was quite a wild little thing. She only let us pet her on her terms. She didn't even care to be around the three of us, either. Even as she got older, she still had no interest in hanging out with us. She was an indoor cat, an outdoor cat, and a back and forth cat. Didn't seem like she preferred any one over the other.

But now that daughter doesn't live here anymore, the cat acts differently. And so do we.

Granted, she's 10 years old or so now, but she sure has calmed down. She's decided she wants to be a lap cat. She can be sound asleep upstairs but as soon as I head down to the basement to watch TV with hubby, she tags along. Jumps right up into my lap and falls asleep. I go back upstairs - back up she goes, too. She sleeps at the foot of our bed, but for some reason if I'm turned on my side in bed she'll use me as a balance beam. She'll start at my feet and walk herself up my legs, past my hips and plant herself on my upper body and fall asleep. What's up with that? But the even bigger question is, why are we putting up with it?

Because she's become our new kid. We talk to her all the time. We ask her questions. We keep her on a regular feeding schedule. My husband is always looking for good sales on cat food - both wet and dry - and has us buying the best food out there. If we're outside, she's outside. If we're inside, she's usually inside. On cold nights and hot days, in the house is where you'll find her.

She gets to sit on the barstool when my husband is getting her dinner ready. We let sleep just about anywhere she wants. She bawls to go outside at four o'clock every morning and hubby gets up to let her out. She wants back in every morning at six and she gets let back in.

Spoiled little ball of fur.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 247 of 365

As I was driving into Boise early this morning for a doctor's appointment I was wondering what it would be like not to have to drive so far for these kinds of things.

We live in the small town of Marsing. The grocery store we visit, the theater, the drugstore, the hospital and doctors' offices all range from about 15 to 40 miles away. (Not the gas station anymore, though!) Whenever we bring something home to eat (like McDonalds - although we haven't done that since Day 226) the food is always cold by the time we get home.

But the most inconvenient drives are the ones to the doctors' offices. Most of my doctors are 30-40 miles from here and they always involve rush hour traffic. If it's a morning appointment like today, I get caught in the morning traffic, and if it's an appointment anywhere from 3:00 on, it's the afternoon traffic.

No rush hour traffic here in our town. While a major highway runs through it, the speed limit is 25 mph. We have stop signs and crosswalks, of course, but no stop lights. And my drive to work consists of highway driving in the country to another town with no stop lights. While I like small town living, I wonder if we'll ever leave. Our house is paid for. My husband is a few years from early retirement. And some days I get darned tired of driving us everywhere.

I just took my husband to the local market again and sat there wondering how many times can you do something before it gets old. I don't go into this particular store with him anymore because he's a talker. He always, always, always strikes up a conversation with someone in there. Whether it's a current or former student, a fellow employee, or someone he knows from the community, he chats away. So I've learned it's best to just stay in the car and wait because it'll be a long time before he's done.

Depending where I park in the parking lot, I get an interesting view that never gets old. The store is plopped right down on the corner. The highway runs right by it, old homes sit beside it, and the high school gym is across the street.

Those old houses have old garages that go with them. A rolling stone may gather no moss, but an old roof sure does.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day 246 of 365

I went back and read through some of my blog last night.

It's a weird thing reading what you've written in the past. It's like vacation pictures. A few days back from a vacation and you've forgotten half of what you did. Real life gets in the way and memories quickly fade. But if you took a picture, what vivid memories and stories you can tell about what was happening in that photo. (At least that's the way it works with me.) Just like pictures from when I was a kid. I don't remember most of my childhood, but if there's a picture? Yep. I remember that birthday under the patio table umbrella when I was 5 - but only because there is a picture to document it.

As it is with taking a picture for 246 consecutive days. Thanks to those pictures, I remember how I spent these last few months. And thanks to the words I wrote on those 246 days, I remember how I felt. (Pictures aren't always worth a thousand words.)

Unfortunately as I went back reading through some of these posts, I also found lots of typos in my work. It seems the days I struggle with pain and fatigue the most are the days I make the most mistakes. I used to be a perfect writer. Now, not so much. But at least I recognize - albeit at a later date - that I could do a better job editing! I'll continue working on not making silly mistakes. And I'll certainly work on not using so many doggone commas.

I'll keep working on the other  important things, too - pictures, words, and quilts for kids. 

Another one for Operation Kid Comfort.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day 245 of 365

I wanted to jump for joy when I was driving home from work. I wanted to yell out, "There's a Shell, there's a Shell!"

The first credit card we ever had when we were married was a Phillips 66 gas card. It was only in my husband's name, but I was an "authorized" user. That was back in our college days in Boise. Every time we filled up with gas, we filled up at a Phillips 66. But soon the Phillips 66 stations started disappearing. Even on our short trips out of town it became more difficult to find one. So once my husband got a real job (a teaching job) and we moved out to the country we switched over to Texaco. Then we only filled up the gas tank at Texaco stations.

Then the Texaco stations in Idaho started disappearing, to be replaced by Shell stations. Thankfully our credit card just rolled over to Shell. We've had a Shell card ever since.

But we haven't had a Shell station nearby. In fact, for many years this town never even had a gas station. When our local market burned down quite a few years back (maybe 20?) they rebuilt and added a gas station. But not a Phillips 66, not a Texaco, and not a Shell.

To use our gas card, we've always had to go to another town to fill up our tank. 24+ years of never being able to fill 'er up nearby. Until now.

As I was driving by Snake River Mart, a big vinyl Shell sign is covering the old Sinclair gas sign. For the first time in umpteen years, I'll be able to get gas in the same town where I live.

It's a time to celebrate. (The little things that get me excited!)

Oh yea, and another quilt done for Operation Kid Comfort.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Easy to Make Fabric Gift Card Holders - Day 244 of 365, Tutorial Tuesday

As an only child, my daughter used to get quite spoiled at Christmas. We bought her plenty of toys, books, and games. Too many of them. It took us a few years to figure out what we were doing. When we figured that out, we stopped doing the too-many-presents kind of Christmases.

Now we operate on the Christmas list kind of Christmas. She doesn't ask for much, but I feel like we should be getting her presents that aren't on "the list". Even though she's 23, I still feel like she's a kid and deserves many more presents than the adults.

Gift cards are a big one. I don't know how we got started with the gift card thing. When she was younger, I don't remember gift cards even being around. Gift certificates, yes. Gift cards, no. But now it seems you can buy gift cards for just about anywhere. Even the grocery store sells gift cards for dozens and dozens of other retailers. So over the years she's gotten gift cards for grocery stores, department stores, and restaurants. We've spent more on gift cards than we have other presents for both Christmas and her birthday.

Thinking ahead to Christmas and knowing gift cards might again be part of our gift giving, I made some gift card holders.

Homemade Quick and Easy Fabric Gift Card Holders Sewing Project

A great way - and super easy and quick way - to use up some scrap fabric.

For this project you will need:

Looking for more quick and easy projects? Check out these ideas!

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You can find the step-by-step how to tutorial for the quick and easy gift card holder sewing project right here: