Sunday, July 15, 2018

Smokey Rose Interlude

Two large "bullet" holes and lots of complete cracks
I don't know how well the picture shows my poor car windshield, but the whole thing is just toast right now. We had a large, violent, sudden and short hailstorm on June 29. Lots and lots of hail damage to vehicles and buildings. Insurance adjusters are living in all the extended stay hotels, and of course, fly-by-night people have moved in too, offering to fix you whatever right now for cash and....
Just before the storm actually hit us.

My insurance fellow was a very nice young man from Georgia who had never been to the Black Hills before. He said he was quite impressed with the place and happy to be out of Texas where he was assigned just before. He said most of the time he was sent to various places in the country after weather disasters because he was a specialist in this kind of damage. He would stay for weeks or months at a time. He also said he had his SUV filled up with camping and outdoor gear and would take advantage of the outdoor life wherever he got sent. Nice life style if you can get it, but I can see it's a young person's career. I think all those extended stays away from home would not work that well for family life.

So my car was not "totaled," which I was glad about because my sweet little green car is only 3 years old, and you can't get that color anymore. But both the roof and hood (and the windshield, of course) have major damage and will need to be taken off and replaced with new parts. Some dings on the side will just need to be repaired. My appointment to begin to get this done is July 25, and the shop will have the car 2 weeks or so. That was the earliest possible date at the place my insurance told me to go to. I feel pretty good that they will do things correctly. I'll be getting a rental car for the duration of the repair process.

My windshield is now "protected" with what amounts to super-sized plastic wrap. I was assured by the shop that the whole thing wil not shatter onto me. I hope not. The car is drivable, and the shop people said it is ok to drive where I want. So business as usual except my windshield is held together with saran wrap.

I have some upcoming plans for short trips in the area which you will be hearing about soon, but meanwhile I just thought I would show you some pictures of Ms Smokey Rose, the wonder cat , who, as you know, is the love of my life.

Smokey Rose poses very well for pictures.


I can't show you a picture of my favorite pastime with her. That's snuggling together with me. She almost never sleeps with me all night for hours at a time, but she does love snuggling for awhile. When I am in bed, she joins me from where ever she was and settles in for some petting and purring. Unlike some of my other cats, she does not like to sit or lie on top of me. She never does it.

I "wrote" most of my dissertation with my tabby cat from a Maine dairy farm, Emma, lying on my chest. I would lie down on the couch for some thinking time, she would immediately jump up and curl up to sleep on my chest. I would zone out, and what I would write next would happen in my mind. Sometime later I would get up and put it into the computer. I am sure that Emma was a necessary part of the whole process.

My North Carolina southern ladies, Lily and Poppy, were also fond of sitting or lying on my lap / legs while I would watch TV or knit or read or whatever I might do while sitting on the sofa. They often did that together. (They were not siblings, but were also tabbies and looked a lot alike. Lily came from another farm, and Poppy came a year later from the home of a colleague.) Poppy also thought my head on a pillow was a good place for her to curl up upon.

Smokey Rose, on the other hand, likes to be right close to me but not upon me. For cuddling she settles in one one side or the other, usually my left, but sometimes when she feels wild and crazy she goes to the right. She stretches out her back up against my midsection and rolls into me a bit so her tummy is exposed. Then it's my turn to start rubbing her from under her chin all down her tummy. The purring begins, the limbs and toes stretch out a bit, and I think there is a smile on her face. And there we stay for quite some time until she kind of falls asleep. The purring stops. She curls in a bit. Do not disturb until suddenly she wakes up, jumps up and goes some place else. But she'll be back, if I stay there in bed, sometime later when she realizes that cuddling is sure a nice thing to do.

Can't make the bed until SR is finished
In the morning Smokey Rose prefers to sleep on our bed. She'll begin with me there sometimes and just stays. Or else when I get up she knows it's all hers, so there she goes.

When I got her from Best Friends, they told me how she really liked to get inside cupboards. She would do that here except that all my cupboards are too filled up with stuff for her to find a place to settle into. Every once in awhile she goes exploring, checking out the various doors for ease of opening, just to see if I have moved some stuff and made room for her.

So here she contents herself with closets. That's where she can usually be found in the afternoon. I can't get a picture because she has found ways to burrow deep inside and curl up for napping. I can find her by touching where I think she might be, not looking.

And then sometimes she really hides by going far under the bed. I don't think she is frightening of anything. She just likes those dark hideaways where she feels safe and cozy. Cats do that kind of thing.

Now that she is "geriatric" she doesn't run around chasing things much. Her diet is strictly controlled prescription food, and she is not a chow hound or very interested in food at all except as she needs to be ( I wouldn't be interested in food much either if all I ate was what she gets.) so she does not gain weight. Sleeping is her main activity. Followed by resting.

Any box that comes into the place risks getting
taken over by Smokey Rose.
On the other hand, she is pretty cheap to please. Cardboard boxes are her favorite things. They are her beds and her scratching places. They are places to hide. Eventually they get kind of crummy and I throw out one, as long as a new one has already arrived.

And she has a little window ledge when the weather is warm.
She does not watch birds much. 
Overall Smokey Rose is one of the best cats in the universe. I'm so blessed that she picked me out when I went to find my new companion. I treasure every second I have with her.

Friday, June 29, 2018

I'm Still Here

Tru Hotels feature murals like this showing the location
Notice the cool looking couches and little tables.
Notice that the Salt Lake mural features beer!
End of April! That's to long to stay silent. But as I think about things to write about I keep coming up empty.

I did spend nine days in May back in Salt Lake. I wanted to keep up being a volunteer at Red Butte Garden. 2017 was my tenth year. I'm aiming for 20 now just like for Sundance. So I did an intensive week+ of volunteering, and put in enough hours to qualify for another annual membership for 2019.

Monday, April 30, 2018

The Blue Lady Travels to a Blue Land: Seattle, Washington


On a clear day, you CAN see Mt. Baker

I'm starting with this photo which my friend sent to me a day ago in order to say, 'See, the sun actually DOES shine here....at least sometime." I'm sure that is true. I did see a bit of the sun and the blue sky while I was in the greater Seattle area recently. But mostly it looked like this:
View of downtown Seattle from the Bainbridge Island Ferry

Friday, March 2, 2018

I Just have to Say .... February is a Terrible Month

February looks like this.
This post is going to be short. All I need to say is that now it's March, and that means I have lived through another February. Thank goodness.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Sundance Film Festival 2018 - The Story Lives in You

It's that time of year again. Or rather that time of year is finished for another year. I did go back to Salt Lake and volunteered the whole festival for the 11th year. I found out if you get to 20, you get a personal letter from Robert Redford himself. I hope he stays healthy because that's my new life goal.



Here's a little video to get you all in the mood.

You'll need a film list or guide to make sense of the titles. Here's the official one. But honestly the app  for your smart phone has a lot more information. You can download it for free from where ever you get those things.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Blue Lady Travels in the Red Lands: Things We Do In South Dakota, Part 2, Festivals of Trees

One of the corridors at the state capital building this year.
A tree for breast cancer people on the left.
I never realized how much of a "thing"  a "Festival of Trees" is until I lived in South Dakota. I imagine lots of places have them, although I do not recall actually attending any except in SoDak. But here, they really are something. Every little place seemed to have one this December, and it's clear these things are traditions in all those towns and cities.

At home in Lead I was an usher more than once for our festival, held at the Historic Homestake Opera House (HHOH) as one of their regular fund raisers for the place. The Opera House was one of many civic buildings originally built by the Homestake Mine Company to improve the daily lives of the miners and their families.
Restored Opera House entrance plaza.
The spaces on the left used to house the pool and recreation areas.
Now they are offices and an art gallery owned by the local Arts Council.