Here Kitty, Kitty 10

15 Oct

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

 

Thea’s Millet

We looked on YouTubeto try and figure out the best way to cut Thea’s claws. My neighbor later told me she has never cut any cat’s claws, but the word is that they can grow back into the paws, so I’ve always cut them.

The best video I found on the subject was a vet who shows how to squish the cat and cut her nails. We put a towel over her and Bill pressed down so she couldn’t move and I cut the claws. It worked well, except that I had planned to add treats to her ordeal so it wouldn’t be so scary for her. The Vet said not to worry about hurting the cat so we didn’t…worry or hurt.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVAmlSGH-MM

 

I guess Thea gets a bit anxious to be allowed into the kitchen in the morning. She has been not scratching on the door itself, but on the edge of the carpet that covers the step into the kitchen. This is the third time we’ve tried to keep her from doing it, but it’s not working so far.

 

 

She isn’t being mean or bad and neither are we. She’s just being a cat and we’re only human. We went to the big store today and walked around looking for ideas to keep her from ruining the step.

Something clicked in Bill’s mind and he came up with the solution. He got aluminum strips that you use on a roof overhang and cut and fit them to the step. We put up alerts, plus we have handles, put in by “Aging Matters,” to help us remain safe. Kitty hasn’t tried anything more, she’s a fast learner.

 

 

Thanks for your attention and your comments throughout our adventure with the lovely Thea. You may hear from her again someday. Until then, here’s the dear creature sitting for a silly picture to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Next week’s blog will be about my return to second-grade. See you then

 

 

 

Meow.

 

 

 

Author, Poet and Artist

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

Fred Remember~Part 8

14 Oct

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

From Lucerne, we put the car on a train, and rode in one of the passenger cars in 2ndclass coach of the same train.  We went though a 12-mile tunnel that made several complete spiral turns as we changed elevation (St. Gotthard Tunnel).

 

Gotthard tunnel: World’s longest and deepest rail tunnel – credit Google Search and BBC News

 

The train started in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, and exited in the Italian-speaking area, near Lugano.  I was amazed to see palm trees growing in Switzerland (all over Lugano)!

In the summer of 1948, I attended a summer camp (Yank-in-Switzerland), while my Dad was assigned to Trieste, Italy.  It was a two-week camp in the mountains at Lenk, and two weeks on the lake at Oberageri.  It was organized and run by former U.S. military men.  I took a train from Trieste to somewhere near Venice.  I met up with others going to the camp, and went on to Switzerland.  After two weeks in Lenk, we stopped at a fair in Thun, then on to Oberageri, Canton Zug. There was a Lake Oberageri, where we went swimming.  They had a boat from the camp that “led” us out, then we swam back to camp.  In the nearby town of Altdorf, I remember the presentation of the William Tell pageant.  The actor playing William Tell actually shot an apple off the head of a child actor with a crossbow and arrow.  I also remember getting ice cream cones for 3¢, and getting apfelsaft (apple juice).

 

 

This little log house/bank was a prize I got during the camp.

 

 

 

The beanie/cap and this pennant are from my time in the summer camp.

Most of the time while we were living in Trieste, we lived in downtown – or near downtown – on via Carducci Street, number 2.  Our apartment was on the “mezzanine,” and it looked out over the main street, via Carducci, which began just a block or so away from there.

 

They lived “under the arches” of this building

 

On one side was the piazza Oberdon, which we could see through our den window. Our apartment had eleven rooms, which I think had been an office complex at one time.  As I recall, it did have two bathrooms and a real long room, which functioned as a kitchen.  I think it had at least four or five bedrooms, so each of us kids had our own room, plus the den.

 

Living Room quarters, Trieste

 

I remember getting very well acquainted with one of the men there who was sort-of a building manager or care-taker.  I think his name was Mario.  I even went out fishing with this guy a couple of times.  He was a really nice guy, and spoke pretty good English.  By this time, I spoke pretty good Italian, since a lot of my friends were Italian.

Right around the corner from our apartment [in Trieste] there was a shop that, among other things, sold used postage stamps.  By this time I had gotten interested in stamp collecting.  I remember going there frequently to buy stamps fairly inexpensively.  But I remember walking pretty much just all over the town – and this was a city of 350,000 people.  So it was pretty big.

When we arrived in Trieste, I was eight years old, and when we left, I was 10.  I used to walk the mile from our apartment to downtown, which was probably eight or ten blocks to the port area.  I also walked a couple of blocks away, and there was a funicular, or cable car [actually it was a cog-train] that went up the side of the mountain to a place called Opicina, which was sort-of a suburb of Trieste, but it was about 1,000 feet above, with a steep escarpment.  I had such fun riding up there, not knowing that the last five or six months we were in Trieste we actually would move up to Opicina and live in a villa – a 16-room villa!  It had a wall around it, that was 15-feet tall – and it had six bedrooms and five baths, actually servants quarters – the whole works, and my Dad was only a Captain!  My how things have changed!

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Memory Lane Road Trip~Part 15

10 Oct

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 15 – Tuesday 5/1/2018

I headed south on I-40 this morning to visit the Flying Tigers Heritage Park located just outside Alexandria, LA.  This is a park situated just outside the entrance to, what was until 1992, the England Air Force Base.  Now known as England Airpark & Community, it is a thriving residential neighborhood and the air base has been transformed to serve as the Alexandria International Airport.  I was only interested in getting photos of their static displayed airplanes, and then I was on my way.

I continued south on I-40, and then took a short side trip down U.S.-167/SR-13 to visit the Cajun Music Hall of Fame located in Eunice, LA.  All along U.S.-167 and SR-13 I kept seeing these large, flooded fields with some kind of a device evenly spaced over the entire field.  I had no idea what I was seeing until I arrived at the museum, and asked the curator.  

She said they were crawfish traps, and showed me one she had there in the museum.  I asked her what they used for bait, and she said, “Any kind of meat scraps will do, but most farmers use processed crawfish bait which is made up of concentrated fish parts.” When I mentioned how shallow the water looked, she informed me that they plant rice in those fields, and then after the rice crop is harvested, they flood the fields, seed the crawfish, and put out their crawfish traps.  Check YouTube for “Crawfish Trap Videos” to see how they do it.

I learn some of the most interesting things on these trips!  The museum is located in a small building and displays some Cajun Music memorabilia, but is filled mostly with early 1800s Louisiana artifacts from the surrounding area. 

Next door was the equally small Eunice Depot Museum, which was closed, so I headed east on U.S.-190 to pick up I-40 and head south again towards Layfette, LA.  Friends had told me that if I was ever in the Layfette area, I needed to stop at “Prejeans Cajun Restaurant” located on I-40 just north of Layfette for a meal.  Well, it was lunch time wasn’t it?  So of course I stopped in to give them a try.  

Everything on the menu looked great, but I settled on a bowl of Seafood Gumbo to start.  Then it was their “Blackened Shrimp Skillet Creole” with red beans and rice.  Yummm! It was all pretty spicy, to my taste, and I needed two glasses of ice tea to keep my mouth cooled down!

After that delicious meal, I was ready to head south on I-40 again to visit the Acadian Village located a few miles southwest of Lafayette.  This is a 1800s living Cajun village, with relocated and restored authentic buildings, including houses, a church, a meeting house, and a blacksmith shop. The village is set around a small bayou and the dwellings are easily accessible from a paved walkway.

A few miles east of the Acadian Village I visited the Vermillionville Historic Village located on 23 acres adjacent to the Bayou Vermillion.  This living history museum and folk-life park is another frontier village type attraction, with some of their buildings dating from the late 1700s.  The seven relocated buildings have been restored, filled with period furnishings, and hosted by tour guides dressed in period costumes who will answer all your questions.

Now it was time to head for the motel and get settled in, so I could relax and enjoy my leftover Blackened Shrimp with red beans and rice from Prejeans.  Yummm again!  Of course I didn’t have the ice tea to cool down my mouth this time, so I had to be satisfied with a can of Mountain Dew from the motel’s drink machine.

                                           —–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 61 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing. He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville. Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

Bill

Here Kitty Kitty 9

8 Oct

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Photo credit Unsplash

This morning, Thea and I went out to the porch while it was still dark. I turned on a couple of lights, but we couldn’t see out. We heard a heavy rustling and I hurried in the house to get a flashlight. No animal makes a clatter like an armadillo and sure enough, the flashlight reveals the small, armored creaturemaking its way through some dead leaves along the side fence. Thea was beside herself with excitement and jumped up on the shelf to follow watch the action. The only thing that was between them was the screen.

Armadillos are not native to Florida, and they have few natural enemies, (dogs and probably cougars which are endangered). The small mammals can dig under almost any fence. Their armor is like incredibly thick tough skin. Stories abound about how they got to Florida. My favorite, but most unlikely is a mid-night escape from a de-railed circus train. They may have been here and multiplying for about 66 years.

I just looked up where they came from and didn’t find anything about that, but to my horror and dismay I just found this: 

“Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, is caused by the Mycobacterium leprae bacteria. The bacteria can be transmitted through fluids from the nose and mouth. (Some animal experts have warned the public this week that armadillos spit, and that, if you see one of these creatures, it’s best to keep a distance.)”

There’s another good reason for having an indoor cat. And it’s a reason to stay away from armadillos and try our best to keep them out of the yard. 

https://www.newsweek.com/spitting-armadillos-blamed-floridas-emerging-leprosy-problem-356823

Except for certain diseases and dangerous animals, Florida is a fine place to live. Richer folks have homes here and also homes in the frozen north where they go to escape our summer heat. We call them snow-birds. They take that well. Most of us came during the early days of the Space Race. We’ve been here fifty years and have no plans to leave until we head out for heaven.

Thea enjoyed watching the armadillo in the light of the flashlight.The creature went around the yard looking for the squeeze-through place or self-made tunnel where it came in under the fence. This particular one has dug three holes in our yard.

So onward and upward. After being on alert for hours over the armadillo, the lizards, the squirrels, and the birds, Thea conked out on my bed. In the daytime, she sleeps so soundly and in such odd postures that yesterday I had to wake her up to see if she was breathing. I don’t think she gets bored, except maybe at night when she’s in the studio by herself shredding paper. Funny thing: she sliced open the Pine/Cedar bag of litter with her claws. Must get them cut! I know pine and cedar smells nice, but I’m sure she was disappointed that it wasn’t a giant bag of treats.

 

 

Author, Poet and Artist

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

Fred Remembers~Part 7

7 Oct

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 Sometime later, we drove down through Belgium.  I honestly don’t remember where we stopped. But just on the other side of the French/Belgium border, we stopped at a French restaurant.  I think it was part of a fancy hotel there.  Dad had talked to the Maitre d’ there, and they set us up at one of the real fancy dining tables, and brought out a huge tray of filet mignon, and huge heaping trays of french fries.  I’m sure we had other things, but those were the only things that I remember.  I remember the filet mignon was so tender, you could cut it with a fork.

From there, we went to Paris and we stayed in a hotel, the Hotel de la Paix.

 

 

We did take a tour out to Versailles,  and I remember being very impressed with the Hall of Mirrors;

 

Versailles – Credit Google Search and By G CHP, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=72739008

 

Hall of Mirrors – Credit Google Search and By Photo: Myrabella / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15781169

 

 

Later we rode one of the elevators up the Eiffel Tower.

 

A much later picture – Judy, Karen and Janet – 1981

 

I remember being surprised that it was a two-stop trip.  Partway up on one big elevator we stopped, then we got on a smaller one that went the rest of the way.  I just remember it was a beautiful view from the top.  We also walked around the Arc de Triomphe –

 

In the setting sun – 1981

 

and at the time we were there, there weren’t too many cars around on the Champs Elysees.  We also toured the Louvre.

 

The Louvre and small arch – 1981

 

From Paris, the next stop was Neuchatel, Switzerland, on Lake Neuchatel, in the French-speaking part of Switzerland.

 

Lake Neuchâtel, Switzerland.Martouf – Credit Google Search

 

Sometime between Paris and Neuchatel, I had come down with a rash, and when we got there, and got settled in the hotel, they called a Swiss doctor, and he diagnosed me with German measles.  The first thing the doctor did was close the curtains in the room to make the room dark.  That cooped me up in that room, and the doctor said, “You’re stuck in the bed for the day.”  While I stayed in bed, the others went out to see the sights.  Because I stayed in bed, the spots were gone in a day-and-a-half, and I was able to continue my tour.

After we left Neuchatel, we went on to Lucerne, and Emily came down with the measles.  Emily, being a little bit more rambunctious than I was, decided she didn’t want to be cooped up in bed, so she insisted in going with us everywhere.  As I recall, it took her a week to get over the measles, where it took me a day-and-a-half to get over it.

I remember being very impressed with Lucerne – it’s still one of my favorite cities.  We walked across the old covered wooden bridge, which is still there.

 

Covered bridge on Lake Lucerne – credit Google Search

 I remember going to an unusual place – I guess it was out of the way – it was in kind of a base relief in large rocks.  I remember some lions and some other animals in there. It had been dedicated to the Swiss guards that guarded one of the popes.  Wikipedia states:

The Lion Monument, or the Lion of Lucerne, is a rock relief in Lucerne, Switzerland, designed by Bertel Thorvaldsen and hewn in 1820–21 by Lukas Ahorn. It commemorates the Swiss Guards who were massacred in 1792 during the French Revolution, when revolutionaries stormed the Tuileries Palace in Paris.

 

 Credit Google Search

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

 

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Vacation Time

4 Oct

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

 

I have the most amazing team of bloggers. They never miss a deadline and even send posts ahead when I am going to be offline.

I love them!

 

There won’t be any Fall color in this vacation but I hope to get some sand in my shoes and enjoy leisurely cups of morning coffee on balconies over looking the ocean. I’m expecting some interesting blends of tea to be a fun part of the adventure.  Hopefully I will return with some fun pictures to share. Until then,

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm a winnerAfter my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  where we frequently host the best in up and coming authors.

Memory Lane Road Trip~Part 14

3 Oct

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 14 – Monday 4/30/2018 

My original plan was to head north this morning to visit a couple of smaller museums, and then turn around and head south to meet another of my cousins in Many, LA for lunch. However, I was getting off to a late start, and there was a good chance the museums wouldn’t be open, and I didn’t want to be late for our meeting.  So after breakfast I packed up and headed south on US-171 to visit the Fort Jesup Historic Site located about six miles northeast of Many.

The site was closed, but Wikipedia tells me the fort was built in1822 to protect the U.S. border with New Spain, and to return order to the Neutral Strip (1806-1821).  The fort was active until after the Mexican war, in 1846, when it was closed.  The only building that remains of the fort now, is the Enlisted Barracks 4, which was restored and is currently being maintained by a private organization in Many.

Now I continued about six miles southwest on SR-6, from Fort Jesup into Many.  My cousin Jimmy had said he couldn’t meet my other cousin Alfice and me for lunch.  I thought maybe I’d drive over and see where his office was anyway.  It was only 10 o’clock, and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do for the next two hours.

Just as I was pulling into town my cousin James Alfice called me to let me know he had to come to town early to run some errands.  What a serendipity!  We met at the local Burger King and as he got out of his car he said, “You must be Billy.”  I shook his hand and said, “And you must be Alfice.”  I got in his car and we started what turned out to be the very best four hour family history tour I have ever had.  Alfice is four years older than me, and has lived a very active life there in the Many area.  He and his family grew up and lived there, as has my family.  At one time he was the police Chief of Many for several years, and later he was Sherriff of Sabine County, Louisiana for a number of years.

He knew everything there was to know about our family background, as well as, everything there was to know about what had gone on in Many and Sabine county over the years. He drove me around every part of Many, pointing out which of my relatives had lived in, or still lived in this or that house.  He would point out which criminal had lived in some house, or the very spot in the woods where he and his deputies had turned the dogs loose on another criminal. Then he took me to the Mount Zion Baptist Church.  According to Alfice, his grandfather and my grandfather were both instrumental in starting that church sometime around the late 1800s or early 1900s.  That is the church my family attended those times we visited my relatives when I was a youngster.  Most of my relatives who live in the Many area still attend there.

Next to the church is the Mount Zion Cemetery, where many of Alfice and my relatives are buried.  This is a beautiful cemetery that dates back to the early 1800s, and has been kept up by the church families over the years. I found the grave of my grandfather (T.J. Lites) and grandmother (Mattie Lites) who started populating the area in and around Many with their 13 children.

We stopped for lunch at Alfice’s favorite restaurant, Fisherman’s Galley, located on the banks of Toledo Bend Lake.  I had a plate of their Grilled Catfish with Sweet Potatoe Fries.  The food was really great, and lots of it.  While I was eating, I had this picture in my mind of two little black kids, sitting on a pier, fishing in the lake for catfish for the restaurant.  As soon as they hooked one, they would run it up to the restaurant cook, and the next thing you know, there it was on my plate, fresh out of the lake.  The catfish was that good!

Alfice continued the tour for a while after lunch, but then he told me he had to get his car back for his wife.  We exchanged contact information and said our goodbyes, with promises to stay in touch. Then I went looking for my cousin Jimmy’s asphalt business, so I could take a photo of their sign. Jimmy had told me he was starting a new job in another town that day, and I assumed his whole crew would be on that job with him.   As luck would have it, the gate was open, so I drove in to see who might be there.  I was surprised when the mechanic told me that two of my cousins, Danny and Tracy, were in the office.  They came out and we had a great impromptu visit.

After I said my goodbyes to cousins Danny and Tracy, I drove back into Many to check out The Robert Gentry Museum, there on San Antonio Avenue.  I had seen this museum as I first drove into Many, and hoped I had time now to visit before they closed.  But I found out the museum had closed and all that was left in the building was a pawn shop.

Now it was time for Greta to take me to tonight’s motel in Natchitoches, LA which was about 30 miles east of Many.  After I checked in, I warmed up my delicious leftover catfish, for another delightful supper.  As usual, there was nothing worth watching on the TV, so I recorded my notes for the day and then it was early to bed for me.

—–To Be Continued—–

 

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 61 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

Bill

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