Shades of Easter Past

There was a time many years ago when Studly Doright and I found ourselves in dire financial straits. He’d been laid off from his job at a natural gas plant, and the small business we’d sunk all of his severance pay into wasn’t making enough money to support our little family.

We held things together, barely, thanks to Studly’s ability to juggle our finances, but there was never money for extras. And, heaven forbid that one of us get sick. Thank goodness we were all healthy and that Studly had the ability to handle just about any emergency.

One Easter things were particularly tough. The kids needed Easter clothes and there was no money for that. A local kids’ clothing shop had a drawing and I, who have never won a darned thing in my life, entered and then forgot all about it.

Lo and behold, I won that contest. I can’t remember the details, but the amount of the prize was exactly enough to buy two outfits, one for each of our kids. Looking back, I’m almost certain that one of the owners of the shop made sure that I won.

Weren’t they cute? I’m not sure whose backyard we were in, though.

Times are a great deal easier for us now, but that Easter holds a special place in my heart, thanks to the angel that made it possible.

Peace, people.

Act Naturally

Those of you who’ve read my first novel, Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, will get a huge kick out of this gift my son designed for me.

Natural Jugglers of America. I don’t THINK the organization actually exists, but it’d be cool if it did.

I squealed when he gave me the shirt. I’m going to wear it the next time I drink from the Scout’s Honor logo mug my daughter commissioned to celebrate the publishing company name we coined for the book.

My cat, Scout, was the inspiration for the design.

Do I have the coolest kids, or what?

Peace, people.

Half a Cat: A Furry Tail

Gracie is upset that I won’t allow her to go outside on the screened-in porch this afternoon. It’s an 80° day and the sun is shining, but there’s a breeze blowing the pollen around, and my allergies just can handle it.

So Gracie is making do with the next best thing.

That tail starts flicking about now and again leading me to believe there might be a lizard teasing the cat from outside the window. This cat leads a really tough life.

Peace, people!

Love Your Pet Day

Apparently February 19 is the official Love Your Pet Day. Who knew? Here at Doright Manor, every day is Love Your Pet Day. Our Gracie can attest to that.

I’M not tired of playing. YOU’RE tired of playing.
That “come hither” look.
Our own children didn’t have as many toys as Gracie does.
Helping Studly Doright is her favorite activity.

She’s been such a balm to our hearts after the death of our beloved Scout kitty. I was so afraid we’d adopted her too soon after losing Scout, but Gracie had filled a hole in our lives, and we love her so much.

Peace, and love your pets, people.

Last Year’s Greatest Hits Countdown: Number One

2020 was an awful year. In addition to dealing with the pandemic we also had to say goodbye to our sweet cat Scout who’d been our loving companion for 17 years. Losing her was such a blow, and we still miss her so much it hurts.

But we found our crazy Gracie cat, and she’s the topic of my most liked post of the year, It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.

https://nananoyz5forme.com/2020/10/11/a-beautiful-day-in-the-neighborhood/

Peace, people.

Last Year’s Greatest Hits Countdown: Number Five

Thanks to each of you, 2020 was the best year yet for Praying for Eyebrowz. I never dreamed when I started writing this blog that the best part would be the connections I’d make with so many wonderful people. Those connections might’ve helped save my sanity last year. I’m not kidding.

To start off the first week of the new year, I thought it might be fun to take a look back at the top five posts of 2020. Please join me as we travel back in time….

The fifth most popular post of 2020 was Love is a Battlefield, a little glimpse into the imperfect perfection of a lengthy relationship. https://nananoyz5forme.com/2020/02/22/love-is-a-battlefield/

Studly Doright and me. (I’m the one in the left…)

Join me tomorrow for the fourth most popular post. The anticipation is intense! Or maybe I’m just hungry.

Peace, people!

Life With Gracie

Gracie, our newish rescue kitty is a joy. She loves me like I’m the greatest thing since filleted tuna, following my every move, and plunking down beside me in dramatic fashion when I have the audacity to sit.

Gracie watching me apply makeup.

She has a tendency to be loquacious and we exchange banter back and forth throughout the day. I’m fairly certain her vocabulary is larger than mine. In addition to her sweet “mew-mews,” Gracie grunts. These vocalizations sound like a combination of a dog’s bark and a pig’s oink, but they only occur when she’s jumping off of or onto some piece of furniture, as if she’s giving each leap her all.

Gracie is ultra jealous of our electronic devices and always finds a way to insert herself between the device and her human. If I want to write a blog post I essentially have to hide for a bit; although, this cartoonist might be on to something:

She is precious, though. As she’s settled in to our household she’s become much more relaxed. She even took a break from being my constant companion yesterday to hang out with a couple of snow people, allowing me to write this.

Innocent? Nah.

Please don’t be fooled by her sweet face. The crazy Gracie is still there. She’s just learning to hide it better. Like the Hulk, only cuter.

Peace, people!

Smarty Claws

Gracie, our new cat, seems to be a smart girl. Today she figured out how to open the door to the hutch where her treats are stored.

When I confronted her she was nonchalant.

No worries, Mom!

Last night she brought me a package of treats. She meowed conversationally until I opened the package for her. I’m sure she thinks I’m rather dense.

Still, she loves to snuggle with her not so bright human. Can’t beat having a sweet kitty on your lap on an autumn night.

Peace, people!

Crazy Gracie

Our new cat, Gracie, all but ignores her name. When I call her she flicks those outsized ears then turns her head away, determined not to answer to this construct of human language.

Studly Doright calls her Pretty Girl. She doesn’t answer to that either. After watching her make thirty-nine non-stop trips around the island in our kitchen, I began referring to her as Crazy Gracie. Still no reaction.

Crazy Gracie fits, doesn’t it?

I wonder if she has a name she likes better? She meows conversationally all the time. Maybe she’s trying to tell me her real name.

Oh, occasionally she makes a sound that sounds very much like a bark. Studly thought I was imagining things until he heard it, too. Maybe she’s a German Shepherd trapped in a cat’s body. I could try calling her Heidi or perhaps Gretchen.

Until she provides additional information, she’ll just be Gracie. I know she calls me “Meow, meow?” I answer to it every time.

Peace, people.

So Lucky

We are missing our Scout, but my blogging friend at Savoring Sixty and Beyond savoringsixty.com reminded me of this A.A. Milne quote.

We really were so lucky to have known this special cat who never met a stranger. If you were a guest in our home, you were a recipient of her affections.

She enjoyed playing endless games of fetch. Her favorite activity was “helping” me make the bed, making that activity last at least twice as long as was necessary.

She felt she needed to be present when either David or I took a shower, and she loved being wrapped up in a towel. She danced with me and gave me kitty kisses. For much of her life she thought my left ear was something to suckle on. Even after she’d outgrown that need to nurse, every now and then she’d nudge my earlobe as if to say, “Remember, Mommy?” She loved to lay across my neck and massage my shoulders. Her purrs were epic.

Studly Doright was the recipient of many head butts (aka, kitty kisses). Scout had to help him any time his computer was being used. She often made him choose between her and work. He always chose her. During Hurricane Michael, when I was in Texas, she kept Studly company. The two of them patrolled the grounds, watching trees fall and hunkering down like good Floridians. She slept beside him while I was gone.

She adored her stuffed toys: mice, birds, candy canes, small bears, catnip pillows. But her favorite toy was a stick with feathers on the end. She loved “feathers” as we called it at one time. Over the years, the feathers fell out. Then we called it “feather” until finally, when every feather was gone, we just called it “stick”. She still loved it and up until her last couple of weeks of life Scout would bring “stick” to us for play time.

The day before she died she insisted on going out on the screened-in porch. She’d refused food for more than 24 hours, and could barely walk, but still she wanted to go out one last time to enjoy her favorite place. I’m certain she was remembering all of the lizards she’d chased in her lifetime.

And her last morning on earth, she found the strength to join Studly as he finished his shower. “See, Daddy, I remembered.”

We will miss this sweet kitty for the rest of our lives, but we were so lucky to have known her.

Peace, people.