Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Oh, What a Year!

For me, the highlight of 2008 was hearing that Barack Obama would be our next president.

The lowlight of 2008 was having to make the decision to put my sweet Murphy to sleep. Still can’t talk about that.

The moment of highest anxiety was the night of November 4th as we awaited the election returns.

The best book I read this year was, “A Thousand Splendid Suns”, by Khaled Hosseini. This is the same author who wrote, “The Kite Runner”. I don’t think any other book emotionally affected me as this one did.

The most fun books I read this year were two by Matt Taibbi, “Smells Like Dead Elephants”, and “The Great Derangement”. Love this man’s style!

There is no best or worse movie for me this year since I did not see a single one.

One of the biggest disappointments of 2008 was the Dallas Cowboys…again and again and again, etc. I should be accustomed to it by now.

The source of the most amusement this year had to be, Sarah Palin and everything we learned about her. Okay, she was the source of some fear too.

The best part of this year has been every moment I have spent with Mr. Pop whether it was a time of laughing, crying or just his being there with me.

Finally, I want to thank every single person who feels that a visit to Morning Martini each day is worth their time and effort. I appreciate that with all my heart. There have been times this year when you guys were there for me, as all good friends are, and you can never know how much that meant to me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Here’s to a New and Happier Year filled with love and much more tolerance for our fellow creatures on earth, both man and beast.

Fred the Cat will see you Friday with his usual catty attitude toward life.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Maybe a Change of Heart in Hawaii

Now we have the Middle East in smoke and flames again. I wouldn’t blame President-elect Obama if he called from Hawaii and said he has decided to take a pass on this Presidential job.

I don’t know how anyone can face the mountain of problems that will be dumped on him next month. Where does he begin? Thank goodness he appears to be someone who is calm when things go all to hell. If I were in his shoes, I think I would freak-out in the most major of ways.

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Priceless Gift

We had a sweet little Christmas and I sincerely hope you did as well. It was quite here and neither Mr. Pop nor I just could keep a smile off our face as we talked about the lab’s adopted family and those kids opening the gifts the lab had provided for them for Christmas morning. I sure would have liked to see the face of the little boy when he saw that new bike under the tree.

We also talked about all the food we had taken to the food pantry and we hoped that someone was enjoying our donations at that very moment.

Later Christmas morning I was alone in the kitchen washing our breakfast dishes. I looked out my kitchen window just in time to see a hummingbird fly over our fence and light in the Palatka holly tree that is just outside my kitchen window. We have seen hummingbirds here, but not frequently. The hummingbird sat there among the red holly berries for just a few moments. He looked in at me and I looked out at him. Then as magically as he had appeared, this tiny bird took flight and flew back over the fence and on to his next destination.

Something about that little bird’s visit seemed so special. Maybe it was a sign or an omen. Whatever it was, it sure was a beautiful Christmas present and it was all for me. Talk about a priceless gift!

Friday, December 26, 2008

You guys got it all wrong!

His name isn’t Santa Claus, it’s Santa Paws. I left him some catnip Christmas eve night and guess what? He brought me a brand new sassy looking cat bed, a soft fluffy rug and a super cool black collar with red hearts on it. Oh yeah, and all the catnip was gone too.

What did Santa Paws leave for you?

Have a relaxed weekend and don’t drink too much eggnog.

Fred the Cat (the cat who loves you guys!)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Everything!

This will be my last post until after Christmas. I want to thank each of you for your friendship this holiday season. I feel like you are each a part of my family, in a cyber-ie sort of way. So what would anyone do with their family at Christmas? That’s right, I am going to hug you and kiss you.

Have a wonderful holiday. Fred the Cat will see you back here Friday.

With love,
Mr. Pop, Fred the Cat and of course, me

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


At Christmastime here in the Pop nest we have a Christmas tradition. I don’t know exactly when it started, it was at least 15 years ago. On Christmas eve morning we get up, have breakfast and then the tradition begins. Mr. Pop bakes about four dozen chocolate chip Tollhouse cookies with lots of walnuts in them. Last year was the only exception due to our being at over at Sanibel at the beach.

The aroma of those cookies baking fills this house for the rest of the day. Of course as the official taste tester, I have cookie crumbs on my lips most of the day as well. Eating freshly baked chocolate chip cookies before noon is such a delightful sin. Oh, so good!

Are there any Christmas traditions that are near and dear to your heart?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Stuff that makes you so happy that you cry

I wish you could have been with me Saturday. We went out mid morning to run some errands. Mr. Pop said he needed to go by his lab to pick up some files he needed to work on. We drove up to the lab and Mr. Pop said, “Come inside. I want to show you something”. We went inside. Oh what a vision!

There was a minor mountain of wrapped Christmas presents and a snappy new, cool as hell, red and white bicycle. Along side these gifts were about seven eco-friendly grocery bags filled with nonperishable food items. He said there were refrigerated foods that employees were tending to in their own refrigerators at their homes.

These wonderful gifts and goodies were all for their adopted Christmas family. The employees at the lab had taken it upon themselves to buy all these gifts and set up everything. Of course when I saw what they were about to deliver to a single mom and her three kids, the tears began to pour down my face. I have never been so proud to be even distantly associated with a group of people in all my life! Marine biologist really do ROCK!

The gifts, the food, the turkey and so much more was delivered to the family late Saturday afternoon. Mr. Pop and I didn’t go because we didn’t want to crowd into the lady’s house and overwhelm her space. Besides, hell, I would have been a teary eyed mess on what was to be a joyous occasion. The employees did all the work and they deserved to enjoy the rewards of what they had done all by themselves.

I’m waiting to hear how the big delivery went and what the kids thought of their gifts. I hope they were as happy to get them as Mr. Pop’s employees were to give them.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Tis the Season

I tell ya, this place is so ready for Christmas this year. Sparkles everywhere and lots of “good cheer” too.

I’ve dropped about as many hints as I know how to that I want a new cat bed and a new area rug for my room, from Santa. I keep standing by my old bed and meowing to get someone to see how worn it is. Then I rumple up the rug to allow humans the tripping activity. If I had a new rug, they would be safer, right?

Pop didn’t write a letter to Santa this year but I’ll tell you what she did do yesterday. She went online and filled out an application to be considered for a rescue bichon. These are little dogs who have been rescued from all sorts of conditions and then placed in a foster home until they are ready for a forever home. This rescue group is located in Florida and only adopts their dogs out to Florida residents. Let’s keep our paws crossed that this works out. I need a new buddy to aggravate and to rub my head on his fuzzy little self. The application even asked if there was a cat in the house and Pop told them all about me. So no cat hating dogs for us.

Have a splendid weekend and just hug the hell out of your honeys

Fred the Christmas Cat (the cat who loves you guys!)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Worst Person of the Year

Yesterday Time Magazine announced their person of the year and to no one’s surprise, it was President-elect Obama.

How about this? What if another magazine does a story at the end of the year about the worst person of the year. I mean it’s not like it would encourage anyone to run for that title, people already are. People like bush, cheney and Madoff, are already in contention.

Yeah, let’s have a Worst Person of the Year category. I’ve already suggested some contestants. Are there others?

As to whether I made the call about the little bichon that was for sale. I made the call and had to leave a message on their answering machine. Later I called back and left another message. As of now they have not returned my calls. Hopefully they decided to keep the little dude, but still, I’m a little broken hearted…..again.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wrestling with my Conscience

I have been on the hunt again for a new little Pop dog. I have scoured the websites of the humane societies near and far. Our next little dog is just not there….yet.

I have also delved deep into my heart and determined I want another little bichon. Anyone who has ever shared their life with one of these little dogs will understand why I feel the way I do. All dogs are wonderful but these little dogs fit into my heart and our life, to quote Goldilocks, “Just right!”

There are no bichons in any of our shelters now and from what I gather it is rare that they are. That’s a grand thing for the breed, but not a grand thing for me as I pursue my search.

So here’s my dilemma, do I purchase a little bichon or just wait and hope that one magically appears somewhere.

I saw a classified ad yesterday that said a couple has a bichon for sale. It’s a male and he’s only nine months old. I kept thinking about the ad and quizzing myself about whether or not to call and get more information about him. As I deliberated, I did something I seldom do, I read my horoscope in the newspaper. Here’s what it said: “ARIES: Life is not a popularity contest. You’re realizing that you have to do what’s right for you. Ultimately, others will respect you for standing up for yourself”

Should I make the call or not? I think I might.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

An Addicted Media?

The governor of Illinois, who looks more like Fred Flintstone than anyone should, called President-elect Obama a “motherfu*ker” and stated that all the Obama administration had offered him for his pay to play scam, was gratitude.

From this somehow many of the talking heads (media?) have deduced that there must be something shady going on between Obama’s camp and the Fred Flintstone look alike camp. These folks (media?) are so addicted to scandal that they can’t seem to go a day without creating one even if it’s created out of nothing but thin air. I suggest they need some sort of calm down rehab before they crash into a fit of stupidity.

For eight years they injected everything they were given by the white house. They never asked the right questions or questioned what they were told. Now the election is over. There are no more Rev Wrights and such to give them their daily buzz. As they go through scandal withdrawal, they are frantic for just one last fix and if they can’t find it, they’ll try to mix something up by themselves. Everyone knows that the worst thing you can do for an addict is to feed into their addiction. So until the (media?) hits bottom and tries to get help, I have one suggestion. Just tune them the hell out. I am!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Do You Have a Fire Extinguisher?

This time of year with space heaters, Christmas lights and candles, let’s think about buying at least one fire extinguisher, if you don’t have one already.

A few years ago, not long after we moved into this house, our pool pump caught fire. It’s outside but right beside our house. Flames were leaping up and I was scared. I quickly called the fire department and while I waited for them to arrive, I remembered the previous owner of the house had left a little fire extinguisher in the garage. I ran into the garage, grabbed the fire extinguisher and read the instructions on it as I ran back to the location of the burning pump. I aimed the extinguisher at the pump and let fly the contents. By the time the fire truck arrived I had the fire out. The firemen stayed a few minutes to see that the fire didn’t start up again. I felt kind of proud as they each gave me a high five for getting the fire out by myself.

From that day to this, we have had a fire extinguisher in our garage and one in our kitchen. We have another one in our master bath, because that is the most distant area of the house from the kitchen. And yes, I do check them often to see that their charge is still up to date.

I just felt this might be a good time to remind everyone that the cost of a fire extinguisher is money well spent.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Looking into the Future

Today a lot of you guys are talking about money, the lack of jobs and the corrupt Illinois governor who called President-elect Obama a motherducker. What do you suppose you will be talking about a year from now?

Have a merry weekend and enjoy the catnip if you have it.

Fred the Cat (the cat who loves you guys!)

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Just one simple question. After our tax dollars were given to the banks to thaw credit, why couldn’t the big three auto companies get loans from those banks instead of asking for their own tax payer bridge loan or bailout? Am I missing something here?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Missing Christmas Trees

Maybe I’m a little slow on the upswing, but I noticed something this past weekend. There are no big tents up around here. The big tents that would pop up about every five miles along US1. This is where they sold Christmas trees and outdoor Christmas lawn decorations. In the past these big tents popped up just after Thanksgiving. There are none to be found this year. Even Home Depot and Lowes have fewer trees for sale than they have in the past. Also, both those stores have a lot less in the way of Christmas decorations and such than they usually have. The little kid in me always enjoyed just looking at all that “shiny stuff”.

Is it just in my neck of the woods, or have you guys noticed this sort of thing where you live? I wonder about the people who farm Christmas trees, is this financial mess taking them down too? I guess no one is safe now from the Great 2008 Financial Grinch.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A new and better Christmas this year

This may well be one of the best Christmases ever. You might wonder why. Well, here’s the answer. No pressure! We are always adding to our food pantry donations and we have no pressure regarding fighting the crowds to buy Christmas gifts for friends and family. We have mailed out donations to the charities that we support.

Mr. Pop and I will exchange small “for fun” gifts and Fred the Cat will receive his bag of coal…oops, his new bed and cat stuff, but that’s it for gift buying. We can just sit back, relax and enjoy the hell out of the tree, lights and the spirit of the season. Christmas morning we will know that we helped make some people’s Christmas a lot better, especially this year. That’s the only gift we need. I don’t remember ever feeling like this before. I like it.

Monday, December 08, 2008

What a Great Appointment

Could anything be sweeter than President-elect Obama’s appointment of Army General Shinseki to head the Department of Veterans Affairs? I wonder if Rumsfeld’s head ached or actually exploded when he heard the news.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Strange things happening here

I don’t know what’s going on around here. Pop is Christimas-ifying this whole place. I’m afraid to sit still lest she decorate me with lights and ribbons. She’s a woman out of control. I haven’t seen her like this for years. She’s one big smile with lots of long hair.

I don’t know what got her going, but I gotta admit she’s kinda fun. The only thing I can attribute it to is the different kind of Christmas they are having this year. The whole family agreed not to exchange gifts but to instead donate food and such to their local food pantries and charities. Plus Mr. Pop’s company is adopting a local family for Christmas. Everyone at the lab will chip in food, gifts and everything Christmas for a single mom and her three children.

On a designated night everyone will go to where the lady lives and deliver love and cheer and Christmas. No doubt Pop and even Mr. Pop too will be searching for the box of tissues on their way home that night.

But hey, I’m a cat. Cat’s want presents! I’ve asked for a new bed for Christmas, toys and a new stainless steel water bowl for my room. Okay, I’m kind of a softie too. When my bed I have now is cleaned all spick and span, it will be donated to the humane society for a little cat who might not have a comfy bed.

So what are your Christmas plans and are you Christmas-ifying your nest?

Have a great weekend and wish me luck in not showing up with a light up Christmas collar around my neck next weekend. That’s where I draw the feline line!

Fred the Cat (the cat who loves you guys!)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Gimme that book!

President-elect Obama, give me that book of yours because I want to take a page out of it. I want to behave like an adult when it comes to political thinking. I want to look ahead seriously rather than waste time fighting petty fights.

I am completely tired of reading and hearing that the “change” hasn’t come, that this person or that person is a bad choice. I just refuse to get involved in all that. I am determined to take that page from Obama’s book and try my level best to let it be my guide when I am tempted to wander off the beaten path and try to fight all the fights. My change has already arrived and now, like our future president, I am going to try and pick my battles instead of allowing them to pick at me.

It’s the holiday season and as far as I’m concerned we have already received the best present we have gotten for the last eight years. Forgive me if I just bask in that thought for a little while longer. Right now, this is my no-fight zone

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Are you suffering from “Monkey Butt”?

While waiting in line for Mr. Pop to pay for something he was purchasing I just happened to turn around and see this on a shelf. We were in a hardware store at the time. If you might be suffering from “monkey butt” here’s the answer to your problem. That’s okay, you can thank me later.

Check out their website to get a better look at their Anti Monkey Butt logo.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Funny part of our visit to Busch Gardens

At Busch Gardens after walking around for what later felt like miles and after standing in lines which mentally seemed like miles long, we realized we were getting tired and our stomachs were screaming, Feed Me!

We found a very large restaurant serving food cafeteria style. The menu looked great so again we stood in line, but this time the reward would be a much anticipated relaxing rest and a meal.

Like I said, this was a real large building, enclosed, temperature controlled with maybe hundreds of long wooden picnic style tables and benches. There was Christmas music playing softly over the sound system. The line moved along quickly and before we knew it we were heading for one of those tables with trays piled up with wonderful looking food.

We sat down, placed our array of food on the table and took a deep relaxed breath as we prepared to leisurely enjoy our meal. Then something happened. We noticed that a whole lot of people had come into the dining area and they were all facing the opposite direction than we were facing. They were all facing us. All of a sudden the lights went down to almost dark. The music stopped playing on the sound system. We looked at one another in the almost dark room with a WTF? expression on our faces.

Out of nowhere we hear blasted by a deep male voice, “Welcome Ladies and Gentlemen to Busch Gardens grand presentation of the Holiday Season!” A large stage lit up behind us and a cast of singers and dancers appeared. The sound was turned up so loud it about blasted us off our wooden bench as just about every Christmas song ever written was forced into our ears.

So there we sat in the almost dark and now very hot room, due to all the people who had crowded in to see the show. We took about two or three bites of food and realized the bass from the speakers made it almost impossible to swallow as the noise throbbed against our stomachs. The room was too crowded to try to take our food and escape outside.

What do you do at a miserable time such as this? It was one of those times that you feel like you are being filmed to see just how much punishment two people can take. We endured the entire twenty or thirty minutes of the songs and dances. Had it not been the day before Thanksgiving and instead been a little closer to the actual Christmas season, maybe this whole ordeal would have been less trying. In retrospect this whole thing seems funny but at the time, not so much.

Monday, December 01, 2008

The Good, The Bad and Tomorrow, The Funny

The good part about our Thanksgiving trip was that Mr. Pop surprised me with a trip to Busch Gardens in Tampa. It had been years and years since we had visited the park. Even better, he had purchased special tickets which gave us the opportunity to ride out to where the animals live. We rode in the open back of a safari like truck. Once near the giraffes, the truck stopped and the park person opened a cooler on the truck filled with fresh, crisp, chilled romaine lettuce. Seems giraffes love this stuff because about six or seven of them surrounded the truck and their big heads moved right in among us as they munched the lettuce we handfed them. Everywhere we looked there were giraffe necks, heads and mouths. We could touch them all along their head and neck. I had so much fun and laughed so much that I think I became a little kid during those moments. I’ll never forget the experience. Ever had a giraffe nudge your head and back with it’s big beautiful head? Ever hug a giraffe’s neck? Now I can say that I sure have.

Yes, the female on the left in the second picture, wearing the white USF sweatshirt is me and as Mr. Pop often says, “All that hair”.

The bad part was, I woke up in the hotel Thursday morning sick as hell. I was just way too sick to attend the big family Turkey Day dinner. Mr. Pop went but only stayed a few hours. I slept the whole time he was gone. He was sweet and brought back a plate filled with all the required Thanksgiving dinner treats. I picked at it but was just sick to really chow down.

By Friday morning I was feeling a little better and by Sunday I was almost as good as new. I guess Madam Karma showed me a thing or two. After all my smarty pants comments last week about what I might say or do at the family Thanksgiving dinner, she twanged me with her magic sick twanger and kept my smarty pants attitude sick in the bed.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about the funny part of the trip….at least it seems funny now.