Friday, November 12, 2010

tantalizing toes

Little ChiChi and Papa play a game when ChiChi comes over for the day. Every single time, Papa asks ChiChi if he can have one of his pinky-toes. He wants to make pinky-toe soup, and says he just loves to nibble on delicious pinky-toes.

Well, ChiChi is having none of it, of course. He's pretty attached to his little pinky-toes. So they wrestle and laugh and play about this on a daily basis.

Yesterday was something else. ChiChi was having himself a little fit when Papa came into the room. He started right in about the pinky-toes, asking ChiChi about if he was going to give up the pinky-toes.

ChiChi had his little crabby look on his face, but he stopped what he was doing. He walked over to the chair and sat down. He stuck out one foot, and slowly, deliberately, looking at Papa the entire time, pushed one shoe off his heel with the toe of the other foot. He let it slide slowly off his foot, finally dropping it to the floor. Clunk. He got the tiniest grin on his face. Then, just as slowly, he pushed the shoe off his other foot, letting that one follow the first one onto the floor. Clunk.

Then he tiptoed over to the loveseat, just a little closer to Papa, and ever so slowly, pinched the top edge of his sock and started wiggling it off his foot. He stopped when it was halfway off, and with his sock dangling off his toes, gave it a little wiggle with his foot. I was falling off the couch by this time, hysterical with laughter. He didn't crack anything more than that little smirky grin as he finished pushing the sock completely off his foot. He wiggled his toes gleefully in the air, much to Papa's and my amusement, letting loose with a little cackling giggle. Just the sound of that can make me laugh.

ChiChi followed suit with the other sock, inching it off bit by bit, teasing, tantalizing Papa with his wiggly little toes. So stinkin' funny! Papa sat up straight, and immediately! ChiChi whipped his feet underneath his butt and sat down firmly, finally cracking a full-out grin.

Papa said, "I can smell those delicious pinky-toes. They smell soooooo good!"

ChiChi stared at him, then pulled one of his feet out and put his toes up to his nose. "Aaacckk!" he choked. "They are so stinky. They are DIS-GUST-ING. Pee-YEW!"

Wow, that kid is entertaining!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

small comforts

It's been an unseasonably warm November so far, but I think that's all about to change. The weather people are predicting we'll get our first snow tomorrow night. It's time, I guess. Time to close things up for the season. Papa got the yard cleaned up, and even though I didn't get to help very much with that, there's something so very satisfying about that. All neat, tidied up, ready for the snow.

I took a couple days off recently when Papa went deer hunting up north with a couple of the boys. I planned to get some deep cleaning done and rearrange the nest a little bit. What are the odds of getting sick right at the time when I had already planned some time off??? I had about as much energy as a slug! Needless to say, I didn't get much accomplished.

Today, though, I had the day off for Veteran's Day, and I had a little bit more energy. I'm starting to feel a little better. So I did a few little things around the house today. First thing this morning, I made a fresh pot of coffee - there's nothing like Caribou's Costa Rica blend.

It's my honey's fault I've gotten so picky about my coffee. Coffee as fresh as possible, check. Grind it right before you brew, check. Use fresh filtered cold water, check. Grind it only so long, and no longer, pausing in the middle to keep it from overheating, check. Pour it into the cup right away, and put the rest into a thermos to keep it from cooking on the warmer plate, check. Sip, and savor, check check.

Little ChiChi man got to spend the day with me, so I knew I'd be at home most of the day. I made some fresh apple crisp and, some of Ina Garten's ginger cookies. They were okay, but I wish I would have made Karen's Dragon Snaps instead. I just didn't have enough molasses for both. But the aroma...it surely smelled like fall in here today!

We took little Cooper for a walk down the street, and ChiChi and Cooper both loved it. Cooper got to bark and be all protective and bristly when a neighbor dog woofed at us to stay away. He's so funny. Here he is, all eight inches tall of him, and he's growling and scuffing his feet in the dirt like there's no tomorrow. He thinks he's a pit bull, I swear!

I made Shrimp Creole with rice for dinner, and now the dishes are nearly done and the kitchen's cleaned up. I just have to wash out my new Teavana teamaker. I got it from freecycle. For free, of course. I love, love, love freecycle! But have you seen those teamakers? You put your loose tea into the container, pour your boiling water in, and let it brew. When you're ready, you place it onto your cup, and the tea dispenses from the bottom of the container. I'm going to make some spiced plum tea to sip as I do my homework for class. Yumm!!

I'm such a homebody. I love having all my creature comforts here, and be able to just stay at home and putter. I put a load of wash going and realized how comforting the scent of the fabric softener was as it rolled up out of the washer.

I don't need much to make me happy. If my family is okay, and my honey's nearby, I'm good. I'm even better if the house is clean! :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

it was a long summer's nap

It was a good thing, this break. I was hating having to write, or at least feeling like I had to write. I get no paycheck from this, no salary...I owe it nothing.

I wanted to write about the cats...my lovely, funny boy cats, Franklin and Tucker. I've had a number of cats in my time, but I think these two are my favorite cats ever.

They’re such buddies. They are brothers from the same litter, and we’ve had them for oh, I wanna say about fourteen or fifteen years. They eat together, sleep together, hunt for trouble together, sit and look out the window together, wrestle and fight together, and gang up on the dog together. They’re inseparable.

If one of them happens to get outside, which is rare, or gets shut into a bedroom, the other one will wander from room to room, mew-rowl-ing his sad call, trying to find his missing partner-in-crime.

If another animal picks on Franklin, Tucker will swoop in to the rescue and swackkity-whack-whack the offending one on the head a few times. If the critter is too big for Tucker to reach his head, he’ll bite him on the leg instead. They've got each other's back for all time.

So, I’ve been trying to put the two cats on a diet because they’re so huge. I’m just going to say this right up front: no snarky comments from the peanut gallery about me. I’ve been trying to put me on a diet, too, so just hush.

But I can tell when I’ve missed the evening feeding and the cats are feeling particularly hungry. They come hang around me wherever I happen to be and they’re so relentlessly affectionate to me. Tucker, the black cat, will jump up in my lap and get as close to my face as he can with his cold nose and tickly whiskers. If I ignore him long enough, he will gently bite me on the arm to get my attention. It always makes me laugh. Sometimes I even nudge him away a little with my elbow so he’ll bite me again! It’s so funny!

Well, I can always tell when they are feeling either particularly hungry or particularly tempted by whatever we are having for dinner. They lay around near the table, oh so nonchalantly, until everyone has moved away from the table. And since I’m a little on the lazy unambitious side after I’ve eaten, I don’t always clear the dishes away immediately. Well, Tucker is the bolder of the two when it comes to food, so he will jump right up on the table to see what is left over on the plates. Franklin will hang back and see what happens to Tucker.

We had turkey, gravy and dressing last night, and after dinner, I swear I jumped up from the computer and swatted him with a potholder to get him off the table at least six times. And he was stubborn! Usually he just ducks and jumps down from the table, but last night, he ducked just far enough to be out of reach, and sat there, squinting and leaning away from me as if to say, “Go ahead and swat me, but I’m just going back for more as soon as you’re done.”

There aren’t many things that they will dare anything for, but turkey is one of them. The only other thing I can think that they go that crazy over, strangely enough, is olives. Black olives, green olives, it doesn’t matter. Olive juice? Even better. They will morph into slavering junkies at the very whiff of anything olive.

And should they actually get a taste of them, they sway back and forth in a stupor reminiscent of a heroin high, and then burst into a frenzy of energy, fighting with each other frantically, then racing through the house from one end to the other and back again. Needless to say, I am NOT the person who gives them olives.

When I throw away the empty container of olives, they stalk me to the garbage can. I have to take the bag out and bring it outside. I’m sure the neighbors would think about calling the men in the white coats if they saw me backing out the door, holding the bag high and swinging it wildly to keep it away from them as they leap to try and claw the bag open with their grasping little paws.

Well, to get back to my story, Tucker and Franklin were determined to have some turkey last night. After I had chased the cats away from the table for the sixth time, I thought they had finally gotten the message and I could relax. I was engrossed in my Facebook pursuit again when I heard a “Clunk!”and a rustling sound in the kitchen.

My honey had cleaned up the cooking debris and he threw the turkey scraps into the garbage. I realized that the two cats had tag-teamed and worked together to tip over the garbage can, and now all I could see of them was their butts sticking out of the garbage as they scrounged for the savory little turkey scraps. I couldn’t decide whether to laugh or throw something at them. Little brats.