Monday, August 31, 2020

Back to....

SCHOOL!!!!  Yes, after five long months it's back to real in person ride the bus to SCHOOL!!

Valerie 10th grade, Veronica 8th grade:

From what little I got out of them, their first day seems to have gone well.  My girls will go on Mondays Wednesday, and every other Friday. They are required to wear a mask at all times from the moment they step on the bus until they are dropped off after school.  On the bus, it's one person to a seat and the windows must be down.  At school, temperatures are checked and they are to wash hands several times a day.  Desks are spaced apart and sanitized in between classes.  Hallways are one way, and the same goes for stairwells.  They can't sit next to anyone at lunch.  Valerie said at the high school's common area, the picnic tables were replaced with desks so you sit alone in a desk to eat lunch.  Water fountains are closed and all students were given a reusable water bottle to carry with them.  No one is dressing out for PE.  There is no band.  No choir.  All extras have been cancelled. 

I give it.........  about a month before one of them is either exposed and is sent home to quarantine for 14 days or actually catches the virus.  I figured it's just a matter of time before it runs through the schools.  Taking bets on how long this in person school lasts!!

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Around Town

Over in my hometown of Morgan City, LA there is a column in the local paper called "Around Town."  Basically it is a free space to publish birthdays, anniversaries, congratulations, etc.  Clint called it Facebook before there was Facebook!  In a way, I guess it was.  All you had to do was call early in the morning (or email in more modern years) and ask to put something in Around Town and it would be in the paper that afternoon.

During the lockdown, I fell down a rabbit hole called I don't even know how I ended up there, but I did somehow and after a few clicks, I was coerced into signing up for a 7 day free trial.  I began looking back at decades of my hometown's newspaper,  The Daily Review.  Of course the first thing I searched for was my name and it brought up so many memories!  Every honor roll award, honor choir, reading club award, etc.  I searched my parents' names and even our old address.  I found every garage sale and lost cat ad my Mom ever listed in the classifieds.  I ran across ALL kinds of random stuff that landed us in the newspaper over the years.

Anyway, my Mom was a frequent caller and liked to put things in Around Town.  I dug up a lifetime of Around Towns, starting at birth.

It wasn't every year, but there's a lot of them.  When I was a little kid, I would wonder if my Mom remembered to put my birthday in the paper.  I'd wait for the newspaper to be tossed in our driveway, just so I could grab it, turn to the back page, and look for my name in the paper.  It was and I was so excited.  It my little kid mind the whole town now knew it was my birthday!!  It never dawned on me then that someday there would be no one around to put anything in Around Town for me.  Those were my first thoughts as I looked through all of them - that after my mom died in 2008, there were no more Around Towns for me.  It's funny that it's the little things we take for granted that end up being what we miss.

Anyway, happy 48th to me!!  (I don't know how I can be 48?!)  Friday, Clint came home with a bouquet of roses.  Saturday morning I baked myself a cake:  triple layer white wedding cake, strawberry filling, and almond icing.

Saturday evening Clint and I went to the movies to see "Unhinged."  Our theater finally reopened a few days ago!!  Not too bad of a movie and since it was filmed in New Orleans, it had lots of familiar sights for us.  Today Clint cooked me breakfast and then we had family dinner at Texas Roadhouse.  We made a quick visit to Spirit Halloween then came home for cake (which is really good by the way!)   It was a pretty low key day, which is fine with me.  Here's to year 49!!!  

Saturday, August 22, 2020

And this is 2020

Or maybe it IS Jumanji?  Cuz I really don't know anymore. 

Guess where I live?  Go on guess....   see that blue dot right under where the paths make an X??  I can't make this stuff up!!  Monday Marco is coming and Wednesday Laura.  Even if the track shifts (which it will), we'll still be getting hit by both back to back.  School was supposed to start Monday!!  They just cancelled it for the whole week and will start on August 31 instead. 

Crazy stuff. 

What could possibly be next?? 

I'm not worried.  Just some wind and rain.  It's the inconvenience that bothers me the most!  Here's to hoping the power stays on....

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

So long summer

My girl is talented and gifted, y'all!  I knew that already, but back in February, Valerie was asked to audition for Talented and Gifted (TAG) in music on clarinet.  She made it through round one and round two was supposed to happen in March, but then came the shutdown.  I was finally contacted to reschedule, and on August 7, Val had her audition.  I won't lie - she has NOT practiced at all.  Marching band was cancelled, so she had no motivation to pick up her clarinet.  She crammed in as much practicing as she could in just a few days.  She aced her audition and scored a 29.5 out of 30!!!  Welcome to TAG!  She'll be part of the TAG program for the next three years with an individualized program to further her skills in music.

Just like that this endless summer has ended!!  How crazy that school has been out for FIVE months?!  At the time, it seemed like so long but it passed in a blink.  We survived week one of virtual school and have another week to go.  Then it's a hybrid of in person and online starting the week of August 24.  As of now, there will be no choir and no band.  They aren't allowed to sing or blow into an instrument until Phase 3, whenever that may be. 

Veronica's first day of 8th grade and Valerie's first day of 10th grade:

Veronica's dance classes also resumed.  She's in tap/jazz on Tuesdays and hip hop on Wednesdays.  Thursdays she now has theater class.  She has become obsessed with CATS the musical and theater in general.  She speaks of moving to New York, adjusting to living in a tiny apartment, being on broadway...   Oh my.  Big dreams for a 13 year old, so she's taking theater classes and we shall see where it leads.  Anyway, she's so happy to have things to do!  We're going to be busy busy with all the chauffeuring back and forth.  It's almost like normal life again!!

Clint's new career as a realtor is going well.  He hasn't gotten a listing yet, but he's shown several properties and hosted some open houses.  It is very different than working in the oilfield, but so far, he likes the change of pace.  (BTW If anybody out there is looking to buy or sell, let me know and Clint can give you a referral to an agent in your area!)

Other than that, not much else is going on....    It's a typical hot summer down south and a typical August with busy tropics.  Hey, Laura and Marco don't even think about it!!! 

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

The Story of SassyCat

In September 2001 my grandma's cat had kittens.  When they were around five weeks old, the mama cat vanished, so my Mom started looking to find them homes.  She gave them all away except one.  "She's the best one out the litter," my mom said.  "She's so sweet."  She couldn't understand why no one had chosen her.  My Mom told my grandma she should just keep it because it would be good for her to have a pet.

Not long after, my Mom made her daily visit to check on my grandma and found that she had tossed the kitten outside in the cold.  It was always in the way, slapping at her feet.  "That - that's a sassy little thing. Not good for nuthin."  My Mom took the kitten home and we named her SassyCat to spite my mean old grandma.  Clint and I had gotten engaged and it was understood that SassyCat would be MY cat once we were married and settled into a home of our own.  

In December 2003 our house was built and SassyCat came to live with us.  She was very skittish of her new surroundings and hid under the bed for four days.  It wasn't long before she adjusted and would come cuddle with us at night.  Only at night.  During the day, she was almost invisible.  Any slight noise - the doorbell, the phone, loud kids, strangers, etc..  Sassy would vanish.  At night she'd jump in bed and demand her pets and scratches as she happily purrrred.  If we stopped too soon, she'd reach out with her paw and demand more pets.  Sassy had the softest fur.  She'd like to bury her face in the crook of my arm and suckle, as many kittens who are taken from the mother cat too soon often do.  If we were late going to bed, she'd come find us and tell us to go to bed; it was petting time!!  

The years marched on and Sassy was with us through all the major milestones: marriage, a house, birth of the kids, death of my parents, the passing of other fur babies, and so on.  When she hit 14, I began to wonder how much longer she had left.  15...16....17...18....  now 19 is upon us.  

Dear SassyCat has been completely deaf for a few years now.  Yowling very loudly at times, which we wondered if she was trying to hear herself.  She's had a very crooked stance for some time, which we figured was old age related arthritis.  Still, she was rather lively and set in her routine.  Eat.  Go outside to look around.  Wander around the yard.  Bask in the sun. She loved laying in her sun patch beaming in from the windows. Time to eat again.  Naps. More food.  (she was a hearty eater for an old girl.)  If she needed something, she'd come find us and yowl.  She'd scurry off leading the way, stopping every few steps to glance behind her,  to make sure we were obeying her call.  She didn't like day old water.  It had to be fresh water in her bowl. The Sassy alarm went off every morning between 5-6am reminding us it was breakfast time.  Oh she had us trained!  For Christmas, I bought her some wooden stairs so she could easily get on and off our new bed. She learned to use them rather quickly and seemed to love her newfound independence.  Nighttime was always petting time.  Always.  

Sassy and Bella holding hands
Bella and Sassy holding hands
Sadly, we are just a few weeks shy of SassyCat's 19th birthday, and we had to say goodbye.  Suddenly she became almost unable to walk and seemed to really be struggling to get around.  She'd take a few crooked steps, then fall over.  She'd try to sit up, but ended up laying down.  Still, she tried so hard to stick to her routine.  She tried her best to come find me when she was hungry, but ended up crying for me in the hallway instead.  She couldn't get up to eat, so she was fed and watered in her bed, as all good kitties should be. No doubt she was in distress, and as much as I dreaded it, I knew it was time to say goodbye.  My heart hurts so much.  I just keep seeing her sweet little kitty face looking at me for the last time and I feel so guilty. 

The house seems so empty with out her.  We will bury her ashes next to our other fur babies - Kita the dog, and cats Skooter, Perriwinkle, and Pepper.

May we meet again someday my dear, sweetest SassyCat.
September 2001 - August 3, 2020.