My Purr Babies


I’m stealing from the suggested topic this time since it is so easy – and easy is always best for a Monday 🙂

So here are my pets:


Amber the large boned, long haired, highly vocal (I swear she’s had entire back and forth conversations with Alex who, naturally, loves to tease her) part Maine Coon who likes people well enough as long as you pet her and is otherwise laid back and mostly concerned with letting the world know that I am HER mama 🙂


Chip the also not small short haired boy who sheds walking across the room who is either in your face demanding love or scrambling away from those scary people. Let’s face it – Chip thinks the whole world is scary. He’s as neurotic as they come and alternately loves Amber, chases her, or thinks she’s possessed by the devil (for at least a week after she comes back from the vet). He patrols the house, chews on the edges of trash bags, and only really relaxes when he curls up in his cat bed up in my room in the late mornings.


They are both 7 years old and hopefully even with a heart murmur in Chip, they will be around for at least 7 more 🙂

The results of carrying a camera (phone) at all times




Pictures from my iPhone taken within the last week – starting with Sunday as I flew home from San Jose. Tales of that trip will begin dribbling out on my PP site over the next week or two. Meanwhile, the north San Diego coast line was sort of awesome from the air.



The coastal foothills were kind of pretty too.



Darn car windows made this one all blurry, but as I sat in traffic on the coast highway heading home from work this week, I decided to temp my friend with the beauty of the California coast. San Jose was his first trip to the state and he was declaring his love for the Golden State from day 1. I told him to start researching jobs and get his ass out here before the next Michigan winter kicks him around again – and I decided to motivate him further with pics of my part of the state. Though, not always as blurry!



Kind of impossible to get it both in focus AND straight as you can see 🙂 Even though I was sitting in traffic, there was still a challenge to balance the phone in one hand, maintain contact with the steering wheel, and also hit the shutter button.



Hey – straight and in focus!



Meanwhile, back at home, the cats have let me know they did NOT approve of me leaving them for three nights. The way they have shown their displeasure is by sticking as close to me as possible at all times. Amber is particularly unhappy right now because I took her to the vet before my trip for a much needed checkup. She was officially declared overweight tipping the scales at 21 pounds! YIPES!! She needs to get back down to her running weight of 15-16 pounds and the way that will happen is by food rationing. That means that I take away their food at night and only put in 1/3 of a cup at a time to reduce her calorie intake. Sigh – NOT HAPPY I tell you!



My self portraits may be even worse than my in car photos! This one was a toast I raised in honor of the Supreme Court striking down DOMA this week. A group of moms organized a toast to the occasion one night. I happened to have pink lemonade in my glass. I thought that was rather apropos.



THIS in car shot came out pretty cool – the only thing I couldn’t quite coordinate (because the light up ahead turned green!) was to zoom in more on my rear view mirror, but you can still see the La Jolla shoreline pretty clearly defined in it. As I’ve tweeted this week – my commute does not suck, even with traffic, but especially in these months with longer days and stunning weather.



Another horrid self portrait when I hoped to show the surrounding area more than my sweaty face, but the light was all wrong. I haven’t run in weeks. I’ve mentioned my task list previously, but as I anticipated, June has been brutal with the day job and football. That was particularly true since I took a week off work last week and traveled to San Jose. I’ve only submitted 13 posts to Blogmutt (prior months were 25-30), and other than a couple of yoga sessions and Saturday boot camps, my fitness routine has been non-existent. It’s literally been all football or NU all the time except for the 3.5 days out of town. ANYWAY – yesterday I committed to twitter that I would MAKE time to run after work today and run I did. Which felt AWESOME. It only took a few minutes for the muscle memory to kick in and even with the usual ass kicker hills (twice around), I was in a groove. Hoping to get out on the trails for a longer run Sunday.

It sure is fun having a camera at the ready at all times!

Math with cats!


My house is exactly 1803 square feet.

There is laminate or tile flooring covering around 1,100 of those sqft (the entire downstairs for instance, then both upstairs bathrooms).

The remaining 700 sqft which is carpeted covers the stairs, the bridge and the two master bedrooms on the second floor. That’s a shade under 40%.

Since 16 and 27 keep their doors closed all the time, that means the cats have regular access to approximately 450 sqft of carpeted floor and 900 sqft of laminate/tile. That’s carpeting at about 33% surface space.

If you count the surface covered by furniture in my room you can really drop that carpeted area down to perhaps 200 sqft – That’s 14% of available space.

And yet….



… is put to use at least once a month.


Because they ONLY barf up technicolor hairballs in the approximately 50 sqft portion of the carpet that runs from the second landing on the staircase to the foot of my bed! Last night was a special event as Amber managed to decorate the top of the stairs, dribble down two more stairs and also leave a little drop or two on the lower landing. Given the color, I’d say she was mistakenly thinking it was St Patricks Day ;-/

Sigh….yes, they target just 2-3% – and hit it every time! All that laminate that is easy to clean even if it dries up. Nope. That’s too damn easy, isn’t it?



How to make chore day fun! (Cats help.)


During this recent deep dive into work related tasks with an aggressive deadline, I relied heavily on the old fashioned To Do lists. Mine looked like this 6 of out 7 days a week (I took Sundays off):


Other regular work task


Other regular work task


Household chore

etc etc etc

It worked beautifully because I not only didn’t fall behind on anything at home, but I even finished extracting leases with a solid week to spare.

So, I kept up with the lists this week only they didn’t have to be so packed. Still, I want to keep Sundays as off days, even from home related chores so today I tackled my entire cleaning and running around list and even managed to squeeze in that hill repeat run today. It was not without some adventure though.

On outing #1 for the day, I brought my mini-post it list of places to visit so that I didn’t forget anything. On stop #3, I had my first unexpected moment of funny.

I was at the vets office picking up some hairball treatment for miss Amber who has been barfing multicolored piles for the last week and a half. I think the worst of it is over (at least I hope so because that last one was GINORMOUS) but finally I appealed to the vet for help and picked up some sort of goo that I was able to sneak into her tuna tonight and which they say works perfectly for their equally long haired office cat.

Speaking of the office cat…while I was talking to the one vet assistant and paying for the goo and some of Chip’s bladder friendly food, the other assistant was up to no good. I saw her fussing around with the cat and then the next thing I know she is giggling helplessly as the cat gets away and hops onto the counter where I am standing. He turns his head and gives me the classic cat version of “LOOK at what she DID to me!”

And there he sat with a label on his forehead that read “Spicoli” – his name of course. Yup, she had printed off a label and properly marked the office cat. I couldn’t stop giggling at the sight either and frankly I am not sure how we finished running the payment transaction properly of how I managed to not leave anything behind as I walked out. He just sat there, trying to maintain some dignity and failing miserably.

Stop #4 was lunch at Rubios. I allowed myself some time to sit there and eat and read twitter on my phone which turned out to ALMOST be a huge mistake. You see, when I was done eating I got up to refill my drink and then walked right out the door – and left my phone sitting on the table! Years of having a phone and I’ve never done anything like that. And? I didn’t notice until I had been home for 15-20 minutes!!

Then I had the longest, slowest drive ever back to Rubios of course – people cutting me off, driving super slow, clearly confused about their own routes..pedestrians at EVERY intersection making the waits super long. All along I am imagining who stole my just waiting to be snatched phone and what in the hell I was going to do about it.

Luckily, the employees saw me get up. They thought I went to the bathroom so they waited a bit but kept an eye on it. When enough time had passed that it was clear I was gone, they put it in a cash register up front. PHEW!

My heart was racing and I immediately took that as a sign that it was time to go for my run and shut down the chores for a bit!

After the run I dove right into cleaning. Again, thanks to Amber’s little hairball issue, the carpets were kinda messed up. I swept the downstairs and then busted out the vacuum. Now, I don’t do this lightly. Chip the cat is frighted to holy hell by the vacuum. So, I warn him by bringing it out in stages. First it comes out of the closet. That usually wakes him up from the deepest possible sleep right there. Then, if he is on the floor level where I will start working, I shoo him to the other one. In this case I chased him upstairs so he could hide while I did the bottom floor first. (Amber stays a respectable distance away, but also watches every move)

Unfortunately for Chip, I also had to vacuum the stairs themselves. Now, my plan was to get up to the top landing, turn off the vacuum and then shoo him downstairs.

He didn’t want to wait.

As rounded the corner at the second mid-level landing and started up the last few steps to reach the top, I see him dart out from under the bed to my right. He seems the vacuum – startles and reverses course. I figure now he’s back under the bed for good, right?

Nope, as I keep making my way up, he darts out AGAIN only this time he thinks he can run across the bridge into 16’s room.

Except – the door is closed. Now he has to dart BACK running perilously near to the running vacuum yet AGAIN to get back under the bed. In between, he has to hurdle the litter box on the landing just outside my open bedroom doors. He didn’t QUITE make the hurdle….his hind legs snagged on the scooper I keep next to the litter box causing him to bounce into the litter, scramble…flinging litter all over…then finally back out of the box and under the bed again!

At this point I cannot contain myself and I just bust out laughing as I turn off the vacuum. He hears that the coast is clear, slinks…and I mean SLINKS out from under the bed and FLIES down the stairs to the safety of the furthest corner of the living room behind a chair.

Amber watches the whole thing from her perch on the top of the sofa and then looks up at me and meows “WTF?” (essentially anyway).

WTF indeed.

Miraculously the rest of the day of cleaning and grocery shopping unfolded without a hitch…or..a cat clowning around 🙂

Tomorrow, I rest! After running around a bit on a trail of course!

My kick ass trainer


The other night while watching The Biggest Loser for inspiration, I launched into my first planned home workout routine.

I was doing great – blew past the targeted 15 minutes and was on the back end of a 40 minute routine.

Wanting to work on my leg strength, I was doing chair sits against the wall. I could still see/hear the TV which took my mind a bit off of the oncoming muscle shakes and pain as I kept myself at the proper 90 degree squat position.

And then….Amber sauntered around the corner.

She paused…gave me a quick “meow!” and….walked right under my chair squatting self, and raised herself up to head butt me! Yes, she head butted my butt!

Do NOT ask me how I did not fall over at that moment – I started laughing so hard that I actually couldn’t really move out of the spot! She just continued to saunter on by with another “meow!” I counted out the remaining 25 seconds I had intended to hold the position with my continuing giggles and then I thanked her for upping the challenge for the night.



More random ramblings of a cold addled mind


The photo above is my first attempt at using the panorama photo function on the iPhone. This was taken Thanksgiving morning. Go ahead and hate me because yes, I live in paradise, I know!

The girls and I went for a run at Torrey Pines. Ok, actually, the text I received went like this:

“Up for an easy run at TP?”

And I immediately thought “With that hill, there is NO SUCH THING as an EASY run at TP!”

Eh, I went and yeah it was a struggle as usual, but I just kept chugging along and made it up the hill and it was so beautiful along the beach that it didn’t matter. The waves were spectacular. And? It made us feel not SO guilty about pigging out later on for what was Thanksgiving meal #1 for me.

The family meal was Friday since 27 had to work (yay!!) Damn good reason to put it off a day.

So, random thoughts….

You gotta love cats. When I got home from Thanksgiving #2 today I went straight into decorating mode. I was thankful that the whole termite discovery set me off a couple of weeks ago into the deeper cleaning I usually have to do before putting the tree up. So missing a day due to the dual meals was not a problem.

Still, you gotta move stuff around. Bring in boxes. Generally disturb the space that the felines are used to. Of course, as long as you are not running a vacuum, they are so incredibly curious that they usually end being involved in the process whether you want their “help” or not.

The best thing though, is when you move something from one spot to another. I’m thinking “Well, maybe I should just put this cat condo in the garage because I don’t think I’ve seen either of them in it or on it in months.” The condo was in the corner where the tree will go so it had to move. I ended up moving it from the north corner of the room to the south in the dining area. Just 20 feet or so away on the other end of the back wall. They wont care, they never use it, right?

Right – move something and suddenly it is BRAND NEW!!

“What’s THIS THING? Over HERE?! Look! We can scratch the side and trim our claws! OMG! There’s a cubby hole! And…a perch! I can lay down up here and see EVERYTHING!”

I swear the two of them were scrambling around that thing for at least 30 mins tonight and I just had to laugh at their obvious joy at re-discovering the condo.

Crazy animals.

Another observation I made this week is that for some reason, as soon as the Thanksgiving weekend starts, I also re-discover something. HGTV.

It’s not JUST that the regular shows are off – many of the shows on our DVR schedule still had fresh episodes. For some reason though, rather than being content to have sports or news on in the background, I suddenly crave House Hunters and Home Strange Home, and Extreme Homes and…yeah…just about whatever happens to be on .

Right on cue I turned it on last night when I got to my room at bedtime. I’ll get tired of it and/or have cycled through all the episodes by the new year and forget about it again. But for now – “Oooh! Look! There’s a picky couple dissing every property they see and I swear if they say ‘man cave’ ONE MORE TIME..but damn that’s a gorgeous floor and hey, I like the way they used that space there I wonder if I could pull that off….!”

Maybe I’m more like the cats than I care to admit :->