Life is my litterbox ... Grab the SCOOP!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Happy 37th Birthday, Uncle James!

Mom's little brother (if you can call 6'5" and about 235 lbs little) is havin' a birthday today.  At 1:33 PM today, our Uncle James turned 37.
Join us in wishin' him a furry happy day ... You can even leave him a comment on his "son's" bloggie:  Shadow Saluki.
Blow out the candles, Uncle James!

Friday's Feast #47

What is your favorite carnival/amusement park ride?

The Zipper was my favorite ride and I enjoyed riding it at county fairs when I was growing up. I have fond memories of attending the Puyallup and Elma fairs with my grandfather and Aunt Toni (Ben an' Lucy-Fur's momma). There was even a time when I was about nine years old when I nearly slipped under the restraint bar ... Wow! Was THAT exciting!

How do you react in uncomfortable social situations?

RETREAT! I don't attend a whole lot of social gatherings as they typically involve lots of alcohol and ensuing stupidity.  I don't meet anyone other than people from work, so I'd have to face them the next day ... I don't want to lose respect for people who've taken a risk and let their hair down in a social situation.  That kind of thing makes me really squeamish.

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how much do you enjoy discussing deep, philosophical topics?

ZERO. Conversations ... in my opinion ... shouldn't require lots of strenuous thinking, rhetoric, or work. I tend to avoid discourse when voiced opinions become pissing contests full of one-ups-manship. Bleck.
Besides, I'm not running for public office.  Who cares what I think anyway?

Main Course
Did you get a flu shot this year? If not, do you plan to?

Yes. On November 16th, I got my annual flu shot. Working with high school kids is like swimming through a stew of various germs. A number of my own students have little brothers and sisters who get every little illness from elementary school, preschool, or daycare. Not to mention the downward trend in good hygiene where coughing, sneezing, and Kleenex usage are concerned.  Too many people don't wash their hands, use their sleeves as handkerchiefs, and broadcast their sneezes far and wide.

I'm also pretty skeptical about the hand-sanitizer and anti-bacterial soap use. Who knows what resistant strains are being created?!?  What's growing on YOUR doorknob?

Approximately how many hours per week do you spend watching television?

I think that I watch more television now with my DVR than I did when I taped stuff because I now have the ability to tape two things while watching something from my already-recorded list. Granted, I can watch an hour-long show in 42 minutes and I can do a super-fast scan of a program like "Martha Stewart Living" watching only the segments that interest me.

In a typical evening where I'm multi-tasking on something else: recording papers or crocheting or making a pair of earrings ... I usually watch between two and three hours of television. Let me rephrase that: I watch two to three hour-long shows.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Mom was jazzed when she got home today!

When Mom got home today, she didn't seem quite as tired.  In fact, she seemed to have had a pretty great day!  

1.  There was a "happy birthday" card from my tomfriend, Jake (an' Bathsheba an' their momma, too).  Mom said that the card was really cute an' she appreciated the message ... 

I was super excited 'bout the stamp 'cuz it had Jake's handsome face on it.  Meeoowww!

2.  Her afterschool meeting about spending the school facilities improvement money (Proposition O) didn't take as long has she had thought that it would, so she got home before 5 PM.

3.  She got to take Grandma and Grandad to Fuddrucker's to participate in a fundraiser for her school's chapter of the Best Buddies club.  Best Buddies is a club that pairs differently abled students with general ed. high school students with the purpose of enhancing lives and developing life-long friendships.  Mom's school has a number of students with varying challenges to include Down Syndrome and autism.  The Best Buddies club is very successful in matching students:  We hope that they were successful in fundraising, too.

4.  Her vocabulary test for tomorrow is written AND copied.  An' ... better yet ... the librarian gave Mom the old copy machine so Mom doesn't have to wait in line anymore!  Whoo hoo!

5.  And best of all ... Mom had a good student day today.  Her students finished the first of the reading programs on Tuesday an' Mom introduced the new program books with a new set of management rules:  Point Teams.  And, get this ... The kids TOTALLY bought into the whole thing.

Mom's roughest class is period two where she's got three girls and fourteen boys.  She was having a hard time getting some of the boys to quit goofing off ... But not today.  Today, her kids were perfect.  In fact, if Mom didn't know better she'd have thought that they'd all be replaced by Stepford robots.  

They were all in their seats by the bell(!) with class folders ready(!!), pencils pre-sharpened(!!!!), and silent reading novels at the ready (Can you believe it?).  No tardies ... quiet during the announcements and respectful during the flag salute.  They were actually ready to learn and had a very nice time earning points.

It was the BEST teaching period that Mom has enjoyed in a really, really long time and she was actually sad to hear the bell ring.


It's only taken seventeen weeks to get them trained.  Two more weeks in the semester ... Mom actually thinks that she's got a chance to make it to December 14th without having a meltdown.


Thankful and Thoughtful Thursday

In lieu of a Thursday Thirteen this week, I offer this poem, "A Soldier's Christmas" by Michael Marks, and call this post:

Thankful and Thoughtful Thursday

A Soldier's Christmas 
By Michael Marks
© December 7, 2000

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light, 
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight. 
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest, 
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest. 
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white, 
Transforming the yard to a winter delight. 
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe, 
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve. 
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep, 
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep. 
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem, 
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream. 

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near, 
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear. 
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, 
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow. 
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear, 
And I crept to the door just to see who was near. 
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night, 
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight. 

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old, 
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold. 
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled, 
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child. 
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear, 
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here! 
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve, 
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!" 

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift, 
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts.. 
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light 
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right, 
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night." 
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line, 
That separates you from the darkest of times. 
No one had to ask or beg or implore me, 
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me. 
My Gramps died at ' Pearl on a day in December," 
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers." 
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ' Nam ', 
And now it is my turn and so, here I am. 
I've not seen my own son in more than a while, 
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile. 

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag, 
The red, white, and blue... an American flag. 
I can live through the cold and the being alone, 
Away from my family, my house and my home. 
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet, 
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat. 
I can carry the weight of killing another, 
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother.. 
Who stand at the front against any and all, 
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall." 

"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright, 
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right." 
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least, 
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast? 
It seems all too little for all that you've done, 
For being away from your wife and your son." 
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret, 
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget. 
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone, 
To stand your own watch, no matter how long. 
For when we come home, either standing or dead, 
To know you remember we fought and we bled. 
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust, 
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us." 

Christmas will be coming soon and credit is due to our U.S. service men and women for enabling us to celebrate these festivities. Let's make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wordy Wednesday: Rice and the UN

A colleague in Mom's school district came across this link:

The "game" is a vocabulary quiz much like the "Word Power" feature in Reader's Digest.

The payoff is ... For each word you get right, the sponsors will donate rice through the United Nations. You have to play a whole lot of rounds to donate significant amounts of rice as your "winnings" are paid in single grains.

Mom had a few minutes to kill and managed to donate 710 grains before she had to go home for the day.

Obviously, the better your vocabulary, the more rounds you'll "win" and the more rice you'll donate.

Mom, being an English teacher and a high-scorer on the verbal section of the S.A.T. many moons ago, will continue to use her skills for GOOD. Might you do the same?

Where can you find this game?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Birthday Wishes ...

Mom ... is ... forty. Enough said.

Happy Fortieth Birthday to Mom.
DaisyMae Maus
Cocoa Puff
Sparky Fuzzypants
Lucky Charmz

Monday, November 26, 2007

All I Need To Know I Learned From My Cat

I've been a blogger for about sixteen months now an' I have a pretty loyal readership of mostly cats (an' some devoted woofies).  My reach seems pretty limited, but efurry once an' awhile, I get contacted by a bean with a mission.

About two weeks ago, I got an email from a lady named Jackie Myers with an "offer I couldn't refuse."

Ms. Myers is a director of Online Sales and Marketing for Workman Publishing an' she was interested in having me read an' review (on my bloggie) a book by Suzy Becker. 

Suzy Becker.  Suzy BECKER.  Oh!  SUZY BECKER!  I've heard of her!  I got excited about Ms. Myers' proposition 'cuz I have the original #1 New York Times Bestseller (with over 2 million copies sold!) called All I Need To Know I Learned From My Cat that Mom's friend, Carol Corolla, bought Mom for her birthday a couple of years ago. I like that book 'cuz Binky is the star.

If you're not familiar with the original book, then  you're thinkin' "Binky who?"  Well, Binky was Ms. Becker's kitty cat an' she was BRILLIANT.  All of the wisdom found in the book came from observations made by Binky. If you're on Catster, you can even visit BINKY'S Catster Page

One of my personal favorite Binky-isms refers to personal grooming:  "Note:  While the public generally appreciate good grooming -- they do not generally appreciate it in public."  Truer words were never purred.

So, of course, I wanted to review the NEW and IMPROVED Binky book an' Ms. Myers was happy to oblige. An' guess what?!? Workman Publishing sent me a copy of the new (and improved) book so that I could read it an' talk about it here in my blog. Neat, huh?

I give Binky's new edition FIVE STARS outta FIVE STARS.  This updated an' expanded version is EXCELLENT!  The original Binky cartoons hold up well.  They're as funny as ever.

Suzy Becker recorded more of Binky's wisdom an' added it to the original book to create a new "Double-Platinum Collecter's Edition" called ALL I NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED FROM MY CAT (AND THEN SOME).  An' its got more cartoons, forty-eight new pages of Binky's wisdom, and a terrific new quiz called "Are YOU A Cat Person?" to help beans to separate true cat people from cat person-posers an' wannabes.

Where can YOU get your furry own copy of Binky's new an' improved book? You can click or Barnes & Noble to order the book online if you can't find it in your neighborhood book store. You can also visit Workman Publishing to check out a few other books written by Suzy Becker an' published by Workman. Through this new edition, Binky (who went to the Bridge in 2005) lives on ...

Important Book Info!
ALL I NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED FROM MY CAT (AND THEN SOME) Double-Platinum Collector's Edition
By Suzy Becker
144 pages; Paperback
ISBN: 0761147667; ISBN13: 9780761147664
$8.95(US) $10.95(CAN)

Workman Publishing had this to say about Binky an' Suzy Becker:

"In the years since we first published All I Need to Know I Learned from My Cat, with over 2 million copies in print and the fastest-selling book in Workman’s history, one thing hasn’t changed—people are still starved for wisdom. 

Few oracles have dispensed as much common-sense truth as Binky, Suzy Becker's cat. 

"It's O.K. to wear the same thing every day." 
"Know all the sunny places." 
"Flaunt your hair loss." 
"Get mad when you're stepped on." 

Life lessons such as these and dozens of others propelled the book like a champagne cork to the top of The New York Times bestseller list.

Now, to celebrate the book's double-platinum milestone, there's a new edition: the original book, in a fresh cover, plus 48 new pages, including the Are You a Cat Person? quiz. 

The cat, Binky, is perspicacious and profound; the artist, Suzy, is utterly delightful; and the combined effect is one of immense and irresistible charm. 

Every cat fancier will recognize the book's timeless take on grooming, health, relationships, boundaries, and, above all, how to live in the moment. 

With new entries like "Be good at hellos. Don't drag out goodbyes," "Don't think too far beyond your next meal," "Celebrate the days you can open the windows," and "First one in has to warm up the bed," these teachings may very possibly change your life. 

Or at least let you know that there's always time for a nap."

If you've got cat-persons, cat lovers, or just a bunch of folks who can spell "C-A-T" on your holiday gift list, Binky's new edition of All I Need To Know I Learned From My Cat (And Then Some) Double-Platinum Collector's Edition is the answer to your gift-giving purrayers. You can order oodles of copies an' get them sent directly to your recipients' doors (if you're ordering from or Barnes & Noble). You can avoid the mall altogether an' spend all of your free time blogging an' visiting your furriends' bloggies!

You can thank me later ...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Lap Needed: New or Used ... Doesn't Matter!

Beans! They are certainly a frustratin' lot!

You'd think that Mom's more of a "human doing" than a "human being" ...

What's the problem with wantin' your bean to sit still long enough to make a lap an' pet you? I've been askin' Mom to make a lap for me ALL weekend an' I keep getting denied!

On Wednesday evening, Mom was tired from teaching all day an' hosting a salad lunch that she catered for fellow staff members. I figured that I could get her to sit still an' rest a bit ... an' pet me. But no ... Mom had stuff to do in preparation for Thanksgiving.

Don't get me wrong. I know that stuff has to be done in order for turkey to happen. I figured that I could wait for a little while at least, so I didn't pitch a kitty-fit.

So Thanksgiving came an' Mom got up at the USUAL time an' didn't stay long enough to cuddle with me. She went to the 5K an' walked around Balboa Park getting her photo taken for newspapers an' stuff. Mom wore a stuffed turkey hat to the 5K an' was FURRY popular.

When she got back, I tried to interest her in some chair time. Nope. Not enough free time. Gotta cook. Sore shins. Too much to do.

What about Friday, Mom? You're not goin' shopping, are you? Of course not. It's Black Friday an' you hate crowds of crazy people dashing here and driving there. Oh, but you need to buy some rubber bands an' get your hair cut an' take Gran out to lunch.

Maybe when you get back?


Gotta do the sugar-and-salt scrub for the office ladies. Need to make some lavender soaps for presents. Gotta finish the envelopes for the Christmas cards. What do you mean you "don't want fur in the soap"? Fur is the BEST part of anything, Mom! You don't want my help with the ribbon? Why?

How about Saturday? You don't want my help measuring ingredients for the jars of cookie mix for your colleagues? I can't help to crush the candy canes for the chocolate bark? You don't want me helping to dip Gran's sugar-free cookies in chocolate? How about the dipped candy canes for your students? Can I help with those? Whaddaya mean cats can't participate. I want to be petted! Make a lap!

Now Mom ... Sunday is the last day of your long weekend an' it means that there are just three weeks left 'til your vacation. Please don't tell me that I'm not gonna get a lap for three whole weeks while you're a human blur! Please sit still an' make a lap. I have pent up purring and I need an outlet before I burst!

Pet me! Pet ME! PET ME!

Saturday Photo Hunt #44: HOT!


The Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt theme for this week is HOT!

There are many things in San Diego that are HOT

I could post photos of recent wildfires that ravaged our city. 

Or maybe a photo of us enjoyin' Texas Eggrolls dipped in jalapeño jelly. 

Even just a photo of the thermometer Mom used when she cooked our turkey on Thanksgiving would illustrate this theme! 

So many choices ...

After weighing all of the options for this week's hunt, I selected this photo of Feline American Lucky Charmz to illustrate HOT!

One of Charmee's favorite things is a pile of nice, hot towels fresh from the dryer. 

Only in THIS photo, Charmz is unwilling to wait for the towels to be removed from the dryer before he kneads them into a comfy resting spot.

Save me a spot in those towels, Charmz!  They're HOT!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Fat Butt an' Floofy Friday

Mom fed us as much turkey as we could hold an' then she took advantage of our turkey-induced lethargy to snap some FURRY UNFLATTERING PHOTOS!

I want efurryone to know that I didn't authorize the snapping or posting of these shots!  

I'd claw her to ribbons an' put the serious bitey on her fingers if ... I ... wasn't ... so ... darn ... full.  Crap.

Sparky Fuzzypants isn't that unhappy with HIS photos 'cuz he's just floofy.  

I'm FAT.  Ugh.  

Brothers ...

Oh, an' Mom nicknamed me "Daisy Fat Butt" ... Sigh.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Audience-Participation Charmz: TURKEY 101

Novice turkey cooks and seasoned experts ...

Before you put your turkey into the oven for roasting, it's always a good idea to soak it in a brine of saltwater, herbs, and spices for at least six hours.

Mom put our turkey (locked inside a brining bag) into this orange container.  Then she filled the container with ice to keep our turkey cold (an' prevent salmonella from developing an' poisoning us). 

She thought that she had efurrything "covered" by putting a bath towel over the whole lot ... In other words, she thought that out-0f-sight-out-of-mind would keep Feline Americans from bothering the bird.

Obviously, she forgot one vital element ... A cat must be present to snoopervise efurry aspect of Thanksgiving preparations.

Luckily for efurryone, Charmee (his nickname is "Audience-Participation Charmz" for a reason) stepped up to provide the necessary weighting of our noble bird.  Charmee perched atop the towel-draped turkey keeping it properly submerged in its ice bath.

Way to go, Charmee!

And that's your culinary tip known as "Turkey 101" ...
Bon appetit!

Thursday Thirteen: Turkey Day Edition

I'm a tad bummed.  Mom is off walkin' a 5K to help support homeless folks, so there aren't any good smells yet at my house.  

Gran is gonna bake the turkey after it's finished swimmin' (?) ... oh, soakin' ... in it's brine.  Gran also mentioned somethin' about sticking some aromatics where the sun doesn't shine (ouch?) before slammin' the door on the oven.

All I know is that turkey is good an' I'm so HUNGRY!!!

In honor of Thanksgiving (an' my LOVE of all things turkey), I present the ...

Thursday Thirteen of Cheesy Turkey Riddles

1. What did the mother turkey say to her disobedient children? If your father could see you now, he'd turn over in his gravy!

2. Why do Pilgrims have trouble keeping their pants up? 'Cause they wear their belts on their hats!

3. What is the difference between a chicken and a turkey? Chickens celebrate Thanksgiving!!

4. What is the Turkey's favorite black tie celebration? The Butter Ball

5. How does a Turkey drink her wine? In a gobble-let

6. How many turkeys does it take to change a light bulb? Just one, but it takes 5 hours!

7. Did you hear about the X-rated turkey?  It's served with very little dressing.

8. What do you get when you cross a turkey, the beach, and Broomhilda? A turkey sand-witch

9. What kind of music did Pilgrims listen to? Plymouth Rock!

10. Which side of the turkey has the most feathers?  The outside!

11. What are unhappy cranberries called? Blueberries!

12. Why do turkeys eat so little? Because they are always stuffed!

13. What did the turkey do in the Thanksgiving Day Parade?  He played his drumsticks!

An' ... as a parting shot ... I offer this Thanksgiving blessing to all of you turkey cookers who slave over your stoves an' microwaves preparing the evening's feast:

May your stuffing be tasty 
May your turkey plump, 
May your potatoes and gravy have nary a lump. 
May your yams be delicious 
And your pies take the prize, 
And may your Thanksgiving dinner 
Stay off your thighs! 

From all of us at DaisyMae Maus and the Feline Americans ...

Happy Thanksgiving 
to Efurry Cat, Woofie, an' Bean 
(an' efurryone else in the blogosphere)!  
Pass the TURKEY an' save me some gravy, too!   Yum!

... an' a belated "Happy Thanksgiving" to efurry Canadian!

An' a THANKSGIVING soup recipe, too ...

Butter Pecan Pumpkin Soup
Fight the chill in the air with a bowl of this rich, savory pumpkin soup. BLUE BUNNY® Butter Pecan ice cream simmers with pureed pumpkin, sautéed onion, ginger and chicken stock to make a soup that'll have everyone asking for seconds. 

2 cups BLUE BUNNY® Butter Pecan ice cream
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons ground ginger
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups canned pureed pumpkin (not pie filling)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat the butter in a pot over medium heat and sauté the onion until tender but not brown. Stir in the flour and ginger and cook for 3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring to incorporate the pumpkin and simmer for a few hours.

Serves 4 to 6.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A small salute to Toby (8/1989 - 11/21/1996)

Today marks the eleventh year since original Feline American Toby crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  We here at DMM and the FA would like to take a moment to remember a wonderful Tuxie boy who is sorely missed efurry day.

I'm THANKFUL for Skeezix!

As many of you know, I won a prize in Skeezix's Second Annual Hallowe'en Costume Contest. My prize was the ability to sponsor the Best Friends cat of my choice ... an' I chose Baby.

This isn't the first time that I've sponsored
Baby ... an' it certainly won't be the last. Baby is my favorite an' I think that if we met, we'd get along famously.
Here's my friend, Baby ... Isn't she a beautiful Tuxie girl?  She looks furry soft an' has such lovely round eyes.
Thank you, Skeezix! You are one stand-up dood an' I'm furry proud to know you!

Wordless Wednesday: What the ...?!?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Saturday Photo Hunt #43: I Love _________________.

I Love ______!

The Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt theme for this week is a fill-in-the-blank! Each of us has to come up with a photo of something that we love furry much.

I love Mom, but she won't let me post her photo.  Mom is my favorite an' we are best friends.

Since she won't let me post her picture, I'll start by saying:  I Love Mom.

I suppose that it would be okay for me to say that I love Temptations an' I love Fancy Feast Elegant Medleys Chicken an' Egg Soufflé, but Mom said that I like Temptations an' Fancy Feast Elegant Medleys Chicken an' Egg Soufflé; I don't LOVE them.  

Yeah, right ... I do too love them.  I love them lots an' lots.  I eat them efurry day.  I can't get enough of them ... 
But I'll humor Mom.

I will say that I love the Feline Americans.

I love Cocoa Puff.
I love Sparky Fuzzypants.
I love Pumpkin.
I EVEN love Lucky Charmz.
But I love Mom the most.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Guess what I had with my dinner?!?

Okay ... Those of you who know me furry well know that I had about twelve Temptations (Seafood Medley in the green package) an' one-fifth of a can of Fancy Feast Elegant Medleys Chicken an' Egg Soufflé ...
But what you DIDN'T know was that Mom went to Trader Joe's an' bought a box of ...


Yay!  Shrimp are GOOD an' Mom understands that Tuxie girls MUST have shrimp ... In fact, I think that I may like shrimp ALMOST as much as I like turkey (mmmmm ... turkey)!

So she invited me to come over to my place at the dining table (I was there sofastthatIwasablur) an' have some.  I got TWO shrimp of my furry own an' I ate them furry quietly so that I wouldn't attract the attention of the Feline Americans who would most definitely want to have some of MY shrimp.  Mom carefully cut my two delicious, succulent Trader Joe's shrimp into five pieces each so that I could savor them ... but I still blew through my shrimp like a GREAT WHITE SHARK.  I was so intensely concentrating on devouring my shrimp that I nearly took off two of Mom's fingers in the process.

I say, "Watch yourself, Mom.  Your fingers just might become collateral damage if you get in the way of MY SHRIMP!"

Friday's Feast #46

What was your first “real” job?

I'm assuming that the "real" in the question means a job where I used a résumé and paid taxes ... If that is the case, I worked at Taco Bell for ten days prior to quitting because I had immediately applied for another job after being hired by Taco Bell.  My second job was at Big 5 Sporting Goods and I worked for that company for exactly three years:  6/10/1986 - 6/10-1989.

If the "real" job was the first thing that I did for someone else that earned me money, then it was babysitting for an 18-month-old boy who was wonderful and perfect (and spoiled me for kids ... I don't want any of my own because they wouldn't be Kevin).

Where would you go if you wanted to spark your creativity?

Prior to the wildfires, I would drive up to a place in the hills called Julian and I'd drive around enjoying the "country" with a stop for apple pie and a trek through the pine cones.  Now that much of that area is blackened (those parts that aren't still smoldering), I'd take a trip up the coast through Solana Beach, Encinitas, Leucadia, and Carlsbad ... at night ... on a weekend ... to smell the campfires at the on-beach campgrounds.

Complete this sentence: I am embarrassed when…

I'm out with my mother and she chain-sneezes.  You'd have to be there to understand.  She doesn't just sneeze once or twice or thrice ... She'll sneeze eleven or twelve times with the last one sounding like the top of her head is going to fly off.  VERY embarrassing.

Main Course
What values did your parents instill in you?

My parents were strict and had high expectations for my brother and me.  I towed the line REALLY well:  No drinking (I'm allergic, so that one wasn't very hard), no smoking, no drugs, no swearing, no staying out past curfew, no lying/cheating/stealing, no phone-abuse, no teenaged sex ... Homework before playtime.  Keep promises:  Your good name is all that you've really got that's worth anything.  Go to college.  Finish what you start.  You get what you pay for, but don't make frivolous purchases.  Save for a rainy day (although it rarely rains in San Diego).  Respect your elders.  DO THE RIGHT THING.

Interestingly, my parents weren't big church-goers and we didn't go much save for Christmas Eve and Easter.  My family is well-educated and tend to follow "karma" more than organized religion.  So the values that I was shown weren't necessarily church-learned, but rather learned by example.  My parents were very good examples.  

Now my younger brother is a whole other story ...

Name 3 fads from your teenage years.

Oh, what WASN'T a fad during the mid-80s?  

Jelly shoes ... I never had them as I thought they looked stupid and cheap (and I have wide feet anyway).

Leg-warmers on anyone who wasn't a dancer.  I wore them because I was a dancer when I was a teen and you had to have something covering your tights or you'd freeze your calves and pull a muscle.

Izod and Le Tigre polo shirts with the collars flipped up.  Worn with Madras-print shorts and Sperry Topsiders with no socks.

Uh ... I could go on and on ... What's so funny to me is that my seniors are wearing much of what I wore in my senior year of high school ... But THEY think that it's new and fashionable.  I see them and tell them that I'm having a "Breakfast Club" flashback (I even have a "Breakfast Club" poster hanging in my classroom).  Many of them HAVEN'T seen any of the quintessential 80s films ... Their loss.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #43: Thinkin' 'bout Thanksgiving dinner

I was watchin' television with Mom last night. She has a DVR an' she tapes Martha Stewart's show efurry weekday so that we can watch it together when she gets home (more like when she FINALLY gets home) in the evening.

Anyway, yesterday's guest was Mr. Bam. Mom has said that that's not his real name, but I have a hard time pronouncin' his real name (Mom: "It's Emeril Lagasse, Maus."), so I just call him Mr. Bam ... or Chef Bam-a-lamma-ding-dong ... or Bammy Bammington (when I'm feelin' naughty).

So ... we were watchin' the show an' he was cooking a sample Thanksgiving dinner to show to our heroine, Cell-block Martha. Mom was commenting that he was the first guest that she'd ever seen on Martha's show who could actually compete with Martha an' keep her in check. Efurryone knows that Martha runs rough-shod over most of her guests an' acts rather supercilious around them ('cept for Dr. Maya Angelou who was AWESOME). An' those fans of Mr. Bam's Food Network show know that he is typically the same type of host as Martha.

But the two of them got along famously ... An' the dinner that they cooked together got me to thinkin' 'bout Thanksgiving ... mmmmm. I LOVE Thanksgiving 'cuz I get my furry own seat at the dinner table an' I get to eat as much as I wanna eat.

So ... being that I can't get Thanksgiving out of my head ... AND it's just a week away (Wow!!!) ... I'm doing this week's TT about all of the furry good stuff that I am gonna be eatin' next week!

Featured Foods on DaisyMae Maus's Thanksgiving Dinner Plate

1. Turkey, white meat
2. Turkey, dark meat
3. Stuffing with turkey gravy
4. One cranberry ... smooshed
5. One black olive ... smooshed
6. Julienned green beans ... but not that yucky Green Bean Casserole (that Mom hates an' won't let anyone bring into the house if they value their lives even the tiniest bit)
7. Mashed potatoes with even more turkey gravy (mmmm ... gravy!)
8. Sweet potatoes with some melted mini marshmallows an' cinnamon an' brown sugar
9. Turkey, white meat AN' dark meat ... Yes, I need MORE!
9. Corn!
10. Brown an' Serve wheat roll with real butter (I only lick off the butter if Mom doesn't chop up my piece of roll into little bits
11. Did I mention turkey?
12. Fruit salad with whipped cream (but I only lick off the whipped cream an' leave all of the bits of fruit on my plate
13. Punkin pie with more whipped cream ('cept I don't eat the crust 'cuz I'm a purist an' only like the crust from a pie from Marie Callender's ... an' I can tell if it's NOT from M.C.'s).

Oh, an' I get a bowl of ice water so that I can stay hydrated while I gorge my small self on the holiday feast. But, before you report me to the ASPCA (or Jenny Craig!): I only get the smallest amounts of the aforementioned goodies. 'Cept for the turkey. I can eat LOTS of turkey. Oh, an' don't even THINK 'bout trying to foist Tofurky off on me. I can tell the difference! I'm a gourmand!

Is anycat hungry yet? I am!!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

In Honor of American Veterans Efurrywhere ...

 In honor of Veterans' Day 2007, I'm posting this email sent to Mom from her friend Lana who lives in South Dakota.

It is the VETERAN, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the VETERAN, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the VETERAN, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the VETERAN, not the politician, who has given us the right to vote.

 It is the VETERAN who salutes the Flag ... And it is the VETERAN who serves under the Flag!

It is time for US to salute the VETERANS who have served our nation and protected our freedoms.


We can be very proud of our young men and women in the service no matter where they serve. And we can be very proud of those veterans who are not so young who served our country around the globe and protected our freedom to the best of their abilities. God Bless them all!!!

"You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result."
Mahatma Gandhi


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Saturday Photo Hunt #42: FLEXIBLE


The Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt theme for this week is FLEXIBLE!

Of the Feline Americans, one takes the cake for bein' the most bendy, stretchy, an' overwhelmingly Gumby-like (oh, that reminds me of one of my most favorite shows to watch with Mom: "Futurama" ... an' the episode when Fry says that someone is "as flexible as Gumby and as strong as Hercules" and Dr. Zoidberg says, "Gumbercules? I love that guy!" ... Hee, hee!). His name, of course, is Sparky Fuzzypants.

When he cleans his belly, he reminds Mom of that gymnast from the '80s: Kurt Thomas of the "Kurt Thomas Flair."

Spark can completely curl himself into a pretzel an' then fall sound asleep.

This is a photo of the ever elastic Sparky Fuzzypants JUST BEFORE he flipped himself into a corkscrew combining full-contact yoga with machine-less Pilates ... Just lookin' at him all bendy like that makes Mom ache ...

One of these days, Spark's gonna twist himself into a Crazy Straw ... an' get stuck that way. Does anyone know the number for a good feline chiropractor?

Friday, November 09, 2007

Friday's Feast #45

Which snack do you like to get when you go to the movies?

There's only one snack that I like to have at the movies ... POPCORN. I go to AMC Theatres in my neighborhood and belong to the "MovieWatcher" club. On Wednesdays, each MovieWatcher card holder gets a free small popcorn with admission. I'll admit it ... where movie snacks are concerned, I'm a certifiable cheap-skate.

What year did you start using the internet?

I got the internet at school before I got it at home. I opened a Hotmail account in 1996 and didn't get the internet at home until 1998.

What is your first name in Pig Latin?


Main Course
Name something you are picky about.

Grammar. I am very picky about poor diction and signage with typographical and/or grammatical errors. There's no such thing as "ice tea" ... Nothing is "fresh baked" ... And "judgment" has just the one E. It bugs the heck out of me when people refer to other people using "that" instead of "who" ...

And those cell phone commercials with the bonehead who says, "Where YOU at?" ... ARGH! No wonder such a large number of people are complete idiots!

Fill in the blanks: I ____ ____ yesterday and I ____ ____ today.

I woke up yesterday and I woke up today? I went to work yesterday and I went to work today?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Astro Kitty Day: Welcome Back Discovery STS 120! Girls ROCK!

Today I wanna give a "shout out" to our grandma who is celebratin' her 62nd birthday today ... Happy Birthday, Gran! We love you an' wanna give you whiskery smooches! Mwwaaahhhhhhh!

Oh, an' it's also another important day ...

Thursday, November 8th, is Astro Kitty Day all 'round the Cat Blogosphere.

The U.S. space shuttle -- Discovery, STS 120 -- is on a 15-day mission in space at the International Space Station. It launched on Tuesday Oct 23 and landed at Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday November 7.

Today we're welcoming them home and congratulating them on their successful mission.

This is the official emblem for Discovery, STS 120.

Pam Melroy was Commander of this mission and only the second woman EVER to command a space shuttle. With the shuttle program winding down, she may be the last. Her nickname is "Pambo" and she gave the shuttle crew similar nicknames: Zambo, Longbow, RoboChick, Flambo, Rocky (they couldn't work his out!)... and Bo-Ichi.

If you're participating you may want to come up with your own Astro Kitty nickname.

Our nicknames are:

Hambone: Cocoa Puff
Flame-On: Pumpkin
InvisaBiscuits: Sparky Fuzzypants
Dumbo: Lucky Charmz

An' mine ... Magenta Nebula: DaisyMae Maus

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Miz Allie Cat: Contest Winner!

Lookie, efurryone! Miz Allie Cat's prize in our category of Skeezix's Halloween Costume Contest ... the handmade hammock ... arrived an' she really loves it! Whoo hoo!

Dona Nobis Pacem: November 7, 2007

You can join the Peace Globe Movement by visiting Mimi's bloggie ... PEACE!

Click to get yours

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sleepy Sunday ... Appliances

Mom is gettin' all of the Hallowe'en stuff put away, so she has a couple of things to wash an' dry before they can go back into the orange-an'-black storage boxes until next year.

The orange nappin' blankie an' the spooky pumpkin quilt made by Zoey an' the Furballs (an' Cha-Ching's) momma were waitin' on top of the nice, warm dryer ... Charmee found 'em and curled up for a nap atop the dryer when Mom caught him with the flashy box.

Can't a guy get some rest on a sleepy Sunday without gettin' interrupted?!? Geez, Mom ...

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Saturday Photo Hunt #41: CLASSIC


The Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt theme for this week is CLASSIC!

Few of you know that Mom is a music fan. It all started with a little GE clock radio (AM only, mind you) that she received for her eighth Christmas. It was a gift from her grandparents: Delphine and O.E.

Then, when she turned eleven, her Uncle Jerry sent her a cassette player with three cassettes: ABBA, John Denver's Greatest Hits, and the soundtrack to "Grease". Much of her allowance and babysitting money was spent on cassettes, but since they were expensive, she could only buy them on occasion.

Singles became the thing-to-buy when invited to birthday parties. Mom received MANY singles from friends, but had nothing to play them on until Grandma and Grandad bought her a small stereo from Sears for her fifteenth birthday. Mom still has all of the 45s (singles) and albums from her high school years. This album is a CLASSIC: "The Breakfast Club" Soundtrack's "Don't You (Forget About Me)" was the theme for her senior prom.

Soon after graduation, new technology emerged: the compact disc. She started buying CDs in the fall of 1990 when she was a student teacher. The first CD that she bought was a CLASSIC: Fleetwood Mac's "Greatest Hits" ... and through the years, she has amassed more than a thousand discs that she stores in a bookshelf. Mom donated a whole bunch of CDs to charity a couple of years ago, but kept the "greatest hits" packages from her favorite bands, singers, and groups. Only the ones that she deems CLASSIC.

Now, she uses an iPod as a music source. She has a second generation iPod called the "Mini" ... As you can see, hers is pink. It doesn't do all of the fancy stuff that the Nanos do ... It's become a CLASSIC, too.

Does that mean that stuff no longer becomes "old" or "obsolete"? It just becomes CLASSIC?

Gee ... If Mom becomes any more "CLASSIC," she's gonna turn into a fossil!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Friday's Feast #44

How much money do you plan to spend this upcoming holiday season?

Gosh ... That's a good question. Many of my family members have birthdays between now and Christmas, so I'll likely spend between $500 and $750 dollars on gifts and flowers ... and postage.

What was the last television show you watched, and was it good?

I just finished watching last night's episode of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" that I'd recorded on my DVR. It was okay. I've seen better. I prefer episodes where all of the principal actors have extensive amounts of screen time. This one mostly featured Catherine and Nick.

If you had to paint the walls of your living room tomorrow, what color would you choose?

My living room is the color that I've wanted to paint it: "Silver Leaf." It's a nice light mossy green. If I had to change colors, I suppose that I'd choose a light whiskey color. I like warm light browns almost as much as I like greens. If I wanted to be trendy, I'd choose a tomato red with white trim.

I wouldn't have to do the painting, would I? I really hated doing the painting last time.

Main Course
Name something clever or practical you have thought of that should be invented, but hasn’t yet.

A self-destructing or instantly biodegradable facial tissue: My students are incredibly lazy about getting used tissues into the trash. I'm sure you get my point.

List 3 things you would like to receive as gifts this upcoming holiday season.

Gasoline gift cards. I checked the price of gas today and it was $3.27 for 87 octane! Highway robbery!
Airline ticket to go somewhere cold/snowy OR somewhere really different.
Godiva chocolate.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Mmm ... Dark chocolate is good (I've heard).

Mom came home with two dozen little bars an' a GIANT sized one, too! Oh, an' Mom was right about all of the "sneaking" ... Her four garbage cans were sprinkled with all kinds of treat wrappers an' sticks. Those ninth graders think that they're so sly ...

Thursday Thirteen #42: The Morning After ...

As you know, Mom is a high school teacher an’ she teaches ninth graders. Many of them dressed up in their costumes for school yesterday an’ Mom “treated” them with handmade vanilla pops in the shape of mummies, ghosts, an’ pumpkins.

Although they got to eat candy yesterday, Mom has strict class rules about eatin’ ... DON’T DO IT!

You an’ I know that those wily ninth graders aren’t gonna follow the rules an’ they’re gonna sneak treats when they think that Mom’s not lookin’ ... Little do they know that Mom’s got super-sonic hearing an’ eyes in the back of her head ... They’re gonna get caught, so my TT this week is ...

Thirteen Candies Mom’s Students Will Be Sneakin’ During Classtime

1. Snickers mini-size candy bars
2. Charms Blo-Pops with the sticks bitten off ... The gum cracking gives them away efurry time!
3. Kit-Kat
4. Tootsie Pops with the sticks bitten off
5. Milky Way/Three Musketeers mini-size candy bars
6. Hershey’s Kisses
7. M & Ms with peanuts (Mom can smell a peanut from a mile away)
8. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (see #7)
9. Atomic Warheads (the crossed eyes an’ screwed up faces alert Mom to this candy)
10. Gum (especially the fruit-flavored types ... the smell’s a dead giveaway an’ kids can’t seem to chew without looking bovine)
11. Candy Korn ... Why do ‘beans like this candy anyway?
12. Jolly Ranchers (fruit smell, anyone?)
13. Mr. Goodbar/Crackle/Hershey’s w/ or w/o Almonds mini bars

Mom did offer some extra points to any student who brought her favorite candy on November 1st ... an’ a bunch of kids were REALLY interested! I wonder how many tiny bars of Hershey’s Special Dark she’ll be bringing home? Anyone wanna venture a guess?