I was looking through some of Mom's old photos and I came across this one from just after my very first "gotcha" day. I had been living outside and sleeping on the roof of a cold, metal shed. I hadn't slept on a bed before and I was enjoying a soft place to sleep.
I was about three years old back then ... You can detect my unique "spicy vixen"-ness even in this old photo, can't you? DMM
This is a lovely story ... I don't know if it's true or not, but I thought that it was appropriate to share on a Sunday evening with you, my friends in the blogosphere. This story was passed on to Mom from our Aunt Montie who lives in Spokane and sent it to Mom via email. We miss our Aunt Montie furry much and want her to be blessed, too. Smooches and good karmic thoughts ... DMM
Subject: Christmas 1960
In September 1960, I woke up one morning with six hungry babies and just 75 cents in my pocket. Their father was gone. The boys ranged from three months to seven years; their sister was two. Their Dad had never been much more than a presence they feared. Whenever they heard his tires crunch on the gravel driveway they would scramble to hide under their beds.
He did manage to leave $15 a week to buy groceries. Now that he had decided to leave, there would be no more beatings, but no food either.
If there was a welfare system in effect in southern Indiana at that time, I certainly knew nothing about it. I scrubbed the kids until they looked brand new and then put on my best homemade dress, loaded them into the rusty old 51 Chevy and drove off to find a job. The seven of us went to every factory, store and restaurant in our small town. No luck.
The kids stayed crammed into the car and tried to be quiet while I tried to convince whomever would listen that I was willing to learn or do anything. I had to have a job.
Still no luck. The last place we went to, just a few miles out of town, was an old Root Beer Barrel drive-in that had been converted to a truck stop. It was called the Big Wheel.
An old lady named Granny owned the place and she peeked out of the window from time to time at all those kids. She needed someone on the graveyard shift, 11 at night until seven in the morning. She paid 65 cents an hour, and I could start that night.
I raced home and called the teenager down the street who baby-sat for people. I bargained with her to come and sleep on my sofa for a dollar a night. She could arrive with her pajamas on and the kids would already be asleep. This seemed like a good arrangement to her, so we made a deal.
That night when the little ones and I knelt to say our prayers, we all thanked God for finding Mommy a job. And so I started at the Big Wheel.
When I got home in the mornings I woke the baby-sitter up and sent her home with one dollar of my tip money--fully half of what I averaged every night. As the weeks went by, heating bills added a strain to my meager wage.
The tires on the old Chevy had the consistency of penny balloons and began to leak. I had to fill them with air on the way to work and again every morning before I could go home.
One bleak fall morning, I dragged myself to the car to go home and found four tires in the back seat. New tires! There was no note, no nothing, just those beautiful brand new tires. Had angels taken up residence in Indiana ? I wondered.
I made a deal with the local service station. In exchange for his mounting the new tires, I would clean up his office. I remember it took me a lot longer to scrub his floor than it did for him to do the tires.
I was now working six nights instead of five and it still wasn't enough. Christmas was coming and I knew there would be no money for toys for the kids.
I found a can of red paint and started repairing and painting some old toys. Then hid them in the basement so there would be something for Santa to deliver on Christmas morning. Clothes were a worry too. I was sewing patches on top of patches on the boys pants and soon they would be too far gone to repair.
On Christmas Eve the usual customers were drinking coffee in the Big Wheel. These were the truckers, Les, Frank, and Jim, and a state trooper named Joe.
A few musicians were hanging around after a gig at the Legion and were dropping nickels in the pinball machine. The regulars all just sat around and talked through the wee hours of the morning and then left to get home before the sun came up.
When it was time for me to go home at seven o'clock on Christmas morning, to my amazement, my old battered Chevy was filled full to the top with boxes of all shapes and sizes. I quickly opened the driver's side door, crawled inside and kneeled in the front facing the back seat.
Reaching back, I pulled off the lid of the top box. Inside was whole case of little blue jeans, sizes 2-10! I looked inside another box: It was full of shirts to go with the jeans. Then I peeked inside some of the other boxes. There was candy and nuts and bananas and bags of groceries.
There was an enormous ham for baking, and canned vegetables and potatoes. There was pudding and Jell-O and cookies, pie filling and flour. There was whole bag of laundry supplies and cleaning items.
And there were five toy trucks and one beautiful little doll.
As I drove back through empty streets as the sun slowly rose on the most amazing Christmas Day of my life, I was sobbing with gratitude. And I will never forget t he joy on the faces of my little ones that precious morning.
Yes, there were angels in Indiana that long-ago December. And they all hung out at the Big Wheel truck stop....
THE POWER OF PRAYER. I believe that God only gives three answers to prayer: 1. "Yes!" 2. "Not yet." 3. "I have something better in mind."
God still sits on the throne; the devil is a liar. You may be going through a tough time right now, but God is getting ready to bless you in a way that you cannot imagine.
My instructions were to pick those I wanted God to bless, and I picked you ... my friends in the blogosphere.
This prayer is powerful, and prayer is one of the best gifts we receive. There is no cost but a lot of rewards. Let's continue to pray for one another.
Here is the prayer:.... Father, I ask You to bless my friends, relatives and email buddies reading this right now. Show them a new revelation of Your love and power. Amen.
Here's another informative vocabulary lesson to build your FELINE LEXICON ...
From DaisyMae's Feline Dictionary of Terms and Phrases, the phrase of the day is:
MAKIN' INVISABISCUITS (verb) ... may kin in viz uh biss kitz ... A derivation of "makin' biscuits" when a feline kneads a stationary object using his/her front paws in a rhythmic manner simulating early kittenhood behavior with the sole purpose of stimulating milk dispersal from a lactating queen.
When a feline "makes invisabiscuits," s/he is recumbant and kneads the air while purring in a blissful manner.
Note: Invisabiscuits are not to be confused with the very foul and flatulent "air biscuits."
Sentence example: 1. When he's especially relaxed (or high on 'nip!), Sparky Fuzzypants likes to tempt Mom to pet him by makin' invisabiscuits and purring like a misfiring lawnmower.
A hearty "Hi ho!" to efurryone in the blogosphere as this week's theme is "SILVER!"
As an intrepid Photo Hunter in the weekly Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt, I present "DaisyMae, Pirate Queen" and the theme photo representing "Silver."
Wanna check out my booty? Anyone?
Mom collects sterling silver jewelry, so I shanghai-ed a treasure chest full of silver rings, a single bangle, and a few pair of the Swarovski® crystal and freshwater pearl chandelier earrings that she designs and constructs (usually for gifts for family and her senior girls for their prom each spring) to disguise myself as a pirate queen.
Appetizer If you could take lessons to learn any musical instrument, which would you want to learn? Well, as a multi-talented cat already well versed in the art of spoon playing, I think that I'd want to become a proficient kazoo player ... or maybe triangle.
Soup Have you ever mistaken a person for someone else? Someone else? Nope. SomeTHING else, definitely. I once mistook Mom for a scratching post. She was unamused.
Salad On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how well do you keep secrets? I have a relatively popular blog: Is ZERO an option?
Main Course What's the closest you've ever been to a dangerous animal? I've eaten out of the same food dish as the Feline Americans at their hungriest, so I'll say six inches.
Dessert When was the last time you lost your patience? This morning. There was a LINE at the litter box and Puffy wouldn't move his fat butt faster. I REALLY had to go so I lashed out at him and he wet himself. It wasn't pretty.
Mom shared this poem with me. She received it as a "forward" via email from a dear friend. I suppose messages like this one put things into perspective. To me, as a cat, it is sad to note that I will likely out-live this child. DMM
This poem was written by a terminally ill young girl in a New York Hospital. It was sent by a medical doctor - Make sure to read what is in the closing statement AFTER THE POEM.
SLOW DANCE Have you ever watched kids On a merry-go-round? Or listened to the rain Slapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight? Or gazed at the sun into the fading night? You better slow down. Don't dance so fast. Time is short. The music won't last. Do you run through each day On the fly? When you ask "How are you?" Do you hear the reply? When the day is done Do you lie in your bed With the next hundred chores Running through your head? You'd better slow down Don't dance so fast. Time is short. The music won't last. Ever told your child, We'll do it tomorrow? And in your haste, Not see his sorrow? Ever lost touch, Let a good friendship die Cause you never had time To call and say,"Hi" You'd better slow down. Don't dance so fast. Time is short. The music won't last. When you run so fast to get somewhere You miss half the fun of getting there. When you worry and hurry through your day, It is like an unopened gift ... Thrown away. Life is not a race. Do take it slower Hear the music Before the song is over.
PLEASE pass this message on to everyone you know - even to those you don't know! It is the request of a special girl who will soon leave this world due to cancer. This young girl has 6 months left to live, and as her dying wish, she wanted to send a letter telling everyone to live their life to the fullest, since she never will.
She'll never make it to prom, graduate from high school, or get married and have a family of her own.
Dr. Dennis Shields, Professor Department of Developmental and Molecular Biology 1300 Morris Park Avenue Bronx, New York 10461
Mom is a teacher at a San Diego-area high school. She has to participate in two "Open House" functions each year and she really doesn't like doing them. Today, Thursday, is the "spring" semester's function and she's not a happy human. So, in honor of Mom, I'm dedicating my Thursday Thirteen to ...
Thirteen Reasons Why Mom Hates "Open House" at Her Job
1. "Dog and Pony" show: I'm not sure what this means exactly, but if woofies are involved, it can't be THAT good.
2. Full work day PLUS six hours: It's bad enough that Mom goes to work at 7:25 AM and stays until around 5:00 PM on "normal" days. A fourteen or fifteen hour block at work is just too many hours of working.
3. Club Day: Mom's student organization sells root beer floats and slices of cheesecake in a pre-open house food court to make money. Mom has to get the supplies the day before, so she's away from us extra hours on Wednesday, too.
4. Parents who show up early! Mom says that this is self-explanatory. Early birds expect to be entertained ... Are they nuts??
5. Little kids who mess with stuff. Mom hates it when parents don't keep track of their kids during her presentation.
6. Extra Xerox copies that get wasted. Oh, those poor trees!
7. Bored parents who yawn. They're tired, but they could try not to LOOK so uninterested.
8. People who can't follow a schedule and attend presentations out of order.
9. Parents of the problem students NEVER attend.
10. Getting interrupted by bells or PA announcements during her presentation.
11. Misinterpretation of the function: Open House is for meet-n-greet, yet all they want to discuss are grades.
12. The "periods" are too long!
13. She prepares for days and only eight parents bother to show up. The time could be better spent cuddling ME.
Mom went shoppin' and came home with two cans of Fancy Feast Elegant Medleys White Meat Chicken and Whipped Egg Soufflé for our dinner tonight. Um, wait a second while I quickly groom my whiskers and wipe off the last delectable morsel from my lips. (Dainty licks followed by snorting like a dispeptic trucker ...).
As that horribly over-exposed Rachael Ray says, "Yummm-oh"!
There isn't a single tidbit left on any of our bowls for the cat fairy. Not a speck!
If you haven't had this heaven-in-a-can, start beggin' your Food Lady (or Dude) for a case (or ten, if you can swing it)! I've heard that it comes in a salmon/egg soufflé, too ...
Mom, warm up the black masheen for a trip to the store!
Your resident food critic and over-all gourmand, DMM
Mao has a link on his blog about an albino creature that looks like a cross between a vishus deer and Skeezix the Cat. That made me remember some photos that Mom showed me of an albino moose ... And here I thought that all moose were chocolate-y ones like Mom made as Christmas pins. Anyway, here are the photos from the internet. If you search on Google, you can find a number of "sightings" including some in Idaho, New York (upstate, I think ... I don't think a moose'd be very happy in Manhattan!), and even one seen in the wilds of Norway ... "don'tcha know" (hee, hee).
Check out these photos of the rare and mysterious "snow moose" ... Part vishus moose and part Skeezix the Cat? Nope.
Okay ... I'm pretty confused. I got this rosette on myCatster page from my boyfriend, Rocky the Gutter Cat, and it came with the message that I got "thwapped" with a snowball in the Official Snowball Fight Game 2007.
Huh? I'm furry confused. Does ANYBODY know anything about this snowball fight? Do I have to "thwap" the recipients on Catster? Do I use rosettes? What if I don't have any rosettes left to "thwap" with? So furry, furry confused. DMM
As an intrepid Photo Hunter in the weekly Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt, I have to be on the look-out for photos that fit the weekly theme. The theme for this week is "Wild."
This is a picture of me, DaisyMae Maus, being a "wild" triceratops ... I really don't think that I could possibly look more "wild" than this and not be extinct! Notice the authenticity of my disguise. Marvel at my bodacious whiskers and my piercing amber eyes. Wild ... and sexy! Meee-oooow!
Once again, it's the end of the week and time for the Friday Feast!
Appetizer Which television shows do you just refuse to miss? It's a toss up between the Aquarium Channel's "Delicious Tropical Fish" and Avian TV's "Small Flightless Birds" ... Both are geared to "foodies" like me. If I'm in the mood, Vermin & Pests has a cool half-hour show on rodents ("Bottom of the Food Chain") that keeps me occupied when there's nothing good on. The episode on field mice kept me riveted!
Mom likes watching scripted television shows like "Studio 60," "Criminal Minds," "Grey's Anatomy," and the CSI shows. She tries to keep our viewing limited to only a couple of hours per night, so I find myself watching her stuff more than I get to watch mine. Having a DVR is really helpful because I can watch while she's workin' (don't tell her or she'll "block" my shows).
Soup Who did you last speak to on the telephone? Define "speak" ... Mom spoke on the phone to my grandma. I can "listen" on the phone and I can recognize some people's voices (like my Aunt Montie!), but being a cat and not having the right kind of vocal chords for "speech," the speaking part has me stimied.
Salad How many pillows do you keep on your bed? Oh, pillows. I have a full-size bed that I share with Mom, Sparky Fuzzypants, and Lucky Charmz. Mom has two pillows that she actually uses and about eleventy-six squillion other ones that she stuffs between the bed and the wall so that we don't fall into the chasm. My favorite pillows have satin pillowcases that feel REALLY good against my fur. Mom's favorite pillow is filled with buckwheat husks and she has one of those long pillows for snuggling.
Main Course Name one addition to your computer (software, hardware, etc.) that you'd love to have. That's a hard one. I think that I'd either want a "smell-o-screen" so that I could visit organic catnip sites and get a contact high (think of how great Prairieland Herbs would smell!) or I'd like to have real-time conversations so that I could meow to my friends in the blogosphere and hear them meow back.
Mom told me that she'd like to be able to have a touch screen where she could pet the tummies on 'Tummy Tuesday.'
Dessert What is your favorite foreign food? Do you consider "human food" to be foreign since I'm a cat? 'Cuz if that's the case, I'd say "MEAT." If it has to be a cultural type of thing, I'd say carne asada or carnitas. Or, oooo ... barbecued pork from the Chinese place ... They're about even as far as I'm concerned. Mom likes tamales.
Toys. Efurryone should have a stash of fun stuff to play with. The Feline Americans and I have MORE than our share of terrific toys that we keep in our little green mousie toy box (actually, we strew them all over the house and Mom puts them away in our toy box).
For this edition of the Thursday Thirteen, I thought that I'd sift through our toy box and display our thirteen favorite things to play with. Think of it as a sort of feline "show and tell." Here they are ... In no real order (other than #1).
1. Paws down, the LASER BEAM toy is a number one pick ... There isn't a single Feline American who won't go completely wild when Mom takes the laser beam toy off the bookshelf. (F.A. note: Lucky Charmz knows where Mom keeps it and will stretch his full length and grab at it whenever ANYONE walks past that bookshelf.)
2. FEV-VER BUTT (or any other kind) MOUSIES are our second favorite. When Mom was setting up the mousie shot, Sparky Fuzzypants kept stealing mousies off of the display. Look to the end of this posting for candid "out-takes" of Mr. Pants hindering the photo shoot ...
3. BONKY BALLS and JINGLE BALLS go into the same category since Bonky Balls are just jingle balls covered in catnip-scented felted wool yarn. Mom got us a REAL Bonky Ball from Prairieland Herbs and then attempted to create her own (to mixed success) with some yarn and a couple of broken jingle balls.
Needless to say, Lucky Charmz swears by these toys for hours of chase-and-fetch fun!
4. THE WHIRLY BIRD is a toy that we received for Catmas from Mom. It's a handmade toy and it's totally AWESOME! We first heard about this toy on Skeezix the Cat's blog, so we immediately started begging Mom for it. Lucky Charmz even pledged the contents of his piggy bank if Mom would buy one for us, but she said, "No. No more toys."
We were furry sad because Mom usually indulges our every whim (case in point, our over-flowing toy box). But Catmas was coming, so we kinda knew that we were gonna get one ...
5. PANIC MOUSE is fun, but only if Mom remembers to put fresh batteries in it and then turn it "on" so that we can bat the fluffy spider around.
6. EEEEEKS!® are Charmee's. It doesn't matter if Mom purchased one for any of the other Feline Americans ... They automatically become Charmee's because he steals them. Not a day goes by that Mom doesn't find one face-down in the water dish. After their ritual dunk-n-float, Mom hangs them to dry using a clothes pin and then Charmee's at it again. When Mom finds a "floater," she says that Charmee's makin' tea.
7. WOOLY BULLYS® are a favorite of Feline American Pumpkin. They are hard to find in the stores down here, so Mom orders them by the half-dozen online. The great thing about a Wooly® is that they're never "destroyed" by too much kitty attention. If you get one tattered, you just have your mom put it inside a sock for a trip through the washing machine and dryer. GOOD AS NEW!
8. WAL*MART fishing toys are fun. Sometimes the best toy is the one that's the cheapest. Mom hates to go to Wal*Mart, so she stocks up on these if she has to make a trip inside ... Since they're just 94¢ each, Mom buys a dozen and hides 'em in the computer room. She doesn't know that I know where she keeps 'em ... Our little secret.
9. Sesame Street Beans BERT was Charmee's very first toy. He perfected the bitey on ol' Bert. As you can see, he's been washed a couple of times, but Mom can't bear to part with him eventhough Charmee pretty much ignores Bert. Maybe I'll get him (Bert, not Charmee) bronzed for Mom as a "Mother's Day" gift. Nah ...
10. SILICONE CAUSE BRACELETS and SCRUNCHEES became toys thanks to indiscriminate stealing. Pumpkin kept taking Mom's scrunchees off of her dressing table to kick, bite, and hide under the bed. He likes that Mom can shoot them across the room for him to chase. Pretty much the same thing with Charmee and his silicone bracelets ... When they get holes in them, Mom has to distract Pumpkin or Charmee so that she can sneak the poor dilapidated "toy" into the trash.
11. HANDMADE CATNIP HACKY SACK is one of our new favorites and came in our Secret Paws from our best friend, Millie. It's pretty. It smells of super-strong catnip. It's virtually indestructable. All of us love it. Mom had to put the other two away so that they get "loved" over a longer timeframe.
12. Our TICK TOCK TEASER is one of those toys that don't look that fun until you spend some time smacking parts of it around ... and get a pal interested in some friendly competition. The 'Teaser is a great way to kill some time on a Saturday afternoon between naps and crunchin' Temptations®.
13. CAT CONDO ... What can I say? You can tell from the photo that our fur-covered cat condo (we actually have TWO!) is both loved and used. Not a day goes by that I don't leap up onto a platform for a quick look out the window. It's not really a "toy" per se, but it is something that we all play on. Good times ...
and now ... the out-takes.
These photos are of Sparky Fuzzypants "stealing" props and then taking them into the kitchen for some fast-paced linoleum hockey action. Mr. Pants fancies himself as a feline Gretzky. Dream on, Sparky!
It's come to my attention (okay ... the Feline Americans are grousing vociferously!) that my blog features ME about 85% of the time.
They've told me in no uncertain terms that they outnumber me 5 to 1 and that they could form a feline coup, take me hostage, and overthrow me as dictator of my blog, if I don't start giving them some equal coverage ...
So, here's "Widebody and Wooly Bully® Wednesday" which will satisfy both Cocoa Puff (the widebody) and Pumpkin (it's his Wooly Bully®).
I tried telling them that I don't negotiate with bullies and terrorists, but they hissed at me! DMM
Lucky Charmz states, emphatically: "I will not wear a sweater ... There! I've said it. I won't. I don't care HOW cold it gets. I have other means of stayin' warm that don't include looking like a purple doofus."
How will our intrepid youngster assert his independence while managing not to turn into a feline-flavored Popsicle®? I asked him and this is what he replied ...
"I found the secret to warmth and comfort while still maintaining my rugged good looks. I camp out on a chair situated right above one of the floor vents. Hot air rises bathing my entire body in soothing warmth enabling me to stay comfy (and mercifully sweater-free)!" Stated Charmee.
Well, there you have it. Lucky Charmz 1, purple argyle straight-jacket ZERO!
Mom spent part of her long weekend making bandannas for the woofies in our lives. She went out to a local fabric store (Beverly Fabrics) and perused the really cute quilting fabrics for something inappropriate for Shadow Saluki, and our Aunt Montie's two Chihuahuas, Whimpy and Tribles, who are freezing their bunnies off in Spokane.
The fabric she chose was furry cute: sock monkeys, colorful cartoon crabs, red (HOT!) chili peppers, California landmarks, and some red cowboy print in case any of the woofies aspire to become gangsta rappers (like THAT would happen!). She sewed up the bandannas and then let us model them (since the woofies get extra excited when they smell "us" on the gifts)!
Here is Sparky Fuzzypants, supermodel ... Notice the savoir faire he displays when wearing Tribles' bandanna.
And THEN, the little ham (ooo ... ham!) wanted a photo taken of his TOES! Doesn't he get that this is MY blog?? The title is "DaisyMae Maus and the Feline Americans!" BAH!
Well, it's not efurry day that I get to show off my figure ... and you know me, I love to post photos of myself looking "super kyoot!" So, I put on Lucky Charmz' hated purple argyle sweater and struck a pose for "Tuxedo, Tummy, and Toesday Tuesday."
I thought that I looked splendid ...
Mom said that I looked like a purple argyle sausage.