Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

© 2006-2018 All rights reserved

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Tanner's Ouchie

A guest post by Tanner the Kitty

I got bit last week. My ouchie looks kind of bad in this picture because it was still fresh, but it has gotten a lot better.

I'm not telling who bit me because I am not a snitch. Mommy has it narrowed down to either Jim-Bob or George, and I have to admit they are the two likeliest candidates. Here is a picture of me with George and Jim-Bob. We are sleeping in laundry that Mommy just dumped on the bed.

Chloe and Camilla aren't suspects because they are smackers rather than biters. And Dylan wouldn't leave tell-tale puncture marks. He would do something devious.

Jim-Bob has been known to throw me around if he thinks I am getting into his space. Once he threw me against the wall and scuffed my head a little. So he is a likely suspect.

George and I rassle every day and sometimes we get a little bit  rough. It is easy to see how George might have bit me by mistake. Or maybe even on purpose if he thought I was winning. So I can see how Mommy considers him a suspect.

But I am not telling. I am not a snitch.

Mommy kept messing with my bit-place because she didn't want it to get affected like George's bit place did a couple of weeks ago, which cost her $$$. I didn't much like her cleaning it out. The cleaning was worse than getting bit. Anyhow, here's how my ouchie looked yesterday.

I try to think of my bit place as my red badge of cattage.


Friday, February 27, 2015

Too Much Snow

We've had a winter's worth of snow in the last couple of weeks, and I'm tired of it. I'm tired of hearing about how pretty snow is. The older I get, the less I'm impressed with how snow looks. Snow is the stuff accidents—wrecked vehicles and broken bones—are made of.

At least the first two snows weren't heavy. Last week's was a powdery couple of inches that soon turned to ice, making it treacherous to get to the barn to feed.

It was impossible to drive on the ice—and difficult for barn-cats to navigate, too.

Those are tractor tracks, not car tracks, in the lawn.

Although ice coated the trees, we didn't have any big limbs come down.

This Thursday's snow was another matter. There was a lot of it, and it was heavy—not powdery.

The tractor was covered with snow, too.

Cats took refuge under cars . . . 

. . .  or leaped headlong into the drifts.

Judging by the snow on the deck rail, it looks like we got about five inches. Maybe more.

Snow was up pretty high on the deck furniture.

I had to walk to the barn to feed Melody and the cats.

Luckily I wore my high boots.

Snow weighed down the boxwoods.

After walking to the barn and back, I spent most of the day in bed.

Later, after John had scraped the driveways and the road beside the house so he could take dog-food to the kennel, the ugliness of the snow was apparent. This is a pile of gravel that used to cover the barn driveway.

Another pile of gravel. And mud.

Another pile of mud and gravel. But this is in the upper driveway near the house.

We had a couple of cats come in search of food. Below, Tanner keeps warm inside while one of our guests dines on the deck.

At least we didn't have any accidents. So far.

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Tanner's Snow Day

A Guest Post by Tanner the Kitty

I heard on TV how kids are getting snow days because of the weather. I think it means they have to stay inside. I stay inside all the time, so I will share some of my activities on this snow day in case the kids you know need something to do.

You can invite a friend over, but I hope your friend is better than this one who has no purrsonality whatsover and doesn't even move unless you push him. But if I try to push him, Mommy puts him out of my reach. I do not understand why because it's not like he would fall very far.

You can rassle. I like to rassle with my bestest friend George. (Chloe used to be my bestest friend but she ain't anymore because she smacks me too hard.) George has a big bald spot where his hair had to come off so the vet could fix something called an abscess that happened because another kitty bit him. 

It wasn't me who bit George. I think it was Radley who lives outside all the time. Mommy said if George didn't try to micro-manage the other kitties, he wouldn't get bit. I don't bite George much. Mostly I either smack him or kick him.

Sometimes I just give him a look so he knows how tough I am.

Sometimes I just walk away because George is a lot bigger than me.

You can climb into your kitty condo and play with the thingie that adjusts the blinds.

The thingie has a rubber end on it that comes off if you pull on it.

Sometimes you have to pull really hard.

If pulling doesn't work, you might have to use teeth.

It took me a while, but I finally got that rubber end off. I might have lost it again. Mommy doesn't like it when I lose it.

Sometimes you can invite a friend to share your condo. Only I didn't invite Chloe because she ain't my bestest friend anymore. She just takes over whenever she pleases.

I have spoken to her about her bad habit of taking over, but she doesn't pay any attention. 

Maybe I will blame Chloe when Mommy finds out I lost the plastic end of the blind thingie.

Or maybe I won't. Chloe might whip up on me if I did that.

Anyhow, I hope I gave you some good ideas on what to do on a snow day. 

But don't tell Mommy that I lost that plastic thing. Again.


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Winter 2015 Arrives

For a while, it looked like winter 2015 wouldn't amount to much. We hadn't had more than a sprinkle of snow, and—despite the groundhog seeing his shadow—the days had been getting warmer. Tulips and crocus were even starting to poke out of the ground.

Then temperatures dropped and high winds arrived on Valentine's Day. The winds howled all night and blew over the light pole in our side yard.

It only broke off a few branches of the boxwood, but they'll grow back.

The light part is a total loss, though. Cats stayed in while the wind blew.

Birds waited in the trees for me to fill the feeders.

On Monday, the snow started falling. Only a dusting at first . . . 

. . . but by nightfall, we had over an inch.

On Tuesday morning, several inches of snow covered the ground and roads . . .

. . .  and the boxwoods in front of the house . . .

 . . . and Melody. Took me a while to chip the ice off her. The barn-cats sensibly stayed in the tack-room or shed. Good thing Melody has a heated bucket. Her water tubs were frozen over.

My husband used his tractor to scrape the driveway and the road from the house to the barn. Then he scraped driveways for a few neighbors with health problems in case they needed to get out.

By afternoon, we were able to go to Kroger. The main roads were clear, but the side roads looked bad. School has been closed all week, and more bad weather—only a little snow but bitterly cold temperatures—are expected shortly.


Monday, February 02, 2015

Ground Hog Day 2015

Despite predictions for bad weather today—rain or sleet—the clouds parted and let enough sun through to cast shadows.

Since we had really strong winds today, I doubt many groundhogs came out. This morning when I went out to feed the horse and barn-cats, I saw something I'd never before seen on Groundhog Day. Do you see it?.

A rainbow!

It wasn't raining and hadn't rained for over an hour. But the rainbow was there.

The sky did look ominous toward the east, though.

Jim-Bob must have seen his reflection in a puddle, but I don't think he was looking for his shadow.

As Chloe made her morning patrol, she didn't seem to notice the rainbow either.

She's looking westward here. I'm not sure what she's looking for, though.

But she kept looking.

I'm glad I was lucky enough to see the Ground Hog Day rainbow! You never know what you'll see if you look around.

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