Peevish Pen

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

© 2006-2019 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.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Tanner's Summer 2018 SOTK Report

by Tanner

I haven't done a State of the Kitty Report for a while, so here goes:

Me and Arlo. I raised him from when he was a little kitty.
The big news is that I had to get a job. Daddy told me I've been here more than five years and it's time I started pulling my own weight. I'm a long tall thin cat, but I don't weigh much. So I wouldn't have much to pull. But he wasn't talking about pulling anything. He wanted me to go to work. Why didn't he just say that?

Camilla and Olivia don't have to work, I pointed out. Mommy explained they were old and retired. They both sleep a lot, so I guess retired is more tired than just tired. I think it means they are tired all over again. Then it was pointed out to me that Chloe and Jim-Bob go out very early and work all day patrolling around the house. After a full day of cat-work, they come inside and crash.

Anyhow, I was recently assigned to working night-shift rat duty in the garage. I like to go in the garage in the evening after it's closed up. That's when Mommy lets me and Alfreda (and sometimes Arlo) out there to hunt the rat. Truth be told, when we first went out, we had never actually gotten a garage rat, although we know that one sometimes hangs out there. At first, Mommy only let us stay out about two hours. That wasn't enough time to get any cat-work done. But one night she let me stay in the garage all night by myself. The next morning, I had the rat corpse nicely laid out for her. Right in front of the door so she couldn't miss it! A few nights later, Alfreda stayed with me, and two rats went down. I don't stay in the garage every night, but often enough so I can claim that I'm working.

Alfreda might be transferring to outside patrol during the day with Chloe and Jim-Bob. Mommy has taken her out on the leash a few times and let her look around. Alfreda seems to remember things from when she was a wild kitty.

Alfreda sleeping in a box.
The other big news is that we took in a few refugees. We had a big storm on June 10 that caused us to lose power for a while so Mommy couldn't play on her computer. It rained really hard. Chloe took off work early and came in, but Jim-Bob didn't. Mommy went on the porch and called him, and heard a cat answer her. She looked under a chair and found a tiny litle runt of a kitty. Naturally, she brought him inside and that's how we got Otis, even though I pointed out that we didn't need any more kitties.

He was pretty scared and he was wet. I kept my eye on him in case he was trouble. Mommy quarantined him in the downstairs bathroom because that's where all new kitties have to stay when they first get here. I stayed there myself when I was a new kitty.

The next day she let him out to play a little since he was getting used to the place. Arlo, Alfreda, and I watched him play but we didn't get close to him. Alfreda growed a lot.

The day after that, Mommy brought him upstairs and let him get in the bed where Arlo and I had been napping. She told us we better be nice.

I had to explain some of the cat rules to Otis. I told him that I was the #1 cat and that I made the rules and that I wasn't to be messed with if he knew what was good for him.

Arlo wasn't too sure about him but figured he might get used to little Otis if he didn't make any trouble.

Things looked like they might work out until Daddy came in that night and told Mommy that he thought he heard a kitten down near the shop. Mommy went out with the flashlight. At first she only saw the barn-cats who were sitting around having a cat-meeting, but then she heard a kitten cry. She found Charlotte hiding behind the tractor tire and grabbed her. Charlotte wasn't too thrilled about being grabbed, but Mommy knows how to grab kitties so they don't scratch her up. Mommy said Charlotte was really really scared.

Charlotte was happy to see Otis, and he was happy to see her, too. It was obvious that they were brother and sister. They snuggled up together, and I think Otis might have told her that she was in a good place and didn't have to be scared any more. But two new kitties certainly complicates things.

Mommy was mad that someone had taken these little kitties away from their mama way too young. She was even madder that someone dumped them. I would like to scratch the face of whoever did it.

Speaking of scratching, Otis shared his scratch-tower with her. It used to be my tower but I got too big for it.

Otis likes to sit on top of the tower and pretend he's king. But he knows I'm the real king of cats around here.

Anyhow, it looks like those kitties have made themselves at home. I told Mommy that Arlo would have to raise them because I wasn't getting involved and Alfreda doesn't like them.

Because we have two more mouths to feed (and those kitties eat like pigs!), It would help if you bought some of Mommy's books. (She told me to say this.)

Here are the links to the print copies:

She also has a bunch of ebooks in the Kindle store. 

She has a bunch of kitties too, and I'm one of them. In fact, I'm the best of the bunch.


Thursday, June 07, 2018

Kroger Blockade

One of the problems about getting old and acquiring some disabilities is that you can't easily do things you once did—like grocery shopping. Nevertheless, thanks to some help from my husband, I persist. I have a handicapped hang-tag, so we can park close to the store. Usually my husband drops me off at the door, where I use my cane to walk to the handicapped buggies. However getting to the buggies can be a challenge—as can trying to maneuver the buggy through the store.

This is especially true at the Rocky Mount (Virginia)  Kroger. I like the specials they have, the e-coupons I can download, the fuel points I get for shopping there. When you're elderly and on a fixed income, every little savings helps. A few years ago, this was a wonderful place to shop. But now shopping there is a hassle.

On this post of Wednesday, May 17, 2017, I blogged about accessiblity problems I had at this  Kroger, and on Thursday, June 8, 2017,  I blogged again about the problem. After a year, you'd think Kroger would have made some improvement, right? But the times I've shopped this year, I've still encountered some obstacles. This May, I started documenting some of the problems I have there.

Because Kroger was running a double fuel points promotion on weekends, we started shopping on Friday mornings. On May 3, the handicapped buggies were blocked (as usual) by three signs behind the security panel that is just inside the entrance door—one was about recruiting new employees, another about some little plastic figures, and that partially-blocked one was promoting the 2X fuel point down-loadable e-coupon. I shoved them aside to get into the buggy.

On May 18, I again shoved aside signs, got a buggy, and encountered obstacles along the way. Here's one.

On Friday, May 25, I had to push aside two signs and a useless display of helium balloons to get a buggy. I encountered a lot of blocked aisles. I couldn't get past the one below to get to the mushrooms I wanted to buy before I turned right and went to produce. I gave up, backed up, and didn't buy any produce at all. (Some of those deli specials to the left looked good, but I couldn't get close to them.)

I might have bought some meat, but I couldn't get to the end of a counter to see what the specials were. I did manage to squeeze through on the right so I could buy some bacon.

 I was going to go down this aisle to the checkout, but it was too much of a challenge. to squeeze through. The sales associate stared at me but didn't offer to move the blockade. I backed up and went down a less cluttered aisle.

Despite the store being busy, only one regular check-out lane was open so my husband and I were diverted to an express check-out lane. It wasn't long before people backed up behind us. They only had a few items, but they had to wait for us with our two carts. Since there was no bagger, my husband had to bag.

Since I encountered so many obstacles while shopping on Friday mornings, I figured maybe shopping on a Sunday morning might be better. Surely there wouldn't be as much restocking. When I arrived around 10 on Sunday, June 3, again I found access to the handicapped buggies blocked. I shoved the two signs aside.

Again, aisles were blocked, though not as badly as they'd been on Fridays.

Luckily, I was able to meet the new manager and told him about the recurring problems. He seemed sympathetic. However, as I was leaving, a three-sign barrier now blocked the handicapped buggies. Someone had added a third sign while I was shopping.

Almost like the handicapped buggies were deliberately blocked. Almost like Kroger doesn't want the elderly or handicapped to shop there. . . .

Every week I fill out the "Kroger Feedback" survey, and I mention the problems with accessibility. 

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