Saturday, August 20, 2005

Crunch Time

Ok, here we go. We are down to the last week before our move and what a busy week it is going to be. Butterfly and The Boy will be here this weekend so not much computer time will be on the agenda and then next week we hit the ground running. Lawyer's appointments, visits to the bank, dinner with friends to say good bye, last minute cleaning and packing and of course a bike ride or two. So, I am signing off for now, but will talk to you again from my new house on the other side of the province in a couple of weeks.

Out of the strain of the doing into the peace of the done
Julia Woodruff

I am sooooooo looking forward to entering the peace of the done soon.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Black Hole - Part II

Ok, here it is finally…

…We managed to retrieve all the boxes and empty the attic without a major catastrophe yesterday and I was thanking my lucky stars that …history didn't repeat itself. Let me fill you in on the details.

Many years ago in a galaxy attic far far away…we encountered our first black hole in space.

When Butterfly was just a wee thing, we bought our first house, and though it was old and small, we thought it was a palace. It was what they called a story and a half. It had three small rooms on the main floor and three smaller bedrooms plus a bathroom upstairs. The walls in the bedrooms slanted along the roof lines, which gave us the same amount of floor space as the rooms below, but because of the sloping walls and low ceilings, the upstairs was only considered half a story. I thought the rooms were quite charming and cozy and really liked the look and feel of the slanted ceilings upstairs. I still have fond memories of that little house and look back on our years there as magical ones.

I had one girlfriend who came to visit and she said she always felt like she was in a doll house when she sat at my kitchen table, because everything seemed to be on such a small scale. The window sills were close to the floor, so that made us seem bigger and taller, and the half walls and sloping ceilings upstairs also gave us that same impression.

The house had one major problem, no closet space. We only had one small built in clothes closet and one tiny linen closet with half shelves in it. There was a small opening to the attic in the hallway upstairs right above the linen closet, but you had to get a ladder and wiggle and squirm through the small opening to access it, so I never even poked my head up there, but AC did. Because of lack of closet space we thought we would try to store stuff up there. Big mistake! Big, Big mistake!

AC got the ladder out one day and ventured into the spidery darkness. Butterfly and I watched him wiggle through the opening and then we went to put clothes away in her bedroom. We could hear AC moving around above us, but we didn't pay him much mind. We did look up though when we heard the sounds above us getting louder and louder as AC moved around and got closer and closer to where we were standing just below him. Before we knew it, we heard a very loud creaking and cracking sound and in the blink of an eye, disaster struck. Crash! Butterfly and I stood there with mouths agape and eyes wide as we peered through the plaster-dust cloud billowing around us. When the debris cleared a bit it was quite a shock to see what looked like daddy's legs hanging through the ceiling just above our heads. We were covered in plaster dust, bits and pieces of lath and what seemed like hundreds of years' worth of black sooty grime. Indeed they were daddy's legs flailing frantically out of the hole in the ceiling and as I was trying to compute what to do next I heard Butterfly's deep throaty laugh as she said. "Daddy's funny isn't he mommy?"

It seemed like an eternity to AC, but it only took me a couple of seconds to spring into action and run into the hall to get the ladder and rush back into the bedroom with it and put it under AC's feet. He was hanging on for dear life up in the rafters and couldn't get any purchase to climb back up into the attic. He was stuck but good because he couldn't get up or down.

Once he got something under his feet, he was able to get back up on the studs and exit the Black Hole through the opening in the hall. Butterfly and I waited at the bottom of the ladder for him and when he was safely on the ground we stood and looked at each other and started to laugh. We all looked like chimney sweeps with black sooty faces and white eyes peering out. AC was scratched and bruised, but no major harm was done. Butterfly and I had plaster in our hair and grime all over us, but we were fine too. No big pieces of the ceiling fell on either of us.

After we determined that everyone was ok and not seriously hurt, we set to the task of cleaning up the mess and then ourselves. We laughed and laughed and laughed as we did so though. It was just too funny. That night we sat down after supper to watch our favourite TV program at the time. I think it was called Emergency. It was a show about paramedics from the fire department rescuing people in strange situations. That night the main rescue was of a man who fell through a ceiling and got trapped there. The fire department had to come and rescue him. We couldn’t believe what we were seeing, and the whole show set us to laughing again and I still laugh about it now as I write this.

I wasn't laughing the other day though when AC ventured into the Black Hole in this house to balance on the studs and retrieve the kazillion boxes that had accumulated in the dark corners there. He was right above the living room area, and in my mind's eye, I could see his legs dangling through the ceiling in that other house. To put it mildly, I was a tad apprehensive about yet another foray into the dreaded Black Hole and a sudden unexpected exit on the other side of the universe. We only had two weeks to go until moving day; please God, don't let him fall through the ceiling!

All's well that ends well, and this adventure into that dark scary place did just that - ended well. Thank goodness.

Our new house has an attic space that can only be reached via a ladder in the upstairs hall, but don't worry, I have learned my lesson and I can assure you that we won't go anywhere near it. If you are wise, you will heed my advice and not venture into the Black Hole attic crawl space in your home either. I have heard that some people are sucked in and never return.

Actually we can learn a good life lesson from this. Never push anything back into those dark inaccessible corners of your world. They can cause you nothing but trouble later on. Keep things out in the open and let the light shine on them. Don't clutter up your inner space with old useless baggage and dusty old boxes of issues. If it is garbage get rid of it, if it is something good, share it or give it away. Keep your "corners" clutter free and enjoy the wonder of that state of being.

Grace fills empty spaces, but it can only enter where there is a void to receive it, and it is grace itself which makes this void.
Simone Weil

The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Phillpots

Leave the Black Holes alone and uncluttered and go out and discover all the other magical things awaiting you in the universe. May the Force be with you.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Things are moving into high gear here and I am operating in a state of cardboard high alert! I swing from feeling like I don't have enough boxes and pieces of packing paper one moment, to feeling like I have too many the next. One day I sail along secure in the knowledge that I am doing ok and will be ready for the movers no sweat, but the very next day I am sure I will never be ready on time.

I am still having trouble getting things to co-operate and get into boxes together. Why can't they all just get along and go peacefully and neatly into the boxes I picked for them? Oh no, they are a half inch too long or wide and insist on fitting where they don’t belong and then make that box too heavy, or do damage to other stuff in the box. I wonder if the Creator of the Universe feels like this some days and would like to yell at us and tell us to "just get along!"?

I have been trying to get back to my laptop to finish writing "The Black Hole Part II" but other things keep taking me away from my task. Just thought I would let you know I haven't forgotten about it, and hope to post it soon.

Must run now, the day dawned sunny and cool and the bike trails beckon. A nice ride in the sunshine should clear my head of the cardboard fumes and give me energy to continue on with my tasks.

Talk to you later.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Black Hole

We avoided a near catastrophe yesterday and while we were in the middle of remedying the situation I had flash backs to another time and place when the outcome was a whole lot different.

Seeing as we were ahead of schedule with our packing, AC and I took a few days off and enjoyed reading, writing, visiting family, and other normal things like that for the past week. What a nice change it has been, but we must get back to work soon, so I sat down with my lists yesterday and made a plan of what to do when, next week. We can put off our return to work until Monday, but then we have to put our noses to the grindstone again. Two more weeks, just two short weeks and we will be on our way to the other side of the province. Yikes!

We puttered around the house for most of the morning yesterday and then went out for lunch. We thought we might go for a bike ride after lunch, but the air was hot and humid and it felt like a storm was brewing so we retreated into our cool air conditioned house to relax and watch a movie. Absolute decadence I know.

After the movie AC went out to return it to the library and I went upstairs to gather the washing to do later in the evening. I walked into the bathroom and as I took the towels down off the bars I caught sight of the door to the crawl space/attic behind them. Oh no, we haven't checked the dreaded crawl space attic. It is a hot, dusty, dark, and cramped space and I had put it right out of my mind. As I stood there staring at the small door, I vaguely remembered putting some old Christmas decorations in there years ago, but I am sure we got rid of them. Didn't we?

I opened the door and removed the protective panel behind it. A dusty blast of heat reached out and slapped me in the face. Thwap! Once I regained my composer I took a deep breath, aimed the flashlight into the dark hole and peered in. My heart sank. It was full of boxes. How could this be? When had I put all this stuff up here? I slowly moved the flashlight from one dark mound to the other and saw TV boxes, stereo boxes, VCR boxes, and Computer boxes. I then remembered that we had stored these EMPTY boxes up here just in case something had to go back to the store. They were only supposed to be kept up here for a month or two, but over the years, we just kept adding more and would forget about them. Oh dear.

There is no floor in the crawl space, only insulation between the studs, and you can't stand up in this space. Right by the door is a piece of plywood 4'X4' that we can crawl onto to access the deeper parts of the attic, but to reach the furthest corners you have to balance on hands and knees on the studs. Not an easy job at all. It is hot, dark and dusty in that most awful place.

I gingerly crawled through the door and balanced on hands and knees on the plywood. Oh, I didn't like it in there at all. I was sure spiders were perched just above my head ready to dance in my hair, and who knows what else was lurking in the dark corners ready to attack me. I tried not to look beyond the beam of the flashlight, and reached to grab the first box. Oh good, it was empty. Very dusty, but empty. I was right, these were just empty boxes. WRONG! The first few were empty, and I moved them towards the door, but then I came to one that was heavy. Oh no, what the heck was in it? I couldn't move it, so I had to retreat into the bathroom and wait for AC to return from the library to help me. I moved the three empty boxes I retrieved to the side door and AC found them on his way in. He had a rather puzzled look on his face when he saw them, and then me covered in dust and bits and pieces of insulation.

"The Attic" I said and saw his face register the shock I felt too. "We forgot about the attic and it is full of stuff." Groan!

We trudged gloomily up the stairs to face the Black Hole together. If we worked as a team it would be easier. I offered to go back into the cramped space but I knew I couldn’t move that one heavy box, so AC crawled in while I stood just outside the door to hold the flashlight for him and move the lighter boxes out as he passed them to me. Three boxes were full of books and old teaching notes, two boxes were full of old Christmas decorations, and one had an old lamp in it, but the rest were empty. Thank goodness. The heavy boxes rested on the studs close to the door, but the lighter empty boxes had travelled far and wide indeed. The hardest part of the whole procedure was trying to reach these empty boxes. As each one was put through the small opening over the years, it would push the others further and further back into the corners of the Black Hole. They were empty and therefore light enough to push without even noticing it. Retrieving them from their far flung corners was a whole other story. Whilst balancing on hands and knees. AC had to crawl along the studs, keep his balance, grab the big unruly box and move it behind him and then crawl backwards in the dark keeping hands and knees balanced on the narrow pieces of wood. I don't know about him, but I was a nervous wreck. You see, years ago we had an encounter with an attic in a previous house, and it makes us laugh now, but oh the trauma then.

As AC was crawling around in the attic yesterday, with only two weeks to go until moving day, my mind kept going back to what happened before and I was having fits. Don't go there I kept telling myself, but go there I did and it wasn't pretty!

We managed to retrieve all the boxes and empty the attic without a major catastrophe yesterday and I was thanking my lucky stars that …

This post is getting rather long, so I will end it here and fill you in on our first attic adventure in The Black Hole Part II. Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


Over the years I have had houseplants that have become pot bound and needed to be transplanted. Huge Boston ferns, Dieffenbachia, and Ivy, are three of the more memorable ones I have had to deal with. The fern was the worst, I must say.

It would always take me time to work up to the transplantation task because I didn't like to do it. It made a mess, the plant was hard to handle and I was never quite sure if I was doing it right. It had to be done though, so I would make a plan and set to work.

First, I would go searching for the right size pot, and buy the prettiest one I could afford. The next purchase would be a bag of new soil and plant food. I then had to find - some free time, a work area where I could make a mess and not harm anything, and last but not least, some energy or the will to start the job and just get at it! Once all my "ducks were in a row" I would set to the task and be oh so glad when it was all done.

The plants thrived and looked great in the long run, but oh the trauma and the wilt of the transplantation process. Roots would be ripped and torn as the plant was loosen and removed from the old pot; soil was scattered and lost when the plant was tipped over and tapped on the bottom or shaken vigorously to get it out of the old pot; and last but not least, dead and dying leaves were strewn around when they were cut away or broken off in the rigors of the move. Sometimes I would have to be ruthless and rip and tear the root ball apart when the plant needed to be thinned out before replanting. Not fun, but necessary.

New spots on sunny window sills were found for all the new pots, but the plants would look out of place and a bit lost in their big new pots at first. They were completely traumatized by the process and would droop terribly, not even lifting their heads to respond to their old friend the sunshine. I could almost hear them stomping their tiny little root feet while they pouted and said "I don't like it here. I hurt from all the ripping and tearing and I miss the parts you took away. "

That picture comes back to me clearly this morning as I sit here gazing at the riotous summer garden just outside the window beside the chair where I sit and write each day. It is an absolutely beautiful garden this year, just chock full of exuberant colour. It is almost as if it knows that this will be our last summer to enjoy its beauty, so it is sending us off with a blaze of glory as moving day fast approaches. I will miss the beauty of this garden.

Each and every day this summer I have been pulling up roots that have grown very deep in this familiar old "Pot" of mine, and I am feeling a bit traumatized by all the ripping and tearing. I know that I am pot bound here, and it is time for a move, but I have become so accustomed to this place. It is familiar and comfortable here in this old pot, and it just plain hurts to rip up roots and move.

I know, I know. I am bumping up against the edges of this pot, and my soil is old and needs some added nutrients, but is hard to leave the well known environment and move into the unknown. It would be so much easier to stay in this old pot in spite of the tangled and cramped conditions and depleted soil.

The new "pot" and "fresh soil" will do me a world of good, but oh the trauma and "wilt" of the transplantation process. Thirty-year-old roots grow very deep and won't let go easily. Some will break off and bits and pieces of them will remain in the old soil forever. I will grieve each small piece, but must look forward to the fresh growth that will take place in my "new pot".

We searched a long time for this new pot and bought the prettiest one we could afford. We have new soil to mix with the old (friends and family) and plant food (books and biking) to help us adjust to the move. I know that I will have to choose to lift my head to the sun in my new location and respond to the warmth there and the goodness in the new soil instead of drooping or moping around. First I must give myself time to adjust and relax so I can recover from the upheaval of the move and then I can start sending out new roots into the rich earth in the new location. I will have lots of room to grow, and will have many opportunities to meet new people, learn new things and see new sights.

So, the newspapers are all spread around in my workspace and I am just about to be turned on my head and knocked out of the old pot. The edges are all loosened and I am ready to go. Tap, tap, tap, shake, shake, shake - my new pot awaits.

There is no such thing as the pursuit of happiness, but there is the discovery of joy.
Joyce Grenfell

Here's to discovering joy in each new pot on any sunny window sill in life.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Melted Chocolate

We made a trip to the big city on Friday to get the last load of boxes and packing paper we need for the move. Yahoo, I am almost there. The living room, dining room, guest room, studio, den, basement, garden sheds and family room are all packed and ready to go. The kitchen will be next, and then all I will have to deal with will be last minute items in bedroom and bathroom just before we leave. I can't do most of that stuff until the last week, so now I can relax a bit and catch my breath for a few days before the final push of moving day.

Tomorrow my sister comes to visit for a couple of days, and then at the end of the week I have a date to meet friends for lunch to say good bye, so things will be busy, but not with packing. Ah, what a nice change that will be.

After we loaded up the CRV with paper and boxes on Friday, we treated ourselves to a trip to Chapters and that is always fun for me. It is one of my favourite spots to spend an hour or two and on this day I needed "the fix" of a nice long visit to a bookstore. The cardboard and cobwebs were getting to me and I was a bit ahead of schedule in that department, so I could afford this luxury. The first step inside the door at Chapters is the best isn't it? The smell of coffee is thick in the air and when it mixes with the fragrance of ink and paper it is a combination that can't be beat. AC laughs at me, but I always stop just inside the door and inhale deeply and almost chew on that most marvellous aroma.

After my sensory delight at the door, I headed straight for the bargain books and leisurely browsed through them while AC headed over to the computer section. I saw one book titled "The Browser's Ecstasy – A Meditation on Reading". Hmmm, that looks interesting I said to myself, so I picked it up. It had been $35 and was now on sale for 99¢. You just know that I tucked that book under my arm and took it with me for a closer look.

From the bargain section I headed over the poetry shelves to look for a book Lynn mentioned to me. It wasn't in stock, but I did find another treasure waiting for me there. A new Mary Oliver book! Oh joy, just what I needed. Really! All my poetry books were already packed, (big mistake) and I felt like I was going into withdrawal. Lynn posted a couple of short poems on his blog and they were like a drop of water on my tongue, but I needed a long deep drink not just a drop or two of poetry. I was contemplating finding the box I had packed my books in and digging them out again.

So you see why I was so excited to find a NEW Mary Oliver book. I didn't even look at the price, I just knew that it was coming home with me, and it did! The 99¢ book also made the trip to the cash desk with me and will enjoy a cozy spot in my new library.

I sat reading the Mary Oliver book last night and it felt to my spirit like melted chocolate feels in my mouth. Absolutely delicious! AC walked past me as I sat all curled up on the couch and said "Are you into your new book already?"

"Oh yes" I said "I feel like I just got a box of luscious dark chocolates and I can't stop eating them. Mmmmmm good."

I am not gobbling the book though. I am savouring each phrase, and letting the words sit in my mind and slowly melt and seep into the deeper parts of me. After all the dusty dry cardboard that has been clogging my senses for the past two months, the taste of this rich melted chocolate is magnificent.

Here, sample a little piece for yourself.

The Morning Walk

There are a lot of words meaning thanks.
Some you can only whisper.
Others you can only sing.
The pewee whistles instead.
The snake turns in circles,
The beaver claps his tail
on the surface of the pond.
The deer in the pinewood stamps his hoof.
Goldfinches shine as they float through the air.
A person, sometimes will hum a little Mahler.
Or put arms around old oak tree.
Or take out lovely pencil and notebook to find a few
touching, kissing words.

"Plain as a needle, a poem may be, or opulent as the shell of the channeled whelk, or the face of the lily, it matters not; it is a ceremony of words, a story, a prayer, an invitation, a flow of words that reaches out and, hopefully, without being real in the way that the least incident is real, is able to stir in the reader a real response."

'…for poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry."

Mary Oliver

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Unwelcome visitor

Some people can be so rude and pushy can't they? I have had an unwelcome but well known visitor barge his way into my life this past month or so, and I am having a real struggle with him.

He has knocked at my door and woken me up as early as 4am on a few occasions and makes a terrible racket some nights when I am trying to get to sleep. The nerve of some people! I have told this guy, quite clearly, how much his visits bother me and that I don't want him showing his face around here anymore, but somehow the message isn't getting through to him. Thick, thick head he has. Thank goodness my battle with this guy in the early morning hours or late at night, isn't waking AC up, but I am sure he is wondering what is going on when I roll out of bed at 6am some mornings.

I had a terrible fight with this bloke the day after we put the unconditional offer in on the new house and it was accepted. He woke me up early that day and knocked me right off my feet. I hadn't seen him for awhile and wasn't expecting him to visit me at Butterfly's house, but he barged right in like he owned the place and gave me a run for my money.

He got right in my face and yelled, "What in the world have you done? You just bought a house and you haven't even listed, let alone sold, your old house yet. The old kitchen is still in the middle of renovations so it sure isn't ready to show to any prospective buyers, and won't be anytime soon. The garden is a month overgrown and will take forever to whip into shape. AC can hardly walk so isn't in any condition to garden or even drive home. What in the world have you done? Stop this nonsense right now and run for you life!"

I listened to him rant and rave and he made me feel sick to my stomach. I walked away from him on shaky legs and went over to AC. I cried as I told him all the mean things this guy was saying to me and how frightened I was. AC and I sat and talked for a long time, and he told me we would fight this guy together and put him in his place. That made me feel so much better, but I could still hear faint echoes of the bully's voice ringing in my ear, and it made me shake in my boots on and off during the day. Goodness what a battle I had on my hands. With AC's help, I finally managed to send this guy packing and was glad to see him shuffling off into the distance as we loaded up the car to head for home and all the challenges that awaited us there.

Little did I know that as soon as we drove around the corner, the bully turned around and followed us all the way home. I had a major knock down drag out with him again shortly after we arrived at our doorstep. AC's back was sore and he could hardly move, the gardens were a mess with weeds growing almost as tall as us. The kitchen needed major cleaning and tidying from all the work that had gone on while we were away (new counter tops and sink were installed), the rest of the house had a month's worth of dust all over everything, we were both tired from our trip, and it was hot as blazes.

Needless to say I was not in my best fighting form and this guy took full advantage of that fact. He moved in for the kill and just about got me. I looked around at all the work I had to do to get the house ready to list with the real estate agent and then took a measure of the little bit of energy I had after our long trip, and I just wanted to turn around and run away. I stood in the middle of my plaster-dust-coated kitchen, and wondered where in the world to start. I couldn't just stand there and be run over by this bully, and I couldn't turn and run either, so I picked up a weapon or two, stood my ground and then went on the offensive. I didn't move ahead much, but I did stand my ground and eventually even gained some.

I couldn't look at the whole picture because it overwhelmed me, and this bully knew that and kept throwing it at me. I had to work at it, but I finally managed to take my eyes off of him and the whole task at hand. I narrowed my focus and just looked at what was literally right at my feet. I started where I was and did one small thing at a time. I picked up a rag and some cleaner and started washing the kitchen floor to get rid of the plaster dust there, to stop it from being tracked all through the rest of the house. My weary tears mixed with the plaster dust, but before I went to bed that night, the plaster dust was at least off the kitchen floor. The cupboards would be tackled in the morning.

That is a key isn't it? When your world comes crashing down around you and you are overwhelmed at the size of the pile of rubble strewn in your path, don't just stand there sifting through the rubble aimlessly, feeling afraid or overwhelmed or sorry for yourself. Pick up a brick from the crumbled wall in your life and start building -- one small brick at a time. Move it from where it is to where you want it to be, and eventually you have order and a whole new structure for your life is taking shape. One small step at a time.

I am covered in bruises from encounters with this unwelcome visitor who keeps showing up at my door, but I also have calluses on my hands from picking up and moving the bricks that he has scattered around. I am thrilled at the new wall in my life that is growing taller and more beautiful with each passing day. When I look at it I am filled with new strength to fight this unwelcome visitor called FEAR.

When this bully shows up at your door and tries to paralyse you and keep you from new frontiers in your life. Don't turn and run. Stand your ground and then in the middle of your muddle of doubts and questions and fears, pick up a brick and start building your new life. Oh the joys of facing the bully and getting past him.

The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Cat- astrophe

I was reading Karla's blog about her cat running through the tray of wet paint, and that reminded me of the snowy morning we had a cat-astrophe at our house and I knew I just had to make some time to tell you this snowy story on this hot humid summer day.

When AC was teaching, it was a real joy to roll over on a tired winter morning and hear the radio announcer give us the news that a terrible snow storm had hit the city, the school buses were cancelled and schools were closed for the day. Oh the sheer joy of a snow day at our house. A gift of unexpected free time dropped into our laps during a busy school term was delicious indeed. The sheer luxury of snuggling down deeper under the covers instead of trudging outside into the cold snowy morning was rich beyond words.

On this particular morning the reports were of a storm so terrible we just had to get up and look out the window to see what was going on. Yessirree, we were socked in but good, and the snow was still coming down thick and steady. How neat. I love a good storm. Once out of bed, we decided to stay up and head down to the family room and watch the storm for awhile. We turned the fireplace on in the family room to make that area all toasty warm while I made a big pot of coffee, and some hot buttered bagels. It was still rather dark outside, but rather than turn the lights on in the family room I lit a candle on the coffee table and thought that it and the glow from the fire would give us just enough light to sit comfortably and munch our breakfast while we watched the storm. MMMM, now this was the way to spend a snowy morning.

Just as we reclined back into our Lazyboy chairs with our hot coffee and bagels, Scutter, our long haired Persian cat (note how long and fluffy his tail is in this picture of him in the garden) came out of the den and looked at us in a puzzled way. He seemed to be asking us what the heck we were doing, sitting in the family room at this hour on a school day of all days. Didn't we know that he was trying to sleep and we were disturbing him? We ignored him and chatted on about how much fun it was to start the morning like this and how great retirement the next year would be.

Just at that point, Scutter jumped up on the coffee table and…..yes….. walked past the candle I had lit earlier. His tail brushed past the flame and he went up like dry tinder. Puff, and his tail was in flames. Holy kittens Batman, the pussy cat's on fire!!!!!! His hair was so long, he didn't know he was on fire though, so he just sat there looking at us. Yikes! As AC and I both lunged for him, our quick movements startled him and he turned to run. We grabbed him just as he was about to jump off the table and hightail it (or maybe I should say "firetail" it) outta there. Can you even imagine the damage a flaming cat running through the house could cause?

Luckily, we caught him in the nick of time and thumped him and bumped him and thwaped him to put his flaming tail out. He looked at us in astonishment as we beat on him and wondered what the heck he had done to deserve such treatment. It seemed to take forever to reach him, but in reality it all happened in a matter of seconds, and we managed to "put him out" before the flames reached his skin. Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "Did you put the cat out?" doesn't it? Anyway, he was pretty bedraggled and singed looking, but no major harm was done to him or the house, thank goodness. It could have been much worse. Oh, so much worse. Can you even imagine it? I shudder to think of it.

We laugh about it now, but that morning it was a tad scary. Here we were reclining back in our chairs with hot coffee in our hands and we had to get rid of the coffee, get out of the chairs, (no easy thing when your feet are elevated on those foot rests), and grab the flaming cat!!!!!! I still don't know how we did it, but we managed it and Scutter and the house were saved. I didn't light a candle after that until I had bought hurricane covers for every candle in the house and even then I didn't want to light a candle with a cat anywhere near it.

On one last note, do you have you any idea how awful burning cat hair smells? Terrible! Absolutely terrible!

All's well that ends well, and this cat-astrophe ended well. Thank goodness.

Thanks for bringing that story back to my mind Karla. It was fun to remember that snowy morning during this summer heat wave.

There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life; music and cats." Albert Schweitzer