Monthly Archives: June 2010

We are sad about Springfield Al’s aunt…

We were saddened to receive a call just a few moments ago from Springfield Al telling us that his aunt unexpectedly passed away earlier today.

We never met Al (and Don’s) aunt, but we’ve heard about her for years through Al, who always spoke of her (and his uncle) with wonderful affection for their caring nature toward him.  From where I sat, in the ~20 years that I’ve gotten to know Al, her returned their care and affection in spades.

We understand the pain of losing such a loved one as your aunt, Al, and our thoughts are with you and your family members.

Hal, Joanne and The Pack

Liv and Owe at Disneyland last Friday…

What a pleasant surprise to receive a quick email from Owe saying a friend had given them passes to Disney on Friday… and an invite to Club 33 – very cool!

But the best part for us grandparents was this drive-by pic of Liv @ the submarine rides:

Glad you guys had a great time and we hope to make another day of it with you by the end of this summer!

R.I.P. Pete Quaife

On Thursday morning we were saddened to learn that Pete, the original bass player for The Kinks, passed away last Wednesday.  (We read about his passing on a Kinks forum we follow, and here’s his obit in today’s NY Times.)

While we never met Pete, we loved the music he made with The Kinks… and I bet if you were a kid / teenager / young adult in the mid-late 60’s, you loved his music, too. Which music would that be, you ask?

Well, how about You Really Got Me, All Day And All Of The Night, Sunny Afternoon? And if you’re a real Kinks Fan, you might even know Waterloo Sunset… often considered an equal to the best of Lennon and McCartney’s work – and there’s Pete, putting down the bass line. (He was very cool in  Sunny Afternoon… dum dum dum dum, dum dum dum dum, dum dum dum dum… plonking down to Ray’s opening vocals of… “The taxman’s taking all my dough…”:)

So, from one houseful of dedicated Kinks fans, thanks for the great music, memories and key segment of the sound track of our lives, Pete!

Calling all jars, calling all jars!

While out watering the garden and back lawn today, I saw that the Right Plum (there’s a Left Plum, too – we can’t remember which is Santa Rosa and which is Satsuma, so we just call them Right Plum and Left Plum – easy peasy, huh? 🙂 is dropping ripe fruit so that means our plans for hours of lazing around the house this weekend have evaporated since the plums must be harvested, processed and jammed.)

And that, dear reader, means if you have any of our jars in your hot little hands / house / wherever, we’d love to have them back asap so we can put them to use.  Oh, we’ve got 8+ cases of jars on hand, but those will be gone in one good jamming session (and we’ve got blackberries to jam, too.).

So if you expect to get future goodies from us… Calling all jars, calling all jarsplease return them asap.

We now return you to your regular programming 🙂

(btw, I ate this season’s first ripe tomato from our garden this morning… it could have used a day or two off-vine to soften just a bit, but the flavor was wonderful. So was the sugar pea pod I took off that plant. Woo hoo – the garden’s cookin’ again 🙂

The Blankie is back in action!

Today, on the three month anniversary of Pan’s passing, once again  The Blankie is back in action doing what it does best: serving as a feline comfort zone.  I’ll explain.

I don’t remember exactly when it happened, but years ago – 10, maybe? – each morning I began the day by drinking my coffee and reading the morning papers on the couch… with Pan always by my side on The Blankie.  And, depending on my schedule, at times I would sit on the couch throughout the day – and evening – and Pan would always follow me out to sit by my side (and often sleep) on The Blankie. Over time, it was the most natural thing in the world for visitors to our house to find Pan and I sitting on the couch… me, reading… and with my left hand resting on her back, Pan by my side… gazing at me, sleeping or – if we had company – sitting upright in a Sphinx-like position, gazing at our visitor.

After Pan passed, I left The Blankie in its center-cushion place – directly to my left… it just seemed the natural thing to do.  When Calvin and Cherry came to live with us, I had hopes that one of them would find it to their liking and we could share some time together.  Despite my assurances to them that The Blankie was TwoBigCats approved and certified, neither of them showed the slightest interest in The Blankie… or the couch, for that matter.

Until today.

Late in the afternoon, Springfield Al stopped by to visit and caught me – well, actually, the entire pack – napping.  Calvin and Cherry being who they are, came out to the front of the house to see what all the barking was about.  IIRC, Calvin cruised by Al to acknowledge his presence and shake his tail at Al, while Cherry remained slightly out of sight.  Al stayed about 10 minutes, then headed out the door to catch a bit of a nap, himself.

And that’s when it happened.  After seeing Al out the door (thx for latching the screen on the way out, Al!), Calvin came in to the front room and took the off-road course to the sewing machine perch @ the window.  He looked out the window for ~1 minute, then looked at me @ my end of the couch.  I patted The Blankie and said, “You know, two very special cats have spent many years on this blankie – maybe you would like it, too.”

That did it.  He walked over to The Blankie, planted himself on it and curled into a half circle and closed his eyes… I instinctively reached out to pat / rub his shoulders and head as I had done with Pan sooooo many thousands of times over the years, and he began purring deeply.

We both woke with a start an hour later when Joanne called from work to say she was on her way home.  When she drove in the driveway, then walked in the front door, Calvin remained on The Blankie… apparently content in his new-found resting place.

Strange coincidence that Calvin (or Cherry) would choose the three month anniversary of Pan’s passing to discover The Blankie, but it is what it is, eh?  I hope Cal (and Cherry) continue using The Blankie.

Luv you and miss you, CatGirl.

Penny safely returns from Dr. Ueno (again)

About a month ago, Penny had a hematoma in her left ear (flap) that resulted in the flap swelling up a great deal.  (She had been shaking her head / ears due to allergies that are so prevalent right now.) So off to Doc Ueno we went for diagnosis and repair. He explained the problem and we decided to get her teeth cleaned while she “was under”.  By the end of the day, she’d had a great nap, teeth cleaned and a drain put in her ear… oh, and we were significantly lighter in the wallet.

For the next two weeks, she took her meds, her ear drained and the drain was removed on scheduled.

Unfortunately, the head-shaking returned over the weekend and so did the swollen ear, so back to Doc Ueno we went yesterday.  This time, her checkup indicated something else was present, so we threw in some xrays and Penny stayed for the afternoon for the new drain and treatment of the problem caused by her newly-diagnosis severe arthritis in her back.

But, she’s home again and appears to be feeling fine – on new meds and her ear is draining pretty well, so we’re all set (at least until the next time… there’s ALWAYS a next time.)

The pack sends their regards 🙂

Happy Birthday, Janie!

Hello and Happy Birthday to our friend, Janie.  Here’s a B’day pic Joanne and I snapped for her birthday back in ’03 (if I recall correctly)…

These days, Joanne and I are looking a bit worse for the wear and,  to tell you the truth, the cake didn’t make it so well, either 🙂

Happy Birthday, Janie!

Beek’s Log: 6/21/10

Yesterday Steve and I removed and replaced 5 just-cleaned frames from Fuzzy’s medium honey super w/5 recently-harvested frames.  We did this so the bees would clean / rearrange the gooey frame / honey to their existing frames and I, in turn, could place the newly-cleaned frames in garage storage vs bagged and in the freezer for use @ a later time.)  Because I can’t lift right now, Steve placed the removed frames / super as a unit on top of Fuzzy (for the bees to final clean) and this morning (while it is still cool w/little bee activity) I placed the frames in their garage storage location.

Easy Beesy, huh?  (Hey, whaddyawant – this is a free site and I’m (clearly) not a writer 😉

While I was there, I also inspected Freddie-Ray and Jimmy Dale. Freddie had TONS of activity – lots of bees carrying in very large bags of pollen to feed the brood, so it looks like they’re doing well.  Next to zero honey stored in the honey super, so it’s likely they’re filling frames down inside the brood boxes that I cleaned ~2 months ago – everybody’s a winner: they / their queen got more room for brood and we got the honey.  Jimmy Dale is just now building up it’s population, so I don’t expect to see any honey from them this year… though one never knows.

Live long and happy lives, little ones…

Remember the kittens we found under our front porch?

Well, I received a series of emails over the weekend from their foster mom, Jeanee, that they’ve all been adopted out – two of them went with their new caretakers over the weekend, and the remaining single kitty will be heading to her new home this coming Friday.  Thanks and congrats to Jeanee and the folks @ Homeless Cat Network for taking such good care of the kittens and finding good caretaker homes for them. (And, speaking of the kittens, I haven’t seen Mom-Cat around the property but Penny and Pepper have been barking in the early morning as they did in the days before Mom-Cat had her kittens, so I imagine it’s her they’re barking at.  Go Mom-Cat!)

That’s it for now… I’ll post some fresh pics of various things over the next day or two.