Jillian here. Hoping you’re having a great May so far. Mine has not been so hot but we do have cute little kittens here at the office who make me smile. This mother cat has already had one litter before but she hid the babies so we couldn’t socialize them. Before we could get her to get her spayed, she was pregnant again. I had no idea cats could get pregnant quite so frequently.
This time, when we knew she was close to delivery, we put her in the filing room at the office. She had three babies who look exactly like the three she had previously. She at least is faithful to her man, right? 🙂
These babies are four weeks old. The white one talks a lot and wants to explore every thing. It loves to be petted, too. The grey tabby is playful and likes to romp around and the orange one is the most quiet of the three. They are sweet. We can’t keep them but we have enjoyed them for these weeks. Two weeks from now, we hope to have found them nice places to live.
Here are some pics. They are wiggly and hard to capture. Momma is in one of the photos, too. She is also sweet. But she does steal food from some of the other cats we feed here. 🙂
Jillian here. Sorry I missed my day to blog last month. Hobbes had just had surgery and he was a miserable kitty who wouldn’t sleep alone and I spent five nights sleeping on the couch with him while he moaned and groaned about the collar he had to wear. I walked around in a daze at work for that week and didn’t even realize the 9th of the month passed until the 12th. Pretty crazy, I know.
Today is Easter and I hope those of you who celebrate are having a nice holiday. Now that we don’t have small children and don’t do the egg dying and hunting thing, it’s a pretty quiet day. We have dinner at my parents’ home and enjoy the whole turkey with fixings meal as if it was thanksgiving all over again. My mom makes the best gravy and the best deviled eggs so I am sure to indulge in those.
We used to go to the sun rise (or SON-rise) service at my church but they stopped doing it. I always loved that service as it was set to start before the sun was up and the sun came up just as it was ending– at the final hymn–beautiful. And then there was the pancake breakfast…
One thing I love about Easter is the availability of Starburst jelly beans. They have a bag of all reds that we stock up on while we can. They used to only be sold at Target but now you can get them other places. I am proud of myself this year. I bought 6 bags and have not eaten one. Not one, single jelly bean. I’m still trying to lose weight and cut down on sugar. But I do think I might cave before the day is over and eat a few. We’ll see.
Passover was also this week. My daughter-in-law is Jewish so they do both a Seder and an Easter celebration. They went on an egg hunt in their community park last weekend and her brother’s girlfriend gave birth to their second daughter on Passover. A sweet new little girl for my son and DIL to be aunt and uncle to and a new cousin for Benjamin.
Whatever holiday you celebrate, I hope you have a blessed day full of love and happiness. And go get you some Starburst red jelly beans—you won’t regret it.
Jillian here. Can you believe it’s February already? Wow. It’s crazy how one week just blurs into the next. It seems like it’s always Thursday (why can’t it always be Saturday? 🙂 )
My life has been kind of limited lately. Work (my paralegal was out almost the whole month of January, so I was doing her work and mine–with help from my legal assistant- but it was still a lot), home, and taking care of a family member both at home and in the hospital. I am tired and wish I could sleep for a month but that isn’t going to happen. 😦
Funny how life seems to come in spurts- hard times seem to add more hard times, don’t they? And conversely, good times seem to multiply to bring more joy. Not much balance in my life right now– there are lots of good things, but the three a.m. bugaboos are getting the best of me. I’ve never seen so much of the wee hours of the morning than I have the last two months.
I did get a chance to go to lunch with a group of friends yesterday. The seven of us had a lovely visit and it was a much needed balm to my soul. And I had Brunswick stew which is one of my favorite things in the world. I usually eat salad for lunch but I wanted to treat myself a little and indulged. It was so yummy!
Last Saturday, I also got to judge the county history fair here. That is always fun and seeing the projects of our students is educational and enlightening. The middle school winner was based on the Clotilda. The last slave ship to America which was illegal at the time and the owner ended up sinking it to cover his crime. This is about 40 miles from where I live. It’s a shameful part of history but the families who live in Africatown are determined to make sure no one forgets about it. It is a thriving community today with the descendants of those slaves.
Hobbes here. Jillian is a bit stressed over a litany of things happening in her life so I told her I’d take over her post this month—actually, I hijacked it. 😀 I know I haven’t helped her out much lately other than to sit on her head in the mornings to wake her up, knock things off the table for her to pick up and constantly assist her in exercising by having her get up and down to open the door to let me out on the porch or back into the house. I’m pretty helpful that way.
We’re in a new year now but man, did we have some adventure—well, I did—in December.
It started the month the Sunday after that weekend they call Thanksgiving when the humans brought in the tree. I love, love the tree. I don’t know why they don’t leave it up all the time. They put this brown blanket under it and I love snoozing under the limbs with the scent of pine— or whatever that tree is—in my nose. Maybe a fir? Doesn’t matter. I love it. I never mess with the pretty baubles on it. I’m dignified like that.
Wrapping boxes is another thing Jillian does while that tree is up. Don’t know why. It’s kind of a weird habit. She hides them under the tree like she thinks no one will see them there. She also gets a bit peeved at me while I help. I mean, she needs that tape and the scissors batted to the floor, right? And the pen she uses to write on sticky little sheets of paper is just so tempting. It rolls quite nicely. Biting the paper and sitting on it to cut it for her is also fun but she fusses at me to get off of it. Testy woman.
The biggest adventure of the month was this small human coming to visit with his parents. He squealed every time he saw me and chased me. Little terror, he is. I tell ya. I’d get the nerve to venture out of hiding and, as soon as he spied me, he was after me. Crazy little human. He also couldn’t say Hobbes so he called me Bob. Bob? Oh the indignity.
They stayed for what seemed forever but Jillian said was only seven days. God created the world in seven days but I bet his seven were more peaceful than mine even with all the work he was doing.
Anyway, they eventually went home and I was able to enjoy free rein in the house again without living in fear of a tiny human chasing me and yelling, “Bob.”
Life is sort of back to normal now. They just took my tree outside after Epiphany so, I’m sad about that and about the brown blanket being back in that cabinet at the end of the hallway.
Here’s a picture of me hiding on Jillian’s bed on my favorite blanket, with the door closed, so the Bob fanatic would leave me alone.
Jillian here. Happy December. As some of you may know, I am a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. My ancestors on that side of the family came over in 1690. We’re from the Gresham family in England with Sir Thomas and Sir John as two of our illustrious ancestors– they contributed greatly to the City of London. My ancestor, another Thomas Gresham, fought in Washington’s Army in the Revolutionary War. He was one of the brave souls at Valley Forge.
This past weekend, 14 members of my DAR chapter in Pensacola rode over for the Christmas tour of the Richards-DAR House. It is a beautiful home built in 1860 for Captain Charles Richards, a sea captain. It is 10,000 square feet of gorgeousness. It has a Baccarat crystal chandelier in the dining room and another in a bedroom, Carrara marble fireplaces and a cantilevered stair case, among other treasures and items of beauty. It’s now owned and maintained by the four DAR chapters of the Mobile area.
Since there is so much there, I decided to focus my post on the Christmas trees in the house this time of year. So, I am attaching those pictures here. To find more about the house, click here.
We had cookies and lemonade in the courtyard after our tour and then lunch at a local seafood place. An all around fun day full of love of history, Christmas and the company of friends.
Jillian here. Happy November. For those of us doing NaNoWriMo, we’re in the midst of the craziness right now. Last night, I accidently added a zero to my word count, so instead of 22,003, the website had me as 220,003, which is ludicrous. When I tried to fix it, it said I had like negative 199,000 words, so it has been even crazier trying to get it to register correctly now. It even has me as already winning it and that is certainly not true. 🙂 I confess, it is driving me bonkers! LOL
About two months ago, when I was watching an episode of Grantchester on PBS, Robson Green, who plays the detective, was walking around his office singing a little. Someone told me he used to sing with a partner and they were called Robson and Jerome. I had no idea even though I have loved Robson since he was in Wire in the Blood back in the early 2000s.
Of course, I had to find what he sang. You tube has a great selection of their songs and I have been obsessively listening while I work. One day recently, my son asked me who I was listening to and when I told him, he looked them up too. He recognized the Jerome guy from Game of Thrones. I only ever watched two episodes of that show as it didn’t appeal to me, but Jerome was also in Ripper Street which I did like. How cool is it that these guys are so talented? Acting and were also successful recording artists.
Update on the bathroom renovation: It’s going slower than the hubs wanted but he is still feeling effects of the cancer treatments and not moving as fast as he wants. He has to rest a lot and has been going to bed super early. I am not stressed about it, but he is. He has also done a few things 2-3 times as he isn’t happy with how he did it the first time or two. He has reset the shower base three times. He thinks he can live with it now. LOL
This week, we honor our veterans here in the US with Veteran’s Day and my friends in the UK have Remembrance Sunday as well. Happy Thanksgiving in a couple of weeks.
I’ll leave you with a picture I took in Rhode Island when my son lived there.
Jillian here- Happy October. Bet you thought I’d do a post about my love for Halloween, didn’t you? Well, not today! LOL!
Last year, the hubs and I agreed to no Christmas presents for us since we don’t need “stuff” and, instead, we would remodel our small bathroom. Weirdly, in our house, the master bath only has one of those big sunken tubs with water jets and no shower so we have always taken our showers in the bathroom at the far end of the house. There is another bath that the boys use but we have always used this third one for ourselves for showers. It’s also one of the two rooms–the other is the laundry room–that we have never changed the flooring in (and we have owned this house since Oct, 2000). It’s an awful color, but when I suggested it was past time to tile it, Mr. C said he’d rather do the whole bathroom over. So, that was supposed to be our Christmas present to ourselves. Yes, 10 months ago…
Life took a turn with a cancer diagnosis for Mr. C in February and, as he planned to do the work himself, it had to wait for the procedures and treatments to be done and for him to feel better. He was lucky that he didn’t get too sick, but he was tired all the time and didn’t feel like doing much–which is totally acceptable and understandable.
So, today, we start. He is cutting up the tub and removing it. Here are the “before” shots. And I know, it looks like I need to clean, but I have put it off since we have D-day today. Will do some “afters” when it’s done. Wish me luck as he gets to be a bear when he is laying tile-and he is doing the whole shower wall and floor–he’s a def. perfectionist!! Which is good for the final product, but not so good for his mood while it’s happening. 🙂
Jillian here. This month, I’ll be truly sharing what many are discussing today over backyard fences all over the world. A true end of an era.
For most of us, we have only been alive during the reign of one monarch in the United Kingdom. Some were alive before she took the throne, but would have been young people or children at the time she ascended. Yes, of course, I mean Queen Elizabeth II.
Even though I’m an American through and through, I have a special love for our neighbors across the pond. My ancestry is both English and Scottish. My paternal grandfather’s side of the family comes from the clan MacDonald and my paternal grandmother’s side were Londoners from a very long time ago. Both sides came to the USA early on—late 1600s. My fifth generation back great-grandfather enlisted in George Washington’s army when he was only 15 and almost froze to death at Valley Forge. My MacDonald relatives fled Scotland near the time of the Glencoe massacre so we’re definitely long term residents of the North American continent.
That doesn’t take away from the fact that I love the United Kingdom. In fact, every time I visit, I feel like I’ve come home. It’s kind of weird how that feeling just comes over me from the minute I step off the plane.
I don’t know that I’d call myself a monarchist, but I do enjoy reading about and studying the history of the various countries making up the UK. I have followed the lives of the current royal family since Lady Diana became engaged to Prince Charles. She and I were the same age and both had two sons so I felt an affinity for her.
Queen Elizabeth was a woman to be looked up to. She worked hard in the time of WWII and made herself useful. From the time she took the throne—and even before that—she served her country tirelessly. Even up to the Tuesday before she passed away on Thursday. That’s admirable. Ninety-six years old and still working. Very impressive.
I didn’t think she’d live long once she lost her husband. It’s a sad fact that many long term partners pass away in close proximity to each other. They become so dependent on each other, they seem to deteriorate faster once one is gone. She had been looking quite frail lately which was worrisome.
I was saddened by a lot of ugly comments online about the queen’s passing. I get that some people do not admire her nor the institution she represented, but at the end of the day, she was a woman. A human being. A mother, grandmother, aunt, cousin, friend. Her family, no matter rank or standing, has a huge loss to cope with just in their personal capacity, not even considering succession and all that entails. I wish the people making such unkind comments would take a moment and remember that. Can you imagine having to grieve in such a public way? And subject to nasty comments? It would make it so much harder, I think.
The end of the second Elizabethan era comes to an end and the beginning of the third Charles era begins. What do we call it? Charlesian?
It’ll be interesting to see how long it takes to change over all the currency, beefeater uniforms, post boxes, etc. Not many of us would have been witness to those kind of mundane changes when Queen Elizabeth took over from her father. History. We’re living history right now. A front row seat, so to speak.
Jillian here. Can you believe it’s already August and will be in the double digits of August tomorrow? Where is the time going?
I have completed (with my editor) edits on my newest book which will be under my other name. I hope to make a series of this one, but I am having a dickens of a time figuring out a cover plan. I used a lot of local places in the story and lots of local ghost lore with the historical buildings and areas being visited by the heroine. I don’t want a cluttered cover and am not sure about the new covers out there for cozy mysteries and so I am just at a standstill with the book. Gotta figure it out! LOL!
My mom and sister both are August babies so I actually went out shopping (!) for their gifts last week. I am not a shopper at all so this was big.
Premier league football (soccer for the USA crowd) has started back and I am cheering on the Liverpool team as I have for over 20 years.
The air conditioning has been out at my office and we are sweltering. Have had my fans going and windows open– a small breeze is always an “ahhh” moment. We have had two estimates for a new unit and waiting on a 3rd. Over $8,000.00 is what we’re looking to have to spend. UGH! But it has to be done. We’ve had some rain too so that helps cool it off. It’s decision time, though.
The best news of the month is that my husband will finish his cancer treatment this week and we can’t wait for him to ring that bell on Friday. We have kept it on the down-low on FB as he didn’t want all his extended family to tell the whole town where he is from. A small town in Alabama where he only had 18 people in his graduating class. He hates even when his sisters call to check on him so he sure didn’t want the whole town to know. 🙂 (and I’ve now told the whole blogger-verse!)
Jillian here! Hope everyone is having a nice summer. It’s been wild weatherwise here. Over 100 degrees Fahrenheit with over 111 heat index every day for a couple of weeks in June, then rainstorms with thunder and lightning all day, every day (dark as night at noon) for the end of June and first six days of July. As I write this, we’re back to more normal temps of around 85-90 and only small afternoon thunderstorms.
All this heat and rain misery made me decide to start reading a book I got at Christmas – It’s called The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries and is a collection of a ton of stories set at the festive season. Lots of favorite writers have set mysteries at Christmas and this book is chock-a-block. From Agatha Christie to Peter Lovesey, to Colin Dexter, Rex Stout, O. Henry, John Mortimer, Ellery Queen, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (and some new to me authors that I am digging), I am loving this set of stories. The pages are double-columned so its 640 pages is more like 1,280 pages– enough to keep me entertained for the month, I hope… Except I am almost to page 400 already and it’s only 8 days into the month. LOL
I am liking this collection of tales so much, I ordered The Big Book of Ghost Stories edited by this same gentleman. He has great taste in stories.
Here is the cover and the list of stories sorted into types. Hope you recognize some of your favorite writers, too. – I love the picture from the 1930s, don’t you?