O is for Odd Little Group #AtoZChallenge”

odd little group I remember walking into our family room one day to find this odd little group laying on the side of the fireplace. Since I’m convinced that these toys have lives outside of being playthings, I’m not surprised when I come upon a scenario such as this one. I didn’t look too closely as I took the picture. And then it made the cut for “O” in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

Upon closer inspection, I wondered how this ragtag group came to be. I’m sure it wasn’t a prearranged meeting. I looked up at the ceiling above the fireplace to the spot that had captured Woody’s and Yoda’s attention. Hmmmmm…….

Finding the room quiet and empty of humans, Woody decided to have a rest, gazing at the hideous popcorn ceiling with glitter scattered throughout and he was reminded of the stars in the sky when he would unroll his pack out on the range and sleep under the wide dark sky with his faithful stead, Bullseye, nearby. Yoda, passing by in search of a young Padawan to train, was curious about Woody’s fascination with something skyward, and having no younglings or errant Jedis in sight, dropped (or maybe executed one of his fancy Jedi flips) down beside the cowboy.

Laying companionably side by side, the two unlikely friends found they had much in common. After all, both had found a calling in helping others to find their way and learn more about themselves. Yoda shared his frustration in recognizing the potential in Anakin and the stubbornness Luke displayed while Woody likened this to his adventures with Buzz (Lightyear). Not to be confused with another Buzz.

The other Buzz, of Beat Bugs fame, an adorable little fruit fly, along with her close friend, Walter the slug, stumbled upon the stargazing pair, while out exploring the fireplace. Buzz raised her magnifying glass to her eye, pausing to take a closer look. Walter, sensing that something exciting was going to happened and never one to pass up an opportunity to break into song, whipped out a microphone from his pocket with a dramatic flair.

It was at this time that I entered the room and pulled out my phone to take a photo. Nearby, Bumble, who had remained unnoticed, jumped into the picture upstaging Walter’s moment while executing a well timed photo bomb.

Or maybe the toys just landed there when I was tidying up and it was just a coincidence that they landed that way. I guess I’ll never know!

Have an awesome day!

-Kat

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K is for Kind #AtoZChallenge

Our dog, Ari, was under a year old when she came to live with us and when she was three, our grandson CJ joined the family also at the age of three. We weren’t sure how Ari would be with kids or how CJ would be with a dog. It was love at first sight.

CJ has always felt a kinship toward Ari because they are close in age. We don’t have the heart to tell him that dogs age faster than children do! I have loved watching these two grow up together to the ripe old age of eight! And when little Beej was born, Ari became a “mom” and we’ve witnessed her growing into that self-proclaimed position.

Ari has taught her boys how to share and how to handle it when your playmate won’t give up a toy. She has shown them that beds, chairs and laps, no matter how small, are always big enough for one more. She instilled in them the importance of reading by being a great listener when they have shared books with her. And because of her attentiveness inside the house and in the outside world, that you always watch out for the people you love.

Most important of all, I think she taught them how important it is to be kind to others, just because it is the right thing to do. And I’m happy to report that this life lesson is coming along nicely!

“This is why every kid needs a dog and every dog needs a kid!” -Unknown

This post is doing double duty between Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Kind and the A to Z Challenge.

Happy Saturday (from the one still behind in this challenge)!

-Kat

 

J is for Josie and the Pussy Cats #AtoZChallenge

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Awhile back I saw this Josie and the Pussy Cats*** DVD at a store and it caught my eye. It brought back fond memories of waiting for Saturday morning- the one day of the week when cartoons were on!

This is yet another tv show that my sisters and I re-enacted. Conveniently, the hair colors were close enough that we each had our assigned Pussy Cat. (I was Josie.) If you’re not familiar with it, this animated  show was about the Pussy Cats who performed all over the world and always managed to get involved in some adventure wherever they were. We loved playing out their wacky adventures and, of course, performing! I loved my pretend cat ears! Ah, the good old days!

Trying to catch up from way behind on this challenge!

-Kat

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***”Josie and the Pussycats (formatted as Josie and the Pussy Cats in the opening titles) is an American animated television series, based upon the Archie Comics comic book series of the same name created by Dan DeCarlo. Produced for Saturday morning television by Hanna-Barbera Productions, sixteen episodes of Josie and the Pussycats aired on CBS during the 1970–71 television season and were rerun during the 1971–72 season…. Reruns of the original series alternated between CBS, ABC, and NBC from 1974 through 1976.[1] This brought its national Saturday morning TV run on three networks to six years.” -Wikipedia

I is for Incognito #AtoZChallenge

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Do you ever have one of those day when you would like to go unrecognized by all you meet? We are having one of those days!

The good news is that the sun is shining and in our travels we passed by some brave little flowers poking their noses up to enjoy the spring breeze!

Hope you’re having a sunshine day!

-Kat and Beej

H is for Hummingbirds #AtoZChallenge

It’s only mildly ironic that today’s  post evokes thoughts of sunshine and warmth, considering it is freezing and snowy outside! Hummingbirds! My husband is obsessed with dollar store hummingbird feeders, which has resulted in me being obsessed with hummingbirds! One day I was sitting out on the patio, reading a book, when one curious little hummingbird ventured close to the table and approached the straw on my drink! I was unable to get a photo (of course!) but since then, I always place my drink a little farther from me on the table and keep my phone open to the camera with the sound off, just in case I get another visitor!

Here are a few interesting facts I found out about hummingbirds as I have been learning about ways to attract more of these intriguing little birds.

  • Hummingbirds are able to remember every flower & feeder they’ve been to. They also know how long it will take a flower to refill. I love this! We have been convinced for years that our frequent flyers are just traveling a circuit and we are one of their many stops on the way.
  • Hummingbirds have weak feet, usually using them for perching. Hmmm a few of our hummingbirds must be lazier than average hummingbird (or maybe they just have stronger feet!! As you can see in the photo about, he’s clearly sitting there.)
  • A hummingbird’s average life span  is 5 years, sometimes living more than 10 years. Based on some of the distinctive personalities of our hummingbirds, we have always known that they do return each year.
  • Nearly one third of a hummingbird’s weight is from their pectoral (chest) muscles, which are initially  responsible for their ability to fly. These little guys are pretty amazing fliers. We have watched them battle high winds, trying to reach their favorite feeder. (Also, they zip off like a shot when they realize I’m trying to take their picture– although that might also be in part due to their eyesight– the next fun fact!)
  • Hummingbirds have no sense of smell and have to depend on their keen eyesight! More than once I have caught one of these cheeky devils hovering by the window, apparently trying to make eye contact?? when the feeder is empty!!
  • Hummingbirds can be some of the most aggressive birds. They are territorial about their backyard feeders and are known to scare off larger birds. We have one mean guy who is selective about who gets to feed at our feeders (and we are talking about his fellow hummingbird friends!) He has been known to run off a few of the smaller birds when they come around.

Now, I just need the weather and time to get my space decked out to welcome these little guys!

Sources-

18 Facts You Never Knew About Hummingbirds

25 Fun Facts About Hummingbirds

Hope you’re having a sunshine day!

-Kat

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G is for Gargoyle, Gnomes & Grandparents #AtoZChallenge

I bet you’re wondering what these three “G” words have in common.

  • They begin with G.
  • They were in the running for the G post in the A to Z Challenge.
  • They will be solely represented by their photos and the worlds in this list.

Did you ever have one of those days? (Or three of them?!?!)

Have a good one!

-Kat

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F is for Funky, Far-Out Flower Tray #AtoZChallenge

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I found this in an antique shop and just had to have it~It instantly transported me back to the 70’s  and all I could think of was my childhood bedroom and the  Brady Bunch!  I’m not sure what it is. It’s textured on top so it doesn’t seem like it should be a tray, even though the size might suggest that. It measures 10 inches by 14 inches. Maybe it’s a trivet? I’m not sure about that either- it seems to be made of plastic or resin or lucite. Would extreme heat damage it? Is it too large to be a trivet? What is it?!?

All I know is that whether Carol Brady is using it to serve cookies or Alice is placing a steaming hot casserole on it, I love my funky, far out flower thing!

I welcome any guesses on what this is. I have searched high and low (on my friend, Google) and come up empty handed.

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Have a great weekend!

-Kat

 

E is for Evolves #AtoZChallenge

life evolvesOne of the coolest things is to watch your children grow up and evolve into the adults they are going to be. You will see bits and pieces of the kids you raised and then there will be all the bits and pieces they picked up along the way resulting in this awesome person.

Kris is my gender fluid middle child, who uses “they/them/their” pronouns and currently has female gender expression. The journey we have taken over the last six and a half years rivals Space Mountain in the Magic Kingdom. Having a daughter for 18 years, then a son for nearly 4 years and finally seeing Kris come into themselves has been amazing.

In a few weeks Kris will be graduating from college. They are finishing a few years later than their friends but those extra years were filled with self-discovery and growth that can only be experienced through real life living. It hasn’t been easy and it won’t be easy but boy, am I proud of this kid!

“It’s never too late to  grow up and become who you really are.” -e. e. cummings

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Have a great day!

-Kat

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D is for Dog #AtoZChallenge

  • “Happiness is a warm puppy.” -Lucy VanPelt
  • “The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.” – Andy Rooney
  • “The dog lives for the day, the hour, even the moment.” – Robert Falcon Scott
  • “The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself, too.” -Samuel Butler
  • “If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.” -James Herriot

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Happy

The Daily Post- WPC- Smile

Have a great day!

-Kat

C is for Cart- tastrophe #AtoZChallenge

I should have known better. I raised three children. I went through the terrible, tortuous, tricky, trying threes times three. As I like to remind these little boys, “I’m not new here!”

And yet, despite all indications that taking Beej to the grocery store was a bad idea that day, I went. It began with his firm assertion in the car. “I don’t want to go shopping.” He proceeded to punctuate his stand by, well….refusing to stand when I took him out of his car seat.  I was determined to show him who was in charge. I carried him under my arm, no small feat when your baggage is a 34 lb. child flailing about and it’s icy and about 10 degrees out.

We made a grand entrance with Beej kicking and screaming and me trying to to stuff his legs into the  leg holes in the shopping cart. As we made our way toward produce, which was especially crowded for 8:40am, he kicked his crying up a few more decibels and his boots off. I tossed them into the back of the cart and continued walking. Beej decided to rip his hat off his head. IMG_2866The only problem was, it was one of those cute ones with those braided yarn things hanging down on each side and I had tied them into a knot under his chin when he had tried to take it off back when we left the house. (Oh yes, this battle had begun long before the parking lot.) As he tried to pull the hat off, his cries reached hysterical levels when he couldn’t. I tried to slide it over his face but it wouldn’t give. We stood there with him screaming and me picking at the knot that I had tied much too tightly. Once the hat was untied and off his head, he resumed yelling. As I would pick up a fruit or vegetable, he would add that to his never-ending litany. “No, I don’t want bananas! Put them back!!!” (Whoever thought it was cute that he was so articulate ME??? was rethinking that!)

People openly gawked at us as we made our way through produce. I admit that I was defeated at that point but I refused to give in. Over 20 years earlier, with Beej’s daddy, I had walked out of a store or two, leaving my cart of unpurchased items behind. I was more experienced now and I would not be deterred… or obviously defeated.

When Beej spotted the display of toy cars that are on the end cap of every aisle in the store but especially by the snack foods….. you know the ones. The doors and trunk open. They’re $5.99 each. I’m sure you’ve seen them! … well, he drew on newfound energy and reached his peak. “I WANT TO GO OVER THERE!” he yelled, pointing at the cars. I answered in a soft voice (frankly, it was all I could muster), “No, we are not going to go over there. You are not getting a car.”

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At that point, he clutched my purse strapped and wailed. I had the strength of a wet noodle and just wanted this ordeal to be over. I wasn’t embarrassed or upset or mad or frustrated. Beej was three years old. He was being three. He did not want to be there and he was making it known to me and everyone in a three aisle radius. I understood.

But we were there to shop and shop was what we were going to do. The only way he would learn boundaries and limits was if I made them perfectly clear. I acknowledged that he did not want to be there but we were not leaving before we were done shopping.

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At one point I stopped and closed my eyes, looking for strength. When I opened them, this was where I had chosen to regroup. Coincidence? I don’t think so. 

As I checked out, an employee helped me bag up my groceries and Beej flipped his switch. The storm clouds parted and sun shined down on him, illuminating his angelic smile and dimples and he even batted his eyes. Of course, the employee gushed and cooed at him. The electronic pony caught his eye and as sweet as pie he asked, “Please, Nonna, can I ride on the pony?”

Just as sweetly I smiled back at him and said, “I’m sorry, sweetie, but no you cannot. You screamed your way through the entire store. Maybe next time.”

And much to the employee’s surprise but not to mine at all, Beej returned my smile and chattered on about how he had been behaving (sometimes with a devilish glint in his eye) and how maybe next time would be better. And in the blink of an eye, the storm had passed and my sweet little boy was back.

Such is life with a three year old.

Although I have been back to the store a number of times since then, I freely admit that I time those trips during my Beejless hours. (Like I said- I’m not new here.)

And I have to admit that the 20-something me would have been in awe of my composure and calm throughout the experience. The now me just wanted it to be over.

Beej’s dad was my first three year old child and he was nearly my undoing back in 1993. In general, I find this little three year old exhausting more than anything else. I can’t speak for the other adults in his life.

Did your kids have an age that was just awful? ( I actually found the teen years to be more trying than the threes- but that might be because I spent 13 years in Teen Town.)

-Kat

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