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Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

The Brendles’ new toy | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on October 3, 2017:

pontiacThere will be one less red 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix on the streets of Emory in the future. From now on, look for the Brendles in a 2016 charcoal gray Kia Optima. For the first time in fifteen years, we have bought a car, and the Pontiac has been put out to pasture to be used only in times of schedule conflicts or maintenance visits for Kiara (little dark one).

Since we have a history of driving our cars until pieces literally begin to fall off, Kiara Kiarawill probably be the last car we will buy, so we went for all the bells and whistles. To say we’re excited about our new toy would be an extreme understatement. We can sometimes be found sitting in her with the driver’s manual open, learning how to access all the magic hidden behind the leather, buttons, and dials. Saturday we actually took a ride just because we could and also to blow off the fine layer of dust that had settled on the roof when David mowed.

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Kitty Missed Us | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on September 19, 2017:

Kitty in the Light 043016 CroppedA few weeks ago, I shared a list of ways to know if your cat really loves you. After comparing the list with Kitty’s behavior, I decided that she really does love us – sometimes David more than me, but I’m mostly okay with that. Taking my cue from the list, I’ve been responding in a more feline manner, and she has become a little more affectionate toward me.

For instance, when I walk by her and she grabs for my hand, instead of jerking away from her, I now stop and hold my hand still. She will hold it gently between her paws and sniff to see what interesting things I have been up to. Then, she’ll either lick my finger or hold it between her teeth. Sometimes, she’ll let me scratch under her chin a bit, but I don’t press my luck. If I linger too long, she gets frisky and begins to bite. She seems to appreciate the interaction, and she has started following me around almost as much as she does David. (more…)

August Rain, Climate Change, and George Carlin | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on August 15, 2017:

Creek

This creek is usually 6″ wide and half that deep.

“I think we’ve been abducted and mistakenly returned somewhere other than Texas.” I’ve heard David make that statement several times recently. It’s a valid observation. August is usually very hot and very dry in the Lone Star State, but so far we’ve had between 8-10” at our house and a week with highs in the 80s – and it’s only the 13th!

I hesitated to broach this subject, because it usually leads to discussions about climate change. The last time I engaged in that kind of conversation, it didn’t end well. Shortly after the last election, a friend who was unhappy with the results reached out to me in an attempt to understand “the other side.” She asked questions and asked for honest answers, but when I responded, she was shocked. Knowing someone disagrees with you apparently evokes completely different emotions than seeing it written down in black and white. Let’s just say she now thinks the Venus/Mars difference between men and women is more manageable than our differing beliefs. (more…)

What a city girl doesn’t know about pigs | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on August 1, 2017:

pig jumping hurdlesI met a new friend this week. Becky owns a one-operator beauty salon outside of town, and she is very popular at the Senior Center for her Senior Thursday haircuts. She’s also very interesting to talk to.

While she was working on my unruly curls, she mentioned that her son might be going to college on a scholarship, that is, if he agreed to continue training pigs for the show ring. Training pigs? I knew that pot bellied pigs could be domesticated and even trained to use a litter box, but I had trouble imagining them jumping hurdles in an agility ring or responding to commands in an obedience ring.  (more…)

Anywhere she wants – a Kitty story | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on May 30, 2017:

GorillaThere’s an old joke that poses the questions “Where does a 900-pound gorilla sleep?” The answer, of course, is “anywhere he wants to.” That same principle applies in the Brendle household. The last time we managed to wrangle Kitty onto the scale, she only weighed in at fourteen pounds, but she still sleeps anywhere she wants to.

I set a bad precedence shortly after she evolved from Kitty in chargebeing an under-the –porch stray to queen of the castle. When she showed an interest in the TV table formerly known as my computer desk, I moved the computer to my ottoman or my lap. It is, after all, a laptop. We also cleared off various surfaces to allow her a clear view out the windows, and she was satisfied with her territory for a while. Lately, though, I’ve noticed subtle encroachments taking place. (more…)

Kitty – Interior Designer | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on April 25, 2017:

Dining RoomSaturday morning was project time around our house. The first project was in the dining room and the second was in the bedroom – and Kitty was right in the middle of both of them.

The dining room task involved a new table and chairs, or new to us anyway. After David’s mother passed away, his sister inherited a good deal of her furniture. Sentiment only goes so far when it comes to decorating tastes, so she recently asked David if we would like to have the dining table and chairs. Since what we had was really too big for our dining area and didn’t match the built-in hutch very well, he said yes. (more…)

Kitty – when she’s good… | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on April 11, 2017:

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote a poem called “There was a little girl.” For those who don’t remember it, here’s the first verse:

There was a little girl,

And she had a little curl

Right in the middle of her forehead.

When she was good

She was very, very good,

And when she was bad she was horrid.

 That describes Kitty – not the curl, of course, but the good and the bad – especially during and after a week of being left on her own.

In case you missed my last column, David and I recently spent a week playing with Spike, our big dog friend. Kitty doesn’t go with us when we house sit, because she was not very well behaved the last time she visited. She’s very self reliant at home as long as we leave her with a clean litter box and a full bowl. Apparently, though, she get’s lonely.

After taking care of Spike’s needs each morning, David would drop me off at the church, and he would go to the house, check the mail, and tend to Kitty’s needs. Even though she’s still somewhat anti-social, being alone for most of the time made her much more friendly. She rubbed against David’s legs, almost tripping him up more than once, and she jumped up on the couch next to him. She even tolerated being picked up and held in his lap, sometimes for as long as a minute or two.

David is still Kitty’s favorite, but when our house sitting gig was over and we both returned home, she was even affectionate to me. She would jump up on my ottoman several times a day and stand still while I petted her, and she tolerated being brushed once in a while. Every night I wake up with her sleeping at my feet instead of just every now and then. Believe it or not, I have even been allowed to scratch her neck from time to time.

That’s the good part. The bad part is that she learned a new way to get into mischief while she was home alone.

The first clue I noticed was a dead bug or two and some bits of other twiggy-looking things on the stove and surrounding countertop. It had been windy, so I assumed I was seeing debris that had been blown down the exhaust fan (country roofs get very dirty). Nothing else on the cabinet had been disturbed, so no other possibility occurred to me. Then, one day I walked into the kitchen and knew something wasn’t right.

Our kitchen cabinets stop about a foot shy of the ceiling, and there is a small strip of molding around the top. The molding is strictly decorative  and it’s not expected that there will be any traffic way up there, so it’s only held on by a couple of staples and some glue. That day, however, the strip on the cabinet beside the sink wasn’t being held in place by much of anything except one lone staple. It was suspended at a crazy angle, resting against an angel that hangs on the side of the cabinet. I pointed it out to David, and we both knew immediately what had caused it. (Apparently, the molding hides dead bugs and other twiggy things, too.)

That night, David and I were in bed reading when I heard an unfamiliar sound from the kitchen. It took a few seconds for the sound to penetrate past the plot of the latest thriller that had my attention. When it finally did, I put down my book and listened.

“That sounded like a cat jumping up on the cabinets,” I said.

Either David’s book is much more engrossing than mine or he has never listened with a parent’s ears. “What?” he said.

I climbed out of bed and headed for the kitchen. I flipped on the light, and there she was, staring down at me from her perch several feet above the countertops, and looking very pleased with herself. I hurried back to the bedroom and grabbed the squirt bottle full of water that we use for disciplinary purposes. Back in the kitchen, I didn’t see her at first, but then she peeked out from behind the canning pot that stays above the microwave. My first shot caught her in the face, and she backtracked to the corner. I hit her with several more good squirts before she jumped down to the stovetop and took off for parts unknown.

I didn’t hear much out of her for the rest of the night, but by morning, she was waiting by the food bowl for her breakfast. Since then, I’ve seen a bit more dust on the countertop a couple of times, but she has saved her antics for her alone times, so there’s not much I can do. Besides, she’s still being pretty good most of the time, and I’ll settle for that.

Blessings,

Linda

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