Published in the Rains County Leader on November 28, 2017:
David and I spent the Thanksgiving holiday in Louisiana with his family. Kitty is much more socialized than she used to be, but we trust her more in familiar surroundings than in the homes of strangers. Consequently, she spent four days and nights at home alone.
She didn’t seem to mind too much, but she’s always curious when we pull out the luggage. She climbed into David’s suitcase, and when he ran her out, she lay down on the open lid of mine. Once all the cases were packed and zipped, she lost interest and went to take a nap. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on November 7, 2017:
I understand the concept of Daylight Savings Time, but it seems odd to me that twice a year a large portion of the world’s population completely changes its daily schedule. After the spring change, the standard work day ends in time to enjoy more daylight hours before bedtime; and the fall change means that less of our morning commute to work or school is made in the dark. Still, considering the disruptions caused by the changes, I have to wonder if it’s worth it.
Some people seem unaffected by the change, but I once did some research on the subject and uncovered scientific evidence that many people are. I found a Swedish study that said the incidence of heart attacks increases by 5% after the Spring Forward event, probably due to stress; and a Canadian study said that fatal auto accidents increase by as much as 17% on the Monday after Daylight Savings Time begins, probably because of sleepy, inattentive drivers. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on October 31, 2017:
Sunday was National Cat Day. I had no idea there was such a day until one of my Facebook friends posted a picture of her cat in celebration of the holiday. I went to Google to find out what this special day was all about, and I found a website with, among other things, an article giving 20 ways to celebrate. I was disappointed when I realized that at least 10 of the ways involved buying products from the company that sponsors the website and probably the day itself. I decided I’d celebrate in my own way – by writing about the feline I know best – Kitty.
Kitty has gone through a few changes lately. During a recent stop at one of the dollar stores in town, I found a toy I thought she would like. It’s a small stuffed fish attached to a pole by an elastic cord. It’s similar to a toy she had when she was new to the Brendle household. She liked to chase it when one of us bounced it around, but her favorite thing to do was to drag it around the house with the pole trailing behind her. She eventually chewed through the string, but the fish was still her constant companion. At some point, she stuffed it under or inside something where I can’t find it and neither can she, because it hasn’t been seen for months. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on October 3, 2017:
There 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 will 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.
Published in the Rains County Leader on September 26, 2017:
Okra had no place in our home when I was a kid. I don’t know if it was because nobody liked it or because it didn’t come in a can. Mom and Dad both worked long hours, and I began cooking dinner for the family when I was eleven, so there wasn’t much time or skill for preparing fresh veggies.
Okra wasn’t one of those dishes that made a regular appearance at church or family potlucks either. Fried okra doesn’t travel well or keep well like fried chicken, and boiled okra is – well, it’s boiled okra. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on September 19, 2017:
A 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…)