Welcome to Simply Stated!

Thank you so much for stopping by. This blog is something I've set up just for fun -- yours and mine! There are any number of things that may be discussed here from everyday living in the California desert to digital scrapbooking to my favorite books to cardmaking to the art of letter writing to caring for feral cats to movies I like. After you read my bio, you should have a good sense of other topics you may find here. I welcome your comments and hope you return again and again!

Monday, May 25, 2009

See That Little White Dot?

As soon as we heard on the news yesterday morning that the space shuttle Atlantis would be landing at Edwards Air Force Base, Floyd & I jumped in the car and drove about 60 miles to an area where we could witness the landing. This is the first shuttle landing I've ever seen, and it was exciting especially for a Memorial Day Weekend activity.

Floyd is an old hand at witnessing shuttle landings dating as far back as the early 1980s when the shuttle program was still new. He worked at NASA in the early 70s at what is now Dryden Flight Research Facility, so he asked a former co-worker for pit passes to the second ever shuttle landing. He shot some great photos of the returning astronauts that day because he was so close to the center of activity.
The first shot I took with my camera (at maximum zoom) when we first spotted the shuttle following it's explosive sonic boom after shattering the sound barrier.

Below is the picture above and some others I took then cropped and optimized for web viewing.

Now, it looks like the shuttle!

Gliding past us toward the runway.

Angling down for the landing.

Traveling at more than 200 miles per hour, it's almost down.

Just me with the shuttle landing site in the distant background.

Happy Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

We Call Him Fireball

Here he is. The runt of the litter. But not short on making his way in this big old world. He is the most vocal of his litter. Always the first to wake and summon us with a penetrating, screeching yowl indicating that it is TIME to eat.

Yesterday afternoon he raced to his little dish, buried his face in his food, and wrapped his arms and paws along the rim of the bowl to block access from possible interlopers, growling if they dared come near. Fireball's Feeding Frenzy.

I burst out laughing after one look at him when he was done eating. Primo Photo Op! This has been PhotoShopped with an effect called Spatter--very apropos, I'd say. Look below to see the original photo.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mother's Day Should Be Every Day...

if I don't say so myself.

Earlier this month, on Mother's Day proper, Pine spoiled me as she always does. I figure Blogging is a license to brag, so check out the goodies I got from my sweet daughter!

L-R: Handcrafted earrings, Miniature Rose, Love picture holder, recipe cards (for Baked Artichokes, Potato-Cheese Soup, and Chocolate Chip Cheesecake) and Mother's Day Card

The three recipes are ones she prepared for me and that we munched on throughout our day together. She also took me to see the new "Star Trek" movie which I absolutely LOVED!!

Can One Have Too Many Kittens?

It's springtime in the desert which means greening trees, blooming flowers, garden planting, birds singing, and lots~n~lots of KITTENS!

Even though we'd already taken in BusterToo's (aka GoldenGirl) litter, when we discovered another abandoned litter of three tiny kittens three days ago, we brought them inside to care for, too.

In the lower left corner is Rainbow overseeing the new babies (top to bottom):
Bodie, Opal, and Coso

Yes, that's right: We have SEVEN kittens under the age of eight weeks living under foot and in our special kitten nursery (our front shower).

We are in touch with a woman in our area who runs the Tulgey Wood Critter Refuge to see if we can match the young litter with a lactating mama cat. In the meantime, it's kind of a circus around here at feeding time, but earlier today, I did the whole thing by myself while Floyd was in town on business.

I mixed four dishes of soft, canned cat food with kitten kibbles for Blaze, Fireball, Rainbow, and Sunshine. I brought them out of the nursery and put them in front of their respective dishes. While they ate, I heated the KMR Kitten Replacement Milk for the three little guys. When Blaze & Co. had finished eating, back to the nursery they went. I grabbed one new kitten, Opal, and fed her by bottle. I put her back in the nursery and grabbed her brother, Bodie. When Bodie was done eating, I popped him in the shower, and brought the last kitten, Coso, to the living room to drink her milk.

When they'd all finished eating and were back in the nursery, all seven kittens curled up together in a big, multi-colored Kitty Ball. Happy, content, purring, and ready to nap.

As I write, I hear stirrings from the nursery, so it must be time for Round Three.

Monday, May 11, 2009

500 Miles and Still Counting

Last Wednesday, Floyd and I walked Mile No. 500 during our two-mile-a-day walk. We've been tracking our progress since 16 June 2008. While our goal is to walk every day, if you do the math, you can figure out that there are some days we've missed. I guess the really important thing we've learned is even if there's a reason we can't or don't walk a given day, we just get back out there the next day rather than throwing in the towel because we missed a walk.

Thanks so much for stopping by,

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Introducing Blaze, Fireball, Rainbow, and Sunshine

If you've been following this blog, you know we have a number of feral cats on our property. These cats come and go. Some stay and set up housekeeping while others pass across our land to other haunts.

Last August, I wrote about a teen-aged cat we called "Mini-Buster" (and eventually BusterToo) because he reminded us of our cat Buster. As it happens, other than the orange tabby coat, they weren't much alike and BusterToo was female. I figured this out when I noticed in mid-March she was quite pregnant. On March 29th, I saw BusterToo and she'd had her litter. They were well hidden and we had no idea where.

On April 21st, BusterToo didn't show up for breakfast which concerned us greatly because she was a regular and made sure never to miss a meal especially after her kittens were born. She hadn't shown up by mid-day, so Floyd went in search of her litter. He found four three-week old kittens safely tucked away in an old bus. There are two tortie females and two orange tabby males.

Toward box front: Blaze
Toward box back: Fireball, Rainbow, and Sunshine
Photo taken 21 Apr 2009


BLAZE: Tortie female with large "blaze" in the middle of her face
FIREBALL: Extremely energetic orange tabby male
RAINBOW: Tortie female with every color of the rainbow on her coat
SUNSHINE: Orange tabby male with white face, white tummy, and white tip on tail

Their mama had taken excellent care of them during the three weeks she had with them. Each was strong and healthy. Their coats were in beautiful condition. Thankfully, they had all the advantanges of their mama's milk for their first three weeks.

For the fourth time in the 18 years we've been here, we're sharing our front shower with kittens. We confine them in the glassed in full-size shower when it's their kitty-nap time and overnight. We bring them out several times each day to bottle feed them using KMR Milk Replacer for Kittens. Now five-and-a-half-weeks old, they are also feasting on canned cat food from time to time.

In the past week, they've begun washing and grooming themselves, plus started play-fighting with each other, as well as playing with strings, empty paper towel rolls, and pieces of cellophane. Their playfulness and antics are adorable.

Sunshine & Blaze tussling on the bed, 25 April 2009

Thank You Card for My Long Time Friend!

At the end of April, a box arrived with my name on the label. After opening the flaps of the box, I could see that it held a coffee mug that I knew I hadn't ordered. Then I thought, oops, maybe Floyd had gotten me a surprise and quickly closed up the box.

I asked Floyd about it and found out he hadn't ordered it either, so I completely opened the package and was thrilled when I realized a good friend since the 9th grade, Carol, had had a special coffee mug personalized just for me!

On the mug's outside are three brightly colored owls along with the inscription, "Jeanie's Mug...That's Hooo!" Tooo cute! I love that the inside is burgundy colored and will never show any coffee stains! It's also the perfect size for me delivering 8 ounces of liquid. PLUS...about three days before it arrived, the coffee cup I'd been using for years had broken. Now, that's perfect timing!

First thing in the morning out on the deck, me in my jammies, hot mocha in my mug, with sun in my eyes!

Pictured below is the thank you card I made Carol.

I used a white base card, scored, and folded to make a 5.5" x 4.25 card. I added a burgundy colored card stock by Bazzill. The printed floral by Close to My Heart (CTMH) was die-cut using Spellbinders' Nestabilities Scalloped Oval and Paper Shapers' Photo Corner punch. The white oval on which I stamped the owl using Ancient Page Bordeaux ink was die-cut and embossed using Nestabilities and popped with foam tape. The owl is from Prickly Pear Rubber Stamps and was colored with Prismacolor markers. The owl is from Prickly Pear Rubber Stamps and was colored with Prismacolor markers.

Inside the card, I repeated the burgundy Bazzill card stock, CTMH floral, and added a computer printed sentiment.

Carol called the other day to say thanks for the card and that she loved it. Woo Hoo! That's why I love cardmaking!