Sparky! And a hawk!
It is my great pleasure (and surprise!) to announce the addition of Sparky to our family. I really have no idea how we went from me looking at cute pictures of kitties at Petfinder.com to filling out an adoption form at the Animal Humane Society. It just happened (like some pregnancies -- LOL!) Doug and the 9-month-old Sparky took to each other right away, and I thought he was a nice kitty, so home he came. Sparky's been living mostly in my office until Bootsie gets used to the idea, and I adore him. Starting about Day 3, couldn't imagine life without him. Today is Day 8. He loves to sleep on my book or keyboard with his head on my hand. Or slung over my shoulder with my hand supporting his bottom. How can I possibly push him aside to work? Cuddling him is a much higher calling.
Need to give equal visibility to Bootsie. Here's a picture Doug shot a couple of years ago, I think. She loves the back windows in summer when the ivy grows over them, giving her a "jungle screen" to lurk behind as she watches the birds and furry critters that visit our backyard. She is sort of OK with Sparky as long as he doesn't try to play with her or enter her domain upstairs. Unfortunately, he wants to do both those things very much. So they're going to be separate for a while.
AJ is very interested in the new cat, and Cubby Bear is absolutely over the moon at having another kitty friend. Sparky was wary at first, but now he has discovered that Cubby's huge brush of a tail makes a great toy.
This summer, we were visited for about a week by a juvenile Cooper's hawk. He perched right outside my office window for hours! I've always joked that my utter lack of care of the backyard and its subsequent run to weeds was an effort to create an ecosystem. Well, I guess it worked! The hawk eventually caught a baby rabbit! Then s/he took off. They like to nest in Douglas firs, apparently, and our next-door neighbor has a beautiful one, so fingers crossed that s/he remembers that tasty bunny and the nice tree and maybe comes back someday to raise baby hawks. Photo below by Gerry Dewaghe.
Otherwise, life has been about working . . . and working . . . and working . . . and . . . Did I mention I've been working a lot? I'm guessing about 70-80 hours/week. So much housework and yardwork isn't getting done, it's not funny. But with the economy the way it is, and the way it's likely to be for a while, I'm not complaining. One of my clients sent me a chilled box of See's Candy for working on a series of challenging projects -- how sweet! Do you know that See's Candy comes with a nutritional leaflet? That's just wrong! It went into recycling unread.
Wrapped up my GRE class for Kaplan Test Prep. Enjoyed teaching very, very much. It definitely got me the interpersonal contact I needed and used the presentation skills that would otherwise atrophy. Plus I met remarkable people and got to know their dreams and goals and maybe help them a little toward them. I hope they all do great on the test!!! Now I am tutoring a wonderful guy, also on the GRE. I hope to teach a class again in November, but that will depend on enrollment. I'm looking forward to fine-tuning my teaching and continuing to improve in my next class.
It hasn't all been work. At the end of August, we did go on a sort of vacation to Kansas City, where we met Doug's parents for a couple of days. Visited some museums, ate some barbeque. I alternately worked and crashed, worked and crashed. Afraid I wasn't exactly the life of the party. I'd lost 5 pounds since May, but I gained 3 of it back over that vacation -- bleh. How discouraging.
Also carved out some time to watch the U.S. Open. Men's champion Juan del Potro seems like a really nice guy with a great game, so glad he won. And Kim Clijsters -- good grief, just her third tournament back from "maternity leave," and she wins a Grand Slam! I remember her as being mentally fragile, but she was incredibly focused here. And now Justine Henin is planning a return. Hurray for women's tennis!
Garden update: Bunny ate most of what would have been a great crop of broccoli, but tomatoes are producing like crazy, despite the drought. (We've had only 0.01 inch of rain so far in September!) Without time to cook, I've been just slicing them up on a plate and sprinkling salt over them.