Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Sigh Me says 'Goodbye'

One Week ago Sigh Me stopped eating and began to show signs of internal bleeding.  For more than a year she had been struggling with kidney problems and this time we both knew the end was near.  As I sat in the recliner all week with her in my lap, we reminisced about our time together.  These are Sigh Me's words and pictures from the last 3 years:

"Mom adopted me when I was about 5 years old. She thought I was beautiful and I think she was right.  I had very striking blue eyes and everyone I met told me I was sooooo pretty and soft to the touch.

In the beginning I was scared of my own shadow and was always looking for a good hiding place.

Mom had to be careful when she sat on the bed because I would often hide under the covers for hours and hours.

One day I hid on a shelf in the closet and stayed there for two whole days until Mom thought I had run away. 

I was afraid of people, noises, cars, and I am sure I would have run from a mouse.  So it was very stressful when Mom decided to buy Halcyon II and go traveling, with me as her companion.

I had seldom been outside and when I did venture out I stayed right with Mom...

 ...and raised Howling Hell if she went back inside without me.

So learning to adjust to a new home that bounced around, made lots of churning noises, and seemed to have a different view outside the window almost every day, took a lot of my patience.

(Why aren't there any cactus?)

To help alleviate some of my stress, Mom's son, Ron, made a little 'cat cave' for me that we dubbed the Kitty Brig.


I spent a lot of time in there the first few months on the road.

But as summer arrived I started looking for something cooler and softer.

The passenger seat was my favorite but Mom kept putting stuff there...

and sometimes it was just too hot to get comfortable at all.

I would often sleep with my feet up--us middle aged ladies get swollen ankles from time to time.

Soon I could sleep on the seat without running every time a truck passed by.  There were even times I began to watch the traffic out the window.

But my favorite was sharing that tiny bunk with Mom.  Somehow we would curl up together and sleep through the night like an old married couple.  She liked to hear me purring and said it put her to sleep.

The absolute worst was when she decided to put that strap on me.  I mostly refused to stand up and finally she got tired of trying and packed it away.  There was really nothing to worry about anyway.  I only escaped out of the RV twice in the 3 years we traveled and then I immediately wanted back inside.  As a rule, every time we moved back into the house I became restless for the road again.  Being a vagabond was not such a bad life after all.

I had Mom all to myself most of the time and when she was busy I would play video games.  

So it was sad to say 'Goodbye' to this most unusual life for a cat and also 'Goodbye' to the person that loved me so much.

(This was her last picture, taken on Saturday.  I spent that entire night in the recliner, with her on my lap.  At 8:00 a.m. on Sunday morning my dear traveling companion looked up at me, put her paw in my hand and, sadly, stopped breathing.

Sigh Me, you will be missed.

Sigh Me,  2001--2014

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Rain in the Desert

A cool drink of water.  We all need water--even if it belongs to someone else.  Well, better my glass than the toilet which seems to be a point of curiosity for her lately.  And, of course, she gets several fresh bowls of water every day--but the "oh da toilet" is so much more exotic. (now I hope she never learns how to lift the toilet lid.)

It rained on the desert today.  More Beautiful Water.  It was a slow and gentle, all-day misting that washed the dust away.

I even started the fireplace for the first time this year.  And I baked an apple crisp for breakfast so the warm house and fragrant air wrapped me in nostalgic winter comfort.  That is not a common experience here in the desert.

As the afternoon cleared I went outside to enjoy the freshness....

The lemons are ripening!  The single most wonderful feat of nature is the Lemon.

I add slices to my dishpan when washing dishes--the smell is intoxicating.

I clean the iron skillet with a lemon end and salt.  And of course, I add it to my drinking water to keep Sigh Me away. She doesn't like lemon.
Now, time to get back to work.

Allison (of  http://retiredbicycle.blogspot.com/) has had a bit of trouble commenting on the blog.  It does not always go through.  If anyone else has this trouble please let me know at
and I'll try to figure out what's wrong.  Or I will enlist Ron's help.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Mission San Xavier del Bac

Just south of the Tucson city limits is the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation and this lovely mission.
Ron had never been here and it had been years since my only visit so we decided it would be a good place for Loretta to attend a mass.

 That Saturday afternoon there was an indian market set up on the mission grounds so we strolled around admiring the crafts before the service started.

When I had visited here during the '90's the mission was under renovation and much of the inside was covered with tarps and scaffolding.

I must say, they did a fantastic job of restoring it to its former glory.

I admit I have trouble with the missions and the efforts made to convert the native Americans to catholicism and christianity.

But I do concede that the religious art and architecture in the US and throughout the world is something to admire, preserve and protect. 

It reflects the talent and visions of the day, and especially the history, both good and bad, of the occupation by the Europeans in this new land.

In front of the altar we spied this tablecloth that displayed some lovely Indian symbols embroidered on it.  Hmmm.  

Mission San Xavier del Bac was founded by the Jesuit missionary, Fr. Euseblo Kino in 1692.  The present church was built under the direction of the Franciscans.  Construction began in 1783 and was completed in 1797.
The church continues to serve as the parish church for the Tohono O'odham, whose reservation surrounds the mission.

While Ron and Loretta attended Mass I sat in the courtyard  and watched the Tohono O'odham families as they packed up their jewelry, fry bread, and leatherwork and  drove away.  I did not see any of them enter the church for the mass.
What a beautiful night.  It could be 1797 again as I listened to the singing from a crystal clear strong soprano voice as it drifted out of the church and into the moonlit night air.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Visit from the Newlyweds

Can you feel it?  The minute the Thanksgiving meal is over everything goes into a time warp.  Hours speed up and days begin to gallop by.  Gotta shop, shop, shop, bake, bake, bake, wrap, wrap, wrap, stand in line--everywhere.  Bah, humbug. 

The bright spot for me in this holiday period was the visit by the newlyweds.  They drove over from San Diego for Thanksgiving weekend and it gave me a chance to spend some time with my new daughter-in-law.

The weather was so perfect Loretta and I left Ron to play with  computers while we enjoyed an afternoon at the Botanical Gardens.

                                                  The butterfly exhibit was the best....

They are so beautiful, too bad they have to start out as ugly voracious caterpillars that munch on only the most prized veggie plants.  (Am I in a foul mood or what?)

Somewhere above Loretta's head is a butterfly.

A garden is always calming and it was, and is, a good antidote for the silly season.

I love these cactus--but, boy, are they wicked.  The one in my yard has attacked me more than once.

Doesn't it look like this cactus is dancing with the mesquite tree?

Guess where we ate Thanksgiving dinner (right--I didn't cook.)  Cracker Barrel.  When we got there it was an hour and 45 minute wait! So we hung out at Starbuck's until time to go in.
(I think this fine fellow is the many-great grandfather to our Thanksgiving Turkey.)

My friend Lynda joined the three of us and dinner turned out great.  If someone is wondering what to get me for Christmas, I think some Cracker Barrel stock would be nice.  They are always full, the staff is pleasant and well-trained, and the food is reliably good.  (No, they don't pay me to praise them.)

Update on sister, Mary--That island is turning into a Spielburg movie set. The lava flow has changed course again and it now has the potential to head straight toward Jim and Mary's subdivision. Their subdivision is called Hawaiian Paradise Park if you are following the progress of the flow on the USGS website.  Pele (goddess of the volcano) is fond of gin so Mary is being proactive and asking for contributions in hopes of calming Pele's bad temper.  I don't know Pele's favorite brand but no cheap off-brands, please.  
And if Kilauea isn't scary enough, Mauna Loa is now starting to rumble and quake. Maybe Pele has indigestion and all she needs is a truckload of antacids.  Well, what's a person to do?
Jim has the right attitude,  he says he is just 'going with the flow'.