Monday, December 13, 2010

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof...

Last evening I was comfortably ensconced in my bed, under a pile of blankets reading a good book.  It had been raining all day, and it was particularly cold, so it seemed like a good evening to relax under some blankets. It was so peaceful and calm, the perfect end to a great weekend.  Suddenly, there was a loud noise above my head coming from the roof.  In all the time I've lived in my home I've only heard that same noise once, and that was when my Dad had gone up to my roof to do some repairs.  It was the sound of someone walking around on my roof.

I live in the quiet countryside, and have never felt threatened in my home.  The thought of intruders to my home doesn't even cross my mind.  The sound of someone walking around on my roof though sent fear spiraling through me.  I felt instantly vulnerable, and certainly not in a position to protect myself.  I leaped from bed as I heard the person moving around on the roof, hoping that it was just one of my friends come to play a prank on me. 

My roommate was in the kitchen, and as I passed through with the coat I hastily grabbed, told her of the noise (which she hadn't heard) and how I was about to go outside and investigate.  As cliche as this sounds I even gave her the line, "If I'm not back in a short while get help."  Maybe that wasn't so cliche as it was smart to have a plan :)

Outside I didn't see any vehicles that shouldn't be there, and after walking around the entire house didn't see any persons out of place.  With my home being built so low to the ground with angled roof space I had a fairly good view of most of the roof and didn't see any looming figures walking around.

I came back inside, out of the cold wet rain, and told my roommate of my findings, absolutely NOTHING.  I was describing to her the noise I had heard, when suddenly we both heard it over our heads.  She immediately wanted to check on her cats (I think she had an inkling at this time where the source of the noise might be coming from). 

When she walked outside she was greeted by one of her two cats.  The other cat knowing it's Momma's voice decided to come and peek over the side of the roof where it had been walking around only moments before.  That silly cat had managed to climb up the old utility pole next to my bedroom and jump onto the roof, which in turned scared a couple years off my life.  After some coaxing from my roommate she managed to get him in position where she was able to manhandle him off the roof.

My roommate has reminded me that there is an old fable about being "as light-footed as a cat."  This particular cat though has the footfalls of a grown man.  We're just hoping the disgruntled look he gave my roommate just prior to coming down is proof that he's learned his lesson and won't be making a trip back to my roof.

Just the day before this incident I had been outdoors taking pictures of these two cats.  I'll let you decide which one looks mischievous enough to climb on top of a roof.

 Though I might giving away the secret I will tell you the names of my roommate's two cats.  This first photo is of Lor, short for Ailuro, which means Cat.

This second photo is of Pho, short for Phobia, which means Fear.  So, together the cat's names are AiluroPhobia, Fear of Cats.

When they first came to live with us, I told one of my co-workers their new names (and she's like me - we're not cat people).  My co-worker's response was quick and sure, "I would have called them Home and Less."

I think about my co-worker's response on days when certain cats jump on my roof, or try to sneak into our house when I'm rushing out the door.  Other than those brief moments Lor and Pho and I get along just fine.  They really are beautiful animals for being cats :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Award Winning Rooster

I happen to live next door to an award winning rooster.  Yes, as of this year my neighbor's rooster took 1st place at the Rockingham County Fair.  This afternoon I was over in my neighbor's yard enjoying a photo session and was able to get some great shots of the rooster.

I learned from my neighbor that the two roosters in the background of this photo had only minutes to live after the photo was taken.  I didn't stick around to continue taking photos of what came next.  Though I'm sure my neighbors are enjoying a good meal this evening, fried chicken or maybe chicken noodle soup.  

Monday, December 6, 2010

Working Toward A Green Thumb

Last winter it snowed, then snowed some more, and then it snowed even more.  I was ridiculously tired of snow by the end of winter.  It was days, weeks, and months of looking at the color white blanketing the ground, and if it wasn't white it was brown.  By the end of winter I CRAVED the color green!!

This winter I hope to keep my green cravings at bay by incorporating more houseplants into my home.  I actually started the process of adopting indoor plants last year, but my collection has enlarged this past year.  In recent years I've wanted houseplants, but moved around too much to make having one (or several) practical.  I guess I'm finally starting to settle down because I'm now into a plant frenzy.  Not only do I want to enlarge my indoor plants I'm also working on my outdoor gardens as well.

For someone who has a notoriously brown thumb I'm doing fairly well with my plants.  I'm enjoying reading about each one and finding out what makes them happy.  In turn they make me happy by greening up my home and providing such beautiful blooms and color. 

 This plant is the first one I brought home last year.  It came to me through the Virginia Mennonite Relief sale.  I decided last year at the Relief Sale to purchase a plant, and that in the years to come I would purchase a plant.  Each year I would have my Relief Sale plant, and when they became much larger I would take a start from the plant and donate it to the Relief Sale.  Just an enjoyable way to continue the cycle, and benefit many others.

This particular plant is a Monkey Plant.  In November it begins to bloom these beautiful pink blossoms for a couple months (atleast mine does).
The Monkey Plant is such an interesting plant.  When I first bought it I didn't know anything about it (not even if it would like the light my home receives).  I just really liked the name, coloring and feel of the plant, and couldn't resist the impulse to buy it over a plant I knew more about. 

This next photo is a close up of the Monkey Plant and it's beautiful blooms.  You might also note the interesting coloring of the plant.  The leaves are green with white ribbing, and underneath they have a deeper, richer purple coloring.  It's a beautiful effect!

I've been so happy with my Monkey Plant.  I've even been able to separate it once over the year I've had it, and give a start to my Mom.  My Mom's Monkey Plant has done so well she was able to make a start for my friend Maurita...and the cycle of giving continues.
The most recent plant to come home with me I received from my Aunt Karen over Thanksgiving.  I was commenting about her houseplants, and asked about getting a start of one of her philodendrons.  She in turned gave me the entire plant (she had two there). 

I've been so blessed by her generosity; the plant sits lovingly in my living room, and adds beauty to the space.

These of course are just a small viewing of the plants I've adopted.  I have several more throughout my home.  Some of my favorites are just the practical ones, like the herbs for my kitchen or the aloe in case I have a burn or cut.  It's amazing how much God has given us in His creation, all the beauty and practicality to meet our needs.