Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring? or Snow... Brrrr

Ok, for about two weeks now I wanted to write a post about spring. The weather was getting warmer, I was ready to get my bike out and thinking about riding.  Signed up again for the MS Ride - this year it is the Mason Dixon Challenge and takes place in Gettysburg July 21.  I have been riding my bike indoors, (I have a special stand for it) but that isn't the same at all. We need to get busy and ride, M & I are signed up to do a Ocean to Bay ride that takes place down in DE (Bethany/Fenwick Island) on April 16th. I'm not sure I'm up for doing 30 miles.  Actually I'm as much concerned about stopping & starting as I am riding. My left knee seems to have issues, and visions of how I broke my ankle last January keep coming back.  But I can't let that stop me.

So, we had the warm weather, even got up to close to 70 once or twice.  Really nice! But mother nature wasn't through with us.  So yesterday it dropped back down in the mid 20's to mid 30's and they predicted snow flurries over night.  We didn't seem to get them, but I did see it spitting snow this morning.  Not enough to run my windshield wipers but enough you could see it.  So we are back to damn bitter cold and I don't like it. My knee doesn't like it much either.  So I guess I'm back to riding my bike inside the house.  Or else wrapping up really well and trying to brave the wind.  Even without a wind, you still pick up quite a breeze riding.

I'm more than ready for winter to go away and spring to stay.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Cat fun

I posted some video of the cats (well Sonny) playing with the red light.  Ruby has no interest what-so-ever and doesn't get what the fuss is about.  The other two, seem to enjoy playing. Sonny especially. We got the laser light in hopes that we could help Ziggy become more active. He is getting older, he will be 10 this year. And he is overweight. The vet had said not to worry too much about his weight as long as he seemed active, happy, etc. However I know that with cats, as with people, carrying too much weight is not a good thing. And we have noticed that he is starting to have trouble jumping on the bed. So, in order to help him, we have put the cats on a diet. We were using self-feeders, which is very convenient - for us, and for "piggy" to eat as much as he wanted. Ziggy is the one that has a problem with over-eating.  Ruby is if anything underweight.  Sonny is very close to ideal weight for his size.  He also likes to eat a lot, so he could end up with a problem if he doesn't get enough exercise.
So how do you put 3 cats on a diet? Well, I researched on the internet (google is my friend), and decided we would get food that is for overweight adult cats, and mix in with their regular food.  It isn't good to suddenly switch foods without allowing a period for their systems to get used to it. We moved the food upstairs to the kitchen where the water bowl is. Instead of leaving the self feeders out all day, we are now monitoring how much they are eating. And we are limitting the treats.
Exercise is also important. So I bought several toys to try to see if I could get them motivated to play and run around. The laser light is a big hit! Both Ziggy and Sonny will run around and chase it - especially if the room is dark so the light shows up that much more. The light is motorized so you can turn it on and set it down and it will flash the light around the room, but they seem to like it more if we move the light. It becomes more interactive that way. Sonny really loves it. M thinks that maybe he is still young enough to need something like this to help him come out of his shell.  Plus there are times that we hear him going around the house crying looking for someone to play with him.  Ziggy plays with him, but then gets tired out before Sonny does.  So I think the light is helping Sonny as much as Ziggy, even though the original intent was to get it for Ziggy.  Ziggy will run around like crazy chasing the light for a few min, then we can tell he gets worn out and flops down, and then just watches.  M says it is age and the extra weight.  Ok, so I can relate.
Ziggy is my buddy. If playing games with him and putting him on a diet will extend his life and make it more enjoyable then it is more than worth it.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sonny playing RED light

video

Video of Sonny playing with the red light. This is our cats new exercise program. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

words

I've had several recent conversations about words.  A email list I participate in was discussing words.  The list is partially made up of authors and a couple of them were discussing the use of "old time words." The list also includes several teachers, and they were talking about how the youth of today has no idea what some words mean, and how "honors" or "AP" classes no longer mean much, and whether or not they do or should filter the words they use.  Several of the teachers said they sprinkle in large words in an attempt to broaden their students exposure to words.

I like words.  I've always thought I have (or had) a pretty large vocabulary.  I still think I do, but I now find I sometimes have more difficulty locating the word I am thinking of.  I know what the word is, I can almost see it, but it just slips through my fingers.  So Frustrating!! why can't I think of what I'm trying to say anymore?

Some of the words that were discussed in the various conversations - curmudgeon, mulling, plushies (or stuffies - meaning stuffed animals), umbrage, individualistic, refute, sensationalistic, and the list goes on.  I like words....

If today's society, (and it isn't just today's youth) is not using words, is it because they are too busy texting, and using text-speak shorthand instead of real words? Is it because no one reads anymore? Or has a real conversation? That is sad.