Miss Rosie

Sir Thomas Fox

Soooooooo what do you do when you made a promise long ago and you now need to fulfill it.

You keep it!

That is how Miss Rosie and Sir Thomas Fox came to be my most recent companions. Rosie is a Japanese Chin and Thomas is a buff colored long hair domestic feline. Both are elderly. Rosie is 15+ years old and Thomas is 13+.

Rosie has some health issues, seizures occasionally and a heart murmur for the last 2 years. She makes me laugh all the time. Her usual expression is to have one side of her mouth pouched up in a very one-sided grin. I tried to catch a photo of that but of course was not successful. She has very short little legs and sort of prances when she trots around the house. She gets tired out so I make sure I have a place shoveled so that she can go outside. This is limited to days when it is at least 12 degrees F. If it gets colder than that she wheezes.

Rosie loves food. Her favorite person is my husband. I am more of a grazer, eating yogurt, nuts, and fruit. Rosie loves meat and knows that when the man comes home there will be meat and she can smell it cooking. She greets him at the door and follows him around especially in the kitchen. It is the highlight of her day.

Rosie is deaf and can’t see that well. She has been around cats for years so totally ignores them. My cats tried hissing at her and intimidating her but they did not even register on her sweet little mind. Rosie just went about doing what she wanted to do . . . which is not always the best thing. Rosie loves litter boxes and the trash – especially that stuff in the wastebaskets in the bathrooms. Her habits have brought out the tidier me.

Sir Thomas Fox is a great cat. He lounges, sleeps, watches the birds and other critters outside, and gets along with the other cats and his friend Rosie. One of the things he got to do was to expand his horizons and travel. My Mom lived on the other side of Lake Michigan. So Thomas and Rosie both got to go on the SS Badger, my favorite ferry. They made 3 trips on her. There was a lot to go through in my Mom’s house, which will be another blog.

The first time we traveled Thomas meowed and cried until we got to the boat for about 40 minutes. Since there was no divine intervention to get him out of the carrier he finally decided to stop. He was very good with the other trips. He is also very happy that he only has had to go in the carrier one other time to get checked out by the vet and get chipped. I have a wonderful veterinarian that has a mobile pet hospital and will do house visits. With my crew of 5 it is very helpful.

Thomas is such a dear boy. He will always tap me with his paw when he wants to get up on my lap. My Mom was pushing him away towards the end of her life so he has been craving attention and I am more than happy to give it to him. He is my super cuddle bug.

The best thing about bringing them home with me is that they are the last living vestiges of my Mom. When I care for them I care for her and her memory. I also benefit because they are both very loving and that makes the circle complete.

Love is love is love and goes on and on.


_SAM5641It has been a long time since I have posted anything or done much of anything more than a drabble.

My 92 year old mother passes away on August 30 with her favorite dog in her arms and me at her side.

It has been a long process. The it is grieving. I have discovered I am not good at it.

I called her (for the most part) twice everyday. Long distance care is difficult. I truly miss her voice, her sense of humor, and just her being her.

I am slowly getting back to myself. I will be doing more writing and artwork because that is what makes me me.

Hugs to all and best wishes for the new year.
Love you Mom,

PS This is Rosie. Rosie and Sir Thomas Cat are living with me now joining Yanjing, Twilight, and Moonlight. Kyra, my Mom’s favorite dog is living the high life with a family that loves and adores her and gives her everything she wants (Kyra is and will always be a princess).

TCOL – #5 – *Warning for Women Only*

My innards went south or How I learned to love my prolapses!

This is probably the most difficult post I have ever written. I will try to bring some humor to my all too true story.

I was feeling really weird one day. I was feeling like I was walking around with a tennis ball inside my private parts. I have never been that curious of what my intimate lady parts looked like BUT the feeling was persistent enough that I decided to check it out.

On the bed with my mirror in hand and my bedside table light trained on the area in question I checked it out!

OH MY GAWD! I was growing balls or rather one large pink ball that was filling the whole area! Not what I expected or ever wanted to observe. Did I freak out? Yes! Did I immediately call my doctor? NOPE! I hit Google with frantic typing. Looking at images of how my personal domain should look and if I could find any illustrations that looked odd. I did happen to find some that showed a brand new word for me – prolapse. Hmmmm – and there were several options available for things that could be falling out of your body.

At that point I did make an appointment with my doctor. It was a month away. That for me was great. I had found one site that talked about an exercise I could do so I started doing it.

This began the time of my innards playing peek-a-boo. The lovely pink ball disappeared only to reappear. At some times I figured I could probably park a compact car in it. I was not a happy camper. If I did not do my exercises for a day or two – pouf – there it was – totally a nice pink ball filling the space.

Frustrated and afraid I decided to figure out what had gone wrong with my body and why I had developed a hole in my personal universe. I then started to figure out the signs that led up to this event.

It started out with what I chalked up to old age – I would go to the bathroom – pee – get up, wash my hands, go out the door take a few steps and then feel like I needed to go again. And sure enough yes I did . . . maybe a little maybe a lot . . . but I did go. Then there was my Pilates class. I take a private class with a friend and some of the exercises we did for the lower belly I could not feel. I could not feel the muscles contract at all. As hard as I tried to do them I could not feel them or if I finally got my body into a certain position I could those deep muscles but soooo lightly that it took a lot of attention to know that there was indeed a muscle there. The final thing that I noticed was that my low back issues had returned. That is why I went to PT in the first place. My lower spine L4, L5, and S1 tip different directions and that angers my sciatic nerve. Once again I was having hard tight hamstring muscles.

My doctor appointment was interesting. I thought I had some sort of prolapse but after feeling like a hand puppet and trying to squeeze my muscles over and over again so that my doctor could figure out exactly which muscles needed help. I discovered that I could not make any of them work. I had all three of them: Uterine prolapse (prolapse of the uterus), Cystocele (bladder prolapse), and last but not least Rectocele (rectum prolapse).

I had 3 options. I could do PT; get a pessary, or surgery. I am a huge fan of Physical Therapy. It worked great for my back and I chose that as my first option. I have gone to 2 appointments and have one more at the end of the month.

The first appointment was full of information. I discovered that no I did not have a huge hole in my body. What I do have is a basket of interlocking muscles that had weakened and due to that I had gaps between those muscles. How and why did this help? It gave me the information I needed on why I had to keep going to the bathroom right after I had already peed. My bladder is basically a balloon. When it is empty in is like a regular balloon just relaxing in the front of my basket waiting to be filled so that it can fill up and then release its contents and fill again. So with me my balloon was drooping through a gap in my muscles so that it was never getting totally emptied. So we began with the process of going and then leaning front, back, and sides until it was empty.

Then the really big new thing – the exercises – which are simple and easy – there are basically 3 of them. The first one is a Kegel exercise. What I discovered is that I had been doing them wrong! I was squeezing my glutes, which did nothing to strengthen my pelvic floor muscles. The movement you want to go for is the feeling of sucking in and up like trying to keep a tampon from falling out. Or being in those awful public situations when you feel that gas bubble ready to escape and you try with all your might to hold it in.

The most important thing I learned was that this would not be a quick fix. That I needed to repeat these exercises 5 times a day. I also was not to overdo them or underdo them. These muscles are really picky. If you overwork them they just refuse to do anything. If you underwork them they also refuse to do anything. I needed to do them through out the day. There was no putting them off to do all at once at night (yes I did try that) and it got me nowhere.

The handy dandy tool was my hand mirror. That let me check (when I felt weird) if anything was playing peek-a-boo. So far I am making progress. My new goals are to get my private parts back where they belong and to stop immediately checking for where the bathrooms are located in a new place.

If you are having issues with leaking or frequent urination you may not need meds. You just may have a pelvic floor that is allowing all or some of your innards to go south. See your doctor and try PT first!

This is the end of week 3 for me and I am showing some signs of this beginning to work.

My final advice is: Learn about your body especially if you are getting older. Beware of picking up kids, grandkids, and gardening. Any position you put your body in where you are squatting and pulling up a child or nasty wild grape vines will result in a force that pushes down and out of your innards. The answer is to prepare your body before and while you do it. Suck those deep muscles in and up and hold them while you are exerting that effort. A few seconds of a deep squeeze can cancel a lot of worry and effort. Me once everything gets back in place I will be very happy to do 2 sets of these very simple exercises everyday for the rest of my life.

A huge thank you to my doctor and my PT people that have been there and have done this and will honestly answer my questions no matter how odd they seem to me! You all are stars!




I was reading a letter written to a 7-year-old girl from Hillary Clinton. Her words at first made me so happy for all the little girls and young women of today. Then I started to tear up, and then I started to shed those tears. At the age of 16 I failed. I failed myself. I was afraid! These are the words that made me cry.

“If the space that you’re in doesn’t have room for your voice, don’t be afraid to carve out a space of your own.”


Yes back in the fall of 1967 I was sitting next to my very cute football star chemistry partner. We were working on a project and I was showing him how to do it. I was so happy to have this cool guy right there next to me. After I had finished showing him how to do this. He turned to me and off the cuff said these words to me:

“Oh, so you are the intelligent type.”

Yes, I am. Yes, I am a nerd. Yes, I wanted his attention. BUT . . . at that point I learned the very awful idea that it was not always good to be the best and the brightest. So did I carve out that place for myself and say YES I AM?

Hell No!

I became less than I could be. I made sure that I made the B honor roll every semester but only occasionally the A. You see B would keep my parents happy and there were lots and lots of boys and girls on the B honor roll. I could fit in.

Another deadly comment was from another male friend that I could help show off my boobs if I wore long necklaces with a heavy pendant. I was the Donald Trump approved weight of 117 pounds not quite tall enough at 5’6 1/2 inches.

Then came the Women’s Liberation Movement. I went back to carving out a place for my voice and myself. But to this day . . . that teenager still lurks repeating those questions: Are you smart enough but not too smart? Are you pretty enough? Are you too fat? Do you open your mouth too much? Are you too . . .

My husband told me today I should probably take some time away from this campaign. I told him, “Probably – but this is too important – especially for women.”

And it is – I do not want any little girl or young woman to think that she needs to hide her intellect. I don’t want any little girl to think she needs to be a Barbie doll. I don’t want any little girl or young woman to think of herself as only a walking vagina.

“Donald pulled me aside at his wedding,” Stern said in comments that had not resurfaced until now. “He said, you know I am getting remarried, but Howard, vagina is expensive. I will never forget those words. The guy is right. Those were the exact words!”

We are more than that.

We need to be seen! We need to be heard! We need to be judged by what we actually do.

My goal is to be the best Yaya I can be for my grandchildren, to love them with my whole heart, to be smart, to be kind, and to fix broken toys.

My favorite compliment was said by one of my amazing grandchildren over a broken toy”

“We can take it to Yaya. She can fix it. She can fix anything.”

So far – Yes, I can – I like tools, I like thinking outside the box and I like a challenge and fixing stuff is a challenge. So yes, this 65 year old lady will continue to carve out a place for herself and love that 16 year old me that thought by being smart I was NOT good enough. I will just remind her that she needs to carve out that place for herself and be proud of who she was, is, and will be.

Hugs to all and be the best you you can be!





OK, my plan has always been to live to be 100. The closer I get to that age the more I am rethinking that idea. I have now upped it to 110. Why you might ask??????

Because I have endless curiosity! I think I just might be able to learn everything I want to learn by then.

I do have one big issue! My knees are not always happy. I live in a house that has steps. Yes, the only way I can get into the main living area of my house is to climb steps. Also, my studio is in the lower level (basement) so I am up and down and up and down many times each day.

On Tuesday I over did it AND chose (wrongly) to ignore it. Soooooo by the end of the day on Wednesday I could not bend my knee without it hurting! DAH! Yes, I can be a true idiot and bury my head in the sand when it comes to my health. I am a big believer that if I don’t pay attention to it THE IT will go away.

I could get away with that when I was younger. Judo injuries disappeared in a day or two. Finally had to stop Judo because it began to take too long to get my body back together.

So sadly – now it only takes a dozen or so trips up and down the steps before my knee or knees start to hurt. I have now decided that I can take action before that happens. I can put on my knee brace before I start running the steps. I could also take an aspirin or ibuprofen when it starts to bother me. I HATE PILLS!

The other issue is that there is NO WAY into my house without using the steps or walking up the hill in front of my house. So we come to the bottom line and I do mean bottom line. As I said before I need to ditch some weight. Not tons of it but enough of it.


Every pound of excess weight exerts about 4 pounds of extra pressure on the knees. So a person who is 10 pounds overweight has 40 pounds of extra pressure on his knees; if a person is 100 pounds overweight, that is 400 pounds of extra pressure on his knees. “So if you think about all the steps you take in a day, you can see why it would lead to premature damage in weight-bearing joints,” says Dr. Matteson.


I felt really great when I weighed 130 pounds. Currently I am at 157. That means that I am not gigantic and since I do exercise most (not all) of it is fairly well contained. BUT that means with every step I take I am putting an extra 108 pounds of stress on my knees! Eeeeek!!!!! So if you add the 108 to 157 I end up with a total of 265 pounds on each step since I do take them one foot at a time. And if I am doing them fast it means that for a few seconds I am airborne then boom my total weight plus the extra hits the step as my foot lands then exerts maximum force to push down and get my other foot to land on then next step. SIGH!!!!!!

So I will be paying more attention to my body mechanics, I will cut down on my favorite calories, and start doing more walking.

So this Chubby Old Lady will be working hard at being the comfy, squishy, huggable Yaya mentally and being the much more fit and physically comfortable Yaya. I want to be able to pick up, run, jump, and play with my grandkids Yaya for the next 45 years or so. One hundred and ten here I come!!!!!


PS So far I am Coca-Cola FREE! Yeah!!!!!!





Twilight, Moonlight, and Yanjing

September 22 is Remember the Rescues, a day to place as many rescues in forever homes.

For me it all started one Thanksgiving when my visiting son told me that he thought there was a cat trapped in our heat run. At that time I had never heard of ferals. After putting food out and seeing some footprints outside I thought he had gone home. The next day my son heard him again still in the garage.

I was lucky enough to have a friend that did TNR – Trap, Neuter, and Return.

The first time I saw him up by the top of the garage doors all I could see were two gigantic glowing eyes in the beam of my flashlight. Then I saw him through the window of the door and noticed that he was beautiful.

So I borrowed a trap and fell in love with him. IT TOOK HIM several months to decide that I was OK and a bit longer for him to decide that he just might be able to love me back. His name almost became Hissy Face because that is what he did for the first 2 months. I also started trapping and doing TNR on his family that lived next door under the deck. There was his Mom, his sister, and his 2 brothers. I also trapped his Dad, who was a really big guy with black velvet fur. I trapped his sister, I names Sunnyspots, too late. She gave birth to 6 kittens in the trap in the basement.

I now have Yanjing, and his nephew Twilight and his niece Moonlight inside. His two brothers Houdini and FuzzyWuzzy, and Miss Molly their Mom live outside. I have been getting their winter home and feeding station ready. Sunnyspots came back for a month or two this spring and then was off again. Midnight has disappeared which makes me very sad. All have been spayed/neutered and given their shots.

I am a DOG person. How did it happen that I fell in love with ferals????

I think it is because they do crazy, crazy stuff. Last night there was a Daddy Longlegs up above the window in the TV room. Twilight one of the kitten twins saw him and was trying to make sure that he captured it. He was on the 3 1/2 foot cat tree. He stretched up as far as he could and then took a gigantic leap and ended up hanging from the top molding of the window. I got him before he crashed and burned and then knocked down the spider so that he could hunt in a much safer way on the floor.

Yanjing is my cat hero. He totally killed a huge spider that he found on the floor just inches away from where I had been snoozing a few minutes before. He is awesome.

Then there are the 11 PM stampedes. The three of them will thunder through the house from one end to the other for about 5 minutes and that works up their appetite for their final meal of the day.

They are huge fans of paper bags, boxes, and the brown paper that comes with their food order.

They stalk each other. Bath each other. Entertain each other and make me laugh everyday.

So if you have a place in your heart and your home for a forever fur buddy check them out at your local animal shelter.

Also the photos are of my feral habitat that I am starting to winterize.

hugs to all,
The Chubby Old Lady




I love this wonderful amazing brown bubbling liquid over lots and lots of ice. My issue is that I love it too much. I love it so much that my most comfy jeans ended up being no longer comfy.

Yes, it was a sad day when I had to get out my wonderfully stretchy yoga pants and haul them up over a stomach that I swear was not mine. I was sure that someone had come in the night and replaced mine with someone else’s. Who would do such a thing?

The other small issue was the bathroom scale. For some reason it now knew no limits. It kept edging up one little pound at a time.

I needed my Coca-Cola. It was my reward for doing the stuff I didn’t want to do. The reward for lack of sleep so that I could keep going, I mean really I was not guzzling down 2 liter bottles BUT it seemed that my body was no longer in the mood to forgive a few extra calories here and there and more here than there.

So I banned it.


BUT I can zip my comfy jeans again and they do have a nice gap in the waist and I just might be ready for my doctor appointment.

Now my other issue along these lines is my love for a frozen coke. No matter what size I get, how I drink it, if I eat food with it, or anything else I have tried . . . I still seem to suffer from brain freeze.

Now I think I am fairly bright, so one would think with a great interest in science that I would have figured out that if this keeps happening . . . well then maybe I should stop stalking these things of pleasure and pain. So far it has ended up in the same category, as the Coca-Cola so I have been brain freeze free for the last few weeks.

More to come from The Chubby Old Lady with issues . . .


Color Mixing – Tap it, roll it, squeeze it, knead it.


Stuff sock with polyester fiber fill.

spill cleanup

Make sure you have a supply of towels for spills and clean up.

Tie with several layers of yarn and double knots to keep them safe.

sewing on the hat

Sew down the hat to keep it secure. I used orange thread since we are mixing yellow and red.

rit dye

I used Rit Dye – check the website for safety information.

dye capsulesetup

I filled my capsules by color groups.


These are the gel caps I used. The are available in health food stores and online.

filling gelcaps

I filled the capsules with 1/4 teaspoon dye and then put the top on it.

ready for water

Here is the sock baby ready to go. Please work one on one with children that tend to chew on things. Also please mark the bag with the child’s name.

Add 1 cup of very warm water. Allow air to escape before sealing the bag to minimize the chance of the water and dye spilling. The child may tap, knead, hit, squeeze, roll, and drop the bag using hands or feet. Keep alert for leaks and have extra bags and rubber bands ready for repairs.


The yellow capsule is dissolving releasing the yellow dye.

adding red

The sock baby is absorbing the yellow and the rubber band has been removed from the red dye capsule.


The sock baby is now ready to sit in the bag for 24 hours then he can be rinsed until the water runs clear. For children that still mouth objects the sock baby may be run through the washer and drier.

orange sockbabywashed

The sock baby is now ready for some cuddle time. Check online for how to create other sock animals and creatures.

Extension: Tie Dye Socks

You will be using this same technique. Use less water and bind the socks with yarn or rubber bands.

Time frame: This depends greatly on the students interest. It could be as little as 10 minutes to a half hour or more.

My full lesson plan is available. It includes songs and finger plays to increase interest in manipulating the plastic bag.


Cat Coat Attack

Posted: March 9, 2016 in caturday, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Yanjing and Twilight play with each other underneath a trench coat.

It is so much fun to watch them grow. They were playing with the climber/scratcher, straws, and boxes. They also love to nibble on their fresh catnip. Their Uncle also likes to get into the play time… with me standing ready to break it up if it gets too rowdy.

music: Hooky with Sloane by Bird Creek from the youtube audio library.