Wild Life Of A Little Monster

Others are scared of me because of all the fun I have. Considered a vigilante by my Eponine.

Keeping Cool

Hyperthermia. That's actually the "real term" for what is heat stroke. Know the symptoms and what to do in case of an emergency. With very warm weather predicted for much of the country the next few days, it's important to pay attention. Don't limit your concern to people. Our pets are susceptible too. Stay cool!

More Card Action

George, Stanley and CharlieMegMacB discovered a treasure while on a Walgreen's run on Sunday ... another card featuring The Boyz! You might recall that Charlie and Stanley also were on a Father's Day card. The Hallmark photographer captured this pic of The Boyz back before George decided he hated Charlie and prior to Stan's massive weight gain. Inside the card: "Everyone agrees, you look great. Happy Birthday".

Let me know if you'd like an autographed card. I'm in tight with these three famous card models. Reality tv likely is in their future. More fame is certain.

SNL Star

While in class a week or so ago at work, there was a co-worker from Omaha on my team that I had not met previously. This co-worker insisted that I resemble Jimmy Fallon. Then he felt he had to announce his opinion to the entire group. My response was to make sure the class knew the co-worker was drunk.

Jimmy Fallon? C'mon now. My co-worker truly was drunk or in big-time need of glasses. For one, I have a mustache. Two, Jimmy is much younger. Not to mention he has about 20 times more hair, is 20 times thinner, is 20 times funnier, at least 20 times cuter, and is 20 times more SNL Star than me.

One confession, though. In college, I thought I was funny. Emceed a few campus events and activities and had a performance tape that I sent to SNL hoping to land a spot. I received a rejection letter indicating that I shouldn't quit my day job.

War Victims

There's a million causes and a million places to donate money. I am not encouraging donations with this post. My aim only is to point out or to further connect animal-loving folks. Or at least to provide another reminder how much alike animal folks are, no matter where we reside, what language we speak, what religion we practice, or any number of other things.

Saw an AP story in The Kansas City Star today titled "Families flee, but pets stay." The article references BETA -- a group in Beirut that encourages the ethical treatment of animals. The group was established two years ago and is Lebanon's first animal welfare and rescue organization. According to the AP article, humans that were evacuated were prohibited by their embassies to take any pets with them on the helicopters and ships that rescued the folks. Here's a link to the AP story on The Washington Post's site. I think you don't have to register to view.

BETA reportedly had 113 dogs and about 100 cats sheltered on July 12 as the battle started. Volunteers are actually driving animals to farms and other spots through the shelling and bombing. There's plenty of other pets that have been left by locals and others as they flee the area. I can't even imagine.

Born To Be Wild

Gettin' on the highwayThe folks came home Friday. I was really glad to see them. See, Cowboy left my house about 7 a.m. and just a short time later I heard the garage door opening. I thought he had forgotten something. It wasn't him, though. My Army Boy and Sexy Lady (that's what Uncle Cowboy told me to call them) were home from their two-week Hawaii visit. I couldn't believe they were finally home. It was so exciting!

But just like that ... they're gone again. Saturday morning they were packed up and dashing out the door. Something about some humans getting married in some rinky dink western Kansas town. I wonder if the people there will have teeth. I bet they love Bob Dole. I guess we all can't be city creatures.

I digress. Heard the garage door opening later today and there was Cowboy! Although I was excited to see the folks back, hanging out with the Uncle is like nothing else!

We do all sorts of thrilling things.......going for walks all over the neighborhood, chasing each other in his back yard, leaning out the car window (see pic) as he drives me around (he holds on tight), barking at dogs in the neighborhood, taking naps together, going to his work and spending the entire day (I took naps, but I did check out all the humans that were in his office and over lunch we went to Taco Bell), going to fast-food drive-ins, and even going out to see some baby deer. I think they are called fawns. (I've seen that movie "Bambi" before while living with some other folks.) We have lots and lots of fun. When I'm at my home, I always feel like I'm on a leashie thing.

All this is just the tip of the iceberg. He's an awesome uncle. My one complaint ... he does stay up way too late. I require much more sleep. At home, my folks go to bed early. Sometimes it looks like they are attacking each other while they are asleep, though. I cover my eyes.

They are supposed to be back Sunday night. I hope they leave for another trip soon. -- Daphne

It's The Anniversary

The Monster completed her first post a year ago today. Can you believe it? And just five months later almost to the day, it was her time to leave me. In my heart I still believe she may have known what was on the horizon and was hoping to lead me to you.

That little creature's life sure seemed so much more exciting and entertaining than mine ever could be. Maybe I was just jealous and was wishing I could sleep all day, get great scratches, receive good treats, have an awesome companion, and have a super sweet life. I also enjoyed knowing she was the writer on this site. Without her, not only do I feel boring, at times I feel so revealed and vulnerable. I couldn't at all control her ramblings. She still is sorely missed.

Thanks for stopping by during the last year. It is appreciated by the both of us.

War Torn

Went to a girl's apartment once while in college and after she opened the door, she greeted me saying "Excuse the place. It's Lebanon." That was her way to describe her lack of housekeeping skills. It actually was a very messy place. Although I was a well-educated college student (self proclamation), I didn't think much of her statement. But in the 1980s, times had been very tumultous for Lebanon.

Strange now are the scenes on Nightline, the papers and other outlets that make me think of this girl and how she described her place. I casually dismissed the description 20 years ago and was just amazed a girl kept her place so messy. The scenes I see now seem so destructive and sad.

We had assigned seats in the class I was in this week. A co-worker I had never met before was next to me. I noticed his distraction and his checking out various "Arabic-looking" websites. I later discovered his daughter was in Beirut visiting her uncle and grandparents. She was born in the Kansas City area and has lived here her whole life. His daughter's safe departure from Lebanon was finally arranged. She should be flying home this weekend via Paris. The co-worker's nephews have not been evacuated yet. Although they have legal U.S. green cards, they were prevented from joining the U.S. evacuees.

I hope whatever lessons that need to be learned are someday learned, and that all arrive home, wherever home is, safely.


Cowboy left work early today. He told me he had been in some class at work the last few days and was able to sneak out after the class ended. Also said his brain was flooded, so he wouldn't be able to focus on work anyway. Coming home earlier than normal, he almost discovered me doing the stuff that I normally do. Especially since I am at home instead of his steaming hot house.

It's always a crazy feeling to get discovered. Maybe even a little uncomfortable. It wasn't like I was digging through the trash, having accidents in the den or doing something else I shouldn't be doing. It's just a strange feeling when someone unexpectedly and suddenly "catches" you in the middle of routines or escapes. I don't think he will think any differently of me, though.

It was a nice surprise to see him and to get to run outside a little earlier than normal. But already he's gone again. A moment ago he gave me a treat and said, "You be a good girl while I go to dinner with SAK."

He left his computer here and forgot to log out. So here I am! He also has his class materials sitting here. The cover says, "Six Sigma." Sounds all "DaVinci Code" like to me. By the way, he sure didn't look any smarter after all that learning. Just my opinion.

OK, I better go. There's stuff to sniff, things to bark at, treats to eat, places to mark, processes to improve .....-- Daphne

Don't Lecture Me

Must make a quick confession. I never got the air conditioner fixed. Just decided to not deal with that expense. I am sure regretting it now! Did purchase a tiny, little window unit and stuck it in the guest bedroom window. It's in the back, that way no neighbors can see it. This machine cools about 200 square feet.

I know Kansas City currently is not the only place in the country with extreme heat. Daphne and I had been mostly hanging out in the guest bedroom or just going outside and sitting under a tree. We're sweating and panting but doing OK. With Sexy Lady and Army Boy still out of town, we have spent the last two nights at their place taking advantage of the AC. Also taking advantage of a wireless Internet connection that I think is Army Boy's. Daphne has been staying there during the day. We have been traveling back and forth each night. She loves hanging out the window and making the trip. Tonight it included a hamburger from McD's. She was happy.

Hope you're staying cool! I will call to get the AC fixed soon.


O is six today, July 17. It seems like just yesterday she was born, and then boom. First grade is staring her in the face.

When O was making a visit to Cowboy's place earlier this year, I think around Easter, Daphne was present. The two fell in love. O's mom, The Wife of The Artist, reported that when O saw this shirt, she just begged and begged her mom if she could have it in order to wear the next time she came to see me. That next time (see pic) was in June during family reunion time in Moberly, Missouri. O also drew a great pic of Daphne which we mailed to Sexy Lady and Army Boy, Daphne's humans.

Speaking of which, those two are in Hawaii. The Daphne dog is hanging out with Cowboy. We're having great times. Lots of walks. It's been super hot, though, with the next few days predicted to hit at or around 100. The walks will include breaks sitting under trees of neighborhood folks. Wave if you see us.

And to celebrate, O had a "girl party" one night over the weekend (which Uncle Cowboy was invited to and didn't make it), an all-friend party one day, and will have a family party. How exciting to turn six!


Sorry for my tardiness with this update. Want you to know that I escaped jury duty. I wasn't selected. Receiving word that "your service is now complete" was both a relief and a disappointment. Maybe they'll get me next time.

Failure To Launch

Watched "Failure to Launch" recently while sitting on the runway in Richmond, Virginia. The plane was diverted to Richmond (after more than an hour in a holding pattern outside our destination) in order to refuel and wait out a storm that was bombarding Washington, D.C. It was a silly movie, but it did make me laugh out loud several times.

Sat there for over three hours. It rained the whole time we were in Richmond. Thank goodness I had been bumped to first class. My ever-increasing bottom was very comfortable in the extra-wide seat 4E. And the flight attended provided us warm nuts. Cashews, walnuts and others that had been warmed in a a little dish. I stayed away from the invitation for booze lest I get agitated on the ultra-delayed flight, but also wondered how anyone could get upset when they have warm nuts. (Get your mind out of the gutter. Yes, you.)

Not liking the idea of North Korea test-firing missiles. A little unsettling. My hope is that they continue to unsuccessfully launch. My thought is to pray.

On the first leg of the recent flight to D.C. I accidentally sat next to a 20-year-old guy from Sedalia, Missouri. Trevor. See, I misread my boarding pass and thought it said 23E instead of 25E. It did say Group 3. I think my eyes saw that three. In any case, the dude whose seat I took was cool and opted just to take my assigned seat instead of making me move.

A mechanical problem delayed the flight leaving Kansas City by about 90 minutes. (Thus missing the connecting flight and being bumped to first class for the second leg.) Trevor and I talked the entire time. Continued to visit quite a bit while in the air. After a two-week visit home, he was rejoining his unit in Baghdad, via Kuwait. He is artillery. Performs patrol in Baghdad. He was wearing his full army gear, with the velcro on the shoulder often sticking to my washable silk shirt.

On July 5th an e-mail arrived from Trevor. He reports that it took four days to get back to his unit, it is excrutiatingly hot, things are not as bad as the press lets on, and that he received word he may be coming home in November.

My thought is to pray.

Lift Off

Discovery-photo from New York TimesThe first shuttle launch on the U.S. Independence Day. I bet it was a great occasion for those able to witness it in person. I think just once I'd like to witness a launch.

I wouldn't be honoring Eppy if I had failed to mention the launch. She was very worried and later relieved when the Discovery crew made it home in July 2005. As a mater of fact, that landing was one of her first posts. She was fascinated by those who dared to wander and explore. It impressed her that I took off and tackled the world each day. I never let on it wasn't really "the world." She fully loved exploring. A room, a new empty box, a bag, behind the sofa, a closet, the deck or back yard ... she certainly was an explorer.

Wishing these astronauts a successful and safe mission.

It's Getting Hot In Here

Not certain I fully agree or disagree, but I do believe as habitants of our great planet Earth, we do have a certain responsibility to be responsible. However, our challenge is to define "responsible."

Saw "An Inconvenient Truth" today. It's the Al Gore documentary that aims to make us all aware about global warming. For the most part, I liked it. A bit slow at times, but still very interesting. The song Melissa Etheridge recorded for the movie is good.

Hard to not walk out of the theater feeling alarmed. Maybe even full of despair. No need for one to be a crazy, liberal Democrat to experience these emotions. There are several factors in the movie that would be hard to argue against. It a bleak outcome as a result if behaviors don't change.

There are steps each of us can take to encourage "responsibility." For instance, through my AC issue I learned that upgrading to a higher energy efficient AC unit I will be consuming as much as 35 percent less energy than the prior AC unit. Plus, I am eligible for a $300 tax credit for the upgrade thanks to a provision in the Energy Policy Act enacted in 2005 by the U.S. Congress. Recycling, carpooling, utilizing mass transit, driving cars that get a higher mileage, planting more trees ... there's all kinds of other things each of us can do.

Financial Planning

Seems that many folks have traditions for the Fourth of July. I don't. I like going to a movie on the Fourth. Maybe that counts.

Over the years, I have had some wonderful celebrations. I have seen fireworks displays from D.C. (saw the Beach Boys in 1985) to San Jose, Santa Fe to St. Louis (some of the best fireworks and celebrations, including seeing Dolly Parton once at the VP Fair, now known as Fair St. Louis), and from Kansas City and Overland Park, Kansas to Tulsa and Collinsville, Oklahoma and Odessa, Texas. Each time was shared with special folks, family or friends.

There is one tradition I started a few years back. Each year on July 4th, I dump all the coins in the pocket change jar and count my booty. I have a system to my madness for the change that lands in there. See, I don't spend dimes. I save every single last one of them. However, I spend pennies. Carry around pennies just so I can boast "having cents" and then proceed to count out as many as I can. The result usually is getting a dime or two in return.

Over the last year, I also started saving state quarters from certain states. At first it mostly was states with which I had direct connections. But about January I started saving quarters from states that are the homes of some of my favorite cat bloggers.

Counted today and the pot is up 42 percent from last year! I don't know about your investments, but this is a fairly awesome return. Out performing any other investment I currently have. I know I won't get rich following this plan, but it is kind of fun. And at least I am not penniless.

And for all Americans, hope your Fourth of July celebration was fantastic. I proudly donned out on my front porch my favorite Uncle Sam windsock. It's the one that has a tag that says, "Made in China."