Monday, November 26, 2012

Polly Will Be Missed

Thanks to everyone who posted encouraging words about our new kitty, Polly. And we loved reading your comments about your own experiences with your awesome senior kitties. They gave us a lot of happiness and hope. Unfortunately, our little Polliwog passed away on Saturday morning and it came as a huge shock. We're admittedly heartbroken. It's crazy how in love you can fall with a little creature in the course of less than a week. We miss her like she's been in our home for years. May she rest in peace and hopefully, she'll be in the big cat pile that the Mister and I get clobbered with when we cross over to the other side one day.

Hug your pets super tight for us today and give chin scritches to them all in Polliwog's memory. And if you see a stray that you can help, please do what you can. And maybe even beyond what you think that you can - because you'll find in the end, you'll be blessed just as much as they are.  Polly will appreciate it from her heavenly perch (where we're convinced that sunbeams are plentiful and the laundry baskets are always full of fuzzy, warm towels). If you listen closely, you might even hear her purr in appreciation of your kindness.

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Friday, November 23, 2012

Horror Movie Daycare

This one is just too good to wait until Halloween.

Note: This one is really making the rounds today so if the video is too slow, go to their site here for a much faster run time.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Hey, Did You Happen To See The Most Random Blog Post in the World?

No? Then here it is. First off, Happy Thanksgiving to my friends who are celebrating today! I am so thankful for so many things but won't make a list here because I'll get all weepy. I will say that I am super thankful for you. It makes my day that you take the time to stop by Ranch Dressing and it's my honor to have you read my posts and/or leave your comments and encouraging (and sometimes pretty hilarious) words. I think the world of y'all!

So don't let a shadow be thrown across my exclamations of affection for you when you read this completely random kinda-sorta Thanksgiving themed post. I never really came up with a concrete idea for a post today. If this post were a pie, it would be the one that never firms up like the recipe says that it should. In other words I'll be serving this post to you, my guests over ice cream and pretending like I meant to make a delicious, warm sauce.

First up, there once was a granny cat named Polliwog....

The other day, she just...found us. This little kitty girl showed up at our back doorstep, about to fall over and die. We got her to the vet and quite truly, I could see the color drain out of the vet's face right before he gave us "the talk" and it sounded like more than likely, she wasn't going to make it out of there. She's full grown but only weighs about three pounds. She's teeny and if you pet her too hard or if the wind blows, she falls over. 

The good news is that she did get to leave the vet's office. She's quite sick and emaciated but now she's on our sun porch. The good news is that she's got a low rumble of a purr that she sometimes lets loose - and she loves tuna. We were definitely not in the market for another kitty but sometimes, fate puts a teeny kitty at death's door - which just so happened to be one block down from our doorstep. We're hoping the best for her and today, she'll be my new Thanksgiving companion. We named her "Pretty Polly" but call her "Polliwog" because we're hoping that she's in a tadpole stage and that soon, she'll be growing into a healthy, happy cat. Only time will tell if we can keep her or if we'll have to find another good home for her, but for now - I'm thankful that the universe let Polly find us.

Next up, I wanted to show you this cute Thanksgiving themed photo put out by an amazing rescue organization called Peace and Paws. 

What those pups are saying is correct -just say no to giving Thanksgiving foods to your pets. Especially bones of any kind. They can kill pets by lodging in their intestines and stomachs. My grandfather's dog, Petie died this way. Just say no, m'kay?  Peace and Paws often posts informative - and sometimes downright hilarious signs modeled by their pups. You can check them out on their Facebook page by clicking here. You'll find many more of their pup photos in their photo section there.

Another one of my favorites:

Twinkle likes to call himself "Black Dog Ninja". 

Here is a handy chart from the folks at The Dogington Post with some other holiday foods that can harm your pets. 

For a listing of more holiday hazards that you should know about to keep your pets safe, please visit this list here provided by the ASPCA. There are so many everyday items that we never think of as hazards for our pets. During the holiday season, be especially careful not to bring poinsettias, ribbons, tinsel or aluminum Christmas trees in to any home where pets roam. Some pets show them no interest but then there are kitties like mine who are out to ingest the entire world one house plant and computer mouse cord at a time!

I've told y'all before that I am a walking public service announcement and it's true. I'd make a whole mess of children a great overprotective Mom but since I have none, I like to protect everyone else in my life. Speaking of which, my brother never responded to my email warning him not to let his kids handle  those dishwasher gel packets. I bet he has a "Jeez Louise" folder for my emails. Hey though, ain't nobody gonna die on my watch!

Speaking of warnings, I laughed for like a million seconds when I saw this headline in bold print in the newspaper this week.

It paints such a pretty picture, doesn't it? Just say "whoa" to turkey washing, my friends. Or at least put it on a stick in the yard and squirt it down with the garden hose or something. It's probably pretty obvious that we're a tofurkey family. I wouldn't have any idea what to do with a real turkey if you put a gun to my head and yelled, "Feed this family of four or you die!"

Speaking of turkeys:

This illustration is being sold at an upcoming estate sale next week. Yep, that's a turkey with a cigarette hanging out of his beep-beep hole, people.

Wait, is that his beep-beep hole or are we looking at the whole other end? I told you...I so don't know turkey! I called the Mister in to look at the photo because during college, he was a meat cutter for a living. He said that he didn't know for sure but did note, "That's the most disturbing thing that I've ever seen in my entire life. That turkey gave up his life for that!" I'd have to agree and though I might take you to the linoleum for an old bottle of floor wax, you won't find me fighting you over ole Chain Smoking Turkey Face at any estate sale.

Speaking of disturbing, I once threw a birthday party with a paper turkey and made the Mister photograph the whole sordid scene. Nope, not grounds for divorce in Tennessee. He checked. 

I did these photos and made a video out of them for my sweet friend, Holly Joy whose birthday gets nearly eclipsed by Thanksgiving every year. As you can tell, it was a rousing party full of excitement and snack cakes. And that when I'm fueled by sugar and booze, I can go from happy to angry drunk in sixty seconds. 

I feel for anyone who has a birthday on or near a holiday. Mine is near July 4th and people always give me fireworks for my birthday. As you may know by now from all of my public service announcements and warnings, chances are good that I'm not going to come within a hundred feet of fireworks. Unless they're those paper chickens that shoot flames out of their butts. Those I like! 

Whatever you're doing today, I hope that you have a grand ole time - and if you're celebrating Thanksgiving, do practice restraint in the areas that need restraint. Take it from ole Eartha.

And for pete's sake, if you're inviting a turkey to your party, stick to theme and buy Wild Turkey and not Jim Beam.

Until next time,
x's and o's (and gobble gobbles!),

p.s. I hope that today and every day, all wishbones go your way. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Foyer - Before & After

We finally finished our foyer. It took over three years but it's done! It's just a tiny little space but it's been a major design conundrum for us since day one. The lighting is weird and the walls needed a lot of work.

Here we are in the foyer when we came to the house on our real estate viewing:

Blurry. That's because it was in the olden days.

Here it is on the day that we closed on the house:

Yep, the flooring was two different colors. Don't even get me started!

Here you'll see the Mister running from the camera. 
This is back when he had energy - as most of us do pre-restoration.

The wall sconce made me sad.  That's the original doorbell but I just don't know why they hung it over the heating vent. Cray-cray. 
Wanna see more of that ceiling light fixture?

Le sigh. I wanted to love that light. I really and truly did.

But even in the daytime, it made our foyer look like a spook house. 
Or a whore house. You pick. 

The walls in the foyer were painted over wallpaper. And not just any wallpaper but fuzzy, flocked wallpaper. It made for an interesting scene. We painted over it but the texture of it drove me absolutely mad. One day, I got the wild idea that I should try and peel it all off. 

Um, as you'll see. Boy was the Mister surprised when he came home!

Even Pip got in on the action.

As you can see, the wallpaper was once pink and green flowers. We also learned during the restoration that all of the trim in our house used to be dark green like the leaves on the flowers. Fancy! (and I'm glad that we weren't the ones that had to cover it with primer)

The walls stayed peeled as you see below - and what we liked to call "historic" for about two years!

I know. I know. I'm mortified now that it took us so long but as you may know, sometimes house repairs don't go as planned. This is what people saw when they came into our front door. Super classy! 

This Spring, we decided to bite the bullet and finally finish it all. We had a drywall guy come in and sand and re-plaster both the foyer and the hall. What a freakin' mess! I swear that Hell must be covered in drywall dust. After much clean-up and weeks and weeks of trying to pick colors (I'll spare you the details and the photos of dozens of paint swatches), we decided on one. We were almost done with the whole thing when I exclaimed to the Mister over dinner, "One more wall to paint and we'll finally be finished with the entire house!" We were as pleased as punch. 

And the Gods laughed. Within a couple of days,  the house flooded and the many months of the kitchen repair ordeal started. I'm pretty sure that I jinxed us. So today, I realized that I have never stopped to appreciate the "after" of it all. You know how that goes sometimes? We just zoom on to the next thing that needs to be done? So here it is. The after!

I know. It's hard to tell anything from photos of a foyer that is too small to photograph. But I thought that I should give it it's due. We found that massive landscape in the darkest corner of an estate sale house basement and purchased it before we even measured it. It had me at "knotty pine frame". We figured that "Sure! It will fit in the car!" but ha! it didn't. We ended up having to tie it to the roof and drive home at a turtle's pace. It's hard to tell here but that thing is about as big as my car. Thank God it even fit on the wall. The furniture piece is a Paul McCobb and the Mister inherited it from his late uncle. We got the 50's ceiling light for a quarter at a junk shop in my hometown. That horse clock was a birthday gift from my Mom. I've always wanted one!

We replaced the hall lights that made me sad with a pair of vintage lights that we found on eBay. I tried to take photos of them for you....but to me, taking photos of lights while they're lit is like trying to get blood from a turnip. And I'm a quitter. There! I said it.

We painted the hall yellow to separate the spaces. There was a lot of debate on the whole "one color? two colors?" issue but in the end, we went for it. We still have the old doorbell but are planning to do some work to it to make it fit in better. Mr. Kitten Pants likes to reach up and swat the chimes, sending the rest of the nervous Nellies hiding for cover under the bed. 

The attached hall was all white before and peeling. At last, it's a nice place to hang my collection of anonymous portraits. I won't go into the details now but I think that this hall is haunted. I once heard a medium say that when we bring home things belonging to other people, they carry residual energy - so we need to be careful. I'm pretty sure that one of these portraits has some serious residual energy!

It would also be a safe bet to say that this looooong hall gets some epic kitty cat raceway action! 

I was getting ready to say something about how we are NOW finished with the restoration but I know that it would be a fool's bet to even go there! Let's just say that home ownership is always a work in progress. An evolution, if you will.

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Day That Hollywood Came Calling

As I've mentioned a couple of times lately, I've been recovering from a monster of a wisdom tooth removal surgery. Never in my life have I been through anything like it. Thank God for pain meds and various branches of the Real Housewives franchise. And for a husband who has been doling out mashed potatoes and ice cream like a true pusha' man. A lot of the time, due to the swelling, I haven't been able to talk and since the force of the surgery left me with bruising around my eyes, I've looked like a cross between this:

And this:

And this:

One day last week when I was at the height of the "oh my face!" madness, I was at home drugged out of my mind and napping. The doorbell started ringing and as I was in no shape for chit-chat, I chose to ignore it. Though, in my neighborhood, "ignoring" means peeking out from behind the drapes, hoping to get a description of the person who more than likely is about to kick in your back door and run off with your TV.  The strange thing was the the man who was ringing the bell didn't leave or kick in my back door. He stayed and stayed and walked around the house and then sat in the driveway in his car for about ten minutes. I was thoroughly creeped out. I texted the Mister just in case I was later found abducted (because the kidnapping market is really hot for broke, drooling women these days)  and sat on the edge of the bed until the car finally drove away.  Super creepy.

Later that evening, Mister Kitsch came home and solved the mystery of the strange lurker. It was Hollywood!

Well, a representative at least. Do any of you watch the ABC show "Nashville" on Wednesday nights? I sure do. I can't say that it's "Masterpiece Theater" material but not since the days of two-fisting Cheez-it's with my Granny while watching "The Young and The Restless" have I enjoyed a soap opera so much. Anyway, the door knocker had left a letter on our back door saying that the show was looking for a house to shoot as one of the character's parents' houses - a "middle class home in Austin, Texas" to be exact - and they would like to come take photos of our house so that it could be considered as a location for the show.

Hello! Okay, I was freaking out! There were going to be stars in our house! And how cool would it be for our house to become a star too? I tried not to let my mind wander to the stacks of delicious bagels that would be on the craft service food tables - or the tour buses full of screaming fans who would consequentially pay good money to ride past our house from that day forth. "Will we need to install a security gate?" I wondered before telling myself that if we did, it would have gold music notes inset in it just like Little Jimmy Dickens'.

The Mister called the man who left the letter (who turned out to be the location scout) and he said that he'd been out driving around and had really liked our house. They set up a time the next morning for him to come out and take photos and check out the place. Now, I wanted it to happen. I'm talking...really, really wanted it to happen.  I jumped up out of the bed and started cleaning. And I roped the Mister into cleaning too. My mouth was throbbing and I was sweating blue blazes and my body was screaming, "lay down!" but noooooo....I did what anyone in my position would do. I cleaned and rearranged for hours. And so did the poor Mister who had just worked all day. We were frenzied with excitement and cleaning product fumes. The Mister implored of me to go back to bed but noooooo....instead he got to listen to me bleat-groan out, "It's gonna be just like Southfork!" and "I wonder if any characters will have fake sex in our bedroom? Oh no...they wouldn't do that in their parents' house, right?"

The next morning, we got up at six and got the show on the road again, with me nitpicking everything in the house (which involves shoving way too much stuff into already bulging closets) and the Mister outside doing yard work by seven. I mean, who does that? Poor guy - he doesn't even watch the show but he was so sweet to help me realize my newly-hatched dream of having "Nashville" shot in our house. The location scout was to show up at ten o'clock and around nine, I jumped in the shower and as I got dressed, I was literally sweating like I was in a sauna. My body was revolting and my mouth hurt so bad that I was fighting back tears.  

I was yelping at the Mister to hide everything cat related because "you just know that those stars are allergic to cats! It could blow it for us! We can not let them know that we have cats!!" He was lugging cat trees and scritchety-scratch posts and litter boxes to the garage. The cats were going bonkers trying to figure it all out as I scooped up the rogue fuzzy mice and hid them in vases, my shoes...anywhere that cameras couldn't go. The kitties  couldn't find their food or their water or a pot to piss in. We were now living on a sound stage and that was how it was going to be!

And then it happened. The phone rang. We were a mere thirty minutes away from possible real estate greatness when the location scout informed the Mister that there had been a script change during the night. They no longer needed a parents' house in Texas.

Just like that - kaput. fizzle. fail. They did but now they didn't. Just like that.

When the Mister told me, I slumped against the wall and moaned. He said that the scout noted that since he really liked our house, he would like to come out at another time and shoot it for his book just in case another project came up. As I tightened up my soggy ponytail and looked around at our house which was now cleaner than it had been in years, I could only force out, "but....BUT!'s clean nowwwwww...uhhh" while making a limp Vanna White hand gesture in the direction of a piece of freshly dusted furniture.

In the end, we decided to call the scout back and see if he could still come that day to take photos for his book. I was a little mortified when the Mister told him, "Look...we were up all night cleaning...we'd love if you could come while it's clean..." Sure, I was mortified but it was the truth - and nothing brings out the truth like unnecessary late-night drape vacuuming.  He ended up coming later in the day to take the photos. He was a really nice guy and in the end, it was fun to meet him and to learn more about the location process. And as my luck goes, Mr. Kitten Pants followed him around and was in most every shot. Maybe the old ranch will end up in a show or movie one day. Or maybe not. But we do appreciate how clean our floors are now and will never forget the day that Hollywood came calling....and eventually gave us the ding-dong ditch.

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Nothing to Worry About

I saw this video late in the middle of last night while tossing and turning and cursing my post-dental-surgery mouth full of woe.

When I woke up this morning, I worried that it had only been a dream...but fortunately, it was proven to be real - and about three years old. I'm nothing if not current.

One of these days, I'm going to make it to Japan and get a big dose of the rockabilly subculture firsthand. The Mister has always wanted to live there. Maybe one day...

I hope that y'all are doing good. I'm still packing chipmunk cheeks and misery. 

Until next time,
x's and o's,

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Dental Dance

I got my poor old wisdom teeth ripped willy-nilly from my skull today.

Ohhhhhhhhh Ugggggh. Blarrrrrgh.

I hope that my Vicodin fueled dreams are much like this dental dance:

Note: This video's audio was recorded low so after you click on the video, if the volume is too low, just slide that handy bar to the right of the speaker icon at the bottom left.

Until next time,
x's and ohhhhhh's,