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Monthly Archives: March 2007

Memoirs of a Cactus

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What follows is an epic tale of rejection, dreaming, overcomming, and a new sombrero. And who doesn’t like a new sombrero?

Not so long ago and not so far away in a quiet family house on an average neighborhood street, a sad and lost soul wiled away the days alone and bitter. Everyone who met him couldn’t help but be turned off by his prickly personality and that was fine with him. He was CRABBY and being crabby was all he ever knew. He had a motto: “I’m Cactie and I’m CRABBY!” And with that kind of attitude exuding from his scratchy skin,people and stayed away.

Well, most stayed away that is. A small kitten named Einstein joined the family and lived at the house. Apparently no one told him that Cactuses are crabby and will bite you if you get too close. And, having a penchant for scratching his face on anything sharp, Einstein the kitten boldly went right up to Cactie and nuzzled him, purring loudly.

This caught Cactie completely off guard. NO ONE had ever touched him on purpose – much less nuzzle him! “What’s wrong?”, he thought. “Are my needles malfunctioning? Have I lost my prickle? Oh no! Not my prickle!”

But as the days and weeks passed Cactie realized that his prickle was in fine working order as everyone else still avoided him and yelped in pain if he got too close. But his prickles didn’t seem to bother Einstein. In fact, Einstien seemed to enjoy them. And after a while, Cactie didn’t mind Einstein too much, either. He supposed that being friends with one cat would not harm his crabby reputation too much.

And as the friendship grew Cactie paid more attention to Einstein and began to wonder why he seemed so happy and carefree. Why wasn’t he CRABBY? Being a curious and scholarly cactus, Cactie executed a research observation study to learn the secret of Einstein’s happiness. His research led him to two conclusions: that he might want to try out this “happy” thing as it looked like a lot more fun than crabbiness, and that the source of Einsteins happiness seemed to be his cuddles and nuzzles with all of his friends.

This insight did not bring peace to Cactie because he knew that he would never be able to experience the cuddles and nuzzles of his family as long as he was prickly. One day he tried to pull out his needles but passed out after the first one. His only hope was a legend he had heard when he was just a baby cactus, still on the cactus farm. Like all baby cacti, he was told of the Great Cactus Fairy who could make your wish come true if you just believed.

At first, Cactie didn’t know if he could believe – it seemed like such a far fetched notion. But one night he mustered up all of his concentration and thought about the Great Cactus Fairy until he was very sleepy. He drifted off to dream-land repeating “I believe in you, Cactus Fairy” over and over again.

And in spite of any doubts, the Great and Powerful Cactus Fairy appeared to Cactie in his dream and said: “Yeh, little Cactie. I have heard your request and am here to grant your wish. Upon your waking, ye shall be transformed into a soft toy – a toy which will bring joy to everyone who sees it. And people from near and far will come to cuddle and nuzzle ye. And lo, I will give thee a new caretaker who will love and cherish thee. Plus, I’m throwing in a free sombrero because its Free Sombrero Month in Cactiland. Now wake up and be prickly no more!” And in a flash, the Great Cactus Fairy was gone.

Cactie woke up excited for a moment and then realized he’d been dreaming and his spirits fell. But maybe….just maybe… wasn’t a dream. Was it too much to hope for? Cactie slowly opened his eyes and looked down at himself. Somethine MAGICAL had happened to him! It was true – he was a soft toy! The burdonsome prickles were all gone!

Cactie reveled in his new appearance and looked forward to all the good times to come. He looked at himself from every angle, admiring his soft skin, his new sombrero, and his new red flower. He had to admit, he was quite a catch! He hoped there would be some lady cactuses in his new home.

And just like the Great Cactus Fairy promised, the next day Cactie was taken on a great journy across a great yellow bridge over a wide river. He reached his destination to find his new caretaker named Chris, who adored him. She showed him off to her friends who all loved him as well. He realized it was going to take him a while not to be surprised everytime someone nuzzled him without flinching.
And now Cactie’s dreams are fulfilled – he can’t believe his good fortune. When he thinks back to the old days – the long long ago in the before time – he doesn’t know how he could have ever thought that being CRABBY was the way to be. He is thankful everyday for his new body and his new life (and of course his new sombrero) and he dreams about the Great Cactus Fairy every night!

Woah – She Finally Posted

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Yes – you CAN believe your eyes. This blog has been updated for the first time in about seven months. Lets skip the pleasantries and get right to the meat of this post: What is the one question on everyone’s mind? “What has Kim been doing for the last seven or so months since she last blogged?” Of course! Well, there have been two major projects/changes and I’ll tell you about both:

1. Home Improvement Bonanza! Randy and I decided, for better or worse, to rip out all the floors in our house and replace them with hard wood Brazilian Cherry floors. Ourselves – as in we did all the work (well, lets be clear – when I say “we” I mean “Randy”) with help from friends and family – especially my dad! Just like so many other endeavors, one thing leads to another and replacing more than 1000 square feet of flooring was not sadistic enough for us. We also painted every door in the house, replaced all bedroom light fixtures with fans, and completely redecorated our bedroom (I did have a major role in those improvements). Below is a photographic essay on the entire process.

The day we first got our new floors – we were so young and naive then! We layed them out for a preview of what was to come. I’m not sure if it will translate in this picture but the new wood is MILES above the old laminate on which its lying.

One thing we didn’t think about until we were in the thick of it – putting in new floors is much like moving out of and then back into your house. Everything must be moved out of each room for the floors to go in and then put back. Here is much of the office temporarily residing in the living room.

Spare Room: Before. No – your eyes are not deceiving you. The room really was painted “painter’s tape blue” when we moved in. Here it is with the carpet removed, ready to be put out of its misery with several fresh coats of paint.

No – Zipper did not get into a bottle of whisky. She worked hard that first day and had the paint stains on her paws to prove it. I don’t think she was technically awake in this picture.

This picture is to prove that I did do some work on this project. You can tell because I’m wearing a bandana. A workin’ bandana.

TaDa! We have eradicated all traces of electric blue from the house. This isn’t the best picture of the room, but you can see the new colors – sand for the ceiling, pale aqua on top, and sky blue on bottom. Oh yeah – we also installed new wood blinds in every room.

Here is Randy after he ceremoniously installed the first plank of floor. Doesn’t he look proud?

Even though we painted and outfitted our bedroom when we moved in a year prior, I felt that the room looked kind of like a circus and wanted something a little more sophisticated. This is a glimpse of the new decor.

Drum Roll please……Countless hours and two months later, this is how our living room looks complete with the new floor. We LOVE it.

Finally, Linus wanted to show you the view down the hallway. He appreciates how thoughtful we were to pick flooring that matches his coat so nicely.

2. I quit my job! After a lot of consideration and discussion and anticipation, Randy and I finally made the decision for me to hang up my Girl Scout sash and take a break from the working world for a while. I was stressed out and tired and my blood pressure couldn’t take any more meetings 🙂 so after almost five years at Girl Scouts, I resigned in January and have been learning to be domestic ever since. I have been told that my cooking has improved quite a lot and I’m working on becoming organized. The best part is, I should have much more time to blog now!

So we have a lot of blogging to look forward to. Coming soon: Memoirs of a Cactus, Speedy the Turtle, and The Rebels on Gribble Drive (aka the Marksberry Animals)