Oh yeah…

5 06 2009

So Wednesday night, around this time, I sat down with my laptop to write a blog post. There is much going on -my finally meeting Little C & seeing my sister, NE, mom AND dad; the “Little C and Me” Etsy shop: many other other sewing things; touch rugby; Yinz Team, etc.

But I could not figure out what to write about. This block continued all day Thursday.

I started no less than four posts, all temporarily saved until I came up with an inspiration… And then, when I left work, it hit me… (And good thing it happened then& not earlier!) Please hang on with me here… And allow me my memories…

One year ago today, my cat, Echo, was put down. (Ok, I wrote that and I’m not crying… Sweet!)

I wrote last October, when I started this blog, that we would bury her in December. Yeah, that didn’t happen. I didn’t bring it up and I’m sure my parents didn’t because they didn’t want to upset me.

Thinking about it now, I’m quite happy about where Echo is right now… Just above the door to the den – the room where I usually sleep when I visit – the room where she hung out with my dad while he played Free Cell on the computer – the room where I last saw her. I don’t think I’m going to ask to move her just now. I’m going to let my Dad and Mom decide when that should happen. It won’t be much fun, but I’m sure I’ll be okay with it when it happens…

For those of you interested, the links to Echo’s story:

I miss her every day. But it’s ok. We’re all ok with it now, I think…

I hope a little bit of her spirit, along with both sets of my grandparents will be alive in Little C. We’ll see. I fully intend to tell her about all of it at some point… She’s gotta know her family history, yo!

Buying liquor outside of PA

20 03 2009

So earlier today I went to Super Target. It was my first time in a SuperTarget. And I realized they probably have beer, and they did. 6 packs, 12 packs, cases. Just like every other state but PA… And they had individual craft & import beers. For $1.50 each. I nearly bought one bottle just so I could have proof of it on my receipt.

Later this afternoon, my sister and I wandered over to the Total Wine store. Total Wine bills itself as America’s Wine Superstore. And based on what I saw? They are not lying. We’re talking 3-4 times the selection of just wine as compared to the the new liquor store in Eastside (by Whole Foods). Heck it could even be more than 3-4 times. I didn’t even see all of it. They have a wine tasting bar where you can taste wine/champagne from 2-6pm EVERYDAY. I don’t think there is someone out there who drinks alcohol who could not go there and find at least 10 things they like.

Bear with these pics, people, they are really bad & blurry. I was rushing and I was totally overwhelmed by this store. PA should be ashamed of the PLCB stores.

Entrance - wine area

Entrance - wine area

Another wine area shot

Another wine area shot

We picked the champagne and then checked the beer aisle. Holy crap:




I  must have been rushed and forgot to take a picture of it, but they have PENN BREWERY beers there, people. By the bottle. And the bottles? ARE CHEAP. The most I think I saw was like $2.79 for a bomber.

I didn’t even venture to the other SIDE of the store because baby momma wanted to go. And I didn’t even make the liquor area. But what I did see? Amazing.

That plus just being out of Pgh, plus having the leader of my Fan Club perch on his majestic chariot not once but TWO times today??? Super win.

his majesty on his chariot

his majesty on his chariot

Grabbing my shovel…

31 12 2008

Wahoo… Talk about a fun Music is My Muse post….  And a very interesting way to start 2009. I swear to you, I am not on drugs… But this all is coming about because I’m apparently going to go ahead and join the Pittsburgh Polar Bear Club on New Year’s Day and take the plunge in the Mon. Along with Uncle Crappy, Mindbling & Wormy, Chachisays and perhaps DjLunchbox

Oh yea, we’re doing something more fitting of, say, this animal:


For more info:

Pittsburgh’s River Plunge

Post-Gazette 2007

The Trib

I know… The Mon… Dirty Dirty… I swear I’ll be in there for like 30 seconds max… Thank goodness I have two pairs of fleece pants, fleece socks, Cold Gear Under Armor and other things to help me warm up… And I’ve just been given the go-ahead to open My Living Room if I’m freezing my ass off and my friends and I need somewhere for hot coffee and warm food… That is why I love My Living Room…

No hard core plans for New Year’s Eve. Dinner with Anthony and perhaps Jennie of Bricks & Boxes… then a very short time at My Living Room… I will NOT be joining the other rugby folk at the bar they have chosen. Not my style… After the Living Room, then what I really should do is go hang w/ Chachisays and DjLunchbox so that I have a chance of waking up in time for the Polar Bear stuff… We’ll see…

Happy New Year to everyone. I am so thankful that I started this blog, and more so that I know the members of Yinz Team… I’m incredibly happy to know these people – whom my family call my “internet friends” (I wish I could break them of this, maybe this summer when my parents are in town some of you can come out and MEET them… then they will believe you are REAL!!) lol. Me expecting any of you to meet them is like my random dream that they will step foot in My Living Room (has never happened!) anyway…


Mind you, not everyone is in that picture. It took me 10 minutes to explain to my mom that some of them were there, but others had previous engagements… I think she got it…

Regardless, I get it.  My friend Nicole and I had  GREAT time that day!!

I am so happy I got involved in this blogging/social media/tweet/plurk/burgh thing. It has brought me out of a slump somewhat. And has helped me let go of some other things that were tying me down.

I can’t promise I will be a great Yinz Team softball team member, but what I can promise is that I will try very hard to be successful in softball (I already have a softball trainer!), that I will attend the next few or many Podcamp Pgh events, and that I will always be there for all of you – as some of you have been there for me when I’ve needed support in small ways recently… (And I’m going to beg for Yinz Team Broomball next winter!!!! Ask and I’ll fill you in!)

I’m very thankful that I know the members of Yinz Team and Pittsburgh Social Media that I do know now. Thank you for your help, support, friendship, sharing and everything else. I have tried to be my true self with all of you. More so than I ever have with The Organization folks… and I think it’s worked out for the better… If I don’t know you, I look forward to meeting you. Thanks to all of you.

Here’s to a fan-freaking-tastic New Year!!! Cheers yinz.


Aside – for myself… a goodbye to “my bunny”… hoping I can not break down on New Years, and leave the pain behind and start a New Year strong without needing her or needing to see her…


Echo – Part 2

22 10 2008

In the next few years, Echo managed to break the globe to a clock my sister & I bought for our parents’ anniversary, damage the mantle my dad built (both by sleeping where she is in the pic above & trying to “escape”) and basically leave cat hair every single place she could.

I always loved to come home, but when I came home and Echo wound her way to my room, meowed quietly and then jumped on my bed to sneak under the covers and sleep with me, I was in heaven. When my grandfather passed away, I came home and Echo did just that. But she fell asleep facing me, with one paw on my cheek. It took all of my self-control to not cry so hard as to wake her up. She loved me. And she knew I needed her. And then she moved on to explore the house.

Eventually, I graduated from college as did my sister from high school, and my parents moved to a new house and I into an apartment. By this time, or actually a few years earlier, Echo had become a scaredy-cat. Afraid of everyone & everything and we don’t know why. We can only assume one night that I wasn’t home the first year I had her, or at her little original farm home, something happened to her. One year later, I was moving out of that apartment and back home. My Mom did not want all that cat hair in her house, so she did some work and found a live-in care home that wanted a cat. My dad and I told her she was crazy – who is going to want a cat that hides all the time?? But my Mom held her ground. So we moved my stuff out of the apartment and my dad and I went back one last time to see Echo. My parents would take her the next day to her new home. I can’t even tell you how much I cried that night. My dad took pictures of me saying goodbye to her. I told her I loved her and that she’d be okay, and my dad basically forced me out the door to go home.

The next day at work, I got a phone call from my dad. He informed me that he and I my mom were “adopting” Echo, and I had to come sign “adoption papers” later that night. She was going to live with them – and with me too for the time being. I guess my parents finally realized how much I loved her, how much she needed us and how much we needed her.

So Echo moved in with the ‘rents. And she began her new life as a Pretty, Pretty Princess. Echo managed to not only gain Mom’s love, but she also would my dad around her little tail. But it started small. Tiny, considering where it went… What’s for dinner? Chicken on the grill? Love it! But Echo gets a small plate first. Almost any other grilled meat? Same deal. While Mom and I sit at the table with the side dishes waiting, my dad cuts up Echo’s portion for her. First. Now granted, you cooked something Echo liked, you had to endure the howling and “please feed me!” cries! But Mom and I laughed it off because we knew Echo LOVED him like none other. She tolerated us. But dad. He was THE MAN to Echo.

Echo lived an issue free life for a while, for the most part. Until the evil “Clyde” entered the picture. Clyde was my sister’s cat. She would sometimes bring him with her when she visited. Clyde just WANTED TO PLAY and be friendly. That’s just how Clyde rolls. And Echo, wanted NONE OF THAT. She would hide under my parents’ bed (closest way to get to my dad eventually) and Clyde would peek under the bed skirt. With my sister and I peeking on either side. And she would hiss at Clyde like her life depended on it. And Clyde was totally confused by the hissing cat under the bed. We eventually just sequestered Echo in my parents’ bedroom whenever Clyde visited.

A few years later, my parents decided to become “snow birds.” The spent April/May to September/October in Pittsburgh, the rest of the year in Florida. Echo tolerated the drive as best she could – she howled & hid. Avoided everyone at all costs. To the point that one time my parents were worried she slipped out (she was sneaky) and they lost her!!

Their original home in Florida was in the “no pet” section of the neighborhood. Mom was worried. My dad could have cared less. It’s not like Echo was always in the windows chasing people and animals! She still hid anytime anyone entered the house. Even me.

They were evacuated for at least two hurricane warnings I can think of. Each time, I got a phone call from Mom. “We’re going to be evacuated. So I’m trying to book a hotel. But it’s hard to get one that will take pets. So we might have to leave her behind.” And poor Mom had to hear me crying, “You can’t just leave her there!” while my dad is in the background saying “We’re not leaving the cat!” In the end, they took her with them every time. She was so scared every time that she didn’t cause a problem. Well, except for that one time that they apparently had to pry her from under the bed… but that was Echo.

More coming in Echo – part 3.

Echo – part 1

22 10 2008

I knew I should have started this blog, for my own sanity at the very least, a long time ago. And last night reinforced that for me.

A new internet friend, BurghBaby, recently suffered the loss of her family’s Lhasa Apso, Jasmine. And that set me back about 4 months to when my parents had to put my cat, Echo down. This wasn’t the first time that I lost a pet. The family dog, Heidi, passed away in 1998. We knew Heidi was sick, and we knew her time was coming. Soon. So we were prepared. With Echo, it just wasn’t that way.

So now, I’m going to tell her story. And it’s going to take two posts, because my bunny deserves her whole story told. And I think when you read the end, you’ll understand that my family is gonna need this nice reminder soon.

In 1995, my junior year in college I lived in an apartment with a friend. I got the idea that I wanted a cat. I don’t think I knew anyone with a cat – and I knew my mom didn’t really like cats, but still. I wanted a cat. And my boyfriend at the time searched the papers and found a local farm that had kittens free to a good home. So one day we took a drive… We went into the family’s living room and the last kitty, the runt of the litter, scattered. We tricked her into coming out – this adorable and terrified tiny white & grayish black furball.

With my new kitten on my lap, we headed home. She cried and almost immediately jumped to floor and fled under the seat. Every meow she let out, I tried to meow back. When she paused for a moment, I meowed again. And she echoed me. And thus, she was named. Echo.

That night we discovered that she had fleas. The boyfriend gave her a flea bath because I could not bear to be a part of it. Echo became an entertaining and annoying part of my life. I would sit on the couch to do work on my laptop, and she would curl up between my stomach and the laptop and sleep. And I wouldn’t move for hours for fear of waking her. I would wake in the middle of the night to a tiny kitty attacking my feet as I moved in my sleep. She was banished from the bedroom at night. I woke one morning, wandered to the bathroom to pull the shower curtain closed, only to find it in shreds. Apparently someone was climbing & sliding down. All. Night. Long. She was banished from the bathroom at all hours.

One morning, I wandered into the kitchen and noticed that the oven mitt I had hung on the freezer door (top freezer refrigerator) was on the floor. It was a Sylvester the Cat oven mitt. Newly purchased by my mom for my new apartment. It had been on a hook at least 4 feet from the ground. I hung it back up. The next morning, the same thing happened. And then I realized that tiny, little Echo was jumping up and knocking Sylvester off his hook and then fighting with him. The oven mitt was bigger than she was! But it was her FAVORITE toy for a long, long time.

As winter approached, I knew I had to go back home to Pittsburgh and the Mom who did not like cats. I tried to stay and work at school, but it didn’t work out and I was broke. I remember calling my mom and telling her I needed to come home, but that I had this little addition to the family to bring home. Mom was NOT happy, but after much discussion and yelling and crying, Mom agreed to let me bring my kitten home. And honestly, that’s where the love affair begins. My sister and my dad immediately fell in love with her. Mom, well, that took a little bit longer. Echo held her own with our poor mini schnauzer, Heidi. She would hide under the coffee table and pounce on Heidi when she passed. Heidi didn’t even care. Echo and I spent Christmas & New Years in Pittsburgh and returned to school, where she continued with her entertaining and annoying ways.

Our first summer at home, my parents took a trip, leaving my sister and I, the cat & dog at home. Not a big deal. My sister and I had gone to the mall one night and when we got home, we were unable to find Echo. Anywhere. Not in any of the wacky places she hid. My sister and I searched the house and called my parents on their trip, with Mom, sister and I in tears over the missing cat. My sister stayed inside to keep looking and I wandered outside. Walking up & down the street looking for my baby. And then I found her. On the opposite side of the house from the driveway, in the ground level, basement window well. Just sitting there, all “What took you so long?” and “It’s no big deal, I’m just chilling here.” Turns out she ripped the screen in the basement door (before we left for the mall) and snuck out that way. The very next week, Ms. Echo found herself at the vet, getting spayed & declawed. (And before anyone starts on the declawing issue, it was a bad idea, our first experience with a cat, and I’d probably never, ever do it again.)

That same summer, Mom refused to admit to it, but Echo managed to wedge herself into her heart too. Every morning, Mom would get up to make coffee or tea for my dad before work and breakfast for my sister and I. We had a little screened in porch type room off the kitchen. When Echo heard her, she would head to the kitchen and to the door to that porch. And meow until Mom opened the door. Echo would spend half the day in there. Sunning herself on the chairs and table, and watching the wildlife outside the windows.

And this is where I’m going to end Echo – Part 1. There’s more to be said, so hang on a few days…