Dinner planning in our house on a weeknight generally consists of opening the fridge and seeing what looks appealing. The cat expressed his very strong preference for chicken tonight. He doesn’t even care whether anyone cooks it first.

E was unpacking the latest plants she bought from someone on eBay, and started getting all excited. The seller had wrapped them in a newspaper page that had a long article about Downton Abbey! Even better, the seller had used two sheets of paper, and the second page included the rest of the article. 

So that’s our surprise treat for a rainy day: reading a nice long article about Downton Abbey from last January’s newspaper from Erie, Pennsylvania. 

M texted us last Saturday: “I’m going canoeing today it should be fun!”

This is right in keeping with his theme of voluntarily doing more athletic/sporty/exercise-related activities in the first month of college than in his entire high school career. So far he’s played basketball, played racquetball, gone out for a run, worked out at the gym, and gone canoeing. The canoeing seemed even more randomly weird than the others, since that was an activity he was occasionally coerced into at home (either by me when he was little, or with his Scout troop later on) and he never seemed to enjoy it.

But maybe it’s more fun when you do it with other people who… well, whatever he has in common with whatever people he’s doing it with. Guys in the dorm? Random friends or classmates? Organized groups? Who knows?  In theory, I could have worried about the logistics.  But as I commented to E, if you can’t trust an Eagle Scout to go canoeing safely, who can you trust?

Anyway, I texted him the next day to ask how it went, and got the answer, “It was fun!” I guess that’s all that really matters.

How is he doing academically, you might ask? Well, I did text him, “Are your classes going well in general? Homework load manageable?”

 He replied, “Yeah.” Which seems like a rather skimpy reply when we’re paying thousands and thousands of dollars for him to attend college. 

But at least he keeps us updated on his athletic endeavors.

One more update: he just texted that today he’s ice skating. Of course. 

My church recently announced that it will hold a “blessing of the animals” in a few weeks.  I jokingly told E that we should bring our cat.

The cat would have to go in his carrier so he wouldn’t escape.  But he doesn’t have one of those small, sleek, stylish cat carriers like all the other cats we see at the vet.  No, h’s got a battered pink plastic carrier, with half of its original plastic fasteners replaced by a motley collection of random nuts and bolts.  It’s also large enough that it could hold a small terrier — possibly without removing the cat first.  Overall, in vehicular terms, our cat drives a big old pickup truck, while all the other cats in the area are driving Priuses.

But more problematic than his unhip ride is the amount of noise our cat would produce.  When we take him to the vet (which is the only place he travels to), he yowls loudly for the first 6 or 7 miles until we get on the highway.  Then he settles down to a mild whimper, until we park at the vet.  Then he starts yowling again.  Since church is only 4 miles away, with no highway, he’d still be in his first energetic yowling mode for the service.

So maybe we should borrow our neighbors’ pet instead, to take to the service.  Their younger dog is large, energetic, exuberant, loves playing with all other animals, and dumb as the proverbial box  of rocks.  Restraining him in a crowd of other animals is possibly more than we could handle.

The neighbors’ older dog is probably the animal most in need of a blessing.  He’s slowly dying of some ailment that was misdiagnosed as cancer a year ago.  He’s covered in golf-ball-size lumps,  walks with an awkward uncomfortable waddle, and is prone to diarrhea.

Hmmm… I’m starting to see why the church announcement suggested bringing photos for “pets who need to stay at home.”

Walnut vs. pea

A cat’s brain is about the size of a walnut. A chipmunk’s brain is about the size of a pea. So what happens when the cat realizes there’s a chipmunk hiding under the oil tank?  

 The cat will stare at the oil tank until he starts to fall asleep, and I bring him inside to give the chipmunk a chance to escape. 

Three hours later, the cat and I go back outside. And then the whole cycle repeats, because the chipmunk is still under the oil tank. 

My mother called last night and asked if I’d heard from M lately. When I said no, she asked, “Did you know that he has over 400 friends on Facebook? And that at least half of them seem to be girls he met at college?”

My first thought was, “I’ve got to tell him to check his privacy settings.”

But my second thought was, “Good for him!” He had a large number of Facebook friends even before college, including many high school classmates and many of his fellow counselors from camp. And they were an even mix of boys and girls. (This is judging from what I’d occasionally see over his shoulder, as he used the home computer in the living room.)  But I’m glad to know he’s comfortable enough with people he’s getting to know at college, that he’s already added a bunch on Facebook. 

Of course, it’s not all about the social life. Based on a brief text from last night, he’s also “working out at the gym.” This is so completely unlike his high school self that I had to restrain myself from replying, “Who are you, and why are you using my son’s phone?”

Many of the items at the local food pantry are bought in bulk from a food bank, things like cases of peanut butter or canned peas. 

Many other items are random donations that people cleaned out of their kitchen cupboards or bought a few extra for the food pantry, things like miscellaneous cans of soup or a few rolls of toilet paper. 

And then there are the items in moderate quantities that mean some supermarket misjudged what customers would buy. Things like this:

As if that weren’t odd enough, clearly the manufacturer thought it was gender-specific and needed a more feminine alternative too.   So the supermarket also failed to sell this:

Pink camouflage – is that if you’re stalking flamingos?

About 90 families came through the food pantry tonight, and exactly 1 took any of this cake mix. That leaves a whole bunch of boxes left. I suspect they’ll languish on the shelves a while before they get discarded due to expiration date…


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 51 other followers