Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Of Felines & Heartbreak

* To assuage any concerns straight away, the heartbreak is not related to the cats ...*

Without even realizing it, I had a rather cat-centric weekend. Despite the gloomy weather, I was in the mood for a stroll on Saturday afternoon, having survived doing my taxes. Much to Will's dismay, I knew exactly where I wanted to go.

Since July when Sir Thomas Goldencat began eating RX cat food, I have been meaning to put his unopened bag of regular, peasant cat food to good use. Not far from where we live, up a painfully steep hill, you can find a small protected stretch of thick forest owned by UCSF. Immediately upon striking out on the forest's path, you notice something strange. Scattered around are turned-over plastic bins, a propped up umbrella as a little shelter, and pie tins of kibble. Look a little more carefully and you will almost definitely see a pair of suspicious green eyes following you from the underbrush. Some kind soul (who is also very lucky to live on one of the most beautiful streets in the city) takes care of the the little community of ferral cats that make their home in the forest.

And I wanted to help.....

Armed with labelled kibble, ice tea and a cambazola and pear baguette sandwich from La Boulange, we struck out to do a little good deed and in the process, get rid of the bag that had been sitting on our washer for eight months.

The cats who want for nothing sent their regards from their cozy nest.

The heartbreak came during our walk home. Of all the little side streets we could choose from to head home, I managed to unknowingly select the one with furniture on the curb. Naturally. Here are the beauties .....

And here is the heartbreak: I couldn't bring them home. I just couldn't. In January, I embarked upon a number of exhaustive projects to get the house in ship shape order, and I just couldn't do this to myself so soon. I know. Exquisite matching clawfoot chairs just screaming to be reupholstered. Maturity stinks. I'm still pining for them. It was the right decision, though.

On Sunday, the feline weekend continued when I went to visit a friend's newly adopted friend, Cleo. Don't be deceived by those paws, she's teeny. She is such a sweetheart and so pretty!

Cleo was followed up by one of my favorite kitties in the world, Helmut. Our neighbors had us over for pizza, wine, and cat-play, of course. This boy is a beast!

Monday, March 7, 2011

It's Almost Time!

No longer will people gasp in horror when they discover that I not only have never been to Europe, but do not even own a passport. The latter situation has been rectified, although to my dismay my photo does make me look like an Eastern European terrorist. Hopefully I'll be able to smuggle cheese back, nonetheless.

Here's the *bestest vacation of my life* trip rundown: four days in Londontown starting April 1, five days in Paris, three days in Brussels & Bruges, and two days in Amsterdam before flying home on April 15. More to come on specific spots we intend to see!

With our March 31 departure date rapidly approaching, I have a long to-do list of random things to buy, learn about, and do to prepare for a two-week absence, some more superficial than others:

* Plan trip activities (nope, still haven't done that)
* Redesign blog - ok, I know that's an odd one. Lately, those flowers and these colors are making me gag. I want to blog and post pics along the way, but I refuse to share this puppy more widely in its un-streamlined state
* Write up cat-care instructions for our wonderful neighbors
* Get lots of golden RX cat food to last through absence
* Get additional keys made
* Connect with London friends
* Do taxes - done!
* Look up on customs stuff - how much cheese can I bring back? This should be further up on the list.
* Learn how to make special orders in French (waiters are going to LOVE me there)* Figure out about sending postcards from Europe (bring addresses)
* Get a haircut - booked
* Make packing list
* Get adapter for electronics, including special one for hair dryer
* Set-up auto bill pay for all bills due on or before 4/15
* Mail rent check
*Shop for .....
Camera - on it's way!
Black wool coat - ordered on online, please fit, please fit
Flat boots, new black flats
Good black leggings
New big bag - my BR is giving out after 7 faithful years :(
Watch - pictured above! The last watch I owned had Winnie the Pooh on it and honey bees ticked the time. This was a grown-up step, and essential for keeping up with timezones sans cell phone.

Better get to work on these!