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Pumpkin Spice What?!


I almost always have a funny picture on the screen when my students enter the classroom. Here's the picture I had on my computer on Monday this week.

Pumpkin Pi

Most got that it was pi, but missed that it was pumpkin pi. One of my students informed me that October 26 is National Pumpkin Day. I hadn't been planning to do a pumpkin theme for my daily pictures this week, but that bit of info flipped a switch for me. And so the rest of the week I'll have pumpkin-related pictures for my students and a pumpkin spice blog post for my readers. Here's the funny picture I put on the screen this Tuesday.

Human Spice Latte

With my current fatigue level after turning in my midterm grades this week, it's hard to imagine that this time last year I was still working part time at Starbucks, on top of teaching full time. In retrospect, I'm actually not quite sure how I did it. But I also know that next week marks one year since I turned in my two weeks' notice, knowing that I simply could not keep up the pace of teaching during the day and cranking out the pumpkin spice lattes (PSL's) evenings and weekends (along with grading and course prep). Anyway, on to the PSL humor.
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Camping and Firewood


It's been a while since I last posted. This past month has been a very busy one. Rather than re-invent the wheel, I will let you read about it in Becka's most recent blog post.

This past weekend I went camping with my son Mark, 4 year old grandson Ryan, Mark's friend Wes, and his 4 year old son Charlton in the mountains in NC. We had a great time, all in all. The hardest part was sleeping — my air mattress had a small leak and none of us had sleeping bags that were rated for the 32° temps (27° real feel) during the night. And then trying to get our fingers moving to prepare breakfast in the cold morning temps was another story! To say that that part of our camping trip was miserable would be a major understatement! During the day, though, the weather was beyond perfect, and we had a great time! How can you freeze and get a sunburn the same weekend?! 🙂

Here are the frozen boys trying to warm up in Wes' car in the morning.

Frozen Boys

We went fishing at a trout farm near Brevard. Here are the dads and sons fishing.
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The Cat Who…


In my last post I told you about our "loaner cat." He is fitting in very well, and as we had hoped, Buddy's behavior has improved greatly. We think he is enjoying the company of another feline in the house.

We have tried out all kinds of names on the new cat, including some that were mentioned in the last post and its comments. We have finally landed on a name that seems to fit — Qwill, short for Qwilleran. Our granddaughters Avery and Della have really latched on to that name. It's really cute to hear Della calling for the cat. She runs around the house saying, "Qweel! Qweel!"

LilianJacksonBraun

Some of you will recognize the name Jim Qwilleran right away as the main (human) character in the Cat Who... series by Lilian Jackson Braun. You can read more about it in the article in Wikipedia. If you've never read any of the books in that series and you like cats and mysteries, we think you'll enjoy the books. I would recommend starting out with the first one in the series, called The Cat Who Could Read Backwards. Here's a link to a list of the titles in chronological order.

In the novels, Qwill's two cats, Koko and YumYum, help him solve whatever mystery he's working on. Their help comes in various ways, one of which is knocking from a shelf a book whose title is a clue to the solution. As we considered what to name our cat, we have found him several times lying by one of our bookcases, as seen below.

Qwill Hardy Boys

With his nose pointed towards the Hardy Boys books, he seemed to be telling us which name he preferred. We actually considered, but only for as long as it took to say it, the names Frank, Joe, and Biff.

I mentioned our granddaughter Della earlier in this post. Some of you know this already, but she became a big sister Monday of this week. Her little sister Reynolds Rebecca Collogan came into the world about 6 weeks early, weighing 4 lbs. 12 oz. Renny is still in the NICU and is doing better each day. Nora was discharged last night, and we hope Renny will be able to go home soon. Please pray for her and her parents during this difficult time of living in two different places in town. I'll post a picture of her soon. Here's a picture of Renny and Mommy shortly after the birth.
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How to Deal with a Stray Cat


For seventeen years we had more than one cat. Counting strays who lived in our yard, at one time we had a total of eight cats (!), only three of which lived indoors. We were sure that stray cats put symbols in front of our house, much as hobos had done, to let other strays know that we were a soft touch. There are far fewer strays in our current neighborhood.

Almost three years ago when the two cats we had had the longest died within a few months of each other, we found ourselves without any pets. A little over two years ago our vet contacted us to let us know she had a really nice cat that needed a good home, and she thought of us. We weren't sure we were ready to have a cat again in our lives at that time, but we caved and Buddy became a part of our household. (Did I mention that we were a soft touch?)

During many of the years we had multiple cats, our kids were still living at home. Therefore there was lots going on and the cats got plenty of attention. When Buddy joined us, we were empty-nesters, and he has found life with two quiet oldsters a little boring, we fear. With that boredom came some behavioral issues. So we took out a "loaner" cat from The Cat Clinic to see if having a companion would improve his behavior. So far the two cats are on friendly terms and seem to be adjusting well.

Unnamed Cat

We still haven't come up with a name for the new little cat but are considering some having to do with mustaches. To me, he looks like a little Frenchman. We're open to suggestions. Several that we like are Poirot...
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Another Baker’s Dozen of Signs


Some new signs have come my way, and so, I must share them. 🙂

A family in our daughter's neighborhood had a yard sale a few months ago. Here's the sign they placed in their front yard.

Ever Think Must Go

Did you ever think? If so, it must go!

This next sign shows the value of including all the words in a message.
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