Happy 10th Birthday, Pippin!

Pippin and clock - 7weeks

In honor of Pippin’s 10th birthday, I thought it’d be fun to share a “Top 10” list of little-known Pippin facts.  Facts about my cat, not the Broadway show.

  1. Pippin was adopted from a girl I worked with at Crate & Barrel.  She put up a sign in the stockroom advertising “Gray Kittens.” She was asking $10 for each kitten, but I don’t think I ever paid her.
  2. Pippin has moved with me three times.
  3. Pippin and I spent the first few months alone, and then when we moved to Andersonville with Jason and Chad in July of 2000, he encountered his first roommate, Kiki.  I discovered that Pippin does much better living with a roommate.
  4. Pippin has 8 of his 9 lives.  He spent one when he fell out of our third floor porch window one night in 2000, which led to a frantic search for him all throughout the neighborhood.  I found him in front of the building, trying to claw himself into a basement window.
  5. Pippin met his now-brother, Screech, in May of 2001.  They’ve been inseparable ever since.
  6. Pippin 7 WeeksPippin was named after the 1971 musical, “Pippin,” by Stephen Schwartz.
  7. Pippin is definitely a Tabby, but more than one person has mentioned they can see Abyssinian in him as well.
  8. Pippin is a small cat, especially when compared to his younger, but much bigger, brother. I often wonder if he was the runt of the litter.
  9. Pippin is extremely cuddly and affectionate, but of my two boys he is absolutely the scoundrel.  If there is food within reach, Pippin will find it.
  10. When I adopted Pippin he was only 7 weeks old.  I estimated his birthday to be February 17 since I adopted him on May 17, 2000.  Adopting Pippin was one of the best things I ever did.  He’s brought me so much joy and love.  I can’t imagine not having a pet now.  These 10 years have gone by so fast… I hope we have 10 more in our future.  Happy Birthday, Pippin!

Pippin at Christmas 2009

With a Whoosh and a Schuss!

Even though I have spent 39 years of my life in the Midwest of the United States of America, most of those years in Wisconsin, I have never gone skiing.

Until now.

This weekend I am making the trek up to my home state with a group of my friends to purposely hurtle myself down a mountainside and hope to heaven that I don’t end up crushed in a pile at the bottom.

Now of course, I’m not going to be stupid about it.  I’m going to take lessons and start on the proverbial “Bunny Hill,” or whatever they call it at Alpine Valley Ski Resort.  And I can pretty well guess that the “mountain” at Alpine Valley will look nothing like the photo at right, with jagged cliffs and deep gorges.

Still, I’m a tad nervous.

And I won’t be alone, either.  There are a bunch of us in the group who have never skied before, so at least I won’t be the only one learning how not to break my nose.

But if I come back in a complete body cast, you’ll know why.

Heaven help me.

In Memory: Frances Reid (Days of our Lives) 1914-2010

As of this posting, the media has not quite caught on, but I have learned from numerous sources on Twitter and We Love Soaps.com that Frances Reid, who played the role of Alice Horton on “Days of our Lives” from the show’s début in 1964 until the present, has died at age 95.

Frances was not just any ordinary actress.  She had the warmth of a grandmother and everyone loved her so very much, simply because of the character she played, day in and day out, on television.  On TV, she was grandmother, great-grandmother, and even great-great-grandmother to dozens of family members.  In real life, she was grandmother to millions.

As far back as I can remember, I recall my Mom and my Grandma watching Days of our Lives, and I remember seeing this radiant woman on the screen and I always knew I’d like her.  She reminded me of my Grandma in many ways.

As I grew, and I started watching “Days” with my family, I enjoyed her adventures with Bo and Hope, her wise advice and drugged donuts (remember that?), and her love of her Tom and her family.  As it turned out, she truly was everything I thought she was when I first saw her as a little kid.

We watched her as her kids grew up, and had kids, and moved away.  We watched her and cried with her when Tom Horton died (when Macdonald Carey died), and we watched her grow old and frail, but still with that sparkle in her eye.

We knew she’d be leaving us soon, but the loss still hurts deeply. She lived a wonderful, rich and amazing life. I’ll always remember her.

I think I’ll get some powdered donuts today to celebrate her memory.

Winter Blahs

Sunset shadows

This happens every winter.

We get to the last week of January or the first week in February, and the blahs hit.  The weather is stuck in freezer mode, the skies are perpetually gray, and the days get monotonous.  So it is for me right now.

I know I need to get out of here for a while.  It’s been a long time since I’ve had a vacation of any kind, and I really could benefit from the recharge.  I have a few ideas in mind– just weekend trips, nothing that would last a full week — but I’m definitely exploring the options.

There are a few fun things ahead, however.  Next weekend my friends and I are traveling to Whitewater, WI to go skiing.  I’ve never gone skiing before (which may shock some of you), but the idea of just getting away from the city for a while sounds really exciting.  We’ll be staying at our friend Jeff’s family cottage which is not far from Alpine Valley, where the resort is.  I haven’t decided if I’m going to even attempt skiing or just sit in the lodge and drink cocoa or hot toddies and wave.  Either way, I’m really looking forward to the trip.

This weekend is my nieces’ 2nd birthday, so of course a party is planned.  I’m looking forward to seeing them, as I always do.  I can hardly believe they’re already 2 years old.   Time sure flies quickly around here.

In the meantime, I will keep wrapping myself like a mummy and braving the elements.  Each day that passes means that spring is coming closer.  I can’t wait for that first 50 degree day, when runners hit the paths and the city comes alive.  From there, everything will get better.  That’s the glory of seasons, right?