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Scratch this…

I got the idea to make my own cardboard scratcher box for the cats off of a pin on Pinterest.  

 

I really liked the idea, my garage is full of empty cardboard boxes.   As much as I liked the one from Design Sponge, I didn’t have a place for the round scratcher.  Also, my cats are more vertical scratchers than horizontal or ground scratchers.  

We have bunnies that live in a large bunny condo in our great room.  The new kittens have been scratching on a piece of cardboard that I had up to keep hay from falling out of the hay bin and onto the floor.  I thought about buying a scratcher box to hang there but knew that finding the right size to cover the area would be difficult.

After rolling the idea around in my head, I got an idea to make my own boxed scratcher.  I found a box that was the size I needed and I cut it down, like this.

    

 
 Then I started cutting strips to line up inside.

        

        

I think about 80 strips filled the box, I am not sure how long it took.   I cut out the strips while watching TV in the evenings over a couple of nights.  

I didn’t take any pictures of this part, sorry.  I apologize in advance if my explanation is confusing.  It’s definitely not my intention, I will try to be as clear and concise, as possible.

Then I started gluing the strips using white glue.  One strip at a time, I dotted the glue across and set it on top of another strip.  I did this 2o strips at a time and weighted them down so they would stick together.  While the glue dried I punched some holes in the bottom of the box to run some zip ties through to form loops.  I will use the loops to attach the scratcher box to the side of the Bunny Condo.

 Once the glue was dry then I dotted glue on the bottom of the box and along one of the long sides.  I put one of the stacks up against the side with the glue sliding it against the edge.   I dotted the outside strip and added another stack, I continued that until the box was full.   Using some books I weighted all of the strips down to make sure the strips would be glued in.

I left the box/strips to dry while I cleaned up my little work area.  After that I tested the box and the strips seemed very secure.  I ran some colored duct tape around the edge just to make sure the cats didn’t do some weird Feline Ninja move and take the whole side off.   I added some catnip and shook it down into the corrugated cardboard.  Then, I used twist ties through the loops to attach it to the side of the Bunny condo.

The cats immediately starting scratching on it and seem to love it.  I am sure the catnip didn’t hurt either.

Kit Kat and Pippa, the oldest and youngest of my feline ladies.
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Geeks Assemble…

Today is our movie marathon to get ready for the premiere of The Avengers this Friday, May 4th.

IronMan

I love the relationship between Tony and Pepper.

The Incredible Hulk

I tried to find a pic from the scene where he was shopping for stretchy pants but couldn’t find one.

IronMan 2

IronMan with War Machine.

Thor

 I really wanted a pic from the scene where Jane says, “It’s a good look!”

Captain America

I had to make sure to get a pic with Peggy Carter, she was amazing.

 

We watched all five movies, my nephew came over for the last four.  We had a good time and I worked on some crafty things.  I might post about them later.

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Partying the Irish way…

Here’s the backstory on this one, my friend, Val, teaches journalism, photography and yearbook at a high school here in Arizona.  Last year, while we were lamenting about our writing projects she mentioned that a fellow yearbook teacher that she knew through her yearbook exploits had just published his first book.  I bought his books and completely loved them.

Kevin Hearne is the author of  The Iron Druid Chronicles.  So far, there are four installments to the series.  You can find out more about Kevin and his books here — http://www.kevinhearne.com/

Atticus & Oberon’s Sausage Fest!

Today, through the grace of Val, Sully and I were at the release party for Kevin Hearne’s latest book, Tricked.  Val bought tickets back in October but had last minute scheduling issues and wasn’t able to make it.  The party was held at a great Irish pub and restaurant in Tempe, Rula Bula.  We had amazing food, I had the bangers and mash and Sully had the fish and chips.  While waiting in line we noticed other friends and sat with them.  It was great fun and Mr. Hearne is really funny and very nice, good times all around.

Kevin Hearne reading a little from the beginning of Tricked.

We didn’t get to really talk to Kevin, he was trying to get around to everyone but it was much like a wedding in that he would get pulled away or get caught at a table too long.  He came over to us as we were leaving and talked for a bit.  I had brought my copy of Tricked for him to sign, since the books included in the ticket package had been personalized to Val and her husband.  We had just barely started talking when thhis woman walked up and interrupted.  She even said, “I don’t mean to interrupt but I’ll be quick.”  I didn’t want to appear rude so I didn’t say anything but I was not happy to have to stand there along with Sully, the couple we had been sitting with waiting for her to finish.  She was not quick and Kevin ended up telling her to hang on, he signed my book quickly and apologized again for not getting a chance to talk to us more.

On the way to the car, I told Sully, “Wow, that was just a Kanye moment, huh?”  We both laughed, which is good, it was annoying but just head shaking annoying.

Sully took this pic of ‘the moment’, that’s me in the green, standing by the table we had been sitting at and that brown gift bag is full of our Sausagefest goodies.  The book Kevin is holding is my copy of Tricked that he was in the middle of signing.  At least my hair was looking pretty fabulous.  🙂

My Kanye moment… Ima let you finish…

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Thoughts and prayers…

In my blog, I have referred to Sully’s parents as Martha and T.W.   As in, Martha and Thomas Wayne, the parents of  Bruce Wayne, a.k.a. Batman.  Sully loves Batman, and often comically quotes the “I am Batman” line, so it seemed appropriate.   Sully’s dad’s name really starts with a ‘J’ and his mom’s with a ‘G’.

This is the letter that I wrote for J., it was read at his memorial service last Friday.

~

I first met J. at a Diamondbacks baseball game thirteen years ago.  It was before Sully and I started dating, we had both gotten tickets to the game from a coworker.  At one point Sully asked me if I was enjoying the game.  I told him, “yes, except for one thing.  It would be better if they were playing football”.  Sully said, “yeah” and J. started laughing.  I didn’t know it at the time but I had just scored my first brownie points with my future father in law.

In the years that followed, J. and I bonded over a few more subjects…

Our love of Disneyland and Disney World, when we were getting ready for a trip, J. was the first one packed and ready to go out the door.  We took Boo to Disneyland for the first time when she was two years old and I honestly believe he was more excited than she was.  It was about that time that he started calling her Tinkerbell.  He and M. took us all to DisneyWorld in 2005, it was wonderful and I have great memories of that trip.

Knights and castles, after Sully and I got engaged, I confessed that I really wanted a Renaissance wedding.  J. was all for it and wondered aloud if he could wear a sword.   He was Sully’s best man and was very supportive during the chaos that comes with planning a wedding.  He was always calm and ready to solve any problem that came up.

Home Depot and power tools, J. was always happy to answer all of what I called ‘dad questions’.   You know those questions.  How do I rewire a lamp?  Will quarter inch plywood work for that?  J. always had an answer ready and if he didn’t he would find the answer, especially after I lost my father in 2007.  Even when he was in hospice he was offering advice.  I had told him about the gazebo that was outside his room and my ideas for building one.  All of a sudden he perks up and tells me to bring him a drafting table, triangles and some paper so that he can draw up plans for a gazebo.  Seriously?  But that was truly the way he was.

Boo, he was an incredible grandfather.  We called him Papa and Boo actually picked that name when she was itty bitty.  One night we were there for dinner and when J. came home from work she ran to the door chanting, ‘Pa-pa, Pa-pa, Pa-pa’.  It brought tears to my eyes that night just as much as it does now.  We love you, Papa.

He was an amazing father in law, a second father really, always patient and ready to help.  I will miss him as much as I miss my own father, and although their absence in our lives is painful, I know that their journey is not over.

Prayer of Farewell for Samhain

You are going home to your home of winter,
To your home of autumn, of spring, and of summer;
You are going home to the Land of the Living.
To the restful haven of the waveless sea.

Peace of the Seven Lights be upon you, beloved,
Peace of the Seven Joys be upon you, beloved,
Peace of the Seven Loves be upon you, beloved,
On the breast of the Mother of Blessings,
In the arms of the Father of Life.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/elwanderer/3204559577/lightbox/
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Not ready…

I haven’t posted in a while.  Sometimes things happen that cause life to come to a screeching halt.  It’s been one of those times for me, but mostly for Sully and his mom.  As I have mentioned before, Sully’s dad has been battling cancer for more than eight years and he has had more and more problems recently.  At the end of March, Sully’s dad decided he’d had enough and went into hospice care.  We had some nice days with him in a lovely hospice facility and he passed away April 9th.

We had prepared ourselves since his initial diagnosis for this to happen but we were not ready.  You can never be ready for the loss of a loved one.  It is sad and wrenching, and completely horrible all the way around.  This is the fifth person in our family to go into hospice, Sully’s grandfather, Sully’s grandmother, my mother and then my father and now Sully’s father.

It isn’t fair and I am not ready…