Claudiabb's Blog

Pretty Girl Bootsie
September 4, 2015, 4:13 pm
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Untitled 0 00 13-21For the first time in about 25 years George and I are the only two rattling around in our house. We lost Bootsie (Pretty Girl) a couple of weeks ago in the early morning hours. She was 21 years old.  She had been failing for some time and had gotten in a very bad way and we had decided if she was still with us in the morning that we would take her to the vet’s and put her down.  She didn’t make it through the night.  I think it was her way of making it easier on us.  Her mother was a feral cat that had as many litters as possible every year over on the campus. She would come eat at our house but you never, ever, saw her kittens. She developed a cough and I figured she was getting sick. Shortly after 3 kittens appeared in our yard. Wilder than march hares. I always felt like her mom (Socks) knew they would be taken care of over at our house. So we set a trap and caught them and kept them in cage in our shady backyard with a fan on them through the summer. Finally we decided the only chance of taming them was to let them loose in the house. So that’s what happened. Her two brothers were always pretty timid. She was for a long time but as she got older she wasn’t. She lost her hearing a couple years ago. I’m sure she missed Gertie, who we lost a couple months ago. We are both feeling the need to take a break for awhile. Our hearts aren’t up to it yet.  In the meantime we have an outside stray (Scout) and feed anybody else who meanders in for chow from up the way. Bootsie was Daddy’s girl.  We miss you Bootsie.  I’m glad we had you for as long as we did.

Sweet Sweet Gertie
June 19, 2015, 6:28 pm
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Untitled 0 00 01-06I am sad to say that we had to let our Gertie go yesterday.  She came to us almost 18 years ago.  Of all the cats we took care of over the years, she was the only one we actually brought home on purpose.  Our lives would have been a lot less rewarding without all those guys that showed up on their own or with some highly suspected help.

Gertie was so small she fit in George’s palm when he brought her home from a farm overrun with cats.  Something had damaged her eye and although she always had the eyeball, I don’t think she could really see anything with it.  Some years ago she developed an ulcer on her other eye and luckily although she did lose some sight in that eye, she never went totally blind.  When a cat has one eye to see out of, it becomes very scary to mess with the other one, I can tell you.  She developed a growth on her side in the last year or so and as it got bigger I started treating it with a homemade remedy (turmeric paste) which did seem to take the growth down.  I overdid the treatment, though. I am afraid it caused her liver failure problems and probably affected her kidneys, too.  I did take her to the vet before starting the home treatment but she wasn’t treated for the growth due to her age.  After her problems became obvious we did take her back to the vet and along with the help of a wonderful young vet we treated her there and at home with IV fluids, meds, and special feedings.  Some of her problems improved with her kidneys, but the liver damage was just worsening.  I hope it wasn’t a mistake to let her go, but I really didn’t think it was going to be the case that she would make it through this.  I wish I had applied the paste for only a month instead of three.  That is going to be a hard thing to live with.

I have no idea how many cats we cared for over the years.  We are down to one now, who is about 21 years old.  And an outside guy who adopted us not that long ago.  You shouldn’t have favorites, I know.  But I have to say that of all those cats, Gertie was one of the two that I most bonded with.  George and I are both going to miss her tremendously.  She was a good girl.

How Many Things Can You Make From a Felted Sweater?
December 19, 2014, 6:20 pm
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I have been picking up wool sweaters the last few years and felting them in the washer.  The last couple of weeks I started making some things to take to Uplift to hand out.  I think there were about 45 sweaters to start with.  First I cut the arms off of them and sewed the cuffs together to make a long arm/hand warmer.  Then I made mittens out of each sweater.  Some of the sweaters felted down too small for that project, so I ended up with 30 or so pairs of mittens.  Then I made insoles out of the remaining material left from all those sweaters.  I didn’t even count how many pairs of those I ended up with, but quite a few.  They should all be handed out and gone here shortly.

Uplift is an organization in KC that goes out onto the streets to feed and help the homeless.  If you are interested in learning more about it see

Lexie’s Trip
September 11, 2014, 5:47 pm
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DSCN0360My niece Brooke and great-niece Alexis and I took a trip in July to Springfield, Illinois.  Lexie is a real history buff of Lincoln and we visited all the sites there.  It was a fun trip and I’m glad that they included me in the plans.  This was my first trip since 1988.  I don’t get around much. :-)  On the way home we stopped at Hannibal, Mo. long enough to eat lunch and take a riverboat ride.

I have been enjoying this year with a much different routine than I had for the last 46 1/2 years of working.  I always liked my 2 jobs, but am very glad to get the chance to do other things.  It’s not a luxury that everybody can enjoy and I don’t take it for granted.

Retired — and liking it
March 26, 2014, 7:41 pm
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It’s been a long time since I posted on this blog.  There has been another big change in my life.  I left my job of 44 1/2 years at the end of last year, which is giving me an unscheduled life for the first time in my life. There were times when I didn’t think I’d ever get to the place in my head where I could actually stop working.  This was my second paying job in my life.  My first job was two years at a hamburger joint that I left for the library, along with a lower salary.  It just got to the point last year that somebody opened a door for me with two words, and those two words gave me my freedom.  And I am really grateful for that.  And no, the two words were not “you’re fired.”  A friend and coworker’s wife made the comment “don’t look back” and I haven’t.  I do miss my coworker’s and patrons and even the work I did, but I am glad for a new chapter in my life. 

My life in 2012
December 20, 2013, 8:57 pm
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My life in 2012.

I made this video sometime last year (click on the title) and thought I’d post it now. Especially since I am retiring at the end of this year I’d like to mention Connie and Phyllis, who used to work with me and are in this video.

December 6, 2013, 10:09 pm
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My sister-in-law Nancy died last Monday. She had been battling a very long illness and then had a stroke, or what appeared to be a stroke, a week before her death. We knew her time was getting short even before the event a couple weeks ago.

She was one of the bravest persons I have ever known, or even known of. She never let on how much she was dealing with over the years. The loss of her physical presence is a lot to bear. But we are glad she is no longer going through everything she has had to deal with the last quite a few years.

Goodbye, Sister. But I know you’re still with us.


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