no cat in hat, nor cat in cap, has sat in my lap

One day at work, I was grumpily recounting the tale of a tug-of-war with my cat Paco from the night before over a rather expensive skein of yarn (he had good taste).

Two black cats

He wanted to play with it in a big tangled mess, I wanted to make a sweater out of it. We both won our battle but lost the war. It was a big tangled mess by the time I rescued it, and after a few futile hours trying to wind it back, it remained the same. Frustrated, I stashed the yarn away with plans to finish later.

No sympathy from my co-worker. “You took yarn away from a cat?” he asked incredulously.

“It makes a pretty expensive toy!” I shot back.

“You don’t take yarn away from a cat,” he replied, shaking his head.

Cats in HatsYes you do, only now it appears there is a way to appease your kitty. You use the yarn to make a hat for him, with 30 knitting & crochet patterns from the book Cats in Hats, by Sara Thomas (Running Press, May 2015).

Okay, good chance I’ll buy the book, just for the camp value.  However, my time knitting will most likely be spent on other projects. Unless…I mean, these are really cute hats.

If I truly believed I could get Paco to model anything I knit for him, I might make one. On second thought, I don’t want to be one of those pet owners. I understand dog sweaters during freezing weather, but hats for cats? Good grief. Not even if he looked as cute as the cat in this picture…which he would…nope, still not happening.

© Liz Coleman/Running Press/Quarto, Inc. via AP
© Liz Coleman/Running Press/Quarto, Inc. via AP

Regardless, ultimately you can’t take yarn away from a cat. Nothing mine likes more than plotting to nab that little ball of leftover yarn in the bottom of the bag…he can smell it a mile away…wait, it’s just enough to make a cute little cap for him, isn’t it?

A Halloween costume of some sort, perhaps…I’m turning into a true cat lady… but just think how darn adorable he’d be.


Image Credit: (cats and yarn) © © Kamaga — Fotolia

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less about the dress

Today one of my friends posted this on Facebook:  “I’m thinking about doing a capsule wardrobe. Anybody tried it?”

It turns out a capsule wardrobe is basically a small wardrobe, where everything coordinates.

The kind you have when you have no money. Like mine, today.

Back in the day when I focused on dolling up (me in the middle).
Back in the day when I focused on dolling up (me in the middle).

I’ve never been one of those women who has clothes in her closet with the tags still on them, but there was a time when I had a closet packed full of clothes, some of which I rarely wore. Today, the only things that come under that category are my two dresses, because I don’t have many occasions that warrant wearing them.

Plus, since pantyhose are no longer acceptable, it’s a three-day routine to get my white-washed legs to a decent point. (Or I wear black pantyhose. Looking forward to the day when I’m too old to care about such things, but I’m not there yet.)

Time changes things. When I was in my twenties, I worked part-time at a department store in addition to my full-time job, in part because I wanted extra money to spend on clothes. My older co-workers would shake their heads at how much I spent, but I told them, “I’m never going to care as much about what I wear as I do now.”

Turns out, I was right. I still care about what I wear, but it doesn’t do the same for me now that it did then.

I no longer want to be tied down to an hour of prep work before being presentable. I’ve learned how to look good day-to-day with less.

I do care enough about my appearance that I was flattered when a transgender woman from my congregation told me I was an example for her as she was learning how to dress as a woman. It’s an odd compliment, perhaps, for some, but when it comes right down to it, as good as it gets.

I also care enough to do everything in my power to keep from looking “mature.” Like I said, time changes things. Some of my best features twenty years ago are betraying me today.

So capsule this: as long as what I’m wearing today makes me look my best, I (almost) don’t care if it’s the only outfit I’ve got. Makes sleepy morning decisions a lot easier.

if only I could curse and fly and eat pumpkin pie

Disney had a few things right, For example, Dumbo. His experience rings true. I’m quite certain if you get drunk and learn to fly, you will in fact become popular, and probably won’t be bullied anymore.

How did they get away with that? A different time, I guess.

movie ticket angled smWait, that movie was released in 1941, the height of strict standards in film known as the Motion Picture Production Code. You’d think sending that message to children would be borderline, at best, and the Code didn’t tolerate a lot of borderline at that point.

I guess drunk cartoon characters weren’t taboo. Or perhaps because Dumbo didn’t intend to drink champagne, the message is different.

Warner Bros. cartoon characters used to sing, “no more cursing, rehearsing our parts” at the beginning of each show. Now it’s “no more nursing, rehearsing our parts.” Nursing, of course, as in nursing something along — a pretty outdated expression, but nothing else rhymes.

They were cursing from 1944 to 1964. Well, not on camera, and saying you would curse met code standards for adults, so I guess no one seriously questioned it for kids. And frankly, that change irritates me. Unless Bugs Bunny actually cursed, big deal. Of all the battles to pick, petitioning for new wording there seems useless, and the difference sounds weird to boot.

(Bugs was a bit of a wise-ass, and Elmer Fudd was a grouch, so it’s easy to imagine them swearing, but that would leave me disillusioned.)

raw vegetables in wicker basket isolated on white

Standards are a funny thing. I have a friend who’s a vegetarian, and endlessly wears us out preaching about the horrors related to eating meat, particularly what it does to your body over a lifetime. Still, she has no problem ordering dessert, as long as it’s “vegetable based” (her words). Like carrot cake. Seriously.

No doubt we’re all guilty of something similar, something we probably don’t recognize anymore than my friend sees that her choice to eat carrot cake but not beef isn’t logical to most. I tried hard to think of my own such inconsistency, but couldn’t come up with anything. Well, given my logic that we’re blind to our own conflicting behavior, that makes sense

Ooooh. Was calling Bugs a wise-ass inconsistent with the sentences immediately preceding that comment?

Okay, let my friend eat cake, and I’ll eat my words.


 

Image credits: (top) © Elena Baryshkina – DollarPhotoClub.com; (bottom) © monticellllo – DollarPhotoClub.com

in honor of you whose name was mine

My great-grandmother was Jewish. Loosely (and I realize it doesn’t quite work this way) that makes me 1/8 Jewish,

which is important to me primarily for one reason: it would have been enough to put me in Auschwitz had I been born a generation earlier, had my forebears emigrated a generation or two later.

For in addition to that scant Jewish heritage, I come from good Polish stock. I could have been there, and not-too-distant family members no doubt were.

I plan to visit Auschwitz, hopefully sooner than later, and before I go, I needed to confirm this information with an expert. I found several, including a rabbi well-versed in the topic.

After telling me I did indeed have correct information, he went on to say that immediately surrounding that camp of horrors, shockingly, to me, was an ordinary neighborhood. Imagine, little girls played with dolls, men drank beer and neighbors gossiped, a mere few feet away. Steps away.

We’ve all heard the stories; there’s nothing I can say here to bring it home. It haunts me, this stripping of dignity, logic and humanity. Turning the unimaginable into the routine.

I can’t distance myself from this simply because I’ve learned of it as history rather than current events. It is too close in time for that. The buildings stand, survivors walk this earth.

For some the generations between my one Jewish ancestor and the distance in space & time from the home of my heritage (I am, after all, fully American) would seem too great for an emotional connection to the victims of the Holocaust.

But little doubt someone who perhaps looked like me, because she was a cousin of some sort, spent her last days in an agonistic, surreal yet all too real world of shame and torture.

Or perhaps she survived and was living in this country while I grew up as children should grow up, for no matter what pain I suffered as a child, it is surmountable. I can lead a full life without whatever hell they carry with them every step of their lives.

I’m writing this now in anticipation of my visit to Auschwitz, as a prologue of sorts to my thoughts then. I have little frame of reference to imagine what I’ll find or sense, but I hope to record all of it, in honor of you whose name, perhaps, was mine.


Image credit: Crow © Lasha Kilasonia; Hourglass © kuzmafoto; Candles © Ekaterina Garyuk; Book © Vladimir Prusakov; Background © Pampalini. All: DollarPhotoClub.com.

light of time