Saturday, December 31, 2011


I've spent the past few days in Pittsburg with family, and yesterday a new member was "adopted." Great niece Maddie had a kitten on her Christmas list--she even saved up nine dollars to contribute to the cause--and I had the privilege of tagging along with her to the humane society, along with her daddy and brother Boomer.

The same tabby kitty she fell in love with a month ago was still there, friendly as can be, so we asked to visit with "Wendy" and soon gave ol' dad the thumbs up. This one was IT. No sooner did we get out the door when Boomer expressed concern that Wendy's cage mate was sure going to be lonely. "When it wakes up, he's going to miss her," he said forlornly. Ah, what a tender heart.

At home, though, was the biggest softie of all--2 year-old William greeted his sister's new pet with such enthusiasm that he just couldn't wait to hold it. Maddie wasn't quite yet ready to turn the kitten over to him, though, which brought on the tears. Finally, with their mother's suggestion and supervision, Maddie let her baby brother hold Wendy, whose new name became Stripes. He was like a proud father cuddling his newborn--instant love.

But Maddie could only take so much sharing. After about five minutes, she asked for it back. Their mother told William it was Maddie's turn, and the kitten returned to her--at which point William went into major pissed-off mode. He screamed! He cried! He begged! "I want the kitty cat!!!" over and over again, big tears rolling down his reddened cheeks.

Fortunately, I was on a tight time frame and had to leave. "You've created a monster," I told their sweet mama. "The only answer is to get another kitten," I smiled and slipped out the door, William still carrying on.

I stopped by their home today before I left town, to see if the kitten survived the night, and all was back to normal. Maddie was still loving her baby, and the boys were using her bed for a trampoline, no longer interested in the adorable furball. And that's how it should be. Welcome to the funny farm, Stripes.

Thursday, December 29, 2011


I should have done dusting duties around the house yesterday but, no, I had to piddle on the computer. You know you have way too much idle time on your hands when you start creating South Park characters out of yourself and your friends. I stumbled onto a free website called, which some German gal developed, and designed the above likeness of myself (no pony tails were available in the hair options--rats), Big Bore, and Dr. Maureen. Given a few more lazy days, I should soon be ready to start up my own Comedy Central show.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Watching CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND and EARTH VERSUS THE FLYING SAUCERS (spinning pie pans was more like it) blasted my brain into recall mode last night. I once thought I saw an alien spacecraft late one night many years ago when returning home from a university class.

I was traveling across the Flint Hills when I noticed a low, slow-flying light to my northeast and it was moving southwest in my direction. "This can't be an airplane," I thought, because the light was too low and the "object" was moving too slowly. I kept watching the light and then finally pulled over, as it was certain that this dark aircraft was going to cross right over me. Ooooh! Was I ever excited! I was gonna see a genuine UFO!

I got out of the car, ready for action. All was quiet, but I could still see the shadow of the craft headed my way. "Here it comes!" --And underneath one of the wings I could distinctly read, "USAF." Well, son-of-a-letdown!

But what in the world was a low-flying air force vehicle of some sort doing in the Flint Hills at midnight and hardly making a sound? This baby was barely humming. I later found out it was a stealth plane on maneuvers from McConnell Air Force Base in nearby Wichita. Damn. So much for my close encounter.

I still think it would be totally cool to see an actual unidentified flying object. I wasn't afraid of what I thought might be one in the Flint Hills--just excited. I wouldn't actually want to join up with aliens like Richard Dreyfus did in CLOSE ENCOUNTERS..., nor would I want to experience an alien attack like the nonsense in EARTH VERSUS... or WAR OF THE WORLDS, although I must admit that Tom Cruise's acting in the latter movie was creepier than any alien could ever hope to be.

Well, that's all for now. Big Bore is beaming me out of here so we can go run errands. If I see any strange objects floating around in the sky, you'll be the first to know.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Last week when I was trying to find coloring sheets to print off the Internet for the neighbor kids, I came across the coolest website called Not only can you print off scads of pictures, but you can color online, too, which is amazing fun because you don't have to worry about scribbling outside the lines. All you have to do is click on one of 100 colors, then click on an area in the picture. Voila! The above comes from the categories: Cats and Girls in Funky Clothing. Where the heck was this funky website when I was a kid struggling for Crayola perfection?

Monday, December 26, 2011


Our neighborhood has received a group Christmas present. The Farmer next door has purchased the rat hole across the street and is having it torn down before it falls down. Hooray! This means no more yappy stray dogs to contend with, no more property line wars, and no more trashy trash for the occupants of the five surrounding homes to glare at. What are we going to have to bitch about now?

The previous owners have left town, and those of us who remain didn't even have to help pack their bags, so all is calm in the 'hood this day after Christmas. Today is a time to rejoice!

Sunday, December 25, 2011


1. "My kid brother looked like a tick ready to pop."

2. "You'll put your eye out!"

3. ""Fra-gee-lay. This must be Italian."

4. "I triple dog dare you!"

5. "Oh, fudge!"

6. "Those icicles have been known to kill people!"

7. "You look like a deranged Easter Bunny."

8. "Be sure to eat your Ovaltine."

9. "Oh, I hate the smell of tapioca."

10. "Deck the harrs with boughs of horry. Fa-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra."

Long live Ralphie and childhood memories of Christmas past.

Saturday, December 24, 2011


The latest from my The World Has Gone Mad Department comes right out of the big city to the west: "Frenzy for shoes leads to three arrests at Towne East."

Seems that fans of the new Air Jordan XI Retro Concord basketball shoes started lining up outside the mall after midnight yesterday (and who doesn't like to hang around a mall all night long when it's 20 degrees outside?). When someone discovered a service door inadvertantly left open around 6:30 AM, the stampede was on. Security was called to round up all the interlopers and send them back outside, but three elusive shoppers were arrested and several people were injured "including a small child who was run over and got a bloody nose." Now, you tell me..what kind of parent drags a small child into this kind of nutball scenario?

Apparently Kansas wasn't the only state that experienced Air Jordan mania. Police in Seattle had to calm down an unruly crowd with pepper spray, folks in Atlanta broke down a door to get inside a mall, and one woman left her two toddlers in a car so she could go shopping for her Air Jordan's.

And what's even crazier: these "gotta have 'em" shoes cost $193.00!! The news media keeps saying our country is in a recession, but obviously no one is paying attention. If I was going to pay that much for a pair of basketball shoes, they'd better come with a guarantee that I'd automatically be signed to a lifetime NBA contract. Otherwise, a $10.00 pair of PF Flyers will be just fine, thank-you.

Friday, December 23, 2011


When I woke up yesterday, I was all gung-ho to get lots accomplished around Casa de la Flaming Bore since it looks like a flaming mess. I started out the day by getting the washing machine in business, and then all my good intentions blew away with the blasted snow that was swirling down outside.

First off, Sweet Neighbor Girl came over to yippety yap ("I caught a snowflake on my tongue on the way over here!"), work a puzzle, color Christmas scenes, apply a hand softener treatment she gave me (is that a hint?), and comb Critter, who was in sheer kitty joy rolling all over the sofa on her back. That pretty much took up all morning. Then I spent the entire afternoon with my nose in a novel.

At some point along the line, I put the clothes in the dryer--where they remain because I spent all evening watching television. Finally, at 10 PM, I got my butt in gear and pedalled the recumbent bike--during time-outs and halftime of the KU basketball game. That was pretty much it for Dec. 22.

At 3:15 this morning, I was awakened by Big Bore getting into the medicine cabinet.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"I feel like I'm coming down with norovirus."

Well, hearing that great news immediately made my own stomach twirl. If his feeling was correct, past experience told me that he'd be barfing within 60 seconds. Well, he went on back to sleep and then my ear went spazzy and I was wide awake. So, here I sit at the computer two hours later, Critter purring on my lap, contemplating what I will accomplish today that I should have done yesterday. The first thing on my list is: go back to sleep.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


The latest pop culture fad has become Tebowing. Named for Denver Bronco quarterback Tim Tebow, a devout Christian, Tebowing is defined as the following: "(verb) to get down on one knee and start praying, even if everyone else around you is doing something else." This according to the new website,

Now, when Tim Tebow first started sideline praying during a close football game, some detractors chided him for doing so. After winning six games in a row, though, Tebow shut up a lot of the naysayers. In fact, he has unintentionally turned his moment of silent prayer into the latest "in" thing to do. We can all stand some help from a higher power, you know. features pictures from around the world submitted to various categories, like toddlers, global, and patriotic, each one showing someone in his or her favorite Tebowing pose. Some proud parents-to-be have actually submitted an ultrasound picture with their expected baby in a pre-natal Tebowing pose. The website sells Tebowing merchandise, like T-shirts and hats, with a percentage of proceeds going to Denver-area charities.

So, Tim Tebow gets the last laugh at all those who criticized him. He gets some inspiration, his team wins some football games, he thanks his Holy Father, and some money is raised for needy folks in Colorado. Somewhere in the heavens, God is shouting, "Hallelujah! You go, Tebow!" Amen to that.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Hooray!!! A big shout out today to the Pittsburg State Gorillas football team for winning the NCAA-II championship yesterday. I've been Going Ape since my freshman year at Pitt in 1967. This will be a good excuse to purchase another Gorillas T-shirt that will get lost in my closet, don't you think? If I'm lucky, maybe a kind relative in Pittsburg will decide this would make a great Christmas gift.

The NCAA-I bowl games started yesterday, also. All 23 bajillion of them. Personally, I'd rather be watching KU basketball or the fiercest competition of them all--"Toddlers and Tiaras." When it comes to blood, sweat, and tears, I'm afraid the Gorillas wouldn't stand a chance against those ferocious little girls and their manic mamas.

May your Sunday be a winner!

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Not to be outdone by her little brother, Sweet Neighbor Girl also came over with a Christmas gift yesterday, but she didn't insist that it be opened immediately. She's already given us one other gift that I haven't opened but I know what it is since she was crafting presents this past summer-- little bird house chimes. She asked me then which one I wanted for Christmas.

This "new" gift, though, was and still is a mystery. A clue is written on the name tag she made: "To Nancy and Jeff -P.S. This present to you was mine but I let you have it. You have not seen it."

With any luck, it'll be the rest of the Smurf family. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Friday, December 16, 2011


Today was the final school day before the holiday break in our fair 'burg. After jumping from the bus, Trouble One made an instant beeline to Casa de la Flaming Bore to give us a Christmas present.

"Open it now!" he ordered.

Don't you think we should wait until Christmas Day?" I asked.

"No. Open it now!"

I tried to make a guessing game of the tiny, kid-wrapped gift. "Is it a kitten?" I asked.

"No!" he laughed. "It's blue!"

"Hmmm. Can we eat it?"

"No!" he laughed some more.

So, I got it opened and it was certainly something unique. In all my 62 years, I'd never received one.

"Oh, wow! A Smurf! With a shovel and a red bird! What a great present for gardeners! Where shall we put it?"

We debated over some indoor and outdoor spots and finally settled for under the stick cactus for the winter and then we'll move him outside when it gets warmer. I got on the Internet to check out its identity. It is the Farmer Smurf, complete with green overalls. Perfect for the neighborhood Turnip Farmer (Big Bore) and his assistant.

Then came the 5-year-old's funniest comment--and you know how brutally honest kids can be. "It was for Mama but she didn't want it."

"Well, we just love it. Thank-you so much."

This may be the beginning of a brand new collection.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


(WARNING: Do not read the following if you think Newt Gingrich is the next best thing since sliced bologna.)

Political blow-hard Newt Gingrich called me yesterday. I normally hang up immediately on taped campaign spiels, but I decided to listen to this one so I'd have something ridiculous to blog about today. I let Newt blabber on and on about his political experience, his genius 21st Century Contract of America, and his superior debating skills. Blah, blah, blah.

Big Bore, who was in the kitchen nearby, became curious why I was on the phone for so long, not saying a word. "Who's on the line?" he asked.

"Oh, it's Newt Gingrich."

"Who's he? Oh, the president of Dollar General?" he continued asking.

"No," I laughed. "He's that bag of wind running for President." BB lost interest and went back to his baking.

When Newt finally ran out of breath and his speech wound down, he asked if I'd stay on the line to speak with one of his assistants. Well, heck yes I would! How often do I get the opportunity to bitch about canned phone calls that interrupt my afternoon? Bring 'em on!!

So I hung on....and hung on....and hung on the line some more. I even read a chapter of a John Grisham novel while hanging on. Big Bore kept track of the time. "Twenty-five minutes!" And not once during that precious time did a Newt Gingrich assistant come on the line. Nor did a recording come on to even thank me for continuing to wait or to please continue to hold. Finally, I got bored and hung up the receiver. Rats!!

But that is not the end of the story. Oh, no. I wasn't going to let the matter drop. I went directly to my computer, found the Newt Gingrich for President in 2012 website, and looked around for a "contact" link. I thought I'd be helpful and let Newt know that his able assistant never came on the line to speak with me. I found the link, ironically, right below a blurb that said (and I am not making this up), "Newt: Just Like (Ronald) Reagan, I Will Tell the Truth."

Well, I beg your pardon, Newt Gingrich, but you just lied to me on the telephone no more than thirty minutes ago when you promised that an assistant would be on the line to talk to me if I held on forever.

So, I clicked on "contact" and wrote Newt an email taking him to task for leading me on AND annoying me with his phone call in the first place. Plus, I politely told him that I would not be voting for him. So sorry. After I sent the email, an auotmated message came on the screen thanking me for the contact and telling me that a response would be forthcoming. Well, that's been about 18 hours ago and I'm still waiting.

If Newt Gingrich would run our country anything like his stupid telephone campaign, then we're in big trouble.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


My great neph Garik recently met Santa Claus, and the photo session didn't exactly go too well. I told his grandma, brother Beans's wife, that if Santa pictures had been taken back in 1947 that this is EXACTLY what Beans would have looked like. Forget the candy canes. Throw that kid a life preserver and drag him away!!!! (Nice looking Santa, though.)

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Sweet Neighbor Girl and I have been on the countdown for a month now, and finally the big day has arrived. She's 9 years old today! Yesterday morning she was in such a ball of excitement that she just came on over in her flannel jammies. Luckily for her, Big Bore was baking her favorite: chocolate chip cookies! Oh, so good--straight out of the oven and dipped in cold milk! We played Match Game and plotted out what we'd be wearing to her Hawaiian-theme party today.

She was back over in her jammies again this morning for more cookies and some Family Feud. Her most profound proclamation was: "One more year and I'm in double digits!" Which got me to thinking that I'd be happy to donate some digits to her any time--a few decades worth, at least.

The party was chaos, of course. What can you expect with a dozen kids? Her mom deserves a war medal for valor. I stayed for a little over an hour and then said, "Aloha." I'm sure SNG will be over later with some leftover cake crumbs and a report on all her birthday presents. Till then, I'm going to take off my hula gear and get some R and R.

Friday, December 9, 2011


There is a garden at Botanica lit up with all sorts of huge butterflies during the holiday season. Here's a picture of one that I took when we were there last week. I'm not sure of its name, but I think it might be an electrifia gigantis fakkus. You be the judge.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Sweet Neighbor Girl was so excited to see Big Bore's reaction to the missing Jelly Bellys (see Dec. 7 blog) that as soon as she got off the school bus yesterday she dashed over to Casa de la Flaming Bore to see if he'd blown a gasket. And do you know what? He actually thought it was funny and laughed at us for being such piggy girls while he was gone. So, we spilled the (jelly) beans and gave him the cup of watermelon and cantaloupe Jelly Bellys we'd saved aside for him before finishing off the rest of the ones we liked. I guess the joke was on us.

Next, we ALL went outside to decorate the trunk of our dearly departed spruce tree that kicked the bucket in the heat this past summer. This is the yard art "project" I alluded to in Monday's blog. There's nothing like ornaments hanging from branch stubs to add beauty to the block. Sweet Neighbor Girl's job was to unwind the garland, hand me ornaments, and keep me from falling off the ladder. Big Bore fashioned hangers out of a roll of wire and I did the royal hanging. It's not quite done--we developed a case of frozen fingers and stopped for the day--but I think this picture will give you an idea of of what a masterpiece we have in the making!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Last week during our closet cleaning excavation, Big Bore discovered something I hadn't used in years--my Jelly Belly bean dispenser. He cleaned it up, and when we were in Wichita the next day we purchased a pound of various flavors at Candyopolis--a combined half pound of strawberry jam, buttered popcorn, peach, and caramel popcorn, then a half pound of Big Bore's favorites--watermelon and cantaloupe.

Friday he put all the beans in the dispenser, put out a little glass filled with pennies, and we were in business. Then he left town for five days of male bonding, cutting and hauling wood in the next county. While he's been gone, Sweet Neighbbor Girl and I have been madly inserting pennies like there's no tomorrow! When Big Bore gets home this afternoon and has a bean craving, is he ever going to be surprised to find a near-empty dispenser! What in the world happened to all those Jelly Bellys???

What he won't know, initially anyway, is that neither Sweet Neighbor Girl nor I have eaten a single watermelon or cantaloupe bean. We don't like them. Whenever those two flavors have popped out of the dispenser, which is often, we've put them in a cup, saving them for Big Bore. But I'm going to hide the cup for a little while just to see what kind of reaction he has. I might even keep it hidden until SNG gets home from school so she can be in on the joke. Won't that be great?

I can't wait for him to get home--just so I can pull this off! The highlight of my day!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


I have moaned in this blog more than once about how difficult it is to take the perfect group holiday shot of my four great nephs and one great niece. They never cooperate. Eyes closed, frowns, wayward body parts---something is always wrong. But after coming across this picture in my old family photo album this morning, I'm going to stop complaining. This one is a disaster beyond explanation, other than Mama Bore says I was crying because my baby doll had just lost her blonde wig, compliments of Beans--who looks guilty as charged. And why in the world is he wearing boxing trunks? Poor Big Sis, once again, is trying to make the peace. Lord, it's a wonder we weren't all tossed in an orphanage!

Monday, December 5, 2011


Since cats and Christmas trees don't mix, we just throw--and I DO mean throw--lights into some house plants to make Casa de la Flaming Bore look festive for the holiday season. I'm baffled why they don't photograph as sparkly as they appear in person, but you can sort of get the drift here.

All the wreaths and snow globes and other Christmas decor are in place and out of cats' way. And the outdoor lights have long been glowing--mainly because we had such a calamity putting them up a few years back that we just decided to heck with it. They are permanently in place. It's too cold and we're too old to be schlepping up and down a ladder every December. So to keep from becoming humbugs, we just decided, "They're staying up all year 'round."

I have one more Christmas decorating "project" to do, but it requires Big Bore's help so I shall wait until he gets back home to provide technical assistance. He doesn't know about it yet and he's just gonna LOVE it! I won't elaborate today but it involves yard art at its, well, ugliest? I can't wait to get started!!!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Yesterday was Game Day at Casa de la Flaming Bore. Thankfully, Big Bore is away on a male bonding venture this weekend and wasn't around to harass me with the remote.

The late morning football game between K-State and Iowa State was rain-delayed, which made for some tricky viewing since it ended up starting around the same time as the Pitt State-Northwest Missouri game. Fortunately, the latter was on a webcam feed with, so I just went back and forth from the computer to the TV to watch both games simultaneously--which would have driven BB totally bonkers but made me happy, happy! Especially when both the home teams won!

Then it was on to the Kansas-South Florida basketball in the late afternoon. KU started out slowly but finally got it together in the second half for a 28-point win. Hey, we were 3 for 3!

The final game on my agenda, OU vs. OSU football, took up the evening viewing but it turned out to be a runaway snoozer--mainly because I fell asleep watching it during the second half. I think OSU ended up winning 40-something to 10.

Today I'm on another marathon but not of the sports kind. I'll be reading most of the day, starting off with the big city newspaper. I must find out about all the sporting events I watched yesterday, of course, and then puzzle over the puzzles for a few hours. After that, it's on to the book I'm reading--John Hart's latest novel, THE IRON HOUSE. A few years back, Dr. Maureen turned me on to him and I have subsequently passed on the favor to other reading friends.

It is sooooooo nice to be retired so I don't have to spend my weekends grading papers anymore. I can just kick back and veg out on sports and reading material all day long. Ahhhhhh! Here's wishing you an equally lazy day.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Today's crack literature lesson comes from William Shakespeare, Act III of HAMLET.

The evil King Claudius is watching a "dumb show" (dumb, as in silent) put on by The Players, a travelling group of actors who have stopped in Elsinore to perform a gig at the castle. What Claudius, the nasty clod, doesn't know is that his sly nephew Prince Hamlet has directed The Players to slip in a knavish scene, wherein a king is poisoned by a dastardly deed-doer who wants to be with his queen and take over the throne. What a revolting development THAT is!

Well, it just so happens that this scenario is EXACTLY the way in which Claudius, himself, became king! He poisoned his poor brother, King Hamlet, then wooed Queen Gertrude, the silly goose, and married her. "Frailty, thy name is woman" for sure! And this all happened so quickly that the leftover food from the funeral dinner was still fresh enough to be recycled at the wedding. Double revolting! "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark," indeed! And it's not the food!

Now, how did Prince Hamlet know what to tell The Players to act out? Get this. The ghost of his daddy, the king, had told him the circumstances of his murder and directed his son to get "revenge, most sweet." Since the young man wasn't sure if the apparition was real or just a figment of his crazed imagination, he created the special scene that he then had The Players perform--and did it EVER "catch the conscience of the king." As Claudius sits on his throne watching the royal murder being acted out, he starts to sweat bullets and grows faint. He rises and staggers through the audience shouting, "GIVE ME SOME LIGHT!!!

Ah-hah! Prince Hamlet has his evidence! The rest of the story, my friends, is bloody literary history, with a bit more poison poured in for good measure. The Bard of Avon at his longest and best. To read or not to read? I say: read, but you can easily skip the parts about Fortinbras of Norway and not miss a step. And skip most of the HAMLET movie starring Mel Gibson while you're at it. --That's about all the light I care to shed on this subject. Go forth, have a great weekend, and remember to stay away from all royalty bearing poisonous swords.

Friday, December 2, 2011


Yesterday the Bores greeted December by taking a trip to the big city to shop, eat, drink, and be merry.

We have a scientific system for shopping together that works without arguments. First off, we make a list. Then, if we're at one of MY stores, like Hobby Lobby or Barnes and Noble, Big Bore stays in the car and takes a catnap. If we're at one of HIS stores, like Napa or Radio Shack, I take my turn in the car and read a book. No one wastes time and lolly-gaggles in said store. It's in the door, get what you want/need, and back out. The longest wait time either of us had yesterday was 23 minutes, and that was just because the check-out lines at Hobby Lobby were crazy-long, even for a Thursday afternoon. The dreadful things a girl won't do just to purchase a few packs of beads.
We had a late lunch/early supper at Doc's Steak House, but not for steak. Our "usual" is Doc's out-of-this-world garlic salad--a single scoop for me and a triple for Big Bore--and an order of french fries dipped in catsup and A-1 sauce. Oh, so delicious! Nutrious? Not so much.

In between all this, we went to a watercolor show at an arts center, where we pretended to be stiff, stuffy critics, and to my friend Maggie's house to pick up some gently-used books for our library. Next stop, we braved the wind chill to see the Botanica Christmas lights show, where the fuzzy pictures with this blog were taken. Lots of oohs and aahs and brrrrrrs! Definitely worth risking hypothermia.

We ended the day/night at Cabaret Old Town to attend the musical comedy "Amazing Christmas," which was, of course, simply amazing. Two of my favorite Cabaret performers, Kyle and Monty, did a hilarious duet of their favorite SAD Christmas songs--"I'm Getting Nuttin' for Christmas," "I'll Have a Blue Christmas Without You," "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer," etc. Kyle hosted a talk show, starring as The Gingerbread Man, and Monty hosted a game show about Christmas carols in the guise of a Chinese goofball who was congenial one second, angry the next. There was even a "Dancing with the Stars" dance-off, which included a few "lucky" audience members and had nothing to do with Christmas but was lots of fun, anyway. --Oh, and did I mention that we drank mucho strawberry and pina coladas (virgin) and had chips and zesty salsa and cheesecake in between the laughs?

Today, it's back to small-town life as usual. As much fun as we had yesterday, I will not miss the frantic traffic and long check-out lines of the city. Peace and quiet and a cuddly cat sitting on my lap. All is calm; all is bright. TGIF.