Sunday, October 9, 2011

Wranglers and rouge and my Nine-Cat Summer

My Nine-Cat Summer
When our neighbor, noted for growing a patch of both bluebonnets and cotton by his garage, passed away, his daughter came in to check on his home. She left me a sack of cat food and a note that there were seven kittens, two apparently Mama cats and a possible baby raccoon under the shed. I’ve spent the summer doing so and chatted with neighbors I’d never met as they all stop to look at the cats.
It made me appreciate “Cat Calls: Wonderful Stories and Practical Advice from a Veteran Cat Sitter” all the more. Jeanne Adlon and Susan Logan have some funny stories, like cats who have trained themselves to use a human toilet. Here’s just one tip for feral cats and flea control. A woman who had a farm full of them sprinkled brewer’s yeast with garlic over their food. Never use a dog product on a cat, the book advises.

Ranger wrangling
Bob Alexander offers chapter titles like “We’ll do the shooting,” “He Fell Like a Beef” and “Venison is better than no meat at all” in Rawhide Ranger Ira Aten: Enforcing the Law on the Texas Frontier.” It’s a good read and Alexander’s words paint as clear a picture as the plentiful vintage photos of this family. Aten was honest and humble and took the dreaded assignment of “detective” in an era when law men wanted to be clear on their intentions. He posed as a “cutter” and gained the trust of men who broke through fences for cattle and horses. Undercover was kind of a new deal, and Aten then worked up to other duties, each as interesting as the next. The book is a University of North Texas Press release.

Texas scandal
Bill Neal’s “Vengeance is Mine: The Scandalous Love Triangle that Triggered the Boyce-Sneed Feud is another true Texas tale from University of North Texas Press. So Lena got what she wanted, had candlelight parties for women in the day time and may have neglected to return borrowed dessert spoons. She married a wealthy Sneed, but carried on with cowboy Boyce. Her husband committed her to an asylum to save face and shot her lover’s daddy, then her lover. Established women of Amarillo packed the courtroom in furs and diamonds. Sneed was let go both times for “protecting the home.”

Nyx the night
Goddesses get all the attention. Nyx, the Greek goddess who ruled the night, paints the town red, and a huge selection of other shades, creators say. Since 1999 NYX Professional Makeup, for artistry and day wear, have rarely discontinued a shade. Red is back big time for lips this season and NYX is on the clock. A swipe from the stick comes in 22 shades and is designed to keep a matte finish all day and into the night. NYX is also bringing back cream rouge, like hip ladies of my grandmother’s era sported. Tickled is the newest of 13 shades. It sounds like summer, but I’m feeling a tinge of fall orange from the smooth rouge. Love the packaging, too.

Stocking for the sweaty
Words to Sweat By is part practical and part inspirational with stocking stuffers for the New Year’s Resolution crowd. The To Health and Happiness Package packs a blue tote with a high-quality towel adorned with thoughts such as “Healthy. Strong. Happy.” Stick a message like that a black tank top or “mantra T-shirt” and you think you’d be ready to hit the treadmill at the Port Arthur YMCA. But the package isn’t empty. There’s a wristband locker key chain and reusable snack bag. Work out, wipe down and feel good about feeling fit and fashionable. In 2012, the company will put phrases from Olympic athletes on their towels.

Softest bamboo
Gaiam has a fall catalogue on line that lets you search by color. As drawn as I am to purple, a rich, green shawl caught my eye and I’m relishing its bamboo and cotton durability. How can bamboo be so soft? It’s a good thing to have for chilly offices. Because Gaiam is into yoga wear, sustainability and “healthy stuff,” the cover-up looks great over your workout wear, or you can dress it up. The company “tag” is “Live, learn, grow.” I could go for one of everything in the catalogue. If you can’t knit one of the panchos glamming up the fall looks, get one here.

A clean car
Water rationing or wanting to avoid hauling out the hose are both motivators to try Washdrops. A bit of the non-foaming solution in one bucket of water is all you need. A pouch of the stuff will help you keep your car clean while you’re on vacation. I found this to be a product that works like it claims it does, and that’s good news for me and my neighbors. We live in an area where street construction and dusty roads have been a part of our lives for months. I’m not complaining. That’s progress, and keepin’ it clean.

Make a BiOWiSH
Garbage take-out is my daughter’s detail, but I get all the feedback if I didn’t furnish the right bags or a toss didn’t make it to its destination. I presented her with BiOWiSH Garbage Bin Wash for pride in ownership. Dissolve it in water and wash out your bin with the solution so that naturally occurring enzymes can help your bin stay odor-free for a month. There’s no flowery scent, so insects and rodents won’t be attracted. This is a winner, because Southeast Texas kitchen garbage often has the remains of our great seafood. Great to eat, not so great to smell.

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