The Rosie Bee

Starring Grizzy and Sophie

2013: Year in review

Slumbering kitties

Kitties “sleeping-in” the New Year

This has been one heck of a year. I had a lot of life-changing things happen: lost Rosie, decided to end some not-good friendships (life is just too short), kept my job despite a reorg (hurrah!), completed my MA (hurrah!). At the same time, I call 2013 “The Year That Wasn’t” because while it was busy, I didn’t feel present. Most of my focus was school, school, school. And, of course, Rosie during the first quarter.

Talking about it still makes me tear up! I miss her so much. I am so glad, however, that I had that necklace made. It’s a happy way for me to remember her. I have a habit of fiddling with my pendants, so whenever I touch that little rose I think of my Rosie, and I feel happy. I know my muffin girl is in a better place enjoying a lot of sunbeams.

I also appreciate that I was able to grieve. My family has always been a little “hands-off” when it comes to that. This was the first time I was able to weep openly, talk to friends, and really process everything instead of hiding and/or ignoring it. Losing Rosie was incredibly painful, but I am grateful I was able to process it in a healthy way. This was a big change for me!

School…oof. Prior to this year, the classes were graduate-level: tough, but manageable. This year, when I had to start my action research proposal and project, OMG. It was like shifting into a PhD program. (Fewer than half of us who started the class completed it – and passed, if that gives you any indication. Some got through the entire semester and learned they had to retake at least part of it.) Not to mention, there was the stress of dealing with an incredibly tough professor…and my own negative voice of “I can’t do this!”

This class felt like running a marathon, and completing it, only to be told at the very end, “Okay, now you just have to run a 5K and you’ll be done!”

But I made it. And I’m proud of myself, and my classmates, for making it through. For me, it was more than just getting a diploma or a bump in pay (hahaha – like that will ever happen); it was a chance to grow, put a lot of negative thoughts to bed, and be proud of myself and my abilities. That is worth more than any promotion I could ever get.

Which leads me to the good times this year! I will always remember dancing around with Rosie, or having her lay on me and purr (“Mom and Me Time”) as we watched tv. The friends who cheered me on during my “marathon” (or more appropriately, pulled me as I cried!). And of course the two black kitties who padded into my life and made my heart feel whole again.

They both have adoption stories, which I will share later. Today, though, I’ll just say how happy I am that Grizzy jumped in my lap in the adoption room. “Baby G” cries if I haven’t petted him enough and has to be touching me when I’m in bed. I love him so much.

And Sophie…my little wild woman. I knew when I saw her wrestle with her cagemate that she would be a good match for Grizzy. She helps him be brave, and she cleans his ears like a little mother. She also is sure to lay by my feet when I’m on the computer, and she snuggles under the covers with me for a few minutes every morning.

They are my two little peas in a pod, and I am so happy they came into my life, making oh-three a lucky year indeed; and how fitting, as they are both black!

This year has been interesting, in that I’ve been through a lot of difficult things, but due to the wonderful people in my life, I’m also able to stand here and feel fortunate and grateful. Now I need to set some goals for 2014 (one of which is updating here more often). I wish you all a blessed and very happy New Year!

SG&S

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Drying rack gymnastics

The Wild Woman, aka Sophie, has taken up a new sport: Drying rack gymnastics.

Every so often, I have some laundered items that I need to hang dry. With my Rosie, this was never a problem. But Sophie must have looked at the innocuous drying rack as a hiker looks at Mount Kilimanjaro and decided “It must be climbed.”

The first time I saw her up there I immediately, and very carefully, took her off of it and put her firmly on the ground. Immediately, she was up on it again. Grizzy watched from the sidelines, but I could see the gears turning. Little Miss Spitfire makes him brave, it seems, and sure enough, he started climbing up the drying rack. (Only haha, in typical cautious Grizzy form, he was very slow and stayed near the bottom.) I pulled him off, he jumped back on. I figured since they seemed to be climbing without issue, I’d let them have their fun for a couple minutes. And I took the opportunity to get a couple pictures.

In the top picture, Sophie isn’t hung up – she’s actually leaning down to swat at Grizzy. In the bottom one, he tried to retaliate. It was the slowest, funniest “battle” I’d ever seen. It also lasted all of 10 seconds; they tired pretty quickly and hopped off so they could commence more exciting activities: grooming.

Ah, kitties. What won’t you climb?

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Argh, and advice needed

It seems we have a chewer on our hands! Little Miss Sophie has chewed through three cords (phone chargers). Anyone have advice on how to get kittens to *not* chew on things? Any ideas as to *why* she chews? I try to keep both her and Griz active with toys (currently their favorite is running after a long piece of ribbon). I feel horrible, like I’m a bad cat mom, causing her to stress out or whatever is driving her to destroy cords, but I’ve never had this issue before. Any advice is appreciated! I’ve looked online but that can be overwhelming and conflicting…so I appreciate “real person” advice. 🙂

So, because my current charger doesn’t sync with my computer (even though it said it would, but hey, it was only $6), I cannot download pictures until tomorrow. However, I was able to email myself a snapshot from my phone. I tried my hand at cropping/editing this. Not great, but it’s the current state of the kittehs. I thought it was so cute, because it’s the perfect snowy December evening outside and they both are snuggled up on the winter fleece.

Snuggled up on a snowy eve.

Snuggled up on a snowy eve.

(Argh, naturally I can’t get it to be horizontal. Ah, well. Maybe I can bolster my Creative Suite skills now that I’m done with school! More on that coming this week. :))

Have a great week!
SG&S

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Getting there

This week has been tough! Busy at work, but also stressing about my final presentation on Saturday. I’ve been getting home and not wanting to do much but crash. Of course, I feel like I need to catch up on all the random house things I let go for so long. I’m trying to tackle one thing a night, even if it’s something as simple as “vacuum.” I am behind on emails, but I should be all caught up this week. Easing back into life, I guess. 🙂

Here is a picture that I’ve been wanting to share for ages. I always think of it as “Train Conductor Griz.” That tube is his favorite part of the cat tower. When he’s feeling feisty, or there’s a feather nearby, he will dive into that little round hole Dukes of Hazzard style. It’s hysterical. As a friend puts it, “It’s Cat TV!” But my favorite is when he will park himself there with one arm hanging out, like he’s about to go for a drive.

hanging out in the tube

Going for a cruise.

I’m now going to attempt to hang up a couple coats and maybe clean off a shelf. Baby steps!

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We’re back!

Well, we were always here, just locked away doing the action research project. Basically, it’s like a thesis for the master’s program. If all goes according to plan, I’ll be getting a master’s in Adult Education and Organizational Development this month. OD covers a lot of things, but the most succinct way I heard it put was “It’s the (behavioral) science of managing change within organizations.”

It’s a neat program in that it can be applied to lots of different things. Training, teaching, human resources. In my class, there is a nurse, a project manager, an instructional designer, a few teachers…the program is applicable to a wide variety of professions. It’s helped me personally navigate through some organizational change (e.g., mass layoffs). I don’t know that I’ll get a job as an OD practitioner (that’s what they like to call us at school, hehe), and I highly doubt it’ll make me a millionaire, but I have enjoyed most of my classes and I have found a lot of them quite useful. Handy bits of information…worth the money? Hmm…lol.

At any rate, it’s been a long road, and I’m very happy to be done!

You see, I have finished my action research project! The project that I’ve been working on since January. I emailed an electronic copy yesterday and handed in two hard copies today. I started the research part of it back in January. Before I could do the “action” part, I needed to compile previous research then “synthesize” (lord, am I over that word) the research into a new idea that I could research. That was my proposal.

In May, my proposal was approved and I was given the green light to do my research. I was told “This part will be easy. All you have to do is go through your paper and change ‘I will’s’ to ‘I did’ and then add on your data analysis.” Mm-hm. And I’m the Queen of France.

My final paper ended up being 75 pages. Pure insanity. This Saturday, I have my poster presentation*, which means I stand for an hour and a half in front of my 3′ x 4′ poster and answer questions about my project. Then a couple weeks later I graduate, woo!

It’s still surreal that it’s almost over. In a way, I feel like 2013 was “The Year That Wasn’t,” because everything was seemed to be all about the research project/paper. But big things happened, too: Rosie getting sick, losing Rosie, adopting Griz, adopting Sophie…good and bad…and a lot of big things. I’ve been thinking about all that stuff lately, so I’m sure I’ll process it a bit here in upcoming posts (which won’t be written a month or two from now, I promise).

Currently, the two black bebehs are passed out by my feet. They had a rousing game of Chase the String, followed by Fetch the Fake Mouse. It’s funny how quiet is gets when they decide it’s naptime! It’s extreme spazz-out time for an hour or so and then silence. Too funny.

This is long, so I will leave more for my next posts. I have much to share! Pictures, a Gigi (our feral visitor) update, and info on building a shelter for Gigi, which she has been using.

Sophe and Grizzy zonked out

Similar to their current state – only they are now both passed out cold.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

-SG&S

*Yes, in addition to writing a 75-page paper, I got to design a giant poster presentation, too. So much for “You just need to change the tenses and you’re set!” :p

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