The Rosie Bee

Starring Grizzy and Sophie

Thankful Thursday

I am so thankful today. I feel really good and I wish I could have this feeling every day.

Sophiekitty in the window

I want to be calm like this and remember there is a lot of good in my life.

It’s funny, earlier this week there was a LOT of drama surrounding a family portrait. As one of seven kids, I come from a big immediate family. This picture was supposed to include grandkids and one great-grandkid, as well. I say “supposed to” because it’s now up in the air because of, how do I say this dellicately, “differing” priorities. Yay, family!

Needless to say, it was a little stressful. But today I feel great. I think how I ran 10 miles the other night–and I was able to converse throughout the whole thing. I don’t think I’ve ever run 10 miles and I’ve certainly not been able to converse through the whole stretch.

Next week I’ll be on my way to New Hampshire, to run my first ever half marathon. I’m excited, a little nervous, but mostly excited. I’ve wanted to go to New England for decades and I’ve wanted to run a half marathon for at least 10 years. Now I’m doing both, whee!

The kitties are happy and Sammi has accepted them really well, too. Life is good. I want to remember this, when there is a lot of family drama, I want to be able to focus on the good things in my life.

So that’s that. And OMG I ran 10 miles! I’m going to be running 13.1 miles in 10 days from now!! Ahh!

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Thankful Thursday: Ode to an apartment

First off, I am thankful that I am finally starting to feel better! It’s taken two rounds of antibiotics (and I haven’t taken antibiotics in years) and countless decongestants but I finally feel like I’m over the hump. It’s nice.

Second, and more importantly, I’m thankful for these two small fries.

Sophiekitty and Grizzy on the couch

Evening catnaps.

Last night we had a quiet evening at home and I was so tickled that they both got up on the couch to be close to me. It was so relaxing.

Times like these are especially precious to me because I know moving is in my fairly near future. I’m not sure if I’ll sign one more short-term lease or not, but I am 98% certain I won’t be there another full year. It’s tough, because I absolutely love where I live but for a few reasons, it’s time to move on. I never quite understood how people on HGTV got so attached to their homes. More than that, I’ve had friends sell their homes because they wanted/need more space, a better location, etc., etc. Point is, they wanted out of their homes and right away, yet when push came to shove they had such an attachment to it. Like, whaaa? I thought you couldn’t wait to get out of your house!

I need to write a longer post on this (I’m still catching up on everything from being sick), but suffice to say, I will miss my place when I move. Sometimes I wish for a little more light, sometimes I wish for a little more kitchen storage space, sometimes I wish for a little less heat and a little more moisture. But overall, I’ve been so happy there and now I’m starting to tear up a bit thinking about what this space has meant to me, not so much materially, but personally and what having my own space has done for me. A space where I was able to grow and become independent and decide what I wanted – and want – out of my life. A space where I could have my own little family with my kitties…first Rosie, then Sophie and Grizzy. A space where so many days I’ve woken up and thought “I’m so happy to be here.”

I’ve definitely been blessed.


Thankful Thursday

Oh, January, how you got away from me.

Literally, January was me being sick. I’m still sick, in fact; can’t hear out of my left ear. I’ve an appointment with a specialist next week, although I hope my ear feels better before then. (I’m on antibiotics.)

A friend of mine who had not been well for some time passed away last week. It made me realize how fast time can get away from me and how important it is to take care of yourself and try to enjoy life. On that note, I’m practicing gratitude today.

Last week I had the pleasure of going to Key West. I was sick, but I rallied (go me!). I would go there again in a heartbeat. There is definitely a tourist-y vibe there, but there’s lots of arts and crafts, a nice relaxed vibe, and it’s only 90 miles from Cuba!

Ernest Hemingway had a house there which is now a museum of sorts. While I will post a longer blog about that, I wanted to express my gratitude for being able to go there and also share one of the kitties I saw there (and trust me, there were a lot o’ gatos at Mr. Hemingway’s place). I took pictures of a few, but this guy in the gift shop was one of my favorites:


So round and adorable!


I must pet the kitteh.


Catnapping in the gift shop.

It was so funny to see these cats trotting around the gift shop! Mr. Calico wasn’t the only one–they were all over–but the gift shop seemed to be his turf. He got a little salty at someone and gave a quiet “get away” hiss and moved approximately six inches over. LOL!

Most of the cats seemed like they could use a good brushing or two, but all seemed well fed. That made me happy, to know they have food and shelter. If you ever get the chance, check out Key West and all the kitties!


Thankful Thursday: Fruit bouquet

Yesterday morning I had, embarrassingly enough, a bit of a meltdown. Life is good but I’ve had a hard time sleeping lately. Even though it’s currently winter in the midwest, it is so flippin’ hot and dry in my place! So I was going on very little and highly interrupted sleep. Plus, there were several things that came together and suddenly everything seemed overwhelming. The biggest thing was/is having to find new doctors (my “lady” doctor retired and my GP isn’t covered by my insurance). Talk about red tape and headaches. Add to that a smaller battle with the cable company and some other random bits and bobs and cue the waterworks.

Imagine my surprise when I got a call saying there was something at the front desk for me. Due to some, ah, weird experiences (like getting a garage sale ceramic lobster platter from some nutso I had quit dating), I get a little nervous about these calls. Yet I was so tickled to see a fruit bouquet! The note said it was from my sweetie and his little pup.

Hello Kitty Edible Arrangement Bouquet

Hello Kitty Edible Arrangement Bouquet

It’s Hello Kitty!

How fun - a pineapple-shaped Hello Kitty

How fun – a pineapple-shaped Hello Kitty

I love that one of the pineapple pieces was in a Hello Kitty shape. The fruit was awesome, too. If you’re thinking of sending a basket (or flowers), I recommend this.

I’m thankful for the bouquet, but I’m also thankful for having a nice boyfriend who is very supportive. (I’m also thankful for his sweet puppy who walks with me!) I’m used to handling things on my own without issue, but sometimes, especially when things get overwhelming, it’s nice to get an outside perspective. He’s very good at looking at things objectively and “just the facts,” which is nice.

It’s also nice to be able to have a moment of “ARGH!” and then take a deep breath and look at the good things that happened. I’ve got to remember to practice gratitude more often. 🙂



I am so thankful for my two small fries, my friends, my family, the fact that I have a job (yay!), a moving vehicle, a roof over my head and food to eat. I’m also thankful for you, the people I’ve met through this site who also share a love for the kitties.

I’ve had a lot of ups and downs this year, but I can say, quite truthfully, that I am so blessed and I feel it most every day.

G and Sophie on the couch

Dreaming of turkey.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Popping in to give thanks…

For this little munchkin:

Sophie kitty sleeping after work

Hey, I’m getting comfy!

Sophie napping after work

Time for a nap.

I love that when I come home from work and lay on my bed, she jumps up and gets right by my head. She is my little snuggle bug…on her terms, of course!


Thrifty Thursday: Santa shirts!

I’ve said it before, but you can find such great practical stuff at thrift stores. Things you’ll actually use more than you think, like workout gear. Sometimes if you’re lucky, you even find items that work double-duty, like a Santa-print running shirt for a holiday run! 🙂

JBR 2015

Flossin’ and stunning in my thrift store threads.

This shirt is especially great because it’s made of a light wicking material. The run was in November, but it was hot. I passed a mom and her son and the mom was insisting the boy “Drink this water now, I don’t need you to have heatstroke!” I don’t know that it was quite that hot, but it was unseasonably warm. I could have comfortably run in shirts and a t-shirt, to be honest. During the run I was sweating plenty but this shirt kept me relatively cool and didn’t stick to me, thanks to the wicking material. Another thrift store win for maybe $4.

In other news, this was my first attempt at Photoshop! Yay! I didn’t do anything to me; I just blocked out the license plate, cropped it, and added some text. I’m trying to get more familiar with Photoshop and Illustrator, so be on the lookout for new and exciting experiments coming here soon. Haha.

Anyhow, this picture got me thinking. Let me backtrack. This past weekend I was digging through old photos and it was very strange and even sad because I looked at some photos and thought, “Wow, I thought I was ugly/heavy/not good enough” and a whole mess of other negative things, which frankly weren’t true. I was young, physically healthy, and had no basis for feeling those things. It upset me that I felt so bad about myself and directed all those negative thoughts inward. So when I saw the picture above, a part of me started to have that knee-jerk reaction of “I should be/look/have…”. Then I decided screw that. I don’t want to see “Oh, my thighs are too big” or “OMG wrinkles.” I want to look and see the positives. I don’t want to beat myself for not being Photoshop perfect because really, no one is. And even if they were, too bad, so sad.

In this picture, I just finished a 5K and I felt great. I see a body that just carried me through a 3.1-mile run. This picture reminds me that I have mind that keeps me focused when I think “I’m too old for this” and want to quit. I also see a pretty stellar thrift-store shirt and a cup of coffee, which explains the silly grin on my face.

I also see what a gorgeous day it was! I don’t often get down to the lakefront, but gosh, it really is pretty.

Anyhow. That’s what I want to see when I see myself in pictures* – and I hope you see the good when you look at pictures of yourself, too. 🙂

*At least the good ones, haha. My brother played paparazzi during the race and he got an extreme close-up of me mid-race that I’m keeping under wraps! But at least I can laugh at it.


Remembering Bubba

It’s been a while since I posted anything of substance, so how ’bout a catch-up post?

The last month has been one thing after another, to put it bluntly. Work stuff, Toastmasters stuff, life stuff, being sick for the past week…but the one that affected me most was my grandma, Bubba, passing away.

Bubba passed away two weeks ago today. She was 99 and would have been 100 on April 3. It was very peaceful. Up until the very last week she was her spry, witty, spitfire self. I saw her on Monday and I could tell her body was simply wearing out. I wanted to go again but Toastmasters stuff ate up a few days (I’m still kicking myself about that. I will also be honest with anyone who asks and say President is a HUGE responsibility so it’s not “a breeze” like people told me). Anyhow, I saw Bubba on Monday and when I saw her again on Friday she was in her bed, not in her chair, and in a deep sleep. My aunt was crying and said on Thursday things changed and that day (Friday), she hadn’t been awake at all. Bubba was very strong, independent, and knew her mind. I think she decided she was ready to go and that was that. On Saturday she passed away peacefully with my mom, sister, and me in the room.

…wow. That was hard to write. I miss her so much.

The funeral was last Friday and Saturday. It was really nice. Bubba really liked the pastor at the home where she lived (it was a larger place with a rehab floor, an assisted living floor, a full-out nuring home floor, etc.). He said he would walk down the hall and inevitably he would hear Bubba call out “Chaplain!” as he walked by. He knew then he would settle in not to much to talk to, but to be talked to by Bubba. 🙂 She would ask him questions about his sermon and give suggestions for what she would have done. I literally laughed out loud when he recalled her saying, “Remember, I’m listening to you, even if no one else is.”

It makes me smile even now because that is so Bubba. I told my sister she probably wanted him to know just because he’s at a nursing home, he can’t phone it in on Sundays. He needs to earn his pay. LOL

Bubba was a really cool lady. I’m sure I get my love of cats from her. I remember visiting her when I was a kid and being so excited because there were always one or two or three cats at her house. She also fed the strays outside. I remember being so excited the first time one of her cats chose to curl up in my lap. This was a big deal for a five or six year-old kid! After that first time, I would sit patiently on a chair hoping one of the cats to see my lap and decide it was time to take a snooze.

Bubba always had such a good attitude. When I asked her about growing up during the Depression, she seemed a bit surprised at my reaction. “Everyone was poor!” she said, with genuine surprise. “Everyone was the same, so it really wasn’t such a big deal.” She recalled men coming up to the house occasionally, looking for work, and her mom always made them a sandwich. Isn’t that what life is about? Appreciating what you have, sharing what extra you have with people who have even less, and building that community?

There are other stories I could share, but right now the two big things I’m feeling is 1) missing her, and 2) committed to adapting her attitude. I stress way too much. This past month has brought a lot of pretty stressful things (hence my sporadic blogging), and I know I’ll probably always stress a bit, but I know I can also not stress as much. Life is too good, and too short, to spend the majority of it freaking out about something.

Unless it’s cats; I don’t mind freaking out and squeeing over kittehs. 🙂


Thrifty Thursday: Red, White, Blue and Bizarre

Lately I’ve seen some amusing things at thrift stores, and they all happened to be red, white, or blue, so without further ado:

st vinnie's no dumping sign

I’m confused…

Do they not want donations? Maybe they don’t want drive-by donations?

No! Christmas at this time.


I suppose this means there will be no Christmas in July sales. Darn!

Laxatives at St. Vinnie's

Friend or foe?

This cracked me up because for one, it was at at thrift store, neatly housed with the other typical thrift store goods, such as bandages, “vomit basins” (or as I like to call them, “those plastic puke catchers”), and syringes. Yes, syringes.

Second reason it cracked me up? It’s a “mini” enema, as opposed to a full-on enema. If you’re going to go that route, wouldn’t you want to go big?

Finally, it cracked me up because I understand the “ease” part; enemas don’t seem like a good time, so why not make it easy, “ease” things along, etc.? But if you say the name fast, it becomes “enemies.” If I had to take some thrift-store laxatives, I’m not sure I’d want to buy a brand that can sound like it’s my enemy. Especially if it’s going to have me, ah, stuck on the toilet for a time.

In related news, I believe I crossed over to a new level of thrifting this morning. As I was driving out of my neighborhood I saw a little table/hutch/thing at the side of the road with a sign saying “Please take.” I stopped, backed up, and parked. Got out of my car, looked to see if anyone else was around (I didn’t want to have to brawl) and scooped it up. It’s currently in the backseat of my car. I’m not sure what I’ll do with it; maybe I’ll keep it for a time and eventually drop it off at Goodwill? Maybe I’ll refinish it? But I liked the look of it, it’s solid wood, and I thought it was too good to pass up. Pictures forthcoming!

And in a thankful note, I’m so thankful it’s a three-day weekend! I’m also thankful that this summer has not been as nearly as sweltering as I had anticipated. In fact, it’s pretty darn great. 🙂

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Thrifty Thursday – Velvet John (and a bonus Thankful Thursday)

Oh, boy, am I ever glad it’s Thursday. That means two things: Thrifty Thursday and Thankful Thursday, both of which lift my spirits and need right now!

First, thankful Thursday:

  • I am so thankful that last night a neighbor informed me that my car alarm has been going off about 4-5 times a night for the last month or so. It’s an older car, so I’m sure it’s a short and the system can be disabled. I’m not happy I have one more unexpected thing to pay for, but I am happy he told me. After a month. (Really, I’m thankful! But…did he not think to put a note on my car, maybe after the first week of the annoyance? LOL!)
  • I’m also thankful that I was able to swap cars with my mom this morning. My mom has Sirius radio, which is fun. It was especially fun to hear Haim’s “The Wire” on the radio–something that never happens in normal radio. Good way to start the day!
  • And one final thankful bit, I’m thankful that this week is winding down. I try not to wish my days away, but this has been a busy, long week. I’m looking forward to the weekend, where I can paint my new furniture, chill out, and plan blog posts for July! (That’s right, I’ve got a calendar! I’m working ahead! I suppose I should add one more thankful bit: I’m thankful for hope, time management, and the chance to continually improve. 🙂 )

    Now, this Thrifty Thursday is a shout out to our friend Rene About the Cats, the Beatles fan. I think this is a picture of John Lennon? Maybe?

    John Lennon velvet painting

    John Lennon?

    This thing was HUGE. Probably 4″ high and 3″ across. I dig the galaxy behind him. Oh, did I mention it was painted on black velvet? Yes! Truly vintage art. I knew a treasure like this wouldn’t come cheap so I winced as I flipped it over to check out the price. What? Only $4.99! Score!

    Only $4.99

    Only $4.99!

    The thrifting gods have smiled up on me! Oh…wait…

    expensive velvet painting

    Wah, waaaahhh…

    Yep. Evidently some other shop (I’m thinking Goodwill–they used to do the wax-pencil pricing like that) didn’t see the true value in this painting and marked it a paltry $4.99. But the staff at St. Vincent de Paul, they knew a top-notch painting when they saw it and marked it up 10x. (Too bad they weren’t clever enough to put the sticker over the original price.) That was a little too rich for my blood, so it was with a heavy heart that I left what I thought of as “John on Velvet with a Groovy Galaxy” at the store for some art aficionado to take home and love.

    Note:That bit of dress and denim jacket you see in the picture? Both thrifted! Whee!