Kathy's Thoughts

My thoughts on life around me and trying to find the true me.

Houston, we have a problem

Remember the toads I wrote about a while back? We wound up buying another after the tadpoles died so that each kid would have one. Well, after being in the city all day on Monday we noticed Tuesday that Climber was gone.

Houston, we have a problem! We have no idea where he is and hope that the kitty hasn’t eaten him!

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It’s Spring so I understand if right now you think I have lost my mind.  That’s ok, I pretty much have.  I promise I am not talking about mittens you wear in the winter.  I despise winter and don’t want to think about it.  You see, mittens is our kitten.

My middle guy has been begging for a cat for probably 6 out of his 9 years on this earth.  My 11 year old Daughter wanted a frog.  We now have 3 fire belly toads and despite my cat allergy, I picked up a kitten from my friend Dawn on Thursday.

I have never been a Dog or a Cat person. I attribute this to the fact that the only pets I ever had growing up were those carnival fish that lasted a week and then went to the great pond in the sky via the toilet highway.  Hubby of course had cats and dogs in his house so we tried out a dog when we first got married.  The problem was that I didn’t know how to choose a pet.  Jack was extremely high maintenance and lasted in our house 9 months. 

13 years later, I have learned an important lesson and Mittens actually chose us.  She was one of 4 girls and a boy born to my friend’s Maine coon.  Dawn had all the kittens in a box and brought them up to her kitchen where Mittens fought to be the first out of the box.  She came right to me and the decision was made.  To be fair, we waited until the other 4 were out of the box and we played with them all but she was the one that kept coming back.

Here she is at a day shy of 6 weeks when we brought her home.  She is eating, drinking and using the litter box like a champ.


It’s official, I am a cat person!



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400 pounds

400 lbs. No, that is not how much I weigh. It isn’t how much weight I want to lose either. That is the amount of soil in the raised bed I put together earlier today.

It was quite the sight in Lowes the other day me trying to figure out how much soil I needed for this one really rocky area that is begging for veggies. Luckily, a gentleman in the store was pretty knowledgable and instructed me on how much soil I should buy as well as where I should buy a raised bed as he thought I would be crazy to try to dig through all the roots and rocks. Mister, you are a Godsend.

This is what it looked like after I weeded it.  I started to put the weed cloth down and realized that I needed extra help.


This is how it wound up.  I still have to figure out what to do with my cuke and squash seeds but I got two cucumber plants and an eggplant in!



What is going on in your garden?  Are you trying something new this year?  I am the only one in the family that likes Eggplant but I decided to grow it anyway.



I have been passing by these cute pastel flower prints we picked up years ago on Prince Edward Island for days now and thinking that they needed to be moved.  I wanted them to be put somewhere where people could actually see them and enjoy them.  They were stuck on a shelf of a cabinet we had in the bathroom and you had to know they were there to appreciate them.  This put the idea in my head.

I went down to the “freezer room” in the basement this afternoon and found a nice great shot of Peggy Cove’s Lighthouse in with my late Mother-in-law’s pictures.   I decided it was too pretty to be sitting in a damp basement so I brought it upstairs.

The redecorating has begun! 

I moved a print of Canadian geese to the empty spot over my couch (see a theme to our artwork at all?), took down the spoons I had hanging above my kitchen cabinets and replaced them with the pastels and hung Peggy’s cove in the entry way space that I took the Canadian geese from.

Now I really want to paint my hallway!


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My Baby Girl

When you have a child, everyone tells you to hold on to the moments because your baby grows up so fast.  Since we are human, we are skeptics and nod our heads pledging to do just that while thinking that it won’t happen to us.  Guess what, it does!

I swear that just yesterday I had only one child and she was a sweet baby Girl.  I made the mistake of blinking and now she is 11!  That’s right, ELEVEN!  Next month she will be 11 1/2.  Where did my baby go?

Our Niece is getting married in October, 2 months before my darling turns 12.  The cute little dress she wore with little cap sleeves in her Aunt’s wedding when she was 18 months old has been replaced by a big girl dress like the one below but with spaghetti straps.   Someone PLEASE hit rewind and bring back my baby, I am not ready for her to grow up!


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Growing up

My heart is heavy.  Years ago (I won’t mention how many), I dated a guy that I thought I was going to marry.  I got really close to his Mother.  I even called her Mom.  While her Son and I were too immature to make our relationship work, we have remained friends (with my husband’s blessing) over the years.  Yesterday morning I received news that she passed away.

I haven’t spoken to Mom in many a year but she was always in my heart.  I am struggling with her death.  I want to go and pay my respects but I don’t want to hurt her Daughter by being there (not sure she likes me after I broke her Brother’s heart).  The other thing I am struggling with is the fact that I committed to training this weekend and I don’t want to back away from a commitment. 

Growing up Stinks!

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Not all those who wander are lost.
— J.R.R. Tolkien

If you follow me, you may have noticed I haven’t posted in a few days.  There is a good reason for this.  I have been geocaching.  Last year, if you asked me what geocaching was I would have given you a blank stare.  Now, I can tell you that geocaching is a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game.

Someone hides a container (called a cache) and enters the coordinates into a database on geocaching.com  We then use our handheld devices (geomate jr and the geocaching app on my phone (yes, there’s an app for that)) to search for it.  Once we have found the cache we log our find and share our experience online.

The thing I love best about geocaching is that the whole family can do it.  My kids BEG me to take them.   We have even learned a couple of things along the way.  Check out this history marker near a cache named Treason that we found.

We found 3 other caches the day we found Treason.  My friend and I found a really cool site that we thought would be perfect for a geocache so we discussed making our own.  We went back out together the following day without my kids in tow because 3 finds just wasn’t enough for us.  We found 4 that day before deciding that we DEFINITELY needed to make and hide our own.

We hit up Walmart since it was near our last cache stop.  We picked up a nice container that looked waterproof, a small notepad to use as a log book, some little trinkets and headed out to find a place to hide it.  We agreed that it needed to be close to where one of us lived so we would be able to check on it easily.   I told her about this great little park owned by the school system near my house and away we went.  Here is a picture of our cache after our friend Jgeofinder found it.  We named it educache since it is placed at the Outdoor Education Center site.I was waiting for the hubby to meet me there to take a walk the other day and saw someone grab it (he put it back, don’t worry).  We have achieved success, people are finding our geocache!

If you are looking for something fun to do by yourself or with the kids, check this out.  The app is $10 but I guarantee once you grab one you will be hooked and the $10 will seem like a bargain when you realize how much fun you are having.

Watch out for Poison Ivy and make sure you pick caches that have both a low D level (difficulty) and a T level (terrain) in the beginning.  Save those high level Terrain ones for the uber hikers.

Most of all, have fun!  I hope to see you in the great outdoors.

Carouselfreak (carouselkidz and smelvin1)

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Teach your Children well…(credit Graham Nash)

As a parent, I always try to teach my Children well.  As a Scout leader, I try to teach many children.  Today was my 3rd time participating in The Great American Cleanup/Keep Rockland Beautiful.

I won’t lie, it is hard work.  Back breaking work but when you look at the results, you can’t help but smile with a sense of pride in what you have done.

I tell my Scouts that it is a requirement towards their Badge.  I don’t want them to do it for that reason though.  I want them to do it so they can take ownership of a part of our community. I want them to do it so they will learn the value of hard work and that hard work sometimes is it’s own reward.

Each year, some come right on time so they can get a grabber and have fun with it.  I don’t have a problem with that because I know that by the end of the day, even if they have picked up trash for an hour and played for two that they have learned something.

Do you participate  in a neighborhood cleanup?  What type of area do you clean?  We usually do an area that really isn’t the best location as it is close to a fairly major road but it gets a fair amount of trash.  This year one of the volunteer staff called me as the organizer and asked if I would mind changing locations.  Other than not having a place to take a quick lunch break, I think our new area was great.

The history of the new area is that it is the lowlands.  It was actually meant to get rainwater overflow.  It was NOT meant to get garbage overflow but back in 1999 when a nearby lake community that was falling to pieces was bought up, the trash that was in the lake was brought down by Hurricane Floyd and has been coming during bad rainstorms ever since.  We found several tires, lots of plastic ride on toys and LOTS of beer bottles among other things.  The find of the day for the kids was a wooden duck which now resides in my garden.

Here are a few pictures:

The Beginning of the day


Our new garden decoration

3pm and we are exhausted.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
    Margaret Mead




Tadpoles, toads and crickets. Oh my!

Growing up the only pets I had were those carnival fish you got bombed with ping pong balls. You know, the ones that lasted about a week.  I swore things would be different for my kids.

We got a dog shortly after we got married.  His name was Jack.  He was a Black Lab mix and that dog hated me!  He listened to my husband.  They got along great. He did NOT listen to me at all.  We tried puppy kindergarten and we failed.  9 months later, we returned him to the pound.  It didn’t seem like animals we in the cards for us.

Fast forward 12 years.  Our 11 year old Daughter is obsessed with Frogs.  In actuality, her first animal obsession was a newt but she was only 3 at the time and not smart enough to beg for one as a pet yet.  When last Christmas rolled around she asked for a grow a frog.  I added it to the kids Amazon wish list and my Brother-in-law got it for her.

Things started out great.  We mailed away for the tadpole.  He came a weeks later with some food and all was well.  A few weeks later however he stopped moving. I tried to have her wait it out a few days to make sure he wasn’t just changing but she wanted nothing to do with that.  Her Brother helped her bury Billy Bob out by the shed.

The little Miss is normally so composed and strong that I forget she is still a kid.  She came to me and cried and cried.  So what does a good Mother do?  I bring her to Pet Smart of course!

Mind you, my Sister-in-law gave each of the kids Target gift cards for Christmas and my middle one bought some sort of frog habitat with his.  His tadpoles are going strong and this added to M’s sadness.

The little guy at this point has no tadpole, no pet what so ever.  $30 later we come home with two firebelly toads, a habitat, rocks for the habitat and crickets to feed them with.  YUCK!

We have since gotten a cricket keeper so we don’t have to figure out how to get the crickets to the toads without touching them and have even collected our own crickets.  We have come a LONG way.

For someone that grew up with no pets, I have to admit that I am really liking this and the kids actually like to feed the toads.  Did I mention we are getting a kitten next?  Our kitten was born Saturday and we can’t wait to pick it up.

I will post pictures soon.

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Family Bonding

This morning when my Husband and I checked Cozi (my favorite app), we noticed that we had a day off!  There was no t-ball game to rush off to, no doctor’s appointments for anyone, you get the idea.  What is one to do with a full day off?

The kids started the day with an Iced Tea stand offering a free brass concert while I toiled away in the garden (that’s a post for another day).  Hubby slept in and then we all went to Five Guys for lunch.

The Hubster has been dying to the go to the “tunnels” while the kids want to go geocaching any chance we get.  Since I had never accompanied the kids to the tunnels before and Hubby had never been geocaching, we decided to compromise and find a geocache near the tunnels.

The Tunnels are also known as the Bluefields Rifle Range. Situated on top of Clausland mountain in the Nyack/Orangeburg, NY area. This base, established in 1910, would replace the old facility located on Long Island. Camp Bluefields, in Blauvelt, Rockland County, was a former New York National Guard Rifle Range used as POW Camp in WWI. The camp’s training facility prepared soldiers for embarkation to Europe. The remains of the Tweed Military Installation are now part of Tamarack County Park. Built some time around World War I the base served as a firing range complete with underground tunnels. The long, concrete tunnels were built to provide safe passage from one rifle range to another.

Anyway, we had a great day hiking and exploring.  The hubby now knows what geocaching is and might just join us the next time we go.  While we were hiking, we got pictures from my friend of her cat’s new kittens!   We called first dibs and will be getting one in the next few weeks.  Look for a post about our new kitten soon.

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