Geneva on the Lake and Zeus the cat

Is this a cute kittie or what? The picture of goodness I would say. This is Zeus, our tuxedo cat. Just like kids, no two cats are the same. In fact, much of child raising can be compared to cat and dog raising, but rather than open that can of worms (worms cannot be compared to child raising, at least most of the time) I want to continue my informal tour of the Cleveland area.

But first, Zeus. Zeus needed a nail trimmed. I went into it singlehandedly (my first mistake) and armed with a nice little clipper/scissor. I petted Zeus awhile to lull him into a sense of false security…this feels so nice, you’re such a good cat, just relax. You are getting sleepy…you are getting sleepy.

I’m not getting sleepy…

Alas, the moment I clipped one nail he turned into the Tasmanian Devil. I struggled, bravely facing claws, a hiss or two, and what seemed like a cat with all elbows. I got one more done then turned him loose. I can admit defeat when I am bested. Being bested by a 10 pound cat isn’t something I’m proud of, but I have no ego.

This is mid-meow. He is very loud. I don’t want to know what he’s saying.

Actually, Zeus is our oldest cat, over 10 years old, but he still tries to attack the cord for the blinds. He’s the only cat we have had since kittenhood, most are strays or older when we adopt. He’s really a sweetheart…most of the time.

About a week ago, I wandered out to Geneva-on-the-Lake, about a half hour east of us. Geneva-on-the-Lake is a little resort strip on Lake Erie. It has a long history having been around in the early 1900s.

When we first moved to Cleveland, back in the 1980s, it was more of a biker area, and we would go on a Friday night, get Madsen’s donuts or ice cream, and watch the motorcycles. There used to be a little “carnival” area with the rides you would think of if you were asleep and having a nightmare. Did we go on them? Of course! There was a Ferris wheel, a “fun house” (think of the fun wandering around and smacking yourself in the face with mirrors or trying to walk through what looked like a huge cement sewer pipe that spins around slowly as you walk…great fun). There was a teacup sort of ride that just spun around and around and around and…I didn’t go on that one. My husband decided that our kids would just love this ride, so he and the two boys went on it. It was a slow night, and once the carny starts the ride, I guess he gets bored. I typically talk to everyone so we began chatting away. The ride spun around and around and around and…OK, you get the drift. We were having a good old chuckle fest and I guess he got a little loose with the time. I happened to look at the three victims and noticed a strange hue to our youngest son. He was turning a pea green, literally turning green. I told the operator to turn it off and he smiled, saying “it’s OK, they can have extra time.” What a guy! I explained that extra time now will mean extra work for him in a few minutes and he saw the light. They got off the ride just in time, staggering to the gate and eyeballing the nearest trash can. Everyone was fine, but we took our Madsen’s Donuts home instead of eating them there.

Anyway, about a week ago I returned to Geneva-on-the-Lake after many years away. Since then, they have built a state park and lodge, a huge outdoor game area, and have a winery called “Firehouse Winery.” There are still shops and other fun places but it’s pretty nice now. I went because my cousin-in-law is a founding member of a Celtic band. He plays the bagpipes. The band is called “Plaid Sabbath.” I enjoy their music and a chance to visit with my cousin in a beautiful setting at the winery. I didn’t order alot of food but what I did was good, and Plaid Sabbath is fun to watch. Irish dancers were there too, and the weather was perfect.

Plaid Sabbath
A beautiful day on the lake

On the way out, I decided to try to pick up some Madsen’s Donuts. Unfortunately they were closed. The oldest continuous play mini-golf course was open, though. We used to play there. Also open and running was the Karaoke place. Make of that what you will. I was saddened when nobody was caterwauling singing at that particular time.

I like little treasures like Geneva-on-the-Lake. They seem to grow organically. I like places that are unpretentious and Geneva-on-the-Lake fits that to a tee. I’ll have to go back and play putt-putt. For now though, Zeus has reappeared on my computer so I’m going to try for another nail.

Probably not a good idea.

Chester will be back in the next post. Today was just Zeus’ turn. Have a good week!

Odds and ends on a rainy Friday

We are at status quo here, so other than one quick rant about the rain, this will be a post of happy odds and ends.

OK, I’m done…

In our relatively small town lies a huge treasure. This pipe organ sits majestically in the Painesville Methodist Church.

I am told they have great organists in the church. This time, a nationally known organist, Tom Trenney, performed a concert last Friday evening. He grew up in the church, then moved on to great success.  The concert was wonderful. It occurred to me that while the organ remains silent for most of its life, it can roar to life when someone is brave enough to ask it to perform. It was hard to believe that a little man sitting at a keyboard could command that power. Kind of like the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain, except no fakery. I was lucky to hear something like this—extraordinary things can be found in small places.

Another extraordinary thing I noticed was the beauty of tulips this spring.

This is at Perry Methodist Church, where our bell choir plays. Someone went to a lot of work in the fall, and voila, it came to fruition. My husband has a soft spot for tulips, and while we planted a lot, many got displaced or eaten.

Our pretty tulips

I’m not sure how the church ones escaped being digested by neer-to-do-well critters. There’s a certain bit of faith involved in planting bulbs I guess. The people planted them not knowing what would happen or if they would even see the result.  In this case they bloomed into beautiful flowers.

While walking Chester I saw the biggest dandelion pod ever.

Chester was unimpressed

I admire dandelions and other wildflowers. I think they are pretty but many don’t like them. Yet just like squirrels and bird feeders, you can wage war but you will likely lose. Their tenacity causes me to respect the lowly dandelion. Remember putting it by your chin to see if you like butter? Maybe that was an Ohio thing…

I raked out my corner garden, leaving leaves in the grass before my husband mulched them with the lawn mower. Chester decided that he must roll on the grass where they were. Of course, being a true pet parent, my husband pulled out his camera.

Oh, Chester…

 I cringe when thinking of what Chester must smell and be rolling in. He’s a hound. But a happy hound! He was especially happy because our grandson bought him a toy. Or rather, since he is only 4 years old, he told me “I want to buy Chester a toy” and I bought it.

Chester loved it for all of about 10 minutes until he dissected it, removed the squeaker, and pulled out all the stuffing. I did not take a picture of the mess because I was afraid the grandson would see it and be traumatized.  Needless to say, Chester was a very happy boy.

This weekend is Mother’s Day. I am OK with Mother’s Day. Motherhood is messy, as is fatherhood. I enjoyed having children—the child years were the best of my life. I am loving being a grandma too. Part of me enjoys the independence of not having children rely on me. Another part gets mad when they don’t answer my calls.  Another part sees how hard my daughter in law works and manages the boys; she deserves a day of recognition. (lots of energy in those boys!! ditto for Father’s Day) Another part doesn’t want them to go to any trouble for me. So you see, I am full of parts! I usually just go with the flow because any time they call or we get together I enjoy it. I know my husband is making me eggs because he asked me if I would eat a poached egg. I said no. I’m sure it would be delicious, he’s a good cook. But…still no.

Truth be told, I have pets relying on me and that’s almost like children. People call them “fur babies.” That’s pushing my saccharine level a little high. I cringe but I do get it.  This morning Milo ate some treats then hopped on my lap. He rubbed his treat-smelly face on my chin so I rubbed my chin back on his head. If you have kids, did you ever have one wipe his/her nose on your pants? Even if it wasn’t your kid? Yeah….now it’s a cat. I tried to take a selfie of this expression of cat love but he wouldn’t do it with the camera watching.  Instead he looks all handsome. He’s a hound too. Ignore the messy hair, I’m trying to see if it will curl if I don’t blow it dry. Looks promising.

I guess that’s all of my odds and ends for the week. I am starting a new project and will tell you about it soon. I was hoping for this week, but not yet. Have a wonderful weekend!

Wordle and poison ivy

When everybody likes something, I typically don’t. I am typically wrong. Everybody from Hoda on the Today Show to Scooby Doo (OK maybe not Scooby Doo) raved about Wordle. My sister told me she played it and I poo-poohed it. Mostly because I had looked at the apps and couldn’t figure out if she played “Wordles” or “Wordle!” or another slightly embellished title. Finally I asked her and she said just to go to the New York Times and it’ll pop up. I acted as if I knew that, but a couple days later I did it.

This devilish little game is addicting. It’s really just guessing 5-letter words but there’s a little strategy. I pretend I’m on “The Price is Right” and can change the incorrect letters with Drew Carey cheering me on. I then share my result with my sister. She shares hers back which is almost always better than mine. As a middle child that must make her feel good, since second kids have to try to keep up with someone older who lords it over them and tries to make them feel inferior because they can’t do what the oldest had extra years to practice. Not that I would ever do that.

This morning I woke up at 4:19am. I reported last week that I had poison ivy on my arms. I was cavalier, stating that it wasn’t bad and I have had worse. LIES!! I started noticing that I scratched my arms in my sleep so I started wearing large Band-Aids that make me look like The Mummy. This worked but left my arms with red, Band-Aid sized, raised hive-like welts. I suspect I am either allergic to the Band-Aid, or my skin reacted to the added indignity of me yanking off the Band-Aid. Either way, I was between a rock and a hard place.  The itching has been replaced with pain that even makes me stop eating. The only thing that brings comfort is holding my sad arms under water. I think they are healing now though, they look better today.

Anyway, at 4:19am I awoke with an urge to scratch or cut my arm off. I could not get back to sleep so I went downstairs and did Wordle. The first word I typed in was death. It was all I could think of. Maybe I was being a little dramatic but it wasn’t the worst word to open with. I guessed the Wordle word in three guesses which I thought for sure would crush my sister like the boulder in Indiana Jones. But alas, she also got three. There’s always tomorrow.

At 4:19am there’s not much to do. I hung out with Zeus awhile. He was confused because I wasn’t feeding him.

I watched the news and learned that the Today Show was going to set a world record. For Earth Day (today) they were going to have the most people water a plant at one time. Yes, this is true. There is no current record (really?) so it was pretty much a given. I puttered around, read a few blogs and decided to change the bedroom around, then watched the happy people in the plaza water their plants. There was a group in Cleveland watering plants too. I was not among them obviously but there was a Cleveland Browns mascot or something dancing around. Probably trying to garner some good will since most people here are kind of sour on the Browns.

So what did I learn today? I learned three truths that I will add to my Mom’s List of Advice: 1) coffee is good, 2) don’t dismiss things without trying them (except for the stuff sitting out at the fair, the dips and such. No, No, No.) and 3) …I was going to write wear long sleeves and gloves when gardening but I’ll never do that. So maybe there are only two truths.

Chester is living his best springtime life, tearing around the mud after squirrels and bunnies, both real and imagined.

I’m a happy dog!

On Easter, the other Grammie and Pop-Pop gave him a treat. It wasn’t a bunny, but the next best thing.

He loved it. He ate it in about 3 minutes.

We have not been to a park with him lately but this weekend looks very promising. He did make another friend on a walk, a puppy named Toby (I think…the puppy was running around and the owner was calling her but seemed a little out of breath). Milo is bothering me on the computer. This is the look when he is about to sneeze all over me.


I have to hurry and cover my arms so they don’t have cat germs AND poison ivy.

Have an excellent week!