Cool Things

The weather has finally gotten a little warm. She didn’t think it would ever happen! She spent the winter freezing and is actually glad to see some warmer weather. It’s just been too cool to enjoy riding the motorcycle the last few weeks. But, speaking of cool, they did see some pretty cool things this past weekend!

He and She and Papa Joe and Ohio and Skeeter rode over to Columbus Georgia to Chattahoochee Harley Davidson, just for fun. While they were there, they got to meet “Baby”! Now, Baby is one cool dog! She rides a Harley!! Yeah, that’s right, a Harley!

Baby Rides a Harley

She enjoyed posing for a couple of pictures with her goggles on!

Baby Rocks her Goggles

She and Skeeter were instantly in love with Baby and found out that she loves to ride and is happy to hop on the bike at any opportunity!

Here’s a picture of the Chattahoochee River She snapped as they were zipping over it on the way home.

The Chattahoochee

Then, on Sunday morning, they encountered this beauty:

Orange Metal Flake!

He and She would just love to have something like that to ride around in! As it was, He and She visited Niffer’s Place at Lake Martin and enjoyed a really delish lunch, followed by a “Ride and Seek” – that’s what they call it when they don’t have a destination in mind, but ride aimlessly seeking one. They actually wound up on a road that leads to a beautiful penninsula at Lake Martin. They were able to pull the bike over and park and walk up to the water as it lapped the shore. It was a beautiful day and peacefully quiet! They felt really lucky to be able to just enjoy the moment before heading back home.

We hope you had some beautiful weather this weekend, and were able to find some enjoyment. Also, our hearts go out to our neighbors in Missouri who have experienced tragedy and heartache due to the recent tornado.




Against the Wind


He and She have been so terribly busy lately, they haven’t had much leisure time. Therefore, to make up for all the work they are doing, we’ve been seeing to it that we get plenty of rest. Because of that, we haven’t been posting much lately. We do want to let you know a little about what they’ve been up to, though.

With the beautiful (though quite windy) weather we’ve been having off and on, He has been busy out and about on the property doing some cleaning up and grass cutting and limb trimming. Because our driveway is lined with massive oak trees, there always seem to be limbs and sticks laying about. He credits some of his recent weight loss to his “Stick Picking Program”. Using proper form, bending at the knees and keeping his back straight, He works in the driveway picking up sticks and cleaning up other debris that is constantly falling from the trees. The property affords him a lot of opportunities for a through workout, and has been given the nick-name of “Nature’s Gym”. They’ve even talked about selling “memberships”. Customers would get a great, whole-body workout and He would get some much needed help in cleaning up the place!

Driveway in the Fall

She has actually been sewing some. She used to be quite the seamstress years ago, and didn’t shy away from the skirt pattern with the invisible zipper she picked up recently. Little did She know, her new sewing machine did not come with a zipper foot. That turned into quite the ordeal, as none of the local fabric shops had one that would fit. She couldn’t believe how difficult it became to find the attachment She needed. Finally, it was located at a repair shop, and the zipper was installed. She wasn’t perfectly pleased with the results, but has purchased more material and another zipper, and has issued a challenge to a re-match. We’ll keep you posted on that bout.

She also has undertaken the making of a purse. She drew inspiration from several others that are on the web and has been working on it for a few days. It has been an exercise in trial and error, and is not complete, but She hopes to end up with something usable, at the very least. It’s no wonder She can’t manage to get much done, though with all the help She gets from these two:



Something we all wanted to share with our readers who might be dealing with kitties who are “thinking outside the box”, is a remedy that we are having good luck with for now. It seems that one of us (Lilah), has revolted for some reason and no longer wants to use our litter boxes. Not only that, but she chose a very conspicuous place in the living room for her preferred spot. This was not going over well at all. After a couple of attempts, they they’ve found a solution. Puppy piddle pads. Maybe others have had luck with these before, but He and She taken it a step further. They attempted just putting the pads on the floor. However, after using the pad, someone, (Lilah), would attempt to cover the offending odor and end up turning the pad over so that it was useless to have it there in the first place. Then, they tried the little plastic housing that is made for the purpose of holding the pad down, and that didn’t work, as there were no sides and even though she would stand on the pad, she would not really hit the target. Then, they bought a small litter box, and with the help of binder clips, attached the pad to the sides. The size is just right, and so far, the culprit, (Lilah), has successfully used the pad, eliminating a lot of work for He and She. They’ve even successfully moved the box to our litter box area, and out of the living room. The rest of us ignore it because we know it is for Lilah and her little idiosyncracies.

There was a little bit of motorcycle riding this past week, but it has been so windy, that has been kept to a minimum. The sky was a beautiful blue, but you can see how choppy the water was at the lake!



Hopefully soon it won’t feel like they are running against the wind. In the meantime, we’ll do our best to stay rested. You know we only have their best interests at heart!


The Jig is Up!

Well, now apparently everyone will know what we cats have known for centuries. As it states in this article, yes, we are in control. It has been no secret among us. We are only suprised it has taken so long, and a team of scientists for humans to figure it out.

Here, in The House of 9 Lives, we have decided it would be best not to overwhelm He and She with a cacophony of meows, so we have elected a spokescat to do the soliciting on behalf of all of us. Kosmo has proven to be the right kitty for the job. Not only is Kosmo a master at the “purr-cry” as the article calls it, but he is also quite adept at the entertwine-yourself-between-their-legs-until-they-stumble method of attention getting. Although Kosmo is very effective, I’m not too bad myself in the arena of human manipulation. Once the treats are put before Kosmo, Jazz, Lilah, Boomer, Blossom, Alley, Flirt, and Nova, He always comes to me in my special spot on the ottoman and puts my daily treats right before me. This special treatment on my part has earned me the nickname “Princess”.

Not only are He and She now trained to give us treats, but they also feed most any hungry creature that shows up here. She recently got a Hummingbird feeder and was kind enough to place it right outside a window so we could enjoy the show. This weekend, She managed to get these pictures of one of our frequent diners:

Coming in for a Landing

Perched for a Meal

Taking a Drink


While she was getting these pictures, she realized another familiar visitor was nearby. Our little friend the Fox Squirrel is pretty camera shy, but she managed to get this photo of him perched on a fence.

Fox Squirrel on a Fence

Then he really got comfortable and stretched out:

Fox Squirrel Reclining

He spotted the camera, here:

Looking Straight Into the Camera

And here, he’d had enough of the paparazzo, and jumped down:
That's Close Enough!

Well, now that the jig is up, and everyone will know how we manage to get treats, I’m sure they’ll all be trying it. I think I actually heard the Hummingbird trying to make the hummingbird equivalent of a purr-cry!


In the Kitchen with Sammy

Barny Looking Up
Okay, I know that sounds like new programming from our friends at Food Network, but actually, it’s our way of introducing you to a new member of our family. She finally has a working stove! Before we tell you too much about our new Samsung range, however, we want to fill you in on all the details leading up to this new addition.

Back on February 28th, thanks to a bad thunderstorm, a power surge took out our Whirlpool range.

"J" Stove

Because we had an extended warranty on the range through Lowe’s, He placed a call to the warranty department and had a technician scheduled for a service call on March 4th. When the repairman took a look at the stove, he confirmed the warranty would cover the replacement parts and labor. Unfortunately though, the part had to be ordered. The item was to be shipped here to The House of 9 Lives, and a return visit was scheduled for March the 13th.

As of March 12th, no parts had been received, so She made a phone call to the appliance repair company and spoke with a representative who told her the part was actually on back-order, and they did not know when it would be in. Later in the day, she received a call from a representative of the “scheduling” department who said the part would ship on April 30th. Yes, APRIL 30th. Keep in mind, at that time, it was March 12th. Being somewhat skeptical, She got on the phone and placed a call to the manufacturer and verified the fact that this part was unavailable until the end of April. So, She heaved a heavy sigh and resigned to wait, as there seemed to be no other option.

On May 1st, there had been no communication from the repair company as to whether the parts had shipped, or, if a date for the service call had been scheduled, so, once again, She made contact and spoke with a very nice representative who very hesitantly deliverd the bad news that the part was now scheduled to ship JUNE 1st!! She very politely thanked the young woman, took a deep breath this time instead of a heavy sigh, and called the Lowe’s warranty department.

After a (nice, calm – I’m so proud of her) recap of the situation, the operator said she was “escalating” the issue and we should hear something back within one business day.

On Monday, May 4th, She got a call stating that after review, we were approved for replacement of the item covered in our extended warranty. We could expect a gift card in the amount of the full purchase price of the stove, plus tax. She was ecstatic! Not only was she going to have a fully operational stove again, She was going to have a brand new one! It almost seemed a little too good to be true!

Tuesday, May 11th. In the mail: One gift card from Lowe’s to cover the purchase of a new stove. 

Thank you Lowe's Warranty!

On the back porch: One box containing a part for the repair of the old stove. Wild, huh?

What? A Part?

She made a call and spoke with the repair company, as directed by the Lowe’s warranty office, about the receipt of the part. The outcome: the parts will be picked up, and She can shop for her new stove.

On Thursday, May 14th, He and She took off work early and made the trip to pick up the brand new stove. She had done some internet research and found one she wanted. For just a little bit more than the cost of the old stove, She could get a couple of new features, like convection cooking and a warming drawer. They happened to have the one she wanted at the Lowe’s store in Opelika, about an hour away. So, they hooked up the trailer, jumped in the truck and headed over there.

Once they were home with the stove, it was just a matter of getting it in the house and all hooked up. (Ironically, the ill-fated parts had been picked up while they were gone).

Sammy comes home

Of course, nothing is ever glitch free, and the plug for the stove had to be moved, as it was placed a little too high for this one to be pushed back completely against the wall.

Moving the Power Supply

Once that was taken care of, the new oven was put into place and (ta-da!), the clock was set! In our house, the clock is definitely the most-used part of a stove. The next step: removing all the packing materials.

Brand New Stove

Because She just had to bake something, right away, on the way home, she picked up some ready-to-bake cookies.

Ready to Bake

Once these were put in the oven, it was just a short wait to test the success of this new purchase.

That really hopeful stage

Rise and Shine

Fresh from the Oven

Let’s just say milk was drank and lips were licked. I think they were very happy with the results.

Because the new stove is a Samsung (model # FTQ3521WUX), they are calling it “Sammy”. She was very hopeful that because both the range and her cell phone are both Samsung models that maybe they could talk to one another. That way, She could just call up Sammy and tell him to have supper ready by the time they get home.

Well, yes, She does live in an alternate universe, why do you ask? Here, have a cookie!

Mmmm-White Chunk Macadamia


The Money Pit

He and She have been living in and working on this house for about seven years now. In that time, they have pretty much taken the interior down to the studs and renovated every thing. Until recently, though, they didn’t know they had such a major issue with the electrical system.

After the recent demise of several electric items, they decided it was time to get it checked out. After looking for a few weeks for a word-of-mouth recommendation for a good electrician, they finally got one. After a consultation on Saturday, it was decided the work should be done as soon as possible. It seems there were so many issues to be addressed, it’s a wonder there hadn’t been even more problems than just power surges.

As soon as the weather permitted, which happended to be April 1st (no fooling), the work began. I didn’t understand a lot of what they were saying, but first and foremost, there was no “neutral” – from what I understood, this basically meant there was no grounding. That’s apparently not good. Also, a lot of the existing wiring, was shoddy. Improper techniques and even the wrong materials had been used. For instance, the exterior breaker box wasn’t even supposed to be used outside. It was meant to be an interior box, therefore, it wasn’t sealed and the breakers were getting moisture. I might be just a cat, but even I know water and electricity don’t go together!

Here is a picture of the breaker box, after the electrician had begun breaking it down for removal.


After about six hours, the exterior breaker box, the original meter box, and all the breakers were replaced. We even got a nice, new pole on top of the house where the main feed comes in, and a new ground. They also ran new (appropriate) wiring to the heat pump, the dryer, the hot water heater, and the stove.

Speaking of the stove, we are still waiting on a part for that. Here is the new and improved breaker box and meter box!


She was disappointed the old meter was reinstalled, She hoped for a shiny new one of those as well, but that part is up to the Power Company. So, even though the latest investment in the renovation of the house wasn’t something we could really show off and be proud of, we all know we have nice, new, shiny electricity throughout. And we are definitely safer!

Even though the House of 9 Lives might be a “money pit”, it’s still a pretty great place to us!


Sunset - April 1st


Grits is Good

Way, way, way back, when She was in high school, her Senior Advanced English teacher, Mrs. Vickery, would occasionally climb up on various grammatical soapboxes. One particular day, she stepped up on a grits box. Mrs. Vickery spent several passionate minutes relating to her students the correct subject verb agreement for the word “grits”. When referring to this southern staple, one is not suggesting anything about each individual grain, or grit, but the dish as a whole. Therefore, because “grits” is a singular noun, the grammatically correct statement would be “these grits is good”, rather than “these grits are good”. As painful as it sounds, it is correct!


Other singular nouns include “news” (“The news on the economy is just terrible right now); “physics” (“Physics is a natural science)?; and “data” (The data is collected over several months). Some of these subject verb combinations come more naturally than “Grits is good”, but they are all in the same category.


How about the grits was good?

Be sure to check back with us another time to hear about Mrs. Vickery’s contempt for the written use of the word “alot”, and her aversion to misplaced apostrophes!



Nice People

What a great time of year to write about Nice People. It might be hard to believe sometimes, but they are out there! Come on, admit it – you know some nice people. Why, you might even be one!

“He” and “She” meet nice people all the time, and last night they met another. They had gone to a local barbecue restaurant after work and had just been served their food when a gentleman walked over to the table. He must have seen something that impressed him, because he was very complimentary and took the time to tell He and She how lucky they are to have one another. He chatted for a while, shook hands with them and went on his merry way.

It is really special when a strager takes a moment to say something nice, and even though he told them they had made his day, he really made theirs. Yeah, it’s a great time of year to meet Nice People. And, guess what? He was an older gentleman, with a long white beard… I’m just saying!

Merry Christmas “Mr. Smith” (wink, wink) and to all the other Nice People out there who make our days!