Modes of Conveyance


There is so much to share, we might as well take one thing at a time!

On March 27th, He and She decided they would take a short trip to the North of us to scope out a little shop they had heard of. During that trip, they traveled Highway 280 through Sylacauga Alabama, where this caught their eyes:
After a quick u-turn, they went back to investigate. It turns out this is a new little vehicle that promises to bridge the gap between an automobile and a motorcycle. The Auto Moto.
With a promise of 83 miles per gallon, it could be worth a closer look! It is essentially a three-wheeled scooter with a top speed of 65 mph.
If you would like more information, they have a website here. For more information in Alabama, contact this authorized dealer at 256-369-7663. They are located at 34825 US Highway 280, Sylacauga Alabama.

After that little distraction, they continued their journey and wound up at their destination:


This is Homewood Cycle and Fitness, the Homewood location of Cahaba Cycles. Their goal during this visit was to “consider” the purchase of a new bicycle for her. After their success in losing weight over the past several months, they are gearing up for a very active Spring and Summer, and as a part of that, they would both like to become more adept in cycling. He has a nice Bianchi road bike, but She didn’t have any hope of keeping up with him on her little hybrid.

Not only did they really enjoy going into the bike shop and seeing all the wonderful cycling-related items, but the town of Homewood is so charming! The store was located in the central business district which is the home to plenty of shops, restaurants and specialty stores.

They didn’t do a lot of exploring the area, but plan to do that when they make a return trip for the free 90-day tune up. Yep! They bought her a new bike. It is a 2009 Trek 1.2 WSD. It may have been just a little outside her skill range when they bought it, but she is determined to work hard and earn the right to own such an awesome bike. Andrew worked with them to fit the bike and to make sure she understood the basics, while Kenny helped her pick out as many pink accessories as they could find. This is what they brought home:
One other individual at Homewood Cycles that bears mentioning is Lilly. Lilly is the staff Weimaraner, and she did a great job assisting Andrew and Kenny with the sale. Unfortunately, She neglected to take any pictures even though She had the camera in her purse the whole time. You can see more pictures of the store here, and there is one little picture of Lilly included.

So far, they have ridden three times and she has a total of 18 miles on her odometer. The first ride was 3 miles, the second was 8 miles and the third was 10 miles. She does have another date with a certain, very steep, hill which might have had the upper hand on that last ride, but once She learns to shift properly, that thing is hers! Her goal is 50 by 50. She will be 50 years old on her birthday in January, so she hopes to have conqured 50 miles by then. Either by a 50 mile ride, or possibly just to have 50 cumulative miles on the bike by then! We’ll just have to see how She progresses in the meantime.

Nova was just happy there were some new boxes and bags brought in!

The final thing we wanted to talk about is the bee-yoo-tee-ful weather we are finally having! Around here, when the weather gets warm enough, out comes the Harley. They aren’t too fond of riding when it’s cold and now that they have lost all their “insulation”, they have to wait until it is around 70 degrees to be comfortable. So, with the nice weather this past weekend, they once again traveled up Highway 280, with a completely different destination in mind this time. Even as they have altered their habits and become more conscious of what they consume, they have continued to treat themselves along the way. With that in mind, they made a trip to The Cheesecake Factory.
Cheesecake Facotry
Inside, they enjoyed sharing a slice of Red Velvet Cheesecake and coffee. Unfortunately, The Cheesecake Factory doesn’t have any nutritional information on-line, but they estimate this has about 450 calories.
But, keep in mind – this is HALF a slice! He and She keep track of calories burned and calories consumed, so they were able to determine they could afford the treat. They have learned that, for them, awareness is the key to losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight. So, they made the choice to enjoy this slice of decadence completely aware of the “cost”.

Because they were on the Harley, She attempted to take several pictures, but as they were in heavy traffic some of them weren’t that great. She loved all the pretty corporate landscaping and tried to get a few shots.



Well, that about sums it up. We’ve pretty much described trips on all modes of conveyance at The House of 9 Lives with the exception of the lawn mower, the four-wheeler, the tractor and the unicycle. Who knows? We might cover those in a future post!



Lasting Impressions

Well, it has been quite a long while since we have posted anything on the blog! We are sorry to those of you who have missed us! There’s no particular reason we haven’t written, really – there has been a lot going on that could have been written about. She just had the laptop put away, and if She doesn’t leave it out for us to get to, we can’t get on-line! Thankfully, today, She forgot to put it away. Some things that have been going on around here are:

  1. They addressed the issue of not being able to get a good cup of coffee at work by buying two Keurig Mini coffee makers, one for each of their offices. They liked them so much, they bought a system for the house as well. More on this later.
  2. She started back knitting. Then stopped again. She’s a great self-starter. Finisher? Not so much. She got real passionate about hand-knit socks and really wanted to give a toe-up, two socks at one time, pattern a go. So, she got started on two socks on two sets of DPNs and went to town. Only she didn’t get all the way into town, seems she ran out of gas somewhere around the turning of the heel. More on this later (if there is more).
  3. They have each lost right around thirty pounds since sometime in May or June. They have been moving more and eating less and keeping up with how much of both they are doing. They are becoming more fit and healthy and really loving their new silhouettes and stamina! More on that, if you want to know.
  4. They finished a little project at the house. That used to happen a lot more often than it does now days! They finished replacing some fencing. It looks so nice! More on this when we get some decent pictures to show. The before and after pics are pretty dramatic!
  5. They managed to cut and stack enough firewood for themselves and their close friends. Enough on that!
  6. They started another project at the house. They demolished and enlarged the master bedroom closet and started taking up the laminate flooring and existing tile in the bathroom. They are getting the bedroom ready for their new Select Comfort Sleep Number bed!

Which brings us to the reason for this post. Their current mattress is only approximately 6 years old. At the time it was bought, it was very comfortable to them. However, it has developed some very serious “body impressions”. They have been careful to keep the mattress turned regularly, but over this short amount of time, it has really taken on some deep gulleys. Prior to this Simmons Beauty Rest mattress, they had a Serta Perfect Sleeper. They slept on that one for close to fifteen years and it wore evenly and remained comfortable. A relative has it now and it is still comfortable. But the Beauty Rest really hasn’t been much of a “beauty”, and He was experiencing some back pain from sleeping on it.

The Select Comfort arrived via UPS last week. So, now there are six boxes stacked hither and yon throughout the living room and kitchen. Thankfully, they are very light, so He can move them around as necessary. We really love the boxes as they have made the most wonderful tiered napping surfaces! They should have known we would be the first ones to sleep on their new bed. They have the closet put back to a functional state, He still has to build the built-in organizers, and they need to paint and add trim. This weekend, they tiled the bathroom and the bedroom with the same tile that runs throughout the rest of the house. Only grouting is left to make the floor complete.

They are currently sleeping on the existing mattress and box springs on the floor in the living room. It’s like camping out. Of course, we love the idea of having a king-size ottoman in the living room, and there isn’t a moment in the day or night that at least one of us isn’t lying on that bed. I wonder if we could persuade them to leave it here? Of course, we, nor they, are really crazy about the current state of other parts of the house. For instance, the toilet is currently sitting in the shower in the master bathroom and the sink and vanity are in the hall. It’s pretty much mass chaos around here, right now.

I’ve been thinking though, and I think I know who is really at the bottom of all this. Boomer is a really big boy. He’s built like an English Bulldog with broad shoulders, and is quite a sturdy cat. Every day, he takes up residence on the bed and stays there until he is coerced out of the bedroom at bedtime. I’d say if there are any impressions on the bed, they are from Boomer. He certainly can leave a lasting impression!









It’s been fairly quiet around here the last few weeks. Of course, for house cats, that is an ideal situation. While the temperatures have soared outside, reaching 100 degrees, or close to it, on most days, the nine of us have snoozed comfortably in our cool, climate-controlled enclave.

There have been just a few things of interest around here lately to share. Our local Humane Shelter, the Elmore County Humane Society, put out the word that they were running really low on dry dog food. Well, since He and She are at capacity and cannot lighten the burden by adopting a dog from the shelter, they did what they could by donating some food. Here’s our little Jetta loaded down with kibble. You may not be able to tell, but they snuck a bag or two of kitty food in as well.

Doggy Donations

When they delivered the food to the shelter, they found that the supply had gotten as low as three bags before the call for help went out. Thankfully, the community has responded and their needs are being met. He and She have made donations in the past, but plan to do so on a more regular basis in the future. This is a great way to help out homeless animals in need if you aren’t able to bring one home with you.

Here’s another interesting thing we wanted to share. While He and She are out on the Harley Davidson, they see many unique sights. Usually, they see several other people out enjoying toys of their own. This past weekend, they spotted this:

Morgan Roadster

Bamajama says it is a Morgan Roadster, and they all thought it was pretty cool.

Here’s another toy the owners decided to take out for a spin!

Unique Trike 

And, lastly, this may not be the most interesting picture, ever, but we wanted to share with you the trick we are playing. Almost every day when She comes home, She finds some different item on the rug in the bathroom. One day, it was a pair of flip flops from the closet laid atop the hand towel which was pulled down from the rack and neatly folded. Sometimes it will be a piece of jewelry we’ve purloined from the dresser, or a stray sock from the laundry room. We are trying to see if She can guess what kind of message we are trying to send her.

A Cryptic Message

Lately She has been making a strong effort to be more physically fit, so the tennis shoes have gotten quite a work out. We acknowledge that. However, we added the fuzzy slipper because we don’t want her to forget to put her feet up and relax with a kitty in her lap now then, either!



The Caretaker

DSC01574 (2)
Those of you who know He and She love their Harley Davidson motorcycle might be inclined to think of something like this when I say He got a new chopper:


However, the chopper he got is of a different variety. It’s a Dixie Chopper:

Dixie Chopper

And we don’t think He could be any more excited if it were a chopper of the first type! Because the “Caretaker” (as it is known around here) has a 74″ cut and is known as “The World’s Fastest Lawn Mower”, He is now able to make quick work of cutting the yard and the pastures when necessary. This makes her very happy, as it should leave more leisure time for riding the actual motorcycle.

She’s just pleasantly surprised that with his love of lawn equipment, John Deere and motorcycles, he didn’t come home with one of these!


Thank heavens for small blessings! Or, should I say very large blessings?

The "Caretaker"


Happy Spring!

Well, Spring is in the air… and, on the car, and just about anywhere you look! This is what the windshield of the truck looks like.

Achoo! I’m sure you recognize the thick layer of pollen. It’s amazing how it covers every surface! It’s even on the face of this sweet little kitty!


With the advent of Spring, also comes bike riding weather. Because the roofing  job is now complete, He and She were able to get the Harley out for their inaugural ride of the ’09 season. The undulating road stretched out like a ribbon before them, and they just couldn’t resist its call.


The temperatures were in the mid-sixties, so they stopped shortly after leaving the house so He could put his jacket on. When She looked up and saw the beautiful blue sky as a backdrop to this pretty little church spire, She knew it would make a great photo for the beginning of their trek.

Church Spire

Spring is evident all around this area. Things are greening up, and these lavender blooms are just beginning to pop with color.

Beginning of Spring

Dogwood trees lighten up the landscape with their beautiful bursts of white blooms.


At the roadside stands, last fall’s pumpkins have given way to beautiful blooming flowers.

Roadside Flower Stand

Spring, and pollen, and the open road – that stuff is all fine and good, but let’s not underestimate the power of a true cat nap, either! This is how I prefer to spend my Spring days!

Lilah Jo


Another Hero

Lilah Jo
I don’t think I can say this any better, so instead of trying, I’m going to copy an article here from CBS Reporter, Richard Schlesinger, about Jonathan Rosenberg, a hero to cats and cat lovers everywhere.

It took Jonathan Rosenberg 51 years and one wildly successful dot-com career to find his true calling.

“It’s this world that’s so much more satisfying,” Rosenberg said.

Rosenberg gave up computers for … cats.

Somewhere around 100 cats, to be exact. At a swanky cat sanctuary he built in New Jersey, he’s loved cats for years – and he put his money where his heart is, CBS News correspondent Richard Schlesinger reports.

Roughly how much of his money has he spent on this project?

“Ah, somewhere north of $2 million,” he said.

The sanctuary is named for one of the great loves of his life: Tabby, his cat of 15 years who died in 1999. Rosenberg never met a cat he didn’t like – and some of the cats hanging around his sanctuary are tough to love, such as one named Jackie.

“She’ll act friendly,” Rosenberg said. “You can pet her for five or 10 seconds, and then she’ll go after you.”

Sure enough, she attacked.

All of the cats there come from shelters and were scheduled to be euthanized. Not all of them are troubled, but a lot are.

One cat, Mozart, has what is politely called “urinary issues.” Another, Tashi, has back legs that don’t work. He gets physical therapy.

Another one, Star, is actually allergic to people.

Obviously, it can be hard to find homes for some of these cats but it can be done. About 550 cats have been adopted – and more than 100 of them have been, so called “special needs” cases.

If they’re not adopted, all of them will live out their lives with medical care and love – even if they don’t really want it.

“Wouldn’t it have been more rewarding for you to take cats that are easier to adopt out?” Schlesinger asked.

“No,” Rosenberg said. “It wouldn’t be because my heart really goes out to the cats like these, that I shouldn’t say no one else wants, but for the most part no one else wants.”

And while caring for cats, Jonathan Rosenberg and his wife, Sharon, were touched by humans.

“They could take this young cat, but they’re willing to take this cat with heart disease, or this diabetic, and care for it knowing its going to break their hearts,” Rosenberg said.

It never hurts to be reminded: Animals with some of the worst problems can bring out the best in people.

This is exactly the kind of thing He and She have dreamed about doing for years.  Bless Mr. & Mrs. Rosenberg for choosing to do this important work. If you would like to see the original article and video, you may find it on, here. You can also visit the Tabby’s Place website here.


You’ll Never Live That Long


These prophetic words were first spoken by a friend back in 2002 when “He” and “She” bought the property that is now The House of 9 Lives. Immediately, upon moving into the house situated on the 25 acres of wooded and pastured property, the renovations began. You can see some examples of before and after pictures on our Home Renovations page. Back then, He and She were starry-eyed novices, who imagined all the changes they would make to the house, taking place in a year or so. While telling this very wise friend about all their plans, they said they were going to throw a big party and have everyone over when the house was through. Her response – “You’ll never live that long”. They had a big laugh over it at the time, but now, six years later, they are beginning to wonder if she might have been right!

Sure, they have pretty much gutted every room in the house, taking each one down to the bare studs, and even moving and rearranging some of those! But, not one room in the house is completely finished. There’s the master bedroom with the unfinished window frames (because after the room was completely done, they went back in and replaced the old wooden framed windows with newer double-paned higher efficient ones). There’s the several hundred square feet of ceramic tile, all loving laid by He and She, one piece at a time, that still remains ungrouted. Or, the lovely bead board panelling in the guest bath, which sports only a coat of primer. So much to do, so little energy or passion left to do it with.

At first, they would eagerly rush home from work each day to pick up their “weapons of mass destruction” and begin the demolition work that would clear the way for nice new walls and floors. They accomplished this room, by room. Then, as their dedication to the project ebbed, they started working only on the weekends. Grueling 12-15 hour days, but only two days a week. Eventually, they cut back to one day on the weekend, and then it was one day here and there. The end result, two completely burned-out do-it-yourselfers and a lot of small projects to go.

The house is completely livable. And, without close inspection, some of the unfinished things are not noticeable at all. However, with all the attention having been paid to the inside of the house, the exterior has been completely neglected. She has always had a vision for  an addition to the front of the house, and we’ve mentioned it here before. We actually thought at one point it might get done before Christmas of last year, but here we are… still hoping!

She has been drawing up some ideas for the house, though, and we are thinking it might not be long until we start to see some progress in that area. Here is her drawing (don’t be too judgemental, she’s had no training in this area) of the house as it currently looks.

Drawing of our house

And, here is her vision for how it could look.


The addition to the left would be a much needed dining/sitting area, and the huge addition to the right would be a garage on the back of the house and a master suite on the front. We have approved the drawings (we love the idea of all those nice big windows), and He and She have agreed with each other on the plans. They have contacted a friend with years and years of construction experience and are going to get his input. They are lucky to have the benefit of his wisdom. Unlike every other project that has been undertaken here, this will not be completely DIY. That’s not to say they won’t join in on a lot of work, particularly the finishing. Oh wait, finishing isn’t their strong point, is it? Oh well, maybe it will at least get them charged up to tackle some of the smaller projects that have gone undone for so long. I guess in the long run, our friend was right. When you start a home renovation project, you really are never done. Every time one thing is completed, there is something else to do. She is already excited about completing the addition, because, you know what comes next? Landscaping! Then, will they be “through”? Nah, they’ll never live long enough to be “through”!