Happy birthday, sweetheart!

Today is Princess’ birthday. Well, at least it’s the day we are celebrating. Her paperwork has two dates: May 12th 2006 and November 27th 2007, and when she moved in with me in December 2008, I was told she was 1.5 years old, so I have decided that May 12th 2007 is the birthday we will celebrate.

I think she has had a good day. We spent most of the day in bed. She slept, and I watched recordings of Psych until I fell asleep. I woke up with her tightly sleeping in my arms 🙂 Then we got up, and Princess had tuna and treats. She’s on a low-treat diet (i.e. she can eat what she wants, but I have to ration her treats, she’s putting on weight due to me), but today she was allowed to eat what she wanted. She went outside on the veranda and watched the squirrels, and when it got too dark for her to be outside, she stalked some creature on the veranda. We played, we cuddled, we cleaned, and had some more tuna.

It’s been a good birthday 🙂

Ode to Princess

Well, not so much Ode, as a a post about her life up to now.

Princess was born May 12th, 2006. She was found alone outside, and was taken in by some nice people. Apparently she was very vocal, so they called her Cry Baby. Unfortunately, they couldn’t keep her, and she went into a second foster home. This home had 7 other cats, and unfortunately, they didn’t get along with Princess. She got in a fight and had her ear torn. She had to be moved into her own room, where she lived alone, poor thing.

Come 2008, I was feeling particularly lonely, and decided to look for a 4-legged companion. I was not really ready to commit to anything, but as I was looking for a dog that would suit my temperament. I ended up on SPCA Nova’s web page, and after looking around, I filled in foster care papers. The next day my phone rang, and the day after, December 21st, 2008, Princess climbed out of her carrier to explore her new home. She is a scaredy cat, so she decided that under the sofa was best. She stayed there for about 3 days. She came out at night, as food and water were consumed, and then on the third day, she decided I was safe to be around. So she would climb up on me, stick her butt in my face and in general purr and cuddle.

As part of my job as a foster parent, I needed to get her a better name. Who wants to adopt a cat called cry baby? So I tried several names, Mrs Whiskerson, Cuddle munchkin and so on and so on, and she pretty much ignored it. I work from home, and she like to come visit me for cuddles and mayhem, and one day she was particularly mayhemy, by deleting email from my boss and taking screen shots over and over again, I moved her over to my printer, and told her: “You are such a princess!” I was quite annoyed. But Princess looked at me with a look of “you finally figured that out?” It dawned on me that maybe her name was Princess. When she turned away from me, I said “Princess” and she turned back to look at me. From that moment on, she responded to Princess.

As time went on, some interest was had, but most people wanted a cuddly cat, and Princess is not the one. So in 2010, I had to go on a business trip for 2 weeks, and while I was gone, I couldn’t stand being away. So I alerted SPCA that I was another failed foster parent, as I wanted to adopt her. I signed the papers a year later.

Princess and I moved shortly after, and she changed after that. My new apartment was put together with her in mind, so instead of the tree being hidden away in a room, it is now in my office. I have another cat tree and cardboard boxes in my living room, and a small tree by the window in the bedroom, so she can climb up on the window sill without destroying the blinds. It’s also a nice scratching post, which she uses every day.

Princess mostly sleep in bed with me. She has her side of the bed, I have mine. We’re like an old married couple 🙂 We cuddle when we go to bed, and then we turn our backs to each other and fall asleep. Well, at least she turn her back to me, and I often fall asleep with my hand on her back.

I love my little Princess. She is the light of my live, and I cannot imagine a life without her. Love you, munchkin!

Underground Railroad Rescued Kitty network

Today was a big day for me. A few weeks ago I joined the organisation Underground Railroad Rescued Kitty network or URRKN, an organisation that helps people transport cats across the country. For every kitty that gets a ticket to ride, a train of volunteers are formed to get them to their new forever home. Conductors drive about 100 miles each, sometimes longer, out of the goodness of their heart with no monetary compensation. Today was my first time as a conductor.

I was being put in charge of getting this wonderful little Torti Point Siamese, one years old, called Reilly from Stafford, VA to Baltimore, MD. I was beyond excited, and have thought about this day for a week. My sleep has suffered as a result. This morning, I woke up at 5AM after having fallen asleep around 1-2AM. I tossed and turned, and couldn’t stop thinking about the trip.

Shortly after 8AM I headed south.  I live pretty much in the middle of Stafford and Baltimore, and I didn’t want to be late. Finding our meeting point was fairly easy, and I parked waiting for Reilly to arrive. It was a long wait, as I was early, and Reilly slightly delayed. Not that I minded at all. Traffic on I95 is unpredictable, even on a Sunday.

June arrived, and waved at me as she parked next to me, and finally Reilly was there! She is so tiny! She was complaining about being in her carrier, and wouldn’t stop talking. June and I shared a few words, got Reilly’s ticket signed, and I took off going north, while June headed home. Reilly was trying to get my attention, and it was hard to ignore here. We chatted for a while, she doing most of the talking, and then we stopped at a rest stop.

Because cats startle so easily I got into the backseat with her, closed the door, and got Reilly out of the carrier. She was curious about the car, but since it is a small sedan, and I’m not exactly tiny, I didn’t want her roaming to much, so I tried to keep her on me. She climbed all over me, and purred and wanted cuddles. As all cats, she put her butt in my face, and her neck in my hands, to let me know she wanted scratches. Unfortunately, we had a time table to keep, so back in the carrier she got. The trip to Baltimore was mostly uneventful, except a rental car that stopped traffic shortly after the American Legion Bridge in MD.

Reilly was complaining a lot, but as soon as we got off I495, the speed limit goes up, and I guess the humming of the engine, the tires on the road, and the sun got her sleepy, so she stopped complaining, and rested a bit. Unfortunately, this stretch of road wasn’t built for this type of driving, so as soon as I slowed down, she started talking. It probably didn’t help that I was answering…

Arriving north of Baltimore at the next station, I realised the lot was a lot bigger than I thought. So I drove around a bit and found a nice spot to park. I got into the back seat, and cuddled with Reilly. What a sweet kitty! She put her tiny little head in the crick of my neck and it was so endearing! Alas, Katt, the next conductor, arrived, and Reilly had to leave.

I fell in love with Reilly there on a rest stop in Virginia. She stole a bit of my heart in Baltimore. But I am glad she is with her forever mummy, Joan. She will be loved and cared for and makes this trip so rewarding. I drove 200 miles, over 5 hours (with stops and cuddles), and it cost me about $20. It was one of the best volunteer experiences I’ve had 🙂 Thank you, URRKN, for allowing me this experience. 2013-05-05 10.16.19

First post

This is the first post I have on WordPress. I have moved from LiveJournal, as it managed to bungle a post I wrote after the memorial meeting after the Norwegian terrorist attack in 2011. It was exhausting emotionally, and every time I went to blog, the fatigue set in, so I didn’t.

Well, now I am here, and if I can find out how to import my other posts, I will.

The terror attacks of 2011-07-22

I wasn’t there. However, I was online when a friend of mine in Oslo said “Wow! There was a huge bang and there is smoke”. A few minutes later, reports from friends in the area started coming in. I started checking the newspapers. I went to Norwegian TV online and watched live news. As time went by, it was clear it wasn’t an accident. We heard about wounded. So far it didn’t seem to bad. Then the first reports of dead came. Pictures followed. The magnitude started settling in. What could have been came to mind; In Norway at this time we have what is loosely translated to “common vacation”, which means the large populous are all on vacation for 3 weeks. Offices run on skeleton crew. Also, it’s summer time. Bomb went off at ~3:25 local time. End of day is 3PM. It was Friday. A lot of people had gone home. The street was mostly empty at that time. Only an hour earlier, and this would have been so much worse. We started settling in that a small number of people were dead.

Then we hear report of shooting at Utøya, a small island 20 miles west. We hear the horrors the children experienced. It’s unconfirmed from the police, but we hear reports from the kids there. “Don’t call me, he might hear it and come kill me” one of them twitter. My circle of friends realise that one of our friends is there and is hiding. He says he’s safe, but there is a lot of chaos, and they haven’t caught the guy. Police scramble to get there as soon as possible. The gunman is taken pretty much without a fight. Reports from the island starts coming in. An interviewee reports he saw 25-30 dead. He describes a nightmare where people trying to swim to safety were gunned down. Police confirm 9-10 dead. We know there will be more dead, we just don’t know how many. We’re thinking “as many as” 30. No-one could imagine it would be 85. So far. There might be people who have drowned, or sunk. Not just people. Children and young adults. People who’s only fault is that they believe in a multi-cultural society, and want to make sure the future is safe and free for all, and that people from every culture can be together without hatred.

I am still in shock. I want to cry, but I feel to shocked to. I have heard from my friends and family in the area. Everyone are safe. I am one of the lucky ones, I didn’t lose anyone. I am reading anything I can find about it, because I need to understand. It is just incomprehensible. I talk to my friends. We’re all feeling the same: shock, sadness, and an indeterminate strength that we will not give in to the fear. We want to keep our openness, where our politicians can walk down the street without being afraid. Where the people have access to our politicians everywhere. That our royal family doesn’t have to stop their openness. That democracy will be as democratic as it’s always been. We will not give in. I just heard one of the teenagers from Utøya said he will be back next year. THAT is what it means to be Norwegian. Not give in to pressure. It makes me proud to be a Norwegian, and of my fellow countrymen.

Thank you all on behalf of my people (yeah, I’m their queen *wink*) for thinking of us in these hard times. Every single one of us appreciate it.

Race across America

I’ve been following my friend Jens Balchen riding through America on his bicycle. That man is insane! I am so proud to know him! Last night, I was following until around 2AM and he was still going strong. And he started again at 6AM! Woot! That man is not sleeping at all. How he can do it in the dark is beyond me. It is amazing how he can do it. He’s been riding for 9 days, last day today, coming in at Annapolis, Maryland. I am going to go greet him at the goal area, he needs to be cheered on! And I will take pictures. It is so exciting to follow him, I am amazed at his tenacity. What he is doing is just amazing. Wow. I will post pictures when I am back home.

Update: pictures can be found on flickr

End of holiday

Today was my last day of my holiday. I have had a great time, but I always wish I had more time off! There are times I wish I was a trophy wife who didn’t need to work 😉 Yeah, that’s realistic. Besides, I _do_ actually love my job.

I went to Las Vegas (no! Really?), and had a great time. I came late on Friday, so I didn’t end up in the bar until around 01:00 (that’s 1AM for you Americans). I didn’t drink that much, but ended up leaving at 6AM. I was tired, so I fell asleep like a log even if I was in a smoking room. At 10:00, I called down and got advice that my non-smoking room was ready, so I went downstairs and got the key. I got into the new room, which had a view north on the strip, a separate dressing room and a veranda. A bit too much traffic outside to be outside though.

Anyway, Saturday was a busy day. I had a quick egg salad sandwich, then fell asleep for a couple of more hours. I was feeling off, felt like I had a fever, and I was flushed and had a rash. I then gambled a little bit, then I got on my new long, pink dress with sequence and went down to the bar. I spent a bit too much time there (18:00-02:00), and well… I think I consumed a bit too much alcohol.

Waking up on Sunday was decidedly unpleasant. I didn’t leave the room during the day, but around 18-ish I put on my black knee-short dress with sequence and a red bolero, and headed down to get some pizza. I also had a Napoleon cake. An elderly lady sat next to me, and looked lost. I helped her find utensils and water, and told her when her food was ready. She was sweet 🙂

At the bar, Joshua, “my” bartender, was unhappy I was sick. He chastised me about drinking, and cut me off before midnight. Glenn, one of the other bartenders snuck me a drink, and when Joshua discovered that, it made me laugh out loud. It was so cute! Anyway, I didn’t drink much, and the fun part was talking to this woman, Sharon, I just met.

I meet a lot of people in Las Vegas. It’s always fun. I met a couple from Arizona, and her twin brother with wife. I flirted wildly with the brother, but hey, at least I ask permission from the wife first! 😉 I met a couple of other people as well, and even a family from Norway! It was fun talking Norwegian, but it was a bit weird to start out. I usually mix a few English words in in the beginning!

On Monday I went up to the top of Stratosphere. It’s the big tower often seen on CSI. It’s quite pretty up there, but the hotel and casino itself is very old and tired. I don’t think I will go there again. I will definitely not stay there. Later in the day I went to a Brazilian restaurant at Planet Hollywood called Pampas. I had a coupon (paid $25 for a $50 meal), so I had to spend it. I was NOT impressed with the meal. The meat was dry and hard to cut, not tender at all. The salmon undercooked, the tuna too spicy, the shrimp cold and the scallops where good, but small. Only thing I liked where one of the two pieces of fried banana, and the smoked salmon. Oh, and the fried pineapple. Don’t ask what I did after… Oh, and Joshua had to go to LA for a quick trip to see his mother, and I spent a lot of time talking to one of the other bartenders, Cary, instead. I like Cary, he’s funny.

On Tuesday I decided to rent a cabana by the pool. Best. Decision. Ever! The sun is really strong in LV, and I burn easily, so being in shadow, yet still have the option of getting some sun, and bathe. I used SPF of 100, and still got burned in places. Not badly, thank God! The cabana comes with a bottle of alcohol. Yes, a bottle. I got a vodka (Absolute). I had some, I am not stupid, but by and large, it was untouched. In the cabana next door there were 4 girls, and I asked them if they wanted it. They looked like party-girls, and were very happy about the gift 🙂 At least it won’t be wasted!

I went to the bar again, and talked to strangers again. I said goodbye to Joshua and gave him a toy dog to give to his handicapped granddaughter, which he really appreciated. I stayed at the bar until Nikki and Cesar came on duty, then I went back to bed. I slept like a log until 09:00, when I woke in a panic: I hadn’t packed yet. I just barely got everything packed 😉

Anyway, it was a nice trip. I gambled less than expected, and were down $250 overall, which I actually think is OK. I won in Video poker, I think I may be good at that with some more practice. I mainly lost on slots, basically because I wanted to lose so I could get off and do something else 😉 I know, terrible reason to want to fail 😉 At least I racked up points for comps! I am thinking about going back in August. I’ll give myself CP work and work while I am there. I actually think that might be better for me drinking wise 😉

Now, also a driving instructor.

Yesterday I went to singing, and as I was driving to park the car, a car is coming towards me, the wrong way in a one way garage. Well, he back up and then he parked his entire car on the parking I was aiming for. He backed up, and I could park. I went out and told him how to turn the steering wheel in order to turn around and drive the correct direction. Before that, he had actually managed to hit a car! What is the world coming to!

Yes, I am getting old. I’ve been miserable all day, because my joints have been hurting like mad. I think I know why: we’re under tornado watch. It’s coming our way, the question is whether it will hit directly or bypass. We’ve had a touchdown around Quantico, so it’s in the neighbourhood!

First day back

I took the entire Easter week off to relax, do stuff here at home, watch crime shows on DVD, read crime novels, and all the other things Norwegians do during Easter (except eating marzipan, I didn’t do that. Or sugar cube in an orange and Kvikklunsj). It was a nice and relaxing vacation, with time for walks outside with the kitty (yes, on a leash) and enjoying the good weather we had in between the rain. And then on Saturday, Gustav, a friend from Norway dropped buy for the weekend. It was GREAT! We ate and drank and had a very good time, in general. Princess wasn’t quite sure what to believe about him, curious and afraid at the same time.

And I have gotten my new computer up! My desktop is slow as molasses, I can often write entire sentences before it shows (like this one). Wait time for commands aren’t that bad, but anything graphical can often take several seconds to respond. So I’ve got a new machine with an i5 processor and 8G memory, that should do for a while. I called it BORGQUEEN, because it had Windows on it. Guess what I am installing now? 😉