.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;} <body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d6672601\x26blogName\x3dTchotchkes\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dLIGHT\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://marybishop.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://marybishop.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d3729682532367772417', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Tchotchkes

My Photo
Name:
Location: Connecticut, United States

marybb1@gmail.com

Monday, October 30, 2006

Boo! with no Hoo!

Wishing everyone a fun Halloween eve and Halloween!

I have bought more candy which I won't open until the first knock on the door.

I have lots of easy to heat up foods for guests who might pop in and for my houseguests.

But, I do have to clean the house.

Why do I spend most of my time either cleaning it or thinking about cleaning it? Can't it stay clean for once in its life?

I must admit the four animals do their share of messing things up and if I had some extra money I'd invest in Oust, S'Wheat cat litter and Arm & Hammer Litter box deoderizer.

Onward to the feather duster!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

As you can see from this photo, Finbar is now the picture of health. Plump, you could even say, so his week of dieting hasn't hurt him at all.

He spends a lot of time on the table now that he's discovered the bird feeders. Cat TV at its best!

I have nothing interesting to say. Just trying to clean up the house and do laundry and other mundane chores.

I have a sore shoulder, don't know what I did to it, but it makes the process take much longer when you use one arm.

I dare not complain though as so many people live with so many disabilities that they can't recover from, and much worse ones than a sore shoulder.

I've picked out my Halloween cocktail and can't wait.

Take a martini glass and rub the rim with a slice of orange. Dip into orange colored sugar and set aside.

Then take 2 ounces of Kahlua; 2 ounces of Vodka; 1 ounce of Creme do Cacao; 1 ounce dark coffee; 1 ounce fresh orange juice. Shake over ice and pour.

Yummy and spooky!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I bought the Halloween candy too early this year, and now it’s all eaten up -- by me.



Shame on me!



I’m still in my nightgown and it’s 11 am!!



Shame on me!



I’m going to write this quick note, get dressed and start my chores.



Good girl!!



(Why are the shame on mes more fun than the good girls?)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Last Night’s Debate

I caught some of the Lamont/Lieberman/Schlesinger debate and was so put off my Schlesinger’s comedic style. Who does he think he is, a stand-up comic?

This is not a funny race; this is a most serious race where people are going to choose to back G. Bush’s plans and vote for the man who couldn’t get his party’s endorsement (Lieberman) or vote for the newcomer who isn’t saturated in Washington politics or beholding to anyone other than his wife, (Lamont).

Few people will vote for Schlesinger and after watching him on TV that’s a good thing. He may be a laugh at the craps table, but he’s laughable if you try to picture him as a senator.

Lieberman, no matter what happens on Election Day, has had his comeuppance, not just in the primary but also as a three-term senator sitting on the stage with the likes of Schlesinger. Lieberman’s running for his life, his way of life, his very self image and his income. He’s a senator and he wants to stay a senator and he hasn’t had a job in a long, long time. (I can almost hear him say: vote for me or I’ll have the biggest temper tantrum you’ll ever see.)

Lieberman almost lost it when an audience member tried to drown him out when he accused Lamont of spreading lies. That’s no way to treat a senator you know.

From the top of the ivory tower, Lieberman has plummeted to just another Independent running for office because he couldn’t get his party’s nomination.

He’s down from his lofty perch and is even down in his position on the ballot.

My hope is that his total votes are also down and that Lamont wins the seat.

Someone said if we want to change what’s happening in Washington, we have to change who we send there.

So Ned, almost everyone I know is voting for you. I hope that my friends and family are indications of how Election Day goes and that you stir up things in Washington.

It’s time.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Kitty Woes as Kitty Woos

Say no to Baytril. It's a cat antibiotic and it has a very bitter taste and odor to cats. Finbar gave up eating when I put it in his food. That's how bad it must be.

I thought I'd be back at the vets today, but I discontinued the pill, and tempted him to eat again by offering the finest morsels of food I could find. Now he's very addicted to Fancy Feast which I'm letting him eat until I'm sure he's fine -- then he's going back to regular canned food!

Today he woke up perky and playful and hungry but I must have laid awake for most of the night worrying about him. And Saturday night too. (In case you didn't know, I've become very attached to Finbar!)

My next problem is kitty litter. I've been using Arm and Hammer clumping litter but I read that it can clump in the cat's intestines. So I'm up for something better. My older cat doesn't use a box, never has and won't. I don't know how he does it but he'll just wait till we let him out. Of course, he's in and out all day long.

One of our ideas about why Finbar wasn't eating was worrying he had a blockage from the litter. I''m tired of worrying about the little bastard, so by changing the litter I should be able to cross that worry off my list. Anyone have any recommendations on what to buy?

Finbar is so adorable he just makes me love him more and more...which brings on more worries.

I seem to be stuck in a worry mode. Does that ever happen to you?

Would someone please slap my cheek so I could say: Thanks, I needed that?

Psychological reason for my worries about Finbar: Growing up Catholic I was filled weekly with lots and lots of guilt for being alive. I've always had animals and adopted needy ones. Before I even got Finbar I said I wanted a pretty cat for a change. (Here comes the Catholic juju, hocus pocus, hex.) I shouldn't have "wanted" a pretty cat I should have just adopted a needy cat and all would be well.

Is this why he's had so many ailments?

Logical side says, don't be a fool, of course not.

Catholic juju says, yes, your vain desires will granted, but you'll get a "sick" pretty cat, how do you like them apples?

Reading: The Red Tent by Anita Diamont
Listening to: Dinah Washington sing "What a difference a day makes"
Eating: Smarties

That's it for now, must go back to my nail-biting and breast-beating! (ouch)

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Is it a cat or is it a rabbit?

Cat?

Rabbit?

I can't tell.

Whatever it is, it has mischief eyes and is up to no good.











Sorry, it's neither I guess. I think it's a Bigfoot!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Stabbing in Fairfield


Remember the Fairfield man, Jonathan Edington who murdered his neighbor, Barry James?

The Connecticut Post reports that after a complete search of James' home they could find no evidence that would support a claim of child molestation. No pornography, no computer evidence, no magazines etc. that would indicate James would or could molest a child.

The article also said:

"Richard T. Meehan, who represents the James family, said they intend to file a wrongful death lawsuit against Edington within the next four weeks.

"The James family not only fully cooperated with police but voluntarily opened their whole house to police to do a complete search for any evidence, but police found nothing that would fit the profile of someone who would do the activity Mrs. Edington has accused Barry James of," he said. "The real mystery here is why this woman would make these allegations."

Meehan said James suffered nerve damage to his legs which made it difficult for him to climb stairs, meaning it would have been nearly impossible for him to crawl through a window more than 4 feet off the ground to get into the girl's room in the Edington home."

I know the house and it is a small house in a busy neighborhood-- so I still wonder how anyone could get into and out of that house, without waking up the family or the dog. I can't imagine a two-year old waking up to find a non-family member in her room without calling out to her parents.

I am still amazed at how many people were cheering for Edington, calling him a hero for killing James when they did not have the information necessary -- then or now -- to prove James guilty of being anything other than a neighbor.

It seems like the worse the "alleged" crime, the more people are willing to ignore reason and instead become a mob of blood-thirsty vigilantes.

I wonder if anyone's done a psychological study on Edington's wife? Since when does one person's account of what a toddler said become instant truth?

What a shame. I feel for all the people involved, but right now my heart truly goes out to the James family. And I feel for that little girl who will grow up thinking that something she said caused the death of a neighbor and a prison sentence for her father.
-----

Because the above is such a sad story, I had to post another Finbar photo to leave you with a smile. Check out those paws! Scotty, can you see an EM?











Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Life is Just a Bowl


Finbar doesn't need cherries, he's completely happy with an empty dog bowl.

I try to learn from his joie de vivre, his ability to play.

His great personality shows me that one can have fun with simple things and that an empty bowl may not appear to offer anything -- but to the right being, it can be a purveyor of fun and frolic and endless hours of play play play.

He is on a new antibiotic which the vet described as Cat Cipro, to rid him of the last vestiges of his upper respiratory infection. He also had his kitten shots and was declared, by the vet, to be a Maine Coon, maybe a mix, but maybe not.

Did you know that polydactyl cats are not allowed to be shown in cat shows? Apparently people are worried that unscrupulous breeders would select to breed more and more toes on their cats causing a new breed of deformed cats with zillions of toes.

So, when by accident, a pedigreed Maine Coon cat delivers a kitten with extra toes, these cats are deemed useless as they cannot be shown in cat shows, except as domestic pets.

The vet went over Finbar's anatomy saying: look at his extra long whiskers, his extremely long tail, his satin soft undercoat which is now sprouting longer stiffer hairs. He pointed out the abundance of long hair in his Big ears and between his many toes and told me that originally, Maine Coons were a breed that had numerous polydactyl specimens until they were bred out and or the cats were deemed "not a Maine Coon" just because of their extra toes.

The funny part of this is I tried and tried to adopt a Maine Coon mix to no avail. Then I said fuggetaboutit and went to the shelter to pick out a kitten and found Finbar who had those funny feet and 24 toes and I fell in love.

I find the karma amazing that I ended up with what I wanted even though I never picked him out thinking he was a Coon kitty.

It speaks of the saying: love what you have and you will always be happy.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

I love how Archie's fur looks in this picture. Finbar loves Archie and though it's hard to see, Finbar has positioned himself in the warm and cozy butt v with Archie's tail curling around him...but I cropped that out.

Somewhere I have a slew of pastels, paper, and all I need to set up an easel and try to recreate this photo which I'd love to do. But pastels are dirty, messy and the thought of cleaning up after a single drawing session is enough to make me say "the hell with it."

I lived in a house once with a huge kitchen, lots of windows and lots of room to paint or draw. The floor was linoleum and easy to sweep and wash after I was done.

That was the only time I enjoyed pastel work because I could leave the easel up for a week without disturbing the flow of the kitchen and what its original intent was.

I often miss that house, but I can't wallow as it was far away from most of my family and I was lonely when I lived there. I had the room for big parties but no one to invite.

Rather than a Mary-special, cartoon photograph, I do wish this was done with pastels, framed and hanging in my living room. (sigh)

But that challenges my pre-exisiting ideas on what is art. If I can love what this looks like by clicking on a few special effects in my software, can it possibly be esthetically pleasing to my eye? And, if that's the case that it is, then is art so easily created when my whole life I saw it as something one must labor over?

Friday, October 13, 2006

TGIF MBAD

MBAD means
my batteries are dead" -- so no photos until I get new batteries!

My thought I leave you with on this spooky Friday the 13th is this: What's with the obituary pictures that people choose to publish in the paper?; I'm talking about the happy, smiling people I saw this morning in my paper. Every single person who died had a picture published that showed them with an ear-to-ear grin.

It was the happiest selection of dead people I've ever seen.

It was unnerving looking at these photos, as if the dead were saying: This is so way cool being dead and having our bio and photo in the paper. I bet you can't wait to die too and get your own happy, smiling photo published.

Creeps me out to see an array of dead people peering back at me with a look of euphoria on their faces.

When I die, I want my photo to be a sad one.

In fact, when I get my batteries, I'm going to take a picture of myself holding a sign: Wish I Were Still Alive and have that published in the paper.

Happy Weekend!!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

For Scotty, entitled, Dog up Dog butt!

I should get rid of the old 70s lamp that is ubiquitous in every old 70s restaurant but for some reason I like the damn thing. Maybe because it has a bird on it; maybe because it's colorful.

Those big black speakers in the corner - not negotiable they will stay forever if I have my way. They were a great bargain and have the best sound of any speakers I've ever heard. I have two sets of them: one set in the living room and one in the dining room and the high notes are freaking amazing. The room would look better without them but I can't entertain the though of losing them.

Let's see if blogger will let me upload another shot here: No it would not...put me in some kind of a loop but I do have one more photo I hope I can post for my new friend Scotty. I'll try that one on another post.

Finbar loves that green chair.

I wonder why some shots look more like a cartoon than others. Are you getting tired yet of my cartoon photos????

Hmmmm this looks more cartoony than the previous shot.

Notice my Weeping Japanese, Split-leaf, red, dwarf maple tree.

Cartoon House. I told you it was small.


Cartoon Mary with a cigar in my mouth. Posted by Picasa

Cartoon Car...Isn't is adorable? That's a Ned Lamont sticker on my bumper. I'm having trouble uploading photos this morning so I think I will put them in different posts and see if that helps.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


For Jackie

I love how my kitchen looks in this picture. This is also "cartoon effect" so I am realizing that if I were a cartoon character I'd probably be a very happy with my appearance.

I like how the colors are exaggerated and I like the black lines...I would love to live in a cartoon world if it can look like this.

Almost makes me want to go in there and cook some cartoon food on my cartoon stove.

So, is anyone ready to tell me to stop posting cartoon pictures of my house?


Check out the "cartoon" version of my wonderful bed. I am having fun with the special effects that come with Kodak Easyshare.

My bed is very old.

I found it behind a barn in New Hampshire where it lay in the grass, rusted and unloved. We stripped it down and painted it with off-white Rustoleum paint. We polished the brass finials and made slats to support the mattress.

I love my bed with a passion and it is one material possession I could never part with.

I often wonder if someone gave birth between the ancient headboard and footboard. Did someone die between the iron curlicues.

I paid $18 for my bed, and it was a bargain.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Tuna Can Update

I heard from a VP at Bumblebee and he said the unopened can I gave them was tested and showed no bacteria or microbes.

I told him we had bought a four-pack and the other two cans were perfect also, so I wasn't surprised that a third can would be perfect.

I thought they would test the actual tuna fish salad or sandwich (that is what they told me to give to the courier) but he said they didn't because they couldn't ensure that it was kept cold or that additives to the tuna --like onion or celery or mayonnaise didn't have some microbes, bacteria etc. on them.

Which brings me to where I was: what on earth was wrong with my bubbly, foamy can of tuna? I wish they'd have tested the tuna salad made from that can. I love tuna salad, but right now have no interest in ever eating it again.

I asked a few other questions like when did they start putting soy product and vegetable broth into the can? He's only been there a short while, so he wasn't exactly sure, but thought it was in the early '90s.

He also said some albacore tuna is just tuna packed in water with some salt. I wanted to know the name of that product as what we'd bought was White Albacore Tuna in Water. If you don't read the small type you don't know about the soy product or vegetable broth.

He said he'd get back to me on that question.

Since writing about my tuna problem, I've had a few visitors come to my blog after searching for "bubbles in tuna" or" foamy tuna" so I guess I'm not the only one.

Apparently the fat from the tuna can turn bubbly in the broth. Not all the time, but in extra fatty tuna I guess.

So that's it folks. Bumblebee was good about keeping me informed but testing the unopened can does nothing for me. It was the tuna in the can that had the bubbles that I wanted to know about.

There was something "fishy" about that tuna, I swear!!



Well at least when I look at this picture I can say: too much clutter on the mantle instead of: god I have to wash those walls!

Usually I anticipate Halloween like others do Christmas or Hannuka...but this year for some reason I don't have the same feeling. I usually have a Halloween party, but not this year because I'm feeling that the world we live in is spooky enough for me.

Speaking with a friend, we decided that this malaise, and low-level depression we've both been feeling can be directly linked to having Bush in the White House and watching our country die, little piece by little piece.

Lucky for me though, Finbar and his antics delight me -- I knew there was a reason why I had to get a kitten.

How many more days does he have in office?

Monday, October 09, 2006


One of the reasons Beau is not fond of Finbar is Finbar's choice of body part to snuggle.

Most of us feel protective of our arse area and don't encourage interlopers to take a nap in such a spot.

We want to choose who, what, when and where something is going to get that close to that area.

Finbar never asks permission, but just seeks out the tail/butt V for a nice nap.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


When I'm not looking at the computer screen, I'm often looking out my kitchen window.

I never realized how messy it was until I took a photograph. Now I'm using my camera as a way to find the ugly spots in my house.

I need to wash those windows! I think it's time to rewallpaper too. What a bunch of ugly plants, though I've known this for a while.

The scraggly thing in the red pail to the right of the photo holds the remains of Uncle Mort. Uncle Mort is about 85 years old and I can't kill him even though he's just a few sprigs of green. U_G_L_Y. (He was given to a relative shortly before the giver drowned at a young age and that relative and now his children have kept the plant going to honor poor Mort. Somehow I also got a piece of Mort which I now must watch over.)

On the left: the brown thing hanging is onions I picked from the garden and braided...pretty homely.

Also the big pot on the left holds some waning. chartreuse parsley. (Hate the pot.) Next to that are the violet twins named Vivian One and Vivian Two -- both barely holding on to their tenuous health. Any red blossoms you see are fake.

I am going to tackle this window and its contents soon.

I never realized how god-awful ugly it looked until I froze it in time and uploaded it to the computer.

Friday, October 06, 2006


I want to kill that kitten and am mighty pissed someone thought it would be a good idea to get "me" a playmate. Why didn't they just ask and I would have told them I didn't need or want a damn kitten in my life. I'm 8 years old and quite happy with my life, at least I once was.







Last but not least I introduce Tripper. He started life as a feral kitten, then had a foster home in a pet supply store where I met him. He has been a good cat in all ways but since the arrival of Finbar has reverted to some old, long lost habits: He wants to live outside now and rather than eating delicious cat food, he'd prefer mice. He detests Finbar as you can see from the expression on his face. Right now, only the humans in the house seem to like Finbar but that doesn't stop Finbar from attempting to play or snuggle with his dog brothers or his cat brother.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Because I don't favor one of my furry children over the others, I must post some pictures of my dogs. They do not like having their picture taken. Notice the pointed heads and flat ears. Notice the look of disgust and disgrace at being told to STAY while I am sitting a few feet away pointing the black rectangle in their direction.

How and why they became so camera shy I do not know. But I wanted to give them blog time too.

Beau is the blond and Archie is the redhead.

(I originally made an oath that I would never use pictures on my blog and that words would be both my paintbrush and canvas. Then I posted the Finbar look alike picture and broke the spell so now I might just post pictures for a while as I was given a new camera and I'm trying to learn how to use it.)



You know they are thinking:

One of us has to get that damned camera and chew it up or she's going to be bugging us all day.

We never signed a model release; we don't like the flash and we hate to either sit or stay when told.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I think I’m allergic to the month of October.

Every year around this time I get sick and it usually lasts till Halloween. I’m sure it’s allergies and not a bacterial infection, but an ear ache is an ear ache and a head ache is a head ache…no matter why or how you’ve acquired it.

Finbar, on the other hand, got sick and I took him to the vet where he received a shot of vitamin B and a shot of penicillin in his butt. Today he’s acting like his old, young self. Talk about an instant turn around!

I haven’t been visiting my favorite blogs lately because I really have no time and I miss reading about everyone’s life. Instead, I must tackle the mountain of laundry and backed up chores…bummer.

Update on the Bumblebee Tuna. According to a representative, the bubbles in the tuna can are caused by fatty oils from the tuna mixing with the vegetable broth. Some tuna has more fat than others so not all cans will have these bubbles.

I wish they’d just leave the tuna alone. I don’t like additives, especially when I don’t even know what they are. Like what is “soy product”? There’s soy product in the tuna now too.

I am pleased, though, that the Bumblebee rep has kept me updated on the bizarre looking bubbly tuna and the lab is in the process of doing tests to make sure there are no other reasons for these bubbles other than fat globules.

Food is becoming a big problem. Tuna has lost its status with me and so has bag spinach or bag lettuce. Vegetables are starting to give me the creeps. Then husband comes home with a pound of Stop and Shop turkey breast that was completely covered with freckles or brown spots. What the hell is that all about? Turkey breast should be white…not polka-dotted with spots.

I won’t eat it.

Did you ever get spotted deli turkey breast?

Off to work.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Litter Everywhere, Including on my Cheek

After a week of vacation, we’re all sick, allergies I assume, the house is a wreck and I’m happy to be back to normal.

It’s amazing how the simple everyday chores I do somehow keeps the house running and how vacations always seem to screw this up, leaving me with a big fat mess to clean up.

We had a great time in Provincetown, met some wonderful people like Gloria and Michael, Jeff and Dan and John and Thomas.

We also hooked up with W and L and L brought me a slew of wonderful books to read that will keep me happy for a long while.

As predicted, it was mostly an eating/reading vacation. You wouldn’t believe how much seafood I ingested, but our last night we dined at the Red Inn for a magnificent feast (I had a filet) and Pumpjack cabernet. Doc and DJ were treating us to dinner that night and they spared no expense!

Doc and W are wine connoisseurs so I knew the wine was going to be amazing and it was. ExpensivO but worth it. Every once in a while it is such a treat to taste a really good wine.

Finbar is adorable but sneezes like crazy every morning. He also is still sleeping in our bed so this morning I had cat snot and litter stuck to my cheek. Yes, gross, but he’s so cute I can tolerate it for a while.

Soon the litter box will move out of our bedroom Halleluiah! and we should have less litter in the bed.

I can’t believe my once cat-disliking husband tolerates it, but part of the reason I’m sure is that Finbar has chosen him as his special person.

He follows him everywhere and when he goes to bed, Finbar follows him into the bedroom, leaving me to sit on the couch alone.

It’s much easier to put up with litter crystals in the bed if the reason for the litter is so damned cute!