They give those away for free

My mom’s birthday was Friday, but we (family) decided to do the little get together on Saturday (yesterday) because 1. She wasn’t feeling well on Friday, and 2. We all could come on Saturday.

Since I’ve been working long hours all week, I hadn’t had a chance to go shopping at all. I knew exactly what I was going to get. It was so easy. A checkbook cover. Oh, there was a check inside – I’m selfish, I want my parents to update their computer to at least a fast enough speed that they can handle things like the internet. So off I go on Saturday morning, to find a checkbook cover.

Except that noone sells the darn things. I went all over. Hallmark stores and the equivalent. Office supply stores. Department stores. Paper stores. Noone had them, and noone had a clue where to find them. Oh, wait. Yes. There were some suggestions. It was almost amusing how I kept getting pointed in a circle. But one prevailing suggestion remained. “Go to a bank. They give them away for free, you know.”

Well, that’s lovely, except that I am not about to give my mom a cheap plastic bank freebie for a birthday present – regardless of the fact that it’s merely meant to be a carrier for what’s inside.

See, years and years ago, when I was still a young thing, apparently I gave my mom a checkbook cover. It’s one of those fabric ones lined with lace that you see sold at craft shows and such. It’s been falling apart for years but whenever my dad suggested she replace it, the answer was always “No! Jennifer gave this to me! She’d be hurt if I threw it out.” The amusing part here is that I have no recollection of giving this to her (see the ‘young thing’ note earlier). So I wouldn’t have cared one way or the other.

But it’s this reason that I decided that I would get her a new one. Sort of carrying on the tradition. Or something. Except that noone sells the darn things! And I mean noone. Nada. Zip. Ask someone where you can buy checkbook covers and they’ll get an odd look in their eye and invariably say “You know, I’ve *seen* them somewhere….”


At least she liked what was inside. When I left last night they were discussing options for computers.

And I still need to buy her a checkbook cover.

Waking up to green mice

There was apparently a great battle last night. On my bed. I was only dimly aware of it – there were cats wrestling and I kept mumbling at them in the hopes that they would take their skirmishes elsewhere and let me sleep (ha!). But they ignored me. Of course. So when I woke up this morning, I saw the aftermath. A small pile of mouse toys had been left on my pillow.

Back up a bit here. Since I was going to be gone over Christmas, I bought the furry horde that lets me live with them a stocking full of mouse toys. Little furry green ones. Little sisal wrapped red ones with fuzzy tails. Green and red cloth ones. You get the picture. I dumped about a dozen of these little things in the center of the living room and then dashed out to the car while they were all entranced with the new toys. Not that it worked – they all ignored me and gave me the guilt trip when I returned. But hey, I had to try.

So fast forward back to this morning. I open my eyes and am literally eyeball to eyeball (if these things had eyeballs that is) with a furry green mouse toy. There were more of them, but this is the first one I saw. And since this is not what I am used to waking up to see, I was a bit startled. Azrael, the 7-month old black puffball, purred at me triumphantly. I have a feeling he may have been the one to bring me the mouse toys in the first place. Meanwhile I jerked my head back and was immediately swatted by Rebecca, my grumpy old lady tortie-cat, who was *not* happy about the fact that I had moved and thereby apparently annoyed her.

I did the only thing a sane person who is owned by cats could do. I apologized to Miss Grumpy (who glared at me and then turned around on the pillow and settled back down with her back to me), patted Azrael and told him what a good boy he was (he purred at me and chewed on my nose), tossed the mouse toys onto the floor, where they were immediately pounced by two more, and then got up. No point in sleeping after that. They all knew I was awake.

Still life with cats: the story of me