Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Cameo And The Christmas Tree

I'm in my first year of blogging, and I figure that I'm entitled to so a cutesie Christmas posting, so here's mine:

Cameo, our youngest cat of a little over four years, is one-fourth Siamese. As she is mostly Russian Blue, she doesn't have the appearance of a lean Siamese; in fact, she's smoky-gray, except for the dainty white spot on her chest and built like a little firegplug. Every annual check-up at the vet brings the warning, "You'd better watch her weight." Keeping Cameo's food intake to a lower level is easier said than done, however, because she steals the other cats' food before she eats her own--and none of the other three girls mess with Cameo's feeding station.

True to her Siamese heritage, Cameo is busy, busy, busy. I suspect that Christmastime is her favorite time of year because the season provides her with more opportunity for getting into trouble. From the moment that I wrestle the decorations out of that miniscule guestroom closet (A man built this house in 1940, and apparently he didn't believe in closet space or in enough electrical outlets, for that matter), her eyes glow with mischief.

As soon as my husband struggles into the front door with the large box containing the artificial tree dragged from the rafters of the shed, Cameo dives headfirst into the box. We guess that she detects the scent of mice as our shed is infested with those vermin. As the box gets progressively empty, she watches intently as we assemble the tree. First, we lay out all the branches so that we can match the back prongs to the now faded color scheme on the "trunk." It never fails: Cameo leaps from the box and drags off one of the branches into the dining room, and I shout, "Cut that out! Leave that tree alone." But after a few minutes of struggle with her, the tree is up. We loop a piece of twine around the trunk and fasten the tree to the window ledge. I don't want that tree tipping over and coming home to find the angel-topper's porcelain head in pieces on the floor!

Next come the lights. Of course, strings of lights have to be plugged in and tested, and Cameo participates in checking the lights too. The string itself is interesting, but when those bulbs come on, Cameo seems to feel that it's her duty to double-check that each bulb works, and she makes every effort to bite each one. As we wrap the lights around the tree, the trailing strands probably remind her of her favorite toy, the laser gun, so she becomes ecstatic with the thrill of pursuit. Again, I scream, "Cut that out!" followed by "Leave those lights alone!"

The first decorations to be placed on the tree are the strands of beads. We store the beads in plastic bags and, no matter how carefully we've put them away at the end of the Christmas season, somehow they get all tangled up, so we have to disentangle them. Cameo has no interest in a ball of tangled strands, but once they're laid out as separate strands, she goes into action. "Cut that out! Leave those beads alone."

Assembling the tree and putting on the lights take less than an hour. But then the real fun begins for Cameo--putting on the ornaments! She watches carefully as each ornament is placed. Then she spies the empty boxes. Small though they are, Cameo feels that it's her obligation to inspect those boxes and to try to secrete herself therein. "Cut that out! Leave those boxes alone!"

After hours of work, the tree is glowing with lights and ornaments, and all of us--my husband, the four cats, and I--sit back to inspect the results. Our tree has no tinsel, of course: tinsel can be fatal to cats. They love to eat it, and tinsel and digestive tracts are not a good match. We learned that lesson with a previous cat; fortunately, the vet got to her in time, and Laxatone took care of the problem. But my husband and I decided that, from that point on, our Christmas tree would go tinselless rather than risk losing a beloved pet.

As soon as the tree is completely festooned, Cameo goes after those ornaments on the lower branches. Unlike another cat I once had, she has no particular favorites to scramble for. Rather, any ornament on a lower branch is her target. I grab the water spritzer and soak her good. "Cut that out! Leave that tree alone!" Sheepishly giving me that what-did-I-do look, she goes to the radiator, which is still tantalizingly close to the tree, and pretends that the tree isn't really there.

Inevitably, we have to leave the house within hours of decorating the tree. Either work calls or we have to run an errand. You guessed it! When we return home, the lower branches are bare. Sometimes the ornaments disappear, only to be found during spring housecleaning; sometimes the ornaments are just below the branches or in the gift bags. We put the ornaments back on, once again, with "Oh, Cameo, can't you just leave that tree alone?" Her eyes are round with innocence.

Every evening, we go through the same routine: Cameo secretes herself under the tree as soon as the switch is thrown, I shout "Cam-eee-ooooooo!," she swats at an ornament, and I grab the water spritzer. "Cut that out! Leave that tree alone!" Sometimes the very sight of the spritzer does the job, and I don't have to soak the tree skirt and any presents under the tree as I attempt to shoo her out from under the tree. Being a little klutzy, Cameo usually dislodges an ornament or two in her scramble to the radiator. I sigh and readjust the tree. My husband says, "Leave that cat alone."

Cameo's first Christmas was the most disruptive for the tree, but the most entertaining as well. After several days of the above routine with the spritzer, Cameo decided to be sneakier in her approach. While I was busy polishing the silver tea service, she removed all the ornaments on the lower branches. My hands were full, so I let that defiance go and waited to see what she would do next. She went to her toy box, and, one by one, retrieved her toys and placed them on the lower branches. If I hadn't seen this with my own eyes, I wouldn't have believed it! Then she sat back to survey her work. Within a few minutes, she stalked, then attacked the tree and swatted her "ornaments" all over the house. To our regret, Cameo has never again repeated her tree-decorating efforts.

My husband and I have had cats all our married lives, and we've noticed that most cats lose interest in a Christmas tree as they get older. In fact, because of that waning interest, until we got Cameo, we had become accustomed to using only felt and plastic ornaments for each cat's first Christmas tree and returned to using the breakable ones as the years passed. But Cameo seems to be a true Siamese--ever curious--and we don't foresee adding many breakables during her lifetime, especially on the lower branches.

I hope that I don't have to soak Cameo too many times this year. After all, it is Christmas and the season of good will. I don't want "the little portly" to catch cold!

Uh oh! She's staring at the tree again right now. Where is that spritzer?


At 12/21/2005 10:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great piece always. I'm not a cat lover, but Cameo sounds like she has traits very similar to my daughters mischievous "Carmen". We, however, hope that Carmen will eventually grow out of her preoccupation with Christmas trees and ornaments. I don't suppose Cameo sleeps under the tree?


At 12/21/2005 10:19 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Yes, she does sleep under the tree. I think she's fond of that shiny tree skirt.

Of course, sometimes she shreds the wrapped packages under the tree. She is especially attracted to tissue paper. I remove all bows on packages because bows, too, can pose a danger to cats' digestive tracts.

My neighbor is not a cat lover, but she likes Cameo because of Cameo's winsome ways.

At 12/21/2005 10:26 AM, Blogger American Crusader said...

I'm not what you would call a cat lover (something in common with Fj??), but cats can be hilarious. It seems like it's part of their nature to get all tangled up inside the Christmas tree. I must admit to putting a banana clip(with sting and Coke can attached) to the tail of my girlfriend's cat end watching this cat literally running on the walls to escape the sound of the can. Hopefully your readers won't characterize me as being cruel to animals...the banana clip didn't hurt and it was a onetime thing. my girlfriend about killed me for it. I'm going to try to find this video about a cat that is unbelievably back later if successful.

At 12/21/2005 10:39 AM, Blogger samwich said...

I am no cat lover but for some odd reason cats love me. Newly aquainted cats jump into my lap, snuggle down and purr away.


At 12/21/2005 11:24 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

For some reason, cats are often attracted to those people who are not cat lovers. Why is that? I think that part of it is that cats are aloof and independent creatures and that when they detect aloofness and independence in a human, they are attracted.

I don't know if you are an aloof person, but as I've read your many comments over the last several months, I see that you are "an independent thinker." LOL.

Just a weird fact about me: Turtles love me! Officials at the National Zoo have repeatedly commented on my rapport with tortoises of any size. I go to the tortoise enclosure, and the creatures come to me, as if drawn by a magnet. Box turtles are just as fond of me; I've had several as pets, and one returned every summer for several years.

Not so weird: Dogs love me. Some of their displays of affection toward me are amazing. I'd love to have a dog, but my schedule doesn't allow for me to be a responsible dog owner. Cats are easier to tend to.

Obviously I am an animal lover, but I have no problem with venison on the table--as long as that venison doesn't originate from a deer I personally "knew."

When I was a child, we had chickens. I made a point not to get friendly with those destined for the dinner table. A few were designated as "pets," and we didn't serve those up for supper.

At 12/21/2005 11:26 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Cats, particularly if they are house cats, become quite doglike. Cameo's brother used to run on the treadmill--funniest thing I ever saw. I wish I had a video of that!

At 12/21/2005 11:42 AM, Blogger American Crusader said...

I said I would be back with a funny feline video...nobody gets injured..I think.

At 12/21/2005 11:50 AM, Blogger samwich said...

Dogs like me too.


At 12/21/2005 12:45 PM, Blogger Camerinus said...

Hope and reason still exist:

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (AP) -- A Pennsylvania public school district will abandon its practice of teaching "intelligent design" before lessons on evolution after a federal judge ruled that the concept is "the progeny of creationism."
"There is no intent to appeal,"

Earlier this month, a federal appeals court heard arguments about whether a suburban Atlanta school district had the right to put stickers on biology textbooks describing evolution as a theory, not fact. A federal judge last January ordered the stickers removed.

At 12/21/2005 12:48 PM, Blogger Camerinus said...

As a cat lover and owner, I have often noticed the evolutionary changes that have taken place so that so many different species from the same family exist throughout the world. Natural selection at its best.

At 12/21/2005 1:03 PM, Blogger Iran Watch said...

AOW.. as you can see I have changed my screen name from "nuke iran". Since I don't advocate using nuclear weapons.. except as a last resource.. I thought the name was inappropriate and a couple of people have pointed that out to me.

FYI.. Iranian cats are in the know.
Any Questions.. just ask the cats at
A semi-humorous site at best.

At 12/21/2005 2:15 PM, Blogger Esther said...

Samwich, cats love to bother people who hate cats. I have a friend like that and my cat be-lines for him every time, crawling all over him. A bit sadistic in nature?

AC, even as a cat lover that sounded hillarious.

AOW, great post!!! Silly question though, why don't you just leave the lower branches bare rather than constantly having to put the ornaments back on?

I've only once lived in a house with a Christmas tree and that was with my first roommates out of college. I had my first cat, Alex. They had their cat as well. I think we locked up the cats while they decorated the tree. As soon as the cats were allowed out, they didn't go for ornaments or tinsel or anything else -- they climbed the tree and knocked it over!

At 12/21/2005 4:03 PM, Blogger samwich said...

Esther, I don't hate cats, I'm just not a pet person. My life has been such that I am often not available to care for a pet so I just don't have one. You don't own a pet or farm animals, they own you. You are the person responsible for their care. To neglect them is cruel to them.

On my mountain property young deer eat apples out of my hand and squirrels eat nuts from my hand. Since I bought the property two years ago, the Deer, Elk and Antelope have given up their fear of the feeding area where I have hay dumped for the winter. Elk are chivalrous, the bulls leave the better winter pastures for the cows and calves.
This is a species wide phenomenom.

I do let nature prevail there and the Mountain Lion, Bobcat and Coyote roam with the same freedom as the other animals.

For me it is a place of sanctuary and peace I can enforce


At 12/21/2005 4:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I don't suppose Cameo sleeps under the tree?"

My cats do.

"For some reason, cats are often attracted to those people who are not cat lovers. Why is that? I think that part of it is that cats are aloof and independent creatures and that when they detect aloofness and independence in a human, they are attracted."

From what I could observe, most cats hate being handled by strangers.
They will eventually come and investigate as they are very curious creatures but on their terms

People who hate cats do not feel compelled to squat and do the "awww she so cute" routine and so cats think: Oh! this one seems to be not a hysterical type and he doesn't want to pick me up.
Let's make friends then."

Great post.

At 12/21/2005 6:04 PM, Blogger Iran Watch said...

Thanks for the information about e-mail notification. I went back and found where to make the proper changes. How did you know that I wasn't getting email notification?

At 12/21/2005 6:08 PM, Blogger samwich said...

Cats do associate with humans on the cats terms only!


At 12/21/2005 6:09 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Watching Iran,
No envelope showed at the bottom of your posts.

At 12/21/2005 6:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Years ago, we had two Siamese cats named Max and PJ. PJ did everything that Max told him to, and as a consequence, was always in trouble, while Max maintained a "who me?" expression. They were among the best pets we've had. Now we have dogs. Small ones. Small dogs = little poops. As much as I love my dogs, I remember Max and PJ with fondness and even now -- 30 years later, they make me smile.

At 12/21/2005 6:19 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

why don't you just leave the lower branches bare rather than constantly having to put the ornaments back on?
That's what my husband wants me to do.

My reasoning:
(1) The tree would look funny. I might be a bit OC on that.
(2) Just a theory, but I suspect that if ornaments aren't accessible, Cameo will just move to the higher branches. If I were to place all ornaments out of her reach, all I would have is a tree with lights and an angel at the top.

If she could, Cameo would knock the tree over, but it's tied to the wall. If the tree were real instead of artificial, I have no doubt that she and her very lean catmate would climb to the top, without ornaments or strands of beads. So we're stuck with an artificial tree. Oh, the sacrifices we make for our pets in this household!

Cameo is the most stubborn cat I've ever had! For three years, she spent a lot of time "on lockdown" in the bedroom because she was harassing two of the other cats. My little fireplug plays too roughly, and she outweighs all her catmates. Cameo finally got the message, and she hasn't been "on lockdown" for a long time now.

At 12/21/2005 8:15 PM, Blogger samwich said...


Ref the NY transit strike:

Half of the world's currnecy traders are unable to get to work.

This strike has the potential to do incredible financial damage world wide.



At 12/21/2005 8:21 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

TWO Siamese cats? I'll bet things rocked 'n rolled.

I know what you mean by the "who me?" expression. Cameo gives me that look all the time, even when she is the only possible culprit.

Once before, I had, for some 19 years, a full-blooded, red-point-tabby, applehead Siamese named Honey. Unlike most Siamese cats, she "aimed to please." Still, I spent some two years getting Honey to subordinate to me. Once the alpha was established, however, I had absolutely no more issues with her, and Honey was the most wonderful cat I've ever had. I love all my cats, but Honey was special to the point where the vet commented, "I've never seen such a bond between cat and owner." Honey has been gone since 1997, and I still miss her.

Of our four cats, one is mine only, one is my husband's only, and two are both of ours. Cameo is one of the shared ones, so to speak.

Cameo still occasionally defies me. I scruff her and say, "Wanna go on lockdown?" That usually stops the insubordination right away, but we still have the occasional go-round ending in a brief lockdown. She is definitely alpha cat in the household, and I just barely trump her. She is alpha toward my husband, who gives in to her. It's hilarious!

At 12/21/2005 8:24 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Funny you should mention that bit about the transit strike's effect on the world economy because that possibility crossed my mind this morning while I was doing some Christmas cleaning.

How much and what kind of damage, in your opinion?

At 12/21/2005 8:25 PM, Blogger samwich said...

Cats associate with humans on the cat's terms. Deal with it!


At 12/21/2005 8:31 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Cats associate with humans on the cat's terms. Deal with it!
I do. Well, sort of. Hehehe.

At 12/21/2005 9:41 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

That poor kitty swinging from the ceiling fan!

At 12/21/2005 9:46 PM, Blogger David Schantz said...

We got seven house cats so I guess you could say we're cat lovers. All of ours are cats that no one else wanted. Four males three females, all fixed and all have their own personalities. I just stopped typing to settle a dispute between two of them. Things do get interesting with them around. Our only Christmas tree is one my Mother made of old jewerly and Christmas lights before she passed away. It's in a picture frame and hangs on the wall, out of the cats reach, so far. We also have a Siberian Husy, she is outside most of the time. She loves cats but they freak when she comes in.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic

At 12/21/2005 9:47 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

The psychology of cats has been the topic of many a study. Personally, I find the language of their tails and ears fairly easy to read, but their minds are inscrutable. Curiosity always gets the best of cats, but most of us cat lovers are too impatient to wait for these beautiful creatures to come to us; thus, we sometimes make them more aloof than they naturally are.

Thanks for the ocmpliment on this post. I don't usually write items of this sort, but this one "wrote itself." Funny how that writing phenomenon occurs with regard to certain topics.

Are you an admirer of James Herriott's series about veterinary life in England? He wrote a lot about dogs, but has some funny cat stories, too, in the series of four books.

At 12/21/2005 9:51 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

I've done some reading on the origins of the domestic cat.

One of the differences between the wild felines and the domestic ones is that the wild ones will constantly mark territory; domestic ones use the litter pan--at least, most of them do. However, some males and females of the domestic variety will mark territory even after neutering. Many people don't realize that females will also mark.

At 12/21/2005 9:52 PM, Blogger samwich said...

AOW, Currency traders can spook a sell off of any country's currency and cause a devaluation that makes imported products more expensive, just like the European Currency Trader's US Dollar sell off in 1972 that shot energy prices up world wide.
In conjunction with Iran's upcoming oil trade policy, the US Dollar will drop and $3 per gallon gasoline will be a fond memory.

The US Senate blocked oil drilling in the Artic National Wild Reserve.

Two Trillion Dollars worth of High Grade nonpolluting coal may not be mined in Utah but must be imported from China, thanks to Bill Clinton and Ornament Orrin Hatch (R) Ut.

For every one billion dollars not spent on imported oil and diverted to ethanol and biodiesel production, 15,000 jobs are created in America's rural sectors.

Mid East oil has America by the economic short and curlies. It will now get much worse before we can entertain fantasies it will ever get better.

US based (read NYC) currency traders not at work cannot buy up the dumped US Dollars to support the price and value on the international markets.

Look for the US Dollar to decline further against the Euro and imported energy prices to rise, sparking a new round of inflation.


At 12/21/2005 10:01 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Watching Iran,
I went to the web site you listed. On a whim, I submitted this story to their carnival.

I'll be looking over some of the features at that web site.

At 12/21/2005 10:46 PM, Blogger samwich said...

A cat lover friend just dropped by with Christmas goodies and this bumper sticker is on their car.
The Cat Bumper Sticker:

Dogs Have Owners, Cats Have Staff.

Ain't it the trrrrrrruth


At 12/21/2005 10:58 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Samwich: Dogs Have Owners, Cats Have Staff.

Here's another little saying, but not a bumper sticker...You call a dog on the phone, and he answers immediately. You call a cat, and the answering machine says, "Leave a message." Or something like that.

At 12/21/2005 10:58 PM, Blogger samwich said...

The US dollar has lost 7.9% of it's value against the Swiss Franc since early September 2005.


At 12/21/2005 11:34 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Seven cats? No doubt there are frequent disputes if all are house cats. Our cats gets most rambunctious when it's feeding time, or if feeding has been delayed. For example, yesterday morning one had a dental appointment and was on a post-midnight fast. All four cats kept smacking at each other when I wasn't feeding them on schedule.

Every cat has its own personality. That's true of dogs as well.

All of our cats--four females-- are "fixed" as well. One of ours, those spayed at a young age, makes spraying motions. Nothing comes out, thank goodness!

Your Husky is wise not to mess with cats!

Your Christmas tree sounds beautiful--and unique. I've never seen one like the type you have described. I'm sure it has a lot of sentimental value to you and your family--more so than a traditional tree.

At 12/22/2005 12:29 AM, Blogger samwich said...


Currency Traders are shorting the US Dollar in greater numbers. Current open interest for March 2006, (sold short in anticipation of a decline in prices) has skyrocketed. Same for June 2006 contract.


At 12/22/2005 2:17 AM, Blogger Dan Zaremba said...

"Are you an admirer of James Herriott's series about veterinary life in England?"
I've watched the series but have never read the book.
I loved it.

We have 2 Birmans, they are truly majestic cats.
They are so well behaved it is unreal.
Sometimes I wish they'd break some glasses or whatever so they appear more like your Cameo.
They love Christmas tree but apart from taking some off the decorations off there is never real damage.

At 12/22/2005 3:47 AM, Blogger samwich said...


Mrs Samwich has decided we will go visit my sister for the Christmas Break. Mrs S. wants to see for herself that sis's knee replacement surgery is OK.

Maybe if I'm lucky the snow isn't too deep and I can see how the animals are wintering in paradise.


At 12/22/2005 7:36 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

And Merry Christmas to you as you celebrate the Meaning of Christmas!

May you have a safe trip and find all is well at your sister's.

At 12/22/2005 8:03 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

If you enjoyed the TV series, you'd LOVE the books! If you decide to read them, start with the first one; many times the books come packaged in a set, and I believe they are available in paperback. I've read the books more than once, and I never fail to laugh when reading an early portion in the first book: He's womitin'. Womitin' bad, sorr. Herriott's books are the laugh-out-loud-one-minute, cry-the-next type.

I think that most Birmans are mellower than Siamese/Russian Blue crosses. Cameo came from a litter which my cousin's half-Siamese bore, so I know all about her siblings. There were seven in the litter, and all have outgoing personalities--or had. Two are gone now--their brazenness got them into trouble with dogs and/or wildlife. Cameo's mother got killed by a car; she escaped from the house when she came into season shortly after her first and only litter found homes. Too bad! Many wanted kittens from her next litter.

Cameo had one run-in with a fox. She escaped unscathed, but we had a scary moment. The front door was standing open, and she hauled in, with the fox right behind her. He had her tail in his mouth! When I screamed, he fled. Cameo didn't go outside for a long time, and since her close call with the fox, she stays very near the house. Indeed, we don't let any of our cats outside now without our close watching.

We have no more foxes here now; the area has been significantly built up since Cameo's close call about three years ago. But we keep a close eye for racoons and other wildlife dangerous to cats.

Our two youngest cats, of which Cameo is one, have destroyed glassware, so I've lost a few antique pieces. Cameo, despite her weight, continues to climb, but the other young one doesn't. Furthermore, Cameo is klutzy and was that way even before she gained the weight. I keep our antique Nativity scene behind glass in the curio cabinet. I wouldn't want the Nativity scene to suffer the same fate as the kissing angels, which we used to put on the mantel at Christmastime.

PS: Merry Christmas to you, Felis!

At 12/22/2005 8:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of cats, have any of you ever played with Shrodinger's Cat? It just might turn you into a "quantum physics" multi-dimensional universe skeptic.


At 12/22/2005 8:34 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

To all readers here:
I'll be doing some last minute shopping this morning. I'll check back in this afternoon.

At 12/22/2005 12:49 PM, Blogger G_in_AL said...

I have three cats, this is one's first Christmas... not too bad on the tree, just a couple missing ornaments

At 12/22/2005 3:12 PM, Blogger Pastorius said...

Does Cameo talk a lot? I used to have a cat that was half-Siamese, and she talked to me all the time. It was the cutest thing.

At 12/22/2005 4:02 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Some cats are really interested in a Christmas tree, but others aren't. What kind of cats do you have?

Our American tabby has never shown any interest in the Christmas tree, even when she was young. Now she's over 17 and is truly "the cat on the mat." She's healthy, though. Her checkup at the vet's office last week was perfect! She is almost totally deaf, but her sense of smell is keen. She has no trouble finding her food dish. LOL.

At 12/22/2005 4:09 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Cameo's mother was a real chatterbox, but Cameo isn't. She very rarely meows.

She does a lot of cheek rubbing and tail wrapping, though, which are forms of marking territory. And when she wants her food, she bangs her dish around with her paws and sometimes even flips it over; once one of us gets up to feed her, she herds us to the dish by throwing her body against our legs.

None of our cats talk much--maybe because they can get their way by other methods.

At 12/22/2005 4:09 PM, Blogger Dan Zaremba said...

Thank you AOW,
And Merry and Happy Christmas to you and your family.

At 12/22/2005 4:30 PM, Blogger Bassizzzt said...

Just keep the cats away from those red christmas plants (that's "holiday" plants for you leftist heathens).

At 12/22/2005 4:37 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

How do you know all this interesting stuff? I visited Shrodinger's Cat, to which you provided a link above. Now, I'm not a science person, but that site makes physics interesting. Thanks!

At 12/22/2005 4:39 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Thanks for that reminder about Christmas plants. One has to keep a close eye on the cats if one has poinsettias. I put mine very high up and inaccessible, but I have to watch for shedding leaves.

Cats often have a way of finding what is NOT good for them.

At 12/22/2005 5:53 PM, Blogger samwich said...

Here's a funny: while I was waitng for Mrs S to get home from work, I was schmoozing Front Page Magazine and the moving headline banner had an article about Palestinians in Gaza who took over the Iraeli green houses have gone to the US and asked the US to coax the former Israeli owners into being hired to teach Palestinians how to grow crops. Most all of the Isrealis asked have declined.

We are headed east!!!


At 12/22/2005 6:07 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

From the FPM moving banner you mentioned @

The Palestinians who took over the Jewish greenhouses in the Gaza Strip when Israel withdrew its communities from the area now are asking expelled farmers for advice after reportedly failing to reproduce the region's famous insect-free vegetables, WND has learned.

Prior to Israel's August withdrawal, the residents of Gaza's Gush Katif slate of Jewish communities ran greenhouses known for producing high-quality insect-free vegetables. The Gush Katif gardens featured some of the most technologically advanced agricultural equipment and accounted for more than $100 million per year in exports to Europe. The greenhouses also supplied Israel with 75 percent of its own produce.

The hothouses were passed to the Palestinians in September in a $14 million deal brokered by former World Bank President James Wolfenson and several wealthy Jewish Americans.

Earlier this month, the Palestinians now running the greenhouses reportedly told the Israeli-Palestinian Economic Cooperation Fund they failed in their efforts to grow bug-free produce.

Now the Palestinian owners have asked the United States Agency for International Development, which has been involved in reconstruction efforts in Gaza, to hire former Jewish Gaza greenhouse owners as consultants for their declining vegetable businesses....

The "Palestinians" neglected the greenhouses, and now they are asking Jews for help? Supreme irony!

At 12/23/2005 8:57 AM, Blogger American Crusader said...

Supposedly the transit strike is over but they have failed to accomplish the following:
1. job security..including fines from this illegal strike.
2. Health benefits..unions demand the city pay 100% and no deductible.
3. pension plan..union demands full retirement at age 55 instead of at age 62. MTA wanted workers to contribute 6% of their wages instead of 2%.(it's hard to find any job that offers a pension plan any more...especially for new employees).
4. salary demands..unions demanded a 24% pay raise over a three-year contract. Workers already average $55,000 (even full-time cleanup crews average over $40,000)
$40,000 to cleanup bathrooms? Not bad. that's what they didn't accomplish. The following is a list of what they agreed upon.
1. nothing
3 days and over $1 billion of lost agreements on any of the key issues.

At 12/23/2005 8:59 AM, Blogger American Crusader said...

I listed all my duty stations in the Coast Guard under the Washington ballet post.

At 12/23/2005 9:27 AM, Blogger G_in_AL said...

Merry Christmas you guys, I will see you after the Holiday

At 12/23/2005 9:33 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Merry Christmas! I, too, will be blogging less. Mother-in-law, age 86, arrives from CA tonight. She leaves on the 28th.

My blogging and blog rounds will be lighter while she is visiting.

Later today or early tomorrow, I'll put up my Christmas article. I hope that it will be a blessing to believers.

At 12/23/2005 12:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

May you all enjoy a Merry Christmas and mirthful holiday season with family, friends, and relatives. And special thanks for our hostess for maintaining this forum with such amicable aplomb ad majorem dei gloriam. Annuit coeptis.



At 12/23/2005 12:12 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

I'm a hostess ad majorem dei gloriam? So, it shows?

I've never had a greater compliment! Thank you.


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