Thursday, January 22, 2015

Following Your Dreams Blondie-Style


A beautifully perfect 1:12 Glinda from my amazing friend, Brae

This morning, I read a post on Tiny Buddha called "The Value of Following Your Dreams When They Don't Make Money" by Kym Wilson. It was a really good post with fantastic advice about getting out there and doing what you want instead of festering about money all the time. Feeling fulfilled. Truly living your dreams instead of just fantasizing about them. Wilson's personal dreams involved world travel and long-distance adventures. Girlfriend went for it and had a blast. It was exciting to read about her journey and self-discovery. She also had some really great advice:

“Your net worth is not your life’s worth—don’t confuse the two."

Your net worth is not your life’s worth. There was instant relief in those words.

My choices may have "cost" me a million, and my net worth may be a small fraction of that, but the real value of my experiences over the last five years transcends physical currency. The sights I have seen. The blessings I have received. The moments I have witnessed.

I love that.

Reading Wilson's post made me tip back in my home office chair, stare out the window at the bird feeder and its guests, and close my eyes for a deep, refreshing breath. The thing is, I feel fulfilled right here at home, and there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, I'm proud of it.

Because I'm single and childless, other people are constantly shoving their dreams down my throat. If they were me, they would travel the world, move from state to state each year, pick up and GO GO GO!!! The weight of their marriages or kids or mortgages weigh on them, so they create elaborate, fictional worlds where being single and childless means you have no anchors, no responsibilities, and no reasons to stay in one place. FLY FREE, BLONDIE! What are you doing here??? Well, I'm living. I'm really, truly living.

I have moved away. I have lived in multiple states. I have gone on a mini vacation by myself. No, I haven't traveled internationally, but I don't want to do that alone. Traveling alone is great for some people, and that's fine. But for me? Staying in a sterile, strange hotel room is not my cup of tea. Hotel rooms actually make me more lonely than anything else. They're fun if someone else is staying in there with me, sure. But solo? I usually end up crying at some point. For reals. Or else I'm on a business trip, and I'm so exhausted that I crash and burn and don't enjoy it one bit.

To be clear, I'm NOT bashing people's choices to go do all of things alone, but I'm self-aware enough to know that I would not likie. And that's OK. There's nothing wrong with being me, just as I am. The only part that sucks about it is when other people try to force me to chase their dreams for them so they can vicariously live through me. Um, no. Not gonna happen. I don't mean to criticize the free-spirits of the world who want to travel and be free -- that's not what I'm trying to say. I'm just finally realizing that being different is OK. My dreams and my kind of happiness are OK.

For a long time, I thought something was wrong with me. Why don't I go and "be free"? Why don't I save and travel the world? Am I missing out on something? I should be more fabulous instead of so boring. I should really take advantage of all of this alone time. I should I should I should... It was awful. Constantly beating myself down took its toll, and I went through a lot of my Dark Times. Depression crept up on me and clamped me into its grip over and over and over again. I found it nearly impossible to love myself. And many years went by.

After working on my mental health long enough, I know that I can find peace, happiness, love, and joy without Doing All of the Things. There is no need to Be Fabulous. I can be ridiculously happy sitting on the carpet with a wee 1:12 scale rocking chair kit. I can feel the wonder of the Universe by sitting outside at night and seeing all of the stars that I could never see in all of those cities I've lived in or visited. I've felt the peace that comes from being around my nuclear and extended families. And after working SO HARD to STOP giving myself such a hard time, I've started to really enjoy my own company. As I get older, it becomes more clear: I can do what I want and not do what I don't want and I don't have to feel guilty about any of it so there.

One of my big dreams for most of my life was buying my own home. I think I leaned on this dream so much because it would mean I was a grown-up or that I was financially stable or probably that I was married. And rentals? No matter how nice the place is, it's still a rental. You don't really get to make it yours, and the paint, appliances, and carpet are always "rental" quality. It can be hard to feel really good about yourself when you want to pay cheap-as-possible rent because you get what you pay for. Moving into my grandparents' home and being able to paint the walls and change the decor and really take ownership of this house has been so amazing. I don't "need" to own it to feel fulfilled. I just need to take care of it as if I do. It feels wonderful to care for my little new-old farmhouse. I feel like big kid now.

In Wilson's blog post, she says:

Often misconceived as selfishness, honoring and doing what transforms our inner selves is a way of being of service too; everyone who comes into contact with your ripples will benefit from that change, directly or indirectly, known or unknown.

In this way, the return on investment from following your dreams is infinite, larger than you can ever quantify or know while you are in human form.

Even though Wilson's post is talking about the exact opposite of what I'm talking about, I can still relate. We both took our dreams by the horns and just went for it. I gave up my fancy schmancy Chicago job, moved home, and made a life here in Farmsville. And you know what? I have no regrets. Especially now, in this new house out in the country where it's so quiet, peaceful, and filled with the farmland of my family. I have some serious roots here, and I love them.

I can tell that following my dream -- my Simple Life dream that everyone is always poo poo-ing me about-- has had some positive ripples. I see the joy in my father's eyes when he's having a fond memory of growing up in this house or being with his own nuclear family. I can see the excitement in my mother's eyes when I show her how I've organized the kitchen or decorated my bedroom. I feel the peace in my sister and my cousins and aunts and uncles when they walk through the house and remember the good ole days of Blonderson family get-togethers.

My uncle (the one who ones this house) has said multiple times that "it was meant to be," and I believe him. All of that wandering and all of that renting and all of those hard times and disappointments and other journeys have led me here, where I feel safe, loved, and content. I've always wondered why why why did life randomly skew off in this or that direction, but now I know. The Universe was leading me to this moment in time when I can stop beating the crap out of myself every day and just stop to smell the f*cking roses already. OK, I will.

So yes yes yes, whatever your dream is, go and follow it. Leap fearlessly! My only advice would be to make sure that the dream is yours -- authentically yours alone. Your gut will tell you what you should do and where you should be. Listen to it. I'm so glad I did.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The New Dollhouse Room


One of the best parts of moving into Briarpatch is having my own dedicated dollhouse room. HOORAY!!!! At Farmhouse Villa, I was constantly having to leave things on top of my stove and refrigerator to hide them from Gretchen. I amassed a huge collection of trays to store things on. I stacked trays everywhere up high, but even then, Gretchen could still get to them and mess them up and steal things if she really wanted to. Luckily for me, she usually left the stove top alone unless there was food up there. Here's evidence of what my stove usually looked like at all times. Well, actually this is very tame. Usually there were way more trays and way more projects. This is a well-organized/ clean shot of TeenieTow progress:


Using my stove top in this way led to never cooking or baking. Like ever. Hey man. You do what you gotta do for your hobbies. Now I can SHUT THE DOOR. Such relief!!! I do allow the kitties in there because they're extremely curious and fussy about any closed doors, but they can only go in the room if I'm in there with them. I don't trust Gretchen to behave herself at ALL. Letting them go in a few times has calmed their curiosity about the room. I've been able to leave the door open and go somewhere else and come back without them invading, so we're getting there. I'd like to be able to leave the door open more often because it's COLD in there. There's some issue with the heat vent in that room, and the windows need new frames on the outside where they're rotting. So it's not all perfect, but it's perfect enough for ME.

*does happy dance*

Anyway, I don't have good photos of the "before" dollhouse room because it was pretty boring in there. White walls, white ceiling, white carpet. Also, the monster bushes from outside block both of the windows entirely. That light you see coming in in the photo is misleading. It's more like a true briarpatch right outside those windows. Next spring, they'll be gone, and I'll have MUCH more light, but for now, it's a dark room. Also, there is no overhead light in there. It was time to go thrifting for standing lamps! So here is the only picture I have that shows the "before" stage through a doorway. Good enough:


Then my wonderful mother washed the walls, and my wonderful father painted them the dark grey color I picked out while I stayed over at Farmhouse Villa working. THANK YOU, PARENTS!! I'm loving the grey. It's so pretty and makes the Art Deco-ish ceiling really pop. This picture shows the booty from my first thrift-lamping trip. The one on the left has space for four total bulbs, which is great. Since I took this photo, I've put brighter bulbs in the lamps, which helps a lot. Also, all of the upper plug-in things in the room are wired to the light switch, so all of the lamps come on right away when I flip the switch. Very handy, indeed:


Right after painting:


I asked Pa to paint the dollhouse room first specifically so I could pile tons of crap in there until I was able to unpack and sort it. It was full for quite a while:


It's a big room (much bigger than I remember it being), so it can hold a LOT of stuff:


Now I've had time to really clean it up. This was my grandparents' "TV Room," so all of my relatives (and even me sometimes) are having a hard time calling it anything but that. With time, we'll all learn that it's now the "Dollhouse Room." I also no longer have an art closet, so I put all of my painting and crafting supplies in here, too:


The wardrobe that used to be in my living room (along with everything else) is now in the corner. I still haven't figured out the lighting situation on this side of the room. The standing lamp gets moved around a lot. I'm planning on storing away the card table and putting the toy box there (it's currently sitting in the red porch) to hold all of the stuff that's piled on the floor. The toy box is too heavy for me to move by myself, so Pa will help me when he has time. For now, the shop and Ollie's house are packed in those boxes on top of the table waiting to be unpacked and worked on:


I found this little wall hanging while I was out thrifting and decided it was the perfect thing to hold special minis or minis that don't have homes yet. That's red velvet in the back. I was going to immediately take that out and put some kind of pretty paper in the back, but now it's starting to oddly grow on me:


I found the two peach shelves at the thrift store, too. They were probably in a kitchen because they both have knife holders on the sides. They're holding spare minis for now. They have hooks on the bottoms to hang tools and other fun things. Love it:


And where did that TeenieTow go? Well, it found a new home out in the dining area. It's at a good eye level, so you can see inside now where you couldn't really before (it formerly lived on top of the wardrobe in my Villa living room):


And Ollie? Let's just say that he's NOT HAPPY about STILL being in a box in the dollhouse room. He's been listening to the real owls outside that hoot at night (there are multiple kinds of owls out here in the country, and I LURVE listening to them after the sun goes down). He's completely jealous that they certainly have nice nests while he's just lying there in perpetual construction. I'm so sorry, dear Ollie. I'll pull you out and get back to work pronto:


Ahhhh, minis. Of course, now I want to work on them and play with them and plan new projects and and and and... Alas, I have to do Real Life Work. Like the kind that pays the bills. Sigh. Luckily, I got a really fun, new contract, so it will be interesting and entertaining. You can't beat that! But as soon as I have time, Ollie's coming out to play... WHEE!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

New Words for 2015: Be Good to Yourself


On New Year's Eve, I had one of those moments of self-pity and shame and overall boo hiss about being single and alone on NYE AGAIN and all of that crap that comes with being single during the holidays. I'd been beaten to death by Every Kiss Begins with Kay and sappy Christmas movies and happy couples and IT'S ALL ABOUT THE CHILDREN, so I was sitting here wondering if it's even possible for single, childless people to matter any time between October–February. I got very mopey. I could feel the crispy fingers of spinsterhood tightening around my neck. I felt jaded.

I don't want to be That Girl. I am a lot of the time, but I don't want to be. I'm SO sick of my vacillating emotions about life. I'm happy! I'm not! I'm happy! I'm not! 

*rolls eyes at self*

But then I had to give myself a talking to: Why are you constantly beating yourself up for feeling emotions and BEING HUMAN? Everyone is on this roller coaster, girlfriend. It's NOT just you.

So I did a few things that would take the focus off of my melancholy mood, and then I decided it was time for some New Words for 2015.

I took down all of the "new words" in Farmhouse Villa and packed them up when I moved into Briarpatch. They're in a baggie somewhere in the pile of things I still haven't unpacked or organized. I love my homemade words. They really did help me -- for reals. After absentmindedly looking at them over and over and over, they subconsciously started working on me. I could feel a distinct change in the way I thought of myself. Instead of thinking: I'm disorganized/messy, I would think instead: I'm a free spirit. It was quite beautiful. And then when I upped the ante and bought myself even prettier new words, I felt even better.

It's amazing what positive messages can do for your soul. So what to do on NYE 2015 while I was all alone feeling sorry for myself? Buy even more pretty, beautiful, wonderful words, of course! And who does these kinds of words better than Kelly Rae Roberts? (no one) I LURVE her art. It was time to shop. I decided to let my inner fan girl go crazy and buy all kinds of Roberts goodies with the money I would have otherwise spent giving myself a horrific hangover.

Above, you can see my hands-down favorite. It reads: YOUR beautifully messy complicated STORY MATTERS (tell it). What a perfect message for a writer/editor, eh? I agree. I put it in what I like to call my Corner of Good Energy, which is where I have hung a whole bunch of wonderful messages. I love looking at this corner. Except for the clutter next to Felipe. That's there to keep Gretchen from eating the little fishie. I'll figure out a prettier way to clutter it at some point. Yes, the Green Monster living room wallpaper is nasty. Yes, it's stained. Yes, it's probably close to my own age. But if you can't beat it, join it! In order to counterattack the green wallpaper, I've filled the room with an overdose of bright colors. Color color everywhere!!! It distracts from all the green. Kinda. Anyway, the corner looks faboosh:


Then I needed something for my bedroom. I got this hanging angel. Her message says: Let it go. Say yes to healing, yes to change. Breathe in the beauty around you. Rediscover the beauty within you. Surrender your fear. Be gentle on your soul. TRUST YOUR STRENGTH:


I hung her right next to my closet, so I pause to read her message each time I go in or out of the closet each day. She's sitting on the most gorgeous piece of furniture I own -- a beautiful, hand-made table by my brother-in-law. He made me the table with wood from the old corn crib that I used to play in so often as a child with my sister and cousins. It was torn down years ago, and I'm so attached to the old buildings and all. My BIL brought the corn crib back to life in the most beautiful way ever. I was so stunned when I saw it on Christmas morning, and I had to do everything I could to keep myself from bursting into sappy, nostalgic, loved-filled tears. I turn that little lamp on at night, and the room glows with love and comfort and family. You can't really see how amazing the table is in this photo, but trust me, it's phenomenal. Now the angel is the icing on the cake:


Then we move onto the pink bathroom. I looked for one of Roberts's pieces that had some pink in it, and this girl was perfect. She's strategically placed behind the toilet so that I see her every time I go to flush the loo. I actually stop myself and stand there and read her message. I force myself to do it, even if I'm in a hurry. She says: Unleash your joy. Embrace your truth. Pick more wild flowers. Leap fearlessly. Ask for what you need. Speak of your gratitude. Listen to forgiveness. Surround yourself with good people. Trust your creative spirit. Wear red shoes. Let it go:


I need these messages the most. I need to ask for what I need without feeling guilty or ashamed. I need to listen to forgiveness from myself and others. And hells yes, I'll wear red shoes. I still wear these things almost every day:


This photo is reminding me that I still need to scrape off that awful border and clean up the wall. I will one day. For now, I'm going to let it go (and yes, unfortunately, sometimes that stupid song from Frozen gets stuck in my head LA LA LA I can't hear you, stupid song!):


And last but not least, I decided to get myself one of the angel figures. I love these pretty ladies from Roberts's collection, and I've wanted one for a long time. I especially love the little birdie on her head. She is "Hopeful Spirit." Her message reads: In our best moments, we understand that our vulnerabilities are what connect us, that there is beauty in every step of the journey, that we can love bravely, offer comfort to our younger, broken selves, and soar, always soar, on the brightness of being alive:


Oh, that message gives me goosebumps! I love it so much!! I haven't figured out exactly where this sweet angel will go just yet. I was going to put her on my nightstand, but I worry that the kitties will knock her over and break her birdie, so I'm going to keep her safe up high somewhere -- somewhere where I will read her often. These goodies have made me so happy that I think I'll make this a NYE tradition. I'll shop for something beautiful to bring in the new year.

I love being in my new home. It's changed my feelings about myself and my life. It's amazing how much your world can brighten when you have more space, less clutter, closets and cupboards to put things in, basic appliances to help you with housework, and so much sunshine pouring in the windows that it's almost too bright sometimes. I love the character and beauty of this home, despite any of its flaws. In 2015, I'll continue to work on finding that same love for myself. The new, inspiring, wonderful words and messages will help.

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I bought all of these things with my own money and without any prompting from anyone. But just in case you want one of the pretties, I got them all from Garden Gallery Iron Works -- they have excellent customer service! You can also find Kelly Rae Roberts here.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

What I've Been Doing


I have two eagles that have been hanging out outside. They're stunning. This is the view from my parents' house through the spotting scope.

I've been a little busy. Moving into a new home will do that to you. I haven't been blogging because I'm either working on something or unpacking something or watching my father fix something or whatevs. The good part is that we're almost finished with our giant list of things to do...

First, we got rid of the broken toilet:


Then it was time to tackle that awful carpet:


We pulled it up and put down the new peel and stick tile, which instantly made my life SO MUCH BETTER. Because the carpet? It was black on the underside over by the bathtub. I still get the heebie jeebies just thinking about it. Oh, and just in case you're curious, there was tile under the carpet. Then hardwood. I left the old tile:


I learned how to take off and put back on baseboards during this process. It was my very first time using a crowbar:


I still haven't finished the threshold, but I'll do that at some point. There's a straight line of tile under there, I swear:


I went with dark grey for the accent color. I still need to get rid of that horrifying border. Baby steps:


As a final touch, I asked Pa to install two small corner shelves that I've been carrying around for the last 8–9 years. They now hold the Wizard of Oz Celebriducks:


Meanwhile, Alice got through her three week time-out and was reintroduced to the other meece. Pippa was still scared of Alice, but they got along just fine:


It was a great relief to know that Alice was no longer going to try to KILL PIPPA! They even all snuggle together now. I'm very happy about this because I was starting to wonder why I even had pet mice to begin with, but now it all makes sense again. They're adorable. That's Alice's white head resting on Pippa's orange body:


This is the "before" photo of the kitchen. As you can see, Grandma's flower wallpaper was going all along the top of the cupboards. Pa took that off, used the TSP, primed, and painted. THANK YOU, PA!!! Here you can see the white sink faucet and the old stove -- which turned out to be from 1987:


I learned that the stove had a problem when I was trying to bake polymer clay 1:12 miniature gummy bears for my miniature guild Christmas presents. They burned. Also? The house REEKED of propane:


I'd already had the whole house fill up with propane once before from this stove, so I decided to throw in the towel. I've always had a gas stove as long as I've been renting, and I know you're not supposed to be able to smell the gas from your bedroom that is in the "other wing" of the house. A 27-year-old stove would most likely cost more to fix than to replace. Also? Propane = GO BOOM. I don't want that to happen.

So like a good pseudo-homeowner, I decided to suck it up and buy my first major appliance. Here is my bottom-of-the-line brand new propane gas oven that is so cheap it doesn't even have a pre-heat or oven-on light. Whatevs. At least I know it won't burn my gummy bears! However, I do now see the extreme need for a new vent hood thing:


And I know it works like a champ and does NOT smell because I made a whole bunch of cupcakes last night and no stinkie. Success!!

Meanwhile, I asked Ma to help me out with a curtain project. It turns out that curtains are CRAZY F*CKING EXPENSIVE. And if you want one that only goes halfway? For some reason, they are even MORE expensive AND it's really hard to find pretty ones. I gave up and bought a cheap-ish full size one and asked Ma to cut it in half and sew a hem (PS: This was in between taking off the wallpaper and painting the kitchen -- notice the GREEN PAINT from my grandparents. Crazy green-loving people!!!):


Ma ended up doing a REALLY fancy good job with the hem. THANK YOU, MA!! Yay:


The white faucet could have stayed if it would have poured the water out like a normal faucet. Alas, the thing was stuck on spray mode, so you couldn't get a straight line of water no matter how much you tried. I ordered a regular faucet, and Pa put it in for me. Yay, normal water!!!!! I also discovered Grandma had a fancy pull-out drawer thing in front of the sink. I've been discovering all kinds of fun things about this kitchen since I moved in. It's The Best Kitchen Ever, basically. Go Grandma! And that little tool? It goes with the garbage disposal that I didn't know I had. SCORE:


Huff puff. We're exhausted:


I haven't been working on minis or doing any of the other stress-reliever type things I normally do, so I've become quite cranky and twitchy. I also have a raging wild mouse problem in my garage... and yes, in my car. Again. So there's that. And it's cold. Like REALLY COLD.

All work and no play makes Blondie a dull girl.  
All work and no play makes Blondie a dull girl.
All work and no play makes Blondie a dull girl.
All work and no play makes Blondie a dull girl.
All work and no play makes Blondie a dull girl.
All work and no play makes Blondie a dull girl.
All work and no play makes Blondie a dull girl.

I'm hoping to do something super fun soon. Stay tuned...

Friday, December 12, 2014

Making It Mine


When I first came to Briarpatch before I moved anything in, it was depressing. I wanted my grandparents to still be alive and welcome me at the door. But when I really think about it, I can't imagine Grandma the way she should have been -- the younger, healthier Grandma. My memories of her are almost entirely from when she had already begun her long decline with Alzheimer's. I don't like those memories. They're painful and sad. I was hoping that when I moved in here, I'd be able to reconnect with the Grandma of my youth, but so far it hasn't happened. I'm grateful that I have at least one grandparent popping up all over the place, though. Grandpa is alive and well in Briarpatch.

Grandpa was a master welder, so I keep finding things he has made. There's a copper letter holder in a drawer. There are brass sticks holding together the curtain rods in the porch. There are little shelves he made in the entryway bathroom. I love finding Grandpa hidden away where I least expect it. And then there are more obvious things -- scratches from his dogs on the front door and scratches from his parrots on the window sill. There is evidence all over that Grandpa Was Here. I love it.

The main thing that was here from Grandma was the flower wallpaper in the kitchen. When I originally started picking at it, Ma got sad for a moment. She said Grandma loved this wallpaper, and Ma has such fond memories of having coffee with Grandma right here in this exact spot. Sadly (or luckily for me because WHOA that's a lot of flowers), the wallpaper was stained and worn out. We quickly stripped it off (and we had the carpets cleaned):


There was a built-in desk on the wall in the kitchen that took up a lot of space. I have fond memories of children's books being in the drawers when I was little. But I still asked Pa to remove it. I've been slowly learning that It's OK to Make the House Mine. It's OK to Change Things. All of my relatives have told me it's OK -- to toss the old and bring in the new. But I still feel guilty changing too much. We took the desk and put it out in the shop just in case:


Under the wallpaper was GREEN PAINT, which didn't surprise me because everything in the house is green. My grandparents? They must have had a very serious Green Obsession. I was busy on a work deadline while Pa stripped the paper, put something called TSP on there, threw up a layer of Kilz, and painted the room a buttery yellow I'd chosen at the store (THANK YOU, PA!!!!!):


The yellow is so beautiful. It's very hard to capture it in photos. This was halfway through the job:


I decided cherry red and yellow would be the kitchen colors. I found a gorgeous red panel at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, but I only bought one because, so far in my renting life, I've only had single windows. I've since learned my lesson by trying each night to scoot the panel half an inch to the left or right to cover the window completely. I finally gave in and bought a second one. This dining room table is from Gran (Ma's mother), but the chairs are from Grandma and Grandpa. We used to bring them out of the entryway closet for large family gatherings. My parents have had them all this time, but now they've found their way home again:


When I was little, this phone was out in Grandpa's shop. It was rigged so that you could call the house from it so you didn't have to go all the way inside to ask Grandma a question. I've always LOVED this phone. I was so excited to find it still in the shop. Pa and I took it apart and cleaned the innards and put it on the wall. It's not hooked up, but I don't care. I don't use my home phone line anyway. My sister made the rooster needlepoint for me a few years ago. The farmie type art was found at a thrift shop. They all have pops of red to compliment the room:


I had to find a safe place for the plants, so I cluttered them all on a bookshelf. So far, Gretchen has been unable to reach them:


And then we have Gran's glass bookshelf -- further evidence of The Other Grandmother. It looks perfect where that old built-in desk used to be:


I feel like such a grown-up. I've never had a dedicated eating space in my home. Usually, the kitchen table is covered with miniatures or junk. I'm going to try very hard to keep this area tidy for any visitors. It's time to start new traditions and coffee dates. And maybe someday, someone will remember sitting right here -- with me.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Thank You, Purina Pro Plan!


Shortly after I wrote about my experience with Purina Pro Plan food, I was contacted by a kind Purina Pro Plan rep who wanted to send my babies some goodies. Aw, so sweet!!! We got four food bowls, a snack holder, two food mats (that have already been moved to my new house), and coupons for Pro Plan cats treats. HOORAY! Unfortunately, I got caught up in my move and completely forgot to thank Purina Pro Plan. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

Both cats are still loving the Purina Pro Plan Focus Urinary Tract Health Formula. Webster seriously BEGS for it each morning and will wander around the house chewing on paper and plastic until I give it to him. I'm so happy that he likes it that I don't even care. Anything to keep him from peeing in funny places!!

Meanwhile, I'm moving into my new house and out of this one, so almost everything I own is gone. I needed a new "toy" to distract the pet mice and see if Alice would stop attacking Pippa, so I grabbed the closest "new thing" and put it in the play bin. Erm, it was the Pro Plan bowl... So I bet Purina never thought they'd see this, but Agatha LOVES the bowl. Agatha is the grey one that is peeking out of the handle area on the bowl. She is crazy about nesting in there:


But anyway, back to the meows.

Gretchen says thank you so much!!!!!


And Webster says, "Thank you for saving my bladder!!!!!"


It's always nice when a company recognizes your pets. I wasn't expecting these goodies, so I'm very grateful. And soon, the bowls will be in their rightful place in the cat feeding area -- with perhaps the exception of that one white one...

It's hard to deny this face:


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For fun kitty pictures, see #MyGreatCat on Twitter or follow @ProPlanCat.