A disagreement over the cat

pretty kitty
Olive Bear is now an indoor cat.

My husband and I disagree about shaving Olive. She’s a long-haired cat and is shedding like crazy. Our kids are coming to visit us soon. Our son is super allergic. My husband thinks I should take Olive to a groomer and get her a lion cut. That it will help our son’s allergies.

I googled about shaving cats and it’s mostly negative. The sources said you CAN get a cat shaved, but it’s not a great idea.The hair protects cats from heat and cold. Their fur is their natural insulation. Getting shaved is something I know my cat will freak out about.

She’s a scaredy cat and doesn’t like anyone except for me, my husband and my daughter. When people come over, she hides. When we leave for more than a few days, she is boarded. Olive howls the entire few miles drive in the car. She demolished the cardboard carrier I bought at PetSmart with her claws and teeth. The employees in the boarding place were afraid to get her out of her “suite.” when I came to pick her up. I had to do it. Then the cardboard carrier collapsed as I walked to the car. It was a frightening experience for both me and Olive.

So, how do you think Olive will feel driving to a pet groomer, being around strangers and barking dogs to be groomed? Once she gets home I’m sure she’ll hide away for weeks. She’ll be super mad.

I think you can tell who has won the debate on whether or not Olive gets a haircut.

What are your thoughts about getting a cat groomed? Should we or shouldn’t we?

cat walking on window pane
Olive at our old home where she was an indoor outdoor cat.

If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…

USA Swimming Select Camp
My daughter at a Select Camp in Florida with USA Swimming. Yoga on the beach. 24 were selected from the US to attend via certain criteria. She’s on the left with long red hair looking down.

When my daughter was in high school she was bullied by a few girls on her swim team. It seemed to me the better she got, the worse these girls treated her.

Once, one of her friends overhead her teammates cursing and talking about my daughter in class. You can read more about that and earthquakes in “When Kids Talk Trash About Your Daughter and You’re in an Earthquake Kind of Mood.”

Should the close friend, who overheard this garbage, have shared it with my daughter? Maybe it would have been better for my daughter to not hear it.

Or, is it better for her to know the truth? Even if it hurts?

Were her friends being kind by telling her? Or were they just as mean as the one that originally said it?

Should the friend have kept her mouth shut?

And about those people who talk trash about others… If you’re tweeting, posting or saying something mean and unkind, it’s bullying. Knock it off. Find something useful to do. Remember the old adage, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

What are your thoughts?

(FYI, I found this in my drafts folder from years ago. I still don’t have the answers to my questions.)



Update on updates

Olive is not convinced this harness and leash is a good idea.

The updates all began because my husband’s wallet went missing in action last Friday. We didn’t even leave the house, but poof! It’s gone. So we cancelled the debit card, the credit card, ordered a new driver’s license, etc.

Then I started getting notifications of charges not going through that were attached to the missing card we cancelled.

Yesterday, I tried to update the payment method on our Apple account. It didn’t work. I went to Apple support and was instructed to update my iphone. In order to do that, I first had to update to MacOS Big Sur on my laptop. To do that, I need to open up 100 gb or so of space. It went on and on.

This morning with everything updated — and backed up — I discovered that my passwords didn’t transfer to the new operating system. I couldn’t get email. Couldn’t log into WordPress (you can see I figured that one out.) I was locked out of my Google account and Facebook. I wondered whether I should create a new password for FB or maybe this is a blessing in disguise?

I still can’t update the payment method on our Apple account. It turns out we are on a family sharing plan — and my son is listed as the account manager — with my husband’s cancelled credit card. And the email address for my son is the one he used as a 12 year old! UGH!

As far as Olive’s update: the harness and leash arrived last night. I had no problem putting it on her, but then she totally freaked out and ran under the bed, through the living room back to the bedroom and hid in our closet. Then flattened like a pancake and wouldn’t move. I could pick her up and transport her to the bed and she laid flat. I put her on the patch of grass in the living room we got for her and she laid there lifeless.

cat in harness on Fresh Patch kitty grass
Olive on the Fresh Patch kitty pack

Then she disappeared. I eventually found the kitty on the top shelf of my closet. For not being able to move in the harness, a miracle must have happened.

Eventually I took her out of the harness for the evening and she calmed down. I tried it on her again this morning. I held her as I opened up the screen door and we sat outside for a while. She seemed fascinated with the fresh air, the smells, watching the birds fly. She was content to sit on my lap. Then she ventured down to the ground and the leash upset her. She pulled away and ran around the corner of our house. I got worried she was going to slip out of the harness while I held onto the leash for dear life. I opened the screen door to our bedroom and she reversed course and ran under the bed. I got the leash off, she is safe inside but still wearing the harness. I can’t find her and haven’t seen her for three hours.

UPDATE ON “UPDATE OF UPDATE:” I searched the house for Olive all day long. She’s been missing since 8 a.m. and we were going on 11 hours. I was calling her. Having the flashlight mode on my camera. Looking into every nook and cranny. Couldn’t find her. I found a can of salmon canned kitty food that I made a production of opening for her throughout the house (she eats Friskies dry Ocean Fish Flavor). I searched everywhere. Many times. Once I thought I found her in the Casita closet. But alas, it was my daughter’s fur-topped Sorel snow boots from her years at Utah U.

Olive was still in the harness/vest that distresses her. Her angry mode is still weighing down on her.

After my dinner my husband said, “I’ll find her. Or leave her alone and she’ll come out of hiding.” He found her next to the Sorel boots in the Casita closet. What a smart Camo Kitty.

cat on top shelf of closet.
Olive on the closet top shelf.

What she thought about our new home

It was a relief. My daughter spent a few days with us in our new home. She likes it. She likes the area where we live — even though it’s not California. It’s in Arizona.

profile of a pug's mug
Waffles, my daughter’s pug.

Her first job out of school was in Arizona and she has terrible memories. She took the job because the company flew her to Scottsdale from Utah. They put her up in a hotel, they took her out to dinner. She was swept off her feet. It was in her father’s field of investments So, it all seemed perfect to her. But it was far from it. It turns out taking a job to get your parent’s approval may not work out.

She lived in a house we purchased in a quiet family neighborhood. Not at all the best spot for a 22 year old — unless complete isolation and living next to boomers is your thing. Then her house got broken into and ransacked. The only good thing about that is they didn’t steal her pug. They locked him in the garage. Eventually she quit her job, got another one plus nannied in the early mornings for a single mom. She got hired for dream job in the Bay Area and moved up there. That worked out fine until COVID hit.

Fast forward to December 2020 and we moved to Arizona and she told us she would never come visit. She doesn’t have good memories of her one year here. I kept telling her although our address says Scottsdale, it really isn’t. I told we were out in the “sticks” as my hometown was called growing up. We’re far enough out of the metropolitan area to have a whole different feel.

beautiful maine coon
Our queen bee Olive.

She was surprised how far out of town we live. And she loves the nature. We watched a dozen javelina cross the street including babies at sunset. She enjoyed the bunnies and quails romping through our yard. She loves our house. She’s planning on another trip soon to visit.

The only snafu was Waffles. Olive was sleeping under our bed and Waffles decided to charge her at 4 a.m. We heard the kerfuffle and Waff flew out from under the bed. Olive stayed put.

The next day our daughter wiped a booger from Waffles’ snout. It turned out to be a claw embedded through his skin. There was no more trouble from Waffles and Olive after that.

Ancient saguaro cactus with a dozen arms
The nature trails across the street. I wonder how old this saguaro is?
saguaro growth chart

When Kids Talk Trash About Your Daughter and You’re in an Earthquake Kind of Mood


My daughter came home from school today and told me that one of her best friends overheard some friends talking trash about her in class. But, because we woke up to the news of an earthquake in Los Angeles, I’ll save the trash-talking story for another day!

Just last week, another swim parent and I said at the exact same time, “This feels like earthquake weather.”


If you don’t live in California, you might wonder what earthquake weather feels like. We locals just know. You can feel it. It might be gray instead of sunny. The air feels heavy. There’s a weirdness that you can feel. Here’s the California government website disputing all I just said and what we “feel in our bones.” And your animals might be doing extraordinary things.

olivetpThe other day when the swim parent and I said that it felt like earthquake weather there was a 6.9 earthquake in Northern California. The next day, an earthquake struck an hour away from my son’s college. Then this morning, the one in Los Angeles.

I have an alert set up to my phone from USGS that reports big ones to my phone, in real time. The USGS website is a great resource to see what’s going on around the world. This past week looks like a “ring of fire” around the Pacific.

So far, though, the big one hasn’t hit us here in Palm Springs — where we sit on the San Andreas fault. Knock on wood.

And the fact that a supposed friend is talking behind my daughter’s back really puts me in an earthquake kind of mood.


Here are three questions:

1. Do you believe in earthquake weather?

 2. What do you advise your kids to do when they hear someone is talking behind their backs?

3. What’s the largest earthquake you’ve experienced?

Alpha Moms and “The Cupcake Wars”

dolls (3)

If you’re an involved Mom — i.e., room mom, PTA vice president, Scrip mom, etc. you might find yourself ensnared in what I fondly remember as the “The Cupcake Wars.”icecreamcake

On any normal morning, I’d drop my young kids off at school, smothering them with last minute kisses. The coffee klatch moms, led by their queen bee, wore matching short skirts, strappy sandals, and perfect pedicures. I felt the heat of their stares as they gathered in a cluster. I used to be in the inner circle.  What happened?


What did I do to get ex-communicated from the Mom’s Clique? One morning, I woke up and realized I didn’t have one iota of strength to fight over centerpieces for fundraisers. I no longer cared who chaired which committee, or who sat with whom at which table. I flat out disagreed with a war against one mom’s joy of baking works-of-art cupcakes instead of the required chocolate chip cookies.  Not that these aren’t worthy and high goals, but I’ll leave cupcake massacres to the queen bee.

images-5We women are trained from childhood not to fight or be aggressive, and to be “nice.” We love to share secrets and confidences with our friends. But if a woman feels threatened, she may be afraid that her secrets will be revealed.  She could clobber you with her fists, but it’s more likely she’ll resort to indirect aggression, a skill we’ve honed through the ages. Or, she’ll attack some mom’s cupcakes! (I learned about this from my friend Susan Murphy, Ph.D.)  She says,”Catfights result when the power and self-esteem among women are not kept in balance–a violation of the Power Dead Even Rule.” (Read more about the Power Dead Even Rule in her book “In the Company of Women.”


Back story on “The Cupcake Wars”: At our kids’ school, you could earn your volunteer hours by baking for hot lunch. Chocolate chip cookies were the standard fare. A friend of mine bakes incredible cupcakes (see photos) — she should open a cupcake business — they are that good. But, the cute cupcakes so distraught the moms baking chocolate chip cookies that the school board banned the baking of cupcakes altogether! The board felt it caused too much turmoil in the lunch line because there weren’t enough to go around. So, rather than try to work out a solution, i.e. rotate the cupcakes each week to a different grade, or having them on a first-come, first-served basis — they said no more cupcakes. They left it up to me to tell my friend that she could no longer bring cupcakes to school! Which was totally wrong, since I strongly disagreed with their decision. My friend couldn’t understand why her fun, delicious cupcakes were banned — and why they didn’t inspire other moms to be creative — yet it was okay to drop off a box of Chips Ahoy. (So, then I campaigned for “Fresh Fruit Fridays” — a story for another day!)

3539053509_f64da7a86dAre there any rules at your school, either as a parent or way back when you were a kid that didn’t make sense?  If so, what are they? I’d like to know!