It's been awhile since I've done this blogging thing - I feel a little rusty. First, I should say that we gave away (I'm always tempted to say "got rid of," but that doesn't sound very nice) two of our little kitties a couple of weekends ago. I know that it's said that animals have keen instincts, and those kittens seemed to know that their day of separation had arrived.  They were just exhibiting really unusual behavior - hiding inside instead of playing outside like they normally would - and this was hours before the people who were going to give them a new home had arrived.  It was no treat rounding them up when it was actually time to hand them over to their new families either.  One cat lady got scratched on the hand trying to keep Chewbacca from escaping her makeshift kennel and was bleeding quite a bit.  I offered her a band-aid, but she refused and sort of ran to her car, toting a crying Chewbacca in a plastic file crate with a piece of a cardboard box for a lid.  I can imagine that he may have escaped that contraption before they reached the stop sign at the end of our street.  Two teenage girls also came for a kitten as their cat had recently "passed on."  We gave them Sam because he/she was the only one we could catch. So we were left with this one, Minnie.
Minnie!  The runt of the litter who would hiss at us and run away if we got too close!  In a way it felt noble to keep Minnie, like we were making some sort of selfless sacrifice since she was too shy and mean, and maybe too weak and small, to give away.  Much to our surprise, however, Minnie has turned out to be the sweetest, cutest kitten of all!  She must have really gotten picked on by her siblings because now that they are gone she has a completely different personality.  Anyway, enough about cats.  Although I will say that we bought one of those soaker hoses and all of the kittens loved to drink the water from that hose and that is what they are doing in that top picture.  And Minnie really enjoys sleeping in the shade of the green waste bin for some reason. 

We also recently found some cans of paint under the house and I repainted our steps and deck.  As you can see, even just one coat made a huge difference.  And best of all, it was a totally free make-over.  We always seem to be finding things like this at our house that previous tenants have left for us.  I always wanted some of those metal hanging flower baskets and Paul found two of them, in perfect condition, laying between the side of our house and the fence.  There was also this great piece of furniture someone left in our garage that we recently salvaged:

Can you believe that that was just sitting (on its side I might add) in our garage?  It was only partially painted, dirty, and covered with cobwebs but - with the aid of Paul's skateboard to get it out of the garage and into the house (skateboards are fantastic for moving heavy things!), and about twenty bucks worth of paint and new hardware for the drawers - we now have a nice big hutch with lots of storage space sitting in our dining room.  And partly due to the inspiration of that virtually free piece of furniture, our dining room is now going to become a little playroom.  In case you didn't already know, I've quit my job as the secretary at HCS and I am in the process of obtaining my license to have childcare in our home.  I'm really excited about it!  I've put out an initial ad to take care of a child from one family, as that is all I can do until I receive the go-ahead from the state.  So far I've only gotten two responses which I did not respond back to because I thought that they were weird.  One was from a man named Fetcher who said that he was temporarily visiting the U.S. with his son, but the way he worded the e-mail it sounded almost like he was looking for housing and not a nanny, or maybe even a wife.  He talked about how quiet and patient he was (not his child, but Fetcher).  He also asked for a full name and address to send the initial check to, in order to hold his child's spot.  Weird.  Needless to say, I deleted it.  I also deleted the first response I received mostly because in her e-mail the mom spelled the word "interested" like this: i-n-t-r-e-s-t-e-d.  I'm kind of kidding about that being the reason, but that did bother me and I did delete it.  Anyway, more on that later as more developments occur.  And I'll try to get Paul to post too.