Friday, June 30, 2017

Sepia Saturday 374 July 1 2017: Cat Play

I've had a few dogs in my day but for today's prompt, a dog and it's toy, I'm sticking with my cats.

Despite the head lock, Sandy—our cat, looks pretty content in my 1947 photo below, but as I recall she had to go outside in the snow and cold to pee. We had a stinky sand box in the basement Sandy would use in a pinch and which everyone hated cleaning. The year of this photo, everything changed - for cats and for cat owners. Kitty Litter was invented. From Bloomberg Business Week, Dec. 4th, 2014.

"In 1947, Ed Lowe was working at his father’s delivery business in southern Michigan when he had a brilliant idea: take some fuller’s earth (a type of clay) and sell it to local farmers for chickens to nest. He called it Chicken Litter.

The farmers weren’t interested—which is why Lowe had a big pile of it when a local woman came by. She’d brought her cat in from the January cold and needed some sand for her cat box. On an impulse, Lowe offered her some fuller’s earth instead.

The stuff turned out to absorb the ammonia smell of cat pee. The woman soon came back for more. So did her friends. After enough requests, Lowe put some fuller’s earth in bags, wrote KITTY LITTER on them, and dropped them off at a hardware store. The product sold, and it sold in supermarkets and pet stores. The market grew ever outward, from southern Michigan to the world.With an odor-free litter box in the house, cats could stay indoors and live compatibly with their owners. The biggest barrier to cat ownership was broken down for good. "

The Bloomberg report describes the invention of Kitty Litter as a disruptive invention and places it on a list along with the cell phone technology. Read the Bloomberg article here.
Strangling the cat with love. Little did we know the kitty litter box was on it's way.

That was seventy years ago. Here are our 2017 Somali cats with their toys. One likes to wear a Kleenex box, as if a suit of armor,and chase a stuffed mouse. He has a popcorn box he uses when he's after larger prey.

The older, more mature cat, is subtler in his play choices. He does imitations: Mrs. Tischel and Grouch Marx.

They have a "Tower of Power" which becomes a battle ground from time to time. When one of them sits on the top, the other tries to knock him off. Anything goes in these battles for the top. Often, the whole tower is knocked over and both cats are losers. I try to explain it to them, but the generation gap is too large to bridge. 

Do more than scratch the surface - climb the stairs over to Sepia Saturday and read other stories
about pets and their toys.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Sepia Saturday 373: Camping Ugh.

Mr and Mrs Foley and dog, of Waterford, camping at Tramore. (July 1918) National Library of Ireland
Camping, RV'ing, tenting...whatever you call it, it's not in my repertoire. The last time I accompanied friends in a RV for a weekend we parked in one of the beach lots along the coast here in California. The people in the RV parked next door had a drunken party until very late; people on the other side might very well have been a circus act. There was possibly a dozen and maybe more people sleeping in a vehicle designed for four. The whole scene was crowded, noisy and we had to take showers in a public facility, far from glamorous. Quelle horreur! I just don't get it. Our standard of living which we worked hard to attain, plunged to near-primitive status. We didn't get much sleep and couldn't do much with our meals. Our friends were having a great time; I was counting the minutes until I could go home, or to a nice hotel.

Maybe if we'd been camped next to Mr. and Mrs. Foley, pictured above, who look like lovely people, I would have been willing to try it again.

It's not that I don't like traveling...I love it. And I'm willing to sacrifice creature comforts to see sights around the world that require staying in remote places. But we get a big pay-off in the end. Not just the beach—with a few frisbee throwers, fat men in speedos and screaming kids. Uh oh...I should delete the last curmudgeonly sentence, but that's where I am in life. 

It's not surprising that I have no camping photos. My French-Canadian farm family did love picnics however and I have a few photos of them.

My grandfather, Hector Fortier, in the above photo is doing something with a frying pan and a tree. I hate to think there was a fire in there looks dangerous. I don't know who the others in the photo are but they are clearly enjoying themselves. Hector has been marked "HF". My grandmother in her late 90's marked up many of her photos...probably because she could no longer remember the people. Some of her photos have only scribbles on them—I suspect she had some dementia. 

The second photo is of my grandparents, Hector and Pulcherie with three of their children: my mother Jill, Addie and Jean. They are enjoying a feast of Paulin's fancy biscuits or they were shooting a commercial for the product. The biscuit box seems too prominent in the photo for accident. Plus my grandfather's hand looks posed. My mother on the right was never so casual and that curl on her forehead??


Last I have a few photos from a walking tour my husband, friends and I did a couple of years ago in Japan...the Nakasendo Way, which is a walk from Tokyo to Kyoto along an historic route. We had a glorious time and most days picnicked along the way. At night we stayed in very comfortable Ryokans and ate beautiful meals. Close enough to camping for me. 
The ryokans supplied the kimonos every night.

We were so exhausted from walking all day we could have slept anywhere.
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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Sepia Saturday 371: A Grumpy Old Man?

It's the box! As soon as you get rid of the box in the photo, the disgruntled gentleman in the prompt looks a bit happier. My wild guess (with no evidence whatsoever) is the man is a creative soul trapped in a terrible job making wooden boxes all day long. Doesn't the scarf look artistic? Or am I reading too much into it? Without the box, one might imagine he's on the verge of saying something. 

A sketch treatment cleans up some of his wrinkles and makes him look thoughtful and scholarly.

 With the addition of a film strip frame, he looks like a character actor.
 And I think his looks are improved considerably when he's presiding  over the thousand dollar bill.

 I hope he wouldn't be offended by an Instagram alteration of his face...just for a laugh.
Finally, I think he looks very engaged when transported to a place he couldn't in his
wildest dreams have imagined. I really enjoyed putting him here.

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