Monday, March 31, 2008

Why Cats Do That Thing?

Cats need to knead. Nobody knows much about why cats do anything. There are many notions but few dependable facts. The usual suspects are: The cat is reverting to kitten behavior in which the mother is not producing an immediate supply of milk and the kneading opens the gates. Seems reasonable and likely. I have many cats. Actually I have two, they just seem like many. One kneads often, the other-never.Some suggest that the cat who kneads in adulthood was weaned too early. Maybe so. (I guess I should explain that ‘making biscuits’ is a colloquialism for kneading. Sounds good to me).Some say that the cat who kneads in adulthood was weaned too late. For this we need scientists?Who can say? Purring is even worse. It seems that cats purr as they are dying. How does that relate to all the happy purring? The kiss of death? No, that’s a whole other scenario. Purr them an offer they can’t refuse. I don’t know.The Rising Rump Syndrome is another matter and cannot be discussed without adult supervision.Some of my two cats are chicken and some are bold. I say some because they switch sides; one day chicken one day bold. They sniff-to-death things they have sniffed for years as if they had never sniffed them before. I bring in a new object; they don’t know it exists. Two days later it is the exclusive property of one and the other should drop dead before touching it.I bring home an elegant cat toy full of catnip and bells. They play with the bag. I’m gone for a week and a neighbor feeds them. I come home, they never heard of me.A stranger comes to the door, they run for the hills. A friend they have met a hundred times comes to the door, they run for the hills. I come home from shopping. They yawn.I’m trying to watch television; plop, right in front of my eyes. I go make dinner, plop, right on the counter. I go to the bathroom; plop, all over me.Now I want to pet and cuddle; sorry, sleeping time. I run the vacuum, I’m Frankenstein. I get a piece fish; oy! What can I tell you?People write books about cats. What do they know? All they got is facts. You want to know about cats? You don’t want to know.

Maxine and Her 5 Boyfriends

MAXINE AND HER 5 BOYFRIENDS! I am seeing 5 gentlemen everyday. As soon as I wake up, Will Power helps me get out of bed. Then I go to see John. Then Charlie Horse comes along, and when he is here he takes a lot of my time and attention. When he leaves, Arthur Ritis shows up and stays the rest of the day. He doesn't like to stay in one place very long, so he takes me from joint to joint. After such a busy day, I'm really tired and glad to go to bed with Ben Gay. What a life! Oh yes, I'm also flirting with Al Zymer. P.S. The preacher came to call the other day. He said at my age I should be thinking of the hereafter. I told him: 'Oh, I do it all the time. No matter where I am in the parlor, upstairs, in the kitchen, or down in the basement, I ask myself: 'Now, what am I here after?'

Sunday, March 30, 2008

But, dahlin, I want this Tara

Oh, if only I had a Rhett Butler to buy this "Tara" for me. I suppose all the Clark Gables are "gone with the wind." ( pardon the pun)I saw this home in The data was posted by the present owner. It is for sale at a reasonable price if all the furnishings remain. My concern ..who would do the dusting cause Ms Scarlet, " I don't nos nuttin bout cleanin." I do delcare that ,frankly, at this age and stage in my life, I really don't give a d..... about caring for a home this large. BUT, if I can sweep a Rhett off his feet, I might do a little "dustin and cleanin" myself. Pass the Swifter, peleeeze.

The Benjamin Ellis Home (29 Pics)

This wonderful home is located in Orrville,AL in Dallas County Alabama. It was built in approximately 1850. I have been told that originally it was the Orrville Boys Academy. For most of its life it was the home of the Ellis and Dunaway families. Benjamin Ellis, a confederate veteran and prominent merchant, lived in the home for many years and left it to his heirs. They owned it until the late 1970's. There are still pictures and furnishings in the home that belonged to the Ellis family. The home is a wonderfully preserved example of a Greek Revival with huge impressive columns in the front and a large front porch The house is in excellent condition.
The home is about 5,000 SF with 5/6 bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths. There are 7 fireplace mantels in the home. The doors and woodwork are original. The home has hardwood floors throughout. While it has been thoroughly updated, it retains its historic charm and country feel with old features throughout (doors, trim, windows, etc.). It is located on a residential street in a small town. It is located about 15 miles outside Selma, AL. Selma has one of the largest intact historic districts in the state. The original state capital, Cahaba, which is now a ghost town, is only about 10 mintues away. There is really a lot of neat historical stuff nearby. I have met a lot of nice people in the area and living here is a great chance to enjoy the deep south. Orrville is centrally located to a lot of Southern cities: New Orleans is about 300 miles away, Birmingham 110 miles, Montgomery 60 miles, Mobile 143 miles, Huntsville 200 miles, Atlanta 226 miles, Tallahassee 270 miles, Pensacola 163 miles, Memphis 318 miles, Chattanooga 258 miles. The climate in the area has very mild winters. Snow is rare and the coldest month of January has an average high temperature of 55 degrees and an average low of 33 degrees.
My primary residence is in Sarasota and I have used it as a second home (and allow family members to use the home). We love the home and the area but we are just not using the home enough to substantiate keeping it and so have reluctantly decided to put it on the market. Sarasota (and Florida in general) is known as a retirement destination. What many retirees are coming to find is that Florida has it's drawbacks. Hurricances are a threat that many find too much to handle and the accompanying insurance comes with outrageous premiums. Real estate prices in Florida have skyrocketed and it is a very unstable market. Florida property taxes are high. I own a mortgage company and I can tell you that you can own a historic mansion in my home for what it would cost you to buy a very modest middle class home in Sarasota. That being said, the property taxes in Orrville are about $900 a year and my homeowners insurance is about $1,300. In Sarasota (or other parts of Florida) you would be looking at maybe $2,700 for the taxes and $3,000 for the insurance on a similar priced home. IN Florida we are experiencing a term called half backs: retirees that retire to Florida and then relocate to other southern states (Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina) to secure a mild climate with a reasonable cost of living. Why not look at Alabama from the start. Orrville is a great destimation for someone who will enjoy a slow pace of life in a rural setting. The nice things is that you are only 15 miles away from a good sized city and an hour away from the State Capital in Montgomery. There are several small business in Orrville (hardware auto parts, convenieince store, mom and pop grocery, restaurant and post office) so you do not have to leave town everytime you need something. You are only a few hours from the beaches and the convergenece of the Alabama and Cahaba rivers is only about 10 miles from the house if you are a boating enthusiast.
There are just not that many of these types of home left. This one has always been well maintained and is now in ready to use condition. An old house can be very expensive to restore but in this case it has really been done. The roof is only a few years old. The previous owners wrapped the house in vinyl that looks like the original siding. I am kind of a history buff so I probably would not have done it but since owning it can appreciate that it looks as good as the day it was installed and does not need maintenance like paint (think of what ti would cost to paint regularly). The porch was recently rebuilt. I had a contractor get under the house (it is raised piling construction) to inspect the structure and he determined everything to be very solid and sturdy. All of the electrical and wiring has been replaced. Nearly all of the plumbing from the road to the actual plumbing fixtures has been replaced. New insulations has been installed throughout the attics. The interior electrical fixtures have been restored or replaced. The interior has been painted in decorator colors throughout. There are beautiful window treatments throughout. The hardwood floors have been refinished. There are three newer central heat and air units. Using these, you can choose to heat or cool sections of the house differently to keep your costs reasonable. Additionally there are heating units in several areas of the house if you choose to heat a small area (you can for example keep a part of the downstairs at 65 degress and heat the room you are in with an individual unit to 80 if you like to do so). The heat is propane. We have city water and septic (which i have also been told was newer when I bought the house). I have never had a problem with it.
Downstairs there are 12 foot celings and upstairs 10 foot celings. The butlers pantry adjacent to the kitchen has a huge built in unit. Three of the 5 or 6 bedrooms have large closets. We left the kitchen with older cabinets and porcelain sink when we restored the house because we wanted it to look like Grandma's country kitchen circa 1950. It does have nearly new appliances. The baths have been redone with octagonal ceramic tile and wainscoting. The downstairs bath has a large clawfoot tub and a stained glass window. The house has a great floorplan and is great for entertaining. There is a large storage area upstairs. The home and outbuildings have a monitored alarm system.
One of the things that appealed to me about the property was the grounds. The four acres (all maintained) have dozens of mature pecan trees, oaks, magnolias, and all kinds of blooming plants. There are about 8 outbuildings including: a guest house, a workshop, a brick greenhouse, a smokehouse, and numerous other storage buildings. Some of them have been restored, some need work. My most recent project has been the guest house. The former cook for the owners of the home lived in it for years and when I bought the home it had been vacant for probably 25 years. It was an absolute hazard. I used materials from other old sharecropper houses (neighbors allowed me to dismantle) to restore it. This house is shown in two of the pictures and the inside is the picture with the work materials on the floor. It is now a 2 bedroom 2 bath house. It has a large front porch and a nice rear porch. It fronts a residential street and views a nice field in the back corner of the property. It has been strucutrally restored. It has a new 200 amp electric service all brand new (with seperate service meter). It has electric central heat and air. The plumbing is all new. The water is supplied from lines form the main house. Each bath (still in progress) will have a shower, a clawfoot tub, and a pedestal sink. The kitchen has newish appliances. There are nice ligth fixtures and fans throughout. I wamted a rustic country look and for someone who likes that feel they will love it. The front of the house is about 16 x 30 open kitchen family room area. The home has nicely finished rustic hardwood floors throughout. This would be a great rental property or home for guest or family members. The inside is a work in progrerss and is nearing completion and the outside has not been restored. I will continue to work on it as long as I own the home.
This property would make a great large family home or a second or vacation home. As the sup[ply of these homes is so limited, I am sure that it will be a good long term investment. It is still miraculous to me that you can own such a fine home for such an affordable price. I am offering the home at