Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


December 31, 2012

CATHIE SHAFFER: Hitting the highlights

ASHLAND — Impossible as it seems, another Christmas has come and gone and a new year is here. Now I’m not one for those annual family newsletters, but I do like to keep my friends and relatives enlightened as to the high points of my existence. So:

Adopting a new kitten as company for the older cat was a great idea. Letting the grandgirl who came to stay bring in a second kitten might not have been such a good one, especially since the babies are inseparable — and what one doesn’t think of, the other one does, and my dog Maggie uses her herding instincts to try to keep them in control.

Yes, I now know the true meaning of the word “bedlam.”

Shortly after that I finally gave up on my 1996 Lumina — nicknamed Old Blue — and traded it in on another blue Chevy which has been nicknamed Big Blue. Old Blue served well, but after replacing the engine, I wasn’t about to replace the transmission on a 16-year-old car.

However, my beloved beige sedan still lives. It needs a little TLC but I’ve handed it over to my oldest grandgirl for basic transportation. It seems only fitting since they both turned 18 this year.

Much to my daughter’s dismay, I got rid of the old bathroom scales. A year or two ago, I bought one of those fancy digital ones that keeps track of your weight and shows fat percentage in a replacement situation. The old scales were highly unreliable, showing your weight as 5 to 7 pounds less than it was.

Which was why it was my daughter’s delight. Every time she needed a little emotional nourishing, she’d step on that scales and decide things weren’t so bad after all.

Yeah, I know, I’m a horrible mother.

I have proudly continued the family tradition of never getting gifts shipped on time. I mention this because tonight after work, I’m packing up the gifts to go to my “up north” family and sending them. I’m blaming the delay on basically being housebound after surgery earlier this month, but they’ll know better. They have had umpty years of experience with me, remember.

Since the grandgirl moved in, my house is cleaner. The kitchen is swept and neat, the dishes are always done – and I can’t find anything anymore. Well, except the dishes that drift over from my daughter’s next door. And quit honestly, I kind like eating my cereal out of a different bowl once in a while, so it’s all okay.

Did I mention that my new car has remote start? That’s right. This detester of cold weather can sit in her house, start the engine on Big Blue and get into a warm car. Which makes me marvel once again at modern engineering which not only keeps me from having to freeze on the first 10 minutes of my drive but also lets me listen to six CDs in rotation and charge my cell phone as I go.

I did a little traveling during the past 12 months. One of the memorable trips was to visit my niece in Louisiana. Now I’m not saying I was tired at two in the morning, but if middle grandgirl,my traveling companion, hadn’t yelled “Deer!”, the nice rental car would have had a Bambi’s mom size dent.

Yeah, I know ... only I could miss seeing a full-grown deer on a deserted Louisiana back road.

I have one more holiday event to host and then it’s time to take down the tree and all the decorations. I’ve already developed a system for getting done quickly: I’m going to take the dog for a long ride, let the cats go wild and hope the grandgirl gets home before I do so her OCD-type behavior kicks it and it’s all cleaned up and gone before I roll back into the driveway.


Text Only
  • Lana Bellamy: Waking up America's youth: 4/18/14

    I once read a quote by a man saying the reason today’s youth do not have the same “spunk” as youth in the past is because they do not have inspiration.

    April 17, 2014

  • Mark Maynard: Let’s just forget about it: 04/17/14

    The older I get, the more forgetful I become. Does that sound familiar?

    April 16, 2014

  • Uncovering forgotten treasures

    You know the big difference between me and a hoarder? I mean, except that you can walk through my house and there are none of the disgusting aspects of hoarding in my life.

    April 14, 2014

  • Political stories worth retelling

    With Kentucky in the midst of the political season, it’s time to share some stories I’ve heard about the art of politicking.

    April 13, 2014

  • 0413timbizcolweb.jpg Tim Preston: Great salmon; finding Dr. Amy; and more Maria: 4/13/14

    It isn’t an especially convenient location unless you happen to be going that way, and if you don’t get there within the next couple of weeks you’ll have to wait until fall to try it out, but I had the best lunch I can remember last week at one of the last places you’d likely think of when pondering where to eat.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Restaurant horror stories; garden planning tips

    In my couponing classes, I always had fun with everyone by telling them gross restaurant stories. In encouraging them to eat at home more and save their money, I was also teaching them how much cleaner it is.

    April 12, 2014

  • Feeling happy is ...

    Anyone hoping the Ashland-Huntington area will soon overtake Disney World as “the happiest place on Earth” will be waiting awhile.

    April 10, 2014

  • 0410markcol.jpg Mark Maynard: Brick House (South Ashland Florist) brings in $13K so far: 04/10/14

    Here’s a 14-name salute coming your way:

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Cannon: Take this joint, please: 04/09/14

    Some of the things that occurred during our recent week in Jamaica were unexpected and even a bit weird. I suspect those will be the things we will still clearly remember long after the memories of the hours of lying on the beach have faded. I started to mention them in last week’s column, but opted to save them until a later date in the interest of length.

    April 8, 2014

  • AARON SNYDER: March Madness, sadness for Cats

    It’s just another game. That’s the message John Calipari preached profusely throughout the 2014 NCAA tournament. It’s typical coachspeak, but Cal’s young Kentucky team clung to the step-by-step approach to produce atypical results.

    April 8, 2014