…what mystery stirs? Part 2

That Magic Hat, art & photo by dfav.

Items disappearing in our homes is not absolutely unheard of. At our home though, it is the type of items disappearing that dangle the possibility the missing items are a bit outside the norm. Socks lost in the laundry are one thing but here are items that are harder to explain in their sudden absence.

The first missing objects are multiples of the same thing. Brace yourself. Towels. Warned you it is a stunning theft. Yes, I wrote theft. At the end of the day when laundry is finished all the towels will not fit in the shelves and come sunrise gone. Poof. Like magic.

We use a lot of towels in our home. I can literally tell you how many of each color we have and especially the ones that were wedding presents. Even as I tap-tap the keyboard in a quiet house with no lights burning there is some thief with a towel fetish preparing to swipe some more. Our poor towels are innocently laying as bait for the Towel Thief.

Yes, yes it is true. Especially the wedding towels are old. Twenty-four years to be exact. Yes, they are showing their age. Even some that are five-years-old are showing wear and tear. Every dried load has me snipping loosed binding. Stray threads and lint haveto be picked off them with the tacky lint tape. (Do you think super glue would hold those threads together?)

The Ziploc filled with rubber bands. Not just ordinary rubber bands. BIG, wide-stretching, red rubber bands. There is one used to keep the trash bag from submitting to gravity and sliding into the bottom of each can in our home. My urge to always be prepared meant the package I bought had enough so when they break we can replace them at that moment.

These missing have not even put into duty yet and they are AWOL. Are the cats planning to weave them together and make a bungie cord? Is that what the latest construction like noises are from our daughter’s room?

Did perhaps my nephew and niece discovered the bands and decide to send their stuffed animals over the shelf cliff for their own bungie jump and it backfired? The animals went down and did not come back up?

My favorite sleep shirts. Always tossed into the delicate laundry basket after every shower one week they did not return in the clean clothes. Nor were they in one of the other separating hampers, behind the baskets, under the bed, mixed in with the dewindling towel supply or behind the washer or dryer.

Did they dissolve in the washer? Admittedly, they were in that comfortable stage of wear. But neither had holes (well one did but I sewed it up). None were fraying.

Which brings the road back to the washing machine again. There have been some loud bangs from it. When questioned about these noises she told us it was a little twisted indigestion because the towels were not distributed evenly in the tub. Again, socks, even underwear I could buy being “eaten” by the washing machine but entire nightshirts? Unless the washer hides the portal to the Land of Unfound Stuff I have to rule it out here.

Were is this stuff going? Simple, remember the magician I cleared earlier? I take it back. Yes, a magician unable to get work during this pandemic is keeping his skills sharp by levitating odd items out of our home. When we have finally turned out the lights Mr. Magician must pull up in the drive-way and with great concentration pull off his hiest for the night.

Probably using the towels as rags to wash and dry his coffinlike box he uses to saw his assistant in two in. The rubber bands Mr. Magic must be using to practice some magic trick involving the rabbit who is sick of being pulled out of that top hat. Maybe he needed some night shirts to replace the ones the rabbit used as bedding?

Again, it is quite the mystery, is it not? But, it is bedtime for me. Top of the list for when I wake? Investigate washer!


…what lessons have you learned from the felines?

25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

The Holy Bible, New International Version, Genesis 1:25 & 31, 1973, 1978, Zondervan Publishing Corporation

By now, if you are familiar with this blog, you must be acquainted with our daughter’s two cats. Meatball and Spaghetti. Both have black fur and are American Shorthairs. Spaghetti is most easily identifiable because when she “found us” she was sadly missing all but about 3 inches of her tail. (Which has finally healed. Hurray!)

These two wonder cats have set up school in our household. Here’s some of the things Meatball and Spaghetti have taught us. (Lessons in no particular order.)

Photo by KAV. Edited by dfav using PhotoGrid.

CATS ARE INDEPENDENT ANIMALS. It is true, cats are independent animals. In the wild they fend for themselves. As people we’ve domesticated certain animals to be “pets”. Initially though, in the beginning of existence they were wild. Their DNA is hardwired for self-preservation without humans doing the job. Nothing wrong with that, being who and what they are meant to be. We as humans forget that way to often, but cats will remind you. (Humans will too but that’s a subject for another days blogging.)

THEIR NAILS ARE ALWAYS SHARP: Meatball will kind of, maybe, sort of tolerate a very quick mani/pedi. My job is to do the actual snipping. Never too far up the nail. Never while Meatball is still moving. Our daughter holds the cat, captures and recaptures paws and gently positions each nail so I can clip it.

Forget those electronic “grinders” though. At the sound of one she will rip your internal organs out through your mouth. Seriously, do not think I am over-exaggerating. To accomodate Meatball’s preference (cough, cough) we clip.

As for Spaghetti, she was accustom to outside living when she came to us. Living 20 feet from a very busy road along with some other safety issues for her, she resides on our back screened in porch. (Which is larger than our daughter’s bedroom.) One of us brings her in when the outside temperature drops or bad storms roll in.

However, needed or not, none of us are brave (or insane enough) to clip Spaghetti’s nails. They resemble talons, embed in the carpet when she tries to walk on it and she has known great pain at someone or something else’s will. (Her tail didn’t naturally fall off.)

Because their nails are always sharp, they can accidently scratch you. Cats play too and will play with you. If you do something to them that frightens, threatens or hurts them though, their claws and their teeth will make their presence known.

THEY HAVE A UNIQUE LANGUAGE: I promise you if cats have curse words in their language then Meatball and Spaghetti will put the foulest mouth to shame. There are times when our cats get along beautifully. They are playing together or curled up, even grooming one another and then the fight is on. They hiss, they screech, they yell.

IT IS TRUE, THEY DO NOT LIKE WATER: Because of that the feline bath spa is not open for clients here. Spaghetti has, however, been subjected to one bath since her arrival. It was only because she had been injured. Two adults and four hands were little match for one cat, her teeth and four paws with razors on them.

Once though when Spaghetti was in the bathroom while my husband showered she did stalk the shower curtain. Just at the edge of the floor (its a roll-in, wheelchair accessible shower) he could see her walking one end to the other. Amazed, I guess, that anyone would willingly enter a “room” where it poured rain.

CATS DO NOT SUBMIT WELL TO LEASHES. Our daughter has tried, starting especially with Meatball when she was younger, to train both cats on being on a leash. Guess what? Cats are not dogs. Cats have instincts that refuse to submit to being on a leash and “walked”.

Owner:  "Look Spaghetti and Meatball.  See?  Other cats can be walked on a leash."
Cats: "If all the other cats jumped off a cliff, do you want us to jump?"
Owner: "Of course not.  Other owners have taught their cats to walk on a leash is all I am pointing out."
Cats: "Ah.  Well, you are not those other owners, now are you?"

Meatball simply sits or lays down and stares at you like you have grown two heads, maybe three. Instead of walking while you hold the leash, this one lifts up on her tippity toes and refuses to move, or allows you to pull her along.

Spaghetti? In a split second she can get out of a harness and be gone before you put her on the ground. (Hence her runaway gig a bit ago.) She’s a harness and leash Houdini.

CATS ARE NOT QUIET ALL THE TIME. Our felines are like kids in that when you do not hear or see them, you should jump up to investigate because they are into something. Recently my husband and I were in our room doing our own thing. Outside it is cold, and rainy so both cats were in our daughter’s room. Our daughter is at work. Then my senses hear the silence.

Me:  "Honey, what are the cats doing?"
Husband: "Oh, I'm sure they are fine, probably having a cat nap."

Splat! Something or some feline is greeting the wall in a personal way. Crash! There goes whatever they’ve managed to knock off or over. Bang! Hiss! Crunch! Louder hiss. Crash! Again with something bouncing off the wall.

By the time my husband reached the bedroom it was too late. Food and water bowls empty, contents everywhere, water mixing with the food and some litter into a truly disgusting sight. Litter box close to empty of all unused litter. Items from our daughters shelves laying helter-skelter in her floor. Cat condo knocked over. Toys scattered. Dirty clothes have been thrown out of the clothes basket. It was a mess. So cats are not always quiet and they are not neat and tidy.

CATS TREAT YOU LIKE YOU TREAT THEM. If you are kind to a cat, you have a much higher chance that the feline will be nice to you. If you aren’t chasing it, pulling its tail, or bullying in some way cats aren’t likely go to return the attention. Rough housing has its place but it isn’t with an animal (even one with talon claws and vampire looking teeth). Its one thing to play with your pet and another to bully.


Said yes to prayer. After months of wishing I could smack a man with a big stick.

Often, I can hear God laughing at me. You know those kind of times, right? When I make my own decision, my own declaration and I sound like an over-indulged, spoiled person instead of the Daughter of the King, the Lord God Almighty.

A couple of Sunday’s ago our church began a witnessing focus where we were encouraged to pray for the one person God put on our hearts to pray for. Specifically for them to come to know Christ in a personal relationship. First, I confess I prayed and thought, “Okay, I am good. No one…”

Then God whispered a name. I groaned. Right there in church I literally groaned and began to argue with the Lord.

This particular person is someone I have prayed for on and off until last year for about a decade. Some things he has done there is pictorial evidence of. About a year ago he was arrested for allegedly physically abusing his young son. Understand this, at that point my heart was too hurt (knowing quite well the child involved as well as his other children) to keep the praying going.

God never said, “Donna you can stop”. I think He understood all the circumstances and gave me a brief reprieve. Now, this man’s name was being whispered in my ear.

“Are you sure that’s You, Lord? I mean, You know what this man has done. And IT IS CHILD ABUSE GOD. Surely You do not mean I have to start praying for him again?”

Again his name echoed in my heart.

Then the best argument against my praying for this one man I had, I thought. “But God, I do not think having me pray for him is in his best interest. All I’ve wanted to do for a year is smack the man upside his head with my big stick.”

For the third time God repeated His request.

I knew if I wanted to be in God’s will in this I was going to have to follow through with what God wanted. Around the lump in my throat (all those excuses/reasons I had to not pray for this young man) I submitted.

After day one I have not had any resentment praying for this guy. I do not recount his sins even those against people I love. Proof God is in this praying.

God is still laughing about the big stick though. (It is two 1/2″ dowel rods duck taped together at the end of one against the end of the other. I use it daily to reach things I can not get to from my wheelchair. Like the light switch.)

Let’s be honest. Christian or not, it is not easy to pray for people who you perceive as a threat to you, your family, your faith or your way of life. Sometimes our perceptions are wrong. Sometimes it is the result of realities.

Finishing up my prayer time and Bible study time with God in these wee small hours of the morning and beginning to pray for another person it was hard to submit to doing, I hear God laughing. “Have we not been in this particular conversation before?”

“Well, yes God and I will do as You have asked. But, God, I do still have my big stick”.


…lost Spaghetti?”

Yes, if you ask me, Spaghetti was lost.

The phone call came from a sobbing young woman, anxiety ridden because one of her beloved feline companions slipped off her leash and shot up onto a heavily wooded mountain side at a local park. Our daughter (the caller) was beyond upset and she and her boyfriend looked for Spaghetti for five hours. Five cold, damp hours. Spaghetti remained AWOL.

All of us posted social media notifications. We prayed Spaghetti would turn up. My Mama heart broke as I helplessly watched our daughter grieve. Spaghetti had been a stray whose tail had been cruely divorced from her body. She literally followed our daughter home after the maintenance man threatened to kill her. Given that our daughter’s other American Short Haired black cat (yes, two, they look like twins) was named Meatball, it was a natural thing to call Spaghetti, Spaghetti.

Spent considerable time praying Spaghetti would again find her way to our house or show up at the park. The park office had been alerted to the lost feline. Despite what naysayers will feel the need to interject, God had His perfect arrangements made in advance.

Early the next morning we learn the cat has been spotted, catching mice out by the pump house. Father and daughter go out to hopefully bring her home. Turned out it wasn’t too hard. Though Spaghetti hid a bit, Daddy called to her calmly and Daughter put a bit of food out and Spaghetti gave up on being a runaway.

Our daughter says she’s grounded forever. Ah…those parental over reactions get us all from time to time.

Meanwhile, I can’t resist this adaption of “On Top of Old Smokey”.

Topped by the Meatball, all covered with fur, I lost my poor Spaghetti who jumped to the floor. Right off the table and zoom out the door, there went Spaghetti streaking like nevermore…way before summer she returned for her mush*.

*Spaghetti couldn’t return expecting kittens, we had her “fixed”.


…what tree topper for this tree?

Recently I was blessed to be able to go to a local retailer. For the last year with COVID-19, my husband’s health crisis and all the details around them including my mobility issues, getting out to do anything is a huge treat. On this exploration I found a unique tree that stirred my imagination.

Yes, it’s a Christmas tree. Yes, all the branches are pointed downwards and fluffed outward. Yes, it’s a silver wire sparkled up half of a dress form. Yes, it has angel wings. Yes, she’s leaning to one side. Yes, that’s it’s name, Lighted Angel Tree.

I have for years made angels without faces because the Bible tells us to be careful because we often entertain angels unaware of who they are.

“Do not forget to entertain strangers; for by so doing, some people have entertained angels without knowing.”

Hebrews 13:2, New International Version, 1973, 1978, The Zondervan Corporation.

My angels also always have a gift in their hands because no angel comes into our lives without some gift. But, I never make them without a head. They may be bald, yet never headless.

About an hour and a half later we went to see Coco. The story line was valuable. Remembering who you come from, your ancestors, has real value in helping you decide on your present life. Sometimes what we think we want, or who we want it from lacks all or most of the truth. Those blind spots can kill a dream. Or open up a door you never thought possible.

I was also struck by the colors. Bright, neon colors in the land for those who have passed away from this life and are still remembered where they because their business in this life is finished. If they go unremembered, eventually they fade completely. These beings live in a fantasy like world in amazingly colorful homes, clothes, spirit guides and the city itself is like a Christmas present on steroids with color, fireworks and color, so much color, patterns and textures.

Many thoughts entered my mind. One query I felt compelled to resolve was what kind of topper would you put on a silver angel tree with wings and no head?

  • Frosty’s head.?
  • A big red bow?
  • A big silver bow?
  • Santa’s head?
  • Santa’s hat?
  • Rudolph’s red nose?
  • A face mask?
  • Silver or gold star?
  • Purple and gold star?
  • A rainbow striped unicorn horn?
  • An angel?

This is no traditional holiday tree. It made me laugh initially. Later, as I pondered the topper situation, I laughed even more. Yes, the head of a lovely woman, even in silver, with a halo would be quite acceptable. But, expected. A less traditional form of that would be a wig stand, in silver, with a golden halo.

There’s also a top hat hung recklessly on the neck. Maybe add a cane and she might pass as a Rockette from the tinsel tree era.

Sometimes we ourselves have great ideas but we leave something vital out of the execution of it. Paul wrote something that reminds me of this situation. Saul, before he became Paul, had spent incredible energy on trying to rid the world of Christians. After his own conversion to Christianity he wrote:

“For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am and his grace to me was not without effect. No I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” (Emphasis mine.)

1 Corinthians 15:9-10 New International Version of the Bible, 1973, 1978, The Zondervan Corporation.

Maybe you’ll never design a headless body form as a Christmas tree leaving the rest of us to try and figure out what topper to put on it. Hopefully you’ll never try to eliminate Christians because you expect everyone to agree with you and your point-of-view. Yet we all make mistakes. We all need grace.

Mistakes sometimes mean you didn’t intend to do what you did. It was an accident. And sometimes it’s a mistake where you made a choice and you chose wrong. “But by the grace of God I am what I am and his grace to me was not without effect.”

Now you have a choice. Do you dull down your bright colors, flatten your presence out by being safe and believing you’re living in the grace of God? I challenge you though to consider how God’s grace in making you was “…NOT WITHOUT EFFECT”. You are who you are, flaws, mistakes and all.

“In his great mercy he has give us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or face—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”

I1 Peter 1:3b-5, New International Version, 1973, 1978, The Zondervan Corporation.

God needs serious thinkers, humorous people, creative people, He needs people from every part of humanity. His grace allows us to be His effective witness to a world muddy and nasty with wrong, with sin.

Might I suggest this:


Quote and art by dfav.

…did you give them something to talk about?

Funny you should ask that question. If you’ve read my blog before I hope you read “What crazy, unbelievable thing have you done for love”? (9/15/2020) In it I introduced our daughter’s cat named Meatball. An American Short-Haired cat. A black cat. Like the black cat people used to cross the road to get away from or refer to as a Halloween cat.

In many ways Meatball is a therapy animal for our daughter. She calms her anxiety and has certainly made her happier. When we went to a youth football game that our great-nephew was playing in and his sister was cheering for his team at. Meatball went with us.

Have you ever seen a cat at a football game? No? No one here ever had either!

From the reactions we got I can safely say a cat in the stadium gets a lot of attention. Kids wanted to pet her (and I must also say they all asked before they petted Meatball). Adults did double takes. Adults also made those just out of ear shot comments. “A cat? Who brings a cat to a football game?” (Do people really believe you can’t hear those snide remarks?)

Us, that’s who. We’re the people who bring a cat to a football game.

Meatball, is a very sensitive cat and didn’t find the game amusing at all. Our daughter is training her cat to be comfortable with being on a leash. If you picture a black cat walking regally out front of us, think again.

Meatball doesn’t yet grasp the idea that she can walk ahead or beside of one of us. Instead she rises up on the very tips of her claws and if they were metal, you’d see sparks coming off the asphalt. Carrying Meatball is still a better option if you don’t want people to think you’re abusing a cat.

The leash does keep her from disappearing when she decides to attempt to skirt away. Many of Meatball’s skirting away moments occurred each time a referee blew their whistles, or the crowd cheered and shouted. A leash only let her get so far.

Her anxiety level combined with the chill in the air caused her to tremble. Cat Mommy went to get a blanket from the car. I held her while trying to avoid her instinctive action to dig her claws into me preparing to climb around my head and launch off my back.

This one football game experience seemed to disturb her appetite too. She had no interest in anything that anyone had in their hands to eat. At home she will sit and stare at you, begging for a bite. Not at a football game no matter how cute our very youngest great-niece looked offering her a nibble.

Photo by dfav.

The longest period of time Meatball was absolutely calm and still was when Cat Mommy had our youngest niece and the cat in her lap sitting on the asphalt. Meatball and Maddie were nearly lulled into a nap but then the whistle was blown and the crowd was noisy. Maddie went toddling off to Mommy and Meatball tried to escape under the bleachers.

The rain started to dribble and drip and we decided to leave since loading and unloading my manual wheelchair takes extra time. (The game was called while we were getting in the car.) Meatball, it appeared, was much happier back in her carrier in the car.

Will we take Meatball back to a football game? Absolutely. If she’s going to be a therapy cat she has to be able to be calmer around crowds and even whistles. Besides, it gave people something to talk about!


P.S. No animals were hurt in the event described. 🙂

…what mystery stirs?

Personally, I love a good mystery. I’m not a huge fan of the current version of Halloween celebrated. Nor am I into gory, slashing, serial unnatural movies. A good psychological thriller or a true crime puzzle is more up my alley. We have a few mysteries of our own. During this mandated, stay-at-home, mask wearing period of history home is where we’ve been. Now our home is not large. Storage is at a premium. Still, things are disappearing. Here at night, gone the next morning. Not even the type items you’d imagine someone “borrowing”. For example:

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

The rolling pin disappeared right out of the utensil container from beside the stove. This one had a gouge in it on the edge. I didn’t use this kitchen tool often. When I do bake it doesn’t usually require a rolling pin. I had this one for 24 years. Yet, it disappeared as if it had never been a part of our kitchen equipment in the first place.

Other than the fact it is missing I can also assure you that no one has been walking around the house nursing a huge goose egg on their head, or asking to go to the hospital with an injury. So, I doubt it’s been used as a weapon, at least not in this household. Can’t really fathom what else one would use a rolling pin for. I know it’s gone though.

Perhaps it’s was destroyed by carpenter ants or bees? They could have slipped in, devoured something like a rolling pin in one overnight glut feast. True, we didn’t find any sawdust and the wooden spoons were untouched. Munching carpenter bees or ants could be a reasonable explanation, right?

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Silverware. Forks, teaspoons, butter knives are gone like smoke when the fire’s out. Did someone find putting these items in the dishwasher too much trouble and just tossed them? Is there some animal attracted to shiny utensils roaming our house? Despite the strainers on the drains are they clogging up the elbow on the plumbing and failing to send up a distress signal? Will the elbow get sick of them and chuck them back up at me washing dishes some day?

The rest of the items I’ll just group together as other MIA’s. Really though, if you put a Pyrex casserole dish in the dishwasher and go to unload the dishes only the casserole pan is missing, wouldn’t you have a few curious thoughts? The only Pampered Chef item I’ve ever owned was a large glass measuring cup/mixing bowl. I placed it securely in the bottom cabinet in the corner so it wouldn’t accidently get pulled out and perhaps broken. Poof gone. Followed by the small zester/rasp I had with it’s pink handle that fit my smaller hand so well. Whisked away.

Perhaps a baker needed these items more than I did? Or is that to logical a solution? I mean, how did this person know I had these items? How did they get them outside our house?

Imagine someone crouching behind the bushes levitating kitchen tools and dishes through a window or door they someone managed to get open. Maybe they managed to make a mold and had a locksmith create a key? Or they used some fairy dust to raise a window? Yes, that must be it. Sometime in the darkest hour of the night a desperate baker/chef crept into our yard and made away with the entire kitchen stash.

Photo by Vidal Balielo Jr. on Pexels.com

The most precious of all the items that disappeared is my NIV Study Bible. It’s precious because it is the word of God but there’s also the personalization of it. This particular one is around 25 years old, I purchased it with birthday money one year. I read, studied, and taught from it. There were tear stains on the pages. In the margins were notes, explanations, questions and scripture lists on the back and front inside covers!

It had gotten to be too heavy for me to carry to church but it was always handy beside the shelf by my bed. When using my lighter weight NIV Bible that since it is minus all the study aids, weighs a quarter of what the study Bible did, I could always reference it when I needed to.

Literally here one day and gone the next. Having it disappear feels different than if I had passed it on to someone who could use it. Since my husband has his own Bible and our daughter won’t touch one I have no idea where it is. No clue what happened. Or why.

Photo by Valeria Burdyka on Pexels.com

Finally, let’s not forget the sheets. Not entire sheet sets but a fitted sheet from this set and a flat from another. Washed, dried, put away and next time we’d go to change the sheets they were gone. So mismatched sheets on our beds is nothing odd these days. There’s only three of us who live in our home. I’m home, because of a lack of transportation that can handle my wheelchair, basically 24/7 and I’ve seen no one sneaking in to take the sheets. Maybe I’ll see them if I look at area Trunk or Treat events this Halloween. Some patterned ghosts haunting the scene? Should I wheel up and say, “Pardon me Ghost, but you’re wearing my sheet”!

That just leaves the DVD’s. Cases are here. No DVD. Maybe this one can be attributed to someone here, though know one claims the deeds. To my knowledge we’ve not loaned them out. We learned our lesson lending out books that are part of a series. We’ve replaced one book, Volume 4 of The Mitford Series three times.

Which makes me think this “borrower” has to be a new upstarting library seeking items to fill still bare shelves? They probably teamed up with that baker/chef hiding in the bushes. Did they get everything in one night? Or did it take multiple trips? Imagine waking up to go the bathroom in the middle of the night and glancing out the window to see your neighbors stuff flying through the air towards the bushes!

Sure, there has to be a logical reason all these things have disappeared. Right? No thief has broken in to take these items. We rarely have company and have had none since COVID-19 hit. It’s just the three of us. Has one of us lost their mind? Or plotting to make the rest of us lose ours?

Perhaps these items will reappear some day exactly as mysteriously as they’ve disappeared. Meanwhile, if you happen to see these items floating around in the forest, riding a stiff ocean breeze or hiding under someone’s porch could you direct them home? They know the address and no questions will be asked unless they want to share their unique experiences. LOL!


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