Another Reason To Stay In Southern Spain

My sister-in-law and brother-in-law were driving the other day from Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. This was their view on the four-lane highway as the day progressed.

(Click the images to make things more clear — Well, at least, the last three images.)

[NOTE: THAT’S NOT FOG; THAT’S SNOW!]

These were my views as the day progressed.

The Best Little Cat House In South Dakota

If you think Matt and Lindy are soft touches when it comes to cats in need (yesterday’s post), you should meet Lindy’s parents! They have a farm outside Pierre and have both farm and house cats. I can’t remember how many exactly — perhaps 15 inside the cool and stylish house and that many (or maybe 50, I get those numbers confused) on the farm. And, yes, they all have names.

If we lived closer, we probably would have begged to take a couple home with us!

(Click the images for a closer look. Go on. I know you can’t resist.)

WE HAD FARM GUIDES.
THE BOUDOIR. IT IS A CATHOUSE AFTERALL!
INSTANT AFFECTION. HE MADE OUR HEARTS MELT.

THIS ONE STUCK A FLOWER IN HER HAIR TO SEE US OFF.
“ARE YOU OFF, THEN? SO, WHAT DID I MISS?”

Gerald And The Cat House

I’ve told you about our really great, great nieces and nephew in Sioux Falls, but I haven’t told you about our really great, great nieces and nephews in Pierre, South Dakota. Our nephew Matt and his wife Lindy have given us 12 greats.

Don’t worry. That’s 12 cats. Lindy is a soft touch and has rarely met a homeless cat she wouldn’t take in.

I have many favorites at Matt and Lindy’s house (in addition to Matt and Lindy themselves), but Trooper is by far the most amazing and admirable cat. She has only three legs and sprints around the house easily. She’s sweet, outgoing, and unbelievably intelligent. She knows she’s not allowed on the dining room table (the other 12 apparently never got that memo). So, Trooper sits in her very own chair at the head of the table during dinner. Lindy passes her a morsel, which she politely accepts, after which she patiently waits for another.

TROOPER SAYS GRACE.
SO REFINED. NO ELBOWS ON THE TABLE.

Matt and Lindy had 13 cats when we were there in September having taken a friendly cat named Gerald home from Lindy’s parents’ farm. But they realized Gerald would never become a house cat. Primarily, he didn’t have much interest in the litter box and, despite having a houseful of cats, Matt and Lindy had never had a house-training problem with a single one.

Secondly, Gerald was just a bit too wild for the indoors. He kept doing things he wasn’t supposed to do. And, every time he misbehaved — like incessantly attacking Trooper as she slept — someone would yell, “Gerald!” which prompted San Geraldo to snap defensively, “What?!?”

Neither Gerald ever caught on. (I wonder if I should take San Geraldo back to the farm, too.)

AVA, WHO IS NOW SO LOVING, WAS TERRIFIED OF EVERYONE FOR YEARS.
IN SPANISH, HER NAME WOULD SOUND A BIT LIKE “ABBA.”
SO I CALLED HER ABBA THE HUTT.
GERALD GETS A TIME OUT. (AS IF!)
POLYDACTYL JOEY IN HIS FAVORITE POSITION.
GERALD (LEFT) AND TROOPER.
GERALD THEN JUMPED ON THE TABLE.
LINDY: “GERALD! BEHAVE YOURSELF!”
SAN GERALDO: “WHAT DID I DO?!?”
LINDY: “GERALD!!!”
SAN GERALDO: “WHAT?!?”



If you haven’t read how San Geraldo first learned about cathouses, click here.

Behave yourself!

One-Card Poker Face

The game is called One Card and this is the way San Geraldo’s South Dakota family plays it.

  • Each player is given three pennies (that’s three one-cent coins for my non-American readers)
  • Each player is dealt one card, face down. 
  • Ace is high. Two is low. The goal is to NOT end up with the highest card. 
  • The first player looks at their card and decides if they want to keep it or trade with the next player (if it’s a high card you usually pass it, low card you keep it). 
  • If the next player has to trade a low card for a high card, they will usually then trade that higher card with the next player. 
  • If a player is happy with their card, they simply say (smugly) “I’m good” and don’t trade with the next player. 
  • However, a player cannot refuse to trade cards with the previous player unless they have a King.  If a player has a King, they hold up the card and very obnoxiously make a loud buzzer sound (the best part of the game) to indicate that the preceding player is stuck with the card they don’t want. 
  • Once play circles the table and returns to the dealer, the dealer can choose to keep the card or draw another card from the deck. 
  • Whoever ends up with the highest card has to throw one of their pennies into the middle of the table. If there’s a tie for high card, each player must forfeit a penny. 
  • Once you lose all three pennies, you play on your “reputation” until you lose another hand. 
  • The last player to remain (either with pennies or on their reputation) wins. 

In September, we played at nephew and niece-in-law, Ryan and Emily’s house. As each player was knocked out, they kept someone else company. Our great-nieces (really, really great) traveled around the table. Their older brother (also really and truly great) played quietly… and stewed when he lost.

GREAT UNCLE JERRY CONSIDERS TRADING WITH ELOISE.
“ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO TRADE?”
ALICE GETS A CARD THAT’S NOT REALLY HIGH AND NOT REALLY LOW.
“KEEP OR TRADE?”
UNCLE JERRY: “YOU TWO ARE GIVING ME AWAY!
EITHER WORK ON YOUR POKER FACES OR LOOK SOMEWHERE ELSE!”
ELOISE MOVED ON TO GRANDMA… AND GRANDMA MOVED ON TO HER REPUTATION.

Can’t read my, can’t read my… No he can’t read my poker face…

Traveling With A Saint

We arrived home to Málaga yesterday (Tuesday) morning. I feel great at the moment. Well, not at this specific moment. OK, now I feel great again. But only at the moment. Jet lag and two months of non-stop activity and travel.

I have four gazillion photos to sort through and then share. But, don’t worry, I plan to hone that down to under three gazillion. Today I’ll simply share what it looks like to travel with San Geraldo.

It’s a good thing I don’t care about what anyone thinks (within reason).

On the other hand, San Geraldo is clearly without reason.

AMAZINGLY, NOT SAN GERALDO UNDER THAT BLANKET.
FLYING FROM NEW YORK TO MINNEAPOLIS.
COMING IN FROM THE SCREEN PORCH AT NEPHEW AND
NIECE-IN-LAW’S, RYAN AND EMILY’S, SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA. 
GREAT-NIECES AND GREAT-NEPHEW (ELOISE, ALICE, AND BENNETT).
THEY WARMED THEIR BACKS AT THE FIREPLACE AND THEN WARMED SAN GERALDO.
(THAT’S AN ‘ELOISE’ STICKER ON HIS FOREHEAD.)
AT A SUPPER CLUB IN SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA (MORE ON THAT LATER).
I HAVE NO RECOLLECTION OF WHAT WAS GOING ON HERE. (TOWEL AND FAN BOTH?)
BALLARD, WASHINGTON (IN SEATTLE).
TOO COLD. NO HAT.
BALLARD (AGAIN).
TOO SUNNY. NO SUNGLASSES.
NEW YORK TO MÁLAGA.
OK, EVERYONE WAS COLD.
PHASE 2. IT GOT A LITTLE BETTER LATER IN THE FLIGHT.
FED UP WITH ME AND MY CAMERA: “UH, JERRY, MAYBE YOU
WANT TO TRY AGAIN… WITH THE CORRECT NUMBER OF FINGERS.”
“THAT’S MY BOY!”