I have no idea how Dawn became Pussum Cat. I think James was trying to say Pussy Cat and it came out that way. Anyway, Dawn was mostly called Pussum. He loved it.
Yeah, that’s right. HE loved it. Two small kittens were curled up in the flower bed in front of our house one freezing rainy day. James was three I think. Mama Cat wasn’t around. Snell ran to the vet and bought special milk for kittens and we put it as close to the babies as we could. Long story short. James named them. Kissy and Dawn.
Kissy never warmed to us but would wander through periodically. Dawn was a bright young kitten and knew a good thing when she saw it. She stayed and let us pet and humor her.
Finally, one day Dawn started getting into our laps and letting us really hold her. She had to be neutered. We didn’t need any more cats to take up with us. The vet said Dawn was male. Well, gender identity was never one of our stronger traits. Don’t believe us…Delilah became Samson, Lilac the rabbit became Smokey, Figaro looks like she has a pair but is female and the Queen of the house. We need to choose genderless names.
Dawn knew his name. He and Puddles, the Puppy-Dog (oh I know, but …) loved each other. He made his way into the house and there he stayed. Forever.
Dawn was an amazing cat. Tolerant of a toddler who loved him. Answered you when you asked him a question. “Want some chicken, Pussum?” ”yaa,” he answered.” “Want some turkey, Dawn?” “Nah”. He didn’t care for turkey at all.
He and Snell loved to watch baseball and football. Really, Snell loved to watch the ball games. Pussum loved peanuts and potato chips. As long as Snell watched the game and would hold a peanut or chip down for Pussum, he sat right there. I had to buy one particular brand of potato chips because Pussum loved them. Snell would eat anything, but the cat had to have Lays regular potato chips. He would eat a bar-b-que chip every now and then, but that wasn’t his favorite.
Dawn went in and out of the house. Our fenced yard kept Puddles from going out, but Pussum did roam a little more. Out backyard neighbor had a small farm with a few cows. Dawn visited there. When it was time to come home, all we had to do was open the back door, clap three times, and before we could yell Dawn, we’d see the white shadow headed our way.
Before coming into the house, he shook his feet. A clean kitty, was he.
Have you ever tried to give a cat medication? How many stitches did you get?
I put his medicine in a little milk and he drank it. A pill? Hold him and put the pill against his lips. He swallowed it. This was a cat in a million.
We love our pets because they are our family. We grieve over them, continue to miss them, and write little stories about them to keep their memories alive. Our four legged family members usually live around 18 years. We have our own cemetery. And yes, he is buried in the front yard cemetery and his complete name, Dawn, Dawn the Pussum Cat, is engraved on his tombstone.
So lift a saucer of milk to Dawn, Dawn, the Pussum Cat. Long may his memory live.
I write the Anything Goes column for Inspirations for Better Living magazine.
The parent company has a radio show Every Wednesday. I was interviewed for this Wednesday's feature.
I hope you will be able to listen in. I would appreciate it very much.
The link is below.
Interview with Marlene Rutledge Buchanan and Lynn Hesse at the S. SinC meeting, Monroe Walton County Center for the Arts.
Make September 9 a World Wide Holiday!
Nancy Maria Donaldson Johnson (28 December 1794 – 22 April 1890) was awarded the first US patent for a hand-cranked ice cream freezer in 1843.
Sainthood may not be good enough an honor! Ms. Johnson invented the hand cranked ice cream churn as a way to reduce the time required to make ice cream. Ice cream was originally made using very intensive labor over several hours. Johnson essentially created a way to make ice cream faster and easier.
Originally, there were many steps to creating ice cream. President Thomas Jefferson had an eighteen step recipe. Johnson’s brilliant idea changed ice cream making into a much easier and faster route to happiness. On September 9th, 1843, Patent numberUS3254A was issued for the. Artificial Freezer and antedated on July 29th, 1848.
A Philadelphia housewife married to Walter Rogers Johnson in Medfield, Massachusetts. Walter was a scientist and first secretary at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Nancy, herself, was a very successful inventor. This was very uncommon in her days, because women’s legal identities were taken away when they married. Under the laws of coverture, women were not allowed to control their own finances, own property, or sign legal agreements. Men represented their wives, mothers, and daughters. Nancy was a bold and determined woman who empowered women, teaching them they can make their own way for themselves.
In 1843, she filed for her patent for the first hand-cranked ice cream churn (US3254A). Her invention was called a “disruptive technology” because it made it possible for everyone to make quality ice cream without electricity. This technology changed the way that ice cream was made forever and portions of her patent continue to be used today.
Johnson received $1500 during the course of her lifetime for her Artificial Freezer. She adapted her original patient and refiled September 9th, 1843. She sold the rights of the patent to William G. Young, a Baltimore native, who improved some on the ice cream freezer on May 30th, 1848. Johnson sold the rights of the patent to Young for $200.
People erroneously credit Young as the inventor, but it was a Nancy Johnson who made the world a better place.
There are some people who should receive sainthood for the amazing deeds they do. Heroes should receive awards. We need to recognize the people who have made a difference in this world.
September 9 should be celebrated around the world! Nancy Maria Donaldson Johnson should be known universally for ice cream.
We all scream for ice cream.
And scream most loudly for Nancy.
Nancy Maria Donaldson Johnson, thank you, thank you, thank you. You made my life and the lives of so many better.
(Information derived from Wikipedia)
Marlene is available for her speaking engagements. She is an award winning author and her books are available through amazon.com and scribblersweb.com. Join www.MsRatWrites.com for her monthly newsletters.
We have just returned from our vacation to Alaska. We went 21 years ago with our son, friends John and Margie Sawyer, their daughter Mylinda, and husband Chris Moore. It was the trip of a life time. But our lifetimes do change.
This trip was a little different. Mylinda, Chris, and their 19 year old daughter joined us. They brought her mama, Margie. One of my dearest friends, Cece (Cecelia Landress) also took the trip. John, who is legendary in Georgia for his baseball coaching skills, can no longer travel.
Things I learned:
The trip was good. We had a great time. It is our last adventure with Margie. Our families have traveled many places together. This was our last hurrah. Know what? The airport, lost luggage, and diarrhea (Yeah, I left that part out), money hungry retailers, and everything else... I wouldn’t trade that trip for anything.
One last great thing. I taught high school art was called Art Woman or Ms. Rat. One of my former students, now friend, lives in Seattle. We have stayed in touch over the last 50 plus years. Richard Kromm came out to meet us. We had a couple of hours together. Richard and being with Margie and our extended family is what made the trip priceless.
I’d do it all again, even the airport.
My father, James E. Ratledge was born November 21, 1916. After he died, Mama said he never left. He was still sitting in his recliner, waiting for her. I believe it. I think Mama is sitting on my right shoulder and Daddy is on left one. Both are whispering in my ear.
I can still see them walking hand-in-hand. Daddy was over 6’4” and Mama was about 5’5” in her prime. They almost always held hands. As Mama would shrink, she would have her arm bent even higher and Daddy would lean over a little more.
They met on a blind date at the Atlanta Water Works while working at White Provision Company in 1943. The old Atlanta Water Works was a favorite picnic place. Mama said he was the handsomest thing she had ever seen. She first saw him as he was approaching where she and her friends were. He was over 6 feet 4 inches, had beautiful blue black hair and a golden olive completion. He was wearing a white suit with a black shirt and a black sling supporting his injured arm. She said that was it. He was too beautiful to forget. They married May 1, 1944. Daddy never forgave World War II for separating them. I have 746 700 love letters he wrote during WWII reinforcing his love.
Mama and his brothers called him Bob. When he was young in the early 1900’s male children wore their hair long. When it was time for James to get his big boy haircut, his two older brother teased him and called him “bobtail.” He was Bob ever since.
Daddy was a perfectionist and could do just about anything from electricity to plumbing and wood working. He even did a little black smithy on the old forge at my Grandparent’s place. Daddy and his mother flipped houses before there was such a thing. Mama’s family place didn’t have electricity or running water. Daddy put in their first furnace, stove, running water and bathroom. You name it, he did it.
185, later changed to 585 was Daddy’s radio code number for the City of Atlanta Police Department/Atlanta Board of Education School Detectives. In 1947 Atlanta developed specialized detective units within the agency. In 1952, The Atlanta Board of Education and the Atlanta Police Department joined forces and created the Atlanta School Detective Unit. In 1953, my Daddy and Julian Stephens were the second and third officers to join Sgt. J. D. Nash, Commander. There was another School Detective Department being formed about this same time in another state. The only two in the nation. The School Detective Unit was the fore-runner of what we now call School Resource Officers in Georgia.
Daddy was good at his job. I don’t know about now, but he held the record for the most cases solved for over 15 years. I have all of his old reports. Someday I am going to write that book I promised him. Now he is gone and I only have his paper reports to rely on. I regret we never found time to write his book.
He did some interesting things in his life. During WWII he escorted military prisoners. I have his secret identification and name that he used. One night while hospitalized, the nurses on duty asked Mama what Daddy had done for a living. She told them about his having been a police officer. One of the nurses was one of my former students and spent a lot of time visiting with all of us. Ellen told Mama that Daddy was talking about having a different name. Daddy had been part of the Secret Police. The night Ellen was checking on Daddy, he was the other military policeman taking a Nazi prisoner somewhere “special.”
Once it was learned that his father, Luther Edward Ratledge, had been a train engineer before becoming a police officer, and Daddy could do medical core and train repair, he was reassigned. Daddy built the first hot water shower on one of the medical trains in Europe. After that when they would be in a station somewhere Daddy teach other train personnel how he had run the lines so their trains could also have hot water showers.
One night when he was so sick and on morphine, he was back on that train. I spent the entire night, rebuilding a train engine with him. He would tell me what tool he wanted and I handed it to him. In his drugged imagination, all those machines in that room were part of the engine. We did a good job, too. By about 4:30 in the morning, he told me to “fire her up and let’s get moving.”
When the Allied troops captured Adolf Hitler’s private train, it was damaged. Daddy and his medical train happened to be in the same location. One of the officers on Daddy’s train suggested they ask my father to look at the damage on Hitler’s train. Rat could “jury-rig” anything. I don’t know what was wrong with the train, but it couldn’t be moved further into Allied territory because of the problem. Daddy went over and did whatever was needed to get it moving again. While Daddy was working on the problem, a team of US and other Allied personnel were cataloging every item in the train.
Daddy reported the repair had been completed to the officer in charge. That officer was part of the team cataloging Hitler’s belongings. He was in Hitler’s private dining car. The officer picked up a small cream pitcher from Hitler’s table and handed it to Daddy thanking him for his help. The pitcher has the swastika emblem and Mama wrote a note about what Daddy told her and stuck it in it. The cream pitcher is marked with the Allied catalog number.
Daddy could do anything. Daddy was the builder, Mama was the painter and designer. He built his grandson an airplane swing with a 6’ wing span and working joystick, rocking horses, and any other thing he thought his namesake James could want. Daddy made a table that was James’ height and the legs could be extended to grow with him. They did a lot of drawing and coloring on that table.
He and Mama refurbished old houses to rent or sell. Daddy made the entire kitchen set, stove, refrigerator, cupboards and even a sink with a turning faucet for the Kindergarten class of H.O. Burgess Elementary School (1955). That set was still in use some 10 plus years later. Our class had wooden animals to paint that he cut from scrap lumber, too. One of my classmates mentioned remembering them. I have several still. He and Mama created the most beautiful gardens outside of Calloway Gardens you have ever seen. He worked hard. And he adored Mama.
He and Mama taught me to be independent and self-reliant. I learned how to lay a wooden floor, to use most any kind of tool, paint a room, fire a gun, swim, and defend myself physically and mentally. He made sure Mama and I were loved and well taken care.
Rat accomplished all kinds of things and best of all, Daddy was mine. And I miss him. Mama used to say there will never be another one like Bob Ratledge. No, there won’t. I bet Mama and Daddy are holding hands right now.
1950 Daimler DE 36 Convertible
This was a dream restoration, but health and age has prevented completion.
I am have been pitiful about keeping up with anyone. I would like to say it was because I have been very productive in all kinds of things.
It ain't true. I don't know where my time goes, but it isn't for very productive things. We're clean. That’s about all I can say!
I did finish writing a book on learning styles. I have sent it in, but haven't heard back from the people who will do the publishing. I think I am going to go through Amazon for it. Tips, Tricks, Techniques for Self-Directed Approach for Easier Learning is the title.
I am in the midst of getting the publishing on my first book back over to me. It is still under the publishers imprint.
I am about to recreate the book I lost, Finding Home. I have 14 chapters, though not in order, that I retrieved.
My favorite short story is The Caretaker. I am submitting it to a contest this month. Keep your fingers crossed for it. No, you haven’t seen this one. I wrote it two or three years ago. It is long and therefore not acceptable to most contests. I hope to get a book of short stories out this year. It will be in there.
I had oral surgery on Thursday. I have one side of my face swollen and I look like a monster, but it is getting better.
Bless Snell, I have slept pretty well all of Thursday and Friday. I have a meeting on Sunday with one of my writing groups. I hope my face will be less swollen and my headache and mouth pain will be better. It has greatly improved this morning. I am president of the Southern Sisters in Crime group so I hate to miss.
I am watching a huge pileated red pecker on the suet block this am. He is beautiful. All the smaller birds are there and just ignoring him.
James has branched out with his glass blowing and is making these incredible squids on rounded ball. The legs are very delicate, but just lovely. I included his fox as well, these are his two newest interests. I hope the pictures comes through.
Hope all is well with you and your's.
I am a bit behind on everything, not just the October news. I think I have more pies than fingers and I am up to elbows in sticky stuff.
If you are in the Snellville area, I hope you can stop by the Elizabeth Williams Library this Saturday (11/3/22). Local authors will be there to talk about their books and writing. We also have the opportunity to sell our books. It begins at 1:00pm
On Nov 19, from 2-7:00pm, I and my friend Lynn Hesse will be at the Walnut Grove Festival at the City Hall. Stop in so see all the beautiful decorations.
Dec 3, three of my writing friends and I will be at the Snellville Performing Arts festival. The program begins at 9:00 and ends at 2:00 pm.
I wish I could say I have finished another book, but I can't. I am trying, very hard. I have Tricks, Tips, and Techniques for Using color to Enhance Learning and Study Skills. I need to edit it and then send it on to someone who is a much better editor than I. Working on the title. Suggestions? Send your ideas to me (email@example.com). If your title is chosen I'll send you a book as a gift.
I need only to organize and edit another book like Life is hard. Soften It with Laughter. I am struggling for a good title. It is another collection of humorous essays based on the foibles of life. Please send me your suggestions (firstname.lastname@example.org). If your title is chosen you get the first book off the press as a gift.
If God is willing and the Creek don't rise, I hope both will be done by the end of the year. Unfortunately, I think the Creek have sharpened their arrows and are lurking in the back yard.
Are you a writer? Monroe Walton Center for the Arts in Monroe , GA has opened up an Author's Guild and will sell your books. You must be published and you must join MWCA. For more information contact Barbara Barth (email@example.com).
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and take care.
Celebrate the Good Times
Is it really time for Thanksgiving? At Thanksgiving dinner people will often sit around the table laden with great
food. They will laugh, smile, and tell each other all the things for which they are thankful. They will declare their friendships, loyalties, and love for one another. What a wonderful time of the year.
But wait. Why must we wait for a holiday to take a minute to list those things and people for whom we are
thankful? It is so hard to get family together these days. Sharing love and thankfulness while you have everyone
together is a wonderful thing. Maybe we should take a minute each day to remind ourselves for whom and for what
we are thankful. It is just an affirmation of the positive side of our lives.
Busy? Oh yeah. Who isn’t? Find a minute to flash a face or an event through your mind. Just say “Thanks.” Before
falling asleep let your mind wonder to the good things of the day. It could be your cat being silly, a memory of a
good friend, a rainbow. What does it matter? It will end your day on a positive note and your thankful thought will
guide you into sleep. Isn’t it best to have positive thoughts?
It is important that I take a few minutes every night to be thankful for the day I had and for the people I love.
Sitting around a table once a year to declare my appreciation is just not enough. We need to be thankful in our minds daily. And we need to smile. Life is hard, a smile and good thought can perform miracles.
Marlene Ratledge Buchanan will be the guest speaker at the Gwinnett Country Retired Educator Association event on March 18, 2022.
GCREA will be celebrating its 50th anniversary providing support to all people involved in Gwinnett public education. It is a subsidiary of Georgia Educator Association (GAE), which Marlene joined in 1972.