Theo O’Neill, Rest in Peace, 2001-2017

Fun with Laurie and Theo

^^^Theo came to live with us on November 1, 2009. The vet thought that he was probably around 8-9 years old. We adopted him from the Friends of the Shelter Cats rescue group at PetSmart, where his name was Timmy. He had been in and out of there since that May. We had no plans to adopt a fourth cat, but I kept looking at him because he looked exactly like my beloved Squirt. Finally I asked to hold him and Sandy looked at us and turned to the volunteer and said, “How much is the adoption fee?”

Theo's lounge atop my printer

^^^2010: He was a fairly small cat and had a lot of allergies but he got a bit fat and sassy pretty quickly at our house. Jazz always despised him, but that’s the way she was. Guido tolerated him most of the time after a few days of hissing.

Theo and Lucy caught in the act

Theo and Miss Lucy

^^^Not sure of the date on this, but Theo and Lucy were pretty good pals. He played the dominance game with her until she kicked his ass every morning.


^^^2013, before the young terrors destroyed the upholstery and Theo lost the position of Top Cat.


^^^2015: He was more of a cuddler than a player, but he did enjoy playing.


^^^2017: Friends came to visit him on the front porch on Wednesday to give him treats and petting and love and to say goodbye.

more Theo

^^^2009: Everyone commented on Theo’s unusually vivid color.

Oh, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts to let Theo go. The vet said it was best to go ahead and do it because he was so severely anemic that he needed a blood transfusion to even diagnose him, and he was obviously emaciated and very sick. But I know we gave him a great life, and we were lucky to have him.

Lake Waccamaw Easter 2017




Easter at Lake Waccamaw seems to be on its way to tradition status.

We rolled in around 8 p.m. on Friday night and went straight to Dale’s for fried oysters and shrimp. When we walked out around 9 p.m., the mayflies were swarming. They calmed down during the day on Saturday and Sunday, but at night they were attracted to light colors and you could hear the cars running over them on the pavement. It sounded like bubble wrap popping. They are a nuisance, but they are a sign of nature in balance, and they don’t last long. A mayfly is quite graceful looking.

Lake Waccamaw

Lake Waccamaw


We stayed at Weezer’s cottage (Fred’s house) down the road from my sister’s house and walked back and forth. The temperature was mild and it was breezy enough for whitecaps even during the day.

On Saturday morning we went to the local old time music jam at the Lake Waccamaw Depot Museum. There were 2 or 3 pickers who were extremely talented. I’ll go back to hear them again.

Lake Waccamaw Depot Museum

As usual, Lisa had fabulous food prepared for us. We took a boat ride on Sunday morning, then returned to Greensboro after lunch.

Lake Waccamaw

Lake Waccamaw

Lake Waccamaw

I shared this post from the Bloggess on Facebook one year ago: I’m Not Quite Myself Right Now.

It is still the best description I have ever read about low-level depression such as mine. My depression and anxiety are controlled from wild swings by medication, but I need a stronger dose and I found that the cognitive and physical side effects of that dose are not worth it to me. I can experience joy and sadness and anger and fear at normal levels, though, and that is why I encourage people with chronic depression to give medication a try. Right now, I’m having a hard time. It is difficult to make myself do things that need to be done. I have xanax for panic attacks but haven’t needed it for a long time. I came close yesterday with two near panic attacks.

This weekend we will visit my sister at Lake Waccamaw and stay in my cousin’s house that I have blogged about for years. We have an excellent pet sitter who loves our cats and will hang out on the porch with them. I hope that the mayfly swarm will dissipate and let us spend some time outside and on the pier.

A couple of weeks ago, Susanne was marbling paper and I marbled a couple of pieces. I’d like to try marbling on fabric.



I would have stayed to do more but I was itching to weave on my tapestry (which I haven’t done since!).


It looks like I am not going to have a piece in the Tapestry Weavers South show. I was planning to put “98% Water” in but it probably won’t be back in time for me to change the mounting device on it and deliver it. The ATA Biennial ends tomorrow and the deadline for the TWS show is around 10 days from now. I don’t have another piece ready or available that I want to put in this show. I guess I could go fetch my work from the show at the United Congregational Church and send a smaller, older tapestry.

I’m almost finished with planting and weeding and fixing the border on the front yard garden. The south side will be sunny for a few more weeks, at least. I hope it will be sunny longer. I planted a globe artichoke, borage, Salem rosemary, foxgloves, French thyme, spearmint (in a place where I don’t mind it spreading), more hellebore seedlings that I got from my neighbors (these have purplish flowers). They may not make it but they have plenty more. I bought orange thyme and lemon thyme plants from Deep Roots today.



Above: the before photo of the south end.

In the back I planted broccoli in one half-barrel and celery in another. I’ll wait until early May to plant the stuff that likes more heat.

There is still much to do, but we have gotten a good start on cleaning up the back forty.

The cats are in love with the front porch, but it is aggravating Theo’s allergies, so I may have to limit his time out there or take him to the vet for another shot. Right now I give him loratidine every night. His new name shall be “Snufflebutt.” Diego is “Chunkybutt.” Pablocito is “Wigglebutt.”


Diego has become a swinger.


Pablocito does his impression of Hello Kitty for passerby.

Okay, I have to go home and do some cleaning. It finally reached a intolerable level while we were concentrating on the outside and hanging out on the porch.

Sunday morning coffee pot post


Whew. I am SO SORE from carrying bags of potting soil and the yard work I did yesterday. It is disheartening because it doesn’t seem like I did that much, but I guess that’s what laying around all winter will do for you.

My focus has been the front yard, although I did plant sugar snap peas, Oregon giant snow peas, Nantes carrots, and arugula in the back forty. Now that I get a little more sun on the south side of the front yard, I’m going to take advantage of it before the neighbs let their yard grow into a jungle again. I do miss their butterfly bush, though.


Moving herbs to the south side because they are being taken over by Lenten roses. I also moved some flower bulbs (don’t know the name, will find out) and weeded a lot of the hated liriope and wild onions and ivy and other invaders. One day if I am not broke from traveling and house remodeling I’m going to hire somebody to dig out all the liriope and English ivy. The last person I asked for an estimate for cleaning out the English ivy and other vines in the back forty was the guy I hired to cut the little bit of grass and weeds we had back when neither Sandy or I could do it. He looked at it in horror, backed away without giving me a price, and I never saw him again.

I’m going to plant yarrow in the pathway since it doesn’t mind being walked on. The edge is made with fieldstone that I dug out of the beds in the Back Forty years ago. There was once a big dirt-covered mound back there that contained all kinds of crazy junk, but digging for the fieldstone was like digging for treasure.


Anyway, I have hopes that my front yard might produce a few vegetables this year. I’m going to plant some in containers on the south side. The yoshina cherry trees have such big shallow roots that it is difficult to plant anything that needs a big hole. One huge root is heading for our house and I guess we need to cut it with a chain saw. I regret planting these trees in 2002.


I want to get more bright colors in there, but the shadiness lends itself better to Lenten roses and hostas. I’ll plant some foxgloves and more purply foliage such as coral bells. The bloodroot I transplanted last year really took off and that was very pleasing. The Solomon’s seal is probably my favorite plant and has expanded a lot since I planted it near where the gutter empties rain from the roof several years ago.

I planted lettuce and parsley in the containers on the (what do you call that) wall next to the front steps. There has to be a architectural name for that. My brain doesn’t do words the way it used to.


In the studio: not much. A little random sewing of scraps. I’m going back home today and weave on my tapestry on the front porch. The cats are loving it. Sandy moved Pablocito’s cat tree out there. We both spend hours reading together. This screened porch is a good addition to our lives.


So, it’s been a pretty good week, other than a sore neck and back. My chiropractor closed his practice to teach at Duke. That’s how good he is. He treated me for twenty years. It is hard to make myself find another chiropractor but I probably need to do this for my neck before I go to the United Kingdom. It sucks not to be able to turn your neck when you’re being a tourist! But work has been satisfying and I’ve probably partied a bit too much with friends. I need to cut down on my beer drinking because I’m gaining weight again.

In books, I am totally hooked on the Poldark series by Winston Graham. I am way ahead of the TV show – at the end of the sixth book and ready to order the next three. Cornwall awaits!

Sunday afternoon La Croix sparkling water post



Tapestry weaving on the front porch yesterday. I actually got a bit farther than this. When I go back home this afternoon, I hope to finish the blue grey part, but that also depends on working the dark part, and that might build on top of the right side, so that’s how it goes!

Sandy and I cleaned out the shed in the back and filled our city garbage and recycling bins. Most of my tobacco sticks that I used for trellising beans and peas have gotten rotten, so we’ll burn them in the fire pit. Disappointing, but it’s my own fault for being sloppy and lazy. We removed a lot of English ivy and wisteria vines, but as to be expected after a couple of years of neglect, there is much more to be done.


I planted peas and carrots over here at the Wharton St. studio. Susanne prepared this bed last year, and it had some of the biggest longest earthworms I’ve ever seen! In the process of weeding it out, we discovered some healthy asparagus. We are going to add to this once the peas are done.

Theo is growing more frail and losing weight. He will only eat very little. The only thing he wants to eat is Greenies Hairball Control treats. So I’ve given him six on top of his canned food twice a day, but this is confusing him and he doesn’t find all of them. I give him 1/4 of a loratidine a day for his allergies, but I think that his sense of smell is gone. Of course it is all speculation. I don’t want to put him through a lot of intense medical care. Right now he enjoys being out on the front porch, but it is possible that we might make the decision to euthanize him before we go to the UK if he doesn’t start eating enough to sustain himself. I will miss him but I am not going to force feed him and I don’t want him to suffer.

I’m one of the few people in North Carolina who has not been glued to college basketball watching the last several days. North Carolina lost hosting several tournaments because of a discriminatory law the Tea Party insists is about protecting women and children in bathrooms, but which has nothing to do with bathroom safety. I’d so much rather that they protect children by providing them food to eat, good public education, and free health care, and I’ve never worried about being attacked in a bathroom, much less by a transgender woman or man pretending to be one. I just wish the state government would pay more positive attention to my rights, water, air, soil, health care and place of employment. But, hey, let’s pretend that we’re under attack from the “gay agenda” while losing all kinds of businesses who would have hired people and paid taxes here.

Anyway, the only reason many people know about Greensboro is ACC Basketball. We don’t care about pro basketball here. We don’t care much about college football. Baseball is meh, okay. But college basketball? Get out of our way.


I’m putting this photo here because the bottom one is what Facebook chooses to show with my post.