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  • a happy, ordinary, middle-aged, suburban woman who paints odd pictures, gardens in a straw hat, lives with the love of her life, is owned by one cat and the ghosts of several others, and walks a little funny 'cause she has a fake leg. She started this website because there's more to life than what we lose, and we need to let each other know what's possible, even if it's only a happy, ordinary life.

November 2011

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    sara at saraarts dot com

    Make sure the subject line of your correspondence is clear and specific. I do not open e-mails from strangers unless I can tell in advance that I want to read them.

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  • I Took The Handmade Pledge!

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Ron Sullivan

I'm trying to imagine how Matt the Cat would react to the introduction of such a um toy. He's already a bit nonplussed because the place has been in a state of total chaos since we started reorg operations on the guest room. (I think he has abandonment issues, and isn't convinced we're not going to move out on him the way his previous staff evidently did.) Maybe I should venture into one of those gawdawful ~fitness~ stores and try one on.

All else aside, however, I must note that "It smells like bad candy" is a line that needs reusing in some other context. Tshirt? Title?


Because of the timing of things at my house, I'm afraid I cannot tell you how cats interact with these things. I know mine would be sad at not being able to sit in my lap while I work anymore (because of the bouncing). Also, several of them liked to do this stretching thing where they would grab the top of the seat of whatever chair I was planted on and do a whole-body stretch -- claws included -- either to catch my attention for head-petting or food or right before springing into my lap. I am not sure how that would work, even with the anti-burst properties this ball supposedly possesses. And they cost about $30 apiece in stores, so it could be a costly experiment. (I bought mine at Whole Foods, though, and the guy in the Whole Body department assured me that they would take it back even if my fake leg punctured it, so I imagine the same would be true if a cat popped it. They are very good about that 100% return policy.)

You know what, though? Patry has cats, and a yoga ball she uses as a chair. Patry could tell you. Of course, Mat is unique, as are each of Patry's cats. However, population density at her house may be on your side in terms of predicting behavior.

As for bad candy, there used to be a site called "The Page of Bad Candy" which was very funny. These two guys wrote hilarious rants about all the candies that had ever disappointed them. (They really hated tamarind, and salty Dutch licorice.) They would probably have appreciated a T-shirt with that line! Shoot, maybe they even made one themselves.

Sadly, we may never know now, 'cause that page is gone.

melissa b.

Dear lovely Sara, I just blogged about this post over at SH.

Um, I mean I blogged about Rover...


Rover is awesome, definitely blogworthy. I think you of all people would get a tremendous amount of joy from one of your own. You could even have one at work. My true love tells me that several of his coworkers have them, just the balls, no frame. (He says an added benefit to those I've listed is that it cuts down on chair theft. Anyone who's ever worked in an environment where all the chairs simply aren't of equal comfort or quality knows how important this is.)

My true love and I have also discussed the feasibility of replacing my wheelchair, which is how I get about at home when I'm not wearing Susie Dress-Me Walk-Me (the fake leg), with a Hippity-Hop. I think the new neighbors downstairs might not enjoy that nearly as much as I would, though. And if any other cats ever adopt us, I am pretty sure that, though they might be okay with Rover, they will not like sharing the house with a Hippity-Hop.


I've had my ball for several years, and it's been tested in every possible way. The cats and my jack russell take turns sitting on my lap when I'm on it; the kids take it out in the yard, rolling it over the stone driveway, and performing the various endurance tests they call "playing with it." Thus far, the only mishap I've had with it occurred when I tried to use it as an extra chair during Thanksgiving dinner, and I ended up falling over when I reached for an extra serving of sweet potatoes.

The family still laughs about that one, but I don't care. It still makes a very handy extra chair for large gatherings.


Thank you, Patry! That is a very useful (and hilarious) field report.

Others will benefit from your experience, no doubt. Of course, I already have in copying you and MB by getting one of these in the first place. Really can't thank you enough. Major life improvement, so very simply achieved.

Ron Sullivan

OK, now I want one. It's either that or hook up the stationary bike to the computer, and I don't quite have the engineering chops for that.


My wife bought one of these balls a little while ago. Now we mostly roll it to each other while we watch "Lost" on TV.


Yay hooray you did it!!! I don't know why this pleases me so much except perhaps that I feel a little less aloooone, along with Ms Patry. But mostly I think it's that I love bouncing on my chair, it's the best way to break up a work day, and I'm tickled that someone else is now going to share in the fun. I'm a bit envious of that DVD, however. Mine didn't come with one, but then I did "cheat" according to you! ;-)


Ron, I hope you do, and that you also file a field report. And if Mat isn't too threatened (and geez but I harbor ugly thoughts about his previous staff), maybe you can post a photo of him being cuddled atop it -- or at least being cozy and unthreatened on a nearby mat, as is his wont.

Neil, you know upper body agility is very important, too, and so is teamwork! heh heh Just mind the popcorn bowl. Cleanup is a bitch.

MB, yes, I did it, and it's all your fault! Thank you! And the thing is, unless your chair is very different from the one being sold by Gaiam online right now, the exercises on my DVD would not be suitable for the 52cm ball that your chair houses unless you are under 5'5" tall. According to Gaiam's chart, 55cm is for 5'0"-5'5"; 65cm (what I have) is for 5'6"-5'11", and 75cm is for 6'0"-6'3". (I guess if you're taller than that, too bad; no balance ball exercises for you.) However, again assuming it's the same product, your chair should still have come with a booklet of stretches you can do with that setup. An excerpt can be found here.

If that ball is the right size for you to work out with, you can buy a separate beginner's DVD for $15 which I think is actually a bit more complete than the sampler that came in my kit. (If it's not the right size, the kit I bought is on sale online right now for $24, which, after you add in shipping, brings it right back up to what I paid at Whole Foods.) If you are in better overall shape than I apparently am, it might be more satisfying for you. Me, I'll be busy mastering just these three little baby workouts -- one of which is just stretches! -- for quite some time. (sigh) But I always was kind of a remedial student when it came to PE.

Bouncing, though, bouncing I have down. And wiggling. And they are fun. And I have you to thank, you and Patry. So thank you!

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