Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Just kitties

I don't have much to share this time, so here are some pictures of kitties.  Hey, if it's good enough for facebook......

George got into the catnip plant in front of her, then passed out in the sun. Using a rock as her pillow.  Cats are weird.

This sweet guy came into the shelter as a bite case!  He looks ferocious, doesn't he?  I have named him Hedwig, after Harry Potter's owl.  Look at those eyes!

And speaking of cats being weird, this is the newest member of the foster family.  He is only about 7 weeks old and was found outside during that nasty thunderstorm we had last week.   I am calling him Thor (the god of thunder), but I think he wants to be named Ted.

They look cute, but were growling and swatting each other as part of the getting to know you process.

This is Pitch (as in Pitch black- get it?)  He loves this basket- and one day very soon he will catch that tail!

Pitch's little sister, Eve.  She has soft fur like a long haired cat and cool tufts on her ears.

Kittens don't pose for pictures for very long.

I saw this article in the paper yesterday.  I am a member of the "First do no Harm" society.  Maybe this is just a normal fluctuation.  But maybe it isn't.  Do we really want to wait and see if it gets worse???

I am grateful for:
Stephen King.  Not only his books, but his author's notes.  He is my deserted island choice.  Not only could he keep me entertained with his stories and his really odd sense of humor, I bet he is just an interesting person to spend time with. 
My shy kitten Angela was adopted by the perfect family!
We finally saw the fawn we had suspected was hiding out in our backyard this morning. 
Grilled cheese sandwich on salt rising bread.  Comfort food.
Lunch after the guild meeting.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Finally, a finished object!

 I actually finished this the last week of May, but keep forgetting to do a post on it.
This is a miniature version of the raffle quilt I designed for the Museum Quilt Guild- that one is still not quite finished.
I had some nice bits of the fabrics left over, so decided it would be a nice addition to the Silent Auction we have at our quilt shows.  The funds raised from this help support the veterans who live at the VA Medical Center where we usually meet.

I had to shrink down some of the pieces, but since the full sized one was sort of improvised, that wasn't hard.
 Since I was doing this one on my own, I took some shortcuts.  The applique is fused and machine blanket stitched. 

And the quilting was done by machine.
I tried to replicate the hand quilting on it, though.  Lots of stops and starts,

In the border, rather than the 1/4" lines behind the flowers, I echoed it.  I think it still looks pretty traditional.

For the label, I was able to make a similar look to the taupes using sort of earthy colors of the markers I have.  I like it so well, I will probably do something similar for the full-sized quilt.

Meanwhile, I have spent most of my "free" time in the gardens.  Some spots aren't looking too bad. 

Yup, that's a sink.  Something heavy fell in it and cracked the bowl.  So I put it in the rock garden.  There are lots more rocks under all that stone crop.

Al brought me the cactus from Wyoming one year when he went out there to hunt.  Since they have winters at least as bad as ours, I planted it.  Obviously, it didn't have any trouble adjusting.

The blossoms are one of the things I look most forward to in the garden this time of year.

Trying to weed around the cactus- which has spikes nearly an inch long!- is NOT one of the things I look forward to!

I just missed a bee in this blossom- he was right down in all those yellow stamens (that just doesn't sound right),  joyfully collecting the pollen.  It was like he was swimming in there!

Speaking of bees...
Are you seeing those pesticide application signs on your neighbor's lawns?  Or are you using them yourself??
Did you know that some of the chemicals those companies use may be responsible for the collapse of honeybee colonies??  Maybe it never occurred to any of those people how important bees are.
Here is a wonderful visual article about how much of our food depends on bees!

Are a few rosebushes really worth it????

I am grateful for:
The kitten shower was a great success!
The air conditioner in the bedroom.
Rain when I was needing it.  (could have lived without the thunderstorm, though)
The quiet days at work in the summer.
Finding out what has happened to Claire and Jamie since last I "saw" them!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Maybe I was a geologist in a past life?

 I love rocks.  Always have.  When I was a kid, I spent a large portion of my summers at my grandmother's house.  There was a creek running through it where we used to go play- wading and catching crawfish, swimming in the deep spots on hot days, or just walking along the creek bed.  (And get this!- we went unsupervised, no lifeguards on duty or anything.  We were taught responsibility back in the stone ages.)  I would always come back with a pocket full of rocks- or a single rock if it was bigger.  I wonder where they all went.  Maybe my grandmother's garden?

I still collect rocks.  Almost always bring one home when we go on vacation.  We brought some back from the Pacific Ocean on the plane (in my checked luggage of course) when we visited Guy!

So when we bought our first house, I made a trip down to the creek and gathered some nice big rocks to use as a border around the flower bed.  When we moved, I brought them to the new house and replaced them with ordinary rocks from the field around the new house!

I use them everywhere in the garden- as borders, as walkways through the perennials.  They reduce the amount of open areas which need weeding- in theory.
 I am even building a sort of stone fence! I doubt it will be very stable, but it's just for decoration anyway.

This is one of my very favorites- it has a little depression where the rainwater collects- a natural butterfly pit-stop!

So every spring before the farmer comes to plant, I go out in the field to gather rocks. They migrate up over the winter.  I take my weeding tool
out to pry them loose from the dirt and toss them into a bucket or my little garden cart. But one of the last days I was out there before Joe (the farmer)  came I was having trouble with one good looking rock, so I went up to get the trowel instead.  Hubby was passing by, and asked if I wanted some help.  I said sure.  So he followed me out to the field and I started poking around the rock and prying gently to see if I had loosened enough of the soil.  I even bent the trowel a bit at one point! That was when hubby said that must be a big rock.  I got excited over that!  So he went up to the shed and got a shovel.  Meanwhile, I was picking up more of the ones the right size for my fence, and I traded my little cart for the wheel barrow.
He dug and dug and just couldn't find the edge of this rock.  I think he was ready to give up, but by now I had to see this rock!  So he kept digging and finally revealed this!

 The clean part at the lower right of the picture is all that was showing.  (A friend called it an iceberg rock!)  It was pretty deep hole, and hubby said he'd never be able to lift it.  So I suggested he pry it up a bit with the shovel and I could push dirt under it to raise it up.  That worked pretty well.  To get it into the wheel barrow, we laid it on its side and rolled the rock into it.  Then we carefully stood the wheel barrow back up together.  It was a pretty long hike up to the garden from where the rock had been, so I ran ahead and cleared a spot  for it-  a prominent place at the front of the garden!  It rained the other day, so the whole thing is much less mud covered now.
(I bet it will be a while before hubby offers to help me again)

I've spent a lot of time in the gardens the last couple of weeks, trying to make up for lost time earlier in the spring.  Sadly, by the time I get around the biggest bed, it's time to start all over.  And that's only that one bed.  There are gardens everywhere at my house!  But I do it because it gets me outside, gets me some exercise- and I get pretty flowers!
This is the bouquet I brought to work for this week.
(Salvia, pink yarrow and Lady's mantle)

I read an article in the paper a week or so ago (I read it on my ipad, but still call it reading the paper) reported that 89 million to 340 million birds suffer fatal injuries from vehicle encounters annually.  The report will be published in an upcoming issue of The Journal of Wildlife Management.  According to this article, wind turbines account for FAR fewer bird deaths, at a quarter to a half a million. And yet, opponents of wind turbines point to bird deaths as a major concern.  Are these same bird lovers raising any hue and cry to get cars off the road?  Of course not.  It's just one example of how the mind sets of people need to be changed before we can make any real changes to protect/ save our environment!

I am grateful for:
Some much-needed rain, which came late in the day and didn't spoil anyone's plans!
Small bits of sewing time.
My husband, who is willing to join my insanity at times.
Good sleep, when I can get it.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Look for me in the garden!

 Late may to early June is my favorite time to be in the garden.  Seeing everything turn green, or re-emerge, then all the fabulous blooms re-energizes me. I have my enthusiasm for gardening again.  I got off to a slow start, partly due to the weather of course, but also because I am always fighting a losing battle with the weeds and this year seemed worse than ever before.

  This spot in the perennial garden gives me such a feeling of serenity.  It's my happy place!
Ignore the weeds still living here.  The garden angel used to be taller but her stick broke.

My beloved Lupines are blossoming.  I lost a couple to the brutal winter, but there are lots of babies who I hope will make it through to next year. (they don't blossom the first year)

 The first Columbine blossoms.  Apparently those baby spiders were here....

...And speaking of baby spiders, I found another new hatch on this Salvia plant.  If any of them hang around long enough, I'll try to get a picture when they get bigger.  I can't remember if they are the crab spiders, or a kind of orb weaver.  Stay tuned.

These irises just showed up one year in the wild part of the area around the garden. I fear they may be this invasive species.  But they are so pretty!

This is a form of sedum, I believe.  But it behaves differently than most.  Rather than just spreading out to form a nice ground cover, it self seeds, making lots of little plants.  They blossom earlier, too.

Such pretty little flowers!

Oh, yeah- remember the "alien plant life"? 
The blossoms finally opened up so I could get a picture.

It has taken me forever to get this post finished to this point, so I will save the other part of the garden story for next time.

My green thought is to leave the grass clippings where they fall.  They improve your soil over time!

I am grateful for:
Wine O'clock
My aunt's doctors and nurses are all very patient with my questions
I have flowers on my desk- picked from the garden!
Air conditioning
New kittens to cuddle!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Please help my Annabelle go home

This is Annabelle-  the mom of the sweet kittens I have been fostering.  She is still at the shelter waiting for her new family to find her.  She is one of the featured pets this week!  She may be hard to place because she has a history of digestive trouble.  It's not like she needs to go to the vet every week.  She needs food for a sensitive stomach, and a high sided litter pan. Pretty simple!  It's not her fault.   
She is a VERY affectionate girl, and will be a wonderful companion.  She is young enough to be playful.  She loves catnip toys she can carry around.  And those crinkly balls just bring out the kitten in her!
She just needs someone to see that an adult cat is already a good pet, and to overlook her issues. 
Can you help her?  Pass this on to anyone you know who needs a lap warmer!
Annabelle and I would sure appreciate it.
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Pokie Face

Adult / Male
Sweet and quiet
Easy going
Affectionate friend

Tiger DSH
Adult / Spayed Female 
Very affectionate
Loves toys
A purrfect lap cat

Genesee County Animal Shelter
3841 West Main St Rd, Batavia, NY
Hours: Sun, Mon, Tues, Fri 1 - 3 pm
Wednesday 1 - 3 pm and 7 - 9 pm
Saturday 11 - 1 pm

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