23 June 2017

Feline Friday

 Start your Feline Friday with a sweet video from Lily! 
I spoke to Lily quietly while she was taking a nap. 
Watch what she does when she hears her mama's voice! 💖

Sorry the video ends so abruptly but be assured, Lily's nap continued without interruption!

16 June 2017

Feline Friday

Reach for your goals!**

** or a German chocolate cake donut

09 June 2017

Feline Friday: Hummingbird Obsession!

When Tinsel was sick, I started putting YouTube videos of birds on the TV (and my phone) to provide some distraction and comfort when I couldn't be with her. Of course, Lily had to get in on the action, and now she is addicted to YouTube!

Lily has no interest in squirrels or rabbits but she loves all the bird videos, and now that we've discovered hummingbirds, she is OBSESSED!

Lily waits in front of the TV for her "show" to come on. Then she watches until she falls asleep!
😊For your kitty's viewing pleasure, here are Lily's recommendations:

Paul Dinning wildlife videos for cats -- click HERE

Lily's favorite hummingbird video -- click HERE

Here's hoping you can enjoy a little nature with your kitty this weekend!

Happy Feline Friday!

05 June 2017

Garden Project Update

Last fall, I shared an update on the garden project I've been planning for some time. Long story short: The big re-do of my flower beds didn't happen last summer but we did complete some important "pre-work". With that out of the way, I had expected the crew to arrive by mid-May but unfortunately, we were pushed back on the schedule. I'm disappointed in the scheduling but am trying to keep a positive attitude!

This is a corner of one of the two large beds we'll be re-configuring. My plan is to re-use as much of the existing plant material as possible, dividing and moving some to better locations as needed. Then I'll be adding lots of new perennials to create a cottage garden type look. As you can see, the existing bed has not been weeded or tended to because it's soon to be completely re-done.

This narrow bed is a big mess but I haven't dealt with it because it's on the list to re-do. Some of the plants will stay but we'll also be adding in some Asiatic lilies.

 In the meantime, I've been focusing on my patio plants. The old grill cart we rehabbed last summer is filled with herbs and flowers. It's a good place for smaller pots and too high for the bunnies to reach!

 I planted quite a few patio pots of flowers, and this year I bought an actual patio tomato. It's doing great, and I'm hoping for more success than last summer. (Last year I bought a tomato plant that was supposed to be planted in the ground. It grew quite tall and became a little unwieldy!  Unfortunately, the tomatoes developed deep crevices and most had to be discarded.) 

The catnip plant is doing quite well. Lily and the neighbor kitty have both been enjoying it. 

My favorite planter this year is the bowl I have on the table. The old planter blew off the table in a storm last year and broke, so I replaced it with a similar one. The sun coleus is doing great!

Stay tuned for updates on the big garden project. If all goes as planned, the crews should be here next week. 

04 June 2017

Scrapbooking Catch-Up Project

I'll be honest...I lost more than a little scrapbooking steam over the past few weeks. I was an emotional mess during Tinsel's illness and decline, so I didn't feel much like scrapbooking. Any spare moment I had was spent with Tinsel on my lap, as I didn't want to miss a single minute with her. I'm so glad I had those special moments for us to be together.

Now I'm trying to get back on track with my big scrapbooking "catch up" project. When I last reported on this project, I was knee-deep in 2002 photos, having worked my way through the spring months. Well, after a few more work sessions, I'm happy to report that....
2002 scrapbooking is DONE! And I am super-excited that I managed to fit the year into just two albums, which seemed unlikely at first.

I started this project with a lot of traditional pages already done but with many events still not scrapbooked. Those photos were in the box you see above. After I removed the duplicate photos, the task seemed a little less daunting, but there were still many photos left.

I relied mostly on pocket pages to finish up these events. I could have spent a lot of time on these pages, but my goal was just to get them done quickly. I just filled the pockets with the photos, quickly typed up the journaling, and tucked it into an empty pocket. DONE!
For some events, I was able to use smaller pocket pages, like this one which is 8.5x11. This size worked great for many subjects.

On this page, I adhered the journaling and arrow to the outside of the pocket, just for something different. This album won't get a lot of handling, so I'm not too concerned about those pieces falling off!

I didn't have a lot of room for embellishments as most of my pockets were filled with photos, but occasionally I was able to add some doodads from my stash. As I went along, I also added memorabilia I've saved over the years, such as this chart Bailey made quantifying her Trick or Treat candy! I still think she created it to document how much candy she started with, in case her father or I got into it! :)

 I made good use of 6x12 page projectors for subjects with fewer photos.

 I made a few traditional pages for 2002, reserving them for only the most significant events.

I always have a ton of state fair photos, so I made one traditional page with my favorites, then used pocket pages for the rest.

I love the 9-square 12x12 pages, but they don't always work for my photos. They're perfect if you start with square photos (such as from the 1970s) or have photos you can trim down without losing too much context. 

Fortunately I was able to use a lot of 9-square pages in these two albums. This format is the best way to include a lot of prints in an album! 

The 3-ring binders make it really easy include pages in multiple sizes. This 6x12 page, sandwiched in between two differently-configured pocket pages, includes the judges' comments Bailey received for the baked goods she entered into competition, one of her entry tags, and small newspaper clipping.
 I'm very excited to have finished now two full years of scrapbooking since I started this project just a few months ago! I've found that the more I finish, the more motivated I am to continue. So I'll soon be on to 2003, a year with a nearly-full box of photos needing attention. But unlike in the past, I'm not one bit scared of that box!

If you're doing some serious catch-up, I highly recommend 3-ring binders and pocket pages. I've come to believe that if not for these products, I would never have been able to finish these albums! 
Happy scrapbooking!

02 June 2017

Feline Friday: Crafting with Lily

 Hello, friends! Things are very different around here without my crafting buddy, Tinsel. She hung out with me most anytime something crafty was happening. Tinsel especially liked watching the printer and the Silhouette. As a younger kitty, she would occasionally steal pop dots. As she got older, she specialized in ribbon and twine. :)

Now Lily -- who has an altogether different skill set :) -- is doing her best to fill in for Tinsel. This week she discovered the printer and found it absolutely riveting!

Unfortunately, she also discovered an open container of embossing powder!

She's obviously going to need a bit more training! :)

26 May 2017

Feline Friday with Rory

Happy last day of school to our daughter! Today marks the end of her second full year of teaching. Now THAT is hard to believe! Her dad and I are super proud of all she has accomplished with her band kids this year!
She still has a few more school events, so it will be awhile before her short summer begins and she can spend more time with little Rory. Rory is pretty excited about that!

 And Rory is proud of her mama, too! Here, Mommie, I bringed you sum catnip flowers! :)

19 May 2017

Feline Friday: About Lily

Hello, friends. We are slowly adjusting to a household without Tinsel. Lily has never been a solo kitty so this has to be a very big change for her. But I'm giving her lots of attention and she seems to be responding well.

I know that animals have their own grieving process so I have tried to think of ways to help Lily understand this big change. For instance, I left out the carrier for her to smell after returning from the vet on that very sad day. She spent some time inside it before I put it away.

When I brought Tinsel's cremains home, I showed them to her. Of course, Lily has her own way of doing things and somehow in the midst of my sadness, she made me smile.

Naturally, Lily was quite intrigued by the box. There's a lovely poem with a gold broken heart on top. The other half of the heart is in the bag with Tinsel's cremains. 💓

She sniffed it all over, which is what I wanted her to do. She even scooted it around with her nose. When Tinsel was here with us, Lily was always poking at her, so this behavior was pretty typical. :)

Next I removed the velvet pouch from the box and let Lily take a look at it. 

 Bless her heart, she grabbed the cord with her teeth and lifted it up onto the scratching pad where Tinsel often sat.

You can see here that she has the cord in her mouth.

In her own way, I know she understands. 

The next day, I found Lily sitting in Tinsel's spot next to her cremains. The sunlight was streaming in so beautifully.
 When I'm ready, I plan to put Tinsel's cremains in the garden and along the sidewalk next to her favorite plants. Until then, we'll continue to adjust to life without her. Somehow I think Lily will be a very big part of the healing process. She's the best medicine for a broken heart.

With love for Tinsel

16 May 2017

Meet Me at the Bridge

 Hello, friends. The past few days have been really difficult for me. I've struggled, sometimes mightily. Of course my head knew that it was Tinsel's time to go, but having to be the one to make that decision filled my heart with anguish. I had time to prepare, but it nevertheless hit me very hard.

In the days leading up to last week, I talked to Tinsel often about the Rainbow Bridge. I explained to her quietly what was going to happen, when the time was right.

I whispered in her ear to watch for my kitty Damien who would be waiting at the Rainbow Bridge for her, along with my other beloved cats and dogs. Although Tinsel and Damien never met, I told her to look for him because, as the most outgoing of the lot, Damien would no doubt be the first to greet her.

This is Damien. I loved him so much. Sadly, he passed away at a very young age when Bailey was just a little girl. Damien was such a memorable kitty that 20+ years after his passing, my vet still talks about him. :)

 Saturday morning after waking up, I walked downstairs to the kitchen carrying Lily, my eyes blurry from crying before I even got out of bed. To my utter disbelief, out on the patio was a beautiful caramel and white kitty I'd never seen before, very much like Damien. I could not believe my eyes. I quietly tiptoed to the window and tried to focus Lily's attention, but she didn't see him. I watched for some time as he sniffed around the garden plants then ran off after a rabbit. I have not seen him since.

As heartbroken as I am, I am taking this as a very comforting sign from heaven that our sweet Tinsel made it safely to the Rainbow Bridge and is now in the very good company of her special new friend, Damien.

 With much love for Tinsel, 
Janet and Lily

12 May 2017

Feline Friday: Love for Tinsel

Friends, I had hoped to write more today but I just can't.

I thank you for all the kind words from friends far and wide who have shared Tinsel's life over the years. I am so grateful to have had her with us for nearly 16 years. Without her, there's a big hole in our hearts.
 Missing our sissy, today and always.
Janet and Lily

10 May 2017

Very Sad News

 For those who have been following Tinsel's story, today was a very, very hard day as I made the decision to help Tinsel cross the Rainbow Bridge. I've known since February that this day was coming, but that knowledge did not make the decision -- or the process -- any easier.

If you watched last week's video, you know that Tinsel had been doing remarkably well. But in the past few days she stopped eating and her mouth began showing signs of infection. A trip to the vet confirmed that the tumor had grown much more, shifting her jaw and impeding her ability to eat.

So I knew we were at the point where I had to let our dear, sweet girl go. I'll write more later, but in the meantime, hug your furry companions a little tighter today in honor of our sweet Tinsel, and let them have a few extra kitty treats for good measure. Although I know I made the right decision, my heart is broken. 

 With love for Tinsel,

05 May 2017

Feline Friday: Walk with Tinsel!

Tinsel is continuing to do pretty well. Each time I think she might be failing just a little, she surprises me with her strength. She's an amazing kitty!

She loves her walks outside so we continue to go out as often as possible. Turn on your sound and come along for a walk with Tinsel! :)

Happy Feline Friday!