28 August 2015

Feline Friday: Lily's New Friend

 In case you thought this post might be about Bailey's new kitty, it's not! There was a slight delay in kitty pick-up. She'll be coming home for sure this weekend!

No...this post is about something very creepy! In fact, it pains me a great deal to share these pictures. It pained me even more to take them, but I can't resist a picture of Lily doing something cute, even if it is creepy!

I am DEATHLY afraid of frogs. I have the same amount of loathing for frogs as I do for snakes. They are in the same category of creepiness! Imagine my fright when last night I found Spouse taking a picture of a TREE FROG stuck to our front door. YIKES!

It only took a minute for Lily to discover the creepy visitor, so I put a stool at the front door so she could see him more closely. You could see his chin (or gills, or whatever!) breathing in and out! FREAKED ME OUT COMPLETELY!

But not Lily! She swatted at the frog repeatedly. Just being friendly, of course.

 Hi, frog! Hi, frog! Hi, frog!

Lucky for me, the end result of all this Frog Swatting was the frog hopping away.

And not a moment too soon! WHEW!

25 August 2015

Those 70's Clothes & More

Those of you still reading my blog (if anyone is still out there!) might wonder if I'm still blogging! I really do have the best of intentions to post more regularly, but for various reasons I just haven't had it in me lately. In the past couple of weeks I have been especially distracted by something weird going on with my eye which distorts my vision and makes it not so easy to look at a computer screen. (No worries...it will eventually resolve on its own, but in the meantime I am developing a lot of empathy for those with permanent vision loss.)

I am STILL working my way through the tubs in my basement. I am now focusing on some of the more difficult items, notably my mom's wedding dress and the tubs full of my own clothes from when I was a baby and in junior high/high school. I can understand why my mom kept some of the baby clothes but I do not know why she kept all of these 70's clothes! Mom always wanted to be ready for costume parties and theater productions so I'm guessing it had something to do with that.

I do remember many of these shirts and have a few pictures of me wearing them. If you grew up in the 70's, you probably remember the Gunne Sax brand. The long-sleeved cream shirt and the blue smock top were both made by this company, as were several of my prom dresses. We loved the Victorian look back then! :)
So I took all of my shirts out of the tubs and after washing them, I decided I didn't need to keep any of them. Last week I re-set my case at the antiques mall with a rod, and I hung them all up (priced very cheaply!) to sell. 70's Halloween costume, anyone???

I'm also in the process of going through all of my baby and toddler clothes. I will probably keep a couple of the dresses, but there are many other outfits that need to go! They are all in great shape, many like new after being washed.

There are soooooo many rompers! Why did my mom dress me like a mechanic? Must have been the style back then!

So progress continues, albeit slow, and I have hope that I'll actually make it through all of those tubs before the snow flies. Thanks for bearing with me and stopping by!

21 August 2015

Feline Friday: Relief!

Lily is staying with me!

How do I know this for sure? Bailey has adopted a NEW KITTY in Texas and will be picking her up tomorrow!

 I am ever so excited about NEW KITTY! She's completely adorable and I cannot wait to share pictures!

And did I mention that Lily will be staying with me? :)

Lily and I had both been a bit worried that we'd be making the trip to Texas with her (actually SPOUSE) howling in the back seat. If Bailey had decided to take her, I would have done The Right Thing and made it happen. But I'm not gonna lie...it would have been very hard for me.

Because...look at these feet!

 Look at this face! (Well, that's a weird face...)

 Look at THIS face!
Now, everyone stays put and Bailey gets an extra kitty to love...TOMORROW!

14 August 2015

Feline Friday: Miss Picky

 Over the years, I've had cats who would eat a certain type of food for awhile, then suddenly turn up their noses. Tinsel is one of those cats. (Lily is not!)

Tinsel has always been a picky eater. I'm not sure to what degree her very mild kidney issues factor in to her pickiness, but she's definitely hard to please. In addition, she's very skittish so conditions have to be JUST RIGHT for her to eat! No loud noises, nobody walking past her, Lily sequestered in the basement...you get the picture.

Of course, her food also has to be elevated. Don't ask me why, but she prefers it that way! When she is hungry, she parks herself in front of her box, ready to be served. But if she's in a picky mood, she'll flatly ignore the food this is placed in front of her.

She'll get a look of disdain on her face, like "You expect me to eat this?"

So I try all sorts of things (short of standing on my head) to get her to eat. I sprinkle her food with a few treats and a few nibbles of Lily's prescription food (which she happens to love but is not the right formulation for a kitty with kidney issues) just to entice her to stick her nose in the dish. Sometimes this does the trick and she starts to eat. On this particular day, she would have none of it. 
Nope, not eating this.

Tinsel knows what she's doing. She often holds out for canned food. She knows if she stares at me long enough, I'll give her some as an appetizer.

Thanks, Mom! This is delicious!

Sure, Tinsel. We aim to please!

10 August 2015

Getting Settled

Last week we visited our daughter, Bailey, at her new place in Texas! We saw her new school, checked out the town where she'll be living, and enjoyed some great Texas food while we were there. It's a very exciting time in her life, as she is just getting started in her career. And it's just as exciting for us, as we get to watch and cheer her on!

I'm not going to lie: This "real life" transition has been tough for me, much harder than her move to college. Although she was far away for five long years during college, it still felt "temporary" to me. This move, as it should, feels more permanent. There's a mental and emotional adjustment that comes with the realization that hey...this is it. This is really it. Still, I am extremely excited for this new stage in her life, and I could not wait to visit her! 

Bailey's new apartment has a really nice balcony, and there's even a handy storage closet on the deck for stashing outdoor items. Her succulents (unlike mine!) seem to be thriving in the Texas heat. Go figure! Since she apparently has a green thumb, I insisted on picking up a hanging basket, too. :)

Happily, she found apartments in her new town to be larger and less expensive than comparable apartments in Indiana. Her new place is very bright and cheery, and the fireplace makes it quite homey -- although I'm not quite sure why one needs a wood-burning fireplace in 100-degree Texas heat!

 Although she had already unpacked quite a bit before we arrived, we helped her arrange things and finish unpacking all of her boxes.

The window sills are wide (PERFECT FOR A CAT!) and provide a great spot for her violets. Look at those blooms!

She has a lovely bedroom and the most humongous walk-in closet you can imagine. I could move right in! :)

There's a nice galley kitchen with an area for a washer/dryer at the back. It will be the perfect spot for her eventual kitty's food, water, and litter!

 There's a cute little dining room...

...and a nice bathroom with tons of storage space.

 While we were visiting, we looked for a few inexpensive accessories for the apartment. After searching far and wide, she found this vinyl tree at Target which is actually the same one I have on my craft room wall. She put mine up for me three years ago, so she knew the drill! Still, it was very late when she finished that night. 

The next morning when I was back at the hotel, something very strange happened. I got out of bed and turned on my phone to see that Facebook had randomly displayed the photo below from exactly three years before on my timeline, showing her putting up the vinyl tree in my craft room. It was literally the first thing I saw when I opened my eyes. It was truly the strangest thing ever, because I don't even remember sharing this photo on Facebook.

Spouse is sure there was nothing random about it. He believes that photo was placed there for a reason, to reassure us that she is taking what she's learned in Iowa and making a new home of her own, just as she should. Then it occurred to me: The tree -- with its roots -- was a real-life illustration of the picture I made for her at graduation. 

Bailey is already hard at work in her new job and we know she's going to have a huge impact on the kids she'll be teaching. Texas is a great place to teach band, and we could not be more excited about her future there.

We know that her roots are deep and her wings are strong. We can't wait to see where they take her!

07 August 2015

Feline Friday: Kitten Watch with Tinsel

 For quite some time, I've been following the TinyKittens foster kitten cam in British Columbia. I've watched a few litters being born and followed the kittens through adoption. Shelly, the woman who runs TinyKittens, is absolutely fabulous and completely dedicated to rescue work, and she is now fostering her second feral mama cat from a local feral colony. Yesterday, that mama gave birth, and Tinsel was glued to the screen the entire time! (Excuse my messy desk!)

 It's very interesting watching a feral (versus domesticated) cat during this process. Feral mamas have to be very protective and watchful for predators at all times. This mama kitty gave birth to EIGHT kittens in less than one hour. It was amazing!

Tinsel enjoys watching the kitten litters occasionally but for this birth, she never took her eyes off the screen! That was also interesting to me. Tinsel was less than a year old and spayed when we adopted her, but we don't know her history. I'm sure she never had a litter of her own, but she certainly was fascinated with this one!
WHOA, mom! Look at dat! 

I'll admit, this kitten cam is addicting! :)

06 August 2015

State of the Succulents

When I bought my first succulents in March, I thought they'd be easy to care for and impossible to kill. While they are practically maintenance-free, I've proven (repeatedly) that they can indeed be killed, in the ugliest sort of way.

I've lost track of how many "do overs" I've now had. Last week I stopped by Earl May to replace the two succulents I most recently killed. Look how cute (and alive!) these guys are!

I added them to my pitiful succulent dish and in the process, one of the healthy looking plants broke off at the base, leaving me with an awkward space in the middle. Apparently no succulent is safe around me!

 So I moved another plant from a separate pot into the Succulent Dish of Death. Looks good...for now.

 Truthfully, I'm not a complete failure when it comes to succulents. All of these guys are in various states of alive-ness. Not so sure about the one in the tiny pot.

 I especially like these fuzzy guys (mostly because they are living, but also because they're fluffy in a succulent sort of way). When I purchased new succulents, I decided to buy another one like this. Just to build on my success, you know. :)

My jade plant also continues to thrive. I'm starting to think it might actually be plastic.

My Christmas cactus (which I've had for years) and my new aloe vera plant are also still green and thriving.

But what's the deal with this guy (banana for scale)? This is not an attractive plant. But my criteria does not include "attractive" at this point.

He seems to like the light in my craft room. I'm pretty much the only one who sees him there which is probably a good thing. 

For the record, my violet (on the left) is also doing well, although it hasn't bloomed for quite some time. Bailey, on the other hand, is having great success with her violets. While we were in Texas, she divided one of her lovely blooming plants and gave me a cutting.
 I also noticed that her succulents have adjusted to the Texas heat and are OUTSIDE on the balcony, doing quite well! They get a bit of morning sun and are shaded the rest of the day.

Maybe that's the answer. I'll pack up my succulents and head to the Lone Star State. :)