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! 

28 April 2017

Feline Friday: Binge Watching Nature

Lily loves to go outside on the leash, but she doesn't walk too much. Mostly she just flops down on the patio and rolls around. 

Instead, she sits in front of the TV and waits for nature to come to her!

Finally, if she waits long enough, Meowmy will summon the birds on YouTube.

Ahhhh...birds in the rain!

 Birds in the garden...

 Birds in the garden, episode 97...She's binge watching nature! It's so much easier than actually walking around! :)

Quick Tinsel update: Tinsel is still doing pretty well. Unlike Lily, Tinsel actually WALKS on the leash. This time we went around the house four times, at her request, and down the street! The next day, she was very tired and barely got up or ate at all which really worried Meowmy. But since then, she's been back to her usual energy level and is still very active.

 We are enjoying each day we get to share together.

 But after many years together, Tinsel still doesn't relish her time with Lily (read: kind of hates her). "Heer, Tinsul, let mee show u mi gardin byrds on Meowmy's fone!" As you can see from the tilt of her head, Tinsel was clearly not impressed with her sister's efforts! 
Here's wishing you a happy Feline Friday and hoping you get to enjoy a bit of nature, whether inside or out!

24 April 2017

Scrapbooking 15 Years Later!

 Since I recently finished up my 2001 scrapbooks, I've been motivated to continue on. Strike whilst the iron is hot, as they say! So over the past few days I dug into 2002 and so far, it has proven to be much easier and faster to work through. Even though I'd skipped over several events (such as Bailey's 9th birthday!), it was easy to slip those pictures into pocket pages and finish them up quickly.

You probably know from reading my blog that I have a *TINY* tendency (haha!) to save things, which is why I'm sharing this photo below. Fifteen years ago, at the time of Bailey's party, I bought the tie dye paper and die cuts so I could use them on her pages. And believe it or not, I STILL HAD THEM! I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing that I still had scrapbooking stuff which is that old but I decided to go ahead and use them, even though I probably wouldn't have purchased those same items today!

So I made one "traditional" page and put the remaining photos in pockets. 

I had also kept Bailey's original (scribbled!) party plan and added it to the pages. I know I get carried away saving things but when I can use them as intended, then that's a WIN in my book! And check out the picture on the left of me wearing my mom's old dress! Bailey insisted that her parents dress up in 60's attire for the party and I guess this was the best I could come up with!

 These pocket pages don't look like "normal" pocket pages because the photos are all 3x5.5, too small for the 4x6 pockets. As a result, they have to be adhered to 4x6 cards, which is a little bit of a pain but not too bad.

And since I'm in "catch up" mode here, I'm not spending much time on those pocket pages. Just keeping them very simple -- nothing to write home about. At this point, done is much, MUCH better than perfect!

  I incorporated memorabilia, such as this newspaper article,  by placing items in smaller sleeves. I'm just adding these new pocket pages into the album full of pages I had made years ago. So the albums will have a mixture of old and new pages.

Sometimes I used 5.5x8.5 sleeves for tiny scrapbook pages to feature one photo I especially like. This one shows Bailey eating while either doing homework or one of her many workbooks. This is one of those photos that really captures her personality at that age!

I've also found many, many great photos of Tinsel, which is both wonderful and bittersweet, given her current health situation. She came to live with us on Christmas 2001, so these photos were taken shortly after she arrived. Going back in time to work through these pictures is really a great trip down memory lane and reminds me of why it's so important to capture moments like these in scrapbooks.

 So 2002 is going relatively quickly, 15 years later! My little process is working pretty well so I'm going to keep at it and with luck, I'll be in 2003 before you know it! :) Thanks so much to those who have stopped by to offer encouragement. If you're on your own "scrapbooking catch-up" journey, please share your story and process!

21 April 2017

Feline Friday

Whilst sorting through thousands of photos, I recently ran across a few pictures of Baby Lily. In all the history of Cute Kittens, Lily was surely at the top of the cuteness list.

I mean, look at this:

Be still, my heart! 

Take a look at this old post for a few details about the newly-arrived Lily! 

Nowadays, Lily looks a little more like this! :) Believe it or not, she sits in this position fairly regularly. It's the best way to reach that fluffy belly, I guess! Note the pink tongue!

At other times, Lily can be found like this, enjoying her life of leisure:

Morning naps are spent in this position:

Somehow her stripes sort of disappeared when she got older, and the latte-colored patches became a little more noticeable, especially around her mouth. She looks like she's just finished a Starbucks drink -- on the chin and around the tummy! :)

Back then, Lily loved playing games on the computer screen. 

These days, she prefers a larger screen with real live birds!

 As you can see, Lily is a very special kitty who is loved very much!

20 April 2017

Scrapbooking: Only 16 Years Later...

 Today's a big day because -- only 16 years later -- I'm finally done with scrapbooking the year 2001! I've been working on this year for awhile because things were particularly messed up due to the fact that I changed album styles that year and left a lot of things undone, notably the journaling in the strap-hinge album. I'm happy to put this mess behind me and move on to...2002!  As you can see in the above photo, I ended up with 3 albums for 2001, which is pretty typical for me (I'll make new spine labels one of these days). 

I found quite a few photos I wanted to add and most of them fit into small pocket pages. I also used lots of 8.5x11 page protectors for smaller subjects and memorabilia.

I used several of the 6x12 pockets for stray photos that somehow didn't make the cut the first time around.

The 6x12 open sleeves worked great for many types of memorabilia such as small certificates like this one from summer reading club.

I slipped Bailey's book list into the back of it so it can be pulled out. In addition, I occasionally I found a photo that spoke to me so much that it warranted its own page, so I stopped to make a few.

  I just mixed and matched my way through the year, adding in extra photos and memorabilia. The 3-ring binders make all the difference in the world, as they make it so easy to add things and move pages around.

There were very few pictures of me and my activities in the original albums, so whenever I found some I added them in.

I recycled a lot of the memorabilia I had kept. Sometimes I pulled out the one page I wanted and got rid of the rest. Going forward, I will need to scan or take photos of some memorabilia to reduce the bulk in the albums. In many cases, a smaller image would be just fine but 2001 was such a mess that I honestly didn't want to add in that extra step!

I often found myself reading through memorabilia trying to figure out why in the world I'd kept it! Obviously, most of those mystery items didn't need to be saved!

So now I'm moving on to 2002, which I'm hoping may be a little easier. I'm starting out with one album's worth of pages and will be adding at least one more album for that year. There are lots of events that didn't get scrapbooked back then (the half box of photos below), so I'll be using 12x12 pocket pages for many of them.

 I also have a lot of memorabilia for 2002 which will need to be incorporated into the albums in some fashion. (I should mention that I also have boxes of school papers which I'm not even attempting to work into these albums. These are family albums, not school albums, so I'm planning to make separate binders with Bailey's schoolwork highlights (no photos) over the years. Basically, my thought process is this: If I have photos of a particular event, then I'll add in the certificate or award that goes with it. Things like Bailey's spelling tests or a research papers will be saved in separate 

On the subject of memorabilia, I will say that my little system for saving "scrapbookable" memorabilia has worked really well. It took me awhile to figure out the best way to save and organize this kind of stuff but this method has been great. I have four hanging file folders per calendar year -- one for each quarter, so when I'm ready to work on pages, I just pull out that quarter's folder and see what I find! For this big project, I've been pulling out one year at a time.

Even if I don't use all of the memorabilia I saved, some of it is helpful to jog my memory! I never would have remembered these "record" birthday invitations! Now I can add one into the album when I work on her birthday pages.

 So overall this project is going well, but it is SLOW GOING. No surprise there! I only wish I had finished the 2001 albums back then as it would have been so much easier. FINISH WHAT YOU START! Lesson learned...16 years later! :)