Friday, April 29, 2016

fields of gold

The grass in a large field on the main road in town is bright yellow.

Every time we go by we wonder at it.  It can't be dry grass - that wouldn't be so entirely yellow as it is.  A new kind of grass?  We've never seen this before. It was hard to photograph it accurately.

A cover crop, maybe?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Dolly's cushion

I guess you really can get used to anything, because it's been going rather well, this shifting and herding of cats. Except for one episode last week, when I was careless and let Dolly out of a room before I knew where Tootsie was. Before we knew it, she had Dolly pinned down on the living room floor.

a favorite spot - on top of the fridge

There is a nice, thick chair pad on a Windsor chair in a corner of the living room, and Dolly will often sleep there. One day, when it was time to put her in a bedroom so Tootsie could come up, I got the bright idea to take her, cushion and all, into the room. 

It is perfectly Dolly-sized, and she absolutely loves it. Most of the time, she'll stay on it, wherever you place it.  I take her in my brother's room - she stays and sleeps on it.  I bring her out and onto the living room window sill, and she stays there, too.

You know how cats like be on a defined space? Well, if it's also comfy, so much the better!

This cushion is our saving grace lately. And we've passed the halfway mark. Two and a half weeks to go. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

red buttons

Those metal buttons that came on the jumper were bugging me,

so I changed them. Just right.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Friday, April 22, 2016


It's Dolly's birthday today.  A cat's thirteen is 68 in our years; that's older than we are.

I don't like to think of that, but I think she feels well enough, and is happy. We are certainly happy to have her here.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

to Boston

Cheryl and I went to Boston yesterday - to meet Val!  Such fun!

We arrived first, and waited in this park for Val.

Cheryl, in her sweater she got in Ireland

Cheryl got a text from her, and there she was, practically across the street! It was noon, so we lunched right away, in the North End.

Very nice, but dessert had to be somewhere else, at a gelato and cannoli place down the street.

Paul Revere's house took very little time to go through. So strange, that it would be surrounded so closely by so many modern (relatively) buildings. 

Love the windows.

Val, in front of a gift shop

We went into several gift shops, which were all pretty much the same, but there was one which was inside the Union Oyster House restaurant. As we poked around I realized they were playing jazz - it sounded like Paul Desmond's saxophone. I said, "Dolly would love this place!". Val laughed. She knows me.

It was a cool day - the coolest day in an otherwise June-like week. We saw the harbor nearby, so we wandered over there. It was quite brisk near the water!

Very bracing. We walked around a lot, admiring the architecture. There's lots of it to admire in Boston, and not only the old buildings. Many of the modern ones were very pleasing. 

The Old State House, site of the Boston Massacre

famous patriot Sam Adams,  cousin to John, our second president

Cheryl and I wondered to ourselves at the small bag Val carried - she hadn't checked in to her hotel yet -  she was carrying her stuff around with her, but we marveled that she could make do with so little, even on a short trip.

Well, we got to see a little of what she was carrying; before we parted, she produced for each of us, a bag of homemade chocolate chip cookies and some candy, sweetly wrapped and decorated! 

 Gosh, Val! That little heart has an L on the other side - she made that, too! Did you have any room for your own stuff in there?

It was a lovely day. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

not baffled at all

I saw him climb right up there, no problem.  I think the hole gives something to grab onto.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Friday, April 15, 2016

copying a dress

When Lent began, I thought it would be good to have a project to work on a little at a time. I poked around my pinterest boards and decided to try and copy a dress.

(image originally from Blue Fish clothing site)

A rather funky style, but appealing to me.

This Anna Maria Horner pattern, which I had but hadn't used yet, seemed like a good place to start - it's similar enough. I redrew it, then cut it up into three sections. Using some Alabama Chanin organic jersey in a dark gray left over from a skirt, I was able to cut out the first two sections from it, and the rest is also AC fabric in persimmon. It was almost Easter when I hand-stitched the neck binding and tried it on. It was way too big, and after working on it for so long, I decided to put it aside.

I've been mulling it over and tonight I removed the neck binding. I'll also have to pick out the top stitching on the shoulder seams before I can take it up at the shoulders, but that's what I have to do.

I've also been wondering what to wear underneath it; in the above photo it looks like she's got a slip on! Don't worry - I don't expect you to like it because I do!  ;)  Anyway, I think I'm just going to make another persimmon layer at the bottom, instead of having to wear something underneath.  After all this, I hope it ends up wearable. It's an interesting exercise to try and copy something, and not for the faint-hearted. Wish me well!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

the cat came back

I opened the front door after work to get the mail, and surprised him on the step  -  he's coming more often now.

Then he sunned himself on the driveway.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

a thoroughfare for cats

Tootsie has returned for another visit.

It goes like this: my brother feeds them in the morning, shutting Dolly in his room to eat so Tootsie can come up for a while. Before he goes to work, he puts her back downstairs. After I've dressed and eaten breakfast, I put Dolly in somebody's bedroom and let Tootsie upstairs again. I need to get in the basement to do laundry and get food from the pantry, etc. After two or three hours I put her down there again and let Dolly out.  This goes on all day, trying to be fair to both of them. 

At least, that's the plan. Today when I put Dolly in the spare room she cried after just a few minutes. I can only ignore this for so long. I actually decided to let her out and see what happened. They went nose to nose and Tootsie got disturbed. I put Dolly in my brother's room. She cried to get out. I waited a while and let her out again. That was okay for two minutes, when I grabbed her before Tootsie could jump on her from behind.  Into the bathroom she went, in the window, where - believe it or not - she was quiet for quite a while. Till I switched them. It's going to be a long FIVE WEEKS. 

There is a nice tuxedo kitty who appeared at our front step earlier in the winter. Suddenly there he was, a cat we'd never seen, on our top step, looking at the house. We gave him food, of course. And he comes back every three or four weeks in the same way, suddenly on the top step looking at the front door. 

There's something nice and quiet about him.

I had fabric on the kitchen floor the other day and Henry came along to help me by batting around the piece of soap I was using for marking. Thanks, Henry.

This afternoon I stepped outside to shake a throw rug (we have plenty of those). I quickly realized I was shaking dust onto Sweetie, who was on her "porch" taking the air. 

I quietly turned the other way to do my shaking, and she watched me.  

It's Cat Central Station here. 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

"moral freedom"

"To prefer noble failure to vulgar success is of the essence of moral freedom and human dignity."

                                        -  Harry Jaffa, speechwriter for Barry Goldwater, from National Review

Monday, April 4, 2016

some fruit for the robins

Today I had a feeling of being in a time warp - we just finished with Easter, and out the window the white has accumulated for two days. Everything now is completely covered, and I actually had a December-like feeling, as if we have missed summer altogether and it's time for Christmas again. I don't mind snow but March's mildness didn't prepare us for this.

Anyway, my brother came home from running errands and said so many robins were in the road looking for food, he had to slow the car down. We have a bird feeder, but they don't eat seeds. I quick cut up some apple and we threw it outside in places where they might find it. 

We think they did.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

how do you iron a wool sweater?

Forget the cat hairs. I love this sweater, a good sale from Garnet Hill. It's lambswool, so I wash it in a big pan and lay it flat on a dresser in the spare room till dry. And it gets wrinkled. Then, what?

Fact 1: Wrinkled things don't iron out without some water. Fact two: I know that if you get wool wet, and squeeze it, it will felt and be ruined. Fact three: There is a "wool" setting on the iron.  So I have to gulp and do it: spray the thing with water and then apply the heat.  It works, pretty much. All the wrinkles do not come out, but I'm afraid of overdoing it.  Wool is a funny and interesting substance.

Now, where's the sticky roller?