Thursday, June 28, 2018

bare floor in the living room

It's strange to see a bare floor in the living room - the cats are probably glad to lay on the coolness of it. Settling on a suitable area rug is not as simple as I imagined, but I think I know what I want to buy now.

Here is the best photo I've ever been able to take of the beautiful Yogi -

but I am very, very sorry to report that my brother found poor Yogi two streets over on Monday morning, and he'd been hit. He picked him up and brought him to Diane's; they found a box for her husband to bury him in. He was so alive last week! Here he is hovering over Mr. Kibble, which was getting to be a problem, I admit. Not a good way to end a problem, though, is it?

Good-bye, Yogi. But, please God, no more!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Dolly outside

I've been taking Dolly out on all my days off, when weather permits.

And we plan to continue.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

our good Henry

Yesterday morning at five thirty my brother came into my room and said that Henry was laying on the kitchen floor, and he thought he had died. Yes, he had - and he was still warm.  I have tears at the back of my eyes all the time.

my favorite picture of him - and so nice they both looked at the camera

Looking back, lately he has been a little slower to come to meals and sleeping more. He also hadn't been hanging out near the radio as usual. But - we finally got rid of the old living room rug, and I just imagined he didn't like laying on the bare floor, or didn't like the idea of change. But he probably just didn't feel that great; he had been staying on a little rug in my brother's room. Poor Henry! We didn't realize.

He lived with us for seven and a half years, and we didn't know where he came from or his age. So he may have been around Dolly's age - we just didn't expect to lose him yet. He didn't do what I thought cats always did at the end, hide way underneath places, and cry when they're dying. This is what I've experienced. But if Henry had cried out yesterday morning, I think one of us would have heard him, so I really think God was merciful to him and his heart just stopped or something like that. 

He was a pious cat. (We used to joke about this.) But we have a habit of praying a rosary decade on Sunday night, and he would always come by and stay near us. 

"meditating" at Christmas - silly, I suppose, but there it is

when we used to let him out, Henry visiting with our statue of St. Francis

The other cats' mealtimes are all messed up now, because Henry always knew exactly when it was noontime and when it was five o'clock or any time to eat. The others slept later today and then I suddenly remembered to feed them two hours past the right time. He almost always greeted you, even if you just walked by - he would make a little noise, like "huh", or some such. This seemed like good manners to me. He was often underfoot and could be so annoying, but he was always nearby, and I'm missing him so much.

Maybe I will think of more to say in coming days, but for now I'm getting too teary-eyed.

Let us pause in life's pleasures to count its many tears
While we all sup sorrow with the poor;
There's a song that will linger forever in our ears,
Oh! Hard times, come again no more. 

'Tis the song, the cry of the weary,
Hard times, hard times, come again no more;
Many days you have lingered around my cabin door,
Oh! Hard times, come again no more.

While we seek mirth and beauty and music light and gay
There are frail forms fainting at the door;
Though their voices are silent, their pleading looks will say
Oh! Hard times, come again no more.

'Tis the song, the cry of the weary,
Hard times, hard times, come again no more;
Many days you have lingered around my cabin door,
Oh! Hard times, come again no more.

- Stephen Foster

Good night, Henry!

(edited to add a photo - 6/24)

Thursday, June 21, 2018

"the evidence that the thing is there"

"Do you think all beauty is just the evidence of things not seen, David?, she had asked.

If it's anything it's that, he had said. I should say that faith is the belief in something that you don't understand yet, and beauty is the evidence that the thing is there."

                                          -  Elizabeth GoudgeThe Bird in the Tree  (emphasis mine)

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

pretty, whatever it is

Outside the kitchen window used to be a forsythia, which got overtaken by a wild rose - was that link photo just taken a year ago?

Because that seems to have been totally replaced by this - something. It was windy, so hard to get a clear shot, but so beautiful!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

repairing a satin clothes hanger

I have a few of these padded satin hangers of my mother's. On this one the satin pieces had separated in the center and the batting was exposed in the middle. I took the first piece of wide ribbon I could grab and hand stitched it along either side, covering up the space. Then, I just tied a bow with the ends!

Monday, June 18, 2018


"...what is given to you you are always afraid will one day cease to be given but what you give you can give forever. Life had taught her that at long last."

                                                      -  The Bird in the Tree, by Elizabeth Goudge

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Mr. Kibble: Our history with him

I think he first appeared four or five years ago, but time goes by so fast and I'm really not sure. But one day, I think early December but no snow on the ground (don't know why I remember that) I opened the front door to do something and a cat was there, on the top step. I hadn't seen him before, but assumed he was one of Diane's and perhaps she wasn't home. But the funny thing was that he was sitting up right in front of the door as if he was waiting for me to open it. Like he'd rung the bell. Anyway, I guess I must have brought him some food out the back door and come around to leave the food, because these neighborhood cats are often shy of strangers.

Three weeks later, to the day, the same thing: I opened the door and there he was, seemingly expecting me to open it. That winter, as far as I can recall he came along every three or four weeks, although not in that exact way anymore; he would just show up and we'd give him some dry food. I began to think of him as Mr. Kibble.

He never spoke but he would look you in the eye; he seemed to have a peaceful quality about him which was appealing. I still imagined he belonged to Diane. He has been coming around on occasion since then, less often but probably a couple of times a year. I always liked seeing him when he showed up but then tended to forget about him when he went.

This photo is from a couple of years ago, when he hung out in the driveway after eating. He looks pretty good, doesn't he? His coat was always shiny and he never looked skinny. And he always would look at you. I realize many cats do this, but he seemed a little different to me. So, I never imagined he was on his own.  To be continued.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

"every person's life"

from Magnificat:  "Every person's life is God's work of art, an expression of his creative love, his goodness, his compassion."

and that includes furry persons

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

greener grass, bluer hills

"The hills on our side of the river were green, and on the other side they were blue. They got bluer farther away.

Uncle Burley said hills always looked blue when you were far away from them. That was a pretty color for hills, the little houses and barns and fields looked so neat and quiet tucked against them. It made you want to be close to them. But he said that when you got close, they were like the hills you'd left, and when you looked back your own hills were blue and you wanted to go back again. He said he reckoned a man could wear himself out going back and forth."

                                                                    -  from Nathan Coulter, by Wendell Berry

Monday, June 11, 2018

a little stitching

I finally finished the blanket;  it's very uncomplicated, but I never devoted more than a few minutes here and there to it, so it took a while.

Just a layer of chenille and a layer of flannel. I also stitched little scallops in yellow on either short end, following the chenille "waves", just for a bit of interest and to secure everything a little better. It's hard to see, isn't it? But I took so many pictures - this was the best one.

And then I washed it, to remove Sweetie's fur and sneezings.

Sunday, June 10, 2018


O God, from whom all good things come,
 grant that we, who call on you in our need, 
may at your prompting discern what is right,
and by your guidance do it.

                    - from the Collect in today's Mass

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Mr. Kibble

I've been wanting to do a post about this cat for a year, but I knew it would result in a long story. Which it will. But I can say a little about him for now.

I thought he was a feral cat, but then I looked it up and a feral is one who was born outside to a "homeless" cat, and there is something about him which seems like he isn't entirely unsocialized. See how he looks at me taking the picture; he has a steady way of looking in your eyes - I don't know if ferals do that. But he won't let you near him. So, he's on his own, and between us and Diane up the street, we are trying to keep him safe, fed and in this immediate area. But there is more to tell and I will have to do it later. Meanwhile, please remember Mr. Kibble in your prayers, and all others like him, who depend so much upon the kindness of strangers.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

chenille baby blanket

I am working on a simple baby blanket for the girl next door, who had a baby. I had chenille left from my robe project, and some white cotton flannel. Very simple, and I hope useful for this time of year.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

joy and gladness

Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.

- from Psalm 90

Friday, June 1, 2018

a visit to John Adams' homes

I almost forgot to post about my trip to see John Adams. A few of us went; it was a clear day, which was good.

You first go to a visitors' center where you can buy things, but they want you to watch a short film first. Many of the actors from the miniseries did the narration.  Then you wait for the trolley to come.

It runs on the road, not on tracks but it had lots of charm. We traveled for five minutes or so and ended up at an intersection and there, near these busy streets, was the house where he was born.

Seventy five feet away, the house where he and Abigail settled after marrying, and where John Quincy was born. (the 5th photo down)  If you've ever been in one of these old, New England homes, you'll be able to guess what they looked like inside: very spare and simple.

I confess I was more interested in looking and listening than in taking pictures.

After John and his wife came back to Boston from Europe where he'd been our first ambassador to Great Britain, they wanted a larger house, and that's where the trolley took us next.

He named it Peacefield. Wisteria was blooming everywhere! And lilacs. 

I've never seen wisteria up close. Inside, we saw John's study - his own spectacles were there, but the rooms were roped off, so we couldn't get close. I would have liked to have seen those. The wing chair where he had a stroke and died a few days later was there, and in a bedroom, the bed where Abigail had died of typhoid.*

There was another building on the property where John Quincy kept his library and other important things from his father. The desk at which John wrote his defense of the British officers accused in the Boston Massacre:

And a very special Bible, given to John Quincy in gratitude for defending the slaves aboard the Amistad who mutinied.

on the table 

Back at the gift shop, I was glad to see many books on the era of the Revolutionary War, and nice things to buy, not junky stuff. It was a good day.

*In the morning when I was getting dressed that day, I had the radio on. The news: "In Quincy Mass., in a daycare center, a child has been found to have typhoid fever." How strange to hear on that day, when I'd never been to Quincy before.

John Adams died fifty years, to the day, after the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson died on the same day, a few hours earlier. It was July 4th, 1826.