Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunny Sunday

First, thank you for all your kind words about our dear Deuce. They are very much appreciated.

But Deuce was a happy  cat, and he'd want us to focus on the things that make us smile... so...
While I was disappointed that the Indian Blanket sunflowers were not as advertised, I have to admit they have been a nice addition to the garden this year... not just because they are pretty....
They are a pollinator paradise.  If you're one of those people afraid of bees, my yard is not the  place for you. It's a postage stamp backyard crammed to the gills with bee-friendly plants and there are days it's literally buzzing out there! The sunflowers are a definite bee favourite.
 No matter the type... we've got sweat bees, honey bees, bumble bees, carpenter bees.... But it's not just the bees stopping by for these big yellow beauties. They are a favourite of the ubiquitous white cabbage butterflies (there's ALWAYS one or two fluttering around the yard), but they've also attracted some other friends...
It took a lot of patience and running about...
 But I finally got some pics of our Monarch friend! I've actually seen quite a few Monarchs this year (which I hope is a good sign)...
... and they seem particularly fond of the sunflowers.

But it's not just insects... the sunflowers have invited one last unexpected guest...
The pictures aren't great, because I had to snap them through the glass of the back door - but these beautiful little finches are regulars in the yard now.
There's a 50/50 chance that there will be one flitting about when I look out the door. And it seems as if they've been having quite the feast!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Deuce 2004-2017

It's with great sadness that I announce the passing of another of the Wandering Cat clan.
Late this week we had to say goodbye to Mom's mighty house panther... the noble Deuce.
Deuce started life with my brother's family. Miss Pee was just a wee one. He got his name thanks to the extra toes on his front feet...
Big double dew claws that gave him "mitts"
We he was a couple years old, he had some pretty serious health issues. My brother was long-haul trucking, and my sister-in-law had her hands full with a toddling Miss Pee, so Mom took Deuce in. he recovered quite nicely  and took over their house....
... and the neighbourhood.
Like all the cats of our clan, he had a good long life - spoiled as could be.
 While he was quick to tell you when he didn't like something...
He was also quick with a purr and a snuggle.
 He will be very much missed.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Friday felines

When we moved in, I didn't have a curtain rod long enough for the sliding door in the livingroom, so I made do with a couple of cup hooks and a bamboo pole. It was supposed to be a temporary measure...

... fast forward four years. Property management recently installed new, super-bright LED street lights around the survey. It's great from a safety perspective, but a little bit of an annoyance because one of those lights is right outside our bedroom window. So, I invested in a set of black-out curtains, and decided to move the old bedroom curtains to the living room (you may remember the living room curtains were in quite a state thanks to several years of cat wear and tear).

When I made the switch, it quickly became evident that the bamboo pole wasn't going to be sufficient, so last week I finally got around to getting a proper curtain rod.
 While it looks much nicer, it has one serious drawback. The rod is up much higher than the pole was, so now the curtains don't pool on the floor...
... making is much more difficult to create the perfect little cat fort...

Poor Ru... sometimes it's not easy being him.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Burton in the wild

Unlike Rupert and Peno, Burton is pretty much fearless. That means we have to take a different approach to yard training with this one...
Doesn't he just look so fetching in his little red harness?
Unlike Rupert, he has no issues with wearing a harness. Getting it on him is easy as pie. It's the leash he's not fond of. He's still pretty sure that if he rolls enough, it will come off.
When that doesn't work, he tries a leap at high speed. Of course all that does is show him the limits of how far he can go.
Eventually he gives up and decides to just enjoy the feeling of grass under his feet.
 And takes advantage of all the new toys the yard provides.
Of course, eventually,  a bug or something will catch his eye and he's sure to vocalize his dismay at the limits of his confinement.
But over all, he seems to enjoy the fresh air.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Harvest time

Yep... it's time
I don't know if it was all the rain we got this spring, or if the plants are just more established, but we've got a crazy amount of raspberries this year.
Right now I'm getting a bowlful every day. And this is just the first batch. They will take a break over August, and start fruiting up again in September.

I have high hopes for the blackberries this year too..
As you can see, they are just starting to colour. Last year about this time they got a horrible fungal disease and started to rot. I've got some fungicide on hand now, but so far things are looking good.
I'd almost forgotten I'd planted yellow beans, until I was weeding the other day and looked down at the plants. We won't get many (Dave already ate this one) as the plants are small, but it's still nice to see them growing.

Then there's this sad tomato plant
and I have another one just like it. I have no idea why, but they just never thrived. The third plant however...
..while nowhere near as spectacular as the ones I used to plant in the ground, at least looks like a healthy, happy plant. Another week or two and they should start to ripen.

What's good to eat in your garden?
*For those who asked... I did find out who won the garden contest. The first place winner was the one we all expected... they have a beautiful, large established garden... totally worthy. The second place winner was more controversial. They'd pretty much just planted red and white impatiens - and while nice and neat and tidy, there were several others (not including mine) who's gardens were much more deserving. But I guess that's the way these things go sometimes...

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

New project

I'll be honest, I've been in a bit of a knitting funk this last week or so. After getting the first Exhibition sock done, I've barely been in the mood to pick up the needles. When I have been, I've tried to get moving on the fair projects, but just kept changing my mind and frogging.

I'm seriously reconsidering this fair thing. I think I may have bitten off more than I can chew, and if it takes the joy out of knitting, what's the point? I may still whip up a couple of small things, and enter the few things I've already got done... but for now...
I'm back to designing. This is another skein of Mom's beautiful handspun (100% merino) and it's going to be a cute little cropped cardi with lace edging.
I'm still trying to decide which yarn to use for the edging. I dyed the left one (Barn Cat in Cornflower) specifically for it, but then I started winding up the right one (Alley Cat in Skylark) for a pair of train socks...  I'm leaning toward the Skylark at the moment though I worry it may be a touch too busy for the lace.

 But I've got a while to go before I have to make a final decision.

The other day, I went on a little shopping spree. I had coupons for one of the stores, and to get 50% off, I needed $150 worth of items... when I got to the cash, I learned I'd miscalculated and was $4 short. I turned to the 'impulse' shelves and this jumped out at me
A cute little HK clutch, At first, I thought it would be idea for throwing my phone and a few dollars in when I didn't want to carry my whole purse..., but now I'm thinking it would make a great little bag for knitting tools! What do you think?

Monday, July 17, 2017

Princess Peno still rules the roost

Of the two cats...
...Peno is the one who's handled the new addition with the most grace. Of course, as I mentioned, this isn't her first rodeo. In fact, she was far more put out about Rupert than she was about Burton.

With Burton, it's almost as if she just shrugged her shoulders and sighed in resignation. It helps that Burton is pretty good with her. When Rocky was a kitten, he was an absolute nightmare, but for the most part, Burton leaves her alone. When he does get in her face, she's been quick to give him a good thump and put him in his place, so he's figured things out pretty quick. And why bother with the cranky old girl, when you've got a Ginger Nut to chase?

I have caught her grooming him a time or two, and while he hasn't snuggled up with her yet, it's not uncommon to find them snooze the afternoon away under the futon together - not touching, but no more than an inch or two apart.

Little Burt has slipped into our lives like he was meant to be.