As We Head Into The Weekend

For those of you who didn’t see my updates in yesterday’s comment section: the latest on the cat story. Late in the morning, Don remarked that he saw a big male cat headed toward the orange tabby in heat (who was, once again, on our porch). I jumped up, scared him off, and watched our girl continue to rub and writhe and present her hind end as an enticement to our visitor.

I scared the intruder off a second time. And then I called my neighbor, all the while trying to keep their cat on our porch, and told her what was going on. She came over and managed to grab the cat. I didn’t see little Amber the rest of the day, so I assume they’re keeping her indoors. Meanwhile, the male cat came back twice, each time calling for her.

He finally gave up.

Two cats on our property are two cats too many. I don’t want them near our birds.

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The hens and chicks in the garden bed in front of the porch blooms every year. I had to get down to ground level to get this photo. Pretty, don’t you think?

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Don is headed out to spend the weekend at a music festival. This is the kind of festival where there are musicians performing 24 hours a day. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. He’s slotted at 12:15 am – early Sunday morning. He’s taking a sleeping bag, as everyone is camping on site. I can only hope the temperatures drop a bit, so he can sleep well. I’m driving him to a neighboring town this afternoon, where he’s going to meet up with a friend who’s giving him a ride. We’ve only got one car and I can’t be without a car for a whole weekend!

I hope he has a great time!

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This will be a good opportunity to work on the Top Secret Project. Some paint choices need to be made and some more construction needs to be done. I’m really looking forward to learning new techniques as I go about creating the interior.

Today is my mom’s birthday. I miss you, Mom. Happy Birthday.

Happy Friday.


Cats, Bees and Houses (Tiny and Very Tiny)

Do you remember a recent post where I showed a picture of a Tiny House that was being built locally? Well, I was at a local political function last night and I heard a young man talking about living in a Tiny House and I was intrigued. I introduced myself and asked about it and it turns out he lives in that  house! He and his girlfriend built in and they love it. Small world! Maybe someday I can finagle a tour?

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This little cat has been hanging around our property. She’s skinny and beautiful and I presumed she was a stray. Don spotted her, too, and I put out a bowl of milk. Then I bought some cat food and put that out. They remained undisturbed. In the meantime, if I came to the front door and she saw me, she started meowing and walked right up the steps in my direction. Or, like in this photo, she immediately knew if I was at the window and, again, walked in my direction, making lots of noise.

So, yesterday, right after I took this photo, I grabbed some food and milk and walked around the side of the house with them. She walked right up to me and was rubbing against my leg, rubbing her body on the grass obsessively…but not at all interested in food. Something was up.

I finally made a sensible move and called my neighbor. When I uttered the words, “There’s this orange tabby cat hanging around our house, have you seen her?” she immediately responded with “Yes, she’s ours.” Ah. A sense of relief – she was being fed and taken care of, especially since I had already been worrying about trying to feed her in the winter – where would she find shelter?

Reminder: I’m allergic to cats.

The problem? She’s in heat. They’ve been trying to get her into the vet but it’s been tricky because her ‘heat’ has been erratic. All I know is that she was either on our porch or sneaking into the corral or right outside the kitchen window, constantly rubbing all day long. And this morning, she’s back again, announcing her presence with a very loud howl.

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She’s beautiful, but she’s becoming a wee bit of a pain in the tush. Her name is Amber. As Don says, “Why can’t she be in heat over on their property?” For some reason, she’s picked us.

I worked on the Top Secret Project yesterday, only it’s not quite Top Secret at the moment because I let Don see the basic shape of the dollhouse. But that’s all he’ll be allowed to see. He’s excited.

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The basic structure is in place. The walls and opening in the front haven’t been added yet. I was just dry fitting them to see if they would work. I’ll do a bit more today or on the weekend. Don is going away for a singing gig this weekend, so I should have plenty of time to play around with this and start painting the various elements.

Thank you for your wonderful comments yesterday. I take heart that there are so many of us that feel strongly about this issue. I just wish everyone felt that way.

And to close, another bee drinking in the delights of the liatris:

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Happy Thursday.


Thoughts on a Wednesday

Some days are just strange, slightly edgy, a bit frustrating – and sometimes heartbreaking (more on that later). Yesterday was one of those days. Scout was not having a good day, though she’s been fairly spry of late. I’m narrowing the possible reasons why down to this one: when it’s really humid, she simply doesn’t do as well. And it’s incredibly hot and humid out there.

Well, neither do I, so I understand.

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Like my mother before me, who probably passed this particular knee-jerk reaction on to me, I hate spilling things. There’s been a fair amount of spilling going on lately. Don always wonders why I overreact in those situations. Like mother, like daughter, say I.

The car had to be taken in as part of the exhaust system had detached. Hang in there, 2001 Honda. You’re old and rusty, but you’re a real trooper. We love you. We need you to keep it together a bit longer, please.

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Don traveled into the city for an audition – navigating around Manhattan in 90 degree weather – only to have the casting director come out before the audition to warn him that the director (some up and coming theater wunderkind) “probably won’t say anything to you.”

I’ve done my share of auditioning in the past – on both sides of the table – and it costs nothing to be nice and friendly. Nothing. That kind of self-absorbed arrogance really ticks me off. Everyone who steps into that room has spent time preparing the audition, has spent money to travel to the audition (whether it’s by subway or train or bus), and deserves to be treated with respect.

Don’t get me started.

While working on my top-secret miniature project, I made a mistake that I hope I was able to fix. I’m not sure. Fingers crossed. But I was really annoyed with myself.

And then I found myself enraged and sickened by the actions of the Minnesota dentist who killed a beloved lion in Zimbabwe, by luring him out of the protected preserve in which he lived, shooting him with a crossbow, tracking him for hours and hours as he struggled in great pain, finished him off, beheaded him and skinned him. But not before triumphantly posing with his ‘trophy.’ Oh, did I mention that he paid $55,000 for that kill?

I know, believe me, that animals are hurt, hunted, betrayed, abused, every minute of every hour of every day. At times, I find I cannot handle seeing another picture of a neglected or abandoned animal. Sometimes my Facebook feed, because I am a supporter of animal welfare groups and many of my friends are, as well, is too much for me to bear. This one, however, this one, made me so sick to my stomach and so angry that I couldn’t click out of the story. I signed petitions. I went on Yelp’s site to rate his dental practice – thinking that prospective patients might want to know about this dentist’s history of trophy hunting. I did everything I could but personally grab him and wring his neck – and believe me, I felt like doing that yesterday. I feel the same today. And, of course, in the end I’m powerless – all of that activity probably achieved nothing.

I don’t understand this mind set. I don’t understand the mind of a man or woman who needs to prove something to themselves by hunting a beautiful, and many times endangered, animal and then pose with their kill. The only thing they prove is their lack of any sort of moral compass.

Oh, friends, I didn’t mean this to turn into a diatribe of any kind. I’m just heartsick today. The truth is, I’m heartsick about this sort of thing most days. But yesterday’s news sent me off into a tailspin, so much so that when we were watching a movie in the evening and one of the characters abandoned a cat, I couldn’t take it. I went to bed.

We’re fine. There is much to be thankful for. But there is also much sadness in this world.

I’ll close with a hollyhock update.

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Thanks for listening.

Happy Wednesday.


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A peek at the peak of the garden, as photographed in the early evening.

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(Just because I love this tiny little winged insect.)

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Sometimes I look at all of this and a little voice reminds me that ‘living in a cottage in the country and having a garden’ was a dream I held for most of my adult life. The cottage part of the dream was taken care of when moved here at the end of the summer in 2005. As for the garden, there were some sedum and hostas, but basically, this was a blank space.

I had to hold off on my garden dreams until the spring of 2006. It’s taken me ten summers of digging out hundreds of rocks, amending the soil, digging new beds, adding just a few plants each spring (always on a strict budget,) experimenting, shaping, and crossing my fingers to get here. Here  to this abundant and verdant space tucked in alongside the cottage, with dense woods just a few steps away.

I pinch myself and feel such gratitude for a dream finally realized.

Not that I could afford it, but even if I could, hiring someone to design and plant these gardens was simply out of the question. Just as hiring an interior designer to decorate my home was out of the question. Good, bad or indifferent; these gardens have my stamp on them.

If you have the option when establishing your gardens, take your time. In this world of instant gratification, some things are worth waiting for.

Happy Tuesday.



Random on Monday

•  We finally got around to celebrating Don’s birthday – a month after the fact. To be fair, I kept asking him when he wanted to celebrate and finally took matters into my own hands.

Where did we go?

Cracker Barrel. We rarely go there and we both love eating breakfast out and, let’s face it, Cracker Barrel has those darned delicious biscuits and grits and eggs and cheesy hash browns. Oh, lordy, we ate too much, but boy, was it good! Don opened his presents and a good time was had by all.

Scout had better things to do. She was home sleeping.

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•  We’re headed into a 10 day stretch in which 7 of those days will have temperatures above 90 degrees. Ask me how excited about that I am. Go ahead. Ask me.

Aw, don’t bother. You already know the answer.

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•  The zinnias are blooming, but I clearly didn’t plant the large ones of summers past. I don’t know why that happened. It’s disappointing for Don, who loves the big zinnias. A fail on my part. They’re very pretty. Just petite.

•  This morning I started to scan the news sites and I simply had to stop. Too depressing. Some days, like this one, become No News days in order to preserve my mental health.

•  I never order from Decor Steals, though I love many of the great deals they offer. We’re on a budget and this house is full up, thank you. But I saw a daily deal while I was in Chautauqua that made me think twice. And three times. So I ordered it. The item was very inexpensive and would, I thought, add a little practical fun to our cottage.

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It’s this two sided clock. First of all, the color is perfect for our home. I love the graphics, with London/1984/The New Era printed on the clock face. Did I ever tell you I was in a production of 1984 (in 1986) that was a big hit in Philadelphia and went on to a run at the Kennedy Center?

I digress.

Isn’t this cool? Don loves it. So do I.

I spent some time on Saturday drilling holes, cursing, drilling some more holes, and finally getting it in place.

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One side.

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The other side.

Don was recording an album all day Saturday. He and his pal, Dan, recorded 11 songs for a live album – more details will be forthcoming – and then he had a gig after that, so I didn’t see him all day. I also didn’t tell him I’d hung the clock, so he was surprised and a wee bit delighted when he saw it.

It makes us smile.

•  I’m pleased that you liked the miniature source list I posted yesterday. I’ve already added more links, and will continue adding them as time goes on. I’ll also post a link to the original post that will live permanently under the Dollhouse tab in the navigation bar. That way, it will be easily accessible for all of you mini/dollhouse fans.

New post up on Just Let Me Finish This Page.

Happy Monday.