Friday, December 31, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
I hope everyone had a safe and joyous Christmas. My Christmas was relaxing and enjoyable. We had our traditional fried oysters on Christmas Eve. Christmas morning the kitties got their gifts. They had lots of fun with their new toys after indulging in some of their new catnip. My cousin and her husband visited at my brother's in the early afternoon. I left hubby at home with directions to get the turkey in the oven while I joined them. We had our Christmas dinner that evening. There were only three of us, so we had lots of food to eat and we all stuffed ourselves.
It began to snow here Christmas afternoon and snowed on through Sunday morning. I measured almost 4 inches on my deck when it stopped. We were lucky that we only got the edge of the storm. I felt sorry for those who were stranded by the snow, but it was so pretty coming down and really made it look like Christmas. Almost all of our snow has melted now and the prediction is for warmer temperatures this weekend.
My computer is in the process of dying, so I've been trying to back up everything and transfer files to my laptop. Other than working on that, I've been lazy since Christmas. Hubby got me a Nook, so I've been curled up under my throw reading. I'm a little over halfway through House Rules by Jodi Picoult and have several more books ready to read. I promise to work on all those items on my To Do list after the first of the year. I've declared this week a vacation.
Friday, December 24, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
This is Maggie May speakin'. I'm real excited about Santa Claws comin'. I have only one wish this year. I want someone to take away that gray and white cat who came here a few months ago. Mommy and Daddy call it Mollie Ann - I call it Intruder and I hate it. I been tryin' to kill it. but Mommy and Daddy keeps us apart so I can't git to it. Please just make it go find it's own home 'cause this is my place - I was here first. Does anyone want a gray and white cat? I'll give you one for Christmas.
This is Mazie Grace wishin' you a Merry Christmas! I've been a good girl this year. I worked real hard keepin' all the mice, rats, and moles away. I been huntin' every night - that's why I sleeps all day. My wish for Christmas is some peace and quiet - please make my sisters stop fightin'. I can't get my beauty sleeps with all the hissin' goin' on round here. Santa Claws can bring me some cheese 'cause I loves cheese. I hope Santa brings you something nice. I can save you a big fat mousey if you want.
Merry Christmas from Mollie Ann! I am so thankful this year that I found me a new home. I have lots of food and treats, a warm bed, and lovin' and pettin', from Mommy and Daddy. My new sister Maggie May wants me to go away and tries to kill me, but I'm not goin' nowhere. I'm stayin' right here. I want Santa to brings me some new toys. I have a basket full, but I wants some more. I want some food too 'cause I loves to eat. I hope you get all your Christmas wishes!
Friday, December 17, 2010
The tree is up and decorated.
My collection of Santas are lined up under the tree awaiting the gifts.
Signs of Christmas are showing up all over the house.
Snow has decorated the window boxes on the porch.
Yes, it's really beginning to look like Christmas at our house. It's even beginning to smell like Christmas. I spent the day in the kitchen baking cookies and making candy. We're going to put on at least 10 pounds each if we eat all these goodies.
Hope everyone is having a wonderful day.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
I did get to the hairdresser last week. I had decided to stop coloring my hair and embrace the natural gray. Well, my hair isn't a pretty shade of gray - it's a mousey, steel grey mixed with brown. It looked so bad I had to get it colored again. It's now back to it's natural dark brown. Tuesday I have an appointment to get my eyes checked. I will need to get new glasses. My lenses are so scratched I can hardly see through them. I'm trying to decide what type of frames I want to get. I hate making decisions.
I'm sure everyone is busy with Christmas preparations and festivities. Have a good week!
Sunday, December 5, 2010
My Thanksgiving/Christmas cactus began blooming around Thanksgiving and will probably bloom up until Christmas. I think it was suppose to be a Christmas cactus, but it's always a bit early so I call it a Thanksgiving/Christmas cactus. I keep it in the guestroom which has south and west facing windows. All of my plants thrive in that room.
We had a light dusting of snow last night. It wasn't enough to cover the ground, but it was so pretty coming down. It made me suddenly realize that winter has arrived. I need to get outside and winterize a few things, but it was too cold and too windy today - maybe tomorrow.
I haven't gotten any more sorting out done at my Dad's house. I think the clothes were one of the major clutter areas. I will probably leave most things for my brother to take care of. He was back in New Jersey last week, so I was cat sitting. Sandy (the cat) was lonely, so I sat and brushed him each time I went to feed him.
I'm hoping I can get some of my Christmas decorations up next week. I also want to do a little baking.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
I've been busy the last week trying to clean out junk at my Dad's. My brother is gradually moving his stuff into the house, so we have to get rid of the clutter to make room. My parents lived in that house for 65 years, so things have been accumulating for that long. My Dad didn't believe in throwing anything away. He believed it might come in handy one day or he might be able to fix it. Mom would try to clean out closets and Dad would rescue his things and put them back.
Then, as Mom got older, she didn't feel like going through and cleaning things out. I would offer to help, but she didn't want the confusion or mess involved. As a result, things kept piling up. Mom often told us she was going to come back as a ghost and laugh at us when we had to clean everything out. I wonder if she did. I listened, but didn't hear her laughing.
My sister came and got most of the valuable family antiques. Some have been in the family for hundreds of years. She has the only children in the family, so everything will eventually go to her two boys. Most of the usable and non-junk items will stay there for my brother to use.
We spent most of our time cleaning out old clothes in closets. We had cleaned out Mom's clothes after she passed away, so all we had to deal with were Dad's. I bet my Dad never threw away any clothes. Some of the suits must have been fifty years old. He had farm work clothes that wouldn't even make decent rags, they were so worn. I know we took at least twenty bags to the dumpster. We still have a pile to take to Goodwill.
While going through closets, we found a box of old curtains that I remember being at the windows when I was little. We also found a doll that I remember. There is a box of letters that my brother and I wrote to Mom and Dad when we were in college. When I get a chance I'm going to read them. I'm sure as we go through other things, we will find lots of memories.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
We finally pulled up all the tomato vines today. They were full of little green tomatoes, but only a few were getting ripe. I did manage to get several fresh garden tomatoes for our Thanksgiving dinner. Don't they look yummy? One year I saved some of the green tomatoes, wrapped them in newspaper and stored them in a cool place. That year we had garden tomatoes for Christmas. They weren't as good as summer tomatoes, but were better than store bought tomatoes in the winter.
My brother will be back in Virginia tomorrow night. I've had cat sitting duty this week while he was gone. We'll have turkey and all the side dishes Thanksgiving Day. There will only be three of us, so we will have to do a lot of eating. I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!
Sunday, November 21, 2010
About four weeks ago my neighbor who owns the field right in front of my house decided to fertilize his fields using manure from the chicken houses. If you've never had the misfortune to smell chicken manure in large quantities, let me assure you that it is not a pleasant odor. The manure they spread was very, very dry and must have been powder-like in consistency. There were large clouds of manure coming out of the back of the truck spreading it. Some of these clouds headed directly toward my house. I immediately made sure all windows were tightly closed on the house and on the vehicles. I watched as a fine dust of manure mixed with feathers settled on everything outside.
Luckily, the wind shifted after awhile and blew the clouds in the other direction. It was a bit smelly outside for a few days, but after we had a rain the odor was gone. Just one of the joys of living in the country.
Friday, November 19, 2010
This is the side of our front yard.
This is the side of our back yard.
View across the field on the other side of the house.
This is the red maple in our front yard. It was planted over an old well and fell below ground when the well caved in. It gradually grew out of its hole and now looks like a bush rather than a tree.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
I would like to thank each of you for your kind words and expressions of sympathy on the passing of my Dad. I have really been touched by the kindness of the blogging community. You are a great group of people and I'm honored to know you.
I'm looking forward to things getting back to normal. It must be a sign of getting older when you crave routine and boredom. We went over the yard with the leaf vacuum for the first time this week. The leaves were falling as fast as we were getting them up. Our trees have turned and are very colorful. I must get out and take some pictures before the color fades.
The cats still hate each other. I'm beginning to think they will never get along. I've quit trying to keep the peace. They'll have to sort things out themselves. I'm taking care of my Dad's cat Sandy while my brother is in New Jersey. My brother will be moving back here to my Dad's house over the next couple of months, so the days he's in New Jersey, I will be a cat sitter. Luckily Sandy can stay at home and I won't have to introduce another cat to my three.
Hope you all have a beautiful Sunday.
Monday, November 8, 2010
We don't usually have many visitors, but over the weekend there were lots of people going in and out. Maggie May is terribly upset over all the strange people smells in her house. She never has been a friendly cat - usually hiding under the bed when someone comes and staying there for at least an hour after they leave. She had been crying and pacing the floor all night, until I finally calmed her down a few minutes ago. Mazie Grace is out and about on her nightly hunting expedition. Last night was very productive - she had a squirrel and a bird for breakfast this morning. Mollie Ann is in the garage curled up on the rocking chair, resting after filling her fat belly.
Our weather has been sunny but cool. It finally feels like fall. We haven't had a frost around my house yet, so my flowers are still blooming. The tomato plants look better than they did all summer, and I have lots of little green tomatoes that will probably never ripen. We will have to start getting up leaves before long - they are falling fast. I haven't gotten used to the idea of fall yet, and before long Christmas will be here. Seems the older I get, the faster time flies.
I'm off to catch up on your blogs - if I don't fall asleep first.
Monday, November 1, 2010
I haven't seen the little black dog again. I hope he found his way home. Our next dog will find us one of these days. If one doesn't show up at our door, we'll visit the local SPCA.
The cats are not getting along any better, but they do try to avoid each other. Maggie May is the main instigator of trouble. She is very jealous and has quite a temper. Hubby was petting Mazie Grace the other afternoon, while Maggie was sitting close by watching his every move. He was ignoring Maggie, so I told him he should pet her too. When he tried, Maggie hissed and growled at him and tried to nip his hand. A few minutes later, she jumped on his foot and tried to bite him. She wouldn't let him touch her until several hours later when all seemed to be forgotten and forgiven. Maggie thinks she is the top cat in this household.
I may not get to update my blog for awhile. My Dad is not doing well, so I've been spending most of my time trying to care for him. He is refusing to eat or drink anything, so we have to continually force liquids into him. I'm afraid he won't be with us much longer, so I want to spend as much time as possible with him.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
I must admit, I'm a bit disappointed. I was getting excited about having a dog again. I just need to be patient. One day a dog will show up that needs a home and it will decide to stay. Until then, you will have to put up with posts about cats.
Or maybe you would prefer to hear about snakes.
I almost stepped on this fella in the front yard yesterday afternoon. If you're not freaked out by snakes, look closely at his midsection. You can see a bulge, which I'm sure was his supper (probably a mole from the front yard.) I watched him as he made his way toward the house, up onto the front porch, and then into a crack in the siding around one on the porch posts. It got really cold last night, so he was looking for a protected place to hibernate and digest his catch. This is a black snake.
Black snakes are not poisonous and are beneficial for keeping mice and rats away. I've also heard that they will keep copperhead snakes away. Copperheads are poisonous. I almost stepped on one at my garage door last week and had Hubby kill it. I don't want to step on one of those by accident! So, little black snake be useful and chase all those copperheads away. If you do, you may hibernate in my porch post.
Now that I've scared you with snake stories, I will wish you a great weekend.
Friday, October 22, 2010
I talked softly to it and tried to check it's condition without scaring it. It would stand and put a little weight on the hurt leg, so I hope that means nothing is broken, just bruised and sore. I got several hamburger buns and fed it. It gobbled them down quickly. I went to town this afternoon and got a bag of Puppy Chow and have fed it two bowls and took it a bucket of water. It has perked up and is beginning to think I can be trusted.
I haven't checked to see if it is a he or a she - that's why it is an it. I'll let it rest tonight and will check first thing in the morning to see if it is still there. I'm sure it will be and I'm sure we now have a dog. Neither Hubby nor I can ignore a hungry and homeless animal.
I'm sure this is the dog we are meant to have. When we lost Black Jack in January 2006 and Charlie in August 2007, we both wanted another dog.
Black Jack and Charlie - December 2005
We have never had a puppy since all our dogs were strays - both Black Jack and Charlie were almost grown when they found us. We considered getting a puppy from the SPCA, but I just had a feeling that we were suppose to wait for a homeless dog to find us. Black Jack was special to me and I have wanted another black lab mix. Well, it looks like this little dog meets all our wants - it's homeless, it found us, it's a black lab mix, and while not a puppy it is still a youngster.
Guess my blog readers will have to suffer through posts about cats and dogs now. I just pray that no more homeless critters are sent my way - three cats and a dog are plenty, thank-you.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Mollie Ann is no longer an outsider. She has forced her way into our home and refuses to be intimidated by the other cats. She has decided that the garage is her territory. She sleeps on the rocker which gives her a good view of the food dish. Poor Mazie Grace is scared of Mollie and won't go in the garage to eat any more. We have to feed her in the house. Maggie will still hiss at her, but will usually walk away when Mollie refuses to back off.
Mollie has gotten so fat. I have never seen a cat eat as much as she does. She will eat a whole larger can of food, follow it with a dish of dry food, and be looking for more. I believe she is almost as heavy as Maggie May.
Hubby and I have been lazy lately. I have begun to get out winter clothes and put away summer clothes - a job I hate. I wish I had a big closet, so I didn't have to do this twice a year.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
We decided it was time to cut down our over grown shrubs.
We took two huge trailer loads to the landfill.
Then, we planted new shrubs that hopefully will never get that big.
I made a larger shelter for Mollie Ann and put it on the far side of the shed. No one has used it. Mazie and Mollie both use the smaller one I have on the deck. I may move it closer to the house. I put insulation in this one using rigid foam insulation so it will be cozy when it gets cold.
We just finished staining the deck and pool deck again. We put a thick coat on this time, so I hope it will last several years.
We've been picking up walnuts every other day. The black walnut tree is full again this year. They are very destructive to lawn mower blades, so we have to get them up.
And, I've been busy trying to keep the peace with these three females. We haven't had any bad fights yet - just lots of hissing and growling. I think they are beginning to accept the existence of the others. All three are in this picture. It's the first time the three of them have been in close proximity. You can just see my tomato plants in this picture. I'm still getting a few small tomatoes and some cherry tomatoes. It won't be long before I'll clean out the garden beds.
As you can see, we've been busy, but not with fun or exciting activities.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Friday morning I awoke to clearing skies, so I sat down at the computer to check my email and blogs. I still couldn't get online! Now I was really getting a bit anxious and was feeling online withdrawal. I called the local firm that originally installed my dish to report that I was having problems. They came out that afternoon and had me online in no time. The cover to the receiver on the dish was cracked and water had gotten inside, so they replaced the cover. I have now caught up on my email and blogs. Life is back to normal.
We are still shuffling cats around in order to prevent fights. The nights that it was raining, we kept Maggie May and Mazie Grace in the house so Mollie Ann could stay in the garage. I got Hubby to buy a larger tote and some sheets of foam insulation to make another shelter to put behind the shed. Directions for the shelter are here. We'll keep the smaller one on the deck since Mazie Grace likes to sleep in it. Maggie May is still determined to kill Mollie Ann. That seems to be her major goal these days. She sits on the deck watching and waiting for her to come. I have to bring her in the house so Mollie Ann can come up to eat every evening. It keeps me busy trying to keep the peace around here with three female cats.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
We finally got some much needed rain yesterday. It was a real treat. It's been a long time since we had a cool, wet day. We're hoping for some more tomorrow.
I did worry about little Mollie Ann, however, since she has been living in the wooded area beside the house. I had seen instructions for a simple shelter for feral cats in a recent issue of the Humane Society's magazine All Animals. I had an old storage tote that I wasn't using, so Hubby and I cut a door in the side, put an old towel in it, and set it on the deck. We may move it behind the shed so it will be closer to where Mollie Ann stays during the day.
I don't think Mollie Ann has used her shelter yet. Mazie Grace discovered it this afternoon and she spent all afternoon sleeping in it. That's her in the picture. At least I know that one of the cats will use it.
Friday, September 24, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Yesterday, we decided to take another trip to Monticello. We wanted to tour the upstairs rooms that just opened to the public this year. I left my camera in the car because I knew that pictures were not allowed in the downstairs rooms. However, they did allow pictures to be taken upstairs. Next time we go, I will know to take my camera.
To reach the second floor, you must go up narrow, steep, winding stairs. The rooms are unfurnished, except for alcove beds. These rooms were used by family members and guests. The third floor, also reached by narrow, steep stairs, contains the rotunda. I thought this was the prettiest room in the house, however, it was never used for anything except storage.
After leaving Monticello, we stopped at the Kluge Estate Winery for a bottle of their wine. It was an enjoyable morning outing.
Mollie Ann is doing fine. I take her back to the vet tomorrow afternoon to have the stitches taken out. We let her out of the garage Sunday morning, since she was getting very restless and had torn up the window blinds. :-( She still stays gone all day and comes up to the house at dark for her supper. Mazie Grace seems to be accepting her presence, although she is not happy about it. Maggie May is the aggressive one. She acts like she wants to inflict pain on her.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Doesn't she look comfortable?
My brother is at my Dad's for the weekend which means that the nurses aides are not there. We have been busy with his care. He cannot stand at all now, so we have to lift him when moving from the bed to the wheelchair and to his recliner. I have much admiration for nurses and those who care for people - I could never do it.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
I have been so tied up with issues concerning my Dad and life in general, that I have totally neglected blogging. Sometimes you have to deal with the most important things first. I'm hoping that things will settle down now and I can get back to my usual routines.
All of you who were betting on Mollie Ann becoming a member of the household are winners. When she comes to the deck tonight around dark, I will put her in the garage. Then in the morning she will go to the vet to be spayed and to get a rabies shot. I haven't found anyone who will claim to be her owner. I don't know where she goes during the day, but every night around 8 PM she comes across the back yard and up on the deck for her supper and for water. She is always gone by daylight.
After a little effort, I convinced her that I was not a danger. Once she allowed me to touch her, she was overjoyed to be held and petted. She was someone's pet and is used to being held. She even got in my lap last night and went to sleep.
Of course. Maggie May and Mazie Grace are not very happy that she invades their area. In fact, Mazie Grace watches for her at night and tries to chase her away. So far, we've only had some hissing and growling - no physical fights. I'm sure with time they will accept her presence - or at least I hope they will.
We are still getting summer weather. It's been in the upper 80s or 90s - today was 93. We haven't gotten any rain since August 19th, so it is terribly dry. Some areas have limited the use of water since the reservoirs are so low. Our water comes from a well, so we are being careful with our water use too.
I'm off to get Mollie in the garage and then catch up on a week's worth of blog posts .....
Thursday, September 9, 2010
This is Mollie Ann. I don't know if she is merely a visitor or if she has moved in. Maggie May and Mazie Grace keep telling her to go away - that this is their home and she should go find her own place to live. Hubby says she belongs to someone and is just coming by to get food. He's thinking about the $500. plus vet bill for spaying, shots, etc. we had for Mazie Grace when she showed up. I think she is so sweet and I want to adopt her. Time will tell.......
Saturday, September 4, 2010
We started putting a bowl of dry food beside a bucket of water on the deck every night. I would watch at the window. Every night as soon as it gets dark, she comes up and eats her food and drinks some water. She seems to stay around the deck all night. I don't know where she hides during the day. If she sees any movement at the window she will run off, so she is very scared. I can't get a good look at her, but she appears to be gray and white.
I've got to try to gain her trust so I can get my hands on her. If she is not pregnant already, I need to get her to the vet quickly. Of course, Maggie May and Mazie Grace are not very happy that this stranger is coming around their house.
I cannot understand people who will take a cat or dog they no longer want and drop it off beside the road - left alone to hunt for food or starve. All of our pets except Maggie May have been throw aways that we have taken in. They all have been sweet and loving animals. Looks like we may have cat number three.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
The band originated in northern Florida in the Jacksonville area. Grey grew up on a farm near the swamps. His music reflects his childhood and his love of the land and nature. He isn't into the LA, New York, or Nashville music scene. He writes his songs on the front porch of his farm and records at a small, local studio.
Listen to one of his songs. I bet you can't sit still!
It's "The Sweetest Thing".
Saturday, August 28, 2010
We're having some wonderful weather. The nights are cool and perfect for sleeping with the windows open. The days have been in the upper 80s and lower 90s - perfect late summer temperatures. I would like to keep this weather year round. Maggie May and Mazie Grace have been enjoying the cooler evenings by chasing each other all over the back yard. I wish I had their energy!
I'm off to check your blogs.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Can you see Mazie Grace in this picture? I looked all over the house for her yesterday, and finally found her in the guest room hiding in the bookcase. My cats can find some weird places to sleep.
We’ve had two days of wonderful rain for a total of 3.1 inches. We really needed the rain after our two dry months.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
I'm one of those people that attracts all sorts of biting insects. If there is a mosquito within a mile, it's going to find me. All sizes of ticks will seek me out. Hubby and I can sit by the pool in the evening and the bugs will swarm around me and totally ignore him. I guess this is the price I pay for being so sweet. Yes. I do have some bug repellant. It's sitting in the garage beside the sunscreen. I never remember to use either one.
Anyone have any favorite methods for getting rid of those little ticks once they get all over you?
Monday, August 9, 2010
We started out this year with only a few hummingbirds. I put out one feeder so those that were here could eat. I didn''t want to attract any more, because I was afraid the cats would catch them. Surprisingly, Maggie May and Mazie Grace don't pay any attention to them. Maybe they move too fast, or maybe they are so small it isn't worth the effort to try to catch them.
Our few have multiplied over the summer and we now have a bunch of the little birds. I love to sit and watch their antics. They can be very loud for such little things - chittering back and forth. They can also be very mean. I have a male who will not allow any other hummingbirds to get close to the feeder. He will viciously attack any that come near.
When I take the feeder down to refill, they wait impatiently for me to put it back. Several will get right in my face and fuss at me if I'm too slow. They can put on quite a show.
We had a couple of good rains last week. Some areas had violent storms with lightning and wind damage. We were lucky since we didn't get the strong winds. Our parched, brown landscape turned green and lush in a matter of days. We've actually had grass to cut. It perked up my garden, but also made my tomatoes crack. The cucumbers are producing a second crop, but the squash are beyond hope.
The heat is still with us. Both June and July were the hottest on record for this area. August is continuing the trend. We've been spending our time either in the AC or in the pool. We have several day trips we want to take, but it's been too hot. They will have to wait for cooler weather.
Monday, August 2, 2010
My computer has also been cranky lately and has been freezing up more than usual. I've been wanting a new laptop that I could take out to the pool deck so I decided it was time to order one. I got a HP Pavilion dv6-3020. It was delivered Saturday night. I've been working on getting it set up. I finally got my printer to work with it just a few minutes ago. Right now I am creating my recovery discs. This laptop is so different from my desktop. It's going to take me awhile to learn how to do things. I don't have anyone to help me so I have to learn by trial and error (with a lot of error).
We had a birthday party for my Dad yesterday. He turned 96 on Saturday. We had close family for a meal followed by birthday cake. He enjoyed having everyone together and being the center of attention. I forgot to take my camera so I didn't get any pictures. My Dad always said he planned on living to 100 - he only has four more years to go.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
More beautiful rock formations. There are giant pillars and massive and fantastic forms, many adorned with patterns. There are crystal fountains, cascades, and magical and mythical looking formations. If you look hard enough, you will find all sorts of hidden designs and forms
This is a picture taken in the Cathedral which contains the Great Stalacpipe Organ. It is the world's largest musical instrument. Stalactites covering 3 1/2 acres of the surrounding caverns produce tones when electronically tapped by rubber tipped mallets. You get to hear a song played on the organ, which is quite beautiful.
This is called the Double Column. It is 47 feet tall and is composed of both stalactites and stalagmites. The area it is in is called Giant's Hall. The ceiling is over 60 feet in height.
I love these formations that look like fringe or draperies. It takes about 120 years to form one cubic inch. It's hard to comprehend how many years it has taken for these caverns to form.