Thursday, May 30, 2013

Plan F...

The spray bottle is actually the best idea I've found for teaching lessons except we can't carry the bottle everywhere we go or know where the cats are at all times.  So, a new plan.  I sat in the living room for several hours today with a good book and a spray bottle.  I locked both cats in with me.  Sadie, poor dear, is apprehensive all the time, creeping around low to the ground and swiveling her head in all directions with each step.  She's just waiting for Sassy to pounce.  Sassy did her creeping thing, one slow step at a time acting like Sadie was prey and  every time Sassy took a run at Sadie, I shot her with a stream of water which stopped her cold.  It took three shots before she started after Sadie and then of her own accord, backed away.  I even grabbed Sassy and gave her a good brushing on the footstool while Sadie sat in the bay window.  When Sadie went down for a nap, I removed Sassy and went to do housework.  As soon as Sadie is up again, I will repeat the process.  They will only be together when I am with them holding the spray bottle.  Sassy is actually funny when she gets hit because she has no idea where it's coming from.  Sadie is now snoozing comfortable in her window with no fear of Sassy and Sassy is curled up in her favorite chair in the family room.  Ah, peace and quiet.

Seeds, seeds, seeds.....

We've had a bumper crop of maple seeds this year.  We have three maple trees within 50 feet of our house and all three put out seeds like they were the last maple trees in the world and needed to repopulate all the maple trees.  Directly on the heels of the last maple seed dropping, our river birch started to drop seeds.  Their seed pods look like 1.5" pinecones and each one is loaded with a ton of seeds that fall like rain.   Each seed looks like a piece of oatmeal.  Between the river birch seeds and the maple tree seeds, I scooped a 5 gallon bucket just off of our deck.  We have to heavily Preen the flower beds on either side of our deck because of this yearly covering of seeds.  And still some get to germinate.  All the pots of flowers, the hanging baskets and the indoor plants are now completely covered with seeds.  The leaves of the hostas are so filled with them that you can barely see the leaves.  As if that weren't enough, now the cottonwoods all around our house are dropping their seeds and it looks like snow.

On a good note, there are now four bluebird eggs in the box on the north side of the house, seven wren eggs in the bluebird house on the west side of the house, another wren nest in an ornamental birdhouse on the south side of the house that I can't get into to count the eggs.  The bullfrogs have started to bellow and the fish have been splashing water which says they will be spawning soon.  I have annuals in pots that are doing poorly - they have plenty of rain but not enough sun since it only shines once a week or so.  We saw several butterflies today.  Too much rain so we haven't seen many.  We are still not able to get the new raised bed filled with top soil because the ground is too saturated to get the skid steer loader in without ruining our grass.  So, we wait with so very much to do and very little time to finish - we leave on vacation in 12 days.

Tote bag...

I make an assortment of these little boxes for every craft show and sell more of them than any other box I make.  I fill each one with some matching tissue, tie on a matching tag and put them in clear envelopes.  I sold quite a few to people who were going to use them for graduation gifts, gift cards, money, jewelery, etc.  This file is a free one from Bird called Tote Bag and I really love it.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A revelation...

A few days ago in desperation I found another website which offered advice on cats living together and not getting along.  It had some useful solutions we hadn't tried before.  We had already gone through Plenty.  We have toys all over the house, two feeding stations, three litter boxes.  So, that one's covered.  We didn't have so much Altitude.  So, day before yesterday I ordered a cat tower from Amazon due to be delivered today so Sadie can get up high, she's a canopy girl and Sassy is a bushes girl - usually low to the floor.  In the Love section they mentioned a water bottle so I cleaned a spray bottle really well, filled it up with water, and set it beside the chair I use in the living room.  This was two days ago.  Since then, when Sassy runs at Sadie, I squirt her with the spray bottle.  When she just lays quietly or jumps up in the window with Sadie but not bothering her, I don't spray her.  Another hint they had was removing Sassy to a carrier for 15 minutes which is something we'll do if the spray bottle doesn't work.  We tried distracting Sassy but we're read yelling is not good, tossing a toy, using a laser, some kind of distraction is the right way, but Sassy will not be distracted.  The spray bottle really works well.

It's 8:35 am, both cats have eaten, hubs closed off Sadie long enough for her to eat in peace and use the litter box and then he opened the gate.  I spent an hour this morning with the squirt bottle and the laser which both of them chased.  Twice Sassy made a run at Sadie and twice she got squirted and took off.  Sadie was in the window, Sassy went down to the family room (level two) and I went to my craft room on level four to watch yesterday's episode of Judge Judy (please don't judge me, I'm waiting for relatives to appear on it).  Sadie came up and wound around my legs for a while and let me rub her head.  When she disappeared, I went to look for her, not on level four (bedroom door is closed, she wasn't in the bathroom either.  Not in her window, the kitchen or dining room (level three), not in the family room (level 2) but Sassy was on Carl's chair and when I went to the top of the stairs leading to the basement (level one), Sadie was in the area between the two rooms right at the bottom of the stairs.  As far as I know she has never voluntarily gone to level two or level one, although we did lock Sassy up once and take Sadie down to the family room to show her the laundry room litter box which she used and as soon as I opened the laundry room door, she scooted back to her window.  It's heartwarming to see her take some ownership of the house and to see Sassy laying quietly and watching Sadie come into 'her territory'.  I'm not throwing any parties yet.  We've reach a truce several times only to have it escalate back into this perpetual chasing Sadie back to the window.  Thirteen more days before we leave and we'd love to leave them out in the open when we go.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Plan J

We are taking a new approach to the Sassy/Sadie war.  We have locked Sassy up in the living room and she will stay there for several days.  It was suggested that each cat be rubbed down with the same towel; first one cat, then the other, repeated several times a day.  Sassy will use Sadie's food and water dish, Sadie will use Sassy's.  Sassy cries when she's locked up but I don't know what else to do.  Sassy has a huge living room, toys, food, water and a litter box.  She has the bay window to sit in and a side window that opens.  Sadie has the run of the house.  I took Sadie down to the litter box in the laundry room, closed the door and sat on the toilet while she explored.  It took less than five minutes for her to use the box.  So, she knows where it is now and can explore every room but the basement and bedrooms - only because we can't get her out of them.  Eventually she'll have the same run of the house that Sassy does but for now, under beds and behind photo props are off-limits.

Today is my husband's birthday so we'll be going out tonight.  Sadie will have the house to herself since Sassy will still be locked up.  Perhaps her confidence will increase.  And in a brighter note, our female bluebird laid her first egg today.  She could lay up to five, one each day, and then she'll start to incubate them.  Unfortunately, we won't see them fledge, we'll be gone.

Questions, questions, questions

While I work in my craft room, I've been watching Miami CSI - I'm up to season nine now and I have questions.  I want to know why Natalia investigates fire scenes in skin tight white slacks and three inch heels.  I want to know why, if CSIs are not supposed to let the crimes get personal, someone always takes a personal interest in every crime.  I want to know why Horatio always stands sideways.  I want to know why the blueray player in my craft room always knows what episode I'm on, but the blueray in the family room is always six or eight episodes behind.  I'm guessing I'm not going to find out the answers to any of those questions, but still I watch.  Silly me.

I really like this card.  The shape was purchased but for the life of me I can't remember where.  That's the problem when you have a huge number of files and you don't write down the recipe for every card.  I used to but I haven't done it for some time now.  The die cuts are Memory Box, I'm sure of that, the card stock is DTWC but the file itself is a blank.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

I'm at my wit's end....

Whatever that means...  Sassy and Sadie continue to butt heads.  We have been closing Sadie in the living room while she eats and uses the litter box.  We have been tossing Sassy in the closed in living room and letting Sadie out to roam.  It amazes me they can lay in the living room window almost touching each other and still squabble.

We're only 14 days from vacation and I had thought they'd be OK with each other by now.  They can play with the same toy and still .....  I think I'm just going to let them work it out with each other.  We're keeping separate feeding stations and two litter boxes but I'm not putting the gate back up.  Sassy can't watch Sadie 24/7, she sleeps too much.  Hopefully, Sadie will just get tired of Sassy's BS and do something about it.  She does ignore Sassy most of the time, but when Sassy runs at her, Sadie runs away, usually back to her window.  The fabulous news is both cats are using the litter box all the time and Sassy is relaxed enough to allow me to brush her again.  Sadie is more nervous.  She doesn't like to be picked up and will growl when I do it.  But she doesn't show aggression.  The only rooms in the house we have closed off today are the two bedrooms and my husband's basement workroom.  We can't get Sadie out from under the beds and Carl's workroom is a maze of photo props, we'd never find her in there.  Other than those three rooms, they have the run of the house.  Let's see what they do with it.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Back to lockup....

Sassy continues to be a brat.  She keeps chasing Sadie back to her window keeping her from eating or the litter box.  We don't think it's an evil thing, Sassy isn't showing aggression, there's no hissing or growling, just a run at Sadie.  It would be so great if we could get into the minds of cats and find out just what is going on.  While the gate to the living room was down, Sadie spent 97% of her time laying in the window, only getting down when Sassy was out of sight.  With the gate up, Sadie is down and playing with toys, jumping in my lap when I spend time in the living room and seems to be much happier.  We're getting closer to vacation every day and I hate to leave Sadie locked up when we go but the prospect of her not being able to get to her litter box (and she's such a good girl) is alarming.  I'm also afraid the longer we leave the situation as is, the more ingrained it will be and we will be unable to undo the status quo. 

I spent several hours in the living room this morning playing with Sadie.  She loves balls and the long green fuzzy thing on a stick.  Then, I opened the gate and let Sassy in and they played with the mouse on the string but didn't get closer than three feet to each other.  When I left to run to the kitchen they had a confrontation -  noise only but Sadie did not back down.  And Sassy did not get her to jump up to the window, Sadie just moved to another part of the living room.  After several more of those hissy fits, I went back to the living room and sat down.  Sassy seems calmer when I'm with them.

In order to let Sadie explore the rest of the house, we locked Sassy in the living room and let Sadie roam.  She seems more amenable to that than she has previously.  She actually went into the dining room with Sassy loose so maybe she's getting more confident.  But for the most part she seems content to be in my craft room with me.  Since she's not familiar with the family room and the laundry room litter box, I will have to put her back in the living room and chase Sassy out before it's time for a potty break.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

From this window - May 20th, 2013

Yesterday my husband and I made a trip up the river road to Hornbakers Nursery in Princeton.  It's way more pricey than buying plants at Lowes but the quality is superb and the selection is amazing.  They've planted much of their property in lovely gardens you can walk through.  They also have many different ponds and waterfalls.  It's the type of place you might want to take your lunch and stay a while - not so much a store as a destination.  I found a gorgeous honeysuckle that was almost as tall as me, four beautiful Black and Blue Salvias, and a cardinal plant.  My husband bought some shade plants for his 'forest'.  He's trying to populate his 1/4 acre with native wooded plants and Hornbakers has a nice selection.  Past purchases are doing well back there and spreading.  It's a slow process but coming along.

Yesterday I noticed our Wiegela is starting to bloom.  We have two really nice sized bushes and the hummingbirds are crazy about Wiegela.  The fence is finished around the old raised bed and ready for planting.  We're going to use it as a 'way station' for some of the plants we are moving but don't know their final resting place.  We're moving plants from bed to bed to gain a more cohesive and polished garden.  Right now it's kind of English garden-y, lots of tall plants hither and yon.  The area around the pond is tangled and has some trees that have managed to take root in spite of our best efforts.  The phlox that the deer love will go in the fenced bed along with my rose bush.

The iris are just beginning to bloom and I have one water lily that bloomed yesterday.  The Lotus has put up one leaf which is always a relief (no pun intended).  I wonder from year to year if it will survive; the blooms are absolutely breathtaking.  The wren has one egg in the house in the back flower bed, they abandoned the house on the gazebo to the house sparrows so we took that one down. 

The dirt for the new raised bed that Andrew built last week is due this week when the weather will allow.  They will be using a skid steer loader to off load the dirt, run through the yard, and dump it into the raised bed.  If the yard is too wet, the loader will leave tracks and ruin the grass.  After the bed is filled, we will start moving plants from the bed behind the raised bed and Andrew will move on to pulling out the bushes in the front yard and edging some of the other flower beds.

Birthday card...

This card is one of those that stands.  I cut a piece of 8.5" x 11" paper vertically, scored both at 5.5" and tucked one inside the other.  I glued two of the panels together and scored the front card again in half.  When it's flat it fits in an A2 envelope and hides most of the garden stamped inside.  I was pretty happy with the way it turned out.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The gate is down....

I spent several hours in the living room this morning with the gate closed and both Sassy and Sadie closed in together.  I took the paper and settled into the only chair to read.  Sassy made one run at Sadie, Sadie hissed and moved under the Jimmy Buffet chair and after that they ignored each other.  Sassy found a ball to play with and Sadie moved into her spot in the bay window.    A few minutes later Sassy jumped up into the window and there they were - together, not fighting, no growling, no hissing.  After about ten minutes Sadie made her way to the right behind the plants, jumped down from the right side of the window and went to her food dish to finish breakfast. 

That was forty-five minutes ago.  My husband removed the gate, the cats are free to come and go.  The plants have been removed for their safety, fighting cats wouldn't be good for plants.  There's a litter box in the living room and one down another level that Sadie doesn't know about yet because she hasn't spent any time on the next level.  I just took this picture, I have no idea where Sassy is but she's not terrorizing Sadie, obviously.  And Sadie doesn't seem too nervous, right?  I am heading to the grocery store soon and don't feel as if I can't leave them unattended.  I'm taking a deep breath that the worst is past and we can all just get along.

Free Astrological Sign - Gemini

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

No cats in the bedroom....

Sadie has been moved from our bedroom to the living room which has been blocked off from Sassy with a really tall pet gate.  Luckily, Sassy isn't much of a jumper.  Yesterday afternoon I discovered that Sadie had both pooped and peed on our bed (and I just had the spread and mattress cover washed).  I know it's because Sassy would not let her get to the litter box, Sadie has been really good about using it.  Sadie had to go from the bedroom, down the hall, and into my craft room to use the litter box.  Sassy sits in the hallway and watches Sadie who spends most of her time under the bed.  I don't know why I didn't think of the living room before.  After the construction ended, the living room was pretty much cleaned out and we've never had much furniture in it.  My husband used it for his computer and photo work but he's moved that to the basement.  Now we just store boxes and furniture that's due for the garage sale in early June.  Eventually, we will buy a love seat and small chair for this room but for now, it's open and airy and has a window.  The plus part is the cats can see each other but can't get to each other.  Sassy is clearly the alpha female and I don't think Sadie will  jump the fence only to run into her.  I will go in a couple of times a day and play with Sadie and she can clearly see us coming and going which will make her more a part of the family than living under our bed.    It's obvious now we aren't going to hurry up this process so we might as well make everyone comfortable.  Maybe in a few days I can move the gate (after closing all the doors in the house) and play with both of them in the living room and see how that goes.  I'll also offer treats at the gate on both sides.  I did that last night and Sassy ate hers but Sadie did not.  I'll know I'm making progress when Sadie approaches the gate to eat goodies.  I'm still excited about Sassy having a companion but I'm not sure anymore that Sadie is the right one for her.  We leave for vacation in 30 days and while watching Sadie through the fence will be entertaining for Sassy while we're gone, it wasn't exactly what I had in mind.

While the spread and mattress cover have made their trip to the cleaners (again!) I have the white feather duvet on the bed - the one that Sassy pooped on just a few weeks ago.  So, the door to the bedroom is closed to cats.  Sassy wasn't a bed cat, anyway, she spent very little time on our bed.  Sadie liked to be on the bed when she wasn't under it. 

Well, I'm off to trim the old wood on the honeysuckle in the side yard.  I should have done it last year, it just looks unkempt now.  There is new honeysuckle coming up under the brush but it won't survive if we don't clear out the shade. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The truce is broken.....

Sadie has finally shaken all of the sedation medicine from her bath on Thursday.  Yesterday was spent laying around on our bed learning how to groom with no fur.  She was affectionate to us and ignoring Sassy when Sassy would come upstairs.  This morning is different.  I'm in my craft room, Sadie was in our bedroom (same floor) and Sassy was downstairs.  Suddenly there was growling and hissing and they were both in my craft room.  Sadie is on my left behind my embossing station and Sassy is under my desk on my right.  Someone has been in the litter box, but they didn't scratch, so I didn't hear it.  That happened several times last night also.  I was in here working and suddenly the room was filled with a foul odor.  Yep, someone used the box and didn't flush.  We are singing the praises of both cats who continue to use the litter boxes - Sassy uses both of them and Sadie uses one of them (even after Sassy uses it).  Makes me wonder if Sassy will still go to the bathroom in my craft room when we finally move this litter box to the basement (our living room is still blocked off so she can't go to the bathroom in there).  We are going to redo my craft room soon, probably in late May in order to gather things I don't use any more for our local neighborhood garage sale.  Since we've remodeled all three bathrooms and all three vanities were exactly the same except for width, we are going to bring them into my craft room and put a counter on top of them.  Lots of storage and a cohesive look.  I have a big craft sale coming up the 18th, we can't start until then, I'm actually still working on items to sell.

As I type, Sadie is still behind the embossing station and Sassy is still under the desk sleeping.  Maybe a confrontation will lead to something other than this apartness they have cultivated.  Sadie cannot continue to live in our bedroom and our clock is ticking down until vacation, just 32 days to go and they will be at each others mercy.  Sadie spent the night last night on our bed, snuggled between us, possibly for warmth, possibly for affection.  She climbed on the bed when I went to bed and tried to eat my Kindle again.  Be careful what you ask for - I wanted a lap cat, I think she might be one.

Craft sale on May 18th

I've recently learned how to make "word" albums in Silhouette Studio.  I saw a wonderful YouTube video that was clear and easy to follow.  You can find the video here.  I didn't have any chipboard but I do have heavy card stock so I just cut every letter twice and glued them together.  I covered the top of every letter with designer card stock which added to the weight and the underside of every letter with plain card stock so there were four layers on each letter which created a pretty sturdy album.  It's about 12" wide and a little over 3" tall and has room inside for photos and journal-ling.  This would make a cute gift for a new grandmother with photos of a new baby.  I've also created several that say "mother" and several that say "football".  I'm trying to get them finished before I have to pack for the sale on May 18th.  My next sales are September and October when I will be putting some tumblers with vinyl on them out for sale.  Of course, I still have a large selection of cards that will be going.

I'm learning to like craft shows.  My husband helps me set up the awning and tables and then goes off to do whatever husbands do after they dump their wives at the school, park, fairgrounds, etc.  He comes back to help me pack up, bless his pea-picking little heart.  I always make 'rent' money and sometimes have a really good day.  I purchased my Cameo with money made from craft sales.  I keep all that money separate from household money and when I get enough, I buy something neat.  That last week before the sale is a push to get everything done.  If the tumblers and vinyl do well, next March I will take my computer and Cameo and just do vinyl. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Bath time...

While I think the Chillicothe Vet could use some employees with training, the groomers there seem to know what they are doing.  Sadie was groggy but beautiful when she finally got home.  When I dropped her off at 7:30 on Thursday morning the last thing I said when I walked out the door was "You'll call me when she's done, right?"  And they assured me they would.  So, Thursday night about 4:30 my husband finally called to see when we could pick her up (they close at 5:00 pm) and we were told, "Oh, she's done, you can pick her up anytime."  So nice of you to call...  And this is why we don't take our animals there for vet care.

Sadie was a very unhappy camper, growling in her carrier while I tried to apologize to her.  But she smells so very good and her fur is soft and shiny (what's left of it).  I did give the groomer permission to shave her if that seemed best.  After we let her out of the carrier she walked like a drunken sailor but ate like a horse.  Due to possible sedation, we couldn't feed her after 8:00 pm on Wednesday so she was starved; she actually ate almost a whole can of 9 Lives and then crawled under the bed in our room to sleep it off.  Sometime in the middle of the night she was up on our bed, she woke us up rubbing and walking on us (so maybe we're forgiven).  She ate another healthy portion of cat food this morning but remains under the bed.  Another traumatic event for her.  Sassy has been up to see her several times but Sadie won't come out.  I'm going to leave Sadie alone for a while before I attempt to get them to play together.

It will be easy to keep up Sadie's fur now assuming she will let me brush her.  I try to grab Sassy every day for a touch up and make sure that tiny knots don't turn into big ones.  Hopefully, I will get Sadie used to that also.  So, all remains calm as I type this.

Happy Birthday, Jim

My husband has a cousin that turned 75 this week.  His wife called before his birthday to say that he doesn't like birthday cards, but she was asking all the cousins to call him on his birthday, which my husband did.  But then some of the other cousins decided to give him cards anyway, just to be ornery.  So, I made one:

I used my PTI alphabet dies and my Peachy Keen birthday background.  It turned out cuter than I thought it would.  Don't ever tell a card maker that you don't like birthday cards, right?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Baby steps....

Something happened today that makes me hopeful that Sassy and Sadie will someday be friends.  I was in the bedroom where Sadie is still living, talking to her and playing with a green fuzzy thing on a stick when Sassy walked into the bedroom and sat in the doorway.  I continued to play with Sadie and soon Sassy walked over to the scratching post within three feet of Sadie and laid down.  So, I played with Sassy and then played with Sadie; they both played with the fuzzy thing and although Sadie did a bit of a growl in her throat, there were no signs of aggression.  So, inspired, I ran down to the family room for the laser and let them chase the little red dot for a while.  Although they never got closer to each other than three feet, no aggression.  Finally, Sassy headed downstairs and I went back into my craft room thinking to repeat that performance later in the day.

Five minutes later I hear the mother of all cat screams, truly, it scared me.  I run out to see what's going on and see Sadie in the doorway of the bedroom and Sassy in the foyer at the front door.  Sassy's tail was all fluffed out and the fur around her head was standing on end.  I ran down the stairs just in time to see another cat turning the corner at the side of the house.  Apparently, another cat had been on our front porch and Sassy was claiming the house as hers.  I've never heard her do that before - frightening.  The encouraging thing is she's never done that to Sadie.  A little low growling, a little hissing but very minor, especially when you compare it to what she did today.  I didn't realize cats could make a noise that loud.  I hope she never does that at night, we'll both have heart attacks.  Even my husband heard it in the basement and he's two floors down, he came rushing up thinking Sadie and Sassy were killing each other.

Seeing what Sassy could do but doesn't makes me feel in time they will open up to each other and at least be tolerant if not great friends.  Sadie goes for her bath in the morning which will be less pleasant for her than for me.  I can't wait to see her all glossy and mat free.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

It's not war but....

it isn't peace, either.  We adopted Sadie one week ago today and so far she's only ventured off of the top floor twice - she got to the family room once and Sassy chased her back and she ventured into the foyer and dining room a few days ago only to be chased back.  There's no noise, no hissing, no growling, no fighting - just a firm division of the house.  Sadie has the top floor but Sassy gets to visit.  Sassy has the rest of the house but Sadie can't visit.

Sassy also doesn't use Sadie's litter box which is currently in my craft room.  Sadie hasn't had a chance to use Sassy's, she hasn't been allowed in the laundry room.  We don't know if Sassy is really against Sadie being in the rest of the house or if it's a game Sassy plays (like wanting me to chase her).  She doesn't seem stressed by Sadie, more curious than anything.  They were both in our bedroom closet this morning and no fighting, Sassy wanted to play and Sadie was content behind a box.  I would have thought by now they would at least tolerate each other.  Five more weeks until we leave on vacation so we still have time for them to make friends.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

From this window - May 5, 2013...

I've been trying to get ready for a craft show on the 18th.  I spend most of the day in my craft room, on my computer or looking out the window - but not getting anything done.  The window beckons...  In just the last week the crab apple has gone from deep rose pink buds to pale pink blossoms.  Dandelions have miraculously appeared across the street, their cheerful nodding heads moving with the wind.  The birdhouse right outside the window has had plenty of applicants but no takers so far.  The house sparrows, bluebirds, wrens, chickadees and titmice have all had a look inside but it remains empty.  I think a family of nesting birds gives a birdhouse a soul.  Until then, it's just a structure.

It's rained here a lot but today the sky is that soft pale blue that I can never find in a marker.  The clouds are white and fluffy, the wind is soft and warm.  I've seen no deer, turkeys or foxes in weeks, perhaps they've all moved out of the neighborhood.    The birds sing at dawn now and through the morning hours.  A male wren has taken up residence in the birdhouse on the gazebo.  He may already have a mate because I've seen two of them.  The water lily leaves are on the surface of the pond now.  Carl saw a hummingbird on the deck yesterday so I put the feeder out this morning but I haven't seen any at the feeder.

We have plans for the gardens this year.  There are some bushes in our front yard that have outlived their attractiveness so we're going to have them removed and replaced with a wildflower garden.  We're going to have a raised bed built in the backyard and some of the flowers from the bed next to the pines moved into it and revert the bed by the pines to grass because the pines are taking it over.  We are moving a lot of the plants from the pond area to the front yard and ones that are already in the front yard to pond area.  There is a method to my madness.  While I love a wildflower look, the plants around the pond have taken it over.  We built the pond to be a focal point but it just looks overgrown.  The plants in the front yard are mostly daylilies and autumn joy sedum, both clumping plants.  I have five peonies, eight large daylilies and a dozen sedums.  After planting those around the pond we will mulch it really good.  With plants that clump, we can weed - and walk.  Hopefully, we'll get all this work done by early June so we don't have to transplant in the heat of the summer.   And in case you're worried I might strain myself, we've hired a young man to work and I'm just exercising my pointing finger.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Channeling Psycho...

Our beloved Himalayan, Psycho, passed away last July and while we were bereft, we also celebrated all the years she was with us and some of the really silly stuff she did.  Like push everything off of the table on my side of the bed, one item at a time until I noticed her.  She would also get her paw under the metal handle of the same table, raise it up, and drop it, making a clanging noise.  She would do this endlessly.  In the morning, she thought it was time to eat at 4:00 a.m. and would continue to pester us until we got up to feed her.  Truthfully, it was the only time she was really affectionate.  She had belonged to my husband's mother and while she was never abused, she was never totally loved either (after all, she was just a cat).  The only toys she ever had were the rings off of milk jugs so she didn't play with the gazillion toys we bought her.  She didn't lay in the plush bed until the week of her death, she liked the climbing tower, spending hours on the top, she didn't like the little cubby she could hide and sleep in.  She was a cat of many facets as most cats are, being neither one personality nor another, but many.  I still miss her dreadfully although Sassy quickly worked her way into my heart and is sweet and funny (and even not very affectionate).

Sadie, however, is a completely different kettle of fish.  Being in the shelter since she was a kitten, she is starved for affection and will pet herself if you just give her a hand.  She also will nip at it, hold it in both paws and bathe it like she did to me in the middle of the night.  She also walks over the pillows behind our heads, like Psycho did.  Last night, she was pushing my Kindle and glasses off the table which woke me up and I made her get down.  She played all night long and she runs like an elephant.  I placed three toys in the bedroom for her to play with, today they are nowhere to be found (it's hub's job to find them which keeps him really busy in retirement). 

This morning Sassy hunkered down in the bedroom door, Sadie under the rocking chair about six feet away, clear line of sight between the two.  No growling, ears were up, no ruffled fur.  An hour later Sassy was actually in the bedroom in front of the closet, Sadie was on the bed.  Still no confrontation.  Sassy was also in Sadie's litter box checking it out.  We are staying out of it, hoping that things stay calm and knowing it will take a while for them to become friends.  We still have not bathed Sadie, those claws are wicked and neither of us have mentioned it for two days - maybe if we talk about it, we'll be compelled to do it so we just avoid it.  Still have the appointment for Thursday.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Sadie is like smoke....

After living on the top floor of our quad level home for two days, as we were watching television this morning, Sadie suddenly appeared in the family room.  Even Sassy who was laying on the hearth didn't notice her until we did.  Sadie was playing with one of the many balls on the floor when Sassy finally figured out that Sadie was not part of the furniture.  Sassy got really low to the ground and took off running toward Sadie but not in an aggressive way.  Sadie backed up and ran into the spare bedroom.  So, it's still a truce.  There was no growling or hissing, just that awareness.  Sadie is now in the spare bedroom in the corner (but comes out when Carl and I go in) and Sassy is back to the hearth.  It is encouraging that Sadie came down on her own.  And she has again used the litter box in my craft room which is a huge deal in our house - we celebrate cats that use the litter box.

Last night just before I got ready to take my shower, I went to turn on the light in the bedroom and Sadie was laying on the bed, bold as brass.  I took a shower and got into bed to read "Game of Thrones" but Sadie would not leave me alone.  We wanted a lap cat which Sassy isn't, but Sadie was a bit of a pest.  She kept rubbing her head on my Kindle and then tasting a corner of it.  She alternated between rubbing my hand, nipping my hand and licking my hand.

We're going to try and bathe Sadie again today using Dawn to try to get the greasy feel out of her fur.  Her tail is shiny and soft, I think the rest of her will be that way, too, once we've scrubbed her down good, now her fur is all stuck together.

Stay tuned....

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Classy litter box...

I have had a project "on the drawing board" since we started the first bathroom remodel.  I finally finished it today.  I planned to place a garden in our laundry room bathroom around Sassy's litter box.  I used matte black vinyl and this is what it looks like now.

This room is painted a goldy yellow (my term), very bright and just a lovely color.  This was quite the learning experience.  First, I had to learn how to cut something this intricate out of vinyl and then I learned you need to keep a firm hold on your transfer tape before it sticks everywhere with a million wrinkles and must be pulled from the vinyl with tweezers so it could be smoothed out.  New rule:  just unroll a few inches, place it down, smooth it out and unroll another few inches.  What a nightmare.  But I so love the result.  And I may even add another Queen Anne's Lace above the register to fill out the corner.  Perhaps a silhouette of a black cat might be nice? 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A truce...

"Sadie" spent her first night in our home in the spare bedroom.  When we got up this morning she was on Sassy's perch on top of the sewing machine cabinet.  We both went in and loved on her for a bit, she's wonderfully affectionate.  We removed the gate and Sassy has been in the bedroom several times but now Sadie is under the bed.  We'll leave them alone for now.  Sassy hissed once when Sadie first got here but we're of a mind that it's the smell she hates.  Sassy spent a month at the A.R.K. and the smell is what you'd expect for fifty cats and fifty dogs in one building, Sadie is pungent.  I could smell her in the car when I brought her home, we could smell her in the bedroom and we have a bath scheduled for today.

I have officially added her name to the litter box area in our laundry room.  We will also have boxes in other parts of the house but this has been Sassy's box for six weeks and it's working well.  While I was trying to adhere the vinyl to the wall, Sassy kept getting in the way so I have hair on the transfer paper.  But I think it came out well, I like it and it really decorates the laundry room.  I may add some 'cat' words to the wall in the future.  I also did a vinyl picture on a tumbler for my daughter who's into Zombies in a big way, so I think vinyl work is here to stay.