Tuesday, April 29, 2014

From this window - 4/29/14...

It's been raining for days and I've got cabin fever.  During a break in the rain today I took a walk around our property.  We have a flower bed we're going to let go back to grass as soon as the good plants are removed.  Some haven't come up yet so we're watching for signs of them.  I ventured into the 'forest' behind our house to look for the owl.  There's a method to looking for wildlife.  Sometimes instead of going to them, you stop and let them come to you.  Although I didn't see the owl, I did find a potential nest for a white crowned sparrow (that would be a first for me) and I did find a dove's nest and a robin's nest, both in the spruce trees on the north of our property.  And both low enough for photos in the future.

Work on the pond hasn't started.  It's hard to carve a pond out of mud so we'll need several days of drying before they can actually work on it.  It doesn't help that we're really anxious to get it in.  This morning I found a pair of American Toads mating which means that somehow we will have to scoop as many of the eggs out as we can and put them in a tub.  We wouldn't want to lose a generation of toads because the pond is going to be destroyed.  There are also several tree frogs wedged into the cracks in the pond where you couldn't dig them out with a spoon.  It will be interesting to see how the guys handle that.  I haven't seen any sign of my lotus sprouting yet and that will be fun watching them get that out of the pond.  It's in a pot about the size of a laundry basket and filled with mud.  It's huge and heavy and dirty.  I surely hope it survived the winter.  I hope this weather breaks pretty soon so we can start enjoying all the work we've put into our landscape.

Monday, April 21, 2014

From this window - 4/21/14...

Cloudy and warm today.  The tree frogs have found their voices and are loud enough to drown out conversation.  The cardinals are nesting in one of the pine trees behind the new raised bed.  The chickadees have claimed the "Post Office" birdhouse next to the wiegela.  The Eastern Screech Owl found a new perch after we accidentally ran him off his last one.  We were quiet looking for him and left him where we found him, hopefully to find him again.  We are sure they are nesting in the box Carl built for the woodpeckers.  There are gray feathers stuck to the opening in the box and he's a little gray cutie so....  The Japanese honeysuckle is leafed out along with the Dropmore Scarlet Honeysuckle.  The day lilies are up about six inches and the iris are sending up leaves.  The peonies have broken ground.  The birds are starting to be very vocal in the morning and evening.  Territories to be defended, females to be won.

We have done so much yard work already with a long list to go.  The front beds have been cleaned out and mulched.  The bed along the garage has been mostly edged with gray brick, we're trying to figure out how to do the curve so we can finish.  The pond bed has been pretty much stripped of all the flowers.  The gazebo has been vacuumed and hosed out, the furniture has been donated to our daughter and new furniture purchased, put together and installed.  We are still waiting for two deck chairs and two ottomans that were back ordered but we have two chairs, a chaise lounge and four side tables set up.

Friday could start work on the pond so anything that's left will be destroyed.  The raised bed has been weeded and mulched.  We still have the shade bed and the fenced bed to finish.  We need to tie up the Wisteria, trim the trumpet vines, rake, weed and Preen the shade bed, transplant the Japanese Honeysuckle to the arbor, dig up the iris from the pond bed and move it, and install a 4x4 for the platform bird feeder.  I transplanted so much over the weekend that rain would be welcome.

This morning I brought my coffee out to the gazebo (where I am now) and listened to the world wake up.  My most favorite time of the day is as the sun breaks the horizon and the birds sing heaven's praises.  My daughter said we need to move closer to town, but we said, nah!  No turkeys, foxes, tree frogs, dragonflies, deer or coyote in town (at least we didn't have any at our last homes).  We like the quiet of the country (except for those damn tree frogs).  Just kidding, but when the tree frogs and the American toads put on a concert, it's time for ear plugs.

The wren arrived yesterday, the bluebirds have not been seen anywhere, the Brown Thrasher started advertising his territory this morning.  He copies songs from other birds and skillfully weaves them into his song so sometimes he sounds like a Cardinal and sometimes like a Robin.  The Chipping Sparrows are out in force but haven't started singing.  Maybe the females aren't here yet.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sadie is off the pill...

I'm not sure what's going on around here but we're getting used to it really quickly.  No messes.  Sassy is so much more playful than she's ever been.  She races through the house chasing dust until she collapses for a nap.  Sadie has discovered the pill in the capsule and no matter how you hide it, she eats around and under it.  She can clean a dish and leave nothing but the capsule.  After missing 3 doses in six days, we've given up.  We haven't noticed any additional aggression other than her usual crappy moods.  Yesterday morning they shocked me.  Sassy was in my craft room on the window seat and far to the left.  Sadie jumped up on the right, looked at Sassy, gave a hiss and then settled down.  Half an hour later they were both still there.

We have lots of birds that come to the tiny feeder hooked to my craft room window.  A pair of house finches come daily, a pair of cardinals and lots of chickadees and titmice show up so the cats have plenty of activity in the window to watch.  Carl has replaced the screen with the pet screen and so far there have been no snags.  It isn't quite as easy to see through as the normal vinyl screen that used to be there, it's much darker and thicker than the old stuff so it looks blurry.  I won't mind so much if the screen can't be destroyed.

Sadie woke us up this morning by doing laps around the edge of the bed.  Over the pillows, down the side, across the end, up the side, and across the pillows, and around and around.  She must have been starving because she practically ate her bowl.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed but we've been here before.  It would be heaven if it kept up.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Windows are open....

The weather has been tolerable the last few days.  We divided the window seat in the bay window into to parts, we added plants to the center and gave each cat a window of their very own.  Sassy is spending more time in the window in my room, Sadie has been in the bay window or in the cat tree by the deck.  No messes since the last report.  We are still planning on getting a harness for Sadie to see if she would like to go for walks.

We have workmen coming the last week of April to redesign our pond.  We have also ordered new furniture for our gazebo and after the gazebo gets a thorough cleaning next week, we will introduce Sadie to it.  Sassy has already been in the gazebo.  We will need to pick up a covered litter box to keep in the gazebo and eventually I will have both girls out there while I read. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

A switch was flipped...

Carl and I traveled to Memphis for a week the end of March.  Our usual sitter, Tiffany, visited the cats every day to feed and scoop litter.  She cleaned up several messes but we expected that.  Sassy shows her displeasure with us by missing the litter box on purpose.  Someone had the runs while we were gone so we had to get out the carpet cleaner and clean up.  We didn't have any problems until this morning when we found another little mess (easily cleaned up) in front of the bar.  What is weird is the difference in the cats.  Sassy is 100% more playful than she was before we left.  She follows me into the craft room (which she avoided before we left), she plays on my desk and in the window seat.  She plays with all her toys in the family room.  She even ventures into our bedroom, something she hasn't done in so long we can't remember the last time.

Sadie has come out of the bedroom, spending time in all parts of the house.  She's laying in the family room window again, she hasn't done that for a long time.  She's eating a lot less these days, we're having trouble getting her pill in her; it seems she would rather have the Iams dry food than the Little Friskies wet food.  So, we give her a tablespoon of wet food each day and the pill every other day.

They sit next to each other, neither cat runs when the other passes by.

If feels like we have two different cats with the same color as the ones we left.