Monday, July 02, 2018

Update on the Kitties

After nine months Davey finally emerged.  Be careful what you pray for.  He became enthralled with the Christmas tree.

I finally got a good look at him.  He's a pretty tuxedo boy.

He's quite playful.  I'd heard him playing with a ball in the basement and saw that he moved his toy mouse around.  But this guy is hyper, like a kitten.  He pretends that various items are prey and makes that awful crying sound to show me what he's caught.  His favorites are cloths that I clean my glasses with and fabric samples.  Now he's dragging my clothes and slippers all around the house.

At first he recoiled from my touch but now he's my boy, greeting me in the morning and always wanting to be around me, moreso than Dusty.  He doesn't run away when I walk in his direction like his brother does.  I also can pick him up and pet him.  I miss my cats that sat on my lap, came when they were called and greeted me whenever I entered the door.  Oh, well.  Maybe some day.  In the meantime, Dusty's quite the clown.  He's very relaxed while resting and is a deep sleeper.

I'm not fat, I'm fluffy!

The boys are very close.  They get along great, unlike my previous three, although Dusty sometimes gets annoyed when Davey jumps up next to him to get to me.
Davey particularly loves to drink out of the faucet.  He races ahead of me like a puppy when he sees me heading to the bathroom or kitchen.
Dusty doesn't like to be left out, but he barely fits on the windowsill.
I'm hesitant to let them outside because they tend to wander.  I accidentally left the basement door open one night, and found them staring intently at something in the garden.  I was able to lure Dusty in with treats, but Davey decided to stay out until about 3:15 a.m.  I didn't speak to him the rest of the day.  I noticed he came back looking like this:
Two bare spots on either side of his nostrils, at the base of his whiskers.  My friend says he was in a fight but I didn't see any other wounds.  Any ideas?

So the moral of the story is if you get a shy kitty who hides continually, give him nine months or so.

It's Summer!

And it's stiflingly hot.  Hard to breathe.  Can't garden.  But I did some work today because I've been off work since Friday and have to go back Thursday.  We're so busy, a lot of stress.  I blame it on millenials, but really it just seems that the whole world is a lot uglier these days.  The beginning of the end, to quote my now-retired former boss.

The winter was incredibly cold, and early, like the beginning of December.  My pipes froze once again the beginning of January.  I'd just attended a deacon's meeting in which Pastor Deryk said that people seem to be suffering from some sort of funk, and we will experience troubles in the year ahead.  And these troubles should be considered God's gift.  I'm still thinking through that one.

In any event most of my lavender plant died, as well as the butterfly bush in the side garden, and my sister-in-law's groundcover rose in the front yard completely croaked.  It had been moved by the sewer repair people, then replanted in the wrong spot.  So of course I had to move it again.  Getting too arrogant and/or careless.  In the shade garden I lost two bleeding hearts, which I don't understand because I've seen some enormous stands of them.  But then I had some weird stems come up where my beautiful Gold Heart variety was.  I thought the woodchuck had struck again but then realized I must have oversprayed some Roundup in that area.  I'll never learn.  Apparently in a fit of pique I sprayed my neighbor's bittersweet and grapevine.  Bad move because I'd come to rely on the latter to cover his chain link fence, which borders the shade garden.
Poor Gold Heart.  Not sure if it'll recover from being poisoned.
I do actually have a few hydrangea blooms on some plants. I transplanted the Vanilla Strawberry hydrangea last fall, apparently permanently wrecking my thumb. I needed cortisone for my trigger thumb condition. Aging is not for sissies. Anyway I had to prune it hard because it was so huge, and now it's being attacked by wood borers. I had to cut it back farther; hopefully the glue and/or nail polish on the branch tips will prevent further infestation. The Blue Billow hydrangea is very beautiful this year. I planted a new one in front to replace the rose.

I've continued with the major renovation of the back garden, buying a Royal Purple smokebush and Tiger Eyes sumac. It'll be a while, though, before they reach full height.  I've acquired quite a taste for chartreuse things.
Smokebush's in back with pink plumes; sumac behind orange butterfly weed.
I've yet to plant a Judd viburnum in place of a double pink knockout rose. I've just about given up on some roses in this garden. This rose will be placed next to another one in the side garden. Maybe it'll do better there. My fairy roses are gorgeous per usual; the red one has really grown.

Peonies and clematis were very prolific this year.  I'm always afraid of clematis wilt but I think mine just suffer from the heat.  Finally got around to twisting a wire around the deck post for Comtesse to climb.
Comtesse de Bouchard.  Ignore the garbage bags please.
Good old Jackmanii.

Once again I'll be moving things around, like a hosta under the Japanese maple that doesn't get enough light and is changing colors. Also the irises in the front garden got so big they're crowding out their neighbors. The red fairy rose got so big it crowded out a beautiful pale yellow daylily and Rozanne cranesbill.  I'll quote whomever again - gardening is the art of moving things around.  Constantly.
I'll have to move these beauties; few blooms next year, darn it!

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Random Late Summer/Fall Stuff

With all the rain that we had the Vanilla Strawberry hydrangea grew to about six feet by six feet.  It was gorgeous, until it flopped when it got too heavy.

We went to White Flower Farm and it was beautiful as usual.
Their hydrangea droops too.

I want this sumac but I don't think I have any room left!
Beautiful cimicifuga.
The Lloyd Border.
Can you believe the size of this weeping beech tree?
My mother's town, South Windsor, has some lovely gardens.
The spiky bush is caryopteris.  I want it (of course).
Can't show you foliage in my yard because it hasn't change yet. Can you believe that? I'm really looking forward to the holidays this year. Despite the angry people, violent manmade and natural disasters, national and international crises, there is so very much for which we can thank God.

Castine, Maine

Tone on Tone is one of my favorite blogs.  They have a cottage in Castine and after seeing pictures, I wanted to go waaaaay up there, Downeast.  Castine is a tiny little town with only a few streets and mostly historic houses built in the 18th and 19th centuries.  It's a long drive, especially the last 15 or so miles, in the deep darkness, when you don't know the way, and your aging eyes don't see well.  We stayed at the Pentagoet Inn, built in 1894, a couple decades younger than my own lovely abode.  The breakfast was out of this world.  We were in an adjacent building in a small room with a tiny bathroom.  I think the inn was filled up with Navy folks and contractors.  Castine is home to the Maine Maritime Academy, from which my co-worker's son recently graduated.

We stayed to the left (forgot to take a picture of the main building!).

Here's the town beach.
We stopped at York, Maine on the way up. It's a really beautiful town as well.
On the way home we ate at the Maine Diner in Wells, Maine.  We saw the review on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Channel.  Thankfully, the chocolate cream pie was just out of the oven when we were ready for dessert.  It was absolutely divine.

We've had pretty much continuous warm, sunny, beautiful days this autumn and our time in Maine was no exception. Flowers were still blooming.  My mother really loves Vermont. I prefer Maine, which has so many beautiful, picturesque towns. What can I say? I'm a Maine-iac.

Monday, September 11, 2017

9/11 - Sixteen Years Later

Image result for 9/11 memorial shanksville pa
Shanksville Memorial
I skimmed through the 9/11 Commission Report.  So very tragic, maddening and sad.  I've become obsessed with - how could more people have been saved?

First off, the immigration system failed miserably to catch and deport those breaking the rules with reporting with their green cards and visas.  Then the security at the airport was generally abysmal - not bothering to see what set off the metal detectors.

The Fire Department and Police didn't have proper radios, or couldn't use them correctly.  The 911 operators were completely overwhelmed and unable to transmit information to the first responders properly.  Victims were calling with explicit information that would have helped rescuers and others trapped.  No rooftop rescues could be made due to intense heat and smoke.  People died because they stayed with the wounded or lame, like in this story about quadriplegics trapped.  So tragic.

And there are heroic stories like this this poignant article.  Brian Clarke's story was on television.  His co-worker was overcome by the sight of people jumping out of the North Tower and went to him for comfort.  He escorted her to the ladies' room just as the second plane ripped through where they had just been standing.  What is mysterious is the seemingly random choices he made that led to his escape.  I say mysterious because I don't know how else to explain it.  God?  Providence?  We don't know why some lived and others died.

I want to go back and have a do-over, with better results.  Maybe the acceptance is just hard and I don't know anyone personally who died.

Saturday, August 19, 2017


Meet my new ragdoll cat (above).  My very, very beloved favorite cat, Carly, died on February 24th.  Her dementia was worsening.  She was 16 years, 10 months and 5 days old, my favorite cat of all time.  I cried like an hysterical nut when she died.
Lovely, sweet Carly.
She had become a constant source of worry for me.  So, I went from three to no cats.  The house was unbearably lonely.  I had decided to get a dog in a few years when I retired.  But one day my sister-in-law texted me a picture of an eight-year-old cat she saw at Pet Smart.  She suggested I adopt an older cat who had fewer years left and could be with me until I retired.  So I started looking.

I found this beautiful boy at a no-kill shelter in the town where I work.  He was raised with another boy the same age.  The story goes that an elderly couple had to be cared for by their family, who was allergic.  They'd been in the shelter two months.
He's very low energy.  I may rename him Jeb Bush.
He's a seal point ragdoll.

What are you looking at?

He's ginormous.
So cute!
Look at the size of those paws.
I'd show you his brother, Dickens, but he's still in hiding . . . after almost three months.  Any suggestions?  They're living in the basement.  They prowl around at night.

Dusty doesn't like to come upstairs.  He is the biggest scaredy cat I've ever seen.  My friend says he just doesn't want to abandon his brother in hiding.  What do you think?  Any cat behaviorists out there?  I need help!