Saturday, December 20, 2014

Merry Christmas....


#2729
Supplies:
PTI Spring Rain cardstock, Pattern Pack & ink; Keep It Simple: Christmas
Spellbinder Star, Standard Circles Small & Large
Memory Box Winter Cabin Landscape
DCWV Glitzy Glitter Cardstock Stack

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hello, amazing friend...


 #2734
Supplies:
PTI Ombre Builders, Raspberry Fizz, Berry Sorbet, Orange Zest, Summer Sunrise
Winnie and Walter Big, Bold and Happy, Big, Bold and You

Hello, Awesome Friend....


Supplies:
PTI Ombre Builders, Raspberry Fizz, Berry Sorbet, Orange Zest, Summer Sunrise
Winnie & Walter Big, Bold & Happy, Big, Bold & You

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Merry Christmas to us...

Life goes on.  Sadie is still on the meds, she's got another week before we pass the 6 week mark.  She's not very keen on being touched, you have a better chance if you wake her up, you'll get in a few strokes before she growls and moves away.  We've noticed no hissing at Sassy or growling, they now sleep in the same room (our bedroom - Sadie on the bed, Sassy in the window).  Sassy is still in lock-up every night.  Carl locks her up in the laundry room when he goes to bed and if she's pooped in the litter box when he gets up, he lets her out.  Some days earlier than others.  I don't know if she's getting the idea but she's been getting out around 5 a.m. most days.  He feeds them - Sadie gets her pill in a teaspoon of food and after she's eaten that, he fills her bowl.  Sassy has been getting more knots than usual so I brush her every night and after brushing, we play.  Sadie plays around the cat tree and in our bedroom only.  We still can't get her comfortable in the family room where we spend the most time.  Sassy is almost always close to us but Sadie doesn't seem to feel the need for company.  We keep hoping that will change.  Time will tell.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Kitty jail again....

Sassy has officially gone into kitty lock-up at night.  Last night was the second night and both nights she has used the litter box.  She was also most anxious to get out of jail this morning.  The rule is, she doesn't leave jail until she poops in the litter box.  She has the run of the house all day but when Carl goes to bed, into the laundry room she goes.  About two weeks of this and she'll be good to go again.

Sadie is still less than 30 days on her medication.  December 9th would be a month and we need six weeks.  She's still untouchable most of the time.  She has been much friendlier in the past so we hope it is just the medication.  Time will tell.

October Birthday.....



 #2710
Supplies:
PTI Chocolate Remix Paper, Dark Chocolate card stock, Butterfly Kisses, Boutique Borders:  Birthday Stamp set, Birthday Classics October

Friday, November 28, 2014

A hair's worth of progress...

We're still having problems with the elimination outside the box.  Sadie is still peeing around the doors although not as much, we do see progress there.  Sassy goes from carpet to mat to litter box with no reasons that we can find.  Last night both girls pooped in the same box, but I cannot find any pee from Sadie, perhaps it's in the basement, I didn't check that box.

We have noticed two things:  one is Sadie is carrying her tail up once in a while.  She's NEVER done that before, her tail is always dragging the ground.  Our research says a tail up belongs to a confident cat.  Sassy is 70% tail up and 30% tail down.  Sunday will be the end of the 3rd week for Sadie's meds, so we still have three more weeks.  Also, it's the end of the first month for the Feliway, we just put in two new bottles in the two of the diffusers.

Something else we've started - giving treats only when the cats are close together and in our bedroom which has pretty much been Sadie territory since we got her.  So, if the cats are within three feet of each other and no hissing or growling, I have two silver bowls I keep on my dresser with a big bag of treats and I put treats in both bowls and set the bowls in front of the girls.  So far, so good.

So, baby steps....

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Busy, busy, busy...

I've managed to get myself into a world of busy.  I was commissioned to make glass blocks and tumblers for a fundraiser to raise money for the Washington, IL tornado victims.  I've just come up for air and will be starting a new project in just a moment.  I never feel more helpless than at a time like this.  The devastation was widespread and it happened within spitting distance of our home.  We know people who live in Washington and our hearts go out to them.  If you are feeling charitable, there are plenty of organizations that could use your help.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Two days of quiet...

On November 9th we started Sadie back on her medication.  The  ASPCA website says that it needs to be administered for at least six weeks before behavior change.  Sadie has been marking the doors in the house; our front door, garage door and on occasion the sliding doors to the deck.  Females marking could be caused due to territorial issues or issues with other cats in the household.  Sassy doesn't have a mean bone in her body.  We've never seen her aggressively go after Sadie.  That's not to say it doesn't happen when we aren't looking but it's been almost two years we've had them together.  We're not sure what Sadie's issues are, but we're both tired of cleaning up after her.

Sassy seems to have regressed, also.  She had been doing so well with the litter boxes that we quit looking for messes and now she's started making them again.  95% of the time her messes are on the mats we put down under the litter boxes, but one was actually on the carpet.  I purchased three bottles of essential oils:  lemon, eucalyptus and lavender.  We've cleaned the areas that both cats mess on and then sprinkled them with one of the three essential oils.  We started that about four days ago.  Today, for the second day, we have no messes, both cats are going where they are supposed to go.

Sadie has been a little aggressive since we restarted her meds.  You have a 50/50 chance of being able to pet her.  First she will growl, then hiss and then put out her claws.  I'm usually gone at the growl but she did walk up between us in bed last night - a first since 11/9.  She used to wake us up by licking our hands or, in my case, my hair, but she hasn't done that since we started her meds.  An adjustment period, to be sure. 

I - quana show you some pictures....



This little guy used to live in our local hardware store.  A friend of mine who is iguana crazy asked me to take some pictures of him because she couldn't afford to buy him.  I never realized how many gorgeous colors an iguana has.  All though not my cup of tea, the photos turned out well.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Our junkie cat...

Day three of Sadie's meds.  We haven't found any marking in the last two nights but Sassy is still using the litter mat to poop on.  At least it's consistent and always on the mat which is easy to clean up.  Sadie joined us in the living room, stretching out on the couch this morning.  She's not very social as a rule and doesn't like to be anywhere that Sassy is.  Sassy walked up to the couch and Sadie growled and slapped at her.  While the medication decreases Sadie's stress and tension, I do believe it increases her aggression.  If it continues, we will find out if there is another medication we can put her on.  I really wish I knew what happened that changed everything, we had been doing so well.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

D├ętente...

For several days at the end of last week and the first of this week we've had lots of growling and hissing.  Every time one cat rounded a corner and encountered another cat, we had noise.  Sadie had stopped sleeping in our bedroom and Sassy started sleeping in our bedroom.  For eighteen months Sadie has called our bedroom home.  She's either in the window, on the bed or under it.  All of a sudden Sassy (who has never shown any interest in our bedroom) is sleeping there every night and even on the bed once in a while.  We thought perhaps there was a power struggle but after eighteen months of living together, what could have set that off?  Sadie had started peeing on the floor by the front and garage doors, even once in the dining room by the sliders.  We've racked our brains trying to figure out what the hell is going on.  Sadie, who was getting more affectionate with us since we stopped her meds, both bit and scratched me yesterday while I was petting her.  She got a claw hooked in my arm and while I was trying to disengage it, she bit me and I bled.  Real blood.  And Sassy has taken to pooping on the new large mat I bought to put under the two living room litter boxes.  In her defense, she always uses the same corner and keeps it on the mat.  Easy to clean up and she's been consistent.  For a couple of months we had no problems, every one was using the litter box and all was calm.  Something started them off again but we have no idea what.

I finally broke down and purchased four of the Feliway dispensers with Feliway and an extra six pack of the inserts.  The literature says it could take a month to work.  I installed them Wednesday morning and right now both cats are asleep.  Sadie was active early this morning but Sassy has been asleep since we got up.  I checked - she's breathing.  Sassy has always slept more than Sadie after we discontinued Sadie's meds.  Let this be a lesson to anyone reading - if you have a female cat and want another one - get a male.  Two female cats that are unrelated are like two women in a kitchen, it often doesn't work out well.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Tomato hornworm....


Tomato hornworms can be up to 5 inches long—which can be quite a shock when you first come across one! They do the most damage in the caterpillar, or larvae, stage. They are pale green with white and black markings, plus a horn-like protrusion. (They are not capable of stinging.) The life cycle is as follows:
  • In late spring, large adult moths lay eggs on the undersides of foliage, which will hatch within a week.
  • Caterpillar larvae will feed from 4–6 weeks before creating a cocoon for overwintering in the soil. If the weather is warm enough, larvae may only burrow for as little as 2–3 weeks.
  • Moths will emerge in the spring, and can be identified by their orange markings. They will then lay eggs once again. More than one generation a year may be possible in warmer climates.
The larvae blend really well with the plant greenery. Just get used to a daily patrol, looking for hornworm eggs and small caterpillars. Here are some cues of infestations:
  • Look closely at the TOP of your tomato leafs for dark green droppings left by the larva feeding on the leaves. Then look at the underside of leaves and you'll find a hornworm.
  • Look for stems missing some leaves and wilted leaves hanging down. You may find white cocoons and their hornworm hosts nearby.
  • Look for an entire tomato plant disappearing while you are at work.  These guys are voracious.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Praying Mantis...

We usually have many praying mantis in our yard in the summer.  It's a great place for them to catch insects.  The praying mantis is named for its prominent front legs, which are bent and held together at an angle that suggests the position of prayer. The larger group of these insects is more properly called the praying mantids. Mantis refers to the genus mantis, to which only some praying mantids belong.By any name, these fascinating insects are formidable predators. They have triangular heads poised on a long "neck," or elongated thorax. Mantids can turn their heads 180 degrees to scan their surroundings with two large compound eyes and three other simple eyes located between them.

Typically green or brown and well camouflaged on the plants among which they live, mantis lie in ambush or patiently stalk their quarry. They use their front legs to snare their prey with reflexes so quick that they are difficult to see with the naked eye. Their legs are further equipped with spikes for snaring prey and pinning it in place.

Moths, crickets, grasshoppers, flies, and other insects are usually the unfortunate recipients of unwanted mantid attention. However, the insects will also eat others of their own kind. The most famous example of this is the notorious mating behavior of the adult female, who sometimes eats her mate just after—or even during—mating. Yet this behavior seems not to deter males from reproduction.

Females regularly lay hundreds of eggs in a small case, and nymphs hatch looking much like tiny versions of their parents.

We had an egg case hatch the day of a summer party and watched in awe as hundreds of tiny translucent baby mantis raced up the side of the garage to the roof.  An egg case is a little bigger than an acorn and looks like it's made from Styrofoam.   This picture was taken in the pots where we grow our vegetables.


Just cleaning litter boxes...

So, that little victory we had reducing the litter boxes by one has been cancelled by the new litter box in my husband's bathroom.  For the last three days two of the boxes have not been used but the new one in the bathroom has been.  In fact, he didn't think this litter box through.  In the middle of the night, Sadie uses the box but she never scratches in the litter, she only scratches the sides of the box, it's very noisy at 3:00 a.m.  And then she runs to her sisal cat scratching post and does that for a few minutes.  Thoroughly awake now, we put up with her on the bed grooming us.  She's sound asleep on our bed now and I'm tempted to run in and wake her up.  I do use the opportunity to clip some of the big knots she has that she won't let us brush.  Sassy is now spending more time in the bedroom, it's like she can't be parted from Sadie.  No fighting and they both play with the string, just not next to each other.  Also no peeing outside the box that we can find (at least for three days).  Fingers crossed again.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tithonia...

This is another picture of the Tithonia I plant every year.  If you look closely, you can see the pollen on the petals.  The surplus of pollen is one of the reasons that this plant is such a hit with insects. 



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Winter wishes....

#2694
Supplies:
PTI Full Moon, City Scene Christmas Sentiments
Memory Box House City Scape Silhouette, Cityscape Nightline 


Winter wishes...


Supplies:
PTI Full Moon, City Scene Christmas Sentiments
Memory Box House City Scape Silhouette, Cityscape Nightline 


Black wasp on milkweed...



Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed) is a top butterfly garden plant and host plant for the Monarch butterfly.  It's only one of the Asclepias that can be grown in a midwestern garden.  It's very easy to grow, hardy to zone 3 and native in all but 7 states.  It's a neat, attractive, bush-like plant loaded with fragrant, attractive rose pink flowers and a favorite nectar plant of many insects.  It blooms from June to August and thrives in sun to partial sun.  You can start this plant from seed but you need to refrigerate the seeds for 1 month or plant in your garden in the fall.  This perennial takes a while to mature into a full grown plant.  Swamp milkweed can be transplanted while other forms of this plant have a taproot that cannot be disturbed after the plant reaches maturity.  This photo was taken in our backyard where we have both the yellow and rose milkweed growing.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Where is Sadie peeing?...

We've been worried about not finding pee from Sadie in any of the litter boxes.  It seems she's pretty set on using my tub.  I'm of mixed emotions about that.  I love my bathroom, I hate the thought of her peeing in my beautiful new jet tub.  On the other hand, I hate the thought of her peeing in the hall, by the garage door, on my craft room floor or any other place that might take her fancy.  This behavior increases when she's off the meds.  We'll have to keep a close eye on her.  We hate to re-medicate her, we like her when she's herself, but she obviously has issues that we can't deal with.

A senior moment...

I'm having these more and more these days. So far, it's been pretty funny, but I'm afraid it might get dangerous sometime in the future. Last week I made coffee as I always do. It automatically goes off in the morning just before 5:00 a.m. so my husband has coffee before he goes to work. I'm usually up about the same time and I'm hardly human before I have my coffee. The next morning I went down to pour a cup of coffee and there was just a bit of hot coffee in the pot - strange, hubby is still showering. When I opened the coffee pot, the coffee in the filter wasn't wet. I had not cleaned out the pot nor added water. Just added a new filter and coffee and called it done. Funny, frustrating, but not serious.

So, yesterday, I'm doing laundry. Pulling out the wet clothes, adding them to the dryer, adding detergent, and color booster to the washer, folding up the dry clothes. When I heard the washer stop the spin cycle, I went in to add fabric softener and guess who forgot to put clothes in the washer?

As if that were not enough, I'm losing words, too. I can be trying to tell my husband something and cannot for the life of me think of the word that I need to complete my thought. Of course, he's always sympathetic. I can tell by the way he says, "is this gonna take a while?" That's more frightening than funny, especially since none of the words I lose are anything more than everyday familiar words I use all the time.

Painted Lady on Tithonia...

This Painted Lady Butterfly was filmed on a Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia) in our backyard.  We try religiously to plant this wonderful sunflower because it's a magnet for all the butterflies in our yard, especially Monarchs.  It grows 4 to 6 feet high and I discovered by accident one year that if you cut it back before it starts blooming, it will actually grow as a bush.  I like it tall, however, it's a great back-of-the-bed plant and it's wonderful color will grace any yard.  It needs full sun and blooms in late summer unless you start the seeds early in the season.  If I start seeds in the greenhouse in March, the Tithonia usually blooms much earlier.  I harvest the seeds by dropping the seed heads into a paper bag and store over the winter in the garage.  In late winter, I clean all the bagged seeds into envelopes so they are ready for planting by the time the portable greenhouse goes up.

At this time of year we are putting the garden to bed.  We'll cut down plants that the birds won't use as food, mulch our leaves and cover our beds with the mulched leaves.  The leaves enhance the soil, cut down on the weeds and we don't have to burn them.  My husband picks them up with a lawnmower that has a bag on it.  Since we live in a wooded area, leaves are plentiful and cheaper than mulch.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Update...

Sadie's last meds were September 13th.  While we're not having any fights, there is some chasing going on.  Sadie is playing more and sleeping out in the open instead of under our bed.  She has some knots on her thighs that she will not let me tend to.  I can't get her to hold still long enough to either cut them out or comb them out, although she loves to be brushed just not in those areas.  She has continued marking - in my tub, the foyer on the closet door, the fridge next to the garage door and now in the dining room by the sliders.  What used to be a once in a while thing is becoming more often.  We can understand the doors, we have feral cats in the neighborhood and this is common behavior for territorial cats, but my tub?  Every morning we check the cat box and find that Sadie has not peed in any of them - it's easy to tell, she pees copious quantities while Sassy pees drops.  This morning there was no pee from either of them so either Sassy quit peeing or she's following Sadie's lead.  Either way, this can't keep up.  The occasional poop from Sassy on the carpet is easy to clean up and de-smell, pee is entirely another matter.  If she doesn't stop, I fear she'll have to go back on the meds full time. 

Thanks so much...



Supplies:
PTI Limitless Labels, Berry Sorbet Ink
Winnie and Walter The Big, The Bold and You
Clear & Simple Stamps Rag Doll Mia: Star
Jaded Blossom Candy Caddy
Wink of Stella Clear
Cuttlebug Tag
Hug Snug Seam Binding

This month's topic: Bugs....

We have a large backyard in Central Illinois with many separate gardens.  We plant to invite wildlife into our yard - flowers have to have either nectar or food potential.  In October, we leave the seed plants in place for the birds over the winter.  Our milkweed feeds the monarch caterpillars.  In the early spring the nectar plants feed the newly arrived hummingbirds.  We do have large numbers of bees, both bumblebees and honey bees.  This year we didn't see any until late July.  Our apple tree did not set fruit because there were no pollinators.  It  must have been a harsh winter for them last year.  I was delighted to see two honeybees on our Meadow Sage in late August.  Hopefully we'll see them earlier next year.  This photo is of a bumblebee on a coneflower.  The orange plant in the background is milkweed.  I plan to share lots of photos from our travels and home on this blog in the future.  This particular picture was taken by me with my Dimage Z1 camera in June 2005.  For pictures of my cards, please go to: http://kardmkr.blogspot.com/.

Thank you so much....



Supplies:
PTI Limitless Labels, Berry Sorbet Ink
Winnie & Walter The Big, The Bold & You
Clear & Simple Stamps Rag Doll Mia: Star
Jaded Blossom Candy Caddy
Wink of Stella Clear
Cuttlebug Tag
Hug Snug Seam Binding

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A breakthrough...

This morning I was playing with Sadie on our bed.  We have a wand with a string attached to a green fuzzie (kind of like a boa).  Sadie likes the wand and will attack it on the bed if you move it around.  This is new behavior for her.  In the past if Sadie was fixated on something like the wand, you didn't dare touch her, this morning I actually was able to pet her while she was on the bed and she did not attack me.  Bazinga!  The second thing that happened was Sassy went to our bedroom door and meowed and meowed.  A second later she came running down the hallway with a black streak behind her.  Sadie was actually chasing her.  Sassy veered off in my craft room and Sadie kept running to the window seat in my craft room.  They are both gone now, but there has been no growling or hissing.  Our most fervent wish is that they would become friends.  Fingers crossed.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Changes, changes, changes...

We spent Labor Day week in Land O Lakes, Wisconsin.  For ten days after we came home, we cut Sadie's Prozac down from every other day to every third day.  Carl went back to Wisconsin for a week and I discontinued Sadie's meds completely.  So, we are two weeks into finding out what kind of cat she is while off meds (again).  So far, crossed fingers, we've had no cat spats.  Sadie is more playful and more vocal and more alert.  She's up for longer periods of time during the day, she's not hiding in the bedroom all the time, she wanders from room to room.  We've only seen one instance of territory marking and we're now spraying areas we want her to stay away from with straight white vinegar.  We've only had one mess and that area has been sprayed repeatedly, also.  Litter boxes have been reduced by one, the one in the spare bedroom has been removed and there have been no messes there.  The two litter boxes that were in the back left corner of the living room behind a chair have been moved to the front right corner right off the foyer.  Not only are they easier to get to for cleaning but they are out where we can see the cats use them.  Neither of our cats is the 'shy' type, Sassy actually uses the litter box in the laundry room when I use the bathroom, just two girls doing their business together.  The cats still walk wide around each other but Sassy will follow Sadie and stay close when she's not sleeping.  This morning Sassy was up in the family room window (we have side by side windows there with a wide ledge and a cat perch mounted on one side.  Sassy will lay on the perch but prefers laying on the ledge, so she's just minding her own business and Sadie jumps up on the perch; both cats in the window, two feet from each other.  Baby steps.  When the weather is nice we have two windows on the second floor open all the time, the one in our bedroom is claimed by Sadie, the one in my craft room is used by both of them.  Sassy doesn't have her own territory but she'd been reluctant to enter our bedroom, she does that more often now.

We had been feeding Sadie a third of a large can of Friskies cat food each morning and Sassy a large teaspoon of Fancy Feast with Gravy mixed with a half teaspoon of water (Sassy just likes gravy).  Sadie would eat her food and then finish Sassy's.  While Carl was in Wisconsin I tried an experiment.  I opened one can of Fancy Feast, gave Sassy her portion with a little water, and gave Sadie the rest.  I figured she liked it since she was cleaning Sassy's bowl every morning.  Sadie is now eating more and both bowls are cleaned.  I suspect they would like Fancy Feast twice a day but that's too hard on our cat sitter so they eat dry food for dinner, we feed Iams Hairball Control all the time.  We've been experimenting with different litters, too.  I bought a bag of natural cedar, pine and corn clumping litter.  Smells fabulous, cleans really well and both cats use the box I put it in.  I don't think they are finicky about litter.  If they will use this, it certainly has a better odor and there is no dust, it's also softer on their feet than clay.

Sassy is in the craft room window, Sadie is on the bed and for the moment, all is right with our world.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Shopping for two...

So, I've got all these low calorie cookbooks I've been using.  The recipes call for 10 ounces of chicken breast.  When was the last time you went to the grocery store and found 10 ounces of chicken?  I can find three large breasts in a package and that's the smallest package.  When looking for desserts, they feed six and eight people.  I just want a taste of a sweet to calm the cravings but if there is a cake in the fridge, you can bet we'll eat it.

So far in the last eleven days I have slipped three times.  I did have 2 KFC chicken breasts over two days.  I removed the skin from both but still....  I had my first pepsi in three weeks.  (It's all about the Pepsi - no coke).  And I had dessert Tuesday which is my designated dessert day.  Otherwise I've been pretty good.  And I have a whole bag of Chocolate Neccos and Twizzlers in my craft room that I haven't touched...  Go me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Thoughts on dieting....

It's hard to believe that not long ago I was a size 8.  I still have the clothes to prove it.  As a smoker, I didn't realize that the only food I ever tasted was the really strong stuff like tuna fish and heavy spices.  When I quit smoking, I started tasting food again and it tasted swell.  Where I previously didn't care for desserts, now I'm almost starved for them.  I like Mexican food, Chinese food, Indian food and Italian food.  I like to say I'm on the seafood diet - I see food and I eat it.  Over the years the sizes of my clothes have risen.  Three quarters of the clothes in my closet are unwearable but I love them so I hate to get rid of them.  So, here's the deal.  I'm going to lose weight.  I'm not calling it a diet - I'm just going to cut out sweets (except for Movie Tuesday), soda, and fried foods.  Just those three things and watch my portions.  I'm also going to walk on the treadmill daily.  In a year I hope to be back in those size eights again.  To achieve that goal I've purchased a blueray player for the living room so I can watch Netflix or Amazon Prime while I walk.  We've been here eleven years and haven't purchased living room furniture.  We have some deck chairs and cat toys and the treadmill.  I'm also writing down every item that goes down my throat.  Like my single twizzler today.  I've been known to eat a package in a day.  I'm hoping by writing down my food intake and keeping up the blog with results, I'll shame myself into losing some weight.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Off to the vet...

One year ago this month, we took both cats to our veterinary to have their yearly shots.  At that point we had had Sassy one year and Sadie five months.  Sassy was her usual placid self, she doesn't like the carrier and struggled when we put her in it.  Sadie, screeched, and was all legs.

At the office, Sassy didn't like the exam and shots but didn't make a fuss.  Our vet, Dr. McFarland is amazing.  Always willing to listen to your cat tales, she takes the time to show you she actually loves the cats and has said that Sassy is one of the most beautiful cats she's ever seen (any wonder we love her?).

Sadie, on the other hand, was a completely different kettle of fish.  When Dr. McFarland reached into her carrier to grab her, Sadie tensed up and started to yowl, screeched actually.  Dr. McFarland called in an assistant and between the two of them pulled her out of her carrier, gave her both shots and shoved her back in.  Sadie hissed, spit and yowled and earned a big red "CAUTION" on her file and even had to be weighed in her carrier.

Naturally, yesterday we were apprehensive.  Sadie is on Kitty Prozac, 1/2 a tablet every other day which calms the marking she does when seeing feral cats outside.  Carl gave her an extra pill the morning of the appointment in the hopes it would calm her.  The appointment was in the early afternoon so about fifteen minutes before we were due to leave, I picked up Sadie without a struggle and put in her the carrier.  Easy peasy.  Sassy was harder to get in than Sadie was.

In the car, Sadie meowed several times and then was quiet.  We took both carriers into the examining room and I suggested we take Sadie first before she could get really worked up.  We pulled the blanket out of the carrier with Sadie on it, I held her and talked to her while Dr. McFarland gave her both shots, I lifted her onto the scale to be weighed and then put her into the carrier.  Easy peasy.  All the anxiety was for nothing.  After Sadie was securely back in the carrier, the assistant tried to talk to her and she lunged at the side of the carrier at the assistant and screeched.  The assistant jumped back.  And Sadie was back to being Sadie again.

After I paid the bill, I said that Sadie had been so good that next time they could handle her on their own.  Dr. McFarland has a wonderful laugh - she laughed and laughed - and I'm guessing that they won't be handling Sadie on their own for some time yet.  On the way home, we joked that Sadie would probably kill us in our sleep, but she just went to the bedroom and went to sleep.  She's been fine since.  And that's the story of the 2014 Vet Visit.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Back from vacation...

We were on vacation for two weeks and used the same cat sitter we've always used.  She lives in our neighborhood, comes by the house once a day, gives Sadie her medication, and spends a little time with the girls.  Sassy started hiding the first day.  Tiffany found her and tried to coax her out but she wasn't having any of it.  She was eating and....no messes to clean up.  Except for a couple of incidences, we haven't had any accidents to speak of.

Sassy was so happy to see us that she followed me everywhere for three days.  She even let me hold her - unheard of.  Our next vacation is a week in Wisconsin and we plan to take Sassy and leave Sadie.  Sadie doesn't seem to care if we are home or gone, but Sassy pines.  We take a cabin in Northern Wisconsin one week a year.  We've taken Sassy once and the reason we adopted Sadie was so Sassy could stay home and have company.  But since they really don't like each other, we'll give them a break this year.  Sassy traveled well, she slept inside her cubby the whole way up and back.

We can only hope that the potty issues are mostly resolved.  The rivalry is another matter.

Thoughts on digital art....

I have been a fan of digital art for stampers and colorists since I discovered them many years ago.  I started with Make It Crafty in Australia.  I now use Saturated Canary, Sassy Cheryl, East Wind, Simply Betty, and Tickled Pink among others.  I love that I get instant satisfaction.  I can print in any size or color.  I can print on any paper, patterned or plain, water color.  I can create scenes with .png images without masking.  Versatile?  Yep.

But organization of 1.12 GB of files has been daunting.  I started out by putting them all in one folder so I could just scroll and see them all.  Then I got the crazy idea of sorting by artist so if I was in the mood for a Saturated Canary (which rocks, BTW) I could check the folder and print the image.  Then I developed thirty-five folders and sometimes I just didn't know what I wanted to color.  So, over the last three days, I went into every folder, added the artist's name to each image and moved it to my hard drive in one whopping big folder.  It took three days.  Some images only had a number, i.e. img 723, so I had to rename it something that made sense for searching.  I can now search for Halloween and every image from every artist that has Halloween in the name will show up.  Plus, I can just scroll until something jumps out at me.   As a result of all this hard work, I can see multiple images at once, the original files are on my  back-up drive so I won't lose them and all my images are on my hard-drive where I can take them with me when I travel (they had previously all been on my back-up drive) and each image has an artist attributed to it so I can give credit .  I also moved any Word, Corel Draw, Adobe Elements, Powerpoint, and Make the Cut files that related to the images.

So far I am very happy with this folder.  Using extra large icons or Microsoft Office Picture Manager, I can look at each image until I decide which image I want to work with.  I'll let you know how it works.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Happy day...

Supplies:
Sassy Cheryl Callie's Spring Afternoon
Winnie and Walter Big and Bold:  Happy
Stardust Stickles
Stampin' Up corner punch
Spectrum Noir Pencils:  (pants 069)(shirt 064)(hair 102, 100, 109)(pinafore 020, 022, 091, 015)(ground 113)(grass 057)(shoes 094, 090)(ladybugs 025)

Happy day...

Supplies:
Sassy Cheryl Callie's Spring Afternoon
Winnie & Walter Big & Bold:  Happy
Stardust Stickles
Stampin up corner punch
Spectrum Noir Pencils:  (pants 069)(shirt 064)(hair 102, 100, 109)(pinafore 020, 022, 091, 015)(ground 113)(grass 057)(shoes 094, 090)(ladybugs 025)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hello, gorgeous...


Supplies:
Sassy Cheryl Callie Kisses a Bird Digital Image
Winnie & Walter Big & Bold: Happy, You
Spellbinder Card Creators
Perfect Layers
Wink of Stella Black
Spectrum Noir Pencils:  (Skin 003, 005, 004, 009, 089) (Dress 023, 028, 025)(Petticoat 065, 068)(Bird 084, 068, 065)(hair 104, 33)(Grass 050)(Boots 068, 107, 87)

Hello, gorgeous....


Supplies:
Sassy Cheryl Callie Kisses a Bird Digital Image
Winnie and Walter Big and Bold: Happy, You
Spellbinder Card Creators
Perfect Layers
Wink of Stella Black
Spectrum Noir Pencils:  (Skin 003, 005, 004, 009, 089) (Dress 023, 028, 025)(Petticoat 065, 068)(Bird 084, 068, 065)(hair 104, 33)(Grass 050)(Boots 068, 107, 87)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Kill the rope...

Sadie learns more about being a cat every day.  For the first time ever,  she did a hide and pounce on the rope in the bedroom.  I've tied the rope to the closet door knob and she's awakened us in the middle of the night playing with it.  We've been trying to cover the area in the living room where Sassy likes to poop (it's within a foot of the litter box).  I bought a box of puppy pads which work well with Sassy but Sadie likes to pee on plastic.  Since they're puppy pads that isn't a problem but she'll pee on plastic bags, in plastic tubs, etc. and we don't want to encourage that.  So, I covered the puppy pads with newspaper but you can't fool Sadie, she knows there is plastic under the newspaper.  So, we removed it all and we've back to carpet again.  Next thing I want to try is old dish towels on top of the puppy pads. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

You're Purr fect!


Supplies
Aurora Wings Zombie Kitty, Art Impressions Mouthfuls Cat, unknown sentiment
PTI Spring Moss card stock, Grey eerie paper pad
Spellbinder Card Creator, Circle dies
EK Success Punch
Wink of Stella Red
Spectrum Noir Pencils:  (Eyes 061, 062, 063) (Fish 108, 057) (Cat 084, 057, 060, 107)
Prismacolor White

You're purr fect....


Supplies
Aurora Wings Zombie Kitty, Art Impressions Mouthfuls Cat, unknown sentiment
PTI Spring Moss card stock, Grey eerie paper pad
Spellbinder Card Creator, Circle dies
EK Success Punch
Wink of Stella Red
Spectrum Noir Pencils:  (Eyes 061, 062, 063) (Fish 108, 057) (Cat 084, 057, 060, 107)
Prismacolor White

Sunday, July 20, 2014

This is odd....

This morning we opened the family room window with the window seat for Sadie.  She will sit on the back of my husband's chair and wait for someone to open the drapes and the window.  Carl usually only opens the drapes far enough to allow her to access the window seat so he did that.  We settled back to read the paper and I heard scratching.  When I turned to look Sassy was in the other window (there are two windows side by side with a window ledge - the right window has a seat attached, the left window does not).  There they were, side by side, not an arm's length away from each other.  They have been sleeping in the same room, too.

I came upstairs to check e-mail and Facebook.  Sassy came up with me and settled on the window seat in my craft room.  It's fairly large consisting of three plastic storage drawers with a large piece of plywood wrapped in a blanket on top of it.  It's sturdy and provides room for Sassy to play with the ghosts she likes to chase in circles.  While I was checking an e-mail Sadie jumped up next to Sassy.  To be honest, she only stayed five minutes but....

I expect by the time they are old ladies, they will be closer than they are now.  Maybe.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Time rolls by...

As I type, both girls are in my craft room.  Sadie is in the window, Sassy is on the floor below the window.  We rarely have scuffles anymore.  They still pretty much ignore each other except for a chase now and then.  Sadie has developed the habit of laying in my craft room door and as I leave she races for the bedroom like her tail is on fire.  She's trained me to follow her so we can play with the piece of rope Carl brought to the bedroom.  She won't play with the same kind of rope in the family room, but she loves it in the bedroom.  I suspect she thinks that's her room and she's safe there.  She's more playful all the time - but only in that one room.  Sadie also has learned to love brushing so one of us does that for her every day now.  We get copious amounts of fur from her.  I wish she would be so docile about nails, but that's still a work in progress.  Sassy loves to climb on my craft room chair any time I leave.  You can see in her eyes that she thinks my exasperation with her is great fun.  If I remove her from the chair to the window seat, she promptly walked over to my desk and lays down there so I can't work.

Sassy is coming up on her second year anniversary with us.  Sadie will be here two years in late April.  They are stubborn creatures.  They refuse to become friendly and we can only hope that time will change that.  Both cats are due for shots in August (not looking forward to shoving Sadie in the cat carrier).

As to the potty problems.  We've only had two accidents since the first part of April.  We don't even look anymore which is a pretty good sign since that was something we did every morning and every time we left the house.  All in all, I'm pleased with the progress but wish it were faster.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Not squared to protect our country...

SVG Cutting files has recently released a whole line of Squaredy Cats.  I've purchased the whole military line and this is the first one I've done.  Those that know me well will know why!


Supplies:
River City Background Stamp
Distress Ink:  Fired Brick, Faded Jeans
PTI Sweet Speech Die
Computer generated sentiment

Not squared to protect our country...

SVG Cutting files has recently released a whole line of Squaredy Cats.  I've purchased the whole military line and this is the first one I've done.  Those that know me well will know why!


Supplies:
River City Background Stamp
Distress Ink:  Fired Brick, Faded Jeans
PTI Sweet Speech Die
Computer generated sentiment

Thursday, July 3, 2014

I'm famous at PB Stamps...

I wanted to give a shout out to John at PB Stamps.  It's the only place in the world where you can actually buy retired Penny Black Stamps.  John carries a full line of Penny Black, clear and wood.  He also has the dies.  So, if you are in need of Penny Black stamps, see John and if you want to look at my Penny Black cards, click here.

I'm famous at PB Stamps...

I wanted to give a shout out to John at PB Stamps.  It's the only place in the world where you can actually buy retired Penny Black Stamps.  John carries a full line of Penny Black, clear and wood.  He also has the dies.  So, if you are in need of Penny Black stamps, see John and if you want to look at my Penny Black cards, click here.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Just reporting in...

No messes since the last report.  Both cats are using the covered boxes more than the uncovered ones.  Not sure what's up with that.  Sadie decided all of a sudden that she liked being brushed (on her terms).  I've taken a brush to our bedroom along with an empty tissue box (we save cat hair for the titmice nests in the spring, we put the hair in a suet feeder) and I've brushed her every day for four days, I get lots of hair in the brush.  She's kind of gotten into a routine with me.  Carl usually gets up first, feeds the cats, makes coffee and brings in the paper.  Sadie wakes me up after the coffee is done and leads me to the bathroom.  Sometimes she lets me pick her up and she purrs; when we leave the bathroom she heads either back into our bedroom to her perch or downstairs to finish her breakfast.   She's still bi-polar, purring one second and growling the next.  Sometimes she's very sweet with Carl and sometimes she hisses.  It's been fourteen months since we got her and Sassy and Sadie are no closer to being actual friends than when we got Sadie.  We haven't had any fights in a long time, they just walk wide around each other.  Sadie is clearly unhappy about the windows being closed due to the heat and humidity here.  Days in the 90s are not my cup of tea, we keep the house cooler and just venture out for yard work in the early morning and late afternoon.  Sadie runs from window to window and after making the rounds a couple of times, settles down to nap.  Next week we may be able to open them for a while, fingers crossed.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Thinking of you....



Supplies:
Peachy Keen:  April 2013, PK 480 Christmas Character Face Assortment
Pebbles Inc. Chalk
Faber-Castell Polychromos
Spellbinder Card Creator, Labels & Tags
PTI Orange Zest C.S.; Debbie Mumm Baby Girl
Hero Arts CL140
Star Dust Stickles
Distress Ink: Black Soot

Thinking of you...



Supplies:
Peachy Keen:  April 2013, PK 480 Christmas Character Face Assortment
Pebbles Inc. Chalk
Faber-Castell Polychromos
Spellbinder Card Creator, Labels & Tags
PTI Orange Zest C.S.; Debbie Mumm Baby Girl
Hero Arts CL140
Star Dust Stickles
Distress Ink: Black Soot

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Everybody Loves a Circus

I was thrilled to get permission from Mo Manning to combine Kat at the Carnival with Make It Crafty's Circus Tent. I love these images together. I used my Grand Calibur and my Grand Oval dies to make a shaped card. Then I cut another single oval out and adhered it to the top covering up the flat hinge area. I used a slightly smaller oval to cut out the image I created in CorelDraw. The background was airbrushed with my Copic Airbrush. A second printed image was used to cut out the Big Top sign which was popped up. I find I am using my CorelDraw and Photoshop Elements more often these days. It's a slow creep from rubber to digital although I will never abandon completely my rubber stamps.








Paper: DCWV Dots Stripes & Plaids; Stamps: Make It Crafty Circuit Tent, Mo Manning Kat at the Carnival, PaperTrey Just the Ticket; Spellbinder Grand Ovals; Copics: [Tent YR18, YR24, BG49, E55, E57, Y02, YG17, C3, C1, Spica: Turquoise, Orange][Skin E000, E11, R20][Bag N4, Y08, C1, Spica Red][Hair Y38, Y13,Y19][Clothes R81, R85, R83][Sky B91][Ground G24][Clouds B000]

Everybody loves a circus...

I was thrilled to get permission from Mo Manning to combine Kat at the Carnival with Make It Crafty's Circus Tent. I love these images together. I used my Grand Calibur and my Grand Oval dies to make a shaped card. Then I cut another single oval out and adhered it to the top covering up the flat hinge area. I used a slightly smaller oval to cut out the image I created in CorelDraw. The background was airbrushed with my Copic Airbrush. A second printed image was used to cut out the Big Top sign which was popped up. I find I am using my CorelDraw and Photoshop Elements more often these days. It's a slow creep from rubber to digital although I will never abandon completely my rubber stamps.








Paper: DCWV Dots Stripes & Plaids;
Stamps: Make It Crafty Circus Tent,
Mo Manning Kat at the Carnival,
PaperTrey Just the Ticket;
Spellbinder Grand Ovals;
Copics: [Tent YR18, YR24, BG49, E55, E57, Y02, YG17, C3, C1, Spica: Turquoise, Orange][Skin E000, E11, R20][Bag N4, Y08, C1, Spica Red][Hair Y38, Y13,Y19][Clothes R81, R85, R83][Sky B91][Ground G24][Clouds B000]

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Things I learned from reality TV...

1.  From My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding I learned if you make your wedding dress so 'fluffy' that it covers the limo driver's eyes, it can be disasterous.
2.  From Say Yes to the Dress I learned to not take an entourage to buy a wedding dress, you can't please all the people all the time.
3.  From Swamp People I learned that when you have a very angry 10 foot alligator on a thin line, it pays to have loaded the gun AND have someone with you who can hit the broad side of a barn.
4.  From all the contests I learned that if you've watched a show that heaps abuse on the contestants and then get on the show, man up - you knew going in what was going to happen.
5.  From Cake Boss I learned if you have a blond sister, keep her out of your work area.
6.  From Swamp Brothers (not to be confused with Swamp People) I learned, if you're out to catch poisonous snakes, leave your weinie, screams like a girl, brother at home, he's distracting.
7.  From Say Yes to the Dress Bridesmaids Edition I learned to NEVER NEVER EVER EVER ask the local drama queen to be your maid of honor.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Back to square one....

Carl and I went out to dinner with friends on Thursday and Friday morning had a mess.  We went to Rockford on Saturday and Sunday morning we had a mess.  I'd love to say there's a beginning pattern, but this has been ongoing so long that I figure it's just a coincidence.  From where we started, two messes in two months (so far) is better than where we came from, but disheartening. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Life can be a circus...




Supplies:
SVGCutting Files: Scalloped Flaps Box Card
Basic Red Cardstock
Silhouette Cameo
DCWV The Rustic Stack
Peachy Keen June 2014 
Peachy Keen PK-1398 Circus Treats
Peachy Keen PK 1397 - It's Showtime
Ranger Glossy Accents

Life can be a circus...




Supplies:
SVGCutting Files: Scalloped Flaps Box Card
Basic Red Cardstock
Silhouette Cameo
DCWV The Rustic Stack
Peachy Keen June 2014 
Peachy Keen PK-1398 Circus Treats
Peachy Keen PK 1397 - It's Showtime
Ranger Glossy Accents
uni-ball Signo white pen
Stickles Stardust

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A baby is a blessing...


Supplies:
Flourishes Hello Baby
PTI Confetti Garland, Lavender Moon Ink & Cardstock
My Mind's Eye Blush
Die-Namics Blueprints 10
Cuttlebug Baby Clothes Embossing Folder

A baby is a blessing...


Supplies:
Flourishes Hello Baby
PTI Confetti Garland, Lavender Moon Ink & Cardstock
My Mind's Eye Blush
Die-Namics Blueprints 10
Cuttlebug Baby Clothes Embossing Folder

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Thoughts on birdhouses....



In our travels we often find cute things for the garden.  I don't remember where we bought this rustic birdhouse but it was painted like a U.S. Post Office and we've had it a few years.  My husband installed a new post next to this wiegela and nailed the box to it.  There is no way to open the box to clean it out and it hasn't been used to my knowledge.  Until this year.  Chickadees took up residence in the early spring.  I watched the nest making process and just recently the babies hatched.  You could tell they were feeding from the increased activity at the birdhouse.

A few days after this picture was taken, I was watering in some newly transplanted flowers in the raised bed and something just looked 'off' to me.  While I was trying to figure out what it was, I noticed the bare post.  During my investigation I found the remains of the birdhouse in the catmint bed, the interior was scattered all over the lawn, the house was in pieces and the babies were gone.  We never saw the parents again.

We have been lax landlords.  We delight in the entertainment the birds bring to our yard.  We watch with interest their courting, territorial battles, nest building, baby feeding and we delight in seeing a fledgling or two once in a while.  And for all that, all they ask is a secure place to raise their next generation.  This box was old, nailed to the post with a single nail and no baffle provided.  A baffle keeps predators from climbing the pole and getting into the box.

This is the replacement box.  It it capable of being opened through the roof and on the side.  The baffle is called a 'stove pipe baffle' and just sits on top of the post held in place by the pipe between the house and the post.  Any predator like a snake or raccoon, or even a squirrel, can climb the post but always ends up under the baffle which is too big around and too slick to climb.  The wiegela is too weak to be climbed by raccoons or snakes, the branches are fragile and would just bend, perhaps break.  This box was purchased at Wild Birds Unlimited but I suspect if my husband had time, he could build an equally sturdy one.  Our new rule is no 'cute' boxes unless they are very sturdy, can be opened and cleaned and are baffled.  It was heartbreaking to lose the chickadee babies; next to bluebirds they are my favorite.  They always seem to be in a good mood and can brighten my day.  The nest box was destroyed several days ago and I haven't even seen any chickadees in the bird feeders.  I wonder if they will forgive us?



Friday, May 30, 2014

All is well...

I know I shouldn't say this but things are going really well.  No messes for a long time and Sassy seems to have forgotten about pooping in my chair.  It's been uncovered for several months now.  We have a covered and an open box in the living room.  An uncovered box in the basement, an uncovered box in the spare bedroom, an uncovered box in the laundry room and a covered box in my craft room.  All are being used.  I  prefer the covered ones because Sadie likes to back up to the edge of the box and pee.  Sometimes it's in the box and sometimes outside.  I would love to find some boxes that are really tall, perhaps a tub we can cut the front out of.  I'll think on that a while.

Sassy continues to want to play with Sadie but Sadie isn't having any of it.  Once in a while they play chase, but that's rare.  Other than the occasional growl, things are calm and clean.  Carl walks around every few nights with the UV light but hasn't found anything but the dribbles over the edge of the boxes.  Sadie continues to live under our bed but comes out every day to interact.  She no longer lays on our bed, she uses the spare bed which I've covered with an old sheet (it's very expensive and looks nasty covered with black cat hair).  She's not sharpening her claws on furniture.  She gets up on the bed once in a while to bathe Carl, she likes grooming him best but she's not friendly during the day.  I think it disappoints him she's not sweeter.  She seems to like being with us, just not touching us.  If there is an open window, she's in it.  When we have the air on, not so much.

Sassy, on the other hand, is a mama's girl.  She follows me when she's awake.  She sleeps by me when I'm in the family room, she loves to play with the string, torments me by laying on my desk when I'm working or getting up in my chair when I get up to get something or go to the bathroom.  You can actually see the delight in her eyes when I play-scold her.  She's a love.

From this gazebo - 5/30/14...

Work is finally finished on the pond.  The brick edging has been cleaned up, new brick installed where it was taken out, the cedar box that contains the plugs, cords and sensors for the pond is functional and, I might add, is a work of art.

 The light comes on after dark.
 All the plugs are inside, the block box on the outside is the sensor that turns on the pond lights.
 The door to get into the box.
 One of our newly fledged robins.
 Siberian Iris
 Floribunda rose - Sunsprite - smells amazing - notice the caterpillar?
 Variegated Wiegela
 Standard Wiegela
Monsieur Jules Elie peony

 Back in Black iris
 Meadow Sage
Wisteria

I still have not seen a bee anywhere in the garden.  Tomato blossoms are falling off with no fruit left behind.  The catmint and meadow sage are totally without bees (unheard of in my garden).  We've only seen two butterflies, both swallowtails.  No monarchs.  No eggs on the milkweed.  Very few flies.

On the other hand, tree seeds have been in the millions.  We've had two kinds of maple seeds, the tiny flat seeds of the river birch, and now the cottonwoods are seeding.  Our deck, garden beds and flower pots are filled to the brim with these seeds.  We Preen but still get thousands of seedlings every year.  Short of taking down the trees, there isn't a lot we can do but curse.