Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sunday Stills :: All the Cats I've Loved Before

There have been many a cat in my 37 year history here on earth. My parents are cat people, so thankfully i grew up with a cat or two since i was a wee babe, barely able to pull on a kitty's tail. These days, we have 3 special cats in our life. Although most who visit here will already know here, let me formally introduce ya...

Sandwich (aka Sadie) :: Indoorus Felinious Spoiled-Rottenus

Sleepy Sadie

This is Sadie. Sweet lil tabby kitters with a 90 degree kink in her tail who loves nuzzling your face at the drop of a hat when you call "Sadie, kisses". She's been part of the family now for 7 years. She was Moose's birthday present back then...he walked into the kitten cage and from her spot on a shelf above him, she kept pawing a him. Melted his heart, poor chap. He didn't even have a chance to resist. We adopted her with her brother, who turned out to be a real bully, so we had to return him. Thankfully he came from a no-kill shelter, but i bet after him, the lady running the place thought serious about deleting that return offer from her contract. :) Cookie was almost two when we picked up Sadie. She had just learned to walk real decent and was talking up a storm by then. As we were leaving to get the kitties, i shot a video of Cookie talking about naming the kitties. She wanted three and their names where to be "Chicken,'Tatoes, and Sandwich." Thus began her love of naming pets after food. :)

Roosevelt (aka Rosie) :: Exteriorius Felinious Rodenti Saughterus
Rosie n the Ducks

Rosie has been a real hoot. We picked her up from King County's Barn Cats -R- Us program in February. Although they said she was feral, we are having a bit of success in taming her with tuna fish and leftover salmon. We've set her up in a greenhouse and she usually sleeps on our porch. When she hears you outside, she starts running, mewing the whole way till she's a comfortable distance from you. Once she joins you on walkabout, she's purring the whole time and doing somersaults at your feet. :) I've touched her talk a hand full of times, which in and of itself is a kitty miracle. A huge blessing in Rosie's personality is her gentleness with the birds. This whole time, i've only seen her attack the ducks once. They deserved it though, because they were harassing her something awful. Here's a video of her usual interactions with Feathered Friends with a Death Wish.

Stoney :: Brotherus From Another Motherus
stoney monster
Stoney is my folk's cat, given the name of the boy they never had. By that reasoning, as my father says, he is my brother. :) He is a hoot and a half, starting with they fact that he weighs at least as much as a bowling ball. Especially nifty when he decides to jump in your lap. :) They resuced him from their local shelter as well, and have been spoiling him rotten since. Case in point, if you don't pay him enough attention, he'll keep pawing at your leg until you do. One of Stoney's favourite things is to pal around with my dad. When my dad is outside watching trains, Stoney goes with him. Have you ever heard of a cat who likes watching trains? Here's proof:
stoney trainspotting
And when dad is talking a nap in the hammock, Stoney's right there with him. He also is the first cat we've had that can win a whuppin' contest with a dog 5 times bigger than he is.
But the feline who will forever have my heart is my buddy, Beamer, named because his pedegree title contained the initials BMW. :)
beamer  Beamer was destined to be a show cat, before the unfortunate business of that forever protruding tongue came about. My grandmother was a cat breeder and show woman, and above all a cat lover (with some 20+ long haired cats to care for at one point in her life--bless her heart), so she decided to keep Beamer, in hopes that someday he'd live with me. The Beamster and i had many a fine times travelling the Northwest. He lived with my folks while i was away at college, but once i was out on my own, we'd enjoy our trips back and forth to my folks place before i met Moose, when i was polishing up my "Old Spinster and her Cat" routine. Beamer could smell Idaho. The minute we got within the city limits of my folks town, he'd start crooning--meow, meow, MEOOOOOWWW! And he loved car rides. He'd spend the whole drive in my lap, which was quite an entertaining sight for other motorists waiting at a red light, as you can imagine. Then, when we'd get on the backroads to my folks house, i'd roll down the window so he could hang his head (and tongue) out like a dog. Couldn't wait to get inside the house for a big ol' belly rub from "Grandma". :) He's a once-in-a-lifetime kinda cat and is missed very much!!
Wanna get your fill of kitterses? Go to Sunday Stills to find more.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Rodent Rooter

A few days ago, we caught a glimpse of Rosie on patrol out in the chicken pastures.
The chickens really hate this, but if they could only understand the service she is providing them.  All of the cost of a little tuna fish and some dry cat food.

Here she is patroling an area at the property line where fruit trees are planted in a skinny patch of land nestled between two fences.  It's impossible to get any kind of equipment in there, even Moose's new scythe, to trim the grass.  Perfect habitat for rats, skunks, foxes for sure.

After a few paces, she crouched down.  We knew what was coming.  We were viewing this from the dinner table, as it was time for sup, but it was so hard to look away. 
We were so proud of our little mouser!

She disappeared into the hedge of grass for a few minutes.
Suddenly, she came galavanting through the chicken pasture with her trophey.  Victory!
Man, that rodent was *huge*!

Dancing and praise commenced in honour of our little mouser's accomplishment!

That is until we found where she left it for us...right on the deck, under our dinner table out there. 
UGH, Rosie!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Yesterday, I Became a Lemon Farmer...

I was supposed to be buying more paint for the old house yesterday. 
When i got to the paint counter, they informed me it was a 30 minute wait. 
Don't these people know that i cannot be trusted in a hardware store (with a garden center, to boot) that long?  Maybe that was their plan all along--make us diy-ers hang out a little longer for the things we need, so the store can clear the clearance racks. :)

Walking away from the copper-lined flower boxes was the hardest thing i've ever had to do.
However, sho-nuff, i found something. 
Consequently, i spent the other 25 minutes talking myself down from buying 2. 
Or 3.  Or, you know, the whole rack full. 
Meyer Lemon flowers

Meet my Improved Meyer Lemon tree bush.

My First Meyer Lemon

Do you know how hard it is to resist lemon plants with lemons already on them? 
Harder than you might think, really.  Took me a few moments of talking to myself out loud in a highly populated garden center to convince myself i didn't need a bush like this. 

Did you further know that people look at you funny when you're debating with yourself.  Out loud. About plants.  "Well, why would i buy a plant because it has a lemon on it for $15, when i can just buy a lemon for 80 cents at the store?" "But if i buy one with only flowers, am i'm spending $15 on the 'hope' of a lemon or two?  You see the dilemma here.

However, the most priceless thing about this plant so far is that it reminds me of home and of childhood.  In AZ, my dad was clever enough to give my mom a lemon and an orange tree for personal holidays.  Clever in that we all benefited from the gift in glasses of homegrown o.j. and lemonade.

And the perfume of those sweet blossoms wafting through my nostrils when i was a kid...made the watering chores bearable in the 99 degree evenings. :)

You may wonder what makes the Improved Meyer Lemons "improved"?
I read on The Internets that they are not as susceptable to scale or pests as the original.  A Meyer Lemon is believed to be a cross between an orange and lemon, providing a sweeter juice for baking.  Here in the Pac NW, these lemons make awesome house plants.  They need temps above 40F degrees, and relish life at 55F.  A greenhouse in the winter is perfect.  If you choose to keep them as house plants, place them in the sunniest of windows (at least 6 hours) and mist them daily to help keep spider mites and dusty leaves at bay.  Fertilize them 3 times a year.  I've read they love healthy doses of alfala meal too.  Oh, and you only need one as they are self fertile.  That is if you can stop at just one.  :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Rosie came running to me while i started my field patrols yesterday morning, speaking to me with Lassie-like tenaciousness.  "Meeeeow, murr-oow," she exclaimed then gave me the "look" that means "Come this way...follow me, follow me...aren't i cute?  This way!"  You know the one, eh?  So off we went to investigate the mystery.

She led me to our pumpkin patch.

"Mee-oow!"  "Yes, Rosie, it is unfortunate that we haven't had any flowers on our pumpkin vines yet."  "Rouw?" "No, i'm afraid if we get any pollination this month, the pumpkins won't be able to grow large enough to become a jack o'lantern before frost." "Rrrow, Mwow!"  "Oh, that wasn't what you asked?"  "Meeeow," she exclaimed as she dived into the plants and pointed out what she was concerned about.

Was it a bird's nest full of babies?  Was it a dead mouse she wanted praise for?  Had she found a hidden pot of gold that Cookie is always looking for in the garden?

What is it Rosie?  What is it?

"Oh, pooh."

Turns out, all she wanted to show me was a pile of scat.
Thanks, Rosie.
Next time, let me get my cup of coffee and breakfast first, okay? :)

"Hey Daft Humanoid That Brings Me Tuna, Who Pooped in the Pumpkins?"

Monday, August 6, 2012

UFC July Challenge :: Fall Gardening

This month i felt like i cheated a bit, because i had planned trying to fall gardening this year. I had the leeks, spinach, kale, carrot, lettuce, mache, radish seeds all pulled out in June, waiting. :) It seemed like everytime a new challenge came out, i was one step ahead of the game.

When July came around, i thought of planting seeds outside, but something tells me that with the heavy rains we usually get in Nov, that our soil would not drain quickly enough to keep the crops from rotting. Maybe waiting to plant them in the greenhouse would be best. I am going to wait until mid August, since it has been getting so hot in there. For kicks and giggles, i threw all my Parisian Market carrot seeds out near the melons, so we'll see what happens.
I did start a project in June...i saved a few of my best watermelon radishes for seed, since i forgot to order more this spring. Their seed pods are just starting to yellow. I'll be happy to get this area cleaned out to give the tomatoes more space to breathe.

Holy ripe tomatoes, Batman
Our first tomatoes are coming in now...they are the Purple Cherokees. Not purple yet, but if i leave them too long, the chickens squeeze out of their pasture, find their way to the AG, and devour them. Grrr....another reason to keep birds for produce rather than pets. :)

holy jalapeƱos, robin! We've also got some peppers coming on: jalapenos, cayenne, and anaheim.  Moose is salavating over this jalapenos...just waiting for them to get a little bigger.
This summer hasn't been as productive in blog posts (and gardening) as i'd like. We are keeping two homes effectively...why did we do this again? :) I've been tackling the interior painting at the old place for the last 6 weeks, blanking out our eclecticness in hopes of a quick sale. Moose is updating the lighting in most areas of house--removing the ineffecient 1960's and replacing it with something suitable to still keep it relevant to the style of the house. Of course, now that i am almost done, i see on one of these "reality" realty shows that in some parts of the country you can list a house and give a paint allowance to the buyers. I coulda had a V8!

The grass should be done growing for a couple months and we can focus on planting more crops for fall and harvesting the tomatoes and blueberries.

Incase all this fall gardening doesn't work out, we join Full Circle CSA through Moose's work. The bounty you can find from the state of WA in this thing is amazing! We're due for a box today, so i'll take photos and share with you this week. Moose's idea was to join to get a feel of their quality standards, then possible approach them with something we can produce here. So many exciting possibilities out at this place.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Irish Dance :: Thurston Co. Fair

Cookie performed with some classmates at the fair this past week.  I will be uploading videos as i can...the show numbers were quite long.  This first video of "Salutations" took 250 minutes to upload! :)  Totally worth it though, as the girls performed beautifully!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

the Quack Attack

the Quack Attack
Originally uploaded by Whit-2-tis
Ducks have got to be the funniest birds around! These guys follow us around the yard, usually with the barn cat at in tow. Mr. Cheevious likes to run up right behind me and when i stop, he nips my ankles. :) Just a little love peck for all those oats i give him, i guess. :)

Best is when we return home: as soon as they hear us get out of the car, they come running and quacking at us. "Hello, hello, hello!"

Probably more like "Whaddya bring us, whaddya bring us?" :)

Why Am I Happy We Moved?


Oh yeah.  That's right.