Saturday, August 2, 2014

To The Beat Of A Different Drum

Drum Pinkeeps!!  I just love them.  I've admired so many of them in cross-stitch groups and on blogs.  I knew it was time that I tried one.  I got Stacey Nash's sweet chart "Addy's Pinkeep Drum" and modified it a bit.  No insult to the designer intended, I just wanted to experiment with other themes and designs.  I preserved Stacey's original alphabet along the top and her main peacock theme.  I deleted the name and instead put my own initials and the date 1814.  I also added another peacock design and some keys.


 
So I marched to the beat of a different drummer on this one.  There will be more drums in my future.  I really like the concept and the finished product.  I added a large rock to the center of mine when I stuffed it.  I don't have much use for a pinkeep as an actually holder of pins.  I will use this as a paperweight.
 
Another among us who marches to the beat of a different drummer is our new friend Deuce.  He is getting less aggressive but there is still plenty of howling and hissing going on.  We are well into month number three of him being around, so I do hope this settles down soon.  He is allowed inside during the day with free roam of the house.  He likes the attic room the best and causes no trouble with the others.  When we all gather in one location....well that's a different story.

They played with opposite ends of the paper towel roll for a few minutes.  Then it became a swat-fest in the paper bag.

Outside they need constant monitoring so no one gets chased towards the street.  Can you spot them all in this photo(above).  Mel on the grill, Coal and Roy in the picnic table, and Deuce as usual, taking center stage.

Mel eyes him cautiously.  He seems to like to chase her the most.

Coal seemed ready to allow Deuce usage of this lawn chair....

..well, maybe NOT!
 
Raised my blood pressure and anxiety level by booking my flight to New Jersey for early September.  I can no longer pick and choose the days I go to visit my parents.  I always chose dates that I was off from work when there was a break from gymnastics.  Not so anymore.  My father would like me to come the first week of September so I can help with the giant neighborhood yard sale.  Year after year they attempt to rid themselves of the clutter in their garage and basement and year after year the clutter seems to multiply 10 times over instead.  So I'm going to take a crack at it this year.  I think the last yard sale I attended there was 1998.
Mr. Deuce will spend that week at Charm School (aka boarding at the Vet).  He is just too much for Joe to handle while I'm gone.  Not an ideal situation, but anything to make these trips go smoother.
 
I hear the drum beating(or is that just my pulse!).  Time to pick up some stitching and put September out of my mind for a while longer.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

When You Have Lemons...............

...you make lemonade, so the expression goes.  I like this little verse, but I also really like lemons, so I find it hard to relate.  I certainly can relate to the stress and nastiness at the gym lately.  Usually my place of comfort and joy, it has become a pit of grumpiness these past few weeks.  I seem to be the catch-all for everyone's complaints, the fill-in for everyone who is out of town, and the know-all for everyone's endless questions.  Although I appreciate their confidence in me I AM NOT: a surgeon, a psychiatrist, a physical therapist.  I am not in charge of the time, the weather or the cycles of the moon.  I am not wealthy, nor do I wield great influence with the powers that be....but I do thank everyone for the compliment!
 
So when given lemons, I make lemonade!  When given a yard full of grape vines, I make wreaths
...and that's exactly what I did this morning.  I left the laptop OFF and let the battery on my phone go DEAD.  I went outside, in my pajamas, a made some grape vine wreaths.
 
 
When the neighbor gets ready to move away and throws out a ton of stuff.....lemonade again!  She tossed out these two amazing tents, still in the original packaging.  I don't think they were every used.
If I was on Twitter it would say #GaragePickSCORE!
 
 
When my quilt was the only one of my items at the County Fair that didn't win a prize, I took that "lemon" and put together these two "lemonades".
 
 
 
 
Certainly I would never call a cat or any other animal a lemon, but little Deuce is definitely a challenge.  He still feels the need to hiss, howl and chase the other cats.  Today was a bit of a lemonade moment.  All four eating together during a temporary cease fire.
 
Joe finds the whole new cat situation a bit exhausting.  Luckily loyal Coal is willing to keep him company.

 


Mel finds her solitude amongst the bittersweet vine and the lone sunflower.

 
Half the day is over already, but I'll still find  time for some stitch, knitty, crafty things.  And I'll wait until later to charge up that phone battery........... 
 

 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

At The Fair

After my birthday lunch last week, my friend Karena and I went to the Warren County Fair.  I love to look at ALL the animal exhibits and luckily Karena was patient enough to indulge me.
 
We strolled through every barn.  The weather was unseasonably cool, in the low 70sF, so it was pleasant for the animals as well as the tourists.


What an interesting color cow







My gymnast Aubrey and her llama, Eli.

I think I need to make this guy my Facebook profile picture

 






My needlework/crafts did pretty well.  I entered 20 categories and won 16 First Places and 3 Second Places.  The only item that didn't win anything was my Stars and Moons quilt.  I really don't know why.  There were some other nice quilts there but they were common patchwork patterns in bright colors.  What I would call "country" style.  I didn't see any other applique quilts.  Maybe my choice of colors and design was just too contemporary for the judge's taste.
 
I won Blue Ribbons in 4 Doll Clothes categories and all 7 cross-stitch categories.
 
I'm already tossing around ideas for next year's entries.  I will definitely go the more traditional route with my quilt entry.  Overall a very good day and a big pay-off of $50.50 in prize money.

 


Friday, July 18, 2014

Today I AM 50

 
Another unseasonably cool day in the mid 70sF.  A peaceful walk around the yard to look at my flowers.......




 
...and meet up with a few cat friends.

Sweet Mel




The ever elusive Mocha

Then a wonderful lunch at the local Mexican restaurant with some dear friends.
 
We went off to tour the County Fair after lunch, but more on that in a later post.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Again

After a seven year gap I have again put some sewing/crafty items into our county fair. Today was entry day and I made it just before the storms rolled in. 



 My main entry was the Stars and Moons quilt.  I have 20 items entered; mostly doll clothes and cross-stitch items. I hope to go see the results of the judging on Friday.

Again another birthday approaches.  This one is the half-century mark!  I don't really know what to make of that.  Some days I feel like I have not changed at all from 12 years old.  Other days I feel like I'm 80.  There seems to be no in-between.  My favorite exhibits at the Fair are still the animals.  Luckily, after these storms pass through the temperatures are supposed to drop to "unseasonable lows" for the remainder of the week.  I always feel badly for all the farm animals cooped up in those hot barns at the height of Summer. 
I didn't visit any of the barns today, but there was a small animal display set up outside of the Arts Building.  I think, when fully populated, this is going to be the petting zoo area.  I tend to be the oldest person at the petting zoo (except for grandmas and grandpas),  What an interesting selection.....especially these huge turtles.
 
 
 
 

Again, another cat has found me.  A little black guy we have named Deuce.  Over a year ago our former neighbor had a sweet and super-friendly little black cat show up on his property.  He already had a black cat named Blacky, so he called the new arrival Deuce (as in black cat number 2).  The last time I saw that cat was October 2013.  This little guy showed up in mid May.  He was so similar in looks and temperament that I thought he might be Deuce returning.  Our new guy is about 8-10 months old (any cat experts out there, please give me your opinion on his age), so he couldn't possibly be the original Deuce.  But the name has stuck. Not long after our Twinsy passed away I took Deuce to be neutered and have all his shots in my attempt at the TNR (trap/neuter/release) concept.  Well, the T and the N went very smoothly, but I don't think the R is happening!  I did release him from the cat carrier, but he decided to stay.

Coal observes Deuce from a safe distance
 There has been a lot of hissing, howling and that odd sideways glance posturing going on around here lately.


 
He is a sweet boy.  An ankle biter and scratcher, but with some attention those habits will go away.  He is great with people, but is still a bit aggressive with our other cats.

 
Just today I got this shot of everyone in the kitchen.  Deuce comes in the cat door and the howl-fest begins.  In a matter of moments though everyone just lays down and tolerates eachother.


 

 
 Of course kitty Coal is the most personable with Deuce.  My shy guy Roy prefers to stay up on the kitchen counter to check out the new guy.
 

 
 
 
Again I manage a blog post and again it is filled with photos of the cats!  The older I get the more I become my true self.  Happy in my solitude and peaceful privacy.  A house full of animals, threads and fabrics.  A yard full of veggies and flowers....and a grateful heart for all of it.