Sunday, December 11, 2011

Making Time To Blog

I have never been so married to a job in my entire life as I am with this one. That's why I've been MIA. But tonight I am making time for my blog because I have something special to share with you.

Have you ever visited Vicki from 2 Bags Full? She is the nicest woman and I'm very glad I stumbled onto her blog a while back. She makes incredible knitted bird nests that are specatular works of art. She has a beautiful blog, so please stop by and pay her a nice visit.

When I first saw her nests, I inquired about them. I've been waiting for months for mine to come; I've actually ordered two. I received my Christmas nest a couple of weeks ago and finally finished putting my Christmas decorations out today and can share some pictures (but these pictures were actually taken before I put my bird table runner out).

These nests are loaded with embellishments and are so beaufitul. Vicki even tucked in a couple of surprises. Inside the nest was a pretty clay pear made by a friend of hers. The same friend also made a sweet partridge ornament which I have hanging on my bird Christmas tree - a really nice addition to my collection of bird ornaments.

Here's my little partridge ornament temprarily hanging from a little decorative chandelier. It's since been moved to a place of honor on my bird tree.

My beautiful Christmas nest...

A side view...

Last weekend I went to Home Goods and happened across this cool bird made from wool felt and it was the perfect size and weight to add to my special nest.

How perfect is that?

I haven't made the first gift for anybody yet and am not sure what I'm going to do about gift giving this year. I can't buy anything due to a tight budget and a monster car repair. I'll probably get a few things made but I know they will be late.

On top of all that, I've got two sick cats. Long story and I may share at some point but tomorrow I'll be taking Smudge back to the vet again as he is no better and hasn't eaten since last week. Right now I've got to clean up my kitchen and get ready for my new favorite show, Once Upon a Time. I love that show and hope it lasts forever!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Little Autumn Project

October has come and gone in a flash. A lot of my decorations are still sitting on the porch waiting to be used. Guess I need to put them back in the bin for storage.

I bought a quilting magazine several weeks ago that has a lot of cute and simple projects in it.

I was determined to make one of the autumn projects. There is a really cute runner but I didn't think I'd get it completed since Christmas is right around the corner - yikes! I decided to make one of the round placemats and use it as a little table mat. I think it's the perfect size for a little color in the center of the table. Although I must confess, I made this to give to somebody and won't be keeping it. I'm going to attempt to get another one of these completed this week.

I think it looks pretty cute.

I've gotten the barn almost winterized and the little rooster pin as well. This pay day I'll buy wheat straw to pile up inside to help keep it a little warmer than it would be otherwise. The little goat family have their winter coats on now and are all quite fuzzy.

Because most of my hens are pretty old and don't lay many eggs these days, I bought two laying hens from some friends.

Here is Ginger - a gold laced wyandotte.

And Golden Girl - an Americauna

I don't know how Big Rooster is still alive. He still has a huge hole in him but acts normal in every way.

My monster tractor has been serviced and used for the last time. We had our first freeze Saturday night so all the annuals are mushy now. I'm in no hurry to clean up the yard and gardens as I lost interest in them late August when I couldn't keep things alive, or from being eaten by deer or voles. So discouraging.

Last weekend my older daughter, husband and little girl came down for a nice visit. All the younger folks went to the NC State Fair on Saturday while I ran errands and cooked and baked. Sunday we all went to the Zoo and had a good time seeing the animals in their nice habitats. Of course the batteries in my camera died right after we got there so I don't have many pictures to share. Thank goodness we arrived at the perfect moment to see this wonderful creature getting a brush down. His name is Artie and he's about 20 years old. I was in heaven being this close to an elephant.

...till I can make time to blog again - stay warm!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pete Pictures & My Crow Wall Hanging

Happy Fall Ya'All! It's quite nippy here this morning and it feels great to me, even if it does make my joints ache a little.

Yesterday I attended a big adoption event in town sponsored by PetSense. They opened a store in my little podunk town about a year ago and are making a big effort to make a difference around here for the animals. I couldn't take Pete because he hasn't had his vet check yet but I spent some time visiting the other rescues that were there. There are so many animals in need and I'm glad that some of them get help. I fell in love with a sweet 5 month old white girl pup of some kind. She was terrified and sat right by her foster mom's feet just shivering the entire time. I was told that she was found running down a busy street by herself. I just love talking to rescue folks!

I've let Pete out of the laundry room a few evenings this week and he's done great. He still has a little bit of the skunk smell on him so he still mostly stays in the laundry room. Here are a couple of pictures of him when I did let him in my bedroom though. He was quite happy to be with the rest of us and made himself right at home.

Late last summer I started a crow wall hanging from a pattern I had purchased at a quilt show the year before. I got a lot done but had to put it away to make Christmast presents. I was determined to finish the wall hanging in time to use it for this fall - it was one of the goals I listed in January.

I'm happy to say that I've completed the hanging and am pleased with the way it turned out. The details don't show in the pictures, but I used a silver metallic thread to topstitch the crows with. The black fabric is a beautiful print I purchased at Jinny Beyer's studio a couple of years ago when my sister and I visited there.

It's so nice to actually complete something! Now I'm working on Christmas gifts so won't be sharing any of those pictures for quite some time.

It's time for me to make some cookies for my neighbor who brought his horse down last weekend for my granddaughters to ride. I'll post some of those pictures next time. I had thrown a tiny surprise party for Alissa, who turned 9 years old. Her little 2 year old cousin came down from the D.C. area and it was a super weekend!

Have a nice week, everybody.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Meet "Sweet Pete"

I did a lot of complaining this summer about having too many animals to take care of. I'll blame it on the heat. Most of the animals are easy but I have way too many cats in this house. The cats drive me nuts. Three of them I took as outdoor mousers, but since a cat doesn't distinguish between killing mice and birds and bunnies, they've all ended up indoors.

Blair is the last dog I've helped save.

While I agreed to foster her, it appears she now will live here permanently. She's a good dog and doesn't ask for much, although she has a horrible habit of counter surfing. Nothing is safe on the counter if it's even remotely edible and sometimes I forget to put things away. Other than that, she's pretty perfect.

I am still on one rescue distribution list and I usually just delete them w/o reading. Once I see an animal's picture it becomes difficult to delete the email. Long story short, I've decided to help another dog. Meet "Sweet Pete".

Pete was an owner surrender to a high kill "shelter" in Vance County, NC where they "euthanize" by heart stick or gas chamber. Where they also hose down the kennels with the dogs still in them. Last winter Ashley said the puppies had ice hanging off of them. Pete is old and black. For reasons that I don't understand, black dogs and black cats have the lowest adoption rate and thousands are killed every year. But that doesn't stop people from continuing to breed black labs by the thousands every year either. Stupid. Pete didn't stand a chance of survivng in there.

Anyway, I spent the day on the road yesterday meeting the angel, Ahsley, from Middle Mutts who goes into the kill shelter every week to pull some lucky animals. I dont' know how she does it. I had agreed to foster a senior dog and Pete is the guy I ended up with. He's skinny and I suspect he has heartworms because he has a dry cough. He's loaded with intestinal parasites which will be addressed this week. He smelled so bad that I took him straight to a groomer in town where he was bathed three times. Poor old guy.

I was assured Pete would get along with other animals and people. So far, so good. He's met my precious Princess and all went well. When I brought him into the house and Smudge, my big cat, came around the corner, Pete tucked tail and slinked in the opposite direction. I don't think he'll bother the cats. In fact, he's in the laundry room with two of them now and not a peep from him. The cats are another story however.

So, I will be working to get Pete healthy and adopted into a nice home where he can live the rest of his years. I don't know how old he is, but he's definitely old. Old and sweet.

Happy Sunday everybody.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Animal Stuff and My Grandmother's Chair

Oi vay! The last few weeks have been busy with my new job and taking care of animal issues. The job is going well; I have a new executive to support and he is used to having his hand held big time so I'm really exhausted when I come home now.

I've been nursing a very sick rooster for the last two weeks. I'll spare you the gross details and just say that "Big Rooster" must be part cat. This is the third time he's almost died and recovered. He's still not 100% but after being in a pen in the garage for two weeks, I put him back with his flock today.

Little Fizz has been staying with some huge goats over at my neighbors for the last two weeks after being neutered. He was being bullied terribly and when I checked on him Wednesday evening, his incision was bleeding. I put some cornstarch on it (did you know that it stops bleeding immediately?) and left him crying to come home. As I looked back, I saw one of the big goats ram him right in his rear again.

I called the vet the next morning and asked if it was absolutely necessary to keep him separated from the girls for 45 days. While she said yes, she advised me to bring him home because he could be seriously injured by the large goats he was staying with. I'm happy to say that he came home Thursday evening and so far, I haven't seen him show any signs of being interested in the girls. Let's keep our fingers crossed that it stays this way.

I'm glad summer with its heat and drought are over; onward to taking care of some projects.

Remember the odd wooden chair I wrote about a couple ofmonths ago that used to belong to my granddmother? Well, I refinished it and had the cushions reupholstered. I got the cushions last week and I couldn't be happier with the way they turned out. I remember this chair from when I was very young and I have to say it looks great...and it's comfortable too.

The weather was really pretty today and I spent the day mowing, weeding and working on my walkway. This evening I put the binding on my autumn crow wall hanging that I started last year. I'll wash it tomorrow and put a pocket on the back to hang it by and take some pictures to share.

I'm off to bed now but wanted to get a post in before another day went by.

Happy blogging!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Weekend Project and a Huge Mess!

Boo hoo - I couldn't connect all weekend to share my weekend project or visit blogs. But I'm up and running again with lots to tell you.

I've been living with painted sub-flooring in my bedrooms and living room for a few years now. I've wanted to install laminate flooring but keep getting deterred by lack of employment....uh hum. Anyhow, I took the plunge this weekend and installed new flooring in my bedroom. It isn't laminate, but luxury vinyl and a nice choice for my bedroom, I think.

It's nice to walk on and it doesn't make as much noise when the dogs' nails click, click, click across it at night. I'll admit it isn't as pretty (to me anyway) as my beaufitul laminite but I'm very happy with it and will use it in the other bedrooms when I can get to them.

Here's what I've been living with for a while now...

Because I didn't want the "planks" to move out of place I used painters tape to hold them in position till I got across the room. Once I reached the other side there was no place for them to shift to.

I'll take some pictures of the completed project when I get all my stuff put properly back into place in there.

Now for the huge mess part. The weekend here was rather miserable for me and the goats. Fizz has grown and gotten quite horny. Sorry, there is no other way to put it. His nose was constantly up the girls' butts and his behavior was getting quite disgusting.
Then Lola started coming into heat and he really went bananas. I had to wait till he was four months old to have him neutered (sounds a little better than castrated), so he is at the vets tonight recovering. Remember what a tough time he had with the debudding (removal of horns). Well, seems everything he grows is extra big, if you get my drift hence, the overnight stay at the vets. Oh, brother.

I don't want, nor can I afford another single animal and I'm certainly not going to start breeding goats to sell as a few friends have suggested. I can't bear the thought of them ending up on somebody's table or used for bait to train fighting dogs. Nope - no more goats around here.

So to make certain that doesn't happen, all the girls have to go in later this week for "morning after" injections. Fortunately they only cost $10. In the mean time, I have to keep Fizz-Man away from the girls for 30-60 days.

You wouldn't believe how impossible that was over the weekend! I had him in a rooster pen and that contained him for about 24 hours. Then I moved him to my fenced in back yard with the 5' fence which added additional stress because I couldn't let the dogs out at will for fear of them terrorizing Fizz. After all, he still is very much a baby for the most part.

The back yard fence didn't contain him either. All the while I was installing my new flooring and having to run outside to check on the goats, all of which were bellowing for each other non stop. Fizz was scared and miserable, mama Lily was miserable because her baby was crying, Lola and Bindi were miserable because ... well because of a lot of reasons. So by yesterday I had no alternative but to tie poor Fizz to the tree in the middle of the back yard - far enough from the fence so that if he did climb over, he wouldn't hang himself. Talk about non-stop bellowing for hours...and hours...and hours. I was so incredibly grouchy all weekend from it all.

So how am I going to keep Fizz away from the girls when he comes home you ask? Fortunately, I have some neighbors who have a few alpine goats in a huge, safe area and they have agreed to babysit my little guy for two months. I am so relieved. I don't know what I would have done if they said no to me. I'll be taking them a pan of brownies tomorrow evening as the beginning of my 60 days of gratitude for them. So for tonight at least, the goats are quiet and I am happy. Not to mention exhausted!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Magic Lily and Farm Critters

Summer has always been my least favorite season. This one has been especially difficult for most of the country and I am so sick of it! Here's what we have to look forward to this week...again. It's brutal and hasn't eased up since sometime in early June. As hot as it will be, it's better than the 100+ temps we've been having.

My little magic lily is blooming. How it has survived deer and voles is beyond me! I went to Gail's garden center yesterday and a very knowledgeable gal told me that a complete bulb can grow from the tiniest piece that an animal has eaten and then deposited. So either it was in mulch from the town that I got two years ago or a deer has tried to repay me for all it has been eating in my yard. Either way, I'm surely enjoying it, and it's my favorite color of flower to boot!

I don't know about you, but I haven't had many butterflies this year at all. I've seen a few Yellow Swallowtails and Black Swallowtails, but I haven't seen the first Monarch! My butterfly bushes are blooming, but not in abundance. I've got plenty of annual salvia, which they usually flock to. Only one of my lantana has survived and it's in an area I don't look at very often. I hope this isn't a sign that the butterflies are in distress.

How about you - have you noticed a decrease in butterflies this year?

Because I ran my weekly errands yesterday and then chose to stay indoors to vacuum up pet hair (it was actually a drizzly day), I have no choice but to spend today outdoors mowing weeds and cleaning the barn.

Here are a few pictures of the chickens and goat family trying to stay out of the direct sun. That is a huge forsythia bush the chickens like to rest under. The branches used to come out much further from the fence but the little goat family has eaten some of it.

It's not even noon and the poor little things are already panting :(

I haven't taken pictures of the goat family for a couple of weeks. Fizz and Bindi are growing so fast. Fizz is almost as tall as Lola already.

Bindi is still small and such a sweet little girl goat. Don't tell the others, but she and Lola are my faves. This is Bindi next to her mama, Lily.

Lola - the most curious little goat. She follows me everywhere when I let them out.

Lily was quite curious about what I was holding and was trying to sniff what was in my hand. They pretty much expect treats of some sort when I go out to talk with them. Sorry, Lily.

The little goat family wasn't very happy when I closed the gate. They get quite tired of the pasture. There is so much more to eat on the outside. Later, guys - I'll let you out this evening when I can watch so you don't get into trouble!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

No Solution Yet

My little flower still isn't open, but looks like it might be tomorrow. I hope it survives the darned deer tonight.

I think Amy is correct that it's a surprise or magic lily. I've always wanted some and now, somehow, I have one. Thanks for identifying it, Amy!

My Vole Movers don't seem to be working. A new round of vole damage is all over the front yard and gardens. I've just come in and am soaked with sweat and have decided to quit watering and trying to keep flowers alive. I'll continue to soak the trees once a week, but that's it. The gardens will have to survive the deer, voles and drought on their own. It's just not worth it for me to spend every night in 90+ degree heat trying to water only to have everything eaten by animals. I've got so many other things to take care of - like getting started on Christmas gifts!

I'll post a picture of my little lily if it's still there tomorrow. Have a good evening everybody.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I don't have a clue

as to what this plant is. I don't remember planting anything in this spot, but I've been watering quite a bit to try to keep my cherry tree alive.

Whatever this is, it should be blooming tomorrow. It appears to have five buds or petals. The foliage is a small licorice mint that volunteered.

I know - one of the pictures is pretty blurry...I moved the camera just before it took.

Stay tuned for the solution to the mystery :)

Sunday, July 31, 2011


Wonderfule rain! We had a much needed shower last Monday and another good one this afternoon. It's been horribly hot and dry here for the last two months.

The shower came too late for these plants; I'd given up watering some areas.

The little cat, Pumpkin, had another emergency trip to the vet Tuesday. Turns out she has a double ear infection - poor thing. She's feeling much better now though and on the mend.

I finally finished my kitchen table makeover. It started out as unfinished wood several years ago. Then I stained it a cedar color and wasn't happy with it. Then I painted it green and did a little faux finish on it. I lived with that for a few years till I decided to try jumping on the "white" bandwagon. I was not happy with the results at all. So about a month ago I took the table outside and started sanding the top with my sander. My intention was to sand it all the way down to wood and then stain it again, but a happy accident happened along the way.

There were some areas where the old green paint showed through and even some little bits of white. I really liked the way it was starting to look so didn't take off all the paint from the previous attempts at making the table look the way I wanted.

Then I decided to paint the bib and legs solid black. I really like the way it turned out and it keeps the theme of the beige, black, white and bronze in my kitchen.

I would love to paint the chairs black but will leave them natural for now. I'll also be painting the aqua table white (I think, but may paint it black). All my kitchen cabinets are white and I don't want too much black in there...but I might change my mind about that later.

I saw some pretty tan chair cushions at Kohl's recently, but they were $15 each. I think I'll just cover the existing cushions to get a similar look for a lot less.

I started another chair makeover this afternoon but had to stop due to lack of supplies. I'll share the makeover in a day or two. And I've brought my autumn crow wall hanging out and am working on that as well. It's almost ready for the binding. It feels great to get back to a "normal" life after being in limbo for so long!

It's time for me to hit the hay so I wake up on time tomorrow. It's going to be another intense week at work (I'm loving it btw).

Have a great day tomorrow!