Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ah, Hopalong, the elusive

unless there's petting to be had.

It's official. Neither of us thinks he'll get into the trap, but that poor kitty is so desparate for petting that we think we can get him into a top loading carrier. Keep your fingers crossed for us. We want to get him to the vet before the next round of snow.

Yes, more snow. I watched the weather this morning. Our normal high for this time of year is 60F. I think it stayed 10 degrees cooler than that all of today. Yet, we're in line for more snow on Tuesday. I really don't know how all those northeners stand it. Oh yeah, they don't, which is why Atlanta's population keeps growing, as does the urban sprawl.

I've been knitting away on my Citron Shawl. I'm about midway through section number 4, and now it's starting to give me hints of what the next sections will be like (as in many, many stitches to knit.)

I also dyed some yarn today using some leftovers from starting my dye book on Friday. I see I have much experimentation to do, and I'm going to have to order more yarn. I'm afraid this is going to be very addicting. Already I have more ideas swirling in my head, and I don't have the yarn to try them all out!

Pictures later this week, maybe tomorrow, maybe tonight if I can get myself outside before total darkness.

Also, I've got a virtual friend who is starting to do some TNR at her workplace. Here's a link to her blog if you want to read about how she's doing. Massachusetts is not at all like Georgia, and I never thought the south would be more progressive than a northern state, but in TNR, we are! Woohoo! However, what is easy for me is not so easy for her as she doesn't have all the facilities and support systems that I have access to. So, check out her blog and see what she's facing there.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Still trying

I've taken the trap up as I don't think Hopalong is going to fall for getting into it again.

I've tried regular catfood. I tried Boar's Head low sodium deli turkey. Food keeps disappearing, and I think the birds are flying or hopping into the trap to eat it.

Time to try something new. I've got one of those cardboard carriers from the vet's office. As you may know, cats find boxes irresistable. I've put the carrier outside near where Hopalong likes to lurk. I put a small towel in the bottom of it, then sprinkled dried catnip all around. I'm thinking that he might get a little stoned from the 'nip, then look for someplace to sleep it off. If I'm lucky, I may be able to catch him napping in the box.

Otherwise, I'll have to go to the Carlos Museum, find a statue of Bastet, and sacrifice a can of tuna to beg for her help.

As for knitting, I finished section 1 of Citron last night. I'll have to take a picture later. I'd plead laziness, but...well, it's true. I've got other things to do, and I just don't feel like going outside to take that single picture right now. Maybe tomorrow, especially if I've finished section 2.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Hopalong is still free

He's a cunning cat. He's avoided the trap all day long. I even put some of his regular food by the open trap door to see if he could be enticed by the delicious smoked oysters.

I looked out to check just a few minutes ago, and Cowkitty was heading towards the trap. Thus, this day of trapping is over. I had to close the trap and put out some regulare food for Cowkitty as I didn't want to trap him again.

I'll try again tomorrow.

Trapper mode enabled

If you've read my blog for any length of time, you will know that I've got two feral/stray cats in my care. Mamacat, who's most definitely a feral cat, even though she now is quite talkative and seems to like my company from a safe distance, and Hopalong, whom I'm now starting to think is a stray. Hopalong has in the past week or two gotten to the point where he demands head and chin scratches as part of his meal routine.

Sometime in late December another male cat showed up. He's a big, black and white cat, one of those that reminds you of Holstein cows. In the throes of originality, I dubbed him Cowkitty. I see him sporadically, but he has been spraying near our house.

Sunday a week ago, I saw Mama and Hopalong for their meals, and all was well. On Monday afternoon, when I spotted Hopalong across the street, I could see that he was walking a little funny. When he got close, I saw a large wound, most likely a burst abscess, on his right hip. He held his tail at an odd angle too.

Great. He'd been attacked by Cowkitty, and now he needed veterinary care.

I spent Monday afternoon trying to see if he'd get close enough that I could snatch him up and put him into a cat carrier. Ok, probably not the smartest plan, but I knew he was up on his rabies vax, and I thought I could do this pretty quickly. Note to self, don't try that sort of think while Keith is home. He had to tell me just how dumb that idea was and not to try it.

So, out came my trusty kitty trap. I baited it and put it outside. I honestly can't remember if I pulled it out Monday late afternoon, but it sat outside for most of Tuesday. No luck.

I baited it and put it out again Wednesday. Hopalong looked at it warily, and never got near it. However, around 3:00 when I checked it again, there was Cowkitty. (I'd been checking pretty regularly. The neighbors, if they were looking, would be wondering why I looked like a jack-in-the-box, popping out the front door every 15-20 minutes.) Cowkitty wasn't the one I had planned to trap, but on Thursday he got a trip to Lifeline Animal Project's clinic for neutering and his rabies vax.

When I released Cowkitty on Friday afternoon, he was out of that trap so fast, he looked like a furry blur. I looked out the front door about 30 minutes later, and he was back to have a little snack. I'd fed and watered him while he was in the trap, but he seemed to excel in knocking everything upside down.

I still haven't gotten Hopalong trapped and to the vet yet. I didn't try over the weekend, mostly due to working hours at the vet's office. He seems to be healing pretty well, but I'd still like to get him in and have him checked. The trap will be spending some quality time outside today. I think instead of sardines, I'll have to try something else. Maybe smoked clams?

In knitting news, I did finish a hat over the weekend. I'd taken a class to learn how to knit entrelac in the round. I used plain, boring, solid colored yarn that I had in stash. I was so tired of working with that red yarn. I needed another color for the top of the hat, and of the colors I had, green seemed best. Thus, I present the Strawberry Entrelac Hat.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Citron's beginning

Citron's beginning
Originally uploaded by everbork

I'm playing around with how I add pictures today. I've not used all my space in blogger yet, but in anticipation of someday needing other options, I'm trying some out.

I know you won't recognize Citron, even you other knitters out there, because I'm only on row 12, and it looks a little like a sock toe right now. In the future, it will be a monster with 800+ stitches on a row. I'm not looking forward to that part. Someone else who is knitting it mentioned it took her 35 minutes to complete 1 row the other night. As I approach that, I'll bear in mind just how great it's going to look, and how nice to wear. One needs positive thinking as she starts an 800+ stitch row.

I will have to cut this entry short. Hubby is making breakfast, and I just heard a timer go off. He expects me to be at the table on time! As it's bacon and biscuits, I want to be on time too.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cheyenne River Sioux

This is directly from their website:

February 10, 2010 CHEYENNE RIVER SIOUX TRIBE CONTINUES TO ACCEPT DONATIONS OF FUNDS AND SUPLIES TO ADDRESS THE DISASTER CRISIS Donations to the cCheyenne River Sioux Tribe can be made as follows: For donations contact one of the following listed below:


MAIL: Benita Clark, Tribal Treasurer, P.O. Box 590, Eagle Butte, SD 57625, make checks payable to the "Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe CRST 2010 Disaster."

WIRE: United Bkrs Bloomington ABA# 091 001 322; Beneficiary Bank or Beneficiary: Account# 250 3373, State Bank of Eagle Butte; Beneficiary of Final Credit: Account Holder@UBB Customers Bank; Account Holder: Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe CRST 2010 Disaster, Routing #:091409351, Account #: 103173

PHONE CALLS regarding donations: Contact Benita Clark, Tribal Treasurer, Finances, Incident Command Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe (605) 964-4426, (605) 200-1013 (cell)

Joseph Brings Plenty, Sr.
CRST Tribal Chairman

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Of da Vinci and Portman

I think I mentioned I planned to visit the High Museum with Gale earlier in the week.

I'll confess that I've only been to the High once or twice. I know Keith and I went to see an exhibit of Kandinsky years ago, and perhaps we went soon after it opened. Although I enjoyed the Kandinsky, and I don't think that exhibit disappointed, I remember having a feeling of being shorted otherwise. The High Museum seemed to be much ado about very little.

Thus, exhibits have come and gone, and I've not been to see any of them.

I knew some of da Vinci's work was here, but I'd not planned to go. However, when Gale called to invite me, I thought that it would be fun.

Not really knowing how long it would take or what the crowds might be like, I purchased tickets online for 11:00 a.m. When we arrived on what turned out to be a particularly windy and cold day, we saw busloads of students ahead of us.

Needless to say, the da Vinci exhibit was quite crowded. I'm glad that students are being taken on field trips to see art, especially as I think it's one of the areas that keeps getting cut in public schools. Not having kids, I don't really know.

However, the exhibit had only about 12 pieces of his works, and for the most part, they were all very small. Some were quite fascinating, and I could have spent more time perusing them, but that's difficult in a crowd.

There is also an exhibit by John Portman, the architect, that quite frankly I had no interest in seeing and most likely would have skipped if I were by myseff. Thank goodness Gale wanted to see it, as it turned out to be quite interesting.

You may have heard of him. He's designed quite a few buildings that decorate the Atlanta skyline, but he also paints. On display were some of his architectural models, along with preliminary sketches, and in the more recent ones, computer renderings. There were also very many of his abstract paintings and some sculptures of stainless steel.

His abstract paintings are what I found so interesting. His buildings are much more linear, especially his second home. His paintings were very organic. Layers of acrylic paints built up on some to interesting textural effects. Lots of curving lines in every single one of them.

I find myself thinking I may have to go back, at a later time in the day after all the field trippers have gone back to school, and look more closely. There were other galleries through which we strolled where I would like to linger and ponder what I'm seeing.

Southern snow

Yes, the city is paralyzed, and we like it that way.

I had wondered if the weather predications were correct, but sometime shortly after 1:00 p.m., it started snowing.
Lily finds snow fascinating. She tries to catch it. She watches it intently. I had to let her go outside to investigate it up close. I did get worried as she disappeared for some time, but she reappeared, almost totally dry and snow free, so I can only wonder where she went to watch the snow.
We have a Japanese maple in the front yard that looked so lovely with the snow coating it. It made me think of Nimloth, the White Tree of Gondor, and how it may have looked when in full bloom during Aragorn's reign.
The other pictures were taken at various times just to show the depth of the snow. Snow is rare down here, and I enjoy it for a little while.
This morning when I rose, the first thing I did was look outside. In the early morning light, against a crystal clear blue sky, the trees across the street had an almost golden glow.
My little point and shoot, while a most convenient camera to carry, was unable to truly capture the light correctly. There are many pine trees in our neighborhood, and the golden tint of the sun on the snow with the hint of the deep green on the pine needles was breathtaking. I made Keith look out the window before I let him go back to sleep.
I've been attempting to take pictures of the birds. I love the way cardinals look against all the stark white of the snow, but they were being cunning and not allowing me to take any really good shots.

I had to take this one from inside.
None of my pictures have faithfully captured the colors of this morning. The sky is a crystalline blue, not the pale, overheated blue of summer or the intensely deep blue you see out west, but a rich, sky blue, entirely cloudless.
The snow is currently falling from the tree limbs, glistening like diamonds in the fresh sunlight. It looks like another snow storm, this time of silvery glitter in the clear light. The snow beneath the trees is no longer smooth, but is now pockmarked into craters, some large, some small, as snow falls from the limbs in both clumps and shimmering separate flakes.
I've waxed poetic long enough. I'd say enjoy the snow, but all too soon it's going to be a slushy, muddy mess with our cars covered with sand and salt. Ugh.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snuggles with Penelope

Sounds racy, doesn't it?

I love pet supply stores that have store animals. I always loved Cheshire Pet Supply when they were still in business, and partly because they had a wonderful cat at the Toco Hills location. I was sad to see them close.

Where I go now has a great cat named Penelope. If I see her, I always talk to her and pet her. She's looking for a forever home, and I would adopt her in a heartbeat if I had space for her.

Just recently I wrote about how much I missed Scooter, and one thing I missed so much was that he was such a snuggly cat. He loved to cuddle, and I loved it too.

Today when I went to pick up catfood, Penelope saw me and meowed at me from behind the canned catfood on the shelf. She was definitely not in a place where anyone could pet her. She went back to the counter where the cash register is, and when I got close enough to pet her, she just climbed right onto my shoulder. Most of her was on my shoulder while she purred like crazy and rubbed her head all over my face. After a few minutes, I carried her to the sofa where I could sit down and pet her.

I know it sounds silly, but the other cats don't cuddle like that. It was very nice to be with a kitty who was mega snuggly. To get all new age-y here, it's almost like she knew I needed some kitty snuggles.

And let's be honest, having such a great cat at the shop makes me want to spend my money there and keep them in business.

Recurrent conversations

I know couples often have their own languages, signals and usually a defined sense of who has what job in the household, even if those jobs are bizarre, mundane or just plain yucky.

Over the years, somehow it's evolved that I get to scoop the litterbox and take out trash. Part of this is because of the way my brain is wired. I remember what day is trash pickup, recycling or yard waste. Keith does not. I'm always a little amazed if he takes the trash out.

Another thing that I remember is what's on TV most weeknights. I know I've written before about how we don't have cable, so I won't go into that here. And I'll be honest, most nights I can find something to watch that entertains me while I knit, even if it turns out to be Mystery of the Mega Flood for the 3rd or 4th time. (I love Nova.)

Thus, because I can remember odd details, and Keith has a strange relationship with time, he can't or won't keep track of what shows come on which nights. What I'm about to share are short conversations that we've had almost every weeknight of every week since September.

Monday: Keith, "Is the Mentalist on tonight?"
Me, "No, Castle's on tonight."
Keith, "When is the Mentalist on?"
Me, "Thursday"
Keith, "The guy who plays Castle really is ruggedly handsome. I wish I was."
Me, now looking up from my knitting to look at my husband, "Yes, he is, but you are too."

Tuesday: Keith, "What's on tonight?"
Me, "NCIS or Nova, then NCIS LA."
Keith, "What about the Mentalist?"
Me, "Not tonight. You normally watch the News Hour at 10 on Tuesdays while I go surf the web."
Keith, "Oh. I don't think I'll watch that tonight." or "Oh yeah, thanks."

Wednesday: Keith, "Is your beloved Mentalist on tonight?"
Me, "No, CSI New York is on at 10."
Keith, "What are you watching now?"
Me, "Human Target."
Keith, "When's the Mentalist on?"
Me, "Tomorrow night."

And yes, he'll ask me about it tonight too.

I'm not sure why we go through this each week. Yes, I think Simon Baker is just adorable. I like watching it, and what's funnier is that Keith doesn't even watch it that much. Perhaps part of it is that as we've been together so long, I've gotten much more likely to yell at him if he comes into wherever I'm watching tv during the last 5 minutes of the show and starts talking or plucking his guitar. Or, much more likely, he thinks the woman who plays Van Pelt on the show is good looking (she's a redhead), and he wants to watch her.

Whatever it is, this conversation is something we've had for so long, and this week I started thinking about it when he wandered in to ask me what I was watching and to bring him up to date on the plot after asking if the Mentalist was on.

He's just lucky he's so ruggedly handsome that I'll put up with all this. :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Hunting owl?

Last night, just outside our kitchen door, we heard some very strange noises.

They definitely weren't human. I listened, trying to decide if it was a coyote, but it also sounded like something we had heard years ago. An owl, happily trying to hoot around a mouthful of prey.

Now I'm worried about my two feral cats who hang around. If it's really the owl, which I've been pretty sure is a large one (we think it's a Barred Owl), what was it getting near my kitchen door? One of my ferals? The neighbor's ankle biter of a dog? Or some poor possum making its rounds to see if there is any catfood left over?

I will say that if you ever do hear an owl trying to talk with its mouth full, it's a pretty funny sound. I'm not sure I can find anything like it online, but I haven't looked. I don't really have time to look for that today, what with trying to run all my errands before the next rain event starts. I hate slogging through rain to grocery shop. That's less than fun.

However, and I know some of you may have a few minutes to spare, see if you can find a barred owl calling with a full beak. Link it so we can all listen to it.

See, Mondays can be fun. :)

ETA - I found one that sounds similar! Go listen here!

Second edit - I found an owl cam! How cool is this? I really need to quit looking up owl info and get moving.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Insanity comes in many forms

This week, it came the form of size 11 seed beads. I've included a picture of this small beaded piece by a pen to let you get some perspective on just how small size 11 seed beads are.

I've had beading madness for years now. It all started when I was in elementary school. I joke about my age, but I was in the first grade very soon after the Summer of Love (1968), and my bead obsession manifested itself sometime around then.

It all started with "love bead" necklaces that my friends and I made. These were simple strands of seed beads and bugle beads interspersed on a strand of elastic. Very easy to make. You take the strand of elastic, make sure it will go over your head and string the beads, alternating between seed and bugles. I wish I could remember how old I was when I made those, but it's really not important. Just take my word that the obsession with beads began quite early.

Not that it's always manifested itself. The beading madness will go dormant, sometimes for years, before roaring back into full obsession. It's in full swing now, with wild and wonderful ideas popping into my head, leaving me wondering just how in world to get them to work.

There are other forms of madness too. Sometimes they involve Malabrigo lace yarn, 2 skeins of it, and a simple shawl pattern called Citron. True, that pattern only calls for one Malabrigo, but the one I've seen knitted up has extra repeats of the pattern, and that's the size I must knit.

Shirley is teaching a class at Needle Nook that I just had to take. Knitting entrelac in the round. This bright red item on the left is the beginning rounds of a hat using this technique. I find using a solid yarn for entrelac is sooooooo boring. Next time, it's most definitely something that self stripes.
The sun has appeared, giving me a chance to get some pictures of finished socks.
The sock with blue heel and toes is the first of a pair for Keith. It's knitted from Malabrigo sock yarn for heels and toes, and Yarnsmith's Prairie for the main color. He picked out the Prairie when we went to SAFF a few years ago. This was before I figured out just how much yarn it takes to knit socks for him. Luckily, the Malabrigo was in my stash, and it matches quite well. The picture shows the blue as brighter than it really is, at least on my monitor.

These other socks are mine, Watermelon colorway from Miss Babs, purchased at the same SAFF. This is one of the times where I liked the yarn in the skein much better than knitted up. In the skein it looked much pinker, but the green mutes out the pink once it's knitted. I did like the yarn itself very much.
If you look closely on the right, you can see my little piece of beadweaving. I had put it on the bench while I was digging out my camera, so you have another chance for some perspective on its size.
Today is the Super Bowl, for those who keep track of such things. I'll admit that I don't, and I've just realized I've no idea who the Saints are playing today. What I really care about is that it's sunny, that I've got graph paper to get some of these beading ideas out of my head, and whether I'll bead or knit today.
OMG! Can you believe there's not a single cat picture in the bunch today?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

On a soapbox again.

I saw this on one of the knitting charities I'm involved with, and I wanted to post it here.

Our native peoples get less press about their situation, and right now it's pretty dire. I'm only posting part of the message here as I'm waiting to get permission to post the parts with phone numbers, etc.

Cambridge – Native American Caucus students at the Harvard Kennedy School are taking action in response to the inadequate national response to the crisis on Indian reservations in the Dakotas due to severe ice storms and freezing temperatures. Last weekend, a powerful snow and ice storm ripped through the region, felling power lines, and cutting off power and water to thousands of South Dakotans, many of them on the Cheyenne River and Standing Rock Indian Reservations. When full power and water will be restored remains in question.
The ice storms cut off electricity in an area about the size of Connecticut . With no electricity, no heat, no running water, and a wind chill below zero, a crisis is mounting. The Chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe has declared a state of emergency for his community and is calling for immediate assistance.
The tribes are working hard to bring families in out of the cold into shelters. The South Dakota National Guard, the State’s Department of Public Safety as well as the Army Corps of Engineers have come to the reservation and supplied some emergency generators. Help also is coming in the Red Cross and other tribes. But even with this assistance these tribes, among the poorest communities in the United States , are not able to meet the overwhelming needs of their communities.
Outside the frozen plains of the Dakotas , this human crisis has received little attention. The Native American Caucus student organization at Harvard Kennedy School would be grateful to American citizens to give the spotlight to their fellow Native American citizens. They are in great need of your help and aid. The American People need to be aware of this emergency situation.
To assist the Cheyenne River and Standing Rock Tribes, contact Stacy LaCompte at Wakpa Sica Reconciliation Place at (605) 280-8588.
MEDICAL NEEDS: Dialysis Patients/Glucose Strips/Financial Support for Hotels
The dialysis patients have all been evacuated three hours away to Rapid City , SD. They are staying in hotels for at least a week and half, probably longer. Financial contributions are needed to help the families pay for their hotel expenses and food. An account has been set up at Wells Fargo to help with these expenses. You can contribute at any Wells Fargo or send to the Rapid City branch.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Gloomy weather, gloomy thoughts

Some days I really miss Scooter. I knew him his entire life. From the night I knew Pixel had gotten in the family way until that awful day this past summer when we took him for his final vet visit. I was on my feet a lot yesterday, and my back is feeling a little achy, and Scooter used to come nap on my stomach every time I took a nap. When I was sore like this, his weight and warmth felt so good. He would stay there, purring like crazy until we both drifted into sleep. He was the best cat ever.

Don't get me wrong. I love the kitties that live with us now, but Scooter was very special.

Monday, February 1, 2010

A quick check in

I'm still around, just not blogging.

I don't have much to share. Housework (yuck), yoga, rain, the vet for Lily, the eyedoctor for me...

Well, that's a tale I've been composing my head. I just need to sit down and share it with you.

In the meantime, pity me as our digital camera is going crazy. We think it's dying a slow and pink death. Many of the pictures have a pink tinge and may look blurred or wavy. Remember this sock pic? At the time, I thought it was me moving the camera. Apparently not, as it's doing this while on the tripod now. While it does look really cool, it's not what I'm looking for when posting items on ebay.
Yes, I've spent a part of the weekend thinking of witty text to go with some of those things couples accumulate over the years. Why yes, who doesn't need another salad bowl? And in a pattern that doesn't reflect my kitchen, lifestyle or taste? Thank you ever so much. Well, you know how it is. Wedding gifts that have taken up space for 20+ years. Maybe it's time to let them go and make $5 in the process. Overcoming packratitis can be fun. I'm also going through some of my yarn, and let me tell you, writing text for yarn is ever so much easier. I've only got one listed so far, but that is only the beginning. And no, I don't think you'll see any Wollmeise or numma numma listed from me.