Sunday, June 22, 2008

Cat haiku part 2

More Haiku from Belle:
:) Humans are so strange.
Mine lies still in the bed, then screams.
My claws aren't that sharp.
(oh yes they are, and so are your teeth! (comment from your cat-mom))
:) You never feed me.
Perhaps I'll sleep on your face.
That will show you.
:) My brain: walnut-sized.
Yours, largest among primates.
Yet, who leaves for work?
:) Tiny can, dumped in
Plastic bowl. Presentation,
One Star; service: None.
:) Am I in your way?
You seem to have it backwards:
This pillow's taken.

We're so proud

You know, most grandparents are proud of their grandchildren just because they love them...but we thought we'd share the fact we're especially proud that our grandson, Aidan, is the youngest person ever licensed to drive in the state of Hawaii. Here he is reacting to the horrible traffic in Honolulu, with Dad helping because he can't quite reach the brake pedal.
Aidan is such a good driver that he decided to take Mom and Dad to the beach and get out of all that traffic and relax. He just loves the water and is a frequent visitor to the pool as well. Maybe he remembers when Mom used to go swimming with him when she was pregnant.
Aidan is wondering why he can't just dive in and swim like the little Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle he thinks he is, but Mom is a little bit more careful and conservative than him. He's saying "Dude!" to the turtles and the fish and trying to figure out how to go pet them and play with them.
After a nice day at the beach, Aidan took Mom and Dad back home to see his sister Nutmeg and brother Milo. He wouldn't want to leave them at home too long and get them used to peace and quiet and not being chased around the house by a very mobile crawling baby. Nutmeg is still asleep, maybe Aidan can sneak up on her and say hello! She's very good with Aidan.
Milo says "welcome home, Aidan" and is thinking that he'll need a nap too, and soon after Aidan pets him and he gets all tired out. Milo is a wonderful tempered dog, very patient and sweet.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Which tarot card am I? Which are you?

Yes, I will admit I stole this from Sylvia's blog. I thought it was interesting so I'm posting it here for my friends to use if they'd like. I found the choice to be pretty accurate after taking the short quiz (link attached). I hope you like it.

You are Strength

Courage, strength, fortitude. Power not arrested in the act of judgement, but passing on to further action, sometimes obstinacy.

This is a card of courage and energy. It represents both the Lion's hot, roaring energy, and the Maiden's steadfast will. The innocent Maiden is unafraid, undaunted, and indomitable. In some cards she opens the lion's mouth, in others she shuts it. Either way, she proves that inner strength is more powerful than raw physical strength. That forces can be controlled and used to score a victory is very close to the message of the Chariot, which might be why, in some decks, it is Justice that is card 8 instead of Strength. With strength you can control not only the situation, but yourself. It is a card about anger and impulse management, about creative answers, leadership and maintaining one's personal honor. It can also stand for a steadfast friend.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Cat Haikus

:)I need a new toy.
Tail of Black dog keeps good time.
Pounce! Good dog! Good dog!

:) The rule for today:
Touch my tail, I shred your hand.
New rule tomorrow.

:) You're always typing.
Well, let's see you ignore my
Sitting on your hands.

:)Small brave canrivores
Kill pine cones and mosquitoes
Fear vacuum cleaner.

(From Planet Cat...I thought these and some others I'm saving for later were cute and true!)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I do so still spin!

There have been a bunch of changes in our lives since Belle came into our of which is that I've had to try to work on some of my spinning stash to get it into yarn form so it will take up less space and get put away. This is a 2 ply I made from one ply of light grey and one of chocolate CVM (California Verigated Mutant) fleece that I got from Myrtle Dow of Black Pines Sheep. She frequents the Maryland and Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool shows, and I absolutely love her and her husband Roy, and their "kids", their sheep. This yarn is wonderful and I think that I have enough to make a very large Civil War era/size shawl. This is the first skein I've made, I have another skein on the bobbins to ply, and plenty of fiber left to spin.
Belle especially loved helping me ply this yarn. It's one ply NZ corriedale from the Spinning and Knitting shop and the other ply is some dyed Romney that I bought from a vendor at the Maryland Show some years ago to spindle while waiting for my daughter to join us at the fairgrounds. It was pretty coarse, and pretty hairy, and it felted partially in the bag from being carried around all the rest of the day. I took it all off the spindle and put it on a bobbin, and then pre-drafted the felted part, spun the bobbin full and found a coordinating color to ply it with. I'm making the Morning Surf Scarf with it from the Summer 2008 Spin Off magazine, or at least that's the plan. The kitten enjoys helping knit too.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Gravestone Dedication

Yesterday was Confederate Memorial Day and we went to the service to dedicate a stone that our Unit had donated funds to have restored. The Union veterans of the War between the States have their stones maintained by the US Government to this day, but the Confederates that are buried at Loudon Park Cemetary have stones that for the most part have weathered smooth and are now unreadable. This is the second year that we've adopted a soldier (these men for the most part lived after the war and died at the Confederate Soldier's Home right down the road from us in Garrison/Pikesville) and were not able to be buried with their families for one or another reason. We're standing right next to General Bradley Johnson's monument and grave, and his chief of staff flag is in the background.
I hadn't been able to attend last year, so visiting this historic cemetary was a first for me. I was amazed at the statuary and the history contained within these walls, there were graves here from about 1850, including many familiar names from Baltimore history. HL Menken is buried in this land, as well as the representatives from many of the streets that were named after notable families of the area. Mark took pictures of me while I was out exploring the grounds, it looked eerie to me, nearly like a ghost from 145 years ago was visiting a loved one's grave.
The family of this solider, Frank Bond, wrote to the Military head of our unit and asked that we take pictures of the grave to send to him. Apparently he served with the Maryland 1st Cavalry which is the unit that we represent. We got several pictures, unfortunately the color on Mark's camera malfunctioned for some of the pictures and showed only the greens.
I had been saddened by how many of the stones were tumbled over and was also curious about why some of the many masoleums that are dug into the sides of the hills here were cemented or bricked shut. Since the director, manager, and other personnel from the cemetary were in attendance at the memorial service and gravestone dedication, I happened upon one of the gentlemen and asked these questions. The director said that it is not legal to pick up or otherwise "fix" anything without permission of the family that owns the stone, and in many cases, there is no longer family that is reachable for permission. The vaults that have been filled and there is no longer any family have sometimes been requested to be sealed by prior arrangement with the cemetary.
This is the Colorguard that paraded in and stood with their flags for the ceremony. The temperature was about 95 yesterday during the ceremony with the heat index bringing it to 105-110F. The uniforms are all wool, there was no such thing as a summer and a winter uniform. One uniform was all the soldiers were issued. Two of the color guard got overheated and had to go sit out the rest of the ceremony and Mark, and Mr. Garcia who is the head of the cemetary took the flags.
This picture is another of Frank Bond's Stone from my camera so it shows the colors of the uniforms. These are some of our Unit's members in attendance around the stone. You can see the tents for the ceremony and the gravestones in the background. There are quite a few soldier's graves down the hill from Confederate Hill but these have been buried by their families as opposed to the 605 that were in the mass area.
The statuary in this cemetary was incredibly artistic, and while it's sad that these families lost their loved ones, the beauty of these statues and monuments has lived on for so long and will continue to do so. This place is called a Park, and truly it is a peaceful and beautiful place to visit.
This is another shot of some of the statues that are continued on the larger family plots here. The large one shown here (of course, I can't remember the family name on it) has sheaths of wheat on the sides as well as angels and information about the people interred in the plot.
Some of the stones have been here so long that there are vines growing over them, it was like a walk back in time and history. I would like to come visit again when the weather is a bit cooler perhaps, and with a pencil and paper to write down all the familiar family names to try to figure out if I know them from Baltimore history or from Civil War in Maryland history, or what.

Finally, Back to a little spinning

I have finally gotten some cleaning up and organizing and kitty proofing done around the house, including putting my stash of fiber and yarn out of kitty's reach. I have also managed to get my spinning wheel out and running again and since it's in front of the TV again now, it's quite relaxing to work on it in the evenings. This is an object of absolute fascination for Belle. She tries to help me all the time, but she is very careful not to get her paws caught in the wheel.
She'll get up on her cat tower and hang off when I'm spinning as I'm sitting right next to her tower...she wants to jump into my lap and help but she knows from experience that it will do her no good, I'll put her right back onto the floor.
Belle has figured out that the hammock the quilt hoop makes for her is very comfortable. And because it's on the opposite side of my spinning wheel from her cat tower, it's also a great vantage point for the whole spinning process.
I've let her lie on top of the ball of fiber I'm working from but when she tries to bite or taste, I quickly put a stop to that and she ends up on the floor again...she seems to be taking quite well to the training. Right now I'm doing a bobbin of chocolate CVM to ply with the grey that I've already finished. My S-75 bobbins hold 4 ounces each so I'll have about 8 ounces of yarn when I'm finished with just these two bobbins
Here's one of her just relaxing from her vantage point at the top of her tower. She's making herself quite at home.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Lots of changes in a week's time

It was a whole week ago today that we found the little kitty under the car. Thank you to all our friends for the outpouring of support and help, and the offers to take her if we weren't able to keep her. We have decided to keep her and we've named her "Belle". We've managed to become stabilized with our allergies, and they doesn't seem to be bothering us as much since we've been playing with her and brushing her. She loves getting under our kitchen table and getting comfortable, sometimes playing with Mark's legs.
This cute one was snapped while Belle was playing around under the blanket on the sofa. Last Sunday she wouldn't come out from under the blanket unless she were being held, and now she takes naps anywhere and is very comfortable even going up and down the stairs. She's gotten lots of toys now to play with and even a scratching post and she seems very content. Today's favorite is a box of books with a towel over it in front of the front windows which gives her a view of the outside.
She decided to lie on my lap last night while I was reading and fell prompty asleep. When she woke up she was still pretty tired until she got her energy back. She's very snuggly, and I definitely like that!