Thursday, July 31, 2008

Belle and Rose finally get to meet

This morning bright and early I opened the bedroom door where Belle has been confined away from Rose, and Belle and I went downstairs to get breakfast. Rose was sleeping in the top tier of the cat tower and came down to meet Belle. There was hissing and growling from Belle and Rose went into her carrier ro hide which meant Belle could smell her again her being afraid of attack. Eventually Belle figured out that this was the same interloper that she'd smelled and played with last night under the door to the bedroom, and the kittens seemed ok with each other so I let them be together.
Before the kittens were able to be together, Rose liked to sleep on the cat tower in the living room, it gives her a "kitty's eye" view of the room. This picture was snapped before Belle was introduced to Rose last night. There's going to be some teritorritorial adjustments on the tower, I'm sure, as both of the kittens love it.
I finally let both kittens out and there was some posturing going on but the food I put down on either side of the kitchen was a great distraction. Rose is a much better eater than Belle. The girls ate and then sniffed each other and then spent the next hour chasing, playing, posturing, and running up and down the stairs one in pursuit of the other, and not always the same cat leading. They eventually found out that there were squirrels outside and both got together to look at the squirrels. Rose had a visit to the vet yesterday, we figure she is probably 2-3 weeks younger than Belle, but by the size of their respective paws, I am guessing that Rose will end up being the bigger of the two when they're grown.
Belle is fascinated with the tip of Rose's tail that has an orange patch of fur on it. She tries to snif it and grab it which of course, Rose doesn't want her to. I finally had to separate the kittens when I heard crying and turns it out it was Belle underneath Rose that had pinned her down. Rose had been rather the underdog most of the time they'd been running around this morning, but I think the tables might be turning.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New Pictures of the Little Guy

I haven't posted Aidan pictures on my blog in awhile, and the kids took Aidan to Pearl Harbor last weekend so there are new pictures to post! This one was back at home with Daddy, wearing his ACU bib.
We'd taken Jenn to see the Arizona memorial when she was just a few days away from delivering Aidan, we were sightseeing everywhere so that Jenn would walk and hopefully get Aidan to appear! Here they are in front of the USS Missouri, which is also a museum because the WWII surrender was signed on this ship.
In order to get out to the Arizona memorial, you have to take a little boat ride as it's at the other side of the harbor. This is the boat ride, which Aidan seems to be enjoying. If you haven't ever been to see it and get the opportunity, it's really a very interesting and moving place. The Arizona is under the water underneath the visitor building.
This is the park area where you can walk and enjoy the sunshine and weather while waiting for the next boat to the other side of the harbor. There is a wall with the names of the people that died on Pearl Harbor Day, and many people take rubbings of their family member's names. It really is beautiful, and Michael was pointing out things to Aidan here like the other ships.
Of course, it wouldn't be quite as much fun if Aidan didn't get out of the stroller and crawl around and explore while waiting! Jenn tells me he is incredibly mobile. We miss Aidan, Jenn and Michael and wish we were in Hawaii with them (or they here in Maryland with us)! :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Introducing Rose

Ok, it's official. I'm nuts. But after leaving Belle alone for a couple of days while Mark was on a trip and I was at summer camp, we decided to get Belle a friend. This is Rose. Belle still hasn't really met her other than to hiss at her, we'll be introducing them slowly. Rose is about a month younger than Belle and has a very snuggly but highly intellegent and brave exploring personality so far. Jonathan is home right now and Belle isn't happy with him, but Rose seems to like him a lot. We're going to let the two sisters smell at each other under the doors before we let them get to know each other. Hopefully they'll do just fine.

Friday, July 25, 2008

So what do you think about hanging up on telemarketers?

Is it right or wrong for you to hang up on telemarketers?
(I copied this from a website, the spelling errors are all theirs-V)

right get metaphysical with them, make a real connection on a human level, block out the commercial crap, waste their time
right they are trained not to hang up on you until you say yes or hang up on them
right it's rude for them to call in the first place. Why be polite to someone who's rude for a living?
right they're annoying
wrong use a combination of caller id, google, and answering machine to screen out telemarketers (and catch do not call violators)
right I used to be a telemarketer. It's no big deal: we just go on to the next number. Sp really both sides win.
right they have no "right" to any of my time, and my time is far more valuable than to waste it on listening/talking to a telemarketer, and what they ask is NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS!
right Actually, why hang up? Ask them to explain more about their deal and walk away ...its on their dime!
right after 40 years EVERY telemarketer I refuse to buy from has rudely hung up on me so you polite idiots deserve what you get
right I get all their company info first, then inform them that I am registered on the national do not call list and that they just cost their company thousands of dollars because I report every TM call. Then I hang up.
right only when they start arguing or being rude.
right I didn't ask for them to call. To hell with them.
wrong it is rude.
right they are a pest, low lives, and do not deserve a second of my life
right their such a pain and wont take no for an answer
wrong I don't care
wrong in general, its not decent edicate, and it's better to end it gentally or proper notice if i'm in hurry but in this day and age, i don't think it's safe to conduct business with any telemarketer, as they might be identity theives, or scam artists
right If I've already made up my mind I'm not interested, why waste any more time? If the person takes it personally, he/she is definitely in the wrong line of work.
wrong Telemarketers are indeed people. They are just doing their job. People that think like some of you are why the world is so fcked up.
wrong It's better to keep them on the line as l o n g as you can (and have fun doing it).
right I have the right to choose who I talk with
right I pay for my telephone. No one has the right to use my personal property for their own marketing purposes or to invade my privacy.
wrong i use a whistle and blow it in their ear when they connect
right this is America!
wrong They are people too. It is good to treat people kindly it doesn't cost anything. I think It is acceptable to hang up only if they keep pestering you.
right even when you try to end the call politely, they won't stop pushing and accept your final answer.
right I didn't ask them to call! Unless they are with the policeman's ball or Women against drunk driving, something like that they shouldn't be calling.
wrong I am not a douche bag (like everyone below me)
wrong it is better to just put the phone down without hanging up so they talk to themselves for awhile, giving them less time to bother someone else.
right they are viewing me as nothing more than a number, and since I will never fall for their sales tactics, I am actually wasting both their and my time by trying to be polite
right I do not want them to call in the first place and they really have no other motive but to make me spend money on something I don't need.
right they are wasting my fucking time... I'd rather fuck with them, though. screaming into the phone to make them go deaf, keeping them on the phone as long as possible, asking them personal questions, etc.
right i cant think of a reason why it wouldn't be
right there is no moral reason not to disconnect if you are not interested. I prefer to play pranks on them though.
right they interupted my day it's only right to interupt their pitch
right how would it not be right? I didn't ask them to call.
right they are irritating

Homework is done! However...

it took me about double the time at home that it would have taken me at Summer camp. I have actually more room to work at home than at camp, but there is one small issue of a grey furry thing that tries to help me. I have to be very careful because she loves to lie on the fabric I'm sewing, though she is good not to put her paws near the needle of the machine.
She loves to be on the cutting table especially when I'm laying out fabric to put a pattern on. I have to lock her outside of the room when I'm cutting a patern out as she'll get her paws right next to the scissors and I'm afraid that she'll get cut accidentally.
She's positively fascinated by thread, and especially by the pins I use to sew with...I always get the big plastic headed quilting pins which are easy for her to pull out of the fabric with her teeth and take off with.
She's also fascinated by the camera. It makes a sound when you turn it on and another when you're focusing, so she knows when I have it out. She tries to catch the strap when I have it up to my face to focus.
Hmmmmm, Belle must think there is something between the cutting table and sewing machine table that's interesting to her because she always tries to get her paws down there.
This is the skirt fabric for one of the dresses I'm doing for summer camp. Belle says she likes it very much!

You might think this poor dear cat has nowhere of her own to go, but she has a soft pad at the end of my machine table to lie on and watch the outside world. It even has a sunbeam most of the day like cats enjoy but she's not interested in it at all.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A walk outside

One of Belle's favorite things to do is to go for a walk outside. She comes running when I ask her if she wants to go outside and lies down so I can put her harness on. She isn't crazy about my attaching the chest strap, but generally she knows she's going out so she is very understanding. She does try to get out the door sometimes without being in her harness, but we're working with her to make sure she knows that she's not supposed to go out without it.
She is still kind of skittish outside, noises like cars on the road out front scare her, but she is pretty brave and wants to explore. She isn't into going long distances though, so we keep it pretty short as she looks through the plants in the garden and just outside the garden.
Her favorite is the Coreopsis which is soft and fern like, she loves lying down on it. Then she goes and lies on the sidewalk and looks around for a minute before she decided where to go next.
As we were walking outside today, I head "mewing" coming from the woods right on the peremeter of our yard...I couldn't find anyone, but it sounded like a young kitten. Maybe she wasn't the only kitten from the litter that was abandoned. I'd like to think that any that are around are doing well, but I couldn't see any other kittens.
We went inside, and Belle is taking a well deserved nap on my lap as I type. She's nearly too long to fit on my lap anymore but she really doesn't like being moved to her cat bed on my desk. I'll enjoy her being small for now.

I did have to squirt her a few times for biting last night and this morning, which is a very easy way to have an attitude adjustment for her! I wish I'd thought to squirt my kids when they were in that tough middle-school age! :)

Summer Camp update

Right before I started camp last weekend, I did a couple of days of volunteering at the Carrol County Farm Museum which is a living history museum where I spin as a artisan and living historian. They also have a weaving room and I help out there as well but weaving is less my forte than spinning. I actually was able to get two really wonderful skeins of yarn made last week. The temperature was very hot and very humid, so I wanted to wear something made from lighter cottons than my good dresses which are all made from heavier premium quilting grade cottons. This is one of the dresses I'd made at least 2 years ago that is going to go up for sale on Ebay eventually but I thought I'd try it one more time. I like the fabric, it's light and it's light colored...but it doesn't fit right like the ones I've made to my own fitting shell. It'll fit someone though. I'd thought about using it for those rainy and muddy reenactments that we sometimes do, but I just don't like it enough to keep it. I also think that the light colors don't look as good on me either. lol

After a day off on Monday, I got packed up for Summer Camp again yesterday, I was bringing some things back and forth to work on as well as various trims to decide on for my bodices. I put it all in my tote bag and had the tote and my purse/tote all ready to go and the next thing I knew it, Belle had discovered a new place to explore. She loves grabbing the handles of my bags and pulling to see what will fall out. We'd actually found her in the bag just lying there like "who me?" at one point.
The kitten climbed in and out of everything, sniffing and making sure that no mice had somehow gotten in. She had a really good time playing around there, but wasn't so invisible that she got to go for a ride all the way up to Gettysburg.
She does love to ride in the car on her harness...and take walks outside on harness as well. She's very good about it and comes running when I ask if she wants to "go outside". There's no need to allow a cat to go outside where there are dangers and diseases in order to let them get a taste of the big world out there. The harness is easy!

Here are the two dress bodices that I'm working on in summer camp. The darker bodice on the left is finished, all the hand work is done and I now have to make the skirt. There is blue around all the flowers on the fabric, so the blue trim really works on it, it just doesn't photograph well. The pieces are cut out but nothing else is done. Our homework is to get the skirts ready to pleat on Saturday, but the bottom of the skirt construction with added hem binding and hem tape and then measuring it with the top turn down is time consuming and a big job. The skirts are about 5.35 yards around. The lighter bodice still needs the yellow buttons put on as well as the yellow ribbin trim (there is yellow running through the leaves, besides, Civil War was all about big contrasts so that's perfect. It needed some other color.)The lighter skirt is constructed and I need to sew the hem binding in and measure the top edge so it's ready for pleating. Just getting it that far took me several hours yesterday. And thank you to my hubby for the early Birthday gift of Summer Camp this year! :)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Monday after Summer Camp

I will be back counting points on Weight Watchers and cooking from their recipes that are yummy plus lower calories. Vacation is fun, but it'll be back to reality. :)cat
more cat pictures

Summer camp starts tomorrow!

more cat pictures

Ok...I just liked this cute picture...but I'm excited and all packed up and ready to go to Gettysburg in the morning for Sewing Summer camp. Woohoo!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

This week

This was a busy week with a Balance test for the ear doctor on Monday which totally made me sick, and then flying a 4 leg trip each day on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. That and an IBS episode kept me home and quiet this weekend. But Belle got a new cat tree, thanks to Jonathan sharing the web address of the place he got his. It was here in like 2 days and went together very easily, even with the cat helping. And the website had the most reasonably priced ones that I'd seen anywhere so that's good too!
We thought at first that the top level was going to be too high for Belle to jump up to, or it would be too wobbly but she loves sleeping in the very top tray and looking down on her humans and her domain.
Here's another shot of the cat tower and the new resident.
Mark likes to lie on the floor and play with Belle at the tower, Belle is very good about scratching on the posts rather than on the furniture so it's all good.
Belle had to be put out of the sewing room for a few minutes while I finished cutting out the fabric for this sun dress, but she didn't try to help too much and get in the way while I was sewing. This is some of the Hawaiian fabric that I brought home from Oahu the last time we were there, it's just a kick around at home dress and was very easy to make. I'm on some medicines for the ears that have steriods in them that are making me kind of "puffy", so I feel like I look huge, especially in this dress. Still, I did promise a certain best friend a picture. (Hi Lorraine!) So here it is! The dress is finished and I think I'll use the pattern to make a blouse or two...but hopefully in a more flattering patterned fabric. :)

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Dress finished

With Belle's help, I finished the dress I was working on, lol. The trim on the bodice looks crooked because the duct tape form underneath the dress has been pulled out of shape by the kitten getting under the hoop I keep on that dress form and pulling it all out of shape. Of course, I'm crooked too, I have scoloiosis so all of my dresses have one shoulder a tad higher than the other. But back to the dress form and duct tape double; I'm going to have to redo the whole thing before I use it again. And yes, this is the dress that Belle wasn't happy about my taking the skirt away from her to pleat, but she managed to turn her attention to a new toy. Today I was sitting on the sofa doing hand work on the bodice and Belle kept pouncing on me and biting me. I finally put the sewing away and she immediately bounded up onto my lap very snuggly and cuddly for a nap...I guess she was overtired and cranky and wanted to use my lap for a bed for the afternoon nap. She is, in human years, only about 4 years old, and those afternoon naps are very important! I finally had to wake her up to go make supper and then I finished the hand work and put the skirt on the dress after eating. I need to make some lighter colored dresses, I noticed that most of my dresses are kind of dark in color. Still, I love the deep and rich purple color on this one.

Views from the Garden

These are just some garden pictures that Mark took this morning. We've had tons of rain and the plants are really enjoying it! We have Echinacea, Bee Balm, Day Lilies, Baloon Flowers, Lamb's Ear and a whole bunch of others besides the Iris you've already seen.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy 4th of July weekend, everyone!

We had a kind of quiet 4th of July day, I spent a bit of time in my sewing room working on a project that I'd cut out months and months ago. My shadow, Belle is now a little over 3 months old and has been looking for ways to help out around the house. She has decided that she wanted to help make my newest Civil War era dress, and decided to help by warming up the skirt while I worked on other parts of the dress. I haven't been sewing much since she adopted us because I wasn't sure that my sewing room was cat proofed enough, but it seems like everything is ok so far. She had to give up the skirt for awhile so I could pleat it and sew it to the waistband, but now it's ready to sew to the bodice and back on the floor waiting for her to lie on it until it's actually part of a dress.

I dropped one of my fabric markers and, you guessed it, it was immediately appropriated and spirited off to the hallway. I got some pretty mad looks when I relieved her of it, but I was afraid that she was going to figure out how to get the top off. I'm starting to get ready and pack the items I'm going to need for a 10 day long sewing summer camp and she's been investigating the growing pile of fabric and patterns I've been starting by the doorway too. She tells me she likes the fabric I picked out for my class, too.

I thought that putting the small items into a bin for my class would be a good idea, but Belle thought her idea of dragging her towel and her very own scrap of fabric into the bin and taking it over was an even better idea!

Belle thought that getting into the small space between my lamp and the wall to take a nap would be great! Nobody will bother her there, and the shelving unit full of soft and cuddly fabric is right there in case she wants to find another place to sleep.

Belle doesn't mind my sewing just as long as I make things like quilts for her to lie on when she is tired of being handled. Right now she's sitting on my lap while I type, trying very hard to ignore the sound of fireworks outside and not doing very well at acting brave. But I think she knows she's not going to fall to any harm so she's relaxed enough to close her eyes for a moment or two between the noises.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

How to Give a Cat a Pill

How To Give A Cat A Pill

1. Pick up cat and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.

2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.

3. Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.

4. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm, holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.

5. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call spouse from garden.

6. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth Drop pill down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.

7. Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered figurines and vases from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.

8. Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.

9. Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink 1 beer to take taste away. Apply Band-Aid to spouse's forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.

10 Retrieve cat from neighbor's shed. Get another pill. Open another beer. Place cat in cupboard, and close door on to neck, to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with elastic band.

11. Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on hinges. Drink beer. Fetch bottle of scotch. Pour shot, drink. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot. Apply whiskey compress to cheek to disinfect. Toss back another shot. Throw Tee shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.

12. Call fire department to retrieve the damn cat from across the road. Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil wrap.

13. Tie the little bastard's front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table, find heavy-duty pruning gloves from shed. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of filet steak. Be rough about it. Hold head vertically and pour 2 pints of water down throat to wash pill down.

14. Consume remainder of scotch. Get spouse to drive you to the emergency room, sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Call furniture shop on way home to order new table.

15 Arrange for SPCA to collect mutant cat from hell and call local pet shop to see if they have any hamsters.

How To Give A Dog A Pill

1. Wrap it in bacon.

2. Toss it in the air.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Happy Canada Day, eh!

This is a clip to explain exactly what the Great white North really is. Happy Canada Day, eh!

Gettysburg Civil War Museum weekend, 2008

These are scenes from the 1st Maryland Cavalry Battalion's annual weekend camping at the Civil War museum in Gettysburg. We do this each year to teach living history, and as a fund raiser for our unit, and to draw visitors into the museum. Here's Lou and Tyler in the display area for the Revolving Battery gun. This battery gun is not a reproduction though it has been restored. It's a treasure of history and heritage.

Mark posing for the camera following the weapons firing demonstration. The soldiers do firearms demonstrations as well as saber drills and engage the spectators in the saber drills. We also have a recruitment area set up to sign up new soldiers from among the spectators, complete with cash payment in reproduction bills of the era for their enlistment.
Here's Patty, who, with her husband Jim, are new members of our unit. Patty brought a beautiful quilt to work on during the weekend and shared with us some of her other creations. I'm hoping that I'll get the time to work on one or another of my quilts since she has helped to motivate me.
It's me, sitting out in front of the museum watching the camp. I was knitting most of the weekend, but it was just too hot to play with the wool during the afternoon. One of the most asked questions of the ladies is always "aren't you hot in that?" The answer is that we're not much hotter than the folks in shorts and tee shirts because the dresses and undergarments are all cotton which breathes well, but it was very humid and sunny so everyone was hot, both in modern and period clothing.
Here's Rusty who is the head of artillery and owner of the Revolving Battery Gun you see here as well as the Mountain Howitzers that the unit uses during battles. Rusty is the Artillery commander.
A view of camp life, the guys are playing cards under the fly in front of the military commander's tent while some of the ladies that are visiting look on. We have several areas where we all tend to congregate and tell jokes or stories or play games and such. Usually we have a camp fire when we're out in the field but for the safety of all the people walking through our camp here we don't have one for this event. Our cook takes good care of the stomachs of the members when we're out in the field, in fact, we have been known to have deserters from the Union lines defect to our unit when lunch and supper are just about ready!
This is one of my very favorite dresses and one that I definitely enjoy wearing. When we went to lunch we had lots of people asking to take pictures of us walking down the street. There were lots of tourists in town from all over the world, and I posed for a whole lot of pictures along with other members of our unit.
Gerald, Gerry and Dan discussing battle plans over the Parrot Gun that is a permanant fixture out in front of the museum. Gerry and his son Gerald are new members of our Unit this season as well. Gerry has been in several Civil War movies including "Gods and Generals".
This is another shot of our camp including the gun rack that shows visitors the different types of muskets used during the 1861-1865 period.
The ladies in discussion outside the museum doors. That's Patty in the beautiful Green Silk day dress, and Linda in the gold day dress and me in the blue one you've already seen. We had a fun weekend and it was great to renew friendships and share time with our friends again.