kitty companiona

kitty companiona

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Putting my Life on Hold Until...

I haven't been knitting lately.  Like two years lately.  Same with sewing.
You may ask why.  Or you may not give a rip.  But I'm gonna tell you anyhow.

About four years ago I was doing well on Weight Watchers.  I lost 99 pounds.  I vowed that I was NEVER going to go through the gaining weight thing again.  I had made a 'life style change'.  I got rid of all my fat clothing.  Never gonna need them again!

How delusional can one person be???  I never did lose that last pound to make it 100.  Even with all the effort I was far from THIN.  And after a whole year of sticking to the plan and restricting what I ate, my resistance dissolved and I went right back to binge eating big time.  And it took me a year to gain it all back.  How ironic.

So for the past several years I have 'maintained' at my high weight.  The thought of restricting food again puts me in a total meltdown.  I just can't do it AGAIN.

So my life has been on hold.

I did not want to knit because I gave away several nice hand knit sweaters to the thrift shop that were too big at the time.  Now I wish I had just stashed them away.  Oh, dieting hubris!  So when I think about knitting, I remember those sweaters and think 'why waste yarn on big sweaters in case I lose again?'  Same thing with sewing.  That fabric is really pretty, I should save it until I get thin.

The reality is:  NOT GONNA HAPPEN!

So I gave myself a slap upside the head and said, 'get out your patterns and that darn yarn and do something with it!'  Do I wanna die with all that great yarn laying around???  The kids will probably take it to the landfill.  Make big sweaters!  I can always take them apart and make them smaller if...  Oh, don't even go there!

So I'm starting with this sweater.

I made this one before I lost weight the last time.  I made my own buttons for it.  Now they are gone forever and they looked so good!  I still have enough of this yarn to re-make a sweater just like it.  Whether I will make new buttons is questionable.

So I'm gonna dig into the stash and use that lovely yarn and those favorite fabrics.  There's no time like now no matter what size I am.  And if I use up all the yarn and fabric and somehow through a twist of fate become a smaller size, I can always buy more.


Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Horay For Running Water!

This is one of the best products I've bought recently.
It's the Cat Mate pet fountain.

Previously I had a Drinkwell 360, which was a nice enough fountain.  At the time when I bought mine, they were fairly expensive.  The cats liked it but it had it's drawbacks.
For one thing, it was a big round fountain and took up a lot of space.  It was too big for the counter top so I had to put it on the floor where more dirt and hair seemed to collect in it.  The filter was a plastic tube with holes in it and was filled with charcoal.  The hair went right through it and got stuck in the intake holes of the pump making it necessary to clean the fountain at least every few days.  It was a job tearing it apart, cleaning all the little tubes and hard to reach places, and it took a whole gallon of water to refill it.  I finally retired it to the basement.  We went back to the old basic water dish.  The kitties weren't happy.

I did some research on Amazon and found this small fountain that costs less than $30.  I was skeptical, but the price was right and if I didn't like it I could donate it to the thrift store.

It is a very nice little fountain.  It fits perfectly on the counter top.  It's easy to clean.  The filter has both fiber and charcoal so that very little hair gets through to the pump.  It takes less than a gallon of water to fill.  And one of the good sneaky things is that if you buy a few filters to begin with, you can take the little plastic cases apart and replace the filter fiber and pelleted charcoal if you are handy with such things.

Needless to say, I am thrilled with the Pet Mate.  We got a second one for Brad and Kami's cats who live upstairs.

Here are the happy cats trying out the different levels, the waterfall and the water slide.

                                                   Penny enjoying the top level

                                       Isabel thinks it makes a great foot bath
 I do keep a paper towel beside the fountain because they can be messy drinkers.

                                               Deiter and Isabel sharing a drink

If you are trying to encourage your cat(s) to drink more water, this is the way to go.  It would probably work well for small dogs too.
I think they also make fountains for larger dogs.

The kitties who modeled for this post were well compensated for their time.  They accept petting, hugs and praise, but they prefer Temptations kitty treats.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Sum of my Summer

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.
Well, this is a picture of my summer, sad to say.

+ computer
+ Kindle
+ library books
+ fans, lovely fans
+ lime Jello, my favorite food on a hot day.  But not my only food, unfortunately!
+ lots of heat

The bottom line is a big fat nothing.  That was my summer.

OK, I did a few things but you've seen all the greenhouses, farmer's markets, and whatever before.

No handcrafty stuff either.  My craft area has been a mess since rearranging rooms when Brad and Kami moved in.  A messy work space doesn't make me feel like creating.  Maybe instead of wasting my time reading I could have been cleaning and organizing.  Do ya think???  But NOOOOO...

And my helpers weren't into it either.  Deiter was too busy being ON the computer.

Do you see that lovely country scene that's on my desktop?  Walking down that dirt road on a nice 75-degree day is what I really should have been doing.  If I were not so old and fat and lazy.

Zip and I did ride around in air conditioned comfort and take a few pictures of houses and flowers.  There's nothing I find more appealing than a nicely decorated entrance.  These make me want to stop, knock on the door and ask if I could please come in and have tea.

 I don't know any of the people who live in these houses, just dreamin'.

                                                 Newville, near the Big Spring

                                                         Downtown Newville


Now I'm going to rant about the weather which has such a strangle hold on my moods.

The summer started out hot.  We had rain, usually about twice a week.  The yard looked good, the garden flourished, the flower beds filled in nicely

Then came July.  The rain stopped.  It got hotter than blazes.  The garden dried up, the grass turned brown and crispy.  For the past two and a half months we didn't get enough rain to dampen a paper towel.  And it drove me crazy, checking WeatherBug daily to see if there was a storm anywhere near Newburg.  But NOOOOO!  There were storms all around us but not over Newburg.  I am so glad that I did not marry a farmer.  I would have been hauled off to the loony bin years ago.

Then there are the weather people on the local news stations with their cheery predictions of chances of showers and thunderstorms.  Chances, mind you, that never seemed to materialize.  If I had been in charge of the personnel at those stations, all the predictors would now be on unemployment.  How can you be so wrong so often and still have a job???

We finally got a nice little shower on Saturday (yes, they predicted right for once, but we got less than they said we would), not nearly enough but at least we know it still can rain.  That little bit of rain and the cooler temperatures that followed have renewed my faith for the moment.  The grass is a tiny bit greener.

Oh, and several of my favorite places have closed or in the process of closing.

The Fabric Outlet in Lemoyne, my favorite place to buy fabric if I ever decide to sew.
The Country Pantry outside of Shippensburg, my favorite bulk food store.
The Mannings weaving supply and school is closing at the end of the year.  One of the best yarn
       suppliers and only weaving equipment and thread supplier in the area.

I will sure miss all of these places.

Has sitting around in front of a fan reading and eating Jello turned me into a whack job???  Probably.  I was on my way down that road anyhow.
But I will end this diatribe with a happy summer picture.

Don't you just love this little fountain in the middle of a residential section in Chambersburg?

                                                        Water, cool water!   
Happy, happy!  Fall is on the way!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Is It July Already???

For the past two weeks it has been more like the middle of July than the middle of May.  It's been very hot and dry.  This makes me fear for what the rest of the summer will be like.  I'm praying for a thunder storm tonight.

Mother's Day started off with Zip and I taking a drive through the country side. We love going by the Mennonite churches and seeing the buggies all lined up.

The adults with the little children travel in the buggies.  The teenagers ride the bicycles, with groups of girls and then a group of boys following.

The horses stoically wait to be on their way home.

The kids worked in the yard and flower beds all day.  They went above and beyond the call of duty.

They set up the small water garden.  We still need to get some plants so the fish can hide in them.  It looks kind of bare not, but once the ferns start to grow out, it will be lovely.

They added to the plantings beside the wash house and put mulch on it.  The larger hostas were the ones we planted last year.  That's Kami in the background working hard.

Brad and Kami love yard sales and always find really nice stuff.
They found two of these benches for $5 each.

Now those of you who don't live with cats and love them beyond reason and don't think they are the most perfect (maybe a few tiny idiosyncrasies) creatures that ever walked the earth, you can skip over this part because you will not understand.
We were so glad to get a bench that had already been initiated!  Yes!  There were cat scratches all along the top rail of the back.  And look at the leg  .  Cat barf!!!

Our kitties don't have to do a thing.  The bench has already been made acceptable by  other cats.  What a find!

I was in charge of planting the hanging baskets for the front porch.  I swore I would not plant petunias again because they didn't grow as full as I wanted them too last year.  But somehow they sneaked in to the planter again.  Just couldn't resist the lovely pink color to go with the geraniums.

Instead of getting a flower planter for our little back porch, Zip and I liked this planter of lettuces that we can use in salad.

Brad and Kami had a lovely little Japanese maple growing by their water garden in Fayetteville.  They dug is out and brought it along when they moved in but unfortunately it didn't survive.  They have been so expensive at the greenhouses that we've visited that we decided not to replace it. Then much to our surprise, they had them for $12.99 at Aldi.  Who would have thought there would be pretty little trees in the grocery store?  We bought two.  They will have to grow out a bit to be really pretty.  We can wait.

Earlier in the spring we put shutters on the addition.  It's looking like home!

The kids had planned to cook a Mother's Day dinner on the grill.  After working so hard all day, Zip and I decided that they deserved a break.  Instead we had Japanese for dinner.  Mom was very happy to have sushi and tiny shrimp dumplings.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!  Snore!!!

I want to thank all of you for your kind comments on my last post.  So many people suffer silently from depression.  I don't feel that it's something to be ashamed of.   I hope talking openly about it can maybe encourage someone else to seek help. 

I am taking the medication the doctor prescribed and it is helping.  There aren't huge changes in my mood, but it's enough to be encouraging.  I would still like to have more energy.  Don't we all want more energy???  So far I'm happy with the results.  Every day I feel the urge to get up and out and do a little more.

So thank you all for your support.  I really appreciate it!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Trying to Recover

Those of you who have followed my blog for a long time may remember that I have written in the past about having seasonal depression.

This past winter was particularly difficult with the extremely cold weather and frequent snow, not to mention a majority of gray days.  I spent most of the winter doing absolutely nothing.  Sitting in the recliner covered in a wool blanket and either sleeping or reading was the order of the day.  I did not go out more than once a week if that often.  I do not have agoraphobia, I just can't stand cold and will not go out in it.  And this past winter was COLD.

I sank into the worst depression since postpartum depression in the 70's.  I resisted medication because I thought that once spring arrived, late as it was, I would snap out of my funk.  Of course, my Mom has always told me that if I just do my housewifely duties, motherly duties, and marital duties, I wouldn't have time to be depressed.  Yetch!!!  I had no interest in doing anything.  If the kids hadn't been here to prod me into talking, I would have isolated myself completely.

Spring arrived and I still was just dragging through the days.  I finally made an appointment with the doctor and got some medication.  Then after reading the side effects (which really weren't that terrible) I dragged my feet about beginning to take it.  I have taken anti-depressants before and they made me feel groggy and out of it.  Just what I need, more sluggishness!

Last week I took the first pill and already I can see small differences.  Good grief, I actually feel like getting up and doing something!

Still on the quest for the perfect bread, I signed up for a Craftsy class by Peter Reinhart on making artisan bread.  And darned if I didn't make some bread that was better than anything I've made before! Here are my steak sandwich rolls.

Aren't the pretty?  And Chef Reinhart's method is so easy, hardly any kneading at all.
And look at the texture inside.

I was so pleased with the results!
There is a FREE pizza class by Peter Reinhart on Craftsy and I've tried that one too.  Made some really good pizza.
So I'm slowly getting back to some creative things.

The week after Christmas, our new equipment shed was delivered.  We had hoped to get it before it started snowing because the roof was caving in on our old shed and the tractor was getting wet.  Unfortunately the day after the shed arrived we had rain and then it froze.  The two big piles of crushed stone that were supposed to go inside the shed froze solid and never thawed out until mid-March.  We ended up putting a tarp over the tractors and mowers.
But the shed is now in use.  Our only regret is that we didn't get a bigger one.

 The kids have been working on the yard and garden.  Each year we plan to add another few raised beds.  We just got a truck load of compost so will be filling the boxes and then planting our seeds and plants.

 Next brad and Kami will be setting up the water gardens.

We took a drive a few weeks ago and saw these cute guys waiting for their dinner.  The little Mennonite girl was on the other side of the road with a wheelbarrow full of hay.

Even though I'm feeling better, I still enjoy quiet time reading and drinking tea from my favorite teapot.

And conversing with my best little companions.  I could not live without my kitties!

Thanks for stopping by!
Hope you're having an enjoyable spring!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Project Started

We are still in the icy grip of winter.  Yuck!
Our area has been lucky with only small snowfalls of about three to four inches at a time.  No major blizzards here but it is COLD!

We took a drive on Sunday for lack of anything better to do.  I finally remembered to take my camera along.  Not that there was much that was bight and colorful to save and enjoy.  Would you believe BLEAK???  This is the vew of our valley from the top of the mountain in back of our property.


Since it was Sunday, churches were a good subject.  The Mennonite church near our house.  Love the rows of buggies.  And that is only about a third of them.  There are long open fronted shelters all around the sides of the church that are parked full of more buggies.  The bicycles belong to the young unmarried men and women.  The smaller kids and babies ride in the buggies with the parents.

 This is a little old church in Upper Strausburg.  I don'[t know if they still hold services there.  There were no cars around when we stopped by in the afternoon.  There is a nice little graveyard on the other side of the church that I doesn't show in the picture.

 We drove along the Big Spring near Newville.  This is one of Zip's favorite fishing spots.  He belongs to a spring preservation group that helps maintain this old mill.

I love this little abandoned spring house.

Like I said, it wasn't the most colorful tour but it did get us out of the house.  And the car has a great heater!  It's warmer in the car than it is in the house.

I've decided I need to get back to some creative projects.  I spend too much time sitting and reading.  I cranked a warp on my loom over a year ago and never finished threading.  Yesterday was the day.  It didn't take nearly as long as I expected.  I started threading in the late afternoon and by 9 p.m. I was weaving.

Threading the heddles.

The paper on top of the loom is my threading plan.

 Pulling the threads through the reed.  This keeps them evenly spaced.

Strung, tied, and ready to weave.

  The first little sample. 

When I had finished threading, I counted threads and was one thread short.
I thought I was missing a thread. Panic!!!  A missed thread that is still stuck somewhere in the roll at the back of the loom comes back to bite you big time later.
When I did my first two inches of weaving, I found the mistake.  Two threads were stuck together. I was able to fix the problem without too much hassle.. Sometimes I get lucky. 

This is a lattice twill pattern.

I'm also going to work on my Baltimore album quilt.  I had it basted by a woman who has a long arm quilter and then I was going to quilt it by hand.  I haven't done any work on it because I wasn't happy with her size.  It was just too big.  After all that work, I hated to have to tear the border off and do another narrower one.  Now that several years have passed, I'm ready to tackle that mess.
No pictures yet.

Last but not least, a word from the kitty contingent.
Isabel says she is ready for the windows to be open.  Fresh warm air is always welcome.
Winter makes her grumpy!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, December 26, 2014

A Big Sigh of Relief...

Yes, Christmas is over!
I always take a deep breath and say 'thank you'.  Not that Christmas was stressful this year.  I can say it was actually fun and very laid back.

Brad did most of the decorating.  Since we are still adjusting to the move, we only put up the little twig tree instead of the big ones.  Between our two families we have lots of vintage decorations that we've inherited or picked up at flea markets.


Kami and I started baking two weeks ago.  We planned on making several kinds of cookies but only got as far as the sand tarts.

Brad loves Chex mix so we made a whopin' big batch.  We baked it slowly in the oven for two hours, stirring every fifteen minutes like our recipe said.  It was yummy!

Later I was reading recipes on line and found a recipe for Chex mix in the microwave.  DUH!!!  Am I behind the times???  It takes less than ten minutes!  We had to make some more to try it out.

A tradition in Kami's family is potato candy.  We made some of that, too.

 By Christmas Eve there wasn't a crumb of any of these goodies left.  We had to buy extra cookies.

We open our gifts on Christmas Eve.  Deiter is checking to see if there is anything exciting for him.

And strange gifts they were!  No lovely pieces of jewelry, no fancy new electronics, not even any new clothing. 

Would you believe a new used tire for Brad's mower, complete with a bit of grease around the hole for the axle?  And a box for Reggie

A can of paint for Kami.  And now the box belongs to Penny!

Oh no!  Did he find a stray Kitty Treat???  I must check this out!  Can you see Isabel's eyes shining in the dark?

A perfect leap out of the box!

Notice how the heads on the humans have been cut off the picture.  It's all about the kitties!

Deiter loves rolling in the paper.   Boxes and wrapping are the best kind of kitty gifts.  Along with a few Kitty Treats.

After the gifts we had a snack fest.   With wings, cheese ball and crackers, bacon wrapped dates,  meatballs, veggie tray and cheesecake.

Deiter took a nap.

Christmas Day we enjoyed crablegs.  Thought I should get some human in the pictures.  Zip and Kami chowing down on crab.

Brad and Reggie.  Hmmmmm, that melted butter looks really good!  I hope I get some on my pieces of crab.

We had a really enjoyable Christmas.  I am so glad to have Brad and Kami living with us.

Daddy and Deiter keep the home fires burning.
Zip calls Deiter his little Fire Dog.  He is white with black spots like a dalmatian.  And if Zip is at the stove tending the fire, Deiter is sitting by his side.

After all the excitement, it's also good to have a little quiet time alone to contemplate.

Hope your holidays were the best ever!
Thanks for stopping by.
See you in the new year!