kitty companiona

kitty companiona

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

We are having a white Christmas!
It started snowing a few hours ago and already the ground is covered in a blanket of white.

Zip and I and the Kitties wish all of you, dear Blogger friends, the best of everything on Christmas Day and throughout the New Year.
Peace and Happiness from our house to yours!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Day Out with Knitting at Large

What a great day!
Good friends, a great meeting place, lots of food and yarn!  Does it get any better than that???

Zip and I made the two-hour drive down to Brunswick, MD for the monthly Knitting at Large meeting.  Brunswick is a delightful little town along the Potomac River just east of Harpers Ferry.  We met in a historic church turned cafe called Beans in the Belfry.

 Talk about a cool funky place!
There were comfy sofas and chairs for reading and relaxing. 

A Christmas tree and a warm inviting fireplace.

Look at the lovely ceiling.

The sun was shining in through the stained glass windows throwing a golden light over us as we worked.

Brenda modeling her intricately knit shawl.

Nancy knit this heavily cabled child's sweater.  Isn't it amazing?

Julie knit this delightful cardigan in graduated shades of pink.


When I go to these meetings I'd rather talk than knit.  There's just too much interesting chatting going on to be able to concentrate.

Then there was the food!
It's all made from scratch, right there in the cafe.  Fresh and delicious, home-made goodness.

I had the cup of  chili with a corn muffin.  Zip had a breakfast croissant with egg, bacon and cheese.

And a lovely cup of latte for dessert!

After lunch we took a short walk down the street to the Two Rivers Yarn Shop.

They were having a spinning class with supported drop spindles.
With the participants in the class plus all of our group, it was very crowded in the small shop.  I was still able to get a few pictures of all the luscious yarn.

Well, ladies, it was an enjoyable day!  Hope to see all of you next month....

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Kitty Stuff and... I WON!

No, I did not win a kitty!  LOL!!!
Though you know I wouldn't have minded that.

First the kitty stuff.
We took the calico girls to the vet this past week for their shots and check-up.

Daddy is trying to calm his babies.

The vet tech weighs Penny.  She's a whopping 12.5.  I knew he was feeding her too many treats!
'Mom, she's twisting my ear!!!'
Behave, Penny, she's not hurting you!

Isabel watches the door for the coming of the Doctor.
'Do you hear footsteps???"

 Ha!  I have an idea!

I can do this!!!

RESTRAIN who???  What exam???  He-he-he!

It worked for Isabel.  What did I do wrong?
Well, I can always blind her with my headlights!

The girls were declared healthy, got their shots, and went home to rest after their stressful afternoon.

We always take them together because having a partner in misery keeps them calmer.  They really don't seem to be too traumatized by their vet visits and are not hesitant to be put in their carrier.
They're such good girls!

Now for the new little calico girl!

This is Millie.  She's a dilute calico.  Instead of the black, rusty orange and white like Izzy and Penny, she has medium gray, peachy tan and white fur.  The vet says she is probably about a year-and-a-half.  I thought she was younger because she's so tiny, only 5.5 lbs!

It is hard to get a good picture of her because she's so wiggly.
Come on up, Millie!

See why I couldn't resist this little darling???

She's been staying in my weaving room.  She now has a clean bill of health. Her quarantine period is over.  The next step will be to introduce her slowly to the other cats.
There will be some hissing!!!

Now for the Winning part.

Recently my friend Julie of the 'Knitting at Large' blog was contacted by Knit Picks, a wonderful yarn, knitting needles, and pattern company, about having a 'knit-along' and give-away to promote their expansion into more plus sized patterns. 

This is a smart move on the part of pattern designers and producers because there is a huge market for knitting patterns in larger sizes.  Larger people need more yarn to make a sweater, thus better yarn sales!  Julie and her blog has been THE key promoter for  making knitting accessible for plus sized women.

Knit Picks offered  several prizes through Julie's blog, one of which was a free plus sized sweater pattern and all the yarn needed to knit it.

                   WHOO-HOO!!!  I WON!!!  A FREE SWEATER PATTERN and YARN!

I hardly ever win anything, I'm so excited!  And what better to win than yarn!
Maybe the Megamillions lottery, but hey, YARN is good for me!

So thank you, Julie!!!
Thank you, Knit Picks!!!

When I select my pattern and yarn, I'll show you pictures.
Meanwhile, check them out!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Senior Moment

Still doing well on Weight Watchers.  Made it through Thanksgiving without a problem.  Brad, Kami, Zip and I went to the Golden Corral and had a nice dinner with no cooking or clean-up.  They had a generous selection of foods including many steamed veggie sides.
I know that when a person loses weight, the loss of bone and muscle mass can be a problem without proper exercise.  My nemesis!!!  I've been trying to start an exercise program.  Trying, but not succeeding!
My plan was to start going to the local Strong Women group.  This is a weight training and nutrition program geared toward older women.
It's a six-week course.  By the time I ordered my weights and they were delivered, there were only two sessions left in the course.  I'd have to wait till the first of next year to begin.
I knew that our Shippensburg Senior Center has thai chi classes so checked their website.  They also have Zumba, line dancing and chair pilates.  And most are free!  Our lottery profits at work???
Zip and I went to check it out.  Both of us joined up.  Zip for the lunches (LOL!) and me for the exercise and whatever other things sound interesting.  I know Senior Centers get a bum rap.  My Mom who is 88 said she wouldn't join that because there's too many Old People!!!  Well, I'm not so vain that I can't admit that I'm a senior!  I'm rather proud of it.  Zip and I want to be living proof that seniors don't have to be fogies (I guess there could be opposing opinions on that!  ha-ha!)
Yesterday I took my first Zumba class.  Big discovery:  my bottom half and my top half are no longer in sync!  If I concentrate on doing the arm movements, my legs are doing who knows what and vice versa.  And where has my sense of rhythm  and coordination gone???  It was a hoot!!!  No, there are NO PICTURES!!!
It was fun.  I will be going back....
Otherwise life has been pretty normal.  Sewing, cooking, spending time with the kitties.
I've been working on a uniform jacket for Brad and Kami.
Isabel is trying it on!  Do ya think it fits???
She is such a character!  I'm trying to work on a piece and she's burrowing under it!
Deiter and Penny are having a quiet afternoon of snuggling.  Something that they don't often do without a little hissing and 'you're-on-my-spot' discussion.
We have had for several years a group of feral cats living in the neighborhood.  We feed them.  Yes, I know, you feed them, they're yours.  About two months ago two young ones showed up, a little orange long-hair and a little dilute calico.  I love ALL cats, but those little calico girls just have a special place in my heart.  This little girl was so scared to begin with that she hid in our summer kitchen for weeks.  Finally she began coming out.  Last Friday she came close enough for me to touch and that was the beginning.  She is now in my upstairs weaving room.  She's been to the vet (and was a very good girl!) and has a clean bill of health.  Just a two week isolation period and she will be ready to be introduced to the rest of the group.
Pictures next time!
I must go get Zip out of bed.  He doesn't know it yet, but we are going to the movies this afternoon to see 'Lincoln'.  I've heard it's good!
The moon setting over the mountains earlier this morning.
Have a great day! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fun for Kitties...and Mom, Too!

This past week a package arrived from Canada.  It had kitty stickers on the wrapping!
It was from Deb at the Just Cats blog.  In case you haven't yet visited Deb's blog, she is a professional cat sitter who also is a collector of lovely china teacups and teapots.  She is an amazingly good photographer. Her blog is a delight!  Here is the link:

Deb recently had a give-away of a lovely tea mug, tea strainer and a box of tea.  I was the lucky winner!  So were my kitties....

Look at all those mousies with feathery tails.  One for each of my guys!

Isabell was the first one on the scene.
WOW, Mom, this is FUN!!!  This is a job for a quick paw!

Oh no!  Here comes Reggie!

Isabell must work fast.  These are supposed to be MY mousies!

Yikes!!!  Now Penny is trying to push her way in!

 Isabell manages to retain control of the scene.

There seems to be a bag of kitty treats in there too!

Should we let Mommy open her part of the surprises???
Her stuff isn't nearly as much fun as ours!

Isn't this mug just purrrfect?
Check out the tiny mousie faces between the cats.

This is my favorite little kitty face.

Isabell says the one with her paw on the treats is the winner!
OK, can we open the bag now???

After everyone else has taken their mousies off to play, Deiter comes on the scene.
He likes the ribbon best of all!

Thanks so much, Deb.  They played with their mousies all afternoon!
While I enjoyed a nice cup of tea...

Meanwhile we are having work done outside.

We decided the tree that was damaged in the storm had to come down before the winds of winter arrived.  We were afraid that in it's weakened condition there would be more limbs splitting off and the ones that were left were sure to hit the house and do worse damage.

We contracted with a local Amish man to do the work.  He had taken down a tree for a friend of ours and did a good job without a lot of modern equipment.
He arrived with a wagon to haul away the bush, a log splitter, all pulled by a Bobcat (a small piece of machinery that is like a forklift).  He lifted the tree off the pantry roof with the scoop on the Bobcat and laid it aside. 

He then climbed up in the tree and attached a long cable to one of the higher branches, then attached the cable to his Bobcat.  Next he cut the usual notch in the base of the tree, pointing in the direction he wanted the tree to fall.  You can see the cable on the right side of the picture.


Then he hammered in wedges.

A good pull with the Bobcat and the tree was safely on the ground.

Ready to cut and split.

Amazing that several hours later a whole 150+-year-old tree was reduced to about a half-cord of firewood.

In the spring we are planning to plant a replacement tree but it will not be a maple that will grow so big.  We will choose a smaller-growing tree and plant it about 6 feet farther from the house.  Hopefully that will prevent future damage if we have another severe wind storm.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Wind Blew and the Branches Flew!

Yikes!  What awful winds!
Hope we don't have another such weather occurrence for at least a hundred years.

Deiter sat by the window watching the leaves streak by early in the storm.

When the 50-mile-an-hour stuff started, all the cats ran for cover.

Just after it got dark on Monday evening, the horror show started.  The power went out, we were left in the dark.  Out came the candles and the oil lamp.  We could hear metal shingles starting to fly off the roof of our summer kitchen.  Then there was a WUMPH! like the house had been hit by a fist.  The wind raged on and on.  With the streetlights out, we really couldn't see anything outside but a swirling mass of dark shadows.

There we sat in the dim candlelight wondering what on earth people did before the age of electricity to entertain themselves during the long cold blustery winter evenings.  The light was too dim to read or knit even if I could have concentrated on either.  Thanks to the woodstove, we were at least warm.

Around midnight the wind seemed to slack off slightly so we decided to take our candles and head up to bed.  It wasn't exactly restful sleeping wondering if there would still be a roof on the house in the morning.

When we woke up around 8 a.m. the wind was only a steady stiff breeze.  Still no power!  We had taken the precaution of filling large post of water for the kitchen and several buckets of water for the bathroom.  The biggest concern was that the food in the freezer would thaw before electricity was restored.  It was only about 40 degrees outside.  We put our perishables from the fridge out in the little back pantry where there is no heat.

The pantry.  With a huge piece of tree on the roof!

We have more tree damage this past year than we've had in the 40 years we've owned this house.  The maples are huge and very old and I guess it's time to remove some of them to ward off any more damage to the house.  I will hate to see them go.  We will plant other trees to replace them but it will take years to get the same amount of shade and privacy the old ones have given.

A friend who lives nearby still had power and he offered us his generator.  Of course we didn't have any gas to run it!  So on Tuesday afternoon we headed for town to fill our container with gas.  We had heavy rains, but the water was only up into our front yard a minimal amount.  When we got to the creek between Newburg and Shippensburg we were shocked to find water way up out of the banks.

This is a field beside the creek.

And this is the creek itself. It's usually way down in between the lines of trees with grassy banks on either side.

When we returned from town the power was still off.  We decided to wait till closer to dark to go get the generator.  Horay!  About 5 p.m. the lights flickered and then there was a steady glow from the ceiling fixture.  We held our breath!  Yes, they are going to stay on!

We are so thankful for the storm to be over even though the skies have been gray, it's still raining off and on, and it's cold.  es, that's snow on top of the mountain behind our house.

Deiter says, 'that was a nasty one, Mom!'

Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who had it so much worse than we did.
We were very lucky in our area!