Friday felines

Last week, Bridget of the Ravell’d Sleave posted about her newest furry family member Alfie, and how well he’s fit in with the other cats.

And it got me thinking about my boys. Introducing a new cat to a home is always a tricky business. I’ve always been rather lucky in that respect. After a day or two of hissing and general attitude, things settled down and we had no more problems.

That is until this Ginger Mister sauntered in.

At first, it wasn’t a problem . When I adopted him, there was only Peno. She took about a week to tolerate him, and he was really good with our old senior girl. He mostly just wanted to snuggle up with her when she slept, and she decided she could live with that.

Then I brought Burton home. After some hissing and a few swats, Rupert realized he had someone who he could chase around, and he liked that quite a bit. But Burton was a kitten, so I think that made things easier for him.

But then a few months later, Relic started showing up in the backyard. And a few months after that, Dave was letting him in the house. And Rupert was not down with that. Maybe it was that Relic was a full grown cat (and three times Rupert’s size), and maybe because Relic had been “invading” Rupert’s territory (the backyard) for months before we took him in. Whatever it was, Relic was the enemy. And it wasn’t Relic’s fault.

Rupert would sneak attack Relic any chance he got. And it took a full year before Rupert finally accepted his presence and settled down. And even then, there would still be sneak attacks.

It wasn’t until last year that they really started being friends – actually playing with each other. And now… it seems like every time I turn around, this is what I see.

Cats are weird!

Baby boom!

It seems there’s a bit of a baby boom happening in my circle. There are three babies due in the next few months. So I’ve got to get sewing. Happily, I have a well-stocked stash so I don’t have to break Austere August.

On the weekend, Burton and I threw together a top for the first of the babies.

This quilt is meant for the soon-to-be little brother of the little cutie I made the swan princess quilt for. I had a charm pack called Little Ducklings, and it was soft grey, blue, and yellow – it seemed like the perfect compliment to big sister’s pink and grey swans.

We grabbed some nice deep teal (which isn’t quite as dark at the pictures seem, and some delicate blue/beige heart yardage, and threw together and Oh My Stars top.

I’ve said this before, but it’s a great pattern that goes together so quickly.

Now I’ve got two more tops to make, then I can plan a trip to Mom’s to get them quilted and into the mail.

Walkabout Wednesday – Hot Rod edition

One of the things I love about this town, is that the mechanic is walking distance away. With both of us driving rather old vehicles (me an ’08 Ford, Dave an ’04 Buick), we’ve quickly made good friends with the team at the shop. And it’s nice that after I drop Dory off, I can easily walk home.

Dave also loves the fact that they work on REALLY old cars. (A few days after the Charger came home, she went right over there so they could do a brake upgrade). In fact, they also restore them, and sell them at their car lot just down the street.

So the other day, I decided to take my walk over there to get some pictures for you all.

Not only do they have my absolute FAVOURITE classic…. a Ford Galaxie Convertible…

But they also have an old Ford Truck.

It doesn’t matter what year, or what colour. I love old Ford trucks.

If I ever win the lottery, one of the first things I will do is march right over there and buy both these beauties.

And if there’s any money left over, I might just grab this Packard, and the Mustang II.

And don’t tell Dave, but I’d probably buy this z28 Camaro too.

I’ve always had a soft spot for Trans Ams, Firebirds, and Camaros… the first two he agrees with, but he always turns his nose up at the Camaro.

Of course, I haven’t won the lottery, so I have to just look and enjoy. And it looks like there will be more beauties to come, as there are several other vehicles on the lot, awaiting their glow up.

I’m especially looking forward to seeing the restoration of those two Thunderbirds (another favourite!)

Tiny Needle Tuesday

I may have been a little too busy this weekend. By the time the evenings rolled around, I was too tired to do much cross stitching.

I added a little more black work on the machine head, but that’s it. I’m going to make up for it this week though. Hopefully by next tiny needle Tuesday, I’ll have the whole upper portion complete!

P.S. After yesterday’s post, a few of you mentioned that you didn’t know what a chip wagon was. I apolgize. It’s been so much a part of my upbringing that I had no idea it was a Canadian thing (and apparently more of and Eastern Canadian thing than a Western one too!). Chip wagon fries were a HUGE treat when we were kids. And there used to be a lot more Chip Wagons around too. And unless they are serving fresh cut fries, they are not a real chip wagon (then they are just a food truck).

I found this cool article from several years back that explains our fascination. If you haven’t had chip wagon fries, and find yourself in Canada, I whole heatedly recommend find a chip wagon!

Decidedly not sweater weather

Vacation is off to a good start. It’s only been two days, but I’ve been going full steam.

Saturday I did some yard work in the morning and then Dave and I headed off to the dump to get rid of the compost bags. Since it was still fairly early, he decided we should go on a little road trip. We got some chip wagon fries for lunch (a real treat as I haven’t had them in forever), and hit up a little antique shop he’s been wanting to stop at for a while.

And little is the operative word! It really was just a truck trailer. But the prices were quite reasonable and I managed to find something I’ve been looking for forever… a hurricane lamp that not only met my budget (they are often quite expensive, despite being pretty plentiful), but also my decor – I just love the pink base, and it’s perfect for the living room. AND, it was bought firmly in July, not August, so I didn’t break any rules.

Afterwards, we stopped at a new (to me) nursery, and I got some MORE plants for the garden. (Still in July!!!) I’ll share more on them later in the week.

Sunday, I was up bright any early to head to the range to do my safety test. Everything went well, so I now have full privileges at the range. Dave tagged along (and napped in the truck, despite the trap tournament that was happening right beside the parking lot!), so afterwards, we stopped for a late breakfast at a little diner along the way.

This was really special, because we rarely go out for breakfast as Dave doesn’t like crowds (and there’s ALWAYS a crowd for breakfast). Also, it’s the first time we’ve dined in any where since COVID hit. Dave got the Hillbilly Breakfast – three eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, homefries, and toast. I don’t know where he put it all, because I had trouble eating my three pancakes!!!

We came home and I did a little sewing (more on that on Thursday), and then more yard work after dinner.

When I have sat down, I’ve been stitching, of once sort or another.

Despite the hot weather (it’s still hot, though not as humid as it was), I’m trying to make some headway on Dad’s Christmas sweater. I was really excited when I realized I’d completed all the increasing for the yoke…. but then disappointed when I read the next part of the pattern and learned I’d have to knit several more inches straight until before I could split for sleeves an body.

It’s a lot of stitches, so it’s a bit of a slog, but if I keep at, it, I know I’ll get through it!

I want a do-over….

So it turns out that I suck at No-Buy July….

Just call me…

In a month when I wasn’t supposed to spend on anything but necessities, I bought:

  • Garden plants… now technically, these could fall under necessities for the house, but it’s a stretch to say they were actually NEEDED. There’s more than enough in the garden for the moment… but things were on sale (really, they were!) ….and some of them are spring bulbs. They’ve been ordered to arrive in time for fall planting…
  • House plants…. which by ZERO stretch of the imagination could you consider these necessities. The house is already overrun with houseplants. My only defense is they were “clearance” plants and badly neglected… so really I was just rescuing them.
  • Dresses… yes….. on sale. 100% not needed – the closet is already over-flowing. But one was plaid (I adore plaid) one was pink (I adore pink), and one had puffy sleeves (I adore puffy sleeves) and as you can tell, I am very very weak-willed in the face of things I adore.
  • Pajamas. Also on sale. And the only reason I bought them is because they were the same style as my favourite and I only had two. (A nice light, little nightie, perfect for hot summer night sleeping)
  • Fabric…. this one is totally a grey area. My favourite cousin is getting married in November and I wanted to make her a wedding quilt. Technically I could have waited to make the purchase, but I’d already broken No Buy July sooo…. at the same time I also picked up fabric to make a quilt for Sam’s son Ethan… at least I got free shipping!
  • Books… my favourite author (Patricia Briggs) has a new one coming out, and it was 30% off if you pre-ordered. And then two more books (from another favourite – Phillipa Gregory) hopped into the cart so I could get free shipping
  • A pink toolbelt. Possibly a necessity (will be very useful when we get back to indoor renos), but could have waited. But it’s the perfect shade of Barbie pink (see previous note about pink), and in truth, that’s why I bought it.
  • Hot Pink Buckmark hearing protection ear muff. Technically a necessity because I needed ear and eye protection for my range test this morning, but I could have got away with ear plugs (which I already had). I just prefer the muffs (I always borrowed Dad’s pair when I went shooting with him). And these were PINK (I really can’t stress that enough) and made by Browning (the same company as my favourite pistol)

So yes… I have issues with financial fortitude in the face of things I love. But , I’m determined to do better. So with tomorrow the first day of a new month, I am declaring it AUSTERE AUGUST!

For the ENTIRE month, there will be NO purchases unless it’s 100% absolutely necessary. It doesn’t matter if it’s on sale, eventually needed, or even pink. If I don’t need it in that very moment, I don’t buy it.

Think I can do it….? Neither do I, but I’m going to try my darnedest!!!

In the meantime, do you want to see some amazing things my husband has done? I know it takes my mind off my own failures….

First… remember that bench we found on the side of the road?

Well it’s been all fixed up with new paint and wood. (And no… I didn’t keep it pink… that wouldn’t work with our outdoor theme). I think he did and amazing job.

He also put up a real clothesline for me.

My little retractable one was okay. But this one is longer and stronger and can hold two full loads. I just love the smell of laundry fresh off the line, so I’ve been enjoying this immensely.

This week, I’m hoping to get some time to make a bag that can hang on the post and hold all my clothes pins.

With his Charger here, his attention is pretty much gone from my projects to his, but I think I did pretty well while I had it!

Vacation mode

As of 5 pm yesterday….

I am on vacation for a week!

And as much as I’d like to spend all of it with my feet up, cat in my lap, and knitting in my hands, there are things to do.

  • Yard work – There’s the usual maintenance, but I also want to get a start on the beginnings of Willow Grove (laying out beds vs non-bed areas) There’s also one corner of the yard the needs some cleaning up and filling in.
  • Range safety test – Since I’m so far from Dad now, and can’t just pick up and go shoot with him, I joined a shooting range near here. Tomorrow morning I have to go do a range safety test and prove that I can shoot at a target without putting anyone else in jeopardy. Once that’s done, I can practice my marksmen skills whenever I want.
  • Furniture transport – One of the biggest projects of the week is heading back down to Dave’s Grandma’s house. We are taking some of the furniture (a couple hutches, some dressers, and possibly some display cabinets) from the house. We’d wanted to take them the day we picked up the Charger, but their were no trailers available for rent that weekend. (my little box trailer is too small). I’m hoping it’s the last time we have to make that drive – not only is it a tough one (long and on very busy highways), but it’s hard on Dave going back to the house without his grandma there any more.

Still, despite things that have to be done, I should be able to fit in some good time to stitch, knit, sew, paint and kickback. There’s even talk of checking out a car show next weekend.

In the meantime, here’s a quick peak of the state of the gardens this week.

Friday felines

You may recall the furry rainbow bed I bought for Rupert several months back. Naturally, Rupert took one look at it, and never went near it again. Burton laid in it once or twice, but mostly just slept in the human bed. So when Samantha mentioned that she wanted to get one for her beagle, Calibre, I told her she could just have mine.

Clearly it was the right decision!

However, I am happy to say that while he might have turned his nose up at the furry bed, but he’s taken a real shine to the kitty cabana.

Most of the day, that’s where you’ll find him. Even in the hot, humid weather. Burton and Relic don’t like the heat, but this little ginger loves to lay outside and cook.

I guess he’s just warm and spicy!

FO: Mint Dolce socks

The socks for my coworker’s Godmother are complete. Nothing fancy here – just vanilla. I let the yarn do all the work. The yarn is Dolce from Hobbii. The colour is Mint. I didn’t bother trying to make the gradient match. I love that they are fraternal twins. I think it makes them that much more whimsical.

The yarn, while not the softest yarn I’ve knit with, was nevertheless quite nice to work with. I don’t recall exactly what I paid for is, but it was around $12 a ball. One ball does a pair, so it’s quite an economical wool.

You may recall that I did a fairly large order from Hobbii back in the early spring. This is the first thing I’ve knit with yarn from that order and I’m definitely not disappointed. They have sales all the time too, and free shipping over a certain amount.

These will go in the mail tomorrow, and hopefully be bringing the recipient some comfort very soon. And I’ve got to get back to Dad’s Christmas sweater. Time is ticking! Lol

Sew little time

(No walkabout post this week – it’s been far too hot and humid for me to get out there. Walkabout will return next week)

While Dave’s car adventure took up most of Sunday, I did take some time on Saturday to get in the studio.

Burton felt it was long overdue, and made sure to make his displeasure known by getting in the way as much as possible.

Despite his “help” I got caught up again on the Blockheads quilt. We were two blocks behind and they are now complete.

And so our top continues to grow….