Colds, Christmas, Cats and Crochet

Well, I’ve contracted my first virus of the season. Not really something to celebrate, especially since it has attacked my throat with a vengeance. The timing is pretty horrible because I not only have to get my preschool choir ready for their special this Sunday, but I’m also supposed to sing for a local women’s group on Thursday. I have a feeling that my voice will not be strong enough by then, but I’m praying that I’m wrong about that. I’m doing my best to get well, but these things have to run their course, no matter what.
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On a happier note, the Christmas decorations are up and have not been totally destroyed by the kittens, yet. DH and I did resort to putting the Christmas tree in our bedroom, however, because they could not leave it alone. I came out into the living room one morning and found part of a Christmas light, the rest of which apparently was eaten. I didn’t even attempt putting decorations on the tree until we had it behind closed doors because it was obviously my three little dare-devils were not able to resist the temptation! Hopefully next year everyone will be mature enough to enjoy the tree from a distance…. I did enjoy getting to set up all of my nutcracker collection for the first time ever, and the kitties have been pretty good about leaving them alone. The only other thing they’ve bothered is my little mini-Christmas tree display atop the piano. I think they have a fascination with the trees because they feel somewhat like grass…which is fun to chew! Here’s hoping that the poor little tree survive until next year!
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Speaking of cats, I caught Molly in this funny pose last week sometime. I heard an odd noise coming from the cats’ room and found Molly trying to get under this upside down basket. Now, we’ve teased the kitties by putting the basket on top of them before, but I’d never seen one of them actually trying to get underneath it on purpose. Too cute.

In relation to crochet/crafts, I’m happy to report that I made some unexpected sales this week! The ladies of the church held a wonderful Christmas brunch and silent auction to raise funds for a local homeless shelter, and they invited crafters and collectors to come show their “wares” as a part of the festivities. As a result, I had a couple of people request custom orders and a few more people who asked me to bring back some of the things I had on display so they could purchase them! I was thrilled! I think this area will be much more craft-friendly than where we lived in Texas, and I’m hoping that will help me begin to turn a profit someday soon!

Well, I’d better be off now. I have more work to do on my Christmas gifts, and since I’m sick, now is the perfect time to do it!

The holiday season is here! Yippee!

Well I have been very busy away from the house lately…errands, church activities, and the like…so my poor little blog has been sorely neglected. I thought I’d better at least try to get one post done before Thanksgiving, even though I don’t have a lot of things to share right now…Just kitty pics and a couple little felt projects.

My babies are now 7 months old, and calming down accordingly. They are also getting lots bigger! I had put their collars away for a couple of weeks, and when I went to put them back on yesterday, I had to drastically loosen them to fit properly! They cold weather is also encouraging lots of snuggling these days, and I got some cute shots of them snoozing on our bed yesterday. The lighting in the master bedroom is pretty horrible for taking photographs, and I’m not in the mood to retouch this one right now, but you get the picture. They are just like one big kitty-blob!

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One of the projects I’ve been working on, aside from Christmas gifts, are these little felt heart Christmas ornaments. Our church is having a bazaar and silent auction to raise money for a local homeless ministry, so I made these little ornaments to help out. I actually made four total, but I forgot to take pics of the last two before taking them to church.

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Stitching on all those little seed bead was not as much fun as you may think, but I guess it was worth the result. I also made one with a seed bead snowflake, which was very cute…too bad I didn’t take a picture!

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Part of me would like to make some more of these for my etsy shop, but it seems like there are already alot of people selling similar things there. What do you think? I am somewhat at a loss about what to sell these days. I have sold a couple sets of personalized cat toys, so I’m thinking about making more pet-related items…it’s just hard to know what to do, especially with all the worries people have about the economy these days. It’s not going to help me one single bit!

But we still have more to be thankful for than I could ever list out here. And I plan to fully enjoy this Thanksgiving with family, giving God the glory for all He’s done for us over the past year. What a year it has been! Thank you, Lord!

Thanks bunches!

Well, since Molly somehow sneaked in and posted here on my blog, now everybody wants in on the action! Max really, really wanted to write today’s update, but I just couldn’t let him because I have so many important links to share this week. I didn’t want him to forget one and have to come back to and fix it all later. But just so he wouldn’t feel left out I promised to post a nice photo of him and tell you all what a handsome boy he is becoming. At 12-13 weeks, the 3M’s are really growing fast, and getting into absolutely everything! Thank goodness they still can’t jump up on the counters. Oh, how I rue the day… Anyway, here’s a sweet pic I took of Max and Molly the other day while they were lounging in the sun on top of some of our instrument cases. He really is getting so big and so handsome. I can hardly believe that he is the scraggly, squirrelly little boy we brought home two months ago. He has changed so much!
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Now, let’s see, on to the updates…First off, a couple of big “thank-you’s” are in order. I want to thank Lynn so much for giving me the “Brillante Weblog” award. This is the first time someone has been so sweet as to pass a blogging award my way, and I really appreciate it! Pop on over to her blog to check it out!
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My second “thank you” goes to Andrea of Knits and Knots, who was kind enough to do a review of my blog as well as a little email interview with me! This was another first for me, and I thoroughly enjoyed participating. She asked great questions about crocheting and designing, as well as life in general, all of which made me think about why I love doing what I do! She has done lots of other great reviews as well, so visit her blog to read them all! Thank you, Andrea!

Molly mentioned last week that we had family coming in, and we did. Hubby’s parents and brother came to visit us at our new house, which was very nice. They only were able to stay overnight, but we’re hoping that we’ll get to see them more often now that we are only 5 hours apart instead of 15! The 3M’s were a little shy at first, just because of all the new voices and extra pairs of feet in the house. But they warmed up to everyone pretty quickly and seemed to enjoy all the extra shoelaces to chew! My MIL and BIL wanted to pick some blackberries, so Monday night we went out and got about four cups or so. We could have gotten more, but I didn’t want to take them too deep in the woods because Mom forgot her tennis shoes! But I went far enough in myself to get my first case of poison ivy. Ugh! From now on, when I come in from the woods I must remember to scrub myself down and get all that yucky oil off because I really don’t enjoy being itchy!

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And look what came in the mail last week! Well, actually, the light brown yarn on top was in my stash, but the cream and rose colored ones found their way to my mailbox all the way from a nice lady in Texas who was moving and wanted to get rid of some yarn. I had been commenting on the Haekelbeutel Bag CAL over at Crochetville, saying how much wanted to join in but just couldn’t buy any yarn just now. Well, now I can! Thanks again, Judy! So now I’ve been making my squares for that, and I’m really enjoying it! I can’t wait to see what this bag will look like when it’s finished. I’ve really been impressed with some of the designs other people have done using Inga’s pattern as a basis. I’m not using the basic square in her pattern, though. Here are my squares:
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I’m crocheting these using the first 5 rows of the Spinner block from my 200 Crochet Blocks book by Jan Eaton. I haven’t gotten to use this book nearly enough, so any excuse I can get, I take! I only wish there weren’t so many typos in it. I downloaded the errata from Interweave Press, so I guess one night I just need to sit down and pencil it all into the book itself. I was really confused on the first Spinner square I did for this very reason…there was a major error in round 3 that had me making the wrong number of stitches. Good thing I caught on before I cut my yarn!

Anyway, that’s the stuff that’s been keeping me busy over the past week. Now I’m off to begin testing a square for someone over at the ‘Ville. This is my first time testing a pattern, and I’m excited. It’s just one 12 square, so I figured that would be a good place to start!

Have a very happy week! Back with more soon, I hope!

Cocoa

Molly, here…

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Ha, ha! I am so much smarter than Meowmy thinks…. She couldn’t figure out how to get my picture the right size, but it’s such a piece of cake!

…Oh, hi! Molly, here! Shhhh, don’t tell! I’m supposed to be sleeping on the kitchen rug with Max and Maggie, but that was getting kinda boring. So, since Meowmy has been so bad about blogging lately, I decided it was time for somebody to take up the slack. She says she’s been really busy, but c’mon! What does she really do all day besides take care of us? And that’s not so hard. All we ask for is 4 square meals a day, plus crunchy food in between and our litter boxes to be cleaned daily….and a few play times a day, just so we don’t get too bored, as well as lots of pats and rubs and snuggles when we are feeling cuddly…. Oh, and I guess we did have to go to the vet a couple time this week. The first time seemed okay, just a shot and a check up from the doctor. But, boy do I wish he’d stop clipping my toenails every time we go there! I can’t climb up Meowmy’s legs whenever he does that! He just ruins all our fun! The car ride is not so great either, with Max hollering to get out the whole time and all. But the second trip to the vet seemed totally unnecessary! Sure, I have worms, and sure I wouldn’t take my medicine at home with my food. But did that mean old vet tech really have to shove that pill down my throat?! Good grief! I hope next time Meowmy gets up the nerve to just give it to me herself. At least it would save alot of hassle!

By the way, did you notice how clean I am? Yeah, we got baths yesterday. Not my idea of fun, not in the least. But this time Meowmy did it really fast, so it wasn’t quite so bad. And I got a nice massage in a hot towel when it was all over. Now that was NICE! I think we need to do that more often, only without the bath! I’m glad I don’t have long hair like Maggie, though, ‘cuz her baths take longer than mine. I don’t know what’s wrong with her, but she hates getting the towel massage! Not me and Max, though, we love it!

Meowmy has been cleaning like crazy this week and keeps saying something about “family” coming. I don’t have a clue what that means, but I think it might be why we had to take a bath. Oh well, I hope it’s something good! Maybe Max or Maggie will fill you in on the details later. I should probably get off the computer before Meowmy finds out what I’m doing! Otherwise, she might send me to my room….oh, wait, this is my room! Hee, hee! Don’t tell her I was here, okay? Thanks! I’ll check back in a few weeks! Bye!

Luv, Molly

Blah Thursdays

Although “Blah Thursdays” does not sound like a very good meme title, it would seem an appropriate description of my current weekly routine for Thursdays. I don’t know why, but nearly every Thursday since we’ve moved I end up feeling very unmotivated, and therefore, end up being very unproductiive. Today, for instance, I completed my morning routine of devotions, breakfast, dishes, a walk, and my shower. Then I plopped myself down in front of the computer to watch a completely boring and uneducational dvd on cat ownership (free item from the vet). Meanwhile, the kittens, equally bored by the dvd, fell asleep in my lap, thus pinning me to my chair and necessitating more mind-numbing screen time.

At this point, I was unwittingly sucked into a thread on The Cat Site Forum about the evils of various cat food brands and the reasons one should choose “higher quality” (translation: highly expensive) food for one’s cat. Now, don’t get me wrong…I love my kittens, and I truly do want the best for them. But if I have to live with cheap Wal-mart brand food and 73/27 not-so-lean ground beef…my cats are not going to be able to have organic filet mignon for dinner every night! They will eventually be allowed outdoors, too (*gasp*) so they can catch all the nasty little rodents that are currently residing around our house. I know that many, many cat-lovers today are opposed to this, but I grew up around farm cats and indoor/outdoor cats. And most of them lived a full, happy and long life, even though they were not brought up in the very lap of luxury. So, my dear kittens, you will simply have to eat Purina One (with the occasional morsel of Science Diet, also a free item from the vet) and use Tidy Cats litter, and we will live humbly and happily ever after. The End.

(Please forgive the lengthy rant. I just had to get that out of my system. Thanks!)

By this time, as you can well imagine, I had developed quite a headache, and it was time for lunch. So I peeled myself off the chair, peeling the kittens off of me, as well. The rest of the day has been just as boring and blah as the beginning was, though. And I still have a headache. But at least I have a few precious kitten photos I can share. That should make this post at least a little less depressing, shouldn’t it?

I love this picture of Maggie sitting in the sun. Isn’t she a beautiful little girl?
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As you can see, Max is turning out to be a highly photogenic little guy. I have so many good photos of him I could hardly choose which one to post.
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This one of Molly turned out really well, too. I just wish I could capture the truly lovely blue in her eyes. It looks a little dark here, but still beautiful.
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Ah, that’s better…nothing like a little “cuteness” therapy to chase the blah’s away!

A week in the life of a cat owner

Okay, so it’s been almost one week since my last post. I didn’t mean for it to be so long, but things have been just crazy around here! So, I thought since I haven’t had time to craft or take any photos or anything else, I’d just tell you all about what’s been going on…

As usual, much of my time has been spent making sure the kitties stay out of trouble. They have been fully introduced to the entire house now, and so far, no plant chewing, curtain climbing or closet scrounging. They are well-trained in using the litter boxes, so now we can let them have free reign of the house during the day, even when we are not home. All in all, they are very well-behaved little kitties. I think they even are starting to learn what the word “no” means!

The crazy part of the last week has to do with our all-to-frequent trips to the vet. At first, the anti-diarrhea gel the vet gave Max and Maggie seemed to be working. But then on Thursday I was in the room when Max went potty, and it was horrible, the worst I’d seen yet. So, I made a call to our vet’s office, but they told me he was out of town for the next few days. I was referred to another vet in the area, and I called them to set an appointment for the next day. The only problem was that they needed a stool sample. Wouldn’t you know that I couldn’t ever catch him going again before we had to leave for the vet? Thankfully, since Maggie and Molly were a little sick also, they said they could test one of them instead. So, after a long wait at the office, I finally learned…well, not much. See, the vet said they couldn’t find any parasites, but they did find “bacterial overgrowth.” I have no idea what that meant, but he gave me some medicine to administer for the next week that was supposed to get rid of whatever it was.

Well, the medicine seems to be doing the job, at least for one kitty. But I don’t know which one! They have gotten really good at going potty when I’m not around, so I’m finding some bad stuff in the litter boxes but don’t know whose it is. It’s kind of hard to tell who needs to go back on their diarrhea gel when I can’t tell who is having it in the first place! Grrr… So I’m hoping to catch them all in the act today. If not, well, I guess we’ll have to talk to the vet when we go back for their shots on Monday. Yeah, shots…as if they haven’t had enough medical stuff done to them already!

Oh, and then there are the fleas… Did you really think my rant was over? Well, sorry, but there’s more! I was sitting with the kitties on my lap the other day, and I found this teensy tiny black bug on my shirt. I didn’t think it was a flea, just a tiny beetle or something, so I just wadded it in a tissue and threw it in the trash. But then a little later I looked down at Molly and saw a couple little bugs scurrying around like crazy under her fur. “Oh dear, now what?” I said to myself. My family has always had indoor/outdoor cats and dogs, and I don’t remember ever having to deal with fleas. So my internet search was on… I learned quickly that the over-the-counter sprays, shampoos and collars are bad news for cats. Apparently most of them can be fatally toxic, and yet the stores still sell them! Isn’t that horrible? I also quickly learned that the safe flea/tick meds the vets recommend are very expensive, to the tune of $600/year to treat my 3 kitties! I’m sorry, but I’m just not made of money.

So, I found a couple of home remedies that are supposed to help, at least until I can talk to the vet and find a better solution for a reasonable cost. Yesterday I gave the kitties a bath with some Dawn dishsoap, supposedly mild enough not to bother their skin. Then I went over them with a flea comb to get the dead or stunned fleas off. That went pretty well, considering it was their first bath. I tried to make the whole experience as calm and quick for them as I could. Max did not like the bath, catterwalling the whole time, just like he does when we put him in the carrier…He lets you know when he’s not happy! But as soon as it was over and I had him wrapped in the warm towel, he was purring to beat the band. He loved that warm towel massage! I mean, he didn’t want to get out of it, even when he was dry! It was hilarious! Maggie was next, and though she was quiet, she was not at all pleased with getting wet. And it took me longer to wash her because her fur is at least twice as thick as Max’s and Molly’s combined! (I keep wondering if she will actually turn out to be long-haired when she grows up.) And unlike Max, Maggie didn’t like the warm towel massage any more than the bath. She just wanted down out of my arms to lick herself dry, thank you very much! She also does not like the flea comb…except as a chew-toy, that is. Molly was last to bathe, and I think it scared her the most. Being the smallest, she was harder to hold onto with slippery, soapy hands. But being the lightest colored, it was alot easier to see the fleas! I think we found at least 5 or 6 on her…and only a couple on the other two cats. She enjoyed the warm towel massage almost as much as Max, though, so that made up for the scary bath water. They all slept hard most of the day after their baths, but they didn’t act mad at me at all. I think they are pretty unconditional in their love, at least for cats!

So now I’m going over all the carpets sprinkling Borax and rubbing it in with a stiff brush. That’s another home remedy that’s supposed to kill the adult fleas hiding in my carpet. Tomorrow I will vaccuum it up, then we’ll just wait and see what happens. I am going to keep using the flea comb on the babies a couple times each day and see if I can find any more. I hope, oh, I hope they just had a few stray fleas left over from their previous home and that we’ve pretty much gotten rid of them now. But I fear that the fleas actually came from the carpet here. You know, this house was filthy when we moved in, and the previous “tenants” did have a few dogs, one of which lived inside. Not to mention the mice…yes, the mice may have brought in fleas, too. I wish someone would have warned me before about how much more it would end up costing me to adopt “free” kittens from friends instead of adopting from a shelter or rescue where all these problems would have already been dealt with adequately! Oh well…

I love my furbabies, and I wouldn’t trade them now, even though they are costing me a ton of emotional and physical energy, not to mention money! But who needs money anyway…right?

God’s Wild World

As I write this I have all three of my precious kittens sleeping in my lap. It seems I am their favorite bed of all! If I am sitting down, they want to be in my lap or to climb up on my shoulders (which can prove rather painful at times). If I am standing up working on something, they climb up and down my legs, meowing constantly. You’d think the poor things were starved for attention or something! But at least today has been better for them than yesterday. I had to take them to the vet Monday because two were having bad diarrhea. He gave me some medicine to help, but he said not to feed them all day so it would have a chance to take effect. Then when I started them back on food yesterday, I had to feed them just a little at a time. Needless to say, the kitties were no happy with me at all. Finally, my DH came home and decided we should go ahead and feed them a full meal since they’d been diarrhea-free all day. That sure helped quiet them down for a while! So today we are back on our regular helpings of food, and everybody (including me) is much happier!

favorite bed

On a more random note, I had forgotten just how much wildlife you experience when living in the country. I have seen so many critters since we moved here! Of course we have many species of songbirds, which are lovely to watch and hear singing in the trees. Then there are the little lizards and frogs here and there, if you are lucky enough to see them. One afternoon DH and I came home to a slender green snake slithering down the rail of the deck. I was rather surprised by it, just because it’s a snake…but green snakes are perfectly harmless and eat lots of big bugs and spiders, so he is welcome here. We have seen a luna moth, which was a neat experience. They are such spectacular looking insects. They must also be tasty, because whatever creature keeps feasting on bugs on our deck at night ate it, too! (I know because the wings were left in the morning.) But this morning I got another interesting surprise when I walked past the patio doors and saw this:

Stag Beetle

It is just a large Stag Beetle, fairly common as far as I can tell, but I had never seen one in real life before. I am not a fan of big bugs, but I decided to be brave and go out to get a photo anyway. They are just another remarkable part of God’s wonderful creation, after all! It certainly reminded me what a wonderful and creative God I serve. He made something so odd looking as a stag beetle, as well as these sweet little kittens of mine. What an amazing Creator!