Monday, November 30, 2015

It's here

I believe winter has officially arrived, even if the calendar doesn't say so yet. It's looked like this all day long.

Our local school closed at 1:00 p.m.

I took these next two when I went out to feed the cats tonight. It's hard to tell depth in the photo, but I'll just say I should've dug out my taller boots.

I'm guessing about 7" so far, but we're still under a winter storm warning until tomorrow (Tuesday) night. And then the wind picks up. Picks up the snow and rearranges it.

It doesn't look like it in the pic above, but it was still snowing. The driveway was solid white... very hard to tell where the edges were. Our mail carrier made it through on the roads, though. Of course. That's what mail carriers do, right? Well, 'almost' all the time. Grandpa made it home and up the driveway, too.

There were already deer tracks wandering through the yard. I saw a deer out in the field watching me, but when I bent down to get the camera out of my jacket and looked up again, it was gone. Too far away, anyway, but it sure looked pretty against all the white.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Evening sky

After feeding the cats last night, I couldn't help but go back for the camera and capture the evening views.

To the east, there was a beautiful full moon over the neighbors' place.

I liked how it reflected off the grain bin.

To the west, there was a lovely colorful sky.

You can see in the photo above that there were only little strips of snow left... only in shaded areas. Our current 40° is taking care of that pretty well, too.

Did you notice the baltimore oriole nest in the tree on the right above? That's the one that was decorated in ribbons over a year ago. Still hanging tight!

It was a beautiful evening. Peaceful.

In case I don't get back before Thanksgiving... here's wishing all you fellow Americans a joyous one filled with lots of good food and especially with thankful hearts!

Monday, November 23, 2015

What happened here

We got this on Friday. 

Rainbow wasn't too thrilled about the hard water...

... not to mention the snow.

Most of the snow is still here because it's been so cold, like down to 15° overnight. It's back up to 40° right now, though, so melting's happening. Yay! I'd better get at my window washing. Ugh.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Names, finally

I know you've all been holding your collective breaths waiting to hear what we've decided to name Patches' kittens that were born... er... last May. Ha. It's hard to pin names on cats that are wild and rarely seen. However, now that winter's getting nearer and the cats have been hanging out in the machine shed most of the time, I think it's time. They're also getting tamer, and one of them I can pet easily while she eats, plus I've at least touched the other three. I talk to them, too, when I feed them, so it's nice to have something to call them.

Plus, we have a couple of newbies! Mama kitty had her last ones across the road at the neighbors', as usual, and she brought them over, as usual, for me to feed for the winter. First she brought three, but then the mean tom cat showed up and she took them away for a week or so. When she returned them, there were only two. They've tamed down pretty easily, and I can hold each one. They're both toms.

Courtney and I worked on naming them when she was here this week. I have to confess we borrowed heavily from Shopkins names. Shopkins (if you're not familiar with them, just google) are the rage right now, and Courtney has begun her collection. She also had a list of the names of all the Season 3 ones, so that's where we searched for kitten names. It was actually pretty helpful, and we found some good names.

So here's a not-so-great photo (because it's always dark in there) of my entire machine shed crew, minus Snuggles, the resident tom, who was still outside when I took the picture. Starting with the calico at the top and going clockwise, we have: Chelsea, Lizzy, Autumn, Jasper, Peachy, Casper, Patches, Kelly, and Mama.

Jasper and Casper are Mama's little guys. Casper's not all black - he's a tuxedo (much like Oreo but minus the skunky-striped nose). Jasper is adorable, the orange/white little one below. On his right is Autumn, who is looking quite huge in her long-haired winter coat!

Peachy, the all-orange one above (and is the one I can pet) is one of Patches', as are Chelsea, Lizzy and Kelly. Lizzy and Kelly look very much alike, mostly tabby-striped with bits of orange and white, but Lizzy is lighter, so I can tell the difference.


Kind of a tough-looking dude, isn't he? He is tough. Defends his girls well. He's a good cat. And he lives up to his name, too - still likes to snuggle.

While I'm at it, I might as well show you the other crew. Here they all are, minus one who is a bit more shy. Starting with the calico and going clockwise, we have Cinnamon, Buffy, Smoke, Tuffy, Oreo, Mia, and Clementine.

Below is the missing one, Snowy. She has lovely orange seal point markings, meaning she is white with orange ears, tail and face.

Here's just a fun shot of most of them as they're patiently(?) waiting for me to feed them their breakfast instead of taking photos of them.

Anybody been counting? With Rainbow, who hates all other cats, including her own kids, and eats in the garage... I have a total of 19 (not to mention Josie and Annabelle in the house). Unless you count the other tom who comes to eat but that I don't claim as mine. Come to think of it, I haven't seen him lately. Wrong time of year for his "business", I guess, so maybe he went home for the winter. Wherever that is.

Yeah, that means lotsa cat food, especially when considering it's shared with raccoons and skunks. Well, one less skunk now.  Before and after:

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Flying through colorful clouds

We've had such outstanding sunsets this fall. Here's another one for your enjoyment. I loved the progression of the jet through the clouds.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Junco bath

Juncos are only around here during the late fall and winter, then head farther north in the spring. I guess they like cold weather. They must like cold baths, too, because it was a really chilly day about a week and a half ago when I happened to notice this one in the birdbath. I'd never seen one in there before. He really seemed to be enjoying himself!

Thursday, November 12, 2015


Have you ever heard of "splash", when it relates to photos? It's where you turn a color photo into black and white, then color back just certain parts of it. Thanks to Instagram, I've kinda gotten addicted to making splashes (play on words intended). I have an app that I do it with on my iPad, and I find it fun and relaxing. Here are the ones I've done so far.

The smaller the image, the harder it is to do, of course. This one below was pretty tricky.

So was this one.

Whaddya think? Cool? Fun? Interesting? Or are the original full-color photos more to your liking?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

For women only

I decided to be brave and show you my latest sewing project. However, I'll tell you right off the bat that I'm not going to model it. Courtney's not, either. So ha!

Here's what I started out with. Can you guess what it was going to be?

If you guessed a bra, you're right!

Several months ago, I'd seen advertised a Craftsy class on bra-making, and it was half-price. If you're not familiar with Craftsy, they have tons of video classes, kits, supplies and instructions for making just about anything. I'd never tried a class from there before, but this one interested me, so I bought it.

I watched the whole video series (streamed on my iPad), and sometime along the way I ordered the kit pictured above from Sweet Cups Bra Supply.

Then I procrastinated. I guess it was mainly because I was afraid it wouldn't fit right. The class instructor (self-proclaimed "Fairy Bra Mother"), who does a beautiful job, says from the get-go that the first one is a practice one, mainly for learning. In my opinion, it's kind of a spendy learning experience, but I guess it's the only way to get it right.

I finally got brave a couple weeks ago and got started. I was rather disappointed in the response (or rather, lack thereof) to questions I asked the teacher regarding size, so I went ahead and made it the way I figured would work best. It was quite easy to sew, although there were a lot of steps. Each step was demonstrated in the video, so it took any guesswork out of it. I had no problems with the sewing. Here is my completed bra.

Sooo.... did it fit? Sad to say, it did not. I was very disappointed, because I'd been so hopeful... but I wasn't really surprised. Am I going to try another? Yes! I had already bought another kit when they had a sale a few weeks ago. I have some major adjusting to do for a good fit. So I've asked my questions and uploaded photos (of this one on me), and now I'm awaiting answers... again... and getting a little frustrated about that. I guess I shall have to prod a bit. 

So that's it. I enjoyed the process so far, and I do have hopes of finally getting a bra to fit nicely. Would I recommend the class? Absolutely! And a tip - you can always get it for half price via Bra Makers Supply, which is the home company, located in Canada. Sweet Cups Bra Supply that I mentioned above is for their American customers.

By the way, the kits contain enough fabrics for at least two or three bras, but you need to order extra elastics, etc., to go with them.

So there you have it. I'll let you know how the next one turns out (but still won't model it). Now I think I'll go back to bag-making for a while. There's no worry about fit when making a bag!

For any of you men who ignored the title and made it this far... pretty boring, wasn't it? ;)

Monday, November 9, 2015

All in a day with Annabelle

Just use your imagination.....