2/9/13

Bird Brain

Not much happening at the Three Cat's Ranch on a Saturday.  Matthew and Mike are downstairs working on Matthew's senior project for school.  That leaves me out since they're talking about engineering stuff.  (Indicates boredom with topic by acting as if she is gagging on her own finger.)

Yesterday's walk had me totally worn out last night, and surprisingly so.  I ended up with 14,883 steps for the day, and that amazed me.  That is over 10K steps more than I usually average in a day, and so it's no wonder I was tired.  When I took off the pedometer last night, I was thinking I should run up and down the stairs a few times so I could get over 15K for the day.  Then I quickly saw the insanity in that idea and fell into bed.  My sincere thanks to Janorama who put me onto MapMyWalk.com where I was able to figure out how far Sue and I walked yesterday.  This image is from Google Maps, but I entered the coordinates into MapMyWalk and found that our route was 4.87 miles.


It seemed further than that.  Surprisingly, I was much more tired than I am when we walk the Fanno Creek Trail.  Our route, which is an out and back walk rather than a loop, is in the image below.


It turns out that the Fanno Creek Trail is actually 5.39 miles...about one-half mile longer.  The Fanno Creek Trail is all flat, however, and the Lower McCormick Hill Road trail has a couple of heart attack hills.

Smitty is partly to blame for my fatigue.  


The little Schmidthead had me worried again yesterday.  Before I tell you the rest, I should say that he's completely safe (unless I decide to kill him for worrying me).  But when the sun comes out there's no accounting for that little cat.  I saw him out front stalking the birds (although he professes not to prefer poultry) around 1:30 p.m. yesterday.  Then I just didn't see him again all afternoon.  I started getting concerned around 3:30 and went out and walked around the property calling to him.  He didn't come, and he didn't answer.  (Just like a cat.)

About half an hour later, I repeated the same, only this time I shook his treat bag all the way, trying to entice him to come home for treats.  Again, no response.  When Mike got home (early) at around 4:30, I still had seen no sign of Smitty.  I was convinced he was gone, and I was thinking about how awful it was going to be to have to announce this on my blog.  Mike told me not to give up hope, but he was too late.  I'd already given up.  Mike went up to take a short nap, and within about five minutes there was little Schmidthead right beside me, looking as if nothing had happened.  I didn't know whether to kiss him or kill him.  I decided to kiss him, but he's making me old.  (Unlike all those birthdays I had before he was born.)

Anyway, in the course of all this, I happened to see this bird, not one of the regulars, at our bird feeder.


A little later in the evening, I looked it up to discover that it is a Western Bluebird.  Indeed, this is not its usual habitat.  They tend to range in other areas, but they no doubt migrate through this area.


It occurs to me that by not feeding the birds in winter, we no doubt miss out on the species that migrate through.  Last night, I talked to Mike about moving one of our bird feeders up closer to the house so that we didn't have to walk out into the mud to fill it.  There's no reason not to, other than the cats.  In winter, the cats are pretty much house bound though, and so I don't think it would be a problem.  That's what we're going to do from now on.  We are on the Pacific Flyway.  


No doubt, it would be interesting to see what birds pass through during the coldest months.  I feel fairly certain the birds would appreciate it too.

So in all my exhaustion and worry, I did no sewing, no cutting, no nothing, after I got home yesterday.  Today I'm definitely going to cut some fabric and organize the 73 skeins of embroidery floss I purchased on Thursday in preparation for my next embroidery project.  I promise to show it to you soon, but I have no pictures of it yet, and it requires pictures.  Actually, I just now looked it up online and I found this image:


It's called Quilting Snowladies, and I have all the blocks.  I think these are so cute.  I'm very nearly finished with the last block of the Love Me, Love My Cat quilt, and once that's finished, I'll be ready to start on a new embroidery pattern.  And since I'm still waiting for the next of the Vintage Miniature Sewing Machines blocks, it's a good time to start on a new project.  More on this later.

My sewing machine is still in the shop.  I might have to break down and get out my Janome.  I know that some of you love your Janome machines, and no doubt they are good machines.  Mine, however, is like a rebellious teenager...very unpredictable, obstinate, and defiant.  I suppose I could threaten it with more months in the closet if it misbehaves.  I'll see how far that gets me.

Okay, so I didn't think I was going to write a whole blog post when I sat down there, but there you go.  Verbose, as always.

I'm updating this post to say that I'm linking up to Find a Friend Friday.



31 comments from clever and witty friends:

Angel and Kirby said...

I am so sorry that Smitty scared you like that. Just like a cat, he reappeared out of thin air! After all, he was not lost. He knew right where he was and was probably watching your frantic hunt!

Lee said...

Whew, you made me tired just by saying how many steps you took and how far you walked! Wonder where my pedometer is. The last time I saw it, it needed a new battery. Smitty was a real rascal today! Quilting Snowlady looks like a lot of work, but it really looks like a nice project, hmmmm.

Lynda Otvos said...

That rascally bugger; good to know he's home safely from his peripatetic wanderings.

Love the Snowladies. Each block with its different quilt pattern in it is really neat.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Oh, yes, just being a cat can make you grey! My wanders have been housebound with this storm - Bella does NOT go out in any wind (I think it is something in her horrible living conditions as a kitten). The new stitchery project is so cute! Hmm - walk a few steps for me - I am so tired of winter and being indoors!

Quilting Babcia said...

76 skeins?! I thought I was going out on a limb when I picked up 15-20 more the other day - now if I could just remember how to embroider! Love the new pattern - that will be gorgeous - done by Christmas?

LynCC said...

Ack, Smitty! Don't be such a tease! Tell your mommy where you're going and when you'll be back! And if you're going to be late, CALL! Poor Barbara. It's too soon after losing George to get scares like that. Those snowladies are terrific. :D

Kate said...

Glad that Smitty is back safe and sound.

Love your new embroidery project. It will be lots of fun.

Astrid said...

Cats are cats! They always pretend nothing has happened and why should we worry?! Love your embroidery project!

Junebug613 said...

So sorry that Smitty had you so concerned. With the disappearance of my Bob still haunting me, I can understand that feeling. A friend lives in Western MA and has an animal sanctuary called "Bluebird Farm". She sees quite a few of those lovely little fellows and is usually generous with sharing her pictures. Ooooh 73 skeins! I love me some embroidery floss! Glad your little fuzzbutt is safe.

Snoodles said...

I bet he had quite an adventure! Maybe you could get one of those fancy cat collars with a camera...then you would be able to download to your PC and see glimpses of what he'd seen all day! LOL

Teresa in Music City said...

OMG! I am so glad you did not have to tell us he was gone! I'm already too far gone in love with the little Schmidthead to take it without a breakdown!!! Whew - okay, I think I can calm down now :*)

I love your new stitchery patterns! I have a friend who is doing those also - they're very ingenious and fun designs!

Janarama said...

Barbara, glad I could help you finding a way to figure out how many miles you walked.

The little Schmidthead must have been having too much fun to come home. At least he made his way home safe and sound.

Rachel said...

NO more heart attacks, Mr. Smitty! Love the Snow ladies, I know you will do them justice!!

Cath said...

Naughty Smitty, giving you such a worrying time! I hope he wasn't chasing that lovely bird....isn't it superb!I have to say, I really love that embroidery project (quilting snowladies) I would love to have a go at that! I just googled it...ooh...quite pricey!
Cath @ Bits 'n Bobs

Lyndsey said...

Smitty you bad boy, remember the rules - say where you're going and when you'll be back (and preferably take your mobile with you).

That gorgeous pattern explains the 73 skeins. That is going to be a beauty when finished. I might have to follow Cath's lead and google it.

Lynne said...

Cheeky cat!

The snow ladies blocks look very cute!

girlsfour said...

Good post! Great that you walked so many steps. I asked for a step counter thingy for Christmas one year. Hubby got one at a large sporting goods store - cost close to $20. Thing was a piece of junk, it kept falling off. Never got another one......

As for Smitty being missing - I can relate. Our cat (who is no longer with us) was missing for three days. I would of course do all the things you did to try to entice her back. On day three, for some reason I woke up about 3am. It was raining out and I just thought I should check again for Sadie. Sure enough - there she was sitting outside the front door! She obviously hadn't eat anything those three days she was missing - she was noticeably thinner. Boy was I thankful that something woke me up that night!

Love the embroidery stuff you talked about at the end of your post - just my style.

Have a good Sunday. Major storm on it's way here. Four-eight inches of snow due. Of course it comes when the hub is going out of town (lucky him, going to Orlando tonight on business). Oh well, it can't last long since it's almost the middle of February!

Meg

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Cats will do that you every time! I have been frantic looking for mine (and they are strays) but they are either sleeping in the brush, watching me of course, or they show up a day later, hungry but looking like they had been having an adventure.

make.share.give said...

Great work on your steps! We had a wellness program at work in which your earned $ for walking. Our daily goals were 7000, 12000 and 20000 steps. I lost 6 pounds the week I did 20000- 7 days in a row.
Glad Schmidthead (hee hee) is home safely.

Vickie said...

Isn't it a funny thing how when our sweet furry little babies look up at us with those big eyes...all is forgiven. Happens to me all the time with the Ranch Patrol !

LethargicLass said...

Schmidthead LOL!!!! I'm glad he is safe and sound :)

What brand is your regular machine? I am thinking of a new one sometime in the next few months...

KatieQ said...

That's an amazing amount of steps. I'll just have to be jealous until the 12 inches of snow we got on Friday is gone.
I love the quilting snow ladies. It looks like it will be a fun project.

Colleen said...

Oh Smitty! Sigh, it's their way. I'm just glad Kalli- cat is too chicken to put a paw outside.

Ranch Wife said...

Ah, Smitty! He's such a charmer, and thus, he can get away with being a bit rouge-ish...it makes him even more charming. Apparently, when you are in the midst of adventure, time is not a concern.
Your snowman project is going to be darling!! Such a cute pattern!

Diane Wild said...

Oh, those snowladies are adorable. I would love that pattern. We are getting rain/snow/slush/snow. A good day to stay in and make pie, sew and eat pie.

Betty said...

Smitty is an adorable little rascal. It would be impossible to stay mad at him! One day recently hubby was calling our little rascals to feed them and I looked out and saw that both of them were standing right behind him. I tapped on the window and pointed down to let him know and when he turned around, he almost tripped over one of them!
I stopped feeding birds near the house because of our cats. Their feral mom taught them to be very good hunters! Our indoor cat liked watching the birds through the window and I do miss watching them also.

Denise :) said...

We see pretty little bluebirds regularly ... which is rather amusing, since they tend to be meadow birds. We also have indigo buntings that are regular guests in the spring and summer ... they are electric blue and have a sweet song, too! :)

Pieces to Love said...

I love those blue birds, they are such a pretty blue. Their mate has a lot more of that reddish orange on their chest like a robin. They sing pretty too.

quiltzyx said...

Shame on Smitty! He should know better than to scare you like that.
What a pretty bluebird. There aren't many colorful birds where I am, unless the wild parrots happen by.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

All guilds are different. I like my little guild best, since there isn't any politics involved. The larger guild has more politics involved. They are both good in their own ways. Have fun at the meeting.

Dree said...

That looks like a great walk! If you have a smartphone (or newer ipod) you can download free software that uses the GPS to track where you have been. I use endomondo, it seems pretty accurate. A friend uses runkeeper (not just for runs).

Cats! Yup, they do that. And act like everything is a-ok.