2/20/14

Two Days of To-Dos

It took me two days, but I got all of the items checked off yesterday's to-do list. No sewing, but I haven't been wasting my time either.

I started out yesterday by filling the bird feeders. On my way out of the house, I noticed that the daffodils are heading up already. Can spring flowers be far behind?


Oh, and if you look to the right of that image above, you'll see a would-be photobomber. There he is!


After we filled the bird feeders, we headed into the greenhouse to fill 17 cups with potting soil. It took me a while to find a working faucet. They are all shut off for the winter to avoid freezing. Eventually I did, and got myself drenched from the knees down wetting the very dry soil. You know how it bubbles up and runs straight through when it's dry? I swear it took me half an hour to saturate the dirt. And then I took them into the laundry room where all of my tomatoes start their lives. They won't move out to the greenhouse until April. I planted 6 Super Marzanos, 3 Heinz, 2 Legends (all tomatoes), then two each of dill, basil, and Italian parsley. 


I always cover them with plastic wrap until the seeds germinate. I use a spray bottle to keep the tops of the soil wet, and the plastic wrap keeps the water from evaporating off. The seeds must stay wet at all times until they germinate, and since they are planted perilously close to the surface, this is the trick for getting them to sprout.


Once they poke their little heads up, we're going to try setting up the bird cam for a time lapse photos and see if we can make a little video of them growing. Fun, huh? Haven't tried that yet, so it should be an interesting experiment. 

After that, I actually did follow through and make the Orange-Pecan Tea Bread. This turned out so yummy, and it was easy as could be. I'm always grateful for baked goods that don't require breaking out my heavy mixer.


I had a few housekeeping chores to do, and then started dinner. After dinner, I did a little more work on the birdbath embroidery, and finished that up.


And I'm about halfway done with the "Watering the Flowers" piece too. These will be finished in no time at all.

I still had a couple of items on my to-do list that I finished up this morning, and then I went and did my swimming workout. Today I had a different argument with myself. When I stepped on the scale this morning, I had lost another 2 pounds for a total weight loss of 7 pounds in the past month...all from increasing my exercise level. So excited about that, and it definitely motivates me to keep going. The problem was that I was quite uncomfortable after my swim on Tuesday. In a blog post from over a year ago, I talked about the problems I've had from a chronic pain syndrome. I've been working my way back into exercise very slowly, and up until now, it's been going okay.

Tuesday evening was different. I had a heck of a time falling asleep Tuesday night because my neck was really bothering me. This has been my concern about returning to swimming all along. I've been told to use a mask and snorkel, but I really don't want to. Further, I figure it's going to be helpful to my neck if I can regain some ability to turn my head normally. Turning my head for swimming really is not an overly-optimistic goal. Nevertheless, I think the recent flare-up of shoulder pain combined with my chronic neck problem was a little too much. So today's argument was this:

Other me: Now, if your neck or your knee start to hurt today, you have to stop swimming immediately.
 Me: Yes siree, you betcha. I'll do it, Other Me. I've definitely learned my lesson.
Then later while swimming:
Other me: It's starting to hurt. Stop what you're doing right now.
Me: But I'm so close to finishing! I can keep going. It'll be okay!
Other me: Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop. Right. Now.
Me: (In my most grudging voice). Hooo-kaaaay. (Looking glum.) 

It's probably good that I listened to that bossy Other Me. I still had to go to the grocery store, and it was definitely bothering me. After I got home I took some Aleve, and I think that will help. We'll see how it goes later on this evening when I try to go to bed. I honestly think I can work up to my goal of 60 lengths, but I absolutely have to take it slow. I do NOT want to relapse with chronic pain ever again as long as I live.

So when I got home, I walked into the laundry room and saw that a very bad cat had been here:


There was a trail of muddy paw prints leading from the kitty door, through the kitchen, up onto the counter (which is designated No Cats Land), across the breakfast bar, turning left and heading over the kitchen counter, past the coffee maker, past the sink, all the way to the toaster oven, thence into the greenhouse window.


Hm. Quite a sight. Fortunately, it wiped off easily. Of course, Smitty was looking all innocent and asking for treats...from the floor. He knows better.

Also, there was a very large package at the front door. I could see that it was from Linda G...you might remember Linda. She used to blog at Stray Stitches, but she abandoned us to have more time for sewing. (The noyve of some people.) Linda and I have stayed Facebook friends, however. She recently purchased a bird cam like mine, and she has published some fantastic pictures of the birds at her feeder. We've also had a back and forth about how my birds love the suet I put out for them, and hers won't touch it. So here's this heavy box with her return address, and I think, what could it possibly be? It was heavy enough to be a sewing machine, I'm telling you! And I open it up to find all her leftover suet!


Fantastic! Thank you, Linda. I thank you, my birds thank you, and even Smitty thanks you. This will definitely not go to waste here at the Three Cats Ranch.

So I still had groceries to put away, and had I known that such a bad cat lived here, I would not have surprised him with this corrugated cardboard scratching post. It came with a packet of catnip that claimed to be "The Best Catnip in the World". Well, you'll get no argument from Smitty. He loved it, and licked it, and kicked it.


And then he went absolutely currrrr-azy for it!


He was so crazed from catnip that he lost all sense of modesty.


Not only that, but there's a little sparkle ball thingy inside this here hole, and he spent quite a bit of time trying to capture that.


So me and the birds with a box of suet, and Smitty with a brand new catnip scratching pad....things couldn't get much more sublime here at the Three Cats Ranch.

And now Mike is on his way home, so I'd better get cooking his dinner. I hope you've had a productive day too.

23 comments from clever and witty friends:

Diane Wild said...

We are in the middle of a raging blizzard tonight so your optimistic daffodils and tomato starts raised the envy needle a bit. Yikes, I just heard something hit the roof. Hope this neck of the woods is dug out by Monday cuz I'm headin South.

WoolenSails said...

I have that same problem with swimming so I hold my breath and swim as far as I can until I need to breath, lol. I tried a snorkel and it gave me sinus problems, so i just wear a mask and hold my breath. I usually do water walking, that way I get the exercise and still breath. My problem is my rib, the waist float hurts my rib after awhile, so can't win.

The kitty photos made me smile, they are such characters.

Debbie

Junebug613 said...

Boy, that Smitty sure is a sneaky, and lucky cat! I hope that your neck feels better.

Sher S. said...

You totally made my day. I thought getting my computer back and fixed??? would have done it. NOPE! it's not fixed, still has the visual noise. I love that you tulips are coming up or daffodils. Mine don't even bother to show their heads. But during the winter my amaryllis do a good job of showing off. And my Christmas cactus (that used to be in my Grandmother's yard in Ohio) put on quite a show of beautiful dark pink flowers. Your stitchery is coming along beautifully and can hardly wait to see the whole quilt together. I'm truly sorry about your neck problems with swimming. Does a heating pad help at all? Just a thought. Maybe a rice bag heated so it's a moist heat might help.
Looking forward to seeing your tomatoes and herbs coming up. Have a restful nights sleep.

Janarama said...

Girl, do you ever sit still? I about died laughing when I saw the footprints. We all knew who the culprit was. Well, when the humans are away, the cats will play. LOL I really thought you were going to say he got into the seeds you just planted.

Janarama said...

Sorry, I forgot to say that I hope your neck pain goes away soon.

Karen said...

It is remarkable to see the daffodils coming up when the weather is still so cold for you, but they seem to surprise us every year. I suppose they know what they are doing. We also grow a lot of our tomatoes in the greenhouse to get an early crop. We are now at the stage where we have an overlap of those tomatoes and the ones we plant outside as well. I think the idea of the camera to follow the growth is a wonderful idea.

Brown Family said...

It is hard to take it slow when you are so close to a goal! I saw Daffodils blooming in my neighbors yard today! And it is suppose to be 30 in the morning!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

We had a day of warmer weather only to tease us - more snow is on the way. Tee Hee, I thought Smitty was in the new tomatoes too. Oh, my I laughed at the antics with the NIP - I gave mine some to help with the cabin fever, I had kitties that were like kids on a sugar rush!!

Dasha said...

Reading your posts about catnip, when I saw some toys with "real" catnip in them, I bought some. Arriving home, I popped one of the balls on the floor for Tibby to play with. She walked flat eared, stomach to the ground, up to it at a snails pace, gave it a light tap with a fully extended paw, freaked out, and wouldn't come near it again. End of that game!

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

CC2 is not as enamored w catnip as CC1 was. We grew some outside and had a time of it with the neighborhood kittehs wanting to "share" with CC1. An inverted milk crate kept the plant big enough to be healthy and the cats were able to eat anything that stuck thru the mesh. And they DID !~! Now it's dried nip and CC2 seems disinterested at best. Perhaps that will change - we'll see.

Chronic pain is nothing to be messing with; Ill be the first to tell you it is no picnic and no one wants to be in pain all the time. So whatever you do try to avoid doing those activities which give you pain that flirts with being chronic.

Love the birdbath embroidery, Your needle work is of high quality and getting better as time passes.

Donna said...

My Ms Cha Cha Cat says the paw prints were circumstantial evidence, at the best, against Smitty! lol

liniecat said...

Love Donnas comment above lol

Cats are good at being asocciated with circumstantial evidence, its a knack they have Ive noticed.

lol

Michele said...

Oh I wish I had someplace to start seeds. Some day perhaps. And we always love to see your photo bomber, even if he eventually get high on the cat nip.

Dana Gaffney said...

Wouldn't it be wonderful if Gracie did it knowing Smitty would be blamed?

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I miss Linda's posts. I wish she'd post every few months, just to check in with us.

Tami C said...

Look forward to seeing your little video of your tomatoes and herbs growing. Hope you neck problem goes away. Smitty sure looks like he was enjoying his nip!

Dar said...

What a great idea for your bird came to do a slow photo shoot of your seeds. Santa didn't bring my bird cam, but if this works, he will be bringing me one for my birthday!!
Love that Smitty likes his cat nip scratching pad so much. I don't know if my cat knows what that is.

Kate said...

Love the shots of Smitty with his new toy.

Hope you neck is feeling better.

quiltzyx said...

It took me a while to "find" the photo bomber in that first shot - duh! WHISKERS!! (It wasn't me, see? My paws are CLEAN Mom!)
Love the Red Solo Cups for your seedlings too. :)

Cute, cute birds on the bird bath! What fun!

I worked Thursday & Friday at the colleges, so no sewing for me. Didn't even crochet today. Did wrap prezzie for party tomorrow & will hang it from backdoor knob before I hit the sack tonight so I don't forget it. We were watching one of the "diary of cats & dogs" video at work today - Laura, my boss, was in with us too - & the 3 of us were laughing so hard...and of course the phone rang! Brittany managed to answer, holding her breath with hand on mouth to stop from laughing long enough to help the caller! LOLOLOL
I even forgot to plug in my Kindle, so will be reading a REAL paper book in bed - oh my!

Hope your neck/shoulder/self is feeling better. I hate aches & pains, chronic or otherwise (but at least otherwise stops after a while!)

OXO

quiltzyx said...

Oh! And what a sweetie Linda is too!!

Lyndsey said...

Listen to your bossy self as she only has your interests at heart. Chronic pain is no fun at all. I love Smitty and he really enjoys his catnip. Picasso has to be in a bit of a silly mood to enjoy it. If he's in one of his sensible moods he ignores it. I also love the suggestion that Gracie made the paw prints to get Smitty into trouble....maybe that's what happened.

Judy1522 said...

I hope the pain is getting less and less. That is so frustrating to have when you are trying to exercise. I love the pictures of Smitty, what a funny and entertaining cat. He probably thought he was so sneaky climbing across the counter while you were gone, little did he know he was leaving such great evidence. Have you ever thought of turning the camera on while you are gone just to see what he gets up to. That may be difficult since you can only focus on one spot and he seems to be everywhere.