Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Yesterday I was able to share some good news with some of you on the kitty saga. Smitty and Maggie spent most of the afternoon in the same room. Smitty was, surprisingly, a perfect gentleman. We were effusive with our "Good Boy!" praise of his uncharacteristically polite behavior. Maggie prefers the safety under the bottom shelf in the pantry.

The tails tell the tale.

Not really, but I am especially fond of cat tails.

At dinner time, Mike popped the ring tab on a can of cat food and Maggie came running. Obviously, she knows that sound. As I've said before, she's quite a chow hound for such a petite kitty. She sat right here and ate her food. Just outside the frame is Mr. Smitty. He too had a plate of cat food, but he didn't eat much, preferring just to watch her eat.

They had a pretty good day together until just before we headed upstairs to bed. Maggie decided to run from Smitty and Smitty had to chase her. That, of course, was followed by a lot of four-letter words like "yowl" and "hiss" and "spit" and "grrr". Oy. When we opened the door to Maggie's territory this morning, the same thing happened. Okay, taking a step back again, but we're still working on it. 

Also yesterday, I ventured out to fill the bird feeders. It was snowing off and on, and quite cold at 22°F. I know some of you will sniff at that temperature, but it felt pretty darned cold to me. First, I wanted to check out the ice stalagmite. Mike thought he'd fixed this leaky faucet last year. Apparently not.

Also, we are such good parents that we provide them with a bird bath in the summer and a little birdy skating rink in winter. It's a good place to live for both cat and fowl.

When I headed over to the feeders, I noticed this coating of frost. This kind of spiky stuff is called hoar frost. I learned that during last year's cold weather, and so of course, I have to show off.

Here's some more on the garden fence.

It's harder to see on the trees, but they were so pretty with their coating of confectioner's sugar.

Fast forward to today, and we have around an inch of ice on the ground. Don't eat yellow ice...unless you happen to be a bird, and the ice turns out to be cracked corn.

Poor things. Their other food sources are harder to come by, and so you can see that they've kept the ice from forming here with their warm little birdie bodies.

Last winter, I was housebound for about a week when we had an ice storm like this. During that storm, we invested in some nifty Yaktrax. Think of car chains for your car, and then apply them to your shoes, and you have a pair of Yaktrax. They worked great. I stomped my feet just slightly to make sure I had good traction with each step, and I was able to get around without slipping. Of course, it was worth life and limb to get out and take some pictures of the landscape.

Which of these members of the Stanbro family would you imagine has the most horse sense?

This next image is a picture of the cracks in the ice where my foot fall landed.

Here's the view from the top of our driveway.

And these are little birdie tracks. It was kind of funny watching them today. I don't believe Yaktrax come in bird foot sizes, and so they were slipping around in the ice a little bit. Maggie watched them from Mike's office window and chattered away. She's an all around cat, for sure.

Before venturing out, I made some progress on the little handmaiden stitchery. This one should be finished in another couple of days.

Mike is home from work today, as is most of the Portland area workforce. Snow is one thing...ice is quite another. If you can't walk on it, you certainly shouldn't be driving on it. And, as usual, I'm home too. I have the middle vertical row of blocks quilted for the Quilting Snowladies. I'm only working with metallic thread at this point, and so I'll still have to go back and do some more work on them with the cotton thread. Today I'm hoping to get four more blocks done. It went a little faster yesterday now that I've practiced using the ruler template. I'm getting the hang of holding it and stitching now. Practice really does make perfect.

The internet is moving impossibly slow this morning. I imagine a lot of folks are working from home today. Hopefully, I can get this uploaded and published. If not, you'll know why you didn't hear from me today. Or maybe you won't.

18 comments from clever and witty friends:

Sarah said...

The ice photos are pretty but I think the hoar frost is much prettier. Be safe! I asked santa for yaktrax and he delivered! I'm excited to use them soon - I generally walk on sidewalks and I need a little more coverage so I don't ruin the coils. At least you ended up one step ahead with the furkids. Progress is progress.

gpc said...

Oh how I love my Yaktrax! They make me feel like I can survive another winter, best invention ever. But don't step on tile in them, or you'll feel like you stepped on ice without them. Your spikey hoar frost is beautiful, some of the hoariest I've ever seen. Sorry about the set back but not surprised. Hope they both settle in soon. :)

Lyndsey said...

Brrr I'm pleased it's not snowy or icy here, it looks far too cold. The temperature in London has dropped to 8C which is 46F but I still needed my winter coat. No snow and very unlikely to happen

DeeDee said...

We have a new cat at our house as well. And it's been over two months and we still have some problems with new kitty and kitty who has been here for about a year. But they do get along much better now. As long as new kitty has somewhere to retreat to things go pretty smoothly.

Your pictures are gorgeous! It's cold here in the South, but no ice yet. And I'm hoping we don't get any! I can do without ice.

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

I'm loving the tale of tails....:) Really cute stitching. Way too cold for me, but so lovely.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Tails and ears of a cat tell so much. Sure Maggie was chased by too many mean kitties and wolfies while living the 'wild life' - just the natural fear flight kicking in. LOVE all the photos - we are bitter cold today, but no ice (I am still staying inside).

Lana Ku said...

Thanks for venturing outside to take those beautiful pics. Love the hoar frost (had no idea there was such a thing). But, brrrrrrrr......... It's 60 here in S. Texas & that's too cold for me! Lol

Kate said...

Awww, poor kitty tails. Creamsicle is finally walking around with her tail up all the time - I keep yelling at her that it means she likes us. And she gives me a disdainful cat look. And I promise - Maggie's going to fill in! A month of free feeding has changed my skinny rescue to a fat butt girl.
We have hoarfrost, too, on top of the snow. That's new for me and a little strange to see! I didn't think snow could get frosty!

Debi Workman said...

Beautiful pictures of your snow and ice and frost. I am impressed you went outside!!

Dana Gaffney said...

I love those pictures! Ice may be terrible for walking or driving but it sure is photogenic. Winter has finally arrived here, we were at 59 this morning and the pictures reflex how cold it feels to me, LOL.

Betty said...

Beautiful photos! It was 25 degrees here in North Alabama this morning when my kitties wanted to go out. Thankfully, no ice and the sun is shining!

Phantom-Rose said...

Oh, such beautiful pics! Winter may be unpleasant at times and not very colorful but it definitely has its striking beauty! I want that spiky frost! I wonder what makes it grow like that?
Sounds like the kitties are in their next phase of adaptation - flying fur! I so hate that phase! You have to let them work it out yet you are so worried about them hurting or traumatizing each other. It's hard to stay out of it, at least for me. My mother instincts always compel me to protect them from each other lol! Anyway, good luck!

Lou said...

Beautiful snow pictures! We are sunshine and in the mid 30's waking up:) Suppose to possibly get some rain tonight so will see what happens?
Mine have conversations like that and they were in the same womb:) They are all so different!!!!
Keep up the good work on those snowladies!!!

Doreen Auger said...

I hate ice storms most of all!! There's absolutely nothing that can be done! Your photos are beautiful!!! (as long as I know you are well!!!)

Kate said...

Ice storms are the worst. At least it looks like you didn't have any power issues. Hoping the round 2 of the get to know you phase works for the kitties tomorrow.

quiltzyx said...

It does seem that inclement weather makes for astonishingly gorgeous pictures! It's 49* here right now (Weds @ 9:15p) and has been raining on & off all day. You & Mike be careful.
Like was said above, the cats are still one step closer to detente than before!

Brown Family said...

That looks like a Texas Ice Storm. We do not get much snow, but see an Ice Storm almost every year

Michele said...

Those photos are just gorgeous. I hope that by now the 2 of them are getting along better with less of those 4 letter words being uttered.