Cats and More Cats

It was a pretty day yesterday, although the temperatures were still a little chilly. I opted for a walk on the treadmill in the morning, rather than brave the outdoors. I opened the door for the kitties and shoved Maggie through the kitty door for the first time...one time out, one time in. No doubt she's seen Smitty do it since she follows him everywhere he goes. She was a little hesitant, especially coming back into the house. Then she ran to the open glass door to go back outside again. It's a start, anyway.

So while I was walking on the treadmill, I looked out the window to see this:

George used to do this. They climb up a tree growing next to the house, and then jump to the roof. Smitty can get down with no problem at all. George, who was declawed, needed a little more help. Somehow Smitty got the notion that he couldn't get down any more and he sat outside the window whining for a good half hour while I walked. Just as I was finishing, I saw him jump back to the tree branch...a distance of about two feet, with no problem whatsoever. He does it as easily as I step off a curb.

Having thoroughly frustrated the cat, I decided to go walk outside with him for a bit. The wisteria is just about ready to burst into full bloom.

Also, several of the azaleas are starting to open. They are among the showiest shrubs in the garden with their iridescent colors.

Also, the lilac is covered with flowers this year. It seems finally to have matured.

Even the dogwood is starting to put on a show. This tree has been frustratingly slow growing. It's not completely to blame since the deer ate it down to a tiny nub the first night we planted in the ground.

This probably isn't its year yet, but we're thinking one more year and it might fulfill its obligation to the gardeners who have tended it so lovingly (after allowing the deer nearly to devour it). 

It's only just getting started, and so it might surprise us yet.

The Gracie Memorial Catnip Garden is growing in lush and green. It springs up in little tufts, and we just let it grow wherever it comes up. The kitties do a good job of keeping it mowed back. This year, I think those little tufts are going to grow together into a nice catnip garden. Probably the absence of Gracie keeping it chewed to the ground is part of its success.

Also, I checked the greenhouse. The zucchini starts are getting pretty big. I'll probably plant them in the ground this weekend. There were two seeds in each pot, but I murdered the slower ones.

One of the slow-to-sprout sunflowers finally made an appearance. It almost looks like a slug ate off the top of it, but there are no slugs in the greenhouse. Hopefully, it'll keep growing. Two of the ten I planted have yet to sprout. The echinacea appears to be a complete bust. I'm using some questionable seeds, and I ordered some from a local producer this morning. Hopefully I'll have better luck with the second round. Besides, I was able to get several colors in this morning's order.

The earliest blooming rhododendron is also starting to open. There are quite a few rhodies in the garden, but the others are still in tight buds. Also, I've noticed the iris are starting to head up. It's their last year, so they'd better make it a good one.

After that, I went into the sewing room thinking I'd just get a little start on the Wind in the Whiskers block. This one is Kitten Kaboodle.

The scariest part is always cutting the background piece. They gave me a nice big piece of fabric for this one since it's 35-1/2 inches wide. When I had it cut, there was a nice size piece left over.

That was all I was planning to do, but then I decided to sort through and identify my fabrics.

And that was all I was planning to do, but then I decided to look at the instructions. And then I decided to trace out the applique for the first kitten. And then I decided to go ahead and cut them out...and to make a long story short, then I decided to fuse the first kitten. And that's how it always goes when I venture into the sewing room just to do one thing.

I did take a break there to do some other things, but as quickly as I could, I was back in the sewing room to make the next kitten.

And the next...

And the next...

They're about four inches, with tiny little applique pieces. I'm using a magnifying glass and some tweezers to make them. When I had to quit for the day, I had four of the five finished. They're not fused down yet. I just laid them on the background piece for now.

Hopefully, I'll have time today to make the fifth kitten, and then I'll get started on the daffodils. The butterflies will be last, and then I'll fuse everything to the background.

The light was so pretty yesterday evening, and it warmed up considerably. Mike and I sat outside for a while, and I took some more pictures.

There's something about dandelions...when I look out across a field, they look like fairies dancing in the grass.

This morning I stitched up another block for the Live, Love, Teach quilt. This is Block #51, Missy's block:

Here's Missy's block rendered in fabric, floss, and a little bit of crayon.

It's supposed to be a nice day today. We have wine shipments to pick up from two wineries. Then, we're going to get some lunch in McMinnville, and we'll probably walk up and down the main street. For one thing, my favorite quilt shop, Boersma's is there. For another...it's just kind of a cool historic street. Besides, it'll give me some steps on my Fitbit. Mike is on board with that agenda, but the first agenda item was to have a leisurely morning. We're still on #1.

10 comments from clever and witty friends:

nellieduclos@yahoo.com said...

Hi Barbara
We just moved back to Burlingame after spending 14 mo. in San Francisco while our house was being renovated. We had a real scare: our orange tabby went missing! We hunted "high and low," put up signs, posted notices on Nextdoor.com. On his third day missing, my husband was sitting at the kitchen table and noticed him hesitatingly wander in our adjacent family room. We were all pleasantly relieved. Apparently his opened a cabinet, got inside and under the "toe kick" of the cabinets and was there all that time. Needless to say, he's recovered, but sure gave us a scare. Yesterday he jumped onto a desk and then to the top of a bookcase, so that he was about less than two feet from the ceiling. This is very unusual for him, as he has always been a "bush dweller," so he's back to being himself.

quiltzyx said...

I thought Uno was in the background at first, but I think it's a yard ornament beyond Maggie. Silly Smitty!
It was a lovely walk through the garden today. Thanks for taking us along!

Lyndsey said...

Great post. I know what you mean about 'I'll just do this'. I always have a plan but end up doing more.

Quilting Babcia said...

Sounds like a picture perfect day to me. I hope you bought a little extra at Boersmas in memory of my old shopping expeditions there!

Dana Gaffney said...

Has Maggie discovered the catnip garden yet? It looks like things are going well with the two of them, I expect a picture of the two of them looking in the window together. I know dandelions are weeds, but I've loved them since I was a kid, flowers that turn into wishes, what more could you want.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Like Dana, I have that 'childs' fascination and love of dandelions. Our wild nip is just starting and I know the furkids have been in it as they show no interest to the inside dried stuff any more. Always love your photos!

Anonymous said...

That sure was a cute Peeping Tom looking in at you. And Maggie down below looking over her shoulder at Smitty's antics.

Why is this the last year for the Iris? Have they offended you somehow? That delicate pinkish-white one is so pretty.

We are having early Summer-like temps here, causing daffodils to put on a good show and tulips to start opening early. Last weekend we had snow showers!

Teresa F.

Dar said...

Beautiful flowers and pictures of everything growing in your yard. You must have a really green thumb because it all looks fantastic. I'm envious that you have such an assortment of beauties. That Smitty, what a stinker. :)

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

All gorgeous, personal favorite is the lilac. Won't ever forget the one beneath the window of my childhood bedroom. I can still conjure that lilac-delight odor on the evening breezes as we drifted in and out of sleep.

Kate said...

You have such a gorgeous garden. Thanks for sharing all the blooming lovelies. I have a black thumb, so most anything I plant dies.