Monday, May 25, 2009

His name is Paws!

He has extra toes on his front paws so they look like catchers mitts. He walks like a ballerina in toe shoes. And he has silky fur. His favorite perch indoors is on the back of my recliner. When he faces forward I can rest my head on his tummy and he puts his paws on my shoulders and curls his tail around my neck. We spend every evening that way. When I press my head back against him his purr gets louder and I can almost play a tune that way. When I recline all the way back he stays there for the ride, then naps with me.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Watchdog .... watching!

Don’t you just hate to hear a dog bark, and bark, and bark? My dog, Wendy, was a soft, sweet, lovely hound/lab mix, but thank goodness, she wasn’t a barker. When we lived in Pennsylvania, our neighbors, Joan and Chris, were adding a kitchen/bathroom to their house and were unable to use their shower. We told them to use ours and we would leave the door unlocked so they could come in early in the morning and go upstairs to the bathroom. When we saw them later that day we commented that we never heard them come in. They said, “Wendy is a great watch dog. She watched us come in and she watched us go out!”

So about barking dogs, I’d rather hear the birds sing - or maybe the mice, now that I know they sing.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Unusual eyes

It finally stopped raining so I set out eagerly on my walk. Look who I encountered! I don't know his name but he was friendly - thank goodness. Look at those eyes!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Help the birds build a home!

Everyone needs help with their "nest" now and then, so I decided to help the birds and give them some building materials. My cats were happy to be brushed and glad to donate their hair. (Actually, I didn't ask them.) The onion bag was a little difficult as it had a huge label glued front and back. After tearing it apart, I had to hand stitch the strips together to make a bag. Leaving the bag open-ended top and bottom, I threaded ribbon through to make a drawstring closure on both ends. I stuffed in the cat hair and hung the bag in the shrubbery. The birds took all the hair and I refilled it. Being disappointed at not seeing the birds take the hair, this time I put it on top of the feeder.

Do you suppose the young birds will be confused by growing up in a cat-hair-lined nest? Will they think all cats are friends?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Eggs - A cooking tip

My husband likes to buy extra large or jumbo eggs. That is fine unless I am baking and need small eggs. I checked my Betty Crocker cook book and found this guide for how much an egg should measure. I hope this guide helps you as much as it helped me!
1 egg = 1/4 to 1/3 cup
2 eggs = 1/3 to 1/2 cup
3 eggs = 1/2 to 2/3 cup

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Neighborhood Walk

Several times a week I take a walk in the neighborhood. There is a nice walk of a mile and a half (round trip) that takes me to these secluded stairs that lead to the lake.
Here is the pier where I can sit and hang my legs off the end. It is too far above the water for my feet to get wet but it's fun to dangle a long stick in the water. I like to sit and feel the breeze and listen to the birds. And I am getting my exercise in a pleasant way. Beats going to the gym and walking on the treadmill! This way I can see the flowers and butterflies and smell the cut grass. I'll bet you wish you were retired, like me!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Bear, Book and Candle

By special request here is another of my "Collections" photos. This is my bear friend and sometime garden assistant, sitting in a antique child's chair. She has chosen one of my old books "The Tailor of Gloucester" by Beatrix Potter and has a candle to read by.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mice can sing - Who knew?

In experiments to test how male mice responded to sex pheromones found in the urine of female mice, neurobiologists at Washington University in St. Louis, Tim Holy and Zhongsheng Guo, recorded male mice as they sniffed a cotton ball soaked in a female mouse’s urine. Within seconds of smelling the urine of a female who is ready to mate, the male mice broke into song, inaudible to the human ear. The male mice were genetically identical and were all the same age. Surprisingly, each mouse sang his own individual song. It isn’t certain if the best singers win the most desirable females as is often the case with birds.

This link takes you to a recording of a mouse singing.
It has been lowered four octaves but left at the original speed. The singing sounds like birds twittering. It brings to my mind an imagine of birds and mice, perched side by side in the tree tops, twittering.

At this link the recording has been lowered four octaves and also slowed down sixteen-fold. This sounds more like whistling. Notes seem to be repeated to make a melody.

The researchers didn’t check to see if the female mice sing. Wouldn’t that be interesting to know?
Information from “National Geographic News” - November 1, 2005
Mouse.John Good .NPS Photo.

Monday, April 20, 2009

More Variations

Obviously, the azalea photo in the top left is the original. This shows how wild you can be using filters and colors changes. I am thinking about printing some of these onto fabric. Doing research on the internet, I found a product called "Bubble Jet" that lets you adhere fabric to paper so it will go through a printer. Another suggestion I found was to iron the fabric onto freezer paper, then print. The flower print could be a pocket on a skirt or on a bag. Or with borders it could be made into a bag. This project may have to wait until gardening slows down.


This is an example of how you can change a photo. The original is on the bottom and for the variation above, I used Adobe Photo Elements, Ink outline.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Photograping my Collections

Photography is another hobby of mine. Isn't digital wonderful? When you had to buy film and have it developed at great expense, you couldn't really play around with the camera. I like to gather my collections and antiques and photograph them. Unfortunately, I can't paint, but by putting a filter on my photos I can make them look like a painting. This photo is done using my five year old Sony camera, Photo Shop Elements, and the filter is Dry Brush, all done on a Mac computer.

Crazy Cat

We are all creative. More so than we give ourselves credit for. Don't be afraid to try something. If it looks a little odd - just call it "Art."

Creating things has been a hobby of mine for many years. I don't work from a pattern unless it is one I make myself. Usually I don't bother with making a pattern but just start right in on the project. Crazy Cat was made from a nice herringbone fabric. His eyes and nose are buttons. His ears contain a tuft of wool and his tail tip is rabbit fur. I save everything because it might come in handy - and it usually does. I am cursed with being able to see possibilities in everything! It makes it hard to throw things away! I am lucky to have a craft room, but I always wish it were larger. Leave me a comment about what you create!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Spring in Virginia

I have been transplanting ferns from the woods (where they grow abundantly) into my shady yard. Having already gone over my budget for plants this spring, this is a good way to fill in areas with plants that thrive in poor soil and can survive our hot dry summers. Besides, I love ferns. They look so cool and delicate.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Brookgreen Gardens

In March, we took a trip with our friends, Margie and Dan, to Myrtle Beach. Ten miles down the road is a lovely place, Murriels Inlet. Bob and I spent a day there at Brookgreen Gardens ( It is a sculpture garden and more! Just to see the huge oak trees is worth the trip.

I love this sculpture! He looks noble!