The weather is really in the Cinderella zone for me right now. Warmish, sunny days that aren’t too hot. Nice, well behaved clouds in the sky that sometimes drop a little rain with some rumbles of thunder, but nothing really scary like hail and tornados. I’ve been working outside a little every day and I’m making progress on the yards. Today I tried to grab some pictures to show the emerging life out there; a huge bumblebee and some butterflies stopped by, but they were too dodgy for me to grab a picture. My usual squirrel companion was taking a nap somewhere and nowhere in sight. Still, there is life just waiting to bust out all over in my yards. I did find this…
This is the first year that this catmint plant will not have a cat munching on its leaves and sleeping in its shade. It’s kind of bittersweet to see the plant doing so well without the cat abuse. I have begun the hunt for a new kitten; I applied to adopt a couple of kittens this week, but it looks like it is a long shot right now as lots of other people also applied. (Okay, they are too cute for words, and I am dying that I’m not likely to get them…). There will be more kittens, and in time this plant will again have a feline companion.
Things are definitely picking up outside. My neighbors are repairing the fences between our yards and I’m doing what I can to help. Mostly I loan tools and hand over money. 🙂 I’m hoping to get lots of weeding done before the heat arrives next month. Gosh, these windows of moderate weather are so brief here… with some luck flower beds will be weeded and sprinkled with flower seeds in the next couple of weeks.
It has been a pretty calm week with warm weather and cloudy skies.
I’m still nursing a sore ankle (the adventure continues… this bad-boy ankle will be it’s own post someday…) so I was able to get a lot of knitting done.
I finished the Sea Swell Shawl (by Stephen West) Monday night and got it wet blocked the next day. I really, really like this shawl. Let me introduce you to my current favorite knit:
This shawl is knit in wedges that use short rows with some lace to build the pattern. The back of the shawl maintains a constant number of stitches while the increases are built onto the sides and front edges. I didn’t completely understand what this would mean in terms of the drape until I was done with the shawl and wearing it.
I wore this all day Wednesday and then took it out to do errands with me this afternoon. Because of the shape the shawl stays right where it belongs while wearing it!! If you usually fight with shawls to make them stay where you want them (like I do) or have to resort to a shawl pin to immobilize them into submission, this is a big deal. The shawl even behaved itself while I was getting into and out of the car!
All of the edges of the shawl are icord, and I have to admit that I was a little sick of it while casting on and binding off. This is not a quick operation, but the finished product is so nice that it was worth the effort. I think that the stable edge contributes to the shawls well-behaved drape.
The weather is really changing around here. It rained (and thundered!) all week, but then suddenly the sun came back out and things began hopping around here. The birds are singing like crazy, the squirrels are running through the trees, and there are flowers and leaves on the trees again. It is like magic. Let me show you what has been going on.
It’s like the world has come back to life after a long cold and snowy winter. The Mother of Cats never lets us go outside in the winter, and this year she is still making us stay indoors even though I’m pretty sure that the garter snakes and bugs are waking up and waiting for me to come chase them.
Nope. We are still trapped indoors.
Friday the Mother of Cats packed up all of the knitting and worked around the house. MacKenzie and I spent the morning snoozing at the foot of her bed.
Well, I was just innocently sleeping along when the Mother of Cats scooped me up and carried me off to the craft room where she had the clippers all plugged in and ready to go. SHE SHAVED ALL OF MY BUTT FEATHERS OFF!! And my fur matts, too. I was too stunned to wail, but I’m pretty sure I got a few squeaks off. MacKenzie didn’t even come to check on me. How could she do this to me?
Oh, right. This happens every spring, now that I think about it. I shed like crazy, I get a lots of matted fur, and she cuts all of it off with the clippers. She also tried to shave the fur off of my tummy, but after a brief discussion that involved some claw and teeth demonstrations she gave up. She told me that we would get back to this latter, but I don’t think so. Good luck with that, Mother of Cats!
So, this is spring. The outside comes back to life with lots of singing birds and crazy squirrels, but some clean-up operations start happening around the house that I could definitely do without. I wonder when she is going to let me start going outside again. I wonder why she said we were going to have a bath next week?
Never mind that. MacKenzie says it is time for cookies now. He’s such a good brother.
The Mother of Cats says that it is spring today. Spring! The birds are coming back! Yellow Boy and I really like birds. Squirrels, not so much. Birds are awesome, though. And bugs. And snakes. We really like to chase snakes!!
I tried to get the Mother of Cats to let me outside to look for birds this afternoon, but she refused to do it. Something about snow on the ground and too much wind. What a silly Mother of Cats! Doesn’t she understand that it is now spring?
Sunday night I drove home from a visit with my son through a thunder snow storm. If you don’t know about these things, they are pretty exciting. Lightening, thunder, and downpours of snow. So much snow. We had over 6 inches of the heavy slushy stuff before it was over. The cats were in the closet sheltering in place when I got home. Poor things.
The next door neighbors have a dog that has become a ferocious barker over the winter. She even ate a hole in the fence so she can keep a better eye on my yard. Poor cats. It’s going to be a difficult return to the great outdoors when the warm weather arrives.
The snakes are little garter snakes; mostly harmless, but surprisingly fast when a cat is hunting them.