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Saturday, December 7, 2019

December days.

Our fall came in with a blast of snow and it settled for weeks. Then, just as November came to a close, our snow had all melted away.
But it is once again a winter wonderland here in Eastern Ontario, Canada.

How is everyone? I have been busy as you all are with end of summer cleanup and all the fall raking that goes along with living on a property surrounded by maple trees.

I am still feeding my many critters in the woodlot and will continue until I no longer can get back there with the deep snow.
By then the chips and squirrels will be hibernating, thank goodness.

We have an abundance of birds this year at our new feeder, the home-made log cabin.
And I am happy I put it just outside the bedroom window as the cats perch on their posts  or stand at the sliding doors and watch them for hours. Can you believe that is Cora on the right? She has doubled in size and is becoming a beautiful cat.

I am slowly getting ready for Christmas.






 I have been nominated to hold Christmas Day dinner here and I am so delighted. Although...lots to do.
It will be the first Christmas in our new home and I can't wait.
We have been busy getting the loft ready for gift-opening around the tree. There is still some pine to add to the slanted ceiling but it will all get done, fingers crossed.

I am no dummy when it comes to cats and having little Cora experience her first Christmas with us has made me be very particular about what ornaments to place on our tree.
If they are woodland critters and made of wood, fabric or wool they will don the tree this year.
So far so good. She loves to lie under the tree and look up. Maybe the odd nibble happens on a branch, but all in all she is being amazingly good. I just want her to have fun.

Today, she was quite content at the kitchen sink helping grandson get the dishes done. :) =^..^=


It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.
And it is a wonder-full time of year.

I hope you are enjoying this time of year. I know it can be very hard for many people; my friend being one.
Tragically, she lost her son this year at 27 years of age. For her, Christmas will be a struggle as her grief is still so new.
I pray that she will find some peace being surrounded by her loving family and close friends. I know she and her son will be close to my heart this year.

Enjoy these busy days ahead.

hugs, Deb



Tuesday, October 29, 2019

National Cat Day

 "Happy National Cat Day"
Cora wishes all you fabulous felines a great day.

Three spoiled kitties here just might have had some roast chicken with dinner tonight. :-)

hugs, Deb

Monday, September 23, 2019

Here comes fall.

Thank you for all the lovely and sincere messages about our dear little Audrey. I was really happy to read that so many of you remembered her, missed her and mentioned her funny little ways that you found endearing. The cat of a hundred faces, she was called. 
All of our cats and dogs are precious and we miss them terribly when they pass on.  We don't like to think we had 'favorites' but one might stand out from the rest for it's affection, it's neediness or it's quirky little ways. Audrey was that cat for me. I remember every little look, her disgust for my camera, her stare when she needed my attention, her 'wonder' of anything new in her path.
She was loving and gave the best little hugs one day and just stared at you with disgust on her face the next. She made me laugh. Audrey was a cat's cat and loved her mom, Annie. But her mom was a 'mommy dearest' so she could never be sure of the reception.  I bonded even stronger with her for that reason alone.  And when she became ill I never left her side. 
Her passing hit me harder than I expected. After living and losing many cats over the years you think you can handle it, be strong and accept the loss but her illness came out of nowhere and she was far too young. I still get teary just thinking of her and I miss her every day.

Your comments made me smile, though. Thank you again for your kindness.
xo


Fall weather is here and so much is happening at Fox Grove. Outdoor construction of our deck and chimney is going on presently along with the necessity to get the wood-burning stove ready and waiting for what's to come.

I'm hoping for a rain-free weekend ahead so the guys can finish the deck.  We have lots of wood to burn inside and out and because of a few trees being taken down this summer (time-consuming but necessary) we will have lots for next year, too.

I have been working with the new chickadees that have arrived...
Here is the first brave one. :) Gorgeous little thing.

Cora is all that we hoped for and we adore her. 'We" includes Wilson who is enamored with this little gal and follows her around all the day long. He has trained her to be on the look-out for those dastardly crows. She copies everything he does.
 Annie is calming down and spending more time in the same area with her (if only she would not play with her tail). So our new family member has settled in. 



Pooped out




The maples and sumacs are just beginning to dress
up for autumn.


And the inside is looking Fallish, too.

I baked pumpkin bread today. One for us and one for you. :-)

Thanks for dropping by.
Annie found my fall mat and thought it complimented her markings. 
Deb xo

Friday, September 13, 2019

Remembering my Audrey

Audrey would have been eight today. She was taken from us with a brain tumor at the age of six and a half. I don't think I will ever get over her loss; much too young, much too soon.
She is missed every day.
xo

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Little changes at Fox Grove

For John...I watched the green heron walk into the wood-lot and was quite sure
that it was not hurt. I have since looked for him there but no sign. I find it odd that he was in the sumac but they do hang out in trees, I am told.
They nest in trees, too.

Well, here I am again getting way behind in my posts. It's obvious that I found this to be one of the busiest summers ever. And here it is September and today the sun is setting at 7pm. 

I have a new family member to introduce to everyone.
Meet our little Cora.
                                               Lady Cora

Cora (known as Belle at Bee Meadow Farm) has come home to be a little sister to Annie and Wilson.
Well...that's what the plan was. Our Wilson has had quite the time of it trying to figure out just what the purpose of this kitten is and what his role is with her.
Is she a toy? nope
His girlfriend. NO!
His BFF (since Annie can take her or leave her, the latter preferably.)
His baby?
Well, baby it is. He is actually acting like a mother cat with Cora: calling (with a new voice by the way), washing, sleeping and eating with her and protecting her from Annie's predictable hisses.
As my friend from Henny Penny Lane would say..."he's a mess." lol
But he's in love and that's all that matters.
Annie will take a bit more time to, at the most, tolerate her. 

Fall is showing up at Fox Grove inside and out.

Although we still have work on the loft to do, the work has been taken outside to get the deck on before winter.

Gramps and 6 year old grandson.
Our son

And we had 'the boys' in the family rolling up their sleeves and measuring, cutting and drilling (and apparently our three year old grandson was raking but I'm not sure what that was all about :-)
until a good portion of the deck was on. More to come.

My garden has been put to bed but I still visit Tao the tree-frog each day in his birdhouse since he kept me company all through the hot summer days.

I'd say it is soon time for him to find a warm and appropriate place for the winter. I do hope he returns again in the spring as he has been with us for a few years now. Much like Simon the chip was.

I've been busy with my cat-sitting service all summer but will save a few of my fabulous felines to show you for another post.


Be well,
Deb


Friday, August 9, 2019

Simon

If you have been a reader of this blog you will remember Simon. I want to let everyone know that our dear little Simon never surfaced from his den this spring/summer. I watched for him daily and left his favorite treats at the front hole where I last saw him in November. But we have not seen hide nor hair of him all summer. :-(
Simon was our trained chipmunk who would show up when called, follow me to the gardens and watch from the fence post and he kept us entertained with his silly antics with his chipmunk friends. He made a den 4 years ago under my grandmothers' old well pump and there he would be every spring to live another summer and fall with us taking care of his every need. lol
I miss him. But I have learned that they only live 5 years so I guess the little monkey had a full life.
There are lots of new chippies here and I love watching them at the feeders filling their mouths 'til they almost burst and running about like lunatics. They really are so cute. Perhaps some are off-spring of Simon's; I would guess they are. And a few have found the den opening at the pump and are starting to stock up their pantries for winter. Just like Simon did. 
I don't think that little fella knew he was only a chipmunk. He needed company and enjoyed being around us. He reminded me of the kitten that looks in the mirror and sees a lion looking back.
Simon had a big personality. 
That is him in my header. :-)

So farewell to little Simon. I have had a few tears over losing him and now I have stopped watching for him and I hope that there will be a little Simon who will make himself present and perhaps be a 'chip' off the old block.
We will welcome you. :-)

Rest in Peace, Simon.

Deb


Well, hello there.

This morning's garden visitor.

With coffee in hand, I walked to the garden this morning to check out how the tomatoes were coming along. A noise from above my head and near the entrance to the wood-lot got my attention.
This guy fell out of a sumac tree with a thud and landed only a few feet from me. :-[
We both stood very still, only my heart pounding and his head rotating to get his where-abouts.

He was about  two and a half feet tall and very beautiful.
He stared at me, stayed long enough for a photo and then off through the wood-lot he went.
I think it was a Green Heron; perhaps a juvenile. What was he doing up in a sumac tree?
Does anyone recognize this bird?

Deb



Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Welcoming August

I love August. The days are warm and bright and the evenings cool.
The gardens are usually at their best if the weather has been good. We are having a dry-spell at the moment so sprinklers are needed this month. My garden is small this year and we are enjoying everything we harvest; tomatoes, lettuce, broccoli.
yellow beans & zucchini. It's all delicious.

And we have raspberries from my grandmother's bush (over 75 years old) and one that we planted last year. These were enjoyed over ice-cream.


Wilson has no interest in our harvest.
This is where I find him after a full day of helping the retired-guy. Right now they are bricking the fireplace.



We have many family birthdays this month; one being my first-born. She is 37 this year. Goodness...how has that happened so fast. I guess we parents ask ourselves often when our children become adults and eventually have families of their own just where have the years gone. Oh well, beats the alternative.

Our little family of house wrens left the nest yesterday. Once again I missed their departure and will miss them terribly. We presently do not have any nests in our houses. :-( I'm hoping any bird that is always late for the show decides to have a go at late summer nesting. I sure miss the sound of mama wren calling from her roof-top.


I am waiting anxiously for our chickadees to return. That's another thing I love about August.  We don't see one chickadee all summer as they leave our area to nest. I believe they go into the bush and nest in the cedars and maples. They never use our houses (we have nine) like the house wrens and swallows. They will soon return and bring along their young to our feeders.
When I hear that first "chickadee-dee-dee" it's like welcoming back an old friend. And there's no bird cuter than a baby chickadee.

I hope your August is going well. I'll be busy cat-sitting for the end-of-summer travellers. It's always a busy time for pet-sitters.
I'll have some beauties to show off. :-)

be kind, Deb









Monday, July 29, 2019

As July moves on...

I thought I'd better put a post up before the whole month has gone. How we are heading into August already baffles me but here we are.

My little tree swallows have gone. They left their nest two weeks ago and as always, I missed their first flight.
We've had two families of swallows but I never seem to be around when mom gives the babes the heave-ho.
 Oh well, I so enjoyed watching them grow and have such respect for these mama birds that work so hard to keep them fed in our summer heat. It's been ghastly.
Right now we have a family of house wrens nesting behind our house and it has been wonderful to have them so close. I love the song of the wren and she sings her head off many times throughout the day. I find myself hoping for cooler days just for them. Can you imagine how hot it is in a birdhouse in +40C temperatures. 

My little veggie garden is doing ok. We have harvested broccoli, lettuce and zucchini so far. All delicious raw and cooked.  It's been a struggle to keep it going with the excessive heat and mosquitoes and it is not my prettiest garden, that's for sure. The weeds can surely get away on you when you only last a few minutes before you run screaming and swatting like a mad woman.
But still we don't complain too much because we remember vividly the longest coldest winter on record that we just lived through. Give me spring and fall. :-)

We have not moved in to the new house yet but seem to be in it more than not. The cats spend most of their time there and are enjoying the extra-wide sills on the windows that have been built just for them. Bird-watching has become a sport for them. Presently, the guys are finishing up the installation of the wood-stove and mantel; a must for the cold days ahead.
And the stair posts and rails that lead to the loft go in this week.  
This has been quite the project. Exhausting and exciting.



Here's a few photos of late here at Fox Grove...

Our little House Wren family




If it wasn't for their rumbling tummies they would never leave here.


"CROWS"

Lemon Cranberry Scones
Not home-made because it's too darn hot.

Yep...he had a bite. Well...because I can't resist that face.


I hope everyone is doing well. 
It's been so chaotic around here this summer with the house, landscaping, family get-together's and cat-sitting
that my blog has been sadly neglected. I hope August is a little less fast-paced and I can find more time to write. I'm off to visit your blogs. :-) 

Take care,
Deb

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Spring brings much life to Fox Grove

There are babies all over Fox Grove; fox, squirrels, tree swallows, house wrens and chipmunks.





Mama house wren


Pa & ma tree swallow
 And I know by all the noise in our maples that we have blue jays nesting up there along with black crows. Yesterday I spotted two baby piliated wood peckers.
The woodpile behind the veggie garden is full of chipmunk nests and I hear babies 'chirping' in the wood-lot but have no idea what they are. It's like a maternity wing around here.

And my tree frog, Tao, is back in his bird house and settled right in.
Look up.
 I really hope he stays all summer. He is comic relief. He loves to watch me garden
and yes, I talk to him. :))) He moves his head from side to side when I do.
So he has an identity crisis. 



We have a lone wild turkey living in our woodlot and sleeping in the trees.
She is alone and that bothers me. So, I have adopted her in the way that I feed her daily and refer to her as Thelma. I feel sorry for her as I expect she has been shunned from her flock for some reason. Last fall we had many flocks of wild turkeys feeding here and now we have one lone female. Something happened. She is very nervous when she sees anyone and will run towards the woodlot only to return in a few hours to the feeders again. I put apples and seed out for her at dinner-time each and every evening so she can depend on something. I hope she finds a mate unless this is her preferred life-style. lol

The summer is when I enjoy displaying my pottery in my cluttered country cottage china cupboard. And hopefully find a few more lovely pieces on our excursions.


Our lilac season is nearing the end. It's been wonderful having these beautiful and fragrant blossoms to enjoy.

And these two are doing great.
Annie's health is good and Wilson has a love for life.
And we sure love them.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone.

be kind,
Deb