Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A song for the New Year

As you bring in the New Year tonight, I hope your heart is full of Hope for a Peaceful and Wonderful World.

Hugs from all,
Deb, Gary, Kane, Lily (feeling better today :), Sierra, Annie and Audrey.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Catching up and Happy New Year.

Today will be spent at home to give a sore shoulder a rest. After helping move some rather large objects at the property, my shoulder is now protesting and I am on muscle relaxers which, by the way, knock you off your feet. I also want to catch up on grooming the cats and dog. Everyone needs a nail trimming (Sorry, Audrey but that includes you) and I want to keep a close eye on Lily as she is showing signs of her age and becoming more frail. She lives by the gas-stove on her cushions and wakes up on and off to have a bite to eat or use the box. She sleeps most of the day now and her feedings are smaller but more often throughout the day. I also add warm water to her soft food now to get more liquid into her wee body. She still enjoys Annie's company and every day now that we have her in our life I feel is a gift.

Most of the Christmas decor is put away but the little bird tree will stay for awhile longer.
The bright lights and the beautiful birds give you a lift on these cold, wintry days.

Yes, the cold is back (-16C) and those warmer and cloudy days are behind us. I put down a good feed of dry food for the ferals last night. They will have to forego the soft food until the temperatures rise.

Work continues at the property. The retired-guy is there now making plans for the next few weeks. The insulation, walls and floor are to be done next in the mouse- house. We have a keen team that are ready to finish it up even in this cold so I expect this should go quickly. At that point we should be able to get our occupancy permit and will begin the move.

So the new year will bring many changes and lots of excitement for us. I hope to keep posting so I can share our move with you all. I know there will be days when I need your encouragement which is something I have come to realize I can find here. I thank you so much for that.
                                 A mouse for the mouse-house. Thank you, Susan.
"Happy New Year to everyone" and I hope your year is filled with much love and countless blessings. Thank you so much for your friendship throughout the past year.

Please hug your kitties for me
and stay toasty,


Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas without 'my charges'.

A pretty visitor at the feeder.

Although I am not cat-sitting at this time, I'd still like to pass on a 
Cat-tip-for-the -day =^..^=just some cat trivia today.

Here's a real stinker for  you. Did you know that a dominant, aggressive cat will more than likely not cover their business in their litter box. Why? In the wild, a cat leaves its feces out in the open to ward off any predators and show its dominance to other cats. That little house-cat of yours will do the same if it is a dominant cat living in a multi-cat household. Many cats are of a more submissive nature and would never think to leave the box with it's personal business exposed. But not that one with the cat-itude.

If you have been following along with my blog for awhile you 
know that I just recently closed down my cat-sitting service in our town and surrounding areas after twenty years. Over the Christmas season I did do a wee bit of kitty-sitting for friends, who had last minute plans, and that helped me deal with the sting of not seeing my previous kitty-clients over the holidays.  I really missed seeing all my 'charges' who for years kept me hopping from house to house during the Christmas festivities. I thought of them all so much and could visualize them meeting their new cat-sitter at the door; tails up and so happy for the company. Those thoughts were bittersweet. I knew this first Christmas would be a hard one. I missed them so much and hope they all did well and love their new sitter. Each and everyone of them I hold so close to my heart and now I wish them all a long and happy life.
Kitty-client Billy

Stay toasty,

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Welcoming new birds

After a joyful Christmas, I filled the feeders for all the birds at our property.
They deserve lots of treats, too, as they bring such pleasure to all that stop their busyness long enough to enjoy them.

 A Nut-hatch arrived for dinner and to wish us a
Happy New Year 
This is the first one spotted.
and of course, the Chickadee
wouldn't let the day 'fly by' without a proper
Couldn't get a photo of 'the bandits' (squirrels) but they were there, too.

At home, a few new birds joined the others on Audrey's bird tree.

 A beautiful red cardinal
I have yet to see one at our feeders.
These were all gifts from friends and family.

I was very spoiled this Christmas and will take time today to enjoy a new tea that was given to me by one of my cat-sitting clients. I'll give you a review soon.

I love my little tea cupboard in the dining-room and I'm always changing it up.

This little Santa will hang around for awhile and help dress it up for the New Year.

Stay toasty,

Saturday, December 27, 2014

A good Christmas once again.

The retired-guy loves his (bought in Germany by our youngest) garage gifts. We used to own a Volkswagen bus many years ago so this is very appropriate. He also got a beer stein that he will love trying out. Our daughter, Allie, did all her Christmas shopping while visiting Germany last month.
Chocolates for mom.  In English it is 'Cat tongues'.  And many beautiful Christmas ornaments for my tree.

One more photo taken at my son's home yesterday. We all managed to get together and enjoy another feast.

The retired-guy looks pretty proud here.

So, on to a New Year and we continue our work at the property. I think I'll head up there tomorrow and fill the feeders and bring some 'extra treats' for the bandits. The weather is so mild here in Ontario which is great for our furry and feathered friends.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. I felt so blessed to be surrounded by such a great family. I'm not ready to think about New Year's Resolutions yet but that may be because I don't stick to them anyway.

I'll soon post Audrey with her red mouse if I ever find it. For some reason it has disappeared and she's not fessin' up. :))

Stay toasty,

Friday, December 26, 2014

Late Christmas Eve...and all through the house.

Not a creature stirred while I finished up the baking for Christmas dinner.

18 year old Lily by the fire.

Rustic Pumpkin Pies

Ordered by the family. A must have.
Slice it up and add real whipped cream with a dash of cinnamon on top.

Early Christmas morning...
A quiet one with just us and the critters to welcome Christmas.
Gifts were opened while enjoying some hot coffee and biscuits.
Audrey had a blast.

Then off to Gwynn's house for gift-exchange and Christmas dinner.

Chef Mike served a beautiful dinner.
A few treats for Ruby and then, like her, we called it a night.

Today we all gather at my son's for another feast.

We ended the day dropping off a hardy dinner for the ferals.
I am so thankful for them that our weather is mild for this time of year.

Hope everyone had a joyous day.

Stay toasty,

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

From our home to yours, we wish you the most Peaceful and Wonderful Christmas.
May this Christmas season bring you closer to all those that you treasure in your life. 
And may God bless your home with peace, joy, love and wonderful memories of those that are gone but remain in your heart.

Hope Santa is good to you.
We look forward to visiting you in the new year.

Lots of Love,
Deb & Gary
Annie & Audacious Audrey

          "Audrey, get to sleep. Santa has just left for Canada."

The bridge to Helma's & Audrey's Christmas list.

We have been caring for the retired-guy's friend's dog, Helma, over the last few days while he travels overseas. Helma, who is an 85 lb. German Shepherd, stays at her home and the retired guy visits throughout the day and we both are there for her dinner and some tv time each evening. Helma lives on 2 acres with a doggy-door that allows her access to the outdoors throughout the day so she just runs in and out all day long. At night she stays inside on her cushy bed until breakfast the following morning. It's a good set-up for her and she seems to do very well with all her daily visits. She is an amazing guard dog and no critter would dare enter her doggy-door.

On our drive to Helma's house, we cross this little bridge over the Mississippi River that is lit up for Christmas.
It is so pretty in the center of this sleepy little bedroom town. 

Back home, Christmas preparations are all finished and Audrey has left a spot on her favorite couch for Santa to sit and rest a spell. Her Christmas list consists of...
                                                              a red mouse
                                                           (preferably real)

                                             her own knitting bowl fool of wool


                and Joe to be gone with the big guy when she wakes up Christmas morning.


I reminded her that Santa already has a lot to carry on his travels and there is no room for a 12lb, feisty cat in his loot bag. She says he is magical and can handle it. I suppose it will be hard to refuse the charm of this face. Treats will console her if she is disappointed.

Off to deliver gifts then bake the pumpkin pies.
Stay toasty,

Monday, December 22, 2014

Patient pussy-cats

Don't you love Christmas with all it's fun surprises? A package arrived today from the lovely Natalie from Knatolee's World and inside there was a gift for our kitties. Now, around here, everyone has to wait until Christmas morning to open their gifts and that includes the furry ones. But, I have a feeling it is something delicious because it is getting a lot of attention.

Annie knows there is something nummy in there.

Poor Sierra has a long wait yet but she is adament about being first in line.

Thank you so much, Natalie for thinking of us all this Christmas. I am anxious to open my present but will wait right along with the kitties.
If you want to enjoy some time with Natalie and her menagerie drop on over and see what is going on at Natalie and Gordon's ranch.

The stockings were hung on the staircase with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

Won't be long now.

Well, treats are now put up high and out of reach. I knew I couldn't trust the little rascals.

Stay toasty,

Sunday, December 21, 2014

"Good morning."

"Good morning."
How are all your Christmas preparations coming along?
I felt a big "whew!" yesterday as I wrapped up my last gift with my side-kick, Annie aka Peach.
Now it is on to pie-baking & enjoying more movies.

Yesterday morning the sun came out, so while at the property, I walked around to enjoy the birds.

Thought I'd mess with their heads and put a tangerine where the apple goes and an apple on the big bad kitty. 

Absolutely everything gets eaten in a few days. The feeders empty fast. I think I may have raccoons at night coming for food, too.

I have heard that you can tame a chickadee to eat out of your hand.
I'll be working on that this Spring.
There is actually a site that tells you how to do this.

I find them becoming quite tame already. Some stay on the feeder even when I walk up to it.

"Good morning, little chickadee."

Although I'm keeping things simple this year,  I really must do something with my stair-case. Counting down the days now.

Stay toasty, Deb

Saturday, December 20, 2014

All is calm...all is bright & some Christmas memories.

Audrey's tree lay face-down on the floor this morning. My first guess would be Audrey and her arch-enemy, Joe for running through the house at 4am and eventually ending up behind the bird tree. Yes, this is a happening place at the wee hours of the morning. Nothing broken...all is calm, all is bright.

This is a little gift from my oldest daughter. She has spent many hours making tree ornaments this year while her 15-month-old naps. She has used wool, felt or wood. This tiny house she made from of an old wool sweater. :))

Gwynn says "Merry Christmas".
Jess & John on Santa's knee in 1985 in background. 

There are memories of past Christmases that only come to life at this time of year. I often think of how hard my parents worked to give their kids a memorable day. My mother, especially, would spend weeks preparing for the holidays. It's nice just to sit still and reminisce about those family times. I was the youngest of three and there was eight years between each of us. Needlesstosay, we didn't grow up 'close' but we always loved family time together. Mom always decorated the tree on Christmas eve night after we were all asleep. The rest of the house would be decorated for weeks ahead but the Christmas tree was only to make it's debut on Christmas morning. It was beautiful; loaded with lights and heavy with ornaments. It made Christmas morning all that more exciting. The stockings that hung on the old fire-place would be loaded with treats and a doll or stuffed animal for me and something special for the others peaking out the top. I still remember getting a little sewing machine that actually worked. I don't look too excited but I really was. I had lots of fun with it. :) Still, today I can't sew for beans.
The dr's kit gave me the opportunity to operate on my cats. I'm sure you're thinking, "Did she get scissors and have a go at her bangs? No, that was my mother's doing."

After all the hoopla of opening gifts and tasting special treats, my poor mother would be exhausted after staying up way past her bedtime the night before. Still,  she would get through the day, serve a beautiful turkey dinner with my dad's help and then fall asleep in her favorite chair knowing we were all happy and content. She made the day memorable and was an amazing mom.

I love to think back to when my three were little and all the excitement around Santa arriving on our roof-top.
We always hung the stockings at the fire-place but one year my daughter asked if they could hang their stockings on their bed-posts. They had seen that in a little Christmas story book and thought that would be really exciting to change it up a bit. My son looked at me oddly, he was five at the time, but agreed to do just like his sisters. Well, Christmas morning found me and their dad able to sleep in just a little longer because stockings were opened and the three of them sat on one bed admiring their loot before dashing down to the tree.
Later that morning my five year old son took me aside and said, "Mommy, I think I would rather have my stocking at the fire-place for Santa to fill at Christmas." I asked him why and he said shyly, "I just don't like having a strange man in my room." :)) So, that was the end of the bed- post stockings.

Christmas and memories seem to go hand in hand. Hope you are enjoying some of your favorite ones.

Stay toasty,

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

'Deck" the tree with bells and oranges

The birds at the property are taken care of for another few days.
I added a few extra tid-bits and some oranges for the orioles, cardinals & wood-peckers  seeing it is the holidays.
 They deserve a little Christmas decor added to their eating area for the holidays. A little jingle bell wreath should catch their interest. And look who made an appearance just to check things out.

The chickadees were  happy for a full buffet. If you look to the right you can see a little gold finch.

I saw what might have been 'fox tracks' at the lot today. This might be interesting. :)

My mother's maiden name was Fox.

With Christmas fast approaching we will close up the mouse-house for now and resume building at the beginning of the new year. It is time for a break. With little left to do, the apt. will be finished mid-January. It is a mouse-house, afterall.

The weather has been very dull here; damp, dark and rainy. We did get a lot of snow today, though, so just maybe it will be a white Christmas.
It's a good week to watch a few Christmas movies with a mug of hot chocolate. So far we have enjoyed...

It's a Wonderful Life 
Home Alone
Christmas Vacation
The Family Stone - The usual story about all the craziness in a family over the Christmas season. This is a good movie that will pull at your heart-strings.

White Christmas
is next.

My daughter sent this photo to me to be framed. Little Gwynn with Nana and Gramps.
                                    Our little pink cup-cake.
Are you ready for Christmas?

Heavens....I'm not!

Stay toasty,