Saturday, 29 September 2018

Frozen water running

It has been quite chilly here, with temperatures a good 10 degrees or more below normal. And wet. September has been the wettest month in the past 2 years. Pretty horrible timing, Mother Nature, as farmers has more than one million acres yet to harvest!! This could potentially be economically catastrophic for them, and then for us at the grocery store.

This morning Pips yelled at me for a good 10 minutes before I agreed to go outside. I had worked a double yesterday (16 hours) and am physically tired today so all I really wanted to do was sit in my recliner with my feet up, enjoying my coffee. But I eventually relented, because that cat is very persistent and once she's had some outside time, she is content.

So once outside, I swept leaves away from the step (the trees are nowhere near finished dropping them) to prevent some from being tracked into the house, and noticed the rain chain still had water dribbling down it. (The eavestroughs, or gutters are they are often known, are full of leaves now, which slows the drainage of water.) Here is a little video I made.

That's Pips now yelling at me to let her back in the house, because she is cold. It was 4C and felt like 1C. She lasted about 5 minutes! Such a wimp. ;-)

Saturday, 8 September 2018


Heard on "Because News", a CBC Radio program, "Couldn't we just drug Trump and put him in a big building that looks like the White House and hire a whole bunch of actors to play the staff? Couldn't we just Truman Show him?"

I think that's just perfect!

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Under the sea?

A year (or two?) ago, an old maple tree in my yard had died and was cut down. The stump was taken to ground level and just sat there.

This year, it decided to let a conglomerate of fungi take up residence on the cut surface.

I find it very reminiscent of things that live in coral reefs! Fungus comes in so many forms. Very fascinating!

I am not sure how to get rid of this, as I don't really need it spreading to the nearby old but still living maple trees. Google, here I come!

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Brief visit, and the kitten

I came home from work yesterday, and this lovely Monarch butterfly landed on the fence just outside the gate. It stayed just long enough for me to snap a photo.

I find it fascinating that these fragile creatures migrate thousands of kilometers/miles to Mexico to winter. They seem so erratic in their flight that I don't really grasp how they do that!

All the same, it is wonderful to see them in fairly large numbers up here in Canada every summer.

In kitten news, Aska has taken over the cat cave bed thingy, as she can now jump up on the furniture. She is growing! A very active kitty, she often ignores the food I put down for her, as she feels running and playing and chasing little mouse toys much more important than eating. *sigh* Between her ignoring her food, and Miss Pickypants (aka Pips) turning up her nose, feeding time is a challenge. But Aska is still a good weight, and continues to thrive, so it can't be a bad thing.

For your viewing pleasure, (or maybe not... you can ignore these if you so desire) here are some videos.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Expanded Universe

Aska, the newest kitten, is ~8 weeks old now. She is not longer a scrawny, skinny, ribs-sticking-out kinda kitty. She has filled out and has a bit of a pudgy kitten belly, which is how she should be. Yay! She eats really well and it now shows.

I decided, since she is now a healthy normal kitten, and is really active and playing like mad, that it was time to expand her tiny universe and let her have access to more of the house.

Now, my house has a basement but there is no way to close it off from a tiny 2 lb kitten. There is no door to the basement, only full access to the stairs, and there is the danger of climbing through the wrought iron railing from the kitchen that open over the stairs, and plummeting down into the depths to (more than likely) get broken on the stairs... or worse! Plus there are things and spaces in the basement that a pipsqueak of a kitten could get stuck in, or hurt by, or somehow difficult for me to rescue. So I had to devise a barrier.

I have a wooden pet gate at the edge of the kitchen where the stairs start that is an accordion style gate and it works well to keep dogs from the basement. Where the cats' litter box resides. My sister brings her dog over, and when I had Teak, it worked like a charm to keep dog snoots out of the box, chowing down as they are wont to do. *ew* It has many openings in it that a kitten fits through so that won't do.

So I used one of the old doors that I had pulled out when I demo'd the basement. I cut it down to 40" high, and put a 8" wide board along the top for the big cats to use as a landing pad when they jump up. I cut the corners off the board to allow for unimpeded opening and closing (otherwise it would be going nowhere!).

My house was built in the mid 50s and the door trim is curved, so I had to bend and hammer the hinges to follow that curve. Not a difficult task. Clamped one side of each hinge to the workbench in the basement, used a piece of door trim as the mold, and hammered the desired curve into the other side of the hinge. Worked perfectly!

So I have the big litter box upstairs for now, as Lila thinks she is too fat to jump up on the gate and I want Aska to start getting used to it. She was pretty skittery at first when she started exploring the living room, but was running around playing in no time! Right now, she is back on the cat tree in the front room, having a much needed nap.