Yesterday I was surprised by good friends with a new mailbox. It is absolutely magnificent and I smile every time I see it. I’m sure it will serve me with much joy for many years.
This all began when I had become frustrated with a leaking mailbox several years ago. At that point, another friend built a “house” cover over it using scraps of painted wood left over from my home remodel. That solution worked reasonably well, but over the intervening years what was meant to be a temporary solution weathered and began looking very sad.
I then asked my very dear friends, Paul and Anja, if they could come up with a solution, something that would be practical but also whimsical, serving as a landmark for my home. But little did I ever imagine what a wonderful solution they would come up with. They really went way above and beyond anything I could have envisioned. Paul installed it yesterday and it is just perfect! Many thanks and I’m so very fortunate to have such wonderful friends!
On Saturdays I do the majority of my weekly chores, which include changing my sheets. This morning one of my kittens, Emmett, discovered that there are drawers under my bed. Calliope has already found this and she enjoys helping me by climbing into the drawer where I keep my clean sheets. Once inside the drawer she can than climb over the back of the drawer and hence under the bed. I then leave the drawer open while I put on the clean sheets, making sure that I don’t bump into it until she decides to leave.
This morning Emmett decided to check things out. He climbed into the drawer and then went no farther, I expect, because he didn’t want to approach Calliope.
After awhile, both cats left and I completed making my bed. But Emmett wasn’t done yet. He returned and proceeded to hunt for the drawer. First he went under my quilt, making my freshly made bed look as if it had been slept in. The bulge in the photo is Emmett.
He scurried all around under the quilt searching for the drawer. Finally, he came out and went to the corner of the drawer which had previously been open and he spent a long time trying to open it. He didn’t succeed this morning, but I’m sure he will eventually! He’s a very clever kitty.
My day is off to a lovely start. As I have mentioned, I’ve recently added catios to my home to give my cats the option of going outside in a safe environment (safe for them as well as the birds). I now have three catios with connecting tunnels and I will eventually have more as catios are addicting for both me and my cats. But more on that another day.
I began my day with my morning shower (and for those who may not know, I have an outdoor shower) during which I got to watch Emmett (one of my two kittens) in my largest catio as he in turn watched a black-capped chickadee in the birdbath. Then both Emmett and I noticed a squirrel on a nearby fence. It was magical to think that all of us could safely enjoy each other on a gorgeous sunny morning.
A little later, after I’d feed all my fur friends, I saw that Foxy, my lovely black cat, was outside in the large catio and she was staring at me, meowing, and so I went out into the catio to spend time with her. Emmett soon joined us. Both Foxy and Emmett are snuggle bunnies, and the three of us had a lovely time, watching the activities of primarily birds in my back yard, and getting lots of petting time before I left them to enjoy their world as I tutored my first student of the day.
I love this time of year. Everything is bursting with new growth and my very favorites are my baby (and not so baby) volunteer firs, followed closely by my volunteer poppies. The poppies are bright yellow and look very cheery; the new growth on the firs is so very soft and fluffy.
Meanwhile, my morning was brightened even more when, as I was looking out my bedroom window while I brushing my teeth, I caught sight of a cute chipmunk. We don’t have a lot chipmunks so sighting one is a relatively rare occurrence. I couldn’t get a photo of the chipmunk, but I was able to follow her/his progress through my front yard.
Our weather is also starting to get warmer and drier. The weather people say that we should now have ten days or so of warm, sunny weather, something we haven’t seen for quite awhile. I’m sure this will please my cats as they enjoy their new outdoor enclosed catios.
I enjoy putting jigsaw puzzles together. I find it very relaxing and my fur friends and I have come to an agreement about my puzzles–when I’m not working on them, I cover them with a large piece of plexiglass so the cats can’t flip the pieces on the floor for the dogs to chew on. I also tutor at the table (with the plexiglass) and my students enjoy seeing the changing backdrop for their work.
One of my latest puzzles was a collage of the titles of many of The Hardy Boy mysteries and that brought back memories of when I was in sixth grade, sick in bed for a week with strep throat, and I discovered those books. Until then, I hadn’t been a really avid reader, but for some reason, be it boredom or whatever, I fell in love with those books. That was the start of my love of reading and while no one would ever call those books great, they were the trigger for me, and I’ve never looked back.
My kittens are nearly 9 months old and they are certainly enjoying my catios. They race in and out of the big one all night long, chasing each other. Oh, to have so much energy! This morning they were sitting together watching the birds, Emmett on the left and Ghost on the right. They look so sweet. It really makes me happy to see them enjoying themselves.
My second catio (an enclosed patio designed for cats) was built yesterday. It’s quite a bit smaller than my first one (which I’ll post photos of in another post) and this one was designed for my sweet Foxy, being located off her purple alcove. The two people building it arrived yesterday at 8:30am and didn’t finish until after 10pm, so it was a long and noisy day, but this morning, my kittens, first Emmett and then Ghost, checked it out and then I was thrilled to find that Foxy came out to examine it thoroughly. This was her first venture into one of my catios, although she’d enjoyed the catio at the shelter where she’d lived for two years before I adopted her. You can just spot her near the top of the photo below, just to the right of the pink tunnel. You can also see Emmett off to the left in the tunnel, returning back inside.
My two kittens, Emmett and Ghost, provide a seemingly endless amount of entertainment. Earlier today, they wrestled, as they frequently do, but with a twist. Emmett managed to get under the fabric covering one of my couches (notice all the wrinkles and bumps) and Ghost pounced on top of him. There really are two kittens in the photo, even if you can only see one. Life certainly is never dull with the two of them stirring things up.
I woke up this morning as sunrise and opened my eyes to find one of my sweet kittens, Ghost, staring at me. It was a very lovely way to begin the last day of my spring break. Today I finished piecing the quilt top for the graduation quilt I’m making and now I’ll spend my afternoon quietly working on a shaped dolphin puzzle before making I hope an early night, so I will be ready for the start of the last nine weeks of the school year.
Today is my 8th anniversary as a quilter. Eight years ago today I walked into Island Quilter and said, “I want to learn to quilt.” I needed an artistic outlet and I’d been inspired by a quilt exhibit I’d seen at the library. The lady who ran the store, someone who has become one of my dearest friends, named Anja, told me that she was planning to offer a beginning class soon. But I said, in my usual way, that I wanted to learn right then and there.
Anja smiled and soon I’d been set up with a simple pattern along with some great fun fabric. Over the next few days, I completed the steps along the way, went back to the store for more advice from Anja and her partner, Paul, and finally had my first completed quilt.
Currently, I have now completed 338 quilts, most of which have been donated to islanders in need or Children’s Hospital in Seattle. I also give quilts to my students when they graduate. Quilting has brought me great joy, and it also introduced me to Anja and Paul. I can’t imagine what my life would have been without them. So I’m very happy to have discovered the love of quilting.
My photo shows the quilt I made for my bed, along with two of my cats, Emmett on the left and Calliope on the far right. And today I will spend time piecing the top to the graduation quilt I’m making this spring, thankful that this year only one of my students is graduating. Last year most of my students graduated, which is always bittersweet–happy for their achievement, but sad to see them go. This year, most of my students will be returning.