Thursday, October 19

Mama Kat Thursday: Don't Spook the Cat

The Mama Kat writing prompt today is on the topic of, "Write about the last thing that spooked...your pet."

This is our cat, Sunni.
She's exclusively an indoor cat.(Because fleas will bite Hubby and we can't have that)
Sunni is very companionable and has us well trained. She sits at the table with us for dinner, then runs to the bedroom and "calls" for one of us to come make a "cave" for her in a blanket, so she can get in it and be covered up.
Her one penchant is she doesn't like other cats. She doesn't even like seeing one walking around in her range of sight outside.
 Several neighbors have outdoor/indoor cats and they walk through my yard; sometimes even approaching the sliding glass door to peer within.
Sunni flattens as low as she can and watches them intently till they leave. If they get too close to the sliding glass door, she'll sniff loudly and growl and even yowl menacingly at them.

Currently, with the A/C off because of the nice weather, we have the screen door glass pane a quarter open, which exposes the screen allowing fresh air in. We also have a friendly neighbor cat who likes to come by for a little nibble of food and attention.
Cats are mooches like that; they're grazers who like to eat a little here and there all day and he's such a sweet boy. He's all black and and quite the talker.
Anyway, the other night he came to the door for some food and Hubby, as he often does, took a handful out for him.
Sunni heard him meowing and put her paws on the metal part of the door to look out the screen.
I could hear her sniffing and snorting as she stared outside at this black intruder.
Hubby was going to come back inside, so I picked Sunni up around the middle under her arms to lift her away from the door.
She was so focused on hating that other cat, my picking her up caught her by surprise, spooking the hiss and yowl she'd been saving up for the black cat right out of her.  
I set her feet down again and fur was still a touch ruffled with indignation over the other cat. She went under the coffee table to calm down for a few minutes.
Then, when she came out, she was her sweet self, like nothing had happened.
*****
So what was the last thing that spooked you?


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Wednesday, October 18

Garden Pic Wednesday: Fall Red Salvia!

This is the time of year my Red Saliva recover from the heat of summer and put on a show until it freezes!
I have lots of orange Marigolds and pink & yellow 4 O'Clocks adding brightness to autumn, too!


Today, I planted that Dwarf Butterfly Bush that came in the mail recently. I also moved a Bridal Veil shrub to a new spot, since it wasn't doing well where it was.
Hopefully it will take off and really look good there! 
Bridal Veils bushes have long arching branches that get covered with small, white flower clusters in spring, thus giving them the name.
I also moved planted a pink Lantana I hadn't gotten around to planting until now and moved several small volunteer Mexican Heathers. Both the Lantana and the Mexican Heathers are along the new edge of the back bed I enlarged slightly.

Thursday, October 12

Mama Kat Thursday: The Big Win

The Mama Kat writing prompt today is, "You won an award sometime in your life...what was it for?"

After the military I went to a two-year college to study Commercial Art. During the course of that study, our instructor presented us with an class project for the Indiana State Fair. They wanted to decorate their Pioneer Building on the State Fair Grounds in Indianapolis with 6 symbolic logos representing topics like Agriculture, Industry, Hoosier Travel and so on.
It was a class contest and the State Fair committee would select the winning design.

Indiana State Fair Grounds
Now the Indiana State Fair is a massive affair. It's huge. 
It has two sides with a horse track in the middle.
This photo shows the main side that includes the Coliseum, numerous permanent barns for livestock and horses plus the permanent exhibit halls that showcase exhibits, like 4-H projects from clubs all over the state.

The other side of the grounds was called the  "Pioneer Village" and featured agricultural displays, native wild animal & snake exhibits, steam tractors, pioneer exhibits and so on.
This red Pioneer Farm Building pictured is where the winning art exhibit was going to be displayed.

I won that contest.
My logos were picked for use at the State Fair. My award was seeing my artwork screen printed and hung all over the Pioneer Building ceiling!
For my Travel logo design I put the torch and stars emblem from the Indiana State Flag on a travel bag and I think that's what gave me the win.
That was in 1981.
*******
What was the last award you won?

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And if you've never seen a Steam Tractor in action, here's a video form YouTube! 
My Dad loved these things and I got to see a lot of them! They're so amazing. They plowed America's heartland and harvested her crops from the late 19th century into the early 20th century. Those who have them, love them and still use them.


Wednesday, October 11

Garden Pic Wednesday: Turning Nature Into Garden Art

This pine tree stump is out front in a flower bed next to my Gardenia bush.  When we bought this house, this pine was about 7 inches in diameter; 28 years later, it was this:


3 years ago I had it cut down and used it as a nice place to set a large container garden.
 But termites and moisture did their work, eating it away and, suddenly, this summer I find my container garden flopped over sideways in a hole in the stump. 
I moved the container garden to a spot in the ground among the day lilies, then filled that stump hole with dirt and planted it with 
Chinese Stonecrop and Hen & Chick succulents---turning nature into garden art!
The succulents will eventually take over and be quite attractive.

Here's the container in it's new location:
It will be much happier here I think. Gladiola bulbs surround that bamboo stake and maybe they'll bloom better. A Dusty Miller and Creeping Jenny are planted on top.



Funny Pampas Bent By Hurricane Nate:
Our area only got gusts of wind and some rain from the eastern-most outer band of Nate and it left this Pampas Grass with it's plumes all bent in the direction of the wind, East-Northeast.
Also you can see how pretty the blue sky looked this morning!


That and a litter of broken bits and pieces of branches and pine cones over the yard was all storm left behind.
 The pine trees are rife with pine cones this time of year and we could hear them hitting the roof periodically all night. Thump. Thump-thump. Thump.
The power also went out for a couple hours during the wee hours. We have fans running in the bedroom and I guess my subconscious recognizes the sudden silence, as I (a heavy sleeper) abruptly woke up. It was pitch black in the house. No street light outside casting a dim glow through the windows. No ambient electronic lights. 
But the power-out could've easily just been the casual result of a squirrel getting into a transformer someplace.  We had a similar power out several weeks ago during the night for 2 or 3 hours and the weather was clear.

Thursday, October 5

Mama Kat Thursday: Another Hobby?

The Mama Kat blog writing prompt for today is, "What new hobby or activity would start--if you had the time?"

Vintage Kenmore just like I use.
I grew up with the idea that having a hobby---many hobbies even, was normal.
Mother sewed, gardened and did all sorts of crafts. She was artistic. I remember her drawing original paper dolls with sets of beautiful clothing for me to play with when I was small.
Dad enjoyed hobby carpentry. He's created gifts of wood for us. I still have the sewing box he built for me that holds all my small sewing accessories.  He, too, gardened---mostly flower beds full of Gladiolas, Dahlias and Cannas.
So naturally my sisters and I became hobby people, too. 

I learned to sew at age 10 for 4-H. I used to sew clothing for myself all through high school, in the Air Force and for a long while after I was married. I often made things like curtains, too, but gradually more hobbies came into my life, especially after we bought a house. Gardening & yard work for one. (Hubby has allergies to the outside.) Painting and decorating for another.
Then in the mid-90's, I started working as a florist.
Still bitten by a creative bug, in 2000, I took up a new hobby:  fan-fiction writing. I learned to build websites to post it on and had tons of fun. 

But no time for sewing.
Seventeen years passed and in 2011, I suddenly had to quit the florist job due to unexpected allergies to a new floor.
At that point I started working for myself at home as a graphic designer and with that came lifestyle blogging. Both things are creative kinds of "work" I can do as I like, but they do require steady working at.

Then, two years ago, Hubby and I took up playing Star Wars: The Old Republic game online in the evenings, which has, happily, re-ignited my writing muse and I've started giving writing 30 minutes here and there. I may even get back to older, unfinished writing projects.

My schedule is quite flexible and Hubby and I are in the office on our computers together in the evenings, so daytime is best for me for doing outside stuff and evening is good for computer things, though I generally inter-mingle outside tasks with computer things throughout my day while he's working.

But back to the question of "what hobby would I like to do, if I had the time?"
Sewing.
 I'd love to sew a few clothes for myself, like I used to. Though, that would require a major investment in new patterns, since I don't foresee myself ever being size 12 again.
 Unfortunately, that hobby also involves having a big mess on the dining table for at least a week and needing to clean everything up for guests every Sunday makes that awkward. Plus it takes hours of time, even for the simplest pattern.
That's why clothes sewing isn't happening.
(The photo of the sewing machine above, by the way, is the exact model I use. It's vintage 70's. I bought it used in 1976 for $75.)
I find winter is a good time for more sedentary hobbies. I do already have fabric for kitchen curtains on hand--I may consider getting to it while it's cold. 
We shall see. 
****
What hobby do you wish you had time for?


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