Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hallowe'en is here again!

I saw the yellow moon slowly rising late last night - clouds skipped across its surface, and the wind carried a few remaining autumn leaves through the air. A new neighbour was burning brush earlier in the evening, calling to mind Pagan autumn rituals of old. Hallowe'en time has definitely come!

Candy: check.
Pumpkin (a plug in kind): check
Clean and neat front door area: check
Hallowe'en pumpkin earrings: wearing
Welcoming smile: ready to go

Yup, I'm ready! I'm leaving the candy packed until about 4 o'clock - getting it out early just leads to a candy lunch, candy mid-afternoon snack, candy supper - you get the idea. :D

Kids usually start to arrive after 5 o'clock - I really look forward to seeing the costumes every year! I saw one of the little wee ones on our street (she's about as big as a minute) trying out her costume the other day - a little ladybug! It was all I could do not to run over squealing with glee! Adorable.

Even with all the premade costumes available now, kids can still be very creative - I remember one year a group of girls came dressed as "the farm": one girl was the farmer, with cute freckles painted on her face, her hair in braids, wearing a cowboy hat and overalls, and one of the other girls was dressed like a cow. It was really cute!

I bought a little pair of fairy wings for Casey this year...I'll get a pic later and post it. :)

Have a fantastic night, everyone!

(To learn more about Hallowe'en, check out Wikipedia).

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Sweet Story of Childhood Generosity

People often (I like to believe) have generous thoughts. But putting those thoughts into action - that takes a special kind of individual. Check out this great story I read in our local paper today of a child who started off not wanting to brush his teeth, and ended up donating over $80 to a program buying mosquito nets to protect kids from Malaria.

How did he get from A to B? Read the article to find out! :)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Squirrel proof feeders - amusing unintended consequences

I don't think this little guy thought a feeder could become his jail! He could get INTO it okay...but then ate so much once inside that he was too big to get out again!

He had to be rescued with a crowbar...silly squirrel!

Read the full story here:

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Book Review: Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens

This is a great cookbook I got for Christmas last year. If you have roots in, or currently live in, Nova Scotia, or if you're just interested in early East Coast settler living, this is a great book to have. I've really enjoyed learning about the different groups of people who settled here, including the French Huguenots and Protestant Germans, of whose lines I descend. And the foods are fascinating! Of course, there were no grocery stores - you ate what was locally available, and nothing was wasted. And you spent a great deal of time in the fall preserving foods for the long winter ahead.

Among the more interesting informational tidbits: wild ducks have a "fishy" taste to them (I didn't know that) - to get rid of it, parboil the duck with a peeled carrot inside it 15 minutes, then remove the carrot and soak the duck in fresh water for a half hour (pg. 65). And, when you went blueberry picking in the old days, you had to light a small brushfire nearby to keep bears away!

One interesting recipe was for Head Cheese. *shudder* To quote:

Step 1. Cut up the pig's head and remove all the undesirable parts.

Okay, already you've lost me. To me, the entire head is undesirable! I'm thinking this recipe is probably not for me...I don't think a little summer savory is going to save it, either. It is fascinating to read about though, and see how absolutely nothing was wasted (except eyeballs, I guess).

But there's other kinds of "cheese" in this book that sound really delicious, and more in keeping with modern tastes:

Scotch Cheese
Line a pan with cut-up cheese and add chopped onion, using enough to cover the bottom of the pan thinly. Beat 2 eggs with 1 1/2 cups of milk, and pour over the cheese and onion. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake in a moderate oven (350 deg F) about 1/2 hour or until dish is set.
© Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens

But it's not all turtles in the shell, or wild eels (with instructions on how to skin them) - there's lots of recipes for pies, cakes, meat pies, breads & preserves.

As I've mentioned before, Nova Scotia has a gorgeous wild rose that grows practically everywhere. After the roses are finished blooming, you're left with beautiful rosehips, bursting with Vitamin C (very important for early settlers to avoid scurvy). They have an interesting recipe for rose hip jam that I hope to try sometime.

Rose Hip Jam
2 lbs fresh rose hips
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup sugar (or more)

Remove stems, seeds and blossom ends from rose hips. Wash quickly. Bring to boil and simmer, cover for about 1/2 hour or less, until tender. Strain through a sieve and weight the pulp. Add 1 cup sugar for every pound of pulp. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously, and boil for 10 minutes. Pour into hot sterilized jars, cool and seal (or seal and cool, depends on your sealing method). :)
© Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens

I also discovered that Germans made Carrot Pudding instead of the British Plum pudding for Christmas. I'm not a huge fan of the Plum Pudding, but I'm sorely tempted to try Carrot Pudding as a little celebration of my heritage. We'll see! :)

It's really neat to try recipes that have been handed down through Nova Scotian families for a couple hundred years - there's a great feeling of being part of a chain, extending from the past through to the present.

From a cultural and a culinary perspective (but then again, how much of culture IS food?), this book is a highly entertaining and enlightening read.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Litter Box Wars: A Kitten's Revenge

We've been trying to wean the cats off of using the upstairs litter box (in our bedroom....ugh). We cover it with cardboard during the day so they'll head on downstairs, and uncover it at night when Peepers sleeps with us. Dave and I were chatting in the bedroom the other day, and noticed that even though the cardboard was still in place, there was a tiny spray of litter on the outside of the box. We lifted up the edge of the cardboard, and saw that SOMEONE (read: Baby Boy) decided that he could wiggle just his butt under the cardboard and still use the box, and no one would be the wiser. Baby Boy is VERY territorial, he couldn't stand that Peepers has a virtually private box all to himself. What a little jerk.

But that afternoon, Peepers had the last laugh. I went to take a nap, and Peepers wanted to stay with me. I uncovered the box for him in case he needed it, and went to lie down. It sounded like he was digging in the box for 5 minutes or so - I wondered if he was having troubles. I got up to take a look, and saw that Peepers had remedied the "This is Baby Boy territory" situation. He moved all of the litter that Baby had used, or even touched, and created a pile of litter almost half a foot high - OUTSIDE the box!

What petty, petty behaviour on the part of both cats! We love you both, Dudes, no need for squabbles!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Remembering apples on a rainy day

I'm in the middle of writing a big article on getting organized before the holiday season coming up, featuring tips I've found to be very useful. I'll post it sometime in November.

It's a super rainy day outside, so I'm glad to have an indoor activity. :) During a break, I remembered I had wanted to post the pics below, but hadn't gotten around to yet. Now seems like an ideal time...

I was out in the back field last week, collecting long grasses to soften a sheltered area under our deck for Pretty Kitty. I found that one of the old apple trees there, planted over a century ago by a long forgotten farmer, had actually produced fruit! I was so suprised! Beautifully red, gorgeous looking, yet tiny (under 1" in diameter) apples! The small tree was laden with them. I picked a few to take home and give them the ol' taste test. "Maybe I could make a little pie out of them" and other similar thoughts went through my head. They looked so delicious!

Yeah, well, looks can be deceiving. I got home, showed them to Dave, and as I was biting down, he said, "Let me guess, they're terrible", and oh my, they really were! Tough skin and a tartness that was off the scale, almost into bitter territory! Yuck!!

So, no pie. :) I knew that the green crab apples you see on some trees didn't taste very good, but these looked so good.... I'm assuming that with proper care and monitoring of the soil pH etc, that you could make a better tasting apple. (Can't say I know all that much about apple growing, though). If it was on my property, I think I would work on it! It would be worth the effort to make those beautiful little red apples taste as good as they look.

For now though, I'll just look at them and imagine how good they should taste...yum!

Friday, October 19, 2007

eBay Auction: Ornamental Old World Art Piece

I'm selling one of my favorite bold and vibrant original works on eBay.

A bold piece of ornamental art in a circular, mandala like form. Motifs range from ancient Byzantine art to Renaissance European design. Reds, oranges, and blues vie for your attention, yet compliment each other beautifully. Filled with floral and other decorative patterns, it will make a stunning addition to your decor - definitely a conversation-starter!


Get in on the bidding and have this great piece hanging in your own home!

Pretty Kitty: gets frisky

Ouch! I was outside last night, petting the little guy as usual. Got outside a little late, so he had to wait, and I think he was a little worked up. Within a few seconds of my starting to pet him, he got overstimulated and attacked my hands, biting hard and scratching. Ow! It is, unfortunately, par for the course when trying to deal with a feral cat. All you can do is clean your wounds well, and not take it personally.

Cats can get overstimulated in a split second - it's got something to do with their finely tuned nervous system. It can get overloaded and suddenly what felt so good (a nice scritch) turns to almost pain to them instantaneously. And they react violently, wanting you to stop. Just back off and let them be.

Got this pic's Peepers all over again.

Sitting with Pretty Kitty last evening, I got this great photo. Check out this cat's eyes! Aren't they just the most glowing yellow you have ever seen? He's a pretty handsome boy.

And check out these toes! I've never had a cat who had jet black toes. All of my other cats had pink toes with spots and dots of black, but these toes are all black. Adorable! I want to nibble them!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Blog Title Change

Just thought I'd let everyone know I have changed the name of this blog from Ann's Sinister Blog (so named because I'm left handed) to something that more closely reflects the nature of what I write about: Ann's Ruralish Life.

Between the rural countryside and the heart of the city, lies the ruralish life. :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Photos: An Autumn Stroll - what gorgeous colors!

A spectacular day here on the Eastern shore of Nova Scotia! The 17th is (unofficially, of course - this is just something I've noticed) the height of the fall colors here, and it was sunny and pretty warm out, to boot! I went out for an extended morning walk and got some great photographs of the fall colors - reds and yellows and greens all set against an azure sky. Amazing!


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Pretty Kitty: The Next Level

Big breakthrough with Pretty Kitty, our outdoor cat-in-training - I got a furry, nose-to-nose, KISS from the little guy! Yes! I'm as shocked as you are!

The last little while, I've been feeding him extra goodies by hand (a little leftover pork fat, etc.) This got him used to intrusions in his personal space. A couple days ago, I let him smell my fingers after the food was gone. He rubbed up against them, and it was smooth sailing into me giving him some nice scritches on the side of his face and behind his ear. He purred! Good stuff. Then, last night, out of the blue, he was SO comfortable and SO happy, when I was bent over him, he came up for a nose to nose kiss! I was so pleasantly suprised! This is great progress!

He does, however, still hiss quite a bit when he first sees me. He hisses, then mews, then hisses...he's a very confused boy, but he's getting there!

Kitty Condos don't have to be ugly, anymore!

From Chris Colin, New York Times:

"Cats love cat trees. Cat trees are ghastly. So it is a simple but profound — maybe even existential — dilemma that has dogged kitty lovers for ages: Happy pet or stylish pad?"

Turns out some designers have put their talents to use reinventing the carpeted monstrosities that cats love - but don't really go with the decor. :)

I didn't think they were all that bad, but I don't have a super-mod decor anyway...hmmm...maybe decor is too strong a word for our living room... :D

Read the full article here:

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Perfect Pet? Mini Pigs make their grand entrance!

Vietnamese pot bellied pigs were getting to be hugely popular among pet owners...until people realized just how hugely huge they would grow! Now, Pennywell Farm in Devon, England, has come up with the solution: a mini pig, that when fully grown, is still only 1/5th the size of an adult pig. A cross-breeding program begun nearly 10 years ago on the farm has yielded this adorable pint-sized result, to rave reviews!

Read the full story here (there's lots more pictures too!)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A great time at the Maritime Fall Fair!

Had a great time at the fall fair this year! Here are some highlights:

Once again, we got there on the last weekend of the fair - I hope one year to get there early, to see some of the cow/cattle judging. I've never seen a prize-winning cow before. :) I wonder what they look for? In the fairgrounds, I see some people shaving their cows, so they look their best, I assume that's one of the criteria.

As with last year, a very enjoyable highlight was Little Moe's Paws for Fun, a group (sponsored by a Truro kennel) of dogs who run agility courses. These are just ordinary pets, but what they can do is extraordinary! And it's always fun, because it's a live show - anything can happen (and often does!). There's even a dog who appeared on David Letterman's Stupid Pet tricks who does amazing things with frisbees. A really fun show!

The homemaking area is one of my favorites. You get such a feeling of how creative people can be - the variations in designs for classic hooked rugs and patchwork quilting are so inspiring! So inventive. If you're into those sorts of activities, I highly recommend going to a country fair and getting some great inspiration for new designs, and a feel for "what's possible". It was also fun to see the other categories of creativity judged at the fair, like woodworking and photography. The results of the baking and jam-making competitions are there too, but you can just look, you can't sample. :)

We didn't get a chance to watch the horse jumping/equestrian this year, but we did see a lot of the show jumping horses in their stalls. Holy crap, they're huge! They're SO much taller than me! Between them and the milking cows (I guess we left a little too early - found out after we left that milking happens at 5 pm) who were also enormous, I was very intimidated by the time we left! I think that if you weren't raised on a farm, it would be darn scary to walk in to a stall or barn with these animals. I know they're docile and all, but one false moove (oh man, what a typo - pardon the pun!) *ahem* move, that is, and you're squashed!

The petting zoo has a lot of smaller animals, like pigs, sheep, goats, baby cows, and a couple of tall llamas (or was it an alpaca? not really sure of the difference). Looked like the kids in there had a lot of fun.

Although we weren't able to experience ALL the fair had to offer, we did see and do a lot, and had a great time! The fair is held every year in Halifax, in Exhibition Park. If you're in the area, check it out, and learn a lot about farm life!

Maritime Fall Fair:

A feline visitor in the storm

Yesterday evening, into the night, it was stormy here - sheets of cold rain fell from the sky, and we wondered about Pretty Kitty out there, alone. (That's one of the reasons we keep our cats indoors, so we always know they're safe & dry). When Peepers was still outdoors, we had a night that was very similar (if warmer), and he unusually showed up at the front door, eyes glowing in the dark through the glass, looking for food and a dry spot.

Last night, Dave said to me, "I think I'm seeing a ghost" - I looked down the stairs, and once again, a cat's eyes were glowing at us from outdoors. Pretty Kitty had missed his regular feeding, holed up someplace safe, and even though we left food out for him in a sheltered area, he must not have seen it. Dave set down some new food for him out front, then came back in. Pretty Kitty ate his fill, & spent a lot of time staring in at us, and ALL of our cats, and realized for the first time how many creatures we have living with us. Hopefully this will encourage him that we're worthy of his trust. :) Eventually, he rubbed up against the glass several times, in a friendly manner. He was very affectionate, and he felt safe doing it, because there was glass between us. We couldn't touch him.

And so we take another step towards getting this little hisser domesticated. :)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Photo Journal: 2007 Maritime Fall Fair

Had a fun visit to the Maritime Fall Fair today! Here's some highlights!

Baby moo cow chewin' on some cud.

As they'd say over at CuteOverload, these are redonkulous eyelashes on another baby cow. Adorable!

Oxen, once used to plow fields, now more for show and ornamental purposes, ox pull competitions, and the like.

These pigeons have tails that stick up like a turkey's or a peacock's. Cute!

This pigeon looks like it's stepping on a dead bird or something, but actually it's a special breed of pigeon that has immense feathers growing out of its legs.

BIG freakin' moo-cows. Seriously, when standing, the cows' backs were as high or higher than my head. These creatures are ENORMOUS! When I make my millions and get a cow, I think I'll try to find one a little smaller. (!)

The shot that just HAD to be taken. A perfect row of cow butts.

Baby bunnies in a bunch!

Among all these furry and feathered creatures, one single lizard. Lovely looking one, but he must have been lonely!

A prize winning giant pumpkin! Mr. Jeff Reid's pumpkin weighed in at 1202 lbs!

More on my trip soon!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Your next painting project: Color choice and other hints

I've been watching a lot of The Learning Channel lately - Dave's been out rehearsing for a community theatre play in town, so I get to leave the tube on whatever station I want. :) I find TLC makes nice background noise while I work on the computer. One topic they have a lot of shows about is house-flipping, where you buy a delapidated house really cheaply, put in a ton of manhours fixing it up, and sell it at a (hopefully) huge profit. And it inevitably comes up during the course of all this, that one of the house-flippers chose a paint color the other isn't pleased with. They whine about how it's too light, or too dark, or not quite the right shade, how it doesn't look like the paint chip, and so on. I just shake my head at this point. Why?

The shade changes depending on the time of day!
Our basement is very drab and rather dark, but the den Dave and I built down there is warm and cheerful, in a gorgeous orangey-yellow. However, the shade varies considerably between early morning, afternoon, sundown and night light. In the morning, it's light yellowy, but by late afternoon with the sun streaming in, it turns a gorgeous orangey-sunset kind of shade. So do not panic after applying your paint to the walls. Give it time! See it in every light, and you'll discover that what looks like one color will actually be several subelty different ones.

Right now, you're looking at an empty room. Just that color, nothing else. Of course it's going to seem overwhelming! One person I know who has done a great deal of house painting points out that you're going to have a lot of furniture in there - in a living room, for instance, you'll have an entertainment center, couch, maybe some chairs and end tables, some art pieces on the walls - there won't be THAT much wall showing after all that! It's more important how the room will look as a whole, than how it looks when it's empty.

Some additional painting tips:

Use painter's tape for the ceiling/wall line (it's a low-stick tape, usually green in color). You might think you have a steady hand, but a second's inattention and boom, you've got a mess on your hands (well, your ceiling, actually). So, if you're not planning on doing the ceiling right now, take the time to do it right, and put painter's tape where you don't want paint to go.

Painter's tape can sometimes get very sticky if it's left on too long. If you have a place that you plan on leaving for later, don't leave the painting tape on. I did that with some window trim last year - it took a couple of weeks for me to get back to it, and by the time I did, the tape was stuck on so badly it took forever to get all the pieces off.

New paintbrushes are worth the price - seriously. If it's been a while and your brush is looking old, be sure to get a nice new brush for your new project - and be sure that it's the appropriate type for the paint you're using (it'll be labeled whether it's for oil or acrylic, etc.). You'll notice the difference - the paint will go on more uniformly and easily.

Good luck with your painting project!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Autumn Colors on Thanksgiving Day

Gorgeous Thanksgiving here on the eastern shore of Nova Scotia. Brisk, though! Yesterday it was shorts weather - today, you'd better be wearing long pants and a jacket! The cool weather does seem to make the tree colors brighter, though!

Also saw a dragonfly taking a break from catching some late season bugs:

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Thanksgiving time is here again!

We'll be doing Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday this year (Dave has to go into town for a play rehearsal on Monday). This year's Thanksgiving Menu will be as follows:
  1. homemade dill pickles

  2. turkey breast

  3. patychky

  4. pidpenky

  5. dressing

  6. mashed potatoes

  7. gravy

1. We have a water issue with our well, so we don't have a lot of fresh water - and one thing you need to make proper pickles is LOTS of water (for processing the mason jars). So I've been making super-small batch pickles (read: one jar) and only keeping them a maximum of one month. One jar's worth is easy enough to eat through in a month, so there's no waste. I tried dill pickles this time around, with a simple mix of sugar, vinegar and dill seed.

Remember to dehydrate your cucumber or onions or whatever you'll be pickling by coating them with a thin layer of salt and letting them sit overnight. I do this in the afternoon, and before bed, stir the pickle and add more salt. Drain and rinse and drain again before pickling. This is vital for getting a crisp pickle!

2. Just making dinner for Dave and I this year, so no need to go through the rigamarole of a whole turkey. If you're having a small gathering, I highly recommend getting just the breast (or legs, if you like dark meat) - it's much easier to cook than a whole bird. Just the right amount too, if you're having another meat like we are.

3. Hallelujah, it's another holiday! Time for patychky! Read my previous blog post with pics showing how to make this delicious incredibly awesomely delicious Ukrainian food! And my eternal thanks to mister anchovy for his recipe for a food I loved all my life, but didn't know how to make!

4. Mmmmmm...pidpenky. For the un-Ukrainian amongst you :D that's mushrooms in gravy. I made my own recipe for it based on several different ones I found online.

5. Inspired by my homemade dressing (aka stuffing) of last year, made with yummy Farmer John's Herbs stuffing spice mix, I thought I'd make my own again this year. Wasn't able to get hold of their spice mix this year, but I think I'll do a pretty good job on my own, based on their recipe.

My recipe will be:
  • about 1/4 loaf of bread. Use whole wheat AND white bread (to equal 1/4 loaf) - the different breads make it taste richer. Let it go stale overnight, and cut into 1" or smaller cubes.
  • 2 big potatoes, mashed. Don't add any milk or such to them, more liquid will be added later.
  • About 1/2 a large onion, and 1 stalk of celery, finely chopped. Fry this up ahead of time, so your dressing won't end up too al dente.
  • Put 2 tb butter or margarine and 3/4 cup of water in a microwave safe bowl. Nuke until hot, about 1 minute or so depending on your microwave. Add one oxo chicken broth packet/cube and stir 'til dissolved.
  • Sprinkle your herbs over the potatoes. I'd use about 1 tb of sage, crumbled - add more or less depending on your tastes. Add pepper and savory, if desired.
  • Add the water/butter/chicken cube mix. Mix should be nice and soft. Now mix in your bread cubes. Spoon into a greased oven-safe dish.
  • Pop it in your preheated 350 deg F oven for 1/2 hour (or till it reaches desired shade of goldeness on top), and you're done!
This will make enough servings for about 4 people.

6. Mashed potatoes. Yum!

7. It's funny, they even have an ad out now for Club House Gravy that shows a woman doing the same thing I do - making the CH gravy and adding turkey pan drippings to make the perfect gravy. Way easier than from scratch, and in my mind, just as good!

To get ready ahead of time, I made the patychky this morning, and fried up the onions and celery for the dressing. This will save me a lot of time tomorrow!

And, in a spare moment when I won't be cooking :) I hope to find a few minutes to reflect on this prayer I found by "Dear Abby", that's good for Thanksgiving or any time of year. I find it reminicient of the prayer of St. Francis:

O, heavenly Father: We thank Thee for food and remember the hungry
We thank Thee for health and remember the sick
We thank Thee for friends and remember the friendless
We thank Thee for freedom and remember the enslaved,
May these rememberances stir us to service
That Thy gifts to us may be used for others.

- Abigail Van Buren

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Penny Rug Try 1

After blogging about Penny Rugs the other day, I was getting more and more excited to try it. On Wednesday afternoon, I bought some cheap felt at the dollar store down the road. They didn't have a wide range of colors, and what they did have was more for Easter than autumn, but I thought "what the heck?", it's worth it at 4 squares/$1 to pick some up and see how it goes.

I'm not quite finished yet, but it's come along pretty well. I did the traditional circles, but also had a little fun with the circles, as you can see with the cat and fish circles.

Not bad for a first try! I'll keep you all posted on my progress!

Strange Late-Night Visitor

Last night, while waiting for Casey to come in from her last bathroom break of the evening, I looked down at the long window we have next to the door. I thought I saw a moth, but it looked like it had weird markings. I got down for a closer look, and was shocked to see, for the first time since living here, a frog! A night time frog! I assume he's one of the little peepers that lives down the road in the swamp, but whether due to natural predators or something else, we've never seen one here!

He was only an inch long, or shorter. He had a strange metallic-y sheen on his brownish-red skin. When I lived outside Dartmouth, we always had "daytime" frogs, off-green with brown spots. I've never seen one like our nighttime friend. Very cool! He left shortly after I took these pics, so I was lucky to see him!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Why is light so dark?

My point is this: I would have thought, in the 6 years between buying my first and current digital cameras, that night (or at least low light) photography would have improved enormously. But I think my new camera actually takes worse low-level photos than my old Agfa! It was still plenty bright out when we had a bunch of raccoons show up at the feeder, and I tried again in vain to get even one decent shot of them! No matter how many settings I tried, THIS was the best that I could get:

These are CUTE animals, people! I want to share them with you, and have a record for myself for posterity. But for some reason, as light as it is, is STILL isn't light enough for my bloody camera. Most of them turned out to be a screen full of dark noise. GRRRRRRR....

*sigh* I'm just frustrated. Nikon stuff is usually so very awesome, and I guess I'm just expecting too much from a < $400 camera. It just seems the little red light on the camera signaling "I can't focus!/There's not enough light!" comes on ALL the time...

*sigh* Cute animals, people...very cute.

Now THAT'S progress!

Made a huge leap in the trust level between us and Pretty Kitty last night. I've been removing the fat from our chicken lately, nuking it and giving it to the raccoons. Last night I thought maybe Pretty Kitty would like it as an after-dinner snack. He smelled it as soon as I stepped into the backyard, and was SO enthusiastic that he completely forgot himself and accepted some fat right from my hand!! He went from not coming within a few feet of me to walking right up to me in one go! Pretty awesome!

Now we know that if we want to get closer to him, we need something more enticing food wise!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A crafty way to wile away autumn evenings...

I enjoy checking out A Storybook Life blog. They've got lots of great ideas for diy crafts, frugal/simple living, recipes - in short, a lot of the stuff I'm into! :) They have this fantastic post on Penny Rugs that the crafters among you should definitely check out.

I hadn't heard of this craft before, but it sounds like a lot of fun! In the same way that quilting was once a frugal way to use worn out clothes to create warm coverings for beds, this craft used scrap pieces of wool felt and old wool hats to create something decorative for the home. And, as with quilting, these days people take the art to whole new levels with the staggering variety of colours only dreamed of by crafters in the 1800s. :)

I smell a Christmas craft present idea!!!

Anyway, check out the article here, it's got lots of info (including why they're called penny rugs!), and links to some great patterns to get you started.

I got the image of a penny rug from, who have a nice variety of completed penny rugs available for purchase, too.

Let me know if you try your hand at Penny Rugs!