Sunday, March 19, 2017

Politics, Cats, and Knitting

Yup. That just about sums it up for me.
Well, there were a few other things too like the weather - which has been bat-crap crazy, but mostly Politics, Cats, and Knitting.

So let's get the politics out of the way.
By the way, still not my fault.
I won't go on and on here because, why bother? This is not where the action needs to happen. The action needs to be out there. Since the first march in January, there have been so many things to do. Miss Mary is now my official protest buddy and we've been to two more since the first one. Most recently the Women's Strike march in Center City.

This one went on so long it was dark by the time we were done. Two hours we marched all over the place. Parts of the route had been blocked off for us, but other parts had not. 
We blocked traffic, marched between cars and made a lot of noise! The chant leaders had bull horns and kept up a good chant the entire time.  
In addition to the protests, I've been writing post cards like crazy. When I first went to pick up post card stamps at the mail post office in Philadelphia the clerk told me they were sold out. Sold out! I printed out oodles of the postcards from the Women's March First Action and a group of co-workers and I have been meeting every Monday to write postcards, commiserate, and plan more actions. 
I will say this; I don't understand what has happened. How did we find ourselves here? It is though we have slipped into an alternate universe and everything is sliding very quickly to the forces of evil. I only hope we can survive this madness. 

I have a new member of the family. Butch has officially moved in. This is not going very well. Jacques and Swee'Pea are not pleased. There is always someone howling, shrieking, growling, hissing, or else pretending nothing is wrong. Here we all are working on perfecting the latter. 

Same here....
But here, it's pretty much the howling, growling hissing tournament. 
Greenies might actually end up being the great peacekeepers of the world. Kitties like their Greenies so much they will come up to within a foot of each other just to be sure to get their little crunchy treats. But as soon as the bag is put away - its everyone back to their corners.

 Butch is a handsome fella.
He finally moved in during a very cold week in February. I had been feeding him inside the first floor kitchen after I came out to get Jacques and found Jacques and Butch both staring at a raccoon who was happily munching on Butch's food. The last thing Butch wanted to do after a nice warm supper inside  was to be kicked back out in the cold with the raccoons. He let me know it and I caved.

 How could you not with that pretty pink little schnoz?

It has been interesting watching him figure out what it means to be an indoor cat. Mostly he has had very few problems adjusting. He inspected the second floor thoroughly, found the bed, Jacques food, the litter boxes, and the toys. 

He loves them and is very playful. He's gained at least a pound since moving in and at first had absolutely no interest in going back outside. I think he was scared I was going to kick him out again. A month and a half later, he is starting to realize I will come back outside and call him. One of the things he hasn't quite mastered though, is how to accept a treat. Instead of taking the Greenie from my hand, he nuzzles it until I put it on the floor in front of him. Jacques and Swee'Pea watch him with looks of, "what's wrong with this guy - take it already!"

 Swee'Pea is having the most difficult time adjusting. I think because Jacques has had so much more time to get used to Butch outside but this is entirely new for Swee'Pea. I try to make sure he and I have alone time and I give him lots of pets and reassurances. But he is more skittish than usual. The other day I found him all bundled up under my sheets and comforter. I didn't have the heart to roust him so the bed stayed unmade that day.

 Mostly I've been knitting in my spare time. I made loads of the pink hats and gave most of them away. I still have a few more to knit for people I've promised them to. I'm partial to that eye-watering shade of pink on the right. I also made one for a favorite professor of mine, who has her own brand of style and so she needed something a little more, um, unconventional. 

I made this one with all my pink scrap yarn and I really like it! I think I'll have to make a few more like this. 

  When I went rootin' around my yarn looking for all of my pink extras, I realized what a mess my stash is. I'm so proud of myself for taking the time to make these origami boxes and organizing my yarn by color! It is much easier to find what I want now. And tangles are kept to a minimum. I think I will have to do this for a few other boxes of yarn, but at the moment, they are being well guarded. 

Last week I took a few days off for a Spring Break. I had a list a mile long, but of course I got caught up in a knitting project which has become kind of a mess.  This is a pattern I've made twice before and really like. I had this lovely ice blue yarn which I thought would be enough but I ran out. I had to improvise on the sleeves, which meant I had to wing-it on the pattern, which is never a good idea. sigh.
  I'm taking it to my Stitch & Bitch on Sunday to see what they think. It's possible that I will have to rip it back out to the armpits and do a different top construction. I hope they approve the choice of buttons though. I went with the big turquoise ones. Although if I rip it out it won't matter because the button holes will also be gone. For now it is hanging in a bag, waiting to travel. 

In the middle of February I taught an endband or headband sewing class which went really well. These are notoriously frustrating for a lot of book binders. So much so that you can buy simple, manufactured head band "ribbon" to glue on as faux headbands. But this is really only suitable for those who have not yet discovered the joy of tying one's own. I'm hoping to teach another workshop in the fall with more advanced headbands. But I gotta learn 'em first. ha! Good think I like doing that. 

An interesting building appeared a few months ago in Center City. I first noticed it when I was going back to work from the dentist. 
It is completely wrapped in this "mural" of dandelions. There is a small circle cut into a window with that when you look through it you look out onto a field of dandelions. It is really cool. Apparently this building was purchased by a group that wants to develop the parking structure next door. And so while they are making plans for that and have purchased this building as part of those plans, in the mean time the building can be used for public artwork. It is a really nice surprise as you walk through town. 

Which brings us to the bat-crap crazy weather we've been having. 
I am sitting on my deck listening to water dripping everywhere. It is a lovely mild 55°F and all of the snow that came down last Tuesday is melting with ferocious speed. Finally.  I'm not complaining though. We had a lovely snow day on Tuesday. The weather was strange though. It was very icy, and when I left the house on Wednesday morning my hedge had a dome of ice over everything. It was really beautiful.  
Thank goodness I had had the foresight to cut all of the daffodils that had mostly bloomed. Instead of finding smooshed flowers after the weather, I had lovely sunny friendly blooms on the kitchen table. 

There are still a few that will bloom once things warm up again, which I am looking forward to.

Why was the weather so crazy? Well, because the last two weeks of February were unusually warm. We had a few days in a row of 75°F! In February! That's unheard of. It was so warm I did some early garden clearing.
Jacques and Butch helped, but Butch was careful to stay on the observation side of the fence. 
I'm glad I held off on my seed starting because it is no fun to work in the snow. Next weekend, I'll go and get some mix and start all kinds of things. Zinnias, marigolds, echinaceas, basil, and whatever else I was saving from last year. The garlic has already come up, as has the mustard. The violets are starting to come as well. I'm going to have to do some serious pruning next weekend too so that roses and raspberries come in appropriately.  
I also applied for a small grant from a local nursery on behalf of my neighbors. The Els have a two small sidewalk plots which are perfect for planting flowers. Last year Mr. El finally let me plant some things in there at the end of July. It wasn't enough time for everything to grow but we've talked and I hope this year we can start earlier. The grant is for some good soil, a few extra plants, and some nice border fencing. We'll see if we get it.  If not, we are still going to put something in there.We'll keep you posted.

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