Saturday, September 19, 2015

The News from the Funny Farm

First of all, I want to thank all of you for your very kind words and thoughtful comments on the loss of my sweet little Princess.

Things here have been... well... a bit crazy.

Of course there's been the cleaning up and digging out from the land of sick kitties. I still haven't been able to bring myself to get rid of her litter box. The boys don't use it, and it's really sorta in the way - it was an accommodation that I made to make things easier for her. Somehow, the thought of getting rid of it makes me too sad to contemplate, but I'll get there eventually.

But I've removed all of her beds and heating pads, and my hall closet now, once again holds the vacuum cleaner instead of a Princess hideout. Heavy sigh.

In reality though, there hasn't been too much time to grieve her loss because so much else has gone crazy since she died. My television and computer both died. When it rains, it pours, you know?

I managed to get the computer to come back to life (long story) and the TV is at the repair shop. I'm hoping it can be salvaged so I don't have to go buy a new one.

And my step-mother has been out of the country, so my dad has needed my help with some things...

And I FINALLY finished my web page revisions to make my pages all mobile compatible. YAY! Of course, doing that part made me realize how much more work there really is to do...

I think I'll wait a while before jumping into any more huge projects though, because I am pooped!

Anyhow, I keep meaning to write a post about my garden, but haven't really had time. It's been goin' great guns though, and I'm overrun with tomatoes, cucumbers & zucchini - and I've even harvested a few peppers and eggplant.

The "hail house" was a great success - even though we haven't had any hail since I finally completed it. I closed in the west side with a door, and extended the hardware cloth down the north side to protect from anything falling sideways, and the result is that it really feels like a nice little enclosed area.

The benefit I didn't expect is that the cucumbers have been using the walls as a trellis, and it's made it soooo much easier to tie up the tomatoes so they don't fall over and hurt themselves.

I do keep the door open most days though, because a few times a bird got in there and started to panic because it couldn't find its way out! I need to cover up any sharp edges of wires etc so that I can put the plastic cover on when the first frost comes, and hopefully that will extend the growing season a bit.

One advantage of life going crazy is that I've made great progress on eating down my freezers! I haven't had time to do a full inventory, but the upstairs freezer looks practically empty, and it's finally getting cool enough that I may make some soup in the next few days.

The other piece of news is this little guy.

I've seen him around the neighborhood for a few years, but when he showed up with an injured leg a while back I took pity upon him and gave him some food. The leg seems to have healed up, and he's been coming around regularly for food.

Not sure what I'm gonna do about him. He's not fixed, but it's quite possible that he does have a home and is just a moocher. I've asked around a bit and nobody seems to know for sure, though some people have said he might belong to an immigrant family up the street.

Anyhow, he won't let me get closer than 5-6 feet. but he loves to hang out with me while I'm out in the garden so we'll see how this evolves. More detective work is certainly in order. But for the moment I'm calling him Gray Boy and enjoying his company when I'm outside.

Sooo that's about all the news from the funny farm...

Hope you're all well and enjoying this last little bit of summer.


  1. I predict that Gray Boy will be inside before the winter. You both are well on your way to that.

    I also wanted to mention that your advice in pilling Lucy, my cat, has been very helpful. While we have developed our own method, the advice to put everything into a capsule has made all of the difference in the world. While we're not pros at giving her pills yet, she doesn't protest too much because no awful tastes are in her mouth. Thanks.

    1. I'm sooo glad that you're working out a system to get Lucy's meds into her. The capsules make all the difference in the world, don't they? I learned that one years ago on Tanya's CKD page - which has TONS of helpful info, much of which applies to any sick cat, not just ones with kidney disease.

  2. Gray Boy is a handsome guy! You may have found a new friend. :)

    Love your hail house. We've had problems with birds getting caught in our chicken wire fence which is meant to befuddle the bunnies. Good idea to keep the door open if you are able! Great problem-solving on your part.

    I did buy a Bosch, in other news--just arrived yesterday, and after 2 loads, I think I'm gonna be happy. Thanks for your thoughts on your dishwasher--it was helpful.

    1. I hope you love your Bosch as much as I love mine. Before this dishwasher I had a real love/hate relationship with them - which may have been because I'd always had crappy dishwashers before. But this one is amazing... seriously, you put dirty dishes in and clean ones come out, what a revelation! :-)

  3. Your hail house looks great! Is everything in containers or do you have a combination of containers and ground beds? I love the way the cucumbers are growing up the side. We're still getting lots of sweet peppers and pole beans, and now the pumpkins are starting to ripen but everything else is pretty much gone. About Gray Boy - Maybe you could put a message around his neck asking the owners(if any) to contact you. I did this once using a flea collar on a cat with a message taped on it. When no one replied after a week I kept the cat. About Princess - I still have a few little things around from 2 of my dogs who died within a week of each other summer before last. In the beginning it made the situation seem not so final, and now it just makes me smile to see these things.

    1. The plants are mostly in the ground except for the peppers and one each experimenting with container cucumbers (fail) and eggplant (success.) I've had terrible luck with peppers in the past, but one of my gardening buddies has great luck with containers so I gave it a go this year. I still haven't achieved the amazing results that she gets, but it's a vast improvement over past years.

      And that's a great idea about putting a collar with a note on Gray Boy - I actually did that with one of my previous rescue cats, Sputnik. Problem is that Gray Boy is a bit wilder than Sputnik was, and he won't let me get close enough to touch him. And that whole situation just got significantly more complicated because he showed up last night with two very wild (as in feral) kittens that he was grooming and caring for. Soooo... I'm not sure what to do now. I think the kittens are probably already too old to socialize (they looked 3-4 months old) and I'm sort of afraid that if I pull him out of the picture, they might not survive. Lordy, it's never simple!

      I'm so sorry about your two dogs... how awful to lose both of them in such close succession! I bought a big new bouquet of flowers to for Princess' grave the other day, and it made me feel a bit better. And I have her paw print and a few locks of her hair on my kitty memory shelf which I pick up and kiss every time I walk by. I sure miss her...

    2. Well, good luck with Gray Boy anyway. Here's hoping it won't get too complicated.

  4. That's awesome that the tomatoes are able to climb the hail house. Our garden is finished for the year, but you've inspired me to maybe try to build something for the tomatoes next year. The tomato cages just aren't enough.

    It sounds like Gray Boy might be choosing you. :-)

    1. The tomatoes got some help with the climbing in the form of bailing wire - but having the walls and roof to attach it to made a HUGE difference!

  5. Oh my you have been busy. I hope you got your television repaired it seems the newer televisions are pretty much toast when they break down.

    The hail house looks good and what a surprise that it also works as a trellis!

    If you are so eager to adopt another cat may I suggest you come take the one that is pestering me? This cat roams freely around the neighborhood and had chosen to use my deck, ramps and any open spot in the yard for its litter box. I am so tired of cleaning poop off the deck and ramps. I tried to talk to the owner and all she had to say was bad kitty then blamed the neighbor kids for it leaving her yard. I'm tempted to relocate her to a farm on the outskirts of town one of these days. Grr.

    As for my garden, I've been working on a post about it. Let's just say it hasn't been one of my better years.

    1. In theory the TV is gonna be fixed for a total of around $600 - which seems like a lot, but when you consider that they don't make plasma TV's anymore, and to get something with a picture almost as good I'd have to spend nearly $2K I think it's worth it. Hopefully they don't find anything else wrong once they start replacing the electronic components!

      My stepmother has similar woes with the cats in her neighborhood - it's funny, I've never once had that issue. Or maybe I'm just so used to cat poop that I don't notice! I'm not really sure of a good way to keep them out, other than providing a more attractive place to poop - like a sandbox or something like that. Seems like a drastic step, but it could work.

      And don't feel too bad about the garden. Starting over from scratch can't be easy, especially when you're changing climate zones and dealing with all the crazy weather you've had. Hopefully next year will be better! :-)


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