Archive for the ‘Trees’ Category

Of Cats and Raccoons

June 25, 2017


A while back, Sugar installed a feeding shelf for the two girl cats at work. We thought that it would make an excellent feeding station or perch or safe place for them. Mostly, we were worried that it was a long time from when I fed them on a Friday evening until I returned on a Monday morning, and we knew that ants would get in the food.

We had a plan to put yummy canned food on the shelf to lure them up and to show them that the shelf as a good thing. They refused.

Sugar had a further great plan with which I disagreed.

He went to PetSmart and bought a self-feeder. I use the very same feeding system at every cat station I’ve ever made, but these girls were different and difficult. I didn’t think they would get on the shelf and that the raccoons would drag the feeder off. If they won’t use the feeding shelf for canned food, they are just not going to use it for dry.

Sugar:  I got a feeder for the girls.

YoursTruly:  They’re not going to use it.

Sugar:  But I bought it for them.

YoursTruly:  Take it back.

Sugar:  But I made a special trip to PetSmart, and it cost $21.

YoursTruly:  They are not going to use it. Get your money back.

Sugar:  But I got the special smaller size to fit on the shelf. There was a larger one for only a few dollars more, but I got this one because it’s the right size, even though it cost $21, and I’m not planning another trip to PetSmart.

YoursTruly:  Then I’ll take it back. Do you have the receipt?

Sugar: I really want them to use it.

YoursTruly:  The raccoons dragged off the other bowls I put on the shelf, and they’ll drag the whole frickin’ feeder off into the canal.

Sugar:  (silence)

YoursTruly:  ALRIGHT! Give me the damn feeder.

I set up the precious little self-feeder on the shelf on a Friday evening. When I returned on Monday morning, the feeder was in two pieces off in the nearby canal in the woods.

The next week, Sugar removed the shelf, and I went back to feeding them in containers on the ground.

Then I tried feeding them extra heavily in the evening.  Keep in mind that I also feed them at breakfast and lunch.

Then one evening I fed the girls, and sat in the car while I checked my messages on the iPhone, skimmed over FaceBook, and glanced at the email. When I looked up, the girls were no longer at their bowl. They were lying in the grass in front of my car, lounging and looking at the woods.

I cannot win this game. I have been out-smarted.

Another Treehouse

May 21, 2017

Sugar decided to make another cat perch for the cats that live in the woods next to where I work. 

I’ve been approached two times in the past week by interested people who have seen the cats hanging around in the morning waiting to be fed. No one had a problem with it, and they were surprised that I had trapped them for spaying and vaccinations. Apparently ordinary people don’t realize that other ordinary people can be agents for change. 

Like Sugar is an agent for change. 

He brought two different boards to choose from. 

Next he checked the brackets that he mounted directly onto the tree trunks. 

He screwed the bigger board to the brackets, and, quick as you please, he’s done. 

Little Miss Sassy Pants and her sister stayed well away. The sister is so far away that I couldn’t get a clear photo, even with the zoom lens. 

The platform is big enough for an ant deterrent system, which consists of a large shallow bowl of water with a smaller bowl of food set into it. The water creates a barrier that the ants can’t cross. 

We’ll see tomorrow if the system worked. 

The Welcoming Committee

April 21, 2017

The two feral girls that I trapped, neutered, and released a month ago have finally shown themselves. 

Apparently I move too slowly for them. 


Cats in the Pines: Sugar Makes a Space Station

February 25, 2017

I have been wanting another cat feeding station. The old one in the woods has become dilapidated, almost beyond repair, but more importantly, the wild cats have decided to come inside the fencing and eat at the feeding station on the picnic table. 

Several of the cats have taken to living in the woods next to the driveway. Since I’m feeding cats there now anyway, a feeding platform would be handy. I imagined if I had a platform between two of the pines, then the food and cats wouldn’t be as exposed to ants and stray dogs. 

I explained my plan to Sugar. 

I was driving along one day when I saw a children’s play set, the kind with the ladder to the slide, and the horizontal ladder for children to go across hand over hand. 

What about a horizontal ladder structure connecting the two pines?

I explained I need a ladder between the two pines. He thought I meant a ladder from the ground to a tree. It was getting frustrating: me explaining and him not getting it. The word “ladder” was throwing him off. 

So I drew my example. 

He contrived a ladder from some old 2 x 4s that he split lengthwise. 

A Chinese Fringe shrub provided local color. 

He added a piece of plywood for the dining surface. 

Suddenly it is finished. The Butter demonstrates that form follows function. 

The Butter has some neurological problems which cause him to have a head tilt and a stare that is a bit unordinary. 

The new station is too high for dogs but not for cats. This does not discount a clever, hungry dog. 

Mr. Friendly demonstrates that canned food is welcome here. We will probably add some side rails to keep the dishes from being pushed off. You can see that we have already removed the metal bowl in favor of a dish with a flatter, heavier base. 

In other news, I am worried that I might have a marauding owl. Before the station was built, one morning during the dawn hours, I found Wendy deceased on the driveway. I had arrived home the night before that in the dark, and I fed her by the gate as usual. When I found her body the next morning, some bird high in the trees was screaming at me. Apparently I disturbed his actions. He was very angry at me, and I messaged my cousin the birder scientist. It’s possible that it was a hawk, and I learned the word “crepuscular”. 

Sugar buried her for me where she lived in the woods by the driveway. 

Cats like vertical spaces, and I’m hoping the new space station will give them safer options. 

FlowerFest 2016

January 19, 2017

Y’all know what time it is. We had actually planned our FlowerFest for the week prior, but changed our dates when we decided that we needed to see Mama Florrie instead. So glad we did, and got to see her one last time. 

If you have followed along in our past FlowerFests, then seriously, you could probably skip this series of blog posts. It’s pretty much the same, yet each year has its quirks. 

Like this year, we scored some awesome mistletoe from a tree that was blown down by Hurricane Matthew in Laurel Grove. 

Annnnnd we’re off…

The Jerusalem Church Cemetery

February 27, 2016

I wrote an entire post complete with photos, of course, and when I pushed the “Post” button, it all melted away. No published post, no saved draft. Very weird. A few days after, the iPhone started malfunctioning. Plus I couldn’t add photos to FaceBook. Then FaceBook started their new emoticons. Was all this related? Is the NSA monitoring my cemetery and cat photos?

So here’s a barely reconstructed post of Jerusalem Church Cemetery. I’m tired. 





   So let’s break here. If this posts, I follow-up with the rest of these markers. 

See you on the other side, NSA!

FlowerFest 2015: the Robert Cemetery 

December 25, 2015

We ran out of time. 

Sugar planned a FlowerFest involving the placing of poinsettias at multiple plots in multiple cemeteries. The plan was to swoop in on the first good delivery of poinsettias and to snag about 9 or 10. We started on Sunday, December 6, 2015. 

And ran out of daylight. He had added two more cemeteries in another STATE from where we usually visit. But don’t get excited. We live in a border county, so it’s actually easier than it sounds. 

We start out again on Wednesday, December 9, 2015. The plan is to go to the Robert Cemetery, then to see Richard and his dogs, then to the Robertville Baptist Graveyard. 

The Robert Cemetery near Stafford’s Crossroads

Sugar pointed out a spot that appears to be the remains of a gate support. 

Here’s John Robert, the brother of Sarah Robert who married Joseph Lawton.  


John Robert on our right, & his wife Elizabeth Dixon Robert on our left


Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Dixon

At one time, this plot where John and Elizabeth lie was fenced in. Part of that fence is missing. 



On the way out, we stop to look back at the entry. 

Goodbye, Robert Cemetery, we’ll see you next year. 

Frankly Ferals

October 6, 2015

I thought I had gotten them all. 

How could there be room for more? Clearly now a rhetorical question. 

A tree fell down by the front gate a few years ago. It’s not bothering anything, so I’m letting it stay as it is and return to the earth. 

Mr. RedAndWhite decided to live there like a fairytale creature. 

 This year no cats climbed over the fence to live here at the Swamped! Plantation and Neutering Service. Because they have decided to live outside the fence. 

I’ve had my eye on this red fellow for some months. I wanted to trap him, but a crazy woman in Savannah kept my trap. 

Sometimes in the night I would hear cat screams. But who could be fighting? Everyone was accounted for. 

Sugar had a trap that I could borrow. Plus a lady offered the use of one of hers, which evened the odds because Mr. GrayAndWhite showed up. 

I set both traps one night, and after releasing probably six of my cats who thought they were scoring a tasty treat, I had success. 

 I caught Mr. GrayAndWhite. Mr. RedAndWhite was too clever. 

Mr. GrayAndWhite had a nasty puncture wound at the inside corner of his left eye that went into his sinuses. The debate was made to neuter or euthanize. Life won, and he was altered, vaccinated, and injected with a long-acting antibiotic. 

When I released him back at the front gate, he headed along the log highway, where he was met by the toll master. 


Looking back and unable to pay the toll

I began to believe that the last cat would continue to outwit me. 

Then the stars and the planets moved into the proper alignment, aided by the pull of the supermoon, and me standing on my head spitting wooden nickels. 

The absence of male hormones will perhaps take the fighting down a notch. 

I plan to sleep well tonight. 

The Fan & Feather

September 27, 2015

It’s a knitting design that you might see from years ago. It looks tricky as all get-out, but there’s only one pattern row in 4 rows of knitting.

Overall, there’s a scalloped edge that’s created by the pattern. It’s a natural feature and can’t be changed. Which now makes me wonder if there’s a short-row method where you start with a straight edge and work in the scallops. I think it will take someone smarter than me with fewer irons in the fire to figure it out.

Anyway, the pattern is worked in sets of 30. Let’s start with one pattern repeat for practice. Cast on 30 on straight needles.  Knit the first row. Turn your work and purl the second row. The third row is the pattern row made by purling two stitches together five times (thereby reducing 10 stitches to 5), then knitting one and throwing a yarn over ten times (thereby turning 10 into 20), and purling two together on the remaining 10 stitches (reducing 10 stitches to 5). For the fourth row, you will purl across.

That’s it. A lovely design created with 4 rows.

You will need to steam block this, so remove the cats from the bed and spread out your finished afghan.

Maybe that last part is just me.

After blockage, I cut pieces of yarn that were approximately 7″ long. I cut them from another skein that was variegated with white, pink, and baby blue. I threaded each length through an end stitch and tied an overhand knot so little hands can’t pull it out and eat it.

The afghan is baby blue but the iPhone changes the color sometimes and won’t allow editing to the correct color. (Insert your imagination here.)

I folded it in thirds lengthwise and put on a hanger and hung it in a wax myrtle for photos.


I think I used a size 9 circular and acrylic worsted. I believe I casted on 180 stitches. You can use any size that makes your heart happy. Happy knitting!


Go with the Flow on Edisto

May 1, 2015

Sugar and I are at the Ernest F. Hollings ACE Basin Wildlife Refuge on Edisto. We’ve been to Edisto a few times to go to the Presbyterian Church’s graveyard (of course), the museum (they sell books!), and the Lawton-Seabrook Cemetery (we have a grave disease). We’ve made a special trip today to go to the wildlife refuge. 

I’m using both the digital camera and the iPhone camera. I’m very new to using an iPhone camera, but I won’t bore you with all the photos of the ground. I’m puzzled as to why some iPhone photos have crisp, true colors, but others look grayed down. These last few blog posts have been experiments in blogging. I start the post on the phone, inserting the photos, then go to the laptop and add the digital photos from the camera. It’s a whole new skill set. 

Today, these photos are all from the iPhone. Tomorrow will probably be a mix. 

Now, more randomness.