Posts Tagged ‘shed’

Kiss That Adagio Good-bye!

January 12, 2013

Once upon a time, I picked out a “good” china pattern.

It didn’t get used very much.  I used it once for Thanksgiving in 1978 for a making-of-the-peace meal for my mother-in-law, which is another story, but if any of you have ever had a mother-in-law, then just make up your own story.  You know what I’m talking about.

I used it a few more random times for birthday meals.  Once, Satan himself put his plate into the microwave oven.  He had never before actually handled any dishes at all in any form during his tenure, but his mother was there and apparently he was trying to impress her with his worldly skills about how to nuke food.  Unfortunately, the china was rimmed with a silvery metallic trim, and sparks flew in the microwave, along with great popping sounds.  Instead of turning off the microwave, the devil himself became mesmerized with the light show while I flew across the room and prevented the room from exploding.  Or me.  Was that me that was exploding?

It hardly matters.

Fast forward to today.  I’ve carted that nine sets of good china through hell and half of Georgia.  And I’m done.  I like that china just fine, but I think it’s time to set it free.



























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The pattern is Noritake’s “Adagio”, 1978-1994.  If you are interested, take a look at my Etsy shop, Catcatcher Corner.

(Cat added for scale.  No cats were harmed in the making of this blog post.)

How Far Is Too Far?

August 24, 2012

How far is too far to go?

I’m not talking about things of a PG-13 nature.  I’m talking about this:  how do you know how far you will go in a given situation?

On July 30, 2012, I received an email from someone who knew someone who needed help with a cat.  It’s that age-old story about a cat that just appears on someone’s porch.  And she’s a nice cat, so they feed her and give her shelter.  She returns their good actions by presenting them with a batch of kittens.

That’s usually how it starts with a stray cat.  I’ve heard it over and over again from my several jobs in the animal care industry.  They just show up.  Usually it’s a female, and, if she’s not pregnant, she’s soon to be, because cats just go into heat, oh, seems like all the time, which in actuality could be 2, 3, or even 4 times a year.

So the email, from the persons that I’ll call The Intermediate Couple, told of a family in a neighboring county that had a cat they couldn’t keep.  The cat had given birth in the spring, and so of course was pregnant again, and the family couldn’t afford to spay her, and didn’t want to keep her.

I replied that if the female were spayed, couldn’t they keep her?  Every animal shelter and rescue is overrun with cute kittens for adoptions, and it’s difficult for an adult to be adopted, because who can resist a cute kitten?  (And if you write a blog, just post cute kitten pictures and watch your hits go up.  Not that I would EVER do that.)

The Intermediate Couple replied that they would approach the family about keeping the female after she had been spayed.

And The Intermediate Couple and I went back and forth with email correspondence setting up the particulars, like if I could get financial support for the surgeries for the mother and her three boy cattens, and how to arrange transportation.  Because of extenuating circumstances, it looked like I would need to drive to the next county and pick up the cats, house them until their surgical date, then house them again after surgery, then return them home.

Sugar weighed in.  “That’s too far to go.  Someone else needs to do it.”

Thank you, Sugar.  Love. You.

He argued about all the reasons that I couldn’t do it, and I argued about all the reasons that I could.  I generally have Friday afternoons off, so I could drive out then to pick up, and then to deliver the following Friday.  I could keep them in big crates in the shed for their safety, because I can’t have intact males and females wandering about here at the Swamped! Plantation & Rawlsbury Camp.

So the long version of an even longer tale is that is exactly what I did.  At first, I thought that I would bring all 4 cats here, house them, take them for surgery, re-house them, and return them, all in the space of one week.  I realized that I was out of my mind, for no good deed generally goes unpunished, and I would have to break it down to two cats at a time, which would lengthen the time that it would take to complete this project.

So with scrawled directions on a scrap of paper (remember paper?), I made my way to the next county to meet the newest project.  It was 43.3 miles one way, door-to-door.  I picked up the mother cat and the biggest boy.  It did not work to crate them here, not even in the shed, for ants got into the food.  Sugar said to take them to the grooming business and house them there.  I knew he’d help, even without me asking.

Was that too far to go?  It involved three trips to pick-up and return, for the family had decided to keep all four cats.

Here’s the best part:  The Intermediate Couple donated money to my PayPal account to cover the cost of the surgeries, and a little bonus for me, which I’ll donate to the grooming business.

So the cats get to stay in their home, the family gets to enjoy the cats that are now speutered and vaccinated, The Intermediate Couple gets good karma for a good deed, and I got in a little side trip to the Robert (Roe-BARE) Cemetery.

Was that too far to go?  And how do you know unless you try?

(And thanks to reader Linda who planted the seed of this story with The Intermediate Couple!)

The Picnic Table Wars

December 1, 2011

Last week was my birthday, and Sugar surprised me with a birthday gift, a mammoth picnic table.  Really, the thing is HUGE.  You could sleep on it.

He brought it over in his pickup truck on the day before Thanksgiving, and we opened the large double front gate, and he backed right in, and we unloaded the monster.

I have wanted two things in my adult life, besides peace on earth, that being a screened porch (or is it screened-in porch?) and a *picnic table*!

Georgia the cat has been feeling challenged by Ozzie the cat, who likes to stalk her a bit, and she’s been spending much of her time outside the front gate, just hanging out by the driveway.  Once she saw the picnic table, she made a beeline for it.

Georgia: "Mine. Mine. All mine."

The next morning, she was still at work protecting her picnic table.

Georgia: "I've been protecting my picnic table all night. Let the word go out into the city, Ozzie is nothing compared to the greatness of Georgia!"

Georgia: "And if Ozzie comes around again, I'll stretch myself up really tall and big, and I'll show him my scaryface."

Georgia: "I sense with my superpowers that something foul is afoot."

Georgia: "Get BACK, you dogs, or I will. cut. you!"

Georgia kept up this vigil for twenty-four hours, and then suddenly we had a game-changer…

Sylvia: "Anybody want to say anything now? That's right. I thought not."

Shed Construction Photos

October 23, 2010

My friend Susan is considering building a shed.  I have decided to post pictures of the shed right here on this very blog.  Otherwise, I could email them to her but I concerned about causing her email to explode or implode from all the bits and bytes.  So, if you are not interested in seeing photos of lumber and blue sky, you might just want to move along to someone else’s blog…

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Jopty Gerbil & Sylvia

March 21, 2010

Sylvia, the famous former feral, is very interested in Jopty Gerbil.  She could easily knock over his cage and play with him.  So I don’t leave her unsupervised.  I’ve caught her looking at him before with a twinkle in her eye.

Yesterday was a beautiful afternoon.  The temperature was in the seventies with no rain.  After I arrived home after my Saturday classes, I decided to visit the cat station in the woods, and because it was such a nice afternoon, I left the door of the RV open to air out, forgetting about Sylvia…

After tidying up and filling the feeders at the cat station, I went into the shed to feed the animals.  There’s a new cat living in the shed.  She comes to me from a rescue organization called “Maranatha Farm”; you can read about Maranatha Farm here.  Her name is Jackie, for the one-eyed Jack, because she was found at the bottom of a trash can in the park in Savannah, having been stabbed, tortured, and maimed, namely one ear cut off and one eye gouged, when she was a kitten.  So.  Anyway, Jackie is shy and sweet, and I haven’t seen her for several days, although I know that she is okay, she’s just hiding in the shed.  So I’m in the shed, and I hear a “meaow” that I don’t recognize.  I can see Georgia, and Cali, but neither of them are talking.  Could it be?  So I meow back and get an answer.  Several times.  Yes, it’s a good thing I don’t have close neighbors.  Anyway, I’m looking around for the source of the meowing, and I realize that it’s over my head.  And there sitting in the loft is Jackie.  I drag the ladder over to the loft and climb up to greet her.  She never hides, not even with the commotion of the ladder-dragging, and lets me pet her.  I give her a can of food, and leave her to her own devices, and pat myself on the back for my good fortune as I head back to the RV.

Then I spot her.  Sylvia is on the couch next to Jopty Gerbil. 

Sylvia: "How do you feel about mixed relationships?"

Jopty: "Beam me up, Scotty!"

He can run but he can't hide. He's on the left under the shelf.

Sylvia: "Hey, Jopty, can you come out and play?"

Sylvia: "I'm a vegetarian. Honest."

Sylvia: "Look into my eyes. You're getting verrrry sleepy..."

Sylvia: "What?? You've never seen a gerbil before? It's not such a big deal."

My Blank In Snow, 2010

February 13, 2010

My Car In Snow

The above picture was taken from the steps of my plantation RV, as opposed to plantation house.  The snow is melting away rapidly since the temperature has just crested 32 degrees.  Last night about 8 PM I glanced outside and everything was white with snow.  I couldn’t believe how quickly it happened.  I sit at the the RV mini-table that is attached to the wall when I’m working on the laptop, and last night I was concentrating on school work.  Inventory theory takes on new meaning when you have actually done inventory.  But… anyway… I looked up from inventory theory and behold.. a chilly white layer of snow.  Real snow. 

My Shed In Snow

The next photo is also taken from the steps of the RV.  You can see the awning at the top of the picture.  Last night when I opened the RV door, the top of the door scraped against the awning.  The awning was heavy with the weight of the snow, and I fear for the life of the awning.  It already has a massive tear in it that happened early on here at the Swamped! Plantation & TreeHugging Adventure in 2008, when Mr. Tree decided to drop a 10′ limb right into my awning.  There are lots more little holes in the awning, which is good for ventilation, but not so good for rain protection.

And now, a gratuitous awning picture from last year….

Mr. Tree Limb was here

Owl Tree Gallery in Lenoir City, TN

December 11, 2009

Do you Facebook?  Or should I say do you FB??

I resisted the lure of Facebook.  Until an old friend from high school invited me to be his “friend”.  Seemed reasonably harmless.  Then a few more folks joined in.  Who knew?  Won’t you be my friend??

One of the early friends was a woman that I had not seen since she graduated in 1973.  It turns out that she now owns a gallery in my hometown of Lenoir City.  Yup, Lenoir City, historic Lenoir City now has a gallery of art and handcrafts, the Owl Tree Gallery.  You can check it out at  I asked her if I could send some of my knitted-and-felted items for her approval.  She said yes.

"Daisy" purse

"Packett" backpack style purse

"Toppin" hat

She sold an item immediately.  Then another.  And now another. 

I’m a bit stunned.  I hope the reason for sales is not just the Christmas season.  If that’s the reason, I’m still good with that.  And I’m not ready to quit my day job. 

It’s interesting to see how the concept of networking can work.  I’ve been attempting to network for years.  It never seems to pay off.  Now it feels like it could.  So in the interest of obtaining materials at a cheaper cost, I’m investigating buying yarns at wholesale prices.  Buying wholesale generally means buying a large quantity.  And that means that I have to store yarn somewhere.  I suppose the shed could work for storage, although I never intended it to store yarn.

I can put Packett in charge of the warehouse.  Aureus can sign for deliveries.  Daisy can be in charge of counting inventory. 

And I can rake in the money on sales. 

I like the concept.

Toads “R” Us

August 20, 2009

In the evening, when the sun is almost down, these little toads and frogs suddenly appear in the wooded area around the RV and the shed.  I did not know how they just managed to appear out of nowhere.  The movement usually caught me by surprise, since nothing was moving and suddenly Mr. Toad would launch into a bumbling movement that could almost be called a hop. 

Last week I was planting some ajuga that I had gotten from Miz Florrie’s yard.  I had walked around deciding where to tuck the sprigs to their best advantage.  Some were planted by the turtle yard, some near the well, and the remaining ones would be nestled between the roots of several large trees.  I dug away some of the leaf litter and soil between the roots, and Mr. Toad popped his head up, looking very annoyed that I had disturbed his slumber.  He shook his head and blinked his eyes in an effort to wake up and see what the giant one was doing now.  I planted the ajuga a little further back from his doorway, and he slipped back into the shelter of his bed.

I was sleeping over here!

I was sleeping over here!

His doorway faces north.  See the moss on the tree?  I learned that in girl scouts a hundred years ago. 

Wild Wilbur from the woods

July 28, 2009
Wilbur gave me the willies

Wilbur gave me the willies

This is Wilbur in the woods (sounds like we are studying the letter “W”).  Wilbur had been hanging out in the general area outside the fence, never close enough for me to get a good look at him.  The dogs had seen him so much they finally stopped barking at him.  “Hey, it’s a cat-burglar.  Watch me bark!!  Oh, false alarm.  It’s just Wilbur.  Everybody go back to sleep…”
During the daytime, I tried to get a picture of him, Mr. Black-and-white elusive cat.  He cooperated by walking away and giving me a good shot of his hind-quarters.  Finally, one night I went to the woods with the camera.  I got this lovely shot of him before he gave me the hind-quarters pose. 
Anyway, while I was away in NY, the dogs were kenneled, and a friend was manning the cat station.  Apparently while I was gone, the cats were making a video called “Cats Gone Wild”.  The first day back, before the dogs returned from the kennel, I was sitting in the yard talking on the cell-phone to my daughter (yes, I’m one of those people who has to go outside to talk on the cell phone.) and Mr. Black-and-white cat comes strolling thru the yard like HE’S on vacation.  (I capitalize “HE” in the middle of a sentence for my niece Kari.)  He gave me a bad look and kept walking.  The next day he was in the shed, milling around with the other cats and the dogs.  The day after that he brushed up against my leg, and I took the opportunity to scruff him and stuff him into a carrier.  After a trip to the veterinary clinic and day spa, he returned, minus his cookies.  I released him at the cat station.  He shimmied under the gate back to the shed. 
He spends his time there, perched up high on some bookcases, coming down for food and other necessities.
No more Wilbur in the Woods.  He’s onto a good thing.

A mystery

July 24, 2009
The intruder left tracks

The intruder left tracks

When the concrete floor for the shed was installed, the windows were left open for the air to circulate.  When I got home that evening, I found that someone had gotten into the shed and left footprints.  I asked all the animals who could have done this.  No one would admit guilt.

Georgia especially would not admit guilt

Georgia especially would not admit guilt

Georgia is the most curious, but she was adamant that she was not guilty.  Her body language said otherwise.

They always return to the scene of the crime

They always return to the scene of the crime

 Crime does not pay.