Thursday, July 27, 2017

ABC Wednesday..."C" as in Crazy Cat Lady?"

Welcome to ABC Wednesday and the letter "C" as in Crazy Cat Lady?

Yes, I asked that as a question.  Am I the Crazy Neighborhood Cat Lady?  Perhaps, but I'll never admit to how many cats currently live here.  All are rescues.  Where I lived previously my home backed up to an apartment complex.  I believe people sometimes moved and left their cats behind.  A feral colony formed nearby and the rest is history.  Most of my current cats wandered into the backyard.  There were also some that I trapped with a humane trap and had fixed and then released.  They were wild and didn't want to stay.

Four years ago I moved and there are no feral cats here.  Thank goodness.  I do not want anymore cats, but I would find it difficult to turn my back on a hungry cat.

I've had many cats over the years and every so often a really special one will come along.  I love all my cats, but I do have a favorite right now.  Meet Blackie...
Not exactly an original name, but she showed up one day and I fed her.  I didn't know if she'd come back and I just called her Blackie for obvious reasons.  Well, the next day she came back with a kitten and I started calling him Baby because he was obviously Blackie's baby.  Here they are today...
That's Baby on the left with the white whiskers.  He's also got white on his paws and under his chin.  Blackie has a tiny white spot here and there on her coat.

Blackie is my favorite cat and the rest of them all know it.  I tell them all the time.  She is no trouble at all and just as sweet as can be.

When they first showed up they lived outside.  I already had cats in the house and didn't plan on adding anymore to the mix.  I had them both fixed so there would be no more kittens.  They had the garage for shelter but spent most of the day in the backyard.  Blackie would stay on the deck right by the backdoor waiting for me to come out.  She never ventured very far from the door.  If I came out she followed me around the yard.  She always wanted to be held and would purr up a storm.   Finally, I had to bring them inside.  Blackie was so special and really wanted to come in.  Neither ever wanted to go outside again. 

In the first picture Blackie has one of her toys.  She sometimes carries them around and meows like crazy.  Yes, she's on the kitchen island.  I decided to give the cats the island in order to keep them off the kitchen counters.  It kind of works.  We never use the island for anything else.

In the second picture they're cuddled up together in a cat bed on the couch.

So what do you think?  Am I the Crazy Neighborhood Cat Lady like one of my sons claims?

To visit other ABC Wednesday participants click here.  Thanks for coming by.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

ABC Wednesday..."B" as in Bucket List

Welcome to ABC Wednesday and the letter "B" as in BUCKET LIST.
 I have had three things on my BUCKET LIST for many years.  I actually have more than three, but these three have been on my list the longest.

More than ten years ago I went to see a movie at a theater here in Houston.  I no longer remember the name of the movie, but I do remember one of the pre-movie ads.  It was all about a blueberry festival in August.  It gave the name of the town, but not the state.  I knew right away it couldn't be in Texas because our blueberry season is over in June.  When I got home I googled "Machias Blueberry Festival" and discovered it was in Maine.  Obviously, the ad was sent to our movie theater in error.  It never mentioned the state, so I assume the ad was meant for movie theaters in Maine.  I checked out the website and have wanted to go ever since.  I love blueberries and a state with lobster would be another plus.  I enjoy parades, pie eating contests, vendors, etc.  In case  you're interested this year's festival is August 18, 19, and 20.

Another place I've always wanted to visit (and really #1 on my list) is The Normal Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA.  I just love Norman Rockwell's work.  His paintings always tell a story.  When I was growing up in New Jersey my Dad would take the train to work in New York City.  He always picked up the Saturday Evening Post to read on the train.  Often something done by Norman Rockwell was on the cover and I would study every detail closely.  To visit the museum and see lots of his work up close would be a dream come true.
 Around 20+ years ago a traveling exhibit of his work came to Houston.  There was a special display at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.  I did find it a little strange at the time that the display wasn't at the art museum, but I went down to see it one morning.  It was work that Rockwell had done for the Boy Scouts.  As I walked into the room a few people were leaving.  After that it was just me and the security guard.  I was able to take my time and study each piece carefully.  They were all behind a roped off area and I was having a little trouble seeing, so the guard told me it would be OK if I ducked under the rope.  I'm sure he wasn't suppose to let anyone do that, but I was thrilled.

I have some prints of Rockwell's work hanging in my home.  I've also collected some Rockwell plates and figurines.  Most I've found at estate sales or antique malls.  At Christmas I have a Norman Rockwell Christmas village.  It's the main street of Stockbridge and there is even a figure of Norman Rockwell.
 This is one of the prints I have hanging over the fireplace.  It's my favorite Rockwell piece.  It's called "The Problem We All Live With." 
I like the way Mr. Rockwell showed this innocent child surrounded by hate.  You can see the smashed tomatoes and the word that's written on the wall.  She's being escorted to school by U.S. marshals, but you don't see their faces.  You have to look at the innocent child.  This was when 6 year old Ruby Bridges integrated an elementary school in New Orleans, LA in 1960. It appeared on the cover of Look Magazine in 1964.  I wish this kind of hate was gone forever, but sadly it's still with us.  I believe hate has taken on a life of its own on the Internet and I find that so sad.  I wonder what Rockwell would be painting if he were alive today?

The third thing on my bucket list is to go to the very top of Mt. Etna in Sicily.  I will try and remember to write about Mt. Etna when we get to the letter  E.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

ABC Wednesday - Letter A

I thought I'd join in with ABC Wednesday this go around.  I know I'm writing this on Thursday so please forgive me.  I like to think better late than never...right?

Alligators immediately came to mind when I thought of the letter A.  I find them fascinating.  My favorite place to visit alligators in Texas is at Brazos Bend State Park.  It's about an hour from here and my son and I went hiking there 6 or 7 times this past Spring.  It's too hot now.  I think I heard them say on the news this morning that the "feel like" temperature is 109 today.  That's with the temperature and the humidity factored together.  I probably won't get back to Brazos Bend until mid to late October when it finally cools off a little.  I'm getting too old to hike in the heat.

We like to hike around the lakes and keep an eye out for alligators. They come in all sizes.  My son took these photographs.
We even spotted some babies.  I believe these were probably a couple of years old.
Thanks for letting me join your party.  I'm hoping this way I'll stay on track and post at least weekly for 26 weeks.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Photobucket...I have no account!

Suddenly a couple of little boxes appeared on my blog saying, "Please update your account to enable 3rd party hosting."  The box came from Photobucket.  I noticed the background I had for my blog was gone.  Years ago I picked out the background at  As I recall it was free and I had it on my blog for many years.  I never changed it.  I probably used html from her site and it drew it into my blog via her Photobucket account?  That's the only thing I can think of right now. 

Yesterday I went to Apple Poppy Designs to see what was going on and her blog was covered with the photobucket boxes saying, "update your account."  It made reading anything on her blog impossible.  Today I can no longer get into her blog.  It says it's by invitation only.  I know the Photobucket thing isn't her fault, but she's probably heard from a lot of people.  She did nothing wrong.  I did some online research and all over the Internet people are upset with Photobucket.  They went from free to charging $399 overnight.  People are deleting their accounts.  You can see what people are saying here.  I guess if she deletes her account it will make the Photobucket thing on my blog go away?

My problem is that I do not have a Photobucket account.  My background came from Apple Poppy Designs and I believe she would have to update her account (pay $399) or delete her account.  Since she did these backgrounds for free I don't think she's going to pay that kind of money.  I know I wouldn't.  I don't need the background.  My blog is fine without it.  I'm just not sure how to get rid of the annoying Photobucket notices.

If someone knows what to do please tell me.  I've had my blog this way for so long and I'm not exactly computer savvy.  I'm afraid if I start messing around I might make things worse.

Suggestions please.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Doll Day...Making doll drinks with polymer resin

I decided to spend my Saturday working on a couple of doll projects.  I really need to be outside trimming the bushes in the front of the house, but it's so HOT!

I decided to work on some lemonade for my doll's lemonade stand.  I've been wanting to do this for a while, but I was having trouble finding the supplies I needed.  I make drinks with polymer resin and I couldn't find the correct color dye.  I spent some time researching on the Internet and people were talking about using alcohol ink for dye, so I headed to Michael's and picked some up.

I took a picture of the pitcher and a few of the glasses of lemonade that I made.  The rest were in a safe cat proof place drying.
I used clear beads and some chunks of clear plastic that are sold for decorating tables for ice.  I think the chunks might be called scatters?  Anyway, they worked well.  The lemon slices are actually erasers that I bought at Dollar Tree many years ago.  They came in a bag with lots of other little eraser things that I threw out.  I bought the bags for the lemon slices!  I haven't seen them in Dollar Tree for years and I'm almost out now.  I probably put too many in the pitcher.  I wanted some to float on top but I put them in too soon and they sunk.  It needed to set up a little longer.  Oh well, I don't think my dolls will notice.

In case you're interested I found directions for making doll food and drinks about 14 years ago on a site called Pannikins.  This was before You Tube videos and other online directions.  I still find this site to be my favorite.  There are great directions and pictures and although they're for doll house scale (1:12) most are easily converted to 1:6 scale.  Sadly, the lady died but her son has kept the website up.  Her name was Mary Eccher and she was a very creative and talented person.  Take a look at all the food and drinks she made!

After the lemonade I worked on my dolls' game room.  This has been a work in progress for years. Reid had someone save the games at Toys R Us because he knew they were the correct scale for my dolls.  They were models of larger game tables that they sold.  So, my dolls had to have a game room...right?  In recent years there isn't a very good selection of sticky Contact Paper and that's what I use in my cabinets for wallpaper.  I had originally used this paper for a doll bedroom, but it just didn't work.  Then I decided to put the doll bedroom in the space where I had the game tables and move the game room to the old doll bedroom.  Did you follow that?  Anyway, this paper works better for a game room. I'm still not crazy about it, but it will have to work.  Today I covered the floor with another roll of contact paper that I thought went OK with the paper on the walls.  Now I'll have to decorate the walls with the kind of signs you'd find in a game room.  I took a quick picture of how it looks today.  Eventually it will get finished.
Of course, this is just a preliminary picture.  They would never be in the game room without adult supervision in a "real" picture.

So that all kept me busy today.  Tomorrow afternoon I have to go up to Spring, Texas which is about an hour from here to pick up some chairs that I bought at an antique mall.  I never liked the dining room chairs that we had and have often thought about replacing them.  Then last weekend I saw six chairs that I thought were perfect, but I could only fit three in my car.  So, tomorrow Reid will go with me and we'll pick up the rest.  Then I'll try and sell the original chairs.  Wish me luck.

I'd better run...

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Celebrating the 4th of July...

...and remembering one of our most important freedoms.

Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.