Doing the best job we can at aging Henry from the various signs of kitten-hood, we've placed his birthday at August 18th. We might be off a bit, but it's worked out to that for more than three weeks now, no matter how we try to figure out his age --- so, we've settled on that one. That being the case, here are some pictures that show him at 11 weeks and 3 days old.
Henry loves to eat. The good thing about him, though, is that he is NOT picky. He likes a real variety, whether it's kitten food, chicken, turkey, pumpkin or scrambled eggs. This is the first week where he is able to digest his food like a real cat, because his intestinal bacteria seems to be now developed. To help him through that stage, we had been feeding him boiled chicken, pumpkin and scrambled eggs. Well, he has developed such a taste for all of them that he loves a variety. Check out the last picture in the slideshow above, and you'll see his little plate of all flavors. Of course, he doesn't really know that there have been probiotics on his food lately, so we won't add that to his favorite list.
One thing that Henry would love is a sleeping buddy. None of the big cats are ready to let him into their beds during nap time quite yet, so the little fellow has to sleep by himself. To help him feel better about that, I gave him a fluffy plush dog that I have (named "Charlie George"), and it makes a great companion. Henry loves to cuddle and bite him and sleep with him!
Right now, Henry's biggest problem is teething. When they aren't actually breaking through, he is a very sweet little fellow and self entertaining. When his teeth are coming through, though, he has to chew everything and he gets mean. Usually he can be distracted with a dangly toy, etc., but it's quite a job! Can't wait for all his little teeth to be in. More later.
They are finished! Mom and I finished Elizabeth's blanket a couple nights ago, and last night we finished mine! It's no secret that the two of us are really crazy about "Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit". Anything Middle Earth is really enjoyed around here. We've got swords hanging in our room (all replicas of the movie props) and even have a full-size replica of the Black Arrow hanging on our beam! Well, we were really thrilled to find out earlier this year that some fabric was released at JoAnn's with "Lord of the Rings" patterns. One of them was a flannel in blacks and browns with the logo and Frodo's picture and name all over it. Cool! We bought a bunch of it (actually, the first time we found it, we had a great coupon and bought the whole bolt!) and decided to make large throw/blankets out of it. We both like to cuddle under a blanket when watching movies, and we've been meaning to make some for years. This seemed the perfect opportunity. No other flannel really seemed to look like a great match, because we really wanted it to look like a "Frodo blanket", not a pieced quilt or anything. After discussing some different options, I told Mom that I really wanted to try making it out of the one fabric. So, that's what we did! They may not win any prizes for construction or originality, but they are amazing!!
CLICK TO ENLARGE.
These pictures show the blanket. It's the same on both sides. We didn't want batting or anything fluffy inside, so we decided to use something different. Elizabeth's has a white 100% cotton table cloth in there, which makes it very drapey and cuddly. Inside mine, I picked an old cotton "summer-weight" blanket that we've had for years. It's really thin and cuddly --- and absolutely no static in the winter! They are quite large, as you can see. That is my double bed above, and it spreads out to cover it (not draping down, of course). We didn't want anything too small, because it's nice to totally cuddle up in a chair.
The flannel isn't the quality of good quilting stuff. It's like the typical JoAnn's "Snuggle" flannel, so lower quality fabric. We pre-washed and dried it before sewing the blankets. Doing this on high in each machine makes sure that everything shrinks as much as it is going to before actually putting anything together. The blanket and tablecloth, of course, were also totally pre-washed and dried as well. To make the blankets wider than the yardage (which was about 40" wide once washed and dried), we cut three 2-yard lengths. One of those lengths, we took and cut in half the long way (making a piece approximately 2-yards long by 20" wide). Then, we sewed a 20" wide piece to each of the full 40" pieces. The finished blankets are about 60" wide by 75" long. They are each slightly different, due to the different inside layers and the seams needed for those. It was a lot easier to sew the flannel to the cotton blanket, because the pieces of fabric stuck to each other. The cotton tablecloth was pretty tricky, because everything was prone to sliding around.
All in all, it was really fun to make these, and the results are so cuddly. I can't imagine sitting without this! It's also really exciting to have the Frodo theme. We can't wait until our annual "New Year's Trilogy Week" where we take five days to watch all the Hobbit movies and Lord of the Rings films in order. (We watch "Two Towers" and "Return of the King" back-to-back on New Year's Day, because they really are better when seen in a row.)
So, that's the newest project we've been working on. Lots more sewing to do, but most of it will probably have to wait until after Christmas. We've got a trip to Florida coming up soon, too, so looking forward to that! More later.
Why, oh why, does the time have to change??? I just can't stand this time of year --- and just when I get used to it, the time will come for the clocks to move forward again!
We've been busy. Henry is teething. Things have been a little rocky in the cat world. Henry is adjusting to life in the house pretty well, and the other cats are starting to get used to him and establishing their "pecking order". Sammy is still nervous, but it takes him a while to get used to any changes. Years ago, I decided to put a throw pillow on my bed. It was two weeks before he could even go near the bed again! What's been sad is the fact that the big cats have some kind of virus or something. It's something that swells their breathing passages and throats up, making it difficult for them. We actually took Sammy to the vet (his first time since getting fixed) and even had him x-rayed. Nothing wrong inside, no obstructions or anything like that. So, it's just a matter of waiting it out, making sure they eat and drink and sleep. Lots of praying, most of all!
Henry is now eleven weeks old, getting bigger and really teething! He chews everything. You can't leave anything around that might be chewable. We have put all kinds of things down for him to play in and chew on, and he's enjoying his new life. He really misses his mother, and since none of the big cats are willing to cuddle with him yet, I gave him a furry plush dog that I have. He seems to really like that and curls up with it quite often.
Henry is particularly cute when sleeping, so here are a few pictures. You can click on them to enlarge to full size.
Aside from the cats, we have gotten a little time this week to do other things (though not too much, because the felines have really been taking a lot of time). Elizabeth spent a day in the kitchen working on baking. She made some fabulous bread, but the best were . . . bagels! They were amazing! She even made a salt bagel for me. Totally scrumptious.
While Elizabeth was busy baking, Mom and I actually got some time to sew! It was SO fun!! We're working on making blankets for TV watching. The two of us really want blankets made of the "Frodo" flannel that we got this Summer. We almost finished one blanket already and the other is about half finished. I'll post photos of those as soon as they're done!
Believe it or not, we have had the first snow of the year already! It happened two days ago, on Saturday, and it wasn't the little granular stuff, either. They were big flakes! Nothing stuck to the ground, but it lasted about twenty minutes and really came down. Here's the best picture I could get, but it doesn't show up that well.
Over the last two months, we have been making some big changes in the Living Room. This is the original part of the house, with a beam that runs down the middle to separate about one third of the room from the other, though it is all one large room. We have the wood stove in there, as well as two leather sofas, a coffee table, cabinet, hutch, trunk, etc. On one of the four walls is a pair of French doors leading the Front Room, on another wall are two doors leading the Computer/Sewing Room, the third wall has two more doors which lead into the Kitchen, and the last wall has two large three-panel windows in them looking out into the yard and the bird feeding area. All that said, there isn't much wall space at all.
We like to have friends over to watch old movies. Up to now, our Library has been the only spot in the house with a TV (see previous posts for pictures of that room). There are a lot of bonuses to having your television upstairs and at the very back of the house --- like it's not the first thing anyone sees when they walk in. You don't see the road or traffic at night while watching. The noise stays up there and not all over the house, etc. On the other hand, you have to go up our tiny little stairwell to get there. You're very far from the kitchen and food/food preparation. You can't have the TV on when you're doing other things like sewing, etc. Well, the pros of having one downstairs seemed too good to ignore, especially when we were able to get the exact same Panasonic Viera Plasma screen that we have upstairs on Craig's List for $50.00. All we had to was order a wall mount and get going . . . and pick which of the two wall options we wanted for the new television.
Here is a picture showing the wall in question in our Living Room as it has looked for a couple of years now. The first step was to remove all of the art from the wall. It's always easier to take it down than to put it up!
Here is the room with the new TV wall mounted and put in place. It stayed like that for some weeks, because we decided that Pop should build a shelf to mount on the wall above the television. So, he bought the lumber and got to work!
Finally, just yesterday, we brought in the finished shelf inside and mounted it! It really looks amazing, and we've all been enjoying just staring at it. The photo above shows the finished thing. All of the fish in display cases are wood carvings that Pop has made in the last few years. You can click the photos below to see them at full size.
Here is a quick update on our cleaned-out, rearranged TV room/Library upstairs. This is the room where the majority of our books are stored (though there are about 2,000 more spread in some other rooms), plus our main television. As of this Summer, we have installed a wall-mounted TV in the Living Room downstairs, as it makes having friends over to watch movies a lot nicer. Also, it's in the room with the wood stove, which will make winter much better.
We were able to dismantle two old chairs that had really worn out, and we got the burgundy chair a few weeks ago. Right now, the room has been turned into a temporary home for Henry the Kitten, but he had his first introduction into the whole house yesterday and should soon be out of this room.
Click on Pictures to Enlarge.
This is the room where we do all of our sewing, felting and hobbies. Well, hand sewing. Machines are downstairs in the old dining room, which is now a sewing and computer room.
I'm working on taking pictures in each room, and hope to add a tour of the whole house later this year!
The little kitten is now inside the house, and we're calling him "Henry".
In fact, we brought him inside two weeks ago, just one day after the last blog post. The weather turned and started getting very cold at night, so there was no choice but to bring him in. It was just too cold outside. Mom called Aunt Lori (who fosters kittens and knows a lot about this kind of thing) and was able to ask all kinds of questions. There was no way he could be near our three cats, because he still had a couple fleas . . . though we had been combing him in the garage and gotten a lot off. He also was still in the middle of the de-worming process, so the big cats can't afford to catch that either.
Aunt Lori told Mom just how to bring him in and give a kitten flea bath. It was a cold and rainy day, so we had to be all ready to do it and get him warmed up right away. We had just finished cleaning out and rearranging the back room upstairs, which is great, because that room (with its walk-in closet and full bathroom) is half of the upstairs of the house --- and we can close it off with just one door from the rest of the house and the other cats. No problem. The big cat tree house is even up there, so we just got out some cat toys, made a few little beds around, turned the electric heaters on and closed the door. Putting a litter box and food bowls in the bathroom up there was easy, and everything was ready for Henry.
As soon as Henry adjusts to food, we'll let him out into the house to see if he can mesh with the other three cats. If they all like each other, that will be great. If they can't be happy together, then we'll find a good home for Henry. It all really depends on the cats and how they do. They've all met a couple times in the back room. Oliver doesn't mind him. Max thinks he might be okay --- as long as the kitten stays out of his face. Sammy, on the other hand, is petrified. Twenty-five pounds of cat is scared to death of a three-pound kitten!
So, that is the biggest news going on around here. We will have to wait a bit longer to know for sure if Henry is here to stay, but he's been lots of fun to have, either way.
We've all been a little preoccupied around here since Friday. Why? We have had a little feline visitor. Some nasty person dropped him off at our corner on Friday (a neighbor thinks they saw someone throw him out the vehicle window), and this little orange male kitten appeared in our bushes around five o'clock. His eyes haven't even totally finished changing color yet (still blue rims!), and from his other looks, he can't be eight weeks old. When he came, his nose was all skinned up and his eyes were crusted up, so we've been giving him antibiotic drops, went to the vet and got wormer for him, etc. It's amazing, today being only Tuesday, how much better he has gotten!
He is the cutest, sweetest, friendliest, smartest kitten you'll ever see. Extremely right-pawed. He's totally a "people lover", and very "indoors". We've made a home for him in the garage while we try to find a real home for him. Thankfully, we were really blessed to find a kitten-sized tree house on Saturday at a garage sale, so he even has something to play on. His favorite toy is a shiny/furry green plush ball! But the little red heart-shaped toy is the one he takes to bed with him every night! He loves to be held, brushed and petted. And he purrs any time you might pay attention to him. We have to sneak out via the front door to get to the back yard to hang clothes outside, because he wakes up at the first sound of the back door opening or someone even walking near the garage.
This little kitten really enjoys playing. He's a very indoor fellow, but he came outside in the yard for a bit today to play. Traffic unnerves him, but he could run right back in the garage if he needed to! So, you can see why we've all been preoccupied. :)
Aside from the kitten, we have been doing to re-arranging in the TV room upstairs. The two old recliners that were up there had really seen their day, so we were on the look out for one non-reclining chair to replace them. Well, the perfect thing was at a garage sale on Saturday for $25.00. So, we actually dismantled the recliners last night (recycling or reusing the various parts and pieces) and are going to finish rearranging today. Photos to come later of that . . . and more.
Today is a big day! Sammy is celebrating his 11th birthday. So far, he's had a delicious Chicken pate breakfast, taken three baths and chased jingly balls around the kitchen and living room. Rather unusually, he was even game to pose for the camera for a few seconds . . . and I got some wonderful pictures! It's been years since I could snap a birthday photo of him where he wasn't sleeping. Here he is in all his magnificent cuteness! Happy birthday, Sammy!
I've finished two more needle-felted dolls in the last two months, and it's about time that I posted the pictures. :)
These are two more dwarves from Tolkien's fantastic Middle Earth. They are based on the characters as seen in "The Hobbit" film trilogy, and one of these is heading down to the State Fair this weekend! Here they are . . . Bofur (just finished last night) is on the left, and Dwalin is on the right.
Elizabeth made the leather accessories for both dolls, which includes belts, Bofur's boots, Dwalin's boot wrappings, Bofur's hat, and Dwalin's harness and matching hand armour pieces. She also drew Dwalin's tattoos on his head. To see more photos and specs for these dolls, just click here to see the photo gallery on this blog. I still need to get webpages on our site for both of these, but that link has a nice amount of photos already!
Last year, Bifur and Nori went to the State Fair. This leaves us with even pairs left of the brother dwarves, so Bombur and Bofur are going this weekend. Bombur was finished last year, but he's been very patient about waiting his turn.
Tolkien's dwarves are divided into two or three-member family groups. Bofur makes a whole trio complete of a family --- Bifur, Bofur and Bombur. So, in honor of their happy reunion, the three gents posed for this picture:
On a more serious note about these guys . . .
Each doll is totally needle-felted out of solid 100% wool. The only non-wool on them is used for any of the decorative accessories. Each doll body is usually felted out of Romney wool, because I think it makes a nice solid base --- which really makes the dolls stand up by themselves very well. I needle-felt all of their clothes out of various types of wool, sometimes throwing in some alpaca, mohair or llama fiber for texture or color variance. If you check out the link in the paragraph above, you'll see some fiber charts made for several of the dolls. That kind of gives an idea of the variety used in each character.
It takes a long time to felt one of these dolls. Dwalin has 57 hours of work in him, and Bofur has 61 hours. That usually translates to about two or three months of my "free time". They all stand between 8-1/2 to 9-1/4" and weigh between two to four ounces. Bofur and Bombur will be in the Needle-Felting division of the Ohio State Fair, so if you're in Columbus over the last few days of July or first week of August, you can stop by and say "hi" to them! More later.
SAMWISE: MY HONEY-POT
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.
BEATRICE: MY HONEY-BEE
Edward James Eliot
My "favorite" member of the Clapham Sect. Not very much is known about him, but what is preserved keeps a beautiful memory alive of an exemplary Christian man.
William Wilberforce Quote:
May I look to Him for wisdom and strength and the power of persuasion, and may I surrender myself to Him as to the event with perfect submission, and ascribe to Him all the praise if I succeed, and if I fail say from the heart thy will be done.
For you Jesus Christ came into the world. For you he lived and showed God’s love. For you he suffered the darkness of Calvary and cried at the last, ‘It is accomplished.’ For you he triumphed over death and rose to new life. For you he reigns at God’s right hand. All this he did for you, though you do not know it yet.
Where there is one, there is a majority of one; and when the rights of the majority take away from the rights of the one, then the many will themselves suffer.
~Henry David Thoreau~
I often think of Bag End. I miss my books, and my armchair, and my garden. You see, that's where I belong. That's home. That's why I came back, because you don't have one. A home. It was taken from you. But I will help you take it back if I can.
~ Bilbo Baggins ~
FAVORITE BOOKS & FILMS
Gone With the Wind (Mitchell)
Genesis of a Legacy (K. Ham)
Prisoner of Zenda (Hope)
Amazing Grace (2007)
Bertie & Elizabeth (2002)
Farmer's Daughter (1947)
Ride Clear of Diablo (1954)
Secondhand Lions (2003)
He was born with a gift of laughter & a sense that the world was mad.
The future is to be read with certainty only in the past. Man never changes.
PRIDE & PREJUDICE:
A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony, in a moment.
PRIDE & PREJUDICE:
Laugh as much as you choose, but you will not laugh me out of my opinion.
WINSTON CHURCHILL ON
KING GEORGE VI
"His conduct on the Throne may well be a model & a guide to constitutional sovereigns throughout the world today & also in future generations."
"For 15 years George VI was King. Never at any moment in all the perplexities at home & abroad, in public or in private, did he fail in his duties."