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.
Okay, so you don't always pick up a whole new hobby when on vacation . . . but that's exactly what has happened to Elizabeth and me! When our cousin, Kelly, came up for the weekend, she told us about Disney Pin Trading. She had brought her pins and lanyard along, in preparation for the visit to Disney Springs, and told us all about it.
Apparently, pin trading was introduced into the Disney parks, resorts and cruise lines in 1999 as part of the Millennium celebrations. This activity became so popular that it is now one of the biggest things happening in Disney places around the globe! You can Google pin trading to find out all about it, but here's a short version. You purchase however many Disney pins you want to start with. These have to be metal pins with a pin back (no brooch styles) that feature Disney characters, designs or affiliates on the front --- as well as having the Disney copyright info on the back. If your pins fit all that criteria, they are 100% trade-able! You wear your pins on a neck lanyard (available in all Disney shops and parks or online) or a hip sheet and can approach Disney employees or other guests with pins to offer a trade. It's pin for pin, no money or haggling involved. Disney employees always trade with you, since all those pins are supplied by Disney. Other guests have the option of trading or not trading, of course.
Pin trading can be very pricey if you only purchase pins at the parks or Disney stores, but our cousin told us to have a look for them at flea markets, garage sales and even online! Not a bad idea. We let the idea sink in and thought about it while at Disney Springs for the second time. There is a huge Pin Traders shop there, and we had not realized that there was anymore to it than just buying souvenir pins. Well, the whole idea kept sticking in our minds, and as the hours ticked by we became more and more fascinated with the idea. Knowing that we were planning a trip to Epcot later in the winter, it seemed like something that would be really cool to try.
As soon as we arrived back home, we went online, ordered some lanyards (Chip and Dale lanyards) and found a really great deal on a lot of fifty starter pins. Those just arrived today, and we are SO EXCITED! Seeing them, it's totally obvious that fifty pins is not going to be enough, so I think that we're going to be working on making and selling some dolls or something to finance some more pins! We're planning one day at Epcot and a couple mornings at Disney Springs just for pin trading, so it's a pretty neat thing to be working on.
So, we're doing some reading up on the art of pin trading and what to prepare for when we finally get to Disney. In the meantime, it's a pretty exciting new hobby!
This has been a busy month. All four of us left for Miami, Florida, on June 6th (anniversary of D-Day!) --- which is the first time that all four of us have gone somewhere together on a trip in four years. We flew out from Columbus for Fort Lauderdale on that Tuesday morning, arriving at the airport to find our flight delayed by two hours! This was due to bad weather in Fort Lauderdale, so we discussed the option of going anyway or cancelling the tickets and going another time. Deciding to keep the tickets and go anyway, we figured that a bit of a delay would not be the worst thing. Our plane took off from Columbus at the same time it was supposed to have originally landed in FLA, and things just kept getting tense from there. The weather was so bad that the 2-hour-and-10-minute flight turned into a 7-hour ordeal of not being able to get off the plane. Long story short, the weather was so bad that the pilot tried to land first at Fort Lauderdale, but was refused. He then tried, the Bahamas, Miami, Pensacola and Tampa. After negative responses from all of those airports, he was forced to land the plane in Fort Myers to refuel. Stuck on the plane there for about an hour and a half before finally flying to Fort Lauderdale to land in a terrible storm. Whew! It was quite an experience, but God protected us from anything serious happening!
We spent a few days at Gramma and Grampa's condo in Miami, during which time we got to visit with some cousins who have two of the most adorable dogs you've ever seen!! GG is a Yorkie, and Valentino is a Miniature Poodle. Elizabeth and I had so much fun with them and took a ton of photos and videos. :) And, of course, we had a few Cuban pastries and visited our favorite Publix while there!
On Friday, June 9th, Mom and the two of us left Miami in the rental car and drove up to Gramma Gail's house in Central Florida. Dad flew home the next day (getting back to work and our three wonderful, but very lonely, kitties) from Fort Lauderdale on a totally normal and pretty calm flight. Driving up into Central Florida was a big relief, because it's much less built up there than Miami --- and coming from rural Ohio, it's quite a shock to be in such a crowded place as Miami! On the way, we were even able to stop at Port St. Lucie and visit a very nice Bass Pro Shop. Those stores make great "leg stretchers" when on a drive, since they have such neat stuff to see. Not to forget, too, that I was able to pick up a cool souvenir pack of my very own doubloons and pieces of eight.
We arrived at Gramma's house in the mid-afternoon with plenty of time to drop off our bags and return the rental car. On returning home from the Avis dealer, we found that Aunt Lori had surprised everybody and managed to come up to Gramma's house for the whole weekend! This was super fun, since we hadn't gotten to see her in years. We all had a wonderful time and spent a good portion of Saturday out and about at estate sales. Boy, the estate sales down there are amazing!
On the following Monday, the three of us drove off in Gramma's Prius for the grand destination of Disney Springs. We had been there once before just six months ago and been planning a trip back ever since! It's a beautiful shopping area inside the land of Walt Disney World, but it is totally free to visit. You don't even have to pay to park. There are shops of all kinds there, lots of which are duplicate souvenir spots to stores found in the Disney parks. This is the best souvenir place ever! One of the places that was high on our list was the Star Wars store. Why? Because we have two friends who are Star Wars crazy, and as we needed to get birthday presents for them, this was the place! We made a pair of "Build Your Own Lightsabers" at the special station there and mailed them from Gramma's house. That was really fun.
Another highlight to the Disney Springs day was the "Pick-A-Pearl" kiosk. Elizabeth and I had read about this and really wanted to do it. All in all, it was a really neat thing. All three of us picked our very own oyster, then the employee at the kiosk opened them to uncover our pearls!
I could fill a blog here about Disney Springs (which means that I'll try to do a couple more entries later on), but one more highlight has to be mentioned now. There is a cool place called "Bongo's Cuban Cafe" which is very near the Star Wars store. Surprisingly, we discovered that there is also a little gift shop in there. They just have a few shelves in there all filled with pre-Castro Cuba-themed items. Cool, right?! Totally! And the coolest thing was the shelf of baseball hats. Elizabeth and I came home with a pair of these and practically lived in them for the rest of the vacation.
The rest of that week was spent around Gramma's house. We visited her produce store, shopped at Patrick Air Force base (where Elizabeth was able to find a lot of pins and ribbons for her military displays), watched birds like black-capped Night Herons, Sandhill Cranes, Whistling Ducks, egrets and some White Ibis visit Gramma's patio. She also had a bunch of blue jays, grackles, woodpeckers and squirrels there as well.
The weather was certainly pretty poor, and we had rain every afternoon that stayed until the late evening. Thankfully, it did keep the temperatures more bearable than they otherwise would have been.
Come Thursday night, Aunt Lori was able to drive up with Kelly (our cousin) --- and they were able to stay until late afternoon on Saturday! We had SO much fun! On Friday, we all woke up early and packed a lunch and headed to Disney Springs again. The weather was much nicer than the previous Monday when we had gone, so we were able to walk around and look at more things. Plus, we'd finished our shopping list of "must dos", so we were more relaxed. Elizabeth and I came home with a number of squished pennies, new coffee mugs and a load of pictures. Oh, and I got a really cool souvenir. There is a store there called "Arribas Brothers". If you don't know what that is, be sure to look it up online. They are a hand-blown glass company that has been a main shop in Disney parks and resorts since Disneyland opened back in the 1960s. The glass figures there are like nothing else and totally amazing. It was definitely my very favorite store! I came home with the cutest little frosted glass Jiminy Cricket who stands in a clear glass dome (which also says "Walt Disney World" on it). He is sitting here right on my desk and is absolutely amazing!
On Saturday, before Aunt Lori and Kelly had to go home, we went to more estate sales. Hit the jackpot, too, since we found one loaded with sheet music books of advanced piano solos. Elizabeth shipped home almost sixty pounds of books in all, between sheet music and some film books!
By this point in the trip we were all pretty tired out. We spent a couple days taking it easy around Gramma's house before flying home on Wednesday, June 21st. We flew out of Orlando this time, which is a really nice airport (complete with a Disney store!). Having arrived at the airport almost three hours early and having a half-hour delay on our flight, we had plenty of time to sit around. We met a lovely family from India and talked for quite a while. They were on a forty-day vacation around Canada and some of the USA and had just finished some days at Disney. The two little boys told us all about the rides they enjoyed and showed us their really cool balloons.
To pass the time before our flight, Elizabeth and I rode the people mover about three times from the main area of the airport over to the concourse and gate area. That can be quite fun! Finally, it was time to board the plane. Just in case (after having the long experience on the flight down without any food), Elizabeth and I had packed all kinds of food and snacks. Thankfully, this flight went fine and we were back in Columbus about two hours later!
We had a fun time on this trip, but sixteen days away from home is a long time! We were certainly glad to see Pop waiting for us at the airport and to arrive back to our house --- and our three little kitties. I'll have to post some more entries about some of the other things we did, particularly our newest discovery: Disney Pin Trading!
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."