Happy Birthday to my Honorary Irish Siamese Cat

She doesn't care if it's her birthday, she does not want her picture taken.

 

Born on St. Patrick's Day, pretty Miss Angel turned 18 years young today! My big little son (who was just my little son way back then) and I decided on a whim one day to go to the local shelter to pet and play with all the lonlies there. We walked in the door, and about 1 minute later were making arrangements to take home a beautiful little Siamese Mama cat and her one and only 2-day-old baby. They had been abandoned in an apartment by run away renters, and the landlord brought them to the shelter the day Angel was born, which was St. Paddy's Day.

She's always been on the reserved side (and just a tad bit grumpy), compared to her Mama who was talkative and a lot more interactive. As she's gotten older, she's less shy and less distant, but I think in part that's because she hasn't had her Mom to lean on (since Asia passed away a few years ago), and relies more on us for company.

She likes the poochies a lot, and they really like her, but these wild woollies are a bit too rambunctious at times for her to handle. Once in a while she takes it upon herself to discipline them, just a little. When they get in crazy mode and jump on her chair, she is forced to lean over and give them a good bite on the leg. They know then it's time to simmer down, and they let her get back to her all important snoozing. When they are being good mannered and calm, Angel is happy to have one or both of the doggies sit in the chair with her, snuggle up and relax.

 

 

She sleeps a lot these days, which is to be expected as she is a cat, and an ancient one to boot! But on occasion, when she's having a perky spell, we can still tempt her to play with a string, or she'll zip around and pretend scratch on furniture, or ask to go outside on a sunny day and make a lap around the yard. Then she'll settle back in her favorite chair, and resume napping.

I sure love the little thing, and feel blessed having had her in our lives for this good long stretch, and hope to have her around for a long time more! Happy Birthday my sweet Angel cat!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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A Good Old Fashioned Christmas

This is a pic of a painting by local artist David Swanson, borrowed from Facebook, of our town at Christmas time.

Merry Christmas, all! It feels like Christmases from years back around here, because we have had blizzard conditions in the last few weeks, just like when I was a kid.

Photo borrowed from Facebook.

The street crews were working round the clock for a few days because the wind was blowing so fiercely they couldn't keep any streets or roads clear.

 

We won the “lowest temp with windchill” game! It was wretched! I had never in my life had a “snow day” before last Monday, but they closed where I work, and kids weren't required to attend school if it was too difficult for them to get in.

Pic posted to Facebook by a local.

 

Another area pic posted to Facebook by a local.

 

This was at the beginning of the rough weather late last week. I took this photo as the deer came in to forage from the green waste pile at work, where it is easy pickins. A local brewery dumped their many bins of spent grain, and there were at least a dozen and a half deer having a smorgasbord there for several days. They just love it.

 

 

We all stayed snugly warm in the little scale house. Piper enjoyed watching the deer out the window, and Declan stayed all tucked in her blankies.

I didn't end up putting a lot of Christmas decorations out after all. The small storage room where I keep my holiday decorations is currently where all the more fragile, and non-mouse proof cabin goods are being kept. And there are bins upon bins stacked in there. I have beautiful Christmas stuff, and hate skipping a year of seeing it all, but it would have been plain old self abuse to try and man-handle all of that cabin gear to get to the decorations, to then man-handle all those tubs, boxes, and bins that hold the decorations. Then, in just a few short weeks, it would be time to go thru the whole process again to put it away. So, hopefully, next year the cabin will be finished enough to have all those tubs back where they belong at the little mountain house.

Here is what I did manage to scrounge up to add a little holiday cheer.

I kind of have a little “farmy” theme going here this year, because these do-dads were easily accessible. Santa and his jingle bell sheep, with a few pine trees, and an old plaid camp blanket.

Santa and his reindeer, just landed in the barnyard.

 

An old toy truck (from Bruce's boyhood), filled with bottle brush trees, and towing the cute little bird house trailer my Mom and Dad made me for Christmas a few years ago. (I will never put that sweet thing in the yard for the birds – selfish me……. Don't tell Santa shhhhhh.)

And the pretty antique deer family (that really belongs to my big little son, but I won't relinquish guardianship of them until he OWNS his own home, and I'm sure he couldn't give a hoot one way or another how long I keep them 🙂 ) nestled in a bed of pine boughs, with a deer shed antler candleholder. I have a few other things scattered here and there, but not much to speak of compared to what I usually put out. I will be grateful for such a small amount when the time comes to “un-decorate” because it will take about 1/8 the time it normally takes me.

We will all be going to the farm for Christmas dinner. My poor Mom keeps getting stuck hosting all the Holiday dinners, even tho I argue and try to get them to come to my house. I'm sure she thinks that each holiday we are upon may be the last one spent at the farm, because they are still in the process of trying to sell it. It is a heart wrenching experience, and they are finding that potential buyers can be very mean and demanding people. They love their farm with all their hearts; it's not just a piece of property to them. That makes the whole process even more difficult. So, we will make more good Christmas memories at the farm; eat, drink, and be merry!

Merry Christmas and Glad Tidings to you all!

TTFN,

Teresa 🙂

 

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Good Company

Look at this pretty little lady that came to share a gift with me.

Right outside my kitchen window, I got to watch the whole, beautiful process of her (and her mate) hatching and rearing their brood. Five perfectly blue eggs, where normally a robin lays only 4. I watched anxiously to see if all five would hatch off.

I stealthily checked each day when she was away from the nest so I wouldn't stress her. It only took a quick peek out my kitchen window to gage the progress. And soon enough…..

Two eggs left, so I kept a close watch to see if they'd hatch.

Four of the 5 hatch, and the funny thing is, the fifth egg just disappeared from the nest! I can't imagine what happened to it – I checked the ground beneath the nest and never did see the egg. So, 4 sweet little babies, and they were this big and feathered just a few short days after they hatched.

A couple more days and they are much more alert and aware of the happenings around them. Their parents spend a lot of time finding food for them. They also spend a lot of time fighting off the wicked awful magpies, who will eat the eggs as well as babies if they get the chance. I am not a fan of magpies. They are very pretty and extremely smart, but noisy, obnoxious, and ruthless.

 

They grow so rapidly that soon the nest is quite tight for them, and is literally overflowing, as they dangle over the nest edge to cool off. Two of them are a fair bit larger than the other 2.

Just a few more days, and the 2 larger chicks fledge. That really surprised me as I assumed they all left the nest at the same time. But nature is very ingenious. This worked perfectly because one parent tended to the fledged chicks, and the other parent kept feeding and tending the 2 smaller ones that remained in the nest.

The 2 smaller remaining chicks.

Only a couple more days of toting and fetching by the parent to the remaining 2, and they were all caught up in size to their siblings.

When I got up this morning and peeked out the window, this is what I saw. I will miss the daily adventure of watching this little family, but feel so blessed to have been able to witness the whole process. And, let me tell you, after having raised a few baby robins when I was a kid, it is a much easier job to watch their parents do all the work! My poor mom got the job of chopping up worms and feeding the babies my brother or I found on the ground because they had been unlucky enough to have been dislodged from their nests by some mishap all those years ago! I guess we must have been squeamish kids; we'd fetch the worms but Mom got the job of chopping and feeding. It was mighty handy having a “Dr. Doolittle” for a mom. She did a great job, and we raised and released several baby robins.

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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So Ready For It!

Gosh, this has been a pretty Spring so far! I guess I feel like it is my responsibility to inundate you with globs of happy, Springy photos 🙂

This year the fruit trees are absolutely loaded with blossoms in town. Light pink, dark pink, creamy white; and now some of the lilacs are starting to pop, lending to the explosions of color. And, it seems like overnight, it is as green as Ireland around here.

 

 

 

The birds planted this Japanese flowering crab outside my back door. It is about 4 years old now, and it is packed with blossoms this year. The funny part is, it is actually 2 trees growing together, and 1 has dark pink blossoms, the other has light pink! Looking like just one tree, it is surprising to see the 2 different colors.

This apple tree below is the first tree I planted when we moved into our house. I can't remember the name, but it's a crab variety and has the most delicious, sweet little apples. I have to try to beat the birds to them every year.

We're not too far off from yummy rhubarb everything – from pies, cobbler, and muffins; to conserve, and punch…..because I can't stand to waste a bit of it. I think my little family isn't all that fond of the stuff, but too bad, so sad for them! If I grow it, I use it!

I've had a small box of potatoes sitting on a blanket on my couch in the kitchen since last fall. Miss Piper shredded the seat of this particular leather couch shortly after I got her, when she was having a sock mauling frenzy. I repaired it as best I could, all the while reminding myself that it was an old couch (even if it was in perfect condition prior to the mauling incident), and I couldn't hold it against her since she is just a fun loving puppy dog. I no more than turned my back, when she completely undid my repair job, complete with a little extra flair and fluff kicked in. Hence the blanket over the boo-boo, weighted down with the box o' potatoes!

Come Spring, the remaining spuds were merrily sprouting away in the box – sans dirt. So, I risked taking the designated couch protector away, leaving just the blanket covering the wounded cushion. My Grandpa O'Connor told me when I was a little kid that St. Patrick's Day is the best day to plant potatoes. Out they went to my raised bed garden. I plopped them in the dirt, taking care to point the sprouts up and barely, barely poking out of the dirt (March is normally darn cold in MT, and I was hoping they wouldn't freeze off)

 

Here is one of about eight that are making their way thru.

There were 9 to start………..

See the fresh crater at the bottom of the photo?

Yup. She dug it up, toted it into the house, dirt up her nose, potato full of holes, and apparently a good time was had by all (except the potato). She is ever so busy.

What a goof ball! Here she is in “taking a break” mode, her rump plopped on the step with feet dangling. This resting thing is a rare sight to behold.

I don't know how it's possible that she and Declan weigh more than a pound a piece (they weigh 24 and 16 pounds respectively) – they go like wildfire and I would think burn, bare minimum, three times the amount of calories they consume! But they are both fit as fiddles, sleek and muscled.

 

Little Declan is a bit more collected than the Buffalo Gal. She is definitely not the instigator in all the shenanigans around here. She is very sweet tempered.

These girls love to go “bye-bye”. So we loaded up and went to the park to see if the swans were here yet to let us know it's officially Spring. No such luck, but we found a close second!

 

Those are some darn cute, fluffy little Spring conveyors!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Untitled

 

The Spirit moved me to dust today, and I decided it was an opportune time to put out a few doggies from my collection.

Looking at these wire haired terriers, I would bet Miss Piper Doodle has many relatives of this breed of dog in her lineage.

This cute plate was a bargain find at the thrift store.

I like looking for dogs for my collection that I've had in real life, as sort of reminders. Even tho we had many dogs as I was growing up, in high school I got the first dog that was officially “mine”. She was a pure bred greyhound puppy. My Aunt knew some ranch folks that had a pair that had a litter. My puppy was the last one of the litter and was about 4 months old. Since they hadn't had an interested buyer for her, they told my Aunt I could have her since they were assured she'd have a good home. I named her Chatelaine, Laine for short, and we all loved her for a good many years. She was a beauty, and one of the sweetest, smartest, calmest, most well mannered dogs we've ever had.

A whole herd of little blue and white antique terriers.

An antique bird dog TV lamp, and a few St. Bernard's thrown in the mix. I've never had either of these breeds as pets, but they're cute.

A shepherd dog keepin' warm buy the wood stove.

A pair of bird dogs for the table centerpiece.

I can't put the little corgi or border collies from my collection out just yet, because losing Glee and Rooti is too fresh. But they'll take their place among the rest of the good reminders, a few years down the line.

TTFN,

Teresa 🙂

 

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Hang On To Your Hat!

Oh, the wind!!! Usually it simmers down toward the end of November, but it has run right into December this year. This sign I saw posted on Facebook just about covers it!

Nonetheless, it has been ever so beautiful on these wintery days. You can just about always count on that around here.

This was last Tuesday –

The next day was about a 180* turnaround –

 

 

This last photo is of the same trees in the first photo. It was so pretty at work…..blustery and cold, everything in shades of black, white, and grey. Then, a half dozen delicate little does and their babies appeared, trekking toward the trees and down to the river, breaking up the monotone landscape.

The next day was like a snow globe had settled, and it brought brilliant blue skies, and sparkling white mountains.

The Canadian Honkers were flying over by the hundreds before the storm set in. Many were landing in the fields nearby where grain had been harvested, taking advantage of what had been knocked off in the process.

Some took time to rest at the river, taking a break from fighting the wind.

When it gets so cold and windy, it tends to slow down a bit at work. It is so nice to have my silly girls to keep me entertained thru the day 🙂

Must be like sitting on your Mom's lap when you're little. The buffalo gal just piles right on top of little Declan, and makes herself comfortable!

Piper taught herself to get up to the window so she can take a gander at all the goings on outside. That drawer is heated, so she pops up there, gets herself situated, and takes in all the happenings. Best spot in the house!

 

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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A Formal Apology

I wish to issue a formal apology to the wee visitors I posted about several weeks ago.

The story was that my dog's food was disappearing mysteriously every night. The enamel ware pan they use holds 4 to 5 cups of food. I could go to bed after filling the pan, and get up bright and early the next morning to a shiny, empty pan. After having 4 extremely cute orphaned baby skunks playing in our yard all summer, I was certain one or more had figured out how to use the doggy door, and was helping itself to dinner.

Umm, apparently not………

Imagine my surprise when I pulled open the drawer on my dining room sideboard and finding this. OMG.

This isn't a cabinet I use often. Mostly it holds tablecloths and runners, and a few tabletop decorative items I use to switch off.

This picture with the fish and fisherman was an art project my brother did when he was 8 years old. The teacher he had way back then brought it to me at work a few months ago. He said he has had it hanging above his fly tying bench all these many years, but thought maybe I'd like to give it to my brother. I thought that was so sweet, and planned to give it to Tony at Christmas time. Now the whole top of it is covered with dog food grease………@&$~£*#!!!!

 

Also a ton of greasy dog food on my antique linen tablecloths- great.

So now I know this had to be the work of a MOUSE. MICE. Perhaps many, many MEECE. And here I was, unjustly accusing those little, baby skunks.

I would guess we pulled out between 12 and 17 pounds of $50 per bag limited ingredient dog food, and a bit of cat food. Mixed in was just a little fuzz and string it/they gathered for future nest building, and thankfully I found only 3 or 4 pieces of poop. Every bit of the food scooped up I took to the alley figuring the birds would be happy to eat it, so it wouldn't be a total waste. That was around 10 o'clock last night. I went out at lunch time today to get some firewood, checked to see how much food was left in the alley, and EVERY BIT OF IT WAS GONE!! I don't think the birds could have eaten it that quickly. I'm afraid there must be a a horrendous influx of rodents this fall.

Here's what the mighty vole hunters have been up to while all this has transpired –

 

 

 

This has been a terribly problematic year for so many folks who have been having to deal with an over abundance of rodents.

I'll be dropping a wad at the hardware store tomorrow, investing in the latest, greatest mouse X-ers.

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Wee Visitors

Finally was able to download the photos of the tiny baby skunks that played in our yard this summer. I think something drastic happened to their mama, and they were on their own. Poor little buggers. But they seemed to be managing, and because they were overly exposed to humans and their pets at such an early age, these babies had very little fear of all of us. I happened upon one under my apple tree one afternoon. My kitty Angel was with me. She was sitting quietly in the grass as I checked the apples, when out waddled this itty – bitty baby skunk. It sniffed around, and didn't pay me much heed as it walked just a few feet away. It sauntered over to my cat, and made these ever so tough stomping maneuvers toward her. It was pretty comical! She haughtily took in all 4 inches of the little beast and looked at him like whatever! When he realized he was not striking fear into her heart, he turned around and continued his hunt for apples. No spraying, no fussing – thank goodness! ( I don't even know if they are able to spray at such a very young age.)

I was only about 2 feet away from this little munchkin.

They were so tiny (literally about about 4 inches in length), and wiggled about so much, it was really difficult to catch a clear photo of them.

This one had found a stinky old dead mouse under the pine tree and was noisily munching and crunching away on it :-/

I fill an enamelware dish with dry food for my dogs to graze on as they please. A few weeks ago I filled the dish before we all went to bed. Bruce gets up a bit before I do and gets the dogs up to go outside. When I got up, I noticed the dog's dish was empty; I thought my girls had been very hungry that morning! A couple days later, the same thing. That dish holds about 5 cups of food. I knew my 2 little shorty pies were not putting away that much grub in such a short time span! For the next few nights, I made sure Angel was in the house, then put the slider in the doggy door for the night. After just a couple of nights, I noticed the flap on the doggy door was missing about 2 inches off the corner……..Apparently little Mr. Skunk was a tad bit annoyed that he had been uninvited to smorgasbord for a few nights, and tried to chew his way thru the doggy door to help himself to dinner!

They are so darn cute when they are little, but pretty much lose their appeal after you are forced to bathe a dog that has had a close encounter of the worst kind! I just hope these little guys have moved on to greener pastures. I have no ill will toward them, just would rather they move down the pike a bit, away from my curious poochies – I'm not sure how well they would all play together, if'n ya know what I mean!!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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