Thank you for visiting my blog

A casual blog highlighting my life with kids, grandkids and kitties...Also an avenue to show some items from my etsy shops.

**Please note..The other half of my life is dovoted to helping feral and free roaming cats in Walnut and the surrounding areas. You can learn more and follow our activites there at Walnut Iowa's Feral Cat Program! **

Saturday, December 6, 2008

My Alley Cat...

The "house cat" watches the "alley cat"


This is my Toby, my "Alley Cat". Several weeks back I read an old Golden Book to my grandchildren call the Four Kittens. Very cute story, about a litter of kittens who were born in a barn and the mama helped them figure out what kind of cat each was. Each one ended up differently: one a farm cat, one a ship's cat, one house cat, and one an alley cat. We had such fun with the story. They knew my 3 kittys were house cats, and they got to meet my "alley cat" Toby.

I don't know how Toby got to be living on the streets of Walnut, all I know is that one crisp fall evening in 2003, he was sitting on my back steps, looking very hungry. He was more than shy, he was feral and in the five years that followed, Toby came to my house for a bowl of food and warm milk nearly every day...sometimes twice! I touched him once. It took him by surprise and he jutted off. Not too far off though and he did come right back. Winters were hard, for me at least. I tried rigging up different "beds" for him. One was a old wicker table, turned on its side and wrapped in a blanket. I put it on the most protected side of my porch, but he didn't use it. Lately I have had a large plastic basin in the same corner of the porch. Its all padded with batting and blankets. Someone has been sleeping there, not sure if it's Toby or not. I took to sweeping any snow, sleet or ice off the steps before feeding him. I would warm a tea towel before laying it on the step, so his little feet would at least have a warm dry place to rest while eating. But being a true Alley Cat, he would most normally stand to the side of the towel, feet in the snow. I'm pretty sure the winters were worse on me than on Tobs....he most likely had a warm, protected place all his own somewhere.

I tried hard to "tame" him. I would sit on the back steps and talk softly to him, but he would just sit and watch me, until I went into the house. In five years the closest I could get to him was about a foot, but if I tried to reach out, he would leave.

When several of us cat lovers decided to form a small community effort to spay, neuter and release our ever growing population of feral and stray cats in town, Toby seemed to be the perfect first choice. So, yesterday after a good breakfast of warm milk and beef stew scraps, off I took him for his neutering appointment.

Maybe he was much older than we imagined, maybe he was sick with something else, maybe he had an aneurysm or a stroke, but Toby didn't come out of the surgery. We lost him.

How can a kitty you have never held, one that has never curled up by your feet, one who has never asked you for a thing, steal such a big part of your heart?

Maybe he was spared from a worse death. Maybe I shouldn't have taken him in...maybe...maybe...maybe...

The fact is, I miss my Toby. Ive always loved cats, but with the B&B we thought a cat wouldn't be a good idea, so Toby filled that void for me. I could take care of him and since he wouldn't come in if I asked him, he wasn't a threat to the B&B. Also we had dogs! Then when the dogs were gone, Toby filled the void of not having pets in the house. With the addition of Lucy, Ricky and Possum, Toby was still my first thought each morning....get up - go downstairs- warm milk and feed Toby. He would be there 19 days out of 20 and if he didn't come, I would worry.

God's word says "Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young-- a place near your altar, O LORD Almighty, my King and my God." So, it's my prayer today that my Little Alley Cat Toby, has found a place to nest, a place near my Lord, my King, my God...Rest peacefully Toby, be warm...I love you!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Go Navy!

Now this will be a game! I am quilting on my machine today, so my blog juices are just not Im sort of copping out. Sorry!

Quilting Tip of the day!....back to our scrap quilts.....
You could always go crazy with your scrap quilts...
  • Loosen up....a scrap quilt can be your chance to go wild with color and express yourself with reckless abandon.
  • Toss patches into a bag, pull them out and sew them together without regard to their neighbors.
  • Or choose compatible colors for next door neighbors without worrying about offending those farther down the block.
  • Instead of trying to coordinate scraps for a whole quilt, pick a few fabrics for each block, featuring a new group of colors in each one.. Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Who Says Boys Cant Twirl???

Check out the video at the bottom of this proud of our military...This Saturday is the Army/Navy game....go Navy!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My $10 Scrap Quilt

As promised yesterday, here is a picture of my little quilt I bought for $10 at an antique sale. The guy had been using it for wrapping around furniture! I had to rescue it. I like to do that. When I find a quilt that seems ugly to a lot of people, I see the beauty and charm. I have several to share with you in the future...Sort of like cats, I would take all the stray ones in if I could. Do you see how this fun lady used blue as her focus color, but injected some green, purple and even a little black and red...all the same family, but the quilt "reads" as blue. The "surprise" on this quilt was a block done with brown and white check! This gal followed all the rules... Click on the pic for a larger view!

Quilting Tip of the Day
(back Ways to Choose and Use Scraps-Quiltmaker 9-10/01

To stay a bit in control of your scrap quilt:
  • Consider your flamboyancy quotient. You may prefer to keep your color choices controlled.
  • Restrain your use of scraps by using a common color scheme thruout an entire quilt.
  • Limiting the colors in a quilt doesn't mean you have to limit the number of fabrics you use: a red and white quilt could have 100 red prints and 100 white prints.
  • Use a common background to unify a myriad of prints.
  • Calm scrappy blocks by using a simple setting.
  • Or add a large dose of a neutral color.
  • Choose a variety of colors for the blocks, keeping consistent value placement to determine design structure (which sounds like something you would have learned in design class, which I know nothing about).
See? I think if you read back over these from my previous posts, you will see that this little bear paw quilt fits the bill with these rules...maybe that's why I was so drawn to it.
Happy Quilting!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Ya Gotta Love the Military!

These pictures are of our oldest son, Brian at his recent promotion....finally! We are so proud of him. He has been serving the last 15 months in Iraq and we are looking forward to his return in just a little over a week. We got these pics this morning with the message....

"Lots of rumors bout when we are supposed to arrive, most are expecting us to arrive a day or so later than originally expected but nothing is set in stone yet. sooooo?"

Sooooo? That mean....typical for the Army, or any other branch of the service. Man, I'm going to be praying that he gets home as expected and if not that he will know ahead of time...I know we are all itching to see him and I know he is way more ready to be home. We are so grateful for God for keeping him safe and we are hoping there wont be a second tour in the future.

One of the first things we learn as military families are to be flexable. I hate being flexable!

Quilting Tip of the Day
Back to our Ways to Choose and Use Scraps (from Quiltmaker, 9-10/01)
We've talked previously about Color Considerations and pondering on to
  • Begin with a few prints you know you will want in your quilt and let your pallette grow from there.
  • When adding more prints, think "blend" instead of "match". Many intriguing scrap quilts contain fabrics that arent closely coordinated- some even clash
  • Just for fun...thow in some "beasts" to contrast with the beauties
  • Rather than scrutinizing each print, evaluate the overall effect of many in combination.
Case in point.. a couple years back,I purchased the cutest bear paw quilt at an antique show. I will try to get a pic and post it tomorrow...the quilt was being used for packing! There was just something about the colors that drew me in...It looks like its from the 30's maybe 40's and it is one of my favorite wraps for reading! Cost? $10! Also take a look at my sister, Kris's quilts. Start at her blog at my sideboard "blogs Im following") and then visit her stores from there... I have always admired her scrap quilts. She, to me is the scrap quilt queen!

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