Monday, January 2, 2017

The bad part of holidays...

... is that eventually we all have to get back to work in some form or fashion. Not that being a cat in my house is hard work, but some of us just want to put off facing reality for as long as we can! No new kitty toys under the tree this year. In fact, no tree at all this year - no tree to chew on and knock ornaments off of.

Mr. ZQ and I simplified our lives this year and left the tree in the box and the presents in the stores. But we enjoyed more visitors than usual, with neighbours and family members dropping in.

The old year wasn't a bad one for us. I suppose we've had better years, but this one turned out to be mostly pleasant. I retired in February from my job of 14 years and my profession of nearly 40. After a few months off I ran for election to town council and won. I was able to spend most of my time outside working in my garden or yard, instead of in the office sitting in front of a computer. Money started to become a problem towards the end of the year as unexpected bills rolled in and there was no regular paycheque to take care of them, but that's all getting sorted out now. Life is good.

That pretty snowfall that I mentioned in my last post turned into a nasty winter storm by evening with screaming winds from the north. The next day - New Years Day - we were left with snowdrifts of up to two feet high in places, like between our cars. I didn't have any place to go that day but I went out to shovel the

snow away anyway - because this is Canada and it's what we do. I had to go out anyway to refill the bird feeders and to clear a pathway to the backyard for this old stray cat that likes to sleep in our backyard against a cement retaining wall. He's an old tabby with only one eye and he walks with a limp, and our neighbour across the street takes care of him by feeding him and giving him a warm place to sleep in his carport - our neighbour takes care of all the strays on the street - but he doesn't let anyone near him. If he hears me moving around or hears my voice, he'll get up and

leave. On the day of the snowstorm, he was sleeping in his soft nest of alfalfa against the wall where I could see him from our back door. It was a really nice day before it started snowing. He didn't get up at noon as he normally did to walk across the street for his lunch, and the light snow was starting to accumulate on him. He was still there a couple of hours later as the snow and wind were starting to pick up so I went out on our deck, thinking the noise of me stamping my feet and clapping my hands would be enough to wake him up and get him moving on his way, but it wasn't. So I got out the spare food dish and the emergency bag of Whiskas that I keep at the back of the refrigerator for

emergencies and went outside to see if I could roust him. The weather was getting quite nasty by then
and I got to within inches of him with the food before he woke up. He immediately ran for the nearest shelter, which was only a couple of feet away - the old set of wooden stairs from our deck that was leaning against the retaining wall. At least it would protect him from the snow. I shoved the bowl of food towards where I thought he was and went back into the house. When I looked out the backdoor, I saw him eating the food. I saw him today, walking towards our house from the neighbours', and was happy that I had shovelled the deep snow out of the way for him, making him a pathway to the old wooden stairs, and that's where he went. Tough old guy.

In my last post, I mentioned that these little Japanese Knot Bags were addictive and fun to make. Here are more that I made. I began putting embellishments on them, also. Just a little bit, on one of the handles. They aren't really noticeable at first, the way embellishments probably should be, but I haven't been doing this for very long. There are stars on some, diamonds, bright metal, burnished metal, etc. At least I got the last few on straight! Those round bottoms might lend themselves nicely to some soft fringes in the future, or some cording.

I made a couple of special ones, as well - one for myself! and another one using a wool lining.
Unfortunately, the one with the wool lining and the blue and white batik print didn't turn out so well. I didn't realize until after I'd finished it that my sewing machine tension decided to have its own fun and go skipping! So it became my bag, and the one I made for myself with the bright red cardinals and the gorgeous Laurel Burch tree lining became someone else's. I may have mentioned before how much I love Laurel Burch's designs. Well, I have lots more - probably more than I should. I have lots of the wool left, as well, and I can wait for a time when the sewing machine is behaving itself before I try this again. I've worked on the tension for days and days, adjusting the knobs, cleaning the bobbin area, replacing the bobbin and needles, changing the thread, changing the fabric... It doesn't seem logical, but sometimes it work and sometimes it doesn't. I don't know if there is any solution other than patience. Just like this dumb blogger interface - just when I think I've got the hang of it, it gets all screwy again.

And with that, I'm off until you see me again! Until next time,