Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Special Kitty Edition

I recently got back for several days in San Antonio, where I got to visit with some of my favorite kitties.

Simon still likes to spend time in suitcases. He also says hi to all of you -- he misses being a minor knitblog celebrity!


I realized a while ago that I had no pictures of my sister's other cat, Schuster. Schuster is not as outgoing as Simon, and would really prefer to be an only kitty. However, she tolerates Simon.


And, finally -- meet Gracie!


Gracie belongs to my friend and fellow knitter, Jody. Jody is also my sister's best friend, dating back to when they were college roommates. Gracie, who I believe is about 7 weeks old now, is an adorable little calico and came with her name (actually, it's Graceland -- her mother's name is Elvis -- don't ask....). She seemed destined to be an almost-member of our family since my mom's name is Grace!

Monday, April 28, 2008

H is for Harley

Harley is my sweet girl who will always be a little feral. When I got her in November 2002, she was about a year and a half old and was living with a pack of feral cats in the parking lot of a friend's parking complex. Harley, then called Snickers, was the tamest of the bunch, but that's not saying much.

H is for Harley

Charlotte had died very suddenly the previous month, and I had decided wait a few months before getting another cat. I was living with my sister, and her cats were there so I didn't think I needed a cat. Then Cheryl brought me a picture of "Snickers."

One of these days I'll find the picture and scan it!

She was a little thing, mostly dark tortoiseshell, with one tan paw, and half a tan face. She was standing outside Cheryl's doorway, eating cat chow. I agreed that this cat needed a home, and it should be with me.

When Harley came to my house, I put down a litterbox and food and water. She sniffed at the litter and the food, then took a drink of water. Then she drank and drank and drank. I realized that although Cheryl and others fed the feral cats, they hadn't put out fresh water. In all likelihood, Harley had never tasted fresh water before and it broke my heart to think of her drinking out of hot, dirty puddles. Harley ignored the food for a couple days, but she loved the water!

Another thing she loved was the bed. After several hours exploring the bedroom, she jumped up on the bed and walked around. Very slowly, she lowered herself -- it was almost like she sank down into the mattress. It was obviously much more comfortable than the pointy Texas grass.

And finally -- she also loved Simon. My sister's other cat, Schuster, was not happy to see another cat, but Simon likes making new friends and he welcomed her. It got even more interesting a couple weeks later when Harley went into heat! Simon had, of course, been fixed for years and was obviously confused by Harley's prancing and howling. It was absolutely hilarious. Every once in a while, it seemed like Simon had a tiny notion of what she wanted, but of course he had no way of acting on it!

Harley has gotten used to being an indoor cat and, in fact, makes no effort to go outside. Like many formerly feral cats, she worries about where her next meal might come from, so she eats too much. She won't sit on my lap and hates to be picked up. But she sleeps on the bed at night and visits me in the bathroom every time I go in. She'll never be a lap cat, but she purrs (like a Harley!) and grooms my hair and I think she likes living me with, too!


Friday, April 18, 2008


Here's a surprise -- I'm speeding through Tussie Mussie! I'm quite the slow knitter and I just cast this on a week ago. I'll finish the last nosegay on the front this evening. Of course, then there's four inches or so of straight reverse stockinette. I'll just have to power through that so I can get to the sleeves and more posies!

Tussie Mussie
Maybe the next picture will be taken in better light....

Another surprise -- Iowa (and most of the Midwest) had an earthquake this morning at about 4:40 CDT. I woke up because it made my closet doors rattle. Of course, I didn't realize why they were rattling. I got up and looked in my closet, thinking a cat might have gotten trapped (except that Harley was on the bed and Dolly never comes upstairs). I also briefly wondered if there was some sort of structural catastrophe about to happen. My closet is part of a "bump-out" on the top floor of my townhouse, and my middle-of-the-night brain though perhaps the bump-out was falling off the side of the house. I guess I decided nothing could prevent that if it were about to happen, so I went back to bed!

Saturday, April 12, 2008


I seem to have cast on again.

tussie mussie

That's the beginnings of Tussie Mussie, designed by Cari at Dogs Steal Yarn. My other sweater, Arwen, has gone back into hibernation. I've never finished an adult sweater before, and although I love Arwen, it's construction is definitely non-traditional. I decided I might be better off beginning with something with a more regular construction. And I love the "nosegays," especially on the sleeves!

I'm knitting it out of KnitPicks Swish DK in Asparagus. It's superwash wool, and I'm really liking it. And I'm almost ready to start knitting the nosegays on the front!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Simon and Socks

I know that some of you miss reports of Simon. Well, he is still his same silly self.

Here he is, sporting his San Antonio Missions batting helmet. Or maybe it was an ice cream dish, issued on opening night... Either way, he's being very patient! Thanks to my BIL, Felix, for taking this picture. You can see more pictures of Simon on Felix's Flickr site, as well as pictures of Simon's "sister," Schuster, our friend Jody's new baby kitty, Gracie, and fish that Felix caught. And also a few human friends and family members!

I've also finished one cat-related sock -- a Whiskers and Paw Prints.

whiskers and pawprints
(It's so hard to take a picture of your own foot!)

I love these socks - or at least the one that's done! It fits great. I'm not completely happy about the short-row heel. One side looks perfect, but the other was quite holey. I sewed the holes shut from the inside, and it looks fine on, but I'm hoping I do better with the second sock.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Shhhh..... don't say it too loud...

But Spring might be here!

Iowa River (City Park)

Yesterday was in the 60s, sunny, clear, and generally beautiful. Today was a few degrees cooler, but overcast and windy -- but still Spring-like! I'm trying not to get too excited!

The combination of 60" of snow and a little rain recently means that the rivers are high. We haven't had flooding in Iowa City, but the Iowa River is definitely higher. The river banks through campus are steep, so it's not so obvious there, but north of campus, where the river runs through City Park, the banks are very shallow. Even in normal circumstances, the river and the banks look "flat," but now, the river is definitely out of its banks.

Iowa River (City Park)

Iowa River (City Park)

Iowa River (City Park)

Iowa River (City Park)
I love that white house across the river.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

well, duh....

You Are a Mac

You are creative, stylish, and super trendy.

You demand the best - even if it costs an arm and a leg.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

G is for....


The best thing about the townhouse I'm renting is the pond behind it. In the spring, summer, and fall, it's populated by rather noisy wildlife. Two weeks ago on Sunday, around 8:00 a.m. on Palm Sunday, I awoke to the first honks of spring -- very loud honks in fact!


If you look closely at this picture (or click it to go to flickr), you can see these two geese with their necks stretched out, which seems to facilitate loud honking. They were very loud! I'm pretty sure they were trying to tell the geese who were still on the way to turn around, because it was not yet spring in Iowa!

Luckily for the geese, by the end of that week, all the ice had melted and the water was probably a bit warmer (although it did try to snow a bit yesterday!). Today, even though it was only bout 45ยบ, it was sunny and clear and almost felt like spring.

Of course, you're probably all thinking the G should really be for gauge....