Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Hugo's Garden

It wasn't much talked about on the blog on account of it is not a happy subject, but our beloved Hugo died in June.  She was apparently about 21 years old and had a very happy life.  (If you missed her story you can read about it here.)  But we still miss her every day.  The Hub and I planted a memorial garden for her in the backyard.  We used to have a little strip of lawn in this area that was there when we bought Wellington.  Hugo used to love to eat the grass along this strip in the mornings.  But with the drought, lawns aren't doing well in California.  So we took the lawn out and planted this garden in Hugo's honor..
It has mostly ornamental grasses that Hugo would have loved.  There are a couple of carpet roses and in the center is an olive tree with Hugo's ashes underneath.  The olive tree has gotten a lot of new growth.  I think it likes Hugo under there.  We are searching for a perfect cat statue to put in this garden.  The grasses and plants will soon broaden and you will hardly see the stepping stones.  It has already grown so much in the three months it's been planted.  It's a nice quiet place to sit and relax and think about a little kitty cat who brought us joy.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Drat This Drought!

In the few months since my last post a lot has happened.  Little Hootie died.  Then the piglet died.  We are now completely void of pets and it's very sad for us.  Also our bottom lawn died on account of the drought that has been hanging over California for years.  Everyone has to ration their water and the gardens are really hurting.  Our upper lawns in the front are still sort of green because they have more shade.  But the lawn between the sidewalk and the street completely died.  The Big Guy took it out a few weeks ago and tried to kill the crab grass.  He planted some jasmine instead.  It tends to grow really well in Benicia.  Today he put in a drip line, which conserves water.  Next step is landscape fabric and some recycled wood chips from the local mulch yard.
Wellington still looks awfully nice, if you ask me.  He looked better with a cat on his porch though.
Here is the jasmine and the drip line which will soon be covered up.

This is a better view of the poor lawn.  It's September, coming into fall.  We are really hoping for some rain before we lose the whole lawn.  I am sitting in my front office and although it's a pretty hot day, I can see the first signs of autumn which many loyal blog readers will remember from this post.  I call it "Andy's Nut."  That industrious squirrel is already gathering his nuts for the winter.
My little Christmas tree from years ago is growing nicely with his little fuchsia that I propagated from the neighbor's plant and a beautiful bright pink impatiens.  But this porch misses its kitty cat..  

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Silly Cat

Here's Wellington!
 Here's Wellington closer.
 And closer.
 Who is that waiting for us to come back from our evening walk?
 Only the best oldest kitty in town.
 Sweet little Hootie.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Beautiful Evening Stroll

A lovely evening in Benicia.  Took a stroll down towards the water.  This promenade is along West I between West 4th and West 5th where the road ends.  There is a new home that backs to this walkway.  They have this view right out their back porch.  It's a little odd though, because if they're sitting on their back porch they are right there where people walk by.  But no automobile traffic, so that's nice.  And it's the first LEED Certified home in the county.  Or in Northern California.  Or something like that, I can't remember which and they don't have the sign up anymore.  But it looks nice.  You can read about it here.

When we got home, Hugo was waiting on the front porch.  She chose to stay out there because that's her favorite place to be.  Just look at her little smile.  She's saying, "Ahhh."

Sunday, January 4, 2015


I wish I had a before picture.  But it was just too horrible.  I didn't want it documented.

For Christmas my favorite sister bought me a storage drawer cabinet.  How did she know that in the new year I was planning to organize my cozy Craft Cubby?  She knows me too well.  I wasn't feeling well over Christmas so I didn't get to this project for a few days.  I was planning to start the day after Christmas but first I had to catsit, which is my fourth favorite activity.  Then I had to come home and lay around for a day or two while I coughed and moaned.  Finally enough was enough and I went upstairs, opened the door under the eaves that leads to my Craft Cubby, sat down and had a think.

The next day I pulled out a few things and thought some more.  Gradually the thoughts I was thinking coordinated with the diminishing of the ill I was ailing and I was able to get to work.  I began by putting together this wonderful little drawer unit.  I needed a hammer and an allen wrench so I think I'm going to call myself "handy."

The whole project took me four and a half days, including thinking and ailing time.  The last two days were particularly productive and here is the end result.

This is the drawer unit, with labels.  These drawers are the perfect size for things like "sewing notions", "zippers/tapes", "knitting/crocheting", "rubber stamps", "stationery" and "paper."  To the right is a large plastic bin I got from the barn that used to have horse food in it but now houses my fluff, known also as stuffing.  On top of the drawer unit is a small three-drawer unit which is currently empty and a long box with long knitting needles in it.
 Here is the drawer unit with some open drawers.  Santa brought me a lot of organizers with compartments.
Here is a better pic of my sewing basket with bin beneath.  Behind the drawer unit I was able to fit all of my Christmas decorations, and there are a lot.  They include my two small trees, garland for the banister, Creepy Santa collection and glitter houses.  To the right back there are the two boxes of The Dot's books she asked me to save until she needs them back.  On top of that is a tin which is currently filled with smaller containers that are not in use at the moment.
Santa also brought me a spool rack.  To the left of that is a wine container I am saving for some reason.  It's really cute.
Inside the cubby to the right in back are my two bins of yarn.  On top of them is a plastic bag with the rest of my alpaca to finish my alpaca afghan I'm knitting.  (Next on the list of to dos:  finish knitting the afghan!  Pics to follow.)
To the right of the yarn I have two wire drawer units I got from Ikea a couple of years ago when I first started organizing my Craft Cubby.  That time the organization wasn't successful since it wasn't really complete and I just started shoving things in here.  But now there is a place for everything.

For instance:  In the bottom drawer on the left, and the one just above that, I have large pieces of fabric.  I have stapled swatches of each fabric to the front of the drawers so I don't have to go digging in there when I need a particular piece.  The third drawer up has some more large pieces of fabric along with various scraps.  The top drawer on the left has all of my Christmas felt.  On the right on the bottom I have all of my Purts©.  I believe there are about a dozen finished purses in there.  Above that I have large pieces for making purses and above that I have some smaller pieces I've saved, like pockets and zippers.  The top drawer has beading materials.
 Here is a view of the right-hand drawer unit.  On top of that I have a little drawer unit that Santa brought me.  It is full of beads and beading supplies.  Behind that I have a large tin with Christmas Craft Bits like baubles, glitters, sequins and teeny weeny gingerbread men.
Two more views of the Craft Cubby from the doorway.  You can also see the little step stool my brother in law gave me for Christmas.  It came in handy to sit on while I was working.  I can also go inside my little Craft Cubby under the eaves and just sit on this little stool and pull open a drawer.  I have done this a time or two and it's very rewarding after so many hours of organizing.  I recommend it to everyone.

 Time for a nap.