Sunday, September 6, 2020

A Year Later

Last Labor Day I picked up our new Chesapeake pup, Phoebe. She's done some growing in the past year! The one dog wrecking crew has several accomplishments over the year. No novice dog trials or ribbons, just a half stack of firewood dragged throughout a yard that sports lots of leg-breaker holes.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Sad Summer Ends

 Yup.....still here. Summer is over and it went too fast. The Covid fiasco has continued and all the resulting craziness. Here's pic of my favorite hen...Susie the Speckled Suffolk. She WAS the sweetest one of the flock. Followed me around! Let me pick her up! She evidently was "picked up" by a predator, as have most of the flock. Down to nine hens. No rooster anymore either. I'm just hoping the remaining nine are the SMART ones who will stay out of harms way. No more chicks until spring.....maybe. 

Then there was the cat.

I have prided myself as a cat whisperer; however, I met my match with this one. She showed up on Thanksgiving Day. The same day my good friend passed away. Said friend always commented if she came back she wanted to be an animal at Catfish Corner! My interest in this little refugee was keen. The food dishes were filled, and I did my best to make the new "outdoor" cat feel welcome. But, WILD, wow! This was not a friendly cat. I didn't even know if it was male or female! All I knew was it came, it went, it camped out here aaaaaaall winter through harsh conditions, tucked behind a big hay bale. No amount of kitty talk or coercing would get this feline to soften up and have a nicer life. Figured it had to be a male! The grumpy face, the battle scars. Yup, this cat is going to be called Roman. Roman the Roamer.

Roman would absolutely NOT let me touch him. I got several scratches in the process even through gloves. Deciding discretion would be in order, I spent lots of time every morning and evening just sitting with Roman to no avail. He was feral and it was probably always going to be.

Spring and summer arrived and Roman's mousing skills really came in handy. Since he was well fed he didn't always feel obligated to eat the catch, but would leave the bodies for me to bury. He started looking better! The fur was fluffier and when my friend, Sara, saw him she had another opinion. She thought he was a SHE! Could it be?! One day I got the proof when "he" was rolling around in the grass acting very.....receptive. OK. Now we have an issue. This is a kitty who needs an operation and she's so wild that I contacted the Pepin Feral Friends group to get her trapped so she could be spayed and returned to me.

Maybe after going through that, the newly named, ROMA might become more tolerant.

Roma and I didn't get that chance. I found her body along the driveway. Claw marks on her back and side indicated a feathered predator had tried to take her! She would have fought like hell and might have been dropped. Who knows. All I knew was this white pile of fluff was lifeless. As I cradled her in my arms I found her tummy was round and full of tiny kittens who wouldn't get a chance at life. Sadly, I finally got my wish to hold her.


Sunday, April 12, 2020

Happy Easter Snowstorm

We had a GORGEOUS day yesterday and today....well, not so much. It would be rare to make it through April without a snowstorm so it's not totally unexpected, but when it hits and makes itself at home for the day it begins to wear out its (not) welcome.

I got very used to nice days and took Phoebe out for some spring shed antler hunting. So far Phoebe has found one, and Ma has found three! I so lucked out with a set found in one spot. They were last year's and have been chewed on a little but that's ok! They fit me nicely.

Being on "stay home" status hasn't changed anything around here. It's been a stay at home three years and counting! Lots of people who are also on that status have found their way to my Etsy shop and are ordering like crazy. No down time here. It's as busy as it was before Christmas!

Who knew I would be an essential business?!

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Goodbye to Friends

As the saying goes....time flies and events came and went for the past few months. Some very sad events, too. A dear friend from Luck died on Thanksgiving Day. MaryAnn Ormson and I were friends since the old "Nancy's Gifts" days which would have been about 1990. Many a good time was had at the Studio Works shop and at her home over the years. She was an excellent hostess and had a talent for decorating and entertaining. Her love of her family and friends was contagious. You just couldn't be around her without delighting in her grace and humor. She could draw people in and just made them feel special. Her son Jon and husband Al were already in heaven to meet her. I'm sure they had an exciting reunion where all her earthly pain was left behind. Many fond memories were left to us.

It set the tone for Christmas which was decidedly low key for us. As per usual the Etsy shop crescendo of the season had me swamped. This has been the case for years of being in retail and it goes with the territory. However, I had another member of our Catfish Corner family who was failing as well. My dear Samantha the Siamese was in trouble. Being 18.5 years old was the problem. She had been with me for so long and had been in perfect health for so long she was like the Energizer Bunny. Her recent weight loss had been treated as a hyperactive thyroid so she got a bit of medicine each day which helped, but as she became thinner and more frail the inevitable could not be ignored. We made it through Christmas and by New Years Day I knew we had to take the one-way trip to the vet. Our vet, Barb, checked her over and gave her an X-ray that revealed several large tumors on her lungs. It was a hard one, for sure. She had an extraordinarily good long life I had to keep it in perspective. 

Sam and Phoebe liked to enjoy the fireplace together.
Sammy showed up in our backyard in Luck those many years ago as a maybe 7-8 week old kitten. She had a collar growing into her neck that was the size of a quarter! I had Misha and Boris, the blue Siamese in the house already, so I decided she could be my shop kitty! What a riot she was. She loved to go for walks at noon and I had little harness and a leash that she would trot along on. When she got tired she would continue the journey on my shoulders. Occasionally she would get out on the second story deck, walk the railing and climb to the top of the building! This would usually elicit a phone call from the neighboring store informing us "Your cat is on the roof!". I would go and call her and I would climb on top of the air conditioner unit and lean forward so she could jump down on my back! This happened more than once. She was also adept at being a wall walker. We had a framing shop on site and had a carpeted wall that held the frame samples. She loved climbing it and hanging backwards. Such a character! We miss you, Sammi. It took the rest of the four-leggeds several days to quit looking for her.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

A "Day Off"

Phoebe, almost 4 months and nearly 35#. Yes. I have lost my comfy chair!

That's OK, as I didn't have an opportunity to use it on Saturday. A rare day off from glass work has to be used wisely. I'm stoked up about getting so much done! Very cold weather is ahead next week so it's the last chance to work outside and not freeze.

There were hoses to drain, pumpkins to pick, and tractor work. The big box stall got cleaned and the hen house was shoveled out, fresh hay in the nesting boxes and the dreaded rat runs were filled with water, gravel and wadded up chicken wire. Phoebe found a dead rat and while gRoSs.... it was reassuring that the underground rat poison was placed in the right spot.

The young chickens are huge now and are just beginning to lay eggs. Unfortunately, they aren't keen on laying in the hen room so it was an Easter egg hunt to find their hidey spots. One of them held the motherlode of 10 eggs! They will probably like their clean nests now.

The hay man came to replace some bales while I pulled cobwebs and swept out the barn, loaded up the recycling and broke down boxes for the trip to the, Recycling Center. 

The horses enjoyed the walk to their green pasture and it was a productive day, but, it didn't all get done so maybe I'll have another "day off" tomorrow.

Senior (Old People) Yoga
This has been a "do for me" project that is part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison study on the effects of yoga on the aging population. The idea is to prevent falls and that seems like a good idea for all. Our group of 15 has been at this twice a week for six weeks which puts us half way through the study. 

They gave us all yoga mats, duffle bags, water bottles and a Garmin fitness tracker which has been really fun to use. I heard from the first class that we are getting a new Garmin at the end of the sessions.

10,000 steps a day goal......piece of cake around here with 20,000 on my "day off". 

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The Phoebe Has Landed

Phoebe at 6 weeks
Born on the 4th of July! Our little "Red Girl" (as she was named at the breeders with a pink collar!) came home on Labor Day Monday. Life has been VERY active since then and my eye bags now have eye bags with the late night trips "out". But no complaints here. She is adorable and growing like a weed.
Phoebe at 10 weeks

Speaking of weeds, this is what happens when you don't cut the grass for a month! But they are pretty. Spotted Lady's Thumb has little pink dots of flowers and the Little One took to them right away and finally settled for a pic with a very serious face.
12 weeks old - doing her best Weimeraner impersonation 
The cats have had an adjustment but other than the occasional thought provoking hiss or swat they are getting her trained in. 

The dark curly back on the Chesapeake is starting to bloom. Lots of changes to come! I'm just enjoying having a little 20# bundle that I can still carry around and snuggle while I still can. While she won't be as big a Maggie at 125#, she won't be able to continue lap sitting at the computer with me much longer.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Don's New Horse

Mr. Fuzzy Bear finally got a horse of his own! The Kioti ATV is just the ticket. He's wanted one for a while since the legs are letting him down. It gets him out of the chair and down the trails. Fresh air! Sunshine! Just the right food for the soul. It's got a nice bench seat with room for Mom (me!) and our soon-to-arrive Chessie pup.

The whole pup search has been long and circuitous. There aren't that many litters around without going out of state. We do have our limitations! We had one little girl waiting for us who, four days before I was going to get her, was emergency hospitalized with a serious intestinal problem. She died the same day. We were crushed and sad, but thankful it didn't happen on our watch!

The search continued and has us planning for a trip to Tomah on Sept. 2nd to pick up our new best friend! A baby pic of Maggie before she came to Catfish Corner......