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Friday, July 5, 2019

And just like that...June is gone.  Wow.  What can I do to slow things down?
The yard is amazing as always this time of year.  So many flowers!  For some reason, it seems like there is way less time working in the yard.  I guess I have the water in place still from last summer and the plants are doing great where they are, no need to move anything.  I go out about once a week and find a weed or two, do some pruning and sit back and enjoy my iced latte while I look at it all.

The mountain as always...gorgeous.

I love it when after the kids have left and I find a picture left on the easel.  Arianna did this one of her and me.  I love it that she even made us holding hands.
We took the kids on the 1 mile hike down to the river from our place.  Of course Josiah took his fishing pole.  We had a little picnic lunch and walked back.  It is a little steep coming out, but not as bad as the girls made it look as they collapsed on the living room floor once we got home.
Giant bubbles are always a hit.
One day, we delivered something into Jessi's place.  Josiah managed to sneak into the truck and came home with us for the afternoon.  Grandpa introduced him to wings and jojos from the corner market.  They were a hit!  I always love having the kids here, but it is special once in a while to just spend time with them one on one.  
Josiah felt bad about Bazzel dying.  He is worried about too many mice since Bazzel is not here to catch them.  he drew me a diagram on how we should set up a trap.
 Another afternoon, we took them to the park by the high school.  Once again, Josiah had his fishing pole.  This time he shocked us all by catching a HUGE bass!  Grandpa taught the girls how to make lizard catchers from grass.
They all had to take a turn riding their bikes down the huge hill by the park.
 And just when I stop missing my cat...I find one more item of his that makes me miss him all over again.  It is so unexpected and random that these little reminders jump out at me.
Since Bazzel is not here anymore, the little critters have been showing up.  So many little chipmunks now.  There is even a little bunny in the front yard.
 There is a hummingbird around that I have not noticed in the past years.  This guy has a totally red head that looks like he is wearing a hood.  His body is so dark it looks black. When he sits in the sunlight, I can see he is actually dark green.  From what I can figure out, it is a Anna's Hummingbird, just a little differently marked form the normal ones.
I have a feeder in a new place this year since we rebuilt the deck and moved the feeders to a new spot to keep the feed from ruining the new deck.  This little guy has decided to use my weather stick as a perch to guard the feeder.  The weather stick is a pretty cool thing.  My friend Irene had one and it was pretty fascinating.  In sunny weather it points upwards and in rainy weather it is down.  Just overcast, it is straight out.
There have been some strange clouds out in the canyon.  The photo on the left sure made me think of a funnel cloud. And that rainbow with the bolt cloud above it was pretty cool too.

The road crew left behind a pretty cool surprise after they raised the overpass on Hwy 26.
 Beautiful pink wildflowers!  I had to take my camera and get some photos one evening.

For our 45 anniversary, John and I went to Eastern Oregon and hiked into a few waterfalls that I have been wanting to shoot.  We had our anniversary dinner at the Pine Tavern in Bend.  The names on the rock were not put there by us, but I took the photo for the kids, they thought it was pretty funny.
The water on our hike by Sisters was so amazingly blue! 
Bear grass, also known as Indian Basket Grass
The first day, we hiked into Tamolitch Falls.  It is also known as Blue Pool  I can not believe that we had not gone here before.  It is a flat easy 2 mile hike into it.  I could not believe that there were not a zillion people there!  So gorgeous.  It is one of those times when I feel like I should take some of the color out so that people don't think I added color to it.  A woman there told us that the water coming over the falls is not normal, it has been extra rainy and it is the first time in 4 years that the water has flowed oved the falls.  The other water comes from underground springs and that is normal.
From there we drove to Sahalie Falls.  It didn't require a hike, you just get out of your vehicle and it is right there.  But we hiked on to Koosah Falls.

This is Koosah Falls.
The next day we went on to Tumalo Falls near Bend.
Once you get to the top of the falls, you can continue on up and there are a bunch more falls as you hike along.  It was beautiful.  We finally turned around because of all the mosquitos.  I had read about them online, but thought it was just somebody being wimpy and complaining. But we found out there were so many that it was annoying to even stop and take a photo, let alone have our lunch.  Next time, I will pay attention to the advice online and use some repellant. 
I always like it when they use natural things around to make bridges and keep things simple.
I arrived home to 45 red roses and one pink for the next year.  John started regretting that he had begun that on our first anniversary.  They were really getting expensive, and then Jessi told him about Costco roses.  Now for only 36 dollars he even got 2 extra!  And I don't mind at all arranging them in a vase.
We found this wind spinner in Sisters.  Just the thing we needed for the back yard.
and on to July!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

He was an accidental pet.  I had not wanted another pet.  The kids were grown, our pet days were over.  Well, so I assumed.  But then Jessi asked if we could keep him just a little while for her.  Not only him, but his brother.  Well, his brother only lasted a week and was hit by a car.  I remember when I called her to tell her Colin had died.  I was crying, not because I was sad about the cat, but I knew she would be so sad.   I said “Your cat died”  She asked me to repeat.  Twice more, then she repeated back weakly, “My DAD died?”  I hope she was relieved when she finally realized that it was her CAT, and not her DAD who had died.  Well, anyway, we continued to keep Basil for her. He kinda grew on me, even thought I didn’t want to get attached to a cat that I knew I was only temporarily keeping.  The weeks turned into a few months.  And through no fault of her own, the months turned in to years.  I had become a pet owner without expecting to.  Totally an accident. 

He was a pretty amazingly intelligent cat.  Maybe all cats are.  I had never had an indoor cat before.  When I was growing up, our cats always stayed outside.  We never got attached to them.  We always had cats by the back door, even though they were supposed to be barn cats, they knew where the people hung out and where people hang out, so there is food.  So when I got a house of my own and my own kids wanted cats, it was outside that they stayed.  That is what I had been taught. But when Basil and Colin arrived, they were indoor cats.  They had never been outside before.  Well, maybe a couple of times, but they had harnesses!  I mean, really, a harness for a cat?  They were afraid of the grass!  Gingerly they would touch it, and so gently step into it.  She had to teach them how to climb a tree!  But they caught on.  We told her that if they were going to stay with us for a while, there would be no more cutting their claws.  They would need those claws if they were going to be outside.  As soon as I could do it, I got rid of that litter box.  Basil didn’t seem to mind at all.  When we moved from one house to another, he was so quick to learn where the cat door was and only had the litter box for a tiny bit until I knew for sure he had it figured out.

Eventually, I changed the spelling of his name from Basil to Bazzel.  If he was going to be my cat, I was going to spell his name right.

One year at Christmas, he was laying there watching me decorate.  I stuck a couple of snowmen in front of him to play with.  He batted them around for a little while and then took one downstairs.  I continued to decorate.  Then suddenly, right in the place where I had given him the snowmen…was a dead mouse!  Nobody will convince me otherwise, that he had traded me the snowman for the mouse!

He learned which sofa he could sit on and he learned he could not claw them.  He learned he could not be on my bed.  Without Colin around, he stopped eating anything plastic.

He used to hack up hairballs…almost every night.  Ugh, what a way to wake up.  And every time I came home from a trip, I did a hairball search.  Sometimes he threw up his whole bowl of food.

It was fun to play with him with his little cat toys, his favorite one was a green whale.  He actually liked his green toys best. His favorite thing was to rub his head against my foot when I crossed my legs.  I don’t know if he thought I was signaling him or what, but every time I crossed my legs, up he would get and come over and rub on my foot.  And not just rub, he would hit his head hard. Over and over and over.
He never liked sitting on my lap, he was not a snuggler.  He liked to sit on the sofa next to me as close as he could be and demanded I pet him, while he kneaded his blanket and fell asleep.  When we got the leather sofa, I only had to tell him once to stay down and he never tried to jump up there again. (at least when I was around)

He was a great hunter!  He would bring in his prizes for me.  I can’t count how many times I would find a plump little mouse laying on the floor when I got up in the morning.  When we found a batch of baby chipmunks in the garage, I thought I had safely hidden them.  First thing the next morning, I found them lined up on the step to the house.  He brought in live baby bunnies, live chipmunks, birds.  I have a little net ready to catch and release them.  Thankfully, no snakes.  The most amazing thing was when, sadly, he brought in a humming bird!  How fast would he have to be to catch a humming bird?  Once while I focused my camera on a butterfly, he grabbed it, thus ending my photo shoot. 

He developed a habit of eating his food while I made my latte, then he waited for me by my morning porch door.  He would dart out the door like greyhound being released for its race.  At first when we got outside, he would be content to rub my foot if I had my legs crossed, then he would survey the bird feeder area for any birds feeding on the ground or if he was lucky a chipmunk to chase away.  Then he would lay at my feet for a while and go to sleep.  But suddenly in the past couple of weeks, he would get up in the chair next to mine, cross over the little side table and curl up in my lap!  I have no idea why he started doing that, but for the first time ever, he was a lap cat for a few minutes each morning.  
Time passed and it was at least 14 years since he overstayed his visit.  He was getting so thin, his skin hung on him, his long hair helped cover up his weight loss.  He was not throwing up anymore, I saw occasional hairballs out in the yard, but it was ages since I found one inside.  Instead, I was sometimes finding little drops of blood.  He started coming in and out the cat door at night.  Each time in, he would loudly announce it…all through the night, meowing, sometimes howling.  It got so bad that John said it we had to do something.  I put a board in front of his cat door at night and fed him a bowl of food as I locked him out.  It did not help.  Instead of coming in and out howling, he would run between the garage and the downstairs door (which just happens to be below my bedroom door)…howling and meowing non stop until I got up and fed him.  

One morning, as unplanned as his arrival, I decided it was time to let him go.  I snuggled him on my little morning porch. Afterwards, as I made calls to find a vet, he caught a bird and released it in the house, one last time.  I loaded him up and took him to the vet.  She agreed it was time.  I remember weighing him in his prime and he was 25 pounds!  That day, he was down to 9 ½ pounds!  All skin and bones, even though I was feeding him two cans of food a day!  He was down to 3 fangs and a couple of molars.  That explains the blood spots I sometimes found.
Tearfully I said goodbye and let him go.  
I drove home and wrapped him in his favorite blanket and buried him under the dogwood tree next to where we spent our mornings.  
I hadn't expected to become attached to him.  But habits grew and now I find myself expecting him to be waiting for me as I go out to my morning porch.  I know I will eventually stop looking for him.  The habits will change.  I have to admit, it is nice to sleep all night without being woke up with him howling for me.  But I never would have suspected that a mere walk down the pet food aisle at the store today would bring me to tears!  
I guess I got more attached than I expected from this accidental pet.  
Happy Hunting, Bazzel!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

May started out making me think it was late summer!  It was such warm and sunny weather!  But by the end of the month, it was back to typical May weather.  Cloudy, rainy, with a bit of sunshine now and then to make you keep up the hope that summer was really on its way.
It has warmed up enough that I have been sitting on my little porch with my morning latte.  Bazzel joins me.  Of course, there is not much wildlife action with him on guard, but I do manage to see a few chipmunks and humming birds.  He pretty much keeps the other birds away as he sits below the feeder just hoping for one to land.
I have only seen a bunny here a couple of times, this one was taken at my sister's place.
 The ferns are so pretty as they uncurl together in perfect symmetry. 
It pretty much amazes me how birds can hear a worm!  I mean, really!  what kind of hearing would it take for that??!!!  I sit there and watch in wonder as they cock their heads towards the ground to listen and then wammo!  out comes a worm!

Bazzel has never been a lap sitting cat, but for some reason, when I sit out there, he wants to sit on my lap. Maybe he likes the extra warmth.
It is so peaceful sitting out there, rain or shine, I am so blessed to have these moments as I begin my day.  There was a time, when kids were young and days were packed that I would never have imagined having this much time to myself.
Bonnie and I started out the month with a drive up to Clear Lake, Little Crater Lake and Timothy Lake up on Mt. Hood..  Three lakes that I have not been to before.

 This one is Little Crater Lake.  Such a pretty little lake...more like a large pond.  It was so deep and clear and really colorful.
For a couple of years now, there is a field on Hwy 26 that is so beautiful and yellow in full bloom.  I always forget to get a photo and this year, I made sure and got one right as the sun was setting. 
I just LOVE all the colors outside right now...not just the gorgeous flowers, but all those greens in the canyon as the trees get their leaves.

 Mother's and Daughters on Mother's Day
Alan came to Oregon for a little visit.  The family enjoyed seeing him again, along with Rosibel and Dina.
After all that warm and sunny weather, it was rainy and cloudy the whole time he was here.  My Mom's Cousin Carole was here from South Dakota too. 

 We wanted so much for her to see Oregon in the sunny weather.  But at least we did get a couple of clearings for a quick view of the mountain.