Wednesday, February 09, 2011

As we all know winter officially arrives on December 21st.
However here in our little section of southern Ontario
winter played coy and didn't make much of a fuss and
bother for several weeks after the official date. Long
enough to lull us into believing that we were in for another
relatively mild, almost snow free winter such as we'd had
last year. Which was fine by us.

But we weren't going to be allowed off the hook that
easily after all. We've had many scatterings of little
snow falls since mid January with most depositing
either a few centimeters to around five centimeters
at a time. Not a lot compared to what a great many
of you have been receiving this winter. But those
little snow falls began to add up to a decent pile of
snow on the ground.

Then we had a fair dollop of snow last Wednesday
(which was touted as being the "storm of the
century" ---- but wasn't so much) which added about
15 cm to the snow that we already had. And then on
Saturday we were surprised with a good five cm of
snow when we were only suppose to receive a "dusting".
So we have a bit of a winter wonderland going on at
the moment and depending on our moods it's either
very pretty or pretty annoying.

Makes for nice pictures though.

I left The Book Store after the progress that I showed you
in my previous post and picked up Halloween Quaker
again. I've been adding to it in spurts when time and
inclination allows and it's looking pretty darn cute if
I may say so. At this point I'm not sure if I'll keep working
on this project, go back to The Book Store, or maybe
start something new. Depends on my mood I guess.

This little fellow visits us regularly and takes advantage
of the suet cakes that DH puts out every Saturday. He's
a Downy Woodpecker and he's a regular in our backyard,
usually pecking away at the peanut feeder down at the
back of the garden. We only put the suet cakes out in
the winter and probably two thirds of those are eaten by
the squirrels who also adore them.

We mainly have black squirrels and grey squirrels visiting
our yard but we also have a few red squirrels which are
half the size of the other kind but are twice as fierce.
And pretty darn cute, don't you think??

DH has another winter feeding project that has been
keeping him occupied since October. In the industrial
area where he works there are three feral cats hanging
around and in October one of those cats got into the
building where he works. It happened to be the
Thanksgiving long weekend actually.

Now it's nice to think of the poor cat being indoors
on a cool Fall weekend but in reality DH's workplace
isn't a safe environment for an animal to be in, with
chemicals, heavy equipment and machinery. And
the bosses wanted the little fella outta there sooner
rather then later.

DH tried calling a feral cat society but they
didn't return his calls before the weekend began.
So he worried and fretted all day Saturday and
Sunday about how to handle this situation. He had
taken some cat food in to work and left it for the
cat for the weekend so it wouldn't go hungry but
he wanted to get it out of there before it got hurt.

So he ended up renting a humane animal trap
and on the holiday Monday he drove into work
(one hour trip ... one way) and set up the trap,
baiting it with cat food. Then he went into his
office to read some emails. It wasn't five
minutes later that he heard the trap being
set off and went out to find the cat huddled
inside. He took it outside and set it free to
rejoin it's family and then made his way
back home again (one hour trip ... one way).

The feral cat society was in touch with DH
and let him know that in winter they don't
trap the cats for spaying or neutering because
when the cats are in the vets for a week or so
recovering from their surgeries they start
shedding their winter fur and then don't
have a proper coat of warm fur for the rest
of the winter.

Since the events in October DH has been
busy caring for the little feral colony. There
are three cats making up the family including
the mother and her two nearly grown off-
spring. DH has his co-workers keeping an
eye out for the cats when they're outside
working in the yard or having a smoking
break. They think he's a little nuts but
they do let him know when they spot one
of the trio out and about.

And DH has built a deluxe apartment for
the cats to use if they are in need of shelter.

Raised off the ground, plastic sheeting below and above
to keep the inside dry and warm, and with a door cut to
allow only a small cat to enter. Inside it's stuffed with
straw for comfort and warmth and the entrance is facing
away from the direction that the wind normally blows
in from and is protected by stuff that is stored in the yard.
DH puts food out in little Styrofoam cups all around the
yard a couple of times a week as well.

It's sad that these lovely cats are not lucky enough to
have a warm and loving home, with humans to love
and care for them and see that they're well fed and
happy. They are too wild to allow anyone near them
and they don't trust humans anyways.

DH said that the feral cat society told him that there is
another colony of feral cats living not too far away
from where he works. That colony has about 50 cats!!


I'd like to thank everyone who was kind enough to go and
visit my friend Alisa's new blog, leave a comment there and
gave her such a warm welcome to our stitching community.
I know that she's having a lot of fun with her new blog and
with exploring all the stitching blogs that are out there, not
to mention all the online LNS and the designer's sites.

She and I had a fabulous day last Saturday. We joined forces
to hit the craft stores - namely: Michaels for general craft
supplies, Gitta's for cross stitch supplies, and the Hobby Horse
for finishing fabrics and batting. I guess we were in Michaels
for an hour and a half, wandering up and down the aisles looking
at everything, and then we headed down to Gitta's (with a brief
break for a pizza lunch to fortify ourselves for the shopping
ahead) where I'm sure we spent at least an hour and a half as
well. Then we checked out the Hobby Horse which is a fabulous
quilting store not too far from where we live. Alisa dropped me
off at home around 3:30 and not twenty minutes later it
began to snow like the dickens. I'm glad we were home safe
and sound
by that time and not driving around in it.

Gitta's is sponsoring a Cross Stitcher's gathering during
the first weekend in April with a market place, classes
with various designers and a stitcher's retreat. For more
information about it all check out Gitta's home page:

If you are planning to attend this event leave me a
comment so we can keep an eye out for each other.
Hopefully Jennifer, Alisa and I will be there although
we're not planning to stay at the hotel overnight for
the retreat this year. Maybe next year.

Thanks for stopping by.