Saturday, April 27, 2013


The signs of spring are everywhere

The beauty of  blooming flowers....

Pink flowers by the side of the road

Sweet, sweet new life....

Kittens born in the backyard

Soccer season!

A little practice before the big game

Noli's team is the "Wild Angels"
Appropriate  : )

This month's challenge for the Blogging Business Artisans team is about renewal. Margaret (Splendid Little Stars) says "In Springtime, the earth renews itself. Life bursts forth from that which seemed dead. Our challenge this month is to create a project that honors a spirit of renewal."

I thought about what I could create in crochet that would show that spirit of renewal.
I thought about birds laying their eggs and baby birds being born;
I thought of the earth being washed clean and renewed after a spring shower;

then I thought of the way the butterfly lays its egg,

and the caterpillar is born right there on its own table of food.

How after the caterpillar has satisfied its hunger, 
it spins its special home

and is born again as a beautiful butterfly.

And then the process repeats, over and over again. 

This Growing Butterfly play set is a fun way for a child to learn how the caterpillar changes into a butterfly.

To see what other team members have created for this challenge go to our blog or our team discussions 

I'm also sharing over at Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Andy Williams

OK, I admit it. I have loved Andy Williams since I was in Junior High. He's one of my two very favorite singers (along with the very wonderful Neil Diamond). Such a beautiful voice.... such beautiful love songs.

I had always wanted to see him perform in Branson, Missouri
but, alas, it was not to be

"Moon River" 

singing on his TV show -- 1961

I always watched his TV show though, and his Christmas specials.
He introduced the Osmond Brothers 
(and "little Donny Osmond" as he was referred to back then at age 5)

For fun, here's Donny's first appearance on Andy's show, 1963

You may -- or may not -- remember his beautiful French wife, Claudine Longet who would appear with him on his Christmas TV specials.

Andy, Claudine and family

It was a sad day when they divorced in 1975, but they had been separated since 1970 although she still appeared on the Christmas specials (I doubt if the public knew that they were separated. It was a kind of fairy tale marriage.)

In 1976 or maybe 1977, Claudine was charged for fatally shooting her boyfriend,  "Spider" Sabich who was an Olympic medalist and champion skier. Andy stood by her and believed that it was an accident -- she served 3 months in jail for criminally negligent homicide.

His Christmas specials were always fun to watch!
Along with Claudine, he'd have his brothers on and lots of special guests.
And, of course, the Osmonds were there too!

and yes, lots of "lovely" Christmas sweaters!
(do you think this one would qualify for the "ugly sweater" contest?)

"It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"

a little cheesy but, hey, it was the 70s!

"It's the Holiday Season" with his brothers -- 1964

  They always sat on stools and wore look-alike sweaters!
Yep, cheesy  : ) 

"For You" with Johnny Mathis

Johnny Mathis is another one of my favorites singers!
He and Andy are performing on Andy's TV show --
 you'll have to listen to a bit of an intro but it's well worth the wait 
'cause the song and dance is priceless! 
They were quite the athletes.... 
(and remember, these shows were live broadcasts!)

I sure do miss Andy....
but I've got some CDs and a couple of vinyls!

linking over at Miss Jenny's for Alphabe-Thursday where we are studying the letter W.

Jenny Matlock


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Kitty Drama in the Backyard

And so the saga continues....

The tree guys came back and took down the rest of the evil creeky tree
(if you haven't read about it, the beginning of this tale is here)

After they got all the branches cut, they cut the trunk, and it fell into our yard. I had thought it would have fallen into my neighbor's yard since it's on their side of the fence. But no.... and the tree guys were chain sawing that thing into manageable pieces 
right in front of the kitties' nest.

When they finally finished with the trunk, 
the mamas moved the babies..... to under the shed.

Mama Patio

Mama Cali Mae

And they moved them about an hour before Noli came over, 
so she didn't get to see them. 
I, of course, had plenty of pictures -- 
but I had wanted to surprise her with new kitties to see.

So, fast forward to yesterday

We got a call from our neighbor on the other side 
who said he thought a cat had had kittens next to the fence....

Oh no! Not again!
We rushed out....
and it turned out that the mamas had moved those kittens AGAIN!!

Under the cast iron plant that grows along our fence.
(Cali in a sun-puddle at an earlier, pre-kitten, time)


I have not cleared and thinned the area they were in and the leaves afforded them what they surely thought was a safe haven.

Enter Trail

who was trying her best to GET OVER THE FENCE.

After a bit, our neighbor subdued Trail.  
He filled an area with bricks where she had tried to dig under the fence.

We went back inside but I kept my eye on Trail.

She tried to jump over the fence again.....
she's a Lab for crying out loud
and she was practically perched on the top of our chain-link fence
about to go over.

I saw Cali Mae rush her....
much shaking of leaves and hissing

I ran out screaming at Trail...
which brought my hubby and our neighbor out.
(and Cali scooting back to the shed)

So hubby made the command decision to move the kittens yet again.

It was wet under those leaves
What were those mamas thinking?!

He put them in a towel-lined box that we had on the patio that the mamas had slept in from time to time
and put it against the back fence and near the shed.

As we thought, the mamas moved those kittens, pronto!
back under the shed.

Which makes me sad because now I can't see them....
but they are safe from Trail the fence climber.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Kittens and Trees, Oh My!

It's been an exciting week.

We had kittens born to two moms, one of which I didn't even know was "with kitten," 
and a tree almost take out our roof. 

Patio is the white/tan one -- she didn't look a bit pregnant!
Cali Mae is the calico in front.
They are both feral cats that have been living in our yard.

The tree belongs to our next-door neighbors, but a couple of huge limbs are over our house. This tree has had a split in its trunk for years but had recently begun making creaking sounds. Not often, just sometime.

and it's got this yuck sticky looking stuff on it.

Sap? Fungus? 
I don't know, but it's YUCK!!

So Wednesday the weather turned colder and there were predictions of storms that night. The wind was breezy to heavier-than-breezy all day long. The tree was creaking. Creeeeeeking. Spooky creeking of a door in a horror movie. Just before the monster comes to get you. I began to get nervous.

I noticed a couple of guys in neon green vests talking to my neighbor right outside my office window. Then they were looking at the spooky tree.

So I go out to see what's what since it impacts my roof. My neighbor hires them and they say they will come back after they finish another job in town.

Enter the kittens. The kittens whose nest is against the corner of our house directly across from the tree. The kittens who might be hurt by falling limbs; mama cats who might be hurt.

And then, both mama cats happened to get hungry at the same time and appeared on the patio to eat. I took the opportunity to move the five kittens into a big dog cage that my neighbor let me use. Took it to the patio. Cali Mae and Patio run under the shed. Got the kittens settled on towels in the cage and covered it on all sides with towels. Anchored the towels so they wouldn't blow away. Aimed the opening toward the house so it was more protected from the wind.

And did those mamas appreciate my efforts? No, no and double no.

But in the meantime....

After about two excruciating hours of listening to the wind pick up and the creeeeeking to get louder and almost constant, the tree guys return. Climb on my roof. Chainsaws start. They cut the limbs and lower them with ropes, throw them into the front yard. Limbs fall into the back yard.

But the kitties are safe. And smaller cut limbs were leaning against the house, right over their little nest. 
The tree guys were looking out for them!

And this monster was right in front.

And did those mamas appreciate my efforts? No, no and double no.

After the tree guys left for the evening, Cali Mae sneaked two of the kittens. I thought she went under the shed. We saw her later on on the roof of the shed, eyes on the cage with the kittens.

Patio was watching too from the steps to the shed.

Nervous Nellie Cali down from the shed roof.

 By the time I went to bed, those bad mamas had left the three remaining kittens in the cage.  ALL NIGHT. Alone. Those kittens were all bunched up in the farthest corner of the cage.

And it rained and the wind blew. And the tree held -- the tree guys had shored it up with ropes and a ladder.

So Thursday morning the moms come to the patio to get breakfast. Looked in the cage. Cali Mae snags a kitten and heads off -- not to the shed as I thought, but to the original nest. The one right by that creeky tree. One by one she got them while Patio was babysitting in the nest.

I still can't believe they took the babies back to what is now a compromised nest (at least in my opinion, but apparently not in theirs). The trouble is, the tree guys will be back to finish taking down the tree. The limbs on my neighbor's side have to be cut, and then they will cut the trunk level with the fence.

And those cats will be right there while they are doing it.

sharing at:
Friendship Friday at Create with Joy (kitties will lift your spirits)
Caterday at A Cat-Like Curiosity

♥♥♥  For Caterday, I am sharing the new kitties, and the fact that I am grateful for the tree guys who saved my roof from the evil creeky tree and watched out for the kittens and mamas in their nearby nest. Even though I know those cats were completely freaked out.....


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Village People

Long before Gangnam style....
long before the boy bands....
there was Village People!

The Village People / Photo by CBS Archive/Getty

The group was formed during the 70s disco era and was well known for their costumes "depicting American cultural stereotypes" (from Wikipedia). After the first album was a hit, an advertisement was put out in a music trade magazine which read "Macho types wanted: must dance and  have a moustache." Ha!

and thus was formed the first disco boy band!!

"Macho Man" 1978

"YMCA" from a concert at Coney Island 2012

and if you don't know how to do the YMCA dance and want to learn....

and for fun....
Village People wannabe's!

File:Disney Weekend-Star Wars-YMCA.jpg

A Jawa, Greedo, Chewbacca and a Storm Trooper
make some great Village People!!

linking over at Miss Jenny's for Alphabe-Thursday where we are studying the letter V.

Jenny Matlock


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

U2 and The Union Gap

The Irish rock band U2

left to right: Adam Clayton, The Edge, Bono, and Larry Mullen
Bono, of course is the lead singer

Bono: rock singer, activist, humanitarian, Christian
Here is an excellent biography if you'd like to read more about Bono and his various humanitarian efforts

"With or Without You"

Glastonbury, 2011

"I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"

concert in Milan

and now for a little look back in time....
Do you remember Gary Puckett and the Union Gap?

Though I wasn't really a great follower, I certainly knew their songs

"Lady Willpower"

1968 promo clip
Can you believe those outfits! 

"This Girl is a Woman Now"
(I know this looks weird, but it plays fine....)

from 1969

"Woman Woman"

From an appearance on a show called Nashville Now in 1984.
You have to live through a bit of yada-yada from the Nashville Now guys
but it's a fun watch!

Those shoulder pads and the pants tucked into the boots --
so 80s fashion!

I discovered something while listening to Gary Puckett sing -- his songs (at least his well-known ones) were all about girls "becoming women" (if you know what I mean...),  loving girls who are too young for him, young girls who shouldn't be around, much less in his head.... hmmm, I don't think my parents would have approved of his songs! They do sound a little creepy now, but back then not so much! Of course, compared to a lot of today's songs, they are pretty tame. I dunno, I guess I was just listening to the lyrics a bit closer now than I did back then -- and from a parent's perspective!! 

linking over at Miss Jenny's for Alphabe-Thursday where we are studying the letter U.

Jenny Matlock


A mancat must rest his toes....

after a rousing rendition of "Chopsticks"

Linking here for Wordless Wednesday:
Create With Joy
In Him We Live and Move



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