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Monday, December 30, 2013

A Winter Discard - Our new Cat, Claire


 This is Claire. She was in our woodpile when it was below zero and the creek was frozen a few weeks ago. She was eating the bread  I'd left for the raccoons for its moisture content, by-passing the dry cat food. She was dehydrated and  famished (a big black tom was thinking he got first choice at the food - not sure the raccoons were getting any of it, but they always manage). It took a couple of days to catch her. Once inside a warm house with some decent food, she showed that she was gently raised, affectionate, and has good toilet habits. Someone had dumped her - city folk think cats will do just fine out in the country. Not true.

Pepper and Claire

Claire and Pepper get along well. But we have to keep her in Jay's office (especially since she was recently spayed), because Geordie


furiously attacks her, intent on driving her from his home. He is so big with long sharp claws and big teeth, with fur like armor. She is so small. I doubt she's fully-grown. 

How did such a cute little fellow

Geordie as kitten

                                               become such a bully and ruffian?

Harry, our 16 year-old, just stares at her through the open doorway and goes on his way. Sleep is his priority.

I'm sure it will eventually work out -- in the spring.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Winter Light & Stained Glass Windows

In the 1880s and later, Pittsburgh was called "Hell with the lid off." These two stained glass windows I purchased about eight years ago came out of an 1880s house in Pittsburgh, still bearing coal dust ground into their seams and pits on the outsides. It's a part of their history. The house wasn't torn down, but the elderly lady who lived there had them removed and windows with bars put up. My seller is a stained glass maker named Kari in Pittsburgh, who repaired them and put them up for auction on eBay.

When I purchased them I had a positive attitude that someday I would have a house I could install them in. Finally.  Our neighbor Davy framed all of our windows in an arts & crafts style this autumn. We carried the old windows in their original heavy frames to a stained glass maker and she carefully removed the old frames. Then Davy made new frames and installed the windows on the inside this past weekend. I am so pleased with the result.

This first one catches the morning light in our bedroom.

The second one takes the western afternoon light in my study.

And my Christmas cactus did well this year. I bought it last year at Walmart and it had been over-watered. The blooms and buds all fell off. But it was worth waiting a year for it to recover and reward me with a multitude of blooms.