Willis the Cat is usually found keeping a close watch over his domain, in particular the dooryard. He is on top of any human comings and goings, and obviously feels that his role as an overseer and caretaker includes trekking along to the gardens or the barns.
I'm always surprised to catch him napping.
Willis has chosen a small vintage rocking chair as the place for a mid-morning nap.
Funny how a mere cat, not wishing to be disturbed into sociability, can make one feel an
intruder on the front porch!
J. is in Tennessee helping his brother-in-law to replace the roof on their house.
[He has smugly reported that his sister's young Siamese cat chooses to sleep on his pillow!]
That leaves me keeping house on my own for 10 days, a prospect that I never find daunting.
Without the time constraints of an outside job, the hours of days and nights are my own, with few events structured by anything beyond my whims.
On Monday I decided to take out the row of sunflowers in the bottom garden.
Many of the stalks went down in a heavy, windy rain in mid-July and grass has grown in around them.
The final burst of hot and humid weather ripened most of the seed heads and the optimal time for harvesting them probably passed while we were busy painting the garage.
I found two large heads full of seeds and carefully cut them for my friend Gracie who requested some for her winter birdfeeders.
Surprisingly, some of the dwarf varieties which had toppled yielded some solid heads of small black seeds.
I carried out a large metal bowl and knocked the seeds into it. I learned, painfully, several years ago that shucking sunflower seeds from the heads by hand can result in sharp spurs driving into the fingertips.
I dragged stalks and empty heads to the accumulating pile of garden rubbish and on Friday, after a night of gentle rain, kindled a bonfire.
For several days each time I glanced over the perennial strips and veg strips which comprise the lower gardens, I had an instant sense of something amiss.
How quickly our eyes become accustomed to a feature of our personal landscape, even something as transitory as a row of sunflowers.
The removal of the sunflowers has left the pink cosmos as the eye-catcher in that bottom strip.
Rain is pelting down today and it will take several 'drying days' before I can harvest seeds.
Although many of the seed heads will be shattered enough blossoms have come on to ensure that I can gather seed to plant and share.
This quilt, made for daughter Gina, has been awaiting its turn for binding for several weeks.
G. chose the star setting for the Log Cabin blocks and stated her preference for the blue fabrics in the lines I've been using. I was able to order [on sale!] the coordinating fabric for the borders and cut it to take advantage of the vertical pattern repeat.
Detail of the border fabric.
I usually machine hem the binding on my quilts.
This one being special I took the time [4 hours] to turn over and hand stitch the binding to the
back of the quilt.
I likewise hand hemmed the binding on this quilt, a light and dark setting of Log Cabin blocks.
This one took forever as I picked it up whenever I had a few minutes to spare.
The cats felt it was becoming a fixture, draped over the big basket of magazines which I keep by my
I'm claiming this as my personal quilt and have folded it over the back of the rocking chair which belonged to my Grampa Mac. Too often I make a quilt, designating it while a work in progress as a 'utility quilt'--one that needn't be put away 'for best.' Then--after all the careful work it turns out to be quite appealing and I'm inclined to cherish it rather than enjoy it.
I delivered a king-size quilt to the local quilter on Tuesday and have pulled out a long-postponed project to work on in a rather desultory fashion.
I'm telling myself that having invested some time in beginning, it is good discipline to finish before starting something more inspiring.
G. and I spent most of Wednesday in the neighboring larger town. We wandered through the booths at Peddlers' Mall, particularly pleased with the vintage furniture and small treasures that are offered in the nicer booths. We poked about in the nearby Goodwill shop and then eventually did the real errand of the trip--grocery shopping.
I've stayed up blissfully late, reading, doing more genealogy searches, listening to my son on the phone [one listens to H. rather more than talking!]
There are small unchanging chores, feeding the old horse and the barn cats each morning, tending litter boxes, tidying the kitchen, selecting music for my turn as church pianist.
G. and her family pop in and out and expect the cookie jar to be replenished!
The weather is on the turn after a warm week with the temps forecast to dive by about 20 degrees tonight.
Leaves are turning color on the ridges although most still cling to the trees.
The humming birds have departed.
I saw the last one hovering near the feeder on 26 September. One zinged past on the 30th as I was uprooting sunflowers.
The birds who over-winter here are quiet now. Several bluebirds spent Saturday evening flying from the electric wires to the goat willow tree.
The boy-cats are such avid stalkers that I suspect many of our birds stay a bit farther from the house than before the advent of the boys.
The skies partially cleared for an hour this morning before darkness rolled in with distant booms of thunder.
Rain falls, alternating between a gentle steady spatter and bursts that more resemble a downpour.
The wind has come up, not lashing, but stirring the trees and rippling the puddles forming in the back yard.
I'm headed downstairs to my sewing before I can convince myself that a retreat to the rocking chair and a cherished old book would be a better choice.
The cats have found places to curl up and sleep away the remainder of the afternoon.
It feels like the first real day of autumn in Kentucky.