I had decided to take a vacation day from work today even before Mike brought home our new kitten on Friday - and it's turned out to be a good thing. She couldn't be here all day by herself. Tomorrow? I'm not sure how we'll work it out. By the way, she weighed a little over 10 ounces when we got her and today she weighs 12 ounces! She's turning into a little butterball.
It's another beautiful day again today - one of those rare days in the South where the humdrumness of winter has gone and the oppressive heat and humidity of summer has yet to begin. So I spent some time today cleaning up around where Mike and one of his workers planted some thuga trees in-between our house and our neighbor's. I started by walking from the back yard (well, actually the deck, where I am working on my tomatoes and peppers today) through the gate. The grass is just starting to turn green and the azalea is peaking...
And here is a shot of the thugas they planted, with the neighbor's house in the background. See that red looking dirt? That's red Georgia clay and the bane of my gardening existence...
Here is what the "dirt" looks like close up...
It's like digging through concrete. We had to amend the soil a lot where the trees were being planted; it is so dense...
As you can see by this picture, the clay is like a solid brick. Depending on where one lives, the soil can be like this (in a recent subdivision where the topsoil was stripped off for grading), or it can be nice and loamy. But regardless, there is a lot of red clay like this around here - packed with iron oxide. So, not only is it hard as a rock and unsuitable for gardening, it stains your clothes!
I decided to fill up our little fountain out front since for the first time in two years we are allowed to do that. The birds and squirrels love it and Sophie sits at the window to watch their comings and goings.
It makes a beautiful sound splashing, and the first year we had it, we added three small goldfish. Unfortunately, they all died when they jumped out. I felt a bit guilty since the little basin was probably just not deep enough for them. We've also grown aquatic plants in it and they looked beautiful but were prolific! They grew like kudzu - and that's pretty dern fast.This year, we're keeping it simple. Especially since the drought might rear its ugly head again.
Here is a picture of a Lenten Rose coming into its own...
And how pretty the sky is today...
Now I have some heavy hauling to do to finish up planting the rest of my tomatoes and peppers - so let me get to it!
Our new kitten didn't make a peep all night long last night. But I was awake half the night fretting that she didn't make it (it's a "she" until I find out otherwise tomorrow) because of the quiet. They say lots of little ones die and it just happens. So, when I got up this morning and saw her happy to see me, I was happy! She downed twice her formula and after peeing all over me (her baby kitty pee doesn't have a smell at all!) I brought her in here with me to check my messages. And I took a few pictures of her. Her eyes are still blue and like all babies' eyes - they don't see very well yet.
Then we went into the living room to play on the floor a bit...
She's a tiny thing as you can see...
As she romped around a bit on the floor, Sophie was adamant in her lack of interest mixed with a dash of disdain...
When curiosity finally took hold, she started to stir her stumps with a yawn...
Okay, I'm a little bit interested.
Oh, let me stretch and maybe no one will notice while I move a little closer...
Ha! The eyes can't lie.
Miko was more obvious in her interest...
And moved in quite close... only to spit and hiss and leave the room.
And here are Sophie and Miko giving one last look of disgust before disappearing.
And one more of the kitten and her big shadow.
Oh - and another one - after I put her back in "bed"...
Now they are all sleeping and I need to get outside on this beautiful day and finish planting my my herbs and tomatoes and peppers.
Look what Mike brought home last night... a tiny, little waif. Barely a handful at ten ounces.
She (or he?) and four other kittens were discovered up in the pallet stacks at the Home Depot Mike goes to every day - and the manager was going to take them to the Humane Society. They couldn't catch the mother, so they would have been on their own - and since they are only two to three weeks old, they would most likely have died. They need to eat about every three hours and be kept warm - and given affection. Just like all babies.
He couldn't see them doing that, so brought home the one that no one wanted - the little reject. I must say that I would never choose a black cat if I were to judge by looks only. They are hard to photograph and the black hides so many of the expressions cats have. But this little fella is a fighter and I am duly impressed. Nothing seems to scare him/her.
I was up at 1:30 a.m. feeding it and again at 5:30 a.m.. After rubbing it down (simulating a cat mother's tongue) and letting it bond a bit, it settles right back down to sleep.
I reckon we're back to three cats again. Cujo left us two weeks ago and this one just fell into our lap. I guess it was meant to be... Welcome home, little fella. Next week we'll take it to the vet to make sure it's healthy and not carrying anything Sophie and Miko can get.
Yesterday was such a gorgeous day - sunny, slightly warm and windy. When Mike and I got home from work I suggested we go out on the deck so I could pot some herbs and Mike could relax. (My job during the day is very physically relaxed while his is quite taxing.) We shot a few pictures since it was so pretty outside.
Here are my gardening feet.
And me getting ready to pot a sage plant.
Patting down the dirt wearing my rubber tipped gloves.
Mike's working man's hands. He'd been doing plumbing work at the pool house he built for a client and was scraping his hands with a knife right before I took this. Most of the gunk has to wear off though.
A few of the newly potted herbs... lavender, rosemary, basil, mint and catnip, I think. I can't wait until they fill up the pots.
And here is an azalea bush from the back yard just starting to bloom.
Today I hope to pot the rest of the tomatoes, peppers and herbs.
Planting things in pots is good, but it's not quite the same as planting into the ground... something about the healing powers of the earth that I've felt so much when I gardened in the past. I miss that - and look forward to it when me move to our farm.
That would be me. I save glass bottles and jars. Seems I always need one, so I hate tossing them when I will just have to buy one if I don't save it. So here are my latest bottles in the process. I've removed the labels and am getting ready to wash them. I'd just gone through my old spices and tossed the contents. The bottles are too nice to recycle, and it only takes a few minutes to get them ready for use.
And here are some of the ones I have - ready to be filled with a homemade salad dressing, salsa, herb tea mix, face or body cream... and who knows what else. I've always been a bottle saver. I have some fancy-wancy ones too, but they're downstairs.
It's raining and I really wanted to plant my baby herbs and veggies this weekend. Yesterday was too busy with grocery shopping, laundry and house cleaning to get to it. I just might have to take a vacation day from work to get it done. It must be done no later than next weekend! Here they are... looking quite impatient with me with their feet all tight in their pots.
Well, I think that's more than enough of my riveting Sunday. Carry on.
I'm going to be busy this weekend planting all my new herbs and tomatoes and peppers; I can't wait! Our last freeze date was the 15th, so I'm good to go. We went by Home Depot to get some more herbs last night and I found some catnip and several different basils I like. And some stevia! Most of them are culinary herbs; I need to get more medicinal ones too. Mike and I also bought five emerald green arborvitae for landscaping our yard since we want to put it on the market next summer. It has minimal landscaping right now; it looks nice but needs a more jazzed up curb appeal. I hope to spend all day Sunday gardening if the weather cooperates.
My herbal class has been on the back burner the past two weekends; it might end up being a winter study course me - or maybe I'll get back to it more in the heat of the summer when I'll be back inside again. Right now there is just too much happening on the home front to spend a lot of time with my nose in a book. But I miss it and will squeeze it in again as soon as I can. Right now I will consider planting and growing my new herbs as part of the class - the hands-on part y'know.