Friday, August 7, 2009

The Cat at Dog Days...

Whenever I can, I pack up Morty and haul him to Dog Days. He is an enormous pain to catch, pack up and travel with (last time he yowled and stank the whole way after hiding under the pillows on our bed for a whole hour and making me furiously look for him), so I usually only bring him if we are staying more than four days. He really seems to like it there, and his mousing skills are viciously employed as he prowls through the cabinets, under the furniture and into the hidden corners all over the house!

He acts as if he owns the place, and rules like the feline emperor he is. The new counter tops are a favorite of his, along with all of the wonderful window ledges...

Morty likes to play hide-and-seek, and has become an expert at it. If he is just playing and not hiding to try and keep out of the cat carrier, he will pop up when I get close:

He plays with Claris more when he is at Dog Days, and sometimes looks a little worse for wear, as she plays much more roughly than he would like her to, but he is somewhat of a good sport about the whole thing!

They love the porch and spend most of their time looking out on the trees:

The purpose of this game between Claris & Morty eludes me, though. Each gets a side of the porch door, and they head-but it into each other!

Sign, Sign...

We have finished the gate and sign for Dog Days place, and I am pleased with the results! The three paws on the front are for the three dogs that started this crazy idea: Deckard, Grommit, and Claris. It is a bit silly, but so are we!

Claris is still an only dog, but that ends at the end of September when we bring home our new little girl (to be named at a later date). A new puppy will really jazz things up; considering the puppy-hood of the other hairy children, I am bracing myself for some insanity!

I was worried about the health of the environment around Dog Days when for several weekends we saw no butterflies in the bottom fields. The milk weed bloomed and faded without the usual crush of colorful wings. I was so upset I actually contacted my wonderful college room-mate who has since become an entomologist! She reassured me that these things come in booms and busts, and she told me that they were probably affected by the cooler spring and the Gypsy Moth spraying that may have occurred in the region this season. She told me to wait a little longer, and she was right; the butterflies are starting to show themselves! (Phew.)

I worked on the outdoor cooking area on the porch for the last few weeks, and last weekend marked the first time I was able to cook on the grill! I had to totally rebuild the gas grill, which was more of a task than I had expected. I thought I could easily pull it out, scrub it off, paint it, and replace the burner, grate and all the rest of the guts. I was so wrong! I forget sometimes that we are now living in a throw-away society, and getting parts to re-build and re-use is getting harder and harder. This experience has made me hate plastic things more, and to look more closely at what I buy! I no longer want things that I cannot open up, take apart, repair myself!
Viva La Re-use Revolution!

Yum Yum! Grilled redskin potatoes, parsnips & zukes! I love cooking on the porch, and the great thing about this is I can extend the grilling season because this grill is out of the elements, and because there is so much seating & space I no longer have to be out working the grill all by myself! I cannot wait to make a trip to one of the many farm markets this weekend and stock up on grilling items!

The barn is waiting to become a future project (I keep warning poor Oscar that the overhang on the right side is a perfect place for my chicken coop and the stalls in the barn are asking for BIG four-legged critters...), but for now the deer have made themselves at home! You can see the shine from our bicycle reflectors and a pair of very surprised eyes! Go ahead and click on the picture below to get a larger view so you can see our resident deer...

All in all, we have made so much progress... but there is always so much to do!