Our Cats

We have two cats. candy and Dipsy. You can see Dipsy in my avatar on most websites and in the header image at the top here.

Our cat Dipsy

Dipsy is an independent cat. One that really wants cuddles, but refuses to ask for them. She’s a bit jumpy and is afraid of people coming to visit. She hides behind the curtain when we have visitors. If you’re lucky she will come out and see if she likes you. Most of the time she waits until everyone’s gone.
Dipsy loves the outdoors. She loves watching birds, but never catches them. It’s like she doesn’t care. She loves summer. Summer means we have the backdoor open most of the time and she can go in and out as much as she likes. She also loves to lay under my chair when I’m reading in the garden. Dipsy doesn’t like much human food, but the only thing she begs for is Snert.

SAMSUNG

Candy is a few weeks younger than her ‘sister’. She’s a very outgoing cat. If you let her she’ll sit on your lap 24/7. She wants cuddles and lots of them. She loves attention and she knows exactly how to get it. If you don’t give her any she’ll jump you.
Just as Dipsy she loves to go outdoors in the garden. You can find her lying in the grass, sleeping. Or she’s at our neighbours’ getting attention.
She, like her sister, doesn’t beg much for food. Only when I grab the cheese from the fridge she’ll try to get me to give her some. I never do, because I don’t want her to beg, but she does it nevertheless. Candy eats anything and everything. As long as you throw it to her she’ll eat it. Very handy with medication. Throw the pill and she takes it.

The only thing both of them don’t like is catnip. I’ve tried it before with dried catnip, but they didn’t want it. We tried again earlier this week with fresh catnip, but they’ve looked at it and that’s it. It does nothing for them.

This post is written for today’s Daily Post.

So much to do, so little time

I haven’t been blogging as much as I wanted the last few weeks. Partly because I’m feeling very tired, partly because I’m very busy.

Last week we had a week off. Jay and I both figured we could relax a bit and do some DIY. Wrong! We did lots of DIY, but little relaxing. We put the skirtingboards in the living room up and painted to window frames upstairs, so hopefully we can put the insect screens up before we’ll be bugged by bugs all night. I also made some mental notes about what I’d like to do to the garden once spring arrives.
And that’s pretty much all we did. The skirtingboards took us 4 evenings, the painting took us 3 solid days. Bye bye week off.
I really hope my tiredness disappears when spring starts. It always does, but every year I’m scared it might not disappear this year.

On monday I’ll be going back to work and Tuesday will be a solid day of studying. I really dislike studying, but I have to do it. So our time off will be forgotten very quickly…
Hopefully I’ll be back to blogging a bit more once I’m feeling a bit better and we have finished the window frames.

Thank you Daily Prompt…

Yesterday Daily Prompt asked us to describe our last nightmare. Reading about other people’s nightmares was interesting. And it triggered a nightmare for me. Great…

I was with Jay. We had just bought a house. And we were going to look at it for the last time. We were going to move in just 5 days. When the owner let us in I discovered it was tiny. It had only one window, looking out into the garden from the kitchen area. The kitchen had 4 units. There was just enough space to squeeze yourself in. The kitchen area had a large half wall with jail type bars on top to corner it off from the living room. The livingroom had very old sliding doors into the garden. But they couldn’t open as they were so old. The livingroom was about 2.5 meters by 3 meters. The garden was 4 by 4 meters and very overgrown.
The ceiling was cracked, ceiling tiles were falling down. The walls were covered in a heavy flowered wallpaper. The floor was a very bad colour laminate flooring with whole boards missing.
The whole time I was thinking “I can’t live here. It’s too small, it’s too cluttered, the cats can’t go outside. I don’t want to leave our house!!!” When we walked off Jay asked me if I still wanted the house and I told him no.

I woke up crying, since I really love our house and don’t want to move at all. Especially not to such a tiny house with no garden to speak of and windows only on one side.

Through the Window

As I look through the window I see the damp and dreary place that is my garden.

The chrysanthemum that has been flowering for months has lost its flowers and leaves and the storm that was raging last night has made it topple over. As did the Christmas tree that I want to try to keep for next Christmas.
The orange dish I used for the birds is filled with water and a bit of bread crumbs. The back looks like a wasteland of dirt and some pretty persistent weeds.

Next summer that part will hopefully be a veggie patch with berry bushes, strawberry, lettuce, potatoes, onions, bell-peppers, tomatoes and whatever you want.

The place is looking nothing like the bird haven that it was just a couple of days ago. The ground was covered in a light, white dust of snow that just about covered the grass. There were so many birds, fighting for the food I put out. When the bread dish was empty, a brave blackbird knocked on the window. Making it pretty clear he was hungry and wanted food. The magpies were stealing sunflower seeds from the great tits and the blue tits. The starlings were fighting each other trying to get hold of the suet balls. Why I have no idea, because there were more than enough for all of them. We had bush tits, great tits, house sparrows, robins, blue tits, a great spotted woodpecker, thrushes, blackbirds, starlings, doves, magpies, herons, Eurasian jays and even a nightingale.

I loved seeing all the birds in the garden. And while I’m looking out into that dreary place that is now my garden I push myself a little closer to the central heating. For just a moment I let the thing warm me. And just as I want to turn around to go and write this post a robin flies up to the window bird feeder. He looks right at me, his little head tilted a bit as if he wants to tell me he’s still here and he still needs the food I put out…

For more posts on this Daily Prompt, please go here.

Birds in our garden

A few weeks ago I decided to put up some bird feed. I’ve made a bird feeder from an old bottle and I’ve made a few Jumping Jack bird feeders. I bought some suet balls, and got a special holder for bread. And my most precious item is a small window feeder. It’s tiny, but such joy to look at.

Ever since we’ve put up all the food, our garden has been very popular with the food, despite the cats going out in the garden a gazillion times a day.

Great Tit

We’ve seen  bush tits, great tits, house sparrows, robins, blue tits, a great spotted woodpecker, thrushes, blackbirds, starlings, doves and magpies.

Have you been putting up bird feeders? What type of birds are visiting your garden?

Jumping Jack Birdfeeder

This is one of the birdfeeders I made over the weekend. Simple to make, funny to look at.

What you need:

  • net of peanuts (without the shell)
  • 28 peanuts with shell (drill holes in them)
  • 3 pieces of wire (2 x 30 cm, 1 x 40 cm)
  • small flower-pot
  • ribbon

How to:

Take the 40 cm long wire and fold it in half. Put this through the net. Place the flower-pot on top.
Put the ribbon round the neck area, like a tie.
Take 8 peanut and string them to one wire (30 cm). Do the same with the other wire. Roll up the ends of the wire so the won’t fall off.
Stick the wire through the net. The part with 8 peanuts will be the legs. String 6 peanuts to the other side. Roll up the ends.
Hang it outside in your garden.

That’s it. Simple and easy.

Make your own bird feeder

I recently came across this DIY bird feeder and thought it was an excellent idea.

So I made one myself. But instead of putting the bottle with the right side up and make a hole in the bottom for the water to drain, I thought it would be much better to get a sports drink bottle and place it upside down. I left the top (now the bottom) open. Water drains out without any problems and you don’t have to make drainage holes.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Big

This tree stump was one of six that were in our garden when we bought this house. It took Jay and my dad quite a few hours to get them all out. If you want to know more about it, go here.

For more interpretations of Big, check here.

Random pictures

Here’s some random pictures I wanted to show you guys. I decided to post them all together.

Lemur in AquaZoo Leeuwarden.

 

Other lemurs in AquaZoo. The sign said not to touch the lemurs, but what if the lemurs touched you?

 

Our cat Dipsy is begging for treats. Or, as someone suggested, using her “give me the treats or I’ll rip your eyes out” look.

 

This is my ‘new’ sewing machine. It’s as least as old as I am, but I hope to make lots of great stuff using this machine.

 

My latest treat. A great apple pie made with the apples from my mother’s apple tree.

 

And the last one. The pumpkin from our own garden. There were 4, but 3 rotted away. This one survived and it’s huge. The tile that it’s on is 30×30 cm, just to give you an idea how big it is.

That’s all folks. I’ve got a few posts in my head. Now I need to find the time to write them…

Our garden project

Last year, in september we got the keys to our new house. When we came to view it, three times in fact, we knew the garden was overgrown and it hadn’t had much attention over the years. But little did we know what we’d find once we began to clear it…

This is how the garden was when we first came to view the house:

Note the two conifers and the hydrangea on the right. On the left the bushes in the garden of our neighbours are also really overgrown. This picture is from the estate agents.

In February of this year we began to clear to right side of the garden:

 

The hydrangea was a little bit harder to get out, but we managed to do it relatively quickly. It was then that we found 6 tree stumps in the garden. 5 at the far end and one near the fence on the left. At first we thought it would be relatively easy to get them out. Jay worked tirelessly for 3 weeks before he got the first one out:

We then realised it would take ages to get all of them out. But Jay worked on and uncovered the second stump:

A few weeks ago I asked my dad to come over and mow the lawn, as the grass was really, really high and I felt uncomfortable when I saw the neighbours looking at our garden. It was a big mess. My dad came and promised to bring a chainsaw and other tools to help and get the tree stumps out as well. This was how our garden looked before my dad came to help:

The first saturday the mower had decided it needed a vacation and quickly after that the chainsaw decided to follow the mower’s example. So my dad went home and got back the next week:

Jay and my dad even got the railway sleepers out that were hiding under the huge amount of grass:

Notice the strawberry plants on the right and the flowers and berry bushes on the left. I got those from my stepmom.

They took the railway sleepers and the stump that Jay managed to get out to the recycling station and that was about it for that day. The next week, this was last weekend, i had to work. My dad came here early and Jay and he set to work on the remaining 4 stumps (somewhere in the beginning of the year we did get another one out, but it was tiny):

I came home to this, at about 1 pm. After lunch they got out the final stump:

Finally! All stumps removed. The only thing that was left to do was to get all the stuff to the recycling station. Jay and my dad did this yesterday, in the pouring rain. So, now we are left with a huge hole in the back of the garden. The one on the left side (which you can see just above here) is already filled in. There’s only a bit of grass to remove before we can sow new grass. Then Jay’s going to get the tiles that are in 2 neat rown in the middle of the garden and place them as a border at the back. I’ll put the plants I got from my stepmom at the back, so that will be my vegetable patch.

And when we’re ready for it I want to tile the whole grassy area, so we’ll have a great seating area. With lots of pots and hanging baskets and other stuff I’ve seen. I’ll post an update when I’m going to do the vegetable plot.

Oh, and here’s a picture of all those plants I got from my stepmom: