Sunday, June 29, 2014

Cats and Birds: the little things

I'd been thinking it would be fun to put together a little post of photos that haven't made it into my blog, just photos of minimal, little things that have brightened my admittedly dark days. Then Spy Girl suggested we do a post about minimalism for her 52-Pick-Me-Up challenge so I thought now was the time. As I've often said in Sublime Mercies, it's the little things that keep me going.

Meeting this friendly neighbour cat was a case in point.

It would appear that most of the little things that make me feel better are cats and birds.

Seriously, how can Milo's silliness not bring a smile to my face? That's Bobby's toy, by the way, but he lets Milo sleep with it. Milo starts out playing with it but then he just falls asleep mid-way through.

He has no idea why he's overweight, none at all.

Meanwhile, eighteen year old Bobby is really enjoying being an outdoor cat again. I feel comfortable letting him into our yard because it's fenced well enough that a geriatric guy like him can't get loose and get himself into a dangerous spot.

He's an on and off again diabetic and we had some scares recently as he got dangerously close to a diabetic coma. He's doing well now and has gained weight and grown thicker fur.

Bobby and I both enjoy resting our weary bones outside. This was my view as I lay on the grass the other day -- in the shade, of course because... have you seen how white I am? The sun and I simply do not get along.

Of course, my new engagement ring has been a source of a lot of delight. Here, I took a photo of it, intertwined with its inspiration: tangled honeysuckle vines. You can read all about our his and hers engagement rings here.

As spring melts into summer, I'm really glad I went with a nature theme for my ring.

Beau's bear, Bo, and my bear, Bear, now live together and seem to want to get out into the yard too. They're always up to some kind of mischief. Beau still says he has nothing to do with it.

Our new yard is proving even more of a haven for birds than my little balcony was in the past. This time, I'm not starting out in complete ignorance. I know much more about how to attract which birds: what foods to put out for which birds, when to put the foods out, etc.. Add this to my big yard and lots of trees and... wow!

Maybe you can't understand how exciting this blurry photo is but, for a bird lover like me, finally attracting a Goldfinch is just... wow! He started coming over a week ago, in ful mating plumage, so I hoped he'd show up with a girlfriend soon. He did! You know what that means, don't you? Baby Goldfinches will be here soon! Sigh. : )

Fred, our Northern Flicker friend, also found a mate through us. Every day for quite some time, he rat-a-tat-tatted on our metal railing. It was adorable. You can't see Fred very well here, but, trust me, Norther Flickers have it all: colour, stripes, polka dots, size, and the weirdest, most dexterous tongues you've ever seen.

So they're noisy. That's okay. Their noise can't begin to compare to the squawks of protest from the juvenile ravens that woke the whole neighbourhood at 4:30 every morning for a few weeks. Yes, ravens!! Right here in the middle of the city. Their parents were trying to teach them to feed themselves. They weren't interested in doing so. Teenagers!

The house finches have been bringing their young brood around too. The juveniles are loud, curious, imprudent, and incredibly clumsy. They regularly fall of the feeder (usually whilst peering in the window at me or the cats) but it's okay, since they have wings. Don't you wish your kids had wings at their clumsy stages?

That's their papa on the right, with his red plumage. We had a really big rainstorm the other day and all the birds hid from it in the trees. Afterwards, they were ravenous and the scene at this feeder was chaos for quite some time.

The rain and our very long spring is what makes the land here so fecund. These flowers were in a neighbour's yard. I just love the symmetry of this photo -- light and dark.

Just like Milo and Bobby!

Or Beau in the light and shadow in our kitchen. One of his customers suggested that he make his world history timeline (which you can buy here) into a puzzle. He was so excited when the puzzles arrived that he obsessively worked on his for hours and hours. They're selling well too.

Yes, I'm marrying a brilliant geek. Isn't that sexy?

Do you like our bright yellow, cracked ice, Formica table? Me too.

What do you think of the matching chairs we got for them last week? Okay, the table is 50s and the chairs are 60s, but these chairs were so odd and fun, we had to get them. The boys are only ten (almost) and thirteen (almost) and "camp" is lost on them, so they're not as fond of the chairs as Beau and I are.

Small, second hand acquisitions continue delight me. I got these ear clips for a song at a thrift store, and then later found this matching brooch at another store. Sad to say, one of the rhinestones since fell off, but it's still quite the find.

As I've said before, my maternal grandmother is to blame for my brooch obsession. I've been fiddling with Pinterest in the last several weeks and I decided to make a board just for her: Grandma Ruth's Board. It's almost all brooches. She never pierced her ears.

The house is starting to really come together. Here's my new writing table (which used to be my kitchen table when I didn't live with children). Doesn't it look inviting? We have no television or computer in the living room, but we have books and a writing table.

That's my dear, departed Morgan in the photo there.

So, life has not been easy lately, to say the least, but there have, as always, been some perks, minimal perks but important ones.

Bo and Bear wish you a good night. So do Beau and I.


  1. This is really a sweet post. Beau and Bo are cracking me up. They remind me of having twins. They were always trying to climb out the window to get to the backyard.
    Congrats on your engagement! And thanks for sharing you simple lovelies.

    1. In fact, Beau is my fiance, while Bo is his bear and Bear is my bear. Not confusing at all! : ) Beau and Bo and Bear get up to all sorts of shenanigans together. The three of them can get me really laughing, and sometimes I need that really badly.

  2. Your house looks really inviting - colorful, personal, lovely! Justin and I love those Tiffany inspired lamps too and have a few of them around. I used to have my writing desk in our living room, and we do not have a TV (only laptops). We too have two cats, sisters, one is orange and another is dark (mixed though). Justin would really appreciate Bo and Bear's adventures, they make me smile too (it's very his style :)...

    Hope you feel better, dear! You create a beautiful world despite the pain. Very warm, heartfelt post! xxx

  3. So much to say! I really like guys that have bears. My guy Bushy had a tiny bear called Barely when I met him, and then we got another we called Hardly. Your writing desk is magnificent, especially the lamps! We have no TV or computer in our living room either, just books, games, chiming clock, slow combustion stove, piano, and other instruments and peace.
    Beau and his puzzle! Priceless. I also love jigsaw puzzles.
    Your bird feeder, how magic! And right on the window where you can see them. We have a feeder that draws top knot pigeons (knot top my kids say), rosellas, wattle birds, magpies, cockatoos and galahs. Very Aussie.
    Your Grandma looks lovely. Will have a look at your board. Love her brooch...gorgeous!
    The cat shenanigans are wonderful. We have a Manx cat. They have lovely personalities, but no tail. Great when we had a two year old. No tail to pull!
    Must go now. All the best, JJ