Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Signs of Spring

The last of the snow melted this weekend. The million inches of rain we got this weekend may have been the deciding factor. So, yes, it is kind of squishy outside these days, but you can definitely see signs that Spring is on its way!
Bulbs are poking their heads out of the ground all over the place. On the drive to church and school, I can see that carpets of little white flowers are popping up in many places. Can spring be far behind?

In another sign of spring, Rudolph emerged from his days of snuggling in his fuzzy cat bed to luxuriate in a sunny spot in the playroom.
Rudolph find the sunny spot
I thought he had a great idea to enjoy the sunlight today; after five days of heavy rain, the sun is a welcome sight today. I would like to go lie in a sunny spot myself.

Poor Rudolph did not get much time to enjoy the sun this morning before his person rudely manhandled him into a pet carrier and dragged him off to the vet for a teeth cleaning and his annual shots. Rudolph is a F.O.U.S., or a Feline of Unusual Size. Weighing something over 20 pounds, he is not easily squeezed into a pet carrier designed for normal cats. Unfortunately, they don't really make pet carriers for his size: you got your small carriers (for cats and small dogs) and then you got your large carriers (for large dogs). It's ridiculous to put him in a carrier for a large dog, so it's the small carrier for him.

Some time ago, after Rudolph's infamous and unsuccessful attempt to bring home a dinner of wild turkey, we bought him a fancy canvas carrier for the multiple vet visits he had to make at that time. I got it out of the basement to use today for the first time in about a year. After I wrestled him into the carrier, I tried to zip the end closed, without any luck. Not one, but BOTH zippers broke and I could not zip the end shut. I had to think fast, as the F.O.U.S. was doing his darnedest to escape, cat hair was flying everywhere, and I didn't want to be late for our appointment. In the end, I resorted to safety pins. It took six big brass safety pins to contain my vicious beast. He is at the vet's for the day today; I will pick him up after the kids get out of school. I hope the vet doesn't lose my safety pins...

We've actually had a lot of spring projects going in the past couple of weeks. My seed order finally arrived this weekend, so we planted lots of seeds. We have the seed starters all crowded close to the window that gets the most morning sun.
I want to improve the vegetable garden greatly this year. Last year, my fence did keep the bunnies out, but the deer reached right over and treated my garden like a buffet. So I need a better fence, and I need to improve the nutritive quality of the soil. Last year's just did not have the yield I have gotten before.

Catgirl and a friend in her Girl Scout troop have been working on their bronze award project. They have a goal of making and collecting 100 Easter "baskets" to donate to Catholic Charities. The "baskets" are made by cutting off the bottom half of a milk carton, punching holes around the edge and threading yarn through the holes. The yarn serves both to protect little kids against the sharpness of the cut plastic and to make the "baskets" look like more than just recycled plastic.
Catgirl's friend's mom (who is the leader) organized a big "basket" decorating event on Friday, where they got help from a troop of Daisies and a troop of Brownies in decorating the makeshift "baskets" with yarn. At one point, I looked around at all these little girls working hard threading yarn through milk cartons, and I said to the friend's mom, "We are running a Girl Scout sweatshop!"

The girls plowed through about 60 "baskets" in one hour Friday night. Admittedly, we did have to spend a few hours fixing many of them on Saturday, but it was still a great help.
These baskets, in addition to the ones the girls whave made over the past month, get them very close to their goal. Now Catgirl and her friend have to fill them with Easter grass and the treats they have collected and we will deliver them to the church this coming Saturday.

This past Sunday was Pi Day, of course: March 14th (3.14, get it?), so Catgirl's math teacher asked kids to bring in pie for Monday. Catgirl decided, for some reason that neither of us has figured out, that she wanted to make Key Lime pie. She had never even tried Key Lime Pie before, but she had it in her mind that that was the pie she wanted to make. I happen to have a good recipe for it that I used to make when Rich and I first got married. It's pretty much the same work to make two pies as one, so we ended up making one for us to enjoy at home and one for Catgirl to take to school.
Pie for Pi day
Unfortunately, only a couple kids were game enough to try Key Lime pie. Most of them went for the chocolate cream pie that one girl brought or the ice cream pie that another one brought. I hear the teachers liked it, but in the end a lot of it came back home.

So now, we have a lot of pie in this house, people. This morning I had a piece of pie for breakfast. Not exactly the breakfast of champions, I suppose. I am going to try freezing some pie. It sure will be tasty in the summer. Mmmm!

In knitting news, I have finished the back and one front side on my Twist cardigan sweater.
Twist cardi back
I reallyreally want to wear this, so I am seriously motivated to knit it up fast. The yarn is very nice: soft to knit and a classy khaki color that will look great with everything. I am enjoying the pattern, too.

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