January 2022 Sweet, silly Vladimir

Vladimir
August 20, 2009 – January 10, 2022

My silly, sweet, tail-flagging, rumpus-making, handsome ginger boy Vladimir was diagnosed with intestinal cancer after having a bloated abdomen. He was a kittenish boy, which made it harder to realize his actual age. Below is a quintessential video of his silliness. For context, I was away and the large, lidded container holds kibble; the cat sitter had moved it to the front porch. The small plastic container I used as a scoop. Vladimir realized that on some very lucky instances he could dislodge a full, covered container and, if the stars aligned, the lid would pop off when it hit the floor. Vladimir was a lover of the repetitive and could entertain himself for a surprisingly long time by pushing down a cardboard flap on a box that would then snap back up, and be pushed down again and snap back up, and on and on. No pictures give a proper sense of the loveliness of his flagging tail or the sound of him coming down a full flight of stairs in a total of five thumping strides.

Here is a post that spotlighted Vladimir and includes some lovely pictures of him as a kitten. And here is a post about how much of a bedhead he could get with all that lovely long hair.

He had a lovely life and is survived by his whole family: his mother and father, Mitsy and Cousin, and his sister. Claribel. We will all miss him and his sweet silliness.

November 2021 birds and a morning moon

The herbs are still holding up in the midst of the beginnings of brown. I made lentils and beets with fresh mint and was delighted to still have fresh mint to use in it.

The birds were having a lovely time in the trees and bushes and a morning moon was particularly lovely.

The pair of cardinals have been around quite a bit. And they are lovely. Such a great splash of red.

And here is a lovely picture of Cara, just to round things out.

November 2021 kitties in the garden

Here is a good sense of what the outside kitties have been getting up to. The long autumn is probably coming to a bit of an end here –there is a chill in the air and rain/snow in the forecast for later in the week. Before that happens, these kitties are having a lovely time in the dry leaves and sunshine.

Tiglet being as cute as ever.

Sidney, looking svelte.

Here is Pretty looking very relaxed with that paw outstretched.
Tiglet stalking that squirrel. The squirrel escaped.

October 2021 monk’s hood and a couple kitties

These are such late bloomers, it always surprises me that they get open at all. The kitties are NOT late bloomers –but Sidney and Martin Frobisher are all the way at the end of the post.

I don’t know which variety of aconitum this is. I have two bunches of this –the one that gets more sun is much taller –about 5 feet. The other one that is more protected is only about 3 feet tall and really seems unlikely to bloom this year.

This plant is getting ready –you can see the already open one in the background.

October 2021 dahlias as big as a cat’s face and mums

I make fun of the gardening catalogues that have “dinner plate dahlias” with an obligatory picture holding the bloom next to a child’s face for scale. “Look! This bloom is as big as a head!” If you google that phrase you will see images that confirm this…. However, at my house, I think the dahlia blooms should be measured on the scale of a kitty head. Sorry this picture is a little blurry… but you can get the idea.

I think the above dahlia in this bed just west of the front fence won’t get all the way to full blooms–if they do, it will be really lovely with that red amaranth. These red dahlia are in an odd spot but they are so gorgeous.

When my mother was visiting she bought me two gorgeous potted chrysanthemums, one yellow and one a reddish burgundy. They are on my front step and so bright and cherry now that they are open. I haven’t decided where to put them in the ground, but that will need to happen very soon.

I keep thinking that pink rose is really done…. but there are still more buds coming. And below is Pretty, she is such a little sweetie with her soft paws and her little meow.

September 2021 tipping of seasons and a fig

Oddly the season is feeling very autumnal and still summer is hanging on. It was chilly here. Last week it was down to 39F (just below 4C). But this week the highs during the day have been up to about 91/92F (32/33C). I am pleased since the tomatoes are still coming and I’d like a few more to ripen.

In any case, the lawn is once again very green and not crunchy. It has recovered as though the end of July crunch didn’t happen.

The fig in the picture below is one of many on the fig tree that is right up against the south side of the house. I don’t have much hope of these getting to ripe….

September 2021 herbs, dried tomatoes, and handsome cats

I had a lovely puttering day yesterday picking herbs, doing laundry, and putting tomatoes in the oven. The kitties were enjoying the day too. And I managed to cut the lawn in the back garden; I will take some pictures of that since it looks lovely and green with the recent rain and cooler weather.

The herbs are doing well –I try to pick a batch at the beginning of the year to dry but some of them are better now, thyme for example.

I had thought to have it be a game –how many of these herbs can you identify? Turns out (after seeing these pictures) that the game will have more to do with seeing past these not-very-good images. There are six different herbs here, but I think one might be completely at the bottom of the pile.

Mostly I try for the leathery consistency in the sun dried tomatoes (that I do in the oven), but invariably some of them end up totally stiff and dried –rattling around like dice on the tray. Turns out they are delicious crumbled into/ onto various things. My mother makes a fantastic herb mix that includes very-dried crumbled tomatoes –it is great in olive oil for bread dipping, on scrambled eggs, and sprinkled on popcorn. It has herbs and dried garlic in it too.

Above is Martin Frobisher, looking handsome. And below are a few pictures of Cousin; he was in a posing mood.