Saturday, January 28, 2012

Hey Everyone it's Caturday!

Hello everybody and everykitty!

It's Caturday, and it's nice to have Mummy home all day. We miss her when she goes off to the salt mine and doesn't come home until after dark.

The question for the week is:

If a tree falls in the driveway and no one is outside to see it fall, does it make any noise?

It was really windy on Tuesday afternoon and this is what happened!

The Shepherd was home, but HE didn't hear anything - so maybe it didn't make any noise...

Mummy had to park out by the gate and walk through the muddy garden in the dark - luckily she had a flashlight in her car - she would have been in a lot of trouble otherwise. She's not too steady on her feet in the mud.

Since the driveway was blocked and he could not get his truck out, The Shepherd took Mummy to the salt mine on Wednesday morning and used her car to go to a wonderful place called Hardware Sales where you can get just about anything you want to do with hardware or plumbing or electrical - (they even have a wedding registry of all things!) and they rent chain saws too. (A friend of Mummy's says if they don't have it or can't get it at Hardware Sales, you don't need it)

So even though we thought that tree would be an excellent Jungle Gym for us, The Shepherd cut it all up and a friend of Mummy's came today and took away the wood for his fire place.

"All's well that end's well", I always say.

Everyone have a great weekend.

Love, your roving reporter, Gracie!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It takes all kinds -

See the lady mid-picture by the grey truck? She owns another business on our block. She thinks we take up too much of the parking. (he is parked a half a block away from her business entrance - and as you can see, there is a bit of parking available on her side of the street)

She is leaving a little pile of brown poo courtesy of her doggie where my co-worker will unwittingly step in it before he gets into his truck.

I guess she didn't realize that all the cameras on our building might catch her in the act....(we are a "security company" after all). Sheesh!

Just wrong on so many levels.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Spinning Silk Caps

What the heck is a silk cap? I asked my friend and spinning teacher, Yvonne, when she offered to teach a seminar on Spinning Silk Caps at our Guild meeting. She said that she had been "gifted" some silk caps and would love to teach people how to use them in spinning. And we had a big group of people who were interested too - several visitors from guilds to the south even.

Quoting from The Silk Worker : "Silk caps are made from cultivated cocoons that have been degummed and stretched over a frame shaped like a bell. They consist of a number of extremely thin layers (maybe 10 or 12 layers) each layer is one cocoon." (There are also "Silk Hankies" where the silk has been stretched over a square frame instead - several people were working with those)

And they really are the size of a cap, in fact the one you are looking at here was a birthday present from our friend Nancy - and it really was big enough for me to put it over my head like a cap, but I digress...

Nancy had taken a silk cap and dyed it all these beautiful colors.

When I was in China in 1981, I remember going to a silk factory and watching the little ladies and probably young girls putting the cocoons on the thread machines - Each cocoon has about a MILE of silk strands on it - and these strands of silk are very strong -

The trick is to separate ONE layer from the cap and then you pull it out flat, sort of like you were shaping out a pizza dough - then, you pop a hole in the middle and take this "donut shape" and keep making it bigger, and bigger - one cap will stretch out so much that you can have a circle of "roving" that will go around your hands if you have your arms stretched out to each side (like wings)

Then you can, as The Silk Worker suggests - put the stretched out silk roving into a bowl and spin from that, or Yvonne suggested wrapping it around a TP roll or around your wrist. I couldn't get it to stay on the TP roll, so I opted for winding it around my wrist. That worked perfectly for me - as you can see, it perplexed Gracie - who was very interested in snoopervision of my efforts.

Have you ever worked with silk? The tiny fibers catch on ANY little rough place on your hands. I forgot to mention that one of the things that we had to do before we started working with the silk was to do a little "spa treatment" on our hands - use an emery board to smooth off any hang nails or chips on our fingernails then we did a scrub with sugar and oil, of all things - it really did get rid of most all the places that the fibers were catching.

Here is my silk roving ready to be spun. It is such strong fiber that you can actually knit directly from the roving.

One thing spinning silk requires though is a LOT of patience. This is the result of TWO HOURS of spinning! I have two caps to spin - One is the one pictured above and the other is just reds and golds. I decided that I will ply the two together for my silk thread and use it to crochet jewelery - necklaces, bracelets, etc - guess what everyone will get for Christmas NEXT year? Ha ha ha...

Wishing my Sister Wisten a Very HAPPY Birthday!

This big bouquet of flowers is a "virtual" birthday bouquet for my oldest sister.

I won't tell you how old she is, but here is a hint - she was ten years old when I was born.

This picture was taken at my grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary. My sisters and I were the youngest of their eight grandchildren. (one sister was on the other side of the "eight" and I'm not skilled enough to photoshop her into this picture)

She was about 15 in this picture -

And because we both have January Birthdays, here is a big bouquet of summer flowers!

Here she is in her thirties - I wanted her granddaughters to see how pretty their Grandmom was when she was younger (not that she isn't pretty now - ooh, ooh, I'm stepping in it...)

And because she loves Hawaii - some plumeria -

So, to my dear sister, with love, I hope you have the happiest of birthdays! And Many, Many more! (and your present and card will be there sometime in the middle of the week)

And you know what they say - Hogs and quiches!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Caturday Report!!

Hello everybodies and everykitties!

Gracie here with the Caturday report.

Well you know all about the snow that we had this week. Georgie and I were too little last year when it snowed, so this is the first time we've had to play in it. We go outside for a little bit, the come back in and warm our toesies on Mummy's big bed.

This week's report though is about this guy who has been climbing in and out of under the house, both yesterday and today!

It is a mystery to me, because every time he climbs out from under the house he is dripping with water and saying bad words. Then he comes to the back door, reports to The Shepherd and then he climbs back under the house. If it is so cold and wet under there, I don't know why he keeps going back. Mummy was mumbling something about "Many green papers going out the window...."

(Yes, folks, Mummy here - the reason that man goes back under the house is because he is a very highly paid plumber - (although I don't think you could pay me enough to do the job he is doing)
We are hoping that our insurance will help cover some of the costs.)

And take a look at Gracies little toesies that were warming up on the big bed. Aren't they sweet?

The snow is almost gone - maybe tomorrow - Mummy has lots of Laundry & other errands!

Love and smootchies to you all - especially to our friend Momma Maria who has started her own new blog called The Cat's Meow. Mummy has known Maria for a long time now - maybe 20 or so years! She has lots of kitties and a very quirky sense of humor.

See ya next week! XOX Gracie!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The view from the Cat Door

Yup, 16 degrees - that's what the little widget on my computer said this morning. What it didn't say was that there were NE winds of about 30 mph blowing out of the Frasier River Canyon up in Canada.

Make that about 2 degrees. Brrrrrr!

With my bad knee, I move so slowly that I'd freeze to death between the back door and the car. I decided it was a good day to stay at home.

So I spent most of the day at the computer working on "work" stuff - "Logmein" is a wonderful program.

I got two of my quarterly reports done!

And spent a lot of time monitoring the cats coming and going - mostly worrying about them when they would go out and wishing they'd get back in the house.

Hmm - doesn't really look too bad out there -

Look the wind has died down -


"18 degrees - schmeighteen degrees - that's what I've got a fur coat for", says Gracie on her way out to check up on The Shepherd when he went out to feed the sheep!

George finally succumbed to his favorite snoozing spot after deciding that "Schmeighteen" degrees really was too cold to spend much time out there...

Even Bella spent most of the day inside. But with a careful watchful eye on bird TV.

And Gracie - after a few short trips in and out, spend most of the day on "the big bed" -

"Come join me Mummy" -

No, sorry sweetie, I have to get back to work. You have a nice nap now.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Thank heavens.

Mother Nature waited a few days to deliver my "Birthday Snow"

I had WAY too many things to do last week to have to do them in the snow!

It started snowing Saturday night when we were driving home from the Asian Bistro.

And it snowed all night, scuttling my plans to do errands on Sunday morning - Oh, well, I'll just sleep in - since my spinner guild meeting was Saturday morning and I didn't get to sleep in then either.

And it snowed the better part of Sunday too.

Until Sunday evening when it warmed up a little and the snow flakes fell off of the trees - do you recognize this picture from the first one?

Do you see the Witch Hazel, all covered in yellow blossoms? If you biggify the first picture, you can see it all covered with snow.

The Shepherd said it was mighty slippery on the roads when he came back from church.

The Mrreows were racing around "like crazy pants" in the snow. In and out the cat door about
eighty seven times - They were very little the last time there was snow here and I think their previous mommy kept them in the house because they were so tiny.

It ended up a pretty sunset on Sunday, but then started snowing again during the night. I decided to stay home from work yesterday, but went in today. The roads were traveled enough that they weren't too bad. It is only supposed to snow a "skiff" tonight and tomorrow then warm up AND IT WILL ALL BE GONE!!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Hey Everyone it's Caturday!

Hey everybody and everykitty - it's me Gracie, your roving reporter here, trying to get the camera out of the hands of the pawparatzi - always with the flashy box in my eyes, drives me nutty.

The biggest news of the week is that the Black Kitty (aka Bella) is being allowed to stay in the house at night.

See, here's Bella - curled up at Mummy's feet, under her chair, practically snuggling -

Hey, Bella, that's MY mummy - no snuggling allowed!

The second biggest news was that Mummy turned 60millioneleventy on Thursday. The Shepherd sent her these pretty flowers at her grindstone. She brought them home from work on Friday so she could enjoy them even more.

She's had a good week - out to dinner (Olive Garden, yummm) Wednesday with two BFFs, lunch Thursday with some old work friends, dinner Friday with some "sheepy" friends and Chinese food tonight with some friends from church and all around - Party Hearty Mummy - next week it's back to business.

The third biggest news was that Party Mix was on sale at the PetsMart store. So when Mummy went to spend some big bucks on our kitty food, she got a couple of big bags of it for us. We all LOVE Party Mix around here - it's Yummy!

Hope you all have a great weekend.

Love, your roving reporter, Gracie

Friday, January 13, 2012

The "other" shopping spree...

On Sunday, Jan. 1st I got an email from my local yarn store that, since she had decided to be open on January 2, which was kind of a holiday, because everything else was going to be closed, the ladies at the store decided they wanted to have lots of company, and would 25% off entice me to come in and see what they had in the way of fiber (actually they put all their yarn on sale too, but I generally don't buy yarn)

You are darn tootin it would and I did still have some Christmas Cash burning a hole in my pocket. So I went shoppin'. "Bye honey, be back in a while"...

Unfortunately, purples are one of the colors that don't show off so well with my camera, but think a vibrant "royal WE" purple here. There's 4 1/2 oz. of the solid and 4 1/2 oz. of the variegated - merino top - I'll spin singles of each and ply them to make a pretty heathery looking pattern when it is crocheted.

These three bumps are "Potluck roving" from Ferndale Fibers. Kathy does a really great job of processing and dying her wool. It is a lot like spinning Targhee - makes a soft and lofty yarn. (I'm hoping that she'll be involved in the farm sale again this spring - last year she had some GREAT buys)

These three colors are Jungle, Steel and Night Sky, and I was looking for some "earth tone" colors to spin - one can't live by blues, purples, and teals alone...

The money had been earmarked for a "roving of the month" club, but I saved enough money with the sale prices it was like getting one of these bumps for free! Can't argue with that.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Pssst, - - - Gracie -

Can you keep a secret?

Mummy turns 60 years old today!

Do you know how old that is in Cat Years? Something like 60millioneleventy or something like that - boy - she's old!

(Better be careful buster, remember who fills your cat bowl...)

Monday, January 09, 2012


Mummy loves looking at my furs.

She says ifn I wasn't striped, I'd be a tortoise shell cat (The term “tortoiseshell” is used for cats with brindled coats that have few or no white markings - if there is white, they are calico)

They say tortoise shell cats are fiercely independent and strong willed - that's called TORTITUDE!

Tortitude - That's me alright!

Love, Gracie

Saturday, January 07, 2012

It's Caturday!

Hello everybodies and everykitties!

Gracie here and "It's Caturday!!"

My Caturday report today is that Mummy spent half of her Christmas green papers that she got from her sisters on sheep furs - old colored sheep furs.

And I thought maybe she might spend some of it on ME!

She said that this is 8 ounces of "Mountain Colors hand painted Targhee roving and the color is called "Wilderness"

Mummy likes to spin Targhee sheeps furs - she says it is fluffy and soft. She made a baby sweater out of this kind of yarn a couple of years ago and it turned out really pretty.

This is called "Louet Northern Lights Handpainted Pencil Roving". It came in an 8oz bag and the color is called Fire Moss. Mummy has never spun any pencil roving and thought it looked like it might be kind of fun. She also thought she was getting a bag of sheeps furs that was all kinds of blues called Ocean Waves, but this is what showed up. I think it is pretty anyhow.

And this is whole bag is full of sheeps fur string -

I also think it looks like it might be kind of fun to play with - what do you think?

This whole frenzy of green paper spending was started by this little doohickey called a "yarn yardage counter" - Mummy has been wanting one because she says as a hand spinner she wants to be sure she has enough yarn for her projects. It will also make it more accurate when she wants to sell some of her spun sheeps furs to other people.

It was her present from The Shepherd for Christmas - but she had to find it on the internets because The Shepherd looked ALL over the city and he couldn't find one. So she went to a web site that she had gotten stuff from before called Paradise Fibers . She got very excited because it turns out they were having a sale AND if you spent over $75 you got free shipping.

Well, Mummy thought it would a very good time to buy some new sheeps furs, especially since it was going on The Shepherd's credit card and not hers - he, he, he - (but she did give him the green papers from her sister to cover the charges)

It's not very big - that is a teaspoon lying next to it.

Anyways, it was cold and rainy out today so me and Georgie spend most of the day snoozing here and there in the house.

As a matter of fact, here is Georgie, helping Mummy wrap her belated Christmouse presents to her sisters. I think I heard her say that he was being a "great help"... wasn't that nice of him?

Well, that's my Caturday report for this week. Mummy says she'll tell you later about the other spending spree she went on at her local yarn store. Have a good week!

Love, Your roving reporter, Gracie