Category Archives: pets

Rag Rugs

Husband and I had no real shopping agenda going to Santa Fe except, perhaps, to find some nice, everyday place mats. We thought that Santa Fe would be a good place for interesting textiles.

Husband went to the Santa Fe farmers market and found these place mats you can see in the header photo.  We have plain white plates, and the place mats went with them nicely. They came from Guatemala, and are made from rags. They are thick and soft,  and are kitty approved for napping comfort if we leave them on the table between meals. They also reminded me of my childhood.

My best friend’s mother had rag rugs that she had made from worn out clothing.  She sent bags of rags to a woman in Magnolia (Cedric Adams home town), who somehow wove them into throw rugs for the entryways into their farmhouse. I thought they were so pretty and colorful. What a wonderful way to recycle! Nothing went to waste in that household.

Do you know of anyone who makes rag rugs these days? How do  you recycle? Does anyone remember Cedric Adams? Where do your pets like to nap?

Home Office Woes

BBC.com is one of the news sites that I look at through the week and yesterday I saw an article about decentralizing the workforce and increasing the ability to work remotely. Clark Valberg, CEO of a software design company says “A decentralized workforce now allows employers to access “passionate talent anywhere in the world irrespective of any geographic boundary.”  This is not good news to me.

My company instituted a Work at Home policy three years ago; each associate is allowed to work from home one day a week. I think I am about the only one in the company who does not take advantage of this. I prefer going into the office, I don’t want to be dragging my work laptop home all the time and I didn’t think I would be good at it.

Mother Nature finally forced me to test my theory that I wouldn’t be good at working from home. We had two snow days in February this year and I just had too much on my plate to take the days off.  I had warning so I had brought my work laptop home and gotten a lesson from a co-worker on how to get onto the network.

I don’t know if it was a self-fulfilling prophecy but I really hated working at home. I got work done; I was efficient enough but every minute I was thinking of what else I could be doing.  I could bake some cornbread, I could work on my solstice project, I could throw in a load of laundry, I could pay bills.  I could brush the dogs, do my nails…. aarrgggh.  The fact that my life was surrounding me while I tapped away at the computer drove me crazy.  I knew if I left my desk, I might never return.

So luckily the weather is turning nicer and I probably don’t have to worry about having to work from home any more this year. And I certainly hope that my workplace doesn’t get decentralized before I’m ready to retire!

What distracts you from what you need to get done?

Animal Magnetism

Husband is allergic to cats. Actually, he is allergic to most things airborne, like dust or pollen. He lives his life the way he chooses despite his chronic post nasal drip. He is allergic to most conifers, yet we always have a live tree at Christmas.  An artificial tree would just collect dust every year, so it is toss up between that and pollen.  We also haven’t been without a cat for the past 30 years.

Luna, our grey tabby,  adores Chris. His is the only lap she jumps into. His is the only chair and foot stool she rubs and marks. She cries at night when he is at the reservation. She senses when it is Thursday and it is time for him to come home.  Around 7:00 pm she starts meowing and rubbing up against his chair.  She jumps in the chair and sits there, waiting, until she hears his truck in the driveway. Then she runs to the entryway and waits for the door to open. She likes it when I toss paper balls to her. She likes it when I fill her water bowl.  I just don’t have that special something that makes her adore Chris.

How have animals let you know their opinion of you?  Tell about your animal relationships.

February Adventure

Today’s post comes from cynthiainmahtowa.

The First of February 2018 was a beautiful, sunny, crispy -10 F day. There was enough snow to snowshoe and I hadn’t been in the woods since I couldn’t remember when…years before my hip surgery. It was a Thursday, and Sunday afternoon our book club was meeting at my house to discuss “A River Runs Through It” by Norman McLean. As our group often does off- book things like skiing, hiking, canoeing, I thought it would be fun for people to ski or snowshoe down the Moose Horn River that meanders through my land.

But first to check it out.  Friend Daina and her Corgi, Jack, were willing to go through the woods, to the marsh and over the river with me. When we got to the marsh, however, Daina was afraid Jack would go through the ice and not be able to get out so she decided to take him home. I decided to travel on.

When I got to the river, I ventured on to the ice for about half a dozen steps when the ice gave out under me.  Suddenly, I was up to my armpits in ice-cold water. I don’t know how deep it was, my metal and rubber snowshoes wouldn’t let me get my feet under me.  Alas, I thought, “This is how I die.”

Though somehow I must not have believed that because I was hanging on to my Icelandic wool hat that I love and was NOT going to let it go! After a brief struggle, I floated myself over to the side of the river where there appeared to be a solid snow covered something. When I got to the embankment I saw a block of ice below me that I managed to get my snowshoes on.  With my one pole (I had hiking poles with me) I managed to pull myself back onto the ice, get standing up, pick up my other pole that I had left on top of the ice and headed back home.

Fortunately, I had on my polyester down parka and nylon ski pants. So I was not weighted down with water-soaked clothing. The worst was the water in my boots. I figured if I kept moving as fast as I could, I wouldn’t succumb to hypothermia. I was about 15 minutes through the woods and up the pasture from the house. At the power easement I considered going back on the road so someone would see me, but it was farther and open and the wind was bitter.

With some difficulty I got myself over the wire fencing and into the pasture. Halfway to the house, I saw Daina coming down to meet me. She, being brilliant in emergencies – and having experienced her husband’s hypothermia a few years ago – took over. She helped me into the house, out of my Sorel-like boots of man-made materials with frozen laces, my wet clothes and into the shower…then into bed with three or four layers of blankets, mugs of hot tea, chicken soup and liquid jello.

I never shivered, though in bed it felt like my deep core wanted to shake. But the adrenalin was coursing through my body the rest of the day and I was fully warmed up in time to feed my animals that evening…and before the day was over I cleaned and re-organized my cupboard of mugs.

I don’t know what the experience has done to my psyche, but looking back there seems to be a sense of appreciation and direction and confidence and generosity that I didn’t have before.

And when I got kicked in the thigh by Derby Horse the following Friday, the resulting hematoma didn’t seem like much of a big deal.

What was your scariest “adventure”?

The Bad Dream

I had a nightmare last night. Don’t need to go into it but it combined two things I’m not crazy about and I even know what I’ve seen/thought recently that most likely triggered it.  However at 3:25 in the morning, you just want to go back to sleep.  I turned on the TV and pulled up Laura with Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews and Clifton Webb.  I know the first 10 minutes by heart because that’s about how long it takes me to fall back to sleep with it playing.  I didn’t make it 10 minutes in this time.

How to you deal with bad dreams?

Locked Door Mystery

Many of you know I have a complicated relationship with mystery writing. If I figure out the murderer too soon then I’m impatient with the other characters for not getting to it earlier.  If the author doesn’t give me all the clues so I can’t figure it out on my own, then I’m irritated beyond belief.  So it was interesting to me that I got hooked on a British series called Death in Paradise on Netflix a couple of weeks ago.

I realized after watching a few nights worth of episodes that the writers of the show rely very heavily on the locked-door mystery – in which the murder happens in a room or building locked from the inside. Locked-room mysteries almost always fall into the category of “author not giving you all the clues” so they are not my favorite.  But this week I have my own locked-room mystery.

On Tuesday night, I went into my studio with a box, which I put on my desk. Left after 5 seconds and shut the door behind me. Thursday morning, YA texted me “what happened in your studio?”  She then texted that it looked like one of my shelves had fallen down.  When I asked her to send me a photo, I got the above.  Yikes.

When I got home and saw the destruction in person it was clear that a lot more than a shelf falling down had happened in that room. Clearly one shelf, with the attached ribbon rod had come down and everything on it, but quite a bit of the items on the stable shelf had come down as well:  assorted mountains of paper, the box of orange ribbons, a large bin VERY full of individual beads, envelopes, paints, you name it.

But the mystery is how this happened. Normally when Nimue gets locked into a room, you remember letting her out because you’ve been looking for her. She doesn’t usually meow or make a noise to alert you, you just have to search.  She hasn’t been missing this week; neither YA nor I recall opening doors to look for her.  If we had been home, the noise of the shelf coming down would have been noticeable. It certainly seems like her kind of mess… maybe she jumped up on the one shelf and as it went down, she scrabbled onto the other shelf in a panic, knocking things down willy-nilly.  I thought maybe a squirrel loose in the room, but how would the squirrel have gotten in and then out?  Someone breaking into my house to mess up my studio doesn’t seem likely.  YA sleepwalking?  There’s no place for anyone to stand while making a mess like this and the mess is all things that fell, nothing else.  And since the studio is right across from my bedroom, I’m pretty sure that would have woken the dogs and me.

Like those mysteries in which the authors don’t give you all the clues, this one may be a mystery until the end of time!

What projects do YOU have scheduled this weekend?

Gussied Up

Rhiannon got brushed and clipped this week for a visit to my office. Several years ago my company began to observe “Take Your Dog to Work Day” in June.  Well-behaved dogs are invited to the office and we have “Yappy Hour” on the front lawn.  Since then the program has expanded.  Throughout the summer, every Friday is dog-friendly and then there are random pop up days announced; today is one of those days.

Bringing both dogs is just too much for me (and my small cube) and YA’s dog isn’t as user-friendly as my old pup, so it will only be Rhiannon today.  Her cushion will come to the office as well as a water bowl and a Tupperware of treats.  It’s pretty exhausting for her, so she’ll only stay half a day and I’ll take her home at lunch time.  Even though it’s tiring, she seems to really enjoy it, especially the ride in the car!

You’re the boss. Budget isn’t an issue.  What perk would you like to offer your employees?