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Tuesday, June 30, 2020

"T Stands For Teddy And Gifts From CJ" - Photograph

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I am joining Bleubeard and Elizabeth for this week's T Stands For challenge found here.

This is my summation of the past week:

Teddy will be serving double duty as my main image plus as my "T-Day ticket" for my T-Day posts.

Teddy and I were surprised and thrilled to receive a thank you note and gifts in the mail from CJ this past week. (Note that Teddy is drinking an ice coffee in the first photo.) CJ does beautiful calligraphy work, and cleverly created a bookmark that summed up Teddy and my photography outings with a picture that tells a thousand words, as the saying goes. I love how she used the camera for the hollow space in the letter A. She also blended our favorite colors in the letter, and included the detail of Teddy's ear tag on the bear, which Teddy said looks just like him.

And Teddy has been inseparable from the Maneki Neko that she gave him. Back in November, Teddy happily showcased a magazine image of a large Maneki Neko statue, that he said he thought Bleubeard, Elizabeth, and CJ would enjoy seeing. Teddy also mentioned he wanted one, and unbeknownst to him, CJ filed away that information, and surprised him with one of his own.

During nice weather, Teddy and I usually go for outings with the camera, looking for birds to photograph while walking on trails, and CJ's thoughtful gifts, envelope, and note beautifully showcased those interests of ours. (Thank you again CJ!)

Speaking of the weather, my area of Connecticut has gone into a Level D0 drought. (United States Drought Monitor - Connecticut) Up until Saturday (6/27), we hadn't had rain in over two weeks. Everything was so dry that my forsythia bush leaves were extremely wilted, and I worried that the plants would die within a few more days, if we didn't get any rain. Fortunately Saturday we got a passing shower, that provided enough rain to revive the leaves. My lawn has turned brown in some areas, which usually doesn't happen until late July or August, so this has been an usually dry and hot June for my area. And the weather pattern seems to be continuing the same, where rain falls east and west of me, but nothing where I am.

My cat continues to improve, but I still have him on restricted activity, to limit his high jumping. I rearranged some furniture that he normally jumps up on, so that it is ordered in a gradual ascent, to help him strengthen his muscles without hurting himself. He has been sticking to jumping onto the lowest piece first, then continuing upward, and he does the reverse order when he comes back down to the floor, so he's aware of his limitations.

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I also completed my flower gardens project that I started at the end of May. It was a lot of work, but now, five weeks later, the work is done, and it looks much better than when it was overgrown with weeds / vines / etc. You can see all of the photographs of it here: Completed Flower Gardens

I hope to resume my usual blog activity within a week or so.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

"Torn Page King" - Postcard

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This week's Sunday Postcard Art challenge was "Torn / Broken."

I wasn't sure what to do for this theme, so I went to the beat of my own drummer.

I created this using GIMP 2.10.18.

The vintage images are from an Internet search. (See the side of my blog for links.)

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Cat Resting - Photograph

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I took this photograph of my cat while he was resting. My cat is now in the category of the 95% of cats who recover completely from the major surgery that he had on Thursday, June 11, 2020. Internally physically, he still has more healing to do, before he can resume high jumping without feeling any pain, so I still have him on restricted activity. If you look closely at the photo, you can see the bare area on his left foreleg and on his belly, where his fur had been shaved for the operation. It's starting to grow back now. I'm relieved that he continues to improve each day.

Completed Flower Gardens - Photograph

Flower Garden, Right Side of Front Door
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Flower Garden, Left Side of Front Door
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Daffodil / Lilac Flower Garden by Side Door
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Summer Cheer Daffodil / Bleeding Hearts Flower Garden by Side Door
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Round Flower Garden in Front Yard
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Those are photographs of my completed flower beds project.

At the end of May, I started my project of clearing out the weeds / vines / etc. that took over my flower beds over the years. Because of the Connecticut covid-19 Lock Down, where I wasn't going out except for essential trips, I decided to make 2020 "the year I regained control of the flower beds." I inspired myself to keep going by continuing to tell myself, "Rome wasn't built in a day." It was a lot of work, but now, five weeks later, the work is done.

Side Flower Gardens Mulched - Photograph

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This past week, I took those photographs of the two small flower beds that are on the side of my house by my side door.

Right now, there isn't much to see growing in those gardens, so they mostly just look like mulch.

In the Spring, Daffodils grow in the flower bed closest to the side door, so right now, nothing is visible there, except for the Lilac Bush. (But if you look closely at the garden flag photo, you'll see what I think are violets growing again. I thought I had killed everything, so I need to relocate those.)

Also in the Spring, Summer Cheer Daffodils grow in the other flower bed, in the back. In the front, I had to tie up the two Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart plants and the Fern Leaf Bleeding Heart plant, to be able to get all of the vines out of there. That garden was completely taken over by Creeping Myrtle (Vinca minor). I was too ashamed to take "before" pictures because it was a disaster area.

I also put down some grass seed in front of both gardens. I'm hoping the grass will grow, but it's been very hot this past week.

At the end of May, I started my project of clearing out the weeds / vines / etc. that took over my flower beds over the years. Because of the Connecticut covid-19 Lock Down, where I wasn't going out except for essential trips, I decided to make 2020 "the year I regained control of the flower beds." I inspired myself to keep going by continuing to tell myself, "Rome wasn't built in a day." It was a lot of work, but now, five weeks later, the work is done.

Left Flower Garden Mulched - Photograph

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I took that photograph of the flower bed on the left side of my front door at the end of May, when I started my project of clearing out the weeds / vines / etc. that took over my flower beds over the years. Because of the Connecticut covid-19 Lock Down, where I wasn't going out except for essential trips, I decided to make 2020 "the year I regained control of the flower beds." I inspired myself to keep going by continuing to tell myself, "Rome wasn't built in a day." It was a lot of work, but now, five weeks later, the work is done.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

"T Stands For Teddy And A Feast" - Photograph

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I am joining Bleubeard and Elizabeth for this week's T Stands For challenge found here.

This is my summation of the past week:

Teddy will be serving double duty as my main image plus as my "T-Day ticket" for my T-Day posts.

Teddy said with the current unseasonably hot weather we're having here, the only place to enjoy a meal (and drinks) like the one he's showing is in an air conditioned setting, which we don't have. On May 17, 2020, Connecticut started Phase 2 of its covid-19 re-open plan, which allows 50% capacity indoor dining at restaurants, but face masks are required except while one is eating. While we understand the reason for the masks, we dine out for enjoyment, and wearing a mask that covers one's nose and mouth is not our idea of fun, so we will continue not partaking of restaurant fare, despite missing the food from our favorite places.

I'm relieved to report that my cat's recovery from major surgery that he had on Thursday, June 11, 2020 continues to go well, and he's now in the category of the 95% of cats who recover completely. Most / all of his stitches / sutures came out yesterday (Day 11, Monday, June 22, 2020), and I removed his cone (Elizabethan Collar) too. Internally physically, he still has more healing to do, before he can resume high jumping without feeling any pain, so I still have him on restricted activity.

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I will try to visit everyone this week, but because of my cat's ongoing recovery, my blog activity will continue to be limited for awhile. And I want to say a deeply appreciative thank you to everyone who has left supportive comments and/or sent emails.

Saint Francis of Assisis Prayers for Pets

My Cat's Major Surgery Recovery Going Well - Photograph

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I don't normally share personal information, but I wanted to give people an update on how my cat is doing.

I'm relieved to report that my cat's recovery from major surgery that he had on Thursday, June 11, 2020 continues to go well, and he's now in the category of the 95% of cats who recover completely. Most / all of his stitches / sutures came out yesterday (Day 11, Monday, June 22, 2020), and I removed his cone (Elizabethan Collar) too. Internally physically, he still has more healing to do, before he can resume high jumping without feeling any pain, so I still have him on restricted activity.

Saint Francis of Assisis Prayers for Pets

Sunday, June 21, 2020

"Gypsy" - Postcard

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This week I have the honor of hosting Sunday Postcard Art, and I chose the challenge theme "Gypsy." (Note: I have always thought of a gypsy in a positive way, but I recently learned that the term is considered derogatory, so I apologize if the term offends anyone.)

I created this using GIMP 2.10.18.

The vintage images are from an Internet search. (See the side of my blog for links.)

Saturday, June 20, 2020

"Summer Solstice Sun" - Postcard

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I created this using GIMP 2.10.18.

The vintage images are from an Internet search. (See the side of my blog for links.)

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

"T Stands For Teddy Sitting Along Side Yard" - Photograph

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I am joining Bleubeard and Elizabeth for this week's T Stands For challenge found here.

First, I want to apologize to the T-Gang for last week not coming back to leave comments for some of the T-Gang. Last Tuesday, June 9, 2020, my cat's health took an unexpected dire turn. More about that a little later in this post...

This is my summation of the past week:

Teddy will be serving double duty as my main image plus as my "T-Day ticket" for my T-Day posts.

Those photos of Teddy are actually from a few weeks ago. I used the side area of my yard as the backdrop for Teddy posing in a lawn chair with my his (ahem) tea mug.

So, this week's T-Post will mostly be about my cat, because his health crisis has been occupying a lot of my time, thoughts, and energy. Anyone who loves a pet will understand how stressful and upsetting this situation has been. (And he's more than just a "pet" to me, but that's the word we have for our beloved fury companions.)

I won't go into the details of what happened. He is an indoor cat, so the problem didn't involve any external factors. He became sick on Tuesday (June 9) and ultimately ended up needing Unexpected Emergency Major Surgery on Thursday, June 11, 2020.

His recovery will take 14 days or longer. So far, the early signs continue to look positive. He's now also beginning to think there is nothing wrong with him, so I needed to remove more furniture from the room in which he is confined, to prevent him from jumping up, which is currently a restricted activity for him.

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He's even adapting to wearing the Elizabethan Collar, which won't come off until the stitches / sutures are removed. (Initially he was very unhappy about having to wear it. Maybe he's resigned to his fate now. And part of the good news is he figured out how to drink his water and eat his food with it on. That was challenging for him at first.)

And surprisingly, he was well enough this weekend where I felt comfortable enough to go outside and do a little yard work each day. All of the flower planting for my new round garden was completed when he got sick, so finishing it was put on hold, obviously. Over the weekend, I completed the last step of adding the mulch.

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But with him thinking he's well enough to jump up on things that I normally let him jump up on, I'll need to go back to watching him like a hawk, to make sure he doesn't hurt himself with some new mischief.

I will try to visit everyone this week, but because of my cat's ongoing recovery, my blog activity will continue to be limited for awhile. And I want to say a deeply appreciative thank you to everyone who has left supportive comments and/or sent emails.

Saint Francis of Assisis Prayers for Pets

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Completed Round Flower Garden - Photograph

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Today (Sunday, June 14, 2020) I took those photographs of the new flower bed that I've added to my yard. By Tuesday, June 9, 2020, all of the flowers had been planted, and the last step to complete was to add the mulch. But on that day, my cat became sick and ultimately ended up needing Unexpected Emergency Major Surgery on Thursday, June 11, 2020.

My cat's recovery will take 14 days or longer. So far, the early signs look positive. And surprisingly, he was well enough this weekend where I felt comfortable enough to go outside and do a little yard work each day. But I don't want to jinx it, so I'm not relaxing until he's closer to the 10 to 14 day point.

Because of my cat's recovery, my blog activity will continue to be very limited for awhile.

Friday, June 12, 2020

My Cat Had Unexpected Emergency Major Surgery - Photograph

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I don't normally share personal information, but I wanted to let people know that my cat is recovering from unexpected emergency major surgery that he had on Thursday, June 11, 2020 (yesterday).

I'm not going to get into the details of what happened, etc., other than to say today is only 24 hours into what will be a 14 day or longer recovery. So far, the early signs look positive. He is an indoor cat, so the problem didn't involve any external factors. My blog activity will probably be very limited for awhile.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Cardinal Tin Can Wind Chime - Photograph

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I took that photograph of the tin can wind chime I made and hung in my yard this past week. The strings on the original wind chime broke, and the wood rotted. I almost threw away the chimes, but then I got the idea to use a tin can (Bush beans) to restring it. I decoupaged the Cardinal Christmas napkin I've used in the past.

I was going to write all of the steps I did to make it, but something has come up in my personal life, so I'm just posting the photo.

I also want to apologize to the T-Gang for not leaving comments for everyone this week.

Update: The steps of how to make it are here: How To Tin Can Wind Chime Project Instructions

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

"T Stands For Teddy Making Ice Coffee" - Photograph

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I am joining Bleubeard and Elizabeth for this week's T Stands For challenge found here.

This is my summation of the past week:

Teddy will be serving double duty as my main image plus as my "T-Day ticket" for my T-Day posts.

Teddy is making ice coffee for us in that photo, while drinking a cup of hot coffee. Don't be fooled by the Pure Leaf Brewed Tea label on the bottle. If you look at the neck, you'll see I wrote the word "coffee" on it with a Sharpie, to repurpose it once it was empty. Teddy filled the bottle with freshly brewed hot coffee, added cream (actually half & half) and sugar (actually Equal), then let it cool down to room temperature. Then he put it in the refrigerator, to chill it.

Later in the day, we enjoyed "ice coffee" although we didn't need to add any ice, since the coffee was cold enough simply from being stored in the refrigerator. One of the "treats" I used to enjoy and indulge in during the Summer months, when I was out and about, was an ice coffee from Dunkin Donuts. Due to covid-19, I won't be getting any type of take-out for quite some time, but then I realized I could make my own ice coffee instead, which is also actually cheaper to do, so it will save me money.

This past week, work on weeding and improving the appearance of my flower beds continued. I finished two of the three original flower beds, with the last step being to put down mulch in them. (I still have the third flower bed left to do, and it was in the worst shape of the three.) I love all things celestial, wind chimes, and Saint Francis, the patron saint of animals. The lantern wind chime in this photo is also a solar light, and I got it at the Christmas Tree Shops a few years ago. I got the crescent moon garden stakes there (I have four), too.

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I also decided to add a new flower bed around a tree. Here is the preparation state of it:

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Artwork and photography:

artwork: Arctic Die Cut Scene, At The Beach - Cape Cod.

photographs: a few, including Waning Moon

TV Shows on Roku Tubi:

Cadfael (1994–1996) Crime, Drama, History - started watching (again)

Midsomer Murders (1997– ) Crime, Drama, Mystery - started watching (again)

(Roku - Tubi TV - a few commercials) movies:

Tormented (1960) Horror, Thriller - pretty good

The Gorgon (1964) Horror - pretty good

Acceptable Risk (2001) Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller - good

The Final Cut (2004) Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller - good

Troubled Waters (2006) Thriller - good

First Born (2007) Drama, Horror, Mystery - disturbing movie and ending

A Haunting in Salem (2011) Horror, Mystery, Thriller - bad. Don't waste your time on this. Unintentionally funny. Continuity problems.

Inferno (2016) Action, Adventure, Crime - very good

The Capture (2017) Sci-Fi, Thriller - good

Watch the Sky (2017) Sci-Fi - pretty good

Monday, June 8, 2020

Lantern Wind Chimes / Crescent Moon / St. Francis Garden - Photograph

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I took that photograph of the flower bed on the right side of my front door this past week.

This is sort of another teaser / preview. I've been clearing out the weeds / vines / etc. that took over my flower beds over the years. It's a lot of work, and I'm not done yet. But one of my new goals is to make 2020 "the year I regained control of the flower beds."

That small plant by the crescent moon garden stake is a light pink flowered Fern-leaf Bleeding Heart. They don't get as big as Old Fashioned Bleeding Hearts, but they have flowers from Spring until the Fall. I tried to transplant the one in this photo, and ended up breaking it off at the root. I replanted it here anyway, with the root, with the hope that even if the plant itself dies, maybe the root will grow a new plant. Surprisingly, every day, the plant alternates from looking wilted and dead, to looking alive, so I can't tell if it will make it as is or not.

Round Garden Preparation - Photograph

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I took that photograph of the new flower bed I'm adding to my yard.

I've been clearing out the weeds / vines / etc. that took over my existing flower beds over the years. It's a lot of work, and I'm not done yet. But one of my new goals is to make 2020 "the year I regained control of the flower beds." I thought the area around this tree would be a nice spot for a few more flowers.The rocks are from my yard. In Connecticut, rocks grow like potatoes. All one needs to do is dig, and one will unearth plenty of rocks.

Bird Grackle No Tail - Photograph

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I took that photograph through my house window a few days ago, so it is opaque looking, and not the best quality. I've seen this Grackle flying around recently. It doesn't have a tail, which I'm now assuming is due to molting. The missing tail feathers don't seem to impact its ability to fly and walk around. If anyone knows more information about this, please leave a comment.

Waning Moon - Photograph

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I took that photograph of the moon this morning. It was overcast a few days ago, when the moon was full, so I couldn't get any photos of it.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

"At The Beach - Cape Cod" - Postcard

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This week's Sunday Postcard Art challenge was "At The Beach."

I went with an unconventional interpretation, which morphed into a tourist postcard for Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Their tourist industry is probably suffering due to the covid-19 restrictions. I had wanted to recommend a fantastic BBQ restaurant there, but the restaurant was sold on May 6, 2020, according to their website: Marconi Beach BBQ & Seafood Restaurant

I created this using GIMP 2.10.18.

The vintage images are from an Internet search. (See the side of my blog for links.)

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Snake In Basement! - Photograph

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The "situation" in my basement has gone from bad to worse! I just went down there and saw a snake on the cement floor. I screamed and retreated back to the first floor of my house. (Then I went back down to take photos, from a safe distance.) I hate snakes. I think this is a gartersnake, which is allegedly harmless, but it got my heart racing when I saw it!

"Arctic Die Cut Scene" - Postcard

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This week's Try It On Tuesday challenge was "Cut It Out."

I used three die cut images for this, and handwriting for the background.

I created this using GIMP 2.10.18.

The vintage images are from an Internet search. (See the side of my blog for links.)

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

"T Stands For Teddy And Yellow Ground Cover Flowers" - Photograph

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I am joining Bleubeard and Elizabeth for this week's T Stands For challenge found here.

This is my summation of the past week:

Teddy will be serving double duty as my main image plus as my "T-Day ticket" for my T-Day posts.

I used the back corner area of my yard as the backdrop for Teddy posing in a lawn chair with my his (ahem) tea mug. I'm not sure what type of plant this is, but it's a spreading ground cover that has yellow flowers. If anyone knows what it is, please let me know. These grow in Connecticut US in zone 6.

For whatever reason, but partially due to the covid-19 Lock Down, one of my new goals is to make 2020 "the year I regained control of the flower beds." (I hope I didn't just jinx myself, by announcing that publicly. I'm inspiring myself to keep going by telling myself, "Rome wasn't built in a day.") Over the years, weeds / vines / etc. took over my flower beds, so I've been clearing them out. It's a lot of work, and I'm not done yet. Here is sort of a teaser / preview:

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I love all things celestial, especially the moon. That is one of my crescent moon garden stakes. The ball glows in the dark. Teddy claims he is the one doing all of the work, while I sit in the lawn chair barking orders at him (ahem).

I also noticed these flowering trees / bushes this year, although they've been growing in my yard for years. The flowers have a pleasant, delicate scent, and attract bees and birds. They're growing in the back and side edges of my property, and are a black chokeberry tree / bush.

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Artwork and photography:

artwork: Pastel Steampunk and Pastel Steampunk Fragment 2

photographs: Crescent Moon Garden Stake, White Flowers Black Chokeberry Tree / Bush.

TV Shows on Roku Tubi:

Cadfael (1994–1996) Crime, Drama, History - started watching (again)

Midsomer Murders (1997– ) Crime, Drama, Mystery - started watching (again)

(Roku - Roku channel - a few commercials) movies:

I Am Number Four (2011) Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi - good

(Roku - Tubi TV - a few commercials) movies:

Voodoo Woman (1957) Horror, Sci-Fi - good

The Secret (2007) Drama, Romance - okay / borderline repulsive due to the offensive sexual situations between the two main characters after the accident

Dead Souls (2012) Horror - good

Careful What You Wish For (2015) Drama, Thriller - good, but mostly predictable

The Unwilling (2016) Horror, Thriller - good

Paradox (2016) Action, Drama, Sci-Fi - okay / good

The Capture (2017) Sci-Fi, Thriller - okay / good

Wraith (2017) Horror, Mystery, Thriller - pretty good, unique story

Alien Code (2018) (The Men - original title) Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller - okay. monolithic, with few characters, and most of the time spent with only one character. "hand waving" to explain things, which made no sense.