Saturday, September 30, 2017

No Man's Land

When I clean the guinea pig cage I need to block off the ramp so Boadicea and Wedgwood won't try to get in before it's done.  This frustrates them, because they know where the ramp is and where it should go and they can't understand why they're not allowed to go up.  Any other time they're on the floor they have access.  Besides, a clean cage is so fun to check out.  Aren't you done yet?!?

This cage cleaning I happened to have set the grids up with a triangle dead zone.  I had thought the hay rack would distract Boadi and Wedg from trying to get to the ramp.  Nope.  They wanted to be as close as possible and managed to squeeze themselves between a gap in the grids, and then get stuck in this little triangle of space.

They were very determined.  They'd stuff themselves into the small area then try to move the grids or chew them.  Too bad for them, they got nowhere until the cage was all clean and set up.  Silly pigs.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

I Like Thursday: Some Quality Time

Last week was hectic.  I'm looking forward to a few weeks with not quite so much scheduled, to try and focus on the stuff that's gotten swept to the side. 

I like that I'm starting on Mom's quilt.  Not far, but it's progress.  I'm only cutting a single row of pieces first, then sew these few pieces.  I want to confirm they look right before I start some serious cutting.  I'm glad I did!  I already found one miscalculation.  Sheesh!

Speaking of quilts - I like that I won a raffle prize at the Blogger's Quilt Festival this year.  Yes!  I totally did a happy dance.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Trial Separation

Guinea pigs are hard wired to drive out sick members from the herd.  In the wild that makes a lot of sense, especially if the illness is contagious.  With a caretaker it's not necessary, but it's hard to tell a guinea pig that.  Occasionally you'll find a guinea pig that will protect or care for a sick cagemate.  Wedgwood is not that pig.

I allowed Wedgie to oust Boadicea from hay or a the choice sleeping spot knowing there was more hay and cozies.  But when Wedgie harassed Boadi just for the sake of moving her along, I knew I needed to pull out the backup cage (amusingly called the pigeon cage).

I feared once separated, I'd never get them back together again.  Turned out not to be the case.  A day or two later, when I cleaned the main cage, I let them on the floor together.  They both returned to the clean cage and were happy. 

I've left the second cage set up, because it's only a matter of time before Wedg becomes a bully again.  For now, there's peace in this house.  I am content.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

I Like Thursday: Lots of Links

Yeah, I'm kind of cheating with this post.  It's been a crazy, busy week, with tons going on, so I'm going to post some of what I've already posted about.  But there was lots to like!

I like this shed/playhouse that was raffled at Windmill Weekend.  It somehow missed last week's post.  Isn't the squid neat?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Songbirds - Blogger's Quilt Festival

Songbirds is my second entry to this year's Blogger's Quilt Festival.  This quilt was an insanely inspired weekend project.  I plotted and planned for a day or two, but the whole quilt was cut and stitched in slightly more than 24 hours.  Sometimes the creativity just takes over.  Whew.

This also happens to be my second quilt from Anna Maria Horner's feather quilt pattern.  I discovered the pattern goes together a lot easier when printed at 100%.  (Why is it so hard to PDFs at full size?)

My first feathers were based on macaw and African Grey feathers.  This pair was influenced by backyard songbirds:  cardinal and blue jay.  I had plenty of the reds and blues on hand.  I particularly liked the look of blue jay feathers when I googled for feathers.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A Season of Change - Blogger's Quilt Festival

It's time for the Blogger's Quilt Festival!  It's an online quilt show with beautiful quilts from all over the world.  There's no categories nor voting this year, but we're still allowed to enter two quilts.  My first entry is A Season of Change.

This quilt came about from a small bag full of shiny metallic thread I had been given.  Each piece was no longer than 12 inches, most were only a few inches long.  Too pretty to throw away, but what was I going do with it?  I ended up making fabric from it.  Then I imaged a tree full of these stringy metallic leaves.  But as I started planning, I decided I wanted yellow, green and red leaves with just a few of these shiny leaves.

This tree kept evolving!  I cut the red, green and yellow, then decided there weren't enough leaves and that I needed more colors.  I added purple, peach, orange and different greens.  There's one or two blue ones, but many of my blue fabrics blended in with the background.  In a way, it's a ROYGBIV quilt in reverse (ORVIGY?).

Monday, September 18, 2017

Boston Fall Pignic 2017

The day of the pignic started foggy and cool.  But we trusted the weather forecast and headed out with Boadicea and Wedgwood.  Turned out to be a great day for a pignic.  A little humid, but comfortable. 

I had strongly considered leaving Boadi at home since she's not feeling well.  But she and Wedg had been traveling well, I thought an afternoon of fresh air and grass wouldn't do her any harm.  That little pig hit the ground eating; I think she enjoyed the day thoroughly.  Boadi would come over every time I approached the cage and I saw her flirting with other attendees. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Wedgwood's Fourth

According to Wedgwood's adoption paperwork, she turns four today.  She's officially a mature adult guinea pig.


I'm not sure any pig who regularly gets called "Pee-Face" can be classified as a grownup.

She's good and she's bad.  She's healthy and chubby.  She whines more often than she wheeks.  We love that pointy nose.  I can't say she's mellowed at all; however she has most definitely adapted to life in this household.  She uses everything in the cage, and even goes off exploring down to the floor via the ramp.  The only thing she avoids is the hammock - and I'm not sure why.  Wedgie has the unfortunate habit of thinking the last of any food belongs solely to her, and will bite Boadicea if she thinks Boadi's begging will result in Boadi getting treats before her.  As I said - I'd hardly label her as mature.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Kidney Issues

All the girls were at Chick Weekend
Boadicea has had a lot of ups and downs in the last two weeks.  Her health issues prompted me to bring her and Wedgwood to the Cape.  Thankfully, these two are much better travelers than Cannoli was.  So their unexpected addition to Chick Weekend was less stressful than my last attempt at including the sows.

The long drive down didn't slow them down.  Boadi and Wedg made themselves at home as soon as I had the travel cage set up.  They happily explored, just like any cage-cleaning day, then settled in to eat hay and pellets.  Wonderful!

So... Boadicea had not improved after the vet removed her stone.  In fact, her weight continued to go down and we returned to the vet over Labor Day weekend.  Not cool.  Teeth were fine.  Ultrasound showed nothing unusual.  Blood was drawn.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

I Like Thursday: The Cape

I was down to Cape Cod for several days this week.  Alas, I am back to work today.  But there was lots to like while I was on vacation.

I liked this little library stand.  There were two of them in the area, less than a half mile from the beach.  What a perfect place to have these!  So many people read at the beach.  This one had a couple of my favorite YA books (The Hero and the Crown, The Dark is Rising).  There was an old Hardy Boys mystery, several little kids books, some romance novels, several thrillers (including The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), and the classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.  It even included The Book of Mormon.  Covered a lot of reading levels and tastes in a small container.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Cape Chick Weekend XI

Another Chick Weekend has come and gone.  So many good memories to keep us going until next year.

The weather was terrific - sunny and comfortable.  It was small group again this year, two gals arrived on Friday.  The afternoon was spent walking the beach and catching up.  We enjoyed company, wine and the sunset.  I love all the golds and browns of the beach in the evening (a contrast from all the blue and white of the day).

Monday, September 11, 2017

One Pot Meals - Alfredo and Florentine

Only one pan to clean after dinner

I bookmarked a few one-pot meals a while back and tried them out.  Two of them passed the initial test.  I made them again last week.  They're fast, easy and really quite tasty for a slap-together meal.

The first was a cheater Alfredo (which I don't have pictured - sorry if that's misleading).  I cooked up a half-batch both times I made it (because how often do I have over 6 cups of milk on hand?).  This dish will never be confused with real Alfredo - it's missing so much fat.  Still, not bad.  And easy.  And one pan.  I recommend giving it a try.  It's a good base - you could probably add anything to it.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Start of a Big Project

I went fabric shopping with my mother on Labor Day.  I came home with fabric for a twin-sized Celtic Solstice.  I'm excited to be attempting this pattern, although I'm a bit nervous to taking on a project of this size.  So many pieces!

I hope to start cutting in the next week or two.

We traded cookies and veggies, stuff I need to bring to the Cape and more fabric.  Like I need more fabric?!?

The beige pieces are border strips.  Actually, these all go together really well - I may have to figure out what I can make with them.  Like I need another unexpected project.  Ha!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

I Like Thursday: Some Small Stuff

It's a small like this week.  I've been dealing with a lot of not-likes:  stressful work, sick guinea pig.  So I'm happy to have any likes!

I liked meeting up with my mother.  We met at Fabric Place Basement to pick fabric for a quilt I'll be making her.  I spotted this lovely brown batik.  Isn't it pretty?  I needed to bring it home with me.  Mom got it for me - thanks, Mom!

I also liked that we managed to swing $10 off the purchase, even though I had forgotten my coupon at home.  Yay!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Shirt with Borders

I need more fabric to do one last border on the shirt quilt to make it twin sized.  I finished assembling the inner and middle borders.  The black and white remained my favorite and I'm even happier with it in place.  Proves that it's worthwhile auditioning even questionable fabrics!

The middle border is a hodgepodge of the smaller scraps of shirts.  There's even a pocket sewn into it all.  Now that it's together, a larger inner border may have been better, or put the middle border as the outside border.  Too late for second guessing - it's together now.  Besides, I don't have enough pieces to expand the hodgepodge border to run along the outside.

I like it with all the blues and browns.  Rob keeps trying to convince me to keep it, but what am I going to do with another twin-sized quilt? 

So this will get put to the side, until I find outer border fabric.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Or in my case, this is Nearly Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Cake; I'm sure my chocolate chips aren't vegan.  Regardless, this cake is yummy.  The original says it serves six?  Hmmm... maybe.

I'm not sure how I stumbled across this recipe, but the photo must have caught my eye with it's rich, dark chocolate.  I looked through the ingredients and thought:  I have most of that on hand and it looked easy to make.

I don't have almond butter, but have had luck using almond meal as a replacement, so I did that again.  Although I didn't process it long enough to become true almond butter consistency, the cake was still moist and dense.  I may try skipping the food processor next time and add the almond meal like flour.  If you try that, tell me!