Claude and Katerina had their neutering and spaying ops done yesterday so we have attack of the coneheads! Katerina has been ridiculously friendly since she came back and wants to cuddle a lot. She is the complete opposite to Tamyra and enjoys lap time. Poor Claude hasn’t got the hang of the cone and how to eat with it on but Katerina got how it worked straight away. I feel Claude may not be the brightest spark but he is so friendly that he is allowed to be slightly silly. When pao picked them up from the vet, Claude was soaking wet because he had been playing with the water bowl at the vets. Thankfully the cones won’t be on for too long but the keeping them quiet is going to prove a challenge as I type this Katerina is using me as a climbing frame!
One of the nicest birthday gifts I have ever received is a journalling kit from Chris. As I was a jet-lagged muggle with limited brain power, I didn’t take a photo of the contents before we went on the road with it. It came in a terrific grey bag and Chris had made a book with old maps and blank journal pages in it. I was thrilled and used it to journal our trip through South Dakota as it was just perfect for collecting up ephemera and giving me a few moments at the end of each day to think about where we’d been and what we’d been doing. I had originally taken that trip with Eileen back in 2011 but our trip was cut short because I had pneumonia and a heart thing and ended up in hospital for several days so it was good to have a place to reflect a while as I was sad that Eileen passed away soon after I came back to England and we didn’t get to finish what she intended for us to do.
I bought a box of very small pencils from Barnes and Noble on our first day in MN and had some fun with those whilst we were travelling. And yes, we stayed in an America’s Best Value Inn.. I’m not shy – it was cheap and clean-ish and it did mean we got to splurge and stay in a beautiful lodge in the Badlands and a really wonderful Lodge in Spearfish Canyon recommended by Michael (thanks, Michael – definitely going with travel tips from him in future )
When I was done, I looked at the cover and thought I needed to do something else to it and found this map I’d brought back with me (yes, Jeanne this is why my luggage was quite so heavy and we needed an extra suitcase). I love the way it looks. Thank you so much, Chris!! It was an inspired gift.
pao and I had a bit of an explore of St Paul on my birthday. We saw inside the Cathedral of Saint Paul and sat in on an evensong. It is a beautiful place.
We also had a little wander and found the Fitzgerald Theater,
There is such a lovely wealth of wonderful yarn shops in the US. As well as going to one of my favourites Three Kittens in St Paul, we went to some other wonderful places, too.
Yarn Harbor was really rather lovely. I got some lovely packs of gradient yarn in there to make my birthday shawl. It was lovely to look around and I really had to try hard not to pick everything. As the window says, bliss!
It was lovely to look around and I really had to try hard not to pick everything. Jeanne said I was remarkably restrained. I did look at North Shore Knits for a very long time as it had some very beautiful patterns and photos of the area but did manage to resist.
After that, we found quite an amazing place in South Dakota called Athena Fibers which seemed to be a residential neighbourhood. This didn’t seem odd to me after going into an office building in New York to visit Seaport Yarn.
but the seats on the porch were quite inviting so we sat down and waited a little while. Two other ladies who thought it opened at 10 also came and sat down and we chatted about knitting and knit a while together. We were just back in the car, ready to go back on the road again for the long drive back to MN when the owner showed up.
Chris has been doing some amazing things with bookbinding and journalling recently and I’ve been really inspired. I found an old book in a Book Tree in town the other day with the cover half hanging off with some beautiful colour artwork inside. I had to bring it home, didn’t I? The half-hanging off cover got me thinking about book-binding and making books. I wanted to use the cover to make it into a book so I went into our local art shop and started looking at paper to make pages like Chris did when I saw these plain little books for just 70 pence each. I figured three would be enough for my purposes.
I glued the covers of the exercise books together with Pritt stick and then stuck the three spines together with some cute duct tape that Chris had given me as part of a really wonderful birthday present.
I then stuck the covers of the books to the outer cover of the book I found and then glued then sellotaped the overlap over. I used sellotape as I wanted to keep the matching look but figure there is probably something better.
The July 4th train stopped at great spot so we could all get out and watch the fireworks. It was brilliant but to my surprise, no one sang the national anthem! I have experienced it at stadiums and in school but I would have thought the 4th would have been the time
We visited a wonderful yarn shop in Duluth called Yarn Harbor just before my birthday and pao got me to pick out something as a birthday present from him. I had seen the Kelpie Shawl when Jeanne and I visited Three Kittens and I really really wanted to make it.
I saw a lot of yarn there which was wonderful but I was drawn back several times to Frabjous Fibers Cheshire Cat. They had some packs of mini skeins of gradient yarn which I knew would be wonderful with this project.
I made a start on it when we headed off on our road trip but I got distracted and tired and pulled quite a lot out just before I headed home to the UK. Even though it was an easy pattern, it was a little much for my dyspraxic brain to cope with at the time!
I’ve been working with Tamyra’s breeder to help her come to terms with Sirius’s passing and the stress of the kittens. She is a qualified practioner of zoopharmacognosy and has advised me of some plant based oils I can use to help Tamyra.
I got hold of some Elm and Walnut essence as recommended by A House Full of Cats yesterday to try and get Tamyra feeling a bit more calm with the kittens. I dropped some on a cloth then rubbed it round her head and put a few drops in her water bowl. It seems to be helping as they were all close together.
Tamyra doesn’t chose to be with them but we are working with her gently to bring her to a place of peace with the kittens. I feel heartened to see them sitting close together and less growling is taking place.
The route was really good. We got another view of the Aerial Lift Bridge.
I really like these people! The car we were sitting in was really special – a really nice one. I was so lucky to spend July 4th with them and we were even more lucky as our association railway royalty got us the chance to ride back in the cab with the driver.