by Whiskers, Matriarch of Mischief.
Happy Monday, dear friends.
We have decided to take it easy on Grammy today. She is on a roll with her knitting and we wish to support this. Maybe if we do she'll make us some nippy mice to play with or give us extra treats. What do you think?
So instead of a long blog we are going to cut it short and give you a video slideshow to watch... it is a repeat but from a while ago so hopefully it'll feel new again. As you know, Grammy loves living in the city. It is close to amenities, has great health care, and has a vibrancy that energizes her. This video is from Grammy's many walks around her neighbourhood and to and from appointments.
So without more ado, here is the link to our Youtube video Toodling around Toronto.
Have a wonderful day.
Comments are always welcomed.
By Sweetie, Chronicler of all things Grammy and Mischief Extraordinaire
You all must know by now that our Grammy is a knitter. If you didn't this is where you can get more than you'll ever want to know about it. *giggles*
First off, Grammy tends to go overboard with things. These 'things' started when she was young. For example. First was it was books and classical records. and those would be books by a particular author or on a specific subject. Music was mostly Tchaikovsky and Beethoven, Chopin and Haydn. Music she could do homework with or study. Oh my! She had quite the collection. Over last 25 years she has downsized considerably but even so she still has a sizable library of books and CDs... more suited for her small condo. Has she read all these books. Well, probably not all, but a good many. The music is listened to regularly... though when she is lazy she puts the classical radio station on and let's them do the work.
Then, she got into fostering kitties, starting with 2 rescued kitties which over time grew to a maximum of 11 fosters at any one time. From there she started writing biographies for the rescue organization after which she was pulled into doing interviews of prospective adopters and making decisions on who could or couldn't adopt based on the rescue's policies. Well, let's say this... The final result was us! A little overprotective when she couldn't give us up to other adopters.
Well, she's done something similar ... this time with knitting. Grammy watched her own Grammy knit when she was a child but started crocheting and knitting as a young adult. This was put on hold for years at a time to allow for university years, career, aging parents. Then in the early 2000s out came the hooks and needles and those on-hold items were finished off and donated to charity.
Having gotten the bug again and wanting to supplement her soon-to-be pension she made the decision to open an Etsy shop - since closed. What orders come in actually are by word of mouth now. Yes, we kitties are expensive and a little extra income would really help with food and vet bills. BUT, then things got crazy or should we say, Grammy went crazy?
She found a few patterns she liked, knitted them up and during the first few years put them into the shop. Sales came in slowly but steadily and for the first year or two she did okay. No fortune but a little extra.
Yarns Grammy liked weren't necessarily what customers liked so Grammy started visiting yarn shops - both on-line and in the neighbourhood to add variety to her 'stash'... acrylics, alpaca, silk, linen, bamboo, merino, highland wool, baby llama, cashmere, combinations of same and the list goes on. Why, you ask? Because everyone has likes and preferences and what Grammy liked a client might not whether colour, weight, yarn type. Variety would give more options and hopefully more clientele. But note this - the only thing she refuses to knit is cotton.
The old girl has an absolute love of multicoloured yarns too so a plethora of solids, tweeds, self-striping, colour blends (aka colourways), variegated, and so much more found their way to Grammy Ds Knitting Bag. Well, bottom line before you know it she had bins - yes, 20 bins of yarn.
She did the same with her accessories. She added to what she already had - needles in all sizes: bamboo, steel, aluminium, double-pointed, straight (not a favourite), circulars, interchangeables. Then there were the open markers, ring markers, cable needles, working yarn holders, measuring tape, blocking mats and pins, a yarn swift and yarn winder and a hamper to hold the current project(s). Oh, and buttons - yes, all kinds of buttons for the various sweaters and other projects in her plans. The woman went nuts.
You might ask, Does she use all of these and the answer is a resounding YES! Over time she is using them. Of course she has her favourites: the interchangeable circulars - both in steel and in wood - wood for slippery yarn and steel for textures and the others all have their purposes which we won't bore you with today. But trust us, she uses them. We steal them and she scolds us. *giggles*
Over these dozen years and more, yarn has come in, been used, projects have been started and completed, a few started and put on hold. Some were sold, others donated and others given away.. And then there is the yarn that has come and sat and a few projects have been started and left partially finished and still more yarn coming in leaving Grammy and her knitting in a mess.
Yes, a major mess. Yarn was tossed willynilly into bins. - OH, and then there were two large donations of yarns for her volunteer knitting projects - another BIG Bin and another BIG Obsession!
So, where has that left us? In a major jumble.
Thus, while we have all been in quarantine or lockdown or whatever you want to call it Grammy has decided to use the time to get herself organized or at least somewhat.
Anyone know about Ravelry? It's a knitting site where you can organize yourself, save patterns you like, keep track of yarn, meet up with other like-minded crafters, see what others are making, and match patterns to yarns and ORGANIZE your own 'stuff'.
There are multiple pages - one for yarn (called STASH)- we love the name. Another for projects - where you can track yarn in use to an appropriate pattern and track your progress through to completion along with photos. Another for accessories - to keep track of the needles, hooks, etc. You can make friends, join like-minded groups and so much more. AND many of the patterns are free - another bonus.
Well, Grammy has finished setting up her NOTEBOOK with the pages for STASH and PROJECTS. That is, projects completed, others started but unfinished and those in snooze-mode while she catches up with the ones partially done. AND the designated yarns for these snoozed and future planned projects are organized in designated bins with their patterns while unassigned yarns are organized by type in other bins. Still to go are the pages for PATTERNS, QUEUE and LIBRARY. As we said - somewhat organized - for now.
So where does that leave Grammy? Well, she has about 300 projects completed (each listed once but anywhere between 1 and 100 items of the same type knitted eg. scarves, slippers, hats), 5 projects in the works, 6 more designated to start as soon as these are done and 6 snoozed projects to follow those. That's 17 projects lined up... at anywhere from 70% completed to identified but not started as yet. THEN there is the 5 plus kilometers of yarn waiting in the wings for projects yet to be determined. At least now she knows what, when, and where. All she needs now is the how!
How is she ever going to complete everything? And HOW are we going to keep her from buying more yarn? Well, the knitting is up to her and since she knits every day we think she'll finish those listed ones. But we've confiscated the credit card and 'Stashed' it. *giggles* And we aren't telling her where.
The problem is that she keeps finding new patterns she'd like to make and they get downloaded and filed in a binder or added to her QUEUE page to be made when everything else is completed... and the list is long. AND no, we don't think she'll ever get through all those.
Oh, and the plan to supplement her income to pay for our care? OUT the WINDOW! If anything, she's spent more than she has made on her knitting supplies. Why? Because she doesn't like to charge people, prefers to make things she chooses to work on and then ends up giving away a lot of what she knits. Silly Grammy!
And in all these years of knitting what has she made for us? One knitted mouse, two crocheted blankets, and two goofy hats.
For those interested click here for a video of what she's completed and for future go to her Facebook page GrammyDsKnittingBag.
By Etude & Rondo - the handsome birthday boys.
Tomorrow Rondo and I, Etude, turn 9 years old. We thought we'd take a page from Seville's blogs. 9 years, or 3285 days, or 78,840 hours, 4,730,400 minutes EACH. We won't go into minutes or seconds because we were all born at different times of the day.
Now, that is a lot of hours to live with Grammy. A lot! So, we had to come up with strategies to do so. For the first 18 months life was easy, full of fun and companions to play and sleep with. We had a revolving door of other kitties - kittens, moms, bachelors - to cuddle with, play with, sleep with, get into trouble, oops change that to mischief with. That's over 4700 hours that we pretty much ignored Grammy, did what we wanted leaving around 65,700 hours.
65,700 hours of dealing with a Grammy who controls our food, yells at us for picking on the girls and gets upset when we scratch furniture and walls. Thankfully, we have perfected the ignoring Grammy techniques. What are those techniques, you ask?
Well, here goes:
Sleeping: 56,700 hours We sleep as much as possible, on beds, on chairs, in Whiskers' marshmallow, under the duvet tent, in the closet, all kinds of places... every single one of which is totally soft, warm, and comfortable. That still leaves us with 9,000 hours.
'Playing' with the Girls' Necks: 900 Not that many when you calculate it over our lifetime. Of course, Grammy says even 1 hour biting girls' necks in a lifetime is too many but hey, we have to entertain ourselves somehow. And when you break it down further that's only 300 hours for each girl over 9 years... only about 5 minutes a day. Not so bad in our estimation. That means they each have 23 hours 55 minutes of peace every day. We'd work out some of those bitey necks on Grammy but she is bigger than us and controls our food. And speaking of food...
Eating: 6,300 You know that Grammy gives us a lot of flack for being chubby boys, but truly... Look at the numbers. That's less than an hour a day when broken down over the years. AND the old girl monitors our food so even if you did think it is a lot, the food doled out is minimal, minuscule and paltry. She practically starves us. We are wasting away.
Cuddling Grammy: 1600 (Well, we cannot ignore her completely. Don't want her to think we don't appreciate her!) When you look at the stats you can see we are cuddle deprived. Yes, we get less cuddle time than each of the girls get bitey-neck time. That isn't much... and we think we deserve MUCH MUCH MORE!
Of course, we would be more demanding of Grammy's time if we weren't so darned considerate. We have to leave Grammy periods in the day for herself to do the dishes, clean the condo, pay the bills, make our meals, supervise the girls' meals (and they take a lot of supervising) and knit.
Now, if you've been calculating as we go you'll notice there is a discrepancy here of 200 hours... and those are VERY, VERY IMPORTANT. Those are our birthday hours. Yes, every year we get just 24 hours to celebrate our birthdays and we have to make the most of them.
AND in case you hadn't heard...TOMORROW is our 9th Birthday! Yahoo!
Grammy put together a slide show for us but something happened and it won't let her edit it to add, remove and reorder some of the photos.. We apologize that it is too long.
Comments are welcomed.
by Sweetie, mischief maker extraordinaire
Good afternoon dear friends.
As mentioned in our last blog I will share a few episodes of our adventures with you.
As you know the boys, Etude & Rondo, pick on Mousie when they are in teasing mode... and that happens often. You may remember Mousie has a beau. Little Boy Cat has passed on but before this happened the boys tormented the couple. You can read about one episode in three parts: Invasion of the Interlopers, the Plan and The Plan Goes Awry.
Whiskers, the Matron of Mischief, not to be outdone by the younger cats decided to have an adventure. Read it in four blogs listed here:
Austria: Here I come
Austria II: Home at Last
Austria III: The Adventuress Returns
Austria IV: Home Hum!
We hope you'll enjoy reading (or rereading) our blogs. Have a wonderful day, dear friends... and we'll see you next week.
Comments are welcomed.
Friends, It's Whiskers here today.
I don't often write now. I leave it to the youngsters. Today though I started reminiscing with Grammy and thought we'd try something a little different. There are so many blogs written since we started in 2014 that you may have missed... so we are going to make links to a few of our earliest ones here to allow you to check them out.
Our very first blog was about a moth infestation... and what a kerfuffle that was. The title is very original, don't you think? Moth Day. This is one where you see Grammy in all-out action... quite different from her current sedentary behaviour.
Once that was out we felt we should introduce ourselves. The Tails of Five Kitties gives you a little bit about Us... Imagine that! We were Grammy's foster kitties that she fell in love with and couldn't part with. *giggles* We wonder if she sometimes might regret that. What was that you said, Grammy? No? Are you sure? Oh, okay. Only when we are super mischievous and then only for a minute. Phew!
Now the next part is where we go into the past and share a little of what went on prior to us and prior to writing blogs. We'll list three of them here in order of writing them. I think that's as much punishment for you today but expect more on future posts. Hope you have a wonderful day.
Into the Archives is our first. Followed by a blog about Grammy's first kitty, PussPuss Food - Kittys Best Friend. And then Malcolm - The Clothes Horse.
Grammy said we shouldn't bore you with all 12 of them, that if you wanted to read the others you could check them out in the Category Into the Archives. So being the good girl that I am... I'll stop here. The next time we share these we'll share our mischief with you... and there is a lot of mischief, chaos and mayhem. You'd better believe it. How else would we have earned our reputation as the Mischief and Mayhem Crew.
Well, dear friends. That's all for today. Hope you enjoy a little walk down memory lane.
Comments are welcomed.
by Mousie, Chronicler of M&M Central...
Hello, dear friends. Here we are.... a day late but we hope you will think it is worth the wait. As you know we did not publish a post last week and we were having challenges doing so this week too. The old brains are atrophied with all this staying home stuff. BUT, finally this morning a miracle happened.
Grammy was getting snail mail ready to go and had to prepare a package so she waddled... yes, I said waddled, over to the desk, picked out the box holding her labels and SURPRISE SURPRISE! Inside that box was her Camera! No, not the phone, not the iPad... her KODAK camera. And inside that camera - along with two very corroded batteries was an old SD card. Imagine that!
We aren't sure if the Camera will survive the corrosion but the SD card seemed to be intact. And so, we all gathered around Grammy's laptop, popped in the SD card and hoped for the best. Wohoo! There they were - over 500 photos and a number of videos... all from 2011 and 2012... the years when we were all youngsters and new fosters at M&M Central.
So we put Grammy to work to create a video slideshow for you. We hope you enjoy it.
Things to take note of as you watch it ...
1. I, Mousie, have never weighed more than 8 lbs and most often was in the 7 - 7.5 lb. range in these photos.
2. Mummy Whiskers was a chubby butt... not like now where she weighs no more than 9 lbs.
3. The boys were only 11 months old when Sweetie arrived. Sweetie was 5-6 weeks old. Fidelia, their mummy had already been adopted by a friend of Grammy.
4. Sweetie arrived with a broken leg - that couldn't be put in a cast... thus the need to be confined while it healed.
5. Grammy did physiotherapy on the leg almost every day.. to keep it limber and to strengthen it.
6. Those boys were slim-jims. They were smaller than me, Mousie. Hard to imagine, I know.
7. I looked gigantic beside the boys and Sweetie.
8. It took a couple of years for Sweetie to grow into her ears. Until then they looked like sails. *giggles*
9. The boys, Whiskers and I were terrified of her when she first arrived. She screeched like a Kestrel whenever she wanted out of the cage and that was more often than not.
10. AND Grammy fell in love with the little mischief... thus the gazillion photos of her.
11. Sweetie still nuzzles Grammy's robe whenever she needs some loving and cuddles. Those two are bonded (kinda like Whiskers and me).
And last but not least.
12. Grammy had no intention of allowing her to be adopted by anyone but us and well, I guess it worked out okay. We love her, sorta!
To enjoy the show click here... M&M Fostering 2011 - 2012
Comments would be most welcome. We especially love to hear from our readers.
by Mousie, chronicler of Mischief and Mayhem.
Good afternoon, dear friends.
And so, mischief ensues... Yes, I know this is a surprise to you, dear readers, since we are all well-behaved, gentlecats. But, it does.
A little background here...
Yesterday Grammy's neighbour, the gem we've spoken of in the past, brought groceries once again. She is such a dear, sweet young woman. Grammy heard the knock at the door... a tiny wee knock.
It was her youngest daughter knocking, we think. Camille! When Grammy opened the door there she was with sister Evangeline and mummy standing on the opposite side of the hall. Groceries were passed to Grammy and while she stood inside they chatted for a moment and 'what to her wondering eyes' did Grammy see?
RONDO - The resident scaredy cat sauntered nonchalantly past Grammy looked down the hall, then wandered out a few paces! Everyone stood there in shock! He's never shown an interest in going out until this week. When Grammy set the recycling bag outside the door a few days ago he peeked past her ankle but stayed on the inside of the threshold. This time he actually walked a few steps down the hall, turned around and howled at Grammy in disgust.
I think he was looking for food. Since there wasn't any inside he thought maybe he'd have better luck with the neighbours. Well, when that didn't pan out he stomped back inside past Grammy snorting in disgust. I think he said something like, 'you got groceries, so where are ours?' He does have a point!
Sweetie spends a lot of her time on the window ledges watching the neighbours. She relays her observations to the rest of us ad nauseum... but at least it keeps her amused and we cats can ignore that which we don't want to attend to... as you well know.
We kitties are a little tired of having Grammy home 24/7. She constantly photographs us... in the litter box (embarrassing), sleeping, eating, being cute. It's a bit much. But then, on the other hand, we do like the extra cuddles and snuggles. So, we take the good with the bad. But we are giving Grammy a lot of cheek in return.
Now that Spring has arrived we are getting into the spirit of it and romping around the condo, bouncing off walls and furniture and when Grammy's napping, off her too. We love to startle her awake with a, "Oomph! What was that?"
We have the best fun when she picks up the camera. She grabs it to take videos of us racing around chasing imaginary critters or chatting with her and we immediately settle down to nap. No way is she going to capture us getting into mischief. We know she'd hold it over us and demand bribes. She's incorrigible.
Well, dear friends. That's all for this week. Enjoy the slideshow below. Our latest photoshoot. *giggles*
Comments are welcomed.
by Whiskers, Matriarch of Mischief
Good morning, dear friends,
Grammy had one of her rare, and we mean few and far between, almost sleepless nights. Well, what do you expect when you nap in your chair all afternoon, Grammy?
Fortunately, she hadn't disturbed our sleep through the day - which happens more often than not - so we got our requisite 18 hours in. As a result we three, Mousie, Sweetie and I, Whiskers, kept her company through the wee hours.
Where were the boys, you say? We left them sleeping in the bedroom, Etude under the duvet, Rondo in the marshmallow bed and tippy-toed out to join Grammy on her armchair. She was in it, we were on it, Sweetie and Mousie on the arms and I in her lap as is my due as Matriarch of this motley crew.
At first we thought we'd just snuggle with her and purr her to sleep. That didn't work! The old girl had her nose in a 12th century historical novel full of intrigue and murder and was nearing the end. Eyes wide, reading voraciously there was no way she was going to settle down too quickly. At least until the end of the book. So, we gave up that idea hunkered down and had a wee nap in her lap, draped over her elbow, snuggled against her shoulder and waited her out.
BUT, as soon as she set that book down we were alert and ready to go. Not often we girls get to have a natter without masculine interference. This was a treat and we were taking full advantage. Coffee pot had been brewing so we poured her a cup, dressed it the way she likes and set it before her. After a sip she said, "So, what would you like to chat about girls?"
We were so excited the questions just tumbled out our mouths. They were coming so fast Grammy was having difficulty answering them all.
Are boy cats really made of puppy dog tails? Yewww, That's gross. Did you know caterpillar hearts are long and thin and run perpendicular to their length? Why can't Whiskers eat Mousie's food? Why are the boys bullies? Do you love girl kitties best? You don't? Equally? Huh! Can we get another girl kitty? Why is your bed so small? Is kitty poop precious? Why do you scoop and bag it then? Where does it go? Can I have a treat? Can we sell the boys? What is the meaning of life? Why are bananas yellow? Why is your hair grey? Why don't kitties turn grey when they get old? How old are you really? Who's Methuselah? Why is our food in tins but you have to cook yours? Can we taste your food?
Finally Grammy's eyes glazed over, coffee forgotten and dozed off. Mission accomplished.
Have a wonderful day, friends and Stay home, Wash your hands and Don't touch your face.
Comments are welcomed.
By Mousie, chronicler of mischief and mayhem... and Grammy's good girl.
Good afternoon, dear friends.
Well, we have entered another week of this turmoil. If only people would be smart and considerate of others .... and this includes those in power! Get real, people. Let's get this under control NOW rather than later. And a shout out of appreciation for those on the front lines - essential services, medical, suppliers, truckers, support workers, neighbours and friends... all helping where they can. We applaud you. Stay safe. Stay healthy.
Enough said. I know I'm preaching to the choir here and those that need to hear it won't be reading this anyway. Now on to our blog...
So, today I'd like to talk about my goofy brothers. Yes, Rondo and Etude. Those furballs have been totally loopy in their attempts to entertain Grammy and their friends. That's you, our readers. They dove into the storage room, found a trunk full of old clothing and costumes. Why, you ask?
They decided to disguise themselves to go shopping for groceries for Grammy and 'to work'. I have to say, their 'work' is monkey business, not where they earn money. They had planned to go on an adventure across the border but it's been closed and Grammy stopped them when she caught wind of their antics. Well, after they got back from grocery shopping they went back in and found more outfits.
They were having so much fun we decided to join them. Then, when our friends heard about it they began to send photos of outfits they found in their family trunks.
We hope you get a giggle out of the 'fashion show' and some other 'stuff' we found. Oh, and read the comments at the bottom of each photo.
Lastly, a Happy Birthday March 27th to our friend Third of Muddy Waters fame.
Comments are welcomed. In fact they are encouraged. We love reading them.
by the M&M crew - Whiskers, Mousie, Sweetie, Etude & Rondo.
Good Day, dear friends.
Times are chaotic and there is so much going on in the world right now. We have chosen to stay calm and while concerned, not panic. Grammy too!
As Grammy says, Be safe, stay calm and have faith sanity will return.
Now, why did we have others do the running around? Not because of the pandemic but because Grammy was put on a steroid regimen for her fatigue and pain and then told to stay home to protect her immune system. That means we have Grammy 24/7 for the foreseeable future. Yahoooooo! Lots of lap time, snuggles, grooming, more snuggles and cuddles BUT,
The downside is.... the camera is never turned off. When it is on the charger she knits ... and what did she knit yesterday? Two hats! Just ask Sweetie what she thinks about that. *giggles* *scowl from Sweetie* Or maybe better not to ask!
So we'll tell you... She's got her knickers in a knit, or is that a knot? Whatever the term is the little miss is not amused.
Oh my! I wonder if she's related to Queen Victoria. She used to say that a lot. "We are not amused!" Well, we all think she looks adorable in the hats but we daren't say so. The look she gave Grammy! It's a wonder Grammy is still alive and kicking.
So, as we said, we have Grammy to ourselves. So far she's cooked a stew, a meatloaf - enough for a few weeks, a rice pudding and plans to make granola. We caught her looking up knitting projects. Oh no! Not kitty sweaters! Please, NOOOOOOOOOOOO!
When she settles down to rest we plan to cuddle up with her; when she sits in her chair at the computer or knitting we'll take turns to slink into her lap, settle in for the duration and nap or more likely steal the mouse or nibble the yarn and needles. We do like to be paws-on!
So, looks like we have the old girl to ourselves for the foreseeable future. Let's hope she knits gowns and hats for the hospital, not outfits for us. Our fur suits suit us just fine.
Well, I guess that's all for today, dear friends. Stay safe, check on your neighbours, elderly family and friends. Help where and how you can. AND smile even if you are home alone. It will lift your spirits and someone else's should they see it.
We love you.
The M&M Crew at Mischief and Mayhem Central
Comments are always welcome. Keep it light and full of mirth.
Five Cats, Five Personalities, One Goal - Mischief & Mayhem.