Thursday, May 1, 2014

Getting the grounds cleaned up

In anticipation of kitten-visitors and Coffee and Kitten Sundays this year, I've gotten as early a start as possible on cleaning up the grounds. First off is the cat memorial garden alongside the house. The garden itself has stayed pretty under-control after the work of dedicated volunteers a few years back (Wow, wait, was that really way back in 2007?). But grass and weeds grow, so thing periodically need a heavy-handed clean up, like the small sun-patio near the firepit:

I dug out all the bricks, the mill stone, and flagstones, turfed out the grass, shoveled up roadside gravel after the town's road brush went through tossing all the winter gravel to the shoulder, and got it all put back together.

Then the firepit had to have the ashes dug out of it. So it's ready for its first fire, once the open burning restriction is off in late May.

I moved what was left of the woodpile up on the porch. Let's hope we don't have too many cold nights, because I'm out of fuel...oil, almost all my wood, and NYSEG keeps sending those nasty envelopes reminding me about the electric bill that I'm catching up on. I can rest easy that I'm not the only person in that position--I've talked to lots of people who are mulling over filling up their almost empty oil tank for a heating season that could be a week longer...or a month longer.

That leaves this mess that I'm cleaning up so that I can lay down new pallets and start accumulating next years' wood:

I've got a wedge-shaped sledgehammer to beat the heck out of the old rotted pallets to get them in the dumpster. I want to put an arch through the middle of the woodpile that will lead into the memorial cat garden.

Speaking of which...

The ground was finally warm enough to lay Ivan and Cricket to rest. I don't think I blogged that Cricket, who was older than Ivan, passed away after she stopped eating. Unlike Ivan, she refused to be force-fed. So now they are together in the cat garden. It's hard to have them gone. My remaining personal pets are three sweet cats, Bear, Rose, and Nellie, who are total clowns (in a good way). I need a scholar's cat. So when I'm done with work travel, Fluffy and Storm will come in the house from the sanctuary. They are seniors as well, but they are grand cats, just like Ivan and Cricket, and are also bonded to one another.

But for these young cats!


  1. We are sorry about Cricket. But as you said, they are now together.

  2. I'm so sorry about Cricket - it gives me a little lump in my throat to think about it, but so glad you could lay her and Ivan to rest together. Your clean-up before and after shots are AMAZING! Wanna come do my yard? :-)

  3. Where did you get the white cat statue? I would like one as nice for my memorial garden, where Brendan, Finnegan and Silas lie.

  4. I'm pretty sure I got it at HomeGoods, but it would have been many years ago. It used to be green, but that wore off and I sponge painted it white. I try not to go into HomeGoods because they almost always have affordable cat statues that are different than you find elsewhere. They are usually resin.