PSA: Outdoor Cats Are NOT a Natural Part of the “Circle of Life”!

Hello everyone! I have been very busy with good things but needed to post this immediately. I hope you will consider what I’m sharing if you have outdoor cats. I know that I may be vilified for speaking my mind about this, I have been in the past when I shared on social media amongst “friends” who found it amusing that their cats were bringing them dead birds and chipmunks, but catering to the opinions of others when it goes against what I believe to be a moral issue isn’t something I’m good at, thankfully!

An Instagram “influencer” with a large following just shared that she is going to be adopting “barn cats” for “rodent control”. I left the following comment: “Very disappointed to see you promoting cats as ‘rodent control’. Please educate yourself about the impact of outdoor cats on wildlife. Cats are also not part of the natural ‘circle of life’, they are actually invasive and kill literally billions of birds every year!”

Even a shelter where I have adopted from here in Maine is advertising some of their cats as great “working cats” for rodent control. Yes I did call them to share my opinion. What about all the rest of wildlife? And why do rodents minding their own business in their natural habitat need to be “controlled” via killing?

A 2013 study estimated “free-ranging domestic cats kill between 1.3 and 4 billion birds – on top of between 6.2 and 22.3 billion mammals – every year in the United States alone, the majority by feral or unowned cats.” You can read more here. The Humane Society has an article on how to bring outside cats indoors. Another option is to buy or build an enclosed outdoor “catio.”

Update: Said influencer deleted my good faith comment and my account has been blocked by this “good vibes” influencer.

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Hedge Fund Investments: Divine Dividends

When most people think of a house as being an investment, it means they spend money on things that will contribute to financial gain when they sell it in a few years or more. We live in a culture of a “starter home” mentality where the belief is that one should always be buying something bigger and more expensive when able. When I bought my house my goal was for it to be my “forever” home, so one of my long-term investments for which I’m now enjoying the gains are my natural window treatments of the street-facing windows in my sunroom. A small investment in two potted perennials which have been nurtured for ten years have blossomed into the gorgeous privacy screen of my dreams!

What are some long-term investments you’ve made in your home simply for the joy it brings you and not because your ROI will be financial gain?

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Gardening Adventures: Tomato Babies! Chipmunk Babies!

Normally we wait until Memorial Day weekend to plant the tomato babies, as I call them, but with the unusually warm temps it was safe to plant them this past weekend. We decided it was a good value to spend $65 to have the many bags of soil delivered to save wear and tear on Wayne’s back. This summer will be the greatest amount of tomato plants we’re growing: 26 of them! Besides the Lemon Boys we have Black Cherry, Yellow Pear, Roma, Cherokee Purple, Carolina Gold and Supersonic. In addition to the two raised beds we have ten containers spread out on our deck and behind our house. I’m looking forward to a fun growing season and this weekend didn’t disappoint.

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I Choose Kindness Over Suburban Cosmetics

I want to help save the bees and also save my conscience. As I’ve written in the past we stopped paying for “lawn care” companies to come and spray toxins on our grass. The financial savings is nice but saving the bees from being poisoned is our priority. Wayne comes from a lifetime of striving for golf-course like grass. He didn’t like when a chipmunk left some dirt from digging a burrow. Now he loves them as if they are our own children and he loves the bees. We NEED BEES. So we’ve had to make some personal attitude shifts and changes, and it’s ongoing.

I learned last spring during the pandemic that I actually enjoy weeding dandelions. It’s meditative and excellent exercise. In the past few weeks I believe I may have uprooted over two hundred in our front yard. We love clover and that stays. But there is a new weed that has begun to join the fray and I know that I will have to make my peace with it.

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“New Old Stock” Kitchen Linens Dilemma

It’s been a while since I “raided” my stash of vintage estate kitchen towels that are in new, never used condition, most which still have the original price tags. Because we do our dishes by hand we use about three kitchen towels daily including one that lines our dish drying rack. Some have been in service for many years withstanding weekly laundering. A good old-fashioned kitchen towel will fade gently over years, not two washings like so much of what is sold today, and becomes more soft as time goes on. Then, after their golden years the perfect fading and softness gives way to becoming too thin to be absorbent. At that point they get transitioned into dusting rags or bedding for our degus. Sometimes I’m not sure if one is too special or unique to use, like this circa 1960s kitschy towel with an important message:

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When Life Hands You Lemon Boys

My adventures in securing potted annual flowers and tomato plants, with Lemon Boys being the most desired began early this morning. It’s strange seeing how much has changed since I was out and about a year ago. For example, a century old church was razed and there is a new apartment building being constructed. Marijuana dispensaries with names like House of Hash (Maine legalized marijuana) have popped up near the mall/big box store area where I was headed. The super friendly and helpful older lady who has worked the cash register at the Big Box plant nursery for over twenty years is no longer working there, and the two younger replacements weren’t helpful. No one knew where the tomato plants were but I finally found three sad ones on mostly empty shelves. I knew I was done with that place. The nice lady was the only reason why I still went in the past. Since the pandemic I’m less tolerant of things that wear and tear on my psyche. Bye bye Big Box store! I did notice some pretty, low priced hanging flowering plants on my way out, though. Not for me, I’m done, so over that chain of questionable repute. Onward!

But I knew what that meant. I’d have to go to the very nice locally owned nursery with the horrifying chaotic overcrowded narrow parking lot situation where I once almost got run over by an elderly lady on a moped.

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Out Picking Again!

For the first time in a year I went to the outdoor flea market and indoor antique shops. It feels so good to be able to go out picking things other than the dandelions from my front yard!

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