Saturday, 17 January 2015

Random Thoughts

A peak through the curtains, I like to take mornings in a bit at a time, a cup of tea and an almond croissant later and I was out in the garden. 

A frosty morning, the Christmas tree has a coating of white icing and  looks more festive now than it did in December.  walking on grass is like crunching glass underfoot and the air has a stillness that makes you stop and listen, no birdsong this morning....

I found an old pair of binoculars and have been watching two wood pigeons on the pine tree opposite my bedroom window some afternoons - they huddle on chosen branches watching the world go by, fluffed up for warmth, there must be a nest nearby hidden from view.  The sky this morning was pink beyond the tree line.

Ambercat doesn't like the cold and suffers a bit of arthritis, so on a frosty morning her excursions are limited to a quick trot round the perimeter and then back indoors.  A blogging friend (thank you Pompom) recommended some aromatherapy for her - frankincense in particular (which I have yet to acquire) - so I got interested and read a book about aromatherapy for pets - you offer up the chosen oils and the animal will indicate which one it likes best, simple enough - you don't apply it to the skin or fur but place it where it can be inhaled and appreciated.  I have experimented.  Amber likes lavender oil and tea tree oil placed nearby, warmed in oil - healing, cleaning herbs - I think she is enjoying them. 

Update on the aromatherapy:  (and thanks to Nancy whose comment prompted me to add this):  cats can be harmed by some oils as their liver breaks down toxins differently to ours.  There is a wealth of information on the internet, some advocating lavender oil for cats (and tea tree oil too) but only if of premium grade quality (i.e. not perfume grade), used diluted and not applied directly to the animal.

My view is that the oils should only be used in a large, well aired room to make it smell pleasant and the cat should be able to leave the room if she doesn't like being near it, it shouldn't be placed close to her.  Oils should be WELL DILUTED- a couple of drops in a carrier oil that is then put in water for an oil burner or a few drops of this dilution dabbed on a light bulb is sufficient - I mostly put mine on the light bulbs.   I am aware Ambercat doesn't like cinnamon or clove oil whether in the diffuser or in cooking! and this is listed as harmful to cats so not surprising - she also dislikes citrus oils near her.  I think natural oils used carefully are far safer than the synthetic plug ins we were using last year by the way but anything that we or our pets inhale should bee used with caution - which is why I thought it would be wise to put this update on.

trusty camera still has black spots on the lens, but it will do the job for now

She also likes catnip and prefers to help herself, she's not greedy.  (This is the catnip pot, a souvenir from a trip to Florida a few years ago being put to good use).

Indoors we have colour in the form of oranges - we have been buying them by the box.  We have colds - the body craves what it needs... my little orange tree is shooting out fruits in sympathy.  In the garden I have a baby lemon tree, it has been growing outside and the cold shock has brought it into bud - if I bring it inside now we can smell the blossom.

I am having trouble letting my holiday become a distant memory, I am still there, floating like a starfish in the sea and the real world is only washing in at high and low tide.  I certainly am still enjoying that holiday!

Don't you think that the right kitchenware inspires? I am not a cook, but hubby is - when I see my orange casserole dish out I immediately want it to be full of hot, warming food with chunky vegetables, red wine gravy, fluffy potatoes.

... and on cosy home days like this it's nice to bring out my favourite gingerbread tea set...

I have a Susan Branch calendar - I like her illustrations and quotes - it is very American in style - I look up the quotes and read about the authors - sort of educational?

I dabbled with my silk paints yesterday, my Tricia Guild books inspired me...

Today I am off to the library - I am hoping lots of books will have been returned - I like looking on the 'just returned' shelf to see what everyone else enjoyed - sometimes I find books I wouldn't ordinarily have picked out.



  1. So nice to see you silk painting again...a lovely picture.

  2. Oh no Betty. We hope you are better soon. We too had the sickies over the holidays. Have a super Saturday.
    Best wishes Molly

  3. It amazes me that Ambercat has a preference for the lavender scent, but then, why not? I am glad she seems to be helped with it. And what self control she has to limit herself on the catnip.
    Really like your new silk painting and the bold colors, especially that fuschia. What a contrast of colors, so pretty and different from your other silks.

  4. Your painting is gorgeous! You are up to quite a lot! I'm glad you have the oils figured out! Amber is so pretty!

  5. The trees you are painting are so cool! I have not enjoyed anything of the outdoors as have been sick for 5 days now. Been to doctor twice now and today he announced I have the flu.

  6. Hello Betty, sorry to hear you have colds, keep reminding myself it is winter in your part of the globe. Ambercat is just so lovely, she looks a gentle creature. I especially love your gingerbread tea set. Have a great week Betty.

  7. Hello Betty, I hope that you found some lovely books at the library. I like to do that too...hanging around the just returns. It's amazing what you find right there some days. I agree with your sentiments about the lovely orange pot. have you made yourself some chicken broth & dosed up on elderberry tonic? I am just now collecting fresh berries & beginning to ferment them in honey. A new method & so simple. Take care & keep dreaming away. Loved your Cuban photos. Much love Catherine x0x0x

  8. Your day is a study in cosy winter perfection!

  9. Someone has been very busy with a life full of nature, kitties, good food and craftiness! It was good to hear from you the other day Betty - thanks so much for visiting my blog. Life here has been busy, too, with blogging taking the back burner. I've emerged from my rabbit hole now and am having fun discovering what I've missed. I am very curious, being American, by what you meant by Susan Branch's calender being very "American in style"? Perhaps I shall get one and then I shall see!


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