58 thoughts on “Weekend Open Thread

  1. Ricky's Mom May 13, 2017 / 8:46 am

    A purrfect picture of happiness.

  2. Muppet2171 May 13, 2017 / 8:58 am

    My dad used to say cats had no facial expressions. To which I say: kitten grin!!

  3. Emmberrann May 13, 2017 / 9:17 am

    Perfect privacy tail !

  4. beemoused May 13, 2017 / 9:26 am

    So adorable!!

  5. N. Fritz May 13, 2017 / 10:17 am

    I’m pretty sure this is the same look I had on my face earlier this week when I dreamed I was flirting with Mick Jagger at a country estate!

    • Duckie πŸ₯ May 13, 2017 / 12:03 pm

      And what was the expression on Mick Jagger’s face?

      • N. Fritz May 13, 2017 / 12:37 pm

        We were having a great time… we obviously hit it off! Except then I had to run an errand and I missed my turn and ended up slamming my car into a retaining wall. End of dream…

  6. gigi the cat lady May 13, 2017 / 10:29 am

    Doing some shopping today. Actually I’m writing this from a public computer in the shopping mall while I wait for the food court to open.

    Hope everyone has a fun Saturday!

    • dust bunny May 13, 2017 / 10:08 pm

      What an interesting location to be browsing cutetropolis, whereabouts was this?

  7. Maia May 13, 2017 / 10:47 am

    Such an adorable kitten!

    Quiet rainy weekend grading papers here, except for mother’s day tomorrow.

    Happy Day to all the Moms out there, and special blessings to those who have lost their mothers. And to those mothers who have lost a child.

  8. allein 🐾 May 13, 2017 / 11:34 am

    It’s raining. It’s been a long week. Getting up this morning was really hard. Frankly I’m surprised it’s still technically morning.

    This kitten is cute, though.

  9. Duckie πŸ₯ May 13, 2017 / 11:39 am

    “I just love my hind legs soooooooooooo much!”

    Hubby and I are going to have a quiet weekend together. We were not blessed with children, but collectively we have 18 nieces and nephews, and we have ‘adopted’ several young adults who are far from their families.

    It is cold and rainy here in the wonderful Fraser Valley. We had hail and thunderstorms yesterday, which made for a very loud afternoon. Weather is not conducive to happy joints.

    My best friend dropped by yesterday with an unexpected surprise. She had purchased a book for me that I would not have been able to buy for several months, given our financial situation. I have resisted opening it so far, as I intend to have a long hot bath tonight, beeswax candles and all, and I will start reading it then.

    I am making a wish list for Spoonflower, and am having a great time planning all the lovely designs I will get.

    Hubby has an alumni get together next week. I enjoy going to these, as his old classmates tell me ALL the stories about his high school days.

    Wishing everyone a quiet and peaceful weekend, unless, of course, you have planned some form of mayhem, in which case I wish you fun.

    • debg May 13, 2017 / 11:42 am

      Duckie, it’s wonderful that you have so many loving friends and family members around, plus so many cool plans. You sound a little happier, which makes all of us Cutetropolitans happy for you. We worry.

      • Duckie πŸ₯ May 13, 2017 / 12:01 pm

        You Cutetropolitans count among my loving friends.

        • Faye May 13, 2017 / 2:12 pm

          I’ve been through money trouble and heartache Duckie. Both are so draining. Keep moving even if your steps are tiny ones. Someday you will look back and see how far you came and how strong you are. I promise.

          • Duckie πŸ₯ May 13, 2017 / 3:17 pm


    • N. Fritz May 14, 2017 / 2:36 am

      Good to have you back, Duckie!

  10. debg May 13, 2017 / 11:41 am

    Fantastic happy grin! Wish I could pick her up for a nose-boop and belly-horf, but she’d probably wake up.

    Today I’m coordinating with my hairdresser on her wedding shawlette! When I went in yesterday for my long-overdue haircut, I brought some samples. We have come very close to finalizing which pattern I’ll knit; now I want her to consider some colors and yarns. Poor thing got an epic email just now, with lots of pix. Non-knitters just don’t think about yarn, it turns out.

    I may also pick up more paint chips for my bedroom, which I’ve wanted to paint for nearly 2 years.

    Happy weekend, and happy Mothers’ Day to all.

  11. tara May 13, 2017 / 12:02 pm

    Happy Weekend All!
    Blissful kitty sure made me happy this morning. We have yucky, cold, rainy weather here in Philly today. I’m still recovering from a week of feeling pretty awful. My allergies/allergic reaction turned into an upper respiratory infection as well. I’ve been out from work all week – something I’ve never had to do. But this morning I was able to open my eyes without prying them open and my cough seems to be getting better. Today my plans are couch, kitties, binge watching something on Netflix and crocheting potholders. Lots of people need house warming gifts.
    I also thought I’d send an update on the Bees. There were some questions last week, from N. Fritz, I think? You know, I was thinking, if you can do such a wonderful farm tour as you described last week, there must be some apiaries in Austria as well? I think you asked what happens if the workers lay eggs. Worker bees are female and can lay eggs, but they aren’t fertilized, so they all turn into drones. The drones and workers don’t mate and the drones don’t do anything except demand to be fed by the workers. Pretty soon the hive just dies. At a certain point you can’t introduce a new queen either because the queen lays specific eggs for the shape of the cell. If all of the cells are the size of drones, that’s what she’ll lay. Oh, and you also asked about price. I paid about $113 for one package of bees with a marked queen. The real investment is all of the equipment – which adds up quick but is a one time thing. Thank goodness someone abandoned their equipment with me and I’ve decided its mine now.
    So far, my bees are doing well. The second queen for the second hive escaped her cage on her own (which is good) and is wandering around, doing her job, and laying eggs. I have at least one frame of capped brood (pupating larvae) which should turn into baby bees any day now. In the first hive, it turned out there was a rogue queen! I’m glad I figured this out before letting the next caged queen out or they just would have killed her. The rogue queen must have been in the package to begin with and she has also been very busy.
    Despite feeling so rotten last week, I managed to get to my bee class. And I am glad I didn’t miss it. We learned how to pick bees up with our bare hands! I was not thrilled about this. When I get stung I get horribly swollen and the last thing I need is to be stung on the fingers of my right hand. But I managed. The drone’s don’t have stingers, so we practiced picking them up by the thorax first. They are bigger and they sure buzz a lot when they are picked up. I don’t think they enjoyed it very much. But we practiced marking them as if they were queens. The worker bees are a bit trickier, you have to pick them up by their wings – both at the same time. I was terrified I would yank the wings off! But they are sturdier than they look, and with both wings in hand, that little worker bee abdomen just curls up and the stinger can’t get anywhere near you. Why would you need to pick up a worker bee? Good question – lots of reasons. Mine came when I had to return the extra queen to my teacher. There was one worker bee on the cage who refused to be brushed, blown, shaken, budged off the cage. I finally pulled myself together, plucked her off by her wings, and flung her back in the direction of the hive. Worked like a charm. Our class has been held at a local arboretum for the last two sessions where my teacher must have almost 50 hives. Class is basically opening the hives and looking at stuff and asking questions. We even got to watch several bees hatch during class!
    And now for a little advertisement, if any of you are interested in keeping bees, I can’t recommend it enough. I love having the two boxes full of humming activity at the back of the garden. My class is also one of the nicest groups of people I have ever been with. Everyone is so kind and interested in caring for their bees. There is also a wide range of people: young hipsters, retired folks, and a few families including a delightful father/daughter combo. She might be 8 or 9? What a terrific learning experience for her!
    Oh dear, I’ve just realized how long this is. I’m sorry. I hope y’all don’t mind too much. I’m just so excited about the bees. Happy weekend everyone, I hope it is a good one for you. xotara

    • N. Fritz May 13, 2017 / 12:54 pm

      Tara, this is so fascinating! Thanks for following up. Bees are so cool… I think it’s strange that vegans won’t eat honey because, come on, that’s what bees do! They aren’t forced to make honey, and they don’t use it (do they?). The ancient Greeks had unique observations about bees. The bucolic poets wrote about bees as the inspiration for poets, whose words were “honeyed” and frequently had bees buzzing around in their poetry, even entering the poet’s mouth on at least one occasion. One of our family friends was a brain surgeon who kept bees on the side and since then my dad has always wanted to keep bees. There are lots of bees and beekeepers and honey in Austria (from both wildflowers and forests). In fact, there is a hive at the regional history museum a couple of towns over and you can watch them work. There is also a NOVA special from PBS about bees (Tales from the Hive) that is actually an Austrian production translated into English. Anyway, thanks and please keep us updated!!

      • tara May 13, 2017 / 5:07 pm

        Thanks N. Fritz! I agree with the vegan comment. To be clear – I have no issue with anyone who has decided to be vegan – good on you – but the bees, well, they’ve been “domesticated” sort of, to produce a lot of honey. Far more than they need to get through the winter. And yes, they do use the honey for food. Especially the Italian variety that I have, makes tons of honey. And on top of that – they can leave anytime they want. If they don’t like the space I’ve provided or ??? – they can swarm and leave. Not much I can do about that unless I catch them at it.
        I will look for the NOVA program, sounds fascinating. Thanks for mentioning. πŸ™‚

    • julie May 13, 2017 / 1:29 pm

      Tara – thanks for the BEE UPDATE!!! Love learning about what you are doing.

      Are you beekeeping because it is good for the planet? Or because you are going to harvest the honey?

      • tara May 13, 2017 / 5:14 pm

        Thanks Julie! Why am I beekeeping – such a good question. I think its because my friend tried to keep hives in my garden (in exchange for honey) and then after three years he gave up and left everything. It was depressing having those empty homes where there had been such vibrant activity. So I thought I’d give it a go myself. I tried last year, was promised help which petered out, and so this is my last go – if I can make it work this year, I’m in. If not, I will pass the equipment on to someone else. But I do hope it works. I love having the bees. The honey I have gotten from the hives is far better than anything in any store. And I’d really like to try to make some mead!

    • Faye May 13, 2017 / 2:24 pm

      Thank you so much for the bee biology lesson. Fascinating.

      I am deathly afraid of bees and wasps. I was attacked by wasps as a kid. As I ran home screaming the wasps paced along beside me. Bees make me think of going into anaphylactic shock. I could never bee near one let alone hivefulls of bees. I admire you. And I know how important bees are.

      I also hate mosquitoes and ticks. Disease carrying creepies out to kill humans.

      • tara May 13, 2017 / 5:15 pm

        Ah, Faye, sorry to hear of your wasp trauma! May all the stingy-bitey critters stay well away from you. πŸ™‚

        • Faye May 13, 2017 / 9:17 pm


  12. Patty May 13, 2017 / 12:43 pm

    It’ll be a quiet weekend for me. Kids can’t get together on mother’s day, one works in a restaurant in a city 3 hrs away, and mother’s day is a busy day in restaurants, so taking that day off doesn’t happen. We will probably get together Monday or Tuesday. I’m okay with that, as the daughters have kids who want to honor their mothers that day. My youngest has no children yet, and she has invited me over to hang out with her. I am sure her SO’s boys will be with their mother that day, so it will be just us 4 adults, and 4 cats.
    I got a new mattress this week. This is a huge deal, since I was sleeping on the waterbed I got (used) in 1982. What a hassle draining that bed, cleaning out the platform, and putting the new memory foam mattress in. I like the new mattress but the husband is whining about it. I hope he adjusts, as he can flop around without almost tossing me out of bed, unlike with the waterbed. Sophie and Grace seem to like the new bed, but Callie won’t get on it, if I put her on it, she jumps back down. I guess it’s not as much fun as the waterbed that moved when she walked on it. I had patched 4 new kitten claw sized holes just a few days before I ordered the new mattress.

    • Elaine C Williamson May 13, 2017 / 12:52 pm

      I was worried when I bought an airbed for the guest room but fortunately she never claws it. Actually she prefers my bed with the regular mattress. Who could ever figure cats?

  13. Alice Shortcake May 13, 2017 / 1:17 pm

    I’m now in the final stages of formatting my book “Fairies in Cabs” for CreateSpace. A couple of snippets for anyone out there interested in the more quirky aspects of Victorian theatre, music hall and popular culture, as featured in the theatrical paper “The Era”:

    A COUPLE of ruffians were sent to trial at Blackburn the other day for robbing a well-known local professional musician named Ernest Storey. Mr Storey was crossing some fields at midnight, when prisoners, who were drunk, met him and compelled him to play a flute solo. After having done so, he raised his hat and said, β€œGood night, gentlemen, I must be off,” but they seized him, rifled his pockets, and, after throwing his instruments away, left him lying in the fields.

    MR JAMES M. CHUTE, who, we are pleased to say, is now quite recovered from his late severe illness, gave a tea on Saturday last, between the two performances, at the Prince’s Theatre, Bristol, to the thirty-two children who appear in the pantomime. The little ones seemed heartily to enjoy the good things provided, and one sturdy little chap, in answer to a question put to him by a member of the company, remarked, β€œI never had so much to eat in my life; I’ve been sick twice.”

    • N. Fritz May 14, 2017 / 2:32 am

      Let us know when your e-book is available Alice! You can count me in for 3 copies!

      • Alice Shortcake May 14, 2017 / 3:23 am

        Will do!

    • Ricky's Mom May 14, 2017 / 8:49 am

      This sounds amazing!

      • Alice Shortcake May 14, 2017 / 11:26 am

        Thanks, Ricky’s Mom! I think anyone who enjoys the brand of humour so wonderfully purveyed on Cutetropolis by Mike will also enjoy the frequently surreal (and occasionally sad) snippets of theatrical Victoriana in “Fairies in Cabs”. The print version should be on Amazon by the end of the week.

        *end of free plug*

          • Alice Shortcake May 15, 2017 / 3:26 am

            More customers!

            *jumps up and down*

        • Ricky's Mom May 15, 2017 / 8:38 am

          Blimey! I want a copy. I miss reading for pleasure. About all I have time for is a few blog posts a day. The luxury of reading an entire book for pleasure is one I’ve had to forgo for ages, now, in favor of reading for work. (sigh)

          • Alice Shortcake May 15, 2017 / 10:11 am

            The last snippet for this week – in 1894 a theatre manager received this letter from a stage-struck teenager:

            β€œDear Sir, – Observing your advt. in ‘The Era’ for a smart young comedian, I beg to offer myself as a candidate for the vacancy. My age is eighteen, therefore I am but in my years of youthfulness, but as an actor I am truly great. I am the writer of fully nine books on burlesque, involving songs, stage motions, hideous hubbubs, caricatures, and many more creations pertaining to the acting art. I have served over three and a half years in the commercial creation to my heart’s dissatisfaction, for like the majority of talented aspirants I find commerce sad and sickening. The reason why? I have that soul, the devotional instinct of a great actor. When on the boards (or elsewhere) I am a supremely energetic actor, and I always strain to create a consternation that would repel the idea that there is a limit to eccentricity. My height is 5ft. 6in. Sorry to state, no photos. My plight just now is truly a piteous one, for I am idle and almost penniless (an element of danger).
            Nowadays, ’tis a vain endeavour to persuade desperate men the honest measure of my abilities, as I am unknown and regarded as one of the stage-struck brigade. To substantiate this as a wrong, gross, insultive theory so foolishly propounded, I offer this defence.
            From my earliest moment I was conscious of a propensity for the dramatic world, and to enhance this consider I could write a finely styled burlesque when just about twelve years of age, as my books can vouch for. The secret of acting is earnestness; earnestness is everything in an actor, for if you are apathetic you are lost. I close, and fervently pray you will extend the palm of generosity towards me, and so earn my life-long gratitude. I entreat expedient action. Very truly yours, ———.
            P.S. – Terms depend on your own wise counsel.”

  14. Jan May 13, 2017 / 2:28 pm

    Well, my left knee finally crapped out on me, leaving me non-ambulatory for the weekend. I’m taking some hydrocodone to see if I can get the pain under control today, but may end up in urgent care tomorrow. Sigh.

    Did take a couple of cute Lily pics yesterday though… Still can’t believe she’s turning a year old this month!

    First we delicately sniff the catmint to see if it meets our very high standards:

    • Jan May 13, 2017 / 2:29 pm

      Then we just dive in face first:

      • Laura May 13, 2017 / 5:15 pm

        Ouch! Sorry about the knee, Jan. I blew out my right knee when I was only 14 years old, and finally got a total knee replacement about 8 years ago. The recovery was painful — the exercises were brutal — but man, did they make my knee strong and back to better than ever. Today that’s my “good” knee and my other knee is threatening to blow out. Knees are really poorly designed by Mother Nature, I must say! Hang in there. There’s a whole bunch of stuff the doctors can do these days. In the meantime, keep ice on it at regular intervals and elevate it as much as you can to reduce the swelling till you can see a doctor!

      • tara May 13, 2017 / 5:19 pm

        Beautiful Lily! Happy Birthday sweetie! I cannot grow that stuff in my garden. It only attracts every cat for miles around. And my Jacques will not tolerate such interlopers.

        Sorry to hear about your knee Jan! That is really the pits. I hope the drugs are working.

    • Jan May 14, 2017 / 3:46 pm

      Yep, had to spend the morning at Urgent Care getting an emergency cortisone shot. Ugh. At least they gave me more percocet. Going back to bed now; hope like hell I can walk tomorrow… πŸ™

  15. Not That Mike The Other Mike May 13, 2017 / 3:03 pm

    I have a story to share about my rabbit Ani. This just happened minutes ago.

    Ani loves to explore the outdoors that she watches from behind the front porch screen, and I let her out for some supervised playtime most days. I try to wait until the neighborhood cats are elsewhere. While most of them are indifferent to her, one in particular whom I’ll call Half-Tail, because he has half a tail, likes to stalk Ani and would surely chase her if I weren’t around.

    So Ani and I are on the lawn, she happily eating grass, when up trots a very interested Half-Tail, who stops when he makes eye contact with me. “Can I help you?” I ask him, and immediately he makes a big show of sniffing a shrub just next to him, as if that’s what compelled him to rush forward. After a moment of that charade, he relaxes on the sidewalk.

    Ani meanwhile has hopped over to some dense foliage separating the buildings. This is a natural boundary for her, but she has tested it in the past. Today she just decided to hop right in. Unable to go in after her, I watched her explore inside, hoping she would decide to come out on her own. After a couple of tense minutes, she did, and I decided we’d had enough adventure for one day.

    I always leave the porch and front doors open while we’re outside; this lets Ani make a quick retreat if necessary (it’s happened). It also lets me herd her back indoors by chasing her towards the porch and clapping my hands. So with Ani safely back on the porch, I stroke her back to assure her that I’m not mad at her, and I step into the house to get on with my day.

    And that’s when I see a black lump of fur wandering down the hall. It’s Half-Tail, who has wandered into the house and is now sniffing around Ani’s cage! Afraid to pass me to
    return the way he came, he slinks into my bedroom and hides under my bed. I closed the bedroom door to keep him confined until I worked out a plan to remove him. And that’s when I went for… the vacuum.

    A hand vacuum, to be specific, and which makes a lot of noise. Returning to the bedroom, I opened the door to the backyard, closed off other escape routes, and started vacuuming. Under the bed. With the crevice attachment. Within a few minutes, Half-Tail was out the back door and gone.

    • N. Fritz May 13, 2017 / 3:14 pm

      Ingenious, NTMTOM!

    • Laura May 13, 2017 / 5:16 pm

      Excellent choice of cat-moving tool!

    • Faye May 13, 2017 / 9:24 pm

      Half-Tail won’t try that again! I’d be curious to know if he stays away from Ani outdoors too from now on.

      • Smartypants May 14, 2017 / 11:17 am

        Well done, Mike! I can imagine the stories Half-Tail is telling his cat buddies: “You’d better be nice to that rabbit, because she’s got a bodyguard. And he’s nine feet tall! And he has a roaring machine that chased me! I’m lucky I escaped with my life!” πŸ˜€

    • debg May 13, 2017 / 9:50 pm

      Who knew the Great God Vakum had so many uses!?

      Glad Miss Ani is safe and happy, and that your unwanted visitor took the hint.

    • dubravkamcvmd May 14, 2017 / 7:45 am

      Brilliant. Where was Ani during the extraction operation?

  16. Laura May 13, 2017 / 5:27 pm

    Hi, everybody. We’re having a quiet, grey weekend, too. We’ve had a wee bit of rain, but we are in desperate need of a whole bunch; the ponds around here are all down 3 feet or so, and at least one small one is completely dry. The birds like the ones that are just shallow because they can get more fish, though, so at least someone benefits from it. Anyway, please send us your rain!

    I’ve had a very quiet week. I’d done a work marathon in the previous week, and then this week there was absolutely nothing so I got to spend the week reading and working on a baby blanket for my niece, who’s expecting a baby girl in July. I refuse to use pink or blue (babies don’t care, after all), so I’m using a nice superwash wool lavender yarn. Working on it should keep me out of mischief for a while, since I always knit large baby blankets, it seems.

    I hope everyone has a happy Mother’s Day!

  17. Ricky's Mom May 13, 2017 / 7:47 pm

    I don’t usually comment on the weekend threads, in part because I work on the weekends. But I do enjoy reading them (well, except for reading sad news). Jan, I’m so sorry about your knee! Duckie, I’m glad you are have been pulling out of the worst of your sorrows. Mike, I’m certainly glad you come equipped with vacuum cleaner! (And thank you, as always, for this wonderful place.) Tara, the BEES! I learned so much! That was fascinating.

    Ricky the Dialect Dog spends most of his time sleeping these days. Even when he’s up and wants to play, his rear legs don’t support him very well. He’s not (yet) a candidate for a wheelie-cart, so he just has to endure slipping and falling a lot. I have a lot of yoga mats lying around to give him more grip. I miss the days when he could really play for a while and then lie down happy and grinning. I miss the days when he wanted to cuddle with me, and give me hugs and kisses.

    I’ve been working on at least two productions simultaneously for quite some time now, and for a while it was three. Now it’s back down to two, and when one is over, there will be another one, so it will still be two. It’s great to be in demand, and I love my job. But I’ve been running on fumes for a while.

    So, that’s a lot of why I don’t comment much on the weekend threads. I’m as sleepy as Ricky is!

    • dubravkamcvmd May 14, 2017 / 7:48 am

      What kind of productions are these, if that’s not too nosy?

      • Ricky's Mom May 14, 2017 / 8:54 am

        Two Off-Broadway plays, one television special. All very different from each other. Yesterday was a tough one; I had to face the fact that after 20-odd years doing what I do, I’d made a rookie mistake on one project from the get-go, and needed to put it right with the clock now ticking merrily away a bit faster. Still, it’s better to admit it when you’re wrong. It was all done with the best of intentions, based on my misunderstanding of guidance/instructions. I’m sure the giver thought they were perfectly clear. Language is not a perfect means of communication!

        • dubravkamcvmd May 14, 2017 / 9:26 am

          Oh theater! So you really get something out of living in New York! Lovely!

          • Ricky's Mom May 15, 2017 / 8:40 am

            I’ve always gotten something out of living in New York. It’s my home town. Great place to grow up. Always something to do. Sadly, as I work in the theatre, I seldom have time to actually *go* to the theatre!

  18. Koixka May 14, 2017 / 1:13 am

    A folding cat ,indeed. πŸ™‚

  19. N. Fritz May 14, 2017 / 2:44 am

    My weekend has been productive in a procrastinating sort of way. I have been avoiding grading and test preparation (both of which are highest priority today) but I did plant my window boxes, hauled out my garden furniture, tidied the apartment, did laundry and dishes, made minestrone for the coming week, went for walks, and got caught up on sleep. Now back to the salt mines!

  20. Murray C May 15, 2017 / 10:19 pm

    Oh, My, I’ve just read, marathon style, all your posts. I hope your knee improves, Jan, Duckie, you sound wonderful, Tara, the bees are endlessly fascinating – Happy Mothers Day to all of you – a day late.

    I was in Connecticut over the week end for an annual event, a music camp where all we do is sing, play music, eat and drink! And gab incessantly. I stay up late in happy groups trading off songs, having discussions about the Child Ballads or Old Timey or Irish and English music. It’s like Brigadoon to me, a wonderful place that seems to appear out of the mists.

    Sadly, on the way back we discovered that our rabbit Clementine wasn’t doing well – she was boarding at a friend’s house – another bunny owner. She was able to take her to the vet where she is now. She appears to have an ear infection – her eyes were twitching, she has head tilt – I think it must be similar to being motion sick. That’s why she wasn’t eating and her cecum was almost empty and she was very gassy. Getting her to the vet was the best thing I could’ve asked my friend to do. I would’ve given her subcu fluids but the vet told me that she really needed intravenous fluids. Tomorrow I will find out how she’s doing and hopefully bring her home. Boy, I may not be a Mom, but I feel like one when I go through bouts like this!

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