Can You Say CUTE?

Remember my trip up to Pueblo, Colorado a couple months back? We delivered my nephew to school at Colorado State. He got settled in and had three nice roommates.

Then he had four – because he fell in love with an adorable Siamese kitten who needed a home.

His landlord did not fall in love so much, and kitty again needed to find a home.

His Mom, his Grandmother, and his Godmother/Aunt (me) were all kitten-smitten just from hearing about her – and seeing a six second video Chris sent to his Mom’s phone.

To make a long story (and another trip to Pueblo) shorter, this is Missy and her best friend, the stuffed dog, in their favorite place on top of my mother’s sofa.

This is what she does when not taking apart my mother’s new, used-to-be-organized, house, or reducing her crystal collection to shards.

We really, really love her – and it’s a good thing.

My Mom thought she was queen of her domain. Now, not so much . . . there’s new royalty in town.

And speaking of pets . . .

I named the Hummingbird Helen . . .


I found out she is a Black-Chinned Hummingbird and is indeed a girl. The black spot on her chest helped identify her. They Winter on the Central Mexico coast or on the Gulf of Mexico. I do think she has left on her trip now, but one never knows. At Wild Birds Unlimited, they told me to leave the feeders out for two weeks without seeing her just to be sure. It has been two days if I am not hallucinating.

Friday, I spent a good deal of time rigging a heat zone. Interesting stuff that you might like to know about. Helen helped me the whole time – flying around my head and posing for more photos. I got it all done and she left town. I do think she liked it though.

Anyway, this will be handy in the Spring, when I always get Hummingbirds too early, and can’t put the feeders out because of freezing nights.

I used plumbers heat tape – which is a flat electric cord with a thermostat that is used to keep pipes from freezing. It goes on when the temp hits 38º and becomes warm enough to keep the feeders from freezing. I started with a 3 foot version. . .

Just a couple of wraps around the bottom of the feeder kept the water fine overnight. I was even able to remove the lights I was using.

I then bought a 15 ft version and wrapped the excess through the “branches” of the metal tree the other feeder was hanging on, creating a warm zone in case Helen needed it. That’s a ceramic birdhouse at the top that also hangs in that tree. I wrapped the cord around it a couple times too.

Here’s the Amazon Link for those Heat Tapes in case you’re interested:

Easy Heat

And while I was at Wild Birds Unlimited, I bought something I have wanted for years. Every Winter, I take my ceramic birdbaths in and set out cheesy plastic plant dishes instead (they won’t break when the water freezes). Every dawn, I go out in my PJs, dump the ice, and fill the bath with warm water. Good for them – too cold for me.

This year I had a little rock waterfall that the birds LOVE, and it would not work in the shallow plant dish, so I finally invested in a heated birdbath. Between the moving water and the low heat  in the bath when the thermostat detects freezing temperatures, the water doesn’t even think about freezing.

Amazon has heated Birdbaths too (for less than I paid!

Heated Birdbath

That’s the news from a Winter garden, where the birds are warm and happy, and I know more than I used to. Helen taught me a lot!

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