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Newly-hatched cardinals and a mini shop update

Cardinal fledglings in nestThere were a lot of cheep-cheep-cheep noises coming out of  the the bushes next to the porch last night. We kept seeing a male and female cardinal, hopping along the railing, and flying in and out of one of the bushes. I followed the noise and found four baby cardinals, with their eyes still closed, in a nest, waiting for their mom and dad to bring them some dinner.

Cardinal fledglings in nestIt doesn’t seem like the best place for a nest, but birds make some odd choices sometimes. We’ve watched birds building nests in the hanging plants before too. I tried to give these cardinals some extra privacy by attaching a board to the porch railing, to block the view, at least from the porch. I took these photos first.

Cardinal fledglings in nestAs you can see, when their mama arrives, all their mouths open at once. You can see her tail feathers through the branches. I tried to get a picture of her feeding them, but the light was fading and she wasn’t still for more than a second at a time. Their dad has been just as busy feeding them.

I hope they’ll be safe in there.

Bright light yellow-green Hug Me SlugsI just put some “Hug Me! Slugs” up in my Etsy shop and updated our Soft Dolls and Art Toys page, for a quick overview of what’s available. As I mentioned, I’m switching out the custom-order listings with ready-made dolls and creatures. I’ll continue doing that so I can get caught up on everything around here.

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Super Sammy Slug of Santa Cruz

12 inch yellow and blue I wouldn’t want to have to call him for help, because that would be a mouthful, but, I have to say, he looks very willing to help if asked. Or even if not asked.

Yellow and blue Super Slug“Super Sammy” the Super Slug is heading to California right now. He’s going to be a graduation gift for someone who is will be attending the University of California Santa Cruz. Their mascot is a banana slug. Their mascot’s name is also Sammy, but not “Super Sammy”, although I’m sure he is super in his own right.

I’m going to try to get some more slugs up in my Etsy shop soon, and then I think I’ll take a break from custom-made toys while I get our Ruffing’s web site reorganized. I need to edit some art doll photos and work out the blog migration over on that site. I’ll still have the “name your own” option on the soft dolls and toys, so everyone can still get some customization, which is fun for gifts or just because.

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Baby peaches

Baby peachesWe were out in the yard this evening, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. Baby peaches! My newly-planted little peach tree already has several tiny peaches on it. How exciting. Of course, those will have to be snacks for some small woodland creature, because that narrow branch will never support full-grown peaches. Still, every exciting.

IrisThe iris are in bloom as well. I need to divide my iris bed so we will have more blooms. Iris blooms become more scarce as the plants become overcrowded. That can be a fall project.

I’ve been working on some Lucy dolls that have been waiting a long while for their appliqu├ęd details, and I’ve got a Super Slug almost done. My Viking Platinum sewing machine is working sometimes, and sometimes not. It seems to calm down after I turn it on and off a couple of times, or leave it to rest for a while. Still, I’d like to resolve this as soon as possible. I’ve surpassed my limit on patience with this six-month repair ordeal.

3D Desktop AquariumI found a small, but amusing-to-me distraction in a desktop aquarium. I know everyone probably has seen these before, but I wanted one after I saw them years ago. Apparently, no one around me wanted one however. They keep asking me if the toilet is running when the fish tank noise comes on. Whatever. I think it’s fun.

Thank you, to my new subscribers. I’ve appreciated your kind comments. I hope you will enjoy my blog. Thanks for joining us on our Ruffing’s Facebook page too. Now that I have a new, working sewing machine that does some decorative things, I hope to have more projects to show soon. I certainly have some projects I need to get up online. Always lots to do.

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We had a visitor last night

newly-formed tornado, photo from local news siteAround 8pm last night, I was sitting out on the front porch, cooling off in the nice breeze we were having, when my neighbor across the street yelled over to me, “Do you know there’s a tornado right behind your house?!”

No, I didn’t. I went to the end of the porch, and saw a huge dark cloud over the trees, but I didn’t see a tornado. Then the funnel part veered out from behind the trees and I heard the girl across the street screaming, “It’s coming right at us!” It was over the duck pond at that point, just down the hill, and heading up between our neighbors’ house and ours, casually meandering from side to side.

I quickly got inside. We rounded up the kitties, and we sat on the bathroom floors. It was quiet except for some sirens going by outside. The lights only went out for a few seconds.

Town Hall after tornado, with 100 year old tree downLater on the news, I saw it had taken down the over 100 year old tree in front of the town hall, smashing some of the wrought-iron gate. There were reports of shopping carts flying through the air in the plaza across the street from there.

Town Hall after tornado, with 100 year old tree downIt looked like a a long, skinny finger, but it still managed to pluck this gigantic tree right out of the ground. The tree was about 6 feet in diameter, and 65 feet tall.  Such a shame, but thankfully no one was hurt.

Our neighborhood was fine. I talked to a neighbor this morning. He had been taking someone home in the rain, and when he turned around, he saw the tornado was right over his house. Apparently, it had come across the lake, over the duck pond, and then split in two, with one part veering away from us. Then the whole thing headed east, where it removed someone’s garage, only 10 feet from their home, without touching their house.

One of our kitties is still following me up and down the hall today. I think he wants to be ready, if anything else is coming, but it’s been a lovely day today. The ducks were just fine too. They showed up this morning, a little muddy, but no worse for the wear.