Category Archives: 4-H



My lovely if disorganized sewing studio got trashed a few days ago.  I rescued a young kitten, now named Saffron.  He is orange or marmelade or buff . A lovely happy color for a kitten. He has the sweetest face.


The Ecuadorians call him amarillo gato or yellow (male) cat. I got him from a rescue/neuter organization in Cuenca called ARCA.  For $15, I got the kitten, the rest of his shots and his neutering in a few weeks all included in that cost.

He was panicked and acting very feral at first.  So I read online how to tame a feral kitten.  However, with 3 days of gentle patient encouragement, Saffron is definitely trusting us up to a point.  I can pick him up and cuddle close to my heart but he needs to be released very easily or that terrified look returns.  I am estimating Saffron is 7-8 wks old because he is so tiny.  He has a good appetite and knows what a litter box is for.  So all is going exceptionally well.

Today, besides getting to sew again, I gave Saffron a quick, gentle bath to check for fleas and clean his fur.  It was a little dusty from life before he came to our house.  Soon he will be ready to explore more of the house.  He has been kept confined in the sewing studio until he is totally comfortable there.  Not long until he will have the run of the whole house.

A little bit ago, Saffron was playing with an orange ball of yarn, scampering after an empty spool and rubbing against my leg.  He let me cradle him and pet his ears, and back.  Then he rolled on his back and grabbed at me in that playful way kittens do just before they really wrestle hard with claws and teeth.  I have read that one can teach a cat not to bite humans hands and feet in their attempts to play.  I need to learn about that so that I can teach him.

On the sewing front, I made two more blocks to go with some Ohio star blocks to decorate one wall.  This is what they look like now before I layer, quilt and bind them. Then I can figure out how I want to place them on the wall.

My mother, Maxine, taught me to sew when I was about 11.  I took a 4-H class but she really was the one guiding me.  She is 94 years old today, living in the same house they moved to 67 years ago.  She and my dad, Milt, who is 95, hope to live at home until their last day.  My mom told me that Dec 25, 2012 marked  75 Christmas days together. Longer than many people live!  That is a long term relationship!

Back to the mention of 4-H.  I loved my classes and projects in 4-H.  Do you know what that is?  I believe the H stands for “Heart”  “Home”  “Helping” and “Health”   It teaches some values about life and skills for life.  I learned basics of cooking.  I learned to take care of a large animal, one year a Hereford steer named Harvey, another year a pregnant horse.  I loved the county fair when all 4-H kids showed their animals and entered things they had made to be judged.  I loved hanging out with kids from other schools.  I wonder if kids are still participating in 4-H?

Back to the kitten, Cuenca is NOT a place for a cat to be loose so Saffron will be an inside cat.  We may be able to reinforce our adobe wall and privacy screen to assure that he could be in the front garden safely.  We will see later about that.

In the garden, I took out most of the geraniums.  They grow well but I want to have more exotic plants in the tiny garden.  I also need to thin/separate the many agapanthus.  Several friends , both ex-pats and Cuencanos, want the ones I thin so that will be fun.  They grow so well here.  Full sun and they will bloom all year around in Cuenca.

This is all for today as I am going to make some gluten free muffins to freeze for healthy breakfast treats.
Have a terrific outlook on this next week of your life.  Enjoy every day!