Books, Cats and Yarn

Hi faithful readers!

Not having internet at home has been awful, keeping me from watching deep-sea footage, monitoring volcanic eruptions, and updating my blog and social media sites. But, the weather is getting nicer again, and at least my blog can be done at the library during the day. So, hopefully this month will see some updates on Ravenmount, not just as a books and music site, but as a blog covering a bit of crochet and updates about my foster kittens and the outdoor cats I look out for. I still HATE living in Pueblo, and am still itching to move back north to the Boulder area, but with no money and with my 2 cats moving to Boulder is still a daunting challenge for now.

So, in the meantime I am in Pueblo, reading (or trying to read) 365 books this year, and taking care of needy kittens till they are ready to be fixed and adopted. Right now I am still working with a small rescue/shelter called Steel City Alley Cats, doing a couple days of in-shelter volunteering most weeks, and anxiously awaiting the shelter’s annual inspection. After all the chaos of the failed attempt at doing no-kill city-wide in Pueblo, a lot of folks here are pretty frustrated and discouraged, and I am hardly immune. I love fostering kittens, and it is so much easier to help kittens when one has a shelter or rescue to provide medications, supplies, and a system for getting them fixed and adopted. I’d love to be more of an independent ‘Kitten Lady’ sort of rescuer, eventually, but setting oneself up to legally rescue kittens as an individual can be tedious, apparently.

Steel City Alley Cats is up for their PACFA inspection very soon, and this is a VERY stressful time for just about any shelter, since failing these inspections can shut down a shelter or result in hefty fines. The local inspector is very professional and seems interested in helping make animal rescue better, so most likely she is not ‘out to get’ the shelters she inspects, but PACFA leaves a lot of the inspection standards up to the discretion of the inspector, so it is often hard to know what the standards are ahead of inspections. This issue was brought up in a ‘sunset review’ of the PACFA program a few years ago, and no doubt efforts have been made to make PACFA standards less arbitrary and mysterious. Still, everyone connected to small shelters like Steel City is probably a bit nervous about how inspection will go each year. If things go very badly, maybe I’ll be looking into what it takes to be an independent kitten rescuer sooner than I’d hoped.

I did discover over this past year that I am actually pretty good as a kitten foster mom for weaned kittens. So, whatever happens, expect that this blog will include kittens. My mom cares for a cat colony with a few as-yet-unspayed cats, so even without working with a shelter I may be tapped into socializing some feral kittens this season and getting them set up somehow or another as adoptable housekitties. So- fair warning- as the year progresses I’ll be making it easier for me to accept donations (money, kitten-care stuff) to support my efforts in this area. I know a bunch of people who like to be able to help kittens even though they can’t foster them or adopt them, after all, and even when working with a small shelter/rescue, my kitten rescue work is fueled entirely by donations in one form or another.

Books

I am trying once again to read 365 books this year. Last year I took on far too many long books that made it hard to get past 300. I did finish over 300 books in 2018, but nowhere near 365.  I already took on a few long books this year, too, but not quite so many so far, so I am still close to being on track. I plan to post my finished books in groups of 10, till I catch up to what I am currently reading, and then post once a week about what I have been reading.  I can’t do anything online from home, but I can get to the library at least once a week to post a weekly update. I am still working on reading all of the books on the various editions of the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die lists, and I am checking out several library books each week, which along with my own book collection make for some very diverse book lists.

Crochet

The other hobby that takes center stage in my current lifestyle is crochet. I run the facebook page for a group I help host on Sundays, the Knit and Crochet Table Gang. I also attend a couple other groups at libraries around town, and might try out a few non-library groups as well this year. I am participating in the 2019 Stash Busting CAL this year, from the Unraveled Mitten site, and will probably also be starting soon on the Spring Garden Afghan CAL via Joann and Crochet Crowd. I am also making mandala-type throw-sized blankets to sell as fundraisers for kitten rescue using acrylic yarn scraps, and I make hats for the homeless out of non-acrylic scraps. (Yes, I am always happy to accept yarn donations towards these charity oriented projects. I never refuse gift yarn of any sort, really. If I can’t use it I can always regift it to people I know ‘need’ it.)

I may draw up a few original crochet patterns this year, and I’ll certainly try to blog more about what I am making.

I would love to get back into music blogging on here too, at least a few music posts per month, so that may happen. Pueblo is not as safe for a woman wandering around alone at night, compared to Boulder or Fort Collins, so I have not felt safe doing live music blogging the way I did it in Fort Collins, so far, but despite appearances to the contrary there is a lot of music in Pueblo. It just needs more visibility, the sort independent blogs can provide.

So, for now, keep your fingers crossed that the shelter my foster kittens should be coming from this year will pass its inspection and stay in business, and if anyone comes across the perfect solution to allow me to return to Boulder, please let me know. And stay tuned for posts about books, cats, crochet, and music throughout the rest of this year.

-Jamie

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About Ravenmount

Independent science nerd/writer/music blogger/arts enthusiast/theorist currently in Colorado.
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