Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Poor Julius...

I realized that I forgot to include one of my cards in my Art Trading Card post the other day, so here you go, in honour of Julius.

Poor Julius! I had to rush him off to the vet last night, and he was admitted. I took him to the vet about ten days ago when his face swelled up on one side. The vet thought it might be an insect bite and so administered antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, and told me that the swelling should go down. If it didn't, I was to bring him back for further investigation.

The swelling did go down, but over this past weekend it started up again. We planned to take Julius to the vet today, but his face continued to swell yesterday and his demeanour changed markedly, so I got him into the clinic just after the vet office closed. One of the vets kindly waited for me instead of charging me after-hours emergency fees.

Poor Julius was running a bit of a temperature. The vet thinks J most likely has an abscess at the root of his tooth (you can't actually see anything amiss in his mouth), so he's having an extraction today. It is possible something more dire is going on but the signs all point to dental issues, so fingers crossed that the dental surgery will do the trick. If you could spare a good thought for my orange kitty today, that would be great. He's ten years old and a very good kitty! I could tell he was not feeling well last night and was in pain, so I just want him to be back to his normal self asap. We miss our fluffy orange boy!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Fun with Photo Booth...

Ahhh, if only I had had Photo Booth as a child. If only Mac computers had been invented when I was a child! Wait, I still have my inner child...

My evil twin, Natasha with her brain-sucking accomplice the Evil Gordini as their familiar, Julius, looks on, surely pondering the insanity of humans.

Instant facelift.

Tower of power!
Hmmm... it looks like I have a moustache. I assure you, I don't.

I'm just too negative these days, ar ar ar!

As my mother's voice rings in my ears: "It's going to stay like that!"

Peace and love, people, peace and love!

Because a day without chickens...

...is like a day without sunshine! (And no, Willie, Chef Nick and HWB, I don't mean a day without EATING chickens! GEEZ!)

Yesterday I thought I'd start cleaning up the flower beds. The chickens thought they'd help...

That can't be good for the perennials!

"Let me help you with that earthworm!"

Uh, girls, I don't think the flowers like that.

Hello? Girls? Hellloooooo?

Sophie eagerly and patiently awaits a fresh chicken poo snack.

We're like the government... we're here to help!

Avian rototillers!

My name is Buffy and I am FIERCE! Plus I like to rip up your garden!

Meanwhile, somebody went off and got covered in mud (no, not Gordon!) and needed a hose-down before going inside.


Yesterday I saw Henrietta tearing around the yard with something large in her beak, with another chicken in hot, jealous pursuit. I finally managed to get a look at what she had and it wasn't pretty. It bore a suspicious to resemblance to a flayed frog or toad, well-shredded by a certain beak but with limbs intact, flailing in the wind. I think it is a bit early for the amphibians to be out, so I'm wondering if Henrietta excavated the poor soul from its winter resting place below the surface of the soil. Regardless, that frog is no more!

Henrietta says, "Mmmmm, protein!"

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A different age...

Here's a photo of my maternal grandmother, taken around 1914 or thereabouts. It was a different age, wasn't it? I like her lace-up boots (no velcro shoes for kids then!) and lacy dress, and the long, artfully-arranged curl adorning her shoulder.

I wonder what she was thinking when this photo was taken, somewhere in the south of England? My grandmother had a relatively short life, dying in her early 40s, and I know her childhood wasn't very happy, as she was mistreated by her father. Her adulthood wasn't particularly happy either; all in all, I think of her life as rather sad. To me, she even looks a little sad in this photo.

According to my mother, her family was middle class but was wealthier before my great-grandfather drank away the family fortune. At least that's how the story went. I wonder what really happened all those years ago?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Julius Haiku

I had no spare time this week but my art trading cards meeting is tomorrow, so this afternoon I whipped together these, using doubles of photos I've taken of the esteemed Mr. Julius Kitty over the years! (That was one hell of a run-on sentence!) Julius telepathically dictated the haiku to me. I am but his slave.

Julius turns ten this year. He showed up at our door one winter when we were living in Nova Scotia, and never left. He loves fish, thinks dogs are scum, and looks down his nose at three-legged boy cats who try to beat him up (that's you, Alex!)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sense of humour

My maternal grandmother was a troubled woman, but she clearly had a sense of humour. I have many photos to prove it. Here are a few...

Here she is on a beach somewhere in England, sometime in the 1930s. Perhaps this explains my attraction to yoga! My great aunt, (gandmother's sister) lived in Bognor Regis so it's possible that's where this photo was taken, as they often visited her there.

And here she is (right), testing out a tricycle. I don't know who the woman on the left is; it could be her sister Gwen, or a friend. This would also have been taken sometime in the 1930s.

Here she is, dressed up in her husband's uniform. I'm not sure when this was taken; probably the early 1940s. My maternal grandfather served (for England) in both WWI and WWII. In fact, he was in the cavalry during the WWI. I will have to dig out the photo I have of him on his horse and scan it.

Here my grandmother watches over my very young mother, circa 1934.

This is a detail from the last photo taken of my grandmother in August 1949. The next month, she died on the operating table during back surgery. My 16-year-old mother stands next to her in this photo. They had a complex and difficult relationship, and things were never really properly sorted out between them, but when this photo was taken things were better between them.

I wish I'd had the chance to get to know my maternal grandmother. I think she was a very interesting woman, with many faults, who ended up stuck in a rather loveless marriage. But I like her sense of humour!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

This is your cat. This is your cat on 'nip!

I recently bought some very cool cat toys on Etsy, stuffed with some VERY potent catnip. I thought my homegrown 'nip was strong, but this American stuff seems to impart a greater buzz.

Here's little Naomi enjoying her new toys. She took them onto a (filthy... why are the dog beds always filthy when I photograph them?! I swear I do wash them regularly!) dog bed and promptly got them covered in dog hair...

One toy is a vampire bat and the other is a coffin, from TheUpstairsRoom. Four paws up from Naomi! Alex gives three paws up, but that's because he only has three legs. The dogs approve as well. I have twice had to retrieve the vampire bat from the Sophie's mouth.

I'm sure Beethoven is rolling in his grave over the Jingle Cats' rendition of his ninth symphony...

Naomi checks out her new toys.

Nom nom nom nom nom!

Alex rubbing a 'nip toy against his forehead.

Ever so stoned!

"Man, this is good junk!"

Sunday, March 21, 2010

String o' pearls...

Why? I don't know. I just felt a need to make a chicken out of Fimo polymer clay this afternoon. She's a classy chick; note the pearl necklace!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Kitten kaboodle

First, the ever-lovely Naomi, peeking out from behind my computer over the heart-spotted giraffe I got for Valentine's Day. I will refrain from ranting about the book wallpaper border I still haven't stripped from my office walls.

And poor Julius, who I rushed off to the vet yesterday. Seems some bug gave him a bite, and one side of his face swelled up like a balloon. He got some antibiotics and anti-inflammatories and is looking a whole lot better today, thank goodness. Still a little ways to go, but it's not scaring me now! He will be back to his usual handsome self asap.

Vote for Hockeyville!

(Photo courtesy of Ronna! I also stole the text below from her blog. With permission. So it's only sort-of stealing!)

Our little town of Alexandria has made it to the final 12 on our way to become "Hockeyville 2010."

If won, it means a $100,000 face lift to the local arena and a pre-season NHL game played right in Alexandria. But we need votes!

Click on:

go to the bottom of the page (blue box) and pick "Billy Gebbie Arena, Alexandria"

and vote! (And you can vote more than once!)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Confession is good for the soul...

You know that sock I thought I lost in Ottawa a little while back? The one I had just finished knitting? Uh, I found it. In my big knitting bag. Into which it had fallen after I placed my little knitting bag on top of it. Meanwhile I ordered new yarn to make Gordon another pair of socks! So now we're back in business and he's getting TWO pairs of socks.

I don't know whether to feel really happy I found the sock, or really bummed that my brain is turning to middle-aged mush. Either way, I can stop screaming now!

Those chickens sure get around!!

The weather was GORGEOUS here yesterday, something like 17C and sunny. (If you don't realize how unusual that is for this area at this time of year, check out March 2008!)

The chickens took full advantage of the weather, and were very reluctant to come inside last night. They have re-discovered the delights of the cornfield next to us, which no doubt contains lots of leftover niblets from last year's harvest. Near suppertime last night, I wanted to get the girls back in the coop but they weren't co-operating. Finally I lured them back with some premium birdseed, but it took a lot of coaxing. The setting sun helped!

Meanwhile Gordon was taking surreptitious photos. They're grainy because it was getting dark and I had to crank up the brightness in Photoshop.

The black things in the corn stubble to the left of me are happy chickens, scratching and totally ignoring me. Usually they come running when I call them, but not yesterday. Spring fever!

Me standing in the field as I ponder my options for rounding up recalcitrant poultry.

Tuesday was also a beautiful, warm sunny day. I looked out my office window late in the afternoon, and what did I see but Yolkie the hen:

Before you make cracks about her name, I should point out that my friend's 13-year-old daughter named her! The name suits her.

Lots of good chicken-y treats under that wood!

She has a wonderfully fluffy butt.

Spring arrives Saturday. I wonder if we will make it through March without snow? It would be quite remarkable if we did!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My helpful little familiars....

Naomi was very helpful when I was sewing the binding on my rug on Monday...


The sewing machine belong to my mother, who was a talented dressmaker (unlike me!) I can manage machine quilting, but I gave up on making clothes. The Janome must be twenty years old now.

And here we have...

Julius the stealth-kitty! My handsome, fluffalicious ten-year-old.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Finally finished it!

I have done a singularly unimpressive job of producing new rugs over the past year, but I've finally finished this small (18.5" x 14") wall-hanging. It's simple but I had fun doing it.

I dyed most of the wool myself, and hooked a little sparkly, hairy novelty yarn into the background.

I called it "Dog Tired"... SO original!

Next up? A chicken triptych!

Monday, March 15, 2010

A story from 2001

I was tagged for this by Kirigalpoththa. Go check out his gorgeous photos of beautiful Sri Lanka!

Here's what you do:

1. Open your 1st Photo folder.
2. Scroll to the 10th photo.
3. Post the photo and the story behind it.
4. Tag 5 or more people.

The above lovely, flattering (not) photo of me was taken on Boxing Day 2001, right after we got our very first digital camera. My contact lenses must have been bothering me, because I never wear my glasses, except to find my way to and from bed.

We were living in Nova Scotia when this was taken, having moved there in September 1998. My friend gave me the sweater I'm wearing (as a Christmas gift the day before) but you can't see the colourful parts, just the grey at the top. My hair was longer and naturally wavy!

I was leaving over the back of our futon, which had to go to the great futon graveyard in the sky after my cat Zoë (RIP) peed on it!

The photographer of the above masterwork was my very own husband, the Evil Gordini.

Not a very exciting story, but there you are. I do love digital cameras. Nothing has improved my photography more than the advent of digicams, simply because I take SO MANY photos that one is sure to turn out okay, and of course I can crop them and make adjustments in Photoshop.

Now it's your turn. I tag:

1. Ronna
2. Jams
3. Paula
4. Texas Trailer Park Trash
5. Surani

And anyone else who wants to give it a go!

Super stardom

Gordon, me and every one of our pets are over on my friend Ronna's blog today. I feel like a superstar! Even Kartini got a photo in. Go check it out. :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Chicken voyeur

"Nobody in here but us chickens!"

Guest rodents

My friends down in Maryland are enjoying the first flowers of spring. So is their guinea pig, Chester:

Hmmm, is Chester smelling the flowers, or thinking about eating them?

Meanwhile, Simon the guinea pig prefers being indoors, investigating under the dishwasher!

And Hannah, the youngest in the family, did this lovely drawing of a hippo. I'm giving it honourary rodent status for the purposes of this post!

(Thank you Rachel, for letting me share your photos!)