Thursday, 9 August 2012

Redness in my Tomatoes

How exciting to notice today that my tomatoes, or at least one of them, have started to ripen towards redness.  I think I am going to have fairly small ones, but I'm hoping they have that flavour that will make all the work worth while.

I also have flowers on my cucumber plant that is obediantly growing upwards.  Hope I can support them properly when the flowers turn to fruit.  What an incomprehensible process that is.

Now if I only don't run out of summer before everything ripens to eating state.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Sleeping Cats

After I returned from Mixed Minded in May my cats were delighted to see me.  I was uncomfortable leaving them alone for three nights, but I left them plenty of food and water, and Pam looked in on them.  Nevertheless, after an initial aloofness when I first came in the door -- I eventually had to go find Kia and carry her downstairs, which she disliked intensely -- the cats followed me around like puppies.  They wouldn't let me out of their sight.  We had frquent meetings in the bathroom' which isn't that unusual as they seem to like to visit with me in the smallest room in the house.

How I loved this behaviour.  Admittedly, Kaliko almost tripped me a couple of times.  She likes to walk in front of me on the way to the kitchen, or back, and looks over her shoulder to ensure I am coming.  So adorable.  But the best part was they spent every night sleeping with me in my bedroom.  Kia snoozing in her corner at the foot of the bed, and Kaliko on 'her' chair by the closet.  I love having my kitties with me at night, and this is the time I most miss Kritter, because he used to spend every night on the pillow beside me.  Sigh.

Alas, the sleeping behaviour didn't last.  They are used to me being here again and now go off to their kitty sleeping places, whichmI think are upstairs on the blanket on the couch.  I guess you can't have everything.  But I did appreciate it when I had it.

They do spend a lot of their time with me and right now are supervising me with their eyes shut at the foot of the bed.  I love my kitties.

And on a totally unrelated note, am I glad I didn't go out today, as it is now thundering and I hope raining.  It does pay to water your plants midday.

Art Journal Beginnings

I finally found an appropriate journal book, with mixed media paper, at Curry's.  I've been wanting to start an art journal for a while, but couldn't find the appropriate format.  The one I got is perhaps a little larger than I wanted, but it will do.  I made the cover a couple of days ago and I really like it, so I will be happy to create and experiment in my lovely new journal.  I made a little "Ideas" booklet the other day to house all those pages I had written ideas on. I wanted them not to get lost in the notebooks I use, so I put them all in one place.

I am on my way.

I Has Tomato

I really hate the cutsey way I wrote the title, but it expresses how excited I am that today, Friday July 13, I spotted my first little tomato beginning to form on the plants growing on my front porch.  There have been flowers for a while, although I'm a little concerned at how few.  In 102 degree humidex I watered today at 1:45.  Not the best time of day, but if I don't do it when I think of it, I forget and it doesn't get done.  I still need to fertilize.  I can't wait to have 'real' tomatoes after a number of years without because of my inability to garden anymore.  Now I've got to see if I can figure out some method of training the cucumber up so they have space to grow.  I think there is twine in the garage, but I'm not sure I'm brave enough to go there -- although my trek earlier has come to fruition in the large plants on the porch.  I'm also to chicken to go out in this heat to go to the store.  Maybe I'll go Monday after I see Mary Linda,, 'cuz I'll be out of the house anyway.

Speaking of the medical profession -- why are they allowed to get away with behaviour that would get anyone else reprimanded, if not fired?  Three weeks after one doctor says take a new medicine I finally get it because the other doctor went on vacation withiut oking it.  And I was made to feel as if I was impossing on them when I called to ask about it.  And I didn't call on their first day back either.  Irresponsible, in my opinion.

But -- I has tomato!

Monday, 25 June 2012

Cats with Wet Faces

I'm a good cat mommy.  My cats always have water -- it's in the bathroom so I don't have to transport water very far.  And they have round the clock food.  It's easier for me to just leave their food out all the time.  This way they can nibble when they want to, and they don't get fat.  And the food is just outside my bedroom door, so I can see when they need food -- it's also neat to watch them eat.

So why do both of the cats insist on drinking from my dripping taps?  (Plumbing Very old, unfixable without total replacement and pipes that don't fit etc.)  Kaliko has been drinking from the bathroom sink for a long time, but now Kia has discovered the bathtub tap.  She gets her face totally wet and can barely drag her old body out of the tub.  (What a lot we have in common.)

They are so cute I can't stand it.  =^••^=

Mixed Minded

I've just realized that I haven't posted anything about Mixed Minded, and it's been a month since I was there.  This is a memory I want to preserve.

I had fun.  In fact, I loved it.  I love the art I created.  I loved working on art and finishing it in one session.  I especially like meeting Karen Ellis of the art house studio, and getting a welcoming hug from Donna Downey.  They will never read this, but thank you so much.  You were both so kind to me.  In fact, just about everyone was helpful, going out of their way to offer assistance, so I didn't have to move.  I wish I could have taken more classes, but I took the right amount for the limitations of my body.

The only bad thing that happenend, and unfortunately I got a little upset about, damn it all, is that my heat gun ceased to work.  It must have been the fuses and electric at the hotel because the power kept going off while 30 or so women all used heat guns at the same time.  I would guess there was a power surge that wiped my heat gun out.  Unfortunately, it also destroyed the one that Karen leant me.  I feel very bad about that.

It was nice to be with creative women.  I did notice some of them were a bit clique-ish, and one was kind of nasty to me.  What is it about me that makes me dwell on the slights and my shortcomings instead of rejoicing in a glorious weekend?  Especially as inspiration and creativity was what the conference was all about.  I am going to try to change my outlook a bit.  I may never be able to write the kind of 'be happy' statements that abound in this arena, but I can try to be more positive.  And I will.

Fabulous time.  I even conquered a detour with lousy signage on the drive, and I got all my stuff out of the car and into the house by myself.  Not sure this çonference will be offered again next year, but if it is, then I'm going.  Maybe I should look farther afield for more creative things to do and attend.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Mutant Flies

Let me start off by expressing just how much I hate insects.  They give me the creeps, make me shudder, make me hide under the covers.  I can't even touch pictures of them in magazines like National Geographic.

Suddenly, two days ago, my kitchen was invaded by flies.  Not just any flies, but huge, monstrous, probably alien flies.  How did they get so big and where did they all of a sudden appear from?  I have managed to inhumanely destroy a few of them, but it's become a running battle.  There is currently one ensconced in my bathroom, buzzing merrily away, hiding from me and my pink fly swatter.

As I sit here on my bed and write, another one is periodically flying around my bedroom.  I sit armed with trusty pink swatter waiting for him to alight somewhere with a hard surface (not the TV screen for which he seems to have a certain fondness).  Damn fly will not cooperate.  I just begin to think he may have left the room for other climes when he pops up and charges my bedside lamp.  It is now 2:30 a.m.  I may never get to sleep because even if he settles down for a nap, I get the creeps thinking of him roaming about in my air space as I try to sleep.  Eeww.  I need to be rescued by a superhero, but not one like spiderman or batman -- much too insect-like.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Note to Self: Things not to do again

So I'm having a fairly good RA day.  It's early in my Orencia cycle and I'm tired of having things I want to do and not doing them.  I decide to drag my planters out of the wasteland I call my garage and start planting the tomato plants I bought weeks ago.  I wasn't surprised when my body said enough before I actually got the plants into the soil.  That's OK, wasn't expecting to do too much.  I'm nearly there and I can finish later.

Then, later in the day I decide to wash some newly bought fabric.  (My brain still thinks my body is going to let me do some quilting.)  The quandry -- brave the stairs to the washing machine in the basement, or hand wash?  My knees say hand wash.  Apparently my knees did not consult my hands.  Wringing out wet fabric --  not a good activity when I had already been using my hands.  Ouch.  I can't express how much I hate this disease.  I hate it that tasks that I wouldn't have thought twice about a few years ago and that seem so simple are now something that has me wringing my hands in pain tonight.

Monday, 21 May 2012

The Mess Before the Clean, continued

Still can't edit on my tablet, so when the cursor (sp?) disappears it is best to start again.
The problem with sorting, is that everything else remains in a total mess.  I'm talking disaster.  I'm also packing for Mixed Minded so the dining room which I use as my art studio is also a mess.  Funny, I used to be able to live in mess, but my tolerance for it is growing weaker.  At last.
Back to the Big Sort.

The Mess Before the Clean

It is totally out of character for me to want to clean and sort.  Yet here it 5:30 in the morning (and mornings don't even exist as far as I am concerned) and I am sorting through 15 years of teaching papers.  Basically, I am throwing my life for the past decade and a half - or a bit more - away.  It is a very odd feeling, considering the amount of sweat and tears that went into the accumulation of so much stuff.  I've only just started and am dying to finish, but the amount of stuff I dispose of is limited to the number of times my poor joints allow me to go up and down the stairs.  But moving into a place with no stairs to hamper my movement is the prize at the end of the exercise.  Don't know why, but I can't sort in situ (sorry, couldn't get the italics to work).  Everything must be dragged into my bedroom to be gone through.  I found the library card I lost many years ago!


Saturday, 12 May 2012

Houston, We Have a Problem

Anytime I find myself challenged technologically, that famous, titular phrase comes to mind.  I remember all the moon and space missions, at least before the shuttle made inner space routine, and the calm understatement of those words have always made me catch my breath in admiration.

Of course my dilemma is miniscule, but in my small world it does tend to stymie me.  I had a very busy (for me) ßhopping 'spree' yesterday.  I made stops at two different places, scooter in and out of van, in and out of van.  This is something I try to avoid by shopping in malls and big stores, with a lot of planning.  But I wanted a new TV, which required a stop at Best Buy and the cable company so I could see more than channel 11, the local station.  I did collapse and disease-enforced nap when I got home.  (Annoying because I missed 3 live events I wanted to watch - one on TV (car race), one on radio and TV (baseball), and one on the internet (live art lesson).

So Saturday, I read manuals, put together the stand for the TV (lets not even think about tightening screws).  But I got it all set up (yeah me).  Sort of.  I just can't get the cable box to acknowledge the TV exists.  I tried to introduce them nicely by inputting each of the plethora of possible codess in turn, but to no avail.  Alas, they still won't talk to each other.  I'd gladly pay someone to come in and fix this for me, ut 'who do you call'?  There should be Technology Busters.  I know I will eventually get it to work.  I went through this with another similar set of devices.  But it will take a while , while I fiddle with codes, with pressing buttons in the rightnorder.  Or maybe I will have to give in and call a neighbour.  (My misplaced sense of independence hates to do that,)

Sigh.  Not again.  I really wish there was a Technology Busters.

Blanket Update

The new black blanket got itself washed (laundry is not something I can do, so anything different, that takes soaking, for instance, is kind of hit and miss as to when it gets done.)   Somewhat to my surprise, it looks fairly good on the bed.  It's lovely and soft and rather light weight, which is good for summer.  But oh my goodness, does it shed.  Their are little black balls of fluff on just about everything.  So now, not only am I covered in cat hair despite many de-fluffing attempts, all my clothes (and sheets) are now polka dot.

Dressing Dilemma

Have you ever noticed halfway through the day that your T-shirt is on inside out?  And then you can't be bothered to fix it because no one's going to be there to see you anyway?  And truly, the cats have no more fashion sense than I do.

Kaliko has just done her multi-times-a-day walk up and down my body, from toes to chest, placing those delicate little feet on my leg bones as if they were a highway, making sure to step on all the sore spots (and I adore her so much I rarely stop her.  She has this delightful  way of sitting on my chest and touching my lips ever so lightly with one paw, just as if she was kissing me.  Who can not love a cat.)   She didn't say a thing about my shirt.  (Crazy cat lady alert.)

Monday, 30 April 2012

An Afghan 30 years in the making

Today I finished putting together the 100+ granny squares for an afghan that I made 30 years or so ago.  The wool was so old it cost $1.39 a skein and was from Woolworths.  This was pre-internet and done without any kind of a pattern.  I think I had an example or picture and worked from there.  So I had all these blue varigated squares, each one incorrectly made.  And  after searching the internet for a way to put them together that didn't involve sewing them, I picked a method and in about a week I finished a task I started when I was just out of high school.  I remember working on it, sitting on my green loveseat between my parents in thèir almost mstching recliners.  This memory brings tears to my eyes, as I remember how much I was loved and how much I miss those two wonderful people.  Now if I could only decide what to do with it.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

The Cat's Meow

I heard somewhere, or read somewhere recently that cats don't meow among themselves.  That it is something they do amongst humans.  I guess they make other noises to each other.  Certainly Kaliko seems to have enough to say at night, at the top of her voice, to fill a Russian novel.  No cats could be more spoiled than mine are, so what is she complaining about?

A Black Blanket

Shopping.  Hassel.  That one word just sums up the total experience for me.  First there is the total struggle of getting my scooter in and out of the mini van.  Then there is the fact that one afternoon, two to three hours of shopping, so totally exhausts me that I sleep for hours when I get home and am pretty wiped out the next day.

I desperately neede a new blanket, because the one I had looked like it had been dragged out of a trash can, having lived there for a year.  I wanted a nice soft blanket.  They seem to be available.  But I could not find a soft blanket in a colour I could live with.  Lots of different shades of brown, which I hate.  And for some reason, an entire shelf of bright red.  But no soft colours to go with the texture.  No blue, no green.  So I ended up with black.  It sounded odd, and I spent many minutes staring at the paltry selection trying to decide.  And what do you think?  It actually looks great on the bed.  So the trek turned out fairly well.  Nothing startling to say.  Just a good end to a pasttime I often dread.

Deer Don't Eat Daffodils

So said my counselor.  Can't remember how we got on to how the deer eat all her tulips and roses, but don't seem to like daffodils.  Just had to record that phrase.  Would'nt it make a great book title?

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Cleanliness is Next to Impossible

I've been trying to move for about 20 years.  I still live in the house I was born in.  The odd house that has never moved but has had three different addresses as the city moved out to engulf us.  Now where there were fields and trees behind my house, there are houses upon houses.  I have a very clear recollection when it started.  I was 17 and our next door neighbours of forever years had sold up and now the bit of land between the two houses was being made ready for its own house.  I remember going down to the garage, which had the only window facing in the right direction, and being horrified while I watched bulldowzers destroy the lovely pussywillows.  This became the quintesential image that stuck in my mind as all future devestation in the name of progress, and, yes, needed money, happened.  My childhood was gone and life would funtamentally never be the same again.  And it hasn't been.
Fast forward to me going to graduate school only because my wonderful parents let me live at home.  FF to my Dad's terminal heart disease that lasted 17 years when they had given him two years to live.  My mother would take care of my father and then I would take care of her, putting her to bed because she was so exhausted.  FF past my father's death 10 or 11 months to my mother's terminal cancer, pancreatic and liver, diagnosis and the 24 hour a day care so she would not have to die in the cold hospital.  I regret none of this care.  In fact it warms my heart that I was able to give back.  But after they were both gone, I clung to the house as the only source of security I had.  Now 20 years later and I have rheumatoid arthritis and find I cannot take care of such a large house with so many stairs.

But the problem is I now have 3 generations worth of stuff to get rid of.  (My grandmother's things were shipped here when she moved and then died,)  We are of Scottish ancestery and I find it very difficult to throw anything away that might be useful in the future.  Consequently I seem to move things from place to place.  The city only allows one bag of garbage per week.  How can you clean things out in only one bag?

That is probably more of an excuse than anything.  But moving m

Fast forward to me going to graduate school and only being able to afford it because my wonderful parents let me live at home.  FF

Friday, 24 February 2012

Water Water Everywhere...

When the City is going to turn your water off for 8 hours, why don't they warn you in advance?

Further Adventures in Internet Shopping

So I placed my order with, ordering some things I need and more things I don't.  I waited days for my order to be more than 'pending'.  Then it went to 'accepted'.  Finally it gets to 'shipped' and I get a tracking number.   Now I don't have much patience when it comes to ordering on the internet.  When I buy something I tend to want it right away, so I can touch and admire the stuff that I don't really need and that adds to the clutter of an already  way-too-cluttered house.  (That Scottish blood just won't let me throw anything away.  I mean, my grandmother kept a large ball of left over aluminum foil.  And one of elastics.)  Next step: I eagerly go to USPS to see where my package is.  According to them, it was delivered Nov 4, 2010.  Panic.  It really is going to take 25 days to get here because it is already lost.  I immediately sent off an e-mail to find out what is going on.

Now I must give credit.  They answered my e-mail right away, reasuring me that the number may have been used before and I should check back later.  More waiting.  It is a 13 digit tracking number, with letters and numbers.  And it's out of date in less than two years.  This makes me realize that even when you make a new password for a website or account or whatever, and the bot says it is a good password, it really isn't.  The United States post office ran out of numbers.  It must be easy for a bot to figure out any password.  I feel much less safe online and I didn't feel safe before.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Inchies have arrived

Wow, I've never known two postal services to work so well.  Maybe they read my previous post.  The inchies only took one week to arrive.  Since then I've been happily stamping one inch stamps on pretty cardstock.  I mean I had to see what each and every one looked like (I didn't realize just how many I had ordered).  Now to get up the nerve to actually use the official inchies, which turn out to be inch-and-a-quarter-ies, because I didn't read the product description properly.  But there is that serendipity again,  because I actually really like the size I got and think one inch would be too small for my old and bent body to work on all the time.  Of course, I've got the one inch punch if I want to go true inchie.  And it makes great little squares.  I highly recommend   They were helpful all along the way.

Now on to my rather larger order from  Fingers crossed that it doesn't take the outside estimate of 25 days to arrive.  I hope that that is just cya.  When that order arrives I will be a great deal farther along towards being prepared for Mixed Minded in May.  A lot of the recommended supplies were not in stock in local stores.  Of course, the Magic of Oz papers and stuff weren't called for, but I am a rabid Oz fan and couldn't resist.  I had better get to usin' some of these things I am ordering and post some pictures.  I am a bit of a hoarder and can't quite yet make myself use any of the new things.  So far I'm happy just admiring them.

Upward and onward.  Bring on the Cricut machine.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Kritter, My Kritter -- A Valentine Lament

I suppose it is appropriate to be writing this on Valentine's Day because it is a love song for my dear departed feline friend Kritter.  Or to be more acurate J. Kritter -- J for jungle.  (Somewhere in that name is a reference to T. S. Eliot's poem "The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock",  the name "parted on the  left hand side."  I wish I could remember who said that.)  I have a penchant for long thought out, meaningful (to me) and different names for my cats.

He was a plain brown tabby who I tried to give away after he was given to me by a student.  I had asked for, and been told I was getting, a grey female.  Brown tabbies were my least favourite type of cat.  They brought back memories of a neighbour's cat from my childhood,  unimaginatively named Brownie.  Although thinking back that cat was female because I remember her having kittens.  And there was nothing wrong with her.  She was a little wild, but not mean.  Just a boring colour.

But as I tried to give this tiny kitten away 12 years ago, I gradually fell under his spell, because he was the most affectionate cat I had ever known.  At the time I had either 2 or 3 other cats.  ( I was trying to work my way towards crazy cat lady status.)   I adored my cats, but they were rather stereotypically cat cats.  Would allow some touching.  Liked to be with me but didn't really want to be cuddled.  Not  Kritter.  He demanded to be picked up and fondled.  At all times.  As the years wore on and I became disabled from rheumatoid arthritis,  he spent most of his nights sleeping on the pillow next to mine.  The one for which I had dreamed a male companion of a different kind.  When not on that pillow, he was curled up beside me with my arm around him.  Sometimes he wanted that position so much he would sit on any other cat by my side and eventually end up in the coveted spot.

So on January 22, 2012, my beloved Kritter went off to kitty heaven, having had a heart attack, or so the vet thinks.  He hadn't been deperately sick.  He'd only been unlike himself  for a couple days.  I had just begun to think of taking him to a vet.  I'm not a bad mommy.  He really had not seemed sick.  My first thought was he had eaten something he shouldn't have.  But early Sunday morning I could not find him.  It took nearly all day, in my movement restricted state, to find him.  He was tucked away under a bookcase over a heat vent in a tiny space where no cat ever goes.  I guess he had slipped away to find some place to die.

I miss my Kritter desperately.  (Remember Elly May's kritters from The Beverly Hillbillys?  That's where his name really came from.)   I mourn his loss and am having trouble dealing with everyday things.  I know this trauma will lessen.  I have been through this before.  But right now it is a big gaping hole of pain.  This writing has been therapy, and if anyone is actually reading this, which I doubt, well, it was just something I needed to do.

Rest in peace my beloved Kritter.  Kia and Kaliko are looking for you.  And I miss my "cuddle-bunny".

Sunday, 12 February 2012


And now for one of the reasons for this blog -- so I can enter contests.

This one is at Going Buggy and is for a set of letraset markers, which I really want.  I've been  eyeing markers such as Copic, but they are so expensive.  So maybe the contest fairy will smile on me.
I'm supposed to link back to their site, which I think I have just figured out how to do (woohoo!)   The date of the post is Feb 13.

contest for letraset markers

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Mixed Minded

I just signed up for the Mixed Minded conference in Cambridge, Ontario, being put on by The Art House Studio of Kitchener.   It's amazing how serendipity comes into play.   I was looking at Donna Downey's website, which I absolutely adore, dreaming about  going to North Carolina to take a class from her.  I had even decided when -- May 25-7 or so, so I could potentially go to a NASCAR race in  Charlotte.  But I guess everyone who lives there flees the area when the influx of a hundred thousand rabid  fans descend on the area.

Slight disappointment, but also some relief as huge crowds and my scooter do not mesh well., So I flip through her classes anyway only to discover she's going to be less than an hours drive away from me teaching that weekend.  Out came the credit card.  I'm so excited, maybe even more than about the inchies.

Now, of course, I  have to go out and fill up the list of reqiured items needed for the classes.  And something to carry them in.  Such a hardship ;)   I do have to figure out if all the items are available here.  What, specifically, is a craft mat?  I usually use a plastic table cloth and a smooth piece of wood.  Can't truck a 2 foot square piece of wood around wirh me.  Perhaps The Art Store will know.

It's got to be at least 5 years since I had any kind of vacation.  Woohoo!

Technical Difficulties

I just posted, or tried to post, a lovely long blurb about my good news, but typing and editing on my ASUS tablet, especially dealing with the spacebar, can be  a royal pain.  I'll be back later when my fingers are rested.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

More About my Inchie Love Affair

I am so excited.  I ordered my inchies and inchie stamps and even an inchie punch last night.   There may be a bit of a delay as we figure out how I'm going to pay shipping -- perhaps through Paypal.  I may live north of the longest undefended border in the world, but someone should tell credit card companies and post offices that we are on friendly terms.  I have no idea how long these tiny pieces of paper will take to arrive.  Patience is not my friend.  I'll try to forget I ordered them, then be pleasantly surprised when they come.  (Can't wait.)

Lost Post  -- I Love Inchies

I'm still learning blogspot and somehow I have managed to delete a post about my exciting discovery of inchies.  About how much I love little things and how I want to go order all kinds of little pieces of paper, but how I'm having difficulties finding sources that will ship to Canada.

Most unfortunately, I also deleted a comment -- my first -- from someone, Bella I think, offering me welcomes to Bloggieland, encouragement and an offer of help.  I'm sorry Bella.