Monthly Archives: January 2012

Let’s Meet…Lokii’s Dark Side!

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Part two of getting to know my Lokii-monster. I still love the wee sleekit beastie, no fear – but he does do some difficult-to-bear things.

He eats things that bear no resemblance to food. The prime treats for him are our fuzzy elastic hair ties. We protect these, but he still manages to find them. He’s even taken the lid off of a heavy ceramic bowl to get to them. When he does find one, he thinks it is the best toy ever- until he swallows it whole. I always see them again, from one end or the other.

The other things we have to keep a constant eye on are plush fibre-filled toys. He chews holes in them, then swallows the filling. He even attacked a four-foot long stuffed alligator of mine. I was not amused. He’s done more damage to the dog’s toys than the dog ever has.

He’s also attracted to anything with ball-shaped filling. We had – had! two neck-pillows that we bought for travel. They were soft and scrunchy. I put them in the empty suitcases under the bed in the spare room, a logical place, yes? Where my logic failed me was that I should zip up the empty cases. I woke up to this one morning:

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That’s the smallest part of iDJ’s shoe collection, all filled with Lokii-balls (K-9 is mine). This was the scene of the crime, but he didn’t restrict himself to the spare room.

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That’s about halfway down the stairs. The little weenie dragged the leaking pillow downstairs to play with it.

There were tiny tiny styrofoam balls everywhere. They were charged with static electricity and they clung to everything, including the outside of my Dyson vac when I was trying to clean the tremendous mess up. I’ve never had to vacuum my vacuum before.

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I shit you not, this was two years later after he disemboweled a toy filled with black plastic beads. Do you see that there are STILL little white Lokii-balls in the vacuum?

We quickly hid the remaining neck pillow in a wardrobe with my giant alligator. And we are very, very careful that the door is closed at all times.

He eats cotton buds, stick and all. He eats the plastic ring from a jug of milk or cream. I think that’s sad, because Spot loved to play with them. Nope, they go straight into the bin these days.

The worst things that he eats, though, are our blankets. Evidence:

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I cut off the ragged edges, it seems to make them less attractive to him. Sometimes.

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I’m really sickened about the crocheted one: Socks made it for me as a ready-available hug from her when I was terribly sad, and it helped so much. But I have it hidden away until I find someone who can fix it for me.

Poor Lokii. With all that man-made fibre and plastic and whatnot in his gut, his poop is a bit colourful and dry, and he gets constipated.

Unfortunately, he’s constipated even if he hasn’t swallowed anything but cat food.

He poops little rocks.

Sometimes, he just tries to poop little rocks.

Sometimes, they don’t come out fast enough and he panics. He comes blasting out of the litter box full speed, the door flap banging back and forth like a batwing saloon door in an old western during a firefight, and proceeds to scrape his arse all along the floor until the offending poop-nugget breaks free.

Sometimes, the turd really doesn’t want to leave him (his?) behind. He has to drag himself for several feet – sometimes several rooms – to be free of the offending dingleberry.

(Yet another reason I am grateful that we don’t have carpeting anywhere in the house.)

However, this means he gets to express his creative side! In the morning after one of his bad nights, I am greeted with artistically rendered swirls and skirls of light brown on my kitchen floor. Lokii has his own built-in palette, in sepia shades.

‘Ah!’ I say, when I find the brown gold at the end of the brown rainbow, ‘A kitty-crayon!’

Its become the thing that is said upon seeing the crayon itself or evidence of artwork. There’s the term, and its associated rule: whosoever finds the kitty-crayon, cleans up the kitty-crayon.* The art, like some modern art is meant to be, is temporary: we clean up all traces of creativity backward from turd to litterbox, and eliminate all traces of elimination. We go through a good amount of anti-bacterial spray and paper towels, as you can imagine. *This holds true for any accident that our kids have. You find it/step in it, you clean it.

About the only good part of all this is that his desiccated poo has hardly any smell.

Yes, I know I should take him to the vet. I’m broke as all nine circles of hell, and I thought I’d do some research myself first and see if there was anything I could do at home. But I’m a bad cat-mom and kept forgetting to do it. I asked Dianda at Cats & Co to look up kitty constipation for me, and she did – thank you! Her good work only confirmed that I should take him to the vet, though. Ugh. I was motivated to try a few things, though, while I wait for anything resembling money or credit to accumulate.

Dairy was suggested, as it makes most cats get the squitters. No, he will only take a couple laps of milk. Ditto, cream. He wanted nothing to do with yoghurt. I had one last home remedy left – olive oil. Two cc’s per day, I was told. I even had an unused, needle-less syringe I could use to measure with! No problem, I thought, I’ll try that.

We-l-l-l-l… it seems Lokii is immune to that most basic of cat-restraining measures: the scruff-of-the-neck hold. It didn’t stop him from struggling at all. There was no way we were getting that syringe in his mouth short of wrapping him up in several towels and getting a third person in to help hold him. This clearly would not do. I don’t want to upset the little guy, and I don’t have a third person handy.

My next idea was to put the oil onto something he would eat. That would have to be either raw minced beef or wet cat food. I opted for cat food as it costs less, even though I’d rather not feed them cheap smelly crud. Oh yes, ‘them’ – because there is no way I can give a treat to just one cat. The ruckus is unbearable, and I’m sure they would find a clever way of getting revenge. Sigh. So, I started them on one-half of a small tin of food a day, split again between the boys, with oil on Lokii’s portion. Easy-peasy, says I, Spot will only have a little taste in any case.

Oh no, of course not! The cat that will eat fabric doesn’t want the food with the oil on it, he wants the plain version. Spottie, the pickiest eater ever, wants the oily bowl …aaaaaa… Rethink. Give them one bowl, with the oil, and let ‘em fight it out. Fine, okay; Spot still only has a nibble and wanders away, and I don’t have Lokii screaming his head off because he wants what he has not got. Whew.

Now the big question. Does it work? After fourteen days, we have had only two crayon incidents. Yay! And judging from the red, yellow and blue coloration inside of the first crayon, it was entirely due to him eating a blanket. His box still has very dry poop in it, and Spot’s has some of the nastiest smelling little brown gifties ever, but I think I can keep this up until our financial deficit will allow me some wiggle room to take Lokii-mon to the doctor.

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Aren’t you glad I didn’t take you a picture of his ‘art?’

Goofing around with the iPad…

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It’s a strange old night, I feel a bit at loose ends. I’m not able to settle and do anything productive. It seems I’m seeking the new…

So I opened one of the camera apps iDJ put on my iPad. Now, I’ve said a bunch of times that the camera on here is crap. My intentions were to take some random, abstract, crap pictures and mess around with their settings. Sort of like this one I took of my own face, which is my Facebook avatar:

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I didn’t get very far before losing interest, though. I opened ‘camera boost’ to see what it does, and went straight to the night photography setting. Ooo, shiny smeary lights. These are of the fire I’m warming myself by:

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Meh, right? I might screw with the colours and see what happens.

I also thought trying to get the dog in motion might be interesting.

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The only reason I kept these two is that her curly tail turned into a full circle as she spun around.

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I think this one is funny. She has four front legs… this is her game she plays with my feet. She slaps her legs on the floor and flops them around trying to catch me. That’s my green socked foot.

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The first fire pic, mucked around with. It’s still ‘meh.’

Maybe I should read a book…

I’ve been missing you

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I don’t know why you’ve not been sleeping in our bed. Did I say or do something that upset you? Did I accidentally hit you in my sleep? Maybe you just prefer the couch lately. I can understand that: I also go through phases when I’d rather sleep downstairs, all warm and snug under the heavy blanket Socks crocheted for me. Too much effort to make the move up the stairs, and yes, the couch is really comfortable.

Whatever your reasons were, I didn’t ask. We value each others’ privacy in this house. But I missed you a lot. I even tried to drop hints, but I wasn’t heard. Too nice, I suppose, too oblique.

Imagine my happiness and surprise this morning to find you snuggled under my blankets with me, your head on my shoulder! I know I am a heavy sleeper, but I thought after so much time apart I would have noticed you sneaking into our bed.

I’m sort of glad I didn’t wake, because I was so pleased to find you there! A fantastic surprise, especially as I got to sleep in and I was fully rested for the first time since last Sunday.

You opened your eyes and looked at me when I removed the covers from your head. I always worry when you do that! How can you breathe? You didn’t say a word, but gave me a happy sigh when I smoothed your hair back and gently touched your cheek. I started to speak, but you put your hand on my lips and held it there as if to preserve the moment, and the silence. When you took your hand away, I smiled and turned to put my arm around your shoulders and hugged you close.

You didn’t mind a bit; in fact you returned the embrace and even snuggled tighter into my side. I was so content, warm and cozy, holding on to the one I love so very much. We stayed that way, hugging, occasionally touching each other’s face, smiling into each other’s eyes.

Until your rotten little brother jumped up on the bed and pounced on your tail, which was peeking out of the blankets and presented too tempting of a target. The moment was lost.

Love you to bits, Spottie-cat! Thank you for a perfect morning.

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Chicken with shrooms n beans n bacon

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I thought I’d share a recipe that I made up all by myself. I’m sure it is quite similar to loads of other ones; but this one is mine. It doesn’t have a name. When iDJ requested it for dinner tonight, I think he just called it ‘the chicken mushroom thing.’ No apologies for it being very salty, tasty, and rich…and rather American, probably…

Firstly: we like to take our time when cooking. We nearly always cook from scratch and we are never in a hurry. We never want to eat within twenty minutes of starting to cook. The main reason for this is that we both like to sit on our respective arses and have a drink and relax while the food is busy making itself edible. Cooking is fun and relaxing and never, ever, a pressured event.

Secondly: we are on a low carb diet, to recover from the Christmas fat we both piled on. We eat low-carb year round, excepting the holidays. This is a meal we’d have any time, more in colder months perhaps. But it is not high fat – low carb doesn’t mean high-fat to us.

Thirdly: it involves meat. Sorry, I know some of my readers don’t partake. Perhaps you’ll come along for the laugh, anyway.

Okay! Take some chicken, and cut it up into bite sized chunks. Stir fry it in oil with garlic, coarse ground black pepper, and parsley. I do grow both garlic and parsley, but it’s winter and I’m not going outside in the dark right now to get some. I don’t feel like cleaning and chopping, either, it’s Friday. So, straight out of the jars tonight. How much? Hell if I know. I just dump it on until it looks good. I usually add more garlic if it doesn’t smell garlicky enough while the chicken is browning. I love me some garlic.

While that’s going on, clean and cut up a punnet of fresh mushrooms. Hmm, my iPad doesn’t know the word punnet. It’s what I call the little plastic box they come in from the shop. A couple of handfuls, then. I like to cut them in big chunks, not thin sliced. Pretty much just cut em in half, unless they are huge. What kind? I don’t know. Have fun with it. Probably not portobellos, though.

When the chicken is sort of/mostly browned or cooked, reduce the heat down to low, and dump in a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup. I prefer Campbell’s brand. Add some water, or milk, or cream, whatever you want. Not a whole can of water, etc, though. You want it kind of thick and goopy. Add the mushrooms and stir it all together, making sure the shrooms are coated. They will add more water to the soup-sauce while they cook, too. Cover the pan.

Go sit on your arse for a bit, and have a drink. This part can take as long as you like. Have two!

Stir the goop whenever you think about it, or when getting yourself a fresh drink. You wouldn’t want it to stick. But if it does, no big deal. It will still taste good. Just add some more liquid, it’ll be grand. If it is too wet, take the lid off and the liquid will steam away.

If you’re industrious, you can open a can of cannelini beans and let them drain in a sieve. You can also start microwaving some bacon. Use ‘streaky’ bacon, the American kind: not Canadian or Irish or English bacon. That stuff is too thick. You want it thin and crispy, but not burnt. The microwave is best for this, if you can keep it from sticking to the paper towels and annoying the hell out of you. The reason for the bacon is two-fold: mushrooms and bacon are made for each other, and the dish needs some crunchy texture.

Eventually, when you feel like it, add the drained – but not rinsed – cannelini beans. Dont rinse them, because bean-juice is a natural sauce thickener. You don’t want to add the beans too soon, because stirring the goop with the beans in is bad for the beans. They break and lose their skins; it just isn’t pretty. Be gentle when stirring the food after the beans are in. This is harder the more drinks you’ve had. Or easier, if you are getting sleepy.

Let it sit and simmer a while longer. Unless you’re hungry. In that case, you only have to wait until the beans are hot. It’s up to you. Me, I’m having another drink or two. I’ve made half the bacon, the other half is cooling in the nuker. I should probably peel it free of the paper and turn the microwave back on for another couple of minutes. But, I’m writing this. It’ll keep.

Let’s see… now I have to think of the next step instead of writing down what I’ve already done… good thing we’re almost done.

Scoop into bowls, and crumble the bacon on top at the very last minute. It really does need the crunch. Everything else has almost the exact same texture by now. Oh, I might add some more parsley before I serve it. I forgot parsley entirely once and the meal wasn’t the same.

I’d post a picture, but it isn’t nearly ready because I lied a little. I haven’t even put the beans in yet. And my glass is empty…

This is awesome!

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I was just looking to see the search terms people used to find my blog, and an unusual one came up. So, for the hell of it, I Googled it myself, ‘11-22-63 art.’ Here’s the result!

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I am over the moon. Second result after the official King website!!!!! Maybe the man himself will come have a look one day? If so, please let me say to him: I’d gladly do a picture of every book you’ve published, with joy and great love.

Let’s Meet…Lokii!

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I intend to complain about things my Siamese does. But first, some cuteness.

I love my little Lokii. We brought him home in August 2008, and he was (and still is, of course) adorable. At first, he and Spot didn’t get along. To be expected, with cats. They never ‘instantly’ bond. A few fireworks are normal.

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It appears here that Lokii was more afraid of Spot, even though Spottie-pants isn’t being aggressive at all.

He also hid a lot in the first few days. Everything was new, and there was a ginormous dog in the house that scared the wits out of him. (My boy Shade; he’s gone and I can’t talk about him just yet.)

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This is like one of those kid’s games. Can You Find The Kitty-Cat? Of course, he picked the bookshelf full of the authors I avidly collect – Koontz and King. Yikes…

It didn’t take long for the two boys to become buddies though.

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On the dirty laundry…

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And on my hideous 1960′s ‘quilt.’

The reason they got along so well was all due to Lokii’s puursonality. He is so very loving. He missed his momma and all his siblings, and the temptation to snuggle up to Spottie was too great. Spot would be napping, and *poof!* there’s Lokii muscling in. Repeat. Until Spot gave up hissing and jumping away, and let the little interloper share his space, and his nap.

This all happened in less than a month! All of these pics are from that August. It seems not so very long ago, and it is hard to think he will be four this year. Time flies.

He’s indoor only, both of the cats are. He has zero interest in the world on the other side of the glass, unless there is a bug within view. He never seems to see the birds or other cats. He doesn’t even wait at the window for us to come home like Spot and Neko do. We’ve only ever taken him to the vet twice – once when we first brought him home, and once to get his boy bits removed and the microchip implanted. He’s never been sick, he eats just fine, and while I think he has a little bit of belly-fat, he is a very healthy boy.

Except for two things…

The results are in! Socks has a ….

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I WAS RIGHT!!!!

By the way, those are socks on Socks’ arms! Not content with just having the awesome stripey things on her feet, she makes arm-warmers out of them. And truly awesome Argyle sock-bunnies with bizarre button eyes! If anyone would like one, email me and I’ll send you the link to her Etsy shop! Now back to the topic at hand…

Socks asked me to FaceTime with her as she had something to ‘show’ me. I said to myself, “Self, it must be a boy then. A girl clearly has a lack of something to ‘show’ to you.” We got on line, and she asked if I was ready… and instead of showing me an ultrasound pic of a willy, she stood up and lifted her shirt to show me her belly! I think I screamed. I know I scared the dog…

Love you, dear! Happy as hell for you, Bear, and Girl-Button!

Socks has a Mango!

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I have a few new readers, so I think I need to get back to explaining the Socks posts!

The short story: Socks is the nickname of my best friend, and she is having her first baby. Since I can’t be there with her, I’m chronicling her journey on my blog. To get to know her, and why she is so special to me, and to see the rough start she had in getting pregnant, go here, then here, and the rest are my (sometimes) weekly updates, which can be found under the tag Socks.

The BIG NEWS is that tomorrow we all get to find out if Socks has a boy or a girl! Less than 24 hours to go! I said I thought Button is a girl last week – and I learned that Socks herself unconsciously said ‘she’ twice (her hubby Bear caught her doing so). I asked why that might be, and she thinks it is because she is in charge of picking girl names while Bear gets the other option. I’ll be pleased either way, of course – if a girl, I get to say ‘I was right, nyah nyah!’ and if a boy, then I get to be Auntie E to a boy, awesome! Yes, it is all about me, duh!

So this week Socks’ Button is the size of a six-inch (15.25cm) mango, wow! Getting hefty now, and more than a handful! Socks stood in the grocery-store aisle for ages sorting thru the mango selection trying to find a six-incher. She said she was giggling to herself about just why she was so particular about her fruit, and anyone passing must have thought she was a picky bitch. However, the mangos were all too small, so the picture that follows is actually of a smaller fruit than Button…

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Look at that bellah! She’s still fitting in that white top, though I can’t imagine it will make it another two weeks.

The other part that needs looked at during tomorrow’s ultrasound is the fibroid they spotted. Socks thinks she can feel it – or something – about the size of a golf ball that doesn’t move when Button does. I’m confident in her doctors, though. If there is any issue at all, they will do everything right.

I mentioned Button is moving? A lot? Yes, yes indeed. Movement visible from the outside the first time this week, and an odd bubbling feeling that Socks had been warned about. She said it felt like nothing so much than as if Button was cutting a big ripper of a fart in there. She said it made her laugh… I doubt there’s going to be many parts of this journey she does not laugh at…

Hmm, perhaps there are some things. First, she learned that buying a crib is like special-ordering a custom car from the factory: it takes ages. So allofasudden she has to start crib shopping. Ick. She also (along with me, and I bet Bear, too) still gets hit with the reality of having a baby. Quote of the week, “I realised that someone’s going to call me mom! I almost got the vapors.”

One of the books she picked up irritated her badly, too – she said she got nine pages in (she counted, just for me) and wanted to throw it across the room. I didn’t take down the details, but it was a self-important man who was so pedantic and condescending and repetitive in just nine pages she got pissed off.

The last big deal that is causing stress where no stress should be given is her Baby Shower. Now, not all cultures do this, so if you don’t know what a baby shower is here you go: a load of family and friends throw the expectant mom a party, with really stupid games and loads of presents for the upcoming arrival. Some moms will register at a shop, like for a wedding.

Socks hates, hates, hates, this sort of thing. But she can’t get out of it, her family wouldn’t forgive her. However, coordinating the date hasn’t been easy, and a big part of that is quote of the week number two, “I am not having my baby in Ohio, five hours away from home!” Her mother, of course, wanted to know why there wasn’t a Beatrix Potter ‘theme.’ As if any newborn needs a gazillion tons of just one ‘concept.’ So, the ‘theme’ is orange and green, and owls. Of any sort, kind or colour. I like it, how about you?

Little help from more experienced bloggers, please?

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Hello, all you wonderful blogging people out there! I need some assistance, please.

In the last few weeks, I’ve found and followed several lovely, funny new blogs. However, despite my clicking ‘follow,’ I am never notified when they put up a new post. Now, some have had a special link off to the side that says, ‘notify me of new posts via email’. Those blogs I get email notifications for. The ones that don’t have that special widget, or whatever it is called, are the ones I never hear from until I go and visit specifically.

And let’s face it, I don’t do that very often.

So does anyone have tips or advice on how I can not miss new posts? Perhaps this is an iPad thing – even though I always choose ‘view standard site’?