Monthly Archives: August 2013

Lokii and Neko


I started following a Facebook group, Bengal Cat World – mostly because Cats n Co follows them, I have a Bengal, and the main Bengal spokes-cat on their page is also named Spot. How could I resist?

Whomever is in charge is a lovely person, very willing to personally welcome new followers and have a chat. She/he also posts enough photos daily to overflow a litterbox. This is going to seriously annoy my other FB friends as I can’t help but ‘like’ all the Bengal photos from around the globe.

They have ‘unbaby me‘ app; I wonder if there is an ‘unkitty me’ to save my friends’ sanity? Sled – Unbaby was meant for you! Hubby uses it, and has all the baby pics on his FB feed (except for close family/friends) replaced with pics of cats. How awesome is that, you can like their photo and make them happy, never letting them know it was really a cute kitty you liked…

Who am I kidding, there will never be an unkitty app! We all know the Internet is made up of mostly porn and cats, who would ever want to block teh kittahs?

Anyhoo: in my long, rambling, old manner of doing a blog post (before I got sucked into posting sooo many flower pics), I saw a pic today from the group of a Bengal cuddling up to what is probably a miniature pincher puppy. Yes, it’s entirely squee-worthy, if you are the type of person inclined to squee (I won’t be so rude as to steal the pic and repost it here. Go find Bengal Cat World if you really need to see it).

Being a mostly squee-free-zone, I immediately thought that maybe a small dog would help Lokii overcome his fear of Neko.

Not that I want a small dog in my family… sorry, small-dog-fans, but I seem to only want to love and live with big, sheddy, intimidating-looking dogs who don’t drool. Dogs that are smart enough to listen and obey, but not smart enough (or dumb enough, it’s a fine line) to get bored and eat the leg off a table for their own entertainment.

Neko suits my needs perfectly – she’s a bit small for me at 36 kilos (about 80lbs), and she sheds a lot, scares people (unless they want to hug her, in which case she freaks out and really scares them) doesn’t drool, and is happiest inside – sleeping or following us around – and rarely getting into trouble.

But Little Lokii doesn’t like her. Lokes never learned dog body language, as our previous big hairy boy died only a few weeks after Lokii became part of the family. They were just starting to get along, too. But my heart was so very broken that I couldn’t get another dog for a few years, which was too long of a wait for teaching a kitty how to speak dog.

The pair does interact, occasionally. When Lokii gets full of beans (and I’m there in the room to run behind if things get too scary) he will sit under the living room table and reach out and “tag” Neko’s ankles as she walks past. Or if Lokii is up high and feeling confident, he’ll tag her in the butt, or tail.

Of course the moment Neeks decides that it is playtime, Lokii freaks out, hisses and runs away. Sigh.


Basically, he’s a little bully. So maybe a few weeks with a dog smaller than he is would give him the confidence to deal with Neko in a more… adult manner.

By which I mean that I really wish he would play with his damn dog, she wants to so bad!

We can’t deal with that sad face forever.

Shoes. Lots of shoes.


I took these photos ages ago, because someone expressed interest in my shoe collection. Now, I have to preface this with the statement that most, if not all, of these Cons were bought because my husband is a sneaker freak. I find them a little narrow for my big duck feet, and my pinkie toe always is unhappy. But! I have some gorgeous, limited edition sneaks because of my husband’s sneaker fetish. It’s great to go shopping with him – he does all the work, knows all the necessary heritage of a kick, and as I’m a size 7/8 (men’s, or European size), most of the time the only good ones left are my size instead of his (11).

My oldest, rattiest pair, bought for about $9 in… Maybe 1998? 1999? I still wear them. Soles are nearly worn down, and they have been put in the washer once – they useta be black.


Pretty sure these are my next oldest purchases – found cheap in an odd shop in southern/middle Ohio in about 2005. Yes, I wear them like this! Unless it is Paddy’s day, in which case I go full green. I really have no need, ever, for yellow shoes. I hate yellow clothing.

Anything from here on down was bought in Ireland, and probably at TK Maxx. I wear these spotted ones a lot; they are slip on (hate messing about with laces, especially as iDJ says the laces have to be ‘perfect.’ Oh god, no. Save me from fashion faux pas! Put my damn shoes on for me, then, if it means so much! Yes, I make him do that when I wear any of these:

The low-rise set. I like the ones on the left, as they match any pair of jeans. But! The ones on the right are apparently really rare and valuable. So says himself. They are an unusual plastic upper, so great when it is wet out – as it often is. But, honey? Should I wear these tonight? NO, it’s raining! Sigh….
Notice that the tag is still on? Yeah. He says that’s important. For fashion.
I say they are shoes, they get dirty, why, why, why…

Terrible pic. They are dark blue, and again, they match any jeans but I can’t be arsed lacing these bad boys up very often.

Possibly my favourite pair. I love the black laces against the white and gold. They look like tiger shoes! I don’t mind keeping these out of the rain – they are flippin’ white, after all. I also don’t mind so much when hubby has to make sure that the laces lie ‘just so’, as the laces are kind of important to the overall look of this shoe. I bet these are his least favourite! Not for the ‘honey help me’ factor, but because they are tacky as hell.

Maybe sometime in the next 8 months I’ll get around to posting pics of my Nike collection. A lot less shoes, but way, way more awesome (according, of course, to Himself).

Ginormous lilies


I again have new blooms to share! These are more lilies of the Aldi set, and they took the longest to mature. Now that I see what they were working on, I understand why the long wait.

Last weekend, when I thought that one petal peeling off from the bottom of the bud meant they were close to blooming.

Wednesday, when I saw that they weren’t ready yet, and needed to change colour a bit more first.

Thursday, when those same two flower buds had gotten so huge I needed something to show scale – my big calloused man-hand will do…

…but those two didn’t compare to this bud. It was near to bursting with promises of beauty.

It hasn’t disappointed!

Same angle, sorry – but first pic was Friday and second was today.

Something better than my hand for scale. I promise I was nearly touching the petals with the measuring tape when hubby took this picture. Over 8 inches across, or around 21cm! Quite wonderful to have outside my front door.

Nearly forgot – early edit – this is one of the smaller ones that has also opened. I shouldn’t play favourites!

Bloomin’ Late Post


Ugggh, I am incredibly far behind on posting photos of my most recent blooms.

This is the only Tigridia I’ll bother with. They’ve slowed down, but nearly every day there are one or two new ones, shrivelled by the time I get home from work, of course. I have no idea what I’m to do with dozens of photos of slightly different flowers.

You can really tell this was taken with the new SLR camera, wow! Here’s a new one, for Tom (and possibly his mother) – my giant red sunflower, from seed. This was day one that it opened. Day two the petals went droopy a bit, and now it is more of a rust colour, but the centre is getting larger and larger. It’s also not very giant. I can’t be arsed to measure it, but it’s in an 18 inch high pot and barely reaches my shoulder, and I’m 5ft 8in. Can’t be arsed to do that in metric, either – sorry! I’m under pressure to make dinner tonight…

Broad/fava beans. The pic doesn’t give scale – the long one was really, really long. But even it only had six beans inside – a lot of messing about for hardly any bean goodness. The dog loves the pods, so at least they didn’t go to waste.

Cosmos! Of all my seeds it seems only the white ones bloomed. This one has an interesting cupped petal…

…while this is the more traditional form that I’m familiar with.

More rose photos. These two bloomed together. I found it interesting the way they matured. Here, they look very similar.

A day or two later, here is the left bloom.

And this is the right. Both stunning and smell like a little bit of heaven.
Or my grandma.
Not too dissimilar.

The white roses aren’t as big as last year. It’s a climber, and has gotten really leggy. I think I’ll have to prune, and I’ve never done that. No sign of new growth on my lavender rose, but at least the leaves are all still there and I’ve kept the black spot away. Wonder should I try to move it?

I’ve saved my favourites for last, of course. My first dahlia, ever. From the Aldi set of bulbs and tubers. I have to say I’m impressed with the quality and variety Aldi had on offer. Most of the lilies, the dahlias, the Tigrida, the … Oh hell I’ve forgotten! The Babylon 5 spaceship-looking pineapple flowering thingie… Something like Euconomis. Anyhoo, all from Aldi.

Since I’ve never had a dahlia before, I didn’t expect them to be so sloooow to open. It’s been a week and this first bloom still isn’t open all the way.

Getting there! Seems we shoot it daily, it is ever changing. To be honest it is much further along today, but it’s dark out now.

My current favourite – more Aldi lilies.


What I like best about these is that the black has a raised texture as if tar has been spilt on the petals. I need to ask iDJ, with his superior photography skills, to try to capture the texture better. These blooms last a long time, too, but turn more orange red than dark red as they age.

Yes, I have more to come, but it’s my bedtime soon!

Mushroom Mutt



Had a slight panic earlier this evening. iDJ was running the BBQ, so I didn’t have much to do but shuttle plates, when needed. I had sunshine for a bit so was out front soaking it in, but when the sun set behind the mountain, I moved to the back yard to be with hubby, his beloved Weber grill, his music, and the very annoying dog.

I expect the dog to be very annoying when we grill. 1: The amazing food smells 2: The hubby feeling guilty about subjecting her to amazing food smells and giving her a ton of treats (usually carrots – but she knows he’s a pushover and works it) 3: Hubby is in and out and in and out and she has to, has to! follow him everywhere.

The last is actually the most annoying factor. She’s an indoor dog, really only outside to do her business in the tiny-ass garden, and for walkies. As such, she’s never unsupervised. But she doesn’t really want to be outside – not unless daddy is outside too. I am not her favourite human, probably because my hands are not made of treats.


The food was nearly done, and I had one eye on the dog who was snuffling around my strawberry / raspberry patch. Hubby and I got talking and I noticed that Neko was near to us and still snuffling. Then she wandered away, and I spotted that something was missing.

There had been a little group of mushrooms in the grass, and now they were gone.


Our food is cooked and getting drier by the minute, but we both rush to do what we can: me to find my fungi identification and Irish Wildlife books, and hubby to scour the back garden with a flashlight, tongs, and plastic bag for evidence collection. He also did Internet research to see what signs of trouble we should look for.

Neko seems perfectly fine. She ate normally, she’s sleeping normally, and I hear no sounds of intestinal distress (a sign we know well, with her). The thing is: this damn dog loves veggies. Carrots are her favourite treat. Radishes? NOM! The ends of celery, the trimmings of courgette (zucchini!), the rind of a watermelon? Yes, please, and thank you!

So, it really should have occurred to us that she might go grazing in our back garden. It has: but only to the point where we didn’t want her to realise that blueberries are awesome. Or raspberries. She’s already figured out tomatoes, dammit. We never thought she’d realise fungi could be edible…

Not sure if she’s dammed stupid, or dammed smart.

I had a bit of playtime with her, with the intention of sussing out her mental state.

She always splays her forelegs out like that, and yes, she always looks that pleadingly pathetic. No wonder hubby is the big sucker of the family.

That just does not look comfortable, mushroom-highor not.

The Secret Life of Cats


My friend over at Cats N Co did a post today about a show we watched when it was broadcast: The Secret Life of Cats, on the BBC (Dianda gave a link to the youtube vid, please visit her via the link if you would like to see it).

While we keep our boys indoors, we understand this is a rarity in England and Ireland. The programme was mostly focused on what cats do when out of doors and no human is watching. Indoor cat movement tracking and neck-cams would really be boring, in any case.

I did find it fascinating. So did my boys.

I can clearly see the personality difference in them – Lokii is interested, but Spot looks like he’s about to jump off the couch and beat up the kitties on the telly.

I’m reading ‘Dune’ finally!


I know, how silly – I’ve never read Dune! I did see the movie version, with whassis name, the singer… Oh yeah, Sting. I didn’t care for it much, as I knew I was missing a LOT.

Super excited to be starting it, and I sure hope it doesn’t drag like that movie did. Blargh.

MORE Tigridia


Wowsers, Penny!

The Tigridia bloom may only last a few hours, but they make up for it in sheer proliferation.

That’s hubby’s hand, to give you an idea of size. About the same as a star-gazer lily, or any of my black lilies.
iDJ getting artistic. He took all of these shots.
Every flower is a little bit unique.
Sometimes, the yellow ones are a bit wonky.
Sometimes, not.
The red/pink ones can be wonky, too.
But usually they aren’t.

I was disappointed at first, but the unceasing blooming has certainly made up for the short shelf life. There were more today, and there will be more again tomorrow, I see the buds that are ready to open.