Monthly Archives: December 2013

Walkies in the Bog with the Dog


It was a lovely sunny day today, and resolved not to spend all of it flopped on the couch eating chocolate. So, I took Neko for a good long walk.

Our path to the disused railroad tracks, and the bog.

Some curious locals.

Such a lovely day.

I took Neko off the lead: she is very good and always stays behind me. Until I turned around to go back and suddenly she found herself playing at pack leader. I didn’t let that go on for long.

Gorse in bloom, at the end of December. Go figure.

Beautiful colours in the dead bracken.

A beautiful mess of a stone wall, dead trees and a little bridge in the distance.

More curious locals – they look like twins! Same white cowlick (sorry, I had to say it). They didn’t care about me, just Neko.

The sun is so low on the horizon this time of year. This was about 3:30 or so.

Hurry up, Neko! No, you can’t go in the field with the cows. Trust me on this one.

She’s not as innocent as she looks!

Happy Christmas!


We settled in to take our annual awkward family pet portraits last night, when suddenly the doorbell rang. We answered to find my Canadian friend, bearing homemade cookies and her greyhound, Rua. After I wiped off the blood (I’d been holding Lokii and he doesn’t take well to Neko’s loud reaction to the doorbell), had a chat with our friend and let Rua have a sniff around the house, it was no longer an option to take the photos. Primarily because all we found of Lokii for the next two hours was his costume, abandoned on the floor. He might not be very bright, but he can strip!

Spottie, however, didn’t seem to mind any of it, and was still wandering around wearing his little coat and fuzzy collar. So hubby took a few pics of just me and Spot.

My favourite one.


Tempting him stay with a treat.



Neko wanted to wish you all happy holidays, too!

Not Your Typical Christmas Carols


I’m tickled pink that Tom loves my hubby’s music enough to do a whole post, with links! Thank you, Tom! The Xmas special is pretty damn good, too 🙂

Update: if the idea of more holiday music (ugh, at this point, right?) doesn’t get you excited, maybe having a gawk at the playlist will?

EP 250 Christmas Special Playlist:
1. Graham Parker – Soul Christmas
2. Jack Scott – There’s Trouble Brewin’
3. Lester Lanin And His Orchestra – Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairies
4. The Kirby Stone Four – Baubles, Bangles, And Beads
5. The Moonglows – Hey Santa Claus
6. Juliette – That Holiday Feeling
7. Mae West – Put The Loot In The Boot, Santa
8. Brenda Lee – I’m Gonna Lasso Santa Claus
9. Rita Faye Wilson – Sleigh Bells, Reindeer & Snow
10. The New Pornographers – Joseph, Who Understood
11. Rufus Wainwright – Spotlight On Christmas
12. Sufjan Stevens – Get Behind Me, Santa!
13. Chris Stamey Group – Christmas Time
14. The Smithereens – Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)
15. Dwight Twilley – Christmas Stars
16. The Buzz of Delight – Christmas
17. The Bratchmen – Christmas Love
18. Orange Juice – Holiday Hymn
19. Three Wise Men – Thanks For Christmas
20. Throwing Muses – Santa Claus
21. Cocteau Twins – Frosty The Snowman
22. Tracey Thorn – Tinsel And Lights
23. Belle & Sebastian – Are You Coming Over For Christmas
24. Sufjan Stevens – Christmas In The Room
25. The Smashing Pumpkins – Christmas Time
26. Smith & Burrows – Funny Looking Angels
27. Emmy the Great & Tim Wheeler – Home For The Holidays
28. Gruff Rhys – Post Apocalypse Christmas
29. The Magnetic Fields – Everything Is One Big Christmas Tree
30. Robert Earl Keen – Merry Christmas From The Family
31. Yo La Tengo – It’s Christmas Time
32. NRBQ – Christmas Wish
33. Nick Lowe – Children Go Where I Send Thee
34. Half Man Half Biscuit – All I Want For Christmas Is A Dukla Prague Away Kit
35. The Fall – Hark The Herald Angels Sing
36. Pearl Jam – Someday at Christmas
37. The Kinks – Father Christmas
38. Julian Casablancas – I Wish It Was Christmas Today
39. Cheap Trick – Come On Christmas
40. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Christmas All Over Again
41. A House – Here Come the Good Times
42. The Pogues Ft Kirsty MacColl – Fairytale of New York
43. Lynne Richards – Christmas In Ireland
44. NRBQ – Message From The North Pole

Neko Gotcha Day!


This day four years ago we brought home our dogeen, Neko. I thought I would share some photos from her first two days.

First picture of her in her new home. Still a bit scruffy looking – no bath yet.

That can not be comfortable!

Another angle of her very awkward choice of napping position.

After her first bath! Ahh, that’s better; thanks mam and dad!

First walkies! She looks very attentive and serious, doesn’t she?

Love you, Neko!

Deth Nog 2013


It’s that time again! I’ve finally given in to my husband’s incessant begging and made a batch of eggnog. Or, as it is fondly know around here: Deth Nog.

My artwork was seriously lacking this year. I still have a cold, that’s my excuse. It sure isn’t that I’d been hitting the Nog yet!

Meant to be Spot and Lokii. I sure didn’t do them justice. Art from 2012 here, and 2011 here.

And of course, the recipe!

US version:
(need an empty 1 gallon milk jug)
1 cup (1/2 pint) each of:
Blended whiskey
Rum (not light or dark* – not spiced!)
4-6 whole eggs – depends on how big they are, of course
2 cups (1 pint) heavy cream
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar (I think I hit about the middle between the two)
1/4 teaspoon each cinnamon and nutmeg (may need a bit more, I didn’t have the measure written down! Dad said start with 1/4 and add more if you think it needs it. I’ve used as much as whole teaspoon of each and it was fine.)

Beat eggs until smooth.
Add cream and a bit of the milk, doesn’t matter how much but not TOO much just yet!
Add all the alcohol. Add the sugar.
Stir until the sugar melts.
Add nutmeg and cinnamon.
Pour into empty 1 gallon jug, top up with milk until jug is full.
Shake well!

Okay, same thing but converted into metric! Doesn’t matter if it isn’t perfect, it’ll be tasty.

(need two empty 2-litre milk jugs)
237ml each of:
Blended whiskey
Rum (not light or dark* – not spiced!)
4-6 whole eggs – depends on how big they are, of course
473ml heavy cream
4 to 8 tablespoons sugar (I think I hit about the middle between the two)
1/4 teaspoon each cinnamon and nutmeg (may need a bit more, I didn’t have the measure written down! Dad said start with 1/4 and add more if you think it needs it. I’ve used as much as whole teaspoon of each and it was fine.)

Beat eggs until smooth.
Add cream and a bit of the milk, doesn’t matter how much but not TOO much just yet!
Add all the alcohol. Add the sugar.
Stir until the sugar melts.
Add nutmeg and cinnamon.
Pour into empty jugs, try to put the same amount in each, oh how fun, top up with milk until jugs are full.
Shake well!

* I can’t find ‘not light and not dark’ rum here; I just use the white or clear rum. I make it in a big mixing bowl and use a funnel. Yes, it’s a bit messy, but after two glasses you won’t care.

Anyone try it from last year?

Cat-People Problems


I was sitting in my usual indoor place last night: on the floor in front of the fire. I am the cat’s favourite place to nap, so of course I ended up with both of them on my legs.

This was fine, for a while.

Until I had to pee.

I really didn’t want to wake them up. As you do.

So I slipped out of my sweatpants (and booties) and left them there while I went upstairs to do the necessary.

Total success. I even managed to get back into my sweats again without either cat leaving.

Spoiled? Nahhhhhhh.

All the Fur-babies, Caught in Pixels


I have a new phone! Well, not ‘new,’ exactly. iDJ has a new iPhone, the 5s. I, as per usual, inherit the old phone, in this case the iPhone 4s. He got the new one as an upgrade, so no extra expense – except for having to get a new SIM card for my phone.

Why should you care? Because now I will have a Much Better camera – with a flash – with me at all times. Oh, you mean it makes phone calls too? Oh, okay…

My first flash-photog experiments took place last night. Lokii was on my lap enjoying the fire with me, and I’ve never been able to get a me-eye-view before because it is just too dark.

Whoops, blurry. Let me try again… I want those cute curled toes!

Uuurghhh! Why is it focussing on his nose? I know it’s a huge nose and all, but please let’s not give him a complex.

Oh well. I guess I will figure it out eventually. It is still an amazing photo of a perfectly-black Siamese nose. Now you see why it is so hard to get a pic of his face. And his nails – well, I trimmed them by feel last weekend, that’s why some are long and some are not.

Hubby took this one. My place on the couch is further over, so all I could see was the tips of her toes as she held on to the table. I asked him to take a shot so I could see everything (I couldn’t get up as I am the cat-repository). Yes, I need to trim her nails, too. Please feel free to peruse my media collection, or ask about the most amazing guitar ever.

We hunted down, trapped and bagged our tree today. It is really clean, compared to the ones we got the last two years. But. The cats think it smells funny in one place. I took this one…

And this one.

And now we get to see the 5s in action. Dammit.


Lokii looks so weird in this one! Ears back, stocky body hunched up. He’s on his hind legs here, but clearly he isn’t as good at the meerkat pose as Spottie is.

Here is a good pic of the bald patch Spot has developed. I think it is a reaction to the new wet food, because he’s had acne and other strange reactions to new things in the past (he was allergic to Lokii for ages, how bizarre is that). The fur is coming back in quite fast, so I don’t think he needs a vet visit again.

A Sewery Tail


Story telling time! I was having a long chat via FB message with a friend, and after talking about bulls and cows, mares and stallions, and their respective habits when it comes to mating (and how they need…help, at times), we turned to other farm-related animals you’d find in Ireland.

Namely, mice and rats.

My friend was all happy about catching a cute mouse and letting it go again – with a calf-nut in its mouth. Calf-nut seems to be a very Irish term, and yes; it makes me giggle a bit. I try not to giggle out loud. It is just a name for cattle feed. I said I’d rather carry Mr Jingles a lot further away, myself. He then told me that once, his sister didn’t go far enough away with her captured mousie and her cat came back grinning with Mr Jingles a cold corpse in his mouth.

Then he said he hated cats (for killing cute mousies).

I, of course, stated about a billion reasons not to hate cats. This is not what I’m here to ramble about.

Then said he hated rats. I personally don’t see any difference between a wild mouse and a wild rat. They both carry a disease here; a pretty nasty, hard-to-diagnose one: Weil’s.

I’d decided to attempt to gross him out, however (because I just LOVE grossing out grown-ass-men, it’s a hobby of mine. And he deserved it for saying he hated cats). So I told him this story. And since I had to type it all out for him, now I’m going to try to gross out all of you, too.

I like to share.

I had lived for several years in a house in Akron, Ohio, with one human, two cats and My Good Dog. For two days, I had noticed that the cats had been staring at a particular cabinet door. They weren’t trying to open it, and not making any noises: just staring. Since that’s where the dog and cat kibble was kept, I didn’t think too much of it.

Until I reached my arm into this same cabinet, into the dark cabinet, under the counter, and deep into a dark bag of kitty kibble. And. I felt something MOVE against my reaching fingers.

I’m pretty sure I made a noise I will always, always, be ashamed of. The other human in the house ran like hell at the noise I’d made, knowing well that if I was freaked out, it was serious. I slammed the cabinet door, and yelled at the cats for being useless.

Then I steeled myself to play the game, “what’s in the bag?”

I pulled the bag of cat food out into the light, slowly, gently… trying to avoid making that noise again. The cats had run out behind the human; useless pampered indoor kitties… luckily My Good Dog, Shade, was right there, very excited and willing to help. I recalled the very sad dead-baby-bunny-incident, and knew Shade was well able to help me with whatever might be lurking in the depths of my Purina Cat Chow.

As they piled out of the bag, one by one, he killed all five sewer rats, one by one. It was a blur of quick death. But I can still see their nasty, scaly, peeling tails. Despite his blood-lust, he let me take their nasty, filthy, grey, scabby-tailed bodies out of his mouth. Such a good boy. I took them outside and dropped them in the city sewer grate. Ashes to ashes, sewer to sewer.

The eejits who had owned the house previously had moved the kitchen sink, but never removed or capped the pipe that led down to the sewer. It never smelled bad, so it was never a problem. That week it had rained a lot. A lot. I can only think the water level was so high that the nasty rats could reach our pipe and decided they had found nirvana there in the warm dry dark full of food.

They never expected me and My Good Dog, Shade.