Monthly Archives: March 2014

Ooh, Socks Did it Again!

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One of the main themes I had when I first started this blog back in October 2012 was to follow my best friend’s journey into becoming a parent. I posted almost-weekly for nearly the entire pregnancy, as it was as much a learning experience for her as it was for me. It was great fun to have our weekly phone call (still being done) and get the update on where baby Button (now quite the little character) was in her gestational progress.

I introduce Socks here, and further explain our fantastic friendship here. If you would like to read the whole saga – it is pretty funny at times! – the link to every Socks post is here. Might be a few random posts about “actual” socks in there too, sorry!

Okay background is covered! New news! Socks and Bear have been making another new family member for the last 42 weeks. 42? Did I say 42 when a human gestational period is 40 weeks? Yes, yes I did. She went over time, and over over time… and FINALLY the docs said, ‘durr, yes, we have room at the inn.’

Believe me, Socks was not happy, not happy at all to have things delayed so long! She was scheduled to go in, being pretty much ready to go for over a week (just not having contractions yet) and it seems that everyone else decided to jump the queue ahead of her! She was due the 13th March. I had been joking since she told me she was pregnant that her child would be a Paddy’s Day baby, but thinking the whole time she’d be sooner. When she started to show signs of being ready, I was hoping for 6th March, as it coincides with the birthday of a loved one of mine (pretty apt as Socks’ daughter has exactly the same birthday as my only niece).

But no. The 6th passed, the 13th went by, the 17th was green (for me) but not a green light for them. Since then, it’s just been a drawn out waiting game.

The boy didn’t want to come out! Oh, didn’t I say? It’s a boy this time! He already seems to love his momma, as 42 weeks is a loooong time to hang around.

But! No more. Socks now has a son! Born yesterday at 7:52 pm, weighing in at 8lbs 4oz (3.74 kilos) and over 20 inches long (52cm)! Not an ouch to be had on Mom’s part, either – three pushes and hello, son!

Congratulations to Socks and Bear and Button on the new member of their warm family. He’s a lucky guy to be a part of it!

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A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words?

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I’m super low on energy as I have some sort of upper respiratory infection.

Also, coming down off the Paddy’s Day festivity excitement is slightly depressing.

Also, I always get a little weirder than normal in the spring. Even as a child, spring has messed with my head. All that potential life and energy and just plain potential, stored up and waiting to burst into…. well, I never quite managed to burst into anything particularly special so maybe that’s why I get a bit bummed out.

Anyhoo – I got a wee ceramic watering can and some narcissus bulbs for Christmas. I planted them and left them on my kitchen windowsill to grow.

And they did, of course. And they also looked like Spottie’s favourite snack – a long stringy thing. After he had a good munch, I moved them to the fireplace mantle, which is out of reach and too crammed with stuff for Spot to consider jumping up.

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I thought I was just taking a picture of my flowers. But what I saw was a little snapshot of me and who I am, displayed above my fireplace. Shall we have a tour?

Left to right: The plate is one made by my dad and his wife. She is a potter, amongst many other talents, and for several years they made Celtic pottery and toured the USA selling their wares at Irish festivals. Absolutely stunning work, and I’m very happy and proud to display their craft where it can be seen immediately. I’d love to share a link, but sadly they have retired from pottery-making.

The skulls – in old Ferrero Rocher chocolate boxes, no less – are ones I found myself. Top is a fox, bottom is a groundhog. I have a cat and an opossum, too – they just aren’t in the photo.

Well, the flowers of course. The wee watering can actually works as one, so it is pretty efficient at getting rid of excess water, despite having no drainage holes at the bottom (ye know, where they normally are). If you have time to stand around holding it at an angle to drip while keeping the long leaves from breaking. Meh. Will move the narcissus elsewhere I think.

The wonderful Celtic-carved skull! Man I love that thing. I bought it at the Cleveland Irish festival one year when dad came to sell their wares. I just fell in love with it. I believe I got it from Gaelsong – be warned, they are more than happy to send you catalogs full of drool-worthy items. I don’t see much stuff of their quality even over here. Maybe they just have an awesome photographer…

The wee white thing is a Philips IMAGEO LED candle light – we have them in red and blue and just love them. That’s the US/Canada link, but of course they sell them in Ireland and the UK (not sure about Australia/New Zealand). Cheap to run, charge quickly and cheaply, can be used on the charge base while lit, and give nice flickery light for hours and hours with no fire danger. I’d give them a 10 out of 10.

There is also the tiniest bit of a postcard that Socks sent me from her vacation to Maine in the fall of last year. ‘got lobstah?’ Hahahaha! I’d love to go to Maine.

Last – because it is not the least, not by any means – is the Ouija board.

I wrote so very much about that board that I think I will have to take a better photo of just the board and do a separate post. It’s incredibly important to me and deserves an explanation.

What treasures do you keep in a place of honour?

Paddy’s Day Music Special!

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Hi! I have plenty of notice to give this time – nearly a whole day in advance. Go me! Actually, it’s ‘Go iDJ’…
He’s been doing the Soul Shenanigans internet radio show for five years. Unpaid, by the way – it is all for the love of music – and he really does have a fabulous St Patrick’s Day show every year. It only needed a couple of tweaks and a new poster and bam! he had it all done tonight by 10pm (instead of around 3am, the man doesn’t seem to need sleep). So here I am, able to blog about it and share the love the day before instead of the day of.

Here’s the poster; he’s been scanning old photos out of his personal archive. This one dates to Paddy’s Day 1989. I think it is just perfect.

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As always: his Facebook is here, and the link to the live show is here.

Past broadcasts are on Podomatic – but they don’t stay up forever. Very much a limited time offer!

And since he’s a terrible self-promoter, here’s the donate link, too! (donations go to keep the station on the air, not to SoulShenanigans)

Damn that Talented Hubby o’ Mine…

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…and his spiffy ‘real camera.’ Imma just going to put these here.

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Dammit.

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Really, iDJ? You’re just showing off now.

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That jerk. How dare he spend his lunch hour taking really awesome flower pictures just for me (and you)!

Toothy Smiles from Spottie-Cat

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I need cheering up. I can’t think of a better way to do that than to post the photos I took Saturday. Because, awwwww.

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It’s working already. I love this cat.

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Spot was passed out, I mean totally out, on my leg. My leg being connected to my other leg, connected to my arse, which was planted in front of the fire. Ahh.

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I can’t resist smiling back when I see him grin so big in his sleep that a fang pokes out!
Sorry if the one above was massive – I think I hit the wrong setting just there. But as always, I’m impressed with the detail an iPhone can pick up. I can see the root of each individual hair, and it looks like his teeth are in good shape for his age, too…

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Of course eventually my moving around and giggling bothered Spot a bit, and he shifted and curled his arm over his nose.

More awwwww.

Hope I cheered up anyone else in a funk, too!

First Green Stuff Post of 2014, or: Spring!

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I’m having way too much fun with my other frosty photos, so I’m not ready to put them up here yet. I think I’m going to have to be a jerk and watermark the hell out of them – they are that spiffy (to me, anyway)!

Instead, I’m going to give you a bit of spring.

Anyone over this side of the pond knows that snowdrops come up first. We got these a few years ago from a cheap supermarket packet, and they are really coming into their own this year.

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We won’t talk about the disastrous state of the paint on my wall, or my finger being in the pic, or the fact they are blurry as hell, okay? Okay. They make iDJ and I very happy when they come up and let us know that it is, indeed, spring in Ireland.

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Next are the crocuses. The purple ones bloom first, for some reason. Have a couple orange-yellow ones now, and a variegated purple – but no decent pics (as if this shot qualifies as decent, considering one of them has been beheaded). I meant to seed the whole front ‘lawn’ with these, but damn, the ground was hard and muddy and rocky and we only ever did a few. Mice ate the rest of the bulbs that I didn’t plant. Oops. I don’t think they really like it there much – no sunshine at all this time of year. Oh well.

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More crocus. Or is that Croci?

I’ve also started some seedlings – early ones. Stuff that needs more time of being alive before it can make tasty food for me and mine:

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Corn! I now have a wee heated Aldi propagator, and so I started corn and tomatoes and super hot scotch bonnet peppers for iDJ. Put them in the propagator Sunday the 15th Feb, and by the 18th, I had two corn plants this tall. They have now been potted out in big pots as they outgrew the prop. quite quickly. But only three of 12 germinated, so I will have to try another batch. Should still have time, I hope.

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Peppers, or tomatoes? I honestly can’t tell when they are babies. Sort of like how a Chihuahua pup and a Great Dane pup will look identical when newborn. They aren’t in danger of outgrowing the propagator any time soon, but it does concern me that they have to lean so far over just to get any of our sunshine this time of year.

I was meant to start the peppers back in December but I wasn’t ready.

I’m now feeling bad that my seedlings are much larger! If I took daily photos it might be fun, but also potentially quite boring. “Watching grass grow.”