I’m an Eejit – but LOOK at my Furry Ones Being Clever

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This is Lumi and Neko having their very first play session! 

Neko is trying to play with him like she did with Spot – but Lumi has no idea what is going on or what she expects of him.
I am very proud of them both. Neko is so gentle and always has her lips curled tight to her teeth to make sure she doesn’t do any harm. I do worry about those big feet of hers but she never stepped on him once. And Lumi? Just laid there purring while being poked by a giant dog and being drooled upon. Good wee man, just 8 months old now.

Apologies for my pyjamas being in shot. A Christmas gift and I needed to do laundry… But, I was standing there, refereeing, just in case.

Why am I an eejit? Because I still can’t remember how to embed a video in a post. So stupid me has to do a linky-dink to share this. Doh!

A Challenge! What is This?

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I took this picture at work Monday.


Can you guess what it is? If no one guesses, I have one more picture with a bit of a hint in it. No hints from me, this post!

I wish I had something to offer as a prize, as I know this is a hard one. Maybe a Brushes drawing of a photo you want rendered into amateur digital art?

Books I’ve Read 2017 #9 – What’s it Like in Space?

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By Ariel Waldman.

This is a fun, short book with illustrations and one-page anecdotes of the things that happen, things that you can do, things that you can’t do, and what things are wonderful or horrible about being in space.

I really enjoyed it – I’ll never get to space (as much as I’d like to), so learning about what I’m missing is fun and educational. Definitely safe for kids – yes, there is talk of “elimination” but what kid doesn’t already want to know the answers to those questions? Or people like me who might physically be a woman in her mid-forties but has the scatalogical humour of a 9-year-old-boy?


And that is me finally done for January. We won’t count the 3 national geographic magazines or four gardening magazines, right? Can’t review them. Or can I?

Books I’ve Read #8 – Unhappenings

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Um, actually this was no. 7. I forgot about it! That doesn’t sound good, but it was only due to my needing a few days to write the post about Lumi. I kept getting interrupted!

Unhappenings is by Edward Aubry. A very easy read, well written and caught my interest from the start – what is happening, or unhappening, to the main character, and why? Genres are science fiction and time travel, so if either of those interest you, have a go. He does pretty well with human motivations, too.


Absolutely stunning cover art, too.

Books I’ve Read #7 – Offspring 

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Yeah, more Jack Ketchum. Offspring is a continuation of Off Season. I have to admit I’m getting kind of bored with him now. Too many at once, perhaps? His writing is great; that’s not the problem. I think that I’m getting used to the same type of story and the horror becomes predictable. I know what to expect now.

He also writes about nipples way too often. Describes them too often, also. Seriously, he seems to think we women are mainly concerned with our nips being injured. Maybe some women do but for me it gets old fast. Guess Jack is a boob man? Anyhoo, here is the cover:


…which I apparently never looked at properly. A movie? Have I seen it? No, looking at the official trailer, I have not. But it appears as though it keeps very close to the book. 

So – Lumi Wasn’t Well…

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He was very lethargic when we came home from work on the 12th. He had also possibly vomited blood, and had the squitters. I felt his belly and it seemed…lumpy. Not the smooth fat kitten tummy I was used to. 

It was a Thursday and well after walk-in hours, but when I rang the vet looking for an emergency after hours number, one of the vets answered (yes, one was still there and answering the phone after 7pm) and when I explained what was going on he said to bring Lumi in. Thank you!

Lumi had just had his nuts off the weekend before, so our worry was that he had accidentally picked up a bug when at the vets, or maybe he ate a plant that disagreed with him (my indoor plants should all be safe for cats, but…), or he ate the rubber band that went missing, or one of the many, many hair ties that iDJ loses, or ate something from the Christmas tree … he is still just seven months old, so who the hell knows what he has been chewing on!

The vet didn’t seem too concerned about the lumpy belly. Which was good. He didn’t want to give antibiotics yet, either – also good in my mind. Lumi did get a shot to settle his tummy and some pills to do the same.

And it worked, for a few days. By Monday evening, he was back to not being part of the household by sleeping upstairs on the bed, not coming to say hello to me or himself, and there was a big, wet, smelly, bloody poop in the litterbox. Dammit.

Tuesday morning I took him to the vet again. The other doc this time, and three young observers. He looked at Lumi’s history, checked and felt him all over, and listened to my concerns. He said that cats don’t normally get intestinal blockages – but when they do? It’s right around Christmas when all the tempting tinsel, etc, is there to nom upon.

He wanted to do a barium run and X-ray my wee man as it progressed through his system, in case there was a blockage or another issue. I was hesitant, having flashbacks of leaving Spot in and never getting him back again. But I agreed in the end.

24 to 36 hours was the estimate for how long this would take! I was sad, hubby was sad. Worst of all, Lokii broke our hearts by walking around looking in all of Lumi’s favourite napping places to no avail. He loves his brother so much.


Next morning at 9am, the office told me that the barium had raced through to his intestines in only 4 hours. Way too fast! But as of yet, no sign of a blockage. I’d have to wait and see, as once it his his guts it slowed right down. At 11:30, they still didn’t want to release him – more X-rays. By 4, they said I could come get him. Of course I left work (I work until 6:30) to go get my wee boy.

He came home with a ‘cocktail’ of medicine. The dreaded Pink Stuff. I can pill a cat with ease, but this gag-worthy pink liquid is nearly impossible to get into a Bengal after they have tasted it once. Twice a day this time! Suffice to say that by now, the meds are gone but I’m still finding pink drool spattered everywhere: I have to wash the couch cover, and probably the curtains.

The cocktail consisted of Betamox (amoxicillin) and Flagyl (metronidazole); both are antibiotics. Also Imodium (loperamide), which is for helping stop diarrhoea and slows down the digestive process. No actual diagnosis, unfortunately. He is also on a dry gastrointestinal specialty food. He was disappointed in it at first, but is back to gobbling it down like a mad thing. We got him gastrointestinal wet pouches last Saturday, and he loves those – as does Lokii!

So far he has been fine, back to his mad tricks. Last night and the night before he projectile vomited food that was very much on its way to being digested (brown liquid basically, not the normal cat puke which is easily identifiable as kibble or treats, etc). Tonight we are on lock down to make sure he gets nothing at all other than the special food. Hope it works. 


He is definitely interested in the flower arrangement I got today! 

January Greenery

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Usually not much is growing this time of year. But this has been a warm winter, mostly, and my plants are jumping ahead of schedule.

No surprise to see these fellows, though.


Snowdrops! Lots of them. I love how they spread and need no tending from me.


I’ve rather forgotten what these are. Bluebells, maybe? Hubby’s uncle did give me some last year.


Daffodils are really coming along, too. Ugh, so much clean up still to do!


For Ark – the cold hasn’t phased the monster gazania. For reference, that pot is about 45cm square. I couldn’t even get them all in the picture. 


I moved all my tulips last year. Or, I thought I did. Missed this sneaky one. Seems happy there, however.


Fall-planted garlic is going gangbusters, too.


As is the clematis in the grey willow.


And my azalea is covered in flower buds! I think it has sorted itself out, almost. Was it last year or the year before that it bloomed in November, the silly thing?

Once More Into the Breech

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I did get a tiny bit of backlash from yesterday’s post. Surprise, surprise! Woman speaks her mind online and people give her shit.

But neither of them gave me the “special snowflake” or “suck it up, buttercup” reply. One made no damn sense whatsoever so, meh. The other…called me pathetic for tearing up, and said I should brace up and stop thinking that my preferences should control the world.

Okey dokey then. This is quite similar to many pro-Trump memes I’ve seen. The ones that say ‘you lost, get over it’ or ‘deal with it’, or call us snowflakes or whiners or sore losers. 

Those posts have annoyed me, but it was only today that I started to think about why it is that they annoy me.

It bothers me because I’m a grown-ass adult and I’m not ‘throwing a temper tantrum.’ I know dammed well that things aren’t going to go my way! I learned that shit in 3rd grade. I also was unhappy with Bush Jr being elected twice. Yep, I “lost” then, too! The horror! 

Why didn’t people call me a special snowflake then? I did dislike him, yes. I didn’t trust him, yes. I felt he was a puppet, yes. But damn, I never felt about Bush like I do about Trump.

I’m not upset about “losing.” That is ridiculous. This isn’t just another damn reality TV show, it is dammed important

I spent a lot of time yesterday in my post, trying to list my reasons why. Personal, emotional, global.

But yet, I’m still labelled as a sore loser. 

No, honey. Again, I’m a fucking adult, finally, and I don’t whine when things ‘don’t go my way.’ I listed my reasons yesterday. But the thing is…the thing is…this is not a game. This is real. Your idea that I’m only upset because I lost speaks more about you than me. You thought it was a competition. A game. No, honey. This is no game. It’s not Risk or Monopoly, no matter how much it might feel like it to those with all the right cards.

When it is a game, I don’t give a fuck who wins or loses, as I, unlike the people spreading the sore loser idea, like the interaction and fun – yes fun! – that makes it a game.

To compare my factually backed up worries about Trump, shared by millions of others, to a game that we lost and you won not only belittles our sincere worries, but shows how very little you take the ideas and thoughts and worries of others seriously.

I wish I could condense this down into a tl:dr quote. Any help with this is welcome. I am still having trouble putting into words why this attitude is so wrong.

I’m Depressed Tonight.

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I have so much to share here, and instead I’m just…low. And I need to vent.

I walked into the canteen at work twice today, and the lovely big TV they got for us was on, turned to the news. Guess what dominated the news? Yep, the Cheeto President’s Inauguration coverage. I didn’t actually catch any of his speech. 

I haven’t had yet enough drink yet to watch it online, either.

Both times, I found myself starting to tear up. To actually cry at the evidence that this is really happening – has happened. Just because I am 3,000 miles away does not mean it doesn’t matter to me.

All reference to LBGT and climate change has already been removed from the Whitehouse website. ACA is under attack with nothing to replace it. There are no foreign-to-US diplomats anywhere in the world tonight. He’s nominated so many wrong (and rich) people for cabinet positions that my brain actually can’t grasp how fucked up it all is. 

I have family that isn’t white. I have family that are elderly and not financially well-off. I have family and friends with very young girls. I have family and friends that are relatively young but permanently ill. I have a lot of atheist friends and family. I have no Muslim friends, but I do have Hindu and Wiccan friends. I have gay friends, bisexual friends, transgender friends, polyamorous friends, asexual friends. I have friends with Asian heritage, South American heritage, Nigerian heritage.

All are targets now.

I fear for all of these people. Mostly because of how Cheeto’s supporters now think it is open season on ‘the different’ – meaning anyone who is not straight and white and has no discernible accent. Or funny clothing. I know it happens, every day. Not just in the USA, of course. My point is that his election lets some people think it is perfectly fine to discriminate now.

My husband has gotten into physical fights because he ‘looks gay’ with his beautiful long hair. Ireland. 

I’ve had guns pointed at me twice, because I dared to date someone with a different skin colour than my own. America.

Do you see the difference there? No one ever tried to fight me. They threatened my life, instead. This is not acceptable and this bastard has made it clear that white supremacy and violence are just fine with him. Expect more guns pointed at teenage girls in love.

I have two friends on FB who support Trump. One just liked his inaugural videos. The other? Posted some shitty meme about how no one ‘violently protested’ Obama’s inaugurations. Pretty sure that isn’t true… it also called people like me ‘snowflakes’. I’m somehow weak because I have these concerns? How does that make sense? No, I’m not crying because ‘I lost’ or ‘it didn’t go my way’. I’m genuinely worried for the state of not just the USA but how it will affect the rest of the world. FFS, two of the people behind the big housing crisis are now cabinet nominees! Ireland is FUCKED because of that! I couldn’t get a job for nearly two years because of that!

Right, I’m done. I’m going to go prepare my protest signs for the Women’s March in Galway tomorrow. Oh yes, we are going to one of several protests being held in Ireland tomorrow. Hubby made us some wonderful laminated posters, too. 

You might see us on the news.

White Chili

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I had a lot of interest in this when I posted on FB about having white chili for dinner. I actually have more friends on FB than I have blog followers – some are duplicated – but if five people over there wanted my recipe, maybe some of you do, too?

First off – I’d not made this in years. Hubby always gives a rating to our big meal of the day and he gave this a 10/10. A rarity! We expected leftovers but instead ate the lot. Oink!

Secondly – this is in US measurements. I don’t love you enough to convert them! Well, I do love you. I’m just strapped for time right now.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon aniseed 

1/2 teaspoon dry, crushed red chili peppers

4 large garlic cloves, diced finely (fresh are the best) 

1lb chicken, cubed

1 cup chicken broth

7oz can of green chilies

1/2 cup cream

3 15oz cans of cannelini beans
Grated cheddar

Dry or fresh Cilantro

I will say in advance that we don’t eat onions, and the aniseed seems wrong to me for this recipe. I have never made this with either of those ingredients. But, this is how I got the recipe originally, so I’m giving it to you that way. It’s not the kind of recipe that needs to be exact. Play with it! 

I also have a nice big cooking pot with an anti-stick coating, so I make it all in one pot. Saves on the washing up!
Heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, aniseed and red pepper flakes. Sauté 5 minutes, and push the onion to the side.

Season chicken with salt & pepper, sauté approx 5 minutes. (I don’t bother with the seasoning, it doesn’t need it).

Drain the beans, reserving 1/2 cup of ‘bean juice’. (Last time I used 2 not 3 cans, as we didn’t have a whole pound of chicken. I did find that I wanted more beans. It sounds like a lot, but they are soooo tasty).

When the chicken is browned to your liking, add the beans, chicken broth, bean juice, cream and green chilis. (I can’t get these here. Old El Paso brand sells them, but I have never found them in Ireland. I used one 4oz can, bought in the USA, that expired in 2012!  Best of luck where ever you live, as I don’t have a good replacement idea. Maybe a very finely chopped green bell pepper would work, but I think it would taste too ‘green.’ Or another variety of green, mild pepper. Unless you want it hot, then go crazy with jalapeños).
Simmer the lot about 10 mins until chicken is fully cooked. (In our case, we leave it there for a good hour. We don’t like to be rushed and it doesn’t make a difference).
Serve into bowls (makes 4-6 servings, hahahahahha, we two piggies ate it all in one sitting), top with shredded cheddar and sprinkle with cilantro (I hate fresh cilantro but the dry stuff is okay for me. Hubby likes both).
I know I have some vegan/vegetarian friends here. I don’t see why this couldn’t be made with substitutes for the chicken, broth, cream and cheese.