Another Month….

I’m turning out to be a bit you-know-what at posting recently.  I’m full of good intentions and then somehow I just wander off and get to doing something else.

I’ve been busy of course, Siddy now visits twice a week with his elder care friends – most of whom now remember that they know him, though some need to be reintroduced every visit.  He is learning how to walk beside a power chair so that a) he doesn’t get run over and b) doesn’t cause his friend to find herself suddenly toppled upside down on the grass – now that wouldn’t be good!  At the same time I am learning how to help when required and how to take over if required and of course also how not to run over a puppy or topple a lovely lady out on her ear at any time.  All this so we can go for a walk in the park or take off into town and do a pub crawl – who knows!  🙂

I’m joining in with Sheila’s Secret Santa this year, much to my delight – I’ve been making and hoarding for a while now and today began to wrap up some bits – I remembered to take a photo of this

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A delicious assortment of pure New Zealand kid mohair for the recipient to make something magical with.   I’m having fun making and gathering bits I think my recipient might like.

There’s a garden been planted up last month and it is now starting to come away – when I say ‘garden’ you all know I mean the very tiny courtyard right?  Let’s be clear it’s really not much more than a narrow pathway down the side of my tiny house – but it is all I have that is private so I like it to be pretty every summer.  Last summer was so very awful that it never got its annual make-over done and then a new fence was put in and the whole thing fell apart and we started again.  My wonderful friend Alys kick started me off with a generous gift voucher for my birthday which resulted in a miniature maple being planted up into an up-cycled trash bin which I use as my version of a water-wicking planter

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and lots of daisies – this was the year for going bonkers over daisies.  And Pukekoes – I’m trying to frighten off the slugs and snails with a little flock of wall art……..  Aren’t they the cutest things – rowdy little critters and quarrelsome too first thing in the morning so I’m quite glad mine are made of metal……

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Even the lemon tree which I nearly killed is making a come back and the perfume of those tiny flowers, mixed with the jasmine, is filling the air

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The Senior Sidd is almost disappearing already

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and Junior Sidd has chosen his chair

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So that’s it from me for now, just checking in to let you know I’m still going strong and absolutely ecstatic over our election results.  Oh, and what about this as an idea for our little town that time forgot – do have a look and let me know what you think.   Things are looking up!

Thanks for coming by today, I’m so happy that you did!

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Living With Orlando

Winter is often a challenging time for this contentment seeker.  Greyness and coldness and long hours of darkness don’t always sit easily with my need for sun and light and balmy air.  But this year something is different, I feel a mellowness, a silent waiting, a sense of gratitude for being allowed to love.  I feel these things and they are mixed with a certain irritability and impatience   – caused entirely by watching my dear old kitty age and slow down and show signs of incipient dementia.    I was concerned – I looked it up – it’s a thing.

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Orlando wearing his hat for a special Skype meeting in 2014

Orlando has always been a cat who has excellent message collecting skills.  But, being Maine Coon, he also glories in being one of those special creatures ‘the dog of the cat world’.  He comes when whistled.  He used to like going for little walks with me BP (Before Puppy).  He loves water and the seaside.   When I lived by the sea he would often be seen trotting along the sand at low tide, coming home smelling of salt and seaweed.  All my early attempts to have him be an inside cat were completely ignored by him and after a few months I gave up trying.  He would usually be home and indoors with me when I was home and indoors.

O July 8 2015

Nowhere is sacred – tables are for getting closer to his favourite person

Orlando hasn’t had a cat door for some time.  Not since his inclination to catch rats and bring them home and set them free became an issue for me.  In these later years he would knock at the door, I would open it and he would enter.

Last summer things began to change.  He stopped knocking.  So I would open the door to see if he was there and wanted to come in.  Any or all of the following messages could be the result of multiple door openings:

‘I wanted to come inside,  but you opened the door too fast, now I can’t come in’

‘I want to come inside, but the puppy looked at me, I can’t come in when he looks at me’

‘I can’t come in right now, I’m thinking’

‘I wanted to come inside, but you opened the door too slowly, I can’t possibly come in’

‘I want to come inside,  but I’m not sure – what have you got hiding in there?   No, I can’t possibly come inside now’

‘Why did you open that door?  You disturbed me.  I’m thinking, I can’t possibly move!’

‘I WANT to come inside – but is it safe?  Yes? Maybe? No, it’s not safe.  I can’t possibly come inside when there’s a shadow somewhere’

‘I want to come inside!  About time!  What’s for dinner, I’m soooo hungry mumma!’

‘I can’t possibly eat that!’

‘I have to go outside’

‘No, I want to stay inside now.  No, maybe I want to go out  ….   I don’t know – I’ll think about it’

‘I have to go outside NOW’

Of course I always knew that my lovely orange marmalade boy would have a shortish stay with me, all of us who share our lives with pets know it is not forever – but heck time flies past so quickly!   Orlando is approaching 12 years old,  which puts him up there, in the upper average life span of a Maine Coon cat which is 10 – 12 years.    I was hoping he would make it with the 25% of MC cats to really old age, which is 16 and possibly even beyond – but this in-out thing is stretching my patience somewhat and I sometimes find myself wondering if he will last past tomorrow!

Stretching my patience but also making me very aware that our time is limited.  Every moment counts in an animals life – after all, one of our years is equal to seven of theirs.   I look at him and feel that little rush of affection for all his catlike foibles and recognise how they mirror my own.  I’m more ‘cat’ than I like to admit!  But still, I feel concern at this change of ‘in-out’ behaviour.

He’s still a lovely boy, a liquid ripple of orange-blonde fur, a magnificent tail often coated in leaves gathered from the garden and a wide variety of vocalisations that include hurrunphing, gurgling, chirruping and purring at different volumes and speeds.

He is a boy who adores his mumma and loathes when the house has other people come in and look at him and disturb his peace.  He has learned over the years to ‘quite like’ or even ‘become rather fond of’  some regular visitors and even, reluctantly, a puppy who moved in to profoundly upset his kingdom three years ago.  At that time he was forced to live on top of the fridge for a whole year as being at ground level meant being at eye level with an extremely enthusiastic black and white fluff ball that just wanted to play.   But time and familiarity and a great deal of coaxing persuaded him down and into the happy orbit of his new best friend.

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Orlando, a person he is quite fond of and his puppy friend. Photo taken last summer

 

He’s a boy who waits for the sound of the car returning and then he trots through the front garden, gathering more leaves on his tail,  moving with that liquid flow that so identifies him to me, calling out as he approaches.  The puppy tumbles out of the car and rushes up to say ‘Hullo!’ but the cat ignores him, his eyes fixed on me, waiting.

He’s waiting for me to organise myself.  I cram as much as I can under one arm for both hands are now required.   I walk to the edge of the garden and hold out my arms, as you would to a small child.  Orlando sits up on his back legs and holds his forepaws up to me, I lift him, like a little child and I scoot him over onto my right hip and arm.  He puts a paw about my neck and cuddles in, looking satisfied, harrumphing and purring.  I stagger indoors under the weight of my golden cat and anything else I happen to be carrying.  The puppy trots along at our heels looking up at us and smiling.

Well Hello! 2016

We go inside.  I put down my paraphenalia and eventually coax the cat from my arms. He jumps to the floor and sits by the kitchen door.

‘I need to go outside now.’

I sigh.  Then I open the door and let him do whatever he wants to do.  He is my precious cat, probably my last one and I will let him do and be as he likes for whatever time we have left.  The puppy bounds up and scrambles at my knees.  “I’m here” he seems to be saying “I’ll stay with you til kitty comes back.”

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Orlando waiting for Santa Christmas 2015

I hope kitty keeps coming back for a while longer!

O sleeping duo June

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where Does the Time Go?

Heavens, I’m in catch-up mode again!  Time flew by with ED here for a week, YD on three weeks break and needing daily visits by Siddy, which were mostly fitted in soon after the morning walk and second breakfast so that he arrived for elevenses ……..  Then there was our promotion at the retirement home from half hour ambling visits where Siddy trots around smiling at everyone and I get made happy by watching eyes light up and sparks of life sparkle out of tired old eyes.  We were asked to widen our brief and include helping out at the two hour crafting session every week, of course I said yes.   And  of course there is painting and crafting time to fit in here somewhere.  So the days have simply been eaten up by the minute munching monsters.

Here’s Siddy posing with his Aunty Jo – show that boy a camera and he puts on his best sartorial pose

March 2017

The lovely Alys  purchased two items from my collection on Vida when it first opened.  One she purchased secretly and sent straight to me, reducing me to tears of wonder, gratitude and astonishment that I had such a generous and kind friend.  You may remember my disappointment when I discovered I couldn’t afford to purchase my own designs as the shipping cost was astronomical.  Well, now I have a lovely tote bag and here’s me still looking somewhat stunned at the event, just arrived at YD’s in time for elevenses……..

Tote March 2017

A week or so later and the lovely Alys sent me photos of her Inky Doodle design scarf that she purchased from Vida.  Photographed by her youngest son, Alys rocks the colourful fabric and is well on her way to becoming the world’s next super model.  And isn’t the fabric gorgeous, I am so happy to see my doodles come to life like this.  It’s simply great!

Pauline King design alys

After prolonged imploring from three people I agreed to reopen my collection on Vida.  My stance remains that it is a pyramid selling scheme and therefore not ethical – but it allows my work to reach a wider audience and to be taken down from the wall and worn.  I am made happy when my friends and family are happy and, as I make art to spread joy, and Vida allows that process to happen we have, it seems, reached accord.

There’s a painting on the easel, this is phase 1, where do you think it might be heading?

Phase1

We’ve been mostly enjoying lovely late summer weather this month, which has been much appreciated  and greeted with cries of ‘Better late than never’ and ‘Great Scott, what is that bright yellow orb in the sky?’  We have taken heart, all is not lost for our Blogging Babes reunion this time next year!  (That’s a teaser, more on this later)

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!

Happily Painting …….

Here I am again – already!  It’s only been a few days since my last post – whatever is happening I hear you cry?  It’s cooler today – which is good.  We can actually move and not wilt!  Siddy has more energy to play and even Orlando has woken up for brief periods.  And I am painting

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…… until I am asked to play a game of ‘Fetch’

How can you resist this?

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We play ‘Fetch’ for a few minutes – then Siddy retires to cool off and I continue work.

In the previous post I showed you my second version of the ‘Beacon of Light’  that was the first main exercise in Life Book 2015 and she was looking like this

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She’s under-gone a number of changes and now I think she is finished.  This is just a photo shot, not a scan – I am just so excited to share her with you

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This is MY Beacon of Light – she rises from the sea – a metaphor for when I am lost at sea, or ‘all at sea’.  You know that feeling, I’m not standing on firm ground ……. her message is you don’t have to feel like that, you are not alone.  Trust, surrender, relax.

I’m happy!  But what do you think?

She is painted on 300gsm A3 watercolour paper and I think is destined for a frame and my art room wall!  But I’ll probably put a couple of prints into the Etsy shop as well 🙂  I’ll show you another shot when she is scanned – then you will get to see all the colour and details.

Thanks for coming by today, you know that I love that you did!

Siddy Gets Happy Mail

This was hand delivered by our smiling Postie this morning HM1

‘Ooooh!  Look Siddy,” I cooed, pulling him off the happy Postie whom he was trying to lick to death, ‘you’ve got mail!”

I knew what was in it as our friend Claire had said she was sending something to Siddy especially for Christmas.  Orlando waited patiently for the opening, not at all miffed that the gift was not for him.

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Once opened the package revealed this rather cute wee Christmas doggie bag

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and inside, rather more than I was expecting 🙂  I’m pretty sure I’ve seen the pretty pink star bunting before somewhere in Claire’s blog, I liked it very much and had no clue it was destined for me.  I am a very happy Contented Crafter, this gorgeous star bunting made from the most deliciously soft yarn will end up in the revamped art room eventually – you will see it again! HM4

Siddy and his gift

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Oooooh!  Siddy’s Christmas flower, made from some magical thing that makes petals – and packed full of colourful, tiny bells for stamens [apologies for the blurry shot- sigh!] HMFlower

And Siddy wearing his Christmas flower which, alas, due to his extreme hirsuteness is difficult to see, but can be heard – he tinkles like Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer and is quite pleased with himself!

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Siddy and I send a big hug to our friend Claire of MollieandClaire who made this lovely package and sent it off whilst coping with an awful water event in her house.  If you like crochet and knitting and such like pop over – have a look at the waistcoat she is making her dad for Christmas – it is pretty fabulous!!

Thank you Claire – this is the most lovely and thoughtful gift and has begun our Christmas season most happily!

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The same happy postie also bought another package with her – it contains this huge ‘Tree of Life’ wall hanging.  I thought it might go in my new, revamped art room – but it is too fabulous and is going into my living room on my ‘faux wall’ – I shall find something else for the art room!

Tree of Life Decor

The art room is coming along extremely slowly due to a million interruptions, all of the most welcome kind – like assisting YD in her move to a new and exciting chapter of her life and old friends coming to stay and all the other stuff that takes up time at this wonderful season of the year.  Tomorrow is curtain making day!!

Thanks for coming by today, I’m so happy that you did!  🙂

 

 

A Short History of Siddy and Some Other Things

There was life BS and now there is life AS.

There exists a photo taken the day before I met Siddy for the first time in which I am lolling back on my chair with a large, sleepy cat purring and wuffling softly on my lap. My YD was checking out her old camera prior to passing it on to me as she had just purchased her lovely posh new one.  Despite this being her old and now not good enough camera, it goes better than mine ever did.  She took a photo and shot a short video on a day that we did not then know was the last day of life BS.

I’m not going to show you the photo or the video as neither is the least bit flattering and I still have a modicum of vanity about my appearance!  Suffice to say I don’t loll well!!

I shall forever treasure that shot however for it records life BS and that may well be the last time I loll any where or indeed have a large and heavy Maine Coon purring and wuffling contentedly in my lap!

Yesterday Orlando stayed inside for the first time – though never in the lounge – at least on the kitchen counter or [poutingly] in his window or in my work room.  Every time he moved Siddy bounced joyfully towards him and we all went back to square one.

Orlando decided his window seat was the only place he could be

June5 14 AS

You would have to be pretty insensitive if you do not recognise that this is not a place he is staying because he wants to, but a place he must be because he is a put-upon cat and has nowhere else left to go – this is all that is left to him!!!!

It is very sad!  But then this afternoon there suddenly appeared to be this option too – which has a slight irony to it………Tig on fridge2

I spent an hour this morning re-housing containers of embellishing items and various photos from the top of the tall dresser in my work room and laying a sheepskin rug there instead.  After much coaxing I got Orlando to look at it and even to step onto it – but it wouldn’t do as the puppy was bouncing around on the floor whining that he was missing out on something and Orlando felt the need to exit the building again.

It is a week today since I first met my little black and white ball of fluff and went ‘sqeeeeee!’  The ‘sqeeee’ hasn’t stopped – he is totally gorgeous and when he turns those bright black eyes on me I just melt all over again.  I am sad about my big boy though, as I hate to see him so discombobulated and tense.  I really thought his natural tendency to zen out would see him through, aided by loads of extra attention and reassurance and all those good things – but now I wonder if he is just being bloody minded!

Despite all this tension in our normally content household I have begun a painting:

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I hadn’t painted anything except organiser covers since February – I hadn’t even used my lovely new pencils that I purchased in Wellington at the end of March – I was worried I had forgotten how to draw and paint……..  But no, she’s got potential and I just have to become enlightened about what to do with her next.

And I have managed to finish this gorgeous thing as well, working away in the few quiet moments I get in the evenings – though I may decide to put another white double-row of scallops around the edge to finish off my finishing off  🙂

Bavarian Rug finished

Its rather large, coming in at 1.30 m [approx 50″ for you imperialists] and it is a square, despite the camera making it look like a rectangle.  It is texture rich, reversible, and weighty.  If I ever get my bedroom done up the way I would like to, this will look fantastic on my bed!

In the meantime I have to keep it safe from puppy love….

“Are you really, really sure you don’t want me to pull it? Tug it?  Shake it? …. I can you know, it’s no trouble at all…..  You don’t?  Unbelievable!!  What on earth is it for then?”

Siddy June5 14

If you want to have a go [and I don’t mean ‘a go’  in a Sddy kind of way – I mean in a relaxed and crocheting kind of way] at this gorgeous Bavarian Rug for yourself check out Dani’s tutorial.  I am just going to keep right on making things using this stitch – I love it to pieces!!

Bavarian Rug texture

Siddy went to make friends with the folk at our Veterinary Practice on Tuesday.  He was very happy to be there and went from person to person most amiably – I was happy to have a break quite honestly.  He had put on 800 grams in 8 days.  That’s 100 grams a day – in no time at all he will be a giant!  His big sister YD dropped in to see him after her shift last night and said she thought his tail was longer and thicker.  I hadn’t noticed, but this morning on really looking, I think that is where the 800g has gone!  I also wonder how much weight he would put on if he ever sat still………

As I have never given you the full details – and some of you want to know I’m sure 🙂 here is the background and story of how Sid-Arthur arrived in our lives.

Siddy is short for Sid-Arthur.  Sid-Arthur is a play on ‘Siddhartha’ the prince who became the Buddha.  The name came about because the first time we met the wildly energetic ball of fluff, I was allowed to hold him and he settled and became still and quiet in my arms and the pet shop owner observed that ‘he looks just like a little Buddha….’

Siddy’s mother is a Maltese Terrier X Shih Tzu, variously known as a Matzu, Maltzu or a Mitzu.  Dad is a Lhasa Apso.  All I know is there’s an awful lot of terrier in this boy!

Both the Shih-Tzu and the Lhasa Apso began life as Temple Dogs and are named after Lions, who are revered for their courage and large hearts.  Both these traits are easily seen in my little fellow.  Being just a babe he is courageous to the point of fool-hardiness, but time and experience will temper that.  His large heart is seen in his unabated joy and enthusiasm for EVERYTHING!

Sometimes I just stand and watch pure joy in action.  I thought I was good at living in the moment – I discover I still have much to learn!!  Courage is seen when he lines his tiny body up to get down steps or in the past two days, off the chair.  He jumps.  All four legs work at it, the front two go up and out and the back two propel him high into the air and he sails bravely forth with more speed and height than is really required and lands, increasingly gracefully, on the spot he set his eyes upon.  It is impressive, it is courageous, it is funny!

Siddy was born on Friday April 4th 2014.  I found him on Friday 30th May when he was exactly 8 weeks old.  He came to live with me the next day.  The moment my daughter knew he was coming home with me was a moment I missed.

I had met him and cuddled him and returned him to his pen with his two brothers.  We walked off with the pet shop owner to look at equipment that might be required if I was going to commit to a puppy.  Still deep in conversation we returned to the front of the cage where YD observed the pup stop still in the midst of his playful brothers and with a look of pure joy launch himself happily towards me, his eyes fixed on my face.

I thought he was the most gorgeous bundle of energy I had ever seen – but I was intent on getting an older, female dog – and I preferred a Bichon or Bichon-Shih-Tzu X; the ‘Teddy Bear’ dog, or a Labradoodle or a Spoodle.  I thought a girl and the more mature energy would be easier for me and Orlando to cope with.

Three weeks previously I had had an odd experience regarding an older Bichon girl who had been picked up by the pound.  I had made inquiries and been told she was not suitable for re-homing.  Three days later I found out the Dog Rescue people had taken her.  I made contact, saying I was interested, but heard nothing back.  Ten days later I discovered a message in my facebook message box which had somehow got buried beneath others and had been there for a week, advising me the dog would be re-homed and asking if I was interested in applying formally.  Of course I had responded immediately, but it was too late – she had found her forever home.

I was puzzled – this was the perfect scenario for us, why had it not happened?  Obviously she was not meant for us – but she had fit my order perfectly!

I wrestled all night long with committing to a puppy – a huge undertaking, no matter how cute he was!  Full commitment came when I was delivered a waking picture in my mind of a little black and white puppy all alone in a pet shop cage after his two brothers had gone to their forever homes and his intended forever home had said no.

I was In!  YD told me he was already In! and she saw the whole thing as being Inevitable!  And so Sid-Arthur came home.

My postcard prints of ‘Choose Joy’ finally arrived today.  Time to get those organisers made for those of you who are waiting – and then into the Etsy Store too!

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!