Sunday, October 14, 2012
But now that all these goodies are completed, do you think Mother Nature is being cooperative? NO! Of course not! So in my attempts to compete with her cloudy and very rainy skies today, I have come up with a very ridiculous set-up so that I can take photos.
Ta dah!! I present to you, cat stand photo gallery (complete with front door, empty computer box and confused cat who wants to play).
To see the newly listed item (pictured above), check this link out:
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
This afternoon I went for a little stroll down the road to one of the 'beach' accesses. In this neighborhood, the shoreline is quite rugged and rocky so there are lots of little docks floating on the water with boats beside them. There is also lots of vegetation on the sides; ivy, shrubs, coniferous and deciduous trees, etc.
I did a quick little sketch of the shoreline while I was there. It's not anything spectacular, just something to get the creative juices going again. It's a very relaxing activity.
Anyhow, while I was listening to my music and sketching, I managed to sit in some very sticky pine sap. Arrrgh! So sticky! And I had been doing laundry earlier, so I was wearing black dress pants. Double arrgh!
I've never had to try to get pine sap out of good clothing before but after some quick Googling, I tried rubbing alcohol and a microfiber cloth. It seems to have done the trick! Yay for Google! What was my life like before Google? (Oh wait I remember, World Book Encyclopedia...1989 version)
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Well, it's officially autumn which means I have an abundance of summer fruits in my freezer and at my doorstep (literally, the apples are falling off of the tree on to my doorstep). I only have a tiny fridge freezer so in order to start making some room, I have been trying the old art of canning - for the first time might I add.
My first experiment has been with some chutney. Because it is quite acidic, there is less of a chance of things going wrong (rancid). Obviously, the recipe I chose would need to use apples, so I chose a recipe from BBC Good Food and tweaked it to my own liking. I love that website!
Apple & Blackberry Chutney
(makes approximately 5 x 500ml jars)
8 cups apples (peeled and chopped)
1 very large red onion (450g) (sliced)
1 thumb sized piece fresh root ginger (peeled and finely grated)
-for a little more kick, add more ginger
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup white wine vinegar
3 cups blackberries
-put everything except the blackberries into a large stock pot
-bring to a boil (uncovered) and then let the mixture simmer for about an hour until there is no watery liquid left
- add berries and cook further until berries have softened but not burst and no watery liquid is left.
-spoon into jars (leave some space at the top) and wipe the rims
-seal until finger tight
-boil in water (make sure water is at least and inch above the tops) for 5-20 minutes depending on your altitude (not attitude)
Friday, August 3, 2012
I was so excited to finally send off my assessment form but this is just another stop in the road that I have to contend with. I'm off to find a scanner that will scan to PDF.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
My family heritage is Dutch but up until October 2010, I couldn't apply for dual citizenship. Despite my father's Dutch heritage, the fact that he became a Canadian citizen at age 22 and was not a Dutch citizen when I was born (even though my mother was a Dutch citizen at that time), meant that I could not apply for citizenship. Citizenship was through the paternal line and not the maternal.
There was a push in Holland that this sexist rule be changed and in October 2010 there was success. People like myself can now apply for citizenship through their mother's heritage under the special title of 'Latent Dutch' ('Latente Nederlanders'.
This process has not been simple and I just at the beginning of it still. I'm hoping that my blog posts might be able to help other people who might be wanting to apply as Latent Dutch also.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
It was quite obvious that he needed to strengthen his legs again. The joints looked very "rounded". He has been managing to strengthen his legs on his own quite well by playing with his toys & Fatty and jumping and trying to scratch on his cat stand (gripping and scratching things seems to be the most dificult for him). He has also been stretching his front feet alot- I'm sure they bother him. The bones were not perfectly aligned when they healed, but on the whole, he is doing awesome. He was even the Pet of the Month at our vet office!
Saturday, June 9, 2012
Good thing I like my jobs! I found this beautiful yellow rose at work today. I only have a few planters at my place so it's nice to be able to work with all of these other beautiful plants. Too bad I can't include how wonderful this rose smelled!
Friday, June 8, 2012
So the challenge given to me was to paint something on to this canvas that is Robert Bateman inspired (our studio will be offering a Robert Bateman kids
Summer camp). This is what I came up with.
My life has been so crazy lately that I haven't even had a chance to paint anything - probably for about 3 months now! It's been nice to get back into it again.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
NO MORE X-RAYS ON HIS LEGS DANGIT!!
The casts are due to come off this week anyways so at this point his legs will be what they are and if they've healed crooked, I am sure he will be fine. For the last 4 weeks he's been hopping around just fine on Popsicle sticks so there's no reason why his own two front legs wouldn't be just as good. He's an indoor cat too. Eating his kibble and playing with his buddy are his top priorities.
So I leave you know with one last photo of Batman's doctored up smile (which they will hopefully remove today when they do the tooth extraction).
This is how Batman feels about going to the vet.
Friday, May 11, 2012
The results of the appointment? More X-rays on his legs and he still has his tooth. We now have ANOTHER appointment to get the tooth pulled. The tooth is still giving structure to his jaw as it heals. His legs are healing pretty well- the splint in one cast had twisted a bit so that one had to be replaced. Now he has a ridiculous looking bandage with Popsicle sticks taped to the outside.
Here's a creepy photo of him smiling his toothy grin (really its the bonding on his teeth). It shouldn't look the same after his next appointment.
Apart from his hatred of going to the vet, he is doing really well!
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Batman is due for a tooth extraction; the lower left canine and possibly the teeth on either side of that canine.
When Batman fell, his canine tooth was shoved down into his jawbone so that the bottom of his tooth nearly came out the bottom of his jaw. The break in the jawbone was also directly behind this tooth. Now that the jaw has healed, the tooth needs to be removed so that it won't abscess and cause him painful problems later.
He has been recovering very well. He can now go coneless when I am home. (He occasionally gets his teeth caught in the bandaging on his legs) I think the vet will be changing his bandages tomorrow too. Hopefully he won't have to wear them for too much longer!
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
At first I thought it was a spider because the bites on my tummy had two holes in them (really it was just 2 bites very close together). I had a total of about 6 that day. The next day I woke up with more, and then that evening, while I was reading in bed I started to get more! I now have 18 bites all over my legs, toes, arms and some on my hip and tummy.
Yesterday, I washed EVERYTHING in hot water (I probably shrunk a lot of things) and that seems to have done the trick. No fresh bites today, but I'm keeping an eye on things.
I still have no idea what it was though. The last time I was at a hotel was over a month ago and I've also moved house in between (to a brand new apt). If it was bedbugs, surely I would have been getting bitten earlier?
Fleas? My cats are indoors only and we were at the vet over a week ago. A rogue flea should have bitten me sooner I think? And wouldn't the cats be itchy too? I guess it could be a rogue flea caught off of one of the visiting dogs at work?
Maybe dust mite bites? Some people believe in this, others don't. Dust mites eat dead cells and the outer layer of our skin is made from dead cells. I guess it's possible :S
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Robin is a giant Maine Coon and he's the biggest wuss on the planet. Seriously, he's big enough to open a good can of whoop ass in the neighborhood, but instead, he's scared of EVERYTHING (and also lazy).
That being said, it's no surprise that he's scared of Batman's cone. The other day, Batman was hanging out in the doorway to my room. Robin got scared of something and bolted to my room but screeched to a stop when he was faced with THE CONE. I could see him panicking and trying to come to a solution to his dilemma. Surely, he couldn't just run past the cone. Nope. He decided to LEAP over the cone to safety on the other side. It was hilarious.
This cute video has Batman and Robin playing with their favourite toy but at a certain point, Batman's enthusiasm for the toy scares Robin away.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
I have been leaving him overnight in the bathroom to recover. It's easier to clean up any accidents that way, an he's been doing well in there - eating well, using his kitty litter- up until today!
This morning I went into the bathroom to find poop and kitty litter everywhere! He'd managed to get it on the wall, floor, his bed, himself, etc., so I spent 30 min cleaning that and him up (he was not so happy about having his feet bathed!).
After that's all done, I give the little guy his breakfast and hop into the shower. While I'm in the shower, I hear this loud meowing and scuffing (scratching with bandages on). Batman is finished breakfast and wants to get out of the bathroom NOW. More meowing and then quiet. I peek out from behind he shower curtain and he's looking straight at me and pooping on the shower mat!
I swear that there was even an evil grin on his face!
Before the failed skydiving, Batman was a very clean and happy cat. He was very dog-like. I hope that this new behavior doesn't turn into a habit!
Tonight I will be finding him a new place to sleep.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Poor little guy, the original X-ray angles didn't show the break and because he was referred to Dr Sue for his jaw, she had assumed that all the foot stuff was taken care of already.
So instead of a happy thumbs up kind of check up, Batman had to be put under and have his paw reset and put into a split. He now has 2 splints and a cone. He's quite the sight!
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Friday, April 13, 2012
Batman is certainly on the mend. He was feeling a little bit playful today so I gave him a pot of cat grass to bat at. I can't give him any toys because he might try to use his teeth on them. He was pretty cute with the grass and his little bandage!
I was able to get extra doses of the 'good stuff' for him as well as tablet antibiotics. Up until now, we had liquid form to squirt in his mouth which was just silly. He fought it and half of it would run out of his mouth anyways. Yuck! What a mess!
So today, I'm including a photo of the little man's new British smile (he also looks a bit stoned in the photo!). Dr Sue did a great job!
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
First thing this morning I made a
sneaky phone call to another vet clinic; the one with the jaw specialist. I hadn't heard from my other vet and my poor kitty had been suffering with his mangled jaw for more than 24hrs.
I was able to bring him in in the morning. They were going to keep him there overnight, take X-rays, and do surgery the next day. I had to run off to work and near the end of the day, Dr Sue surprised me with a call that she had done the procedure and I could come and pick him up.
He was obviously feeling better; rolling around and wanting to clean his paws. I'm glad he's happy but his heightened activity level has made me put his cone on again ( we hoped to avoid putting any kind of pressure on his jaw ).
Fingers crossed, he will be less mobile through the night. It is at this point that I'm having to trust God that nothing in his face shifts over. Dr Sue was only able to bond one side of the jaw so it's still super fragile.
I have been overwhelmed by the kindness that has been shown to me and Batman. I've had donations from all over the globe and lots of people have helped me in getting the word out there in the interwebs. It's been amazing!
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Some folks have been asking about costs. So far, I've already put in about $1000 for 3 X-rays, anaesthetic, medication, and 2 exams. The ballpark figure given to me in emergency on Saturday night was $2000 for jaw/ tooth surgery.
I can tell that Batman has been in more pain but he's taking it all in stride really. He might even be less stressed than me!
Tonight he was a hungry little guy. I have to scoop soft food with my hand up to his face. It's kind of like feeding a baby bird!
11 am: We had an appointment with the vet Dr Rolf this morning and things went great. His foot was xrayed and it's aligned fairly well so no surgery is needed, just splinting. We are going to hold off on tooth surgery to allow the tooth root to give the jaw structure as it heals. He doesn't have to wear his cone and can hang out in a big dog crate.
4:00pm Batman is chilling in his new crate and seems to be liking it. We've even had a tiny poo! ( don't tell him I told you that, he'll get embarrassed)
9:30pm. Ugh things have turned for the worst. I returned from Starbucks bc my roomate said he was freaking out. He has managed to break his jaw completely and it has shifted over to the left. Omg it looks awful!!!
12am. We are back from an emergency vet run. The vet only took some pics to send to Dr Rolf who is going to call me tomorrow. On the positive side of things, they didn't charge me for the visit or the new cone. I am so sad; I have no idea how to afford this but I don't want to put him down. He's survived so much already and has been pretty good natured about it all. If he was bleeding inside it would be a different story but this is totally fixable.
Monday, April 9, 2012
On Saturday night, my cat, Batman, snuck out on to the balcony of our new place. It ended up being a decision that he would regret! He fell from our 7th floor down to the 3rd floor!
At first I didn't know which floor he had landed on. All I had heard was a sound like nails on a chalkboard (cringe) and I went to check it out. I could hear him meowing below me but couldn't see him so I frantically started running from floor to floor knocking on doors. Nobody was home!!
I was totally getting panicked. I finally ended up knocking on the 3rd floor door and 2 girls answered the door (hallelujah!). They had thought it was one of their cats but of course it wasn't. Batman had managed to run inside their house and hide. There was so much blood and feces everywhere; I thought he had broken his pelvis.
The girls gave me a little blanket to wrap him in and then we were off to the emergency pet hospital. 2 xrays later revealed that he had broken and dislocated his right wrist and broken his jaw and some teeth. Lucky kitty! A human would not have been so lucky.
I am very thankful that the floor he fell too had 1) people home and 2) were pet lovers (they have cats and a super cute puppy)
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Friday, April 6, 2012
It's not my favorite because of the chocolate or the treasure hunts instigated by the Easter bunny (although those things do earn
brownie points). It's my favorite holiday because everything about it points to hope and new life.
Easter falls into my favorite time of year which is springtime. I love seeing all the fruit trees in bloom and the bulb flowers poking their heads from the ground. On a side note- If morning people were flowers, they'd be crocuses and daffodils. I also love hearing all the lovely birdsong again in the trees after a long winter and seeing baby animals because they are so cute!
Easter is also pinnacle to those of us Jesus followers. Rather than run away from the accusations that had been made against him, Jesus chose to get caught, go to trial and eventually he was put to death.
So today we celebrate the death of Jesus (don't we sound like a morbid bunch?) because his death served as a final sacrifice, making previous laws about sacrifice defunct and basically saying, " Hey! Anybody can have access to the God of the Jews, not just the people who follow all those crazy old rules and do weird things like sacrificing animals!"
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Sent from my iPhone
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
I'm also doing the happy dance because today is the last class for some of my difficult classes. I love teaching kids but there are some classes that I'm happy to see the back of. It's not because the kids are terrible on their own, but mixing certain kids together into a class sometimes creates a less-than-ideal classroom environment.
For example, with a class with a 7 yr old and a 13 yr old there are obvious learning gaps between those two ages making it a challenge to teach.
I also often find mixing home schoolers with public schooled kids challenging socially. Quite often, I find home schoolers are kids that may have been bullied before and taken out of school. Or sometimes, they are kids who have never been to public school and unfortunately haven't learned the 'rules if the playground' yet. A teacher really has to be on the ball to make sure that 'bullying' type behavior doesn't happen with groups like this.
(None of these observations are scientific, they are just things I've been learning and noticing in my first full year of teaching)
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
I had finally managed to unpack half my stuff and get my clothing all organized, but the brackets holding everything together were made of plastic.... Bom bom bom!
Funny thing, when it broke, I didn't wake up right away. My brain warped the sound and integrated it into my dreams. It was my growling cat that woke me up. He was so scared by the noise that he hid under my bed and hissed and growled. Aren't our brains weird sometimes?
Monday, April 2, 2012
Sunday, April 1, 2012
Friday, February 10, 2012
My friend Raylene from ItsOKtobeWeird shared a link not too long ago that brought the idea of A-Z blogging to my attention. Seeing as I am a terribly inconsistent blogger, I thought this might be a fun challenge to take up and so I'm seriously considering it! The challenge starts April 1 with the letter 'A' and the idea is to blog about a topic every day with the next letter in the alphabet.
So the first letter is "A" huh? Hmm, good thing I have some time to think about this because I'm stumped already!
Friday, February 3, 2012
Monday, January 30, 2012
1) It's easy to get to from London. Just hop on a train and about 2.5 hours later it'll drop you off right in the center of Cardiff.
2) It's a very pretty city. It has a castle and it has a grand-looking museum and a gorgeous central park. It also has a fantastic looking bay area with impressive and beautiful buildings like the parliament building and the Wales Millennium Centre.
3) It's not too big. You can't really get too lost in Cardiff and if you do find yourself REALLY stuck. The center of town is only about an hour's walk from any corner of the city and all the buses pretty well go to the central station.
4) It's more friendly and less gray than London. Don't get me wrong, I love London too (for other reasons) but don't ask for too much friendliness from Londoners. They are busy people with busy lives and don't have the time for lost tourists. The Welsh, on the other hand, seem to love it when people come to visit their country and if you ask them to tell you about the history of Wales, be prepared for a lengthy and dramatic tale (maybe go to the pub).
5) Like sports? Check out the Millennium Stadium. It is impressive! And the moving ceiling is pretty cool too.
6) Like Dr. Who or Torchwood? Go down to Cardiff Bay and check out the 'familiar' scenery. There's also a Dr. Who exhibit in the Red Dragon Centre down there too.
7) Like the arts? There's loads going on. Check out these places.
The Gate Arts Centre
Chapter Arts Centre
The Sherman Theatre
The New Theatre
Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
Wales Millenium Centre
Friday, January 20, 2012
While I was on vacation, I was able to take a mini trip up to Taff's Well. It's easily accessible from Cardiff. There are buses but I find the easiest way to get there, if you don't have a car, is by train from the Queen street station (it also stops at Cathays and Llandaff North). It only takes about 15 minutes from the heart of Cardiff.
Taff's Well is a very cute village. It's name is derived from it's location next to the river Taff and it's history of being a site of natural hot springs since Roman times. It is a great place to spend an afternoon or day. The local pub is great and it's nice to just walk up the Taff trail and take in the Welsh countryside.
While in Taff's Well, I definitely recommend visiting Umber & Sienna Art Café. It's an easy, short walk up the Taff trail and a great little place to see some local Welsh art. Have a tea or coffee and a slice of delicious homemade cake (or other tantalising treats!) while enjoying an environment filled with local artwork. If you have children, bring them too. There are child-friendly snacks and drinks available and they will love creating their own Lego® artwork on the walls!
The owner of the café, Rachael, has done an excellent job of arranging the place and will be happy to make you feel welcome. The café is open 9:30-3 pm Tuesday to Friday and 10-5 on Saturdays.
How to get there in a 5 minute walk
Across the road from the Taff's Well train station car park, you will see the Taff Trail. Follow it (north) over the bridge and to the first gate. At the first gate, you will see two cottages, one on the left and on the right. These are the Rhymney railway cottages (so-named after the Rhymney Valley railway connection).
After the cottages, you will come to a second gate. Just after this, on the left hand side, you will see a little track and a sign pointing you to the art café.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
I'm back from my vacation and fighting jet lag. Jet lag is such a strange thing isn't it?
I fly to Europe fairly often and I find that no matter whether I'm coming or going, the same weird things happen to me every time for the first few days. My symptoms include the following:
1) I get the EXTREME munchies at 3 am and usually end up consuming large amounts of cheese to drive off the hunger.
2) I wake up at 5:30am and read a book. I have tried various books to stop this but alas no genre seems to curb it!
3) I scare my friends by suddenly becoming a perky morning-person. This is possibly the worst of all my symptoms; my poor friends live on tenterhooks for the first few days until I finally become my groggy self.
4) I relive my old university skills of staying up late and use bullying tactics to get the others around me to do the same. Sadly, they all become pumpkins at midnight.
5) I'm wide awake at sleepy-time and sleepy at wide-awake time. O_o
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
I know it's been weeks since I've posted anything. With Christmas and being on vacation without internet, it's been nearly impossible to get any good blogging done.
Lord Thou knowest better than I know myself that I am growing older and will someday be old.
Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.
Release me from craving to straighten out everybody's affairs.
Make me thoughtful but not moody: helpful but not bossy.
With my vast store of wisdom it seems a pity not to use it all, but thou knowest Lord that I want a few friends at the end.
Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point.
Seal my lips on my aches and pains.
They are increasing and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years by.
I dare not ask for grace enough to enjoy the tales of others pains, but help me to endure them with patience.
I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessening cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others.
Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.
Keep me reasonably sweet; I do not want to be a Saint some of them so hard to live with, but a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil.
Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places, and talents in unexpected people.
And, give me 0 Lord the grace to tell them so.
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