Monday, December 29, 2008

Unnecessary Excitement!

Proving he's okay...

...but it was kinda exciting.

Long story short, Horrible Child had an adventure. Rest of the tale here.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

An open letter to his Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI

Not by me -- this was written by my beloved Tim. He's asked that I ask my priestly and otherwise religiously-oriented peeps to have a look at it (that'd be all y'all, one way or t'other) and comment...but I figured posting it two days before Christmas would get me a solid not-much. So have a link...

An open letter to his Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI

Pls to comment there, unless you can't, in which case feel free to comment here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Twelve Pictures of Christmas Meme...

I challenge y'all! Well, whoever wants. Here's a sampling:


Eight kitty toeses

Find the rest here!

Monday, December 15, 2008

COLD

COLD COLD COLD OMG COLD

COLD

*goes to bed*

Friday, December 12, 2008

More kitten haiku!

Looks like this is going to be a regular thing...especially given the haiku I received in response to the last post.

Read more kitten haiku here!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Linky...

A truly unique Eucharist. I love this tale.

Hopi Prophecy

Schwinked from a friend of mine.

“You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour.
Now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour.
And there are things to be considered:
Where are you living? What are you doing?
What are your relationships? Are you in right relation?
Where is your water? Know your garden.
It is time to speak your Truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for the leader.
This could be a good time!
There is a river flowing now very fast.
It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid.
They will try to hold on to the shore.
They will feel they are being torn apart, and they will suffer greatly.
Know the river has its destination.
The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of
the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water.
See who is in there with you and celebrate.
At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally.
Least of all, ourselves.
For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a
halt. The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves!
Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary.
All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.
We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

–The Elders, Oraibi, Arizona Hopi Nation

That? That wants some thinkin'.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Gnrr

Despite my own intentions I have been so busy with shop stuff I haven't had time or brain to post a proper Thanksgiving meditation here, so I'll just link to the other one I wrote.

Had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner yesterday with about thirty people -- quite a mob! But the food was good and much fun was had by all. A little crowded but we all managed. Then home, at which point I worked until 3AM straight.

...no, not the smartest thing I've ever done. But better than Walmart! Especially after the incident in Long Island this morning, which horrified me. Go and look it up, I don't want to cope with so much as looking at the article again. :/

As Grandmere has reason to say far too often,

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Prayer for the day from http://www.worldprayers.org/

This and this alone is true religion:
To serve thy brethren.

This is sin above all other sin:
To harm thy brethren.

In such faith is happiness.
In lack of it is misery and pain.

Blessed be he who swerveth not
aside from this straight path.

Blessed is he whose life is lived thus
ceaselessly in serving God.

Bearing others' burdens and so alone
is life, true life, to be attained.

Nothing is hard to him who,
casting self aside, thinks only this:

How may I serve my fellow man?


tulsidas -- 16th century -- Translation by Mahatma Gandhi

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A thought...

I saw a bumper sticker today that I love:

You don't have to be dead to go towards the light

I could go on and on about the deeper meaning of this, but I really don't think I have to. It says it all.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mnah.

Slightly frantic about the economy and a complete lack of recent sales.

On the other hand, MacGyver cookie recipe makes me happy.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

* yawns *

So what with one thing and another, I haven't been sleeping so much.

But things are at least quiet (if not settled) between the three of us, and Barack Obama won, and Chocolate's paw is looking a lot better, and I have cleaned my apartment to a point where I'm really happy with it, and I'm making refried beans for dinner.

So what with one thing and another, it's sorta okay.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Life

Tonight, after not sleeping the night before and spending most of the day in a terrified haze, Tim and Ray and I had the sort of conversation in which I spent most of the time I wasn't talking praying 'God, please please please help me not to say something completely dumbassed'.

Where does this leave us? I'm not entirely sure. I don't think any of us are. There was good talking. There were revelations. There were decisions, only sort of.

And now, I am exhausted beyond belief, and going to bed.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Not all bad...

This pleases me:

So, last night was "Goose Night" (tricks night-- where I grew up it was "Goat night") in our new area, apparently. Yes, in this part of the country, in my lifespan, treats night and tricks night are generally not the same day, even when the school district doesn't opt to move treats night.

It says something about our new neighborhood that our front stoop was carefully TP'd (before 9 pm!), but written in pink chalk on the front walk, facing the house, was the phrase, "Welcome to Fair Lawn!"

Very cute.


Cos, yeah. Welcome to the neighborhood!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

On the other hand...



Yeah...that's pretty filled with awesome. :)

Might be NSFW if your boss is extra-freaked by Old Fat Naked Women for Peace.

...they did what!?

Yep, that's a golden bull.

Yep, these are Christians who are praying at the thing.

While I don't think that praying about the economy is a bad thing -- and while I understand the difference between 'praying at' and 'praying to' --

Wow. I still think this is a pretty awesomely bad idea.

You can't make this up.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Yeah...

...I opened the blog back up again.

I'm kinda weary and crabby and 'whatever'. If I get in trouble for it, so be it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Short Takes

Mouse kicks butt.

Radioactive scotch tape.

Posted a whie ago, but topical now -- Screwing It Up - A Manual For the New Home Preserver.

Perhaps a bit of a tearjerker, but I found it awfully inspiring: Running for my Life. Almost makes me want to take up running, though I think I'll stick with my bike.

A nice analysis of the health care problem in America: http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/008803.html.

--

In other news, Chocolate's paw looked a lot better at the last bandage change. He's _sort_ of getting used to the thing, but only sort of; he flaps his back paw around a lot like it's wet. I try not to laugh. Too much.

Been doing breads. Not raised breads; two days ago was banana bread, and today is pumpkin bread. Having fun with it. Also, it's soup season.

Bought a bunch of wool at Newcomer's. Yes, I know. This is all getting turned into blankets, though. I have one on my bed already, though I'll be messing with it some. Love me a good wool blanket.

And that's about it for this post, anyway.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Short Takes

Less cranky, but awesomely tired, due to having to put cone on Chocolate. Poor guy -- his paw just isn't getting any better, and I needed to do something. This way the meds stay on longer. But he needs reassurance, so several times a night I get headbutted by cat armed with cone.

Took Loiosh in to Get Fixed yesterday. All's well, healing nicely, apparently nothing to forgive. Rode home on my lap washing himself. Nearly back to normal though a bit clingy, which occasionally results in cats on each shoulder.

Sale going well. Keeping me busy too which is good except for the tired part. Did I mention I was awesomely tired? Triple-checking each order, just to be paranoid.

The mood to clean is riding me like one of the Loa. Desk is clean; I'm managing to fend off the urge to clear everything off of it and wipe it down with oil, but barely. Once the sale is over and I have time, maybe. Working through cleaning the kitchen, too, and I mean move-everything-and-scrub.

Traded for two huipils from Guatemala. Handwoven shirts, bright colours, _beautiful_. Still not sure if I want to wear them or make something from them, so wearing them until I decide.

Note gratuitous kitten picture atop said huipils. Sent copy to the lady I traded with, as well, since my arm's not long enough to get a picture of me wearing one. They look a little odd with jeans, but I figure they look a little odd on someone as Anglo as me anyway so oh well.

Still haven't been able to talk myself into going to church. Not sure what's up with that. Just feel disinclined. Praying a lot, so 'm not losing the connection, but...yeah. Not sure.

Pretty stressy, what with one thing and another. Money's okay for the moment which helps a lot, but Thomas is pretty much not long for this world and Tim is pretty fragile. Something else going on there but I'm not sure what. Don't think he is either, so. Been spending more time at home weeknights, giving them space. Giving me space, some, too.

Did I mention tired? Perhaps tomorrow will be better. I'm still accomplishing a fair amount, so.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Thomas



This is Thomas. Ignore the rat on his head; he was. He's Tim's cat, at least 17. Cranky old man.

He's having problems. Don't know the cause yet. Dehydrated, weakness in back legs, confused.

I'm worried. Tim's worried. Prayers would be welcome.

Thanks.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Cranky.

Cranky, cranky, cranky.

Cranky.

Cold Water

Because my thirsty soul needed a little.

Tiny baby deer delivered by C-section

Rupert was born a week early, and with his mother dead from a car crash, doctors weren't sure he'd live at all.

But the tiny Muntjac deer fawn, only 500 grams at six inches tall at birth, is thriving.

Complete with TOTALLY ADORABLE PICTURES OMG.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Yeah, so.

I finally got clumsy and Mom found this blog.

I'll admit this is a panic response, but right now I have no cope. I don't know what I'm going to wind up doing -- I know I can't post as openly as I used to knowing my mom is looking. But I did like having a place that people could find -- heck, this is how I found most of you.

Might go Typepad and just keep everything separate from the shop blog. I don't know. Not thinking about it right now. Not thinking about the Talk that is likely to follow from this. Not thinking, cos if I do I'll throw my guts up.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pls vote for me!

Etsy Challenge, in its own words:

Welcome to The Etsy Challenge. Here Etsians compete in 12 different categories each week. The winners of each category will compete the following week for the Weekly Grand Champion.


This week my Lark's Spicy Footy Salve is taking on all comers! Well, okay, it's up against four other pretty awesome things in the Candles/Bath/Body category.



I'm not gonna win if y'all don't go and vote for me. I can only vote for myself once, after all! Please go here and add to my tally:

http://etsychallenge.blogspot.com/2008/09/929-candlebathbeauty-challenge.html

If I win, next week I'll be in the Weekly Grand Champion challenge, so I'll need your votes again. I'll let you know, and thanks for voting for me!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Patron Saints

A discussion on a mailing list I frequent provoked me into choosing appropriate patron saints for the cats. Am I a dork? Yeah, probably. But it was kinda fun, so there you go.

For Loiosh, who was born on or around April 26: Saint Mark the Evangelist, one of whose signs is a winged tiger.



Chocolate and Samson are brothers. I know they were born in late May but I never did write down the exact date, so I tried to choose the same birthday for the two of them. Saint Simeon Stylites the Younger, May 24, seemed perfect for cranky, isolationist Samson but nobody on that day really felt right for Chocolate.

Birth takes its sweet time; it's entirely possible that Samson was born one day and Chocolate the next. Saint Zenobius of Florence, known for miraculous healings and raising five people from the dead, died the 25th of May in 417. Given Chocolate's illness when he was little (a tale I tell elsewhere) and the fact that I could well have named him Miracle, Zenobius seems a perfect fit.

Thank you to the person who gave me the idea -- you know who you are!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Neglected Kitteh

Not that he'd mind.

In all of my many posts about Loiosh (and the few mentions poor Chocolate has gotten), I don't know that I've ever mentioned Samson at all.



This is Samson. He hates you. He hates everyone in the world*. The Demon Eyes effect is from the flash, but the expression on his face? That's there naturally.

I don't talk about him much, because when I think about him I'm sad and frustrated. Much like Taltos, I never managed to do anything to improve his attitude on life. Unlike Taltos, he's not afraid of much; he just hates everyone in the world*.



* This is not actually true. He quite likes Chocolate, who is his brother. And despite the ongoing and rather loud battles he has with Loiosh, he dearly loves the kitten. But he hates all the other cats in the world, and he hates dogs, and he especially hates humans. This totally includes me. I still think of myself as his Momma, though.

Evidence of Samson liking Loiosh:



If Samson understood the web, had an idea what pictures were, and had any clue that I was admitting to others that he likes the kitten, he would kill me in my sleep. Possibly he wouldn't even wait until I was asleep.

Pets are supposed to teach you about unconditional love. Samson has, in a way -- he hates me, and yet I love him. I worry when I haven't seen him. I greet him every morning (he glares at me). If I can sneak up on him, I'll pet him. It's brief when it happens, though.

I've pretty much given up trying to wean him of his hating. Despite it he's generally a pretty happy and serene cat. Healthy as a horse which is good given how exciting it is getting him to a vet. And really, what more can you ask for?

I could ask for Samson-snuggles, but I'm never gonna get them. And that's okay.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Guest Post

After several requests I've decided to let Loiosh give his own view of weekend before last. Read on...

--

Hi! I've commented in a couple of people's journals but I never had the nerve to make my own post. It's a lot of work but my Momma said she'd type for me and put in the pictures. I don't really understand pictures but she said they look different to humans. And most of them are of me so that's okay.

Momma calls it the Weekend of Orange, Occasionally Polydactyl Kittens. I'm not polydactyl but the kitten I met was! He lived at the site but came over to play with me for a while.



Momma fed him some, too, but he and I had different food in different bowls. Momma says that's a good idea because we don't know him very well.



That's us playing under Momma's chair. That picture was taken by Tamsin, who's Momma's friend and knows how to give good scritches. She took a lot of pictures of me that weekend.

Momma met some tiny tiny kittens (I didn't). They're only three weeks old but they all already have homes they're going to go to.



I was never that little.

Momma says one of them is polydactyl, too. He peed on her and she was grumpy, but of course he did, she was rubbing his belly!

It was really windy and Momma was pretty stressed, but I've got used to wind and I was okay. I slept a lot.



That's Momma's knee on the left.

I wore my wings almost all weekend, and people made cooing noises a lot. I guess they think it's cute.



That's Auntie Dharma's feet in that picture.

I slept in a lot of weird positions. Momma and Aunt Tamsin call this one Ikea Cat, Assembled without Instructions. I call it pretty comfortable.



I did get up and eat, too. Those are Momma's bright bright blue shoes.



Momma calls this one Praying Angel. She totally put my paws that way. I wouldn't have done that on my own.

But I was asleep, so oh well.



And here are some pictures my Momma thinks are great. I don't know, I'm just sleeping and that's my tongue. So what?







I met a lot of dogs, including a border collie kitten who wanted to play a lot, and a mastiff who was really really big and wanted to play too. I arched up and hissed but he didn't get it and his momma and daddy and my Momma had to sort of sit on him.

There was a bird on someone's shoulder but Momma said I couldn't get too close. I just wanted to play! Momma says it was a cockatiel and that compared to the bird's momma she's a wuss, but I don't get that.

Lots of people petted me and I went for walks and ate lots of bugs and almost caught a baby rabbit. Momma wouldn't let me, though. I just wanted to play with him! He was really really fast.

Auntie Dharma gave me milk with tuna oil in it. It was SO SO GOOD.

Momma wanted to leave early so we did. I wanted to stay but she's the one who drives so I was kinda stuck with it. Oh well -- I had a good time anyway!

Hi to all my furiends who wanted me to write something!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A wonderful weekend

I've been all week recovering from it, alas, but I really did have a great weekend.

It involved an SCA event up in Nebraska. Yes, I hear you say, Nebraska is at the end of the world and is filled with naught but corn and corn farmers, but at the same time I tell you, it is awesome.

I almost didn't go. I had a long and stressful week, was tired and feeling a little ill as I packed up the car. I knew this was going to be a small event and I could only hope that I made enough money to cover my expenses -- not inconsiderable with the price of gas as high as it is. I also knew that I'd get there well after dark, despite all of my efforts to the contrary, and I find setting up after dark to be extremely stressful.

But I went anyway. And after a half hour or so on the road, I found myself in a pretty good mood. Kitten asleep on my lap, good music on the radio, driving fast through beautiful country. And northern Colorado is beautiful.

Western Nebraska, I thought, not so much. I mean, Nebraska is flat, right?



Actually, no, it's not.

This is where we camped. It was gorgeous. I indeed got there after dark, but got offers of help with setting up and with holding Loiosh. Camp took about ten minutes and I left the booth for Saturday. My helpers went back to bed and I took Mr Wiggly Pants for a walk.

I have not seen so many stars in years. And years. The sky was bright and crowded with them.

We walked about on the plain, Loiosh hunting bugs and God knows what else, me watching the stars, until the moon rose, and then we went to bed.

Up far too early the next morning -- these folks get up with the sun! Farming community, I suppose, though I don't think any of them actually farm. I got the booth up in good order and settled in for the day.

I spent some time watching the fencing -- on a wooden bridge so narrow it bounced as you walked on it -- and quite a bit of time hanging out with folks. The merchants next to me had a bored teenager who channeled her boredom into artwork (of which, alas, I got no pictures) and allowed me a piece of foam stuff to make a bit of wearable art of my own.



He wore them pretty much the rest of the day.



Sleeping angel.



His first set of garb -- I'm so proud *wipes tear*.

Of course, then he became horrible.



Yes, that's taken from inside my tent. No, he didn't actually rip the mesh.



But it was a close thing. Amazing thing is he made it up there with his wings still on!



He wasn't entirely sure about the whole thing, so I rescued him.

I wound up having an amazing time -- the folks there were so welcoming! Even though I hadn't paid for feast (I love feasting, but money is tight) they invited me to eat with them anyway. I was also invited to the autocrat's camp for both Saturday morning breakfast and Saturday night dice. By the end of the event we were teasing each other as if we'd all known each other forever.

And I made more than enough money to cover expenses.

I highly recommend events in the Shire of Hinterland to anyone who might be close enough to attend. I had a wonderful, wonderful time.

Health insurance

I don't talk about politics here a lot, because, well, it's simpler that way; I leave it to others. But this one, I couldn't resist.

In reference to a report that Texas leads the nation in percentage of residents without health insurance:

But the numbers are misleading, said John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, a right-leaning Dallas-based think tank. Mr. Goodman, who helped craft Sen. John McCain's health care policy, said anyone with access to an emergency room effectively has insurance, albeit the government acts as the payer of last resort. (Hospital emergency rooms by law cannot turn away a patient in need of immediate care.)

"So I have a solution. And it will cost not one thin dime," Mr. Goodman said. "The next president of the United States should sign an executive order requiring the Census Bureau to cease and desist from describing any American – even illegal aliens – as uninsured. Instead, the bureau should categorize people according to the likely source of payment should they need care.

"So, there you have it. Voila! Problem solved."


I am appalled at the level of ignorance and privilege this man displays. Clearly he's never depended in an emergency room for care when he hasn't got that magic insurance card -- because then he'd know that, law aside, as often as not they will turn you away if you're not insured. And how are you to get the money to hire a lawyer to call them to account?

Clearly he's never lacked for routine checkups and preventative care, none of which are available from his much-vaunted emergency room, none of which are affordable without health insurance; all of which are far more effective at maintaining your health than waiting until the last moment when you have to go to the emergency room.

Clearly he's never had to choose between paying for vital medication -- required to be able to breathe, to take an example from my own life -- and paying the rent, or buying food. An emergency room isn't going to help that dilemma at all.

I can only pray that McCain doesn't get elected -- lives hang in the balance, and that's no exaggeration.

Original article here. Might post a more reasoned response later, but right now I am so angry I'm about managing coherent.

What's do be done about it? I don't know. Vote, I suppose, in the hopes that this time they'll actually count. Move to Canada, possibly, which I've been considering anyway. I don't know.

But something's got to be done.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A little something to contemplate...

...for those of you out there with actual, y'know, congregations.

Consider a triangle, with the corners representing God, the congregation (tzibbur), and the prayer leader (shaliach tzibbur). Which line in that triangle do we usually talk about? Bringing the congregation closer to God. And which is the one line in that triangle that we aren't connected to? Yeah, that. We think that's our job, but we can't do anything about it, really. Instead, she said, consider the indirect effects of working on our own relationships with God on the one hand and the congregation on the other. If we get that right, maybe that helps with the third line indirectly.


From a Jewish perspective, obviously, but I think it applies to anywhere you have 'person leading service' and 'everyone else'.

Schwinked from my friend Monica who got it from her friend Julia.

I'd love to see some discussion on this from those of y'all who've led services.

Monday, August 18, 2008

A little unnerving...

...but TOTALLY AWESOME.



A couple months ago my apartment building caught on fire. I'm fine, cats are fine, everyone in the building including pets is fine, but there was a fair bit of damage on the other side of the building.

Today it came time to replace the roof. It's been loud and distracting and since I don't have a curtain in my bathroom and the main thoroughfare up and down runs right outside it, I'm still lacking a shower. But I happened to glance outside this morning and see this.



Apparently part of the burned-out roof was just too fragile to take apart in place, so they lifted it off wholesale. I grabbed a camera and flew outside barefoot (hi, construction site, but my feet are fine) and got a bunch of pictures.



And, just to be completist, a video.

Unnerving...

...but AWESOME.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Two Days Later

It's odd. He spent most of his time hiding in a closet or under a table -- there were whole days I didn't even see him -- but it still feels too empty and quiet around here.

In the meantime, things I have learned from my cats:

--








When you're hungry, eat. When you're tired, sleep. Play all the rest of the time.

--



The best way to get someone to walk along with you is to ask.



Goes for tree-climbing, too.



--



Snuggles make everything better.

--



Kisses too.

--



It's amazing the places you can find to take a good nap.



...really.



--



Anything can be a toy. Anything.







--

You can find friends anywhere.









...but okay, not always.



--

They're helping, each in his own way. And today I'm feeling a little better.