Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Interesting Observations

So, there were some interesting times to be had when I and one of my friends went to Adelaide for the RWA ‘Ain’t Love Grand’ conference.  And I don’t mean just the conference, which was really interesting.
I mean, observing people.
One of the biggest things that struck my friend and I was when we first got on the trams.  Okay, to be fair, it fascinated me every time we got on the trams.
Firstly, I have to say, anyone we approached for help or directions was really nice and helpful, so thumbs up, Adelaide!  Some really nice people there.  
But back to the trams…

The thing that caught our attention (and while my friend got over it pretty quick I wasn’t to be torn from my observations so fast), was the way people reacted once on the tram.  People got on, did a swift skimming gaze of the other people, bought their ticket or swiped their cards, and then - and here is where I got goggle-eyed - they would then stand or sit, 99% whip out their mobiles and start flicking through their email or Facebook or something, I don’t really know.

I admit I was spellbound.  Now, for those of you who are used to public transport and the ways of a big city, let me remind you I am from a town of about 30 000 people, and many of us drive our own cars to work, town and back, as public transport isn’t as plentiful or as frequent as those in the big cities, so for us this was a time of adventure and learning how to catch public transport around the city.

But back to the subject at hand. 

It was interesting to see how people isolated themselves in their own little capsules by the simple process of not acknowledging anyone else (and I don’t mean this rudely), it was like an unspoken rule that people took out their mobiles or books, said not one word to anyone else, and started reading or browsing.  As my friend pointed out (being the more intelligent of the two of us), it was like creating their own insular bubble, their own space.  Or something similar, I’ve already forgotten because, well, intellectual conversation really doesn’t stay in my brain for long.

People probably use this time to unwind, to catch-up on news on their phones, to read, but I couldn’t get over how some would shoot furtive glances around the area and then back down at their mobiles/books, as though checking out what everyone else was doing without being caught looking.  Almost everyone was dressed for work, and they obviously got the tram regularly, surely they would recognise some of the other passengers and strike up a conversation?  Then again, maybe that’s my country brain surmising.  I mean heck, I’ve lived here for years and I still don’t know everyone (and probably never will)!

 By the way - it was about this time that I realised I talk a lot - but let’s go into that later.

So anyway, being an obnoxious kind of person, I decided - okay, became determined - to make someone smile back at me.  I focussed my attention on one unfortunate lady not far from me who was doing an admirable job balancing in high heels while standing on the moving tram, something in which I was quite in awe.  When she glanced around, I caught her eye and smiled.  She looked away, but I wasn’t giving in.  When she glanced around a second time, I gave her the full force of my smile (which, now I think of it, maybe was a bit stalkerish?) and she actually smiled back.  SCORE!!!!  I turned to my friend and said - ‘I did it!  She smiled back at me!’

To say she was unimpressed was putting it mildly.  I swear I saw some eye-rolling.

Feeling victorious, I turned back to find that the lady had turned her back to me.

Apparently I had broken the travelling-by-tram code.   She gave me her back the rest of the journey.

As I write this, I’m starting to realise that maybe she did think I was some weirdo stalker.  Uhhh…good thing I live in another state, right?!

Now the tram provided me with a lot of entertainment.  I liked to do a running commentary on people - who they were, where they might work, the fact that one was white-knuckling the bar he was hanging onto (I swear, his knuckles were so white!  And right in front of me, I couldn’t help but notice it!), how one had this hairdo where she kept having to flip her head back to peer out at everyone with one eye before going back to her mobile phone (no she wouldn’t smile back at me).  I counted how many men had a  wedding ring (no, I’m not a pervert!), and how many women had a wedding ring (see?) and wondered what their spouses did and how many kids did they have?  Also, as the tram stopped at every stop and more people got on to get to the city, I wondered which of the wonderful old houses we passed they came from.

See, I’m not a total weirdo.

My friend doesn’t agree.  She said she’d been waiting for someone to overhear my running commentary and smack me in the chops. 

Speaking of…you think you know your best friends, but going away on a trip with them is educational for both of you.  This is where I found out I talk.  A lot. 

Here we are, on the tram in the morning heading into the city, me doing an intellectual survey of my fellow passengers and turning to my friend to discuss things, and she’s looking out the window giving me the odd comment back (or grunt), and on the third day I said to her, “I’ve just realised that tram time is don’t-talk-to-you time.”  To which she replied, “You forget I’m at home with Mishka (her cat) and in the morning I get up and it’s just me and him, and I do my thing quietly and go to work.”
(I think she really meant ‘Shut the hell up, Ang, I’m still working my way through the pleasant early morning haze!’ but was too nice to say so).

Now, considering I tell everyone at work that I don’t come to any kind of reasonable thinking until about 10am, it was a little startling to find out that apparently I can still talk the hind leg off a donkey well before then!

So yes, Adelaide was definitely an educational time!  We had fun, my friend fed a lion at the zoo without losing an arm (though going by the lionesses roar when they were out of sight feeding, I was thinking ‘Holy crap!  She'll be armless!’), we walked for miles, met some lovely people, had exasperated fun trying to figure out how to work the hotel lift and open the doors (key card, anyone?), ate at some great places, saw some beautiful buildings, and altogether had a wonderful time.
So if you’re thinking of going to Adelaide in South Australia, I can tell you the people we met are lovely and the city and suburbs are packed full of things to do and see. 

And hey, you might learn something about yourself!  Mind you, it hasn’t stopped me talking…

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Planning for the Unexpected

What I'd do in a Zombie Apocalypse!

Now come on, surely you've got a bit of a plan in place?  I know I have!  One of my workmates has even thought about it!  Heck, even one of my best friends, Rae, has done some planning.  Said workmate (Tanya) informed me the other day that out of the blue, she suddenly thought, “If there's a zombie apocalypse, I'm taking my daughter, my cats and Mum, and heading for Ang's house!"  Now that makes me proud.  (No, not nuts - proud!).

Here's a little bit of my plan (seriously, just have a peek, it's only a bit and may save your life when the zombies come).  My source of vast knowledge comes courtesy of watching so many zombie films and reading so many zombie books.  So serious research has gone into this, a LOT of serious research (you can thank me later after you’ve survived the apolocalypse).

1.  If you have to replace your fences for any reason BEFORE the zombies come, get a high fence, and a non-see-through fence.  They can't see you or fall over it into your front yard. (This is good future planning).

2.  Don't even think about leaving your town or city when the zombies hit.  This is just dumb, in my (humble) opinion.  How often have you seen the movies?  People leave, go somewhere they have no idea of, their car breaks down, their mobiles are buggered, and now they're lost.  Not to mention fighting everyone else running away.
Here's a tip - one day those zombies will leave the towns and cities and converge on the countryside, looking for fresh meat.  You're it. They're also in a big horde. Doesn't look like such a good plan now, does it?  Huh?

3.  Race to Bunnings and stock up on pots, seedlings, seeds, water containers and as many rain tanks as you can fit in your yard.  You'll need to grow your own veggies.  Thinking on it, get plenty of weed killer, too.

4.  While at Bunnings, stock up on batteries, cordless drills, nail guns, nails, boards, wire, bolt cutters (I just threw that in there 'cause it sounded like a good idea - you might have to break into places which have been chained shut, right?).  Get fuel (just in case, I'm not a complete idiot).  Candles, lanterns, fuel for lanterns, torches, batteries.

5. Race to the supermarket and stock up on dry, tinned and packet food, don't forget a can opener (duh).  Paper plates for when the water supply runs out.  Get water, lots of water.  (I'll also have to stock up on LOTS of Diet Coke, but that's just the way I roll).  Don't forget toilet paper - everyone in the films always looks ecstatic to find toilet paper.  I figure I can hang the expense and go for the ultra soft stuff - after all, it isn't every day a zombie apocalypse happens.  Also, get heaps of kitty litter and cat and dog food (that's on my to-do list for sure)

6.  Hit the chemist (pharmacy).  Stock up on pain killers, antibiotics (especially broad spectrum), bandages, Betadine liquid, burn cream, cold and flu tablets, the pill (I won't go into this, but it's good for more than just contraception, right?), things a woman needs, deodorant (lots of deodorant).  Dry hair shampoo is also good.  Now you have all these medicines be smart and get a MIMS (book that tells you what every tablet is for).  I also better stock up on lots of my reflux meds.  Bad enough being under the threat of becoming dinner without having heartburn with it.

7.  Race to shopping centre, stock up on clothes, jumpers, cardigans, umbrella, raincoats, heavy coats, blankets, sheets, undies, bras, socks, shoes.  Go for comfort, warmth and tough wearing, don't be a twit.  Wait, it's the zombie apocalypse - you want that skirt with the slit up the back right to your bum?  You go for it! 

8. While racing around the streets, take note of good places to run to in case your fortress is invaded.  Old churches are great - our old church at Bluff Pt is really old - heavy wooden doors, made of stone, and the windows are high up.  Zombies can't see you in there and you can get natural light.  AWESOME.  Be smart, grab a street directory on your way around.  You'll need it when your mobile phone buggers up.

9. Make sure you park one car in the car port.  If you have another car (or can get one, even better get 2) park them side by side in FRONT of your closed gates.  It will help stop the zombies banging into your gates and weakening the frame of the house and the gates.  Buffer zone, you might say.  Have cars ready to roll if needed.

10.  Make sure you have lots and lots of paperback books.  LOTS.  Don't forget to visit the book swap shop and empty the shelves at the shops and newsagents of all their books and magazines.  DON'T FORGET!

11.  Make sure you stock up on cat and dog food - tins and biccies - and hit up the vet clinics for worming tablets, flea treatment, medicines and special diets if your furry is on one.  DON'T FORGET YOUR FURRY!

12.  Get plenty of heavy blackout curtains.  You don't want other people and the zombies to see any light from your house and yard.

I told my mother all this.  Sadly, she had no clue.  She just stared at me.  And stared.  Finally, she said, "Zombie apocolpyse..."
"Yes," I said.  "Don't worry, I've got this all covered.  We'll be fine."
She looked back down at her magazine and kept reading.  I don't think she got the importance of what I'd just relayed to her.
Never mind, I'm sure you'll benefit from my planning!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Clothes Issues

So I have to admit I am the worst at trying to buy mix and matching clothes. I also don't have the best dress sense. I admit I buy what I like to wear, but not always pay attention to how certain things will look together.

You think I'm joking, but seriously, I can spend two hours trying to pick an outfit and still look like Bozo the Clown. My friends, on the other hand, can just throw on any outfit at their fingertips without looking and look a million dollars. But that's okay, I'm cool with it, they're cool with me, all's cool. Plus the cats don't care how I look as long as I snuggle and feed them when they desire it, so they're cool with me, too. Mum's just happy to see me with pants on.

But my issue is this... I tend to buy clothes from a couple of on-line shops on the other side of Australia. I believe in shopping local and supporting local business, unfortunately the local businesses in town don't have what I like. I'm not partial to huge red and black cabbage flowers or a triangle/sharp angles pattern scattered over a dress even if my hips do rival a hippo's. But these couple of shops on-line carry pretty clothes in pretty colours and small print, so I usually go with them.

The other day I looked at all these pretty flowered knickerbockers (pedal pusher pants, whatever they're called...I don't know, they come down to below the knee, okay?) and decided I better be a grown-up and actually get some plain coloured shirts to go with them. So I picked some plainer shirts at the on-line store that - BONUS! - were also greatly reduced in a Heck Yeah! sale. (not that I go nuts at sales - I'll go into that later), and bought them.

The shirts arrived today. Really excited at being a grown-up for a change and acting my age, I opened up the parcel and tried everything on. Three shirts fit great. The other fours shirts are my new dresses. They go down to my knees. I kid you not. I looked down and yep, same old story. Apparently I'm not as tall as the model I saw wearing them in the on-line store.

This is not the first time this has happened to me. I'm currently wearing, as a dress, a tunic that was supposed to come halfway down my thighs. It hits my knees. I have five dresses that were originally supposed to be tunics I could wear with bike shorts. Never mind covering my generously curved bottom, they hide my thighs and skim my luscious knees.

I tried on the shorts I got for $8 (read that, $8!) each and they're too big in the waist. Cause to smile, yes, but now Mum has to take them in for me. Thank God for Mum, because all I can do is hem and sew on buttons. The only craft thing I'm good at is cross-stitch.

So while I have scored 3 shirts, I either have to hit Mum up to please cut off heaps of material and hem the dress/shirts, or just have another four dresses.

Sometimes being a grown-up sucks lemons. I think I'll just go back and throw mud at someone...

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Attention Grabber

Good gravy, it’s the New Year already!  One minute I was looking ahead to two weeks holiday, and now I’m looking back after two weeks holiday and three weeks work.  Time goes fast, but hey, Evie never changes!

I have this toy white tiger that sits on the small library in my bedroom.  Almost every night Evie wanders into my room while I’m reading in bed, jumps up onto the library and kills the tiger.  She tries to shove it under herself (who knows why, it’s about the same size as her) and then knocks it onto the floor, where she proceeds to pounce on it, wrestle it and kick the living hell out of it.  I’m actually surprised that it’s still in one piece.  One thing for that tiger, it’s got darned good stitching.  Not one piece of its fluffy innards has yet escaped.

 You’d think this was just an attention-grabber on Evie’s part (like she doesn’t get enough attention as it is) and you’d be right, because she also does this if Mum is standing in the doorway talking to me.  Evie wanders past, spots her beloved Granny wasting time talking to Dumb Arse when she could be paying attention to Evie, and so she comes in to claim the attention.

Now, it’s not an immediate assault on the tiger.  No.  First Evie has to go through several motions.

1.  Sit at Granny’s feet and look cute.
2.  If no attention paid immediately to her, then look up at Granny and meow like a little orphan.
3.  If still no attention, it escalates to one of several things:
   a) Run up Granny’s back (a sure-fire attention grabber but with some consequences).
   b) Run up Granny’s back and use her as a spring board to get onto the wardrobe.
   c)  Jump onto the dressing table and up onto the library and look at Granny, who is Right There.
   d)  Proceed to grab white tiger and beat the living crap out of it.

Now, see, there are still several things that could happen depending on Evie’s plan of action.  If-
    a) works, Granny might yell in pain at the claws, or if no claws involved, Granny will bend over and hobble out with Evie riding triumphantly on her back.
   b) Granny and Dumb Arse will cringe as Evie lands on the wardrobe and then watch as she prances behind the glass container holding the little Franklin Mint cat statues I got years ago.
   c) Granny and Dumb Arse will laugh and say isn’t she a fierce little kitty for beating the living crap out of the white tiger?

So you’d think she’d go for the white tiger every time, but no, you see, it depends on what havoc is on Evie’s mind.  Does she:

   a)  go with the yelling and hobbling?
   b) go with the cringing and beady-eyed looks?
   c) go for the admiring and loving looks?

The actions of a), b) & c) will depend on whether she wants the reactions of a), b) or c).

These things can’t be rushed, you know.  A kitty bent on getting attention has to think things through and decide what attention she’s wanting.  In the end, as long as she gets the attention, it really doesn’t matter.  But the entertainment value has to be considered.  Does she go for:

  a) Shock entertainment
  b) Evil entertainment
  c) Sweet entertainment.

Lucky for Eve of Destruction, it’s usually no. c) with a sprinkling of a) and b).  And it got sweeter last night when she managed to get the tiger into the passage and Mum walked past, picked it up and carried it back into my room with Evie on her hind legs hopping along with her paws up trying to grab it off Mum.  Awww, cue the cuddles and kisses that action got!

However, when she is wandering through the house at 5 past 5 in the morning, doing her Evie thing, it’s not so entertaining for me, especially when she decides that an hour before the alarm goes off she’s going to play with a huge grasshopper over and around the pedestal fan stand.  I woke up to the sound of scurrying, slithering, and paws hitting the stand.  So I got up, staggered out, and low and behold, there was Evie eyeballing a huge grasshopper.

The grasshopper had four legs, with number five lying on the ground beside the fan and number six leg completely AWOL.  The grasshopper was actually in pretty good shape, so I managed to fend off The Big Hunter with one hand and grab the ‘hopper with the other, unlock the back door and stagger out onto the back veranda.  Now, with Evie following behind protesting that it was HER grasshopper and I was a NASTY person and a THIEF to boot, I shoved the grasshopper out to freedom through the trellis.  Or tried to.  Do you know how strong those damned things are?  It had hold of the trellis with two legs.  There I was, trying to push it through to safety and freedom, and there the ‘hopper was, hanging on with grim intent.  I was worried I’d push it through minus another two legs, so I had to haul the damned thing back in (much to Evie’s delight) and then shove it quickly through while it was still trying to decide what to hang onto. Mission accomplished!  (much to Evie’s dismay) The grasshopper was off to freedom.

Evie couldn’t believe it was gone.  She had her face pressed to the trellis trying to spot it, then turned to me and looked up with huge eyes because I had STOLEN her ‘hopper and let it go. 

“I’m sorry,” I said.  “I just can’t bare it - you scuffling away an hour before I have to get up for work and that poor ‘hopper losing its legs, dignity and then life.  Plus you’ll probably get the squirts if you eat it.”

Tail drooping, she wandered back into Granny’s room and jumped on the bed, settling on her little blankie beside Granny’s pillow and giving me sad looks.

She has a way of making you feel bad.

But The Big Hunter wasn’t finished.  The next evening I heard her scuffling in the back room.  I went out to find her crouched down peering under the old sofa.  Figuring out she had something trapped and hoping to goodness it wasn’t a snake, I got down on all fours and peered under with her.  Thank God no one saw us, Evie with her little bum in the air peering under the sofa, me with my big bum in the air beside her peering under the sofa.  Anyway, I couldn’t see anything, but as I went back inside, I noticed something.  Ah-ha!  I now knew what she’d been after.  Squirming on the floor was a tiny lizard tail.  She’d been after a lizard that had gotten in and it had dropped its tail and escaped.  Smart move.  I went inside and told Mum what had happened, joked that Evie would eat the tail, Mum ordered me back out to get it before Evie did, so I wandered out and  - oops.  Evie was crouched down, smacking her lips and looking thoughtful, and the tail -well, the tail was gone.

I told Mum, and reminded her that the lizard-eater would be lying beside her pillow that night wanting a smooch before sleep.  I thought it was funny - Mum not so much.

 So Eve of Destruction is currently lying on the desk near the computer having a snooze, her little paw reaching out now and again as she innocently (yeah, right) stretches and touches the screen, making things vanish and appear.  However, Mum and I agree, life without Evie would be too quiet!!

Funny how you can be such a sucker for a naughty cat!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Rambling Post

So, it’s almost Christmas again.  Time has shot by faster than I can think - which isn’t a big stretch, true, but it’s the truth.

This is going to be a bit of a rambling post to cover a few things that have been happening.


 Evie is now 5 yrs old.  According to my pet age chart, she should be around 35 people yrs.  I want to refute that and say what a load of baloney!  That cat is NOT 35 human yrs.  She has the mentality of about (in human years) a 2 yr old during tantrum time, a 5 yr old during the ‘Yeah, but…’ time, and a petulant teenager when trying to get her to do something she doesn’t want to do.  She’s downright naughty one minute, trying to pick a fight with me the next, and then curls up on Mum’s lap looking like butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth minutes later.  That cat has no respect and taunts me - often.  She’s just lucky I love the little turd to pieces!  Below is proof of the way she taunts me when I’m on the computer trying to make her behave (and I should know better than to even try…)

Website Woes

Now I’m no tech whiz, so some things kind of pass me by in the tech world, but this I do know - my website was buggered.  I couldn’t update it, couldn’t upload it, couldn’t do a freakin’ thing with it.  I moseyed over to the (what I now know is the host, but didn’t have a clue about a couple of weeks ago) and found that the emails I had been getting informing me of selling out/take over/whatever had happened, and even better, the smooth change with no ill-effects was…well, it wasn’t, right?  So, I did what the emails had told me - signed up a new account with the new company, and I thought all was good.  Then I updated my website and went to upload it, and no, apparently it wasn’t all good.  Because it said my password had expired.  Sp I thought I’d renewed my password and got confused between the domain and the host and everything else.  By the time I finally sorted it out, it still wouldn’t work.  I emailed for help (no reply), so finally, in utter desperation, I went looking for a new host.

Now this is where I have to say ‘Thank You God for You Tube tutorials!’  If it wasn’t for all those tutorials I watched, I’d still be clueless (my usual state) but through them I learned about hosting, websites, etc.  So I signed up with a new host, and my website is now with a new host, and I learned how to use Word Press and now have a nifty new site (which I hope, if you decide to visit it, you’ll like).  It’s REALLY pretty!  Took me a few weeks between work and life to get it up and going, but its there!!!

Newsletter Changes

My old newsletter was through Yahoo Groups, which was fine, but after doing some research (and here I have to also thank all those people who get my newsletter and answered my questions), I decided to change to Mail Chimp, simply because with the Yahoo Group newsletter, people actually had to sign up to an account with Yahoo Groups, whereas with Mail Chimp it is easy for people to subscribe to the newsletter and they don’t have to have an account.

Of course I now have to learn how to do a newsletter through Mail Chimp, so January’s newsletter is going to be…er…fun.  ;-)

 Hair Issue

So this morning I got up, washed my hair, brushed it (I can hear the collective gasps of horror from hairdressers now, but you know…I’ve brushed my wet hair for years and haven’t gone bald yet, so…) and swept the floor, then started mopping it.  By now I was getting hot, and as I really don’t like my hair hanging loose anyway (I’ll get into that in a minute), I bundled it up in a clip and kept going.

At 11:15am I was in the car on the way to the chiropractor, along with a list of things to do in town (because, you know, it’s what I like to do on my day off…not) and I was halfway there when I realised I HADN’T DONE MY HAIR!  It was still up in the hair clip, never having been properly brushed and redone neatly.  Did I go home?  Did I gasp in horror and hide my face?  Hell no!  I swore, sighed, shrugged and forged onwards.  I figured messy-hair-up-do was the in-thing right now, so I blended in nicely!  Right?  Right!  I did my chores and the world didn’t collapse around me!  I didn’t get any admiring looks for being with the in thing, either, but no one pointed at me and laughed, so - WIN!

Now About the Hair

I was in my car at the stop light with my new, fancy, messy up-do, and I spotted this bloke walking across the road.  I watched his shiny, below-the-shoulder length hair blowing in the wind, tossing back from his face, and couldn’t help but admire it, but also, alas, I also had a bit of envy.

 Okay, I had a LOT of envy.

You see, my hair isn’t like that.  If I let it blow in the wind, it isn’t graceful and flirty, it just tosses back and knots, and ends up looking like I had dreadlocks put in.  Seriously.  My hair is so fine it hangs lankly.  I even gave up on my fringe because it was so fine and pathetic, I expected someone to send me a sympathy card every time I went out in public with it.  So I grew it out.  My hair is so fine that even if I have it in a ponytail, it goes into rats’ tails in no time.  No pretty little ponytail that bobs around, looking all shiny and perky.  Nope.  My ponytail starts fine, but within an hour it’s gone its own way, divided itself into about six different rats tails, and droops.  Sad.  I leave my hair hanging  loose and don’t go into the wind, and it looks so nice.  For about ten minutes.  Then sure as God made green apples, you see the strands of hair look at each other, then the war starts and its divide and conquer time - rats’ tails everywhere!  It never stays in a neat, shiny, sweet little fall of hair.  I look like I have a boutique for rats’ tails on my head in case rats and mice decide they’d like to trade their old tails in for one of mine.  Very sad.

 There’s also the fact that I hate my hair hanging in my face or on my neck, especially when it’s hot.  So my hair is always up in a clip or, when I’m home and no one can see the rat tails, I ponytail it.

 On the bright side, I do have hair!

New Book Out

I have a new release this month.  'Second Chance is book 6 in the Gully's fall series.  Whoo hoo!  You can check it out on my website if you're interested

Where’s Christmas?

I’ve noticed that while shops are breaking out the Christmas decorations, not many have the Christmas music going.  Where’s Christmas?  What happened to it?  It’s a Western custom, a time many of us look forward to, and for many of us, it has religious meaning.  I miss the Christmas carols, the air of Christmas cheer, the excitement of what is coming.  I mean, it’s Christmas!

As I said to Mum, it’s up to us to continue Christmas, which we can do by putting up a few decorations in our house (as we do every year), and wishing everyone we meet a Merry Christmas, and remembering, for us, what Christmas is all about. 

 Then today, I went into the Chapman Way Arcade, and as I entered, I saw - a Nativity scene!  I can’t describe how that felt.  A Nativity scene!  And it was beautiful - behind glass, statues - amazing!  I studied it and then walked on with a smile on my face (didn’t care who saw me!).

And then I walked into Woolworths, and low and behold - Christmas decorations such as was appearing elsewhere but also - Christmas music!  A soft, gentle piping, not loud or aggressive, but filling the background so beautifully.  I commented upon it to one couple and they beamed at me and said, “Isn’t it wonderful?!”

So no matter what happens, people, Christmas is around us!

So saying, I wish you all a Merry Christmas.  May the peace and blessings of the season be with you and yours.

 If you’re spending Christmas alone, know someone, somewhere, is thinking of you (you might not know it, but its true).

 And for those with furries of all shapes, sizes and ‘makes’, remember to ensure safety and care for them while you’re away on holidays, and have fun with them while you’re home.  Christmas is for us all!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Let the Fights Begin!

Unbelievable.  Mum and I are in a fight with certain elements around and in the house.  Not to mention that Evie is NOT impressed.

Let’s take this one fight at a time.

Fight 1 - Mum & Polly

So Mum and Polly are fighting.  I tell you, it’s not pretty (but it IS funny).  So you’re wondering what on earth my mother, who is placid and easy-going, is doing fighting with Polly, who pretty much  minds her own business as long as no one GETS in her business.

Basically, Polly has decided that the current Best Spot Ever is right on top of Mum’s jewellery box on the dressing table.  This results in knocking off the alarm clock and whatever else happens to be on the dressing table at the time as she heaves her fat bum onto the dressing table, plops it down on the jewellery box and dares anyone stupid enough to try, to get her off.

Along comes Mum and all Hell breaks loose.

Mum: “What the - why are you on there?”
Polly:  “Because.”
Mum:  “I’ve told you a million times you’re not to go on there!”
Polly:  “What’s your point?”
Mum:  “Get off!”
Polly:  “Don’t you touch me!”
Mum:  *grunts as she tries to lift Polly off*
Polly:  Hiss*spit*yell*
Mum:  ^%#!  She’s knocked the alarm clock off now!”
Angela:  “Maybe that’s because you knocked it off while trying to get her off?”
Mum:  “Shut up!”

Note to everyone - this is what happens when you’re dumb enough to try and offer comments that are, apparently, extremely unhelpful in this situation.

It continues -

Polly:  “Let me go!  HELP!”
Angela:  “Why don’t you just leave her-?”
Mum:  “She’s not staying there!”
Polly:  “Yes I freakin’ am!”
Mum:  “No you’re not.  Get off!”
Angela:  “She’ll only get back up there.”
Mum:  “No she won’t.”
Polly:  “Yes I freakin’ will!  It’s the Best Spot Ever!”
Mum:  *finally manages to dislodge Polly and plops her onto the chair beside the dressing table*  “Now you can sit there.”
Polly’s eyes are huge, black and not friendly.  “You really think so, huh?”
Angela:  “You really think she’ll stay there?”
Mum:  “She will.”  Points at Polly.  “You don’t go up on my dressing table knocking stuff off.  Now stay.”
Angela:  “She’s not a dog.  No way is she going to-”
Mum:  “She will if she knows what’s good for her.”
No sooner does Mum walk away than I peek through the doorway and yep, Polly has her a**e on the jewellery box again.

This has been going on for nearly a week now.  I think Polly has won.  Here’s proof which I got it just yesterday while Mum was working at the school crossing.

 "Best Spot Ever, so there!"

Fight 2 - Evie and the Visitors

So we’ve had a busy time lately with visiting kitties coming to stay with us.  There’s sweet little old Renee (who is 20yrs old), Skitty and Jeffrey (come as a pair) and Freya (a wide-eyed pure tortoiseshell). They’ve all been coming and going, sometimes overlapping.

Now we all know Evie has to be Boss Cocky.  Struts her stuff and all that.   She literally walks the walk and talks the talk.  So any cats visiting get her full attention.

Now, if cats come for a long period (say several weeks), we usually start to integrate them into the household after about3 days, so they can run with ours, but if they’re only here for a few days or less than a week, I don’t worry about going through the whole introductions.  Besides, Evie always makes that a little hairy (no pun intend).

So Renee, unfortunately, cannot mix with ours, because old or not, she’ll try to rip their faces off.  Probably fall a***e over t*t while she does it because she’s so frail, but nevertheless I don’t want her having a heart attack while trying to knock another cat’s whiskers off on our watch.

Skitty and Jeffrey were only here for about five days, so no point tempting fate (especially Evie) by trying the introduction thing.

But Freya was here for several weeks, so it was a case of introduction time.

Now, when cats are shut in the front room with just the screen door between them and the others, Evie struts past them, plays in front of the door, presses her nose to it and stares in at them (especially when they’re using the litter tray, because unnerving them when they’re trying to do their business is such fun), and basically parades past showing them that SHE is Boss Cocky,  SHE has the run of the place, it’s HER house and everything in it belongs to HER.  She really enjoys this.

So let’s come back to Freya.  Freya is a happy, bright-eyed tortoiseshell, only about a couple of years old from memory (and my memory is in serious question, but I’m pretty confident I’m right on this), and she is ultra affectionate.

So along comes the day when we let Freya out.  The rest of the cats look at her and go “yeah, whatever” and go back to sleep.  Polly just warns her not to get near the jewellery box or dressing table - “My place, you, my Best Spot Ever!” - and then comes Evie.

Evie, Evie, Evie.  Her ears perk up, her whiskers bristled, her whole little body starts to quiver with excitement because there’s fresh meat to torment!  She follows Freya as Freya prances around.  Covertly, Evie slides from one piece of furniture to another, peers around the edges, pokes her head over the tops, sidles around the corners, the whole time keeping her prey in sight.

Freya, totally oblivious, dances around checking out everything, her eyes big and bright.  (She really is a happy little cat).

Evie finally decides to reveal herself.  TAH-DAH!!!  “Cringe before me, you lowly peasant!”

Freya:  “OMG!  Someone to play with!”  And proceeds to prance towards Evie.

This freaks out Evie.  WTHell…?  This thing isn’t afraid of her?  Something wrong here, people.  Evie snaps upright, her ears go back, her eyes go wide.

Freya happily trots forward.  “Hi!  How are you?  Wow!  Play with me!  Wooooow!”

Evie, totally freaked out because this thing doesn’t recognize Her Majesty, backs up and disappears.

She spends the rest of the time that Freya is here either:

a) Hiding and peeking out at her
b) Sulking on Granny’s bed
c) Strutting in front of the screen door at night when Freya is put back in there to sleep.

Yep, night time is when Evie struts her stuff.  “Going to bed with MY Granny,” she informs Freya, strutting past the door while Freya watches wide-eyed.  “Going to MY bed with MY Granny,” Evie adds, strutting back the other way.  “Only I sleep on MY Granny’s bed, ‘cause I’m Boss Cocky and everything!”  this she delivers as she slides herself along the door.  Then she proceeds to look up at Granny, all sweet and coy, casts Freya another triumphant glance as she watches, and trots after Granny, hopping into bed on HER little blankie in HER special spot on HER Granny’s bed, lays her little head in Granny’s hand and goes to sleep.


 "I don't get it - how did Freya not know I am Boss Cocky?"

Fight 3 - Ang & the Ants

Those b****y ants will be the death of me.  War has been declared between us.  I walked out the back yard, saw fifty thousand ant nests that had sprung up overnight through the paving, and nearly had a heart attack.  WTHell…?  I was surprised the paving didn’t just collapse under my feet, I have these visions of all these ant tunnels under the paving and house, slowing eroding away our foundations.

This called for tough measures.

I commandeered the container of baby powder and proceeded to liberally dowse the ant nests.  Did I feel bad, did I feel guilty?  Hell no!

I went out the front and holy cow - more ant nests!  What the hell?  Had every ant in town come to live at hour place?  Freakin’ ants!  So I bombarded them with baby powder, the whole front veranda looked like it had been snowing.

It gets better.  Out in the front yard on the other side of the Frangipani tree, a whole city of ant nests!  So I hit them with the baby powder.  Now it looked like it’d been snowing all over the veranda AND the front yard.

Feeling very pleased with myself (just call me ‘Terminator Ang’) I went back inside.

Two days later those freakin’ things were thumbing their noses at me.  Right beside their powder-bomb-blasted nests, they’d built more nests.

Yes, some people might say you have to admire them.  My Mum said that - I mean, can you believe it?  While I’m staring at them in horror, Mum comes along and says in an admiring voice (I kid you not), “You have to admire those little buggers.  Nothing keeps them down for long.”

Another blasting of baby powder everywhere, back, front yard, you name it.

Two days later, those tenacious little buggers are back in force.  If I look closely enough, I can see camouflage jackets and teeny-tiny helmets on their heads.

War, buddies?  You want war?  You got war!  On my way home yesterday, I picked up three containers of ant sand.  I’m bringing in the big guns.  No more Miss Nice Chick.  Those ants are gonna die!

So there you have it, the 3 fights.  Evie’s fight is over, because Freya has gone home.  Mum’s fight with Polly is on-going, and as for my fight?  This afternoon I plan war on those b****y ants!

"I can't believe I live with this mob of yobbos!"

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Intellectual? I Think Not - and Other Things

Intellectual?  I Think Not!

Trying to be a good little Vegemite, I decided to subscribe to a writer’s magazine to help keep my fingers on the pulse of the writing job in general in Australia.  It arrived the other day and I was quite excited.  In fact, I felt quite righteous and very professional.  I opened up the magazine and started to read the first article.  After having a brain spasm, I flicked to the next article.  I got a cramp in the left side of the brain.  Next article, the cramp had spread to the right side.  By the time I got to the last article my eyes were glazed over and I was jerking in my chair.  Little spasms of, well, horror really.  Why?  Because the realisation dawned on me that I just wasn’t intellectual enough to read some of these articles.  Only one could I understand, the rest was written by, I’m sure, a Professor of the highest degree in the best University in Australia.  And I mean the WHOLE of Australia.

The wording, the ideas, the whole thing - well, I can’t actually recall it all, to be truthful, because the whole thing whizzed right over my head.  Or it went in my eyes and fell out my ears, because I am living proof that all but one of those articles actually stayed in my head.  And I mean ONE article I understood and retained.  The rest just fell right out of my head, just *bloop* and there it all was, lying on the floor.  It glided right past my brain and fell to the floor.

I am empowered, however.  I am not beaten!  My intellect doesn’t set that high a bar and I am out and proud to admit it!  I’ve pulled up my big girl panties, my plus-sized undies, and powered ahead.  I tossed that magazine aside and it will never see the light of day again and I am happy.  I will just toddle along, doing my thing and reading articles that are a little more to my intellect.  (Not that other articles are low intelligence, but there are articles out there that I can actually understand).

I know, some of you might be sucking in your breath in horror and telling me not to put myself down. I’m not.  I’m just being honest and happy to be so!  Face it, I still find fart jokes hilarious, toilet humour is right up my alley, and a dirty joke will always get a snigger from me (and a repeat to anyone who will listen that won’t complain that I’m SO rude and take offence.).  That’s just the way I am!

And Other Things

Speaking of rude things, I once mentioned that my computer thesaurus was coy.  Words relating to genitalia or amorous feelings (you know - SEXY!!!!) are unknown on my computer thesaurus.  So I often go to my old handy thesaurus that is falling apart (I kid you not, the pages are yellow, too).  It has all the best words.  So I decided, as I watched another page waft to the floor when I picked it up, that it was time to buy a new thesaurus.  I had a look on-line to see what was available, and as so often happens when I’m looking at books, I got a little carried away and decided I needed a new Thesaurus, a new dictionary, and hey! Let’s go the whole hog and grab a thesaurus/dictionary combined.  Soooo excited (and yes, had that feeling of being very righteous and professional again.  Funny that).  The books arrived, I tore off the wrappings and checked the contents, ready to be inspired, to find new words that haven’t been flogged to death in romances to describe genitalia and emotions/feelings and touchy bits, and what happens?  Ye gods!  The new thesaurus and dictionaries are coy as well!  I kid you not!  My old, decrepit, loose-paged, yellowed-pages thesaurus still has more words describing what I want (to write, that is - really, I think I’m not the only one with her mind in the gutter).  Unbelievable!  In this day and age when romances aren’t just bodice rippers but can be pants rippers too (zips, buttons, everything flying), when romances get erotic and whips start flying to, when reading an erotic story can involve some things that go way past my comfort level at times, when TV shows have people popping in and out of each others beds like they have a built-in pogo stick, when even some statues you buy can have you shoving it into a plain brown paper bag before you’re game to walk out of the shop - and the thesaurus and dictionary are COY?  C’mon people, give me a break!!!!!

Looks like it’s me and my trusty old thesaurus.  The new ones are still sitting on the shelf, barely touched.  Meanwhile, my old thesaurus falls open automatically at certain pages.  It’s why I never tell Mum to look something up in it when she wants to know something.  I give her the new thesaurus or dictionary.  Heh heh.

And Rounding It All Off With Evie

So Evie has a new habit.  I know - shocking!  But this is it.

Evie has always slept with her beloved Granny (my Mum).  She has her little blankie up between Mum’s pillow and the wall.  She goes to sleep with her head in Granny’s hand.  When it’s cold, she crawls under the covers and cuddles up to Granny’s chest.  Granny is all hers.

If anyone dares to come on the bed - LOOK OUT.  Just LOOK OUT!  The little fire cracker goes gonzo and hunts them off.  The other night she chased Theo out of the bed and down the passage.  Man, he only has to sit on her and she’ll disappear, he’s so big in comparison to her.  But size doesn’t matter to Evie, she’ll take anyone on who dares to pinch her spot.  Yes, PINCH HER BLANKIE!  She saw Lily asleep on her blankie one evening and I thought her eyes were going to pop clean out of her head.  The absolute horror and disbelief on her face was a sight to see.  I solved that by picking up Lily and taking her to my bed.  I’m sure she did it deliberately, because she had her head hanging down watching Evie the whole way, and her tail was flicking.

Anyway, I’ve waffled off the path (as usual).  Now, Evie seems determined to have Granny to herself every night all night.  As soon as Mum turns off the light, I lie there reading and waiting,  Sure enough, about ten minutes after I hear Mum’s bedroom door creak shut slowly.  Like really slowly.  Ccccccrrrrrrreeeeeeeeaaaaaaaakkkkkkkkkkkk.  It bounces off the door frame a little.  Next comes Mum’s voice.
“Evie, do you have to?”
Yes, apparently Evie does have to shut the door EVERY NIGHT!  Mum has to get up and prop the door open so Evie can’t shut it, then she carts Evie back to bed, and for the next couple of minutes you can hear Mum and Evie have this conversation, with Mum talking and Evie squeaking back, until they finally both settle.
Really, it’s like the night isn’t complete now until we go through this new behaviour!

So life is as usual - working two jobs (day job and writing), the furries, and oh yes!  I see some of my fav TV series are coming out on DVD finally.  We don’t get Foxtel so I always have to wait for the DVD releases (I don’t do piracy. Hate it!)  A new zombie series is coming out this month ‘Z Nation’ - can’t wait!  And I was cruising You Tube looking for the latest horror movie trailers and stumbled on a trailer for Hemlock Grove which I’d never heard of but looks happily spooky.  And (be still my beating heart) The Walking Dead season 5 is coming out Sept!  My hands are all sweaty just thinking about all these DVDs to be released and falling into my hot, sweaty little hands.  I have 2 weeks holiday in the Sept/Oct holidays, 2 weeks to just read and write - I’m gonna have a zombie marathon - back to back people munchers, here I come!!!  The light is at the end of the tunnel!!!