Wednesday, 13 September 2017

WOYWW 432–More on Infusions Mini-Album

Finally managed to put in some studio time! These kittens of ours do take up a lot of time! Today we’ve had visitors morning and afternoon to see them, and needing cups of tea etc. and lots of chat! I’ve also been busy with other things and very tired in between, and as usual, art ends up at the bottom of the heap, but last night I was determined to get back to it again and I’ve made a bit more progress on the tags for my Infusions samples album.

Here’s my desk as it was last night. Not a lot of change since you last saw it!

WOYWW 432 13-9-17

Working on the tags, this is the front of the first tag in the “Painting” section.

21 Painting Tag 1 Front

I drew a rough curly shape and painted it with The Sage and Emerald Isle from Set 1, and Slime and a little In the Navy from Set 2, finally sprinkling on a tiny amount of In the Navy in the circular spaces, and then added text with my white pen.

Turning the tag holder and tag over, I made a tag to go with the “Woodgrain effect” page, but instead of going straight across with broad strokes with the fan brush, I added a bit of a curve for interest. I used Golden Sands from Set 1, and Rusty Car from Set 2 for this tag, and again added some text with my white pen, and outlining the larger text with a black pen. To the right, you can see the small square I painted with what was left of the Infusions mixed with water on my craft sheet.

22 Painting Tag 1 Back and Tag 2 Front

Below, you can see the Tartan effect tag with its page, which is the second “Painting” page. For this I used Are You Cerise and Violet Storms from Set 1, and created the text in the same way as before. The mop-up square is on the right, and I later added some more to this one.

Turning over both page and tag, I used Lemoncello and Emerald Isle from Set 1 on the tag, to echo some of the colour on the painted fans on the page, and added text as before. The mop-up sheet is above.

23 Painting Tag 2 Back

Moving on to the “Stamping” section, for the front of the tag to go in this title page, I just used Rusty Car from Set 2, after first spritzing the tag well with water, and adding more water after the Infusions had gone on. There is no text on this side of the tag but I wanted it to tone with the page when it was pulled out.

24 Stamping Tag Front

Finally, the back of that tag, having turned over both page and tag, to show the page with simple stamping onto a background already created with Infusions, in this case The Sage from Set 1, with text as before. Above is the mop-up sheet, which was the purplish one from above.

25 Stamping Tag Back

These mop-up sheets will be used to make cards or be used in other projects. I hate to waste any Infusions that are on the craft sheet!

Kittens

Our kittens are 16 weeks old today. How quickly the time is going. They are growing fast, and very energetic in the mornings and evenings, and tending the crash out asleep during the afternoon, so our afternoon visitors don’t see them at their most fun!

I’ve just realised that I didn’t take any photos or videos of them at all last week! They haven’t really done anything new, except grow! They are progressing well with the clicker training but it still tends to go out the window when they’re not actually in a training session and there are other distractions. They will usually come when they are called, though, and they now understand “Jump up!” and will come on my lap. I am still working on trying to get Ruby to use the scratching post, and we’ve got as far as her putting her paws on it on the command “Scratch!” but she hasn’t actually “scratched” yet! I’ve got some stuff on order which I can put on the scratching post which should encourage her to use it properly, in preference to the carpet.

We’ve had quite a few visitors wanting to see them which is very nice – everybody is enjoying them and saying how pretty they are! Ruby continues to be my baby and always wants to come and sit with me, and if Lily is already on my lap, she makes sure she comes up higher than her, so that she can have prime position as close to me as possible! It’s very flattering, especially after so many years of watching both kitties all over my hubby and not wanting to come to me – last night my hubby looked over at the 3 of us and said, “I want a kitty…” and looked sad, and I said, “Now you know how I felt all those years!” I do spend a lot more time with them than he does, as he’s so busy and is out and about a lot.

Health Update

I had my CT scan last Friday and am waiting for the result. I am pleased that my surgeon is keeping such a close eye on me, and he’s as anxious as I am to avoid a repeat performance of my emergency surgery at the beginning of this year. I’m pretty sure that hernia repair is failing as it doesn’t feel right, but it’s all pretty inconclusive. He will continue to monitor it, and I just hope that he is available when it does fail, so that he can do the operation and put the mesh in to protect the area.

Cooking

We are in the throes of dealing with masses of apples off our tree. I can hardly keep up! My hubby, being a lot braver about creepy crawlies and worms and things than I am, does the initial peeling and chopping, and then I slice them more finely. This year, I have decided to freeze them uncooked rather than stewed as I did last year, because they will be more versatile and I can use them in apple cake and other things. Once they are sliced, they are laid out in a single layer on baking parchment on baking sheets and then frozen. Once they are frozen, they are put into big bags as separate slices, so I can take as much out as I need at any one time. It’s quite a lot of work and pretty cold, dealing with the frozen slices, too! I can’t do too many at once or I can’t get the baking trays into the freezer. I’ve now got 3 big bags full and there are still quite a lot to do! It’s all taking quite a lot of time.

I haven’t done much baking recently but we’ve got our monthly Cakeathon meeting with the cancer group this Friday, and this time I’ve decided to make scones – I’ll make 2 batches, one plain to have with jam, and one cheese. I’ll probably get some cream before Friday so we can have a proper Devon cream tea!! They don’t take long to make so I’ll probably whip them up on Friday morning.

Diet and New Clothes

Getting out my clothes for cooler weather, I find that quite a lot of them are hanging off me, having lost so much weight with my diet. Several pairs of leggings won’t stay up any more (since starting my diet I’ve lost 10 inches around my waist!!) and they are all wrinkly round the legs, making me look like Nora Batty. I needed new trousers too, and new bras, so my hubby took me down to Marks & Spencer’s last week and I got some lovely new stuff! I am also no longer singing “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and have decent Uplift from my new bras!! I haven’t managed to shed any more pounds over the past 3 weeks which is a bit frustrating but slow and steady is best, and I have every hope that I’ll lose the final 3 pounds before long.

We’ve been out for lunch with friends this week too, and I’ve had the engineer to repair a small fault on the stairlift, and I’ve been very busy getting sessions ready for my Bible study group which resumes in earnest on Friday. This Saturday I’ve got an Ileostomy Association meeting in Somerset, so it’s all go, Chez Shosh. Hopefully I’ll get time to do some more art as I really want to finish the Infusions album now.

Have a great week, everybody.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

The Kittens are Fourteen Weeks Old

On Wednesday our kittens were 14 weeks old. My hubby took them back to the vet for their booster inoculations and they got weighed and generally examined again.

My hubby told me that throughout the time, from the moment they were put in the cat carrier to the moment they arrive home, they made no noise and behaved impeccably throughout! They were both very relaxed at the vet’s and did everything they were supposed to do.

When she examined them she said how clean they were. She asked whether we had used the flea spray she’d recommended last time and my hubby reported that I had been puffing them with diatomaceous earth, and she couldn’t find any evidence of fleas on them. This is a much gentler, less toxic approach as it kills the fleas mechanically by interfering with their exoskeletons, rather than chemically, which involves spraying poison onto the kitties. Last time she recommended keeping them apart for an hour or two to prevent them washing each other, but I thought, “What’s to stop them washing themselves?” I wasn’t a bit keen on the idea. The diatomaceous earth is food grade and is actually used as a food supplement, and is totally safe. Ruby isn’t over-keen on being puffed but Lily takes it all in her stride, and anyway the procedure takes only seconds, and then a quick rub up and down to make sure the powder spreads through their fur, and they’re done.

They have both gained weight as they have grown, and they have now, as my hubby put it, “broken the kilo barrier”! Lily is still a bit heavier than Ruby, and they now weigh 1.33 kg (0.98 kg last time), and 1.23 kg (0.84 kg last time) respectively.

The vet was very pleased with them and said how relaxed, happy and well adjusted and healthy they both were. They are clearly very happy little kittens, enjoying a good life with us – and we are certainly enjoying having them! They are eating, sleeping and playing well, and have lots of stimulation, and they are enjoying their clicker training. My hubby told the vet about the clicker training and she said, “That’s good.” It is a very positive experience for all animals.

They must have been tired after their outing to the vet, because they both settled down to sleep while we ate our supper – Lily back in the flat, on top of the home-made cat tree, and Ruby… well:

01 Ruby Asleep Among the Teddies

Every day, my hubby puts the teddies out in the front window so that people walking along the street can see them and wave at them.

02 Teddies in the Window L

At the end of each day, they get brought in, and packed into a box (with an overflow now we’ve got so many!). Ruby was very intrigued with the box of teddies and spent some time tramping about all over them, and then settled down and went to sleep!

Here’s the video I made of her doing it this evening.

Since last week we’ve been letting them into our sitting room, having taken one or two kitty-proofing precautions. They were much more relaxed as they first explored the room, than they had been when they first arrived, or when we first let them into the main part of the house, when they appeared very timid. To start with, they both wandered around the room, obviously very interested and alert, but not a bit nervous. We have now moved the big cat tree that I got on Ebay into the sitting room, and this should keep them stimulated and hopefully off the rest of our stuff, and also give them somewhere new to sleep.

05 Kittens on the Big Cat Tree

For the foreseeable future, we aren’t letting them in there unsupervised, until they are old enough to act responsibly! So far they are both pretty well behaved in there, though. We are letting them through into the house most days now, when we are around to supervise them, and they are enjoying climbing on the big cat tree.

Clicker Training Progress

Lily’s training session didn’t go too well the other day – there were too many outside distractions, and she was easily diverted and became bored. I didn’t pursue it for many minutes – after her outstanding performance the previous day, she was entitled to a bit of a day off! We all get off days, after all. Ruby, on the other hand, did well, and consolidated the previous day’s progress, and they’ve both done pretty well since. Ruby is getting the idea of associating the word “Scratch!” with the act of putting her paws on the scratching post, now with just the word, but originally only when the command was associated with the use of the target. The next step will be to get her to actually “scratch”! I am also going to get some stuff to put on the scratching post to encourage her to do it. Lily has been using the scratching post with no encouragement from us from the very beginning but Ruby prefers the carpet. I have asked my hubby to make a sloping platform with some rough matting on it which she might prefer to a vertical scratching post.

Both will now “Sit!” on command, and I am trying to get them to learn to jump up on my lap with the command “Jump up!” but so far, using the target, they reach up and dig their claws into my leg, which is definitely NOT what I want to train them to do! More work is required, I think! I think the best way is to teach them to jump onto an object (e.g. the scratching post) first, and then progress to my lap.

The trouble is, they will only do what I want during the actual clicker training sessions. Once they are back in the flat, busy playing and being distracted by each other, everything goes out of their heads and they don’t remember anything! I am sure things will improve with practice though – it’s a long process and requires patience, but eventually, during the training sessions, things will get so ingrained that they become automatic regardless of outside distractions – or at least, that’s the hope!

With every day that passes, we get to know these adorable kittens better as their personalities and individual preferences and habits develop, and we love them more and more. I simply can’t imagine life without them now!

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

WOYWW 430–More Kittens, of course!

Still nothing done on my desk. I seem to have had a pretty busy time of it lately, not including wanting to spend as much time as possible with the kittens, and this week I can’t seem to shake the fatigue which has hit me, not surprisingly. Fortunately I’ve got a few days without too much happening so I’m not doing anything except what’s absolutely necessary, and trying to rest and catch up.

Here are some more kitten photos and videos for your delectation and delight.

Relaxing on top of my hubby’s home-made cat tree after a particularly vigorous play session. They often sleep up there.

Relaxing on Top of the Cat Tower 22-8-17

Two irresistible spotty fat tummies! Lily on the left and Ruby on the right. They are getting so big now! Today they are 14 weeks old.

02 Two Spotty Tummies 26-8-17

This is Ruby at 9 weeks old, just after we got them – she looks very small there!

13 Ruby with N with Paws in Air 1-8-17

They are now eating about twice as much as they were when we first got them so it’s not surprising they are growing so fast.

Another one of them relaxing. I took this yesterday. They had just finished tearing around the house with paws like thunder – amazing how much noise two small kittens can make when they put their minds to it!

03 Asleep on the Chair 29-8-17

Most of the photos I’ve got are of them either asleep or relaxing or being tightly held by my hubby – photos of them playing are hopeless because they move so fast that the pictures are blurred. Videos are best for that. Here are a couple of new ones.

Clicker training

I am having a lot of fun clicker training them. I’ve been doing it for 2 weeks now. To start with, my hubby was extremely sceptical about this and didn’t think I’d get anywhere with it, believing along with a lot of other people (wrongly) that cats can’t be trained, but the other day, they were both playing upstairs with him, and I called their names followed by “kitty-kitty-kitty” which is their command to come when called, and they both came running! It doesn’t always work, though, if there is something more interesting to do at the time. They both look up when I say their names now.

They both seem to enjoy the training sessions very much and will always come running for that, when they hear me pick up the clicker and open the treats box. It’s a time of treats, personal interaction and lots of attention, and who doesn’t like a bit of that? The only part they don’t like is being separated. They have to be done one at a time or they would get confused, and Ruby, in particular, cries a lot when I shut her away on her own. I can hear her through 2 closed doors! The two of them are always together and they don’t like being separated. They are probably quite aware of what is going on and don’t want to miss out!

A couple of days ago I started with the target training. My clicker has an extendable target like a radio aerial with a green blob on the end, and they will both touch this with a paw now. Surprisingly, Lily got the idea of that a lot more quickly than Ruby, who has so far been quicker on the uptake with the whole training thing. I got Lily to sit several times this morning, first with, and then without, the target – just on the command “Sit!” I haven’t tried that with Ruby yet, because I am working hard on trying to get her to use the scratching post. Lily has been sharpening her claws on this from the beginning without any encouragement from us, but Ruby continues to prefer the carpet… I can get her to touch the scratching post most of the time now with the target, but it’s a bit hit or miss without it. Eventually I hope she will get the idea of actually scratching – every time I try to get her to do it, it is to the command “Scratch!”

Their attention span is obviously not very long, and a maximum of about 5 minutes each, per day, is all I can expect, but they are certainly getting the idea.

Eventually I want to train them to shut the door after them – we have had simply years of cats pushing the door open in order to come in and join us, and in the winter, it’s a pain having to get up and push the door closed again or alternatively sit in a draught! My hubby says I should train them to make him a cup of coffee.

We had some friends round the other night and I asked if they had tried this method of training with their dog, and the husband said “yes, but it was more successful with me!” I really laughed at this and said “Oooh, what a good idea, I shall clicker train my hubby!” Anything to get him to remember to tell me what he’s doing each day – he has had the habit for over 30 years of just disappearing off without a word so I have no idea where he is or how long he is likely to be. Funnily enough, someone else suggested the same thing at the weekend! He was NOT very impressed when I told him my idea!!

Day out

We had a lovely day out on Saturday with friends – lunch out, followed by a walk along by the river in Kingsteignton near Newton Abbot. Here are a few of the more arty photos from that outing.

05 Suspension Bridge Railings and Shadows

11 Curved Bench Detail with Shadow

13a Under the Railway Bridge B&W

19 Flowing River

Diet

Only 3 more pounds to go to reach my target weight! It is coming off extremely slowly but the only way to speed things up would be to have no more treats and I’m not prepared for that! Anyway, I have now lost nearly 4 1/2 stone (61 lb) since I started 3 years ago, although I don’t count 2015 when I had to stop it while I was so ill. I have lost 10 inches around my waist! My hubby is taking me shopping next week and I’m going to get some new clothes because my leggings are falling down and turning me into a Nora Batty lookalike, and putting on my bra each morning makes me want to burst into song, “Swing low, sweet chariot…”

Have a great week, everyone. Perhaps one day I shall do some art myself.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

A Walk at Kingsteignton

On Saturday we went out for lunch with some friends, followed by a walk along the river at Kingsteignton. To begin with the day was warm and sunny but later it clouded over, but it didn’t spoil our enjoyment. It was a good place to walk with a level path, and surprisingly for a Bank Holiday weekend, not too many people about.

01 Across the Footbridge

A canoeist on the river.

02 Canoeist on the River

Approaching the suspension bridge.

03 Across the Suspension Bridge

View of the river from the bridge.

04 The River from the Suspension Bridge

The suspension bridge – I love railings and shadows!

05 Suspension Bridge Railings and Shadows

Looking up at the structure of the suspension bridge.

06 Suspension Bridge Structure

The metal cut-out figures. I love how the steel has rusted.

07 Metal Cut-Out Figures

Our party.

08 Our Party

A gorgeous sinuous metal bench.

09 Curved Metal Bench

10 Curved Metal Bench from End

Lovely curves and shadows.

11 Curved Bench Detail with Shadow

Industrial construction beside the railway bridge.

12 Bridge Construction

Under the railway bridge.

13 Under the Railway Bridge

Newton Abbot Racecourse through the netting. No racing unfortunately – I love looking at the horses!

14 Newton Abbot Racecourse

Acorns.

15 Acorns

One of several carvings along the walk.

16 Fox Bench

More carvings – my hubby astride a water buffalo!

17 N on Water Buffalo

18 Carved Water Buffalo

The flowing river.

19 Flowing River

They have constructed a special place for dogs to swim.

20 Dog Swimming Place

21 Dog Swimming Place

Carved kingfisher seat.

22 Carved Kingfisher Seat

Since then I’ve been really tired, so trying to rest now I’ve got a few quieter days, and enjoying spending time with the kittens.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

A Storm in a Min-Album and More About Kittens!–WOYWW 429

I am very late with WOYWW this week (didn’t make it at all last week) but better late than never. I have been very busy with the kittens, and we have had a lot of people wanting to call and see them, and I have also been out a bit.

Art first, though. I haven’t been in the studio at all, but I have now made a video slideshow of my recent mini-album entitled “Second Wind” which I posted about some weeks ago. It comes complete with sound effects!

Kittens

Our new kittens, Lily and Ruby, are now thirteen weeks old and growing fast. They remain complete babies, though…

I bought them a circuit toy with a couple of balls for them to chase around the track, and attached to this are two fluffy things for them to play with. A few days ago, Lily started to suckle the black fluffy thing, and Ruby soon followed suit, and this is a regular habit for them now. It is adorable watching their little paws kneading, and hearing the little suckling noises they make, and the contented purring. It’s so funny because the fluffy thing is a lot smaller than they are, so could hardly be thought of as their mother, but I suppose they have no sense of scale! I think it’s a sort of security blanket for them – it’s obviously very comforting.

When we bought that toy, we also bought them a small kitten bed but until now, they had not used it at all. They were really keen on the stuff that didn’t cost us any money (the big cat tree my hubby made for them out of scrap wood, the wine rack, and a couple of toys given to us by a neighbour) but have tended to ignore the stuff we bought for them! Anyway, they have started using the kitten bed, first as a launching pad for other pursuits (literally – they spend ages chasing each other around) and just lately, for Lily to hide in so that she can prepare to ambush her sister without being seen, but over the past couple of days, she has decided that it is actually rather nice to sleep in. Not to be outdone, this evening Ruby decided to have a go as well, but they are getting so big now that it’s really only a bed for one. Not that that deterred her.

04 Both in Kitten Bed Close Up 20-8-17

They now have access to most of the rest of the house under some supervision, and they love the extra space for running around. There are two other litter trays strategically placed so they won’t get caught short!

I have also started with clicker training – if you don’t know what that is, there’s loads of info online about it. I am not intending to train them to do tricks, but simple things like knowing their own names, coming when called, and encouraging them to sharpen their claws in appropriate places and not on the furniture, and keeping them off the table and kitchen work surfaces. So far I think I have “charged the clicker” – getting them to associate the sound of the clicker with the giving of treats, and I am working on getting them to recognise their names and to come when called. Ruby is getting the idea, and is definitely ahead of Lily, who seems more easily distracted. Once this is established, we can move on to other training. It takes time and patience because they have to be done separately, and their attention span is fairly limited, so it’s just three or four minutes per session, once a day.

There are lots of videos of them on my Youtube channel, which you can access by clicking the Youtube logo in the RH sidebar of this blog.

Sadly, my hubby has now broken up the Kitten Fun box – they were getting too big for it, and it only served as another launching pad for assaults on one another and it was getting rather squashed! The carpet tube has also gone – they only played with that briefly and it was getting to be a bit of a tight squeeze. They have still got the fabric tunnel and they love chasing through that. My hubby is making a Kitty Castle for them which will be the next fun thing for them to play with.

We have had them for four weeks and we can’t imagine life without them now! This is the kitten stage that I really love – they are so much fun, and play together so prettily (and sometimes quite aggressively when it comes to wrestling and chasing) and it’s also the time when their individual personalities are starting to show, and each one has funny little ways that are unique to her. It is lovely having kittens in the house again!

Bread Baking Day

Today I attended a bread baking training day. A local microbakery runs regular training days, and recently my hubby won a ticket for such a day in a raffle, and thought I’d get more out of it than him, so off I went. It was the most fun and brilliant day ever. There was only one other person attending so we got lots of individual attention. She was doing the sourdough day, and I was doing regular bread, but we both learnt from each other. They gave us lunch (home made soup and sourdough bread) which was quite delicious. I had never eaten sourdough bread before and absolutely loved it – definitely something I want to try.

His approach was minimalist – all my breadmaking experience in the past has involved prolonged and energetic kneading but he seemed to do the absolute minimum. I was expecting this to result in large irregular holes in the bread but this was not the case. The dough was handled as little as possible and quite gently, and left to rest. A very different approach, with excellent results.

We both made loaves that were placed in special baskets which had been sprinkled with flour. After the dough had risen, it was turned out onto the sheet for baking, and the baskets left attractive floured ridges on the loaves which were retained through the baking process. I made one larger round loaf, two small oval ones, and half a dozen rolls (these had some seeds in them). We ate some of the rolls with our supper.

Here are the results of my labours.

01 Blue Basket of Bread

02 Basket of Bread

Camera Woes

My old Panasonic Lumix camera finally bit the dust recently (the focusing had become very unreliable) and I bought a new one at a very good reduced price in our local Curry’s/PC World. I put in my old SD card and took some photos which I was able to transfer to the computer, but was unable to delete them because I was informed they were “write protected.” I tried to remove the card and it would not eject. I had to dig it out and in the process it broke. I ordered another one (as well as a spare battery for the camera) and inserted it, but again it was “write protected.” Again it was very difficult to remove, but when I got it out, I found the lock on the side was in the locked position, and when I unlocked it and replaced the card, pushing it in locked it again. Again, great difficulty removing it, and I following some advice I found online, I glued the slider in the unlocked position and once the epoxy glue was set hard, I gently filed it down flush so that the card could be inserted again. Despite being fixed in the unlocked position, the card was still write-protected, and I was unable to format it in the camera. I removed it and formatted it in the computer’s card slot, but put back into the camera, the problem remained. I managed to format it in my hubby’s Panasonic Lumix but the write protection is still in place in my camera. There is obviously something wrong with the card slot. Having done so much digging around trying to get the original card out, I have probably damaged it and invalidated the warranty on the camera… I have got to take it back and get it repaired, which I will no doubt have to pay for. I can use the camera as photos will go onto the card, and be copied onto the computer, but I cannot erase them from the card, which will obviously fill up. It is really maddening and I could do without all this hassle…

Iron Woes – and Successes!

Along with all this, just over a week ago I was doing the ironing and there was suddenly an almighty bang and all the downstairs power went off! My old steam iron had finally bitten the dust. My hubby took me in to Curry/PC World and we bought a steam generator iron, and I was able to finish the ironing in double quick time, a process that was repeated last weekend. I have never in my life used such a fantastic iron and the job took about half the time! It is a Morphy Richards one (I did some online research the night my old iron broke, and according to various reviews, this one came out on top). It was while we were buying it that I spotted the cameras on offer and decided to replace my old one.

Why does everything always have to go wrong at once?

I am still very behind with everything because I want to spend so much time with the kittens while they are little (this stage lasts such a short time) and I am trying to catch up with my overflowing email inbox, unanswered forum posts and other matters, and feeling frustrated because I can’t get near my studio, and then having to mess about with all this technology going wrong is a bit much!! Hopefully things will get back to normal soon.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

WOYWW 427

As you will probably understand, there’s no change on my desk this week, so no photo to share. I have been spending all my spare time in with the kittens and making videos galore! They are 11 weeks old today and growing fast, very feisty and alternating between fits of extremely vigorous play and crashing out asleep for hours. I’m amazed at how much noise they make, thundering around on those little paws, with occasional yelps when the play fighting gets too rough, and lots of little chirrups from Lily.

Tomorrow, we will have had them for two weeks! How quickly the time passes. Their personalities and preferences and coming out now, and they have their favourite toys, and different food preferences. Ruby has decided she doesn’t like wet food and for a couple of days I was worried about her because she wouldn’t eat – she’d demand food extremely loudly (again, amazing what a huge sound this tiny creature can make!) and then when I put it down, she’d turn away, and go on asking. She loves the little kitten biscuits and wolfs them down. I am trying her on different brands of wet food because it’s important for her to have that as well, but at least they are both drinking plenty of water – something all our previous kitties have never done, at least, not from a bowl in a civilised manner, but out of the drains etc. outside!!

They are at this moment careering around my feet, ambushing each other and wrestling with each other. Half an hour ago this is how they looked.

01 Sitting Together on Step Stool 9-8-17

Ruby playing in the basket suspended from the cat tree my hubby made for them.

01 Ruby in the Basket

Crashed out asleep. They often sleep on top of each other.

02 Kittens on my Lap 5-8-17

I tend to do more videos than photos because I can usually only photograph them when they are asleep because otherwise they are moving too fast! Here is my favourite video of them.

All the videos are on previous posts on this blog, and also on my Youtube channel (link in sidebar).

One non-kitten thing I did manage to do this week was to make a video slide show of the mixed media mini-album I made in memory of my dad for my niece. It’s a project I’ve been meaning to do for ages.

I recently acquired an app for the iPad called LumaFusion, which is a powerful video editor and I can do most things on that that I can do on Final Cut Pro on the Mac. Very convenient as the iPad is also used as the video camera and there’s no transferring of video files to be done. More slide shows will follow, of other albums I’ve made since. They take a long time to edit, but they are fun to do. I’m planning to rig up the iPad over my desk so I can start videoing myself at work again.

Health Update

I’ve got an appointment with my surgeon tomorrow morning. When I saw him last (about 3 months ago), he booked me in for a CT scan of my abdomen to check whether my parastomal hernia had returned because it was “inconclusive.” It turned out that some fat had come through. Nice thought, esp. as I’ve now lost so much weight!! Anyway, he wrote me a letter after that, saying he recommended leaving well alone – at our last meeting he’d said he’d be reluctant to open me up and perform major surgery again unless it was absolutely necessary. Sutured parastomal hernia repairs have a 100% failure rate, and it rather looks as if it’s on the way to failure already (I had the operation on 1st Feb.) so I’m hoping it won’t fail and cause another obstruction, requiring another major operation as an emergency. What I really want is elective surgery for the insertion of some mesh around the stoma to reinforce the area, so hopefully he will do this when the hernia finally returns and before I get into difficulties with it. I don’t suppose he will have anything new to tell me tomorrow.

When I saw the oncologist after the CT scan result came back, she said there was no sign of cancer, but they should have scanned my chest as well (metastases from bowel cancer often appear in the lungs) so I had another scan. A case of the right hand not knowing what the left was up to? No cancer evident, and they are happy to see me as arranged in November, which will be the 2 year anniversary of my all-clear.

I’ve been a bit rough with my ME just lately but that’s probably from overdoing things, getting the kitchen sorted again after the new pantry was completed, and all the rushing around getting the kittens and getting them settled in (nice, though!). I’m resting when I can, and spending most of the time with the kittens. They tend to sleep all afternoon, having worn themselves out with their morning play session, and we all cuddle up together!

Monday, 7 August 2017

A Hard Day’s Play for Lily and Ruby

After a prolonged session of intensive play this morning and over lunch, they crashed out this afternoon and again this evening after another play session during supper. I’ve just taken these photos of them on the chair, beside the kitten bed – we bought this for them as the old kitten bed had fallen to bits, but will they use it? Noooo. Well, there’s no accounting for taste, although we think it would be a lovely snug little nest for them!

08 Beside the Kitten Bed 7-8-17

07 Asleep Beside the Kitten Bed 7-8-17

They had rather a disturbed afternoon’s rest today, with three different lots of visitors to come and admire them! They got woken up and cuddled and admired. They did a bit of desultory playing but that’s all they were up to for their visitors! I told them they should have come this morning…

I got some lovely video footage of them today. My hubby has introduced a new toy for them – a carpet tube. Previous generations of kittens have really enjoyed chasing through this long narrow tunnel and we were sure these two would as well – and they were soon playing with it!

First of all, some general play, very vigorous, with little Lily hardly knowing where to put herself, she was so excited! She gives out little excited chirrups and squeaks when she plays.

Now, some hi-rise birdie play.

Finally, Tunnel Time.

I’m always amazed at the contrast between these busy kittens rushing around at high speed, and the sleepy little bundles when they’ve worn themselves out – it’s almost like two completely different kitties!

Kittens, and More Video Editing

Here’s a short video of the two kittens playing in the TV cabinet.

I had some papers on the shelf with notes on them about how to connect up a VCR/DVD recorder, and my hubby’s list of all the TV channels for Mum, and Lily has become obsessed with these and has pulled them all off and rushed through them and chewed the edges – she likes the sound it makes! I’m not worried and just letting her get on with it!

The Kitty Fun box.

I’ve been getting some practice in with my new video editing app, LumaFusion on the iPad and it’s so easy to use, so I’ve decided to start dealing with the backlog of videos I want to produce of some of my art work. Back in 2014 I made a mini-album from recycled materials (see “Recycled Mini-Album” posts for 2014 in my blog archive in the LH sidebar) and at the time, I took a lot of photos of the finished pages in readiness for making a video slideshow, and over the past couple of days I’ve at last compiled this into a finished video.

The next one I shall do is of the Mamhead album I made last year, about our walk in the woods.

This app is amazing – I am able to do pretty much everything I’ve been doing with Final Cut Pro on the Mac. The iPad is so responsive and there’s no delay at all. The only slight drawback is that with the 9.5 in. iPad, the screen is a bit small and my fingertips feel a bit clumsy at times, particularly when editing text for the headings, but I think if I used the Apple Pencil this would be easier. I need to charge it up…

It’s a doddle to upload videos to Youtube from within the app, and there are lots of different parameters you can set.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Some More Fun Kitten Videos

It’s so long since we’ve been in kitten mode that I’d forgotten the sort of antics they can get up to!

First of all, here are some photos.

Asleep on my lap, one on top of the other. Criss-cross kitties.

02 Kittens on my Lap 5-8-17

Starting to wake up.

04 Embracing on my Lap 5-8-17

Starting to wrestle.

03 Wrestling Kittens on my Lap 5-8-17

A veritable tangle of limbs!

05 A Tangle of Arms and Legs on my Lap 5-8-17

“I love my sister…”

06 I Love my Sister 5-8-17

I put down a sheet of plastic to protect the carpet from any food spillages where we feed them, and today Lily decided this was put down for the sole purpose of her playing with it.

Inevitably the water was spilt on the floor. They now have their bowls on a tray, which isn’t nearly so much fun, but it makes life easier for me!

The next one just creased us up. I had to make a fun video of it!

On a more serious note, Ruby is being quite naughty with her food. When we took them to the vet on Wednesday for their inoculations, they got weighed, and Lily is heavier than Ruby, who had actually lost .01 of a gramme. Nothing to worry about, apparently. However, when I feed them, Ruby makes a huge fuss and absolutely bellows and carries on as if she’s starving, and when I put the bowls down, she’s not interested and walks away. I keep putting her back but she walks away again. The result is that Lily eats most of it. This evening I tried feeding Ruby separately because I thought that might help, but it didn’t. Finally, I gave her some dry food, and she absolutely wolfed it down! She obviously prefers this to the wet food. I’m not really very keen on her having it all the time, though, because it can lead to kidney problems later in life, but she’s got to eat! We’ve got another variety of wet food that I can try, and we’ll see if she eats that. I just hope she’s not going to turn into a really fussy kitty.

I have had several lovely cuddles with Ruby today. She loves to snuggle up as close as possible, and before dropping off to sleep, she looks up into my eyes so lovingly, and purrs her little head off. This morning I had them both for a while – which is when I took the photos at the top of this blog post.

I have to tear myself away in order to get anything sensible done! I’ve more or less decamped into this room so I can spend as much time as possible with them while they are little, and they are so much fun.

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