Sunday, November 28, 2010

I's helpings Mum decorates

With - or despite -the input of various four-legged 'assistants' [ and I am using the word in its loosest form ], the festive decorating has been completed in time for the arrival of various crafty friends and relations later this morning.

Even in the face of inundation of near Biblical proportions,

they are braving the water, and the potholes, and I expect these hardy souls to arrive armed variously with their quilting, crochet, knitting, spinning and embroidery ... oh and food ... lots of food.

David was busy after tea last night, creating his own culinary contribution : mini plum puddings

and in a tenuous water-related segue:
This rare sight is the overflow pipe from my dam doing what it is designed for

... overflowing.

With summer only 3 days away, and after the wettest Spring in a dam[n] long time

the dam is full

and thousands of litres of precious water are disappearing down the road
and I can't emphasize this enough
[just in case you missed it ]
the dam is full
for the first time -or so I am reliably informed by the previous owner - since 1996

did I mention that the dam is full ?

Friday, November 26, 2010

it's been a long week

I want to thank you all for the kind words and your understanding of how difficult last week was.

I'm slowly getting used to life with one less furrbaby around, and Bear seems to have stopped fretting.
Isn't it odd that the one dawg in the house seems to have noticed Oakley's absence far more than either Sophie or MissC ?
Well, no [ answering my own largely rhetorical question here ] because that is the nature of cats and dogs.

and before I move on ... did you spot the common thread in most of the photos of my ginger boy ?
Sophie's chosen path as the resident feline yarn tensioning device has been well documented. What was perhaps less well known was Oakley's long career as quilt cat.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I'm sure that you'll agree

... someone-who-shall-remain-nameless has finally gone too far

edited to add another photo so that you can see more clearly exactly what she's inflicted on me

Friday, November 19, 2010

Oakley 1995 - 2010

I'm sorry that most of you never got to meet Oakley.
He was the sweetest natured cat that ever walked this earth
and I have watched him fade away little by little over the past year.
There haven't been a lot of photos of him lately. he was just too frail but these are two from this year:

Nadie would say her final goodbyes each time she left to go back down to Melbourne but I think we both knew last weekend that this time it really was for the very last time.
Each time I watched her do it, it just about broke my heart
When I've woken up in the morning recently, or come in the door getting back from town, I've half expected him to have 'gone'
and bad as that would've been, and as awful as it has been in the past, sitting up through the night with an animal that I knew I was losing, it was somehow worse to have to make the call to the vet. I did that earlier in the week, knowing that I needed time to say good-bye and to make peace with my emotions ... and that I needed to let my girl know too.
Part of me hoped that Oakley would somehow take that decision out of my hands in these last few days
but he didn't
so today he made his trip over the rainbow bridge.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It's THAT time of year

Yes my dears

with only 12 days until the last WIP Day of the year [ works in progress that is ]
and also because I can't cope with the idea of visitors mid-decorate - largely because the house at that point looks like an explosion at the North Pole - I have begun decking the halls a few days earlier than usual

In line with hallowed custom, the Official Annual Chez Catsmum Christmas House [ cyber ] Tour won't start until the first of December,

but here's a little taste
and in case you haven't been watching the Christmas Countdown widget in the sidebar, here's a small and suitably subtle hint:

Monday, November 15, 2010

Yes, I know that it's three weeks

... since Nadie and Chris' wedding, and you still haven't seen a 'finished' photo of their quilt.
No I didn't forget.
With the having the flu, and then the recovering from the having the flu and all, it just got put in the too hard basket ... or rather, the 'too damn heavy' basket.
It's a BIIIIIG quilt, and it weighs a tonne/ton [ feel free to choose your preferred system of weight measurement ] so I pretty much haven't had enough oomph in me to hold it up for long enough to pin it to the design wall ... and to move the sewing tables out of the way as well.

that situation was finally rectified on the weekend, and Chris [ who has a better camera than I do ] took this shot for me.
and even though it's pinned at ceiling height, it's still on the carpet a bit.
Told you it was big!

and just to prove that it WAS finished on time and was indeed at the wedding, here's the extremely mediocre shot I took of it spread over the couch in the Bride's Retreat at Chateau Wyuna.
Now you can see why I waited to get a decent shot before posting

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Sound-Of-Music Moment

I have tried
I have even come close
but I have to admit that the quest is over
he's done it

SIL Chris
managed to get the PERFECT raindrops-on-roses' shot yesterday.

look at that drop trembling on the edge
you just know that a millisecond later gravity triumphed

maybe I should try for the quintessential 'whiskers-on-kittens' ?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Next year I'm wearing a tiara!!

Last year the Relay for Life was cut short due to extreme heat
but the forecast for this weekend was somewhat different
The past couple of days had been a bit on the hot side but a change was forecast. The atmosphere by 6pm was sticky and humid

Nadie [ seem here with some of the other members of our team ] and I, began walking laps around Camp Reserve.

At first there were only a dozen or so walking but the number soon swelled to somewhere between one and two hundred [ I'm guessing here ... not good at estimating crowds ]

Inside the Clubrooms, this hardy soul [ Greg ??] honoured his fundraising promise and endured having his head shaved ... brave man!

The lap walking continued, pausing at 8pm for the lighting of hundreds of memorial candles - tiny tealights set inside paper bag lanterns inscribed with the names of both the survivors and those taken too soon.

We then did a special lap of the oval led by the Castlemaine Pipe Band, to the tune of 'Scotland the Brave'

before assembling in front of the portable stage for a very moving opening ceremony which culminated with a minute's silence

and another lap 'round the oval behind the pipes and drums.

Nadie and I left about 9pm, a bit tired, very mozzie-bitten and quite happy with our part in the proceedings . We WERE intending to return with the boys this morning for another couple of hours before the official closing.
Unfortunately Mother Nature had other ideas, and those hardy souls who were camping [ and walking ] overnight, were forced to abandon the effort when the heavens opened.
The deluge has pretty much continued unabated all day
and while we are always happy to see evidence that 15 years of drought may well be over ...
the timing was a wee bit of a nuisance.

Last night there was much laughter, more than a few tears
and we'll do it all again next year

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Relay For Life Castlemaine 2010

I don't normally use this blog as a vehicle to solicit for fundraising but there are always gonna be exceptions in life, aren't there ?
This weekend Nadie, David, Chris & I are all taking part in the Castlemaine Relay for Life in support of the Victorian Cancer Council
If you've been with me for a while, you already know why this is a cause dear to my heart.

If you would like to support our little team, made up of parents, staff and clients of Windarring, which is David's Day Placement, you can donate online here

and btw if you are a local, and would like to come down to the Opening Ceremony, it all kicks off at the Camp Reserve [ Showground/Footy Ground ] at 6pm, this Friday, November 12 and continues overnight until noon Saturday.

Saturday, November 06, 2010


Names added for Alison:

my favourite Iris with Italian Lavender and the bright pink behind is a succulent generically called Pig Face
the classic cottage garden annual: Larkspur
which I also have in pink and white
Supposedly the Plague Locusts - which are shaping up for this summer to be the worst in nearly a century - don't like Larkspurs, so it could be a good thing I have thousands of 'em.

another beautiful Iris

and this is Scilla Peruviensis, commonly known as Cuban Lily [ even though the latin name means Peruvian Bluebell ] ... tough as old bootstraps, spreads readily but controllably, and soooooo beautiful

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Doggy Day Spa

This was me at breakfast time

My usual gorgeous self.
I mean one can't improve on perfection.
Am I right ? or am I right ?

Ahh! but y'see Mum'd realised that Summer will start in less than 4 weeks, so the Forces of Evil had been contacted [ No, seriously, Leanne? loveya babe! ]

I mean ... people ... did she HAVE to book my annual haircut for a day when it was BEARly going to make it into double digits ?

the dreaded collar and leash appeared
and just like that my fate was sealed

This is moi about 3 hours later

Can you tell I'm less than impressed with the bow ?

and I smell like a sissy
a French sissy

[ those cats have been giving me grief all afternoon. Even the grandkittens ]

the mani-pedi's not too bad though

I guess a fella could get used to this

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

something ...

... old
something new
something borrowed
someething blue

the 'old' I've written about before; my great-grandmother's french silk hankie

the 'new' was, of course, the beautiful dress

the 'borrowed', daughter-in-law [ and bridesmaid ] Christina's hair ornament/comb thingie from her own wedding to my #1 son in 2006, which you can see in one of yesterday's pix

and the blue was a pair of the traditional garters, supplied by Nadie's 'surrogate mum' - and my good friend - Nicole
and 'why a pair ?' some of you may be asking.
In my day, back when dinosaurs ruled the earth, one only had the one - although I actually didn't have any [ I had a blue silk ribbon horseshoe sewn into my petticoat ]

Anyway, apparently it is now the norm to have two - a slightly fancier one for the bride to keep and one for The Toss.

This is the toss one, which was caught by David - thanks to some careful shepherding by his thoughtful youngest cousin Adam and good aim on Chris' part

and which was worn proudly for the rest of the night

albeit upside down :)

Monday, November 01, 2010

Halloween 101

If US television and the innernetz are to be believed [ and - hey! - if it's on the Internet, well, it MUST be true, right ? ] millions of US parents have just spent a bazillion gajillion dollars, and/or vast amounts of time and energy, in ensuring that their li'l monsters' Halloween dreams did not go unfulfilled.

Wasted effort people! Wasted!

Really, all you needed to do was catch some kind of gastric flu bug, suffer the MUTHAH of all migraines for 5 or 6 days with a side of throwing up your toes, and other bodily functions that I'll choose not to dwell on here.

No solid food at all for about 96 hours,

and you too can - with no monetary outlay AT ALL
- do a very convincing impersonation of one of the living dead


yes I'm feeling much better
still light headed and wobbly
the house is slowly disappearing under a layer of suitably post-apocalyptic dust and detritus
but at least I'm in no longer in any immediate danger of being chased by angry villagers with pitchforks

and because you don't need the visual

here's some more wedding pix: