The end?

The Aristocats! By Disney

Well, it might be, but it might not be!!! Some things won’t be finished, others have been. Life is like that. Never ending circles (ooooh!!! Another Disney movie!!!!).

Here in EO, the sound of illegal fireworks are causing dogs to bark and car alarms to go off. (or is that the neighbor’s high powered car with the missing muffler) The circle of life in the rural bits of America!!!

Meanwhile, the babies are growing. In just days they’ve gotten fur and are sooooo cute! (for being fuzzy animated jelly beans with legs!) Future food has never been so adorable!! Little Bear is being so responsible! He’s measuring food and making sure the adults are eating properly and purchasing things to help the bunnies become the best brood bunnies ever.

Made delightful garlic cheese rolls again and we’ll have the rest for dinner in a couple of days. Tonight was a stir fry that took way too much time and hilarious personal ring cakes. Those are a dessert from Norway and well, the molds for the rings are not in my cupboards and the size of the cake was a bit daunting. So, made itty bitty donuts using a keto recipe and coconut flour. Not sure what I did wrong, but they were not exactly right. Which worked!! Ring cakes are a tad flat and since the donuts were a tad flat, they stacked very well!! The low sugar inside the donut was overshadowed by the powdered sugar glaze outside. Not photos of those, but they were not too bad at all!!! They were supposed to have mini chocolate chips in them. Alas, the batter was thin and when I poured it out into the donut wells in my donut baking pan, the chips stayed in the bottom of the bowl!! So, the last few I made were THICK with chocolate chips. Those were VERY good!!! lol (I‘ll see if I can still take a couple of photos and add them to my next post.)

Something VERY cool happened, too. Mum had a task she’d not finished. With a lot of help, it was completed. Let me ‘splain. She had a doll she was going to mend and never got around to it. The owner was one of mom’s handicapped friends and she called mom every week for years. In each call, she’d ask mom about the doll. Well, a friend up north kept the doll I’d mended and found how to get it to the girl/lady. Was sent a photo and it made me cry. So thankful that is done!!

To end the year, talked to a financial person who suggested using the cash from mom’s house to pay bills and put into investments. So, today, paid off a large bill for an MRI and am paying for therapy sessions. The therapist is going to teach my body how to move again. Absolutely looking forward to that!!! In the paper she gave me with questions to answer, there were many that made me realise how often shortcuts are taken so hurt is avoided.

Also read a couple of anthologies with GREAT illustrations. OK, the anthologies were hit or miss with greatness, but some were very good. The illustrations made up for it. One is about cats and the other fun fairy tale like stories. The images would make good tats, probably!!!

So, I reckon it is now the end!! Thank you to all my wonderful friends in here. You, once again, have helped make a year of being alone less lonely!!! May your next months be full of beauty and goodness and when those hard bits happen, may they eventually burst out into lovely.

Dec 29, 2017 Cook Inlet AK

Surrounding the Holidays

From wrapping gifts to checking out the nativity, cats are always putting in the best paw. (Especially like Mittens and her glowing green and yellow eyes under the tree lights!)

Even the squirrel enjoyed the feasts set before them. (Even if the feasts were supposed to be for the birds!!!)

The one hanging on the tube feeder hand it figured out. He’d hook his claws around the wire for the lid. One of the others never quite got it and kept sliding down. The theory was that they’d not be able to get to these feeders, but they jumped from the porch to the metal stand or shimmied up the metal pole!! It is fun to watch them look around to see how to go about getting a snack!

Christmas was not bad at all. The guys completely enjoyed the two large gifts they were given and mine were nice. Having a sock full of kit kats was sweet, but the power bars I’d mentioned were on sale would have been more logical! Little Bear actually pulled out the stops with a lovely glass cutting board, Amazon gift card in a HUGE box, and flower bulbs. The latter was entirely sweet, loved the note with them (he also got me caramel corn, but it will keep til a low glucose!). The Craftsman finally finished, the day after Christmas, a bannister so my getting upstairs will hopefully be easier. It’s a project he’s been working on for almost a decade. Finishing things is a positive way to end a year!! He also got me a battery operated vest to help me stay warm. He’s taking it back for a larger one, he forgot I wasn’t a medium sized person anymore. He also found a cute pair of sparkly stud earrings. They are the tiniest flowers ever! My personal gifts to me were my watch and a book. The socks were too large (how a person can purchase themselves socks that are too big is beyond me, but doable!!).

It is soo pretty now!!!

The BEST present was Little Bear’s bunny who actually was pregnant. Christmas Day she began exhibiting what was called hay stashing. They collect every speck of straw or hay they can find and stuff their faces til it looks like they have a hay moustache and then fill their nest box. I had gone out on Boxing Day (St. Stephen’s Day) because I’d had a dream she’d had 6 or 7 kits and discovered she’d also started pulling hair. Her water dish was full of fur!! I came in and told Little Bear she’d need new water and he was surprised. He’d gone out a few hours before and she was hanging around the box and not doing much. So, he went back out and found she had given birth to 7 tiny blobs of bunny! They will gain fur over a few days, which will be a good idea. It is really not very nice out there!!! Freezing rain, snow, and a lot of wind has been the norm for the last two days. Now, he needs to help keep the winter kits alive til they are large enough to grow up on their own til the majority join freezer camp in mid spring. So glad he’s got rabbits and not cows!! He puts a lot of care into feeding these hoppers and measuring out a half cup of pellets is way less stressful than a bucket full of grains!!

Lovin’ It and Hope

One of the nicest things about a time of giving is being able to give! When mom died and I had a portion left of some money us girls got, I bought gifts for Christmas. This year, I did the same thing. (Now, this may sound like I’m trying to look good, but it isn’t. I’m just thankful!) Little Bear wanted a certain hat and books on rabbits, so those are under the tree (ok, he did get one bunny book early and is completely fascinated. The Belgian rabbit was brought over to the US in 1888 and they took off with clubs and breeders, but are now considered rare!). The Craftsman wanted a warm work vest and listens to audio books, so those items are under the tree. Was also excited that all three books ordered for Christmas Eve have arrived! (We used to have Santa gifts in the house, but I opted to just do Christmas Eve books instead. I think it is Iceland that does that. Much easier and more fun..although, there are two small boxes of Lego bricks wrapped, as well!) I’ve made the guys mad, because there really isn’t anything I want this year besides the ipad or the laptop and those are WAY too expensive for them to choose for me. I’d mentioned I really didn’t want kitchen things this year, my kitchen was too crowded. Little Bear remarked that I needed a new can opener and when my nose crinkled, he said my Christmas kitchen gifts were things they wouldn’t use, so it was ok to gift them to me. They’d use a can opener, so they’d just get that. I laughed!!!

 The Craftsman is working on one of those library boxes that is put up next to a sidewalk. I was with him when he was purchasing clear material for door windows. Many of mom’s books were put into little book kiosks along hiking trails. (Never quite understood why books could be found along hiking trails, but they were restocked with romances and mysteries and even cookbooks every week!) I’d love to add to the world a few of mine, I’d even order some specifically to give away!!! Giving is one of my favorite things! It is lovely I can afford to this year. He’s also almost done with a bannister he’s been working on for close to a decade!

Pretzel Faces!!!!!

Made cookies and candy coated pretzels and need to make more. They don’t last long when they get passed on to others. Will also purchase some flowers to give to the neighbors. One of the local stores has bunches for $5. Sealed up quite a few Christmas cards this week, some of the cards that need special letters are not yet done. Those should be completed this weekend. Sent off a package to Strider full of treats (not for him, he says he won’t eat sweets anymore. However, his roommates will!!) and Tillamook cheese and beef sticks (which he WILL eat!). Was also able to purchase him books from Amazon. Unfortunately, with the weather on the East Coast, his holiday gifts may be extended a bit into the 12 days of Christmas! No matter, it was super wonderful to be able to purchase them. The Craftsman got him a power tool. Unfortunately, the power is from a lithium battery and mailing those requires a lot of paperwork. However, I’ll get that out next week, after the appropriate pages are printed off and affixed to the box. Apparently, once the paperwork is completed, the box will only cost about 20 dollars to mail. A single battery purchased by itself is generally over 75$, so it is a good move. Crazy, but good.

Just got another package of things for the kid today. He’s been getting scratches from his rabbits and wanted Kevlar sleeves like he saw on the arms of a woman who has a rabbitry in OR. They came and I was completely confused. They SAY Kevlar on the fingerless sleeves, but they look and feel like socks with holes for the heel and no toes! I thought they’d be similar to leather or something. They fit The Craftsman, so maybe they’ll be ok. We’ll have to see. (At least they will slip easily into the kid’s Chrsitmas stocking!) He also caught a possum last night. It was lurking around the rabbit cages. Usually rabbits aren’t fair game for these scavengers, but caged bunnies are like meshed taste treats. The fanged marsupials have been known to climb up and bite off bunny feet..which isn’t very lucky, if you are the rabbit! Possum are not a very pretty creature, but they are fascinating. They hiss and growl and have five fingers and toes and very very sharp teeth!! He may let it go out near the creek going through town, but they are supposed to have a territory of 30 acres, so that is a LOT of ground one of these will cover! However, I feel skeptical of that particular stat since one of the things about possum is that they tend to hide like someone during a political survey and refuse to be counted! Little Bear and his dad are taking it across the hiway and into the fields outside of town. Relocation and hopefully, no returning!!

Couldn’t find the flowers I was looking for, so purchased tulip and daffodil bulbs for the neighbors, instead. Dead and yet alive. Tucking hope into today’s soil for tomorrow’s blooms. Perfect for the end of 2020. 

Make Woom for Wabbits

Due to illness, faulty internet, and trying to keep up with the holiday decorating season, my correspondence has been spotty, at best. Working on Christmas cards this week..probably! So, this is from LAST weekend.

This might disturb some readers, but sustainable healthy meat harvest is part of the lifestyle of this family. (Little Bear says, ‘Kind of.’ He’s got to feed and care for and keep the genetic diversity strong, but at this point, the outlook is rather good.) At any rate, a few weeks ago, we drove across Oregon to get rabbits for Little Bear. They were all does instead of two does and a buck. So, he needed another buck. He was looking for Chinchilla, which are supposed to be an uncommon breed. For all the Chinchilla crosses he has found and the pure bred breeders in the area, they aren’t as uncommon as they might be! On Thursday he got a call from the daughter of one of his bosses (there are 3 ladies in the office. Little Bear doesn’t really think it is right to say one is boss over the others!), a lady he also works for. She was with a friend who jokingly asked if she knew anyone who wanted rabbits. Immediately, the woman called Little Bear and handed her friend the phone. The friend had a Chinchilla Californian cross pair she’d purchased several months ago and now she wanted to get rid of them. Two cages (although the rabbits shared one) and food and dishes and bunnies for free. She’d spent a great deal of money on these pets, they were getting larger, and it looked as if the female might be pregnant (go figure!!). Little Bear decided a nearby Chinchilla mixed pair for free was a lot less expensive than driving across country for a single male. He was sent a video of the cages and those also looked good. (when we arrived, he realized we did not need more than one vehicle for the cages and the rabbits and the cages had been lovely things with wood all over the place..that had been seriously chewed upon.)

Unfortunately, the new rabbits were going to live next to the other rabbits and one of my lasagna gardens needed moved pronto. (In retrospect, this was not a surprise. It was just something to hem and haw about before it really needed done and should have just been done! Kind of like the roof doesn’t leak when it’s not raining theory) Thus, I spent a couple of hours in a breezy freezing fog moving a garden. Little Bear asked if it was traumatizing. It wasn’t, not exactly. The Craftsman moved the frame for the garden, allowing me room to carefully shovel out with a square shovel sections of earth layers. Careful was the name of the game, since there were thriving bulbs in the bed and metal chicken wire on top of the yard soil. One of the worst parts was missing tulip bulbs. There were a few dug up, but by and large, they were absent. This bothered me. Hyacinth and daffodils of all kinds were full of delicate white rootlets and making new bulbs, but where were the tulips? Once the soil was shoveled off and placed in a wheelbarrow or on a tarp, the wire was fully exposed and able to be lifted. Yup, it had a couple of holes in it! It appeared the ground critters may have chewed up to the wire where the tasty bulbs were and gone through to get the treats. The few bulbs found were near bulbs considered inedible by rodents. (Completely annoyed, even as this is being typed!)

Thankfully, the metal mesh part was salvageable and with scraps from around the yard and shop, it was ‘fixed’. A layer of cardboard was put on top (usually you use newspaper, link is for other post) and then soil from the previous lasagna garden. This wasn’t layered, but just dumped in a barrowful at a time. The beautiful bulbs were tossed in the bed in a naturalization pattern and covered with more soil, the frozen topmost layer, and a nice sprinkling of leftover dirt and garden debris. From 1:30 to 3:10, less than two hours, the garden was moved and put back together! At this time (1030  pm) the rabbits are in the unheated addition to acclimate to the idea that they don’t need a heat lamp at 20 degrees F because they have very warm and soft fur. They will also be separated as soon as possible. If the lady (named Zsa Zsa and renamed Maude) is pregnant by Jimmy Bunny (renamed Bucky), they can’t stay together. Female bunnies are territorial and kits are a part of that territory. However, there is now room for their homes and if this keeps up, Little Bear is going to be top dog in a wabbit empire in record time! Six adults in less than 3 weeks has got to be a record.

The Last Month in 2020

This is a month dedicated to festivities. The house here in OR is no exception. Mostly. The yard is surrounded in lights, but it isn’t one of a handful this December. It seems EVERYONE has put up lights and yard decor. Granted, the wind we’ve had has been rather negative towards towering air filled characters (This afternoon, I passed a smiling Santa flat on his nose!), but by and large, most of the items are things that shine. The Craftsman finished the wooden tree that went out partially last winter (he was not happy, it seems he zip tied the string to the board and removing them was a lot of work. However, it did let him paint the board and change the dull plywood brown for plywood green which looks much better under the fluorescent bulbs.) and he put out another one of the spinning lights that makes lovely fairy lights in the trees. Little Bear did move it because when it spun ‘low’ it was shining in the rabbit pens and he didn’t want his rabbits to have lights in the cages. (would they chase them like cats do???) Something I wondered was there is such a chasing after this holiday (“I need this after the year we’ve had around here.”), what will happen once January 6 hits (traditionally when decor is put away)? Coloring is a good idea to while away the new year!! Found this image under 5th grade math. (I texted Podman the wrong age, told him it was 2nd.) Between you and me, not exactly sure what math has to do with a busty lady wearing a corset while playing with her hair!

Moses isn’t as impressed with the decorations as he is with filled bird feeders. Now that it is colder, the little birds are even more eager to visit. We weren’t sure if Moses was a cat in a crime scene in this picture or if he was baiting the birds! (there are empty sunflower seeds in front of him) The squirrels have decided to munch on The Craftsman’s lights. We aren’t sure why, perhaps the little colored shapes look edible? He sprayed them all with a mix of Tabasco sauce and water and a smidge of dish soap after he needed to repair several strings days prior to their Thanksgiving Eve debut. (my mix came off in the rain, the night it was applied!!)

Inside, not much has gotten done. All the nativity sets are out, my adorable Holly is on her stand and half dressed. The fronds that make up her skirt are unpacked, but the bungee cord used in 2018 to hold the fronds on her waist is missing (bungee cords do wander off!!). (photo is from a couple of years back, the nose is NOT something I put on her.) The shelving unit in the living room is also decorated. Little Bear sort of objected to my balanced display of candy around the tree, he insisted that food can’t be art. Which is NOT true!!! All I wanted was candy to put in the container and the sweets The Craftsman found were favorites for the guys, but not entirely filling to the tree shape!!

Odd, those two photos are a lot larger than they appeared after being shrunk. No matter. My little technology device just told me my glucose might be high, so need to go and verify that. This one has been on for almost 7 days and the ‘people who use this device approved‘ sticky patches arrived today, so there is a much more confident feeling as I go into this next week! Did make another pumpkin pie to use up the last of the canned punkin the fridge, the tiny ones still awaiting being cooked down are wearing Santa hats. (Wanted to text Ms. Monster a photo, but my phone is being VERY annoying and failing to send even 4 word texts unless I was outside in the freezing fog next to the car!!) If you make pumpkin pie, what kind of fluid do you use? I use a mix of reg milk with powdered milk or canned evaporated. My sister also adds rum! Another friend uses cream. More use only sweetened condensed milk. (which I only use for fudge!!) Had no idea there were so many things you could add to a pumpkin pie. Little Bear prefers whipped topping.

An invitation to stop and listen

This information is not mine. It was gleaned (for the most part) from NPR articles that will have links attached. The information is because of an intense discussion conducted with my family about the current US POTUS. They don’t like the man, but they like what he’s done and voted for him. So, asked them to convince me why he had been so good for our country. They didn’t have much time, because they were headed to meetings (it was a dinner discussion), but Little Bear cited an article on T and racism and how he wasn’t. Curious, I also looked after they left, and found some thoughts I felt worth sharing.

Now, the current US POTUS is an interesting character. In an article I didn’t actually complete my reading of because it got too technical, even for a gal with a basic college education, I learned something I felt was curious. The society of today likes to be entertained. They enjoy the messier bits of reality TV and seem to prefer a fast pace o anything visual where results are in a short time. There is an appeal in T with this. He has gotten some things accomplished (his first term was rather changing in the conservative movement of the US, because he axed many things, added others, and pushed through his agenda fairly quick) and absolutely no one has a clue what he’s going to say or do next. He is like a fast moving powerful train on a busy track that hasn’t got a stopping point to actually become a wreck of itself.

After reading Michelle Obama’s book, ‘Becoming’, I realized there was a lot more to being a person in power in the US than most of the biographies I’d read shared. Perhaps, it was because those were biographies and M’s book was autobiography from the side of the president. Reading her book made me realise how complacent I’d become towards the world in general and the US in particular. Granted, most of my time in the last 7 or 8 years has been wrapped up in my mom’s life and debris in a different state where I was disconnected from almost everything but mom, but still, not an excuse!

Looking at T and racism, I learned he was and is not the most racist president the US has had. He couldn’t be, he has no actual slaves. However, three things he has done are call to African nations ‘sh**hole countries’, he was an instigator behind President Obama’s birth in Hawaii not being legal, and he has referred to Mexican immigrants as being ‘rapist’. During one of his ‘debate’s, he touted White Power and The Proud Boys. “In 2020 for a person to be defiant of White Power, that is exceptional”. The article went on to say you could not compare post 60’s presidents to this one or you lose the perspective on why his comments are so dangerous and off center for what we should expect in this period. For past 60’s presidents, we know many were starkly racist in private (Lyndon B. Johnson and Nixon). Yet, there is a difference even there. Nixon, in particular, “understood the importance of governing. He was committed to the idea that the president presides”.

In T’s America First, he’s actually leaving the US on the sidelines. He wanted to use the leverage of the US being #1 in the market and that is waning. Making us ‘Great Again’ or ‘Keeping us Great’ isn’t happening. What was so great about the past? OK, besides 80’s rock and Bugs Bunny and Pac Man? Looking past the trends, I’m kind of fond of progress and normal changes.

Last, I meandered over to election news and started to cry. People encouraging someone else to do violence hurts my soul. During the election itself, a Biden bus had been shoved off the road and T thought it was funny and tweeted for more. Then, just this week, in GA, more of that anger was promoted. It does need to stop. Yes, both sides have broken out in crazy. Both sides have been wrong. But, someone from a place of responsibility needs to take a stand and stop it. Not necessarily police or military, but a voice of reason. Unfortunately, I’m not sure a voice of reason will be heard in this world of liking wound porn (sports injuries) or exciting dissension. However, I’m taking a stand in my spot against it and hope some of my followers will, too.

Let’s invite one another in. Maybe then, we can begin to fear less, to make fewer wrong assumptions, to let go of the biases, the stereotypes that unnecessarily divide us. Maybe we can better embrace the ways we are the same. It’s not about being perfect. It’s not about where you get yourself in the end. There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there’s grace in being willing to know and to hear others.” Michelle Obama