Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Cat-astrophes and doodle-bugging Hair-Raisers

Pre-Loved Art
We have some pre-loved art hanging on our walls, like this beautiful wooden platter with inlaid shell and bone in intricate patterns.  I picked up 3, all very different patterns, for $2 each, at an Opp shop.  I am guessing they are Moroccan or African.  Perhaps someone can put me right here.  They invoke the sense of rich ethnic time-honoured  crafts passed down from generation to generation.
Inlaid shell and bone platters
Lately our cat has been scratching and preening more than normal.  After a while, I become concerned with her over-grooming habits and tried to stop her.  I became aware that she had developed little bumps all over where she was biting the fur.  Knowing that it was not fleas (for the first time in 5 years, I applied a horrible conventional flea treatment, delivered over 2 consecutive months.  Was it nervous habit or was she just nibbling the irritated bits as they were bugging her?  Not sure.
One night, I was sitting by the fireside when I had a eureka moment.  A cat collar!  I remembered how she had had a cat cuff after surgery to stop her from pulling at the stitches, so I hastily reached for the plastic sheet that I had collected from a lamination shop, cut a big circle, with a smaller one on the inside and then cutting down from the outside to connect the middle one.  I overlapped the two pieces till it formed a cone around her head and taped it in place.

I expected her to freak out and scratch it off but it made her calm down and she simply went and laid in her box (my cat loves boxes!).  I left it on for 3 nights but then took it off as it seemed a little cruel.  She would bump into things a lot.  And not be able to get passed an object in her way.  It was a little tragic-comic and we had a few belly laughs watching her bump, reverse, forward march, bump, reverse etc.  She seems to have stopped that excessive grooming now, and the fur hasn't regrown yet.  But a great, cheap solution to incessant cat grooming.  

"Not sure about this............"

"May as well just sleep it away......"
I have the Doodle-bug.  My friend Sue in Fiji, gave me a book entitled: "Art.  Doodle.  Love."  It is like an adult's activity book, with provocations on each page.  I am having SUCH fun!  The inner child is smiling - I have a newly purchased pack of metallic gel pens which are such a blast to play around with!  I forgot how I love to colour in!  I have been dedicated to being true to myself and giving myself a half hour creative time every now and then.  I am sure I will become more creative as the book progresses - right now it is all about words and symbols.  It slows me down.  A lot.  Allows me to think and just be.
I highly recommend a little inner-child time for all!

Love.  Peace. Travel.

Sunshine.  Family.  Grow.

My daughter came home one day with her hair on fire!  Her friend is practising to be a hairdresser and needed a hair model for a competition.  So with her Flame Girl look, she headed off in her little Jellybean car for the Hamilton Hair Comp.  Only thing is, she didn't quite make it.  It was raining, and she negotiated the treacherous Kaimai pass only to take a bend on the flat, sliding out in the wet conditions and colliding side-on with a one day old brand-spanking new Jeep Cherokee!  We got the call from Matatmata police.  The car needed extensive work and they weren't about to let her drive it.  We picked her up and after taking a photo of her between the two policemen (she was taller than both), we drove back to Tauranga and celebrated her being alive, with a meal at a Mexican restaurant!  Luckily she is a good little saver (best parental advice) and was able to pay for her car to be fixed. The driver's door and front is a nice contrasting green to the little red Jellybean body. Quite an eye-catching revamp!  Like her hair.

Below is what we were doing when the call from the police came in:  swapping our weekly reflexology sessions.  At least we were calm and relaxed on the ride over to Matamata!  She commented on how calm we had taken the news!

Reflexology room with Infra-red lamp
My favourite orange tree has died!  Sob!  Not sure why.  This is the last of the harvest which dropped prematurely as the leaves just shriveled up and died.  Odd.  But that's gardening for you - some things can't be explained.  They just are.  Accept and move on!

Last orange harvest

Our orange tree that was, now a  garden sculpture.
The rest of the garden is coming up daffodils (still - the late ones).  I have been harvesting yacon.  A beautiful sweet apple/nut/potato tasting root vegetable that is a great addition to salads or cooked in stews and soups.  It has a high sugar content, but because the sugars are complex, the body can't process them properly, making them ideal for diabetics.  Sweet without the nasty after-effects.

Our peas have sprung into urgent fruiting action.  What a treat to grab a few fat pods on the way past, and gobble down the delicate orbs of sweet goodness!  Like a lolly from the lolly shop! Guilt-free!

Pea trellis

Small pods can be eaten like snowpeas.

Peas make the perfect vegetable lolly for the kids garden
Fond Farewells:
So much has happened in the last couple of weeks!  The biggest change is that we have given up our chooks.  Lux and Blackboy had only just begun to lay eggs (2 a day) but they had also just begun to make a hellava racket!  We had swapped them for our old bantam hens who we thought were noisy.  We had hoped these girls would be the quiet sort - but not!  Mike and I were becoming really paranoid that the neighbours would complain!  So it was decided that a new home need be sought - did not take long!  One of my kindy kid's mums took them the day I asked.  They have a couple of hectares and they say they have not noticed them being noisy at all!  They also promised they wouldn't end up in the pot.  It was with mixed feelings we parted - I loved the idea of having chooks to help in the garden but hated the noise!  "Paaaaaak!  Paaaa-aaak!"

It's been much quieter here the last week.
Good bye Blackboy!

 Blackboy Beauty
And where would Spring be, without the characteristic daffies?  Such a lovely sight.  We have had daffodils flowering from mid-winter, it's been a mild winter.  There are already blossoms on our peach and plum tree!  I declare, I do feel a spring in my step!  Happy Spring New Zealand!

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