What Makes Things Go

imageMy big brother was always interested in things that ran, things with wheels, mechanical and motorized and intricately put together devices and how they functioned.  He loved mechanical sets and model airplanes and taking things apart to discover how they were assembled in the first place.  My dad often said if anybody could figure out how something worked it was him.

He wasn’t always a hundred percent successful.  I had an alarm clock with a face painted in a woodsy scene with two little elves moving up and down on a teeter- totter with each tick-tock.  I begged him to leave it alone.  And then one day, there it was, in a million pieces with my brother poring over the parts, happily working away on something that wasn’t broken until he decided to fix it.  The little elves never played on that see-saw again.

Not surprisingly, with all that practice, he became an amazing mechanic.  We learned to never ask him anything about our vehicles unless we wanted to listen to an hours worth of baffling diagnostic mechanical information.  Once he warmed to his subject there was no shutting him down.  Might as well grab a coffee and try to keep up with your eyes open.

There are a few of photos of me as a child with a cat draped over my shoulder.  It’s a mystery to me why a kid thinks a cat needs to be picked up and carted about, or why a cat allows it.  We always had outside barn cats, never house cats until we were adults.  I was afraid of dogs for a long time with a recurring nightmare of a big black dog chasing me.  No idea where that came from.  Anyway, there I am, confused by how happy my brother is to be making a little wooden tricycle go when there are cats to be lugged around.

Often we had cats of unknown origin on the farm.  They may have migrated from other farms close by or been dropped off in the country as discarded city pets.  They kept the rodent population in check and more or less looked after themselves.  Once we had a litter of all white kittens which we happily named Snow, Snowflake, Snowball, Sugar, Winter…every white thing we could think of.  They all ended up being called “one of those white cats” because we couldn’t tell them apart.  Later we progressed to more sophisticated cat names such as Spooky, Pooky, Donovan and Trigere.

In his last years on the farm dad had two almost identically marked cats he called Daryl and Other Brother Daryl.  He claimed to know one from the other, but I’m skeptical about that.

Despite all the cats, or maybe because of them, I never became a cat lady.  Although I suppose there’s still time for that to happen, if I ever get to missing a big furry body purring in my face.  My brother had dogs as pets his whole life.  Could be, compared to cats, it’s just much more interesting to figure out what makes a dog tick.

Advertisements

Art du Jour 91

imageIt’s the Fish Picture!  Or the Fishing Collage!  Or Angling in Hell!  I haven’t made a final decision on the title.

Normally I do ink spritzes to finish but W was so happy identifying fish species I decided not to obliterate them with colour.  There are no purple pickerel in the real world.

But there could be rainbow cats.

imageI got a how-to art book from Amazon and the first exercise is to draw a bunch of cats.  HAHA!  I am obviously SO ready to move on.

Hope your weekend was happy and fun!

Things Change

imageDid I promise you historical pictures from long ago?  Well here’s a furry little face from the past.  I still have this kitchen, but there have been a few changes.

  1.  Our cat, Ash, hanging out in the tea towel drawer just because she can, is no longer with us.  That drawer still holds dish towels, but less cat hair.
  2. The brass cupboard handles were changed to blue wooden knobs.  At the time I believed that was a vast improvement.
  3. The green countertop (which I didn’t like, because GREEN) has been replaced with a blue one.
  4. We no longer have that white coffee pot, that wire utensil holder, that Braun mixer, that cutting board or that paper towel holder. Proof that I am very good at wearing things out.
  5. The wallpaper is long gone.  I originally put it there to cover up green tiles.  Then I discovered paint for tiles, removed the paper and painted the tiles white.  That paint turned out to be amazing stuff and is still there.
  6. I think we have had about three different stoves since this one.
  7. If we still have that coffee cup I expect it is somewhere holding pens and pencils like all the other retired coffee mugs in my house.
  8. The frosted flakes and the contents of the red bowl have been eaten.
  9. If you look closely you can see the bottom of a spice rack on the upper part of the stove.  I took that apart and made it into a book holder which I duct taped to our tread mill.  Sadly I do not have a photo of that piece of work.
  10. I believe that blue thing sticking out of the drawer beside the cat might be a crocheted tea cozy.  Such things no longer exist in this house.  They have gone the way of the tea-pot.

I suppose I should thank my cat for her love of small spaces and her knack for doing annoying things, because otherwise this historical kitchen photo would not exist.  And you would never have known about recycled spice racks.

Art du Jour 82

imageMy November Day Twenty Eight

There was a vision in my head before I started out on my little artistic adventure involving a grinning cat, but the result is not what I expected.

It never is.

I’m happy with the concept and I like the colours, but this had to sit on my easel for several days before it grew on me enough to share.

I suppose you can’t be madly in love with everything you do.
“I meant,” said Ipslore bitterly, “what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?”
Death thought about it.
CATS, he said eventually. CATS ARE NICE.”
― Terry Pratchett, Sourcery

 

My November, Day One

image
Look who I saw while out and about in the neighborhood yesterday! It’s JACK! We often see him hopping about in our backyard and then he scoots to the front lawn and across the street and disappears from view.

I guess this is where he goes. Or one of his destinations. This is a corner lot about a block from our house, with a big old tree which obviously is perfect for napping under if you are Jack. Or any jackrabbit….perhaps Jack is played by many different actors who all look the same.

I think it’s amazing how docile and trusting he is, and I might have gotten even closer but I didn’t want to disturb him. When I doubled back on my walk about 45 minutes later, he was still there. No dogs run loose here and cats are well fed, so he must feel safe.

Because the weather is still lovely for this time of year we had a lot of trick or treaters on our street last night.  Almost every one of them said thank you and happy Halloween.  One little guy with a big bag almost over flowing with junk told me he was on his sixth neighborhood.  Now that’s dedication.

Today we made our trial run to the part of the hospital where W has his surgery on Tuesday, so that will make the actual trip less stressful, avoiding construction and not being surprised by one way streets.  It’s an old people thing.  If you’re not in your sixties you probably won’t get it.  Now I’m hoping the snow will hold off a little longer.

It was also clock turning back day.  My little sister sent us this awesome “movie trailer” showing how traumatic Daylight Saving can be for some people.  Enjoy!

 

Art du Jour 35

image
I’ve been admiring all the cut-and-paste collage type cityscape pictures on Pinterest, and this is my attempt at whatever the proper artistic description is for it.

There was going to be a moon in the sky with a face on it, but I found this cat, and there he is.  Cats are notorious for popping up in all the wrong places and looking like they belong exactly where they are.

I have done something to my left foot which is causing a ridiculous amount of pain and making me hobble around whining and feeling sorry for myself.  Google wisdom suggests ice, compression, elevation, rest, and better arch support in shoes.  And as a last resort, go see your doctor.  I have made appointments before for such things, only to have the symptoms disappear before I get there.

A tensor bandage isn’t doing much and last night the pain woke me up.  On the bright side, I have an excuse for sitting around with my feet up all day.  There’s always a bright side.

Sharing My World 15

image

Share Your World – 2015 Week #2

Are you a hugger or a non-hugger?

Hugs are nice, but I rarely initiate them.  We were not a very huggy family when I was growing up.  I know I hugged my own kids, but probably not enough.  Very public displays of affection make me uncomfortable.  However, all that being said, if you want a hug from me, or think I need one of yours, please go ahead.  I will hug you back.  Sometimes there just aren’t words to express what a hug is able to say.

What’s your favorite ice-cream flavor?

I’m going to go way out on a limb here, or way out into right field….because that would be my ideal place to eat ice cream, where no one can see me….and say fudge bars.  We buy big boxes of them to have in the freezer for when the grandchildren visit.  That’s a joke, because they visit us about every six boxes of fudge bars.  But because it’s just fudge bars, we can claim to never buy ice cream.  I like them because they are chocolate, eating one does not involve getting a spoon and a bowl dirty, and you can hide their little white wrappers at the bottom of the garbage can.  You could also use the wooden sticks for crafts later, if you washed them off and if they were not also hidden underneath all that garbage.

Do you prefer exercising your mind or your body? How frequently do you do either?

Of course I prefer exercising my mind, because it requires so little physical effort.  Except maybe for working out those frowning muscles in my face. I can also enjoy a fudge bar while I do it.  However, I have been performing a daily series of very non strenuous stretching maneuvers – I hesitate to call them exercises because they sure don’t feel like that – and can honestly say I feel better for it.  And almost look forward to doing it!  I am waking up muscles that nodded off years ago thinking I was done with them.  My neck and shoulders are less stiff.  My ankles feel stronger.  I’ve been up close and personal with my calves and thighs.  Yikes.

Are you more of a dog person or a cat person? Why?

I’m more of a cat person I suppose, because I totally get how much they like to sleep and generally laze about and do whatever they please.  They entertain themselves and require little more from anyone besides food on demand and a clean litter box.  What a life.  I’m not fond of all that hair shedding though.  When we had cats there was hair in and on absolutely everything.  We kept the lint roller people in business.  I would visit my mom and dad and marvel at how hairless their home was, finally understanding why they preferred animals to live outside or in a barn.  We have no pets now.  It’s enough of a challenge to look after each other.  Plus neither of us sheds much.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful for a lovely quiet week.  I’ve been able to read and write and draw and play word games and watch movies.  Cats got nothing on me.  And we are almost to the middle of the dread month of January!  The temperature has gone up to -4 C today.  Not quite lawn chair weather, but getting there.  Oh, crap.  There’s a freezing rain warning.  And we’re out of fudge bars.  I need a hug.

share-your-world2