Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve 2007

So, today is officially the last day of 2007... And what a year it's been!!! All I'll say about it is that I hope 2008 is a much better year. Not just for me, but for all the rest of you who haven't had a particularly good year. And, if you were lucky enough to have had a really good year, then I hope 2008 is an even better year for you! :)

This place is SO quiet without Chance. Even Sakura - who was usually in compatition with Chance for the title of "noisy cat" - is being really quiet. I've hardly heard a meow out of her since Saturday. Poor Sakura, she acts so tough, but she isn't really, and now she's missing Chance as much as the rest of us (despite her claims when he was still around that she hated him).

I don't think Megan has realised that he's gone for good yet. But, Megan is such a laid back cat that it's hard to tell what's going through her head. She takes everything in her stride, and bounces back faster than a boomerang on a trampoline. I mean, Megan is the kind of cat who can run in to a closed window, fall backwards so hard she lands on her back, lays there slightly dazed on the floor (about 5 foot below said window) and just gets up, shakes herself off, and tries to get through the window again. LOL!

As for Kero... He's doing alright. Most of the time he's fine and playing, eating, etc, as he normally does, but every so often he gets upset over what seems like nothing, and starts wandering around whimpering or barking.

Anyway, I promised myself I wouldn't let this become too much of a sad post, and I've already gone and let it turn in to a post about how the girls and Kero are coping without Chance. So, lets change the subject.

Carl and Rachel are coming down later to exchange Christmas presents with Kelly and myself. They're staying with Mam, Dad, Nan and Wayne to see in the new year, then going back up to Norwich just in time to start back to work.

Mam, Carl, Rachel and I are going to be going to one of the local pubs (the one closest to me, which is called "The Half Moon") after the presents. We've had it planned for a good few weeks, and I'm glad we're going out, because I could do with a change of scenery (not to mention a bit of exercise... LOL!)

About the only other thing I can tell you about is that I'm about half way through listening to "Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire" on audio book. It's about 16 discs, so it's not really surprising that I'm only about half way through listening to it.

Well, I'm going to let this do for now. Happy New Year to you all. And, if you're planning on drinking, don't plan on driving!


Sunday, December 30, 2007

R.I.P. Myskanco Chance Silva Flame

Myskanco Chance Silva Flame
August 24th 2005 - December 29th 2007
R.I.P. Chance.
You will be missed very much by everyone who knew you.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Yule and Christmas 2007

Warning: This is going to be a LONG post!!! LOL!

I had a wonderful Yule and Christmas.

As I mentioned in the post I did last Friday, my holiday celebrations began with my Mam coming down to make some cookies, mince pies, egg nog and Wassail with me. Which was great fun!

That night, Kelly and I exchanged the gift we'd brought each other for Yule (mine was "The Simpsons' Movie" on DVD). We were too tired to do anything else in the way of celebrating that night though.

Most of Saturday, Sunday and Monday was spent alternating between watching movies (some Christmasy, some not so much) and making sure all housework was caught up. We even made a point of washing all the blankets on our bed and making sure we had clean sheets on the bed (a habit I got into when I was younger, because my Mam used to tell me and my brothers we needed to "make sure the house is nice and clean for Santa" and I kept up the habit).

The movies I watched were as follows:

"Balto" (the first one) which I'm sure I've mentioned before, but just in case I haven't, it's about a half-wolf called "Balto" (yeah, didn't see that coming... lol) who saves most of the people in a village that doesn't even trust him by getting them the medicine they need. It's a lovely movie. Quite an old one, I think.

After that I watched "The Simpsons' Movie" (which I'd been waiting since August to see). Which is the feature length movie based on the animated TV series "The Simpsons" (one of my favourites) and how Homer manages to turn the whole of Springfield against him. It was really good... Worth waiting to see, in my opinion anyway.

"The Little Polar Bear: The Mysterious Island" was another I watched. It was an animated movie about a polar bear and his friends, who go on an arctic rescue mission. It was a nice little movie.

I also watched "Holidays: The Christmas That Almost Didn't Happen" "Under The Mistletoe" "Chasing Christmas" and "Home By Christmas" again. I know I've mentioned those before, so I definately wont go into details again.

The other movies I watched were some short Christmas movies. You know? The classic ones... "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" and "The Town Father Christmas Forgot" - Christmas wouldn't be the same without them! I expect everyone knows them well. "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" is, of course, based on the book by Dr Seus about how "The Grinch" (a green dude who hates Christmas) tries to steal Christmas. "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" is, of course, the cartoon/movie that goes along with the song I posted the lyrics to before Christmas, and what happens when Grandma gets run over by that reindeer. And "The Town Father Christmas Forgot" is about a greedy little boy called "Jeremy Creek" who writes a HUGE list to Father Christmas, and Father Christmas figures that if the list is that long it can't be just one person, so his elves look and find a small town called Jeremy Creek that they'd not been delivering to before, and the toys get delivered to that town instead. They are all really sweet little Christmas shows that I thoroughly enjoy watching (so much so I saw them all at least three times just this year).

The first part of "The Hogfather" was on Christmas eve, and the second part of it was on Christmas day. So, I watched that too. It's about when "Hogswatch" (Terry Pratchett's version of Christmas) is almost ruined when people try to kill the Hogfather, and how "Death" and his Grandaughter "Susan" save Hogswatch. Really good movie, in my opinion!

I also spent the weekend reading a book called "Stanley's Christmas Adventure" by Jeff Brown. I don't know if you're familiar with the "Flat Stanley" books, but this is the fourth in the series (and the only one I have) and its about when Stanley and his family help to save Christmas when a little girl called "Sarah" brings them to "Snow City" too convince Father Christmas to change his mind about canceling Christmas.

So... Anyway...

After Kelly went to bed Christmas eve I played "Santa" and filled the stockings. Then went to bed myself. I hardly slept though, and within a couple of hours we'd both given up on the idea of sleep and got up to have our stockings and the stuff under the tree that was for us. LOL!

Kelly and I sort of worked together on making Christmas dinner (although he did most of the work). We had turkey, stuffing, roast potatoes, roast parsnips, carrots, sprouts, gravy and cranberry sauce. I made the stuffing and gravy, and the cranberry sauce was shop-brought, but the rest of it Kelly made. And what a fantastic job he did of it too! There was so much that we only ate half our dinners at dinner time, then went for a nap (partly because we were sleepy from being so full, partly because we were tired from being up so early) before finnishing the rest.

We did a buffet for ourselves, my Mam and Dad, and my brother (Wayne) on Boxing day, and exchanged our gifts with them when they came down to eat it. We ended up doing more food than planned, so I sent them home with a load of stuff. There was chocolate cake, Christmas cake, ginger cake, strawberry cheesecake, mince pies, sausage rolls, cocktail sausages, crisps (as in potato chips) in three different flavours, mini jam doughnuts, mini chocolate eclaires, peanuts (roasted and salted), cheese straws, and a couple of other bits I can't remember. I'd also gotten some small bottles of beer for Wayne and a bottle of wine for my Mam (Dad was driving, so shared my non-alcaholic grape wine). And, we had some more wassail, which it turns out Dad and Wayne like too. I can't speak for Mam, Dad and Wayne, but I can tell you honestly that Kelly and I never ate anything else Boxing day. LOL!

Both myself and Mam were a bit tired and not feeling 100% Boxing day afternoon (can't speak for Mam, but in my case it was mostly due to the fact my cold finally decided to break, so I was feeling a bit run down and generally not too great) so we went and had a lay down while Kelly, Dad and Wayne watched a couple of movies. Before we went to lay down though, we all sat and tried to do some of the metal puzzles I'd had for Christmas. Dad was best at them, and was able to do every one he tried. And after Mam and I got up from our naps, we sat around and had a bit of a chat before they left.

After they left, I had the cheek to say, "I need to go lay down." And, I slept right through until about 4:00 am yesterday morning (from about 7:00 pm Wednesday). Then I spent yesterday listening to some audio books I'd gotten for Christmas.

The first one was "The Railway Children" by E. Nesbit, which is about three Children - Roberta, Peter and Phyllis - who move to a house by the railway. I believe it's a really old story, but I'd never heard it before. It was really good!

The other one I listened to was "Starring Tracy Beaker" by Jaqueline Wilson. It's read by the girl who plays Tracy Beaker in the TV series (her name is "Dani" something) and is about when Tracy Beaker - a little girl who lives in a childrens' home and has a VERY vivid imagination - is starring as "Scrooge" in her school's production of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" and all the things that happen to her around the time of the performance.

I suppose you'll be wanting to know what I had for Christmas? OK, I guess I could tell you. LOL!
I had some audio books, some DVDs, LeAnn Rimes' new CD (can't remember the title), some Lego, some metal puzzles, some wooden puzzles, a book mark in the shape of a cat, a tactile Ludo game, a 3D Snakes & Ladders game, LOADS of chocolates, some candy canes, a set of mugs with pictures of cats and dogs on them, some other stuff I can't remember, and a Rubix cube. I'd wanted a Rubix cube for AGES and Mam and Dad finally found one, but of course they are based on colours (there are tactile ones, but they're even harder to find than the ordinary ones nowadays) so my Dad sat and made me some labels for the squares in braille, using the first letter of each colour to mark the square (i.e. r for red, w for white, etc). Another thing they got me that I'd wanted for ages was a pocket knife. I'd asked and asked for one, and Mam kept telling me I was a girl so shouldn't have one, but when a friend (the person will know who they are when I continue) said she was getting one for her daughter now she was old enough, I told my Mam it wasn't fair that she should get one when I was thirteen years older and still waiting for mine. So, my Mam gave in. LOL! It's one of those "Swiss army knives" with other tools on it besides the knife blade (like a cork screw, a screw driver, a bottle opener, etc). There were also a few "joint presents" Kelly and I had. One was an ornamental cat from my Grandma (we're leaving it in its box until we've moved), another was a Simpsons doughnut maker. We also had some biscuits and chocolates brought for the two of us to share, and some money.

If you're wondering what DVDs and audio books I got, keep wondering. LOL! I can't remember most of them. I know I had: "Starring Tracy Beaker" by Jaqueline Wilson, "The Railway Children" by E. Nesbit, "Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire" and "Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows" by J. K. Rowling (just need books 5 and 6 on audio book now, and I've got the whole set), "The Hobbit" by J. R. R. Tolkein, and some others I can't remember. As for the DVDs, the only one I can remember the title of is "Charlie And The Chocolate Factory"... *shrugs*... Well, you'll get to find out what I got as I listen to and watch them. LOL!

OK, this post is more than long enough! LOL!

Scroll down for my post about the furkids' holidays. And, scroll down even further for my post answering the question about babies being born on December 21st being considered lucky.

Hope you all had a wonderful time doing whatever you did to celebrate over Yule (if you celebrate it) and Christmas. Or, whatever holiday it is you celebrate.


The holidays for the furkids

I'd hoped to get more photos of the furkids, but the batteries on the camera were a lot lower than I'd thought, and we couldn't get to the charger to charge them (still can't, actually). AND the spare set were dead too... Oops! So, anyway, all we got were a few photos of Kero. This one that Kelly has helped me put in this post is of Kero with most of his presents. There are a couple of photos of Kero being given a couple of his presents in my photo albums if you want to see them.

He certainly did have a lot of stuff. When we exchanged a gift each on Yule, he had a turkey and cranberry flaboured, bone shaped biscuit. Then, Christmas day he had LOADS of stuff... Including, a new bowl, a blue and white striped blanket, a large candy cane shaped rawhide chew, a panda teddy, a squeaky boot that had a Santa hat on it, a squeaky stocking, a couple of different "Christmasy" squeaky bones, a few rope tuggy toys, a few little balls, and LOADS of treats. And, if that wasn't enough, he got more treats and another ball from my Mam and Dad on Boxing day.

The cats did quite well for themselves too. They had about half a dozen packs of cat treats, three little bottles of cat milk, some catnip toys, some of those balls with bells in, and a play tunnel.

Sirius (the hamster) got a few packs of hamster treats, and some wood chew toys.

And all of the furkids had a "special dinner" Christmas day. Actually, the cats got two. Kero had a special "holiday" dog meal which I added some real turkey too. The cats had a small tin of "gormet" cat food (also with a bit of real turkey in) and then - later in the day - they had a small can of "cat tuna" that Mam and I had seen and decided to pick up for them. Sirius had a bit of carrot and a bit of cheese, since I wasn't sure what else to get him.


Why are the babies lucky?

LadyStyx and Iggy asked why a baby born on December 21st is considered lucky, and I started to answer it in the comments section, but for one thing it would have made quite a long comment, and for another I thought they'd see it better if it had its own post.


Many people believe that a baby born on the Winter Solstice (which occurs around the 21st of December) has a strong connection to the spirits. How you view the spirits depends on what your beliefs are. Some view them/it as some sort of God, others view it as nature (i.e. the spirits inside trees, etc) and still others just refer to it as - as Iggy pointed out - as having the ability to see "the little people." But however you look at it, a child born at the time of the Winter Solstice is considered to be able to attune with the spirits, which is - in some cultures - considered to be a wonderful gift... Hence the child being considered lucky.

I'm not 100% sure where it comes from, but I believe - if I'm not mistaken - it dates back to when holy men and women were believed to talk to spirits and ask them for guidance, etc. I could be wrong that it comes from that, but it makes sence and is based on a simular sort of belief. After all, it was the ability to attune or communicate with the spirits that made these men and women holy in their cultures.

The "lucky baby" thing is also said to apply to babies who are born on the Summer Solstice (June 21st) and on Samhain/Halloween. Especially Samhain, when the "veil" between this world and the world of the spirits is believed to be at its thinnest and communication between the living and the spirits (in the sense already mentioned as well as the spirits of those who have passed on) is considered to be easiest.

Hope that answers your question.


Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Holidays 2007

I just thought I'd stop by and wish everyone a belated blessed Yule and a merry Christmas. However you're celebrating, I hope your holiday is filled with love, light and laughter. Enjoy yourself and stay safe!


Saturday, December 22, 2007

"The Fur Tree"

The Fir Tree
By Hans Christian Anderson

Out in the woods stood a nice little Fir Tree. The place he had was a very good one: the sun shone on him: as to fresh air, there was enough of that, and round him grew many large-sized comrades, pines as well as firs. But the little Fir wanted so very much to be a grown-up tree.He did not think of the warm sun and of the fresh air; he did not care for the little cottage children that ran about and prattled when they were in the woods looking for wild-strawberries. The children often came with a whole pitcher full of berries, or a long row of them threaded on a straw, and sat down near the young tree and said, "Oh, how pretty he is! What a nice little fir!" But this was what the Tree could not bear to hear.At the end of a year he had shot up a good deal, and after another year he was another long bit taller; for with fir trees one can always tell by the shoots how many years old they are."Oh! Were I but such a high tree as the others are," sighed he. "Then I should be able to spread out my branches, and with the tops to look into the wide world! Then would the birds build nests among my branches: and when there was a breeze, I could bend with as much stateliness as the others!"Neither the sunbeams, nor the birds, nor the red clouds which morning and evening sailed above him, gave the little Tree any pleasure.In winter, when the snow lay glittering on the ground, a hare would often come leaping along, and jump right over the little Tree. Oh, that made him so angry! But two winters were past, and in the third the Tree was so large that the hare was obliged to go round it. "To grow and grow, to get older and be tall," thought the Tree--"that, after all, is the most delightful thing in the world!"In autumn the wood-cutters always came and felled some of the largest trees. This happened every year; and the young Fir Tree, that had now grown to a very comely size, trembled at the sight; for the magnificent great trees fell to the earth with noise and cracking, the branches were lopped off, and the trees looked long and bare; they were hardly to be recognised; and then they were laid in carts, and the horses dragged them out of the wood.Where did they go to? What became of them?In spring, when the swallows and the storks came, the Tree asked them, "Don't you know where they have been taken? Have you not met them anywhere?"The swallows did not know anything about it; but the Stork looked musing, nodded his head, and said, "Yes; I think I know; I met many ships as I was flying hither from Egypt; on the ships were magnificent masts, and I venture to assert that it was they that smelt so of fir. I may congratulate you, for they lifted themselves on high most majestically!""Oh, were I but old enough to fly across the sea! But how does the sea look in reality? What is it like?""That would take a long time to explain," said the Stork, and with these words off he went."Rejoice in thy growth!" said the Sunbeams. "Rejoice in thy vigorous growth, and in the fresh life that moveth within thee!"And the Wind kissed the Tree, and the Dew wept tears over him; but the Fir understood it not.When Christmas came, quite young trees were cut down: trees which often were not even as large or of the same age as this Fir Tree, who could never rest, but always wanted to be off. These young trees, and they were always the finest looking, retained their branches; they were laid on carts, and the horses drew them out of the wood."Where are they going to?" asked the Fir. "They are not taller than I; there was one indeed that was considerably shorter; and why do they retain all their branches? Whither are they taken?""We know! We know!" chirped the Sparrows. "We have peeped in at the windows in the town below! We know whither they are taken! The greatest splendor and the greatest magnificence one can imagine await them. We peeped through the windows, and saw them planted in the middle of the warm room and ornamented with the most splendid things, with gilded apples, with gingerbread, with toys, and many hundred lights!"And then?" asked the Fir Tree, trembling in every bough. "And then? What happens then?""We did not see anything more: it was incomparably beautiful.""I would fain know if I am destined for so glorious a career," cried the Tree, rejoicing. "That is still better than to cross the sea! What a longing do I suffer! Were Christmas but come! I am now tall, and my branches spread like the others that were carried off last year! Oh! were I but already on the cart! Were I in the warm room with all the splendor and magnificence! Yes; then something better, something still grander, will surely follow, or wherefore should they thus ornament me? Something better, something still grander must follow--but what? Oh, how I long, how I suffer! I do not know myself what is the matter with me!""Rejoice in our presence!" said the Air and the Sunlight. "Rejoice in thy own fresh youth!"But the Tree did not rejoice at all; he grew and grew, and was green both winter and summer. People that saw him said, "What a fine tree!" and towards Christmas he was one of the first that was cut down. The axe struck deep into the very pith; the Tree fell to the earth with a sigh; he felt a pang--it was like a swoon; he could not think of happiness, for he was sorrowful at being separated from his home, from the place where he had sprung up. He well knew that he should never see his dear old comrades, the little bushes and flowers around him, anymore; perhaps not even the birds! The departure was not at all agreeable.The Tree only came to himself when he was unloaded in a court-yard with the other trees, and heard a man say, "That one is splendid! We don't want the others." Then two servants came in rich livery and carried the Fir Tree into a large and splendid drawing-room. Portraits were hanging on the walls, and near the white porcelain stove stood two large Chinese vases with lions on the covers. There, too, were large easy-chairs, silken sofas, large tables full of picture-books and full of toys, worth hundreds and hundreds of crowns--at least the children said so. And the Fir Tree was stuck upright in a cask that was filled with sand; but no one could see that it was a cask, for green cloth was hung all round it, and it stood on a large gaily-colored carpet. Oh! how the Tree quivered! What was to happen? The servants, as well as the young ladies, decorated it. On one branch there hung little nets cut out of colored paper, and each net was filled with sugarplums; and among the other boughs gilded apples and walnuts were suspended, looking as though they had grown there, and little blue and white tapers were placed among the leaves. Dolls that looked for all the world like men--the Tree had never beheld such before--were seen among the foliage, and at the very top a large star of gold tinsel was fixed. It was really splendid--beyond description splendid."This evening!" they all said. "How it will shine this evening!""Oh!" thought the Tree. "If the evening were but come! If the tapers were but lighted! And then I wonder what will happen! Perhaps the other trees from the forest will come to look at me! Perhaps the sparrows will beat against the windowpanes! I wonder if I shall take root here, and winter and summer stand covered with ornaments!"He knew very much about the matter--but he was so impatient that for sheer longing he got a pain in his back, and this with trees is the same thing as a headache with us.The candles were now lighted--what brightness! What splendor! The Tree trembled so in every bough that one of the tapers set fire to the foliage. It blazed up famously."Help! Help!" cried the young ladies, and they quickly put out the fire.Now the Tree did not even dare tremble. What a state he was in! He was so uneasy lest he should lose something of his splendor, that he was quite bewildered amidst the glare and brightness; when suddenly both folding-doors opened and a troop of children rushed in as if they would upset the Tree. The older persons followed quietly; the little ones stood quite still. But it was only for a moment; then they shouted that the whole place re-echoed with their rejoicing; they danced round the Tree, and one present after the other was pulled off."What are they about?" thought the Tree. "What is to happen now!" And the lights burned down to the very branches, and as they burned down they were put out one after the other, and then the children had permission to plunder the Tree. So they fell upon it with such violence that all its branches cracked; if it had not been fixed firmly in the ground, it would certainly have tumbled down.The children danced about with their beautiful playthings; no one looked at the Tree except the old nurse, who peeped between the branches; but it was only to see if there was a fig or an apple left that had been forgotten."A story! A story!" cried the children, drawing a little fat man towards the Tree. He seated himself under it and said, "Now we are in the shade, and the Tree can listen too. But I shall tell only one story. Now which will you have; that about Ivedy-Avedy, or about Humpy-Dumpy, who tumbled downstairs, and yet after all came to the throne and married the princess?""Ivedy-Avedy," cried some; "Humpy-Dumpy," cried the others. There was such a bawling and screaming--the Fir Tree alone was silent, and he thought to himself, "Am I not to bawl with the rest? Am I to do nothing whatever?" for he was one of the company, and had done what he had to do.And the man told about Humpy-Dumpy that tumbled down, who notwithstanding came to the throne, and at last married the princess. And the children clapped their hands, and cried. "Oh, go on! Do go on!" They wanted to hear about Ivedy-Avedy too, but the little man only told them about Humpy-Dumpy. The Fir Tree stood quite still and absorbed in thought; the birds in the wood had never related the like of this. "Humpy-Dumpy fell downstairs, and yet he married the princess! Yes, yes! That's the way of the world!" thought the Fir Tree, and believed it all, because the man who told the story was so good-looking. "Well, well! who knows, perhaps I may fall downstairs, too, and get a princess as wife! And he looked forward with joy to the morrow, when he hoped to be decked out again with lights, playthings, fruits, and tinsel."I won't tremble to-morrow!" thought the Fir Tree. "I will enjoy to the full all my splendor! To-morrow I shall hear again the story of Humpy-Dumpy, and perhaps that of Ivedy-Avedy too." And the whole night the Tree stood still and in deep thought.In the morning the servant and the housemaid came in."Now then the splendor will begin again," thought the Fir. But they dragged him out of the room, and up the stairs into the loft: and here, in a dark corner, where no daylight could enter, they left him. "What's the meaning of this?" thought the Tree. "What am I to do here? What shall I hear now, I wonder?" And he leaned against the wall lost in reverie. Time enough had he too for his reflections; for days and nights passed on, and nobody came up; and when at last somebody did come, it was only to put some great trunks in a corner, out of the way. There stood the Tree quite hidden; it seemed as if he had been entirely forgotten."'Tis now winter out-of-doors!" thought the Tree. "The earth is hard and covered with snow; men cannot plant me now, and therefore I have been put up here under shelter till the spring-time comes! How thoughtful that is! How kind man is, after all! If it only were not so dark here, and so terribly lonely! Not even a hare! And out in the woods it was so pleasant, when the snow was on the ground, and the hare leaped by; yes--even when he jumped over me; but I did not like it then! It is really terribly lonely here!""Squeak! Squeak!" said a little Mouse, at the same moment, peeping out of his hole. And then another little one came. They snuffed about the Fir Tree, and rustled among the branches."It is dreadfully cold," said the Mouse. "But for that, it would be delightful here, old Fir, wouldn't it?""I am by no means old," said the Fir Tree. "There's many a one considerably older than I am.""Where do you come from," asked the Mice; "and what can you do?" They were so extremely curious. "Tell us about the most beautiful spot on the earth. Have you never been there? Were you never in the larder, where cheeses lie on the shelves, and hams hang from above; where one dances about on tallow candles: that place where one enters lean, and comes out again fat and portly?""I know no such place," said the Tree. "But I know the wood, where the sun shines and where the little birds sing." And then he told all about his youth; and the little Mice had never heard the like before; and they listened and said,"Well, to be sure! How much you have seen! How happy you must have been!""I!" said the Fir Tree, thinking over what he had himself related. "Yes, in reality those were happy times." And then he told about Christmas-eve, when he was decked out with cakes and candles."Oh," said the little Mice, "how fortunate you have been, old Fir Tree!""I am by no means old," said he. "I came from the wood this winter; I am in my prime, and am only rather short for my age.""What delightful stories you know," said the Mice: and the next night they came with four other little Mice, who were to hear what the Tree recounted: and the more he related, the more he remembered himself; and it appeared as if those times had really been happy times. "But they may still come--they may still come! Humpy-Dumpy fell downstairs, and yet he got a princess!" and he thought at the moment of a nice little Birch Tree growing out in the woods: to the Fir, that would be a real charming princess."Who is Humpy-Dumpy?" asked the Mice. So then the Fir Tree told the whole fairy tale, for he could remember every single word of it; and the little Mice jumped for joy up to the very top of the Tree. Next night two more Mice came, and on Sunday two Rats even; but they said the stories were not interesting, which vexed the little Mice; and they, too, now began to think them not so very amusing either."Do you know only one story?" asked the Rats."Only that one," answered the Tree. "I heard it on my happiest evening; but I did not then know how happy I was.""It is a very stupid story! Don't you know one about bacon and tallow candles? Can't you tell any larder stories?""No," said the Tree."Then good-bye," said the Rats; and they went home.At last the little Mice stayed away also; and the Tree sighed: "After all, it was very pleasant when the sleek little Mice sat round me, and listened to what I told them. Now that too is over. But I will take good care to enjoy myself when I am brought out again."But when was that to be? Why, one morning there came a quantity of people and set to work in the loft. The trunks were moved, the tree was pulled out and thrown--rather hard, it is true--down on the floor, but a man drew him towards the stairs, where the daylight shone."Now a merry life will begin again," thought the Tree. He felt the fresh air, the first sunbeam--and now he was out in the courtyard. All passed so quickly, there was so much going on around him, the Tree quite forgot to look to himself. The court adjoined a garden, and all was in flower; the roses hung so fresh and odorous over the balustrade, the lindens were in blossom, the Swallows flew by, and said, "Quirre-vit! My husband is come!" but it was not the Fir Tree that they meant."Now, then, I shall really enjoy life," said he exultingly, and spread out his branches; but, alas, they were all withered and yellow! It was in a corner that he lay, among weeds and nettles. The golden star of tinsel was still on the top of the Tree, and glittered in the sunshine.In the court-yard some of the merry children were playing who had danced at Christmas round the Fir Tree, and were so glad at the sight of him. One of the youngest ran and tore off the golden star."Only look what is still on the ugly old Christmas tree!" said he, trampling on the branches, so that they all cracked beneath his feet.And the Tree beheld all the beauty of the flowers, and the freshness in the garden; he beheld himself, and wished he had remained in his dark corner in the loft; he thought of his first youth in the wood, of the merry Christmas-eve, and of the little Mice who had listened with so much pleasure to the story of Humpy-Dumpy."'Tis over--'tis past!" said the poor Tree. "Had I but rejoiced when I had reason to do so! But now 'tis past, 'tis past!"And the gardener's boy chopped the Tree into small pieces; there was a whole heap lying there. The wood flamed up splendidly under the large brewing copper, and it sighed so deeply! Each sigh was like a shot.The boys played about in the court, and the youngest wore the gold star on his breast which the Tree had had on the happiest evening of his life. However, that was over now--the Tree gone, the story at an end. All, all was over--every tale must end at last.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Yuletide celebrations begin

Today (Friday) my Mam came down to kick off our Yuletide celebrations by baking cookies and mince pies with me. We took a photo of some of the cookies we made, but didn't bother taking a photo of the mince pies. They look the same as last year, so if you really want to see them, look for the mince pie photo in the "Bits & Bobs" album in my photo albums. Not sure how well you can see the writing on some of the cookies, but they say "Hiya" "Noel" "Xmas" "Yule" and "Nadolig" (Nadolig is Welsh for Christmas). For those who want it, my Mam's mince pie recipe is on our recipe page.

We also made egg nog and wassail. Neither of us had tasted either drink before, because it was too late to make them by the time I found the recipes last year. So, we decided to taste them today. Mam didn't really like the egg nog, but I thought it was "OK" - not something I would drink too often though. LOL! And, we both liked the wassail. So, I have a jug full of it made up so I can drink it over the next couple of days.

When we were done baking and decorating the cookies, we decided to be neighbourly and take some to Lucy and Tim (the people who live above us). Can't remember if we took any to them last year - don't think we did - but I know we took some to Margret (our next door neighbour). Margret's away for Christmas this year though. So, anyway, we took a couple of cookies and mince pies up to Lucy and Tim and their little girl (Cerys) who's almost 2. Only to find that their new baby (Catrin) had been born this morning. I got to be the first person who was neither a family member or someone in the medical profession to hold little Catrin. She was just 7 hours old when I held her. Turned out Lucy had gone in to labour this morning, been rushed in to hospital, had the baby within two or three hours, and come home a couple of hours later. They'd been home about three hours when we went up with the cookies and mince pies. That's the youngest baby I've ever seen. The youngest I'd seen before was a few hours short of being a week old. Some people believe it's lucky for a baby to be born on December 21st (I'm one of them). Catrin was exactly a week early (she was due on December 28th) and weighed 6 lbs 7 oz.

My Mam was here most of the day, baking and listening to Christmasy music, so I didn't have the TV on today. I put it on a little while before I started this post though, and have just watched "The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe" (I guess because it's got a Wintery theme they class it as a Christmas movie). I've watched it at least twice before, and I know for a fact I've posted about it before, so I wont bother to do so today.

I was going to be going out with my Mam and a few family friends tonight, but if I did that I'd have ended up staying at Mam's for the night. Not that that's a real problem, but since Mam is going out early tomorrow morning, and Kelly usually goes up there for Dad's gaming club on a Saturday, it would make things a bit awkward to arrange when it came to getting me back home. Kelly couldn't just bring Kero up with him and have us stay for the day, because there would be too many people and Kero hates big groups of people. Not to mention, I'd have gotten bored being up there all day with my Mam not even being there. And, we can't get an early enough bus for Mam to get me home before she goes out. If our bus drivers were a bit more helpful I could get myself home, but the bus drivers around here are about as helpful as a bucket with a hole in the bottom of it. Never mind, I'm a bit tired anyway, so I'm happy to stay at home instead. I'm going out with Mam, Carl and Rachel (and possibly Wayne too) New Year's eve anyway.

OK, well, that's about everything for today. Hope you are all having as enjoyable a day as I've had! :)


Thursday, December 20, 2007

More Christmas movie reviews

Since I haven't really done anything (again) I figured I'd just post about the Christmas movies I've watched over the last 24 hours. So, here you go...

The first movie was called "Under The Mistletoe" and was about a boy (I can't remember his name) who lost his Dad in a car accident, but his Dad is so devoted to his family he can't let go. So the Dad sticks around, and is visible (in spectral form) to the boy, but nobody else can see him, because they don't believe he's still there. And the Dad helps to find a new man for his widow, because he wants to make sure she's got someone to look after her before he moves on. It was a lovely movie, but quite sad in places. It had a bitter-sweet ending, that could bring tears to just about anyone's eyes.

After that I watched "The Christmas That Almost Didn't Happen" again. You may remember me mentioning it the other day... It's that cute little animated movie about "Rusty" the reindeer trying to find his place in Christmas, and ending up saving Christmas in the process. A really sweet little movie!

I also watched "Home By Christmas" which was about a devorcee trying to survive in a rough neighbourhood. She ends up homeless and is trying not to let her daughter (who was away in college or something) find out. But then her daughter comes home for Christmas and sort of complicates things. It was a good movie, actually.

And, I watched a movie called "His And Her Christmas" and was about a journalist named "Tom" who works for a newspaper that's trying to swallow up a smaller one owned by a journalist named "Liz." But Liz starts up a Christmas column in an attempt to save her paper, and Tom is assigned the job of writing a simular column for his own paper. They become rivals, but that's not how things stay. It was a good movie.

I've also just watched "Scrooged" again. I think that is about the fourth - or is it fifth? - time I've seen that one this year. LOL!

The only other thing I've done - apart from taking Kero out in the yard, helping Kelly with the dishes, and that sort of thing - is read a cute little Christmas story. I don't have many braille books at the moment, but one of the ones I do have is called "The Bear Father Christmas Forgot" and is by someone called Diana Kimpton. It's a childrens' Christmas story about a bear who falls out of Father Christmas' sack and because Father Christmas doesn't notice him, he doesn't get delivered. So, when Father Christmas takes off in his sleigh, the little bear jumps out and climbs down the chimney to deliver himself. My brother (Carl) gave me the book a good few years ago (before I even met Kelly) and I read it back then, but haven't read it for a while. So, I thought I'd read it last night, since I wanted something to read, and thought a Christmasy story would be appropriate. It's a cute little story, and I absolutely love it.

Anyway, like I said, I haven't really done anything today, so I've not got anything else to say.

Oh, except "happy birthday" to my friend Patrick... It's his birthday today.


I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas

(Words and music by John Rox - performed by Gayla Peevey)

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
Only a hippopotamus will do
Don't want a doll, no dinky Tinkertoy
I want a hippopotamus to play with and enjoy

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
I don't think Santa Claus will mind, do you?
He won't have to use our dirty chimney flue
Just bring him through the front door,
that's the easy thing to do

I can see me now on Christmas morning,creeping down the stairs
Oh what joy and what surprise when I open up my eyes
to see a hippo hero standing there

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
Only a hippopotamus will do
No crocodiles, no rhinoceroses
I only like hippopotamuses
And hippopotamuses like me too

Mom says the hippo would eat me up, but then
Teacher says a hippo is a vegetarian

There's lots of room for him in our two-car garage
I'd feed him there and wash him there and give him his massage

I can see me now on Christmas morning, creeping down the stairs
Oh what joy and what surprise when I open up my eyes
to see a hippo hero standing there

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
Only a hippopotamus will do
No crocodiles or rhinoceroseses
I only like hippopotamuseses
And hippopotamuses like me too!

Walking 'Round In Womens' Underwear

(to be sung to "Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland")

Lacy things -- the wife is missin',
Didn't ask -- her permission,
I'm wearin' her clothes,
Her silk pantyhose,
Walkin' 'round in women's underwear.

In the store -- there's a teddy,
Little straps -- like spaghetti,
It holds me so tight,
Like handcuffs at night,
Walkin' 'round in women's underwear.

In the office there's a guy named Melvin,
He pretends that I am Murphy Brown.
He'll say, "Are you ready?" I'll say,"Whoa, Man!"
"Let's wait until our wives are out of town!"
Later on, if you wanna,
We can dress -- like Madonna,
Put on some eyeshade,
And join the parade,
Walkin' 'round in women's underwear!

Lacy things... missin',
Didn't ask... permission,
Wearin' her clothes,
Her silk pantyhose,
Walkin' 'round in women's underwear,
Walkin' 'round in women's underwear,
Walkin' 'round in women's underwear!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mam's birthday 2007

Today (Wednesday) is my Mam's birthday. I didn't get a chance to see her today, but I called her this morning to say "happy birthday" to her. And I gave her the card and presents we had for her yesterday when she took me to town. So, I thought I'd say "happy birthday" to Mam on my blog.

Today is also my friend Claudia's birthday. So a very happy birthday to her too!


I watched a movie called "Christmas Do-Over" last night before I went to bed. It was about a guy named "Kevin" who was one of those guys who only really have anything to do with their kid at Christmas, and turn up with a totally rubbish gift, then make everyone else's Christmas awful because he's having a lousy day himself. Only Kevin is forced to re-live Christmas day over, and over again, and in doing so he learns a few things about himself and how he needs to change. It was quite a good movie... I enjoyed it.

So... Christmas is less than a week away now. Are you ready for it? I am. I've got all the Christmas cards written and either delivered or waiting for the person to pick up. And all the presents are wrapped up under the tree. Well, apart from the bits for the stockints, because they don't go under the tree. They are wrapped up though, and waiting to go in the stockings Christmas eve.

Haven't really done much today. I've been watching a bit of TV, but I didn't watch any movies today. Most of them were ones I've already seen a lot over the past week or so, and I didn't feel like watching them again.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Monday & Tuesday = movies & town

I did this really long post, but when I went to publish it the only thing that didn't vanish in to thin air was the title... Weird! Anyway, I'm going to try this again.

I spent most of yesterday (Monday) watching movies.

First I watched "Christmas With The Kranks" and "Scrooged" again. I've watched them both enough so I don't need to say any more about them.

After those two I watched "Chasing Christmas" which is another version of "A Christmas Carol" only with a twist. The ghost of Christmas past decides he's fed up with his job, and after leaving the guy he's meant to be helping somewhere in his past, he runs off to go live his life. So, the ghost of Christmas present has to be sent to the past to bring the man (I think his name was "Jack") back to the present. But, her magic candy cane thing gets broken, so "Jack" and the ghost of Christmas present have to try and persuade the ghost of Christmas past to take them back to the present before it's too late to go back. It's certainly a different and amusing version of Charles Dickens' classic tale, that's for sure. And, yes, I did enjoy it.

After that I watched "Surviving Christmas" which is about a man who doesn't want to spend Christmas alone, so he goes to his childhood home and pays the family that now lives there to pretend to be his family for the holidays. I'm not going to say I didn't enjoy it, but I've seen better.

The last movie I watched last night was the old black and white version of "Miracle On 34th Street" which was pretty good, but not as good as the version with Mara Wilson in. But we discussed that fact when I watched the Mara Wilson version a few days back.

Today (Tuesday) I went in to town with Mam and Dad. Mam had to get a parcel sent off to my Grandma, and do a few other bits in town, so since I needed some shopping done, and her and Dad offered to take me in, I agreed. It gave Kelly a break, anyway.

I topped up my cupboards, fridge, and freezers so we wont need to worry about trying to get in to town to get anything over the holidays. There's a little village shop not far from us, but those shops don't stock everything, and they tend to be a lot more expensive than the supermarkets. So we try not to go there unless we "have to" (like if we run out of milk).

I also got myself a new pair of purple slippers. They're purple with a picture of a dog's head on the toes, and the word "dog" under the picture. I thought they would go with my dressing gown thing that I had for my birthday, which has a picture of a cat on the front with the word "cool" above the picture, and the word "cat" below it. Besides, purple is my favourite colour, so how could I not get them? LOL!

After I got home from town, I went for a nap. And, when I got up I watched "Ice Age 2: The Melt Down" which I know I've mentioned on my blog before, so I wont tell you about it again.

After that I watched "Dennis" A Christmas Story" which is a Christmas movie about that naughty but lovable six year old (Dennis The Menace) and how he almost ruins Christmas when he's trying to bring the Christmas spirit to Mr Wilson. It was a lovely movie... That kid's always good for a chuckle. LOL!

Right now, I'm watching a movie called "Christmas In Boston" which is about two pen pals who plan to meet, but they're scared to meet. So, they send their best friends instead. It's a really good - and quite funny - movie, and I'm quite enjoying watching it.

Anyway, I think that's pretty much everything I wanted to say. Besides, since this is the second time I've written this, I've had enough of typing for one day. LOL!


Monday, December 17, 2007

"The Little Match Girl"

I've always thought this was a sweet and sad story...

"The Little Match Girl"
A Christmas story by Hans Christian Anderson

It was terribly cold and nearly dark on the last evening of the old year, and the snow was falling fast. In the cold and the darkness, a poor little girl, with bare head and naked feet, roamed through the streets. It is true she had on a pair of slippers when she left home, but they were not of much use. They were very large, so large, indeed, that they had belonged to her mother, and the poor little creature had lost them in running across the street to avoid two carriages that were rolling along at a terrible rate. One of the slippers she could not find, and a boy seized upon the other and ran away with it, saying that he could use it as a cradle, when he had children of his own. So the little girl went on with her little naked feet, which were quite red and blue with the cold. In an old apron she carried a number of matches, and had a bundle of them in her hands. No one had bought anything of her the whole day, nor had anyone given her even a penny. Shivering with cold and hunger, she crept along; poor little child, she looked the picture of misery. The snowflakes fell on her long, fair hair, which hung in curls on her shoulders, but she regarded them not. Lights were shining from every window, and there was a savoury smell of roast goose, for it was New-year's eve—yes, she remembered that. In a corner, between two houses, one of which projected beyond the other, she sank down and huddled herself together. She had drawn her little feet under her, but she could not keep off the cold; and she dared not go home, for she had sold no matches, and could not take home even a penny of money. Her father would certainly beat her; besides, it was almost as cold at home as here, for they had only the roof to cover them, through which the wind howled, although the largest holes had been stopped up with straw and rags. Her little hands were almost frozen with the cold. Ah! perhaps a burning match might be some good, if she could draw it from the bundle and strike it against the wall, just to warm her fingers. She drew one out—“scratch!” how it sputtered as it burnt! It gave a warm, bright light, like a little candle, as she held her hand over it. It was really a wonderful light. It seemed to the little girl that she was sitting by a large iron stove, with polished brass feet and a brass ornament. How the fire burned! and seemed so beautifully warm that the child stretched out her feet as if to warm them, when, lo! the flame of the match went out, the stove vanished, and she had only the remains of the half-burnt match in her hand. She rubbed another match on the wall. It burst into a flame, and where its light fell upon the wall it became as transparent as a veil, and she could see into the room. The table was covered with a snowy white table-cloth, on which stood a splendid dinner service, and a steaming roast goose, stuffed with apples and dried plums. And what was still more wonderful, the goose jumped down from the dish and waddled across the floor, with a knife and fork in its breast, to the little girl. Then the match went out, and there remained nothing but the thick, damp, cold wall before her. She lighted another match, and then she found herself sitting under a beautiful Christmas-tree. It was larger and more beautifully decorated than the one which she had seen through the glass door at the rich merchant's. Thousands of tapers were burning upon the green branches, and coloured pictures, like those she had seen in the show-windows, looked down upon it all. The little one stretched out her hand towards them, and the match went out.The Christmas lights rose higher and higher, till they looked to her like the stars in the sky. Then she saw a star fall, leaving behind it a bright streak of fire. “Someone is dying,” thought the little girl, for her old grandmother, the only one who had ever loved her, and who was now dead, had told her that when a star falls, a soul was going up to God.She again rubbed a match on the wall, and the light shone round her; in the brightness stood her old grandmother, clear and shining, yet mild and loving in her appearance. “Grandmother,” cried the little one, “O take me with you; I know you will go away when the match burns out; you will vanish like the warm stove, the roast goose, and the large, glorious Christmas-tree.” And she made haste to light the whole bundle of matches, for she wished to keep her grandmother there. And the matches glowed with a light that was brighter than the noon-day, and her grandmother had never appeared so large or so beautiful. She took the little girl in her arms, and they both flew upwards in brightness and joy far above the earth, where there was neither cold nor hunger nor pain, for they were with God. In the dawn of morning there lay the poor little one, with pale cheeks and smiling mouth, leaning against the wall; she had been frozen to death on the last evening of the year; and the New-year's sun rose and shone upon a little corpse! The child still sat, in the stiffness of death, holding the matches in her hand, one bundle of which was burnt. “She tried to warm herself,” said some. No one imagined what beautiful things she had seen, nor into what glory she had entered with her grandmother, on New-year's day.

Sirius' Christmasy photo

We finally managed to get Sirius to be up at a time when we were both free, so we managed to get a Christmasy photo of him. This was the best of our attempts (hamsters aren't the easiest of animals to photograph). Sorry about my hands being in the shot, but without my hands there he kept turning around.

The card we used as a Christmasy background is the Christmas card we got from my brother Carl and his fiance Rachel. The tree on it is tactile, so I thought it would make a perfect hamster sized Christmas tree.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Megan and movies

I think Megan has decided I'm not getting enough excercise lately, because three nights in a row she's made sure I got some. Where it's been so cold, we've been keeping the window the cats use closed a lot. The cats aren't interested in going out, so why should we freeze? Anyway, when the window is closed I take Kero out of the other door if he wants out, because the other door opens in to an entrance way with stairs leading up to the place above mine, which means I can make sure all the cats are in when I go back in. So, anyway, I took Kero out and Megan slipped past me. She ran up the stairs and sat at the top meowing (well, as best as she can). So, I went up to fetch her. I got almost to the top when she ran past me on her way down the stairs. So, I went back down. I'd almost gotten to the bottom when she turned around and went back up again. This happened about three times, then she lay down at the top of the stairs and waited for me to pick her up. And, like I said, she's done that to me three nights in a row now. LOL!

I didn't get much sleep last night, so I got up quite late, which means I haven't really done much today. I watched a couple of movies this afternoon though.

One was the Disney movie "Cars" which was on Disney Cinemagic this afternoon. I didn't think much of it though. To tell you the truth, I got bored half way through and wandered off to call a friend instead.

The other movie was a lot more enjoyable. It was another animated movie called "Over The Hedge" which is a funny and cute little movie about a bunch of animals who wake up from hibernation to find a hedge has been put up, and there's a motorway and a load of houses the other side of it. And this racoon called "Arjay" who tries to get them to help him replace a store of food he's stolen from a bear by getting them to help him steal food from the humans.

Can't think of anything else to say, so... Hope you enjoy whatever's left of your day.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Tree and movies

Kelly got the new bulb for my tree today (Saturday) and now my new tree is all lit up (see photo above this text). I'm really pleased, because I'd hate to have a Christmas without a Christmas tree. I mean, what would we put the presents under? LOL! Besides, it didn't feel right without a tree in the corner of my living room.

While Kelly had the camera out to take a photo of the tree, I had him do some Christmas themed photos of the furbabies (see post below this one). It's a shame Sakura and Chance were having none of it, and Sirius was asleep.

I've watched a few movies over the last 24 hours, so since I don't have much to talk about I'll tell you about them.

The first one was called "'Twas The Night" and was about a kid and his con-artist uncle who accidentally knock Father Christmas out cold, because they think he's a burglar or something. Then "Danny" and his uncle "Nick" take his sleigh with the intension of getting all the presents delivered for him. Well, that's Danny's plan anyway, Nick has other ideas. The only thing is that Father Christmas comes round, and thinks they've just stolen the sleigh, so he's trying to get it back. It was a pretty good movie, actually.
After that, I watched "Christmas With The Kranks" and "A Christmas On Chestnut Street" again, because there wasn't much else on at that point. Besides, they're both pretty good movies, so I didn't mind seeing them again.
Then I watched "The Rescuers" which is a cute little Disney movie about two mice from the "Rescue Aid Society" called "Bianca" and "Bernard" who have to find and rescue a little girl called "Penny" who has been kidnapped from the orphanage she was living in by a pair of crooks who want her to find a diamond for them in a small, dark, damp cave. I've seen it before, and think it's a really sweet movie.
Then, this afternoon, I watched "Antz" which is an animated movie about an ant named "Zee" who isn't happy with the way things work in his ant hill. Only ever seen it once before, and only ended up watching it by accident today (turned the TV to "Sky Movies Family" just as it was starting) but it's a good movie.
Right now, I'm watching a movie called "The Holiday" which is a movie about two women - "Amanda" and "Iris" - who sort of swap lives (and homes) for the holidays because they aren't happy with how their lives are. It's an "OK" movie, but I've seen better. It's almost over, and I still haven't really been able to get in to it.
So, there you go. Now you know about all the movies I've watched last night and today, and what I thought of them. And, since I haven't really done anything else today, I guess I'll end this post and go see if anyone else has posted on their blogs tonight.

Pet Christmas photos 2007

I wanted to do a "pet photo shoot" like I did last year, but Sakura and Chance said there was no way they were going along with that idea two years in a row. I guess they figure if I want to post Christmasy pics of them I can use last year's pics. LOL! But, Kero and Megan were willing (in exchange for treats) to pose for a couple of photos. So, Kelly snapped a couple of photos of each of them for me. These are half of them. You'll have to look in my photo albums if you want to see the rest.

We're hoping to get Sirius to pose for some Christmas themed photos some time in the next couple of days. We would have done some photos of him today, but he was sleeping when we had the camera out... He always picks the days we want him up to remember that hamsters are nocturnal. LOL!


Friday, December 14, 2007

A movie, our menu and more

"The Corpse Bride" was on after the Harry Potter movie last night, so I watched it. I've seen it a few times now, but it's a pretty good movie, so I watched it again. For those who don't know, it's about a man who's practicing his wedding vows, and accidentally says them on a spot where a bride to be had been killed while waiting for her fiance, and has been waiting ever since for him to come and propose to her. So, the guy ends up married to "the corpse bride" (hence the title of the movie).

We figured out what's wrong with my new Christmas tree. The bulb is broken (the insides of it are loose and rattling around inside it). Mam suggested we take it back and get it exchanged, but even if we did that we could end up with the same thing happening (it might have happened when Kelly was bringing it home on the bus) so Kelly's just going to go get a new bulb.

Haven't really done much today. My day's just flown by. Guess I must have gotten in to the shows on TV or something. LOL!

Anyway - for those who are interested - here's my menu for this week:

Friday: Lasagne and peas
Saturday: Burger and chips
Sunday: Chicken roast dinner
Monday: Hot dogs
Tuesday: Chicken pie, potato and veg
Wednesday: Fish fingers, chips and beans
Thursday: Sausage, mash and peas

The only other thing worth mentioning today is that today is Kerry's birthday. So... HAPPY BIRTHDAY Kerry!


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Pets, trees and other things

Today (Thursday) was Kero's last grooming session for this year. His groomer picked him up just before 9:00 am this morning, and brought him home a little after 1:00 pm this afternoon. I didn't get him cut as short as I usually do, because of how cold it's been lately. But, anyway, here's a photo Kelly took of him for me when Kero got home. Kero's next appointment is March 13th 2008. His groomer will be picking him up again. Unless, of course, we get moved before then and the place we move to turns out to be too far out of her way.

So, I got my Christmas tree. Unfortunately I can't get it to light up. My Mam's going to pop in tomorrow while she's out driving with Laura to take a look at it for me, since Kelly and I don't want to fiddle too much in case we make things worse. At the moment we're working on the theory that either the bulb or the fuse weren't very good, and need to be replaced. This tree is a five foot tall fibre optic one (the other one was only about two feet tall) so it actually costs more than the bulb would this time, so if it is the bulb then this time we'll get a new bulb. I'll be a little annoyed if it is though, because we brought the tree brand new, so you'd think it would work for at least the rest of this year. *Sigh* Anyway, when I get it lit up I'll get Kelly to take a photo for me to put on here for you all to see.

Back on the subject of pets... Chance is doing fine. He hasn't been sick for over a week now, and is actually eating too. We're extremely glad about this, because we were very worried about him. We're still not sure what was wrong (though we have a few possible ideas) but what matters is the fact he's better now.

Wayne came down for a couple of hours today. He was going to watch some of my "Full House" DVDs, but because of where the tree is we couldn't get to them. So, we watched "Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix" instead. I wont bore you with another review of that movie. LOL!

After Wayne left, I was looking for something to watch on TV, only to find that "Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire" (the movie before the one I'd just watched with Wayne) was on. I'm still watching that right now, actually. I've seen the Harry Potter movies time and time again, but I never seem to get tired of watching them.

It's really cold here. My cats are staying in almost all the time (even Sakura, who usually only uses us as a "bed and breakfast" lol). I hope I get some snow soon. It hasn't rained in a couple of days (watch it rain now I've said that) so the ground is dry enough so the snow would probably stick if some would just show up.

*Sings "I'm Dreaming Of A White Christmas" (the parts I know of it anyway) while trying to figure out if I've got anything else to say*

Can you believe it's less than two weeks to Christmas? The days are just flying by! I'm glad I've got all my Christmas shopping done. I do have a couple of cards I need to get Kelly to write for me though. I got the ones that had to be posted out sorted weeks ago, but still haven't done the ones for the family members that live close to me, or the couple of "family friends" I give cards to. Will have to see if I can get him to write them for me tomorrow.

Right, I think that's everything I've got to say. So.... Enjoy what ever's left of your day.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

O, Christmas tree...

O, Christmas tree,
O, Christmas tree,
Why aren't there lights on your branches?
O, Christmas tree,
O, Christmas tree,
Why aren't there lights on your branches?
I plugged you in, and turned you on,
Why wont you work? Is something wrong?
O, Christmas tree,
O, Christmas tree,
Why aren't there lights on your branches?

Yeah, I know that's not how the song's meant to go, but I changed the words intensionally for a more fun way to tell you about the fact my Christmas tree died yesterday. Well, actually, the bulb went, but since the kinds of bulbs that fibre optic trees take cost twice as much as the tree cost in the first place, and since I'd been considering replacing the tree anyway, we're getting a new tree. Kelly's going to get one tomorrow.


I did get to watch all of "A Christmas On Chestnut Street" the other day, and it was a pretty good movie. For those who haven't seen it, it's about a department store that orders too many lights by accident, and to cover that up starts up a Christmas light compatition.

I also watched "The Witches" which is a movie based on a Roald Dahl book with the same title about witches that hate children and have a plan to turn all children in to mice, and a boy called "Luke" who teams up with his grandma to stop them. It's a really good movie. Definately not a Christmas movie but I enjoy it, so decided to watch it anyway.

Then, yesterday (Tuesday) I watched another Christmas movie called "Christmas With The Kranks" which was about a man who decides he'd rather go on a cruise than do the usual Christmas celebrations his family have always done. But then his daughter comes for Christmas at the last minute, bringing her fiance who she'd told about all the decorations, etc, her family always have at Christmas. So "Mr Krank" and his wife have to try and get the house decorated and everything before she gets there. I quite enjoyed it.

Haven't really done much else worth talking about, so I'll let this do for now.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I've been tagged...

So, Kati tagged me with the "seven-weird-things-about-me" thing, which means I have to post seven weird things about me. Hmm... Let me see...

1. I'd rather read a childrens' book than one intended for adults. My favourites are ones about talking animals that act like people, or ones about fairies, pixies, etc. The more far-fetched the story, the more likely I am to enjoy it.

2. I believe that things like fairies, dragons and The Loch Ness Monster either used to exist but have died out, or still exist but are keeping themselves hidden from us humans because we would just turn their worlds in to the mess we've turned our own in to.

3. I talk to animals as if they are people - especially the ones that live with me - and refer to my "pets" as "my kids" even to strangers.

4. I still follow pretty much the same bed time routine on Christmas eve as I used to when I was little, with the only differences being the time the routine starts, and the fact that instead of setting out cookies and milk for "Santa" when I lay out my stocking, I just sort out the stocking.

5. I sometimes eat weird combinations of food. The kinds of combinations that most people wouldn't even think up unless they're pregnant, but which I just fancy sometimes. Things like chips (as in fries) with mint sauce and apple sauce on them, or cheese spread, jam, marmalade and ketchup on toast (yes, all on the same piece of toast).

6. My dream pet is a rat. I've owned all kinds of pets, and loved owning them all, but I'd most like to own a rat. Hubby's not too keen on rats, which is the only reason I don't already have one. But, I'm hoping to persuade him to let me have a rat one day.

7. I've had a snow ball in the freezer for the last four years. I made it from the snow we got the Christmas after we got married, and unless someone else has found it and chucked it out it's still there, because nobody would let me throw it at them and it seemed a shame to just throw it at a wall or something. So, I put it in the freezer (seemed like a good idea at the time) and can't bring myself to get rid of it.

That was harder than it looked like it was going to be. LOL!

Right, now I'm meant to tag seven more people... I pick... my Grandma (Jayde_Bramblerose), my Mam (Karen), AliceKay, ChicagoLady, Robyn, Elizabeth and LadyStyx.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas carol lyrics

I've posted the lyrics to my favourite Christmas carols on my blog, but if you have another favourite then you may be interested in this site I found with the lyrics to most of the more common ones on it.

The web site is


Frosty The Snowman

Frosty the snowman was a jolly happy soul,
With a corncob pipe and a button nose,
And two eyes made out of coal.
Frosty the snowman is a fairy tale, they say,
He was made of snow but the children
Know how he came to life one day.
There must have been some magic in that
Old silk hat they found.
For when they placed it on his head,
He began to dance around.

O, Frosty the snowman
Was alive as he could be,
And the children say he could laugh
And play just the same as you and me.
Thumpetty thump thump,
Thumpety thump thump,
Look at Frosty go.
Thumpetty thump thump,
Thumpety thump thump,
Over the hills of snow.

Frosty the snowman knew
The sun was hot that day,
So he said, "Let's run and
we'll have some fun
now before I melt away.
Down to the village,
With a broomstick in his hand,
Running here and there all
Around the square saying,
"Catch me if you can."
He led them down the streets of town
Right to the traffic cop.
And he only paused a moment when
He heard him holler "Stop!"

For Frosty the snowman
Had to hurry on his way,
But he waved goodbye saying,
"Don't you cry,
I'll be back again some day."
Thumpetty thump thump,
Thumpety thump thump,
Look at Frosty go.
Thumpetty thump thump,
Thumpety thump thump,
Over the hills of snow.

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

You know Dasher and Dancer, and Prancer and Vixen,
Comet and Cupid, and Donner and Blitzen.
But do you recall
The most famous reindeer of all?

Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer
had a very shiny nose.
And if you ever saw him,
you would even say it glows.

All of the other reindeer
used to laugh and call him names.
They never let poor Rudolph
join in any reindeer games.

Then one foggy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say:
"Rudolph with your nose so bright,
won't you guide my sleigh tonight?"

Then all the reindeer loved him
as they shouted out with glee,
Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer,
you'll go down in history!

Music, nap attempt and movies

Kelly went in to town to run a few errands for me today, and while he was gone I listened to some CDs I'd written from some of the mp3s I have on my PC. All the Cds I did are full of Christmas music. I have a load more mp3s I want to put on ordinary music CDs, but I'm out of blank CDs now, so they will have to wait until I can get some more.

Since I'd had a late night, but an early morning, I decided about 2:00 pm I'd take a nap. So, I settled on the sofa (if I lay on the sofa it's more likely to just be a nap, if I go to bed I don't usually get up after only a couple of hours, so it puts my sleep pattern out of whack). I guess I wasn't meant to have a nap though. First Kero wanted to play with me, so I played with him for a few minutes, then gave him a treat and told him to go take his treat for a nap. Which he did. Then Chance climbed on me, lost his footing and stuck his claws in my leg. I scooped him up and cuddled him in to me, which was fine for a few minutes, but then he decided I wasn't comfy enough for him. So, he started kneading my arm. I told him to "quit it" and he did for a while, but each time I almost fell asleep he started up again. After a good half an hour of this, I shoved him off the sofa and tried again to get to sleep.

I was almost asleep when I heard a "CRASH" from over near the PCs. Got up to check it out and found Sakura in the little bin that "should have been" on a little table beside my PC, but was on its side on the floor... *Sigh* So, I yelled at her, put the bin back, and went back to the sofa. A few minutes later (at most) there was another "CRASH" and I went to investigate again, only to find Sakura was in the bin AGAIN! So, this time I took the bin with me and placed it under the coffee table at the end of the sofa my head was, then cuddled back in to my blanket to try again for my nap. I was just dropping off to sleep when I heard a "clang" sort of noise. And, guess what? When I reached under the coffee table, there was Sakura with her head in the bin (which was on its side again). Every time I was dropping off to sleep, Sakura snuck past me, crawled under the table and stuck her head in the bin. Even when I started swatting her on the butt it didn't stop her. So, I removed the thing I assumed she was after (the wrapper from the tuna, sweetcorn, cheese and onion baguette hubby brought home for me) in hopes that would stop her. It didn't at first, but after a while she gave up... Thankfully! By this time it was coming up to 3:15 pm, and I was starting to wonder if I should just give up. I figured I'd try until 4:00 pm, and if I didn't get to sleep by then I'd give up.

I had almost gotten to sleep when the phone rang. It was the police man who's writing the letter for me. He called to let me know he's written the letter and spoken to the housing officer we're dealing with to tell her it's going to be sent either tonight or tomorrow morning, so she should have it by the end of the week. He also told her that he thinks we should be moved out of here as quickly as possible (which is what I'd hoped he'd tell her). He's still hoping to come talk to us in a couple of days, but wanted to let me know what he was doing. I thanked him very much for his help several times, then said "goodbye" and hung up. By the time I was done talking to the police man (I do know his name, but don't want to publish it on my blog) it was about 3:40 pm, so I gave up on the idea of a nap and went to get Kelly up (he was napping in the bedroom, with Kero) and tell him what he'd said. So, like I said, I don't think I was meant to take a nap.

I've just finished watching a movie called "A Christmas Without Santa Claus" which is a movie about a Christmas when Santa Claus has had enough and wants to cancel Christmas. But two of his elves go out in to the human world to find someone who can show Santa that people still have the Christmas spirit inside them so they can persuade Santa not to cancel Christmas. It's a good movie. Really funny in places too.

"A Christmas On Chestnut Street" is on again, so I'm going to have another go at watching the whole thing. Maybe I'll get to see it all this time? LOL!

They've just said on the TV (just before "A Christmas On Chestnut Street" started) that all next week - from December 17th to December 23rd - Sky movies will be showing nothing but Christmas movies. Cool! Guess what I'm doing most of next week? LOL!

Right, I'm going to watch this movie! Enjoy what ever's left of your day.


P.S. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my friend, David, whose birthday is today.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Movies and streams

As I mentioned in the comments section of yesterday's post, I enjoyed the movie "Scrooged" yesterday. And, I was right, I had seen it before. It was worth watching again though.

After that movie, I watched one called "Christmas On Chestnut Street" that was on one of the other movie channels. It was a pretty good movie, or what I saw of it was. I missed a lot of it because I was having dinner. So, all I saw properly was the end... But that bit was good. LOL!

I slept most of this morning, then spent the afternoon listening to the streams at The Wolven.

AliceKay was doing her Sunday morning (morning for her anyway) "inspirational stream" and, although that's not really the kind of music I listen to, I thought I'd listen in just to get a chance to hear her stream. She does a fantastic job! I tuned in just in time to hear her play "Connie Talbot - I Believe" (which I only sent her yesterday) then she played "Aselin Debison - The Gift" for me. Anyway, it was a pretty enjoyable stream. Some of that "inspirational" music can be really pretty... Even if I don't agree with the words of most of the songs! LOL!

Then Kerry did her country music stream and played Christmas themed country music for two whole hours. Since I love country music, I don't think I need to say that I enjoyed that. I mean, the only thing better than country music is Christmas themed country music! LOL!

After the streams, I had my dinner, then watched "Miracle On 34th Street" which I'm sure you all know is a Christmas movie starring "Mara Wilson" about a mother and daughter who don't believe in father Christmas, and a man named "Chris Kringle" who helps them find the holiday spirit. Helping others find their holiday spirit along the way.

And, just now I watched a cute little movie called "A Christmas That Almost Didn't Happen" which was quite amusing. Never seen it before, and only ended up watching it by accident, but glad I found it, because it was a lovely little movie about a reindeer called "Rusty" who saves Christmas.

That's pretty much my day, so enjoy what ever's left of your own day!


Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer

Grandma got run over by a reindeer
Walking home from our house Christmas eve.
You can say there's no such thing as Santa,
But as for me and Grandpa, we believe.
She'd been drinkin' too much egg nog,
And we'd begged her not to go.
But she'd left her medication,
So she stumbled out the door into the snow.
When they found her Christmas mornin',
At the scene of the attack.
There were hoof prints on her forehead,
And incriminatin' Claus marks on her back.

Grandma got run over by a reindeer,
Walkin' home from our house Christmas eve.
You can say there's no such thing as Santa,
But as for me and Grandpa, we believe.

Now were all so proud of Grandpa,
He's been takin' this so well.
See him in there watchin' football,
Drinkin' beer and playin' cards with cousin Belle.
It's not Christmas without Grandma.
All the family's dressed in black.

And we just can't help but wonder:
Should we open up her gifts or send them back?

Grandma got run over by a reindeer,
Walkin' home from our house Christmas eve.
You can say there's no such thing as Santa,
But as for me and Grandpa, we believe.

Now the goose is on the table
And the pudding made of fig.
And a blue and silver candle,
That would just have matched the hair in Grandma'swig.
I've warned all my friends and neighbours.
Better watch out for yourselves.
" They should never give a license,
To a man who drives a sleigh and plays with elves."

Grandma got run over by a reindeer,
Walkin' home from our house, Christmas eve.
You can say there's no such thing as Santa,
But as for me and Grandpa, we believe.

Written by Randy Brooks.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

My Friday & Saturday

Yesterday (Friday) I was "meant to" be going shopping late afternoon/early evening. But things didn't work out as planned. Kelly (Mam's friend, not my hubby) was "meant to" be Mam's co-driver so Mam could drive me to Asda, but she sent Mam a text some time in the afternoon to say she couldn't do it. So, Mam stopped at my place on her way home from her driving lesson with Laura (a family friend) to tell me about the text. To cut a long story short, it ended up that Dad had to take us to Asda instead, and we never managed to go until about 8:00 pm. Laura would have taken us, but by the time Mam got the text she'd already spent the afternoon giving Mam lessons, and had to get back to Mark (her partner). It was after 10:00 pm that I got home, so by the time the groceries were put away I was just about ready to fall in to bed (hence not doing a blog post yesterday). I must have been really tired, because I slept right through the night and didn't wake up until a little before 10:30 am.

Kelly (my hubby) is going to be doing the shopping by himself for the rest of this year. Mam and Dad have so much going on that they barely have time to blink, so I've asked Kelly to go in to town on the bus, go to Tesco and get a cab home until after the new year. We'll probably keep it that way until Mam gets her lisence to make it easier on everyone.

Before I went shopping last night, I watched "Miracle On 3rd Street" which is a Christmas movie that is based on a cartoon called "Recess" which I like to watch. "Recess" is a "Disney" cartoon about a group of friends and all the things they get up to during "recess" at their school, and "Miracle On 3rd Street" is a Christmas movie about those same kids. I've seen it before, and enjoyed it every time I've watched it.

I haven't done much today (Saturday). Kelly went up to my Dad's gaming club, so I spent the day at home by myself (well, unless you count Kero, the cats, the hamster and the fish).

AliceKay sent me the Jordin Sparks songs, so I got them put on to a CD and listened to it. I really enjoyed it too!

Other than that all I've really done is check blogs for new posts, and watch some TV. Been looking for "Christmasy" shows to watch. Found some too. Right now, for example, I'm watching a movie called "Scrooged" which I think I've seen before, but I'm not sure. Either way, it seems like a pretty good movie. Kinda like a modern day version of Charle's Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" by the looks of it.

Well, I think that's just about everything.


Thursday, December 06, 2007

Bad weather, but a good day

Yesterday (Wednesday) I called the doctors' office to find out where my letter from the doctor was. Turned out it's been waiting for me but the receptionist just didn't call and let me know... *rolls eyes*... So, today (Thursday) Kelly went to fetch it for me. Now I've just got to get it taken in to the council office.

And, speaking of letters, I called our local beat officer (the one who gave me his mobile number in case those kids came back) and asked him if he would write us a letter. He said he'd already called the council on our behalf, but if they want it in writing too then he'll be happy to do that for us. He said he'd get the letter written over the weekend, and then would come and see us next week to let us know what he'd said in the letter.

So, those two letters will bump up my points a bit more. :)

Plus, I still need to chase up the letter from my social worker. So, when that one gets to the council that will help even more.


I listened to "Carrie's War" by Nina Bawden yesterday. I've read it, listened to it, and seen the movie tons of times before, but I could still do so again! For those who don't know, it's a story about a girl named "Carrie" and her brother "Nick" who are evacuated from London to Wales during the war. The story is about what happens to them while they are there. It's a fantastic story that is a must read for anyone who enjoys books about what happened to people during the war, which I do.

Wayne and Elizabeth were going to come down this evening, but the weather's too bad for people to be going anywhere - especially if they're planning on walking (like Wayne and Elizabeth were) - so they didn't bother. Still no snow though. It's just really windy and POURING with rain. Even Kero and the cats aren't interested in going outside. LOL!

I was right that Kero's treat from his advent calender was still in our bedroom. I found it when I went in to the bedroom to go to bed last night, so I threw it away. We had another attempt at offering him the calender this morning, but he wasn't in the least bit interested in it. We've decided we're not going to bother trying any more. No point if we're just going to end up throwing the treats away. Going to just give the calender to Mam for Willow. She does have one of her own, but I'm sure she wont mind having two treats a day this year. I mean, I know I wouldn't mind having two calenders... LOL!

Mam is doing a fantastic job with her driving. She did her theory test today and passed. So, she's really proud of herself, which she should be! We're all really proud of her too! The way she's going it wont be long now before she's got her full lisence.

Well, I think that just about covers everything interesting. Before I end this though, here's my menu for the week (for those of you who are interested):

Friday: Sausage Cassarole
Saturday: Cheese, chips and gravy
Sunday: Roast beef dinner
Monday: Spaghetti bolagnese
Tuesday: Gammon, chips and peas
Wednesday: Sausage, mash and beans
Thursday: Macaroni cheese

Enjoy what's left of your day.


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

You know your pets are spoiled...

... When you find yourself sitting on the floor while they are stretched out on the sofa. LOL!

Yeah, that's what happened to me earlier... I ended up sat on the floor while Kero and Chance were stretched out on the sofa. LOL!

Anyway, I haven't done much today. Kelly went in to town to fetch a couple of things for me, and he brought me a tuna, sweetcorn, cheese and onion baguette and a jam doughnut back with him. And, yes, I did enjoy them.

There's still no sign of my snoww. Just a whole lot of rain and wind... Yup, we've got plenty of that! But, it's snow I want, not rain! Oh, well, there's still time for me to get snow in time for Christmas. I wont hold my breath though, since Wales isn't exactly known for its snow. Still, I can hope, can't I?

Looks like my "Winter cold" is going to be one of those that hangs around for quite a while but doesn't turn in to more than a slight case of the sniffles. It's been hanging around for something like two weeks now, and doesn't seem to be able to decide whether it should go away or stick around. I'd like it to go away, but it doesn't seem to be listening to me. LOL! Still, I guess I should be glad it hasn't progressed in to anything worse. :)

"The Aristocats" was on Disney Cinemagic this evening, so I watched it. It was at some point during that movie that I found myself shoved off the sofa by Kero and Chance. LOL! I've seen the movie loads of times before (in fact I know for a fact I mentioned one of those times on here... When Carl and Rachel were here at the end of August). So, I wont go in to detail about the movie. All I'll say is it's a great movie, and a must for cat lovers.

We've decided we wont get Kero an advent calender next year. Last year he got bored of the treats half way through the month, and this year he's already gotten bored of them. He barely even looks at his calender, and completely ignores the treat from it. In fact, as far as I know, his treat from this morning is still on our bedroom floor (I threw away his one from yesterday after I got fed up of stepping on it. LOL!)

Can't think of anything else to say today, so I guess it's time to hit that "publish" button.

Enjoy whatever's left of your day.


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Three weeks to Christmas

Yesterday (Monday) morning I pulled all the Christmas decorations out of the cupboard, so I spent half the afternoon trying to persuade Megan that the bags weren't full of cat toys. LOL! Then, Mam and Elizabeth came down to help me put them up. We spent most of the evening listening to Christmas music, drinking cocoa and messing about. Mam made our cocoa with whipped cream and marshmallows on the top, and we all thoroughly enjoyed it!

I got Mam to take some photos of the Christmas decorations for me (see post below this one) and, while we had the camera out, she took some photos of my teddies, Teylah and Kera (see post below the Christmas decoration post). There were a few photos of Kero and the cats on the camera too (including a couple Mam took of Kero playing with my reindeer that sings "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" yesterday) so I put them all in my photo albums today after Kelly helped to make sure they were all labeled correctly. It's taken ages to get all the picture posting done though, so if you want to see the rest of the photos you'll have to go look in the albums.

Apart from sorting out the photos I haven't done much today (Tuesday). Kelly took Chance to the vet this morning (see post below the one with my teddies in) but that's about the most interesting thing that's happened today. Well, unless you count the fact we got a letter from the housing officer today giving a summery of what was discussed when she came to see us, and telling us that she did manage to increase our points as she had hoped to do. So, that's good news.

I don't really have anything else to say, because nothing else has happened. The main reason I did this post was to make sure you knew to scroll down for the other posts I've done today (including the nursery rhyme one I did earlier this afternoon).

Enjoy what's left of your day!


Christmas decorations 2007

Here are the photos of our Christmas decorations. Mam, Elizabethand I put them all up yesterday (Monday).

The reindeer thing sings "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" when you press a button on its paw. And, the monkey thing you can see just under the reef on the back door isn't part of the decorations. It's just one of my teddies.


Teylah, Kera, Rosie and Kero

These are the photos I've been promising for over a month of Teylah the bear and Kera the Westie (and her little puppy Rosie) that I had made for me at "The Bear Factory" as early birthday presents when I was in Norwich with Carl and Rachel. Teylah was a present from my Mam and Dad, and Kera (and little Rosie) was a little present I got for myself, because I couldn't resist.

As you can see, Kero wanted to be in on the photo shoot. LOL!