Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August 2010 craft update

Well... There's not really anything to say when it comes to updates on craft projects, because between roleplaying, figure gaming events, and home renovations going on around me I've basically done nothing towards my projects this past month. I'm only bothering to post this so that nobody thinks that I have forgotten about posting my monthly craft update.

Gaming club related stuff will just be normal sessions next month though, and the flat is basically back to normal from all the chaos caused by the renovation work, so there should be a lot more craft activity for me to post about in next month's update. Actually, there better be, since I really need to do some serious work on things I want to make for people for Christmas!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Monsterpocalypse

It was last week that I wrote the post that was published earlier, so I didn't know at the time that these photos would be taken on Sunday, and since I wasn't sure when Iggy would have the free time to sort them for me, I decided to leave the post as it was - insisting there were no Monsterpocalypse photos yet - and post these when I could. And since I can now post them... Well, basically, here they are. They are from the Monsterpocalypse game I had with Wayne Sunday (yesterday) afternoon at the gaming club session. Firstly, here's a photo of the game shortly after we set up and made a start on playing. I was using my Empire Of The Apes (monkeys, monkeys, and more monkeys) faction/army, and Wayne was using his Ubercorpe International (mechanical creatures) faction/army.



The large monsters are simply called, "monsters," (though they do have their own names, and also alpha and hyper forms... Hence us having two of them on the mat in the above photo), but the little monsters are called, "units," (and also have their own individual names). Here's a photo of my Gakura monster's alpha form, and my Howitzer Ape unit (well, one of them).



Here's a photo of my Howitzer Ape units, and some of Wayne's units. Kelly and I aren't too sure of which of Wayne's are which though, so I can't properly name his units for you, sorry.



Another photo of mine and Wayne's units, this time with Wayne's monster (Cyber King Kondo).



Wayne's units, and my Gakura.



So, there you go. That's Monsterpocalypse.

I did have Savage Swarm (giant radioactive bugs) as my faction/army. But Dad wanted those, and I was much more enthusiastic about the idea of an army of monkeys, so he brought me my Gakura in return for me giving him my Mucustos (Savage Swarm monster). Then we did some trading of units, so that I now have 12 monkey units and my Gakura, and he has Mucustos and a bunch of bug units (as well as several others, since Dad has other factions/armies too).

More from Welsh Weyr gaming club (LBE and FD)

First, the second of the two gaming days (well, OK, the second was more like a very eventful normal club session, but gaming day will do, since it was a sort of gaming event).


So... It was a few weeks ago that it happened, but I'm finally getting around to posting the photos from the other gaming session from while Carl was visiting. Now, I still don't have all the games we play included with the photos, since Hordes, BattleTech and Monsterpocalypse didn't happen during the days I took these photos. Neither did a few other systems that many of the club members enjoy (such as Mordheim and Necromunda) because we ran out of time. But here are some photos of the systems that did get played while I had the camera out (I am hoping to add the other systems we play to my collection of club photos soon).

Firstly, Warhammer Fantasy. Not one I'm fond of myself, but it's a popular one among many of the club members (both old members and new members). These first two photos are of Owen's Chaos Marauders army (yes, the same Owen from the story telling event I went to recently... He's started coming to club sessions at our gaming club sometimes again).




Same game, different army... This time Lee's Orcs.




Next, here's a photo from just after Julian and Ian set up their Bloodbowl game. Ian was playing his Chaos Dwarves team, Julian was playing his Dark Elves team.



Another Warhammer game. This time Warhammer 40K. This one I used to play, but there are just too many figures for my liking, and it takes so long to set up that by the time we do I don't want to play any more. So, I stopped playing it and am selling the few figures I still had (some of them worked for Kelly's army, so he has them). Anyway...

These next photos are of Carl's Necrons army.





Same game, different army... The next couple of photos are of Phil G's Daemon Hunter army.




And now, Star Wars. Firstly, my New Republic army.



And this next photo is of Gareth's army. I'm not 100% sure what his army was now though. I know it was one of the dark side armies, because mine was a light side army, and the game has to be played with light side vs dark side. But beyond that... *Shrugs*...



Another photo from our Star Wars game. This one was taken partly through the game.



And here are some photos from the Dungeons And Dragons miniatures game. This first one is of Carl's Borderlands army. Lots of demons and things... This was an evil army, though it is possible to make one that isn't evil for the Borderlands faction.




This is my army for the same game. My good Civilization army. Again, you can make good or evil for the same faction, but I chose to go with good for my army.



I actually had two games of Dungeons And Dragons. My second game was with Gareth, but as he didn't have any figuures himself, I loaned him some of my civilization army (about half the figures you see above) and I used my Wild army, which is my evil army, and which is pictured below.




Just to clarify... For anyone wondering and unsure... No, the D and D miniatures game doesn't have to be good vs evil, or even different army/faction vs different army/faction. The only one that rule really applies to is the Star Wars miniatures game. Almost every other system played at the club isn't affected by that rule. You can even play the exact same figures against each other in most of the games. I mean, I played my Cryx army for Warmachine against Julian's Cryx army for Warmachine a little while ago.

I'm not sure who won in the games I wasn't involved in, but I can tell you that I won my D and D game against Carl, but lost both the D and D game and the Star Wars game against Gareth.

The only other game played that day was another Flames Of War game between Carl and Kelly. Pictures of which can be found on Kelly's blog, since he posted them the other day.

There was no buffet this time though, since it was technically just a normal gaming session. Everyone took tuck with them though, and just sort of grabbed stuff as and when they wanted to eat, or as and when they had time to do so between games they were playing.

The roleplaying session from the day before went fantastically too. It was a system called ShadowRun, which is sort of new to us. I say sort of, because some have tried it before, others haven't. Anyway, the session went well, a lot got done, and everyone enjoyed the system. My character for this one was a sort of 21st century Native American... Picture a traditional Native American - complete with bow and arrow and tomahawk (I'm not sure if I spelled that right or not) - only with magical abilities to enhance her fighting and nature themed skills (such as tracking and such), and various electronic gadgets that were either essential for players to have, or that would aid her in her skills in one way or another. She was fun to play, and I plan to use her for an upcoming ShadowRun campaign being run at the club in the not too distant future by Julian.

Anyway...

Although a Warmachine game didn't happen on that gaming event/gaming day, Gareth and I had a game two weeks later. Here's a photo taken during the game. The armies are my Cryx army (the black figures) and Gareth's Protectorate Of Menoth army (the white figgures).



We have also tried out two new figure game systems. One of them I liked, the other I liked the idea of, but found too complicated to play. Not complicated rulewise, but complicated as in fiddly, and difficult for me personally to play.

The game that I liked was a dinosaur figure game called DinoMight, which is quite easy to get the hang of the rules for, quick to play, and only requires a couple of figures to play. And some of the available figures are Triceratops models, which is great in my opinion, since that is - and always has been - my absolute favourite kind of dinosaur.

Here are some photos from one of the DinoMight games Dad and I have played. Starting with one of my Triceratops models (I have two of them, but since they look exactly the same we figured it was pointless taking photos of both of them).



And these are Dad's dinosaurs. They aren't official dinosaurs for the game, but they are more or less the same size, so they will do for now at least. I don't remember what they actually are, nor what he was using them as. But here they are anyway...




And here's a photo of our game in progress.



Anyway, the game I liked the idea of but found too difficult to manage to play was called The Uncharted Seas. As suggested by the name, it's a boat themed game where fleets of boats battle each other at sea. Great concept, great models, simple rules... But too fiddly for me to play, since it will be too easy for me to knock over - and possibly break - the fragile little - well, kind of little - boats used for playing the game. It has had a popular reception with everyone else who has tried it out - or watched it being tried out - so far though. There's a game similar to it based on space ships, which many people from the club are also excited about, though I'm not, because the models for that are more fragile due to being on small thin stands rather than flush with the table. Ah well, I have plenty of games I'm playing now anyway, so I'm not all that bothered about adding new ones to the list. Learning the rules for the ones I've recently started playing is enough to be getting on with anyway, I think. In fact, I don't think, I know! LOL! Of course, that doesn't mean I wouldn't be interested if someone was to tell me about a new game, since - you never know - it could end up being my new favourite game, or the next big hit at the club. I just mean that I'm not really all that bothered that I can't play the game, since it's not like I'm short of systems to play. ;)

OK... I will share any other photos I get as and when I get them. In the meantime, if you haven't already done so - and want to see them - don't forget about the Flames Of War photos that Kelly has posted on his blog from his game with Carl for you all to see.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Gwydion's Sunday squeaks: it's weaking wet!

Hi there humans. This is Gwydion again.

It's been so weaking wet here lately! And you know what? Those daft humans think I'm going to want to come out of my nice warm cage in that... Are they nuts? I'd much rather stay curled up in my nice, warm, hay filled bed area. I'm only really coming out of my bed area to grab food and drink. Seriously... I almost didn't post this today... I almost just stayed in my nice, warm, dry cage, with my hay nest, and the nice bowl of vegetables that my Mami left for me before she went to that club place. Daft humans going out in the nasty rain!

Squeak soon,
Gwydion

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tweet, tweet



I just wanted to share a couple of new bird photos with you. Well, I say new, but they were actually taken about a month ago. Still, here they are anyway.

Kelly and Carl's Flames Of War armies

I had a couple of Flames Of War battles with Carl when he was visiting. I won one of them and Carl won the other one. You might have seen the table set up for our first game (the one I won) that Tori posted at the start of the month. But now I have some photos from the other battle for you. First Carl's army. The left side of Carl's Russian army Middle of Carl's Russian army Right side of Carl's Russian army Now my army. The left side of my German army The middle of my German army The right side of my German army Hope you like the photos. Kelly

Friday, August 27, 2010

Kero's korner: rain is rough

Hi humans, it's Kero here.

It's been really wet here most of this past week and it's been making me feel kind of rough. It's hard to keep being waggy tailed when it's so wet you can't properly enjoy your walkies!

Anyway, I was just stopping by to say, "hi," so you don't miss me too much. I need to go and bark at something that I just heard outside though, so I'll let this do for this week. Sorry this isn't much of a post... I don't really have anything much to talk about today.

Licks and sniffs,
Kero

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Amman Valley Railway

The Llanelly Railway and Dock Company, founded in 1835, had reached Pontardulais by 1839 and arrived at Pantyffynnon in 1840. Here the railway system branched, with one arm stretching up the coal bearing Amman Valley and reaching Garnant by 1841 before terminating at Brynamman in 1842. In 1864 another railway company - the Swansea Vale Company - reached Brynamman along the Swansea Valley from Swansea, St Thomas station, through Morriston, Pontardawe and Ystalfera. Brynamman thus had two railway stations across the road from each other and to continue your journey from there to any of the Swansea Valley stations you had to change stations as well as trains!

On nationalisation of the railways in 1948, the station on the Amman Valley line was called Brynamman West by the newly created British Railways and the Swansea Valley station was called Brynamman East. In 1950 British Railways abruptly closed the Swansea Valley line from 25th September 1950 and the Pantyffynnon to Brynamman line was closed in 1958.

(Above from this page).

Since 1992 the aim of the Board has been for all railways of the Amman Valley to be reopened to traffic. The Society also engages in non-railway social activities, and is progressing towards developing allotments, giving new life to an old school, enhancing local biodiversity, environment and general quality of life.

The railway intends over the next 13 years to reintroduce public passenger services using "low carbon footprint" diesel/methane rail-bus or tram services over a 26 mile (42 km) loop.

In mid-2006, a British Rail Class 103 diesel multiple unit (DMU) vehicle was saved from scrapping in Coventry by AVRS, moving it to Swansea for later restoration and possible eventual use on the line, but was passed over to an Essex Museum for resoration in 2008. This was M50397, of the Denbigh & Mold Junction Railway.

The Society presently owns 3 tank wagons (ex Swansea Vale Railway) at Cwmgors being refurbished ready for use on the heritage line section, and has offers of several locomotives from various organisations and patrons, which AVR will take up when the line is re-laid, the mile or so of track still extant needing extensive overhaul.

(Above taken from here).

This is the same railway line that runs through the village my parents live in. The same one I said when I was living with them at the start of the year I would get photos of when the train was passing through. But I never did get you those photos.

Then, on Monday, Mam and I had just been to see Michael and were going to see Emma-Jane, when we had to stop to let the train go by (we had to cross the crossing to get from Elizabeth's house to where Louise lives). I had my camera with me, because of possible baby photos - and the fact I try to take it with me anyway - so grabbed it to get this photo:



Choo, choo!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Baby filled Monday

I had another totally baby filled day on Monday. Mam took me up town (Nan came too) and I brought a pink Lullaby Glowworm for Emma-Jane, and a blue Lullaby Glowworm for Michael, so I wanted to take them to them. It wasn't a spur of the moment thing. I'd already planned to buy them for them, and arranged to go and deliver them to the babies. Well, I'd arranged to go see Michael anyway. Going to see Emma-Jane was a spur of the moment thing. But that's not really important.


Anyway, Mam wanted to take Nan home before we went to Iceland to do a bit of shopping, so it fit in with my plans and we took Nan home then went to see Elizabeth and baby Michael.

Elizabeth was feeding him when we got there, but I did get a cuddle. I also got a photo.



I hope he keeps those curls his hair seems to have.

Michael is now 5 weeks old. He turned 5 weeks old yesterday (Tuesday). He still isn't doing much, but he is showing signs of really paying attention to the world around him, which is all you can really expect from a baby of that age. I'm no expert, but I think he's going to be another quick baby when it comes to holding his head up, trying to sit up, etc.

He's finally putting weight on at a better pace for a baby of his age (which is the only thing that he was a bit behind on). I don't remember what his weight is now, but Elizabeth says he's started to nicely gain weight now, and he definately feels heavier to me. Besides, he's her baby, so she should know if he's gaining weight properly or not.

Anyway, after we spent a bit of time with Elizabeth and Michael, we were going to go straight back in to town, since I see Emma-Jane a lot anyway, so could give her her toy next time. But then Mam decided we would go and see Louise and Emma-Jane after all, and I wasn't about to argue against seeing that little cutie again. Especially since I'm not seeing her today, because Mam is going away tomorrow, so she decided not to arrange to pick me up. That way she at least gets the evening with Dad before she goes away tomorrow.


As luck would have it, we decided to see if Louise and Emma-Jane were at Jane (Louise's mother)'s house, because that's where they were (we checked there first since we would have to pass it on the way to Louise's house anyway). So we went in and spent some time with Louise, Jane, Chelsea and Emma-Jane. Well, mostly Jane and Emma-Jane, because Louise had to go out soon after we got there, and Chelsea - being 12, so almost a teenager - isn't big on socializing with anyone not around her own age now. But that's irelavant.

Emma-Jane was actually fast asleep when we got there, but she woke up during our visit. Mam, Jane and I were in the kitchen drinking tea, so when we heard her wake up Jane said I could go see her by myself. So I got some quality one on one time with her during one of her happiest times (she's one of those babies who wakes up happy and full of smiles and giggles).

I showed her the toy, and she liked it. She grabbed it right away, and has already figured out how to press the button on its stomach that makes it light up and play the tunes.

She's really learning things fast, that's for sure! She can now crawl backwards. Well, I suppose you would call it a crawl, though she's actually on her back when she does it. She hasn't figured out about going forward yet though, and gets really cross if she runs out of space to move backwards in. With how quick she's gone from rolling over to moving backwards though - and how eager she is to be on her feet and on the move - I don't think it will be too long before she figures out not only how to go forward, but also how to crawl the right way up, and how to sit up properly on her own too.

She discovered my talking watch the other day, and on Monday was desperately trying to work the buttons. Well, I guess that's better than what she did at first, which was to try and eat it. I'd much rather have to reset the time than have my watch drown in baby drool. ;)

No photos of Emma-Jane today, because I didn't get an oppertunity to take any. Taking a photo while holding a wriggling baby just wasn't going to work, and I knew that without even trying.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Long Fatal Love Chase

By Louisa May Alcott

"Rosamond Vivian, brought up on a remote island by an indifferent grandfather, swears she'd sell her soul to Satan for a year of freedom. When Philip Tempest enters her life, she is ripe for the plucking, but is soon caught up in a web of intrigue, cruelty and deceit stretching back far into the past. Remarkable for its portrayal of a sensual, spirited Victorian heroine, Louisa May Alcott's work, too shocking to be published during her lifetime, tells a compulsive tale of love, desire and deceit. Its publication more than a century after being written marks a new page in literary history."

(Above taken from here).

An interesting, and - I think - excellent book, with characters you can easily become familiar with, and learn to sympathise with. A great book for lovers of romance novels. Especially lovers of tragic romances.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins

"The Greatest Mystery Is How It All Began

Before the formation of Mystery Inc., Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo led separate lives - until the sudden appearance of ghosts at Coolsville Highschool brought them all together..."

(Above from here).

I'm a big fan of the Scooby-Doo movies, and this one is no exception! It was a great movie, and really funny in parts... Just what you'd expect from a Scooby-Doo movie.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Gwydion's Sunday squeaks: my first vet trip

Hi there humans. This is Gwydion again.

You'll never guess what happened to me on Tuesday morning.

I was grabbed out of my cage and shoved in the box that I came to live here in. Then the box got put on the floor, and Kero opened it, so I got picked up and put somewhere else. Then I went in to the noisy place that jiggles me about in my box - I think the humans called it a "car" or something - and when I got out of there (still in my box) it smelled different. There were all kinds of dog and cat smells and everything. Then, if that wasn't enough of an adventure for one day, I was picked up (still in my box) and put down a few times, before the box got opened and hands tried to grab for me. I wasn't having that, so started running about in the box and trying to hide in the hay that was in it. So Mami picked me up and I cuddled in to her. Next thing I know someone is grabbing at my paws while holding something that looked sharp and dangerous in thier human shaped paws. And after that Mami put me back in the box, then the whole process of being picked up, put down, moved about and going in that car thing started again. Until, finally, I was home and being put back in my cage. It was an aweful experience!

Kero told me afterwards that the place that I went to was called "the vet" and he doesn't think much of it either. I can't say I blame him. Going to the vet is no fun at all!

I felt much better after a nice bowl full of vegetables though. Speaking of which... There are some Mami left in my bowl for me, so I think I will go and eat them now. Yum, yum!

Squeak soon,
Gwydion

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Short story: Running Away

~Written by me, aged 10

Once there was a little brown and white pony. His name was Patch, because he had a great big patch over his right eye. He lived in a very large stable all alone. His owners name was Kathrine and they loved to go riding together.
One day when Patch was out in his field, he saw Kathrine's sister Georgina bringing in a white pony called Snowdrop. Patch looked at Kathrine as if he was shocked to see another pony was moving into his stable.
When he took Kathrine for their evening ride, Snowdrop and Georgina also went with them. They went to a large field where there were many other horses and ponies. Patch stopped and Kathrine jumped down off of him and told the man there their names. Kathrine then got back on Patch and they rode over to the starting line. The man started the race and all the horses and ponies ran like the wind.
Patch was in third place when they started, but he was slowly taking the lead. They only had one lap to go when they passed Snowdrop and now they were in the lead. Kathrine called to Patch, "come on boy, we can do it!" And then another horse just streamed past them and won! Kathrine said to Patch "At least we got second place and there's always next year to try again."
They went to the winners’ circle and were very surprised to see Snowdrop there. "What are you doing here?" Patch asked the little white pony. "I won!" she said. "I actually won something!" Patch walked away in disgust. He was very annoyed that a girl had won the race that he should have won.
When they got back to the stable, he was even more annoyed to find that she was here to stay and had been put in the stall right next to him! He decided there and then that he wasn't going to put up with this. So when Kathrine came to let him out in the morning he was going to run away! He didn't know where, but he was definitely going!
Kathrine came to feed them nice and early and Patch was disgusted when she fed Snowdrop first. "That's it!" he thought. "I'm going!" And as soon as Kathrine opened his door he fled. "Patch! Patch, come back here!, She shouted, but he just ignored her and jumped right over the gate and galloped off.
He slowed down to a trot and went on up the lane. He met another pony in a field. "Hello," the pony said. "What are you doing out on your own?" "I'm running away," Patch replied. "Because a new pony has come and took over my stable." "Where are you going?" the other pony asked. "It's none of your business!" Patch retorted and trotted off across the fields.
He hadn't gone far when he saw two boys playing at the edge of the field he was in and thought that he would like to join in, so he trotted over to them. "COR! What a smart pony you are," the biggest boy called to his brother. "Hey Mike, come and see this." "Can we take him home Mark?" Mike asked. "Please say we can." "Let's take him back to the yard and ask mum," Mark told his little brother. He took hold of the halter that was on Patch and led him to the yard. He walked with them good until Mark tried to put him in the barn and then he pulled free and galloped off across the field. "Catch him Mark, please," the little boy started to run, but it was no use Patch was too fast for him. Mike was very upset. Patch had gone on for a good few miles when he slowed his pace and only then did he realise how hungry he was.
He saw a big barn about two hundred yards away and decided that he would see if there was any food in it. He just walked inside, when suddenly a man appeared and threw a rope around his neck. He tried to get free, but the man was too strong and they showed him a big bag of oats. Because he was so hungry he couldn't refuse it. The man then put him into a horsebox and Patch heard the engine of a car start up and the horsebox started to move. Somebody was stealing him!
Patch was starting to wish that he hadn't been so jealous and run away. He was missing Kathrine so much that it hurt. He even started to like the idea of sharing a stable with that white pony.
Patch felt that he had been in the horsebox for hours when it suddenly stopped. A man came and opened the box and untied him, in no time at all Patch struggled free and started to run, but the fence he tried to jump was far too high for him. He hurt his right leg. "Whoa boy, come on, calm down, good boy," Patch recognised that voice! It was Kathrine! She had been looking for him. So nobody had stolen him he was going back to her! "Right," said the man that was there with them. "Let's take a look at this leg." Patch let the man have a look, after all he was a vet, and he knew what he was doing. "Superficial, nothing to worry about. He will be as good as new in about a week. No riding him for a few days, do you understand?" "Yes," Kathrine answered giving Patch a great big hug and she put him back in his stall and went to fetch him some fresh hay.
He poked his head out of the door and saw the white pony. "Hello Snowdrop," he said. "It’s great to be home and to have some company for once, and it's better to have second prize than to have no prize at all." He turned back into his stall and settled down to sleep off his adventure and when Kathrine came back with his hay, he was fast asleep!


AS TOLD TO KAREN PORTMAN
BY VICTORIA, AGED 10.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Random question: getting sleepy?

Whenever you can't sleep, and need a little help, what do you do?

All done!

I still have to get on to the council's maintenance department about the skirting board in the bathroom. And we haven't done the painting. But still... The rest of the work is done! :)

Kero's korner: grooming and more (FD)

Hi humans, it's Kero here.

Firstly, here's a photo Dadi took of me wishing Mami would share her ice lolly with me.



The above photo was taken while we were waiting for Mamgu to come and get us a couple of weeks ago on a Sunday morning. I was really glad I had a nice dinner waiting for me at Willow's house, since Mami never did share her lolly with me. The cheek of some humans!

this week (Tuesday, in fact), I went to the groomer. Mamgu took me in her car. Just the two of us... Mami didn't come with us for some reason. Here are some photos of me that were taken after I got home. I almost always get a photo shoot after my grooming sessions.





I was really tired when I got home, because before I got to go indoors we got Mami from our house, and we - Mami, Mamgu and I - went to the park in town for a walk around it. I love walkies, so I enjoyed that. I was a bit worried at first though, because the park is really close to the vet, and I was worried that I was going to the vet. As it was Gwydion went there... I know, because he smelled of vets when he got home. Poor little guy! I'm really glad I was able to escape the same fate. Though I heard Mami and Dadi talking, and apparently it's my turn next. I hope they forget about that... I HATE vet trips, and I really don't want to go! I'm happy to go back to the park again though.

Licks and sniffs,
Kero

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Apology, council and Emma-Jane

I feel like I'm saying this a lot lately, but... Sorry I've not been around the blogs properly lately. I've been just about keeping up with posts, but sometimes it's taking a couple of days before I visit blogs again. Part of this is due to the things going on with the renovation work, but part of it isn't. The part that isn't is due to the fact I'm not feeling 100% right now (just a bit run down) but isn't helped by the fact I've had a lot going on with figure gaming and roleplaying these past few weeks. Anyway, sorry. And if I don't visit your blog sometimes, it's nothing personal, and I will get there... Honest!

As regards the work being done...

They need to come tomorrow to put some plaster over a hole they left in the wall when moving the location of the cooker switch slightly. They forgot to do it, so when they came to put the wood bits on the bottom of the cupboards now that the floor is sorted, we pointed it out. So, they're coming to sort that tomorrow. Also, when we moved in the skirting board was missing from one side of the bathroom. We did mention it at the time, but nobody ever came to replace it. Then we found out about their plans to do renovation work, so we figured we wouldn't bother nagging at them, since it would be done when they did the work. That's what we thought, anyway. But it isn't what happened, and when we mentioned it today we were told we have to get in touch with the council's maintenance department again, because it wasn't in their contract so they couldn't do it. So, I guess we do need to nag at them about that after all. Still, other than that the work is now done. We'll just need to sort the painting when we can. Not sure when that will happen though, so I will see about getting some photos of the work for you. I can just post new ones again when we do the painting and the rooms are completed.


I saw Emma-Jane again yesterday. Her first tooth - which has been bugging her for a while - seems to have cut through the gum. She's 5 months old now, and her motor skills are starting to be put in to practice. She's now getting the hang of grabbing for items - most of which end up in her mouth - and is desperately trying to sit herself up. She can sit up with minimum support now, and I'm pretty sure she'll be sitting up without support pretty soon. She's also starting to practice making different sound combinations... I think she's going to be one of those babies who are ahead of most other babies her own age. I also think it might be time to start being careful what we say around her, in case her first word ends up being something we'd rather she didn't say at all.

That's all I have to say today, so... Enjoy whatever's left of your day, and stay safe! :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Lunch ideas (FD)

With making tucks each week for club, I sometimes find I need a few tips on getting variety in my tuck bag. So, I looked for some tips for making lunches for kids, since if they're fun for kids, they're bound to be fun for adults too, right? Then, after finding them, I thought to myself, "yu know what? Some of my blog friends have kids or grandkids, so perhaps they'll find these tips useful too?" So, here they are (and just in time for back to school ideas too):

Just bear in mind, they aren't my tips, and some of the ideas wouldn't be aplicable if you are a vegetarian, or if you or your kids don't like certain items mentioned in the suggestions.

***

A Few Easy Fool-Proof Lunch Recipes

Cookie Cutter Sandwiches
Any sandwich cut with a large cookie cutter; star, heart,
dinosaur, animals, etc. will become an irresistible treat!

Pin Wheel Sandwiches
Spread your child's favorite sandwich filling onto a tortilla
Roll it up and slice it into smaller pieces. Our favorite
fillings are - peanut butter and jelly, lunch meat with cream cheese or Laughing Cow Cheese?.

Cheesy Stars
Use a small star cookie cutter to cut cheddar cheese
pieces. In a separate bag provide crackers or apple slices. You can also use the cookie cutter to cut bologna,
ham or turkey.

Bugs on Log
An old favorite with kids - Fill celery with cream cheese or peanut butter and top with raisins. An equally delicious alternative to peanut butter is cream cheese or Laughing Cow Cheese.

Smiley Face Fun
Spread peanut butter or cream cheese on a rice cake.
Make a face using raisins or any dried fruit and a full
head of hair with coconut flakes. This is a bit hard to pack for a lunch but a zip close plastic bag usually works
pretty well.

Cookie Dippers
Send vanilla wafer cookies along with a favorite yogurt.
Kids love to dip and this way they are getting less sugar
than most packaged treats.

Fun Chips
Use large cookie cutters to cut a flour tortilla or wrap.
Arrange on cookie sheet and toast in a 400 degree oven for 6-8 mins.
Send to school plain or with bean dip for dipping.
Try brushing a very small amount of olive oil or cooking spray.
Then sprinkle parmesan cheese or cinnamon sugar. If you try the cinnamon sugar, send the chips along with a container of applesauce for dipping.

Kids love to dip
Pack string cheese and rolled meat slices with a honey
mustard dressing for dipping.

I made it myself !
I find that my children are more apt to eat a brown bag lunch they've helped to make. Whether it's the cookies they baked with me or the sandwich they made in the morning.

Packaging
The retail world knows...enticing packaging sells. Especially when it comes to kids. Unfortunately, what's inside is not always nutritious. Solve this dilemma by generating your own fun packaging. Before the school year begins, stock up on cheerfully colored re-usable containers, fun party napkins and stickers for plastic bags. A healthy lunch will be fun to eat!

(Above from this page).

Obviously, lunch ideas aren't limited to these suggestions. I mean, you can pack salads, rice - if the person having it has no issues with cold rice - with some kind of sauce (just bear in mind that something like that would need appropriate cutlery included in the lunch bag/box). But maybe the above tips will help to kick start your imagination. And, hey, maybe if that did happen you can post your suggestions in the comments section below? Just a thought!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What little news I have

Tomorrow the people come back to finish the floor. They started it today, but they first had to level it out before putting the new flooring over the top, and that had to be left to dry for several hours before it could even be walked on, let alone have the other stuff put on top of it. Sorry if you're confused, but I'm not sure of it all myself. All I know is nobody was allowed to walk on the bathroom and kitchen floors for a large part of today, and the people are coming back to do what they called "the actual flooring" tomorrow.

I really feel sorry for anyone who has young children around while this kind of work is being done. I can only imagine how much hastle that would be with no access to the kitchen and bathroom for a large portion of the day. Especially if it's being done during the school holidays - like ours is - because there isn't even the option of the children being out of the way for most of the day at school. Also, it's been enough of a headache for us with just us and the furbabies... Human babies are more hard to look after in general, and can't be put in cages (like Gwydion) or taken out the front for a pee instead (like Kero).

Anyway, Kelly couldn't leave home today because we didn't know what time the guys were showing up. As it turned out, two came to unplug our washing machine and move it and our fridge out of the kitchen around 8:15 am, the other guys showed up soon after 10:00 am, but we didn't know that would be the case, so Mam took me to the vet with Gwydion to get his claws clipped. She was coming anyway, because she was inlisted as taxi for Kero for his grooming appointment, since he had his grooming appointment today, but the one who used to do pickups doesn't work there any more, so I have to arrange his transport myself. Gwydion's appointment was 9:00 am, so the first guys were here before I left, and the others were here after I got home again. Kero's grooming appointment was 10:30 am, so he did end up going a bit early, but better early than late, right? Well, I think so. More on Gwydion's vet appointment and Kero's grooming appointment in their posts this weekend.

After Kero got home with Mam, we (Mam and I) took him for a walk, which passed some of the time that the floor wasn't allowed to be walked on for. But we still had to have the baby gate shut to keep Kero in the front room with us for a while until we could be sure the floor was OK to be walked on, since we didn't want it needing to be redone. And - more importantly - we didn't want Kero ending up with the floor stuff stuck to his paws.

Being totally honest, I don't have much to say today, since most of my time has been taken up with visits to my parents' place (most of which I've gotten to see Emma-Jane in), trips to town with Mam, Dad's gaming club, and attempting to keep chores up to date while making sure these workers are doing their job. Although, I have managed to fit in watching a few movies (reviews for which will be posted soon) and working with Kelly on some prep work for my character for the roleplaying campaign he runs (which is due to start back up again soon), since I joined it at the end of his last stint using an NPC (non-player character) he'd had floating about, so we had to tweak it a bit to make it my own. If you know what I mean. I can't wait until this work is done and I can get back in to my normal routine. Well, as normal as I actually have when it comes to a routine, because I don't have one that's set in stone, just a rough plan for what I like to achieve each day. But I'm sure you know what I mean by "back to my normal routine" though, right?

Monday, August 16, 2010

A "dear me" letter

Dear Me,

I am writing this letter to explain the pieces of writing I plan to do in the near future. So, here goes.

I have a few ideas floating about in my head. One is a short story about sight loss. I hope to find a good way to write a story about my sight loss. I would like to do this for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that I think it would be good Therapy for me, since it would give me an oppertunity to get how I feel down on paper, and tell people how I'm feeling without having to say the words out loud. The other reason is that I would like to contribute to the information available for people dealing with sight loss, since there doesn't seem to be anything that truely tells people that they aren't alone with the feelings and fears they are probably feeling. All the information seems to be centred around the medical side of things, and physically dealing with skills they need to adapt, but none of it deals with the emotional side of sight loss.

I would also like to compile a book of short children's stories. This one is more for my enjoyment, though I certainly hope that the children enjoy it too. There will be books of animal stories, stories about inanimate objects that are alive, and stories about children who have all kinds of fun adventures. I'm hoping to include morals in at least some of them, so as to revive the types of stories with lessons in them that were so popular in the past.

I have a few other ideas floating about in my head, but most of them are only half formed ideas, so I wont discuss them just yet.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my future ideas for writing projects.

Sincerely,
Myself

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Gwydion's Sunday squeaks: humans - again! (FD)

Hi humans. This is Gwydion again.

There has been noise and chaos with lots of really noisy humans again this past week. Just like Mami said there would be. It was really scary! So I spent a lot of this past week hidden in my bed part of my cage so that I couldn't be seen by the scary, noisy humans. Things finally got quieter on Friday though, so that was good. I think Mami said more noisy humans are coming back next week though, but apparently this will be the last time they come back. I hope so, because I would like to get back to the peace and quiet I had before they showed up. How can I enjoy a quiet chomp on a carrot, while listening to the birds, with all the noise these humans are making? Not to mention the fact it's very difficult to get my morning and afternoon naps in with all that noise! And we piggies need our naps!

We also need our cuddles, as I quite noisily pointed out to Mami yesterday when she didn't pick me up right away when she came to give me my Guinea Pig Crunch in the morning. She ought to be ashamed of herself not giving me my cuddles right away! And, yes, I did tell her that. I guess my training with these humans isn't quite complete after all... And there I was thinking they were easy to train. Well, you know what they say... Don't count your carrots before they've grown! In other words, don't get ahead of yourself.

Anyway, I'm going to go have my food and enjoy a nice, quiet, peaceful Sunday afternoon!

Squeak soon,
Gwydion

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Babbling 'bout babies (kinda FD)

The reason for my comment about how Kero and I needed to go to my parents' place for the day worked out well for me was because Mam babysits baby Emma-Jane on a Wednesday. This meant that on Wednesday morning Dad had a car full, since they had Emma-Jane with them already when they picked us up. Dad was driver for the day, because Wednesday is shopping day for my parents, so they were going shopping after grabbing Kero and I. Actually, that's part of the reason why I was picked up too... Someone had to stay in the car with Kero. Before shopping though, we stopped at the petrol station to put some air in Dad's tires. While we were there, I took these photos of Emma-Jane in her car seat.





Then - after the garage - Kero and I stayed in the car while Mam, Dad and Emma-Jane went shopping. When we got back to my parents' place, Emma-Jane had some play time, then I fed her and she fell asleep in my arms. After her nap was over she was ready for more food and play time, so Mam gave her some food, then she played for a while in her bouncer while we had cartoons on to amuse her, since she likes the fast movement in cartoons like Tom And Jerry. While she was in her bouncer, we got these photos.




I stayed with my parents for dinner, so by the time I was going home so was Emma-Jane.

Then, this past Wednesday, Mam invited me up there for the day to see her again. I didn't realise before we left that we were stopping to see baby Michael on the way to my parents' place or I'd have taken my camera with me again so I could get some new photos of him. I did have my phone with me, but only thought about using the camera on it afterwards, which is why I have no new photo of baby Michael, but do have another of Emma-Jane. This time taken while she was laying on her changing mat on the floor for a kick about... She was fully dressed, but laying on there so she had freedom to kick her legs about.



Shortly after this photo was taken, Emma-Jane rolled herself on to her stomach for the very first time. And, just before this photo was taken, she held her own bottle for the very first time during her feed. She didn't manage it for the full feed, but come on, she's only about 4 and a half months old, so she's doing really well. At least, I think she is.

Baby Michael hasn't reached any milestones yet, but he's only a little over three weeks old now, so nobody expects him to be doing more than eating, sleeping, filling his nappy, crying and growing. And he's doing those things. Although he is a bit slower putting on weight than everyone would like him to be, so isn't quite as heavy as expected for a baby his age (given how heavy he was when he was born). He'll get there though.

Sorry I don't have new photos of baby Michael... I really have to stop leaving my camera behind!

And, the final part of this baby themed post...

Mam had Emma-Jane again yesterday, and was coming to town with her, so she brought her to see me. We went for a walk with Kero, then Mam, Emma-Jane and I went up town, and I got to push the pushchair for a bit up town. Then we came back to my place, and I had a quick little cuddle before Mam and Emma-Jane left. It would have been a longer cuddle, but she was tired, so I wanted to let her go in her car seat and sleep before she started to get over tired and grumpy. She's usually a happy little thing, but not if she's tired, hungry, or dirty.

I'm really proud of Kero with her, since the car seat was on the floor in our living room for a bit, and he just sniffed at her, then got bored and left her alone. I think her pulling his fur during their first meeting has made him reluctant to stay too close for too long.