Friday, April 09, 2021

#PetKid Pals: Push-Push


Hi everyone.  This is Lilie the Westie.

 

I have a new friend for you to meet today.  So, let’s see who it is, shall we?

 

Hello new friend.  What’s your name? If you have an unusual name, or there’s an interesting story behind it, I’d love to hear about it, and am sure others would too, so please share.

 

“Hello, my name is Push-Push. I was originally going to be called daiquiri, after my friend Robbie’s favourite drink, but my Dad changed it to Push-Push. He gave me that name because when I was a small kitten, I used to roll onto my back under the couch and used my claws to pull myself along underneath it. My Dad thought that was very funny and changed my name. I didn’t mind because I was only six weeks old at the time.”

 

That’s an interesting name, and thanks for sharing how you got it.  So, Push-Push, what species and breed(s) are you?

 

“My Dad says I am a ‘pavement special’. My Mom and Dad got me from a shelter. I was born in a box in the parking lot outside a Kentucky Fried Chicken Drive-thru. My brothers and sisters were all rescued, and I was only in the shelter for a few days when I was chosen my Mom and went to live at my forever home.

 

Mom and Dad live in a small house down the garden path from a bigger house where my friends, Robbie and Terence, and their two sons live.”

 

That’s great that you found your forever home before you’d been in the shelter for long.  I love your setup... Must be great to have so many people looking out for you.  Describe your appearance for us, please.

 

“I am a tortoise shell cat with a very pretty coat in four different colours: mustard, orange, white and black. I have a sister, Smudge. She is a short-legged tortoise shell cat.”

 

You sound very pretty.  In fact,I know you are, because here's a photo Robbie sent us of you:



 

Anyway, Push-Push, I know you said something about a sister and two houses, but can you explain for us... Where do you live? What sort of place do you live in? Who do you share it with? Do any other animals live with you? Or is it just you and your humans?

 

“As I mentioned earlier, I have my sleeping home with Mom and Dad and my visiting home. I like to spend time lying on the Persian carpet in the lounge while Robbie works. Sometimes I scratch the carpet and then Robbie sprays it with a nasty smelling stuff, so I don’t want to scratch there anymore. More of the time, I’m happy to just lie and doze in the sun.

 

I have a big garden to play in and I’m allowed to hunt rats and lizards. My Mom hates lizards. I am not allowed to hunt birds as Robbie is very fond of birds.

 

There are lots of fruit trees in our garden: a fig tree, a peach tree, a blackberry bush, two plum trees and a lemon tree, so you can just imagine how many bird visitors we get. The Loerie birds were so fat after eating all the plums, Robbie was worried they wouldn’t be able to fly away from me, but they did.

 

We also have four Hadeda birds that live in our garden. These birds are big, so my sister and I only stalk them for play. The also have loud voices. In the mornings, they sometimes sit on the roof and sing for us.”

 

That sounds great.  But what’s your favourite thing to do?

 

“I really like to sleep. I lie in the sun and sleep as much as possible. In the early evening, Smudge and I like to stalk the birds and at night we sometimes catch lizards and rats and leave them as gifts for our Dad. One time, we left our lizard gift in Mom’s shoe and she didn’t find it until she looked for something she said was ‘smelly’. She wasn’t as grateful as I would have expected when she found that gift. It had been there for a few weeks, but still, a thank you would have been nice.”

 

I agree.  These humans just don’t appreciate things properly, do they? By the way, do you like toys? If so, do you have a favourite toy? If yes, what is it?

 

“Smudge and I aren’t very interested in toys. We have a scratching post which we like to use and that is all. Sometimes when Mom and Dad’s other daughters come for a visit and bring their children, they try to interest us in toys. We only oblige them for a short while to be nice and then we run away and hide in Robbie’s lounge.”

 

Fair enough.  How about food? What’s your favourite food?

 

“We only eat special cat pellets our Dad buys for us at the vet. Robbie let me sniff some of her gingerbread at Christmas time but, yuck, what a strong and horrible smell. I didn’t even stay long enough for her to take a proper picture of me.”

 

That’s a shame.  Hey, with all those humans some of them have to do things you love.  So, what’s the one thing any – or all - of your humans do that you love most?

 

“My Mom lets me sleep on her couch when she rests during the day and Robbie lets me sleep on her best carpet. Dad looks after us nicely and washes all our blankets and gives us our food.

 

I like to visit Robbie in the morning for cuddles, but I only stay for about 15 minutes. I don’t want to spoil her.

 

My sister is a one cat girl. She loves Dad and follows him around like a dog. She lies on the floor in his office or in the patch of sunshine just outside his office. When he isn’t there she cries until he comes home. I’ve told her she is silly to behave like a dog instead of a cat, but she ignores me.”

 

That all sounds really great.  And your sister sounds like my brother, Logan.  There are other humans in the world... Some animals just don’t get that though, and insist on sticking like glue to the one human.  Anyway, how about things you don’t like? What’s the one thing any – or all - of your humans do that you hate most?

 

“I live with lovely humans and have a beautiful home. I can’t think of anything they do that I hate. Sometimes the grandchildren are a bit noisy and boisterous, but when I’ve had enough I just disappear for a while.”

 

I’m really pleased to hear that.  OK, so... I happen to know one of your humans is a writer/blogger.  Has she written anything about you? If yes, can you tell us about it? If no, do you think she will in the future?

 

“Robbie is a blogger, but she doesn’t write about us often. I have done two guest posts for other bloggers, actually, that is why she wanted the gingerbread picture. Oh well, I can’t please her all the time.

 

Robbie likes to write about animals she models from fondant. She has made a lot of cats and wrote a story called the Dinah in Wonderland, the fondant cat parade. If you would like to see her fondant cats, you can download the story for free here: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/dinah-in-wonderland-fondant-cat-parade/

 

Oh, yes, I met one of her fondant cats once.  In fact, you can read my interview with the fondant Siamese cat by clicking here.  Back to you though, Push-Push.  And, I’m curious, what do you do while your human writes/works on blog posts?

 

“I sleep, of course. That’s what we cats do best.”

 

Ah, of course.  I might have known.  Well, I should probably let you get another catnap in.  Before you go though, is there anything else you’d like people to know about you?

 

“I am clever and I wind my humans around my paw. I am proud of my intelligence and good looks.

 

Thank you for inviting me to come and chat with you. It’s been such fun.”

 

I can see you’re a very clever kitty.  And, you’re very welcome.  Thanks for visiting.

 

***~~~***

 

Author CV – Roberta/Robbie Cheadle

Robbie Cheadle has published nine books for children and one poetry book. She has branched into writing for adults and young adults and, in order to clearly separate her children's books from her adult books, is writing for older readers under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle.

Robbie Cheadle's Sir Chocolate children's picture books are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions which children can make under adult supervision. Her books for older children also incorporate recipes that are relevant to the storylines.

Roberta Eaton Cheadle's supernatural stories combine fabulous paranormal elements with fascinating historical facts.

Children's picture books - available as a square book and an A5 book (co-authored with Michael Cheadle):
Sir Chocolate and the strawberry cream story and cookbook
Sir Chocolate and the baby cookie monster story and cookbook
Sir Chocolate and the sugar dough bees story and cookbook
Sir Chocolate and the Condensed Milk River story and cookbook
Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Crystal Caves story and cookbook
Sir Chocolate and the Fondant Five story and cookbook
Sir Chocolate and the Ice Cream Rainbow Fairies story and cookbook

Middle school books:
Silly Willy Goes to Cape Town (includes five fun party cake ideas)
While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with Elsie Hancy Eaton)

Poetry book:
Open a new door (co-authored with Kim Blades)

Supernatural fantasy YA novel:
Through the Nethergate

 

Supernatural historical adult novel:

A Ghost and His Gold

Horror Anthologies (edited by Dan Alatorre):
Spellbound
Nightmareland
Dark Visions

Wings & Fire

Paranormal Anthologies (edited by Kaye Lynne Booth):
Spirits of the West
Whispers of the Past

Murder mystery Anthology (edited by Stephen Bentley)
Death Among Us

 



 

Robbie Cheadle’s books

Sir Chocolate books

Sir Chocolate and the strawberry cream berries story and cookbook

The adventures of Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet in poetry form. Michael came up with the idea of Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet and many of the characters contained in the books, when he was ten years old. His ideas were such fun that Robbie decided to turn them into little verse books for his entertainment. The book contains recipes for children to make with adult assistance.

Sir Chocolate and the baby cookie monster story and cookbook

Book 2 of the Sir Chocolate series: Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet find a lost baby cookie monster. Join them on an adventure to return the baby to its mother and learn how to make some of their delicious recipes at the same time.

Sir Chocolate and the sugar dough bees story and cookbook

A greedy snail damages the flower fields and the fondant bees are in danger of starving. Join Sir Chocolate on an adventure to find the fruit drop fairies who have magic healing powers and discover how to make some of his favourite foods on the way.

Sir Chocolate and the Condensed Milk River story and cookbook

The Condensed Milk River where Sir Chocolate goes fishing has stopped flowing. The water creatures are losing their homes. Can Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet solve this problem? Five lovely new recipes are also included.

Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Crystal Caves story and cookbook

The Condensed Milk River where Sir Chocolate goes fishing has stopped flowing. The water creatures are losing their homes. Can Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet solve this problem? Five lovely new recipes are also included.

Sir Chocolate and the Fondant Five Story and Cookbook

Number 6 in the Sir Chocolate series: Five zoo animals go missing and Sir Chocolate needs to find them. Includes five lovely new recipes.

Sir Chocolate and the Ice cream Rainbow Fairies Story and Cookbook

Join Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet on a fun adventure to discover why the milkshake rain is pale and white.

Silly Willy goes to Cape Town

When the George family go on holiday to Cape Town, Cautious Craig cannot believe what he has to endure at the hands of his naughty and wilful younger brother, Silly Willy. Willy throws tantrums at the most embarrassing and inappropriate times, causes a commotion on the aeroplane and tries to steal a chameleon from Butterfly World. What is a poor older brother expected to do in these situations?

While the Bombs Fell

What was it like for children growing up in rural Suffolk during World War 2?

Elsie and her family live in a small double-storey cottage in Bungay, Suffolk. Every night she lies awake listening anxiously for the sound of the German bomber planes. Often they come and the air raid siren sounds signalling that the family must leave their beds and venture out to the air raid shelter in the garden.

Despite the war raging across the English channel, daily life continues with its highlights, such as Christmas and the traditional Boxing Day fox hunt, and its wary moments when Elsie learns the stories of Jack Frost and the ghostly and terrifying Black Shuck that haunts the coastline and countryside of East Anglia.

Includes some authentic World War 2 recipes.

Open a new door

Open a New Door is a poetic peep into the lives of the poets, Kim Blades and Robbie Cheadle, both of whom live in South Africa.

 

The book is divided into four categories: God bless Africa, God bless my family and friends, God bless me and God bless corporates and work. Each part is sub-divided into the good, the bad and the ugly of the two poets’ experiences, presented in rhyming verse, free-style, haiku and tanka, in each of these categories and include colourful depictions of their thoughts and emotions.

 

The purpose of this book of poetry is encapsulated in the following tanka and haiku poems:

What drives me to write?

To share my innermost thoughts

The answer is clear

It’s my personal attempt

To make some sense of this world.

 

Inspiration blossoms

Like the unfurling petals

Of the Desert Rose

 

~

 

Buy Robbie’s books from...

Purchase links:

Amazon US

https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ

Amazon UK

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ

TSL Publications

https://tslbooks.uk/robbie-cheadle/

 

~

 

Follow Robbie Cheadle at:

Website

https://www.robbiecheadle.co.za/

Blog

https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15584446.Robbie_Cheadle

Twitter

https://twitter.com/bakeandwrite

 

***~~~***

 

Thanks for coming over to meet Push-Push, and hear about her and all her humans.  I hope you enjoyed getting to know her.  If so, please consider leaving a comment, sharing this post around, or both.

 

Also, if you’re a bird, cat, chinchilla, degu, dog, fish, gerbil, guinea pig, hamster, rabbit, rat, tortoise, or any other non-human animal, you share your home with a human who calls themselves a writer – yes, blogging counts – and you’d like to become a PetKid Pal yourself, don’t hesitate to get in touch.  You can do so via the “PetKid Pals” page, where you can also meet all the others we’ve had as guests in the past.  We love meeting new friends, so hope to hear from you soon.

 

Lots of licks,

Lilie

Monday, April 05, 2021

Of #Covid Jabs And Broken Fingers

 We've all now had our first Covid vaccinations.  By 'we' I mean Mam, Dad, and my brother,Wayne, as well as both Kelly and myself.


Kelly got a letter inviting him to book to have his - addressed to the new address in Wales, but inviting him to book it for England, with only the number to call about it in England included in the letter.  When I got that straightened out, we ended up both booked for March 24th.  So, Mam had hers on March 13th, Dad on March 20th, Kelly and me on March 24th, and Wayne on March 30th.

 

They spoke to the medical advisor they have, and decided I should be OK to have mine, but they'd keep me a bit longer for observation afterwards than they normally do for people.  I wasn't feeling entirely reassured, but I know of people with issues with flu jabs who did do fine, so I agreed to have my jab.


Mostly everyone was fine.  Kelly was just tired with a sore arm for about 24 hours and then fine.  Dad and Wayne have had sore arms for a bit, but are otherwise fine.  Mam got a headache to go with her sore arm, and both those things lingered a while, but she's otherwise fine.  As for me...

 

You'll know about this if you've been following my posts on Twitter and Facebook, but... Yeah, I'm having a bad time with it.  I seemed to be doing OK at first; we thought I was just going the same way as Mam, with a sore arm and headache, and the only difference between how we were reacting being that my arm got badly bruised in the jab area.

 

But my symptoms got worse several days in.

 

To cut a long story short, I got bad enough we called 111 (the non-life-threatening emergency number for here in the UK... For if you need medical advice but can't get to speak to a doctor) and was advised to go to hospital. 

 

Every muscle hurts, my joints are stiff and achy, my head feels like it's trying to explode (and only gets worse if I concentrate for a long time) and I feel like an elephant is sitting on my chest.  Not to mention, my arm is still very bruised, I'm exhausted even though I'm sleeping a LOT, the pain is making me feel sick (and dizzy when it increases) and my temperature keeps dropping and then going back to normal before dropping again (my version of having a fever, since mine runs high normally and drops when I'm not well).


With allergies and existing health issues, there's nothing they can even do to help with the pain, and since so little is still known about this, they don't even know if I'll be better in a few days, a few weeks, or somewhere in between.  They can't even be sure if I'll have lasting issues from this.  All they can tell me for sure is I'd likely react the same - or worse - if I have the second vaccination, so I should probably not have it.  I decided not to mention to them that given how I'm doing right now I'd already decided I'm not having that second jab.

 

In case you're wondering: I had the Pfizer vaccine.  Kelly and I both had that from the same batch on the same day, so we know it's me and not the vaccine itself.  Mam and Dad - and I'm pretty sure Wayne too - had the Oxford, which is actually the one people are more commonly having issues with according to the doctor and nurses at the hospital.  They apparently see a huge percentage less bad reactions with the Pfizer one.  I'm just one of those people who really doesn't do well with these jabs.


Anyway, my time on the computer is seriously limited right now, because I can't tolerate it for too long, but I have some things I want to be posting over the next few Fridays, so I'll be using my computer time to focus on setting those up, especially since it's going to take longer than usual due to having to be done in short stints.  Even this post is having to be done over a couple of days.  This means it's likely going to be a while before I can start tackling the ever-increasing pile of eMails and post notifications waiting for me.  Please bear with me.  I'll do what I can, when I can, but the doctor's advice is to rest, drink plenty of fluids, take whatever pain relief I can tolerate, and ride it out.  It's not the most helpful advice out there, but my body agrees with it, so I'm going to do it.

 

On the bright side: at least my broken finger is healing well, and I can use the hand some now, as long as I'm careful of the middle finger (the damaged one) and don't do it for long, or for anything fiddly or heavy.  Not that I can manage fiddly and heavy right now anyhow.  Still, at least something is improving, which is comforting.


And, despite her best efforts, Mollie has not yet managed to figure out how to steal the bandage from my hand.  She tries every day... She seems to find it fascinating for some reason.  Silly chinchilla!

Friday, April 02, 2021

Artemis The #Tortoise's Personalized Towel

Hi everyone.  This is Artemis the tortoise.


Mummy arranged for me to have a couple of special towels to use after my bath time.  They're super soft, and not only have a picture of a tortoise on them, but also have my name on them, so everyone knows they're mine.  They were handmade just for me, at Mummy's request, by a nice lady in the tortoise group Mummy and I are on over on that Facebook place.


Here's a photo of me on one of my personalized towels:




And here are a couple of other photos, which were taken around the same time, where I got bored of posing on my towel for photos - because I thought they were taking too long, and wasn't going to stand there waiting for them all day - so started heading off to explore:




~Artemis

Monday, March 29, 2021

Lili The #Westie On Her 4th Birthday, And Getting Groomed

 Hi everyone.  This is Lilie the Westie.


My birthday was great!

 

I got a visit from Izabel, so played with her a bit (until she had enough of playing, which doesn't take long with Izi) and us three dogs all had some chicken Nana sorted for us.  I got a new teddy too - a honking duck - but Mummy and Daddy forgot to get a photo of me with it, so I can't show you it.


Plus, me and Logan got new tags with our names and phone numbers on, and went for a much needed grooming session.  We got cut shorter than Mummy and Daddy usually have us done, because how Avirus has messed things up means Mummy has had trouble getting us in for a grooming session, so we needed it.  Anyway, here are some photos Nana took after she brought us home to Mummy after we got groomed:




You might be able to see our new tags in the shots.


Izabel still needs a groom though, as you may be able to tell from this next photo:




Nana is hoping to arrange for that soon.  I think Izi will be glad when she does.

 

Lots of licks,

Lilie

Friday, March 26, 2021

Lilie The #Westie On Vet Trips And Mummy's Broken Paw

Hi everyone.  This is Lilie the Westie.

 

Today is my birthday.  I’m four years old.  But I’ll tell you about my birthday next week.

 

In case you don't know, Mummy broke her paw.  She went to the people vet for it and everything.  She doesn’t play right at the moment, and can’t go walkies because she can’t use her ball on a stick, and Mummy can’t go walkies without that – I don’t know why, but it has something to do with her eyes being broken.  I offered to help, but apparently what     I do isn’t helpful.  Her loss.  I do wish she’d figure out how to throw my ball properly with her other paw though.

 

Since Mummy couldn’t, Daddy had to take me to the vet with Nana.  We went in Nana’s car again.  We could walk to the vet in the old place, but the new vet and new house are too far apart to walk, so it has to be a car ride.  Mummy says if Nana couldn’t do it we’d have to ask Grandad, and if he couldn’t either we’d have to go in one of those taxi things.

 

Logan and Izabel didn’t come to the vet this time.  Daddy and Nana only took me.  Both Logan and Izabel stayed with Mummy.  I hear they were boring and mostly just curled up and napped by Mummy.  Those two have less energy between them than I have by myself, and they're both roughly half my age (Izabel turned two back in October, and Logan will be two next month).

 

Anyway, the vet is happy with how I’m doing on my special pills for my itchies, so gave us more.  I still have some itchies - I always will – but the pills help loads, so I’m not so sore from scratching, and don’t have to keep stopping playing to deal with itchies all the time.  The vet says hopefully the pills will keep helping, otherwise I’ll have to have a special shot every month.  Luckily, so far so good.

 

Lots of licks,

Lilie

Friday, March 19, 2021

#Pets, #Crafting, #Baking, #MothersDay, A Birthday, And Medical Mutterings


 

 

The above photo shows Artemis enjoying a bit of green bean, and is included just because she's cute, and because I took it (how much she was enjoying that bean made me feel I had to take a photo). Though I'm starting the post with it, it was a last moment addition to the post, since I only took it yesterday (Thursday). Sorry if it's not a great shot, but I was doing everything one-handed.  If you saw my post on social media, you'll know why.  If you didn't, you'll understand by the end of this post.

         

*~*~* 

         

Despite the fact it's still a little bit chaotic in there, I found an excuse to play in my craft room a little.  Well, technically two excuses: Mother's Day (which was March 14th here in the UK this year) and the birthday of one of my brothers (which was March 15th).

 

So, this past Saturday (March 13th) I spent a bit of time in the craft room to make them cards.  And here they are, for anyone who would like to see them:


    


            

        

Presentwise...

 

I brought Mam a new purse (wallet) as well as a magnifying glass with a light on it that would help her when she's trying to read things, since she's said a few times recently she could do with both things.  I made sure the magnifying glass was one that also has a light on it on purpose, since she says her living room is quite dark, so I thought that would also help her with seeing to read things, since good lighting can help in itself.  It's also lightweight and easy to grip (designed to be so for people, such as children, the elderly, or people with medical conditions that affect their hands or arms, who might struggle to hold anything heavy for extended periods of time).  She seemed really pleased with what I got her.

 

And I gave Wayne some money, because he said that's what he wanted.

         

*~*~* 

         

Mam and I cooked a roast dinner for Mother's Day. It was Mam's idea, so no comments about how I made my Mam cook on Mother's Day, please.  I didn't make her, she insisted, even though I asked her a million times if she wouldn't rather not do so.

 

Anyway, we were cooking for four, since Mam always cooks her next door neighbour dinner on a Sunday, so we made sure to make enough that she'd have one to take back to him as well as the meals for me, Mam, and Kelly.  As it happened, there was alsosome left that I put aside to have a couple of days later for a leftovers dinner, which meant it ended up being Wednesday before I had to worry about cooking again, since Dad provided my dinner for Monday (as I'll explain in a moment).

 

It was a chicken dinner for the rest of them, but we made me a vegan potato and beetroot gratin, which Mam had spotted the recipe for when looking for something for me to have with my potatoes, parsnips, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower.  I wouldn't have minded not having anything else with all that veg, but she insisted, and the potato and beetroot gratin did sound nice, so we made it.  It was beetroot, and potatoes, sliced, and then layered with some vegan cheese, with a white sauce (flour, vegan butter, and vegan milk... Oat in this case, since it's what I had open).  It was very nice too.  Here's what it looked like after it was cooked, both before and after we started serving some of it:




We also made pear and apple ccrumble, though I didn't get any photos of that.  There was regular vanilla icecream to go with that for Mam and Kelly (well, actually, Kelly just had the icecream, since he didn't want any crumble) and a coconut-based icecream alternative for me.  Mam took some crumble home for her neighbour too, but gave him custard with his.  I had Kelly's piece later, with more of the coconut-based icecream, since he insisted he definitely didn't want it, and crumble is a favourite dessert of mine.

    

    

Kelly got me a craft kit to make a needle book from the petkids for Mother's Day.  It's a felt needle book kit, which is meant to feature an embroidered design on the front.  So, there's another kit to add to my projects list.

 

It's a very useful one though, since a lot of Nan's sewing needles are just in a little pill pot, so having them in a book would be a good idea.  But I can't put them in mine, since the little needle book I made is already full.  That's another reason making another one would be a good plan: if I have any needles with any of the kits I have waiting to be done - which I likely do, since a couple of them do involve sewing, if I remember correctly - I'll need something to put those in too.

        

*~*~* 

        

Since Dad being the carer for my brother, Wayne, means Wayne's had to be part of my extended bubble anyhow so thatDad could still help us with a few things (like getting those food boxes) we all agreed it would be OK for me to get to see him on his birthday, which was the first time I'd seen him in person since early December... Last time I saw Wayne in person was when Dad was looking after both of us the weekend we moved back to Wales in early December, and took me and the dogs to Wayne's place for a large chunk of the Sunday.

 

We've been being cautious with physical contact even in our bubble, which is why I went so long without seeing him in person, but we figured it would be OK, especially with lockdown restrictions being eased enough that you're allowed to mix with another household - though only one other household - now.  A rule change here in Wales that came in on March 13th.  We're still being cautious - even with the rule change - but Dad's been going between us these past few months anyhow, caring for Wayne, and helping us with a few things, and has sometimes been close to all of us at one time or another without a mask during his duties, so if there was any risk we'd have already exposed each other anyway.


So, I went with Dad to see Wayne for his birthday.  And, to make sure it was vegan (so that I could have some too) I made Wayne a birthday cake.  I made a cinnamon cake, so we could have it sweet enough for me and Wayne, but without making it overly sweet for Dad (who's diabetic, so needs to be careful of sugars).  To make it a little more special for Wayne, but still keep sugars down for Dad, I dusted the top with a little nutmeg in the way people sometimes do with powdered sugar.  I made it on the morning of Wayne's birthday, so it had only been baked a few hours before Dad took me down to Waynes with him that evening.  Sorry, no photo of the cake, since I forgot to get one.

         

         

Dad brought us all Chinese food.  So we had that, and then Wayne let me play with Gizmo (his Leopard Gecko) for a few minutes.  After that we watched a movie, and then had some of the cake I made.

 

The movie we watched was "Carry On: Don't Lose Your Head" - which was Wayne's choice.  I'm not a huge fan of the Carry On movies.  They're funny in parts, so I don't dislike them, but they're definitely not something I'd pick if I was choosing the entertainment for the evening.  But it was his birthday, so he got to choose.  At least this was one of the better Carry On movies.


Since I need something to do with my hands when I'm watching a movie - especially if I'm tired - I took my crochet down with me to work on that while we watched the movie, so got a couple of rows of my crochet scarf done that evening.  I got a little less done than I expected, since Maya was rather pleased to see me, so I had to wait for her to calm down before I could work on it.  I don't mind though, since I was there to see Wayne (and sort of the animals too, because it's me).

        

        

It was a lovely evening... Until I shut my hand in the car door when me and Dad were leaving.


Luckily, the door didn't close properly, so only minor damage was done.  But - as we discovered when I finally relented and agreed to go to the hospital the following evening (so, this past Tuesday) - that was bad enough, and I did plenty of damage as it is.

 

I cracked the bone of my middle finger on my right hand.  It's only a small crack, though they can't tell exactly how small, because I also crushed the finger a little, so things are slightly compressed at the moment.


It could have been a lot worse.


Let me tel you though, this is bad enough!It's very painful, and my issues with taking most painkillers means there's not really anything to do but tolerate it, and hope it heals quickly so it will stop hurting.

 

My middle finger is strapped to my ring finger, and will be for the next six weeks, with only short breaks between changes of the bandaging.  I can only use the thumb and index finger on that hand, but have strict instructions to only do so when absolutely essential for the next few weeks, since it's only out of consideration for my lack of sight I was allowed that much use of the hand.

 

Yes, I've just been typing this with one hand.  It's been an incredibly slow process.


Needless to say, I haven't done any crafting since Monday, or made progress with organizing anything this week.  Unfortunately, I have several more weeks before that can change.

       

        

Anyway, those of you who know him - or read last week's post - probably won't be surprised to hear that Logan wasn't happy about me being gone all evening, and was overjoyed when Dad brought me home at what Logan considered a time that was much too long after the time I left.

 

Actually, he wasn't alone in his feelings.  None of the petkids were too impressed at me being gone, since I was out past the time we turn Artemis' lamps off for the night (9:00pm) so Kelly sorted the 'tortoise time' routine (which involves checking Artemis and making sure she's safely tucked up in one of her sleeping spots for the night, turning off her lamps, giving Mollie her evening snack, and starting to settle the dogs for the night).  It's usually me who does those things, and none of the petkids were impressed that Kelly did them instead.  According to my petkids, "At least someone did them for you," isn't a good enough answer, and the fact it was Wayne's birthday isn't a good enough excuse.

  

Logan - and Lilie, for that matter - were rather upset when I then disappeared for several hours again the following evening.  And crazy with excitement when I returned home.

        

*~*~*

        

For those who might be wondering: my Mam had her Covid vaccination on March 13th, and other than some pain in the arm they used for the shot, as well as a headache, is just fine.  Well, she's also feeling tired and drained, but since she suffers with chronic fatigue anyhow, I'm not sure if that's just her normal tiredness, from our late night because of all the time the hospital trip took (it was Mam who took me... Once she finally convinced me to go) or if it is part of her shot reaction.

 

Dad gets his tomorrow, so hopefully he'll have the same luck.

 

With how they're doing it over here though, they won't get their second dose until early June.

        

        

I was slightly reasured to learn that the first thing they did was ask Mam several questions, including what her allergies are - both to medicines and food items - and how she'd reacted to flu jabs in the past.  So, at least they are considering that.  She was going to ask them about it because of me, but didn't bother since they ask about it anyhow, so she figured she'd let me and them decide when I show up and mention my previous reactions and the list of things I'm allergic to whether or not I should get the new jab.

Monday, March 15, 2021

My Guest Post On Procrastination

Having been invited by him to write a guest post, I recently wrote a guest post on procrastination for fellow author, Kevin Morris, whose poetry you may remember me posting about on this very blog recently.  The post where I featured Kevin's poetry can be found here.

         

         

Anyway, this past Friday (March 12th 2021) my guest post went live on Kevin's blog.

        

If you'd like to read the post - whether you need the tips on avoiding those destractions that aid procrastination or not - you can find it by clicking here.

Friday, March 12, 2021

A Week Of #Pet Chaos, #Crafting, And Organizing + Medical Mutterings + A #Sale Reminder And #AmWriting

Somehow I have a lot to post about, even though it's mostly been a pretty quiet week, with only day to day chores, food shopping, and other such tasks to fill most days, which there really isn't anything to say about, since they were uneventful.  Not that I'm complaining... Uneventful is generally a good thing, especially when it comes to things like doing housework, getting food, making sure bills are paid, etc.

     

~

     

Even the weather has been pretty quiet - or, it had been until Wednesday.  Most of the week it's been quite chilly (not incredibly cold, but there's definitely still a nip in the air) but with the sun trying to shine. Until Wednesday, when the rain decided to return, followed by some very strong gusts of wind. 

    

*~*~*

     

Of course, there was the incident - technically last week, but I didn't mention it last Friday, since I'd already scheduled that post before it happened, so I'm counting it in this week's events - where Artemis' heat lamp bulb went before we'd had a chance to go get a replacement ready for when it would need changing, which meant an emergency trip out to fetch a new one fast - especially since the chilly weather meant her vivarium temperature was dropping steadily, which is a bad thing, especially for a tortoise as young as Artemis.

  

We'd have had the spare ready, only Kelly couldn't remember the wattage when he did last month's petshop run, and I forgot to ask Dad to pick one up when he took Wayne to get supplies for Gizmo a couple of weeks later (Gizmo is Wayne's Leopard Gecko... He also has a Staffie x Wippet named Maya).

 

This time I actually brought an extra spare bulb when I brought the replacement, and I think I will make a point of keeping a spare bulb on hand from now on.  Hopefully then we can avoid a repeat of that incident.

     

~

     

While I was out, Logan was getting upset and under foot (this is normal for him... Logan really hates me leaving him, even if it's only for a short time) and Kelly managed to fall over him.

 

Logan is fine.  Kelly has a cut and some bruising on one leg, but is otherwise fine.  The shoe rack Kelly landed on... Yeah, that's now kindling (I'm only slightly exaggerating).  Needless to say, we had to buy a new shoe rack.  But at least Logan is fine, and Kelly is mostly fine, though it's going to be a while longer before the cut on his leg is fully healed.

     

*~*~*

     

 On the subject of medical stuff: we're now finally registered with the local doctor.  Why it was so much hastle, especially considering we've been registered with them in the past, I have no idea.  But it was. 

 

For some reason - and nobody seems to understand why, apart from them, including the doctor I was with in Hastings - they decided I had to get hold of my NHS number for them if I wanted to get registered.  Having literally never needed it, I wasn't even aware I had one (I knew about the hospital X number, which you never need to look up yourself, since the hospital can find it using your name and date of birth, but this is a different one).  What followed was a lot of messing about, ending in me quite literally spending three hours solid trying to get to speak to someone at my old surgery so I could ask them for it.  Then another half an hour trying to get hold of the new surgery to give it to them.  Loads of fun... Not! 

 

At least we're registered now.  Got a letter confirming it and everything. 

 

Now, since I actually have a doctor again - the same one I had before moving away from the area, if you're interested in knowing that random fact - maybe I can get my inhalers refilled before the spares I luckily had on hand from when I was given new ones before the old ones needed to be thrown away (when they kept giving me inhaler refills every time I needed something else, such as my iron tablets, even though I hadn't asked for them and didn't yet need them) run out.  But, of course, they can't make things simple, can they? I have to show them the inhalers or proof I have them prescribed to me first, and even then I can't have them refilled until after I talk to their asthma nurse, who I can't talk to until March 24th.  So, I booked a telephone appointment with the asthma nurse for the morning of March 24th.  It's April I'm going to need new ones by, so in theory this will give me plenty of time to get new ones before my last set runs out.  Let's hope it works that way in practice too.

     

      

I got an invitation to book my Covid vaccination... In Hastings. 

 

I guess they never got the memo I moved. 

 

When I called the new doctor to tell them about it, I discovered I'm also on the list and due to be contacted in the near future for the county I'm in.  So, apparently I've ended up on both areas' lists. 

 

I asked them what to do about a concern I have regarding whether or not I should have it.  It's got nothing to do with the stuff you hear about the jabs, or being against them or anything, since I don't believe the rubbish about them, and I think they're a very good thing.  My concern is that I react badly to flu jabs - badly enough that it was agreed I'd be best not having them in future - and since flu-like symptoms are a common side-effect of this one, I worry about how ill I'm going to end up after it.  I get that there are benifits to having it, but I need to weigh the risks to myself here, and given my issue with flu jabs I'm incredibly reluctant to have the shot, despite the benifits.  Anyway, they said those doing the vaccinations would be able to answer the question of whether it's a good or bad idea for me to have the shot better, so I should book the shot, and ask them about it when I show up (before I let them actually stick the needle in me).  So, I guess that's what I'll do, since it's either that or just refuse to get the shot.  Initially that was my plan - I'm terrified of getting this shot, because how I react to flu jabs has me more than a little concerned having the Covid Vaccination will result  in me ending up ill enough to end upin hospital - so I was going to refuse the Covid vaccination, like I do the flu jab every year.  But I figure I should at least discuss it with them properly.  So, when I'm contacted by the right county, I will.

 

Oh, and both my parents are scheduled to have their first shots this month (Mam tomorrow, and Dad a week later).

    

*~*~* 

      

In other news: both my craft boxes for March are here.

 

This month it's a macrame feathery wall hanging kit for the Cosy Craft Club one, and a natural soapmaking kit for the Makerly Crafts one - just in case you're interested in knowing what they were.

     

~

      

One of these days - I hope soon - I'll start working on the kits properly, and you'll get to see the finished products.  I definitely intend spending at least some time each week working on a larger variety of craft projects once the craft room is organized and I can do so, and those kits are among the things I want to work on.

  

Plus, Nan has a bunch of half finished projects among her craft stuff.  Once we've got everything organized, we're thinking we'll finish them for her.  Then we can frame or make use of them, depending on what the items are.  We think she'd like that, and it seems a shame to leave them unfinished.

 

Between those projects to finish for Nan, my craft kits, a selection of brand new craft kits Nan had among her stuff (which have been added to my kit collection) and some projects I've been thinking about myself in general, I'm definitely going to have plenty of projects to keep me busy.

  

In the meantime, I'm still working on sloly making that crochet scarf, and knitting the toy I'm making because I plan to gift it to someone.  The latter of which I would have finished by now, but I had less of the purple cotton yarn left after making my tea cosy than I thought, spacifically want it to all be in that colour, so had to wait for more to show up so I could finish it.  The extra yarn should be here by the time this goes live, so I might have that ready to show you next week though.  The person it's for doesn't read my blog, so I can go ahead and show you even before she has it.

     

~

     

Speaking of the craft room, and Nan's supplies: Dad brought more of Nan's craft stuff over, so - between those things and the stuff I hadn't gotten to before, all of which needed to be sorted through and organized - I've been continuing to work on organizing the craft room.  Thankfully some of Nan's supplies came with a set of those drawers on wheels, and I brought another set of them to go with the ones I already had, so that's helping with finding places for the smaller and lighter items, which then ckeeps the shelves available for the larger or heavier items, as well as my collection of kits waiting to be done (which take up a few shelves by themselves, despite being in small boxes). 

  

We've also been working in the computer room, since we got the rest of the shelves for in there.  We're going to need to properly organize the books later - and not just the boxes of audiobooks Dad also gave me from Nan's stuff - since we're concentrating more on getting them on the shelves that are for them than making sure they're in the right order at the moment.  On the one hand, organizing them properly as we put them on the shelves would save some time later.  On the other hand, I'd love to stop falling over boxes.  So, we decided when it came to the books we'd just focus on getting them on their shelves, only making sure each book is shelved in the correct area for now, and go back and organize them properly later.  Well, apart from a spacific large set of graphic novels Kelly has, which he had to organize, because the spines form an image when they're in the right order, and it bothered him that the image didn't look right, so he insisted on taking the time to put those in the right order... All 152 of them (at least, I think that's how many are in the collection).  I don't mind though, since they needed to be organized sooner or later anyhow, and it's one less thing to do later.

 

Books are the one exception to my proper organization of the craft room right now too, since all craft related books and magazines are going in there, but I'm not worrying about organizing those properly right now, just putting them on the shelves.  The rest of the craft stuff, however - what was originally mine, and what I've inherited from Nan - is being properly organized as I unpack it.

      

*~*~*

      

Speaking of books: don't forget there's still time to grab some eBook bargains in the Smashwords Read An EBook Week sale.  If you missed hearing about it, check out my post from Sunday for details. 

     

*~*~* 

     Oh, and I have one more thing to share:

 

Though I didn't end up entering the Carrot Ranch Rodeo writing contest last month - which you may remember me posting about just before it started - since I wasn't feeling inspired and didn't manage to write anything I could submit for it, I did write and enter a poem for the Eros Open Mic contest I found out about from someone else.  And, guess what? Turns out I won.  YAY! 

 

I got some badge thingys I can display on my blog and website, bragging rights, and a year's free subscription to their Cosmic Roots And Eldritch Shores magazine.  Here are my badges:


Sunday, March 07, 2021

The 12th Annual #Smashwords #ReadAnEBookWeek

 The 12th annual Read An eBook Week starts today over on Smashwords!


All my books - poetry and children's stories alike - are enrolled at 50% off, with prices of $2.49 or less.


To check out my books, and grab your discounted eBooks, go to my Smashwords page. Coupon codes will automatically be applied at checkout.  However, if you do have any trouble with that happening, simply enter the coupon code EBW50 at checkout.

 

The sale runs from today through March 13th, which means you have seven days in which to take advantage of it.  So, hurry, before you miss your chance to get your hands on my eBooks at discounted prices!


~


I always make all my books available in all formats Smashwords offers, which includes both MOBI and ePub.  In fact, among the format options is even a HTML version, which can be read by your web browser (regardless of which web browser you happen to be using).


In other words: regardless of your eReader of choice - whether Kindle, Nook, or something else - or even if you prefer to read on your computer, there should be a format available that works for you.

 

And a single purchase of the title automatically grants you access to all available formats.


~


Since this is a sitewide promotion, there are plenty of other authors also offering their books for sale this week.  So, head to the main sale page to check out all the awesome eBook bargains.


But hurry, because the sale only lasts seven days!

Friday, March 05, 2021

#Baking + #StDavidsDay + #AmWatching + #Knitting And #Crochet Projects + #Lockdown Exit Plans

Mam and I made some vegan rice pudding last weekend.


 

I haven't had a decent bowl of rice pudding in years, and definitely not since becoming vegan.  But between Mam making herself some recently, and a friend talking about it, I ended up really wanting some.  So we made some using coconut milk and coconut cream.  Here's a photo of a bowl of it, just because.



~


We also made some flapjacks, because I've got a lot of oats and Mam fancied making some.  Plus, I do love flapjacks.  We decided to put some chocolate on top, and tried to be lazy with putting a chocolate coating on the top by just sprinkling the vegan chocolate drops on top rather than properly melting them first, which didn't work quite as planned, so some parts of the chocolate are melted better than others.  But here's a photo of it still in the pan - before we cut it in to squares:




*~*~*


March 1st was St David's Day (Dydd Gwyl Dewi).  St David, for those who don't know, is the patron saint of Wales.  To celebrate, Mam and I made Welsh cakes.  This was our first time making vegan versions.  Here's a photo of them:




And here are the daffodils featured in that photo a couple of days later, once they'd opened up properly:




~


We also did a St David's Day pet photo shoot with Lilie, Izabel, Logan, and Artemis.

 

Mollie would have been included in the photos too, but she doesn't do photoshoots, and decided there was no way she was even coming out of her bed with all three dogs in the house.  Not that I blame her.  Besides, it was daytime, and she's never enthusiastic about getting up for anything in the day at the best of times.  Chinchillas are nocturnal, after all.

 

Anyway, here are the photos:

 

 

The shawl Lilie and Izabel are wearing was a baby shawl Mam brought, which is aesigned for a baby or toddler to have as part of the traditional Welsh costume.  Their bonnet was made by my Mam... It's the closest we could do to the bonnet or hat a little girl would wear while allowing for dog head shapes being different, and their ears needing space.  Logan's bowtie is a red hairbow.


Oh, and - for the benifit of anyone who knows tortoises shouldn't eat daffodils - I want to assure you that Artemis wasn't allowed to get any closer than she was in the photo to the daffodils, and was only out of my hands on that spot for long enough for my Mam to snap the picture (I literally let go long enough for the shot when Mam told me she was ready to take it, and then scooped up the tortoise).


*~*~*


I watched a movie called "Flora And Ulysses" recently.  It was very entertaining, but with a really sweet ending.  Only one thing spoiled it for me: William.


William is a blind character in the movie.  He's suffering from temporary blindness caused by stress.  Now, I don't know if they intentionally took all the myths about blind people and tried to make a joke out of them, or if they genuinely didn't have a clue that the myths about blindness are generally a load of rubbish.  Either way, how they did William's character was not only not funny, but it spoiled the movie for me.  Seriously people, if you're going to include a character with a certain disability, talk to someone with experience with the disability first, get your facts right, and learn what's appropriate to use for comedic material as regards that disability and the person's struggles because of it.

 

I loved everything else about it - there was even one scene with William I actually found funny - but because of how they portrayed William's character, it barely scrapes a four out of five stars from me.  And the only reason it gets four is that loving the rest of the movie means I can't bring myself to lower the rating to three stars.  It's a shame when something like that spoils an otherwise awesome movie.


~


I've also been watching the "A Series Of Unfortunate Events" series, which I'm loving.  It's different to the books - which I'm a big enough fan of that I've read them multiple times - in that some of the stuff we learn later in the books was going on behind the scenes is shown to the audience as it's happening in the show, but otherwise follows the books much more closely than the movie.  I struggle to only watch a single episode of it at a time, so am already almost done with the whole thing, even though I only started watching it on the weekend.  This show definitely gets five out of five stars from me.


*~*~*

 

I finally finished my tea cosy!


It wouldn't have taken me so long if I was spending more time each week working on crafts.  But it's done now anyhow, and here's a photo for anyone who'd like to see it:




~


Now I'm making a knitted toy I plan to gift someone, and working on finishing my crochet scarf.  Officially the crochet scarf is meant to be the main project now, but since I knit a whole lot quicker than I crochet, the knitted toy is coming together more quickly, and already about half done (the scarf is maybe about a quarter done - if that - at this point).


*~*~*


We're sort of still in lockdown here, but they're working on taking us out of lockdown slowly.  Numbers have been relatively low as regards infection and death rates from the virus (here in Wales especially) so the hope is that a slow end to lockdown will mean this really is an end to lockdown.


Of course, the whole of the UK still can't agree on things entirely, so how the process will be working naturally differs depending on where in the UK you live.  It's also subject to change if anyone in charge decides it's not working (in other words, if numbers start rising again).  The situation is to be evaluated at each stage to see how things are going.  But, wherever you are in the UK, the plan is basically to have all restrictions lifted by the Summer.  The Prime Minister gave a date in June, but since his dates apply spacifically to England, and I can't find a dated "roadmap" for Wales, I can't be sure what the Welsh government's date deadline is.  To be honest, I think they're hesitant to give one in case they can't stick to it, which is sensible.


~


I have to admit, I don't envy them the job of attempting to balance the needs of the economy with the threat of the virus.  Things like this are why I'd never want to be in charge.  Sure, making the rules might sound fun, but - as is often said - "With great power comes great responsibility."  And I don't think I'd like to be the one with that kind of responsibility resting on my shoulders.

 

Mind you, though I don't envy those in charge the task of figuring all this out, that doesn't mean I like or agree with certain decisions they've made.  I'm just not convinced I could do better, and wouldn't like to try.