Monday, October 13, 2014

Last minute Cell structures and story links

My 14 YO informed me this afternoon that she has to make a "cell" complete with the membrane, ribosomes, golgi apparatus, smooth ER, Rough ER and lots of other parts that I don't care to remember. "Fantastic," I said not feeling happy. I had a root canal only 2 hours before. "When is it due?"  Silence. Then a little whisper, "Tomorrow."
Expired cake mix + scrounged up candy + cake sprinkles + my lone avocado=Eukaryotic Animal Cell. Sigh. Time for more IBU.
I have to wonder sometimes...I learned all about this stuff in the 9th grade too. And have never once used it. I learned all about (well, was supposed to learn about) sentence structure and how to diagram them and the only time I've needed it was when my a fore mentioned 14 YO asked how to diagram a sentence for her homework.

Sigh. It's done and my poor avocado will not be delicious on a turkey sandwich anymore. Such is the life, we give up so much for our kids. I hope the appreciate it. ;-) 

On a happier note: Here's a little blurb on my story, Snow Angels
Night all!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Easy sew cat toy

My daughter has been wanting to learn to sew.  She sewed a little bag in school and a few other things here and there, but she wanted to do more.  So I came up with a design for a cat toy. 

I made the big one first.  They like to wrap their paws around it and attack with their teeth and claws. They also like to snuggle with it. The fluffy pillow protects our fingers while we play with them, so it's a win all around. My daughter made a big one and then she also made a tiny one. The kitten approves.

Cinderella likes it so much she carries it around with her.  She also loses them so we have to make more. Here's a video of her carrying it (with a bonus view of one of my son's socks!)

You can use any size or shape of fleece to make this project.  I used a long piece.

Then I folded it in half

Most kittens come running when they hear the can opener.  Mine comes when she hears the sewing machine.

Is this for me???? I love these!

Sew half way up each side. Cinderella wouldn't leave it alone long enough for me to take pictures.

This next shot was supposed to have had the toy in it, but Cinderella snatched it before I could take the picture. Imagine a tiger striped piece of fleece that is sewn on both sides and has a fringe cut on the edge. In the future, I will check pictures after each step.

And there is the little thief herself.

I grabbed another toy for her to play with and got my project back.  Below you can see the promised fringe. I turned it right side out and stuffed it. (I put a little catnip in this one, but Cinderella doesn't care if I don't.)

The next step is to tie it straight across to close it.

At long last (about ten minutes) she has her completed toy. I love her funky little tail!

Hobbes is excited too.

You can see it in his eyes.

I've seen similar toys in the store, but they usually have feathers or are noisy. My kittens don't like toys that rattle and they rip feathers out in seconds of getting them.  These are quiet, durable, inexpensive, and machine washable.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Library Event

I will be at the Viridian Center on Sept 27 for the Local Authors & You event.  The list of authors attending is on the picture below.  Books will be available for purchase, but the event is free.  Come say hi!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Jam Jam and more Jam

Tis the season for jam and jelly! And I've been busy! Current jelly, pear and peach jam, plum jam and syrup and my new favorite is spiced pear jam. It almost tastes like apple pie filling. Yummy!
Why do I bottle? Because I enjoy it (other than pears, they annoy me). I like to see my family enjoying it. I've never done anything with tomatoes. How about you? We love marinara and spaghetti so maybe I'll try them next. What is your favorite thing to bottle? Let me reword that-what is your favorite thing to eat out of season that you bottled in season?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A cat post

Sorry to those who aren't cat fans. I've been thinking about writing this post for a while.  I am reminded about my evil kitty every time I hear or see my bio from my book. Sadly, he died a few days before the book was released.  Here are some pictures of him.

 He was a beautiful cat.  I would post more about him, but I still get emotional and I'm pretty sure few people would care. So, I'll just say he is missed.  We had him for 17 years.

The day he died, I came home to an empty house.  All the kids were at school.  And, while the cat slept most of the time, the house felt empty.  I tried to occupy myself with cleaning and writing, but I couldn't shake off that empty feeling.  My youngest came home from school that day and said the house felt empty without the kitty, which made it feel even more empty to me.

We weren't planning to get another pet right off.  How can you replace someone who has been part of your life for 17 years? I popped onto the Humane Society webpage, just to look, and found a tab on fostering. It was the perfect solution.  We could temporary fill in the empty gap in our home until we were ready to adopt. So I sent an email and a few days later we got a call about a mother kitty and two kittens that needed fostering.

The kittens are Manx.  Hobbes doesn't have a tail and Cinderalla has a stubby tail. Sometimes Manx kittens have litter box problems because they are born with nerve problems in their back side. They needed to be observed in a home setting before they could be adopted out. (They didn't have any problems using the litter box.) Kittens do better after they are adopted if they have spent time living with people so they are placed in foster homes until they are old enough to be separated from their mother.

Their foster status lasted for about a week before we decided to keep them.  The adoption was finalized shortly after their surgeries. (The Humane Society spays and neuters all kittens and their adoptable moms. I don't know about feral moms.) It was about 2 months after our other kitty died, but it wasn't about replacing him.  It was about loving them and I was okay with that.

Padme was desperate for love and also terrified of everything. She spent the first week under our couch. I took this picture after several long grooming sessions.  She was a mess when she came to us. Poor baby. Her little family was sent to the Humane Society from another shelter so I didn't know her background, but it was pretty clear that she had been hurt in some way by people.

After a week with us, she slowly started spending more time on the furniture instead of under it. She also developed a sassy attitude, which was so much better than terrified.

We loved Padme, but we weren't the right family for her. She needed a home that didn't have a high amount of traffic.  So she went back to the shelter for adoption after she healed from her surgery.  I am happy to report that she has been adopted!  The Humane Society interviews people who are interested in adopting to be sure they are the right match.  The people who took her were the right family for her. We miss her, but it is best that she be with the right family.

I highly recommend fostering for anyone thinking about getting a pet. So often people get a dog or a cat and end up taking them back to the shelter.  Fostering is about a 6 week commitment. You can adopt them if you want or return them to the shelter for adoption. (There are still fees, but ours were reduced.) You can always continue fostering and have a never ending supply of kittens or puppies. You can also foster animals that need healing time. You will literally being saving lives.

Now for my soap box.  Summer is known at shelters as kitten season because hundreds of abandoned kittens are brought in. So many people fail to spay and neuter their pets.  This creates a surplus of puppies and kittens that often end up at the shelter or are abandoned and die an early age. (I suspect that Padme was abandoned.) Even when the owners find families for their furry babies, those are homes that could have gone to a homeless pet. Please, please, please spay and neuter your pets!

And now some more recent pics of the kittens.  They are getting big!
The monster under my bed is adorable.

Cinderella fell in the tub and got all wet.  Hobbes was helping her feel better.

She does this all the time.

Hobbes stretches out like his sister, but he does it upside down.