Saturday, June 25, 2011

New Kitty: Georgie

You may have noticed there have been no new beads this week and my shop is very bare. It's because I was speed dating with cats at two shelters. It was successful and now I'm in love.

I met Georgie at the Humane Society on Wednesday night. They were waiving adoption fees for cats over one year for the month of June so I took the opportunity to get a free cat. Right off the bat, he sat on my lap for five minutes. He didn't even know me, so I knew I had found the lap cat I was looking for.

I went back on Thursday and signed the adoption papers and picked him up Friday at 6 pm, after he'd been neutered. They also removed a toenail that was injured when he arrived at the shelter (he was a stray but clearly he's been around people at some point in the past.)

I got him home and he investigated the room I had set up for him. After about 20 minutes he jumped on my lap and I petted him until he went to sleep. I moved him to the couch and went to make dinner. After a few hours I peeked in on him and he was still in the same spot which struck me as odd.

I went in to see him and he was very warm and lethargic. I had to pick him up and jostle him to wake him. He was also breathing too fast so I bundled him up and we went off to the emergency vet at 10:30 pm. Turned out he had a fever of 105.9 degrees. I was happy I had brought him in...if it went much higher, it could have been very bad.

They did blood work and his white cell count was a little off but nothing to indicate a serious infection. They surmised that the stress of the days in the shelter, plus the surgery that day may have weakened his immune system temporarily. They kept him overnight and gave him IV fluids (you can see part of his shaved arm in the photo.) His temperature was down to 100.9 this morning and he was lively, and eating and drinking. When I picked him up after lunch, five different employees told me what a sweet cat he is. They would have kept him if I'd let them.

We took a nap when we got home and he seems good as new. Now I need to start cranking out some beads -- my "free" cat ended up costing $500!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day to John and Richard

Dad 1.0
My dad loved fishing so some family trips involved going to a lake or river near Seattle where we lived from 1965-69. His love of fishing didn't get passed down to my brother or me but many of his other habits did.

We moved to West Virginia in 1969 when I was in second grade and Joe in kindergarten. Each week, Dad would take us with him when he deposited his paycheck at the bank. He opened passbook savings accounts for each of us (this was waaay back before personal computers and ATM machines, for any young'uns who may be reading this!)

We had to put 1/2 of our allowance, and Christmas and birthday money from the grandparents, in the bank to save for college, and the other half could be used however we pleased. This went on until high school.

Senior year, I applied at two relatively affordable colleges that had graphic design programs -- Ohio University and University of Dayton. On the same mid-summer day, I received letters from each. Dayton was raising its rates and OU gave me a $500 scholarship. Decision made!

I got the bill for the first quarter of school. It was $1,440! I was shocked! I only had about $1,800 in my account and it had taken MY ENTIRE LIFE to save that much. And there were going to be 11 more quarters! Talk about learning the value of a dollar! My brother and I are good savers and money stays in the pocket more than it goes out.

Dad liked technology. He started his career as an aeronautical engineer at Boeing (he was a casualty of the 1969-71 Boeing downturn when 90,000 of 142,000 jobs were cut) but he later used his engineering skills at the W.V. Department of Highways and never lost his love of learning and making or repairing things. He knew how to use a slide rule, thus appreciating even more his favorite piece of technology...a Texas Instruments calculator! He bought us the full set of Funk & Wagnalls encyclopedia in weekly installments from the grocery store, and occasionally bought a handy gadget "as seen on TV."
He died in 1981 and I often think of how absolutely amazed he would be by an Excel spreadsheet and Google, the world's always-current encyclopedia and shopping center, and Hulu and streaming Netflix to watch theater movies within months of release rather than waiting five years for them to be shown on TV "for free." He understood the theoretical possibility of such things and I'm sorry he didn't get to see them become everyday realities.

Dad 2.0
I now have a stepfather who is a lot like my first dad. He is funny, good with a dollar, likes to play games, can fix just about anything, and takes good care of my mother. Joe and I are lucky...we hit the Dad Jackpot twice! Happy Father's Day Richard!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

PCD: What a fun surprise!

What a great way to start the day! I'm on Polymer Clay Daily (Tory Hughes is there too...go check out her cool "thought process" post!)

Here's an "unravelings" experiment from last night with dark clay and metallic powders.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tutorial: Unravelings

Learn how to make a simple but interesting "unraveled" texture for beads or anything else you can think of.

I made a flickr tutorial for the "Unraveling" beads.
Click here to see the demonstration.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Weekend beads:

And now for a little grammatical rant...I know the English language is a living thing and what is acceptable changes over time, but I'm going to fight for you and me. Literally, you and me.

After hearing “you and I” in intances where "you and me" is correct (in everyday conversations and far too often on TV -- even in scripted shows!), I am compelled to comment on my biggest grammar pet peeve. In honor of my late grandmother Mary Belle, the Strict Grammarian who pounded the below information into my brain, I give you the basics…

"Xxxx and I" is the subject of a sentence, as in:
     John and I gave the key to Mary.

"Xxxx and me" is the object of a sentence, as in:
     Mary gave the key to John and me.

     (Mary gave the key to John and I is incorrect.)

If you don’t know a subject from an object, here’s an easy way to know what form is correct -- take the other person out of the sentence and see how it sounds (though I realize the inherent danger of using "how it sounds" as a test!)

Start with:     Mary gave the key to John and me.
Take the other person out of the sentence and you are left with:
     Mary gave the key to me.

Now see happens when "John and I" is incorrectly placed in the object position, as shown here:
Start with:     Mary gave the key to John and I.
Take the other person out of the sentence and you are left with:
     Mary gave the key to I. (See how wrong that sounds?)

Here’s my own theory on why so many people use “Xxxx and I” when they should use "Xxxx and me." As children we probably said, “Me and Billy are going to the park” or “Billy and me are going to the park" and would be corrected with "Billy and I are going to the park." After being corrected with the "Xxxx and I" phrasing so mnay times, those children started to incorrectly think "Xxxx and I" was correct in every instance. And now "Xxxx and I" is used incorrectly as the object so often that many people think "Xxxx and me" as the object "sounds wrong" even though it is actually correct.

I also hear people say, “Please forward the email to Steve and myself.” Arrgh. Just say, “Please forward the email to me.”

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Mokie: 1995-2011

My poor little Mokie man had to go to the great beyond Thursday morning. His medicine wasn't helping and he was clearly not happy anymore.
He used to curl up on my lap while I worked on the computer or sit high up on the cabinet while I made beads, and he snuggled with me every night at bedtime. He was a great friend for 15 years and will be very much missed.

"From high upon my perch I see all!"

"What? I didn't do anything, honest."
Centerfold from "Playcat"
Modeling with the new shower curtain
 Enjoying the aroma of the overgrown honeysuckle.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Mokie in the Wilds and weekend beads

My good boy Mokie is coming to the end of his nine lives due to intestinal cancer and failing kidneys. He's been slowly losing weight for the last few years but it didn't slow him down or cause any trouble. The weight loss accelerated recently and he's a skinny old man now, only half his former weight. Medication has eliminated his daily vomiting but the steroids don't seem be helping him gain weight, even though they have increased his appetite. He's always been an indoor cat but the weather was so nice today that I took him out into the yard to get some sunshine and inspect the flora. After a while he decided to rest under an evergreen shrub.

I stuck around the house this weekend to make sure he was okay and made beads. Surprise, surprise!


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

New things: Unraveling

Something I did yesterday gave me a new idea to try today. If anyone is making an ancient/modern necklace a la Ronna Sarvas Weltman, these might fit right in!


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