Moreidlethoughts Weblog

humour,art,gardens, books and whatever idle thoughts float through my mind (it's a very draughty mind.)


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AND THE ANSWER IS….

Plumeria  (aka Frangipani ) 2014-12-01 01.48.46

The picture I posted last week was of the buds. And while these things are ridiculously easy to grow, (heck! I had one in a pot in London!) I have been frustrated at every turn in this garden.Mainly damage from stonking great palms dropping fronds onto the flower stems, but also hungry bugs (not sure what as I never saw the beasties) and general malaise when we don’t get good rain.

Ah, but this year I have flowers coming through on this pink one and two more which I believe will be a lovely apricot shade.And one might even be cream. I shan’t break into the happy dance just yet…

Here is something else that makes me smile…Cassia fistula The tree needs serious pruning (again!), but we’ll wait til the flowers have finished.

 

 

2014-12-02 02.46.34 cassia fistula

 

And a yellow Heliconia.This is next door and I much prefer it to the harsh orange ones that keep reappearing in my yard!

 

 

2014-12-02 02.43.07

Small Cat,Sammy,Biskit

And, because I can, an old picture of long-ago cats.The ginger one and the tabby were sworn enemies…except on a cold night when they agreed to suspend hostilities and share the fireside sofa! The Siamese Fighting Fish  Cat didn’t give a damn, one way or the other!

And here’s something else that pleases me.Very much! Geiger, despite training, deterrants,cussing has always been a shredder.Of shoes and furniture, mostly.When they were itty bitty kitties I got them a scratching post.Nope, Geiger still went for shoes and sofas.But last week I bought a fancy-dancy scratcher made of compressed corrugated cardboard (yeah, the makers know a sucker when they see one!).It came with a small sachet of cat nip, to encourage  the cats to use it. Well, guess what? Geiger LOVES it.I am almost allowing myself to dream of  new furniture. 🙂

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WHAT THE DESPERATE GARDENER RESORTS TO …

…when the thermometer climbs above 30.

The cats have already hi-jacked  helped me out with Jane’s “flowers in the house.” And I had a coffee break and looked at some of the other floral delights on her blog. Well, I felt  a bit deflated, didn’t  I? So I admit I stole  borrowed Deb’s clever idea and snipped some sprigs of rosemary. But what to put with them? Hmm…something I have never tried before so have no idea how long before the Cape Primrose drops its petals, but here it is, with some white Penstemon.

2013-10-21 05.55.06

 

And one of the ginger-y  Tapeinochilos which hangs over the pathway was snapped so I trimmed it back and added a stem of shell ginger (that’s a current menace at the back gate as it’s crawling with green ants-ouch!)

2013-10-21 05.56.08

 

A very paltry contribution, Jane, but things are grim just now. Also, I’m cutting back a lot so that the tree chaps can get in to remove the trees.

And yesterday, I had a little surprise in my mail box – another book in the BookArtObject exchange. I think this completes my group swaps, but, to be honest, we’ve been going for so long on this round I’m really not sure! But here’s a peek …

2013-10-21 05.58.13 2013-10-21 05.58.36

 

And that’s all for now, folks.* I still have some palm trash to drag away from the back pergola and I think making pastry before my hands get bloody and grubby is a good idea, don’t you!

 

 

*was it Bugs Bunny who said that?


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THE CATABLOGUE FOR GINGER CATS

Contrib: Rusty

Dinah tells us about these many ginger cats she sees at the place where she swims. So we tell her to make contact and bring us proof, not that we think she is making free with the truth, but people do not always have the same perception as we cats; indeed, people are given to exaggerations on many occasions, such as the stories they tell about sporting victories and the reasons for not returning from the Emporium with what we consider to be sufficient supplies of Crunchies and Jellimeat.

It seems there are, indeed, “many” ginger cats.

ginger cats at pool 1Breakfast (Just waiting in case she leaves any…)

playing with a plastic forkA discarded plastic fork provided kitten fun.

after breakfast washA good wash after breakfast is important and if you can find a sunny spot, all the better.

after breakfast snooze…all the better for snoozing, too!

2009_0220snake0004This is as close as you’re getting, Two Legs Person!

Dinah says she has counted 7 ginger cats and I say this is a Ginger Fellowship and the Lady  Boss says there more than 7 and she says it is a Conspiracy! She also says that she would like to catch these Fellows (Ginger Order) and take them to the Person-Whose-Name-We-Do-Not-Speak, thus ensuring that the Fellowship will be limited to present members.

Rusty.

GGGGGGGGGG

And at this point, I reclaim my blog…

It’s been a run of break-downs and blow-ups and various failures Chez Dinahmow…the microwave (marvellously handy place to hide food from Feline Thieves as they can’t open the door!) ping-ed and arc-ed so I’m guessing its magnetron is kaput. My sewing machine went pffft! and belched smoke yesterday in what could be a blown motor or, more likely, since it’s engineered by Swiss genius, burnt circuit board and the bonnet hinges on the Mustang need replacing.

I felt I could use a little cheeriness…and look what was on my doorstep when I came home from the pool……a parcel of sketchbooks! The exchange we began a year ago. This is my book, all finished except for the cover.


2009_0221mfirsttravellingbook0001My opening page

2009_0221mfirsttravellingbook0002…and the facing page.

My book then travelled to Melanie in The Bronx2009_0221mfirsttravellingbook0003who added this embroidered piece, picking up my black and red colours and swirls and sent it on to…

2009_0221mfirsttravellingbook0004Katie Jane, in Cincinatti, who does lovely stained glass work and has made this page a look-alike.

From Kate  it went international again to Ellen in Mission, B.C.  Knowing my fondness for corvids…

2009_0221mfirsttravellingbook0005…Ellen has added this!

From Canada, the book came back to Australia…

2009_0221mfirsttravellingbook0006…and  Brigitte, again picking up my swirly lines, gave me this and sent the book to Alison…

2009_0221mfirsttravellingbook0007…who added this linoprint, plus…

2009_0221mfirsttravellingbook0008

an embossed version of the same plate.(difficult to see here)

Alison passed the book to Heather…

2009_0221mfirsttravellingbook0009…for her collaged linoprint.

From Heather to Frankie…

2009_0221mfirsttravellingbook0010…the first half of Frankie’s spread…

…and the second half…2009_0221mfirsttravellingbook0011

What a lovely collection of friends and memories! I am so glad we did this and I hope everyone else has had the same frisson whenever the postman knocked.

Sure, some of us feel our artwork  leaves much to be desired, but the whole point of starting this exchange was for fun. I’ve had fun and perhaps, just maybe, my sketching is improving.

Thankyou to all of you who added your colourful, whimsical pages to a book I’ll treasure.

I’ll post pictures of the covers once they are added.

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What else is happening in my world? Printmaking. Of course. I am, once again, up to my ears in ink. (see what I mean about the human tendancy to exaggerate? – Rusty.)

Perhaps the cat is right. Perhaps the ink is not quite that deep. But I do have a lot on my plate(s) so the blog may be neglected for a while…

But I’ll be paying a few cyber visits. Oh, thankyou so much for asking! Yes, I’d love a coffee. Straight-up, no sugar. A glass of wine? Don’t mind if I do. Shiraz would be fine, thankyou.

 

 



 


And now, for your delectation, a test of your cognitive abilities. Keep in mind (as I try to now that the birthday cake is going into candle-overload!) that the brain will last longer and wear better with constatnt use and stimulation. So, Auntie Ethel, turn off that stupid  TV show and give your neurons reason to fire. Synap out of it, as a friend of mine says!

1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator? 

 

Stop and think about it and decide on your answer before you scroll down.

 

 

The correct answer is: Open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe, and close the door. This question tests whether you tend to do simple things in an overly complicated way.

 

 

2 How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator? 

 

 

 

 

Did you say, Open the refrigerator, put in the elephant, and close the refrigerator?

Wrong Answer.

Correct Answer: Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant and close the door. This tests your ability to think through the repercussions of your previous actions.

 

 

 

3. The Lion King is hosting an animal conference. 

All the animals attend …. Except one. Which animal does not attend?

 

 

Correct Answer : The Elephant. The elephant is in the refrigerator. You just put him in there.? This tests your memory. Okay, even if you did not answer the first three questions correctly, you still have one more chance to show your true abilities.

 

 

 

4. There is a river you must cross but it is used by crocodiles, and 

 

You do not have a boat. How do you manage it?

 

 

 

Correct Answer:? You jump into the river and swim across. Have you not been listening? All the crocodiles are attending the Animal Meeting. This tests whether you learn quickly from your mistakes.

According to Anderson Consulting Worldwide, around 90% of the 
Professionals they tested got all questions wrong, but many preschoolers got several correct answers. Anderson Consulting says this conclusively disproves the theory that most professionals have the brains of a four-year-old.





 

 



 


 


 

 

 

 

 

 



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MUSICALLY CHALLENGED?

Probably!

I have not been practising as often as I should. I have a lot on my plate, print-wise. So the piano has been gathering dust. 

Until the other night. The Man was out of town and I just felt like doing something that did not involve sharp implements, sucking-hoses-on-end-of-noisy-machines or smoothing irons.

“I played rumble,rumble,rumble with the left hand.

I played tinkle, tinkle,tinkle with the right.

Rumble,rumble,rumble –

Tinkle,tinkle,tinkle –

I played piano all through the night…”   *

Well, perhaps not ALL night, but I did give my noisy neighbours a little of their own medicine 🙂

This keyboard has a very handy mute so I can wear head phones and hear all my duff notes, but the amplifier is not broadcasting the mistakes to the wider world. And I’m sure the wider world would be eternally grateful if it knew!

I’ve been doing other things, of course. Yesterday, I finally potted-up some lettuce seedlings. They can sit in semi-shade under the back deck for a few days, then I’ll lug the pots back upstairs, within easy reach of the back door when I need a few “Lollo Rosso” leaves or maybe a “Green Oak Leaf” for salads. I’ll get some tomatoes in next week and probably some more parsley.

Oh! I just love this time of year when the sun is warm enough for seedlings, but not harsh enough to shrivel them. Or the gardener!

Still, it’s a bit of a juggling act, I find. The first year we were here, there was more space in the garden and I enthusiastically sowed seeds of all manner of things. Only to lose most of them to excessive heat. Cherry tomatoes (golden and red) thrived and free-seeded all over the place, along with the passion fruit. Swiss Chard sulked. Sulked big-time. Sweet corn did well then, but I’ve not got space for it now.

But after that first expensive lesson, I’ve not bothered with seeds, except for nasturtiums. I buy seedling punnets and tuck them in wherever I have space and I now grow the “essentials” in pots. I hope I can get some advanced seedlings of a variety of Asian salad leaves. Bit of a gamble, that. Well, the labels are a challenge! Bok choy can also be bak choy or buk choy. Or sometimes, simply “Chinese cabbage.” 

Usually beset by caterpillars, this year I have a Secret Weapon. Well, two weapons. Geiger and Sporran love butterflies! And they are pretty handy when it comes to grasshoppers, too, so perhaps I stand a chance in the Dinah versus Bugs war. Perhaps…

sisters-1Resting, after a day of bug-chasing.

Somehow, along with pianoing (it is so a verb!) and gardening and printing I’ve been trying to keep up my sketching. 

 

img_0001

Young  hare

We had a lot of hares (no rabbits) at our former home. I know farmers see them as pests, but I’m rather fond of the “big bunnies.” And they have a very long and honored place in the folklore of several cultures. This sketch is from a photo of a pencil sketch, scanned,printed, scribbled on with pencil, sloshed with a little water colour and re-scanned. Hardly warrants the effort!

And, of course, I’m doing sketches for our book exchange. My book has arrived in Leicestershire and will probably be on its way to Pakistan very soon! You can read and see more on our book blog. Click the link, over on the right, below the Flickr link. We’ll try to keep up-to-date.

 I am still managing to swim…

…usually 2 kms whenever I get to the pool. And I try to do that 3 times a week.

What’s that? Write blog posts more often? Ooh, you are funny!Even  the hare’s laughing…

laughing hare

Now, back to the real world…


* Betty Hutton in a movie called,I think, “Sewing MAchine.” Late ’40s. It’s probably Googleable, but I’m running late.


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ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY…by Sporran

Saturday

Yesterday, I jumped to the top of a closet, chased the dust bunnies that live up there, then leapt down and scampered away.The bipeds were impressed that I didn’t limp. (Bipeds are easily amused and impressed.)


2008_1124sporran0002Here, I demonstrate my flexibility, using the broken leg to scratch. See that mop? Well, it annoyed me, so I attacked it. I won!

It can get pretty noisy around here, what with those stupid dogs next door and children yelling. But the other night, we heard a different noise. Lots of popping and loud bangs.Man! Our ears were twitchin’ fierce. Dinah grabbed her camera and ran outside.

2008_1116fireworks0006

For this???

Apparently, it’s called fireworks and there was rather a lot of it, down at the beach. We thought it was hardly worth the bother!

Dinah says I can finish this later;she wants to go somewhere to look at paintings…

Monday

Well, Sporran has wandered off so I might as well add my bit.

Spent an enjoyable day yesterday, cruising around in my air-conditioned car with a friend and taking in some near-local art shows.

One was a little less “local” than intended – we took a wrong turn and had to drive a fair distance up the steep range before I found somewhere to turn ’round. Oh well…it was an interesting “extra!”

OK…all you folks in the Arctic zone might want to skip this…

You’ll notice I highlighted  the bit about my air-conditioned car? Well, believe me, if I did not have that facility I would not have ventured out yesterday. The official reading was 31 deg Celsius, but inland (where we were) it must have been several degrees higher. And with a seering northerly. Have I mentioned that I do not like high temperatures?

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This tangle of vines on a palm in front of the living room obscures my view of…

2008_1118pbankxmas0021

…this. Cassia fistula

2008_1118pbankxmas0024Ahh! But when all those buds open … The poor tree is somewhat misshapen as the huge Royal Palm fronds  “lean” on its branches when they drop. And at around 15 to 20 feet from the ground and weighing a lot more than moi…moi is not inclined to scramble up a wobbly ladder to remove them.

This Adenium obesum rewarded me with flowers this year, after sulking last year when something with BIG CLUMSY FEET flattened it.

2008_1114ajdesk0006

Locals call it “Desert Rose.” Another case of confusing common nomenclature as I know Desert Roses as that crystal structure you find in…well, in deserts.

This is a web picture of a Saharan “desert rose.”

Actually, that’s gypsum and if my shaky third form chemistry holds up, I think it’s something like this: Ca SO4 2H2O. But wiki might be more accurate!

My white one has sisters in red and pink.

UPDATE 24 hours later… the flowers were stripped by the hot, fierce wind that has not abated for 3 days… don’t even ask what this did to the lettuces!

I still have those dust bunnies to deal with




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THE TROUBLE WITH MODERN TECHNOLOGY…

…is often a matter of old dogs being unable to (easily) learn new tricks. And I am a classic example of this.

Now, there are some things I will never have time enough to learn, like the fixing of computers when they tie their silly little chips in knots and refuse to function. It’s infuriating and frustrating, but when the Toy dies I simply pull its plugs and haul it back to the repair shop. And wait. This time, we’ve had a new motherf motherboard. Oh, yeah…a new CPU, too.

So things should be sweet, yes? Hmm…

Ages ago, I took part in an ATC swap with a blogger in Massachusetts after she offered a cute little card that struck a chord with me. See, superannuated hippie that I am, I remember the first Moon Landing and Neil Armstrong’s famous words. At the time, his ommission of that “a” annoyed me a little. But I loved the idea that, back then, we still had hope that the world was emerging from cold war darkness into a positive time, with so much good to flow from space exploration.  Maybe not.

So…M’s lovely card arrived in a charming  “snail mail” packet and I have still not blogged about it! I’ve had some difficulties with my camera cable so I tried scanning. Blah! Picture too fuzzy and too big for WordPress so I’m afraid you’ll have to wait a little longer while this is sorted. But trust me, it’s a lovely card.

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In the meantime…who’s feeling peckish? This is a great weekend lunch dish. Couldn’t be simpler! I line a baking tray with foil, roll out some puff pastry and top it with courgettes, aubergines, whole garlic (currently small Mexican bulbs are the best), some roasted capsicums, tomatoes, pumpkin, baby squash, maybe a few mushrooms if I have not scoffed them all, olives, some cubed feta, a generous slosh of olive oil and some fresh herbs and a little sea salt. Whack it into a hot oven til the cheese and the pastry is looking golden. Scatter fresh basil and eat. Perfect on the shady deck with a glass of something cold.

+++++++++++++

Sporran continues to improve. Sometimes, she limps a little, but she’s been climbing the fence and was up a tree the other day so I guess she knows her limits! The sunbirds are nesting again behind the front stairs and three cats are most interested in proceedings!

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For several years now I’ve subscribed to Robert Genn’s newsletters. While not every issue is “me” I often find myself following a side trail and today , more than ever.

If you read this blog regularly or know me personally, you’ll know I am passionate about reading. And that I try to share this passion with school children. Not always successfully!

So I thought I’d give you a link to Bob genn’s current newsletter

(http://clicks.robertgenn.com/teaching.php)  as I found his quote from Updike struck a very loud chord. Certainly, from my standpoint, the message is more easily conveyed when I deviate  slightly from the page. If I can engage the kids in  a little fun, perhaps by using rhyme, “funny voices” or some other approach, they will be more likely to want to continue. What is happening in this instance is that they are no longer sitting passively, listening to me drone on. They are teaching themselves!

Read Updike and I think you’ll understand why I still do this on a voluntary basis.

^^^^

Now, having lost my internet connection for a few hours and still unable to figure out the camera cable I’m off to do some essential shopping. What is essential? You have to ask? Oh, please! La Cave needs restocking, the chilli chocolate has run out, I have a huge craving for some blue vein Brie…

Back when revived! And just for fun and to keep you on your toes, try this test, which I nicked, shamelessly, from Ryan

No, I have not got my results yet. Lost the connection, remember. But I think I’m heavily weighted in favour of Picasso, ancient icons and Oriental.

UPDATE  results just in


Compared to other takers

  • 40/100 You scored -1 on Impressionist, higher than 40% of your peers.
  • 80/100 You scored 13 on Islamic, higher than 80% of your peers.
  • 72/100 You scored 11 on Ukiyo-e, higher than 72% of your peers.
  • 68/100 You scored -4 on Cubist, higher than 68% of your peers.
  • 35/100 You scored -18 on Abstract, higher than 35% of your peers.
  • 56/100 You scored 2 on Renaissance, higher than 56% of your peers.

Your result for What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test

Traditional, Vibrant, and Tasteful

13 Islamic, -1 Impressionist, 11 Ukiyo-e, -4 Cubist, -18 Abstract and 2 Renaissance!

So there!


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INJURY COMPENSATION CLAIM

UPDATE ON SPORRAN

Less than 24 hours after her surgery we brought her home. Limping (understandable!) and a bit wobbly, but  “perfectly okay to go outside, whatever the Vet said, so open that door, please.

I clipped a leash on and stayed with her and she had a mooch around the back garden then I brought her back indoors. Well, someone has to get some lunch!

Sporran says she’ll come visiting her blogfriends and say thankyou for the good wishes.

Sporran, ever the daring, climb anything adventurer…

The “how” is, and will probably remain, a mystery. The “when” was some time yesterday morning. The “result” is a broken femur tip. And the “remedy” is arthroplasty. Doctor Vet will probably want to keep her in hospital for the weekend.

In the meantime, her legal aid is filing a compensation claim which, apparently, includes the word “salmon” in several clauses…

Stay tuned, folks…

*Let’s just wait til we’ve seen Doctor Vet’s “claim” shall we?