>Out of action, and gratuitous cat photos

>Hi all, Nadie here.

Just a quick note to let you know mum’s computer is out of action for the foreseeable future. The monitor decided to die while we were up there for Christmas and we had to bring the whole set up down to Melbourne to ascertain whether it was the ‘puter itself or the monitor. On the plus side at least it did happen while we where there, which will cut down on the time it takes to get it all back up and running!

In the meantime here are some unimpressed decorated animals for your amusement. Don’t worry, they were not forced to endure this humiliation longer than it took to take the photos, and they all know by now that this is the natural consequence of staying still more than 5 minutes in chez catsmum at this time of year.

My girls, once prised out from under assorted beds to travel there and back, settled in well. Sumi has declared that next time she wants alternative travel arrangements.

Hope you had a great Christmas!
x Nadie


>’T’was the night before Christmas …

>I have accepted – albeit without much in the way of good grace – that there was little point to putting up the usual complement of Christmas trees – so I am making do with the small one already in my bedroom and the wooden Balinese one in the rumpus room …
but that doesn’t mean that I am admitting defeat in the decorating stakes.

This morning The Boy [ DD’s fiance ] helped me drag the last ‘kitchen’ box and the three ‘rumpus room’ boxes down from the shed and within an hour or so, that end of the house was transformed:

a sackful of santas [ or would that be a ‘Ho-Ho-Ho’ of santas ? ]

a hug of bears

a flock of sheep [ with one caprine ring-in and a stray reindeer]

a patchwork table runner [ designed as an end-of-year project for a class some years ago ]

can you spot the kookaburra-with- santa-hat ?
and it may be a bit hard to see because of the angle, but there’s a matching echidna just to the left of the angel plate – and that stitchery at the back? it says ‘ even our cats believe in Santa ‘

but ‘t’is late and Santa’s on his way, so, in the words of the classic poem, may I wish you …
A Merry Christmas to all
and to all a good night

>Better Late than Never

>Yesterday was forecast to be as hot as Hades. Today was going to be hotter than Hades,
So when did the A/C guys turn up to spend two days climbing around inside my roof? Yes, 8.30 yesterday morning !
Bear was thrilled: so many people to bark at hysterically

The temperature inside the tin roof was probably around 50C for much of the day [ 120 something F ] – well it would have to have been because it got to over 40C outside today and I guess we all know what tin roofs are like – but the installers had procrastinated so many times that they had run out of options, and someone higher up the chain of command had decreed that it was going to be done by Christmas, come hell or high water.

Of course all this work entailed the power [ and therefore the fans which, ineffective though they might be, are normally marginally better than nothing ] being shut off for most of yesterday.
It was ‘orrible
and last night offered little in the way of relief because the house had heated up to the point where it just wasn’t going to cool down
and did I care ?
well … honestly … yes,
but not as much as I would have normally
because today would see the end of days like that

Nadie and Chris and the Grandkittens arrived for the holidays at about 1.30

by 2.30pm the guys were getting ready to go and the coooooooooooooooool was on!

umm mostly

they will need to come back because one of the fan units was faulty [ which they know about ] and also – and a totally separate issue – the airflow to 2 of the bedrooms is minimal [ which they don’t know about, but will fix if they expect to get paid ]

Barring some major tinkering with time-and-space [ where’s The Doctor when you need him? ] it would be a physical impossibility to do 10 days worth of seasonal decorating in the one day left before Christmas
but I gave it a seriously good try:
Let the celebrating commence!

>no they’re not here yet

>the A/C guys didn’t turn up again, even though I was assured at 9 am that it was happening today – embarrassed phone call from the poor harassed girl in the office at 1 pm to confirm what I’d already managed to work out: They weren’t coming.
What a surprise.
Ahh well, I guess , in the grand scheme of things, my undecorated-for-Christmas house is not the end of the world [ but it certainly doesn’t feel very much like Christmas ]

Yesterday, being grandson’s third berfday, David and I spent what seemed like half the day in the car, driving down to Melbourne, picking up MIL, and then out to Berwick.[ almost a three hour trip each way once you factor in picking up Grandma ]
The ‘Not-going-to much-trouble-because pregnant-DIL is-so-exhausted-so-just-grandparents-Dave-and-Nadie’ had morphed into ‘everyone we ever knew and their kids’

net result: one totally over-stimulated little man who wouldn’t come near me or his carefully thought out presents

So basically a very long day – and especially so for Bear who spent it shut in La Casa Caprine, aka the goat shed … without goats … which was infinitely preferable to him being inside for 8 hours without a loo break but not much fun

Edited to add:
late breaking news!!
Dateline: Tuesday December 22, 8.30 am – they’re here, they’re here !!!!!

>Fabulous Friday [ Christmas ] Fotos

>Well, I did finally get that celebratory coffee – except it wasn’t a coffee at all, but rather a Dragon [ chilli-flavoured ] Chai – when I met Marcie and Jeanette at the Coffee Bean this morning, and a nice time was had by all. Strangely enough, given that all three of us are quilters, I don’t recall there being any quilty conversation, other than a mention of the quilt group’s Christmas GTG last weekeend, that both Jeanette and I missed. I know we talked about blogging and family and Christmas and my birthday or lack thereof, and yes, okay, I will admit to a certain amount of cursing the A/C installers who theoretically are arriving at 8am Monday

… anyway, moving on to today’s visual component: some more images of the decos in my bedroom, seeing it’s the only bit properly decorated.

Saint Nick with his patchwork cloak which you totally can’t see so you have to take my word for it that he’s wearing an outfit pieced together from many different cream fabrics,

and assorted cream angels – heavy on the lace and vintage buttons

now this particular angel, with the fine embroidery on satin, I didn’t make. She was a gift from my friend Peggy, and all the more precious because Peg passed away some years ago

you can also see the vintage/antique ivory stiletto and the tiny quilt stencil that I bought in Paducah, KY, in 1996. I also have an even tinier version of it … somewhere … which is only about an inch high and therefore very easily misplaced

… old knitting gauges, mercury glass, pewter angels, and a garland made of vintage-style buttons

AND finally:
this wonderful icicle which is all of ten inches long

my Christmas present from Jeanette. For now it’s hanging from the light fitting in my room but I suspect it will move into the Big Room next year.

>an emotionally charged day

>Ask almost anyone with a birthday that falls in December, and they’ll probably have a few words to say about the general unfairness of birthdays near Christmas – overlooked, barely acknowledged, or missed entirely
[ Marc’s most famous effort was to completely forget my 30th birthday – which meant that the kids did too – and he was only reminded that evening when we went to a Christmas party and someone wished me many happy returns ! ]
In my case it gets a little more complicated because my beloved of 25 years passed away on my natal day in 1999

… which means that people are often unsure how to handle the day, and to be perfectly honest, I’m unsure how to handle the day a lot of the time. Most years I do manage to still feel as though it’s my birthday but it’s never completely without some shadows, and self-evidently, I do still feel a compelling need to mention it.

and that was yesterday

it was – for the most part – not a particularly good day this year. Usually I can count on a friend or two to meet me for a coffee, or lunch or some such but everyone was working [ and yes, Marcie, I know I should’ve rung you ]
There were no early morning phone calls
… and it was bloody HOT: 40C / 104F [ feel free to insert rude thoughts about those A/C guys here ]

What kept me going was
a] some retail therapy in the form of a floaty purple sundress
b] the prospect of a Christmas BBQ pool party for dinner – and a good sing – with the other members of the Peace Choir. I’d promised that Dave and I would be there, so that was where we went.
and somewhat predictably
It was just what was needed:
truly fabulous and eclectic house set on a heavily treed and very private bush block within 3 minutes of the town centre
great company [ Albert under the hat, Jacinta, Robyn and Marlene ]
good food
good music[ Jane and James ]

and we only managed to prise David out of the pool with the promise of chargrilled bits of cow!

>I got tired of waiting

>… for the workmen who will be creating messes all over my house when they finally deign to arrive, and decided to go ahead [ as per the rant yesterday ] and decorate my bedroom, albeit 3 or 4 weeks later than usual.
If I have to dust, wipe, polish and vacuum after they’ve left, well, so be it. It is after all, a very small room and making a start has made me feel a lot happier.
Not so much grumbling today even though it was 32 degrees [ around 90F ] and A/C would’ve been welcome … [ Okay. So there was a little bit of grumbling. I have the normal complement of human frailties ]

cream bedding changed for more seasonal burgundy [ although cream works just fine too ]

wooden shabby chic angels floating from the netting which has a new burgundy wreath. I just whacked it straight on top of the old wreath which was looking a bit faded and having the two of them up there makes a stronger statement.
We will try to ignore the occasional cracked fragments of burgundy pearlescent coating which fall off the old one and land on the pillows!

The usual stuff on top of the cedar tallboy has been added to, with a Victorian-style angel, a ‘crystal’ beaded garland and decorated twigs in an Edwardian crystal bottle, and a couple of very cheap and cheerful trees at the back.
The garland of glass ‘bobs’ hanging from the drawer was a pressie from Maz a couple of years back

In the opposite corner is my tree – usually the smallest one of many but currently the only one up – crystal, glass, silver and pearl mainly.
I still haven’t added the usual collection of silver knitting gauges and ivory needle cases and scissors and such – mainly because they actually do get used and so aren’t stored with the Christmas stuff – although there is one tiny pair of silver scissors in there somewhere.

Under the tree, sitting on a piece of vintage crazy patchwork that you can barely see because there’s so much stuff on it , are assorted calico [ muslin ] angels and a Victorian Saint Nick in a patchwork coat.
I’ll try for a better photo tomorrow.

This year’s new additions are the acrylic NOEL, PEACE, and JOY, a gift from my darling daughter when I was recuperating from the recent surgeries:

Like a lot of my favourite special pieces, these came from Stocks in Castlemaine.

I can highly recommend it as a source of good quality Christmas thingies that are just a little different.
They aren’t cheap by any means but I’ve got to the stage , decorations-wise, where a couple of good pieces a year makes more sense than a huge box of cheap baubles. [ which is not to say that I don’t have them too, just that I don’t need any more ]

Nadie also bought me the gorgeous little ‘ night before Christmas’ box a couple of years ago … during the year it houses the decorations for this particular tree
you should probably take notice of the plaid bow on the cat statue.
I say this every year but it bears repeating: if it sits still for more than 5 minutes, tie a Christmas bow on it! This applies to cats [ real as well as ornamental ] dawgs, chairs, light fittings, goats and visitors if they’re over 6′ tall !