>I’s helpings Mum decorates

>With – or despite -the input of various four-legged ‘assistants’ [ and I am using the word in its loosest form ], the festive decorating has been completed in time for the arrival of various crafty friends and relations later this morning.

Even in the face of inundation of near Biblical proportions,

they are braving the water, and the potholes, and I expect these hardy souls to arrive armed variously with their quilting, crochet, knitting, spinning and embroidery … oh and food … lots of food.

David was busy after tea last night, creating his own culinary contribution : mini plum puddings


and in a tenuous water-related segue:
This rare sight is the overflow pipe from my dam doing what it is designed for

… overflowing.

With summer only 3 days away, and after the wettest Spring in a dam[n] long time

the dam is full

and thousands of litres of precious water are disappearing down the road
but
and I can’t emphasize this enough
[just in case you missed it ]
the dam is full
for the first time -or so I am reliably informed by the previous owner – since 1996

did I mention that the dam is full ?

>it’s been a long week

>
I want to thank you all for the kind words and your understanding of how difficult last week was.

I’m slowly getting used to life with one less furrbaby around, and Bear seems to have stopped fretting.
Isn’t it odd that the one dawg in the house seems to have noticed Oakley’s absence far more than either Sophie or MissC ?
Well, no [ answering my own largely rhetorical question here ] because that is the nature of cats and dogs.

and before I move on … did you spot the common thread in most of the photos of my ginger boy ?
Sophie’s chosen path as the resident feline yarn tensioning device has been well documented. What was perhaps less well known was Oakley’s long career as quilt cat.

>Oakley 1995 – 2010

>I’m sorry that most of you never got to meet Oakley.
He was the sweetest natured cat that ever walked this earth
and I have watched him fade away little by little over the past year.
There haven’t been a lot of photos of him lately. he was just too frail but these are two from this year:

Nadie would say her final goodbyes each time she left to go back down to Melbourne but I think we both knew last weekend that this time it really was for the very last time.
Each time I watched her do it, it just about broke my heart
When I’ve woken up in the morning recently, or come in the door getting back from town, I’ve half expected him to have ‘gone’
and bad as that would’ve been, and as awful as it has been in the past, sitting up through the night with an animal that I knew I was losing, it was somehow worse to have to make the call to the vet. I did that earlier in the week, knowing that I needed time to say good-bye and to make peace with my emotions … and that I needed to let my girl know too.
Part of me hoped that Oakley would somehow take that decision out of my hands in these last few days
but he didn’t
so today he made his trip over the rainbow bridge.

>It’s THAT time of year

>Yes my dears

with only 12 days until the last WIP Day of the year [ works in progress that is ]
and also because I can’t cope with the idea of visitors mid-decorate – largely because the house at that point looks like an explosion at the North Pole – I have begun decking the halls a few days earlier than usual

In line with hallowed custom, the Official Annual Chez Catsmum Christmas House [ cyber ] Tour won’t start until the first of December,

but here’s a little taste
and in case you haven’t been watching the Christmas Countdown widget in the sidebar, here’s a small and suitably subtle hint:

>Yes, I know that it’s three weeks

>… since Nadie and Chris’ wedding, and you still haven’t seen a ‘finished’ photo of their quilt.
No I didn’t forget.
With the having the flu, and then the recovering from the having the flu and all, it just got put in the too hard basket … or rather, the ‘too damn heavy’ basket.
It’s a BIIIIIG quilt, and it weighs a tonne/ton [ feel free to choose your preferred system of weight measurement ] so I pretty much haven’t had enough oomph in me to hold it up for long enough to pin it to the design wall … and to move the sewing tables out of the way as well.

that situation was finally rectified on the weekend, and Chris [ who has a better camera than I do ] took this shot for me.
and even though it’s pinned at ceiling height, it’s still on the carpet a bit.
Told you it was big!

and just to prove that it WAS finished on time and was indeed at the wedding, here’s the extremely mediocre shot I took of it spread over the couch in the Bride’s Retreat at Chateau Wyuna.
Now you can see why I waited to get a decent shot before posting

>A Sound-Of-Music Moment

>I have tried
I have even come close
but I have to admit that the quest is over
he’s done it

SIL Chris
managed to get the PERFECT raindrops-on-roses’ shot yesterday.


look at that drop trembling on the edge
you just know that a millisecond later gravity triumphed

maybe I should try for the quintessential ‘whiskers-on-kittens’ ?