• Daily Life

    Very Exciting Developments!

    One might imagine, from six weeks of radio silence, that I have been busy.

    One would be correct.

    But there have been some Very Exciting Developments in that time!

    First off, I’ve gotten a studio to work in! It’s part of an artist’s collective, extremely convenient to my son’s school, and, as my husband said, “Bohemian enough to suit your sensibilities.” (I pointed out that I’m really not very bohemian, and he said, “No, but you want to be,” which is perfectly true. :)

    The collective has a Studio Cat. Her name is Ophelia (or Elektra, or Lady Tara, depending on who you ask), and she is extremely pretty. She also decided I’d brought my cute Itty Bitty Wonder Woman and Supergirl in for her, a topic upon which she was mistaken, and now I have to put them in a Safety Cup when I leave in the evening (well, afternoon) so she doesn’t make off with them. :)

    A friend, looking at the studio pictures, said, “I get the impression you’re expecting it to be cold a lot,” and the truth is I probably don’t have enough blankets, fingerless gloves, and shawls on hand yet. I’ve lived in 8 houses in Ireland, and none of them have kept heat worth a damn, but they were all at least nominally sealed. The studio is in a 150 year old textile factory with 22 foot ceilings and “windows” at either end that are merely wooden shutters with no glass behind them. So, yes, in fact, I expect it to be cold a lot. I have ambitions to get a rug for my space, and I need slippers, and probably other things to stay warm. On the positive side, I’m right below a heater (which is a giant space heater style thing), and have no compunctions against using it. :)

    The next Very Exciting Development is that when I got the studio, one of my friends began a “Business Shower” fund as a surprise so I could get things for the new space, and it just happened that I found a spare keyboard like my own on eBay just as they were planning to send it.

    Now, my keyboard (as evidenced in the pictures) is a fully split, chair-mounted keyboard, and I’ve had it for something like 17 years. Last summer I had a bad run where it had been messed up and I thought it was a goner, although it turned out the keys had just gotten remapped and someone who is a keyboard enthusiast happened to hear about it and could tell me how to fix it. But that was a very bad moment, because although there’s no reason to believe my keyboard will go kaput, I live in terror of the day that happens. I’ve looked for replacements idly on and off for at least a decade, possibly longer, Just In Case, but I’d literally never seen one on eBay before, and it showed up there just as my astonishingly good-hearted friends put exactly enough money in the paypal account for me to get it.

    Readers, I bought it.

    Honestly, I actually feel a little guilty about buying it, because, I mean, someone else might need and not HAVE one at all. I feel like I should lend it to somebody, or something, until the day comes that I do need it. Except that could lead to it ending up non-functional, too, of course, which would defeat the purpose of buying it in the first place…

    ANYWAY VERY EXCITED TO HAVE A BACKUP KEYBOARD and also there may have been some crying when i found out about the gift fund because just omg. what wonderful people i know.

    And the final Very Exciting Development is (not to bury the lede) I’ve just turned in my first COZY MYSTERY, which will be out in January 2020 and I am so looking forward to sharing with you all! Eeeeeee!

    Tell me about YOUR summertime adventures?

  • Daily Life

    picture post: blue hair & disney & birthdays, oh my

    I’ve been threatening for many years to dye my hair blue. Last week I picked up a bottle of temporary hair dye. I had hopes it would stick mostly to the grey, of which I have plenty:

    although I had been totally unable to find anything on the internet which suggested it might. After some dithering, I applied it:

    i think it's a good look

    To my delight, it in fact did a pretty damn fine job of sticking to the grey without blueing the rest of it up much:

    Also to my delight and relief, it does appear to be temporary. Two washes and it’s almost gone (it’s supposed to last 7-12, but I’d rather have it gone faster than not at all). I don’t know what my long term plans are for it, but it was interesting to try and kind of a neat little effect for a couple of days.

    Unrelatedly, I popped by the Disney store in Dublin while birthday shopping for my husband and found that their Black Panther figurine set features THREE WOMEN!!!!!

    I may have made a noise normally only audible to dogs. Or, in this case, perhaps cats.

    They also had individual T’Challa and Shuri figures:

    *screams gleefully*

    We had a small but pleasant birthday for Ted, in which German chocolate cake and Marvel figures featured heavily, and I began knitting a scarf I owe someone.

    I did not own a cat, the last time I knitted something….

  • Daily Life

    capturing the garden kittens

    We got a capture cage and a regular cage from the animal rescue place & to rehabilitate the kittens in. (Habilitate, I guess; they were never habilitated to begin with, so I guess they can’t be REhabilitated….)

    The animal rescue people are SWAMPED and they have no easily found place to give the kittens to someone else to teach to be pets. The lady there said every female cat they’ve had brought in in the past 2 months has been heavily pregnant and that she doesn’t remember a year this crazy.

    She also opined, and I suspect she’s right, that our mama cat, Duchess, is probably pregnant again. She’s certainly looking Unfortunately Rotund, so the shelter people would REALLY LIKE her to be captured before she has more babies and gets pregnant AGAIN. And I think she’ll be pretty easy to catch if the kittens (who run in for the food first) are out of the way, so:

    We’ll be keeping the kittens for a few days. Since the entire family is leaving on holiday on the 9th, we really can’t keep them beyond that, but at least this will give us a window for capturing them and hopefully catching Duchess and getting her into a place to have her babies as well.

    So as of last night we have TWO! TWO KITTENS CAPTURED! AH AH AH AH AH also a bitten thumb the little fuckers (yes, i washed and antiseptic-ed it right away).

    The parents were sufficiently upset about the trap that they did not go into it to eat the rest of the cat food last night after I caught the kittens. I’ll put new food out tonight. I hope they’ll take the bait, not that I’m catching them right now.

    The kittens are terrified and angry. When we went in to check on them this morning, Turvy (aka the smart one, aka The Little Fucker Who Bit Me) found another space in the cage it could squeeze through, but fortunately (?) squirmed through it backward and couldn’t figure out what to do with its head. I tapped it on the butt a couple times and it shot forward again, back into the cage. I then rearranged the whole room to get the cage up against a wall and block off all the places they could squeeze through. They thought that was all horrible.

    I will already be glad to hand them off to somebody who actually knows something about taming feral cats.

    Topsy, the brave one:



    Turvy, the smart one:

  • Daily Life

    Introducing Sophia the First

    Not that we expect more Sophias. She’s named after a Disney princess. :)

    I decided rather suddenly this week that we needed a cat, and since the animal rescue was having an adoption day on Saturday, we went in to look at “Tiggles”, who had been with them since December because she HAAAAAAAAAATED adoption days and curled into the corner of the cage and hissed and spat at anybody who came near. She’s been fostered at one of the rescuers’ homes, though, and they swore she was charming and sweet outside of the kennel, and, importantly, an adult (she’s 3.5 years old) who doesn’t mind small children, and I believed them. We took her home, renamed her Sophia, and now we have a lovely cat.

    Sophia, lounging. :)
    sophia05

    Radiators are best.
    sophia01

    Watching birds out the window.
    sophia02

    Sophia immediately displays a cat’s natural antipathy to a human having a laptop instead of a cat on their lap.
    sophia03

    “Hey!” said Indy. “I want to be in that picture!”
    sophia04

  • Orange
    Kitsnaps

    Kitsnaps: Orange

    Orange
    Orange

    And then there’s the moment you glance out the window at sunset and the orange light falling on the orange boards and the orange cat makes everything the exact same hue, and all you have to do is grab the camera before the cat gets bored and moves away. :)