Kittens Becoming Non-Kittens

I had this head-jerk, omg moment the other day. For the past week plus I’ve been all “ooooh, my sweet snuggler, my adorable little hugging kitty boy/girl, you want to give me smooches and I’ll give you smooches right back, all the head butts you want, oh so purry, I love you, all the eyeblinks and more, oooh let me give you kisses…”

Wait.

It’s been awhile but suddenly my head jerks up and I think – wait, this I have known before. I’ve been here, seen this, and have already scheduled the little operations that this is all about.

My kittens are growing up! Waaaah!

You know kittens – those adorable little fluffernuts of brainless fun and excitement. Not to say that kittens aren’t adorable and often snuggly etc but most of the time they’re already off on their next adventure. That’s why so many of my photos of them are them blissfully asleep, so perfectly beautiful and peaceful and sweet. (and why last week I did my first Facebook Live episode – five minutes of adorable cat siblings snoozing together in all their snoring, twitchy loveliness.)

But this week – this week Harry’s like ‘come on, I’m here to lick your face because I love you so much. I’m going to wrap myself around your arm and purr. Hey, can I follow you up the stairs and hey will you pay attention to me. Like NOW?!” Meanwhile Ginny is oooh I’m going to reach through the banister and watch while you hang up your backpack because I love you so much and am so excited you’re home and I love you so much. Hey and can I sleep right by your knees? And don’t I look adorbs while I’m running into the cellar where I’m not supposed to be?

Yeah. That first rush of hormones. Super adorable. Super loving. Yup. Please let it stay just like this for one more week.

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World AIDS day 2017

We did some talking about World AIDS day today, specificially about Product RED and the impact it makes on AIDS in Africa. It was an almost cheery video. I looked behind me and all my young(er) co-workers… many at the age of those who were killed by this mysterious, emerging disease. It wiped out so many and there was no hope to offer.

I flashed back to reading that article in the NYTimes (paper edition) which announced that doctors were puzzling over this new disease which seemed to shut down the immune system and which targeted young men… I thought about my co-worker Rudy who died of AIDS, his family denying his whole life.

And I looked at these young folk, ready to do good for those affected in Africa. It’s good but I had this moment that this “problem” has been moved to somewhere far far away.

We’ve come a long way, baby?

That NaNoWriMo thing…

I’ve become that person, regularly pasting my words into the validator to spur me on to new words. My goal at the moment to get the words/day needed to “win” down to a believable number. I blame the world series and my uncertainty of what it will take to win over my main’s mother from whatever the heck her problem is. I gave myself a stern talking to this morning on the way to work – you might not know what’s about to happen but you know the characters probably do. So let them figure it out and stop worrying. After that, I had a couple thoughts about (not how to fix everyone’s problems) several very nice things that could happen next and said “self – you should start writing that’. I made a couple very short notes on PAPER – and that’s what I’m writing tonight. #atstarbucks. #letsdothisthing

Impossible is a word only to be found in the dictionary of fools. — Napoleon Bonaparte

Things that make you go – ah!

I found this little book in Adventure Book in Oamaru and was going to save it for the trip home but I knew it would be ok to start. Tolkien in his scholarly form tends to be… hmmmm… dense reading?

I got to the introductory page though and was sat back in my chair by this:

[writing about the two pieces in this book]…Also they were written in the same period (1938-39), when The Lord of the Rings was beginning to unroll itself and to unfold prospects of labour and exploration in yet unknown country as daunting to me as to the hobbits. At about that time we had reached Bree, and I had then no more notion than they had of what had become of Gandalf or who Strider was; and I had begun to despair of surviving to find out. — J.R.R. Tolkien, Introduction to Tree and Leaf

From the Quote Box

The world is indeed a mixture of truth and make-believe. Discard the make-believe and take the truth. — Ramakrishna

Photos as Reference

Long time readers may attest that I take a fair number of photos. It’s true. Not all the photos are great – some are taken to capture a bit of light or something interesting or just as an aid to memory. Lately I’ve been taking more photos as reference.

I was thinking about this as I watched a youtube watercolorist show how he auditions and “edits” photos. He prints them out and doesn’t worry about sharpness or perfect lighting. Obviously there was something about the scene that grabbed his eye but it doesn’t mean it is a composition worth painting. He uses a really soft pencil and a white pencil to move trees around, add some shadows, establish where the light is coming from, all the while considering how the eye will move in and around the image. (If you like his video, watch this one next for some amazing cloud wet in wet painting)

When he was done, the view was indeed more interesting to look at and still bore a strong resemblance to the original photo but it wasn’t the same.

All this is a way around to saying these two groups of photos aren’t the best I’ve taken but they were taken to show the scene. The sheep photos have some really dark ones because I wanted to show the clouds. The sunset photos aren’t very crisp because I only had a few minutes before it was too dark to shoot and I didn’t have time to set up a tripod so I was bracing against things. But, I hope the ideas will be useful.

Local Sheep, Landscape and Clouds//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

sunset 16 August 2017//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Words from Tolkien

Where will wants not, a way opens. — J.R.R. Tolkien

and this perenniel beacon:

It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule. – J.R.R. Tolkien

and my oft-quoted:

…the night-sky was still dim and pale. There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach. His song in the Tower had been defiance rather than hope; for then he was thinking of himself. Now, for a moment, his own fate, and even his master’s, ceased to trouble him. He crawled back into the brambles and laid himself by Frodo’s side, and putting away all fear he cast himself into a deep untroubled sleep. – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King, Book II, The Land of Shadow.