Wednesday, 23 August 2017

A Storm in a Min-Album and More About Kittens!–WOYWW 429

I am very late with WOYWW this week (didn’t make it at all last week) but better late than never. I have been very busy with the kittens, and we have had a lot of people wanting to call and see them, and I have also been out a bit.

Art first, though. I haven’t been in the studio at all, but I have now made a video slideshow of my recent mini-album entitled “Second Wind” which I posted about some weeks ago. It comes complete with sound effects!

Kittens

Our new kittens, Lily and Ruby, are now thirteen weeks old and growing fast. They remain complete babies, though…

I bought them a circuit toy with a couple of balls for them to chase around the track, and attached to this are two fluffy things for them to play with. A few days ago, Lily started to suckle the black fluffy thing, and Ruby soon followed suit, and this is a regular habit for them now. It is adorable watching their little paws kneading, and hearing the little suckling noises they make, and the contented purring. It’s so funny because the fluffy thing is a lot smaller than they are, so could hardly be thought of as their mother, but I suppose they have no sense of scale! I think it’s a sort of security blanket for them – it’s obviously very comforting.

When we bought that toy, we also bought them a small kitten bed but until now, they had not used it at all. They were really keen on the stuff that didn’t cost us any money (the big cat tree my hubby made for them out of scrap wood, the wine rack, and a couple of toys given to us by a neighbour) but have tended to ignore the stuff we bought for them! Anyway, they have started using the kitten bed, first as a launching pad for other pursuits (literally – they spend ages chasing each other around) and just lately, for Lily to hide in so that she can prepare to ambush her sister without being seen, but over the past couple of days, she has decided that it is actually rather nice to sleep in. Not to be outdone, this evening Ruby decided to have a go as well, but they are getting so big now that it’s really only a bed for one. Not that that deterred her.

04 Both in Kitten Bed Close Up 20-8-17

They now have access to most of the rest of the house under some supervision, and they love the extra space for running around. There are two other litter trays strategically placed so they won’t get caught short!

I have also started with clicker training – if you don’t know what that is, there’s loads of info online about it. I am not intending to train them to do tricks, but simple things like knowing their own names, coming when called, and encouraging them to sharpen their claws in appropriate places and not on the furniture, and keeping them off the table and kitchen work surfaces. So far I think I have “charged the clicker” – getting them to associate the sound of the clicker with the giving of treats, and I am working on getting them to recognise their names and to come when called. Ruby is getting the idea, and is definitely ahead of Lily, who seems more easily distracted. Once this is established, we can move on to other training. It takes time and patience because they have to be done separately, and their attention span is fairly limited, so it’s just three or four minutes per session, once a day.

There are lots of videos of them on my Youtube channel, which you can access by clicking the Youtube logo in the RH sidebar of this blog.

Sadly, my hubby has now broken up the Kitten Fun box – they were getting too big for it, and it only served as another launching pad for assaults on one another and it was getting rather squashed! The carpet tube has also gone – they only played with that briefly and it was getting to be a bit of a tight squeeze. They have still got the fabric tunnel and they love chasing through that. My hubby is making a Kitty Castle for them which will be the next fun thing for them to play with.

We have had them for four weeks and we can’t imagine life without them now! This is the kitten stage that I really love – they are so much fun, and play together so prettily (and sometimes quite aggressively when it comes to wrestling and chasing) and it’s also the time when their individual personalities are starting to show, and each one has funny little ways that are unique to her. It is lovely having kittens in the house again!

Bread Baking Day

Today I attended a bread baking training day. A local microbakery runs regular training days, and recently my hubby won a ticket for such a day in a raffle, and thought I’d get more out of it than him, so off I went. It was the most fun and brilliant day ever. There was only one other person attending so we got lots of individual attention. She was doing the sourdough day, and I was doing regular bread, but we both learnt from each other. They gave us lunch (home made soup and sourdough bread) which was quite delicious. I had never eaten sourdough bread before and absolutely loved it – definitely something I want to try.

His approach was minimalist – all my breadmaking experience in the past has involved prolonged and energetic kneading but he seemed to do the absolute minimum. I was expecting this to result in large irregular holes in the bread but this was not the case. The dough was handled as little as possible and quite gently, and left to rest. A very different approach, with excellent results.

We both made loaves that were placed in special baskets which had been sprinkled with flour. After the dough had risen, it was turned out onto the sheet for baking, and the baskets left attractive floured ridges on the loaves which were retained through the baking process. I made one larger round loaf, two small oval ones, and half a dozen rolls (these had some seeds in them). We ate some of the rolls with our supper.

Here are the results of my labours.

01 Blue Basket of Bread

02 Basket of Bread

Camera Woes

My old Panasonic Lumix camera finally bit the dust recently (the focusing had become very unreliable) and I bought a new one at a very good reduced price in our local Curry’s/PC World. I put in my old SD card and took some photos which I was able to transfer to the computer, but was unable to delete them because I was informed they were “write protected.” I tried to remove the card and it would not eject. I had to dig it out and in the process it broke. I ordered another one (as well as a spare battery for the camera) and inserted it, but again it was “write protected.” Again it was very difficult to remove, but when I got it out, I found the lock on the side was in the locked position, and when I unlocked it and replaced the card, pushing it in locked it again. Again, great difficulty removing it, and I following some advice I found online, I glued the slider in the unlocked position and once the epoxy glue was set hard, I gently filed it down flush so that the card could be inserted again. Despite being fixed in the unlocked position, the card was still write-protected, and I was unable to format it in the camera. I removed it and formatted it in the computer’s card slot, but put back into the camera, the problem remained. I managed to format it in my hubby’s Panasonic Lumix but the write protection is still in place in my camera. There is obviously something wrong with the card slot. Having done so much digging around trying to get the original card out, I have probably damaged it and invalidated the warranty on the camera… I have got to take it back and get it repaired, which I will no doubt have to pay for. I can use the camera as photos will go onto the card, and be copied onto the computer, but I cannot erase them from the card, which will obviously fill up. It is really maddening and I could do without all this hassle…

Iron Woes – and Successes!

Along with all this, just over a week ago I was doing the ironing and there was suddenly an almighty bang and all the downstairs power went off! My old steam iron had finally bitten the dust. My hubby took me in to Curry/PC World and we bought a steam generator iron, and I was able to finish the ironing in double quick time, a process that was repeated last weekend. I have never in my life used such a fantastic iron and the job took about half the time! It is a Morphy Richards one (I did some online research the night my old iron broke, and according to various reviews, this one came out on top). It was while we were buying it that I spotted the cameras on offer and decided to replace my old one.

Why does everything always have to go wrong at once?

I am still very behind with everything because I want to spend so much time with the kittens while they are little (this stage lasts such a short time) and I am trying to catch up with my overflowing email inbox, unanswered forum posts and other matters, and feeling frustrated because I can’t get near my studio, and then having to mess about with all this technology going wrong is a bit much!! Hopefully things will get back to normal soon.

7 comments:

  1. Pleased to see the kittens doing so well. lovely video. Have a great woyww, Angela x12x

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  2. Great video of your journal! shame about your camera though - I must admit I don't delete my photos from my sd card once I've transferred them to the computer - I am so bad about backing up the pc I use the sd card as a spare copy of my photos!! Must remember to format the new card when it goes in though, I forgot last time round!
    The bread looks great, although I am not a fan of sourdough. Helen #4

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  3. Hi Shoshi. Oh dear - you have been having a week of it, haven't you?! Hope you get into your art space soon.
    Take care. God bless.
    Margaret #3

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  4. The kittens are so-o-o cute, especially the 2 of them in the kitten bed! Inky comes to me every night and finds a nice squishy part of me to knead and purr, luckily no suckling, but I did have a cat once that suckled on my hand, in the piece of skin between my thumb and index finger! I have to keep Inky's claws trimmed, or the kneading hurts pretty quickly! Interesting that they would both take to the bit of fluff! Your book is beautiful, I love the sound effects, just brings it to life! Thinking now of the people in Texas who are awaiting their hurricane tonight, supposed to be devastating. Give those kittens a hug each from me! Thanks for sharing, Lindart #33

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  5. Hi Shoshi, I do hope you manage to sort out your camera woes soon; it must be very frustrating. At least the iron turned out well. Those little rascals of yours certainly seem fun, my sisters cats have a similar toy (she has three from the same litter) and they went all goofy over it too. I don't think it has survived all the 'loving' it got lol. Hope you manage to get some crafting done soon, although you seem to be a very talented baker; that bread looks amazing. Sarah #18

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  6. Just spotted you at the end.
    What a lovely pair of kittens you have. They are adorable and I love the colour and markings on them. So soothing to hear them on the video - I need to play that when I try to go to sleep.
    The bread looks delicious - can almost smell the new bread baking.
    Hugs, Neet 10. xx

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  7. You should have given us a warning of cuteness overload,LOL! I can't believe how they have grown already! Beautiful little creatures! Oreo likes doing that too - probably more so when he was younger but he still does it when we give him something fluffy. Very clever video with the matching sound effects - at one point I thought I heard a meow in it and then realized it was just Oreo in the room LOL! Have fun with the kittens - I'll be off-grid for a couple of weeks now until we get broadband sorted in our new place. I'll finally get the dedicated art space I've always wanted!

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