Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bye Bye BlackJack

BlackJack as a kitten, December 2007.

Just a quick post today. BlackJack, our 3 year old black and white cat, had to be put down yesterday. The crystals in his bladder hadn't shifted and he also had stones in there and eventually he couldn't wee at all, so he was in pain. The last day and night he kept crying and had stopped purring. Jim and I took him to the vets, who agreed there was nothing further to be done for him. I held and stroked him and the vet was very kind and gave him a sedative first. He was only 3 but was very friendly and home loving and we miss him. Poor Sandy doesn't know what to do with himself as they've been together since birth. He has given us a lot of pleasure in his short life and we did all we could for him.

We buried BlackJack in our rose garden, where a rose had died and we will buy a new one to put on top of him.

On a happier note, it's Jim's 65th birthday on March 6th and we are going to Athens next Thursday (from the UK, where we go on Tuesday) for a few days, which should be lovely. I have never been. Jim's been before and it was his choice to re-visit.


I have made 3 bookmarks and 2 Artist Trading Cards for a swap:

And the ATCs:

The theme was 'Spring' as I hope you can see!

So that's about it for now. I'm off into the garden as the sun is shining.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

UK Trip to Chesterfield.

Trip to Chesterfield, Derbyshire

What fun I had too. I stayed with my daughter K and her two wives Rachel and Luisa. K and I went to see the play 'Equus' at Chesterfield Pomegranite Theatre on the Thursday night and it was simply superb. As an added bonus, after the play, the cast all came to the bar for a question and answer session. As a thespian myself, I really enjoyed that and K and I had a great informal chat with the director and the leading man who played Dysart.

During the day on Thursday, K, Rachel and I went into town as it was the second hand market there. We wandered around the stalls and Rachel was amazed at how long we were out - 4 hours! It's a novelty for me to go as in Ireland I haven't found much in the way of car boot sales or second hand stalls. I picked up a few bits and pieces for my craftwork for pennies. Here are a few photos of the day:

I rather liked this splendidly colourful zebra.

K bought this splendid 'Hulk' hand for Lu - I love this shot.

Fun bits and bobs - I like the tiles very much.

K chatting to Rachel who was flicking through one of her purchases from the market. We had chips for lunch with melted cheese on top. Delicious!

A colourful rail of scarves.

Wow, foot long hot dogs! We managed to resist but they sure sounded good.

The following day we walked round the market 'proper' and I can't remember which day some of the pictures were taken! Not that it matters. This splendid shire horse and cart were there on Friday:

When I called his name, Ben, he turned and looked at me! What a fantastic face.

A carousel was there but all covered over. I can imagine the ghostly horses riding round during the night!

The main feature of Chesterfield is the church, known as 'The Crooked Spire'. Here you can see why:

There are many lovely old building in Chesterfield too.


Another highlight of my visit was a wonderful carvery meal shared with 11 of my family. We were there from 1pm until after 4pm and never stopped talking and laughing.

We all look a bit 'at sea' in this photo! L - R. Kyle, Lu, Rachel, Chris, Rachel, Miranda, K, Lina, Kirsty and Tony's hair!

This is a better shot, taken by Tony. I am in it too! Kirsty and Kerry (top right) are getting married in May, so that will be my next trip to the area. The lovely lady at the top of the table is Miranda, my ex sister in law. We all still love her. The 'Rachel and Chris' on the bottom left are Miranda's daughter and fiancee.

It's a meal out I will remember for a very long time.


Sunday was my going home day but Kirsty came over again to visit me and take Lina to stay with her for a few days, as it's half term week. Liane, my step Grandaughter, also came with her son Connor and carrying her new baby, a little girl, due in June:

Here is Liane eating a healthy apple with her little 'bump'.

We had a bit of a surprise one morning, when the garden was covered in snow! It had mostly gone by the end of the day, luckily:

It seems very quiet back here in Ireland! BlackJack is much better and it's been quite easy to give him his medicine.

My toe has repaired itself well, thank goodness, and only wept once - when I wore high heels to go and see Equus!

Yesterday was a lovely day and I did lots of garden clearing but today the rain is back. As I have cystitis anyway - I'm having a quiet day and not doing much.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Poorly BlackJack - Poorly toe.

BlackJack and Sandy Playing and Fighting in the garden.

Poorly BlackJack

Poor BlackJack has a suspected urine infection. I took him to the vets yesterday and they injected him with some antibiotics and gave me some to take home. Today he's been crying on and off and trying to wee but just leaves little drops of blood around so I rang the vets. I took him straight in and they kept him there overnight. Were going to catheterise him and test for the bug so they can treat it. Poor little thing. I told them to be very careful with him. Every time I picked him up he started purring straight away.

Poorly Toe

I went up to the shed in the dark 2 nights ago and smacked my big toenail really hard on the top step. I thought it hurt and when I looked it had torn the top of the nail away from the toe. AAAAH! I even took a photo of it for you all!

I have since managed to soak it and cut the nail a bit so it is less vulnerable. Today it hurts slightly less and is less swollen too. I have been wearing socks with sandals - not a cool look but needs must!

Cat Update

BlackJack is back from the vets. He makes crystals in his bladder and they bung it up. Have to give him cranberry juice every day for the rest of his life and antibiotics now for a while. If it clears the crystals, all ok. If not it's very bad. I have bought pure cranberry juice for him - only half teaspoon a day so good if it works. Fingers crossed everyone.

New Rag Doll

I took Bridget, the new rag doll I've made, up to Ann Brodericks. She just loved her. I had tea and fresh brown scone with cream cheese and smoked salmon. Lovely! As the sun was shining when I left, I walked over to Ann's car parking area and took the following joiner of the view. Do click on it to enlarge for its full potential.


On the Milliande Art Community for Women we have a section which is called RAAKs (Random Acts of Kindness). You can add your name and be sent/send a piece of art to anyone or all on the list. I received my first RAAK a few days ago and it's a lovely Valentine's ATC (Artist Trading Card).

This lovely ATC is from Rainbow Painter in the USA. She is trying to send one to everyone on the list - and it's a long list! I have since received some more things but haven't photographed them yet. I shall have to send some off myself.

Gort Rain

We have had quite a lot of heavy rain recently and on the way back from Gort, I stopped and took this photo of one of the rivers in flood:

It has subsided a bit today.

Naughty Cats

Both happily asleep on our bed. Bad cats!

Sandy just looked at me and stretched. 'Nice here isn't it BlackJack'!!

I soon chased them off.

Visit to Daughter

On Wednesday I am off until the following Sunday on a visit to see my daughter and family in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. I'm looking forward to seeing them all again.

I am in a rush to make another 'Archie Doll' for K and so far only have a head and body!

His face is rather cute though! He has odd ears.....!

The Garden

Before I was indisposed with my toe (which bled again this afternoon), I started doing the back yard and have taken a little collage of photos for you to see:

The wall you can see has been made good on the right and then there will be a rockery which will go round the other side too. In front of the wall will be a gravelled area and we will move the bird table there and the bird bath. The rest will be grassed to tie in with the lawn you can already see. The left of the wall needs making good for a couple of feet. I think it'll look great when it's done. I'll have to wait until I come back from K's I think when my toe should be all healed.

That's it for today. I'll try and do another post before I leave for the UK. Must get Archie finished...

Monday, February 7, 2011

Another Suffolk Trip. New Rag Doll Completed

Suffolk Trip

Hi everyone, I had a great few days in Suffolk. We went to a playbarn, shopped, lunched, went out for a ladies night and meal, lunched, had tea..... actually a great deal of eating happened!

Just a few photos to show you. The rest are on Facebook if you're interested.

Kitty at the playbarn with smarties.

Sam and I ready to go out for a meal with lots of other ladies. It was great.

My delicious pudding.

Ladies who eat a lot!! I'm right down the far end. It was Sam's birthday on Monday 31st so this was our excuse to celebrate. We went on Saturday night.

On Sunday it was a trip over to Dereham to see Nanny Maureen and Grandad Ivor - this time we ate in a pub! What shall we have today? It was roast dinners all round:

Jack loved his:

And Kitty enjoyed pouring the gravy onto each and every plate with the cute little gravy boats!

We had a quick whizz round some shops, Kitty rode in the trolley with Jack pushing - a recipe for disaster! Sam behind.

Kitty at home with a basket hat!

While Jack played on his space hopper.

Jack having Daddy time before bed and some Gran time, below!

On Monday, guess what? We went for lunch! This time Jack was at school so it was just Sam, Jason, Kitty, Rene (Sam's Mum) and me. We went to the Harvester and I enjoyed a superb fish and chips. Kitty wasn't really hungry so Jason quickly eat his dinner then entertained her inside and outside:

Here they were dancing to the background music!

Sam had a 'WI' for her birthday and we all had fun playing on it. Sam and I both enjoyed the tennis. I can play much better on the WI than in real life!

My photo of the trip is this one of Sam and Kitty having a love in:

I left early on Tuesday morning. At Shannon airport I waved to Jim in the queue for the plane I had just arrived on - he was heading to Worthing for a couple of days! It was Thursday before I picked him up back at Shannon!

New Doll

The new doll for Ann Broderick has now been finished. I'll probably take it to her tomorrow (Monday):

Meet Bridget (as she's Irish).

Here is the back view. I put a little plait and bobble on the end of her hat for a change.

My new table

I never seemed to have any space in my office to work so Jim converted an ironing board, which I don't use for ironing as it's just too big, into a work table. I love it!

He's fixed a board to the top and it still has the pointed section of the ironing board, which I can use to iron the seams on the dolls' dresses, etc. What a clever boy! I have another order for a rag doll so I'm just sorting out the material.

I think that's about all the news apart from the incessant rain we've had for a few days. And lots of wind.

Happy Monday everyone.

Oh, the 'River of Stones' has finished and I have submitted 10 of mine for inclusion in the book they are going to make of them. I'll be happy if one is picked. xx

Here's a link to my Facebook photos