Monday, July 29, 2013

That darned cat

Mom agreed to take my kitty, Kokopelle, to the vet for his checkup today. Unfortunately for everyone involved, however, he was uncooperative.

For the record, this cat has always been very easy for me to get into a carrier. It may not be his absolute favorite place in the world, but he has actually been known to willingly walk into it when I take it down and then bring him to it.

Yep, you read that right. I'll take the carrier out before retrieving Kokopelle. And he actually behaves himself for me.

So you can imagine my surprise when mom told me the trouble she'd had. Her story went something along the lines of "Well, I took the carrier down before locating Kokopelle, and I may have said the v word to your brother...the cat hid under your brother's bed, and has been there since before the appointment at two o'clock." She took a bit longer to explain it, but that's what it boiled down to.

Before you say that it should be easy to get a cat out from under Tall One's bed, let me tell you about this bed. It's a water bed, and the center of it is very solidly on the ground. And since it's pushed up against a corner in my brother's room, this creates a sort of hallway (to nowhere) that the cats can hide in where we can't reach them. Yes, Tall One has blocked it off, but apparently this is the second time that Kokopelle has managed to get into it.

I was all for leaving Kokopelle to his own devices, and letting him come out when he felt like it. He'd been there hours already, and I doubted that he would come out just because I asked him to. But it was (maybe a tad firmly) suggested to me that Tall One might not appreciate my cat being under his bed, so I decided to make a half hearted try at retrieving him.

...Kokopelle came out in about a minute once I got down on my hands and knees and kinda, sorta, called to him.

I think everyone is a bit irritated at the fur ball. And the fur ball in question is currently lying in the middle of my bedroom floor, looking somewhat smug.

A very pleased Kokopelle

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Random acts of kindness

I went to the Portland Highland Games last weekend. They were a lot of fun, and I'm thinking I can turn the day into a couple of blog posts. I normally haven't done that in the past, and I don't think I've even written about all the Games I've attended. But the Portland Games were the only ones I could attend this year, so I may as well savor them.

One of the cool things about the Games is that there's too much to see and do. This can be a bit frustrating, since it's impossible to be everywhere you want to be at once. But it's also awesome to be able to choose between athletic competitions, pipe bands, Highland dancing, non-pipe bands, sheep dog trial demonstrations....oh, and vendors. The vendors are fun to browse.

I think it was at the Highland Games that I discovered the art of Jen Delyth. There's usually a booth of hers at them, and she does amazing Celtic artwork. If I had a ton of money to blow on just one vendor at the Games, it would be on her stuff.

The Lugh window sticker at my old home, during a thunderstorm

You can also see it here
Last week I started my day at the Portland Games by wandering around the vendors briefly before getting some food. (I'd had coffee, but no food yet. Priorities, you know.) I wasn't ready to buy, but was definitely browsing, and taking note of places to revisit later. When I got to Jen Delyth's booth I decided that I would have to buy a replacement for the Lugh -- or Lleu, as they spell it -- window sticker I had up in my old apartment. It didn't survive my taking it down, which was unsurprising but a little saddening.

One of the guys working the booth started a conversation with me. I learned a few random things about Scottish type stuff from him, including that his clan's tartan has a hideous bright shade of orange in it when modern dyes are used. I guess it's not always a good idea to make colors as bright as possible, just because you can. After a few minutes of talking to him my hunger convinced me that I needed to go in search of food, but I said I'd be back later.

When I returned that afternoon I went straight for the Lugh window sticker, and it was the same guy I'd talked to that morning who took my money. Or rather...he tried to take my money.

There's a bit of a problem with my debit card, which is that the magnetic strip is temperamental. It's no problem if someone can (and is willing to) enter the number on the card manually, but with the iPad he was using that wasn't an option. And I didn't have any cash on me.

I was disappointed, but after he'd been swiping my card for more than a minute I finally told him not to worry about it. I said I would probably get money from someone later and come back then. That's when he surprised me by telling me to just take the $5 window sticker and that I could come back later if I got the money.

Um, wow. I didn't know people actually did nice things like that.

Fortunately I was eventually able to get cash from mom, and I returned to pay. The kindness I'd been shown encouraged me to also spend a bit more than I'd really wanted to on a nice shirt I'd been drooling over. It has Danu on it and is quite lovely. I figure if the people there will be so nice to customers, and that since the artwork there is so lovely, I may as well spend a bit extra on Jen Delyth's stuff, especially if I'm going to insist on indulging myself occasionally.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Tuna Salad

I'm not abandoning this blog. Honest I'm not. I'm just...distracted.

I thought I'd share a recipe for tuna salad. It's one I learned years ago from my mom, and for ages it was the only fish dish I considered edible. Of course, the "fish diet" my doctor put me on for my wacky cholesterol has forced me to expand my horizons and realize that fish and sea food aren't so bad after all. (Except for cat fish. I don't think that's ever edible.) Since I've only shared one other fish recipe, I figured it was about time for me to share another.

It can be enhanced with chopped apples or nuts, or anything else you think would go well in it. I've even tried mushrooms. I usually just fix it as shown here, though. And it's really convenient to put together in the evening and take it to work the next day.

Ingredients

Ingredients

Packet of tuna
Mayo
Sweet relish
Dill relish
Lemon juice

Instructions

Put your tuna in a bowl, and add a large spoon of mayo. This can be adjusted to taste.

(Actually, everything can be adjusted to taste.)

Add mayo

Add the rest of the ingredients, to taste. I go a bit heavy on the lemon, light on the sweet relish, and heavy again on the dill relish. I actually added more dill after stirring in everything in the following photo.

Ingredients about to be mixed

And it's as simple as that! Really easy, but it can take some tweaking before you figure out how you really like it. And again, you can try adding nuts and other stuff to it.

Ta da! Done

I guess you can eat it straight like this, but you can also put it on crackers (it's lovely on saltines) or on a sandwich.

The birth of a sandwich