In which we are outnumbered

yellow twins and teeny little white babies
yellow twins and teeny little white babies

Bolly and Dorian have done it again – but we’ve never had four eggs all hatch before. If you click on the picture to enlarge it you’ll see that one of the white babies is so new its feathers weren’t even properly fluffy yet.

And we still have Allie.

And Yarrow the flood bird who never got tamed.

Plus Mr Beloved’s troop of black and whites: juvenile butcher birds Pip (of great expectations) and sibling Squeak, who bring their parents Swoop and Butchie; and juvenile magpies Pie and Bone (although as I’m typing this an unknown young magpie has just turned up. Word is spreading.)  All of that lot turn up for shreds of strasburg sausage tossed to them – the butcher birds catch it on the fly; the magpies turn up and sing for it.

We’ve had some hothothot days (nearly 40C) but this week has been cooler.

Not much else happening – I’ve enrolled for my one subject I think I can manage at uni, but the first class isn’t until the start of March. It’s an English Literature unit.

I’ve tried to fix comments on the blog – if they’re still not working, please drop me a line on caity at caitymakes dot com.

Housekeeping; 2 and a half journal pages.

Well, BLOG housekeeping – you didn’t think I’d suddenly developed a passion for actual housekeeping, did you?  I mean, in our house the dust buffaloes have NAMES and GRANDCHILDREN.

You might notice (if you’re reading the actual blog, rather than an RSS feed) that I’ve finally got around to adding some things back in over there ———————————> in the right hand column. My Yahoo avatar (did you know Toowoomba has several croquet clubs?  Steaming towards the 19th century, we are, oh my!) and my long neglected Shelfari list have been updated.  And some links.

Speaking of links – without sounding toooo gushing, there are some bloggers who are so awesome that I had difficulty deciding how to label the group.  “Who I wanna be When I Grow Up”? Not quite right.  “I am a Total FanGirl of these Bloggers” is accurate but a bit long…

Anyway, on to other matters.

It’s been quiet on the home front, with only increased security rounds of the commercial premises across the road and some newly boarded up windows to show for Monday night’s excitement.   But it’s truly the silly season and I expect we’ll have some hoon related drama before too long…

Speaking of Christmas, I am SO OVER IT!  As an atheist household, we don’t really do Christmas… but as this is the first year we’ve really been “out” as atheists, we’re still adjusting.  I’m happy that other people want to celebrate, fine, send Christmas cards, do whatever – but I am sick unto DEATH of Christmas music.  And crowds.  *shudder* I don’t like crowds at the best of times, but add in carpark rage, congested shops full of people desperately buying tat that will go in the rubbish by the end of next week… Ugh.

[clicky for biggy]

I had another “oops,I slept all day” day today.  (wow, that’s awkward, with those three “days” in there!)  And I’m still tired.  Ridiculous!

Here’s another art journal page, this one only just started:

[click.big. yada yada.]

Miss Constance J Woodle’s eye problem seems to be mostly cleared up after a week of eye ointment (ick!) but she is back in the hated elizabethan collar because she’s chewed the pad of her right from paw to bloodiness.  ARRRGH!!  I’ve been putting anti-fungal ointment on it but if it’s not cleared up by Monday she’ll be back at the vet.  Again.  (yes, I’ve checked thoroughly that there wasn’t a grass seed or something similar stuck in her paw to cause the irritation – I think it’s just one of the joys of having a furry hound, and let’s not even go into the eyelashes problems that poodles can get…)

[clicky]

I’ll probably put more colour over the white dots yet…

And you? What are all of Y’all up to, hmmm?

Just another night in the suburbs…and some pages

So where have I been? Around. Just not doing much. This time of year is always a downer – the CROWDS, the relentless Christmas music… as I was driving back from my chiropractic appointment yesterday I had the local commercial radio station playing in the car.  They played Weezer’s version of “O Come All Ye Faithful” – immediately followed by Bloodhound Gang’s “you and me baby ain’t nothing but mammals so let’s do it like they do on the Discovery channel.”

Uh – right. Am I the only one to notice that’s a bit of a WTF moment?

Last night (well, early this morning, since this all started at about 1:30 am with a cascade of barking dogs as the youths in question ambled down the street) we heard breaking glass, lots of thumps… Mr Beloved reported the suspicious behaviour of the three kids, turns out so did a neighbour, also alerted by the dogs… and this is something of a miracle in itself, since usually the neighbourhood dogs bark unheeded for hours…

Young thieves, stolen Christmas presents including a block of very big new knives, and break and enter of commercial premises.  Yikes.  4 police cars at one stage. Policeman with very powerful flashlights.

And next to no sleep.

Here’s Mr Beloved’s (much better and more coherent) version:

The dogs tell me first. The right sequence of barks, from Scruffy at the top of the street, down through Hamlet the Dane, Gillis the Dobermann, Psycho Bitch, Ugly Dog, Fat Staffy, Old Black Lab, and now my poodle… I can almost plot the intruders coming down the street.

Forewarned is forearmed. I was almost asleep when Scruffy started barking, a few hundred metres away. That was not just a bark: it was a serious let-me-at-’em, and Scruffy’s not normally a gung-ho kind of dog.

We’d gotten to bed late anyway. My partner’s reading light was turned aside to let me doze off. I wave my hand sideways with a cut-off motion, and now it’s dark.

I move as quietly as I can, given the old, creaky, wood floor I’m trying to cross . Damn it, I’m getting a bit old and creaky myself. Still, the instinct and reflexes haven’t let me down: I’m in time to see three kids go by, crouched forward and moving like Guilt itself was after them.

Two are about fifteen by appearance, not tall. One carries a box that looks like a carton of canned beer. Another has a light-coloured, almost cube-like carton: I make the assumption that is is a six-pack of premixed bourbon and cola.

The third kid is smaller, perhaps twelve, or a girl who doesn’t curve a lot. There’s a bundle in his/her hands. Moonlight makes spotting detail at even twenty feet a difficult job, but it looks like one of those eco-friendly shopping bags.

They’re headed for the park at the end of the street.

So, a spot of underage drinking is nothing to worry about? I dismiss the idea of letting it go: if they’re going to spew, make loud noises and leave broken glass, I’d rather it was somewhere else.

A quick phone call to Plod, and I wander down to the backyard. Across the fences, I can see a small white light in the bushes by the creek.

I relax. Even if the kids have night vision as good as mine, the LCD of that mobile means I’m as good as invisible, and I have them pinpointed.

Back to the house, and a follow-up call to the police operator. When that crew arrives, they now have an exact spot to shine those blinding lights. That will be demoralising for the kids in the bushes, provided a crew gets there on time.

Time is always crucial.

I’m ready when the first car arrives, about five minutes later. Plod doesn’t have the home advantage, so I shine a large torch into the area where the kids were.

Past tense is the thing. Even as the second patrol car arrives, thuds and breaking glass can be heard from a business across the road.

One of the police and I talk briefly, I give him some details of how many, approximate appearance, what they were carrying. Attention shifts to the source of the noises.

There are four cars, each with a couple of officers. From the look of the torch beams, they are inside the business premises, which means that the private security guys are on-site.

They’re taking this very seriously: individual cops are patrolling on foot in a number of areas on two blocks. I stay out of the way for over an hour and let them get on with their work.

My partner has stayed well out of the way. The dog knows her job: she’s looking after her Mum, staying quiet and looking for any hand signals to bark, search or whatever.

Eventually I leave the house and speak with the constables who are re-examining the area where I saw the kids hiding. I direct them to the exact point, and one cop exclaims, “Look! There’s a bit of gear here.”

There is. It’s most of a chef’s knife kit, new, in an aluminium-finish case. So there’s my assumption about a pack of bourbon tinnies shot down. Or stabbed.

Oh joy, there are some knives missing.

By now, it’s about 3:30 AM. I’m so heavily into hypervigilant mode, I can hear individual birds moving about restlessly as the humans invade their dark scrubland.

I give my name and details to one of the police and go back inside. As the police leave, I wait. So often the departure of Plod is the beginning of “Give it ten minutes and we’ll leave.”

This time the kids have all departed. It starts raining. I wait as dawn breaks, and have a walk around the block. There is a window broken at one end of the warehouse, but from my outside-the-fence viewpoint, I can’t tell if it was pushed in or out. That thumping and glass-breaking may have been the eastern side, and invisible from the road.

It may have been indoors. Forensic police spent a considerable time at the business premises later in the morning.

With the benefit of full sunlight and two hours’ sleep, I went back to the scrub at the end of the park. There were a few items further down the slope, missed in last night’s search.

The kids must have done a quick raid on somebody’s outgoing Xmas presents. There are tags “from Grandma”, a few cheap stocking-stuffer toys (discarded by the little thieves, who are obviously too sophisticated for anything less exciting than a long knife), hand-crocheted doilies, an address book with the crabbed writing of an older person.

I bundle the dew-soaked finds up, for handover to police.

I love the special feelings this time of year brings out in people.

***************************************************

So today: migraine.  Yuk. And a heightened feeling of unease and danger.  Doors and gates double checked.  Triple checked.  Rattled as I go past just to check again.  I try to sleep away the migraine but mostly I’m restless and over-tired.  Another day of feeling like I haven’t been able to achieve anything.

I did make a few (physical) scrapbook pages last week.

connie baby page

[clicky for biggy; paper is hand painted by me (inspired by some I can’t get!); mask on photo from Paislee Press; background on photo is paper from Thao Cosgrove’s digital kit “Beautiful Life” from scrapgirls.com]

happiness heart home page

[clicky for biggy; cardstock is Bazzill; paper by Teresa Collins; chipboard by Maya Road; Glimmermist by Tattered Angels.]

Quite enjoying that. Please excuse quick and dirty photos with parallax error.   Oh, and did you know you can buy COLOURED staples? Who knew?! Now I just have to find a stapler (it’s somewhere in the house…)

This time of year makes me want to clean out the house. I got rid of an armful (heavy!) of magazine scraps today, ones that I’d already mutilated in my search for faces and alphabet pieces for my art journal.  I’m planning to get into the sewing room SOON and move a lot of things OUT -as in, to the op shops etc – they are eating my physical and spiritual space.  There’s little point in trying to flog small pieces of quilting fabric on ebay – the only people who make money from that are Australia Post.

Speaking of the art journal, here’s a quick pic: It’s actually too bulky to work in now, after painting  and border-collaging the pages.

journal closed

Most of the pages don’t have their main image or journalling yet but I am quite overwhelmed by the COLOUR and might have to start a new, more spontaneous journal.  I haven’t been able to do anything in this one for at least 10 days and I hate feeling this STUCK.

journal open

Also, I think I need to go back to a smaller format, that fits in my bag. This A4 size is fun, but cumbersome.

Think it might be another bed day tomorrow.

Hello, come on in!

Welcome
tackorama.net

Come in, come in, don’t mind the boxes, still unpacking here, you know…

Can I get you a coffee? Tea? Water?

Why did I move? Oh, you know, the old place was just cramping my style.  Oh yeah, I still quilt, but “Caityquilter” just wasn’t the best fit anymore.  Don’t you think “Caity Makes …” is much better?  Lots roomier, better light, and I love the new storage space over here!

So – it might take me a while to settle in here, but I’m hoping the move will help me get things organised.  I reckon you need to move every so often just to sort out the clutter, keep what you REALLY need to keep. And of course there will be weeks of moving the furniture around until I get it just right.

“Caityquilter” will still keep going for a little while and I’ll leave that site live, but this is where I’ll be from now on.