Cat shit…

A few weeks ago, for about $10 (on sale), I bought a great mat to go under Benjamin’s cat box. I was getting tired of finding chunks of the silica crystal litter all over the floor and, worse, standing on one in the night. Those things hurt! And they stick to your feet.

Most of the mats I have seen are small faux grass mats which the cats hate the feel of so they kust jump over. This is a large mat made of a rubberized material. The little sticks to it but is easily swept up or you can pick up the mat and knock the bits back into the box. Plus, it is “reasonably” attractive…. sort of… It isn’t ugly, let’s put it that way.

Because the box is in the bathroom and this thing breathes, it doesn’t soak up water and get all mildewy and mouldy.

And, you can cut it to the size you want, as well.

On an unhappy note, our friend Selene’s 12 year old Tortoiseshell, Kari, had not been eating, drinking or pooping for several days. She took her to the vet on Thursday and the vet seemed to think it was allergies. She gave her Prednisone. But on Friday night, she was worse and when I went over on Saturday, she was panting and her lips and gums were white.

We took Kari to the animal hospital and they said it was congestive heart failure. They could give her some meds and she might live another year but that her quality of life would be diminished. Selene decided to let her go.

Selene said that she hadn’t cried in 12 years and she wasn’t going to start now… but she cried and cried… She was so distraught that she was unable to tell the vet “Yes” to give the shot. So I had to do it.

I felt terrible. Selene initially decided not to stay in the room when Kari was given the injection but I said that she might regret staying in the room but she would likely regret NOT having stayed in the room, more. So she stayed.

Smile as though your life depended on it… and…

PhotoHunter: Framed

Need I say more?

The print at the top of the first photo is one I did in high school. It was the first etching I made. I thought it was from the “Bab Ballads” by W.S. Gilbert but apparently not. I can’t remember, now, where I copied it from.

The other etching which you can see a bit more of in the second photo is one my husband gave me for Christmas the last year we were married. I love it. It is by an Inuit artist, Germaine Arnaktauyok, called “Ullus”. Ullus are traditional Inuit cutting utensils used exclusively by women. One of Germaine’s designs is on the back side of the 1999 $2 coin (toonie) commemorating the founding of Nunavut and another for the 2000 $200 gold coin. You can see more images of her work, here. I would love to get one of the prints of combs.

…and this is a bit of fun I created a few years ago… “June Bride

Amanda Louise Spayd and her “dolls”

These are the ugly-cutest little creations! Sort of Velveteen Rabbits gone over to the Dark Side….

I covet one… I seriously do… (click on the images for more links).

Yoka Bear

Oh…  And she also makes fragrances and soaps, as well…

PhotoHunt: Numerical

This week’s PhotoHunt theme is Numerical…

I was wracking my brain trying to think of something for the theme and then took a break to edit and save a recording I made this evening on my new toy…

Omnitech Digital Voice Recorder

The term “digital” comes from the  Latin word “digit” meaning finger, because the fingers are used for counting (I am a finger-counter, myself!). Digit also refers to numbers, of course!

Without going too deeply into the hows and wherefores of digital technology, digital technology uses numbers, letters and symbols to represent information. Digital technology allows us to record, transmit, and display information easily and quickly. As well, unlike analog methods, digital communications are generally error-free, copies of copies can be made indefinitely. The technology allows information to be stored and transmitted in smaller and smaller devices.

Digital technology allows me to record quickly, easily, and very satisfactorily, with a minimum of equipment, photos and now sound.

As for the sound?

Pretty darned good! The room was large and there wasn’t a large audience (and some insisted on talking through the show… 😦 ). I was right up front and there were sound issues. However, the first set which was my friend Ken solo on acoustic guitar was great. With the larger band that followed, which a much louder sound and a number of instruments, the sound wasn’t very good.  I was only using the device itself to record the sound and not the mic.

Ken and Rob are playing tomorrow night so I will try with the remote mic and also try adding some acoustic foam over the mic and the built-in mic and see if there’s a difference.


I had come across my mother’s Soldier’s Record and pay Book from her days in the Women’s Royal Army Corps, last night. Amongst the documents accompanying it was the receipts tor the announcement of her appointment to 2nd Lieutenant in the WRAC, to appear in the London Gazette Supplement.

I’d not heard of the London Gazette but figured that it was just another newspaper.

From what I can tell, it is actually where announcements from all over the UK, and historically, all over the British Empire, were printed. Everything from insolvency to announcements of the settlement of wills and the appointment to military positions.

I started out by looking for the announcement of my mother’s military appointment (which I found as well as her appointment to the same rank in the Reserves in 1953. Then I found the announcement of her cousin George’s appointment to the same rank. I started looking for the names of other relations and then tried the name Dubash, my step-Dad’s surname, and Shroff, (or Schroff) his mother’s maiden name. There were a few people with the surname Dubash and a few with the surname Shroff. However, the bulk of the entries, some going back to the 1790s, are for the occupation of Dubash (basically a “facilitator” – someone who acts as the agent for a ship or company to arrange for everything from offloading cargo, arranging the sale of cargo, ships chandler….) or Shroff (collector, as in debt or loan collector).

I’m not sure how many people are aware of the Gazette but it would be a resource for anyone doing genealogy research.

“New Toy” update

I took my new digital recorder back and got my $40 rebate!

I was going to take it back yesterday but had one of my stupid vertigo attacks and had to stay in bed all day.

I also planned to go into this computer store to check out a reconditioned computer for Gabby. The one I saw the day before yesterday for $199 (yes… $199) on their website is gone but they have this $299 one. Since I have someone who can fix the computer if something fails in it, I’m not too worried about it.

Another friend bought a computer their before and is pleased with it.

New Toy

Since I wanted to get serious about getting the details of Mom’s life, I decided to get a digital voice recorder.

Yesterday, I went off to Staples and picked this up…

It works as a voice and music recorder, a radio, and MP3 player, as well as record from your phone and the radio. As well, you can edit. It was $89.88. However, I just saw that the item has a rebate for $40 which starts today!!!!


  • Ultra slim design – just 9.5mm thick
  • Voice-Operated Recording (VOR), MP3/music playback, telephone recording
  • Built-in speaker
  • 4GB records up to 1,125 hours
  • FM radio tuner with the ability to record radio content[!!!!!!!!!]
  • USB compatible
  • Records to MP3, WAV and ACT file formats
  • Includes software CD for file-conversion
  • 1 year limited warranty
    Included in the Box:

  • Digital Voice Recorder
  • USB Cable
  • Software CD
  • Basic Stereo Headphones
  • USB Wall-Outlet Charging Adapter
  • Telephone Recording Cable
  • Telephone Recording Adapter
  • Audio Cable
  • Wired External Microphone
  • Instruction Manual

PhotoHunt: Orange

This week’s PhotoHunt theme is “Orange”.

For most of the last 150 years, Orange Lodges had been a fixture in most Canadian communities and were the most prominent political and social organization. The first Orange lodge was founded in 1830, in Brockville, Ontario by Ogle Robert Gowan.

On early maps of Ontario, aside from churches and post offices, the Orange Lodges were marked. Since I spend a lot of time driving around the countryside, I often see buildings which I suspect may be former Orange Lodges. This was the first one I identified. It is disused and was moved from it’s former location some properties away.

Apparently, despite the date of 1888 on the marker on the building, Loyal Orange Lodge No. 69 of Mansfield received its official warrant from the Grand Lodge of British America of Kingston and Brockville in 1847 but the lodge was in existence before this official recognition. Presumably, the 1888 is the date of this building. The Mansfield Orange Lodge was the social centre of community activities in the Mansfield area, namely the area of the sixth, seventh and eighth concessions of Goulbourn between current-day regional road five and the Munster Sideroad.

Loyal Orange Lodge #69, Mansfield, ON, 1888

When we moved, we had to leave behind our beautiful, well-established honeysuckle. A few weeks ago, the chair of the Landscaping dug it up and took it into her yard. I was so mad because it probably won’t survive the move. I bought a pink one. I can only hope it does as well as my orange one did.


Perhaps my favourite annual is Nasturtium. Not only is it bold and beautiful, it is also versatile. It is a lovely addition to salads. The leaves are hot and spicy and the flowers sweet.


Tomato salad, steak, and banana splits…. Yum!

Dinner tonight was steak and tomato salad, followed by banana splits…

Tomato salad

  • Yellow vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 container Bocconcini cheese, golf-ball-sized, drained and sliced in half
  • 3 sprigs of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced and crushed
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • ground pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • balsamic vinegar dressing*

Slice the tomatoes and all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss gently and set aside.


The steak was fried in olive oil with 1/4 tsp. of bacon grease

I added 1/2 cup of white wine, pepper and salt half way through the cooking time.

When the steak was almost done, I put the salad on the plates and added the dregs of the salad dressing to the pan with the steak and allowed it to cook down and caramelize.

Remove the steak and let it rest for 6 minutes before serving.

Banana Split

  • 1 banana per bowl, split and halved
  • 2 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • 2 chunks candied ginger per bowl, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. ground and toasted almond
  • 2 tbsp. dulce con leche

Assemble… eat…

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