Monday Musing… My Family

Today is sunny, with a little wind, but because it’s a Monday, it means I won’t see TOH and the children until after school. To be honest, I’m rather glad of it. Not because I don’t like my kids or my partner, but because after a weekend full of them, it’s nice to have some peace and quiet!

And that’ll change soon enough… so I’m making the most of it while I can.

I thought today, I would introduce you to my family. I think I posted about them before, but I can’t remember when, so it’s been long enough that I have new friends to introduce them to.

We’ll start at the top of the Pile: The Cats.

Why are you looking at us

Yes, I am a cat slave. The pair in the picture are brother and sister – the orange and white one is Gizmo and the tricolour is Cleo.

Gizmo is named after the adorable character in Gremlins because when he was a kitten, he had huge ears and paws, was the fluffiest thing I had ever seen and loved to eat. It’s the eating that got him to the size he is now (massive) and almost cost him his life (he had urinary tract problems a year ago and was in pet hospital for nine days)… not that that has put him off eating – he’ll eat anything and everything, including cardboard and plastic.

His favourite place to sit is on me, snuggled up under my hair. When he was a kitten he used to sit on my shoulder, actually under my hair, and he thinks he can still do it… I don’t have the heart to tell him that he’s too big to do that any more! I am his human, despite the fact that I got him for TOH.

Nicknames: Flump, Fatcat, GIZZIE!, Guzzleguts, Stinkycat.

Cleo is his smaller (but no less fluffy) full blood sister. We rescued her from her last owner who was using her as a kitten factory in a bid to make some money.  She came to us already pregnant and eventually had five kittens… they were rehomed together as a family, and Cleo stayed with us.  We think she’s been mistreated a little, because she is incredibly skittish and runs away from the slightest hint of danger (she even runs when there is no danger!)

Cleo’s favourite places to sit include on the front room curtain, on top of whatever clean washing she can manage, and on the loose material of TOH’s favourite lounging-around-in trousers. Like her namesake, she is beautiful and very demanding when she wants something. She is also very picky about the state of the litterbox; if it is not up to her standard she will find somewhere else to do her business… and as she shares it with Gizmo, that happens about twice a week if TOH doesn’t sort it out first.

Nicknames: CLEOPATRA COURT! Queenie, Sweetheart, Little One.

Yes, I know we are supposed to have separate litter boxes for them. we tried it and it doesn’t work. Gizmo used whichever one he fancied, so we had twice the problem.  You’re also supposed to have separate food bowls for them; we tried it… Fatcat just ate all his food before Cleo could finish hers, then when she wandered away (she’s a grazer) ate the rest of her food as well.

Okay then, from my Master and Mistress, we shall move on to… * drum-roll*

TOH (aka The Other Half )

Yes, he has a name, but I am not allowed to use it upon the inter-web. So get used to the acronym. This is he:

TOH and one of his favourite creatures...

TOH is an artist with all that goes with it – the mess, the tantrums and the up-and-down enthusiasm for his chosen profession. He was originally a Civil Engineer / Hydrologist, but after a series of job losses to do with his dyslexia and the economy  he decided to return to his one true love (no, not me, I’m second fiddle to this) – Drawing / Painting / Animation / Manga and Comics / Console Games; aka ART in all it’s myriad guises.

Just recently he’s become excited about ceramics. *rolls eyes* I foresee an awful lot of mess coming from this one…

Next up…

NOS (aka Number One Son) 

This isn’t the most recent picture I have of NOS – it’s from 2011:

2011-12-13 19.40.25

Unfortunately he’s managed to avoid being photographed  since then – and he’s changed so much! In this photo you see a cherubic, sweet, well mannered ten year old. He’s not like that any more – he’s 12. NOS has entered that scary time for all parents, the pre-teen years and is currently experiencing the joys of High  School and having his very first girlfriend (all together now – Ahhh).

What this actually means is that I have a confused man/child on my hands. He still likes cartoons, Pokemon and stuffed toys (I’m surprised he can actually fit into his bed with the number of toys he has on it still), but he also likes ‘Sexy ladies’ (his term), Top Gear and action movies. He’s also now the same height as me, which can make it difficult to discipline him,  as he is practising his ‘looming’ a lot. I know his ticklish spots though…

Last, but very much not least…

PT (aka The Princess Terrorist)

Getting a picture of PT is easy – I just point a camera at her. Here’s the latest one:

2013-05-04 11.03.26

She’s not so much the sweet, cute little girl any more (she was really cute when she was a baby, but don’t tell her I said that) mostly because she’s growing far too fast; you can practically see her grow overnight! She’s up to my chin and accelerating…

PT likes to dance and sing and be the centre of attention. In fact, she loves it so much that she’s done a video about our back garden for my blog… I have yet to edit it together, but as soon as I have, she’ll be appearing on your screens. PT is a diva in all things. She has to have her own way so much that it’s getting tiring saying “No.”
Having said that, she can also be very sweet and loving. She tells us that she loves us half a dozen times a day or more, is always up for a cuddle (despite being too big for my lap) and will do anything to make you happy when you are sad.

*  *  *  *

So that’s my family. I love them all and they support me in whatever I do. My children help me write books for other children,  read the ones I’ve written and generally make up my cheerleading squad. TOH provides emotional support and idea bouncing and the cats are very happy to keep me company while I write…

Doctor Who Day!

Yes, that’s right – today is Dr. Who Day. Apologies to everyone in Australia etc who have to wait until tomorrow to see it, but I am so excited, I’m bouncing! I’m more excited than I was for the new season of Castle… and that’s saying something, because I refused to cook dinner that night.

I may have to do that tonight…

Tonight is the first episode of the second half of series 7 (none of that season nonsense here) in which… what happens? I don’t know: but here’s the trailer –

Our whole house will be watching… will yours?

It’s Sunday… time for some rambling thoughts!

Well actually it’s Father’s Day. The one day of the year when men are allowed to be all soppy and sentimental… and will allow their children to be all soppy and sentimental over them as well.

Being connected to quite a few people from all over the world through facebook can be entertaining, but it can also be useful for keeping up with your family.

My cousin is currently wandering around Europe as part of her degree and because she won’t be with her dad today, she wrote him a poem on his FB wall.  It brought tears to my eyes because it is so expressive.

Other friends are posting pictures of their dads and telling us why they feel their father’s are so special. Some of these stories are funny, some are sad, others are a combination, but the fact remains that every single rememberance is full of one emotion in particular – Love.

Love is the glue that holds families together and even in those families that have been split apart by distance or tragedy, the love shared is the stretchy, elastic that keeps you linked.

My Dad is in New York. He moved there with my step-mother a long while back and even though he is five thousand or so miles away, I can feel the elastic between us, stretched tightly and tugging on my heart. So I thought I would try and explain to you what makes my Dad special to me…

We’ll start with a blast from the past…

Puff the Magic Dragon is one of the few songs I can remember my dad playing and singing to me when I was little. It is the reason that my muse is named Puff and that I love dragons.

Puff the Magic, Storytelling Dragon

My dad likes to design things and as well as producing things for his Second Life obsession, he is also a Master Craftsman and an Artist.

Dad’s Artwork

I associate the smell of wood with my dad; he taught me a lot about crafting just from letting me hang around his workshop when he was turning and because of what I’d learned from watching him, I was able to pass my workshop safety on the Lathe without actually having any lessons on using it.


So I decided to use my craft to create something for him  – a poem:

To Dad

I miss you a lot,
You’ve been gone a long time,
You are my dad,
You age like good wine.

You taught me about fish,
You taught me about wood,
You taught me to know,
The bad from the good.

You showed me the beauty,
That comes from the heart,
In music and crafting,
You gave me the start.

Now Puff is my muse,
I know he’s not new,
And I will never lose,
The love I have for you

It’s not perfect, but then again, my dad isn’t perfect – what human is?

My Dad and Step-Mother

My children have a wonderful Father.

TOH isn’t perfect either; but he is loving, funny, playful. He enjoys discovering new things and teaching the children about them. He can always be counted on to entertain them with paint or clay or animation and he’s not above chasing them around the supermarket with his “tickle fingers” making them shriek with laughter…

*rolls eyes and sighs*

TOH and one of his favourite creatures…

He loves animals and if we had the space (and money), I am convinced that he’d have so many cats that I wouldn’t be able to turn around for fear of tripping up! If it were legal to have tigers and large cats as pets, TOH would have a White Tiger and a Snow Leopard as well – he’s had to make do with adopting a Snow Leopard through the WWF instead.

Everyone’s father is special in some way and I devoutly hope that my children grow to appreciate theirs, even when he takes up the role of Disciplinarian / Chief Embarrasser / Daughter Protector as they turn into teenagers.

Happy Father’s Day to all Fathers, no matter where they are, may your elastic bonds never snap.