Tuesday, March 31, 2009


A small but enduring memory.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

In which Boxhead the cat takes a guinea pig

The other day, it was a gorgeous Autumn day, mild and sunny. We went out and played on the front verandah, the guinea pigs cavorted in their hutch. I asked Hana to put some extra straw in the Guinea pig's compartment. I thought to myself "she knows how important it is to check that the hutch door is closed....", then I went up to the backyard to clean the chook pen. Only a moment later I saw Boxhead the cat out of the corner of my eye, he followed the wall and then around the corner, crouched low, moving fast. It didn't register at first, my confused brain slowly processed the fact that he had something in his mouth- something white and furry and small..... Close behind, came Kobe. One look at his distressed expression and it all became clear. Boxhead had taken Whitey.
In moments of urgency like this, I have been known to leap into action with amazing alacrity..... Well actually I freeze and shriek just like I do in my anxiety dreams where my body is flooded with adrenalin yet heavy and sluggish like half set concrete. I did this, but finally managed to force myself to move, after Boxhead I went, weaving after him bent in half, grasping at his fur. I launched and tackled him to the ground where finally he dropped Whitey who fell and lay twitching. The tears came, I thought Boxhead had broken the backbone for sure.
I cradled her little body in my hands and went to return her to her box. As I lowered her down, she limped out of my hand. I put her in a darkened room and went to find and comfort Hana who had gone down to the end of the yard. She sat there, head on her knees sobbing and crying. What I said to comfort her, I was sure were empty reassurances.
An hour or two later I looked in Whitey's box, she lay on her side, still as stone and my heart sank. But as I gazed down on her, her eyes widened suddenly and she leapt up and scrambled under the straw! Later on I took her gently and went over limbs and body, there was an indentation behind her neck where Boxhead's one remaining fang had pressed almost fatally but the skin remained intact. Today, I'm happy to say she is nervous but back to normal.

Friday, March 27, 2009

art journaling again

It's been awhile since I played in an art journal. Can't sit at art during the Summer for some reason. For relaxation I've been cutting stencils, I had a look at Mary Anne Moss's blog- Dispatch From LA, and was pretty excited to find that she is running an online course she calls "Pure Experimentation Stencilry- the online course". I couldn't wait for it to begin though, so I've been sitting at the kitchen table with my new specs on, scalpel in hand crying out warnings to approaching children that "This is VERY sharp". Finally, a way to guarantee more personal space!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Additions to the zoo

Boy! It's been a long time since I last blogged. I must admit, this year's fire season knocked me for 6. It's our first Summer in the countryside and what an introduction.... We weren't affected by the fires but our town Macedon was flattened by the Ash Wednesday fires in 1983 and everyone felt our number was due to come up again this year. Anyway, I've finally calmed down enough to write again.
The kids and I bought an A frame hutch kit last week which we whipped up in no time, it was so exciting we had to go out the next day and find something to put in it. We have two guineapigs called Wompy and Whitey now. They are absolutely adorable! Unfortunately, they don't live in the hutch we built. They've always lived indoors and the great outdoors freaked them out, to make matters worst we discovered the terrier from next door madly digging his way in. So the littlies are now living inside with us. Hana is pleased she gets to cuddle them lots. Well, truth be told, I get to cuddle them lots too!
Lovely old Boxhead, our 20 year old mog, is interested enough to spend the odd hour staring into their safe house, but his only real interest these days is chasing the sunny spots around the yard.
There has been a couple of really lovely Autumn days that I've spent out in the garden, wandering about with the chooks on their supervised visit. Our neighbour has appeared several times at the door with a chook under his arm trying to be understanding about finding the little culprit hoeing her way through his garden. So each day I amble about with them out in the yard.
I've built another garden bed under the Eucalypts. A neighbour said I would never be able to grow anything under them so I took it as a challenge. I've put down heaps of mulch and chook poo and the first bed looks so fertile with green healthy plants bursting out of it's borders. In contrast, the garden bed that the owner's of our rental property made, with trucked in topsoil and neat sleeper edges grows sickly, wilting veg that call to every pest in the district. Mind you, I planted some heritage tomatoes in there, they are tiny and not too numerous but the taste is explosive! When they're done, the chooks are going in with a few bales of mulch to do their damage. If only they knew my plans, they'd be apoplectic with excitement!