Time sure flies...
On a far brighter note, the end of May saw the beginning of an extended stay here of my favorite goddog (okay, only goddog, but, still), Sidney! We haven't had a good long visit in quite a while, something we've both missed, though I have to say that it hasn't bothered Mikey one bit.
Though, truth be told, after a couple of days of getting used to a moose in the house, Mike starts to enjoy it, since Sid is still very nervous around Mike and freezes when Mike approaches if he isn't able to run in the other direction from where Mike is. Mike takes that as Sid's recognition of Mike's Supreme Allbeingness, which goodness knows Mike doesn't get from me. When even the big tortoise contests Mike's right to rule the feeding station, Mike is happy to subjugate anyone who spends any time in this house besides the usual crew of freaks, er, me, the tortoises and the weeny turtle.
Speaking of whom, Tobago was itching to get out of her enclosure the other day, so I took her out while I cleaned up a bit, letting her hang out with Mike:
Needless to say, I kept an eye on them, in case Mike decided to vent his ire against Treppie, with whom he jousts at the feeding station, by dumping it on Tobago, who wouldn't hurt a fly. A snail or mini-crawler, yes; fly, no. Alas.
Sid spends some of his time here outside watching the tortoises carefully, making sure they don't try to escape from their shells. When he's not doing that, he is on watch for the rat that has taken up residence in my yard, which I discovered when the whole ears of corn I put out for the tortoises started disappearing.
For a year or so, there was a cat--feral or just someone's outdoor cat--who spent the nights sleeping on the lounge chair on my patio. I didn't mind her there, and during the cold, wet winter, I put out some food and water for her on days when she didn't leave her roost. She stopped coming after the first time the new neighbor's dogs broke through the fence into my backyard, something they've done repeatedly over the past year since they've lived there. Before then, my backyard was a rest area on the local cat highway, with many cats making their way through my yard, hanging out and sunning themselves, like this one, whom I called Scairdy Cat because s/he always fled when any of the other cats came around:
Anyway, Sidney is a renowned ratter, so I was counting on his ratting skills to nail this sucker. To date, it's Rat 1, Sidney 0. ::sigh::
Sidney watching the tortoises:
Sidney is showing many signs of age, including not demanding to play as often or as long as we used to. Now, our mornings go something like this:
6:30 AM - Sidney lets me know that Mikey is up. When Mike makes it into the hallway, I get up, run his bath, pick him up and go through our morning bath ritual before putting him in the tub. While he soaks, I let Sidney out, clean up Mike's poo, and make Sid's breakfast. Sid and I go back to our respective beds until
9-9:30 AM - As Mike nears the end of his bath time (he usually gets out of the tub about the time his heater's timer goes off), Sid lets me know that it's time for me to get up to take my meds and, more importantly, stuff one of his hollow cow bones with peanut butter.
The rest of the morning is spent with Sid excavating peanut butter from the bone while Mike dawdles over his food and eventually makes his way back to his room. Sid helps me eat my breakfast, and helpfully cleans Mike's leftovers and any other leftovers if the tortoises have been inside that morning.
The rest of the day is spent with Mikey getting periodic visits and cuddles from me in his room, where he can also glare at Sid who comes in to see what's going on (and maybe there' will be food)(or petting). The day is also punctuated with Sid helping eradicate the household population of grapes, and the occasional almond from my trail mix, or a peanut I hold back from the squadron of scrub jays that come around a couple times a day.
Sometimes Sid goes into the backyard alone, sometimes with me. Sometimes he watches the tortoises, sometimes he annoys the dogs next door (which I wouldn't worry about other than for their ability to claw their way through the fence to get into my yard).
One foul day, while I was watering my fig sapling that had a couple of ripening figs on it, Sidney ATE MY FIGS!!!!! Bad dog! There were fewer treats that day, and I intend to exact revenge on his mom's fig tree when hers come into season late this year (that is, if Sidney and Ginger have left any within reach - damn dobies can jump and harvest anything within my reach!)
Here's Sid tuckered out after cleaning all the peanut butter ouf of his bone. And not just any peanut butter, mind you, but the organic fresh ground (when she bought it in March, at least) peanut butter from Oliver's.
Sid's age is also showing in his reluctance to lay long on firm surfaces. So, he came not only with three containers of peanut butter and two bones, but also a large dog mattress for the floor, and a "sheepskin" blanket, sheet, and two pillows. I, ahem, also have a "sheepskin" blanket, so that's under there, too.
I had plans to take him to the dog park, and to the pet store so he could pick out a treat, and even cleared all my emergency/disaster response stuff out of my back seat so he'd have something more comfortable to lay on instead of the cargo area. (Spoiled? My goddog?? Nevah!)
Okay, so Mike's letting me know that it's time I talked about him. Hear his chin banging on the window sill as he bobs his head? Oh, wait, he's doing that because he sees Sidney outside.
Anyway, I took these photos last month, but never got around to sharing them. They are something only an iguana lover will appreciate: seminal plugs!
Mike had been cranky for a couple of days. Karen was over and had been petting him, and noticed that his hemipenal bulges felt more bulgy than usual. The next day, he deposited these plugs. Here's a close up of one of them:
Fascinating architecture, eh? And no wonder male igs get a bit testy (ar ar) when these things have built up, solidified, but they haven't yet been able to expel them. For those new to them, check out the article on seminal plugs at my site.
Because I had to suspend the treatment for my Bartonella flare in order to deal with some other health issues, my hand and arm hurts too much when I knit socks for me to be able to work on them. I wanted something rather mindless but useful, but wanted a break from kitchen towels (of which I have made 11 of the planned 30), I decided to make another market tote bag, and try to figure out a better way to finish the top, since I wasn't happy with the way I faked the tops of my first two.
Despite knitting them with two strands of worsted weight cotton held together and using size 10.5 needles, the bags still take 15-20 hours to make (I really need to time it to see for sure), so they aren't something particularly salable, unless someone wants to pay through the nose for a reusable handknit tote bag.
Here is a photo of the two new ones I finished - the green/white one is folded over itself so you can see the blue/yellow/white one beneath:
The bottom of the bag is knit in garter stitch, then stitches are picked up all around the rectangle and knit in the round for 3 inches before changing to the pretty (and expandable) faggot lace stitch. Because it is knit in an endless round rather than back and forth, the 'ribs' of the pattern are diagonal, instead of vertical as they are when knit back-and-forth. Here's a close up of the outside of the bag ('right side' of the st):
And here's what it looks like inside:
I did manage to work a couple of days of role play at the public safety academy. Driving up there the first morning, I noticed some hot air balloons in the early morning sky. After the morning's briefing, we role players and evaluators headed out to our assigned places at the other end of the campus, awaiting the first of the day's recruits to be dispatched to our locations. Since the campus is surrounded on a couple sides by farms and ponds, there's always a lot of birds around, so I always pause to look...and look at what I saw:
One of the balloons was still aloft when the morning winds faded away, and so they had to come down rather abruptly:
They were able to avoid landing in the big body of water that is on the other side of that grassy berm, just visible under the horizontal line in the photo that is the shade cover over the PSA parking lot:
But since the berm is angled on the other side, too, they risked being toppled into the water. They were able to get enough lift to bump their way up the top of the berm and down on our side with the help of a some folks who either scrambled over the fence or jumped out of the basket:
It was hard for me to see who scrambled to help, as I was actually rather far away:
And that concludes our program for the day. Sidney, having supervised me making lunch, is now resting before he goes on leftover/plate cleaning duty after I eat said lunch.