Time for Cat-Cam

July 24, 2008 at 11:00 pm (Cats) (, , , )

Anyone else chuckle at Mr Lee and his owner that attached a camera to him?


Hehe – the guy has gone into business!

Hehe! Cats candid cat cam shots:

Our Jackie Brown-Cat was gone from 7:30 am to 7:30pm

Jack the cat looking serious

yesterday. Quite worrying. When he finally returned, after shaking his treat container and calling his name, he of course acts like it’s no big deal.

Jack the cat looking serious

And his fur looked groomed. AND he smelled of tuna and dry food.

Some a$$hole has been feeding him 😉 He has definitely put on weigh. This photo here shows him in slim days.

Jack on the fence

Jack on the fence


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Deodorant: Life Lessons Learned the Hard Way, Part 2

July 21, 2008 at 8:52 pm (Me) (, , )

As a fan of natural beauty products, I’ve turned away from the standard chemical products that are on every shelf in supermarkets and drugstores.

Scares about antiperspirants have been so great that Unilever must have decided to fight the fire with this website, The Truth about Antiperspirants and Breast Cancer.

Conscious that body odor is not a great personal feature, I tested a few natural deodorants out to see what works best (for me). The natural deodorant products I’ve tried (there are loads more out there, so this isn’t an all-inclusive report!):

1. A solid stick deodorant based on natural ingredients
2. Roll-on based on Japanese spa minerals
3. Crystal deodorant (Ammonium alum – aka pure natural mineral salts)
4. Scented dusting powder based on natural ingredients

The verdict? The stick deo didn’t keep me smelling sweet all day long. Neither did the roll-on. The crystal deodorant kept my pits smelling fine, but armpit sweat got into my shirt, and made the shirt stinky. The dusting powder on it’s own didn’t quite do the trick either.

So, here’s my suggestion: Apply the crystal deo to freshly showered pits, making sure the pits are damp and the crystal is applied to the entire armpit area. When nearly dry, put a fine layer of dusting powder on your pits.

Given that the crystal deodorant can last up to two years*, meaning you won’t be responsible for purchasing lots of packaging over time, crystal deodorant  plus dusting powder is a clear winner.

What’s more, the dusting powder can be made at home with recipes found online.

Good luck!

*I dropped it and the lid cracked off – the crystal will outlive the packaging in my house!

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A Second Chance for Summer

July 16, 2008 at 10:09 pm (Me) (, , , , , , )

No, not in Britain, silly. That’s lunacy. No, here in my part of England it’ll  be a max of 20C/78F from now through the end of August. No running through sprinklers here – you’d freeze your ass off.

The Virgin sale to the US has been extended until August 4th. I dithered about booking a flight because of our financial situation, and the deadline was yesterday. Except, they’ve extended it. Excellent!

I have some nice friends in four states and a sister in yet another state who have said they’d give me a warm, dry place to sleep. Yay! I just need to work out if I want to do 5 states in 10 days or more or less. Plus there is making time to visit other family as well.

I will miss husband and the cats… but going to the US would be awesome-o.

Will decide another day if/when to go. It’s time for bed.

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Socks: Life Lessons Learned the Hard Way, Part 1

June 29, 2008 at 12:15 pm (Decluttering, Me) (, , )

Life lessons learned the hard way …. keeping socks in order :

  1. Don’t expect both socks will enter and exit the washing machine at the same time.
  2. Don’t buy just one pair of socks.
  3. Instead, pretend you’re a spider and buy four pairs of socks. That way, you have a better chance of having actual matching pairs to wear. Also, as they wear out one by one, you can continue wearing them as pairs.
  4. At the very least, pretend you’re a sheep, cat, hippo etc.
  5. Don’t bother with cute little devices to keep socks together. They are clutter and a pain to use.
  6. Instead, use a corner of a non-sock drawer to store the orphaned socks. Try to reunite them every time you are putting away clean socks.

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Car Boot Sale – Nahhhh.

June 27, 2008 at 9:22 am (Decluttering) (, , , )

We’ve decided against doing the car boot sale. It’s too risky giving up most of a Sunday with no guarantees.

  • What the car boot sale is deserted?
  • What if the weather is terrible? This is quite likely, we’re in England after all.
  • What if no one wants our worldly household treasures?

Husband has been working extra hours recently to hit a deadline, so that’s even more reason to skip the car boot sale and instead focus on shifting our stuff using Amazon, eBay, freecycle etc. You know, the sitting down kind of decluttering!

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Coffee Cake for Cats

June 15, 2008 at 6:04 pm (Cats, Food) ()

<sigh> How does one teach cats not to go on the worktops (aka kitchen counters)???

Oven, or pie safe?I just busted my two little darlings eating my freshly baked applesauce coffee cake.

One the one hand, I’m glad they like American foods, but on the other hand, I would rather not share with them. They have their own food!

The oven also doubles as a “pie safe”:

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What I miss about the USA

June 14, 2008 at 1:58 pm (Me, Moving to the US) (, , , )

  • The weather, specifically, having four proper seasons. It’s June and I’m wrapped up like it’s March. In winter down in southern England, it snows once a year and is melted by 10am.
  • The sun. Don’t get me wrong, I love that it’s green, but I’d just like the clouds to go away if they aren’t going to be productive.
  • The wildlife. Chipmunks and raccoons are very cute! With some quiet patience, they can be observed going about their business. I’ll never forget the time we happened upon some raccoons raiding our garbage bins when I lived in the Bay Area, CA. One was literally dangling from a tree by his front legs, about to make his move. A friend of mine there is even a raccoon foster carer!
  • The holidays. Halloween and Christmas just aren’t the same here, and of course there isn’t Thanksgiving or Fourth of July. We do make our own celebrations, of course, but it takes a lot of planning, insider knowledge and luck to assemble ingredients such as canned pumpkin and whole frozen cranberries.
  • Having family in the same time zone / country. I highly doubt I’ll ever live in the same state as family, but being 4 hours away by plane rather than 10 has got to be better! Three time zones instead of 7 is definitely better.

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Oh My Stairs!

June 13, 2008 at 4:19 pm (DIY, House renovation) (, )

Whew, finished our stairs a few weekends ago. We’d taken up the carpet; cleaned, sanded and oiled the middle part of each tread and riser, and painted the outer parts of the treads and risers to match the skirtings.

Let me just say, this work was a pain with the kitties around. They always want to be with us – either to ‘help’, get cuddles or just hang out. They are very social!

The next stage will be the downstairs hall floor. We now know our only option is to shut them in the sitting room with their necessities just after our dinner, then oil our way to the base of the stairs. Then J and I will be upstairs for the evening (at least the loo is on the upper floor ;-))

Good thing the OSMO Polyx Oil dries in 10 hours or so.

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Healthy Potato Salad

June 7, 2008 at 8:31 pm (Food) (, , )

Potato salad lunch in bad lightingDay Two of the elimination diet! Potato salad! But since the husband doesn’t like mayonnaise and I shouldn’t be eating anything fermented, I instead made a dressing:

  • lemon juice
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • other spices / seasonings according to mood – today I added an a yeast-free bouillon powder (Marigold vegan Swiss vegetable reduced salt), dry mustard and some fresh thyme

Then I add this to the usual suspects – boiled potatoes, hard boiled eggs and celery. Today it got served with lettuce and cherry tomatoes, with a drizzle of goat’s yogurt. All of the veg came out of our organic veg box – it’s very nice using up the veg while it’s still fresh. Normally our potatoes lurk about until they sprout!

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Rye Bread – how badly do I want it?

June 2, 2008 at 6:43 pm (Food) (, )

Earlier this evening, I spent 40 minutes deciding just how badly I wanted to try out the dark rye recipe. I was missing a key ingredient. It’s raining, and the kitties are being cute. As most expats know, you can’t get a dark rye bread like they make back home in the US of A!

In the end, I caved and went to the supermarket to get white bread flour, as apparently rye bread isn’t 100% rye flour!

It’s in the bread machine now, and it also decided to make an experimental batch of Jaffa cakes, except they will be in the bar form when done.

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