Category Archives: LostPosts

Pixel. The cat who made me love him.

 

Pixel the silver cat at itsnannasplace.com
Pixel. The great silver cat.

I am a dog person. At least I have said so for years. Why I say this I’m not entirely sure. I like most critters honestly. I guess that is what has made the last few days so incredibly difficult. We lost our cat to old age. He put up one hell of a fight though, on account he was hard-headed and stubborn.

Which may be the very reason I grew to love him as I did. We had quite the understanding, he and I. It wasn’t a love-hate relationship though I’m sure at times it looked like one. I’d like to think it was more a raging battle of wits. And we were both particularly good at it. Oh how he made me laugh!

It was so hard to watch him go. But we were glad he didn’t have to be alone. It was hard to lay him to rest, though now he lay in the very garden where he loved to venture from time to time which is Pixel, Inspector cat at itsnannasplace.coma big deal for an indoor kitty.

But it seems harder now. With the quiet. The house feels different without Pixel lording about. Without him reminding me it is 4:30 p.m. and therefore must be time for dinner. Or that making coffee is a great time for some milk.

It is hard, taking a bath at 3 in the morning when I can’t sleep, and not having him headbutt the door open, stroll in, sniff at the bubbles and then curl up on the bath matt on the floor, completely unimpressed with the whole thing.

Coach Pixel, Ab workout supervised by Pixel at itsnannasplace.com
Apparently I’m not supposed to do any crunches today! Silly Pixel

It’s weird, I knew I spent a lot of time with him, due to being a home body and both of us creatures of the night, as it were. But not having him coaching crunch sessions, or chirp in conversation, or sit on my shoulders to purr in my ear while writing or doing chores, it has been, lonely. I miss my little buddy. I just hope that he had a good life, especially in the short few years I have gotten to know him.

dog and cat friends, nap time at itsnannasplace.com
Looking cute is exhausting!

Pixel was a very different cat when I first moved in with the Mr. He was moodier than a teenage girl, more self-indulgent than a teenage boy, and more self entitled than a sociopath. Some time over the years, he had mellowed, enjoyed treats and loves, though still only on his time, as cat’s are want to do.

We played tag, and fetch and he would be up with me checking on things that went bump in the night, as the dog slept soundly on the couch. He would run to the door when the mail man came and inspect the people that came to visit. Every package or bag of groceries were diligently inspected and all boxes, were naturally his. Friends had commented  how he looked good happy. This warms me. Especially on a cold moody day such as this, as I miss him terribly.

The joy and blessing our pets bring us, even when they are testing our patience like a Pixel and Zen at itsnannasplace.comtoddler testing boundaries, is priceless. They are part of the family, and add to the dynamic that is our life. And bless them for it. It is hard for all, including Miss Zen (the dog in the pictures) Whom continues to wander about looking for her dear friend.

Pixel helped the Mr. and Zen both through some difficult life events, making it through the other side, keeping them both in line. He did the same for me. Pixel is the cat who made me love him. It is a heavy loss to our little family as we attempt to adjust. I’ll not say goodbye, I don’t do them. But may he rest in peace, knowing we love him still.

Sleep well my friend.

Mama….

Of Nano, Silver Linings and Morning Glory

Watching the clock, waiting for NanoWrimo to begin. I fondly remember the Morning Glories this morning, and the silver lining that is my life right now. In this very moment.

Coffee prepped and at the ready. The fridge and pantry stocked with plenty of food stuffs for quick and easy meals during the month. And with Halloween technically done, one can not ignore the candy. Oh so much candy.

It’s a very humbling moment. Stress and anxiety and excitement all prevail in these pre Nano moments. But I do find it humbling. How fantastic is it to be able to do something that I absolutely love, that’s in the direction of my goals? Well, it’s freaking awesome!

For those that don’t know me or have ever heard of NaNoWriMo, it is a fantastic, yet frantic journey through ones mind in an attempt to write 50,000 words during the month of November. National Novel Writing Month (for the month of November) is free to sign up to and such a great tool in learning how accomplish goals you set for yourself.

There is a chaotic madness involved that is some how quite exhilarating and enjoyable. Getting down the bones of your novel is a fantastic feeling. The hardest part is locking away your inner critic and his notorious buddy, the inner editor and ignoring them. Completely. Sounds doable. Right? Well it is. Last year was my second NaNoWriMo and I won. (And yes, I have the t-shirt.)

Anywhoo, back to the silver linings and morning-glory part.

As the weather fluctuates between overnight freezing and cool days for a week, only to bounce back to mild warm temps for a week; I find it amusing that most of our gardens are thriving.

I had been anxiously awaiting the late planted Morning Glory to flower. It’s long reaching vines always stretching out for more as a curious child exploring his environment. Deep green heart-shaped leaves make me smile each time I see them. Growing love. Up, over, through and around the deco upcycled BBQ. The sea of green, finally peppered with large, fragile blue and purple flowers.

As with everything we grow around here, (as plants don’t read their tags) they simply aren’t aware there are guidelines and rules for them. They just want to be themselves with no care for the time of year. It is fantastic and something I both encourage and support in most things.

Hard to remember that just two years ago, there was nothing but dirt and weeds back there and oh how he hated it! Spending little to no time in the yard at all, to now, well keeping him out of the greenhouse just isn’t going to happen. Save for winter I imagine.

The yard transformations have been silver linings for both of our lives.

Grateful we are. It has once again proven that hard work with a specific idea in mind, a step by step plan is completely attainable and well worth the blood, sweat and tears! There is still so very much to do back there, but one step at a time we will get there.

Have you stopped to acknowledge your accomplishments lately? Are you close to a goal you have been working on for some time? How will you handle it once you are finished? After the shock of actually finishing wears off, and you celebrate (happy dances totally count here!) what is your next step? Next dream you can break down into smaller goals?

Stay on target, and if you stray from the path, stop. Breathe. Remember your dream. Remember your reason WHY. Now go again facing forward, and kick ass! I believe in you!

Be well.

Tracey.

 

Halloween Crunch Time! All hands on deck! -updated

The Bane Mask

Well Halloween is upon us once again and our living room, shall we say appears to be a craft store after a tornado. All manner of craft foam, fabric, paint, plastic tubing, buckles and the trusty hot-glue gun at the ready.

The Mr. has finished a Bane mask for a friend and is feverishly putting together his Judge Dredd vest. Pepakura (think origami on crack) is his thing for sure, and he is amazing at it! As per the Iron Man costume that got him started. (See Below)

Iron Man and Bat Girl at itsnannasplace.com
Us as Iron Man and Bat Girl 2011

Being nerds on a budget and having a love for DIY, Halloween has turned into a world I never knew existed. Oh the fun! The RPF is an absolute must for anyone wanting movie quality costumes that you can make yourself. And who knows, maybe you’ll even win a costume contest or two. At the very least, you’ll blow your friends minds!

Even now, we have another friend, parked on the couch with coffee in hand, troubleshooting and planning techniques to construct his Henchman 24 costume (from Venture Brothers.) It’s a team effort with no detail or technicality left undiscussed.

pepakura, cosplay, DIY IronMan handmade costume by Papa at itsnannasplace.com
Papas pepakura Iron Man

I am amused at the transformation from the agonized week he had, fretting over what he would be this year; to right now, excited and willing to learn new skills. Honestly, I love to see people begin their journey towards their goals.

Usually by now, this close to Halloween, we have bought and started carving pumpkins. A lot of them! It’s an event to behold. Every night the week before Halloween, a huge sheet of plastic completely covers the living room floor. Neighbors, Awesome Kid #2, The Mr. and I sit on the floor, design, cut, scrape and carve. Many a laugh to be had every time. (I’ll have to scare up the pictures for you some time.)

This year is different as we’ll sadly not be doing pumpkins. Sigh. So focus is on the costumes, and ours are last. Again. Panic! We have so much fun trying to make our friends visions come to life and hopefully teach something along the way, that we lose all track of time. Wait, what day is it again? Here’s some of Papa’s Judge Dredd bits drying.

Judge Dredd costume pieces at itsnannasplace.com
Craft foam never looked so good.

On a good note, I finally came up with a costume. Hooray! While not cheating exactly, I’ve decided to go with items I already have. Mostly. Better late than not at all, or so I’ve been told.

If you know of Judge Dredd, you may be familiar with Mama. Head of the Mama Clan that runs Peachtree. I know, little time and effort in this one and I used things I already had for the most part.

The red shirt was an over-sized cheapy from Walmart. A can of dark hair colour spray for $1 and the whole get up cost $6. Some super glue and makeup work and it was all done in about 30 minutes. But work smarter, not harder I say. And hey, an accidental couples costume is also a win.

DIY Mama (Judge Dredd) costume at itsnannaspace.com
My last minute Mama costume.
DIY Mama costume at itsnannasplace.com
The fake scar upset some family at first.

 

Are you ready for Halloween? Do you have, or partake in parties with all the fun ghoul noms and decorations? Are you a costume person or do you like handing out candy to all the little goblins and ghouls? Or perhaps hiding with all the lights off pretending not to be home? Are you into cosplay or pepakura? let us know in the comments!

What ever your poison, may it be a safe and happy Halloween!

Oh, and please REMEMBER FOOD ALLERGIES when handing out goodies!!!

Happy Haunting!
Tracey.

Update: Here’s Papa all done up as Dredd

DIY Dredd Costume at itsnannasplace.com
Papa’s Judge Dredd costume from the back.
DIY Judge Dredd costume Halloween 2011 at itsnannasplace.com
“I am the law”

 

Candles and Coffee

Today, as most others any more, has been draining. For no particular reason. Just the speed of life. Always things to do, cross off the list only to be replaced with a new set of to-do’s for the following day, or week. Whatever the current schedule may be.

It was whilst printing out pictures for a Christmas book I’m putting together for E, that it dawned on me, no one stops to acknowledge their accomplishments any more. I am definitely guilty of this. But why? Are we so busy doing? So busy we forget to get off the hamster wheel from time to time and just be?

Well, yes. I believe it comes down to success. No matter what that means for each person. We are driven to do stuff, so that we feel like we are doing a good job. But honestly, who cares? Who is going to stop long enough to tell us? Is it not our stuff and we then are the only ones that know if we did great or not? And if we can not pat ourselves on the back and have it be enough encouragement, what then?

But why do we not take time to enjoy our hard work? Why do we not stop and smell the roses? Light candles and sip coffee, just to enjoy the room we rearranged, again. That was my goal this evening and oh my! It was difficult at first, to set aside thoughts of all that “needs” doing. But after skyping with Baby E (which I am so thankful for), I refocused, starting with the crackle of my new FireSide candle.

Just the sound has made a difference. It sounds like a mini fireplace. Watching the flame dance to its own tune, illuminating the various bottles recycled as plant holders, warming shelf space that previously was just “there.” Sipping fresh hot coffee has also helped me slow down and enjoy the new photo arrangement on the wall. It has become cozy with an energy all of its own. Making this house a home has been challenging, but rewarding.

I wonder then, is it possible to get things done AND appreciate our surroundings at the same time? I would like to hope so. Yet I have but two speeds. Break-neck, and putter. Hmm. Learning to acknowledge accomplishments, even for a moment, has changed my out look and over all feeling about everything I do. Whether its on a list or not.

It has been lovely to enjoy all the smiling beautiful faces of my family. To remember what it has taken to get here. I wonder, how do you stop to smell the roses? What’s your version of candles and coffee? Do you take time to really enjoy your work, no matter how big or small a task or project? Pat yourselves on the back dear hearts!

Namaste,
Tracey.

Into the fray.

After many a year of hearing, “You should write this stuff down”, no matter what “this stuff” happened to be on any given day; here I am. So into the fray I shall wander.

These days I find myself reflecting on all that I have learned while raising kids. Having a family, and even now being blessed with three Grandchildren. Sounds as it should be right? Well, there have been, shall we say, many bumps in the road. Or roads, as it were. If nothing else, I finally learned to pay attention to all the little things. Stress less. The importance of time for coffee. Talking with your love and good friends. Yeah, yeah took long enough!.

While there are tons of books, articles and blogs on being the best mum you can be, I find there to be a serious gap when it comes to being a Grandparent. There is a shift that happens to one’s out-look that is never mentioned.

We look at our Grandparents and don’t think of them as anything other than (in my case) awesome Grandparents. It’s hard to remember that they are, know and have done so much more. They have been people in their own right longer than we have known them. Weird.

There also seems to be a lack of information on how to shift from stay at home mum, doing for everyone, all the time; to having raised your kids and now doing more stuff for yourself (without feeling guilty.) Sounds ridiculous, I know. Yet so many of us are guilty of such a thing. We tend to forget that we are the glue that holds our  little Universe together.

We must find the balance between taking care of others and having down time. You know, to do activities that make us feel good about ourselves, our purpose and our little corner of the world. This is important for our health and wellbeing on so many levels. Feeling good about life makes us refill the cup of happiness so that we may drink from it another day.

That being said however, this blog is not a how-to for that shift. Not exactly. This is a journey through all of those “someday” projects, ideas and dreams that I myself tend to put aside due to lack of time, finances and anything other deemed “more important right now.” Sound familiar? Not to mention all the hurdles life throws into ones path in an attempt to slow or stop us.

As I swim through the ashes of another life, the trick is trying to remember all those “someday” things. What still matters and what doesn’t? What is important now? What will be challenging, interesting or just plain old fun? Hmm. Oddly enough I didn’t know what to start with. Feeling lost I had to set it aside for a time. Now I don’t worry about it and just take life day by day. Well mostly.

Not being able to live without some form of to-do list (previously deemed “guidelines”), I believe the important part is balance. Actual to-do’s get done and there is always something going on throughout the day and often into the night. Having to take a freakishly lax need of sleep into account keeps things interesting as being quiet while creating is not what I would call a strength. And Papa needs his sleep.

It finally dawned on me, after many years of restless nights, that night time really is the best time for me to do all the things put off during the day, at least on nice sunny days. (I am with out a doubt solar powered.) It’s the best time for crafts and hobbies. Those things that get set aside when people are coming and going, through our beloved Grand Central Station of loves and friends.

Speaking of to-do’s and projects, I really must go and write guidelines for the up coming week. Do you have a planner? To-do lists or sticky notes? Or are you blessed enough to wing it and do it live? No matter your system, or lack there of, I hope you have a truly great week! Remember to take time to reflect on who you were, who you are now and what it took to make you awesome today. I’ll see you around, out of the comfort zone, into the fray.

Cheers,
Tracey.