The Weekly Bindi – Week 2

It’s still “this week”. I don’t really have a schedule for TWB, though I will aim for a Sunday/Monday night posting. It’s the end of the week now, though, but it still counts! Also, I don’t think I mentioned in my intro TWB post but any picture on any device counts. Cats have relatively short lives. If my cat’s going to do something cute I will take a picture with the nearest device able to do so, whether it’s my camera, my phone or my computer. (Which explains this week’s picture.)

Renlish.com - The Weekly Bindi, Week 2

A calculated move – reaching over to type means that she’ll get a belly-rub along the way.

Since starting her medication and obviously feeling better, Bindi has been slightly less neurotic and way more snuggly, particularly with me. I suspect it’s probably got more to do with the fact that it’s starting to get colder but I’ll take what I can get!

I took her for another blood test at the beginning of the week to see how her thyroid was reading now that she’s been on medication for a month and a half and yay, she’s completely normal. As in middle-of-the-range normal. Like a cat without a thyroid problem. Fortunately her kidneys are still in great shape too – hyperthyroidism in cats can often mask a more serious problem, that being kidney disease. The cat’s system is working so hard and fast to keep going that it actually helps with kidney failure, but once things are working normally, the kidneys can go kerplunkt too.

To be honest, I saw a change within a few days of starting the medication, even though we had been told it usually took at least two months for improvements to be visible. I thought it was my imagination but after two weeks even the Manbeast was asking me if I thought she looked better. She’s all glossy and she doesn’t feel so fragile. She’s even moving better too.

Our next step is to decide whether we want to go the radiation treatment for a permanent cure (or at least a 95% chance of permanent cure) or keep on with the ear gel. The radiation treatment will be around the $1500-1800 mark all up. The ear gel is a daily treatment for the rest of her life at about $100 a month. Both are big costs. I have friends who balk at the idea of spending that much on a cat; they look at me horrified when I tell them that I spent several thousand dollars on her when she was ill a couple of years ago only for her to get better on her own for the most part.

Yeah, there are some who would let nature take it’s course and I understand that. But I want Bindi to live the best possible life she can for as long as she can. In any case, I’ll let you know what we decide in a couple weeks.

The Weekly Bindi – Week 1 (Project 52)

I figured I needed a new project with which to entertain myself and what’s better than tormenting a cat with a camera once a week?

The Weekly Bindi is a Project 52 I’ve decided to start in an effort to record the life of my cat, Bindi. At least once a week for a year.

Bindi is my little tabby cat – originally a big-eared foundling from a country property. I snaffled her and her sister (Dugite) about 13 years ago now under the pretense of doing a good deed and taking them to the Lort Smith to be rehomed. Err… well… they didn’t quite make it.

However I will always maintain that keeping them was ultimately not my decision but the manbeast’s who, in his infinite wisdom, gave them names.

It was a done deal after that.

Anyhoo… fast forward about eleven years and you have one very sick Bindi and one very unemployed Ren. After a vet bill that didn’t leave me with much change out of $3000 OR a diagnosis as to why my cat was suddenly at death’s door, I realised that my little Bindi-puss was not going to live forever, even if she did pull through whatever it was that made her so ill.

Fortunately she survived but two years later she has an extremely sensitive gut and a severe case of hyperthyroidism, the latter of which requires very expensive medication I get to rub into her ears twice a day for the rest of her life. A small price to pay for a little creature who is essentially my little depression dialysis machine. She takes all the sad and turns it into happy. Even the manbeast knows that when I am particularly down I need a Bindi cuddle.

Because her illness has aged her so much, I don’t want to be caught without pictures of her when she does finally kick the proverbial. Hence the Weekly Bindi.

Renlish.com - Project 52, The Weekly Bindi

Long-suffering puss.

Bead Soup Blog Party, 2014 – The Soup Reveal!

I’ve been meaning to post about this for the last week but life’s been a bit…

meh

Meh. Just meh.

… for a while.

But on the bright side life…

Bright Side of Life

Yes. I totally went there.

I signed up for Lori Anderson’s Bead Soup Blog Party for 2014. This year is a little different – because of Lori’s poor health she decided that there would be only one day to sign up and one single creation reveal day so there is going to be one massive blog hop coming up in a few weeks. No sweat for me! Loved it last year.

This year I’ve been partnered up with fellow Aussie, Tracy Stillman from Bead Trilogy. Tracy does some pretty nifty work with seedies and we have a favourite bead creator in common, that being Natalie of the wonderful Peruzi who makes the most amazing ceramic and stoneware focals and bead sets. She’s a favourite Australia-wide for those with a leaning into the eclectic style. Tracy features a lot of Natalie’s work so it just made sense that we were both drawn to Peruzi when creating our soups.

This was the soup that I sent Tracy:

Renlish.com - Bead Soup Blog Party 2014

Bead set, connector and toggle by Peruzi, Swarovski crystals in Fire Opal and Padparadscha, and a strand of purple toned Czech crystas=ls.

I went for colour with this year’s soup and picked all the stuff that I loved but wouldn’t necessarily use myself (I’m a blues and greens and neutrals sort of girl). I’ve had the swaros forever but when I realised that they matched the Peruzi beads so perfectly I had to throw them in as well.

Not to be outdone, Tracy sent me a great Peruzi package of her own:

Renlish.com - Bead Soup Blog Party 2014

Peruzi beads and focal.

Yay! Neutrals! I love these. I have no idea what to do with them, I might have to pull out some of my other Peruzis and make one big Peruzi extravaganza. I’m not used to working with such large focals at all so it will be interesting! Fortunately I have some beautiful leather coming from my pal, Annette Piper and I think I’ll continue the neutral colour pallet with some pearls… the only thing that’s throwing me is the gold clasp! I don’t do gold!

But hey, last year I said I didn’t do copper and look what happened.

Hehe. Stay tuned for the reveal on May 3rd.

Warm Tones on a Summer Walk

A short 15 minute or so walk from my house is a little park with some man-made waterways. It’s well established now and is called home and visited by various birds, mostly wild ducks (or ducks gone wild as the case may be) but there’s the odd water fowl, swan and pelican who stay for brief periods of time. The place is simple but a pretty and fairly easy walk, so I took my camera and bad hip for a hobble and took some photos.

Renlish.com - Warm Tones

Top: Bindis (or burrs) in their prettier, flowery form before they drop off and become the bane of cats and dogs everywhere. Left: Swan. This was one of a pair, parents, who had a handful of cygnets. They didn’t let me get very close. Right: Reedy lens flare – my favourite.

Renlish.com - Warm Tones

Top & Bottom: Various views of the waterways. Right: Ducky who was most disappointed I was carrying a camera and not a bag of stale bread.

Australia Day. Invasion Day. Whatever. STFU.

This is a nonsensical rant and if you’re sensitive to the subject then I would suggest you partake of a little sexual exercise elsewhere. (Yes, that means fuck off.)

It’s a widely known fact that I hate getting political but sometimes there are some things that just really bloody annoy me.

There are a few political topics that get up my nose but if ever there was one, Australia Day would be it.

Vandalism - pure and simple. Like it or not, this is a historical piece of architecture that has been defaced. Feral actions like this does not effect change. (AAP Image/Paul Purcell)

Vandalism – pure and simple. Like it or not, this is a historical piece of architecture that has been defaced. Feral actions like these do not affect change.
(AAP Image/Paul Purcell)

You know what?

I’m tired of it.

I don’t celebrate Australia Day. I never have though that’s never been for any political statement. I just enjoy the public holiday that comes with it. One less day at school/work – it’s all good. Occasionally I’ll get together with friends for a BBQ though that’s really more about being with friends than thinking about our great, brown land.

But if I do happen to think about it on the quiet, to me Australia Day is just being happy about what makes this country pretty awesome. We have good stuff here like human rights and accessible health care. We don’t have chronic umemployment the country-over and we, as a general rule, have a pretty great standard of living by comparison to many places. We have great (if somewhat scary at times) weather.

Nothing is ever perfect and the nation has a whole bunch of shortcomings and failings just like every other place in the world but to me, Australia will always be imperfectly perfect. I’ve experienced a little culture in other parts of the world and to be honest, I would rather be here with all our deadly snakes and spiders and things with big chompy teeth that live in the water.

But do not EVER question my right to be here and enjoy this country and celebrate being here.

I don’t care what you believe but I respect your right to believe whatever you like. If this is Invasion Day to you and you want to mourn it, go right ahead. Just don’t expect everyone else to feel the same way.

I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it. — Voltaire

I’m going to enjoy the sunshine and my Monday off work.

Argh. The next thing you know people will be ranting that the Easter Bunny isn’t real.

Pompholyx

So, this is a bit of a community service announcement, just in case there’s someone else out there with similar symptoms and thinking they’re going mental like I have been for a while.

I have a condition called pompholyx. It’s a pain in the arse.

Not really.

It’s a pain in the hands – at least in my case. And in my feet.

It’s form of eczema that causes little clusters of blisters to from under the skin. Sometimes the blisters are (supposed to be) incredibly itchy. In my case I will often feel a tiny, wee, acute itch and I know that within a couple of hours (if not sooner) a new little blister or cluster thereof will appear. The blisters themselves aren’t itchy.

In very bad cases, the blisters merge into very large ones and can be quite painful as well as itchy. This hasn’t happened to me yet, thank goodness!

Generally, pompholyx is your body’s way of saying; “Nopenopenope!” when it meets something it doesn’t like.

Renlish.com - OH HELL NO

The causes of pompholyx can literally be anything, though most of the time it’s an allergic reaction. Environment is a cause. Stress has even been noted as a cause.

Again, in my case, I think it’s been long-term exposure to some chemical nasties. See, as this stuff started on my feet, I thought it was just tinea and treated it as such. I should have known two years later that tinea isn’t THAT hard to get rid of. What I was actually experiencing was a reaction to something. Because I’ve ignored it for that long (as I didn’t really see it as a problem on my feet), my skin has gone super-sensitive and as I’ve mentioned, it’s now jumped to my hands.

What’s helped so far? Well, to dry out the blisters a bit, I’ve been doing regular hand soaks in a white vinegar/water solution which I basically do on a 1:1 ratio, because I’m a hardcore bitch. This helps when my hands are feeling irritated or itchy for a prolonged period. I also use a cortisone cream (1%) on the worst of the blistery spots and that helps calm down the blisters as well. Unfortunately cortisone and I do not get on at all and even topical medication causes extreme skin sensitivity so it hurts to do things like carrying shopping bags or – far worse – type on the computer. Meh.

Unfortunately one of the side effects of this condition is that I end up with very thick and very dry skin. This actually worries more than the blisters themselves because I run the risk of my skin splitting due to lack of moisture.

I’ve used a range of creams derived from natural ingredients but so far, everything breaks me out in varying degrees. The only thing that has worked is to wash with cool water, do the vinegar and cortisone thing and then leave my hands the hell alone. Doing everything with gloves on has also been helping too, though it’s difficult in the shower.

Yup.

I am showering with gloves on.

Yup.

It’s as difficult as you think it is.

Now I am in the process of trying to find moisturiser, shampoo, conditioner and soap that will not cause my hands and feet to blister up so I can at least shower normally.

If you think you might have pompholyx, my first bit of advice would be to see your doctor and get a referral to a dermatologist for diagnosis. It’s NOT contagious and bits won’t fall off (see Leprosy) but it’s not an easily curable condition either and does need strategies to manage.

Probably the best resource I’ve found (online at least) has been this great website based in the UK.

A Pop of Colour

In a fit of abject boredom yesterday afternoon, I popped over to my sister’s place and we went out to the local plaza for a little retail therapy.

Not really, I just needed to buy some cat food and a sun visor for my car, but anyway…

We walked past a florist and she started talking about how she now regularly buys fresh flowers for the house. She recommended I get some.

So I did. I bought some beautiful pink and pale green-almost-all-white roses that reminded me very much of my wedding bouquet (cue sentimentality) and some gorgeous little purple and white carnations. And I spent an hour last night cutting them up and arranging them in a couple of vases (read: large water pitchers since I don’t actually “do” vases), pricking my fingers on just about every bloody thorn on each rose while I was at it.

I discovered two things.

1. I really like fresh flowers.

2. I suck at flower arranging.

I was wandering past this afternoon and realised that all the tight buds had opened up and I had to grab my camera and run off a few shots while they still looked lovely.

Renlish.com - A Pop of Colour

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