Thursday, December 28, 2006

Hope You Had A Wonderful Christmas ...

Hello, Dear Blog Friends ...

Just a quick one from me to let you know that I am still alive, and to thank you all for the loving Christmas wishes. I'm not sure if I got around to all your blogs before we left for Bonnie Doon, so if I didn't ... huge apologies, and a belated Merry Christmas.

Well, wonders will never cease to amaze me ... we actually had a "White Christmas" ... yep, you are reading correctly, it actually snowed in various parts of Victoria, Australia, on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (remember, it is the middle of our Summer !!). We, in the suburbs, didn't actually have snow, but we had some pretty heavy hail, which left the ground white ... it was beautiful. But, which silly bunny forgot to take photos ...yep, that would be me !!! On our drive from home to Bonnie Doon, we got a bit of sleet, and a heap of very heavy rain ... much needed, I might add, for both the drought situation, and the bushfires. We are now back to summer situations, and it is wonderful. Although, I kinda hoped it would rain for at least a few more days !!

So, we are at Bonnie Doon, and having a very relaxing time. It seems my internet connection is working at the moment ... yay ... so I will try and do a bit of visiting when I can !!

Hope everyone is having a great week.

Till next time.

Take care,

MEOW

Saturday, December 23, 2006

MERRY CHRISTMAS ...

In case I don't get a chance to post again between now and Christmas (and perhaps the New Year), I would just like to say thank you to all of you, for the past 12 months. It has been a genuine pleasure getting to "know" you all through your blogs, and your comments on mine. I always love checking my emails in the mornings, to see who has visited my blog since I last checked. I hugely appreciate your support of me and my blog, even though I fell into a hole for a while, and didn't blog very much (well, I was pretty busy !!). Please know that your friendships are highly valued.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very

MERRY CHRISTMAS

and a

HAPPY NEW YEAR.

I hope you enjoy the special time you get to spend with your familys and friends.

For those of you who do not celebrate Christmas, may you have a wonderful Holiday Time, doing whatever it is that you may do.

Thanks once again.

Until we next meet .....

Take care & stay safe,



MEOW

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Getting There ...

Well, folks, as my last post mentioned ... I have changed over to the New Blogger (no longer known as Beta, as it has apparently no bugs, and is no longer in testing mode ... we'll see !!!).



It seemed to go really easy, until I discovered that it had dropped off all my blinkies and pretty stuff from my sidebar ... it was there in the html, but didn't want to show on the blog !! So, I did what it suggested, and loaded a new template (the same one, but redone!!). Well, was I horrified when it had dropped off all my pretties, and my header ... waaaaaaahhhhhh !!

Luckily I had saved a copy of the html from my original blog, as I was able to use this to copy and paste all the code back into my template, using the nifty control panel the New Blogger has for this purpose. It looks slightly different in places, but I like it !! The only problem I have at the moment, is figuring out how to put my MEOW flashing and walking footprints back on the header ... I will need to work on this one !! I was sitting here fiddling with the darn thing until about 1.30am last night (or should I say, this morning), getting it to where it is now (oh, I added my blogroll back in today ... for some reason it didn't want to play last night !!!). I've gotta ask .... is anyone else having problems with their Blogroll, in that it doesn't show any updates ??? Mine has been like this for a few days now ... very frustrating !!!

Anyway, today was Chicky's last day of primary school. It was a very emotional day for all concerned. After their final assembly, I would have to say about 90% of the kids were crying ... both boys and girls (oh yeah, and a few of us mums, too !!). They were all hugging and crying, saying their farewells. Many of them will be catching up again soon, although many of them are going to different schools. I reckon if they are real friends, they will all make an effort to get together when they can.

I did my final Christmas shopping today. Just gotta wrap a few gifts, and I'm done. Did my grocery shopping. I want a hair cut and colour ... hmmm, when have I got time ? Tomorrow (Friday) we are going roller skating with some friends, catching up before Christmas. Saturday morning we have Hubby's sister, her hubby and kids coming over, to exchange gifts, and to just hang out. Then Saturday avo, we are off visiting other friends. Sunday is Christmas Eve ... we will probably spend the day doing all the things on our list we haven't finished, before heading over to my parent's place for our Christmas (we do Christmas on Christmas Eve ... very German, don't you think !!!). Then Monday morning, hopefully Santa will have visited with some pressies for Chicky. After lunch we will head off for 2 weeks of relaxation at Bonnie Doon. Hopefully it won't be too smokey (being so close to the fires, it is bound to be ... bugger !!).

Oh well, that's enough for me for now. I'm gonna try and fix my blog header ... it is annoying me !!! Wish me luck !!



Take care, all. I will post again soon.



MEOW

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Beta Is No More ... Now It's Just Blogger ...

Ooooh, that was incredibly scary ....

I opened my Blogger Dashboard, and it told me it was (finally) ready to change me over to Beta (which is no longer Beta !!). I took the plunge, pressed the relevant keys, and .... hey presto, here I am !!

Nothing much has changed, my blogs seem to all look the same (so far, I think !!).

I saved a copy of my template first, just in case.

When I pressed those keys, my heart started thumping, and I was really scared !!!

But, hey ... nothing to be scared about (so far). All is well in Meow's world (perhaps I shouldn't count my chickens before they hatch ... hahahaha !!).

Anyway, just wanted to let you know that it was a smooth transition.

Hope yours goes just as well.

See ya,

MEOW

UPDATE ... I just noticed all my pretty stuff, blinkies, etc., are gone. Looks like it's gonna be a long night !!!!

Another Aussie Christmas Song For You ...

Here's another Aussie Christmas Song for you all ....

Deck the Sheds
(sung to the tune of Deck The Halls)


Deck the sheds with bits of wattle, fa la la la, la la la la,
Whack some gum leaves in a bottle, fa la la la, la la la la la,
All the shops are open Sundies, fa la la la, la la la la,
Buy you Dad some socks and undies, fa la la la, la la la la la.

Deck the sheds with bits of gumtree, fa la la la, la la la la,
Hang the deco’s offf the plum tree, fa la la la, la la la la la,
Plant some kisses on the missus, fa la la la, la la la la,
Have a ripper Aussie Christmas, fa la la la, la la la la la.

Say g’day to friends and rellies, fa la la la, la la la la,
Wave them off with bulging bellies, fa la la la, la la la la la,
Kids and babies, youngies oldies, fa la la la, la la la la,
May your fridge be full of coldies, fa la la la, la la la la la.

Chop the wood and stroke the barbie, fa la la la, la la la la,
Ring the folks in Abudabe, fa la la la, la la la la la,
Pop the stuffing in the turkey, fa la la la, la la la la,
Little Mary’s feeling ercky, fa la la la, la la la la la.

Rally rally round the table, fa la la la, la la la la,
Fill your belly while you’re able, fa la la la, la la la la la,
Joyce and Joaney, Dave and Darryl, fa la la la, la la la la,
Sing an Aussie Christmas carol, fa la la la, la la la la la.

I haven't given any translations, this time. If there are any words you don't know, please ask !!

Hope all your Christmas preparations are well under way.

For all you guys who are off and away from your computers before Christmas, please have a safe trip, and a wonderful Christmas. For everyone else, please continue to drop on by. I'll be on air until Christmas Eve, at least.

Take care, all ...



MEOW

I've Been Tagged ...

I've been tagged by both Clare and Greeneyes ... thanks ladies !!! It is all about Weird Things About Me ... well, I'm for sure a weird person, so this should be easy !! Here goes ...

Obligatory intro: According to the rules…Each player of this game starts with the ‘6 weird things about you’. People who get tagged need to write a BLOG of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says ‘you are tagged’ in their comments and tell them to read your BLOG.

WEIRD THING NO. 1

This is very weird for many people ... I don't drink tea or coffee ... hate the stuff ... blech !! It does smell wonderful, though. I don't even like coffee flavoured sweets or biscuits. Yep, many people think I'm very strange !!

WEIRD THING NO. 2

I enjoy a bowl of breakfast cereal for dinner. Nothing nicer than a bowl of Corn Flakes or Cheerios at night, in front of the telly ... mmm !!

WEIRD THING NO. 3

I can read a book, watch TV and hold a conversation at the same time. I call it multi-tasking ... my hubby calls it weird !!

WEIRD THING NO. 4

I have a certain sequence of things I always do in the bathroom in the mornings, and I have to stick to this routine. If it gets out of order, something gets forgotten, and I hate that !! For example, I dry myself a certain way, body parts and limbs in a particular order !! Even my face creams get put on in a certain order ... eye gel first, then eye cream, followed by facial moisturiser ... always this way, never different !! Is this a form of OCD ???

WEIRD THING NO. 5

Whenever I go into a public book-lending library, or a bookstore, I inevitably need to go to the toilet (for No. 2's no less !!). Don't know why, but I have always been that way. I love books, and I adore reading, so it isn't that books give me the sh*ts, or anything !!! (Told you I was weird !!!)

WEIRD THING NO. 6

I am constantly twirling my hair. Whenever I am sitting down, whether reading, watching TV, sitting in the car waiting for someone, or even sitting at the computer, I can usually be seen twirling my hair. I have done this since I was a bubs. I guess it is relaxing.

There you go, folks. 6 Weird Things About Meow. So, what do you reckon ??? Am I weird, or not ???

Oh, mustn't forget ... the 6 people I tag are ...

Debbie
Gattina (I know you are going away, but it can wait till you're back !!)
Alice (you may have already done this one, though !!)
Devil Mood
Marie
Puss-In-Boots

Hmmm, Blogger won't let me put any Christmas images on here, so this is a boring pictureless post again. Must remember to post my pots using a different method. Evil Blogger !!

Take care,

MEOW

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

CATS ON TUESDAY # 3

CATS ON TUESDAY

A BIT OF (WELL ... A LOT OF !!) CAT TRIVIA ...

  • 95% of cat owners admit they talk to their cats.

  • A cat can be either right-pawed or left-pawed.

  • A cat can jump as much as seven times its height.

  • A cat cannot see directly under its nose. This is why the cat cannot seem to find tidbits on the floor.

  • A cat has 230 bones in its body. A human only has 206 bones.

  • A cat has four rows of whiskers.

  • A cat in a hurry can sprint at about thirty-one miles per hour.

  • A cat sees about six times better than a human at night because of the tapetum lucidum , a layer of extra reflecting cells which absorb light.

  • A cat uses its whiskers to determine if a space is too small to squeeze through. The whiskers act as feelers or antennae, helping the animal to judge the precise width of any passage.

  • A cat will almost never meow at another cat. Cats use this sound for humans.

  • A cat will clean itself with paw and tongue after a dangerous experience or when it has fought with another cat. This is believed to be an attempt by the animal to soothe its nerves by doing something natural and instinctive.

  • A cat will never break a sweat because it has no sweat glands.

  • A cat will spend nearly 30% of its life grooming itself.

  • A cat's arching back is part of a complex body language system, usually associated with feeling threatened. The arch is able to get so high because the cat's spine contains nearly 60 vertebrae which fit loosely together. Humans have only 34 vertebrae.

  • A cat's brain is more similar to a human's brain than that of a dog.

  • A cat's ear pivots 180 degrees.

  • A cat's hearing rates as one of the top in the animal kingdom. Cats can hear sounds as high-pitched as 65 kHz; a human's hearing stops at just 20 kHz.

  • A cat's heart beats at 110 to 140 beats per minute, twice as fast as a human heart.

  • A cat's jaws cannot move sideways.

  • A cat's normal body temperature is 101.5 degrees F (38.6 C).

  • A cat's sense of taste is keener than a dog's sense of taste.

  • A cat's tail held high means happiness. A twitching tail is a warning sign, and a tail tucked in close to the body is a sure sign of insecurity.

  • A cat's tail plays a vital part in the cat's balance and in the "righting reflex" that allows it to land on its feet after falling from a height.

  • A cat's tongue is scratchy because it's lined with papillae-tiny elevated backwards hooks that help to hold prey in place.

  • A cat's whiskers, called vibrissae, grow on the cat's face and on the back of its forelegs. The whiskers are thought to be a kind of sensor to help a cat gauge the space it wants to go through.

  • A female cat can begin mating when she is between 5 and 9 months old.

  • A fifteen year old cat has probably spent ten years of its life sleeping.

  • A frightened cat can run at speeds of up to 31 mph, slightly faster than a human sprinter.

  • A group of adult cats is called a clowder.

  • A group of kittens is called a kindle.

  • A large majority of white cats with blue eyes are deaf. White cats with only one blue eye are deaf only in the ear closest to the blue eye.

  • A male cat can begin mating when he is between 7 and 10 months old.

  • A polecat is not a cat. It is a nocturnal European weasel.

  • A quarter of cat owners blow dry their cats after bathing them.

  • Abraham Lincoln loved cats. He had four of them while he lived in the White House. Abraham Lincoln's cat, Tabby, was the first of several White House cats.

  • According to one legend, the "M" marking on the forehead of the Tabby Cat was created by the prophet Mohammed as he rested his hand lightly on the brow of his favorite cat, a Tabby.

  • Adult cats with no health problems are in deep sleep 15 percent of their lives. They are in light sleep 50 percent of the time.

  • After being handled, cats lick themselves to smooth their fur and get rid of the "human" smell. Licking is also thought to produce a calming effect.

  • Ailurophobia is the fear of cats. Julius Caesar, Henry II, Charles XI, and Napoleon all suffered from this and would nearly faint in the presence of a cat.

  • All cats are born with blue eyes.

  • All cats are members of the family Felidea. Interestingly enough, the cat family split from the other mammals at least 40,000,000 years ago, making them one of the oldest mammalian families.

  • Americans spend more on cat food than on baby food.

  • Americans spend more than 5.4 billion dollars on their pets each year.

  • An adult cat has thirty teeth and around twelve whiskers.

  • Ancient Egyptians believed that "Bast" was the mother of all cats on Earth. They also believed that cats were sacred animals.

  • At night a cat can gather into the extra-large corneas and lenses of its eyes more than six times the amount of light than humans can. Seeing far better than humans do at night time and tending to focus best at a distance of eight to twenty feet makes cats excellent night time hunters.

  • Black cat superstitions originated in America. In Asia and England, a black cat is considered lucky.

  • Both humans and cats have identical regions in the brain responsible for emotion.

  • Calico cats are nearly always female.

  • Cardinal Richelieu was so fond of cats that he shared his home with 14 of them. Specially appointed attendants cared for them, and upon his death, the Cardinal left all his worldly wealth to his feline companions.

  • Cat families usually play best in even numbers. Cats and kittens should be acquired in pairs whenever possible.

  • Cat scratch disease, a benign but sometimes painful disease of short duration, is caused by a bacillus. Despite its name, the disease can be transmitted by many kinds of scratches besides those of cats.

  • Cat urine glows under a black light.

  • Catnip can affect lions and tigers as well as house cats. It excites them because it contains a chemical that resembles an excretion of the dominant female's urine.

  • Cats are attracted to automobile antifreeze because of its sweet taste.

  • Cats are sometimes born with extra toes. This is called polydactyl.

  • Cats are the only domestic animals that walk directly on their claws, not on their paws. This method of walking is called "digitigrade." When cats scratch furniture, it isn't an act of malice. They are actually tearing off the ragged edges of the sheaths of their talons to expose the new sharp ones beneath.

  • Cats average 16 hours of sleep a day, more than any other mammal.

  • Cats bury their feces to cover their trails from predators.

  • Cats can donate blood to other cats.

  • Cats can get "age spots". These are black spots on the skin that are often seen around the lips, eyes, and nose; and usually start when the cat is three to five years of age.

  • Cats can get bored. They show their boredom by excessive licking, chewing, or biting.

  • Cats can have freckles. They can appear anywhere on a cat's skin and even in its mouth.

  • Cats can learn tricks. They just sometimes choose not to.

  • Cats can see color. Studies have shown that cats can distinguish between red and green; red and blue; red and gray; green and blue; green and gray; blue and gray; yellow and blue, and yellow and gray.

  • Cats can see up to 120 feet away. Their peripheral vision is about 285 degrees.

  • Cats have 13 ribs.

  • Cats have a homing ability that uses its biological clock, the angle of the sun, and the Earth's magnetic field.

  • Cats have a third eyelid, called a haw, that is rarely visible. If it can be seen, it could be an indication of ill health.

  • Cats have AB blood groups just like people.

  • Cats have about 100 different vocalization sounds. In comparison, dogs have about 10.

  • Cats have amazing hearing ability. A cat's ear has 30 muscles that control the outer ear (by comparison, human ears only have six muscles). These muscles rotate 180 degrees, so the cat can hear in all directions without moving its head.

  • Cats have better memories than dogs. Tests conducted by the University of Michigan concluded that while a dogs memory lasts no more than 5 minutes, a cat's can last as long as 16 hours - exceeding even that of monkeys and orangutans.

  • Cats have carpal pads on their front paws that help to prevent them from sliding on a slippery surface when jumping.

  • Cats have true fur, meaning that they have both an undercoat and an outer coat.

  • Cats lack a true collarbone and can generally squeeze their bodies through any space they can get their heads through.

  • Cats love to hear the sound of their own name and your voice, so talk to them often.

  • Cats must have fat in their diet, because they can't produce it on their own. Never feed your cat dog food, because cats need five times more protein than dogs do.

  • Cats only need a sixth the amount of light that humans do to see. However, their daytime vision is only fair compared to that of humans.

  • Cats purr at about 26 cycles per second, the same frequency as an idling diesel engine.

  • Cats scratch to shed the sheaths of their old claws.

  • Cats step with both left legs, then both right legs when they walk or run. The only other animals to do this are the giraffe and the camel.

  • Cats use more than 500 muscles to leap, jump, and sprint.

  • Cats with white fur and skin on their ears are very prone to sunburn.

  • Cats, not dogs, are the most common pets in America. There are approximately 66 million cats to 58 million dogs, with Parakeets a distant third at 14 million.

  • Despite its reputation for being finicky, the average cat consumes about 127,750 calories a year, nearly 28 times its own weight in food and the same amount again in liquids. In case you were wondering, cats cannot survive on a vegetarian diet.

  • Ear furnishings are the hairs that grow inside a cat's ears.

  • Ernest Hemingway once had some 30 cats at his home in Havana.

  • Felix the Cat is the first cartoon character to ever have been made into a balloon for a parade.

  • Florence Nightingale owned more than 60 cats in her lifetime.

  • Human painkillers such acetaminophen (Tylenol) are toxic to cats. Chocolate is also poisonous to cats.

  • If left to her own devices, a female cat may have three to seven kittens every four months. This is why population control using spaying and neutering is so important.

  • If your cat is in the habit of rolling over and exposing his stomach, you can be sure he feels perfectly safe with you. It's also a way of demonstrating his pleasure in your company.

  • In 1888, an estimated 300,000 mummified cats were found at Beni Hassan, Egypt. They were sold at $18.43 per ton, and shipped to England to be ground up and used for fertilizer.

  • In addition to using their noses, cats can smell with the Jacobson's organ which is located in the upper surface of the mouth.

  • In ancient Egypt, the entire family would shave their eyebrows off as a sign of mourning when the family cat died.

  • In cats, the calico and tortoiseshell coats are sex-linked traits. All cats displaying these coats are female... or occasionally sterile males.

  • In general, cats live longer than most dogs. An average life span might be 12 to 14 years. Some cats are reaching 20 or more. A cat's longevity depends on feeding, genetics, environment, veterinary care and some other factors. It is also important whether or not the cat lives indoors or is allowed outdoors (outdoor cats live an average of eight years). The general consensus is that at about age seven the cat can be considered as "middle-aged", and at age 10 and beyond - old.

  • In relation to their body size, cats have the largest eyes of any mammal.

  • In the 9th century, King Henry I of Saxony decreed that the fine for killing a cat should be sixty bushels of corn.

  • In the midst of building the Grand Coulee Dam in the state of Washington, engineers were stymied by the problem of threading a cable through a pipeline until an anonymous cat saved the day. Harnessed to the cable, this unknown hero crawled through the pipeline maze to successfully finish the job.

  • It has been established that people who own pets live longer, have less stress, and have fewer heart attacks.

  • It has been scientifically proven that stroking a cat can lower one's blood pressure.

  • It is a common belief that cats are color blind; but recent studies have shown that cats can see blue, green, and red.

  • Julius Caesar, Henri II, Charles XI, and Napoleon had aelurophobia, the fear of cats.

  • Lucy Webb Hayes, wife of Rutherford Hayes, is the first person recorded to own a Siamese in the U.S.

  • Many cats are unable to properly digest cow's milk. Milk and milk products give them diarrhea.

  • Many of a cat's bones are found in its tail.

  • More than 30 percent of American households have a cat as part of the family

  • Morris, the 9-Lives cat, was discovered at an animal shelter in New England.

  • Most cats have five toes on each front paw, but only four toes on each back paw.

  • Neutering a cat extends its life span by two or three years.

  • Never pick a kitten up by the neck. Only a mother cat may do this safely.

  • Newborn kittens have closed ear canals that don't begin to open for nine days.

  • Nostradamus, the French Astrologer, 1503-1566, had a cat named Grimalkin.

  • One litter box per cat, plus an extra box, is the best formula for a multi-cat household.

  • Orange and lemon rinds are offensive to cats. A light rubbing of orange peel on furniture will discourage your cat from using it as a scratching post.

  • People who are allergic to cats are actually allergic to cat saliva or cat dander. If the cat is bathed regularly, allergic people have better tolerance to it.

  • Perhaps the oldest known female cat was Ma, from Devon, who was 34 when she died in 1957.

  • Purring is part of every cat's repertoire of social communication, apparently created by the movement of air in spasms through contractions of the diaphragm. Interestingly, purring is sometimes heard in cats who are severely ill or anxious, perhaps as a self-comforting vocalization. But, more typically, it is a sign of contentment, first heard in kittens as they suckle milk from their mother.

  • Siamese cats originated in Siam-modern day Thailand. Legend has it that they were the companions of kings and priests and that they guarded temples. Some trace Siamese origins to Egypt and Burma, but many dispute this idea. Siamese were first brought to England in the late 1800s.

  • Sir Isaac Newton, who first described the principle of gravity, also invented the swinging cat door for the convenience of his many cats.

  • The ancestor of all domestic cats is the African Wild Cat, which still exists today.

  • The average canned or dry cat meal is the nutritional equivalent of eating five mice.

  • The cat family split from the other mammals at least 40 million years ago, making them one of the oldest mammalian families.

  • The cat is the only animal that walks on its claws, not the pads of its feet.

  • The cat lover is an ailurophile, while a cat hater is an ailurophobe.

  • The cat was domesticated over 4,000 years ago. Today's house cats are descended from wildcats in Africa and Europe.

  • The catgut formerly used as strings in tennis rackets and musical instruments does not come from cats. Catgut actually comes from sheep, hogs, and horses.

  • The cheetah is the only cat in the world that can't retract its claws.

  • The color of the points in Siamese cats is heat related. Cool areas are darker. In fact, Siamese kittens are born white because of the heat inside the mother's uterus before birth. This heat keeps the kittens hair from darkening on the points.

  • The declawing of a pet cat involves surgery called an onychectomy, in which the entire claw and end bone of each toe of the animal are amputated.

  • The different types of tabby patterns that are seen in domestic cats also occur in wild cats.

  • The domestic cat is the only cat species able to hold its tail vertically while walking. All wild cats hold their tails horizontally or tucked between their legs while walking. A tail held high means happiness; a twitching tail is a warning sign; and a tucked tail is a sign of insecurity.

  • The giraffe, camel, and cat are the only animals that walk by both their left feet, then both their right feet when walking.

  • The heaviest cat ever recorded weighed 46 lbs.

  • The normal temperature of a cat is 101.5 degrees.

  • The only domestic animal not mentioned in the Bible is the cat.

  • The penalty for killing a cat, 4,000 years ago in Egypt, was death.

  • The Persian cat has the longest and thickest fur of all domestic cats. The topcoat may be up to 5 inches long.

  • The phenomenon of cats finding their owners in a place where they have never been before is scientifically known as Psi-trailing. Many well-documented stories tell of cats that have walked hundreds, even thousands of miles to find their owners.

  • The phrase "raining cats and dogs" originated in 17th Century England. During heavy downpours of rain, many of these poor animals unfortunately drowned and their bodies would be seen floating in the rain torrents that raced through the streets. The situation gave the appearance that it had literally rained "cats and dogs" and led to the current expression.

  • The red tabby cat is a Sarman.

  • The silver tabby cat is a Teku.

  • The Turkish Van, a very old rare breed that originated in Turkey, is quite different from other breeds because of its unusual love of water. Known as "the swimming cat," the Van is strong, quick and agile. He makes a devoted and loyal companion--on land or at sea.

  • There are more than 100 million dogs and cats in the United States.

  • There are more than 500 million domestic cats, with either 35 different breeds (according to The Cat Fanciers Association, the world's largest cat registry), or 38 breeds (as recognized by The International Cat Association, the second largest registry).

  • Those dark lines connecting to a cat's eyes are called mascara lines.

  • To drink, a cat laps liquid from the underside of its tongue, rather than the top.

  • When you find your cat glued to the window intently watching a bird, making a strange chattering noise and clicking his or her jaws oddly, your cat is merely acting on instinct. What your cat is doing is directly related to the killing bite that all cats (both domestic and wild cats) use to dispatch their prey.

  • Winston Churchill, adored cats. Churchill used to refer to his cat, "Jock", as his special assistant. "Jock" was reported to be on the bed with his master on the day the great British statesman died.

  • You can tell a cat's mood by looking into its eyes. A frightened or excited cat will have large, round pupils. An angry cat will have narrow pupils. The pupil size is related as much to the cat's emotions as to the degree of light.

  • Young cats can distinguish between two identical sounds that are just 18 inches apart at a distance of up to 60 feet.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Jingle Bells ... The Aussie Way !!

(Sung to the tune of "Jingle Bells" !!)

Dashing through the bush
In a rusty Holden Ute
Kicking up the dust
Esky in the boot
Kelpie by my side
Singing Christmas songs
It's summer time and I am in
My singlet, shorts & thongs

CHORUS:
OH, JINGLE BELLS, JINGLE BELLS
JINGLE ALL THE WAY
CHRISTMAS IN AUSTRALIA
ON A SCORCHING SUMMER'S DAY
JINGLE BELLS, JINGLE BELLS
CHRISTMAS TIME IS BEAUT
OH WHAT FUN IT IS TO RIDE
IN A RUSTY HOLDEN UTE

Engine's getting hot
Dodge the kangaroos
Swaggy climbs aboard
He is welcome too
All the family is there
Sitting by the pool
Christmas day, the Aussie way
By the barbecue!

CHORUS

Come the afternoon
Grandpa has a doze
The kids and uncle Bruce
Are swimming in their clothes
The time comes round to go
We take a family snap
Then pack the car and all shoot through
Before the washing up

CHORUS

OK, Some definitions ...

Ute = abbreviation of "utility", a version of a "pick up truck".
Esky = a portable cooler to keep your drink and food cool.
Kelpie = an Australian breed of dog.
Thongs = flip-flops (you wear them on your feet!).
Swaggie = an abbreviation of Swagman. These were men who during the depression tramped the country side with their few possession in a swag on their back.
Shoot through = leave suddenly

Pictures of Aussie Animals ...

OK, I have had a few questions asking what some of these creatures were in my Aussie 12 Days of Christmas ... the previous post.
Here goes ...

Twelve possums playing,

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Eleven lizards leaping,

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Ten wombats washing,

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Nine crocs a-snoozing,

Well, I think we all know what crocs are, thanks to Steve Irwin !!

Eight dingos dancing,

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Seven emus laying,

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Six sharks a-surfing,

I'm sure everyone knows what a shark is !!

Five kangaroos,

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Four lyrebirds,

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Three wet galahs,

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Two snakes on skis,

Hmmm, there are all sorts of snakes ... we have many poisonous ones here in Australia !

And a kookaburra in a gum tree.

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Hope this helps.
MEOW

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The 12 Days of Christmas - Aussie Style

On the FIRST day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me,
A kookaburra in a gum tree.

On the SECOND day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me,
Two snakes on skis,
And a kookaburra in a gum tree.

On the THIRD day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me,
Three wet galahs,
Two snakes on skis,
And a kookaburra in a gum tree.

On the FOURTH day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me,
Four lyrebirds,
Three wet galahs,
Two snakes on skis,
And a kookaburra in a gum tree.


On the FIFTH day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me,
Five kangaroos,
Four lyrebirds,
Three wet galahs,
Two snakes on skis,
And a kookaburra in a gum tree.

On the SIXTH day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me,
Six sharks a-surfing,
Five kangaroos,
Four lyrebirds,
Three wet galahs,
Two snakes on skis,
And a kookaburra in a gum tree.

On the SEVENTH day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me,
Seven emus laying,
Six sharks a-surfing,
Five kangaroos,
Four lyrebirds,
Three wet galahs,
Two snakes on skis,
And a kookaburra in a gum tree.

On the EIGHTH day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me,
Eight dingos dancing,
Seven emus laying,
Six sharks a-surfing,
Five kangaroos,
Four lyrebirds,
Three wet galahs,
Two snakes on skis,
And a kookaburra in a gum tree.

On the NINTH day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me,
Nine crocs a-snoozing,
Eight dingos dancing,
Seven emus laying,
Six sharks a-surfing,
Five kangaroos,
Four lyrebirds,
Three wet galahs,
Two snakes on skis,
And a kookaburra in a gum tree.

On the TENTH day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me,
Ten wombats washing,
Nine crocs a-snoozing,
Eight dingos dancing,
Seven emus laying,
Six sharks a-surfing,
Five kangaroos,
Four lyrebirds,
Three wet galahs,
Two snakes on skis,
And a kookaburra in a gum tree.

On the ELEVENTH day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me,
Eleven lizards leaping,
Ten wombats washing,
Nine crocs a-snoozing,
Eight dingos dancing,
Seven emus laying,
Six sharks a-surfing,
Five kangaroos,
Four lyrebirds,
Three wet galahs,
Two snakes on skis,
And a kookaburra in a gum tree.

On the TWELFTH day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me,
Twelve possums playing,
Eleven lizards leaping,
Ten wombats washing,
Nine crocs a-snoozing,
Eight dingos dancing,
Seven emus laying,
Six sharks a-surfing,
Five kangaroos,
Four lyrebirds,
Three wet galahs,
Two snakes on skis,
And a kookaburra in a gum tree.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Mmmm ... The Smell Of Christmas ...

Hi There !!

Guess what .... I've been baking !!! Chicky and I went through a multitude of cookbooks that I have collected over the years, and chose a few not-so-hard goodies to make for Christmas. It was great fun, as we haven't ever done a big Christmas baking session like this before. I used to do a lot of baking, but for some reason, the last few years I haven't done ANY !! As we went from one project to the next, I tried to teach her about cleaning up as we go (she conveniently disappeared at washing up time ... although she loved the mixing and tasting !!!).

Anyway, firstly we made Chocolate Rum Balls (minus the rum !!), in two different coatings ... coconut and chocolate sprinkles !

Next we made Shortbread Jewels ...

Then we made Christmas Biscuits that I found in a microwave cookbook (hence their paleness), and then Cinnamon Stars (from a German Dr. Oetker cookbook) ...

We also made Coconut Ice, but that is still setting in the fridge, so I haven't taken any photographs of it yet !!

Now, the quality of my baking (and the photography thereof) leaves alot to be desired, as does the presentation. However, it all tastes pretty yummy, if I do say so myself !!

There is something so wonderful about the smell of Christmas baking, or any sort of baking for that matter. The house smells amazing, and it sure does put you in the Christmas spirit. We even played Christmas music to start off with (then Chicky decided she wanted "her" music playing !!!). Right now, though, my poor back is killing me, from standing at the kitchen bench for such a long time !!! (That's right, I'm a sook !!!)

The past few days have been fairly quiet on my part, although I did get the majority of my Christmas shopping finished. I'm very pleased about that. Now I just need to wrap it all ... I'll do that next week, whilst Chicky is at school and Hubby is at work.

I had to take my Bambi kitty to the vet yesterday. On Thursday night the poor thing kept us awake all night, with her going back and forward to her litter tray (which is in the laundry, within hearing of the bedroom !!) to try and do wees !! Seems she has a urinary infection, and is on anti-biotics for a week. She's much better now, and didn't visit her tray once last night (thank goodness).

Our weather has taken a turn for the better at the moment, regarding the bushfires. It is quite mild, and the wind is minimal. They are hoping to get much of it under control by the end of the weekend. Finger crossed. Unfortunately, there has now been some properties lost, and one man was killed in the fire. Hopefully there won't be any more losses, of life or property.

Hubby has headed up to Bonnie Doon for the weekend, to do some maintenance on our bathroom up there. We were going to go too, but decided to stay home to keep an eye on the cat. I didn't want to further stress her out, by dumping her in her carrier basket, and taking her to the boarding cattery, after having to take her to the vet yesterday... poor thing, she doesn't really like to travel in the car (or her carry basket ... not that I blame her !!). Anyway, Hubby rang earlier, saying that it is very smokey there (it is only about 45 minutes drive ... if that ... from the fires). Apparently this is a good day up there, smoke wise, but it is worse than what we were experiencing here ... I imagine it must be awful, I'm kinda glad we didn't go. I prefer the smell of Christmas baking to that of smoke !!!

Oh well, I guess that's enough from me for now.

I hope you are all well and truly on top of your Christmas preparations ... if not, it's gonna be a big week for you !!

Have a wonderful weekend.

Take care,

MEOW

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Wednesday With Meow ...


Hello, all you Bloggers out there !!

I hope you are all as well and as happy as I am today.

The only thing is, I am feeling a bit frustrated that I have been unable to talk to you guys out there who are on Beta Blogger ... it won't let me comment, won't let me log on, or whatever ... not even as "Anonymous". Don't know why, but it has been happening since yesterday (Tuesday afternoon, Aussie time). Apologies for not visiting, but I have visited, but just cannot comment.



This little elf is 'specially for Blogger ... I'm not happy !!!

Anyway, on with my post ...

The world has gone mad !!! Yep, it's true !!! Believe me, or not, it's totally up to you, but I say it has gone mad !!

Saturday and Sunday, here in Melbourne, the weather was a stinking (literally) 40+C (100+F) degrees, with a thick cover of smoke (coming from the bush fires raging around the state ... and now also in Tasmania). Monday was a pleasant low 20sC (70ish F), still some smoke cover, and Tuesday (yesterday) was quite cool, with clear blue skies. It got so cold last night, that hubby turned on the heating !!! This morning was still cool, but the day has progressed at a pleasant temperature, with a not-so-pleasant blanket of smoke over the whole city and suburbs. Blech. It is awful. I gave in, did some laundry, and hung it up outside (I don't have a clothes dryer ... right now, I wish I did !!). I figured everyone is in the same boat, and we will all smell smokey, anyway !! Hmmm, wonder if that's such a good idea, after all !! (In days long ago, didn't they smoke all their meat, to preserve it ??? Perhaps I should go stand in the smoke ... It might preserve me, too !!!)


The view out my back door, looking up the hill towards Burwood Highway ... the faint things in the distance are trees ... usually very green !!!

Hmmm, I think this is the sun, through a very thick blanket of smoke !

For those of you wondering, Chicky played her netball grand final on Saturday (in that mega-heat!!). Unfortunately, they didn't win, but they did play very well. Just wasn't their day, I guess. Oh well, they did wonderfully to get there in the first place, so they can be congratulated for that. They were so excited to just be playing in the grand final, but I guess they were a bit disappointed they didn't win. There's always next season !!

I'm very proud of myself, I have got all my Christmas cards written, printed and posted. Whoo-hoo, yay me !! What a champion !! Hopefully I haven't left it too late for the overseas cards !!

I still haven't done any more Christmas shopping, as I was concentrating on my Christmas cards (I sent out about 110 of them !!!). Hopefully, tomorrow (Thursday) I can continue, and maybe even finish ... cross your fingers !!!

As I mentioned, the bushfires are still raging. Here are a couple of maps (if Blogger lets me load them !) which, if you know the area, might tell you a little bit about what's going on. There are a few fires that have joined up, making an enormous fire front. I think the fire-fighters are finding it quite difficult, due to the terrain, and the bizarre weather ... hot, cold, windy, not windy ... hopefully there will be no lives lost.


(This is the current fire map ... click on the image to enlarge it, I guess !!)

I have another map I wanted to post, but Booger Blogger won't let me !!

Isn't it getting exciting, now that Christmas is getting so close !! I love Christmas. I'm like a little kid on Christmas Eve, when we go to my parent's place for dinner, then share presents. I usually have a grin from ear to ear. It is so much fun. We have a lovely evening, just the 5 of us (mum, dad, hubby, Chicky and me). We chat, eat, drink, and just enjoy being with each other. There's nothing nicer. I love being with my family, they are simply the best. Christmas morning is all about Chicky. Santa has been, just for her ... the look on her face when she finds her gifts in her Santa Sack, and opens them, is just amazing. I hope Santa can think of the perfect present for her this year ... any ideas ?!?!?!

Oh well, I had better go. I will try and comment on the Beta Blogger blogs again ... what is going on with that !?!?! I wonder, are those of you on Beta able to comment on old Blogger blogs ???

Enjoy the rest of the week, everyone.

Take care,



MEOW

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

CATS ON TUESDAY # 2

Hmmmm, what to write about for my 2nd Cats On Tuesday !!!!

I might just quickly share a photo, as I need to do some other things, and want to make it quick this week ... sorry !!

We have a tree stump, probably about my shoulder height, which Bambi just loves to sit on. Here she is, in a contemplative pose ... she is a very photogenic kitty !!

You know, I think Bambi is a very odd kitty. Over the weekend, we had 40C plus (100F plus) temperatures, it was also very smokey (due to the massive bushfires raging throughout Victoria). We happily chose to stay inside, with the air-conditioning, where it was wonderfully comfortable. You'd think a cat, who is wearing a fur coat, would also enjoy it inside. But, nooooo, she would rather be out in the revolting, stinky heat. Go figure !!!

Anyway, as I said, this is just a quick "Cats On Tuesday" this week. I will try to put more thought into it next week.

Take care,

MEOW


Monday, December 11, 2006

Which of Santa's Reindeer Are You ??


Which of Santa's Reindeer are you?

Which of Santa's Reindeer Are You

Comet

Like Comet you are always happy. Nothing seems to get you down and you can always put a smile on people's faces

Find out which of Santa's Reindeer you are at Quizopolis.com

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Christmas Elf Name


Christmas Elf Name

My Christmas Elf Name is
Get your Christmas Elf Name at JokesUnlimited.com