Patra's Other Place

I started out with Patra's Place, primarily dedicated to my linen collection and stitching projects. But I kept getting side-tracked, so I decided to create Patra's Other Place for anything not related to embroidery topics. So you now have a choice. If you are interested in me, read this. If you only want to see my linen and stitching, visit Patra's (original) Place! (Please note that by clicking on any of the photos, they will be enlarged to fill your computer screen.)

My Photo
Location: Melbourne, Vic., Australia

I am married to Ken. We have no children except a cat and a collection of Australian parrots, finches, canaries and a dozen hens.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Japanese craft fun.

Another hot day loomed ahead, so instead of roaming around opshops, Glenda and I decided to stay inside in airconditioned comfort, and mess around with paper craft. I'd borrowed this book

from our library, and a few of the projects appealed to us, so I took some Washi paper and the book around to Glenda's, and here is what we made. (These are mine - Glenda has the same but with different papers).
This is supposed to be a fridge magnet, but I'd left the magnet strip at home. We thought these little girls would look just as good attached to a card as a gift card.

I have a box of hen's eggshells that I 'blew' clear some years ago with the intention of painting them. One of the Washi paper projects is covering an eggshell with Washi paper, and this is my first effort. I did another one for Glenda which turned out a bit neater, once I'd re-read the instructions and done it properly!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Too hot to do anything today.

Ken stretched out on the couch for most of the day, accompanied by Tiger when he was having a rest from playing. I came in to the lounge room and saw his little head peeping over Ken's feet.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Busy little kitty person.

Tiger is allowed outside now, for short periods of time, and only if we are there to supervise.
"This Jasmine bush smells nice. I wonder what is under there?"

"Ugh! Nobody told me about cobwebs".

He's been learning to climb trees (and jump down without mewing for help).

"So many toys, so little time..."

He's growing fast, but still small enough to sit on Topsy's scratching post (and has outgrown his own personal scratching post...guess I'll just have to list it on eBay)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Australia Day - Oi! Oi! Oi!

I love the fact that Aussies are becoming more and more patriotic as time goes by. I remember when Australia Day was just another public holiday and there were no really big celebrations, but now the flag is out in force everywhere, and it is a real feel-good day for our great country. Ken and I decided to forego our annual Aussie Day party for a fund raising event in Kinglake instead. Kinglake was one of many towns burnt out by the 2009 Victorian bushfires, and they are still in the process of rebuilding the town, as are so many other small towns. But this year the residents wanted to raise some money for Queenslanders, and we thought it would be a good way to spend the day. Most of our friends who usually come to our place had other things to do, so it worked out well.

Our friend Mark had to work today, so we collected his wife Louise and the three of us drove up to Kinglake this morning. It was cloudy but mild when we left Eltham but as we ascended the hills toward Kinglake it got progressively misty. The clouds were very low, and we were driving into them.

It didn't look very promising when we arrived at the Kinglake Pub grounds around noon. A few people stood shivering around the entrance gate. We paid our $5 entrance fee which entitled us to barbecued snags in bread and two cans of drink.

The grounds were set up with tables and umbrellas ready for the sunshine, but were deserted at 12.15 pm

Ken, Louise and I made a beeline for the pub, where we joined other people for a nice hot coffee.

By 1.30 pm the fog had lifted, and although it was still cloudy, people had started arrving in droves.

The concert had started, and local bands and singers came and went as we sat for a while with our sausages and drinks. Aussie flags were everywhere.

The grounds were filling up fast by 2 pm, with people strolling around, or settling themselves down to watch the concert.

The kids playground area was well patronised.

Many cars had flags tied to the aerials, but this one was the biggest flag we saw on any car today!

Everybody had Aussie gear on - young and old alike!
Ken added $20 to the fundraising with this teeshirt which were selling fast.

I asked the parents of these children if I could photograph their little Aussies, and they were happy for me to do so!

You see this sight a lot on Australia Day - people drape the flag around themselves and wear it like a cape. Love it!

A sombre sight was the signs of rebuilding around the town; among the still-scorched trees showing re-growth, we could see caravans and tents next to building foundations.

Among the fundraising activities for children were pony rides and rides in this miniature car. I'm small, but it still took me a few minutes to fold myself into it for a photo!

We left Kinglake about 3.30 pm, driving back through Kinglake National Park with its vibrant green new growth. That is the nature of Australia's native plants life cycle, to be burnt before they can renew themselves. At a huge cost in more ways than one, but I wouldn't live anywhere else in the world.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Are you ready for this?

More kitty photos - LOL!

We brought Ken's Mum over here today, as she was looking forward to seeing the kitten. She loves animals, and they usually love her right back. Can't believe MIL will be 98 next month...

Believe it or not, there is always fresh water in a bowl on the floor for the cats. None of our previous cats have ever done this before!

I've found cats before in the linen press, the wardrobe, and the laundry basket, but never in the pantry and certainly not in the potato bin! Just as well there was only one or two potatoes in there which will now be added to the compost bin!

It's been another busy day, but I suppose I'll have to put on my best face for another bloody photo...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

More Kitty photos.

Anyone who has a cat knows that you take more photos of them than anything else around you, especially while the cat is a kitten! I did some shopping today, and when I unpacked the groceries, one of the bags fell on the floor. It was a new toy with interesting smells for Tiger to investigate!

Balancing act on the back of a kitchen chair.

Tiger in his 'igloo'. He sleeps in there at night, but sometimes during the day if he has been very busy playing, he'll go in there for a nap.

We were watching a documentary about tigers on t.v. the other night, so I took this photo of the screen, with the REAL tiger.
Our own little Tiger was curled up next to me on the couch.

Kitty comfort for Ken.

Ken is home off work for three days, after an angiogram and lung function tests. The angiogram showed the artery without the stent is completely closed, and won't be able to support a stent, so the cardiologist is waiting for the lung test results before he makes a decision on what to do next, the only option being bypass surgery. Ken is not an optimistic person by nature (complete opposite to me) but he has been philosophical about his state of health for the past 10 years. He seems quite surprised sometimes that he is still alive and kicking after all he has been through, and I find it quite peculiar in view of how negative he can get about other things that happen to him. Still, it's a good attitude as far as I'm concerned; I worry enough for the two of us!

Our little Tiger has been amusing him while he's home, and I've been taking lots of photos, so if you don't like kittens, you may as well quit this blog right now!

"Are you awake, Ken?"


"Oh good, I can climb up the curtains without being yelled at!"

"Your toes are twitching. I'll just stick my claws in them and see what happens". Ken: "OUCH!"

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Expensive pets....

"If I sit on this kitchen chair long enough, maybe Somebody will feed me".

Quick update on the New Pussy. Topsy and Tiger seem to have accepted each other, to the point where they will eat in the kitchen at the same time without glaring at each other, and they will sit on the same sofa (one at each end) without hissing.
But Topsy still doesn't like her personal space invaded, so when Tiger pounced on her swishing tail, Topsy spun around and swiped him, getting him in one eye. We saw it happen, but Tiger didn't seem to be affected, apart from blinking a bit more than usual.

I took Tiger to the Gus the vet for his first check up, immunisation, etc. and mentioned the incident, and when Gus had a close look, he showed me where Topsy's claw had scratched the surface of Tiger's right eye. He treated it with various things, and gave me a tube of ointment to put in the eye three times a day for a week, then bring Tiger back to be checked out. I was staggered when I got the bill: $340! I asked for it to be itemised, and argued over a few items, and they reduced it to $225. I had been charged for the consultation, the treatment of the eye, immunisation, worm tablets, flea treatment for both Topsy and Tiger, and special kitten food for Tiger. I got them to remove the flea treatment for Topsy and the worm tablets (I had some at home), and asked for a discount on the consultation (they offer pensioner discount). So it was worthwhile arguing over the initial bill!

Gus said if the ointment doesn't fix Tiger's eye, he will have to operate, and I asked how much that would cost. He said "It won't be cheap" and I said again "How much would that cost?" "About $400" said Gus, and I said "Forget it!" He said "Oh I'm sure the ointment will fix it!". I think it is working; Tiger isn't blinking as much as he was, and he's not pawing at his eye the way animals will do if they are in pain.

We've noticed that Topsy seems to be getting even heavier than she was a few years ago, when she was weighed at the Vet's office and found to be 9 kg. She was put on a diet of special dried food, and we were told she should weigh about 7.5 kg. Well, she's been on that diet food ever since, but I think she must be getting takeaway food elsewhere, as I weighed her this morning and she was 14 kg. In contrast, Tiger weighs a dear little 2 kg.

"It's just too bloody hot to play games today".

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

True Blue Aussie community spirit.

Amidst the ongoing stories of the devastation caused by the floods in Queensland, there was a piece on the news last night that caught my attention. Kinglake, one of the rural Victorian towns destroyed by bushfires on Black Saturday 2 years ago, are running fund raising projects for the Qld. flood victims. The people there say they have not forgotten the kindness and generosity of the Queenslanders two years ago, who in spite of their own problems with floods at the time, provided great support to Kinglake and other fire stricken communities.

The Kinglake Hotel is staging a music concert in their grounds on Australia Day to raise funds for the Banana benders. Ken suggested to me that we should support that instead of having our usual Australia Day party here at home, and I agreed. I'll ask our friends to join us there.

Ken and I have several friends living in various parts of Queensland, and we have been calling them to see if they are safe. My friend in Charters Towers (far north Qld) said they are fine. Very wet, but not flooded out. One of Ken's friends lives near the Gold Coast, and he said they are okay. But Ken's other friends (Ken and Ann P.)who have just returned home after spending Xmas down here with their family, are not so fortunate. They don't live close enough to any of the rivers to be flooded, but their semi rural property has been completely cut off by the floods around them. All the roads have been closed, so they can't get to any shops, and have run out of milk, bread and other fresh foods. Ken P. is blind and disabled, and needs regular medical treatment. Their grown up children don't live close enough to be of any help, and anyway, two of them have been evacuated from their own homes. It is at times like this that one feels utterly helpless in the face of so much tragedy.

In September last year, I wrote a post on this blog about the terrible floods in Pakistan, and that we were lucky in Australia to have support and infrastructure to deal with any catastrophes like that. Now here we are dealing with the same scenario, and while we are a lot better off than the poor people in third world countries who have floods like this, it doesn't make things any easier for those up north who have lost homes, businesses, crops, stock and loved ones. My heart goes out to them.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Wedding anniversary.

Today was our 32nd wedding anniversary. Ken wanted to go to his favourite Chinese restaurant for dinner, but I just couldn't bear the thought of a hot Chinese meal at the end of a hot day, so I suggested that we just have tea at home. When he got home from work, he was absolutely knackered, and I said "Aren't you glad we are not going out tonight?" and he agreed. I prepared a seafood salad, and dressed up the kitchen table a bit more than usual, and that was all we did, which suited us both.

While Ken was at work, I spent most of the day with Sharon and Val at Val's home. We are blogger buddies from way back when, and while Val and I are both retired and see each other regularly, Val hasn't seen Sharon for a while. We had a beaut day. I was going to write a post about it, but Sharon did such a good job with some lovely photos on her blog, I decided it was easier just to point you in her direction! For those readers who know either Val or Sharon (or both), go here to catch up with them.

Tiger continues to wrap us around his little paws, and Topsy has thawed out to the point of playing with him and gently rubbing noses!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The Third Day.

We needed some essential furniture for the kitty nursery. Topsy sleeps anywhere around the house at any time, but she does have her own cushion on top of the clothes drier in the laundry. Apart from it being covered with her black fur and her 'smells', we didn't think it was a good idea to put it on the floor for Junior. So I visited the local "$2 Shop" and bought this igloo for $20. Tiger loves it!

While I was at the $2 Shop, I saw this scratching post for $10. Topsy's scratching post has been almost clawed to bits, so I felt it was only fair that Tiger has a new one of his own. He had fun with it for about an hour after I brought it into the kitchen!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The Second Day.

Tiger has adopted us without any hesitation. But he's taking a bit more time to win Topsy over. They haven't come to claws, but Topsy hisses if Tiger comes too close. I left them alone inside the house today for several hours, and was relieved to come home and find no little dead furry bodies lying around. Ken was trying to encourage them to be friendly here, but look at those eyes! And the difference in size!

Tiger spent all evening with us while we were online, even walking on Ken's laptop keyboard, which made something pop up on the screen that Ken wasn't expecting! But all was quickly forgiven.

Monday, January 03, 2011

New addition to the family.

We welcomed a new Little Person into our home today. Remember the basket full of kitties in my Xmas Day post, from Ken's niece's house? Well, niece Michelle called us last night to ask if we still wanted one, as the person she had given this kitten to had changed their mind. Ken said yes please, so Michelle arrived today with Kitten in carry cage, squealing and struggling to be let out after an hour long journey in the car.

He only took a few minutes to make himself at home, and when Topsy came in and discovered the new arrival, she turned tail and fled, only to find we'd closed all the doors and she couldn't get away. They faced each other, Topsy's eyes like saucers, and the kitten's back arched, but apart from a minor hiss, they didn't attack each other. Within an hour, they had calmed down, and were curled up asleep, one at each end of the windows in the lounge room.

Some friends came over to inspect Kitty and we discussed names, finally agreeing on "Tiger", as his markings are just like a Siberian Tiger, grey and white stripes. Tiger has had several meals, discovered where the litter tray is and used it, and has been cuddled and stroked almost non stop since he got here. Looks like Ken finally has the cat he wanted - a LOVING cat. Topsy isn't going anywhere - she'll get used to him, and I guess she'll be 'my' cat now!

Topsy giving Kitty the evil eye!

"Are you addressing me??"

"Is this my new bed?"

Just a handful.

Watch where you put those claws, Tiger!

All tuckered out.

adopt your own virtual pet!