Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Kitty Cat Story Time - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

So lately I've been reading to my cats. I use to do this when I was younger with Wilhelm, and had been missing him more lately. The funny part about all of this, the four cats seem to get along the best when I am reading to them. So in honor of my beloved Wilhelm, here are some of my favorite quotes from the book (and some pictures of the kitties listening to me read).

1.“You haven't got a letter on yours," George observed. "I suppose she thinks you don't forget your name. But we're not stupid-we know we're called Gred and Forge.”
I love this because it just shows how ridiculous those two are.

2. “What happened down in the dungeons between you and Professor Quirrell is a complete secret, so, naturally the whole school knows.”
This is so true, gossip is wildfire.

3. “So light a fire!" Harry choked. "Yes...of course...but there's no wood!" ... "HAVE YOU GONE MAD!" Ron bellowed.

Ron, the one with street smarts. Hermoine? Definitely book.

4. “You're a wizard, Harry.”
If only it was "You're a witch, Pepper."

5. “The trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them.”
Oh how true this is, and how little I knew it when I first read this when I was eight.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Fairy House - Take 1

Fairy houses are getting really popular lately. My local Renaissance Festival even has a competition, and if you enter you get two free tickets into the RenFest. Some can be simple, like the one I made (pictures below), and others can be very complicated. I didn't win anything for my entry, but it was fun for a first fairy house. Here are some tips I learned while doing this.

1. Once in a while specialty glue is the way to go
My bird bath is a small ceramic pot with the dish on top instead of on the bottom. I initially used hot glue to hold it together, but it doesn't work. You'll want to buy ceramic glue. It took me five tries before I ended going out and buying ceramic glue. It held the birds on pretty well though, so hot glue isn't the worst thing in the world. I also used it on all the wood pieces as well. The ceramic glue also worked better on the dragon tears (glass gems, whatever you want to call them).

2. No need to buy everything 
Don't waste your money when you make a fairy house. Many things can be found outside. I used a lot of twigs and bark pieces. Another way to save money is to look around your house: in the junk drawers, in the couch, or even your sewing drawer. Recycle when possible, I used old dragon tears that I had collected over the years. Fairies are all about nature, so instead of spending money, recycle and keep the fairy movement going.

3. All weather material
On my first attempt, my fairy house grass was model grass. This was not my best idea since it was going outside, and the rain washed the grass away. Next time, I'm going to use dried moss that is available at craft stores. Another idea I had was just painting the base green, but I haven't decided. Either way, it will be more water resistant.

4. Make a plan, if your brain works that way
There are two types of people when it comes to fairy houses, the planner and the starter. The planner is the personal who sketches their house first. I am a planner, I have to have an idea before I start, or it will just all fall apart; while others are starters. Starters collect all their materials, look at them for a few minutes, and BOOM! They have an idea and start building. It all depends on how your brain works. So don't stress if you can't come up with anything right away, just sit down and doodle. 

5. Simplistic to complex
There are a wide variety of fairy houses, some seem to take months to make, while others just a few hours. In the end it doesn't really matter which way you decide to go with your fairy house. Just enjoy building it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

When the Times Comes..

As Voltaire once said, "One great use of words is to hide our thoughts."  This is why so many people use euphemisms for death. No one wants to admit that every day we are alive, we are a day closer to death, and why would you?

I don’t know how many couples, especially those who are in their mid-twenties and not even married, talk about death. It’s a strange and unusual topic, but it leads to a lot of growth. We talked about what would happen if we died together. Well what would happen? We have been living together for so long now so many things we own are ours, not his or mine. How would our family split that up? What about our four cats? We wouldn't want any of them split up either, but as far as we know no one even knows that. Then comes the question of where would we be buried since we aren't married yet, and our families live on opposite sides of the state.

Once we got through the ‘what if’ questions, we started talking about the ‘when we die’ questions. We both like the idea of turning into trees, but if we are buried next to each other the trees would smother each other, and they too would end up dead. The one thing we do know is we want to be buried together, with one headstone. On my side, I want it to say
My candle burns at both ends,
It will not last the night.
But oh my friends, and oh my foes,
It makes a lovely light.
It is a quote from Mary Alice Seller Peterson, a previous National President of my sorority, who herself echoed the words of Edna St. Vincent Millay. Nick hasn't decided what he wants on his side of the headstone. We have no idea where we want to be buried, but hopefully there is still time for that. We also decided that we’ll write the cats (or future pets) into the will, so someone will have the capability and means to take care of them.

This may seem foolish for such a young couple to think about this now, but when is there a time to talk about death? As J.K. Rowling wrote, “To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.” And in the end, Nick and I are hoping that adventure is together as well.