IWSG: Reviving my 2006 blog in Esperanto

Insecure Writers Support Group BadgeThis is a post in the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop. Join at: http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/p/iwsg-sign-up.html

My latest ploy to avoid having enough time to work on my WIP is reviving my oldest blog— one from 2006. At that time, my main blog was called ‘Moreover the dog went with them’, after a line from the Biblical book of Tobit. (If you don’t have Tobit in your Bible, you need a better Bible. Tobit was in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Bible Jesus and his disciples used.)

In addition to Moreover, I started a second blog in Esperanto, the international language. It’s called ‘kaj la hundo iris kun ili’, which is the Biblical phrase from the Esperanto Bible.

The Bible in Esperanto translation.

Esperanto Bible

I have not posted in ‘kaj la hundo’ in years, but lately I decided to start again. The reason is that I am working on a science fiction novel in which Esperanto is the common language of the Terran Empire and also used as an intercommunication language by aliens, because it’s such an easy language to learn. Using Esperanto as a futuristic language used to be far more common in science fiction, but today’s science fiction writers are convinced that difficult English will be the One True Terran Language in the future. Not very logical, but…..

My revival of the ‘kaj la hundo’ blog is currently concerned with providing links to Esperanto learning material for English speakers. Here is the link, in case you want to have a look: http://kajlahundo.blogspot.com/  I welcome comments on any of the posts there in any language. Well, OK, if you are going to comment in Chinese or Swahili I won’t understand it a bit, but I welcome the comments anyway. 😉

I especially hope to find readers for that blog interested in learning a little Esperanto. Studies show that Esperanto can be learned in 1/10th the time it would take to learn another European language. So it’s a quick way to get a second language into your brain.

More recently I started a Facebook page in Esperanto called ‘La Sankta Biblio en Esperanto.’ As you may have guessed, it’s about the Bible. I try to regularly post verses or groups of verses from the Bible in Esperanto. I usually give the English as well, and for single verses a few other languages. I use the web page Jesus Army Multilingual Bible to help find the verses in different languages. Here is the link to La Sankta Biblio en Esperanto: https://www.facebook.com/sanktabiblio/

I’d really like it if language geeks and Bible geeks would ‘like’ that Facebook page and share it with their friends. Thanks!


Kitten Picture of the Day

juliannenorbertMy cat Julianne— the orange one— got pregnant this spring and had to have an emergency caesarian. All of her kittens died. During the grief period Julianne needed to cuddle a kitten, so I handed her the youngest cat we had— seven month old Norbert (who is a girl kitty.)

Julianne has got over losing her kittens, and she’s grown a lot. She was so tiny at two years old the vet thought she was a pregnant kitten. But now she’s almost as big as her brother and kitten-daddy Derek. Perhaps being neutered let her grow more.IWSG

Belated Celebrate: Eyeglasses & Bette Davis Eyes

Celebrate blog hopOK, I missed Celebrate the Small Things (a blog hop) yesterday. So I’m doing it today. Because that way at least it gets done.

First thing I’m celebrating is eyeglasses. Eyeglasses that work, actually. Because my eyes recently got worse and my current eyeglasses no longer work. In fact, I have been using the lower half of my bifocals to see at a distance! And taking off my glasses for close-in work like reading or writing blog posts.

Normally to get new glasses I would have to wait to get an appointment with my Medicaid-approved eye doctor who only comes to the clinic once a week. And I’d have to get welfare glasses— I’d have to pick from a handful of cheap, crappy eyeglass frames that are so awful to wear, I didn’t wear my welfare glasses at all but my older pair which at least stayed on my face without causing pain. (The eye doctor said they couldn’t put new lenses in my old frames for some reason.)

But the next eye doctor visit I took my prescription to Walmart and found that THEY could put new lenses in my old frames so long as I paid for it. This time out, since it’s kind of an emergency and I don’t have money saved for new glasses, my mom offered to buy me glasses. So I will be able to SEE properly without holding my glasses up with my hand so I can see through the lower bifocal lens.

Another thing I’m celebrating is seeing an old movie on the TCM channel, ‘All This and Heaven, Too,’ starring Bette Davis as a governess who is arrested for complicity when her employer kills his crazy wife. It was a great story based on a novel by Rachel Field, who based her story on real life events that happened to her great-aunt.

I’m reading the novel right now. I bought it because the movie inspired a writing idea, something which is a bit of a change of direction for me. I’m not saying more about the idea right now lest I jinx it, but if all goes well, I will share more later.


Keto Diet

Last night I was making Keto Bread from the recipe book ‘The Ketogenic Cookbook’ by Jimmy Moore & Maria Emmerich. It’s really just a revision of the Diet Revolution Bread recipe from the original Atkins Diet Revolution book, with unflavored protein powder replacing the small amount of (unhealthy) soy flour in the original.

The recipes involve separating eggs and whipping up the whites. Well, in my case it also involved waiting for the hens to lay a couple more eggs so I’d have the six eggs required.

When I whipped up the eggs it did not work like it was supposed to. It didn’t get high enough and I fear a speck of egg yolk may have gotten in the whites.

What I should have done at that point was to whip out my three muffin-top pans and turned the batter into flatbread ‘slices’. They wouldn’t have been perfect but the size would have been OK. Instead, I baked in the bread pan, and the bread ‘fell’ and the middle was soggy and the bread slices I salvaged were very short.

Since the recipe calls for possibly frying the slices in butter to increase the lipid profile, the slices will be edible. I will probably eat them with cream cheese and bacon bits on them. (Yes, that’s a diet meal.) But I’m going to make another batch of bread sometime soon, God and hens willing, and then perhaps I can make some better bread— and take pictures of it for my blog readers.

Blood sugar: Last night my blood sugar was at 124. Before I went on strict keto, my blood sugars were always over 300 for about a month. (Probably why I have my current eye problem.)


0510161425This is a picture of my kitten Simon when he was younger. He’s almost as big as a full grown cat now, but he’s still nursing from his mother, Consubstantial 2, and his aunt, Consubstantial 1. He has a brother named Theodore, and a possible half-brother named Alvin. Lately, what Simon and Theodore love to do every day is run out the door and play outdoors with the big kitties.

Celebrate: Mama Cat Consubstantial 1

0825161400aFirst thing to get out of the way: yes, I do have not only one, but two, cats named Consubstantial. Originally one Consubstantial had a different name but since it’s so hard to tell the two apart, they somehow both became Consubstantial. Consubstantial 1, in the picture, used to be the friendlier one. But now Consubstantial 2 is also mostly friendly. Except yesterday when she slapped her own kitten for standing too close to her.

The Consubstantials, often called Connies for short, are both barn cats and both have kittens this year. And so both are living in the house so the kittens get socialized. But Connie 1 has been having some problems. She got very scrawny nursing kittens this year— perhaps because Connie 2 and another barn cat, Charybdis, had kittens about the same time and everyone’s nursing one another’s kittens.

Connie 1 also has been having ‘digestive issues’ but otherwise seemed healthy. Until a couple of nights ago when a noise woke me up, and I discovered Connie 1 was having a seizure. When it was over, she slept for a while and then jumped in my lap for attention which she never does.

We weren’t able to discover why Connie 1 had the seizure but my guess is possible dehydration, since she’s nursing a lot of kittens and her ‘digestive issues’ are playing a part. I tried feeding her some yogurt. She likes it but it hasn’t fixed the ‘issues.’ So after doing a little research I decided to give her one of my probiotic pills, crushed up. After the first time her ‘issues’ improved, so I am optimistic that she will continue to get better.

Connie 1 nursing kittens. Not her own kittens.

Connie 1 nursing kittens. Not her own kittens.


This is a post in the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop. Click on the link and you will either find out more about the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop, or the universe will explode.

Belated Celebrate: Barn Kittens

0729161314The picture above is what happens when a barncat mother of 6 wakes up to find 5 extra kittens in the kitten bed. And it looks like she’s going to have to keep them. Charybdis, first time mama of 6, has to take care of the kittens of Consubstatial 1, who ran out the door and hasn’t come back.

Escaping mama cats is a chronic problem around here. Most of my cats are barn cats, but I bring the pregnant ones in the house so the kittens will be properly socialized. Many people want to get barn cat kittens, but they expect them to be friendly, not the hostile little monsters that you get when you leave barn kittens alone until their mama moves the litter to someplace you can find.

But mostly mama cats come back to my door after an hour or two of freedom. So I’m pretty worried Consubstantial 1’s kittens may be orphans.

These kittens are very young, but not too young to be started on solid food. And Char’s kittens are about 4 weeks and just started on solid food.

Since Char can only feed 6 kittens at a time because she only had 6 nursing before, I’m feeding them in shifts. I put Connie 1’s kittens in the lower bin of the multi-level cat bed, and Char’s on the next level up. When Connie 1’s babies are done, Char’s babies get a turn. And I’m keeping solid food available at all times for Char’s babies and have let Connie 1’s babies sniff at it.

I am hoping that I can manage to keep all 11 kittens going that way if the mama doesn’t come back.

In other cat related news, escaped pregnant cat http://lexacain.blogspot.com/Consubstantial 2 has been recaptured, and this morning had 4 newborn kittens in her nest. I REALLY hope she will stop at 4.

This is a post in the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop.

The Kitten Days of Summer

0720161139In spring and summer, those of my barn cats who haven’t yet been neutered have their kittens. I try to catch all the mama cats before they give birth to bring them in the house. Because kittens are safer there, and they become more friendly. And I prefer barn cats who are friendly. Feral barn kittens are impossible to rehome, and even kittens who are caught after 3 or 4 weeks of living wild are seldom as affectionate as the ones born in the house.

Spring kittens are fun. But in the hot days of summer tending mama cats and kittens gets to be a chore I can’t easily handle.

Three weeks ago, barn cat Charybdis came in the house and had 6 kittens. All are still thriving. A couple days ago, barn cat Consubstantial 1 had 5 kittens on the porch and I moved her and the kits in.

But Consubstantial 1 decided to move into the kitten box belonging to Charybdis, even if it meant abandoning her own kittens and raising Char’s instead. So I had to move her litter into the desired kitten box and persuade Char to accept a different one.

To add to the joy, we have another barn cat, Consubstantial 2, who is pregnant enough to look like a furry basketball with legs. She doesn’t want to come in the house because of all the competition so she keeps escaping. And because she knows if she has a big litter like Connie 1 and Char did, she will join them at that top of the to-be-neutered list.

Big-city animal rightsers are appalled by this post I know. But it’s still common in rural areas for people to have colonies of barn cats, and few have nothing but neutered barn cats. After all, we barn cat lovers often find abandoned cats on our properties. People figure because we live in the country and they see several cats in our yard it is OK to just drop off cats and kittens they don’t want, and they never bother to get them neutered first.

If people would come up to my door and ask, I would probably say yes to taking in a few unwanted cats. But when you just dump off cats, especially cats who have never lived outdoors, bad things can happen. I once found an abandoned mother cat and her kitten in my driveway— just when I’d gotten 100% of my barn cats neutered, by the way.

My neighbor said he’d seen the cats around his place before they wandered over to me, and he said there were at least 2 other kittens. But we never caught the other kittens and it’s likely they either starved or were killed by coyotes, foxes or other local predators.

This cat and her kitten ruined my 100% neutered-cat thing because I kept them in the house and didn’t realized that the sweet little boy kitten was getting old enough to break Commandments with his mama.

Lately I don’t even want to go for the 100% goal. I’m fine with one or two mother cats and a tomcat, chosen from the healthiest ones and the females least likely to have large litters— I have a mama cat now whose line tends toward single-kitten litters. After all, farm-raised kittens are quite easy to rehome in a rural area, and I actually need to keep a few kittens each year to make up for the outdoor cats who die or run off or just become too old to hunt any mice for me.

Anyway, that’s my ramble about my barn cat colony. And now, for some cat pictures.

Ozy01Ozymandias, three-legged cat recently donated to me by the mail lady who found him wandering in the road, half-starved. Probable kitten daddy of the litter pictured above. Since he’s unrelated to the rest of the cat tribe, he’s low down on the to-be-neutered list.

11822833_10205610646398779_7711357802645791809_nUmberto, an only-child kitten who grew up to have an only-child kitten of her own. She is therefore dead-last on the kitty neutering list, because I LIKE cats who have small litters.

10348772_10203019653145567_3746725660457403317_oKitten from a few years back who wanted to become an aerobics instructor. Since she was rehomed, I’m not sure whether she achieved her goals or not.

Angry comments from animal rights folks that include cursing and threats will be disposed of appropriately.

B is for (Kitten in) Boot

This is Scylla, a kitten from last year. In a boot. She's a boy kitty.

This is Scylla, a kitten from last year. In a boot. She’s a boy kitty.

When you live on a farm, kittens happen. Once when I had a small number of cats, all neutered, someone dropped off a mother cat and her kitten at the end of my driveway. Mother and son broke some commandments and next thing you know, kittens.

Last night my cat Consubstantial 2 had four kittens. I am relieved it was only 4. She’s been walking around looking like a basketball with legs. Consubstantial 1 and Umberto have also had kittens. If you are wondering why anyone would name a cat Consubstantial, you are probably not Catholic. (The fact that there are 2 named Consubstantial is because they look nearly identical and I can only tell them apart because Connie 2 hisses at me and Connie 1 (usually) doesn’t.) Here are Connie 2’s kittens. The adult cat in the picture is Julianne, who had to have an emergency caesarean earlier this year. Her kittens didn’t survive and she’s looking for replacements.

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This is the story of Kitten in Boot. I have some old winter boots that I use for chores. During winter they are usually on the living room floor somewhere. One day I noticed one of my kittens was missing. I looked and called for them but the missing one didn’t show up. Finally I looked in my boot a little more closely. The missing kitten had climbed in the boot, fallen asleep, and sunk deep into the boot.

I took a picture of that Kitten in Boot, and have since taken pics of other kittens in boots. My sweet baby kitten Little Stranger was photographed in one of my cowboy boots. He has since grow up to be a vicious tomcat who is wanted for questioning in the mysterious death of a rival tom, Claude. But he still wants a little cuddle from Mama every now and again.

The kitten in the boot pictured above was Scylla. I could have sworn he was a girl when I named him. Like the original Kitten in Boot, he fell asleep in the boot and couldn’t be found. Sadly, he went missing after he began life as a barn cat. I suspect Little Stranger drove him off.

BThis is a post in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. To learn more, go here: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

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Comments are usually welcome here, but if some big-city animal rightser comes by to say it’s cruel for a poor, rural autistic woman like me to have cats, or kittens, or a home to keep them in, I’m going to treat that comment like the ones that suggest I go to Oregon for a permanent, assisted “suicide” cure for my autism spectrum disorder, and mark it as spam.

Kittens Weaned Too Young and their Pacifier

Kitten Scylla 'nursing' from kitten Umberto

Kitten Scylla ‘nursing’ from kitten Umberto

My barn cat Consubstantial 1 had kittens this year. When they were about 6 or 7 weeks old, she took them off somewhere and I couldn’t find them for a week or so. When she finally brought them back I took them into the house (and named them Scylla and Charybdis). They knew how to eat solid food— including mice their mama brought them— so I figured they’d be OK.

But they missed nursing from mama and so started trying to nurse from their playmate, a slightly older female kitten named Umberto. They both really went at it. Umberto was puzzled. A couple times Scylla and Charybdis tried nursing from Umberto’s mom, Saipan— a cat who actually had a teat with milk in it— but they weren’t very interested. Maybe Saipan was low on milk since she wasn’t nursing Umberto much any more.

So the kittens stuck with Umberto. They purr really loud when they are ‘nursing’. Scylla seems to be the ringleader of this nursing thing and really acts like she’s nursing, kneads with her front paws and everything. Charybdis is more of a follower. She nurses but keeps moving her nursing-spot around on Umberto’s belly and doesn’t persist as long as Scylla.

I thought the two kittens were more than ready for weaning but they still seem to need to do it, even if they aren’t getting any milk. And Umberto doesn’t mind, she seems to interpret it as they are rubbing her belly for her and she likes it. But the last thing I need is more weird crazy cats— we’ve already got plenty.

How to Tell a Kitten’s Age

IM001247

Quodvultdeus the kitten

The other day I was walking in the yard and discovered that one of my wilder barn cats was nursing a kitten in the wet grass. When I went to look closer the mama hissed at me and ran away.

I worried about the kitten in the wet grass, since it looked like it was going to rain, and so I took it in the house and began frantically searching the net for ways to determine the age of kittens.

One site said to compare the kitten size to a ladies’ shoe. If the kitten is the same size as a size 6 shoe, the kitten is 6 weeks old— or older, in Europe where the shoe sizes are different. But I didn’t feel like driving to the shoe store with a kitten in my pocket.

The best sites gave a number of signs but the easiest was the teeth. If the kitten has canine teeth erupted it’s closer to weaning age than a kitten with no erupted teeth.

Sadly, kitten Quodvultdeus (aka ‘Q’) had no erupted teeth and seemed to be 2-3 weeks old. I couldn’t get him to drink kitten milk replacer or eat kitten food and so I had to keep searching for his mama. I found her in the barn and put Q on the floor. She grabbed him, took him to the cat food bulk feeder, and nursed him there. The other cats were not amused.

Quodvultdeus and mom, Hissy Calico

Quodvultdeus and mom, Hissy Calico

Mama kitty took Precious Baby off to a hidden spot after that. I haven’t seen him since, but I did manage to pet the mama this morning. She liked it, but then she turned, hissed and slapped my hand.

The best thing about the experience is that now I’ve learned a good rule of thumb about judging kitten ages. If I’d known that when I first saw the kitten, I’d have opened his mouth, seen that he was too young to be away from mama, and left him where he was to let the mama have a good chance to reclaim him.

A Very Resistable Force meets a Immovable Duckly Object

IM001205

I’ve been getting my gardening-and-poultry house in order, late as it is, and that involves a lot of moving of poultry pens and the poultry that lives there.

My current project is to move my 3 Ancona ducks (rare breed) from the large pen into a smaller pen. Only there’s one problem. One of my ducks went broody, built a nest and is sitting on it rather fiercely.

And my best duck book says that unlike chicken hens, broody ducks CANNOT be moved or they will quit brooding. And I want my ducks to hatch out some of their own eggs!

I can’t keep the ducks in the bigger pen, because I need that to move my plowing poultry into now that they are done clearing some garden space for me.

So— the drake (boy ‘duck’) and the non-broody duck will go into the new pen, and I will take my old, tiny pen and drop it over the duck and her nest, and hope that works out.

The broody duck, by the way, doesn’t have a name yet. But if she brings off the hatch, I’ll give her a name and an extra leg band so I’ll know who she is. My named poultry currently is down to one, a turkey named Imelda. Other named poultry from my past included geese Albert and Victoria, tom turkey Corinthos, and my original chickens, Henry the rooster and his many wives named Catherine.

So, I’m open to suggestions on duck names. Got any?

New Kitten Umberto

IM001173My cat Saipan recently had a blessed event. Not a planned blessed event— a barn cat sneaked into the house and could not be caught. I didn’t worry because I thought it was a GIRL barn cat. Then Saipan went into heat and I discovered otherwise.

Update 3-16-2018: Kitten Umberto is grown up and the mommy of several one-kitten litters. I haven’t neutered her because the lady cats who have 5 or six kittens are higher on  the priority list.

Saipan WAS nice enough to limit her reproductive activity to just ONE kitten. Unlike kitty Gwen last year, who had FIVE. I was out of the house the day the kitten was born, and I decided to name one of Saipan’s kittens Umberto, after the owner of a Mexican restaurant in town. Sadly for the kitten, it turned out to be a girl. The other girl kitties might laugh at her— if they didn’t have names like Ender, Other Myfanwy, and Consubstantial.

IM001175The first day, new mama Saipan stayed in the kitten box nearly all day. Afterwards, she took some more time out of the box, and Umberto cried. Until she discovered that a fold in the towel that lines the kitten box make an acceptable mama-substitute.

garklein

In other news, I ordered a new garklein recorder on Ebay. It’s hand made from Hungary. It’s made from apricot wood, which is unusual. The seller is hollaja.  I sent a message to ask the name of the maker and got the response that it was made by some old guy. I’m hoping to get a soprano recorder made by the old guy at some point. And maybe, possibly, a tenor recorder. What I really want is the kind without a metal key for the low C note— I have 2 second-hand wood recorders where the key does NOT play that low C note, so I’m rather attracted to the ones without the metal key. Of course I’ll have to practice stretching my fingers….

I have been Googling to get sheet music to play some of the tunes I want to play— for some tunes I come up with enough different versions that I can find one that’s workable for recorder. But it didn’t work for ‘Josette’s Theme’, an old tune from the TV show Dark Shadows. There IS a book of Dark Shadows sheet music you can buy second-hand on Amazon.com but the price ranges from one to two hundred dollars. If I had that kind of money, I’d get a cat or two neutered.