aldersprig: (Oligarchy)

Set some years after the apocalypse.


Jamian still loved the idea of summer vacation. The world had more or less fallen down around their ears; the resort towns were all boarded up, fallen down, or walled off into compounds; there was no office job to take a vacation from, no school to get the kids out of, and his kids were all out of the nest anyway.
Read on!!

As far as I can tell, this one is from June 2012, and it, too, is a little weird, but I like it. And it’s an exploration!

"That way lies madness."

Althea's father had loved to say that, teasing them with it: "Me do the dishes? That way lies madness," commenting on current events with it, warning them off of bad choices in their teenage years.

Available to all "Trunk" level Patrons!

Not many apples showing in these pictures, but here’s a cat and a happy apple tree!

Take a Peek!
aldersprig: (LynBack)
It's been a busy month on my Patreon, and I got a little behind in telling you all here on the blog what I've been doing. So here's a summary!

Third Step
a story for the Liminal Spaces prompt call.
That door.

It would be too easy to say it looked like an ordinary door.

The thing was, it didn't look ordinary.
read on...
Read more... )
aldersprig: (lynSnow)


That was Sunday.

Our kitchen sink leads out - via at least 2, maybe 3 right turns - to a dry well (covered by, I shit you not, a Bell Telephone manhole cover (rather like this)), which means that when it clogs (which it does, on average, about once/year), it's easiest to snake it from the outside (less turns).

So there I was. In the snow. Snaking a drain.

There really ought to be merit badges for things like that.

"While baking bread" is a little disingenuous; the bread was rising at the time. My first time without a recipe, and I think the only real fail was that the molasses I used to sweeten it overwhelmed the amaranth I added in as a test flavor. It's a hearty, half-wheat-flour loaf with little amaranth crunchies, quite nice.

This was one of those weekends: haul firewood, wash dishes, snake the sink, bake some bread. T made a pressure-cooker (InstantPot) ham-hock soup with yellow lentils and black/white Urad Dal, which was super tasty with the bread. The house smelled of bread and soup all day Sunday, which is just about the most awesome way for the house to smell.

It's nice, sometimes, just hunkering down and staying inside - or, at least, at home. You come in, you stand in front of the fire for ten minutes, and you're all warm again.

And Merit - our feral cat, or at least the one who started that way - clearly agrees. Sometimes in the winter, you can see her look outside and remember what the outside was like when it snowed or rained. Then she curls up by the fire, too, everything in her body language saying It's good to be inside.

It's good to be inside. With the bread baking and the sink draining properly. It's that sort of winter.

aldersprig: (Oligarchy)
Today I want to talk about my kitties. It’s not exactly a weekend blog, and yet…

Four-plus years ago, our elderly diabetic kitty, Drake, passed away at the vet’s, leaving a hole in our lives. It took us about a month to fill that hole with two baby fluffballs from Craigslist who, after a little bit of consideration, we named Oligarchy and Theocracy (Oli and Theo).

A year later, my husband, T., found three kittens in the hedgerow: an all black one who was terrified of humans, a grey-and-white one with a bowtie on her head, and a black-and-white one. The bowtie kitty was very friendly, to the point of letting me pick her up, and, for a few weeks, the three of them were hunting the hedgerow and fields near our house.

The cow farm to one side had a black-and-white barn cat; a block and a half away lived a big black tomcat who liked to range far and wide. It wasn’t hard to figure out their antecedents.

I tell myself stories about there the other two kittens ended up. I tell myself someone took them in, or picked them up and took them to our local no-kill shelter. They were handable, nearly tame. It’s possible.

The little black one, though, she hung around. She would yell at T. from the hedgerow — nervous about his presence but ready to talk to him. She’d eat out of our compost bin, especially meat scraps*. I started putting kibble out for her; I started cooking the poultry scraps and leaving them in a bowl for her**.

T. did the hard work. He talked to her, he waited patiently nearby while she ate; he moved closer slowly, a day at a time, until she’d let him pet her.

The weather got colder; she got more friendly. “I could come inside,” she seemed to be saying. “It looks nice there.”

We called the vet; they had policies in place for ‘we need to make an appointment but we’re not sure we can get her in a cage.” After all that, it turned out to be easy; we scooped her up, put her in the carrier, and left her at the vets for three days.

She was clean, she was healthy, she had none of the awful things barn cats can get except one tick, and we had her spayed. We brought her home, brought her inside, and introduced her to the boys.

We’d been calling her Sullivan, because my dad has an all-white barn cat named Gilbert. But she was, well, she, and being inside, she needed a family name: Meritocracy. She kept the Sullivan as a surname, O’Sullivan, so I have more to use to scold them. (The boys are McNamerras. I don’t really know why.)

But this was supposed to be about now, present-time. Our little feral cat, our scared-to-talk-to-humans kitten, who would stand in the hedgerow and yell at us: “Put down the food and back away slowly!”, our spooked kitty who wasn’t sure she wasn’t still feral…

“Nap time, Merit,” I tell her, and she hurries over to lay down next to me and sleep, waiting until I’ve petted her behind the ears for a minute.

“Hey, human, I think I’m hungry.” She crawls onto my lap — laptop or no — and headbutts me until I pet her. Once she’s napped for a few minutes, she’ll repeat the process, until I get up and feed her.

And when I found a different place to chill with the laptop last night than the chair I normally share with her, she came over to join me, looking quite put out and, at the same time, quite determined to be with her human.

I love my little feral cat. I just wanted to say that.

aldersprig: (AldersGrove)
Autumn is here, in fact as well as in name.

I can tell not only because my apples are coming ripe and the grapes in my hedgerow are sweet and full, not only because every store is selling pumpkins and my dash is full of Hallowe'en, but because between Thursday and Friday the temperatures dropped precipitously.

Both highs and lows are 10-20 degrees F lower than they were at the beginning of last week - from low 80s and low 50s (28°C/12°C or so) to low 70s-> mid 60's down to mid-40s at night(18°C-4°C or so). It came on literally overnight, and here I am, hoping the chimney sweep and the furnace check-up guy get here soon. Brrr!

In the meantime, we've been chopping brush to burn, hauling firewood into the house, moving firewood around the garage... cleaning the garage so we have room for the firewood (that's mostly T)...and pulling the gutters down on the short front of the house.

(Our house has two sections: a one-story section that houses the kitchen & utility room (and dreaded foyer) and a two-story section with the rest of the house.)

The gutter was... interesting. When we pulled down the rotted board BEHIND the gutter, we found about a jillion dead wasps nests, some dead wasps... and a skeleton mouse. Yay nature~

Autumn is here, 'though the leaves haven't started to change yet. Home repairs are going into overdrive in anticipation of the cold that's coming, and the cats are growing an extra coat of fur for the winter. "Winter is coming," Oli insists, as he devours an extra helping of food.

"Winter is coming," I agree, and stack some more firewood.
aldersprig: (Theocracy)

aldersprig: (Oligarchy)
(Xposted from twitter and facebook)

This morning, I shit you not, Oli managed to set my alarm clock back an hour.

Not the alarm. The clock time.

(He likes to turn on the radio to wake me up...)
aldersprig: (Oligarchy)
The Meme

Today's prompt is from [personal profile] inventrix: the cats

Oh, twist my arm!

Kitties kitties kitties!

T & I have three cats right now - Oligarchy, Theocracy, and Meritocracy. We got Oli & Theo about a month after Drake died, in June of 2012.

Drake was our Sugar Cat, my diabetic flesh-eating fluffy happy monster for whom I wrote Tales for the Sugar Cat (a fund-raiser). He was with us for about twelve years - not nearly long enough - and died two years after his foster-brother, the first cat Sam & I had together, Gatsby. They are both still keenly missed.

But I made it about a month before I started looking for a new cat. I wanted siblings, I wanted boys. Siblings because Gatters and Drake, not related, had never gotten along great, boys because the girl cats we'd encountered - roommates' girlfriends' cats - had been miserable.
Read more... )
aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (Default)
So, earlier yesterday we had our twice-yearly birdy-stuck-in-the-chimney (it's a vestigial chimney that terminates in the laundry room, left over from when the house reasonably had two wood-burning stoves). T. got the bird out, but Merit caught it mid-air.

And then the boys surprised her, and she lost it, and eventually T. got the bird outside.

I have to think this was on her mind when she very uncharacteristically darted outside while Ri & I were getting ready for our walk.

The problem is, Merit's a skittish kitty, and once she darted... well, usually, I can get around her and spook her back /into/ the house.

Not this time. She ended up in the hedgerow, I lost sight of her...

T. spent hours out there, calling her, talking to her, but she was too far freaked. When he came in, after dark, Rion went out and did the same.

(I am very lucky I live with people who can sit calmly for periods of time. I... can't. <.<)

It was nearly 11 when Ri coaxed a none-the-worse-for-wear Merit back inside, and hugs were had all around.

But I shall be a bit more careful with the door for a while now.


Feb. 20th, 2014 08:54 am
aldersprig: (me-lyn-kitty)
I left work sick on Monday and spent most of the time between then and now sleeping or feeling miserable.

Back nao.

In better news, Theo is feeling much better!
aldersprig: (Theocracy)
We took Theo to the vet last night and he was given subcutaneous fluid, which perked him up a bit right away.

He has a small heart murmur, dehydration, anemia, and a fever. Tests show that he doesn't have FLV, thank gods. It's probably-a-virus, and now we have steroids and an antibiotic to deal with whatever-it-is (obviously the antibiotic is for if it's not a virus).

T's been feeding Theo a tablespoon of wet food every three hours, which seems to be all he'll eat, but it means he's both eating and getting fluid. I bought him some tasty-super-natural (not supernatural) kitty food from the hippy pet food store, and he thinks that's awesome. In tablespoon increments.

Theocracy's still a baby - not yet two - so I have faith (heh) that he'll bounce back. It's just pins-and-needles in the meantime.

In related news, our vets are pretty awesome. And immensely patient.
aldersprig: (blizzarded)
Yesterday, we (mostly Spousal Unit) got to deal with a new facet of home ownership: frozen pipe!

Well, technically, broken pipe due to freezing.

It turns out that one pipe in the utility room (going to the heating system) was originally, or at least as of the last iteration, run just under the threshold of the back door, which tends to be a bit air-leaky. Yesterday was one of those supercold mornings, and thus, by mid-afternoon, Pop!

That was an expense we weren't expecting.

On a hopefully-less-urgent note, Theocracy has been acting listless and floppy, although he's still eating and taking in fluids. So vet appt. this afternoon to see what's up with the fluffer.

So... I'm still taking commissions via my Giraffe Call, although now the funds will go to Unexpected Expenses Fund, February Version.

In happier news, Meritocracy, the adopted little sister of Theocracy and Oligarchy, has discovered catnip and she thinks it's awesome. She also is fairly certain the tall coyotes (us) are probably not going to eat her, and the fireplace is the most wonderful thing in the world, thanks.
aldersprig: (Syadaia)
[ profile] djinni has done it again!

Syadaia, from the steam-Reiassan setting

This is [personal profile] inventrix's coat design!!!!

Diryid, from the same (Goatless-carriage maker)

My Theocracy Kitty!
aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (Default)
We have a wasp problem we're working on correcting, as [personal profile] eseme learned when she was visiting (Sorry, Es!!).

Not only has Eseme (and T) been stung, but now Oli has learned to his displeasure what happens when you bother a wasp (ow, mom, dad, my face feels funny).

He's fine... He had a day of swollen face and sadness, and now he's back to normal, and I, too, know what happens.

The kittens have also learned that they don't like storms, at least not rocking-loud-flash-bang ones like last night. They were watching it from the bathroom window for a bit, but then it got too loud for them.

Having kittens is more fun than I thought it would be. It's neat watching their personalities develop. I still miss my Draker and Gats, but I'm getting fond of my babies, too
aldersprig: (lynSnow)
Wow, it's been a long time since I've posted anything about my life. Can I blame summer?

Yesterday morning, we woke to find the kittens nowhere. I wandered around the house making cat-calling noises for a minute or two - until T noticed that the living room screen was out.

Then came ten heart-stopping minutes of wandering around the yard making cat-calling noises, until we found them hiding under the lilac bush, soaked and miserable. But safe, whole, and healthy. Thank you, god of cats.

Wet? Yes. It's been /pouring/ here. Thursday, I came home from work, started to thaw dinner... and the power went out. A dinner of Subway subs later, we learned that a tornado had touched down in Elmira, an hour away, but all we'd gotten closer to Ithaca was thunder, lightning, and rain.

All this rain has been good for the garden; my tomatoes are going wild. So are my squash and my peppers. It's going to (knock on wood) be a good harvest)

And speaking of wood - we pulled the Horrid Paneling off of the dining room and living room, and found... well, lots of wood, in one wall. "Bare Studs" the size of trees, where plaster and lathe had clearly been removed at some point. The rest of the walls have unpainted but heavily-nailed-in drywall. This is going to be interesting.

How's your summer going?
aldersprig: (lynSnow)
I have been remiss in blogging lately! If you have noticed the camp-nano posts, you can easily see one reason why - I am trying hard to get 50K done by the 20th (the 21st is our 10-year wedding anniversary).

The other reason? Summer!

This weekend I finally got a portion of the garden put in - planted 7 tomato plants in 3 varieties, 7 hot pepper plants in 4 varieties (6 of 2 more to plant), basil in 2 varieties, sage, oregano, and beans. I weeded the carrot patch (apologies to Anne Bishop readers) and laid down weed cloth over the squash (well, around them), too.

And I got another coat of poly on the dresser and started painting it!

In terms of nano, I'm looking to get most of the first semester of Addergoole Year 9 completed: the series will cover, in 52 weeks, one year of the Addergoole school through the eyes of the twenty-some members of the Ninth Cohort.

Also: We got two new kittens. Their names are Oligarchy and Theocracy and they are 12 weeks old and beautiful.

And a link: Finally, a Home where you can enjoy the Post-apoc.
aldersprig: Photo of an upside-down cat, with the words "Tales for the Sugar Cat" (SugarCat)
Drake passed away today at the vet's, after a short struggle with a bug that wouldn't let go and, they believe, the beginnings of cancer in his lungs.

He was a good cat. Not a smart cat, not a graceful or subtle cat, but a loving cat and a good, big, sharp cat.

When we brought him home, all of half a pound, he looked at our older cat - Gatsby, already four years old and a grown up - and hissed at him. All balls, that cat, even after we finally had him fixed.

He once won an intimidation challenge against a house-guest - Drake insisted it was his chair, and the guest relented and picked another seat. 16 lbs at his heaviest, 12 lbs only when he wasn't feeling well, Drake was a flesh-eater with a well-deserved violent reputation. More than one of our friends bears scars from learning the hard way that Drake should not be fucked with.

He was, at home, an affectionate cat, a lap cat, demanding in his affection (he liked to rest his head on my mouse hand so I had to pay attention to him). He liked to sleep under the blankets, but unlike his brother, who predeceased him in 2010, he couldn't stand to have his face under the blankets.

He was never good at fetch, but he sure liked to try (He was good at the "get," but not so good at the "bring it all the way back"). Like all cats, his favorite toys were things like the seal on milk containers, or a balled-up piece of paper (this caused trouble when starting a fire in the fireplace sometimes).

I could go on forever. We had him for eleven years, and it was not nearly long enough. I will miss my Draker for a very, very long time. I keep picturing picking him up and squishing him to me, the way I did when I was upset. But I'm upset now, and I can't hug him.

Bear with me for a few days? I may be a bit rawer than normal

Sick Kitty

May. 14th, 2012 10:22 am
aldersprig: Photo of an upside-down cat, with the words "Tales for the Sugar Cat" (SugarCat)
My Draker has a fever. :-/ We took him to the vet's on Saturday, and they said his kidneys are fine, his heart is fine. They gave him fluids and gave us an appetite stimulant and an if-this-is-an-infection drug.

But he's not eating barely at all, barely drinking... so we're going to take him back to the vet's to let them take care of him until he gets better.

People, I'm worried. I'm beside myself with worry. I know the vets will take good care of my cat... but I'm terrified it won't be enough.

Keep him in your thoughts, please. :-/
aldersprig: Photo of an upside-down cat, with the words "Tales for the Sugar Cat" (SugarCat)
[personal profile] eseme asked how Drake was doing, and, as I just made his semi-annual blood-test appointment...

Drake is doing wonderfully! He loves the stairs, and loves running up and down them over and over again. He's eating well, happy, and generally content with his humans (although the noises of house renovation bother him, and T. being outside but in sight of a window makes him yowl. A lot).

He seems to be maintaining a healthy weight, and does well enough with the shots - he'll come ask for them if we forget them.

Happy kitty! He also does not think apples are food.


[personal profile] meeks has updated the Rin Sketch again! (and on Livejournal).



Pondering nano & Autumn, as well as autumn-the-season. More on that later.

aldersprig: Photo of an upside-down cat, with the words "Tales for the Sugar Cat" (SugarCat)
Drake earned his keep this morning: at 7:35 (my alarm usually starts ringing at 6:40; I get out of bed between 7 and 7:10), he stuck his nose in my face:
"Are you EVER gonna feed me?"

"Blearg. What time is it?" /peer at alarm clock/ "Hunh. I guess I am."


"Yes, now, kitty."

Guess I fed him too much at 4, or he would have woken me up on time ;-)

He's loving the new place, now that he's gotten used to it, although the closed basement door offends him, especially when we're down there cleaning it out, and he's fascinated by the upstairs; when I call him, he almost always comes galloping down the stairs.

BzzAgent sent us a free bag of Hill's Science Diet "Age Defying cat food" kibble: though Drake's on wet food for dietary considerations, he gets kibble once in a while for convenience and teeth-cleaning. He seems to inhale this stuff, which, at $10+ a bag, is probably the most return I've gotten for internet surfing since I stopped doing MyPoints.

And now, links, also kitty-based:


(I might make mine in grayscale... ;-)

aand... less yip, still interesting... Glowing Green Cats

All links via spouse-man


aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (Default)

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