First Blog-o-versary!


Yes, I stole the term from Lulu, who recently celebrated her blog-o-versary. Thanks Lulu!

It’s both difficult and easy to believe that it’s been one year since my first blog.  I’ve talked about moods, work, photography, my family, my pets, my mental health, my physical health, and I’ve started working on the 30 Days of Creativity and 30 Days of Thanks projects.  I started out coming down from a mania, and plunged into depression, with glimpses of stability.  It’s been quite a ride.

I’ve gone from 1 reader to over 50 readers.  My world has expanded, my writing has expanded, and I’ve made new friends.  Thank you, readers, for sticking with me through out this journey of self-discovery.  This blog has become a large part of my world, it’s a support network, a place to vent or cry or whatever I need to do at the time.  A place to speak freely about whatever I want to talk about, whenever I want to talk about it.

I enjoy blogging, even though some days I am not up to it, but I do the best I can when I can.  That’s anyone can ask for.  Thanks for coming back after the silences.

Now I’m ready for ice cream.  Anyone want to join me? 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Close

Nothing makes me think of close more than my two cats: Tux & Luna. Although Luna is no longer with us, the pair of them were pretty inseparable when she was alive. If Tux was sleeping, Luna would come up and nuzzle her way into his embrace. I can think of numerous times when you would need to do a double-take to see if there was one cat or two in the spot you were looking at. They were often physically close but they were also emotionally close.

All of my cats are indoor cats, and Tux in particular has no interest in the outdoors. Except the time that Luna ran away. Then he was at the door ready to brave the elements as if he were going to search for her. Fortunately, we found her a few days later and Tux never did leave the house. After Luna passed, Tux seemed to mourn her death. I was glad in a way that she passed in the house so that he could see and smell her death and not be forever looking outside for her.

In my opinion, the love between these two cats is a great example of close.

 

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

30 Days of Creativity: Day 7

Saxon tackles a dragon!

My latest experiment is the result of a curious creativity surge and a Saturday evening with nothing else to do.  I wanted to work exclusively with Photoshop Elements®, also known as ‘Photoshop Lite’ by some.  I also wanted to do some work with layers and masking, neither of which I really know much about.  I do have a great book called Layers (2nd edition) by Matt Kloskowski, which helps to understand how to do a lot of cool things with layers.  However, you do have to poke around Elements a bit to find how to set the layers.  (Go to your layers stack, click on the layer of interest, then select what type of layer you want – Normal, Multiply, Dissolve, etc. – from the drop down menu.)

Likewise, I didn’t know how to set up a mask and I couldn’t find it from the main drop down windows.  However, this is where Matt’s book really helped me out – and thank you to Adobe® for putting this power into Elements!  There is a little button on the bottom on your layers stack that looks like a square with a circle cut out of it.  This will add a mask to your selected layer so you can work with it.

Naturally, I picked something nice and difficult to work with, like my furry cat.  I masked out the background (my window shades) and eventually had to copy the resulting image into its own layer.  I tried fill layers, but they kept showing me the background, so I grabbed an image off the internet.  This image is the Skyrim© dragon.  It made a nice backdrop and it looks as if Saxon, my cat, is trying to catch a dragon! 😉

Basement cat killz ebil dragon

Now, as for the colors… no, my cat is not purple.  He is actually black.  But I had taken the image inside so the white balance was off and he looked brown with yellow eyes.  (His eyes are green-yellow and look green more often than not.)  To to correct the white balance, I used the function Enhance>Adjust Color>Remove Color Cast.  Well, a purple cat is about as far away as you can get with this function, so I decided to leave it as not only a lesson learned, but because I thought it was fun. 🙂

I used another layer (select, copy & paste) to make the blanket green, just for contrast.  His eyes were the only serious thing I did: Enhance>Adjust Color>Adjust Hue/Saturation.  Now, it isn’t a perfect match, nor was it a perfect selection (zoom in on his left eye and you can see the flaw) but this is a little closer to his natural eye color – still yellowish, but green at the same time.  I know the selection around the cat isn’t perfect either, but I liked the back lit look so I didn’t try harder to fix it.

All-in-all it is a very “Photoshopped” image, but it was fun to make – and that’s the idea, isn’t it? 🙂

 
© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Lucky Dog Gets Lucky

Our dog, Lucky, had a little adventure today.  Whilst outside with DH, he suddenly took off through the unlatched fence door, and returned shortly thereafter with a pair of ladies: a blonde and a brunette.  Being that he is part Corgi, he has a herding instinct and sensing two damsels in distress, he rushed to the rescue.  He invited them to party in the backyard and they followed.  So my husband was now surrounded by three rambunctious dogs, only one of whom was fixed (Lucky).  This gives new meaning to the phrase, “hangin’ with my bitches.”

While Lucky was playing with the two female Labradors, DH tried to look at their collars.  No name tags.  But they did have rabies tags.  So when he talked to Animal Control, they were able to look up and contact the veterinarian of the two dogs.  Turns out, their owner had just called looking for his dogs.  They connected DH and the dogs’ owner and eventually the girls, Bella and Ruthie, were driven home by their father.

Saxon, our cat, wanted to keep the new dogs.

Bella

Ruthie

DH is marveling at Lucky’s pickup artist skills, specifically saying, “Lucky is a playa!  He spent the afternoon with two hot girls drooling all over him.”  When we adopted him, we didn’t know why he had been named “Lucky”.  Now we know.  😉

Lucky a.k.a. Romeo Dog


© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Kitty Walkabout

I slept terrible Thursday night. After the Latuda incident, I just couldn’t sleep. It was hot in the house and we had opened some windows, but eventually resorted to the AC, so I went around and shut all the windows before bed. I had a bit of that 1/2 awake, 1/2 asleep stuff until I got up to write the Latuda post, which was about 4am local time. I thought I heard some meowing, like a cat was trapped in a closet (pretty typical scenario for our youngest) but I couldn’t find any trapped cats. So I chalked it up to my sleep-deprived imagination and went back to bed.

I finally woke up at 6:30 and so did DH. We both heard the meowing then, and we couldn’t find Saxon. DH opens the back door, letting the dog out, and sees the cat sitting on the windowsill meowing. Saxon had torn open the small hole in the screen, letting himself out to chase bugs, and I had unknowingly closed the window behind him. Poor fellow was out there all night and meowing for half of it! He didn’t seem to get the idea of using the door, so the dog went over and started nudging the cat towards the door with his nose until the idea clicked. The two had a long, affectionate reunion and Saxon doesn’t seem inclined to leave the house again.

Best Buds


Moral of the story: It is possible to herd cats!


© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Missing Goldie

It’s been a month since we lost my cat Goldie. Although she wasn’t one for demanding a lot of attention, I still miss the little things she did, like moving the water bowl and pointing at you with her paw when she wanted to be petted.  She was also a self-brushing cat, which was pretty fun to watch.  She would take the brush right out of your hands then rub her cheeks on it.  She didn’t meow, she would meowf.  When she jumped down, there was always an “oof” involved.  The house is definitely a lot quieter now.

As for the other cats, I think they miss her too.  Our tuxedo cat, Tux, tried to go out of the house a few times; presumably to look for her.  The only time he ever tries to leave the house is when we have a missing cat.  After it was apparent that she wasn’t returning, he started spraying the couch.  He only sprays when he is nervous.  We had to wash everything a couple of times.  Boy was that one stinky week!  Since then, he must have accepted her loss because he has stopped all that.  Sometimes he sleeps on the same blanket/footstool that she would sleep on.  We didn’t get rid of everything.  Didn’t have the heart too.  But the house will gradually have less orange fur in it as time goes by.

Missing Goldie?

One place that definitely still carries her scent is the scratching pad.  I’ve noticed Sax lying on the scratching pad lately.  He doesn’t scratch it, he just lies there looking forlorn.  (He probably doesn’t look as forlorn in this photo as usual due to the flash.)  We don’t put catnip on the scratchers, so it’s not that.  It was her scratcher and everyone knew it.

Maybe I am reading too much into the cat’s behavior.  Perhaps they don’t miss her at all.  But I have read articles where cats go through a mourning phase when they lose a housemate.  Perhaps my fur children are mourning the loss of a sibling in their own way.

I found an old picture of Goldie when she had climbed in the laundry basket to take a nap, so I thought I would share it with you.  She had so much personality it’s difficult to summarize her life in any amount of words.  She was sweet, she was grumpy, and she was loving.  Despite all the troubles our family has been through over the years, I think she was happy.  What more could a cat-mom ask for?

 
© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.