The Christmas Donkey . . . and a new family member.

A Donkey,  a new baby, and Christmas, are three things which just ‘fit’ together, don’t they?  They make a perfect triangle,  all [sort of] ‘glued together’ with love.

Many years ago, daughter No.2 had a toy donkey called Donald. He was rather a handsome looking Donkey, beautifully made and very special indeed – and when you squeezed his sides, gently, he made the ‘eee-orre’ sound, just like a real donkey does.

Daughter No. 2 grew and grew (as they tend to do) and one day, after having a bit of a sort out of old toys, clothes, ornaments, and ‘flotsam and jetsam’,  and  I’d made three piles of ‘stuff’:  One pile to take to the Charity shop;  One pile of things to throw away;  and One pile of: ‘double check this’.  Everything in that pile was to be checked by everyone in the house that no one wanted it or had any use.  Donald the Donkey was added to that little selection of ‘double check this’ pile of things.

I asked No.2 if she still wanted to keep her donkey or could it be given to her sister for her baby to enjoy,  (No.2’s niece).  No.2 shrugged her shoulders and mumbled about not being bothered, so I took the donkey to Daughter No.1’s house when I next visited and offered Donald to her, and he was gratefully received.

A handful of months later, No.2 said that she wished I hadn’t given Donald away as she had wanted to keep him.

[BIG  S.I..G.H. “But you said you ….” … [small sigh]. I stopped talking,  realising that it was a useless effort to remind her of what she’d said and how she’d said it.  Donald had been gifted to her niece and I was weighted down with a painful guilt and heartfelt wish that I had been blessed, just for a moment, with fore-sight.

Daughter no.2 has never quite forgiven me for letting Donald go to her niece and I’ve felt the weight of motherly guilt about it ever since.

However … this Christmas, I thought of a way to try to fill the hole left by Donald – only this time in a slightly bigger, and more ‘grown up’ way. 

I made daughter No.2  a donkey. 

A ‘Faux Taxidermy’ Donkey.

Now don’t have heart palpitations this isn’t made, in any way, from a real Donkey.

This is made from:- 

  • A Paper Mache form
  • Fake Fur (of three different types/colours)
  • Strong Wire
  • Felt
  • Calico material
  • Hessian
  • Toy Eyes (like Teddy Bear eyes)
  • Eyelashes
  • Buttons
  • lashings of three types of glue
  • Sewing thread and needle
  • The use of my Dremel and a Pokey Tool
  • LOTS AND LOTS OF PATIENCE
  • and a  PLENTIFUL  amount of time.

I couldn’t wrap Donald the Donkey II up in gift paper as … well, it just felt so wrong to do so – he could suffocate!  So, at Christmas,  about an hour before D.no.2, Son-in-Law and Grandson arrived, I removed one of my framed pictures from the wall, and hung Donald II there instead.

She saw it the moment she walked into the living room, and loved it.  I was thrilled to bits, because I worried that perhaps it was too big; too over the top; too realistic looking (apart from the buttons for his nostrils); or just ‘too‘.  But no, she loved it.  She liked it so much that she thought I’d made it for myself and instantly asked me to make her one!  RESULT!  lol.  I got Mr.Cobs to take Donald off the wall and show D.No.2 the inscription on the back, which told that I’d made it for her for Christmas.  I thought she was going to cry for a moment, she looked so happy and thrilled.

The making of Donald was pretty much just common sense, and being methodical.  I’ll show you photo’s rather than explain ‘how to’,  as the photographs basically tell you anything you might need to know if you feel that a bit of Faux Taxidermy is something you’d like to have a go at too…

Donald the Donkey began life as a paper mache Unicorn, as seen in the photo above.
After removing his Unicorn Horn, he had to be patched up and turned into a horse….
His Donkey ears needed to be made, so I constructed them using strong Garden Wire which had been treated so as not to rust. I kept the wire in place using some hessian, which I fed the wire through, and then covered the whole thing in Calico Fabric, folding in order to follow the ‘ear shape’ as I went,  – and then held everything, including the wires, in place by hand stitching, where needed.

I covered both the ear armatures in fake fur and fixed it in place, then ‘tried them on for size’.

Once I was happy with the ears, I then went on to make a lower jaw for the Donkey.  Unfortunately I got so involved in the making I forgot to take photos of this, but it was basically made in the same way the ears were made, and then fixed into place.  You can see his lower jaw – which gives him the open mouth, and all round chunkier ‘Donkey look’,  in the two photos, below:

Eyes and eyelashes!
Donald the Donkey II

He’s come a long way from originally being a paper mache Unicorn, hasn’t he!  🙂

~~~  ❤  ~~~

OK, so we have the Donkey …  but what about the baby”, I hear you say.  (You did, I heard you say it!).

Those of you who read my last blog post will know that I lost my much-loved dog earlier in November.  I’ve had dogs all my life, but when Mabel passed, I said  “I’m not having another dog.  They don’t live long enough and I end up with a heart full of love and no dog to give it to.  I cannot bear the pain of losing a dog.  I’m not having another dog ever!” And I meant it with all my heart, as I sat there in the car, outside our vets, sobbing my heart out on the day I said goodnight to Mabel.

On the 14th of December I happened across an advert on a well known and reputable website, for breeders of puppies who were ready to find forever homes for their puppies.  I looked at the photographs of these lovely little things, admiring them but not wanting any of them, it was just like a child looking at a picture book.  I was happy to just enjoy other people’s dogs.

Then found an advert with photographs of puppy who I instantly felt as though I recognised.  Not recognised his face, – but my heart ‘recognised’ this little soul.  My heart KNEW him and it called out to him.  An instant longing, – painful even, right in the middle of my chest.

[G.A.S.P.] . . . OH.  MY.  GOODNESS!!! I called to Mr.Cobs….  “I’ve found our dog!  I’ve found the dog which I know is destined to be OUR dog.”

“But I thought you said we weren’t going to have another dog?” – he replied from the other room.

“You HAVE to come and see this photograph!  Seriously, it really is as if I already know him.  My heart recognises him!”

And this photograph of a little French Bulldog puppy  ….  was the photograph I showed Cobs Snr…

We talked about this little baby for a while.  Then we thought about it for a while, and then thought some more.  Then I found the advertisement again and we discussed it some more.  We eventually decided that I should phone the breeder and ask if the puppy was still available or if he’d already been reserved.  So I did.  And … he was still available to buy.

We made an appointment to go and see him on the following Tuesday, and . . .  well, as the saying goes:  ‘the rest is history’.  He became our new baby.  The new four-legged member of our family joined us exactly one week before Christmas Day, on the 18th of December.  We had a list of names which we’d made, but once we’d met him we knew that only one name would suit him, and that name was …  Hugo.

Now I won’t bore you all to tears about him here on this blog as I know that not everyone is a dog lover.  But … I’ve ‘built’ a WordPress Blog just for Hugo and which is Hugo’s own blog, so if you’d like to read posts written by Hugo, in his words, please do visit his blog:-  For the Love of Hugo <—click  (it will open in a new tab/window for you).  You’ll be able to see more photo’s of him and get to know little Hugo himself.  I think you might enjoy him.  He’s a funny little scrap of adorable, dipped in magic dust.

Oh, and please do ‘follow’ him and make the chap even happier than he is.  As a follower you’ll know when he’s posted something because you’ll get a message letting you know he’s written a blog post to you sharing his latest story or adventure(s),  It’s just like any other blog – only, ‘For the Love of Hugo‘ is written by Hugo himself.  🙂

Well,  all that’s left for me to say now is:  I hope that your Christmas was warm and happy and without incident, and I make a wish for you to have a peace filled, joyous, contented and promising New Year.  May there be something which makes you smile each day of this coming New Year, and may you remember to count your blessings regularly so that you know that you are indeed more blessed than you might initially imagine.

Very much love to you my lovely friend.

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Oh! …  P.S.. ….  Some readers want to make comments after a post, but cannot find a place to do so. 

In order to make a comment on any post – you have to actually click into the post rather than simply read it on the home page.  Scroll up and click on the title of the post and then, when it’s loaded,  scroll down to the bottom and you’ll find the comment box!  It’s like a magic trick!  lol.  ~ C. xxx

 

What I’ve Learned This Week.

Morning all.  Happy Friday!  And …  a Very Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you all.  🙂

St. Patrick has a great history, and makes a good read.  So if you’re in the mood for reading, then I supply a link here —>  A history of St. Patrick the patron saint of Ireland.  <— which will open in another window and sit waiting patiently for you, until you’ve finished having a read here.  🙂   The website is owned and written by an Irish lady who’s family history also makes a great read.  So the story (and all the pages on the site) all come direct from Ireland without any twists which shouldn’t be there.

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Anyhoo ….

The world continues my educationalamalisation,  and I’m now wondering if that’s why I keep forgetting things.  Names of people.  Road names.  Appointments.  What I went to the fridge for?  What it was I wanted from the shop, before I’ve even got my shoes on to leave the house!  How to get to places.  (don’t suggest  SatNavs, because I can’t use the darn thing.  ‘She’ really politely tells me what to do next, and I can’t remember what it was she just said!   Useless.  I’m totally useless.  Of no use to man nor beast.

But I’ve come up with a theory that the reason I’m forgetting things is because I’m learning allll the time, and all the new stuff is pushing some of the other stuff over the edges of my brain!  Where they’re going from that point is anyones guess,  I do have a theory at that too … but I’m not about to discuss it in polite company.  😉

What were we talking about again?  Ohh yes! … educationalamalisation …  I shall continue:

I learned this week ….

That Trees sleep at night.  (cor!  I heard you gasp from here!).  Well, when you think about it,  wouldn’t you need a bit of a snooze after a long a long day of photosynthesizing?

Here, straight from the horse’s mouth (or scientists mouth in this case) is the explanation ….

It depends on how you define “sleep,” but trees do relax their branches at night, which might be a sign of snoozing,  the scientists said.

In the only reported study to look at tree ‘siestas’:  researchers set up lasers that measured the movements of two silver birch trees at night.  One tree was in Finland and the other in Austria, and both were monitored from dusk until morning on a dry, windless night in September.  This was close to the solar equinox, when daylight and nighttime are about equal.

The laser scanners used infrared light to illuminate different parts of the tree,  each for fractions of a second. This provided enough detail to map each tree within minutes, the researchers said.

The silver birches’ branches and leaves sagged at night; they reached their lowest position a few hours before sunrise, and then perked up again during the wee hours of the morning, the researchers found.

“Our results show that the whole tree droops during night, which can be seen as position change in leaves and branches,” study lead author Eetu Puttonen, a researcher at the Finnish Geospatial Research Institute, said in a statement. “The changes are not too large, only up to 10 centimeters [4 inches] for trees with a height of about 5 meters [16 feet].”

It’s unclear if the sun “woke up” the trees or if they relied on their own internal circadian rhythm, the researchers said. But “the fact that some branches started returning to their daytime position already before sunrise would suggest this [internal circadian clock] hypothesis [is right],”.

The finding isn’t too surprising.  Most living organisms have day and night circadian rhythms, and any gardener will notice that some plants open their flowers in the morning and that some trees close their leaves at night.  The famed botanist Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) found that flowers confined to a dark cellar still opened and closed, and naturalist Charles Darwin (1809-1882) noted that the nocturnal movement of leaves and stalks on plants looked like the plants went to sleep.

So … what else did I learn this week?

Well … from watching a TV programme on TV, I learned this mind-blowing (no not really.   Not in the least bit mind-blowing, but it is a bit of fun)  information which should change the world (no it seriously won’t) …  I learned:  That ‘Google’ reports that searches for  ‘How to put on a condom’  peak at 10.28pm.  Saying nothing.  Nope.  Not going to get into that one.  I’m only here to report on my ‘learnings’.  🙂

I also learned:  There is no word for  time  in any Aboriginal language.  Maybe I should move there?  Time wouldn’t exist, and therefore I wouldn’t get any older!  Sounds fine to me … oh …. hang on ….  if I don’t get any older then I’ll miss out on Birthdays and birthday presents ….  hmmm  …  as Fagin said:  I think I’d better think it out again!

I learned that  ‘Emoji’ –  these things:  🙂  😦  :/  😀  –  is the fastest growing language in historySee,  … now  this made me think that we’re all going backwards.    Cavemen and women used a similar sort of thing by drawing on cave walls in order to tell the story of their day.  “I saw a cow.  I threw a stick at the cow.” – only they drew pictures to tell that story.   …  maybe that’s where we’re heading?

And I also learned that apparently….  The name Donald means  ‘ruler of the world’.  His mother,  Mrs. Duck, must be SO proud.  (Mr. Disney will be chuffed to know that too!).

Finally ….  I learned that …  (and this made me feel a little bit sad, and think of Wall-E ...the last robot left on Earth . . .) …  On each anniversary of its landing on Mars, the Curiosity Rover hums  ‘Happy Birthday’  to itself.  😦  (imagine an ‘Emoji’ here of a crying face)

Crafters of the World – we need to unite and craft poor little Curiosity some birthday cards.  (We’ve got plenty of time, his birthday isn’t until August the 5th)

Shall we now move on to the part you’re waiting for?  Do you have your coffee ready?  Biscuits and cookies?  Ok … let’s go!

These are the JOKES folks!

I just ate a frozen apple.  . . .  Hardcore.

Yesterday a clown held a door open for me.   …  I thought it was a nice jester.

I bought a dog from my local blacksmith. . . . When I got it home it made a bolt for the door.

I stayed up all night to see where the sun went.  . . .  Then it dawned on me.

I told my friend she drew her eyebrows too high. . . .  She seemed surprised.

I used to have a job at a calendar factory.  . . .  I got the sack because I took a couple of days off.

So I applied for a job making sandwiches, . . . but the  roll  had been filled.

Then I got a job working in an origami shop, . . .  but it folded.

What do you get hanging off banana trees?  . . .  Sore arms.

and finally . . .

I’ve just been diagnosed as colour blind. . . . It came right out of the purple!

~  ❤  ~

So do you feel more intelligent?  Has reading all this new stuff, pushed some of your old stuff out of your brain,  and now it’s free-falling at rapid speed,  throughout your body, bouncing off your liver, kidneys and all those other squishy things inside you?  If so … then thank heavens for that!  At least I know I’m not alone  in this weirdness.  (lol)

Have a truly fabulous Friday, and perfect St. Patrick’s Day.  May your weekend bring love, smiles, joy, and a clear conscience.

Be good to each other, and …  may your God go with you.

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