Happy Christmas (well, nearly)!
We’ve all got two more sleeps before Christmas, and I would like to remind you that Father Christmas is STILL taking note of his naughty list, so don’t you think you can get away with swearing behind your mothers back, or blaming your brother/sister for breaking the window … OR blaming Grandma for that noise! (or the smell which followed it!).
On my own personal Naughty List is the name of one certain blogging site who, I think, must be doing some changes or updates or geeky gizmo stuff which has prevented me from working on this post yesterday and scheduling it to post in the early hours of this morning! I tried again to bring this post to the blog here, at around 9.30 this morning, but each time I loaded the admin pages, the whole thing stalled and eventually the window closed down. Everything else worked perfectly – I could get up any page on the web I asked it to – from Google to Amazon to an online newspaper site which is heavy on images and script (and adverts) and they all loaded perfectly. But WordPress … wouldn’t. So WordPress is currently on the Naughty List. Hmmmpff!
I’ve learned one or two things this week, and I’m here to share them with you. Have you got your drink ready on the side?; seatbelt on?; suitcase packed and stored in the over-head locker?; false teeth in the private cup to your left? Ready? Steady? GO ….
This week I’ve learned that I shouldn’t give my dog – the beautiful Belly [on Legs], one of her Christmas Presents early. I bought her an incredibly soft new blankey for her bed. It’s vintage Christmas red on one side – looks and feels like the most expensive velvet known to man. On the reverse is some sort of furry fleecy stuff which HAD to have been spun in Heaven. I’m convinced that it’s the stuff which Angels must sleep on.
The whole blanket looks like I’ve stolen a throw from Father Christmas’s house!
I couldn’t wait to give it to Miss Belly [on legs] so I untied it from its red ribbon, and held it for her to sniff. She got ridiculously excited . . . so I unfolded it and draped it over her bed. She sniffed …. wagged her tail and jumped straight on.
Well, this obviously hissed Alf Capone (Used Furniture Dealer – and one of our 3 Cats) off royally, and to show his hissed offness he clambered all over The Belly until she got cross and got off her new blankey and came to tell me to make him stop it. Sadly, Alf Capone (Used Furniture Dealer) by this time had snuggled himself into the blanket and when I mentioned his name (with a complaining whine to my voice) he gave me one of *those* looks which clearly said “You have NO chance of getting me off this blanket. EVER”
The result of this was – the following day Mr. Cobs and I went back to the shop and bought two more of the blankeys. Both of them in the same colour as this red one, so that none of our four legs could tell the difference. Now all the beds in the Living Room match, and they all look like I’ve mugged Santa.
Now comes a warning.
Meet Sewchi. (Say it like you’d say Sushi – the Japanese cooked vinegared rice dish, normally combined with other ingredients such as seafood, vegetables, etc. Other rice dishes are available – as they say on TV here in the UK).
The above photograph tells you all you need to know about Sewchi. She’s not my cat. She belongs to Daughter No.2. Well, no, to be really truthful, she actually belongs to Little Cobs (Grandson), son of Daughter No.2 and Son-in-law. Sewchi was bought for Little Cobs, and he adores her. He’ll freely tell you that Sewchi is his “bestest fwend”. But, as the above photograph shows, Sewchi is a few sandwiches short of the full picnic.
Daughter No.2 has now proven what I’ve always suspected . . . she, like the cat, has a few screws missing. Read on, dear reader. Read on. For this is a story which must be told . . .
No.2 is married to the handsome SiL, and they have miracle child, who most of you know by the name I call him:- ‘Little Cobs‘. She also has a dog and three cats. I think she’s copying me, but if she’s going to copy anyone then I can’t think of a better person. (yes, I really am joking).
She loves her animals and looks after them really well. Tiny tidbits of treats now and again, lovely bedding, special beds, toys, etc. They aren’t spoilt, but they’re very much loved.
One of the little ‘treats’ she gives her cats is Catnip. Catnip is another name for the herb Nepeta cataria and relative of oregano and spearmint. Nepeta cataria is a pretty common plant, often found along highways. HOWEVER …. Don’t feed your cat any wild Nepeta cataria which you might find along the side of the road, as it could contain an array of pesticides and very harmful chemicals.
There’s a substance in the make up of Catnip which it’s thought mimics a cat pheromone which binds to a cat’s olfactory receptors to produce catnip’s unique response. The effects of catnip on pets range from arousal to euphoria, and some cats drool and meow with pleasure.
You can find more about Catnip HERE.
No.2 was dishing out a tiny bit of catnip and turned around, forgetting that she’d left the lid off the catnip jar. Using the photographs that Daughter No.2 took at the time, I’ll help tell the story of
What Happened the Day Sewchi Catnipped Herself!
Sewchi is a truly beautiful British Short-hair Cat with incredible fur of soft, smokey grey. She really is a bit of a dopey sort of thing. She behaves and re-acts to things in such comical ways, but her over-riding best character trait is that she’s an amazing friend to Little Cobs, and loves nothing more than to snuggle with him or sit by him while Little Cobs is playing. However … like a lot of cats, she has a weakness for Catnip.
When she saw that the lid had been left off the Capnip jar she moseyed on over and ….
. . . stuck her head into the open jar, and took a looooong deeeeeep sniff. However, she couldn’t reach it with her nose, or her tongue, so she tried another way . . .
. . . this gave her more success (as you can see by the bits on the floor) … but it still wasn’t satisfactory to her. So she ‘accidentally’ tipped the jar over.
Ohh, she rolled in it, rubbing her cheeks, her head, her back … everywhere she could rub, she rubbed. She was so much in pleasure land that eventually, this happened . . .
See the pleasure in those paws? She lay on her back, on a fluffy blanket, and crashed into pleasureland. Her feet were curled up all tight and she was so incredibly happy at that moment that nothing on earth could have upset her. Nothing. Mummy could have offered her fresh Salmon and she couldn’t have cared less. She was the most ultimate H.A.P.P.Y. she could ever have been. A little later …. she slept it off, peacefully – if ever so slightly drunk.
And now ... she’s looking forward to Father Christmas bringing her own supply of the stuff of her dreams …. but Mummy doesn’t hold out any hope. Mummy says that she’s going to be fully in charge of catnip in future. Sewchi wishes you a very . . .
So … let that be a warning to all you cat people out there. Don’t expect your cat to be sensible about these things, because sensible doesn’t work when Catnip is involved. 😀 And I’ve learned that any Catnip toys I make for my own four leg family members will have to have very tough seams!
Oh … and it’s not just house cats or domesticated cats who like Catnip . . .
I’ve also learned this week:
US scientists calculated that Santa would have to visit 822 homes a second to deliver all the world’s presents on Christmas Eve, travelling at 650 miles a second.
If you have children or Grandchildren visiting or in your home coming up to Christmas day, there is a lovely Google Santa Tracker you can visit, both to track Santa’s progress and also some games to play and various bits and clicks, which you can find HERE <— CLICK
NEARLY 60 million Christmas trees are grown each year in Europe.
THE word Christmas comes from the Old English “Cristes maesse” meaning “Christ’s Mass”.
KISSING under the mistletoe is thought to spring from Frigga, the Norse goddess of love, who was associated with the plant.
THE highest-grossing Christmas movie is 2000’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas, which has raked in £175m so far. And … as a little bit of extra information … I’m actually watching this very film as I type this!
GOLD-wrapped chocolate coins commemorate St Nicholas who gave bags of gold coins to the poor.
THE first Christmas celebrated in Britain is thought to have been in York in 521AD.
Do we have a ‘Christmas spirit’ network in our brains?
A Danish study has identified what could be described as a “Christmas spirit” network in the brain. The researchers recruited a group of people who celebrate Christmas, and a group who do not. Using fMRI scans – which detect blood flow in the brain to identify which areas are activated – they investigated which parts of the subjects’ brains responded to be being shown Christmassy and non-Christmassy images. They found that certain areas of the brain were much more highly activated in the festive group than the control group when they were shown the former group of pictures. The Christmas spirit network exists in the sensory motor cortex, pre-motor and primary motor cortex and the parietal lobule; these areas have been associated with spirituality and recognition of facial emotion, among other functions.
Exchanging Christmas cards could be a form of social-climbing
Far from being an act of generosity, exchange of Christmas cards is sometimes used as an opportunity for social-climbing, as people are more likely to reciprocate card-giving with people they are interested in scoring points with. Previous research has shown that people reciprocate card-giving even with complete strangers. A study conducted in 2000 at West Texas A&M University took this a step further, arranging the exchange of nearly 600 Christmas cards between strangers of different social classes. They found that perception of high status increased the likelihood of a sender getting a response, and the effect was even more pronounced among low-income receivers of the cards. High-status strangers – such as doctors, lawyers and CEOs – received responses for 1 in every 5 cards they sent, with few recipients so much as asking about their identity.
Candy canes used to be “pure white”
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All that is left for me to do now is . . . . wish you a very happy Christmas. May Peace fill your home and love fill your heart. Presents are just such a lovely way of someone showing they love you enough to go to the trouble of shopping with you on their mind. However, the very greatest gift someone can give you is their time, for in giving their time, they are giving you themselves. So just because someone might not spend money to say I love and care about you, if they’re giving you their time, even if it’s just to stop and have a few friendly words at the front gate, then that’s a show of their respect and admiration for you, because, right now it’s a busy time of year, so if they spare a few of their minutes to share with you, then I think that’s the most wonderful, caring gift.
Sending you the happiest of Christmas Wishes. Be good to each other.