ACW Episode 288 – The Power of Yoga!

Webcomic!

Click on the image above to see it bigger!

So I had a slight miscommunication with the cat last week….

She was messing around with my iPad and some electronics cables while I was trying to do yoga. I told her to “shoo!” but apparently she didn’t hear me, because when I reached down to give her a nudge, she reacted as though I had just shot 20,000 volts through her. I believe she did three and a half somersault in five different directions before landing – claws first – on my left hand. Two claws slashed open my pinky and middle fingers. But one claw managed to puncture not just the skin of my ring finger, but also the blood vessel beneath it as well. And that claw sunk into me so deep that I couldn’t simply shake the cat free of my hand (though Glob knows I TRIED!!!). Instead, I had to roll around on the floor in agony while the cat swore at me and continued to shred my digits. Eventually, she took off, leaving me with a bloody stump where my hand used to be. It was three days before all my fingers grew back and I was able to wear my wedding rings again.

So just remember folks. Never set the cat on fire, and don’t mess with it when you’re doing yoga either.

ACW Episode 287 – It’s all a bit fuzzy to me

Webcomic!

Click on the image above to see it larger!

Wow, I finally got a webcomic drawn and posted! It’s been like, forever!

Seriously though, it has been a month since I last posted a webcomic. The reason, of course, is because it was Girl Scout cookie season, again, and I let my life get taken over by Girl Scout cookie season, again.

The problem is partly the organization I volunteer for. Girl Scouts demands a lot from its volunteers, and I understand this. We work with girls who need us to be responsible, keep them safe, and offer them opportunities to do things that are fun and exciting. That requires training, certifications, background checks, the ability to handle finances, the ability to plan and conduct training, and so on, and so on, and so on. Basically, all the things I used to do in the Army Reserves. Only without the paycheck to go with it.

So I understand that, and I agree with that. But…

I’m not sure Girl Scouts understands what it’s asking of its volunteers. I mean, in a way, they do. They know what’s at stake when it comes to working with girls. But I don’t think they understand the demand these requirements puts on its volunteers. I volunteer at least 10 hours a week. And some weeks I volunteer more. A lot, lot more. During cookie season, I could end up volunteering 60 hours a week. Keep in mind that some weeks during cookie season I am also hosting the troop meeting (we have one 5-hour meeting a month), running cookie booths, handling accounting for cookie sales, making deposits of cookie money at the bank, preparing for Scout Sunday, preparing for Thinking Day, attending those events, and more. And doing all that is exhausting.

I read an article recently that talked about the ideal amount of hours to volunteer. And the number they gave was 100-800 hours. Less than that didn’t give the volunteers the same boost of happiness. More than that left volunteers burned out. Now 100-800 hours seems like one hell of a range, but the article also mentioned that there were no benefits to volunteering more than 100 hours. And I’d say they’re right about that. I’d be happy if I could cut my volunteering back to just 5-10 hours a week. That would put me at around 250-500 hours a year, as opposed to what I volunteer now.

But how to get those hours down? That’s where I have to admit that I’m part of the problem.

Yes, Girl Scouts asks a lot. But that doesn’t mean I always have to say ‘yes’ when they ask something of me. I need to start learning how to say ‘no.’ And there may be some folks I work with in Girl Scouts who will be disappointed to hear me say no. But I’m thinking that the organization as a whole will understand. Girl Scouts needs dedicated volunteers; it doesn’t need burned-out volunteers. And so I’m making the choice to step back from some of my volunteering so that I can do a better job at what I still intend to volunteer for, and so I don’t feel resentful about volunteering.

And then maybe  I won’t be so tired that I try to type my emails on my cat 🙂

February Cats – Days 17-25, Cats vs Crafting!

I mentioned this was going to be a crazy month, due to Girl Scout cookies coming in, and I did not lie. Since my last post, we have celebrated Princess’ birthday, my birthday, and picked up 1200 boxes of cookies which then had to be sorted out into each individual girl’s order. The girls then have to take those cookies and sort them into individual customer orders. And then we have to start making deliveries. And did I mention that booth sales have started? Crazy, crazy month.

We also had two cases of a stomach bug in the household (me and Princess, the perfect gift for the birthday girls this month). And thanks to the cold damp weather, my arthritis is acting up. I don’t like the arthritis at all. It makes me feel old. But not nearly as old as getting birthday greetings from my pharmacist and my financial advisor. Nothing says, “You’re almost a senior citizen!!” like birthday wishes from responsible institutions.

But back to cats and crafting, because that’s what this post is really supposed to be about. Yes, during the past week I did manage to get some crafting done. I just didn’t get the chance to write about it. I made another cat bolster for Princess for her birthday. Hers is green with big black eyes. She’s calling him Clover. I also did more work on the Catbug pillow, though I don’t think I’m going to finish him this month. I will keep working on him though. Then I stole some time to work on these beauties… 

Acrylic resin pieces

Ooooooooh, pretty things!

 

Now, you might look at these and think, “Helen, this has nothing to do with cats!” And in a way, you’d be right. These pieces are not cat-themed at all. But I had to work to keep my cats out of them!

You see, a long time ago, in a glaxay far, far away, I used to have a craft room/office. It was a room all to myself where I could write, sew, paint, make jewelry, and otherwise create a mess, and best of all, I COULD SHUT THE DOOR AND KEEP THE CATS OUT. That craft room/office is now Princess’ bedroom. So these days, I do all my crafting and artwork either on the couch in our living room (and you guys have seen plenty of pictures of that), or in the front half of our kitchen where we have this lovely beat-up old cargo box table that is perfect for working on. Unfortunately, the cats have decided that said table is also perfect for napping on, and anything they find there gets knocked to the floor when they want to snooze.

The pieces above were made with a two-part acrylic resin, which takes at least 24 hours to dry and cure. There was no way I could leave these pieces out on the kitchen table and expect the cats to stay out of them. So while I did all the mixing and pouring in the kitchen, I had to let these pieces dry in the only room I could keep the cats out of – our tiny downstairs bathroom. And I had to put up a sign saying “Do NOT use this bathroom” to keep the rest of the family out as well, because these people do not know how to shut a door to save their lives. And since the door WAS closed, and it had something in it that was NOT for the cats, the cats immediately crowded around the door begging to be let in. Thankfully, the family paid attention to my sign and kept the cats out.

Of course, the cats were not happy about that, so they took revenge by sleeping on the fabric for my next cat-themed project and left that covered in cat fur. Because it’s all about them anyway, right? Riiiiiiiight.

I hope to spend some time today sewing on the afore-mentioned cat-themed project, and then post pictures of the results tomorrow. We’ll see how much cat fur that project collects between now and then.

February Cats – Day 07, Cats and Yarn

Dear cat whose house I am visiting… Don't you dare eat that! 

You are gorgeous, but get the fuck out of my yarn.

Yours truly,

Cynical Woman

(Seriously, this cat thought I had brought several skeins of yarn just for HIM. Obviously, he does not understand middle-aged women and their craft obsessions.)

February Cats – Busy Day, Sleepy Cats

I got up early this morning, spent 2 hours at karate class, did a bunch of crafting stuff with the kids, worked on a painting for the school auction, and then squeezed in a little time for the Catbug pillow. I didn’t get enough done to bother posting a picture of the work in progress. However, Princess managed to record a quick video of one of our real live cats taking a snooze. Turn up the volume (I promise, this is not a trick) and listen carefully…

  
Yes, that’s Mister Big, and he is snoring! Which is what I’m about to do right now. Good night!

ACW Episode 286 – An Important Fact About Cats

Webcomic!

Click on the image to see it full-sized.

Sing it with me folks. “My cat has fleas!” Or rather, my CATS have fleas. All three of them. Do you know how hard it is to wash three cats? There’s a lot of bleeding involved. A LOT of bleeding.

At least the kitties smell nice when the baths are done. Not that they’ll let me get close enough to snuggle after I’ve dunked them in water, scrubbed them with soap, and dunked them again. But that’s okay. I need the time to clean myself up anyway. Don’t want to bleed all over my freshly cleaned kitties.

Creature Comforts – Day 29, Kitten Cuddles

 

Kitten Cuddles!

She is my constant couch companion.

 
I took another sick day today. I did feel better today, but deliberately kept my activity level low key. Even so, I had to get some volunteer work done today, both for Girl Scouts and the school. That kept me off the couch most of the day, but while I was on the couch, a certain fuzzy orange someone kept me company.

I’m not sure when Marmalade decided the couch and its occupying laps were her domain, but anytime anyone sits on the couch, she’s there, right in the lap. I can type on top of her, draw webcomics on top of her, and crochet entire blankets on top of her. She will not move. She is one with the lap and the couch, and she’s probably happiest that way.

ACW Episode 285 – A Belated Christmas

Webcomic!

Click on the image above to see it full-sized!

It took me soooooooooooo long to finish this, and for no other reason that I simply could not get my act together for the last month. And I’m still not able to get my act together, but I’ll keep plugging along anyway.

I should have another Creature Comforts post up tonight. It’s in the works right now!

Krampus Challenge – Day 24, Krampus Kitten says nighty night!

 

Krampus Kitten

Soooooooo snuggly, soooooooooo sleepy…

 
I was working on another elf head when Marmie climbed into my lap and conked out. So, good night all! See you on Christmas Day 🙂