Thursday, January 12, 2017

January 12 Links

Categories: Animals, Books, Communication, Crafts, Phenology, Poetry, Politics, Writing.


It's a black cat day, thanks to Mudpie's Human's memory of a cat who was less photogenic than Mudpie but of course it's her post, her memories...Different cultures have different traditional beliefs about certain colors of animals bringing good or bad luck. I grew up hearing one about white horses bringing good luck, but other horses with white markings were apparently considered chancy.

"One white foot, try him;
two white feet, buy him;
three white feet, look well about him;
four white feet, go home without him;
four white feet and a white nose,
cut off his head and throw him to the crows."

Then depending on whether your cultural tradition traced back to France or England, either black cats brought bad luck, or ginger cats brought bad luck and black cats brought good luck.

You have to dig a long way back into my ancestry before you get to either France or England, but the English ancestors were right about cats because one of the luckiest days in my life was when little Black Magic crossed my path. At the time she was a tiny kitten with a remarkable amount of "aplomb." She went on to become The Best Pet Ever and the Founding Queen of the Cat Sanctuary. Very few lifeforms of any color or species have personalities as splendid as Magic's, but here are some cats who would at least bring a similar look to a good home. Since so many black cats are languishing in need of good homes, today's Petfinder search specified older cats and leans toward social cats.

Mink - sweet senior
Mink from Arlington...doing his bit for diplomatic relations, he travels with a foreign-born partner.
Fluffy and Mink
Since I'm a total sucker for social cats, here's Black Mink's partner, Fluffy from Moscow. Can you trust a Russian? If she's as gorgeous as this one? I would, but I'd store the food in a screw-top bin.
Myth and Merlin
Myth from New York...

Merlin and Myth
Myth travels with his brother Merlin (the one on top).
Meesha from Atlanta...note the white skin under the black fur, which was one of Magic's distinctive features:
Here, in the "cutest Christmas prezzies" category, is a white cat ornament made by a blogger's child:

Now on the dog New York State, a dog's gone missing:

And on the wild side...what d'you know, Gentle Readers? I think Niume has responded to #ReadersRevolt. This Niume post behaved perfectly for my browser! Lots of pictures of a cute monkey who obviously enjoys posing, though who knows whether the monkey knows it's being cute, is trying to scare the human visitors away, or is imitating things it's seen human visitors do. I'm not usually keen on monkeys; this one's adorable.


For those who like fairy-tale atmosphere, here's a free chapter from Lea Doue's Firethorn Crown:


+Marsha Cooper shares an interesting blog challenge. Can we crafters identify and finish 17 unfinished projects during the year 2017?

(Hmm...depends on what we count as unfinished projects. In my stash, I have kits I planned to use to make certain projects, of which I've knitted small samples--one sleeve of a sweater, one patch of an afghan, etc. Most knitters do these little preview pieces just to make sure that we'll be able to use a certain yarn for a certain purpose, since some knitwear designers handle yarn differently than we do and some patterns seem to be scrambled up by printers and so on. If we count those as unfinished projects, I have a few hundred of them and am sure I'll find time to finish seventeen. I suspect this blog challenge is mostly for people who can post gorgeous pictures of their works-in-progress that will attract sponsors and pre-purchasers, and I don't have much faith that my cell phone will make the pictures gorgeous enough...)


I think there's been too much tiptoeing around the real issue here. If you're "emotionally healthy, uninhibited, liberated" and maintain a home where yelling and/or verbal abuse are tolerated, your children may or may not be less depressed than children who are told that they need to be "nice" at all times. They will, however, be learning styles of communication that in U.S. culture are identified with the rich and the poor, and are seldom tolerated by the middle class. If you are not, in fact, go-to-Hell super-rich, you will need at least to teach your children to communicate without verbal abuse as a sort of second language they can use to establish business relationships with the bourgeoisie. In order to do that you might as well cultivate the skill of communicating without verbal abuse anyway. At least I've always wished my Drill Sergeant Dad and burnt-out, really disabled Mother had done that when I was a kid.

Food (Yum)

What I tweeted to +Bob's Red Mill needed a separate post, so...

Phenology Link 

While the Eastern States have been dang cold, Britain's had really nasty weather this time around:


Check out Savannah from Jamaica:


Farewell column from Thomas Sowell, who's announced plans to retire from writing in order to concentrate on photography. If he can, I say snarkily...well, at 86 people can do what they jollywell feel like doing.

Roger Aronoff reviews the year 2016:


Niume's Dominic Webb on writer's block...yes, the site worked!