Monday, June 30, 2014


Rolf Harris has been found guilty of being a vile, despicable, pervert who preyed on children.
I am sure there have been many more who have used their fame to further their foul agendas.
People are in awe of celebrities.  Imagine how that would empower men like this.
Children would be totally overwhelmed by their fame.
It is hard enough for a child to speak out about incidents like this when they have been carried out by a friend, family member or stranger.
To accuse a famous person of such things would be too terrifying.  Who would listen?  How could you cope with courts and trials and the repercussions.
As a residential social worker, I worked for many years with children who had been damaged by men like this pathetic creature.
Damaged for life.
It isn't something you recover from.  Don't ask me how I know...........I just do.
The only ones worse than the people that assault children are the ones who try to defend them.
Often the ones speaking up for the perverts have children of their own who they cared for and protected.  This amazes me.  They would have been the first ones screaming for the police if someone so much as looked at their kids yet they have no problem with someone else's child suffering, someone else's child's life ruined.
I just wish the courts would prosecute everyone who covered up for him and turned a blind eye to it.
I really used to like Rolf Harris.
I liked his quirky songs and his wonderful art.
I wish I hadn't.

Friday, June 27, 2014

A Week

Bubba and Tootsie having a cuddle.
Dear old Bubba, he may be getting a bit bewildered lately but he is still a lovely boy.

I have booked my flights over to England for this year.
I should arrive on September 28th and then leave on October 19th.
Flights are much more expensive now than they used to be but I have been watching the prices. There was a drop on Tuesday, which doesn't happen often and they quickly shoot up again if you miss it.
So, I thought I had better do it or be kicking myself in a few weeks time.

I am really looking forward to it again.  I always do.
I love being able to bimble around Ashford and to being able to catch a train if I want to go elsewhere.
I love Canterbury and hope to arrange to have lunch there one day with my father in law.
He seems to know good places for lunch.

I shall cram as much as I can into those 3 weeks and they will pass way too quickly.
I hate flying on my own.......I hate flying altogether really.  It is such an ordeal on a long flight.

Donna and Lauren arrive here in 3 weeks.
That seemed like ages away and now it is suddenly upon us.

Saturday we are going to a graduation party.  It isn't a graduation as we know it.  He hasn't just finished uni and got a degree, cap & gown etc.
This is a graduation from middle school.  They seem to do a lot of graduating here.  They graduate from nursery school, primary school etc.  Even if you take a course in anything and finish it - then you graduate. To me it takes the prestige out of graduating.  But then I don't know much.  The youngster who is graduating is a nice kid so I am sure he will do well.

 Friday next week is July 4th, which is something of a big deal over here.
We may go to the park and watch the fireworks.  Last year we didn't bother but I think we were just being lazy.
My friend did invite me to her family's celebration but I declined.
After her family were nasty to me at the bridal shower ( I have never told her about it as I really think there is no point in upsetting her), I will never be a part of any of their get togethers again.
Apart from which, if they have such a low opinion of the Brits, putting my British self in the middle of their independence day celebrations does sound like a bad idea.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Herding Cats Weekend

It was the Herding Cats get together at the weekend.
There were men in attendance too.
We just went on Saturday but we had a brilliant time.  
It was just like a big family gathering.   There were so many different generations there.  In fact, it was better than a real family gathering as we all get along.
This is not the case in most my experience anyway.
Philip made a new friend.
The hotel gives us a big conference room and allows people who are staying to bring their cats too if they wish.
There were about 6 or so cats who made the trip.  They were all very well behaved, as were the kids.

Some of us became worn out with the excitement of it all.

People came from all over.
One lady brought her mum for the first time and drove for two days from Tennessee.  There were people who had flown up from Florida.
I am so privileged to have met all these friends just through facebook.

I was cross with Merv this morning.
The gasmen cometh and goeth and diggeth big holes.......but not much else.
They arrive at 7.30am and start making a big noise.
Today they dug up part of our garden.   That's ok, they have to do their job but the sooner they do it then the sooner they can bugger off.
But then there is Merv.
Ok if he delays them by telling what they should be doing over at his house, but I was ticked off when he had come over to delay them at my house.

He held them up, yapping, for ages. They seem too polite to tell him to sod off.
Eventually, I let them see me watching them from the window and he left.   They then got on with the huge hole they had dug for whatever reason.

Go and play up your own end Merv.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Booda 4 Bubba

This is a Booda Litter Box.
We bought one of these for Bubba a couple of days ago.
I had thought about getting him a little ramp to go up into the one he already has.  Poor Bubba is 17 years old and sometimes he gets a bout of "dodgy pins" syndrome.
This makes it difficult for him to get into the current litter boxes that we have.
The trouble was, I wasn't sure if he would go up a ramp. 
He is a bit of a wooss.
He has never been able to figure out the cat flap, which the girls sussed out in seconds.  Instead, he would sit there forlornly bashing the door with his foot, looking bewildered as it flapped backwards and forwards, with nary an inkling of how to actually go through it.
We eventually had to tape it open so that he would actually use it.
So, the intricacies of climbing a ramp without a safety net, could quite easily have escaped him.
Then I saw this box.
It is brill.
It has its own built in little ramp that takes the kitty to the 'business' end of the appliance with very little brain power required.
Would he use it?
He actually does.  He seems to really love it.  Trouble is, every other bugger seems to love it too.
Now we have 5 cat litter boxes in the basement but only this one in  use.
We even had a queue of kitties waiting to take their turn in there last night.
Of course it was all the girls.  We poor ladies always find ourselves queuing for the 'ablutions hut' wherever we go.

The Jewelled Christmas Dragon is finally finished and bedecked in all its finery.
It is actually much prettier than it shows here.  The jewels are really sparkly and really a bugger to put on.
My fingers were covered in poxy super glue.
I used super glue as I don't want to take a chance on all the 'real diamonds' falling off.
I have found something out though, that may be useful to other crafters & model makers.
Pure acetone removes super glue from your fingers !!!!
I tried it as a last worked!!

                                                            Persian Prince.

I have also finished this one.
We have a 'facebook cat people' get together this weekend.  I couldn't say 'cat lady' as many of those going are actually men.  We are all friends on facebook and they are really nice people.
We went last year and it was a lot of fun.  They come from all over the US and stay at a hotel in Madison (about an hour and half from Milwaukee).  Many stay for the whole weekend but we went just for the Saturday last year and are doing the same this year.
We are fortunate that we live so near.
Anyway, some people bring prizes for raffles etc and as many of them have Persian cats I thought this might go down well.
Last year I took a can of Spotted Dick to give as a prize.
Previously, one of them had asked on facebook what on earth Spotted Dick was. 
The usual ribald comments came flying across the interwebs whilst I valiantly defended the honour of my home country's national dessert (if it isn't then it should be).
Having found one (at great expense) in a World Market shop, I duly took it along.  It turned out to be quite the hit and is currently the annual prize of the weekend.
Whoever wins it must promise to take great care of it for the year and bring it back the next year to be won by someone else.
Never, ever must the Spotted Dick be eaten ( worshipped perhaps but not eaten)..........although I don't think they would anyway.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Roland Rat ?????????

After my dealings a couple of weeks ago, with the so called micro soft techs who insisted I should hand over my computer's innards so they could steal my identity, money, passwords etc......there has been another incident.
This time on facebook.
I received a 'friend request' from someone called Roland Muggins. The name says it all really.
As I didn't recognise the name I did what I always do and sent a message asking where I knew him from.
The reply immediately told me that this was dodgy.
I decided to see how long I could string him along.  It turned out to be longer than I expected.
My friend, Gary, sent me a on it below if you wish.....which confirmed he was trying to scam me.

I must look a bit dopey or something........but I don't think I shall be hearing much from Roland in the future.
This is the whole message thread.........enjoy.
  • Conversation started today
  • Susan Banks
    Susan Banks

    Where do I know you from Roland? Let me know so that I can accept your friend request.
  • Roland Muggins
    Roland Muggins

    Hello...Am agent Roland from Facebook Head office and i have a good news for you regarding your Facebook account.
  • Susan Banks
    Susan Banks

    Oh I am sure that if you are from Facebook's Head Office then it is quite easy for you to pass on any good news without needing to be a friend. I look forward to hearing this good news.
  • Roland Muggins
    Roland Muggins

    Before i proceed i will love to Know if you have heard about the ongoing Facebook organization promotion 2014 going on yet?
  • Susan Banks
    Susan Banks

    The only one I have heard of is the 'free yak in the mail'. Is there another?
  • Roland Muggins
    Roland Muggins

    Have any of our out staff informed you about the Facebook organization promotion and your winning prize?
  • Susan Banks
    Susan Banks

    Only the prize yak, as I mentioned, I am rather looking forward to its arrival. My llama has been lonely and it will be a wonderful friend for him. One of my friend's, Gary Peel, has said he will help me with it.
  • Roland Muggins
    Roland Muggins

    your profile was randomly selected in a open ballot system held in San Jose.. i am glad to inform you that you are one of the 50lucky selected winners that won the sum of $950,000.00 united states dollars..
  • Susan Banks
    Susan Banks

    That's nice. But what about my yak.
  • Roland Muggins
    Roland Muggins

    Whos your yak?
  • Susan Banks
    Susan Banks

    Really.....have you been reading my replies? If you have then you know I have been awarded a prize yak by facebook and I am still waiting for it. Is there a reason for this delay?
  • Roland Muggins
    Roland Muggins

    Here are the 3 ways in which you can get your winnings
    Option 1) Bank to Bank Wire Transfer Option 2) Cash Delivery Option 3) A.T.M CARD Delivery
    Which of the options do you choose?
  • Susan Banks
    Susan Banks

    Oh...ermm...let me see.....I am confused. How will you wire the yak to me? I don't think it would be possible to get one from an ATM either. I am not sure of the cash value of the yak but even so I would prefer the animal itself as my lonely llama is waiting.
    If the size of the yak is a problem, I would be happy to accept 50 guinea pigs instead. You could always send them a few at a time then.

    Message cannot be sent based on either the receivers' privacy settings or yours.

This was where Roland finally gave up, blocked me......and probably topped himself.........."Alas poor Roland, I knew him well."
A couple of my friends have now sent him friend requests........he might be sorry he tried this on me. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Blankets and stuff.

                                               Jewelled Christmas Dragon

Ok so it isn't jewelled yet.
I have just finished painting this.  It is on a fairly large canvas  20in x 16in and has been a lot of work.
Enjoyable work though.
I do intend to add the jewels (sparkles) soon but I just need to make sure it is completely dry before I do.
Oooooh I hate waiting.  I do like to finish a project.
This will, hopefully, be the picture I use to make my Christmas cards this year.  I do like to vary the subjects and thought a Christmas Dragon might be fun.
As always I am never that confident in my own work so I tested it out over on facebook.
I wanted to see what sort of reaction I got.
Lol....sometimes you get (and find out) more than you bargained for.
I shall just say this........
My 'good friends' liked it ( lots of them) and were very complimentary. Having said this, then I suppose, by definition the ones that didn't like it must be my 'crap friends'.
That's ok though. I will only click 'like' on stuff I actually do like.
Everyone has the right to their own opinion, lords knows I have a few, and I respect that.
Quite enlightening though.
Ha ha....never mind......if they are on my Christmas card list I shall just send them a regular boxed card instead of this one (cruel and unusual punishment indeed) and if they are not on my list.......then they obviously won't give a monkey's anyway.
Facebook is a brilliant really makes things clear.

I shall post the picture again after I have 'sparkled' it.
I have all the sparklies ready to stick on and, with any luck, it should look ok.

River Rhythms was cancelled.
It rained all day and all night.  This is so rare for us here in Milwaukee.  Generally, if we get rain, it is a real heavy downpour which stops and dries up very quickly.
Thunderstorms are huge but soon pass.  Day long rain is so unusual and of course it had to be on a Wednesday, the only evening we are hoping to be outside listening to music.
We will try again for next week.

I got word from the Humane Society that the robin I rescued had to be put to sleep.  His wing was so severely broken and he was in such shock, that they said it was the kindest thing.
I wasn't surprised but I had hoped he might recover.  At least he wasn't left to suffer.

Tomorrow I shall be taking more blankets into Happy Endings Cat Rescue.  This is for the Comfort for Crittters programme I have been working on.  This is the second batch of blankets I will be taking.  Since I started knitting again my needles have been clacking away like a clacking thing.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Ah ya will, ya will, ya will.

 I went swimming with my friend yesterday.
I really enjoyed it.  The water was warm - which is always something of a bonus.
We had arranged to go out for lunch afterwards.  I felt I needed to treat her for picking me up every time.
We went off to 'Noodles', which was lovely.
It is one of the few places over here that I can find vegetarian food.
We had a very enjoyable lunch but then it came to paying.
My friend was insisting that she would pay.  I, in turn, insisted that I would pay.  I explained that I wanted to say thank you for picking me up every week for swimming.
I wouldn't be able to go if she didn't.
She was equally insistent........but I wasn't giving in either.
It finished up almost (but not quite) like this :-
take a peek here....

Tomorrow is the first River Rhythms of the season and the only day this week when it is supposed to rain.........sigh.
I have still spent today cooking lots of grub to take tomorrow.   We will just have to take a couple of umbrellas too.

Nearly forgot.......we went to a bead show downtown on Saturday.  We only really went because a friend gave us free tickets, but it was brill.
I have never seen so many beads, crystals, jewellery etc in my life.
Philip was in somewhat of a minority - very few chaps, but even he seemed to enjoy it.
I am quite taken with the idea of jewellery making now.
I feel the stirring of a new hobby.
I have asked for a few starter bits to be put on my Christmas list.   It will be something else to keep me out of trouble during our 7 months of winter.

Friday, June 6, 2014


Imagine me here.......sigh.

It is less than 6 weeks now until Donna and Lauren arrive.  I am so looking forward to their visit.
They should be here on July 19th.
On July 30th Donna, Lauren, Gary, myself and one other are all going to The Warped Tour.
This is a huge music festival that will be staged on the lake front.
Their will be loads of stages with loads of bands (alternative rock...and others that I have no clue about).
We are going because this will be a 'once in a lifetime' experience for Lauren and she is absolutely popping with excitement.
Me - not so much.
But, being on the lakefront, there will be many food & drink vendors and I am hoping to park myself on a bench where I can listen to the various bands (from a discreet distance) and eat ice cream.
I don't know how I get roped into these things but I suppose it might give me some 'street cred' to be able to say I went to The Warped Tour.
Donna tells me that Lauren can barely speak of anything else.
There are 11 days between their arrival and the tour.........I wonder how long it will seem.
I did have a giggle at our Lauren today.
Donna told me that she usually picks Lauren up from school after she has had her sleep (she works nights).
Anyway, today she overslept and didn't make it (she had had some sort of dream and turned the alarm off apparently).
Lauren was not entirely happy when she got home and Donna said to her,
"Oh sorry Lauren.  You won't believe what happened."
To which Lauren replied, "No I won't.", and carried on walking upstairs.
Donna said she couldn't stop laughing........oh that girl.........her father would have been so proud of her.
She was playing her guitar to me on the phone again yesterday. 
"Carry on my wayward son."  by Kansas.
It was very good.

And finally.

The gasmen are still digging holes.
Luckily for them there is a Merv who is tidying up after them.
I bet they are grateful.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Sparkly shoes

I got these on Saturday.
Now they have really cheered me up.  Lots of sparkles.
I am fortunate that I have small feet and buy my trainers in the kids' dept.
Not only are they more outrageous than the ones in the womens' dept, but they are also half the price.

I didn't have a ton of energy so we didn't stay out long.
Sunday after brekkie we bought some more garden ornaments and then did our shopping in Pick n Save (or Pick n Spend as we like to call it). 
Philip stopped to pick up his usual can of spaghetti hoops as he does every week, when I noticed him hesitating.  There are many different and exotic varieties on display, ravioli, meatballs etc...
"Something wrong?" I enquired.
"No," he replied, "but I am going to switch it up this week."
"Really??" said I in amazement.
"Yes," he postulated, and picked up a different can, with something of a determined flourish.
"But that is still spaghetti," said I, bemused.
"Yes but it is straight - not hoops.", he replied boldly.

At this point I got a fit of the giggles.  He seemed surprised at my reaction.  Wow - talk about 'living on the edge'........the little devil.

After all the excitement of buying straight spaghetti instead of hoops, the fact that his chums were coming to our house for gaming this week could have been something of an anti-climax.
It was not.
They all duly arrived in the afternoon and descended into the basement, where everything had been set up in readiness.
Lily, spotting the opportunity of many vacant laps, especially as they were chaps' laps (she is such a trollop), selected Andy as the best of the bunch and promptly fell asleep on him.
I stayed upstairs watching the film, "Muster Go Home" (which was pretty dire actually) when the storms started.  
This was quite the accompaniment to the movie providing extra atmosphere but it wasn't so good for the intrepid souls in the basement.
The power went out several times rendering the computers useless (and the telly actually), but it was soon restored and play was resumed.

Upstairs, where I was now watching QI on a device which allows Youtube to be shown on the telly, all was not well.
There was a familiar dripping sound as, once more, water plopped from the ceiling.
It seems the gutter cleaning had not solved the problem.  Time to call Marty again.........sigh.