Everything · Pictures · The Cats · Videos

Hot summer days

Hello dear friends! I hope you and your loved ones are all well! I continue to feel great! But I’ve been seriously busy every day, with just the usual chores, that are more exhausting due to the heatwaves we’ve been having. The heat would not be a problem, as it’s not extremely hot compared to other places, but the humidity is through the roof constantly.

The kitties, who love to hang out on the balcony cation when it’s nice, have been flopping all over the place during the day.

Eating and drinking is done as comfortable as possible…

Aside from the humid heat, we’ve had a couple of really severe thunderstorms, with unbelievable amounts of rain, high winds and hail.

The storm in the video below came through in the afternoon of August 14, 2020. It rained so heavily at times, that all you saw was white when looking out of the windows.

The flower tray below, filled up within 15 minutes, if not sooner and was then simply overflowing. It was empty because I took the flower pot with my Lavender out of it before the storm.

We’ve had some severe thunderstorms here, but I’ve never seen that amount of rain within such a short time.

The leaves on all the trees and bushes look like they’ve stood in a war zone. They are completely ripped to shreds by the few hail storms we’ve had recently. The leaves are just shreds or have multiple round holes in them.

The photo below is from August the 5th, after just one severe thunderstorm with hail. It’s the bush to the right of our balcony. By now they look much worse and are simply shredded. I still need to take photographs of how it looks currently.

Though as I mentioned, for the most part, all of August has been very hot. In the morning and the late afternoon, the kitties and I love to hang out on the balcony catio. It’s just lovely.

In the following photos, it’s pretty much obvious that it’s really hot and humid. The kitties are just simply totally flat out and try not to move at all.

Thankfully the living room window is always a cool spot. The sun moves to the west and the whole street is in the shade after midday. But even before then it’s lovely and cool. There’s always a nice breeze and the cats just love to watch what’s going on out there.

These blinds are absolutely wonderful in creating shade and keeping the heat out. The living room and the bedroom are always nice and cool. The old wooden shutters on the bedroom window keep the bedroom perfectly cool, even though the sun is on them all afternoon. It’s quite amazing.

Covid19

We’re still staying at home due to Covid19. The case numbers have been going up and down. Recently they went up again quite a bit, as vacationers came back from other countries infected with the Virus. By now I just hope they find a vaccine, so this plague will finally come to an end.

In other news

I’m full of ideas.. and there are so many things I enjoy doing and want to do. Like crocheting and learning how to sew clothes. It’s all a slow progress, as my energy allowance for each day is rather low and easily used up. I will find a way to sort it all out and plan my days a bit better. Now that my migraines aren’t as frequent, I want to do all kinds of things at the same time. There are also about a million jobs to do just around the home, like organising the wardrobe in the bedroom, the books, paperwork and bits and pieces in the living room and the kitchen.

Although all of the mentioned comes after what’s most important: Ralph and the cats, all daily tasks, then the blog and all the wonderful friends we made. Love and friendship are where I get my energy from!

I will leave you with this photo-filled post now and we wish you all a lovely Sunday evening! Big hugs and purrs!

Everything · Pictures · Ralph and I · The Cats

Late night post ;-) and update about Ralph’s blog

First off… Ralph deleted his blog. He felt better that way, because it was wearing on him that his blog is online, but he can’t blog anything himself.

Although I saved his complete blog. I exported the whole blog through WordPress and imported it into a new private blog on my WordPress account. It’s there, 100% complete with all the comments and everything in a fully functional blog, just private. It could be posted on again if Ralph and I find something that reduces or cures the shaking of his hands due to Essential Tremor.

Just wanted you all to know that we’re fine and everything is alright. You can always reach Ralph through my blog and email address, or his email address. Ralph also always reads the comments on my blog posts.

It’s in the middle of the night

It’s past 2am and it’s raining. We’ve had a thunderstorm come in every afternoon since Monday. The rain that started this afternoon is of the ‘constant nonstop rain’ variety. It’s nice to fall asleep to, but not so nice when the kitties want to hang out on our balcony catio all day in the sun and warm weather.

Earlier, Ralph and I were watching a movie and sweet Sonic joined us, cuddling up between us on the couch.

Now, the kitties are all asleep. They were really tired, after playing all evening.

Hero and Lisa started to party early in the day, by getting into a valerian root pouch that they ripped to bits. Then they rolled around in the mess of strewn about valerian root bits on the carpet 🤣 They were all silly and happy from it and having a really great time!

There’s always so much to post about… countless pictures and updates on how we’re all doing. Since that’s accumulating all the time and makes it a huge post in the end, I’ll just try to post often from now on. Just our every day life sure keeps me busy… Ralph could tell you about that and all my silly shenanigans when I am absent minded because I get distracted by cute cats…

So for now I will go to sleep, and post again tomorrow.

I hope you all are well! Stay safe and cuddle your kitties and loved ones 💁🏻‍♀️😽😽😽😽❣️

Everything · Pictures · Ralph and I · The Cats

A new phone, a new Internet connection and lots of cat photos!

Hello dear friends!

I hope you all are doing well and the Covid19 situation is improving where you are.

I’m so excited because I’m starting to be fully active again online these days. There is A LOT to catch up on, but I’m happy to do that.

Since I don’t want to make it a long rambling story, I try to make this update as short as I can.

I’ve been feeling better regarding the daily migraines, which are now down to about two a week on average. Sometimes 3, sometimes less than 2. It’s thank’s to Vitamin B2 in high doses, and Magnesium and Q10 in normal daily amounts, that I’ve been taking and responding to well. Now, when the weather is nice and sunny, without any changes, I’ve had a migraine-free phase of over 2 weeks, which is a miracle almost. Everything is better than having a migraine every single day, or one that goes on endlessly without a break for many days.

Since things can’t be always perfect, something else happened… The internet went silly. Again. We changed providers in December 2019 and it was great for a while. But for some reason, the 4G router, which connects to the internet via mobile phone towers, started having reception problems that got worse, around February. Then the bandwidth itself was getting awful and the speed was too bad to even try and do much online. Thinking it could be due to the lockdown and everyone being at home, I just waited and hoped it would get better. Unfortunately it didn’t and instead it got even worse.

At the same time, my old iPhone was starting to show it’s age, unable to cope with the apps that are getting more demanding on older phones. My phone would shut down or crash when trying to take pictures, or trying to write anything on WordPress, or on other sites. At least I was still able to make phone calls with it! 🤣 So with the internet being awful, my phone being unusable for internet as well, we needed to get it sorted out.

I had us changed to a landline internet connection, which is mostly all fibre optics by now. I was not sure what to expect, but it’s amazing. We’ve got a plan that costs us the same as before, but now we have reliable and fast internet. It’s a huge difference. Since the new router does not have to be near a window for reception, it’s in the hallway, in the centre of our home. Therefore I have now WiFi all throughout our home, including out on the balcony.

Ralph also encouraged me to get a new iPhone as well, which I did. It’s the first time I ever got a new and current iPhone. I usually always bought an older one. But since even the older ones last me many years, this new one will last me even longer now. I’ve been having way too much fun with it. The photos and videos it takes are stunning. I can finally record videos and take photos with a phone in low light conditions.

Of course, I’ve been taking 1000s of photos and videos of the cats within a few days. Also, I can now comfortably post from my phone and do anything I used to only do on the laptop.

What’s going on these days

Hero, Samantha, Lisa and Sonic

We enjoy to sit out on the catio (Balcony) as much as possible. Now I can even blog and do other internet things from out there thanks to the new router!

Hero and Lisa spend the most time outside. Like sweet Murli, they want to go out onto the balcony no matter if it’s raining, cold, storming, hot or ice cold. Hero and Lisa even flop down or sit down right in a puddle!

That’s why I’m going to try and see what they do if I put a basin of water out on the balcony on a hot day. I’ve seen them play with water and I’d be curious to see what they do if they have the possibility of actually going into the water.

As of today, the weather has been like summer again, but with storm winds. Now in the evening, it has calmed down and it’s now a hot summer evening.

All week before the sky looked mostly like this and it was rather chilly…

But if the weather is too bad, we just enjoy our time in our home. The kitties can still watch kitty-TV from the bedroom window, as it’s the closest to the bird feeder.

Hero at the bedroom window

I will end this photo-rich post now, before it gets too difficult to load for some.

Now that I can post a lot easier and with internet that works all day and night, I’ll post a lot more frequently, but shorter posts, just like so many of you do as well. Little updates of our daily life.

It’s now nearly 10pm and I am looking forward to bed. I’m not necessarily going to sleep, but I can be online on my new phone too! It’s so much comfier in bed, with kitties around me.

Sonic, Hero and Lisa leaving no room for us to get into bed
Samantha cuddling with her mousie

Ralph will be watching some videos on the laptop or a movie on the TV.

I hope you had a good start into the new week! Sending love from us all and purrs from the kitties 💖

Everything · Pictures · Ralph and I · Society and News · The Cats · Videos

We are staying at home for another month – March 23

Hello dear friends! If you read my other update from today, about the situation in Austria, then you know the COVID-19 numbers are still increasing faster and faster in Austria.

That is why I am so glad I won’t have to go out, for nearly a month. In the beginning of the Pandemic, I was out my mind from worry about Ralph potentially catching the Virus. Now that I see how well our government is handling this crisis and that patients are not left without their medication, I feel a lot better. We have what we need at home, including my medicine and of course more than enough supplies for the cats. I’m much more at ease, especially because it keeps Ralph safe when I stay at home and avoid people altogether.

There’s no getting bored in our home anyway. Not with the 4 cats and each other, and the internet, which lets us connect to our friends and lots of entertainment.

Every day is a lovely day with our cats

As soon as I open my eyes in the morning, this is usually what I see…

Hero on me, Sonic farther down to the right
Lisa is usually all up in my face, once she realises I woke up

Hero, Lisa and Sonic usually sleep on top of me, or cuddled up on my tummy, my legs, arms, or my side, depending on the way I’m lying. It’s usually these 3 in any order that are all over and around me. Samantha loves to either be curled up next to Ralph’s legs, or she watches the birds from the bedroom window (that’s where Samantha was when I took these photos).

It’s impossible not to smile first thing when I wake up with my little family of Ralph and the cats all around me. No matter how anxious I feel, or how bad my migraine is when I wake up, I still wake up feeling happy thanks to them.

Spring

Spring is definitely here with flowers everywhere and birds who are building their nests again. The temperatures before the weekend were amazing! Almost like summer. Unfortunately, it got really cold again over the weekend.

Especially today, the wind was awfully strong and ice cold. I really hope it will warm up again soon, the cats and us really missed the warm sun.

Despite the cold, Lisa and Hero always enjoy some fresh air and love to watch the birds for a few minutes. Also, Lisa and I have a little game where I throw one of the toy balls out onto the balcony and she will run out to bring it back in every single time! She usually carries her ball to the same spot, there she’ll wait for me to get it and throw it again.

This video has clips from yesterday and today. I could have kept going for much longer too, she just loves it. Here is the link to my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCK1Ls5UurAYojCxqRRveVw

But at long as it’s sunny, the cats are getting their fill of sunshine inside as well. With every day we’re getting closer to summer, the sun will shine into our apartment longer.

Hero fast asleep in the sun
Sonic and Lisa at the bedroom window
Samantha and Lisa on the balcony last week, a day before it got cold again

A small earthquake with the epicentre in Croatia

Yesterday, there was even an earthquake we slept through (at 5:24 UTC). Well, I’m sure the cats noticed, but Ralph and I didn’t. Here in Graz it wasn’t anything serious. The epicentre was in Croatia, a little less than 200km from us, where earthquakes aren’t anything unusual. I’ve experienced a couple of them when I was in Croatia myself as a child.

The purple circle is Graz, where we are. The other markings show the earthquake. More details to this earthquake at: https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us70008dx7/executive

Small earthquakes with the epicentre within Austria are not unusual either, as the African plate meets with the Eurasian plate in the Alps. Especially our region is rather active for these little earthquakes.

Since it’s almost midnight again, I will go to bed in a bit. I’ll hopefully feel more rested soon, as the day seems way to short when I need more sleep than normal.

I keep thinking of everyone, hoping that you’re all safe and well, and have everything you need.

Sending love from Ralph, the cats and myself!

Everything · Pictures · Places · Ralph and I · Society and News · The Cats

Austria shuts down anything that is not important and people have to mostly stay home – Corona Pandemic Update March 15

Things continue to move faster than I can keep up with. Measures and restrictions that were planned on Friday, kept changing throughout the weekend, because the infection rate keeps going up faster and faster.

As of 3pm this afternoon, we have 860 confirmed Coronavirus Infections. In our state of Styria, they doubled over the weekend. We have 111 here.

Restaurants and cafés were supposed to stay open until 3pm starting Monday, so that people would be able to get lunch there. But since the number of new Coronavirus Patients is multiplying at increasing speed, with 100s more every day over the weekend, the government decided to have all restaurants, cafés, pubs etc close completely. But not just them, all stores are staying closed, except for supermarkets, pet supply stores, pharmacies and gas stations.

Basically, anything that is not needed for daily life, like food for humans and pets, and medications is being closed down. Government offices, that are not needed, will shut down for the public, but they will continue to work behind closed doors, and things can be worked out through phone, email, fax and letterboxes.

The military reserve is being called up

Although I don’t know what they’re going to be doing yet. But I think they will help to ensure the protection of supermarkets, pharmacies and help to keep the peace in the city.

Only 3 reasons to leave the house (enforced)

The government said that there are now only 3 reasons to leave our homes:

  • To get anything that is needed for life, like groceries, medication, pet food. Of course to go to the doctor for medication and treatment that can’t be postponed.
  • To go to work, but this means jobs that are needed to keep the country running. Doctors, Nurses, Firefighters, Police, Military, people working in jobs that are important for the infrastructure (power, gas, water, public transport, delivery of goods, parcels and mail, jobs in the communications industry like phone and internet etc). Anyone that can work from home, has to work from home.
  • The 3rd reasons to go out is to help others. For example, to help disabled or elderly and supply them with food and medications, so that they don’t have to go out to the store, doctor or pharmacy themselves.

This will be enforced by police. So when I go out to the pharmacy as always, I will have the copy of my current prescription with me, as well as the receipt that shows that I paid for it, just because it proves which pharmacy I’m going to.

There are high fines if groups of people are found to hang out outside and walk about for no good reason. People are supposed to go out by themselves for important things.

No going for runs, no going for walks, no hanging around outside, except to go straight from A to B. People are allowed to walk their dogs though.

Parks and playgrounds are closed, as well as anything else that isn’t necessary.

At first, people were asked to adhere to it on their own. But as I expected, there were still way too many people who are not taking it seriously. Especially in Vienna, people went out to parks in large numbers, sitting together in groups, walking in groups and hanging around in groups. Even parents went to the playgrounds with their kids. Basically these people were doing everything they were begged not to do.

Many of the groups that were hanging around in parks and the city for no reason were the usual troublemakers.

In Graz, the 2nd largest city of Austria (Vienna is Nr. 1), the streets were pretty much empty. But there were people who ignored the pleas from the government to stay home, just not as many as in Vienna. Most groups were hanging around in the bad areas of Graz, like always.

So within just a day, it became clear that the lock-down and the restrictions would have to be enforced.

For now, people walking alone will not be stopped or asked where they are going, only groups. But depending on how people behave, this might change. I’m expecting many more restrictions and the lock-down of cities and areas, to stop the movement of people and stop the spread of the Virus.

Since it can take up to two weeks for people to actually become ill from the Virus, and many will still have become infected before the restrictions, and they’ll also infect their families most likely, the peak of the outbreak will most likely be in about 3 weeks. I’m no expert and have no idea, but maybe that’s about how it will be.

One thing is for sure, the drastic measures are now going to stop more people from becoming infected. So hopefully, after 3 weeks, we will see the effect of it in decreasing numbers of new confirmed cases, while the number of people who recovered will have increased.

More news: Germany is closing it’s borders with Austria

Germany will partially close its borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg and Denmark as it steps up efforts to stem the spread of the new coronavirus.

What Saturday night looked like from the main square webcam

The main square in Graz, which is normally a very busy place on a Saturday evening, was very empty, except for a few people. The main square is usually always busy, especially during the weekend, since it’s right next to an area with a lot of pubs and clubs. But at 7:41pm, only a few people were out that evening. Nothing would have been open anyway.

How we’re doing

Neither Ralph, nor I are surprised by the measures the Austrian government is taking. Seeing how things are going, it was to be expected. I am actually glad that they’re putting these restrictions in place, because then hopefully, the outbreak can be stopped.

I feel very tense and anxious, just like countless others, but I hope we can get through this alright.

Our street was again extremely quiet. The building itself is quiet as well, you hardly hear anything. Only for our sweet cats the world is like always, at least for the most part. I’m certain they can sense how tense I feel.

It’s rather cold, unfortunately, but the sun was shining. So the babies were able to enjoy the sun for a little on the balcony. Samantha enjoyed the sun at the window and Sonic on the bed.

Lisa and Hero
Samantha at the bedroom window

My anxiety treatment

That’s what the bed is like every day and every night. I’m able to cuddle myself between all the cats, and then I feel a whole lot more calm. Ralph usually goes to sleep later than myself, but he is able to get in as well. Sonic, Hero and Lisa usually pile up around me and on me, while Samantha cuddles up to Ralph’s legs. Once everyone is in bed, I feel relaxed enough to sleep well for a few hours.

It’s now 11:40pm, and I’ll go to bed after publishing this post.

I’m sure tomorrow will bring many changes again, as well as sadly another huge increase in confirmed cases. But maybe soon, there will be good news again. Until then, stay safe, stay home if you can and keep in touch. I’m thinking about everyone, and send out lots of love and hugs.

Love, Natascha & the cats 💕