Sunday, January 14, 2018

a scare...

Nothing like a scare to get your blood moving and your heart stopping. We got this text from our son at 8:15 AM yesterday morning Hawaiian time (12:15 PM Central standard time here in Texas).

As I read this, I froze for a second... then handed it over to DH with a "what???" It was followed almost immediately by this next text of what our son was seeing on his phone on Oahu.

Have to say that I went from confusion to denial in about 60 seconds. First thinking... "what???" then thinking, "no, it can't be real..." 

Luckily (such a trivial word)... it wasn't. 

For within about 15 minutes,  while we searched the TV stations for news, this 3rd text was sent.

Whew! Some mistake! Last we heard from the TV news coverage at the time was that they were trying to determine *how* this happened.

Hard to believe that a mistake like this could be made as easily as they are saying.

And lastly, after watching the news last night and listening to some government official talking about this episode, I heard him say (and I know that I'm paraphrasing here) 'that if a nuclear missile did hit Oahu, people would need to stay in a secure location for about 2 weeks until the radiation level was safe for them to go outside. And that it wouldn't totally destroy the island, there would be survivors'.

This is NOT what I needed to hear. I needed to hear that if a nuclear missile was launched, that we had the capabilities to shoot down that missile before it even reached it's target.

(I also read on a news report that due to the proximity of  North Korea to Hawaii, that the people on the island would only have 15 minutes to take shelter...?)

It's now 3:57 am Sunday morning. Sleep eludes me.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

the pull of Pinterest... and my own oddities

I came across this poster while surfing through Pinterest and had to post it.  It's so true...

We recently switched phone providers and were given unlimited data... so I was able to put Pinterest back on my iphone. If you've never used Pinterest, you should check it out. It's free... and you can cancel at any time. But there are absolutely fascinating pictures and ideas that show up. Some just blow my mind. (of course my mind may be easily blown). 

Here are a few examples:

an old abandoned house

Some architectural oddities that are extremely interesting.

crow at window in winter

Can't tell you why this one gets me, but it does...

cat watercolors

I love these!

And this tornado from 2012...

Isn't that something?

Anyway, hope I didn't bore you, but these are just a very few of the things I've found that fascinate me.  My daughter loves some of the interior and exterior designs that she finds there. However, my interests are so eclectic, that  the site is an endless source of enticement for me.

Deviating from Pinterest and delving into my own source of oddity, here are pics of the 2 new ideas I just came up with for my Cheeky Chickens sculptures.

Chicken soap dish or kitchen sponge holder

chicken than can sit on top of cup or bowl

I'm not sure why you would want a chicken sitting on top of your cup or bowl...?? but you never know.

Hope you had a great weekend. It was overcast and dreary here, but it wasn't below freezing! Praying that all of you that are still snow-bound will get some relief soon... and that the worst is over.  And as always, thanks for dropping by.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Requested eggnog recipe... and a few pics

Home-made Eggnog

Mama H's Home-made Eggnog

Eggs 3
Sugar 1/2 cup
Milk 2 cups
Cream (evap milk) 1 cup

Separate yolks and whites
Beat egg yolks with sugar until creamy
Heat milk and cream until very hot, but not boiling
Add a little egg yolk mixture to hot milk gradually, stir carefully, then add rest.

Beat egg whites with a little sugar (to taste)
When stiff, add to egg yolk/milk mixture
Can add a sprinkle of nutmeg and a little whiskey now or can add these after pouring into tall cup or flute.

Makes about 4 - 6 cups depending on size of cup or flute.

Excellent when cold also!

OK! We're finally above freezing today! Hurray! Of course it will go down below tonight and probably tomorrow, but at least it's better during the days... and the sun was out!

I've kept myself busy with projects... including making a flannel pillowcase for the ferals' box.  My daughter-in-law had given me this flannel cat fabric a while back and when I was working on my cousin's sofa pillows today, I thought... why not use that for the ferals' box... might make it a little warmer?

flannel pillowcase

As for the other projects, I'm still working on those...

sofa pillow - not quilted yet

3 of 4 cheeky chickens sculptured in clay

I have to tell you a funny story... actually not that funny.... you probably had to be there. Before we got up this morning, I was telling DH about the strange dream I had just had. It involved many of my family and a few friends and really had no 'plot' as such... I just saw many people (some not with us anymore and some who are) all milling around looking at old photographs. One of the photos made me teary and the next thing I knew my mom and I were in St. Louis Cathedral (which is the cathedral in Jackson Square in the French Quarter). Telling DH the story I said, ... "as we walked in, I noticed that Julie was there".  As I said this, DH exclaimed, "The cat!!"... and I burst out laughing... couldn't stop... had tears running down my face. "No... not the cat! My sister's best friend."  Not that funny a story I know, but it's been a long time since I've had such a good laugh so early in the morning... and I kept picturing the cat in the cathedral.

Oh, another surprise I had later in the day - we took down the Christmas tree and all the Christmassy stuff in the den. I left the rest up in the front room as I figured that if we're stuck in the house by the fireplace all week due to the weather , I'd like to enjoy the coziness of Christmas a bit longer.  Well, later when I was working on something in our computer room, I turned around to find this.

Tux had climbed into one of the wreaths we'd taken down

Wouldn't that make a good Christmas card? (maybe next year...)
I laughed, took a picture, and went back to what I was doing. Later, I found him asleep in the wreath.

Tux asleep

Cats are so funny. What would we do without them?

Monday, January 1, 2018

the new year cometh...

piecing strips 

I'm starting this post on Saturday, but plan to continue writing on it Sunday and Monday too. It's too cold outside to venture out, so DH is watching soccer while I work on some quilted pillow covers for my cousin in New Orleans' new sofa. I've finished piecing 3 of the 4  sides for 2 pillows and will start on adding the batting next. 

The temps are in the 30's, but are supposed to go down to the teens and 20's for the next few days. I know this is not that awful for those of you up North who are really feeling the arctic freeze, but it's way too cold for us. DH says that when he ran off to the store this morning to pick up a few things, it was bedlam there... with people scrounging for things like we were in for a winter siege. I don't imagine it will last long - as it usually doesn't. As long as we have coffee, hot soup, and a fireplace, I'm good.

If I get tired of quilting, there's always clay projects. I need to refill my stock of  Cheeky Chickens and of course play around with the new computer to get familiar with Windows 10 and all the other things it does. DH set up the new Epson printer... so we can print again!

Ghost lying by Aga

Julie and Tux

The inside cats are comfy either lying by the Aga or on our bed...  at the moment. 

The new computer has a stylus... or pen to write on the screen. I've been practicing how to use it - although the main reason I wanted it was to proof my writing right on the screen and not have to print it out first. Anyway, so far this is all I've done...

I gave our grand daughter mouse ears and whiskers!

It's now Sunday and DH and I just had some home-made eggnog with just a touch of bourbon to toast in the New Year... (that is still 3-4 hours away, but it's obvious that I'll never stay awake until the ball comes down). I use my mother-in-law's old recipe for eggnog and we both love it. 

Took a quick pick before we drank it...

by the fire...

It's now Monday morning, January 1, 2018... (rabbit, rabbit rabbit! white rabbit!) It's 14 degrees F here this morning. We had 5 ferals squeezed together into the covered blanketed catbox on the front porch last night and DH opened the garage about a foot so they could use that as shelter also.

Happy 2018 to Everyone!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

time off to recoup...

me with daughter and grand daughter

It's 2 days after Christmas and DH and I are taking time off to recoup. You might wonder why we need to take time off since we're retired, but that's the great part: We can! 

And it's a good system as while everyone else (meaning my kids and their spouses) have to hurry back to their respective homes in order to be at work the next day, we (of the older generation who have already put in all those years of work) can take as much time off as needed to recoup from weeks of cleaning, cooking, and Christmas shopping... which is all great fun and worth the effort to have the family home again for Christmas.

However, we do find that we now need at least a week to rest and recoup - sitting by the fire, reading, finishing up Christmas goodies, etc. before even thinking about 'putting away Christmas'. We will keep all our Christmas decor up with the candles and fires burning through New Year's day.  

We don't party on New Year's Eve. We used to go out to dinner that evening, but since the weather is almost always awful, we stopped doing that. Now we simply make my mother-in-law's wonderful home-made eggnog and either sit by the fire-place and/or watch the crystal ball on TV come down (and that's if we can stay awake that long). 

New Year's day I always cook the traditional pork roast, cabbage, and black eyed peas!  Then, once 2018 is officially here, we will start taking down Christmas.

I also have a cute little Christmas story to tell involving our outside feral cats. Actually, it's cute but tragic and magical all at the same time. We have a mama cat that brought her 2 kittens to our yard a few weeks ago. These kittens weren't tiny, but maybe about 8 weeks of age when they appeared with her. 

We were amazed at how good a mother she was as she watched these 2 rambunctious kittens like a hawk... went after them if they ever ventured too far from her and had them by her side each night under the heat lamp.

Well... about a week ago, we found her howling one morning and carrying on and no kittens in sight. She carried on this way for days, searching up and down the front, back, and sides of the house, even going off by the creek in the back. We felt so bad for her... worrying that the worst had happened (there are coyotes about).  But she continued to search. I secretly prayed that she would find them as it broke my heart to see her so distraught.

Well, lo and behold... but on Christmas morning she returned to our backyard with one in tow! We were amazed and overjoyed. She spent the day cleaning and caring for this precious kitten (whom we assume was one of hers... unless she found herself another while searching for her own???) Whatever the case, both mama and baby are extremely happy. DH and I call it our Christmas miracle.

That's my bit for the week. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas (and most did from the blogs I've read).  I'm going to close now with a few pics of Christmas at our house.  There was so much going on that I forgot to take a family pic... but did get a few shots here and there.

Oldest grand daughter with DH

Youngest  grand daugher!

Wishing everyone a very Safe Happy 2018!

Friday, December 22, 2017

last post before Christmas...

Christmas baking

Sorting Christmas goodies (see cat in background?)

Last few days of baking Christmas goodies to sort and mail, etc. As you can see, Julie is off the counter and on the side table sulking as her place on the counter has been taken over... 

Family will be coming in tomorrow and hopefully all will be ready. There's still cooking to do for Christmas dinner, but I plan to do some of that today and freeze it. I've already a cheesecake and an apple pie in the freezer as well as rum cakes for everyone to take home.

We're very happy with the postal department this year as everyone has received the packages sent already... even those sent out just this week.

Grand daughter who just made 5 had her Christmas dance recital this past Sunday. She was a Christmas mouse.  It's difficult to see her on stage, but she's the little mouse directly in the middle.

The one in the front row looking up and leaning to the side... 3rd to the right of the lady's back

And lastly I need to show you the lovely vase and toothpick holder that Linda Starr from Blue Starr Gallery sent me. We did a swap for a bit of Christmas fun. Thank you, Linda. I love the pieces you sent.

New vase and toothpick holder in our chicken yard

I plan to find a more suitable place for these new pieces after Christmas, but for the moment this is the safe top shelf on my bookcase away from curious little fingers and playful cat paws.

Also found these cute wooden Christmas trees at Michael's yesterday (at 70% off!). They made a great addition to the fireplace mantel since we didn't get out in time to purchase a fresh garland this year. 

wood Christmas trees that light up with deer in front

Well, time is running out and there's a million things (maybe not a million...) to do in these last few days. So I want to wish all of you and your families a very very happy, safe, and  
Merry Christmas!

From the cats too!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

great soup and an adorable kitten...

African Chicken Peanut soup

This soup is so good and so easy to make that we make it every winter when we need a nice hearty soup with lots of chicken, sweet potatoes, and black beans... (and the secret ingredient is peanut butter).

Christmas is only a week away and while all shopping has pretty much been done, there are still last minute things that need doing. Today I finished the Christmas cookies and candies that need to be mailed tomorrow. Then I can start on the ones that will be needed here at home. 

And today DH and I went to Best Buy and updated our very old dinosaur (computer). Ours still works. It's a desktop that still uses Vista. But since many no longer support Vista, we decided it was time. However, moving from Vista to Windows 10 (and all that comes with that) is not easy. We're going from Word 2007 to Word 2016... and after going through the Tutorial - think I'd better go out and get "Word 2016 for dummies" or this could take forever.

You really can't let technology get too far ahead of you as it becomes almost impossible to catch up. We try to keep up and do use our computer and iPhones - but the truth is, they can probably do more than we'll ever know. It amazes me that even after using a cell phone for all these years, people (usually kids or grandkids) can still show me how to do something that I had no idea it could do.

But since they say 'continuing to learn something new' is good for our brains, I'm happy to keep learning.

Going to close with a picture of a kitten that someone posted on Facebook the other day.  They were asking for a caption and I submitted my own. But the picture is so touching, that it stands by itself.

my caption: "You're leaving...?? You're really leaving....??"

Have a great week and a wonderful safe holiday season!