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Friday, June 28, 2013

Away from my usual blog...


I'll  be at the cove for the next few days... You are welcome to stop by. However,  if you don't find me in the cabin, Toby and I may be out roaming.  But make yourself at home, there's coffee and a few snacks, or feel free to enjoy the beach!

Leave a message in my guest book if you like...

Saturday, June 22, 2013

traveling in my 'mind's eye'...

Friend sent me this of us at The Fish House in Vancouver, BC

I'm sitting here in the computer room this morning (which used to be my daughter's bedroom when she was young) reading blogs.  I have my coffee by my side and since the new grandbaby arrived, the cats are no longer allowed in this room (they are pissed!). This is because it has a daybed in it which they loved to sleep on and get all 'hairy'... and now we use that daybed as a changing table when grandbaby is here... so we try to keep it clean and fresh. The cats, especially Julie, scream, "No fair! We had it first!" But life isn't always fair, and they have many other areas throughout the house in which to sleep.

I was just reading Perpetua's blog about their little cottage in Normandy, France... and I am looking for a word that describes my feelings... one that doesn't sound bad.  "Envious" is the only word I can come up with and that has such a bad connotation.  I wonder which of us hasn't had the desire to own a little cottage in France (or a little place anywhere where you could spend the summers away from your normal life).  I'm from Louisiana originally, and I love Texas, but neither is a good place to be in July and August. People complain about the humidity, but I actually don't mind the humidity (I find it relaxing and compared to New Orleans, Texas humidity is nothing).  But the heat! That's another story. Temps that go over 100 degrees for days on end are too much... and we have a lot of these.

Anyway, I loved reading about Perpetua's little place in France.... and will vicariously enjoy her time there through her blogs. And the watercolor her sister did of the cottage is really wonderful!

And I do have a place to go to that is mine alone.  It's called "Bailey's Cove" and I created it  'in my mind's eye' in September, 2002.  Granted I haven't visited there lately (or blogged about it), but perhaps now is the time. That site is connected to a lot of my old web sites, so you could get lost in past years, but I will go visit there sometime this week (or next week)  and get the Cove updated... so that if you would like to share my 'home away from home' with me, you all are certainly welcome. At the moment - in case you should check it out, the first few days are me 'settling in' more or less with the cats and Toby.  After a while, I mixed the site in with my regular web site so it goes back and forth. I may need to change this and keep the two site separated so that I can continue to use Bailey's Cove as my virtual vacation spot.  I know that perhaps some of you out there are thinking that this woman has lost her mind, but actually creating this place was almost' as much fun as having an actual physical place to visit.

Here is a picture of Bailey's Cove:




I go there when I need time alone.  The cats usually come with me and Toby, my beautiful red Irish Setter, lives there on his own and welcomes us wholeheartedly when we show up at the door.










Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Our 'family of cats'...

This is another post that probably should have been written on  my *Cats, Coffee, and Chocolate* site... but the problem is that I never know exactly what is going to flow from my head into my fingertips when I start writing. And even though I try to 'categorize' the subjects into different blog sites, let's face it,  they are all part of our life...

Walked around the house today taking pictures of our 'family of cats' in their various places.  Thinking about it, they could probably take pictures of DH and I in our favorites spots also...



Molly



Going by age, Molly is the oldest... around 19-20 years. My son found her in an apartment parking lot when she was about 6 - 8 weeks old and brought her over to us.  She is a DSH Tortie, very friendly, and relatively healthy for her age.



Rose

Rose is next oldest... also about 19.  She showed up in our backyard rose garden (hence the name) in 2001.  The Vet said that she was about 7 at the time (had 2 broken eye-teeth - looked like she's been kicked?).  She has a strange disposition. We don't know if her disposition is due to the 'alleged' abuse or if the 'alleged' abuse was due to her disposition.  But whatever the reason, she found a home with us and even though she is not the friendliest cat, she has gotten better over time. I think she's mellowing with age.



Jack

Jack, as I've mentioned before, is the 'heart' of the house-hold.  He is the sweetest most intelligent cat we've ever had (and we've had a lot of cats over the years). His disposition is loving - to all people - and all other critters.  He accepts all and has never met another person or animal he didn't like. He's extremely curious and will follow us or workmen around and watch closely as to what we or they are doing.

He loves to play whether with the other cats or grand kids... or at least he did.  Jack is 9 now, but he was diagnosed with a form of Feline Leukemia when he was 4.  He and his siblings were born in our backyard and taken in when their mama left them on my patio at about 3 weeks old. So he was born outside, but has never set foot out since.  We had them all vaccinated and tested before adding them to our house-hold.  So when he was diagnosed with Leukemia, we were shocked. The only conclusion was that he inherited it from his mom.  The others were all tested again.  All tested negative. He has episodes where his blood count drops dramatically and the Vet tells us that he will not make it.  But he always does.  I am convinced that he pulls through because he knows we all need him. But he doesn't have much energy... so he doesn't play as much as he used to...


Tux (Jack's sibling)


Tux is basically a mama's boy. He spends a lot of time in my lap.  Actually gets very upset if I don't take some time to either sit with him or nap during the day.  He will follow me around crying.   He and Jack are very close... spend a lot of time lying together cleaning each other. Poor Tux has no whiskers because Jack 'cleans' them right off.



Julie (Jack's other sibling)


Julie is a 'little Jack' look alike.  Markings are similar, but she is female and half Jack's size.  Julie has been called many names since her birth, "Monkey Mouse", "Squeaky Toy", and "Julie".  Squeaky Toy is most appropriate as the cat actually squeaks when you pick her up. And she talks non-stop!



Ghost


And last, but by no mean least is Ghost.  Ghost was also born outside and abandoned on my back patio when she was a few weeks old.  She had other siblings that took off when danger approached... loud noises, other animals, etc. But Ghost was obviously a bit 'handicapped'.... she never ran off... just sat there looking around when the others disappeared. DH and I figured that we 'd better take her in or she wouldn't survive.

The Vet agreed that she had some 'problems' as a kitten.  At first he thought she had a form of diabetes... and later decided that she had a genetic kidney problem that wouldn't allow her to live too long. He said for us to make sure that she always had access to water as without it, she would die. She urinates a tremendous amount, but it is very dilute.

We decided to give her free access to water and lots of love.  She is now 5 and although her kidney problem persists, she has done really well.  She is a sweet loving cat.  The reason we named her Ghost is because we have 'shades of gray' slate floors and as a kitten (and sometimes even now), it was difficult to see her.

So that's it - the story of our family of cats. Sometimes I wonder how much simpler life would be  (and the house so much easier to keep clean and fresh) without them, but then I know how much we would miss them.  They give us joy and laughter... and sometimes tears.  But they are a part of our life and we love them.  What else can I say...









Sunday, June 16, 2013

our backyard...

Our backyard is a a constant source of entertainment... whether it be feral cats and their kittens, wild birds, raccoons, possums, etc.   And I have to say that we are a constant source of entertainment for them also... as the outside critters enjoy looking in through the windows and french doors at us.  Not a day goes by that there isn't a little face staring in through the glass watching what 'life on the inside' is like. And I'll be truthful that I'm not sure who have the better life.  One may offset the other.  Our inside cats are safe from predators, disease, and cars... but they don't have the freedom and the joy of mingling with nature that the outside critters have.  However, they generally live longer lives... but possibly not as full. Which is best? I wouldn't begin to guess.


handsome crow


raccoons coming out of 'magic rabbit hole'




You need to click on this second picture to see what we call *the magic rabbit hole* from which all critters emerge.  My grand daughter once crawled down this herself and said it was pretty neat down there.

This particular mama raccoon has 5 babies and one is a runt.  He was so-oo tiny for a while, but seems to be getting bigger each day now.


the runt


She brings her kits up at least twice a day to eat, play around in the kitty pool or water bucket, and relax.  The youngsters want to play with the black and white kittens, but the mama cat won't allow it.  She hustles her kittens off to the side or steps in between them if the raccoon babies or mama get too close.

Now on to another subject.  When I got up this morning, it is my normal daily routine to say good morning to all the cats that have gathered in the kitchen by the Aga awaiting breakfast.  I sit on the floor with them, pet them, and give them all a little attention. Then I get up, give them each a treat, and make my coffee. DH will feed them in a few minutes. So I then take my coffee and head for one of 3 places; the den to watch the news (weather mostly), the front porch to sit out there and drink my coffee while watching 'the joggers' and 'walkers', or the computer room where I catch up on my blog reading.

This morning I happened to turn on the TV (it being Sunday) in order to "record" the Sunday night BBC Comedies that I enjoy (As Time Goes By and Goodnight Sweetheart). I record them since they come on so late... that on occasion I fall asleep and miss them.  Anyway, this morning when I turned on Public Television, Dr. Wayne Dyers was on giving a talk.  I don't generally listen to talks on TV, but I have read a few of Dr. Dyers books and do like his way of thinking, so I listened.

It was definitely interesting.  He talked about the importance of our *imagination*.  Something I strongly agree with. And he said something that I will remember... even though my subconscious mind is aware of this, my conscious mind tends to forget... "Don't let any one's good intentions or opinions affect your imagination."

He also said (and I'm paraphrasing) to use imagination like 'currency'.... to purchase what you want from life. Assume the feeling of your wish fulfilled. Feel it!

  Feel the *I am's*.

I am WELL!

I am CONTENT!

I am GRATEFUL!

I am LOVED!


So I will leave you with this thought.  Have a wonderful Sunday! And Happy Father's Day to all you fathers out there!






















Wednesday, June 12, 2013

memories...

As some of you may remember, when I went on the Alaskan Cruise in April, I *missed* my 50th High School Reunion in New Orleans.  Well, recently I was mailed a CD and a booklet made up of photos and updates (past and present) of my classmates.  I'm extremely appreciative to receive this since I was unable to attend, and have enjoyed both 'remembering' and 'catching up' with long lost friends.

This photo was in the CD along with many others, but it brought back memories that I had forgotten.  We did a talent show skit (no talent necessary really) where we sang, "Buttons and Bows."  It really was fun to do... and now to see how *young* we were! Lyrics follow for those who never heard of this song.




I'm second to the left... cowboy with bangs
(St. Mary's Dominican High was an all girl school taught by Dominican Nuns)



Buttons and Bows

Songwriters: EVANS/LIVINGSTON
East is east and west is west
And the wrong one I have chose
Let's go where I'll keep on wearin'
Those frills and flowers and buttons and bows
Rings and things and buttons and bows

Don't bury me in this prairie
Take me where the cement grows
Let's move down to some big town
Where they love a gal by the cut o' her clothes
And I'll stand out in buttons and bows

I'll love you in buckskin
Or skirts that I've homespun
But I'll love ya' longer, stronger where
Yer friends don't tote a gun
My bones denounce the buckboard bounce
And the cactus hurts my toes
Let's vamoose where gals keep usin'
Those silks and satins and linen that shows
And I'm all yours in buttons and bows

Let's go where I'll keep on wearin'
Those frills, flowers, buttons and bows
Rings, things, buttons and bows

Let's move down to some big town
Where they love a gal by the cut o' her clothes
And I'll stand out in buttons and bows

I'll love you in buckskin
Or skirts that I've homespun
But I'll love ya' longer, stronger where
Yer friends don't tote a gun

My bones denounce the buckboard bounce
And the cactus hurts my toes
Let's vamoose where gals keep usin'
Those silks and satins and linen that shows
And I'm all yours in buttons and bows

Gimme eastern trimmin' where women are women
With French perfume that rocks the room
High silk hose and peek-a-boo clothes
You're all mine and I'm all yours in buttons
Buttons
Buttons and bows
Buttons and bows
Buttons and bows
 ... and I'm sure that you can find it sung on YouTube also... usually done by Bob Hope, Roy Rogers, Gene Audrey, or Dinah Shore.

Sorry, I hope I didn't bore you here.  But I was so surprised to see this photo that I had to save it for posterity.



Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Kittens and turtles... and Ghost
















Aren't they sweet? The little black and white kittens are beginning to spend time on the back porch and eat out of the adult cat dishes now.  One is a lot braver than the others and comes around on his own.  This morning he was playing in the back and came across a  box turtle. It was funny as he slowly followed the turtle until it stopped to eat some dry cat food.

When I went out to check on the ID of the turtle (to see if it was one of our 'marked' ones), the kitten ran off.  But it wasn't a marked one.  This one was smaller and probably a male.  (I marked him and took a picture of his shell.)
                                                                                                     
                                                                                                     

Smaller,  male? (more Ca marks on shell)
larger, female? (not many Ca marks on shell)



I just added the picture of Ghost in the upper right corner of this blog.  She and I had an 'altercation' the other night.  Rose and Ghost are the two cats that go into our bedroom and sleep with DH and myself at night. Well, for whatever reason, Ghost did not want to go to bed... and gave me the 'run around'.  When I finally got hold of her, she was hissing and spitting, and was totally 'unglued'.  Why? I don't know. Possibly she is a creature of habit and it's normally DH's habit to *herd* these two cats to bed around 9 or 10 PM.  Well, he was in Louisiana and so the job fell to me.  Apparently she didn't like this new arrangement... and was totally pissed. She refused to sleep with me and wouldn't even come out of the room for about 24 hours. I kept telling her that she needed to 'get over it' ... and she finally did.  But this is a picture of Ghost's face when she is not happy (actually this is a picture of her face even when she is happy.... only subtle difference is that she does purr when she's content).  She slept with me and purred last night.















Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sweet Tea... and MIL's 'Midnight Rose'

I'm enjoying DH's home-made Minted Sweet Tea while I write this.  He makes the best Iced Sweet Tea in the world... or so our family and friends' say.  It is good.  My daughter makes iced tea a lot too, and hers is good... just a little different (maybe not as strong). But the first thing any of our kids want when they come home is Dad's tea.

So yes, DH is back from his trip to visit with his mom.  She is doing well, but he still makes us laugh with the stories he brings back. (I'm sure my kids will do the same). He also brought back her Royal Albert China Tea Service.  We had given her that years ago because she liked China and she and I liked to have 'tea' together.  And she's been *trying* to return it to me for several years. (I kept putting her off).  Anyway, I guess because DH was there alone, she got him to pack it up and take it to me... saying she has no use for it anymore and she wanted me to have it. It's beautiful and I love it... just wanted her to enjoy it a while longer.


Midnight Rose by Royal Albert


She also returned the crystal water carafe and cup that we gave her. I doubt if she ever even used this.  But I thought it would be nice for her to keep water by her bedside.  So I will use both these things and think of her. (Hopefully my cats will allow the water carafe  to sit on my night table without getting too playful with it.)



water carafe

And lastly for this post, I came across this cat cartoon the other day.  Can't remember where, but it made me laugh...




Now for it to be appropriate for me, it should have a bunch of nursing mama cats with their babies tagging along behind...


Happy Sunday!





Friday, June 7, 2013

Crazy week... so I'm making cookies :)

This has been one of those crazy weeks.  One son out of town from Sat until Tues. Another son out of town Tues thru Thurs. And DH out of town from Wed thru Saturday.  Sons off on business, but DH off to spend a few days with his mom down in Baton Rouge, LA.  We would have both went, but as it happened, Grandson was still in school with Dad out of town, so I stayed to do the "to school and from school" run.  We enjoyed it.  He and I went out to eat and got to talk about "stuff".

MIL is 95, still lives by herself (although there is family close by).  I love to visit her as she is another cat lover and lives on 15 acres.  As it happened, family members in BR all needed to be out of town this past week also... so DH went down to stay for a bit.  Actually she does pretty well on her own, but this last year has been a little hard on her.  They have talked about moving her into a nice assisted living place - and she has visited there - but she's not sure about it (and I can understand that).

Anyway, since I had the house to myself most of the week, I took the opportunity to clean out some areas that needed cleaning.  I also took the 2 little kittens to the Adoption Center where they immediately vaccinated them and put them into the Adoption room.  I had kept them clean and groomed, well fed, and friendly, so they shouldn't have any problem getting homes.  And if I keep them too long I start to get attached.... it's not hard looking into those trusting little faces.

So I steam cleaned the bathroom floors, washed all the 'kitty blankets' that we have around the house, comet-ed and Clorox-ed all my counter tops, etc.  It's amazing what you can do when you don't have to cook or run errands, or do things for other people.  I even got in a nap one or two days... and met a friend for coffee!

Now I'm making Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies!


Julie's helping

Actually I'm making Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Snickerdoodles... as I added Cinnamon Sugar on top.
I mean, really, it can't be bad, ya think?





















Oh, one more thing... Got a video (granted not a great one as it's through the French Doors) of the outside black and white kittens cavorting on the back patio.  They are playing in a basket... can you see them?




video


Have a wonderful weekend!



Thursday, June 6, 2013

funny cat photos...

"Hm-mm, not much plot... "


"Next car... this elevator rug is full."

"If I just had another arm..."

"Oh drat! they found my quiet place."


"Is this my bunny?"



" Look into my eyes... 'you will take me home' !"


"It's a fashion statement."


"How many of us do you think we can fit in here?"






The End








Tuesday, June 4, 2013

New babies are everywhere...

Box turtle eating strawberries
When DH went out to mow the lawn this morning, he came in with this little fellow... one of our yard turtles... but this one wasn't marked.  I try to put a small red mark (nail polish) to identify the ones that turn up often. This one had no mark.  It's a fairly good size, so I'm suspecting that it's a female. Usually the males are a bit smaller. Anyway, we took her to a safe place in the back and gave her some strawberries.  They love strawberries and figs.

I also have a video to show you that my son took in the yard either last night or early this morning. Our mama raccoon apparently has decided to bring her 5 or 6 baby coons to eat with her at the local diner... aka:  our feral cats' dishes.




video




And the two little black kittens we took inside are all doing well.  They are eating on their own and are friendly enough to go to the Adoption Center soon.  They now hear my voice and come running, climb up on my lap and purr.   I keep telling them that I love them and their mommy loves them, but they have an adventure to go on...  and they must be brave.

On a different subject... I made a buttermilk peach pie this week with fresh peaches from Hamm's Peach Orchard.  It was so-oo good.  I've made buttermilk pies before... as well as peach pies, peach torte, peach cobbler, etc.  But this was a recipe in the newspaper for a 'buttermilk peach pie'.

We go to Ham's Orchard in Terrill, Texas twice every summer.  They open from May 15th to August 15th. Usually we hit them in May and then again in August.  DH's brother and his wife always come up to Dallas for the August hit.  They fill their portable cooler with fresh peach ice-cream.  We love the home-made peach ice-cream also, but we pick up other stuff too like: fresh peaches, frozen home-made peach cobbler, peach salsa, and an assortment of other things made from peaches.  They also carry fresh blackberries, blackberry cobbler, blueberries, strawberries, and even local pecans and veggies (onions, tomatoes, okra, etc.).   Oh... and they have a special "dark chocolate fudge pie" that is delicious. When you heat it just a little the chocolate inside melts... yum!












Sunday, June 2, 2013

Ketchikan, Alaska... last stop on Alaskan Cruise

View coming into Ketchikan


There's an eagle flying up there. Can you see it?



View of Ketchikan from the ship





















This next picture is what we had for lunch in Ketchikan.  We ate some fabulous seafood in Alaska, but until we arrived at Ketchikan, we hadn't yet had any Dungeness crab. Now let me tell you that when I was growing up in New Orleans, Dad would take us out every Friday night to have boiled crabs at Fitzgerald's on the lakefront (this was back in the day when Catholics weren't allowed to eat meat on Fridays). Anyway, since DH and I married and moved away I haven't eaten much crab.  Mama taught us that seafood should always be eaten fresh... and that meant 'out of the water' and 'into the pot' - now flown in or frozen, etc.

But I digress...  what I wanted to mention was that I soon realized 2 things; one - I still loved crab, and two - I hadn't lost the ability to remove the entire section of meat from the crab claw in one piece! Ta da!!



Beautiful!!