Monday, February 29, 2016

Leap Day... Feb 29, 2016

Happy Leap Day!

There's not a lot going on today, but DH and I walked this morning, then stopped by Chuy's for lunch. After that, we headed to Pet's Mart to try to find something to cut Rose's mats out. Yes, Rose is still with us. She has her good days and bad days, but in general seems to be content. But she does have mats. Normally we would take her to the Vet and have them shave her, but they have to anesthetize her to do that, and at her age, we're not willing to do this. I have tried using a scissors, but they are so close to her skin that I can't get all of them out... and even at this stage... she isn't very co-operative. Well, we bought this weird comb/razor type thing that we will try. Here's a picture of it. 

dematting blade

We will give it a try when she's in a sleepy mood.  Tried when we first got home and she would have none of it.

The other thing that was going on today was my 3 year old grand daughter sewed a catnip toy for our cats. Her mom sews very well and also quilts beautifully and she likes to sit on her mom's lap and sew herself. Anyway, she had given me the toy a few days ago and I had put it in my pocket and forgotten about it. I remembered this morning and took it out - throwing it on the floor to our cats. Julie got to it first and wouldn't let it go.

Julie with catnip toy

Then Tux took it away from Julie... and finally Ghost got hold of it.

Ghost with catnip toy

That's when things got interesting. Tux tried to take it from Ghost, but she refused to give it up... growled and kept him at a stand-off. Finally we took it away from all of them until grand daughter can make a few more.

Nothing much new otherwise. Visited at both our sons' houses this week and enjoyed it very much. Love being with all of them. Grandkids are growing up way too fast. Hope we get to visit daughter's place in the Hill Country this Spring. Love going there also. 

Made a few more clay critters ... more chickens... these are a little larger than the other ones, and a blue bunny?  I'm working on another fox, but he's still in the creative process of becoming a fox. 

You probably can't tell these chickens are larger...

Here are the larger ones (before underglaze)  next to the first ones I'd made


my silly blue bunny waiting for underglaze to dry...

original critters still in kiln at studio for final firing

Tomorrow is Super Tuesday. Voting for the Primaries in here in Texas. DH and I did the early voting, so nothing for us to do but wait and see.

It will be what it will be... (and heaven help us all)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

a few of my favorites pics...

Julie in her comfort zone

about 3 years ago... (when we were 7 ?)

a favorite spot by the Aga

I was going through some of our pics on the computer this morning and came across these. Forgive me if I've posted them before at some point, but I like looking at these. They make me smile...

Rose (white) is still with us. She gave us quite a scare last week. She was suddenly too weak to walk, slept all day by the warm Aga, and although she did drink a little water, refused to eat for about 3 days. We really thought her time had come. However, after the 3rd day, she started licking a little food, walking (wobbly but walking), and has gradually returned to her old self... which at 22 isn't terribly active, but definitely better than last week. So I guess she's decided to stay with us a bit longer. The other cats seemed to be aware that she was having problems and stayed close by her... and she seemed to take comfort in this (even though she's never been an extremely friendly cat, I think she enjoyed this extra attention).

Oh, and I have to mention something awful that happened yesterday. DH was putting some things in the sink when out of the blue I heard him yell... "No! No!No! No!"... and then I heard the door to the yard slam shut. I ran to the kitchen and saw him running down the area towards the creek. Apparently a large coyote had suddenly jumped out of the bushes and taken off with one of the feral kittens in its mouth. He wasn't a young kitten, probably about 8 months old, long haired black and grey. We have a 6 foot fence, but this coyote was large and jumped it easily. We reported it to Animal Control and they promised to put out more traps, but apparently the coyote and bobcat sightings in our area have been too numerous to control. We know it's the way of nature, but still it was sad.

I also have to confess that I'm playing hooky today from my exercise class. Didn't have it in me this morning. Even though it's specifically for 50 and over, our instructor really works us hard and I come away sweating like a pig (my mama would die if she heard me say that... she always said, "women don't sweat, they perspire...") But DH and I walked all day Sunday on the property in Weatherford, TX where our grand daughter was participating in a cross-country event. And we walked again at the mall yesterday! I know that's not a  lot, but sometimes I just need a time-out. 

As for the cross-country event, both our grand daughter and her horse did really well. Tootsie (her horse) didn't refuse a single jump or water hazard. They really looked good out there. 

Luckily for all of us, the weather was overcast and cool. So following the horses from one set of obstacles to another was easy. Some rode in their trucks or 4 wheelers and offered us a ride, but we decided walking was fine. And it was great spending some time with daughter and grand daughter!

Forgive me if I haven't commented much lately. We've been a bit busy and worried about Rose. I will use today to try to catch up on my blog reading.

And lastly, I tried 2 recipes that I found on Pinterest that we really enjoyed:

Sweet Corn Spoonbread

This recipe I will make again... so moist and good. I like cornbread, but occasionally find it dry. This was perfect.

if you like lemon, you will love this...

I'm not a big lemon fan, but DH and a good friend of mine are... so I tried this. It was very good. Will I try it again? Only if someone asks for it. I prefer chocolate myself.

Have a great week... it's only Tuesday... so do something fun this week or try something new

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


Rose is about 22 years old in people years. This is over 100 in cat years if you go by the charts. Rose came to us in 2001 (Vet looked at her teeth and said that she was about 7 at that time). She appeared in our Rose Garden... and stayed. For a while she was an inside/outside cat, but when she came home with a broken leg from a dog bite, she became inside only as were our other cats. 

We think Rose was abused before she came to us. When we took her to the Vet to be checked out, she had both her front incisors broken. Vet suggested that she had been kicked...?? This might account for the fact that she wasn't a terribly friendly cat... or the fact that she wasn't terribly friendly might have caused someone to do this to her?? Don't know. All we know is that she took a liking to DH and followed him around like a puppy dog. She tolerated the rest of us. But she was never a lap cat and didn't generally like to be petted. Over the years she has mellowed and now does like me to brush her (for a little while anyway).

The reason I'm writing this is that suddenly Rose has taken a turn... and I think she's getting ready to leave us. She has taken to lying next to the Aga (which all the cats do for warmth) all the time. Doesn't move much except to drink a little water that I keep close by. She refused to eat anything today and although she did drink, seems very weak. I brushed her a few times today and she didn't complain. We could take her to the Vet's... but hate to put her through that if it's just her time to go. (They would want to run a bunch of tests - that would cause her more distress which at her age, she doesn't need).   We won't let her suffer. But at the moment, she doesn't seem to be in any discomfit... just weak and sleeping a lot.

DH and I decided to watch her another day.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Pottery projects... spring 2016

My pottery projects this semester consist of baking dishes and more clay critters...

These chickens are still greenware with a little underglaze. They are headed for first firing... (I love chickens!)

resting doggie

sleeping fox
The doggie and the fox are still  'works in progress'... but I don't intend to do much more than add a little color (underglaze) once the clay is dry.  BTW, I used paper clay for these. This is new for me, but I wanted to see if I liked it. So far, so good.

I've done these critters at home. That's why I can take photos and post them. The baking dishes are at the studio. But I will eventually get some pics of them also... that is, if they survive the kiln.

And of course I need to say Happy Valentine's Day to all of you!
Have a wonderful Sunday!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Mardi Gras 2016 is here...

Mardi Gras Float

Marti Gras crowds in French Quarter

Yep! It's Mardi Gras time in New Orleans. There should have been parades all weekend culminating in the ones on Fat Tuesday which is Mardi Gras Day. If the weather is good, the crowds should be spectacular. And sometimes they're spectacular even if the weather is bad. 

I loved Mardi Gras growing up. The parades were fun... yelling "Throw me something, mister!" was what you did... and you always came home with tons of beads and miscellaneous junk. The day parades on the weekend were the best. And Mom and Dad always took us to where the floats lined up by City Park so we got to see them and ask for beads before the parade even began. I only remember going to a night parade once... and didn't care for it. Men were twirling firey torches and to be honest, most of the twirlers didn't seem very sober.

My parents never took us to the French Quarter on Mardi Gras Day. (We did go there to shop, have cafe aulait and beignets, and eat at the wonderful restaurants on other days, but never on Mardi Gras day.) The crowds are too large... and possibly too intoxicated at that time.

Once we were in college, groups of us did go on Mardi Gras day to the Quarter. We'd rope ourselves together so as not to get separated. It was fun... and very educational (meaning you would really see some strange sights!) 

And when our kids were youngsters, we took them back to New Orleans to see the weekend parades.  But now it's been years since we've been to a Mardi Gras. We planned to take the grandkids once, but our plans fell through. Now they're getting old enough to go on their own in a few years. As for me, I no longer care for crowds... possibly never did, but put up with it for that one special day.


Rose sleeping

Had to post this pic of our Rose. She looks so sweet... sleeping peacefully on our bed.  It's a bit deceptive as Rose is anything but sweet. She is the one cat that we don't let the grandkids get too close to. Even though she is 22 and has mellowed a bit, she is still feisty... and a bit unpredictable. But she does look sweet here.

Tux found a sun spot
Now this one is sweet...

(BTW, my cough is still around, but better)

Thursday, February 4, 2016

cats and cat-i-tude...

Ghost was checking out parrot in computer room
Tux and Julie love to go into the computer room.  Ghost just recently decided to start checking it out. Since it is full of paperwork, junk, and grandkids' toys, she is a bit fascinated. Here she was checking out the parrot.

"I will not look at you... get that camera out of my face"

"no... still not looking"

Cats' facial expressions intrigue me. Ghost doesn't have many... and most are grumpy.  I tend to grab my iPhone or camera at all times of the day. The cats are not always happy with this. These two previous ones are her, "I am not amused" faces.

And as mentioned in a previous post, I recently purchased an inexpensive Dell laptop. We keep it in the den and use it occasionally while watching TV. Well, Tux is the only male cat remaining in our house-hold and he has the most 'cat-i-tude'.  He is a good natured cat, but gets his feelings hurt very easily. If he is sitting on my lap and another cat passes by... if I have the audacity to pet them, he is insulted and will get up and leave. If another cat is sitting on my lap, and he wants the spot, he just sits on top of them until they leave. He doesn't like me to knit or read or do anything but pay attention to him during what he considers his time. He will knock my knitting needles away or put his face over the page I'm reading. Well, I was using the laptop and set it aside on the sofa... in it's case. Tux jumped up on the sofa and sat on it. If I was even thinking about using it again, he would give me 'the look'.  Look at these next pictures and you will recognize 'the look'. 

"No, don't even think about it"

"I mean it..."

"not looking at you..."

And yes, they are spoiled.  When you live with cats for 20 or more years, you do communicate in various ways. Both Tux and Julie are very vocal. They yell for what they want... whether it's to get into a particular room (or to get out of a particular room), if they want treats, etc.  Well, Tux loves to drink out of people's glasses.  It's a bad habit... but one we decided we couldn't win, so what's the phrase, 'if you can't beat them, join them'... I started giving Tux his own glass so he would leave mine alone. Now he actually expects it...if we have a glass, he wants his... and asks for it. I fill a water glass and add a few ice-cubes and he's happy. In fact, they all like to drink out of Tux's glass now. There's usually a line awaiting their turn.  Now, this is besides the fact that they have a water bowl in the kitchen and another in the bathroom as well as a kitty water fountain on the floor.... go figure?

"my glass"

"Can I have some?"


Hope you all have a great rest of the week! I've been fighting a croupy cough this week so missed my exercise classes (coughing keeping me awake... but better last night).

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Did I get hacked?

Question: Today sometime around noon, DH got an email saying it was from me using my full name and from a Yahoo iPhone address. First of all, I don't use Yahoo at all, second I never use my full name. So whoever sent it picked up some (but not all) of my contacts and sent out some email?? It was even sent to my own personal old old email address. We didn't open it since it was obviously being hacked or whatever it's called. I immediately sent out a "DO NOT OPEN ANY EMAIL FROM ME THAT HAS A YAHOO ADDRESS"  to the ones that were listed. Hopefully no one opened it.

My question is this: What do I do about it... if anything? Someone told me to change my password. OK... change my password on my AOL email address. That's not what was used. My full name is used on Facebook, but when I checked the info there, they didn't get the email address from there either. Could someone have opened a Yahoo email in my name? And if so, what do I do about it?

Anyway, I'm just curious as to how this was done and why. I can change all my passwords easy enough, but it doesn't seem like this is how it was done. Any suggestions?

Monday, February 1, 2016

quilts, clay pots, and laptop computers...

Working on quilting again...

new puppy quilt

Bottom section sewn, top just laid out

close up of puppy fabric
This is a puppy quilt I'm making for my friend's little dog, Mei. I gave her a puppy quilt for her old dog, Teddie, a while back and he uses it faithfully. Sometimes he shares, sometimes he doesn't. The last pic she sent me of them, Teddie had the quilt and Mei had a towel. So I decided Mei needed her own quilt.  This is also a new (but simple) pattern that I wanted to try. I really like the pastel colors.

Next is just a few basic clay pieces I made in pottery class last week to see if I could still throw after the long holiday. I'm actually working on some casserole dishes this semester... both hand-built as well as thrown. There is a technique I'd like to learn where you throw a round casserole on the wheel and then square it. But I think I may try my hand at a little hand-building this time around... as well as my little animal sculptures.

the small vase, cup, and bowl are mine...

... and lastly, Dell had a simple laptop on sale at Best Buy this week for $199.  DH and I took a look at it today and decided that it would do as a backup computer until our old Dell Desktop crashes - which hopefully won't happen for a year or so yet. Then we plan to get a good laptop to replace it. This one does however, have Windows 10 on it. Our old computer still has Vista... but it works fine... so far.

new Dell

Oh... I also took a 70 Selfie of myself the other day for a friend in N.O.   She and I were room-mates in college and although we don't see each other often, do email regularly and send silly selfies. This one wasn't too bad... most of mine are really funny looking.

She keeps telling me to look up and smile... but when I do, I look like a deer caught in the headlights.

Have a good week!