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Friday, May 14, 2021

What???

What is going on with blogger?  My last post just disappeared? And there were 3 comments already on it...  

Mother's Day treats, plants, and face masks






Received this hummingbird mobile from son for Mother's Day. It has both a battery as well as a solar panel and lights up in the dark. We have it hanging in the tree out front... should be interesting to those who jog at night.


cute mugs


As for plants, we haven't been to a nursery (or anywhere else for that matter) in over a year, so I finally felt the urge to get some hanging plants for the area around the front porch. I usually do hanging 'herbs', but am willing to see what is available these days. I ended up with some trailing rosemary and a Maidenhair fern... and DH bought a Gardenia bush.

The mint  has taken over the ground cover in some areas around our house. I love the way it looks when it is so green and healthy. DH uses it in his sweet tea, but it also makes this wonderful aroma when the wind blows on the front porch.




Update on my Spinal Specialist appointment:  
Diagnosis: degeneration of the spine (spinal arthritis - not unusual with age). I knew this, but just wanted him to tell me if I was doing something to cause the problem or if it was just inevitable to crop up on occasion.  I needed to know if it was best to rest and let the area heal or keep moving and not let it stiffen up more?  Apparently I'm not doing anything specific to cause the problem. It comes with age and will probably get worse.  But keeping mobile will help (lack of exercise this past year  probably wasn't good).  He gave me a prescription for 6 weeks of physical therapy after which he wants to see me again. DH and I will also try to up our walking regimen... 

And... I'm making face masks again. Yes, I know they are saying that we may not need them much longer... (or at all), but we intend to wear them for a while yet. Besides, they're kind of fun to make.




Dinosaur mask

Kitten mask


...and I will close here with a pic of 
one of the kittens sleeping on the BBQ pit!





It's TGIF!  Enjoy your weekend! 


Hugs (virtual), 
Rian

Friday, May 7, 2021

Venting... sorry

 



OK, today I'm going to vent!
Skip this post if you'd like. It won't be pretty. But every once in a while something happens that just 'pisses' me off (horrible expression I know - but one I hear a lot). 

This started with a note on the Neighborhood App. (By the way, it wasn't our neighborhood, but still...) It starts with:

"I'm so tired of neighbors' cats roaming the streets and henceforth neighbor's yards."

Apparently she herself owns a cat and only lets it outside while she watches it (which is probably a good practice - not only because of other "neighbors' cats roaming, but also because of feral cats, bobcats, and coyotes which also roam the neighborhood). But she is upset because her cat has now started 'marking her territory' both inside and outside her home... and this is due to the other cats being around.  She goes on to complain about those who leave their garage door open in bad weather, feed feral cats, etc. 

Now I understand that having other animals come into your yard can be an inconvenience. Lots of things are inconvenient. That's life. So no outside or feral animals are allowed in her subdivision? Really? So... if  it has a home, but is left outside to roam, it's owner doesn't love it, or if it's homeless, it doesn't deserve to have shelter or food? I find this hard to understand... only her personal animal is loved because she is a 'responsible owner'? She may be responsible (which is a good thing), but does she only care for her own animal? 

I know I will get a lack of flack over this. And that's OK. I do understand the other side of the issue. I've been in the animal medical business my whole life. And I do know that this is just my opinion. If this political climate has taught me anything, it's taught me that everyone certainly doesn't think like me. This goes for the welfare of animals too.  

If things were ideal, there would be no homeless animals (or homeless people for that matter), but things are not ideal, and we deal with them as best we can... humanely and with compassion. The catch and release program for strays is a great program where the cats are caught, vaccinated, neutered, and released (which by the way wouldn't solve her 'roaming cats' problem). But not all the ferals can be caught... and not all owners wish to keep their cats inside (it is safer - but that's a personal preference). 

In my own mind, there is probably not an answer to some of these problems... except maybe to show a little love and kindness... to others besides your own. 

Enough said. Rant over.




Thanks for letting me have my say (whether you agree with it or not)...


Hugs,

Rian

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

First Communion, Dr. visit, and kittens!

Saturday, May 1st, our grand daughter made her First Communion. She looked so sweet in her white dress and veil.  This was the first time DH and I actually attended a group event in a public place in over a year (I guess you would call a Church a public place?) Anyway, it seemed so strange - even though they took every precaution... seating families together one row apart... and everyone was masked (including the priests).  It felt safe... and when DH offered to take us over to Whataburger after (we hadn't used take-out in all that while either), we agreed. So in a way, it was a ground-breaking day for us.  

(And I do have to say that my tummy was not happy with that non-gluten free meal. But it was a special occasion and I don't regret it.)

This is a busy week (as pandemic weeks go) for us as we had Grand daughter's First Communion Saturday, daughter's birthday Monday, and we have 3 doctor's appointments and several errands to run in the next few days. DH has his Urologist appointment as well as a dental appointment and I have my Spine Specialist appointment.  

*Update:  Just got a call and my Spine Specialist and appointment has been rescheduled to next week as the doctor has surgery tomorrow. This is fine with me as my back is much better, but I will keep the appointment as I need to talk to him and confirm exactly what is going on.


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The mama cat and her kittens are doing fine... enjoying this spring weather (when it's not raining) and frolicking and playing all over the back yard. I have taken several pics and videos of them. They make us laugh - which is a good thing to do these days. We do have a severe weather threat and are under a tornado warning this evening. We always worry about them during this, but at the moment they are all safe on the back porch.  (You may have to click the videos twice)








and lastly... a basket full of kittens:




They sleep all over the back porch, but this is their favorite spot...


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ALSO:

I was listening to the news this morning and they had a Virologist speaking who has studied the Coronavirus for years and he was saying that it's possible that we won't ever hit herd immunity due to the fact that not everyone chooses to be vaccinated.  He considers this a bad decision as he feels that it is possible for us to be rid of the Coronavirus (just as we've been rid of other viruses and diseases), but that the only way is through vaccination... and since everyone does not choose to be vaccinated, we may have to learn to live with the virus. Asked if we would need vaccine boosters at some point... and he said yes. I think he said that studies show that the immunity doesn't last... so yes, it would have to be boostered. 

(This is 'my take' on what I heard... may not be exactly how it was said - but I found it interesting, so thought I'd share.)

And I don't push everyone to get the vaccine - as it is a personal choice. But I have to admit that I do feel more comfortable being around those that have been vaccinated.

That's my 2 cents for the day. I did make Chicken Tetrazzini with white wine this week (forgot to take a pic) - and used my gluten-free spaghetti - and it was great! Everyone liked it as much (if not better) than when made with regular or whole wheat spaghetti. (of course it could have been better also because I put in a little more white wine than I usually do...???)

Well, have a great week! Do something fun, create something new, make someone smile!

Hugs (virtual),

Rian



Friday, April 30, 2021

Good dark chocolate, kittens, and a Berry Custard pie...

When our daughter drove in last weekend, she brought some bars of dark chocolate with her (bless her... we love dark chocolate). This is a picture of one of the bars:




And I have to say that this is really good dark chocolate. It's 70% and that's about the highest percentage I enjoy. Once you get past that, it can be a bit too bitter for me. But this one has a good buttery taste and although slightly bitter for those who might not like to go there, I think it's pretty great. Just thought I'd share. The bars are a little expensive (somewhere between $12 and $20 each - but then it's not the type of bar that you would eat right off... just take a small piece every day or so).

I guess I think of really good dark chocolate like really good coffee or even good whiskey... in that you don't eat or drink it right down, but savor it. 


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Some pics of the kittens sleeping. Three are in the basket and the one little Siamese looking one is sleeping under the birdcage.




 
Next are some videos of mama nursing the 4 kittens. She sits upright to do this.. maybe because they are getting big. 





She is an awesome mama... watches over them constantly while they play, still nurses them although they do eat from the outside bowls, and cleans them while nursing.


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My back is still giving me trouble. It's not something I can't deal with - as I do think it's my Spinal Arthritis - which is going to act up occasionally. However, it's going on 2 weeks now. One day it seems better, then it comes back. So I have made an appointment with my Spinal Specialist next week to see if he has anything else he can tell me.


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Planning on making a blueberry/strawberry custard pie this afternoon. Will post a pic when done!






Done! I  usually make plain custard pie... but occasionally add berries or apples and cinnamon... (sometimes fresh pumpkin around Halloween). But we love custard pie...  (and I added a little 10X sugar on the top 'for the pic'... was going to add whipped cream, but the pie was still too hot.) We shall have this with our tea/coffee this afternoon (you are all invited).

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! We are getting lots of rain these last few days, and apparently some areas got huge hail... golf ball and tennis ball size... so there's damage to roofs and cars. Luckily our area hasn't had that. I don't mind the rain or even the overcast skies. It's cool (high 60's, low 70's) and we have the windows open enjoying the fresh air.

Hugs (virtual), 
Rian


Friday, April 23, 2021

a mixed bag...

OK, this is a very mixed bag...  (or should I say mixed blog)... and possibly of little interest, but it is what it is.


Naan bread


This time my Naan bread came out pretty good. I will post the recipe here. It's pretty simple:

Almond Flour Naan Bread


Ingredients:

1 cup almond flour

1/3 cup flour ( I used King Arthur's non-gluten measure for measure)

1/4 cup Greek Yogurt ( I used sour cream... can't have yogurt)

1/4 tsp salt

pinch sugar

Instructions:

Mix together almond flour, flour, salt, and sugar

Add the yogurt(sour cream) and stir until dough forms

(add more yogurt/sour cream or water if too dry)

Divide into 6 balls

Roll dough out thin between parchment paper

Spray griddle

Cook until slightly browned on each side


Since I only wanted 3 pieces, not 6 - I halved the recipe and it came out fine. I used unsalted butter on mine, but you can put anything you want on it... cheese, tomatoes, garlic butter, etc.


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I like this photo of our grand daughter at Dinosaur Valley State Park taken a few weeks ago.

We picked her up at school yesterday... and got to spend some time together. Since we are all vaccinated and stayed masked, it was great. I sure have missed her this past year.  But her mom (who is a nurse) said that we need to stay vigilant... as they have some patients in the hospital now that had both vacs and still came down with Covid due to thinking they were safe and no longer masked or followed recommended procedures.


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More pics of kittens playing:






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And I've finally started taking down Easter.  Yes, I know I'm late, but I like Easter decorations. I generally pull all I can find and put on table in front room before putting everything away for another year.







This little teapot and cup/saucer I bought at Harrod's years ago



and this last tea set is one we gave my mother-in-law and it came back to me after she passed. My daughter has dibs on it now...



(I'm also cleaning and dusting my China cabinet today)

And that's it! 

For those interested, my back is better. I can still feel a twinge on occasion, but it seems to be on the mend. 

Take care, stay safe... enjoy this spring weather, but don't let your guard down just yet. We may be seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, but we haven't reached it yet. 

Hugs (still virtual),
Rian

Saturday, April 17, 2021

down in the back again...

 



About 2 years ago, I had a bad back incident. Never really knew what brought it on, but suspected I had twisted it trying to see around a corner while driving, but never really knew how it happened. But I basically couldn't walk for about a week. Well, I've done it again... and don't have any idea how or when this time. It isn't quite as bad since I can still walk (with a brace and slowly), but haven't had to see a doctor yet. 

My back started feeling a little odd Thursday evening when I got up from the sofa. It's the middle of my lower back.  And now it's continued through Friday and into Saturday... worse if I sit for a while and then try to get up. The brace is one of those sacro belts that are elastic and fit around your lower hips and connect with very strong velcro. It does help. 

Anyway, just thought I'd share. Could be it's just one of those 'perks' of old age. Who knows?  (BTW, those long things with pinchers on the end - do they have a name? They sure do come in handy when you can't bend to pick up something. Every house-hold should have one of those... just in case)


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It's cool this morning here in North Texas... in the middle or high 40's I think. We've had a lot of rain lately, but really needed it... mostly rain so far, nothing severe. 

There are 4 outside feral cats sleeping together in one basket out back. DH just came to tell me. We have one that loves that basket and is always in it... and sometimes he shares it with another. This morning there are 4 squished inside it... guessing they must be feeling the damp.


lone cat in favorite basket


I didn't get a pic of all 4 in the basket as if one sees me, he will run... and then all will run because he ran. Did not want to disturb them. They looked very comfy... although squashed.


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Question:  Have any of you out there used coconut oil... either for cooking or skin or whatever?  I have a friend that swears by it for both... and some of my non-gluten recipes use it.  

I did buy some, organic virgin coconut oil from Central Market (owned by HEB). And I haven't used it for cooking yet, but have been trying it on my skin. Too soon to notice if it does anything, but does smell good... reminds me of Hawaii and the beach.

She also uses Dr. Bonner's castile soap for a lot of things too (refuses to use anything with chemicals - wants all natural) She uses almond, but there are other fragrances. Anyone use this? 

Well, that's my 2 cents for the day. We haven't been anywhere or done anything worth mentioning... so, no fun pics to show. 

I did try to make Naan bread the other day (with almond flour). It tasted good, but was kind of crumbly?  I used a recipe that didn't require yeast and  I trimmed down the recipe so it wouldn't make a lot...  (and possibly I got the amounts wrong). I only wanted to use 1 cup of almond flour, so I 'calculated' what the other amounts should be. But I'll try again next week.

Thanks for reading this far. It's not a terribly interesting post. But hey, it's all I've got for today.

Hugs (virtual),
Rian