Sunday, August 30, 2015

Friday night with the boys...

This past Friday DH and I joined our oldest son's family to watch the first high school football game of the season. Unfortunately our team didn't win, but it was fun non-the-less. With one grandson (16) in the marching band, one grandson (if he will allow us to call him that - 17) on the football team, and one grandson (8) in the stands with us, it can be quite exciting no matter what the score!

However, this post is written upon the request of my 8 year old grandson. We (for whatever reason) got to talking about all kinds of things during the game... one of which was "blogs". Apparently he had seen my blogs and had some comments on their contents. And he wasn't kidding about seeing them as he actually recited the titles to 3 of them. I was impressed. I don't imagine I have many followers, but it always amazes me when someone notices (even an 8 year old).

One of his main concerns was that although I have some pictures of him scattered about... along with his other cousins, I hadn't written much about him. I explained this was because although the blog is personal, I try not to put too much "personal" information into it. Mind you, I do put my own personal thoughts out there for all to see, but don't go much into commentaries about friends and family. He caught me in this saying that I had written some about his youngest cousin, my youngest grand daughter who is 2. Ah yes, I explained, I have done that, but beings she's too young to care that I've written something about her... makes it safe, whereas I may write something about one of you older ones and it may make you mad at me. Thus, I don't say too much. But I do post your adorable pics!

Well, he promised me that he wouldn't get mad if I wrote about him. So, this is me writing about my youngest grandson (without divulging too much personal info). He's 8 years old, smart, extremely handsome, and has a very inquisitive mind. He has always taken a strong interest in numbers and computers and immensely enjoys watching soccer games! Although he may enjoy other foods, I know his favorites to be hot dogs, hamburgers, and pizza - not necessarily in that order.

Here's one of my favorite pics!

And another!

And a more recent one taken this summer with his brother!

Handsome devils, aren't they?

Sunday, August 23, 2015

past and present...

The lines " I wish I knew the people..." words haunt me these days.
My Genealogy class starts in September. I'm really looking forward to it. I wrote a post on "My Mulberry Days"  ("I never knew them") last week about this. You can go there is this is of any interest to you.

And returning to the present... school starts tomorrow here in Texas! And the weather is a tiny bit cooler... 74 F this Sunday morning!  (And the forecast is for possible rain today and tomorrow)

Worked on a strange small cat quilt this weekend. I read about doing a kind of 'backwards quilt' where you sew the wrong sides together and end up with fuzzy material between the pieces. I did it but did it wrong as I cut the fabric between the pieces too short... and was supposed to cut them vertically 1/4 inch apart (so they would *bloom* upon washing), but instead cut them horizontally too short... so I didn't get the fuzzies like I wanted. But I did learn by my mistake.  Anyway, here's what it looks like... a bit strange... but I kind of like it (and the cats don't seem to care).

A while back I re-arranged the bookcase in what used to be the dining room and is now the grandkids' game room. The cabinet was previously full of books, toys, and games. However... more space for pottery pieces was needed, so I decided to share the cabinet with the kids. Now some of my pottery is on the top 2 shelves and their books and games take up the bottom 2.  

These on the top shelf are some pieces I did this summer. The 2 on the upper right are examples of our adventure into Raku firing.

The one in the picture above came out interesting.  And the  little one with the black top here in front and the beige one in the far right were done this summer also.

This little one was also Raku firing. The bottom third came out neat...

And of course I kept the bottom 2 shelves for the kids' books and games...

Have a wonderful week!

Friday, August 21, 2015

baby steps...

I survived Tuesday's dental procedure! 1mg Ativan did help... didn't do much, but at least reduced the shaking and frantic beating of my heart in the dental office. Made me a little sleepy... took a nap when I got home. But it is good to know that there is something to take the edge off when needed. baby steps...

Talking to my daughter later that afternoon, she said that she had no idea that the dentist affected me this way. I told her that it's not something that I especially wanted my children to know. Now that they're all grown, it doesn't seem to matter that their mom is not totally fearless (if they ever even thought that - but one can hope).

I'm not a pill taker (they know that) - as I've learned over the years that my body knows pretty well how to take care of itself. And I've found that the side effects of many meds (for me) are worse than the problem. So I try to eat well, exercise, and drink lots of water. I also sleep 8 hrs/night and take occasional naps. So far, so good.

I do think about Alzheimer's and Cancer... since both are prevalent in our family. But I don't dwell on it as worrying about something that either hasn't happened or can't be undone IMO is useless. I do try to eat those foods that are *supposedly* good for both these conditions, but I don't put too much faith in this. It's simply pro-active - meaning it's something I can do that *might* help... and since it's fresh foods, shouldn't hurt.

And I do realize that getting this far in my life without having to take daily meds is extremely lucky... and may not last for much longer. But I will do my best to have it last as long as possible.

(However, if a 1 mg Ativan will help me keep my dental appts and thus, my teeth, I will agree to that... baby steps.)

Posting this pic of Julie taken just a few minutes ago. Having just come home from meeting a friend for coffee and a little fabric shopping, this bag had books in it that my friend brought for me. When I unloaded it, I left it on the table and next I looked...

It's mine. I saw it first...

Sunday, August 16, 2015

a Texas quilt and a happy little raccoon...

Friday my friend and I went to the Plano Quilt Show. She has been quilting for a while, but this was the first time she had a entry in the show. Her quilt was called, "Texas, our Texas" and it really looked beautiful hanging up on the wall.  Here's a picture of it.

I'm a very novice quilter, but the more I see, the more I love them. However, I like the kind you can cuddle up in ... lap quilts and bed quilts. Don't think I'll ever aspire to doing Quilt show quilts, but would like to make some for family and friends.  Like my pottery, I tend to prefer things "functional".

On another note, I went to the dentist to have my teeth cleaned this week. I really don't like going to the dentist... for any reason. Don't know why... guess it's a phobia... and apparently a common one. But my heart beats almost out of my chest the minute I walk into the office and all through the procedure.  We talked about it as I have to go back next week for a small cavity (and I haven't had a cavity in probably 20 years). She says it's very small and won't take but a minute to fix, but wants to fix it before it becomes a problem. I agreed to do it. She wants me to take a low dose Valium or Ativan before coming in... so I won't be so stressed. I've never taken anything like that, but agreed to give it a try.  Do any of you have this problem?

Cats (inside and outside) are doing fine. We have lots of baby raccoons visiting lately in the yard. One is fascinated by the cat toy (the circle ring that has a ball inside). Unfortunately he gets so caught up with playing with it that he doesn't see when his mother and siblings leave... then looks around like "oh no, where'd everybody go?"  We took this video with my iPhone.

If you watch it for a bit, you will see a little black kitten come out and wonder why the raccoon has taken over his toy...

(if you click on the video twice after it starts, it will get larger... a little blurry, but larger)

Have a great week!  


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Julie... the mischievous one

Julie is our 11 years old black and white DSH. She came to us along with her other 4 siblings when a feral mama decided to leave her 5 kittens in our backyard in 2004.  We already had 3 inside cats, but needless to say, we took these 5 in also. We bottle-fed them and when they were about 6 weeks old, my daughter took one and my son took one. 

the original 5 feral kitens

Her 2 brothers whom we kept and who were also black and white turned out to be very large cats (about 18 lbs). Julie was smaller and thinner. But she has since 'rounded' out over the years.

A portrait 

She is the mischievous one... always ready to play and act silly. You can't leave things around her that can be 'pushed' off as she is more than ready to see it 'fly'.  She's also very vocal. And although she's usually not a lap cat, she does have her days.

checking out the comics on the kitchen counter

She's also the 'counter' cat. Took possession of that corner of the counter a few years ago and refuses to give it up... not even when we're putting groceries away.

sharing her spot with groceries

And she's very curious... always watching me sew or quilt. Wants to be 'in on the action' or near by - as the case may be.

thinking about quilting

And the next two pictures are old ones and were taken a few years ago when Ghost was still a kitten. Julie and Ghost 'rough-housed' a lot.

and now Ghost is all grown up, but they are still buddies...

Hope you enjoyed a brief look into Julie's life. Since 2004, we have 'fostered' many feral cats' offspring, but (except for Ghost) have always eventually taken them to the Adoption Room at our local no-kill shelter. There is a limit as to the number of cats inside a house. This number may vary according to an individual's ability to care and maintain - but our number was reached at 6 - later expanded to 7 when Ghost came into the picture, but that's another story (Ghost would not have been adoptable).

There is one other matter I would like to mention... this belief that feral cats aren't adoptable or don't make good pets. Feral cats are as individual as any other animal. Some take to domestication readily. Some don't. If an animal has been feral it's whole life, it may be more difficult... but kittens are very adaptable. All our cats have been good cats who take to having other cats introduced into the house-hold in their stride. But I have to say that the original 5 feral kittens that we took in in 2004 turned out to be the most lovable generous-natured of any cats we've ever shared our lives with.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

hatch peppers, grandkids, and silly cats...

hatch chili peppers

It's Hatch Pepper time at Central Market! Picked up some roasted hatch peppers, some hatch pepper sauce, HP cheese, HP tortillas, and HP crab cakes this week. 

Had the crab cakes Thursday with some fresh steamed asparagus and brown butter. Then made scrambled eggs with roasted hatch peppers and HP cheese, rolled into puffy HP tortillas topped with mild HP sauce last night. Delicious! (Can you tell we really like Hatch Peppers?)

They are good in almost everything. We've tried samples in biscuits and cornbread, brownies and chocolate chip cookies, etc. I will admit that they have Hatch chili pepper ice-cream and we haven't tried that. But most things are done with either mild or hot varieties and they are marked. We do "mild".

Next is a picture of grand daughter getting her hair trimmed. Apparently she enjoys the experience.

She will be 3 in a few months... 

The kids today enjoy experiences that we (or I and my kids) never experienced... like going to professionals to get our hair cut or nails done, massages and spas, etc. Not saying that I've never done this, but certainly never did as a child. 

Of course they also have the advantage of being born in the technological age and having their hands on computers and cell phones almost from birth. They are the "digital natives". I find that if I can't do something on my computer or cell phone, I just have to ask a grandchild.

The inside cats are doing fine... Tux was acting strange for a while after Molly passed, but he seems to be over it.  He was grumpy and always looking upset. He's a sweet cat... a little needy, but he also has a lot of "attitude" (or "cat-ti-tude as the case may be)... and is easily put off. If he's laying on my lap and another cat comes by, I can't acknowledge them or he will get pissed and walk away. May be he's a bit narcissistic?

Then there's Julie...

Julie is Tux's sister and she's very playful. She will start flying around the house... climb up the backs of chairs, and generally act silly. I caught her here as she was in one of her silly moods.

Julie is our 'counter cat'.  A few years ago she decided to claim the kitchen counter as her own and nothing we did discouraged her. Using a spray bottle will get her off for the moment, but as soon as we leave, she's back. Extremely persistent. After a while we gave up and now we put a small quilt on the end of the counter and that's her spot... for the most part. 

Have a great Sunday!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

memories and sweet tea...

I guess I will have to eventually change this *picture heading* which still includes Molly, but perhaps I'll wait a bit... not quite ready to let go, I guess. The other day I was giving out treats, and found myself going into the bedroom to look for Molly on the bed (then I remembered...). I know this is normal. Goodness knows, we have gone through it before.

Julie and Ghost lying on Molly's blanket

The weatherman is forecasting 105-108 F days this weekend... and into Monday. Hard to believe - well, maybe not, it IS August in Texas. DH made a batch of sweet tea today. He makes wonderful sweet tea. The kids as well as our friends always want him to make it the minute it gets hot. And I have to admit that his Iced Sweet Tea on a hot day is a great thirst quencher!

I found a recipe in Taste of the South for a Frozen Peach Ice-Box Pie. And since I had just bought fresh peaches last week and they were getting too ripe, I decided to make it today. It's in the freezer now. We shall do the taste-testing after 4 with our coffee (or tea). Will take a photo and let you know.

peach ice-box pie made with fresh peaches and cream cheese!

We did taste it and... it's a keeper! Will make this again...

The days are too hot to go outside, so basically if I'm not reading, cooking, or cleaning, I'm probably quilting. Here a few pics of the 2 quilts I'm working on now. The first one is the pastel quilt that I posted before, but now it has it's borders.. but no batting or quilting as yet.

The next is called "winter" and so far I've only pieced it, no borders yet... but the fabric on the side is what I plan to use as borders.

And just because... I'm adding a picture of the quilt my friend made me last year. I've posted it before too, but I love it so... so I'm posting it again. I call it my bunny quilt.

Can you see all the little bunnies in the actual quilting? You may have to enlarge the picture to see them well.

So... another snippet. (I wish I had some pretty outside pics - like flowers or vegetable gardens, but no luck - even my hanging baskets are showing signs of heat stroke).