Sunday, October 30, 2016

Croupy crud...

So glad that DH and I got our flu shots about 2-3 weeks ago. Saturday morning we both woke up with sore throats and congestion.  It's weird when this happens to us at the same time. I thought I had a scratchy throat Friday, but ignored it pretty much. However, during the night I could feel the congestion building in my chest... and this morning DH tells me he thinks he has a cold. I said,"Really?  Me too??" 

So today we are both drinking hot liquids (tea and soups), and resting a bit... as well as gargling our throats and using saline solution in our nostrils. With a little luck we'll be able to nip this in the bud. We generally don't get sick much and when we do, it doesn't last too long. 

But I have to tell you a funny (?) story that happened Saturday afternoon. As most things, it was not funny at the time...

Anyway, by about 4pm Saturday I was coughing so much  that I knew I was in for a sleepless night, so I sent DH off  to the drugstore down the block for some Mucinex and cough drops - just in case. 

Well, due to the fact that I'm extremely sensitive to anything with Dextromethorphan Hbr (DM),  I made sure he took the box of 600 mg Mucinex (no DM) with him - as these days when you go to buy medicine there's 12 different kinds of the same thing. Well, first he came home with 1200 mg Mucinex (have to admit the box was exactly the same except for the mg).  He went back out again and came home this time with 600 mg Mucinex DM.  I offered to go back this 3rd time, but out he went again (think it was becoming 'a thing'), this time coming home with the needed 600 mg Mucinex (no DM). Luckily the drugstore is close by, but I had to laugh thinking that the Pharmacist or drugstore employee must be thinking, "oh no... he's back".

And we were thinking of how or where we might have caught this... and came up with - 'probably standing in line to vote' - what's the old saying, "no good deed goes unpunished"...

Ghost giving me the "Mom, ... just come back to bed" look

Think I will... 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


DH and I voted this morning. So glad to have that over and done. We both feel relieved to have done what we could. Now it's just a matter of time will tell... and praying that we all have it in our hearts to accept whatever the outcome may be. 

There's no need to comment. I'd turn comments off if I knew how. But just wanted to say how glad I am that this election campaigning business is coming to an end. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Promised recipes...

Here are the recipes that have been requested:

Norman's (DH) Red Beans and Rice

1 pk of red beans (we use Camelia light red kidney beans)
1 pound sausage  (sliced into approx 1/4 inch pieces (can slice smaller)
1 lb bacon
1 diced large onion
4-6 storks of green onion diced
1 dice green pepper
3-5 cloves of diced garlic
2-3 bay leaves
1 tbsp parsley flakes
1 tbsp dried basil
Worchestershire sauce

1) soak beans over night
2) rinse beans and dry them in a colander in morning
3) cook bacon medium not crisp and save bacon grease and chop bacon into approx 1 to 2 inch pieces. (Set bacon pieces aside)
4) in large sauce pan put in bacon grease over a medium heat
5) add chopped onions, green pepper and green onion and cook until onions wilt
6) add chopped sausage and chopped garlic and cook until sausage is about medium done
7) stir in chopped bacon and cook for  1-2 minutes
8) add in red beans, stir and add enough water to barely reach the top of the beans
9) add parsley, basil and bay leaves, and stir
10) sprinkle Worchestershire  ( 5-7 good shakes) and a few shakes of Tabasco ( not too much maybe a teaspoon since you can always add more later if you like )
11) stir well and cover
12 ) bring to a good boil, stir and cover
13) cook in oven ( 225-240 degrees)
14) check every 1 to 1 1/2 hrs, stir as needed
15) after about 4 hrs or so, use potato masher and smooch the beans several times to help break up some of the beans (makes them creamy)
16) overall cook about 6 hrs totally
(if beans are too thick, add 1/2 cup hot water as needed)
17) serve over cooked rice.

Sharon's Old Fashion Tea Cakes

These were made with caramel centers 

1 cup sugar
1 cup unsalted butter
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla (I use a little more)
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 cups flour (I use King Arthur)

Cream butter and sugar (very important)
Add eggs one at a time beating after each addition
Add water and vanilla

Stir in dry ingredients and mix into creamed mixture.
Cover and chill for about an hour
Preheat oven to 350
Cut out about 1/4 inch
Bake 15 mins. (If cutting out thin, 10 mins will do... just watch that bottoms don't get too brown).

Now tea cakes are great just plain with a little powdered sugar dusted over them (my favorite), but you can also do sugar icing or caramel centers...

3 cups 10X sugar
3 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons shortening
3 Tablespoon milk
2 t vanilla

(This makes a lot of icing, so I half it sometimes. And you can add colored food coloring if you like... say, for Christmas)
Just mix all ingredients together well until smooth
Should be thick, but not too thick to work with
(If too thick, just add more milk, if too thin, add more 10X sugar) Refrig cookies for little while after icing to set icing.

1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (cut in pieces)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Pinch of kosher salt

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan
Stirring constantly, bring to a simmer and cook until the mixture is smooth (about 5 mins)
Let cool (it will thicken as it cools)
If using for center of teacakes, make sure both teacakes and caramel are cool before putting together.  I usually put both in refrig for a little while . If caramel gets too hard, you can microwave it for a short time  (10 seconds or so) and it will soften. 

Well, those are the recipes recently requested. If there are any others, please let me know. The home-made nutty granola is really good too, but I think I posted this recipe once before. 

Closing with a pic of Tux who sneaks into my computer room whenever he gets a chance and hides out on the office chair...


Sunday, October 23, 2016

a birthday, projects, cats, and Halloween...

our oldest son at One Year Old

Our oldest just recently had a birthday and I was looking at this pic of him at One Year Old. I always loved this pic. And sometimes I still see him as he looks here... although many years have passed.  I would guess that it's probably normal for all parents to do this. Anyway, I decided to share this pic today.

Tux and toy pup

This next pic is Tux and a toy pup that the cats like for some reason. If you look closely, you can see Ghost yawning in the background. I'm sure she's thinking... 'how boring, mom's taking pics again...'

knitting and crocheting projects

I've been working on a thick crocheted blanket for ages... putting it away and then picking it up again. That's the piece that's on the bottom here. The pastel crochet baby blanket I just started... and the knitted cream blanket on the bottom right is another. It gets a bit tiresome working one pattern, so it's nice to switch off to another project occasionally.

cream knit baby blanket

pale pastel quilted piece

This is a baby strip quilt that I just finished piecing this week. I still have to get the fabric for the backing and borders. 

As you can see, since my recent cataract surgeries and no classes, I've been looking for projects (as if keeping my house clean, taking care of inside and outside cats, cooking for DH, and occasionally baby sitting with grandkids wasn't enough).Was planning to sculpt some clay animals recently (maybe a few more chickens), but when I checked my paper clay, it was all full of mold. I know that they say molded clay is OK to use, but with my recent eye surgeries, I didn't think it a good idea. So... I will try to get hold of some more paper clay.

some of my clay chickens... and other critters

Oh, and I finally got DH to write down his red bean recipe, so if anyone wants it, I will post it soon... along with my tea cakes and caramel sauce... as well as a few others. Just came across a cookie recipe called "chocolate globs" - has huge chunks of chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, walnuts, pecans, etc. in it. It was pretty darn good. We tried it yesterday.

And I will close today with a few Halloween decorations we have around the place.

reading kitty and clay pumpkin

My daughter-in-law gave me this little reading kitty recently. Isn't he adorable?

Halloween decs

The books and skull are supposed to be out on the hay bale on front porch along with an assortment of pumpkins, but the black ferals out front have been sleeping on the hay bale, so we've postponed putting anything out there until Halloween Eve... when hopefully all the black cats will be safe and hidden away from trick or treaters (although they do make an appropriate Halloween decoration).

ferals on hay bale

That's it for today. Have a great week! 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

a cat, a dog, kids, and ice-cream...

Julie helping me crochet

I have begun knitting and crocheting again (must be the Fall weather). And I've also gotten back to quilting... although so far I've only bought some fabric for a baby quilt and made a few catnip toys for the cats.

This weekend I was at my son's house spending some time with my 9 year old grandson since his dad had to work.. and his older brother did also. We had fun watching TV programs in Spanish since I was inept at figuring out their remote. We also did some sketching with ink pencils and a little with watercolors to pass the time. 

And since the weather was so nice, we went outside and played what I call "grandma soccer"... meaning we kicked the ball back and forth making sure that it didn't come at me too high or too hard. He also informed me of the significance of the new Nintendo 3DS. Since I know nothing about the old Nintendo, the real significance of the new one was lost on me. But as you all know, the new generation is very tech savy.

At one point when I was sitting on the sofa crocheting, I noticed that their little dog was interested in my yarn. Since I was basically just using up left-over yarn, I crocheted a square into a cylinder and then rolled up one end... and began playing tug of war with her. She loved it! And once she got hold of the yarn, she ran with it and played with it all afternoon. It was great to see her so happy. 

But I think she wore herself out. Here is a picture of her sleeping later on the back of the sofa....  a place where later I learned she wasn't supposed to be. But doesn't she look cute?

Kiki sleeping after her busy day

It's Sunday night and the weekend is now over. We ended it late this afternoon with ice-cream at Braum's (which is DH's favorite place). 

Now it's time for book and bed  - and possibly a cup of tea.  

Wishing you a happy Monday and rest of the week!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

private thoughts on public matters...

I was looking recently for 'something' that helped me express how I feel about this coming election. Not sure if it's the candidates involved or the media hype or the huge amount of cyber mechanics involved, but this election certainly has me 'on edge'.

And I've been through quite a few elections at my age. However, this one is 'different'... in more ways than one. For whatever reason, the outcome of it scares me (no matter which way it goes). Maybe it's because people are 'so divided on the issues - as  well as the candidates'.  And both sides feel the other side is so very wrong. 

How can this be? Are we really a nation divided?  If so, we need to fix this... but don't ask me how. And don't say that if we put the right person in office, it'll all be solved because it won't... half the country will still be opposed.

And yes, like so many of you, I already know who I'm voting for and why... and no, I'll not say it... as I believe that it doesn't help anything and a person's vote should be private. And no, I'm not afraid or ashamed of it. I'd shout it to the world if I thought it would do any good. But it wouldn't. People have their own opinions and that's not likely to change because they know mine.

But something I do know - or maybe again it's just my opinion - is that to post and re-post ugly things about either candidate does not help anyone's cause.  In fact, it has the opposite effect... kind of like a person being ugly to his or her spouse in public, it belittles the one doing it. The media can get away with it - for whatever reason, but individuals need to realize that it doesn't help.

My thoughts now are that it will all be over soon and God willing, people will accept what is to be. My job is to vote. Beyond that, it's out of my hands.  And I will do all in my power to respect the office of President (whether man or woman) - as I think it belittles our country to do otherwise. 

So I guess this post is really to get this 'unease' off my mind once and for all. I've always felt that putting it down on paper (or in print as the case may be) helps de-clutter my already cluttered mind. Not likely to work, but it's a start... at least I'm not writing it at 3 am in the morning. 

no worries here...

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

"because without me your life would suck..."

Walking around the house today trying to think of something interesting to post,  I came across our kitchen calendar...

and as I was reading the note on the calendar...

... that last line on the note made me laugh - and I had to share it with DH (who also laughed).  And the pic reminded us of some of the outside feral kittens.

outside ferals a few years back

so I decided to dedicate this post to: 


and walked around the house taking pics of our 4!

Tux enjoying a little sun

Rose bundled up on the bed

Julie sleeping among her toys

Ghost sniffing a catnip toy

Oh for the life of a cat!

Even the outside ones seem to be enjoying the Fall weather...

mama feral and Mini Pearl in backyard

black feral in ceramic pumpkin on front porch

closer look

Well, as the note on the poster said,
 "... because without me your life would suck"
(Possibly this is an exaggeration, 
but we do get the gist and agree)

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Halloween, pumpkins, tea cakes, and other signs of Fall...


This is our youngest grand-daughter in her Halloween costume. She chose to "back the blue" rather than Spider man (who is one of her favorite Super-heroes) and surprised us all. At almost 4, she is one child that definitely has a mind of her own. 

The next are some pics I took of the Pumpkin Patch at our local Central Market. 

So many pumpkins... 

All sizes and shapes...

It's hard to choose... 

I kind of like these weird ones...

They're also pushing apple cider this week...

We haven't put out our pumpkin yet. And I will make a pumpkin custard pie with it's contents when the time comes. But I did make some caramel teacakes for tea this afternoon. 

closer look at caramel centers

We love tea cakes... and have used the recipe ever since a neighbor gave it to me back in Florida when DH and I were first married. They are simple, not too sweet, and actually perfect with tea or coffee. My daughter makes them now too. She usually does a sugar frosting on hers that is delicious, but I prefer just a little powdered sugar. This caramel center is just something I came up with to try since we once had something similar at Central Market... and it was quite expensive. I remember thinking, " I can make this" - thus, my own version today. 

Update on my cataract surgery:  done and done!! Next is a 6 week checkup in November. Glad that's over. 

Intentionally not mentioning the debate the other night. Yes, we did listen. No, we're not commenting.... but we are praying a lot.

Missing my working on the pottery wheel and my exercise class, but we are walking at least twice a week and I've started knitting again, resumed teaching myself piano, and plan to start quilting again any day. Thank goodness for my books. Have been reading the Irish Country Doctor series... and enjoying it. Will resume my pottery and exercise classes in January.

The cats are all doing well. Inside and out. Rose continues to amaze us. She is eating well, has put on some weight, and in every practical sense, seems to be 'just fine' (at 21). I think she sometimes forgets where she is... walks into a room, looks around like she 's thinking "what was I doing?" and turns around and goes back... but I tend to do that too... so-oo ?

So yes, Fall is here! Time to put out the pumpkins and start collecting Halloween candy. And we are even having some cooler weather... which for us in Texas means mornings in the 60's and afternoons and evenings in the 70's and 80's (not triple digets!). Hurray!

The outside cats love the cooler weather! It makes them very playful and full of energy. 

Have a lovely weekend and enjoy this fall weather!