Sunday, February 25, 2018

*drowned rats* enjoy a little sun...

Would like to post this sign in several places around our neighborhood, but it probably would be taken down by those opposed to feral cats. The truth being, feral cats do exist and although we believe in the catch and release program to neuter them, it doesn't happen often enough. But that's no reason to refuse them food, water, or shelter from the cold (IMO)... or harass them with your dogs while walking.

DH and I happen to look out our front window today and with the sun finally out and no rain (we had 8 inches in the last few days), this is what we saw:

4 feral cats sunning themselves out front

We were both happy for them as lately they have looked like 'drowned rats' trying to stay out of the rain.

And my new clay projects... done only for me... and just for fun!  Experimenting with multi-color underglazing:

art brush holder
cell phone holder in use
multi-color underglazing

Both of these need to be fired and clear glazed, but I'm looking forward to see how the colors turn out.

And just took our Sunday supper out of the oven. Made Chicken Tetrazzini and a fresh spinach and strawberry salad (with amaretto pecans)!

Chicken Tetrazzini

Hope you all had a wonderful Sunday... and if lucky - a little sunshine!

Thursday, February 22, 2018


Ghost when she hears the doorbell...

Actually this isn't a picture of Ghost, but one I found on Pinterest that made me think of Ghost. Isn't it strange how some cats react to certain things? When the doorbell rings Julie will run TO  the door and Tux looks up, but doesn't react. Ghost panics and runs for the bedroom. Why? Certainly no reason we can figure out. All our cats came inside from being left on our back porch by feral mothers... and all about the same age - maybe 4-5 weeks? Why some show fear of certain things and others don't is a mystery. Sometimes I think that Ghost doesn't see well and that's why noises scare her. She can see... but how well is difficult to tell. 

It's been raining here for 2 days now... and forecast to continue. It's also cold... not terribly, about 32 F... which is cold enough. Between reading and watching Netflix, my grandson has been teaching me how to play "Minecraft" on the computer... and a card game called "Magic: the gathering".  Both are interesting, but very convoluted (at least to me who in general doesn't play games or cards). But I'm persevering. Are any of you familiar with these games?

I have played Solitaire and Mahjong on the computer when I'm wasting time waiting for something to finish cooking, but that's about it. If I have some time, my preference is to read, write, quilt, or sculpt. But my grandson plays video games a lot... (I guess most kids do these days) and is very patient teaching me the ins and outs. And I do believe that learning something new is good for our brain... so I'm working on it.

My sister-in-law loves to play the slots at Casinos. She goes with her friends whenever she can. Now she never brings much money, so she can't lose much... but enjoys the games, the food, etc.  I tried the slot machines once when on a cruise and found it boring. Why? When so many people apparently love casinos and gambling, it makes me wonder what's the attraction? I must be missing something...

Anyway, that's where my mind is this dark cold rainy night. Guess I'll get back to Minecraft and see what progress I can make. 

Thanks for reading! 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Cats, birds, turtles, and chicks!

Front yard feral "Pretty Boy"

Pretty Boy lying on Hay in front

Fluffy young Feral that hangs around Pretty

As you know, we have feral cats in our neighborhood. Occasionally some hang around more than others. These two, Pretty and Fluffy (not very original names) stay pretty close to our house. They occasionally wander... but not for long. Sometimes they bring friends home. We have had as many as 6 sleeping together in the catbed on the front porch when it was below freezing outside (I made a new flannel lining for it recently).

Now for the back yard : 


I've been trying to catch this woodpecker on my camera for a while. He sees me and flits off very quickly. But I finally succeeded!

And here are a few others that are not as finicky about having their pics taken:

As you can see, they love the catfood in the dishes out back. Their bird feeders are full... but generally the squirrel is in there. He is a fat little brown squirrel and very often has 2 crows chasing him around. But the way he flits his tail at the crows and the cats makes it seem like he enjoys the game. Our birdfeeder hangs from the tree by a chain and he looks so funny shimmying up and down that chain. I haven't caught him on camera yet, but I will.

Also I've been playing around with my clay a bit. Am in the process of making more chickens and branched out a bit to make this little pastel turtle as well as this chick in the egg idea. You can see the chick through the holes in the egg... but since this was a new idea, I've learned that I probably need to make a few more holes. By the time summer comes and I get back into class, I may have quite a few things ready for the kiln. Can't fire anything at home.... no kiln and no wheel for throwing.

The egg shell fits over the chicken and will be inseparable... once fired. These have only been underglazed, they still need firing and blackbirding to give them that shaded antique look.

By the way, thanks for all the responses to my back pain question on the last post. I really appreciate the input. The pillow between the knees seems to be the best help at the moment...

Thursday, February 15, 2018

serious question concerning lower back pain...

This will be a short post. I've been having a lot of lower back pain lately... mostly at night... in bed. I do have Interstitial Cystitis and know that it can cause this  to some extent. But it's strange that I have it really bad some nights, others not so much. 

I've taken to sleeping on my side with a pillow between my knees and that does help. Just wondering if anyone else out there has this and has 'any thoughts on the subject'. I've accepted this as part of my older years inconveniences, but just wonder sometimes if many others have this problem.

Years ago, I had a complete hysterectomy (at 34) due to endometriosis... and I have wondered if maybe this condition is in some way a precursor of Interstitial Cystitis. I googled this and it did say that perhaps there was a connection. On one site they dubbed these 2 "the evil twins" and said that these are often found in women with chronic pelvic pain.

Anyway, just checking out there in that great cosmic galaxy if anyone else has this and what might work or not work. I know what foods it might help to avoid and that hot baths do help relax my back muscles, but if anyone wants to share further hints, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks for reading...
(also a warm cat on your lap or laying on your back helps too!)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Fat Tuesday is here! Happy Mardi Gras 2018!

Happy Mardi Gras!

Today is Fat Tuesday! Mardi Gras is in full steam today! Texted my cousins to see if they were out in the crowds enjoying the festivities and parades. My two female cousins said they were staying home watching it all on TV. Sadly, this is true for lots of the older generation. Getting out in those crowds is fun, but a bit much on Mardi Gras day... best for the young!

But this is a photo of another cousin and his wife and 2 grandbabies enjoying one of the day parades earlier in the week. This is how we all celebrated Mardi Gras growing up... put the kids up on a high latter with a seat so they can see well and the krewe on the floats literally aim the beads at them. Same is true if the kids are in strollers. The strollers get bombarded. 


Here in Texas, it's cold today... not terribly, but cold... 41 F. I lit the fire and plan to go sit there in a few minutes. Just returned from having lunch with a friend at Cappuccino's Italian Bistro. The coffee was really good! And of course the company was too! It's great to get together with someone you grew up with and reminisce about places, events, and people you've both known all your lives. Recently we both celebrated our 50th wedding anniversaries, so I got to see pictures of their celebration with family down in Louisiana. Sounded like they had a really nice time... even though the weather didn't co-operate (I think it was cold and rainy that day). But the pictures were great and will be a wonderful remembrance of the occasion.

Hope everyone out there is staying warm. We're probably in for a bit more cold winter weather... so hang in there. 

Here are 2 pictures I found on Pinterest that I thought were gorgeous (could be photoshopped?... but still gorgeous).

black cat


black kitten

Oh... and remember that tomorrow is Valentine's Day! But it's also Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent... so if you're giving up Chocolate for Lent, it could put a damper on your Valentine's Day.

But Happy Valentine's to everyone!! 

Monday, February 5, 2018

6 more weeks of winter...

It was 31 F when we got up this morning. So when I made coffee, I also lit the fireplace, and planned another day of projects that needed doing around the house. 

Since the flu has been so prevalent this year, DH and I stay pretty close to home... except for grocery shopping or running errands like the cleaners, etc.

I've finished quilting my cousin's sofa pillows, did one for myself, cut some old drapes that were too faded and long... and made them into short valences, finished a hand-pieced quilt I had started a few years ago (machine quilted it to finish it), binged on a few Netflix shows like Frankie and Grace (interesting) and one my daughter told me about, "Stranger Things"... (which is strange indeed), and tried a few new recipes. I even decided that perhaps I'll start on a quilted valence for my kitchen window soon. Also just finished reading Janet Evanovich's  "Turbo Twenty-three" !

shortened curtains to valences

very first ever quilt .... started hand-piecing years ago

A friend from New Orleans texted me yesterday that Kroger's here in Texas was now carrying Joe Gambino's Mardi Gras King Cakes. So DH went out and got one. Gambino's is a popular bakery on Veterans Hwy in New Orleans and makes great King Cakes and Doberge Cakes. The one he brought home is filled with strawberry and cream cheese. And if you're wondering what a Doberge cake is, it's a multilayer cake (maybe 6-8 thin layers?) that has  pudding between the layers and then iced in chocolate... a really wonderful creation! 

That about completes my thoughts on how to avoid cabin fever this winter. We have walked around the neighborhood a few times when the sun was out to get some exercise (since we're avoiding the malls and crowds). 

But the inside cats generally find a sunspot on sunny days or a warm afghan to curl up in on cold overcast days.

Tux yesterday

Cats today staying warm by the fireplace

Well... have a great week! And try to stay warm!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

White Rabbit!

Rabbit Rabbit! White Rabbit!

I don't know how to turn comments off... but none necessary (unless you want to tell me  how to turn comments off?).  Otherwise, Happy February 1st!