Monday, June 28, 2021

our family's dogs... and other things

All 3 of our children have dogs.  Our oldest son and his wife have a Golden Doodle.  They came by to visit yesterday (live about an hour and a half away) and brought Winston with them. Here are a few pics:


He is a beautiful dog... and a big baby (of course he is only 8 months old). But he listens well and seems to be very friendly and curious. He is the one who has Fred, the toad, as his buddy.

loves TV

Our daughter and her family in the hill country have only one dog at the moment . They lost an old dog recently, so being down to one dog in the house is strange for them (but they also have a cat, 2 horses, several turtles, and chickens).  Their dog is a Great Dane named Moose. He is a sweetie too. Loves people!  Here is a few pics of him:

Moose at the table

Moose in daughter' office at work

And youngest son and his family have Cookie, a French Bulldog. She too is a sweetheart... and is my 8 year old granddaughter's constant companion. They lost their old cat not too long ago, but also have a few snakes and turtles around the house.  Here is a a few pics of Cookie:

Cookie and granddaughter

So, as you can see, our family is very animal friendly. And when oldest son and wife visited yesterday, they brought us 2 large cat trees for our back porch. They figured the feral cats would enjoy them... and I'm sure they will. Right now the cats are suspicious, not sure exactly what to think of these strange new structures that have suddenly appeared. But I plan to take pictures once I see some activity on them.


Now I have a question:

Does anyone recognize this?

My mother-in-law gave me these pieces years ago.  I don't think they make them anymore. I used to use them, but haven't in years. Just wondering what to do with them. Guess I could sell them on ebay? Any suggestions?

I'm trying to slowly clean out things around here, but when you've been in a house for 35 years, there's so much stuffed away in boxes and closets... and the garage and attic, etc. that it's an almost impossible task. I feel like it's difficult to make a dent in it. 

My friend says to just leave it for the kids to go through after we've gone, but I hate to do that. Had to do that for my brother and my mom and it's such a difficult job... and sad... I'd like to at least lessen the burden a bit. 

I also have a ton of mom's jewelry... a few good things I kept, but I'm not a jewelry person and mom had tons of costume jewelry. What do you do with stuff like that?


Now this week we're heading to Ham's Peach Orchard in Terrell, TX. It's a fun place to go... and shop. I've posted about it before. We missed it last year as it was closed down with the pandemic. But we heard that they were opening again... cautiously... masks required upon entering and only so many allowed inside the shop at a time. That's OK with us. They sell their peaches and all types of products made with peaches from salsa's to pies, cakes, and ice-cream, etc.  They also sell local fresh fruit and veggies... can't wait. And I will take some pics!

Hope everyone has a great week! Next week is the 4th of July... and my 76th birthday... growing up we always celebrated my birthday on the 4th with the family and a picnic out by the lake. Now DH and I don't celebrate much... (his is the following week in July), but we generally go out to eat with the kids or just get a cake and celebrate quietly at home. It's enough. 

Take care, be safe, and as always, thanks for coming by! 

Hugs (virtual),



Sunday, June 20, 2021

Saturday and Sunday combo post...

Saturday morning:

I have to report that DH got the pressure sprayer (his Father's Day gift) to work... finally. Since it is gasoline operated, you have to pull the thingamajig to start it. He pulled so many times I thought he was going to have a heart attack as it was hot outside and he was getting all sweaty. I was ready to bring the darn thing back to where we bought it, but he wanted to keep trying. 

I went inside.   

But he finally got it to work. Said he might have flooded it before. (?)  Anyway,  it works well... maybe too well as it took a lot of the paint off our outside furniture before he realized it. Apparently there is enough pressure to splinter the wood on the rocking chairs too. (ha!)

I've been planning to spray paint both for some time. I think maybe the time has come. 


The outside feral cats (and the blue jays who love to sit on the iron chairs and eat from the cat food dishes) were confused when we had all the furniture pulled off the back porch and into the grass. They kept watching from a distance and apparently wondering what we were doing.

Cats don't like change - in case you didn't know.  Even our inside cats (when we had them) would get nervous if you moved furniture around. They would stay out of the way and then cautiously sneak up to it to check it out.  If you moved it when they were close, they would jump straight up into the air. (It was pretty funny). 

Tux, Ghost, and Julie in Dec. 2019 

I've washed all the outside toys... the ball that goes around in a circular thingy... and brushed off the u-shaped cat scratcher that they love.  And we put away the winter beds that were out there for next winter. The back porch fan needs to be replaced. It's old and doesn't work anymore (and it's filthy). And we could use some new cushions for the iron chairs - although I'm not sure the cats care about the cushions. 

We have a huge bird cage out there that we don't use. I bought it years ago when I thought I might go back to raising budgies, but never did. We would get rid of it, but the cats use it to sleep on and play under... so, what can you do? There's also a huge barbecue pit out there that doesn't work anymore. But can we get rid of it? No, because the outside cats sleep on top and hide underneath... especially if a coyote comes into the yard. So, it has to stay too. Are we crazy?  (maybe a little)


Next is a few pics of our youngest granddaughter at a goat farm. She is crazy about all critters (like her grandmother).


Next are just some cute pics I've come across...

orange tabby cuddles

a surplus of little Ghosts...

Dumbo the kitten?

That's it for today...

Hope everyone and their fathers are having a 

Happy Father's Day!

Hugs (virtual),


Friday, June 18, 2021

finally walking in the mall again...

Having espresso and hot chocolate at Eataly in the mall

Our youngest granddaughter came with us to walk in the mall this past week. We stopped in at Eataly's so I could get an espresso con panna in their coffee shop. (I love good espresso and don't find it in many places) Granddaughter had hot chocolate and DH had black coffee...

She was impressed with the large wheels of cheese

There are so many displays of food that it's fascinating to walk through this place. There were even larger wheels of cheese on the other side of this counter... and rows and rows of pastas... and breads... and chocolate!  We ended up buying some of their home-made pizza and taking it home for lunch. I got cheese and DH got salami - but the proper names were: Quattro Formaggi and (I forget the other?).

DH and granddaugher by fountain

Next time we go I want to take home one of the home-made pasta dishes... 


new cat doormat

We saw this doormat online not too long ago... and thought it perfect for our front porch. The black feral cats are usually hanging around the porch or walkway all the time anyway - might as well let them know they're welcome. 


Started this post Thursday - and now it's Friday morning about 4 am. Went to sleep at 10, so did sleep about 6 hours pretty well, but decided to get up, have a cup of tea and a piece of toast and maybe go back to bed in an hour or so. 

We need to run some errands this morning... pick up my print-out from the Physical Therapist for exercises I'm needing to do to strengthen my core, stop by Walmart to get some things that weren't available on our curb side order, and get a cheesecake from Central Market for DH's Father's Day. And if the weather isn't too hot, we need to start using that pressure sprayer to clean the windows and back porch. 

I find it hard to believe that we are in the middle of June already. And I am worried about the increasing heat. Our Texas power grid is not up to these extremes in weather. It should be... but it isn't... even though our governor is trying to say it is fine. It isn't. After what happened during the Arctic freeze we experienced this winter, nothing has been done (as far as I know)...  just talk. Now they're advising us to conserve energy as it's getting close to the limit already and it's only June

And although the pandemic seems to be (how do I put it) being 'held at bay' possibly due to the vaccines, it's still out there - with variants threatening. So, even though many (including myself on a limited level) are loosening up on what we do, I don't think we can stop being vigilant... not yet. If another wave comes due to variants or people dropping their guard too soon, we could be in big trouble... (and all we've gained could be lost). 

OK... it's now 5 am, guess I should think about going back to bed.  Thanks for listening to me ramble on - and have a wonderful Father's Day weekend!

Oh... thought I'd add this on here. It's now Friday afternoon and I did go back to bed and slept until 8. And we've now finished all our running errands. 

Thought I'd leave a pic and a video of the game I've been playing since the pandemic started. I've mentioned it before I know. It's called Animal Crossing and is on Nintendo's Switch. Anyway, my granddaughter is now addicted to it too. So I gave her a character on my Switch to work with until she gets her own game (which I may give her sometime this summer). 

Anyway, here is a picture of one of my characters on the island... and a short video of her in front of her house on the island. I wanted to do a video of her swimming in the ocean, but hard to handle the camera and the Switch controls at the same time. 

Nintendo Switch 's Animal Crossing

Hugs (virtual),

Monday, June 14, 2021

From unexpected Gladiolus to toads, dead trees, and old cars...


Yellow Gladiolus

We don't have many flowers around our house... too much shade, but a few Gladiolus bulbs must have been planted at some time as these spring up out front by the walk every year.  It is always a delightful surprise for me!  Apparently yellow Gladioulus have a 'meaning' I wasn't aware of .  They represent cheerfulness and compassion - something badly needed these days. The other colors have meaning too, but I think the yellow is more than appropriate for now. 

And reading a little further (on google), there is symbolism with Glads too - the name comes from the Latin word 'gladius' which means sword and symbolises strength, victory, and pride.  (I hope this is 'a sign' that our pandemic is coming to an end. And I realize that I could be reading more into this than is actually there, but I'll take it anyway.)


Winston's toad

Winston is our son's young Golden Doodle.  Apparently he has a friend - a toad that comes by every day to visit with him and share his food.  Winston is fascinated with him and the toad seems to have no fear of the dog. Son says they seem to be friends.


dead fig tree

Looks like our Fig tree was killed by the Arctic Freeze we had this winter. Usually at this time of year it's loaded with figs that we share with friends.  

bark coming off

 The tree itself looks dead and the bark is   coming off... so I'm sure it can't be saved.   However, there is some greenery around   the base... which could mean the roots     didn't die. 

signs of life at base

This is true for our Bay Leaf tree also.  The tree itself looks dead, but there are signs of life around the base.

dead bay leaf tree

signs of life at base of bay leaf tree


That's about all I have today. But we were talking about first cars the other day and DH and I bought our first car in 1968. It was a light blue Ford Falcon and I think we paid all of $200 for it.  It took us from Baton Rouge, Louisiana to  Satellite Beach, Florida where we lived for 2 years before moving to Texas. I found this pic on the internet....

Ford Falcon


I promised Debbie that I would post the recipe for my stuffed artichokes, so here it is:

First, cut the base stem flat and clip off the edges of the artichoke leaves. I do this with a scissors. Then run water through the artichokes thoroughly and turn them upside down to drain.

Then mix :

4 cups Italian breadcrumbs
1.5 cups Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp minced or chopped garlic (5 cloves)  
1/4 cup parsley (I use dried, but fresh is good too)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper.

Mix all ingredients in large bowl. 

Set artichokes on tray and open up (spread apart) leaves. 
Use a pointed teaspoon to insert a teaspoon of mixture into each leaf up until the tight middle (ignore that area). 
When each leaf is full, you can sprinkle more olive oil (not a lot) over leaves
Set artichokes into a large pot (I do 2 at a time) with about an inch of water in the pot. 
Artichokes should sit just above the water not in it.

Put a lid on and set on burner.  Artichokes will steam. Check water level every 15 minutes... and add more as needed. Takes about an hour to cook.  Check by pulling out a leaf... should pull out easily if done.  

After artichoke leaves are eaten, pull the center (unstuffed) part off... and eat the core.  It's delicious!

Have a great week!

Hugs (virtual),


Monday, June 7, 2021

My Monday...

Stuffed artichokes

Stuffed artichokes are a favorite of ours. I don't make them often, but when we do - we really enjoy them. My mother-in-law used to make them a lot and bring them or share them with all of us and we still consider them a special treat. 


And I had to share this picture I saw somewhere (can't remember where) as it just took me a minute to actually realize what it was and then I did laugh...


And I have a question for all of you out there... Do you find that some days things 'get to you' more than other days?  For some reason today has been just a jumble of little things that are annoying, none of them my fault, and yet, it seems to be my responsibility to fix them. Result is that I have to make phone calls to correct the mix-ups (which were none of my doing). In the end, it will all straighten out, but it's ruined my day in the process. It all burns down to someone down the line not doing their job... (or screwing up). 


But before I close,  I wanted to mention that I've been going gluten-free for a few weeks now (maybe 6), and I think it's good for me. I have cheated on occasion without any major setbacks, but all in all, it seems to work well. I don't think I have an allergy to gluten, but possibly a sensitivity that acts up on occasion. Anyhow, I'm going to continue it. 

It isn't that difficult... especially  with the pandemic and staying home so much. There are products that I like (Canyon Bakehouse GF bagels and bread, Tate's Bake Shop GF chocolate chip cookies, Sheila G's Brownie Brittle, Good thins simply salt GF crackers, and Annie's GF rice pasta and cheddar cheese). Now there have been some products I tried and definitely didn't like, but these are good. If anyone has any other suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

Think I'll go take a nap. I've had enough of this day. Signing off for now.  Thanks for reading.

Hugs (virtual),