Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tis The Season To Be Jolly.....

This was our tree last year.  I haven't taken one this year yet.  We have been attending several parties here and there for the past 2 or 3 weeks.  All of them have been very enjoyable and fun.  I have only managed to find a couple of conversations that have left me feeling  that I need to go to confession for  failing to keep the 10th Commandment.  One conversation was with someone that has three homes, one brand new one with all new furniture and a large lake home and another large home.  The man I was talking to though is a very nice man and always willing to give a helping  hand where needed.  He is just a nice man with lots of nice things.  Another party we went to the other night was at a home that was so beautifully decorated...I was just in awe of everything that I was looking at.  What a talented and creative lady she is.  I was slightly jealous when I got back home and realized what a junked up mess I have our home in.  I am.. kinda sorta.. kidding because we are blessed with a very nice home and with a little effort it could be even nicer.  I grew up with so little as far as material possessions...I do know the difference.
Of all weeks to feel down in the dumps though....I find myself feeling that way since yesterday.  I went to the mall and took a few photos of some decorations that I thought I could inspire myself with someday.  When I got back home to load them, I realized that my camera was on video instead of photo.  I then started searching around on the internet for Christmas decorations.   I typed in those words...Christmas decorations.. on google search and up popped a porno site.  I was shocked and horrified.  I really don't know what porno is exactly....but I am guessing it is people having sex and well....enough said.  I hate to bury my head in the sand...but I really am not interested in what it is.  From what little I do know about it...it can't lead to anything good.  I thought about how many children could have done the same thing I did and saw the same thing I did.  I am just so saddened by what is so freely "out there" these days.  All I can do is pray for the people that do these things and pray some more that they can find something else in life that is so much more worthwhile.  When I was  a young person, all I ever knew about was Playboy magazines and even then the women looked like naked Barbie dolls....so it just didn't even seem real.  It is one thing if a person goes looking for those things intentionally and quite another when you aren't looking for it and see it anyway.   It almost makes me want to just stop using the computer except for business reasons.  So if you don't hear from me here anymore...this is the reason.  Maybe I can just give up my blogs and still read some of yours....the friends that I have met these past few years.  Then again maybe I find some middle ground somewhere with what I am feeling.  Sorry about the grouchy sad post.......

Friday, December 17, 2010

I Am Smitten With These Kittens




I have a feeling these cats have found their way into my heart.  I really do not want any more pets...in the house.  BUT....as much as I have tried to forget about their well being, I have been feeding them daily, worrying about them, and watching to see if they will come back.  And when I see them, I say a prayer of thanks, that they are still surviving.  This is one reason why I would never be able to have a farm with animals.  They would all probably have names and I would never sleep if I thought they were not well.  So, I am going to see if my family will agree for me to take care of them outside.  Which will mean trips to the vet to get them fixed and checkups, and possibly a collar to show ownership.  I will need to build them an insulated home with catnip planted all around the house.  I am half way kidding here.  I don't have a clue how to take care of outside cats properly.  I called every shelter I knew of to take them and they were all full.  I can keep trying maybe after Christmas to see if they have any openings.  They are just so darn cute!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Meal Fit For A Queen....and King

Last night Bob and I attended a Parish Council Christmas Dinner and it was all prepared beautifully by one of our Deacon's.  Bob has been on the Parish Council for the past 3 years and this is the second dinner I have enjoyed.  Last year I was sick and believe me...I was very sick...to have missed one of these meals.  This man and his wife are excellent cooks.  I don't think I have ever dined at a 5 star restaurant...that I remember....but I personally give this a 5 star rating.  We started with appetizers of shrimp cocktail and assorted cheeses and crackers and this yummy dish called
It is a Pampered Chef recipe. 
Very tasty.


Then we had Spiced Carrrot-Apple Soup with Fresh Mint

This was served warm.  I could eat this every day.
After the soup we had Lettuce with a Lemon Zest Dressing.
The dressing was made with 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil and 2 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar 
with 1 teaspoon of Lemon zest. 
It was a light salad...one  that did not ruin your appetite for the main dish.


He poured a Teriyaki Apple Butter Sauce over the meat..
16 ounces of apple butter
4 ouces teriyaki sauce
2 Tablespoons onion powder
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
2 Tablespoons vanilla

If I were looking through recipes at home and saw this.. I doubt I would have ever tried to make it.  But after tasting it, I can tell you it was worth all the effort he put into it.  Very tasty.  When you don't know what you are going to eat  beforehand ...you taste this and that.. and it becomes a game.  What's that taste?  Is that....? My husband was the one who figured out that the sauce had Apple Butter in it.  I was still trying to figure out the fruits in the pork.

One of the  side dishes was Golden Corn and Saffron Polenta  which was just "okay" for me.  I am glad that I had a chance to try it, because again I would never have tried to make this. 
The photo below is what it looks like minus the meat.  


Our green vegetable was really really tasty and again...not one that I would have tried to make at home.  It was Chef Zak Pelaccio's Brussel Sprouts.


And our dessert was Caramel Cashew Cheesecake shown below. 


I can't remember the last time  I tasted REAL whipped cream for a topping.
It was all too perfect.  
And I wanted to remember it all ...so I decided to write it all down for reference later when I get inspired to make some really tasty food.
Click on the links to find the recipes.  Bon Appetit!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A New Form of Laziness....

I love this new way of making a bed where the top sheet and comforter are turned down like the photo above...and the pillows just plopped up.  This morning I decided to see if I could make the bed while I was still in it....so I didn't have go to the other side of the bed when I got up.   My husband happened to come in the room right about that time and I had to confess.  I told him I was creating a new form of laziness. We cracked up laughing.  Depending on how well we slept.. reflects on how messy the sheets and comforter are the next morning.  Someone must have not slept well last night because I was having trouble getting the sheet to match up with comforter.  As I struggled with my new form of laziness technique, my husband said..."If you keep trying, you might be done by bedtime."  We started the day off with a great laugh.  I hope the rest of the day goes as well....

Monday, December 6, 2010

Missing Color Already...

It seems like yesterday that our back yard looked like this.  Actually it was just about 3 weeks ago.  Now the leaves are all on the ground and the temps are in the teens.  No snow yet but I am sure it is coming.  In spite of the weather, I managed to get up today and feel very good...spiritually.   I still have a sore throat and cold and body aches.   I went to the dentist today for my final filling and left feeling really good about what a great dentist he is.  About this time last year I went to a really bad dentist, who over charged and did sloppy work.  This dentist I have now almost does the opposite.  He does excellent work...he checks and rechecks and checks again to make sure it is done right.  He also...dare I say it...almost undercharges.  Wow...what a difference a year makes.  We also are getting very close to the completion of our church renovations and will hopefully be back in our church by Christmas.  We got the tree up and the decorations all out yesterday.  Maddie and her Daddy made a gingerbread house together, while the rest us of enjoyed watching them.  Kayla is getting close to talking and likes to scream.  Right now it is hilarious.  Life is good for today.

The Cats


 A couple of weeks ago these little kittens and their mommy showed up at our back door and we fed them.  The mother cat seemed to be a very good mother because she made sure all of her kittens ate first and only after they were finished did she go eat what was left.  Every day I would check to see if they ate whatever I put out there.  It was always gone the next morning so I assumed they were managing on what I was giving them.  The white one is really really cute and only came back maybe a few times after the first day.  I think someone that could have cats inside.. may have taken her in... because she was probably the cutest of the three... at first glance.  The yellow one came back last week and would come right up to the window and meow.  This one seemed to be really attached to its mother...always trying to get under her to nurse.  Now this week it seems the darker one has reappeared with its mother.  I can't figure out why we see one kitten at a time for one week and then not the others and wonder if they will ever reappear all together again.  Only one night about 2 weeks ago did I see them all together nursing from the Mom.

 MOM

 The last kitty.

 Last week I saw two adult cats come for the food and no kittens.  One cat looked just like the mother of the kittens only it was quite a bit larger.  And earlier that week a raccoon ate the food.  Then today I saw this yellow cat. 

 I am wondering if this could be the Dad because one of the kittens was like the yellow one here. 

 I have a feeling they will  be on their way soon.  I can't keep feeding all the stray cats.  I was so surprised to see so many of them that just roam around.  I have seen cats off and on in  the neighborhood before and I just assumed someone had outside cats.  None of the ones I have seen though has had a collar.  At first I felt so bad for them because our temperatures have been below freezing, but they seem to know what to do to take care of themselves.  I think insides cats are always wanting to get outside sometimes...and some outside cats are always wanting to get inside.  I think they do better outside if you have a barn or building for protection.  They seem happy exploring about wherever they fancy.  We had 2 cats when we were first married.  I remember them being very independent, and wanting to run out the door if it opened.  Oh well...I think they are adorable and fun to watch, but I can't keep them so I wish them well.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Blogging Anniversary

This month is my third year anniversary in the blog world.  I started out wanting to record our adventures as new grandparents and then decided to have my own personal blog called Ageing Wisdoms..just some reflections about my life here and there.  Next I did a Happy Thoughts blog and tried to think of as many things as I could about what makes me happy and/or grateful about everyday things.  I now have this Days of My Life blog as my main one because the Ageing Wisdom was having some feed problems that I couldn't fix.  I have had nearly 800 posts through all of these blogs.  I have met a few faithful friends through these three years and just wanted to say "Thank You" to all of you have visited me here.  I love reading your comments and visiting you as well.  I have sure had my down times throughout these years with blogging.  Sometimes I just don't have the time to devote to it...and other times I just don't have anything much to write about.   My life is pretty simple and routine most of the time.  So for all of you that shown an interest in my blog.....Thank You!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Lots of Us are Sick Here..

The babies have been sick this past week and then Brian and Katy have a bug.  It has been a rough week for them and I hope everyone gets over it soon.  I know lots of people have something in our area because Bob said that some people at his office have been out also.  I feel icky also.  Just in time for the weekend.....
But...the Christmas shopping is done.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I Loved This...

 
Kat sent this to my through email and I thought it was well worth sharing on my blog. 
Very well done. 
Thanks Kat!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I Think We Moved to the Country Over Night...

This is a terrible picture but if I had opened the door to get a better one...well...I just wasn't that brave.  I have never seen a raccoon this close before and I did not know they were this BIG.  It looked bigger than our 30 lbs dog Clifford.  We were getting a kick out of seeing the kittens and the Mommy come by for food...but I don't think I am ready for a raccoon here.  If we lived in the country and had land it would be different, but we live in a subdivision with the houses close together.  Sure we have lots of big trees all over and I love to watch the squirrels jump from limb to limb and from tree to tree...and rabbits every where, and beautiful birds stopping by our windows.. sitting in our trees.....but I don't know anything about raccoons.  Are they nice?  I know Renie will know.  So I hope you stop by Renie and tell me about them.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Cute little kittens....

 One day last week Maddie and I looked out the back door and saw the cutest little kittens crying for food.  Of course we had to feed them.  It was cold outside and they were so tiny.  They were very skittish and ran away when I opened the door.  So I told Maddie that we should wait for a little while and see if they come back.
 They came back not long after I put some milk and tuna out for them.  The mother watched from under the tree outside the fence for awhile.  Eventually she moved closer as you can see in the first photo.  She made sure they all had enough to eat and then went over and took a few bites for herself.  I haven't really been around cats for over 30 years, so I found all of this fascinating.   We can't keep them in the house because of allergies and I just don't want the responsibility of really owning them...but I wouldn't mind just feeding them and letting them hang out here every so often.  I don't know if that is cruel though and wonder if I should call a shelter to see if they can find them homes.  I tried to get one of the kittens to go on the front porch where there is more shelter,  but it would not let me come near it.  So I doubt I could get them all rounded up and in the car to take to a shelter.  I guess this sort of thing happens often, but it has never happened to us until now.  They have been staying under neath the back steps and in a hole in the ground on the side of the steps.  I think the rabbits dug that hole this past year.  Maddie loved seeing the kittens and mommy.  When her Uncle Bobby came over later in the day, she was so excited to tell him about it, she was stumbling through her words a little bit, trying to retell the story.  He caught it on video and I need to get that from him.  It was so cute!




If I could have gotten a picture of them.. they would have looked similar to these three photos.  I found myself wondering why they chose our steps to stay under.  I am sure there are warmer more sheltered places nearby that would have been better than what we have to offer them.  I hope they do ok...because I doubt I will be able to capture them to take them to a shelter.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Non stop cooking for two days.
  Too much food, but it was all handmade from scratch.

 My pies cracked.


My pumpkin cheesecake was ok.
 I tried making sweet potatoes different this year.  No marshmallows or nuts.  They were ok.

 I bought an iron skillet so that I could try my Mom's cornbread dressing recipe out.  
It wasn't as good as hers.

 This was the smallest turkey I could find at the store.  The night before I watched a show on the History Channel that made me change my mind about the turkey.  It seems they are very well bred and cared for and processed.  I enjoyed the show and learned a lot from it.  I just can not remember a lot of the details to relate here right now and I am too tired to care.  It was a good show.

Our Thanksgiving movie the past couple of years has been Planes, Trains and Automobiles.  I love John Candy.  When my brain recovers from all this cooking and eating then maybe I will have something more interesting to say.  We had a very blessed day and I hope you did also.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Airport Scanners

This week on the news I heard the same two stories over and over.  One was about the engagement of  William and Kate and the other was the Airport Scanners.  I got this photo from Wiki Commons, but let me tell you...there are some disturbing images on the web already.  Just google airport scanners and find out.  I may never fly again.  My favorite story was a older gentleman that said that he had no problem with going through the scanner, because if anyone got turned on by his body...God bless them.  I would think the same thing about myself...but this is just not right.  I really wish we could think of a better way to fly safe without these scanners and pat downs.  Maybe we should just invent the flying car that I always thought would already be here by the year 2010.  Meet George Jetson.....

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thirty Years Ago Tonight....

 
I may not know very much about movie stars these days, but I must admit that 30 years ago tonight I was sitting on the edge of my chair to see...."Who Shot JR?"  I wasn't alone.  90 million Americans were also watching.  I remember the first time we watched the show in 1978, we laughed at it because we thought the acting was so bad and the content of the night time soap opera really comical.  But we tuned it the next week and most every week for years.  I just saw an interview tonight that Katie Couric did with Larry Hagman.  If I had not seen that interview I never in a million years would have remembered this night 30 years ago.  He was talking about how they shot a scene of everyone on the show shooting him and he had a vest made with holes in it and when they each shot him he said..."Missed.."  and then took a drink of his gin and all the holes started leaking.  The interview led me to search around on the internet for things about the show and I ran across this you tube of Sue Ellen punching JR.  I don't remember seeing this show.  I am guessing this was towards the end of the show in the early 90's and I don't know if I watched it then because our children were little during the 80's and early 90's.
About 15 years ago while visiting some friends in Texas they took us on a tour of the house in the picture above.  It was fun to see it, but except for the outside, it didn't look anything like what we saw on TV.  I think they said that they didn't do that much filming in the inside of the house, but I don't remember where it was filmed.  I didn't get too involved with the follow-up shows like Knots Landing or Dynasty.  I watched them here and there but they didn't interest me as much as Dallas.  Oh the 80's.......they were...well...the 80's.  I can't think of a word for the 80's.  The 50's...rock n roll....the 60's....peace and love and tragedies...the 70's....mellow....80's...?  Maybe I was too busy being a Mom to know what to call it.

 

Hopefully you can see the interview with Larry Hagman by clicking on the link below.

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7072020n&tag=contentMain;contentBody

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thanksgiving Next Week????

 
I can't believe next week is Thanksgiving already!  This year it will just be the three of us, Bob, myself and our son Bobby.   Katy and Brian and the girls will be in Cleveland visiting his family this year.  We got them last year.  The photo above was taken by my talented daughter, the family photographer.  I have debated about making a turkey because we have such a small group and my son doesn't really care for turkey...but I think I will anyway just because it is "Tradition."  It is time for me to start making my menu list.  They say they like the side dishes, which are...typically, mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, corn, green beans and sweet potatoes and cranberry.  For some reason that sounds boring to me.  Should I get adventurous or stick to the same menu...and what movie will we watch.  I feel like maybe we should go work in a soup kitchen this year, with all of the unemployed families there must be.  If not that... then maybe we will just donate more turkeys this weekend to No Hunger Holiday.  Yes...for sure more turkeys.  We are very blessed.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I Am Movie Star Stupid...

Monday I went to the dentist to have a tooth fixed.   The dental assistant started the process of numbing the area to be worked on and handed me some magazines to look at while it took effect.  She offered me People and Us and showed me all the latest covers.  I told her any of them would do because I don't usually read them.  I started really getting into them and was disappointed when the dentist came in.  I had to put my magazine aside and think about the Bill Cosby "Himself" video.  The part about the dentist always cracks me up.  And when I go to the dentist I am almost always thinking about that video, because they try to talk to you and expect you to respond when your mouth is numb or otherwise wide open and the best you can do is mutter a grunting noise and or a nod of the head or roll of the eyes.
Over the weekend Bob and I went to a Trivia night with his former boss/owner of the company and his wife and daughter and grand daughter.  This was our first time of going to one of these Trivia night events.  We didn't do all that great.  They ask questions about Harry Potter which I know nothing about, and maybe some movie stars we aren't familiar with.  Also I think one of the questions was about a rap artist...don't know any of these.  Even cartoon characters...like Green Lantern.  Who is he???  The next time we attend I think we need to read some of these People magazines.  I found out from reading them at the dentist office that Brad is about 10 years older than Angela.  So I am armed with at least one little tidbit of info.  I have a lot of catching up to do........

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

If I Had All the Money in the World to spend.....

 
I would buy everything in the National Geographic Holiday catalog. 
I would start out with this Peruvian Wildflower Alpaca Wool Cloak. 

 I would buy this La Paz Alpaca Sweater for my husband...weather he liked it or not. 

I would buy this Streamlined Leather Travel Bag in every color. 

This Bolivian Alpaca Sunset Scarf
 
This Outback Canvas Jacket

and Australian Leather Bush Hat
for my son.  He would not like it... or wear it...but I would get him to let me take a picture of him in it.  After all....money is no object....and I would tell him it comes with a trip to Australia.

This WWII A-2 Flight Jacket would be for my son-in-law the Pilot.  
His gift would come with an airplane.

And for my daughter I would buy a Weekend Photo Workshop.   She would have a renowned National Geographic photographer on location in America's most photogenic cities doing field assignments with editing and critiquing sessions.  She would also have the best camera equipment money could buy and enough money to travel the world taking photos.
Whoops....I just woke up out of my daydream and realized I have to go clean some toilets.  
Aww...but the dream was good while it lasted.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dust

 Thorough dusting is a major chore at our house.   I just finished dusting 10 shelves of books with the vacuum cleaner and a rag....and I am always stunned at how much dust collects in places like this.  I think that books and paper and skin are the causes of  house dust.    I am not willing to part with our book collection, because when we retire we will  have time to read them.  I wonder if we bought a really good air cleaner it could do some of the dusting for us.  If we update our decor someday, I might consider a leather type material instead of cloth, and more floors without carpeting.  I haven't paid any attention to what style of furniture is popular right now.  Ours is very outdated...I think.  We have a flowered pattern in our couch and chairs and I doubt that is "in" style anymore.  I have always thought that leather or non-cloth furniture feels too cold and in the summer time too sticky.  Maybe we could start out with one piece of it and see what we think.  The photo above looks pretty comfy. 
I have had the strangest flu bug for the past 3 weeks.  I started feeling better after about a week of it, and then it came back.  Then I felt great Friday and Saturday and now on Sunday...it is back.    I hope that after the dusting and cleaning I have managed to do...while sick...I will have had my share of the flu for the season....

A Fun Trip to the Zoo

Friday was a beautiful weather day here and my friend from Texas was in town...so we spent the day at the Zoo.  The photo above is little Desi over in the left looking around.  His Dad, I believe is the darker spotted fella and his Mom has the lighter spots.  It looks like there is a third...I will just pretend she is Grandma.
Here is Desi getting some milk from Mom.  My friend Teresa has a sister who trains horses and has other animals like goats.  The last time she visited her, she wanted Teresa to help milk the goats.  She said you have to punch the area around the milk to get it to come down.  Thank goodness our babies don't come out punching our breasts to get the milk.  I did nurse my kids and it always seemed like a brain thing that caused the milk to come down.  Like once when I was at the grocery store waiting in line to check out and my brain had a thought..."Oh no...I stayed in here too long and it is time to feed the baby."  Right about then...milk started pouring out.  I wanted to get on the intercom and say.."Clean up at checkout No.4"  It was so embarrassing.  I also remember watching an award show on TV one time where Jane Seymour (who had just given birth to twins not long before the award show) walked up to receive her award and had a similar experience.  I think the first thing she said was..."Oh no...it must be feeding time."
Mom looks annoyed  that we are all gawking at her.  Sorry Mommy...but your new little boy is just so Cute!
With the cooler days at this time of the year...we got to see a lot more of the animals that don't like to walk around much in the summer heat.  Here is a snow leopard...that looked to me to getting on in years.  But I really don't know.  I think this may have been the first time that I have ever seen one other than the photo of the one on the mac software package.
Amur Tiger pacing on the ledge.  There were three of them.  You would have to have a really nice camera and lots of time to get some good shots of them.  I was just thrilled they were out and about.
I am pretty sure this Red Panda is new to our Zoo.  The last time I was there in the summer time, I don't remember seeing him.

This Bactrian Camel really put on a show for us.  He was strutting around like he was King of the Jungle. 
I read that in  spring they completely shed their thick dark winter coat, leaving them almost hairless during the hot summer months.
My friend said that they collect saliva and spit large amounts of it and it can travel pretty far.  He looked like he was ready to let loose...so we moseyed on down the road.
I had heard that zebras cannot be tamed, so after I took this photo I decided to do some looking around to find out why they cannot be tamed. They look like such peaceful gentle animals.  Here is what I found on Wiki.
Attempts have been made to train zebras for riding, since they have better resistance than horses to African diseases. Most of these attempts failed, though, due to the zebra's more unpredictable nature and tendency to panic under stress. For this reason, zebra-mules or zebroids (crosses between any species of zebra and a horse, pony, donkey or ass) are preferred over purebred zebras.
In England, the zoological collector Lord Rothschild frequently used zebras to draw a carriage. In 1907, Rosendo Ribeiro, the first doctor in Nairobi, Kenya, used a riding zebra for house calls. In the mid-19th century, Governor George Grey imported zebras to New Zealand from his previous posting in South Africa, and used them to pull his carriage on his privately owned Kawau Island.

A tamed zebra being ridden in East Africa
Captain Horace Hayes, in "Points of the Horse" (circa 1893) compared the usefulness of different zebra species. In 1891, Hayes broke a mature, intact mountain zebra stallion to ride in two days time, and the animal was quiet enough for his wife to ride and be photographed upon. He found the Burchell's zebra easy to break, and considered it ideal for domestication, as it was immune to the bite of the tsetse fly. He considered the quagga well-suited to domestication due to being easy to train to saddle and harness.[6]

So it appears at least one person was able to train them.  I would be interested to know if there are other stories about them. 

 I have not found out the name of these animals, even after looking on the Zoo's website.  I just like how they blended in with the rocks.

I have a few more photos but will save those for another day.

Clifford 1994 to 2009

Clifford   1994 to 2009
The Best Dog Ever