Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Sending you Tidings of Great Joy

From our house to yours - Merry Catmas!  

Friday, December 20, 2013

A Good 'Nuf Reason to Sleep in...

Hello Effurrybody & Effurrykitty!

Mummy had the day off from The Saltmine today!  And this is what it looked like when she got up this morning.   Actually this is what it looked like when she "woke" up - she actually rolled over and went back to sleep!  Without feeding us!

We thought we'd starve to death!  

Actually we all went back to sleep - even The Shepherd, after he did his morning chores, took a little nappy.  So those ungrateful woolley things got fed, but we had to wait. 

And wait. 

And wait - Afters we finally got our breakfast, Bella and I thought about going outside. 

 Mummy kept telling us to make up our minds...

While Georgie, the big weenie, made up his mind.  The heater vent was much better to sit on, than the cold snowy front porch!

Mummy's eye is looking far much better after her CATorRAT surgery, but it still has a big purple stripe on it.  At least she doesn't have to wear the patch that makes her look like a fly.

Preparations for Catmous have been pretty sparse around here.  Mummy hasn't put up a Catmous tree for years - she says kitties make too much mess with Catmous trees - I think she is just too lazy to clean up the spare bedroom and find the boxes of ornaments that she has.  What do YOU think...

She and The Shepherd went into town this afternoon to print up a program for their big Catmous program that they are having at Church on Sunday night.  They also went out to dinner and to the grocery store on their regular Friday Night Date.  She is going to make Cheese Shortbread Crackers and Smoked Salmon Cheesecake for the party afterwards.  She always likes to take something that is not sweet so people who have a problem eating too many sweets can have a snack too. 

So, since there wasn't a whole lot we could do outside, Georgie and I took another nap.

Mummy promises that she will blog more often in the coming up days - she has a WHOLE BUNCH of stuff to tell you about!

Happy Caturday!

Love, Gracie           


Thursday, December 05, 2013

Get out the Party Mix

 Hey Effurybody & Effurry Kitty!

   Get out the Party Mix!

Mummy's CATorRat surgery went well.

She's got a BIG bandage over the side of her face right now that has to stay on until tomorrow, (she said to tell you you'll just have to imagine as she's not into "selfies"...) but Dr. K. was very satisfied with the outcome so far.

So get out the Party Mix, and thanks for all your Purrs and PUrrayers!.

XOX, George

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Hey, we almost missed Caturday!

 Hey peeps and kittehs!  It's me, Bella, hangin out on the barn roof, with this weeks Catureay report!!

Actually I know that a few of you have noticed that it's been, ahem, more than a week since Mummy last let you know what was going on here at the farm - she mumbles something about being busy at The Salt Mine and other things for Church and that, but, I know it is just because she's been proCATstinating - what do YOU think? 
The Shepherd worked furry hard the last couple of days to get all of his little plants into the greenhouse for the winter (I want to know - why do they call it a "green" house when it is clear? - one of those peeple misteries, I suppose)

Anyhow, I was just up on the barn roof taking in some rays, watching Sherlock as he investigates "The Case of the Broken Pot" 
 It's nice that all the little plants are tucked away we have a runway to chase each other down and around. 
 But what is this?  One of The Shepherd's plant pots is broken!

What kind of a dasterdly deed was this?

Oh, George, The Shepherd said that he thinks that the dirt around the little plant in the pot froze and expanded, causing the pot to break.  He was pretty disappointed because it was a sweet little pot too, but that happens sometimes. 

Mummy and The Shepherd went to the home of some friends from church for Thanksgiving this year.  Their Thanksgiving dinner was highlighted by the three 20 something cousins that were at the dinner -(children of our hostess and her siblings)  delightful "kids" - personable, engaging and entertaining - and such good friends to each other -

It was really fun to watch - and to know that our world will be in their hands suddenly made me feel a little better... One is a brand new middle school teacher, one is a software engineer for Intel and the other is getting his Doctorate in Music at Indiana University - yup, we're in good hands....

Mummy was in charge of dessert, and of course she took pumpkin pie from The Shepherd's own pumpkins.  It was declared "The Best Pumpkin Pie, Ever"  He, he, he...

Gracie is ignoring you Mummy - you know how she likes those 'pensive profile looks' 

Anyhow, the other big news around here is that Mummy is goin' "under the knife" next week.  She is having CATaract surgery on her eyes. 

Now, I've looked at her many, many times, and I've never seen CATs in her eyes - but she said it was really cloudy lenses that they were going to remove.  She has gone to this eye doc for a LONG time - way before she met The Shepherd.  She had a meeting with him last week - she called it a Pre-Op... and he said that this is normally a pretty simple surgery, but he "expressed some concern" about the shape of her eyeball and was worried about potential damage to her eye (probably from trying to get that CAT out of there...)  Anyhow, she told me to ask you all, when you're sitting having your first cup of coffee on Thursday morning (or what ever you drink in the morning), to think good thoughts about her eye doc and see him having a successful surgery on her eye. 

That's about all I've got to say - Hopefully we'll be back next week with good news about Mummy's surgery.  After all, we need her opposable thumbs to do this blogging thing. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Even Though it's Pumpkin Time again...

Yes, even though it's Pumpkin time, this pretty blossom is in bloom in the nursery.  
 Not a big crop this year - this is about half, and we normally have about 2 dozen - just as well, we still have many packages left in the freezer from last year. It was just too hot to bake this summer. 

Some of the pretty leaves that have fallen from our many trees. 

And here's the proud gardener with one of this year's pumpkin crop.  He has a birthday next weekend - I found a biography of Red Cloud on Amazon last night - I think that it will have a couple of $20 bill bookmarks in it.  He's a very hard guy to buy for...

Hope you all have a good week.   

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Hey Effurrybody! It's Caturday!!

Hello Effurrybody & Effurrykitty!

It's Caturday!  And it's cooooold and raining dogs outside!  So, as you can see, all these pictures were taken LAST Caturday, but Mummy didn't get a chance to sit down at the 'puter and put them on for you til now. 

We hope that you had a good Howloweenie -  Mummy's party at work went really well and everyone had a good time.

Georgie & I both had good sand baths last week while the sand was dry.  If we tried it today we'd be a muddy mess that even Georgie wouldn't like. 

The Shepherd put Elliott in with his girls last Saturday.  He moved Elliott and Frosty into the girls barn, because there is more room for everyone in there.

Here he was making googly eyes at Mummy - she says his furs are very soft.  The Shepherd says he has been very respectful and has not tried any funny stuff when he has taken the snacks in for breakfast and dinner. 

Everyone wasn't quite sure of what to make of this slobbery boy - actually Violet chased HIM around for a while, but then things settled down.  Mummy says if everybody has babies we'll have 10 more sheepies around here next spring.

Now, that ought to be interesting!!!

The leaves are almost gone from the trees today, with all the wind and the rain that we have had.  But last week they were very pretty - these are on the coral bark maple. 

So, we hope you have a good week ahead.  Don't forget to turn your clocks back tonight, and remember to vote on Tuesday!


Your roving reporter,



Thursday, October 31, 2013

This - n - that

I had forgotten that I'd taken a picture of this yummy cake I made a couple of weeks ago when we had snacks at church.  It's called "Cookies and Cream Snack Cake"  - I found it on a foodie blog that I enjoy called Baked Bree - (if you click on the blog name, it is linked to the recipe for this cake.

She has a lot of recipes that are fun to do with kids and good ones for family dinners too.   

Truthfully, I just used a Betty Crocker Dark Chocolate cake mix - It was just delicious and the frosting? 
Check out the list of ingredients!  :  (go to her website for the directions)
2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon vanilla
3-4 cups powdered sugar
 3 Tablespoons heavy cream
16 Oreo cookies

You beat the butter and the marshmallow cream up together - how decadent is that and then you start mixing in the powdered sugar.  After you get it all mixed up and creamy, you add the smashed cookies - really - who needs cake - just eat this stuff with a spoon.  The whole desert is very sweet, so I cut it in about 2 inch square pieces - you really can't eat much more than that.

I was going to take it for our Halloween potluck at work, but so many other people were bringing sweets, I decided to organize cooking hotdogs instead.  Using a couple of crock pots and "Bun Buster" hotdogs from a local company called HEMPLERS, one crock pot will include sauerkraut (yum) and the other will be plain - Everyone is pitching in a buck for their "dog" and I've bought the buns. It should be really fun - I think everyone is looking forward to it.    

Fall is finally in full swing - all of our maple trees are just a blaze with color.  this is just coming in the driveway - I love how The Shepherd has arranged the different plants to take center stage at different times of the year.

In fact I spent about an hour wandering around in the yard on Saturday - Gracie will have a Caturday report for you this weekend with pictures of sheep and more from The Shepherd's beautiful fall gardens!

And, finally - a pretty bauble that I thought you'd like to see - It was made by our friend Allen - I showed you some of his beautiful crochet hooks back in April - I traded some more computer work (I designed and printed out some business cards for him) Besides the crochet hooks and buttons, he also makes wooden knitting needles and sweet little drop spindles for spinning.  He doesn't use power tools, everything is carved by hand - he also only uses recycled or locally harvested wood - he had a whole bunch of knitting needles made from lilac bush wood (creamy white with occasional spots in it) 

I think it's too big to really be a usable button, but would make a very nice accent piece on a hat or a shawl, don't you think?

I found a Mardi Gras mask to wear for work tomorrow - I'll probably make it about an hour then push it back up on my forehead to get it out of the way.  Oh well.  Hope your Halloween was howling good!

PS - here is a scarier than scarey thing for Halloween - are you a "Twitter" person?  I'm not much with social media, and frankly, I think most of it is a waste of time - but did you know that if you have a Twitter account, they track everything that you do and everywhere you go on the web?  Yikes!  No thank you! 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

One cute little dude

The official royal baby picture
So, don't you think that he's just one of the cutest babies you've ever seen. Look at those chubby little cheeks. (And his mamma and daddy don't look too bad either.)

I really like this young couple, Will and Kate of Cambridge.  He's done his civic duty and spent his time in the Royal Air Force as a pilot, and she is generous with her time and energy - She is so pretty and endearing, I know she must leave a lasting impression on the people she comes in contact with. 

But what I am most intrigued with is the beautiful christening gown that George wore.  It was made in 2008, “the hand made replica of the Royal Christening Robe, made by Angela Kelly, Dressmaker to The Queen.”  The original one was "made of fine Honiton lace and lined with white satin, and was designed in 1841 for the christening of Queen Victoria‘s eldest daughter, Victoria, Princess Royal. Since then, it (the original) has been worn by over 60 royals on their christening day." (Thanks to Google, info on the gown is from an article by Katrina Mitzeliotis on the blog Hollywood Life)

As a "fiber person" - I can spin, crochet, sew a little, darn my socks, but, I think that being able to say that you had made the "Royal's new Christening Gown" would just be the bees knees, don't you?  I am filled with envy.  Nice job Ms. Kelly.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Looking Back Sunday

Looking back, it seems that we used to do a lot of traveling in October - now that The Shepherd has his own business, we haven't had a "fall vacation" in a couple of years - I have been reorganizing "My Pictures" folder and I thought I'd reminisce about some of our past travels and good memories.  

The good news is, I can still take a fall "staycation" because I have lots of personal time left at work.  I need to take almost 40 hours before the end of the year, or I will lose it!  So I took Friday and Monday off for a four day weekend. 
 And, as the old saying goes, there's no place like home - this is our Katsura tree in the front yard.  It has a beautiful array of colors from spring to fall, but I think I like the fall best - It almost glows in the dark and you can see the color from anyplace on the farm. 


 Another tree that The Shepherd and I are fond of is the giant Sequoia.  This one happens to be in Sequoia National Park in California - but at one time, we had a map of all the Sequoia trees in Bellingham and Whatcom County.  Surprisingly, there are quite a few, and it is fun to drive around and see how these giant trees have grown over the past 20 years when we first made our list. 

Remember the Alamo - 2006

In 2006, it was before the housing bubble burst and our local Building Industry Association had lots of money.  I was on the Membership committee and that year the National Membership Conference was in San Antonio.  Our whole committee went - we had a blast, and actually learned quite a bit - we set records for membership growth in the next few years. 

Mission San Xavier - 2007

Before The Shepherd's mom passed away in the mid 90's Tucson was where we went on vacation - we hadn't been back for about 10 years so we started out there when we went to the Grand Canyon in 2007 - The Shepherd was able to go to some of his favorite old haunts and see old friends.

2009 - My new wheel

I can't believe that I've had my "new" spinning wheel for four years already - lots of time spend happily spinning.  Right now I'm working on a very light weight yarn of CVM/Romedale wool - the wool is easy to spin - I'm not a fan of fingering/sport weight yarn - it takes too long to fill up a bobbin, then you have to to it again in order to get your second ply.  Give me a good worsted weight any day. 

I made applesauce and banana bread yesterday - tomorrow I want to go to Joanne Fabrics to get some yarn to make baby afghans with -

I also need to call my health insurance company and get the bills sorted out from when I was in the hospital.  as Winnie the Poo was fond of saying, "Oh Bother"

I will also try to get some outside pictures of the kitties tomorrow - since it is dark when I get home now.  Hope you all have a good week.

Monday, October 14, 2013

A yummy lunch

My friend Maria had a birthday a couple of weeks ago and I invited her out to lunch - any place she wanted - she chose Cafe Akroteri, our local Greek Restaurant.

We generally only see each other a couple or three times a year, and then with a big group of people, so it was a treat to have it be just the two of us. 

Cafe Akroteri has long been a favorite of mine, but The Shepherd doesn't care for Greek food, and they are a little slow to go there for lunch during the week.  So we went out on a Saturday when we could spend the extra time.  . 

Sorry I didn't get a picture of the combo appetizer plate before we decimated it... ha ha - it was delicious.  I love feta cheese, and there were huge chunks of it, along with tasty kalamata olives, dolmathes, spanakopita and tiropita.  Plus pita bread and tzatziki - and I got extra pita bread to eat with my calamari (which comes with a little Greek Salad)  How could you ask for more.  Oh, yum...

(I think my spanakopita is better than theirs, but their tiropita was delicious.)

Well, actually, we could have asked for quicker service - I think it took about 45 minutes before we got our food, and they were not busy - and maybe a waiter who knew what was in the tzatziki sauce...(of course I know what's in tzatziki sauce, but I overheard another diner ask our waiter, and truly, he did not know - "yogurt and something", he said..).

How could somebody work in a Greek restaurant and not know what was in tzakziki???  Maybe I expect too much...

We also shared a piece of baklava for dessert, but it disappeared before I could get my camera out. 

We had a great time, and declared that we needed to get together more often - isn't that how it always goes?


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Happy Birthday to Our Babies

Gracie - August 2011

Since George and Gracie were born "in a barn" on an undetermined day, only known as "sometime in October 2010", I decided that their birthday would be the lucky day of 10-10-10 -

So today would be their Third birthday! 

Gracie -  October 2013

They have matured to be very handsome cats -

Gracie is the apple of The Shepherd's eye.

George  -  August 2011

We sometimes call George "Stilts" - he has very long legs - but he is finally growing into them. 
George - Ocober 2013

They are a never ending source of amusement and affection. 

Our lives would be empty without them. 

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Easy like Sunday - -

 Just a few things I've been meaning to show you -
The bounty from the garden went to our choir potluck - I like to steam my corn - it doesn't end up so watery that way - and you can get a few more ears in the pan if you are just steaming them.

It was the best corn ever this year - especially after The Shepherd built a fence around the corn patch to keep the raccoons out!

This is our weeping giganticum -  It is now missing it's whole left arm and streamers hanging down.  That part of the tree split and landed on the house (luckily no damage to the house) during the windstorm two weeks ago.

I'm missing summer - so are the kittehs - one of George's favorite spots to sleep was on the hood of the car after it was all nice and heated up.  Funny cat, that George. 

I had a small patch of sunflowers growing in the back yard - I always meant to cut some and take them into work - but, #1 - I am always running late in the a.m. & #2 - sadly, there really is no room on my desk for a vase - I miss that. 

It was very exciting to be featured on MOUSEBREATH last week - That Jan and her Feline Funny Farmers - what a busy lady - she does a lot to get cat bloggers to get to know each other - 

The aforementioned corn patch - with the annual pumpkin patch in front   We still have much of the pumpkin that i froze last fall left in the freezer - it was just too hot to bake from May - October this year. 

My little sphinx girl - Gracie and George will be three years old next week (Tues. 10th) - it is incredible the amount of joy they bring us.

We've been blessed here in the Pacific NW this summer - idyllic sunny days and nights where the warm breezes wash over you like a tropical ocean wave.

The cats have begun to demand extra food - are they storing up for a long cold winter?  I hope not.  

Have a good week.