Monday, January 28, 2013

Ms Myraki is looking for a Furever Home

  Meet my friend Mary Ellen - she has two email lists that I belong to - the first is AngelScribe and the second is Pet Tips & Tales - you can read some of her archived articles by clicking here

She also has taught her kitties to swim and appeared on Animal Planets Must Love Cats!

This is the story she had in her newsletter today and it broke my heart.  I asked her if I could repeat it for you because it's a conversation that needs to be had.  I have a new co-worker who, when I asked if she had any pets, sheepishly answered "Yes, Seven cats"  "Seven?!", I replied, looking at her like she might be one of those CCL's (Crazy Cat Ladies) - and she said that she and her husband live out in the country and people from town  just dump cats on their road, and she can't bear to turn them away, knowing that they will never be able to survive out in the woods.
It is sad when people can no longer take care of their pets, but even sadder when they just leave them behind like garbage that they no longer want.  Yay for Mary Ellen for fostering Ms. Myraki - I hope she finds a new furever home soon.  (And I hate to wish bad things on her previous owners, but - karma will get them...)

Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe" and her sweet Brindle Persian foster kitty, Ms. Myrakl. Why would someone treat this elderly cat like a sack of garbage, tossing her out to survive on her own? The reason behind this insanity is a mystery.


Pardon me, but today I am "hissed off" and confused. Why do humans refer to animals as "dumb", when it's really the other way around?! Some humans' actions result in pain and suffering to innocent, loving animals; but rescued mistreated animals smother their new "parents" with love, the only "gift" they know how to give, from deep within their souls.

It took three weeks for Myrakl's neighbors to lure her into a live-animal trap and take her to the Humane Society after her owners left their three domesticated cats behind, OUT IN THE JANUARY COLD to fend for themselves, after packing up all of their belongings, locking up the house, and driving off for parts unknown.

As a domesticated exotic Persian elderly cat with NO BOTTOM TEETH, Myrakl is far from "streetwise". Even if she did manage to catch any dinner (prey), she would have a difficult time eating it. She also had worms so she'd have been hard-pressed to absorb any nutrients from said prey. Her once-gorgeous fur was matted into cement hard, tennis ball-size clumps which made walking difficult. Myrakl patiently endured five hours grooming over several days to remove the matted fur, (we are still not done!) enough to fill one-third of a grocery bag. I named her "Myrakl" due to her "miracle" survival and will foster her until she is placed with someone looking for a purr-fectly beautiful lap cat.

Regarding Myrakl's two siblings, a kind neighbor took one in; the other was found mauled to death, either by a vehicle or larger animal.

As I happened upon Myrakl recuperating in a cage in the This 'n' That shop, a sobbing young woman entered the shop with a cat wrapped in a ragged towel, their close bond evident. Between sobs, tears, kisses and nuzzling her kitty, she repeated over and over again, "I love you!". The woman had just lost her home, but rather than leaving her beloved kitty behind to fend for itself she lovingly relinquished it to the Humane Society knowing that it would receive shelter, food, safety, and a chance for a new life with another family.

"I try not to tear up over this unfortunately frequent scenario. It breaks my heart, but there is nothing to do for these people but to accept their pets, and to pray for them", says Janetta Overholser, president of The Humane Society of Cottage Grove. "Adopting an older pet is wonderful thing to do and you can see that this young woman's cat is used to being loved."

Had Myrakl's pet parents acted as responsibly as this young woman did, none of that needless pain and suffering would have occurred. Bravo to this young woman for doing the right thing. Should you happen to hear of a family faced with a similar plight, offer to relieve them of the emotional burden of relinquishing their pet(s) and take their animals to a Shelter.

Now, off to cuddle Myrakl to keep her feeling safe and loved.


If you are interested in adopting Myrakl or donating towards her dental/medical bills, contact the Human Society This n That Shop on 8th Street. Phone 541 942 2789.
Donations are accepted by mail to CGHS; PO Box 61; Cottage Grove, Oregon, 97424, or in person at the shop. 

PS - Thanks again to Mary Ellen for allowing me to re-post her story here.  By the way, if you go to my friend  Miss Peach's blog  today, she has an another amazing story of redemption from Mary Ellen's Tips & Tales!


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Thought for the day -


“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.” William James 

No snow here today - just kind of gray out, but I was going through some old pictures and thought this was pretty .  

I have, literally, thousands of pictures in "My Pictures" file - and have resolved to share more of them with you all this year. 

I think it sounds like it could be kind of fun -  I hope you'll enjoy them! 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

An end of year Cookie Party

A couple of times a year I get together with a group of friends who all used to hang out at this little restaurant downtown.  When the restaurant closed, we missed each other - and used to get together more frequently - but now it's only in the summer at a local park, and at Christmas for a Cookie Party.  This year we were all busy before Christmas so we ended up getting together on the 30th.  It is always fun to catch up with people, and see what's happening in their lives. 

Maria always brings Nanimo Bars - these tasty bar cookies were actually "invented" just north of the border (ant they even have their own Wikipedia page- just click on the name to read the story of their interesting beginnings)  I have had some good ones and some not so good ones - (how can people use the same recipe and the same ingredients and. . . oh well -)  Maria's are some of the good ones.  I always look forward to her contribution to the party.

I don't know who brought these yummy macaroons - there was also a very tart lemon tart and some delicious short bread cookies -

As I regularly do, I try to bring something savory to counter all the sweet - these are the same homemade cheese crackers that I took to a church function a couple of months ago - I got the recipe from a "Land of Lakes Butter" newsletter - whoa Nellie - there are some yummy recipes on their web site!! -

They are basically butter, cheese and flour - but depending on what kind of cheese you use and what herbs and spices you put in or on them, they really take on a life of their own - I roll them out and just cut into squares, and put the topping on before I put them on the baking sheet (Pampered Chef stoneware, of course)

Cheddar Shortbread Bites (from Land o'Lakes web site)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash ground red pepper ( I also added a little bit of Pampered Chef Southwestern Seasoning mix - it has some chili flakes, garlic, & other goodies. 
1 (8-ounce) package (2 cups) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese - (or you could always grate your own - use the fine holes on your box grater.) 

1 Egg white
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon poppy seed
1 tablespoon sesame seed

Combine flour, butter, salt and red pepper in medium bowl; beat at medium speed until dough forms. Add cheese; mix until a ball forms. Shape dough into circle; wrap in plastic food wrap. Refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.

Heat oven to 350°F. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. (It will be hard to roll at first, but will soften. Press together any cracks that form on edges of dough.) Cut dough with 1 1/2-inch cookie cutters or pizza cutter into desired shapes. Place onto ungreased baking sheets.

Beat egg white and water together in small bowl. Brush cut-outs with egg wash; sprinkle with seeds. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes or until lightly browned around edges. Immediately loosen from pan; let cool on pan.

The recipe says it makes 60, but I've never gotten that many - I also like mine to be about the size of a Triscuit or a  Big Wheat Thin.  I'm also going to see what happens if I don't chill the dough - it they will still be as flaky. 

Instead of putting the poppy seeds on the top, I tried putting them in the dough - I didn't like it as much.  You could use also any of the cheese flavors - I've used the four cheese Mexican blend for a milder cracker - I wouldn't use any of the soft cheeses, brie or feta and they wouldn't make the flaky texture that you need for this cracker. I'm going to try them with grated Parmesan the next time...sprinkle a little bit of Italian herbs over the top - yum... 

Anyhow - these disappeared almost as quickly as I set them down.  It really was a fun party and I'll look forward to seeing my friends again next summer! 

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Friday Noos- -

You know what tomorrow is, don't you Georgie??  

No, What?  

Mummy turns a squillion years old..... Bwahahahahaha..........

And, true to form, it's gonna be cold - she's hopin' it doesn't snow 'cause she wants to go see her spinner buddies.  

She also says I need to say "GO HAWKS"  and that Falcons taste like chikken....we likes chikken...

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Delivering a Finished Object !

 Some 20 or so years ago, I invited a friend over to dinner - when I asked what he would like to eat, he replied "Hot dogs and Little Trees"   At my questioning look, Wendy, his mommy, explained that "little trees" was four year old vernacular for broccoli - now, why didn't I think of that.

Fast forward to today - that young fellow (Nels) is now an attorney, living in Palo Alto with his sweet wife and 6 month old son.  I started the blanket that the baby (LH) is laying on right after he was born, and luckily they were home visiting his folks for Christmas and we could deliver it in person - for in the next few months, the couple and their baby will be moving to Japan! 
Grandma encouraging LH to roll over! 

The little guy is pretty cute and seemed to like rolling around on his new blanket - I used double strand acrylic "baby yarn", so it was pretty cushy and very soft.

"Grandma Wendy" and I share a Danish heritage and she was happy to share with me her new "find" - Pickled Wild Sockeye Salmon. - It was really a treat.

In fact we had quite a conversation about pickled herring and other pickled things.  Although he does like sweet pickles, The Shepherd finds pickled fish abhorrent - but what can you say about a guy who comes from a culture that eats haggis?  Go figure...

Look at how pretty this is, and on a cracker with a chunk of that pickled onion - pure heaven...

But, I digress...

The video below was taken last Saturday night.  Nel's younger brother Jon is getting his PhD in Tuba at the UW and as part of the Bellingham Festival of Music he and another local musician gave a recital to benefit the festival.  It was fun.


A little bit of Tuba Trivia - did you know that the music in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" was really played on a Tuba and not computer generated?   

Saturday, January 05, 2013

New Year's Day at Nancy's

For the last 6 or 7 years we have been going over to our friend Nancy's Farm for a New Year's Day party.  Always good food, good music and this year it was more of the same.  The musicians generally end up splitting into two groups - one in the "great room" - the old rock and rollers - and the folk/Balkan music people in the living room - This year I was in the great room with the old rock & rollers - Pretty good for a bunch of guys who only play together once a year. 

Nancy cooked up a big Costco Ham (it was yummy~) and I made "Auntie Magga's Potatoes" I forgot to take a picture, but take my word for it - these are the best scalloped potatoes you'll ever eat!

Scalloped Potatoes Supreme

(My friend's family renamed this "Auntie Magga's Potatoes because she always brought them to potlucks - they are really delish!)

2 lbs. hash brown potato cubes
1/4 t. pepper
1/2 t. salt
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c. finely chopped onions
2-3 cans cream of chicken soup or you could use part cream of mushroom too)
1 c. sour cream

Mix all together and place into 9" x 13" pan.  Bake @ 350 degrees for approx. 45 minutes. 

Topping if desired:
2 c. crushed corn flakes or potato chips
1/4 c. melted butter

Place under broiler until golden brown.


Oh, and here's some more music!  

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

New "Toys"

 These are the delivery guys from DeWaard & Bode, the local, self proclaimed, Appliance Giants bringing my new Electrolux washing machines last month (when the ebil Blogger was holding me hostage for posting pictures - turns out I really didn't have any storage issues at all - we think someone was trying to do a little identity theft - luckily I didn't fall for it ...)

There was a lot of cleaning up that had to be done to get the old Maytag washer & dryer out - the washer quit about two years ago - and I have been schlepping our dirty clothes to the laundromat ever since. Our dryer still worked though, so I'd bring the (heavy) wet clothes and towels, etc home to dry them

I was so done with carting laundry back and forth!

Actually because of some drain field issues, I'd been taking my clothes to the laundromat for more than several years - but we could do one load a week at home, and that was John's dirty work clothes.

So, when our washer died a couple of years ago, I refused to pay to fix a 16 year old top loader that probably used about 45 gallons of water to do one load of laundry - (Even though these are the largest capacity machines that Electrolux makes, they only use 14 gallons of water to wash and rinse. Woo hoo!)  So I started saving my money.  

I love, love, love these machines.  First thing I did though, was buy a package of white "thirsty" bar towels - the house rule is that you dry off the washer door and the inside after you put the wet stuff in the dryer.  And then when you take the stuff out of the dryer, you dry off the inside of the washer door again, and maybe the next morning...

Because they sit in a hallway, it is not feasible to leave the door open to let it dry out, and that would also invite snoopy cats to check out the inside - (that is one thing I have NEVER allowed is for my cats to get in the dryer) - (I actually had a friend start her washer with her cat inside it = cat is still around, but was never quite the same...)  Sorry, I digress - but drying off the door and swiping the rubber gasket a couple of times with these bar towels seems to be working well - no moldy smells what so ever and once every couple of months I'll use some of that Tide washing machine cleaner that they recommend for front loaders. 

And the dirty landscaper/Shepherd clothes come very clean - and my clothes don't get beat to heck with a top loading agitator - did I mention that I love these machines... Big Grin here... AND I have my Sunday afternoons back! 

Someone else was glad that we cleaned up the porch too - and immediately took up residence on top of the deep freeze (which previously had boxes of stuff and detritus piled on top of it)

It provides a nice toasty place to sleep that is out of the way of big boots.