Thursday, July 20, 2017

A Cat Tale

My daughter loves cats as much as I do, which is a good thing.  She has several that have come to live at her house this year. 

This tale is about Uncle CT.  

We had been calling him Crooked Tail, because his tail had been broken when young or maybe he was born with it that way.

He was also born with a few other deformities.  His claws come out at the top of his toes instead of the end like normal ones.  His front right leg above his foot appears to have been broken and it bends there when he walks and he does walk with a limp.

Uncle CT is a feral cat that will allow you to pet him on occasion. 

When another cat, along with her 5 kittens, showed up at Kim's house, Uncle CT took on the roll of guardian or "uncle" to the brood.  Here he is with one of the little ones on the deck where they sometimes sleep in the chairs.  

What is funny to us is that he has gotten the mama cat's call down pat.  Kim feeds him and all the others and keeps the water bowl full.  When the food is put out and the kittens aren't in sight, he will call out just like the mama until the kittens come to eat, too.  

The little one pictured above is called Lil Stormy, and you probably can guess why.  The kittens are pretty wild even though they will come up on the deck to sleep in the chairs now and then.  

It is so sweet to see Uncle CT keeping an eye on all the kittens and even with his deformities he seems to be happy and content while taking his babysitting duties seriously.   

Happy Thursday to you!
xo Cheryl

Monday, July 17, 2017

A Very Hot Weekend

We had a very hot weekend in which to do some yard work, but we got it done.  The new mulch that we finally got and put down looks so nice and I even planted a couple of new perennials that I bought last week.  The new flower bed looks pretty good for a hot July.

The annuals are still doing well and my new favorite combination of Lantana and purple Angelonia is so pretty.  I'm watering every day and I know that by the time August rolls around the flowers will begin to fade and I will, too, from dragging the watering hose to the flower beds and pots.  But, I'm enjoying the flowers while they last. 

I haven't talked about Stormy in a while.  She is still busy keeping an eye on everything and everyone in the house.  Here she's perched on the Hoosier cabinet in the kitchen watching Sissy who is on the island.  They love to be in the kitchen trying to talk me into giving them a few treats.

I had just gotten home from a grocery shopping trip and had set down a couple boxes of pasta before snapping the above photo.  One of those boxes was the tri-colored rotini that I use to make our new favorite pasta dish.

This dish was a big hit at the 4th of July party with everyone.  I even had a couple of the men ask their wives to get the recipe.  It's a Wallyworld Copycat recipe and I made it again this weekend.  It's quick and easy. 

Broccoli Cheddar Pasta Salad
1 medium head of broccoli, chopped into small florets
1 medium red onion, diced fine
2 cups mayonnaise
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (I used 1 1/2 TB)
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
 1 box tri-colored rotini pasta

Cook pasta in salted water according to directions on box.  
Drain and rinse with cold water to cool before adding other ingredients.  
I also sprinkle in a little olive oil after rinsing
to keep pasta from sticking. 
Wash the broccoli well and chop into small florets.  Dice
the onion fine and then mix the onions and broccoli into
the pasta.  Add the cheddar cheese to the mixture, mixing

In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sugar and
cider vinegar, stirring well.  Pour over the pasta and
mix well.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

I will be heading to the Big Town later this morning for another shot in my eye for the macular degeneration which is developing in my left eye.  It will be my fourth shot. 

It's not a pleasant procedure, but it's bearable and I'll be going alone this trip.  Since they dilate my eyes to examine them thoroughly each time, it makes driving a bit more difficult especially in bright sunshine.  So I'll be hanging around town waiting for my vision to improve before driving the 30 something miles home. 

If it appears that I'm neglecting my blog friends, it's not because I'm not interested.  It's because there is always something that seems to keep me away from the computer.  Summertime is a busy time and I'm sure it is for you, too.  Do you find it hard to keep up with blogging lately?  And if you have a good tip for being able to do it all without cutting back on blogging, let us all know!

Happy Monday to you!
xo Cheryl   

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A Little Getaway

It's probably not too hard to guess where this road leads to.  

Yes, it is just a few miles from Branson.  BG mentioned after the 4th that it would be a good time for him to take off a few days.  I had the laundry all caught up, so I packed the suitcase and we were on our way.  

Our son was still on vacation so he joined us for a few days.

The weather was nice and hot, but we had some beautiful skies after a fast moving storm blew in Friday evening just as we were getting ready to leave the condo to go to dinner.  

The rain cooled the temps down and the humidity wasn't as high, so we enjoyed a game of miniature golf after dinner that evening.  I, of course, came in usual.  ☺  The men are such competitors and I don't stand a chance.  And I even got a hole-in-one!  Brett scored 3 holes-in-one and still lost to the Big Guy.  BG never lets us hear the end of it, either!  lol 
The food was delicious everywhere we ate.  I fixed breakfast a few times at the condo and we had snacks, but the main meals are eaten out.  That's part of the fun of vacation, right?  'Tis for me.

I wish I'd zoomed in a bit closer on this tree just outside our deck at the condo.  We can't figure out what it is.  It appears to have large clusters of what looks like nuts of some kind.  Anyone know what this is?  

Pretty skies were overhead as we traveled home.  The weather is very hot right now.  Our daughter watered the flowers and kept the cats fed while we were gone.  The flowers are still looking good so far.  It will be a battle to keep them that way with this relentless heat and humidity.  

The Japanese beetles are still around devouring our peaches.  And the raccoons are feasting on them as well.  The deer may miss out this year.  Some years I feel like we plant just to feed the wildlife.

I have picked one ripe tomato.  And the cucumbers are full of flowers getting ready to turn into fruit.  But the green pepper plants look pitiful.  There won't be many of those this year.

Our little vacation was nice but ended all too quickly.  The days just rush by and there's so much to see and do that there is never enough time.   Now it's back home and back to work.  

I want to do some changing up in my house, but first I need to get some of the purging done.  There is a long to-do list that I've made and I'll be happy when I can draw a line through those items that are done.  What are you up to this summer? 

Happy Wednesday to you!
xo Cheryl

Friday, July 7, 2017

The 4th - Fun and Food

We had a fabulous time on the 4th.  Our daughter hosted a party at her house for several friends and family.  Our son was able to drive back in for the fun, too.  There was a lot of food and laughter until time to move our chairs further out along the driveway in order to see the fireworks show that started at 9:30 pm.

Kim had her house beautifully decorated for the 4th.  I didn't take as many photos of her decor as I did the food.  Guess what's most important to me?  lol  

The food was plentiful and delicious.  Every one loves the pinwheels she makes.  The pasta salad and Mexican dip in the background were 2 dishes I brought as well as a pan of meatballs.

The weather turned out to be perfect, but there was rain in the forecast so grilling wasn't in the plans this year.  I made meatballs using a tried and true recipe that I've had for many years.  Everyone loved them, in fact I think you can see a couple of spots in the photo where 2 or 3 had been fished out for sampling before the party started.  :)

Barbequed Meatballs

3 pounds ground beef
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup cracker crumbs
2 eggs
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons chili powder

2 cups catsup
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke or to taste
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup chopped onion

To make meatballs, combine all ingredients (mixture
will be soft) and shape into walnut-sized balls.  Place
meatballs in a single layer on wax paper-lined cookie
sheets; freeze until solid.  Store frozen meatballs in
freezer bags until ready to cook.  To make sauce, 
combine all ingredients and stir until sugar is dissolved.
Place frozen meatballs in a 13x9 inch baking dish or pan;
pour on the sauce.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or
until done.  Makes 80 meatballs.

I didn't freeze this batch of meatballs and it still took
nearly an hour baking time.  I also never come out 
with 80 meatballs since I must make mine a little 
larger than walnut-sized. ☺ 

Throwaway dinnerware was used for easy cleanup.  Some ate out on the deck and others inside around the table.  There was so much food as others brought dishes, too.  One brought some yummy dips and my Mexican dip was a big hit, too.   It's quick and easy as is the pasta salad.  Many asked for my recipes and I'll share another time  how to make the pasta and dip.

Have a terrific day and weekend!  I've not been able to be online much lately but I'll be visiting as soon as I can. 

Happy Friday to you!
xo Cheryl

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Fourth of July!!

To all of my blogging friends here in America,
I wish you a beautiful day celebrating 
Independence Day! 


~comments closed~

Thursday, June 29, 2017

A June Birthday

I'm continually amazed at how fast the years fly by.  
It seems like just a short time ago I was writing 
about my daughter's 40th birthday.  Now 5 years have
gone by and it's time to celebrate our dear son's 
birthday...the big 4-0.

What can I tell you about this son I love so much?
He's kind and has a good heart.
He is thoughtful, caring and loving.
 He's smart, handsome and funny.
I even like the practical jokes he loves to play.  :)
He's hard-working and dedicated to his job.`
 He's quick to smile and give a hug.
I love when he is cutting up and imitating Elvis.

So many things I could tell about this wonderful son 
of mine.  I thank God every day for him and for 
our daughter.

Happy Birthday, Brett!!

 We love you so much!

And Happy Thursday, friends!
xo Cheryl

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Beetles and Etc.

This is turning into a busy week.  Another trip to the Big Town was taken yesterday to the computer repair shop.  Hopefully a new monitor will arrive in a couple of days.  

While in town, I did some birthday shopping for our son and found myself a new summery purse which I really needed.  Shopping for men and for purses are probably high on my list of things I least like to shop for. 

What do you get a man who has what they need and the things they might want just doesn't fit your pocketbook?  lol!  

As for looking for a purse for myself, it's easier to shop for my daughter.  She's easier to please than I am.  I find that most purses are either too big, too small, or the wrong color. 

Thanks to all of you who shared advice for hiding the cords hanging from our new wall-hung flat screen tv.  I went with Cheryl's, of Thinking About Home, advice to look at the link she gave me about the kit pictured above which I found yesterday at Home Depot.  Hopefully we'll be able to get it installed easily and soon.

Those nasty things above that are eating up our peaches on our trees and on the knockout roses are called Japanese beetles.  They are a menace.  I found some information online here that hopefully will help to get rid of them.

They say the best method is handpicking and dropping them in a bucket of soapy water.  Ugh.  A comment from someone said they sprayed hydrogen peroxide on them and they fell dead to the ground.  I tried that a couple of times and nothing happened.  Maybe they used a stronger grade.  The next thing we'll try is spraying them with soapy water.  If you know a good way to get rid of these critters, please let me know.  

Our weather has been delightful the past few days.  Our neighbor just down the road came the other day and mowed our pasture.  He gets the hay bales which don't amount to a lot and you can see one of them in the above photo.  Such a nice guy and we don't even ask him to do it, but we really appreciate that he shows up every year with his tractor and equipment.  

Okay, back to doing the laundry.  
Happy Tuesday to you!
xo Cheryl

Friday, June 23, 2017

A CATastrophe

~I didn't do it~

I left off my last post with a promise to tell what happened with the cat and the tv.
One evening as we were eating a late dinner, we heard an enormous crash coming from the living room.  We got up and hurried in to see what had happened.  Our tv was on the floor face down and a kitty with the tail fluffed out was sitting there looking guilty.  So we at first thought.  As it turned out, it was a flying insect that the cat was watching and trying to nab.  So that explained how the tv got to be knocked off the entertainment center and onto the floor.

Upon sitting the television upright we saw the big cracks but plugged it in to see if it was still working and turned it on to find nothing but lines appearing on the screen.

So, it was 2 big purchases that needed to be made recently as I've also had to replace my dying old laptop.  

The new television is a little larger than our other one and this time it got mounted on the wall.  Our son did that chore for us while he was here Father's Day weekend.  

Now I have a new dilemma and that is how to hide the 3 cords that hang down the wall.  Of course, they would have to be hanging from 3 different spots and not where I could put all three in something to hide them or drill one hole in the wall behind the tv. 

If you have any suggestions please let me know.  The only thing I can think of is several picture frames.  

The laptop was bought at the computer repair center.  It is one year old and had been restored by the tech geeks.  I've taken it back twice now and may have to take it in again.  The screen fades to light with wide stripes appearing.  When I move the screen/lid it will go back to normal.  They couldn't find a cause for all of this but said they would order a new monitor if it kept happening.  

This computer has Windows 10 and that is a bit of a challenge.  Also, they transferred all my files over to this computer and I'm having trouble with the pictures.  Seems when I click on a folder, I don't see any photos.  I'm sure there's a fix, but I haven't found it yet.   

Weather-wise it's been very hot but after a little rain this morning it's supposed to be cooler this weekend.  I bought a few new flowers to replace those that have died while I was at the Big Town to pick up the laptop yesterday.  Home Depot and Lowes still have lots of beautiful flowers left.  

Have a nice weekend. 

Happy Friday to you!
xo Cheryl

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Catching Up

Hello!  Anyone still out there?  I don't blame you if you've given up on me.  I didn't mean to be away so long.  Time flies when you're busy having fun, as they say.   

Not every day is fun, of course.  Far from it.  Especially if you see the news.  Too many disturbing things are going on in the US and the world today.  And that's all I'll say about that, at this time.

Also, too many friends are going through various struggles right now.

My little woes are small in comparison and I'm grateful for each day that I get to crawl out of bed, however slowly, and can eat and see and walk and talk.  Simple things that we too often take for granted.  

I've been keeping busy watering the flowers each day trying to keep them thriving in spite of the heat and humidity.  Some small pots of verbena have to be replaced.  They never really looked all that healthy after they were first planted.  

BG and I celebrated our 46th wedding anniversary last week.  And they said it wouldn't last!  Actually it was his brother who said he'd give us 5 years.  Fooled him!  😁  (look at those sideburns and I had the teased hair going.  lol!)

We had planned to meet our son at the Halfway Diner on Father's Day.  (for new readers, he lives in KC and we live 2 hours away.)  I was puttering around Saturday and BG was napping, which turned out to be a good thing.  I heard the doorbell ring.

I opened the door and our son stood there grinning.  I had talked to him earlier on the phone and he said he was out running errands.  ha!  He brought meat to grill and lots of other goodies to eat so we didn't have to cook on Sunday.  

That night a storm blew through our area and most of the state, too.  BG got called to work at 2 am as there were a number of power outages and didn't get home until noon Sunday.  Thankfully, our power in town stayed on.  

We had a late breakfast and then BG got in a long nap before Brett grilled just before dark.  It was a nice weekend in spite of the weather and work, but there was one little mishap involving a cat and the TV.  I'll tell about that next time. 

Happy Wednesday to you!
xo Cheryl

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Beautiful June

"I wonder what it would be like to live in a 
world where is is always June."
~L. M. Montgomery

If, according to Gladys Taber, May is a magical month then so, too, is June.  It is a beautiful time of year and makes me think of that song from the musical, Carousel...June Is Busting Out All Over.  

The flowers are growing by leaps and bounds.   At least those in the pots are, the newly planted perennials have just begun to look more alert.  Three of the four Salvia that I transplanted are doing well.  Not sure the other one is going to make it.

The skies have been beautiful with white fluffy clouds lately.  I love days like this and it makes me want to hop in the car and take a drive.   

I love all the different colors of flowers from the pale pinks to the vibrant purples and yellows.  

There used to be a woman who lived in this town that would only plant white flowers.  She lived in a white house, drove a white car and wore white clothing.

I love white and one of my favorite shirts is mostly white, but I need more color in my life than just white.  I'd definitely be bored to death with nothing but white flowers.  But to each his own, as they say.

This is also a special month for many as a lot of weddings take place in June.  BG and I were married in June.  Our son has a special birthday coming later this month.  A lot of special days are celebrated this month.

When I was a youngster, school always ended in May and June was the beginning of summer vacation for me.  Three whole glorious months!  I loved summers on the farm.  

There were no tech games or devices in those days and we had to make do with swimming in ponds instead of swimming pools.  We had horses to ride and woods to walk in and roller skates that clipped on our shoes to zoom around the basement when the weather didn't allow outside play.  

Of course, we had chores to do when we were old enough.  I remember bribing my little brother with the promise of a nickel or dime...which would buy a candy bar or soda back in those days!...if he would dry the dishes as I washed them.  

Most times, ornery me wouldn't pay up but he never said a word and would fall for my bribe all over again next time.  ☺  Well, maybe not every time! 

I could reminisce for hours.  It's fun to revisit the past once in awhile, isn't it?  At least, the good times...sweet memories.

I try to put unpleasant memories...and most of us have at least a a box and only open that box on occasion when I want to examine something.  It's not that I'm hiding from them, but those days or moments are in the past and reliving sad or unhappy times is just not that helpful, in my opinion. 

Our sunsets have been gorgeous this spring.  The sun has moved over to the right and isn't setting directly in front of our house as it does in the fall. 

The windows in the kitchen and dining area faced west in the house on the farm I grew up in, and I remember watching many sunsets from them.  

It was where I began my lifelong love affair with sunsets and nature and skies with fluffy white clouds.   

I hope you are enjoying the beauty of this month of June, too!

Happy Wednesday to you!
xo Cheryl