kitty companiona

kitty companiona

Friday, November 26, 2010

Surprise, Surprise!

Our new little furry one has had the first trip to the vet.  The fe-Luke test was negative.  Distemper, upper respiratory and rabies vaccines were given.

And just to make sure, we asked the vet to check under the tail.
Sissy is not the new little sister of the group after all.  She is a HE!  LOL!!!  A HE shrouded in a lot of fluffy fur. 
So he has been re-named Reggie.

Who would think with such a cute little delicate face, he would be a tomcat.  He's also younger than we thought.  Only about four months old instead of the five or six we suspected.  When we checked his teeth, we discovered he still has his baby teeth.  They usually are replaced by the permanent ones around four months.  The vet said he was big for his age, maybe because of Maine Coon parentage.

Or maybe he has some monkey in him.  What is with cats and wanting to climb to the top of doors???

Reggie and Penny formed a bond right away.  Penny loves anyone she can play with so they were off and running! 

Isabel has been confined to our bedroom due to some issues with her incision.  I think she was a bit overactive and caused a fluid lump to form along her scar line.  The vet said to keep her quiet for a few days (NOT EASY!!!) and gave us some antibiotics.  Guess what?  She hates being quiet AND taking pills!  Two strikes and we are OUT!  She's a tricky little thing. 
Deiter has been keeping her company.

Tipper just sits calmly by the woodstove and watches all the craziness.

 She's such a good girl!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Day....NOT according to plan

What a day!  A classic example of best laid plans sometimes going awry.

Zip and I, Brad and Kami and Mom had decided to go to the church near Brad's.  They were offering free dinners to those who couldn't afford and were accepting donations from those who could.  They asked that anyone attending make a reservation.  Kami called earlier in the week and put our names on the list.  We were scheduled to be seated at 12 noon.

When we arrived, Mom had gotten there before us.  She was in a fluster because they did not have our names on the list and told her that we could be served anyhow but would have to 'wait a while'.  Mom blamed Kami for not making the reservation.  After fifteen minutes she kept looking at her watch and complaining about how long it was taking.  The place was packed.  They were trying to accommodate special needs people first.  Brad and I suggested maybe we should go elsewhere.

We approached the hostess lady, thanked her, and said we would be leaving.  Not upset or anything, we just couldn't wait.  As we were explaining, I glanced at the list of reservations. There, about a dozen entries down the page was our name!    Apparently the hostess lady missed it when she was checking the reservations.   Mom and Zip were already out the door and headed for the car.

We went back toward town to a Chinese buffet.  Kind of reminded me of the old movie 'A Christmas Story'.  Remember, 'you'll shoot your eye out!'.  And how at the end the neighbor's dogs steal the turkey and they all go to the Chinese restaurant for Christmas dinner.  At one point Mom and Zip are standing at the buffet looking at a pan of these very large fried drumsticks, asking each other 'do you think they're TURKEY???'  LOL!

We sat at the table and chatted for a while, then Zip and I went back to Brad and Kami's and talked some more.

On the way home Zip kept wondering if this or that restaurant were open today and if they maybe had turkey.  He doesn't usually even like turkey that much, but the lack of it on Thanksgiving was apparently causing severe trauma.

Last week we had gotten our way-low-cost turkey from Weis market and I had roasted it, pulled the meat off the bones and put it in the freezer.  I assumed that we wouldn't be needing it for a while since we were having turkey on Thanksgiving day.  WRONG!  I got a bag of the meat and a jar of the broth and we had T-U-R-K-E-Y!!! for dinner.

Hot turkey sandwich with cranberry relish I bought at the store earlier this week.
Turkey!  Just not according to plan.

I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day and that it was EXACTLY as you planned it!

Monday, November 22, 2010


This is the last child we are going to adopt for a Very Long Time!

There has been a lovely kitty that comes into Brad and Kami's yard frequently.  She's friendly and seems to be used to humans, allowing them to pet her.  They were pretty sure she is being taken care of by someone in the neighborhood since she's well-fed and healthy looking.  Recently she has been bringing a kitten with her, also friendly and lovable.  Too lovable!

My son blames ME for giving him the Cat Loving Gene!  Along with a lot of other Undesirable Traits.
He has fallen in love with this little kitty and would have liked to keep her, but his dowager cat Whisker Woman would throw a major hissy fit.  She barely tolerates their other cat, Ernie.  Whiskers did not want to share her man with Kami when she and Brad first started dating.  Another female in the family would probably put her over the edge. 

Brad sent me these pictures to entice me.

And of course, I succumbed.
Kami is feeding the Mom and her child.
I want to mention that these kitties, even though someone *might* be taking care of them, are running loose in town where a busy street goes right in front of Brad's house.  Also the mother is not spayed which will mean more cute kitties in the future.  I know!...I can't save them all!!!  But....

Now we have another little furball.  And this is the Very Last One for a very long time!  I told them NOT to send any more pictures!  DO NOT mention Cute Kitty who needs a home to me!  Five is the limit!!!

Meanwhile the two other little kids are recovering from their spaying.  This was taken in the evening when they returned home.

They are now back in action, bad as ever, eagerly trying to find ways into the bathroom and intimidate the intruder, whom we are naming Sissy.

Needless to say, I've gotten nothing else done.  No rughooking, no knitting, no nothing!
That's the news from Cat Land.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I Miss My Babies!

My babies, Izzy and Penny were just dropped off at the vet for their spaying surgery.  Zip and I didn't get much sleep last night worrying about them.  Having one of our kids having surgery is stressful enough, but two is over the top!

Now that we have returned home, there are no little happy faces waiting at the door.  Deiter and Tippy have had breakfast and are upstairs somewhere sleeping.  The house is so quiet!  I remember now that's why we decided to get the little ones.  Not enough cat action.

I am very much in favor of neutering and spaying.  Every cat we've ever had live with us has had the surgery.  I wish there were an alternative to having to cut them and the risks involved.  So please say a small prayer for Izzy and Penny that everything goes well for them.

Speaking of the sleeping Deiter, he is through taking his antibiotics and is back to his usual outgoing friendly self.  Like the good guy he is, he made no fuss about taking the pills.  Though I must say that I'm very skilled at giving cat pills.  We had many years of practice with our dear Sophie.  Thank you all who have emailed and asked about him and gave him 'get well' messages over the past few weeks!

Starting Over.....
That's what I did with my knit shrug. 

I knew I would never wear it the way it had turned out.  I had several suggestions that I give it as a gift, but with not liking it myself, I wasn't going to give a defective garment to someone else.  I unraveled the whole thing and wound the yarn neatly back into balls.  Then I did some redesigning on paper using the elements I liked the most ie. the shawl collar and the deep ribbing at the bottom.

Then I did the math to give me the necessary amount of stitches and the decreases for the armholes and the neck.  Check out my calculator.  It's a scientific one with square root and all kinds of algebraic formulas.  It was required in college when I took chemistry (not my favorite subject!) and now I can't remember how to use all the functions.  But it's lasted for twenty years and that makes me happy!

I've been in a kind of funk for the past week, so all I've wanted to do it sit and knit.  And in two days, look how much I got done!  I am working down the left side of the sweater and then I'll finish the right side in the same way.  Along the front edge and the neck, I'll pick up and knit deep ribbing like I have around the bottom only it will run horizontally and go up around the neck to make the shawl collar.  See, it's possible to be productive even when depressed!  Hahaha!!! 

I think my anxiety is coming from the holidays creeping up on me and as usual I'm not ready.  I'm NEVER ready!!!  Plus all the family stress of who we will visit and eat with, and when, and all the required reunions, etc.  Zip, Brad, Kami and I have already decided that instead of cooking for Thanksgiving, we will go to the church near Brad's to eat and volunteer our services in helping to clean up afterward.   It will be a bummer not to have the much-loved turkey leftovers, but we will eliminate all the beforehand cooking, cleaning and decorating that none of us really want to do or have time for.

Happy Birthday!!!
Today is Zip's birthday.  He's sixty eight (I think!).  I asked him how old he is this morning right after he got up and he said he would have to do the math!  After a couple of cups of coffee.  LOL!!! 
Give the man the calculator!  I know he doesn't have that many fingers to count on.

I think he's looking pretty good for an old guy!

It's now 5:30 p.m.  We just picked up the little ones and they have come through their surgery and seem to be doing well.  Both are a little bit groggy and unsteady, but up and walking around.  They are confined to the bathroom so we can keep them out of trouble.

Zip and I are so happy to have them back home!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Not Quite Around the World in Three Days

Zip and I haven't been home much in the last few days.

On Friday we took my Mom to visit her sisters in Mt. Joy, PA.  This is in the heart of PA Dutch country.  Part of the visit was eating out, of course!  Zip loves the PA German cuisine.  All that meat and potatoes never seems to put any meat on HIS bones, though!!!  I don't remember the name of the restaurant, but they had a fantastic bakery right in the building.  Their soft wheat dinner rolls were to die for.

We had a nice visit with the aunts.  Kami had gone with us since Brad was away for the weekend.  She and I and my Aunt Ada had a good time discussing family history.  Next time I should take a recorder so I can remember all of it.  And while all the eating and talking were going on, I forgot to take pictures.

On Saturday we went to Carlisle with our friends Chuck and Willa.  We are eating Asian this time.

We were looking forward to trying the Issei Noodle restaurant that features many interesting Japanese, Viet Namese, and Thai entrees.  This time I took pictures.

Chuck and Willa ordered the salad sampler with three different cold Asian salads.  The deep fried tofu with ginger sauce is on the right.

Zip's meal was called chicken and egg dom-buri.  It was thinly sliced tender chicken breast with egg, greens and a mild sauce over rice.  Yummy!

I ordered the classic Phad Thai with meat instead of shrimp.

The portions were large enough that we had leftovers to take home for lunch the next day. 

This restaurant is family owned and operated.  Very tasteful decor.  The only drawback on a Saturday night is trying to find a parking place.  There is only street parking so we had to walk about a block, not that I minded.  We'll be going back!

I like to make spring rolls at home.  To make the best ones, you can't use eggroll wrappers from the grocery because they are too thick and will not give that wonderful light crunchy texture.  I have only found the spring roll wrappers at Asian groceries.

I looked online for Asian groceries that were open on Sunday and found the Asia Mall in Harriburg.  Off we went!

Once again, I was so involved in the fun of the trip that I forgot to take pictures!!!
In this small  mall there are two restaurants (Thai and Asian noodle), a bakery, fingernail shop, gift shop, and a large Asian grocery.

The bakery is run by people originally from Viet Nam.  We were surprised to see French style fruit turnovers and loaves of French bread there.  A lovely lady explained to us that Viet Nam had once been under the rule of the French, giving this interesting twist to their baking tradition.  The pastries were excellent!

The same lovely lady again talked to us in the grocery store and introduced us to the owner.  She must have thought we were tourists of the worst order!

What an amazing store!!!  They had fish in so many varieties, dried, preserved in salt, frozen, fresh on ice and live in tanks, plus ways I probably couldn't imagine!  There was a huge variety of meat and poultry.  Quail eggs, chicken eggs, duck eggs, preserved on who-knows-what eggs!  I didn't even get to the produce section.

There was every variety of packaged Asian anything that you could imagine!  It was so unbelievable fascinating!  I found all the ingredients I needed for my spring rolls, plus a few extra goodies.
I can't wait to go back! 

After the Asian experience we went for dinner at one of my favorite Italian restaurants, Carrabba's.

I love the wonderful warm bread they serve to be dipped in the olive oil and herbs.  Zip ordered linguini with spinach, mushrooms and lobster.  I had the mezzaluna which is a half-moon ravioli filled with chicken, spinach and cheese.  We both had leftovers to bring home for lunch today.

So there's our little world tour, all within a hundred miles of home.  Who knew central PA could be so much fun!!!

Homemade Spring Rolls
Zip says these are as good as we get in restaurants.

1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 small head of cabbage 
spinach or Swiss chard
2 or three scallions
fresh ginger
Asian sesame oil
soy sauce
1 pk. cellophane noodles
spring roll wrappers

I used Swiss chard because we still have some in the garden.  A few leaves, shredded fine will do just to add color.

Slice or shred the cabbage into fine strings.  Chop the scallions.

Finely chop the garlic and ginger.  I did not add specific amounts.  It depends on taste.  I usually use 1 or two garlic cloves (NOT heads!!!) and a nickel sized slice of ginger. 

 Put in a small bowl and drizzle with about 2 tsps. of sesame oil.  Microwave for 30 seconds.  Set aside.

 Put your ground turkey in a large skillet and light ly brown the meat.  Add the shredded cabbage, chard/spinach and the scallion.  Saute till the veggies are tender crisp and the water in the pan evaporates.  Sprinkle on a little soy sauce.  Not much!  Add the garlic and ginger and heat for a few minutes.  You want the mixture to be dry, with no juice in the bottom of the pan  when done cooking.  Set aside to cool.

Next soak the cellophane noodles.

 Put one bundle of noodles in a container large enough so that they can be covered with water.  Heat water to boiling and pour over the noodles and let stand for a few minutes until they are flexible.

Drain the noodles and pat them dry with paper towels.  These noodles are VERY long!  Take kitchen shears and snip them into small pieces and add them to the pan of cooled meat and veggies and mix thoroughly.  No further cooking is necessary.

You are now ready to roll the spring rolls.

 Take only a few out of the package at a time, covering the ones that aren't being used to keep them from drying out.

Lay a nice spoonful of the filling near point of the wrapper and fold the point up over the filling.  Roll to cover the filling, then tuck the side points toward the center.

 Finish making the roll.  Lay on a baking sheet with the open point folded under. 

I have tried both baking the rolls and frying them.  Of course, the fried ones taste better!  Wouldn't ya know??? 

To bake, I lightly sprayed the rolls with cooking spray, then flipped them over and sprayed the other side.  Put them on a rack over a baking sheet and bake until lightly browned.  I can't tell you what the oven temp was because the oven control on my 1940's gas stove no longer works.

To fry the rolls, I put about 1/4 inch of veg. oil in a fryin pan and got it nice and hot.  Then added the rolls and fried till golden brown.  Then drained on paper towels.

Both turned out nice, but we preferred the fried ones.  Try them with the red pepper preserve that's listed in the recipes tab at the top of the blog.  Yummy!

Uncooked spring rolls can be frozen.  Just wrap them individually so they don't stick together.

That was a long one!
I think I need a coffee.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

NOT the Best Week Ever

The worst thing this week was that Deiter has not been feeling well.  I wish I could blame it on too much Halloween candy, but that is not the case!  He was kind of lethargic on Monday, just laying around and doing a lot of sleeping.  On Tuesday I knew there was a problem when he didn't want to get up and eat breakfast.  He just looked at me through half-closed eyes and seemed miserable.

I called the vet right away and got an afternoon appointment.  When they examined him they found he had a fever, but couldn't find anything else significant.  They drew blood and gave him an antibiotic injection plus oral antibiotics to be given over the next ten days.

He seems to be feeling better now, thank goodness.  I am a basket case when one of my kids gets sick!  I have spent a lot of time sitting with him and talking.  After all, when I had the bad head cold, he kept me company.  I'm glad he's getting back to his usual happy outgoing self.  I just wish I knew what kind of infection it is- urinary, intestinal, what??? 

While I was comforting Deiter, I did get a few things finished.  My little logo rug for one.  I was ready to photograph it and went to the dining room table (the all purpose repository!) to get it was GONE!!!  Isabell had it back under the table and was laying on it.  She had done some reverse hooking in several different spots!  Oh, Isabell!  You can see her handiwork near the top and in the lower right corner, plus there were a few smaller boo-boos in other places.

As I was trying to fix the damage, she comes up on the table and lays on it again!  I can't be mad at her!!!
But it is now repaired and finished.

My other finish was my shrug/vest.  My expression says it all!  I'm just not quite happy with it.  I like the way the ribbing looks in the back, but would like the armholes better if they were shaped.

I think the front is too small looking compared to the back.  I would like to put a closure on it, but I don't think it would look right and probably pull too much across the chest.

Oh, the one thing I do like is the shawl collar.

I think the whole thing is going to have to be ripped out and I'll start again.  I want to see what Julie at the Knitting at Large blog thinks before I go the drastic route.

I haven't done any serious knitting in years, so this can be considered a 'learning experience'!

The other bad thing that happened was that my mouse went bad.  The left button would no longer click.  Bummer!!!
So I must apologise to all of you for not leaving comments.  I got a new mouse and am now back in action!