kitty companiona

kitty companiona

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Horay!!! It's Back!!!

It's 4 a.m. on Wednesday morning, and as of right now my Reading List is back.

Should I mention a certain Old Woman's impatience with technology that doesn't work properly every time.  Isn't the world supposed to be running on computers and if there can be glitches in something so insignificant as blogging, what does that say about the Big Stuff?  If we have to be dependent on the dang machine, shouldn't it be dependable???

Ha!  You thought I was done ranting???  I have a few more left in me.

But for now, I want to thank all of you who contributed ideas for how to get around the glitch.

Also I wanted to comment on the picture of Deiter hanging from the bottom of the window frame.  There's something about that front window behind my computer that makes him crazy.  He stuffs his body up between the screen and the glass as far as he can reach and yowls and wiggles around like a cat possessed.  Then he hangs there and throws his head back like in the picture.  I have no idea why.
I'd love to be inside a cat's mind for an hour!
I guess we all have our whack-o moments.

Have a good day, friends!
Mine will be a lot better knowing all is back to normal in blogging world.  Ha-ha.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Rant, rave, grumble...

OK, I'm ready to tear my hair out.  What little I have left.

 For the quite a few years I've been blogging, I've had a Reading List of blogs I follow.  It's not even a very long list.  Usually less than two dozen, but I do like to read the new posts from my friends every day.  All I had to do was click on the little orange B in the upper left corner of my tool bar and my Reading List would appear with about a half dozen of the most recent blog entries for me to read.
Easy peasy, right???

Not any more!  My Reading List went kaputsky!!!  Only the most recent ONE blog is now appearing with a little view more notation underneath that does nothing when I click on it.


It's making me crazy enough to do this!

So I'm frantically going through and trying to subscribe to as many as I can through email or Bloglovin which I really didn't want to do and it's not available for everyone anyhow.  Aaaarg!

Is anyone else having this problem?  Or if not, do you have a better way of getting all of your blog posts from your favorite blogs all in one happy place consistently every day.

I want blogging to be a happy thing!

I know several other people have had problems of a different type, like losing all their pictures or having a lot of their older posts disappear.  There isn't really any good troubleshooting info to be had, unfortunately.

So if I haven't commented in the past few days, I missed reading your post because my Reading List is dysfunctional and I'm not sure what to do about it.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Feeding Hungry Cowboys

Twice a year Brad and Kami do the cooking for a cowboy weekend at the historic Old Bedford Village in Bedford, PA.

                                                               Last year's buckaroos

Since preparing a menu and shopping for ingredients and packing all their gear is time consuming, I volunteered to help out by baking biscuits and cornbread.  On  the hottest day of the year so far, of course.

Yes I used Bisquick.

Even with something as simple as baking mix, I had a few measuring errors.  The heat must have been addling my brain.  Not that it takes much.

But in the end the 80+ biscuits all came out fine.  They will be used at breakfast with sausage gravy.

That is my grandmother Dickey's (Mom's mom) biscuit and donut cutter which she gave to me a long time ago.

I don't remember if she made good biscuits but she was an excellent baker of pies.  She also made really good chicken pot pie, the kind with squares of rolled out dough that was dropped into broth with cooked chicken.

Those were her two claims to culinary fame.  I tried to find a picture to go with this post but couldn't find one without going upstairs and hunting through albums and just didn't have the energy.

I'm in grave need of a nice relaxing 'Isabel Moment".  Are you ready, Little One?

Yes, we'll rest a while in front of the fan before we tackle the remainder of the day.

She's such a soothing companion!

Tomorrow we make cornbread for the cowboy chili.  Think we can handle more baking, Isabel???

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Daddy Day

                                                       Brad and Zip last summer

Brad and Kami came today to celebrate Fathers' Day and to do yard work.
They have been coming every week to help out with the endless mowing and weeding that is required to keep our property even halfway decent.  Even when we were younger we were never able to totally  keep ahead of all the yard work and now that we're old it's impossible without help.  Thankfully Brad likes working outdoors.

Last week they picked strawberries that I didn't even realize were out there in all the weeds.  Two whole bowls full!  I wasn't prepared.  Didn't have any powdered pectin to make freezer jam (my favorite).  So I sent Zip off to the grocery store to get some before going fishing.  He brought home the pectin and then headed off to the Big Spring and I got to work.  Out came the sugar jar.  Oh no, it's going to be close!  I needed eight cups of sugar and only have seven!  Thank goodness for cell phones.

So on the way home from fishing he stopped and got sugar.  Did I mention that he likes to fish till just after dark???  So at 10 p.m. I'm making strawberry jam.  By 11:30 it is finished and the picture is taken. Kind of a dim photo, but that's what you get that lose to midnight.

Today they dug out hostas and moved them to some new locations, planted lilies, mulched with cocoa shells and mowed.  And picked more strawberries.

                                                      Behind the summer kitchen

Then we had the Fathers' Day lunch of lobster, asparagus, baked potato and salad.  I only took one picture of Zip eating lunch and it came out terrible.  He looked like he had eaten a stink bug!  Ha-ha!!!  Brad and Kami brought an ice cream cake for dessert from Windy Knoll grocery in Chambersburg.  They make their own home-made ice cream which they use in the cakes.  It was yummy.

So here is father and son this year, enjoying a relaxing moment on the front porch.

Thanks for stopping in.  Hope all of you took time today to remember your fathers and to celebrate the men in your life.

 My father (he's the one with his hands on the ears of his younger brother) in 1945 shortly after he came home from WW2.  That's his father holding the two little children and all of his brothers.  There were just as many sisters.  It was a large family.

                                                                    Portrait of my Dad. 
                                                                     He loved fishing.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Lunch in Thailand....I wish!

On Wednesday Brad and Kami came to do yard work.  They have been coming every week to mow, remove brush and help in the garden.  Our yard is looking good this year.

My job is to provide lunch.

Weis Market had snow crab legs on sale this week so I decided on a Thai themed lunch with fresh spring rolls and pineapple fried rice to accompany them.  I love fresh spring rolls on a hot summer day and I thought they would be great after working out in the hot sun.

There is no real recipe for them, just a few basic ingredients.

An essential ingredient is the bahn trang rice paper wrapper.

The cellophane noodles are optional.

I usually get these ingredients at an Asian grocery but larger supermarkets have them too.

Next you need:
leaf lettuce, like romaine, green leaf, butter crunch
strips of zucchini, cucumber, or carrot
shredded meat, chicken, pork, shrimp, beef, whatever you like
cilantro and some mint of you like it

 I start by putting about 1/4 pack of the cellophane noodles in a bowl of water and microwaving them for about three minutes until they are pliable.  Drain them.  Then I snip them with kitchen shears roughly into short pieces and set aside.

Next I put warm water in a shallow pie pan wide enough to hold the rice paper wrapper and begin soaking one wrapper at a time.  You only want to soak the wrapper until it just begins to become pliable.  If you soak it too long it will get squishy and tear.

Less pliable is better than too mushy!!!

Lay it out on a cutting board or smooth surface and put the lettuce leaf on the upper half.

Pile on the meat, noodles, veggies and cilantro, but not too thick that you won't be able to roll it up.
I drizzle on a little bit of this Asian sesame dressing for extra flavor. 
Cooking can be exhausting so Deiter is taking a nap.

 And then start rolling, using the lettuce leaf to keep the ingredients where they belong.  About halfway down, fold in the sides and continue rolling.  Those are Kami's lovely hands doing the work.

And here are the finished spring rolls.

We used the Asian sesame dressing for a dipping sauce but there are many nice soy based recipes that you can Google that are fast and easy to make.

The crab legs were yummy and the pineapple rice was a nice side.

While we were having a lovely lunch the second shift was out working in the yard.
The minute Brad and Zip came inside, these two characters hopped on the mower.  They are father and son feral cats who live outside.

We provide food and shelter.  They come close but really don't want to be touched.  They don't mind a ride on the lawn mower, though.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


After a lot of soul searching, I've decided to change the name of my blog.  The URL and everything will stay the same.  The title on the header will be slightly different.

Since there hasn't been a hook in my hand for who-knows-how-long, I've decided the 'Hook' must go.  It will simply be 'From Hand and Heart'.  My interest in handcrafts seems to have tanked.  That is the reason I haven't blogged as much as I used to.  No interesting projects to report.

It will no longer be a blog focusing on rughooking.  It will just be my random interests and what's going on in my life.  There will be craftwork when and if I do anything.  My interest in cooking and restaurants is still running strong, so I will continue to post recipes and reviews.  
And there will always be cats.

There will be some other BIG changes in our lives which I will tell about as soon as they begin in the next few weeks.

So if you're still interested, please join me - same place - different name - at
"From Hand and Heart".

Monday, June 2, 2014

Corn Chowder Recipe

This past week our local Weis Market had fresh sweet corn on sale.  Not local of course!  It was a bit older than I like and taxing for Zip who wears dentures but still good tasting.

So not to let it go to waste, I cut it off the cob and made corn chowder.

Please note that quantities do not have to be exact.  Use your creativity!

4 cups fresh sweet corn, raw or left over cooked corn-on-the-cob, either one works
8 ounces potato (2 medium)
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
6 oz. extra lean diced ham (3/4 cup?)
1 tsp. olive oil
1/4 cup flour
4 cups combination of chicken broth and water (more broth = more flavor!)
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1 cup low fat milk

Put olive oil in stock pot.  Add the first five ingredients.  Saute.
Sprinkle with flour, stir and saute for several minutes.  Add about 1 cup of the liquid and stir and cook till broth is slightly thickened.  Add the rest of the liquid and cook till veggies are tender.
Add cilantro leaves and milk.  Heat and serve.
Serving size of 1 1/2 is 215 calories.  The recipe makes 8 cups or 6 servings.

Hopefully the next time I post there will be progress in the garden.  We have been so late getting started this year because of the weather.  Yesterday Zip laid out the fiber mulch for planting the tomatoes and peppers.  Brad and Kami plan to come on Wednesday so maybe we can have a planting marathon.

Have I ever mentioned how much I love this cat?

Only about a hundred times, you say?
Oh, OK.

Until next time, happy Summer!