Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Polly’s Follies – 10

Polly was just begging for a photo shoot today, though she would disagree. I just couldn’t help experimenting with a lamp once she sat in front of our back door window inside a cat food delivery box.

She is more interested in my
lamp than anything else...
Well, this is more of a Snoopy pose...

Oh, come on, Polly...
Now my box over-floweth...

My Sweet Tosie Posie at her finest...

Still not quite the glamour shot
I'd imagined in my head...
yet precious, I think.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Cat Daddies

A friend invited me and my husband to see this limited release documentary. I highly recommend it. -

Friday, November 25, 2022

The Buzz on Buzzards

Sorry about the title; I couldn’t resist. I also couldn’t resist expounding on the subject of these often maligned raptors.

Our neighborhood most often sees the social red headed turkey vulture. Their black headed kin are more solitary and aggressive. They will happily gather to take down a vulnerable living animal. ~shudder~ Meanwhile, I’ve joked to visitors that they should keep moving if they go outside.

These North American natives have always piqued my curiosity. I watched them circle and soar above farm country roads along the way to visit family in mid Ohio. The city of Hinkley, located roughly between Cleveland and my childhood hometown, hosts a ‘Buzzard Day’ every spring to celebrate the birds’ return. Though I never saw a single one on that particular date back then, my favorite Cleveland rock station had a buzzard mascot. Check out the rock n’ roll hair on this bird…

An Excellent, Nostalgic Read...

Fast forward to us moving here in 1994 and spotting huge flocks became normal. Sometimes they even overwinter; those birds might be migrants from further north while our summer residents head south. It’s impossible to know for sure. Either way, I believe the reason we see so many matches the old commercial business wisdom: location, location, location.

The Great Miami River is scant miles to our west and a major highway about the same distance eastward. Both rivers and freeways provide thermal updrafts for often effortless soaring over long distances. This makes them major migration routes while also providing plentiful water and, ahem, food for nature’s janitors.

And our home sits atop a large hill. Advantages include earlier access to the sun’s warming rays as well as a higher take-off point. Large flocks roost overnight in what are called wakes due to the fact their hunched appearance evokes Victorian people wearing traditional heavy mourning cloaks. The kettle reference is due to the way bubbles rise in a boiling pot of water.

Thankful as I am to view them, I am glad there are no big trees on our property. I understand that their droppings are both noxious and corrosive.

Do you suffer from invasive natural pests? Have you ever required a professional removal service?

-

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Painfully True but Funny


Sometimes we just have to laugh. People can be so clever. I especially like the hot dog’s party toothpick ‘tail’.

Meanwhile, we don’t treat the holiday different from any other day. It may seem sad but we don’t miss driving three hours one way to stuff ourselves at various relatives’ homes.

However, we got a turkey because Walmart is selling them whole for less than 1 dollar (US) per pound. Our freezer is so packed that the bird’s thawing in the refrigerator.

After cooking it will be broken down – some frozen in smaller portions. While we humans and our cats will enjoy feasting, the bones will make a good stock.

Never a big Walmart fan, can you understand why I’ll shop there in these times? Did you know there is a couple who film grocery store shopping for Youtube viewers?

-

Friday, November 4, 2022

Win/Win/Win – & – A Lose/Lose

I’ve been intending to post this for over a week. But here’s the good news regarding my Chewy cat food order. They shipped a case of pure Arctic char after I opted for the combination box. I’m sure the duck entrée would have been eaten. This way, I’m certain nothing will go to waste. Jezebel and Polly both enjoy it and Arctic char is the one and only canned food Terra will eat.

Since Chewy provided such fast and excellent customer service, including a 10% off coupon good through November, I placed a whimsical order of Halloween goodies. Let’s face it, they’re really for me. Therefore I won, as did all involved businesses and their employees.



There's a lot more... :D

Alas, on Sunday the huge US retailer Walmart disappointed me. My husband and I shopped there on Saturday and I discovered their small potted flowering mums had been marked down to a single (US) dollar! I picked up two. Sunday morning I decided to return and try brokering a bargain. If the store would increase their discount for me I’d fill my vehicle up. We’d both win, I figured, as they could reduce the stock (likely doomed to a landfill, sad to say) and I could amend the soil with any plants that didn’t survive winter. So I prepared my car – lowering the back seats for more space, laying down plastic, and tossing in some boxes. My resolve steeled, I drove over. Never negotiating is a major failing of mine.

As I parked I saw a staff member assessing those very plants whose price tags were now blank. I enthusiastically jogged after her and asked about the cost. Maybe they were now fifty cents.

“$1.50,” she said. What? She was kind enough to hear me out and walked me to the customer service desk while warning it unlikely my plan would succeed. My plea fell on deaf ears. The woman refused to budge, not even to the former one dollar. As it happens, likeminded customers swamped them Saturday morning. And as I recalled, every single plant required an employee override.

It’s stupid but true. I left without buying a single extra mum. Some folks would have stood their ground, especially since the signs showed no price at all. No way did I want to argue. Whether those frustrated clerks acted out of spite or actually hope to slow the rate of sale, I have no idea. Either way, the strategy makes zero sense. Okay, maybe $1.50 wouldn’t require system overrides. I doubt it.

Would you have pushed the issue? And why didn’t someone find a way to fix the system instead of screwing over paying customers?

-

Thursday, November 3, 2022

What on Earth?

Scrolling through thumbnail images on my iPod, I found what looked like turkey feathers or a pine cone. It took a larger image and a few moments to recognize Polly sniffing a basket.

Polly is very photogenic whenever I'm
a half decent photographer...
~rolls eyes~
Can you see the optical illusion that fooled me? Wouldn’t it be neat if the girls wouldn’t hide from a hired professional photographer?

-

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

A Corny Card and Silly Snack

For those who asked to see my silly Halloween greeting card…


Hubby likes his card...

He saw this Holliday themed junk food.
The individual wrappers feature
witches, jack-o-lanterns,
and creepy trees.
-
 

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Better Late Than Never

I took time to take photos and video of our kitties’ tails plus bought a Halloween card for my husband. Then I let random busywork let ‘Tock’tober and Halloween pass by without posting the former or handing out the latter. I flat out lost track of the date. ~shakes head~ Anyway, Happy November first and I hope you enjoy my girls’ rear ends.

Jezebel can turn this wispy
thing into a giant brush
if scared or cold...

Jezebel was eating, as was Polly. I didn’t notice the bit of white kitchen floor mat in Polly’s photo until now. It disoriented me during the composing phase. Heh...

As you can imagine, Polly needs
occasional help grooming...

Terra, on the other hand, is more enthusiastic an athlete than eater. Hence the video of her restless appendage.


 

Is Polly not made of absolute floof? And once he opens it, would you like to see my husband’s corny Halloween card?

-

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Wait… What?

From the very start of this pandemic my husband urged me to get all the Covid 19 vaccinations alongside him. Despite various reservations and my stubborn nature, I haven’t argued.

So, this past Tuesday we each received another booster shot. We do both suffer other age related health issues (plus he’s eight years older and I’d kind of like to keep him around).

Later he stated that he hoped all these vaccines weren’t harming our bodies. ~blink~ Aside from not choking, I can’t recall my exact reply.

As a side note, don’t our ailing old bodies deserve a gentler label than ‘comorbidity’? After all, have you noticed that toilet paper is now termed ‘bathroom tissue’ and townhouses have become townhomes? Should I now go change the cats’ less offensive termed glitter box?

-

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Chewy to the Rescue

Today I found an email from online pet supply store Chewy announcing my auto-shipped cat food order was temporarily out of stock. After a few minutes perusing their website I made an alternative selection.

A very few more minutes passed after I replied to their email with my decision and customer service replied that it already shipped! My husband will be relieved as I am. Jezebel just loves the Purina Pro Plan Arctic Char canned food. She, Terra, and Polly will have to settle for a variety pack with half of the cans duck flavored.

Our kitties only got the Arctic char after a temporary shortage of the duck flavored entrée, so should I mix the two varieties? Can you believe the char puree smells good enough for me to eat?

-

Sunday, October 23, 2022

A Head Shaking Moment

In 1994 we moved into this house. From day one I never liked its window treatments.

I bought or in some cases sewed replacement curtains long ago. We had the kitchen renovated in 2011 and yet I still allowed that hated overlong cord on the kitchen blinds to remain. Its length got steadily yuckier through the years despite my efforts to keep the thing out of the way.

That resolution alone should have been easy enough. But wait… the cord’s too long? Ummm… ~smacks head~ Cutting away dirty string and reattaching the scrubbed pull handle solved everything. It looks so much better.


 


Do you think the smallest ‘first world’ annoyances linger because they intrude so little in our daily lives? Should I replace that old fashioned pull handle with something more modern and interesting?

-

Thursday, October 6, 2022

One Great Find & Two Replies

Your replies are both correct, Liz A. and Andrew. Terra was high on catnip and there are a plethora of pet food related puzzles. I bought one years ago, in fact, hoping to slow down our dear departed kitty Tilly.

The Stimulo Feeder

My husband won’t use it. He fears the narrow food cups will cause whisker fatigue even though they’re supposed to dig food out with their paws. We also had a ball that dispensed treats when rolled. One half disappeared years ago. Current choices available are rather overwhelming. Terra and I both enjoy afternoon treat time. I’ll have to show video of her running.

Meanwhile, I went looking for garden center clearance items and scored a few perennials for 50% off (!) and a white mum for a mere five dollars (US). I added the bat and dried stems.

Sorry about my shadow...

Have you ever heard of whisker fatigue? Do you think garden centers no longer label mums as perennial but rather annual plants to sell more each autumn? Or am I just too cynical?

-

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Tenacious Terra – 9

Terra is so clever that I am always looking to create fun little puzzles. Putting catnip in this box provided no real challenge but she was still fun to watch.


And I just had to grab my camera upon finding this sight. I’m glad she sat on empty my laptop bag.

She stayed still and posed for me!
Doesn’t this kitty look comfortable? Do you think the nylon bag made her feel cool on that sunny summer day?

-

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Two Pot Post

It’s another beautiful day, so I’m sitting outdoors as I type and found this beautiful katydid when I stepped inside our garage. My video skills are lacking but I hope you enjoy this more than the creature not wishing to pose.


 As for pots, one involves an ‘inspirational’ message I drew on our bathroom mirror. It’s a not so subtle reminder to not linger in the bathroom or lounge in the bedroom, regardless of kitties present, and get on with a more constructive day. My husband was amused.

I’m sure you can guess the word above…


The second pertains to food. I’m a huge fan of Korean style food, dol sot bibimbop being a favorite dish. Since our favorite restaurant closed and no other establishment I’ve found prepares the dish as well, I discovered that it can be made at home. I thank my husband for buying some Korean ingredients online. Gochujang is a sweet/savory/spicy fermented soybean/chili paste.

Sorry this is blurry.
The mung bean sprouts and
other savory/meaty/vegetable elements
were awesome, especially for my first try!

 


Do you like bean sprouts? If so, do you enjoy them on salads?

-

Monday, September 26, 2022

Welcome, Autumn Weather!

It’s so nice to be off the mosquito menu. As I type, I’m sitting outside with my little in-ground fountain running.

Believe it or not, I’m still trying to grow cucumbers for pickling after my garden failure. I brought an unused little greenhouse from downstairs.

Pickles in Training

As seen above, I also brought a heat box out of retirement. Meant to keep birdbath water from freezing in winter, it never proved useful until now.

Pretty sitting on my car;
not so much choking
our heat pump...
Pam, I have to ask you a question: does the above flower seem like the prolific weeds you found blooming? Has anyone else seen unfamiliar plants sprouting in your yard/area?

-

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Replies & More

I appreciate all you kind folks for replying on my last post. :D Thank you, Pradeep, for the suggestion about file recovery. Alas, the software I bought for $30(US) apparently doesn’t work with the iPod. I should have had my husband the tech wizard research it. ~sigh~ On the bright side, smoothies made at home are indeed quite inexpensive, Andrew, even though everything is going up in price.

And once again, Strayer, it seems we are much alike. I tend to keep my favorite shirts safely in the closet unless we’re going out. On such occasions, I’m lucky if dining out doesn’t stain my clothes. lol I hope you can enjoy your been sprouter, Ellen, and glad to have reminded you.

As to my lazy title referencing ‘more’, I found Terra willing to check out a later smoothie. And Polly posed on my Japanese style bench. Bonus (!), I didn’t lose these photos.
Inspector Terra on the Job
It’s time I do a serious backup from my laptop to an external hard drive. Call me paranoid, I don’t quite trust the online cloud storage options.

Deputy Inspector Polly on break...
Do you backup your files on a regular basis?

-

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

A Berry, Berry, Beanie Breakfast and a Not-So Smooth Move

I lost photos, so my frustration is taking the form of just posting without them. Sorry...

We own a yogurt maker from the 1970’s, believe it or not, and my husband decided to bring the unit back into service. Since you need an equal amount of cow’s milk and a spoonful of yogurt for the active cultures, the point is sort of lost on me. But it does extend the usefulness of milk past its prime, so there’s that.

I have thus been enjoying yogurt smoothies most mornings. Today I tried something new. I mixed blueberries, cherries, and a few sprouted mung beans.

Oh, I also have a sprouting machine my husband found online. I appreciate the gift. He knows I enjoy various sprouts.

As for my smoothie, I plan to make the same tomorrow only with still more of the supposed healthy sprouts as they have such a mild flavor.d

I also decided to go to the gym, and put on an old white T-shirt for the occasion. Of course I spilled my lovely purple drink all down the front. ~rolls eyes~ At least the stains came out in the wash. Acting fast with a pre-treating solution did the trick.

Are you familiar with Oxy-Clean? Is there another fruit you would suggest for my smoothies?

-

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Cobwebs & Waterbeds

Polly is up to her usual follies, sauntering into the kitchen this morning wearing a cobweb like a veil. I don’t know what she got into. We sometimes call her our little Swiffer for all the crap her floofy fur collects. Appropriately, the best but blurry photo I managed of her uncooperative self was on a Halloween rug.

“Why so glad I not be a
Swiffer Wet Jet?”
Tenacious Terra likes to oversee her humans. Bottled water has become a favorite lounging vantage point. The top flat here is short a few bottles yet she managed to make herself comfortable.

Plasticky squeaking sounds from
behind my seat on the couch
made me laugh...
Have you ever slept on a waterbed? Do you own a Swiffer brand sweeper?

-

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Good Eats

The other day I referenced GBD and, as Snowbrush guessed, it’s a cooking show term. GBD refers to golden, brown, and delicious. Alton Brown’s “Good Eats”, where I learned this shorthand, ran for fourteen seasons. I enjoyed this show’s combination of humor, docu-drama, and science.
Bonus Footage....

Have you ever seen Alton Brown’s various productions? What do you think of my carrot?

-

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Reviving Leftovers

Several days ago I cooked up tortellini soup using garden fresh Swiss chard and tomatoes with homemade chicken stock. My husband continues enjoying bowl after bowl. I can’t stomach any more, with or without added hot sauce and cheese.

This afternoon he asked, “How about a simple pasta night?”
My mind in overdrive, I went silently to work.

I first drizzled pasta sauce in a casserole dish, added a single layer of well drained tortellini soup mixture, and spooned over more spicy Arrabbiata. Copious quality parmesan shredded atop, filled in with the canned stuff, it all baked for fifteen minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Finding the casserole bubbling hot, I moved up the oven rack to broil on low for several minutes, checking often to prevent burning. Once that oily cheese formed a light golden crust, out it came for a short rest.

He was impressed. I am proud. We are both thrilled. No slippery noodles and fussy layering needed, this is an inexpensive lasagna style meal rivaling anything we’ve eaten before.
Golden Brown & Delicious

Are you familiar with the American cook’s shorthand for golden brown and delicious, GBD? Do you have a favorite use for leftover food?

-

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Creature Feature

For the first time, I found monarch butterfly caterpillars on a milkweed plant. The tall perennial isn’t particularly attractive and that’s okay.
I collected some seeds and gave them to an interested neighbor passing by. Meanwhile, my husband found this informational article from the US Forest Service.


Did you know that releasing commercially grown butterflies can disrupt useful studies of the struggling natural population? Would you visit one of their famous overwintering sites?

-

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Naptime for the Sisters

Doing laundry today, I found Terra sleeping in my clothes basket atop our bed while Polly lay nearby. When I came through later, Terra had moved so they could touch. I retrieved my clothes basket and enjoyed a ~squee~ moment.

I’m still not good at photographing these two and it doesn’t help that my comforter is almost all black. But they stayed in place, which I call a win.
My Cuteness Overload for the Day...


Of course, they didn’t stay completely still. Or at least Terra didn’t.

Photo Fail - Terra just had
to stretch her toes...


I have a question for others owned by housecats; do you often see kitty standing on three legs while scratching around his/her ear with a back paw? Since these girls are the only ones seen ever doing this in our home, do you think this proclivity could be genetic?

-

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Polly’s Follies – 9

In financial news, Polly-nesian Airlines took a beating in the stock market today. Founder and CEO, Polly Esther Dactyl, refused comment despite allegations of going into a Godzilla style rampage on her latest failure.

Fortunately, no employees were reported injured during the prototype jet’s destruction. Her feline defense team also declined our requests for an interview.

Video footage is available for those of you not disturbed by carnage. Now back to you, Felicia, for the latest weather report.




On a serious note, what’s the weather like where you live?

-

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Tenacious Terra – 8

My kitty likes greens. Terra, unlike any other cat who’s lived here, seeks out leafy vegetables. It’s adorable, strange, and I’m grateful for disinfectant wipes since I hate forcing her off kitchen counters. We’ve taken to calling her ‘Chief Inspector’.

If you can view the following video, please let me know. I cannot get it to play, nor retrieve the footage.

Do you like vegetables? What sorts, raw or cooked, do you favor?

-

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Single Serving Treat

 

This tiny fruit came off in my hand.
I almost tossed it, thinking
this cantaloupe was
not ripe; but
Hurray!
Yum.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Kitchen and Garden (Mis)Adventures

This growing season has been rather a bust. ‘Successfully’ starting old cucumber seeds took a mysterious turn. These fruits seem to be some weird hybrid with last year’s acorn squash. Yet science deems it impossible. I don’t even know if these will be edible or tasteless like 2021’s squash attempt.

Our planted boxes aren’t doing well, either, except for the Swiss chard. It’s a delicious and easily grown spinach substitute.

Meanwhile, we purchased ten pounds of pickling cucumbers. Cooking up six spicy dill jars this morning allows enough for another round – this time we’ll prepare spicy bread and butter pickles. These are the most popular overall. Another attempt at seeds elsewhere may provide a late season homegrown pickling crop. We shall see.

My other indoor endeavor involves making corn salad. Yes, corn salad. See this cookbook by multitalented artist Coolio. Also today I whipped up classic Midwestern green bean casserole. A shallot in the cupboard, I’m sad to say, sprouted. Since it’s likely no longer tasty my husband wants me to try growing it outside.
Our Recent Farmer's Market
'Hissing Potato'... lol

Have you ever gotten mouth sores from too much salty, crunchy, or acidic foods? Do you know this susceptibility is genetic, and that a properly ingested amino acid can counteract this particular herpes virus?-

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Gardening Fun

Sprouting years old cucumber seeds in a damp paper towel, I’m super thrilled seeing the plants thrive. Fans of our pickles are excited. Check out the size of these leaves and blooms.

Peek-a-Boo!

It's a jungle under here!

For the first time, I’m growing cantaloupes after a fellow garden center shopper shared his enthusiasm. These two plants are also covered with blooms. Watching two little fruits grow bigger every day makes me smile.

Look at this cutie...

Can you see the melon in this image?
I lifted the former off our retaining wall.

Do you enjoy cantaloupe? Is it wrong I keep fondling my melons?
:D

-

Sunday, June 12, 2022

A Garden Variety Bug

Well, my jumping spider escaped somehow. I’m okay with that. I continue seeing a variety of such species inside and out. At bottom you can watch an adorable video of Rose the jumping spider. Thank you so much, Strayer, for sharing the Instagram link.

Meanwhile, I started feeling a bit crappy the other day. My husband suggested I test for the Wuhan flu. The results were negative so we went to the Farmers’ Market yesterday as planned. Luckily, I enjoyed myself with no sneezing fits or dripping nose. My throat is not sore, nor do I have a headache. I even slept well last night. I call that a quadruple win!

Sitting around the house, I just keep tissues handy and sometimes stuffed in my nostrils. It’s not a good look but my husband understands. The most uncomfortable state occurs with the occasional blocked ears or throbbing sinuses. I’ll take that over throat pain any day.

Have you ever contracted mononucleosis? Did you know it’s sometimes called the kissing disease and the culprit is usually the Epstein-Barr virus?


-

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Surprise! I Named her Octavia - a Jumping Spider Update

Yesterday I put a Christmas cactus root into the little ‘greenhouse’ I’ve had for decades. Later, what appeared to be the same tiny spider I rescued showed up in an empty cat food bowl. It seemed like destiny.

My husband insists I put the spider (he or she) outdoors while also saying my aquarium needs more fish. So…

What’s the difference? Do you have an opinion on how I should treat this prolific native?

By the way, I keep the door to the vivarium open much of the time and ‘Octavia’ seems disinclined to leave. Below is my photo of her (?) as discovered in the kibble bowl if you’re interested.

...

...

...

...

...


 


-

Monday, June 6, 2022

An Unexpected Rescue

Walking across the carpet yesterday afternoon, I spotted a tiny jumping spider. Local species are harmless to humans, useful predators, and don’t normally hunker down. Without a second thought I scooped up this tiny cutie.

Hours later it displayed zero movement until tumbling onto its back. On instinct I moved the sluggish arachnid into an enclosure. Prepared the very night before (!), this minor project deserves explanation.


I had just watched a video about keeping jumping spiders as pets. This also taught me a huge peril – dehydration. Gentle coaxing lured what I surmised a female onto dampened coconut fibers. The rejuvenated animal sat on my finger before walking around a bit. Half tempted to keep her, I busied myself with further preparations.

Lo and behold, the spider left. But that’s okay. I’m not prepared and think they’re best enjoyed living wild. Various species have been prolific so far this season. Also, they’re not long lived. Watching pets die isn’t fun, regardless of size and/or nature.

Can you believe some hobbyists breed and sell jumping spiders? And what are the odds I rescued a toad from the driveway one day and a spider so soon thereafter?

-

Friday, June 3, 2022

Ups & Downs with a Water Sprite

I like to joke about our evil water sprite. But it wasn’t funny when my husband announced that we received a city water bill for just over seven thousand, five hundred dollars.

Yes. The estimated bill came to $7,500 (US) plus. I almost choked. Thank heaven, an understanding city worker discovered that a newly installed electronic meter reset to zero and somehow compounded our reading. We owe under $100. Whew. We were grateful for the quick resolution and our advocate’s joking attitude lightening the stress.

This ‘sprite’ can bring good things, too. Heavy rain brought a visitor seeking shelter.

I like how the toad first rested in the pot I placed...

... and settled between my frog statues

Who's a Pretty Toad?

 

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Apologies and an Artsy Mystery

I did not intend to fall so far behind reading blogging friends’ posts. ~shakes head~ Not sure I’ll ever catch up on all the backlog but will try and do better. I have missed you dear folks.

Meanwhile I’ve been enjoying my flower and vegetable gardens a lot, even on the hottest days. A beach umbrella helps if I can keep it from blowing away. ;P In fact, it’s cloudy right now and I want to walk about and see how things are growing.

So I’ll leave you with an image just discovered on my iPod. I think my obvious mistake actually looks pretty cool. Oh, and the kitties are doing great. :D

This evokes the sea somehow.

Any guess what this is? Or how I captured such an aquatic shade of blue?

-

Saturday, May 7, 2022

A Stroll about the Garden

I hope you enjoy my short wandering around our suburban homestead. Labeling each would take my perfectionist self hours, so please let me know if you have any questions.






Have you heard about the ancient Japanese wabi sabi aesthetic? Just as Pam Jackson’s talent so often showcases, do you appreciate art that captures the beauty of impermanence?

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