Messy Meow Monday

Monday, February 23, 2015

North Texas is covered in one big sheet of ice.  On Sunday, we picked up about 3/4" of rain, which was great.  Overnight into Monday morning, we picked up about 1/2" of sleet, which is not so nice.  All the roads are frozen solid, even though the Texas Department of Transportation pre-treated the roads with a brine mixture and have been applying sand.  Today's temperatures are not expected to get out of the 20s.  I know for many of you, this might be considered warm, but for us, this is COLD!!  Also, driving on ice is impossible while driving on snow is manageable.  Truth be told, I'd rather it had snowed.

Enough of the "messy" part. Onto the "meow" part.  The kitties are taking the cold weather in stride.

Emmie's enjoying life on the top of the cat tree...in the path of the heating vent.
Daisy wonders what all that white stuff is on the roads.
Hannah's snug in her bed.
Tumbles found the pet bed warmer in the comforter and is snoozing the day away.

Have a terrific Monday wherever you are!  Head on over to my food blog for a new recipe! 

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Meow Monday

Monday, February 16, 2015

Hannah

Tumbles

Daisy

Emmie    
And because he's riding out the rain and cold weather in our sunroom, Mew.

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There's a New Bug on the Block

Thursday, February 12, 2015



Meet Emmie, the newest bug in our cat clan.  Technically, I think a group of cats is called a clowder, but that just sounds weird.  We now have the Fab 4 made up of Hannah, Tumbles, Daisy, and now Emmie. Emmie showed up in our yard in early November, 2014.  She was starving and almost emaciated.  I don't know how long she'd been living in our yard as the day she showed up was the first time I'd seen her.  After capturing her, which wasn't difficult considering I was bribing her with baked chicken that she was taking from my hand, we brought her inside and set her up in our spare bedroom.  We have a large dog crate that we use for new kitties and post-op kitties, so in she went until we figure out what to do with her.  Our initial intent was not to keep her, but to find her a loving home.  Who knew that the loving home would be ours??

 Surprisingly, she was a lovebug, so she'd obviously had some positive human interaction.  We looked for her owners to no avail.  I contacted a rescue group about fostering her until she was ready for adoption, but that didn't go as planned.  Hubby took her to the vet to have her tested for the nasties and to be dewormed.  Two weeks later, we'd decided to keep her and started her on her kitten shots.  At her final shot appointment in early December when she also got her rabies shot, we set up her spay appointment.  After going through a heat cycle with her because she went into heat about 2 or so weeks prior to her spay, that spay date couldn't come soon enough!  She's now spayed and microchipped and doing great with the other kitties.  She even gets Hannah to play with her sometimes!
 We estimate she was 6-7 months old when she arrived as she already had her adult canines and some tartar build up on her teeth.  She's an absolute delight and full of kitten energy!  She's definitely brightened up our home.  Her favorite activities are running through the house like a crazy kitty and jumping up on the cat tree and then quickly jumping off again, playing with her purple floofy, playing with the kitchen rugs, playing with the sheers on the front window, pestering Tumbles and playing with him, playing with the sheets on the bed, and chattering at the birds outside the window.  She loves sunny windowsills and sleeping on her fleece blankie in the warm afternoon sunshine on our bed.  She loves to snuggle on my chest in the morning while I'm sitting on the potty, and she loves laying in Mark's lap in the evenings.  At night, she likes to snuggle with us on the bed.  She's usually on top of me or on top of the pillows I sleep with between my legs (to help my back).  Everything's a toy and she's loving life. 


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What to Do? What to Do?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

As you can see, I took a break from blogging.  There are many reasons, the main one being that I started this blog to showcase my stitching, but I've not picked up my needle or crochet hook in almost a year.  Almost 10 months later, I still find myself in a quandry.  I'm still not stitching.  Still haven't really done any crochet recently.  However, I don't want to give up blogging.  So, I've decided to just write about life and see what happens.  We'll talk about thyroid health, adrenal health, gardening, kitties, LIFE, food, crochet, cross stitching (hopefully one day!) and God, not necessarily in that order.

One big thing going on in my life right now is my health.  I know I've written about his previously, but it's time to get serious about it.  I'm tired of feeling tired all the time and I'm tired of feeling like I'm 100 years old when I'm not even 50.  I was diagnosed at age 16 with hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and now, more than 30 years later, I'm starting to see some of the negative side effects of thyroid problems.  I'm also of the age where mentalpause menopause is setting in and  my hormones seem to have disappeared .  Since the thyroid controls all the hormones in your body, it's a double whammy for me.  Additionally, I have been tentatively been diagnosed with Sjogren's Syndrome (by my eye doctor no less!) which is a chronic autoimmune disease in which a person’s white blood cells attack their moisture-producing glands.  As a result, I have dry skin, dry eyes, and dry mouth, along with a few other dry places.  Thyroid patients suffer from many auto-immune problems since the auto-immune system is controlled by the thyroid.  (Go figure!)  My life is not all doom and gloom.  I have been referred to a new doctor who works with thyroid patients to get them optimal in all levels and get them back on track with life.  I should be on a new path to health by the end of March.  Yippee skippy!

If you're one of the millions that suffer from hypothyroidism, I highly suggest checking out the Stop the Thyroid Madness page.  There's a TON of excellent information on that page.  If you're on Facebook, there are several Stop the Thyroid Madness pages and groups. I encourage you to check it out and get serious about getting your thyroid optimal. 

So! There it is in a nutshell.  I'm glad to be back and I hope you stay along for the journey.

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Viva Fiesta!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014





In my hometown of San Antonio, each April brings Fiesta season.  When I was a girl, it was only a week-long celebration held sometime around San Jacinto Day (April 21st).  The week was capped off by 2 parades, the Battle of Flowers parade held on Friday afternoon and the Fiesta Flambeau parade held Saturday evening.  (We used to call them the day parade and the night parade.)  Fiesta not only celebrates Texas heritage, it celebrates San Antonio's deep Hispanic and Mexican roots.  There's lots of bright colors and rich traditions.  Last weekend was the close of Fiesta, and I was inspired to crochet these colorful dishcloths.  Unfortunately, I didn't have any bright pink or yellow, or those colors would've been included. 


These are made using Neatly Tangled's Just Right & Big Time Dishcloth pattern.  Since I have smaller hands and my husband prefers a smaller kitchen dishcloth, I started off using the Just Right pattern.  However, I found that was a bit too large for me, so I started with a chain of 25, chained loosely, and it made a dishcloth approximately 7.5" square.  I absolutely LOVE this pattern!  It's quick and easy and produces a great looking dishcloth. 



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Spring...A Time for Renewal and Newness

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Start to Fiesta Pinata by Barbara Ana Designs




I figured since Spring is upon us here in North Texas, that I'd do a spring-y project.  Many years ago, in 2008 to be exact, the designer emailed me this chart after she'd posted it as a finish on a message board.  It's been collecting dust in my inbox ever since then.  Can you believe it?!?  It's full of bright, vibrant colors and it reminded me so much of growing up in San Antonio and the spring Fiesta season, which is towards the end of April.  At the time the designer emailed me this chart, she didn't know what she was going to do with it, and I don't think it's released yet either.  Anyhoo, I've chosen to stitch it on 32ct. Banana Splash evenweave from Silkweaver.  That little piece of fabric has been languishing in my fabric stash for a piece just like this. 

As you can see, my progress isn't much, but I didn't realize how much I had to strain my eyes and concentrate on that fabric!  It's rough when you get old.  LOL  I tried a 28 ct. fabric and that was even worse, plus the purple color got lost in the color of the fabric.  Of course, I was also stitching on this while preparing dinner and watching Dancing With the Stars, so that might have impeded my progress a bit as well.



My first bloom of spring is this little Four Nerve Daisy.  I love this little happy flower!  They can handle the heat and the cold and keep on going.  I need to work on adding more of these to my flower bed because I really like them. 

This precious little girl is also blossoming.  She's been with us now for 2 years and she's come so far from that half-wild thing we brought home.  She's settled down nicely, learned some manners, learned to trust us, and no longer tries to escape through the closed windows.  She is free with her purrs and head butts, unless she's mad at me for going to work and leaving her with the hubby all day!  I love this sweet little thing. 

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The Garden is Gearing Up!

Monday, March 10, 2014

For many of you, there's still snow on the ground and/or the temps are still very frigid.  Down here in Texas, we're getting ready to plant our spring into summer gardens.  We're expecting a cold front to swing through in a few days, so the only thing in the ground right now are some cold hardy things, such as these onions.  The hubster planted these yesterday and has more to plant today.  We order our onions from Dixondale Farms which is located in South Texas in Carrizo Springs.  They are a family owned supplier of onion plants that has been around for many, many years.  We also use their onion fertilizer and follow their planting guide.  We did an experiment last year and the onions grown following their planting instructions and their fertilizer were larger than the ones we just planted and fertilized.  This year, we are growing Texas Legend, a sweet yellow onion, and Texas Early White, a sweet white onion.  Both are very delicious! 


In January, I sowed my tomato seeds indoors under lights in my spare bedroom.  Today, the plants went on their first field trip outside starting their hardening off process.  This year, we are growing Large Cherry, Pantano Romanesco, Homestead 24, and a new one, Marmande.  I had a very other varieties, but never got around to sowing those, so maybe I'll try those for the fall. 

Hardening off is the process by where you take your indoor seedlings and gradually expose them to the outside world to prepare them for living full time in your garden.  It helps avoid transplant shock and it keeps them from dying due to temperature shock when planted out.  I start them out with 2 hours of exposure in full shade.  Tomorrow, I'll increase it to 3 hours in full shade.  I'll do this for a couple of days, then move them to partial shade for a few days.  Then, they'll move to shade in the morning and sun in the afternoon and lengthen the time they're out.  As it gets closer to their plant out date, they'll stay out all night.  Initially, I bring them in at night, especially if we're going to get down in the low 40s or lower.  Otherwise, they can stay out.  I also make sure to water them well as they are root bound in their cups.  I also might need to provide some support for them since they are a bit top heavy and lankier than in years past due to our light set up this year.  We get a lot of wind this time of the year, and I don't want them to topple over.  Last year, I set them in a large laundry basket and that worked well.  I might do that again this year. 

Do you see these garlic plants in the picture?  I didn't plant them this past fall!!  I didn't plant ANY garlic this past fall!  These have sprung from either missed plants last year OR from the small bulblets left from harvesting garlic last year or even the year before.  I'll have fresh garlic either way.  However, I still have tons of garlic left from last year's harvest!  I'd better start giving it away to make room for this year's garlic harvest.
We tried to kill the comfrey growing in our garden.  It didn't work as you can see in this picture.  Sigh!  While comfrey is very good for your tomato plants and to use as fertilizer in your compost pile, it's a bear to get rid of once it's established itself in your garden.  It becomes invasive.  This time, I think I'll pour some vinegar on it and see if I can burn the roots.  First though, I'll harvest some of the roots, plant them up and them offer them to gardening friends.  If I plant it again, it's going in a container...lifted up off the ground...on the concrete...so it won't spread and breed!

Winter is coming to a close.  The birds have eaten most of the berries off the Nandina plants.  I laughingly call these damndinas because they, too, are invasive if left to their own devices for too long.  They have a very extensive root system that is almost impossible to dig out unless you have a backhoe.  My husband broke the handle on his pick axe trying to dig up a stand of these near our back door.  They had to come out, though as they were blocking the door and the walkway.  I do love the colors of the leaves and the berries in the winter, though, and they take our hot, dry summers well.  We'll thin these out this year and pluck out the babies.  Again, I'll probably plant them up and offer them to gardening friends. 

Each year, the biggest problem we encounter in our garden is watering.  Due to the heat and the fact that we don't get a lot of rain during the summer (or other times of the year for that matter), we try to conserve as much as we can.  Plus, to water, you have to get up way early in the morning to beat the heat or water way late at night then you have to fight the mosquitos.  The other day, I ran across an ancient watering technology that has been used in places like Africa and China as well as more locally in South and Central Texas.  It's Olla Irrigation, and I think we're going to try it out this year for at least part of our garden.  We might do a side by side comparison with ollas and traditional gardening to see what happens.  If you'd like to know more about Olla Irrigation, check out these links and You Tube videos.

Ancient Irrigation   (This is the video that got me interested.)

Ollas: A Collection of Information and Techniques

Thesis on Clay Pot Irrigation in Africa (This is a *.pdf document that's 25 pages long, but good research)

Say Hola to Ollas


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