Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Time Between (& ☀Sunlit Sunday Soon)

The rugelach didn't get prepared for Christmas this year, but Boxing Day baking ensured it was made in time for lunch guests on the 27th.

There is something I like about the time between Christmas and the new year. It's a bit of a break from the usual routine; the tree is still up and lit (with dropping fir needles beneath it) and the outdoor lights in the neighbourhood still brighten the dark nights. As one year winds down, I get a sense of optimism and promise for the one just about ready to dawn.

My new foster, Cameo, carries on as she has for the past several weeks (oblivious to the close of 2014), claiming my house and all it contains as her own. The snazzy cat bed I bought? Ignored. There are too many other cozy spots to enjoy.

Something I do need to do is pull together our little wintertime gathering place.
For those would care to join in, ☀Sunlit Sunday will resume for the 4th season beginning this coming weekend. The idea is to create a post on the following theme: "sunlit". You may choose to include photos and/or words that illustrate a sunlit place or thing, a "sunny disposition", a sunny thought, or any other sunlit-related idea. Have fun with this! Be literal or figurative; be you!

For the early birds, or those on the other side of the planet for whom Sunday arrives a day sooner, you may link your post beginning at 8 pm on Saturday (Eastern Standard Time). All previous contributors, as well as new ones, are welcome to join each week for the first 3 months of 2015. Together, we'll find the sunny side of winter to celebrate.

Till next time,

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas, a Bit of Knitting and Cameo

I've missed being here, on my blog and reading yours. I've picked up a little bit more volunteering, working on a Facebook page for an animal rescue group, and have found myself on the computer for longer periods of time than I anticipated. All self-induced hours, by the way, as I sort out what I want my contribution to be in the interest of getting some cats and dogs adopted.

It's all a matter of knitting together the different parts of life and attempting to turn the fragments into something useful and lovely. Or fun, so here I am again and thank you for stopping by today!

Speaking of knitting, these teeny tiny mittens were a gift for a friend's tree, although I think her plans were to hang them on her mantle with some tiny stockings I made last year.

The mitts are only  a couple of inches long. Should you be interested in making some, I found the pattern here: http://www.favecrafts.com/Knitting-for-Christmas/Knit-Mitten-Ornaments-from-Red-Heart-Yarn

I used bits of baby sport yarn that I had on hand.

I think I'll make some more next year. They're quick, easy and fun.

Also fun was adding a hat to this girl. It's just a photo-editing trick. I can't imagine this beauty would be agreeable to mussing her fur with a real one! Her name is Cameo and she is my new foster cat, having moved in earlier this month. For those who followed the story of black and white Hope, I get updates and she is doing beautifully in her new home. Here's hoping Cameo finds an equally wonderful person to adopt her.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, well wishes to all!

For those interested, we'll give Sunlit Sunday a go come January.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Little Foster Cat Miracle

A little miracle happened a few days ago when my foster cat, Hope, had her adoption finalized. She is with an incredibly kind woman, one who was not deterred by Hope's age (11 or 12) or health issues. 

Rather, she was determined to adopt a cat who was older, one that she felt would be more likely to be passed over by others. She has cared for other animals with health concerns, both cats and dogs, and wants to do the same for Hope.

I've been amazed at all the plans she had to ensure a successful integration of Hope into her household, which included two dogs. Even before this puss crossed her threshold for an extended visit (which always happens prior to an adoption), she declared that the only reason she wouldn't keep Hope would be if she felt the cat wouldn't be safe with her dogs. Fortunately, all is well.

I'll miss my Hope-in-a-Box but am thrilled that she found such a wonderful home, after only about 7 weeks as a foster.

If you have ever considered fostering a cat or dog, I encourage you to look into it in your area. I've fostered cats just twice, so far, and each experience has been a gratifying one.

I'm pleased to linking with Judith for "Mosaic Monday" and sending her dog, Topaz, a scratch behind the ears.

Thank you for visiting. Have a lovely week.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

One Changes Leads to Another

Given my little house is a bit torn apart right now, let's start with something pretty!

One change leads to another. 

A recently delivered mattress and box spring has led to other changes. Out goes the old, hard double from the guest room. Stuffed into a doorway and leaning against a wall go the pieces of my bed, ready to be wedged into the yellow guest room. For my room, the new bed, now dressed with fresh linens; it would seem one no longer needs to wait until January to find excellent sales.

Of course, moving out the double meant noticing the poor state of the baseboards and marks on the walls. On with some patching of nail holes and painting. The colour is more subdued in real life. Given the collage, are you getting a sense of why part of the blog title is "My Little Home"?

Normally, I wouldn't be painting a room in November, when floral colour comes from plants indoors and a little snow is decorating the neighbourhood. Painting strikes me as a more "fling the windows open" type of job.

However, one change leads to another and all of this messing about is easier to do when a certain sweetheart of a senior foster puss isn't looking for snuggle. How could that be, given how Hope adores attention?

She's been off on a home visit; more news should be coming soon. 

To be (happily) continued . . .

Enjoy your day.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Hope, the Foster Cat

It has been a couple of months since Hope came to me as a foster cat, my second one. She showed up at a couple's house and, seeing how she was thin, they fed her and sought out an animal rescue group that could help. They're very kind people to have taken the trouble to ensure this lovely cat's safety and well-being.

I don't know how Hope came to be living on the streets. No former home was found. She's a sweet, friendly girl, about 11 or 12 years old, according the vet. She has a heart murmur, only 4 teeth, came with an infection (now gone), and one or two other health issues. If Hope could talk, I bet she'd have quite a story to tell!

For all of that, Hope has settled in beautifully, loves attention, enjoys playing, and is a serious lap cat. She's also helpful and encouraging when it comes to me finally writing a blog post!

There will be more news later on any move towards someone adopting Hope.

I'm pleased to be linking with Judith's "Mosaic Monday" this week.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Outdoors, Indoors and (Whiskered) Hope

I'm not quite sure why, but I'd lost the blogging bug of late. Strange, really, because "chatting" with people from other countries, as well as those scattered from coast to coast of my own, is a source of pleasure. Perhaps it was just a phase as a few changes were made around me. My brother and sister-in-law have recently moved away. This is not the home town for any of us and I'll miss having some family just a short drive from here. Mind you, it's only about an hour to where they will be living.

Life flows along, and I toy with the idea of settling elsewhere. Then again, I have some friends here and a history of about two and a half decades.

For someone who made daily decisions in my career, I seem to stall on what to do at this stage of my life. How silly is that!

Enough; time to refocus on some joys, like autumn walks that show colours creeping into view

and tomatoes that need picking (perhaps they will ripen on a windowsill), now that the nights get steadily cooler.

Let's not neglect the sense of satisfaction that came from my first ever installation of taps and a drain mechanism! You would have chuckled at me poking, prodding and prying to get the old fixtures removed. (Liquid Wrench Penetrating Oil loosened the one nut that refused to budge, in case you ever find yourself in need of said item!)

I had read that the most difficult part of installing new bathroom taps and such was removing the old set. True. Sheesh! I was very close to calling someone to come and finish the job. For many, this is a small task; we won't discuss how long it took me, but if I were to be paid by the hour, a small sports car might be sitting in my driveway right now!

In other happy news, some of you will remember that I had a foster cat, Claire, who was adopted into a wonderful home in July. After thinking that I wouldn't foster for awhile, that I wanted to make some travel plans, that it had been almost 5 months before lovely 4 1/2 year old Claire was adopted and that I didn't know if it was a good time to make such a commitment again, I offered to foster another puss. She moved in just a few weeks ago.

Here she is, Hope. She's going to need hope and a wee bit of luck to find an adoptive home. You should hear her purr! More on Hope's history later.

Time to get on with this new day, full of hope for all it holds!

Thank you for visiting,

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Late Summer Days

Late summer. 
I'm not rushing headlong into the next season, just yet.  
Rather, I'm enjoying these days 
of whispered scents from roses still in bud and bloom.

Morning glories are in their prime 
and mirthfully meander and mingle 
with other lavenders and blues in the garden.

I will enjoy the rich, warm colours of autumn when they arrive later. 
For now, 
I'm drinking in the luscious late summer days.

I'm pleased to be linking with Judith at Mosaic Monday.
Thank you for your visit and comments.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Settling Into September

It's been a lazy afternoon here. A too late night followed by a too early morning has led to fatigue. My own fault!

The coneflowers are looking tired, but other things are still perky in the garden. No doubt they all had a good snooze under the stars. These small white flowers are on a garlic chive plant.



Indoors, it's back to Louise Penny

and baking, as September settles into its own groove.

The knitting needles have come out of hiding and the sweater I as working on last winter is finally getting seamed. I'm not very good at that part of a knitting project, but hope springs eternal that it may just be wearable. I think I may have gotten carried away with the sleeve length!

I imagine you have you own way of welcoming September and its final days of summer. Perhaps you'll share an idea in the comments.

Till next time,

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Flowers and Food (Gluten-Free)

It's a treat to spend time with a friend that you haven't seen in quite some time. My recent guest has celiac disease and, therefore, has to eat gluten-free food. It turned out to be fun planning a lunch menu for us.

A crustless spinach and mushroom quiche was the main event; alas, no photo.  Perhaps you're familiar with the "quiche formula" found in Mollie Katzen's "The Enchanted Broccoli Forest". I don't know if the formula is online, but the link will take you to her wonderful vegetarian cookbook; I just omitted the step involving a crust. With Katzen's crust/filling/custard formula, there are a million and one variations for a quiche.

As a side dish, some yellow beans and fresh tomatoes from the garden became an easy salad; I'll have to try the suggested dressing next time. Not being sure if my friend was sensitive to vinegar, I didn't make the one in the recipe. (What are the odds that she would bring flowers that coordinated with the food?)

A second side was sweet potato and pear puree. The dark bits are toasted pecans which started off sprinkled on top and were happily mixed into the leftovers. For the record, I am a fan of leftovers. Delish! It's cooking for one in this household and if I can open the fridge or freezer and find a tasty little something there, it's a happy day.

I'm not, generally, much of a dessert eater, but that's not to say I don't enjoy one occasionally. Plenty of chocolate, sugar and eggs went into this flourless chocolate cake. Cheryl at The Creative Me and My McG., this is the recipe you requested. Or, you can swing over; there are leftovers in the freezer. Bring a friend!

I mentioned on Facebook that I was going to show a dessert in this blog post and a reader's comment said that was interesting, but ". . . please, always some flowers." No fear, there will be plenty of those till the season changes! 

I'm happy to be linking with Judith for "Mosaic Monday".
Have a lovely week.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Few Changes

There has been plenty of rain this summer. Flowers are flourishing, bees are buzzing and beans are bountiful. San Marzano, Sweet 100, and Austin Pear tomatoes are ripening on the vines. When sautéed and served with an egg on toast for breakfast, all three varieties are delicious.

August is a time for change; flowers become fruit and vegetables, great swaths of rudbeckia dance in the breeze, and the nights get cooler with each passing day.

Another change is the recent movement of Mosaic Monday from Mary's Little Red House to Judith's Lavender Cottage. Many thanks to Mary for creating and hosting the gathering for several years and to Judith for offering to continue this regular event.
Have a lovely week.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Few Blooms and Maybe Curry Later

Where does the time go? It's the middle of August already and the bathroom hasn't been repainted, nor has the stairwell to the basement been patched up and made a bit less of an eyesore. A house that is about 62 years old always has a few little quirks and jobs to be done. I suppose any home does, in fact.

Maybe I've been misled by the clematis as to how much of the summer is left. It generally blooms early in the season, then not another flower shows itself until the next year. This clematis grows along with the New Dawn rose on my arbour. I hacked ("pruning" would suggest more care and skill) both down to about a foot high in the spring when I did some repairs and re-staining of the wooden structure. The plants are close to 6 feet by now. For a glimpse of how things looked last year, you can find a photo in the right hand margin of this blog.

A favourite plant is the red dipladenia that was given to me as a birthday gift last May. Behind it are a few herbs that have flowered and, in the distance, a very large hydrangea. It is Very Large and, as well, a prolific bloomer.

I picked up a packet of nasturtium seeds and planted them this year. Blooms in four colours have made their appearance. Daisies and coneflowers have decorated my desk; I thought I'd pick a few nasturtiums this time and I do like their sunny, uplifting colours. Orange was the favourite colour of a dear friend of mine and I've grown very fond of its vibrance and happy energy!

Speaking of vibrance and colourful energy, I treated myself to a movie last evening. Have you seen "The Hundred-Foot Journey"? I got quite wrapped up in it and now have the urge to eat wonderful Indian food in a small village in the south of France. The film made me think of dreams, travel, relationships, love and food! 

I digress. Cleaning awaits. And, perhaps, a bit of a search for a curry recipe.

Enjoy your day.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Butterflies and Claire-the-Foster-Puss's Next Chapter

Unlike last year, it is easy to spot butterflies in my garden this summer.

In particular, they favour a big clump of purple coneflowers.

I've very little skill in identifying what is what and found myself looking up the differences between Viceroys and Monarchs.

Monarch, yes?

I think this is a Red Admiral.

Another, with its open wings, allows you to  better see the colour pattern.

With a bit of beautiful blue, a Black Swallowtail made an appearance. I hadn't noticed it before and hope it returns.

Moving on, this will be the last picture you'll see of Claire, the puss that moved in as my foster last February. After application forms, a Meet and Greet, an Extended Home Visit, and more forms, some wonderful people finalized their adoption of beautiful Claire last week.

If you've ever thought of fostering an animal, whether or not you already have a furry friend of your own, I encourage you to look into that possibility in your community.

Some people have said they could never "give up" an animal after having it in their home. For me, to not "give up" on Claire meant loving and caring for her until a wonderful home was found. I can't take on a pet full time, but I could do this.

As the website of the group I worked with points out:
"If you have ever said, 'It’s so sad, but there’s nothing I can do.' Well, fortunately, you can do something." 

Just one cat, you might say, but Claire's story has a happy ending.

Wishing you a lovely week,


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