Saturday, November 29, 2014


 The day after Thanksgiving (while some are out fighting the shopping crowds), I prefer to stay home, drink some Irish coffee with my honey and decorate. I usually start with the basket hanging outside the front door. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014


 I awoke with a start at 5 am today, realizing that I hadn't set out the Trader Joes Pumpkin Croissants to rise for 6-7 hours overnight as per the package directions. So I hopped out of bed, pulled the package out of the freezer and put the individual frozen hunks in the microwave to fool them into having been at least partly thawed. I just did about 40 seconds of nuke and they were sort of soft. I set them on parchment on a cookie sheet and went back to bed. 
 So this morning I stalled for some time to let them rise. Fixed Irish coffees to pass the time. I managed to give them 4 hours of thawing and rising before I popped them into the oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Would they be as good as they looked on the box even though I didn't exactly follow the directions? Yes! Absolutely crisp, buttery and pumpkiny. Sometimes you just get lucky! I served them with a bowl of fruit (boreal blueberries, banana, local peaches from summer) and whipped cream. A great way to start the day!

Monday, November 24, 2014


After $225 spent on meds and blood tests, it appears that our Izzy may have Irritable Bowel Syndrome...I guess we'll call it Cat IBS for short. So I'm popping Prednisolone pills down her along with Metronidazole to slow down the gut. She also will be on a special diet of hydrolized protein kibble (she may have trouble assimilating proteins). Oye! We're hoping for some relief in the ahem department by tomorrow...I'm too old to pull all nighters, especially 2 in a row! Even typing this is a stretch!

Friday, November 21, 2014


This was Isabella at 8 weeks old when we first got her in 2003. I had ordered a "Siamese if you pleeze" cat from Chris' girlfriend's family who had bred their Siamese with another. Turns out she had more than one we got the non-Siamese kitty!  She became the "Drawing Board Cat" spending her days as near to Jack's desk or preferably on his desk when she wasn't outside buggering the hummingbirds. I finally had to quit putting out nectar for the hummers as she kept catching them and bringing them inside where they flew up into the skylights.  

You'll note the big paws...she is a polydactyl wonder, just on the front feet. 
Well, the thing is that she is getting older and seems to have a chronic problem with her gut. We're talking things that aren't fit for polite conversation, but here in my blog I feel that I can say most basically her poop is runny and it stinks to merry hell! We're talking evacuating the house kind of stink, opening all the windows, turning on the ceiling fan, spraying room deodorizer everywhere, lighting strong smelling candles......
 Looking back on her vet visits (at least one every year for the past 6 years for this...) we can see that she responds to the antibiotic (she's had several different ones). changes in food (you name it, I've tried it), but the problem reappears. After a course of meds, she seems her old self again...playing with Chase, jumping up everywhere, climbing the trees...but slowly the condition comes back and she gets lethargic and walking likes she is hurting (which she probably is). 
So we've decided to change vets...and hope that a new pair of eyes will sort out an answer to this situation. Updates as they become available.    

Saturday, November 8, 2014


Here are Jack and I around the old homestead where we're celebrating our 28th Wedding Anniversary tonite with a nice home-cooked meal...Seems like too much trouble to dress up, go into town and pay an exorbitant amount for prime rib and a glass of wine, when we can lounge in our sweats, cook a little prime rib from Safeway and drink some excellent New Clairvaux wine with it. Does that mean the "magic" has worn off??? No, just because Jack will start singing, "28 years with the wrong woman"...
 Oh and did I mention there is Trader Joe's French Vanilla ice cream with chocolate cake with fudge icing for desert? And we will dress up tomorrow for the monthly tea dance at the Ashland YMCA...
We figured we better live it up while we can...we're having a huge cluster of earthquakes here in Southern Oregon as of late, meaning the Earth's crust is stretching...they reckon the "big one" is gonna happen soon...when the Cascadian Subduction Zone lets go for a 9.+ lollapalozza. That would make for a memorable anniversary! Good times!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


 Our "original equipment" microwave...a lovely black fronted Korean job bit the dust. Seems that that brand (Samsung...the nameplate well hidden because even they didn't want to take credit for it) has a well documented problem with corrosion on the contacts of the control panel. (There is even a 2 hour tutorial on the internet about how to fix it sort of until the next time it craps out). Since this bugger is over a stove and gets continual moisture from what is cooking beneath it, it seemed like a good idea to find a better one. We were able to get the very model of Fridgidaire that matched our stove. An added bonus is that it is 100 times quieter that the old one! 
 A typical scene replayed upteen times during the day...Izzy awaiting "staff" to let her outside. We keep a water bowl outside on the deck and every cat knows that "outside water" is far better than that old "inside water!"
 Some of the Ashcraft farmhouse kerosene lamps grouped on the mantle. Jack remembers using these, as they didn't have electricity on the farm until the mid 1950's. Good times!
 Dance clothes put out on the bed in anticipation of dancing tonight to our favorite dance band...the 16 piece Southern Oregon Jazz Orchestra. Sometimes I actually wear the very clothes that I lay out.....
And of course your tour wouldn't be complete without a stop in the we have a gunked up Saab transmission recently brought up from California. Somebody poured some horrible gunk in it to "fix" it. This one had to go into the sheep dip tank at the machine shop for cleaning. Too bad that you can't smell the fish oil permeates the entire garage. Yes, the Swedes really used fish oil in transmissions.