New Cat has a name!

Thank you all for your wonderful suggestions. I liked many of them but, as I said, I was not the decider. Honestly, I might have named him Snert, but last night at a gathering of family and friends someone suggested James Tiberius Cat… Jim for short. Steve said that was it so Jim it is!

Jim already has an Instagram account because Elanor was here to set it up. You can follow him at james.tiberius.cat. I’m sure there will be times when Belle joins him there.

Jim does not hold still for pictures. I have to catch him in between pounces.

He spent the night mostly sleeping with me. When I got up in the middle of the night, so did he. He knows where the litter box is and how to use it—oh happy day! One less thing to worry about. He did want to play before going back to sleep but got over that pretty quickly.

Jim is curious. He decided to smell my coffee this morning before I could stop him, but decided on his own not to try it. Probably a good thing on all counts.

Belle doesn’t love him.

She hisses and spits and puts him in his place if he gets too close but so far, no blood. Jim has demonstrated that he has the good sense to run and hide as needed.

Both cats want to be where I am, or where Steve is when he’s home. It’s odd… I’m used to cats choosing their spaces independent of where I am, mostly because I move around the house so much during the day. Now I have a furry parade in tow a lot of the time. That’s OK except that then everyone has to settle back in when I stop.

As I type this, Jim is sacked out on the desk next to me. He really wanted to be on my keyboard but that is a battle he is not going to win.

It’s amazing to think that a little more than 24 hours ago this cat was a flea-ridden stray. I’d love to know how he is processing this sudden change of fortune inside his little cat brain.

Yes, the universe appears to be listening…

After our older cat, Dave, went to heaven Steve said one cat (Belle) was enough. But then I asked him what if an orange cat shows up at the door? I had to ask because we both have a long-standiing soft spot for orange cats. Our first cat, Booboo was orange and maybe our best cat ever.

Last night over dinner with friends the question about cats came up again and he said, OK, an orange cat would be fine but I could not go out and get one on purpose. The orange cat would have to find me.

This morning on our usual walk, Laurie and I heard meowing. Lots of loud meowing coming from (you guessed it) a small orange cat who ran out to us and would not go away. That cat walked about a half mile with us and that was that.

I called Steve (who was out on his own walk) to tell him this amazing news and he was not entirely happy… until he met the cat. I wanted an orange cat but I do think that this is really going to be Steve’s cat.

We took him to the vet where we found out he did not have a chip. The silly cat was covered with fleas and had just about every parasite a baby cat would have. Happily, he didn’t test positive for feline leukemia. So, in short order he got a bath, shots, and medicine to kill the fleas and other stuff.

He tolerates the cat carrier which is good. He’ll have to spend time in there when I’m out of the house and Belle is inside.

Belle is not entirely thrilled. She’s keeping an eye on him most of the time. She’s hissed and spit (normal) and chased him once or twice. I’ve told her that she’s still my cat and this new guy is probably for Steve. Not sure if she believes me or not.

New cat is sleeping off the excitement on my desk right now… dead fleas are falling off him like crazy. That makes me happy!

Belle is perched on the other side of the room, considering this disruption in her life. She probably doesn’t remember that she showed up out of the blue herself, starving and in need of a home. Emma and Dave didn’t love her at first either but Dave at least got used to her.

So, new cat needs a name! It’s not totally my call… Steve will have the final say. But feel free to offer suggestions. Soon, before ‘new cat’ sticks :-).

Broken pieces…

My mom loved Lladdro figurines and she had several. I kept two, one of which I gave her a long time ago. Today, it got broken. I made a loud noise at just the wrong time and Belle (the cat) jumped too close to it and down it went. Boom, crash, done.

I could glue the pieces together but it’s just not the same. I thought about replacing it but decided that that’s not the same either. Plus, I couldn’t find another one just like this online.

So, I did a mom-like thing and stuck her in a flower pot. Her one remaining leg is keeping her in place.

The cactus is from one that was in mom’s kitchen window most of my life. It got big, I ended up with it and nearly killed it. Mom got these bits growing in that pot (that she insisted on painting green) in her last year of life. I am doing my best to not to kill this cactus.

The pot sits on the window sill above my Bernina. I actually like the figure better in the pot than I did where it was, next to my bed. That’s good because this is where she’s going to stay.

Learning something new and interesting…

I’m sewing and catching up on Radiolab podcasts. Their byline is “Investigating a strange world” and they do just that. There are two hosts, Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich and, together, they explore a wide range of topics that include (but are not limited to) science, medicine, art, music, and much more. I learn something in every post.

This one, on poison control, is really interesting. Click the link below the photo to open the player or click here to go to the podcast page.

yellowphone

https://www.wnyc.org/widgets/ondemand_player/wnycstudios/#file=/audio/json/859448/&share=1

There are several podcasts on Color. Google ‘Radiolab Color podcasts’ and you will find links. And the podcasts with, or about, Oliver Sachs are wonderful!

If you are not averse to listening to stories that relate to current hot-button issues, I would recommend the Border Trilogy podcasts. I was personally interested to hear a side of the story that I had not heard before, one that challenged me to think differently. The same was true, for me at least, in the Gunshow podcast.

So there you go. I’m going back to sewing, and listening!

Tuesday, in NYC…

The Wednesday Giveaway will return next week. Right now Steve and I are in NYC, visiting the kids. We are already having a great time!

I’ve been posting pictures to instagram and facebook. I’ll post more, in between enjoying the kids and living in the moment.

I hope that each of you is having a good week. I know that some people are stressed at the holidays. My wish  is that you can let go of the angst and embrace the moment. People are who they are and you really can’t change them. The only person you can control is you. It’s taken me 61 years to grasp that. Wish I had done it sooner but there you go.

Happy Thanks giving!

Side note: I lost my glasses last night. I took them off, hooked them on my scarf while I took a picture, and forgot about them. I realized blocks later, at the hotel, that they were not there. Damn. I am thankful for FedEx, who will deliver my backup pair from home in the morning. That was faster and cheaper than having a new pair made here.

First, the pie mishap. Then the glasses. I stubbed my toe a while ago! I’m hoping my 3 bad things are over now :-).

The pecan pie story…

I decided to try a new pie crust this year, using Steve’s Gluten Free Cake Flour and a pastry recipe from Patisserie GF. I made two batches and refrigerated them overnight thinking I’d get the pies in the oven pretty quickly the next morning.

Here’s what I learned: pastry is different from a pie crust. I realized pretty quickly that that was not going to work (my first ‘wrong’). I turned to my no-fail pie crust by Annalise G Roberts that I’ve written about before (click here). Here’s a link to the pie crust recipe but be aware that it is written for the Authentic Foods Classical Blend GF flour. I can’t say how it will work with other GF flours. It didn’t take long to make the two crusts, but it threw me off my stride.

Then I made the 1st pie filling. I used a recipe from United States of Pie by Adrienne Kane, an excellent resource. Her recipe is similar to many except that she recommends toasting the pecans before adding them to the mix.

I had everything measured out, got the first pie in the oven, and then realized that I had not added the dark Karo syrup (2nd ‘wrong). Words escaped my lips but I decided what the hey (hay?) and pulled the pie out of the oven. I added the Karo syrup and tried stirring it in. Not a good plan, so I dumped the filling into a bowl and stirred it up, returned it to the pan and put it in the oven.

At this point, I was beginning to have real doubts about my mental faculties. However, in my defense, Steve was bustling around the kitchen. He was being helpful but I realized later that I am used to concentrating more when baking. Not his fault, it’s on me that I was easily distracted.

I made the 2nd pie, put it in the bottom oven, set a timer for it and waited. It was when the buzzer went off for pie #1 that I realized that somewhere in there I had (3rd wrong) turned off the top oven!!!!! Geez, Louise. No wonder it looked like it wasn’t cooking. I turned up the heat because, why not?

Both pies got done at the same time, they look about the same, and they both tasted great. I was stunned.

Here’s what I learned:

  • If you have a no-fail crust recipe, use it.
  • Pecan pie is very forgiving.
  • 3 wrongs sometimes to make a right.
  • As Buzz Lightyear says: Never give up. Never give in!

Fresh Air…

I had the boys, Jack and Bear, today, all day. My strategy is the same as the one I used on my own boys when they were little: take them outside and run ’em.

Fresh air, lots of movement, and by 2:00 or 3:00 I can do what I need to do and they will be too tired to complain. The strategy still works!

I think we walked 3 1/2 miles. That’s pretty impressive for Bear, at 4 1/2. He only sat down at the end, and he did get back up because my days of lugging a kid that size are over. The first park had a play structure, the second park had a lake that we walked around.

The only downside is that I’m kind of tired too… but they are more tired! Judy, their other grandmother, has them overnight. I guess I’ll find out if I did my job tomorrow. My hope is that they go to bed and sleep soundly all night long.

Tomorrow, Steve and I are taking them out hiking again. Outside. I like it way better than screens.