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Category Archives: Cooking

Truly Blessed

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My house is a mess.  Contractors have repaired the bedroom ceiling and repaired a few other things around the house that were broken.  Dust is everywhere and my bedroom and dining room furniture is piled into other rooms.  Jean Claude and Roxie have enjoyed the adventures the clutter has created.  In an effort to protect my laser printer I covered it with a blanket – now the printer is a resting place for the Japanese bobtail.  Jean Claude likes perching atop my television set – now in the front room by a window.  Soon the work will be completed and while  I still have some cleaning to do, there will be order and my house will look even better    It’s been a pretty rough time for me personally and professionally but I know that just like my house- God is just repairing my soul and that I will have to make the decision to do the clean up and peace will come.     .

Purr-fection

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Roxie Practices Her Balancing Act Atop Jean Claude's Back

I’m watching an old re-run of “Monk,” the detective so wonderfully portrayed by actor Tony Shaloub, who had a keen sense of perfection. We are all in some ways victims of our need to be perfect. Of course nothing is perfect except God. But we have moments so close, Ah so much to live for, experience, enjoy and share. For me it’s those just right summer days, time spent with friends and family, a hug, sharing a joke with a good friend, a summer night outdoor jazz concert, great co-workers, that last bit of a chocolate shake and of course watching Roxie and Jean Claude romp outdoors…those moments so precious…so great -full. Let me your idea of perfecction (sp).

A Drink From A Certain Fountain

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There is an old “Twilight Zone” episode, “A Drink From A Certain Fountain” in which a man wishing to impress his younger wife takes a youth enhancing drug to most interesting consequences. Recently I had the opportunity to visit with friends, there was wine but also afterwards it felt like I had been slipped a mental “Mickey.” Dizzy and a bit disoriented I went to CCL’s house where I took a quick nap. Still, today trying to regain my composure. I guess the lesson is to always be careful from whose cup you drink. Encouragement, mental support and love are served up by friends but not always As humans we sometimes serve up confusion, discouragement, complaint and maybe envy. Always forgivenss is the answer – then it is also up to us to whether we want to take what someone suggests or infers about us with a grain of salt.

Christmas Meow

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The Tree

I just let Jean Claude off th back porch. I was in the kitchen cooking  and he went out to the porch pantry to play with some fake garland I got out of the garage for CCL’s house.    Of course I forg0t he was out there and  after I got my cooking supplies closed the porch door.  But he’s back in the house now.   JC and Roxie always enjoy  the Christmas holiday. They like the decorations and the music especially, Roxie. Last night I saw them cuddled together on the sofa just watching the Christmas lights.  Just quietly watching.   Today I had Bing Crosby singing “White Christmas” on the Ipod.  Both cats sat perfectly still just relaxing. .

Roxie and the Roach – A Tale of Her-roism

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I pride myself on a clean and mostly odor free home  but  despite regular visits by Terminix  I admit to the occasional appearance of a fly or an insect. Yes folks this morning I saw a large roach crawling on my bedroom ceiling. I was not excited and not inclined to get out of bed either. Shortly after the siting however, Roxie jumped on my nightstand, actor – there it was–  the roach which Roxie quickly maneuvered to the floor and dispatched of in a playful fashion. Poor creature never had a chance. Roxie is one of my she-roes.  Had the pleasure yesterday of talking with another one of my,  a wonderful sister friend  who is also a work colleague as well.   Americans owe her (and her colleagues)  for leading the charge on numerous issues,  but this blog respects her anonymity and it’s not about work.  That said she and her husband  raised five foster children.   However, shortly after the last child  graduated high school they had to take in their four grandchildren who were living under rather severe circumstances.  My  friend admits the ups and downs of raising  young children once more sometimes gets to her.   Yet  she and her husband don’t want any publicity or extra attention.  Clearly the reward for her is in the gifts she provides.  Like Roxie,  she is the real deal.

The Brazilian Edition

Brazil is a country of contradictions like any other country.  But it’s fabulous!  Bahia is fantastic and I love Sao Paulo.  I didn’t expect to love it.

However, as always, cats follow me everywhere and I saw the cutest kitten at an outdoor nightclub.  He found some food and then started meowing so loudly.  I wanted to buy him food, but at that point I was out of treats  so I pray that God will take care of him.  The kitten started showing out, but unfortunately I could only take one picture of him.

When you travel, who you travel with is just as important as where you go.  Travel with those who like to travel like do you.  Some people like to relax and just chill.  Some need their days to be packed.  .

What Cats Teach Us

Cats teach us a lot. People who don’t like cats tend to say that they don’t like them because they are sneaky or aloof when nothing could be further from the truth. Cats are loving creatures who love those who have shown that they deserve love. Cats are also loyal, knowing who are the people who mean them good. Dogs will cuddle up to anyone who walks in the house. Just like in life, we should be open to allowing new people in our lives, but we shouldn’t let every person who crosses our path into our lives.

For the last three weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of having the cats at my house. It’s been a good journey, complete with Roxie running away, Jean-Claude demanding to go outside and me running out of wet food (a big no no).

I’ve also played with them, combed them and watched them fight and this morning saw the evidence of a pretty big fight downstairs.

Gotta love those cats.

The LookOut

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Roxie and Jean Claude are on an extended stay at their other residence, CCL’s house. This afternoon I paid them a visit and my daughter made brunch.    I water her plants . Yes,  I provide landscape services for two residences.  Lately  Roxie has seen fit to leave  CCL’s house  unexpectedly and stay out for hours at a time – rumor is she has a man.   So as not to worry about her tarting out,   I lured the cats to the basement before going outside to water my daughter’s flowers.   Finished with the task and ready to enjoy sausage, eggs and pancakes I entered the house , let the cats out of the basement and sat down.  Oops !! CCL(my daughter) reminded me I forgot to get fresh thyme  from the garden for the eggs.    That meant going outside again.   Roxie and Jean Claude were already waiting by the back door poised to escape.  The basement trick would not work a second time in a row.  What to do??  CCL quickly  grabbed a spray bottle filled with water  and stood guard in front of me as I carefully opened the door, went outside grabbed the thyme  and came back in the house .  Teamwork.

Soft Scrambled Eggs(I recommend  finding more recipes  at Cook’s CountyKitchen.com )

To scramble soft fluffy eggs, heat the pan or skillet,  add butter,  then eggs and  chopped herbs, turn off heat and scramble.   To prep the eggs I just beat eggs slightly and add a little water or cream and then pour into the pan before cutting  off the heat.  A friend also pours a lot of “Dash” straight into the heated  butter and then adds the eggs – also tasty.

Preparation

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Spent little time working my garden this weekend.   Still too cold at night to plant annuals.  My rosebushes seem to be staving off black spot for now.  I have some salvia that is starting to flower a bit so  I’ll let the rain and the sun do their work.   Hopefully next weekend will be good for planting. 

It’s been a week since I’ve had the pleasure of  daily life with  Jean Claude and Roxie. They’ve spent time enjoying their other residence with their mom CCL.   Roxie did go missing for a brief spell.    She was located behind the washing machine, a favorite hiding place.

This evening I started putting out some of their toys in preparation for their return this week.  Later  I’ll  put out their water bowl(filtered of course) and their dry food dishes. It’s interesting how easy life is when we prepare for the good  – not just the bad stuff .  Busy week this week,  so I made mac and cheese with three cheeses…decided to leave bacon and tomatoes out.  Also  made Mexican pork chops – The recipe follows:

Mexican Pork Chops

Ingredients

Three or four Pork chops (m’ais oui)

One yellow onion

One small can of tomato paste

One cup of water

One can of whole kernel corn

One can of red beans (drained and washed)

Olives(the big kind)

One cup Rice ( I prefer brown rice)

Preparation

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Slice the onion into rounds and cut them in half

Season the chops with season salt and chilli pepper

 Brown the onions and the chops in a pan or a skillet ( I prefer cast iron)

Remove the chops  from the pan and set aside, leave the onions in the pan

Add to the pan or skillet  the uncooked rice, water, tomato paste, corn(undrained), beans(drained) – Stir, season mixture to taste and then place the chops on top

Garnish with olives(LOTS)  and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes

Out All Night

So the first night I brought the cats to my house, it was a nice warm night.  I let the cats out upstairs and Jean-Claude stayed out there ALL night.  He came in the in the morning to get his breakfast.  He is definitely like the the unruly teenage son except that there’s no downside to him staying out.  He likes it, he doesn’t jump off and I still get the nice breeze.

They’ve been at my house where Roxie has been causing a bit of trouble, but they’ve settled down.  Unfortunately, I’ve had to fly to Houston for a few days, but I’m hoping to get to go home early.

It’s been a long few months for me so I’m looking to get some rest soon!

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