Saturday, January 21, 2017

Dreary days of January

So far, January has not been bad, weather-wise. Oh, we've had the odd snow storm and there is lots of snow on the ground but the temperatures have been rising again and for that I give this month two thumbs up.
Any time it is above freezing for days at a time in our winter it is considered a good winter. But, I miss the sun-shine.

I told the girls that they won't be enjoying many sun-puddles in the next few days. Annie was fine with that and went right back to sleep. Audrey was mortified. It didn't help that I took her picture. hee hee.

She hates that.

"For heaven's sake, Audrey. That look could take paint off the wall."

The chickadees are sooooo adorable. 
(at our feeder this morning)
I wish I could keep them all and give them names. :) They love my suet but really go for sunflower seeds. And, they love when I stand at the feeders and talk to them. They really do.

I am trying to identify these animal tracks that came up the drive-way and right up to the garage entrance door last night. 
(about 3" long)

The animal walked around the feeders and I expect helped itself to an apple. It could be a fisher, small coyote or a dog of some sort. I'm considering putting out a web cam to find out. We have at least two dogs that are missing in our area and flyers are out with the details. :( I hate to see that. I couldn't imagine the grief of losing a dog. I'll keep them in my prayers.

We have not seen sun for days now and it is getting to us. My walks are dreary and there are very few birds or turkeys about. I do miss the wild turkeys that always look like they are heading to an all-you-can-eat buffet. They are comic relief.

I'm looking forward to some brighter days.

Enjoy your day.
hugs, Deb

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The country cottage cluttered china cupboard look.

I'm sure, to many readers, my old step-back cupboard is very cluttered-looking.
I change it up often
and love to cram all my favorite dishes in there.
I love the 
country cottage cluttered china cupboard look.
It makes me think of my grandmother's kitchen cupboards
in the old clap-board farm house that once stood on our property.

Now, I can't be the only one that likes the 'cluttered' look in her china cupboard.
I know there are people who think my cupboard isn't so cluttered; that I could use a few lessons in creating                                                                                                  'beautiful clutter' about showing off your country cottage cluttered china cupboard. :) I'd be thrilled to see it and I know lots of bloggers that are right there with me.

If I only had a longer, taller cupboard I would have more fun than a cat with a feather wand.
And just think of all the treasure hunting I could do.!

Would you look at this...
I could spend all morning there.
With a big 'ol cup of tea, of course.
I'd feel like The Mad Hatter.

Maybe you prefer a calmer look.

Or you might prefer pastels.

It's all very pretty.
Well, if you are a dishaholic, that is.
These photos were from Pinterest
under China Cabinets and Hutches.

I look forward to the spring blue and white china hunt
in all the little antique shops around.

"Oh, for crying out loud...
I fear someday you'll find me 
at the bottom of a 
country cottage china 
"Save me now, someone."
"Oh...and this bed goes where I go."

hugs, Deb

Monday, January 16, 2017

Craving comfort.

Comfort food around here includes scalloped potatoes and today's dish had a twist. I made it with three layers, the middle being thinly sliced sweet potato. It was delicious so I recommend you try it.

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes
In your buttered casserole dish layer one row of sliced raw potato.
Add 1/4 diced onion, one tbsp. of flour, salt and pepper to taste.
Then layer one thinly sliced raw sweet potato and cover with shredded cheese of your choice. I use Gouda and Cheddar.
Top with one more layer of sliced raw potato, a pinch of salt and pepper and cover with cheese. You can top this with fresh parsley if desired.
Carefully pour enough milk over this to come half way up the dish. Bake uncovered for one hour at 375 degrees.

We aren't the only ones who crave comfort these days.

Our birds are eating up a storm. I bought a bag of bagels that were on the stale side so out they go, a little peanut butter added, for the wild-life. And the home-made suet is really appreciated by all the birds. I have a real love-affair with our little brown squirrels. They are much smaller than the grey and black ones and seem much less afraid of humans. They make the best of my offerings, too.

I must be bored. I'm moving dishes around again. 

It's time to get out for a walk and make the best of -2C with sunshine. 
It is hard to pull myself away from reading all the fun blog posts today. Even Audrey was curious. And, the retired-guy has my camera again.

I'm sending you over to visit a favorite blog of mine. Meet some beautiful cats from all over the world.

Enjoy your day,

Friday, January 13, 2017

Worth waking up for.

The sun is shining and once again the temperature has dropped.
It's -5C today.

I opened up a Christmas gift that was for the birds, literally.

Added this to the home-made suet along with some apple pieces and cereal.

What a sweet gift. My birds thank you, Susan.

And look what was sitting at the top of the jar of seed. Adorable.

I expect to have many happy birds today.

"You should wake up, Annie.
I'm expecting lots of birds to visit soon. "


hugs, Deb

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Winter doldrums

It's a dark and rainy day today.

(my oldest grandittle at two sipping pretend tea. :)

"There are no cat-treats in this cupboard. " :-(

If you are knee-deep in snow, I expect you, too, are craving the look of flowers.
I picked this little violet up to add to my group that refuse to bloom for me right now.

I'll give her a good home and I need this today.
I'm done with winter.

As I'm sure these three ladies are, too.



I have been owned by cats all my life and I have come to the conclusion that in order to be able to trim kitty nails you have to make it a daily habit to play with their paws. When I trim my cat's nails I only take the sharp tip of the nail off. I am very quick but very careful, which comes from experience, and can have three nails done before they even realize what's happening. Then if they begin to move I just speak calmly to them and get their attention on me as I snip a few more tips. If the cat becomes stressed I stop and pick up where I left off the next day. I never have to and never will hold the cat down against it's will. There is no law saying all the nails must be trimmed at the same time. Pushing the limit will only enhance kitties fear and may even break the bond you have worked hard to form.

Stay warm,  my friends.

hugs, Deb

Monday, January 9, 2017

Wintering birds and a recipe

As the cold winds blow...
Mourning Doves

only a nut like me would stand in one spot for any length of time to get a few bird shots.

I know the European Starling are hated by many but they do have beautiful feathers in the colder months. They need to eat, too, and really go for the suet.

Though they’re sometimes resented for their abundance and aggressiveness, they’re still dazzling birds when you get a good look. Covered in white spots during winter, they turn dark and glossy in summer

And this cutie took his sweet time figuring out how to get inside the squirrel feeder. He's used to eating at the bird feeders but will soon realize that he can be out of the cold wind while dining.

It was too cold to stand there waiting but I did see him inside later from the kitchen window.

Our female cardinal showed up. 
A few hundred chickadees and juncos joined in and our mourning  doves stopped by for lunch.

I walked to the back of our property to clean up some fallen branches. The snow is deep but hard so it was easy to walk on.

All the birds now feed at the front feeders.
Our stone wall is covered in snow.
It borders two sides of our property.

Time for tea

Black tea, that is, and cookies
and I'm showing off my favorite milk pitcher.
Rural England.

The cookies are 
chocolate chip pecan
and they are made in one bowl. :)
you will need...

1/2 cup soft butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 c flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp corn starch
1/3 c chocolate chips
1/3 c pecans

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.


Think like a cat
and do stay warm.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Simple Sunday

The snow at the door of  the little white bird house has been 
removed so as to offer a place out of the cold wind for any bird that needs refuge.
Thanks, Rian. ;-) from for reminding me to keep as many bird houses open for them as possible in the winter.
I do have five other bird houses that are available to our wintering birds that do not get covered with snow.
But, this was a favorite so now I have six. :)

Today Audrey and I baked 3 dozen cookies
(chocolate chip pecan)
 while Annie baked in a sun-puddle.

They both had a long list of things to do today...
play with mousies
eat whenever the opportunity presented itself
snack on cat-nip
solve this bird-tasting issue

And someone got her nails trimmed and a full grooming this afternoon.
She looks beeeeautiful.
I always say a prayer before I start to clip her nails. :-[

"Can I eat you?"

I got my walk in and tidied up the mouse-house.
Here is my favorite photo I took at our feeders early this morning.
This female cardinal is a regular here.
Yes, it was snowing again.

It's now dark and -17C.
Where did the day go?

     Stay warm.

hugs, Deb