I walked in to my kitty-clients' home this morning to find them both with pressed noses against the window while seven squirrels dined on the bird-seed that had fallen from the bird-feeder. They were ecstatic and making that joyful chirping noise that cats make when they are about to pounce on prey. Then, they turned, saw me and came tearing over to welcome me as they always do when I arrive. Two tabby brothers. I've cared for them, while their owner travels for business, for years now. They prance around their food dish while I measure out their dinner and get so excited that they topple over each other. When I'm about to leave, we have a little ritual where I give them treats on the stairs. As I'm getting my coat on, they run to the stairway and sit on a step in anticipation of their 'dessert'. They flash me that 'innocent' look. They love the routine and I love them.
Buddy and Chase
I laughed at some of the comments on 'tea etiquette'. I love reading all the 'tea-rules' but I follow none of them. I say..."Drink tea standing on your head, if you wish." It's tea...the nectar of the gods and we should all enjoy it thoroughly any way we please.
Well, within reason.
I received a new shirt today; a t-shirt, that is. It was from a give-away at Antiques and Tea-cups blog http://antiquesandteacups.blogspot.ca/that I won weeks ago. If you have not met Ruth, do drop by for a fun visit. I was thrilled to win this as I am a big Downton Abbey fan and one of my favorite characters is Mr. Bates. And yes, I want him freed since I feel he is innocent and well...'cause he's cute. :)
So, thank you Ruth for the t-shirt. I will wear it proudly and wait patiently to see Mr. Bates back in the arms of Anna.
"Cut it out, Audrey. I'm not going to look any better upside-down."
It rained today and was mild for a winter day in Ontario. The squirrels and birds were all a flutter.
Otis watching the squirrels jump from tree to tree.
Buddy watched a Chickadee land.
Chase was eying the mailman. (Eying being the correct spelling but it looks very odd.)
Bud and Chase...the mighty hunters.
and our sun-worshiper, Sierra
She was drinking it up while it lasted.
My little brown tea-pot, which holds two small cups, was a gift from South Korea.
Here's a little tea etiquette... First and foremost never hold your cup with your pinkie finger extended. This is improper and in most social settings is considered rude. You also look silly unless you are a three year old girl. Place your index finger into the handle of the cup up to the knuckle while placing your thumb on the top of the handle to secure the cup. The bottom of the handle should then rest on your third finger. The fourth and fifth fingers should curve back towards your wrist.
So there you have it. Now, go have some tea and hide the pinkie.
Sometimes a photographcan grab you and transport you back to a familiar place. Perhaps a place that was so full of love that you knew, even as a child, that you would someday have vivid memories of that time.
My grandmother 'taught me' to drink tea at an early age, perhaps seven. She was not as fancy as Tasha Tudor with her lace ruffles and all, but she always wore a dress and an apron. Her name was Mary.
I can still feel the tea-cup in my hand, warmed from the wood-stove and filled with 1/2 tea and 1/2 milk and a bit of honey. She would say "A little tea won't hurt you. It is good for your tummy." "Whatever"...we just wanted the hot beverage, and the goodies that were served with it, and to sit with our Granny for awhile.
Along with the tea was fresh bread, toasted on the wood stove, with her home-made strawberry jam. There was nothing like it. We each had our own special tea-cup. Mine was red and black and had a dragon on the side of it. I thought it was the most beautiful tea-cup in the world. She always kept the cookie jar filled with home-made cookies. I remember 'Hermits' mostly.
She taught me how to pour tea, to let it steep for 5 minutes and never clean the pot with soap.
"Just boiling-hot water and some lemon will do the trick", she'd say.
As I type this I can see her face and feel the heat of the stove on my face. I remember her little brown tabby-cat, Maggie alwayssnuggled in her apron. How I loved that cat. I can hear the laughter of my cousins, who sat around the summer kitchen making these same memories. We shared stories and listened to music on the old record player. We teased each other and made plans for the next morning; what we'd do and where we'd go.
Everyday was an adventure at my grandmother's home.
Such wonderful memories of childhood. Summers at the old farm.
I don't have my grandmother's recipe for Hermit cookies but this blog has one very close to what I remember.
One of my favorite treats to go with tea is this Applesauce Oatmeal Cookie. I have posted this recipe before but thought I would do all my new followers a favor. You must try this cookie if you like a spicy, soft type with nut-crunch taste. Try to eat just one :).
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp powdered cloves
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup walnuts (or raisons)
Measure together first 5 ingredients. In another bowl, mix together butter, sugar and egg.
In another bowl, combine sauce and soda.
Blend into creamed mixture alternating with dry mixture. Fold in oats and nuts or raisons.
Spoon onto cookie sheet (I use parchment paper) Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees. I think you will love these.
It was so nice to get out with the dog yesterday and have a long walk. It was the first day in a week that the temperature was above freezing and the sun shone in your face. Loved It. Kane loved it.
I have a busy week ahead with 'house stuff' and cat-sitting. Tuxedos and Tabbies will fill my week.
One of the sweetest, most shy little cats that I know and love is Lola.
One of the silliest, most rambuncious and bold little cats that I know and love is Otis.
Rosie is upstairs eating and 'vants to be alone' so I'll get her photo next time. Caring for them was a great way to start my day.
Yes, the sun is shining again and the winds have calmed. The ferals were given soft food with their kibble last night but not one showed up while I was there. I know tonight the food will have disappeared but who and what is eating it? Tracks of birds, rabbits, cats, skunks and so on will be there. It's winter and everything is hungry.
Robbie Burns Day celebrated in style. My friend, cat-sitting client and fellow blogger, Susan & husband, Iain from Just Sayin'http://readymadecosmos.blogspot.ca/ invited us for a delicious 'Scottish' dinner with all the trimmings.
Delicious home-made bread.
I could have eaten the loaf :-o
Here's my name 'Deborah' in Gallic.
There were poems to be read...
Candles in tea-cups...loved that.
Look at that amazing meal. It was delicious.
'The retired-guy, Iain & John
me, Susan & Joyce
We enjoyed meeting Joyce & John who are long-time friends of Susan & Iain's. It was a great time and "Susan...you are an amazing cook. Thanks again."
Quite a glow on. Is that the lighting or the whisky?For us, it was the first time celebrating Robbie Burns Day in-style. Drop over and meet Susan. hugs, Deb
...Someday, you'll look to see I'm gone. But tomorrow may rain, so, I'll follow the sun.
Well, it won't be raining but it may be snowing.
Still -23C but the sun is shining and working hard to warm us. Sierra will be left alone to worship her sun on the table. I shall not interfere.
"Happy Robbie Burns Day" Robert Burns was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide.
We will be celebrating at a friend, kitty-client and fellow blogger's home tonight. Looking forward to that.
Have a good day and stay warm. Maybe some whiskey?
I feel like we are being held hostage in our homes. The sun shone today but it is still bitterly cold. Of course, I do venture out because I have places to be but the wind was so strong it made today feel colder than yesterday. The weather will be changing soon, though.
Sierra is a sun-seeker and follows the sun-puddles around the house all day.
She has not been outside for weeks now and the mail-man must miss her waiting on the bench for him.
But, it's too cold to wait for anyone, these days.
Even when the sun shines the wind is too cold to walk the dog. I can stand it because I'm covered from head to toe but he's not as hairy as he used to be. With allergies all last summer, the hair on his belly and chest is a lot thinner than normal so he gets cold easily. He wears a coat but in -28C, it is too cold. So, with that, we took him for a drive today instead and enjoyed a hot chocolate while he enjoyed a treat and snoozed on the back seat. Now, he feels like he's been somewhere.
Taken on a warmer day.
This is his favorite thing...to run through the bush
We are caring for a friend's doggy named Helma. Some of you have met her before. She is a gentle- natured, sweetie-pie of a German Shepherd who we visit throughout the day and evening while her dad travels for two days. When I get home, Kane, who's not very dog-friendly, gives me the once-over and looks at me with sheer disgust on his face. Then I show him cheese and we are fine again.
Here is a photo of Helma taken last summer. Her yard is over an acre and she guards it like any shepherd would.
Sierra helped me cook tonight and we are both exhausted.
"My work is never done."
My little grand-son, Bradley ate his first solid food this week.
and he liked it.
Our weather is about to change again. Today will be the last of this deep-freeze (-30C) for awhile and the temperatures will start to rise. I know I'm supposed to love this cold stuff because I'm Canadian..eh!, but I don't. As the weekend approaches, we will be in the + numbers again. Crazy weather we have.
I say, "Good riddance". Cat-tip-for-the-day=^..^=Cheap toy
If your cats are bored, like mine are, and need a new toy to play with, take an empty toilet paper roll and close one end with a bit of tissue paper. Drop a few cat treats inside and close the other end with a bit of tissue paper, again. Give kitty a treat and then the toy. Most cats will rip the roll apart to get more of their favorite snack. You can do the same with cat-nip.