Monday, June 28, 2010

A little subterfuge

Elder cat has had some ups and downs, but seems to be feeling better.

She's now bugging me for food, which is a good sign. Unfortunately, she seems to think that she should get fresh food every time she asks ... the stuff she took a few bites of 15 minutes ago is no longer good enough.

Sorry, darlin' ... but at $36 a case, this won't cut it. Usually, I point to the dish and remind her that she hadn't finished her last portion. But when that doesn't work, I've resorted to a little trick. I take the dish, add a drop of water to the old food, and stir it a bit before putting it back. Sometimes I pop it in the microwave for a couple of seconds. (A vet suggested that to me ... warm food smells more appetizing, especially to older and ill cats.)

Kitty eats. She's happy. I'm happy.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Urban firewood

It's 90 degrees outside ... so let's talk about firewood!

Actually, the two subjects are somewhat connected. Those 90-degree days here have been followed by storms ... which tend to knock down trees and branches, creating firewood.

(Not to be flip .. I know said storms have done a great deal of damage in some areas ... fortunately, in our area, the tree damage is of the nuisance variety.)

When we first put in the fireplace, I was a little concerned that we wouldn't be able to find a low-cost (oh, all right, free) source of wood. But I've learned that if you look around, there's a fair amount of wood to be found in an urban/suburban area.

Sometimes it's a branch on the side of the road. (Looking for fun? Just try wrestling a big branch into a 4-door sedan.)

Sometimes it's a pile of cut wood next to the trash awaiting pickup. (When I went to the door to ask if I could take that wood, the homeowner looked at me like I was nuts. But he was OK with it ... probably wanted to get rid of the crazy lady, LOL!)

DH has also helped a couple of folks chop up their storm-felled trees in exchange for some of the wood ... which is how we got our latest supply.

And our own trees are good for producing kindling ... much too good, IMHO!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Jumping to conclusions

Used a couple of coupons for freebies during yesterday's shopping trip ... and when I did a quick check of the receipt, I thought that the cashier had forgotten to take one off.

I admit, I was a bit frosted, and grumbled to myself that I'd just have to take the item back next trip.

When I got home, I took another look at the receipt. Turns out I did get both freebies; the coupon in question was just posted a bit father down.

In addition, I was given the full price off the other product (it was on sale), putting me $1 ahead.

Ahem. I stand corrected. If anyone's looking for me, I'm the one with the bright red face.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Garden report

Lots of rain and warm, muggy days have really given the garden a boost.

So far, I have two tiny bell peppers, and a few small tomatoes. The beans have yet to flower, but I expect that soon.

My mystery tomato plant also has tiny green fruits, so I should know very soon just what we'll have.

The only thing that seems to be lagging is my herbs. The basil and oregano have come up, but aren't growing very quickly. I also suspect that not all my parsley seeds germinated -- that container's looking pretty sparse.

And the lettuce and salad greens are doing ok. Nearly had a disaster -- the cord broke on the hanging pot that holds the lettuce. Fortunately, the pot fell straight down, and stayed intact!

Monday, June 14, 2010

A twist in the road

Apologies for being MIA the past week.

My elder cat, my 16-year-old sweetie, has slipped into kidney disease. We've spent a good deal of time this past week at the vet's office, or on the phone with the vet, and educating ourselves about what we're facing.

I've said in the past that should this kitty become seriously ill, I would hesitate to subject her to drastic treatment. I still feel that way. But as we looked at the options, we saw that we could manage this without drastic measures. So, as long as we can keep her comfortable with a good quality of life -- be it 3 weeks or 3 months or 3 years -- we'll do it. Fortunately, she's responding well to treatment. Also fortunately, our vet is on the same page with us.

Admittedly, this is darned expensive. But this is one reason I live frugally, so I can spend the money on things that matter. And I'm grateful that we can afford to do this.

If nothing else, this will certainly offer a new challenge in finding the best deals ;)

It's also going to force some lifestyle changes: administering daily meds and fluids kind of keeps us in one place. But we will cope.

So, we begin ....

Friday, June 4, 2010

May freebies

Not too bad ...

Dove candy bar
2 Kitten Chow
1 McCormicks herb grinder (FAC)
2 Eucerin lotions
1 Suave shampoo
2 John Freida shampoo & conditioner
3 tomato plants
2 Pantene shampoo & conditioner
1 Dove deodorant
3 Wheat Thins
3 carmel vanilla latte mixes
Taco Bell Limeade sparkler
1 Kraft Cheesy Explosion mac & cheese

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Does this make us above average?

The Wall Street Journal recently had a story on how we now want more intense flavors in our food. (hotter, mintier and fruitier as the headline said)

Anyway, it mentioned that according to the McCormick Co., maker of spices, American households now have an average of 40 spices and seasonings in the pantry, compared to 10 in the 40s and 50s. (I am a little confused by this ... I thought people were eating out or doing takeout food. ;)

So I decided to take a spice count in my pantry. The total: 56! (and I didn't count a couple of bottles ... red pepper is red pepper, whether it be crushed or ground.)

No wonder it takes so darn long to find anything when I'm cooking!