Gizzy in Heaven!

Gizzy in Heaven!
I love you forever and ever, Amen!


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday morning stroll

I hope you enjoyed this video I made this morning and pray that everyone is safe in light of the hurricane and the bad weather. Blessings for a wonderful day!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Toad in basket

As I opened my front door at 11 pm to look for Mr. Bloomers, I find Mr. Toad sitting in the cat's basket while Mr. B is under the chair looking inconvenienced.

.... the nerve!

This toad who lives under the slab of cement near the bushes by my front porch is so sassy...he loves to sit outside his hole in the ground when I water the plants. He just sits there blinking into the stream of water and enjoys getting wet.

I've also seen him several times sitting smack dab in the middle of the cat food bowl (with kibbles in them) and now, he's taking over Mr. Bloomers' basket... what's next? If he knocks on my front door, he's getting a big, fat kiss and then I'll know for sure... or get a wart!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cat Spay and Neuter Day

was very disappointing for me.

Today was the day when I was going to take one of our feral "community cats" to have them spayed or neutered since the city absorbs the cost for one stray animal per month. I put out the trap last night, placed a can of cat food in there, but this morning, the food had been eaten and the trap remained open...meaning I got nothing, zilch, zip, nada, zero...and I'm very disappointed because now I have to wait another month to try again to capture one. I wonder if the trap is faulty or if the animal in there was extra light - or maybe it was a mouse or rat that ate the food...oh, well...I will just have to wait and try it again next month. I was so looking forward to getting this spay/neuter thing started.

I'm going to make the rounds now and visit some of you because I've been facebooking instead of blogging. I like playing one of the games on there called 'Gardens of Time' that I find very addicting.. Shame on me! I hope to get over it pretty soon because this is not how I want to spend my days permanently - glued to the computer screen. I need to get out of this rut that I'm in. I know it's not healthy.

Gizzy had a shower with me this morning and now he's resting in his pink bed all clean and content in the cool air conditioning. It was kind of hot by the time we got out, so we didn't walk very much. I don't like to see him pant, but tomorrow is another day for getting up early  and walking around the lake.

Bye for now - see you on your blogs!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

August morning walk

I want to share some photos of our early morning walk around the lake. It's been quite pleasant out in the mornings for the past two days and I actually wanted to stop, linger and photograph instead of huffing and puffing towards home. They're all from Lake Irma yesterday.

If you click to enlarge this picture, you might see a Great Blue Heron sitting near the peninsula.

Here it is a little closer (cropped):

Gizzy having a drink and enjoying the view.

That little dot in the preceding photo is an alligator, yes we have a 4' Alligator in the lake and we're all worried about our ducks and the goose. The city said they'll remove him as soon as they find someone who is certified to do that job. Alligators are endangered and it's against the law to kill them here, even though many people do. My friend, Sandy Olsen, who runs the Banks Lake Outpost informed me that any gator 4 feet or more is considered a nuisance animal and will be removed and destroyed or donated to a gator farm for food - yes, gator tails are very popular here. I've never had one and am not the least bit interested.

Here's a bit closer of the little alligator:

I don't want him eating our ducks, yet the thought of him being killed makes me sad.

Look, I photographed the moon in the was about 7:30 am and the moon was still out. You need to look hard - it's very faint, but it's located in the center of the photo where the weeds form a V-shape.

The Great Egret stalking his breakfast. I love to watch him hunt.

Here I played around with the effects a little bit...

I always enjoyed that palm tree - it stands out because it's the only one around the lake of its kind! I think it's a Sago Palm.

Looking up through the fronds of the palm into the blue sky, reminds me of a vacation I once took in Key West, Florida!

This is how to get around the lake Gizzy-style!

The Water Hyacinth are invasive plants to this region, but they sure look and smell nice.

I love the way the morning light casts interesting shadows on things.

An abandoned barn near my apartment (special effects with Picasa.)


Crepe Myrtles in pink and white

(with a honey bee on the blossoms in the center)

I hope you enjoyed the photos and have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Monday, August 15, 2011

A new pen pal and an old cookbook

I recently joined a secret pen pal exchange at Parsley's of Seasons Of My Mind and received my first correspondence today.

It was a most lovely letter written in a note card from a fellow animal lover who lives in Scotland. Thank you so much!

I've been thinking of Christmas lately which always brings me back to my German roots, the German Christmas cookies, Stollen, Strudel and of course, German accordion Christmas music... so I dug up my most angent possession (besides my body) namely a German cookbook that was given to me by my Great Aunt Anni (my grandpa's sister) called "Boehmische Kueche" meaning Bohemian Kitchen. I am from Bavaria, Germany and if you want to learn how Boehmen (or Bohemia) relates to Bavaria, just click here.

Here's the book by Ilse Froidl that's about 40 years old by now.

My great aunt Anni gave it to me as a wedding gift with this inscription:

I really loved that woman and I have many wonderful memories of our times spent together. She was a seamstress and from the left over materials, she sewed dresses for my dolls. I'm pretty sure that I had the best dressed dollies in town!

This cookbook is written in German (of course) and the recipes are in metric measurements. Some of the ingredients mentioned in it are probably hard to come by, if at all...but it's very thorough in explaining the various cuts of meat (types of fish) and covers everything from cooking and baking to canning and juicing, including how to preserve raw eggs and make alcoholic beverages like eggnog, which is entirely different than the American version. 

There's only a few black and white photos in there, but most of it is writing and explanation. I'm going to invest in a kitchen scale that also has the metric system and as soon as it starts cooling down a bit, I'll be cooking some of those old German recipes again. 

This book contains 1000 old-fashioned and newly tried recipes. I used it a lot when I was married and believe it or not, I even made my own doughnuts. They were great!

If anyone's interested in obtaining an unusual recipe for your next party, let me know and I'll be happy to share some with you from this book and translate and convert the recipes for you.

I think I will do an occasional DID YOU KNOW section about Germany for those of you with German heritage or  inquiring minds. By explaining and researching for my blog, I will refresh my memory as well.

So, I'll start my first DID YOU KNOW ... that Germany is comprised of 16 states and each has its own flag (Coat of Arms.) Also, the various cities have their own Coat of Arms as well.

Germany is a federation made up of 16 federal states, each of which has independent if constrained state authority

This is the Flag for Bayern (Bavaria.) One of the oldest states of Europe, it was established as a duchy in the mid first millennium. In the 17th century, the Duke of Bavaria became a Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire. The Kingdom of Bavaria existed from 1806 to 1918, and Bavaria has since been a free state (republic). Modern Bavaria also includes parts of the historical regions of Franconia and Swabia

This is the Wappen (Coat of Arms) for Nuremberg, a city located in Bavaria. I served my three-year apprenticeship there in a law firm before coming to the United States in 1971.

The Coat of Arms have changed somewhat over the years, depending on who was the Ruler at the time, but this is the current one.

Every state in Germany has its own traditions, foods, costumes and dialects which makes traveling through Germany quite interesting. When visiting my aunt in Berlin, it took me nearly the whole two weeks to become comfortable with the Berliner dialect. They speak very fast and have different words entirely for some common German words. We spoke High German around our house, in school and at work, but my cousin and her mother speak more in the Franconian (or Bavarian) dialect that I also know, having been raised there. I generally use it only in fun with other fellow Germans, but never in a professional setting because, to be honest, that dialect just sounds too funny (to me) than to be taken seriously. I've heard people talk professionally with that Nuremberger/Franconian dialect and I couldn't help but smile (albeit inside) the whole time.

If you have any questions I will try to answer them or find the correct answer for you, which should be easy since my whole family (except my daughter) lives over there. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Houseplants that purify your air!

This is the Rubber Plant one year ago (July 2010)  - and this is the Rubber Plant now!

...and now one with Gizzy!

I'm proud to say that this plant doubled in height and filled out nicely with healthy, shiny leaves. I transplanted it into a bigger pot and it seems to have enjoyed its new environment. Today, I took some milk and used cotton balls to clean off the leaves making them nice and shiny, but now I can see that I missed a few on the bottom (ooops!) I got that plant when it was small from a neighbor who had it sitting out back all spindly and forlorn. When I spotted it, I told her that I've always wanted a Rubber Plant (hint-hint) so she gave it to me. I'm glad it likes it here.

Did you know that you can purify your air in your home and office naturally with certain houseplants? This is especially useful for asthma sufferers. Well, the Rubber Plant is one of them. The Peace Lily and Boston Fern also belong to that group of air purifying plants. I also have those as well. I don't have a lot of light in here, so I put them out on my front porch periodically to let them get their fill of sunshine. They seem to be doing well, but in the winter, I will keep them inside.

My Peace Lily has all but died one winter when I failed to put her inside, but there was one little green sprout remaining in the center, so I transplanted it and fertilized it and it came back bigger than before. This summer it bloomed continually.

This Boston Fern is my newest addition. I received it from another neighbor recently who didn't want to bother with it anymore and I'm so glad to have it. (I see where she has cut some of the top fronds, something I will not be doing.)

(This fern is almost too big for my small apartments, but I love it!)

Here's that website for you to read about the other air purifying plants you can get to help you breathe better.

Web Ecoist - Going Beyond Green

Before I leave, Gizzy wanted to give a smiling Daisy to all of his fans because he just loves the ladies ;-)

All the best Wishes for a happy and blessed weekend!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Special Delivery!

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!!!

Look what the UPS man brought mommy and me today! See? It's a big 16-lb bag of cat food for the stray kitties came from PetSmart!

Not that I was soliciting, but in response to my earlier post about our stray community cats, I received a couple of donations for cat food. This is our first shipment and we (Gizzy and I) want to thank our two benefactors (you know who you are) for being so generous.

Starting on the 23rd of this months, I'll be trapping a cat (or try to anyway) to take it to be spayed or castrated for free, a program afforded by our county's animal group called LAPS, which stands for Lanier Animal Partnership and Support.

Also, I rejoined CHAT - Citizens for Humane Animal Treatment which is a very small, yet aggressive animal rights group taking a strong stand on abolishing pit bull fighting which is alive and well in our town along with cock fighting. So, if you don't hear from me for a long time without explanation, I may have been arrested protesting for animal rights somewhere or another LOL - just kidding - I have to be home to take care of Gizzy!

Again, thanks for the kitty chow, my friends and God bless each and every one who loves, respects and cares for our animals. 

About my arm: The blood work was botched and I didn't get the acid reading on my blood to indicate Gout or Arthritis and I'm not going back to the PA because I'm fed up with them. I'm finding another doctor to go to! Meanwhile, I'm trying to control the slightly swollen, itchy splotches with Hydrocortisone cream, Benedryl and Motrin...if it gets worse, I'm gong to see a doctor, a new one! I can't seem to find a good doctor here - it's very frustrating! I should have let the Vet treat me. He had Gizzy's blood test results back the very next day and he was so nice.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Example of a well trained dog (ahem) human!

Not only does Gizzy not come when called, he also talks back and actually expects me to go over there and pick him up (the nerve!) ... but here I go...waddling over there to pick him up...Cuteness: 1/Reason: 0

Hope you're having a more agreeable day ;-)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Update on Gizzy!

Thank you everyone for your lovely comments and concern for my boy. The Vet called me on Friday afternoon informing me that his thyroid levels are very low and he's going to put him on a supplement. So now I'm giving Gizzy a Synthroid twice a day and he'll get another blood test in 60 days to see how the medicine is working for him. 

The Vet said the hair loss may be from the thyroid problem or it may be an allergy, but we are going to take this one step at a time and are treating what we know is wrong. Gizzy is doing fine and sleeps a lot under the circumstances. In the summer he always sleeps a lot because there is nothing to do. We can only go outside for a couple of hours in the mornings and then we're pretty much locked up in here.

I was thinking of getting him a little friend to play with, but it's a decision I have to take very seriously for a number of reasons, so I'm not going to rush into this. It's just something in the back of my mind.

I apoligize for not having visited and/or commented much lately, but I have to confess I've been on FB and every time I go there, I get sucked into it for a few hours, so it's best for me to just not turn on the computer when I'm on a schedule. Besides, I think I'm starting to get into trouble over there and have to cool it a bit LOL

Have a lovely day everyone and a great week ahead. I'll be visiting all you guys very soon. Today and tomorrow are serious crochet days since I was unable to do much due to my impaired wrist and forearm that seems to be doing better...still no news about my blood work yet, but I will keep you informed.

Before I go, I wanted to share one thing that I saw on Facebook that really touched me because it also applies to my blogging friends, who have been so faithful, forgiving and nonjudgmental towards me:

"Someone asked us how we can love friends who we've never seen! We said... We have never seen God, but we feel Him! We love Him, and He is in our heart! That's why we love you! To our friends on Facebook and Blogger, who we do not know in person, but we love dearly in our hearts!"

I love you, guys! (and Gizzy does too) woof-woof!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Tasty Recipes from the National Honey Board

Schoolhouse Favorites
(presented by the National Honey Board August, 2011
It's that time of year again! Stuff those backpacks with books, binders, paper and pencils and get ready for another jam-packed school year. We hear all of the groans and whines coming from the kids as the first day of school approaches ever so quickly. But that’s not all we hear – parents are chiming in right along with them!

With the natural foods movement growing stronger every day, what wholesome, natural snacks and lunches can you pack for your kids that you feel good about and that they will actually eat? We’ve got the perfect score on this suggestion: honey.  As a natural energy booster, honey can provide the necessary boost to keep kids energy levels up throughout the day (even in the most boring classes). From breakfast to lunch to snacks, honey can make any school day sweeter!

Honey Berry Waffle Sandwich
(makes 4 servings)

Honey Berry Waffle Sandwich

  • 1-1/2 cups fresh berries, divided *
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 8 frozen waffles, toasted
Purée 1/2 cup berries in a blender or food processor; set aside. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add honey and bring to a boil; simmer 2 to 3 minutes, then add berry purée. Continue to simmer 2 to 3 minutes more until syrup thickens slightly. Set honey syrup aside and keep warm. For each serving, place 2 waffles on plate. Top one waffle with 1/4 cup fresh berries. Drizzle with 1/4 of syrup and top sandwich with remaining waffle. *Raspberries, strawberries and blueberries work well.

Honey Turkey Rollers
(makes 6 servings)

Honey Turkey Rollers
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, optional
  • 6 (8-inch) whole wheat tortillas
  • 1-1/2 cups Colby Jack cheese, shredded
  • 12 thin slices turkey

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add honey, mustard and onion powder; mix well. Spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of honey cream cheese mixture out to the edge of each tortilla. Sprinkle each tortilla with 1/4 cup cheese, leaving about 1 inch around the edge. Place 2 slices of turkey on each tortilla. Roll up each tortilla tightly and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill at least 30 minutes, then slice each tortilla log into eight 1-inch rounds and serve.

Honey Sesame Chicken Nuggets
(makes 6 servings)

Honey Sesame Chicken Nuggets
  • 1/3 plus 1/2 cups honey, divided
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup rice vinegar, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon ginger, freshly grated
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1-1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into nuggets
  • 3/4 cup dried apricots, finely diced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2/3 cup sesame seeds
Honey Granola Squares
(makes 9 servings)

Honey Granola Squares
  • 3 cups low-fat granola
  • 3/4 cup dried fruit (apples, apricots, cherries, cranberries or pears), finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 egg whites, lightly beaten

In a large bowl, mix together granola and dried fruit. In a small saucepan, heat honey, oil and vanilla over medium heat, stirring until honey is dissolved. Pour honey mixture over granola and mix until thoroughly coated. Pour egg whites over granola mixture; mix well. Pack mixture firmly into an 8-inch square nonstick baking pan. Bake at 325°F for 40 minutes or until deep golden brown. Place pan on a cooling rack; cool completely before cutting into squares, approximately 2-1/2-inches each