30 March 2012

Feline Friday: Lily's Trip to the Outside

 In last week's post, Tinsel enjoyed a "romp" around the patio while Lily waited not so patiently inside. Next it was Lily's turn to explore NATURE!

Wow, I l luv dis NATUR, Mom! It's just liek on my burds an squrls videeo! 

  The sun had warmed the patio, making it warm. Of course, Lily will never pass up a warm spot.

Soon it was time to explore more nature, so I walked her over to the grass.

Lily is such a city girl! She hates the feel of grass on her feet! Notice the little back toes all spread apart. 

Nope, not likeen dis grass, Mom!
Owie! Not likeen dis mulch eithur, Mom!
I think I'll stand on da patio an just LUK at dis natur, okai?

26 March 2012

March Madness!

 This early March weather is just plain weird. By the looks of things around here, spring has arrived a good four to six weeks earlier than usual. I'm not complaining, but the early warm temperatures caught me by surprise. In just the past week, my perennials have shot up to the point where I'm going to have to buy mulch very soon or I'll have a difficult time spreading it. Come to think of it, I haven't even seen mulch for sale around here yet!

While we're enjoying nice weather right now, we still have to remember that here in the Midwest, the weather can change quickly. It's really too early to plant or bedding or prepare pots. I just hope that we don't get a hard freeze (or snow!) at this point, now that so many flowers are in bloom.
Pictured above are hyacinth, bluebells, columbine, vinca ground cover, monarda, sedum, and Pasque flower. The Pasque flower (meaning "Easter" in French) is always the first to bloom, but this year it has plenty of company!

23 March 2012

Feline Friday: A Trip to the OUTSIDE!

 With the nice weather we've been having, Tinsel and Lily have been begging to go outside for a "walk". They each received new collars from Santa, and they've been anxious to try them out! 

There was a brief incident at the patio door while Lily came to terms with the fact that Tinsel was going out first. "Me first, you little twerp!"

Once outside, Tinsel was alarmed at the locust pods which have accumulated around the edges of the patio. After she determined the coast was clear, we could continue with our "walk" around the back yard.

Meanwhile, Miss Grumpy Drawers sulked at the patio door, waiting for her turn.

Tinsel's main objective when she goes outside is to nibble on grass or garlic chives. This time she found some LILYTURF to sample. She seemed to think it was a pretty tasty way to take out her frustrations. CHOMP. I'm guessing it had something to do with the NAME.

Of course, I don't let Tinsel eat grass or plants because she immediately gets sick when we go back inside. So she settled for sniffing the mulch instead.

Oh, there's that tasty LILYTURF again. NOM NOM NOM...

Lily, fed up with waiting, finally plopped down on the kitchen floor. "Sheesh, is she EVER going to get done so I can go out???"

"FINEEE! I'll let you take a turn, Miss LILYTURF!"

"Why is she calling me that, Mom?"

Next time: Pictures of Lily's trip to the outside.

20 March 2012

Tabby Tummy Tuesday!

And now, in honor of Tabby Tummy Tuesday, here's a rare glimpse of Tinsel's beautiful tummy. But don't get the crazy idea to rub her belly. Tinsel only allows looking!

 Aside from being very beautiful, Tinsel's little hang-down pouch swings from side to side when she runs. I only wish my figure flaws were this endearing!

16 March 2012

Feline Friday: She's BACK!

 We've all been having a great time with Bailey here for spring break. Of course, Lily has been enjoying as many free rides as she can get!

 In just a couple of short days, Bailey will be going back to school and Lily will have to ride around on my back, which somehow isn't quite as fun...for either of us! :)

15 March 2012

Signs of Spring 2012

In yesterday's post, Tinsel was looking out the window for signs of spring. Judging from these photos from around our yard this week, I think spring is officially here -- much, much earlier than usual!

If you click on the collage, you'll see a few glimpses of the change in seasons:

* Sedum, sedum, and more sedum popping up in my flower beds
* Newly emerged daylilies -- the tops already chomped by hungry bunnies
* Phlox and hyacinth tips 
* Freshly scrubbed patio pots
* Got plant markers?
* Garden hose on the ready
* My 1,000 pound mushroom-themed bird bath (found last year on the curb) ready to be cleaned and filled

Seeing these signs of springs makes me look forward to a new season of gardening adventures!

14 March 2012

09 March 2012

Feline Friday: On the Lookout!

 We're all very, very excited that Bailey is coming home for spring break today! Even Tinsel has emerged from her blankets to "cat" the lookout post.

 Nope, I doo not see her yet, Mom!

 She's not in the bafroom, either! (Okay, Tinsel, we knew that, but thanks!)

Hai, frum wai up here, I can see all the wai to Indiana! 
I'll keep watchin, Mom!

This could be a very long day. :)

08 March 2012

Tabby Thursday

Here's Tinsel in her typical nap time position, snuggled into something soft and warm. After I took this photo, she tunneled completely under cover and there she remained for several hours. Warm and toasty kitty. :)

05 March 2012

Recipe: Leek & Potato Soup

 This soup may not be much to look at, but it is REALLY good. And because it's made with chicken broth, this recipe is much lighter than most cream-based potato soups. If you're not a fan of leeks, don't worry. After they're pureed, they blend right into the soup base and provide only the slightest hint of onion flavor. Add a salad and some crusty bread and you've got a light but filling dinner for a chilly night.

Leek and Potato Soup
From EatingWell.com

1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
3 leeks, trimmed, cleaned and thinly sliced (3 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/4 pounds all-purpose potatoes, (about 3 medium), peeled and cut into small chunks
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

  1. Heat oil in a large heavy saucepan or stockpot over low heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and thyme; cook for 2 minutes more. Pour in broth, increase heat to medium and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
  2. Pour the soup through a strainer set over a large bowl. Puree the leeks in a food processor or blender until smooth, adding some the broth if necessary. Return the puree and broth to the saucepan. Add potatoes and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and mash the potatoes thoroughly with a potato masher.
  3. Stir in sour cream, salt and pepper. Return to low heat and heat until hot, but not boiling. Serve hot or chilled.

03 March 2012

LEAP Around the World Blog Hop Winner

Thank you all so much for participating in the Let's Scrap Blog Hop! This was my first time hosting a blog hop and it was great fun. I loved visiting all the blogs, reading all the comments, and learning a bit about all the hoppers and hosts! Even though we may be oceans apart, our love of crafting makes us close in spirit!