24 February 2017

Feline Friday: Twins?

These girls could be twins...or they might possibly be the same kitty! Ribbon and zucchini noodles are fascinating! **

** Disclaimer for anyone concerned about hygiene (and that would include me!): I've been assured that the kitty did not touch the noodles and that the noodles were cooked on high heat prior to consumption by Cat Mama. Noodle Inspection is not a regular occurrence. :)

17 February 2017

Feline Friday: Homemade Puzzles for Cats

My daughter sent me a link to an article with some fun homemade food puzzles for cats. If you're like me and have a kitty that gobbles her food, or if you're simply looking to add some mental stimulation to Kitty's day, then you'll find some great ideas HERE. Many of the puzzles can be made with items you may already have or would otherwise throw away.

Bailey tried the ice cube tray idea first. This one couldn't be easier! :) Little Rory thought about it for a bit, then went straight to it!

 So Lily and I tried it, too. The ice cube tray slows her down a bit.

Still, she's quite speedy at scooping out those tasty morsels. 

 I'm going to have to look into more complicated puzzles to make her really work for her food! :)

Thanks to Bailey for sharing this fun link!

11 February 2017

State of the Violets - and One Aloe Vera

 My Great Succulent Experiment continues...with mixed results. I've recently lost one aloe vera and the larger one isn't far behind. The other succulents are in various stages of demise, although not quite this bad.

I won't be buying any more of these lovelies because it turns out that aloe vera plants are POISONOUS TO CATS. So I've had to place them high out of reach -- perhaps they're not getting enough (any) sun there. *sigh* 
My violets, on the other hand, are doing well! After spending a few weeks during the holiday season in a different room where they had to adjust to less sunlight, they're all still living. Now that they're back in the dining room, they'll start to bloom again.

 I thought I would share a couple of tips for watering violets. If you've never grown violets, you may not know that they don't like to get water on their leaves. (I have no idea how this works if you're a violet living in the wild! Maybe they have tiny umbrellas?)

Violet leaves should be nice and sturdy, not limp. A violet with limp leaves is a thirsty violet! I've found that watering my violets once a week is the right frequency. I put a reminder in my phone so that I don't forget. 

Anyway, violets in captivity must be watered from the bottom up, so keep them in a pot with holes at the bottom. Three of my four violets are in the lightweight pots they came in. Eventually they'll be transferred to larger pots with holes.

 I bought terra cotta pots to transfer them to, but then I found out that terra cotta can promote mold and other diseases. So rather than transplanting the violets, I just place the plastic pot inside the terra cotta one. It looks a little nicer than the grocery store pot!

When watering my violets each week, I put a little water in a small bowl and add a few drops of violet food. I think you're supposed to mix up the food in water but I've found that adding drops directly to the water works just fine.

 Set the plant down in the water bowl, taking care that the leaves don't touch the water. After 30 minutes or so, all the water should be gone -- soaked up into the dirt. If you check it after 15 minutes and the water is already gone, go ahead and add more. Violets can get very thirsty, but don't let them sit in water for long. They don't like soggy soil. After watering, the pot should feel heavy but definitely not dripping wet!

 While I'm tending to my violets, I also take time to cut off the dead blooms. This makes the plant look much neater and makes room for new flowers.

My violets sit in a northeast facing window. It's not the ideal location or direction, but they seem to be doing well with the amount of sunlight they receive. Now that I've moved them back to their usual spot, I have no doubt they'll be blooming again in no time!

I'm just glad I'm keeping SOMETHING alive!

10 February 2017

Feline Friday

You've got to pay attention at dinnertime when the Bread Thief is on the loose. If it has butter on it, she's going in! :)

09 February 2017

Recipe: Moroccan Chickpea Salad

If you're looking for a healthful salad, something a little different, I would recommend trying this recipe for Moroccan Chickpea Salad from Clean Eating magazine. I've made this salad when Spouse is out of town (that means more for me!) and just recently tested it out on him. He's not a fan of mint, so I left the mint mostly out of his portion. Even so, Spouse gave this recipe a thumbs up. He suggested that we might add roast chicken to it next time, but we both agree that it's great just the way it is!

 Moroccan Chickpea Salad
Clean Eating - click HERE for a printable recipe and more info

 Whilst making this recipe, I had to take a picture of this beautiful red pepper, surely one of the most perfect specimens I've seen!

  This is how the salad looks before adding the dressing and feta. All kinds of healthiness in there!

 I added the dressing and feta a few hours before dinner so that the flavors had a time to meld a bit.

We had enough salad for the two of us for two full meals. Next time Spouse goes out of town, I'll make this delicious salad again -- just for me! If you try it, let me know!

03 February 2017

Feline Friday

We have two antique dressers in our bedroom. We have two cats who like to jump and have decided that the dressers make a good place to sit. As a result, it's risky to put anything fragile on the dressers because I know that a "hard landing" by either of the kitties will send it flying. 

In an effort to train them not to jump on the dressers, I've had towels or pillows on top for the past several months. My Dresser Protection Program had been working very well...so well that I had even taken the brave step of adding breakable (but not irreplaceable) objects.

So imagine my shock when I walked into the bedroom to this sight:

What the heck? Lily is not a skilled jumper, so I was quite surprised to see her smack dab in the middle of that pillow -- book-ended by breakable objects!

  You could tell this was a new feat as she caught a rare glimpse of herself in the mirror!

Not getteen down, Mom!

Nope, stayeen rite heer!

I know when I'm defeated. So I replaced the breakable objects with safe ones and in very short order, Lily was fast asleep, quite comfortable on the pillow I'd conveniently placed there just for her. Because I'm all about Lily's comfort, you know. :)

 SIGH. So much for decorating the bedroom!