Saturday, August 23, 2008

Eye wear!

The boys have new eye wear this year! They had to switch. Damien went from reading glasses to full time wear. He actually has bifocals to help him both read and see in the distance. The glasses darken to sunglasses outside, which he thinks is cool, but he is having to adjust to wearing them all the time!

Tony went from wearing glasses all the time to just reading glasses. He has to adjust to remembering to take them off and on and to not leave them on a desk or table somewhere in a classroom!! Their motto is "On the face or in the case!"

Lilly Loves Teddy & Our Family of Cats

This is Ivy. She's 10 years old. We got her when we bought our house. Our other cat had been killed by a stray dog at our rental house when we first moved here. We rescued her from the pound back in 1998. Her cage tag had a code that indicated it was her last day before she was to be put to sleep. She was about 3 months old and bow legged! She is not a lap cat - has always cried when she is picked up. But she loves to be petted and will sneak up and sleep on you at night. She loves to eat - anything!! We say that she takes on different nationality personas, depending on the food! Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Mexican, etc. She also loves junk food like Cheetos. We have to be careful now that she is older to not give her too many people snacks - she has kitty special diet food and snacks instead!

This is Bitzy - she's seven years old. My mom gave her to us in 2001 when we went to Kentucky to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. She's a little camera shy, but a very pretty cat. She is adjusting to the new kittens. They want to be friends, but she only tolerates them.

This is Liger (Momma Kitty). She's part Maine Coon, but she has a very sweet face. She lives outside with her older son. She's a sweet, but chubby cat!

This is Simba - he's also part Maine Coon. I believe his father is all Maine Coon. He has more of a "Lion" face which is more typical of Maine Coons. They get to be BIG cats!! Sometimes up to 35 lbs!! Simba is a hefty 15 lbs and is only 1 1/2 years old. He's a big baby, though!! He wishes he could be inside with the kittens. He like you to hold him! He will lay on his back and purr and make muffins in the air while you brush his belly! He loves to play with his little brother and sister when they come outside. They will soon big almost as big as he is!

This is Theodore Bear (Teddy) and Tiger Lilly. Teddy is already 8 lbs at 6 months old. Lilly is a dainty 6.5 lbs. Our kittens were in a happy mood a few days ago! It's nice having two cats that get along after 7 years of our two calico cats hating each other!! Ivy lives downstairs, Bitzy lives upstairs!!! These two are litter mates, and very happily get along. They also love the two outdoor cats . But we have cats everywhere!!! The last of them - Lilly - was spayed this week. She also had a belly button hernia (common in cats) and that was fixed. We rescued several cats after a neighbor moved and abandoned them. The kittens were born about a month later by one of the rescued cats. Kittens are so cute, but there are too many of them and 100s are put to sleep everyday at local pounds. Just two feral (wild) cats can reproduce and after seven years they and their offspring can produce over 480,000 cats!! A cat can easily live to be 20 years old. Kittens can go into "heat" as early as 5 months and often have 3 heats a year. Cats are wonderful pets and very easy to take care of, provided they are fixed! We love all our cats - they are very lucky and very spoiled!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Party Italian Cous Cous

We had our usual monthly potluck and I brought Italian Couscous. It made a lot!! Wish everyone was here to enjoy some with us! This was originally a pasta recipe, but I had couscous on hand, so I used that instead and, as usual, changed around a few ingredients.

3 cups couscous, cooked as directed on package (you can use less if don't have a crowd) While it is cooling prepare the following ingredients and then add them to couscous and mix lightly:

1 box fresh cherry or grape tomatoes washed. If you use the larger ones, half them.
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup SMOKED mozzarella cheese - gives it a nice flavor - diced
1 Tablespoon fresh garlic, minced. (I use the kind already chopped and in a jar).
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup pitted black olives
1/2 roasted red pepper, diced

1 cup low fat salad dressing
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup rice wine seasoned vinegar (or another favorite vinegar you might have)
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon of your favorite hot sauce (like Tabasco)
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
Other optional spices: turmeric, Mediterranean blend, dried basil, coriander - add a pinch or two if you like

Blend all dressing ingredients. Mix into the couscous/veggies/cheese. Serve immediately at room temp. or chill until ready to serve. Makes enough for at least 20 side servings. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Job & Braces

Becca got her first "real" job this summer - cashier at Kroger. Here she is after a LONG couple of days! School started Monday and she went straight to work afterwards. She had Tues. off from work, but on Wednesday she had braces put on her top teeth, then headed to her other job - babysitting at the church. She gets up at 5AM, the bus comes a little after 6AM and school starts at 7AM!!! Too early for me! School is out at 2PM and then it's off to work until 8PM several nights. Luckily, it's not every school night! This is what she looks like coming off a long shift! They wanted her to stay until 1AM!!! Crazy!

Here are the new braces. Might be hard to see, but they are Hot Pink. Just on the top for now. Her teeth are straight, but she had a baby tooth that didn't come out and the impacted tooth under it is pushing toward her front teeth and could damage them if it is not corrected. All that has caused a slight overbite and her left side bite to be off a tiny bit. She will get an expander in the roof of her mouth next month, then bottom braces, later, to correct the bite. If she is lucky, she will only have to wear them for a year and a half. If the baby tooth doesn't loosen up, it will have to be pulled and then possibly a tiny surgery to move the adult tooth in the correct position to "come on down"!!

I'm an ol' pro at braces. I've gone through this with two step daughters, but started my career as a witness to "braces wearers", when I would go to appointments with my best friend in high school! I remember spending a lot of time in dental waiting rooms. I also remember the muscles it took for the two of us to turn the steering wheel of her car in order to parallel park when we got there and again to get out of the parking spot when we left!!