Friday, October 30, 2015

Happy Halloween

                          from all of us at the mouse-house...
                               "HAPPY HALLOWEEN"
                                Stay safe and have fun.
                                    =^..^= =^..^= =^..^=

Joining Camera Critters at
hugs, Deb

Entertainment galore.

What's Audrey looking at?

She's watching me feed the birds at the feeders just across from the mouse-house.
Little does she know she's in for a surprise today.
I have placed a heated bird-bath outside the garage side door in perfect view of the dining-corner window
so I will be able to fill it easier once the cold weather arrives. And... moved a feeder to attract her favorite snack..I mean bird; the Black Crow.
Oh, how she would love to have one with mustard, relish, ketchup on a sesame seed bun.
Mmmmm  Mmm.

Annie has already found the exciting new view.
Through the mouse-house window.
The early bird and squirrels arrive.

She is making the recognizable call that cats make when they spot prey.

I'm going to enjoy watching our feathered friends, along with the cats, while I sit here with my breakfast.

Annie is in heaven today.
We have added some carpeting to the mouse-house to keep it cozy warm this winter.
She's now a 'kitchen cat' on her warm, comfy mat.
She approves.

hugs, Deb

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

"You should never have just one."

"They really enjoy each other's company", mom said, as I admired their beauty while they basked in the sun-shine on the table." You should never have just one."  :)
 "I love to watch them blossom from being nurtured and loved",  she said. 
And let me tell you, they blossomed. I don't remember ever seeing them without large purple, mauve or white blossoms.
These perky little plants brought such joy to my mother as they lined her window-sills with colour and cuteness. 

For years I have had three of mom's African Violets and I wait anxiously to see them bloom again this year to brighten up the mouse-house window-sill. Their presence brings back many sweet memories of time spent at mom's. I'll pamper them and hopefully keep them clear of  curious cats. So far they show no interest in them and as long as they stay on the left side of the sill they will be ignored by all three felines.

Won't be long.

I love to watch these four scalliwags blossom from being nurtured and loved.
We all have our preferences, don't we? 

Annie always close by the oldest most fragile one.
Kane is 15 now and aging quickly.
What's most important to us is to keep him comfortable in his old age.
Although he has many aging issues, he still enjoys his home, his meals and his daily ride in his van. :)



If you are in the mood to bake and have 10 - 12 small apples lying around here is my easy, go-to recipe when I crave an apple treat.

                                 Apple Upside-down cake

Slice up 12 small apples ( I use Macs) and mix with 1/4 cup of sugar mixed with 1/4 tsp. of cinnamon.  Place in bottom of baking dish.

Mix together 2 eggs, 1 cup of sugar and 1/4 tsp. of vanilla
Add 1/2 cup of oil, (I use olive oil) and 6 tablespoons of orange juice.
Mix together 1 cup of flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, pinch of salt
Add this to the wet mixture
Beat until smooth and pour over the apples.
Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

This is one of my favorite apple desserts. I hope you try it.

hugs, Deb

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

As the season changes.

Every day I look forward to my walk about the area. Most of the fall leaves have fallen and the trees are now bare. In one week it has changed completely.
Still, it is beautiful here and the birds keep you company with their songs as you walk along. The sun felt warm and the air was cool. A scarf and gloves were required. I can spot many bird nests now high up in the trees; some look big enough for a hawk family to use.
And I love listening to the crows as they screech back and forth. Sometimes they sound just like your typical human family at the dinner table.. haha!

Each house along these roads sits on at least a half acre of land. The houses are set back and surrounded by maple, elm, oak, sumac and fir trees. Some even have little creeks running through their property. So much beauty here. I could fit our mouse-house in one of their elaborate sitting rooms, I'm sure.
It's nice to see that most of these houses have bird-feeders out.

Then, on my way back to the mouse-house, I can see the cows at the old farm on our road.
The same farm that I would visit as a child with my cousins. We would play with their kids around the farm and end up at the big summer kitchen table for a farm-style lunch; bowls and bowls of fresh veggies and always a roasted chicken. Even as a young child I remember wondering if it might have been one of the chickens that we played with at this farm just days before. That bothered me but I could tell I was on my own there. I would usually stuff myself with veggies and home-made bread and pass on the meat.
I still remember 50 year later the big lazy susan in the centre of the wooden table that we spun to grab a condiment. Home-made pickles, beets and chutney. Pretty precious memories, I have to say. Now it is one of the sons that runs the farm and the older generation are now all gone.

 I could have used a nap on return as I had a touch of flu this weekend but instead I raked more leaves and moved some bird feeders from the back to the front, in-view from the dining-corner window. 
For the cats, you see. If and when they ever wake up. =^..^=
Bless their little pampered hearts.
 hugs, Deb

Monday, October 26, 2015

Little treasures here and there

All spring and summer I fed our resident birds faithfully. I kept the birdbath full of fresh, cool water and hung a suet cage full of short, colourful wool pieces to help them, if they were so inclined, to line their nests with comfort. I patiently waited to see the birds choose one of the pretty birdhouses that hung on the maples to build a home for their spring babies. Good thing I didn't hold my breath.

So, imagine how fun it was to have this handed to me just yesterday by the retired-guy who found it inside a neighbour's chimney while helping him clean it out. It felt like Christmas morning.

Speaking of Christmas :))), I have lit up just one little tree outside our dining corner window to enjoy at night without looking too crazy. White lights, in my mind anyway, are quite acceptable year round and it has satisfied the excitement of the coming season in me for now. 

My feather board is filling up thanks to the birds that reside in the area where I walk each day.
Those are three hawk feathers that are the *star* of the board.
They were all found in my neighbour's yard and given to me.

My Thanksgiving mums are still gracing the table in an old pottery vase.
Along with a cat...
always a cat. =^..^=
There is no need for a piece of sculpture
in a home that has a cat.

I'm off to cat-sit.
hugs, Deb

Friday, October 23, 2015

'Mad' for pumpkin.

I can't stop baking with pumpkin.
2 more loaves and a few little muffins.

"The 'ol bat's gone mad."

                                                    Even my dog goes crazy for pumpkin.
                                                            The cats....eeeeh!
Surely after these we'll be done with pumpkin.

The sun is shining and I have to get out and fill the feeders.
I had a surprise this morning when Mr. & Mrs. Cardinal paid us a visit.
They've been missed.
And the Juncos are showing up now.
Still, my heart belongs to the Chickadees.

hugs, Deb

Thursday, October 22, 2015

All tucked in.

Sid still waits for a crow to land.

The blue-jays (GO BLUE-JAYS!!!) are really hogging the feeders today.
They are rather obnoxious to the other birds but high-tail it when the squirrels arrive.

The chickadees eat at the front feeders, too, and then follow me to the back feeders to see what tasty tidbit awaits them there.
I've added peanuts to the seed and they are really loving that.
Who doesn't love peanuts?
I spotted a few nut-hatch today.
I expect I will have them all winter.
They zoomed by with no interest in a photo-shoot.

Everything was put away this afternoon but the bird feeders, houses & baths.
Tonight we expect below freezing temperatures again.

I raked until my arms fell off.
15 wheelbarrows full.
St Francis is the last to come in.

The squirrel feeder is a hit
I put peanut butter inside.
There really is a squirrel in there.
(lousy photo taken from the mouse-house window)

So, other than a bird-bath heater, I think I'm ready for winter.

You too, Annie?

Now... I want to put Christmas lights up.

Oh...just slap me silly. :-b

hugs, Deb

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Preparing for the cold ahead.

The garden is all cleaned up for the winter and the potted flowers are brought in to the garage.  Only a few are surviving this cold snap and I'll be composting them, too, soon. Sad to see them come to an end but hey, Christmas is coming. :)))

It's time now to concentrate on keeping the bird-feeders and our new squirrel-feeder full to help the resident birds, squirrels and chipmunks fatten up before winter. I already feel sorry for them just knowing what the weather will be like soon here in Ontario, Canada. I wish I could knit them all a blankie.
Last winter was the longest one I remember and just as I was thinking about the prospects of the coming season I heard a very uplifting comment from a local weather-adviser on the radio. Apparently, this year we are in for a shorter and milder winter with little snow. "OH PLEASE BE TRUE!"
Oh, it will be cold but just not AS cold as last winter. And, it will feel long but it won't drag on so long as last winter. Well, I'll take that. :)

Suet has been hung at the front feeders and amongst the sumac trees at the back of our property. I have a great recipe for the home-made kind, which birds prefer by the way, which my friend, Susan posted last year. She will be posting it again soon so pop over to and you might want to follow along.

I have still to purchase a bird-bath heater as the birds need to have water throughout all four seasons. It is just as important for their survival as food.

Simon is eating up a storm as is Basil and Nutmeg. I hope they do well this winter. I imagine they will hibernate under the old pump. I have a plan to try to train Simon next year  to come to me when called. He's the smart one, you know. But, I'm not betting too much on that since I can't even train my three flying cats not to sour through the mouse-house scaring the life out of my unexpecting guests.

We had friends of over twenty years drop by yesterday for a visit to the mouse-house.
After a walk through the crunchy fall leaves to show them around the property, we managed to put a serious dent in a fresh pumpkin loaf with tea.  What could be better?

Audrey spent most of their visit 
under her blankie. =^..^=

I hope you are enjoying the season and all that comes with it.

Hugs, Deb

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Cool and busy weekend.

                      2 sticks of butter = 1 cup
I had to look this up before I bake my pumpkin muffins.

My kitchen company this morning. =^..^=
                               Our beautiful, laid-back, sweet as honey, Sierra.

New mugs for tea-time on this wet, cool, with a few flurries thrown in, weekend.
It's always tea o'clock somewhere.

Oh, we'll be working outside, too, as some sumac trees need cutting and there might be a leaf or two, or ten thousand, to rake. ;-)

I'll be wearing my rubber boots as I clean up where there are tangled trees, vines and soggy old weeds.
I'm hoping for 'no snakes' but believe me, I can run in clodhoppers if I have to.

hugs. Deb

Thursday, October 15, 2015

What's new (to us) at the mouse-house?

I found this rustic-looking bird feeder at a local shop and it had to come home with me. I have cleaned up where the perennials were and where Sid stands now and this feeder will help feed the birds at the back of the property.

 Kane has a new (to us) van for easy travelling. With his arthritis, he needed more space to be able to change position and stretch out easier while we travel around. Let me just say, he loves his new (to us) wheels and I wish I would have thought of this a year ago. Oh well, better now than never.

btw ...Kane just saw the vet this week and he wants you to know, that although he still has issues with his allergies, he got a thumbs up from his veterinarian. Of course, at 15 years of age, he has lost his hearing, his eyes are not what they used to be and he has some arthritis in his back legs but that can be dealt with with proper  medication and extra glucosamin with his meals. Keeping him comfortable in his old age is very important to us so we carry on armed with all the good drugs.;-) He still loves his three meals a day, his walks and his travels in his van.

There is so much beauty at the mouse-house right now. We are surrounded with fall colours inside and out.

Our new greeter
(can you see Sid waaaaaaay back there? I had three pumpkins here but now one is Sid's head. )

 A heavy sweater is necessary now as the wind has picked up and is quite cool in the mornings. We are in for some colder weather now and there is a frost warning tonight. I'll have to bring in the flowers over-night.
Cozy sweaters, warm socks and mittens are now within arms reach. Time to put the summer clothes away.

                                                             (airplane ears)

Your cats are shedding a lot at this time of year in preparation of their winter coat coming in. My suggestion to help this process along is to purchase a FURMINATOR and groom your cat twice a week.

I'm joining HOME SWEET HOME at
hugs, Deb