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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

In the air there's the feeling of Christmas...

I'm dropping in to wish everyone a happy week and fun preparing for Christmas.  It's moving along faster than I remember but then the weeks do fly, don't they.

I've been keeping our feeders full and adding suet to the cages. This helps them get through the cold nights that are now here. We have our winter birds arriving slowly. Our juncos are back and the downy woodpeckers are about every morning at the feeders. I find them quite amusing as they want you to know they are there by tapping on the tree bark. And our gorgeous chickadees are in abundance and they cheerfully greet me every morning by swooping by my head on the short walk to where they feast.

Things have slowed right down the last two weeks with the house so we are hoping to have workers back next week and of course, after the holidays.  I'll have some inside photos for you once I see a big change from my last ones. Did I mention you need more patience than this lady has for this kind of immense project. Ugh!

Annie and Audrey are helping move things along as best they can. Apparently, figuring where we want electrical sockets for the electrician takes one man and two cats to do it right.

Soon the need to watch birds takes over and we lose their interest.

Wrapping gifts is on the 'to do' list today and since I came home yesterday with two dozen fresh farm eggs from Lucy's farm I will be baking, too. 
 

I hope everyone is enjoying the lead up to Christmas and remembering to take time out for yourself while you are at it.  Christmas movies are coming out now and I plan to watch a few of my favorites; just as soon as the gifts are wrapped and done up with pretty ribbons and bows. That is, if the cats let me...it's always a struggle. lol

Enjoy!

hugs, Deb

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Preparing for Christmas



Christmas prepping is going on at the mouse-house. The 'ladies' have behaved themselves so far with the Charlie Brown tree. :) They probably think it is too flimsy to climb. Little do they know that was the idea. lol

It's been cold the last week and the critters have kept me busy keeping feeders filled and cleaned off from the snow fall. Look at Simon begging for more while he sits amongst the spill-over from above. Cheeky, eh? He got some apple and peanuts in the shell just for looking too cute for words.

                     Birthday celebrations for my youngest daughter, Allie. Delicious Indian cuisine.
We have three birthdays between Nov. and December.  Never a dull moment.
Today I am just back from picking up farm fresh eggs from the 'ladies' at Lucy's farm across the road so it's time to get Christmas baking started. Once I get an apron on it's full steam ahead.

And today I get to wear a very special apron that I received from Henny at http://hennypennylane.blogspot.ca/. She does beautiful work and I am just thrilled that she sent me one all the way from North Carolina. It's so pretty with all the kitties and I have a feeling my baking will be extra tasty this Christmas. :)

"Thanks Henny"  If you love hobby farms, adorable critters and a really fun-filled blog drop by to meet Henny and Poppy and all their animals.

Construction of the house has come to a halt for a couple of weeks while we wait for our plumber and electrician to fit us in. Everyone is so busy and working seven days a week to catch up. :(
We have the pellet stove now in the basement so it is toasty warm down there. And we are heading out tonight to look at a vintage mantel to add to the main floor over the wood-stove.
We are doing all that we can while we wait for professionals.

Hope your Christmas prep is going well. 'Tis the season. :)

hugs, Deb




Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Suet

For you, Nicole.                   

                                    Homemade Bird Suet

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup lard
2 cups corn meal
1 cup flour
2 cups rolled oats

Thicken with peanuts, bird seed and cranberries or apple pieces.

You can also add sugar free cereal.
Line muffin tins with plastic wrap
fill and pop into freezer
remove from tins and place in plastic bag. Keep frozen

*Tweet Tweet*

I made another batch for our resident birds and purchased 100 lbs of seed this week. That should keep them happy for awhile.
The feeders have come up to the front from the wood-lot now and I'm hoping the shy birds will pull up their britches and join the others at the feeding stations. Juncos are back; chickadees and blue-jays are plentiful and our beautiful red cardinals and mates have returned. :)

I'll be back. My connection is bad today and I can't upload photos. 

hugs, Deb





Thursday, November 16, 2017

Christmas is coming. :)


I've been playing in the cupboard again. The cluttered country cottage china cupboard is never dressed too much for the Christmas season but the little french country cupboard is. I always put my wee lambs out first as they are my favorite decoration and they say 'Peace' to me.



The weather is changing quickly today and we are to have snow this weekend. We are so happy to have the construction closed in with the colder days coming and tradesmen lining up now to work inside. I've been waiting for this. :)

Annie and Audrey are doing well.  
Audrey is still quite fragile and on medication to stop seizures but all in all she is good. This photo was taken this week. She seems happy and content and eats like there's no tomorrow and purrs up a storm. She's just as sassy as ever. They have her on gabapentin for a little while and another check-up coming soon. I'm so thankful for these two lovely cats and feel very blessed to have them in my life. They truly are our family.

And Simon is doing well and enjoying days with his new found love. I'm hoping to see them stay together over the winter and maybe present us with teeny tiny chips come spring. :) :)
They are stocking up their pantry now and always one of the first to the feasts left out for them and the birds.
We've been busy cleaning up the property and bringing all the summer decor inside. Boy that's a lot of work. I have to remember next summer not to go too crazy with garden accessories. *phew*
And all the while we work we enjoy the smell of wood burning in our out-door stove. 
That takes me right back to cold winter days in my grandmother's clap-board farmhouse kitchen as we sat around the fire drinking tea and eating home-made hermits.
So much laughter and fun with cousins.
Wonderful memories of days gone by.

Are you enjoying the start to Christmas blog posts?
I love this time of year so besides blogging I have created an instagram site to post photos and enjoy all of your Christmas cheer.
Hope to see you there.
hugs, Deb

Friday, November 10, 2017

As our late fall weather sets in.

Today it snowed and the temperature has plummeted. It was -15C overnight.
I have made some home-made suet for our resident birds and am keeping the feeders filled.
Three cakes of suet disappear in a day. I worry mostly about our little chickadees that need to find food daily as they lose much of their body weight just shivering throughout these cold nights.


Simon and his lady friend are still together and I hope they hibernate under the old pump in his den this winter. They are so sweet together. Now they are both waiting for me each morning at the front of the den and anxious to see what I brought them.

Our squirrels are hungry and looking to bulk up, too. 
Look at how curious little red is. :)

We are closed in now as far as the building goes. Our windows arrived on time. I had them coloured butter yellow so it took a bit longer to get the order done.

We still wait on the steel for the roof and the stairs are being built and there is much more to do. Next week I expect the plumbing will go in. It's nice to have our basement floor in and now the pellet stove can be installed for warmth as the men work. It is slow going with every type of tradesman busy on more than one site at a time. This house-building stuff requires much patience. And mine is wearing thin.

I have added a bit of Christmas cheer to the old retired out-house.
You can see I have help doing everything outside these crisp fall mornings. Our neighbour cat Dave is only inches away most days.

Next week we are to have sun, sun & more sun. That's if you can believe our weatherman.


Enjoy your weekend and please remember our little feathered friends on these cold days. 
Every little bit helps.

hugs, Deb

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween

Well, it's Halloween today and it is cold and wet here in Ontario. Not the best weather for little tykes heading out tonight but I suppose it could be worse. We've had many stormy days of late.


Today we had the floors poured in the new house so we can now move in our pellet stove to keep fingers warm while the men do some inside work. The patio doors are installed and windows arrive tomorrow.
Grandittle checking the height of the handle. lol
 We still wait for the steel roof to be installed but it is nice and dry with the membrane on so work can move along.
                                                             Adding membrane

                                           Back view and membrane on the breeze-way

I am loving the wood-lot this fall; so much beautiful colour. I brought a bit inside but it will only last a short time before it is taken to the compost.
Someone nicknamed Peach loves to munch on plants, leaves and branches.

I hope you all have a fun Halloween
David, our neighbour cat, says "Please keep your cats in during the Halloween celebration". I hope his owners do the same.
Wishing you lots of cute trick or treaters tonight. And if that's not your cup of tea, well...brew a cup, put on a movie and turn the lights out. ;-)

hugs, Deb

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

A little mug and a recipe

 Just look at this mug. I get nothing done when he is around.
It's all about pats on the head and tummy rubs.
And when he drops and rolls I lose it. :)


He follows me around like a baby duck. He loves to visit and we love him; he just can't go near Simon's den. That's the rule and he knows it.
Yes, he's that smart.
So that is my excuse for still having one more garden to put to bed.


And as promised to a few new followers: 


Pecan Applesauce Oatmeal Cookies
1 3/4 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp powdered cloves
1 c applesauce (unsweetened)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 c butter
1 c sugar
1 egg
1 c rolled oats
3/4 c pecans or walnuts if desired (small pieces)

Measure together first five ingr.
In another bowl, mix together butter, sugar and egg
In another bowl combine sauce and soda
Blend into creamed mixture alternating with dry mixture
Fold in nuts

Spoon onto parchment paper covered cookie sheets
Bake 20 min at 350 degrees
ENJOY!

The trees are finally at their best these beautiful fall days. Here is one that I thought looked 'outstanding in it's field' when I was on my walk last week. A maple surrounded by cedars.
 I have a few photos that I wanted to add to this post of the construction but for some reason I can't upload them so I will be back soon with those.
There is still a lot of waiting as the fall puts a rush on every roofer and construction crew in the area to finish their projects at each and every site. We have the membrane being installed on the roof on Friday and windows going in on Tues. The patio doors are in and the floor is done in the basement.  Still...lots of waiting.
Onwards and upwards.

And, of course, Annie will have nothing to do with David stealing the show here so here she is having a stare-down with the cactus today. 
"Just one bite"...she thinks. 

 Don't worry...she's too smart for that.
hugs, Deb

Monday, October 16, 2017

A quick "hello"

I am just posting a quick "hello" as I am busy again today. 

While Audrey snoozed the morning away,

 Annie and I cleaned out my cluttered country cottage china cupboard.
Dusting...dusting...dusting.
Why do I have so many dishes?

"Sorry, Annie...It couldn't last forever."

Yes, we baked cookies, too.
Applesauce Oatmeal Pecan Cookies.
Best Fall Cookie, ever.
Just try and eat only one. HA! 
I have posted the recipe many times and
will post again this week for those new to my blog. 

Off to pick out doors

hugs, Deb



Monday, October 9, 2017

Being Thankful

Is there anything better than the smell of pumpkin bread in the oven on a beautiful, crisp fall day?

 I didn't think so. :)

These loaves and a few other delights were heading to the Country Cat Rescue Annual Thanksgiving Bake Sale last weekend. I have known the founder, Gwen Thompson, for over twenty years now.I can honestly say that she is the most hard-working and dedicated cat rescuer I have ever met. This lady is the real deal. When other rescues are full to the brim and cannot take on another stray Gwen will somehow find a spot so that the cat is safe and out of harms way. She cares deeply for her rescues and houses them at her sanctuary providing them with all their needs until they can be adopted out to a loving and forever home. If the cat is un-adoptable for whatever reason it will become a permanent resident of the spacious and clean sanctuary. No cat is turned away.

I finally got at my garden clean-up and let me tell you it is no where near as fun to clean it as it is to plant it. Uh uh!

I was amazed at how many rather large toads I discovered in my over-run veggie garden today. I used to be afraid of them but now I enjoy watching them as they hop around. I wonder if I will ever feel that way about the sssssnake. Who am I kiddin'... NOPE!


                                                                 =^..^==^..^=
Annie and Audrey are happy comfy cats these days.


 Audrey loves the Cat Dancer.
I'm so thankful that she's back to her old self.

The construction has stopped for now as we line up our roofers and have the basement floor insulated then poured.  We are waiting on our windows, too. There is a lot of 'waiting' while building a home.

Lots coming up but it's been quiet this week.

Most mornings I like to walk the paths in our wood-lot. The Autumn light is beautiful coming through the branches of the many maple trees. All is quiet but the sound of the birds and the chipmunks chattering away.



I have been getting the wood-lot critters used to me wandering about and leaving them seed and nuts for them to learn to trust. There are so many chippies, squirrels and birds that never come up to the front of our property and make the wood-lot their home. I refer to them as the shy ones. Most of them live amongst the stones in the wall.





It's time to bulk them up for winter so I'm spending more time doing just that.



We celebrated Thanksgiving in Canada yesterday. In order to round up the grandittles I did what I do with the cats with cat-nip; I lured them with cake pops to the couch.



And this is what I got. lol

I can't tell you what joy these five bring to my life.  That's grand-kitty Cooper photo-bombing.


We had a wonderful day with family and ate far too much as usual.  I had not posted about it, but my youngest daughter had just returned from a road trip to the United States and was in Las Vegas up until three days before the shootings. They spent five days there taking in the sights and the music concerts.


Before the dinner, I raised a glass to her safe return and thanked Almighty God for keeping her in his care.


This is a Thanksgiving, friends, I will never forget.


hugs, Deb