There was an error in this gadget

Friday, December 25, 2015

Just a short note today.  MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

A funny thing happened to me last night as I was getting ready for bed.

I love Christmas and I love decorating for Christmas.  I have four Christmas trees - one in each bedroom, one in the entry and the main tree in the living room.  I know it can seem like a bit too much, but it makes me feel good.

Last night I had two of the trees lit.  Thanks to modern technology, they are lit by remote control.  Both trees come from the same manufacturer, so they can both work off the same remote.  Sometimes, when I turn one on, the other will turn on even though the remote is not pointing toward it.

When I lit them, I had to get very close to the tree in the entry in order for the remote to work.  I had no trouble with the main tree.  At bedtime, I turned the main tree off, but the other stayed lit.  I went closer to it to turn the lights off.  When I turned around, the main tree was lit again.  I turned that one off and sure enough, the entry tree was lit.  This went on for a few minutes - turn one tree off, the other one lit up.  Crash and Burn must have thought I had gone crazy, turning around and turning the trees on and off.  And I was laughing.

Finally, both trees stayed off and I was able to go to bed.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Christmas Preparations

For the first time in years, I'm almost up to date and ready for Christmas.

I did a little shopping in the stores yesterday and surprisingly, they weren't too crowded.  I expected a madhouse since it was Saturday and in the afternoon.  I usually like to do my shopping first thing in the morning, before the crowd.  Then, this morning I did a little online shopping.  I just have a little more to do, and that will be easy.

This afternoon, I put some Christmas carols on and decided to wrap some presents.  I'm very proud of me.  The trees are all decorated and lit, the candles are set and the new wreath that I made is hanging on the back door so my neighbors in that direction can see it.

I'm not too thrilled with the wreath.  I went to a class and rushed with it.  Still, it is a work of art - maybe similar to Picasso (his more modern work).  I also made a gnome out of a pine cone.  That I really like.

While I was wrapping and listening to my Christmas carols, I thought it couldn't get any better.  Then, I had a thought.  It could get better.  I could have a nice glass of wine, which I did.  It's an apple wine that I bought when I was visiting Mount Vernon.  It's very good, refreshing and bubbly.  I was tempted to use one of my good champagne glasses, but thought better of it.  I was working with rolls of wrapping paper, rolls of ribbon and boxes on my small kitchen table.  That's a recipe for disaster.  So I chose a regular champagne glass with no value, sentimental or otherwise.

What a relaxing way to spend a day preparing for Christmas.

I still have to do some baking and a little more wrapping, but I'm confident that I'll be finished before Christmas Eve.  So, I think I'll have another glass of wine.


Burnie here.  I know I haven't written lately, but I haven't been feeling too well lately.  I had planned on writing a note yesterday, but I was so busy celebrating and time just got away from me.

Why was I celebrating? You ask.  I just got some very good news.  I visited the doctor the other day and I went there in my new carrier.  No, that's not the good news, although the new carrier is pretty nice, but I still don't like going for a ride in the car.  But that's another story.

The good news is that my glucose levels have come way down and the doctor believes that my diabetes is now under control.  Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that I don't have to get stuck by that needle twice a day, I just get a little more than originally.

Mom really has her hands full these days.  She took Crash to the doctor too and the doctor said that Crash is hyperthyroid and also needs medicine twice a day, only she doesn't need a needle, she just gets her medicine rubbed into her ears.

Mom doesn't think she'll be doing much travelling in the future because we would have to go to a cat hotel (hospital) while she's away and that costs a whole lot of money.  Yea! We'll do anything to keep her home.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

I'm putting my soapbox away today.

I want to wish everyone a very happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving.  Eat, drink and be merry today for tomorrow we diet.

Enjoy your day.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

THE REFUGEES

I've been thinking a lot about the coming influx of Syrian refugees.  It seems that so many of them are young men and not families.  I've been wondering why they are leaving their country and not staying to fight for it.

Many of our governors are refusing to allow them into their states fearing that they cannot be properly vetted.  But the president claims that it will be OK.  I cannot understand why the president is forcing us to take them when we can least afford more people on government assistance.  They wouldn't be able to work since there are not many jobs available and they should be for our own people.  Where would they live?  Would they assimilate?  Or would they just stay with their own people and then pose a threat when they become dissatisfied with America.

I think I have come up with a solution.  It starts with the president.  When he was senator from Illinois, he bought a large house in Chicago.  That house is not being used and will be vacant until January 2017 (if all goes well).  Here's my message to the president, "Mr. President, why don't you admit enough refugees to fill your house in Chicago?"  That would give you an opportunity to truly lead.

That would show your compassion for these unfortunate people.  Then maybe those  who are in favor of admitting all those young refugees would also open their homes to them and those of us who are apprehensive about all those refugees would not have to worry about them.

Mr. President lead by example and ask your friends and fellow politicians to open their homes so that these refugees can be welcomed here and have a safe place to stay.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Burnie

Hi all,  Burnie here.  Not much going on these days.  I notice the days are getting shorter, makes it much easier for me to nap, there's not too much sun to wake me up.

Mom is still giving me those horrible shots every day, twice a day.  I wish she'd stop, it disturbs my sleep, but she says I have to get them forever.  Oh well.

We did have a little excitement the other day.  Crash was sleeping on one of the half-walls we have, this one is between the kitchen and living room.  She likes to go up there, it's right near the lamp and she likes to "sun" herself there.  I don't really know how it happened, she was either cleaning herself or she rolled over in her sleep, but she fell off the wall.  On the way down to the floor, she hit the lamp, the telephone and the end table and then the floor.

She had a little trouble walking for awhile, almost like she was going in a circle.  She looked really funny, I got a chuckle out of it.  Finally someone who walks funny besides me.

The next day, mom took Crash to my vet.  She was supposed to go there for a regular check-up anyway, but they had to check her out because of her fall.  They did the usual blood work and then Crash decided she had enough.  She did not want the doctor to check her heart or weigh her.  The doctor's assistant grabbed Crash's fur around her neck so the doctor could check her heart.

Then the doctor did a funny thing - she weighed our carrier.  It weighs 14 pounds, no wonder mom would like to use the smaller one, but both Crash and I don't like it and won't go in.  Then the doctor put Crash in the carrier and weighed both of them, then she subtracted the weight of the empty carrier from the full carrier and decided that Crash weighs about 8 1/2 pounds.  She lost a lot of weight since I got sick.  I'm not supposed to eat dry food, so mom doesn't put it out for either of us.

I guess that's about all for our adventures this week.  Let's see what adventures we will have next week.  By the way, Crash didn't really get hurt when she fell.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Presidential Demeanor

I just saw an excerpt of a speech the president gave yesterday in NYC.  It was obviously a partisan crowd.  The comments that particularly bothered me centered around the recent CNBC debate debacle.

President Obama was mocking statements that a certain candidate would be tough with Putin and China and that he, the president, was weak.  He then proceeded to wonder how any of the candidates would be able to take on our enemies when they couldn't handle the CNBC moderators. 

I guess he missed the part of the debate where Ted Cruz took on the moderators for their divisive personal questions, rather than asking questions that would show the candidates' possible solutions to our many, many problems.  I guess he also missed the part where Chris Christie told the moderators that there were more serious issues facing our country than fantasy football.

My reaction to the president's speech yesterday?  When you have no solutions to problems, you mock those who are trying to solve the problems.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween

I've been exonerated.

When my sons were young and went trick or treating I always took their "loot" and examined it closely.  I took out all the unwrapped or sloppily wrapped candy and they generously gave me whatever they didn't like. 

Now, this is why so many of my friends felt that I was a cruel mother.  I told them that they could have only three pieces each night and I had possession of their bags.  It was their bedtime treat.  Eventually they got bored and forgot all about the candy.

This past Sunday I was watching Sunday House Call on Fox News.  One of the doctors, I don't remember which one suggested rationing the candy, allowing the children 3 or 4 pieces a day.

See, everybody who thought I was cruel to my children,  I WAS RIGHT!!

Saturday, October 31, 2015



Burnie here.  I know it's been a while since I've been able to write.  Let me fill you in on what's been going on.  First, mom went on another of her geographical explorations.  She spent some time in Italy where she saw "David"

 Then she went to a couple of other places. And saw the sun rise


 
And the sun set



She also saw a lot of art


 
And she also learned to cook



But did I get any of that good looking food.  NO!!!

And where was I when she was out gallivanting.  She stuck me in the hospital, not because I was sick again, but because I needed to get my shot twice a day and mom couldn't ask any of her friends to stick me with a needle twice a day.  Oh well, the service was good in the hospital and Crash stayed home, so she didn't get a chance to bother me.

Just because mom left me and Crash behind when she went away for two long weeks, here's a picture of her when she went to visit the mountain of marble.


It looks like they made her work for her fun.
 
Now that she's back, she's already planning her next trip sometime in the Spring.  I hope she lets me write again before she goes away again.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Politics and the Media

Today, it's time for some political musings.

I'll start off by saying that I have not made up my mind, I see some good in all of the republican candidates.  My problem is with the media.

All the while that Donald Trump was leading in all the polls, particularly in Iowa, most of the commentators were reminding us that it is too early to tell and that a win in Iowa does not necessarily mean that you will be the nominee.  Just ask Mike Huckabee.

Now that Ben Carson has taken the lead in Iowa, it seems to be a different story.  So many of the commentators celebrating that fact as if a win in Iowa really, really matters.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Adventures in Cooking

I was going through my bookcase this morning and found a cookbook that didn't seem familiar.  I went to list it on my cookbook inventory (I know, so geeky) and found that it was already entered.  As usually happens whenever I check out a list, I started going through the inventory.  My collection now numbers 264 cookbooks.

I'm pretty thorough when listing these books.  I note the type, name, author and date purchased or received as a gift.  After a try a recipe, I enter that, the page and any comments on the results.  To my surprise, I found that I have made many recipes from these books and don't remember doing so, except for a few.

Now, I'm sitting here wondering why I'm still only eating some rather plain chicken or salmon most every night.  I've gotten into such a rut.

Now that the weather is starting to cool down I hope to recover my adventurous spirit and try some more new recipes.  After all, all that plain chicken and salmon masquerading as diet food has done nothing for me except make me crave more interesting foods.

Let's see what I can find to make tonight.  Keep tuned for my report.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

TAMING THE ENEMY

Paper that is.

I'm notorious for my up to date filing process, or lack thereof.  If any employer ever had a complaint about my work, it would have been about my desk and distaste of filing.  Since no one is ever responsible for a fault, I'd have to blame my distaste of filing on my first job.  That company has a file room, complete with three file clerks.  We secretaries never had to file a paper, unless it was a personal one. 

I know how to file, in fact, I have two full file cabinets with the proper folders.  I just don't like to. I avoid it as much as possible.   As a result, every desk I ever used has been piled with paper.  I've managed to convince myself that paper is my enemy.  It has taken quite a long time, but I think I've finally accepted that fact.

This week I've started scanning my bills and statements on my computer as they come in.  Now, I'm able to throw all this paper away.  I'd show you a picture of my office, but I'm embarrassed.  In addition to the piles of paper, there are many sheets on the floor, the result of the cats.

Crash loves to sit on my desk while I'm working/playing and she moves papers around to get comfortable.  In the process, she throws them on the floor.  If I put them on any other flat surface, they also get thrown on the floor when they try to climb or jump up.

Whatever will they do once I get all this paper scanned?  How will they be able to annoy me?

Monday, August 3, 2015

Politics

I have a surprise for you.  Today, I am being sort of bi-partisan.  I have a prediction and a suggestion.

My prediction is that Joe Biden will soon announce his run for the presidency.  During his speech, he will mention his son's deathbed wish that Joe run for and win the presidency.  Mr. Biden will speak many times about his son's wish and remind the voters that his son has recently died.  I think he could win on that platform alone.  The same type of people who voted for Obama because he's black and would vote for Hillary because she's a woman would be sympathetic to Biden and elect him because his son died.

My suggestion for the republicans results from a conversation I had with a family member.  We were discussing the various candidates and their abilities.  Some of them, although they have wonderful records in their various fields, may not make a good president.  I believe that each candidate should issue a statement that if they win the nomination and the presidency, they will consider their present opponents for the republican nomination as members of their cabinet.  If they don't get the nomination, I believe that Chris Christie would be a good attorney general, Scott Walker would be a good secretary of labor, Carly Fiorina or Donald Trump would be a good secretary of commerce, Ben Carson would make a wonderful secretary of health and human services, etc.  These are all examples, each of these people would also make a wonderful president.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Burnie Here




Hi all, I know I haven't written lately.  Everything's OK.  I'm still having a little trouble controlling my sugar levels.  I had to go to the doctor last week and she gave me more insulin.  I did let mom know how unpleased I was to be going.  I wouldn't go into my carrier, I thought that she would decide that I didn't have to go, but she used Crash's carrier which is very big.  I made the trip miserable for her, I meowed the whole way.

I had to stay at the doctor's for a whole day while they kept sticking me with needles and checking me out.  They also gave me some medicine for my leg.  It looks like a little fish and I was fooled for the first couple of days.  Then I found out it isn't a fish at all.  Sometimes I eat it, sometimes I don't.

I get thirsty a lot, so you can see in the picture that I'm guarding my water dish.  It's so much fun.  Crash is afraid of me and won't drink if I'm guarding the dish.  Then, she complains when mom picks her up so she can drink from the faucet.  Mom calls me a bully because I take advantage of Crash's being afraid of me.  I think it's fun.

Well, that's about it for now.  I'll try to write more often, that is, if mom lets me.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Debate

I was watching Fox News recently when they mentioned the story that Oregon plans to offer sex change surgery to children as young as 15 and at taxpayer expense.  They had two women, both professionals, both mothers on to discuss this.

I wasn't able to hear both sides of the argument because the woman in favor gave her opinion, but when it was the other woman's turn to speak, she was drowned out  by the proponent of this legislation.  Every time the opponent tried to speak, she was interrupted.  The moderator tried several times to let the opponent speak, but the other woman wouldn't give her a chance.  The moderator even tried to give the opponent of the legislation the last word, but the other woman again loudly interrupted so that I could not hear what either of them was saying.

I've noticed that this is quite common in these "discussions" of policy.  The liberal often does not give the conservative the chance to speak, or will laugh at the conservative's opinion.  I guess they don't want anyone to hear a differing point of view.

I've never been trained in debate, nor have I even been in a debate, but I don't think this is how they should be run.  I've always thought each side was given a specific amount of time to present their argument and, if possible, rebut the other's claim.  Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

HAPPY 4th of JULY

Happy 4th of July everyone.  Stay safe, don't eat too much and remember the reason for the holiday.

 
This is the gravesite of a Revolutionary War soldier from my area of New Jersey. 
 
Enjoy your day, but remember the brave founding fathers who risked everything to give us our republic.
 
Crash, Burn and Mom
 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Pope Francis' Comments

I'm quite surprised at the reaction of the media about Pope Francis' recent comments on divorce.  He said that sometimes divorce is "morally necessary".  This would apply in the case of abuse. 

When I was in either grammar school or high school, I can remember one of the nuns telling us that divorce was permissible if it was for your safety.  Divorce was permissible, but remarriage was not.

It has always been possible to receive an annulment which states that because of various reasons, e.g. immaturity, deceit, etc. there was no sacrament of matrimony for the parties involved.  Therefore, you would have a civil divorce and an annulment of the church blessing in the form of a sacrament of matrimony.

I know I didn't dream that Sister told us that, so I'm surprised that the Pope's comments are such a shock to so many educated people.  Guess they either didn't go to the right schools or weren't paying attention that day.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Confederate Flag and History

All this controversy over the confederate flag has gotten me to thinking about the repercussions and attempts to eliminate history.

I've heard some commentators mention their feelings on the flag, and now I have a better understanding of why it is so offensive to some, but we do have to realize that the past did happen.  But, it is the past and we are more knowledgable and understanding.  We should also note that this flag was used by southern democrats in the 60's to protest and try to stop integration.  Those protesting the flag the loudest now are members of the party that was the biggest offender.  On a side note, I have always wondered why black people usually vote democrat since it was the democrats in the south who held them back,  But some day I'll try to analyze that.

If we go the route that some people are taking, removing statues of leaders of the confederacy, it seems that we are trying to change history.

Yes, slavery was wrong, but back in the early days of our republic, it was legal.  People had a right to own slaves, few people would have willingly freed their slaves.  Eliminating their place of honor in our history would be the same as arresting me because back in the late 60's my husband and I brought a rifle on a flight to Denver.  I don't  believe laws can be retro-active.

If the current trend continues, the state of Washington will have to change its name, George Washington's picture would have to be removed from the one dollar bill and his portrait removed from every government office.  Yes, that great man, the Father of our Country, owned slaves.  True, they were freed, but not until George Washington died and had no future need for them.  Several of our presidents owned slaves - Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, etc.  In fact, of our early presidents, only John Adams and John Quincy Adams did not.  One of Andrew Jackson's businesses engaged in the slave trade.  Are we going to remove all traces and places of honor to all of these presidents?

Friday, June 19, 2015

South Carolina Faith

Today I heard some comments from the families of the people who were murdered in South Carolina this week.

I'm struck by their attitude.  They are mourning the loss of family, but at the same time they are able to forgive the murderer while the rest of us are condemning him and hoping he receives the death penalty.

How I wish I had their attitude.  They are true believers.  They truly live their faith.  They know their family are with God and they know that God forgives the murderer. 

I've always considered myself a good person with a strong faith, but I don't think I would be able to forgive a person who was responsible for taking the life of someone I love.

Hopefully, the faith of the people of South Carolina will spread to others, myself included, so we can grow in our faith.  This may lead to a return to faith and God, something that is sorely needed today.

Saturday, June 6, 2015




Burnie here.  Crash and I have decided to get even with mom for going away and sticking me in the hospital and in the neck.

Crash has decided that mom spends too much time at the computer, so she (Crash) has started sleeping in the desk chair.  Mom wouldn't want to disturb her, so mom stays away from the computer.  Today, mom got wise to what's going on.  She took a chair from the dining room and put it in front of the computer.  I didn't know you were allowed to do that - use a different chair instead of the desk chair.  Oh well, I guess we'll have to find something else to do.

Tonight when it was time for my torture (needle stick), I hid on mom.  It was so much fun.  She looked all over for me, she even got down on her knees to look under the bed.  She tried to bribe me with some Temptations, but I just wouldn't come out of my hiding place.  I felt sorry for her when she said her knees were starting to hurt, I know about pain.  So, I came out of my hiding place, but I won't tell her where it is.  I thought she'd be so happy to see me that she wouldn't stick that needle in me, but, she did it anyway.  I'll have to find another way to get even with her.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Cathy & the Cookbooks

It's been a busy and stressful month so I haven't been able to concentrate and try any new recipes.  That is about to change.

To look back over the past month, I must explain my absence.  Burnie was diagnosed with diabetes and was hospitalized.  While all that was going on, I had a preplanned trip which I was reluctant to cancel because my travel companion had just witnessed her little dog's being mauled and killed by a neighbor's German shepherd (which was immediately put down by its owner).  We spent a week traveling the Hallowed Ground from Gettysburg to Orange, Virginia.  More about that another day.

Anyway, I'm back.  Tonight I made baked chicken thighs and roasted fingerling potatoes from Mr. Sunday's Saturday Night Chicken by Lorraine Wallace and baked chicken thighs (my own creation) .  It was really easy.

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. small and medium fingerling potatoes unpeeled
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon coarse salt

In a heavy skilled over medium high heat, warm the oil.  Add the potatoes to the skillet and toss or stir to coat with the oil.  Reduce the heat and cook, shaking the skillet occasionally to cook the potatoes evenly for 25 minutes.  Add the garlic, rosemary, thyme and salt, cover and cook until tender, about 10 minutes more.

That's all there is to it.  Finally potatoes that I like.  I've always felt that unless you were baking a potato, it was more work than it was worth.

It was delicious and I want to add that the rosemary and thyme came from my little container garden.  I harvested them myself.

So that I could get a serving of a vegetable, I added a romaine lettuce and cherry tomato salad with a little zesty Italian dressing.

And, of course, what dinner would be complete without a glass of wine.  Tonight I had Koenig Riesling from Alsace, also delicious.

I do think that I may need some new dishes, they don't photograph well and don't give the meal justice.  Either that or I'm a terrible photographer.  It must be the dishes, couldn't possibly be me.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Burnie


Hi, Burnie here.  Mom's been home from her trip for almost two weeks.  Do you think if I sleep in her suitcase, she'll stay home.?

I doubt it.

I've been home from the hospital for almost two weeks, but mom still insists on giving me a needle every day, TWICE  a day, whether I  need it or not.  It's not fair, Crash doesn't get it.  I try wiggling away from her, but she holds on so tight.  I get even though.  I insist on laying on the floor so she has to bend way down to give me a shot.  That makes her very uncomfortable.  It serves her right, that needle hurts.

I did find a good hiding place.  She has a big cabinet and I go behind it in the corner.  She can't fit.  Maybe she'll take the hint that I just don't like those needles.  We're going to see the doctor this week.  Maybe she'll say I don't need those needles anymore.  Toes crossed.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day

I just finished watching the Memorial Day Concert on PBS.  This year they paid tribute to the wounded and their fight for survival.

At the end of the concert, they always salute the various branches of the armed forces.  Current and former members of the various branches are invited to stand and join in singing the song of their particular branch.  Every year I'm impressed by the members of the Marine Corps.  No matter the age of the Marine, each one stands at full attention during their segment.  I guess the Marines really are special and as they say, "Once a Marine, always a Marine."

Thanks to all members of our armed forces, past and present.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

 
Hi, it's me Burnie.  I know it's not my usual day to write, but I wanted to bring you up to date on everything.  I know that Crash told you that I was in the hospital.  I'm home now, mom picked me up this morning.  Here are some pictures of me in the hospital checking out the visiting room.  Mom came to visit whenever she could, but she had a trip planned that she couldn't cancel.  I only stayed in the hospital two days after I started feeling better, so I wouldn't have been able to come home if mom had cancelled her trip.
 

 



It was an OK room, but sometimes when I was relaxing there would be loud noises that scared me.  It's a good thing that mom was visiting then.  They shaved some of my fur around my neck so they could give me my insulin.  They also shaved part of my leg.  It looks like they wanted to make me look like a poodle but changed their minds.  They were giving me some medicine into my leg and they wanted to keep part of the needle there so that put that thing around my neck.  It was so humiliating to wear AND it had a pink trim.  Don't they know that pink is for girls and I'm a boy.


 
Anyway, I'm home now.  I guess I'm feeling better because I was able to jump up onto the couch which I couldn't do two weeks ago., but there's no food anywhere.  Mom says that I have to be fed on a schedule.  I don't like that.  And Crash isn't too happy to see me.  She just stares and growls at me.  I guess she liked being the only cat for a week.  Sorry Crash, I'm baaaaack and planning on staying for a long time.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Burnie


Crash here.  Just want to fill you in on Burnie's latest adventure.

He's been limping very badly lately so mom decided he should visit the vet.  Of course, I would never need a vet.  Anyway, they checked out his blood and decided that he has diabetes.  He's also making some ketones (I never knew he made anything except a mess) so he went to the hospital so they can stop him from making those ketones.  I hope they do a better job at stopping him from making those ketones than mom does at getting him to stop bothering me.

It's so quiet here without Burnie around.  Mom says that he'll probably be in the hospital for a couple of days, so I get to eat all the food myself, because sometimes Burnie pushes me away from my dish and then eats my food.

Even though sometimes he scares me and I can't stand him, I really hope Burnie feels better and comes home soon.  Don't tell him I said this, but I really miss the old guy.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Burnie Here



Hi all, it's me Burnie.  Sorry I'm a little late writing today.  I'm not feeling up to par.  You see, I have a problem with my right hind leg.  I have had a limp for as long as I can remember, most days it isn't too bad, but the last few days, it really hurts.

Mom feels so bad for me that I've been getting lots and lots of attention.  Sometimes, she even carries me around the house.  She even gave me a heating pad to lay on, but sometimes it gets so hot I have to leave and go somewhere else.  I think it's working, I do feel a little better.

I've been getting so much attention lately that I think when I feel better, I'll keep limping.  Maybe mom will give me more treats.  What do you think?

Friday, May 1, 2015

CATHY & THE COOKBOOKS

The other day I wanted to make tuna fish, using "real" (not canned) tuna.  I knew I had a recipe for slow roasted tuna steak with some sort of salsa on top.  I looked all over for the book I thought it was in, Fast Food My Way by Jacques Pepin.  I couldn't find it anywhere and began to doubt my memory.  Had I just dreamed everything up?

I checked my Cookbook Inventory and found the name of the recipe, along with the book.  But, I still couldn't find the book.  I have several books by Jacques Pepin so I went through all of them in case he had repeated the recipe.  No luck.

I did find his The Shortcut Cook which had a recipe for tuna steak au poivre with cucumber sauce.  It sounded good and, surprisingly, I had all the ingredients on hand.  If you're interested, here it is:

CUCUMBER SAUCE
1 cucumber
3/4 teaspoon sale
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/3 cup canola or safflower oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 cup water

Peel the cucumber and cut it in half length-wise and remove the seeds by scraping them out with a spoon.  Cut the cucumber half into pieces and place them in the bowl of a food processor or blender.  Add the remaining ingredients and process for a few seconds, until the mixture is chopped fine without being completely liquefied.  Transfer the sauce to a serving dish and set aside.

TUNA STEAK
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
2 teaspoons herbes de Provence (I used 1 teaspoon each of thyme and basil)
6 tuna steaks (I used 1)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil

Spread the peppercorns on a work surface and using a rolling pin or bottom of a heavy saucepan (I used a coffee grinder which I only use for spices) crush them.  Stir the herbes de Provence into the crushed peppercorns on the work surface and dip each steak into the mixture, coating them on both sides.  Sprinkle the steaks with the salt.

Heat 1 large or 2 medium size skillets until very hot.  Add the oil spreading it quickly to coat the bottom and add the steaks.  Cook 1 minute on each side.  Turn off the heat and allow the skillet(s) to remain on the stove, covered, to steam for 5 to 6 minutes.  Serve immediately with the cucumber sauce on the side.

I served this with Honeyed Carrots with Pepper which is also in The Shortcut Cook.  I'll post that recipe another time, don't want to make this post too long, it might bore you.


An odd thing happened while I was searching the book for a vegetable recipe, I found a five dollar bill neatly folded between the pages.  I have no idea how it got there, but it was a pleasant surprise.

I should have mentioned earlier that it was delicious and I definitely will make it again.  Of course, I served it with a glass of wine, Sauvignon Blanc. My theory is that when trying a new recipe, I must have a glass of wine.  That way, if the food does not turn out well, at least I can enjoy the wine.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Marriage

I just saw a commercial paid for by a group called Freedom to Marry.  They claim that, "Marriage is a right."

I don't know where they got that idea.  Marriage is not a right, if anything, it is a responsibility (something we see little of here in our country).  It's a responsibility to provide for the stability of the family and the security of any children produced by that family.

There is no basic right to marriage.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

 
Crash here.  Mom's not very nice and not all fair.
 
I'm sure you've heard all about her experiments with her cookbooks.  She's been making all sorts of things that smell up the house.  They smell so good.  Every time she makes something, I really believe that should look for another opinion about the food - me.  I try to stay out of her way, I show her how empty my mouth is and I show her my teeth so she can see just how well I can chew.
 
Does she share any of her food with me?  No.  Her excuse always is that it's too spicy or that she doesn't think it would be good for a cat, or even that my tummy can't handle it and it might make me sick.  Why doesn't she let me be the judge of that.
 
Maybe she'll let me try something now that I've let everyone know how mean she is to me.  Is she trying to starve me?  All I get to eat is half a can of special food, some crunchy treats and a constant supply of dry food.  How is a cat to survive?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Cathy & the Cookbooks

Well, I finally finished the chicken.  It only took a week.  I would make it again, but then I will invite someone to share it with me.

After I finished the roast chicken, I decided to try something different. 

I've always been a plain cook - meat, potatoes and a vegetable or salad because my husband was a very picky eater and when my son was young, he was too.  Thanks to his girlfriend, he has become more adventurous.

I saw a recipe for Sweet Potato Wedges in Mr. Sunday's Saturday Night Chicken book by Lorraine Wallace.  It was very easy and very good.  I adjusted the recipe to serve one.  I used one medium sweet potato which I cut in half lengthwise and then into wedges.  I then tossed them in a bowl with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of crumbled dried rosemary and 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme and a little kosher salt until they were evenly coated.  I then placed them on a cookie sheet which had been coated with a non-stick cooking spray.  Then I put them in a 400 degree oven to roast for about 30 to 45 minutes, turning every 10 minutes.

I served them with a small salad (lettuce, tomato and cucumber) and, of course, chicken - thighs this time - which I just bake at 350 degrees until almost done, at which time I broil them for 5 to 10 minutes to get the skin nicely dried and crisp.  Of course, I had a glass of wine - a sauvignon blanc.
 


I think I should have had a green vegetable with it, that plate looks so bland.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

IT'S SPRING

Hi everyone, it's me  Burnie.  It's a beautiful day here in New Jersey.  The sun is shining and everything is coming to life.


It's gotten nice enough for me to go to all the trouble of getting up onto the window ledge and look out.  The garden is coming along, there are some flowers and a few weeds (that won't make mom happy).  There are even some people out walking.

I haven't seen any dogs yet, maybe it's not nice enough for them yet.  Sometimes I think about going outside and playing with them, but mom says that cats are not supposed to roam the streets here.  I guess it's just as well, as I remember, it wasn't much fun dodging cars before I walked into our home in Queens. 

I had some really big dogs to play with there.  We used to run all around the house, up the stairs, down the stairs.  That's where I hurt my hip, trying to run as fast as those big dogs and beat them up the stairs.  Sometimes I fell.

Oh well, being inside is good and the best part is that there are no big dogs and no stairs.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

CATHY & THE COOKBOOKS

Last week I tried my first new recipe.  It's from More Recipes Worth Sharing

I made Lemon Rosemary Chicken and as I explained earlier, I cook for one so it usually lasts me a long time.  I don't dare try a new recipe on my friends; I need all the friends I can get.

The chicken was very good, very moist and I enjoyed it two nights for dinner and three days for lunch.  There's still a little left, probably lunch tomorrow.  I enjoyed it even though there were four beady little eyes (Crash and Burn's) following my fork from the plate to my mouth, every single forkful.

It was very easy to make, all it took was one whole chicken, 3 lemons, 1/3 cup butter some fresh rosemary and olive oil and half of an onion.

While the oven was heating to 375 degrees, I rinsed the chicken, zested one lemon and cut the others into quarters.  Then I placed the butter inside the chicken with the lemon quarters, the rosemary and the onion.  Before I put the chicken into the oven I rubbed the outside with the olive oil and the rosemary leaves and lemon zest.  Then I sat down and read a book for 1 1/2 hours.  Surprisingly, it wasn't greasy.

I served it with rice and broccoli.  Of course I had a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.  I never try a new recipe without a glass of wine, that way I know some part of my dinner will be good.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Collection vs Obsession

When does a collection become an obsession?  I fear that my cookbook collection is very close to becoming an obsession.  As of now, I have over 200 cookbooks.

In order to actually use these books and allow myself to continue buying more, I've decided to do my interpretation of Julie & Julia.  To refresh your memory, this was a book and movie about a young woman who decided to make a different recipe from the Julia Child Cookbook every day for a year.

I'm going to call my interpretation Cathy & The Cookbook.  I won't be able to post every day since most recipes cannot be reduced to fewer than 2 servings and there will be days for leftovers.

Today, I went to the supermarket to stock up on some staples and ingredients for a few experiments, and also to refresh my supply of frozen fruits for my latest love - fruit smoothies.  I just love them, they are sooo good and make wonderful breakfasts.

Because I bought so much, I filled my freezer.  Unfortunately, there was an almost empty container of ice cream which I was FORCED to eat.  There was simply no room for it, and it was delicious.

Now, it's time to decide on my first experiment.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Modern Technology

I recently bought a new scale that is supposed to track all kinds of information.  It must be connected or synced with my fitbit account.

It seemed like a simple procedure for setup.  All I had to do was remove one battery for 10 seconds, then replace it.  The scale would then be in setup mode.  Once that was done, I could go online and following the onscreen instructions set up the scale.

It didn't work, the connection couldn't be made.  I then proved the definition of insanity - doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.  I proved this several times.  This morning I contacted the company and together with their tech, we proved the definition again.  It was suggested that the problem might be my wifi equipment.  It wasn't.

I called the company this afternoon and they will send me a new scale.

I really wonder why I'm going to so much trouble to get this scale working when I will get angry with it whenever I step on it.  It just doesn't make sense.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Spring is Here!

I do so declare!

I have decided that winter is now over and have started decorating for Easter and spring.  I know that I'm giving myself many headaches considering what went on in the past.  A few years ago I started putting a bowl of plastic eggs and felt chicks as a decoration on the dining room table.  Well, the cats, mostly Burnie, would go the bowl and manage to take an egg out, send it to the floor and play with it.  He soon got tired of that game and discovered the chicks which he would fish out of the bowl and walk around with it in his mouth.  He, then Crash, loved playing with those little chicks.  This is eventually what happened to one of them.

 
This year I decided to try again since they're older and not quite as agile as they once were (aren't we all).  I filled two bowls, starting with some moss, then added eggs and chicks.  Some of the chicks are plaster, so I don't think they will be as attractive.  I did include some felt chicks, those that were left after the massacre of a few years ago.
 
This is what the decorations look like.  I need this photographic record in case they proceed to mess everything up again.



 
Burnie has already checked out the daffodils and decided they're not worth eating, they're silk.
 


Friday, March 6, 2015

ANOTHER TRAIN DERAILMENT

Another train carrying crude oil has derailed in Illinois resulting in yet another fire.  This is the second derailment in about a month.  I haven't heard whether or not any homes or water sources are in danger.

The last derailment in West Virginia resulted in a fire and oil spillage into the water supply of some of the neighboring towns.  There have been others, but these two are the most recent.

This highlights the necessity for the Keystone Pipeline.  It has been proven that a pipeline is the safest way to transport crude oil and transport by train is the most dangerous.  It also does not pollute the environment the way that trucks do.

I have noticed that the opponents of the pipeline have dropped their objections on the environmental issue and are now focusing on the question of jobs that would result in a pipeline.  Even if there were only one job provided, that would be one more person legitimately removed from the unemployment rolls.

I'm very disappointed that congress has not voted to override the president's veto of this pipeline.  Maybe those who did not want to override the veto should speak with the residents of that town in West Virginia whose water supply was contaminated by the leaking oil.

I wonder how many large cities are at risk because trains are carrying crude oil through them.  Until we have a safe way to deliver crude oil, every one of us is at risk in one way or another.

It will be many years before we develop a substitute for oil and until then, we should make every effort to deliver the oil in the safest way possible.  That way is the Keystone Pipeline.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Burnie here.  Today I'm not going to be talking about myself and my various and sundry problems, and there are many.  Today, I'm talking about Crash.

Mom says she's such a nag, I say she's very dependent and doesn't like to be alone.  Whenever she's awake, and that's often, she follows mom all over the house.  Sometimes she even tries to trip her.  One day she followed mom into the cold garage and got locked in there for quite a while.  She cried and cried her quiet cry until mom realized she wasn't around and went looking for her.  When mom realized she might be in the garage, she opened the door and Crash ran into the house.

She's really vocal whenever mom is on the computer.  Then she cries and cries and mom has to put one hand down so Crash can rub against it and pretend that mom is petting her.  Some times she plays a game where mom tries to pick her up.  Every time mom gets close, Crash walks away.  Occasionally she lets mom catch her and pick her up.

One day, Crash saw this basket on the floor (I guess mom was getting ready to throw it away).  So she decided to try to get into it.

 
It was a little tight, but she kept trying.

 
She tried and tried and finally curled herself up into the basket.


 
That was a lot of work and she was tired, so she went to sleep, all curled up in her little basket.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Oscars

I've been watching Fox News (surprise) this morning and many of the commentators mentioned that they felt that American Sniper was snubbed because of its director, Clint Eastwood and that the awards show was very political.

I agree that it was very political, but isn't it every year?  Patricia Arquette's tirade about wage inequality and lack of rights for women was ridiculous.  As far as I know from my experience, women have been given equal chances for success, some even more than equal. 

My main problem with the complaints is their assumption that Bradley Cooper should have received the Oscar for American Sniper.  I have not seen any of the movies that were in contention, but from what I have read, Eddie Redmayne certainly deserved the award.  I've seen clips from The Theory of Everything, Steven Hawking's story and the likeness between the two people is amazing.  I've read that there were days when Mr. Redmayne did scenes from Mr. Hawking's days before he became ill and later in the day when he is wheelchair bound.  That certainly takes acting prowess. 

I'm sure Bradley Cooper did a wonderful job in American Sniper, but if there were any snub to be imagined, I would think it would have been of The Imitation Game.  I really thought that film would take all the honors because of the hero.  He broke the Nazi code, he was persecuted because he was gay and even committed suicide because of that persecution.  Honoring that film certainly would have been political.

There was one political statement that has me puzzled and it has bothered me for quite some time.  The winner for a documentary praised Edward Snowden for informing us of the government's spying on its citizens.  Maybe it's good that he did that, but if he thought that he was right to do so, he should have stayed here and proved his point.  In my eyes, he is not a hero, he is a coward.  If you believe that you are doing the right thing, you should stay and face the consequences, not run to another country.  Stand up for your beliefs and convictions.

My biggest disappointment  in the show however, was the omission, during the In Memoriam segment, of Joan Rivers.  Granted, she was not a huge movie star, but she was the subject of a documentary.  I would like to know why she was snubbed.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Is there a connection?

I just went online for my daily game of Scrabble.  I couldn't get on because pogo.com was busy.  Apparently many people feel the same as I.  They just couldn't stand to listen to another speech by the president, so they decided to exercise their minds and play Scrabble.

He stopped talking now.  Maybe I can get in my daily game.

I can't believe he said that

I couldn't believe my ears when I heard some of the remarks that the president made in his statement in closing the summit on countering violent extremism.  I thought that they had been edited by the "villains at Fox News".  So, this morning I went on whitehouse.gov and printed a copy of the president's remarks at the summit, before they get edited or deleted when a thinking person reads them.

Early in his speech, he said, "Of course the terrorists do not speak for over a billion Muslims who reject their hateful ideology.  They no more represent Islam than any madman who kills innocents in the name of God represents Christianity of Judaism or Buddhism or Hinduism.   No religion is responsible for terrorism.  People are responsible for violence and terrorism."

Of course, he had to get in a jab at Christians, Jews, Buddhists or Hindus.  I don't recall reading or hearing anything about any other civilized religions beheading or burning alive people who do not agree with their religious beliefs.

The real reason for my writing this is the president's statement that no religion is responsible for terrorism, people are responsible for violence and terrorism.  Mr. President, why don't you feel the same way about guns?  After all, guns don't kill people, people kill people.

I guess this is just another way that you use words to suit your agenda.  If religions don't inspire terrorism, then guns don't kill people.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Now I've Seen Everything

I've been quiet for a long time, but I can't take it any longer.

I haven't complained too much about the president's vacations and the fact that he takes all his friends, possibly at the taxpayers' expense.  I didn't complain when a wedding had to be moved at the last minute so the president could play a round of golf.  I even didn't say anything when he went out to play golf just minutes after announcing the beheading of an American citizen by the muslims.

Yesterday was the last straw.  When I saw that video he made in order to appeal to young people, I could hardly believe my eyes.  There he was making funny faces into a mirror and taking selfies.  This video was made (again) minutes after we received verification of the last murder of an American hostage who went to the middle east only because she wanted to help people.

I thought that when Lyndon Johnson lifted his shirt to show his scar to the press, our country and the rest of the word was the most tasteless act of an American president, but this recent performance by the president far surpasses that.

I was never a fan of the Kennedys, but I have always felt that they brought dignity to the White House, something that present day democrats do not.

As far as I'm concerned, the job of a leader is to bring people up, not to sink down to their level.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Burnie

Hi, it's me Burnie.  I know it's the wrong day and I haven't written in a while, but there's a good reason.

I've been too weak to get to the computer.  I made the mistake about two months ago of sitting on the scale when mom was around.  She saw that I've gotten a little heavy.  I only weigh 20 pounds, but she thinks that's a lot.

The first thing she did was cut out our afternoon snack.  Now we only get half a can of food each.  That wasn't too bad at first because we still had our dry food.  Now I noticed that since the bowl is empty, it hasn't been refilled for a few days.  I think she's trying to starve us.

I'm so hungry that all I can do is sleep.  I don't even have the energy to play or chase Crash.

Is there someone I can report mom to for cat abuse.  Really, only 1/2 can of food.  That's not enough for a cat.  Maybe I'll go chew on a leaf from one of her plants.  That'll show her.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Missing in Paris - Part II

I've been listening to some of the comments on the TV this morning and I feel I must retract part of my statement yesterday.

It seems that I was wrong about our representation at the rally/march in Paris yesterday.  The president did not send Eric Holder to represent us yesterday.  Eric Holder just happened to be in Paris for some other reason and he made an appearance.  However, he didn't stay long; he left before the march even began.

A few days ago the president said that we stand with France, apparently he has a very short memory, or he didn't mean it.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Missing from Paris

I've just been watching the anti-terror march/rally in Paris.  What a huge amount of people, many of whom are trying to show support for the people who were murdered this past week by the muslim terrorists.

Scanning the faces in the crowd of world leaders, I recognized Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande, David Cameron and Benjamin Netanyahu.  The broadcasters mentioned the leaders of other countries like Poland, Ukraine, Palestine, Russia, NATO and the Arab League.

I looked at every face leading the march and could not find the most recognizable - the president of the United States.  For some reason, he could not find the time to attend, BUT he did send a representative - Eric Holder, the soon to be former Attorney General.

Surely, the president could have found a better representative of our country, the attorney general is the 7th in line to the presidency.  I can understand the president's not wanting our country to be represented by the Speaker of the House (John Boehner) or the President pro tempore of the Senate (Orin Hatch), both Republicans, but, I'm sure Joe Biden, our Vice President, is available.  For representation in international areas, he could have sent the Secretary of State - John Kerry, or the Secretary of Defense - Chuck Hagel (even though he's a republican).

I guess the president was too busy trying to find a warm place to play golf this weekend that he couldn't find the time to send a person to represent us who still plans to work for us.