Sweet Tennessee!

Sweet Tennessee!

August 3, 2011

Kitties Galore! :D.. and a little more cheese!

As i stated in a previous post, S and i have 4 cats.  Otis, Tortie, Tennessee and Snickers.  I thought i would introduce you to the 4 of them one by one in the order in which they became.. 'ours'.. or more likely we became.. theirs.  Notice the lack of quotations around the last part of that statement.  Because truly it is far more accurate to say that we belong to them.. all heart & soul!  All 4 of them, in one way or another, chose us.  And we love that.  I think it says we're good people.  With lots of heart.

Let me start with Otis.  Our big black Maine Coon kitty with the gorgeous emerald eyes.We brought Otis home with us 13 years ago from the Bonnie Hays Small Animal Shelter here in Hillsboro, OR.  Shortly after we moved into our first house.  When we arrived at the shelter one Saturday morning in March '98, i was determined to find a tuxedo kitty to bring home to love.  I'd always loved tuxes, but had never had one of my own.  So we walked into a room filled with cats in small cages.  Don't like to name them cages, but that's what they are.  Right away, i laid eyes on a small female tuxedo.  S , on the other hand, had no preconceived ideas about what 'kind' of a cat he wanted.  To make a longer story shorter, we looked at almost every kitty in there.  They were all fairly quiet except for one which i kept wanting to tell to lower his voice.  I didn't really pay attention to this one; i just thought he was loud.  S said this one particular kitty had had his eyes on us the entire time.  There was one other, younger couple in the room checking out all the cats, and there was a mother, father and a little girl who looked to be about 4 looking too.  But this kitty paid no attention to them.  S said .. 'how about this black one with the pretty green eyes.  And i said, not very nicely i admit now.. 'you mean the one who won't shut up?'  I had to look up to get a good look because he was in one of the 'top' cages.  It was as if those green eyes looked directly into my heart!  Big loud 'MEOW' he said, and S opened his cage.  We took turns holding him and talking to him, and that was it.  I was smitten.  Very affectionate kitty, and he'd stopped his LOUD talking.  He was now purring the most beautiful purr i'd ever heard.  What a motor!  So we decided he'd be ours.. or more accurately.. we'd be his forever.  We brought him home with us, and we decided to name him Otis.  Actually, that was S's suggestion, I think.  If you remember the Andy Griffith Show, you remember there was always a harmless, but tipsy man in the only cell in Mayberry, RFD.  And his name was Otis Campbell.  So S and myself have always said that we 'sprung' Otis and decided to give him the care and love he deserved.  He'd never be lonely again!  :D

So since i've already run on longer than i wanted, i'll introduce you kitty number 2 in my next post.  I want to give them all equal time and not give any one of them short shrift, after all.  All four are loved equally and have their own unique personalities and endearing eccentricities.

So now.. a brief note about another of my fav kinds of CHEESE!  That would be feta.  In fact, as i write this post, i am snacking on some delicious sliced red bell peppers and a few kalamata olives.. (olives are another of my favorite things in the Universe..) sprinkled with a liberal (there's that word again) amount of feta cheese!  Feta works on just about anything you want!  Also scrumptious sprinkled on a piece of flatbread and rolled up with a little basil and sliced onion..  I could go on and on and on...  But you get the idea, right?  Full of spectacular flavor, that feta!

And i made a book purchase today, albeit a small one.  I brought home 'Before Ever After' by Samantha Sotto.  It's her first novel, and i love first novels!  Almost always great!  And a book called 'A Misalliance' by Anita Brookner.  Another favorite author of mine.  Although she is far from a first novelist.  :)  Will review these when i finish them.. or maybe as i'm reading them.. whatever i want.. know what i mean?  Geez, i have to get on this book review thing.  Haven't done on yet!  Soon.. i promise.

So time to sign off and eat some yummy spicy sausage pasta and some warm, crusty buttered bread! I'm hungry.

Sincerely yours on this August Third, Two Thousand Eleven!

August 2, 2011

Sometimes.. it's all about CHEESE!

So.. here's the thing.  I think the other day, when i made my first milestone post.. :D.. i neglected to mention how much i absolutely adore cheese.  Of all kinds!  Whether it's made from cow's milk, sheep's milk or goat's milk.. i heart it!  'Course, it might not be so healthy for my heart, but these days, i'm sure to enjoy that exquisite stuff in moderate amounts.  And i know that in some ways..  cheese is excellent for one's heart and soul.  Quite frankly, i never thought of making this blog about cheese at all.  Credit goes to my friend Joe P. for that.  With extra encouragement from my friend JQ!  I'll also include a bit about wine in this post.  I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but i do know what i like.  So i might be able to give you out there in cyberland a few hints as to what you might possibly enjoy.

Here goes!  One of my ultimate favorite kinds of cheese is a French cheese called Port Salut.  It's a creamy, kind of nutty, soft, melt-in-one's-mouth cheese that is fabulously scrumptious.  Delicious if you spread a small chunk on a piece of warm, crusty French bread.  I've also tried Port Salut with a little Black Forest ham on a small crusty French roll.  Cheese and good bread together are just to die for!  And if you enjoy wine, try this cheese with a glass of Yard Dog White.  It's an Australian white that's excellent.  I wasn't sure, because, i must admit, i fell in love (first) with the label.  But the 'wine guy' at the market where i shop said (the day i purchased it,) that it's also good.  And he was correct!  There is a picture on the label of a little terrier wearing a cone around his neck!  Save the bottle when you finish the wine!  I did, but can't find it in this house.  Maybe one of our kitties noticed the picture of 'the cone of shame'.. and hid it somewhere in his/her secret stash!  :D  And Port Salut is also yummy when it's spread on just a plain wheat cracker.  It might sound bland, but actually it's perfect.  You don't want a cracker with so strong a flavor that it overwhelms the flavor of the cheese!  That will get one a wag of my finger.  Yes!  Sometimes i channel Stephen Colbert.

Another kind of wine that I love is Layer Cake Shiraz.. another Australian wine.  And yes, you guessed it!  Fell in love with this label too.  Because there is a picture of..YES!  you guessed again.. a yummy piece of layer cake.  The label is accurate, though, i must say.  This wine is fabulous with a small.. if you're trying to downsize.. BIG if you're not.. piece of moist chocolate cake avec dark chocolate frosting.  So.. take this one to the party as a great dessert wine!  And if you love wine and dessert together, this particular kind is yummy with a piece of.. cherry CHEESEcake!  Again with the CHEESE!  Have tried it, and i felt like i was still alive and had gone to Heaven.  No need to think i'd died first, you know.  Highly unnecessary.

Thus ends my first cheese and wine post.  Actually.. now.. just a few words about one of my other loves.  (I have many.)  BOOKS!  Had the good fortune to drop into another place that is paradise.. at least to me.. the local library.  Withdrew 4 books for my evening.. or morning reading pleasure!  I'll list 'em for my own fun.  Feel free to skip over this part if you want..

They are; 'Straight Man' by Richard Russo, 'The Free Life' by Ha Jin, 'The House in Paris' by Elizabeth Bowen', and 'Kinflicks' by Lisa Alther.  The last on the list i read years ago, but want to read it again.  Okay, so this REALLY ends my 4th blog post.  Have a wonderful rest of the week all.. this doesn't mean i won't be back this week.. just sayin'...  :D

Sincerely yours this second day of August, 2011

August 1, 2011

48 - This year's BIG number!

Well.. i turned 48 this morning.  Officially, according to my mother, at 3:53 am eastern standard time!  Have to say.. i don't 'feel' 48.  Not sure how that's supposed to feel, though.  Today has been rather ordinary in the grand scheme of things.  Slept in awhile.. but i do that every so often anyway.  Had a wonderful lunch with 3 girlfriends.  That happens too, but not as often as the sleeping in thing.  We all have busy lives, and it's hard to put us all together in the same place at the same time.  Came home.. went for a long walk.. worked in our greenhouse for awhile.  Hot out there, but fun 'work'.  S came home from work a few minutes ago, and we are going out for a nice dinner somewhere soon.  No reservations.. nothing fancy schmancy.. but nice and casual.  But we do that fairly often too, so nothing unusual about that.  But because we're both working on the downsizing thing, we're cutting back on the eating out thing.  Have found that we eat far fewer calories when we eat at home.. but that's a different post.  :)  Even though it's been a rather ordinary birthday; it has been very special indeed.  I love my ordinary life and am grateful for it every day of the week and year!  Have always loved having a summertime birthday!  Think the weather has been sparkly and sunshiny for just about every birthday so far.  And if the weather has been 'bad' in the past.. i've blocked it out i guess.  Or the memory is a victim of what i like to call.. my 'selective amnesia'.  :)  One thing that makes a Monday birthday so great is that Monday is 'Antiques Roadshow' Night!  Alas, i shall save that for another post!  Have had many, many awesome birthday greetings today from family and friends.  Every day is more than ordinary because i have so many beautiful people in my life.  And i have many furry, special friends.  Just so you understand, the humans in my life are beautiful, but not furry!

So this evening, when we get home from dinner; it will be a night like every other.  And that is totally okay with me.  S and i will watch some tv together.  I'll read some from one of my many great books.  I'll cuddle with our little furry buggers, and all will be right with the Universe.  Our Universe, anyway.  Can't tell you how wonderful it is to have such a wonderful life, family and friends, and a feeling of security with everything that is going on in the outside world.  There is a lot to be said for 'ordinariness'!  I don't like to hide from the world, and all of its sometimes sad goings on.  But it IS good to seek shelter from it once in awhile..

Now.. out for a little birthday celebration.. but a celebration big enough to befit this year's BIG number 48!

Sincerely yours on this first day of August, Two Thousand Eleven... M