Saturday, September 26, 2020

Christ in us

"If Christ is formed of our lives, it means that he will suffer in us. Or, more truly, we will suffer in him.

 If you are an office worker and the person over you is trying, perhaps rather limited in intelligence, so that you imagine you have some kind of right to be irritable, well, it is not you at all that must be obedient and humble and gracious, it is Christ, Christ, who said to the weak and timid civil servant, Pontius Pilate: You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above

It really needs to be practiced to be understood. We need to say to ourselves a thousand times a day, 'Christ wants to do this; Christ wants to suffer this.' And we shall thus come to realize that when we resent our circumstances or try to spare ourselves what we should undergo, we are being like Peter when he tried to dissuade our Lord from the Passion."

                                                                           -  Carryl Houselander, from Magnificat, September, 2020

Thursday, September 24, 2020

the return of Sweetie

 Sweetie is in the house!  Diane called this morning to say Sweetie was there, having some dry food with her own cats. She was able to pick her up with no problem and carry her over here without struggles. She was a little hesitant with me at first, but now she is fine, like she never left. 

What had happened was I could not get her into the carrier and there was MUCH energetic resistance on her part. When the vet came, I just carried her out to the van - the vet said to leave the carrier outside the van door. 

Now, it is a new carrier. I'm not sure I like the design; there are plastic hinges which are unusual and I did have the thought to show it to the doctor, but I said to myself, no, they've seen all different styles of carrier already. Next thing I know, I see her outside, holding the carrier door and Sweetie ahead of her - she just split, and fast. The vet blamed it on the carrier which, she thought, was a lemon. I didn't correct her; I should have listened to that small voice and explained it to her. I didn't even try to follow Sweetie, since she was moving fast. 

I do hope she enjoyed her little outing; the first night was quite cold - down near thirty degrees. She knows the area so I guess she knew places to go. But when she came in, she drank a great deal - our brook is still dry and it looks like she may not have had any water source. Right now, she is in front of me while I'm trying to type, rubbing on my face and purring like she never left. I am beginning to think that Clare was right and she was confused and afraid for a while. It's hard to know for sure. I asked her where she went, but she didn't tell me.

I guess we could say this was Sweetie's last adventure, since she doesn't have much time left, apparently. The tumor is growing back; it's not as big as before, but there's no point in removing it, since these things also grow back into the tongue, where it can't be excised. Poor Sweetie. But for now, things are much better than the day before! Thanks for all the prayers! xo

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Sweetie at large

 Yesterday the travelling vet came to see Sweetie. Her tumor is coming back in and there's no point to removing it, since it also is growing into her tongue, so - she is okay enough for now, but ...

Anyway, after the examination she got away from the vet and now she's on the loose. It was very cold last night, but she didn't make an appearance. She hasn't had her thyroid medicine for two days. However - just over an hour ago my brother noticed she was on the front step. He called her name and opened the front door, but - she took off. 

I pray she'll want to come back in soon, but since she's outside I hope it's because she's enjoying it and not because five or six times I desperately tried shoving her into the carrier (to no avail) and now she is afraid of me. I don't know how they remember these things or are influenced by them. But the fact that she is near is heartening, because we really had no idea where she was. The temperatures will be warmer for a new days and that's good news. Maybe she'll come in when she's tired of scrounging for food around the neighborhood. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

some lace is always nice

A couple of years ago I was at a local consignment shop and they had a long, narrow table. Since I have a thing for long, narrow tables and this was a deal I bought it. I finagled it into my room where it's used as a desk, more or less. 

I never used to mind laying out my fabric on the floor for cutting but now I'd rather not. The kitchen table isn't always available, but the other day it dawned on me I could clear off the table and use it. It worked great!

It is the same a-line, over the head dress I've made so many times. Sleeveless again this time, but I've got an idea for some sort of a lace collar and it took me a while to find the lace. (Actually, the other day I was aggravated that I didn't recall where it was and I said, "Guardian Angel, where the heck is that lace?" or something to that effect and then looked up to see some jars above me where I'd put it. That's how they work - they give you an inspiration.) Anyway, the lace above is an ecru and salmon which doesn't show up well here. Something I bought many years ago and it looks very pretty with this fabric. And here is my Pinterest board where I've put a few images of what I'm thinking of, either a lace at the neck or on the hem. 

So, I've got to play around with it and decide. And maybe I'll ask Cyndi, who sews way better than I do.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

the beauty of evenings

 Even when it's pleasant outdoors, inside it can trap the heat; I planned to wash my hair a little while before dark, so I could sit outside with wet hair and enjoy the coolness. I suddenly heard a ruckus beginning, like a pack of dogs barking. Then I realized it was the geese - they are starting their journeys back. There were lots of them and they flew pretty low. Then I noticed two bats swooping in their jagged way, back and forth from our place to the neighbors. I need to sit out more often in the evenings.

God in his beauty stills all our useless struggles and gathers us into his peace.

-  from Magnificat

Saturday, September 12, 2020

squirrel visits

 A couple of weeks ago I happened by the front door and saw a squirrel with his head down into the planter on the front step, his little behind in the air. In past years I occasionally had seed in there and immediately thought he was digging for food. Then I realized he must be burying a nut. 

Today I found this. So, did someone else come by to bury a nut? Or did my little friend return to get his little treasure? 

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

all about food, I guess

 I haven't been here for a week! I'll have to make up for lost time.

After a few years of eating Siggi's yogurt, I'm going back to making it myself. It's way cheaper and I just feel like doing it again. 

  Something I've wondered about is why the instructions so often tell you to use milk that is only pasteurized, not ultra-pasteurized. If they use this method in your country, have you ever noticed how long this ultra stuff lasts? It's amazing. Anyway, there is only one brand at the store where I shop that's simply pasteurized, and I like it well enough; it isn't organic but it's from our state. Still, I finally googled the question. And came upon a New York Times article with some very enlightening comments.

When you make yogurt, you have to heat it up to around 180 or over, then cool it down to around 110. You put in the starter or some from a previous batch and let it sit for hours to ferment. One of the commenters said she uses ultra-pasteurized milk to make hers, and because it's already been cooked enough (I forget how she put it, exactly), she just heats it to 110, adds the starter and continues from there. She skips the first step entirely! I decided to try this. I used a nice organic milk from grass-fed cows but it was ultra-pasteurized. After it had fermented I checked it (what you see above) - the consistency reminded me of Junket (remember that? - I used to love the chocolate one). But after an overnight in the fridge it looked pretty good. I still strained it, as I always do, to make it thicker. 

We found out last week that Dolly is diabetic. Her numbers weren't so high that she needs insulin shots, so we're trying to change her diet - no more dry food.

She is always very anxious about having food nearby. It's going to be hard for her at times, but after a week, her numbers did go down some; meanwhile, we're trying out some higher protein and lower carb brands of the canned stuff and reading a lot of labels. The issue is not whether she'll eat it - she is not a picky eater. But we want food that has quality ingredients. 

The reason we have butternut squashes on the front windowsill is that I picked them too early - a moment of madness I can only assume - and they weren't ripe. But we found evidence online that you can let them ripen in the sun, and they are turning that beige-y color, so I guess it's working. The cats aren't bothered by them, except yesterday I caught the Orphan batting one.

Sweetie found a purpose for them -

pretty cute. It's almost two months now, and she still seems the same. I have no idea what's going on inside of her with the cancer. 

Yesterday was Labor Day - sort of the official end of summer. I made an easy hummus, which recipe I found in British Country Living: basically a small jar of artichoke, lemon juice, can of drained butter beans, garlic and basil. Very tasty with crackers. We also had hamburgers and tomato salad - so many tomatoes.

 I also made scones. To have with the ice cream.