Thursday, December 31, 2009

Four Cute Kitties

This fat little kitty is named Sophie. Though Sophie is on diet food, she's still gaining weight. This is probably because she has three siblings, and likes to eat their food when bowls are unguarded. No food is left unvacuumed. Cubby Sophie waddles when she walks!

This is Sophie's brother, Elvis. Elvis is the official greeter of this home. When I arrive, he's always at the door to usher me in. He likes to rub the back of my head with his face when I sit on the sofa. He's a friendly kitty.

The third member of this feline family is Cali. As you can see, Cali only has one ear. The removed ear used to bend like a Scottish Fold's, and was always getting infected, so the vet removed the bend. She doesn't seem to mind.

Nadia is number four. She's a shy kitty who always has the look of impending doom. Though disappointed by previous world ending events, she's holding great promise for 2012.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Kittyman and Flash

This is Kittyman snoozing. He's a diabetic cat that has to tolerate insulin injections twice a day. Fortunately, he enjoys his food, so while he eats I give him his shot really quick before he realizes what's happening.

Kittyman has a brother named Flash. Though Flash is not diabetic, he does take Prozac. I tell Flash I'm going to take his Prozac myself soon! The Prozac comes in tiny pills that need to be cut in quarters. After cutting the pills into bits, I smash them up to a fine powder that hopefully Flash won't notice in his food. If Flash knows the Prozac is there, he won't eat his food. In his picture, you'll see he ate his meal! This fine little kitty needs to take Prozac so he'll remain calm around his brother and won't pee on the furniture. The Prozac helps a lot.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Choosing a Dog

For those of you thinking of adopting a dog this coming year, it's a good idea to do some research. Many dog books only tell the best breed traits, ignoring any speedbumps or difficulties you may encounter along the way. Since not every breed may be right for your family or home, finding information about your potential family member could save at lot of heartbreak and disappointment. Also, don't adopt a dog just because you've seen the breed on the movie screen or television and think it's cute. Disney's 101 Dalmatians is a case in point. An awful lot of Dalmatians found themselves in shelters when their families couldn't handle the energy level and training needs of their new pet. One way of learning about the different breeds is finding a well written book. The Good, the Bad, and the Furry by Sam Stall is a fun book that tells not only the pros, but also the cons, of many breeds available. For example, the Collie is described as smart and great around kids, but also reserved and very sensitive. Mr. Stall tells you this in a funny and entertaining way that I'm sure you'd enjoy and find very informative.      

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

St. Nicholas and Ireland

I found an interesting article about the possible burial place of the original Santa Claus we all know and love. That would be St. Nicholas, the Bishop of Lycia, who was born in the city of Myra in what is now modern day Turkey. Was the philanthropist responsible for giving aid (often gold) to the poor and sick ultimately interred at the Basilica di San Nicola in Bari, Italy, or at the Jerpoint Abbey in County Kilkenny, Ireland. One theory holds that Italian sailors moved the saint's remains to Buri when Seljuk Turks attacked the city of Myra in the eleventh century. Alternately, the Irish historian Philip Lynch believes a family of French crusaders named de Frainet rescued St. Nick's remains instead. So how did Nicholas' finally reside in Ireland? According to Lynch, though the de Frainets moved the saint to Beri, constant political upheavals required poor Nicholas' remains being shifted to France and finally to Ireland. There IS a tomb in Ireland picturing a bishop surrounded by three gold bags. Gold, after all, was a favorite gift to the poor by the generous St. Nicholas. To see the article click HERE.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Just Because

This is Kato.

I posted Kato's picture before, but now I've tricked him out in a Santa hat. I used a great photo editing site called Picnik. You can visit Picnik by clicking HERE.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Let it Snow!

It snowed a bit last night here in Rhode Island. This is my car all covered in the white stuff. Since it's still coming down, the landlord's plow guy probably won't clear the parking lot until this evening. Fortunately, I have no where pressing to go, since the lot is impassable. At least for a Toyota Corolla it is. At times like this, I wish I bought a SUV.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


This is Petals the Wheaten Terrier. Yes, believe it or not, she does have eyes! Petals grew up in a  professional show kennel where she didn't get enough socialization towards people. As a consequence, she doesn't understand strangers she meets while walking, or in her home. Her mom's dream is Petals being trained to the point where parties can be held in her home without upsets and chaos. Fortunately, Petals doesn't mind me. I'm actually staying in Petals' home over the Christmas holidays. Her family is taking a trip to Africa and doesn't want Petals staying at a boarding kennel. She really is a great little girl who's never any trouble at all.

There's an eye! She has leaves stuck in her beard from her last walk.   

Friday, December 18, 2009

The White Stag

The white stag is a lovely creature of myth found in many cultures. It appears in the story of King Arthur's Court, driving the knights to many adventures. In Celtic myth, it warned the "otherworld" was just around the corner. The Christians' believed the white stag symbolized Christ, much like it's cousin, the unicorn of similar power. The color white denoted purity. The white stag also stood for the sun, and hey, doesn't Santa have eight (or nine) flying reindeer? Maybe they should be white!

Recently, an actual white stag was seen and photographed in the forests of Gloucestershire, England. Click here for the newspaper article, and a picture or two, of a modern white stag.

Here's another link about the worldwide mythology of this fabulous beastie. There's even a little something about Rudolph!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Medieval Rings

As I mentioned before, I am fond of anything medieval. I'm drawn to the art and history of that time period. While wandering the web, I found a site that sells actual rings from the medieval era and even earlier. The rings are interesting, but very expensive. In my next life, I need to be independently wealthy.

This is a Stirrup Ring. It's called that because it's shaped like a horse's stirrup. This one is gold with sapphire and may possibly come from 15th century England. It costs 5,400 Euros. I don't know what the exchange rate is, but it sounds expensive to me.

This one costs even more. It's a pink sapphire from 13th or 14th  century western Europe and tips the scale at 21,000 Euros. This type of ring was often owned by a bishop.

This third ring has a wonderful crescent shape. It's a garnet possibly from 13th century Spain. It costs 5,750 Euros.

Can you imagine owning a ring like one of these? To have that bit of history around your finger. I wonder who wore them originally? What kind of people were they? How did they live and die? I find this fascinating.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


This is a wonderful Australian Shepherd named Apatchy. He's thirteen years old now and getting a bit weak in his back legs. There's nothing wrong with his bark though, as the men building a house across the street could attest.

Apatchy had a sister named Sophia who passed away recently. She was a black and white Springer Spaniel with a wild look in her eye and fur to match. As I don't have a picture of Sophia to post, I'll include another picture of Apatchy instead.

There's his handsome profile!

Monday, December 14, 2009


My cat, Madison, now has his own page on a site called Catster. If you're interested in cats, I recommend checking Catster out. Madison even has a diary where he "writes" his day to day troubles and joys. Sometimes, I really think I need to get a life!

Click the above link to visit Madison's page. Scroll to the bottom to read his diary, and be sure to leave him a treat. He loves treats.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Taunton Flea Market

Last weekend I went to the Taunton Flea Market in Taunton, Ma. The market, in an unstable old mill building, looked capable of collapsing if sneezed or coughed at. Though only opened a few months ago, there were many vendors selling their wares. There were antiques, new and vintage jewelry, items from Morocco, tires, pictures to hang on the wall, paper stuff, and anything else you may want in a fit of insanity. There was even a man who made musical instruments. Here's a photo of some of the things I bought to sell in my shop space.

I really like the pillow with the sequins. It only cost  $3.50. The vase came from Morocco, and the plate has a medieval "hunting the unicorn" scene.Though I don't usually like collecters plates, I do like anything remotely medieval. If no one buys the plate, I'll hang it on my own wall.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Lucifer is a beautiful Maine Coon who can live up to his name. Not only quite cranky when not getting his own way, he thinks my legs are scratching posts. As soon as I sit down, Lucifer will meander over and exercise his claws on my knee caps. This can be painful.

I cared for Lucifer this month while his family traveled in Europe. One morning, I nearly had a heart attack when hearing his voice under the front door steps. There he was, happily OUTSIDE the house. "How did you get out? I said angrily. Looking down at the cellar window, I saw the old screen pushed open where gaining his freedom. Hustling him inside, I leaned a 50 pound bag of sand against the righted screen so more escapes were impossible. He's a little devil alright!

Friday, December 11, 2009

National Noodle Ring Day

My other personalities and I want to wish you a very happy National Noodle Ring Day!

We hope you have a great one!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009


This is my friend Shelby. She's a sweet older dog who loves going for walks, barking, and eating treats. Unfortunately, it's the last love that almost ended her life. Her human mom didn't know it, but the chicken strips Shelby gobbled were poisoning her. The vet thought her illness (including kidney failure) was caused by age and nothing more. Then her mom saw a notice on the vet's bulletin board about chicken strips manufactured in China responsible for symptoms just like Shelbys. When the treats were removed from Shelby's diet, her health improved and she's returned to her former self. I'm including a link about the strips involved. Since I understand some stores are still selling them, pet owners need to be informed not to buy them. I would recommend not buying ANY pet food made in China.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Track Santa

This is a great link if you're interested in tracking Santa by Norad.

O Howly Night

Christmas is coming soon, so here is a doggy manger scene in the spirit of the holiday. I have no idea where I found this picture, but it's kind of cute. I especially like the collie as Joseph.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Banana Museum

To return to the subject of bananas, here is a link to an actual banana museum in Auburn, Washington.

Scrub, Scrub and Scrub

I must get down to washing the floors. I refuse to smile and look happy though.

I remember my parents had a machine something like this that polished the kitchen floor and scrubbed the rugs. That was in the late sixties or early seventies, but I don't recall who manufactured it. It worked quite well to keep a pet filled home shiny and sweet smelling.

The high heels crack me up. I mean PLEASE!

Sunday, December 6, 2009


We had the first Rhode Island snowstorm of the season last night. It was pretty, but icy. I'm one of the least graceful people on Earth whether snow and ice is present or not. Watch out!

Here's another picture taken in Cumberland. It's a shame I can't remove the big old telephone poles messing up all these shots. The scenes would look so much better without them.

Hey! There's no telephone pole! How did that happen!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Banana Bread

In honor of the holiday season, I'm including my recipe for banana bread. Though I avoid baking whenever possible, this bread doesn't really count since it's made in a bread machine. My machine is named Sally Sunbeam, an energetic young lady who whips up all kinds of goodies with uncomplaining enthusiasm. The recipe came from

Banana Bread - Quick Bread for Machines


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 bananas, peeled and halved lengthwise


1. Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine.

2. Select the dough setting, and press Start. Mix the bread for 3 to 5 minutes until the bananas are mashed and all ingredients are thoroughly combined. If necessary, use a rubber spatula to push the dough from the sides of the bread pan. When 3 to 5 minutes have passed on the clock display, press Stop. Do not continue mixing. Smooth out the top of the loaf with the rubber spatula.

3. Select the Bake setting, and press Start. The Bake cycle time may vary with machines, but should be about 50 minutes. To test the bread for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center top. If there is dough on the toothpick, reset the machine on Bake and continue to bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the machine, but allow the bread to remain in the pan for ten minutes. Remove the bread to cool completely on a wire rack.

This recipe is really easy. It would probably be good with chocolate chips mixed in.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Max and Sabrina

This is Max. That's short for Maxwell, or as I like to say, Maxwell Smart. He's a Border Collie with a VERY strong herding instinct. When a car passes, he flops down on his belly and gives it the Collie "eye." He's also very sensitive, turning his head to watch me as we walk along the streets of Providence's east side.

Max has a sister named Sabrina. In contrast to Max, Sabrina is a hardheaded little Bichon who wants to do what she wants to do, when she wants to do it, no questions asked. She's a good deal older than Max and has developed cataracts. She also hates the rain. If it's raining, she gets under the kitchen table, requiring my crawling after her to attach her leash. As soon as the leash is attached, she suddenly comes out from under as if nothing at all were wrong.

One of my services as a pet sitter is making sure the trash is taken out and brought in on the right day. Providence now requires all trash cans and recycling bins to be put out whether there's trash in them or not. Also, the large trash can has to stay outside, even though it's been emptied, or the recycling truck won't pick up the paper and cans. The city is talking about fines if you don't comply. Is it me, or is that crazy? It sounds like just another devious way for the city to make money. But hey, what do I know!