Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Homemade Cinnamon Apple Chips

Try this comforting and healthy snack to welcome Autumn. They are wonderful!


2 cups unsweetened apple juice
1 cinnamon stick
2 red delicious apples

Preparation Directions:~ In a large saucepan, combine apple juice and cinnamon stick; bring to a low boil.~ Meanwhile, prepare apples. Cut top and bottom off apples, then cut crosswise into 1/8-inch thick even slices. Drop slices into boiling juice and cook 4 to 5 minutes or until slices are lightly golden.~ Preheat oven to 250 degrees. With slotted spoon remove apples slices form juice and pat dry. Arrange slices on wire racks in single layer. Place racks on middle shelf in oven and bake 30 to 40 minutes or until slices are lightly browned and almost dry to the touch. Let chips cool completely on racks.~ Store in airtight container.

Only three ingredients!

Not sure why my picture was so orange! Oh well, fitting for this time of year, huh?

These are so easy to make so have fun with them! I think they will make the perfect Autumn gift packaged up with brown and orange ribbon!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fall Stuff

Okay all I backed off the Halloween decorations and put up some Fall decor. :) Not wanting to hurry anyone to one of my favorite holidays, I put these up today.

And then decided to finally do a chore that I have been putting off for so long. These poor pitiful plants needed some serious re-potting. I took one of the plants out of its previous small pot and I thought a creature from another planet popped out! The roots were SO entangled and wrapped around the bottom of the pot it seriously scared me. One of those, la la la la la moments and then AAAAAAHHHHHHH! But now the monster has room to grow. ;)

One last exciting thing to tell. Yesterday's trail ride was so much fun. It was a first for me and Ari. We cantered! I had never cantered with Ari before and I wondered for so long what it would be like. Last weekend we did more trotting and Debbie cantered Magic. So, this weekend it was time for me and Ari to try. It was such a high! He loved it and I could tell he didn't want to stop. Neither did I. Unfortunately, we came upon a few horses coming the other direction so we had to stop all the fun, mainly for common courtesy and etiquette on the trails. Next time I may just let him loose a little more and take him just a little faster. *sigh* :) This was cute too. As we stopped with the horses and ate our lunch, Ari came up to me and put his nose....against my cheek. Oh my gosh, what a moment. He wouldn't move it. It was almost as if he was saying he loved riding with me. Debbie looked at us and said..."If I didn't know any better, I think Ari loves you more than me!". Lol! I told her we can call me the God Mother to Ari and Magic. She liked that. :)
Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Little More Halloween....

I was digging through some boxes in the garage. Yea, still digging since last year when I moved in. See! Major procrastinator. Anyhoo, I found some of my Halloween decorations! Yay! So, in the guest bedroom they went for a little whimsy. I'm sure I will be adding to the collection very soon. I just love my Mr. Pumpkinhead. He kinda looks like he has a little attitude goin' on. Lol! If you could hear him talk, what would he be saying?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Vacation finally!!

I'm so, so excited! I am finally going on a real vacation! I've had such a busy summer here at home that I didn't think I was ever going to get away. My sweet sister and brother-in-law over at Cottage by the Sea and Paris, my niece over at Puppy Cove , (yea, we're a blogging kinda family) have invited me for a long weekend to Whitefish, Montana. :) Ahhh...the mountains, a ranch, family, good food, horses, animals and shopping. I am so already there! I'm also excited because it will be the first time that I will be able to finally ride horses with my niece. She and I are both excited. Of course visiting with sis and brother-in-law is exciting just as much! I haven't seen them in about six months so this will be a fun and special trip for me!

So, just a quick post today to tell ya'll (gotta get the lingo down) I'm headed to Montana the second week of October! Wahoo!! Now, the real question....the blue cowboy boots or the pink ones? Lol!


Monday, September 21, 2009

Guest Bedroom Transformation

Well I am in a decorating and transforming mode so I have decided the guest bedroom is going to be my victim! :) I took the huge queen size canopy bed out (since you could barely move around with that thing taking up most of the space) and added a vintage daybed. Perfect for the cats! Lol!

Ummm..apparently the cats think I made the room for them. Of course, you know I tell them yes.

See the little "Believe" sign up there? It makes me continue to believe life is always magical. :)

This is what it looks like so far. What do you think? Isn't it just magical? :)

Oh quick update on Emma. She's doing really well. I have her on prednisone pills (I think I said cortisone in my last post) for the next seven days and then we'll go in for a follow-up check.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sick Little Emma

Sometimes I ask myself why I seem to often end up with the animals that have issues. :( Don't get me wrong, I don't love them any less but I always seem to wonder if I'm doing something wrong. Last night I had to bring Emma to the emergency vet at 9:30 p.m. She had been coughing/hacking as if she was trying to cough up a hairball so I gave her Petromalt and waited the day out, ran some errands, etc. Later that evening she seemed to be breathing heavier, more of a labored breathing and I thought that's it, we're going in. So off we went to the emergency vet. I explained to the vet what had been going on. He explained that if we had to pull something out of her that she ingested they would have to put her under. To be safe, however, he wanted to check her lungs and make sure her lungs were healthy enough to be anesthetized. Well, a few minutes later he came back into the room and showed me the x-rays. He told me if he looked at this x-ray and someone asked him how old this cat was he said he would have guessed 11 or 12. Emma is only a year old! He then told me he showed the x-ray to another colleague and they both concluded that she has all the signs, even clinical signs of asthma. :( Apparently hacking like she was doing earlier is also a sign of asthma but may mimic a hairball sort of hack. So.....they kept her overnight with a shot of cortisone and a few shots of an inhaler. YES, an inhaler!

After a restless night and a very worried Quincy, I woke up at 6:30 a.m. and called to see how she was doing. They said her breathing got better but was still a little faster than normal but that I could take her home with cortisone pills. I'll follow-up Monday with her regular doctor. If it is asthma I will be meeting with the naturopath at her regular doctor's office to see how we can avoid an attack. The emergency vet suggested if I vacuumed to keep her outside. *sigh* I'm also going to start using "greener" products and organic products to clean with so my cats aren't affected by all those harmful chemicals!

So....that was my evening. Emma is home now and I've never seen her so affectionate in all my life. Lol! Quincy was very happy to see her home. :) I treated her to albacore tuna in water this morning. She was SO hungry. Home sweet home for Emma. :)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sexy + Beauty = OMG

So yesterday my friend Deb and I took a ride on the trails after work. It was still light for a couple of hours and it was wonderfully warm! So we loaded the boys up and went to a park nearby. We go there for quick rides. Anyway, it was a great ride! We got the boys trotting and even cantering a bit. It's so funny because when they start trotting Deb and I just start laughing! I don't know why...but there's something about the energy of a horse when it starts to trot or canter that just makes you want to laugh! Lol!

Okay, so you're wondering about the title, I'm sure. So we're on the trail and about to head up a steep hill when all of a sudden we look up and see this beauty coming down. It was the most beautiful Friesian we had ever seen. Our mouths just hung open. We were speechless! She even had those big fluffly hooves!

And then...and then...I could have sworn the Marlboro man was on that beauty. So when we looked up and saw this, I think our jaws dropped open even more. Lol! It was actually a funny moment. We both saw the horse first and said, "Oh my God." Then we looked up and said "Oh my GOD."

I think even Ari and Magic were smitten with the Friesian. Lol!

Later we get back to the parking lot and see the Marlboro man again. This was after we loaded up the horses. So, Deb swings the trailer around and heads towards him. I asked Deb what the heck she was doing and she proceeds to tell me that we're gonna flirt a little. Okay, Deb has a lot more guts than I do and I'm freaking out because I have helmet head and I'm all dirty from the ride and, well, I really don't look my best! Lol! So, we ride up and she politely asks if we can see his horse. Okay, no dirty jokes now girls! But we really did want to see her. I get out (hmmm..Deb stays in the truck) and we start talking and I get to see beauty up close (and oh gosh was she gorgeous!). I ask him what her name is and, okay, I have to laugh because this is coming from a manly man. "Her name is Love". Altogether....awwwwww! He tells me he breeds Friesians and owns a ranch not far from there. *sigh* Anyway, long story short we talk for quite awhile and he goes to his truck to give me his card and we say our goodbyes.

Flirting is fun whether it be with a man or horse. Lol! Truth is, I'm not sure if I'm ready for all that yet. ;) But girls can have fun huh?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Getting to know me! Getting to know all about me.

I was tagged by sweet Maria over at Rainy Day Farm. If you haven't seen her farm, errrr blog swing on over. She's always got something going on. She is wonder woman to me! :)

Okay, I'm supposed to talk about 7 personality traits. So sit down, relax, have a cup of tea and let me tell you all about me....

1. Animal Lover-Like Maria I am an extreme animal lover. I connect with animals better than I do humans. Lol! It's true. Maybe because they can't talk. Ha ha! Still there is something about any animal that is around me that feels as though I have been around that animal all my life.

2. Procrastinator - I am a terrible, terrible procrastinator. Well okay, if it's something that's not exciting to do I will procrastinate forever. Cleaning, laundry, getting organized. Can anyone suggest anything to change that because I am in need of help in that department!

3. Fear of being controlled - I have a terrible fear of being controlled. I need room to breathe, room to be me in any relationship and if I can't have that I have these 20 foot walls that go up, made of concrete I'm tellin' ya!

4. Loyal - I am loyal to the end with my friends. Even if I haven't talked to a friend in a very long time or we parted ways on not so good terms (which really is rare) I will be there if they come to me asking for help.

5. I often don't finish what I start. Wait, does that go in the procrastination column? Lol! My attention span is very short. Once I start something and can't finish it the same day, forget it. It will be done in a year. Isn't that terrible? Must be the Gemini in me. :) There's my excuse.

6. Stubborn - Okay, this may sound bad but in certain situations where I have lost trust or have been "burned" in situations I can become VERY stubborn and not give in or even compromise. Now if someone is willing to compromise from the beginning, I can do that but if not, then lookout, the arms are folded and stayin' there.

7. Giving - I am a very giving person. I love volunteering and knowing I am doing good for someone or something else less fortunate than me. It makes me feel so good. :)

Okay, I invite all of you to play along with this tag. I can never choose just a few people. So come on guys, I wanna learn more about your shortcomings or wonderful traits! :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Nectarine Pockets!

Yes, you heard me right. nectarine pockets! You know you have your peaches, raspberries, blueberries...well why not make a pastry with nectarines? :)

I really just did a pinch and dash on this one. Peeled and cubed the nectarines, threw in a bit of cinnamon, sugar and nutmeg. Rolled out ready-made dough, cut out large circles, filled the pockets and crimped them with a fork! I also brushed the dough with melted butter and sprinkled with a bit more sugar then baked at 375 degrees for about 10-15 minutes or until brown. How easy is that? Then I cozied (is that a word?) up with my kitties in my favorite soft robe and enjoyed one of these beauties. I actually ate them too early..they were still hot. I sighed in anticipation and took a bite and immediately had to do one of those blowing out sucking in things before I spit out my first bite. You should have seen the look on Quincy's face. Lol! Ruined the moment...but they were still good! The burn on the roof of my mouth was SO worth it.

Okay seriously I need to stop baking and start cooking more!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Drying Basil

Drying basil is very simple, and there are several tried and true methods for doing it. The first is to merely hang it in bundles. This does tend to discolor the basil so you should place a thin layer of stripped leaves in between two folded sheets of newspaper. You can then hang it on a wire rack and turn it twice a day until completely dry. The paper will reduce the discoloration and oxidation that it would go through without the paper. Some basil lovers like to dry their herb on a special basil-drying screen and then finish the process by baking it in the oven.

When you are drying basil in the oven you should first remove all the stems from the plant leaves. Then, after tearing the basil leaves into tiny pieces, you can lay the pieces on a baking sheet. The oven should be no higher than 350 degrees to reduce the risk of browning. It should take approximately 7 - 10 for the leaves the thoroughly dry, but it may take less time in electric ovens. You should bake them until they are crumbly, but take them out before they turn brown. If this happens you won't be able to use the basil because of the burnt taste it may have. Once your basil has cooled you want to crumble it up more in order to refine it to how you like it. Another way is to use a sieve to help to thin out the basil leaves.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Happy Weekend!

I'm sitting down this morning visiting blogs with a nice hot cup of coffee and some scrambled cheesy eggs. I LOVE cheesy eggs, don't you?

Quincy! Get your pudgy little butt out of bed!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mocha feels so much better!

I'm so happy to report Mocha looks so good and seems to be feeling so much better today. Sharon, the owner of PAWS gave me medication specific for Irritable Bowel Disease and after three days she was bouncing around, running into the living room (she was so used to never leaving my room) and just bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I am hoping this is a sign of moving onward and upward from here. She will be on the medication for thirty days. Heck if that's how long she will be taking it she might just take off flying! Lol!

Thanks for all your well wishes and thoughts for her. I think most of all it was each of you, with your healing thoughts sent her way, that made her feel better and heal. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!

Also, very quickly. I have been terrible about visiting blogs lately and I'm so, so sorry. I have decided to cut back on posting (so I probably won't be posting daily) since I really would like a day to just visit each and every one of you...and perhaps do some laundry, the dishes, etc. Lol! I will try to post daily but don't be surprised if, the next morning, it's the same post from the day before. You can scream, you can gasp...even throw your hand over your mouth. That might make me feel good. Lol!

Thanks for all of you who are so diligent in visiting me. Now, it's my turn to give back and pay attention to YOU. :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Drying Herbs for a Cozy Cottage

I am thinking of going to the Farmer's Market and buying some fresh organic herbs to dry and jar for the upcoming winter months. Doesn't it all just sound cozy? Then my mind started wandering. A quaint cottage at the edge of a forest where wild herbs and berries grow all around. A refreshing babbling brook nearby. A cobblestone path from the oval topped cottage door meandering towards the forest where the path fades into a dirt road. A wishing well in front of that little cottage, a bucket waiting to be filled. Fresh herbs hanging from the eaves of the roof...the smell of fresh baked apple pie floating from the flower boxed lined windows. Round puffs of billowy smoke emerging from the rustic stone chimney. Yes, this is my dream cottage. *sigh* A place amongst nature where I can hear the welcoming chirps of the birds in the morning to the sweet song of the crickets and frogs that put me to sleep in the evening as I sip a hot cup of chamomile mint tea. Oh yea and about 30 cats. Lol!

Okay snap out of it, Michelle! So, as I was saying...I'd like to dry some herbs and store them in labeled jars and as I was thinking about posting this, I was looking for the perfect pictures to post and found these adorable prints!

These prints are by Lisa Audit. You can see her other prints here. Some of them I'm sure you've already seen but I've never seen the herbs! I might have to buy a set. :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Halloween Blog Party and Little Oliver Update

Hey everyone! Sharon over at Fiberdoodles is hosting a Halloween Blog Party. How fun is THIS gonna be? I can't wait! You can show off your favorite costumes, decorate your blogs with witches, goblins and black cats or anything Halloween-ey. :) Swing on over to Fiberdoodles and get the low down. I'm signed up. Whaddaya waiting for? You will love Sharon's blog! She's a busy gal and yet so down to earth. You can really tell how she appreciates the smaller things in life. :) Thanks for hosting this, Sharon!!

And here's an update on little Oliver. If you remember his story several posts back he was the runt of his litter, was born without his last vertebrae and has no tail. It was touch and go for awhile but this little guy is thriving now and has had so much response as far as adoption goes. We have one family at the top of the list! They will be adopting him very soon and he will be a happy spoiled kitty. No matter what we look like, what we're missing, we are all creatures of God and are beautiful in everyone's eyes!

He's hanging out with the Sherbet twins these days. Lol!

Yay, we're halfway through the week already!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

I mean really...how much chocolate does a girl really need?

If I ever say I need to go to the store and buy chocolate or chocolate chips for baking, can you please just slap me?

Look at the sun shining down on all that beautiful chocolate in all its glory. I mean seriously....I swear I heard this song when I opened this drawer!

Do you like her?

I bought her at the tea house when I took my girlfriend Tami out to tea for her birthday on Saturday. There was something that caught my eye about her......she reminded me of me. It looks like she's daydreaming. :)

Hope you are all having a wonderful long weekend (for those who have a long weekend). I am finally STAYING HOME today. I have been running around all weekend. What else is new? Today, I will get some things done around my place and maybe, just maybe start to craft or write. :)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Julie and Julia

Okay everyone, on a last minute whim my friend Bryan and I went to go see Julie and Julia tonight. I am SO glad I did. What an enchanting movie!! I loved it! I mean, I really had no idea Julia Child was such a happy go lucky lady. She was so positive about everything. And her husband. Oh don't get me started on him. He's my dream husband. LOL! He totally encouraged her all the way with her passion. *sigh* I actually never knew the story of Julie Powell (the gal who started the Julie and Julia blog) and I had no idea that was a real blog! Yes, real! Now I'm going to have to look this story up and read all about it. By the way, here's the link to her blog. She still keeps it up! http://juliepowell.blogspot.com/.

If you haven't seen it yet I encourage you to spend an afternoon with Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. I have to add, Meryl Streep was magnificent as Julia Child. Is she ever not magnificent in a role? She's one of my favorite actresses!

Hope you all are enjoying your Labor Day weekend. Here's something I will leave you with. I have already started writing my ideas down for a book. I'm finally getting back into writing. :) Oh and Mocha is still doing okay. I will try a recipe for her this weekend and see how that goes over. :)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Mocha and homemade cat food?

Mocha could use a few healing thoughts thrown her way these days. She still has her ups and downs with bouts of diarrhea and her irritable little bowel. :( If you all don't know, I did take her in for a full panel of tests and everything came back normal so the only thing the doctor could come up with is Irritable Bowel Disease. From what I read it's a very frustrating thing for both owner and cat! She's still eating and drinking fine..and cleaning herself but she is so in love with plain chicken breast meat. I am thinking of trying my hand at homemade cat food. Have any of you tried this? I know there are vitamins you can buy from the pet store to add to your natural homemade cat food so I am going to start studying up on this and see if I can't come up with a bland diet for my baby girl. *sigh*

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Let's drink to Fall....

The winds have shifted, the frogs have stopped singing and I'm feeling that crisp bite of Autumn in the air. Fall reminds me of nature and connecting with Mother Earth as she subtlety changes her hues to vibrant colors of reds, oranges and yellows. I'm going to my girlfriend's house on Saturday for a visit. We usually cook something up together and I thought it would be fun to make this Autumn Punch by Better Homes and Gardens. Love the flavors!

Autumn Punch


2 teaspoons whole cloves
1/2 of a vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 64-ounce bottle apple-cranberry juice
4 medium purple and/or green plums, pitted and sliced
1 750-ml bottle Gewurztraminer, or other fruity white wine*
Ice cubes


1. Place cloves and vanilla bean in center of a double-thick 6-inch square of 100-percent-cotton cheesecloth. Bring corners of cloth together; tie closed with clean string. Pour apple-cranberry juice into a large container or pitcher. Add plums and spice bag. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours.
2. Remove and discard cheesecloth bag. Stir in Gewurztraminer. Serve beverage and plum slices over ice. (Or omit the ice and heat the juice mixture and wine in a 4-quart Dutch oven until hot. Serve in heatproof mugs.)

*Nonalcoholic Option: Substitute two 12-ounce cans chilled ginger ale for the Gewurztraminer, and serve over ice.

I am actually liking that non-alcoholic version. :)

Let's drink to Fall!

Photo and recipe courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I know it's not October yet, but....

I am getting excited about Halloween! I love decorating for Halloween and I have found at least a couple of things I'd like to make for the holiday. What do you think?

Here is my one big dilemma. Remember my pink seasonal tree? How do I transform that into a Halloween tree? Pink and white candy corn ornaments? Lol! I've seen pink and white candy corn before! Oh and I actually did spot a Thanksgiving tree on the Internet. Had a beautiful turkey on top. I might have to think about that too. :) I vowed I would get back into crafting and I'm going to start this weekend!