Meet the Cats

I'd like to introduce my crazy cats. Jack, who when not taking naps is bent on the destruction of my apartment, and probably world domination. The extra toes help him out in that arena. He really is very cute, he likes to ride around on shoulders, play fetch, hide in dark caves (boxes), make dolphin noises at birds, eat raisins, and terrorize his big sister Mia. Fortunately he's starting to mellow a little. Phew!

He was rescued through a fab group of people who foster cats and get them ready to be adopted. Some day when I have a big house I'm gonna' foster kitties too! Foster programs are such good programs that should be supported and appreciated! Breaks my heart how many cats need homes and care.

Mia I adopted a while ago 3 1/2 years ago give or take. She used to be this tiny little squirrel cat, her tail was bigger than the rest of her body! At some point a long the way she discovered food. Poor little kitty hates diets! We still love her and her floofly-ness though. Mia likes to womp on Jack, play tag with her people and prefers her toys to be marinated in Catnip. Also soft blankets make for a happy kitty.

Mia was rescued the old fashioned way, a friend of a friend of a friend found two sad little kittens who lost their mother and needed good homes. I mean how can you say no to that gray fuzzy love?

Bird List

I may not have a big window or nice porch to watch my bird feeder from but that doesn't keep me from peering out my window like a kid in a candy store. "Ooo honey! look!" Or from trying to take pictures with my finicky digital camera through my dirty windows!

My main source of all bird knowledge is from my mother. "Hey mom, there's this bird with these markings, what is it? " I also suggest for those without an encyclopedic mother is this website Cornell Lab of Ornithology . Its a great source for all things bird.

Thus far the bird list includes:
Dark-eyed junco (slate colored)
Dark-eyed junco (white winged)
Black-capped Chickadee
Northern Cardinal
House Finch
House Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow

The Robins are very exciting to see, they flock together in the winter, we think they must be Canadian Robins,I never normally see them during the winter. Very cool!

Birds of a Feather...

This past spring (2008) I bought a bird feeder with anti squirrel mechanisms. Muahahaha. Very nice indeed, though it was soon shown up my my mothers bird feeder that also discourages larger birds from (crows, blue jays) from stealing all the yummy seed. Anyway much to my chagrin most of the birds that showed up were starlings, and their talent for devouring food should be legendary!

Upside was that the feeder attracted two pairs of cardinals, chickadees, wrens, blue jays etc. By the time fall came around I stopped filling the feeder, the rate of starlings emptied it was just not cost effective!

Anyway I've started feeding the birds again and it took most of a month for the starlings to find my back yard! Its been a lot of fun to watch the birds with my cats, having trees and bushes in the yard has really helped encourage day-long bird activity. The juncos and wrens hang out in the grapevine and berry bushes in between eating. Cute! I think next on my list is binoculars for increased bird identification accuracy!

Apple Crumb Pie

This is my apple crumb top pie from October, when I had an overflow of apples. This was so yummy that I made it again for x-mas dinner at my parents house. It should be noted that this was before I cut wheat/gluten from my diet so it was not allergy friendly! But I think it could be easily converted to wheat free.

Everyone seems to enjoy crumbly brown sugar goodness with their apples. There isn't an official recipe, seeing as how it was a conglomeration of pie recipes. Also I haven't experimented with any gluten free pie dough mixes, but its on that foodie to-do list.

I don't have any proportions, this was made with a variety of sweet orchard apples, and the second time with granny smiths.

Apples peeled & cut 6-10? depending on size
1 lemon
1/2 cup white sugar
brown sugar
oat meal
cold butter 1 stick
couple of tablespoons flour ( g/f all purpose flour)

toss the apples with lemon juice, white granulated sugar, and cinnamon
prepare 1 pie crust for bottom of pie pan
about a cup or more oat meal, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutme, flour, cube the butter and fork it into the oatmeal mixture making crumbs, make sure its enough for a good layer on the top

spread crumbs over apples in pie pan, bake for 40 minutes at 350 -yum