Saturday, October 30, 2010

Recipe for Pepper Delight

                                           Pepper Delight
One cardboard box
 one stuffed mouse
 one small Pepper
 one wool carpet

the "Hunt" is on...
fierce jungle behaviour ensues

swift movements
dexterity of paws
result in 
the capture

one tired victor
one mouse defeated

These cat and mouse games continued for hours
on and off
between short cat naps
 until she crashed
beside me on the couch!

I remember many days when my babies would play at my feet on the kitchen floor 
wooden spoons
pots and pans
tupperware containers

the floor was littered with kitchenalia

exploration ensued
small things put into larger things
larger things were pushed into smaller things
they didn't fit

spoons and pots became a drum set
first noise...
then a rythmn
 and music is born

such sweet memories
 observing their learnng 
of space relations
and math skills

I had no idea back then what I was facilitating
it just felt right

we were all in the kitchen together "working"
I was able to keep them safe and snug
I was snooper-vising

just as I am today
Pepper is darting about the kitchen
mouse is running for her life
Pepper is in hot pusuit!

Hugs from the Hostess

Purrfectly happy Pepper
Chirruping from here!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Special delivery....and our Pepper

         My pre-ordered books from amazon finally arrived

I am reading Savvy Chic at the moment

I am enjoying her writing style...
and she shares some good ideas...
minimalist wardrobing
vintage garments
chic uncluttered leather bags
cooking simple elegant meals and entertaining strategies
luxe for less
creative and dramatic decor choices that add glam and suggest wealth
as in "old money"
and much more...

I hope to finish this tomorrow 
in time to jump into 

The Bag Lady Papers

I have wanted to read this book ever since I saw the Town and Country magazine with an article on Alexandra Penney...
she had all her investment "eggs in one basket"
 and lost them all
she tells us what it felt like to lose everything 
and how she survived this devastating personal crisis...

I have a sneaky feeling this is going to be good!

and peeking out of her bed
our new kitten 

our Bungalow looks quite dishevelled these days
look here at Janet's lovely cottage

I am going to live with some dust and disorder 
 focus on reading
and some serious tea drinking...
and I will just turn a blind eye for a few days...

I wonder how long I can last
how long can you ignore dust bunnies and chaos?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

weeknight dinner party...and the kitten's still nameless!

It's a weeknight worknight dinner party
sometimes it just has to be scheduled that way
family have travelled many miles to be here
they are on a tight schedule 
have lots to do and people to see...
so why not have a weeknight dinner party?

I am making things ahead so that I can relax and enjoy the visit

pull out a great cookbook
peruse over a mug of tea
decide on the possibilities
make a grocery list


I am serving this chocolate cake with a small dollop of whipping cream
for dessert

shrimp cocktails to start

and the main dish

prep the night before 

 cookbook image

I am serving an heirloom tomato with goat cheese and basil leaf salad
and a loaf of bread

all I need to do is set the table
the main dish takes 60 minutes in the oven
not too much fussing about
time and space to breathe

 the kitten's name search has been interesting 
and challenging
we have only had her here in the Bungalow for a few days
and are still observing her habits

she has the most adorbale sound 
a chirrup
she chirrups at the birds
 chases her own tail around and around in circles, then collapses
her favourite toy is a clump of feathers on a string dangling from a wand
she leaps, jumps and pounces 
it's tiring work!

we have narrowed down the names to Pepper and Tabitha...
I like Twiggy too.

Pepper would work because she is fast and feisty
Tabitha as she is a tabby 
Twiggy because she is tiny 
but as Mr. HB pointed out...
she will grow so that name might not suit her as she matures.

what do you think?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Introducing our new Bungalow kitten....

I have been very busy tending to our new kitten.
She is a curious and energetic little girl.

Capturing images on my camera has proven to be quite a challenge...she moves about so fast that many of the pictures have been a blur...for every 10 I have taken maybe 1 has been clear!

 inside our wine rack

a bit of a blur here
please ignore the dust!

my recycling basket

we put up some plywood as a temporary gate
to keep her contained in the kitchen and family room
our Bungalow has a very open plan so we have few rooms that we can close off

and kittens being curious can get into mischief

I spent most of yesterday playing with her and tending to her needs
it was such a warm and cozy afternoon with her on my lap
she'd wake up, open her eyes look at me and then purr
such a lovely feeling
snuggled up

tuckered out after playing

you can see just how tiny she is at
9 weeks old

she slept in her new bed and did not cry in the night
I had
my maternal ear open just in case...

I got up early this morning to feed her 
she leapt and ran around the kitchen for an hour and a bit,
played with her toys and has fallen fast asleep
in the wine rack!

I am predicting busy days with our new kitten
and is very affectionate
and loves attention.

we are still getting a name has not been chosen just yet...
I appreciate all your suggestions
and welcome more...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

the phone rang...

the phone rang...
and it was good news!

I've been on a buying spree...

anyone who saw me shopping could tell I was on a mission
"mission possible"

there are a lot of tacky cat things lurking about in shops
I tried to be a savvy shopper
I only want the best for my new kitten
I hope that I have chosen wisely...

non skid bowls
kittens like to play
let's keep the food and water stable!

a perch
to look out the window
and see the hummingbirds as they drink at the feeder
a bobble
to bat about
and a carpet clad post to claw the way to the top!

a scratching pad
please use this instead of the leather loveseats...

a washable micro fiber bed

a feather on a string toy
add kitty litter, food, and love
we are so ready...

she will make her debut tomorrow...
not a coming out party or a debutante's ball
no spread in Country Life magazine

I will be picking her up from the vetrinarian's clinic
her story is heart wrenching...
she was found clinging to the body of her recently deceased mother's body
her brother too...
 3 weeks old in farmers field
her brother did not survive even with the expert care of the vets and technicians
she is a fighter and has captured the love and hearts of all who have bottle fed, nursed and cared for her...
they are sad to see her go
they shed tears
(I've seen them)
she has tugged on their heart strings
she may tug at yours
she's a charmer!

I promised that I will be emailing pictures to the crew regularly...
they have such devotion, love and efforts to save and tend for those whose futures look bleak

I would encourage you to donate to a local animal rescue organization
money, time, a gift for their fundraising drive...

I might not sleep much tonight....
I am like a nervous mom in labour...
tomorrow all will be changed

Pepper is the favourite name so far
thank you staircase witch

I'll need to have some time to see what kind of personality she has...
and will decide on her name...
Pepper does sound like a spunky, sure footed puss, with just the right amount of sass!

Happy days...
hugs all round!

smiling from here...:)

not so patiently waiting....for the phone to ring

Do you ever find that you are impatient?
My experience in motherhood and working with special needs children in schools has taught me patience.

I am feeling restless...excited, and I want the phone to ring.
and I don't want to hear the voice of a telemarketer on the other end.

I'll give you a hint...

if all goes according to plan
I'll need to find a name...

we are ready for another cat...

our beloved cat Stickley at 18 years +
taken on her last day here in the Bungalow
summer  2010

she was such a great cat
I miss her quirky habits
and there's no one running to greet me at the door when I get home
the house has felt "empty" too long

we have found a kitten
and completed the adoption papers
and are waiting to hear...

Here's a challenge...
what would you name a tortoiseshell tabby?

I'm all ears...
(and still waiting for the phone to ring....)

I hope it's good news...

Friday, October 22, 2010

T.G.I.F. and a few random snippets...

 I am so looking forward to some R and R this about you?

I hope to sleep late, read, and go for some walks...the weather has been very mild and is so conducive for strolling.
The leaves are warm shades of seasonal autumnal colours and the air is cool and crisp.

A "much younger" co worker showed me this video
and it made me smile...maybe you'll like it too.

I follow Deja Pseu's blog and this morning she posted a how to tutorial on scarf tying...
watch it here

and one last snippet...

a hostess gift 
I received this from a friend who recently dined here in the Bungalow

 a felted bar of soap
so pretty
I am not ready to use this just yet

I wonder where creative minds get their ideas
I never would have thought of this!

What are your weekend plans?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Anticipation and dreaming...

Did you ever go on a vacation that made you want to return....
again and again?

We do not travel far afield...
as boat owners we cruise on the water
our boat is our home, it is our waterfront accommodaton.
I cook, Mr. HB is the King of the BBQ...
we kayak, catch crabs, swim, read, play crib and adhere to a simple basic routine.

Once every few years we break loose and travel a bit farther...
Pasadena, Disneyland, Rancho Mirage, San Francisco...and some years we stay close...

Tony Bennett sang about this parents had their honeymoon here...
I can hardly believe they had an entire blissful MONTH honeymooning this city.
That was back in the early1950's....
they stayed at the home of a friend and borrowed a sleek black Cadillac to see the sights.

I wish you could see the look on my mother's face when she tells me about their adventures...she misses my father so much...but when she shares these memories it's as if he's alive again....her eyes sparkle, and I think they are peppered with tears.

Stories of exclusive dinner clubs that they were able to dine at because they were guests of a member...
my mother still gets emotional when she tells me about The Mark Hopkins Hotel...

martinis and her LBD
I have seen the pictures and she is svelte and chic...and wearing a hat and gloves!

Fisherman's Wharf was a highlight...
(if you enlarge this image you'll see The Mayflower!)

pasta dinners at the Italian Club...
(which we could not find when we visited)

My father was very much alive when Mr. HB and I left for our SF experience...
we had my parents advice and that of Trip Advisor...
either of which has ever steered us wrong...
our fine accommodation and eaterys were based on posts by travellers who cared to share and whose comments aided in planning our itinerary.

I highly recommend researching your destination and all of the finer points...
We have benefited by others' experiences and have wasted no time on lesser venues.

We are in the planning stages of arranging a vacation in our favourite spot not too far from where we's on a rugged expanse of coastline edging the Pacific Ocean...
it is RUSTIC!
It's been there since the 1940's and still going strong....
some newer cabins and a small dining room which serves wonderful meals.
The addition of private hot tubs on the decks of each cabin and plush white terry robes add a welcome perk ensuring relaxation and languidity.

The thunderous waves crashing on the beach sound on the incoming tide...we leave the curtains open, and sleep on the sumptuous mattress with the cozy down duvet floating and cocooning our slumber....
such sweet dreams!

This is living phones, wireless, or TV...
a one room cabin with a kitchenette, bar fridge, fireplace, bathroom and shower with a hot tub on the deck...views to the south show us glimpses of Washington State and the Olympic penninsula...
we bring out binoculars, and expectations of greatness...
we explore the beaches at our leisure...and rarely see another guest about...
we smell the smoke from the fires burning and see the smoke from the chimneys.

The restaurant has windows for walls and binoculars sit atop each table...fresh salal and flowers in vases, not "arranged" their simple form naturally beautiful. Crisp white tablecloths, linen napkins, china and clear crystal goblets all shimmer in candlelight and set the tone...beyond the vast Pacific Ocean is all one can see for miles from  the treetops and rugged might see lights from the freighters as they navigate the shipping lanes...hugging the coast.
At dinner we rub elbows and exchange pleasantries with others in the small restaurant but other than that it is a quiet place...a place for solace, restoration and rejuvenation. The tables are small and encourage a closeness, the lights are dim and there is no music, there's a vibration of energy, eyes twinkle, wine glasses clink, food is savoured and spoons are passed between couples as they share tasty bites...soft conversation, gossamer whispers flutter...the wait staff are attentive, discreet and efficient. The courses are paced and is a feast for all almost anticipates....
(I have often thought of it as a honeymoon hideaway)

Today I received the confirmation of our dates for the Spring and inside was a new feature...a SPA service available....for couples in the comfort of your private cabin....hmm has me thinking that a massage for two might be in order...or maybe not...the stillness and closeness might be marred if the door is opened to a stranger.

As this spot has become so popular bookings need to be made months in advance...last year we could not go because it was fully booked by early December for the following 5 this year I booked early...and now have a few months to plan...simple fare, write my list of what to bring...bees wax pillar candles...some nice wine, bath salts, Scrabble or a crib board...books, magazines...hey there's lots of time...but I am already excited!

Do you have a favourite spot...a stay-cation,  destination or exotic vacation?

Should you desire information on this secret spot please email me personally as I will not be advertising it...or my future stays here would certainly be jeopardized!