Saturday, December 25, 2010

Silver Bells

Silver bells, Silver Bells...soon it will be Christmas Day....

"Silver Bells" is one of my favorite Christmas songs.  I can't sing a lick, but I do love to hear carolers and choirs singing, especially this time of year.

I'm just taking a moment to wish you all Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.  Mr. MoonCat and I had a nice quiet celebration with Dad (and ALL of the critters).  It was lovely, except for the torrential rain..

I hope yours has been full of love and laughter as well.  Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 17, 2010

An Outstanding Last Minute Gift Idea for Readers

If you have readers in your house, undoubtedly books or bookstore giftcards are always favored presents.  I have always loved getting books that someone has specifically chosen for me based on my likes and interests or because they loved a story and wanted to share it with me. 

I wasn't paid to gush, I am not trying to sell you anything or win a contest, I just flat out LOVED THIS BOOK!  I know there are many horse lovers and parents of young horsepeople that follow this blog and I merely wanted to give all of you a hint for a fantastic gift:

Eclipsed by Shadow

I am not going to get into all of the details because a simple click HERE will take you to my wordy and drool-covered review at my book blog, One Book Shy of a Full Shelf.  I almost never rate books a "5 out of 5", but this book could have gone 10 out of 5 for me very easily.  It is extremely well written by a knowledgeable horseman and has already been compared to the Harry Potter series for the adventure and fantasy.  It's one of those books that will pretty much appeal to everyone, whether they love horses or not.  Let me know what you think..

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Feeling the Love

I am so grateful for those lovely readers who have commented and emailed me regarding that last post/rant/scream.  You are wonderful!  It is amazing how much a simple "you're not alone in how you feel" or just plain "you're not alone" can mean to a person ~ to me.  Thank you all so much for being there.

I'm actually feeling a tad bit better and poor Mr. MoonCat is like a little kid about sparkly decorations, so we're going to get with the program and try to cheer it up around here.  He is of the opinion that I will feel even better if I have pretty things to look at.. (If you have seen Chevy Chase's movie "Christmas Vacation", you'll have an idea of what Mr. MoonCat's vision of decorating entails....Mine is closer to the Charlie Brown version.)

Of course, my agreement to go ahead and decorate has now spawned arguments about the tree.  He wants a GIANT tree

while I would prefer a smaller, more manageable tree. 

His theory is that we have a giant ceiling in the great room so we should have the GIANT tree.  My counterpoint is that the big tree will cost 3 times that of the one I like and just because we have the space, doesn't mean we need to fill it! 

Plus, I have a vision of the tree sitting in the lower-ceilinged corner with goodies all around it ~ off of the floor where lions and tigers roam.  I have an old corner tv stand that we're not using similar to the one below:

I think it would be really cute to put the lighted Christmas village on the shelves behind the glass doors.  (It will be much, much safer for the little villagers to be ensconced behind the glass ~ we have large monster kitties that roam freely in this home!)  My stand isn't as nice as the one above, but I think it will do ~ for now... hint, Mr. MoonCat... I like the one above..

So what do you think?  A 12ft-ish tree or a more modest, manageable, magnificent tree of about 4 or 5 feet sitting on a pretty stand with a village nestled below?  Whichever way we go, you know it'll have to be made secure from the ferocious felines...

**Are you getting the impression that everything we do around here comes back to the critters?  How will it affect them?  What kind of destruction and havoc can they wreak?  Gotta love 'em or else....

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ho Hum Holidays

*This is a very negative post that I have a need to write.  You can stop reading it at any time if you choose. 

I usually enjoy the holiday season immensely.  I love to bake and make things for my friends and loved ones, find the perfect presents, and just flat out enjoy myself decorating.

This year I'm finding it really hard to get into the spirit.  We haven't decorated or even got a tree yet.  While I embrace the "reason for the season", I just can't find it in myself to be jolly and happy.  A large part of my heart is missing and I'm not sure if it'll ever heal.

Losing Mom, while expected, has been devastating to me.  She always tried to make the holidays special for all of us and enjoyed them a lot.  It is getting tougher for me as everyone is getting giddier (is that a word?) while I'm feeling more melancholy as the days go on.  Many days I'd like to just stay in bed and pull the covers over my head. 

I'm trying to not pull everyone else down in my funk with me, but I miss her and I won't apologize for that.  It seems like people only want to give you a set amount of time to grieve and then you're supposed to "get on with and over it".  She was my Mom and closest friend, you heartless *******.   (Sorry, but I'm hoping that some of the individuals with this attitude will read this and get the message and let me feel what I need to feel.)

To add to this pain, about a month ago we also lost a much beloved lady who was like another mother to Mr. MoonCat and me.  She was our brother-in-law Chris's mom and a really neat woman.  Nea was wonderful to us and her unexpected death was another sucker punch to all of us.  She and Mom have left major holes in my and Chris's lives, among others.

While at Nea's memorial, our truck decided to break down - 2 hours from home.  Ford is refusing to honor the warranty and the service they performed on it - which didn't fix the problem.  We have already had to shell out $1100 for the first failed attempt at repair with another $1400 (which we don't have) now being demanded before we can get it out of the shop.  We've had to shell out almost $700 in rental car fees because we were stuck and had to get home as well as having no vehicle for our trip.  I'm feeling a major hate for Ford Motor Company right now.  (I already wrote in a previous post about the wreck that occurred while in the tiny little rental car - yet another BAD THING.)

Topping all of this off, we've lost 5 of our dear little chickens in the last two weeks.  As far as we can determine, they contracted chicken pox.  Yes, they get their own disease and the remaining flock has been vaccinated.  So I'm missing my little friends as well as dealing with all of the other blows we've been smashed with lately. 

This has been an excessively rough year around here and it doesn't seem to be letting up. I'm thankful for what and who I do have, but dang it universe - let up on me!  I sure hope 2011 will be a better year for all of us.

Thank you for letting me rant and share, the good and the bad.  I do wish you all very Happy Holidays and I promise to come back soon with some happier animal updates and some pix from our trip to Southern California and Nevada.  We took a lot of photos and I'm slowly getting them sorted out.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

On Vacation

I've been a very bad blogger lately.  I had meant to keep you all updated with timely posts during our much needed and long anticipated vacation, but I have failed ~ yet again! 

So I'm just taking a second to let you know that we're still kicking and having a lovely time.  I'll be doing several posts next week to show you what we've been up to.  (The chickens have much to report from the home front as well :)  Here's a hint as to where we are, have been, and are going....


Til next time...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope our American holiday finds all of you, in whichever part of the world you're in, well and happy today.

My family has a lot to be thankful for this year.  Even though we are lost without Mom this Thanksgiving, we are so grateful that we were able to get to spend that extra time with her before she passed.  The doctors had only given her a few days or weeks to live when we brought her home in January and we were blessed with eight extra months.

Dad and I are especially happy to be here today as we were involved in a traffic accident on Tuesday evening.  We were in a rental car (my truck was in the shop) driving back to the ranch when a van ran a stop sign and drove directly in front of us.  I stood on the brakes, but had nowhere to go as there was a car to the right of me and a curb on the left.  The fact that it had been raining all day and the roads were wet didn't help the situation.  The tiny little Ford Fiesta that we were in is no more.  It did what it was supposed to and protected Dad and I by crumpling up around us instead of into us. 

We are both pretty sore and banged up, but are very much alive to tell about it.  The ironic thing is that a few minutes before the wreck we had been discussing how uncomfortable we were in the minuscule little car.  Dad and I both drive big Ford F250 pick-ups and don't feel especially safe in smaller vehicles.  I was comparing this car to the one Fred Flintstone drove where he could put his foot out to stop it.  Thank you little Fiesta...

BIG (probably politically incorrect - BUT I DON'T CARE) RANT ALERT!  Of course, being that this is California - the driver WHO BROKE THE LAW is unlicensed, had NO ID and is here ILLEGALLY.  The police could only give him a citation and let him leave the scene, with the SIX little kids that he had in the van with him.  THAT I am NOT thankful for.  He almost killed Dad and I and put all those little kids in extreme danger and he just toodles on his merry, LAW IGNORING way.  While we, as law-abiding, tax-paying CITIZENS, have to make arrangements for a now totalled rental car, have to find a ride home, and then take care of all of the LEGALITIES and FINANCIAL ramifications of being in an accident/CRIME VICTIMS - PLUS we both hurt like HELL.  Our state is so messed up, it is scary.  We have no rights or protections.  Sorry about the rant and if it offends you, but these are the facts and it just hit me while I was trying to share how grateful I am that I am also pretty pissed and sore today.

OK, back to the reason for this post.  I truly am thankful for my loving husband, for my family and all of our health.  I am grateful for hubby's job and that we are well-provided for.  I am grateful that we will be spending this afternoon with my Dad and Mr. MoonCat's parents who are up visiting for the holiday.  I am thankful that they are all relatively healthy and that we are all together.  I am grateful for all that I have, my family and friends, my most beloved animals and their health, and most definitely, ALL OF YOU.  Please be happy and safe.

And to end on a light note, my chickens would like you all to know that THEY are thankful to live here at MoonCat Farms and that they are not TURKEYS!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fall Fix-Ups

I'm sorry to disappoint you if you thought I was going to talk about fixing up single people with other singletons.  The topic de jour is actually fixing up our bathroom!

Much to the dismay of the ever tolerant Mr. MoonCat, I've decided to make some changes with our very blah guest bathroom.  It has blank beige walls, beige tile, and plain boring fixtures.  It is a snooze..

I tend to get into the "spring cleaning" mode in the Fall and it usually includes some type of refurnishing/rearranging.  Since we can't paint, one of the first additions we're implementing is bathroom shelving.  I looked at several places locally as well as online and have narrowed it down to the following choices:

So which do you prefer?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What I See Wednesday

Here's a bunch of photos of the chickens.  We've added a big red rooster to the flock.  A friend of the family dropped him off at the ranch for Dad.  Only problem was that Dad's little banty (bantam) roosters were beating up the big guy.  He's pretty much a gentle giant, poor thing :)  He had to learn his place in the flock quickly here too as Stella immediately whooped on him too!  You don't mess with the alpha hen around here!

Red hen close-up

Big Red and his harem

Playing in the water
Big Red shows the girls the way

Thelma finds a tidbit
My pet

My lap full of chickens
Stella gets up close and personal

Big Red's a beauty

Pretty feathers

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Another Conquest for Swifty & Cattle Sorting

Mr. MoonCat's horse Swifty has yet another admirer......

Does this photo make
my nose look BIG?
He really is a looooooooong horse
A couple of weeks ago the hubby's folks stayed a few days with us and we dragged them along to a cattle sorting with us and my Dad.  Mr. MoonCat talked his own Dad into getting up on Swifty for a few photos.  They got along really well and make quite the pair don't they?  ~Mr. MoonCat took these photos so Swifty can't blame me for the big nose shot... :)

So now I'm thinking we need to get the hubby's Mom up on Swifty too!  We'll have to work on that when they come up to see us again at the end of the month...

Here are some other photos from the cattle sorting that day:

Everyone waiting for their turn

Mr. MoonCat & Swifty calmly strolling
Moi & Fella not so much

The hat's on backwards....
he must be seriously concentrating

Dad and Petey sorting the!

Sorry, no action shots of me this time.  But..I did end up placing 5th out of 102 teams!!  Not bad for a rusty old fat woman and a rather hyper horse :)  We had a lot of fun that day surrounded by family, friends, and furry creatures.  Great food finished off an almost perfect day.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday Selections

Delicious autumn!
My very soul is wedded to it,
and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth
seeking the successive autumns.
~George Eliot

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Wave from Wedgie

I spent the last few days helping Dad at the ranch.  For once I remembered to take my camera so I could update all of Wedgie's fans with a couple of new photos.  It is hard to believe the little poop is already 5 months old!  As you can tell, he and Dad's dog Adolph are the best of friends.  They play together all the the time.

Do you have grain for me?

Here I come..

Can you see me now?

Wedgie chasing Adolph?

Adolph resting after the race

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloweenish Television

I decided to honor Halloween by sharing some of my all-time favorite scary TV shows with all of you.  While most of these shows are classics, we have a few "newer" entries on the list as well. I know many of you will have never heard of a couple of these, but they are well worth "digging up" to watch.  I remember staying up late on weekends to get a good fright with my best friend.  Some of these oldies but goodies still give me goosebumps today!

Now, turn on all the lights in the house and be sure to have someone handy to grab ahold of as we delve into some of television's spookiest offerings..

The Twilight Zone "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet"

This episode has stuck with me since I was a kid, especially when I had to fly one night during a storm with lightning crackling all around us.  I had my own little "nightmare at 20,000 feet!"

William Shatner played Bob Wilson, a salesman who sees a gremlin on the wing of the plane he's flying in.  No one else sees it or believes him.  Bob's wife is beginning to think that Bob is having another nervous breakdown.  Bob grabs a gun from a cop on the plane and pops the emergency exit door open and shoots the gremlin, almost getting sucked to his own death.  After the plane lands, Bob is hauled back to the sanitarium but the camera pans to the engine of the plane, showing the damage the gremlin did before they landed. 

This gave me the willies big time.  Though this first episode aired in the early 60s, they did a remake in 1983 for the Twilight Zone movie with John Lithgow playing Bob Wilson.  Both versions were quite creepy.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer "Hush"

This was probably the freakiest episode of Buffy and is probably tied with the episode above for my favorite in this list.  I love this show, but I didn't really think of this series as necessarily scary, but it had its moments.  "Hush" from the 4th season is at the top of my Buffy list for the spine-tingling "ooh factor".  Imagine the lyrics below in a sweet little girl's voice:

Can't even shout, can't even cry,
The gentlemen are coming by.
Looking in windows, knocking on doors.
They need to take seven and they might take yours.
Can't call to mom, can't say a word.
You're gonna die screaming but you won't be heard.

"Hush" was one of Joss Whedon's (I am in awe of this man) masterpieces of terror.  The "Gentlemen" come in at night and steal the voices of the sleeping residents of Sunnyvale.  They are demons intent on taking seven of their victims' hearts.  The entire episode is done without ANY dialogue!  I think that just made it even freakier, those being preyed upon couldn't even scream...ugh..

The Gentlemen
The X-Files "Home"

This ultra-creepy episode aired at the beginning of the fourth season of this blockbuster series.  It was especially freaky because it was one of those shows that could possibly happen instead of just being pure sci-fi.  The premise is that a backwoods family named the Peacocks has been producing children with birth defects due to inbreeding and incest.  Murder, mayhem, and just plain scary people are the basis of this episode. 

The Peacocks bury one of their children
Tales From the Crypt "And All Through the House"

Directed by the amazing Robert Zemeckis and airing in 1989, this was a remake of the segment in the 1972 movie starring Joan Collins.  A woman kills her husband out of greed and is then rewarded by a visit from a slightly psychotic Santa who just happens to be an escapee from the sanitarium.  Merry Christmas and Happy Halloween..

And in the Honorable Mention category we have:

Alfred Hitchcock Presents (he will always be the master)
Twin Peaks (creepy night-time soap)
Fear Factor (just disgustingly gross)
Tales From the Dark Side (the title says it all)
Outer Limits (Rod Serling was a genius of the absurd)
Supernatural (how could a gal NOT want to follow these two brothers)

I hope you've enjoyed my list of TV's finest fright fests and will share any nominees you might have with all of us. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I Fell Off the Wagon

Well, I didn't quite make it to the end of the month!  I failed to blog every day here at MoonCat Farms for Blogtoberfest.  Ah well, I'll try to do better.  In my defense, I've been hecka busy riding my horse and working on this overly cluttered house (1st thing fun, 2nd thing yuck).  We ended up having our yard sale last weekend and I'm still trying to figure out what things are going to the hospice thrift store.  They were so wonderful to Mom and us that I wanted to do what we could to help their organization.

I hadn't planned on blogging yesterday anyway as it would have been Mom's 73rd birthday.  It is still unreal that she's not here with us, I miss her terribly.  I have good days and bad days.  The weird thing is that it is the little, seemingly insignificant things that get me.  Silly things such as wanting to gossip with her about the latest episode of "All My Children" or telling her about the newest trick the chickens have learned.  It's tough, but I take comfort in the fact that she is no longer in pain.

We have a full weekend ahead of us as we're participating in a cattle sorting today and we have Mr. MoonCat's folks here visiting.  If we get done in time, we're hoping to meet my best friend and her family for dinner and then watch her oldest play football tonight.  He's one of the stars of the teams, playing offense AND defense!

Tomorrow we're having brunch with Dad, Cindy & Chris joining the four of us.  I will be testing several recipes from a great new cookbook I was sent to review on my other blog.  Yummy!

Enjoy your weekend my friends.

Monday, October 18, 2010

My Movie Kick

I have been on a movie kick lately.  Usually it's Mr. MoonCat who is the one who can watch a movie or two a day.  We don't get cable out here in the boondocks and have a whopping 6 channels on free TV.  So our solution is Netflix or Redbox (especially since our video rental stores have ALL went under).

I tend to find all sorts of obscure and foreign films to check out when I'm browsing their  online sites.  My latest gem was the British film Twelfth Night.  Yes, as in Shakespeare!  It was hilarious and I loved it!  Helena Bonham Carter is one of my favorite "oddball" actresses and Sir Ben Kingsley is such a fantastic surprise in this movie, especially when he sings! The man has a wonderful voice.  A very enjoyable film.

Twelfth Night

So have you watched any really good movies lately?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday Selections

I'm only a cat,

and I stay in my place...

Up there on your chair,

on your bed or your face!
I'm only a cat,

and I don't finick much...

I'm happy with cream

and anchovies and such!

I'm only a cat,

and we'll get along fine...

As long as you know

I'm not yours... you're all mine!

~ author unknown

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Saturday Sweetness - Rum Balls

Yummy treat for the upcoming holidays..

This is a recipe from the ultra-amazing Emeril Lagasse for Food Network.  I've had it for several years and it is always a big hit.  Check it out..

  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 cup dark rum
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 1/2 cups finely crushed vanilla wafers
  • 1 cup finely chopped, toasted walnuts

In large bowl, sift 1 cup of the confectioners' sugar, cocoa powder and allspice. Stir in rum and corn syrup. Stir in vanilla wafers and walnuts, mix well. Place in refrigerator to firm up slightly, about 30 minutes. (The mixture may appear crumbly and dry; this is O.K.)

Place remaining 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar in a shallow bowl.

Using a tablespoon, scoop out portions of the chocolate mixture and press into 1-inch balls. Using your hands, roll the balls in the confectioners' sugar, coating evenly.

Place on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, placing waxed paper between the layers to prevent sticking.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Half Way There!

I've made it to the half-way mark in my posting for October.  Blogtoberfest is keeping us all hopping coming up with new posts.  It wasn't quite as hard last year as I was only worried about blogging here at the Meanderings.  With the addition of One Book Shy, it's a stretch some days.  Hopefully, you'll all stay with me as I try to complete this challenge on both blogs this year.  Happy Blogtoberfest!