Saturday, July 31, 2010

Just Too Cute

"It's tough life for a busy kitten"
"How nice of Pops to provide me with a kitty bed!"

Just had to share the kitty cuteness from the ranch.  This little guy has pretty much taken over the place, including one of the hats that got left within his reach.  He follows Adolph the dog around everywhere and likes to nap beside him - anywhere.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Shutterfly Card Giveaway

I have been a Shutterfly user since about 2005.  I have used them for many of my business needs as well as personal projects.  All of my wedding photos were printed by them along with the many enlargements we have hanging on the walls.

One of my favorite and so far, most important projects that I entrusted to Shutterfly was the Thank You Cards from our wedding.  The process was amazingly simple:  I uploaded my image, chose the card style, made my edits, and then placed the order following their simple, step-by-step instructions.  This is what I ended up with:

(sorry for my crooked photo :)

Pretty neat huh?  Thank you cards aren't all you can create with Shutterfly.  They have an amazing assortment of high quality cards that you can personalize with your own photos.  Holiday Cards, Christmas Photo Cards, and Save the Date Cards are just a few of the choices.  Be sure to check out their site to see what you can come up with!

 I am very pleased to have been chosen as one of the bloggers to be able to share a special giveaway with my readers.  TWO lucky MoonCat Farms readers will each win 10 12 Free Photo Cards from Shutterfly.  You can choose to make 12 of one card, 1 each of 12 cards, you decide! Just choose a favorite photo (or 20), upload them, and you're on your way to some gorgeous cards.

To enter this contest, you must be a follower of this blog.  Then simply leave a comment below and you're entered!  It's that simple.  It would be cool if you could tell me if you're familiar with Shutterfly or what kinds of cards you think you'd choose if you're one of the winners.  Not required, just nosy me again..

Contest ends Monday, August 9th.  Good luck!

*Shutterfly has contacted me and they won't be providing 10 cards per winner. 
They are giving each winner:..... 12 FREE PHOTO CARDS!
Thank you to our friends at!!!

Disclosure:  I received sample photo cards from Shutterfly in exchange for my honest review.  Shutterfly is supplying the two winners with their prizes.  All opinions are 100% MINE.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What I See Wednesday

My .70 cent lemon tree - thriving!
My hydrangeas drying in the "man cave"
Looks kinda pretty like that!

Happy little red flower

hummingbird feeder that refuses to hang level
becomes a stand feeder
Daisy-like blooms
Just one of the girls

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Christmas Shopping in July

I am one of those people who like to have their Christmas shopping done by, oh say Halloween?  I hate the last minute rushing during the holidays.  It drives me nuts.  I want to be able to enjoy myself (and let's be honest, buy things for myself since I'm not having to shop for others at this time of year...)  Hello sales!

So I have been spending a lot of time shopping creatively online lately.  Being home with Mom makes it hard for me to run around and find the things that I want for my family and friends. 

Today I'm looking at knives on a neat site I just found called The Knife Depot.  Mr. MoonCat and Dad are both most likely going to end up with something sharp and pointy in their stockings.  ~ Good thing neither of them pays much attention to what I write on a daily basis.  If you are on here today, you're getting and pointy sticks..

For Mr. MoonCat, I'm looking at a folding knife like this one:
Pops is probably going to get a pocket knife similar to the one below:

Mrs. MoonCat is most likely going to get this beauty:
The handle is made of 100% post consumer "Paperstone".  Practical and pretty - I must have it. :)  See how easy it is to get off track when shopping for gifts for others.  But in my's my birthday.  So look to the right to see what I'm getting myself.....he he

 A little vocabulary lesson ~ I do enjoy words after all
  • knives is the plural of knife
  • knifes is the act of stabbing or knifing someone
Just so you know....

New Name for a Wedgie

What is it? What is it?
The names everyone came up with were amazing! You all are very creative. We'll have to put it out there again next time we have a baby to name..So without further ado......

Introducing: Phantom Sunday Gambler

The winner of the horse-themed prize is LemonVerbenaLady! She came up with Phantom which is such a perfect description of his little face. The group played with it until Phantom Sunday Gambler came out of the brainstorming.  Of course, Pops promptly declared "I don't care what you put on the papers, I'm still calling him "Wedgie".

The winner of the random drawing for the notecards is: Susan!

Congratulations to you both and thank you all for joining in on the fun. Be sure to stay tuned as we have a BIG giveaway from CSN Stores later this week! It's one you won't want to miss.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Truth About Frogs and Toads

Many people think that frogs and toads are the same creature.  While they are both classified as amphibians, they are two distinct animals. 

Mr Toad and Froggie
A few facts about FROGS:
  • Must live near a source of water
  • Their skin is moist and smooth, it appears to be slimy
  • Their back legs are longer, allowing them to jump much higher than toads
  • Many have suction-cup type webbed toes which allow them to swim and cling to walls and other vertical or smooth objects
  • Their eyes are higher on their heads and tend to be more round-shaped
  • Their nose and body is usually more narrow than the toad's
Frog living in hose reel

Frog climbing up wall
Little frog on my finger

A few facts about TOADS:
  • Can live in drier, more arid areas without being close to water
  • Their skin is much drier than a frog's
  • They usually have bumps that are rough to the touch on their skin
  • Toads don't do much jumping, instead they do a waddling run or take tiny hops
  • Toads walk on shorter, stubbier legs than frogs
  • The eyes on toads sit lower on their head and are more almond-shaped than a frog's
A different Baby Toad
Baby Toad
Yet another little Toad
These photos are all from my garden and yards.  We are very lucky to have the right conditions for these little guys to hang around and try to help us with our bug populations.  We have several color variations of both the toads and the frogs.  The little green frogs that live in my plants on the front porch are so fast that I have a hard time catching them on film. 

I try to make it very hospitable for both of these little tailless amphibians to live comfortably at MoonCat Farms.  I have lots of overturned old pots that are half-buried in shady spots for the toads to burrow into and under when it's hot.  The frogs enjoy some shallow pans of water with pebbles that I have in the shade on the front porch near their potted plant homes.

It's always quite the experience when I'm watering.  I have to watch where I put my feet as we have a lot of little helpers at MoonCat Farms.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Stork aka Dork Brought Us Chickens

Look what showed up at MoonCat Farms yesterday:

Baby Chicks!!  18 of them....
I need to put this out there so people won't think that besides being a crazy cat lady, I am also a crazy chicken lady.  I planned on starting our chicken farming experience with SIX hens/pullets.  As in 1/2 of a dozen, at least half-grown.  THE MAN aka. Mr. MoonCat is the CRAZY one who brought 18 (actually 19) baby chicks home for his wife to raise.  Gotta love the big guy.. 

The Midge
We need to note that these will end up being pets with names as we are raising them for eggs, not meat.  From the captions on some of the photos, you can see we've already started with the process. 

Thelma or Louise
Baby Chook
from l-r: Ameraucana, Rhode Island Red (2), White Leghorn, Plymouth Barred Rock
I was originally getting Ameraucanas, Rhode Island Reds, and BROWN Leghorns.  All three of these lay different colored eggs:  Ameraucanas blue/green/pink eggs, Rhode Island Reds brown eggs, and the Leghorns lay white or creamy eggs.  Mr. MoonCat got 2 of the 3 right. 

Actually the main reason I wanted any color but WHITE Leghorns is because the white chickens tend to be easy targets for predators.  Since we have a cover over the entire chicken run and coop area, that shouldn't be an issue (we hope).  The Plymouth Barred Rock weren't in the running and I think those are our "free" birds. 

Aren't they cute? (for now)
Now, I'll tell you why it is actually 19 chicks not 18 as we thought or have pictured, but before PETA or some other organization attacks - the hubby had no idea how many chicks were in the box - this was an accident and he was horrified. 

My dad's friend runs the feed store and stashed a bunch of extra (as in, unknown number of) chicks in with hubby's 10 chicks that he bought.  Great, except that Chick #19 was found under the backseat of the pickup today.  She'd apparently got out of the box in transit and stowed away.  She was alone in the HOT truck from early yesterday afternoon until late today.  Mr MoonCat called me frantically from the gas station to tell me he had a baby chick that needed immediate attention.  He'd heard a strange chirping over the radio and couldn't figure out what it was until he stopped for gas!

So, #19 now known as HeartyGirl was rushed home to mama where I gave her sugar water and fussed over the tiny little thing for a few hours.  As soon as I got her pecking at the water dish and taking little drinks, she seemed to revive pretty quickly.  When I placed her in the pen she happily started pecking around with the others.  I made sure she found the water before I left her to it.  When I went out to put the babies in the coop for the night, she seemed to be doing well.

Hopefully she will have a complete recovery from her ordeal.  I don't know about poor Mr. MoonCat though as he has called three times to check on her since he left the house.   The big softie actually thought he could raise these babies for meat as well as eggs :)

enjoying the outside pen

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

CSN Stores - Porkchop Approved!

Porkchop posing upon a purple platter
(now say it 3 times fast)
This is a post about CSN Stores, not Porkchop.  He just wanted to be in the middle of things - just as he is in the middle of his dinner dish in the above photo.

Porkchop and I've dealt with CSN Stores a few times this past year and have nothing but great things to say about them.  I recently received a gift certificate from CSN Stores in order to do a review of something from their Pet Products line. I chipped in a bit of my own cash and ordered two items that I have had my eyes on for a while.

The first product would be this great Smart Cat Ultimate Scratching Post.  I've seen this same scratcher in other online stores for quite a bit more money and was leery of spending that much (+shipping).  When I saw it for an average of $40 less plus FREE SHIPPING at CSN, I knew that Porkchop & the crew must have it! 

They love it.  It's super tall and very sturdy.  It really makes a nice piece of furniture for the little furfaces.  A friend of mine was amazed that it was an actual cat scratching post. 

The other thing I ordered was this Petmate Ultra Bubbler Watering System.  I'd researched this quite a bit and was really pleased to see the low price and again -  FREE SHIPPING.

The animals love it and are drinking more water which is one of the goals.

Our Petootnia loves water.  A few minutes after I'd put the waterer in the bathroom, a soaking wet "Toot" came dripping down the hall.  She had a ball playing with the bubbles.  Now that she's used to it, she just tests the water with one paw before drinking. 

***Talking about the waterer leads to another point I'd like to share about CSN Stores.  Their customer service is outstanding.  I had trouble with my first waterer making a tight seal.  I don't know if it was something I wasn't doing right or what, but when I told them I was having a problem - they were on it.

The reps were so nice, they didn't make me feel like an idiot or like some companies I've dealt with - that I was trying to pull something.  They understood that I was having a problem and they were determined to fix it.  They kept me informed on every step and within just a few days, I had the replacement waterer here and bubbling away.  I was very impressed with their professionalism and courtesy.  It reminds me of the old fashioned (and much missed) way of doing business where the customer comes first

I highly recommend you visit CSN Stores and check out the fabulous finds in their 200+ stores. With free shipping on most items, I guarantee you'll have a hard time NOT finding something that you must have!

BTW:  You need to stay tuned to this bat channel as we will be hosting an awesome giveaway from CSN Stores in the near future.  You won't want to miss it!

*Disclaimer:  I received a gift certificate from CSN Stores in order to review their products.  I also used some of my own money to facilitate this purchase and review.  The opinions expressed in this review are 100% MY OWN and I was under no obligation to post a positive review.

Herbs: G is for Ginger

ginger root by notafish/Flickr
Did you ever wonder where gingerbread, ginger ale, and ginger snaps got their zing?  Ginger of course!

Latin Name: Zingiber officinale Zingiberaceae

Description: Ginger is a herbaceous tropical perennial.   The blooms are 3 inch long flowers that appear on 6-12 inch stocks.  The leaves are grasslike with a plant reaching up to 4 feet tall.

 Habitat: Ginger is a native of the tropics and was brought to Europe and North America centuries ago as a treasured spice.  It was discovered that it grew very well in various climates around the world, even though it might not flower easily in "captivity".   

one of my baby ginger plants
Growing: Ginger can easily be grown in containers.  This is in fact the preferred method as it can become quite invasive if left unchecked.  Simply plant your ginger roots in a pot of well-drained, rich soil - just below the surface.  It needs a warm spot that is not too hot in the summer. Moisture and humidity are very important as this is a tropical plant. It doesn't do well in the cold and can be brought inside in the winter as a houseplant.

Harvesting:  The root is the part used, either fresh or dried.  To harvest, dig up your ginger roots that have been growing for a minimum of 8 months.  You may then either cut the stalk and leaves completely from the root or just cut off the bit of ginger that you would like to use and replant the plant.  I have done this using both methods and have had success with each, but it is easier to just chop the roots up and leave "eyes" like on potatoes so they will sprout. 

Uses:  One of my favorite uses is as a digestive aid.  We try to always have a bag of candied ginger on hand for upset stomachs or queasiness.  It is a fabulous ingredient for baking and cooking.

another of my own ginger plants
It has been in use for thousands of years and found to be good for various ailments such as motion sickness, flatulence, and circulatory issues.  Menstrual cramps and pain are also said to be relieved by taking ginger.

Some of my research found that holistic veterinarians are also using ginger in small animals for fever reduction and as a sedative or analgesic.  It's quite the versatile herb.

When I took the natural perfumery class last year, I discovered the essential oil that is widely used in perfumery all over the world.  It smells fabulous! 

Ginger Tea

Simply pour 1 pint of boiling water over approximately 1 ounce of chopped or sliced
ginger root.  Steep for 5-20 minutes.  Can be enjoyed hot or cold.  Very refreshing!

Disclaimer: The information presented herein is intended for educational, informational, and recreational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent disease. It is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider or your veterinarian before taking any supplements, herbs, or other substances or supplying them to your pets.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Early Birthday Treat

A friend of mine recently introduced me to by giving me a gift certificate for my upcoming birthday (in 2 weeks for those inquiring minds :)  It's a neat website that allows you to find plenty of personalized items that you can design yourself or browse other people's shops. 

Many of you know I have a thing about reusable shopping tote bags.  I found several that I liked including this one:

One of the other things that I was really interested in is their water bottles.  You can put your own photo or saying on them and truly make them yours!  I am thinking about creating some of these for Christmas presents for the family.  We're all trying to drink a lot more water and this might be just the thing to help us do that.  Wouldn't these be cool?

Well, I thought I'd share this with you and now I'm back to their site - to decide how I want to spend my lovely gift on ME!  Have a great rest of the weekend my friends.

Friday, July 16, 2010

200th Post - Name the Wedgie Contest & Giveaway


I can't believe 200 posts have come and gone! I'm pretty happy to have reached this little milestone with all of you.  Thanks for all of your support.

In celebration, we're having the contest/giveaway that I have been hinting about for several weeks. It's a pretty easy one.  It's called:

"Name the Wedgie"

My name is Wedgie, what's yours?

The Facts:  Wedgie can't go through life with such an undignified name.  He needs something a bit more pompous and grown-up sounding.  (Don't worry, he'll always be the Wedge - just not on his registration paperwork.)

I'm too cute for my own good.

So dear readers, your task is simple.  Come up with a name fit for a BIG boy.  It can be anything you dream up.  In order to help you out a bit, the way we usually come up with names for our registered horses is to make up a combination with the names of the dam and sire or even older generations. 

For example, Wedgie's mama is Roulette Gambler and his daddy is Sunday Sailor.  So you can do something with these names or go completely in another direction.  The Lemon Verbena Lady  has suggested Phantom due to his mask-like markings on his face - very cool idea, btw.  Mr. MoonCat took that a step further to come up with Gambler's Phantom Sailor.  See how that works?  Play with it.. 

My mommy loves me, even when I'm bad
The Big Daddy - Sunday Sailor
If you want even more names to work with, Wedgie's granddams were Sunshine N Smoke and Sunny Miss Doc.  His grandsires were Patti's Gamblin Man and Sunday Butcher.  Since Wedge is destined to be a gelding and not used for breeding, his family names aren't critical, so have fun with making names up!

I'm going to leave this contest open until Monday, July 26th.  At that time, I'll get all the names together and run them by the boss (Dad) and see which name tickles his fancy and we'll have a winner!  The winner will receive a horse themed prize package. :)  Sorry, you won't win Wedgie - he'd be a pain to mail out to ya!

BUT WAIT, don't put your thinking caps on just yet!  We're also going to have a random winner just because I want to celebrate the fact that I've finally put more cards and new things in my Etsy shop and because you're all such a great group to have around! 

If you are my lucky random winner, you will get to choose 3 cards from the store.  So there are actually 2 chances for everyone to be a winner in this contest and giveaway.  If you don't want to wait until the contest is over, I'm running a sale offering FREE SHIPPING when you buy 2 or more items. The sale runs through the end of July.

To enter the contest to name Wedgie, simply leave a comment with your name suggestion.  Don't be shy, Dad has a sense of humor too so bring em on.  Yours could be the one!

If you want to also be in the random drawing for the 3 cards, tell me which cards you would choose from MoonCat Farms Marketplace if you're the lucky winner.

Mandatory: You don't have to suggest a name to be in the random drawing, but you do have to tell me the cards you like best - I'm nosy that way. 

Please be sure that you leave me a way to contact you if your email isn't attached to your blog profile. 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Vehicular Woes

We have been having lots of issues with Michael's Toyota lately.  The check engine light  keeps coming on at the oddest times and then goes off mysteriously on its own.  It gets pretty frustrating and I'm not too keen on getting stuck somewhere alongside the road, especially in triple digit heat!

So I was rummaging around online the other day and was referred to a really neat site that has a little bit of everything for those of us dealing with car repair questions.  It's called  I spent quite a bit of time on the site looking up things about my truck as well as Michael's hoopty ride.  It's a great site for those of us who aren't mechanically inclined - male or female/Mr. or Mrs. MoonCat....

Thanks to Repairpal's directory, I found several local repair shops that are included in their system.  It's nice that they're rated/reviewed and you can narrow it down to ones who specialize in your vehicle.  I've found a mechanic that I think will be able to fix our little issue.

They also have a great way to find out a ballpark figure of what you should be paying for repairs instead of what you might be getting charged.  If you use their price estimator you can be armed with that information before you talk to a shop.

For more information about this free service, check out our new friends at*This post is 100% my own opinion and words based on my personal experience with their site.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Today's post is basically just that...a hodgepodge of things.  I have nothing profound or thoughtful to share with you today, but I have a couple of cool things to go on about:

Running Horses & Mules
My card was listed in a treasury on Etsy!  I was very excited to learn that The Homespun Loft had put together a collection of animal items and included my card!  I'm shamed to say that I've been neglecting my shop lately, but I am adding several items - hopefully this weekend..  Thanks to The Homespun Loft for including my card in her collection - I appreciate it!


The next order of business is to show you what came in the mail yesterday:

Elona of Wondrousthings and Elona's Originals sent this to me after my name was drawn as a winner from the Queen's Castle Bootique.  Isn't Boo Kitty adorable???  He reminds me of my PorkchopElona has some other darling Boo Kitty items as well as a really cute pincushion/piece of art:

I love Halloween and decorating for it.  For some very creative and fun pieces, be sure to check out Elona and the other great artists who all contribute to the Queen's Castle Bootique.  Thanks Elona!!!


And finally, here's the Wedge.  He was NOT wanting his picture taken today so I apologize for the crappy shots.  I was in a hurry and he was in a mood!

"Since I can't/better not bite you, I'll just bite my mama."
"You and your little camera are annoying me"
"Talk to the tails"
Have a great rest of the weekend my friends!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Herbs: F is for Feverfew

Used by the ancient Greeks and Romans, the name Feverfew comes from the Latin word febrifugia which means "driver out of fevers".  A very aptly named plant!

Latin Name: Tanacetum partenium of the sunflower family

Alternate Name(s):  Featherfoil

Description:  This fast-growing plant is native to Europe, but now grows wild in North America.  The bright green leaves are about 1" wide with small white flowers sporting yellow centers.  The entire plant is quite aromatic.   Feverfew can become bushy and will reach up to 3 feet tall. 

Habitat: Feverfew likes well drained soil in a sunny location.  It is a member of the mum or sunflower family and will grow just about anywhere.  It will reseed itself readily.

Growing: Can be grown as a hardy perennial or as a biannual with blooms occurring from June to August in most areas.  Will grow very easily from seed and may also be propagated via division or cuttings.  If growing from seed, you may sow indoors about 2 weeks before your last frost.  In mild climates, the seed may be sown directly in early spring or in the fall.  It is a very hardy plant that requires minimal fuss.

Harvesting:  Feverfew is best picked early in the morning after the dew has dried from the plant.  Drying in hanging bunches works very well, suspended over a tray to catch falling petals is helpful.  I've also hung them in brown paper lunch sacks while drying in order to keep the petals contained and dust from the plants.  Either hanging method will suffice.   All aerial parts of the plants are used.

Uses: The old herbals have many suggestions and uses listed for feverfew.  It can be used fresh, dried, as a tea, or a tincture.    Some of the suggested properties of feverfew are that it dilates blood vessels, helps reduce pain from arthritis, it can help promote menstruation, and has insecticidal benefits.  It has been touted for "women's troubles" and as an antidote for the over-indulgence of opiates.  The bitter taste can be hidden if mixed in with other salad greens.

I began growing it for both the purported migraine relief and for use as a dye plant: the leaves & stems make a greenish-yellow dye. In my research, I was also pleased to find that it has been used as an aspirin alternative.  Aspirin is toxic to cats while they can metabolize feverfew and gain the same relief.

The flowers also contain  pyrethrins (similar to marigolds).  This has been found to be effective against fleas and other insects.  A tincture of feverfew can be used as an insect repellent for humans as well as relief from insect bites.

Pet Flea Rinse

Gather some FRESH Feverfew and place in a bowl.  Pour enough boiling water over it to cover.  Cover the bowl and let cool.  Strain out the herbs and then pour the COOLED liquid over the pet's coat.  Let it soak to the skin and then dry by itself.  *Note that this is not a mixture that will keep, throw away any leftover liquid.

Disclaimer: The information presented herein is intended for educational, informational, and recreational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent disease. It is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider or your vetrinarian before taking any supplements, herbs, or other substances or supplying them to your pets.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What I See Wednesday

My calla lilies are hanging on in spite of the rising heat.
Little legs getting longer by the day.
Mr. MoonCat's "man-cave" aka my herb drying room

My own pest control team.