“Whan that Aprile…”

With all apologies to Geoffrey, the April showers are leaving me a bit bummed out.  Pilgrimage?  The only place I want to go to is a warm beach, a sun bathed stretch of sand. That, my friends, is where I long to go on pilgrimage.  But anyway, lit references aside, how has YOUR April been?  Ours has been gray with a few sunny days sprinkled in just to keep our chins up.

Sunny days that make it all worth it

Mae had a birthday at the beginning of the month.  She’s 2!  That seems like a milestone because when I got her, the rancher who gave her to me said that she would really settle down and be a much easier dog by the time she’s 2.  Let’s all laugh at THAT!  Sure, she’s a bit easier and she’s really filled out and is a SUPER athlete.  But Mae, my beautiful Mae, will never be an easy dog.  She is a damned cute girl though hey?

Birthday girl
Have a lovely spring!  Entertain, experience, accomplish, be deliberate, ENJOY.

Dogs and Houseplants…

This is a  quick post to relate something scary that happened with Mae last night.  We were getting ready for bed and she wanted to go out on the porch for a drink, (she has a bubbler fountain on porch) so I opened the door to let her out.  She came back inside and my husband yelled to me that she had something in her mouth.  Well, it was part of a silver jade plant that is in a pot on the porch, been there all summer along with  Aloe and other succulents.  We pulled the leaf out of her mouth and within a minute she started having what appeared to be an asthma attack, wheezing and having difficulty breathing!!  It lasted about 10 scary minutes and finally she was ok!!  A  quick check online though told me something I didn’t know….Jade and Aloe are toxic to dogs!  While it’s not likely they will consume enough to poison themselves, they can have irritation, stomach upset and other symptoms.  I had seen Mae nibble the ends of the aloe but never thought much about it.  Who knows why at 11 pm she decided to start eating a jade plant that she has sat next to all summer??  Dogs!!!  Anyway, just a heads up if you love succulents and dogs….like Lilies and cats, they might not go together!

And of course, the obligatory photo of Mae….keeping cool on a hot day in a mountain stream!

What’s Happening?

Lake Days are back, and no one is happier about that than Mae!  Summer has certainly arrived with a heat wave this past weekend.  It’s been nice to go to the lake for a short game of fetch and cool off in the very cold water!

I’ve been enjoying experimenting with the “shrubs” I purchased at the farmer’s market.  I added them to beer and oh my!  that was very tasty.  Give it a try!  But my absolute favorite new summer drink is made with Bourbon, a shrub and JAM….Sweet Caroline’s Jams and Jellies had a facebook post  awhile back that I had to follow up on:

“I don’t know what to call this drink, but it’s all about the smell of the woods in the middle of summer, and the bite of stinging nettles and thorns when picking wild blackberries. 1 shot of bourbon, 1 tablespoon of marionberry lime vanilla jam, a splash of blackberry vanilla cardamom shrub, a healthy dose of woodland bitters by Portland Bitters, and a splash of soda water.”

It is delicious!!  I was able to find Portland Bitters in Whole Foods….of course it was the WF in Portland.  But they had a good variety of Portland Bitters and other brands as well.  More experimentation will be needed.  Anyway, if you can not get your hands on the shrub, you might try a berry cider in place of the shrub and soda water. (Try the blackberry cider from Atlas!)   A nice, rich berry jam will do if you can’t get Caroline’s.  But, if you live anywhere near where their products are available it is well worth the effort to pick up the jams and shrubs.  I promise you will not be disappointed!  (see more on their facebook page for details on where to find them!)

Hope your summer has gotten off to a good start!  Do you have a favorite water spot to cool off in?  A good summer drink you’d like to share?  Would love to hear about it!

MEOW

“Flame”, one of the adoptable kitties. My daughter thought Flame looked like Jim Gaffigan….

What kind of people go to Cat Cafes??  People like US!  Back in March, my kids had spring break but we were very busy and didn’t have a lot of time for a vacation.  Soooo, we did some local trips, including a visit to Seattle’s first cat cafe, Meowtropolitan.

What is a cat cafe?  Well, it combines coffee and cats.  Quite a simple formula really!  While they are very popular in Japan and other Asian countries, this is the first one to open in Seattle.  Appointments are made online and you have one hour, ten minutes or so to get your coffee and then 50 minutes to enjoy interacting with the cats.  The coffee house is separated from the cat room by double doors to prevent escapes, (and also because of health codes).  There were about 20 cats on the premises, half of which were available for adoption.  Overall, it was a wonderful experience!  The coffees and pastries are cat themed of course.  I had a “Meowcha” and an adorable chocolate macaron with a kitty face on it.  There were about 15 guests including us and you know what??  EVERYONE had a big smile on their face!  It was a very happy and relaxing experience!

                                                 Is there a cat in this basket??  Yes!

 

                                   Lots of structures for cats to climb on, or just sleep!

If you ever get the opportunity to go to a cat cafe, do it!!  The cats are lovely and it’s a terrific way to spend an hour of your day.  I will certainly go back and visit again!

Cats and Lilies

Hello!  Happy Spring!  (well almost)  I noticed Easter Lilies in the market recently and have been wanting to post a reminder that CATS and LILIES do not mix!  Lilies are quite toxic to cats and very quickly, if ingested, lead to fatal kidney failure.  My brother-in-law lost a cat this way a few years ago and last week, a cat came into the clinic where my daughter works.  He had eaten a little bit of a lily petal and sadly he didn’t make it.  So please, if you have cats, leave that lily in the store!

Luna would like a catnip bouquet