Ponderings from a Procrastinating Prognosticator

National Pet Day

Posted by samatwitch on April 12, 2016

Today is – or was, since it’s after midnight – National  Pet Day, so I’m posting pictures of my current rehomed calico, Ariana.

These are my previous fur people.

My last rehomed cat, Tabitha.  She was 10 when I got her and 13 1/2 when she died of a very fast-acting oral cancer.

Samantha at about age 17

Samantha

Samantha lived to be 22.  She was my first cat as an adult. I ‘inherited’ her when she was a very small ball of fur in Trenton, ON. I had to euthanise her two weeks after her late-in-life companion, Matilda, was killed by a raccoon.  Here’s the last picture I have of both of them.

Matilda hugging Samantha

Matilda hugging Samantha

Matilda was a stray who adopted me when Samantha was 17.  Matilda had been abandoned several times within the building and had been living ‘on the streets’ when she adopted us one very cold, very rainy February night.  It turns out she was also pregnant!  Only one of the kittens survived and Miss Molly brought such joy into our lives for the two and a half years she was with us.

Miss Mollyph-10180

A few months after Miss Molly left us, I found Tabitha as a kitten, born in our neighbourhood. Years later I realised that she thought she was going to be an only child – instead she became a young companion for two older cats, one of whom (Samantha) was starting to look a bit decrepit!

Tabitha lived to be 17 and managed to share her life for 12 years with Natasha, my second small Tuxedo cat, who also brought unexpected joy to my life.

ph-10186

Natasha (my Little Rutabaga) and Tija (the Great Radish) actually applied for the Evil League of Evil!

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How to Be a Ladyperson at the Holidays: 10 Important Tips

Posted by samatwitch on December 11, 2015

A must read for anyone who wants to be a ‘proper’ woman this holiday season. “No pants. Never any pants.” 😀

I Miss You When I Blink

Straight from the ad pages of your favorite magazines, here’s your guide to being a girl in December. Take notes.

* * *

1. Stay cozy. Wear a baby.

wear a baby If you play your cards right, your sensitive, goateed dad/boyfriend/professor will reward you with a pair of socks made out of his extra sweater sleeves.

 * * *

2. Flaunt your complexity.

Embrace all your many dimensions. Think: "I'm an heiress and an Italian professor at this upscale tropical funeral." Show off all your many dimensions at once. When planning outfits for your holiday soirées, think: “I’m an heiress and an Italian professor at this upscale tropical funeral.”

* * *

3. Represent feminine softness in a hard masculine world.

coach All around you are skyscrapers made of bricks and iron and glass and ouchy things. They’re all pointy and hard. But not you. You’re a soft pink flower in a gentle haze of light. Everything around you is blooming, because you breathed springtime into winter. You’re a superfresh candypants sugarblossom.

 * * *

4. If you’re truly hot, you…

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Report supporting police ignored by most of media

Posted by samatwitch on July 27, 2015

Crime & Punishment

Dr. Christine Hall, an experienced emergency room physician, released a report earlier this month detailing her findings from a study of incidents when the police interact in a violent manner with the public.
You likely haven’t heard of Dr. Hall or her study. The bulk of the mainstream media ignored her largely because she found that despite all the interactions police have with members of the public, less than one tenth of one percent turned violent and in most instances the police are restrained in their response and do not use excessive force. And unfortunately, supporting the police, for the most part, is not what is done in the mainstream media. It’s unseemly. After all, the police keep secrets from them. They must be covering something up.
Oh dear, whatever will David Eby of the BC Civil Liberties Association do now? His delusional perception that all police are jack-booted enforcers…

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Stacey Jay, Veronica Mars, and The Kickstarter Controversy

Posted by samatwitch on January 11, 2015

I’m reposting this well-articulated post in support of Stacey Jay, a YA author who found herself embroiled in controversy after starting a Kickstarter campaign to write a sequel to her last book. The post expresses exactly my feelings about the situation.

Marni Bates

Hey everyone,

Okay, I’m not going to lie. I’m upset. In fact, I’m shaking with the force of my feels. So please brace yourself, because this might be a bumpy ride.

Where to begin?

Right. Stacey Jay.

For those of you who haven’t had the distinct pleasure of meeting Stacey Jay, she’s a tremendous YA author whose talent is equaled only by her kindness. I met her at the Las Vegas Book Festival. I entered a room (where I knew almost nobody) wearing a giant poofy, sparkly prom dress and Stacey immediately made me feel welcome. That’s the kind of person she is.

Proof

You can read about that conference right here!

Unfortunately, Stacey’s book sales haven’t been strong enough for her publishing house to keep her on as an author. And at the end of the day, if a publisher feels like they will make more money investing in someone…

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Christmas Leftovers

Posted by samatwitch on December 25, 2014

It’s Christmas Eve – well, technically Christmas Day but excluding my nap in the chair, I haven’t been to bed yet, so … 🙂  Christmas is a favourite time for leftover food – turkey, vegetables, cookies, tarts, etc.  I also like to think of Christmas as a time to reflect on the past year, enjoy the company of family and friends, and clear up all your leftover emotions, decisions and thoughts so that you can start the New Year feeling fresh, creative and fully charged.  My wish for everyone this season is to have a joyous, loving time – time to relax and enjoy your favourite past-time, the company of loved ones and peace within yourself.  For some, I know, this is a difficult time of the year, especially for those who have lost loved ones this year and are facing Christmas without them for the first time – or the 27th time, in the case of me and my sister. It gets easier but the hole never goes away.

A couple of my friends asked for a recipe I mentioned on Facebook and so I thought I would put my three favourite leftover recipes here.  I love leftovers after a turkey dinner.  When I’m cooking, I always buy a larger turkey, if I can, and make several vegetable side dishes, lots of stuffing, gravy, etc., so I can heat up a plate of leftovers for several meals.  Then if there is a lot of turkey left, I make Turkey Enchilada Casserole, Tex-Mex Turkey Soup and of course, turkey broth for the freezer.  I don’t really have a recipe for the latter – I just boil the turkey bones with diced onions and some mild seasonings, just in case I need the broth if I have a cold or flu.  The other food that sometimes has leftovers is eggnog and I have several recipes for that, but my favourite is Holiday Puffed Eggnog Pancake.

The turkey recipes can be made at any time, of course – Thanksgiving, Easter, whenever you have cooked a turkey – and can be made with chicken as well.  The eggnog recipe is pretty much seasonal but is a great Christmas morning or Boxing Day morning recipe.  You could even use it as a dessert.

TURKEY ENCHILADA CASSEROLE – Makes 6 – 8 servings

Preheat oven to 375F / 190C

6 – 10 inch tortillas or wraps                                     3 – 4 cups cooked chicken or turkey, cubed

1 large onion, chopped                                            1 red or green pepper, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, diced                                          3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp cumin                                                           1/4 tsp chili powder

dash Tabasco or other hot sauce                            2 Tbsp chopped cilantro

1 pkg Old El Paso Hot’n’Spicy Taco Seasoning      2 – 3 cups Tex-Mex blend shredded cheese

1 jar enchilada sauce                                              1 cup Nalley Roasted Garlic or Ranch dip

1 cup salsa

Saute onion, peppers and garlic over medium heat until tender.  Add cumin, chili powder, Tabasco, taco seasoning and cilantro. Stir for 1 minute, remove from heat.  Mix in medium bowl with cubed chicken and salsa.

Spread half of the jar of enchilada sauce in bottom of a 13″ x 9″ pan.  Place two tortillas on top, overlapping.  Spread half the chicken & vegetable mixture, then all the garlic dip and 1 cup of cheese.  Spoon remainder of enchilada sauce over, layer two more tortillas, the rest of the chicken mixture and another cup of cheese. Finish with the last two tortillas.

Cover with foil.  Bake for 20 – 25 minutes.  Remove foil  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake 5 – 10 minutes until cheese is melted.

NOTES:  My favourite seasoning is Derlea’s Ginger, Garlic and Chili which is a puree of the three and gives a kick to any dish with just a little bit – eg I would probably use about 1/2 teaspoon for this recipe, replacing the chili powder and cumin and part of the garlic.  You can adjust the seasonings: use hot, medium or mild salsa, regular taco seasoning, etc.  You could probably even make this with leftover roast beef.  I have also added grated carrots to the sauted mixture.

TEX-MEX TURKEY SOUP   Makes 6 – 8 servings

1 Tbsp olive or cooking oil                                         1 large onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced                                               2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cumin  (can substitue 1-2 tsp Derlea’s Ginger, Garlic & Chili for seasonings – see note above)

4 cups low-salt chicken broth                                     1 can condensed tomato soup

1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes                                     2 cups salsa

4 cups shredded or cubed cooked turkey                  1 (19 oz)  can black beans, rinsed & drained

2 cans niblet corn                                                       1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onions and cook until they begin to soften, about four minutes.  Add seasonings and cook, stirring, for about one minute.

Stir in chicken broth, tomato soup, diced tomatoes, salsa, turkey, black beans, corn and cilantro.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.

Serve with crushed tortilla chips, chopped green onion, shredded cheese, cilantro or any other toppings you wish.

Excellent soup to freeze, thaw and reheat.  This soup is good even without the turkey or chicken added.

HOLIDAY PUFFED EGGNOG PANCAKE   Makes 6 servings.  Recipe from Safeway Select eggnog

6 eggs                                                                         1 1/3 cups commercial eggnog

1 cup flour                                                                   3/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 cup butter or margarine                                        1/2 cup sliced almonds (optional)

Preheat oven to 425F / 220C.

Mix eggs in large bowl with electric beaters until frothy.  Add eggnog, flour and nutmeg. Mix until well-blended but still slightly lumpy.

Place butter in 13″ x 9″ baking dish.  Place in oven until melted (sizzling but not brown, so watch closely).

Remove from oven and immediately pour batter into pan.  Sprinkle top with almonds, if using.

Bake in middle or lower part of oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until puffed and golden.

Serve immediately with syrup, jam, icing sugar or cinnamon sugar.

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For Siberia and Jaguar

Posted by samatwitch on November 26, 2014

A beautiful story that could almost be Tabitha’s except that she had never met any of her ‘sisters’ until Monday afternoon, but I know they were there waiting for her and it was the last thing I said to her, listing their names so she would remember when she arrived.

kittenkamkattery

“Look! There’s another one. Beat you good, brudder!”

“Aach…what’s the score now?”

“Three all…”

The two young cats lay on their backs in the meadow, watching the night sky for shooting stars. It was a particularly good night for them – clear and nearly cloudless, the merest hint of a breeze rustling the leaves in the tall elm under which they lay. They had been playing this game since the moon came up, revelling in the mild night air, the fragrance wafting off the grass and, above all, each other’s company.

Jaguar had been stalking shadows through the undergrowth that morning when he had suddenly stopped still and sniffed the air. There was a change in it somehow. Not a scent as such, but a change in the texture and the feel of the air in his nostrils. He rolled his tongue and opened his mouth a little, employing his…

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TABITHA IS 13!

Posted by samatwitch on October 25, 2014

I picked today as Tabitha’s birthday because she was apparently 10 and a half when she was rehomed to me on March 24, 2012. As a treat, she got tuna water (drained from tuna packed in water) and a few flecks of tuna.  She may also get some catnip if she decides to come out of the bedroom later. 🙂

Tabitha is a very loving cat, although she still doesn’t really like to be picked up and cuddled.  The longest she’s ever let me do that has been nine minutes – yes, I time them!  She does love to be near me, though, and if I don’t sit beside her for cuddles in the evening, she complains loudly and sometimes leads me into the bedroom early – which for me is a good thing!  She likes to come for a cuddle before I go to sleep but usually wakes me with a loud mwroar and jump off the bed, just as I’m dozing off. 😀

She seems to have adapted well to life in my home – even coming up to lean against me while I’m sitting in the chair a couple of times in the past few months.

Thanks to Denise G for trusting me with her and to Christine M for driving me to pick her up – and looking after her when I was out of town.

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Followup to My Last Post

Posted by samatwitch on October 25, 2014

I have now watched the video referenced in my last post because several of my friends thought it worth posting so I thought I should see if they had a point.  I understand why they thought it was worth cheering but I don’t agree for a couple of reasons.  One is because I agree with The Belle Jar that it’s exploitive.  I wrote a rant for FB but I have a wide variety of ‘friends’ on there who don’t know me very well and I prefer it to remain that way, so I’m posting it here.

I agree with this author’s take on the video making the rounds. I hadn’t intended to watch it, given the title, but after I read The Belle Jar’s post yesterday, I thought I should before I commented. There are several things that disturb me about this video. The first one is the liberal use of the F word by young girls age 6 – 13. I admit I’m a prude when it comes to swearing. I was brought up not to even say damn or hell but I do and, although many of my friends wouldn’t know this, I have on occasion used the F word. However, that’s usually in times of great pain and/or distress.  After all, if you use it all the time, as an adjective, adverb, noun, verb, what are you going to use when you really need something to express your feelings or outrage!

In this instance, it loses its power very quickly because it’s used so much; on the other hand I guess it still has the shock value the ad is obviously looking for because it’s coming out of the mouths of young girls.

I could probably overlook that – after all I have seen/heard/posted some pretty powerful poems and posts that have used the word in a way that creates an impact.  What I really object to is the expoitation of these young girls, especially the last bit:  One in five women will be raped…which one of us will it be?  Really??? If you had a daughter that age, is that what you would like them to be saying or even thinking about?  I have great nieces that age and I can’t even imagine them being allowed to take part in a video like this.  Knowing their mothers/grandmothers/aunts/great aunts, I am quite sure they will grow up to be feminists and will learn the statistics but I don’t think this is the way.  As someone in the comments of one article said, if a bunch of young girls had gotten together and decided to make this video, then it would have been an entirely different take and I would have applauded their knowledge and initiative.

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FCKH8 Exploits Little Girls In Order To Sell T-Shirts

Posted by samatwitch on October 22, 2014

I do have to say that although I saw a link to this video, I did not watch it. However I do agree with everything she says in this post.

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HURT

Posted by samatwitch on March 18, 2013

Hurt permeates our lives

Physically through injuries or chronic conditions,

Verbally with words of shame, bigotry or taunting,

And emotionally through death or loss.

I can’t understand why people delight in hurting others.

I know they must be in pain themselves

But does it really make them feel better to belittle another,

To rake their souls as easily as they would rake their skin?

 

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