Sunday, September 29, 2013

New Scratching Post

So what happens when you get an ingrown toenail and your mom is guilt-ridden about it?  You get a new scratching post!

We went to Petsmart today to get Bailey food and a scratching post. I got her this one with a perch on top.  After some encouragement she scratched, hugged, and rubbed on it.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Giant Apple

Remember the mega avocado? Well, I found an apple to rival it. This honeycrisp apple seemed to be the equivalent of 4 small apples. I couldn't even eat half at once. It took us a while to eat it and we have 2 more that are almost as large.

New Camera

In anticipation of upcoming travel, and cause I always want STUFF, I bought a new camera. I've been playing around with it, trying to learn the different modes and functions.  The manual is a 261 page pdf.  I started to read it and got bored.  I just started pressing buttons and found this cool color isolating mode.
Ross took these photos at the yarn store.  First photo is full color.
This shot isolates the blue.
This shot isolates the red. How cool is that?

I took an intro digital photography class (for free) this morning.  It was VERY basic, but I did learn a few things. I am super excited about my new camera.

Ingrown Thumb Nail

Out of the blue yesterday Ross mentioned that I hadn't brushed Bailey's teeth or clipped her nails in a while. I agreed and decided to clip Bailey's nails.  When I went to clip one of her thumb nails I noticed it was ingrown.  How does this work on a cat? Basically the nail grows and curls inward toward the pad--sometimes puncturing it.

After reading some forum posts and watching a YouTube video, I decided I could take care of it myself instead of taking Bailey to the vet.  We wrapped her up in a towel, put a sock on her head, and I cut the nail at the midpoint.
Because the nail had been clipped at some point, it wasn't pointy sharp, so it didn't puncture the pad. Instead, she formed a callus on her pad which is split down the middle.  I feel like a bad mommy. I must have skipped that nail the last time I clipped her nails. She wasn't limping or favoring it at all, so clipping her nails was the only way I would notice it.  I'm sure if it had gone on longer she would have started to lick at it or something. Bailey is such a good groomer.  She usually uses her scratching thingy and I've also seen her pull her nails off with her teeth.  I'm a little baffled by this ingrown nail.
This is the piece that I cut off.  Once that came off I trimmed it even more. Looks like Bailey needs more regular manicures.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Snake Farm and Animal Zoo

Every time I pass the Snake Farm and Animal Zoo in New Braunfels I think "I want to go there!"  After seeing the place on Mike Rowe's Dirty Jobs, I really wanted to go.  I bought discount tickets online and we finally went.

The inside part is FULL of snakes.  I'm not weirded out by snakes.  I liked looking at the different colors, patterns, and shapes of the snakes.  Yeah--all snakes aren't just round like a water hose.
 This was the King Cobra.
This Sahara Sand Viper freaked Ross out.  He didn't like how it was hiding in the sand.  In the bottom left corner you can see its eye sticking out of the sand.
I liked the coloring of this White Lipped Python.

In addition to snakes they had a couple of tarantulas, a hissing cockroach, a gecko or two, skinks, bearded dragons, and you could see some crocodiles, ring tailed lemurs, and such.

Outside they had lots and lots of animals.  We bought a small bag of feed and told we were allowed to feed everything but the primates and the sea otters.  We saw a camel, bison, longhorns, zebras, mountain lions, peacocks, peahens, chick peas, chickens, chicks, ducks, lemurs, monkeys, emus, ostriches, coatimundi, warthogs, owls, macaws, parrots, turtles, tortoises, wolves, a hyena, fennec foxes, an african porcupine, ponies, and more.
Our favorite animal was the lesser anteater, also known as the tamandua.  She was super friendly.  She tried to hard to reach her nose out to us.  She stretched so much her ears popped through the fence and she got a little stuck.  She was the cutest thing ever!  Her little palms looked so pink and so human.
Here is  a short video of Princess.  I was too busy marvelling at her to take many photos or videos.

Here I am feeding the lama.  I hugged the lama.  I hugged a baby goat.  They were just so cute and soft. The petting zoo area really was the best part.  It is off season, so the goats were practically attacking us for the food.

Clothes Line

I've always wanted a clothes line.  I don't know why we didn't put one in on the house on Dryden.  Well, my parents came to visit and my dad and Ainsmar helped me put one in here. Actually, everyone pitched in.  My mom marked where the holes needed to be drilled and Ross put up the actual clothes line. Clothes dry quickly here in the Texas heat, and I really don't mind the crunchiness.
First we had to dig holes.  Not fun.  Especially when we hit the clay. Then we hit rock and called it deep enough.
Dad cut the PVC pipe with the jigsaw.
We kept calling the concrete cake mix with nuts (rocks).  We had to get it the right consistency and stir it up so it was smooth.
We set the PVC pipe in the hole.  Ainsmar held the pipe while Dad and I poured in the concrete.

We assembled the T pieces and set them in with set screws so that they don't twist.  Ross put up the line a few days later so that the concrete would have time to set in.  
My mom has a cute clothespin hanger that looks like a little dress.  I wanted one too.  I looked on etsy, and they were around twenty bucks.  No way!  We went to Savers and I got this little jumper for two bucks.  I got some kid sized hangers at IKEA for a buck-fitty. I sewed shut the legs and the crotch snaps.  I tacked the shoulder straps tight against the hanger and voila!  A clothespin hanger for less than five dollars.  The buttons in the front allow me to easily reach in with my hand to get to the clothespins.  I bought three packs of clothespins, but I think I'm going to order a couple more.  I like to use a lot of clothespins.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Honey Cake

For Rosh Hashanah I decided to make a honey cake.  A chocolate, pink peppercorn, and honey cake. I developed this recipe for a contest--then I read the rules--the recipe could only have 5 ingredients--so I didn't enter the recipe, but I came up with a pretty tasty cake.

Pink Peppercorn Chocolate Cake

1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 c flour
1 1/4 tsp ground pink peppercorns
3.5 oz 70% cocoa chocolate
1 c water
3 Tbl cocoa powder
1 c butter
1 c honey (12 oz bear)
3/4 c sugar
2 eggs

1. Heat oven to 325 F.
2. Line 9 inch sprinform pan with parchment paper and butter pan and paper.
3. Sift together baking soda, salt, flour and pepper.
4. Melt chocolate.
5. Bring water, cocoa powder, and butter to a boil, whisking occasionally.
6. Pour water mixture into a large bowl.
7. Add melted chocolate, honey, and sugar to hot liquid.
8. Mix until well combined.
9. Add eggs one at at time.
10. Gradually mix in dry ingredients.
11. Pour into prepared pan.
12. Cook for 50 minutes. If cake isn't done cook for up to 10 more minutes.  Watch closely--top may burn.

This cake goes great with whipped cream, ice cream (especially Amy's), and apparently White Russians.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

David Garza Live at Cactus Cafe

Back in college I didn't get out much (nothing has changed.)  At some point I saw David Garza (Dah-Veed, like Ziva David in NCIS) perform and I liked him.  I saw him one or two more times while I was at St. Edward's.  While searching for something cool to do with Ainsmar I saw that David was playing the Cactus Cafe. Why not relive some college days--seeing him play on the UT Campus?

So Thursday night Ainsmar and I went to hear David Garza perform some songs from his new album.  He played the piano, and the guitar, and had a friend, JJ, play the drums during some songs.  He told funny stories.  He drank lots of tequila shots.  People made requests, and he actually played the songs.  He felt bad that he hadn't played a waltz--which had been requested the night before--so he played two. He made me wish I could play an instrument.

The crowd was decidedly grown up.  No college freshman.  No college kids at all.  We actually got a seat at a table and got to chill during the performance--we didn't have to stand the whole time like you do at most places.  Cactus Cafe is very intimate.  David even talked to people between sets.

I enjoyed David's wacky songs. I bought his latest album--Human Tattoo. I listened to it in the car on Friday, and I have to say--I enjoyed the live performance more.  The album has some cool things going on, but I find the stripped down sound of just a few instruments and no electronica more moving. 
David with guitar.
David on piano and Adrian Quesada (who produced Human Tattoo) on Guitar.
There were a few songs were he jammed with other people that were in the audience that he called up on stage.  His friend Amy Cook sang while he played the piano and did back up vocals. Hearing her sing made me wonder why people listen to crappy music with crappy singers.  Amy Cook can sing.  She makes those fools on American Idol and such look like kindergartners.

So I feel sort of cool, going out, listening to live music. I wonder how long it will be before I do it again.

Thanks to Ainsmar for the photos.  I didn't feel like carrying anything and left my phone in the car.