Tag Archives: Garfield

Lemons and cookies and cocktails, oh my!

11 Mar

It’s mid-March, which means our lemon tree looks like this:

What do you do with thousands of lemons? You make these cookies and this cocktail.

THESE cookies.

Lemon shortbread cookies

These lemon cloud cookies were made for a lemonade playplate at the park. They had a satisfying crunch, tasted of lemon (duh), and were devoured by a crowd of happy sticky-fingered kids.

THIS cocktail.

Whiskey Sour

This cocktail was consumed while making these cookies. I had half a lemon and a hankering for whiskey, and then this happened:

Whiskey Sour 001

Garfield is apparently excited for the new season of Mad Men too…IndianaGeorge, please don’t cancel your cable!!!

Lemon Cloud Cookies

Makes just a little over 2 sheets of cookies

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup cornstarch

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

3/4 teaspoon vanilla

Juice of half a large lemon (save the other half for cocktail below)

1 heaping teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated

Combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Beat in the eggs one at a time.  Batter may look broken and curdled.  Beat in the lemon juice and zest.

Gradually beat in the flour.  Remove the bowl from the mixer and give the dough a few good turns with your spatula to bring it all together.

Drop rounded tablespoons of dough about 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes or until slightly golden. Slide the parchment paper off the pan to cool completely.

Adapted from the always-fabulous Joy the Baker

Whiskey Sour

Makes one drink

Shot of whiskey

Juice of half a lemon

Water, about 3/4 shot glass worth

1 tablespoon sugar

Stir and serve on the rocks. Sip over an episode of Mad Men if you’re in the mood. ;-)

Recipe adapted from a plethora of lemon cocktail recipes Eric found somewhere on the Interweb…did I mention we have a lot of lemons? We’re considering dubbing it the signature cocktail of The Desert Abode…

Psst! Jonesing for more lemon recipes? Check out this lemon week post of yore.

The Cat’s Meow

3 Apr

Here we go again … another post about my cat.

Garfield napping amongst a burp cloth and cartoon ruler. Yes, we use a Garfield ruler circa the 1980s to measure just about everything under a foot. No, this picture wasn’t posed.

Garfield is–shall we say–not a socialite. OK, so he doesn’t like anyone except Eric and me. The sound of a car pulling into the driveway or the knock of the UPS man elicit fear in our furry friend as he scurries off to hide behind the toilet in our guest bathroom. Yes, it’s a REALLY ODD place to hide, especially because he’s likely to meet the behind of anyone who stays longer than a couple of hours. 

Moving on …

So when we found out we had a bun in the oven, I worried that we were going to ruin Garfield’s life. Could he learn to like another person IF that person was itty-bitty? Did he know I was pregnant or did he think I’d been eating too much kitty chow? Was he one of those cats whose shelter description should have read: would do best in a quiet household with NO KIDS or other pets?

Garfiield Meeting Emily

Garfield meeting Emily

So when we brought Emily home, I dutifully whipped out a tiny hat with her scent to present to Garfield. He was cowering behind the toilet (the grandparents were here–see above) so I left it there and periodically checked in on him and let him discover that the same baby scent was also on my hands. The experts claim this is the best way to introduce pets to babies and although I was skeptical, I could see in his eyes that he understood.

When the coast was clear and he ventured out of the bathroom to see what all the commotion was about, he was curious, not scared. He peered into her Pack n’ Play and studied her. The look on his face said: What is that?! He even stood up on his hind legs like a begging dog to get a better look and sniff the tiny being in the crib.

Garfield 3 am

Hanging out cribside at 3 a.m.

He approached Emily with caution and ran for the hills upstairs during some of her early crying spells, but never went far or stayed away long. He wanted to be with us. He wanted to be with her.

And soon he was everywhere we were–our new family of three–morning, noon and night. Keeping us company and helping us through those tough first weeks by being our golden orange ray of sunshine. Darting in and out of Emily’s polka-dot curtains during nighttime feedings and trying his best to engage us in a game of chase. By my side during the workday–looking after his girls.

The Three Musketeers

But alas, Garfield’s love is unrequited because Emily has yet to acknowledge him. But the day will come soon enough when she’ll be chasing him around the house yelling Gaa-field, Gaa-field!

In the meantime, Garfield decided to adopt a kitten of his own: a Border Collie stuffed toy that he dragged out of the guest room and hauled to his upstairs scratching post–twice. It’s been there ever since and Garfield periodically “mothers” it.

Garfield's kitten

Big-cat-little-dog cuddle time.

So ends our “tail” of how Garfield became a big brother AND added a third person to his circle of trust. Not only was his life not ruined, but he lived happily ever after.

The end.

Cat Overboard Solution

28 Nov

Out of all the things we’re thankful for this November, we’re particularly thankful that our cat barrier went up this weekend.

It’s a series of cables strung between steel posts designed by our architect friend to keep our kitty from going overboard again. There’s 400 pounds of tension in each wire so it’s definitely not going anywhere–and hopefully neither is our cat.

In addition to being cat- and kid-proof, we think it lends some interest to our stairwell. We considered a lot of different options–raising the wall, taking out the wall and replacing it with something else, putting a variety of other deterrents on top of the wall–and are really glad we settled on this solution.

You can see in the second picture that our air intakes live above the stair landing/hallway area so this solution doesn’t interfere with the airflow. And it hasn’t blocked our view of the living room below, which we like for aesthetic, openness and practical reasons (honey, can you … ?).

It’s also removable should a future buyer not have kids or pets. So win-win-win.

We custom ordered the parts, but installed it ourselves (including painting the posts to match our paint a la Swiss Coffee). And it blends in so seamlessly that I keep forgetting it’s there!

This picture should be called: There’s something orange growing in my sink.

As for our cat, he hasn’t seemed to notice either. Maybe he has no interest in ever getting up there again after what happened. Regardless, he’s happy to be upstairs again and back on the prowl. He’s woken us up a couple of times in the middle of the night (it’s 3 a.m.; let’s PLAY!), but that’s probably good practice for what’s to come, right?

So there you have it. One cat barrier and one fully healed cat. Life is good.

Happy Birthday, Garfield!

19 Nov

Someone partied too hard on his birthday

Somebody had a birthday last Monday …

OK, it wasn’t technically his birthday, since we don’t know when that is, but it was the one-year anniversary of when we brought home our little ray of sunshine.

If you’re more into recipes than cats (it’s a toss up for me), feel free to skip this post because there’s going to be a lot of orange furball pictures coming your way–complete with funny captions, of course.

Who needs PetSmart when your cat’s favorite pastime is jumping in and out of maternity shopping bags?

I’m long overdue for a Garfield update after Humpty Dumpty had his great fall. Luckily, all the king’s horses and all the king’s men (that would be me, Eric and a very good orthopedic surgeon) were able to put this little kitty back together again.

This basket where I keep my library books is pretty fun too. Note the owl.

He’s fully healed and back to his old self, but he’s not allowed upstairs until we install our cat-barrier system (I’ll post an update when that’s finally done–hopefully soon!).

Garfield camping out in our living room.

While he’s totally opened up to us, he hasn’t quite warmed up entirely to anyone else. Maybe someday!

Cat yoga (no downward-facing dogs allowed!)

He’s more doglike than catlike because he follows us around EVERYWHERE. No matter where I am or what I’m doing, if I look down (or sometimes up) I usually find this little guy. He especially likes to “help” me when I’m cooking.

He’s VERY playful and we often wake up to the sound of him playing with his singing birdy toy at night. Chick-chick-eee-dee!

Garfield’s reaction to the mere suggestion that maybe he should find a job …

He really is a sweet, sweet, sweet boy.

I love this face.

We hope he adjusts to life with a newborn (we figure he’ll at least be excited that we’re up in the middle of night). I’m pretty sure our kids will call him “Gaa-field” when they’re little. I can’t wait.

We also hope no one gets us this toy. I love the tagline: I run away when you chase me!

Happy birthday, Garfield! Your mamma (and daddy) loves you.

Captain Peg Leg

28 May

This isn’t a blog post about recipes, hikes or travels.

It’s a public service announcement.

I’m here to debunk the myths that:

  1. Cats always have an excellent sense of balance.
  2. Cats always land on their feet.

Our sweet little Garfield lost his balance while jumping up on the half wall atop our stairs and we awoke to a screeching kitty down below. He broke his leg and had to have surgery to fix his fractured tibia bone. That was two weeks ago and he is healing well, but if it IS true that cats have nine lives, I think Garfield just spent one of them …

We’re working with an architect friend to modify the landing so he won’t be able to get up there again. I’ll be sharing what we come up with as we’re probably not the only people who’ve had this problem. Should anyone have any ideas, we’re all ears! (Postscript: Here’s what we came up with!)

If you’d like to wish Garfield well or virtually sign his bandage, please leave him a comment below.

Psst! Sorry for the lack of posts this month. In addition to our cat emergency, we had a vacation, an anniversary, and a job change in our household. It’s been quite the month!

‘Twas the night before Christmas…

24 Dec

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house,
Not a creature was stirring, except for a little toy mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The cat was nestled all snug in our bed,
While visions of mouse playtime danced in his head.

When out in the house there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away down the stairs I flew like a flash,
Turned on the light, and threw up the sash.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a disheveled Christmas tree and a misplaced ornament reindeer.

With a little wild kitty, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be GARFIELD!
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney stairs Garfield came with a bound:
He was wide-eyed and playful, a right jolly old elf,
And I laugh’d when I saw him in spite of myself.

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Giving Thanks

13 Nov

We have a lot to be thankful for this year. In less than two weeks, we’ll be celebrating the first Thanksgiving in our new house complete with turkey, stuffing and all the trimmings.  Our travels for the year are over (except for a trip to the North Pole up north to chop down our Christmas tree) and we’re finally settling in to this desert abode of ours.

As we look back on this whirlwind of a year and look forward to the holiday season and year ahead, it seemed appropriate that we pause to reflect on a few things we are thankful for. I bookmarked this link last year (since Pinterest wasn’t around yet) and bought a pretty glass hurricane jar and some autumn-colored scrapbook paper this week.

The idea is that we write down one thing we are thankful for every day leading up to Thanksgiving. We started on Thursday, which means we’ll have 15 notes each (30 total) to read on Turkey Day. The burnt orange and fiery red papers look so festive in there that we’re considering making it part of our Thanksgiving table centerpiece.

We’re hoping to make this a tradition in our new home, archiving the notes of gratitude each year. It should be a neat way to look back on years past and something fun that future kiddos can participate in.

We’ve promised each other that there won’t be any peeking till Turkey Day, but I have a feeling we were both thankful for the same thing yesterday.

On an otherwise cloudy day, we brought home this little ray of sunshine. His name is Garfield and he LOVES belly rubs. He’s a little shy, but we have a feeling we’ll coax him out of his shell. Right now, he’s most comfortable on the first step of the top of our stairs, which is where we took this picture. Last night, it was hard to distinguish between the pitter patter of the rain and the pitter patter of Garfield prowling around house (at least the upstairs part).

We think that he’s going to enjoy the smell of turkey roasting in the oven in a couple of weeks. And for that we are thankful.

Psst: You can read a few of the notes we included in our Thanks Jar here.