Saturday, May 30, 2009

Video of the kittens

Sorry this is a bit dark. They're still pretty skittish around me since we've only just met.


video

More kitties for adoption!!


Meet Rocky, Maggie & Rockefeller (I think that's his name). Maggie is the Tortishell girl and Rocky is the larger of the two all black boys.

Rocky is neutered and ready for adoption. Maggie and Rockefeller need a foster home until they are ready to be altered. They will be up for adoption once they are altered.

These three will both be on display with Texas Pawprints at the Petsmart on Greenville Avenue Sunday May 31 from 2pm - 5:30 pm. If you are interested in either adopting or even temporarily fostering any of them, please stop by. We have many other kittens who are either just ready for adoption or are almost ready, so if these aren't your style, we should still be able to match you with a kitten that is. We can also use all the fostering help we can get - even if just for one week!

Meet Iggy Jr. He's ready for adoption.




Iggy Jr. is one of many cats in my apartment complex that we call "courtyard kitties". Courtyard Kitties are a collective of cats who have been abandoned, ran away from home, were born on the streets, or got lost and just stopped here. If by my description you are thinking, "wow, there must be several then," you would be correct. At current there is a woman at the back of the complex who feeds around 4 and then there's at least 4 wandering in and out of the front courtyard as well. Iggy Jr. is the newest of the Courtyard Kitties. He's also the Tamest.

Iggy Jr. is named so because he is an identical match to a cat named Iggy that belongs to a resident. Iggy is an indoor/outdoor cat so Iggy Jr. has caused a bit of confusion. As such, the resident has accidentally tamed Iggy Jr thinking he was actually his cat.

Iggy and Iggy Jr. were both neutered together last night through a generous Texas Pawprints program. Iggy is going back to his owner and Iggy Jr. is going back to the courtyard. However, Iggy Jr. really is tame enough for adoption. Texas Pawprints is unable to absorb him into their system due to space and funding issues at this time. This may actually be best for Iggy Jr. as he really is an indoor/outdoor cat and Texas Pawprints has a very strict rule against adopting out for any outdoor situation.

For the time being, Iggy Jr. will remain out in our courtyard but, I would love to be able to place him with a family. If anyone would be interested in adopting Iggy Jr., please contact me. Since he's not in the Texas Pawprints program, the usual adoption fee does not apply, however, I would ask for a donation towards the shelter since their generosity is the sole reason he has been neutered and is ready for adoption.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Pet Food Recall Alert!!!

I just received this notice from several different sources regarding a voluntary recall of Nutro Dry Cat Foods. Please see the press release below and if you use any of the products listed please take the recommended action Immediately!


Monica Barrett
Nutro Products, Inc.
(615) 628-5387
mailto:monica.barrett@effem.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Franklin, Tennessee (May 21, 2009) -- Today, Nutro Products announced a voluntary recall of select varieties of NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® COMPLETE CARE® Dry Cat Foods and NUTRO® MAX® Cat Dry Foods with “Best If Used By Dates” between May 12, 2010 and August 22, 2010. The cat food is being voluntarily recalled in the United States and ten additional countries. This recall is due to incorrect levels of zinc and potassium in our finished product resulting from a production error by a US-based premix supplier.

Two mineral premixes were affected. One premix contained excessive levels of zinc and under-supplemented potassium. The second premix under-supplemented potassium. Both zinc and potassium are essential nutrients for cats and are added as nutritional supplements to NUTRO® dry cat food.

This issue was identified during an audit of our documentation from the supplier. An extensive review confirmed that only these two premixes were affected. This recall does not affect any NUTRO® dog food products, wet dog or cat food, or dog and cat treats.

Affected product was distributed to retail customers in all 50 states, as well as to customers in Canada, Mexico, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Israel. We are working with all of our distributors and retail customers, in both the US and internationally, to ensure that the recalled products are not on store shelves. These products should not be sold or distributed further.

Consumers who have purchased affected product should immediately discontinue feeding the product to their cats, and switch to another product with a balanced nutritional profile. While we have received no consumer complaints related to this issue, cat owners should monitor their cat for symptoms, including a reduction in appetite or refusal of food, weight loss, vomiting or diarrhea. If your cat is experiencing health issues or is pregnant, please contact your veterinarian.

Consumers who have purchased product affected by this voluntary recall should return it to their retailer for a full refund or exchange for another NUTRO® dry cat food product. Cat owners who have questions about the recall should call 1-800-833-5330 between the hours 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM CST, or visit http://www.nutroproducts.com

Recalled Pet Food
The varieties of NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® COMPLETE CARE® Dry Cat Foods and NUTRO® MAX® Cat Dry Foods listed below with “Best If Used By Dates” between May 12, 2010 and August 22, 2010 are affected by this voluntary recall.

Nutro Products Recall List – Dry Cat Foods
U.S. Product Name
Bag Size
UPC
NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® COMPLETE CARE® Kitten Food
4 lbs
0 79105 20607 5
NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® COMPLETE CARE® Kitten Food
8 lbs.
0 79105 20608 2
NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® COMPLETE CARE® Kitten Food (Bonus Bag)
9.2 lbs.
0 79105 20695 2
NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® COMPLETE CARE® Kitten Food
20 lbs
0 79105 20609 9
NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® COMPLETE CARE® Kitten Food (Sample Bag)
1.5 oz
none
NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® COMPLETE CARE® Adult
4 lbs
0 79105 20610 5
NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® COMPLETE CARE® Adult
8 lbs.
0 79105 20611 2
NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® COMPLETE CARE® Adult (Bonus Bag)
9.2 lbs
0 79105 20694 5
NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® COMPLETE CARE® Adult
20 lbs
0 79105 20612 9
NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® COMPLETE CARE® Adult (Sample Bag)
1.5 oz
none
NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® COMPLETE CARE® Adult Oceanfish Flavor
4 lbs
0 79105 20622 8
NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® COMPLETE CARE® Adult Oceanfish Flavor
8 lbs
0 79105 20623 5
NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® COMPLETE CARE® Adult Oceanfish Flavor (Bonus Bag)
9.2 lbs.
0 79105 20698 3
NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® COMPLETE CARE® Adult Oceanfish Flavor
20 lbs
0 79105 20624 2

NUTRO® MAX® Cat Adult Roasted Chicken Flavor
3 lbs
0 79105 10228 5
NUTRO® MAX® Cat Adult Roasted Chicken Flavor
6 lbs
0 79105 10229 2
NUTRO® MAX® Cat Adult Roasted Chicken Flavor
16 lbs
0 79105 10230 8
NUTRO® MAX® Cat Adult Roasted Chicken Flavor (Sample Bag)
1.5 oz
none
NUTRO® MAX® Cat Indoor Adult Roasted Chicken Flavor
3 lbs
0 79105 10243 8
NUTRO® MAX® Cat Indoor Adult Roasted Chicken Flavor
6 lbs
0 79105 10244 5
NUTRO® MAX® Cat Indoor Adult Roasted Chicken Flavor
16 lbs
0 79105 10245 2
NUTRO® MAX® Cat Indoor Adult Roasted Chicken Flavor (Sample Bag)
1.5 oz
none
NUTRO® MAX® Cat Indoor Adult Salmon Flavor
3 lbs
0 79105 10246 9
NUTRO® MAX® Cat Indoor Adult Salmon Flavor
6 lbs
0 79105 10247 6
NUTRO® MAX® Cat Indoor Adult Salmon Flavor
16 lbs
0 79105 10248 3
NUTRO® MAX® Cat Indoor Weight Control
3 lbs
0 79105 10249 0
NUTRO® MAX® Cat Indoor Weight Control
6 lbs
0 79105 10250 6
NUTRO® MAX® Cat Indoor Weight Control
16 lbs
0 79105 10251 3

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New Day for MaizyLoo

Today is a first day for Miss MaizyLoo. This afternoon she begins her relationship with a dog walker.

While I'd love to say that I'm doing this just to spoil Maizy rotten, I have to admit that I'm doing it because I have to. Maizy turned 13 this month and her health is such that she needs a potty break in the afternoons now. I've been coming home for lunch the past two weeks to take care of her, but as it takes longer than an hour to get home and back, it's been affecting my work, not to mention the added wear and tear on my car. Originally, Texas Pawprints (the shelter I volunteer with) was going to step in and help me at a very low cost. But they were not going to be able to guarantee to help 5 days a week. I greatly appreciate their generosity, but I need a guaranteed 5 days a week service, so I finally bit the bullet and called professionals.

I'm happy to announce that I now have a business relationship with Companion Pet Services. I had a meeting with the owner and Maizy's dog walker last night and they are lovely people. They even do quite a bit of rescue work, so of course we had Lots to talk about when they met my household of past and present fosters.

I plan on doing a full review of Companion Pet Services' walking service once Maizy has had a chance to walk with them for a while. From last night's meeting, though she took to her walker right away and of course the walker just Loved Maizy, but who Doesn't love Maizy right????

Wish us luck! This service isn't exactly within my comfortable realm of budgeting, so things are going to be much tighter around our house from now on. But in the end, Maizy will get exercise and more social interaction, which will increase her lifespan and even happiness. And that's Really what matters when you get right down to it. I may not aspire to have human children, but I am absolutely dedicated to giving my fur children the absolute Best care they can receive.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Same old collard greens, different mushrooms

I've made a couple of variations on this recipe before. Last time I made this recipe, I wasn't exactly happy with the sausage. This time the dish was Fantastic! The addition of shitake mushrooms was the big difference I think.

Ingredients:

Yellow onion
carrots
shitake mushrooms
sausage
collard greens
garlic
olive oil
lemon juice
salt, pepper, tony chacherie's

Friday, May 15, 2009

This is why Fresh food is important to me

I would like to point your attention to a blog that I read this morning on My Brown Thumb. The author's blog says most everything I want to say, so I won't rehash it.

More reasons not to eat processed food, as if you needed them

One thing I pride myself upon in my home is that I cook a good 80% of my meals from Breakfast to Dinner. I do have the occassional TV dinner or fast food bite when I just don't feel like cooking, and chips and crackers are my prepared food guilty pleasures. But for the most part, when I made the commitment to live a healthy lifestyle, it was primarily commitment to prepare the vast majority of my meals myself so that I could be responsible for what I was putting in my body.

While I'm happy I made this decision, it's not exactly easy business. Between the job, cat fostering, caring for my elderly dog, costuming, and joining in making the occasional short film, I'm basically running on near empty a lot. Thus my meals need to be trouble free cooking. I can't waste time slaving over prepping 30 ingredients. I can't "stir constantly" to make that perfect risoto. I have to cook things that I can either set and come back to in 10 minutes or it has to prep and cook in 5. And that's where the TV dinners get me. I can turn on the oven, take the dog out and feed the cats, then put the food in, and do some other chore for 18-30 minutes while the dinner is cooking. That's a pretty efficient deal! I will often cook soups and casseroles in bulk on a weekend when I have a weekend to cook, but those have been few and far between lately.

As much as convenience really does rule the way we eat, we have also come to find out in recent years that eating conveniently has a price. Mostly that price is our health, but in addition, convenience foods have begun to change the places we eat as well as the manner in which we eat. Thanks to convenience foods, family meals around a dinner table are a different story if they even happen at all. But I digress, the point is that if we want to be healthy, it is up to us to take charge of our own health and the contents of the food we are putting into our bodies. As is indicated by the linked blog, food companies are now trying to wash their hands of responsibility so that they can carry on as usual and just point the finger at us. So this begs the question, if we are now being hung out to dry with no one to be our health advocates, When will we stop buying this crap? And where can a person find easy, healthy, recipes to be prepared at a decent cost, especially for a single income home?

This is always my quest. And to my surprise this month I was greeted at the grocery store with an interesting new magazine prospect. I have to admit that the first thing which caught my eye was the Beautiful chocolate cupcake on the cover. After that I noticed the name of the publication, Clean Eating. Upon seeing the name, I was Immediately intreagued. Most people I've come across who "Eat Clean" are pretty serious into exercise and nutrition, so that cupcake Must be a healthy version. Holy Crap it looked fantastic! Then I looked at the cover again and saw the point which made me actually buy the magazine.

Homemade Frozen Meals

Yup, that hooked me. I cook a lot. I collect a lot of recipes. But I've yet to come across a healthy recipe designed specifically for freezing with freezing instructions. Except soup. I know all about freezing soup. There were only a few recipes for freezing, but I'm itching to try out the quesadilla recipe and now I may have a better idea on how to freeze what and for how long, etc. An added bonus is that the rest of the magazine was fabulous as well! I found many recipes that I am excited to try out soon and most of them use readily available ingredients which don't cost an arm and a leg. This is still not discount, recession menu planning, mind you, but it does fall into the price range that a single income family can afford on occasion. And the double bonus is that because the entire magazine is based on a Clean Eating diet, the recipes are as little processed as possible. Most recipes are completely made from scratch. Hallelujia! Finally a magazine with recipes that aren't half canned!!!!!

I already have a commitment towards cutting down processed foods. It sure would be nice if I could find the nerve and the will to cut out chips too!!! For now, I think I'll call this new magazine subscription my step towards upping the ante on my commitment. Maybe one day I will be entirely processed foods free, but for now I'll just to the best I can by making myself responsible.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My poor legumes

I think my beans and peas are on their way to little legume heaven. The vines are turning sickly colors and not much is happening with their growth. Honestly, I think it's rot. They're container planted and they're in the only container with a tray to hold water in. Add in the weeks and weeks of pouring rain we've been getting and they've been well over watered. Not to mention that a couple of those hard storms broke many of the vines.

So I guess we'll try again next year or in the fall. I think I'm going to try the bush variety of many of those guys instead of the fragile vines. That or I'll try the vines in an upside down hanging container.

Unfortunately, my Sage is also not doing so hot. But my African Basil from last year has bounced back rather well. And so has my oregano. In fact, all of the plants I bought last year in seedling form are still doing well. The two trees I bought this year as well. I think this may be a lesson for me. I just may not be cut out to raise my own seeds.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sweep the Fridge Experiments

Coming home to a house full of nothing cohesive always presents a problem. But at least I usually have a few tested staples on hand to fill in the blanks of a mystery meal. This time, it was pretty much all mystery. I was out of onions, the potatoes in the cupboard are for boiling, not sauteing, and all of the legumes on hand were dried and not previously soaked, so I couldn't even pull a quick and dirty bean soup out of the air.

But I did have Scallions. And I had those potatoes that Could work sauted. And I had cabbage. And, wait for it, I had...Bacon! One last strip was left. So of to work I went.

Basically, I heated up some olive oil in my skillet, carmelized the potatoes, and added the julienned scallions, chopped bacon, and shredded cabbage and stirred. I also salted and peppered and added some Tony Chacheries. After everything was good and cooked to my specifications, I added in some chopped garlic and a splash of red wine vinegar. The result looked something like this:



Unfortunately, the LCD screen on my camera has been shattered, so I'm sort of handicapped with my photography, but you can sort of see what I produced. I can't say it was a Fabulous meal. It was good, but being that it was thrown together quickly with little options, it definately can use some tweaking. I think it needs Rosemary and maybe white wine vinegar instead of red. And I should add more cabbage and put it in later. It would be better if it was not burned.

I also tried boiling some dried fava beans and lentils. It was Horrible! I added red wine vinegar to that one too and unfortunately, the vinegar killed the whole thing. So I tossed it and settled for chips and salsa as a side.