Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tiger Swallowtail

We have had several of these this year. So lovely.

I am not certain but I think these are the Eastern Tiger Swallowtails rather than the Western. I am on the Texas Gulf Coast.
This is the caterpillar:
This is not my photo; it is from Google Images.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Kitten Update

Animals that come from shelters frequently come with viral infections. So although I was hopeful our two little bits of purring fur would be spared, I was not surprised when Henry stopped eating Friday.  We took him to the animal hospital Saturday and sure enough, he was dehydrated. They ran fluids under the skin and encouraged him to eat. They kept him at the clinic so that our other cats wouldn't be exposed. But as of this morning, he is still not eating.  They were going to feed him via a tube. I don't know if poor Henry is going to make it or not.  
The other kitten, Duffy, had to go to the vet today because he has some drainage from his nose and left eye. He had 3 kinds of parasites, a viral infection, and a secondary bacterial infection. So he has been de-wormed and we have 2 medications to give him.  He is a lot stronger than Henry so I expect he will recover.  My worry is that the two older cats have been exposed to the viral infections.  We shall see.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Shrimp Jambalaya

This is my favorite way to serve shrimp. I make it about once a month.

Shrimp Jambalaya 

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
8 ounces Andouille sausage, sliced ¼ inch thick
1 onion, chopped fine
1 rib celery, chopped fine
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, chopped fine
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ cups long grain white rice
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (8 ounce) bottle clam juice
1 can (2 cups) chicken broth
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley 

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add the Andouille and cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.  Transfer the sausage to a paper towel lined late, leaving the fat in the pot. 

Add the onion, celery, garlic, and bell pepper to the fat in the pot and return to medium heat.  Cook, scrapping up any browned bits, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. 

Stir in the rice, salt, and thyme and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, clam juice, broth, sausage, and shrimp. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Stir in parsley just before serving.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Meditation July 4

The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty. 
James Madison

Friday, July 18, 2014

Saturday Poetry

Glory Monster  by Sandra Alcosser

Tipped goblets, the blue herons
flap across the glassy pond. 
Two then four, they chase each other,
then stop at the penciled shoreline
to wrap their necks together. 

How like you, Iris, twisting
your green stems in the grasses. 
Heron flowers, humid and patient as fists
that spring to flying buttresses,
stained cathedral naves. 

if I were to make a monster, Iris,
to chase me, to suffocate in its bloom,
it would be you. Here comes Iris
marching across the pasture, waving
her rapier skirt, twirling

her caterpillar furs. Oh sing
of the brevity of life 
and the ephemeral nature of pleasure,
erotic and funereal anguish, 
dark rivered nectar. 

Once I lay by a bed of Iris
and once by my dying father
and each time I pressed my face
against the damp
and shriveling flesh. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Goals For Next Week

1. Spiritual
     Daily meditation
     Daily Bible reading

2. Physical 
     Exercise 12 minutes 6 days

     Healthy breakfast and snack

3. Quilting
     Bind edges of quilt

4. Reading
     The Guns at Last Light by Rick Atkinson
     Three Dog Life by Anita Thomas
     Galveston and the Civil War by James M. Schmidt (I am a native Galvestonian and this book is giving me a perspective on the history of my hometown of which I had no idea.)
     Audio Book: John Quincy Adams by Harlow Giles Unger. 

5. Cooking
     Shrimp Risotto 
     Chicken Gumbo
     Corned Beef Hash
     Bake German Chocolate Cake for Paul's birthday party

6. Home
     Take care of kittens!

7. Personal
     Make at least one pillow case
     Call church about immigrant children assistance


My poor old cats, Bandit aged 12 and the head cat and Misty aged 10 and paranoid, have had their peaceful lives invaded and upended by two tiny black kittens.  They are adorable as only kittens can be, playing and napping and eating kitten chow and pooping in the litter box.  Bandit is certain that there has been some dreadful mistake and Misty is sure they are zombie invaders so she has not come down from the attic. I suppose I should tell her that eventually they will be able to get to the attic too. The kittens are healthy and have had their baby shots and will be neutered in due time. In the meanwhile we are enjoying their sweet antics. They are both black males but that is where the similarity ends. Duffy is a week older and much more active; I've started calling him my "bullet cat" because he moves so fast. He is very loving and literally bounds up into my lap purring and rubbing. He loves to ride with me on my electric scooter. The other kitten, Prince Henry, is smaller and quieter. He loves to be on JMM's lap being gently stroked. 
It never fails to amaze me how much these little creatures fill my heart with love and happiness.