Down and out…discouraged?

My scripture for today ~

“As for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded”.   

2 Chronicles 15:7

Something I needed to hear today.   Everyone always thinks I’m so strong and courageous…but I’m not.  The LORD knows the battle I fight 24/7 every day of my life.   I know a lot of my friends are fighting similar battles…and no matter how much you love someone or how many friends you have,  there is that personal battle that only YOU can deal with.   I love my family and friends.    They’re so supportive.    I try hard not to complain or whine…(Ernie will tell you I fuss constantly and I’m sure he’s correct.)   I beg for his patience.    I am truly blessed.

So, for all my friends who are facing illnesses, family issues, financial issues, work issues or whatever…. Hang in there, DON”T GIVE UP!   The BIBLE holds promises from our LORD to his faithful believers.  Read, pray, believe and trust in HIM.

Susan ~ Patchkat


Getting ready for Spring planting

is definitely a job.   Garden layout takes planning and physical labor.    You can spend hours looking through seed catalogues dreaming and choosing seeds and plants.    You get the Almanac out to calculate planting days….and sketch layouts.


Saturday was beautiful.  Sunny and about 74 degrees.   Ernie pulled out the tiller and took care of the garden.    He has enough room for potatoes, okra, tomatoes, peppers and some green beans.   He had previously turned the garden boxes and planted the first rotation of onions.

We’ll wait a couple more weeks and plant another round of onions.   It’s nearly time for lettuces, kale and spinach.   Soon as the nights start warming, it’ll be time for beets, carrots, radishes.   I’m hoping we can get hoop houses made to fit the boxes before next fall.   For now,  it’s a waiting game.

Wait to till,  wait to plant, wait to see what sprouts, wait, wait, wait.

Susan ~ Patchkat

A look at some lazy cats…and one run away


Spooky and Scamp squeezed into a food box while Tessa sits on the chair arm.  Fraidy, Snuggles, Scamp and Blaze sacked out on me!  They love the snuggly, fuzzy quilt.

DSCF9736  ShadowFire (bed on left) with Spooky, is still outside.  He’s been out for almost 2 weeks and shows no intentions of coming home on his own.   We’ve almost had him several times, but he’ s so skittish I’ve quit trying to catch him.    He is coming up to eat with the outside cats, but we cannot get anywhere near him :-(    The 2 kittens are really missing him.   Spooky is being bad and Snuggles (bed on right) is depressed.  We need our boy to come in.   I’ve run out of ideas to catch him.   Anyone had this problem?

Susan ~ Patchkat

Think the timing was a little off for these Christmas Cactus

DSCF9745   These Christmas Cactus have lived on the kitchen window ledge for almost 2 years.   Nary a bloom.   Suddenly,  after I watered them several days with WARM water,  they have deigned to bloom!   The largest one (Not shown) is going on 8 years…and it hasn’t bloomed since the first year we lived here…that was 2006.   Guess I need to repot and water it come Spring.  Maybe next year I can coax it into blooming.

The one on the left is a real pretty salmon/coral while the one on the right is pink.

In El Paso,  we had a Mexican Elder tree in the back garden.   In Summer time,  I’d move the hanging plants, including the Christmas Cactus under the tree.   I watered the plants every day and it was mostly shaded under the tree with a little filtered sunlight.  No matter how hot it got,  that Cactus flourished.    When the temps started dropping,  I moved the Christmas Cactus into the dining room where it bloomed it’s fool head off.  Absolutely covered in coral blooms for months.   It shared a corner with a Corn Plant that also bloomed for months.  First one I ever had to bloom….and the sweetest smelling flowers.

Susan ~ Patchkat

Truth or another Food Scare???

This is an old report, but worth another look.

We are a society of junk food consumers… sodas, sugars, artificial flavors and colorings, starchy, carb heavy foods.   I don’t drink many sodas, but I’m sure there is caramel coloring in many other things I  DO eat.

I’m just blogging it,  you can read and decide for yourselves.   The way I see it,  some changes need to be made!

FDA Urged to Prohibit Carcinogenic “Caramel Coloring”

February 16, 2011

WASHINGTON—The “caramel coloring” used in Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and other foods is contaminated with two cancer-causing chemicals and should be banned, according to a regulatory petition filed today by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

In contrast to the caramel one might make at home by melting sugar in a saucepan, the artificial brown coloring in colas and some other products is made by reacting sugars with ammonia and sulfites under high pressure and temperatures. Chemical reactions result in the formation of 2-methylimidazole and 4 methylimidazole, which in government-conducted studies caused lung, liver, or thyroid cancer or leukemia in laboratory mice or rats.

Photo Credit: Jorge Bach, CSPI

The National Toxicology Program, the division of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences that conducted the animal studies, said that there is “clear evidence” that both 2-MI and 4-MI are animal carcinogens. Chemicals that cause cancer in animals are considered to pose cancer threats to humans. Researchers at the University of California, Davis, found significant levels of 4-MI in five brands of cola.

“Carcinogenic colorings have no place in the food supply, especially considering that their only function is a cosmetic one,” said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. “The FDA should act quickly to revoke its approval of caramel colorings made with ammonia.”

Federal regulations distinguish among four types of caramel coloring, two of which are produced with ammonia and two without it. CSPI wants the Food and Drug Administration to prohibit the two made with ammonia. The type used in colas and other dark soft drinks is known as Caramel IV, or ammonia sulfite process caramel. Caramel III, which is produced with ammonia but not sulfites, is sometimes used in beer, soy sauce, and other foods.

Five prominent experts on animal carcinogenesis, including several who have worked at the National Toxicology Program, joined CSPI in calling on the FDA to bar the use of caramel colorings made with an ammonia process. “The American public should not be exposed to any cancer risk whatsoever as a result of consuming such chemicals, especially when they serve a non-essential, cosmetic purpose,” the scientists wrote in a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg.

CSPI also says the phrase “caramel coloring” is misleading when used to describe colorings made with ammonia or sulfite. The terms “ammonia process caramel” or “ammonia sulfite process caramel” would be more accurate, and companies should not be allowed to label any products that contain such colorings as “natural,” according to the group.

“Most people would interpret ‘caramel coloring’ to mean ‘colored with caramel,’ but this particular ingredient has little in common with ordinary caramel or caramel candy,” Jacobson said. “It’s a concentrated dark brown mixture of chemicals that simply does not occur in nature. Regular caramel isn’t healthful, but at least it is not tainted with carcinogens.”

In a little-noticed regulatory proceeding in California, state health officials have added 4 MI to the state’s list of “chemicals known to the state to cause cancer.” Under that state’s Proposition 65, foods or other products containing more than certain levels of cancer-causing chemicals must carry warning labels. For 4-MI, that level is 16 micrograms per person per day from an individual product. Popular brands of cola contain about 200 micrograms of 4-MI per 20-ounce bottle—and many people, especially teenaged boys, consume more than that each day. If California’s regulation is finalized, Coke, Pepsi, and other soft drinks would be required to bear a cancer warning label.

To put the risk from caramel coloring in context, CSPI says the ten teaspoons of obesity-causing sugars in a non-diet can of soda presents a greater health risk than the ammonia sulfite process caramel. But the levels of 4-MI in the tested colas still may be causing thousands of cancers in the U.S. population.

Separate from the risk due to caramel coloring, CSPI has been urging the FDA to ban synthetic food colorings, such as Yellow 5 and Red 40. Those dyes cause hyperactivity and other behavioral problems in children, and Red 3 and Yellows 5 and 6 pose cancer risks, according to CSPI. The FDA is holding a Food Advisory Committee review of that issue on March 30–31.

Over the years, CSPI’s efforts have resulted in reductions in the use of, labeling requirements, or limits on Violet No. 1, sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate, sulfites, partially hydrogenated vegetable oilssalt, and olestra.


Well,  what do you think?    When they started telling us about the food dyes,  I started reading and we quit eating some of the products with reds/yellows and blue colorings.   Not only for us,  but I started reading cat food labels too!    If we still had children at home, they would certainly have some rude dietary changes.   As it is,  Ernie is an adult and can decide for himself.   You can bet I’ll be looking harder at the products I’m purchasing and ingesting.   Cancer is an ugly disease and I’m already there.    I cannot see putting myself at any further risk.    There are so many people, cats and dogs being diagnosed with cancers in our time…is it due to what we’re eating, drinking?  Can we improve our diets and cut our risks?   I think we owe it to ourselves to limit our exposure and pass the word along to the growers, producers and manufacturers that things need to be changed.

Susan ~ Patchkat



What a powerful message ~~~

2 Timothy 4: 5

5   But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

We’re to be watchful of our words and actions, endure the trials in our lives,  be fishers of men and spread the gospel.   We should take every opportunity to witness and to be a light to those around us.  Most of all,  we need to keep the faith!

I often fall short of HIS directives, but I know that no matter what,  HE is unchanging and HIS love is forever.   Great things to know!

Susan ~ Patchkat


Texas weather

is so unpredictable!    We’ve had several beautiful days…you know the kind.   The days are blue skied,  the sun is shining and the wind is gentle.   Then,  the wind picks up,  we might have some humidity or possibly – RAIN.   The nights will be in the 40-50s and really nice.  Suddenly,  the bottom falls out.   We’re looking for wood to fire up the fireplace to combat the teen numbered nights.   We’re covering plants, recovering water hoses.   After a couple of cold days,  we’re back to 70 degree days and freezing nights.

Saturday, Sunday and Monday were great.   Temps in the upper 60s with plenty of sunshine.  Today was a little cooler, but still a beautiful day.   Tomorrow, cold front moving in,  temperature dropping, wind picking up.  Frigid weather expected for late Wednesday and Thursday.   Brrrrr.  we could even have snow!   By Friday,  we’re back in the sun and 60s.  Crazy weather.   That old saying about if you don’t like the weather, just wait 5 minutes and it will change – was really right!

That means we have a few more weeks to plan the garden,  get the area tilled and ready to plant.  Ernie was out on Monday planting onion sets and he started a flat of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and squash.    Should they accidently grow,  we’ll have plants ready to drop in the garden.

How’s the weather in your area?

Susan ~ Patchkat