did you ever wonder…

what a $130.00 cake looks like?

DSCF9800  this is a slice of Ernie’s Perfectly Chocolate German Chocolate Cake.   The cake was auctioned at last night’s Burkett Volunteer Fire Department’s annual BBQ.  $130.00!  Nice profit for the kitty.   Had one cake that brought $400.00!!!!   I didn’t do any baking this year.   Just not enough energy.  But fortunately,  Ernie enjoys cooking and baking.

The cake is absolutely yummy….and so rich, there ought to be a law!

Think the meals, auction and door prizes brought in a tidy amount to help outfit our newest fire truck.  We’ve had 3 fires out here recently…one a bunch of hunters who went to cook their dinner…blew up the trailer they were staying in…sent 6 of them to the hospital.  I understand they were airlifted to Dallas.  The propane tank they hooked up to the cook stove had a leak.   The fire department found the base of the trailer and not a lot more.   Haven’t heard an update on the injured men.  Praying for their full recoveries.

Pretty tired today, so I think I’ll take a nap.

Susan ~ Patchkat


Look familiar?

Add a few more black kitties and a white with yellow spots…and this could be us!   I love this picture and all those sweet kitty faces.  I don’t mind being tagged as the local “crazy cat lady”, lol…cause it’s true.

Kitties, just like kids do bad things to gain attention.   They’ve taken bad raps for urinating all over the house, for smelly cat boxes and other equally distasteful habits.  However….that’s on the owners.  The kitties are doing what comes natural to their breed.   For us, as responsible cat owners, it means policing the litter boxes to keep them clean and chasing down the occasional male feeling a need to mark his territory.    Our guys give signs when they’re unhappy, hungry, wanting to be petted or need to go out.  We try to be watchful, though there is the occasional mistake.

Since we’ve quit feeding dry food,  we’re having many less barfing issues.     YEAH!

So, if someone calls me the crazy cat lady,  I’m okay with that.

Susan ~ Patchkat

What BBQ?

I would love for somebody to explain to me why there is no decent BBQ in this area.   We’re in prime beef country.   The heart of Texas cattle industry.   This area should have BBQ joints on every street corner! 

Yesterday was Dr. day for another PET scan.  Of course,  you cannot eat for 6 hours prior to scan.  By 4:30PM,  I was starving.   I had not eaten since before 8AM.    Ernie,  sweet man that he is, asked the loaded question.   What would you like to eat?   For some reason,  I was really craving BBQ…just a good BBQ sandwich or a small plate of ribs.   I’m really NOT picky.

Let’s see….we’ve tried one  hole – in – the – wall place previously.  So that one was off the list.   The big new one on the main drag only lasted a year and then it shut down.   And that was all we found.   Come on guys…this is ABILENE, TX.  There should be lots of BBQ joints in this town!

Needless to say,  I saw lots of cows….and still ended up with a 2nd rate hamburger instead of the yummy BBQ I was craving.

Ernie got online when we returned home and looked up BBQ places…think he found 2 or 3.  Next time,  we’ll be better prepared…should I be craving BBQ.

Tonight,  we’re having BBQ chicken.   What a shame that a body has to cook BBQ at home to satisfy a simple food craving.

Susan ~ Patchkat


Something fun is coming :-)

Just sent in my deposit for a 3 day quilting retreat with dear friend Wanda!   Finally,  something just for the girls and really fun :-)   It’s been ages since I’ve been able to fellowship with other quilters and actually work on my own stuff…and Lord knows I need to get some UFO’s completed.

imagesMulberry Canyon Quilt Retreat is an annual retreat put on by a couple of local quilters.  They use facilities at the Butman Methodist Camp.   Think it’s about 55-60 miles from us.   I’ll have to work that Friday, but maybe NBL will let me out a couple of hours early.  That would be nice!

My machine of choice for piecing is a Singer Feather Weight.  Love those little machines.  Need to clean and oil mine…wind a bunch of extra bobbins.  Then that will be ready for serious sewing.

Then to pick out which UFO’s I want to work on…I have so dratted many!    I have blocks to cut for kits…or a Mystery Quilt to finish assembling.   There are several packages of swap blocks to be set into quilt tops.    I’ll have to spend some time this weekend getting stuff together.   To be realistic,  I tire so quickly, that I’ll be doing good to work on 1 project, much less 2 or 3.   It will be fun trying though.

What supplies do YOU carry to the retreats?

A dear friend gave me the coolest tote several years ago.  It’s my go to bag when we head for Houston (my computer fits in there nicely with whatever quilting project I choose to carry.  It’s large enough to hold the 18′ x 24″ cutting mat, my rulers, cutters, an adorable strawberry pin cushion from dear friend Sheryl, and lots of fabric (or blocks).   That is the best retreat tote I’ve ever had!    Thanks, Marilyn :-)

Of course I add the extra spools of thread, the bobbin holder and my machine oil/tool bag into a net tote bag made by quilty friend Vivien!  That bag slides doen in the sewing machine case.   The spool holder adapter for the larger thread spools was a gift from another dear friend.  Her late husband, Daryl, made them for another retreat group.  I have two and use them all the time!   Thank you Barbara!   Another dear friend made a sewing machine caddy that sits on the table under my machine.  Helps to pad the machine so it doesn’t vibrate on the banquet tables, holds my scissors, seam ripper and a tape measure right at the machine.  Another really cool gift!   Thanks, JoAnn!

There are so many wonderful memories in my quilty supplies…and as I use those items,  I remember the good times and the fun we all had.  Do you have special supplies?

Ernie and the kitties will be on their own for a couple of days.  He’ll be ready to string them all up by their ears by the time I get home!   Guess I should stick my head in the freezer and start planning some easy to prepare meals for him.  He’s a great cook, but I like to do for him when I’m going to be away.  That way,  I know he’s eating real food and not just snacking!

So…smiley face for today!

Susan ~ Patchkat


How crazy can you get?

After a long day of testing at the hospital,  all I wanted was to take a pill, put my feet up for awhile, then maybe go get something to eat.  That all sounds “do-able”,  right?

I did what I needed to do and felt a little better.  We discussed our dinner options and both agreed that we’d like a pizza.   Just go sit down in a sort of dark, cool place, share a fully loaded pizza and some iced tea.  Pizza Hut!   Yep,  Ms. Garman said there was a location pretty close to the hotel.   We loaded up,  only made one wrong turn (hard to correct with the transit metro buses and all the no left/no U turn/one way signs on every intersection.   Anyhow,  we finally made it into the parking lot.   Things are NOT looking good.   Walked in and our fears were confirmed…it was a take out only location.   ARGH!

Ms. Garman told us there was another location a little further away…so now we’re off on an adventure!    This particular adventure involved a lopsided “round- about” and a whole bunch of narrow one way streets…and nowhere to turn around to get back on track.  In the meantime,  we passed signs for the Zoo and a bunch of museums…and all sorts of high end specialty restaurants….and all we wanted was a pizza!

We did finally pull into the parking lot of the 2nd location…and guess what…it looked just like the first one…a take out only!   I would’ve been totally hacked, except it was too funny to be mad.   During all this time,  I have deduced that we needed to cut Ms. Garman some slack…she had no idea it was take out only…I decided that she was slow and directionally challenged and that she was doing the only job she could…by then,  we were both laughing so hard that Ernie turned the car back towards the hotel and we ended up dining at Olive Garden.  What a hardship as we both love their soup and salad combos.

All that just for a pizza!   Nice Boss Lady said she would’ve placed an order,  taken it back to the hotel and been done with it…she just doesn’t understand, lol.  I mean we were talking about PIZZA!!!!  Plenty of other pizza places around, but we wanted what we’re used to….oh well.

Susan ~ Patchkat

ShadowFire is back in the house!!!

Daughter Stacie came to house sit while we were in Houston.   We had to leave with ShadowFire still outside and wild as a march hare.   Hated doing that.   Shouldn’t have worried!  After 2 1/2 weeks,  ShadowFire was ready to give up and come back in the house….just not on his own.  ShadowFire came up to the carport looking for food.  Stacie carried a little food out and talked to him.   He was hungry enough to come close enough to eat what she put on the ground.   Stacie picked him up,  Locked him in her arms and walked him into the house.   Needless to say,  we’re thrilled!   ShadowFire has been Ernie’s second skin since we got home last night.   Stacie said he’s slept almost continuously since she got him in the house.

After all the testing on Tuesday, we decided to go to Salt Grass Steak House  for dinner.   Nice restaurant,  kinda pricey…and it came with an unplanned “floor show”.    The show featured a large mouthed, bossy lady in a wheel chair and her little mousey care giver.

The lady in the wheelchair was complaining non-stop in a very loud voice about everything….she jumped her table server for picking up the empty appetizer dishes,  she hollered across the restaurant for the manager…and fussed loudly until he came to her table.   The whole time this is going on,  she’s rationalizing and explaining to mousey about why she’s being so “picky” about everything.   Loud Mouth kept on until her meal came,  then she complained about the meal,  but not until she had pretty much cleaned her plate…her steak was over cooked, but there was no evidence left, lol.  She’s eaten it all!

She ordered Mousey an appetizer then offered her the potato off of her plate (which Mousey turned down).   When she got the manager’s attention,  she told him he owed her a steak and 3 pieces of cheesecake!   This is after she already got a free order of bread.   When the wait person brought her bill,  she told Mousey that she wasn’t going to pay the whole bill….and that she was docking Mousey’s pay by $1.00 because she had the nerve to touch the food on Loud Mouth’s plate after it’s been offered to her!   Loud Mouth told Mousey that the germs could’ve killed her…(at which point I looked at Ernie and said at least we’d have had a quiet dinner).

Later, she called someone on her cell phone to come pick her and Mousey up…but the whole time she’s got this poor person on the phone,  Loud Mouth is swinging the phone around her head, waving it around at other diners    Poor Mousey…I couldn’t stand an hour of Loud Mouth in the restaurant…I cannot imagine being in a car or in a house with that woman!    It was CRAZY!   It payed off for Loud Mouth though…she rolled out (finally) with 2 carry out boxes of strawberry cheese cake, a salad and the baked potatoes….  I did ask the manager as we were leaving if there was an extra charge for the floor show.   He looked like he needed a good laugh!  .

We fought the coldest wind coming home last night….watched the temps fall from almost 50 in Houston to 21 in Burkett!   It snowed overnight and is still frozen cold today.    NiceBossLady told me not to come in, so I’m in my recliner with the heating pad and a nice fire in the fireplace.   Sneaking some extra nap time.   Didn’t sleep well in Houston this trip.

The new Ford Escape was wonderful on the road.  Nice ride, handled well.   When my hip started hurting,  I could take a pill and turn the seat on…the combination of medication and heat knocked the pain out pretty quick.    It’s still a Lo-o-o-o-ng drive.   6 hours is a long time to be sitting.   Ernie is the one I feel sorry for as he does all the driving….and it’s still a long ride.

Stacie had to drive home this morning in the snow, but she called to say she is safely home.   She followed the snow all the way home and it’s falling in her part of Texas now.

Thanking the Lord for safe travels for all of us!

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