Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Battle of Wills

Bailey eats 2/3 of a can of Fancy Feast (3 0z can) in the morning and the same at night. Every night I put just enough dry food in his other dish to cover the bottom of the dish, so that he has something to nibble on in the morning and won't wake us up.

First I changed his dry food to dry diet food. Not too much of a problem. Then I started to cut back a little on his regular canned food. That led to some complaints, but we could live with it.

Then I cut back half of his regular canned food each mealtime and added the same amount of canned diet food, mixing it with the good stuff, so that he was getting the same amount but half of it was diet.


That's when we hit a road block! Even mixing it with the good stuff, he did not like the diet food. At first he would eat a little then leave the rest and sit with his back to me for the rest of the day.

The fourth day he wouldn't touch his food at all! So we strengthened our resolve and became hard-hearted. No result. He nibbled some of his dry food rather than eat the diet canned food.


Then I got creative. I bought a small carton of the sippy milk for cats, which my other cats have loved. I didn't know if he liked it or not, because he is SO picky. He won't touch any kind of human food at all. I tried a little drop of milk on my hand. He sniffed it and ran away. The next meal time I put a splash on the tray . He sniffed it and ignored it and then ate some of the dry food. It was now three days since he had eaten much at all. Remember this is a twenty-one pound cat.


I got desperate. I knew he was hungry because he was now ASKING for food, which he never does. (Strange cat!). Anyway I just poured about a table spoon of the milk over his uneaten food
from the morning
since he wasn't going to eat it anyway. . He sniffed it and walked away. BUT... a little while later I saw him eating from his dish and he ate almost all of it. SUCCESS!...So far...


A clean dish!!

So all we have to do now is GRADUALLY increase the diet food and leave out the same amount of good food. The vet wants him to be about 14 pounds by September! There is no way! This cat measures almost 30 inches from the tip of his nose to the beginning of his tail. I will settle for 17 pounds. He is built like a mountain lion. Heavy and big-boned.

We shall see.

To All My Blogging Friends....

Monday, December 29, 2008

Winter Flowers in Carlsbad CA #1

This is the Bird of Paradise which is the official flower of the City of Carlsbad

Carlsbad is famous for its flower growing and this one is supposed to have been developed here, tho' I have seen some references to it having originated in China and /or South Africa.
You will find these flowers all over Southern California. The humming birds love them. There is also a Giant Bird of Paradise. We have several of these in the back yard. They are kind of messy because they drip nectar but they grow to about 20 feet or more. I call them banana trees because of their large leaves. They attract many birds but especially the beautiful, yellow Bullock's Oriel which won't be here until late April. In the meantime all kinds of birds will enjoy it's honey -- finches, sparrows and humming birds.

Our beautiful and OLD Christmas cactus is developing buds and if I remember to move it out further into the sun, we should soon have a nice bright display there.

Our plumeria seems to have survived the two or three nights of low and 'maybe frost' temperatures. I throw an old light-weight table cloth over it on cold nights. We usually only get a couple of those kinds of nights each winter here on the coast, but this year the rains and cold nights have set in a couple of weeks earlier than usual. So either we will have more to come or...maybe...hopefully the rains and 'cold' will end earlier!!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bailey's Christmas

They put me on a diet! Right before Christmas too! I can't imagine why!!! I only weigh 21 pounds.

Then they tried to get round me by giving me a new toy. Hmmm. It's not bad. I do kinda like boxes and paper bags....

I soon got tired of chasing fingers in that. (No, it's not because I'm overweight that I sleep all the time.)

But I love my old grooming brush best of all. NO-ONE will take that away from me.

Who me? Well of course I'm beautiful. I'm a snowshoe! I did once win a blue ribbon but that was before I came to live here and they overfed me. It's THEIR fault of course, if they think I'm overweight. But I told you I'm NOT overweight.


I showed them today what they could do with their yucky old diet food!

Don't Ask!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Align all my blogging friends!

"...they shall call His Name Immanuel, which is translated, 'God with us' "

Monday, December 22, 2008


Yep!! Henrietta is making a guest appearance. If you haven't been following my blog let me quickly explain. Henrietta --is/was?-- a bantam chicken who belonged to our neighbor. However, because we fed the birds she decided she liked our yard better than her own and adopted us. She became quite a friendly and healthily chubby chicken over the course of ten months. (October through July of this year). She roosted in the olive tree which is located at the fence between the two yards, and daily could be found sitting on the flower pot outside my den window, just a yard or so from my computer. There she would sit and gently caw to Bailey, my cat who sat at the screen, not two feet away from her. This was a daily routine, mostly with the window open.
The neighbors tried to catch her but without any success. She flew too high and too fast for them. Finally, their grandparents came to stay. They are from Mexico and are probably farmers. So one quiet night Henrietta disappeared never to be seen again.

I told my family I was going to get a replica to replace her on the flower pot. They didn't think I would find one. But I had a secret. I knew Kauai had many chickens and I remembered seeing some in one of the stores there. Sure enough, they still had them last month. Sadly they were roosters and crowed when you clapped your hands. But they had one who had lost his ability to crow and didn't have much of a rooster tail. So I bought him to make him a 'her'.

So with the aid of some black feathers for her tail, a little white paint to cover other black feathers, removing the wattle (those red hanging things under a rooster's chin) and trimming the comb, behold: Henrietta returns!!!

She will take her place on the flower pot when the rain goes away. The funny thing is that one evening after I had been working on her, I stood her on the hearth for the paint to dry. When I returned to the fireplace a little later, there was Bailey crouched down, creeping up to her, ready to pounce. Good thing I came in when I did. The new Henrietta is just about the right size and probably the best replica I will ever get.

This is the real Henrietta.

If you really want to know more about the Saga of Henrietta you have to go all the way back to November 6th 2007. To make it easier, click on the month you want to go to which is listed in the side bar at the right.

Entries about Henrietta can be seen on the following dates:

2007 November 6
, December 6 and 10
2008 January 6, February 6, March 26
April 6, May 12 and 24
June 5, July 3 and 16

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Our Favorite Spot on Kauai

Take the main road towards Na Pali.
Before you get to Kaap'a, just before the coconut grove, take #580 away from the beach.
Half way up this road you come to 'Opaeka'a Falls. These are well worth stopping at, especially if there has been plenty of rain.

But this is not where we are heading for yet, 'though they are beautiful to see, with one of my favorite trees to the left...

...and even better with my two 'boys' in the foreground.
But keep traveling up #580 -- a windy, twisty road with plenty of trees either side.

About ten minutes later, you arrive here. This is as far as you go. We call it the The Ford because the river runs right over the road. We don't cross the ford because with a rental car and flash floods this is as far as we need to go. From what we hear it's about the same on the other side. The Keahua Aboretum is across the river and usually a muddy trek.
There is a small gravel parking lot at the ford and it is here under the dappled shade of the tall trees and facing the river, we park. We take a book to read and sandwiches and a drink, and watch the other visitors cross the river precariously and return not much later . It is so quiet, except for the sound of the river -- and the cawing of hens and roosters who beg for food.

A closer look!

(that might give you a hint)!

Monday, December 15, 2008


O.K. I will stop posting about Kauai very soon. But knowing how I am fascinated with trees you will understand, I hope, why I have to post these.
These first two are in a glen-like place where a river meets the ocean. It was so beautiful and ethereal that I had to post both these pictures. A real island hideaway.

Mmm...a tropical paradise!

Then we have have real jungle vines. Definitely tropical.

This one was fascinating because of all the roots. Very exotic looking.

I like these trees whose leaves fold and drape. There were quite a few of these on the island.

This was at Gaylord's. Almost looks like an African tree with its branches spread so wide. That's Owen getting a closer shot. I'd quote "Under the spreading chestnut tree..." except that it's definitely not a chestnut tree.

Don't know the name of the other trees but this is definitely a coconut tree.
Mind your heads down below!

"And so, as the sun sinks slowly in the west..." Well, we won't say goodbye to Kauai just yet. I have only two or three more I want you to see. So please bear with me -- especially if you are buried under snow or ice -- or like us, under two inches of rain. One coming up is of our favorite reading spot.

This is what is known as prolonging the agony... Back in a day or two.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cats, Bugs, Birds and Flowers on Kauai

I'm posting about cats first because I know some of you are not so interested in them as I am. HOWEVER...keep looking, because this photos was taken.....

Thanksgiving Day 2008 at Gaylords.

This was taken ....Thanksgiving Day at Gaylords 2007, same time, same place, same cat!!!

Someone, who shall be nameless, left the screen door open and we were visited by this creature which was at least 2 1/2 inches long. Since none of our family like bugs, not even the burly he-men, there was quite a debate about what to do and who would do it. Eventually Owen was the one who gathered it up in a glass and threw it outside, while I hid in the bedroom.

Someone in the condos is obviously feeding the pigeons. These all advanced on us as we were taking a walk . Sorry, we had nothing to feed them. But on the way back someone had evidently fed them. They were much too busy eating to notice us.

This is a Mynah bird. Many, many on the islands and quite cheeky. They came to beg food while we ate Thanksgiving dinner. I hear you can teach them to talk.

Don't know the name of this flower but it was very pretty emerging from these shrubby leaves. The leaves seen here do not belong to it. Just pretty colors, I thought, so I took the photo.

Don't know the name of this flower either, but it is quite common on Kauai. The plant has clumps of flowers like these in heads. I really like the unusual four petaled flower, or florette as it should be called, I think.

Unusual trees on Kauai and different from the usual views coming up next.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Owed to a Spell Chequer

A friend from Australia sent us the following. I thought it was good because I write another blog through my home town newspaper in England and since I'm now completely Americanized I have to watch my spelling in that one.


Eye halve a spelling chequer

It came with my pea sea

It plainly marks four my revue

Miss steaks eye kin not sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word

And weight four it two say

Weather eye am wrong oar write

It shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid

It nose bee four two long

And eye can put the era rite

Its rare lea ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it

I am shore your pleased two no

Its letter perfect awl the weigh

My chequer tolled me sew.

Sauce unknown.

More Kauai news coming up. Just had to make this little side track.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

So THIS is What You Do in Kauai???

Text Message!

Sleep Late!

Watch TV and check e-mails

Don't know what he's doing here!

Play with Computer!


Well not really. We did do some other things -- like talk on cell phones!!!

Better shots -- and more interesting --coming up.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Here we all are in Kauai for Thanksgiving!
Son #2, Me, Moth, Son #1
None of us like having our photos taken and this was taken by a stranger so we are all looking a little self conscious.

The Garden Isle
So beautiful, so lush... our favorite place to spend Thanksgiving.
Not as much sunshine as the other islands, but what's a little shower -- or a heavy shower -- of warm rain? This is our fifth visit to this island and our sons' first.
This is a shot of the taro fields up near the Na Pali coast.

We had Thanksgiving Dinner at Gaylord's Plantation House, not far from Lihue. Five courses and all the trimmings!!! Tables are set on the U-shaped lanai. Beautiful! Behind the hedge is a small lawn with a lily pond and small waterfall directly behind the hedge. We shared the space with a couple of chickens and some Mynah birds. The two little girls are family of the owners.

After our mid-afternoon dinner we took a carriage ride around the grounds. Too full to walk and anyway it was free!

Riding in style!

Our condo grounds. It's actually a time-share -- the smartest thing we ever did, about 5 or 6 years ago, was to purchase this. Some people think it's not a smart investment, but for us it has been a wonderful way to spend every Thanksgiving.

In the center you can see the waterfall that goes into the swimming pool. While 'the boys' took the car to go snorkeling and scuba diving, we lounged around the pool. The temperature was ideal.

This is the first time we have all been together for about five years and the first Thanksgiving dinner for all of us together for many years.

Come back and visit my blog and I will show you some not quite so typical pictures of the island and our family at leisure.