Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Rainy weather = Baking weather!

I am going to gain 15 pounds before Fall really even gets going around here! It is another drizzly day here in Texas, so it is a bit cooler albeit humid outside, but it sets the perfect scene for staying indoors and continuing with the cleaning this week and baking! Today, the little Prince and I made homemade oatmeal raisin cookies. They smell wonderful and are just waiting for the Princess to come home so that we may all have a cookie and some milk as our afternoon snack.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies:
1/2 butter flavored Crisco
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
3 cups old fashioned, uncooked oats
1 cup raisins

1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat margarine and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and raisins; mix well.
2. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto un-greased cookie sheets.
3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

So that was one of the fun parts about our day. The sad part is our making a decision regarding our new kitten, our little kitten who is sitting here with me on the desk chair as I type, keeping my lap nice and warm. Here is the back story:

We adopted Isabella (Bella) a few weeks ago. We had been looking for a cat for a while knowing we wanted a young one to be a family pet for our children. She was just the perfect fit for us! Even had the name Isabella that was perfect! (Yes, I just finished the Twilight Saga and LOVED it, and thought it so sweet that this perfect little kitten had the name of the heroine in the story!) She is the sweetest 4-month-old kitten. She is just like a little dog. She is playful yet gentle and she LOVES to follow The Princess and The Prince around. She finds the most precious places to take her naps and is just perfect. She happens to look very much like Margo, the cat we had for about 13 years and then had to make the hard decision to euthanize while I was pregnant with Drew due to her having cancer that was making her very ill.

However, as par for us over the last few months, our streak of bad luck continues. The Prince started sneezing and sniffling when we brought Bella home and it intensified. He has been around other cats of friends and family so I figured he would be fine with one as a pet since The Princess lived with Margo for all those years. HOWEVER, I did talk to our pediatrician and learned of a simple blood test that can test for allergies without going through the scratch test initially.

I took The Prince to have blood drawn and they tested for some different allergens with cat being one of them. The test rates allergies on a scale of 0 to 6 with 0 being no allergy and 6 being severe allergy. The Prince scored a 4-5 allergy to cat. Oh, I cannot tell you how sad we are. If I had known about a ‘simple blood test’ to test for allergies we would have done that before adopting the cat, but in the past the scratch test is what was used and that is not pleasant as I went through it as a child and remember itching terribly when a scratch was positive. The nurse told me it was a fairly new test they were using so not to feel bad as I could not have known unless I specifically asked what we could do (which I did after The Prince reacted to Bella).

So, The Princess is just heartbroken, as am I. I was very attached to our Margo and it was so difficult when we had to put her down that I just did not want a pet until now. And then we find this perfect kitten that acts more like a puppy than a cat and it looks like we will have to give her back. I do have The Prince an appointment with an allergist but the soonest she could see him is in two weeks. I had to take allergy shots as a child so even if we cannot keep Bella I want to have a consultation with the allergist to assess the situation, especially with his eczema which can be triggered by an allergen.

Bella is so outgoing and playful yet gentle and sweet. When she plays with the kids her claws never come out. No one has had any even accidental scratches that sometimes happen with a kitten. I have prayed on this but know that it is most important for The Prince to not have to live with a pet that makes him miserable with sneezing and itching. We can have a puppy, but I am just not ready to potty train a puppy and The Prince together. And The Princess and I both love cats so this is difficult knowing we might not be able to ever have one.

Poor Little Prince and Princess though, as they tell me constantly they don’t want to give up Bella and they WANT to keep her. Poor mommy and daddy trying to gently tell them that we just cannot. We are due to give her back to her foster mommy this weekend. I have dragged my heels about it for as long as I can. Ugh, I just keep hoping for some divine revelation that puts me at ease with giving her up. It may sound crazy but she feels like she just belongs here even after a few weeks. The Prince loves her too and the whole thing is just a hard decision all around.

What a long-winded post and seriously teetering on both ends of the emotion spectrum! Sometimes, randomness is the rule around here ;-)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Fall is in the air!

Mmmm, it is raining softly outside today so I lit some candles and cleaned house. It is a good day to stay indoors and get some 'nesting' accomplished! Between the Orange and Clove candle, the orange wood floor cleaner, and the freshly baked Applesauce Puffs the whole house smells of autumn!

I found the recipe for the Applesauce Puffs (a great fall after-school snack) at Kelli's place. She links to the recipe on her site. She also has some great ideas for the home so browse around if you visit there.

It is about nap time for the little guy, so I had better go get him settled so he can get in a rest before we pick the big sister up from school. Enjoy the afternoon!

"The spirits of the air live on the smells
Of fruit; and joy, with pinions light, roves round
The gardens, or sits singing in the trees.
Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat;
Then rose, girded himself, and o'er the bleak
Hills fled from our sight; but left his golden load."
~ William Blake, To Autumn

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fall Decorating...Sneak Peek

I am posting just a little sneak peek at my fall decorating! See here in Texas, it is a 'crisp' 90 degrees still so it still feels like the dog days of summer most days! I am spending this week cleaning house and plan to finish all the fall decorating this weekend. I will post more pictures next week.


Now, go visit The Inspired Room for more great Fall Nesting ideas! I'll be back next week to post more pictures of our nest.

"Besides the autumn poets sing,

A few prosaic days

A little this side of the snow

And that side of the haze."

~Emily Dickinson