Spike William is our new kitten and he was born January 30th, 2013.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Again, Alice's Widebody Wednesday...

Since it's Wednesday, Alice came back to visit once again. No, we have certainly never told her that she is featured in "Widebody Wednesday" because she is a little bit particular about discussing her weight. Or so my daughter says...

Monday, May 28, 2007

Remembering Those Who Served...

Memorial Day
Jefferson Barracks National Cemetary
St. Louis, Missouri
May 28, 2007

Sunday, May 27, 2007

WCB #103 with a Sunday Morning Visitor...

Sunday Morning and China Cat & Willow were just lounging
in the porch when they found a duck to watch.
First I saw him in the front yard quacking and wandering around.
Suddenly he flew over the house and landed on the back fence.
It must not have been too comfortable
as he kept moving from foot to foot.
(Usually, they land on the side of the pool or in it!)
Finally, he flew over the pool
and landed in the grass by the screened-in porch,
which is where the cats discovered him.
Weekend Cat Blogging #103 is up at House of the (Mostly) Black Cats
so make sure to head over to that party!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Friday Afternoon (4/27) Tabasco Time!

Well, it's been a while but now I'm back to our Louisiana trip.
After the Swamp Tour we went to lunch and had Meat Pies.
The original place our Aunt wanted to take us was closed,
but she found American Meat Pies.
Their slogan is "Gourmet cuisine at fast food prices"
and they really were good.
The menu listed 13 different meat pies - six of them were already prepared.
I had a Ragin' Cajun Meat Pie and boy was it tasty!
It was flaky pastry filled with a spicy ground beef filling.
I wish I had one right now!

After lunch we headed over to Avery Island
to visit the Tabasco Pepper Sauce Factory and the Jungle Gardens.
We found out that the Tabasco products which are made by McIlhenny Company was founded in 1868 and it is still family owned and operated. It seems that Edmund McIlhenny created the Tabasco brand Pepper Sauce sometime in the mid-to-late 1860's. He was a food lover and a gardener and when he received some pepper seeds that had come from either Mexico or Central America, he planted them on Avery Island. He wanted to create a pepper sauce to liven up his food. He started by crushing some of the reddest of the peppers. Then he mixed them with the Avery Island salt and he aged this mixture for 30 days in crockery jars and barrels. After the 30 days he blended the mash with French white vinegar and aged it for at least another 30 days. When he then strained it, he transferred the sauce into small cologne-type bottles with sprinkler fitments, which he then corked and sealed in green wax. The sprinkler fitment was necessary because the pepper sauce was highly concentrated and it was better to sprinkle it instead of pouring it.
McIlhenny's sauce was so popular with his friends and family he decided to start a new business venture by marketing his sauce. His first commercial crop was grown in 1868. The next year, he had 658 bottles of sauce. He marketed them at one dollar a piece and sent them out to wholesalers around the Gulf Coast, particularly in New Orleans. McIlhenny decided to name his sauce "Tabasco" which is from Mexican Indian origin and means "place where the soil is humid" or "place of the coral or oyster shell." The Tabasco brand was patented in 1870 and by the late 1870's McIlhenny's sauce was being sold throughout the United States and all the way over to England.
139 years, the sauce is still made pretty much the same way, but it is aged longer now for up to three years in white oak barrels. The current president of the company, Paul McIlhenny, is the sixth in a chain of direct descendants. Approximately half of the company's 200 employees live on the Island and many of the parents and grandparents had also worked for the company.
We had a great time at the Tabasco Factory. After the tour we headed over to the Country Store where you can buy anything Tabasco and we were able to taste a lot of their products. My favorite one was a Chile Pepper Ice Cream.
I wish they had it at home!

China II and Willow II snuck into quite a few of the pictures
if you look closely!
A later post will be about the birds of Avery Islands
and one alligator that came way too close to me!
All of the Tabasco information is from our tour and tabasco.com

Friday, May 18, 2007

Just relaxing...

Ready for the weekend and
the cats were just chillin'...
This WCB is being hosted this weekend by Astrid, Kashim and Othello
over at
Paulchen's Food Blog.
There are some cute kitten pictures of Kashim and Othello.
And who wouldn' t like to see a cute kitten picture...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Hooray for Moms!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Joyous Catnip

Oh, the joys of catnip!

Weekend Cat Blogging is being held

with Upsie and Sundance at What Did You Eat?
where they are enjoying some chicken and some funky smelling cheese...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Sam's Tag

Sammawow was tagged by Bogdan, the Editor of The Morning Scratch
for the 7 Random Facts about Me.

Here are the rules for this meme ...

Each player starts with seven random facts about themselves. Cats who are tagged need to write on their own blog about the seven things and the rules. You need to choose seven cats to tag and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment that they have been tagged and to read your blog!

So here are 7 Random Facts about Samantha:

1. Sam loved toys and was great at fetching.

2. Sam was a solitary cat most of the time but she loved her people. When China Cat came to live here, Sam tolerated her.

3. Sam was a lap kitty until any loud noise would make her leap and run.

4. Sam hated change. She hid for days when we moved to a new house.

5. Sam had the most intelligent eyes that have ever been seen in a cat. She was a thinking cat.

6. Sam loved chasing flashlights beams. Even when she couldn't catch them, she enjoyed the hunt.

7. Sam was the highest jumper ever. We would say "Leap Sam" and she would always leap into our arms.

Bonus Fact: Her nicknames included Samanther the Panther and SamCat.

And here are the seven tagged today:
Kitikata-san at Kitikata-san's Blog
Kashim & Othello at Paulchen's Food Blog
Maruschka at Rosa's Yummy Yums
Kamikaze at I Got Two Shoes
Upsie and Sundance at Sher's What Did You Eat?

Another bonus is Weekend Cat Blogging is being held
with Upsie and Sundance at What Did You Eat?
where they are enjoying some chicken and some funky smelling cheese..

Sweet TeaCup

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Thursday Evening Dinner (4/26)

My Louisiana trip posting has become a little bit out of order.
I previously posted about the Swamp Tour we went on Friday morning.
But first we had Thursday night dinner - so here it is albeit out of order!
We had dinner at Cafe Vermilionville. Besides having terrific Cajun food, Cafe Vermilionville has an interesting history. It is located in the building that served as Lafayette's first Inn and it was originally built in circa 1800. There is beautiful Cypress woodwork throughout the Cafe. There is an on-site herb garden and they try to use all native Louisiana ingredients, including locally caught seafood and Louisiana grown meat and all the local vegetables.
The Cafe is even said to have a resident ghost but we didn't see her while we were there.
I didn't mind that at all!
Anyway, the story goes that before the building was the cafe, it was being used as office space. There was a local Lafayette woman who drove by there every morning between 4:00 and 5:00 AM every morning. One afternoon she stopped by the building to see what it was used for. She had frequently seen a little girl in a yellow dress standing on the upper front balcony on her way to work. She was told that no little girls lived there. Then after the office space became Cafe Vermilionville a diner was taking a picture and through the view finder of the camera saw a little girl in a yellow dress with shoulder length brown hair.
Surprised to see her there, he moved the camera to see the girl and she wasn't there.
For dinner I chose the Grilled Chilean Seabass with Jumbo Lump Crabmeat and a Classic French Beurre Blanc, served with Angel Hair Pasta and Asparagus. Absolutely delicious! Since I couldn't finish it all, I brought it back to the hotel to finish enjoying the next day!
After dinner, we were walking out to the car and
I spied a fluffy cat over at the side of the parking lot.
Of course, I had to go take pictures.
So I don't know who this is but he/she ran after I took the second picture.
It was a beautiful kitty.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

100th WCB - New Catnip Toys

I am still continuing the Louisiana mini-vacation story
but today it's time for Weekend Cat Blogging.
When we got back home from our trip,
I gave the kitties some new catnip toys.
It's pretty clear that they really enjoyed them!
The 100th Weekend Cat Blogging is being held over at A Byootaful Life
and Puddy didn't look exactly thrilled to have been photographed.
Hope that Puddy is happier now!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Swamp Tour

Last Friday morning we went on a swamp tour. It was at McGee's Landing where they take you on a tour of Atchafalaya Basin. It lasted about an hour and a half and yes, we saw real alligators! Here are our tour guide and driver. And this is Suzie, the tour guide's dog who also rides on the tours We rode under the Atchafalaya Swamp Bridge, which is I-10. It heads east-northeast from Lafayette toward Baton Rouge.
This bridge is approximately 18.2 miles long.
We didn't get to drive on the bridge though. This was a really long bridge!
There were quite a few Texaco
signs that said "Private Canal - Property of Texaco. Use by unauthorized individuals vessels and other marine equipment prohibited." The tour guide said they didn't appear to be doing anything with their canals.
Our tour guide brought a cooler full of chicken for the alligators. He pointed to the bank and started calling "Big Boy. Come on, Big Boy. C'mere Cindy. Want some chicken.
Come on, Big Boy."
Well, it worked. Cindy swam right over and after he called some more, Big Boy slid into the water and came over to the boat too. I guess that's why they say alligator tastes like chicken because they sure did like eating it!
Then our tour guide turned the boat around and we started back to the dock. This was our last view of Big Boy and Cindy. They seemed very happy to be swimming around after their treats of chicken.
China II and Willow II only came back out after we started back
and couldn't see the alligators any more.

Thursday afternoon...

In the afternoon, we went over to see the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. It was established in 1821 in Lafayette, Louisiana. It is the Cathedral church of the 121 parishes which constitute the Diocese of Lafayette. The large stained glass windows in the church depict events in the life of St. John the Evangelist, patron of the church. He is usually identifiable wearing a red cloak. In 1979 the church was placed on the National Register of Historic Properties. In 1989 the church was renovated with new marble floors, new pews and a new organ. The organ has 3,038 pipes ranging in size from 16 feet down to an eighth of an inch. The organ case contains the 16 foot montre and trompette de fete (trumpets) which can be seen from downstairs.
We found the church absolutely beautiful.
The Cathedral Cemetery has tombs which date back to the 1820's.

The aboveground vaults are a tradition in Louisiana
because of the high water table.


The Cathedral Oak is the mammoth oak tree to the right of the church. It was one of the charter members of the Live Oak Society and is now the Vice President, or one of the oldest members. That society was started in 1934. The Cathedral Oak is said to be one of the oldest in the United States and it is estimated to be almost 500 years old. The tree is approximately 125 high and has a spread of 210 feet. The large horizontal limb was computed by engineering consultants to weigh 72 tons.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

To Louisiana

Wow, it seems like a long time since I've blogged. We went on a mini-vacation to Louisiana for a wedding with my M-I-L and S-I-L. Of course, I had to leave China Cat & Willow at home but our very nice neighbor agreed to feed them breakfast and dinner while we were away. So China II and Willow II went on vacation with us. And I enjoyed taking pictures of them enjoying the sights. OK, we did get a few weird looks... But it was fun!
This was the first picture of China II and Willow II
after we finally got on the first airplane
And this is when we finally reached our second plane.

We had to switch planes in Memphis and boy, did that airport smell good - barbecue scent throughout the whole airport.
And we knew it was throughout the whole airport because our connecting flight was completely on the other side. We had to do some fast walking!
Our second plane was rather sma
ll but luckily both flights were uneventful,
which of course is the best way.
Uneventful is very good on planes.
Everyone was buckled in.

We listened to our iPods.
We enjoyed some refreshments.
Once we got below the clouds, we found out that Louisiana was very green. We couldn't wait to land so we could see everything. Plus we were very tired of flying and also tired since we had to get up at 3:45 to get to the airport.

Our aunt met us at the airport and we followed her in our rented car to a restaurant called Blue Dog Cafe. Our cousin also met us for lunch. Blue Dog Cafe specializes in award winning cajun cuisine and it is also an art gallery for George
Rodrigue, who of course is the artist who paints blue dogs! She suggested the Seafood Wontons for our appetizer and they were delicious! It is their signature appetizer and even won Best of Show Dish in the International Crawfish Trade Show. They describe it as "An array of seafood, surrounded by pepperjack and parmesan cheeses, wrapped in a wonton skin and fried." It was served with a plum ginger sauce.
For lunch I ordered the Crabmeat Florentine. It was "succulent lump crabmeat set on a bed of spinach with a sprinkling of jalapenos, laced with spicy bechamel cream sauce, topped with pepperjack cheese and baked to a bubbly finish. Garnished with crab fingers and served with
roasted potatoes and vegetable du jour."
It was terrific with just enough spice.

After lunch, we headed over to St. John's, which is a beautiful church. I'll blog about that later!