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The Cat Who…

(guest post by DH Rob)

In my last post I told you about our "loaner cat." He is fitting in very well, and as we had hoped, Buddy's behavior has improved greatly. We think he is enjoying the company of another feline in the house.

We have tried out all kinds of names on the new cat, including some that were mentioned in the last post and its comments. We have finally landed on a name that seems to fit — Qwill, short for Qwilleran. Our granddaughters Avery and Della have really latched on to that name. It's really cute to hear Della calling for the cat. She runs around the house saying, "Qweel! Qweel!"


Some of you will recognize the name Jim Qwilleran right away as the main (human) character in the Cat Who... series by Lilian Jackson Braun. You can read more about it in the article in Wikipedia. If you've never read any of the books in that series and you like cats and mysteries, we think you'll enjoy the books. I would recommend starting out with the first one in the series, called The Cat Who Could Read Backwards. Here's a link to a list of the titles in chronological order.

In the novels, Qwill's two cats, Koko and Yum Yum, help him solve whatever mystery he's working on. Their help comes in various ways, one of which is knocking from a shelf a book whose title is a clue to the solution. As we considered what to name our cat, we have found him several times lying by one of our bookcases, as seen below.

Qwill Hardy Boys

With his nose pointed towards the Hardy Boys books, he seemed to be telling us which name he preferred. We actually considered, but only for as long as it took to say it, the names Frank, Joe, and Biff.

I mentioned our granddaughter Della earlier in this post. Some of you know this already, but she became a big sister Monday of this week. Her little sister Reynolds Rebecca Collogan came into the world about 6 weeks early, weighing 4 lbs. 12 oz. Renny is still in the NICU and is doing better each day. Nora was discharged last night, and we hope Renny will be able to go home soon. Please pray for her and her parents during this difficult time of living in two different places in town. I'll post a picture of her soon. Here's a picture of Renny and Mommy shortly after the birth.


They take the CPAP off occasionally to see how she's breathing on her own. We hope that in the next 24 hours she'll progress to just a little oxygen thingy in her nose. During the 20 minutes she was free of the CPAP this afternoon, Nora was able to take some pictures of her sweet little face. Here's one of them.


Some favorites


I tried a couple of new cookie recipes this summer which we really enjoyed. DD Nora wanted me to post the link for these Swig Style Sugar Cookies. The recipe is quite large but can easily be cut in half. The cookies are very tender and they freeze well. I did not have a Starbucks bottle so I just used a juice glass to smash the balls of cookie dough onto the cookie sheets.

DH Rob said I should be sure to post this recipe for Frosted Maple Drops from the Iowa Housewife site. They are delicious and would make a nice Christmas cookie. Go ahead and make the entire batch because you will want to eat them all. They also freeze well if layered between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container.


I have posted about this cornbread salad before, but it truly is delicious and it makes a nice side dish. I try to freeze leftover cornbread when I bake it or when we get some at a restaurant. I tend to use less cornbread and bacon than the original recipe calls for and more vegetables. I also use prepared ranch dressing. I have seen other recipes that include pinto beans.


Our cat Buddy has seemed rather bored living with two empty nesters so we took out a "loaner" cat from The Cat Clinic to see if having a companion would improve his behavior. So far the two cats are on friendly terms and seem to be adjusting well. We still haven't come up with a name for the new little cat but are considering some having to do with mustaches. :)


A couple of peachy recipes

Peaches grow really well here in South Carolina and we can often find some variety or another from May until October. I usually buy a bag or two each summer and we eat some fresh and I put some in the freezer. A few weeks ago I bought some and tried a couple of new recipes.


The first recipe was for Brown Sugar Peach Pie from an old copy of Southern Living magazine. I purchased a copy of the July 2011 issue because it had an emphasis on peaches. I really like the way the different widths of lattice crust looks. It's such a simple idea but really makes a pretty pie. I had never used brown sugar in a peach pie before but we thought it made a delicious pie. *Note: The picture in the link shows a regular crust. Scroll down to the bottom of the recipe and it describes how to make the lattice of varying widths. The magazine featured this beautiful version on the cover and that's what attracted me to it.


I read about the second recipe on Rene's blog. It is for a Tomato, Peach, and Burrata Salad. I wasn't too sure we would like this when I first read about it, but we did enjoy it and thought it made a beautiful salad. It would pair well with any grilled meat. I had never heard of Burrata so just substituted fresh Mozzarella. I reduced the balsamic vinegar as the recipe directs but I actually found a bottle of Balsamic glaze at Aldi a couple of weeks ago and tried it the next time I made this. The second time I made it was just for the two of us so I just made individual salads. It makes a simple, attractive, and tasty salad.

Enjoy the fruits of summer.

Family fun

Our whole family was able to be together for a few days during July. We were able to fit in quite a few fun activities during that time.

My birthday is in early July and the girls prepared a special brunch for me.


My sister and her husband have moved to the area recently and they invited our family to join theirs for a cookout one evening. Not all the kids were able to be there but we enjoyed our time with those who were able to come.




Another night we had a great time with a water balloon fight. Have you seen the water balloons that come in a cluster and can be filled with a hose? I bought a package of them at the drugstore and we had lots of fun pelting each other on a hot July evening.




We also celebrated Avery's second birthday in July. She got a lot of nice gifts including a play kitchen and lots of kitchen accessories and play food. I hope to begin teaching her some basic cooking skills in the fall. :)


It's always difficult to get everyone together for a family photo shoot but our neighbor Mary helped out and we were able to get one. She took quite a few shots, but this was actually the first one she took.


We are thankful for all the opportunities the Lord gave us this summer to spend time with these precious children and their parents.

Hamming it up

Lately when I bake a ham I freeze most of the leftovers. I usually freeze one or two packages of cubed ham for in a casserole such as scalloped potatoes and ham or an egg casserole and then chop the rest in the food processor and freeze it for these Ham Balls in Barbecue Sauce.

A few weeks ago I ran across a ham salad recipe that was attributed to Paula Deen and decided to try it with some of the chopped ham from the freezer. I made it again this week and thought I would share it here to give you another idea for leftover ham and for a good lunch idea.


Here is my adaptation of Paula's recipe:

A Take on Paula Deen's Ham Salad

2 cups cooked ham, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
3 Tbsps. onion, finely minced
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 hard cooked egg, finely chopped
2 Tbsps. pickle relish
about 1/2 cup mayonnaise (enough to moisten the mixture)

Combine all ingredients, chill, and serve.


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