Friday, February 17, 2017

It's My Birthday!

Hi Everyone!  It's me, Lilly, and it's my birthday today!  I am 12 years old.  I hope you enjoy these photos of me.

I'm a rescue kitty.  And it's been a glorious 10 years with my Mom and Dad. I have a wonderful life with no complaints.   If you would like to read my story, you can find it here.  

Have a great day everyone!



Sunday, February 12, 2017

A Tea Purist . . . Maybe

Greetings friends.  I hope you are doing well this beautiful Sunday afternoon.  This morning I had a lazy start to the day until I decided to do some never ending vacuuming 😂 because I got restless sitting in my chair and watching old British mystery movies.  It was then time for a cup of tea and I decided I would share with you some of my favorite teas.

I grew up in a household where my parents and grandparents were coffee drinkers.  We had tea in the home but it usually made it's appearance when someone was ill.  Many years later, I have acquired a taste for tea; but not just any tea.  My absolute favorite is from Fortnum and Mason and it's called Fortmason.  It is black tea perfumed with orange blossom.  Above is my new can of Fortmason which I haven't yet opened.

My husband's favorite tea is Taylors of Harrogate Yorkshire Tea.  He and I both prefer loose tea vs teabags.  This tea gives a wonderful aftertaste (if that's what is called).  I originally brought this tea back from a trip to England.  Now, I order it via Amazon.    Please, do not give me Lipton teabags.  Sorry, but to me they have no taste whatsoever.  

I've always been a fan of Darjeeling tea.  Here's some from Fortnum and Mason but I'll tell you a secret. . .  My dear son was home for the holidays and drank most of this can. Although I had another can hid away, I bought some inexpensive loose Turkish tea and put it in this tea canister.  He didn't know the difference!

If you would have told me that one day I would be drinking herbal tea, I probably would have laughed as I wasn't  a fan of herbal tea.  That was until I went to Turkey and drank pure unadulterated herbal tea.  The taste was heavenly.  Now, I buy my herbal tea from the Persian markets.  Above is Teekanne brand  (which means teapot in German).  They offer a lovely variety of different herbal teas.

The box on the left has sage tea from Turkey and the one on the right is thyme tea that I bought at an international market.  Again, both of these teas are not mixed with anything else.  And, they taste lovely.  From watching the tv show, At Home With Venetia in Kyoto, I discovered making my own herbal teas from herbs in the garden.

I bought this tea chest years ago at World Market.  It comes in very  handy to hold my favorite herbal teas along with some miscellaneous teas. 

My son is a coffee drinker.  When he comes home he finds his Dad's instant coffee or drip coffee not appealing.  So, out comes his Italian coffee machine.  I have no idea how to make a cup of coffee using this machine. 

Have you ever tried the tea samples at Teavana?  It's fun to try all the different teas they offer.  During the Christmas holidays, we stepped into a Teavana shop and my husband bought this can of tea for $36.00.  And, that was the sale price; a bit ridiculous!  The family enjoyed it very much.  For me, how can you call this tea with all the ingredients they add including little bits of chocolate?  It leaves a residue on the teapot too.  But, it's delightful to drink.

Before I sign off, I had to share with you another way to drink black, loose tea.  This is very popular in Egypt and it's called shai koushari.  Basically, you take a spoon of loose tea, put it in the glass and pour over the hot water.  Let it sit a bit before adding sugar and mint if you wish.  I made this glass to drink today and since I don't like my tea strong, it's very light.  And, I don't use any sugar.  

Lipton Yellow Label Tea is a very popular tea in Egypt.  The majority of the people like to drink a very dark, strong brew.  This tea gives that kind of taste.

  The tea leaves are cut and curled into tiny beads.  Quite different than the British style tea I drink.

So tell me, do you have likes and dislikes in tea or coffee?  I have a couple of pet peeves; one is when I order tea in a restaurant and get that little stainless pot with tepid water, oh how I dislike this.  Or when I'm on an airplane and served hot tea that has been put in a coffee flask. It tastes like coffee, not tea.  

On a bright note, yesterday my husband took me to dinner (it wasn't fancy), at our favorite Persian market.  And, guess what?  They offer FREE TEA!  Yes, boiling hot water, Persian style Earl Gray tea and proper sugar cubes.  I was in heaven.

I wish you my dear readers all the best.  And, I'd love to hear from you if you wish to add to this discussion. 

With  my best wishes,


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Meet Mr. and Mrs. Valentine Bear

Hello friends!  I've been wanting to share this project with you for a couple of weeks now, but I didn't dare show it until I had given these to my little grandchildren.

Presenting Mr. & Mrs. Valentine they are enjoying the warm sun outside today in the garden.  

And, here they are warming their backs again the teapot.  Although, Mr. Valentine Bear prefers coffee!

They wanted to post as a couple for Valentine's Day and I think this photo suits them well.

My Valentine (my dear husband), gave me these lovely violets shown in the background as an early Valentine's gift.  Mr. and Mrs. Valentine Bear loved the bright colors.

Mrs. Valentine Bear has a picot edged skirt.  She preferred this design over the knit stitch pattern that kept curling up during the knitting process.

Mr. and Mrs. Valentine Bear are so soft and fuzzy since they are made out of Drops Lima which is 100% wool.  It was a joy to knit with on size 3 DPNs.

Here's all that left of the four skeins of yarn.  You can find my Ravelry notes here

I found this cute pattern and many more at Mary Jane's Tearoom.  Susan, who is the designer, was so, so kind and helpful to me while making this project.  She has some fun designs you can check out on her website.  And, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact her, as she promptly replied to my question and even sent me a free pattern.  Super nice!

I will sign off for now as my paperwork is calling to me to finish; a never ending job.  But, hopefully later tonight I will visit my knitting needles which holds a new project.

Thank you for visiting Lilly My Cat.

With my best wishes,

 PS - The colors I used reminded of a Scandinavian design.  The red is so difficult to photograph but the first photo is the truer of the color.  It was the perfect red.  

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Saturday, February 4, 2017

A Visit to Sanibel Island Florida

Hello my dear friends.  I've been away for a few days and it's good to be back home.  My husband and I took a short trip down to Florida to celebrate my brother-in-law's 70th birthday. With the three hour time difference, it seemed as though it took us all day to get there!  But, we had a wonderful time.

The weather was perfect; not too hot and not too cold.  And, best of all, no humidity!  We met up with more family members and ventured off to Sanibel Island one beautiful afternoon.  Since I didn't have my "sun umbrella", I stayed at the beach for only a few minutes before venturing off to explore the edge of the island.  I found this amazing boardwalk that took me through a maze of trees out to the edge of the island.

I absolutely love trees and anything green!  While the family was enjoying the water view, I was looking at some of nature's art.  

The trees have woven their roots throughout the ground.  I was on the lookout for anything that might be crawling about.

It was fascinating to see how this one tree wrapped itself around another tree.  And yet, both were continuing to grow.  I took the foot path back to where I had begun and loved walking through this area of entangled greenery.

One more amazing tree photo.

At the edge of the island, there were some interesting signs telling about the island habitat.  There are a large variety of shells found on the island.  In fact, my sister-in-law, Lynda, has quite a beautiful collection of shells she has collected since being in Florida.

At the end of the boardwalk, I came upon the Sanibel Light House or Point Ybel Light. It was first lit in 1884.  The light house played an important part as Port Punta Russa in the mid to late 1800's was used to ship cattle from Florida to Cuba.  I believe today it's under the management of the U. S. Coast Guard.

I was walking along the edge and I saw something move.  It was a turtle quietly munching his lunch.

I discovered this hole in the sand and it made me wonder what it is as it's not in a place where someone would make a sand castle . . .

Another sign board told me all about the gopher tortoise and how they burrow in the sand.  Nature is pretty amazing!

Luckily, I didn't see any snakes.  

Take a look at this one; it's huge!  It made me wonder how old he/she really is.  And, you can see the sand on it's back.  Maybe he came out of his burrow to eat his lunch?

Here's another view of this lovely creature.  

Last time I was in Florida (Ft. Myers), we drove down to the Everglades and took one of those air boats in the swamp to see alligators.  I had seen a program on TV and thought it looked like fun.  Since then, I don't think I'm that adventurous.  My nephew lives on a mini farm in North Ft. Myers.  And, there's a pond on his property.  Last year, he found a six foot alligator coming out of his pond!  I think I'll stay in southern California and deal with my garden snails and geckos.

We had a great time seeing and discovering new things and visiting with the family.  I hope that each of you are doing well.  Lilly sends her meows.  She stayed home and told me she had a relaxing time with the house all to herself :)

Until next time, 

My best wishes to you,