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My Johnny Boy

Johnny is getting back to his normal playful and snuggling self.  Milo ran him ragged over the last 5 days and he can finally relax without being jumped on. Last night I fell asleep on the couch watching a movie.  When I woke up, johnny was pressed up against me with his head on my arm.  It’s been a while since he’s done that.

As for Milo, I’m happy for him.  I think the process of spoiling him rotten has begun.  He has a dog there to play with who will probably give him a little thump when the brat kitty starts to come out.  Johnny was a bit of a brat hen I got him, and from time to time he still is.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I received these pictures of Milo in his new home just a little while ago today.

I made somebody promise me that they would send me pics when they had them.

Johnny will surely not miss Milo, but I know I will for a while.  Happy trails and a good life for you little dude.



Milo & Johnny

The battle goes on…

Milo is following Johnny all over the apartment like I little brother.  I think it’s cute but so far Johnny is having nothing to do with it.  Milo is getting closer and closer and Johnny is letting him to a certain extent.  Yesterday I noticed the two of them laying on the carpet, nose to nose, just inches apart.  They were there for a couple of minutes.  Johnny let out the biggest hiss that I’ve ever heard out of him.


I found a hiding place that I’m going to block up for safety reasons.  When they renovated my apartment, they left an opening under the kitchen counters that Milo can get into.  I had one cat for a while, Ruby, who got into the service panel for the bathroom plumbing and didn’t come out for almost 2 days.  Milo was in and out of this opening at least two dozen times yesterday, but it still makes me a little nervous.

My little apple strudel thief surprised me yesterday afternoon.  Milo tried to jump up into the recliner where Johnny was napping, but he didn’t quite make it.  Milo got hung up by his claws in the fabric.  The surprise was when Johnny reached down, grabbed him by the back of his neck, and lifted him into the chair next to him.  I thought for a moment that I had a breakthrough.  There was no hissing.  For about 20 seconds.  Johnny finally let out with a good one and flew out of the chair.  He knocked everything off the coffee table, but as you can see he did come back to get his share of the apple strudel.  I shared a little piece with Milo.  I think I’ll end up with two strudel thieves.

One other thing, I think I picked the wrong name for Milo.  I think I should have named him Houdini, or maybe Magic Cat.  One second you see him and the next second he just vanished into thin air.  The little character is like greased lightning.  It’s all I can do to keep from stepping on him.

Oh the fun of having another kitten in the house.  It’s been a long time and I’m loving every minute of it.


Thankful Thursday – Jul. 11, 2019

I’m thrilled to death that we’ve been getting warmer weather and that the weather guy has been wrong about rain for the last week or so.  He gives us an 80% chance of severe thunderstorms and we’ve been getting just enough rain to wet the pavement.  It’ll rain for 3 or 4 minutes and then it quits.

Of course the warmer weather means for trips to the bench to see all of my other little buddies.

Unfortunately this year there’s a $50 fine if you get caught feeding the ducks.  I’m good friends with the Frito-Lay delivery guy.  When he had popcorn that he had to pull off the shelves, he would sell it to me for 75 cents a bag, which I fed to the ducks and the squirrels.

And speaking of squirrels, I was feeding this little guy peanuts and he got up on the bench next to me.  Give him a little time and he’ll be climbing up in my lap like a couple I had last year.

Oh well, I’ll just have to sneak him a little popcorn when nobody is looking.



Kitty Kindness

The mother here is named Mara, a Tonkinese cat who belongs to my friend Shelly from Brainard, Minnesota.  Shelly sent me this picture yesterday afternoon.  The last time I saw Mara, she was such a tiny, tiny little thing that loved to crawl into shirt or coat pockets.  I always joked that one day I was just going to let her crawl into my pocket and I was going to take her home with me.  That’s probably why Shelly frisked me before I left her place one day.  😁  Mara is such a sweetie!

The Puppies Shelly picked up along the freeway coming back from her trip to Minneapolis.  As best Shelly could tell, somebody put the puppies in a cardboard box, pulled over on the freeway, dropped them out the door, and just drove away.  Mara had a litter of 6 kittens, of which 3 didn’t make it.  Obviously Mara accepted the three puppies as her own kids.

It’s things like this that make me more and more thankful for my Johnny every time I hear such stories.  Everything in life happens for a reason.  Johnny was abandoned when he was about 3 weeks old.  I detest people who would do something like this to any animal, but at the same time I’m glad that they did.  If they hadn’t, Johnny probably wouldn’t have ended up with me.

I’m always thankful for my little buddy…

My Thankful Thursday

My Thankful Thursday

I was invited to dinner last night at the Bridgeside Super Club south of Grand Rapids on Pokegama Lake.  I have fond memories of this place for many reasons.  Years ago, I used to sell pull tabs here from a booth in the corner of the bar.  Then, a few years later when I was on hard times, Harry and Ruby, the former owner of the club put me to work in the kitchen washing dishes and prepping for the chef.

Last night I had the most incredible lobster dinner that I’ve had in years.

After dinner, we were all invited out to the deck overlooking the lake to enjoy a 40 year old bottle of brandy.  Then I learned the real reason that I was there.  My friends Steve and Amy, the couple who adopted Pedro, took on another cause that is near and dear to my heart.

Just a little background here.

The North Country Animal Rescue, north of Grand Rapids was on the verge of closing their door.  This shelter has been operating since 1978 from monies from the estate of a woman who passed away in 1976.  Before she passed she had 2 dogs and 23 cats.  Unfortunately the money finally ran out due to poor financial management in the last 10 years.

This is the front view of the shelter.

And a rear view.

Enter Steve and Amy.

A real estate developer has been making offers on the property where the shelter is located for nearly 8 years, but the people managing the shelter always refused to sell.  Now they were in a bad place, and the management was ready to sell out.

Steve wrote a check for $1.4 million to purchase the property.  Part of his decision was personal.  He knew the real estate developer very well and he didn’t want this guy to build another row of condominiums.  It was part of an age old battle between this developer and Steve’s father that had gone on for a great many years.

It is going to cost Steve approximately $4.5 million to update the main building and the surrounding facilities.  The surrounding facility have housed over 150 dogs and cats, and has housed horses, goats, and many others over the years.  He plans to expand all of these buildings.

I used to volunteer at this shelter, so I know that what he is planning is going to be on a grand scale, and I’m actually looking forward to helping out with what I can.

Steve and Amy also added another member to their family.

Molly is 14 years old, and according to the vet, if she receives good care, may live for another two or three years.  Steve and Amy took Molly in so that she could spend her remaining days not seeing the world through the bars of a cage.

Molly’s previous owner abandoned her in the bathroom of a gas station 4 years ago, and she has been at North Country ever since.  She is such a little lover and deserves to live out her remaining years with a loving family.

A quick update on Pedro:

Pedro will be going to a dentist tomorrow to have some teeth fixed.  Otherwise he is having the time of his life.  Steve had a catio built that I could only describe as a wonderland for any cat.  When I get a chance, I want to get some pictures of it.  From what Amy described to me, and knowing how Steve is, it has got to be close to a 5 star luxury hotel for cats.  I can’t wait to get out and see it.

I’m thankful today for people who have more money than they know what to do with, who use it to make lives better rather than to just make more money.

By the time everything is done, Steve figures that it will cost them nearly $8 million to fulfill their plans for the shelter.  They both consider it some of the best money they’ve ever spent.

Here’s hoping everybody has a great Thankful Thursday.  Mine started out great last night.

The Best White Chicken Chili Ever

I’m a chili lover from the word go. I’m not talking about the chili that a lot of my friends make and think that it’s the greatest chili in the world. They think that chili is supposed to be hot enough to melt the bottom out of the spoon, and they add enough beans to choke a horse. For me, chili has to have a good balance of seasonings, spices, and beans. This one really fits the bill for me.

This is a recipe you’ll want to be making year round, even as it starts to get warm outside. It’s probably different than what you’d expect with the label of “chili” in the title but it is amazingly delicious!


1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (14 ounces each) chicken broth
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chiles
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1-1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
3 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) great northern beans, drained, divided
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Sliced jalapeno pepper, optional


In a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook chicken and onion in oil until lightly browned. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the broth, chiles, cumin, oregano and cayenne; bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low. With a potato masher, mash one can of beans until smooth. Add to saucepan. Add remaining beans to saucepan. Simmer for 20-30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and onion is tender.

Top each serving with cheese and, if desired, jalapeno pepper.

Freeze option: Freeze cooled chili in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally; add broth or water if necessary.

Now before I end this, there is something that you should know about this incredible chili recipe.  This chili has actually won 6 awards from 6 national chili cook offs.  Unless you make this one at home, there is only one place in the world where you can have White Chicken Chili with this particular recipe.

That place?  The Salvation Army Soup Kitchen in Virginia, MN.  The chef who came up with this recipe is a regular volunteer there.  I’m most thankful for good people who donate their time and always give their best.

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