Frost Nouveau

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Finding beauty in the cold. I bundled up and took my camera out for a walk but the fresh window frost seemed to hold the most intrigue. It is lovely too, along the river’s edge where the water moves so fast that the cold can’t hold it still. It seems like a good time to make soup!

Frosted-atRiver'sEdge

© Karen McRae, 2017

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1960 MG MGA Roadster Gateway Classic Cars of Scottsdale #107

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On drying clementine slices

Yesterday, we went to the basement and looked through our Christmas boxes. Candles holders, zinc, gold, silver, ceramic. A basket with my favourite vintage glass ornaments wrapped in torn newspaper and packed in egg cartons kept closed with rubber bands. A couple of straw julbock [Yule goat]. Many adventljusstakar [Advent lights]. Four paper stars with their cables all tangled and their light bulbs wrapped in kitchen paper.

To the sound of Emmit Fenn’s Painting Greys, we hanged them, one by one, to our windows. And when we lit them, their soft glow reflected in the foggy glass not unlike a frosted mirror.

Later at night, we took a tray of dried clementine slices out from our oven. We left them cool down on our kitchen table where their translucent flesh glistened under the light of the white and gold star we’d hanged a few hours earlier. The same one we’d tied to that small hook by our kitchen window a year ago to the day too!

I think I will make a garland: dried clementines and the pinecones we picked under the snow a few weeks ago now, a bit like this one, although ours might look a lot more… rustic.

These dried clementine slices are also delicious to nibble on, much so in fact.

Dried clementine slices

Preheat oven to 110°C/fan 90°C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Slice the clementines into 4-5mm slices and arrange them in a single layer on the prepared baking tray. Generously dust with icing sugar.

Bake until the slices are dry and the flesh looks translucent, about 2 to 3 hours.

I find it easier to remove the slices from the paper while they’re still hot. You can do so and place them onto a plate to cool down. Store in a paper bag, in a dry place.

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Felted Heart Catnip Toys from Show Me A Little Sign

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What kitty wouldn’t love one of these felted wool catnip hearts? Handmade in California from 100% wool and stuffed with organic catnip, generously sized at 2 by 2 inches, these colorful hearts will delight your kitty.

Chery, the accomplished artist and crafter who makes these toys, also creates adorable felted wool bags and ceramic signs featuring whimsical and inspirational messages. If you’ve been a Conscious Cat reader for a while, you may recall reading about Chery’s story of rescuing nine cats who were living on the streets with a homeless woman: Nine Lives: A Story of Catastrophe, Compassion and Caring.

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And while you’re in Show Me A Little Sign’s Etsy shop, be sure to check out Chery’s adorable felted wool cat bags and whimsical cat signs!

Click here to purchase the felted wool catnip hearts

Click here to view all of Show Me A Little Signs products

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Proceeds from all sales help to support Chery’s foster cats.

*FTC Disclosure: The Conscious Cat is a participant in the Etsy affiliate program. This means that if you decide to purchase through any of our links, we get a small commission. We only spread the word about products and services we’ve either used or would use ourselves.

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Review: Buddhism for Pet Lovers

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There’s no question that cats enrich our lives in so many different ways. They’re family members, constant companions, they cheer us up when we’re feeling down and, as science has shown us, they even have healing powers. The bond between cat and human can often be deeper than any connection we may feel with other humans. In Buddism for Pet Lovers: Supporting Our Closest Companions Through Life and Death, David Michie explores this close connection between us and our animal companions.

How do animals’ minds compare to our own? Do pets have any purpose besides offering us companionship, and cute social media photos? What happens to animal consciousness when they die?

Drawing on ancient Buddhist tradition and contemporary science, Michie provides a fascinating look at how our relationship with animals transcends the mere physical connection. By caring for them and enriching their lives, our own lives become richer, too. This is a book about the spiritual lives of pets, written from the perspective of Tibetan Buddhism. If you’re interested in learning more about mindfulness and other Buddhist principles, this is an easily accessible way to do so.

Michie also offers practical suggestions to enhance our day to day relationships with our feline family members, and those sections ended up being my favorite part of the book. Drawing on the principle of mindfulness, he reminds us that we need to make time to spend with our pets to be truly present with them, and to listen to them not just with our ears, but with our hearts. I particularly loved the meditation exercises that encourage readers to be mindfully present with their pets.

David Michie meditating with Kalhua

Michie also addresses the difficult topic of helping our animal companions through the final chapter of their lives. While I don’t completely agree with the Buddhist approach to death and dying when it comes to companion animals, I found much in this section that I resonated deeply with, especially the idea of being fully present with a terminally ill pet and understanding that there is much we can do beyond just caring for their physical needs to assist them during this time in their lives.

This book is written from the heart by one of the greatest teachers of mindfulness and Buddhism in the West. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to have a deeper and more fulfilling relationship with these wonderful cats (and other pets) who share our lives.

Buddhism for Pet Lovers is available from Amazon.

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*FTC Disclosure: The Conscious Cat is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to products on Amazon and affiliated sites. This means that if you decide to purchase through any of our links, we get a small commission. We only spread the word about products and services we’ve either used or would use ourselves.

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Songs of Autumn

The sky is a busy highway with Sandhill Cranes flying from pond to pond, same with the geese. Seems all of the creatures are scurrying around getting ready for winter.

Leah Yetter Photographer

I took a walk through the meadows now that the biting bugs have all gone.

Leah Yetter Photographer

All that is left is tall grass swaying in the breeze and red-winged blackbirds swarming, swooping, and singing the songs of autumn.

Leah Yetter Photographer

The meadows will be full of cattle once we bring them home from the mountains this week. I love fall time in Wyoming.