Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cafes, hoarfrost, vacuum cleaners and Miss New Kitty

This week I needed to take my year-old vacuum cleaner in for its first annual checkup, so off I went to West Liberty, Ohio, where I purchased it. The night before we had fog that froze on the trees and bushes, otherwise known as hoarfrost.

This huge tree was all alone in the middle of the field.

After dropping off my cleaner at Mr. McCulla's, I walked across the street to have a bit of lunch at the Cream and Sugar Cafe.

It was a charming restaurant with small town friendliness. Not only did I have a bowl of tomato bisque soup and a chicken and spinach salad, but I also had a pot of English Breakfast tea. Made the proper British way with loose tea, not tea bags. They even gave me a complimentary lemon muffin which was just the right size, not one of those giant ones that most bakeries serve.

I had a table by the window and it wasn't crowded the day I was there, so they didn't mind my sitting for a while, sipping my tea and reading while I waited for Mr. McCulla to finish. I was saddened to hear that my favorite book store had closed due to the owner's retirement. She always had cats in residence and I had planned to take pictures of them and her store. I had to make do with the thrift store across the street. There I found a used hardback copy of The Mists of Avalon, which will make a perfect book to read for the Read the Book, See the Movie Challenge (in the sidebar) in which I'm participating this year. I have a whole year to read four books and watch the movies to compare in a blog post. That shouldn't be too difficult for a challenge-phobic person like me!

Update on Miss Sassy Clementine New Kitty:

She's still here, as you can see, and is currently running the household. See the word on the back of the little chair? Just remove that last letter and that should have been her name!  She keeps the other cats hopping.....and running, wrestling, and playing! She has doubled her size and is in danger of developing a little kitty fat belly. Unfortunately, her right ear and the tip of her tail was frostbitten. She has already lost about a fifth of her ear. She's going to the vet tonight and we'll see what Dr. Julie says. I don't know if she needs to have the damaged parts removed, or not. I'll keep you posted. Meanwhile, Sassy says "Hi, y'all! And can I bite your cheek? Or your fingers, toes, stray body parts? It's all good!"


Cindy said...

What a charming small town and cafe that is! Makes me want to sit awhile and have tea and muffins with you Susan!

What's not to love about a kitty that feisty? I can't wait to hear about all the adventures she's going to bring into your lives.

Tattered and Lost said...

Beautiful! Really beautiful. Never heard of fog freezing. But then here in California when it starts to rain we have to stop and think "Whoa, do I really want to go out in that?" Even I'd be out in hoarfrost. Just being able to say that to someone would be exciting.

"Where were you today when I called?"

"Why I was out in the hoarfrost of course."

Glad the kitty is still there. Cats know where they belong...even if they do get dingle-dangle belly.

Sandy Nawrot said...

I think hoarfrost is so beautiful. I love your pictures! And ooooh, I really wished I were sitting there in that cute little cafe having some tea! It is so sad to see the little bookshops close down. A good book store must always have at least one cat!

Speaking of cats, I am so happy to see Sweet Kitty finding her footing in your home! You saved her life! She will pay you back by nibbling your nose and toes in the middle of the night!

Ruth said...

Gorgeous trees! I love when the fog freezes every twig like that. Your photos are so beautiful.

The cafe is the sweetest thing, and I'd love to have a hot cup of tea and a lemon muffin.

Sounds like you named Sassy the right name. Poor thing with her frostbite too. Just imagine if she'd been out there any longer. Well, now she belongs to you! :D

Lovely post, Susie!

Wanda said...

Your photos of the hoarfrost are beautiful, we experienced the same here a few weeks ago.
The pot of tea looked perfect and it looks like the Brat has made herself comfy in her new home.
She has beautiful coloring!

CottageGirl said...

OMG! We are still having fog ... are you? At one point they told us that we were having fog that was frozen ... but it NEVER looked that beautiful!!! What a wonderful job capturing the etherealness (Is that a word?) of it! YOu should blow those up and hang them on a wall!
Anyhoo ... Next time I'm coming with you to the Cream and Sugar. I'd like a quiche, please and a nice cup of herbal tea ... But I want to know if the side they serve with the sandwiches is the same Chex Party mix that you can make (Or buy)?
Hope Miss SCNK is doing OK, Poor baby!

CottageGirl said...

Oh ... hoarfrost? Cold loose girl?
(Yes OK ... I'm the juvenile mind here! ;->)

Word Verification ... tommoro

Tommoro, Tommoro, You're only a day a-way!!

Char said...

what a beautiful and sweet little girl she is. love the name.

and the tea/luncheon spot looks quite wonderful.


i haven't read the mist of avalon in years - wonderful book.

Oliag said...

The photos of the hoarfrost are stunning!...I'm not sure if we have ever had anything like that here in RI...we get freezing rain on branches but nothing quite that beautiful....

I'm so happy you posted about Sassy...I was going to ask about her and see how she was doing ...I'm sure she will never miss a bit of ear and tail...She is gorgeous...

What a cute the mis-matched chairs and that teapot...I thought you were going to say they served scones with clotted cream it looks so much like an English tea house:)

Am I supposed to be getting my vacuum serviced every year?...if so I missed the last 10 years...

ds said...

Fantabulous pictures, Susan, and I love your description of hoarfrost "Fog that has frozen on trees"--will always remember that one!
Miss Sassy looks wonderful. Deep in her kitty-soul she is so grateful that you found her. She could not have asked to be in a better home!
Wish there were an English teashop around here *sigh*

Susan said...

Cindy, the whole town is charming! There's not much to it, just two blocks, but I love going there. There are two other restaurants. The one where I usually eat was closed for renovation, but I'm glad it was and I was able to try out the cafe.

Sassy now has a reputation at Dr. Julie's. She gave them a "fun" time when they took blood for the leukemia test! Dr. Julie loved her though.

Susan said...

Tattered, I'm still smiling at "dingle-dangle belly"! That's exactly what my big cats have, and I'd say it won't be long before the little piglet has one, too!

Love your conversation with your imaginary friend! :D It really is beautiful and it covers everything. Pictures really don't capture the feeling of being in it.

Susan said...

Sandy, Dr. Julie called my finding Sassy "divine intervention" and I guess she's right, because there's really no other explanation for what happened.

I was so disappointed that the book shop was closed. The owner was so sweet and just as you would picture a small-town book shop owner as being. Mr. McCulla said that there is a prospective buyer, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

VioletSky said...

from hoarfrost... to frost bite... to bite to eat.
very good.

(obviously Sassy isn't impeded by her deficient ear and tail, is she?)

Susan said...

Thank you, Ruthie! Thank goodness I took my camera with me! We didn't have the hoarfrost near us, so I had no idea what to expect. It's so all-encompassing when it happens...I love being out in it.

My lunch wouldn't have been lonely if I'd had you there and all my other sweet bloggy friends. We could have commandeered one whole side of the cafe and ordered a proper tea with finger sandwiches and petit fours! Wouldn't that be fun!

I think we all knew from the beginning that Sassy would be living here, but it is true, once you give them a name, they belong to you!

Susan said...

Wanda, I remember seeing your pictures of the hoarfrost! They were beautiful!

Yes, the Brat is firmly ensconced! I normally wouldn't buy any of the "Bratz" products, but when I saw that chair at Goodwill I just had to get it for her (and the grandgirls like it too)!

Susan said...

Dear sweet CG, thank you for your lovely compliment! I actually had that thought too. Especially the lone tree one.

Wouldn't it be lovely to own a sweet cafe like that? I would combine it with store! Oh, I guess that's already been done...Barnes and Noble, Borders. Anyway, next time I'm heading over to West Liberty, I'll give you a ding-a-ling and you can meet me there! And then you can come home with me, because it would be a heck of a drive home for you! :)

I wondered about the party mix too, but I didn't think to ask! They did give me a little cup of Cheeze-Its to go with the soup and I love Cheeze-Its!

"Cold loose girl"? You crack me up! Now I'm gonna giggle every time I say it!

"The sun'll come out tommoro"!

Susan said...

Believe me, Char, the only time this little girl is sweet is when she's sleepy! Otherwise, she is a little spitfire! I'm hoping she outgrows some of it, but she's quite entertaining as most kittens are. It's been a long time since we had a young kitten in the house. They usually find me when they're already grown!

I can't wait to start on the book, but first I have to finish the other three that I'm currently reading. Was there a movie of it, or was there just a TV mini-series? I think the mini-series starred one of my favorite actresses...Juliana Margulies. Hope I can find it.

Susan said...

Thank you, Oliag! I think what makes the pictures look so unique is that the color of the sky is exactly the color of the frost-covered trees. I didn't do anything to alter that. When you're out in it it makes you feel as if you're surrounded by a soft blanket.

Dr. Julie gave Sassy a clean bill of health and her first shots. She also gave me some medicine to put on her ear and tail. She told me that she had just had a kitten in for frostbite, but she had to remove most of its ears because of infection. So I guess Sassy was pretty lucky to only lose part of one. The doc said she may or may not lose the tip of her tail.

They do serve special teas at the cafe, so I'm guessing there are probably scones and clotted cream. Mmmmm, makes me hungry just thinking about it!

You should have your vacuum serviced! It's not very expensive and you won't believe how much better it operates! When I bought this one, the owner of the shop gives an annual service for 3 years. Cleans everything, replaces the belt, spots any mechanical problems, etc.

Susan said...

Thank you, ds! That description sounds as if it came from a gothic mystery novel, doesn't it? I wish I could take credit for it.

I think Sassy will be a lovely addition to our furkid family. She sure has stirred up the older cats! They're getting more exercise than they've gotten in months, running all over the house! Sometimes it sounds like a herd of horses galloping through the hallways and rooms!

I wish you had a cafe like that near you! You could always come to Ohio and I'll take you there! Let's see, you've been at the library for...what? six weeks now? You're probably due for a little vacation, right? :)

Susan said...

Sanna, very cool connections! That didn't even occur to me! I'm an accidental synchronist! Hey, that would be a great name for a blog!

Sassy doesn't seem to be impeded by her uniqueness at fact, I think it's made her more ornery, if that's possible! It just gives her character. And I think she's going to have long hair, so it may not even be that noticeable once her hair grows out. She's quite the little character!

Susan said...

Wanda, you mentioned her coloring...I forgot to say that Dr. Julie's assistant said she is a tiger calico. I had never heard of that, but it is true...she has tiger stripes in a calico pattern.

dutchbaby said...

This California girl learned a new word today. Hoarfrost - but now I'm ruined for life due to Cottage Girl's comment :)

Love your photos, especially the third one.

Cream and Sugar Cafe looks like my kind of place! I love the signs outside and inside and how they serve tea in a beautiful teapot with a proper china tea cup and saucer.

The Bumbles said...

So a hoarfrost is a dirty stay-out? One of those girls slinking home in the early morning with her party dress still on? The hoarfrost at least still looks beautiful!

Did you ever see Ray Romano's bit on Saturday Night Live where he is an ESPN SportsCenter fill-in trying to come up with some funny catch phrase? He keeps saying "Sweet Sassy Molassy" throughout the whole thing. So now that's what I think of when I read about your little Sassy. When they are that kitten age I call them furry little psychos. She is just so damn cute. I'm glad I get to keep seeing photos of her without experiencing the destroyed furniture. Though I would pay just about anything to feel her soft furriness purring in my arms.

kaye said...

the frost is gorgeous and kind of eerie.

Wanda said...

Hi susan...I thought I would come here and respond to your comment...I love the Cuisinart for our morning pot of coffee, but the Keurig comes in handy for just that one cup someone might want. This one lets you choose mild, strong or stronger, by choosing the size cup you want. I'm not a strong coffee drinker either, but do hate to wash the Cuisinart more than once a day! :)
It comes in handy when my son walks in and jokes: Coffee ready mom?

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

I love that cafe! I really need to get some pretty cups and saucers..
And kitty is doing so well! She looks very happy.

Susan said...

dutchbaby, I know! CG should be ashamed of herself for ruining a perfectly good word! ;-)

Since everyone here wants to have tea at the Cream & Sugar Cafe, I think we should have a blogger convention there! Wouldn't that be fun! I can just hear all of us chattering away and letting our tea get cold!

Susan said...

Molly, you crack me up! A "dirty stay-out"! LOL Boy, you girls have naughty minds!

I never stay up late enough to catch SNL, but I think I've seen Ray do that bit elsewhere. It is funnier than all get-out! Now Sassy will be known as Sweet Sassy Molassy around here!

Come on over and I'll let you sink your hands into her super-soft fur and you might even get in a few pets before she sinks her teeth into your hand! Nah, she's pretty sweet most of the time. Right now she's sleeping behind Lucy (the Springer Spaniel) in my big chair. Maybe I can get a video of her in action for you.

Susan said...

kaye, when you're driving in it, you feel as if you're the only person left on is very eerie.

Susan said...

Wanda, in that case it would be handy to have one around. My only problem is I don't have room for another kitchen appliance, but when I come to see you, you can fix me a cup in yours! ;-)

Susan said...

Hi Natashya! I have lots of nice mugs, but no china cups. They do make sipping tea more special somehow. Maybe I should get a few to have around for special times.

Sassy thanks you for caring about her well-being. "Mew-mew"

Anonymous said...

Wonderful images of the hoarfrost. Rather ethereal.

I can't believe how Sassy has grown. She's so cute.

The beautiful tea cup your tea was served in reminds me of my sister. She loved tea and she always drank it from a beautiful, delicate cup. Thanks for the memory.

Anonymous said...

Yay for Sassy! I'm so glad she found an appreciative home :)
Hoarfrost was a crossword puzzle clue yesterday. Luckily I knew it.

Susan said...

Thank you, Bella. Sassy certainly has taken over this house in a hurry! And has brought a lot of laughter along with her. :)

I'm happy that I brought a lovely memory of your sister to mind.

Susan said...

Stacy, hoarfrost must be a word known by most Midwesterners, probably because we have it quite often. Although you probably don't get a lot of it up your way, being near the lake.

gemma said...

A spot of tea and enjoying the moment is what makes life good.
Your rescue of kitty is much like
Catwings a childrens book review I posted today.

Dorothy said...

Wow seems like unusual weather all over the world..what's the reason it's almost scary.

The photos were lovely and the tea sounds wonderful. I love the simple look of the quaint restaurant creates peace and serenity.

Dorothy from grammology

Tattered and Lost said...

When I first said dingle-dangle belly to my vet she laughed. I don't think anyone had ever called it that. I thought it sounded much kinder than "that flap of fat hanging underneath."

I'm still trying to wrap my brain around fog freezing. In California, specifically the central valley, we get fog called tulley fog. Very very thick. Can't see the end of your hood fog. If that stuff ever froze it would be like driving into a block of ice. As it is sometimes when you're driving you see it up ahead, the world is all sunny, then've driven into it and the world gets very small very fast. If global warming changes things and this starts freezing holy moly!

Elle Bee said...

Haha! That mischievious kitty! Good thing she's so cute!
Hoarfrost photos were so lovely.

Susan said...

Gemma, enjoying life's little moments is what it's all about.

The Catwings book looks very nice!

Susan said...

Dorothy, I'm not sure that hoarfrost is such a new thing...that word is pretty old.

It was very peaceful in the cafe and it was so clean and bright. Even the bathroom looked clean and pretty enough to eat in there!

Susan said...

Tattered, my friend Ginny who lives just down the mountain from South Lake Tahoe in Gardnerville, Nevada, says they have the same thing there only it's called Pog-o-nip, an Indian word. Maybe it has something to do with being on the eastern side of the mountains?

Susan said...

Elle, she is mischievous! Two of the cats have now taken parental roles with Sassy and lick her face just like a momma cat! She has two daddies!

Thank you for the compliment!

California Girl said...

Miss Kitty is adorable and so soft and furry looking. You are an angel. You know that, don't you?

Photos of the iced trees are lovely and so is the tea shoppe.

Susan said...

Cali Girl, it takes one to know one. :)

Sassy is very soft and she's actually settling down a bit. Thank goodness!

Thank you for the compliment.

Delwyn said...

Hello Susan

I love the variety on your blog.
The lacy filigree frost of the large tree is wonderful...

when I read about your excess of bread I thought of bread soup - a tuscan tomato soup with stale bread thrown in...and also a bread frittata, where you layer slices of bread with pesto and any veg you like and cover with an egg mix with cheeses of your choice, and bake til set.
Fetta is nice with olives and Italian veg...

Happy days

Susan said...

Hello Delwyn! So nice to have you visit! And thank you for the compliment.

Bread soup sounds like a wonderful idea for using up excess bread. I will definitely try that and that frittata sounds delicious, like a combination of quiche and savory bread pudding. Thanks for the suggestions.