Good News, Bad News

Good News: Mocha’s fur is growing out. So many of you have emailed to ask about him, that I thought I’d keep you posted. Interesting to see how much darker he gets as it grows. Here he is sitting on our deck with his “brother” James.


Bad News: Mocha and James don’t really understand why we let Zoe and Gracie in our house and we don’t let them in, too.


Good News: We also have cute squirrels in our yard.


Bad News: This one must have been having heart palpitations at the thought of cats on the deck.


Good News: Love this new recipe that we tried this week. (Original recipe from, via Pinterest.)

Penne-with-Roasted-Asparagus-and-Balsamic-ButterPenne with Roasted Asparagus and Balsamic Butter

1 pound asparagus
1 Tbl. olive oil
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. brown sugar
1 pound penne pasta
1/4 pound butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the tough ends from the asparagus and then cut the spears into 1″ pieces. Toss in olive oil and 1/4 tsp. salt and pepper and roast on a baking sheet for 10 minutes.

While the asparagus is roasting, put the balsamic vinegar in a small pan and simmer until 4 Tbl. remain. Stir in the brown sugar and the remaining 1/4 tsp. pepper. Remove from heat.

Cook the penne in a large pot of boiling, salted water, approx. 14 minutes. Drain and toss with butter, then add the balsamic sauce, Parmesan, and remaining 1 3/4 tsp. salt.

(You can also make this with broccoli instead of the asparagus. Or add in grilled chicken pieces. Yum!)

Bad News: I have this awesome 18 year old Balsamic Vinegar from the Rocky Mountain Olive Oil Company downtown. (So delicious.) When I told DH that the sauce was a little dark because of the aged vinegar, he thought I meant that I was using Balsamic that I had bought 18 years ago and was still in the cupboard. Ick.

Sheri gotanygoodnews/badnewstoshare?


  1. Your comment about your DH thinking you were using 18 year old balsamic vinegar from your cupboard versus gourmet, aged balsamic vinegar would have been the same comment coming from my DH. Aren’t they cute? Aren’t they clue-less?

    We also have homeless cats in our neighborhood who like to use our front porch as their overnight slumberland. My 20 pound indoor cat is deeply afraid of them; while our 7 pound mutt wants to play. We call the black, limping one, “Mr. Lonely” and the grey tabby “Senor Taco.” We leave them water, but refuse to leave them food. That’s our next door neighbor’s job.

    Thanks for the recipes with pictures, and updates on the wildlife in your neck of the woods. I really enjoy your blog!

  2. Good news: just ordered 2 skeins of Lorna’s Laces worsted to knit Large Tams for our wonderful master carpenter and his darling wife, both of whom have dreads to and past their waists!

    Bad news: Yarn won’t be here until next week!

    Love all the kitties!

  3. Your James looks almost exactly like Prince who visits our yard once or twice a day. He was left in the neighborhood when someone moved so several people take care of him now. He gets along with our dog but doesn’t understand that the cats he hisses at are inside the house so that’s why he can’t come in.

  4. Good news: first two loads of Mama’s laundry are in process!
    Bad news: that really doesn’t put a dent in the large piles (yes, plural) of laundry that have accumulated, due in large part to her Alzheimer’s.

    Good news: waiting on the laundry gives me lots of Camp Loopy knitting time.
    Bad news: see above comment on amount of laundry. I’m going to run out of Camp Loopy knitting LONG before I run out of laundry. (Like I don’t have the other projects waiting to work on or anything…)

  5. Good News: Perfect timing for the recipe. I just bought 2 bunches of asparagus this morning and was wondering how to fix them. I could easily snack on a pound of roasted straight off the baking sheet but these are supposed to be for company coming to dinner on Sunday.

    Bad News: Not much – the worst I can come up with – it’s been raining this week but sunnier today which means the grass is getting out of control. I’ll have to spend tomorrow mowing instead on knitting. It’s sad to think that I’ll be forced to spend the day outdoors in the sunshine and mild temps (only 78F predicted).

    Good News: After spending the day working, I’ll get to sit on the front porch watching all the birds that come to get the bugs in the freshly mowed fields while I’m knitting on my Camp Loopy project.

  6. Good news about Mocha, but bad news is I need to give my kitty Clara a similar trim. By myself. And she has all her claws.

    Your palpitating squirrel and old vinegar made me laugh out loud! 🙂

  7. Good News: “Buddy” ,my Chipmunk, who lives in the hollow branch of a very tall tree in our backyard , has been crawling out every evening, to check in, with the humans.

  8. I had a kitty like Mocha once who refused to be brushed or combed and had to be clipped every once and a while. He always looked so funny like a funny colored squirrel. I hurt his feelings the first clipping because I laughed at him.

  9. Good news- I cracked up at the palpitating squirrel! Plus, I have my Camp Loopy project started, AND I am learning how to do yarn overs! :). I love how you help all of the animals.
    Bad news- Somehow, I have managed to pull some sort of muscle or something on the left side of my neck/shoulder. I am really beginning to feel my 45 years age! But, I can still knit!!! :).

  10. Good News: I got a really good laugh about the vinegar–my DH would have thought the same thing!
    Bad News: It is really hard to knit (or type) without an injured middle finger on my right hand.

  11. oops…..Buddy is NOT a Chipmunk….he’s a Racoon…..bad news that I labeled him incorrectly 🙁

  12. Thanks for the yummy recipe- just happen to have asparagus to cook. And thanks for the chuckles.

  13. I see that company also has some dark chocolate balsamic vinegar — that would be good in a recipe with strawberries!

    I love asparagus, so will need to try the recipe you posted.

  14. Good News: Project 1 (Camp Loopy) is pretty much finished – way quicker than I anticipated!

    Bad News: I ran out of yarn with one row and the cast off row to go. So guess the pattern I used is going to be just slightly individualized, cause I jsut cannot justify ordering another skein of yarn for two rows….

  15. ha ha ha 🙂 hubbys have a way of misunderstanding us! the recipe sounds delicious – thanks for all the cute kitty pix!!! and i love the squirrel pix lol what a cute little menagerie you guys have!!
    hope you had a wonderful weekend – I got some knitting done on project 1 so i’m happy but still nervous the 27th will arrive too quickly.

  16. Bad News—- My Camp Loopy project is stalled —- waiting for needles that I thought I had and didn’t so I can knit the sleeves.
    Good News —- My Loopy Olympic Swap heart made item is coming along great because I have more time to work on it!
    Bad News —— Lousy weather this week-end – Rain and MORE rain!
    Good News —— Good knitting weather !!

    Glad Moca’s fur is growing back —- must say he/she still doesn’t look too happy about the whole thing.

  17. I have a bag of mixed blessings.

    I started my Camp Loopy project over the weekend (aka, late).
    I finished (well, I have buttons to sew on) my Q2 Loopy project.
    I go to Squam in 2 days and will have a mega ton of knitting to do.
    It’s going to be cold (according to the latest forcasts).
    I’ve got plenty of hand knits to wear. Yeah!

  18. That cat is gorgeous. His fur is growing back great. I use to have an Himalayan Flame Point that I kept groomed close. He is gone to a better place, but he would lick himself some sores trying to stay groomed. Once I started grooming him, he stopped the licking. Some cats like it, others do not. Of course, my hubby thought it was cruel. But the problem went away when the grooming started. Not that he ever agreed, but I did it anyway.

    But Mocha is looking regal.

    Thanks for sharing.

  19. Have you been to the Olive Oil Company? I’ve been to 2, one in Pinehurst, NC and another in Saratoga, NY and both were WONDERFUL !!! It is much more fun and delicious to “taste test” the oils and vinegars than it sounds. I have espresso vinegar, maple syrup vinegar and fig vinegar – all balsamic. And the roasted almond or roasted walnut oils are also delicious. I also have the 18 year aged vinegar and love that too! I’ll have to try your recipe.

  20. Good news: This recipe is delicious! I know I’m late with the comment, but we just tried it tonight. Had some fresh asparagus from the garden to use up, and I had the penne in the pantry, so we gave it a try. My DH wanted some meat, so he grilled a couple of chicken breasts to add. Two forks up!

    Bad news: My tendonitis/arthritis has been acting up and is cutting into my knitting time. I’ve given it a few days, and hope I can start knitting again soon!

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