Monday, February 22, 2016


A heartfelt thank you to all of those who left a comment, emailed, or called after reading my last post about my cat Poe who passed away in November. Your kindness meant so much to me. I deeply appreciate each and everyone of you who took the time to write. If you are a no-reply blogger (which means no email address came with your message), I was not able to respond to you directly. So I replied to you in the comments section. Much has happened in the short time since I last posted. The most exciting is that Ashton House is once again home to a furry friend! We just adopted a 5 month-old tuxedo kitten. It was rather unexpected but when when we met Figaro (named after the cat in Pinocchio), we knew he was the right one. We wanted to get another little friend for him at the same time so they could grow up together and even asked about adopting his mommy, too, but we found out she passed away shortly after giving birth. Only Figaro and one of his brothers survived the bottle feeding. So we will forge ahead this spring or summer and look for another kitten in need of a home.

When we met Figaro, he was relaxed from the moment he was plopped into my arms and he instantly started to purr. He stayed there in my arms for 30 minutes without trying to wiggle free. I thought, wow, what a mellow kitten! However, that disposition was short-lived.

By the time we got him home, he was as rambunctious as a typical kitten. I have a feeling it was because he lived all his life in a kennel since he was born at the shelter. Once he realized he could roam free in a 3,000-square foot house, it must have seemed like an adventure to him. The most precious thing is that Figaro loves Poe's old wingback chair. I thought it would never again be so loved by a cat. Seeing him in the chair makes me think of Poe and smile.

Figgy and I are fast becoming good friends. He seems to think I need his help when working at the computer. He paws at my legs and asks to be picked up and placed on my lap. Pardon the duds I work in. My usual work attire is a sweatshirt and Grimace-colored sweatpants! One of the perks of working from home—if you would consider that a perk!

Apparently, Figgy can also write as I received this sweet Valentine's card from him. Who knew such a little guy could be so smart?! I think he must have had some help from my husband.

Yes, this Valentine's Day was extra special because of Figaro and my sweet husband, who surprised me with these thoughtful goodies. If you're wondering why he's so good at finding things, it's because he gathers ideas from my Pinterest Wish List page, however, he does deserve a lot of credit as he found the vintage owl purse and antique copper mold on his own.

This was one of the more eventful Valentine's days I can remember—not only because of Figaro but because we attended a Valentine's Tea at a historical house in Waterloo, where we were treated to a talk on the history of Valentine's Day and learned how to make Victorian Valentine crafts like paper roses.

After that, we headed to one of my favorite vintage shops, Miss Wonderful, where I found a couple 1960s cardigans for $12 and $15 each. 

The blue one is really warm and cozy. Looks to be some sort of wool. And the pink one has a fanciful black scalloped trim. They just don't make clothes like they used to! If only I could time-travel back to the 1960s and see all those neat clothes in action. The women of the 1960s wore them so well. I like that the clothes come in an array of sizes and styles to flatter all sorts of body types. Right now the shop has an amazing navy, yellow, and green shift dress in an extra-large for thirty some dollars. It would definitely be worth checking out if that's your size. 

Just a side note that if you happen to wear smaller sized shoes like 5.5 to 6, Miss Wonderful has some nice options like these 1950s heels that I tried on during an earlier visit last year. I was surprised that these hadn't been snatched up yet. 

For Valentine's dinner, my husband took me to Le Jardin in Des Moines, where we enjoyed a four-course dinner. It's not as much as it sounds since the portions were smaller. First course was a charcuterie plate of homemade pork pate, herb-crusted salami, pickled onions, olives, and Cheese Shop cheese. The second course was a petite bacon and onion quiche served with mixed greens, gruyere cheese, cherry tomatoes, and anisette vinaigrette. The main course was my favorite, a chicken Francese served atop artichoke and Roquefort mashed potatoes, Dolin Vermouth, and lemon sauce. And for dessert there was a lemon creme brûlée with amaretto strawberries or a flourless chocolate cake served with warm cherry sauce and Grand Marnier whipped cream. My husband got the former and I got the latter so we could sample both. 

And last but not least, I just wanted to share some other happy news. Indigo, the black kitty we were sponsoring at Furry Friends Refuge, found her furrever home! We were told a nice single lady who stays home adopted her, so Indigo will get lots of attention around the clock. We couldn't imagine a happier ending for a more deserving kitty! While we were at the shelter, we met another nice black kitty named Monique who has the sweetest disposition. If you're looking for a loving kitty girl, I hope you will go check her out. She's at the Grand Ave. location near downtown Des Moines.


  1. Oh what a delightful post and such a treat to see a kitty find a home. I know Figaro loves - loves your home and will be an important part of everything happening there! Poe is smiling too!

  2. Figaro seems happy to be with you. I am SO happy for you. He will fill up your heart!

  3. Aww cute baby ...kisses and lots of hugs
    I am so happy for you my dear
    GOD bless you and the sweet fur baby x

  4. I'm so happy that you and Figaro found each other! That is great news! Figgy is an awesome name and nice that he's lovey and friendly. Really happy for you!

  5. congrats on your new sweet kittie! yay! do you deal with the claws in your beautiful home?
    lovely shoes :)

  6. Congratulations on your new kitten! I was not able to comment on you last post because we lost our dear little dog that very day. So glad you decided to bring home a new companion. We decided our home was just too quiet and are now in the middle of puppy training. Good luck on finding another companion for you and Figaro!

  7. Congrats on your new furry friend. He is adorable. Your valentine's dinner sounds fabulous. Great gifts your DH found for you. Glad to see your sweet girl found a home.

  8. Figaro is just gorgeous Kimber. He does look very happy there sitting in Poe's old chair. Sounds like you had a lovely Valentine's Day. xxx

  9. So happy for you and yes another kitten would be perfect! I have 5 and wouldn't give up any of them!


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