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Crio Bru: brewing cocoa beans

Ok, trying to use LJ more than the seductively easy Facebook.


So, I tried the Crio Bru. I got the Coca River flavor because it said it was the chocolaty-est.

I closely followed their brewing instructions for a drip coffee maker.

On opening the bag, I was blown away by the rich chocolate aroma. It's not the same as baker's chocolate, it smelled more milk chocolatey than dark chocolatey. It came ground, no option for buying the beans.  In appearance the grind was rougher and and chunkier than coffee, and it takes 2 tablespoons/6 oz rather than the 1 tablespoon/6oz that I use for coffee.

The smell while brewing was amazing!

On first taste, I was disappointed. The flavor was not nearly as rich as the aroma*. It was not bitter at all, but the mouth feel was not as creamy as the smell suggested it would be. I wandered out into the backyard and continued sipping. By about the fourth sip, it was really growing on me. The chocolate aroma had filled my sinuses, and the taste was improving. It's not like eating chocolate, but it was still very, very chocolate tasting. By the time I finished the cup, I was sold. Yum! Will buy again when I can afford it.

I drank it black. I suspect the addition of sugar and/or cream would make it even more like eating dark chocolate, or maybe drinking rich hot chocolate.

*That has long been a complaint of mine about coffee, that the taste was not as rich and silky as the aroma.

Edit: Wow, neither LJ or Firefox caught my speeling blunder.


Brudders! photo 055_zpsc056cfb1.jpg

Jul. 8th, 2013


The Puppy Au Pair with the kittens and Uncle Henry

The vet visit went well. The kittens are in good health except for a mild upper respiratory infection. They have a little diarrhea today, but that's not unusual what with the switch from mom to formula. They'll be on an antibiotic to prevent any secondary infections, but right now the vet says they look very good considering what they've gone through.

He said to go ahead and start trying to get them to lap the formula, and start mixing in solid food by the end of the week. They are all boys, and he thinks they're closer to 2 1/2 weeks than 3, but that's still the time frame for their age.

They had a flea spray I can use, not directly on the little guys; but they said to spray it on a washcloth and hold the kitten in the washcloth for a few minutes.

We have three shades of ginger

Jul. 8th, 2013

Morning Snuggle Picture

They had a big feeding last night at midnight, and slept through until 6:00 this morning. All three have gained some weight, the bright orange one is the smallest, and he went from about 265g to 302g. The rowdy boy went from 283 to 325, so I am getting plenty of nutrition in them.

I'm still concerned about the upper respiratory infection, but we can't get into the vet's until 3:00. I gave them a light feeding at 9:00 before I left the house, and I'll be back home about 1:30 to get them fed and cleaned up before we go to the vet's.

Their teeth are erupting! After they ate this morning, I played with them on the bed, and as they chewed my fingers, I could feel little teeth. I think I can feel the canines on the two buff colored ones, and I wondered if some of this chewing they do is teething. I worry about them not getting enough sucking time to feel satisfied even though their tummies are getting filled.

I'll update again after the vet visit.


We made it through the night. They slept pretty well until around 6, so I got up and tended to the kittens. They ate a lot at that feeding, and none of them fought getting the nipple stuck in their mouth. One of the buff colored ones is starting to get the sucking idea, but they all had a healthy feeding. Two dropped right off to sleep, but Mr Advanced Sucker Buff Boy fussed and fussed and tried to climb up a towel and get out of the box. I tried burping him and stimulating him to eliminate, but what he apparently wanted was to be held and to play.

Ugh, I wanted to go back to sleep, but he would not give up! I kinda kept my arms around him on the bed, and he tumbled happily around, trying to pounce on and bite my fingers for an hour.

Henry is supervising all kitten care very closely. I have their box on a table beside the bed, and he sits beside me when we're feeding and cleaning. He licks their faces and ears if I let him, and he really wanted to play with MASBB, but he doesn't quite get that he can't poke the kittens with his nose or paw. We're working on being gentle, and it is sweet to see how worried he gets if they start crying.

The Puppy au Pair came by after her job this morning and took a try at feeding. The bright orange kitten is not eating as well as the two buff ones, and I think he is feeling the cold. I was able to coax him into eating, but he went right back to sleep afterwards. No call back from the vet, no rescues will help. so we'll head into the vet's first thing tomorrow morning.

I had a talk with PaP about what may happen if they get really sick, that the kindest thing to do sometimes may be to let them go. I hope we don't have to make that choice, but I wanted her to be prepared. They are dear little things and it would be easy to get attached.

Midnight feeding

Well, the kittens played a little bit after this feeding. I was trying to bath them with some moist gauze, and they were spanking my hands and paddling their feet at each other. I'm taking that as a good sign. Since 2:00 I've gotten 1 1/2 ounces of formula in one, and about an ounce each in the other two. From what I can find on line,  for their weight, they should be having about 2 ounces each a day. No poop yet, but they (with my help) urinate at each feeding.

I'm very worried they're going to get sick. There have been a couple of sneezes, and one has a goopy eye. I've treated the eye, and so far they seem to feel ok. I guess we'll see tomorrow. If they can just hang on until Monday morning when the vet's office opens! I'm going to try and catch someone there tomorrow morning, but I don't know that they'll be able to help me unless the vet comes in, and this is a new vet. I don't if he'll come in for stray kittens or not.

Beautiful Faces...


Still can't get them to nurse well. They want their momma, not that nasty bottle!


Uh oh!

(cross-posted elseweb to cause I need all the advice I can get)

So, look what the Puppy au Pair found on the edge of the highway this morning. I'm thinking 2 1/2, 3 weeks old, maybe?

And, no I'm not putting the image behind a cut, kitten pictures will get more attention.

They were dry and not too hungry, so I don't think they had been there long. There were right on the edge of a busy highway, too. PuP sat in the car and waited to see if a mother turned up; but this was the middle of no where, and I feel certain someone dumped them there.

We've been to the store for bottles and orphan kitten formula, and I'll be calling rescues this afternoon for advice and help. I keep hoping there might be a momma cat somewhere who could take them, but we're prepared to raise these little guys if necessary. I'll be calling my vet on Monday morning, too.

So, any orphan kitten experts out there? My experience is mostly in helping out folks who were raising one. I know the basics, but any tips or hard won insights would be wonderful.
Like, I know you have to teach bottle reared kittens to retract their claws, but I'm very fuzzy on how.

I have been remiss

So, Henry has grown up!

The Hairy TorpedoCollapse )

Oh, there were the usual growing pains. He went through his "experiment with pot" stage

PotheadCollapse )

But mostly, he's a good guy.

Doggies PicsCollapse )


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