Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Greenies Dog Treats


It is understandable that dogs cannot brush their teeth. However, they eat (often things they shouldn’t). Dogs can develop decay and other oral health issues. Consequently, they rely on humans to help them with their oral hygiene.

Recently, Chewy.com asked Stella to try Greenies Dog Treats. I was very happy for her to try a treat that can help keep her teeth and gums healthy. She is just happy to try new treats.

There is good reason Greenies is called a “smart treat”. These green, toothbrush shaped treats offer a total health solution to dogs. They also have fewer calories and less fat than many other treats. Greenies are easily digestible, which is important for dogs with sensitive tummies.

In addition to their taste appeal, this treat fights tartar and plaque build-up. When given daily, they can help maintain healthy teeth and gums. Greenies help to create good oral hygiene, while freshening breath. Available in five sizes, from “Teenie” to “Jumbo”, there is a Greenie for every dog. 

Greenies are endorsed by The Veterinary Oral Health Council . As with all health decisions, I recommend discussing oral hygiene with your dog's own veterinarian. Ask for their opinion on this treat, and if it a good choice for your dog.

Stella

Monday, January 27, 2014

Let Me Know...

when it's Spring.


We have had a wicked Winter. It started early, and has not let up yet. We have had a vicious cycle of snow, subzero temperatures, and wind. As I write this post, it is -8 degrees, with wind chills of -18 degrees. It is supposed to get down to -20 tonight, with wind chills as low as -35.

Yes, please let us know when it is all over. Until then, bring your critters inside and wait it out in a nice cozy, warm place...together, if possible.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Orijen Freeze-Dried Cat Treats


As a PetMom, I am always looking for healthy treats for our FurKids. The cats do not care about that. Maggie loves any treat, though she has sensitive teeth. Chloe Jo has a sensitive tummy (& chronic health issues). Grizelda is just finicky about treats.

Dad is generous with the treats, which makes it even more important to Mom that the treats be healthy. As a long haul trucker, Bill is gone for weeks at a time. Often when he calls I put him on speaker phone so he can talk to his “Girls”: Maggie, Grizelda, Chloe Jo, and Stella. As soon as they hear his voice, they run to the kitchen and line up, knowing that Dad gives treats. Stella goes first, as she is the best behaved. Maggie & Grizelda are pretty equal, while Chloe Jo brings up the rear. As he talks to each one individually, they get their treats. It is truly amazing to watch.

Recently, Chewy.com sent "The Girls" some Orijen Freeze-Dried Cat Treats. Freeze-Dried is the only kind of cat treat that Grizelda will eat! Often Maggie and Chloe Jo will get something else as a treat. Maggie tries to steal from Grizelda after she eats her treats, though. With these treats, that was no different.

Orijen is a manufacturer out of Canada. They use only fresh ingredients of meat and fish. “Fresh” means never frozen, or exposed to heat, chemicals or preservatives. The meat and fish are delivered daily from regional sources, by Orijen’s own fleet of trucks. All meat used is antibiotic and hormone free. All fish used is wild caught.

I was happy to give these to The Girls, and curious what they would think. Maggie liked them, as I thought she would. Chloe Jo ate some, and then tried to cover the rest up. That is normal for her, though. However, Grizelda fully endorses Orijen Freeze-Dried Cat Treats. She loves them! 

Knowing what I do about Orijen, I think I do, too. I feel confident that they are healthy treats. Like I said, as a PetMom that is very important!
Grizelda

Friday, January 24, 2014

Snowflakes and Coffee Cakes


By Joanne DeMaio 
      
Vera returns to her New England hometown for her sister’s winter wedding. However, since her career as a big city reporter has ended she is considering staying in the quaint town. It is decided when she comes across an old country house and barn. There are many things to be repaired in the badly neglected property.  Undeterred, Vera uses her severance pay to buy the old run down place.

Vera obviously has a lot of repairs to deal with. She meets Derek at the hardware store, who quickly becomes her helper and friend. Their friendship grows as she relies on his knowledge and expertise.

During the renovation of the barn Vera discovers a secret. As the story unfolds, so does a secret and its importance to many in the town. Not only will it affect the town and its people, but also Derek. 

This is Joanne DeMaio’s third book. Her novels are as warm and sweet as the titles imply. She does not disappoint. They are a treat.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Lost Lake


By Sarah Addison Allen

This wonderful novel is set in Georgia. Kate, a young widow, has been merely sleepwalking for the past year. Her mother-in-law has taken over her life, as well as that of her young daughter, Devin’s life. Kate had only gone through the motions of living.

Upon coming across an old postcard of Lost Lake, Kate realizes that she needs to take control of her life and Devin’s. Lost Lake is just the place to start. She remembered it as the perfect place of her childhood, as she and Devin set out for Lost Lake Resort.

The resort is owned by Kate’s Aunt Eby who, now growing older, wonders if she should continue on or sell the old place. It needs work and she is tired. Both she and the resort are not what they once were, she fears.

However, the resort has colourful people who have gathered there for many years. They come together, each with their own woes and stories. Misfits of various kinds, they have a place at Lost Lake, finding acceptance, friendship, and ultimately themselves.

Kate finds the support that she needs at Lost Lake. She finds a special childhood friend, as well as Aunt Eby. Kate is reawakened and energized by Lost Lake. It has a magic of its own. Devin knows this immediately, following clues to uncover mysteries and secrets there. 

This may be one of Sarah Addison Allen’s best works. I believe it is indeed a magical novel. I was drawn in from the start, and did not want to leave Lost Lake.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Squirrel Appreciation Day

 Squirrels are adorable little critters.
 They really don't ask for much. 


They are pretty happy & content little critters.

They know what they like,

& are true to themselves.

We could learn something from squirrels.



Happy Squirrel Appreciation Day!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Chaser


~Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words

By John W. Pilley

John Pilley had taught animal behavior for many years, always incorporating his dogs into his curriculum. When he retired he needed that same challenge, and indeed he found it in Chaser.

Intrigued by Chaser’s intelligence, as well as her eagerness, Pilley set out to see how much Chaser could learn. He spent hours every day designing ways to teach Chaser. He also created experiments to test her. Having logged results, Pilley goes into great detail explaining his methods.

By the age of three, Chaser had actually learned 1022 words, reacting and responding correctly to each word. In addition to this she can reason using the process of elimination, by sorting through items to find the unfamiliar one.

While I am sure not every dog can, or is meant to, rise to this level, I keep in mind that not every human being is “a genius”.  However, this book does illustrate the possibilities of animal intelligence, particularly the dog. Border Collies are believed by many authorities to have the highest intelligence of all dogs, and therefore need constant challenges. 

Dog lovers will enjoy the interaction and connection between Pilley & Chaser. This book also offers understanding of the way dogs think and their motivation. In understanding your dog you can change or enhance their behaviours; this is what proper training is all about. Proper training makes for a good foundation and a solid bond between a dog and his or her family. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

"Snow Business"



Simon's Cat in "Snow Business"

We have had such a harsh Winter in 
the U.S., and many other places, too.
I think many of us can identify with
Simon's Cat in this video. 
Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

“Tricks & Treats”

The dog had no self-confidence, but just wanted to please people. She was cautious, but clearly wanted to be loved by her new owners.

As they worked with her, she began to believe in them, and herself, too.  Along with the basics of dog training, she was taught some easy tricks and the joy of treats. Soon she caught on to the human expectations, and her confidence grew. 

She became quite self-assured once she felt that she truly had a “forever home”.

Our Polly, the "Coydog",
at 17 years old
(rescued at one year old)


Story & Photo: McGuffy Ann Morris
~for all "Rescue Dogs" & their people~



Winter Cats

It has been a long, cold
and snowy Winter here.

We set records for subzero temperatures.

 It seems to snow every couple of days!

It is getting to the point of not 
being so much fun anymore!

 Please make sure to take extra care of 
pets (and strays) in the Winter weather. 

 We are already looking forward to Spring!

We hope you are all safe and warm!


Linked to: Cat Thursday

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Bone Horses


By Lesley Poling-Kempes

This complex, multi-layered mystery is set in modern day New Mexico. However, we learn much about the past and legends in this novel.

Charlotte is a very stable and reliable teacher who comes to Agua Dulce, New Mexico from New York. She learns the legends of the wild horses haunting the area, and the ravens that embody ancestors. Charlotte also learns shocking things about her own mother’s past. When she becomes the target of a crazed killer, she finds love with a cowboy.

Nothing is simple here, however. There are many twists and turns in this story. The characters are colourful and very real. They live by legend, tradition, and family history. They struggle with issues of today, such as poverty, education, substance abuse, religious beliefs, and environmental issues. 

Lesley Poling-Kempes writes with emotion, respect and knowledge of the Southwest and New Mexico. She shares the raw beauty of the landscape and its wildlife. She also brings to life the people and their traditions. This is a very unique and special novel.



2013 Tony Hillerman 
Award for Best Fiction

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Frostbite


The chill of your silence is brutally clear;
I may freeze to death, I fear.
I foolishly made a fatal mistake,
and now myself I must forsake.
In your blizzard I’m all alone;
your frost chills me to the bone.
How sorry I am, you’ll never know. 
I didn’t mean to make it snow.

Poem & Image: McGuffy Ann Morris
Poem from my book, "Weeds"


Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Lesson in Hope

This story was sent to me by a friend. I know it is an old story and there are other versions of it, but that is irrelevant. I don't know if it is true or not, but it could be. We could make it so by our own actions. Please read for the moral of the story.  

Recently, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to McDonald's one crisp morning. It was just our way of sharing special playtime with our son.

We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away, and then even my husband did so. I did not move an inch. An overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside of me as I turned to see why they had moved. As I turned around I smelled a horrible 'dirty body' smell, and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men.

As I looked down at the short gentleman, close to me, he was smiling. His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God's light as he searched for acceptance. He said, 'Good day' as he counted the few coins he had been clutching.

The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend. I realized the second man was mentally challenged and the blue-eyed gentleman was his salvation. I held my tears as I stood there with them.

The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted. The man with the blue eyes said, 'Coffee is all, Miss.', because that was all they could afford. (If they wanted to sit in the restaurant and warm up, they had to buy something. They just wanted to be warm).

Then I had a compulsion so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes. That is when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set on me, judging my every action.

I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray. I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen as a resting spot. I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue-eyed gentleman's cold hand.

He looked up at me with tears in his eyes, and simply said, 'Thank you.' I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, 'I did this because God is here working through me to give you hope.'

I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son. When I sat down my husband smiled at me and said, 'That is why God gave you to me, Honey, to give me hope.' We held hands for a moment. We knew that it was through the grace of God that we had been able to give.'

~Author Unknown~

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Intermission

~A Place in Time

By Glenda Lee Vollmecke

This is a very entertaining and riveting memoir. The author writes with British humour that brings her memories to life. From beginning to end, she keeps your full attention with her vivid memories.

Glenda Lee Vollmecke takes you back to her childhood in postwar WWII England. She shares her life from age six through sixteen. It was a difficult time in history, and also for young Glenda. Her relationship with her self-centered stepfather was not a good one. She also grew up with boarders living with her family, to add to the household income. Unfortunately that was one the realities of Postwar times.

Glenda goes on to share stories of the dawning of the 1960s, and the early days of The Beatles. These were formative years, and Glenda was there to see and experience this amazing time in history. She recalls fond memories of her favourite Beatle, Ringo Starr, calling him a “clown”.

The stories that Glenda shares are especially interesting because they are real. Her special memoir was a pleasure to read. This is a book not to be missed. 

Glenda Lee Vollmecke and her husband own and operate a successful alpaca farm in Colorado. Her husband creates items from the alpaca wool that he spins. Glenda paints and sculpts, and also offers psychic counseling.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

"Remembering"


When Nova passed away, it was left to Amanda to go through her grandmother’s things. In Grammy’s bedroom closet she found an old wooden box that she had never seen before. 

Opening the box, she found it full of old pictures, papers, letters, locks of hair, and many other items. Each item had names, dates, and details written carefully on or attached to it. 

Amanda knew some of the people and events, but knew how special this box truly was. A note taped to the inside of the lid read, “Nova’s Remembering Box”.

Story: McGuffy Ann Morris
Image: Photobucket



Tuesday, January 7, 2014

From Pigtails to Chin Hairs


~A Memoir and More

By Becky Lewellen Povich

This memoir is filled with heartfelt stories beginning with growing up in 1950s America’s heartland. I could relate to many of her references. Becky shares vivid tales of being a tomboy playing marbles, climbing trees, and of putting on parades with bicycles and wagons. She recounts stories of parochial school. She is honest about her trials of learning the multiplication tables, and other childhood moments, both good and not so good.

We also meet Becky’s family. She was very close to her father until the family was divided by divorce and miles. This strained her relationship with her father, yet the rest of her family was close. She illustrates this in each touching memory of family vacations holidays, and the ups and downs of life.

Not long after high school, Becky eloped. The next few years were spent as an Army wife, stationed in Germany. She also shares stories of motherhood. There are many tales of this period of her life. Even through the obvious hardships, Becky retained her trademark sense of humour and positive attitude. Though her first marriage ended, Becky shares happy stories from her second marriage.

She is open, honest and very genuine in her writing.  There are many funny stories, due to what Becky refers to as having a “klutz gene”. Reading her book is like sitting down with a friend and reminiscing. Her book is both fun and easy to read.

The 1950s were a simpler time in many ways, and Becky reminds us of the simple goodness of growing up in that time. The foundation was set. Becky Lewellen Povich took her roots and continued to grow. In each life experience she found humour and lessons. I am thankful she shares them with us in her writing. 

Please visit Becky on her blog: Becky Lewellen Povich: Writer, Humorist, Bliss Follower . 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

I've Been Busy...

I have been pretty busy so far this year.
Our snow began in November, a bit early this Winter.
Every few days we would get a couple of inches, 
though sometimes some of it would melt. 
However, we then had a fresh "White Christmas".
This was Stella's first Christmas with us, 
& Dad was able to be home, too! Yay!
This was the Christmas snow.
Stella is not impressed with the snow at all.

A snowstorm was predicted for the New Year. 
It started getting serious late New Year's Eve,
 just as Bill headed Eastward. He drove in the 
storm all the way through upstate New York, 
to Massachusetts and Maine, where along with 
the heavy snow and ice, the temperatures 
and wind chills are well below zero.
I was busy with the snow removal at home,
and worrying about Bill "ice road trucking". 

This is the frontage of the house & yard.
You can get an idea of how much we got,
up here on the Illinois/Wisconsin border.
The local news said our area got 16+ inches.

The bushes are buried under the snow,
and the fountain is piled high with snow.

The walkway to the garage, which loops around
in a circle to the gate and back to the house.
Stella makes her rounds, so I keep it clear.

This is part of the walkway loop, opening onto 
the driveway or going back to the house. 
I also shovel open areas in the yard
for Stella to use. It makes it easier for her.

We are now in the middle of another 
Winter Storm Warning, with another 5-10 inches 
of snow expected tonight into tomorrow.
Hopefully the weather will settle down
and things will go back to somewhat "normal". 
Stay safe and warm, & be careful on the roads.
Please keep Bill in your prayers, too. Thanks.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year Wishes

Wishing you all many blessings in this new year.
May your year be filled with love, peace, hope,
health and happiness...and may you have loved
ones to share it all with. May your peace begin 
within you and spread to those around you.
May this year be the very best yet, for everyone.