Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Minion Moments

The Minions are growing by the minute. They are two-and-a-half weeks old, now. We have been busy establishing a schedule for their health needs. It is simple but very necessary for their well-being. 

They are kept in a crate with a heating pad. About every three hours they are bottle fed kitten "milk replacer". The kittens are so young that Mom (that would be "me", now) has to help them eliminate (go potty) and then clean them up. After that, they are worn out from crying, eating, and eliminating. So they all pile-up and drift off to Dreamland...until it is time to do it all over again.

The minions do have names, now. Louis (Armstrong) and Riley (BB King) love to sing, so are named after two of my very favourites. George (Thorogood), though not "Bad to the Bone", does do things his own way. Bindi is the only "little girl", and that is what her name means.

Louis 

Riley 

 George

Bindi

I will post updates and pictures as I can, but please be patient. The minions are not very impressed with cameras. They much prefer bottles. Right now, it is all about keeping them happy (and healthy). 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Meet the Minions

The orphaned kittens have arrived! They are almost two weeks old.

These two guys are almost twins,

but this is the squeaky wheel.

We think this may be the Boss.

This one is definitely the Princess.

 
Please excuse the quality of these first pictures. 
We have not decided on names, yet, but we will.
We always name our fosters, because they deserve it.
Right now, we are establishing a routine. It is a constant cycle 
of sleeping & bottle feeding, with the occasional "poop-fest".
Bless their hearts.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Proceed with Caution






Bill took this photo in Boise City, Oklahoma

World Domination


It is Cat World Domination Day.


Of course, cats have been planning for centuries.


It might take a bit more work, however.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Busy Bees

Trucking back and forth across America, Bill sees some interesting things. Recently, at a truck stop in Glade Spring, Virginia, he came across a truckload of honey bees.

He was just starting his day and the bees were starting theirs,  too. Many had escaped from the numerous hives secured under the special tarp covering the trailer.  

You can see a cloud of the bees above and around the tractor and trailer. 

Once the sun rises and the temperatures warm up the bees become very restless and active. They know there is much work to be done. 

The dark patches on the tarps are clusters of bees who have remained together. Each box contains one individual hive. On average, each hive can hold 20,00-60,000 bees. However, there is always only one queen per hive.

Commercial beekeeping  has grown into a multi-million dollar industry. Bees are trucked all over the nation. Bill estimated this load to be well over 900 hives, the most he has seen in a single load. 

Honeybees not only provide us with honey and other products, but they assist us in farming. Bees are responsible for pollinating crops that feed the nation and beyond. 

Sweet!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Fur Dad

...who hangs out with us, even when he's busy...

...gives us special treats...

...makes time to play fun games with us...

...and then cuddles and naps with us...

...takes us to interesting places...

...but always makes us feel safe...

...and has loved us from the very beginning...

...unconditionally...

Dad...
this one is fur 
You!
~xoxo~

Happy Father's Day!

...with love always,
from your Girls,

Maggie, Grizelda, 
Chloe Jo, & Stella



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Friday, June 19, 2015

Fill-In Fun #218

The "Follow Four Fill-In" is hosted by Hilary at Feeling Beachie. Each week she posts statement with blanks. Our mission, should we choose to accept, is to copy the statement and fill in the blanks on our blogs. Then link up to her blog for sharing. Hilary is always looking for co-hosts and more statements for us to fill in. Please visit her, and let her know your suggestions! This week’s co-host is Tiffany, from Sounds Like Life to Me.

The statements & My Answers: #218:

1. I drink a lot of water and vitamin-water. I just feel better when I do. However, I do drink a lot of milk, too.

2. Early mornings are my most physical time of day. I get up at dawn and take care of the critters. Once everyone is satisfied, I get yard work done. It is easier for me to do those chores before the heat of the day and while I am rested. By the time it starts getting hot out, I have done enough outside. Then, there are always things to do inside.

3. Lack of routine is my guilty pleasure on days when Bill is home. I follow a predictable routine when he is on the road. When he is home, everything is relaxed and time is precious. Well, the critters all insist that I adhere to their schedules of food, medicine, and personal care. But still, most everything involves Dad when he is home. 

4. “Scheduled” sums up the week I have had. We have had a lot of passing rain showers and storms, followed humidity. The combination makes everything grow so fast and thick that I have to get right to it. When it is wet out, then I catch up inside. Sometimes, it is all about the weather. Thank heaven for Weather Bug!




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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Introductory Coffee Chat


I am joining Les for her Coffee Chat over at Time Out for Mom. It has been a while since I participated. This week Les has given us questions that will help us get to know each other better. I hope you will join us. Here goes…

1. Nickname: My first name is McGuffy; Ann is my middle name. Annie is what those close to me call me. Bill started calling me Brat when we were just friends, and he still does thirty-eight years later.

2. Eye colour: My eyes are blue. When I was younger they tended to change depending upon what I wore or my mood. They often had a green tint.

3. Hair colour: (Good grief…really?) It is currently mousey brown-grey. (Really, the colour is kind of like a mouse.) And, I am fine with that. When I was younger, my hair was naturally dark blonde with a reddish tint. And that was fine then.

4. One fact: I have an excellent memory, which is a blessing and a curse. My recall is so good that it is scary sometimes, especially for others.

5. Favourite colour: My favourite colour is green. However, blue is a close second. The interesting thing is that I have a lot of grey clothing.

6. Favourite place: There’s no place like “Home”. But, that being said, it is the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is where my spirit truly feels at home. When I stand on Brockway Mountain, I believe I can see Heaven.

7. Favourite celebrity: There are many famous people that I enjoy. This includes authors, singers/songwriters, artists, actors, educators, trainers, and even critters. My interests are wide and varied, so my favourites celebrities are, too.

8. Favourite animal: Animals are my favourites! I love them all. Obviously, I especially love cats and dogs. I have a deep connection with coyote. I have also been told many times that my spirit animal is the panther, which might explain Chloe Jo. Although, I think perhaps I might be her spirit animal.

9. Favourite song: I often say that my life has a soundtrack. I really don't think I can choose one favourite song. I have many, many songs that are special to me, speak to me, even explain me to myself. Music is important to me, and lyrics are critical. 

10. Favourite book: I love many books. I will always love The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran. An animal memoir that I cherish is Snowflake in My Hand, by Samantha Mooney. A favourite novel from my teens is Mary Dove,  by Jane Gilmore Rushing. There are too many beloved books to list. My list keeps growing, too.

Okay. Your turn!



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Monday, June 15, 2015

The Education of Ivy Blake


By Ellen Airgood

This heartfelt middle-school novel is the companion to Prairie Evers. In the original book, we met Prairie Evers and her wonderful family. They lived on a farm in the country. Ivy was new to Prairie’s school, but they became very close friends. Due to her own family situation, Ivy eventually went to live with the Evers’ family.

Now, Ivy has been reunited with her mother. They have moved back to the city where they hope to start a new life together. Ivy struggles to maintain her friendship with Prairie though long distance phone talks and weekend sleepovers. As she begins to get settled into her new school, she does make new friends, though. Her artwork seems to be taking a new exciting direction, too. 

However, to her shock and disappointment, Ivy realizes that her mother has not changed. In fact, her irrational behavior, impulsiveness, and immaturity present very serious problems for both of them. As things change again for Ivy, she learns lasting lessons about friends, family, love, and above all: herself.

Ivy Blake is a hero for all ages. I think that author Ellen Airgood may be, too.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

~XO~


We want to thank everyone for the warm anniversary wishes. We appreciate every one of them and you. I also appreciate your understanding that when Bill is home I focus on him and our family. I really unplugged this week. We needed to just be together.

Bill and I went to dinner and a movie on our anniversary. It was such a great evening of relaxed fun. In fact, the entire week was relaxed and very comfortable. We did "normal" things, like watch TV, hung out and talked, played with the critters, planted perennials, and enjoyed each other. Maggie, Grizelda, Chloe Jo and her dog, Stella, also enjoyed having Dad home. We could all get used to this very easily.

However, my Super Trucker is back on the road. I am trying to get back into the "normal" routine at home. I will be getting back to routine blogging this week, too. Thank you for your patience. 

I am also waiting for orphaned kittens from a new foster program that we will be involved in. They should be here soon. I will be bottle feeding and mothering them. It is all about love, and we have lots of that to share! I will keep you posted.


~xo~  



Saturday, June 6, 2015

A Happy Anniversary


Thirty-four years ago today Bill and I eloped. We married in blue jeans at the county courthouse. Later, we had our marriage blessed by our priest. Together, Bill and I have been through highs, lows, and everything in between. He has never ceased to amaze me, in everything he does.

He did it again, too. Bill was not due home for another week, when he suddenly showed up on our porch. He wanted to surprise me for our anniversary. When we married, I did not think I could love him more. But, every year I do. Thanks, Bill...for everything. 



*Please excuse my absence, while Bill and I spend time together this week. Thank you!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Down by the River

This is McQueeny. Bill rescued her in Texas, a couple of days after he rescued Kiowa in Oklahoma. It was after dark when Bill found McQueeny blocking a two-lane highway. 

You can see that McQueeny, another Red-Eared Slider, is a very big girl. She is beautiful. 

McQueeny and Bill had to spend the night together. In extreme situations such as floods, even turtles are not sure what to do. They have been flushed out by fast moving and rapidly rising water. If Bill had not stopped to rescue her, she would have surely been killed like the hundreds of others that Bill saw. He did what he knew he was able to do to save the turtle's life. That is what rescue is all about. 

By morning, both Bill and McQueeny had places to go and were ready to get going! Bill had deliveries to make, deadlines to meet, and McQueeny...well, she is a busy turtle.

They finally arrived at the Red River, which borders Oklahoma and Texas. It looked like a good area.

Underneath the bridge the current flowed very fast in spots, but a muddy section opened into a thick marsh.

The Red River is home to many varieties and species of critters. When Bill was absolutely sure that McQueeny would be safe, he knew it was time to let her go. 

He knew she had all of the elements she would need for survival. Bill had done everything he could. Now it was up to McQueeny. 


Desperate times call for drastic measures. This is an old proverb that still rings true today. Rescuing critters is never easy, and situations are rarely ideal. That is the very nature of rescue: you do what needs to be done as situations arise, but always in the best interest of the animal. 

Please be aware of other living creatures as you go through your daily lives. If you encounter an animal in distress and do not know what to do, please get assistance from someone experienced in animal rescue. You cannot always help, but please don't ever harm. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Let Me Die in His Footsteps


By Lori Roy

It is 1952. Fifteen-year-old Annie Halloran is following an old tradition handed down through generations. At midnight, she sneaks out to go to an old well on the Baines’ neighboring Kentucky farm. She hopes to see the image of her future husband gazing back at her from the water in the old well.  However, the Hallorans' and Baines' have a very complicated and violent history. On this night, the past will come back to haunt both families, as well as the town they all share. 

No one writes Southern Gothic better than Lori Roy. Her understanding of family secrets, feuds, history, and folklore is deep and satisfying. Each of her atmospheric novels is beautifully written. Lori Roy never disappoints.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Kiowa


...the Wayward Turtle

Bill has spent the past two weeks trucking back and forth through the very flood-ravaged Oklahoma and Texas. While trucking through the Kiowa nation of Oklahoma, he was able to rescue a Red Eared Slider. These are considered "common" water turtles. However, once plentiful, they are now becoming endangered due to commercialism. 

It is important to release a turtle in its natural habitat, as close to where it is found as possible. This ensures the turtle will be able to find food, shelter, and be able to survive. Knowing this, Bill was on a mission to find "Kiowa" a safe, secure spot to be released. He succeeded. He was able to find her a secluded area, still within the Kiowa nation. The rainwater drainage area he discovered ran down, into a creek.   

 
Kiowa gets her footing in the cold floodwater. 

She quickly knows what she needs to do, and she does it.

Flooded or not, this is Kiowa's natural home. 

And she knew it. Going, going, gone. 

Please remember that floods affect critters, too. The waters flush out many species of critters that live along the creeks and rivers. These critters seek new, safer places to make their homes. Often they end up crossing roads to find dryer options. Bill was Kiowa's hero, going above and beyond. Please be a hero simply by watching out for these critters on the roads that you travel. They are just trying to survive, too.