Wednesday, April 30, 2014

WW: Help For Trucks

Photo taken near Chattanooga, Tennessee

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Curious as a Cathy

Good Conversation

For this week's "Coffee Chat", Rory Bore of Time Out for Mom has asked what we think it takes to be a good conversationalist. As I have gotten older, I have learned a few things about myself, as well as others. Since we were asked, I will share some things about "good conversation" that I have learned. These are just my thoughts based upon my experience.

In any conversation, to share or make a point you need to know what it is that you want to say. One needs to have the facts straight. Try not to embellish. Let the truth stand on its own merit. 

As you speak, it is always good to allow others to reflect on or add to what you have said. Give and take expands the conversation. If they agree, common ground is established. If they disagree with you, allow them to. We can agree to disagree, and we can even learn from our differences. It is all about respecting one another.

Being loud tends to put people off, so it is best not to raise your voice to be heard. It does not change the truth of what is being said, nor does it make people listen to you. It actually can turn people away.

When others talk, try not to read between the lines or judge them. If you aren’t sure what they mean, politely ask them. Most people will be happy to explain, and don’t need others to clarify for them. If you still don’t understand, accept what is being said. You don’t have to understand to accept. 

Most importantly, listen to others when they speak. You just might learn something from what is said, perhaps about the speaker or possibly even about yourself.  By listening to others, they are more likely to listen to you. Learn to enjoy both sides of the conversation.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

"Paws Together"

Spring is just beginning, but it is already making an impact with floods and tornadoes. Many are being affected by devastating storms again sweeping across the country. Please join me in remembering in prayer those who are affected, both human and animal. Peace.

Graphic by Zoolatry 

Rubbish Tuesday, #1

There is a "new" meme that I find very intriguing. Rubbish by Roan features pictures of "old", worn items or buildings. You post the picture on your blog and then link up to Rubbish Tuesday. I tend to be drawn to things like this, and take many pictures of them. There is a wisdom, and yet a bittersweetness in places like this. Here is my offering this week:

New Jersey

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Halo Healthsome Cat Treats

Chloe Jo equates being fed with love.  She loves to eat. She especially loves treats, and will try anything. I have to be very careful about what she eats, however.  Her tummy can be sensitive. 

Recently we received a sample of Halo Healthsome cat treats from I read about it before giving it to my Girls, as always. I always do some research, because each one has different likes and different needs. 

The select seafood combo treats are a healthier alternative to other treats. Ingredients include three kids of fish, which is an easily digestible source of protein. The fiber in Healthsome comes from vegetable and fruit sources, including peas, pumpkin and tomatoes. All calories are nutritional. No fillers or sugar=no empty calories.  

Catnip is also an ingredient in these tempting treats. The treats even have taurine, an essential amino acid for cats. Taurine is important for a cat’s vision, and also for healthy teeth and gums. This crunchy cat treat also helps keep breath fresh and teeth clean. 

Chloe Jo has had this Healthsome treat a few times over the past few weeks. I am happy to say that not only does she love it, it agrees with her tummy. She had no issues with this treat, except that she wanted more! 

As always, I recommend that all PetMoms and PetDads read and research before making changes in your pet’s diet. Each pet, as with each human, has different likes and needs. If you are not sure, talk with your veterinarian first. 

Chloe Jo

Monday, April 28, 2014

Meeting The Queen

Me with Stella, Queen Jester, Andrea & Izzi

Queen Jester has a blog called Life in a canned ham . She and her husband, Left Brain, travel through their retirement sharing their adventures of life on the road. I have blogged with her for quite some time. Last week I had the honour and privilege to spend time with the wonderful Queen Jester. 

On their way Home for a visit, Queen and Left Brain were traveling through my area of Illinois. Queen also blogs with my neighbour, Andrea, also a blogger.  Andrea started blogging with my encouragement and initial help, about a year after I began (three years ago). The details of our meeting were worked out, and then we went to see the Queen.

We met Queen and Left Brain at their campsite in The Chain O'Lakes State Park. They were very welcoming and friendly...exactly as I thought they would be. We also met the real bosses: George and Gracie, their two cats. They have an extensive outdoor, screened-in play area.

Queen gave us a grand tour of the "canned ham", aka RV. It is amazing how well organized, comfy and beautifully decorated their RV is. Queen is quite the artistic, crafty person. She makes many practical and useful items such as curtains, pillowcases, storage bags, covers, etc. 


After the tour, while Left Brain went for a bike ride, we women went for lunch. We spent the next couple of hours talking and laughing. It was wonderful to share life experiences, joke and laugh together. It was as if we were old friends. At the end of the afternoon we had plans for the next day! 

The next afternoon, Andrea and I went back to the State Park, taking my Stella and Andrea's Izzi with us. Left Brain went for another bike ride while Queen walked the trails with us. When we had enough exercise, we took the dogs home and then went for ice cream! It was another Girl's Day Out. Once again, we shared various life stories, thoughts, and hearty laughs together.

When we finally took Queen back to her traveling palace, we all hugged and promised to keep in touch. It had been a wonderful two days of "Girl Talk" and female bonding. There was a genuine connection. It is a very special thing to find that connection of friendship, especially later in life. It comes more easily in childhood, where time and circumstance is on your side. Life becomes more complicated as you get older. Time is short and full of demands.

I would like to thank Queen for making time for us to visit. Thank you, Queen, for welcoming us to your wonderful home. Anytime that you are in our neighborhood, please let us know. You are more than welcome here anytime!

Deer Path

People Photo by: Left Brain, Queen's Husband
State Park Photos By: McGuffy Ann Morris

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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Charlie & Bob

Meet Charlie the Florida trucker cat and his driver Bob. Charliwas a just a skinny kitten when he met Bob at a truck stop, two years agoBob picked him up and put him in the truck, not knowing how a stray kitten was going to act. Then he went inside the company building to take care of business. When Bob got back in the truck, Charlie was sitting at attention in the passenger seat, as if to say, "Let's go". They are a natural team.

My husband, Bill, took this picture when he met Charlie and Bob, in Terrell, Texas. Bill and Bob were fueling up their trucks, while Charlie supervised from his place inside. 

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Camera Critters

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Fill-In #160

The "Follow Friday 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!

The statements & My Answers:

1. I love to walk Stella except when there are unknown dogs running loose.
2. I can’t sleep when I have a lot on my mind, or something I "need to do", the next day.

3. I used to worry about what other people thought, but now I realize I have no control over what they think, but rather only how I (re)act.  
4. If I could, I would do everything with Bill all day (every day). For over thirty years he was corporate, so being apart is not our “normal”. I am proud of him for re-inventing himself, though. He's my hero.

Linking with:
Feeling Beachie

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Pondering "Rivet"

Each week, Brenda of BYG Adventures has us pondering a word. This week the word is  "rivet". Good grief. It is a bit more difficult to be creative with this word. A rivet is a piece of hardware, such as rivets on jeans. 

Actually, the first thing I thought of is just that: rivets on Levi jeans. Bill wears Levis. He has always worn Levis. When I met Bill 37 years ago I was riveted by him; I still am. Yes, Bill is riveting. 

Books can be riveting. I love to read books that can hold my attention and are hard to put down. Some books are entertaining and others are interesting. The ones that keep you riveted are the memorable ones, though. I am always in search of those. 

I always find animals riveting. Animal behaviour fascinates me. I enjoy learning things about animals, and also from them. Many of the TV shows that I watch involve animals, from Cesar Milan's dog training to "Whale Wars". ("Whale Wars" is technically about human behaviour, which is pretty riveting. But let's save that for another time.) 

One TV show that keeps me riveted is "River Monsters", with Jeremy Wade. He is a British biologist, author and angler who travels the world seeking "monster fish". I have learned about many fascinating fish and the places they inhabit, from Jeremy Wade. He always utilizes local, indigenous people as scouts and guides in his travels. It is all very educational and exciting.

Jeremy Wade catches a Tarpon "Torpedo"

I think that animals, nature, and the world around us is endlessly riveting. I never cease to be amazed by how these components all fit together in this place we call Earth. We share it with them, the animals. Lest we forget, they were here first.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

WW: Oh Deer!

I took this picture out the window of Bill's 18-wheeler
(truck), going 65 MPH, as are most of the  pictures I take 
when I'm trucking with him. It's a definitely a  challenge.

This deer made it back into the woods, but please remember 
to be aware of them & other wildlife when you drive. Thanks! 

Linked to: 
"Wordless" Wednesday 

Coffee Chat: "Funny"

It is time for Coffee Chat at  Time Out for Mom, with Rory Bore. Each week, she gives us a topic for discussion. We write a post in response and then link up to her post. The topic this week is: "Tell about something that made you laugh recently." 

Animals never cease to amaze me. They often make me laugh. My own FurKids are always being silly with each other, with us, and sometimes totally on their own. Chloe Jo is a clown! But Nature also can be funny. 

I have been watching the sparrows making nests. They have been carrying all kinds of things across the yard, including bits of fur, string, leaves and small twigs. They carry it all back to their little house. The pair really works together; it is amazing. It also makes me smile.

The robins are busy, too. The other morning I saw robin hunting in my yard. He would run across the grass, then stop and tilt his head. After a moment, he would do this again. After doing this several times, he found what he was looking for. He quickly dove into the grass and grabbed the end of a worm. The robin would pull and then pause, patiently working the worm out of the ground. Just as the robin got the worm was out of the ground, another robin swooped in and grabbed it right out of his mouth! I couldn't believe it! After all of that work, he had nothing. He watched the other robin fly off with his worm. As I laughed, he actually turned to look at me. He didn't think it was funny. I apologized, not that that mattered.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Monday, April 21, 2014

Mommy's a Mole

Unraveling the Joan Webster Murder &
Other Secrets in a CIA Family

By Eve Carson

This is a true story, written by one who lived it. Author Eve Carson writes about what happened in her own family, and her necessary search for justice.

The story actually begins many years ago. It is Thanksgiving weekend, 1981, and Joan Webster is traveling through Logan Airport. However, she never makes it to her destination; she comes up missing.

Married to Joan’s brother, and friends with Joan, author Eve Carson pursues justice for Joan and the family. She is horrified, but motivated by the things that she uncovers. Though for her it began with the disappearance of Joan, she finds that Joan may have been collateral damage. The more she learns, the messier the entire case gets. Things are not what they had seemed.

In this thick book, Eve goes over the case, people involved, and the evidence she uncovers in great detail. She includes a Timeline at the rear of the book, as well as copies of actual documents and proof. Her private investigation is thorough and impressive.

Sadly, as she finds herself embroiled in the case, Eve ends up losing her own family. Her husband and his family turn on her. There are many victims and extensive fall out in this story. However, Eve does not give up in her pursuit of justice. Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the case is that the more “dirt” Eve uncovers, the more the authorities look away. 

It is my hope that Eve’s book will bring this case to the proper authorities, who will resolve this miscarriage of justice. Only then will healing begin. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014


Morning Has Broken
(Cat Stevens)

Christ has risen, as He promised.
~Luke 24:6~

Wishing everyone a blessed Easter!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Jelly Bean Prayer

Red is for the blood he gave.
Green is for the grass he made.
Yellow is for the sun so bright.
Orange is for the edge of night.
Black is for the sins we made.
White is for the grace he gave.
Purple is for his hour of sorrow.
Pink is for our new tomorrow.
 A basket of Jelly Beans
is colorful and sweet,
a prayer and a promise,
a very special treat.

May the joy of Christ's Resurrection
Fill your heart and Bless your life.


Written by Shirley Kozak, 1990, 
Stuttgart Germany

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Four Fill-In #159

The "Follow Friday 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!

The statements & My Answers:

1. I do not require a lot of material possessions. The things important to me are not physical or tangible "things". (I do not consider animals or my FurKids possessions.)

2. Sometimes I wonder if mankind will ever learn from history or mistakes made.

3. It is very unusual but I do not watch or read horror/paranormal movies or books. I have read some nonfiction ghost books that were of a historical nature (though rarely). I feel uncomfortable with anything "supernatural".

4. Is it illegal to keep secrets that may be questionable?

Feeling Beachie

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Pondering: "Hop"

I am joining Brenda at BYG Adventures  for her weekly "Pondering". This week she has us pondering the word "hop". Come join us!

The first things that come to my mind are bunnies and frogs. I always thought it was interesting that we refer to their movement as "hopping". When we are children, we are taught to "jump" with two feet, and "hop" on one foot. I cannot imagine a rabbit or a frog "hopping" on one foot! Well, can you? 

As a kid growing up in South Texas, I used to go out to the ditches and bayous when it rained. I would collect buckets of tadpoles. I would then lug these buckets home and scoop the tiny tadpoles into fish bowls. It was so amazing to watch them grow into frogs. When they completed their transformation, I would take the frogs back to where I found them as tadpoles and release them. I was very careful to make sure everyone made it back alive and uninjured.

It was also this same time period that I had pet rabbits. I had four bunnies: three males (Razzle Dazzle, Buck and Rusty) and a female (Cotton). Razzle Dazzle and Cotton were white rabbits. I must admit that they were kind of an “item”. There were baby bunnies (also called kittens, kits, or kindle) born more than once. Buck was a silvery-grey colour. Rusty was a natural (wild) brown.

I am glad that I was an older kid then (ages 10-13), because bunnies are a lot of work! I had four hutches in a row. I had to clean the hutches in the morning and evening. Cleaning involved the inside of each hutch, and then underneath the row of hutches. Rabbits eat a lot, thus creating a lot of rabbit waste and odor. After cleaning in and around the hutches, I would give the bunnies fresh water and food.  

Rabbits also need to chew, so must be offered something to chew on. Their incisors grow throughout their lives. Chewing can become a problem, especially if they are bored. There are things that can be offered to help keep their teeth trimmed while curbing destructive behavior. When I was a kid, I often had to be creative. I gave them things like paper towel rolls and chunks of wood or small branches.

Razz was a huge male (a buck). He was very dominant with the other rabbits, but gentle with people and other animals. Buck and Rusty hated being held, and would claw and bite anyone but me. Cotton (a doe) was always afraid. Her heart would race every time she was handled, which broke my heart. All four rabbits were grown when I adopted them. They were “rescues”. I still love rabbits, and have done quite a bit of newborn bunny rescue. I bottle feed orphans and later release them back into the wild. (That is Solo, an orphaned newborn Eastern Cottontail rescue, in my Blog Header.)

With Easter here I would like you to consider these things before adopting a bunny. They are a lot of work. They can be very messy, and they do have a strong odor (especially males). Their need for chewing is constant and can be very destructive. They can be difficult to get along with, for each other as well as for you to handle. Housing them can be challenging. Rabbits need a lot of room to get proper exercise. They can make excellent pets, but rabbits are living animals and require proper care. 

One final note: Please keep in mind that wild rabbits are active now that Spring is here. Rabbits will often create a nest in weeds or grassy areas. Check your yards and lawns, especially before you let pets outside or mow the grass. If you find them, consult with a wildlife rescue professional for assistance. Everyone will be better for it. 

Hoppy Easter!
Solo's release

Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation for Animals

A Guide for the Consumer

By Susan E. Davis

Physical therapy is not only for humans. It is actually beneficial to many animals. Whether the animal is a pampered pet or a working animal, there are many benefits to be gained. This book explains the needs and benefits of physical therapy.

Author Susan E. Davis is a licensed physical therapist. She has more than three decades of experience. She worked initially in human physical therapy, but then veterinary physical therapy became her specialty. She has worked in many settings, from homecare to zoos.

Physical therapy is used for a variety of reasons, treating the various stages of life, illness, injury, and age. Physical therapy can also prevent or treat injuries. This is especially helpful in those who are active or working, whether in a competitive arena or a working situation. It can strengthen or promote healing, depending upon the need and case.

In this book, you will learn about the history and evolution of physical therapy. You will also learn about the many methods available, and their particular benefits. There are natural (holistic) methods available. These types of therapy may include Reiki and acupuncture, as well as many other options. Traditional methods may involve splints, wraps, and the use of manipulation or equipment. The reader learns the differences in traction and strengthening, as well as how each one works.

Using actual case studies, you will learn how the type of physical therapy is prescribed. You will then see how it can be utilized properly. Each animal, like each human, is different in both need and capability. Only a qualified healthcare expert can diagnose and prescribe the appropriate method. However, an educated owner can help in maintenance and care of their pets. 

The book is easy to read and use. The author lists related topics and resources along with the appendix. I recommend this book to pet owners, and to those who work with animals. I have used physical therapy, and performed it on my pets. I can attest to its many benefits in healing and in prolonging quality of life. This is an essential volume to those who love the animals in their care.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Coffee Chat: How Am I Seen?

"I wonder how many people I've looked at all 
my life,  and never seen."~ John Steinbeck,
The Winter of Our Discontent

Every Tuesday, there is a Coffee Chat over at Rory Bore's place, Time Out for Mom. This week the topic of discussion is how others see us. For me, this is an expansion of last week's topic, "I Am Not...Your Interpretation of Me." 

I think we often react to life based upon our past, what works for us. For some that means we react according to the way we have been treated. For others it is what they can get away with in their treatment of others. 

I have sometimes been misunderstood by the way I react to difficult situations. I don't like conflict, so will usually hold things in. I retreat, withdraw to think things through until I can find a solution. There are times that I need space to find my strength, to work it out within myself. Once I come to terms with things, I will act accordingly. I wrote about this in a musing.

In kind, I respect others and their space. I don't put demands or ultimatums on people, because I know how uncomfortable that feels. It is a heavy burden. I cannot make choices for others, nor do I want to. I do not want them to make mine. If there is to be peace, acceptance is necessary. I am a believer of, “It is what it is.” I have learned to accept. 

When I have been misunderstood or judged, there were times that it left me upset. It felt like a violation of both trust and respect. I accept that uncomfortable fact because I have to. I was open and honest, yet I was not being accepted. 

I am not one who plays games. I shoot straight. I am honest because I choose to be. When I do act, it is with clear vision. I believe that I will be judged by God. It is Him I have to please in the end. Until then, I have to live with myself. I have to face myself every day. I make my decisions based upon that. 

Though I hope that you do, maybe you don't see this in me. I cannot be responsible for what you see, however. I can only be responsible for what I do. I cannot be responsible for how you react to me. I can only be responsible for my own actions. I hope that you take the time to see me as I am, not as you wish I were. I promise to take the time to see you, too. 

No...I am not perfect. I never said I was, and am the first to admit that. But, no one in this world is perfect; no one. I can accept that fact. Can you?

WW: A Cold Moon


Linked to: 

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Makeover

Please notice the "new & improved" look of McGuffy's Reader! After some soul searching, I decided if I was to continue blogging, I needed to make some changes. To start with, I needed to update my blog design to reflect what is important to me. 

Fellow bloggers, Katie Isabella & her Mom referred me to Ann Adamus of Zoolatry, who does blog design and makeovers. She looked at McGuffy's Reader and immediately knew what needed to be done. She understood what and why I was wanting and needing to change. She got started immediately and worked quickly.

In addition to my wonderful new look, I plan to share more of what is important to me. I want to get back to the basics. There are memes that I want to join regularly. There are pictures, poetry, stories and musings that I would like to share. Consequently, though I will continue to do book reviews, I will be doing less of them. I really feel I need to make these changes. I want to get back into a comfortable and meaningful routine. 

Please visit Ann at Zoolatry. She made this much needed makeover very easy for me. She is very creative and knowledgeable in Photo-Art and design. She has great ideas and suggestions, too. Her logo can be found in my sidebar. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Four Fill In #158

The "Friday 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!

The Statements & My Answers:
1. Listening to music is my way to relax and refocus. I like many kinds, so choose what I "need". 
2. My favorite song is "Both Sides Now". I have many that I love, but this one has always been particularly special to me, going back to childhood.
3. I am nothing like the women who raised me.
4. One thing I wish I could do better is fix things. It would help in Bill's necessary absence, if something broke I could repair the leak under the kitchen sink! We fixed it when he got home.

Feeling Beachie

“Novelty” Pets

Every year hundreds of baby bunnies, chicks and ducklings are bought as “novelty” Easter gifts. While much thought is put into the “surprise” factor, often little is put into the long term care and commitment. Consequently, these animals will suffer abuse or neglect. Many will be released into the wild, ultimately facing death.

It has been reported by the U.S. Humane Society that “within the initial weeks following Easter, 30% of these novelty Easter pets will die. Another 60-70% will be "released" or left at a shelter. Most of those released or left at shelters are ill or suffering."

Every Spring, shelters are inundated with bunnies, chicks and ducklings that are dumped because the novelty has worn off. Little or no thought was put into their growth or care. They were purchased solely for human enjoyment, into homes not equipped for their needs.

Before purchasing any pet, do your research. Ask an authority; go to the proper source for information. Read, go online, learn about the animal’s needs, proper care, and expected lifespan. See what is involved to keep the animal healthy. Know what the possible pitfalls are with the pet you are considering, such as the fact that chicks and ducklings are known to carry salmonella. Consider the lifestyle of your family, as well.

Please read the following facts and information provided by the Humane Society. Take this to heart. These are real live beings with beating hearts; they are not toys.

RABBITS: Expected lifespan: 7-10 years
Rabbits may not do well in a household with young children. They often do not like being lifted or held.
Rabbits like to dig and need to chew.
If you get multiple rabbits they should be spayed and neutered as soon as possible.
Multiple rabbits will often fight.
Weekly expenses can be in excess of $25.00 for food alone, per rabbit.
Research Sources:

DUCKS: Expected lifespan: 8-15 years
Ducks are very social animals, doing better kept in groups (a “paddling” or “brace” of ducks).
Ducks need a lot of space and a shelter to keep them safe.
Ducklings will need to be kept in an indoor pen/cage for the several weeks.
Research Sources:

CHICKENS: Expected
 lifespan: 5-8 years
Chickens naturally scratch, peck and dig. If housing is inadequate, they will cause damage.
Many towns and cities have regulations concerning chickens, regarding them “livestock”. 
Health and zoning boards should be consulted. 
Chickens are noisy, but roosters are especially noisy!
Research Sources:

Linked to: "Pondering"
Word Prompt: Novel or Novelty