Monday, March 30, 2015

Threshold


In her two decades on earth, Mattie had lived in so many places. The way she was raised, she never knew if she was coming or going. 

Some people sought fame or fortune, but Mattie only sought a place to call "home". On her life's journey of many moves, it was a very pleasant surprise when love actually found her. 

Now, as Mattie crossed the entrance into yet another house, she knew it was love that made it a home.


Linked to:
Word prompt: Entrance

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Easter Pets


I posted this last year, but it is important. Please read and share this information with others. Little lives depend on it...and you.
  
Every year hundreds of baby bunnies, chicks and ducklings are bought as  Easter gifts. While much thought is put into the “surprise” factor, little is put into the long term care and commitment. Consequently, the 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 already ill or suffering.

Every Spring, shelters are inundated with bunnies, chicks, and ducklings that are dumped once the fun of the holiday is over. 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 the right authority, go to the proper source. 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 particular pet you are considering, such as the fact that chicks and ducklings are known to carry salmonella.

Following are some facts and links provided by the Humane Society of the United States. Please read, consider, and take this to heart. These are real live beings with beating hearts.

RABBITSAverage lifespan: 7-10 years
Facts:
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:
www.rabbit.org

DUCKSAverage lifespan: 8-15 years
Facts:
Ducks are very social animals, and do 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:
http://keeping-ducks.net

CHICKENS: Average lifespan: 5-8 years
Facts:
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:
http://www.backyardchickens.com

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Very Inspiring

A couple of weeks ago, I was given the honour of having the Very Inspiring Blogger Award passed on to me. I am still touched that Claudia of ImagesByCW would be inspired by me. Her photography and artwork never ceases to amaze me. She is inspiring.

In the interim of being nominated for this award and accepting it, Life kept me busy with critter emergencies, health and an endless stream of things that demanded my attention. So, it was a real surprise when I read that I was receiving it again. This time, my wonderful friend, Janet from The Cat on My Head honoured us with this inspiring award. We truly adore them for their very caring ways (and wanted to pass it to them). 

Following are the particulars of the Very Inspiring Blogger Award...

1.) Thank the person(s) who nominated you, and link to their blog(s). Thank you Claudia and Janet. I am honoured. You are both inspiring to me. I think a lot of each of you.  Hugs.

2.) Display the award logo. I am posting it here, as well as on my Award page.

3.) Nominate other bloggers and include their blog link for others to find them easily. 
I understand that not all bloggers accept awards. I respect their choice to participate or not. No explanation is required. Each of us has the right to blog our own, individual way. Just know that I think you are inspiring and deserving of awards. 

Some bloggers have recently gotten this award, and it was hard for me not to be able to pass it on to them. This includes those who awarded me, and many others who were awarded by them! I still choose to pass this honor along to the following bloggers (whether they accept or not), because they always inspire me:

* Karen, 21 Wits
* Gail,  At the Farm
* Terry, Coloring Outside the Lines
*Chandra, GreenComotion
* Mimi, Messy Mimi's Meanderings
* Panchalibolchi
* Carole, Rambling On
* Theresa, The Run*A*Round Ranch
*Linda Kay, Senior Adventures
TROUT TALKIN' TABBIES
*  Pix, Under the Oaks
* Ann, Zoolatry

4.) Leave a comment on their blog, to let them know they have been chosen. *wink*

5.) Mention three things that inspired you recently.

   1. My veterinarians and their staff consistently inspire me with their dedication to animals and their well being. They are always furthering their education and passing it on to others. We have been clients there for at least twenty years, and they have never disappointed us. They are always there to help. The vets, assistants, and techs are all wonderful to us and our FurKids. 

   2. I am inspired by other bloggers in many various ways: writing, photos, ideas, sharing, thoughts, discussions, and caring. The thought that I may inspire even one person is astounding to me. (I only hope that I can.)

   3. I am endlessly inspired by nature and wildlife. With Spring slowly taking over, migration has begun here. Birds are coming back to our area, after a long trip back north. Assorted plants are coming up out of the thawed, muddy ground. Buds are growing on the now busy trees. Critters are coming out of hibernation, seeking each other and food. The natural life always inspires me.

Finally, I want to thank all of my friends who read my blog, comment, and are with me through thick and thin. I share what I know and what is important to me. I promise to always be honest and genuine. I can only hope that I speak to your heart or soul in some way. Please know that I appreciate each and every one of you. I think you all deserve awards, for so very many reasons. Hugs.


  

Friday, March 27, 2015

Fill-In Fun #206

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, who came up with the last two statements.

The statements & My Answers: #206:

1. Writing is one of my ways of sorting things out in life. I started this at an early age and it has never failed me. I do soul-searching by writing in a journal. It helps me sort through what is happening, how I feel, and what I need to do. These pieces sometimes evolve into poetry or stories. Sometimes they never see the light of day, again.

2. I so love having a balance in our home. A truly necessary part of this is sharing our home with both cats and dogs. There has been many of each, as you can see on my Rainbow Bridge page. It was very sad when we did not have both. Indeed, they form a special yin and yang.

3. Do you ever do good deeds anonymously? I love to do this. It really feels great to do good things that are solely anonymous. Knowing that it will make someone smile is the reward

4. Weekends are for most people to use to catch up, rest, and plan. Since Bill began driving a truck they are regular days for us, though. However, I must admit they are great days for NASCAR and football!




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Feeling Beachie

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Engulfed


Through the disease, Bea’s future was slowly being consumed by her past.

Her time had advanced through long years, moving gently with the rhythm of the sun and moon. But, now Bea struggled to stay present each and every day, grasping at random moments. 

As is sand in an antique hourglass, time as Bea knew it was slowly running out. Memories can transcend all time, and they would soon engulf her.



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Word Prompt: Engulf

Monday, March 23, 2015

Heartstrings

 
~Grizelda~

Last Monday I packed up Chloe Jo and Grizelda for a vet trip. Chloe Jo was due for her check up and nail trim. Grizelda goes along occasionally for the social experience. Unlike the infamous Chloe Jo, Grizelda is reclusive. We call this big girl Sasquatch; there are only rumoured sightings of her. Getting out and being handled is good for her. She is extremely sweet and smart, just very independent. 

Grizelda was fine. She actually was very chatty with the male tech. He has known them since they were a few days old. He is good at his job and they know it. He carries them around like they are old friends. They had a nice, short visit.

Chloe Jo was not so fortunate. She ended up spending the day at the clinic for testing. She was showing signs of problems removing waste from her system. Her problems are all congenital, with her organs not being normally sized. This creates issues for her when trying to relieve her body of waste products. Previously, we have only had to deal with urinary problems. Now she is having issues with her excretory system, in general. Thankfully, her litter habits are very good, though she still thinks the (clean) box is a playground, too. 

 ~Chloe Jo~

We were finally able to get Chloe Jo back on track. The vets adjusted her medications, again. It is always scary, because things spiral quickly with her. When I took Chloe Jo back to the vet for a re-check, the results were all positive. We are grateful, and so is she.

Unfortunately, Maggie seemed out of sorts, lately. So, she joined us at the vet clinic on our midweek visit, when Chloe Jo was re-checked. We had noticed a very sudden weight loss, along with a disinterest in food.  After thorough testing, including both x-rays and blood work, we found a couple of issues. 

Maggie has a few deteriorated discs in her neck and lower spine. These are problem areas that will be chronic. She was given a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. This seems to have helped the pain she must have been feeling, as she certainly seems more comfortable. 

The other issue is even more serious, however. Maggie has cardiomyopathy (heart disease). Definitive x-rays show an enlarged heart. Blood work also supports the doctor's findings, which includes high blood pressure and a rapid heart rate. Maggie's other symptoms of weight loss, lack of appetite, and seeking heating vents fit this diagnosis, too. 

Maggie is seven years old. She has regular vet check ups. She also has always had an excellent vet prescribed diet. Her issues are not age or diet related. I mention these things, because regular vet check ups are key in detecting this silent disease. We did not see this coming.

Feline cardiomyopathy is a disease affecting the cat's heart muscle. Cats often live with no visible symptoms of the disease, until it becomes serious. Yet, it is the most common form of heart disease in cats and the most common cause of heart failure. Underlying causes of cardiomyopathy include hyperthyroidism, acromegaly (excessive growth hormone), poor nutrition (including taurine deficiency), cancer (especially lymphoma), toxin exposure, and heredityIt is an interesting fact that research shows percentages of over one-third of Maine Coon cats develop cardiomyopathy. Maggie is a CFA registered Maine Coon.

I must say, we are all heartbroken. But, we are focusing on Maggie. She is now on blood pressure medication and will be very closely monitored. The goal is to stabilize her health and to keep her as happy as she always has been. 

Heartstrings are the ties that bind us together. Our FurKids always pull at our heartstrings, but never more than when they are ill and need us. Please keep Maggie in your prayers as we help her get this under control. We know it is serious, but we never want her to know that. Thank you all for caring. As always, we appreciate it. 

~Maggie P.~
~XO~

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Burning the Candle


It has been a very hectic and stressful week. Some of you know some of the story. Chloe Jo & Maggie have both been ill. I have tried to keep up with visiting, but posting was put on the back burner. I plan to catch up tomorrow, and will bring you up to date.

Life happens. You just have to go with it, to make the best of it. As the illustration shows, we are hanging in there. Love each other, including your critters! 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

                              

        It's all about the wearin' o' the green,

because today it's for the Irish!

So get out there and have some fun!

 Wishing you a blessed St. Patrick's Day! 
                         

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Right on Time


The Earth is waking up, again. Migration has begun. Birds I have not seen in awhile are back at the feeders. I am hearing bird calls that I haven't heard for months. Sparrows have moved back into the bird house to begin nesting. Squirrels, chipmunks, and other critters are all on the move, too. I saw an opossum climbing over a snow bank as the snow was melting. It's all very exciting to me.

I know that "meteorological spring" started on March 1st. Yet, the calendar says Spring begins March 20th. We all know that humans are all too often wrong. Personally, I let Nature tell me important things like the weather and seasons. Mother Nature always gets it right.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Vindictive


There was no rhyme, no reason, and no method to her madness.

Smirking, she stood firm in her misguided rebellion.  Only silence filled the void between them now.

Reaching out one final time, he asked, “Why?” 

In smug defiance, she said, “Because I can.” 


Linked to:

Word Prompt: Vindictive

Friday, March 13, 2015

Black Cat Crossing


Remember:


Have a happy Friday the 13th!

For more fun with black cats,
read this post:  "Good Luck"

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Would You Rather?


Thanks for your understanding when I am missing in action. I have been busy with my home and husband for the past few days. He is gone for weeks at a time, so when he is home he gets my full attention. We all agree, Family First. Thank you.

Today I am joining Rory Bore for her weekly Coffee Chat. This week, Ms. Rory Bore has asked us the question, “Would you rather?” We are to ask any question, such as: “Would you rather sleep in a five star hotel or sleep under the stars?” Then we are to answer our question, and invite others to join in by answering in the comments section. Several things came to my mind.

We are often told that the steps we, as a society, take in technology are designed to make life easier.  It can change lives. It can even save lives. Technology can get us where we need to go safely. It can help even predict storms and other natural disasters, making life safer. However, it seems that the fast pace of technology often creates more stress.

The merchandise scanning that stores use was initially supposed to assist in speedy check outs. Somehow, we lost the baggers in that deal, and sometimes even the cashier! We now have the alleged option of self-checkouts. Lines are still long and customer service is worse than ever.  Unfortunately, scanning doesn’t always work, either. So, is any of this really easier for us?

Business has benefited from the abilities the computer has to offer. Scanning and sending documents has sped up the processing of a great variety of forms, resumes, and paperwork. Many of us have also cut down on personal paperwork through the wonders of this technology.

The technology of computers is beyond what most of us will ever understand. Devices, programs, and updates are endless. With every new idea, new process, new download, there are new computer viruses, security breaches, and constant identity/personal threats.

Social media is a blessing and a curse, too. We used to write letters, send cards, or call our friends on the phone. Now we keep in touch through email, but also countless other social outlets. There is Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, foursquare, blogging, to name a very few.  It seems there is no end to it. I really enjoy blogging, and sometimes Facebook. But, personally, I cannot keep up with all of the different medias. It is just too much, and too stressful.

This day and age in time seems to be limitless. There seems no end to the possibilities…or the stress. The fast pace of technology has increased the need for both immediate gratification and for constant entertainment. People rarely are without at least a "smart phone" of some sort. 

Don't misunderstand, I am thankful for these cell phones. Email and texting with my husband is a blessing when he is on the road. I cannot help but wish for a more simple time, however, when he is home. The fast paced, demanding world of both need and greed keeps him on the road. It pays the bills, but there is an unseen cost that carries a high price. Again, another trade-off.

I think we have traded much of what made us human. This concerns me, as it happened so quickly and only increases in intensity with passing time. While technology has enhanced some human interaction, I think it may have cheapened it, too. The simple, basic human touch is almost gone. I fear we have lost much of our innate sensitivity to the computer screen. The emotion behind the screen is intangible. For me, there is no substitute for a kiss, a hug, or even a handwritten card. 

There are many pros and cons of technology today. I am thankful for them, but feel ruled by them to an extent. Sometimes I wish it were simpler. With these things in mind, I ask: “Would you rather live in today’s age of technology, or in a “simpler” time in history?” 


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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Daylight Savings Time


Time to "Spring forward"! But, Stella will catch up later.

She slept in a little late today. It's her 5th birthday!
We have been very busy around here.
Dad has been home this weekend, and 
family time  is the best gift of all!
Happy Birthday, Stella!
We love you!
~xo~

Thursday, March 5, 2015

A Confessional


The coffee is on over at Rory Bore’s place, Time Out for Mom. The “Coffee Chat” topic this week is: “Random Confession. It is good for the soul.” I have thought long and hard on this. Confession is not new to me, however. I consider myself a pretty good, traditional Catholic, even if I was raised Baptist.

I am a work in progress. I make mistakes. There are things that I say and do that I shouldn’t. As a rule, I try to go back and apologize for these things. I don’t like for things to be unsettled or unresolved. I don’t want someone to feel badly, especially because of me. 

There are things that I should say and do, too. I try not to let moments pass that I could say something important to someone. With that in mind, I do voice appreciation and thanks where it is warranted. I compliment people, even strangers, when I feel it is appropriate.

My innermost, personal struggles are kept between myself and God. I know my faults and admit them. God understands, and we discuss them daily. During this Lenten season, we are working on things that I need to do and not do. I believe we are all works in progress. The important thing is to keep working on it.

There are some other things that you may not know about me. Perhaps this is a good time to confess some of these things.

*I confess that I am conservative in both my faith and politics. By the very definition of the word, I am cautious and traditional. There is security in that.

*I confess that I can have an offbeat, sometimes sarcastic, sense of humour. This includes the early days of Saturday Night Live, Mad-TV, and the cartoon Far Side. I like humour that is intelligent and witty, but a bit off kilter. I do not like mean “humour” though.

*I confess that I don’t review every book that I read. I read constantly, but review only a fraction of what I read. Reviewing everything I read would be too time consuming, and I like to share other things in life, too. Balance is important.

*I confess that I sometimes eat things I shouldn’t, like strawberries. But…I love them.

*I confess that I do like to watch TV. I don’t watch much of what is considered “popular”, though. I have an intense curiosity about life and I like to be educated, as well as entertained.

*I confess that I like to indulge my inner child sometimes. I love Peanuts & Snoopy, the Muppets, and Dr. Seuss, to name just a few very favourites. I am sentimental about Lamb Chop and Raggedy Ann, too. 

Okay, they say confession is good for the soul, so I’m good. Now it’s your turn!



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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Where's Grizelda?






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Curious as a Cathy

No Better Medicine


How Caring for Critters Helped Heal the Wounds of the Past

By Kelly Meister-Yetter

I reviewed Kelly’s first book, “Crazy Critter Lady”. In this sequel, the author continues her story. Here, she explains how the effects of her abusive childhood taught her to not trust others. The miracle is how caring for animals led to her eventual healing.

Kelly tells us her story openly and with honesty. She writes about her adventures caring for abandoned ducks at a pond near her home. She also tells about her work as a volunteer at a local barn. Throughout, she has tackled a variety of rescues with no qualms regarding the possible outcome.

Kelly has been driven by her own pain and the desire to make a difference. However, it is when Kelly reconnects with an old friend that her life really begins to change. Dudley is as kind and caring as Kelly. Dudley understands. Their relationship includes the critters, rescues, and love. From that love, Kelly truly begins to heal.

Those who have been through traumatic childhoods may well relate to the conflicting trust issues and the need to reach out with love. I do. Animals love unconditionally, and appreciate what is done for them. Kelly, and many of us, learned that early on. 

I recommend this book for those who love animals and rescue stories, but also to those who may relate to Kelly’s personal journey. My review of "Crazy Critter Lady" and my interview with Kelly can be found on my Book Review page.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

And Then Thumb


We read that today is "If Pets had Thumbs" Day. Maggie, our polydactyl Maine Coon, is wondering what that is supposed to mean! Many cats do have thumbs, and they find them quite useful, too.

The extra digits are created by the polydactyly gene. Those with this special, inherited gene can have one or multiple extra toes or digits, including "thumbs". Maggie has a total of 20 toes, including thumbs. She has four toes on each back foot, and six digits on each front paw.  

Before Maggie, we were blessed with another white polydactyl cat. Purrl had 23 digits. I have written about Maggie and Purrl in the past, and have it posted on my Critter page. While Maggie does use her thumbs, Purrl was especially adept with hers. She could pull levers, turn knobs, pull the strings all the way out on toys, pick things up and hold them with both paws, and almost anything else she tried to do. She used her "hands" easily. She was very much a tomboy, not quite the diva that Maggie is.

Today is Purrl's birthday. She would be 25 years old.  She crossed the Rainbow Bridge when she was 17 1/2 years old. It seems extremely appropriate that her birthday is also "If Pets had Thumbs" day. 

We pay tribute to our special Purrl, our wonderful Maggie, and to all of those special ones who, like them, do indeed have thumbs.


 Cats with Thumbs and a sense of humour

Finally, time for Maggie's catnap...

...see you later!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!


Thank you for encouraging us 
to have fun being ourselves! 


"National Read Across America Day"


Dr. Theodor Seuss Geisel
~1904-1991~

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Fill In Fun #202

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!

The statements & My Answers: #202:

1. Once I am curious about something, I am not satisfied until I can learn as much as possible about it. I read and watch everything I can about it until I have exhausted all avenues.

2. Rudeness isn’t ever acceptable. It’s true. There just is no excuse for rudeness; it is hurtful and mean.

3. One can only do one’s best. We must be true to ourselves to be truly happy. However, in doing so, we must still be considerate of others. Our actions always affect others. Always.

4. I have plans to start working with another shelter for the upcoming “kitten season”. They need someone to bottle feed and foster orphaned babies, which is something I can (and love to) do. I plan to share these stories on my blog. In the past, I have refrained from blogging about it for many reasons. But it is important to me, and hopefully to others, as well.





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Feeling Beachie

Hold On


Chloe Jo is feeling pretty good these days,
as you can probably tell from this picture.
Maybe it is because Spring is really coming.
The birds are beginning to sing again, and
that means the chipmunks will be back soon!
Chloe Jo loves to watch them all from the
safety of the big bay window, in the house. 
Daylight Savings Time starts next Sunday. 
So, like Chloe Jo...hold on, and think Spring!



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