Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dogs On Thursday - My Holiday Pups and Shannon

Well, this week's Dogs On Thursday post is not only the usual (a dog seeking a home), but I also thought I'd include some photos of the permanent pups in my house from last week's festivities. As you may know, occasionally there's foster dogs too, but not this holiday. Kyleigh is the older black Doberman who is about 7, Sadie our 5 year old Golden and Tali is the newest addition, my sister's red Dobie who joined the crew this summer. Hope you enjoy these and have a wonderful, wonderful new year. Health & happiness for all in 2010!


Meet sweet, silly Shannon. Shannon is located in Utah at Best Friends Animal Society. It's harder for older dogs to find homes of their own, even silly ones like Shannon, so I wanted to post her here for Dogs on Thursday. Here is what Shannon's profile says about her:

Breed: Labrador Retriever
Gender: Female
Age: Mature
Size: Large

"I like to hold my own leash!"

No one is sure whether Shannon is trying to help you walk her (she's such a thoughtful girl), or whether she's trying to walk you instead! But it's very cute to watch her hold her own leash in her mouth while she walks alongside you.

She also has a toy she loves, and uses it like a security blanket during scary thunderstorms. That's very cute, too.

Sadly, Shannon was found huddled under a house, abandoned in California. She's an older dog (10) and can be a little annoying to other dogs (though we've found a few who can handle her). We also don't really recommend her with cats and kids. But she has so many adorable qualities, such a darling little heart, and she'd so love to find a home.

Is her face speaking to you?

Wishing you luck and love this holiday season, Shannon, and a wonderful 2010.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Farm Fowl

I love my Golden girl, Sadie - LOVE her! There is nothing like having a Golden, in my opinion, and I have had them forever. My parents' first "baby" was a Golden, Sunshine, that I grew up with and we've had Goldens ever since. Well, my heart dropped the other day when I look out our beautiful front windows the morning after Christmas and see our Golden Sadie standing on our semi-frozen lake. I thought for sure I was about the watch her go through the ice. Now, why is this post entitled "Birds, birds, birds"?? Well, she wasn't just standing on the ice, no ... she was chasing our ducks who were desperately trying to get away from her, but not being too successful with it.

I'd gone to call my mom, but couldn't find my cell or the house cordless, so I'd wasted time looking for those and then finally having to use the house wall phone in the kitchen. I'd tried to find boots (we'd had sooo many pairs out with the snow we just had a week ago) and could not find a single pair. I tossed on the only shoes I had: rubberish, running shoes that slip on and don't come above the ankle. In the rain and the cold, I ran out with a leash. The only reason I caught up to Sadie was because one of the ducks was stuck in some reeds. I got her! ... I had seen at least two motionless, disheveled looking ducks and one was definitely bleeding.

I figured the bleeding one was the most crucial and when I got to the spot where I had found Sadie and left the one Peking (bleeding) duck, it was gone. I was so upset! I looked around and it was limping into the woods. Whether from my cooing of "It's just me. Easy now. It's just me," or just sheer exhaustion, the duck didn't wander too far away before laying down. Did I mention my parents pulled in the driveway right as I'd caught Sadie? Well, they had. I'd tossed Sadie in their car so they could drive her up to the house and after safely getting her in, they came back to see where I was concerned about the ducks, but me too - I was soaking wet and could hardly even see anymore from the rain on my glasses (yea, no time to find contacts and stick them in during this craziness). I handed off the bleeding duck to my mom and went in search of the two I had seen in a bush ... they were gone, wandering up for food, actually.

After changing, getting boots on (from wherever my mom had found them) and calling my aunt, we spent at least on hour repeatedly walking around the lake, in the woods, using a duck call and trying to find duck prints in the little snow left. Our baby black duck that we just got this summer, a favorite for her unique coloring and the fact she tried to stand up and walk like her Indian Runner "sisters", was never spotted (and to this day remains missing). The 3 other Peking (including the one with the broken/deformed wings) and 2 Indian Runners were all seen, fed and fine.

This whole ordeal obviously ruined my day and even a hot bath for a long time didn't remedy my mood. Below are some pictures of my shirt (and me) post wrangling Sadie and carrying the bleeding duck around. And, yes, that sticker on my mirror does indeed say "No Mutts With Nuts"

The farm bird stories aren't done yet, but this one was pretty long ... maybe I'll save the others for later.

Too Lazy Tuesday: Pets Good For Kids!

Here's my Too Lazy (Distract) Tuesday post for this week...

Down To Earth blog recently posted something that I thought applied well here in this blog:
There are many medical studies around now that assure us that exposing children to pets and normal household dirt is good for them. It builds up the immune system and allows the body to naturally develop antibodies that fight those germs. Back a few years, when I was growing up, and even when my boys were young in the 1980s it was common for children to play out side. Out there, among the dirt, bugs and grass stains, not only were they having fun swinging on ropes and riding bikes, they were building bone strength, muscle tissue and healthy immune systems.

Ok, sure, animals are only mentioned a little bit, but still - a valuable post all the same, I believe. Let's take that into the new year, folks: animals are actually GOOD for children as is fresh air, playing and some dirt & germs. Though we want to protect the next generation from as much as possible, we don't want to harm them in the process. Having a pet not only teaches humane treatment and responsibility, but promotes a more healthy immune system too.

Check out the whole thing here.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Not Me Monday - Holiday/Fam/Farm Hecticness

Not Me Monday is a weekly therapy session where I can share with you the things that I would never admit to do. It was started by MckMama. Feel free to share what you haven't been doing too!

Who threw this post together and posted the link just to finally be in the top 50? Shameful! Not me...
What girl just stands around with her blood boiling as her crush seems to be loving some stripper girl hanging all over him? Not me, no. Not this girl.
Who found herself calf-deep in puddles in the freezing rain in her pj's and slip on shoes cursing at the top of her lungs the day after Christmas as her dog is standing on a semi-frozen lake trying to eat her ducks because her dad left the gate open and told no one? Not me, nope.
Who ordered gifts for herself post Christmas?? Oh, not me. Who does that?! Especially when broke and jobless!
Who split three bottles of wine with her cousin to survive family talk? Not me.
What girl would ditch her paternal family during the holiday weekend and the football they were watching to go watch hockey!? Not me, no way.
Who cried every night this holiday weekend from the stress, emotions, wine and knowledge that this is probably her dad's last Christmas? Not me.
Who romped around in all the rain and cold weather looking for hurt ducks and is amazed she didn't get deathly ill? Not me.

Head over to MckMama’s blog to read what she and everyone else have NOT been doing (but really have!).

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Caturday: Eastwood

Hello, hello, little lady! This Caturday is back again and this week, I've selected this special girl, Eastwood, at Best Friends to spotlight.

Breed: Domestic short hair
Gender: Female
Age: Mature
Size: Large

Eastwood lived in prison for two years. Her only crime? Living the life of a stray cat. At the age of three, Eastwood was roaming around Texas, minding her own business when a mean person caught her, and kept her in a cage for two years.

Thank goodness she was saved and came to Best Friends. Eastwood is a comical looking girl, with a big body and small head. One eye is lemon yellow, while the other is a beautiful gold. But her disposition is rather somber, even sad. Sometimes she bows her head in the sunlight, as though in prayer, and you get the feeling life has been really painful.

Eastwood is still pretty shy around people, but there's a good way to help build her trust: Have treat in hand! Eastwood responds well to the promise of food. After she gently takes the treat from your hand, she'll let you pet her for a little while. We believe that Eastwood is just waiting for the right person to take her home so she can learn to trust, and learn what it means to feel safe and experience forever love for the first time.

She might be scared of kids or dogs, but other cats should be just fine. (In fact, if you're looking for more than one, Eastwood has some friends she could recommend!)

Much luck, Eastwood, to you ... and your kitty friends :)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Farm-life Fridays: Boba

Here is a story from Farm Sanctuary.

Boba: A City Chicken Goes Country

With panoramic views of the Hudson River, lush flower gardens and its historic Cloisters museum, Fort Tryon Park in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan is an exquisite haven of nature amidst New York City's concrete-encrusted landscape. It is also home to such urban wildlife as squirrels, skunks, migratory birds, and ... chickens?!

At least, that's what two young sisters discovered – a hen nesting under a bush – while walking their family's pair of rescued racing greyhounds around the park in late February. The lost bird was likely an escapee from one of the city's live markets, where chickens and other “food” birds are sold from storefronts and slaughtered on the spot. Holly, 15, and Emma, 12, probably saved the indigent hen's life by carrying her home, because a severe snowstorm struck the area that night.

You can go here for the rest of the story...

Obviously, this is a "scheduled" post. I did not want to miss "Farm Friday" strictly because of a holiday. I hope everyone is having a beautiful, beautiful holiday and wonderful day.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Email About Squeakers

This was in an email I got today and wanted to share.

'All creatures dream....only dogs dream of us.'

It began with this picture, of one of Michael Vicks former 'dog-fight' pit bull terriers, Squeaker, being comforted by her caretaker at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah.

Here was this loving, very gentle dog, frightened by the media who had come up to see how things were progressing with the Pitts, who many other Humane Organizations had rejected.

It put, for me, a final picture....because pictures are worth a thousand words, after all, on Pitts. This was no fearsome creature, bruised and mistreated, though she was, but a fellow creature, curled close to her only comfort she had, her 'person' at Best Friends.

When I worked at Humane, there was an 'unspoken' belief on Pitts. It was that they were dogs that were dangerous, vicious, that would turn on you in an instant.

The honest truth is that I've met many more vicious and 'dangerous' Chihuahas than I have of Pitties. Pitties are often the victim of scary folks, people who, like the Rotties, German Shepards and Mastiffs before them are used as weapons by those who are too cowardly to tackle things without a loyal dog by their side. And dogs, being who they are, live and breathe to please humans, even though they be undeserving.

Pitties appear in most of 'Our Gang' comedy series, because they were so gentle, and because they represented the 'average american family pet'. Petey was loved by most of us who grew up watching him with the kids, sliding through adventures with them. He was trustworthy and an American Icon.

Squeakers, in the shadow of her caretaker, is a Survivor of a fate that no animal should have happen to them. She has become the symbol of triumph in the face of ignorance, pain and cruelty. She symbolizes, maybe, the best in all of us, and our bond to our canine friends. And perhaps, in this picture, bespeaks as no other picture could, the spirit of this time of year.

Have a wonderful holiday, my friends!

Merry Christmas Eve

I'm not sure what the rest of you do, but on this night my family and I usually gather around a fire and read our Christmas and holiday cards from friends and family. Years ago when she was still little and lived only a house away, my younger cousin Marisa would come over and we would "track Santa" coming to her house. I'll admit it, even to an old geezer like me (compared to her), it was always a lot of fun to constantly update it and see where he was.

Here's the last of the "Santa Sundays". Enjoy and I hope you're having a beautiful holiday season!

But I heard him exclaim, 'ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

Dogs On Thursday - Paul

This handsome man is Paul. Currently Paul is in NY state waiting for his furever home to find him through Pets Alive (along with his buddy, Freddy)

Silly, perhaps, to add this, but two thoughts came to mind when I saw the photo of Paul:
1) What sad eyes
2) What a seasonal pup - all white!

Here's more info on Paul...

Paul & Freddy are senior gentlemen brothers who have lived their whole lives together. They were surrendered by their owner who could no longer care for them to a kill shelter where they were in grave danger of being euthanized due to their age & overcrowding at the shelter. Both are TOTAL lovebugs and will give you as many hugs & kisses as you will let them. We would really love to see them in a home where they can live out their retirement. Very sad to see seniors spending their golden years in a shelter. They are estimated to be 9-10 years old. These are two SUPER dogs! Please give them a loving home!

Merry Christmas Eve, Paul. I hope you and Freddy are warm, happy and that Santa brings you a furever home together soon!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Santa Sunday - Up Until The Eve

Here's a "classic" to me - the way I always saw Santa when I heard "The Night Before Christmas" or thought of the man Virginia hoped for and such.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Santa Sunday - Up Until The Eve

This tall skinny guy is quite a character and definitely stands out among our Santas, I think. He's definitely not the chubby guy I think of, but he's still so darn cute ... and that body type definitely explains how he can fit down chimneys!

Too Lazy Tuesday: Reflection

On my private journal. Feel free to email me if you want access.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Losing My Reflection

I came across this old, old entry today and for some reason, felt the need to add it here...

I think I had my first seizure within a week of this great date and thus began my sad, sad spiral down. I pushed the guy away ... I did a lot of bad things after that seizure. This picture was the aftermath ... and there was about a week of healing time before I took this depressing picture ... and apparently I left some huge blood stain outside the elementary school on the sidewalk. Walking by the school talking to a rescue buddy, mid-sentence I just went head first into the pavement. Yes, look at that picture again - that is a WEEK'S WORTH of healing; 3 internal sutures, 7 external above my eye; a possible fractured cheek bone or at least I bruised the bone and that scar's still obvious if you look for it (everyone was amazed I didn't blow out my whole eye socket because of course I fell on a twisted piece of sidewalk too) and bruised nose.

I went to class the day after my first seizure too. I think I wore sun glasses pretty much 24/7, even to class, for about a month after that.

Only a few months after that, I also ended up knocking out half my two canine teeth and require stitches by a plastic surgeon (thank God one was in the ER that night) to put the right corner of my lip back on. There were countless concussions (from seizures) and bad decisions (from depression) in between all that too. A girl can start to feel like she's losing her own reflection ...

"Action is the antidote to despair" -Joan Baez

Santa Sunday - Up Until The Eve

I mentioned nutcrackers before and thankfully we've got this guy to kind pull our whole mantle of Santas and festive nutcrackers together.

Not to jinx him, but he's also pretty unique because I believe he's one of the only larger nutcrackers that hasn't needed some glue at one point or another also!

Not Me Monday - Dad Concerns

It was the fabulous (and famous) MckMama that started the idea of Not Me! Monday and here I’ll share my “Not Me Monday” with you.

I am doing the best I can. That is what I’m telling myself, but sometimes ... sometimes I just don’t know. I’m not sure how to explain this or where to start. I guess the only thing to do is to tell it as things happened for me...

After a usual Monday actually, it was a GREAT Monday – I accomplished so much that day I didn’t even write a “Not Me Monday” post! Anyway, my time alone was ending when my mom pulled into the driveway returning from work and with my dad in the car who she had picked up at his brother’s house. He goes there every Monday night for dinner and I get some wonderful alone time to watch whatever I want on TV without my dad standing over my shoulder or browse blogs & photos of friends on the net without my dad leaning in and asking “What’s that?” or actually EAT without my dad also thinking he needs 3 more meals. Sorry, minor rant...

As my mom walks in the door that night with my dad, she asks if I knew he sprained his ankle. I looked at her a bit surprised, felt a twinge of guilt I’d been with him all day and not known this and said "No" - he'd never mentioned a thing to be about hurting himself.

Who didn't think twice about the sprained ankle? Not me
Who only thought of herself and how bad it must look to my aunt the nurse that my dad hurt himself and I didn't know? Not me. Ok, maybe I was a bit more focused on that...

My dad proceeded to wander around a little bit, irk me some and then ask for his ice cream dish. When my mom said he’d already eaten a lot and she was sure he’d had something at my aunt and uncle’s, my dad said “No.” It was only after her insisting that she knew he ate that he came to sit down in the recliner and went to put his feet up. I told him not to since I knew he had laid around a lot that day, but then my mom asked about his ankle – my twinge of guilt was about to spiral out of control...

My dad really fought both my mom and I verbally about showing us his ankle. He kept saying "no" when he asked him to show it to us and that he “didn't want to” show us. My dad also wouldn't answer how he sprained his ankle, even when we asked him yes or no questions (which sometimes he’s better with answering): Did you do it working outside? In the horse pen? When you were feeding the animals? No answers! Just stubborn “No”s. In the end, the only reason I think we ever saw his foot was because my mom told him to put the recliner up (put his feet up) to show us his ankle.

Who held back from cursing in frustration with her dad's stubbornness while we're just trying to help him? Oh no, not me. I probably "sounded like a sailor"!

As he took off his sock, my mom was between his foot and where I was. I heard her make some comment, something along the lines of, “You taped your foot?” He said, “Yea” and as my mom stepped back, I saw that his foot, not his ankle, was wrapped in blue painter’s tape (like the kind you line your windows and door frames with to not get paint on them). He took the tape off and went to throw it out in the bathroom - that's when I heard more: "Oh my god" from my mom and then her asking if he dropped something on it, “How did you hurt it?”, “That needs to be cleaned up”, etc. My mom came out of the bathroom as I was trying to wrangle the dogs outside - they kept going into the bathroom and all I could see happening was someone going to lick the cut (ew!) or getting in the way and my dad kicking them or something). My mom told me to call my aunt (she's a school nurse), but I actually had my mom talk to her as I cleaned up this HUGE cut on my dad's foot (like where my tattoo is) because he just dumped peroxide on it and was going to put a band-aid on it like that would make it all better.

It’s then that he says, plain as day (as if stating, “It’s dark out”) that he dropped the grinder (think mini hand held saw) on his foot. “Where are your shoes?” my mom asked and he tells her he didn’t have any on – he was in the basement. Ugh!! He almost chopped his foot off! I could have found my dad dead! I never even knew he hurt himself while I was home with him!

So, I’m down on my hands and knees with my dad’s foot suspended in air in our one shower so I can wash the peroxide out and the thing was just gross. I dabbed at it a little with some gauze and then poured more peroxide on it. I’m dabbing it and, friends, I believe he cut it down to the muscle! I wanted to vomit as I cleaned it and told my mom he had to go to the ER (as my aunt was pretty much telling her the same). I was sick. Sick from seeing that cut, sick about hurting my dad (as I cleaned it up so he could go to the ER) and sick that he hurt himself WHILE I WAS HOME and I never even knew. After cleaning up the peroxide enough that a band-aid will stick, he puts on a new sock and heads out with my mom to the ER nearby.

I called my aunt about the whole thing letting her know my mom was at the hospital and the plan was some stitches, a tetanus shot and antibiotics for my dad. She was kicking herself too, I think, since she’s a nurse and did not insist on seeing his “ankle” when he said he sprained it. She said my uncle noticed him limping and asked if his back was bothering him. My dad said no, that he sprained his ankle. My aunt said they asked how and when, but he just kept saying, “Yea, I sprained it.”

My mom and I text back and forth while she was with my dad at the hospital and I told her that there was wiped up blood all over the bathroom – barely noticeable, but I was in there putting the first aid stuff away and saw it. She told me there was a lot of blood and to check the trash. Then, she texted me again to check the trash because he said there was a lot of blood and he threw everything away (yes, she mentioned the trash and blood twice because she’s not too stellar with texting still).

It was then that I remembered that at around 11:30 I came out of my room from putting clothes away and my dad was looking for a trash bag. I thought it odd he’s taken the trash out since he normally only does that when told, but that thought left my mind quickly enough. So, that was it. Around 11:30 he’d already cut himself, cleaned everything up, taken the trash out and never said a thing to me.

Who didn't push about why he took the trash out? Not me. I considered it just a nice little blessing for him to be cleaning without being asked ... hindsight is making me kick myself. If I'd just asked, really got an answer, maybe I could have gotten that whole situation and cut handled a lot earlier.
Who's so above feeling awful for herself? Her dad? The situation. Not me. I just can't get there yet. I feel bad.

I shouldn’t feel bad. He didn’t tell me and went to a great extent to hide it from everyone. But, I still find myself slipping and feeling awful about the whole thing...

I am doing the best I can. I am doing the best I can.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Santa Sunday

Forever some of my favorites have been our "worldly" Santas - little figurines from around the world representing their version of St. Nick during various years. I love the variety of these guys! I'd like to share two from our collection with you here.

Defintely Winter

Yesterday morning after I woke up and started moving around I deemed it officially winter. Though it looked like any other morning from my bedroom window, the windows in our living room showed something else: there was ice on our lake! If you look closely at that picture that I took just yesterday morning, you'll notice only one white duck swimming ... the others are standing on the lake! Yes, yesterday (Friday) morning was chilly and my dad stayed inside most of the day because of it. Now, why is this fun fact of the silly ducks standing on the lake blogable? Well, you see, we live in New Jersey and little did I know that our "trusty" weather reporters were about to UNDERestimate their predictions for today...

This is the lake this lovely, snowy Saturday evening! Included in the picture is also my sister, Michelle, her boyfriend, Steve, and the Dobie pup, Tali, moments before she tried to run on to the ice to chase the ducks. Lets just say it ended up being more slush than ice, but the pup barely got her toe wet before changing her mind about the duck attack. Yes, were cursed gifted a large amount of snow ... much more than was anticipated, I believe. Friday night into Saturday morning they were estimating only about an inch with maybe 6 - 11 more falling throughout the day. By 9 AM this morning the weather was predicting more like 3 inches every hour ... and it's still snowing now! So you can imagine what the yard looks like...

the horses are covered in snow

the sheep are snowy even inside the one barn

and even the ducks were up all day begging for food instead of swimming around in the slushy lake! (note: that area they're in was shoveled clean moments before I took this photo)

Call me crazy, but I think it was a pretty nice day. I woke up early and went out to see if my mom needed help repairing the barn (I heard a very loud crash in the middle of the night and though my dad went out to make sure everything was ok, apparently a huge board had fallen down and needed to be put back up). After taking some pictures, we headed in where I made sure the fire in our wood stove kept burning and we waited for my little sister and her boyfriend to wake up. After that, it was lots of playing in the snow, clearing areas that needed to be cleared and having fun with some of the pups - only Tali at first since we weren't sure we could trust Sadie completely ... and for good reason! When we finally did let her out, after being adorable for so long, she definitely got more than just her toes wet when she decided to try to chase the ducks. Goofy dog! We took them inside to eat then while my sister and her boyfriend played in the snow.

There was also more picture taking outside, hot chocolate, hay being thrown around (for the horses), extra wet food for the ferals, good smells while my sister was making tomato sauce, finding & setting up the fake tree (since going out to buy a live one today was canceled thanks to mother nature), lots of movie watching, puzzle doing (not by me, I'm too impatient) and we did not lose the electric. I think overall today was a great day and definitely put me in the holiday spirit: the snow, the lights, the decorating and everyone together getting along (though, of course, my blood pressure surely spiked during meal time with my dad).

I hope this post finds you warm, loved and content like I was today. Happy holidays!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Caturday: Max

Max here and he's looking for a home of his own. He's adorable and currently waiting at Tabby's Place in New Jersey.

Gender: Male
Age: 8 yrs
Breed: domestic shorthair
Color & markings: black/brown tabby
Personality: friendly, temperamental

Hmmm, how do I tell you about our Max? He's an extra-large boy (not fat, just quite big) with extra good looks; he's a brown tabby with white whiskers, as well as white on all four paws, his chest, throat, and tummy. Max is about 7 years of age (as of 11/2009), according to our best guess. He can be quite vocal, and he isn't shy about asking for attention. He enjoys head-butting people and will often sit in laps.
We believe that Max has Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome. He becomes overstimulated very easily; when this happens, he can become quite aggressive, although he has never hurt anyone but himself. When he first came to us, his symptoms were very severe. Over time, with a lot of patient attention and some medication, he has improved greatly. Currently, he's on oral phenobarbitol. Contrary to what you might expect, he's easy to pill, and we do not know if he would continue to require medication in a home environment.

Much of the time, Max is really a great boy---happy and purry and affectionate. However, due to his medical issue, we feel he would do best in a quiet home without small children or other pets. Other than FHS, Max has no medical issues.

If you think you might be able to provide a good home for our Max, we encourage you to come in meet this handsome guy.

Good luck finding a home, Max. I know you're in good hands

Friday, December 18, 2009

Farm-life Fridays: Murphy

Look at this big guy! This big draft boy is named Murphy and he's in New York State with Pets Alive. Here's more information on him:

Murphy is an absolutely STUNNING draft mix. He is a retired carriage horse from NYC and he would have been gorgeous all decked out for Christmas. Murphy is a staff and volunteer favorite. A big, gentle giant. He has done his time and would love a pasture with another horse, some daily attention and affection. He can be a little shy at first but really warms up and is sweet and friendly when he gets to know someone and that they are not going to hurt him. He stands perfectly for the farrier or the vet and walks well on a lead line. We have no issues with Murphy at all and we simply adore this big horse. Murphy is probably in his early 20's and he has cushings disease. All that means is he needs daily medication to help him. That medication costs about $50 a month.

Stay warm this December, Murphy, and stay well in 2010!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Funny Folks

Bad (sad) news first: When my dad drove off yesterday with his buddy, my Uncle John V, they not only went shopping, but went to purchase something as well - some like $13 part to our pump that we use in the horse pen when it rains ridiculously. It wasn't until this morning my mom asked who paid for it, expecting that she'd need to pay John back ... my dad goes, "I did."

Now, shocked silence fell over the house as my mom and I both paused. Why you might ask? Well, my dad does not have any money and for months now hasn't even had access to any for a reason. "Loss of good judgment is another sign of frontotemporal dementia. The person may spend money recklessly..."

Several times I've come home now and my always closed bedroom door was open. So, my concern was he'd been in there, found my hidden money and used it. While my mind was running in this direction, my mom was asking where he got it. After hemming and hawing around the question, he said he had used "all ones."

My mom and I came to find out he used $1 bills he's been saving the whole time my mom has known him! They weren't anything terribly valuable to anyone but him, I think, but it's still so sad. They were $1 with special numbers on them that he'd come across, a line of 121212 in a row or 9999, things like that. We had taken them out of our safety deposit box recently so he could go through and organize/enjoy them while he still could. Instead of organizing though, it seems he's spent them and probably on something useless for the pump since he's not really well at fixing things anymore anyway. So sad to see him like this and he just laughed when we said what a shame it was...

Ok, on to the good news. Err, I'm not really sure it's "good", but maybe "reassuring" is a better term for this situation.

I woke this morning to my mom freaking out. From the bits and pieces I heard while waking, she was worried my dad had been in my sister's room where we keep everything. I called her into my room to see what was going on and as it turned out, not only was she worried my dad had been in there, but she also couldn't find the key to the safety deposit box anywhere. Ah! I was able to immediately reassure her of a few things:
1) Monday she couldn't find the keys either and I reminded her she had taken them with us for our AC trip last week, so she had them then at least ... she just needed to remember where she'd put them after locating them Monday.
2) One of our kitties actually ended up locked in my sister's room Monday after my mom had been in there and I had to go get her. The room was a mess (blanket on the floor, closet door open and stuff moved around) - perhaps from the cat? Perhaps from my mom being in the closet? A combination of the two? Anyway, all the "signs" my mom had thought meant my dad were in there had been there when I was in there last ... meaning the last person to mess it up was not my dad, but my mom (and maybe the cat). Oh boy!

Now, let me insert another story here. Since closing our safety deposit box at a bank and bringing the things home, my mom and I have been going through jewelry and such (like the cameo I bought in Italy), some of which is very old. One piece was this beautiful diamond ring my dad's aunt gave him worth quite a bit of money. I was wearing it for awhile, but recently took it off to shower and never put it back on because I was going somewhere I just didn't trust wearing it to.

Now, I've passed by where I left it on my desk and said, "Maybe I should put that somewhere safer", but it was just my room where no one ever really is and right next to where I often am - my computer, so I left it there. Several days ago though, I noticed it missing and my heart sank. Great! I'm the scapegoat anyway in the house and now I proved them all right - I'm awful!! I lost this ring. Ugh! I was sick. I moved everything around on my desk looking for it, got a flash light and got down on my hands and knees looking in corners and under my bed in case my foster kitten came across it and started batting it around, etc. No sign of it! I've been sick over this.

Back to this morning: Have I mentioned this safe has everything that could be important in there? All our jewelry in it, family heirlooms, birth certificates and she had put all the keys to everything in our possession in there (tractor, lawn mower, all our cars' spare keys, etc.). So, I found myself thinking, "Ok, my mom has lost the keys to our safe. Surely misplacing that ring pales in comparison to that, right?" So, I call my mom in again and tell her, "I haven't been able to find that ring I was wearing..."

Her response? "Oh yea, I took that out of your room I guess last week and put it in the safe."


I didn't lose it! Oh my goodness, I didn't lose it ... my mom took it? From my room??? ::Ugh:: I think I made a noise sounding just like that and said that I've been sick over the ring and feeling so bad and she took it? "Yea," she said, "I thought I told you..."

Um, NO!!


Oh, and she found the keys to the safe about 30 minutes later too :)

On a completely different note, there's ice on the lake this morning! It's officially winter now in my opinion :)

Dogs On Thursday - Noble & Awesome Ad

Can you say adorable?! The name that belongs to this face is Noble and he is available for adoption right now through Pets Alive.

Honestly, I don't see Noble (and his brother Hero) having a hard time finding a home, but he was just too darn cute not to post! Here is the information from the website about Noble's sad beginning...

Noble & Hero are much too young to have suffered what they have been through. They were found on a busy highway laying ontop of their mother, who had been hit & killed by a car. Rescuers literally had to pry them away from her body, especially Noble who was clinging to her with all his might. These two darling brothers are sweet as can be, about 3-4 months old, weigh approx 20-25 lbs. They look like Aussie-Spaniel mixes with soft, fluffy fur and loving personalities. We would really like to see these two precious brothers find a home TOGETHER for the holidays.

Good luck, boys. I hope you find your furever home together.


Also for this Dogs on Thursday, I just had to post this adorable and hopefully very pro-active advertisement that I saw while watching the end of the Flyers game on Monday night.

Good job, Shelter Pets Project!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A challenge to a generation

"We have a choice. We can fully, completely, and without reservation embrace No Kill as our future. Or we can continue to legitimize the two-pronged strategy of failure: adopt a few and kill the rest. It is a choice which history has thrown upon us. We are the generation that questioned the killing. We are the generation that has discovered how to stop it. Will we be the generation that does?” -Nathan Winograd

(stolen from here)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Santa Sunday

To get into the "holiday" spirit a bit more, I've decided to share some of my family's collections ... you see, aside from just having a funny farm and daughter who rescues (me), my parents have also always been big on a few things: cow creamer pitchers, odd shaped bottle openers, clocks, oil lamps, santa figurines for the holiday and nutcrackers (my dad even has one shaped like an eagle's head!) ... and, yes, most of these things need to be antiques or rare, aside from the last (holiday) two.

One of our holiday traditions is to display the santas we pack up every new year and put away until the holidays come around again and here is one of my favorites...

No, no, he's not just a Santa - he's a cookie jar too :)

Hope you're getting into the spirit too and staying warm where ever you are!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Caturday: Sonny

Meet Sonny. This handsome boy is in New Jersey at Tabby's Place. Read more about him below...

Gender: Male
Age: 5 years
Breed: domestic medium hair
Color & markings: black/brown tabby
Personality: friendly, playful

Sonny is a good-looking grey tabby with medium-length fur. He is, um, not small, but of course his fur makes him look larger than he really is. Sonny was adopted from us about three years ago, but he had to be returned when his owners suffered serious financial setbacks because of the current recession. We know he's about 4-1/2 now, and that he was very well looked after in his previous home.
Sonny has always been on the submissive side. He can live with other cats (in fact, he lived with two others in his previous home), as long as they're not too domineering. Because he can be skittish, he should not go to a home with small children, especially as we know that he greatly dislikes being held. His previous owner has told us that Sonny rarely used his scratching post and would scratch furniture, something to note if you have a home full of antiques.

Despite his skittishness, Sonny can be very friendly. If you do something he doesn't like, he'll let you know right away---but with sheathed claws. We know that Sonny can be a wonderful friend for the right person or persons; won't you come in to see our fluffy boy today?

Sonny, of course, is extra special to me since he's a Tabby's Place cat. He's very lucky to be there, but would be even luckier if he had a home of his own to spoil and love him.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Farm-life Fridays: Naniue

Look at this Miss Piggy! Her name is Naniue and she is at Best Friends in Utah. Here is what Naniue’s profile says:

Breed: Pot Belly
Gender: Female
Age: Adult
Size: Large

She used to be a real pudge ball!

But Naniue has already started losing the extra weight due to a new, healthy way of eating, plus exercising. When she first came to Best Friends, she hated the healthy food and walks, but soon she began feeling much healthier which gave her reason to start loving her salad and exercise!

Naniue is super friendly, loves affection and likes dogs. Other pigs? Not her favorite; she'd prefer you had dogs instead. Sadly, this smart and social girl lost her home because of a "pignorant" landlord; he threw her out just for being a pig because he didn't understand how clean pigs are when allowed to be. Naniue is just three years old and healthy other than the extra weight that's already coming off.

Won't you consider having Naniue as part of your family?

I'm not big on pigs, but she's pretty cute and they're said to be smarter than dogs, so... I don't know. Some people are crazy about them.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dogs On Thursday - Jude & A Little Boy and his Dog

Meet Jude! Jude is located in Utah at Best Friends Animal Society right now.

It's a fact that black dogs have a harder time finding a home, let alone older, black dogs with special needs (no other dogs, please, for this boy and he has some neurological problems too, but who isn't a little funny in the brain??) so I wanted to post Jude on here in case someone comes across it and falls in love with him. He's had a rough past, but his future it bright now thanks to Best Friends and Pets Alive. Here's more information on him...

Breed: Labrador Retriever
Gender: Male
Age: Mature
Size: Medium

Jude is a big black marshmallow. He'll come right up to anyone and lean into them to get as close as possible in a kind of big body hug. He's a big, affectionate goofball who lives life to the fullest. And considering what he's been through and what he has to deal with, that's pretty amazing.

Jude came to Best Friends by way of Pets Alive in New York. He was one of many dogs who were found barely alive in a cement building. For two years he never saw daylight, felt grass beneath his paws or experienced the kindness of a loving human hand. And as if that wasn't enough, Jude suffers from a neurological disorder that manifests as urinary and fecal incontinence.

When Best Friends took over and caring for the dogs, Jude blossomed. He loves basking in the sun, enjoying the cool feel of soft grass and mostly, the warmth and affection from people.

Most of the dogs from Pets Alive found forever homes. But no one would take Jude. So he came to live at Best Friends.

Jude is very dog aggressive, so he can't be around other dogs. But around people, he's as sweet as can be. All he wants is to play, love and be loved. He knows he's not perfect. And he's almost 14 years old. He wants to go home --- for the first and last time.

Wishing you luck and love this month, Jude, and all through the new year.


Also, for this Dogs on Thursday post, I wanted to add this redirection to another blog. Head over to Dogkisser for a touching tale that was in the paper recently:

"For those readers who are from away - there has been the very sad story locally of a little boy who got lost in Cape Breton on the weekend when following his dog into the woods"...

Monday, December 7, 2009

Not Me Monday - "Honey Do" List

Welcome to my Not Me! Monday! post. This blog carnival was created by the lovely, MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Before tucking myself into bed last night, I made a "honey do" list ... for myself. And guess what? It's certainly was not me that didn't do a darn thing on that list today!

- It was not me that didn't find time to work out today
- Not me that once more "forgot" to organize the clothes I have out and around my room so I can finally put them away.
- It's not me that still didn't break down my foster kitten's cage to store it away now that she's socialized and loose in the house.
- Nah, nope, it was not me that put off writing up paperwork that's necessary for an appointment at the end of the week.
- No way, it was most definitely not me that did crafts all day instead of everything else I had planned on doing... so, with that, it was not me that was "productive" in my procrastination :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Caturday: Skyee & Garage Cats

This gorgeous girl is Skyee out at Best Friends Society in Utah.

Breed: Siamese
Gender: Female
Age: Mature
Size: Medium

"Don't hate me because I'm beautiful."

Skyee can't help it! She's an old girl, but it hasn't toned down her beauty one bit. And she enjoys being gorgeous, because she loves chatting with people "meow, meow", and even gently playing.

Skyee used to be terribly standoffish, but age has made her much more friendly. And she's ready, at her ripe age, to find the home that's eluded her for so long. (She came to Best Friends long ago from a shelter in California that was closing down, and she's never been adopted!)

Skyee gets along beautifully with other cats. Children should be older just because she used to be so skittish - we wouldn't want those tendencies to return!

She's a lovely cat with a lovely personality. And it would be wonderful if she could find a happy ending at last in these golden years.

Wishing you luck and love this holiday season, Skyee.


I was going to post the simple fact I had finally set up the porch for the garage cats for the winter, but then I figured - why be simple? :) So, here's a little introduction to the garage kitties.

We have 6 cats that I know of on the farm who have hung around or shown up. The garage 3 are the more social group of cats we have here on the farm. Spring, summer and into the fall, they mostly live in the Conestoga building we have right by the house which has a lot furniture from our old home (the cat particularly like curling up in the upside down chairs), my dad's tools and some of my rescue stuff - a few cages and a trap or two. However, for the winter, I set up the side porch (which has a hole cut into the screen for them to come in through) with a heat lamp, some soft blankets and a bed that warms up a bit too. The screen door and window also get covered up with plexi-glass so the kitties can still see out, but there's no real breeze in there. This year, they'll have to deal with the unplugged, no longer being used refrigerator, but I think they'll manage - less room, which means more snuggling :)

Here's who will be on the porch this winter, the garage kitties one by one...

Meet Norman - a huge beast of a cat who also happens to be FIV+ and a real love bug - no fighting from him so far. Norman I brought on in a desperate attempt to get Wilson to eat - I'd had him for about 2 weeks and he rarely ate a thing I left for him. Thinking he was lonely, I brought Norman in ... this is how he got his name. Although Wilson was named for the volleyball in Castaway, I always thought of the neighbor from Home Improvement - "howdy ho, neighbor", which is also the cute phrase the old man, Norm, I grew up next to used to greet us all the time. So, Wilson and Norman, the cheery older neighbors. Norman remains pretty evasive, though sometimes he'll let me pet him. I don't think he'll ever be as affectionate as he was when his best friend for life was still around, Buddy. Looking at Norman makes me still ache for Buddy and the pals they were together. He's also the biggest wanderer out of the garage cats. I've seen him everywhere from back by the back barn (trying to steal food for the kitties back there) to in the woods to down near the front of the lake ... I promptly hollered at him for that - once passed the lake, it's only another say, 50 feet to the road.

This little lady is simply known as "Momma" or "Irish Momma". She came to me from my great uncle who was feeding a cat outside his home and one day she brought him kittens. I sat outside for hours until I caught them all - the whole litter consisted of 4 female kittens. I hate to think how many kittens there would have been if I hadn't caught them!!! All the little girls were given Irish names (my great uncle is VERY Irish) and adopted out in pairs. Irish Momma wasn't a friendly house cat though, so I set her up in the garage where she has never left. I pet her for the first time in, wow, maybe the 4 years I've had her just the other day while she was eating. She's always around, but won't let me approach her. She's endeared herself to me with how adorable she is though. Her favorite spot? The stairs leading up into the hot tub or on top of the cover. She's a smart girl! :) I don't know if it's because she came from a small town with busy roads, but she's the least likely to wander. She's always pretty much in the garage, by the hot tub or in the garden between the garage and the house, though sometimes she'll wander up to the front porch ... so, as far as I know, her life consists of mainly a, max, 75 foot radius.

The most recent addition to the garage crew is Champ. I had just lost Buddy recently when a new cat was coming into work. The business behind us, Champion Tire, was nice enough to feed and love up some ferals (all fixed), but someone had dropped off a cat recently and they were just maxed out. Work agreed to take the cat in and try to adopt it out ... however, while doing our intake exam, we found out the poor guy was FIV+ and our FIV Suite was already full. Fresh from the loss of Buddy and looking at this poor kitty who was FIV+ like Norman and now with an unknown future (the tire place didn't want him, that's why he came to us and we couldn't keep him because we were already too full), I took it all as a sign and agreed to take him. "Champ" came home with me and though he's not wrapped up with Norman like Buddy used to be, the two seem to hang out a bit and he's a nice addition. I'm not sure if you can tell from the photo, but he's a real beast of a cat - huge! Long legs and a stomach that looks like he's swallowed a basket ball.

To say the kids were excited the side porch was set up is an understatement. As soon as I was out there, Irish Momma was walking in and out of the hole in the door, Norman was sitting at the bottom of the steps and even Champ wandered by as I set everything up for them. Below is a photo of the garage cats already settling into the side porch: Champ curled up under the heat lamp and Irish Momma eating. Norman's either off wandering or maybe tucked behind Champ. Nothing was more adorable than when Norman and Buddy used to both curl up in the heated bed together! Sometimes the only sign they were both in there was what looked like a fifth white paw on Norman - Buddy would be buried under him asleep with just his little foot sticking out from under Norm.

Friday, December 4, 2009

A Day For The Birds

Recently, I've been trying to figure out the best tattoo for my dad. Aside from my paw prints, my other 3 have meanings attached to my Aunt Jean. Focusing on figuring out what would be a great design for my dad has been something to distract me from the way we're losing him. I've come up with all types of ideas - "The Tree of Life" symbol (I have Chinese symbols and a Mayan calendar symbol tattooed on me now), this really neat picture I found with a tree in all 4 seasons, the leaf of a japanese thread leaf (one of his favorite trees), etc. There's only one I keep coming back to... feathers.

My dad is crazy about bald eagles: he has clocks with them on them, pictures, even a nutcracker and, once sick, one of the things he stole (and we had to return) was the weather vain off the house he grew up in - which just happened to have a bald eagle on top of it. He also loves red tail hawks (me too) and constantly points them out when we see them while driving. So, the feathers of those large birds makes the most sense to me ... but finding photos of feathers seems impossible on the internet. Most are just feathers people painted to look like those of these birds. So, I emailed out a bunch of people hoping for some photos: bird clubs, photographers, rehabilitaters, etc. Everyone was very kind, but one woman, Terri, was local and nice enough to invite me out to the wildlife rehabilitation center she works for: Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge. What a trip!!

I'm bad with names and that goes for birds too, but I believe it was Aldora. I could be wrong. I can tell you for sure though that Terri was nice enough to hold on to this big guy so I could take some photos of him (I plan on framing some good ones for dad too). I want to say he was hit by a car (again, the foggy memory - I'm going to guess it was a bad meds day - stupid epilepsy of mine!) and it severely damaged his left eye - you can see a photo of it below. He was so handsome!!! I don't think I can say that enough. :) He was also apparently extra heavy. Terri took him to get a weight and he was 1500+ grams when apparently his max weight has been about 14oo grams or so in the winter. That's a big boy ... um, perhaps we can use the holiday season as an extra for the extra weight?? :) Whatever the case, he wears it well and Terri was nice enough to tolerate holding him for awhile. She was really nice.

My friend Beka was nice enough to meet me at the center that day to get some pictures herself and we were lucky enough to meet some other birds before they were put away, like this gorgeous owl. Look at those eyes! Too cute. His name is Squam and he is a Barred Owl. Terri tells me that Barred Owls have been on NJ's threatened list since the 1940's when we began to development their habitats of old growth forests.

Beka and I wandered around for a bit after meeting some of the birds and we took some more pictures of the other birds we saw there along the trails. Did you know bald eagles make the weirdest noise?! Well, it's true! The one started making this noise that sounded like a pig!! The photos below with the gloved hands holding the birds are the birds we were lucky enough to meet. The other photos involved trying to not get the cages in the photo shots and some cropping skills when I got home. The whole time we were there was really nice and a lot of fun, even though it was a little chilly out that day. Then again, of course I loved it - it was rescue in a whole new way that I haven't have the privledge of participating in yet. :) Check out more photos from our time there...

The other bird we met, Killy, an American Kestrel. They have recently been placed on the endangered list due to habitat development...

I highly encourage you to check our Cedar Run's virtual tour and consider making a trip there. I know I'm going to head back some time with my friend, Robin, at least who was excited for me to be going there. Cedar Run has trails to walk along, so many animals to see and a great deal of information. They seem to be a wonderful, wonderful non-profit.