Thursday, November 30, 2006

Time Keeps on Slippin'

The calendar reminds me of that Steve Miller song. This year is winding down. Tomorrow is the first day of December, and the weather is the first to remind me. Right now, it's 73 degrees. It's been warm and balmy the past week. Tonight, a cold front is supposed to come through the area, and by morning it's supposed to be in the low 30's with snow flurries. From shorts to sweats in a day folks. There's an old saying here in Tennessee, "if you don't like the weather here just wait 5 minutes, and it will change". SO TRUE. Here you are never really able to put away the short sleeves and shorts. Enough about the weather.

The Christmas season is approaching, and I'm not ready. I already feel so behind, and it makes me a little depressed. Hopefully I'll get my Christmas cards addressed this weekend. If anyone would like to do a Christmas card swap just drop me an e-mail, so we can exchange addresses. I'm not even excited about decorating this year. I DO have the outside lights up, but I'm usually finished by now. I haven't even started to shop. I guess I'd better hop to it soon. I'm just not sure where all my UMPH went. If anyone sees it, send it my way. Maybe I'll feel different tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Such A Shame

I recently heard what a hard time the Smithville, Tennessee Animal Shelter is having. They are overcrowded and could probably use more staff. The mayor of Smithville even paid them a visit in the last few days. Unfortunately, the instructions were given to euthanize unclaimed animals after a 10 day stay there. All of the animals currently at the shelter have until December 14th, before they are euthanized. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, if you are in the area and have considered adopting a pet, take some time to visit this shelter. Their number is 615-597-1363 and the shelter is open 7:30 A.M. until 12:30 P.M. Monday-Saturday. Their address is: 535 Shaw St. You may very well find your best friend there! For more information on the shelter and their situation click HERE and HERE. I know this sermon is old folks, but we must educate everyone on spaying and neutering pets! So many shelter animals are a result of unwanted litters. It just isn't fair to these animals to be brought into the world just to be euthanized!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

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I can't believe it's that time of year already. I'm going to be busy this Thanksgiving. Casey's cousin Andrew is coming from Ft. Campbell to spend Thanksgiving with us. He'll be with us all weekend. On Friday night, the Celebration Pet Day Committee is having a Committee/Volunteer appreciation get together. On Saturday, all the local members of the 501st Southern Outpost are getting together for another Thanksgiving feast. I'm planning to collapse in a heap on Sunday after church. Monday will be clean it all up day! I hope that everyone has a fantastic and safe Thanksgiving. I'm posting a slideshow below of all the things that I'm TRULY thankful for this year: my health, home, husband, family, pets, friends, and many other blessings. Happy Thanksgiving!!

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Meeting Stephenie Meyer

Our night meeting Stephenie Meyer was fantatastic! Casey,Kim, and I got to Nashville early. It was nice to beat the rush hour traffic. We managed to relax have a cup of Starbucks and a little dinner before heading over to the "I Love Edward Cullen" party at Davis Kidd. They had a really nice, private room just off the cafe' for us to use. They had munchies, drinks, and sweets for us. The pre-party and snacks began at 5:30 p.m. After we'd all gone in and mingled for a few minutes, they brought Stephenie in to meet us. She was one of the nicest people that I've ever met. She took her time and made it around the entire room to personally speak with everyone and pose for pictures. Everyone had absolute FITS over the sweatshirts that Kim and I had made for the event. So much so, that we had one of the discussion boards take our picture, and Stephenie herself requested to have her picture made with us. Who knows were all our pictures will end up. After we had posed with Stephenie for our picture, she autographed both of our shirts. Kim and I continued to mingle with the other party goers. We met some really nice folks.

Because we were in the group for the pre-party, we were granted the opportunity to be the first group in line for the book signing. After about an hour and a half, Kim and I made our way out to the main floor for the book signing. After about thirty to forty minutes of questions and answers about her books, Stephenie started signing. Stephenie had liked our shirts so much that Kim and I offered to send her one, when our turn came up. She got so excited and said that she'd LOVE one. She also mentioned that she just loved it, when her fans got creative and came up with their own t-shirts and other things. Her PR rep loved them too and gave us her card with an address to mail them to her. By the end of the night, everyone was referring to us as the "sweatshirt girls". That was kind of neat. After the signing was over, we headed back home. I'm just a little tired this morning. Not too bad considering. It was quite a lovely night. I'm just so glad that Kim strong armed me into going.

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Stephenie Meyer at the "I Love Edward Cullen" party.

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Mingling at the party.

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Me, Stephenie Meyer, and Kim at the "I Love Edward Cullen" party.

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Stephenie answering questions at the book signing.

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More questions and answers.

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My sweatshirt that Stephenie autographed.

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Twilight Tonight

I just love it, when my favorite authors come to town. Tonight Kim and I are headed into Nashville to meet Stephenie Meyer, the author of Twilight and New Moon.

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You can read about how Kim convinced me to read this series HERE. We are all signed up for the "I Love Edward Cullen" party, and we are going to the actual signing as well. We are such fan girls. We have our lovely homemade fan sweatshirts all ready! We're hoping to get those autographed as well. I have the camera battery charging now, so I'm sure that I'll have lots of pictures for sharing tomorrow. Kim and I have been looking forward to this for about three months now. I can't believe how the time has flown!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Dough A No No

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Well folks, it's getting close to Turkey Day!! While we pause this time of year and give thanks and stuff ourselves. We need to be very careful what we stuff our pets with. I'm familiar with a lot of pet food no no's. This year, I got an e-mail from the ASPCA warning me of another. Raw bread dough. It makes perfect sense once you think about it, but I never even realized. I'm glad to know this. Read below for more information on the deadliness of raw bread dough:


There'll be many cooks in the kitchen next Thursday—but don't spoil your pet by giving him bread dough. According to veterinarians at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), when bread dough is ingested, an animal's body heat causes the dough to rise in the stomach. As alcohol is produced during the rising process, the dough expands. Pets who've eaten bread dough may experience abdominal pain, bloat, vomiting, disorientation and depression.

Take the case of the Labrador retriever who ingested several rolls that his pet parent had placed on the oven to rise. The owner didn't think much of this, and was more upset that the dog ate part of the holiday feast. But a few hours later, the owner noticed that the dog looked very lethargic. It wasn't long before the canine was reluctant to move and was retching.

As the symptoms intensified, the owner brought him to an emergency clinic, which contacted the APCC. Unfortunately, the dog's stomach was so severely distended that the only option at the time was to surgically remove the dough; he was also treated for alcohol toxicosis, caused by fermentation of the dough. The Labrador was kept at the clinic for the weekend and recovered completely.

Although this dog had ingested quite a bit of dough, an animal needs to eat only a small amount to cause a problem, because bread dough can rise to many times its size. Take care not to let Fluffy or Fido in the kitchen unsupervised when you're baking this holiday season—especially if you've got a professional chowhound who's always on the lookout for food.

In addition to offering poison prevention tips online, the APCC also runs an emergency hotline—(888) 426-4435—that provides round-the-clock telephone assistance.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Lack Luster

I really just hate it when I don't really have anything new to report. Life is just going as normal. Don't get me wrong normal is very good, just uninteresting for blog readers.

Casey and I are keeping up our routine of raquetball every week. We played a good game yesterday, even though I'm sure it wasn't meant to be. We were late getting over to the court. I'd forgotten my ID to get in. Since I'm there nearly everyday swimming, the girl at the desk let me go through the gate. When Casey went to get his ID, he realized that he'd forgotten his too. We borrow our raquets at the center, so without IDs were were sunk. On the way back out to the car, Casey remembered he had it in a pair of shorts in the back seat. We went back in, got through the gates, and finally got changed. When we got to our reserved court, the court lights were out. We went to the front desk to let them know. They said they'd turn them on. We played in the semi-dark for about 20 minutes. Casey finally went back up and let them know our lights still weren't on. Finally, the lights came up. Once we had lights, equipment, and other required elements, we finally got our game going. We didn't do too bad. We played for about an hour.

It's gotten really cold and dreary here. Usually I depise this kind of weather, but this time of year, it puts me in the mood for the holidays. I just can't believe Thanksgiving is a week from today. This year has just flown.

The weather has done a number on Bear. Just like a person, his arthritis flares up in cold, damp weather. He's been kind of droopy for the last couple of days. I sure hope he feels better soon. I really worry about him.

Casey and I have had a change in weekend plans. As much as I would like to go to the Star Wars symphony concert, I'm just really not in the mood to drive the six hours to stay only one night. So, we're just going to hang out at the house. Who knows what we'll get into.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

So Normal

I guess that it's good news that I don't really have anything out of the ordinary to report. This week will be like the calm before the storm. Starting next week, I'll be trooping with the Southern Outpost for Christmas charities nearly every weekend.

The plumber came yesterday to fix our "little" problem. I was very happy that I'd really over saved for the bill. Because of this, Casey and I'll be headed off to Jackson, MS this weekend to troop the Star Wars symphony concert. Supposedly, this is supposed to be very well put together. The symphony supposedly has release from Lucasfilm to use some movie clips. Now, if I can just get all of the laundry done and all my ducks in a row.

I'm also trying to get everything lined up to have an appreciation dinner for my Celebration Pet Day Committee and volunteers. I'm just waiting to hear back from everyone on a good date.

That's pretty much life for me today...stay tuned.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Thursday, November 09, 2006

No Injuries

I've decided to tweak my workout routine. I usually try to swim between 3 and 5 miles a week. I'm not tired of it, and I love doing it. But lately, I feel that I need a little cross training. So, Casey and I have decided to play raquetball once a week. Casey loves raquetball and is very good at it. I love it, but I'm sometimes rather uncoordinated. So after work yesterday, we went to the courts. The last couple of times we've played in the past, I always left with injuries. One time it was a locked knee. The next time is was a busted/bloody nose. They just come naturally to me for some reason. My Mama didn't name me Grace for a reason! This has always made Casey a little apprehensive about allowing me to accompany him. He always complains that he has to remain healthy to take me to the ER. We started just hitting it back and forth to practice and then sped it up a little. I actually did pretty well. We played for nearly an hour, and I'm happy to report that I left with NO injuries!! It was such fun that I can't wait until our next game. I think I may have found just the thing to add to my weekly swimming routine!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

An Apple A Day

Supposedly keeps the doctor away. That is apparently not true for vets. Since our youngest pet is now 6 years old (the oldest will be 15 in February), I guess I should just prepare myself for more yearly vet visits. When Casey and I got home last Friday night, our cat, Biscuit's, jaw was nearly twice its normal size. We've had this kind of thing happen before, so luckily we didn't freak out. It usually happens when the cats scratch each other. Anyway, Casey called the vet on Saturday. He said it was o.k. to wait until Monday to bring her in, although I picked up some antibiotics for her on the way home from work. On Saturday night, the lump ruptured. No big deal. Just some draining and all of the swelling went down. She obviously felt much better afterwards. We took her in on Monday. After attempting to shave the fur away from the area and debride the spot, the vet decided he would have to mildly sedate her. I could have told him that. Biscuit is a quite hateful cat about being touched, even when she's feeling good. Anyway we picked her up and brought her home, along with a tube of topical antibiotics. By yesterday, she was feeling and acting much better. It was amazing to see how much the spot had healed overnight. Even though it was just a mild incidence, the bill was still uncomfortable. Eeeeek!! I think it's time all of my brood find jobs. I still refer to Slate as the $2000 dog. If anyone's hiring.....let me know!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

National Shelter Appreciation Week

This week is National Shelter Appreciation Week. Take the time this week to let your local animal shelter and its workers know that you appreciate the job they do. Want some ideas? The Humane Society of the United States has some great ideas for you:

10 Ways to Support Your Local Shelter

National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week begins Nov. 5. Here are 10 ways to show your local shelter some love:

1. Donate a Subscription to Animal Sheltering Magazine

Shelter workers just can't get enough of Animal Sheltering—an award-winning bi-monthly magazine chock full of articles to educate, inform and inspire anyone who works or volunteers with homeless pets. Donate a year's subscription to your local shelter for just $15.

2. Learn How to Help Injured or Abandoned Animals

Your local shelter and animal control officers depend on the community's help to reach animals in need. Learn everything you need to know to take action, from how to put together a first aid kit to which community phone numbers you need to know.

3. Be an Email Ambassador

Spread a shelter-friendly message every time you hit send—attach a tagline like the one below to your signature for all outgoing email messages: Love animals? Support your local shelter!

4. Adopt or Foster an Animal

Consider adopting or fostering a homeless animal. Whether you decide to bring home a new pet or foster an animal until she finds a forever family, you'll be giving a critter a safe and caring home while making room for another homeless pet in your community's animal shelter, where space is limited.

5. Say Thank You

Drop a note in the mail or shoot an email to your local shelter and let them know how much you appreciate all they do for animals. If you can, sweeten your thank you by adding an item from the shelter's wish list, a check or a gift card from a pet supply store.

6. Volunteer Your Time and Skills

Whether you end up walking pooches, helping at special events or lending your expertise as a newsletter editor, your shelter can match your schedule and talents to their needs. Not only will you be helping animals in your community, but you also will be building knowledge and skills. Call your local shelter and find out how to start volunteering.

7. Add a Banner to Your Web Page

Warn visitors to your web page about the dangers of puppy mills and pet stores. Add a "Stop Puppy Mills" or "Puppy Buyers Guide" banner to your MySpace page, blog or website, and encourage people to adopt a dog from an animal shelter instead of purchasing a pooch with a puppy mill past.

8. Support Spay-Neuter

Spaying or neutering your pet or offering to help fund a spay/neuter surgery for a friend, family member or neighbor's pet will save animals' lives by helping to lower the number of unwanted animals in your community and reduce the strain on your local shelter's resources.

9. Donate a Dog Bed

No shelter dog should have to sleep on a cold, concrete floor while waiting for a forever home, but providing bedding for the millions of homeless animals in our nation's animal shelters can add up to thousands of dollars each year—not to mention loads of laundry. Help a dog in need by donating a durable, shelter-tested bed to a shelter of your choice through the Kuranda shelter donation program. The beds can increase the overall physical and mental well-being of a shelter's doggie residents.

10. ID Your Pet

Your pet should never go naked—that is, without a collar and ID tags. It's the number one way that lost pets are returned to their owners. Without it a Good Samaritan or animal shelter will likely have no idea how to contact you. Even if your pet is microchipped or your cat never goes outdoors, always err on the safe side and make a collar and tag permanent—your pet's life could depend on it.

Rebecca Simmons is the outreach communications coordinator for the Companion Animals section of The HSUS.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

My Kind of Letter

I love this piece!! And yes, it DOES make me cry. Everytime.

All Creatures Great and Small

Letter to a Shelter Dog

August 12, 2006 : 12:00 AM

by Randi Bildner

Dear Shelter-Dog,

I wanted to address this letter to you by name but sadly, you do not have one.

I needed to write this letter for many reasons; I have so many things to say to you, and there is so much that I want you to know.

First and foremost I want you to know that you are loved. You are thought of and prayed for each and every day by many kind people.

I want you to know that you did nothing wrong: you simply couldn't, for wrongdoing is not in your nature.

I don't know what cruel twist of fate brought you to this place, but I do know that you do not deserve to be here.

I don't know it if was decided that you were too large or too small, if you barked too much or too little, if someone became allergic to you or if it was simply decided one day that you were an inconvenience.

I don't know if the children that you were given to lost interest in you when you were not a puppy anymore and no longer considered cute or fun.

I don't know if you became too old or too sick or if your medical problems became too expensive.

I don't know if you simply lost your way one day.

I am not sure if you were thrown from a car or dropped off by the side of a road, left behind you may have waited patiently, bewildered, wondering why those you loved never came back.

I don't know if your family moved away and decided not to take you.

I don't know if you were tortured—taught to fight against your will, and when you loyally obeyed you were punished further by being brought here.

I don't know if your owner died not wanting to leave you behind.

What I do know is this: you are important and you are loved.

I do know that I want to hold you and take away your pain. I want to show you the love and kindness that you deserve.

I want you to know that it breaks my heart when I can't save you.

I want you to know that you are special. Just as special, just as important as any dog living in a home now because any of those dogs could be you.

You come in all sizes shapes and colors. You have unique personalities and behaviors. It saddens me that the beauty of your kind soul will never be known and cannot be shared from your jail cell.

You may not have a name but you do have a soul and I do know that one day there will be peace for you.

God will shower you with the love and warmth you deserve. You will run through the greenest of pastures and feel the warm sun on your face. You will have your very own toys to play with and a comfortable bed to call your own. You will never be sick; feel pain or be lonely again.

Your fur will shine and your tail will wag.

You are loved, and you are wanted. Your pleading eyes have burned holes in the hearts of all of us who love you; this is something that I really want you to know.

I want to end my letter to you with a promise. I promise that I will work towards putting an end to shelter life because this is not a place for a beautiful soul like yours.

I want to look into your loving warm eyes and tell you that there is hope; I want you to know that this fight will continue for as long as it takes, it will continue until you are free.