Friday, February 26, 2010

Nani's a Winner!


A Big Thank You to all my CB, Catster and Facebook friends for voting Nani "Best Cat Photo" of the week on PhotoWow.com. We won a super 4 panel Pop Art print valued at $300 and we are purring with joy! What a wonderful way to honor such a sweet kitty and as soon as it arrives, I'll take a photo of it and post it for all her "fans" to see!

This is the photo they used to do the Pop Art print:



And this is a Pop Art print by an artist I found on MySpace:

Digital art by WiLLiAm PoP ARTiST®

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Help Nani win a photo contest, pleeze!


We would like to ask all our blogging friends to help Nani win a photo contest!

Sweet Nani recently became a Angel cat, when at the age of 14 her severe heart problem which was diagnosed when she was only a year old took her from us suddenly, but we have sweet memories of her and lots of photos!

The photo we entered in the contest at Photowow.com is same one of her wearing the pink wig (that is also my avatar photo). We think Nani looks a little like Barbra Streisand in the photo and we are hoping she wins this weeks contest, which runs from Wednesday February 17th at 1:00pm PST and ends Tuesday February 23rd at 1:00pm PST.

You can only vote once from the same computer so if you have multiple computers, Smart Phones etc...just like when all our furrends helped Coco become Cat President in a last minute landslide vote, you could honor Nani's memory and help her win The Best Pet Photo Contest this week and we would win a beautiful digital art painting of her!

Here's the link to vote
http://www.photowow.com/contest/index.aspx
You have to vote for each pet photo to be able to move to the next one, and give Nani a "10" and we'd be furry grateful!

Thanks!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Snow Days Staycation...


Well, today is my last day of "Staycation" and while I groused about shoveling snow, I enjoyed sleeping in, painting my bathroom vanity, relining the shelves, tossing out some makeup and stuff I've not used in a while, playing with the kittens and watching movies (my favorites for the week were The Notebook, and The Grocers Son). And while I'll have to take some vacation time to make up for my lost hours at work...it's been a nice stay-at-home time for me.

Friends (my petsitters) came by today with Valentine and birthday cards and presents--a Valentine brownie from Julia Childs Cookbood, Coconut and Lemongrass bath gel and lotion and Firefly Raspberry and Peach infused vodka minis, so I know what my beverage will be tonight, as well as dessert! I may just have to have a second shower today, just to enjoy the scents!

I took lots of photos this week and before I head back to work tomorrow, thought I'd better post some of them...you can click on them to biggify.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bird House

Til I get around to downloading my snow pix...here's a cute commercial about...a bird house!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hungry birdies flock to my feeders...

except when I try to take a picture...


How much snow did we have...not sure, around 20 inches by my inaccurate tape measuring, up past the wheels on the cars, no snow shoveling for me today, but I will have a go at it tomorrow.

We'll see if the snowplows come by and even if they do, I'm still not sure I could make it up my hill to head out to work on Monday...time will tell.

But, here's the snowy scene out my guest bedroom window this morning...I ran out of the seed mix I usually like to feed, but did have lots of suet cakes on hand and the birds are grateful for the bag of backup seed I had in case of emergency. You can hear them tweeting "Thanks!" and I'm sure some birder can tell me what the pretty blue bird in the first photo is ( it's rust and white chest is hidden in this photo).

Falling Whistles


I learned of this on my nieces blog, HOT ON A DIME.

FALLING WHISTLES is a grassroots group helping fight for peace in Congo, especially for the children. You can read more about them at their website. A truly incredible cause.

What’s really great is the way they are raising money. They are selling these whistles and all of the proceeds go to help fight for their cause, and they are a great conversation piece. They range from $30-$100 based on the finish. What a cool idea right?!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Coats for Cubs


Well, the snow storm of the decade is about to unleash it's fluffy white stuff on us, and me and the kitties are snug inside, lots of movies to watch and a few honey-do's to do (I'm the honey) and my newest "snowball" cocktail, a gin gimlet, and a post I found on a fellow bloggers blog, Mimi at LOVING FOR A LIVING couldn't have come at a better time---we all need to be snug and warm!

By Sue Manning The Associated Press / February 3, 2010

Got a fur coat gathering dust? The Humane Society suggests the ultimate recycling — putting it on the backs of other animals.

The Coats for Cubs program by the Humane Society of the United States helps orphaned, injured, or sick wildlife by gathering fur coats and using them for nests, bedding, or cuddly replacements for mom and dad. In 2009, 2,687 fur items were donated.

"We use the discarded furs as bedding to give the animals comfort and reduce stress," says Michael Markarian, the agency's chief operating officer in Washington, D.C. "The fur garments act as a surrogate mother. It is a warm and furry substitute."

The coats go to wildlife rehabilitation centers that take in baby raccoons, chipmunks, squirrels, coyotes, skunks, and other animals, and has helped thousands of animals since it began in 2005 with the Fund for Animals.

Mr. Markarian says many of the coats are donated by people who find fur to be inhumane — whether the animals are trapped in steel-jawed traps or raised on factory farms. For those who have fur and no longer want to wear it, "This is a great way for them to give back to the animals," he says.

Amber Ginter, 13, from Kingston, Ohio, spent last summer collecting fur coats as part of a community project affiliated with the Humane Society. She put a box in her church, wrote a letter describing the project in the church bulletin and collected 30 coats in two months, she says.

"It was kind of sad to see all the furs because you know they had to kill the animals to get them," says Amber, who wants to be a veterinarian or zoologist when she grows up.

The Florida Wildlife Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has used coats for wildlife babies in the past, but employees and volunteers had to scrounge for donations, twist arms, or scour garage sales and thrift stores. After becoming a Humane Society affiliate last June, the center got three boxes full of furs and are well stocked for baby season.

"It's a remarkable, generous way to make good of a tragic beginning. I know young people are involved in this effort. Bravo for understanding this better than adults and for seeing a positive way to help other animals," says Sherry Schlueter, managing director at the Florida Wildlife Center in Fort Lauderdale.

The center houses what they believe is the largest wildlife trauma center in the United States, Ms. Schlueter says. Of the 12,000 animals cared for in 2009, just over 1,900 were orphaned babies, including about 1,000 gray squirrels, Virginia opossums, and raccoons — those most likely to benefit from the furs.

The center is expecting at least 1,000 additional baby animals in 2010 because a nearby wildlife rehab center closed last year.

The coats are always needed, but they are especially welcome in one of the worst winters in memory, says Erica Yery, president of the Wild Bunch Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Alexandria, Virginia. Most of the baby animals she has now are raccoons who are making good use of the coats.

"They go in and snuggle up. Of course, they might tear it to shreds after a while," she says. But she knows they like the fur — if they didn't "they would just throw it out. They wouldn't keep in it their nesting box." The coats are great, but caps and hats are even better, she says, because she doesn't have to cut them and they are already rounded like nests.


The current Coats for Cubs coat drive technically ends on Earth Day, April 22, 2010 but the Humane Society will accept coats any time of the year, Markarian says. Donations can be shipped to the group or turned in to any Buffalo Exchange, which has stores or franchises in 14 states.

What Kind of Furs do People Donate?

The boxes of fur shipped out to wildlife rehabilitators contain common types of fur like mink, fox, rabbit, and raccoon. Occasionally we receive rarer types of fur, such as lynx and seal fur. The strangest coat of all was a vintage monkey fur coat, now fortunately illegal under CITES. The donations range from full length fur coats to accessories such as stoles, capes, hats, and handbags, and fur trimmed items such as gloves and jackets.

How Do I Donate?

The HSUS is partnering with BUFFALO EXCHANGE , a vintage clothing chain with 25 stores across the country, to collect all kinds of fur, including coats, trim, and accessories. Now through Earth Day, April 22, 2010, you can bring your fur to any Buffalo Exchange store and let the staff know it is a donation for The HSUS. For a list of store locations, CLICK HERE

How Will I Know That The HSUS Has Received My Donation?

If you want to receive a letter of thanks, please include a note inside the box stating your email address or your mailing address requesting an acknowledgment.  If you've requested an acknowledgment, you will be sent a letter of thanks 2-3 weeks after the fur has arrived.  Please save this letter if you want to claim a tax deduction.

What Do I Need to Do If I Want to Claim a Tax Deduction?

If you itemize deductions, you can claim the fair market value of your donation. The fair market value is the amount for which you could sell the fur today—not how much it cost to purchase the fur. This is a judgment call that you will have to make, based on the condition and type of the fur. If you value the fur at $5,000 or more, the Internal Revenue Service will require a "Qualified Appraisal." You must have this appraisal performed before you donate the fur. You may need to include the letter of receipt from The HSUS in your tax returns. If you have any questions, you may want to consult your tax attorney.

To claim a tax deduction for your gift, please mail it directly to The HSUS. Simply pack up the fur in a sturdy box and send it to:

The Humane Society of the United States
2100 L. St. NW
Washington, DC 20037
attn: Coats for Cubs

Please make sure to include your full name and address so The HSUS can mail you a letter suitable for claiming a tax deduction. For more information on the program and claiming a tax deduction, click here CLICK HERE

I Am a Wildlife Rehabilitator—How Can I Participate?

As more people hear about this wonderful way to aid wildlife, fur donations to The HSUS increase. We are always looking for wildlife rehabilitators who will give the fur back to the animals. If you would like to help, just send an e-mail to furfree@hsus.org, call 301–258-1490, or write the above address.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

More Snow Days...


Ok, do any of you remember that about 6 weeks ago...I was on vacation? Finally, I am getting around to posting notes and photos about my Christmas in Oregon...and you will have to bear with me if you read on, as I am under the influence of a "Snowball Martini"... mine was with Ketel One Citroen Vodka, a splash of Martini & Rossi Extra Dry Vermouth and a huge snowball...garnished with lemon zest.

Ok, last things first..

I read today, on a fellow bloggers blog,

THE COSMOLOGY OF REYA

about the very seasonal Vodka Snow Martinis that she and some friends concocted, and it led to a trip to the ABC store (those in other states may not know about the "package" stores that law requires in some states) and to Safeway to get a lemon (forgot the zester, though).


I have had 4 sessions with my therapist, and already my boss says she sees a positive change in me. With my therapists help, I have come to the realization that being a "veterinary nurse " is my calling, not only at work, but in my "private" life, too and that affects my interpretation of others behavior. It also may explain why sometimes I feel like I don't have any "down time". She told me of a quote from Confucious, "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life" and that explained a lot to me, too.

While I may work with people who do not want to make this their career, realizing this helps me look at things that stress me out from a different perspective, and that actually lessens my stress by about 80%...really. I have a friend who is an palliative care nurse and those words have already helped her look at her stressors differently.

My boss said she sees, on a scale of 1 to 10, an 8 in terms of my "happiness factor" at work; my therapist says if I only have 3 things on my list of aggravating experiences during a week, that something good is happening, and while I never seem to get as much accomplished during a day that I hope for...I am happier! Am I ready to marry myself...not yet.

Anyway, back to Oregon vacation-time, December 21 thru January 1. I had a hell of a time getting out of town. The DC Metro area had it's first big snowfall of the season, 22" and when I called to reserve a taxi for the ride to the airport Monday morning, I got told, 3 X, that they weren't taking fares until noon, or to call back 2 hours before I needed to leave home!

Once again, friends came to my rescue! My petsitters husband drove me to another friends (90 minute round trip) late Sunday night, where I spent the night on an aerobed, she made me dinner, as I hadn't eaten since I had been shoveling snow all day in hopes that I could make it up the hill and out of my housing development--that didn't happen!

I shoveled 2 days, nary a snowplow in sight, took a Tramadol and 3 Advil that night so I wouldn't be "stove up" on the aeroplane the next day and a cabbie friend of hers (from Minnesota--the land of big snows!) drove me to the airport Monday morning, where I got out of town but then managed to get stranded in San Francisco for 7 hours and considered myself fortunate as it was obvious that many people had spent the night, maybe many nights, there waiting for a connecting flight!

But I arrrived in Orygun about 10pm Monday night and had a nice 2 weeks there and somehow, problems at the beginning of a vacation are better than at the end...

I so wished I would have had about a month off, so I could have met fellow bloggers,
CRIS, ARTIST IN OREGON

and Cory and his family at
CORY CAT BLOG
but you probably know how one kind of lets family commandeer your time when you are with them, so I didn't get in visits with them, but maybe on my next visit I can try again.

I did enjoy my visit though...got at least a full 8 hours of sleep in (something I only get at home, on the weekends) and got to play on the computer a lot, though I overheard my mom saying "Well, I don't want an 80th birthday party if all she is going to do is be on the computer"...sigh. My therapist said, wouldn't it have been nice if my mom could have come to me and said "I have so been looking forward to your visit, and it seems like I don't see enough of you" and if I could have said "Mom, I overheard you saying that you aren't seeing enough of me, let's go shopping or out to eat or for a walk..." Yep, that would have been nice, but as it was, we both ended up miffed at each other...

I shopped, mom fixed some of my favorite things-Portuguese Piri Piri chicken and cheesecake. I took out a few bottles of Casal Garcia Vino Verde, my mom's favorite Portuguese wine. We ate out often, breakfast and lunch and dinner...one experience out of this world at Aja, a superb Pan-Asian Restaurant owned by a couple who met in Hawaii while working in a restaurant there, AJA (Named after a Steely Dan Album...).

Kudos to you who know what a Steely Dan is...that was one of the trivia questions at Mike and I's wedding fest, including what was the original name of the band, Buffalo Springfield?

I thought maybe when I got back home, that I would feel that post-vacation depression, but that didn't happen and I think it is because I have a whole year ahead of me to "make things right" for me and that's an adventure...that is how I explained it to my therapist...

And for you that follow my other blog (my cats blog)
CURLZ AND SWIRLZ, LIFE WITH CORNISH REX CATS

you know that there are new kittens to keep me entertained and that feels right, too. Before they arrived, I found myself thinking I wasn't too excited about their arrival, but realized that those feelings were due to some of the health issues the last litter had--upper respiratory infection in a kitten I had sold that infected the whole cat family of this wonderful couple who already have one cat from me.

The kittens are a week old now and doing great and if you'd like to see photos...
WARM KITTEN WEDNESDAY

Here's some of my vacation photos, for your viewing pleasure...

Photo for Mom (the bird silhouette on the window behind me is so birds don't fly into the window)

Me in front of one of my favorite shopsMy mom's cat, Bella, sheltered from the rain
Me, at the Grants Pass Grange Co-Op
Fog and Rain..almost every day I was there, I love what it does to the mountains, all layers of clouds and mist...
After Christmas Feast clean up, courtesy of Iona
Sugar Plums, my contribution to the Seasonal Feast...that and Mojitos!
Birdhouse in the Pines...
Christmas Tree lights, taken with the "Fireworks" setting on my camera...thanks, Larry! LARRY'S PHOTO A DAY
My sis and her hubby...have another Mojito!
Bella, under the tree