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Archive for January, 2010

How To Stay Young

This was sent to me and now I share it with all of you.

1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay ‘them’

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever.. Never let the brain idle. ‘An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.’ And the devil’s name is Alzheimer’s.

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. BE ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love , whether it’s family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don’t take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

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Cass does NOT have to have surgery to remove her ovary!!!!!! WHOOHOO!!! Finally, something good comes to our little family. To catch you up, back in July she began exhibiting strange behaviors, stallion-like behaviors. We had an ultrasound done and her left ovary was very abnormal and large. Over the course of the rest of the year, we did blood tests, more ultrasounds, used drugs to stop her cycles, used Chinese herbs to stop her cycles, had to separate her from Becca at certain times and were basically very worried about the health of our girl. We were suspicious the mass on her ovary was a granulosa theca cell tumor with removal being the only cure. That would mean taking Cass to Gainesville for surgery. Sure didn’t want to do that, but we would have. We discussed with the surgeon if it would be ok to wait until January and she said yes, since it’s a slow growing tumor. She’d been emailed all the records and ultrasound pics and was also convinced our girl needed her ovary removed.

So, Dr. Roberts came out yesterday to do one last ultrasound before scheduling her surgery. Well…the mass is just gone! Her left and right ovaries look exactly the same. They are the same size. Isn’t that amazing?! The guess is that the mass wasn’t a tumor but a cyst that had finally burst or what’s called an unresolved follicle, which finally got expelled. Those things had been considered but her behaviors (humping Becca) all pointed to the tumor. We are so relieved and happy. I can only guess the power of prayer really does work sometimes. We certainly have lots of angels looking out for us now.

I have to admit with all that’s been going on (the illnesses, the losses) sweet, little Becca has been getting ignored. She’ll turn 2 in May and I really need to start some serious work. It’s been impossible to find the time or inspiration, though. She has such huge potential, I cannot let her simply be a pasture ornament. Cass is happy to have being beautiful her only job, but Becca wants to do more. So, we’re gonna get started on teaching this baby to be an awesome trail horse. You can see from her latest picture how big she has gotten. I’m 5’6″ and fear I’m gonna need a ladder to get on her when she’s finished growing. Fjords grow until age 5 or 6!  (Daddy Marvin update: he got gelded and is healing beautifully. Everyone who meets him falls under his spell.)

We are coming up on the 2 year anniversary of Cass joining our family. It still boggles my mind that we actually pulled her rescue off and she’s really ours. Wow! Life is ever changing. I learn something new every, single day thanks to these girls. They are my Heaven.

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We Had A Cow, Man!

We ended 2009 amidst sorrow, pain and loss. We have begun 2010 with life anew. Maybelline (the world’s most awesome cow) gave birth to a healthy little bull this week. We’ve had terribly cold weather and each night I would beg her to please hold him in until the cold snap passed. She waited until noon one day to pop him out! Terri actually laid on the ground beside her as she was giving birth. What other cow would let you do that?! We helped wipe him off ’cause he sure got a surprise coming out of that warm belly to our 40 degrees or so. He is her first baby and she’s being an excellent mother. We are all so proud.

This is the orphaned lamb who’s residing with us. We’re hoping she and the new baby will be buds. The goats were mean to her but now they live on the main property. She hangs mostly with Snuffy or Cass.

Meet Bobby Lee Bull – named in celebration of my Dad.

“Yeah! I’m not the littlest anymore!”, so says Little Mary Lambchop.

These photos were taken a mere 6 hours after Bobby Lee was born. Momma certainly deserves a rest.

“Awww, Mom, do ya hafta?”, says Bobby Lee.

A mother’s love is pure and good.

You did so good, Momma. I love this cow!

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As if losing five dogs and Kathleen’s dad since September wasn’t already enough, we had to endure yet another death before 2010 arrived. About 12 hours after dropping Kath off at the airport on Wednesday the 30th, I was getting the porch critters set for the night. I opened the sugar glider cage and found our male, Pixel, lying at the bottom. He was still alive, but not doing well at all.

Right now you’re asking “what the heck is a sugar glider?” It’s a common question we’ve gotten for years. They are small marsupials that live in the trees in the wilds of Australia, not unlike how we have squirrels here. They’re nocturnal creatures, so they sleep all day and party all night. Their name comes from a love of sweet foods and the ability to glide from tree to tree, thanks to wing-like membranes that stretch between their front and back legs.

That’s Pixel on Kathleen’s shoulder. When we got him as a baby back in late 1996, I was employed at a local TV station, and he spent many days nestled in my shirt pocket as I worked in an edit suite. They’re often called “pocket pets”, not only because of their diminutive size, but also due to their love of being in a dark little place, like a pocket.

The night I found him in distress, I tried everything I could to get him to eat or drink, but to no avail. All he wanted to do was cling to me. Our female glider, Pica, seemed fine. They had lived together as a couple since 2000, when Pixel became an official SGA – Sugar Glider Ambassador. He was featured prominently in the first photo of a feature article about our family in the Orlando Sentinel newspaper.

He was photographed happily munching on a grape by our friend Julie Fletcher (who took our final Pookie pics just a few months ago). Not long after the article was published in February of ’00, a lady called and begged us to take her female glider. She claimed she just didn’t have time to care for her. We eventually gave in, and to be sure there would be no accidental glider babies, Dr. Rick performed his first, and so far only, sugar glider neutering on Pixel.

The two gliders bonded very quickly, and were a happy couple for the rest of the decade. We’ve given copies of the article to every new petsitting client over the years, which helped to cement Pixel’s ambassador status. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “Wow! I want one of those,” when people see that photo. I have to assume they’re referring to Pixel and not me (though as you can see, I was rather dashing back in the day).

Pasta was always a favorite treat, and here Pixel is seen enjoying a curly piece. He and Pica lived a good long life together, but there were some scares along the way. At one point he almost lost a foot due to a piece of thread getting wrapped around it – we had put a pot holder in their pouch to use as a pillow, not thinking the threading could be a hazard. Pixel allowed Kath to nurse him for two weeks, soaking his foot in a medicated bath and taking antibiotics via a syringe. A few years after that, he developed an abscess in his jaw, and again had to go through being medicated. He eventually healed and was back to normal.

I decided it was best to put Pixel in a small travel cage the night he went down, so I could keep him in the bedroom with me and monitor him. When I awoke on New Year’s Eve, I was afraid he might not have made it through to the morning. Amazingly, he was still alive, but even less able to move. He still had no desire to eat or drink. Around 11am I called Dr. Rick and conferred with him, he agreed it was best not to watch him die slowly. Since he was off for the holiday, he called the clinic and alerted them I was coming.

Pixel and I held hands one last time before we headed there. He died peacefully in my hand as Dr. Myers helped send him off to join the rest of our furry angels. Pixel was the “Ramirez” of gliders… he’ll always be the first and best.

I miss you, my little friend.

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