Friday, December 25, 2009

Time to Top the Tree

Merry Christmas 

Whether you view Christmas as a day of prayer and meditation, a day to bask in family or a day to open presents, eat too much and watch football, have a safe and happy day.  

Now, for the unveiling of the tree-topper 

(Note: scroll down to the previous post for the description of the tree)

It's a porcelain headed kitty angel  in a flowing pink gown that sparkles and twinkles in time to the music emanating from her mouth. Her wings are made of peacock feathers.  She is holding beautiful strands of yarn and ribbon, each tied to a catnip mousy, furry mice, and origami mice.  Also attached to the ribbons are streaming  toilet paper rolls and tissue paper flowers.  Treats are tied in the middle of the strands, potato chips (sour cream and onion, per request), hickory sticks, yummy litlle dried fishys and shrimp, wee cans of tuna and duck.  

And for the crowning touch

Resting on her head

Like a golden crown

A perfect golden brown


Happy holidays to all, and special thanks to the kitties of the L&L yahoo group for their help in putting up our dream tree.

  the kitties: Amber, Bubba, Chi, Dora, Gabby, Jet,  Kiki, Onyx, Salem and Squirrel

 the dogs: Chico, Joey and Jasper

and the people: Chuck and Mary

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What does a cat want in a Christmas tree?

"A decorated super scratching post with lounging limbs! Yep, a true cat's
Christmas tree."
Mary Ruth

I asked all the cats at our house, and after much discussion, they finally came back to me with a concordance.
The trunk must be thick and scratchable, with no low hanging branches to get in
the way of a good stretch. The branches themselves must be horizontal, sturdy
and wide enough as well as far enough apart for a good nap. Bubba wants some
stringy or feathery things, because I told him no plastic bags. The rest is up
to me, but I must bear in mind that accidents do happen, especially to fragile
ornaments, easily damaged crochet or toothsome goodies. 

Other suggestions, typed by human housemates of cats on a group I belong to:
Mary Ruth's cats Tigger, Frisky, Alice, and Mandiwant a feather on a wand toy stuck in the tree along with some sprigs of
fresh catnip,  bubble lights they can stare at, lots of feathers,  strands of cat treats, wrapping paper/boxes/bags to romp in. and beautiful, glitzy, pattable, swinging ornaments.
Tigger especially wants a  passle of "paper mouse" crumpled sheets of paper under the tree to play soccer with and talk to with his signature double meow(One of Mary Ruth's previous housemates, Scamper, would probably opt out of having a tree, after a particularly terrible Chritmas where the tree attacked him)

Lynn's cats:

Toby would want his tree covered in string. The longer the string the better. (editor:  yes, I will remind him of the danger of string, but it is his fantasy tree)
Bonnie would want her tree covered in food, food and more food, any color, shape, size food.and she would only be able to decorate the very bottom boughs as she is too heavy to climb the tree to do it justice.
Her Amelia would like balls, preferably noisy balls made from tissue paper so she can knock them off the tree and chase them. She wouldn't know what to do with it when she got it but she would have fun in her own way. She will only play with them when the other two cats are not around so that she may  maintain her illusion of dignity.

Barb's cats Sam, Lacy and Candye want a musical tree.  (editor's note: sadly Candye, one of the respondents to the query, has gone to the bridge this week,  she will be sorely missed)

Rose's cat  Baxxie would want peacock entire tree made of peacock feathers would be choice number one for him.

Yolanda's  MagicKat is too much of a lady to tear up a Christmas tree. She would want things of beauty on the upper branches and on the bottom branches lightweight glitzy things that she could just give enough of a pat to watch them swing.

Vickie's cats  both approve of the feather toy.  Cookie would dredge up a small, recently deceased mammal  for our decorative pleasure, and Muffin would insist on a nice dark folded sweat shirt to lay on under the tree so everyone could see the lovely light colored hair he would decorate with.

Christmas Pretties Warning

I had to take one of our big dogs to the vet yesterday for his chronic ear infection.  While there, the vet was telling me about a client who wanted to surprise his wife with a Boston puppy. To be cute, he tied a pretty curly ribbon around the puppy's neck. The pup got the ribbon in his mouth and swallowed most of it. The ribbon caused a blockage and $4000 later, they saved the puppy. This may have been a puppy, but how many times have you seen the cute picture of the kitten with a ribbon around it's neck, or playing with a ribbon? I also want to remind you that besides ribbons, pretty, shiny tinsel is dangerous if swallowed. I love tinsel, but I haven't had it on my trees for many years.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bubba won a photo contest by showing his heart

Bubba won a photo contest on Thriftyfun!
His full name is Bubba Flowerface and he is a six year old cat. He was born in our closet. His mother was a rescue kitty that showed up one day at our feral colony. He loves to pose for photos and show off his handsomeness. In this picture, he shows off his heart.
Bubba's mother was an Abyssinian or Abyssinian mix, and his sister shows it. We think his father was one of the black and white ferals named Tux. Bubba has a white stripe on his back leg exactly where Tux does, and it also matches the top line of Chi's stocking on her back leg.   It really could be any other cat, though.
His mother showed up in the feral colony we take care of. She was friendly and pregnant, so we brought her in and set up a box in the bottom of the closet for her to have her babies in. She had four: Bubba, tiny Dora the Explorer, Casper and Pollux (twins). The twins were born in the same sack, something I had never seen before, and I have worked with dogs and cats for 30 years.
Bubba loves stick toys, whether they have string, feathers or material strips. He also likes to cuddle and bathe the rescues. Bubba got his name for being Dora's brother, and the Flowerface because as a kitten he was one of those pansy face kittens with a round face and big eyes.
My mom really wanted to show him in the neutered housecat category at cat shows, because she said she had never seen a prettier cat at any of the shows, but she was not able to do this before she died.  He is available to be adopted, and if anyone had the desire to show him, I'm sure they would have great luck, as long as he agreed that he wanted to show.  He also is quite photogenic and loves to pose for the camera.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Petition for HAPPY (HR3501);jsessionid=936206C269B5E4B8F4549017DF0665EB.ctgProd01?siteId=3&campaign=HAPPYAct3501

This is the address for one of the petitions for the HAPPY bill.  There are several petitions out there, and anyone who rescues animals knows why.  People are having to choose between keeping their homes and keeping their pets.  The rescue community is overwhelmed and the adoptions are drying up.  I still have the same cats available for adoptions as are posted below.  Not being a 501(c)3, in order to show my cats at local adopt-a-thons, I have to coattail on another group.  But they are all struggling to place their own animals and right now view me as competition for homes.  Besides, they keep telling me, they know my cats will not just be dumped, and they get good care, they are safe where they are and IF adoptions ever pick up again, then I would be welcome to coattail.  Til then, good luck.
Non-pet owners may not realize that this does affect them, and where their tax money is spent, but the pounds are budgeted by the cities and counties.   Housing the numbers coming in is out of the question for many facilities, but killing them is costly, both in the direct monetary cost and the  psychic damage done to the people who's job it is to kill a pet merely to make room.   I know about that damage first hand, I used to have that job. I  have nightmares of my approaching the pearly gates which is blocked by a large crowd of animals.  The animals I killed because they were inconvenient to someone and we could no longer give them space.  They are all shouting "She killed me".   My doctor tells me I have PTSD.  If I get treated for it, it will come directly from the taxpayer's pocket, as I am a veteran and the VA is my health care facility.   How many others are treated for PTSD or depression on the taxpayer's dime?  Most who do this job are either city or county employees with health care benefits, or employees of humane shelters on bare minimum wages so have to rely on state care.  You can see how this even affects the pockets of  people without pets and even those oddities who don't even like pets.
We need this passed, but it would be more helpful if there was a little tweaking done to it first so it helped the right group of people.  Scroll down to my post of November 9th so that you can see how the bill would affect you, as it is, and so that you know what to ask your representative to do.;jsessionid=936206C269B5E4B8F4549017DF0665EB.ctgProd01?siteId=3&campaign=HAPPYAct3501

Monday, November 23, 2009


Just a little side note to Missy, written about yesterday here.  My sister was reading one of the comments made about Missy and "angels unaware".  She said to make sure everybody knew that every time she needed extra help with an animal, either the trainer, the vet, the hospital or the street name the vet is on has the name Angel.  Missy is taking classes at PetsMart, and the trainer's name is Angel.  The vet is also at PetsMart.  My sister also was rescued the same week that we discovered the lump when the car wouldn't start.  Her rescuer's name? Gabriel.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Poor little Missy

Remember the little Yorkie that came strolling up to our door back in August?  First she had to have mouth surgery because she showed evidence of being kicked in the mouth.  A couple of teeth had to be removed, but the damage was taken care of without too many problems.  Then just when she was to be spayed, she went into heat.  Finally, this last week she was spayed.  The vet also removed a lump on her breast that I had found.   The results can back positive for cancer.  The  lab says she will have only a 16% chance of any future occurrence of it because they got it cleanly and we had found it early.  I'm glad she is one of those dogs who flip onto their back for belly rubs, or I may not have felt it so early.  I don't think my sister will let her be put up for adoption after this. 
When we got the report, I had a few musings.  Why was she wandering the streets?   How did she got our address?  How did she get guided to someone who, though barely making ends meet herself, would do what it took?  What made my sister decide to buy the health insurance for Missy that made it possible for her to be able to get Missy in sooner rather than later?  She has never bought that insurance before, but she said she just thought Missy might need it.  Did Missy know something was wrong?  We always remarked what a serious girl Missy is for a Yorkie.  Now, though still bruised and sore from the surgery, her eyes have a much happier sparkle, and we are seeing hints of the normal mischievous Yorkie attitude. 

Makes one marvel at the chain of events that happened to save this little girl.  Or miracles.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Happy Act Deductions for pets, who will benefit?

Have you heard of the House bill that gives $3500 to pet owners?  How does it affect you?  Will you be able to benefit at all?  First read the bill (it's short, I promise, don't worry if you don't understand the technical jargon).  Then scroll down and read my blog about it.  Remember, I'm a tax pro, this is my take on the bill as it looks like it would be implemented, if of course, it would pass.

Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years (HAPPY) Act (Introduced in House)

Have you heard of the bill that gives $3500 to pet owners?  How does it affect you?  Will you be able to benefit?   First read the bill, then scroll down for my blog about it. 
HR 3501 IH

1st Session
H. R. 3501

To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow a deduction for pet care expenses.

July 31, 2009

Mr. MCCOTTER introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means


To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow a deduction for pet care expenses.
    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the `Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years (HAPPY) Act'.


    The Congress finds the following:
      (1) According to the 2007-2008 National Pet Owners Survey, 63 percent of United States households own a pet.
      (2) The Human-Animal Bond has been shown to have positive effects upon people's emotional and physical well-being.


    (a) In General- Part VII of subchapter B of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to additional itemized deductions for individuals) is amended by redesignating section 224 as section 225 and by inserting after section 223 the following new section:


    `(a) Allowance of Deduction- In the case of an individual, there shall be allowed as a deduction for the taxable year an amount equal to the qualified pet care expenses of the taxpayer during the taxable year for any qualified pet of the taxpayer.
    `(b) Maximum Deduction- The amount allowable as a deduction under subsection (a) to the taxpayer for any taxable year shall not exceed $3,500.
    `(c) Qualified Pet Care Expenses- For purposes of this section, the term `qualified pet care expenses' means amounts paid in connection with providing care (including veterinary care) for a qualified pet other than any expense in connection with the acquisition of the qualified pet.
    `(d) Qualified Pet- For purposes of this section--
      `(1) QUALIFIED PET- The term `qualified pet' means a legally owned, domesticated, live animal.
      `(2) EXCEPTIONS- Such term does not include any animal--
        `(A) used for research or owned or utilized in conjunction with a trade or business, or
        `(B) with respect to which the taxpayer has claimed a deduction under section 162 or 213 in any of the preceding 3 taxable years.'.
    (b) Clerical Amendment- The table of sections for part VII of subchapter B of chapter 1 of such Code is amended by striking the last item and inserting the following new items:
      `Sec. 224. Pet care expenses.
      `Sec. 225. Cross reference.'.
    (c) Effective Date- The amendments made by this section shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2009.

    Who exactly can claim this deduction?  Part VII of subchapter B of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to additional itemized deductions for individuals) refers to itemized deductions on Schedule A.  This doen't help the average joe without a mortgage, property taxes and medical expenses.  It is also slated to go into a section that is subject to the 2% floor (the amount to be subtracted from the section amount).  If you have say $50,000 adjusted gross income, before exemptions for dependents and yourself, and had no other deductions in that section, you would be able to deduct 2,500 (2% of $50,000 is $1,000).  Add all your other deductions such as charities (with receipts only , please), medical expenses (again subject to the 2% floor, subtract that $1000 to see if you can claim those expenses), own a home, pay state taxes (reduce by refund of previous year), property tax, vehicle license (only the tax), cost of having your taxes prepared last year and a host of other, usually small deductions.  If this amount doesn't exceed the standard deduction (for 2008 taxes it was $5700 for single or married filing separate; $11,400 for married filing joint; and $8350 for head of household) don't take it, unless you are in the very rare position of being required to.
   People who really need this deduction, those who don't have a deduction for their home, can't afford health insurance, and haven't seen a doctor in umpteen years, are not going to see any benefit whatever from this bill, unless before it gets passed, someone gets smart and puts the deduction above the line (before the gross income line), or as a credit against tax due, which could bring your tax down to $0.  Best yet would be a refundable credit which means if there is any left after tax is deducted, you get it as a refund.   All this would mean that you would not be able to file a 1040EZ, but for a bigger refund, or less taxes paid, that isn't so bad.
   Animals are still being dumped or are suffering because their owners can't afford food or vet care.  If this money was put into the hands of those who really needed it, city and county shelters  would not be so overwhelmed with incoming animals.  This influx of animals costs a lot, in housing, feed, emergency care, even killing the animals is not cheap.  The cost to the people who work with the animals is great, emotionally and physically, and is especially devastating when they get laid off because the cost of dealing with the influx,  the cost of  larger number of call outs for abandonment and neglect, and even plain out and out cruelty, the lower adoption numbers, the loss of the revenue from vaccines and licenses, all add up to shelters running out of money and having to lay off personnel.  Many charity shelters have closed already, many more probably will as they become overstuffed and underfunded.  When these charities close, the government run shelters have to take up the slack.  They have to, it's the law in most places, it's the mandate and the legal liabilities if they did not and someone was injured or killed could bankrupt a city.  More cost, more dead. 
   Remember, everyone pays taxes, in one way or another.  When you file your income tax, you probably only look at your refund line, but don't forget to look at the taxes due line.  It can surprise you how much that really is.  Even those receiving EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit) would get more if they had no tax due.  Some, of course, are already at zero tax due, but not most.  Even if you don't pay any income tax, though, you still pay plenty of taxes.  Take bread for instance.  When you buy a loaf of bread, you pay a portion of the farmer's taxes, the flour maker's taxes (and those of the other ingredients), the breadmaker's taxes, the store's taxes the truck companies' taxes (for each step of the way) and the of course all of the sales taxes. charged when you buy the bread.  That doesn't include any other taxes that increase the overhead along the way.
  Don't let anybody tell you that this is a needless bill, that Representative Thaddeus McCotter of Livonia, MI should be focusing on jobs, and not spending our money.  Remind them how much money this could save the cities and counties especially if this was a credit available to the falling middle class, bypassed by almost all tax credits as it is, but the very ones who would benefit the most. Remind them of the people who care enough for their pets that they will sacrifice their food and medicine to care for their beloved animals.  Remind them that heartbreak has very real health consequences, as does guilt if those animals are abandoned to a system that must kill them because they also lack money.
   Tell your representative to vote yes, but also to make this at least an above the line credit.  Tell them this will save your city and your county money.  Tell them it will save jobs.  Tell them it will save your emotional and physical well-being.  And if they care, tell them it will save lives.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

It seems more kids will be on the streets this Halloween, at least if Tuscon is any indication.   Some of our most popular safe events have been cancelled, including the big one given by the police and firemen at the baseball park.  Thousands of kids have gone there for years, and more thousands to the Rodeo grounds.  Both are shut down this year due to lack of funds.   There is the event at the university, but nothing else really big, so that leaves house to house trick or treating to fall back on.  Before you take your kids out, parents, take the time to look up local sex offenders and then make sure you avoid their houses.  In years past, the police had them all come to a special event that kept them away from kids, but I guess that was cancelled, too. 
Kids, make sure you look both ways crossing the streets, stay with the group, and even though tonight  (and only tonight), you get to take candy from strangers, remember to have your parents check that candy before you eat it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Do You think black cats are unlucky?

Due to popular request, this post has been repeated for Halloween.  Thank you for the many kind remarks.  And yes, the black cats are still available to the right homes.

Please fell free to copy, link or use this post.

A bride will have a happy married life if a black cat sneezes near her on her wedding day.
 Old Proverb

     For some reason, here in the United States, black cats are the hardest cats to adopt out.  Maybe because here they are generally viewed to be unlucky,  weavers of black magic, in league with the devil and familiars of witches.  But in many parts of the world, they are the luckiest of cats.
     Do you believe that a black cat crossing your path is bad luck?  In some countries such as Britain and Japan it is just plain lucky.  It may be seen as visible proof that evil has passed you by without harming you, or even that the cat is warning you of danger ahead, and maybe even slowing your step so that you may miss the danger itself.  Some people believe that in order for the cat to be lucky or to ward evil from your path, you must greet the cat politely.  That's just good manners, and cats do appreciate good manners.
     A black cat walking towards you brings good luck with it.  If it turns away, your anti-luck forcefield is working strong.  Be prepared.
     In Latvia, the farmers rejoice when they see a black cat in their grain silos.  It is believed to be a sign of Rungis, the god of harvests.  For any mice in the silo, they are also unlucky to those who's path the cat crosses, or for those who cross the path of the cat for that matter.
     Sailors and their wives used black cats for luck.  While a sailor was at sea, keeping a black cat in the house was a way a wife could keep her husband safe at sea.  These lucky charms became so valuable that they were often stolen.  What I want to know is if another woman merely stole your black cat's affections?  Would that be a sign she was your husband's mistress, stealing his affections?  Just a thought.
     King Charles I believed his black cat was so lucky, he had guards posted to protect it.  He may have been right.  The day after the cat died of an illness, the king was arrested by Oliver Cromwell's troops to be executed shortly after.


     It is unlucky to chase a black cat away or to send it out of your house.  Of course it is unlucky.  It's just plain rude, and rudeness attrects bad karma.
     On the other hand, in Scotland it is thought that when you come home to find a black cat sitting on your porch, you are going to be happy.  Especially if it is your black house cat that snuck out earlier and that you have given up for lost, and you cried and cried and...wellllll anyway, it is also supposed to be a sign of riches to come.  And nothing is richer than a lap full of purring black velvet to stroke.  And stroking the fur of a black cat brings you health.  It really does.  Stroking a cat has been proven to lower your blood pressure, help stave off heart attacks and strokes, help recovery from same, help those with dementia or autism.  A cat can even help you fight depression.  If you don't know how good it feels to be loved for just you, you need a little black cat who just wants to love on you.  And I have three of them waiting for homes now.  They even come in a range of love bug types.  They are like the 3 bears.  Ebonetta, the longest fur of the three wants to be your companion, staying close, talking to you, helping you do things, telling you about things like the train passing by and going where you go,  but she isn't one to smother you.  Onyx, the shortest haired one (with the goldest eyes) is the other extreme.  He's  a buddy, and he neeeeds you.  When you hold him, he wraps around you.  He loves to hug and be hugged.  He even goes so far as to wrap himself around your feet when you try to leave him.  Jet, the littlest is in the middle.  He likes an audience, he calls you to let you know he is going to the bathroom, he wants to sit on your lap, and he likes to snuggle, but he also likes to play.
      These three kittens, and other cats besides are available for adoption.  Please contact me here or at my email if you are interested.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tessellating fish

Having seen plenty of knitted fish designs, but no crochet ones I liked, I fiddled around and came up with my own version.  The top one is single crochet.  Ok, but I wanted larger motifs and something I could make an afghan of quicker and with a little less strain on the carpal tunnel.  So I tried double crochet.  Ahh, quick and easy to work up.  I fiddled with the number of rows until I liked the proportions.  Then I thought, maybe I should add some details like fins?  No, I decided, keep it simple, because Anthony's mom wants something not too fussy and not too baby, not too bright, but not dull, and not boring.  Then I needed to decide orientation.  Each row swimming the same direction?  That might work, but the design I finished on works well nose to nose, tail to tail.   You can see that if you just continued with one strip you could have a pretty cute fashion scarf.                                        
This is the color Ressa chose for her one-year old son.  I have made two motifs, nose to nose, and will keep going next with the tail, then then nose again until I have the width I (and Ressa) want. 

The yarn is Red Heart Kids, worsted weight 4     4oz/113g 232 yd/212m and the color is 2940 Beach.  I used my favorite Provo Craft hook with a number 6 tip.

The motif pattern is very simple, something I felt necessary so I wouldn't have to keep looking at the directions for every step.  Once you get the rhythm you can put the directions away.
  for your base start with a chain of 26.  Skip the first three stitches and double crochet in next strip and across.
*decreasing two in the row (one at beginning and one at end of row), double crochet across*
repeat between * and * until you have 10 stitches.
work even until you have 6 rows of 10 stitches.
*increasing two in the row (one at beginning and one at end of row), double crochet across*
repeat between * and * until you have 20 stitches.
work even until you have 6 rows of 20 stitches.
*decreasing two in the row (one at beginning and one at end of row), double crochet across*
repeat between * and * until you have 6 stitches.
*increasing two in the row (one at beginning and one at end of row), double crochet across*
repeat between * and * until you have 20 stitches.
work even until you have 6 rows of 20 stitches.
*decreasing two in the row (one at beginning and one at end of row), double crochet across*
repeat between * and * until you have 10 stitches.
work even until you have 6 rows of 10 stitches.
*increasing two in the row (one at beginning and one at end of row), double crochet across.
repeat between * and * until you have 24 stitches.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Sorry I was gone so long

I haven't posted in almost a month because my computer started acting up.  After sending it away, it came back with a $125 repair tag and the report that nothing was wrong with it.  One of the things I had asked them to look into while they were looking was why my speakers wouldn't work.  The speakers work fine, they said, and so do ours when we hook them up to your computer.  Right now, I have no sound again, it just quit.  Another thing I asked was why, when I added more memory and also took all my old files off the computer, I have only 75% memory available.  Before, with a bunch of photos, patterns and files it had 86% available. I was told that was normal.  Today, saving nothing and running a defrag after reading email, it dropped another percentage point.  But hey, at least my computer hasn't just quit on me, like it was doing before, so I must be ahead of the game, right?  If I just disappear again, you know my computer is going back to the shop.
If it doesn't, I plan to post a pattern I worked out for the Tesselating fish afghan in double crochet.  The original knit version comes from an older book, but I saw two nice versions on knitknitfrog.blogspot  and snhrodinger212. blogspot.  Not quite what I was looking for, but nice.  I'm making a blanket for our 1 year old grandson.  So ta for now.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

What does your food bank have to offer besides free food?

     Does your local food bank have a grocery store?  Ours does, it's at the back of the food bank. They call it Value Market.  You don't have to be eligible for food stamps, any program or even be signed up for food boxes.  And the savings are awesome.  Anywhere from 30-70% off regular grocery prices.   They can take the money you spend there and turn $10 into $100 worth of food, or so one of their posters says.  It's a small grocery store, sure, but if you start there before going to your local mega store you can save a lot of money.  Recently, I bought a 10 pound ham (the loaf shape) for just under eight bucks.  I don't like ham, but my hubby does, and I can choke it down at that price.  It's a good quality name brand, and with our food slicer we can make deli style sandwiches, or cube it into casseroles, or just freeze pieces to make holiday roasts from.
     Our food bank doesn't sell donated food, the grocery store is run separately, funded by it's sales.   They buy first run food, a lot is name brand food and sometimes they have food packaged for them.  You never know what they will have at anytime, though, so having a freezer is a plus.  One of the things I keep an eye out for is the little cans of green chiles.  If they are cheap enough, I'll buy a case.  Cheap enough to me is 50% or less than I would pay at the local Fry's.  After you done your shopping, you go past these long tables set up with bags of bread and sometimes flats of fruits or fresh vegetables.  No matter your income, after you buy at the grocery you get a bonus from the table of whatever they are giving out that day.
    I like to get my rich clients to shop there.  I tell them it's good for their wallet, good for the community, and good for their karma.  Besides, I think those with should see how hard those without have to work for what they get, standing in line for hours for a free bag of food.  Okay, I also like to see them completely out of their element.
   Like every other food bank, ours gives out food "boxes", actually large bags of food here, to anyone qualified.  At this food bank, qualified is any resident of Pima county, no proof of need required.  It's pretty obvious, though that the people who are willing to stand in the long line that snakes through the giant room are not well off.  Anyone may be welcome, but you won't find the comfortable there, willing to rub shoulders with the needy, someone might think they can't keep up with the Jones', after all.   Even if they can't.  America does have it's caste system, it's based on how many dollars you have, or at least the illusion of those dollars to the extent you can maintain it.    Don't get me wrong, though.  Tucson can be an incredibly generous town.  If there is a need, such as the food bank running low, the humane society needing pet food, schools needing supplies, even someone needing bone marrow or help paying for a funeral, Tucsonians will cough up that money or donate that item faster than you can spit.  They just have to be reminded of the need.  Even the neediest donate something, somehow. 
     Anyway, if you have a roommate situation, or more than one household under the same roof, you each can get your own.  One bag per month and whatever is being given at the free table.  That bag always has beans, rice, canned soup, fruit (fresh, canned or frozen), cornflakes and peanut butter.  Neither of us are big fans of cornflakes and peanut butter, so it kept piling up.   Then I discovered a recipe for cornflake bars.  Lots of recipes.  Yummy. Now I don't have excess inventory, just excess calories to burn.    The simple version:

Cornflake Bars

1 cup corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter
8 cups corn flakes
any desired additives (see below)
Have everything measured and ready before starting.
Heat syrup and sugar together just til sugar melts, stir peanut butter into hot syrup, Stir in cornflakes.
Turn into buttered dish, smooth and let cool.
If desired, when you add the cornflakes, add dried fruits, mini marshmallows, chocolate chips or whatever   catches your fancy, but act quick this sets up in moments.

     Our food bank is a great place to take the kids.  No, really.  If you go the right day, there is a farmer's market in the compact park like area just outside.  There are nice little paths for walking and well shaded benches for sitting, with open areas for the kids to play in.  They have a demonstration garden showing how to grow vegetables and even how to make your vegetable plants attractive enough for landscaping.  People in Tucson don't grow lawns, it just isn't done here.   If you are going to waste your water, don't let the neighbors see it wasted on grass.  But some people also don't like the natural desert planting touted by the expensive landscapers here.  Surely, though, no one can object to beautiful ramadas shaded by grapes, arbors of squash and beans, and sunflower and corn screens to go along with the lemons, oranges and grapefruits.   I must admit, I spend a little more water and grow some desert adapted peaches, apricots, nectarines and plums (but they do also provide cooling shade).  Behind the garden is a chicken coop shaded by a tree.  In our area, raising hens is okay in the city, and the coop the food bank has is a cute little thing.
    Classes, our food bank has them.  The current classes are in gardening.  They will train you, provide starter seed, volunteers to get your garden started.  It's garden time in Tucson.  They've had classes on compost, building a solar oven and water saving.  They also have a youth apprentice program on an organic farm.
     These are just the things I've had dealings with at our food bank.  I know they have other things, and they have connections to other programs.  It is an active, vibrant community organization which offers much more than the average Tucsonian realizes.
     What does your food bank offer?  Have you ever checked?  It might be worth your time to find out, even if you aren't facing difficulties.  If your food bank doesn't offer much, maybe you can help start a garden or a cooking class.  Help your community and find out.  Really help your community and volunteer if you can.  And don't wait until you see on the news that the food bank's warehouse is empty.  Don't wait for the holidays, the need is ongoing.  Donate now.  You'll feel better for it.  Honest.  Besides, it makes a good tax write off if you itemize.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Missy, before and after

 Missy, the way we found her with sunburned hair, mats and bloody paws.

It looks like my sister intends to keep the little Yorkie that wandered up to our house.  She says she is just going to take care of some of the dog's problems first, but she's getting awfully possessive already.  So far Missy has her shots, license, health checkup and has been groomed.  The vet also discovered that she had a luxating  patella (slippy knee joint) and someone had hit or kicked Missy in the mouth, and next week she will be going in to have some loose teeth pulled and to get a close up inspection to see if there is any other damage from the kick.
How do people feel when they kick such a tiny animal?  Powerful?  Oh, yeah, I can whup that five pound dog!  I  rescued a miniature pincher that was underfed, had a choke chain left on her as she grew that had to be cut-off, wasn't spayed, had an unaddressed tumor, heart and lung disease, and oh, yes, was kicked multiple times so that the spines on her vertabrae were broken.  The people we got her from had the gall to insist they loved this dog, but that she was afraid of men..  Hmmm, maybe it was the man who kicked her?  My husband sat on the ground and the dear girl  crawled right into his lap and snugged up to him.  My dear man fell in love instantly, and I didn't tell him the problems I had found just in the first few seconds, until we got almost home with her.  I didn't know about the enlarged heart or the chipped spine until I had the vet look at her (she cried when she saw the x-rays), but I knew something was seriously wrong, and if nothing else, I was going to give that dog a peaceful end..  That dog was trained to be my mom's hearing ear dog, a job she performed admirably until the day my mom died.   She rescued my mom, giving her a measure of independence and security.    Hopefully, Missy will help my sister, who really needs someone now that she is a widow.                                           

 Cute, but what a mess.  You can see the pain in her eyes from the stickers embedded in her feet.



Missy now.  Happy, sassy and oh so darling.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dental Nightmare

Today was a nerve wracking day for me.  I took a cat and a dog into the vet's to have dentals done on them.  Amber, the cat and Joey, the dog are six and five repectively, but both had hard starts to their lives and both have depressed immune systems.  I was mostly afraid Amber would not be accepted for surgery because she has asthma, but when we got there, miraculously she didn't have an attack and her lungs were clear enough.  The vet said we should take this window and jump for it.  With cats with asthma, you may never be able to find a chance you can have their teeth fixed because getting upset, like going to the vet can do, can cause an attack.  Amber's teeth were bad, I've known for a little over a year we needed to get them done, but her health would never allow it.  Today we jumped, and she had all but two of her teeth pulled.  At 6 years of age, her teeth looked so bad that the tech was shocked to find out how young Amber actually is.   The vet understood, writing on her paper in big letters,. BORN FERAL..
Cats that are ferals, or who are born feral often have medical issues that doom them to die young if they are left in the streets.  Amber's mother Bullseye delivered her litter in our garage, but immediately took them across the street to the wrecking yard.  Five weeks later, she showed up at our front door and started yelling.  At least I think she intended it to be a yell, but she, like Amber, had a soft spoken nature and it came out about as loud as a cat sounds when it is upstairs in the bathroom linen closet and you're in the basement doing laundry.  I only heard her because the door was open, and I was walking by the screen when she tried to yell at me through it.  I was puzzled because  one of the marks of a feral is their silence around a person.  It is the first test we use to see if we have trapped a feral or just a neighbor's cat.  Her odd behavior made me go to the door to see what was wrong with her.  She ran a few steps, turned and yelled at me again, so I stepped out.  Again she ran a few steps and yelled.  I had the strong feeling she needed help, so I followed her around the house to the garage.  In the garage was her litter, minus one kitten.  They looked horrible, covered in grease and with grease impacted under their eyelids.  At first they tried to run, but as soon as I scooped them up. they started purring.  I always wondered what their mom had told them, but they were the most cuddly kittens you could ever meet.
It took us two months and the loss of another kitten, but finally most were healthy.  Not Amber, though.  She was the sickest survivor, and she has had problems since.  She had the "dire rear" and throwing up for two years, long after we found out her allergies to chicken, beef, corn and wheat.  Have you ever tried to find cat food without any of those ingredients?  Throw in budget and it gets even harder.  We had to have litter boxes in every room, but even with them, sometimes she just couldn't make it.  You've never lived til you're cuddling a sweet little kitten on your lap and you suddenly see that look just before she starts spewing from both ends right on your new robe.  Finally, though, she could eat, and keep it down most of the time, and she got fat.  Like the vet said, wouldn't you if you starved the first two years of your life?  Of course this is the same vet that when asked why she walks so oddly, said that in his considered opinion, she'd built weird.  Then all of a sudden, about 6 weeks ago, she stopped eating.  I knew it was time to get her teeth done, but with the monsoon, as sparse as it was this year, she still was having minor asthma attacke.  No big ones, but she couldn't have surgery. 
But today, the stars aligned and the airways cleared.  She could have her teeth pulled.  All but two.
Joey I wasn't worried about.  Sure, he had it rough as a puppy.  I'm sorry, you don't have a pup lose 60% of his hair and have skin with black thick places without knowing something was wrong.  I was fostering dogs at the time, but had already let the group know I was too full and couldn't take anyone else in.  That didn't stop them from calling me and telling me to get to the animal control immediately, or "he" will be put to sleep in an hour.  I had to get him, they insisted.  They said to look for a springer spaniel.  When I got to the kennels, I couldn't find a spaniel of any kind, just some big dogs and this 15 pound half hairless mix.  That was "him", Joey.  He had the demon, demodex mange, and he had a life threatening case of it.  The vet the group wanted me to take him to was one I had worked with in the Humane society.  I told the lady exactly what that vet would say.  "Why are they wasting their money on this dog.  They should put him down."  Not believing me, she made the appointment, the vet looked, told me word for word what I said he would, and later called her and told her the same.  When she called me with an appointment at another vet, she couldn't help but laugh, but she also asked if I thought they should take their speutering (spaying/neutering) to another vet.  No way, for surgery he is one of the finest vets I've seen.   Six months of poisonous treatment later, Joey was finally well, and I couldn't part with him after all the work I'd put into him.
Joey's teeth were never good even as a puppy.  They had always been easily chipped and because of his lack of early socialization and the things he endured when sick, it was impossible to brush his teeth properly.  I knew his immune system wasn't up to snuff, if it had been, he's never have had such a bad case of mange, so I knew that we needed to get his teeth cleaned before he ended up with heart problems.  But I didn't think he'd have problems being accepted for surgery, after all, he'd just had a checkup in June.  He almost got bounced from surgery because his protein levels were too high.  We had more tests done, all negative, so the vet went ahead and did the surgery.  When the vet started, it was obvious Joey had far worse problems than either of us had imagined and HE had almost every tooth pulled instead of the two she predicted or the three I expected..
You just never know.   We went in today, fingers crossed Amber could have her teeth pulled, and no problem.  Joey, who was expected to sail right through almost didn't have his dental, and as bad as his teeth turned out to be, that could have ended up fatal.
They're both home now, happy with their pain meds and the first food they've had in 24 hours (a dangerously long time for a cat, by the way).  Amber will probably get fat again, and Joey, well he was still the same smart ass when he came out of the vet's office as when he went in. prancing along, barking at a man across the street and complaining that if he had thumbs he wouldn't have to wait for me to open the door.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I know yesterday was 9/11

I know that yesterday was 9/11, but I really didn't want to think about it.  Even after all this time, it feels too raw when I let my mind go there.  But trying to ignore it did no good, I spent much of the day seeing the images on tv and the net.  Even writing these few lines has tears in my eyes.  What I remember most about that day and the months that followed were the acts of heroism.  The teachers at a daycare herding their charges to safety through choking dust.  The first responders running up the stairs in the second tower, knowing they might, probably, die, because they saw what happened to the first.  The guide dog and his owner helping guide others through the blinding dust and smoke to safety.  The people on a plane who weren't going to sit back and just let the hijackers win.  The people who ran to help others when they could have run to safety.   The K-9 who risked his life to find survivors only to later be shot and killed by other police officers when in the line of duty pursuing a felon. The searchers in the following weeks knowing they couldn't possibly find a survivor, and the joy when they did against all odds. The same searchers when it became obvious just how dangerous and toxic the rubble was, but they kept digging, looking for corpses so families would know.  All the dogs who risked their lives and sanity to find the dead.  Don't think these dogs didn't know what they were being asked to do.  I've trained dogs for this.  They knew, but they went willingly.
It was a bad day, but it was a time that showed what Americans were capable of.  We pulled together.   Stores in the area opened their doors to give away food that would have spoiled anyway.  Crime dropped.  Flags flew.  People were proud to be Americans.  Not the fakey political pride of the later Bush years, but real pride in heroism and generosity.  We cared.  Why we have to have grand tragedies to act well towards our fellow humans, I don't know, but I do know that this is one thing I wish we could have kept out of that horrible time.
The horrors only brushed lightly over us, so far removed here in Tucson.  My husband was in California that day at the airport preparing to fly home.  He had turned in his rental car and was heading for his plane when the terrible news broke and all planes were grounded.  He returned to the rental place where miraculously they still had his car.  The company, Alamo, let him take the car out of the state, return it in Tucson and didn't charge him.  They even gave him a coupon for future use.
Maybe next year I'll do better on 9/11, cry a little less, maybe even forget a little.  I doubt it.  I don't think I'll ever stop feeling this pain when I let my mind go back...I'm not sure I want to.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Quick update:  I talked to their previous family and Gabby is 6 or 7 and Kiki  is just a little younger, though she acts like a kitten.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Skunk for adoption, and Kiki too.

Or IS it a skunk?

 No, it's Gabriella, aka Gabby, aka Skunk.  I know, I know, I should call her Penelope for the cartoon cat with Pepe Le Pew, but you know how nicknames can be, not always flattering. This cat with her unusual markings was left with us when her family lost their home.  She is good with children.  Our 1 year old grandchild lies on her, bites her tail and pulls her fur, but as fast as we rescue her, she comes back for more.  She is fine with other cats, doesn't particularly like our gallumphing big dogs, but the little rescue Yorkie is ignored by her.  She is an opinionated cat, not what you call sweet, but she is loving and likes to share the lounge with you.  She is about 4 years old.  If you are interested in adopting her, please email me at

This is Kiki.  She is a little younger than
Gabby, but comes from the same household.  Now her you can describe as sweet.  You can also call her a wimp.  
For some reason, one of the other cats here, who is always sweet and caring to any cat that comes here, has decided to make her his personal target.  She doesn't stand up to him, unless cornered, then she screams bloody murder for help.  Not exactly a fighter.  She also does well with the grandchild, but she doesn't volunteer to be his plaything like Gabby does.  She would probably do best in a single cat household, but a friendly cat, kitten or dog that would welcome and play gently with her would be just as good for her.  She loves to play and cuddle.  If you are interested in adopting her, please email me at

 These are 2 more of the cats ready for adoption.  In a prior post Ebonetta told you about herself, she is available, and her golden-eyed brother Onyx also is available.   We'll talk about him another day.

Soon, another black cutie will be ready.  His name is Jet and you can see some of his pictures also in an earlier post.                   

 Ebonetta, my Squirrel (above) and Onyx.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Try a little charity tax advice, and Starfish is now StarfishRescue

Don't be confused by the name change.  I just decided that if I ever decide to go for my 501(c)3 status, that the name would be StarfishRescue, so I thought, what the heck, maybe I'd better change the blog name now before it gets as popular as I'd like it to be.  Yes, I know it's slow building right now, I'm trying to get the hang of this computer thingy as well as this bloggy thingy.  Bear with and hopefully I'll get a good blog going.

Speaking of 501(c)3s, did you know that not all charities qualify for this tax status and not all that do are willing to go through the expense and trouble of qualifying?   Or, that they can lose the designation even if they do nothing wrong.  Not having the status doesn't mean they are not legit, as long as they follow local laws, and declare any donations as regular income.  If you donate to an accredited 501(c)3, you can use it as a deduction on your income tax IF you have enough deductions to use the schedule A (or have to because of marital status), IF the deductions are still enough after doing the math, IF the charity is one approved by the IRS, and IF you have a receipt.  How do I know this?  I am a tax preparer for a large chain, and people are always shocked to find out they can't necessarily deduct their donations, and that it isn't dollar for dollar anyway.

Did you know that  you can donate to any charity you like, there is not law against it, but you cannot deduct that donation from your income?  But a lot of the time, your donation to even the biggest charities can not be deducted because you don't met all the IF's.  So if you want to donate to a small group or individual doing charitable work, and it won't affect your taxes anyway, consider it.  BUT, before you do, ask questions.  What is the money used for, what exactly is the aim of the charity, do you feel that you can trust the charity.  Don't be surprised if they don't have a separate bank account for their charity, many are too small and receive little or no donations coming in, except maybe from their mothers, and it has to be included in their income anyway.  If it worries you, though, give goods, such as food, blankets, towels, sheets, the ever needed carriers, and if it is a TNR group, traps and dishes.  Better yet, volunteer some time, or help find homes for the adoptable pets out there.  Adopt if you can.  Adoptions are down across the nation with the current economy, people are afraid of losing their homes, and abandonment is on the rise, the numbers are overwhelming in some communities.  But just think,  if you can find just one home for just one pet out there, you will have made a difference to that one, which is the StarfishRescue philosophy.

Now go out there and hug someone.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Joey just had a bad thought

He might get stuck having to live with yet another dog and another cat. Jet the kitten is getting ready to be adopted, soon it will be time to get him neutered. The little Yorkie (we are now calling her Missy) has not found her former home, and my sister is making noises about keeping her. Which means here. Seriously, if you know anyone interested in adopting a small Yorkie who seems to have collapsing trachea and needs some serious hair care, have them take a peek at her picture below. She's a good little girl, good with a 1 year old toddler, myriad cats, several dogs that are much bigger than her, rides well, understands how to hold still for a harness to be put on, walks well on leash, likes to lie by my feet when I'm on the computer, and at Chuck's feet when he is playing video games. She does not seem to have any formal training, doesn't know down, sit, stay, but then it may be a language barrier, we live in an hispanic neighborhood, but I don't speak spanish. She has had some anxiety when left alone, but she seems to be getting over that fairly well. Whoever gets her will probably have to deal with some yelping until she is comfortable that she has not been abandoned yet again.

We need to find her a home, and place several cats also. Their places are sorely needed by other homeless critters. But don't worry, we will keep her here unless another foster can take her. She will never have to face the desert alone again as long as we have a home ourselves.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

T-Shirt yarn rug

Well, I finally finished my back hall rug made of t-shirts. Because it was going to be used for a utility area where the big dogs thunder through to go outside, I didn't bother cutting the t-shirts into nice strips, I just tore them into about 1 1/2 inch strips. First, though, I cut off the bottom edges and set them aside. I pulled off any peeling plastic from iron-ons that I could, those that I couldn't I cut the shirt off even below. I left stains that didn't come out in the laundry, paint, printing, bleach marks, and any color unevenness, they just added to the design as far as I was concerned. I didn't worry about the weight of the shirts, I figured it would be pummeled so much a few ripples wouldn't matter.
To keep it from having huge ripples from uneven "yarn" sizes, every so often I added a row of two of a stretch double knit salvaged from an old stained house coat of my mother's (the light blue in the closeup) as well as a few other double knits. Those I cut into roughly 2' wide strips because they were so light. I just cut the material in spirals, and if there was a corner, I didn't bother rounding it. I also fudged the number of stitches, adding one here, or skipping one there. I didn't mind ripples, I didn't want waves. I used a single crochet and a Q hook. When it was as big as I wanted, I used the set aside bottom edges of the shirts for an edging all around.
It took a lot more t-shirts than I thought it would, in order to finish it and keep it a free project, I had to beg for stained and tattered tees from co-workers. That worked too well I fear, because now I have a stash of tees to make something else out of. It seems that everybody has tattered and stained tees laying about, and this way they can get rid of them guilt free.
If you decide you want to make a rug out of t-shirts, and you want it to lie flat, you need to cut your yarn evenly. There are several ways to do this, and some good video tutorials on the net. The way I do it if evenness matters is to use a quilting guide , the kind with the square measuring marks, and a rotary cutter. First cut off the bottom hem and across the chest just below the arms to make a tube. Slip the guide into the tube and line up the bottom edge of the material with one of the lines. Make an angled cut across 2-3 squares and up to the width you want your yarn so that your leading edge has an angled point. then cut across at the measure you want, 1, 1 1/2, 2 as many times as you can fit. Turn the tube of cloth and continue the lower cut around, angling it at the ends to join with the next strip so that you have a continuous strip. With careful cutting you can have very even yarn. Roll it into a ball, giving the yarn a good yank to stretch it. As it rebounds, the edges curl in, making a very neat, round yarn. When you have finished your rug, paint the back with latex to make it slip resistant, or you can coat it with rubber cement. Because nothing short of gluing the rug down will hold it in place with these dogs, I did neither, but it really doesn't slip underfoot at all.
BTW, the cut off parts of the shirts shall not go to waste, I am cutting them up to make a rag rug. When I get that done (in however many years from now) I'll let you know how that works.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Jet is not afraid of dogs

As these pictures of Jet the kitten and Chico the big dog show, Jet is not afraid of dogs, either. In many ways this kitten is ready to be adopted. The only thing holding him up is that he still has to be pulled out from under the cabinet yet when loose. He is ready for a home with a person or family who has a lot of energy and also understands (or is willing to learn) what a not instant kitty really means.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

MORE exciting yarn news

While at the thrift store finding the future dog blanket (below post), I found three other afghans and instantly knew that I wanted to use them for a wedding ring afghan. The top picture shows the balls of yarn I ended up with once I frogged (ripped it, ripped it), or unraveled it for those non-crocheters out there. The afghan they are sitting on is another buy at $1.50. Large enough to completely cover one and in perfect shape. I never liked harvest gold and avocado before, but this one I like. I think I will keep it. The other three afghans were $1, $3 and $.75. Now if I ever finish my UFOs (UnFinished Objects) I'll make me that quiltagan. Of course, if I make it, I'll probably just have to give it as a Christmas or wedding present, it would be too pretty to suffer the slings and arrows and other unmentionable onslaughts of living in a rescue household. At least if the picture in my mind is the quiltagan that I make it will be.

While frogging the one with the fringe, I learned a new stitch. It works up very quickly. I have seen it before, but I had no concept how it was done. I'll set it down here, and if anyone knows the name of the pattern, please let me know. If there is a designer out there who deserves credit, let me know so I can give due credit for this simple, quick and pretty pattern.

for pattern stitch using american convention: foundation chain multiples of 20+ 13 *double crochet 10, chain 10* repeat from *to* across, always start and end row with 10 double crochet. Repeat rows til desired length, single crochet down closest side, don't cut yarn and secure stitches so they don't pull out.
Now the tricky part to explain. I wish I had thought to take pictures, but it was only by taking it apart that I understood it. The chain 10s make a ladder of chain 10 rungs. Starting at the bottom rung on the first ladder, pinch the center and pull it up behind the 2nd rung . Pinch the center of the 2nd rung, bring it through the pinched center of the 1st rung, bringing it behind and behind the 3rd rung. Done right, it twists them all together and the top one holds the lower ones together. If you let go of the top twist, the whole thing falls apart quicker than a run in a cheap pair of nylons. At the top of the ladder pin or tie the last twist so it can't come loose. Do all the ladders this way. Pick up yarn, single crochet in 10 foundation chains, *[single crochet in 3 foundation chains, skip 4 foundation chains (which forms the loop), single crochet in 3 foiundation chains], single crochet in next 10 foundation chains * Repeat from*to* across. Single crochet up side. Single crochet in tops of 10 double crochet, *[single crochet in1 chain, flatten pinched loop with finger, single crochet in 2nd chain while also going through 5th chain (near side top of loop) single crochet in 6th chain (far side top loop) also going into 9th chain, single crochet in 10th chain], single crochet in tops of 10 double crochet*, repeat from *to* across. Fasten off.
I hope I described the stitch well enough for someone to try it. If anybody tries it, let me know how it works.

EXCITING find, if you like yarn, that is

One of the things I love to do is cruise the thrift shops for things to remake. I found another thrift that I just love. I'm always on the lookout for yarn. I don't know why, when my mom died she left me a huge metal cabinet full of yarn. It just seems I can't find the exact yarn I'm looking for in all my stash, and I'm too cheap to buy new skeins and can't justify it anyway. This place didn't have any yarns, so I wandered over to look at blankets, needing another for one of the dog crates. Lo and behold, there was this beautifully organized rack of knitted and crochet afghans in wonderful yarns. I found one that though big and thick was badly felted, perfect for a dog to use, but I didn't want to spend more than $10 and typically around here a full size afghan costs $30-$60. I looked at the tag anyway and the price was an amazing $1.50.

Update on Jet and the found Yorkie

Well, Jet has sure settled in. Last night when I was holding him, he discovered the pleasures of tickle-tummy. Then he washed my face. I could just hear the "tsk-tsk, people just don't groom themselves properly, I guess I'll just have to take care of that for them". Today he was lounging on top of his hidey-hole, watching me. He loves to snuggle and is already head butting me.
We have taken to calling the little Yorkie that we found Missy. This morning, she decided to start showing her true Yorkie self and take over the canine pack. I wondered how long it would take. She started with walking behind the other dogs and lifting her leg to pee over their pee. When they came in, Chuck was still snoozing, so Chico, the big American pit decided to go back to bed and jumped up to lie on Chuck's feet. Missy jumped up beside him and just looked at him. Chico sighed and moved over to the doggy bunk and she settled into his spot with a self-satisfied smirk.

Friday, August 14, 2009

This week we found a dog and caught a kitten

This little Yorkshire girl just walked up to our door last Saturday (August 8th, 2009) and just asked to come in. She's very sweet, looks and acts like she was well cared for at one time. We think she understands English, though no commands we have tried, but we live in the heart of a Hispanic neighborhood, so we can't be sure. Her hair is terribly sunburned and her feet were burned by the pavement and she was full of cactus and burrs. She has no microchip. If you are missing a yorkie, or know someone who is, please email me at She already has an interested adopter, so if you want someone to adopt, please adopt one of the cats we have available. (Read Ebonetta's story below.)


This little boy was caught last night, after midnight August 14th, 2009. Five minutes after we caught him, Chuck held him and I examined him. This morning he was purring for his pictures. Believe it or not, he is actually a feral kitten. He was born in the junkyard across the street. A few weeks ago, we were taking the garbage out, and he was sitting right there on the porch. Behind him were the two spayed cats we call The Aunties, with what can only be called encouraging expressions on their faces. He looked at us a long moment, but decided not to come in at that time, thank you. But he was very curious, raising his neck like E.T. (if you're old enough to remember
that) and trying to see inside the house. As soon as we caught
him this morning, we took him to a secure facility, which we
call the bathroom. Right away, he was looking around and
putting his paws out to touch things. We have had a few other kittens this bold, and I think they are too curious to be afraid As you can see, he is unafraid. We think he will be ready for
adoption in about three weeks.

Wave for the camera, Jet

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Recycle art Lamp

Take some pretty tins and some old lamp parts...
An old shade and some paint, on top place a small glass globe to shine...
And you save
space in a landfill,
have a pretty space
to set your drink
and a nice light to
read by.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Ebonetta's pictures

Hi, Ebonetta here. Daddy calls me Netty, but Mama calls me Squirrel because she says that when I'm leading her somewhere I look like a little squirrel flicking my tail. I'm looking for a new home, not because mommy and daddy don't love me, but because they are trying to rescue as many starfish as they can, (a whole litter is out there waiting for their turn) and I'm ready for my own place. I wouldn't mind having my brother Onyx with me, he gets scared easier than I do and I could hold his paw, but I'm always up for adventure and I could live without him, as long as I have someone willing to play with me. I get along with dogs and cats, and even babies. I'm clean and not destructive, I've been fixed (though I'm not sure what was broken) and mama always says I have the perfect kitty manners. I do have a big strike against my finding the perfect forever home, though. You see, I used to be a feral kitten. Don't know what a feral is? A feral is a domestic cat, bred to be a house cat but born in the streets. Sometimes our mothers were someone's pet, sometimes it was our grandma, but a feral isn't born in a house. People sometimes call ferals wild cats, but a wild cat is something like a lynx or lion that was never bred to be a house cat. Anyway, the two older cats my mama calls the aunties brought me and my brother to the house we now live in and told us to walk into this little cage for a treat. The door shut, and we were trapped and a few minutes later mommy and daddy came out of the house and carried us inside. I can tell you, we were plenty scared, but the aunties had filled our heads with wondrous stories, and within a very short time, we found out how great snuggles were, and then how fun playsticks are and mousies and even the dogs and cats made great toys for us. Momma says we aren't "instant kitties" and she thinks that if I find a good home, I still will hide for a bit until I know the people I move in with. I think she's wrong about me, though I'm sure my brother will be like that. Me? I'm brave enough to let daddy's grandbaby pull my tail, and I don't even scratch him for that. I can't imagine anything scaring me. I said I had a few strikes against me, and momma says a biggie is that I don't like to sit on laps. I am just not a lap cat. I like to be near you, I like my ears and belly rubbed and if you ignore me, I will pat you to get your attention, but I don't like to sit on laps. I have too good of manners to squirm if you pick me up, but I'll get off as soon as I can. But I think not everyone wants a cat all over them all the time hugging them like my brother does, am I right? It doesn't mean I'm not affectionate or anything, some people don't like to be hugged, some cats don't like laps, that's the way I see it. And speaking of seeing, I keep my eyes open as wide as I can so I can see a gnat move from across the room, not because I'm a nervous Nettie in case you wonder when you see my pictures. I'm always alert for things to go play with.
So, if you can see it in your heart to give a little black kitty like me a forever home, please let my mommy know. She says she won't let me go with just anyone, there are adoption procedures to follow, but I just know you are perfect enough for me, and being perfect, you won't find adoptions hard.
Love, Nettie.