Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Are You Powerful, Organized, Grounded or Social?

This test from blogthings interested me enough that I took it.  My results below describe me very well.  I don't know about that last part about being a good mediator, but the rest of the statements are right on.



You Are Grounded


If slow and steady wins the race, then you're going to be crowned grand champion. You are consistently consistent.

You pride yourself on being dependable and reliable. You are a rock, and you are especially loyal to your friends and family.

You're the kind of person who finds it hard to say no to someone in need, and why would you even want to? Helping out gives you a sense of purpose.

You do well with a routine and consistency. You find 'boring' to be quite rich and deep. You enjoy perfecting your everyday tasks.

You are agreeable whenever possible. Disagreeing stresses you out, so you only stand your ground when it's necessary.

You are patient and very open to changing your mind. You are always willing to hear someone out, and you are a good mediator.


Take the Personality test for yourself.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I like it by Manny Boy (Cats on Tuesday)

I like it

Whenever our mom brings in something new, we always have to check it out.  This time she brought in a new sweater she got from a co-worker.  When she laid it on the bed to wear it on Sunday, I tried it out.  It is very warm and comfortable so I approve!  (She likes it too!)  Do your cats like to lay on your clothes?

Remember to vote for me in the Cat Time Valentine Contest on Facebook.  Voting ends Thursday and I need lots more votes to win the PetSmart gift card--my entry title is heaven because it doesn't get any better than this:
Heaven
Hop over to Camera Critters and Cats on Tuesday.


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Monday, February 25, 2013

Aww Mondays: Bye, Bye Birdie

video

Ah, it doesn't get any better than this.
Manny Boy was enjoying watching the bird out our front window, but then it flew away!    (This is why we do not have a bird!)  Spunky likes watching the birdies too.  Some sparrows built a little nest in our gutter under the porch awning last spring.  Please vote for Manny and me in the Cat Time Valentine's Day Contest on Facebook through Feb. 28.  The picture is titled "heaven"--this is our entry: 



Linking up with Monday Mischief since Snoopy says any pet post can qualify as well as Aww Mondays!

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday Sharing: He Knows My Thoughts

For my scripture highlight this week from my quiet times, I chose John 2:25 which says:
He did not need man's testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man. (NIV)


No one had to tell him what people were like. He already knew. (Contemporary English version)

He did not need anyone to tell him about people. Jesus knew what was in a person's mind. (ICB)

This verse follows after Jusus' first miracle in Cana when he turned water to wine at the wedding and then cleansed the temple. Many people believed because of the miracle he did at the wedding. If find it so amazing that God knows our thoughts. I wonder if he tunes in to certain individual's thoughts or if all the thoughts of all the people in the world bombard him at once. It just boggles my mind to think about how great God is and how much he knows!

Now it's your turn.  Share in the comments a something you read in scripture this week that stood out to you.

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Friday, February 22, 2013

10 Friday Fragments (pets, zoo, news, books, tips, computer)


Friday Fragments is hosted my Half-Past Kissin' Time for bloggers to post a list of short things on their minds that aren't really enough for a whole post. Here we go:

Please Vote For Manny Boy and Me

It's time to vote in the Valentine's Day Contest on Facebook for our entry. It is a cropped picture of Manny laying on my legs while I pet his head while watching TV. He absolutely loves this and the idea of the contest is to choose a picture that shows our love for our cat.  Voting goes through Feb. 28.  (The winner gets a $100 PetSmart gift card!)

 

  Scratch Reflex

Oh yeah!
I read in "Have A Good Day, Feb. 2013" that if you scratch a special spot on a dog's belly or flank, that it sends his leg kicking like crazy. That response is called the "scratch reflex" which is similar to when someone hits that special spot on our knee that automatically sends our leg kicking.




Zoo Addition

In 2014, the Cleveland Metropark Zoo will be getting a wildlife carousel with 64 hand-carved wooden animals on it.

Warning

Don't get Anti-Skid Ice Melt. Read our What They Don't Tell You post to find out why.

Suicide

Don't worry, we are not committing suicide, but according to USA TODAY, there are 19,000 suicides in the USA every year! Gerard's book of the month, You Before Me by Jojo Moyes, deals with this issue. It's a fantastic read! Click on the link here to see his review.

Productivity

According to USA TODAY, 44% said they are more productive at work if they go out to lunch. Gerard always eats lunch in; maybe he should go out?

Second Opinion

I never knew our immune system could actually attack our brains until reading Brain On Fire--My Month of Madness by Susan Cahala. Now I see why it's wise to get a second opinion when being diagnosed. This is a non-fiction medical thriller that's really scary! Click the link for our review--we both read this one!  We are giving this away to the first U.S. citizen who states they would like it in a comment on our review.

 

Pillows

Over at The Modern Mom I learned that if you put a flat lumpy pillow into the dryer with a couple tennis balls and run it on low heat for 30 minutes, it will perk up.

Computer War

I've had some troubles this week with my Firefox browser. I updated it and chose a Boston Bruins persona which stayed about 3 days and then it was back to the generic gray. It took me awhile to find the selections again, but I went back to the solid yellow one. I just like something more cheerful than black on top and that I can easily read. I also had trouble with some of my pictures not loading in my header and in my Note Card Party Post. If I click on the black spot where the picture should be, it does come up in another viewer so I can see it. What's going on?

Captions

In my Note Card Party Post:  Wildlife in Winter (1), we got lots of good caption suggestions for the first one I didn't have one for. I think I like "Shouldn't I be hibernating right now?" best. Which do you like best for this bear pic for a note card?  Thanks for all the suggestions and comments!
  • Shouldn't I be hibernating right now?
  • Let's get together for lunch!
  • I can't bear to be without you!
  • Unbearable Day?
  • Nobody can fill your paws!
  • Something got you growling?
  • It's so cold out here, I can't bear it?
  • Thank you for visiting my cave!

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Note Card Party: Wildlife in Winter (1)


I'm joining in the Note Card party this month with my first collection of winter wildlife.








What caption should I put on that first bear one?  Any suggestions? 

To join the party, just choose four of your pictures that have appeared on your blog that you think would make good note cards and link up at A Haven for Vee:  February Note Card Party or go to find more.

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Monday, February 18, 2013

What They Don't Tell You

They Don't Tell You It Makes A Big Mess!

In our entryway by our front door
Of course winters in Ohio have snow and ice and stores stock up with salt and other products to melt the ice. Us being animal lovers, we avoid buying the salt which can be harmful to doggies' paws and buy stuff that is "pet friendly." PetSmart carries little bluegreen bally things that melt the ice and claim to be pet friendly; however, it is pretty expensive. We found a cheaper kind called Anti Skid Ice Melt for Traction and Melting. It says it contains no salt, is environmentally friendly ice melt and pet friendly.



Dining room where I put my boots
Let me just say this was a very bad choice and we wanted to warn you. It is tiny black specs that do not disappear. It stays on the sidewalk or drive long after the ice has melted and the snow goes away. Not only that, but it sticks to the bottom of boots and shoes so it gets tracked all over inside the house which makes a big mess to clean up!

I hate this stuff and we will never buy it again!  In fact, we are not even finishing the bag we already opened.  It is horrible!  It didn't melt the ice very well either.  We had ice on the sidewalk where we used this until the weather finally warmed up enough to melt it.

We will be buying the bluegreen stuff from PetSmart again. It doesn't work as well as salt does, but at least it doesn't make a big mess in the house!  Now to go try to get it off our porch, steps and sidewalk, oh boy.
 
Bathroom floor--looks like ants!



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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday Sharing--Highlights From Ecclesiastes

There's a lot of good stuff in this book!

One of the most fun, encouraging and motivating things I've experienced in a small group Bible study was when we shared a verse that we found especially interesting, encouraging, or that just stood out to us that we read in our quiet time during the week--our highlights. I know many of our readers also read the Bible so I thought it might be fun to share my highlights with you and you could all leave your highlight of the week in a comment for me. I just finished reading the book of Ecclesiastes (only 12 chapters) and found it to be funny, a bit depressing and challenging so want to share some of the verses I marked with you here. In my future "Share Your Highlights" posts, I'll just pick one verse from the week, but I was so impressed with Ecclesiastes, written by the wisest man who ever lived, King Solomon and inspired by God that I just want to tell others about it! Here is a list of the verses that stood out most to me (all are from the International Children's Bible):

Ecclesiastes 1:18 says:
With much wisdom comes disappointment. The person who gains more knowledge also gains more sorrow.
(Doesn't this sound like "ignorance is bliss" to you?)


Ecclesiastes 2:24-25 says: 
The best a person can do is eat, drink and enjoy his work.  No one can eat or enjoy life without God.  
This got me questioning why people couldn't eat or enjoy life without God.  Perhaps it is because it is only because of God that we have food or anything since He created it.  Without God, we have nothing.


Ecclesiastes 3:13 says:

God wants everyone to eat and drink and be happy in his work.  These are gifts from God.

There it is again, talking about enjoying or being happy in our work.  I was surprised to see the work is a gift from God.


Ecclesiastes 4:9 says:

Two are better than one.  They get more done by working together.

I find this to be true in marriage.  It would apply to other things as well.  Being active in a church enables me to have a part in reaching more people with the gospel and encouraging people to follow Christ than I could do just on my own.  I think the key phrase here is "working together."  The two have to be on the same page with a common goal to work towards.


Ecclesiastes 5:5 says:
It is better not to promise anything than to promise something and not do it.

This was just a good reminder to be careful what I promise.
 

Ecclesiastes 6:6 & 9 says:
(6) Even if a person lives 2,000 years, it is sad if a person can't enjoy the good things God gives him.  (9) So it is better to be happy with what you have than always to be wanting more.  Always wanting more is useless like chasing the wind.
I think this is why people living in poverty in other countries seem to be happy, because they are content with what they have.  When our short-term mission teams from church visit foreign countries where the people are very poor compared to what we have, they always report back how happy the people were.


Ecclesiastes 7:1 says:
It is better to have respect than good perfume.  The day a person dies is better than the day he was born.
Wow, this one got me thinking.  I couldn't help but ask why?  Is life such a hassle that we're better off dead?  All I could come up with is that if a person dies and goes to heaven, then yes--they are definitely better off.


Ecclesiastes 8:5b says:

A wise man knows how to do the right thing at the right time.

We all need wisdom!  There have been times in my life when I didn't know what the right thing to do was.  How about you?  I need to remember to ask God daily for wisdom.


Ecclesiastes 9:4 says:
 But anyone still alive has hope.  Even a live dog is better than a dead lion.
 I laughed when I read this one and had to share it in my Circle of Friends study last week. 


Ecclesiastes 9:9 says:

Enjoy life with the wife you love.  Enjoy all the days of this short life God has given you here on earth.  It is all you have, so enjoy the work you have to do here on earth.

I liked that "Enjoy life with the wife" phrase.  Solomon had lots of wives though so I wonder if he had just one special one that he loved most since he wrote "wife you love."  And there's that theme again about enjoying the work we have on earth.


Ecclesiastes 10:2 says:

A wise man's heart leads him on the right way.  But the heart of a foolish person leads him in the wrong way.
Better make sure if you tell someone to "follow your heart"  that the someone is a wise person!


Ecclesiastes 11:1 says:
Do good things wherever you go.  And after awhile the good you do will return to help you.
This reminded me of the saying, "What goes around comes around."  See, it's not all depressing!


Ecclesiastes 11:8 says:
A person ought to enjoy every day of his life.  This is true no matter how long he lives.  But he should also remember this:  you will be dead much longer than you live.  After you are dead, you accomplish nothing.
Does "Seize the day" and The Dead Poet's Society come to mind?  Life truly is a gift from God and each day is a second chance.  Life really is short so we need to make the most of every day we have!  Also, keeping in mind that our life is so short compared to eternity and what we do with Jesus during this short time we have on earth determines where we will spend eternity.


Ecclesiastes 12:13 says:
Now, everything has been heard.  Here is my final advice:  Honor God and obey His commands.  This is the most important thing people can do.
 This is how I want to live my life.  I love Jesus so want to honor and obey Him.  It is the least that I can do in light of all God has done for me.  Also though, God knows way more than I do so I want Him to lead me in the way He wants me to live. 

It's the first five verses of chapter 12 that describe old age, not chapter 11 that I mentioned in my Friday Fragments.  The point is, serve the Lord while you're still young, before your body starts falling apart! 


Sorry this is such a long post but hope you took the time to read my highlights.  Future posts will be shorter since I'll only choose one (or maybe two) verses that stood out to me during the week.  I read Ecclesiastes over a period of 3 weeks.

So, please share one of your highlights from the week with me in the comments or feel free to comment on anything in this post.  Have a great day and enjoy life while you can!

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Friday, February 15, 2013

7 Friday Fragments (news, gifts, plumpy'nut, Bible)


Friday Fragments is hosted my Half-Past Kissin' Time for bloggers to post a list of short things on their minds that aren't really enough for a whole post. Here we go:

plumpy'nut

A child dies every 15 seconds from hunger and related causes, but World Vision is using plumy'nut (a high-protein paste resembling peanut butter) to save starving children. Your gift to help save starving children is multiplied 5 times thanks to grant funds. Watch this video to see how pumpy'nut and antibiotics saved Sabiou:


Musical Chairs

According to ESPN the Magazine, there is a musical chairs championship which had 1,200 participants!

Popes

I never knew a Pope could resign, did you?

Reporters

I think those CNN reporters who stood outside in blizzard conditions deserve a bonus!

Babies

Babies being born are at the lowest level since 1920 according to USA TODAY. Who will support the elderly population?

Valentine's Day

I was really surprised when I got this cute candy special delivery car on WEDNESDAY! I was so happy it wasn't flowers! It has chocolate covered pretzels, white frosted tiny pretzels with sprinkles, gummy hearts and individually wrapped chocolate hearts with a cute dog. We exchanged cards on Thursday and my sweet husband even had the pets give me cards. It's so cute, I love when he does things like that!  Got a cold on Valentine's Day again--had a bad cold our first Valentine's Day too!



Old Age

I've really enjoyed reading the book of Ecclesiastes these last couple weeks. For a good description of old age, read Ecclesiastes 11 12.  (Sorry about that. It's the first 5 verses of Chapter 12.)

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Where Does Our Money Go?

Our 2012 Spending


In setting up a monthly budget, I started by looking at how we spent our money in 2012.  The percentages are based on our income after taxes.  We were given a the following guidelines at church to assist us in setting up a budget.  The Bible has a lot to say about money, part of which is being a good steward of the resources God has given us.

Suggested Spending Plan Guidelines:

10-15%  Giving (church and other contributions)
5-10%    Saving (emergency, replacement, long term)
0-10%    Debt (loans, credit cards)
25-38%  Housing (mortgage/rent/maintenance/utilities, Internet, Cable TV, Yard, improvements/repairs)
12-15%  Transportation (auto repairs, maintenance, gas, bus, license, payments)
5%          Insurance (auto, homeowners, life, medical/dental, other)
15-25%  Household/personal (groceries, clothes/gifts, household items, toiletries, cleaning supplies)
5-10%    Entertainment (vacation, trips, restaurants, babysitting, education, hobbies, movies, sports)
5-15%    Professional Services (medical, childcare, legal, counseling)
2-3%      Misc., small cash expenses

In the handout, I noticed that pets were not listed anywhere so I included them in the Entertainment category! Our miscellaneous item was postage but was so small it didn't even amount to 1%.  I was happy to see our budget is in line with the suggested guidelines, or in most cases, even better!  Now I just need to apply these percentages to our monthly income to get a monthly budget plan.  I love that big chunk of savings which includes our 401k contributions and bank savings.  As we get closer to retirement, I think we need to save as much as possible.

Do you have a spending plan (budget)? 

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Stress Stats For Your Information

What stresses you out?

According to USA TODAY last week, the issues people are most stressed about are:

(76%) work
(73%) Money
(59%) Relationships
(56%) Family Responsibilities
(55%) Economy

Work is definitely the biggest cause of stress for my hubby, but for me, can you guess what it is? Well, I'd say it's family responsibilities and money such as the doctor and vet appointments. Having to schedule them all the time and taking days off work for them gets to me, plus preparing our tax forms for our accountant, UGH! 

On my day off last week, we spent $1,670 which didn't even involve travel! (Had the Naturestone floor in our laundry room cleaned ($165), finally got our doorknob replaced ($40), picked up my Femara prescription for one month ($531) and Abby had her teeth cleaned and one extracted ($934)).  Manny Boy is due for a teeth cleaning next month! Times sure have changed. When I was a kid, I can't remember my parents ever taking our dog to the vet. This was by in the 60s. Pet insurance back then was unheard of. Today, I actually went online to www.embraceyourpet.com and got a quote. I'm still thinking about it.

Who is more depressed and anxious? Young adults or Older adults? Below is what was reported in USA TODAY:
Ages 48-60:
(12% depression & 7% Anxiety)

Ages 18-33:
(19% depression & 12% Anxiety)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. --Philippians 4:6-7  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. --I Peter 5:7

Young adults are more depressed and anxious than older ones. I am not surprised at this, are you? I think older people are more used to dealing with problems and have their past experience to learn from and know they can get through stuff. Also, for Christians, our faith in God gets stronger over the years so we know how to turn our cares and worries over to God better than when we were younger.

Fortunately, the expenses were all anticipated and that's what our savings is for.  What stresses you out most?

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

So Much For My Tunewriter


I got this tunewriter for my birthday last December and used it in our computer/music room. It played nice until yesterday morning when I couldn't get any sound for the radio or tape and only minimal sound for the records. I have no idea why all of a sudden, the volume control went capoot! No matter how high I turned it up, it made no difference. Unfortunately, it is past the time for a refund for $237.42. When I called Brookstone's customer service, they agreed to take it back in exchange for a Brookstone gift card since itt has a 1 year warranty. At least they will send me a UPS shipping label to use so I don't have to pay the shipping. 

Why you getting rid of this great box, mom?

I immediately went looking for the box it came in which I had used as part of our kitty condo. The only slight problem is that I had cut a hole in the one side which I covered up with a flap from another box and once again used my trusty duct tape to reinforce the box. Spunky "helped."

So, I am so disappointed and kind of frustrated too that everything seems to be a hassle lately.  It never did make CDs from a tape or record that would play in anything other than my computer and the tunewriter itself.  I did try to copy a record onto a CD because I would do that with all the good records before returning it.  Guess what, that didn't work either!  It showed the tracks when I put it into the computer to play it, but there was no sound.  I regret ever mentioning that I would like one of these.  Oh, and another surprise I got when reading the instruction booklet was this:
WARNING:  This Product may contain chemicals listed in proposition 65 http://www.oehha.ca.gov/prop65/prop65_list / Newlist.html, that may be known to cause cancer, both defects or other reproductive harm. 
I was tempted to return it as soon as I got it when I read that, but decided to keep it anyhow.  It wasn't like I would be using it all that much, I figured.  Perhaps this is one of those blessings in disguise?  So, okay, out it goes.

At least I still had the box, thanks to my cats!

I didn't realize Spunky Doodle was so attached to this box.  She didn't even go in it when it was part of her kitty condo.  Guess the cats prefer their boxes to be spread out.  I have it all ready to go and just waiting for the UPS label via email.  I didn't want to see it anymore because it's just too depressing. Gerard felt bad too but said I could put his CD/tape player in the computer/music room. I didn't waste any time moving it in!

Do you have a purchase that disappointed you?

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Friday, February 8, 2013

7 Friday Fragments


Friday Fragments is hosted my Half-Past Kissin' Time for bloggers to post a list of short things on their minds that aren't really enough for a whole post. Here we go:

Domestic Violence

According to Sports Illustrated, when a favored home NFL team loses, there is an 8% increase in domestic battery Men take losing hard and take it out on their wives. That is why when Gerard watches his teams, I watch upstairs and he watches in his basement man cave. I know to stay out of his way! (He never hit me, but he does yell a lot and throw things sometimes.)

Mail

As of August 1, the post office will discontinue mail delivery on Saturdays. Who cares?  I think it's nice the mailmen and mailwomen will get Saturdays off.  (I first saw this on Twitter--where I find most of my news!)

Monopoly Tokens

In the voting for replacing one of the Monopoly tokens, a cat will be the new token that replaces the iron which is exactly what I voted for! Hurray! Now if only the political candidates I vote for would win!  Read all about it and see the pictures of all the possible new tokens at Ding Dong The Iron Is Dead over at It's Just Life.


ICE


I think we had the biggest icicle on our street, if not the whole block! I finally knocked this guy down yesterday on my day off without it hitting me in the head!

Metronidazole


After eight days I'm still trying to figure out the best way to squirt the Metronidazole into Spunky Doodle's mouth and I have two days to go yet. Each day got harder, although today did seem to go a little better than yesterday even though I got some on my thumb while trying to hold her. She has to have this because she couldn't keep her soft food down with the powder on it that was first prescribed to get rid of the Giardiasis. I dread going into battle with her every morning at breakfast, but she is very forgiving and still loves me. It tastes very bitter and she absolutely hates it!

Bravery

Abby got a certificate for bravery yesterday when she had her teeth cleaned and had to get a cracked one extracted before it caused more problems. They were amazed at how active she was after waking up from the anesthesia.  Oh, it was quite a day--$930 worth of vet care! We are considering getting pet insurance once again.

Hospital Design of the Year


Help our vet win the 2013 People's Choice Award for Hospital Design of the Year! Go to http://bit.ly/VucnFo and choose BARTELS BUSACK PET HOSPITAL RESORT & SPA for your favorite hospital. Voting ends on March 31st. Thanks for your support!

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Our Favorite Reads For January--One Non-Fiction; One YA Fiction

I am so excited to tell you about my favorite book for January, but it's really one of my all-time favorite non-fiction books:

The Power of a Positive Woman by Karol Ladd!

A MUST read for all women!

The Power of a Positive Woman by Karol Ladd is the best inspirational non-fiction book I ever read and plan to read it again! I absolutely LOVE this book and can't say enough good about it! It is Biblical, has scriptures included throughout it right in the text, interesting facts about people used as examples of putting the principles into action and is uplifting, encouraging and challenging! Topics include: faith, wisdom, prayer, joy, love, courage, hope and the main theme is making a difference.

I used it as a devotional book the first time I read it and highlighted lots of things. It is divided into chapters with subdivisions so provides short thought-provoking passages easily used as devotionals. At the end of each chapter is a a short application section called “Power Point” which includes further scripture with some questions to think about, a prayer, a main point to remember and some activity to do. If you are looking for a practical book that will encourage spiritual growth, this is it!

The Power of a Positive Woman is a wonderful book to use for a women's Bible study group which is how I came to read it. I highly recommend this book to all women, but I think men could certainly benefit from it as well.
(Karen's review, rating 10 stars!)



Gerard's January Favorite: The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth Laban


Every year at a boarding school, the outgoing seniors leave a "treasure" behind in their rooms for the next senior occupying that room to find. Duncan finds a stack of CDs left for him that he doesn't think much of until he listens to the first one. Then he can't stop until he hears them all! What's on the CDs? You will have to read the book.

Like the CDs, this book is hard to put down. I finished it in two days! I got to really care about the characters, the writing is superb and the ending is shocking! Do I have your interest yet? All that being said, I give this book 5++ stars!

QUIET--The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking was my favorite of the month until I read this one. You can click the link to read my review of that one.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I Went To A Cat Show!



 Did you ever go see a cat show? It's so much fun! I went to one Saturday and LOVED it! I only wish I could have stayed longer. It only cost $5 to get in, and the parking lot was packed! The place was really big with rows and rows of cat owners with their cats in fancy cages (219 kittens and cats entered). There were five judges and each had little cages in their judging area that the owners would put their cats into when it was their turn. The cats are judged within their own breed, the most popular were the Maine Coons at this particular show. The brochure with all the cat breeds listed including pictures that everyone was given as they arrived said:
The Maine Coon is the only longhaired breed native to the United States. It is a medium to large cat with a smooth shaggy coat, well tufted ears and toes and a rugged appearance. They are personable, remarkably gentle and are referred to as the "Gentle Giant.
It was fun talking to some of the cat owners about their cats. Most exhibitors don't want people petting their cats because of germs and also the grooming. Some of the bigger furballs take a long time to groom. Even the judge wash their hand after handling each cat and wipe out the cages and the table between judging the cats. The judges were friendly and welcomed questions from those watching. I was very impressed with how easily the judges got the cats in and out of the cages and how the cats just stayed on the table for them without jumping off.

I only took a few pictures because you were supposed to ask permission first if you were in close proximity to the cat. I used the telephoto feature so I didn't have to get too close with the flash to bother the cats most of the time. A few, I did ask owners for permission and only one said no. I would have liked to take a whole bunch more pictures, but I refrained from over doing it. I wanted to get back to spend time with my cats that I could pet.

I saw some cats that looked like Manny Boy but none that looked like Spunky Doodle. In fact, on the breed brochure, none looked like Spunky either! I heard that Tuxedo cats weren't considered a breed. This show though even had a special "House Hold Pet Class". People could enter their non-pedigreed cats if they were spayed or neutered and not declawed. They would compete against other household pets and earn ribbons awarded by the judges.

This show was sponsored by The Cat Fanciers' Association (www.cfa.org).

I'm sure glad I didn't have to go!

Manny says:
I wouldn't want to be in a cat show anyway.  Those poor cats have to ride in a car, spend their day from 10-4:00 in a cage and let judges hold them!  No way would I want to do that!  I look like the Chinese Li Hua on the brochure but I do not think I am Chinese.




I agree Manny, we would not have had much fun there.

Spunky Doodle says:
Why would you go there when you can pet me?  Oh, I know.  Because I run from you when you try to pet me!  hee, hee, hee  I bet I could have won in that household pet category if I entered when I was a tiny kitten before being declawed.  I even used to let you hold me back then, now not so much.


What do you think of cat shows?  Have you ever been to one?  Would you like to go? 


We are joining in with Cats on Tuesday.

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Hey NFL! What IF?

Just imagine what if the NFL just used 10% of what they got for ads, admissions, concession stand profits and the players, refs, coaches only kept 10% (or less) of their salaries and gave the rest to World Vision or Samaritan's Purse to really make a difference in the world! Now THAT would be awesome! Oooh, what if the NBA and MLB, and NHL ALL did that?

I think it's sinful how much money is spent on just one football game when there is so much more productive and helpful, compassionate things that could be done with that kind of money. It always gets me riled up that our nation's priorities are SO out of whack. I just think of all the starving people in the world living in poverty conditions that this money could really go a long way in helping--whole communities could certainly be changed for the better and maybe living standards throughout the world could be improved.

I know, it's easy to tell others how to spend their money, but I'm just sayin' What If? WOW!


Here's a business that is making a difference: Tomorrow is IHOP's National Pancake Day and to celebrate, they are giving away a FREE short stack of buttermilk pancakes.  In return, they are  asking their customers to make a donation to charity instead. They hope to raise $3 million for charity by doing this! Since they started doing this in 2006, they have raised over $10 million for charity!

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Sunday, February 3, 2013

What Was The Last SUPER Event You Attended?



The first question in Wednesday Hodgepodge last week caught my attention because I did recently attend a super event:
In the USA this coming Sunday millions will be watching the Baltimore Ravens take on the San Francisco 49er's in the Superbowl. What was the last event you attended that could be described as super?

It was our annual Children's Workers' Breakfast at church where the volunteers in children and youth ministry get some further training and are shown appreciation. Since I am on the puppet team and volunteer in both our Vacation Bible School and Sports Camp weeks, I get to attend. The best part is just seeing what a big group of dedicated workers we have at our church with a heart for kids. It was awesome to see how many years of service were represented there. Over ten people had more than 40 years of service (I was at 42).

We were served a great breakfast of scrambled eggs, ham, oatmeal, fruit, grits, and sausage. I enjoyed hearing the testimonies of a high schooler and young adult who grew up in our church thanking the adults who were their Pioneer Girl leaders and youth leaders and the ones who taught the silly songs with the hand motions to help them remember the verses set to music. It was also great hearing from a seasoned volunteer about his beginnings as a helper in the 2s and 3s group many years ago.

Workshops


There were 8 workshops available from which we could choose two.  I chose the one on "How Important Good Helpers Are" led by our Children's Minister.  I knew that would be good and I may get a better idea of how to help better during VBS and Sports Camp weeks.  It was an excellent workshop with lots of teens attending which was very encouraging to me.  We basically covered all kinds of little things helpers should do through brainstorming in small groups and short little skits and discussion.

The second workshop I attended was "Strategies For Teaching Special Needs Children" led by our Special Needs coordinator.  I went because I know there is a need for more helpers in there and I thought perhaps if I got some training, I could help out.  WRONG.  Teaching these precious special needs children takes a very special, patient, sensitive, creative person.  There is just too many things that would make me crazy, I am not the type to do this.  Number one, you MUST be flexible and able to "go with the flow" and "think quickly."  I am a planner and much too organized to be able to handle this. 

They can't use food in there because of all the different allergies the children have.  No candy.  Playing at the water table for any lesson involving water is their favorite activity.  In fact, one boy brings a change of clothes for these days!  Each has an individual "reward" system for behaving well.  For example, one boy gets to play with his favorite toy at the end, and another boy gets to feed the fish, etc. 

They can't have playdoh, again because some of the children are allergic to one or more of the ingredients so they use shaving cream instead.  I can just picture the mess which is also something that I have an aversion to.

It seems all of the children have different quirks so the workers have to be very watchful.  One child likes to put stuff in his mouth all the time.  One day, they were doing a craft with cotton balls and discovered this kid ate them!  Whoa!  One child is very sensitive to noise so if he's there, they can't use the music or sound affects that they planned to go with the lesson.  Another kid really responds well to sounds but has some other thing that bothers him.  The biggest challenge for the workers is getting to know how each child learns best and trying to incorporate teaching methods that cover all the different learning styles represented on any given week.

Sometimes they spend the whole first hour just trying to calm down the children so they are ready to learn something the next hour.  Oh, and the age range is from 3 to 12!  What is really most helpful is to have a teaching ratio of 1:1.  Plus, you never know when someone is going to have a seizure or a major meltdown and they need to get the parent.

I knew this would be a tough class, but didn't realize just how challenging it was until I attended this workshop.  It blew me away!  Now I have resolved to pray especially for this class on Sunday mornings.  I would be so on edge and stressed out working in this classroom and yet, some of the older children do come in to help with the kids.   Thank God for them! 


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Friday, February 1, 2013

6 Things We Learned This Week (news, money)


Friday Fragments is hosted my Half-Past Kissin' Time for bloggers to post a list of short things on their minds that aren't really enough for a whole post. Here we go:

Super Bowl

Wouldn't it be nice to have the day after the Super Bowl off every year? Over at NFL Gridiron Gab's post Would You Want A Day Off After The Super Bowl? I discovered there's a petition to make Super Bowl Monday a national holiday!

Each ref at the Super Bowl makes $1 million!

Too Hot!


According the Sports Illustrated, tennis players at the Australian Open played when the temperature was 140 degrees! I didn't know it got that hot in Australia and can't imagine doing anything outside in that kind of heat. I don't even enjoy playing tennis when it's over 88 degrees!

Omar

Omar Vizquel, former Indian outstanding shortstop has his first coaching job with the L.A. Angels as an infield coach. I sure hope he gets to coach in Cleveland at some point--I think he'd make an excellent coach!

Funniest News of The Week

When playing FreeKibble yesterday, I learned that a cat outperformed professional investment managers by throwing a mouse toy on a grid of numbers representing different companies!

Killer Cats


How many birds do you think were killed in the USA by outdoor cats? In USA TODAY Gerard found this tidbit: Outdoor cats kill 1.4 billion to 3.7 billion birds in the USA each year! Poor birdies. I wonder whose job it is to count. Who is reporting on these killer cats anyway?

Deer


Also in USA TODAY this week, Gerard read that You can get 60 days in jail and a $500 fine if you befriend a deer. How goofy is that? I wonder who came up with this crazy law.

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