Tag Archives: cats

Happy New Year – yes, we’re all still here and yes, it’s still madness

Bailey, honing her pillow unstuffing skills

My blogging efforts in the last part of 2011 were lame, I know. I was overwhelmed with sick dogs, barking dogs, fighting dogs, slow computers, and the need to focus writing energies where the money was.

Which means I’m once again chasing page views. From covering “The X Factor” on m Beliefnet blog to my new adventure covering animals & faith at Patheos, I’ve been trying to fit in required writing and researching while managing the dog situation. Which, quite honestly, has consumed almost every waking moment. (And even the non-waking ones; I had a dream recently in which actor Dylan McDermott came over to adopt Bailey. I’m still waiting for him to show up.)

Bandit, not to be outdone, proves he can still unstuff a dog bed and chew a shoe faster than a speeding bullet

So here we are at the start of 2012 and you’re probably wondering how we all are. Well, I’m sitting here trying to type a slow laptop, with no mouse because Bailey has dumped yet another cup of tea on the table where I’m working. I also have very sticky “y”, “n”, “e” and “t” keys, thanks to spilled tea and Murphy stretching his claws out on the keyboard. Yes, you can remove a laptop key but they don’t always go back on so easily.

 Bandit is barking, Bailey is at my feet ready to spring into action should Bandit bark at something interesting. Scout is lying in the kitchen, saving his energy for a round of b-u-b-b-l-e-s, should the opportunity arise. He’s still here, winding down a bit. In fact, we had a rough night.

In fact, I’ve had a year of rough nights. I estimate that from January 22, 2011, when Bailey came home with me, to December 31, 2011, I had maybe 5 full nights of sleep. And that’s a generous estimate. My nights allow for 1 – 3 hours of sleep in a row (that’s the max; since Scout got sick we average about 2 hours at a time). First it was a new puppy who was a wild animal in her crate and needed to go out every few hours until she was potty trained. Now, it’s a sick dog nearing the end of his life.

We still, thankfully, have our daily “Sleepy Nap Time” but I can’t lie on the couch for more than a half hour because it kills my back, hip and knee. I think that’s from that very graceful tumble I took down the stairs a few months ago. My feet slipped out from under me, I went airborne, and WHAM! Landed on my tailbone. I think I whammed my hip, too, so that when I was out with Bandit a few weeks later and he bolted after a cat – he rarely does that, so it was clearly a very special cat – I twisted my ankle. Ta da! Pain in the back, hip and knee.

But I had a really, really grand bruise on my butt for a long time. I mean, Guiness Records worthy in size. Which of course proves that having a grandly padded ass can really be a benefit. Because had I actually been in shape, I most definitely would have broken something.

So you can see how it might be difficult to be creative with all of the barking and fatigue and constant distractions. But on the bright side, Scout – who was given 30 days to live last May – has had 7+ great, normal months, outside of the need to pee every 2 or 3 hours every night. So it’s been a worthwhile trade off.

There you have it: things are pretty much the same as the last time we met. We’re still looking for a home for Bailey – you can read more here. We’re hoping Scout stays as healthy for as long as possible, and when his time comes he goes peacefully in his sleep. (God willing) And I need to go now, because Bandit has stolen my shoes – again.

I’m blogging at Patheos.com

If you’ve been wondering where I am lately, here’s some big news: I’m recently taken over the Heavenly Creatures blog at Patheos.com, where I’m blogging about animals, life and spirituality! It’s a fun new writing opportunity, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to write about something I love and (hopefully) make a little money at the same time. Check out the new blog at http://www.patheos.com/community/heavenlycreatures!

Do-it-yourself photo shoot, Funny Farm style

Think I could use this as a head shot?

Every publication that I write for wants a photo of me to run with my bio. Unfortunately, I take terrible photos. I’ve tried to get darling husband to take a candid picture, but he likes to kneel down and shoot up at his subjects. Which, as you know, makes the object appear larger. Great if you’re a white tail buck. Not great if you’re an overweight, middle aged woman.

I planned to have get a professional shot done, but I used the money I’d set aside for the photo to get highlights in my hair so I’d look pretty for my photo.  I’m not a great financial planner. So sue me.

So today I made another attempt to take a photo of myself using the timer option on my handy dandy camera. I hoped to get one of the animals in there as well. I did my hair, put on make up with care (foundation, blush, lipstick, the whole nine yards). I found a pretty scarf to hide my ugly neck. And I tried to create a semi-acceptable background.

Well, this picture kind of sums up how it went.

Photo shoot, Funny Farm style

I hauled a stool around to set the camera on; I tried to hang a sheet for a neutral background. I ended up with sweat running down my face, my hair frizzing, the cat pulling the sheet down as I put it up. I hauled the kit and kaboodle outside and used the sports mode to take 100 frames in a few seconds, hoping to get one decent frame out of … well, about 400. I cropped this one to show my sister my new highlights; you can’t see Bailey licking my feet.

Pretty highlights that I got instead of paying for a professional photo. By the time I save up enough for the photo, my gray roots will have grown back in.

I was able to salvage a couple of fair snapshots – certainly not professional by any stretch of the imagination. But hopefully one is usable enough for the blogs that needs a picture of me. Personally, I’d like to use the one with Bandit’s big yawn. It’s the best representation of life here at the Funny Farm. But what do you think?

Sheet managed to stay up, Murphy trying to escape. This might be the only photo I can actually use.

It’s been a quiet week here at The Funny Farm

Oh look. Wildlife in suburbia. Isn't that special?

The last time I checked in, Scout had a bloody nose. I’m happy to report that that’s about the last excitement we’ve had here.

Well, that and the possum that was in the yard. That was pretty exciting. David took the dogs out late one night before we headed to bed, and there sitting on the top of the chicken coop was a possum. Pretty, isn’t he? I guess Bandit smelled him but never looked up so the dog’s didn’t actually see the critter. But for days they knew he was there, sniffing and following his trail.

We live in a village on a small lot; we’re literally feet from our neighbors. I have no idea what this possum was looking for or where he came from or where he’s going. Jim the dog catcher said it was probably looking for food; the chicken run is impenetrable, so he guessed this critter (and others like it) are snacking from the birdfeeders everyone has in their yards. Oh goodie. Continue reading

If I was a shoe hound, Kobi Levi would be my favorite designer

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not fashionista. I sit at a computer all day, usually in my pajamas. So fashionable clothes and shoes aren’t high on my priority list.

But sometimes I come across something that makes me wish I was a little more … er … image conscious? Because these are some barking (and meowing) cool shoes:

Miao shoes by Kobi Levi

At first glance, I thought they were dog-themed, but they’re actually cat-themed. And don’t you love the little paw prints on the soles?

Often when photos like this float around the internet, the designer or artist is forgotten about. So I found his blog and wanted to share it with you. The shoes are designed by Kobi Levi, and his blog shows some other great designs. Some are naughty( the XXX series) but are all super clever, including: Continue reading

For once, all’s well at the Funny Farm … or maybe it’s the calm before a storm?

I’m almost afraid to say this out loud, for fear of jinxing the relative animal calm that has descended on us this week. But believe it or not, no one is sick at The Funny Farm.

Excuse me while I go knock on some wood.

Scout, while still dealing with cancer, is doing great. Eating, playing, acting like his normal self.

Bailey’s latest urine culture came back negative, so after more than four months fighting a urinary tract infection, she’s fine. And despite a little bout of barfing and diarrhea this week, she’s clearly feeling much better, as you can see from her video. (She learned how to play ball from her big brother Scout.) 

Bandit is … well, Bandit.

Murphy caught a bat this week, and apparently was none the worse for the wear from that little adventure.

The chickens’ latest stool sample came back with no parasites, so we’re cleared to eat eggs again – after maybe six months of treatment.

In other words … outside of the appointment we have with Dr. Hall next week to discuss managing Bailey’s pain from hip dysplasia, no one needs to go to the vet.

Mark it on the calendar, folks. It’s been a long time.

I go to a new magazine meeting and I don’t even break anything! (But I do use up all of my words & spill something)

I went to a meeting tonight for a new magazine starting in Rochester  – ooo, I’m so excited! It’s Rochester Animal Magazine! And I’ve been asked to do some writing!

The meeting tonight was to talk about the first issue, hand out story assignments, and get the ball rolling. These are professional people who know their stuff; it’s the same publisher that does Rochester Women Magazine.

I tried to be on my best behavior. Honest, I did. But as you know, I rarely go out in public when I don’t: a) hurt myself; b) embarrass myself; c) talk too much; or d) all of the above.

The meeting was held at A Barker’s Dozen, a dog barkery in Webster. Super cool place. But it’s  not a huge place; there were maybe a dozen people there so we settled in around two small tables and squeezed in some chairs. When I sat down on a bench that was in front of a bookcase, Gabriella, who owns the barkery, said, “Just don’t spill the water.”

Water? Water? What water? I thought there might be a bowl of dog water under the bench for her dog Andrea. So I watched where I put my feet and sat down.

About half hour into the meeting, someone noticed that there was a huge river of water running across the floor. Did Andrea the dog pee? Nope. Was the air conditioning leaking? Nope. When Joanne sat down she knocked over the vase of flowers that were on the bench.

Oh, that water! Me and my big butt.

At least I didn’t break anything. I’ve been on a streak this week: four glasses and a bowl. Plus Bailey broke a bowl today. Given the amount of glass (bakery cases) there was potential for some serious damage. People, this is the reason I don’t go out very often.

Well, that and my big mouth.

I read somewhere that women use about 40,000 words a day. Since I’m at home alone most of the time, I save up my words and then, when I go out in public, I use them up. That means that I have a huge store of words, so whenever I open my mouth, words fall out, usually in no particular order and without a filter. And today was no exception.

Fortunately, the meeting was wrapping up just as I was warming up, so I don’t think I embarrassed myself too much. But I still have a bank of works that I need to use. (Happy hour, anyone?)

You can learn more about Rochester Animal Magazine on their website. For the inaugural issue, I’ll be doing a cover story on a local celeb and her pets, and Bandit may even make his magazine debut! This is a super high quality magazine done by folks who are experienced professionals. If you’re interested in advertising, check out the magazine’s media kit.