Moving Sale! Selling a House is a Pain in the…

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So…my husband and I are in the process of selling our home and looking for a smaller, less expensive place. We simply don’t need a big house with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full basement, and lots of other room just for the two of us. I have quickly learned that getting a house ready to sell is a nightmare in some ways though! Here are a few things we are dealing with:

*This past weekend we had a moving sale. Man, that was rough! Getting stuff ready for the sale, dealing with all the people the day of the sale (two of which got in a heated exchange over a tea cart they both wanted), having people trying to wander off and take stuff from parts of the house that were NOT for sale (one even took a couple pictures off the wall), having to get the leftovers ready for charity to pick up, and throwing out my back so that now, two days later, I can barely do anything.

*My idea of clean is obviously not a realtors idea of clean. I am not an extremely dirty person, in fact, I’m normally quite organized, but I am kind of bad about dusting, washing windows, and other stuff like that I simply don’t think of much. I also tend to have to pick what tasks are most important due to my health problems, so when I do clean, obvious messes, stains and frequently used areas get first priority.

*Having four cats makes it really rough to get a house in showing shape. They constantly make messes, and get cat hair in every square inch of the house.

*Apparently, when showing a house you have to “stage” everything. I’m supposed to take a normal, lived-in home and make it look like the showcase floor of a furniture store or something. Not enough furniture = bad. Too much furniture = bad.

*I never realized there were so many things wrong with our home until seen through the eyes of a realtor! Other people often comment that our house is really nice, but after listening to the realtor, I felt a little bit like I was living in a shanty or something.

*Trying to fix the timing so that we will have a new home to move into at the same time we find a buyer for our current home is stressful. Really hoping we don’t end up having to live in a motel or something in between!

Things I’ve Learned Recently

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Hello everyone! This post is just a little check-in to say hi and let you all know what I’ve been up to. I figured I would make it more interesting by focusing on what I’ve learned recently from this unpredictable thing we call life.

  • After working on a book about nutrition for a freelance client, I’ve realized how much I DON’T know about what is really healthy and how much my own diet could use an overhaul. Unfortunately, I’m still a sucker for anything sweet, which throws a wrench into those plans!
  • I’ve learned how much traumatic experiences from childhood can affect our adult lives and our physical health. It is a fascinating subject, especially if you were put through a lot of crap growing up. I would recommend the book “Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology, and How You Can Heal” (written by Donna Jackson Nakazawa) to anyone interested in such subjects.
  • I’ve learned that it is ridiculously expensive to treat a cat for diabetes 😦
  • I’ve realized that our current culture is engaged in a war on free speech and free expression in many ways. Both those from the extreme left and the extreme right often seem to want to silence dissenters. The same can be said of some companies and many governments. What I thought was once only an issue in communist, dictatorial or radical religious countries is proving to be a much broader problem.
  • YouTube is full of warped trolls (ok, I didn’t really just learn that one, but I’ve been reminded of it several times recently).
  • And lastly, if you are going to date naked, have some confidence!

Dear Einstein, A Letter to a Beloved Lost Pet

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Dear Einstein,

I’ve been dreading this for years. I knew when I chose to have so many cats that I would someday likely have to make a decision about whether to artificially extend one of your lives or try to save you from enduring unnecessary pain. Even so, when the decision had to be made, it was no easier, even though I had said for years that I would rather have to put one of you down than to see you suffer needlessly. This is the first time I have had such power over the life or death of a loved one and I hope it will be the last, although I know it probably won’t.

To be honest, you have been kind of a pain in the butt for most of your life. As a kitten you were a holy terror who had amazing powers of destruction. As an adult, you were a grumpy, angry cat who would often give a warning bite when petted the wrong way (pretty much anywhere but around the head). You were fun to tease because your reaction would be over the top within seconds. All I had to do was walk within a couple feet of you and you would start growling in annoyance. You were definitely the alpha male in this house and constantly reminded us of that fact. You reminded everyone of a regal lion, both in dignity and in your attitude of entitlement.

As we sat in the veterinary emergency room, making a decision about your fate, one of the vet techs came in and told us what a sweetheart you were. We laughed and said “she really doesn’t know you well, does she?” The fact that anyone would think that, told us how very sick you were. To be seen as cooperative and mellow just wasn’t in your nature. As I looked into your sad, blank face with tears running down my own cheeks, I knew I had to let you go. If we fought to keep you alive, you would have been miserable. I know you would have hated the long hospitalization, frequent medical procedures and forced medication.

Even had we went ahead with the treatment, the vet was blunt about the fact that you had six months at most to live and even that was highly unlikely. He told us the cost of treatment in dollars and that was certainly something that would have been a struggle for us, but the true cost to us was the misery we knew we would have to put you through just to keep you with us a bit longer. In good conscience, I couldn’t do that to you, because regardless of how mean and grumpy you could be, I love you with all my heart.

I admire your straightforward, take-no-crap attitude and the fact that you were never afraid to be yourself and stare any enemy down. I admire your intelligence…Einstein was definitely a fitting name for you. I loved the precious moments when you would be uncharacteristically loving and sweet (mostly when you were sucking up or asking for something). I think of you every time I open the door and you aren’t there trying to sneak out. It is these things, these precious memories that I will carry with me now that you are gone. I love you and miss you. Goodbye, my sweet Steiner.

“My Hare Line” picture book series review

“My Hare Line”, the picture book series photographed and written by Patsy M. Henry, is a very unusual group of books.  The concept of the books is based around the experiences that the author has had with her own pet rabbits, which she received after the age of fifty-seven.

As you can imagine, for a couple who had never had pet rabbits before, undertaking the care and raising of multiple bunnies was both a challenge and a delight to Patsy and her husband.  The line of bunnies started with one single white rabbit, simply named Bunny Rabbit.  Bunny Rabbit was a gift from Patsy’s husband for Easter.  In fact, Patsy thought it was just another stuffed animal…but then it started moving!

Soon, Patsy and her husband had an entire group of bunnies.  The book tells the story of how these bunnies changed Patsy’s life for good.  As any loving pet owner can tell you, pets become almost like children to their owners.  We love to watch them grow and play, we hate to see them lonely or suffering, and we agonize over their absence when they are gone from our lives.  With tenderness and compassion, Patsy shares her experiences, both good and bad with her beloved bunnies.

This book deals with some very profound issues, such as death and the brutality of nature, but it shares them in a way that will not frighten or upset children.  This would be a great series to share with your children, especially since the story gives you a great opportunity to talk about any losses that your children have experienced themselves, such as the death of a pet or grandparent.

Normally, I would write an in-depth review of the illustrations, but this series uses real-life photos instead of drawings.  The photos are of excellent quality and will help the children who read this story to really relate to the characters since they can watch them grow and change.  Honestly, the idea of using the photos was brilliant in this case.  I don’t think the story would be nearly as captivating without them.

To find out more about the “My Hare Line” series, please visit the author’s website, http://patsymhenry.tatepublishing.net/.  There you will find more information about the books, the author and the places where the book can be purchased.  There is also a facebook page for the series, which you can find here.

4th of July, Sinus Infections, Sick Kittens and Diarrhea Duty

My husband with Po Poe Mao. See what I mean about the crazy eye whiskers?

The last week has been kind of crazy.  We took home two abandoned kittens and tried to nurse them back to health.  The sickest one didn’t make it despite our best efforts, but the healthier one is now a part of the family.

We named the new little one Po Poe Mao (after Po from Kung Fu Panda, Edgar Allan Poe and the Chinese dictator Mao).  I know the name sounds a little like a Chinese dish, but he looks kind of Asian with his weird white whiskers against his black face.  He has white whiskers not only around his mouth, but also above his eyes, so it gives him a unique look.  He is a tuxedo cat which made me happy because I have always loved those and wanted one.

Besides nursing Mao back to health (and cleaning up a bunch of diarrhea along the way), we have also been busy with our normal foster care duties, July 4th festivities and work.  I came down with a sinus and ear infection too, so it’s just been one heck of a good time this week.

We did go to the fireworks last night, but it wasn’t the same without our foster son who has been with us for over two years.  He is now getting weekend visits with his family, so he doesn’t get to do much fun stuff with us.  It’s amazing how attached you can get to someone in two years, even if you are complete strangers at first.

I am also working on revisions for another picture book that may or may not be published soon, and am working out the plot to a new story in my head.  Sometimes the story just writes itself if I let it simmer awhile.  I need to do some book reviews, but probably won’t get around to that until Tuesday at least.  Tomorrow is a holiday, so I’m taking the day off and going to the zoo!!!

To Keep or Not to Keep…That is the Question

Tonight at church we found a couple kittens who had been abandoned in the parking lot.  They were inside a cardboard box, but other than that, hadn’t been left with any necessities.  We don’t know how long they had been there, but they could have been there since Sunday.  The little guys were starving, but more than that, one of them was obviously ill.  We took them home, gave them a bath, fed them and then tucked them in for the night.

Originally the plan was to drop them off at a shelter tomorrow, but now it’s getting harder to do that.  I told myself I WOULD NOT GET ATTACHED, but then we gave them names and took care of them and snuggled up to them…I worry that it won’t be that easy to part with them now.  We need to make a decision soon, after all, one of them really needs medical care, but should we pay for a vet visit or just take it to the shelter and let the vets there heal it?

Now that I think about it, we probably shouldn’t have given them names, because it will only make it MUCH harder to consider giving them up…but on the other hand, we already have three cats…do we really want five?

Here are some photos of these kittens after their bath.  The first two photos are of Ichabod.  He (or she) looks pretty healthy and is a very loving butterball.  The last two photos are of the sick kitty.  He (or she) is severely underweight, and I figure it probably has worms.  This one is tentatively named Mao…but make sure you say it right…like a cat would.

My Day in a Nutshell

Woke up…went back to sleep.

Woke up again…tempted to go to sleep, but had to potty so figured I might as well get up.

Ate some Brownie Crunch cereal (very good by the way) and then showered, where I had a vicious run-in with a spider.

Went shopping.  Realized everything is way too expensive.  Stopped by PetSmart to see the kitties up for adoption, almost took one home that was on death row.  If she’s still there tomorrow, might have to take her home.  They are so desperate to get rid of her that they are willing to take any amount of money to adopt her AND are giving away a large bag of cat food for free to whoever buys her.

Went home, sat down to do some coloring.  It relaxes me…love the Animal Planet coloring book I bought “for the kids”.

Took our foster son to therapy, listened to a preteen scream and throw a tantrum in the waiting room for the entire hour we were there.

Came home, read some, watched some Sesame Street and wrote a book review.

Took some Tylenol.

Ate an Oreo brownie (those things are GOOD!!!)

And that brings us to this very moment, where I am sharing my mundane life with you. 🙂

So how was your day?