Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet. Doggie Dorms. Dog Recall. Found Dog. Cargo Trailer.



With so many of our troops having to be away from home, who takes care of their pets?

"We often hear about heroic warrior dogs that courageously go into battle alongside their human counterparts and assist in the most dangerous missions, including the most recent operation that took down Osama Bin Laden.
But what about the everyday companion dogs that are left at home when their soldier owners go off to fight?  One organization is making sure that those dogs are not forgotten.

Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet was established in January 2005 by founders Linda Spurlin-Dominik and Carol Olmedo after they had learned that many soldiers were unable to find local caretakers for their pets and were relinquishing their dogs to local shelters due to a deployment.  Some get adopted, while others are euthanized due to age or overcrowding.

The two Arkansas residents decided that something had to be done to help these pet owners keep their animal companions safe and cared for while they were away serving their nation. Spurlin-Dominik  understood the needs, as the daughter of  the late Coy H. Spurlin, who served during World War II in the “Battle of the Bulge,” and the widow of John T. Dominik, a Vietnam Era Army Veteran. She has been involved with supporting the military community, veterans, their families, and their beloved pets for more than three decades.

As a result of their efforts, the Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet foster program was born. The program offers current and former military service members the option of placing their pets in one of the more than 2800, pre-screened foster homes across the US for the duration of their deployment or medical leave. Guardian Angels works one-on-one with the military pet owners to find the best-suited pairing for the dog and foster families and ensures the continued care of these companion animals. While the pet owner is still financially responsible for supporting their pet’s food and medical needs, there are no additional costs for the foster care.

The organization has also created a fund for those who cannot afford the continued care of their pet.  On average, pets remain at the designated foster homes for a period of three to eight months, with some situations lasting as long as nine months to a year. “We feel every pet we are able to foster in our program is one less pet in a shelter or rescue group,” said CEO Linda Spurlin-Dominik. “Military families run into the same issues as civilian pet owners do.”

Watch this report for how the organization helped one soldier and his dog:

"Individuals and families that are interested in fostering must go through an extensive application process.  Once approved, the owner and pet from the specified region are introduced to the new foster home.  In an effort to help the organization educate potential foster families on the ins-and-outs of caring for another’s pet, the Millan Foundation recently contributed a “fostering tip sheet” to share with new volunteer foster homes and includes advice from Cesar on how to keep human emotions in check for the betterment of the dog in often very highly charged, stressful conditions.

"We are so grateful to all of you for offering your expertise as we assist our soldiers and their pets," said Megan Summers, the Tennessee Chapter Communications Coordinator. “I cannot thank you enough for it.  I know it will be an awesome tool for us.”

One dog and soldier at a time, Guardian Angels hopes to promote an alternative option for veterans and those currently serving in the military and defer the unwanted surrender of a beloved animal.  “Every pet we have fostered is touching and inspiring in our eyes,” said Linda.

“The reaction of the pets seeing their owners after a yearlong deployment in harm’s way is priceless and our heroes tell us being reunited with their beloved pets assures them that there is one thing that has not changed while they were gone: the unconditional love provided by an animal.” "
From: http://guardianangelsforsoldierspet.org/
Thanks to all the loving foster parents who take care of the soldier's pets.

Doggie Dorms

"The dorm atmosphere is an exciting and fun place for a college student, but the stress of schoolwork and exams may be a little overwhelming at times. So in an effort to help relieve some of the constant pressures of the college environment, Lees-McRae College in North Carolina has decided to enroll a new class of students: dogs.

In January 2011, the Bentley Residence Hall on the Lees-McRae campus officially allowed pets to live on premises with their responsible owners. This is the inaugural year of the college’s Pet Friendly Program, which allows enrolled students to bring their family pets—both canine and other—to live on campus. So far, at least a dozen dogs have joined their student-owners on campus.

“I am so excited that Lees-McRae College has joined the ranks of pet-friendly colleges and universities,” said President Barry M. Buxton in a recent interview. “We love our pets and we recognize that students who are pet owners are generally responsible and caring individuals. We want to encourage pet adoption and awareness that all of God’s creatures are sacred.”

The overall hope of the program is to help students transition into the college setting more easily and engage with their fellow classmates. “These students are able to better adjust to their new environments away from family,” said Deborah Buxton, a Community Liaison Volunteer and wife to President Buxton. “The stress they incur from just being a young adult trying to find their way is greatly reduced when they are able to go back to their dorm room and cuddle with their ‘best friend.’”

Lees-McRae student, Lauren Lampley has brought her two Shih-Tzus, Heidi and Buckley, to the dorm with her. While her dogs offer her solace during stressful times, Lauren also admits that the added responsibilities of caring for them has helped her manage her time more wisely.

“Dogs love routine and need structure, and students need discipline to stay on top of their studies,” Cesar said. “To me, this is a perfect way to encourage students to be responsible and mindful of their time, as long as they remain dedicated pack leaders in both their canine relationships and their education!”
The faculty and staff are also encouraged to bring their dogs on campus—even President Buxton takes advantage of the Pet-Friendly Program by bringing his two dogs Aw Shux and Sweetie to work on the regular.

But the program goes beyond the simple acceptance of dogs on campus. The college is also joining forces with the local shelter, The Avery County Humane Society, and the minimum-security prison in nearby Mitchell County to help establish an adoption/training program for the Lees-McRae student body.
This program hopes to pair adoptable dogs from the humane society with prisoners, who will train and care for the dogs and learn the responsibilities and power of dog ownership.

Once trained, these dogs will then be adopted out to the student body, faculty and staff of Lees-McRae.
“This would be a very positive way to engage our young people in community service and also to help the inmates discover the love of animals, giving them a skill and hope at the same time,” said Deborah. “We could also have adoption clinics for the community on our campus, and create homes for many wonderful dogs.”

The Millan Foundation was impressed by the awareness and work of Lees-McRae College and wanted to support them in their efforts to encourage pet-friendly environments, both on and off campus, with a donation of calendars and DVDs.

“It is absolutely amazing the doors these dogs have opened for us with our students, faculty and staff,” said Deborah. “They are our little ambassadors and they are a source of much good will and happiness.” "
Read more about pet-friendly dorms here.  From: http://www.cesarsway.com/news/dognews/Doggie-Dorms


Make your dog coming to you FUN:

The Recall Command. Learn how to get your dog to come when called. Learn why your dog doesn't come back to you when off leash.


Found Dog needs to find a home:

My neighbor, Linda, found this little female puppy about 6 months ago, running around on I-45 near Conroe. Instead of getting the dog listed as 'Found' on http://www.petharbor.com/  she kept her, as Linda didn't feel like they were very responsible pet parents to let their little dog run loose like that.  Linda has already had quadruple and double bypasses, but now she is waiting for a heart transplant.  Linda's health is deteriorating, so she needs to find the dog a home.

Sassy-3Sassy (Small)   Sassy-2
"Sassy" as she is now called, is a quiet, housebroken Chihuahua looking dog about 5 lb, about 1 year old, and likes to ride.
I have looked in the lost dog section, but it has been six months, and people have to renew their listing every month on Pet Harbor.


This is what Jay and I did in the rear right side of the cargo trailer. 
This is part of the bed frame, but getting to that point was a lot of preparation.Bedframe-started

First, we had to adjust the frame of the back door, so that the door didn't fit so tightly on the top left side.  We made our own porta-power by wedging a 2x4 in the jamb diagonally, and just that 1/8" made all the difference. Jay reinstalled the left brackets, and we installed two more on the right, to keep it like that.
Then we had to put up that back wall piece of paneling, but that took preparation, too.  There are wires running up that corner and above the back door to the top running lights, some of which are not working.  Still trying to make it so that all the necessary wires are accessible for repairs, we ran a wire marked "spare wire"from underneath the trailer up that right corner and across the back.

We can't really check out the running lights properly until I get a new 7-pin pigtail end for the trailer's umbilical cord.   My B+ motor home is still parked in front of it as it has a 7-pin connector, as I used to tow a travel trailer with it.

We also has to screw in some horizontal support in the back wall to anchor the bed frame. Then that panel had to be to be pared down in a couple of places to make it fit right and have the same amount of reveal on the door jamb before we could finally install it.  Then we started on the bed frame, above.

It doesn't look like we accomplished much, but that took all morning.

Taking some time off, as we are going shopping today.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day. Slicing Meat. Support Our Troops. "Every Friday." Cargo Trailer

Before you start hacking on that piece of meat, maybe a look at this will help to make sure it is tender:


"Beef flank steak has a lot of flavor, but it's a very fibrous piece of meat and can be tough if not sliced correctly. Chef Mark Elia of The Culinary Institute of America explains how get the best results. Holding the broiled steak steady with a large fork, find the direction of the fibers running through the steak, then slice across the grain at a 45-degree angle. (Cutting on the bias keeps the meat from being chewy, so it's important not to skip this step.) You also want to keep your slices thin -- chef Elia recommends cutting them no thicker than 1/4 of an inch. Once you've sliced the meat, place it on a serving platter and you're good to go."
Read more: http://www.kitchendaily.com/2010/12/24/how-to-slice-flank-steak/?icid=main%7Chtmlws-main-n%7Cdl3%7Csec3_lnk2%7C214459#ixzz1NnQ4w3M9


Patty Murray on Memorial Day

Memorial Day   Traditional: May 30
Observed: last Monday of May
More at: http://www.usmemorialday.org/

Supporting Our Troops

"There are so many ways of supporting our troops! Here are just a few of our favorite websites that support our troops:  Any Soldier.com  Cell Phones for Soldiers.com   Wounded Warrior.com   Gathering Of Eagles     I Served Sticker "

Memorial Dayimage

"In 1865, Henry C. Welles, a druggist in the village of Waterloo, NY, mentioned at a social gathering that honor should be shown to the patriotic dead of the Civil War by decorating their graves.
In the Spring of 1866, he again mentioned this subject to General John B. Murray, Seneca County Clerk. General Murray embraced the idea and a committee was formulated to plan a day devoted to honoring the dead.
Townspeople adopted the idea wholeheartedly. Wreaths, crosses and bouquets were made for each veteran's grave. The village was decorated with flags at half mast and draped with evergreen boughs and mourning black streamers.

On May 5, 1866, civic societies joined the procession to the three existing cemeteries and were led by veterans marching to martial music. At each cemetery there were impressive and lengthy services including speeches by General Murray and a local clergyman. The ceremonies were repeated on May 5, 1867.
The first official recognition of Memorial Day as such was issued by General John A. Logan, first commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. This was General Order No. 11 establishing "Decoration Day" as it was then known. The date of the order was May 5, 1868, exactly two years after Waterloo's first observance. That year Waterloo joined other communities in the nation by having their ceremony on May 30."
More at: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nyseneca/memorial.htm

We Can All Help

"The Veterans Site is more than a simple, free way to give a homeless and hungry veteran a meal. It is also a vehicle to spread the word that homeless veterans are out there and that they need our help. Together, we have an opportunity to honor and assist our country's homeless veterans and their families.
These men and women were here for us when we needed them. Now it is our turn to reach out to help them."
Please remember to click every day to help veterans in need, and spread the word!

Every Friday At The Pentagon
"I was not aware of this practice until now.  I am pleased that it happens, and am astounded that it does happen,
given the political situation that exists in our government today.
It really breaks my heart to know that we didn't know this goes on every Friday, well at least I didn't know.
Instead, I guess the media feels it's more important to report on Hollywood stars as heroes.
I hope this article gives you a sense of pride for what our men and women are doing for us,
every day, as they serve in the armed forces here and abroad."


"Over the last 12 months, 1,042 soldiers, Marines, sailors and Air Force personnel have given their lives in the terrible duty that is war.
Thousands more have come home on stretchers, horribly wounded and facing months or years in military hospitals.
This week, I'm turning my space over to a good friend and former roommate, Army Lt. Col.. Robert Bateman, who recently completed a yearlong tour of duty and is now back at the Pentagon.
Here's Lt. Col. Bateman's account of a little-known ceremony that fills the halls of the Army corridor of the Pentagon with cheers, applause and many tears every Friday morning. It first appeared on May 17 on the Weblog of media critic and pundit Eric Alterman at the Media Matters for America Website.

"It is 110 yards from the "E" ring to the "A" ring of the Pentagon. This section of the Pentagon is newly renovated; the floors shine, the hallway is broad, and the lighting is bright. At this instant the entire length of the corridor is packed with officers, a few sergeants and some civilians, all crammed tightly three and four deep against the walls. There are thousands here.
"This hallway, more than any other, is the `Army' hallway. The G3 offices line one side, G2 the other, G8 is around the corner. All Army. Moderate conversations flow in a low buzz. Friends who may not have seen each other for a few weeks, or a few years, spot each other, cross the way and renew.

"Behind him, and stretching the length from Rings E to A, come more of his peers, each private, corporal, or sergeant assisted as need be by a field grade officer.
"11:00 hours: Twenty-four minutes of steady applause. My hands hurt, and I laugh to myself at how stupid that sounds in my own head. My hands hurt. Please! Shut up and clap. For twenty-four minutes, soldier after soldier has come down this hallway - 20, 25, 30.. Fifty-three legs come with them, and perhaps only 52 hands or arms, but down this hall came 30 solid hearts.

"They pass down this corridor of officers and applause, and then meet for a private lunch, at which they are the guests of honor, hosted by the generals. Some are wheeled along. Some insist upon getting out of their chairs, to march as best they can with their chin held up, down this hallway, through this most unique audience. Some are catching handshakes and smiling like a politician at a Fourth of July parade. More than a couple of them seem amazed and are smiling shyly. 

"There are families with them as well: the 18-year-old war-bride pushing her 19-year-old husband's wheelchair and not quite understanding why her husband is so affected by this, the boy she grew up with, now a man, who had never shed a tear is crying; the older immigrant Latino parents who have, perhaps more than their wounded mid-20s son, an appreciation for the emotion given on their son's behalf. No man in that hallway, walking or clapping, is ashamed by the silent tears on more than a few cheeks. An Airborne Ranger wipes his eyes only to better see. A couple of the officers in this crowd have themselves been a part of this parade in the past.

"These are our men, broken in body they may be, but they are our brothers, and we welcome them home. This parade has gone on, every single Friday, all year long, for many years. ""
"Everyone shifts to ensure an open path remains down the center. The air conditioning system was not designed for this press of bodies in this area.
"The temperature is rising already. Nobody cares. "10:36 hours: The clapping starts at the E-Ring. That is the outermost of the five rings of the Pentagon and it is closest to the entrance to the building. This clapping is low, sustained, hearty. It is applause with a deep emotion behind it as it moves forward in a wave down the length of the hallway.
"A steady rolling wave of sound it is, moving at the pace of the soldier in the wheelchair who marks the forward edge with his presence. He is the first. He is missing the greater part of one leg, and some of his wounds are still suppurating. By his age I expect that he is a private, or perhaps a private first class.
"Captains, majors, lieutenant colonels and colonels meet his gaze and nod as they applaud, soldier to soldier. Three years ago when I described one of these events, those lining the hallways were somewhat different. The applause a little wilder, perhaps in private guilt for not having shared in the burden ... Yet.
"Now almost everyone lining the hallway is, like the man in the wheelchair, also a combat veteran. This steadies the applause, but I think deepens the sentiment. We have all been there now. The soldier's chair is pushed by, I believe, a full colonel.
From: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2007/05/23/16478/a-must-read-for-memorial-day-52307.html  

Friday Mornings at the Pentagon By JOSEPH L. GALLOWAY  McClatchy Newspapers


Ray painted things, while Jay and I measured and cut things for the cargo trailer.

We have most of the dinette done.
All the tops can be lifted up to get to the storage underneath.  We carefully matched up the paneling to line up with the paneling on the walls.

As some people have shown an interest in the progress of this cargo trailer, I have added an album on the left side, adding to it as we go.  Thank you for looking.

When Ray was caught up with his painting and waiting for us to stop fiddling with the dinette, he painted that great big Texas Star that came off the cargo trailer.   We are going to hang it over my garage door, so he painted it the same color as the trim on the house.

Front-not-finished The outside isn't finished yet, but this is the way it looks now, the hidden AC is behind that vent.

There was a big tear in the siding, covered up by that big yellowy plastic, so that was the logical place to put the AC.

We are having a bit of trouble with the back cargo door on the top left hand side, it fits too tight.  Jay took off the door stop, undid the brackets, covered the metal with a board, whomped it with a mall, and that helped a bit. 

It was starting to get hot, and late for lunch, so we will do more to that another day.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Massive Natural, Environmental and Economic Disasters First Half of 2011. Cargo Trailer. Graduation Celebration and Dog In Hot Car.

"Jesus Christ predicted "earthquakes in various places" before His return to earth to set up the Kingdom of God. The Greek word translated "earthquakes" in the original language means "tumults," which can refer to any kind of environmental or human disaster.
So far 2011 has been a year of gargantuan natural tumults that have devastated broad areas of the world's greatest, most advanced nations and caused enormous global economic impact. In a virtually continuous explosion, today's headlines push out the headlines of last month's disasters before the full story is in on any one of them."

Massive flooding in Oceania
Trapped woman on a car roof during flash flooding in Toowoomba 2.jpg
A woman trapped on the roof of her car awaits rescue during the Toowoomba flash flood
"January's torrential rains and floods throughout the southern hemisphere inundated so much of Australia that government officials quickly acknowledged it as the greatest natural disaster in the nation's history. Queensland alone had floods the size of South Africa, with preliminary estimates of $10 billion in losses. That was without counting the impact on the enormous coal and coking operations, 90 percent of which were disrupted, and accounted for most of the immediate 20 percent rise in world coke prices. Coke is essential for manufacturing iron and steel products. Australia is the world's leading coal exporter.
As the floods spread south to New South Wales and Victoria provinces, the total area flooded was the combined size of Germany and France. The flood destroyed major parts of Brisbane, a metropolis much larger than New Orleans with scenes of devastation similar to Hurricane Katrina.
Simultaneously, 5,000 miles to the west, rains rampaged much of Sri Lanka's countryside, wiping out 21 percent of the rice crop. The same week, flash floods killed 626 in Brazil.

2011 defined by earthquakes

A woman walks past the rubble from collapsed buildings after an earthquake Feb. 22 in Christchurch, New Zealand.

"New Zealand's February earthquake flattened much of Christchurch, center of the region's population of 500,000. New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key observed, "We may be witnessing New Zealand's darkest day."
Japan's March 11th earthquake was the greatest in Japan's history and one of the greatest recorded in world history. The 24,000 death toll would have been much greater were it not for that nation's amazing social cohesion, high building standards, preparedness and ability to contain the ongoing nuclear disaster. But the 30-foot tsunami rolling over the coastal landscape is being followed by a tsunami of economic consequences for Japan and potential worldwide economic disruption.
Like a tsunami watch, analysts and central bankers are surveying the tides of capital flows, watching to see if the shock suddenly surfaces like a tsunami in capital markets in New York, London and the interconnected web of the global system of capital markets. Japan's earthquake disaster is far from over."

North America not excluded from disaster

A graph of the 2011 United States tornado count as of May 24
A graph of the 2011 United States tornado count as of May 24

"April's outburst of tornadoes in the American South and Midwest is the most devastating in American history. In fact, the recent volume of tornado activity defies explanation by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the official weather service of the United States and the most sophisticated on the planet. This April's total of more than 600 tornadoes far exceeds the monthly average of 125. On April 25th, there were 305 tornadoes in 24 hours, resulting in yet uncounted billions of dollars in damage and an estimated 100 deaths.
The NOAA website states: "It should be noted, due to the extreme nature of the tornado activity this month, that it will take several months for the count of tornadoes and tornado-related fatalities/injuries to be finalized. Numbers reported here will likely change in the coming months. A special report on all of the extreme weather and climate conditions of April 2011 will be released by early summer 2011.''
The insurance industry is likely to sustain billions in losses from the disaster. But even this is only the beginning of economic impacts on the United States. As part of the weird North American weather pattern, excessive rainfall combined with continent wide snow melt has led to flooding in the vast Mississippi River system similar to Australia's in January, flooding millions of acres of prime cropland just as planting of essential grains was to be completed.
And most recently a massive tornado swept through the city of Joplin, Missouri, killing over 130 people and causing massive damage. While Joplin is no stranger to tornados, the size and ferocity of this one was both unusual and horrifying. (This brought the tornado death toll to over 500.)
Where does this all end? This may only be the storm before an even bigger storm of geopolitics in the Middle East and Europe. The unprecedented scale of these natural disasters certainly constitutes "tumults" as Jesus predicted.
Throughout these events, millions have prayed daily for relief, bringing meaning to the words of Christ to His followers: "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." Before the Kingdom comes, those words will be prayed by countless millions more.
Massive natural, environmental and economic disasters have defined the first half of 2011. Bible prophecy identifies events like these as one of the identifying signs of the end times. Where will all these things lead?
These natural disasters certainly constitutes "tumults" as Jesus predicted."
From: http://www.ucg.org/commentary/2011-year-tumults/


Ray came to do some more painting in the cargo trailer.  I showed him what Jay and I had built the day before, and where to paint, so he could carry on without me, which he can, anyway.  I had just taken a shower and colored my hair, so I didn't want to get all hot and dusty out there, as I was leaving soon.    Yes, we are still in a drought.

My destination was a celebration luncheon for my granddaughter's graduation.  She graduated the night before, but the ceremony was in Huntsville, TX, and I don't do dark, so she knew I wouldn't be going to that.
I had a couple of stops to make in our little town before getting on the freeway.  I needed to get some more Exclusive dry cat food for the kittens from the feed store.  They were out of the smaller bags, so I bought them some Taste of The Wild.  As I mix their food with other brands all the time, it won't hurt them to have a change of food, as they will still be eating half of the other brand that they are used to.
Then as an added gift, I bought Michelle a bottle of softgel 1200mg Calcium with 1000 mg of D3 , and a bottle of softgel Vitamin A with Omega 3.  I had taken an extra pretty bag with a bow on it for those, on which I wrote that I wanted her to be healthy and happy, because I loved her, and when she ran out that I would buy her more.  Like a lot of young folk, I know she doesn't eat right.

The I-45 was packed with southbound traffic on it's way to Houston, or further south to Galveston.  Being a local person, I went east over to SH 75, and went south on it … just like the rest of the locals, I found out!  I am not used to being out on a Saturday afternoon.  In fact I don't go anywhere in the hot summer afternoons, if I can help it.

It was a very hot sunny day, 95 deg., but when I arrived at the Mexican restaurant which had no shade in the parking lot, I could hear a dog whimpering in a car.  So I went inside, hugged my granddaughter, and then tried to find out who the dog belonged to.  It was a member of our big celebration party, who had driven down from Dallas.  He seemed annoyed that I mentioned the dog, and huffily walked out to his truck muttering that the dog was fine, and he had just checked on it.  The windows were only down about 1-1/2 inches on each side, so the dog was panting hard, and it's tongue was hanging out longer than it's Chihuahua nose.  The man showed me that the dog had water, a little tiny metal container that must have been so hot that the dog couldn't drink it.  I didn't say anything, but I could see he didn't appreciate my presence, so I went back inside, but I heard him start the truck. Maybe he finally realized how distressed the dog was.  He didn't come back to the table for a long time.  I was so sorry for the poor little dog.   

The many tables were placed in a U-shape, and I was at the head table across from my granddaughter and her boyfriend.
Jimmy, Michelle and-me.Michelle's-grad-party-2011
Michelle& Cory. Grad.2011

Left: Michelle and Cory.

Right: Jimmy, (Michelle's older brother),  Michelle, and me.

The waiters brought us big serving plates of great food to pass around, including chicken and beef fajitas.  As long as they kept the guacamole coming, I was happy. 

My son Kevin, Michelle's father, was not invited, but he did go to the graduation in Huntsville, which was quite a trip for him.  Probably just as well he wasn't at the luncheon, as he is miffed at Michelle's mother, Becky.  She got the school to hold Michelle back a year, so she could get another year of child support!  Kevin had already bought Michelle a car and other things.

Michelle's little brother, CarsonMichelle's little brother, Carson, was a good, well behaved  little boy as usual, he will be 2 years old on 4th. July. 

A while later, the dog owner asked me if I had called the police.  Someone had, but not me, though I had thought about it.  That is why he hadn't come back to the table for so long.  If the silly sod lives in Dallas, he should know that it is illegal to leave a dog in a hot car in TX.   He should have had more sense anyway, I could tell he was a bit stupid, no one in TX likes hot leather seats!!  
People should be more prepared when they travel with an animal, if he had had a carrier, I am sure the restaurant would have let him leave the dog in that outside cool covered enclosed patio, behind Michelle and Cory, as no one was in there.  When several of the party went outside for a smoke, I saw that he had turned the truck around, so that the windshield wasn't getting the full brunt of the sun, and the motor and AC was running.

A great time was had by all, and I saw some of Michelle's relatives on her mother's side, that I haven't seen for a while, even though they live near me on another part of Lake Conroe.
Another of her relatives said that Michelle looks like me, maybe she will in another 50/60 years!

So it was hugs all around, and that ended a wonderful day.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

News: 'The Disasters Just Keep Coming'. Identifying Victims. Dog Survives Tornado. Obamas in Europe. Cargo Trailer. Kittens.

Red Cross, Other Relief Groups Spread Thin: 'The Disasters Just Keep Coming'

Red Cross
"Confronted with an unprecedented string of tornadoes, floods and wildfires, the American Red Cross and other relief groups are scrambling to raise money fast enough to meet the demand for help.

"The disasters just keep coming," said Red Cross spokesman Roger Lowe, reporting that the organization has spent $41 million thus far responding to the seven-week onslaught while raising $33.6 million to cover the costs.
Those figures were tallied before the latest violent storm system rampaged through a wide swath of the Midwest starting late Tuesday.

No single one of the recent disasters – not even the cataclysmic tornado in Joplin, Mo., on Sunday – poses a challenge on the scale that the Red Cross confronted after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. However, Red Cross officials said the period that began March 31 is unique in their memory for the sheer number of major natural disasters in such a short span.
During that period, the Red Cross has launched 29 separate relief operations in 22 states, responding to wildfires in Texas, flooding along swollen rivers, and the rash of tornadoes that have killed more than 500 people. More than 9,200 Red Cross disaster-responders have been deployed; they've served more than 2.1 million meals and snacks, and opened more than 200 shelters.

Lowe said costs are running high in part because of the long-term effects of many of these home-destroying disasters. For example, he said 93 people were still living in Red Cross shelters in Alabama, where tornadoes wrecked their homes a month ago.

"The public truly has been very generous, but the series of tornadoes and floods is really stretching our resources," Lowe said. "The fundraising is not keeping up with our extended needs, and we don't know how long we need to be providing shelter, food, mental health assistance.""
More at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/26/red-cross-disaster-relief_n_867619.html?icid=main%7Chtmlws-main-n%7Cdl2%7Csec3_lnk3%7C214395

Joplin Tornado: Officials Work To Identify The Deceased And Reduce Number Of People Missing

Joplin Tornado Deaths

"JOPLIN, Mo. — The death toll from the massive tornado that devastated Joplin, Mo., reached 132 Friday, a city spokeswoman said, while the state worked to pare down the list of people missing and unaccounted for since the storm.
Joplin city spokeswoman Lynn Onstot confirmed to The Associated Press that the death toll had risen by six from the previous day, shortly before state officials announced that the missing list had been trimmed to 156 people.
Officials were working around the clock to account for everyone on the list, Missouri Department of Public Safety deputy director Andrea Spillars told a morning news conference.
Spillars said at least 90 people on the original list had been located alive. But at least six were identified as among the dead, and some new names had been added to the scroll of the missing.

Authorities had said they believed many of the missing were alive and safe but simply hadn't been in touch with friends and family, in part because cell phone service has been spotty. But they also cautioned that they believed some of those originally listed may have been killed in the storm.
Search and rescue crews remained undeterred, with 600 volunteers and 50 dog teams out again."
More at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/27/joplin-tornado-death-toll-identify-deceased_n_868035.html

Tornado Dog Crawls Home On Broken Legs Almost 3 Weeks After Deadly Alabama Storm (VIDEO)
"If a tornado picked you up, threw you across the sky, and set you down in an unfamiliar place far away from home, and you broke two legs in the process, could you find your way back? That's exactly the incredible story of Mason, a terrier mix in Alabama."

"This little guy makes the animals from Homeward Bound look like they achieved nothing.
Almost three weeks after deadly tornadoes ripped through Alabama, this dog finally returned home. With two broken legs.

Mason was blown away during the storms. He had been hiding in a garage when the storm picked him up and blew him away on April 27th.   Perhaps most astounding was the extent of Mason's injuries.
"They've not been able to be in alignment so neither one of them have healed, so he had to crawl on two broken legs to get home," said veterinary Dr. Barbara Benhart.     "This is probably the most dramatic we've seen as far as an injury in an animal that's survived this long," said Phil Doster, an animal-shelter worker.

The owners had all but given up on finding the dog when they returned home on Monday, but there he was, sitting on the front porch. The distance and lengths he traveled to get home remain a mystery."
From: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/25/tornado-dog-crawl-home-alabama-storm_n_867125.html

My thoughts:  The owners must be in dire straights, as they turned this faithful little doggie over to the shelter, I hope that is only temporary!

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President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama in Europe.

In Ireland:
"Hello Dublin. Hello Ireland. My name is Barack Obama, of the Moneygall Obamas, and I've come home to find the apostrophe that we lost somewhere along the way.
Someone once said broken Irish is better than clever English. So here goes; Ta athas orm le bheith in Eireann - I am happy to be in Ireland! "

In England:
"President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama continued their European adventure on Tuesday, arriving in London to meet the royals...including Prince William and Duchess Catherine of Cambridge!"
If you are interested in a minute by minute account of their visit, here it is:


Then On To Poland.    Obama Poland Trip Strengthens Ties
Obama Poland
WARSAW, Poland — "President Barack Obama on Friday honored the memories of those slain in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising against Nazis, telling one elderly man that the memorial was a "reminder of the nightmare" of the Holocaust in which 6 millions Jews were killed."
More at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/27/obama-poland-trip-strengt_n_868213.html

Jay and I tackled the covering of the cargo trailer's back door jamb with metal.  Ray and I had already pre-formed it over a 4x4.
Here it is installed over the top of the jamb:


Then, the hinge side with the stop installed:
Metal trim around door jam

We had to keep on closing the door, as we were installing it, to make sure it all fit properly.

Once Ray gets the door stop puttied and painted, it should look good.

Two days ago, I had to change the orphan kitten's diet.  Since they were weaned from the bottle, they have been eating Science Diet dry and canned food like little gannets, but were still skinny.   I had never fed Science Diet before, as it doesn't have the best ratings, but I bought it on sale!  The veterinarians push it because of their commission.

Pebbles-eats-well-but-skinny When I picked them up, they just didn't seem to have substance.  They eat like crazy, and poop like crazy, as if their food is just going through them.  They have been on a de-worming schedule, so it is not that. They have dry food available all the time, and canned food 4 times a day!  I have raised a lot of kittens, and never had this problem before.

For now, I had to change them to 'Exclusive' Dry cat food, and the same canned cat food which is the only one finicky Prime will eat, as that is what I had. 
Not the best, so more research is needed.

As soon as I changed their diet, they seem to be more playful, and tearing around more than they did.

Unsuccessfully, I tried to capture a picture of Precious 'killing' a stuffed toy yesterday.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Do You Want Angiogenesis With That? Obesity. Feral Cats. Cargo Trailer.

How is Angiogenesis Important for Health?    "Angiogenesis, the growth of new capillary blood vessels in the body, is an important natural process in the body used for healing and reproduction. The body controls angiogenesis by producing a precise balance of growth and inhibitory factors in healthy tissues." More at: http://www.angio.org/ua.php


William Li: Can we eat to starve cancer?

William Li heads the Angiogenesis Foundation, a nonprofit that is re-conceptualizing global disease fighting.

Full bio and more links


"William Li presents a new way to think about treating cancer and other diseases: anti-angiogenesis, preventing the growth of blood vessels that feed a tumor.

The crucial first (and best) step: Eating cancer-fighting foods that cut off the supply lines and beat cancer at its own game."




"Obesity is a disease now linked to angiogenesis. Adipose tissue is highly vascularized, and angiogenesis promotes fat expansion by supplying fat cells with oxygen and nutrients. Fat tissue itself contains many promoters of angiogenesis, including angiogenic stem cells. Laboratory studies have shown that inhibiting angiogenesis in obese mice decreases their weight to normal levels. Obesity increases the risk of various cancers. Obese individuals have increased levels of proangiogenic factors that may contribute to tumor growth."

More at:  http://www.angio.org/understanding/diet.php



Angiogenesis is a disease common denominator
"Angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels, is a "common denominator" shared by diseases affecting more than one billion people worldwide. This includes all cancers, cardiovascular disease, blindness, arthritis, complications of AIDS, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, and more than 70 other major health conditions affecting children and adults in developed and developing nations. Our vision is that angiogenesis-based therapies are a unifying approach to disease and will have the same impact in the 21st century that antibiotics had in the 20th century. " 

From: http://www.angio.org/understanding/disease.php



Dog's tale of survival opens door in cancer research


"Navy's cancer was back. Marion Haber knew that her golden retriever pup was going to die if she didn't act fast.

"Without surgery and treatment, Navy would have had three months to live," says Haber, a fourth-year student at the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine in Boston. But traditional treatments, such as amputation, chemotherapy and radiation, would have meant Navy, then only 18 months old, wouldn't be able to swim at a nearby lake or go for long walks.

So Haber opted for an experimental treatment that eliminated Navy's cancer within 10 weeks without any of the side effects associated with traditional therapies.


Haber had first found cancer in Navy's chest while practicing examinations on the dog in September 2000. That tumor was removed by a surgeon, who to be on the safe side removed extra tissue and five ribs, replacing them with three prosthetics. When the tumor appeared on Navy's leg just weeks after the surgery, Haber knew that was very bad news. That's when she sought the anti-angiogenic treatment.

Navy's treatment began on Christmas Day 2000. By early March 2001, her veterinary oncologist could not find a trace of cancer. "That's a remarkable achievement, for the dog to have no side effects and the tumor be gone," says Judah Folkman, the father of angiogenesis.  Today, 10 years later, all traces of her cancer are gone."  By Erin Kirk, USA TODAY

More at: http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2002-07-24-cover-cancer_x.htm





Another trap sprung!  Ray had set a trap near a clowder of feral cats.  It trapped a feral, and dangerous Mama cat and her two wild kittens.  There is a lady in this subdivision who thinks she is doing the right thing by feeding all these stray cats. Just by looking at them one can see that they are sick and suffering.  At least she is getting them all together so we can do something about it, and protect the area's pet cats from their diseases.   One scratch, bite or contact with their saliva infects other cats with their deadly diseases.

Animal Control picked them up.  In cases like this, they take our trap and return it the next day as it is too dangerous to transfer them into their truck cages. It would be great if folks would just keep their pet cats indoors, they live so much longer.


Then Ray and I cut and formed the metal to trim the back door jamb in the cargo trailer.  Right now it is just bare framing with the metal siding on the outside.  This will cover the jamb and give it a more finished look.  We don't have a metal folding brake, so we hand-bent each side over a 4 x 4.  This made the metal 3-1/2" inside the folds, just right to trim the door jamb, and it will fold over the inside and outside of the doorway.  Once that is up, we can install the back wall paneling over the inside edge of it to cover it up.   


Jay was doing a few alterations to the back door to be ready for the metal, and making sure the door would still close.  The doorway is out of square so we had to insert some custom made thin wedges first, and we will cover them with the folded metal.  He made the thin wedges out of a 2x4 cut on the 3-1/2" side with the table saw.  He also started to cut the framing for the bed in the rear, but that can't be finished until the paneling is up, so everything is waiting on the door jam.


The weather was a lot cooler and less humid, so the cats, Prime and Bobcat, enjoyed being on the screen porch nearly all day.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

RVing With MS. What is MS? MS Can Be Avoided. RV Tips. Ducks. Armadillo. Shopping. "Gas-p"

RV 4 the Cause Interview by RV Education 101

"Patti Shenkman was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2006. After the diagnosis Marty used his professional background as a tax attorney to establish a charity called RV4thecause.
They travel in their Airstream travel trailer educating professional advisers and consumers about estate, insurance, tax and financial planning for those living with chronic illnesses."

Mark Polk with RV Education 101 interviews Marty and Patti Shenkman about their charity "RV 4 the Cause", http://www.rv4thecause.org/            http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/RV4TheCause


What Is MS?


"Almost everyone is infected with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) by the time they reach adulthood. Infection early in childhood typically does not cause severe illness, although infection that occurs in adolescence often leads to mononucleosis."
"The new study shows "that people who are not infected with Epstein-Barr virus do not get MS," Ascherio tells WebMD. "All 100% of people who got MS in our study were infected with Epstein-Barr virus," he says."
From: http://www.webmd.com/multiple-sclerosis/news/20090504/epstein-barr-virus-linked-to-ms

What is it like to live with MS?    Tricia's Story of Multiple Sclerosis

Uploaded by MSPacific on Oct 13, 2006

Update from Tricia on September 17, 2008:
"Thank you all for your kind and encouraging words! When I hear how my story has touched people around the world, I can't believe it!  When the National MS Society put together and posted the video, I was shocked at the response. Now, three years later, people are still watching it, forwarding it and commenting on it - wow!
My son Jake will be 15 this year, he still loves playing baseball and is a freshman in High School. He helps raise money and awareness for our annual Walk MS event,  and this year he's riding in the Bike MS Tour, all to help create a world free of multiple sclerosis. He is my inspiration and I thank God for him every day!
I have good and bad days, but am blessed with family, friends and doctors who support me. I will continue to fight for a cure with my continued dedication through volunteerism and fundraising. I know I speak for many when I say I want to live in a world free of MS.   With Hope and Love,    Tricia Chandler"

 NEW Research Explains 61% of Multiple Sclerosis Cases.

Vitamin D—An Essential Health Factor that Can No Longer Be Ignored

"Previous studies have shown that vitamin D can positively affect MS by altering chemicals called cytokines, which modulate your immune system and can either fight or increase inflammation. Therefore, one of the best things you can do for your health in general is also one of the best preventive strategies against autoimmune diseases like MS -- getting enough regular sun exposure so your body can produce optimal amounts of vitamin D.
Studies have also found that increased dietary intake of vitamin D helps protect against the development of MS, so if you don't have access to regular sun exposure, or a safe tanning bed, you may want to seriously consider oral supplementation with vitamin D3.
One such study, published in 2004, found that women who took vitamin D-containing multivitamin supplements were 40 percent less likely to develop MS than women who did not supplement. Keep in mind that this study was based on FAR lower vitamin D dosages than what we now know are needed, so if you optimize your levels, you're likely to reduce your risk by far more than 40 percent…
There's simply no question that one of the most important physical steps you can take to control your health is to make sure your vitamin D levels are optimized to between 50-70 ng/ml."
More at: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/05/17/american-cancer-society-and-dermatologists-dead-wrong-about-the-sun.aspx  
and: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-13092524
and: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-12847865
and: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21143872

Fire Safety Tip from Mac McCoy
 "A dragging brake can create enough friction to ignite a tire or brake fluid. Some of the worst fires are those caused when one tire of a dual or tandem pair goes flat, scuffs, and ignites long before the driver feels any change in handling.
At each stop, give tires at least an eyeball check. When tires are cool, tap your duals with a club and listen for a difference in sound from one tire to the next. You can often tell if one is going soft."
Learn more about Mac and fire safety.

RV Tips:

"Pay attention to the wind when making a campfire. If it's blowing toward your RV you could end up breathing its smoke later when you go to bed. And be considerate of your neighbors if they are close by: it's not nice to "smoke 'em!""

Don't feed the wildlife:

"If you feed a wild animal, you might as well shoot it afterward because by feeding it you might be killing it, too. When you feed a wild animal, it could become dependent on human food instead of looking for food as nature intended. When winter comes and the tourists are gone, the critter could starve to death." 

Also, what you are feeding them might not be species appropriate.  Such as bread to birds and ducks, it has no nutrition for them.     http://birding.about.com/od/birdfeeders/a/feedingducksbread.htm


Dump your gray water on a thirsty plant

"If you use dishpans, then you can dump your dishwater on a thirsty plant instead of letting it drain away into your gray water tank you can extend your time between dump runs. However, just as you wouldn't dump your whole gray water tank on the ground, find a diffDay 231: Watered Plants With Dish Watererent bush well away from your campsite and the previous spot each time you dump your dishwater. It will be better for the plants and will not turn the campsite into a smelly swamp." 
Tent campers do it all the time.
"I used some of the water from washing the dishes to water my plants."
More at: http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/54/

If it is illegal where you are, then use the dish water for flushing, to make your fresh water go further.



When I drove down to get Jay, I found out that he had caught an armadillo in the trap he had set for feral cats.  I wish he had told me, then I would have driven the Puddle Jumper instead of the van, as we keep a sheet of cardboard in the back of it.  I managed to find some newspaper, before he put the trap in the back of the van, but it still pooped on the way to the lake, where we set it free. 
We took it over the bridge to the other boat ramp in another section of the subdivision, so I don't think it will find it's way back.  It is a nice wooded area, so I think it will like it's new home.

Jay and I went into Conroe, and zipped through a few thrift shops before we went to Lowes to buy more lumber for the cargo trailer.  I bought some shorts, a top, a solar calculator, a tiny illuminated optical mouse for my laptop, a sturdy dog dish, and a small hanging rack to keep grocery sacks. Nothing over $1.  Jay just bought a few t-shirts.  Next week when the thrift shops have their end-of-the-month sales we will probably spend more time perusing.

As it was hot and humid, we had to turn on the little 12v.fridge in the van upon leaving Dollar General, or the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups would have melted.  That got the fridge cooled down for the grocery bargains I bought at Krogers.  Organic tamales and real organic butter, for $3!!  Butter is better for you than margarine which has additives, as long as you don't overdo it, like any fat. http://besthealth.com.au/why-butter-is-better-than-margarine/

Gone are the days when I could fill up my big Buick for $4.00!!  Oh, well, I guess that was 30 odd years ago.   After shopping in Krogers we went to their gas pumps. A short while ago it would take $40-50 to fill it up, but even with my 10 cents off, it cost over $75, GASP, to fill up my van yesterday.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

HSUS Big Rig in MO. MI Flood Victims. MI Cats. Safe Places in MI, MO, and AL.

Heading to Joplin to Help Shelter Displaced Pets

Field notes from Missouri and Mississippi  May 24, 2011 Animal Rescue Team

  • The HSUS' big rig is a reassuring sight to people stricken by disaster.

"Since a deadly tornado ripped through Joplin, Missouri, this weekend, the animals there have been in dire need. The HSUS will assist organizations on the ground with animal sheltering starting Wednesday.

The ASPCA is setting up an emergency shelter to take in animals rescued by the Humane Society of Missouri and other groups. The facility will also accept animals brought in by families who are evacuating or are in a temporary shelter themselves.

The HSUS Animal Rescue Team's director of operations, Sára Varsa, is mobilizing for arrival in the next day or two, and we have lined up an HSUS representative to start on Wednesday."

"Our flood relief operations elsewhere in Missouri are complete, as all animals have either been returned to owners or transported to ASPCA shelter partners.  We will continue running the emergency animal shelter in Natchez, Miss., until May 27, when the local agency will assume leadership."

Please donate now to help keep the Animal Rescue Team ready to respond.



Deadly U.S. Tornadoes - Help Now Become of a Fan!

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Rescuing Cats from the Flood.

"Family pets from all over the flooded region in Southern states are waiting to be rescued. The Humane Society of the United States is there, and spent time rescuing cats in Mississippi, where the need is great."




After Katrina, when so many people had to leave their pets behind to die, or wouldn't leave them alone and perished themselves, finally there are Safe Places. 

I know I could not leave mine.  I have enough carriers to house mine and my fosters in an emergency, but who would take me in?


A Safe Place To Go:

"The HSUS rescue team is deployed to Mississippi, Missouri and Alabama after the recent tornadoes and flooding. Now animals from all over the area are being transported to emergency shelters the HSUS is helping maintain."




Firm friends:



I never could understand why people put their cats out at night as that is the most dangerous time for them, but see what this sneaky kitty does:

 Burglar by night:




This is really Winged Wednesday, so I will end with this cute video:




Ray put a coat of primer on the dinette benches that Jay and I built in the cargo trailer, while I tried to tidy up the workshop and put some things away.


It is going to be hot and humid, so I am glad that there is AC in the van as it is shopping day today.