Sunday, December 25, 2011

Peace on Earth...

Merry Merry Christmas to all my Friends and Loved Ones ...
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
May All the Beings in All the Worlds Find Happiness and Peace
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dear Santa...

Lola's first note to Santa~
"Dear Santa, Please bring toys."
So simple and uncomplicated....

Friday, December 16, 2011

Introducing Lucinda

This house was really missing having good cat energy in it. I had thought i would wait till Spring and take in 2 kittens together, just so that they would have each other and not be overwhelmed by all these dogs.

Last Saturday i went to a pet shop to buy some dog toys for the pack for Christmas and saw my friend Mary there. Mary started an animal rescue called Heaven Sent Animal Rescue, that mainly does rescue and adoption work with small dogs. I told her i was not looking for a dog but wanted to find a special cat- one who would feel comfortable around all my dogs. She got this funny smile on her face, bent down and pulled a little black kitten out of a crate under her table and said "Merry Christmas!" This little kitten had been found with her litter mates and some neglected dogs. Mary said this little female was found nursing on a dog! Her 2 siblings were already adopted and so were so many dogs, but little Lucy was still left. She snuggled up in my arms and purred and tried to nurse on my neck. She was mine. A sweet surprise. Still i wondered how she would like living with so many dogs and a free range parrot....

She came to us late Saturday afternoon. I took these pictures on Monday morning.

The dogs LOVE playing with this little kitten, and she doesn't have a minute to be lonely for her own kind.

So, if we do decide to add another cat to our home, it will be because we want to.

But it seems for now, Lucy is happy with her furry family just as it is.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sunday, December 11, 2011

An afternoon at the ballet

For the last 2 years, Bill and i have been taking our Lola to the ballet. She loves music and loves to dance. Last year we went to see The Nutcracker Suite at The Egg in Albany, and today we went to Proctors in Schenectady for the longer version of the ballet.
Here's Lo, resting on the steps going up to the balcony. She wanted her picture taken on the steps decorated with Shrek's face(an upcoming musical) She was a bit annoyed that people were walking in front of Shrek's picture.

And here she is posing in front of a window with old posters from The Wizard of Oz
Once the program begins, photos are prohibited in the theater, but just after the performance Lola took these pictures of me and her Poppy. She even told us how to pose!
Interesting angle!....

And here we are in front of one of the lovely old Christmas trees decorated in the lobby. We had a great time making memories... While i was sitting there listening to the beautiful music from my childhood and watching the ballet, i had Lola sitting on my lap, and i thought of my Grandmother, and how much i wished she could be there with us. She would have loved to be there in the beautiful theater with us watching the performance. And then i realized that just by thinking of her, she was there already...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Stella's got a booboo...

Right around the time our Bella kitty started to decline in her health, Stella came in from the dog yard on three legs. She seemed to be in no pain, so we waited till our vet's office opened to get her in for a checkup. Imagine how surprised and horrified i was when Doc White found she had broken her tiny ankle! She NEVER once cried or carried on. I can only imagine how i would be with a broken ankle! She is one tough little chihuahua! Because Stella has other health challenges, we decided to forgo surgery and to try to splint and cast her foot. She kept the first cast on for 3 weeks. It was a white cast and it had gotten very....funky. So funky and bothersome that she decided to REMOVE the cast herself! So, back to the Vet's office we went. After staying overnight once more, Stella came out of the back room with a beautiful Christmas red cast, with orders that we are to keep this cast on for at LEAST 2 more weeks, and then we will have another exray done and see where we are with the healing process. As Stell is a very determined little dog, i plan to keep her close by and watch her closely in case she decides she wants to remove the new cast.
So, off we went to our local pet store to get her a nice soft sided carrier. This way i can carry her if need be, and still have 2 hands to get things done! It took Stell is few minutes to approve of the new carrier but she got used to being carried this way soon enough.
And as soon as we came into the house and Stella got out of her carrier, she was greeted by her brothers and sisters with glee!
Little Pollyanna, the Motherer of the group, will take good care of her.
Never a dull moment around here....

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thistle Bella

You were my beautiful friend for 20 years.

I keep looking for you to come sit with me in the morning after the dogs go out...

i forgot and started to put food in your dish this morning...

It's always hard to say goodbye to a beloved friend...But a friend of 20 years... It will take me a while to adjust to that...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Late Bloomers

Look what i found blooming in my garden today...Spring pansies. In late November...Go figure...

I'll enjoy the gift from Mother Nature. They are lovely...

Love Note

Look what was waiting for me when i got home today...

(Gumma, Please come back soon. I love U, Lola Stebbins)

I'll keep it forever....

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Piggy Love

Lola and the piggy girls are getting to be good friends.

Here she is with Dolly (her favorite)

Dolly is a bit nervous but when she is with Lola she is calm and steady.

Maggie here is super calm and sweet always (my favorite ;)

We love our piggies!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

From Scratch - Homemade Pizza!

After baking my artisan bread for the last 2 years, i just discovered that i can use the same dough to make my own pizza

and it was DELICIOUS!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Special Love story- Tarra and Bella

I received this news in my mail today from the Tennessee Elephant Sanctuary. It's a very sad day for all of us....

We Say Goodbye to Bella, Tarra's Little Dog

Bella with TarraMy dear friends,

I write to you with very sad news. Tarra's little dog Bella has died. We found her body on Wednesday and have been dealing with the aftermath ever since, trying to work out what happened while we look after Tarra and each other.

We noticed Bella was not with Tarra at breakfast on Tuesday and later that morning she still had not appeared. Tarra and Bella have always spent short periods apart as one goes off exploring briefly on their own, but this longer absence worried us deeply and a search of the property was started which continued into the next day. The search ended tragically when Bella's body was found close to the Asia barn that had long been home to Tarra, her five sisters and Bella. During the time of the search our usually social Tarra chose to remain alone, watched over by concerned Caregivers.

Dr. Scott, our vet of sixteen years, examined Bella for the last time and, with advice from the experts from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, determined the probable cause of death was an attack by animals, most likely coyotes. We have sent off samples to see whether there were any other contributory causes.

Having carefully examined Bella's wounds and the place where she was found, we concluded that Bella had not been attacked near where she was found and neither could she have walked there.

As these investigations were taking place observant Caregivers, even more watchful of Tarra than usual, noticed blood on the underside of her trunk, evidence that pointed us in the direction of what likely happened that fateful night.

The most probable scenario is that during the night Bella strayed from Tarra briefly and was set upon. Tarra arrived too late to save her but was able to stop further damage being done to Bella's body. With deep sadness and deeper wonder we come to comprehend what likely happened next—that Tarra picked Bella up and carried her home.

Further evidence in support of our belief for what happened comes from Tarra herself. After Bella had been found, Caregivers ensured Tarra had every chance to inspect Bella's body before it was buried and to come to terms with her death, as this is an important part of the grieving process for elephants. But Tarra was not interested in either Bella or the group of Caregivers who would normally have drawn our inquisitive Girl to see what was happening.

It was only later when we had pieced together the whole picture that Tarra's behavior at Bella's grave made sense. Our poor, brave, loving Girl knew what had happened to her beloved Bella and, in the dark hours of the night as she carried her body home, had come to terms with her death.

Tarra's sisters will help her through her sadness. Although we cannot take away Tarra's pain immediately or the pain of all those that knew Bella, I do know Bella knew true love and true freedom. It will always be so for animals that find Sanctuary.


We are very concerned for Tarra and the grief she must feel at the loss of Bella. Caregivers are carefully monitoring her during her time of mourning. She still has a healthy appetite, and we are sure she will lean on the support of her elephant sisters, especially Shirley, during this difficult time.

She appears to be doing remarkably well under the circumstances, and we will, of course, keep you informed through updates in the Asian Ele-Diary and in Ele-Notes.

We invite you to visit Bella’s Tribute page, where we’ve shared some memories of the time she spent with us at The Sanctuary, and also read the press release that was just issued.

“Bella, you will live on forever in our hearts. Don't worry, we will continue to look after Tarra, just as you looked after each other.” The Elephant Sanctuary Staff

Memories like these make us smile through our sadness….

Tarra and Bella in the Snow
Tarra and Bella Summertime

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

Jon Katz new book "Going Home"

Jon Katz has been one of my favorite authors for years now. His subject matter, dogs, is also one of my favorite subjects! But his new book,"Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die" will definitely be on my reading list. Gipetto, my 19 year old maltese poodle mix and Thistle Bella my beautiful 20 year old cat, are both showing me that they are getting ready to "go home" soon. I'm sure this book will remind me of what a Blessing my life has been with them in it as my dear friends.
***Warning fellow animal lovers - this little video is beautiful but it will make you cry***

Saturday, October 8, 2011

What the world needs now....

I just made my 400th loan in the 4 years i have been a member, thru It's easy, it's painless and it's amazing! Check it out....

Thursday, September 29, 2011

More to Love...

Meet the Girls..My new little guinea pig friends

This little sweetheart is Maggie, calm and sweet.

and this is Dolly, who is a little shy. They are brand new here at the house, and are getting used to being held and hugged. Seth and Lola will help me raise them. I just couldn't spend one more day without guinea pigs...They really are little bundles of joy.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Knitted bears and Baby hats: Doing what i love...

The kitchen table is cluttered with projects. I've been busy knitting up some big bears, and making knitted and crocheted apple and pumpkin hats for my Etsy shop and Artcentric in downtown Troy NY. Now that the gardening season is slowing down i can get to work on my indoor projects and am getting ready for the cold winds to blow again !I love making baby hats and bears...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Still Harvesting

There aren't as many, and they are not as pretty, but they still taste good! However, we are getting a lot more rain this week and it looks like my plants are starting to give out. I send my gratitude to the tomato fairies!