Monday, January 31, 2011

A Successful Day

So, today I began my diet and exercise plan. I had already starting walking on Saturday and Sunday, but today was the official start of my lifestyle change. I counted my calories today and made some good food choices. I pushed myself to get on the treadmill when I finished supper tonight. I feel really good after getting moving the last couple of days. I have been so lethargic for a while now and zapped of energy. 
I needed to make this change so badly.  I know this was just the first day and I have a long way to go.  It should get easier though after a few days of routine.  I wish it wasn't dark when I get home from work, so I could walk outside. My husband and I need to push each other and motivate each other so we can both succeed, be healthier and feel better. 
So, overall, it was a great start towards my goals of losing 13 pounds and preparing for a 5K in April. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

For my dad

I was thinking back to when I was little or at least a teenager, and the things I haven't thought of in a long time. I know my dad will remember most, if not all of these things.

War Games
The Last Starfighter
Knight Rider
Stuffed Peppers
Joyner's Supermarket
Medoc Mountain
Happy Little Trees
National Geographic
Camel Crickets (!)
Watching thunderstorms on the front porch
Newspaper route
Pool Hall cheeseburgers
Alice's Beauty Shop
Mr.Warren's cats
Mr. Wizard's World

Saturday, January 22, 2011

If you have  not seen this movie, I highly recommend it. I watched it for the second time today, and I love it even more than the first time.  Sandra Bullock gives the performance of her career. This movie will tug at your heart, even if you aren't a football fan. AND it is a true story. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sunday, January 16, 2011

An Incredible Journey

I have always had a pet of some kind.  Growing up, we had dogs, guinea pigs, hamsters, and a rabbit. I spent a lot of my time outside, exploring the yard for anything from frogs and lizards to caterpillars and cicadas. So, as long as I can remember, I've always been a lover of animals and wildlife.  (Although, I admit I never have taken a liking to spiders or stinging insects!). 
Max came into my life when I was about 20 years old.  He was a 5 month old tabby cat who had not been treated very nice in his short life.  He was very timid and nervous around people and would hide for hours if someone new came in the house. A couple of years later, I heard about a litter of kittens someone was giving away. They were 4 weeks old and solid black.  I picked one and named it Sassy, thinking it was a girl. Before I realized it was a male, the name had stuck. My parents got Sassy's sibling, Sheba.
Max and Sassy did not get along at first.  I had to keep them separated for a while. Sassy was so tiny, I was afraid I would lose him.  As time went on, they got used to each other and they got much bigger.
In 2002, I got married and left my cats with my mom for a while, since my husband and his oldest daughter are allergic to cats.  But she later re-married and she couldn't keep them anymore.  So we designated part of our house for the cats and they moved in.
By the time the cats came to live with us, we had gotten a black lab from the local shelter whose picture had been in the newspaper, and was in danger of being euthanized. Mollie was already 10 months old and spayed when we adopted her in December of  2004.  Mollie has always been an indoor dog. We initially decided we wouldn't let her on the furniture.  Well, that didn't last long.  She now lays anywhere she wants, including our bed.  Mollie had to be kept on a leash until we built a fence because she would run like the wind, and when we tried to catch her, she would run farther and faster. Other than the occasional times she has escaped, Mollie has been a well-behaved dog.  She was queen of the house until March of 2009.
I was driving home from work about 6 PM one evening and saw a cardboard box beside the road that was turned on its side. Then I saw the puppies. I knew instantly that someone had abandoned them and I hit the brakes. I pulled over and tried to keep them from running into the road.  I finally managed to get all 3 of them back into the box and carried it to my car.  Keep in mind, I had NO intention of keeping these dogs. I knew I couldn't leave them there and I would take them to the shelter ASAP.  I got them some puppy food and loaded Mollie's doghouse (which she never used) with blankets.  I think I got up several times that  night and went outside to check on them.  The next day, I had to go to work and the shelter didn't open until lunchtime.  I had taken pictures and made a flyer to try to find them homes.  I found out that the shelter wasn't keeping animals more than 72 hours because they had too many.  So, by the 3rd day, I was already getting attached to them, and was only halfheartedly trying to find them homes.
We started trying to name them, just to have something to call them to keep them apart. The little runt of the group was significantly smaller than the other two and looked a little sickly.  My stepdaughter kept calling her Scruffy and the name stuck.  Maggie, who has the most personality of all of them and a very intense stare, was at first nicknamed Trouble.  Gracie is the quiet one, with big brown eyes. She was the cutest puppy, I think, and we temporarily named her Sweet Eyes.
So, needless to say, we added 3 more family members. Mollie didn't like the puppies, and she would show her teeth, but accepted it for the most part.  However, the puppies loved Mollie. They would aggravate her by constantly trying to lick her. Mollie could walk by, and they would instantly lay down and roll over, submissive to her.
Mollie has continued her queen status in the house, but she is very jealous of the puppies. We have to divide our love and attention between all of them now.  Mollie is clearly in charge and will run them down and scold them if she thinks they are doing something wrong.
It has been tough having 6 animals.  The chewing and destructive phase was difficult and costly, as well as keeping all of them fed, medicated, shots, spaying, and containment.  At one point, Maggie and Gracie were climbing our 6 foot fence and escaping.  They wouldn't go too far, but I was afraid of them getting out while we were gone and getting hit by a car, or hurt by another animal. That was a very stressful time.  We eventually got our neighbor to install an electric wire that ran across the top of the fence as well as the bottom to keep them from digging or climbing out.  That has seemed to work wonderfully, although it was tough watching them hit the wire to realize their boundaries.
 We also had a custom doghouse built that matches our house with shingles and a little porch. They can all fit inside comfortably if they need to get shelter from bad weather.  We started letting them come in at night when the temperatures got below freezing, but then it became a habit.  So now they sleep inside with us every night.
There is an occasional fight between the puppies. Scruffy usually starts it,  is always involved, and is the one with the most injuries. Her poor little ears have been bitten so many times, it's no wonder she always has one ear up and one ear down! Scruffy is our little diva.  She loves to sleep and takes her sweet precious time to eat. She causes me delays every morning waiting on her to finish eating.  But she is a Mama's girl and I can tell by the way she looks at me that she loves me.  My husband will let the dogs in occasionally when we are home and they start looking around to see where I am.  The moment Scruffy sees me is completely priceless.  She almost has a grin on her face and she takes off running to greet me.  That, my friends, is a wonderful feeling that makes me know without a doubt that those puppies were meant to be mine.  I may not get to travel much anymore or afford as much as I want, but my 6 fur babies are worth it.
Mollie is now almost 7 years old, the puppies turned 2 yesterday, Max is 16 years old and Sassy is 14.  Mollie is overweight from lack of exercise and Max has recently been put on medicine for hyperthyroidism, but otherwise everyone is healthy. Mollie visits the cats with me at least twice daily, but we don't let the puppies interact with the cats.
I know they won't be with me forever, but I am thankful everyday for the joy and blessings they each bring me. I am one very lucky mama.

Thank you!

Thanks to everyone who visited my blog!  I enjoyed designing it with all of my favorite things!  I have not had an opportunity to read everyone's blogs, but I glanced at a few of them and look forward to following!  I appreciate all of your comments.  I already have 8 followers! 

I am working on something I hope to post later today.  Happy Sunday everyone!


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Scruffy on icy patio table
Mollie (almost 7 years old)

Scruffy on the day I rescued her

Scruffy chillin'

Gracie and Maggie

My little lady


Mollie in action


Gracie on day I rescued her

All 3 puppies on 1st day (less than 2 months old)


Scruffy and Maggie







Maggie in ambush mode (Scruffy is victim)

Maggie and Scruffy at play



Maggie and Gracie

Max (16 years old)

Scruffy (smiling)


Sassy (14 years old)

Gracie and Maggie (Maggie is so intense!)

My First Blog Post!

I am now officially a BLOGGER!  My dad has a pretty cool blog and I enjoy reading it, so I finally figured out how to start my own.  I would love to share my fun stories about my 6 pets that bring me so much joy and entertainment.  Three of my dogs, who are siblings that I rescued in March of 2009 are 2 years old today. I just sent my husband out to get them each a little cupcake (not chocolate, of course).  My lab, Mollie, will also get one since she is invited to the "party".
I look forward to sharing pictures and stories, and hope to have as many followers as my dad does!