Thursday, January 31, 2008

My cat

I think anyone with a pet understands that bond you share with them. I grew up always having a pet as part of our family. Actually, I should re-phrase that to I grew up always having a cat sleeping on my head.

A little over a week ago we made the decision to adopt a cat from the local humane society. We used to have two cats, but sadly lost one a couple years ago. When we first saw this cat we knew she was the right match. The adoption process was a bit different then previous shelter adoptions I have done, and by that I mean they literally seem to just give you the animal and push you out the door.

I got her home, and she was rightfully a bit nervous. My cat was rightfully a bit angry, but he took it much better than I expected. By the night time though, the adopted cat "Miss Lily" was just not acting right. She was sneezing and coughing, her eyes looked funny and she wouldn't eat or drink.

By morning she was sneezing green mucous, and was not doing well. She was wheezing and having trouble breathing. Of course, this wass a Saturday. Most vets are closed. After speaking to a couple very helpful vets at the emergency clinic, it was determined she wouldn't make it. As in, she was extremely sick with a URI.

I then was told to bleach my ENTIRE home and everywhere Miss Lily had been. Not an easy feat, but I did it. I was then instructed to keep an eye on my cat, Nicodemus, who we call "Doodle". Not only did we lose the adopted cat, but URI's are extremely contagious. It's airborne, as well as living on surfaces for weeks.

Well, Doodle started sneezing last Friday. He was still himself, eating and playing and causing a normal raucous. As of Sunday, I felt he was sneezing way too much. Our new vet got us right in on Monday, and said he sounded great. She prescribed antibiotics because this shelter is known to have very sick cats and the strain is very hard to treat. But, in a home setting she felt it would be much easier to treat. She wasn't really concerned about it.

Well, we are heading back in this afternoon. He isn't acting right and he is still sneezing and coughing. I am thankful he is eating and drinking, but the guilt I am feeling over this is huge. I just want him to feel well. I have done reading online about it, and honestly I'll just wait to see what the vet says today.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Today is voting day here in Florida. I just never made it to the early voting booths, which I had planned. So, the Boy and I went today.

I decided not to talk politics at all on the blog because, well, I'm not up for discussing it. I believe everyone should vote, and that is all I will say.

I am going to share the "excitement" that went on at my local voting place. While the boy and I were making our choice for our parties presidential candidate, the woman next to me threw up her arms and literally screamed "NOOOOOOOO! I am not a DAMN DEMOCRAT!" Much to the dismay of the little old ladies who were volunteering their time. I glance at her briefly, then decide she will be OK.

Not one minute later, she is still yelling obscenities. Only, she is doing this from the dirty floor. I guess when she registered to vote somehow she became a democrat....but she's republican. The old ladies are completely panicked. I'm trying to explain to the Boy that this woman won't hurt anyone, she's just a bit angry at the moment.

I smiled down at her and told her I thought it was something they could fix. She stared at me with such venom that I had to look away. Then she proceeded to say "You look like one of those DAMN democrats that I am trying to prevent from getting into office."

Pressing the "VOTE" button at that particular moment seemed to be the best solution. We did get our stickers, and I did explain to the Boy that she'd be just fine. Unless of course, the election goes to the "DAMN DEMOCRATS".


The Boy has always liked putting things together. Actually, taking things apart seems to be even more enjoyable for him. I think he takes after his father.

While running some errands this past weekend we took a trip down the toy area of Target. The Boy immediately noticed the different boxed kits they had. I had my eye on the knit sock monkey kit, but it looked a bit complicated for a four year old. That is when I saw a box stuffed behind some other toys. It was a birdhouse kit. We decided to try it out. If we had the tools necessary to make a birdhouse from scratch at home, I would have much preferred it.

Here are some pictures. The final resting place for the birdhouse was after trying out almost every tree in our yard. We settled on this one because we can view it from our window, and in particular the Boy's window.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Loquat Tree

My garden has been surviving the drought we are in fairly well. I tried to plant drought resistant plants, but I do have a couple that need to be watered on occasion. I've got the itch to start planting again. Unfortunately, this drought has brought on even stricter water conservation rules. Which, means I will not be putting any new plants in for awhile. I do follow our water regulations.

Which, is why it was quite a happy surprise to spot the loquats forming on our tree! I took a few pictures. This is the first year we have had fruit, and it's an exciting time. We've never eaten loquats before. I've been reading up on harvesting and how to consume them. They sound delicious. We don't have very many, but we are anxious just the same.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


We've been searching for some homeschool/unschool type groups around us. Not because we feel we need to have an actual group to actively homeschool, but because it would be nice to find some like minded people. I feel pretty confident in our decision to home school. And, Florida is actually pretty homeschool friendly.

I found a group that has weekly get togethers, as well as family activities. It appears to be a wide age range, which I think will be great for the Boy. We'll be giving them a shot on Monday. Most of our friends here have kids in school. During the school week the playgrounds are empty. We're looking for a change.

We also were lucky enough to spot our dear new friend, the peacock this morning. My camera actually worked when I needed it too. His friend with him is what the locals so lovingly refer to as a "chicken duck". We have flocks of them here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Weekend

I wanted to share some pictures from our weekend. It was a bit chilly, but absolutely beautiful.

The following pictures are from our favorite spot at the Bird Sanctuary. They rehabilitate many animals each year. These are some of the birds who they take care of permanently.

Friday, January 18, 2008


I am always amazed at all the wildlife here in Florida. I always have plenty of creatures to take pictures of, which I love. So, about a month back when we saw a man running with his camera phone pointed at something that resembled a peacock, right in our neighborhood, I was upset that my camera batteries were being charged. I figured it was a once in a lifetime sighting.

Until this morning when my husband was leaving for work and called to tell the Boy and I too look out our front window. Before looking, I grabbed my camera because there was no way I was missing a chance for a picture. By the time I looked out, the peacock was in my neighbors back yard. He was picking at their orange tree. I couldn't get a picture, but he must reside around us.

After researching a bit, I learned wild peacocks do live in Florida. They are a protected animal, but can be a nuisance to home owners. I am keeping my camera ready now because I want to post a picture. I am still in awe at the beauty of nature.

Please check out the video! That is not me nor my home in the video.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Fairy House

The last week or so has involved the Boy and I working in the yard. Some of it was normal kickball, garden work, running or even a nice picnic. The biggest events of the week was a continuation of my previous entry. He was very excited to build some Fairy Houses.

It was really fun to watch him search through our yard, and even in the local parks, for natural items to use. It didn't show up in the pictures, but he even found a dime to stick in one of the houses. His favorite item was some little red berries, because fairies get hungry you know.

Here are some shots. I let him create himself because it was fun to see him so inspired.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Kristen's Fairy House

My Mom brought the Boy a new DVD to try out. It's called Kristen's Fairy House. Since we have been reading a lot about fairies, elves and butterflies, this movie was wonderful. It's very simple and not long. I highly recommend it because besides being interesting, the nature in it is beautiful. It is not a cartoon. The author of the books, Tracy L. Kane is in the movie with her young niece. The niece is who narrates the movie.

It makes me a bit homesick for Maine.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Flame Throwing

It's pretty strange to walk into your backyard and see children playing there. Especially when you only have one child, and he's next to you. I almost had that feeling you get when you are confused about your whereabouts in a dream. It was surreal for a moment.

They all are quick to be friendly and say "Hi!!!!!" in unison. I don't actually know these children, but they are from my neighborhood. I've seen them around. They were all between ten and thirteen years old.

I say "Hi" once I realize it is my yard they are in. One immediately covers something, and the girl starts complimenting uncontrollably. "Your yard is SOOO pretty! The flowers here are SOOOO pretty! You are SOOOO pretty!!!" I smile, but I know something is up. So, I tell them I'm heading in maybe they should head on home. They jump down from the tree, and head back through my neighbors broken fence. I say before they disappear "You might want to put out that cigarette guys." They all suck in their breath and run in shock.

I'm inside and not even five minutes later I see flames coming through my trees in the back corner. Then I see even more flames, and I can see a lot of kids there. I run out with images of just plain disaster to be found. I yell to them to stop for a minute, but they obviously all ran away. All except the two youngest, who are three and six.

I talked to them and they were more than willing to tell me everything. Apparently the older kids were babysitting and no parents were home. The kids took two lighters, kerosene(which I could smell immediately), rags and aerosol cans. They were making fire as well as homemade flame throwers. I guess part of the fence caught on fire too. I explained that I wasn't mad but didn't want anyone to get hurt. They seemed fine, but I was shaken.

I hosed everything down with water. We have a lot of brush back there, plus a natural fence that would be quick to catch on fire. I don't want anything to happen to anyone, and I also don't want a fire in my yard. We shall see.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Neighbor cat

There are quite a few animals who roam around my yard during the day and night. In particular is the cat my neighbor has had for maybe six months. She stays out all night and is let in sometime in the morning. This cat reminds me why it is so important to spay and neuter your pets. She hasn't been spayed and is blatantly in heat. She is very vocal. And, it gets my poor elderly cat all wound up. Only, he is neutered, which means he just doesn't understand why this cat is so intent on visiting him. And, it also isn't enjoyable to watch a cat so miserable. I never want to see a cat rub against my window like she does again. It is awful.

I'm sure before long there will be kittens to be given away. And, I could ramble about this for pages. I'll just leave you with some basic info: Humane Society.

And, if you are looking for a new companion, don't forget to check your local shelters and rescues!

Monday, January 7, 2008

He knits

The Boy has always taken a liking to yarns, and who really wouldn't? They do come in great colors and can make beautiful and creative things. He's been asking me since I started knitting when he would be allowed to knit. I've always told him he is more than welcome to knit anytime he wants. He has varying lengths of time in which he will sit still and attempt to knit. I never push him because I know if someone tried to force me to sit there with two sticks and a ball of yarn, I never would have learned to knit.

Today I decided to attempt to make a log cabin type afghan. I didn't want something complicated, because I get frustrated easily. It was beautiful outside, so I took my knitting with us. He immediately asked if he could knit. I grabbed him size 10 needles, and let him pick a color yarn. I showed him again how to knit, after I cast on for him. Today, he made it work. He actually seemed to just figure it out. Now, this is a four year old. This is not knitting of adult caliber! His knitting wasn't perfect, but he got the basic idea down. He was so proud of himself. Of course, making a thin scarf for one of his stuffed animals didn't seem worthy of all this work. But, he is slowly working on it. I think we have one whole inch!

Before long, the bliss wore off. He was running around and climbing on everything. But, I felt great sitting side by side with our yarn. I'm not really sure how kids learn to knit other than what I tried to show him. I remember the days of my Gram teaching me to crochet, and I wish I would have payed more attention. I just love sharing things with my Son. Even if it is only for a short time.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

First one of the season, of the new year

This pretty much sums up the last couple days. The pollen count is almost the highest I think I have ever seen, but how can you distinguish this time of year? I'm treating us like it's a cold, but how I wish it were just really bad allergies. The teas, herbs, homeopathics and neti pots are out. Lots of rest, book reading and snuggles. Not bad, but more fun when you don't feel like your face is going to fall off.

I'd highly recommend using a neti pot. Here is more info about usage. I have had mine for over 5 years, and it was a great investment. My husband recently started using one fairly regularly and has noticed a big improvement. The Boy is a bit too young for the neti, so he uses Xlear.

I spend a lot of time trying to keep everyone in my family from getting sick. I feel pretty defeated when we do get ill. We are pretty healthy, so I'm not complaining about that. It's tough being a Mama sometimes.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


We have been having some very cold temperatures here in south Florida. I am talking about actual temperatures that will freeze water and unfortunately, plants. I'm not too familiar with how to prevent freezing of my plants, and I regretted this early this morning.

After doing some research, I believe my banana tree will survive. I'm not sure there was a whole lot I could have done to protect it. The roots are somewhat blanketed by mulch, but I won't know the outcome until we are out of this cold weather. The leaves are definitely damaged.

I was going to talk about my fantastic experience at the Farmer's Market yesterday. And, it was wonderful even in the cold. But, instead I will share what I discovered while cleaning my gigantic head of cauliflower.

He wasn't the only one living inside the head. There were three of them. I took them all outside, although I felt a bit bad they were just going to die in the cold anyways. I realize it is a good sign that they were alive and well inside the cauliflower. This means the pesticides didn't kill them, and I am not eating poisons.

But, I have never been very good with bugs. I am very squeamish and will actually scream when something of this nature happens. I'm fine once the realization of the bug sits in, but out. So, the cauliflower is all chopped and soaking in my kitchen sink. I do not want roasted cauliflower with a side of caterpillar as a side dish tonight!