Facts about Ebola Virus and Pets from the American Veterinary Medical Association

Here is a fact sheet about Ebola and Pets from the AVMA.  I hope it is helpful.

Gail ♥


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Weekly Photo Challenge: Refraction

For this photo challenge, show us what “refraction” means to you. It could be an image taken in a reflective surface, it could be light bent from behind an object, or it could mean remedial math homework: the choice is completely up to you. I’m looking forward to seeing how you interpret “refraction.”

spider in web

Gail ♥

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Michelle’s Weekly Pet Challenge

Nugget and Dakota still love to play in cereal boxes but don’t quite understand why the boxes are shrinking!

Dakota and Nugget playing with Cheerios box




Gail ♥

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Giant Spider in the Bedroom….UGH!!!

A few nights ago, I was just exiting the master bathroom after taking a warm relaxing shower.  With clean, fresh pajamas on and hair up in a towel, I turned the corner to enter the bedroom, and there I saw it:  Aragog (you Harry Potter fans know exactly what I’m referring to) had just entered our bedroom from the hall and was running along the side baseboard and darted right under our bed.  My first thought was that I had no idea spiders could move so darn fast.  My second thought was EEK!!  THERE’S A GIANT SPIDER UNDER MY BED!!!  I wish now I could have clocked that sucker.  Nope, not what I wanted to see just as I was getting ready to climb into a nice warm bed to read for a while before falling into deep slumber.

Black House Spider (missing one leg) photo from peonyden.blogspot.com

Black House Spider (missing one leg)
photo from peonyden.blogspot.com

So I did what any good wife does.  I ran for Hubby telling him he JUST HAD TO SEE THIS (and find it).  Hubby came reluctantly, dragging his feet and rolling his eyes all the way.  I came armed with my brand new can of Hot Shot Spider and Scorpion spray.  The kittens were all excited and knew something was up.  They were fighting us tooth and nail to get in the bedroom but I didn’t want them to be carried off by this Nascar spider. And I sure didn’t want to get them near what I was sure was potent deadly spider spray.

spider and scorpion spray

Don’t get me wrong– I have nothing against spiders–  When they’re outside.  I prefer that they don’t come into my house, and that they especially don’t get under my bed!  But it seems with the coming of fall and cooler weather, that’s EXACTLY what they want to do.

Armed with flashlights, we searched for the very large black arachnid (which I later determined to be a giant black House Spider) who was finally spotted at the base of the bed post on hubby’s side.  When the flashlight hit the spider’s two main eyes, they reflected back a deep purple color…. sort of like the green retinal reflection of dog and cat eyes at night in car headlights.  My third thought was that this spider’s eyes were kinda beautiful and this is a darn good Halloween spider, but then I came back to the real world and the reality that there was a giant black creepy spider under my bed!

By the time I got in a position that I could reach him with my handy-dandy spray, he was gone, nowhere to be found. Hubby and I were both down on hands and knees with flashlights continuing to look for Aragog.   We couldn’t find him.  Hubby was ready to give up the search but no way was I sleeping in that room until that giant spider was found.  I informed hubby that I would be sleeping on the couch or in another bedroom. For weeks if necessary.  Right about then, hubby announced that he had spotted the spider again.  This time, it was behind the nightstand and tangled among all the electrical cords that go to the lamp, hubby’s CPAP, the telephone, and answering machine cords.  We doused him good, soaking him along with the cords with a zap of the spider spray but it didn’t slow this fellow up one bit.  He (or she) proceeded to keep crawling all the way against the baseboard to my side of the bed, carrying the dust bunnies right along with it (blushes red).

The spray, which says boldly on the can “Kills in Seconds!” didn’t seem to have much effect at all.  We doused again but Nascar spider kept right on crawling and heading for the nightstand on my side of the bed.  Hubby finally went and got a Dixie cup from the bathroom and scooped him in that and then threw him in the commode where he continued to thrash and swim for several more minutes until he was flushed.  Sorry Hot Shot but we were not impressed with your spray.   Maybe it was not designed for Aragog spiders.

Gail ♥

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Monday’s Question

Question:  If you could go on the perfect retreat by yourself for a weekend, where would you go and what would you do?  

My Answer:  I would retreat to a little cabin in the woods so I could be surrounded by nature and listen to the voice of my soul.  I would use the quiet time to walk in the woods, read, write, pray, and study God’s word.  That’s my idea of a perfect retreat.

How about you?

 from fineartamerica.com

from fineartamerica.com

Gail ♥


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Things I’m Loving These Days

1. The season of autumn and autumn decorations.

I have always loved fall.  And I love to decorate my house (inside and out) with fall decorations.  Recently, my husband and I went to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, a popular vacation resort that rests on the border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  If you’ve never visited the Smoky Mountains, add it to your list of places to see.  It is absolutely beautiful, especially in late October when the leaves are at their peak of fall color.  I love walking in Gatlinburg, shopping in the stores, and seeing all the fall decorations.

rake scarecrow- Gatlinburg, TN

close-up of rake scarecrow- Gatlinburg, TN

fall doorway decs at candle shop in Gatlinburg


2.  My new owl bracelet

This was a gift given to me by my sister just a few days ago.  I love owls and I really love this bracelet!  It’s perfect for fall!

owl bracelet

3.  The One Year Bible (NLT)

I’ve recently started perusing this bible.  Thanks Ann Voskamp (and your lovely blog) for the suggestion.

The One Year Bible

4.  A new bear decoration for our black bear-themed den.

When my husband and I go to Gatlinburg, TN, we always joke that we’re “on a bear hunt.” Most of the black bear decor we have in our den came from the shops in Gatlinburg.  I have very happy memories of my parents taking me and my two sisters when we were little girls to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and seeing black bears.  Everywhere. Back then, trash cans were not bear proof and we often saw bears at picnic areas.  It’s not like that now.  When our sons were younger, my husband and I also took them to Gatlinburg, and seeing the black bears (mostly at our hotel!) was the highlight of our trips. My husband and I are both loving this resin (but designed to look carved) black bear head. We hung it above a doorway in our den and it just fit right in.

Bear face wall decor

5.  Bears on Log print by Marianne Caroselli

Nine years ago, I bought a 16 x 20 print called Bears on Log by artist Marianne Caroselli in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee (which is 5 miles north of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park).  I just absolutely adored it and I had it framed and alternated displaying it above my mantle with another bear picture.  I always got a lot of compliments on this picture.  Unfortunately, one day when it was not hanging but leaned up against our hearth, we had a leak in the chimney and water leaked behind the glass on this picture and ruined it.  The framer tried hard to carefully remove the picture that was warped and stuck to the glass but it couldn’t be saved.  I was sick.  I got on-line and tried to find another print but all I could find was the 10 x 8 size.  I searched for years.  I even contacted the artist, Marianne Caroselli, who was so nice and gracious to try to help me find another, but she had no luck  either.  She apologized and told me she was no longer painting, only doing sculpting work.  She gave me the names of all her distributors but I struck out in finding another 16 x 20.

So imagine how surprised I was last week on our trip to Gatlinburg when we found the same store in Pigeon Forge  that we had purchased our other Bears on Log print nine years ago, and there on the wall on display was this:

Bears on Log- By Marianne Caroselli

I was ecstatic!  I can’t wait to get this hung above my mantle again but am thinking I will re-frame it in the old frame I had.  There’s just something about this picture that makes me smile.

Gail ♥

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There Are Teenagers in the House Again!

It’s been almost three years since there’s been a teenager in this house.  My youngest has been away at college for three years and will soon have his 22nd birthday.

When I became the proud new owner of two kittens several months ago, I emailed pics of my new babies to my uncle in Idaho (who is also a veterinarian).  He wrote me back, commenting on my bravery to face going through raising kittens again and then reminded me that I would have the teenage phase to go through too.

The only time they're not getting into trouble-- when they're sleeping.

The only time they’re not getting into trouble– when they’re sleeping.

I realized this week that we are very much into that teenage stage now!  A while back, I watched a very funny video of animal antics.  One of them that struck me as being so hilarious and made me literally laugh out loud, was of a cat aggressively attacking a roll of toilet paper until that roll was empty and all the paper was on the floor.  Let’s just say that video is not near as funny now.  Yes, Nugget has discovered the toilet paper rolls. And boy has he had a blast unrolling them! Twice I have walked into the bathroom to find a heap of fluffy white paper on the floor and claw marks in what’s left of the remaining roll.  (Sorry, I didn’t think to take a picture). Once I caught him in action, I firmly told him “NO!” and removed him from the scene of the crime. He only gave me a look that said, “I don’t know who POSSIBLY could have done this.  If only he wasn’t so darn cute.

Tight squeeze, but he fits!

Tight squeeze, but he fits!

A few nights ago, I heard a crash in the kitchen.  I went running in there to find–yes, Nugget again– sitting on the floor beside a pile of items that minutes earlier had been up on the kitchen counter.  Luckily these were not breakable items.  Then yesterday while in the kitchen, I heard another crash that came from the computer room.  Again, I went running to find–yes, wide-eyed Nugget– on the computer desk (one of the favorite sleeping places of both kittens) sitting up looking at me as if to say, “DID YOU HEAR THAT?”  I looked around the room and never found anything amiss.  It wasn’t until a few hours later when my husband reached up for the phone on the top shelf above the desk and there was no phone there.  The phone and the recharger cradle were both behind the desk.  Believe me, it took some stretching and getting into odd contortionist positions to get that phone back in its proper place.  When I went to use said phone a little while later, I realized it was dead.  So back under the computer desk I went fishing for wires and found one end of an adapter wire that had been disconnected from the phone.  We finally once again have a working phone.

These two can find themselves in some very odd sleeping positions!

These two can find themselves in some very odd sleeping positions!

Sleepyheads, although even when they're awake, they see a camera and they anticipate the flash so they squint.  So funny.

Sleepyheads, although even when they’re awake, they see a camera and they anticipate the flash so they squint. So funny.

We are using Scat Mats to train the kittens not to jump up on the kitchen counters, the stove, bathroom counters, and the kitchen table.  Nugget (why is it ALWAYS Nugget?) is the explorer and the jumper.  After observing Nugget, I now have a much better understanding of the saying, “Curiosity Killed the Cat.”  For those of you who aren’t familiar with what a Scat Mat is, it is a clear flexible vinyl training mat that comes in different sizes.  It works with a 9 volt battery.  You place these mats in the prohibited areas: on furniture, counter tops, tables, etc.  When touched by the animal (or human) they emit harmless low-power electronic pulses similar to static electricity.  They have 3 different settings: low for kittens, medium for adult cats and puppies, and high for adult dogs and long-haired cats.  Usually after only two encounters with the scat mat, the cat will stay away from it.  I have been terrified of one of the kittens jumping on the hot ceramic stove while I’m cooking (and we all know how hot those stoves can get) and so the scat mats have worked beautifully.  Believe me, while practicing veterinary medicine, I saw more than one cat come in who had jumped on a red-hot stove burner.  It was not a pleasant site witnessing their pain, the owner’s panic, and watching a cat sloughing burnt paw pads.  And trust me when I say cats aren’t keen on having Silvadene burn cream applied and having their paws bandaged.

So yes, I’m all for the Scat mats.  Do I think they’re cruel?  No I don’t.   Not one bit.  And believe me, I have touched them myself accidentally many times, and while it’s uncomfortable and makes you jump,  it is not painful.  It feels just like a static electricity “pop” and something you definitely want to avoid.  Nugget quit jumping on the bathroom counter and kitchen counters after getting popped by the scat mats a couple of times, so I felt it was time to remove the mats.  I rolled them up and put them back in the handy-dandy little boxes they came in.  But Nugget is smart you see and he saw me do this and now he knows the “bad mats” are gone and so today he jumped up on the bathroom counter twice and he tried last night to jump up on the kitchen counter when he smelled my irresistible dinner.  So the Scat mats are coming right back out.  Today. (Insert sigh).

Teenagers.  I wish I had some of their energy.

Yes, he's special!

Yes, he’s special!

Box play is the best!

Box play is the best!

Gail ♥

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