So when I was a kid (and now that I think about it, as a grown up too) I used to love to hang out with my Grandma, Tessie. Tessie was such a fun fun lady, a real "firecracker." Back in her glory days (back before I was even a twinkle in anyone's eye), she used to roller skate and dance and have fun...truly innocent fun (compared to today). She didn't tie herself down to one guy and she hung out with her girl friends. She had a huge family. She was one of 9 kids, and adored each of her siblings. When I knew her as "grandma" she bowled and went to her senior's club once a week, had to go to every grocery store just to get the best price (a habit she picked up from the Depression, no doubt) and would do anything for those she loved. She went to some of my brother's book signings and actually told people they couldn't have the cookies we brought to pass out, unless they bought a book (I kid you not). Her words were "no book, no cookie." And she really would get offended if someone picked up Daniel's book, but didn't make the purchase. She was truly a great person.
And as fun as she was, back when I was a kid, there were some things I just didn't understand about her. For example, she used to sweep her driveway. That's right. She took out her broom (yup, the kitchen broom) and swept her driveway which was the length of her entire property. I used ask her why sweeping the driveway was on her list of chores (who would do that every week?) And her response would be, "pride of ownership." But sadly seven-year-old me, did not understand the meaning of pride of ownership.
Then my husband and I bought a house. And a few weeks ago, I found myself outside sweeping the driveway (with a heavy duty broom, not a kitchen one). It was a lightbulb moment...here I was, sweeping my driveway like Tessie had done so many times in front of her own home. And it actually made sense....I was tending to the home I love, thinking of my beloved Tessbabe and I smiled and said "pride of ownership." Sounds silly I'm sure, but something about it seemed so theraputic. And now, it makes perfect sense why she used to sweep that long driveway, week after week. :)
So you know that recently, I lost my beloved Psycho (aka AngelPuss, BoojieWoojie, and other creative names I have come up with) to cancer. I really took it to heart and did a LOT of research on what could have caused it, how it came upon us so fast (she had recently had some extensive tests not showing anything to worry about, besides the diabetes which we were already treating her for), and how to prevent our other furry babies from meeting the same fate.
The first thing I noticed, was that Brandy was starting to follow the same health pattern as Psycho. When we adopted Psycho, she was a little bit overweight and the vet told us to keep an eye on it. She progressively got fatter (hey, we feed our cats well, don't judge) Then a few years later she started acting funny: missing the litter box, drinking an insane amount of water, looking real thin. So she a three night stay at the vet, just to find out she was a diabetic. Fast forward to today...Brandy was a little on the chubby side, and about the same age as the vet told us to really watch Psycho's weight, we got the same report for Brandy. She was one chunky monkey. So she had to go on a diet and weightloss plan.
Now I thought, how the heck do you get a CAT to exercise and eat properly. I can't even get hubby to do that and he's much less stubborn than our cats. It was a lot of hard work (for both me and Brandy). I changed our cats over to eating better food (I really had no idea how bad most manufactured pet foods are). I switched them over to entirely wet food to start. I've been feeding them Soulistic wet food. When you look at it, it really is what the food claims to be: if it is supposed to be tuna and shrimp, you really can see shrimp in there, same thing with chicken, there's shredded chicken it it. I really wanted to put them on an entirely RAW diet, but it just isn't cost effective. Then I found some grain free, low carbohydrate dry food (they're a big fan of Nature's Variety - Rabbit and Innova Evo - Herring and Salmon) to supplement them with to keep their tummy's full and making feeding easier, when we need someone to take care of them while we're away.
All the cats have seen an improvement from their menu change. Dumbledore's dry skin has cleared up, Minerva's sensitive tummy really seems to like the new food (she's actually keeping food down), Mia had ear allergies and constantly scratched at them before the new food, but that has now cleared up, and Brandy lost 2 pounds (that's like 20 people pounds)! She's finally in her optimal weight range, on the high side of it, but hey, she's doing great and I'm so proud of her. They're all very active and chase each other all over the place and don't seem as lazy or like they get tired as quickly anymore.
So if you can swing it, I highly recommend doing the same for your cats. Apparently they should really only be eating protein, as they are carnivores in nature, and the mass market cat food companies load the food down with potatoes (what cat hunts potatoes in the wild?), wheat, and crazy by products that just aren't good for them.
So I don't know if I've mentioned, but very recently I've taken up reading again. I used to read like crazy in my teens...seriously, I couldn't get enough books when I was younger. Then when I got to college and then bought my first business, reading kind of got put on the wayside. After my grandma passed away this summer, I picked up a book, and just couldn't stop reading. I've been reading at least a book per week. Now I'm trading books with my mom the way I remember mom and grandma tessie doing for many years.
But anyway, I use this application on Facebook called Goodreads (if you look to the right, you can take a peek at some of the books I've already read, and if you use goodreads too, I'd love to be your friend :) ). So I started looking at my list of to-read books to decide which I'm going to pick up next. And ya know, I noticed a pattern. I must really love food (I mean, I've always been pretty sure that I love food, but now I'm convinced). The majority of the books on my to-read list has some type of food in the title. Funny huh? I wonder why.....
Have you ever had one of those weeks? You know...the week from hell. Let me tell you about my week, then we'll compare notes (misery loves company right?).
Last Tuesday (jan 11) my main computer that I do most of my film transfer orders on wouldn't boot up. Now I was a little worried, but not super worried, I mean I do live with a computer genius. He, of course tells me not to worry, what parts to buy (he even sent me the links to the places that had the best prices, not just the sites, but the actual listings themselves), and to bring the computer home and he'd take care of it.
The parts arrive on Thursday. The hubby starts backing everything up, just to be on the safe side...and OMG, it took days just to back up the computer. So since I couldn't use that computer, I saved myself some time and worked from home on Friday. Now, like I said, I live with a computer genious. He's got our home network, networked to my office network, so I can access stuff at work from my home computers, and vice versa, which makes me do a happy dance. But not on Friday....on Friday, the office network went down (or so I thought).
So I come in over the weekend to check out the situation after hubs does some diagnostics and figures out the problem is from the modem to outside the building, nothing actually in our office. I call my cable company, and they're like "oh sorry, can't send somebody out until Wednesday to look at it"...well that just isn't going to fly with me. I mean, I own a business, no internet, means no phone, and no way to process credit cards. So I make a stink and the guy is like, "okay, i put you on this expedited list, so you'll get a call within the next hour to set up an earlier appointment."
No such call ever occurred. I scoot into the office early on Monday to wreak havoc on the cable company. I call up and tell them that since i can't do any of my work, I'm going to call them every hour until they get somebody here to fix my cable. Low and behold, an appointment opens up and they show up at 11:15 to fix it. And what a surprise, the problem was outside, where they could have fixed it without me being here to wait for them.
So that's the cable problem taken care of. In the meantime, I slice my finger open on a piece of film...OUCH...and bled all over my office, LOVELY. Had to work on my landlord to fix the broken pipe outside causing a huge ice patch that I've almost broken my butt on multiple times this week, and hubby still didn't have the computer fixed. Apparently his idea of dropping it off at lunch time on Monday, meant 4pm....which i OBVIOUSLY should have just known.
Tuesday rolls around, and we have an ice storm. I go out in pelting ice and rain, clean my car off (it was blocking his car in), clean his car off, and shovel a path to the cars (along with throwing down salt) so he won't fall and re-sprain his healing ankle. What thanks do I get? He get mad at me because he got into a warm car with water on the seat....wtf? Then he comes home sick and wants me to care for him....ummm...NO
Today, I woke up late, had to shuffle our cars around in the driveway to get to work, just to come in to...you guessed it, a broken down computer....AGAIN....so I ask you... IS IT FRIDAY YET?
Finally...after much craziness...my new website is here! (check it out at www.bblonskidesigns.com) It was designed entirely by me, put together entirely by me, posted, entirely by me....you get the idea. It is 100% beffers :)
And look! You can now shop directly on my site...now that's progress. It's not completely finished, as I'll be adding to the shop for a bit (maybe I offer too much stuff?)...Rome wasn't built in a day right? Hope you all like it and would help spread the word.