Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Why Breed?

Why Breed?  Someone asked me quite some time ago.  I gave the person some really poetic answer about the joy of seeing the new owner with their precious bundle etc etc.  I mean, isn't that what we always say when people ask?

Lately, I have been really thinking about it though... Why Breed?  The over thinking could be due to the fact that I have been on heavy pain killers due to a minor surgery.  Orrr... it could be my natural inclination to totally overthink.  Either way...

Why?  Why do it?  I mean, I can't even pretend it's for the  money.  The last time I looked at my books I was literally In the Hole.  I looked because I was in a great debate with myself over weather or not to get another cat tree.  I got the cat tree.  I haven't looked since.  I know I am deeper in the hole.  It's not even a real business, I am pretty sure a real business is supposed to make a profit.  I do not.  Okay, so it's certainly not the money ~ that is non -existent.  In fact, any GOOD breeder is always "animal poor" we just pour any dollars we get, right back into the animals.  They need things... like cat trees for mental stimulation.  They need fluffy beds for comfort and warmth... if one cat has a comfy bed, the others need one, it's not fair if they don't all have one!  They need shots, and de-worming, and vet exams, and food!  Oh my gosh the food, the stress over the food.  The food is ridiculous.

I am convinced that there is no perfect food for cats unless they are feral and hunt in the woods. The cat litter is another thing!  It's not only expensive, but it's a decision process, seriously, it's every bit as stressful as the darn food.  You want a litter that you cats like (obviously) but you want it to be cost effective (HA!) you also want it to be healthy for your cat.. so not a lot of silica, you want it to be as green as it can be, but it can't be clay, that's too hard to clean. The paper pellets are very green (yay) the cats like them (yay) but they smell, and they don't last long enough.  Back to square one on the  litter.

Lets not forget supplements, we get liver treats, because it's good for the eyes.  It's important for our kitties to have good eyes right?  We get kitten milk replacer, and calcium, and colostrum (just in case) We get canned food because the mama cats need extra moisture and nutrients.  But it can't be just ANY canned cat food, it has to be the "good " kind.  What is the good kind?  I mean there a good kind?  We have to have special kitten food ~ they need taurine.  What is taurine? What does it do? Why do the kittens need it?  Can they get  it anywhere else?

We need syringes, and nipples and iodine and scissors, and tape and wraps and puppy pads, and mini litter boxes for the babies.  The list doesn't end.  Have I mentioned cat toys yet? We need those too, it's important.  They need fresh air and sunshine, that means and outdoor cattio on nice days.

But why?  I mean, it's really just stress after stress! What is so great about this and why on earth keep doing it?  Do I need to even mention the furniture?  Or lack thereof?  We can't have nice things...  unless by "nice" you mean "smells like cat piss in July " then we have that covered.  The fur, the fur is everywhere.

and the PEOPLE!!  Do people  not read anymore? Did they EVER?  I post an ad with the PRICE, the BREED, the AGE, the GENDER , the LOCATION ... and what happens?

People call/ text/email... How old are your kittens (date is on the ad) can you count?  How much is it?  "It" is a kitten and you can't have "IT"  Where are you located?  You are in Wisconsin right?  Is Wisconsin in Indiana? How far are you from me?  (They don't have google maps ~ but clearly  I do, because I can always answer this question)  My computer is special, and when you type things in the search engine... like "google maps" it can tell me how far away things are.  It's complex, I know... don't try it at home.  Leave it to the experts.

These same people ~ after figuring everything out, by chatting with me for hours on the phone and via email, and 2 am texts, take the kitten home.  Meanwhile... I stress over weather or not I made the right decision.  I mean Mary Jane couldn't read the ad, should I have let little fluffy go home with her?  Did fluffy like the drive there?  What if fluffy misses her brothers and sisters?  What if they should have taken two kittens to keep each other company?  What if their dog actually hates cats.  What if someone steps on fluffy?!  OMG!  WHY BREED?!

Back to the narrative, these people take fluffy home.  I calm down, and reassure myself that fluffy is just fine and happy.  Then they call/ text/ email... "Fluffy sure does poop a lot, is there something you can recommend to make him poop less?"   What?  I mean.. how much is a  lot?  "Well, I have to change this litter box once a week at least"  A week? SIGH... I need to put that in my information papers, what goes in, must come out.  Kittens poop, it's a fact.  The box should be cleaned daily.  Once a week?!! GAG!  Yes, that was a real conversation, with a real person.

The next call / text/ email is inevitably,ALWAYS  "What do you feed her at home?"  I stupidly forgot that people do not read anymore.  I sent an entire information packet  with Fluffy that tells the new adopter alll about Fluffy's likes/ dislikes, favorite toy, favorite color, favorite brother and sister, best habits and what time of day is the best for sunning in a sunspot in June, so they will open the damn curtains.  But people don't read.  Fluffy was eating Royal Canin last week.  This week I was debating over canned food vs kibble and ended up mixing the two together with pedialite in case Fluffy needed extra electrolytes.  I tell them Royal Canin.

Why BREED?  This is a night mare.

The truth?  The truth about breeding... after many hydrocodone and lots of Diet Pepsi (because we all know you can't have one without the other)

I breed because I LIKE it.  I DO love the soft, snuggly, little purrs.  I THRIVE on the damn 3 am phone calls about "what food should I give Fluffy" and the 15th request for new photos in three days.  I am THRILLED about the incessant questions, and the need to explain for the 12th time how much Fluffy costs, and why cats need to poop.  I LIKE it.  I like interacting with the people, they are asking because they care.  They have read 300 ads, and they have no idea who they  have talked to, and who they haven't. They don't even remember which kittens I have.  I like talking about my kittens, and what kind of food they need to have (even if I haven't quite decided what is actually best for them yet.)  I like feeling like I have made a difference in the life of a family by having the privilege of providing them with the perfect little paws to fill their hearts and race through the house at 2 in the morning chasing invisible mice.

I am so lucky to have been Blessed with the knowledge to keep these babies going, and keep the mama's healthy and the Daddy's happy.  I adore that I can share this with others.  I get to play with fuzzy, sweet, gentle, babies every. single. day!  Then, I get to share these beautiful breeds with others.

The truth is... I like breeding. That is Why I Breed.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Death of a tooth brush...

My tool of choice

So, as I was on my hands and knees scrubbing the floor with a toothbrush... it occurred to me:  I spend an inordinate amount of time on my hands and knees on the floor, and the benefit to me is minimal.  For the amount of time I spend on the darn floor I should get better rewards.  That's all I am saying.

What was I doing scrubbing the floor with a toothbrush you ask?  Aside from the obvious ~ cleaning the floor..

Well, I saw this article when I went into a deep google dive looking up paper clips or some other inane/I don't need it/ probably another cat/ object.  But I digress, I stumbled across an ad for a "grout pen"  you draw on your grout lines with a magical pen (that looks suspiciously like ANY paint pen) and it seals your grout and makes it look like new again, just like that!
BEFORE black grout.

Hmmm, so then I started thinking... shouldn't you clean the grout before drawing on it and sealing the dirt/ germs in forever?  So, I clearly had to research how to clean grout... with out chemicals.... because I am totally wholesome like that.... and cheap.

So, I watched YouTube videos... that is where all of my DIY house hold fixing education is obtained. Turns out that hydrogen peroxide and baking soda cleans grout.

So, I have white tiles (who puts white tiles in an old farm house?!) with black grout in my kitchen, bathroom and laundry room.  I clearly have nothing else to do, like work, do homework, chores, take care of the animals... so I am going to clean my grout. That is why I was on my hands and knees scrubbing the floor with a toothbrush... the grout on my floor to be specific.

AFTER light grey grout!!
It turns out I have light grey grout!!!  How embarrassing! Allll this time, I think I have white tiles and black grout.  Seriously.  No one teaches you these things... in fact, before I was forced into becoming a "handy woman" I thought that the floors were magically made out of tiles by fairies and that the lines between them were part of a pattern that never changed colors.  So, my white tiles can be mopped white... but the grout.. the grout is porous, all that mopping... yeah, that dirty mop water... the grout soaks it up.  GROSSS!  I hand scrubbed all my grout with a toothbrush (Had to get a new one two times) baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide. 

I quite liked the results.. surely there is an easier way!  Isn't there like a grout steam cleaner out there?  I can't do this once a week.. .but I sure am not going to live with germy grout.  Maybe I need a paint pen after all....

Super clean! 

Sunday, August 11, 2019

West and Wind August 10, 2019 Alpine Kittens

These two Lovely Boys are still available!  I know it's not a Windy Hill story, and boy do I ever have a lot of those!  However, these friendly,  playful bro's want a forever home...In fact, Wind has written his own ad copy (and who am I to say no)

 *SWM - extrovert, likes the outdoors, hunts, fishes, enjoys long naps, walks in the sunshine, early spring mornings, butterflys, cuddling, tv night, doesn't drink, doesn't smoke, very clean!  Just looking for the right person to settle down with,  Hit me up! 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Psycho Wig Guy...

Thank you all for the many emails reminding me that I did NOT write the Windy Hill Halloween story that is traditionally posted on or near Halloween.  You are right, and to make up for it, I have posted it NOW.  Enjoy ~

So, before we get to the part where I apologize that I have not posted in so long, let us rejoice in the fact, that I have so many stories for you to laugh about...or groan in dismay (whichever pleases you)

So... today was an interesting day... and it's only like 3:30 pm!  We have so many hours left, I may have to update later. 

Okay, let me set the mood, I am dutifully dressed up in my "house-wife on Holiday -teacher clothes" because I left the confines of Windy Hill in order to venture forth into the wide-wide world.  That, and I had a counseling appointment.

First we have to discuss synchronicity.  I was scheduled for an 8:00 am appointment, but due to circumstances beyond my control  ( I was taking care of some waif that needed me in that very moment) so I called the office to reschedule ~ normally that means it would be sometime next month...however...shockingly there was an appointment available later today.  What?!  So, yes of course I took that appointment.  Keep this in mind for later...

Back to my housewife, school teacher out fit and duty and all of that.  It's a blustery, snowy day, I am in my fine, sleek new car and listening to my favorite spooky podcast.  It's called "The No Sleep Podcast"  it's found on itunes, and it's free.  I am in the middle of a particularly scary story as I pull up to a clear spot at the counselors office.

No Sleep Podcast on itunes

 I mournfully turn off the scary podcast and prepare to leave the car and brave the cold.  I hadn't been paying much attention to the surroundings because I was so enthralled with my podcast.  I gather my purse and phone and glance at the vehicle next to me rather absentmindedly as I exit the car. 

I gasp at what I see!  The hill billy looking rattletrap next to me was no surprise... it was the woman's wig entangled upon the antenna that struck me as odd to say the least. 

I have questions!  I mean... was he taking the body out of the passenger door and in his state of mind didn't realize she had lost her weave?  Clearly he drove all the way here in the vehicle weave and all.

Actual wig on antenna

 Is this a new antenna accessory - do we now pick these up in the auto department of Walmart? 

Was this a Halloween Costume gone wrong?  I mean it is the end of it would have to have been horribly wrong. 

Maybe this guy and his girlfriend were in a horrible fight, and that's why he is here at the counselors office:  There was a horrible fight, they are driving and arguing and she gets so angry she decides to jump out of the car, as she is jumping he is grabbing her arm cursing at her, his eyes are on her, in this moment,  they hit a deer, he loses his grip...  her wig gets stuck in the antenna as she careens out the door to the hard pavement below.  Now he is really pissed!  His bumper is dented, his grill is smashed, his windshield is cracked, and where is that bitch?!  He finds her, beats her to death, fails to notice the damning wig and gets back in the truck.  He realizes he can't leave her there and puts her in the back of the truck under the camper shell.  She's probably still there.

I looked accusingly at both the wig and the camper shell of the pick up truck. 

I chastise myself for being so judgmental and stereotyping people.  In fact, perhaps the truck and the wig belong to the woman who is sitting in the counselors waiting room, happily reading "New ways to please your man" in Cosmo right now.  Perhaps it's her wig, and she is making some happy statement about women's power or some such.  Maybe it is a testimony that she is both beautiful inside and out and she doesn't need a wig.  That would mean the counseling is working!

I was pretty proud of myself for that positive spin on the whole creepy wig story.  I look at the wig and the truck one final time... definitely a serial killer and that is the trophie from his last victim.  There probably IS a body in the back of that truck, it's cold, so it wouldn't stink ....

Maybe a neighbor kid was playing a prank?

I shake myself out of my speculations and head towards the counselors office.  I am burning with curiosity!  I firmly decide that I am going to ask the person in the counselors office what's up with the wig?  Unless... he is a tattooed, has a buzz cut, scraggly beard and tattered jeans.   Then, I am right and he is a serial killer, and I am not going to ask anything. 

Again, I chastise myself for being such profiler!  Shame on me! Probably is a sweet old lady.  I am going to ask!

I enter the counselors office and I see a man there, he has a buzz cut, a scraggly beard, tattered jeans and a tattoo on his neck and forearm....

Sigh, I will  never know, I am not asking the psycho wig guy how the wig came to be entangled on his antenna.

Maybe it was a sexy hint from his blond girlfriend that she was going to play the brunet cop tonight?! 

Maybe it wasn't a wig at all...what if it was a scalp!?

When my name was called I had to walk right past him, he glanced up and I just know he was looking at my auburn hair as a slid by....

That last sentence SHOULD be the end of this story, but this is Windy Hill, so it's not the end.  When I leave the counselors office, psycho wig guy is no longer in the waiting room.  I briefly wonder if he is in with a counselor or if he has left the building.  My answer was quickly realized when I walked to my car and I see the wig tossed to the pavement like so much chicken scratch, and the rattle trap hillbilly mobile is absent from the parking lot.

Wig on the ground
He must be looking for the next wig!  Maybe it was a prank form a neighbor child, or a disgruntled girlfriend.  Now, about the synchronicity:  If I hadn't been  helping a friend in crisis over the phone, I wouldn't have had to reschedule my appointment.  If I hadn't called to reschedule my appointment I wouldn't have been told that miraculously someone had called and canceled for later that very day.  (Really wonder what that their story is)  If they hadn't cancelled, I couldn't have come in and I wouldn't have been baffled by the wig, and I wouldn't have had this story to tell. 

Isn't it amazing how all of that fell into place just for this one event to take place?  So, all those times that we get depressed or down because something is or is not happening in our lives, remember the psycho wig guy ... because there are always things going on behind the scenes that we don't know about.  Maybe that one thing you are hoping will happen or hoping will not happen is just one wig away!!    Hang in there friends, it's all being worked out. 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Day After

The Day After Christmas started just like any OTHER day here on Windy Hill... Windy.

I awoke to my son loudly walking up and down the stairs.  This is his signal that he wants me to wake up and answer the ever burning question "Can I go to my girlfriends house now?"  This entails him borrowing my car.  This would be simple matter for most, but we all know how I drive and how I worry.  It's windy and snowy and cold outside. I confirmed this by sticking my pinky out from under the blankets.  I snuggled deeper under my pile of blankets and cats.

TROMP TROMP TROMP, SLAM, BANG, CREAAAAK> siiggghhhh. I won't be sleeping any longer, he has positioned himself in front of the computer.  This means he is about to play a rousing  (translated as loud) computer game.  I get up.

The boy had the courtesy to act surprised before he said "OH! you're awake?"

I rolled my eyes and got out of bed, and yes he borrowed the car.

            Then THIS happened

About 10 minutes after my loud car leaves, I hear my loud car return.  Now this brings up many questions, as once a teenage boy is on a mission to go to his girlfriends house, it's the rare thing to bring him back to the house.

I met him at the door, full of motherly concern.  He looked incredibly guilty.  His first statement "It's not that bad"

I respond with "You are clearly okay, that's all I care about, the car must be okay, you drove it here ...What happened?"
He hit a phone pole.  He slid off the road in 2 wheel drive and hit a phone pole.  The car door opens and closes fine, and the worst of it is the mirror on the side was taken off.  Meh, okay.  I test drive the car, explain how to drive in hazardous conditions and he is back on his way to his girlfriends the dented, mirror-less car.

Pick yourselves up of the floor.  I know it is shocking that I let him go back out again.  I am fully aware of how deeply my paranoia and cars runs.  That is exactly why I let him go back out.  I don't want my fears to control my child's life.  I had to learn to drive in this stuff in a two-wheel drive El Camino.  He can do it in a 4 wheel drive mini SUV.

Time to tackle the rest of the day.  As if the morning was not pleasant enough, there is more.  There is always more here on Windy Hill.

The Horses in the back pasture were telling me that they were out of water.  Hmmm, that is curious, because said speedy teenager watered the horses just yesterday.  Still, they are looking at me quite plaintively.  FINE.  I will go check the water...I am sure it's fine.

The water is NOT fine.  Not only is it incredibly low...but it's frozen solid.  Now, that is also interesting because I distinctly see the water heater in the trough.  The frozen trough.  Why is it frozen??

I follow the cord belonging to the water heater to... NOWHERE!   It's not even plugged in!! Who does this?  Who has a water heater in a trough in order to keep the water from freezing, and does NOT plug it in?

I have my suspicions.     I find the extension cord, and plug it in.  NOW I see why it was unplugged.
floating extension cord 
The extension cord is not quite long enough to really reach the trough... so it's floating mid -air.  Which might actually be kind of cool (out of the snow) except our yard pony walks through there all the time, unplugging the heater all the time.  Far be it for me to suggest getting the longer extension cord....

                                * If you want something done right, do it yourself!!*
Okay, cord taken care of -  now for the water.

outdoor spigot 

Of-COURSE  the spigot is frozen ~ why would I even begin to presume any differently?  Hot water poured over the spigot to the rescue...NOT!   It didn't always works...but not today my lady, not today. After spending a good 5 minutes sobbing helplessly while my tears froze to my face,  (because we all know that the tears of a damsel in distress will melt the most frozen of spigots) I formulated a plan...

FINE!  I shall open the basement doors, run the hoses down to the basement and attache to the hot water heater as I have in the past.

That would have been fine except...

FIRST - I couldn't get the pad lock off of the cellar doors.
Stuck padlock

The real question here is... how did I get it ON the doors if it won't come off?  I presume it was a sunny summer day, and I could easily manipulate the doors, allowing for the latch to be less close to the pad lock ..thingy.  Not so today!  With some gentle coaxing (translated as hammer) I removed the pad lock.

NEXT  - Somehow I cut my finger in the process.  Of course I did, we all know that you can't do something on Windy Hill without gloves and just get away scott-free with no hand injuries!
poor finger.

AND THEN - I tried to open the cellar doors. Note the use of the word "tried" that is indicative of the next few words... "and failed"   Thaaat's right... they are frozen shut.  That freeze/thaw ...freeze/thaw does that to metal doors.

Hot water to the rescue again!  NOT!  (again)  But it does make for a nice skating rink between the porch and the house if you are interested in such things.

The horses at this point are now lined up at the fence mentally cheering me on.  I remind myself to find my joy...and quickly ~ before things go down hill even more.  As I had this thought, I slipped and fell on the aforementioned ice-skating rink, the hand holding the hammer hit the ground first, the hammer bounced off of the ice and ...yes, it hit me in the head.

I half-wished it had hit me hard enough to knock me out, except I would have gotten hypothermia, and I would have become coyote food...(Hey, that's not too bad, circle of life and all)

However, I was not knocked out, just frustrated.  I formulated a new plan.  If you live on a farm in the middle of no-where it pays to have a back up to your back up.  I seriously considered just putting a nice hole in my shiny new tile that leads directly to the hot water heater spigot.  I begrudgingly chose not to do so...but I did glare at the tile on the way by...holding two 5 gallon buckets ~ one in each hand ~
Yep, I did it the old fashioned way, except I used the bathtub instead of a creek.  I heard my ex-husband in my head each time I put that "dirty bucket in the (beeeping) bathtub for those (beeping ) horses!! "  (It's not like HE was the one that had to clean the bathtub after) I lost count after trip 16.  No, it didn't fill the trough completely, but it did help and I will do it all over again tomorrow morning, afternoon and evening so ensure that they have water.

Now, for the cats... every.single.bowl. is frozen solid.  of-course they are!!  They are each plugged in, correctly, happily, and heated.  Apparently they can't with stand sub zero temps (wimpy heated bowls)  I thaw out each bowl, re-fill with water and then tuck each bowl into it's own little cubby (made out of totes)  That should do it.

By now my gloves are soaking wet, my toes are... do I even have toes anymore??!! and I am having a very hard time finding my joy!

I decided it was time to come into the house, and take a nice break and warm up.  I even decided to turn the central heat as opposed to just the gas fireplace.  (big ~ I know)  I walked merrily over to thermostat repeating to myself "find your joy, you have a warm home to enter, you have heat and..."  I stopped my joyous litany in my head when my heat refused to turn on.

This HAS to be some kind of cosmic joke right?  hardy har har.

Before I burst into tears again, I decided to just re-group and meditate and pray. I spent some time breathing deeply and making a running list of amazing things in my life, and reminding myself that anger is a wasted emotion, and that all we have is each moment.  The moment I was in, was not that bad.  The horses and cats had water, my car runs, my son is fine (Thank you Jesus) and we are both well fed and have a home and the fireplace works just fine.  Hmmm, put that way, I actually have a lot of Blessings in my life, the list is much longer, but you get the idea.

Did the heat ever turn on?  Did I find my toes?  Will the lump on my head ever go down?  Did I remember to bring the hammer back inside the house?  Will I fill the water trough all winter long by hand, listening to my ex-husband in my head chide me for my foolishness?

Stay tuned for the rest of the story on Windy Hill....