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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Let me first start out by saying that I’m a lover of animals. I’ve got a soft heart and I know “they” know it. It’s difficult for me to turn away an animal in need…

And to attest to that fact, I’ve currently got two dogs and 5 indoor cats – all that came to me, by one way or another, with needs or broken pasts.

It drives my adult children crazy that I have so many and they often state that the one thing they’ve learned from me is to never have more than one cat and/or dog. So be it… Crazy dog/cat lady I am then.

Having said that they, my children, have been part of the reason the animal kingdom in my house has grown. Whether they want to realize it or not their hearts are as soft as mine and they have been party to many of the household arrivals over the years. I think it’s easier for them to blame it all on me since I am the one that ultimately cares for the critters.

As I already stated, I have 5 cats and, mind you, not normal cats as cats go…

One young female has severe allergy issues; requires special food and has to be kept separated from the rest of the household to eliminate flare-ups. Her cute, perky little personality and sweet voice keep us fighting in her corner. My son and I often comment how she would have never survived in the “wild” and we are so lucky she found us…

My beautiful rescued Siamese has a mental disorder which causes her to fear closeness and affection. She will only cuddle and snuggle with my pit bull (which makes me happy that she, at least, has someone she feels close to). The vet told me these types are normally put -to-sleep (PTS) as people have no desire to have a cat that eludes them constantly. So sad.. Because of the lack of human and/or cat interaction during her most important days this beauty carries fear constantly in her mind…

My oldest feline is old (nearly 18 years), stately and refined, and defies the limits of aging. She’s as beautiful now as the day we rescued her from being PTS’ d at a shelter many years and states ago. We dearly love her and hope she continues to live forever.

My only male was, quite literally, dumped at my doorstep eight years ago as a feisty, spitting, flea-covered kitten. He’s caused a lot of destruction in my house that I bemoan to this day but on the flip side, he is affectionate; as faithful and companionable as a dog; and has mellowed much in his older years.

Lastly, is our sweet, impish girl who is frightened of thunder and very loud noises and runs frantically through the house seeking shelter when upset. She tends to hog the water bowl, which we feel is directly attributable to her not having enough water when she lived rough.

And, lastly there’s my dogs…

My decrepit old Chihuahua, who doesn’t want to be bothered by anyone, has no teeth but will still try to bite, and is recognized as the “ruler of the roost”; and my spoiled, kind-hearted pit bull, who tries to act tough but is more frightened of you than you are of her. She is mother, protector and companion to all her “kitties” and loves to stand near them so they rub against her legs with their soft fur.

So, with all these needy souls already in my house, I have stated, quite explicitly mind you, “NO MORE ANIMALS!” I couldn’t possibly have room for anymore – it’s just too much!

And then…

Two weeks ago my daughter was visiting and was talking with my son on the front porch late into the night. I’d already gone to bed and was off into dreamland when she burst into my bedroom. “You have to get up and come outside,” she cried. “There’s a little animal outside crying, it needs help! HURRY!”

I stumbled around and made my way to the front porch. I’m wondering what little animal needs help – a deer? A fawn had gotten it’s head stuck in our fence a few weeks back so that was fresh on my mind. I walk out onto the porch and see this skinny tiger and white kitten. HORRORS! Inside I cringe. I hear my son telling me, “He’s really skinny. He just showed up on the porch while we talking. Should I feed him?” I feel sick. Why ME?

All I can see is another cat, another soul to take care of… I just want to go back to bed and forget. I hope IT will go away. I tell my son to go ahead and feed and water him – after all, I’m not cruel and heartless. As I head back to bed my children (those who would never (EVER!) have more than one cat and/dog!) gleefully set about getting food, water and toys. Again, I secretly hope he’s gone in the morning…

The next morning I walk out the front door and see the kitten sleeping on the rug. Sigh… So much for that! He’s getting comfortable. Also, my children inform me, via text message, they have ALREADY named him Odin. Already NAMED HIM!! I fear he’s here to stay…

The first couple of days I try to resist. I state emphatically that he can’t stay; that we need to bring him to the shelter or find another home. I can’t have anymore – I have too many already.

But then my resolve starts to melt… I notice that he is anemic and covered in fleas. I give him a flea bath and put flea medication on him. I give him worming medications and clean his infected ears.

His little personality is already growing on me. He’s lovable, purrs loudly and loves to be pet. I start to look forward to going out to the front porch, looking for him and spending time just playing and relaxing with him.

I buy him a breakaway collar – which he hated, at first, but I loved. It has a little bell attached and I can hear him padding around and know he is safe and close.

One morning I go out and he is no where to be found for two hours. I really got concerned – he has never been gone that long! I am amazed at myself at how attached I have grown to this little guy! As I begin to lose heart and think he’s been captured (by other humans), injured or worse I hear frantic kitten cries coming from a distance away. I call for him and he finally runs up the hill and to the porch and I can tell that he is so happy to see me! I don’t know what little adventure he had been on but he stays close to me and his purring is loud and pleasurable. And, boy, am I glad to have him back!

As the weeks have gone by Odin’s anemia has vastly improved and he has gained considerable weight. As such, an appointment has been made to get him neutered and get all his shots. He will be the “outside” cat but will be properly taken care of, of course.

Life is not perfect with Odin… He and I silently fight over his destruction of my potted plants – a battle that I have yet to win. But if that is the worst of his evils I guess can live with that… And I worry (about him being outside) but I am trying to live in the moment of him…

His cute tiny and silent meows.
The way he stares deep into your eyes with such adoration.
How he tromps around the yard with the dogs looking so big and yet so small.
How he saves us from bugs and spiders and leaves their carcasses all over the porch.
The way he politely sits and watches, with fascination and respect, the hummingbirds at their feeders.

Odin’s favorite toy is a fabric ball, which he constantly plays with, batting it and carrying it to and fro on the porch. I hope the skills learned with it will carry over into him being a good mouser!

My pit bull is in doggy heaven. She now has kitties IN and OUT of the house. She loves to pin Odin down and clean his little body like a mother, which Odin willingly lets her do. And she lets Odin play with her tail and ears as she lays on the porch floor. They hunt together for bugs and creatures in the grass, which is endearing to watch. And they often sit, side-by-side, at the top of the porch stairs and just stare at whatever animals stare at. Odin has changed even my dogs world…

How will this end? I really don’t know but there’s obviously room in my heart and home (porch) for Odin. Having an outside cat concerns me greatly but I’m hoping he’ll be one of those that sticks close to the house or I’ll end up being worried, hanging around outside longer than necessary, listening for that bell.

Little Odin came here because he needed me and I’m glad I am able to be here for him. He was a great and unexpected joy – isn’t that always the way that it is?

Though, again, I say, almost laughingly and with less conviction than previously, as I watch Odin play with his fabric ball, “No more…” And I need to find that sign that is posted somewhere out there that reads, “NEEDY, SICK OR UNWANTED – APPLY HERE” and pull it up.

Odin

Odin

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Facebook UnlikeSo many people ask me to “like” them on Facebook. When I am asked this I cringe… I just “don’t do Facebook.”

I know many feel it’s a great social platform and they use it to communicate their businesses and social networking causes… After all, statistics show that Facebook is the largest online social networking site.

I used to use Facebook, at least for a couple of years, but I bailed out, haven’t looked back and I really don’t regret it.

The reason why I don’t like Facebook (and subsequently dumped it) was due to a multitude of reasons…

One: People, close to you, get carried away, there’s too much drama and color. They tell everything – what they ate, what their kid did in the toilet, where they are going, they engage in colorful online disagreements, etc. I really don’t care to know what they are doing all the time or want to be part of the negativity in their lives. I know some people love that stuff – I don’t.

Two: I enjoyed, initially, hooking up with people that I hadn’t seen in ages, like people from high school; it was kinda cool. Then, I started to realize after a time, I really wasn’t friends with them in school – I didn’t really know them then and I don’t really know them now – it was all so false. Seemed people were grappling for NUMBERS – how many people followed them. So, I guess, the second thing I didn’t like was all the falseness and there seemed an abundance of it – from everyone!

Three: I began to realize how much PERSONAL information was being pumped into Facebook and I read stories and articles about how government agencies (and other undesirables) were using Facebook as a data mining site. That didn’t sit well with me and I certainly didn’t want to be part of the party. That actually sealed my decision to abort…

But, maybe it was also due to age…

I’m not afraid to admit it!small facesmall face

Some more Facebook statistics shows that the average Facebook user is between the ages of 35-44 years of age and I left 44 in the dust some time ago…

Anyways, nowadays, when I tell people I “don’t do Facebook” it’s like a social faux pas…

People act shocked or dismayed; they plead with me to reconsider; they delete me on other social platforms. Over Facebook! Get REAL!!

I’ve lost friends, both virtual and real, because I “don’t do Facebook.” I find that totally unbelievable…

But I really don’t care. I don’t like Facebook and even though I politely tell them so, they don’t know how to graciously accept it.

So I ask, as apparently I do not know how…

How does one politely tell someone that you “don’t do Facebook“?

And, even more so, how does one do so, so that the other person does not go off in a huff, personally offended as it is, just because you don’t?

It’s a mystery to me but, obviously, people take their Facebook very seriously…

Seductive Facebook

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Looking for t.v. that’s not mainstream media? Something that has documentaries and variety shows, with content from around the world – such as Iran, Sudan, and Korea. Shows with interesting titles like Art Talk, Createurs du Futur, Girls Night Out, Powder and Rails, Thumbs Up!, and TOXIC. Sound intriguing?

Some VBS.TV highlights:

  • Coming soon! Travel with Heimo Korth in Alaska’s Artic National Wildlife Refuge as he hunts and fur-traps and talks about life in the Artic far away from civilization…
  • Meet the inhabitants of Swansea, England and listen and learn why they all became drug addicts in a dying town…
  • Learn about the Imperial Valley of California and how and why the honeybees and fish are slowly dying…
  • Participate in the VBS.TV Blog.
  • View what’s happening in the newsroom.

Highly recommend Parts 1-3 of TOXIC: Garbage Island. These videos provide new perspective on the condition of the oceans, in particular the Pacific, and how humankind is destroying our precious water by infusing it with plastic.

http://www.vbs.tv/

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Conscientiousness citizens in San Antonio, Texas have been observing, and videotaping, other residents STEALING items left at a donation station belonging to Medina Children’s Home.

It is shocking, when confronted, that the thieves do not consider their acts of stealing to be theft! They argue that because they may have left something they have a RIGHT to take other goods.

Initially, the videos taken just recorded the acts of the theft, vehicles, and license plates. However, as time went on, and frustration over the frequency of the thefts increased, the thieves were confronted.

Father and son steal donated lawn mower:

Woman walks regularly to the station to “shop”:

These women are regular shoppers, but use different vehicles for each trip:

This woman feels it is her right to steal:

Kudos to thebigdog210 for caring and stepping in!

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bathtime-towelsI cannot believe that pictures taken by parents of their children during and after bath time can be considered pornography!

I really feel for these poor parents who had to endure having their children taken away and were flagged as sex offenders. And all of this happened because some silly Walmart (that says it all, doesn’t it!) employee felt that their bathtime pics were sexual exploitation.

My goodness, I have several pics of my kids NAKED in and out of the tub and never considered it pornography. It’s what we use to threaten our kids with (“wait until I can show this to your future wife!”). Even my parents have photos of my siblings and me and in our older years, we would pull these out and laugh…

If you peruse bathtime photo’s on the Internet you will find a ton with NAKED kids… OMG! Guess those parents better watch out. Child Protective Services (and wily Walmart employees!) could already be watching!

What is the world coming to!

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Absolutely right on! Meet these people every day.. Frankly, I am amazed at how rude and nasty many people are and you can tell that they think they are someone “special.”

Would be nice if people actually did some soul searching after reading this and incorp’d some changes. Might make the world a better place to live..

From CNN

Commentary: Joe, Kanye, Serena — aren’t they special?

Story Highlights

  • Ruben Navarrette Jr.: Joe Wilson, Kanye West, Serena Williams are in the news
  • He says their outbursts have people talking about epidemic of rudeness
  • He says it’s a symptom of a society that has become narcissistic
  • He says parents have raised children who are primarily self-centered
By Ruben Navarrette Jr.
Special to CNN

SAN DIEGO, California (CNN) — Thanks to Joe, Kanye, Serena, and other misfits, a lot of people are talking about how society is undergoing a rash of rudeness.

That’s not completely accurate. It’s more like a rise in self-centeredness.

Among the self-centered: Congressman Joe Wilson, rapper Kanye West and tennis star Serena Williams. But this phenomenon isn’t limited to celebrities and previously anonymous backbenchers in Congress basking in their 15 minutes.

There are many people out there, in all walks of life, who think they’re more significant than they really are. Plagued with an exaggerated sense of self-importance, they feel entitled to do whatever they want, whenever they want to do it no matter whom it hurts.

The self-centered rarely think about the consequences because they’re too busy claiming what they see as their rightful place in the spotlight. And when they’re criticized for letting their narcissism get the best of them and face the wrath of their colleagues or the disapproval of their fans, they might apologize. But, even then, they often don’t do a very good job of it because their heart’s not in it.

They don’t feel genuine remorse but they’ve been told by their press secretaries and publicists to fake it as best they can as part of the damage control. They mouth the words because they consider it to be in their own best interests. It’s always about them.

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford made matters worse at home by apologizing for an affair with someone he called his “soul mate.”

Singer Chris Brown — who began performing community service in Virginia this week in connection with his sentence for assaulting his then-girlfriend, singer Rihanna — publicly apologized for the abuse and then played the victim when Oprah Winfrey criticized him.

So how did this virus of self-centeredness get in our national bloodstream?

Some in the media blame the coarseness of talk radio and the Internet where the most extreme voices are the loudest and where people tune in not to hear different points of view but to have their own views validated. That’s no picnic for those of us who won’t be boxed in. I’ve had liberals comment on this site that, as someone who sometimes voices conservative opinions, my column belongs somewhere else. But, when I recently hosted a radio show, and expressed liberal views, an angry caller protectively informed me that “AM talk radio is for conservatives.”

Others blame the look-at-me-I’m-so-special culture bred by egocentric social networking sites such as Facebook, My Space, and Twitter. With thousands of “followers” caring enough to take time from their own day to shadow you through yours, is it any wonder that the followed are getting big heads as they “tweet” what they had for breakfast?

But I’m old-school. I believe that what matters most is not what happens at your computer but around your dinner table. When we consider the reasons for this rash of self-centeredness, I think most of it comes down to just one thing: bad parenting.

Americans have reared at least one generation of kids, or maybe two, to think of themselves as the last bottle of soda pop in the desert. We said we were building children’s self-esteem so they could be successful, but it never occurred to us that giving kids what psychologists call “cheap self-esteem” could do more harm than good by making our kids think they’re 10-feet tall and bulletproof when they’re neither.

Besides, what many of these parents were really doing was feeding their own egos; by telling your kids they’re special, it confirms that you’re special for having such special kids. Isn’t that special?

Experts who study the generations say that, thanks to reliable birth control and legalized abortion, the last couple of generations have been the “most wanted” in American history. When they arrived, we drove them around in minivans with signs that broadcast: “Caution: Baby on Board.” And when they went to school or summer camp, we made sure everyone got a trophy so no one got their feelings hurt.

One person who has zeroed in on this is Jean Twenge, an associate professor of psychology at San Diego State University. Twenge has spent more than a dozen years examining generational differences. Her research includes comparing studies on the self-esteem of more than 60,000 college students across the country from 1968 to 1994.

As a result of this, and the feedback of hundreds of her own students, Twenge has written two highly informed books on our self-centered culture. This year, she put out, “The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement,” with co-author and fellow psychologist W. Keith Campbell.

Twenge recalled the student who asked her to postpone a final exam because it interfered with his plans for a birthday outing to Las Vegas. She also heard from a person who runs a company in Minnesota who said it was not uncommon for employees to call into the office and say they were too tired to come to work.

In their book, Twenge and Campbell list the factors fueling the entitlement mentality. They include celebrity culture and the media, which teach Americans that they’re entitled to be famous.

“Narcissism is absolutely toxic to society,” Twenge told me when I interviewed her about her book a few months ago. “When faced with common resources, narcissists take more for themselves and they leave less for others.”

And, as usual, diagnosing the ailment is easier than curing it. But cure it we must. Before we learn all the wrong lessons and come to think that the abnormal is normal, and the intolerable is acceptable. 

A friend who used to work in the Bush White House tells me that some Republican voters are already flooding the Congressional switchboard and pushing the idea of Joe Wilson running for president in 2012. No lie!

We had better work fast.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Ruben Navarrette Jr.

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I love to hear about happy endings…!

smileyfaces

From Ananova

Facebook reunited kidnapped son with mum

Social networking site Facebook has reunited a kidnapped son with his Mum, 27 years after he disappeared.

Avril Grube, 62, was awarded custody or her son Gavin Paros when she split with his Hungarian father in 1982. Mr Paros was given visiting rights to his son, but one afternoon he took Gavin out for the day and never returned.

Avril and her sister Beryl Wilson, 59, never gave up the search for Gavin. They made contact with the Hungarian embassy and even took the plight to the then Prime Minster Margaret Thatcher.

Ms Wilson told the BBC: “He said he was going to the zoo or somewhere and when he didn’t arrive back we found out he had taken him to Hungary.

“My sister was devastated, her health suffered. We tried everything, but no-one wanted to know.”

It wasn’t until March this year that Ms Wilson tried using the web to track him down. She entered his name into a search engine which took her straight to his Facebook profile. It shown he was born in Liverpool and his mother’s name was mentioned on his profile.

Ms Grube was said to be “on cloud nine” when told her sister had tracked her son down and they met in person for the first time this week.

“My sister would phone him on a Sunday and speak to him through an interpreter. She is just on cloud nine. They have been hugging, really, really happy.”

Plasterer Gavin, who celebrates his 30th birthday this Sunday, is married with three kids and said he’d spent the last five years trying to trace his mother.

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