Thursday, March 13, 2014

Life Happens!

Sometimes life happens and art doesn't have a chance to happen. That's the way things went this week for me. The only thing I've managed to do is to make a few foam stamps with a heat tool, which I'll probably show you next week, but I didn't even have a real opportunity to use them, so there's no eye candy to show you, yet.

I thought that instead, this week, I'd do a little show-and-tell of what's been happening in my life, lately. There's an important message at the end of this post, so I hope you'll stick with me until you get there!

Back in February of 2013 we lost our last kitty, who had been part of an ever-aging group of cats we'd had for many years. One by one, they'd passed away from age-related illnesses and finally, in February, we lost our beloved Pumpkin. I was crushed and it took me many months before I was even willing to think about having another animal companion again.

Thankfully, by November of 2013, my husband and I were both ready to bring some furry life back into our home, so we adopted this beautiful little rescue kitty.


Her name is Mysty, short for Mystique, and as you can tell by the photo, she has settled into her new life here quite comfortably. She's seven years old and all we really know about her past is that one day, a man walked into a local no-kill shelter, Friends For Life, carrying two cat cages. He set them down, said he forgot something in his truck, went outside, got in his vehicle, and drove away, abandoning two beautiful sister cats.

By the time we found Mysty, her sister had been adopted (or I would have insisted on bringing both of them home!) and Mysty wasn't faring well at the shelter.

Of course, the volunteers were wonderful to her and loved on her as often as they could, but without her sister she was lost and had no other cat friends. She was emotionally scarred, very likely low-kitty on the totem pole because of her lack of claws (her previous owners had her declawed), and ran from us the minute we tried to get near her.

She spent many weeks in our house learning that she was safe, that the whole house belonged to her, and that she wouldn't have to fight anyone for food again. Now, she's a spark of playful and sweet life in our hearts, and we love her as much as any kitty we've raised since kittenhood. We're grateful to have found her.

Another interesting tidbit is that I'm in the process of buying this stunning beauty.


This is a new Ford Explorer to replace my 14-year-old Ford Expedition. Now, I love my old truck, battered and tired and faded as she is. Shes been a loyal companion since I drove her off the lot, new and shiny, 14 years ago. But Big Red, as I call her, is ready for retirement. She squeaks like a rusty hinge if you even look cross-eyed at her, and her gas mileage has become shameful. She doesn't owe me anything.

I looked around at sedans, wanting to be a good citizen of the planet, but the sad truth is, we need hauling space, always have, and no sedan could cut it when we looked at the trunk size. So I found myself a new truck that will have respectable gas mileage and the hauling space we need, inside.

This is the first time in my life that I've been in the position to just go into a dealership and load up a car with absolutely everything I could want, so it's been delightful to purchase. It's got a dual-panel moonroof (front and back), full nav system with a back-up camera that pops on as soon as you put it in reverse, heated and cooled seats, a high-end sound system... the works! I will love her and snuggle her and call her Maggie Mae, and she will be a member of my family for as many decades as she will give me.

And finally this week, onto the not-great news. I wasn't sure where in my post to put this, or if I even should, but I'm going to because it's important.

My cousin Ken is fighting through his second occurrence of throat cancer.



The first battle left him nearly dead, but he clawed his way back to life and recovered fully. This relapse is worse, and requires a procedure that his insurance company considers "experimental". Despite being hospitalized with a feeding tube, he's using his strength- along with his wife and my first cousin, Mary's- to appeal his case with them. But you know insurance companies: their standard response is "no" and we all understand the dreadful strategy behind that "no".

So a GoFundMe page has been started to try and help him raise the money to have this very expensive treatment and pay for it, outright. He's already contributed everything in his savings, more than 80K put away over a lifetime of very hard work, but he's still 20K short. So I'm just going to leave this here. It's the link to his FundMe page, which contains his story, updates on his condition, and photos of his new grandbaby that just break my heart. We're racing against time. He needs to raise the money for this procedure before it's too late to do him any good. Read it, don't read it, but above all, hug and kiss your loved ones- it could be any one of us at any time in this same awful position.

Thank you, friends. I'll see you next week!
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