Saturday, January 31, 2009

Around the House Today and a plug for La Carreta Elkview (go eat there! now!)


Bird tracks, cat tracks and dog tracks!

My cute husband. Time to go get some Mexican food and buy some groceries

Our little road is still snow and ice covered

Thank goodness the hill is no longer a sheet of ice!

La Carreta! My favorite! If you're in the Elkview/Pinch area, go and eat at La Carreta in Elkview!! Off the Elkview Exit on I-79 (exit 9). In the little plaza behind K-Mart. It's muy delicioso!!

Hey these pictures are making me hungry

The view from our booth

Yay, we're home!

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Weekly Cat Pictures

Miss Bobbi the Snow Cat

Miss Bobbi was rolling around on the driveway for some reason

Rascal balancing on top of the lawn chair we fashioned into a gate to keep dogs off the porch

Me and my Baby Boy Stubby

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Gratuitous Kitty Pictures

Miss Bobbi

The Kitty Tent for the outside cats

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Snowy Day

We had a bit of snow this morning! The roads were not very well treated when we left but we didn't have too much trouble. Our hill was pretty slick and the worst. I didn't think to take a picture there, darn it. Husband drove down it with the car in reverse!! I wouldn't have attempted it alone.

Driving through Pinch

I-64 West

Leon Sullivan Way (Broad Street) Exit

Downtown Charleston

Tonight, the trees were encased in ice! But the temp is rising slowly and the snow has been mixed with rain.

Rose of Sharon bush encased in ice - and raindrops!

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Weekend Update: Stubby Sick and Spending the Day with NIece

My main concern over the weekend and Monday had been Stubby. He was throwing up and acting like he was trying to get rid of a hairball. Not unusual, although he hasn't done it for awhile. By Saturday night he acted like he didn't feel well either - a little lethargic and he didn't sleep in his usual place (by my head) Saturday night. Sunday he was lethargic and not eating or drinking.

So Monday morning I got up and took him to the vet (Elk Valley) first thing. The recording said they opened at 8:00, but the vet doesn't actually arrive until 9:00. I went to McD's and got some breakfast then came back and hung out to wait. I got one of the female vets (Amy?) who I liked very much. She was good with Stubby and he was a very good boy. He was alert and interested in everything so that made me feel better. She took his temp and examined him. When she squeezed his belly it was obviously painful. We decided to start with x-rays then do bloodwork later if necessary. She gave him the x-ray and I could hear him yowling in protest. We waited for the results but found he had moved and they had to do another. This time he was perfectly quiet - resigned to it. The results showed a lot of fecal matter in the intestines but it wasn't completely clear on the computer yet - still loading I guess - so I don't think she could tell about a hairball in the stomach. She recommended an enema and IV fluids since he was a little dehydrated. She took him back as I was leaving and he was just acting like she was his buddy and didn't seem too traumatized by me leaving. I'm sure that changed when he got the enema. We picked him up on our way home. They gave him subcutaneous fluids because he was somewhat dehydrated. He already appeared to feel better. She told us to watch him and if he continued feeling bad or vomiting to bring him back and we'd run some tests.

I was so worried about him on Sunday. Because of Junior's death I freaked out a little. But once I had him at the vet I knew he was in good hands and I was able to relax a little. Stubby is closer to me than any other cat I've ever had - I don't know what I would do if anything happened to him.

I did have a good day Sunday though, even with the worry. I spent the day with my Niece. She turned 13 on the 18th and we were out of town so I took her out to have our own private celebration - a girls day out. Sis met me halfway so I wouldn't have to go all the way out to the house and then drive back to town. We met at Wendy's in South Charleston and while we were there a huge great dane was running around in the parking lot. He was very friendly, my sister discovered (I wasn't getting out of the car until I saw he was!) and luckily had a name tag on with his owner's phone numbers. His name was Rex.

Rex had apparently broken whatever he was tied with because there was a hook on his collar with a frayed end. The owner was called and came very quickly to get him. My sister let him get up in her car because he was hard to hold onto to keep from running away. We were right beside a busy highway and he kept wanting to go over to the road.

Niece colored her hair with Kool Aid! LOL Note the bright red streak and tips. Hey you can see me reflected in the car LOL

After we took care of Rex, Niece and I went to Logan's Roadhouse for lunch. Her favorite food is steak. We had very good food but lousy service. After we left there, we went to PetSmart so I could buy some cat grass. While there we had to look at all the animals of course. We discovered chameleons have really weird hands. And we petted a sweet white cat. We wanted to take all three of the cats home with us. And some mice and a turtle. But we didn't.

The next stop was my house, because I had forgotten to bring her gifts (a moonstone pendant on a silver chain and a gemstone chip chakra bracelet). While at the house we also watched part of the Dog Whisperer.

Next we went to the Clay Center. We were a half hour early for the movie so we went to the gift shop and looked around. I wasn't paying attention to the time and when we left (without buying a thing) it was 4:01 and the movie was to start at 4:00. The doors were already shut and locked! Luckily someone heard us and we got in. There weren't very many people there anyway. The movie was a giant screen movie and it was Jane Goodall's Wild Chimpanzees. It was good but only 45 minutes long and basically just an overview of her studies. But it was fun seeing all the chimps. We were both already pretty familiar with her work.

When we got out of the movie we got in the photo booth and had our pictures made. My scanner separated them when I scanned it and I had to put them back together! It also left off the "Happy Birthday" design at the top. :P  The really nice thing was that it gave us two strips so we each had one!

We left the Clay Center and stopped at Dairy Queen for dessert, even though it was snowing (as Niece said, "It's never too cold for ice cream.") After that I took her home. We had such a good time. I love hanging out with her.

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Stubby-like LOL cat

This kitty looks just like Stubby! Posting this via an iGoogle gadget - hope it takes HTML

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

Monday, January 26, 2009

Don't Wait

"Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful."

Mark Victor Hansen
Inspirational Speaker and Author

via Inspiration Peak

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Testing lifecast

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Blogwriter lite

Is what I used to post this and the last post with my touch. I think that's its name. It doesn't say it anywhere within the app.


Testing an iPod touch app. I need to make a post about my fav apps so far. It's amazing how many there are! Maybe I can use this app to do that post.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

2009 Bloggies

My fav blog ever, Chickens in the Road, is up for best kept secret. If you like it, vote for it!

I've also recently started reading Confessions of Pioneer Woman - awesome blog too and it's up for several awards as well.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Morgantown: Our Weekend in Pictures

We drove onto the WVU farm

and saw some experimental sheep

West Run has changed so much. Like many other places in Morgantown, apartments and townhouses have sprung up in great numbers.

We stayed at the Super 8

We went shopping downtown

at Cool Ridge (the "hippie store")

They have everything from smoking accessories to buddhist stuff! I got some Auric Blends perfume.

Why is this man running from us??

Cheat Lake was icy!

Chestnut Ridge Church

Inside the church for the 11:00 a.m. Sunday service

It was kind of like being at a rock concert. The seats were almost all full by the time the service started.

It was very snowy when we got up to leave Monday morning!

We had a snowy drive home but the roads were not bad thank goodness.

We had to have lunch at Wings Ole on the way out of town

The Monongahela River, viewed from Wings Ole

Thursday, January 15, 2009

'Alternative' Medicine is Mainstream


"In mid-February, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and the Bravewell Collaborative are convening a "Summit on Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public." This is a watershed in the evolution of integrative medicine, a holistic approach to health care that uses the best of conventional and alternative therapies such as meditation, yoga, acupuncture and herbal remedies. Many of these therapies are now scientifically documented to be not only medically effective but also cost effective.

President-elect Barack Obama and former Sen. Tom Daschle (the nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services) understand that if we want to make affordable health care available to the 45 million Americans who do not have health insurance, then we need to address the fundamental causes of health and illness, and provide incentives for healthy ways of living rather than reimbursing only drugs and surgery.

Heart disease, diabetes, prostate cancer, breast cancer and obesity account for 75% of health-care costs, and yet these are largely preventable and even reversible by changing diet and lifestyle. As Mr. Obama states in his health plan, unveiled during his campaign: "This nation is facing a true epidemic of chronic disease. An increasing number of Americans are suffering and dying needlessly from diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, asthma and HIV/AIDS, all of which can be delayed in onset if not prevented entirely."

The latest scientific studies show that our bodies have a remarkable capacity to begin healing, and much more quickly than we had once realized, if we address the lifestyle factors that often cause these chronic diseases. These studies show that integrative medicine can make a powerful difference in our health and well-being, how quickly these changes may occur, and how dynamic these mechanisms can be.

Many people tend to think of breakthroughs in medicine as a new drug, laser or high-tech surgical procedure. They often have a hard time believing that the simple choices that we make in our lifestyle -- what we eat, how we respond to stress, whether or not we smoke cigarettes, how much exercise we get, and the quality of our relationships and social support -- can be as powerful as drugs and surgery. But they often are. And in many instances, they're even more powerful.

These studies often used high-tech, state-of-the-art measures to prove the power of simple, low-tech, and low-cost interventions. Integrative medicine approaches such as plant-based diets, yoga, meditation and psychosocial support may stop or even reverse the progression of coronary heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, prostate cancer, obesity, hypercholesterolemia and other chronic conditions.

A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that these approaches may even change gene expression in hundreds of genes in only a few months. Genes associated with cancer, heart disease and inflammation were downregulated or "turned off" whereas protective genes were upregulated or "turned on." A study published in The Lancet Oncology reported that these changes increase telomerase, the enzyme that lengthens telomeres, the ends of our chromosomes that control how long we live. Even drugs have not been shown to do this.

Our "health-care system" is primarily a disease-care system. Last year, $2.1 trillion was spent in the U.S. on medical care, or 16.5% of the gross national product. Of these trillions, 95 cents of every dollar was spent to treat disease after it had already occurred. At least 75% of these costs were spent on treating chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, that are preventable or even reversible.

The choices are especially clear in cardiology. In 2006, for example, according to data provided by the American Heart Association, 1.3 million coronary angioplasty procedures were performed at an average cost of $48,399 each, or more than $60 billion; and 448,000 coronary bypass operations were performed at a cost of $99,743 each, or more than $44 billion. In other words, Americans spent more than $100 billion in 2006 for these two procedures alone.

Despite these costs, a randomized controlled trial published in April 2007 in The New England Journal of Medicine found that angioplasties and stents do not prolong life or even prevent heart attacks in stable patients (i.e., 95% of those who receive them). Coronary bypass surgery prolongs life in less than 3% of patients who receive it. So, Medicare and other insurers and individuals pay billions for surgical procedures like angioplasty and bypass surgery that are usually dangerous, invasive, expensive and largely ineffective. Yet they pay very little -- if any money at all -- for integrative medicine approaches that have been proven to reverse and prevent most chronic diseases that account for at least 75% of health-care costs. The INTERHEART study, published in September 2004 in The Lancet, followed 30,000 men and women on six continents and found that changing lifestyle could prevent at least 90% of all heart disease.

That bears repeating: The disease that accounts for more premature deaths and costs Americans more than any other illness is almost completely preventable simply by changing diet and lifestyle. And the same lifestyle changes that can prevent or even reverse heart disease also help prevent or reverse many other chronic diseases as well. Chronic pain is one of the major sources of worker's compensation claims costs, yet studies show that it is often susceptible to acupuncture and Qi Gong. Herbs usually have far fewer side effects than pharmaceuticals.

Joy, pleasure and freedom are sustainable, deprivation and austerity are not. When you eat a healthier diet, quit smoking, exercise, meditate and have more love in your life, then your brain receives more blood and oxygen, so you think more clearly, have more energy, need less sleep. Your brain may grow so many new neurons that it could get measurably bigger in only a few months. Your face gets more blood flow, so your skin glows more and wrinkles less. Your heart gets more blood flow, so you have more stamina and can even begin to reverse heart disease. Your sexual organs receive more blood flow, so you may become more potent -- similar to the way that circulation-increasing drugs like Viagra work. For many people, these are choices worth making -- not just to live longer, but also to live better.

It's time to move past the debate of alternative medicine versus traditional medicine, and to focus on what works, what doesn't, for whom, and under which circumstances. It will take serious government funding to find out, but these findings may help reduce costs and increase health.

Integrative medicine approaches bring together those in red states and blue states, liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, because these are human issues. They are both medically effective and, important in our current economic climate, cost effective. These approaches emphasize both personal responsibility and the opportunity to make affordable, quality health care available to those who most need it. Mr. Obama should make them an integral part of his health plan as soon as possible.

Dr. Chopra, the author of more than 50 books on the mind, body and spirit, is guest faculty at Beth Israel Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Dr. Ornish is clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Mr. Roy is professor emeritus of materials science at Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Weil is director of the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. "

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

R.I.P. Junior 2004-2009

Our next door neighbor found Junior (Stubby's brother, one of the back porch cats) dead on her back deck. He wasn't eating the past few days and he disappeared last night. :(

His other brother Rascal and his mother Miss Bobbi are going to miss him so much. He would sleep with them when it was cold. And he and Rascal were buddies, always playing together. He was such a good cat too. A homebody. He rarely went out of the yard, next door was pretty much as far as he would go. He always slept on the porch all year long (Rascal and Bobbi don't always when it's warm). He always wanted to come inside. Or for us to come outside and just be with him. I considered bringing him inside with Stubby, but was glad I didn't because he and Rascal had each other.

We're going to miss him. :(

We haven't seen Spare since before Christmas. I have hoped that his real people have let him inside. I hope he is up there safe and warm.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The cat grass is a hit

All three kitties LOVE the Chia cat grass!! I'm so glad Stubby likes it because he won't eat anything (canned food, treats, human food) except his dry food.

nom nom nom

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

My lovely new quilt!

My dear friend Sharon Waggy (a true artist) made me this amazing quilt! It's called “Bali Kitty Paws Pounce” and is made with Bali fabric. Note the MEOW and paws quilted on it.

The back of the quilt:

Snoop loves it (and apparently thinks it's delicious!):