About Me

My photo
I live on 6 deeply wooded acres in the boonies of Middleville, MI. I'm married to an amazing man, Brian. He's pretty much the best thing that has ever happened to me. I'm a big animal lover. I have 5 cats; Bella (6), Cognac (3), Georgia (3), Maggie (2), & Auggie (8-9mos.) We recently lost our kittens, Aesop & Amelia, to a battle with Feline Leukemia. I feel the need to mention them. They were amazing beings that showed unconditional love like no other cats I've had. I also have Cheech (9) that I'm fostering. We have two puppies; Charlie & Henry. Having a blast! I'm a dabbler in photography, photo shop, & crafts. I'm kind of a bookworm/nerd/geek. Yes, I have read the Twilight Series. No, I'm not obsessed. I love Shakespeare, Nathaniel Hawthorne, C.S. Lewis, and L. Frank Baum - among others, obviously.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Last Friday, Brian and I added a feline friend to our household. Where he was living before had a pretty bad flea infestation and he basically needed to get out. He belongs to a cousin of mine and she plans on being financially responsible for him still, he just can't live where she currently resides. Cheech is 9 years old.

(Fun fact: Cheech's sister lives at my parents house.)

So, meet Cheech.


He has some bald spots on his back side.


Since he's been here, his scabs are healing really well.


The vet recommended he stay quarantined for a week. So, he's been in our storage room in our basement. Luckily our computer server is in there, so we can watch movies and spend time with him.

He's a pretty funny guy.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Past Few Weeks

Well, I haven't blogged in quite some time. One of my friends informed me of this. So, I thought I'd give you an update.

A couple weeks ago I started feeling intense pressure in my stomach. After about the third day I realized something was wrong and I needed to seek medical help.

I got into my doctor's office. From what I was telling him he thought maybe I had coeliac disease. Or he thought I had a form of colitis - which don't google it because it'll freak you out. I don't show any signs of colitis at this point, but I had in the past year so he didn't want to rule it out. He's strongly urging me to have a colonoscopy, but that is not something that I want to do at this time. Not to mention I don't currently show signs of it.

I had to go in for a blood draw to test for coeliac disease (which is an allergy to gluten). It was supposed to be a simple blood draw - I've had many. It turned into a nightmare and I was almost in panic mode by the time the third nurse came over to do it correctly. After a few hours I noticed my arm:


(It's not the greatest picture because I took it with my phone. Sorry.)

I had to stay on a gluten free diet until I got the results. I do NOT have coeliac. So, that was good news.

After my first appointment with him I was feeling good. So good that I was telling Brian that I was feeling almost back to normal. Then the moment I laid down for bed I noticed intense pain that I couldn't ignore. I was awake off and on until I got up at 4:30 a.m. I had my doctor paged. He called me back rather quickly and I told him how the pain was primarily when I'd lay down at bed time. He told me what I needed to do and what to take that was over the counter until I saw him again.

It's looking like, at this point in time, that I'm producing far more stomach acid. Which I've learned will basically happen overnight to people.

He's not ruling out colitis and is still heckling me to have a colonoscopy. I think some time in the next year I'll go through that. But not right now. (Mainly because the thought of it scares me. Yes, I've heard they're painless, but the day before it isn't pleasant and that's what I don't want.)

He's also got me on a medication that's allowing me far more fiber in my diet. So, I'm basically eating vegetables at every meal and loving that. I feel so good now. So, yay!

The cats are doing well. Aesop has surpassed his one year mark and is doing well. I try to play with him every day. And I even have an extra water bowl for him in our shower since he loooooves water so much. His coat is amazingly soft. I don't know if it's his grooming regimen or what. He does get the occasional hair ball stuck in his throat. And he wakes us up in the middle of the night to pat his back. (Kind of like a little kid.) After a few pats he's back to normal and sleeps with us in bed.

As I was working this week I decided to change my background on my desktop because I hadn't in a while. I stumbled upon this picture:


Aesop is so teeny tiny next to Cognac! Now he's as big or bigger. :)

In this picture you can see the difference:


He's a monster!

And here's another picture of Ace:


(Sorry for their poor quality. They are from my phone.)

Brian and I have been on the go so much that I haven't had time to use my Canon at all. :(

And now we're gearin' up for the holidays... I promise I'll update more!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I Will Never Buy Pasta Salad Again

This weekend, I thought I'd take another whack at this pasta recipe that my cousin, Addie, gave me. My first attempt had failed. I tweaked the recipe and was pleasantly surprised.

Feta Cheese
Cheddar Cheese
Parmesan Cheese
Italian Dressing
Small Tomatoes

As the pasta was boiling, I chopped up the tomatoes and cheddar cheese (cheese not pictured).


When the pasta was done, I drained it and rinsed it in cool water. Then I combined all of the ingredients.



After a taste test, I felt that it was a little too zesty, so, I added a little bit of ranch dressing to make it creamier. It was amazing.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

It's Official! Happy Birthday, Aesop!

Well, Aesop is a one year old!

He went to the vet this Wednesday. He is still feline leukemia positive. I wasn't too happy about the results. Aesop is a whopping 11 pounds, though. (His "big" brother that passed away was only 6 pounds at 16 months old.) The vet said that he had a very strong heart and a good set of lungs. She said to just keep an eye on him. She said he's really healthy considering he's fe leuk positive.

We still aren't sure how much longer he'll be left in our lives, but we're enjoying every minute with him.

... Even when he wakes us up at 4:00 in the morning to "party."



But he's just too precious.

For now, we're just going to continue him on his viralys medicine and keep him active.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

This Weekend...

This weekend had a lot of pros and cons:

1. I got to drive over the Mackinac Bridge for the first time.

2. I got to travel to Mackinaw City, Mackinac Island, & St. Ignace for the first time.

3. I got to spend time with family.

4. I got to take some awesome pictures.

1. I found out that I cannot digest Alfredo sauce. (I think it's been about 5 years since I had it.)

2. Our truck would not start and had to be towed to Cheboygan, MI. Since it was a holiday weekend, no mechanic place was open until Tuesday.

3. I woke up at 3:20 a.m. on Monday with incredibly low blood sugar and fighting nausea. My body isn't normally awake at that time, so it wasn't giving me proper amounts of insulin.

4. Brian and I missed work waiting for the truck to be fixed.

But, it was totally worth it...


I loved the fabric of the pillows and bedspread at the hotel.


A view of our room.


We traveled to Cynthia's Yarn Shop.


She had so many yarns. I wanted to live there!


She had a lot of items on display.


I bought two skeins of this, too. I don't know what I'll make with it yet, but gosh it's a great color.


I also found this bag in Mackinaw City. I thought it would make a perfect knitting bag.


We saw this guy on our first night there. Check out his site here.


This was the restaurant we dined at for Colleen's birthday. Click here to view their site.


I liked their table lamps.


When we went to the island Brian and I had lunch at Goodfellow's.


I got this amazing picture of Brian there. Isn't he handsome? :)


In Mackinaw City I bought this. (It's a general rule that I must buy stuff with my middle name on it.) I also got it because...


... it mimics the awesome housewarming gift that Brian's Mom bought for us.


This picture is from the island.




Horses. :)


I took this fresh off of the ferry.


This is the Mackinac Bridge from the island.


Some of the shops on the island.


There were mini classic coke bottles at Ryba's Fudge Shop. :)


Look at how "gorgeous" I look after biking 4 miles.


This was the view from our hotel. :)

I had a great time even though I was sick for part of it.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Couches and Cats

I forgot to mention in my earlier posts that Brian and I got a new couch. Well, it's not like a huge couch. It's more loveseat sized. It's called a "chair and a half." We bought it while we were in Bay City.


Georgia is almost always laying/sleeping/grooming on it.



The fabric is almost like a thick corduroy.

I also thought I'd add a few pictures that I took tonight... And by "few" I mean eight.


Georgia laying in front of the fire place. (No idea how she got that little cut. I suspect Bella.)


Aesop finally sat still!


Cognac doesn't look too thrilled that Aesop swooped in to groom him. He tolerated it, though.


Aesop toes.


I mentioned in my previous post that I'm learning how to knit. This is my practice assignment.


As fall approaches, my flowers are wilting. Still beautiful, though.


Tonight a moth got stuck in our floor lamp. Aesop was very interested.


Just look at that concentration!

Quick Update

Little Bud, Aesop's big brother, died two days ago. Heartbreaking. Aesop is the only one left. It's so frustrating. I scheduled an appointment to have Aesop checked out next Wednesday September 8th. We'll be checking his red and white blood cell levels and also seeing if he's still positive for fe leuk. I'm praying that he'll be negative so that I don't have to be in a constant state of worry. Georgia is also getting a check up and a few vaccinations.

Feline leukemia can attack at the strangest times and areas of the body. Though Cassie's blood cell levels were fine, her lungs started filling up with liquid. The same thing happened about 6 years ago to our kitten, Muggins. We had just adopted him about 2 months before from the local animal shelter. (Muggins died September 14, 2004 and Annie died September 20, 2004 - In the same week from Fe leuk.)

For some reason Aesop is still alive and kicking. I freak out a little every time I see him napping because I'm worried that he's lethargic. The stress about this is almost constant. But, he eats very well. I put his viralys medicine on his food. And he is such a water baby I don't even need to worry about him being dehydrated. He's very big and is a good weight. He's not really fat, just thick and muscular. (Which, that's something all the other siblings didn't have; size. Little Bud was Aesop's "big" brother, but he was far smaller than Ace.)

I cannot stress enough how much I want Aesop to survive. He's got so much personality. I keep him active and play with him every night. He's got some strong lungs on him from all the jumping and flipping he does while playing with his favorite feather toy. Please send good thoughts our way.

Coming up this weekend we're heading up to Mackinac for the holiday and for Colleen's birthday. I've never been up there, mainly because of my fear of water... But I made it through the Alaskan cruise. So, I can make it through this, too. I'll be hanging out with Brian's Mom a lot. We're going to try to get some good pictures up there of colorful things. She'd like some one-of-a-kind art pieces for her downstairs bathroom that she's been redoing. Hopefully we'll get some good shots.

This past weekend we got quite a bit done. Brian started his wood cutting. He cut a good amount for his first time. This is our first year having a wood burning stove. (Well, actually we have two of them and a fireplace.) Since our new house requires propane for heat, we want to save money in the winter.

My cousins, Addie and Anna, came over this weekend, too. Addie has been knitting for about 15 years now. And I decided that I wanted to learn. So, I had my very first lesson. I think I'm pretty good for a beginner. :)

On Sunday we went to Battle Creek to spend some time with Brian's parents. We traveled to Marshall to go to the Family Bible Church. The sermon was interesting.

Well, that's about all for now...



Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Feline Leukemia Sucks

I just found out that Cassie died today. She was Aesop's last sibling that lived at my parents house.


We took these guys in completely oblivious that they were all feline leukemia positive. The first one passed away in February, her name was Lily. Then Amelia passed away in July. And Cassie passed away today. Aesop is the only one surviving. His half brother, Little Bud, is still alive. And oddly enough he's a black male cat just like Aesop.

Aesop will be a year old in a few weeks.

There is no test saying that a cat has leukemia, just that they've been exposed to it. It's up to the cat and their immune system if they are strong enough to beat it.

The odds aren't really ever in their favor. The only real success story I've had was my cat Bella. She was positive and then negative a few months later. She was immediately vaccinated. And she's 6 years old now. Most cats don't get that kind of luck.

Aesop and Little Bud are the only cats still positive. Hopefully they won't have to suffer the same fate.

Though I wasn't really attached to Cassie, I know the pain that my Dad and brother, Jason, are feeling right now.


Lily on the left. Cassie in the middle. Amelia is on the bottom right.