My cat was recently diagnosed with a urinary tract infection. Autumn’s a middle-aged gentleman, thus prone to the problem. Since he is the apple of my eye (I know this is a lazy metaphor), I thought that a new bowl would be just the thing to get him to drink more. It has a quiet motor that keeps the water circulating, ample space in the big stainless steel bowl for him to lap from, and a fresh, cool source of water continuously.
What was I thinking? This is a cat mind I’m dealing with. As you might guess, he isn’t responding to this logical choice of a new water bowl. There has been nothing but a dipping-in and shaking of his paws and then a fast trip upstairs to take a nap since yesterday morning. Why did I, who prides herself on being a rational thinker (HAH!) think this would work for him? My next plan, totally irrational, is to try a treat (he’s a sucker for treats) after he tries licking, but, well it’s obvious, he won’t even lick.
Today I went to a craft show, the first of my 2015 selling venues. When I entered the shopping venue, I got that feeling of community I always feel as I walked past the displays of everything from handmade fire pits to jewelry to birdhouses to quilts to clothing. I know why I always have that fellow feeling. The crafters setting up their displays as you walk to your assigned post dragging your cart are a community of interest and mutual understanding. Why the word “community?” Here are a couple of reasons. Our special group of sellers is not distinguished by economic status. While some people are relatively dressed up, most are dressed sensibly. Moving that stuff in and out of your car or more often, truck, into the selling space and setting it up attractively is sometimes really hard. Reversing the process is equally tough. Tonight I discovered an ugly bruise on my left arm from awkwardly balancing my table on my rolling cart. The darn table also has given up the ghost and yesterday developed a leg that would not stay down as I pushed the cart and kept springing up. But who cares? We crafters are also distinguished by our optimistic feeling that today might be the day we really sell a lot. We are also marked by our friendly approach to everyone who passes by our tables and momentarily scans our wares. We all have a good question or two as we catch their eye. I was at a sale once when the inventive woman in the next booth had a radio on broadcasting a Titans game. Her question was “Want to know how the Titans are doing?” Vendors from the sale often snatch a minute or too to pass your table and appraise the contents, look for something to buy. Maybe they’ll ask you “What’s your book about?” That’s pure gold and you can expand on the plot but not too much or you’ll discourage the potential buyer who in this case is another crafter. You want to entice them into a sale, just like the non-craft visitors. In the slow times, fellow vendors are known to be helpful to each other. On a scorching day in Tennessee one time, I thought I’d have to leave. You’re not really supposed to of course. You’re always instructed to stay until closing time. On this occasion, the lady in the next booth noticed my failure to keep smiling and keep my face hidden under my hat, and invited me to set up my table in her covered niche away from the blazing sun. She not only did that but bought a book from me and instructed her husband to go and buy me a cold drink. There are more reasons I like to sell at craft shows, but the major reason is this: crafters are polite, helpful, understanding and sympathetic to their fellow crafters. They want other crafters to succeed. Yes, for sure, a book seller is almost always welcome at a craft show. If you are looking for a new venue, one away from crowded writers’ tables at some huge event, why not try a craft show. Crafters will be glad to see you!
I am a horse person through and through, as everybody who reads this blog knows. But I have lived with cats, for many years, ever since I was a little girl.
I’m interested in all kinds of cats, both wild and domestic. Here’s a new kind of cat who lives at the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Texas. The Black-Footed cat weighs about two pounds and has attractive flat ears.
Here’s how the center describes itself. “Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is where Africa comes to Texas. Our 1,800-acre preserve holds a 9.5 mile scenic drive where you can interact with over 1,100 rare and endangered animals roaming free in their herds. Stay in your car, reserve your spot on a guided tour, or even spend a night at our Safari Camp or Lodge to see over 50 different species of wild animals including cheetahs, wolves, giraffes, rhinos and more. The delicious food at The Overlook Café is paired with an incredible view overlooking the park and our gift shop offers souvenirs to take home to family and friends.” Read more at this link and take a look at the cats.
Clant Seay is sponsoring a petition on change.org. Everyone who hates that torture of horses called soring has a chance to sign this petition:
CANCEL “BIG LICK” TENNESSEE WALKING HORSE CLASSES AT THE MISSISSIPPI CHARITY HORSE SHOW; DISASSOCIATE THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI CHILDRENS HOSPITAL WITH INSTITUTIONALIZED ANIMAL CRUELTY REPRESENTED BY EXHIBITION OF “BIG LICK” TENNESSEE WALKING HORSES.
Mr. Seay does the following wrap up of soring which explains the petition but at the same time, shows us all that the movement to get rid of soring hasn’t progressed very far. Here is what he says at the change.org site.
On March 26 – 28, 2015, one of the CRUELEST Horse Shows – the Tennessee Walking Horse (TWH) performance or “BIG LICK” show is coming to the Mississippi State Fairgrounds.
The “Mississippi Charity Horse Show” will feature 59 “Big Lick” Tennessee Walking Horses classes. Sadly, four of the five “Horse Show Judges” have received Horse Protection Act Violation Citations for “Soring” Horses.
“Soring” is the illegal and cruel practice of using chemical and mechanical methods to create pain in a gaited show horses front feet to exaggerate their animated step … The Horses are forced to perform the CRUEL and unnatural high stepping “Big Lick” gait.
HOW THEY HURT HORSES TO DO THE “BIG LICK” GAIT
Middle Tennessee State vet Dr. John Haffner, “ The fact is the big lick can only be accomplished by soring. When one soring technique becomes detectable, another one is developed. The big lick is a learned response to pain and if horses have not been sored, they do not learn it.”
Trainers deliberately TORTURE by “Soring” by applying harsh chemicals (including kerosene, diesel fuel, and WD-40) to the horse’s legs and hooves. The chemicals cause painful blistering so when the horses are shown wearing “CHAINS” on their front feet, it causes excruciating pain which forces the horse into a high-stepping gait.
“Big Lick” TWH also wear heavy built up “STACKED SHOES” weighing 10-15 lb per foot. Often, trainers will insert metal or objects between the pads and the horse’s foot to create pain which also causes the horse to step high.
“Big Lickers” also “train” horses not to react to pre-show inspections. One Trainer used a medieval like “Barbed Wire Harness” in the shape of a “Figure Eight” to fit over a horse’s head and ears so it would “learn” not to move during inspections. Other Trainers beat or shock the horses to “teach” them.
OVER 50% OF “BIG LICK” HORSES SHOWED SIGNS OF “SORING”
On September 10, 2014, The Tennessean newspaper reported over 50% of 389 Tennessee Walking Horses inspected by USDA vets at the 2014 Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration (TWH Super Bowl) showed signs of soring. It said the apparent signs of soring disqualified 166 competitors during the event - 15.4 percent of all of the horses inspected.”
BUSINESSES REFUSE TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH “BIG LICK”
In 2014, the Celebration’s largest sponsor, Regions Bank (16 states), withdrew its $25,000.00 corporate support of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration. In 2012, Pepsi-Co (Pepsi Cola, Mountain Dew brands) withdrew its $25,000.00 corporate sponsorship of the event.
NATIONAL MOVEMENT TO ELIMINATE THE SORE “BIG LICK”
In 2014, over 70% of the U. S. House of Representatives and 60 United States Senators publicly announced support for a Federal Law to eliminate the “Big Lick” by removing pads and chains from Tennessee Walking Horses, and make horse soring a federal felony. Tragically, the law did not get a vote. Soring is now concentrated in the States of Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama and Mississippi.
UNIV. OF TENNESSEE REMOVED BIG LICK TWH @ UT HOMECOMING
Starting in 2012, the University of Tennessee ended the decades long tradition of exhibiting a”Big Lick” Tennessee Walking Horse at its annual Homecoming football game. The new tradition features a sound natural flat shod Tennessee Walking Horse performing the plantation gaits.
UNIV. MISS. (OLE MISS) BENEFITS FROM “BIG LICK” HORSE ABUSE
The UMC (University of Mississippi) Childrens Hospital currently receives “Blood Money” donations from the “Mississippi Charity Horse Show” which are derived from the exhibition of “Big Lick” Tennessee Walking Horses.
Ever since my February birthday, I’ve been reading my birthday gifts from my children. It’s a tradition in my family for the children to give me books for Christmas and my birthday, and sometimes on other occasions as well.
Here’s what I’m working on now.
When Books Went to War, its subtitle and good descriptor, “The Stories that helped us win World War II.” By Molly Guptill Manning. The author describes the need for books during that war this way: “The days were grinding, the stress was suffocating, and the dreams of making it home were often fleeting. Any distraction from the horrors of war was cherished. The men treasured mementos of home. Letters from loved ones were rare prizes. Card games, puzzles, music, and the occasional sports game helped pass the hours waiting for action or sleep to come.” The book goes on to describe the Armed Services Editions, “portable, accessible, and pervasive paperbacks….” This book is heartwarming to read as stories of the WWII soldiers and their reading matter is explored. The need for paperbacks is still true today. Last year I sent many paperbacks to the armed services. If anyone would like to know how to do this, just contact me below.
The Majesty of the Horse. An Illustrated history. Tamsin Pickeral. Photography by Astrid Harrisson. From the back cover: “Award winning horse photographer Astrid Harrisson and equestrian expert Tamsin Pickeral spent a year combing the world in search of the best examples of more than eighty diverse horse breeds….A fascinating read accompanied by sensitive and striking photography….Discover the vital role that the magnificent horse has played throughout history. From plow horse to racehorse. Trace the development of the most striking and significant breeds that are now almost forgotten.” This is a rich, beautiful book. The rare breeds are fabulous.
Lock In. John Scalzi. Here what Amazon says about the plot. “Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent – and nearly five million souls in the United States alone – the disease causes “Lock In”: Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge. A quarter of a century later, in a world shaped by what’s now known as ‘Haden’s syndrome,’ rookie FBI agent Chris Shane is paired with veteran agent Leslie Vann. The two of them are assigned what appears to be a Haden-related murder at the Watergate Hotel, with a suspect who is an ‘integrator’ – someone who can let the locked in borrow their bodies for a time. If the Integrator was carrying a Haden client, then naming the suspect for the murder becomes that much more complicated.”
As You Wish. “Inconceivable Tales From the making of THE PRINCESS BRIDE.” Cary Elwes with Joe Layden. Hilarious book about what it took, and you wouldn’t believe it, to get this movie made. I laughed all the way through, impressed by the love for the story everyone had and what they were willing to put up with to finish it.