Sunday, September 28, 2008

A new chapter in life begins, and an old one closes.............

After long and careful deliberation, we have decided to stop rescue permanently. We are rehoming the foster dogs we have and keeping our personal dogs, most of whom are old, (over the age of nine). Pharaoh's Haven was started to help older and abused dogs find a permanent home, and we have helped place over 100 dogs in that time. We now are looking forward to spending time with our parents, our kids, and attempt to have a "normal" life. We have downsized one other time but this will be permanent. We have 6 dogs to rehome. We have several good leads but could always use other names - people who know IGs and would give a dog a forever home. I won't be writing alot in the next few months as there is much work to be done here- reviewing applications, rehoming dogs, visiting my folks, and making plans for the holidays. I am here, I am fine, and this is a good step. Prayers are appreciated as always. Love, Anne

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Kids are doing great- adjusting beautifully!

I am happy to report that the first two weeks has been pretty free of bumps in the road. Both kids like or love their teachers and their experiences have been pretty positive. Homework isn't drowning anyone yet and we've ALMOST gotten into a routine. Sunday school, junior high, and all the "extra" stuff starts right when school starts, so we were thrown from a "no schedule" into "oh my gosh, we are supposed to be there RIGHT NOW!" kind of mind frame. That's kind of a bummer, but that's life. Now if I can just straighten out which nights some of us will be home, none of us will be home and two of us will be home, I'll be fine- means I can plan real dinners when we're all home and lighter ones when it's just one or two of us here. :) I would really prefer Oprah's chef, so when you see her, tell her the delivery address for dinners is 2819 St. Road 13. I'd really appreciate it.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Angels among us- amazing song and here are some of my angels!

My dear and very loved friend, Becca, who owns 14 birds and has a pretty tough life of her own, knew I was going through some struggles and made me four homemade cd's. There is Christian, gospel, country, and feel good songs on there- she makes me laugh- she's got a praise song and then the next one is "When Doves Cry" by Prince. :) She has been such an angel to me- always a kind word, a hug, and lots of encouraging emails. She didn't specifically mention this song when she dropped off the cd, but it was the third song and I was driving and played it three times in a row. It's such a comforting and true song- I encourage you to find it online and listen- it was done by Alabama, written by Becky Hobbs and I think Randy Travis does it too. Here are the lyrics.

I was walking home from school on a cold winter day.

Took a shortcut through the woods, and I lost my way.

It was getting late, and I was scared and alone.

But then a kind old man took my hand and led me home.

Mama couldn't see him, but he was standing there.

And I knew in my heart, he was the answer to my prayers.


Oh I believe there are angels among us.

Sent down to us from somewhere up above.

They come to you and me in our darkest hours.

To show us how to live, to teach us how to give.

To guide us with a light of love.

When life held troubled times, and had me down on my knees.

Theres always been someone there to come along and comfort me

A kind word from a stranger, to lend a helping hand.A phone call from a friend, just to say I understand.

And aint it kind of funny that at the dark end of the road

Someone lights the way with just a single ray of hope


They wear so many faces, show up in the strangest places.

To guide us with their mercy, in our time of need.

To guide us with a light of love.

I have experience these angels- whether they are TRUE angels disguised as humans or whether they are just exraordinary humans, it makes no difference- they have been my angels in times just like the lyrics above in bold. I know I have been their angel as well- angels always stroke each other's wings, it is never a one way deal.

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (or sister, this is my paraphrase)

Becca- I have told you- we talk each day and she is a beautiful person. Becca- you are such a blessing in my life. I love you.

Sari- a young but OH SO WISE dear friend who has gone above and beyond the call of duty and has listened to me pour out my heart many times and takes my kids on dates when I am sick. I love you Sari.

Felicia- a friend from high school who has never lost touch with me even though I have been reclusive at times- positive, fun and she and Mark love us very much. I treasure this very long friendship with all my heart even if I am slow to show it. I love you Felicia.

Debs- a highschool roomate- has always loved me for ME- interested in my life and always sends a birthday card EVERY YEAR with such dear things written in them. Thank you Debs- I love you.

Laurel- a new but old soul friend who is my twin seperated at birth. She understands me so well and is such an encouragement when the idiots in life get me down. I love her so much and her move to Texas just about killed me, but maybe she will come back. I love you Laurel.

Belinda- my friend from Jax that used to homeschool with me- she has offered such Godly advice and really cares about my mental health. She got an IG and learned what loving a dog can bring to your life. We love to talk about makeup too! :) I love you Belinda.

Kay- a rescue friend in Ocala who is wise beyond her years and a kind loving soul. We got Trego from her and then had to return her when she became a bird eater. :( Kay has offered me such wisdom in times of great sadness or confusion. I love you Kay.

Christa- another rescue friend who got into rescue because of me ( I am sure she rues the day.) We've had our spats and crap, but we love each other very much and we are the ones who "speak the truth in love" to each other about animals. (We both tend to want to keep everything that comes in the door, but she is much more adept at adopting them out and has helped me adopt out alot of my dogs.) I love you Christa.

Steph- a mother of five special needs adopted children who is a SCREAM. She makes me laugh on my worst days. Her blog is Raising the Hoovers and it is my daily perk me up. I love you Stephanie.

Donna-my friend here in Jax who has taken in my kids during tornado warnings and has listened to me pour out my frustrations over my health. She and I are very different but I need her quiet and calm advice alot. I love you Donna.

There are many more and I am sure I am forgetting some, but these are the gals that I talk to or email at least once a week and they are the ones WHO KEEP UP WITH ME and I keep up with them. An angel always has time to care, no matter how busy their wings are. :)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

What's the facination with birds, anyway???

The pics are- me with Freeman, my blue quaker- named after Morgan Freeman, my favorite actor in the world. Dudley in the dog food and doing the "eagle" show. Pepper looking terrified.

You know, I used to wonder what all the fuss was about birds. I was pretty much a self proclaimed bird disliker. Not a bird hater, just a "could care less" kind of person. Then we got Ranger- our blue headed pionus. He only furthered my view that birds are mean and beastly animals. He preferred Jon and became quite nasty with anyone else. We'd had parakeets and cockatiels, but please, they are just THERE. Then Em got Kito and I watched this amazing bond develop between them. He truly LOVES HER. He ADORES HER. And Emily has never loved another one of our animals with the passion that she loves that little bird. He preens her eyelashes, he kisses her, he snuggles with her. HUH??????????? Now we have taken in 5 other rescued parrots and I see now what the big deal is. Birds are pretty darn amazing. Now, this isn't to say that I am crazy over all my birds, because some of them annoy me to death, but I have to say- they are very smart and very affectionate animals. How is that you ask? Well, my blue quaker, Freeman is a vocal bird. He fears many things and his normal response to anything strange or unknown is this LOUD "ACK ACK ACK!!!" Annoying to say the least. But, when I pick him up and make soft clucking noises to him, he clucks back and gently nibbles my nose, eyebrows or ear. He ADORES ME. He will sit on my shoulder for an hour and just cluck and nibble. No, he can't talk. No, he doesn't do tricks. I don't care- I don't care if any of the birds ever learn tricks- I don't have time or the energy to homeschool parrots. Pepper, our rescued Amazon Grey is a closet talker. He talks up a storm when noone is around. Here are some of his vocalizations. We have no idea who Arnold is, by the way, if you were going to ask. :)

"Hey Arnold!!! Come here, Arnold!!"

"Goodnight Pepper bird!"

"Come here, hey, come here, come here!"

"Good morning Pepper bird"


can imitate a car alarm, says hello when the phone rings, and makes lovely whistling noises.

He has 3 different voices- the deep voice of a man that we don't know, HIS voice, and a high pitched voice. It's hysterical.

Dudley, the severe macaw is more limited in his speech but he is HYSTERICAL. He is in love with Emily. She is his "wife". He will protect her with more fervor than a bulldog. Come near her when he's on her lap and you will be missing a finger. He plays peek a boo under the covers, can hold the tip of his wing in his beak and look like a ballerina or yoga expert, and says, " DOOP DOOP DOOP". He dances to music. He's a scream. He makes us all laugh.

So, now I am a bird person, and I realize why so many get sold or given away or neglected- they are the emotional and intellectual equal to most 2 year old humans and need a ton of stimulation and interaction to keep them happy and content. That's why we tell people to really research birds before getting them- they are a high turnover pet. And they don't do well being rehomed over and over like dogs do- dogs adapt, birds don't always. It took Pepper 4 weeks to talk here and 6 weeks to step up without shaking all over like we were going to beat him. Even now, we are not sure if he will ever allow us to pet him. He is terrified of someone touching him ANYWHERE. Birds take patience, love and more patience. Because they are more intelligent than the average dog, they are more suceptible to mental illness, especially if not given the stimulation and 'mind exercise" that they need. When left in a back room and ignored, they can become mean and hateful animals. And it's hard to spend time with them if you have the average work schedule of most adults. You get home, you are tired and the last thing you want to do is take the bird out and play with him. But, like a child, you MUST DO IT or the bird will become a brat, just like a child who is ignored. God made them to fly and we caged them and asked them to be content. Hardly a fair deal, if you ask me. But since I cannot free my birds, I try my best to rotate toys, give them new foods, and take them out and challenge them. Jon and the girls are also a HUGE PART of this. That's why we tell most working people to not get a bird, and if they must, to get a smaller bird such as a green cheeked conure or a cockatiel- the bigger the bird, the bigger the needs are. We are not perfect bird owners BY ANY MEANS, but because there are more of us and we are home more, the birds do get a good bit of attention. They are an integral part of our humane education program in the schools and the kids get a kick out of Jon's funny stories of how many times a bird poops or "when you get married in 20 years, what if your wife HATES BIRDS??" The kids just die laughing, but it is a good point for the kids to think about before they go home begging for a pretty macaw. :)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Sassy tries to become an IG

This is our beloved Pomeranian Corgi mix, Sassy. She normally has long bushy hair and is groomed by a groomer every five weeks. However, with the recent events of our life, I just have not had time to call the groomer. Yesterday I got desperate. I started with scissors and cut and cut and cut. Then I buzzed her to the skin. She doesn't look at cute as she does when my groomer does it, but she is one HAPPY DOG. She runs around and acts like she is FREE. She resembles a Gremlin when she sees something and her ears are up- all eyes and ears. It gave me something to smile about today, which I desperately needed.

Middle school stupidity

Ok, I heard from friends that it was coming. People I trust told me that middle schoolers are mean. People told me that middle schoolers are fickle. So I thought I was prepared. But last night when Em's best friend's best friend from Chicago texted, " BYE LOSER!" to my sweet daughter, I thought I would KILL SOMEONE. Emily has never met this girl, but has been told by K (Em's best friend here in Jax) that she is the "nicest, sweetest girl." Her mom also insists that this girl is nothing but light and kindness. So she texted Em last night, " HEY!" Em texts back, "Hey!" This girl texts back, "BYE!" So Em, confused, texts back "Bye, why?" and this nasty little chick texts, "BYE LOSER!" We saw the texts. We have the texts. There is no dispute that this girl wrote this ugliness. But does K defend EMILY?? NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. She defends her friend in Chicago who has now lied and said she never texted that. So my child is crying because HER BEST FRIEND is defending a mean and lying girl. This is awful. And what is worse, Em begs me not to get involved. I want K's mom to know what a nasty and lying little witch this Chicago chick is, but no, I have to just sit here and watch my kid cry. I am so tired of watching this kind of trash play out. My kid is not perfect, but she is NOT MEAN and she is LOYAL TO HER FRIENDS. And she said, " K gets mad at me when you interfere, Mom." So I have to just watch while K picks the wrong side AGAIN and keep my mouth shut. WHY????? WHY DO KIDS DO THIS??? So, now I am thinking of calling these wonderful Chicago parents and telling them to tell their "nice and kind" kid to leave my kid the heck alone. At what point does a parent just need to CONTROL THEIR KIDS??? AND AT WHAT POINT DOES ANOTHER PARENT NEED TO SIT DOWN AND TELL THEIR KID WHAT MISGUIDED LOYALTY IS??????????????????????????????? So I go to God and pour out my heart and the heart of this little Emily who is caught between a mean girl in Chicago and a girl she loves here, who won't believe BLACK AND WHITE. I hate mean girls.