Meet The Fosters

Finally I have a moment to introduce you to our herd of kittens.

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Being this cute is EXHAUSTING!

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Hi, I’m Tabby

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Otherwise known as the Tab-u-la-TOR!

She enjoys sleeping in Jim’s work boot.

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I’m BIG STIPE

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I’m LITTLE STRIPE

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And I’m SHAMU cuz I have a killer whale face! RRROOOWWWRRRR!

We renamed them because the shelter gave them names like Mackenzie and Veronica and we just can’t remember who’s who. Jim has used his amazing “kitty sexing” skill to determine that Little Stripe is the only boy.

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Mulder took five minutes to warm up to his new wards…

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Then he melted.:)

And as always, Buster is completely unimpressed.

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How do these things keep getting in the house?

Mulder invented a fun game called, play with the big boy tail. Tabby is enchanted.

Hope you enjoyed Jim’s thumb in that one.

And per usual, we have a constant stream of admiring young ladies at our back door.

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We grow ’em pretty in our neighborhood.:)

So come one, come all to the Burlingame Kitten Ranch.  We have about two more weeks with these sweet babies then they go back to the shelter for their “Forever Home” auditions. Maybe I won’t cry this time when I have to return them. Riiiiight.

Duck Dynasty

I had feelers out all over creation to find a good home for Webster & Winnie.  Several well-meaning peeps offered their ponds or lakes for a duck domicile, but nothing was a good fit. They’re technically still youngsters, not wise to the world, and I really wanted them to live near a human being who not only had a body of water, but someone who loved animals and would be nearby for some supervision while they got their “feet wet” so to speak.

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Enter Brenda.:)

Brenda & I are old friends and I actually did a blog post on her and her animals way back in December of 2012. Go here to see it.

Broccoli and Horses and Cows, Oh My!

I actually asked her if she could take my ducks (very obnoxious of me right?) and she immediately responded that she would indeed take them because she has ducks of her own, but that I needed to realize that her animals were “country” animals, not pampered suburban (my words) critters. I knew just what she meant. My ducks could live on her pond with her other ducks and many animals but that I needed to know that she wasn’t going to fuss with them like I do. Fair enough Brenda. You are wise and wonderful. I gratefully accepted her offer and took my little quackers to her farm in Troy, AL.

Here is their entry into their new country kingdom.

 

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I got a slug Winnie! What’d you get?

They were tentative at first, but then got the idea that a pond has lots of tasty treats in it unlike their old kiddy pool.

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I can’t even find a tadpole in here Webster!

Brenda has two mature ducks who have lived in her pond for years and they were not too happy to see new residents. Mr. Mallard and his wife chased them out of the pond twice while I was there, but Brenda assured me that things would settle down eventually and all would become pals.

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EXCUSE ME! Can I see your amenity pass???

Brenda has horses and chickens and probably lions & tigers & bears as far as I know.

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Chicken Disneyland

 She’s great with animals and people too and is one of the very few females that I actually enjoy hanging with. (It’s a short list, I’m kind of a social hermit).

I’ve had a couple of updates since the relocation operation and although they are still being babies and trying to hang out next to Brenda’s house, she has enlisted the help of her grandchildren to make the ducks feel welcome and part of the family. Being involved in animal rescue has introduced me to so many wonderful women I would otherwise never have known. I am so grateful to them for their help, advice and friendship. OK, on to the next adventure. Deb out.

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Brenda, you are MOOOOOVELOUS!

Kittuns & Ducks & Tea Cup Australian Shephards?

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Three species in my back yard!

Make that four.

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My neighbor and pal Mike brought his grand-daughter Emily and his companion, Cuppie to see the ducks and my foster kittens. Cuppie is a regular in my back yard and has often herded chickens and bunnies to our great amusement. She’s had no success in herding our cats though.

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I’m too tiiiiired to run.

The kittens have had several visitors since their arrival and are proving to be more popular than the ducks.

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Kittens attract young ladies like magnets.

And my Pink House guests enjoyed a snuggle during their visit as well.

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Charlotte & Rene were visiting from The Netherlands!

No, they don’t really wear wooden shoes. I checked.

Kittens are available for snuggles and scritches during daylight hours at the Burlingame Petting Zoo. And Cindy, they were only outside for photos! I swear their feet never touched the ground.:)

I did eventually name my sweet, dumb, stinky ducks. It was a challenge keeping them in my back yard for four weeks, but they are almost fully feathered and they are HUGE!  Stay tuned to my next post when Webster & Winnie go to their new home.

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These guys QUACK me up!

Duck…Duck…

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GOOSE!

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I just couldn’t resist.

And here’s a picture I’ve been trying to get for three weeks now…

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Kitty…Bunny…Duck!

So if you were wondering how the duckies were doing, I’ll give you one guess.

Just DUCKY!:)

Many have asked if I have names for them and I do have some picked out. We think this pair is sister and brother, and I’ve come up with two cute names that seem to fit. However, I would be remiss if I did not take advantage of my talented readership to ask if they had some good ones. I’ll reserve the official naming of my waddl-y friends for now and wait for your input.

I can’t keep them forever since I don’t think they’d really be happy for the rest of their lives in my back yard and I do have a couple of ideas for a good/safe home for them, but for now we are really enjoying being duck parents and they are staying for at least a few more weeks. So as of today, the Burlingame Petting Zoo, Rescue Ranch and Turtle Sanctuary has four cats, one bunny, two ducks and…

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Four new foster kittens!

Come visit.  Bring love and scritches.:)

The Hannah Tree

I have only mentioned it on the periphery in my blog, but I think most of you know that our 27 year-old daughter, Hannah died December 3, 2015. We miss her very much and are reminded daily how much she meant to so many people. Soon after learning of her death, people who loved her and us, began to ask what they could do. Cards and emails flowed in and we were overwhelmed by people wanting to send flowers and/or food. We asked mostly for peace and prayers, since we knew that flowers would die and food would go uneaten. Some people were imaginative in their offerings of Hannah memorials. More on these later, but one gift in particular will be the focus of today’s post.

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My cousin Merrilu (the subject of a recent post) lives in Ohio and was devastated to learn the news about Hannah. Merrilu has watched our daughter grow up, and if this isn’t too much information…she actually knew I was pregnant before I did. I’ll leave this story to your imagination.:) Merrilu & Hannah played together like little kids and in fact, once a very young Hannah asked me in a sincere voice, “Mommy, is Merrilu a grown-up?” I was confused by the question and asked her what she meant by that. “Well,” she said, “She has keys, and a purse…but she isn’t married and she doesn’t have a baby.” Jim and I often marveled at the goings-on inside our little girl’s brain. As of this writing, Merrilu IS married, and she DOES have a little boy, but the jury is still out on whether she’s a grown-up.:)

Merrilu, wanted to send a tree, so she just Googled something about trees & Montgomery, Alabama and she found a phone number for someone named Brent Salter at a construction company called “Build South”. Turns out this guy was not in the tree planting business, but he did have a suggestion on where she could find a nice selection of trees, AND he had a landscape team that worked for his company that would be happy to pick up the tree and plant it for me at no charge.

You see, Merrilu had quite by accident, (there are no accidents) gotten in touch with a neighbor and friend of mine who had not heard our sad news. I’ve known Brent for many years and his house is actually just a few blocks from mine. Does anyone but me think that perhaps it’s just a bit miraculous, that from a random search on the internet, by my cousin who lives in Ohio, she just happened to talk to someone who could not only help her buy a lovely tree, but arrange for it to be planted in my yard? Believe me, this miracle is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the wonders that have happened to us these past months.

So the excellent landscape company B-Tops drove up one day with a beautiful little Weeping Redbud and placed it in the back yard of my Pink House.

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My mom is in the background doing crosswords. Thanks for the help Peg, Peg!:)

When they finished I was happy to have a living memorial to Hannah that we could watch grow into a sad and beautiful tree.

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Finished

A few days after it was planted, the tree began to sprout tiny pink buds.

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Perfect.

This was a thoughtful and meaningful gift from my cousin and friend. It is also most appropriate since Hannah loved nature and all things in it.

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Four year old Hannah inspecting a locust invasion.

Hannah was employed by Harwell’s Green Thumb Nursery here in Montgomery and she was learning about trees and flowers and dirt and sod on a daily basis. The Harwell’s were more like family to Hannah than employers and they were sweet and patient with her while she learned her job. They too have showered many kindnesses on Jim and me during these terrible days and we are at a loss to show our gratitude to them and so many people who have helped us endure this. Thank you for the Weeping Redbud, Merrilu. I’ll think of you and Hannah when I look at it and we are grateful for such a thoughtful memorial. I know that the trees, flowers and animals in Heaven are more beautiful than we can ever imagine and that our sweet girl is tending them with love and care. God Bless You Hannah B. Mommy & Daddy miss you so much.

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Swimming Lessons

Um…these babies don’t need no stinkin lessons!

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Weeeeeeee! Being a duck is GWEAT!

It took a while to catch these guys and put them in their little pool, but when their feet hit the water they were OFF!

They played and dove and splashed for about 20 minutes and then I scooped them out to dry in the sunshine.

I’m learning the differences between chickens and ducks and here’s what I’ve found out so far…

Ducks don’t tear up my yard like chickens, but they poop just as much.

Ducks are not as smart as chickens…sorry guys, but chickens put themselves to bed and you have to be “herded”.

Ducks need their food and water close together since they need water to eat their food.

Ducks and chickens have almost the same exact diet, except that ducks drink about 10 times more water than chickens.

Chickens and ducks are equally sweet and funny and loveable.

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Just ask this beautiful little animal lover.:)

Kitty…Bunny…DUCK!

You know how around this time of year, Facebook and TV public services announcements and the Interwebs, reminds parents NOT to get Junior a cute little chicken, bunny or duck for their Easter basket??? Well guess what? Someone (and you know who you are) bought a couple of fuzzy yellow ducklings for their child and then LET THEM GO INTO THE WILD in our neighborhood!!!  Yes, we have lakes all around the area and yes, we even have ducks and geese swimming happily with their babies at this very moment.

The view from my front porch

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Mamma & Daddy Goose and their five little Geeselets.

The difference between all these happy little baby ducks and geese is that THEY HAVE MOMMIES!!! How can any sane adult release two baby ducks outside without parents? Would you do that to your two-week old baby, Mr. & Mrs. Clueless??? I didn’t THINK so! OK, breathe, Debbie, breathe. It’s gonna be OK.

Anyway…Their stupidity is my gain, because, as of Saturday evening, I am the proud parent of two adorable sweet little ducklings!

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Cuteness on crack!

OK, here’s the whole story of how we came to be duck parents…

This past weekend we had guests visit for a shooting party. Jim, Steve, Liz & Sally all went to Weeeeetumpka to shoot skeet. (I stayed home and played in the dirt) That evening we were all outdoors on a lovely spring evening enjoying adult beverages when two of my wonderful neighbors dropped by with a package for me. Apparently  some ducklings were spotted on the other side of our neighborhood walking around hungry and scared. After a short discussion of what to do about the obviously abandoned and motherless little babies, a decision was made by my new favorite neighbors  Chris and Carly Wilkins to take them to my house.

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Good call Chris!:)

Chris’s brother was visiting him at the time and he knew much about raising ducks so he gave us the basics until Jim had time to use his web-surfing skills to fine tune our duck knowledge.

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Much obliged Carson.

After they left, we decided to figure out what to feed them until we could get to the feed store the next day. Jim whipped up a goor-met salad of peas, parsley and romaine for them and they gobbled it up in under a minute.

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I think we hit paydirt dude!

Then we all had fun holding a cute and cuddly duckling.

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Miss Liz you’re a natural.

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Notice I’m wearing my flamingo T-shirt and the feet match my new pet. There are NO accidents people!:)

Almost everyone was thrilled with the new additions.

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Daddy will you still love me best?😦

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Now what!?!

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Tony–C’mon guys, we can take’ em! Wowdy–No, Tony! Mommy said no tasting!

Later that evening, Jim took about 30 minutes on the internet to become one of the foremost authorities on baby ducks in the state of Alabama.

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The nights are still in the 40s here and the babies don’t have their grown-up feathers yet so Jim rigged up the chick heat lamp for them inside the coop.

We also learned that these birds have an ENORMOUS need for water and we were able to get three gallon container for them. They liked it so much they decided it would be a great napping place.

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Are we in Heaven?

Later that evening we put them in the coop and turned on the lamp. They seemed calm and happy.

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Sweet dreams ducklings.

 As of this morning they were ready to play and chase bugs to their heart’s content. As of now they are in the back yard surrounded by four furry felines and a little brown bunny.

I’m happy for a new adventure involving sweet young creatures. This is going to be fun.

:)