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On Saturday, July 9, 2016, my hubby (Scott) and I went to check out an Illinois state park we had not been to yet. It’s up by near the Wisconsin boarder in Jo Daviees County. Here’s a link to check out for quick information…¬†http://www.dnr.state.il.us/lands/Landmgt/PARKS/R1/APPLE.HTM

Scott and I enjoy nature, hiking in particular. In large part because it mostly free… a bit of gas, food, water, and lots of sweat… we get to spend quality time together, set our eyes on the beauties of nature, and be healthy in a fun way.

Apple River Canyon State Park is a little park. We almost missed the entrance, if it weren’t for the very large wood signs pointing our way, we might have passed it by. I called it “a hole in the wall park”. Even so, it’s a very beautiful park with great trails for a good workout. There are about 4 trails total, we did 2 of them… both were mostly up hill. One the second trail we tried, we came across a few muddy spots that were a bit slippery, so we had to be careful as to not end up falling down the trail. At another point, we actually got ourselves a bit lost, so we said “Screw it” and crossed at a shallow point of the little creek running through the park. This creek is very clear, we could see the bottom and so much more.

While walking from trail 1 to trail 2 we wondered about in this open field area with picnic table shelters and other items. We saw a small family with their Golden Labrador. This dog was in absolute heaven. They were letting it, while on a retractable leash, run in to the creek and chase sticks. We loved watching this because the dog’s happiness was pure and it’s obvious love for it’s humans was unconditional.

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This path looks flat here, but it was all up hill, steep enough to require a bit leaning forward.

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These red berries where all over the 1st trail we went on, along with raspberry/blackberry bushes.

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This plant, a huge tree, was near the 2nd trail we decided to try out.

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A little scenery we saw on our way to the 2nd trail.

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A “cave” from the photo above.

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I love that lone tree on the canyon wall back there.

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My hubby & I enjoying a beautiful day out together.

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(Wrote August 31, 2009)

Here’s a bit of personal news. We got a dog. Male. Named him Buddy. He’s a bit hyper, wants to play all the time, bouncy, and total goof. When I find my camera again, I’ll get some pix and put them up.

He looks like he’s got some Rottweiler in him. Shows with the coloring and stubby tail, but he’s got some white hairs lightly through out, mostly around his chest/neck area his honches. His face looks like Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie) or even wolf. Long nose and big furry, pointed ears. (He’s trying to sleep right now, but if I was to get it up or one the cats go by, he would bound right up!).

The poor cats. LOL! The night my sister, Tena and my niece, Sara, bought him over was freakin’ hilarious. (They found him abandoned in the country, they had checked the house in the area, but no one claimed him. So, we are keeping him.) Well, the minute the dog came in the house…all 4 cats suddenly teleported to other areas and didn’t bother hiding the fact from us humans that they could do this. LOL! Boo Kitty and Ruby just disappeared…poof GONE!. Marble and Charlie discovered 2 point teleportation…involves going straight up and backwards. Amazing watching a 15-20 lb fat cat sudden become very light on his feet.

Boo Kitty, Ruby, and Charlie retreated upstairs. Marble got smart and brave and stayed downstairs to watch every move the dog made. After a bit she realized the dog couldn’t get up on higher places like the pool table and that if she stayed put in one spot, he would just come over and sniff and snuffle at her. At one point I went upstairs to the bathroom and Buddy followed…LOL! He gets half way up the stairs when Charlie scrambles off and Boo Kitty & Ruby attacked his ass! Buddy ran back downstairs. After I got back downstairs for a short while, my hubby calls for me and points up the steps….

(If you’ve been in my house, you know what the stair area looks like. For those who don’t, let me see if I can describe it. It’s closed in on bothsides. When looking up, on the right the wall goes all the way up to the ceiling of the hallway. On the left the wall stops at the floor of the hallway and has a banister/rail for protection. The top of the steps are open and end at the floor, or course, but across from the top of the steps is another wall that starts at the hallway floor and goes up to the ceiling. This is a closet for the spare bedroom.)

…now, when I looked up the steps, I see on my left, with their heads under the rail and looking down, are Boo Kitty and Charlie. At the top of the steps is Ruby, laying down but looking downstairs. ALL three are just growling up a storm. Almost a perfect harmony of frustration and anger. (FYI–Ruby is the smallest cat, she about 2 1/2 years old and still looks like she’s about 6-8 months old, even after 2 litters, the 1st of which I got Charlie & Marble from).

At one point the dog tried going up the stairs again, Charlie and Boo Kitty tried crowding against that closet wall, but stil maintain watching the dog, but while doing this they were practically laying on top of each other. Ruby was the one who stood up and started hissing and spiting at the dog. I was like “The 2 biggest cats in the house are hiding from the dog and the littlest one is attacking. LOL!!!”

Through it all, Marble just calmly watches and asseses the situation. Her and Buddy are now sorta friends. She’ll let him lick her head and ears, but don’t take to fondly to him chasing her. Boo Kitty’s gotten over it, he just puts Buddy in his place with a well aimed swipe of a paw. Charlie and Ruby still want nothing to do with Buddy, but the need for food and litter box took procedent over their annoyance and fear of him. They try to sneak around as much as possible. The other crazy thing is, Charlie and Ruby are getting along better now because they have a common enemy. Wonder how long that’ll last?

(Wrote October 23, 2009)

Today has been an interesting day.

My darling husband has been getting some painting done in our kitchen. This is actually my project, but I’ve been having issues with sleeping at night. As a result I sleep thru the day and end up just as tired as if I hadn’t slept. I’m working on it, made some progress. He’s been wonderful with understanding I have a problem and is doing this to get the painting done, so I can do the wallpapering. Which I will be starting on tomorrow the latest.

Scott decided to paint the backside of our kitchen door with the milk chocolate colored paint (1 of 3 colors I have for the kitchen), because I decided to do that since we will have so much of that color left over, in order to make the back door entrance way look a little nicer. He was simply trying to multi-task…waiting for the kitchen paint to dry.

Just before starting to paint the door, he let our dog, Buddy, outside. Buddy, amazingly, pooped outside!! So when Scott let the dog back in, he said “Good Boy!! Poop OUTSIDE. Good boy.” and was going to give him a treat.

Buddy got so excited by the compliment he ended up leaning against the wet painted door. My husband told him to come, to get off the door in a firm voice, nothing threatening…I’m sure he was probably even shaking his head in humor. Since my husband is the alpha male of our little pack, Buddy did what any dog would do when hearing the alpha’s firm voice…he cowered a bit, moved….

…and promptly sat his ass down in the paint tray that was sitting on the floor. Now most dogs upon feeling something cold, wet, and kinda mushy on their ass woulda jumped up or moved and looked at the paint tray like it was its fault. NOPE, Buddy continued to sit in the paint. At this point my husband had had enough (explain more in a bit), he yelled a bit, told the Buddy to come…he wouldn’t. So Scott grabbed him by the collar to take him out to his leash. During this paint and Buddy’s ass got moved around on the back steps (these steps are indoors, 2 steps up to the kitchen door, a platform with outside back door, & steps that go to the basement). Scott almost fell down the basement steps because of the the paint.

Yes, it’s drizzling out, but Scott left Buddy outside for a couple hours so maybe the rain & wet grass might wash off some of the paint. It did, but not much. So Buddy got to use his ass and paint my tub, too. Oye!

My poor husband had a bad day with the animals and part of it was my fault. Before the incident with Buddy, the cats decided to be complete boneheads, too. Boo Kitty was doing his usually bitching, he started in as soon as Scott got up…sigh. Charlie decided to piss on the dirty clothes on the laundry room floor. Marble ended up peeing all over the clean clothes on the pool table. The cats peeing is my fault, I forgot to clean the litter box the last few days, plus I think they don’t like the litter we got.

Where was I through all this? Sleeping…LOL!!
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R.I.P. Boo Kitty

(Wrote this March 18, 2010 on my old Facebook profile. Copy and pasted it here because I’m deleting the old profile).

Our big, beautiful, raccoon tailed tom cat passed away today. We will miss our “Mouth”, our giant “Cottonball”.

We got him about 5 years ago from a shelter for my son. Boo Kitty was Jander’s “dog”. Boo didn’t care if he picked him up wrong and lugged him around the house. Jander used to drag Boo around the house in a laundry basket that had a dog pully roped tied to it…Boo loved it.

Boo Kitty was the best when it came to comforting you. He always knew when you were sick or needed a snuggle. All he asked for in return was a brushing, first dibs on scraps, and to play outside.

Boo enjoyed the outside so much. One of his favorite places was his log. He was a true cat…the local wiseguy, inforcer, and shylock. I remember a night when I saw him actually stalking a raccoon out of his neighborhood.

He wasn’t big on other cats or animals, but he did his best to tolerate them. In fact during his last weeks he became more affectionate towards Charlie and Marble. Although Marble let it be known to him she was the alpha now. The loved each other and played together.

We will miss him so much. All the memories we have…him taking walks with us…rolling on the ground to greet us when we came home…sleeping along side you…laying on top of the turtle tank, while looking at the turtle like it was dinner…most of all, the constant meowing and bitching for stuff and to be let out. We will miss the “Mouth” and love him forever.

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For those who have asked and are wondering why he need to put to sleep….

This morning we noticed he was just lying in one spot, hiding on the desk, on his side. He wouldn’t eat or drink. When he moved his midsection he would yowl in pain. (In fact we heard this noise the night before, but thought the other cats were just annoying him.)

My father and I took him down to the vet’s in Oregon. There was no vet on duty for the afternoon, but one came in for us. After a quick examination, she told us his pain came from his bladder. It was the size of a grapefruit. It had to do with how his body metabolized food….chrystals had built up in his bladder and blocked the urthera…making him unable to urinate.

She told us they could run a catherter, drain the bladder…leave it in for 48 hours…if that worked, do something to clean the chrystals out. BUT…he would have to be on a prescription food and probably meds for the rest of his life. Plus, the pain he had today could come back…again and again.

We decided it best to put him to sleep. A) we financially couldn’t afford to do what was needed and B)…most importantly…he would have suffered living a life like that…a special food, meds (which would have to be forced down), unable to go outside, etc….plus, with 2 other cats, we wouldn’t be able to keep him out of their food AND he’s a scavenger.

As much as we will miss him…it was for his best interest. We did bring him home and buried him with the rest of our animal family…

Ho-tai, Mandy, Dusty, Garage Kitty….

Forever you will be in our hearts and forever touching our souls.
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A couple of days ago I was sitting here at my computer in one of our wooden dining room chairs. My youngest cat, Star Baby, jumped up into my lap for some cuddles. While she was there, I let out a loud fart…that ended up vibrating off the wood chair, making it even louder…kind of like a funky sounding motorcycle.

Star jumps up into her “boxer/bulldog” stance and looks around in alarm. The noise kept going and she launched of my lap and immediately started investigating the entire living room for the source of the noise.

She continued to search for a good 5 minutes after my butt quit being vocal. She never did figure out were it came from.