Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Prayer for Sweet Pea

I brought Sweet Pea into the vet this morning to get his mouth checked out. He started bleeding from his mouth on Saturday. He was fine Sunday and Monday. Tuesday night it started bleeding again, and Wednesday morning, bleeding just a tiny amount.
I was all ready for them to say he needed more dental work, but the vet said he couldn't find anything wrong with his mouth. He did notice that Sweet Pea's gums were very pale. So they took some blood (not very fun, as they had to put a little face mask muzzle on Sweet Pea as he was NOT at all happy) to see what his white and red blood cell count is. Of course, I'm already thinking that he is bleeding internally somewhere. But, he is not vomiting blood, he's still eating well, and has his usual high energy level. In fact, when I got home from work on Tuesday before his mouth started bleeding again, he galloped over to me and jumped up with his front paws on my leg, giving me a very vocal happy trill hello. Lot's of confusing signs here. For now I wait to here about the blood results. If the white cell count is high, my vet will put him on an antibiotic and we'll go from there.
So say a little prayer for Sweet Pea. He is the sweetest of boys and a champion head-butter.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Sweet Pea here...Mom is all up in arms. First we've been having a terrible time with fleas this past couple of months! I'm looking especially bad with big patches of my beautiful fluffy fur gone from my constant biting, scratching and licking! Mom has used both Frontline and Advantage on all of us and both products work for a week and then, BOOM, the fleas just keep attacking me. It's really bad for me because I'm allergic to the bites. Woody and Apu have fleas too but you'd never know it, they don't scratch or nothing! Mom doesn't want to bomb the house but has used flea spray on the rug and all the furniture and they still come!! A neighbor brought over some diatomaceous earth. Wow is that stuff messy. Mom put too much on my belly and with me licking the powder and fur together, it has turned my belly into a series of nasty mats.
Then, to top it off, mom kept seeing blood in my fur on Saturday. She thought I was biting myself so hard that I was making myself bleed. But when she checked me further, found out that I was bleeding from my mouth! The bleeding stopped and I was fine all of yesterday and this morning. It was almost a year ago when I was bleeding from my mouth and mom took me in and actually LEFT me at the vets where they took out FOUR of my teeth! She said she has to call and bring me in again to see what the matter is. Maybe if I just lay low, she won't find me.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My Own Personal Totem

With my love of animals and nature it seems fitting that I have always had an interest in the Native American/Canadian First Nation belief of animal totems.

Totems are spirits that take the form of an animal that guides/protects you through your life. Now some folks believe that you cannot choose your animal totem--they will choose you. Say, you've noticed a particular animal popping up in your life recently. That's your animal totem(s) (you can have more than one). If that's the case, then cats, possums, and raccoons are definitely my totems!!

Now other folks believe that you can choose your totems. If you feel particularly drawn to a certain animal(s), the belief is that that animal spirit is calling you to them. If that's the case, then cats and possums are still my totems, along with polar bears and elephants.

Each animal has different strengths to help you through life.

The cat totem qualities are mystery, magic, independence and encourages agility in both body and mind.

The possum totem qualities are (now honestly, didn't think there were any possum qualities did you!) diversity, earthy wisdom and encourages using your brain (playing dead) over brawn (fighting).

The elephant totem qualities are ancient wisdom, confidence and patience, and encourages us to care for the young and the elderly.

The polar bear totem qualities are healing, introspection, and solitude and encourages us to quiet our minds as the answers to all questions lie within us.

While we were in Grand Marais, we stopped at a wonderful art gallery, Sivertson Gallery. According to their website, "The gallery offers art on the North Shore of Lake Superior, exhibiting the work of over 60 regional artists in addition to Canadian Inuit and Alaskan native art, Canadian First Nation and Native American art". I was looking through some prints when my sister called me over to the jewelry section. Now, I'm not much of a jewelry person, but when she mentioned polar bears, I was there in a flash! Oooo, such unique necklaces and earrings. The prices made me gulp, but it WAS my 50th birthday celebration. Really, how could I resist this...

The pendant incorporates sterling silver with prehistoric fossilized or mineralized walrus tusk, which is between 500 to 3,000 years old. It is legally obtained, having been excavated by native Alaskan families on native owned lands along the Bering Sea coast of Alaska. I am so in love with this necklace that I wear it almost every day. I think it will become my signature piece of jewelry. Yes, my own personal totem.

What about you? What particular animals are you drawn to?

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Legend Lives on...

from the Chippewa on down of the big lake they call Gitchee Gumee. (The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, by Gordon Lightfoot)

I was always fascinated by Lake Superior and spending a few days on its shore last month have rekindled my interest. My new dream would be to spend some time in the late fall, early winter up in Grand Marais on the shores of the lake during a storm!! Ooooo, scary!!

I found this little fact filled nugget on the internet...

Not only is Lake Superior the largest of the Great Lakes, it also has the largest surface area of any freshwater lake in the world. It contains almost 3,000 cubic miles of water. You would need all the other Great Lakes combined plus three additional Lake Eries to fill it. With an average depth approaching 500 feet, Superior also is the coldest and deepest (1,332 feet) of the Great Lakes. The lake stretches approximately 350 miles from west to east, and 160 miles north to south, with a shoreline almost 2,800 miles long. The drainage basin, totaling 49,300 square miles, encompasses parts of Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ontario. Most of the Superior basin is sparsely populated, and heavily forested, with little agriculture because of a cool climate and poor soils.

References: Great Lakes Atlas, Environment Canada and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1995

To the left is Minnesota. You can see both Duluth and Grand Marais. Hmmm, I didn't know we were that close to the Canadian border!

Do you remember where you were when you heard about the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald in 1975? I distinctly remember watching the local 10:00 news that evening in St. Paul when the breaking news at that point was that authorities lost communication with the vessel during a storm and considered it missing.

If you have the time (it's over 6 minutes long), click on this link for a very moving video tribute to the Edmund Fitzgerald with the haunting Gordon Lightfoot song as background. It has wonderful old footage of the christening of the ship.

Split Rock Lighthouse on Lake Superior. Although I have a photo just like this when I visited in 2003, this is borrowed from the internet. The lighthouse is no longer in use and is a historical monument, yet they light it every year on the anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Now Where Was I???

Sorry for the delay in posts. Without home internet it's been quite complicated getting anything posted on this blog. And, with my photos on my home computer, I have to try and get a wireless signal from a neighbor and then hope I can get the photos sent to blogger before I get booted off! I was planning on getting wireless service but had to get my car in for some work to the tune of over $600.00 along with the fact that I need four new tires in the next couple of months. Wireless may have to be put off until next year. In defense of Bulldog though (my Honda Element), he IS six years old and I haven't put a penny into him beyond the usual oil changes. So except for the bad timing, I really can't complain.

Now, where was I?? Oh, we had left my niece's and drove to Duluth. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of Duluth. It's a great harbor town on the shores of Lake Superior. It was really a one horse town when I started visiting the city in the late 70s. Now there are lots of shops and eateries including a favorite candy shop called Hepzibahs. The shop was named after one of Duluth's pioneer women. My sister Debbie can never remember the name and would refer to it as "Hezb*llah," so now it is referred to as the terrorist chocolate shop! After stopping in a few shops and loading up on chocolate, we headed for Grand Marais.

Grand Marais is also a harbor town on Lake Superior but much farther north than Duluth. It's called the gateway to the BWCA (Boundary Waters Canoe Area). For being so far north and isolated, it is a real diverse town with a good size artistic community and WONDERFUL food! My sisters have all been to Grand Marais before but it was my first visit and I loved it. I think it would be breathtaking in fall and winter.

Just one of many eclectic shops. I was so mesmerized by the giant fish (northern pike?) that I cut off the other side of the building.

My sister Michele found a wonderful place to stay--Cobblestone Cove Villas. A group of townhouses right on the harbor, and they gave ME the master suite! You have the beauty of Lake Superior right out your window and the convenience of being within walking distance of downtown Grand Marais. How can you lose when the World's Best Donut Shop and a Frozen Custard shop are within a block of your townhouse?

Here's a view of the harbor from our deck.

A close up of the little lighthouse

You could walk along the man made harbor towards the lighthouse. Even though it's as wide as a sidewalk, it still made me nervous!

Here's a view from the man made harbor towards town and our townhouse. We stayed at the one furthest left with the sun shining on it.

This is my favorite photo. The sun was just setting and the fog was rolling in from the lake. I have to admit it though that it was my sister Becky that took this shot.

A peek into my room.

Quite a Room with a View!