Grandma was a little ornery.

Dad says of all of the family, I take after his mom the most. Though we were around each other often, it seems that we never really got to know each other. There were always so many things going on – people, projects, etc –  when we visited, so it’s understandable. I remember she was always cooking, showing off her flowers, and worrying about her ducks, and that sounds just like me so I assume Dad is right.

The photo above was in a stack of old photos that Dad brought down on his last trip to Georgia.  It’s just a neat photo, and reminds me of a story that dad told me about her years ago that cracks me up.

She lived right next to my aunt.  Her washing machine had died, so she was at the aunts house doing laundry. Judging by the tone in the rest of the story, she had been doing laundry there for a while. My aunt suggested that she buy a new washer, which Grandma apparently did not agree with. After much discussion (arguing?), my aunt reminded her that she can’t take her money with her when she dies, to which Grandma yelled “Well, I can’t take a washing machine with me either!”



A tale of two kitties.

Folks in the neighborhood know that I am a sucker for an animal in need, and this week, due to my friend/petsitter/enabler, I ended up taking care of a tiny black kitten. It was found sitting in the middle of the road, covered with mud and cold from the nights rain. It was covered with pests, and was very weak. The petsitter cleaned her up and named her Mazey, and started to look for a foster to take her in.  None was found, so she came to our house for a few days. I’m allergic to cats, so I reluctantly agreed.  Mazey came over, got settled and the next day we ventured to the friends vet for an exam.

As I sat there, unemployed, and now with a kitten, a woman walked into the clinic. She was holding a small kitten away from her body as if she was scared of it. I overheard her tell the receptionist that it was found in the road near the clinic, and had been hit by a car. Both of its back legs were twisted.

The clinic advised her that they are not allowed to take drop offs. They provided the number to animal control, and the woman asked “Should I just put it back outside in the rain?”.  She laid the kitten down on the ground as I called another vet to see if they had advise. The cat crawled past me, fairly quickly, and that’s when I realized the legs were not broken, they were misshapen, but didn’t hinder the cat’s mobility.

Of course I offered to deal with the kitten. Now I found myself unemployed and with two sick kittens to handle.

Little Mazey, the black stray that was found in the road, unfortunately didn’t make it. She was so weak and scrawny. Despite glucose, fluids and antibiotics she didn’t make it. Her little body had been through too much before we got to her. She loved curling up in an old winter hat (see pic below). After feeding her, she sat with me and purred, then shortly after she passed.

Little Murphy, (see the headline photo) though dehydrated, has been doing well.  He is eating well, is very mouthy and is very loving. He scoots around the house and is very curious. Most websites refer to his condition as twisted leg syndrome or Flexural Tendon Contracture. At this state, it really doesn’t seem to affect him. He has always been this way, so I guess he does not realize he is different. He “walks” on the knee area of his leg, and amazingly has learned to balance his weight on his front legs. It’s amazing to me that he can do this at 3ish weeks old. He starts by walking, speeds up, then his rear end will rise up over as he walks on his front legs. Its adorable.

There are many animals that get this syndrome. They can live very happy lives, but there are treatments such as exercises and splints that can help correct the position of the legs. For now, the little guy has gone to live with a friend in the neighborhood that fosters cats. He is retired and instantly fell in love with Murphy.

I wont lie – I grew attached to Murphy, but as is sit here with puffy eyes and an odd rash on my side, I am thankful that he has found someone who can help him get the care he needs.

If you would like to know more about twisted leg syndrome, this article published by the Animal Medical Center of Southern California. 


How many escaped goats can you fit in the backseat of a police car?

Today was supposed to be about cleaning and gardening, which it was, but ended up being about goats.  This afternoon, a herd of goats and two herding dogs escaped a yard and ate their way around the neighborhood until a group of cops, locals and kids corralled them in a neighbor’s backyard.

It turns out the goats, maybe 30 by my guess,  were escapees, brought in as an environmentally-friendly way of taking care of overgrown yards.  They drop them in the morning and return in the evening after the goats have grazed all day.

Someday I hope to have goats, or a donkey, or ducks, so of course I went to check out the situation. Little did I know I would spend the afternoon helping to corral them. The cops at one point tried putting them in a police car to get them to a safe yard – you can only fit 2 goats in a cop car, and that involves quite a bit of work. By the officers remark and how quickly he rolled down windows they quickly smelled up his ride. One of the goats even went down a toddler slide while waiting to be picked up.

Funny how something so random can lure people out of houses and get them talking to each other. We all got a good laugh out of it all. It was a good day.

The Farmer’s Market, Wholesome Wave, and Sun Chokes.

Our suburb of Atlanta often feels more like a small town than a city of roughly 50,000 within sight of downtown’s high-rises. In the dozen or so years we have lived here, we can see the community coming together to provide more entertainment and shopping options for the residents. About a year ago I decided that instead of watching everyone else’s efforts that I would jump in and participate in the neighborhood association.

I’ve also started volunteering at the farmer’s market, which has been much more fun than expected. There are usually about 20 vendors that serve everything from handmade aromatics to sun chokes to grass-fed meats. It’s great to meet the people who grow your food and talk about recipes and will be available next week. You can see how excited they are to talk about their product.  One aspect of the market that is new to me, and is a huge benefit to our neighborhood is that they work with Wholesome Wave to help those that receive food benefits double their money at the market so they can buy more nutritious food.  Since work has been unstable for me this last year, I can appreciate how meaningful that can be, and I really respect their work. If you are curious you can learn more about the program by clicking here to visit Wholesome Wave Georgia.

On top of promoting the community and local businesses, I wanted to volunteer at the market because I have horrible, HORRIBLE, eating habits and it gives me more access to fresh vegetables and less-processed foods. Yesterday I picked up some sun chokes, which I’ve never made before, Wenk’s Hot Yellow peppers, cinnamon basil and mint. The basil and mint have been cleaned and put in the freezer.  The Wenk’s hot yellow have a bit less heat than jalapeno and ended up in a chicken and basil rice bowl, which was fantastic. (pic below) The sunchokes will probably end up roasted, but according this article, they can be pickled or pureed like a potato.  Mmm, pickles. Maybe that’s the next post.