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TB Articles: A Feline’s Body Language August 31, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Animals, cats, family, learning, Pets.
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Its through nature that every living thing is able to communicate through body language. If a bear is angry, it will stand on it’s hind legs. If a human is happy, they will show it through their facial expression. Or if they’re anything like me, jumping up and down.

Cats aren’t that much different, though sometimes it is hard to decipher what is is your kitty is exactly saying sometimes.

If your kitty is standing in front of you, staring and meowing, they are demanding your attention. He/she most likely isn’t purring at the moment but will after a few moments of petting. But don’t feel bad if you’re in the middle of something and can’t give them your undivided attention. Cats don’t hold grudges for more than an hour. Once they realized that they aren’t gonna get petted at that exact moment, they will go find a nice quiet spot to go nap before they try it again. There are times you want to hold your kitty and they don’t want the attention. It’s only natural to have moods that don’t quite fit each other’s at that exact time.

Some breeds of cats, like the Siamese, tend to be very vocal. So if your furry companion is meowing and rubbing against your legs while you make dinner, it is common sense to know they’re hungry and want to eat. But if they’ve already eaten, then they want what you’re cooking for dinner. Rubbing against your leg when you’re not cooking is a sign that they are in a loving mood and want attention and your earliest convenience.

85% of cats don’t enjoy their stomachs being rubbed. Once they gain your trust, many should not have a problem. If they roll onto their back or even let you rub their tummy, they are saying, “I trust you. Love.”. Princess, Manders’ cat, generally doesn’t enjoy her stomach being rubbed. If she isn’t purring and you rub her tummy, she will kick and swat at your hand. If she’s in a really bad mood, she’ll even try to bite. But if she is purring, she has no problem with you petting her stomach.

Cats are genuinely happy animals. You can tell a cat is happy if they are wagging their tail, purring, or even sleeping with their stomach exposed. But if they get upset or angry, look for a puffed-up body/tail (they thing it makes them look intimidating), and they generally have their ears back. That means, “Step away and quickly!”. Never try to calm a cat that might look like it will attack. Within the hour, it will calm down. If it doesn’t calm down within a few hours, check with your vet for any signs of illness or injury.

Once you get to know your cat (or your cats breed if you have a particular one), it’s not so hard to figure out what they want!

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We Say Goodbye to Patches August 20, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Animals, cats, family, Feelings, life, thoughts.
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I regret to inform all of you that Patches, Mom’s 4-year-old and Smokie’s cat, passed away unexpectedly this evening. She didn’t show any signs, and we’re all shocked beyond belief.

She was from Smokie’s 2nd litter and for some reason when we decided that Smokie’s kittens needed good homes, nobody wanted Patches. I couldn’t figure out why- hell, she entertained herself. But, we decided to keep her. Patches and Mom grew close and because best friends. Patches was quirky and really weird sometimes. She wasn’t always healthy and often had skin irritations, but she always bounced back. Her and Smokie, during the Fall and Winter months, would always race back and forth from room to room early in the morning while we were all asleep. How do I know that?  They didn’t give it a second thought to jump on the bed. Like Smokie when she was little, she too would scale curtains. Patches was a jumpy cat, but that’s what made it so funny- she would be sleeping, someone would pet her, and she would jump a mile high. One time, she jumped from the shelf to on top of the television and skated right off. It was like the videos you would see on America’s Funniest Videos.

After everything we’re going through, this put me, Manders, and especially Mom over the edge. We don’t know if we can truly handle everything. Patches was only about a month away from turning 5 years old. We will forever miss her for she was a special kitty.

Smokie Talking to Patches

Smokie Talking to Patches

Kitten Cuteness August 17, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Animals, cats, family, fun, funny, kittens, life, random.
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I have to say that the kittens (temporarily named Brother and Sister) are thriving and really quick, too!

Brother is what people call a “Mama’s Boy”. He wants to be near Smokie a lot and will whine if Sister or Smokie get out of his line of vision. But he still likes to walk around and play with either Mommy or Sister. Sister, on the other hand, is definitely the more adventurer of the two. She doesn’t give it a second thought about walking around all over the bed or biting Brother. Both of their baby teeth are starting to come in and Brother is actually drinking water- sometimes. He’ll drink a drop and go for nursing. But of course, they’re still in the “need Mommy’s milk” stage. They are walking around for as well as they can. They are still a little wobbly and can’t quite run yet but they’re a bundle of energy.

If they are anything like Smokie was when she was a kitten, they will be Tarzans and Janes. When Smokie was a kitten, she had no problem scaling the curtains and just hanging there. I’ve opted to call one “Monkey” because I thought it was just weird and cute- which is totally me. But Manders said we would have to talk about names. We will most likely end up going with mythology names like we went for with Zeus.

I bet ya’ll want to see how big they’ve gotten, right?

Brother and Sister sleeping

Brother and Sister sleeping

Sister

Sister

Brother and Sister playing

Brother and Sister playing

Organized Chaos August 5, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Animals, cats, dogs, family, Feelings, kittens, life, thoughts.
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Have you ever felt like your slowly losing your sanity? Like everyone is out to destroy your day? Well, it’s somewhat like that for me. Except destroying my day, the pets are out to drive me crazy.

Because it’s been too hot to train him, Zeus has had super energy and no where for it to go. So he barks at us and barks at the kitties. When we try to put the muzzle on him, he goes berserk. So whenever I feel like I’m not going to rip my heart out, I start training him again today. Last night, I finally taught him patience for food. I’ll work on it again today so he does it without being asked. He can still shake hands, but of course, he still needs reminding. Right now, he’s asleep, which I am so thankful for that. Maybe tonight, when it finally gets below 100*, we can take him outside and let him run all of his energy out. Yea, I like that idea- a lot.

Smokie gave birth to a small white kitten around 6:30 AM on July 30th, while we were waiting for some severe storms to pass through. She usually needs help but as I was watching TV, I peered into her nesting box to see if she needed help. Much to my surprise, she didn’t need help and I saw this adorable kitten! I picked it up to see how healthy it was- does it have a set of pipes! It started squealing and squiggling … It’s pretty damn healthy. We thought she was going to only have 1 kitten. Then on Friday morning, as I walked into the bedroom after a shower, I saw a strange kitten. She had another one! It was white, just like the first, but a little darker. It is healthy and just as loud as the other one. Last night, I saw a kitten pant. I reached my hand into the box and realized that it was blazing hot. So I took their bed and put it under the air conditioner. I realized that even Smokie got to hot in the box and that’s why she didn’t stay in there long. She slept with her babies all night. When I went into the bedroom this morning for the iPod, I noticed she moved a kitten but found her and a baby as Smokie peeked around the corner of a box. I grabbed the kitten, explained to Smokie about the heat, put it on the kitty bed, and went on my merry way. Then, as I went to check on them, I realized she had moved BOTH kittens. I checked her regular spots but because Manders is asleep, I can’t search for them until she wakes up. With triple digit heat all week, I don’t want to risk the kittens getting sick or Smokie getting too hot. Here is a picture of one of the kittens sucking its thumb:

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Then of course, Princess and Patches aren’t sure what to make of our newest family additions. Once the kittens get older, they’ll realize they have now have a new lifelong play buddy. Yep, Mom said we could keep them. Woohoo!

Still haven’t gotten the site up yet. Still having trouble figuring out what the heck to do with my DNS settings. I try to ask but their too technical and I have no clue what they’re talking about.

It’s not exactly crazy, but organized chaos. But I sure wish it was organized in a different way.

CIJ: Favorite Songs July 31, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in blogs, Christmas, Christmas in July, family, Feelings, fun, holidays, life, music, Siblings, sisters, thoughts, twins.
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Thanks to Confetti Dreams, I thought I would end Christmas In July here at Texas Banter with some of my favorite songs. I know it seems like I am copying her, but c’mon! She’s my twin! She has some of the best ideas!

But it was VERY hard to choose my Top 10 all-time favorite Christmas songs. It’s like asking someone who loves chocolate to choose their favorite piece. It’s impossible! But here goes:

10. The Christmas Song by Luther Vandross – I consider Luther Vandross a legend when it comes to love songs. While “The Christmas Song” isn’t exactly a love song, it can sure turn into one. When I hear him sing it, I just want to sit by a fire with someone and cuddle. It’s always been a favorite of mine, even if it isn’t sung by Vandross. But his rendition will always remain a favorite of mine.

9. Christmas Cookies by George Strait – I am not afraid to say that I listen to country, especially George Strait. We own every Christmas album George has put out and know every song by heart. While “Frosty the Snowman”  and “All I Want For Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth” are so greatly sung by this King of Country, I prefer “Christmas Cookies”. It’s hilarious and you can just feel the Christmas magic when you hear it. Sure he doesn’t talk about Christmas trees or decorations and it’s more about cookies, you know it’s Christmas.

8. Let It Snow ’98 by Brian McKnight – I absolutely love Brian McKnight. When he sings Christmas songs, you get the feeling of Christmas. It just feels a lot more like Christmas when you hear him crooning out songs that are filled with magic. And considering he sings it with Boyz II Men just makes it that much more wonderful!

7. O Come All Ye Faithful/O Holy Night by Trans-Siberian OrchestraYou’re probably wondering why I didn’t choose “Wizards in Winter” from Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Well, it’s widely used and not a lot of people know about their other works, which are amazing. I have this CD and I have loved it ever since. I wish I could see them live.

6. Believe by Josh Groban – This is from “The Polar Express”, which is an amazing movie. But this song is so powerful and you can just feel what Groban is feeling. This song gives me chills every time I hear it. It will forever remain a favorite and one that I will play for years to come.

5. Heavy Metal Christmas (The Twelve Days of Christmas) by Twisted Sister -I am a metalhead through and through. But because I enjoy all kinds of music, this ranks #5 on my list. I love Twisted Sister’s Christmas album “Twisted Christmas” because its Christmas and it’s metal, what more could ya ask for? But this song is somewhat humorous. Instead of 5 golden rings and and 2 turtle doves, Twisted Sister gets 5 skull earrings and 2 pairs of spandex pants. It’s heavy metal the magic of Christmas! Oh yea!

4. This Christmas by Jagged Edge – Now you should already know that Jagged Edge would have been on the list somewhere. This isn’t the song you hear from Elliot Yamin or Chris Brown. This has different lyrics and a different feel, but one that I enjoy so much. Their harmony just brings out the song that no one can compete with. Once I play it on my iPod this Holiday season, there it will stay!

3. Here Comes Santa Claus by Gene Autry – Manders forgot about this one! It’s a classic and I love classics! I remember when I was little and our parents had an old record player and old Christmas records. Every time Christmas came, we would put that album on and turn it to this song because we just loved it. In 1946, he wrote the song because of a Christmas Parade in Los Angeles. Pretty cool, huh?

2. Winter Wonderland by George Strait – You can’t deny that George Strait is great! I love this song, especially when George sings it! He brings a fun vibe and it just feels like Christmas! I’m surprised Sissy forgot to add it to her list! But then again, she wouldn’t have to. She could just add every single Christmas album by the King of Country!

1.  Here We Come A-Wassailing – So many people sing this but I still love it! It’s a fun song and so much fun to sing! It’s joyful and so cheerful, that you can’t help but feel happiness when you sing it with friends. No one knows exactly when it was written or it’s exact origin, but to know that it is still sung through the centuries just to show that it’s such a great song!

I appreciate everyone joining all of us for our first Christmas in July event! It was so much fun that we have decided to do more events! We will have a Halloween event starting the first week of October, maybe a Thanksgiving event, but definitely Christmas will be our 3rd major event (considering Manders and I love Halloween and we plan to make it a major event as well). We hope you enjoyed everything and our memories!

CIJ: Retro Christmas July 27, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Christmas, Christmas decor, Christmas in July, family, Feelings, hilarious, life, memories, thoughts.
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I was watching the Christmas in July special they had on QVC yesterday and the day before. Yesterday, they had a special segment called “Christmas Memories” where they brought out all sorts of retro Christmas ornaments and decorations. While I don’t remember having any retro Christmas decorations, I thought it would be neat to have a retro Christmas this year!

Instead of putting up a big artificial green Christmas tree, I love the idea of putting up an aluminum Christmas tree with the color wheel! Mom told us about them and ever since that story, I wanted one! I thought it would be so cool to go retro for Christmas, but that also includes the tree! Every year, it frustrates us because we can’t get the lights to go the way we want. They’ll blink when we don’t want them to or they won’t blink when we would prefer they do. So to counterbalance all of that, I want an aluminum tree!

When I was little, Mom used to have this HUGE collection of Santas. I mean, there were a lot. They were given to her as gifts or she would see it, and say “I have to have it!”, thus ended up buying it. But a house fire in 2001 destroyed it all, including everything we had. So one year, Manders and I bought her this beautiful and colorful ceramic Santa that stood a little over 12 inches. Mom loved it. So she put it on a shelf. But one of the cats we had at the moment (I hope it wasn’t Smokie!) jumped on top of the shelf, where we thought they couldn’t reach, and knocked it over. It was broken into a million pieces. So one day, Manders and I decided to start re-collecting Santas for Mom. But this time, I would love to give her a retro Santa! It just brings back that magic that Christmas held close as children.

I don’t know if anyone remembers these, but way back when, they started making plastic Santas that you could put out in your yard and there was a light so Santa could shine. I believe they also had Frosty and Toy Soldiers. As I was watching QVC’s “Christmas in July” event, they had a Toy Soldier ornament. It brought back the image of those plastic Toy Soldier’s outdoor decorations and I thought it would be so neat, if I can ever find them, to snag 2 and place them outside. I know as older people drive by, they will be reminded of Christmases that features these outside their home. It would bring back a lot of memories.

I would love to buy all the retro Christmas decorations I can and just make on Christmas completely retro- down to even the tiniest decoration! I think it’s because it was a simpler time when Christmas didn’t mean the hottest iPhones or the coolest toys. It was about family and being together. I think most of society has lost that idea and I would like to see it come back!

CIJ: 5 Months July 25, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Christmas, Christmas in July, family, Feelings, holidays, life, thoughts.
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In 5 months to the day, it will be Christmas Day. Families around the US (since International countries celebrate it hours before we do) will be waking up early to see what Santa had brought them. Children will feverishly rip at the wrapping to get the toy that’s underneath. Parents will be sitting on the sofa, drinking their coffee, in hopes that the children liked what Santa had given them. “A Christmas Story” is playing on the television for the 900th time.

I enjoy Christmas morning. Texas usually doesn’t get a “white” Christmas but it’s chilly. But it’s fun to pad into the living room with socks on my feet, Manders behind me, and presents under the tree. We are usually not awake enough to play Santa so Mom and Dad are volunteered. We unwrap one gift at a time so that each person have their moment to see what they had gotten and show everyone.

I look forward to Christmas EVERY year. There is just a magic about it that seeps into my body and chills me to the very bone. The pretty lights, the soothing music, the Christmas carols playing on every station, and seeing the Holiday movies. Being with my family as we drive mindlessly around town, looking at all the Christmas displays on the houses and coming up with ideas on how we can make out Christmas display look even more fantastic! We take turns asking to put this CD in the CD player or turning the station to something that fits the mood.

I like Christmas.

CIJ: Fave Tradition July 24, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Christmas, Christmas in July, family, Feelings, holidays, life, Siblings, sisters, Texas, twins.
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Everybody has to have a favorite Christmas tradition. I know I sure as hell do. Well, actually, it’s more like several. One tradition is Manders and I decorating the outside of the house every single year. If you’ve heard that song “12 Pains of Christmas” and that guy is getting mad because the outside lights aren’t going as planned? That’s us. We won’t want them to blink and they’ll blink. Or putting them above the porch only to find there aren’t enough nails. But we are proud of ourselves, even if did spend almost 3 hours outside trying to figure it out. Even when Manders and I move to college, we’ll still do that every year because it’s tradition.

Another one of my favorite Christmas traditions is going to Nature in Lights, which is a  drive through over five miles of holiday- inspired scenes. We do it almost every other year and it is so much fun! It’s at the Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area, which is usually cut off to civilians since it is on Fort Hood but the open it during Christmas so that they can see Nature in Lights. In fact, we went last year and took tons of pictures, which I turned into a slideshow. Feel free to view it and bask in the wonderfulness that is Christmas! We try to go a little before or a week before Christmas. It just doesn’t have that Christmas feeling if you go afterward. But it always gets us looking forward to Christmas because it’s crisp, we listen to the Christmas music they play, and we all wear our Santa hats.

We also have smaller traditions but we don’t usually do them every year. It really depends on how tall our Christmas tree will be that year, or how we’re feeling, or just the general overall feeling of Christmas. Sometimes the feeling of Christmas isn’t what it should be so we wait for next year on the traditions. But those traditions span from pictures in front of the Christmas tree, goofy Christmas pictures, or candid pictures while someone is dancing to a Christmas song.

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Book Review: Jansten’s Gift July 20, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Book Reviews, Books, Charities, family, Feelings, learning, life, thoughts.
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Author: Pam Cope

Published: April 2009

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Genre: Non-Fiction

ISBN-10: 0446199699

ISBN-13: 978-0446199698

Nine years ago, Pam Cope owned a cozy hair salon in the tiny town of Neosho, Missouri, and her life revolved around her son’s baseball games, her daughter’s dance lessons, and family trips to places like Disney World. She had never been out of the country, nor had she any desire to travel far from home.

Then, on June 16th, 1999, her life changed forever with the death of her 15-year-old son from an undiagnosed heart ailment.

Needing to get as far away as possible from everything that reminded her of her loss, she accepted a friend’s invitation to travel to Vietnam, and, from the moment she stepped off the plane, everything she had been feeling since her son’s death began to shift. By the time she returned home, she had a new mission: to use her pain to change the world, one small step at a time, one child at a time. Today, she is the mother of two children adopted from Vietnam. More than that, she and her husband have created a foundation called “Touch A Life,” dedicated to helping desperate children in countries as far-flung as Vietnam, Cambodia and Ghana.

Now MY take it on:

I really don’t know where to start. Some would tell me to start from the beginning, but it’s so much more than that. When I started reading it, I didn’t expect my emotions to run away with every page. You wanted to be there to comfort her. You wanted to be there so you can help. You wanted to experience everything she was experiencing while in Vietnam or Ghana. As I read, I could feel sympathy and compassion rising inside of me. It is so heartfelt, heartwarming, and in some places, heartbreaking. I never imagined that all of this was really happening and it opened my eyes up to countries I thought were beautiful. They never show this on TV or even slightly mention it. So without books or the Internet, we would have never know all of this was going on. You can’t imagine what it must feel like. But thanks to Touch A Life Foundation, many children will never know what it feels like to be a child slave. They’ll be able to have friends, play, go to school, and even sing.

For more information on Touch A Life Foundation, visit www.touchalifekids.org.

CIJ: Pet Gift Ideas July 20, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Animals, Beds, Cat Furniture, cats, Christmas, Christmas in July, dogs, family, Gift Ideas, gifts, holidays, shopping.
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christmas-kitten-cat-756396Don’t forget our furry friends this Christmas! Our 3 cats and 1 dog are as much as a part of this family than anyone else and we have always given them some sort of gift (unwrapped, of course) so that they don’t feel left out at Christmas.

There are TONS of gifts that you can give your doggy or your kitty at Christmas! What my family always does, even if they receive something else, is get our fur babies treats. Since the Holidays are filled with sweets and pets can’t usually have them, we give them treats so that they don’t beg for that piece of chocolate. There are numerous treats out there pretty much everywhere so pick up a bag/can of your pet’s favorite treats for Christmas!

Toys are another great way to celebrate the Holidays with Fido or Fluffly. Smokie and Patches (Smokie is my cat and Patches is my Mom’s) enjoy catnip-filled mice and string while Princess (Manders’ kitty) enjoys the feather and fluffy toys. Zeus will play with practically anything but really loves to play tug-of-war. So depending on your pet’s favorite game(s), giet them a toy they will enjoy!

Even though Fido loves to sleep on your bed or Fluffy wants to sleep on your favorite couch, get them the gift that keeps on giving! Instead of losing your couch or bed to your pet, give them their own! At PetCo, they have all shapes and sizes to choose from. They even have dog couches and cat cradles for your loved one to sleep in on those extra cold nights. Fido will feel happy that he has his own bed that no one else can sleep on and Fluffy will be glad that she has her own quiet place!

If you have a friend that has pets and you want to give them something, give them the gift of a gift card. If something happens and they need to run to PetsMart or PetCo, they won’t have to worry if they have enough money to get what they need. Maybe they’re thinking of getting a pet and giving them the giftcard will make them feel more confident in their choice, since it won’t be for just a dog or for just a cat.

Every year at Christmas at Wal-Mart, they sell animal Christmas stockings that are filled with toys and treats. So take the guesswork out of wondering what your pet will enjoy and get them a Christmas stocking. They will be so excited, they’ll play with more than one of the toys included! I know we have given our pets a Christmas stocking for years and every year, they play with it like it will be their last! Sometimes they even play with it months after. I know Fido and Fluffy will enjoy it!

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CIJ: For the Tool or Golfer in your life! July 18, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Christmas, Christmas in July, family, Gift Ideas, gifts, Golf, holidays, Products, shopping, thoughts, Tools.
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While my father isn’t exactly Tim Taylor when it comes to tools and cars, he knows his way around a drill or a hammer. But I do know that there are a lot of guys out there that wish they could receive just that one new saber saw or that  Surveillance camera. Maybe he wants a rolling toolbox. Or maybe he just needs a new set of golf clubs.

Maybe your Husband or Dad is just like my Dad- is always losing a part of his tools! Well, with this Craftsman 204 pc. Mechanics Tool Set, he will promise that he will keep everything together. Wouldn’t you?

Sears Craftsman 204 pc. Mechanics Set-  $179.99

In case your man suffers from “more power” once in a while, get him the Craftsman C3 Compact Lithium 1/2 in. Reversible Drill/Driver BONUS C3 AM/FM/Weather Radio. As you can tell, it practically has everything he would want, including a radio! So he can pretty much drill to his heart’s content while listening to his favorite radio station.

Sears Craftsman C3 Compact Lithium 1/2 in. Reversible Drill/Driver BONUS C3 AM/FM/Weather Radio- $159.99

If he would rather be out on the range than in the garage or basement, Sears can help you out there as well. They have various loose clubs like the Dunlop DDH Knife Wedge which runs for about $17 per club at the moment. Now if you don’t want to spend $17 on one club, you could always get the Wilson Hope Golf Clubs, which is a whole set is sold at K-Mart and KMart.com.

K-Mart Wilson Hope Golf Clubs- $170

Not too sure if he’d like the set of golf clubs or the set of tools? Don’t forget about Lowe’s or Home Depot! I know those stores are huge and when it comes to Christmas gifts, your first thought isn’t either of those places but rather Sears or Academy Sports + Outdoors. So instead of traipsing around those big stores in search of the perfect gift, give me a gift card! Don’t worry whether he will think that “you don’t know him at all”. Trust me- men can be the hardest to shop for. They aren’t particular and that’s why it is makes it difficult. So make him go pick out his own gift with a gift card! You won’t see him for hours, which means more “you” time!

Christmas in July: Dear Santa July 17, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in alpha inventions, Animals, Books, cats, Christmas, Christmas in July, dogs, family, Feelings, funny, holidays, life, Pets, random, Siblings, sisters, thoughts, twins.
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Note: I took the idea from Manders (aka Confetti Dreams).

 

Dear Santa:

It’s July. It’s hot, muggy, and no rain. I’m tired of it and wishing Fall would get here soon. So what does this have to do with you?

Everything! You grace us with your presence every year at Christmas, and getting through Fall just means you’ll visit us once again. But I must remind you: The cats are still sort of afraid of strangers. They are attached to their owners and don’t want attention from anyone unless he or she is part of the family. Of course, that doesn’t include that dog. They hate him. But then again, he loves to chase them. Speaking of the dog, he won’t bite. I promise that. His bark is a lot louder than his bite. Milk and Cookies are in the fridge. Pup likes cookies and kitties like milk. For the reindeer, since it’s going to be a long night, there is some soda in the fridge as well. They could probably use the caffeine.

So what do I want this year? Not much, really. Like my other half, a laptop would be REALLY nice. Then Mom wouldn’t get tired of hearing us argue about who has been on the longest or asking “When am I getting on?”. We wouldn’t have to argue either. True, sisters (especially twins) argue over inanimate objects like computers but after a while, it gets boring. We need something new to argue over! I’m pretty sure if I said more books or a nutcracker (which is on my “just-in-case” list), we wouldn’t have to argue over that and Christmas would end up boring. But of course I’ll take practically anything dealing with books, movies, music (heavy metal or Jagged Ege please), or nutcrackers.

Manders will take George Strait or Kahn (from Kamelot) under the tree this year. Forget any CDs or DVDs by these men. She’ll just take them as they are- in the flesh. She wants them only for a month, but I know her too well and she secretly wants them for more than a month. Please leave a note on how long she can keep them. Oh and if they come with any accessories (guitars, ya know), leave those as well. Mom could probably use a vacation. As far as where, that’s a conundrum. I have no clue! You’re better off asking her. I don’t know what you could get Daddy. You might want to ask him too.

Oh and if it isn’t too much trouble, please make sure that all pets are in the house. Smokie likes to escape. Give the Mrs my best.

Christmas in July: Toy Memory July 15, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Christmas, Christmas in July, family, Feelings, gifts, holidays, life, memories, Siblings, sisters, thoughts, Toys.
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For some odd reason, I have the gift of remembering things that have no relevance to the “now”. I can remember things from 2nd grade all the way up to certain seconds in my life in high school. But as we celebrate Christmas in July, I am reminded of a special toy that Manders and I once received when we were about 5 years old.

It was nearing Christmas and we were walking through the mall after seeing Santa. The mall wasn’t as bad as it is now, so it was fairly easy to just take a detour through Sears and create a wishlist in your mind. That is, until we came upon the motherload. It was a Disney castle. The most perfect castle we had ever seen and it was beautiful! We thought it was huge, but we’re only 5. We begged and begged Mom and Dad for it. Of course, we had just had our birthday so we already had presents at home to play with but we wanted that castle so badly! But Mom and Dad said that it was too expensive, we couldn’t get it this year. I can’t remember if we cried or if we just stormed out because we were upset.

Christmas Eve came and we just knew we weren’t going to get the castle. At 5 years old, you know these things. We went over to our Aunt’s house that evening for the annual Christmas get-together. We came home, and looked for Santa on the radar. The minute we saw that he was getting close, we hurried up the stairs to bed. We couldn’t wait for Christmas morning to arrive.

Manders and I woke up on Christmas morning and tiptoed to Mom and Dad’s bedroom. We went inside and asked them if we could open presents. When they said we could, we raced down the steps, looked at the bottom of the Christmas tree. Jiminey Cricket, our castle! There it was in all its glory- Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and even Pluto! It had a car so you could drive Pluto into the carport. It opened so you could place Minnie in the bedroom. We played with it for days on end. I found out as soon as I got older that they had already bought it for us before we even saw it but couldn’t tell us.

I tried to Google it and spent almost an hour looking for it, but thus, I didn’t succeed. I can’t seem to find the childhood toy I remember so vividly!

Thoughts of a Feline July 12, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in alpha inventions, Animals, cats, family, Feelings, life, Pets, random, thoughts.
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smokie2

Last time as I was drifting off to sleep, I noticed that Smokie wanted attention. I had no problem with this since I knew I would be passed out sooner or later and she would end up leaving me to sleep in her spot under the air conditioner. She laid her head on my hand, which she often does, and just stared vacantly nowhere. As she continued to stare at nothing, I started wondering what she was thinking of.

Do cats think with words? Surely it isn’t as complex as our thinking is, since it’s a lot easier for us. But surely it isn’t just all pictures. I’m sure she doesn’t see her paw and lick it because she saw it. I know she doesn’t look at me and think I’m just a different species that’s stupid. If that were the case, she wouldn’t come to me for attention, food, or just because she doesn’t like that fact that I’m reading. Do cats look at the TV or wall and see the person moving without a thought? I know cats think because when they jump from a high to a low spot, they have to calculate how far and how to jump so they don’t injure themselves. They know when someone is a stranger. They know when they get in trouble with their owners. I know cats don’t think like us- bills, school, work, romance. But in some way, I do think that they have thoughts that pertain to their current life.

Smokie will see Zeus coming up towards her and she has to think of a way to get away quickly. So she’ll look back and forth to see an escape. If she is walking in the room and sees a box or something that isn’t completely stable, she’ll calculate a jump over it.

But what do cats really think of when they’re staring off into space?

CIJ: Creating a Christmas Wishlist July 12, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Christmas, Christmas in July, family, Friends, holidays, life, shopping.
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Santa and His Wish List

It happens every year, even before it can become summer- everyone starts coming up with a Christmas wishlist. That new phone comes out and everyone wants it. That new video game system comes out and everyone wants one. That new DVD comes out and they want to be surprised with it at Christmas. Well, help your friends and family take out the guesswork of figuring out what you would like for Christmas!

At Amazon, you can create your own wishlist with whatever you find you want on Amazon and even send it to all your friends and family. Nothing is limited to your wishlist. And you can even put how many you want of a certain item, how many you’ve received of that item, and that priority of it. So let’s say you put a Kurt Adler Irish Large Nutcracker (that’s in my wishlist). They go for about $30 and you want 2 for whatever reason. Under Desired, you put a 2. If you’ve received 1 a few weeks after, put a 1 under Received. You have a choice of Highest, High, Medium, Low, and Lowest for Priority so choose wisely!

If the item you want isn’t at Amazon, but another website or store, go to Christmas Wishlist and register. This is quite simple because all you have to do is add a short description, a longer one (if you choose), the optional URL and the “Rank by Importance”. Like the Amazon Wishlist, you can e-mail to all your family and friends. You can also invite others to join you in the search for that perfect gift.

Wal-Mart and Target both have Wishlists, though I haven’t used them. Hot Topic and other stores also have a wishlist, but Hot Topic changes their inventory on their website so often that what you want could possibly be sold out by tomorrow. If you are interested in see if Macy’s has a wishlist, Google “Macy’s Wishlist”.

Wishlisttr is another great place to hold your Christmas wishlist, as well as a Birthday wishlist or even your anniversary wishlist. You can give it any title you want. It’s pretty simple. All you have to do name your wish, give the link URL, and a short description of what exactly it is you want, though the description is optional. Dream of This Wishlists will seem a little more complicated at first but they give you so many choices, especially Item Category and Price so you can tell your family and friends exactly how much it costs so there aren’t any surprises. You can move and item from list to list, you can send it to everyone, and they even have a page for Gift Ideas. Though it is based in the UK and they offer Pounds for a price, it looks like a good place to put a wishlist of any kind.

But I still prefer the Amazon Wishlist.

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