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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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2 comments

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!

TB Articles: Early Christmas Gifts August 26, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Blog Giveaways, Christmas, life, thoughts.
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3 comments

In about 4 months, Christmas will be upon us. We think about getting our shopping done early, but end up waiting until the last minute. It’s pretty normal and there are ways to get it done super early without worrying whether you’ll get exactly what you want.

In fact, there is a way to get your Christmas presents early without having to spend ANY money. Impossible, you say? Nonsense! Thanks to sweepstakes and blog giveaways, you are able to at least cross one or two gifts off of your list. Online-Sweepstakes.com is a sweepstakes community where new giveaways and sweeps (sweepstakes) are posted daily. If you enter a few every day, your son will eventually get that new guitar for Christmas without you having to spend the money to buy it! Pretty neat, huh?

QVC is offering “Christmas When You Want It”, which is one of the coolest things they’ve ever come up with. Essentially what it is, you can look at the products that are part of the offer. If you have no place to store it until Christmas, you can reserve it to be delivered on November 2nd or now. If you opt for the November delivery, you don’t pay anything until it is shipped. For more information, check out their website.

It is NEVER too soon to purchase (or in some cases, win) those Christmas presents. Procrastination is a big problem when it comes to early Christmas shopping. Now you don’t have to with giveaways and “Christmas When You Want It”!

TB Articles: Living on A Budget August 26, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in Ecnomony, life, money, shopping.
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2 comments

I may be young, but I’ve understood what it is like to live on a tight budget. Now that unemployment has risen the the economy is recovering too slowly for many people, living on a tight budget has become “the norm”.

When it comes to groceries, coupons have become wildly popular. But most of them are for name brands and those tend to run on the expensive side. Don’t be afraid of store brands. In some cases, they can taste the exact same as the name brand version but at a cheaper price. And sometimes, generic store brands have larger casings or packaging, making them last longer. Cap’n Crunch may taste great, but Malt-O-Meal has a bigger back with the same great taste. It may cost more, but you’ll save money when you aren’t buying the name brand box every 2 weeks. If you only get paid every 2 weeks and need to stretch the food out, stock up. Instead of buying 1 gallon of milk, buy 2. Instead of buying one box of Pop Tarts, buy 2. You might not be saving a lot of money, but you’re saving yourself a trip to the grocery store and whatever money you have left, that can used towards other things.

Speaking of trips, setting aside gas money for a week or two is a great way to save. It cuts out the desire to spend the money for something else (unless it was needed) and you know exactly where it’s going. If you spend $20 every week for gas, take out $40 for two weeks. Label an envelope “Weekly Gas- 2 Weeks”, and place the $40 in there. That way if you get the impulse to buy that DVD, you will know that it is to be used for gas or emergencies.

If you feel you can’t pay a bill or have problems buying food, don’t underestimate the power of help. There are thousands upon thousands of people who go through the exact same thing every single day. There are problems that are available to help pay a bill or even help with food. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce if you want to know what programs are available.

Living on a budget doesn’t have to be a death sentence. Reinventing the way you make pasta or even buy groceries can bring new ideas, making a tight budget seem less suffocating I promise.

TB Articles: The Summer Heat August 24, 2009

Posted by texasheartland in fun, Ideas, learning, life, Seasons, summer, thoughts.
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2 comments

NOTE: I have decided that I am going to start writing “articles” so that my readers don’t get bored with the same posts over and over again. Not only that, it will help me develop better writing skills for when I go to college. If you need more information about the articles, refer to “TB Articles“. If you are interested in becoming a guest writer for Texas Banter, refer to this page.

The temperature is rising over 100*, the sun is burning down from the clouds, and you’re hot- very hot. You’re so hot, you DREAM of the day that cooler weather arrives. Having lived in Texas my whole life, I have become somewhat of an expert on trying to stay cool. While they might not work for everyone, it doesn’t hurt to give it a try, right?

If you’re inside and it seems like your house isn’t cooling as it should, think water. Gather up several plastic water bottles, fill them with water, and put them in the freezer. After 4 hours in the icebox, move them to the fridge and grab one for yourself. You now have cold water available for “on-the-go” and it’s a lot easier than trying to lug a gallon of cold water out of the fridge just to fill up a glass. It becomes so helpful, especially if you’re doing chores and you find yourself getting sweaty. You don’t want to become dehydrated even if you don’t feel hot because the symptoms can be fatigue, and many think that they are tired because of the chores. In most cases, it’s that they are dehydrated. Aside from keeping you hydrated, the cold water will cool your core temperature down a few degrees, and it help you from feeling physically hot.

Since our house doesn’t have insulation, it tends to get burning hot in the Summer and near-dead freezing in the Winter. In the Summer, when the temperature in the room is 83*, I like to use the shower. I don’t mean taking a shower. I mean getting my hair wet by bending over the edge of the tub with my head under the shower. I don’t panic if my clothes get wet because I know that eventually I will end up sitting in front of a fan or air conditioner, making me feel a lot cooler. I suggest that you don’t do it every hour or too frequently because you can end up with a heat rash. While they can be treated by topical baby rash cream, they are kinda painful. Also with that, you can actually get too chilled if your core temperature drops drastically low in such a short amount of time.

I’m sure that I don’t need to remind you what to do if you’re outside- it’s on the news all the time! You know the drill: drink plenty of water, take frequent breaks, if you get too hot, move to an air conditioned building, etc. It’s been ingrained in us since we were little. But another thing they don’t tell you is not to soak your whole body, including your clothes. This will bring on one mean heat rash that is extremely painful. Those are worse than the ones you received from “wetting your hair” too much. Also, the reflection of the sun can intensify the sun’s burning rays, making you sunburn a lot quicker and a lot worse than without the soaked clothes and skin.

Let’s face it- Summer is here for a few more weeks. If none of the suggestions haven’t worked, then maybe we should look to Summer’s best friend- ice cream! Now there’s an activity I can enjoy!