Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Church and Father Charlie

The county where my Nephew's wedding was held was Isle of Wight County.  Someday I would love to visit the original Isle of Wight, but this just might be the closest I'll ever come to it.
The church where the wedding was held was St. Luke’s, circa 1632.  It is the oldest existing church of English foundation in America and the country's only surviving original brick Gothic church,  For nearly 200 years, St. Luke's was known simply as "Old Brick Church."
The brickwork around the church exterior is detailed and elaborate.  
And has walls two feet thick.
You enter the church through a wicket door that leads into the nave. Folklore says that small doors set into a larger wood door and requiring those entering to take one high step inside, shut out evil spirits,  On the practical side, it probably kept the interior drier and warmer.
Inside you can't help but notice that the church looks like an upside down boat.  Someone mentioned to me that this was because most of the colonial leaders had experience with building boats.
There are many beautiful stained glass windows,
There is one window that is in memory of Pocahontas, who is said to have been christened in the church.
There is a triple-level pulpit (right in photo) that was built with a sounding board attached to the ceiling which amplified speakers for court and church. It is simple and beautiful.
I wish I would have had more time to walk through the cemetery.  
And to explore more of the grounds.  But it was so hot, and time was not on our side. 
St. Luke drawing a portrait of the Virgin Mary
But we did have time for a late lunch in the town of Smithfield that is the "Ham Capital of the World."  How could you not love a town famous for its ham and bacon?  
It's really a lovely town with Victorian homes and specialty shops that really made me wish I could have just forgotten about the reception. But of course I couldn't.  Maybe next time!
All too soon my trip to Virginia Beach was over and it was time to come home. All was well at Golden Pines, and Charlie had done a great job taking care of the kittens while I was gone--You can watch the video below and see for yourself.  "Father Charlie" really does love "his" kittens!    

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Tumbleweeds and the Beach

More than a week has passed since I've blogged, and the tumbling-tumbleweeds blowing around my blog show the neglect, and dust-bunnies blowing through the house show neglect there as well.

The past week was a full one that began with my trip to my nephew's wedding. With a few hours before the wedding, I did manage to squeeze in a sunrise walk on Virginia Beach.
Mornings on the beach are much different than during the day when the crowds are there.
It's peaceful and serene with only the sound of the birds as they fly past and the sound of the waves crashing on the shore.  I'll admit that I'm not one to go barefoot, but who doesn't love that feeling of the grainy sand against your feet as you walk across the beach?
Sunrise on the beach is a special time and I've a feeling that the lady below agrees with that.
I think that when given the chance everyone should experience it at least once. 
All too soon, and before I realized it, the crowds of people began to arrive, and it was time to leave and get ready for the wedding.  

In my next post I'll tell you about the wedding that took place in "Isle of Wight County" at the historic St Luke's Church, which is the oldest church of English origin in America.
THANKS for stopping by, I've missed visiting with you!  ...And you didn't think I'd not post at least one photo of a dog (Josh) ....
Or of Todd, did you?  

Friday, July 17, 2015

Needed: More Hours in a Day!

A very full week has come to an end.  "Pink nose kitten" also known as Libby (below on the right) was hospitalized overnight this past week for an abscess, dehydration, and an intestinal infection.
Under the watchful eyes of Charlie, she's doing much, much better, and we're working through a few health issues with the "All Girls Club" who should all be okay.
The tiger kitten, (below) who is the new comer in the crowd is adjusting to her new life and being around people. She's no longer swatting at me, and only hissing at me once or twice a day so that's progress. She's estimated to maybe be a month older than the others, and it's amazing how the others adapted and "tamed" so much more quickly than she has.
We've not made any progress with "Feral Mom" even though I tried. One of my counter-parts in this rescue of the "West End Kittens" has found a good barn home for her, and she'll be leaving us this morning.

....And speaking of leaving, I am leaving too.  After I take Mom-Cat to her new home, I'm off on a small road trip for my nephews wedding. I'm really looking forward to this trip for several reasons. One is that my Nephew doesn't live far from the beach, and I'm trying to make time during my visit to at least see the ocean.  The other is that I just need a small break to recharge my inner batteries that are really in need of recharging.  
~Todd's batteries never need recharging~
I'm sorry that I've not been able to visit your blogs lately.  But while I have no regrets in taking in the kittens, and they are fun to have around, they are taking a lot of time added to the care the dogs need too.  At the end of the day, I have hoped to at least read a few blogs, but I have just collapsed into bed, and hope that the next day will bring a few extra hours, but so far, it hasn't.  I am missing having the time to take a peek into your lives that I always enjoy. But I have hopes of being able to catch up with you very soon!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

One Cat Away!

A week ago today, a trio of kittens joined us here at Golden Pines.  A week later, these three little Musketeers have come a long way.  We're able to hold them, and they're beginning to play.  However one, that I've thought since the first time I saw it, is not as healthy as the other two and has a puncture wound on the side of its neck that I only noticed on Thursday when I held "her" for the first time.  
It's easy to notice that she's the smallest and the skinniest of the 3 and the most quiet. Now that I can hold her I've been able to clean the wound really well today. No question, that these little ones need to be taken to the vet, but unfortunately their care was put on the back burner with the arrival of two more cats at Golden Pines.
~Momma Cat~
Yes, that's two.  Late Wednesday evening, I got a call that two more cats had been trapped, one kitten, and an adult . When they arrived it was easy to see that this new kitten didn't belong with the others because of its size.  However, it does "match" the adult.
~Trapped Kitten #4~
The two new comers were taken to the vet and both girls were spayed, and returned to Golden Pines on Thursday evening. The "Momma Cat" is quiet and we've left her alone to recover.  The kitten on the other hand, is all feral, and each meeting (so far) is met with a lot of growling, hissing and swatting at me.  Tomorrow morning I'm meeting with someone to try and sort out the details for vet care and fostering for the cats.

Aside from being as my brother said, "one cat away from being the crazy cat lady" Charlie is still crazy about the kittens and is taking his job as their nanny very seriously.
He's allowing supervised visits.
But I have a feeling that these kittens at some point just may be able to hold their own, even against Todd.

I hope you're having a good weekend!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

It Takes a Village

My week may be off to a slow start at work because the Doctor I work for has had to be out of the office.  But we are busy at home.
Because on Saturday we welcomed two new additions...
Then a third one...
How did we end up with these three little ones?  Well, I first read about them on a Facebook group page for the town that I live.  Someone posted about seeing four kittens in the back of the gas station in town, and playing near the road.  
Several people chimed in that they'd seen them as well and agreed that it would be "unfortunate if one got hurt, or worse."  But no one volunteered to help these little ones.  Finally someone named "Beth" who regularly helps to trap feral cats for a rescue, said that she would trap the kittens, but someone else would have to take them.  ...the sound of crickets goes here.... I'll pat myself on the back and say that I waited nearly 8 hours for someone else to speak up and say they'd take the kittens.  But no one did.  So, I volunteered, telling myself that I'd figure it out somehow.     
Then (thankfully) someone named "Laura" said that she would also be willing to help trap the kittens and would arrange with a rescue group to have them vetted. So, on Saturday morning, we set the traps, and by 10:30 that night, Laura and Beth had managed to trap all but one. Unfortunately, the 4th kitten has not been seen since Saturday night. We're not giving up, and the traps are still being set in hopes that this little elusive one will return and can be caught.   

Laura is also going to speak to the owner of the gas-station and ask him to make a donation to the rescue to help with their expenses. (I personally think he should, and think we did him a favor in taking them.)   
Because the kittens, that are estimated to be about 8 weeks old, are "semi-feral" Beth has put me in contact with someone who will be coming over this weekend to help me with handling and socializing the kittens, which I did for the first time this evening.  
~Being held for the first time!~
My new friends and I have decided that with each of us taking a part in rescuing these kittens, asking for the donation from the gas station owner, the rescue who will be taking them, and getting someone to help me socialize them, that it truly  "takes a village to rescue kittens."  However, Charlie who absolutely loves them...
and is a bit obsessed with the kittens,   
doesn't think I need any help because he's here!    

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Four Days

I have been off work since Thursday and we pretty much had no plans for the long weekend, other than our usual catch up on things around the house.  It was also time that had been set aside to catch up on the dogs summer haircuts.
Todd was first up on the list, and sat still long enough with the bow on for me to get his photo not once...
but twice...
Josh and Sunny were taken to the groomers as well. 
~Sunny pre-grooming~
Sunny's experience at the groomer could be a post all its own.  I took both Josh and Sunny to a new groomer, because I wanted to stay on "good terms" with the one who regularly sees Charlie and Todd.  So I'll  just say that I don't think Sunny will be going back to the "new place" again.  Long time readers of this blog know that Sunny can be "difficult" in two kinds of situations.  One is when he doesn't want to do something, and the other is when he's nervous. His being groomed fit that perfectly. It's too bad that Sunny doesn't like to have his picture taken, because he looks great. (I will add that yes, I can and do groom the goldens, but even I have problems doing anything more than brushing and trimming Sunny).
~Best photo of Sunny afterwards~
However, Sunny bypassing me and going straight to the door afterwards, the looks on the faces of the two groomers and especially their short and restrained comments about how "Sunny didn't like his nails trimmed, feet touched, tail messed with, that he hated the dryer and that he could live life happily for the rest of his life without another bath," said perfectly how it had gone.  

There were no comments at all on how Josh did.  That had to be good news, right?

Back at home, the success of the week has come with our newest addition, Bella. We felt that part of the problems with Bella and our dogs was coming from her just not feeling well. Throughout the week, it was easy to see that she was feeling better and becoming more relaxed.  So with that, we very slowly began closing the space between her and our dogs.  It took a lot of praise, a lot of treats that yesterday resulted in this...Bella is the one in the middle of the photo below.
Yes, Bella is still a little growly around our dogs, in particular when she's sleeping and eating.  But I think and really hope she's going to be okay here at Golden Pines.  
~Bella on Friday~

I hope you have an enjoyable, memorable and safe July 4th celebration!  
~Main Street in "My Town"