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Monday, February 24, 2014

Our Rescues

This is Faye! She is a pit bull mix.
This is Molly. She is a Maltese who we rescued two and half years ago.

This is Sally. She is a lab mix who we rescued over 15 years ago.
These are the faces of some of the best pets I've ever had. They were all three rescued in different ways. Sally, the lab mix, was a puppy when we found her on the side of the road. She was flea-ridden, hungry and was licking chocolate off of a candy wrapper. We had to have her put to sleep just this past September at the age of 15. She had debilitating, degenerative arthritis and had gotten to the point where she could not walk. She was one of the sweetest dogs, and my two boys adored her!
Faye is a pit bull mix, who wandered into our yard with a pal, a little west highland terrier. They were an odd pair, but they were playmates. We did everything we knew to do to find the owners. We called vets' offices, humane society, put up posters, put ads in various locations. No one claimed them. So, my husband made the decision to keep the pit bull mix so that Sally would have a companion. We found a new home for the Westie. Faye has been a sweet and loving pet as well.
Molly is a Maltese. We are not sure of her age. My son and I rescued her from a certain death as she was running into traffic on a busy highway near my son's school. Her coat and skin were in miserable condition. I took her home, then to the vet, and soon she was on her way back to being healthy. We tried to find the owners, but again,  no one came forward. We've had her for about 2 1/2 years now. The vet said she is older. She has cataracts beginning to form, her teeth are in bad need of cleaning, and to complicate things, she has kidney stones and a bad heart murmur. My husband was kind enough to let me keep her and let her stay inside. 
I LOVE my dogs! I am so happy we have them. They add so much to our lives. The sad fact is, though, that these aren't the only dogs and cats that have wandered onto our property. God knows that if we could have, we would have cared for ALL of them, but there's just no way in a subdivision like ours. I just don't understand why people get pets and then don't care for them. I follow a Facebook page called the CSRA Humane Society. On any given day, there are at least a half dozen notices of lost, missing, or found dogs. It saddens me. Today, as I traveled to a town about 15 minutes away, I saw two adorable dogs, in two different locations, running loose in danger of being struck by a car. 
People...if you are going to get a pet, you must be a responsible owner. I understand that occasionally animals escape, and there is nothing you could have knowingly done. But there are other folks who just don't seem to realize that dogs, cats and cars don't mix! You don't let your pet run loose anywhere near a street! 
So, to the previous owners of the dogs we currently care for, SHAME on you! You've missed out on some great dogs by not caring for them properly. At the same time, THANK You! We LOVE our pets!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Southern Winters

I just finished editing some photos I took last week, and it got me thinking about what a winter we've had this year. We've missed five days of school due to snow and ice. And yes, there was a run on milk and bread at the grocery stores at the first mention of snow. Some of you look at this photo and laugh. This winter, we had a light snow/wintry mix at the end of January, and after it melted, it froze over that night causing "black ice." So that week, in our county, the kids went to school two half days and missed one whole day. Remember, this was the same event that caused travelers to be stranded on the freeways in Atlanta, GA. Before you giggle and make fun, you must realize that snow and ice just aren't, well, SOUTHERN! We don't invest in snow tires and chains, in snow blowers and snow plows. It just isn't worth it for the few times it happens. Shoot, I don't even wear a coat unless it gets below 40 degrees during the day time. Well, bless my soul, two weeks later, coming up on Valentine's Day, the Weather Channel started predicting an ice event for our area. They used words like "crippling, catastrophic, and historic." This just doesn't happen around here, I'm telling ya! So I'm sure many folks didn't take it seriously. I didn't make a run to the store for milk and bread, but since I had been through an ice storm before, I did get a few groceries in case I wouldn't leave the house for a couple of days. I never imagined what this area would go through.

In 2004, we had an ice storm that left us without power for two days. It warmed up pretty quickly, and we were back to normal shortly afterward. In 2009, our little town had an EF 3 tornado pass through. We had some damage to our house and property and the neighborhood as a whole. We were without power for about 5 days, but at least it was warm. Fast forward to 2014. The weather man wasn't playing any games. We had freezing rain and sleet all day on Wednesday, the 12th. On Thursday, the temperature rose very little, and the precipitation ended by lunch time. Of course, school was closed on both days, and even on Friday as the stuff began to melt. Because of all the trees down, many of the roads were impassible. The worst part was the wide-spread power outages for hundreds of thousands of people! We were without electricity for 5 days and 4 nights, and we had no water for two days. We are STILL under a boil water advisory, and there are still many people without electricity (over 3000 in SC alone as of today)! I can't imagine what people went through who didn't have an alternate heat source. We have a wood-burning fireplace and a small generator  to power up a little electric space heater. That was good for charging our cell phones as well. No heat and no hot water...no way of cooking food except on the grill. It got old real fast! Many people around here lost everything in their refrigerators and freezers. Take a look at what this wintry mess looked like.
 Here is Jim Cantore from the Weather Channel as he was on air IN Augusta, GA. We knew when he came to town, they weren't messin around!

THIS is why power was out for 5 days





The aftermath was something to behold!



Limbs, branches, and sometimes whole trees came down under the weight of the ice. Many landed on power lines.

As we stood here, we could hear branches snapping and falling. Sometimes it sounded like gun fire. It was scary to stand underneath.



These were our life savers: a portable generator, fire wood given to us by a friend, and then some from our own yard, the grill to cook on, candles, matches, flashlights, batteries, and a portable weather radio. 




We even caught melting snow that was dripping off the roof in a bucket so that we would have water to flush toilets with. We boiled water and did dishes by candle light. We camped out in the living room after putting sheets up at the entry ways to keep the heat in.  We were never so happy to see the lights come on!
So ya see.. I think that even though this stuff doesn't happen much, we handled it with a fair amount of grace. We survived the CSRA ice storm!
 You'll never guess what happened on Friday! We had a 4.1 magnitude earthquake, and a smaller aftershock on Sunday. I know...crazy!!!  And today? Well, it was sunny and a record 82 degrees! 



Being a Southern Girl

Hey everybody! My name is Kim, but my husband says a lot of our southern friends and family call me "Kee-um" with that extra syllable. We southerners get made fun of for a lot of things, like how we talk and even how we react to the weather. Believe me when I say, though, we don't all talk like Paula Deen! I love living here in our little corner of SC, and I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.
I grew up in one part of South Carolina and later moved to another part of SC, only to meet and marry the love of my life, Ed, a genuine "Yankee," as my dad calls him. We were so different when we first started dating. I can remember those earlier outings clearly, though it was 24 years ago. I think Ed believed I had a hearing problem because of the number of times I said, "Huh? What? Say that again?" I couldn't understand much of anything he said; his PA accent was so strong! Needless to say we made it through that, and we now understand each other perfectly...well, almost!
We live together in a part of the state known as the CSRA (Central Savannah River Area) with our two sons, ages 17 and 11. I can honestly say I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. We're less than two hours from the coast, an hour from the state capital and the university my son will most likely attend, and we're three hours from extended family. We've been in the same house for the last 15 years. I am a 49 year old stay-at-home mom who loves living among the oaks, pine trees and green grass (at least in the summer), in the house with rocking chairs on the wrap around porch, and listening to the storm door slam on a warm day. That's me, Kee-um, in a nutshell. Just a simple southern girl with a few things to say. Hope you'll stick around to listen.