..........Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com.........

Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Friday, December 04, 2009

A Dog Rescuer’s Fantasy Email

A Dog Rescuer’s Fantasy Email
Dear Rescue Organization,
We’re hoping you can help us find the perfect pet for our family.

We’re looking for an older dog, maybe even a senior with some health problems, as we know they are often the hardest to place and we have both love and money to offer on behalf of our new family member. We’re thinking that black or brown would be a great coat color and the more they shed, the better, as our teenage children love to brush and groom and we like to keep them busy so they stay out of trouble.

This dog would preferably have no training of any kind, as we look forward to spending time bonding with our new dog during that process. We don’t mind housetraining, since we know how important it is to set the dog up for success by using a crate or other means to limit their access to the house until this has been mastered, using only positive reinforcement techniques. We also have a huge, safely fenced yard where our other dogs love to run and play with the family.

Our dog will join our family of two adults, two teenagers, an infant, three dogs and two cats. Rather than getting rid of a pet when our adopted baby arrived from China, we thought it would be a good idea to open our hearts to another companion animal since expanding our family through adoption has been a blessing to us all.

We know you will need to check with our veterinarian to make sure that we take excellent care of all our pets. We are attaching copies of our veterinary records for the past 2 years, and have already given the vet’s staff permission to tell you whatever you need to know to ease your mind that we will provide a loving and safe home for the dog we hope you will help us find.

We know it costs you gas money so we are willing to come to you or give you gas money for transporting the dog to us. Whatever is most convenient.

One last thing: we noticed the website says your adoption fee is $125.00, but we think that is not nearly enough to cover the costs you must incur, especially since you provide foster care, food, monthly prevention for heartworms, and all other health needs until a rescued pet is adopted. So we will not consider giving you any less than $200.00 for the adoption fee, and will continue to support your life-saving work with annual donations.

Thank you for giving so generously of your time and energy, money and other resources, to save animals from certain death at the animal shelter and keep them safe until they can find permanent homes. If we can ever be of further help to you or your organization, please do not hesitate to call on us,
A Dog's Perfect Family
Written by Judy Wyles, for the entertainment of her many rescue friends, with full knowledge that this family may not actually exist.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Cemetery Hunting

I'm deeply into genealogy and, with technology, more so than ever. I'm a descendant of these lines: Reese, Freeman, Lundsford, Conner, Ensley, Miller, Hickham, Lamb, Rickers, etc. on my Mother's side. They were all in the Greeneville County, TN and Madison County, NC area of the Western NC Mountains. Some in Buncombe County and Henderson County, NC too. My husband and I did those back earlier in the month. But my Grandparents left the mountains and came to Spartanburg, SC about the time I was born and my family have been here ever since. My Dad was a TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) Hydraulics Engineer and so I was born in TN and we moved around there until he got a job in Spartanburg when I was 8 yrs old. We've lived in Sptbg ever since and I consider it my home town. All of my immediate family and Stan's immediate family are here.

Last week, we had a free day that was going to be sunny and fairly warm in the mountains so I asked Dad if he would go with me cemetery hunting. I wanted to get GPS coordinates for the places we found for my notes. Madison County has an active genealogy society that I was a member of for a couple of years. But they aren't as current on having GPS coordinates on their many small cemeteries so I wanted to find them and get the coordinates.

We made it to Mars Hill and found the Mars Hill Cemetery with no problems. I found the people in our family that were buried there, made photos and videos and got the GPS coordinates. Mom, Dad and Uncle Glenn had attended Mars Hill College getting their 2 yr degrees back then. It's where Mom and Dad met. They got married after graduation and Dad went on to get his 4 yr degree at NC State. So we got to see Mars Hill again. It's now a 4 yr college and they have expanded a good bit since the last time I was there. Then we started on Hwy 213 towards Marshall.

We stopped at the library in Marshall (the county seat) and they showed us the books of cemeteries in the area with directions. The only problem is that the directions assume you know the area such as "turn left behind the clinic in the Brush Creek area", er, where is the Brush Creek area and, by the way, there is no clinic there. Or "turn by the old Joe Bishop homeplace" or "turn right and go up Ivy Hill". So we kinda stayed lost but we did happen upon several of the ones we were looking for!!! I love doing this, it's kinda like a treasure hunt!!! I took us a picnic, it was a beautiful day and we got to wind around country roads. We easily found Bull Creek Baptist Church on Bull Creek Rd and Gabriel's Creek Baptist Church on Gabriel's Creek Rd. Easy, since it was the road name. I put the road into my GPS and then we would follow it until we found the cemetery. At Bull Creek we had stopped and were taking photos of the newer brick church and a small log cabin beside it. A gentleman came to do some work around the church. He offered to open up the little log cabin as it was the original church and they have turned it into a museum concerning the history of the church. I got to go inside and take photos and video! On one wall is a big board with all the pastors listed since their first service in July 1818. The first pastor was Rev. Moses Freeman (a direct ancestor of mine) and the third pastor, Rev William Reese (another direct ancestor of mine). Rev. Freeman ordained William Reese and Reese married one of Freeman's daughters. Rev. Billy Reese was pastor there for many years near the end of his life. It was quite a thrill for me to get to go into the little simple church.

We like to never found Grandview Missionary Baptist Church or Flint Hill Cemetery. The directions in the cemetery book at the library really weren't helpful and the librarian just told us to go through Marshall to the bridge and take a left off River Road. So we wandered around a good bit before finally making it to Flint Hill and then Grandview Rd was right there. We got lost because...what bridge was she talking about? Marshall is beside the French Broad River and there are many creeks and such that run into it. So there were several bridges to choose from. We thought it was the old bridge at Hayes Run Rd. Then we thought River Rd would be the one right by the river but it comes to a dead end. It gave us a chance to sit down at the picnic tables on the French Broad River and eat lunch before continuing. It was a nice respite. We finally went out far enough to find the bigger double bridge and we took PanHandle Rd to the left but, there just aren't many road signs there and nothing to indicate a church. We made it to Mt. Zion Freewill Baptist Church thinking it was Grandview or Flint Hill. But, disappointed, we went back and back across the bridge towards Marshall when I saw the road sign for Ivy something Rd so we hooked a right and went up that road and were able to piece it together to find Flint Hill and Grandview. What good finds. And all these cemeteries are on hill tops with gorgeous views! You felt like running through the tombstones and singing, "The hills are alive, with the sound of music"!

We tried to find Big Laurel next. We were looking for the Bishop Cemetery. There was no Big Laurel or Bishop cemetery in the library's cemetery books although the outside of the books listed it. That was confusing. So we assumed it would be on Big Laurel Rd. There was a church right as you turned onto Big Laurel Rd but it didn't look to have a cemetery so we continued following Big Laurel Rd. Boy, that was out in the boonies! We finally came up on what looked like an abandoned church near Big Laurel River and across the street, way up on a hilltop was a cemetery. Big Laurel or Bishop Cemetery? We parked and walked up the little cow path. That walk about killed me, it's so steep, but I was determined to make it. I told Dad, "If we get up here and it's some family cemetery that doesn't hold one of our line I'm gonna be really disappointed." Sure enough, lots of Wallins but nobody that I know of in our line. Meanwhile, the natives were concerned as to who it was walking on their property. Rightly so. They would slow down and give our car the look over and then go on. I'm sure phones were buzzing up and down the road. That is a good thing, neighbors watching out for each other. But if they had stopped and given us a chance to tell them, they would have understood. I mean, I was carrying cameras around my neck with notebook and pen in hand, not a rifle over my shoulder. And my experience up there has been of very kind and helpful people. Anyway, down we trekked and by this time it was time to head home before we got caught in the dark. I had to take the next day in bed.

We did so good and found enough that I wanted to go back. Sunday was suppose to be another pretty day so this time my husband came along and drove while Dad and I navigated. We wanted to find the Moses Freeman Cemetery (which I found in the library cemetery books). We got to Hwy 25-70 and started looking for "Shop Hollow Rd". There is no Shop Hollow Rd. But we found Lower Brush Creek Rd so we took it and "Sharp Hollow Rd" comes out on Lower Brush Creek Rd. According to the directions in the cemetery book we parked and Dad and I sloshed through the creek. I can't skip over rocks. No, I fell in and so just sloshed through. Now, where were the 5 graves? We figured they wouldn't bury them on the flat bottomland. It is cut and used for planting or pasture. And, close to the creek, there is the possibility of flooding and they normally bury on hilltops. So we started following some deer tracks up the hill in the woods to the top of a knoll. (Yes, I literally saw the deer bopping up the hill as we stopped.) We found a huge oak tree and some rocks but with the leaves down it was hard to see any depressions or mounds. We continued to follow the ridge but it ended in a yard of a house so we backed up. We didn't want people thinking we were peeping toms. I took some video and photos of the knoll under the oak tree and the rocks just in case that was it. As I started down the hill, a truck stopped and a nice young man asked my husband what the heck we were doing tramping around in his woods. I made it back to the creek and waded back over with Dad right behind me and I got to talking to the young man. Sure enough, he was able to tell me the knoll was the cemetery and I was able to tell him who was buried there. He gave us directions to Station Cemetery which was next on my list. I had been unable to find it because there is no "clinic in the Brush Creek area" and the road to the cemetery is labeled Station Gap and went through a trailer park so I didn't know it was the road that eventually led to the cemetery. But with his help we did find it and walked it. By now I was so exhausted after that little climb and my shoes and socks were soaked from slogging through the creek and my feet were cold but there were more cemeteries to find.

Next we went to Hot Springs and found the Old Antioch Cemetery. Last time I was there, Hwy 25-70 had just been finished and the cemetery was very grown up. I was so glad to see that it has been kept up and was easy to spot from the road. It was cleaned up. I found my Great Grandmother, Noda Vesta Miller Lamb, there with her daughter, Sueda Lamb, beside her and baby Noda who died 3-4 mos after her mother died is buried there too. They had tombstones although they are almost unreadable. There are a lot of graves marked with just stones around her and I wonder if there are any other Millers buried there?

Then we stopped at the New Antioch Cemetery on our way back to Hot Springs and I found my Great Great Grandparents, John Rollins Lamb and Sarah Ealey Lamb. I did not know they were buried there and was thrilled to find them with their stones. Newer stones have been placed there too. Many thanks to the person who did that!!!

Then we went to Shut In Creek where Noda's father, Anderson Miller, had a mill on Upper Shut In Creek. It has been 18 yrs since I'd been back to that place and it was changed enough to make us have to really look for it. Last time I was there there was an old barn with a raccoon hide tacked to the side of it and it was very overgrown. This time, the old barn was gone, it was cleaned up and just across the creek is a newer home. But we found the spot because there was the big rock and the tiny waterfall into a pool. I had had my photo taken sitting on that rock back then so we knew we were in the right place. I got good photos and video. I had remembered there being a Methodist church near Shut In that had Noda's sister buried there. On the way back something said, "Turn left here". Sure enough it took us around the curve to the little Fairview Methodist Church. I have no idea how I suddenly knew where it was since it's not visible. It was just a feeling. But I found Ora Catherine Miller Huff and her husband. It was a nice enough spot for us to have our picnic lunch. I ate my turkey sandwich with the camera in the other hand as I wandered through the cemetery.

It was only 1:30pm but I was so tired. Sometimes I hit, what I call, my brick wall. I just can't go any further. So we stopped and started back home. I was hurting so bad I was miserable but it was so worth the trip. I made myself as comfortable as possible and took something for pain and endured until we got back home and I went to bed.

There were more cemeteries on my list and I will have to make another trip sometime. I want to do Poplar Gap Cemetery (it's been a long time since I've been there), Meadow Fork Baptist Church, Bluff's church cemetery (been too long since I've visited them too). I want to get GPS coordinates for all these places for my notes. I'm also still looking for "Nelson Cemetery", "Bishop Cemetery" in Big Laurel, "North Fork Cemetery" in Big Pine, and I may come up with some more through the winter. I have spent a good bit of time, years ago, in the courthouse but I want to spend some time now in the Marshall library to see what all is there. So I expect to go back!

I will be adding photos and videos of these places as I get them processed so keep looking back for postings on these families.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Christmas Gift Ideas

How about scarves, hats, gloves? You can crochet, knit or sew-free fleece. Just do a Google search and look for directions.

Make a "spa" basket filled with some soap (you can make soap or buy nice soaps cheaply at Ross), a loofah, bath crystals (you can make with epsom salts and some fragrance oils), a candle (you can make candles), and a book of meditations such as Daily devotions.

Make a "tea" box filled with a nice cup & saucer (be on the lookout during yard sale season and at thrift stores), a box of specialty teas (good prices at Ross and Marshalls), make some cookies and include with a little tea towel or cloth napkin.

Make some jar gifts: bean soup in a jar, cookie mix in a jar, flavored rice in a jar, etc. Just do a Google search and get some ideas and recipes for gifts in a jar.

A picture box tailored to a child’s interests. If that preteen you know is a football fan, track down news stories about his favorite players (hopefully cheerful stories), and add in pictures and scenes from memorable games. Laminate them. Decorate the box according to the theme.

If you can sew, how about using scraps to make soft toys for the children on your list. Teddy bears, rabbits, dogs, sock monkeys, etc. Teddy bears made of old chenille or vintage fabrics or soft plush are even great for the adults!

Buy a cheap but pretty calendar and add dates for family birthdays and anniversaries. Add little sayings of encouragement throughout the year. Add some stickers or even thumbnail photos you print yourself.

Buy a spiral scrapbook (at any craft store or even Walmart in the craft section) and make a book just for an interest that your person has. For instance, if you know your person is a gardener, make a garden book. Clip some interesting articles from gardening magazines, print some from the computer, add some gardening quotes and leave plenty of room for them to use it for themselves (for documenting their own yard and garden ideas, drawing landscape ideas, etc). Or make an exercise book. Add some photos of your person at their aerobics class, look for articles or directions on how to do strategic exercises, add some low fat and healthy recipes and some encouragement quotes. Make a page where they can document their weight loss and inches loss. Leave them room to document their exercise regimen and their success rate.

I found this website that is all about gift giving and has some wonderful ideas for children and adults. Take your time here and bookmark it to return to it many times!!!

Here are some of my previous posts about gifts:
Homemade Gifts

Inexpensive gift ideas

Clutter free gifts

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To contact me, email me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com