Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Digging Up Some Dirt #WafflesWednesday

WAFFLES:  Hey Boss, why is Glogirly playing in her litterbox? 


KATIE:  Waffles, that's not a litter box. She's working on landscaping the front of the house. 


WAFFLES:  I don't know, Boss. That's a LOT of dirt. And she's digging around in it like she has to go or something. 

KATIE: Seriously, Waffles. I sincerely doubt Glogirly is going to use her new flower bed as a, well... you know.


WAFFLES:  She's squatting, Boss! She's squatting! 

KATIE:  Pretty sure she's planting, Waffles. 

WAFFLES:  Now she's covering up something!


WAFFLES:  This landscaping stuff looks pretty suspicious if you ask me.


KATIE:  Well, it's a good thing I didn't ask you.


Digging Up Some Dirt
Now that the summer weather has moved in, Glogirly has apparently caught a landscaping bug. When we moved into our new mountain house, the front was a little lacking in terms of curb appeal. Ok, so there are no curbs out here. But there was plenty of room for improvement. Glogirly drew up some ideas then consulted a local expert in native plants and high elevation gardening. Enter her new friend, Tom, from Native Nursery in Golden, CO. Tom stepped in to help Glogirly select beautiful and colorful plantings that will thrive at 8,300'. He even made a trip up the canyon road to deliver everything and help position the plants. All 85 of them. (!)

And he loves cats. So we love Tom.

Glogirly is putting the finishing touches on everything and will share photos soon! She's pretty excited because this is her first-ever project like this. She's lived in condos and townhomes for as many years as she can remember, so her landscaping adventures didn't stray far from a potted geranium.

Now she's got cool sounding plants with names like Little Trudy Catmint, First Love Dianthus and Little Devil Ninebark. Don't worry, it doesn't really bark.



Monday, June 19, 2017

Cat Daddy Time

WAFFLES:  Us men have to stick together. 

You know, to do man stuff like online shopping for, well... man stuff.



KATIE:  Yeah well don't blow your allowance all one website, Waffles.



WAFFLES:  Allowance? You get an allowance, Boss?



KATIE:  What do you think, Gloman? Should I tell him I get an allowance or not?



WAFFLES:  Gloman? Does the Boss really get an allowance?  Because I could really use an allowance too. I could– Wait. What's an allowance?



KATIE:  What's that? The less he knows the better? 



WAFFLES:  What about my nose?



Happy Cat Daddy's Day
Today's photos are from Father's Day last year because our Gloman was 900 miles away in Minneapolis yesterday. But come Friday, our favorite Cat Daddy will be jetting to Colorado for a 4th of July visit. We'll all be doing our happy dance.

Waffles will be curling up on his lap every time he sits down for more than 60 seconds and Katie will be tipping over on her side for a tummy scratch a dozen times a day.

For all of you lucky cats with Cat Daddies in your life, we hope you enjoyed a wonderful Father's Day. And to all those Cat Daddies out there - thank you so much for sharing your hearts and homes with your furry family members.


Friday, June 16, 2017

My Visit to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

Exactly one year ago, Glogirly was given an opportunity of a lifetime. She and a small group of other writers and bloggers were invited to visit the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in a magical place called Angel Canyon in Kanab, Utah. We're thrilled to share her story again with new friends and readers, as well as those that followed her travels last year. This is the first of a three-part series originally published in June, 2016. We hope it touches your heart as much as it has left a forever footprint on hers.

Kindness.

Kindness for all living things. It's what brought a group of 31 idealistic people with a dream together a little over three decades ago. It's what created the world's largest no-kill animal rescue organization in the world. It's 3,700 majestic acres of the Utah landscape Best Friends has appropriately named Angel Canyon. It's what connects a family of over 1,500 Best Friends Network Partner organizations across the country. And it's about a common goal. Save Them All.

There are just so many words to describe my experience visiting the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah for the first time. So many, I find myself almost speechless. How do you describe something so beautiful, so inspiring, so moving, you physically feel it in your heart? How do you describe something that for reasons you can't explain, brings you to tears yet fills you with joy?

If I had to choose just one word, it would be Kindness.



The Best Friends Experience: Part One
Welcome to the first of three chapters of my Best Friends experience. Katie and Waffles are taking the day off and turning the blog reins over to me (Glogirly) for the first time in the eight year history of our little cat blog. Don't worry, they'll be back to their usual antics in no time, that is once they forgive me for taking almost a thousand photos of something or someone other than them. I hope you enjoy this as much as I've enjoyed sharing. And I hope Best Friends touches you as they've touched me.





It Gets Inside You
I can't believe it was only a week ago that I was returning home from my visit to Best Friends. As much as I love to travel, often the best part of a trip is coming home. Please don't tell Katie & Waffles, but this trip was very different. I didn't want it to end. One of the new friends I made, Barb, who has what many would call a dream job working for Best Friends and living just steps away from Angel Canyon told me that the coral sand gets in your veins. Those that visit Best Friends find it nudges it's way inside of you. It stays with you and draws you back. I believe her. And I know I'll be back.


Horses and Rabbits and Cats, Oh My!
The sanctuary is home to all kinds of animals. Horses, pigs, goats and birds. Cats, dogs, rabbits and guinea pigs. They've been abandoned, abused or surrendered. Some just cast away. Even wild animals in need of rehabilitaion. If we knew every detail of each animal's history our hearts would be forever broken.

Best Friends appreciates and celebrates the individuality and potential of every single animal. Their ultimate goal is to prepare each animal to be successfully adopted into a loving home. And to stay in that loving home, forever.

Learning How to Be
Some animals need to learn how to just 'be'... and Best Friends totally gets that. A dog that has been abused, or known nothing but fear, may not even know how to be a dog. An orphan foal without a mother to show him the way, needs a mentor horse to teach him how to be a horse. Allowing each animal to learn, at their own pace, that humans are not to be feared but rather are safe, fun and loving is at the core of their mission.

This is one of the things that inspired and impressed me the most. It's not just about saving a life, it's about preparing an animal for a lifetime of happiness and love in a real home. It's about doing what's right for that animal.

Named for a Prince
Just minutes after we arrived at Best Friends we were witness to something truly remarkable. This little orphan foal was taking his first steps outside in the sunshine. He was surrendered to Best Friends after his mother had rejected him. He needed to be bottle fed and had not been in the presence of another horse. The only humans he'd seen were his care givers. Born on the day the world lost Prince the musician, it was clear what this miracle foal's name would be.

What a sight to see. He was introduced to Feather, an adult mini horse, so he could begin to learn how to be a horse. Feather flipped onto her back and rolled around in the dirt. Moments later, Prince copied her and did the same thing. As he gained more and more control of his gangly legs he began to run around the corral. It was pure joy and a rare moment I'm grateful to have been a part of.


A Potbelly Paradise 
Just down the path from Horse Haven sits Marshall's Piggy Paradise and a sweet spot for some handsome and inquisitive goats.

The potbelly pigs were hilarious and full of personality. They purred like cats when we rubbed their tummies and Roxy, the big flirt above, had a LOT to say. Sadly, many people unknowingly adopt these cute pigs from dishonest breeders that mislead them into thinking they'll never get to be much larger than a small dog. 400, 500, even 700 pounds later, they're abandoned or surrendered. Best Friends works incredibly hard to find new forever homes for these delightful creatures and despite the challenges, they do indeed get adopted. Meanwhile, they live a very happy pig life of mud baths, healthy food, exercise and lots of love.

While most of the goats were more interested in soaking up the sunshine, there was the cutest of 'kids'  that thought he'd make a great tour guide and followed our every step. The beautiful and natural environments the animals live in provide them the highest quality of life possible. Clean, spacious with plenty of enrichment and loving care that lets them be the animals nature intended them to be.


The Loudest Bird in the World
Best Friends' Parrot Garden is home to some of the most exotic and vocal  birds in the world. I had no idea the Cockatoo was the loudest bird in the world! Based on my meeting with this spirited guy in the photo, I would have to agree! I've never been up close and personal with these incredibly intelligent birds before and it was fascinating. I met a parrot with a vocabulary of 370 words who could laugh like a human. I met bonded pairs that love and rely on each other so much they can never be separated. They are smart, full of personality and absolutely beautiful.

But they are also in peril. Many can live up to 100 years of age! That means many of them have been through a number of homes over the course of their lives. They need a lot of attention and mental stimulation. Many come to Best Friends with special needs and Parrot Garden provides a beautiful light-filled tropical environment with plenty of social stimulation, healthy food and veterinary care to help them rest, heal and thrive.


Welcome to Puppy Preschool 
It's impossible to have a litter of puppies crawling all over you and not giggle yourself silly. One of the most fun three hours of the trip was Puppy School. This adorable litter of puppies had never experienced any people outside of their care givers before. We were their first! Our job was to simply have fun, socialize with them, let them explore our cameras and us... all in order to teach them than humans (and humans with big cameras) are safe and fun.

It's all a part of Best Friends goal of preparing each puppy for the most successful, happy and healthy life possible with their new forever family.

And if all that wasn't enough fun already... we took the whole litter on their very first walk outside. This was the first time they'd even had a collar on. It was puppy-chaos at 100mph! And so much fun my cheeks are still sore from smiling and laughing.


Care Giving & Compassion
From Horse Haven to Dog Town, Parrot Garden to Bunny House, the love and compassion the care givers show the animals is unending. They know each one by name. They know what makes then tick. They speak their language. Nowhere was this more clear than with the bunnies. The sweet young woman caring for them understood their unique needs and was passionate about their predicament. Some were abandoned to fend for themselves, which is impossible for domesticated rabbits. Others were victims of excessive breeding or hoarding. They're so adorable, many people think they're a perfect pet for a child, but that couldn't be further from the truth.

Did you know that a bunny can get pregnant at only two weeks of age? And when they give birth, it's often to as many as 15 bunnies at a time. Repeat, repeat, repeat. It's an overpopulation epidemic.

Bunny House was peaceful, calm and quiet. For the most part the bunnies make no noise at all. They're some of the most gentlest creatures on earth and the same could be said for their care givers.


Next Up... 
Part 2 -  CAT WORLD
Please join us for an inside look at the beautiful cats of Best Friends and what it's like for them as they prepare and wait for forever homes:  CATS of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.
Part 3 - Where Angels Rest
Easily the most moving part of my experience was a visit to Angels Rest, the final resting place for those Best Friends who now fly with the angels: Where Angels Rest



See the Entire Gallery of Photos
There's SO much more to see! I'd like to invite you to view my entire gallery of Best Friends photos.
Here's how:
  1. Visit Glogirly on SmugMug
  2. Select Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
  3. Enter password: SaveThemAll
The best way to view them is to click on Slideshow. Enjoy!


A Destination Vacation With Purpose
Many people and families visit the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary as a vacation. I had the pleasure of meeting a number of people volunteering while I was there that did just that. It's an inspiring and meaningful way to experience the sanctuary, help the animals and enjoy the gorgeous landscape. For more information on how to turn your bucket list wish into reality, visit HERE.





Special thanks to Melissa, Hannah, Barb and the entire Best Friends family for hosting my trip to the sanctuary. You've each touched my heart and have inspired me by the kindness you show each other and the animals in your care.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Serving Up Handsome #WafflesWednesday

WAFFLES:  It's about time we have a true #WafflesWednesday around here. The ladies need a full serving of handsome. 


WAFFLES: And the Boss says I'm full of handsome. 

Or...full of something.  

Pretty sure it's handsome though.

Definitely handsome.


About Today's Photos
Glogirly is a sucker for Waffles and his endless expressions. He's a cat who loves life with every whisker, every nose freckle, every furry inch of his being. And when she's able to capture that in a photo, she can't stop smiling.

Waffles, we love you.


And though she seldom admits it, Katie has fond-ish feelings for you too.

When you're not hovering over her shoulder, eyeing her dinner or sleeping in her pod.


Monday, June 12, 2017

In the Kitchen With Waffles & Katie

WAFFLES:  Mmmmm, chicken.


KATIE:  With a cilantro and lime marinade, Waffles. Pretty sure you take your chicken sans marinade.


WAFFLES:  Mary who? What's she got to do with my chicken? I never said she could have any–


KATIE:  Marinade, Waffles. Glogirly's trying a new recipe she found online for her dinner tonight. The marinade is what she's soaking the chicken in. 


WAFFLES:  Well I hope it doesn't drown. I don't think chicken can swim you know. 

KATIE: And I think you better get off the kitchen counter pronto, Waffles. Before Glogirly turns around and sees you hiding behind her computer.

WAFFLES:  So what else is in the recipe? Gravy??? I like gravy.


KATIE:  A strawberry tomato salsa, Waffles. With jalapenos, lime and cilantro.


WAFFLES:  Aaaack! What's with all the lime and cilantro stuff??? I liked it better when Glogirly got her chicken from the colonel.


About Today's Photos
Glogirly's been trying to learn a couple of new recipes each week. There are winners and losers, but so far she's been faring pretty well. Only about 1 loser for every 4 good recipes. We're not sure though if that includes the recipe where she opens a pint of Ben & Jerry's and combines it with a spoon. 

Tonight's dinner really had Waffles' attention. As soon as she opened the chicken, he was right there on his kitchen stool. But after the chicken had a chance to marinade for a half hour, he wasn't so sure about it anymore. 

The recipe is called Cilantro Lime Chicken with Strawberry Salsa. Since Glogirly loves anything with strawberries, she decided to give it a whirl. The marinade is very simple - just a little lime, lime zest, olive oil, honey and cilantro. 

The salsa was equally easy with chopped strawberries, campari tomatos, jalapeno, lime and cilantro. 

The Verdict?
Glogirly thought the chicken was tasty. Kind of citrusy. Needed some salt and fresh cracked pepper. The strawberry salsa was VERY yummy. It was even good on tortilla chips. The combination of the chicken and salsa needed a little something-something though, so she tossed some feta cheese crumbles on top and that was the ticket. Well, that was her ticket.

Katie and Waffles were just happy they didn't have to wait for Glogirly's recipe experimentation to conclude before they got their dinner. 


P.S. About That Kitchen Towel
As a matter of fact, yes...that is Katie's likeness on the kitchen towel in the salsa photo! A dear friend made it for Glogirly as a gift using one of Katie's pictures. There's one with Waffles on it too.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Mealtime Rituals Old and New

WAFFLES:  I'll take one bucket of chicken. Extra gravy. To go. 


KATIE:  You know, Waffles...the service is typically better down here. You don't want to look too anxious. 


WAFFLES:  Anxious? I'm not anxious. Do I look anxious? I don't even know what anxious means. 


KATIE:  Apparently you don't know what patience means either.


About Today's Photos
Don't tell Waffles, but not matter how patient he is, Katie will always be served her dinner first. That's just one of the perks of being the Boss.

It's funny how new rituals start when you move into a whole new environment. In our old townhouse, Glogirly would start to dish up the meals and Waffles would immediately dart over to his cat tree where he'd wait for Glogirly to bring over his food. She'd put Katie's dish down in Katie's "spot" on the floor next to the kitchen and then head over to Waffles' tower with his. Waffles was so focused on getting into position at his dining room in the sky, he didn't pay any attention to Katie or her food.

Now in our new home, both Katie and Waffles have their own "spots" on the floor. They're positioned on opposite sides of the kitchen island, mostly so Katie has a little privacy and so Waffles can't see her or bother her. It works surprisingly well. But the funniest thing is the new ritual Waffles has established. Glogirly has both dishes ready to go at the same time. Katie's in her right hand and Waffles' in her left. When she places Katie's down on her spot, Waffles clamors over everything, talking up a storm. He absolutely HAS to check out what Katie's getting. He doesn't try to eat it, he just wants to see, smell it, and talk about it. Then in a split second, he turns and runs over to the other side of the kitchen where he knows Glogirly will be putting down his dish. All the while, talking up a storm.

Meanwhile, Katie is all business.

KATIE:  Mealtime is meant for eating, not talking.


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Can You See Me Now?


WAFFLES:  Do you think the Boss'll be able to find me inside my scratcher? 



WAFFLES:  When she comes over to scratch I bet I can scare the you-know-what out of her.


 KATIE:  You know what??? I can totally see you, Waffles.


WAFFLES:  Can you see me now?


KATIE:  Not if I look away. 


About Today's Photos
The master bathroom scratcher is one of the most popular in the house. Every morning when Glogirly is drying her hair and putting on her makeup, Katie and Waffles can be found competing for prime scratcher position. Not only is it a great place to scratch, it's also got an awesome view. 

Don't be fooled by the snow in this photo from a couple of months ago. The white stuff is long gone and now that the weather is warm and beautiful, it's also a great spot for window whiffing and bird watching. 





Monday, June 5, 2017

A Furry Sendoff

WAFFLES:  Hey Boss, why is Gloman packing his suitcase? Didn't he just unpack it?


KATIE:  No, Waffles. He's been here a whole week already. Don't worry, he'll be back for a vacation in just a couple of weeks. 


WAFFLES:  A couple of WEEKS??? But that's like a gazillion years in lap time.


KATIE:  You know, Glogirly has a lap too. Not that I'd ever sit on it. 


WAFFLES:  Yeah, but I like Gloman's lap. 



About Today's Photos
We gave Gloman a furry sendoff this morning. Goodbyes are much easier though when we know another visit is just around the corner. Waffles spent every moment possible curled up on his lap. And Katie tipped over for tummy rubs more times than we can count. They definitely love their Gloman.

Today's photos are a fun experiment for us. Gloman arrived bearing gifts for everyone, including Glogirly. She's been playing with a new lens he picked out for her. It's a wide angle 18-35mm zoom. She's been wanting something wide to shoot some of the cool weather and landscapes we've been seeing outside our windows. But of course, she first had to photograph the real stars of the mountains. 

The wider lens still allows her to get really close, but it does a fun job of including more of the background, like in the last photo of Katie. Good thing that background is slightly out of focus though because someone was too lazy to make the bed. Ok, someone is too lazy to make the bed most days.

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