Little Lights in My Heart

I just deleted nine drafts — nine drafts of posts I attempted to write over the last five months. I am still at risk for bursting into tears, so I’m going to make this return to the blog a list that doesn’t really go into any detail.

1. On September 29th, Reyka was put to sleep. I have to write that out without much thought or this will become the tenth draft.

2. The day after Reyka died, a tiny kitten showed up. His innocent joy and desperate desire for love helped to temper our sadness and pain. I would have loved to keep him around but fear Levee’s chasing drive would have gotten the best of her. Now he lives with one of our vet’s assistants. I think about him from time to time.

3. Pickwick was missing for months. I didn’t know if a coyote got him or someone took him in, but he was missed. A few days ago I heard the familiar thud of his jump from the porch railing to the floor. I was glad to see his pudgy little face. Wherever he was, he was cared for, and I’m glad he was out of the bitter cold.

4. The nameless grey cat is still hanging around but we haven’t made any progress. I’ve accepted that this may be as close as we will ever get.

5. A large black dog has stopped by our place multiple times. The first night it was 12°F. We didn’t have any place he could stay inside, but we couldn’t leave him outside either. We ended up putting him in our well house overnight with the electric smoker running (without wood) to heat the room up. He wasn’t very happy but at least he was safe and warm. He was here again two weeks ago, hanging out on our porch all day. If he comes by again, he might be welcomed as a new member of our family.

6. Why is everything about animals?

7. It looks as though we might be stuck here another year. We’ve been approved for a home loan but cannot find anything that fits our must-have list: twenty acres, a small house, forty-five minutes or less of a commute, all at an affordable price. What can you do?

8. I feel like I have to reach 10 on the list and I have no idea why.

9. I am seriously contemplating chickens. Or a Scottish highland cow. We need more animals in our life and I need more excuses to wear my Sloggers.

10. Pictures will be missing for a while. I can’t bear the thought of looking through them and seeing her face.

Title From:
All The Little Lights
by Passenger

We Took Small Bites at First but Then We Ate It All

When we improved our diet by cutting out all processed foods and/or anything with ingredients that could easily be confused for cleaning products (Butylated hydroxytoluene anyone?), we immediately noticed a huge improvement in how we felt. We were eating what we were supposed to be eating and our bodies were happy. I had more energy, I felt better about myself, and I had a much shinier coat. Wait, what?

We made the decision that if we were eating better and feeling better, we should offer the dogs that same chance. There was nothing wrong with the food they had, we weren’t feeding them the bottom brand and meat was the first ingredient, but the first ingredient of a chicken nugget is meat too and they’re still terrible for you.

So, we switched their food to Canidae. It was a toss-up between four brands and Canidae won because it had the lowest price tag. Sorry, I’m just being honest. I don’t eat only organic, hand-tended vegetables that are soothed each night by Kenny G streaming from overhead speakers, so we’re all going to have some balance between healthy and affordable.

We have mice. Did you know? We have a lot of mice. Right now most of them are foraging in the pasture and not aggressively trying to break into our closet, but a few are still around. We couldn’t gradually mix the foods together to help ease the transition because if we kept a giant opened bag of food anywhere in this house we’d end up like Glen from Hoarders with his 2,500 rats. Poor guy. To avoid all that, I had to dump the Canidae in their container with what remained of their old food and stir it around. Stirring 45lbs. of dog food is really easy and it’s not messy at all.

Levee adjusted within a day or three. Reyka took a little longer. She had some issues. One of those issues was made clear in an incident wherein she projectile pooped all over our couch. Luckily, our couch is leather. Luckier still, most of the jiggly poop was on Brian’s side. Since that unpleasant experience, and another that involved the carpet, a baby gate, a box with a ceiling fan inside, and the living room rug, things have settled down.

I haven’t tried the new food so I can’t say anything about how great it is but the dogs seem to enjoy the flavor. There’s not a noticeable difference in their coats or energy levels but I hear it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

Title From:
Stay
by Justin Rock