Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Happy World Teachers' Day!!! 2021

Happy World Teachers' Day!!!!

 If you are looking for cats or dogs today, I'm sorry but there are none here! Today I feel it is important to honor Teachers, one of the most thankless jobs that there is. How teachers are able to navigate successfully everything going on with the pandemic is beyond me. In my mind, they are ALL worthy of a medal (and much more income than they receive, but I digress).

I was blessed to have a number of super good teachers in my life. My first memory is of my kindergarten teacher. I no longer remember her name, but I remember HER. My 5 year old mind  thought she was a Princess. She had long blonde hair, and she was the sweetest ever. I remember crying because I couldn't figure out how to put my boots on (not the brightest bulb on the tree for sure) and I was afraid I would miss the bus because of it. She patiently sat with me and helped me figure it out, I will never forget that.

I was also blessed to have a wonderful teacher in 5th Grade. Her name was Mrs. Sullivan. She had beautiful red hair, and truth be told, I think I mostly loved her because she had a Collie. She lived in the neighborhood, and I would take walks by her house with a friend hoping to catch a glimpse of her beautiful Collie.

In High School, my favorite teacher was Mrs. Bevington. She taught English and I adored her (and vice versa). She took a special liking to me and always encouraged me to write. I remember her beautiful BIG smile and that her cheeks were always flushed.

In college I was enthralled by my Philosophy professor,  Dr.Burlingame. He was soft-spoken, his lectures captivated me, and he would smoke a pipe in class (I LOVED the smell of his pipe tobacco).....He wore tweed suit jackets with turtle neck sweaters, I thought he was charming and captivating. We barely spoke one-on-one but I enjoyed his classes so much that I went on to minor in Philosophy (I took at least 4 classes that he taught, if not more.) At the beginning of the semester he would look at the class, see me and say "Ah!! I see a familiar face!!".

Last and far from least, was Dr.Osborne. He was a professor of mine for a number of classes in Rhetoric and Communication. He used to call me "Tuff." I had a HUGE crush on him (don't get excited, nothing ever happened!!). My senior year of college was particularly hard on me, my grandmother passed, and my parents divorced. I used to spend hours in his office just talking about what I was going through, and occasionally we would go out to lunch. I was crazy about him. He truly listened to me and cared about what was going on in my world and he always tried to help. He also smoked a pipe (Captain Black tobacco lol! My father was a pipe smoker too so I bet that had something to do with my attraction to pipe smoking professors!!). He used to tell me he saw a "special light in my eyes.", and that I was always more animated and interested than many of his other students.

 When I graduated I was devastated to leave and dreaded returning home. I remember Dr. Osborne saying to me "Tuff, go forth and do GOOD things!" I was  heartbroken when I heard he had passed a few years ago.

Of course my husband is a teacher! Just look at who he resembles!!

My husband is also a teacher!! (Nope! He doesn't smoke a pipe!) He taught Special Ed. in the City of Detroit (Amelia Earhart Middle School) for 36 years, his mother was a teacher, his sister was a teacher, his niece was a teacher, another niece is a guidance counselor, and another sister is a Speech Pathologist in a school in Florida. My step daughter is an Assistant Teacher for a day care provider. My husband now is a permanent sub.  There are strong ties to teachers and education in our family!!

Hence, World Teachers' Day is a special day to me! " Considering that teachers mold future generations, taking one day every year to say “thank you” is the least we can do. No matter where you are in the world today, remember that teachers matter!"

A most heartfelt THANK YOU to all of the teachers in my life, past and present, and to ALL teachers everywhere!! You rock!!

Friday, October 1, 2021

In Honor of National Black Dog Day: "Sparky the Best Dog" by my Great-Niece, Talia

 Today is National Black Dog Day. Many of you know that black cats are harder to adopt out due to the myths surrounding them and for the simple fact that they are black.  Did you know that black dogs are also often the last to be adopted from shelters, and also have myths surrounding them, just as black cats do?

We have the pleasure of knowing an INCREDIBLE black dog. He happens to be a member of our extended family. His name is "Sparky" and he is deeply loved by my great-niece Talia, my great-nephew Ari, and their parents and grandparents (as well as their Uncle Lenny and Aunt Caren and other family members and friends)

Sparky is a vibrant mix of enthusiasm, energy and love!!

Recently I reached out to Talia and Ari's Mom and asked if it would be ok if I featured Sparky on the blog in honor of National Black Dog Day. Not only did she agree, but my incredible great-niece wrote something just for the blog that I am thrilled to share with you! Enjoy!!

Sparky the Best Dog (by Talia)

 Friday is National Black Dog Day. Black dogs often have a bad reputation but it could not be further from the truth. Our dog is Sparky named after Sparky Anderson. (Go Tigers!)

Sparky's first night with his new family

 We rescued Sparky from Compass Animal Rescue in Royal Oak. I was so happy they picked our family to adopt Sparky. He was saved from Hurricane Harvey in Texas. When we got him, he was very underweight. Now he is perfect. Sparky is probably the only one who loves being quarantined. He liked having me and my brother at home.


 He hated when school started but he does enjoy barking and chasing the bus! I feel sad when black dogs often get overlooked to rescue. It makes no sense to me at all. They are so loyal.  In my opinion, everyone should rescue a dog if they can! Please consider looking into black dogs like Sparky!

Sparky and Talia on their trip to Florida

Sparky and Talia

Sparky and Talia

Sparky Sleeps With Talia Every Night! True Love!!

Talia had written a note to Compass Dog Rescue and on May 9, 2020 they posted it on their Facebook page. Talia's enormous love and devotion for Sparky  shines through this precious letter:

I want to thank Talia sooo much for her wonderful words about Sparky and for letting people know just how wonderful black dogs are!!!
 I also want to share a few of my favorite photos of Sparky as well.

When Levi was a puppy the first dogs he met in Michigan were his cousin Punky and Sparky!! Sparky and Levi liked each other from the beginning.

Two peas in a pod

We are so happy that Talia's family gave "Sparky the BEST DOG" a chance and adopted him! He has brought much joy to his family and everyone who is lucky enough to know him!!! Hopefully others will jump at the chance to adopt a wonderful black dog like Sparky too!

Sparky and I in 2019

Happy National Black Dog Day Sparky!!
 Have a great day!! We all love you!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Happy First Adoption Day to Our Adorable Roary!!

 It is so hard to believe our adorable "marshmallow boy" Roary has been with us an entire year!!! It's time to celebrate!!!  I had introduced you to Roary quite some time ago and for this post there will be a mix of his intro post and some new things! Hope you enjoy!

A year ago, I believe in  August I thought I might be up for adding a kitty to our family again, I wasn't sure, but I subscribed to a number of sites and figured if it was meant to be it would be. One day after meeting two other cats that were instantly obvious they were NOT the right ones, I saw this:

Yes, Roary began his life as a "Felix!" I saw this face and instantly fell in love. I decided to send Lenny to PetSmart to check him out in his cage first, just to see if he was friendly. Lenny came home with a great report, "Felix" held his paw out to Lenny and proceeded to work his way into his heart. I promptly filled out an application, they checked my references and an appointment was made to meet "Felix" on September 21, 2020.

The rest is history! "Felix" instantly was named Roary, (after the Detroit Lions mascot), and we promptly adopted him. Roary was born June 10, 2020. He was a little over 3 months old when he joined our family. What strikes me as strange is Dakota was diagnosed with cancer on June 8th, we found out Cody had to have biopsy surgery on June 9th and Roary was born June 10th. It certainly seems that a higher power had a plan that I knew nothing about.

The original Roary and I at a game on my birthday

Our Roary, a friendly, playful, adorable bundle of fur came into our house like a terror. He was into EVERYTHING (and I DO mean EVERYTHING!) From getting behind the washer/dryer, to getting stuck under our china cabinet (or so we thought, until we called the Fire Department and Roary came out 2 minutes before they arrived after being under it for nearly an hour).......we knew we had a real character on our hands. He went from being UNDER the china cabinet to scaling it.

Now, a year later, you can find Roary still scaling heights from the cat tree

to the shower when Lenny is in it, to the top of a doorframe, if it's a high up spot, Roary wants to be there!

In my original post I wrote that I didn't think Roary would ever be a lapcat. I had said that because he was always sooo busy! I couldn't have been more wrong! Roary began to settle down at around nine months of age. Trust me, he still gets into plenty of mischief but he isn't constantly on the move like he was when we first got him.

Roary LOVES to give kisses, he LOVES being held, cuddled and petted.

He still loves to play (I am guilty of not playing with him one-on-one enough) because he prefers wand toys over almost anything else (except those crazy colored springs that so many of the cats  have, he LOVES those!)  He also likes mice, (the small ones, not ones quite THIS big!)

Unlike Cody who was completely disinterested in boxes, Roary has yet to meet a box that he DOESN'T like!

Roary has A LOT to deal with in reference to Levi. Roary likes him, but Levi just doesn't leave him alone.. Still Roary doesn't mind being around him (as long as Levi is behaving, which is usually NOT the case!)

Roary was a most darling kitten and he is an adorable cat. He has grown into his body, but his head seems surprisingly small. It's as if his body grew but his head decided to stay the same! 

For Roary's first adoption day I bought him a couple of items that I wanted to share with you, I BOUGHT these items, I did NOT receive them free.

The mat above is made by SmartyKat and it is called the Purrfect Play Cat Activity Mat. It makes a crinkly sound when Roary plays with it. I think it is darling and Roary loves it!

My favorite item is below. I first saw it on the Hauspanther blog, it is a cat scratcher made to look like a laptop. It is just too stinking cute!!!! You can read all about it where I linked to the Hauspanther blog above.


Every day we are grateful for our fun, adventurous, mischievous Roary. He is truly a special boy. He's kind, patient and extremely intelligent. We made it through his wild kitten days!! We love our "Marshmallow" boy and wouldn't trade him for the world!

Happy First Adoption Day Roary!!!
Love, Mom and Dad