PSA: Outdoor Cats Are NOT a Natural Part of the “Circle of Life”!

Hello everyone! I have been very busy with good things but needed to post this immediately. I hope you will consider what I’m sharing if you have outdoor cats. I know that I may be vilified for speaking my mind about this, I have been in the past when I shared on social media amongst “friends” who found it amusing that their cats were bringing them dead birds and chipmunks, but catering to the opinions of others when it goes against what I believe to be a moral issue isn’t something I’m good at, thankfully!

An Instagram “influencer” with a large following just shared that she is going to be adopting “barn cats” for “rodent control”. I left the following comment: “Very disappointed to see you promoting cats as ‘rodent control’. Please educate yourself about the impact of outdoor cats on wildlife. Cats are also not part of the natural ‘circle of life’, they are actually invasive and kill literally billions of birds every year!”

Even a shelter where I have adopted from here in Maine is advertising some of their cats as great “working cats” for rodent control. Yes I did call them to share my opinion. What about all the rest of wildlife? And why do rodents minding their own business in their natural habitat need to be “controlled” via killing?

A 2013 study estimated “free-ranging domestic cats kill between 1.3 and 4 billion birds – on top of between 6.2 and 22.3 billion mammals – every year in the United States alone, the majority by feral or unowned cats.” You can read more here. The Humane Society has an article on how to bring outside cats indoors. Another option is to buy or build an enclosed outdoor “catio.”

Update: Said influencer deleted my good faith comment and my account has been blocked by this “good vibes” influencer.

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Hedge Fund Investments: Divine Dividends

When most people think of a house as being an investment, it means they spend money on things that will contribute to financial gain when they sell it in a few years or more. We live in a culture of a “starter home” mentality where the belief is that one should always be buying something bigger and more expensive when able. When I bought my house my goal was for it to be my “forever” home, so one of my long-term investments for which I’m now enjoying the gains are my natural window treatments of the street-facing windows in my sunroom. A small investment in two potted perennials which have been nurtured for ten years have blossomed into the gorgeous privacy screen of my dreams!

What are some long-term investments you’ve made in your home simply for the joy it brings you and not because your ROI will be financial gain?

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Gardening Adventures: Tomato Babies! Chipmunk Babies!

Normally we wait until Memorial Day weekend to plant the tomato babies, as I call them, but with the unusually warm temps it was safe to plant them this past weekend. We decided it was a good value to spend $65 to have the many bags of soil delivered to save wear and tear on Wayne’s back. This summer will be the greatest amount of tomato plants we’re growing: 26 of them! Besides the Lemon Boys we have Black Cherry, Yellow Pear, Roma, Cherokee Purple, Carolina Gold and Supersonic. In addition to the two raised beds we have ten containers spread out on our deck and behind our house. I’m looking forward to a fun growing season and this weekend didn’t disappoint.

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Out Picking: The Find of a Lifetime

I am still in shock at what just happened.

I was at an estate sale and it turns out that the gentleman having the sale (who also moved here from New York City many years ago), Mr. Allen Davis, is a famous children’s book illustrator. I overheard him mention to someone that he illustrated a CHIPMUNK book! Of course I jumped into the conversation and mentioned that I’d love to know what book? The title is Chipmunk at Hollow Tree Lane – a Smithsonian Backyard Book published in 1994. And then he mentioned that he still has the original art! I told him I’d love to see it! I’m teary-eyed writing this, but he sold it to me, all of the original illustrations for the book! I told him he has no idea how much this means to me and he said in earnest, “I think I do.”

Thank you, Mr. Davis, and thank you, Universe, for putting me in the right path for this. I will cherish them and this experience forever. I plan to frame and display as many as I can. The others will be kept in a safe place. What this means to me….wow!

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I Choose Kindness Over Suburban Cosmetics

I want to help save the bees and also save my conscience. As I’ve written in the past we stopped paying for “lawn care” companies to come and spray toxins on our grass. The financial savings is nice but saving the bees from being poisoned is our priority. Wayne comes from a lifetime of striving for golf-course like grass. He didn’t like when a chipmunk left some dirt from digging a burrow. Now he loves them as if they are our own children and he loves the bees. We NEED BEES. So we’ve had to make some personal attitude shifts and changes, and it’s ongoing.

I learned last spring during the pandemic that I actually enjoy weeding dandelions. It’s meditative and excellent exercise. In the past few weeks I believe I may have uprooted over two hundred in our front yard. We love clover and that stays. But there is a new weed that has begun to join the fray and I know that I will have to make my peace with it.

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Out Picking Again!

For the first time in a year I went to the outdoor flea market and indoor antique shops. It feels so good to be able to go out picking things other than the dandelions from my front yard!

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Enjoying the Best from 2020

I know I said my little series about how I decided to go to college in New England and not New York would be coming up next, but I’ve decided to make it “soon”. I like to intersperse my more essay-oriented posts with snippets of joy and photos.

Tonight we’re having the last batch of the heirloom sauce I made from the tomatoes in our garden. If you’re interested I posted the recipe here. There is (almost) NOTHING better than homegrown tomatoes. I honestly can taste all of the sweet memories of last summer and early fall. When your food is picked fresh it also still has much of the life force within it. If that sounds kooky just try some and I bet you’ll experience what I mean. Plus they’re loaded with love!

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