Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Year In Review

Wow!  It's hard to believe we've been living at Miller Creek RV Resort for nearly a year now.  It's an easy thing to do, as there are so many wonderful people and activities here.  We meant to blog more, but we were busy doing the familiar things we blogged about before on our last stay here, life got busy with our other interests, and the blog encouraged us not to write by having a few months of technical issues.  The blog is working again, our other interests have gotten calmer, and August 18th we are setting our wheels into motion for some new adventures to blog about!  
Sooooooo, what have we been up to since our arrival last August? Roy decided to workkamp to earn our keep and enjoy being part of the crew.  Our original intent was to be here 2-4 months, but when a construction accident put the park owner's right hand man off his feet for what was going to be several months, we decided to stay on to help out.  We also decided to suspend our travels into more expensive locations until our funds increased with a glorious 62nd birthday!  
With the arrival of Spring, I planted some Coleuses under the trees Roy is pictured raking by. Marigolds were planted in other locations.
The Texas hummingbirds are keeping me busy working for them! I've counted at least 9 that are daily visitors to our 3 feeders.  They will drink 12 cups of juice which is the contents of the 3 feeders in less than a week! They love my cooking!  Here is the recipe.  We use the local store brand bottled drinking water.  Bring it to a boil.  Stir in 1/4 cup of sugar per cup of water (i.e. 1 cup sugar per 4 cups of water). Turn off the heat and let the water cool.  I tend to make it late in the day and let it sit on the stove to cool overnight.  No food coloring is needed and it is said to keep a week in the refrigerator. 
You may recall that shortly after our arrival at Miller Creek RV Resort we stepped outside one evening to find a very thin sickly cat at our doorstep.  He is a trap and release cat.  In areas where they don't have an animal shelter there will often be volunteer groups that trap feral cats, spay/neuter them, and then release them back to where they were trapped.  Some cats are placed in homes, barns, or become part of managed colonies.  The cat's ear is notched, so it can be noted at a distance as having already been trapped and altered. Gonzo, as we named this black and white cat, has one crumpled ear from untreated ear mites.  We have steadily been improving his health and have invited him to live with us. Everyone was good with that idea except our youngest and most spoiled pet/cat, Odie.  If you follow Odie's FB page you know it's been a long battle to get him to accept Gonzo.  We're happy to say our mission is finally accomplished!       
Those of you that know us, know we are into animal rescue work.  It must be meant to be, as it has a way of finding us!  On prior stays here we have been involved in trapping and fostering feral kittens with hopes of socializing them to a point of being adopted into a better life. The kittens seem to be born to domesticated cats that have not been spayed.  The mothers are friendly, but the kittens born in the wild without human socialization become feral.  This little kitty was born with a few siblings.   His siblings were interested in a steady source of food, but no human contact.  They later went to live on an exotic bird farm.  The owner told us mice abound on the farm, as they are attracted to the seeds the birds drop.  Sounds like a wonderful life for outdoor kitties!  The little cat pictured was a totally different story. From the time he was a couple of month old he seemed to want to belong to someone.   When we would have outdoor get togethers, he would circle just out of reach of the group. He wanted to interact so badly, but just didn't know how.  I've come up with a great technique for domesticating these type kittens. Sit on the ground and put canned food just beyond your feet.  Let the kitten get comfortable eating there without interference.  Next time move the plate between your ankles and over several sessions work it toward your knees. Once the kitten is comfortable with that stage, place a few fingers at the edge of the plate without moving them.  On another session move your fingers to touch the cat while it's eating, and eventually try to pet more of the kitten and pick it up.  I'm happy to say this little boy got his wish of becoming an indoor kitty!  He is now living in a motor coach with some major cat lovers!  Sam is the love of their lives and getting lots of pampering!  They say that even with the motor coach door left open Sam doesn't want any part of being outside again!  He is a big boy at 14 pounds and still growing!
I'm still volunteering via the Internet for the Chippewa County Animal Shelter.  It is a county/community operated no-kill shelter in Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan recognized for a 97% save rate.  Life got real hectic for awhile with my volunteer work, as we worked on a millage campaign for the medical care of the shelter animals, started a prison program for socializing and teaching dogs commands, as well as, the normal daily promotion of the dogs and cats for adoption.
Our next big project is to raise $50,000 to furnish the shelter with these amazing cat condos.  The condos are amazing for a number of reasons.  The portals you see can be opened or closed horizontally and vertically to expand the cats space when the shelter population is lower or to allow more room for kittens to live as a group with increased space for play.  There is a shelf in each cage that provides extra room.  The center lockers provide health benefits by housing the cats litter pans with some separation from their living area.  The walls between cages are also a health benefit, as upper respiratory infections are a common occurrence in cats housed in close proximity. Cat colds are spread to other cats through sneezing and coughing, as well as, contact between a cat coming down with a cold touching the healthy cat in a wire cage nearby.  The smooth walls of the cage allow for better sanitation than the wire cages currently being used.  The wheels allow for the cages to be rolled away from the wall for cleaning. With all this said,  I'm going to ask anyone that has the means to donate to this cause to please consider doing so. We're going to do all we can to achieve the goal of acquiring these cages for the Chippewa County Animal Shelter. You can make your check out to the shelter and mail it to 3660 S. Mackinac Trail, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan 49783.  Note on your check "For Cat Condos". Check out my animal promotion stories on the shelter's FB page Chippewa County Animal Shelter on Facebook and track our progress in acquiring these beautiful health oriented cages!  One day during your travels you can stop by the shelter to see what your donation helped achieve! The upper penninsula of Michigan is a wonderful travel destination! If you would like to speak with the shelter manager prior to making a donation, call the shelter at 906-632-2519.  Thank-you!

Prin our black/white Malamute mix and Sugar our golden shepherd mix met a young male friend, named Rusty.  Rusty is a 2 year old Rottweiler.  The girls got to spend a few months playing with Rusty daily. A lot of fun was had by all! 
I've been enjoying the creativity of crafts for children. This is a cute dish I brought to an outdoor potluck. I've been coloring, doing paint by numbers, marker and colored pencil art, making loop potholders, and doing texture art.  The odd thing that has come of this is that I'm having pleasant dreams and in color!  Give coloring a try!  You'll be amazed at how relaxing it is and educational too, if you try to color things to their true color.  Did you know that rainbows always follow the color pattern red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet?  Just remember Roy G. Biv for the sequence!  Do you think you know the black and white pattern of a panda without looking or the color pattern of a tiger?
From October through April Miller Creek RV Park has an abundance of activities for the Winter Texans (i.e. Those folks that just come to Texas for the Winter months.)  During the Summer, park residents focus on their own interests, but still find time for fun gatherings!  
We've been to a few local events and sometimes see fun sights beyond what we went to see!  It's been a productive and fun year, but as we prepare to get on the road again we're reminded of the theme song from the movie "Paint Your Wagon"  that ran through our heads when we first ventured into the RV lifestyle:  "Where are you going?  We don't know.  When will you get there?  We're not certain. All that we know is we are on our way!"  Next blog from the road!!!