A friend sent this to me today and asked me to share it with all my pet-owner friends. I know there are a lot of you:
Please share this with all the pet owners you know and ask them to do the same – the information you take a few minutes to share might prevent the senseless loss of other pets.
Please tell every dog or cat owner you know. Even if you don’t have a pet, please pass this to those who do.
Over the weekend, the doting owner of two young lab mixes purchased Cocoa Mulch from Target to use in their garden. The dogs loved the way it smelled and it was advertised to keep cats away from their garden. Their dog (Calypso) decided the mulch smelled good enough to eat and devoured a large helping. She vomited a few times which was typical when she eats something new but wasn’t acting lethargic in any way. The next day, Mom woke up and took Calypso out for her morning walk . Half way through the walk, she had a seizure and died instantly.
Although the mulch had NO warnings printed on the label, upon further investigation on the company’s web site, this product is HIGHLY toxic to dogs and cats.
Cocoa Mulch is manufactured by Hershey’s, and they claim that “It is true that studies have shown that 50% of the dogs that eat Cocoa Mulch can suffer physical harm to a variety of degrees (depending on each individual dog). However, 98% of all dogs won’t eat it.”
*Snopes site gives the following information:http://www.snopes.com/critters/crusader/cocoamulch.asp *
Cocoa Mulch, which is sold by Home Depot, Foreman’s Garden Supply and other Garden supply stores contains a lethal ingredient called ‘Theobromine’. It is lethal to dogs and cats. It smells li ke chocolate and it really attracts dogs. They will ingest this stuff and die. Several deaths already occurred in the last 2-3 weeks.
Theobromine is in all chocolate, especially dark or baker’s chocolate which is toxic to dogs. Cocoa bean shells contain potentially toxic quantities of theobromine, a xanthine compound similar in effects to caffeine and theophylline. A dog that ingested a lethal quantity of garden mulch made from cacao bean shells developed severe convulsions and died 17 hours later. Analysis of the stomach contents and the ingested cacao bean shells revealed the presence of lethal amounts of theobromine.
**PLEASE PASS THIS ON**
Have I mentioned how low my shopping resistence is? Oh? More than once? LLOOLLL . . . . it is a serious problem for expats coming back to settle. It is even a problem these days for expats coming back just for a few weeks! You see all the kinds of things available that you never see, or you see things you never buy at prices you cannot believe, and if you are returning, you return with a ton of chocolate chips (if you are me) and Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix, Knox gelatine, colored sugar crystals, and . . . well, you get the idea.
At one time, we could take two big duffels, even in economy. At one time, when you checked in overweight bags, the people checking you in just looked the other way, most of the time. So we brought stuff back, books, computers, printers, whatever you could get in a duffel – and trust me, you can get a LOT in a duffel.
There was one thing, though, that I couldn’t resist in Doha, and in Kuwait, the Ramadan lanterns. I loved those lanterns, so beautiful, so exotic. I bought many, different styles, I loved them.
So imagine, I walk into the local Pensacola TJMaxx and what do I see? These are advertised as ‘garden’ lanterns, but many of them bear an amazing resemblance to ‘Ramadan’ lanterns:
Last week I joined the Y.M.C.A. I joined it because I really really need to exercise, and I don’t think exercise is a lot of fun. In fact, mostly I think it is boring, and I don’t keep up with it. The only exercise I ever keep up with is water aerobics, and I don’t know why, except it isn’t as bad as all the other kinds of exercise. I might like dance-aerobics, if I could ever learn the moves, but I always get discouraged – or embarrassed – before I have been there long enough to figure out the sequences.
So this morning, I attended my very first aqua aerobics class. I was late. I think the devil didn’t want me to exercise; I slept badly last night and then overslept this morning. I walked into class late, and if you have ever taken an exercise class, you know that all the best spots are taken, and I had never been in the pool before. I got in, and discovered where I had entered the pool was over my head.
In the meanwhile, the class goes on, and it is kick-a$$.
I had been trying to talk AdventureMan into considering taking the class with me, but he pooh-poohed it and said aqua-aerobics was girly. No No No, AdventureMan, not this class! This class has participants from teen-age to creaky, men and women, all trying to keep up with the instructor, who sets a relentless pace. We have one hour to get through the entire repetoire, including cool down stretches, and then O-U-T so the next class can get started. There is a hot tub and a steam room, and a totally dry floor policy – like after you shower, you have to be dry before you enter the locker room so no one will slip and fall. There are several elderly women, and people are very protective of them.
I was lucky. There was a very nice young woman who would whisper explanations to me as we went along, and, of course, in the water the fact that you are totally out of your league is not so obvious. She clued me in to the dry floor policy as she helped one of the elderly women get her pool-shoes off, and told me to hang out in the hot tub so my muscles wouldn’t seize up. You wouldn’t think an water exercise could be so demanding, but I can feel some of those muscles already.
“Think you’ll be coming back?” she asked as I was leaving.
Oh, YES. It was actually . . . fun!
Pensacola weather is shifting, from an unusually cold winter into it’s normal steaming summer. The day after I arrived, I headed for church, but while dressing I discovered I had nothing climate-appropriate, and ended up going to church on a cold day with bare legs.
Now the sun is shining, the big-box stores are advertising garden specials and I cannot resist. Even if I can’t live in my house, I can get some things started, and I am eager to start some bougainvillea; I love the way it doesn’t need a lot of water – it grew in the ground in Qatar, and flourished!
It is hard for me to go into a Home Depot, or a Lowe’s; I am still so greatly lacking in sales resistance. The garden section is loaded with temptations:
There is also a beautiful local market, Bailey’s, where I found some gorgeous and irresistable bougainvillea. Just enough, not too much. They also provided me with a six-pack of basil, and a couple gorgeous rosemary starts.
After getting the plants potted and in places where, God willing, they will flourish, I spent another hour pulling weeds out of the lawn.
All in all, it was a great day in the sun.
No, my house is not undergoing a ‘remodel.’ It is undergoing a rewiring. About the best that will happen is that when it is finished, it will look a lot like it looked before, except with invisible copper wiring instead of aluminum wiring, which, as it turns out, is problematic.
Sigh. And then again, what better time to have this all done than BEFORE you move in? If it had to happen, it couldn’t have happened at a better time, and we have some truly great contractors. How many times have you ever heard someone say that?
Today I went by the house to pick up the mail and holy smokes – the garage is full of ceiling, and my house is bare bones!
Here are some before and after shots:
Living Room Now:
LLOOLL, saw this in the Dubai Airport and could not resist taking a photo. I would have loved to bring some back for Easter basket surprises on Easter morning, but they are surprisingly bulky, as much fun as they are:
LLOOOLL, my sweet Kuwaiti friend is also sharp, with a sharp edge, and sends me some of the funniest things I have ever seen: Barbie Turns 50, LLOOLL
About a year ago, when I first moved back to Doha, I decided to use up a bunch of pink scraps that had collected over the years – baby girl quilts, friend quilts – pink isn’t my favorite color, but I hate waste. I chose a pattern I thought would be easy, but then . . . I started playing. I always associate pink with Barbie, you know, that Pepto-Bismo pink? Bubble-gum pink? And then I thought “What if Barbie got an edge? What would Barbie look like in real life, the light innocent pinks of girlhood? The hot passion of teen-age crushes? The elegant reds of romance and the purples of betrayal? What would she look like when menopause hits?”
I ended up taking a lot of time, finding just the right colors and trying them out in different places. I grouped similar pinks in different areas, with a light rent down the center – aren’t our lives often divided by events? As it turned out . . . I had a lot of fun playing with the idea of Barbie growing up, becoming a real person, and experiencing all the things women experience. Maybe men too, but I wouldn’t know, LOL! (I still have a pile of pink scraps left over, aaarrgh!)