HEY! WE ARE ON VACATION FROM 7/28 - 9/12/16.
The time has come.
For anyone wanting to take advantage of an opportunity to buy an established pet sitting business, with a strong-ranking website...this is it.
I have an informational letter all ready for serious inquiries. Please use the Contact Box to write me.
I am nearing retirement age, and I want to do a lot more traveling. I also have an elderly father in another state who won't last forever.
Just to be sure; I'll only communicate with serious inquiries...after all I am still pet sitting and have priorities on my available time.
Thanks for visiting!
Here is the link to a great set of grooming clippers, I have for sale on Ebay:
These are available with 4 blades and 2 shears.
Check it out!
Here in Arizona; at the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC) the average amount of adoptable animals killed each day in 2015 was 33.
That's adoptable animals, in case you missed that. I'm not talking about ones who came in so sick the only humane thing to do is euthanize them. I'm talking about healthy kitties, puppies, young dogs, young cats and purebred animals. Pets you may see in anyone's family.
Across the nation the amount of purebred dogs at any given County Shelter...or pound is 25%. Here in Arizona the amount is higher because of the propensity for the many Chihuahuas and Bully breeds who are at our pound facilities. At MCACC West we even have a department called Chi-Town where most of the Chihuahuas are sheltered.
There are 10,000 puppy mills in the US...both licensed and unlicensed. There is no way of knowing how many backyard breeders there are. But take a look in any pennysaver-type paper, or Craigslist ads in your state to get an idea that there are a significant amount of people who breed pets.
puppy mill photos courtesy of the ASPCA
Licensed puppy mills are allowed to market their puppies at 8 weeks of age. However, the reality is that most breeders separate their pups from their moms as young as 5 weeks. Never mind the laundry list of physical health problems that often accompany a puppy mill/backyard pup...that they get taken away from their moms so soon permanently destroys the ability of the pup to learn the necessary lessons received from staying with mom and its siblings...and results in a lifetime of behavior problems. There is simply no replacement training by any person, trainer or any human that can be done. Pups need to stay with their families until 10 - 12 weeks of age. Period.
The problem of breeding in the US is so severe and complex that there is now virtually a rescue represented for every breed you can possible think of. As I write this I'm picking breeds off the top of my head who were known as, or what was at one time considered a "rare" breed. For example the Norwich Terrier: here are some who are available in rescue.
Norwich Terrier photo courtesy of Petfinder.com
A Pharaoh Hound rescue is represented here.
Pharaoh Hound photo courtesy of Petfinder.com
A Basenji rescue is represented here.
Basenji photo courtesy of Petfinder.com
You get the idea; pick a breed...any breed, then search online for a rescue of that breed. I guarantee you'll find one.
If you and your family are ready to add an animal family member....especially a dog, please, please, please take the time to find a rescue representing that animal you wish to find. Don't give in to impulse or impatience and buy from a breeder. Yes...it might take some time, but think of that as a positive. Use that time to research the breed and behaviors, grooming requirements, and energy levels of that breed.
Also, keep in mind that most rescues' animals are coming to them from their local pounds. They are actually going to those shelters and pulling them off of the E-lists. If you are not aware of what an E-list is...it is the daily list put out every day by every kill-shelter in the nation of that day's animals that are scheduled to be killed. Their local rescues have people watching these lists and if they have room at their rescue they go and get them out.
Here's the thing; if you don't adopt one of these...that's one less animal made room for; one more animal scheduled to be killed.
Here is today's E-list from MCACC West. Here is today's E-list from MCACC East.
Of course you can go directly to your local pound and adopt one of these yourself.
Thank you for adopting and not shopping. But more than that your new animal family member thanks you!
*** NOTE: CFPS IS ON VACATION UNTIL 9/19/15***
The 1st opportunity for New Client Sign-Up is 10/1/15
SEE YOU SOON!!!
In this installment of Jooj & Me I'll introduce you to a sewing pattern.
Many new sewers are intimidated by the pattern. The lingo, the markings, the sizes, the....well, you get it...it's a whole new world and yes, you have to learn how to read them.
This is a standard sewing pattern that you can buy at nearly any crafts,
sewing or hobby store. This is the front of the pattern envelope.
When buying a pattern, sewers already have an idea of what they want to sew. Most have seen a garment hanging in a store, being worn by a friend...or by someone on TV that they want to make.
Generally, one goes to a craft store that carries pattern books. These come out seasonally...just like fashions do. While these books are not for sale in the pattern store; rather they are there for the sewer to look through and find a pattern. The desired pattern is identified in the book; the sewer finds that actual pattern in her/his size in a cabinet that the store keeps in stock. The pattern is listed by the maker; Vogue, in this case, and the number; 7616 in this case, and the size. All patterns will be grouped together by the maker in the pattern store.
Now the sewer must know what to look at on the pattern before making the final decision if he/she should go ahead with the project.
All that information is on pattern envelope.
First; what size to buy?
This size chart is located somewhere on the pattern envelope.
Since this is a woman's sewing pattern the sizes go by bust, waist and hip.
Yes, there are size numbers at the top, which seem to correspond with the sizes one might find in any clothing store.
But this is where many would-be sewers make a common crucial mistake.
The size you choose is not, I repeat NOT the same as what you would choose when buying a similar clothing item in a ready-made store.
First you must take your measurements; of your bust, waist and hip...while you are wearing the underwear that you would likely wear when wearing the item you will sew.
You will not hold the measuring tape tightly, but with 2 fingers inside the tape, so as to assure that you don't hold it too tightly. A more accurate reading can be had when someone is measuring you while you stand in your normal relaxed manner. However, you can do it yourself if you are conscious of when you are tense, relaxed, or just standing funny...it's helpful to do it in front of a full-length mirror.
If your bust is larger than average you'll instead take a "high-bust" measurement...about 2 - 3 finger-widths below your armpit. Later, you will alter the bust area of the pattern to accommodate your bust. If you go by the measurement of the largest part of your bust...you'll end up buying a pattern too big for your shoulders, back, neck and rib-cage area. The average bust size is considered a "B" cup in any standard pattern.
Your waist measurement is at your natural waist; if you were to bend from the waist...the bend in your skin is where the tape measure should go. Try bending both forward and sideways to determine where that line is. You will use this line even if the item you are making is "low-waisted."
Your hip measurement is at the widest part...that is, for most people in line with your crotch.
Many women are pear-shaped, which means their bottoms measure larger than their tops. In my case I am one size larger on the bottom than I am on top.
Fortunately, modern patterns come multi-sized. Mostly in groups of 3 sizes. Some come with the entire size range in one envelope. The pattern I have pictured above contains sizes 20, 22 and 24. It is designed for a full-figured woman.
You will choose the pattern size based on the measurements you have just taken. So, for example let's say you have measured 34" on your bust, or high-bust, but you have measured 40" on your hips. You will choose the pattern that has the 12, 14, 16 combination because that pattern contains all your measurements...the bust in size 12, and the hip in size 16. However, let's say you measure 44" on your hips. If the pattern is designed for "Loose" or "Easy" fitting you will not have to worry. You can stick with the same size combination. If the pattern is "Fitted" you will have to buy the next combination of sizes; 18, 20, 22, in addition to the first one. You'll have to buy 2 patterns in order to get the cutting lines for both your bust and your hips. Later when you are an experienced sewist you'll be able to alter the bottom of the pattern to accommodate your body, without having to buy the 2nd pattern.
Second; how do you know if the pattern is "Loose," "Easy" or "Fitted" in its design?
This is the back of the pattern envelope...the English language side.
Located here is the rest of the information a sewer needs to
make an informed decision about his/her sewing project.
The back of the pattern envelope has the design description, and the notions and fabric needed to complete the project. By reading the design description at the top you'll learn that this particular pattern is "Loose-fitting." You'll also notice that it is a "Pull-over" style, meaning that you don't have to sew in any fasteners such as buttons, zippers, or snaps. This lack of fasteners is one of the indicative features of a "Very Easy" to sew pattern, which this one is.
If you are a beginning sewer I recommend you start with a pattern that says something along the lines of "Very Easy."
In addition to choosing the wrong size...a beginning sewer commonly chooses a sewing project too difficult, and therefore gets discouraged of her/his abilities.
Most patterns will have the designer's line drawings on the envelope.
There is a wealth of information in these drawings.
In addition to the verbiage on the envelope there is the designer's own line drawings. Notice the above drawings, which are very simple...yes, but precisely why they are important. Look at the picture of the garment on the front of the envelope. Now look again at the line drawings. Do they seem the same to you? They don't to me.
One of the problems with patterns is the photo on the front of the envelope is not of a real person wearing the garment. It is an artist's rendition of what the garment looks like on a real person. Even if the photo was of a real person..it is a model, in a studio...with correct lighting. Plus the garment has been accessorized.
My point is that you will learn to feel relieved once you understand the importance of the designer's line drawing and it's simplicity. The line drawing takes the mystery out of what the garment actually looks like...based on the designer's true intentions. You'll see if it is in fact an A-line shape, or is it straight up and down, which this dress is. You will also see where the shoulder/sleeve seams actually are, which in this case the sleeve is a raglan sleeve...one of my personal favorites because they are so forgiving (read; "easy") to sew...not to mention flattering on narrow shoulders, and smaller than average busts.
You'll also see where the seam lines actually are, so if you wanted to do any later alterations to the pattern you would see where they are possible. You see at a glance that the skirt is in fact an elastic waist....very easy to do, and that it also is a straight up and down...or "Pencil" shaped skirt, with no kick-pleat. Why? Because it is not drawn in. If the skirt had a kick-pleat it would be drawn in in the bottom row of drawings, which are the back views of the garments.
Some women (me) don't like narrow, long skirts without a kick-pleat...it makes for uncomfortable walking. However, since there is a full-length seam on the front of the garment...you can open it up at the bottom up to the knee...or higher, if you want...to make a walking opening. You would just finish the edges without attaching the 2 sides into the seam, and then do a bar-tack at the top of the opening to keep the seam from splitting any farther.
So, if you are not wanting to read the verbiage for some reason...you can see everything you need to know about the design from the line-drawing.
But, you'll still have to read the rest of the description anyway...in a hurry or not. Why? Because you need to know what kind of fabric is recommended for this garment. For example you might already have some fabric on hand, and are just itching to make it up into something. You'll want to know if this fabric is compatible to this pattern.
Let's say you've got a piece of denim...or you want to make something out of denim. Would it work for this dress? Go back to the section under "Fabrics." It says "Lightweight Woolens, Crepe and Matte Jersey." What do you think?
All those fabrics are very forgiving to sew. That means they are slightly stretchy...even though the first 2 mentioned are technically a woven (not a knit...by definition a stretchy fabric) fabric. Again, that these "forgiving" fabrics are recommended is indicative of the "Very Easy" to sew description of this pattern.
So, if you are determined to use denim...use one that is:
A) Lightweight (not the kind for jeans), and
B) Has some Lycra in it...making it slightly stretchy.
I hope this beginning pattern-reading lesson is helpful to you.
In subsequent installments I'll talk more in depth about other more finer details on the pattern envelope...such as how to determine how much fabric to buy...what are notions, and how to determine if the design is right for you.
If you want catch up, here is Jooj & Me; Part 1.
Comments and questions are welcome!!!
Let's change gears a bit.
Yes, this is primarily a Pet Sitting website...but that is not the only thing I am interested in, nor is it the only way I generate income.
Some of you already know that I am an experienced seamstress...or Sewist...as some like to refer to it nowadays. I am also an avid reader (and writer...as is evident here)...after all I do have a BA in English Literature.
Back in 2013 Mae and I started Jooj & Me, LLC (joojandme.com). It is our Amazon FBA business. On it I sell one-of-a-kind, vintage, out-of-print sewing patterns, Threads Magazines, hard-to-find items and books.
The name? Ah...don't worry...it's dog-related;
Be kind...this is a pic of a pic; a young Mae and Jooj...
shortly after I found her on the streets of Manteca, CA
This is me and Jooj...the same day as the above shot.
In our 2nd motor home in Yosemite, CA; Jooj and Maggie...the last...and
most wonderful Scotty we had the privilege to call
a family member...I know you can't see her well...but remember
these are pics of pics...and black animals are hard to photograph anyway.
This was taken literally days before we moved to AZ, in May 2000.
A more mature Mae on the left;
Maggie the Scotty had passed on 2 years before, and
Duke (in the foreground; a Dobe X Lab) had come to live with us
that same year when I found him on our street.
Holly (background; a Chow X Lab), the oldest dog in the
family at this point, and the Grand Dame of the household.
By the way, Jooj was a Jack Russell Terrier X Chihuahua;
the first JRT we ever had the privilege of knowing.
She passed on 8 years after we moved to AZ.
Jooj was a very special dog, in that she was the toughest dog I ever knew, who also happened to be very small...only 10 pounds. I thought Scotties were tough...but Jooj never backed down from anything...and you'd never think it as cute as she was.
Once on a Halloween we took her with us trick-or-treating, and a loose dog came barreling at her from across a street. The dog was a good 50 lbs and making a lot of scary loud noises as it rapidly invaded our space. I was tensing up and getting ready for the worst...having already had more experience breaking up dog fights than I wanted at that point...I was visualizing what I would do when they made contact. I can't recall where my husband was standing, but he told me later he was in a dog-fight-mode of his own.
All that adrenaline...from us was unnecessary, however, as Jooj already had very quickly figured out the solution to the problem. She went at the dog...all the way into the air...into his face...in her prime she could leap 6 feet off the ground; I'm not kidding...and latched onto one of his eyes. All her feet were off the ground and she was just hanging onto that eye. Just when I was thinking she was going to tear it out of his head the dog screamed...I mean SCREAMED, and tried to back away. Jooj didn't let go immediately...only when she was absolutely sure the dog was retreating.
That, ladies and gentlemen is the epitome of a JRT.
Well...now you know about the genesis of Jooj & Me.
Be sure to read Jooj & Me, Part 2, where I teach you how to read a sewing pattern.
Let's turn you all into Sewists!!!
Binky and Lilly in Missouri outside on "The Property."
Believe it or not Lilly was kept outside in her former home. All the time. In Arizona.
THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS AN OUTDOOR DOG.
Especially in Arizona. In the Summer.
Yes Folks, in 2015 I still meet...face-to-face...morons who intentionally leave their dogs outside.
In the Summer.
Oh, you don't like that word? "Moron is a term once used in psychology to denote mild intellectual disability."
How about this word? Ignoramus: "a person who does not know much: an ignorant or stupid person."
OK...you tell me. What word would you use? Be honest.
I thought about this post quite a bit; contrary to what you might be thinking at this moment. It was of course triggered recently by yet another person...described as above, who tried to hire me for pet sitting, but intentionally keeps their two dogs outside. The reasons matter not, how the confrontation went down between them and me also matters not.
I thought about writing on damaged psychology of the dog who is forced to live out of doors. I thought about discussing the different cultural implications of certain races, religious upbringing, and regions of the US and world who believe in the "concept" of "Indoor" and "Outdoor" dogs.
Yes...I thought all that through.
Here's the thing; I am so far from that "concept" of the "Outdoor" dog in my own mind that I suddenly realized why I get caught by people like this. When I say "caught" I mean that I've been sucked into making an appointment and actually taking time and gas to go to their house to sign them up as pet sitting clients, only to be severely shocked by their animal "care" practices that I have to immediately and abruptly walk out.
In my mind I am still so appalled by certain people's animal care practices that I've formed some kind of mental block about it. I actually believe...until I have a shocking reality check that 90% of the people out there "must know" these things are wrong.
This is progress, however. Really. After 23 years...and counting....of being a professional pet caregiver I finally know why I still get caught. So there's that.
But I can't NOT include some of the reasons why there is NO SUCH THING AS AN OUTDOOR DOG in this post.
Mind you the following reasons apply for any dog in ANY state...not just here where last week it hit 119 degrees in parts of the Valley...where the moron-ignoramus-insert-name-here tried to become my client.
DOGS ARE PACK ANIMALS THAT THRIVE ON COMPANIONSHIP.
When I arrived at Mr. Moron's house and met the two dogs for the first time, they were so desperate for attention they continually climbed all over me and were trying to hang on my arms and body in a "hugging" fashion. Basically they were pleading at me to be saved as hard as they could.
BACKYARD DOGS HAVE MORE BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS.
Mr Moron complained that the dogs would not "stop" acting "this" way. Don't worry...I told him why they acted "this" way.
BACKYARD DOGS ARE HARDER TO TRAIN.
Mr. Moron also complained that the 1st dog was "fine" until he got the 2nd dog. Then the 2nd dog would not house-break. It was then...he claimed that they were delegated to the back yard. I took one look at that 2nd dog...a very intelligent and calm (once he figured me out) Pittie and I knew I'd be able to housebreak him inside an hour.
Interestingly, the wife said she couldn't have them in the house because she was severely allergic to them.
BACKYARD DOGS HAVE HIGHER RATES OF EUTHANASIA.
I almost told Mr. Moron that he had one too many dogs...but I quickly realized that he had two too many dogs. I also realized it didn't matter anyway. That household is so screwed up...those dogs will soon end up at the Pound. I'm certain of it.
Moral To The Story:
Since at this stage in my career I can still be fooled by these kinds of people...I now realize it's not my fault. I am continually progressing and staying on top of modern animal care practices...yes, because it's my job...yes, but I do this job because it takes a certain type of person to be able to do this kind of job. A kind of person I would never want to be any different from. Never. Ever.
Also, you folks out there. Yes...you. Do you know people who do this? Do you live next door to some? Do they reside in your neighborhoods? Are you guilty of it yourself?
Why have you allowed it to continue? I don't want to hear your excuses. I want to you to look at yourselves in a mirror and ask yourselves...WHY. Why have I let it continue?
Read these articles: This one. And this one.
If you have read these articles....and this post, and still don't see a problem...do your dog(s) a favor and find them a home where they will not be continually forced to suffer out there.
To everyone else; give your dogs/cats/birds/ferrets/turtles...whatever you got; an extra hug...for me...and for those two poor dogs, who I'm sure will suffer a lot more before anything changes in their lives. Think of them...send positive thoughts. Please.
I never get tired of seeing this picture! Starting from the left and going counter-clockwise it's Ruby, Lilly, Charlotte (Ruby's daughter), Binky and Charlie. This pic was taken on the steps of my motor home on the first cross-country trip we took in it...in September, 2013.
This is Ruby (on the right) when her kids were about 6 weeks old. Charlotte is the darker colored pup. Unfortunately, the little boy died of Fading Puppy Syndrome at about 10 weeks.
They are still at the rescue here in this pic, in 2011. The rescue is Pet Social Worker and is located in Maricopa City, AZ. It's run by a fellow pet sitter, and wonderful person Kimberly Dietrich. Here is her website.
Kimberly was great about letting Charlotte stay with her sibling and mom until she was almost 10 weeks old...something I requested, since pups often are separated from their family way too soon.
About 2 weeks after I brought home Charlotte, Mae (my daughter) adopted Ruby.
This is Charlie. He is a Doxie X Chihuahua. Mae adopted him way before Ruby....sometime in 2008. He is a "Yellow-Alert" dog, which means that he can't be approached by anyone, anywhere. He loves us...all the immediate members of the family, but that's it. He also came from an AZ rescue...but the place was a little strange, so I'll not put up the link here. Anyway...it's all about getting the animals a second chance home...right?
This is Lilly, and she is a Shih-Tzu. By the way, Shih-Tzus do NOT like being called shit-zoos...that is NOT how you say it. It's pronounced, "Sheet-Zoo." OK? :)
Lilly came to us early in February, 2006. One morning she was running as fast as she could down on one of my neighborhood streets. I spotted her from way off, and since she was running straight at me...I simply waited for her and caught her in my arms. She was shaved all the way down to the skin, very dirty, underweight, and covered in ticks. Clearly being kept outside...somewhere. She wasn't spayed either, so I surmised she was meant to be breeding material at some point...not a real family member for someone.
I cleaned her up, had her chipped and spayed, and she's had a wonderful time being a member of our family. I love grooming her gorgeous coat....it's one of the best I've seen among Shih-Tzus.
This is Binky...the latest rescue to come to the family, back in 2012. She is also a Shih-Tzu...albeit a terribly inbred one. She only weighs 5 lbs, and also didn't have a good beginning to her life. So much so that I fear she may not live as long as she normally would. She came to us from a home where her former owner was suffering from repeated mental breakdowns, and was not able to take care of herself...let alone Binky. However, she is healthy right now, well-fed and happy.
This is MINE! my motor home that I bought in the summer of 2013. She's an incredible home on wheels I tell ya!!
The first shake-down trip mae and I took in her that was actually away from home, was at the Flagstaff KOA.. That weekend a Vintage VW group was also there. What a sight that was! Restored Beetles, Buses and Westies (Westfalia Campers) everywhere!
Every morning Mae and I would round up our 5 dogs and take them on a walk around the campground. The VW group also would be out of course, and on the second day one of the guys saw us and abruptly stopped talking to his neighbor to watch us walk by. Suddenly he said, "Look! It's the Tiny Dog Parade!"
So that is how the Tiny Dog Parade got its name!
Clockwise; Shirley, a Poodle; Bailey, a Chi X Terrier, and Jesse a Chihuahua.
I'm currently visiting Shirley, Bailey and Jesse three times a day while their parent recovers from a broken hip.
So what do you do if you've got a similar situation? Certainly it's a little easier when you have elected surgery coming up and you have some time to search for a pet sitter.
Little Jesse likes to get up close and personal!
But, in an emergency situation you really have no way to get somebody to come in to care for your animals, unless you've got close-by relatives, whom you've got a great relationship with...AND they've already got a key to your home.
I've been doing this type of work for a long, long time. I guarantee you that that is not the norm. Many people live far away from their family members...especially in retirement states like Arizona. In addition to that they are not that close with family members in the first place.
Shirley is the most attention-getting hog (dog) I've ever met!
So what happens? A frantic call to neighbors (if the number is available), and then an apologetic request for them to come in and care for the pets.
Ah...but what if you think the way your neighbors care for their own animals is....well...this short of abusive? What if because of allergies your neighbor wouldn't go near your kitty with a ten foot pole? What if your neighbor travels for his job?
What if the adult neighbor you called assures you she will attend to your pet...but instead sends her eight year-old child to do it, instead?!
SHHHHHH...don't tell Jesse and Shirley, but Bailey is my favorite!
You'll want a professional...especially in this situation. You'll want to be able to concentrate on getting well...stressing about your animals all the time is not going to allow that.
Now...while you are calm...and not injured, or in the hospital, search out a pet sitter. Write out all the things you do everyday on a regular basis for your animals. Write down the kind of foods you buy for them...the supplements; where you keep their leashes, dishes, toys...etc. What are their habits?
Do a weekend test-run, with a new pet sitter. Try two, or three. Heck, it could be fun...you'll be getting away for a coupla weekends, to boot. Why not?
Your critters will thank you for it!!!