It’s Monday! What are you Reading?

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

I hope everyone is managing to fit in some reading during this busy time of year. I suppose that our holiday gift is that Clifford, or Big Red as we like to call him, has completed heartworm treatment and is able to play and enjoy life like a normal dog again. He won’t be declared heartworm-free until we can test him in about six months, but he has received clearance for normal activity. I suppose it is time to admit that Cliffie is probably our fourth dog. We have grown a bit attached to the rascal.

Oh! And our trainer informs us that he is probably not a staffie mix, but instead a red lacy dog. Now it all makes sense! A Texas hunting dog! No wonder he is far too interested in the kitties. (We are working on that last bit.)

I am currently reading:

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern Crossed by Ally Condie

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – Oh my goodness! I love this book! I know it is super hyped, but the hype is well deserved. This book is making me want to shirk all responsibilities and just read, while at the same time I never want the story to end.

Crossed by Ally Condie – I am happy to finally catch up with Ky, Cassia and Xander.

During the past two weeks I finished reading:

Seizure by Kathy Reichs Brute Strength by Susan Conant

Seizure by Kathy Reichs – This second Virals book is less science and more pirate adventure! I have enjoyed this series quite a bit and will continue with the books as they become available. (4 out of 5 stars)

Brute Strength by Susan Conant – I love this series. It makes me feel like I am not alone in the category of crazy animal person – even if Holly, Steve, their five dogs and one cat are fictional characters. (5 out of 5 stars)


The House at Sea's End by Elly Griffiths

The House at Sea’s End by Elly Griffiths – I enjoyed the first two books in this series and look forward to the third.

Happy Holidays to you all!


It’s Monday! What are you Reading?

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

Happy Halloween! Fall is my favorite season. There are so many good books to read this time of year.  It’s still warm during the day in my part of the world, but at least the nights are chilly. For readers in cooler climates, I hope you are keeping warm with a good book and a cup of your favorite beverage.

I am currently reading:

The Dead Kid Detective Agency by Evan Munday Light from a Distant Star by Mary McGarry Morris

The Dead Kid Detective Agency by Evan Munday – I believe this is targeted to a younger audience than other young adult books I have read. It’s cute and probably would appeal to the tween set.

Light from a Distant Star by Mary McGarry Morris – I started reading this over the last few days. I am trying to move beyond the fact that a pit bull attacks a child and is killed violently in the second chapter of the book… but I cannot guarantee that I will forget (or forgive). I understand the tone of the book and the intent of this portion of the plot, but did it have to be a pit bull?

During the past week I finished reading:



What is Halloween without some photos of the pack in their Halloween costumes?

Happy Halloween 2011
Sherman, Neko and Callie
Happy Halloween 2011

We don’t dress up the cats because that would just be mean.

View all of our pack Halloween photos here. I might be biased, but I think there are some pretty cute ones in there!

Many thanks to everyone who has so generously donated to Clifford’s heartworm treatment. We truly appreciate your support.

Clifford’s Heartworm Treatment


About a month ago, around the same time that the wildfires started and things went a little nutty in Central Texas, a stray dog was seen roaming our neighborhood. He kept running back and forth across a fairly busy road. I knew I would feel terrible if I later saw him squished on the side of the road. I spent about three days working to get the dog to trust me because he was very skittish and ran when a person got near him. I would slowly walk away from him while dropping food behind me. Over the course of three days or so, I began to earn his trust. He got closer and closer, then tentatively took food from my hand, and finally tolerated me touching his head. I lured him into the backyard of the (empty) house next door, and an hour or so later had a leash on him and got him into my backyard. It wasn’t easy, but we got the stray guy off the street.

The amazing thing was that the once skittish dog became a mostly normal dog within 24 hours of us corralling him into the backyard. I say mostly normal because he likes to JUMP! A LOT! and he also pees on his front legs sometimes.

I should take a moment to say that of our seven resident pets, only two were adopted. The remaining five were strays that we took in. We are suckers. So this stray guy made number eight in our house. We immediately went into panic mode, wondering what we were going to do with this dog? Our dogs already had some behavior kinks we were working on, so a fourth dog would cause all kinds of problems. A few days later, we took him to the vet. It turns out the guy we had been calling Clifford was heartworm positive. Crap.

Two of our resident animals were ill when we found them. Callie, our pit bull, had sarcoptic mange and a bacterial infection. She spent six weeks getting nasty lime dips and we had to handle her with gloves. Today she is a spoiled, healthy dog. Meep, our youngest cat, was severely anemic when we found her. We had to force feed her every few hours. It was touch and go for a few days, but she pulled through and is a cute, healthy cat today.

But heartworms? Dang, this was a new one for us. A very scary new one after I consulted the internet. To add to the scariness, I learned that there was a shortage of heartworm medication. The only option was to give the dog antibiotics and heartworm preventative until the medication was back on the market. Fortunately, in the past few days, our awesome vet has secured some medication and Cliff will begin treatment on Monday. I am kind of terrified. He’s a hyper dog, and we need to keep him as calm as possible while he undergoes treatment.

This all brings me to something I am somewhat uncomfortable with. I have been encouraged to begin a donation page to help raise funds for Cliff’s treatment. If you are so inclined – $1 – $5 – anything will help get us through this treatment. It all adds up and I will be forever grateful for your assistance!


P.S. We are still hoping to find Clifford a home after all this. If you are in the Austin area and looking for a dog, maybe Cliff is your doggie soul mate. Give him a couple of months and he will be ready to go! 🙂

P.P.S. This dog business is why I have not written a book review in ages, but I hope to get back on the review wagon within the next week.

Saturday Snapshot

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce of At Home With Books.

Some photos from the past week:

Sherman and Chim Chim, July 2011
Sherman and Chim Chim
Meep and Chim Chim, July 2011
The Gray Cats
Seitan Pepper Steak
Seitan Pepper Steak and Brown Basmati Rice

I have been in a cooking mood lately. The seitan pepper steak was pretty good (recipe from the internet)! I also made the Summer Lovin’ Curried Corn and Veggie Chowder from Appetite for Reduction. I received this cookbook for my birthday, and my goal is to make 1-2 items each week. The recipes all sound delicious. In the coming week, I plan to make Butternut Coconut Rice with Broiled Blackened Tofu.

This was also a vet-centric week. I’ll spare the gory details, but Callie (not pictured) had some digestive issues and then complications from her digestive issues. She’s on some antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs, and as of yesterday seems to be back to her normal, hyper self. Callie is one sensitive pit bull, I tell ya.

Saturday Snapshot

Callie, Neko, Sherman
This is a recent photo of the three canine members of the pack. That’s Callie on the left, Sherman on the right and the little bit in the middle is Neko. We are all wishing for cooler days so that we can enjoy the outdoors again. 100+ degrees for more than 20 days so far this year is kind of poopy.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce of At Home With Books.