The Cairo

One of the most remarkable pieces of the Vicksburg Civil War site is the exhibit of the Cairo (pronounced kay-row). It is an ironclad ship that was sunk in 1862 by Confederates as it tried to steam past Vicksburg. The ship was sunk to the bottom of the channel until it was found and raised through extensive work in the 1960s. One of the cannon carriages is maintained in the museum plus a number of items used in the daily lives of the men aboard the ship. The exhibit is under a sail-like cover and open air. It is an amazing piece of history. Seven ironclads were built. This was the only one sunk yet preserved. Those not sunk were de-commissioned and scuttled.
The Cairo


Off to Mississippi

We headed off to Mississippi today about 10 a.m. after taking our leave of Karen and Tim. We hated to say goodbye since they are such good people. Our trek took us slightly west and then north into Mississippi to skirt the edge of Jackson, the state capitol. We could not see any of the state buildings. My impression of Mississippi is green, red soil, lots of small trees (evergreen and pine) with slightly rolling hills in places though overall flat land. Our destination was Vicksburg, one of the great Civil War battlefields and a spot we were told not to miss. Boy, was that comment right. It was so very well done and covered a lot of area. Bob and I got through about 80% of the tour by the end of the day. Food here is deep fried whatever. When Bob had batter covered fries, I could not believe it.
Union canon with the Illinois Monument (Union battle lines) at Vicksburg

Cat Video Festival Day

Long, fun day of helping our friends set up and hold the first International Cat Video Festival Day in New Orleans. The videos were shown in the auditorium at the Museum of Art at City Park. The booths were set up in City Park. Great music, great food (yum, the Crawfish Beignet), great pictures, and cat goods to buy. It was hot and humid so I hunkered in a chair when not in the cool Museum. It appeared to be a good day for Karen and Tim for the festival though LOTS of work. Here they are in one of their photo experiences for the day with attendees and photo content winners.

Speaking for Myself

Actually, I am not speaking just for myself and really speaking to the CFA Delegate’s in Winn’s behalf. Glenn Olah is there and will follow me on the podium. After the talk, I was done and able to head over to get our rental car, have lunch with Marybeth before we headed to Covington LA to see Karen and Tim. Interesting riding over the long causeway bridge across Lake Pontchartrain. A lot of growth and people found in this area and roads are pretty congested. Many moved here after Hurricane Katrina and away from New Orleans.

Symposium Day

Well, the big symposium day has arrived for Winn. We also had our Zoetis/Winn grant review in the morning. A jam packed day of details and work though it all went well right up and through the great dinner at the Red Fish Grill on Bourbon St. I got all the audio setup and Bob was videographer again. Logistics were a bit difficult for the Symposium room with the food, water, and drinks yet all got said and done in the end. Here is one speaker, Dr. Philip Fox, speaking on HCM in cats.

Meetings and Prints

Since I am now in charge of meeting logistics for Winn, my day was spent making sure of the board meeting room availability and that all our packages have arrived for the Symposium the next day. I made sure to stop and greet Jamie Perry as she holds the “Winnie Marchin’ In” print for sale. We hope it is a big fundraiser for Winn and a seller for her.

Off to New Orleans

Headed off early this morning to New Orleans for the Winn Feline Foundation annual meeting and Symposium. Our flight was through Houston on United. A day of thunderstorms. As our flight left the gate to taxi out in Houston, we had a thunderstorm pass right overhead. There was a one hour ground stop and delay taking off due to this. We arrived in New Orleans at the leading edge of a thunderstorm with lightning all around and over Lake Pontchartrain. A bit of a bumpy ride down and a fast, “hot” landing. Good to get into the Big Easy.


Mr. Tumbles

I don’t think I would have recognized our Nicolas as Mr. Tumbles in the photo. We did snag this photo off Renee’s Facebook page since it was so good and colorful, too. Good job, Renee. It looks like Mr. Tumbles had a fun time as a Clown for the Day!

Another World War l Commemorative

This year will probably have a lot of articles of interest on the Civil War (sesquicentennial) and World War l (centennial). Being a military history buff, many will end up here for a blog piece. This article is another example, a review of a book written from the soldier’s perspective. For these men, they did not know it was the first of two world wars. It was just day to day reality of war.

“The Great War featured an unusual number of highly literate soldiers for both the Allies (chiefly the Triple Entente of France, Britain, and Russia, and, much later, the United States) and the Central Powers (chiefly Germany and Austria-Hungary), who had no inkling of the inferno that awaited them. We know of the remarkable trio of war poets—Rupert Brooke, Wilfred Owen, and Siegfried Sassoon—and we expect that generals would convey their accounts and impressions. But it is the insight and sensitivity of innumerable junior officers and enlisted men that bring home the terrors of bombardment, from which there seemed no exit, and the eternal presence of mud.”

Dressing Up

With the New Orleans as a near future destination, I took some time to travel to Eugene and do some clothes shopping. I have been trying to build my wardrobe up, casual and more business like as I am to take this new position. I will have to dress to match the part and be more official. Added a few dresses to the mix. Good to have some new clothes!

Enduring Legacy of World War l

I have written a number of blog pieces about World War l. The tragic and lethal war that it was to a generation of young men from England, France, United States, and in the end Germany too. A number of books about the experiences of what happened during the war have been written. They have carried through the last 100 years and now more are writing about current wars and their legacy. Read more here about the war’s legacy in other areas of our culture.

Dr. Zhivago and Pasternak

One of the most beautiful movies, movie scores, and love stories is Dr. Zhivago. Set in the time of the Russian Revolution and the turmoil at the Bolsheviks took over, it has many historical periods to pull together. The book was written by the Russian poet, Boris Pasternak. There is a story and a book about this the background of the book and movie are found here. Evidently, Pasternak believed he would be executed for writing this book because it would be considered subversive and not for the people. Yet, it would go on to be considered an all time great novel.

Gene Based Diet

Maybe there is something to that phrase “You are what you eat.” Researchers are finding genetic mechanisms that affect taste perception and food preferences. This could explain why some hate cilantro, dill, coconut, etc. while I happen to like all of this. Now the strong taste of lemon, nah. Cloves, awful! Bring on the specific taste tester genes and read about it here.


Years ago when I worked for my first cat veterinary practice role, my employer was a nice and wise person. I tend to be a bit of a sensitive dweller on things such as criticism. I build it to the nth degree. She gave me a short writing or quote about criticism and how to not think it is all about my view yet could there be some part that I should consider is correct. For more discussion and a way to take criticism well, read this WSJ article here.

Re-Homing Cats

A day of helping others find a home for two lovely Abyssinian female cats who just lost their owner to cancer. These two girls sound pretty stressed and in need of a forever loving home. It sounds like both may have that place in a home up in Washington State. A good thing if all works out well.

Rare Old Photos

Every now and then, an internet site has an article that displays rare photos of past events. This article is an example and has a number of interesting photos ranging over the many decades photography has been available.

Johnny Cash Lost Decade

Johnny Cash was a truly great Country Western singer. His music is a joy to listen to and watching some of his older TV specials are relaxing and great fun. I’m glad I have some of his music in compilation albums. For one look at his career and music, this article gives some insight into a period where his music did not catch the public’s attention and why. Plus what came before and after this decade.

Shirley Temple's Music

I am a huge fan of Mark Steyn’s writing. He ranges from current affairs, demography to film and music. He did a wonderful exposition on the music of Shirley Temple. These are such songs as “On the Good Ship Lollipop” and “Animal Crackers In My Soup”. Enjoy Mark’s take on the what Shirley Temple offered us as a talented individual.

Shirley Temple Movies

Earlier this year, Shirley Temple passed away. She was an amazing singer, actress, dancer, child star, etc. I enjoyed her movies when I was growing up. Certainly a good person and mother to our friend, Stephen, was a huge Shirley Temple fan and has lots of memorabilia. Here is a nice article about how Shirley Temple was a bright light during a decade of Depression.

Top 100 Movie Quotes

I think everyone has some favorite move quotes or maybe one in particular. I have run into drivers who can recite all the dialogue from a Monty Python movie or an Abbott and Costello one. My sons and husband are good at remembering quotes form Mel Brooks movies. It can be quite obnoxious but side-splitting.
Here are a couple of sites about movie quotes. One is a chart form of movie quotes and the other is from the American Film Institute.

Kids, Books and Cats

I wish they had this type of reading program when I was a kid and went to the Lebanon Library. I love to read and certainly enjoy being around animals, especially cats. It would have been close to heaven to be able to go and spend time with cats at a shelter and read to them while there. This is a fun article and I can just feel the tension leave just reading and looking at the pictures. Please check it out here.

Crazy Cat Cake

I am not into Facebook. I most likely will need to do so as I take on this new job. Too many things to keep track of if I do though it is expected of a person more and more.
A lot of the rest of the family does like Facebook and our daughter-in-law had a post awhile ago showing this fun cake that would be perfect for crazy cat ladies or people. This could be one for my next birthday. Happy

More Festival Time

Nicolas got a space alien to enjoy while waiting for the parade to start.

Ryan got to walk on his own at his first ambulatory adventure at the parade. Let me at them!


Strawberry Night Fever Parade

Bob walked in the Strawberry Festival Parade with the Fire Dept. representation. He walked alongside the big truck driven by our neighbor, Dan Hartman. The fire truck is located at Fire Station 35 right across the road from us. It is one big truck. The parade was nice and a great thing for the kids to enjoy. It was a pretty good sunburn gig for the rest of us. Here is Bob doing his civic duty in the parade.

D-Day, 70 Years Ago

Today is the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the landings in Normandy. How amazing and brave those men were. Our Citizen Soldiers as Stephen Ambrose called them. Ceremonies were conducted today at the Normandy memorials and at the cemeteries. Much has been written about that day, here is a collection of photos from the Capa gallery. At the same time, here is the speech Gen. Eisenhower gave to the men of the Allied Expedition.


We are dealing with 70 year old anniversaries this year of episodes during World War ll. On May 25, it was the 70th anniversary of the breakthrough at Anzio in Italy. The Anzio beachhead was considered a way to bypass German lines and flank their armies in Italy. Unfortunately, it did not work out as planned or hoped. Here is an article of the breakthrough to where the Allied Armies could control Italy.

Rest In Peace, Josi

We learned that one of our neighbors and good acquaintances out here in Berlin passed away last night. She collapsed at home Sunday morning. We became acquainted through neighborhood watch and she was always interested in keeping her area of Berlin safe and up to date on serious issues. Bob and I last spent time with her at an Easter Passover dinner in April. It was a nice evening of chatting and sharing. May she rest in peace in our Lord’s hands.

More View of Havana

Michael Totten has written another version of his travels or travelogue involving Cuba and Havana. It is a fascinating perspective of what the current political situation and government has made of Cuba from the pre-Communist days. He wanted to visit a Communist country and experience what that means as a tourist and a better appreciation of what the citizens of that country live with.

“Marxists have ruled Cuba for more than a half-century now. Fidel Castro, Argentine guerrilla Che Guevara, and their 26th of July Movement forced Fulgencio Batista from power in 1959 and replaced his standard-issue authoritarian regime with a Communist one. The revolutionaries promised liberal democracy, but Castro secured absolute power and flattened the country with a Marxist-Leninist battering ram. The objectives were total equality and the abolition of money; the methods were total surveillance and political prisons. The state slogan, then and now, is “socialism or death.” “

End At Appomattox

We recently celebrated and honored Memorial Day. The holiday was started shortly after the Civil War ended. There was a recent article discussing the history of Memorial Day in light of the sacrifices of U.S. ward dead. The article featured a section from James McPherson’s book, “Battle Cry of Freedom”. The piece describes the surrender of Lee to Grant. It was a day of sadness yet honor among armies and troops.

Animals in World War l

The Atlantic Magazine has another edition of the World War l in photos. This edition is focused on the animals as part of the war effort. Primarily dogs and horses. The photos can be found here. Due to this was war and “war is hell”, I caution that some of the photos are more graphic in nature and some may not want to view them.

“But the need for constant resupply, movement of new heavy weaponry, and the transport of troops demanded horse power on a massive scale -- automobiles, tractors, and trucks were relatively new inventions and somewhat rare. British and French forces imported horses from colonies and allies around the world, a near-constant flow of hundreds of thousands of animals across the oceans, headed for war. One estimate places the number of horses killed during the four years of warfare at nearly 8 million. Other animals proved their usefulness as well: Dogs became messengers, sentries, rescuers, and small beasts of burden. Pigeons acted as messenger carriers, and even (experimentally) as aerial reconnaissance platforms. Mules and camels were drafted into use in various war theatres, and many soldiers brought along mascots to help boost morale.”
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