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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Healthy Dog Teeth

Keeping your dog's teeth clean can help keep your dog healthy. Use a soft toothbrush.  A child's toothbrush for small dogs is ideal; an adult size should be used for larger dogs.

Use toothpaste formulated especially for available at pet supply stores or your veterinarian's office.

Begin by only brushing the outside surfaces of the teeth. When your pet has adjusted to this, add the inside surfaces between the teeth and tongue.

Monday, June 27, 2011

How Often to Give Your Dog a Bath

That all depends on your pet.
Factors include: his hair coat, hair length, how often he gets dirty, where he lives (if he is indoor or outdoors most of the time), shedding cycle, and any underlying skin problem.
Some dogs need baths only a couple times year while others need weekly grooming. It is beneficial to brush your dog about twice a week. Bathing your dog every month or two isn't unreasonable, but some dogs will need more frequent cleanings.
A good rule of thumb is to bathe your pet only when his coat gets dirty or begins to smell "doggy."

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Reap What You Sow

"Nothing can come from corn but corn, nothing from nettles but nettles. Men understand this law in the natural world, and work with it; but few understand it in the mental and moral world... A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts." ~James Allen

How do you spend your free time? Who do you spend it with? The answers to these questions are critical to the quality of your life and of your own character. Avoid the gossips and complainers. The negative energy of these people can and will drain you and embed you in their culture of despair. Rather, spend your time with people and activities that reflect who you want to be: positive people who believe in possibilities and who take action to male their dreams come true. Who are you hanging out with?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Citronella Candle Safety

Use candles with care. Never use candles around dogs if left unattended and keep them stored in an area inaccessible to pets.
Exposure to candles can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and/or paws of curious pets.
Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of the reach of pets.
Ingestions can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression, and if inhaled, the oils could potentially cause aspiration pneumonia as well.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Entrance to Yosemite Free June 21st

In honor of the first day of summer, the National Park Service is waiving the entrance fee to Yosemite on June 21st, 2011.  For more information visit:
http://www.nps.gov/yose/parknews/feefreejune21.htm

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hard Work

"Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard" ~Taras Brown
We each have our gifts, our talents. The only question is how well we utilize them to help ourselves and others succeed. Most successful people will tell us that they are no more talented than others - they have simply worked harder or more consistently then others. What will you do today to work on your dreams?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Fire Season is Officially Here

Don't let all of the Spring snow and rain fool you into a false sense of security...mountain area grass, weeds and brush have exploded in growth in just a few days of warm weather; add drying conditions and heavier summer traffic on local highways and what do you get?????  Yep, wildfires.  We had our first wildfire of the season today.  Local residents were dragged back to reality by the sight of spotter planes, bombers and choppers flying overhead, all while sniffing the air for the undeniable odor of smoke.  So, remember, despite the deluge of moisture we received through Spring....the party is over.  Summer is upon us and, with the hotter temps, the need to be fire safe.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Listen

"A man never knows the depth of his feelings until he shares it with someone who understands." ~John Peniel

One of the greatest gifts you can give someone is listening, really listening to them express something of importance to them. By doing so, you enable them to truly mine the depths of their thoughts and feelings. You've probably experienced this yourself with a friend, a parent or a teacher. Recall how complete you felt. Make yourself available to others to listen fully.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Life, Health & Vigor Depend on Action

“The chief condition on which, life, health and vigor depend on, is action. It is by action that an organism develops its faculties, increases its energy, and attains the fulfillment of its destiny.” ~Colin Powell

You really can and must use your talents with intention to impact your life and the lives of those in your family, organization and community.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Summer Pet Care Tips from HomeAgain

Summertime is fun time, but hot weather makes for some unique summer pet care challenges. Although wild animals are well adapted to the elements, companion animals can be just as susceptible to extreme temperatures as their owners are. What does that mean for your pet? When the temperatures get extreme, pet safety should be top of mind. Here are five ways to stay safe while enjoying summer activities with your pet:
1. Respect the heat. Humans aren’t the only animals that can find a hot summer day overwhelming. But unlike you, your pet has a limited ability to deal with the heat. Dogs release heat through their paw pads and by panting, while humans can sweat through all of the skin on their body. Dehydration can be a big problem for pets during the hot weather, too. According to the ASPCA, animals with flat faces—like Pugs and Persian cats—cannot pant as effectively, and are therefore more susceptible to heat stroke. You should also keep an eye on elderly or overweight pets or animals with heart and lung disease. In the summer, make certain that Fido and Fluffy always have access to plenty of fresh, cool water, and avoid letting them run around outside during the hottest parts of the day.

2. Keep bugs away—safely. Another summer pet safety issue is the presence of ticks and other summer insects. Not only can bugs carry diseases, but the ways people try to ward them off can also cause problems for your outdoor pet’s health. Fertilizers and pesticides may help keep a lawn looking great, but they can be very dangerous for your pet. In the areas where your pets play, it’s better to keep the grass cut short to reduce the presence of ticks and other insects. Also keep an eye out for fertilizer warnings on the edge of lawns when walking your dog. Talk to your vet about the best ways to protect your pet from fleas, ticks, and other insects that are more prevalent during the summer months.

3. Beware of anti-freeze. In the summertime, anti-freeze can leak out of cars when they overheat, leaving puddles on the ground that your dog can easily lap up and swallow. The sweet taste of anti-freeze is tempting to dogs and cats, but when this toxic substance is ingested, it’s potentially lethal. Pay attention to your neighbors’ cars and potential puddles on your street, and make sure your pets stay clear of it.

4. Find out if your pet needs sunscreen. Some pets, particularly those with short fine hair and pink skin, can also be susceptible to sunburn. Talk to your veterinarian about which types of sunscreen are safest on your pet’s skin, and follow up by routinely applying sunscreen as part of your summer routine. Do not use sunscreen or insect repellents that are not designed specifically for use on animals. The ASPCA says ingesting certain sunscreens can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy in pets.

5. Practice water safety. As with other aspects of summer pet care, water safety is all about thinking ahead. Although it's fun to bring your pet to the beach or pool to stay cool together, always keep a close eye on your pet when they’re in or near the water. Even a strong swimmer could have trouble getting out of a pool, or get trapped by ropes and other obstacles. For more risky summer adventures with your dog, like boating, look into a doggie life preserver. It could be an excellent investment for his safety.

Summer pet safety isn’t hard, it just requires some thought and attention. Watch over your pet the way you would a small child—protect them from too much heat, sun, and other summer dangers—and everything should be just fine.

There's More To Bass Lake Than The Water

Mother Nature is reluctant to give us some warm weather this spring.  Cooler temperatures combined with heavy snow melt feeding Willow Creek and Pines Creek mean that our normally pleasant water temperature may take a while to warm up this summer.  Don't fret.  If you find your teeth chattering while water skiing or swimming try out some of the other great activities around the area.

Fishing:
Local fishing guides report that the trout and kokanee bite has been good this spring.  Bring your rods, tackle and a cooler and drop a line while enjoying the view of Goat Mountain.  Too much boat traffic on the water for fishing?  Head up Willow Creek and try your luck in one of the many great fishing holes.

Hiking:
There are lots of different hiking trails in the area offering a wide variety of experience.  Be sure to pack plenty of water and wear appropriate footwear.
Willow Creek and Angel Falls:  This is one of the most strenuous hikes around Bass Lake.  The trail begins at the Falls Beach on North Shore Road and winds up the mountain along Willow Creek for 2.7 miles, ending at McLeod Flat Road.  The two main attractions on this hike are Angel Falls and Devils Slide.  Use extreme caution on this hike.  Rocks can be extremely slippery and the creek itself hold multiple whirlpools.  There have been numerous injuries and even some deaths.
Goat Mountain/Spring Cove:  On the south side of the lake, Goat Mountain fire lookout is accessible via the Spring Cove Trail and the Goat Mountain Trail.  The Goat Mountain Trail begins in the Forks campground.  The Spring Cove trail begins on the east side of Spring Cove campground.  Both trails intersect in about an 1/8th of a mile.
Way of the Mono Trail:  This is one of the most popular and most used trails.  The self guided loop is about 1/2 mile long, offering a great vista point to view the lake.  Signs along the trail describe who the Mono people were and how they lived.  The trail begins across from the Little Denver Church Day Use Area.
Browns Ditch Trail:  Although not an official trail, this 2.5 mile route is clear and very easy to walk.  Browns Ditch is the cement flume that brings water to the lake.  The route begins where Road 274 meets Central Camp Road and runs along the flume.  At points you must walk on the steel walkway over the water.  DO NOT ATTEMPT TO ENTER THE WATER.  The fast current and steep walls make it dangerous.

Museums
Take in some of our local Madera County history at one of our many museums.  These musuems are all within a quick 10-20 minute drive from Bass Lake:
Coarsegold Historic Museum, 31899 Highway 41, Coarsegold
Fresno Flats Historical Park, 49777 Road 427, Oakhurst
Kings Vintage Museum, 40680 Highway 41, Oakhurst
Sierra Mono Museum, 33108 Road 228, North Fork
Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad/Thornberry Museum, 56001 Highway 41, Fish Camp

Sierra Vista Scenic Byway

The Scenis Byway is one of the most beautiful drives in the area.  The route begins at Beasore Road (off of Road 274 just up from the Pines Village) and winds through the Sierra National Forest, ending in North Fork.  Along the way enjoy views of Mammoth Pools, Redinger Lake, Mile High Vista, Arch Rock, Portuguese Overlook, Fresno Dome and many more.  Pack a lunch and enjoy a quiet picnic along the way.  The Byway is a full day trip but the natural wonders and beauty along this way make this drive well worth it.









Golfing
There are two very nice golf course near Bass Lake.
Sierra Meadows:  46516 Opah Drive, Oakhurst
River Creek:  41709 Road 600, Ahwahnee
Both courses offer pro shops and cafes.

If you're in the mood for a challenge take the drive up to Wawona and try your luck on the famous Wawona Golf Course.  The course is located in Wawona next to the historic Wawona Hotel.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Action Brings Happiness

"Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action" ~Benjamin Disraeli
Happiness does not happen to you. You achieve a state of happiness through your conscious actions. You have to get up and look up to see the beautiful sunrise. You have to hug your partner to feel the comfort and contentment of their embrace. You have to work with passionate intent to bask in the glow of the promotion or recognition. In fact the first action to take to find happiness is simply to be happy. Happy people find happiness, and they recognize setbacks as learning opportunities to recalibrate and take more action.

Choosing Corrective Dog Glasses

Most dogs with failing eyesight learn to adapt to seeing less. His owners are usually instructed to avoid rearranging furniture or making drastic changes to the home that will confuse a dog with poor eyesight.

Dogs losing their sight are often easily frightened and may be more prone to biting if they are startled. Handling the dog's disability can be challenging and even frustrating, but a pair of prescription Doggles can end that stress.

A veterinary ophthalmologist can view the anatomy of the eye to determine the dog's prescription strength. This prescription is then sent to Doggles, where the glasses are made, often for less than $100.

Prescription Doggles are giving sight back to many dogs, such as those who have had a natural decline in the quality of their eyesight, dogs with cataracts, and dogs who are farsighted due to cataracts surgery without lens implants.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Century 21 Disaster Relief Fund, Rick Davidson, President & CEO

                             

Tornadoes and severe weather have affected a significant number of people throughout a number of states over the last few weeks. At least seven CENTURY 21 System offices have been impacted both directly and indirectly including three CENTURY 21 Agents that have lost everything.

Our International Headquarters staff has been reaching out to CENTURY 21 brokers throughout these regions to determine what type of assistance we may be able to provide.

Beyond the impact of these disasters on the CENTURY 21 family, we care about all the victims.

To facilitate CENTURY 21 System member donations to relief efforts, we have launched a special fundraising campaign for the benefit of people most impacted, through the American Red Cross. We will collect and disburse our donations through our parent company Realogy's philanthropic arm, the Realogy Charitable Foundation*.

I encourage you to join us in our fundraising efforts and help those who so desperately need our support at this critical time. Click here to make your contribution. If you prefer to make a donation by check, you may do so by making the check payable to: "RCF- American Red Cross" and mailing it to:

Realogy Charitable Foundation
Attention: CENTURY 21 Disaster Relief Fund
1 Campus Drive
Parsippany, NJ 07054

With the collective support of our CENTURY 21 family, we can make a positive difference in the recovery effort. Thank you for supporting the people whose lives have been disrupted by these terrible disasters.

Sincerely,

Rick Davidson
President & CEO
Century 21 Real Estate LLC

*The Realogy Charitable Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) public charity supporting the philanthropic and volunteer activities of Realogy Corporation and its family of companies in the communities where we have a presence. The Realogy Charitable Foundation will distribute 100 percent of all funds collected for this charitable cause. All gifts are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law, and you should consult your tax professional to determine the amount you can claim as a tax deductible contribution.

Ordinary...Extraordinary

"Since most of us spend our lives doing ordinary tasks, the most important thing is to carry them out extraordinarily well." ~Thoreau

We are the most content and inspired when we live our lives with the intention for excellence. No matter what the task or interaction, strive to engage each with your best efforts. You won't always succeed and can find yourself less energized and even depressed when you give less of yourself. When we focus with intention to bring the best of ourselves to every encounter and activity, we create amazing impact and bring about our own satisfaction and happiness.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Healthy Dog Signs

There are several signs that may indicate a problem with your dog. It is important to recognize what they are and have your pet evaluated. Problem signs include a lack of appetite, decreased activity, weakness, changes in water consumption, not grooming, bad breath, sleeping more, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, trouble breathing, frequent urinations or bloody urinations.
Watch your dog carefully for any sign of illness. If you notice any of these signs in your dog, please contact your veterinarian or veterinary emergency clinic as soon as possible.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It's In The Doing

"The great composer does not set to work because he is inspired, but becomes inspired because he is working. Beethoven, Wagner, Bach and Mozart settled down day after day to the job in hand with as much regularity as an accountant settles down each day to his figures. They didn't waste time waiting for inspiration." ~Ernest Newman

It is in the doing that inspiration strikes.  You can apply this to any pursuit, creative or otherwise. You want love? Then love. You want health? Act in healthy ways. It truly is in the doing that we are finally inspired to be and do what we desire.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Exercising Your Senior Dog

Some Exercise and play is important to all dogs, including your elderly dog.
First of all, exercise helps maintain a healthy body weight. Being overweight may lead to a number of health problems. It places excess stress on your pet's heart. Excess weight on degenerating joints can speed up the development of arthritis.
Your elderly dog's mental health may also benefit from exercise. Activity keeps oxygen and other nutrients at optimum levels in the brain. The brain is like every other organ in the body in that it requires good nutrition.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Magic

"The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper." ~E. Phillpots

I truly believe the universe offers us limitless possibilities waiting for us to find a path toward their discovery. I believe it starts with the assumption the magic exists and the actively positive nature of our everyday behaviors and thoughts. I am always seeking to 'sharpen my wits' of awareness so as to see the magic as it appears. I have found much magic in my life and look forward to discovering more! How about you?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Town Hall Meeting May 19th

________________________________________

TOWN HALL MEETING
THURSDAY, MAY 19
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
OAKHURST COMMUNITY CENTER
39800 Road 425B, Oakhurst
Featuring Special Guest
CONGRESSMAN JEFF DENHAM

DISCUSSION TOPICS:

*Update on Federal Budget
* Update on Madera County Budget
*General Discussion on District 5 Issues

HOSTED BY:  Supervisor Tom Wheeler, District 5

For more information, contact Supervisor Wheeler at (559) 662-6050.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bass Lake Farmers Market Starts Wednesday May 18th

While Mother Nature may be reluctant to let go of winter the Bass Lake Farmers Market season kickoff tomorrow, May 18th, is a sure sign that summer is right around the corner.  Grab your jackets and head on out to Good Ol Daze for fresh fruit and veggies from around the San Joaquin Valley. 

Crisis

"Faced with crisis, the man of character falls back on himself. He imposes his own stamp of action, takes responsibility for it, makes it his own." ~Charles de Gaulle

It is common to look outside for the causes of a personal, organizational or community crisis. That path almost always leads to unnecessary and misplaced animosity. The key to resolving crises is to look internally and discover the actions you can take to move past the crisis, learn and evolve. Think of a challenge you are facing and rather than looking for blame or other external causes, determine what you will do, now, to make a positive move to learn from and move past the challenge.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Oakhurst Quilt Show

Saturday - 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sunday - 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Attendance Fee: $7

At this quilt show, attendees will have the opportunity to see more than one hundred, unique, hand-crafted quilts created by local quilters and fiber artists.

Featured Quilter, Lura Schwartz-Smith is an internationally renowned, award winning quilter, fiber artist, teacher, and author. Lura will be present at the show both days to display examples of her work and talk with attendees. See www.lura-art.com for more information about Lura.

Relay for Life

The American Cancer Society's Relay for Life will be held at the Wasuma Elementary School Track from Saturday 9 am till Sunday 9 am, for 24 hrs. Local residents will walk the track to raise money for the American Cancer Society and to raise fund for cancer awareness, services and research, for more information contact 559-658-6420 or toll free 1-800-ACS-2345.

2st Annual Antique & Classic Boat Show This Weekend

The 21st Annual Antique & Classic Boat Show will be held at Bass Lake on Saturday, May 14th. Sponsored by the Bass Lake Lions Club, the show will feature over 50 of the finest preserved and restored watercraft to be found on the west coast. The show is the annual rendezvous of the Southern and Northern California Chapters of the Antique and Classic Boat Society of America and promises to be one of the largest of the season in California.


The show takes place on the docks in front of Ducey’s On The Lake in the Pines Village on the north shore of Bass Lake. Show hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission fee to see the boats is $3.00 per person and all proceeds go toward sight preservation and other community projects supported by the Bass Lake Lions, including a camp for deaf and sight impaired children.

Bring your old eyeglasses, cell phones and hearing aids for recycling and get 2 free raffle tickets for the mega drawing.

For more information, please call Jim Milligin at (559) 642-3420

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Make Every Moment Count

"Ichigo Ichie" the motto in the Japanese tea ceremony which means "one time, one encounter." This for us is a cue to see every moment as special and unrepeatable; it banishes boredom since no experience is ever the same. ~Unknown

Today will only happen today. Will you treat it as unremarkable, going through the motions as though you have infinite tomorrows? Or will you recognize today and each of it's moments for the precious gifts they are? Be fully present for each encounter today and see if you can't find the magic in each. It is there if we only open our minds and hearts to possibility.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ladder of Success

"As you climb the ladder of success, be sure it's leaning against the right building." ~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

As we work so very hard to achieve our career and personal ambitions, it is wise to pause and reflect regularly to ensure the path we are on is leading to what we truly desire. The reasons we had for embarking on our path may have changed, and the end of the journey may no longer be a desired state. Pause. Reflect. Redirect if necessary and then move forward again with a heightened sense of purpose and passion!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Spring With Your Pets

Spring is finally here, and it’s a great time to enjoy the weather with your dog. If you’re the spring cleaning type, it’s also a good time to refresh your home and get yourself and your pets ready for the warm weather ahead. So, here are five things you might want to do for your pets in spring:
1-Make a grooming appointment. At our house, grooming means me giving the dogs a bath in the yard, and letting the cats tend to themselves. In spring, dogs might need an extra nail trimming, too, if they went on fewer walks (which can naturally wear down nails) during the winter.  Also, as embarrassing as it may be for your dog, it may be time to excise those anal glands.   I know, not the most romantic aspect of owning a dog; but still a point to consider.  They're no happier about this than you are, but better to get those glands cleaned than see your "Little Precious" scooting her hind end across your freshly cleaned carpet.
2-Get a jump on fleas. If you like to use holistic/natural products to treat your home, yard and pets for fleas, early spring is the time to think about getting started. There are non-toxic powders you can use to treat your carpets and even your hardwood floors, there are beneficial nematodes for your yard and even sprays for your pet’s bedding and your pet — but you’ll want to start using these products early in the season for maximum effectiveness. I have learned to avoid any of those mass advertised drops for fleas.  They tend to irritate both of my dogs skin and send them into a lather. Best to use regular baths, powder their bods and bedding, flea collars and oral medication.  If you notice fleas on your pets don't waste time in eradicating the little bastards.  Not only can they make your pets itchy and irritable...they can cause intestinal worms and diahrrea.  3-Make landscaping or gardening plans with your pets in mind. Did you know there are many plants that are toxic to pets? For example, that bright yellow flower that signals spring has arrived — the Daffodil — is toxic to both cats and dogs (as well as horses.) The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which runs a pet poison control hotline, provides a resource on plants that are toxic and non-toxic to pets. Don’t worry — there are many beautiful plants that won’t hurt your pet.
4-Do a spring cleaning. Spring is a good time to give your pets’ favorite items a good cleaning (it’s surprising how much hair can accumulate in the crevices of a pet bed) and to go through their toys and other items. If you have toys sitting around that your pet doesn’t like or play with — or even treats or pet care products you’re not using — consider donating them to your local animal rescue or shelter.
5-Get out and have fun. Spring is such a wonderful time of year. So, open a window for your cat to get some fresh air or take a long walk with your dog.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Courage

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."~Winston Churchill
True courage is shown both in the ability to continue to push further when "success" is reached, as well as pushing forward after a bitter failure. We are never done - and that is the gift of this life!

Bass Lake Fishing Derby and Arts & Craft Fair This Weekend!!

Get ready for the 31st Annual Bass Lake Fishing Derby!!
The boats are launched, the tackle boxes loaded, the soda and munchies ready, and Bass Lake freshly stocked with 1,000 trout (including the "big one" with the $25,000 tag!).  In addition to the grand prize there will be 150 trout worth $100 each and 849 trout worth $20 each. 
Registration is $25 for individuals or $60 per family.  Visit http://www.basslakechamber.com/ for entry forms and rules.  Not into fishing?  Check out the Bass Lake Arts & Craft Fair, happening in the Pines Village today through Sunday. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

59th Annual Coarsegold Rodeo is this weekend!

The 59th Annual Coarsegold Rodeo kicks off Saturday morning.  Make a date to check out all of the vendors, exhibits, great food and rodeo excitement.  Enjoy traditional cowboy contests, bull riding, bucking broncs, barrel racing, roping and more!
Admission:  Adults, $10; Students ages 6-17, $5; Children 5 and under free.
For more information visit http://www.thecoarsegoldrodeo.com/


Saturdays events: 
11 am  Kids Mutton Bustin' Rodeo
1:30 pm Pro Rodeo
8pm Dance under the stars
Sundays events: 
9:00 am  Cowboy Church
8:30-11:30 am  Cowboy Breakfast
12:00 pm  Rodeo Queen and Princesses Crowned, Grand Entry with 2011 Marshals
1:30 pm  Pro Rodeo, Kids Mutton Bustin' Contest

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Give Yourself a Break

"Be gentle with yourself. Be kind to yourself. You may not be perfect, but you are all you've got to work with. The process of becoming who you will be begins first with the total acceptance of who you are." ~Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

This beautiful quote reminds us to have patience with ourselves as we navigate our life's journey. Our lives and those of others around us are truly a process of becoming. Patience with yourself and patience with others will make all of our journeys more bearable during the darker moments and more remarkable during the joyous moments. There will be plenty of both!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thoughts from a Dumped Dog Part 2

A lot has changed in my life since I was dumped by my previous owners in August of 2009.
For starters, I grew up. When my new Mom found me I was a scrawny 26 pound puppy of unknown lineage. I have developed into a burly 75 pound bruiser and, thanks to a DNA test, know that I am part Rhodesian Ridgeback and part Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Mom and Dad were a bit surprised by my growth but have handled my sizable addition to the family nicely. I outgrew my hand-me down collar and now have my very own extra large collar complete with tags.
My Mom followed through on her threat and had my “Romeo parts” removed. I can’t say I was happy with this development but I have adjusted. I am pleased to say my bark is still quite deep and scary. She also had me implanted with a microchip. If I ever get lost the microchip will help people get me home safely.
I am still very afraid of riding inside of a car. I can’t help it; my legs quiver and my stomach heaves. I believe I am suffering from PTSD from being dumped. Mom and Dad have taught me how to ride in the back of the truck with my sister Bella. I LOVE to feel the wind in my face and let my ears fly!!
I suffer from anxiety if left alone for very long. I get nervous and start chewing and digging. Lots of drip line and sprinkler parts have fallen victim to my anxiety attacks. Mom and Dad think this is another symptom of my PTSD. I also have a big problem with loud noises. Death to all vacuums, chainsaws, lawn mowers, weed eaters, blowers, and tractors. Seriously, how can humans stand to be around this racket?  
I have become a very accomplished ball player and swimmer. I can spend hours chasing the ball and swimming in the pool. But my all-time favorite activity is snuggling on the couch with Mom and Dad. They tell me I snore like a sailor and fart like crazy but I think those qualities simply add to my overall charm.
Last September Mom brought home 2 little girl kitties who had been abandoned at a house nearby. Bella and I discussed this situation and agreed that neither one of us was very happy. The girls were kept in the laundry room the first few days but then Mom and Dad let them have the run of the house. They were given names, Blanca and Peezer. Well, they just took over like they OWNED the place. Lying on My couch, drinking out of MY water bowl, sleeping on MY bed, snuggling with MY Mom. The nerve of these cats!! But, the girls turned out to be pretty cool. They love to lick my face and ears and the fluffy one makes a great pillow. Like the saying goes, “If you can’t beat em, join em.”
All in all, I know I am one lucky mutt with more blessings than I can count on all four paws. I’ve mentioned this to Blanca and Peezer and they feel the same. The only way I can repay Mom and Dad is to show them every minute of every day how much I love them and to guard them with my life against all evil. I hope that, despite our happy ending, people who are having trouble keeping their pets will consider shelters or foster homes instead of abandonment. I mean, we could have been hit by a car or eaten by a coyote before our new Mom found us. We are the lucky ones. Lots of animals who are abandoned don’t get so lucky. Please, please, please, don’t ever abandon your animals.

Smile!

Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing." ~Mother Teresa
Today, focus on smiling sincerely and intentionally as you greet all the various people you come in contact with. It is clinically proven that when we smile, there are physiological benefits for us, it focuses us on positivity and actually creates the perception of being successful. Plus, smiling is contagious so when you smile you pass on those benefits to others! So simple, and yet all too rare. Make a difference today for you and those around you: smile!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Courage

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but the perception that there is much more at stake." ~Robert Morrisette
Often you know exactly what must be done to move forward on something important in your business or personal life. And you don't act due to fears of potential consequences. You wish for the courage you see in others who seem to act fearlessly while you stand still. How do they do it? The reality is they likely share the same fears as you. The difference? Their courage lies in their ability to understand what is at stake and move despite their fears. Often the first act of courage is simply to ask more questions, to understand more fully the context, and be able to move due to a better perception of reality. Then, if it is truly important you will act. Take a moment to reflect on something you have not done though you know you must. Start asking the questions to gain the context necessary to move. And then move!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Entrance to YNP Free April 16th - April 24th

In honor of National Park Week entrance to Yosemite National Park now through April 24th is FREE!!  This is a great time to visit our beautiful park and see the waterfalls.  With all of the snowfall through the winter the spring melt off is going to have the waterfalls THUNDERING.  Load up the kids, pack a lunch and head to Yosemite!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Conflict is Inevitable

"Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional." ~Max Lucade
Perspective, perspective, perspective... It is a choice we make subconsciously. It's time to wake up, be aware, and make excellent conscious choices. Be grateful for dissent and different points of view. They can be your greatest allies and source of creative thought when approached intentionally. And be conscious of the reality of the magnitude of the challenges you face. Usually the reality is far less tragic than your current perspective.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Century 21 Ditton Realty Launches Mobile Real Estate App to Search All Local Homes for Sale on iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Palm and Standard Cell Phones

Century 21 Ditton Realty, a leading real estate firm in Oakhurst, CA today announced the launch of a mobile app that works on standard cell phones and smartphones across all mobile carriers. The public can download the app to their phone to view all homes for sale in Madera, Mariposa and Fresno Counties.

Century 21 Ditton Realty’s mobile app uses GPS, when available, to locate the user and display listings in the immediate area. Users can also search by address, city or zip code to see property details for all homes for sale in a specified area, including price, square footage, estimated mortgage, taxes, features, maps, pictures and more. The “Refine Search” feature lets users select a price range, property type and the number of beds and baths to help them find just what they’re looking for.
Century 21 Ditton Realty partnered with Smarter Agent, the leader in mobile real estate app development, to be able to offer clients and prospects a mobile house-hunting app available across all carriers on standard cell phones and smartphones including BlackBerry, iPhone, Android and the Palm OS.
If a user has questions or wants a tour of the property, the “Call” feature within the app connects the user to a Century 21 REALTOR®.
Consumers can text DITTON to 87778 to send Century 21 Ditton Realty’s mobile app to their cell phone or visit http://mobile.smarteragent.com/c21/dittonrealty to download the mobile real estate search.
About Smarter Agent
Smarter Agent invented and patented mobile, location-triggered real estate search and is now the largest mobile real estate network in the world. Brokers and agents can private label and customize the Smarter Agent apps giving them a powerful marketing tool. CTIA, the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, named Smarter Agent the Winner in its Emerging Technology Awards LBS/GPS category.

Cleaning Up After Mother Nature

Recent storms have left some of our yards looking like we were struck by a tornado.  The sound of chainsaws and the smell of smoke has permeated our mountain air.  
To check if it's a permissable burn day in your area you must call the Air Quality Control District at 1-877-429-2876.  Additionally, you must obtain a burn permit from one of the local Cal Fire locations.
The following are burning permit requirements:
For burning debris in small 4-feet x 4-feet piles:
▪▪ Maximum pile size 4 foot in diameter.
▪▪ Clear all flammable material and vegetation within 10-feet of the outer edge of pile.
▪▪ Keep a water supply close to the burning site.
▪▪ An adult should be in attendance with a shovel until the fire is out.
▪▪ No burning shall be undertaken unless weather conditions (particularly wind) are such that burning can be considered safe.

Friday, April 8, 2011

More Snow

Mother Nature has shown her temper this week by allowing temps on Tuesday and Wednesday to climb into the mid to high 70's...then within hours slamming the area with another heavy snow storm.  More than 2000 residents are once again without power, more trees and power lines are down throughout the area.   So....will winter ever end?


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tolerance, Patience & Forgiveness.

Now, there are many, many people in the world, but relatively few with whom we interact, and even fewer who cause us problems. So, when you come across such a chance for practicing patience and tolerance, you should treat it with gratitude. It is rare. Just as having unexpectedly found a treasure in your own house, you should be happy and grateful to your enemy for providing that precious opportunity. ~Dalai Lama
It is easy to fall into the trap of anger and hatred for those who cause us pain or trouble. The choice is yours, however, to greet such circumstances with gratitude for the chance to develop skills of tolerance, patience and forgiveness. It is not an easy path to take but one which when accomplished yields immeasurable benefit.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Thousands Still Without Power

Thousands of Madera County residents are still without power.  Crews from all over California, Oregon, Nevada, Idaho and Montana are working hard to restore power by 10 pm tonight.  Click the link below to view the update from Channel 30.

News Story from ABC Channel 30

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sunshine!!

Oh my, oh my.  What a difference a little sunshine makes.  There's barely a cloud in the sky this beautiful Friday morning.  Of course colder temperatures accompany our clear skies...which means icy roads and treacherous driving conditions.  Deadwood Mountain (Highway 41 into Oakhurst) is slow going again this morning with two big rigs sideways on the road after hitting black ice.  If your headed to the mountains use extreme caution and be prepared for delays.  Power crews from all over CA and neighboring states are still struggling to restore power to area residents.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Shelter in Oakhurst

DATE: Wednesday March 23, 2011
TO: NEWS MEDIA
RE: SHERIFF IN PROCESS OF ACTIVATING SHELTER IN OAKHURST
11:15 AM – SITUATION REPORT:
Madera County Sheriff John P. Anderson, Director for Office of Emergency Services for Madera area is coordinating with American Red Cross to prepare the Oakhurst Senior Center as a shelter operation site.
The location: 49111 Cinder Lane, Oakhurst … located off Road 425B
Community Food Bank is delivering close to 40,000 pounds of water to the Oakhurst Community to assist families that have been without water due to the power outages from the most recent storms that have passed through the Central Valley.
The delivery is being arranged with Community Food Bank’s partner agency “Oakhurst Seventh Day Adventist Church.” This delivery will be made at the VONS shopping center in Oakhurst today.
All information about Warming Centers and Sandbagging can still be found by clicking on Public Notices on the Madera County website
www.madera-county.com
Roads currently closed:
Road 10 between Avenue 24 and Avenue 25
Roads currently open:
Avenue 23 ½ between Roads 15 ¾ and 15
Avenue 13 between Roads 29 ½ and 30
Highway 41 Deadwood leading into and out of Oakhurst

Yosemite is Open!!

Yosemite National Park reopened this morning at 7am despite another snow storm last night. PG&E crews along with power crews from all over the state are working hard today to restore power to more area residents. Roads are clear and the snow is melting quickly. Weather forecasters say to expect rain showers until Saturday and hopefully (fingers crossed) some sunshine on Sunday.
Although it's difficult to discern with the amount of damage caused Sunday night it doesn't appear that last nights storm took any more trees or power lines. Highway 41 (Deadwood Mountain) is clear this morning with no new mud or rock slides.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Update on Oakhurst conditions

Travelers to Oakhurst and Bass Lake need to be aware that power has still not been restored to numerous areas. Deadwood Mountain (Highway 41) today is restricted to one lane as Caltrans struggles to clean up multiple mudslides. Several large boulders (car size and larger) have been blasted in order to clear the road. Rainy conditions today are making the job of cleaning up difficult as more mud and debris falls onto the south bound lane. Expect delays of 20+ minutes to get over the mountain. Bass Lake is still without power and Yosemite National Park remains closed. Thousands of residents are still without power or heat. Additionally, Hillview Water Company, the main supplier for area residents, has declared a water emergency as several of their main wells are without power. Storage tanks are at a critical level, meaning that if power is not restored to the wells soon thousands of residents and businesses will be out of water.
Thousands of trees and hundreds of power lines are down throughout the entire mountain community. The sound of chainsaws and helicopters flying over to assess damage has replaced our normal peace and tranquility.