Scooter the Siamese Cat: April 10,1982 – May 4, 2005

I can't believe he is gone. Scooter succumbed to kidney failure on Wednesday, May 4, after a long, tough fight. Ann and I were with him when he died.

Scooter's grave We buried Scooter in our back yard, wrapped in blue velvet, under a Dogwood tree that he used as a scratching post. His grave is marked by three large stones.

Throughout the final weeks of his decline, Ann was his guardian angel, making sure he was never alone, feeding him by dropper day and night, and injecting him with painkiller when he needed it.

Veterinarian Kimberly Stagmeier made numerous visits to our home. She had prescribed a number of homeopathic remedies for Scooter over the last several years, which helped him live to a ripe old age. (Scooter had his 23rd birthday on April 10.)

Now there's a huge void in our home. Scooter's mischief and antics were a great source of joy and laughter for us as well as our families and friends. We are having a hard time accepting that he's gone, on several levels. He had been with Ann for half of her life. I met Scooter on my first date with Ann – I had never liked cats and he changed my mind immediately. He created so many wonderful memories for us over the years that will stay with me as long as I live.

I feel very fortunate to have known him for 14 years.

Landowners Choose Preservation Over Development

In the booming real estate market around Atlanta, land owners who take the money and run are the norm. But the Callahans have decided to preserve their beautiful farm land by building a golf course with no residential development.

The Callahans are willing to sacrifice instant wealth because they love their land. Apparently a golf course provides a vehicle for realizing some income from the land without destroying the beauty of the land. This is great news at a time when we see pastures and barns turned into housing developments and shopping centers at a rapid pace on the outskirts of Atlanta.

Source: Callahan golf course will preserve land | ajc.com.

Betty Callahan and son Matt are forgoing millions to preserve their land and build a prime golf course there.

Callahan owns 450 acres north of Canton that could attract several million dollars from developers eager to build in rapidly growing Cherokee County. But she wants to hold on to the land, which her family has owned for more than 150 years, picturesque property that includes pastures, lakes and valleys.

At an estimated market value of $20,000 to $30,000 per acre for residential development and $150,000 per acre for road frontage property, the Callahans could take the money and move to another paradise. But the Callahans say all the money in the world isn’t worth giving up their heritage.

"Anyone in the business world can’t believe we’re not selling to developers," said Matt Callahan, 45. "The whole point is to preserve the land. I grew up riding horses through these woods. There are deer, wild turkey, geese. It’s beautiful. It’s pure, pristine land. I could never sell it."

Located on Ga. 140, the property boasts a vista that prompts even the fastest drivers to slow just a bit to glance at the rolling green hills and huge expanse of sky. Instead of selling the land to developers, the family will do what few large landowners have done in Cherokee County — keep the land in the family and build a 250-acre golf course.

The Callahans will remain in their homes, which now overlook pasture and grazing cattle.

Most of the Callahan estate was purchased in the late 1800s for 50 cents an acre, in an area known as Carpenter Flats. The Carpenters and Callahans were dairy farmers and millers, and grew cotton, corn and other produce. After World War II, the cultivated fields became pastures for beef cattle.

The Dramatic Effect of Fish Oil On Learning, Development

FYI: I take a fish oil capsule just before I eat, after experiencing unpleasant digestive after-effects of taking it after the meal.

Source: mercola.com: The Dramatic Effect of Fish Oil On Learning, Development.

Fish oil — one of the essential foods in an optimized diet — helped 40 percent of kids monitored in 12 British schools to make dramatic improvements in their schoolwork.

Researchers studied some 120 British kids, ages 5-12, who were judged to be normal but were labeled underachievers and believed to have dyspraxia, a condition that encompasses problems with motor skills and coordination that frequently overlaps with dyslexia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism.

Half of the patients were given fish oil for three months, and the rest received an olive oil placebo. Kids who took fish oil supplements made about three times the amount of progress in their reading skills as did those who took the placebo. To test the beneficial effects of fish oil even further, the placebo group, when switched over to fish oil after three months, made the same progress.

Although none of kids participating in the study had been diagnosed with ADHD, a third of them demonstrated enough problems to put them in this category. After three months of taking fish oil, however, half of them showed so much improvement they no longer fell into this category.

Pediatrics, Vol. 115, No. 5, May 2005: 1360-1366

Guardian.co.uk May 2, 2005

Organic Lawn Care For the Cheap and Lazy

Why organic? Think about this: 

  • What effect do insecticides, herbicides, pesticides, etc. have on kids, pets, birds, earthworms, and other desirables that inhabit our lawns?
  • Can kids walk bare-footed safely through your lawn?

Source: Organic Lawn Care For the Cheap and Lazy.

Must do:

  • Set your mower as high as it will go (3 to 4 inches).
  • Water only when your grass shows signs of drought stress and then water deeply (put a cup in your sprinkler zone and make sure it gets at least an inch of water).

Optional:

  • Fertilize with an organic fertilizer in the fall and spring. I recommend the Ringer brand.
  • Have the pH of your soil professionally tested. Add lime if it is below 6.0 and gardener’s sulfur if it is above 7.0.
  • How much top soil do you have? See how deep a shovel will go into the soil. How deep can you dig a hole in one minute? If you have less than four inches of soil, you must add topsoil.

Summary:

    With these methods you will mow less, water less, never buy pesticides and have the best looking lawn on your block.

    A little side trip: Some entertaining perspective on why you should care about how you care for your lawn.

    Before my master gardener training I thought that herbicide use had a time and place. The training covered not only the time and place, but also covered the details of toxicity. 2-4D is considered one of the safest herbicides. A quantity of 2-4D that would be about the same as a roll of life savers rubbed on the skin of four kindergarten children would kill two of them. This is not getting it in their mouth, but just rubbed on their skin. My reading on this subject has exposed far too many nightmares than I care to share here.

    My closing opinion is that I can see no time and no place to ever use herbicides. Especially not for anything as frivolous as a lawn. I would rather have weeds.

via Treehugger