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Chippy the Squirrel

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I have a special needs squirrel.

I don't know what happened to her, but I found her while walking my dog. She was obviously injured, unable to move the back half of her body, and trying to drag herself into some bushes using only her front paws. I took pity on her, went straight home, returned with a cat carrier, and took her home.
I'm thinking maybe a dog got hold of her. I really don't know. She was in pain (vocalizing it) and bleeding. I didnít know if she would live or die.
I called the vet and he didnít encourage me (clearly he didnít want me to bring him a wild rodent).
The next day, she was still alive and had eaten the walnuts I put next to her, and spilled all her water. I went to PetSmart and spent $150 buying her a ferret cage and accessories. She stopped bleeding (no idea where she was bleeding from, but she had left a few drops on the bedding).
Anyway, she was still alive several days after I found her. Mostly she stays on the floor of the cage or hides in her simulated hollow log house thing I got for her. She's absolutely terrified of us very pitiful.

I try to feed her a varied and interesting diet, including fruits, veggies, dog kibble, and nuts/seeds (her favorite).
I also try to put her FAVORITE food, walnuts, on the highest shelf in her cage, to encourage her to climb (my attempt at physical therapy).
Within a few days, Chippy was able to lift her tail over herself, squirrel-fashion. She soon started moving her back legs a little bit. Yay Chippy!
The first time I witnessed real progress, I had gone in there to check her water and put some walnuts on the top shelf. Before I left the room, Chippy scampered out of her log house, dragged herself up to level two, then all the way up to level three, in a matter of seconds! She went right to the walnuts and started chowing down, and I watched her trying to use her disabled hind quarters. Her legs were moving a little! I'm very happy to see that she may recover from her injuries. That means I can eventually let her go! Yippeeeeee!
This morning, I opened her cage as I do every morning, to give her fresh water and food. Well, she has chewed away so much of her 'edible rodent hollow log house' that it is not providing her with much shelter anymore.
She was startled and came bolting out, and I was startled and withdrew my hand, and she leapt from the open door and climbed up the side of the cage, and jumped onto the window sill. She is moving pretty fast these days.
Well, she had no idea where to go from the window sill, it is screened of course. I went to the door and asked my husband to bring me a towel, since I'm afraid she would bite me if I grabbed her, and plus I don't want to hurt her or reinjure her.
She attempted to get past me and fell to the floor, and scurried under furniture, with me and my towel in pursuit.
Long story short, I finally was able to throw the towel over her and she calmed down (maybe she just thought she was well hidden). I scooped her up and to my surprise, she didn't struggle or vocalize at all (she's usually very vocal and fearful) or try to bite. I faced her into the cage and opened the towel so she could see, and she went immediately back inside and to her log.
The bad news: blood on the towel. She's still bleeding! I have no idea what kind of injury she has, but now I'm worried about infection. I'm calling the vet again tomorrow.
And here I am, thinking she is getting around well enough to be released. I just don't want her to be doomed if I release her, and she can't find food and water, or is attacked by other squirrels or predators.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PHEBESS 6/17/2008 11:14PM

    Oh no! Poor Chippy! I hope she's okay! Please keep us posted!

And you are a sweetheart for taking care of her.

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TRECECOOKS 6/17/2008 9:33PM

    You are such a kind soul. I'd give my heart away to her and never be able to let her go.

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Why? Why? WHY????

Monday, June 16, 2008

I got up at 6 and ate two mini bagels with PB, and had my coffee and vitamins. I walked the dog at 8am. After an hour of walking, my stomach started growling and I felt hungry. Very hungry!
I came home and had TWO CUPS of yogurt with protein powder, wheat germ, flax, and a banana. It's around 10am now; total calories so far: over 1000.
ONE HOUR later and my stomach is GROWLING SO INTENSELY, I would SWEAR that I had not eaten a single bite. I feel STARVED. Not like, bored starved, or 'I could eat a little snack' starved... like you can HEAR MY STOMACH loudly begging to be filled. It feels totally empty, as if my stomach is sinking back into my spine (it's not, I just looked and it's flabby and pudgy).
I do not feel mentally hungry. I know it's not time to eat yet. I feel PHYSICALLY very, very hungry. As if I can't think of anything else, and I have to quiet my stomach.
No, I have NOT increased my activity level. If anything, I am moving slower the past week, due to the heat. And so far today, my dietary ratios look great.
WTF! This is SOOOOOO frustrating.
It's only 11 am.
I have a whole lot of mind-over-matter ahead of me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NOTBLUSHING 6/17/2008 9:01AM

Thanks for all the suggestions, sparkmails, and well wishes. As a matter of fact, TOM is here this week (intruding on our wedding anniversary, no less).
I went for a pedicure and shopping to get my mind off my hunger.
I did have a very high calorie day yesterday, but managed to stay distracted and not snack all afternoon. I was able to hold off 'til dinner, and had lots of grilled salmon and veggies.

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TABBYRUINZ 6/17/2008 8:52AM

    I know this suggestion is a day late.. I hope you got the Shark by the tail, LOL but I have found an easy filler-up in a frozen fruit smoothie. Frozen strawberries, blueberries, peaches anything on hand that is non sweetened and whirl it with crystal light lemonade. Just fruit and lemonade... but it is fiberous and icy cold...the kind you can feel all the way down to your stomach. It helps me during my 'Shark week'(week before TOM) when nothing is safe.


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MOVETHESCALE 6/16/2008 1:12PM

    It sounds like you know you body well and if its feeling hungry there is a need for something. You have the protein & carbs which if I lack in one or the other make me feel hungry. Instead of having that feeling of hunger, have some raw veggies with hummus or salad. Try a few raisins 1.5 oz box is 100 calories I believe.
You could post this question also to the message boards"Diet & Nutrition" for more suggestions.

Hang in there,

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TRECECOOKS 6/16/2008 12:46PM

    Maybe you really ARE hungry. I mean, people go thru growth spurts. . .

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PHEBESS 6/16/2008 12:46PM

    some days are just hungry days. could be anything - TOM, blood sugar changes with the weather, your body is working harder to sweat and cool you down - who knows. Make sure you're drinking lots of water if you are sweating a bunch, and go for lots of filling fruit (also has lots of water in it).

I feel forr you, babe!

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Ticker showing weight loss vs. start/finish weights?

Sunday, June 08, 2008

This comes from another message board post to which I replied. I found the question very thought provoking, and tried to express my motivation for which ticker I display.


I like to see my starting weight and my goal weight.
I want other people who start out at a similarly obese state to KNOW that THEY CAN DO IT TOO!

I also want other people to see that 180 lbs is not too fat for some people. You can look great and be fit at 180 lbs, and don't have to struggle to get where someone ELSE might be trying to, if it's not right for you. Not everyone NEEDS to be 140 or 125 to achieve a healthy balance.
While showing a loss of 20 lbs, 40 lbs or 60 lbs on your ticker may be very meaningful personally to the person who has lost it, it is not in any context. When I lost 20 lbs, I was still over 300. When I lost 40, most people couldn't even see a difference. When I lost 60, I was finally about the size of most female contestants starting out on "The Biggest Loser", before they lose ANY weight.
I want other people to see not only what I've lost, but the full context of my loss... and I also want to post pictures of myself when I reach my goal, so people can put 180 lbs into context, and know it's a healthy weight for me (and it might be for them).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHERRY822 6/14/2008 12:33AM

    I totally agree. I show mine because not only can newbies see it and know they are not alone, but because when I get off track all I have to do is look at it to see where I was and how fat I've come. That always motivates me to do the right thing

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WOLFKITTY 6/13/2008 3:46PM

    I agree! I love to see actual weight on the ticker so that I can get perpective of where someone is at, how they are looking. It's been really eye opening for me to be able to see so many differently shaped women, at different weights and adjust MY thinking of what my goal weight should be.

One of the reasons I show my starting weight is to give hope to other people that started at a similar weight. For so many years, I thought that I was the only one that was this heavy. But the truth is that we're NOT alone.

Thanks for providing such a positive role model for folks on SparkPeople! :D

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SMURFETTE0725 6/11/2008 10:00PM

    Fantastic blog, as usual! I love it when you blog!

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DAVENPLK 6/10/2008 4:25PM

  I have always kept my weight hidden. I have always been embarrassed about my weight, and I still am. Even thought I am no longer obese, I still will not tell people my weight. It is really silly.

You have really been doing a great job. It is a struggle to lose weight, and yes, many times people don't realize that we've lost weight. When we step on the scale, we know how well or poorly we've done.

I applaud you for wanting to let others know that it is possible to go from obesity to normal in our weights. You are an inspiration and definitely a great role model for SparkPeople.

BR>Linda emoticon emoticon

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LUCUBRATRIX 6/9/2008 12:50AM

    Total agreement! One of the things I really LOVED about SP was the ability to see what different weights ACTUALLY look like on different people. The only other information I always wish I had was height -- since you can see things like build and musculature from a photo, but it's missing a scale bar.

I am always happy if people post their BMI, too, because then a tall person can compare with a shorter person of a similar build, and have that, "aha, this is actually a totally great, fit weight per unit height" moment that it's hard to have looking in the mirror, because we can be our own worst critics.

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SECRETFUN 6/8/2008 8:15PM

  A very smart blog. Thank you for writing it (and many others I am sure thank you for your ticker.)

Comment edited on: 6/8/2008 8:14:36 PM

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PHEBESS 6/8/2008 3:09PM

    You are already looking incredible!

Big hugs, sweetie - you've done such a phenomenal job of transforming your body! And yeah, some of us are never going to be a size 2 or 4 - and would look terrible if we did!

So YAY for being such a model of the healthy, fit, normal sized woman that you are!

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TRECECOOKS 6/8/2008 1:41PM

    I heartily agree, which is why I do the same. I also have my eventual goal there, so folks know how far I have yet to go. Thanks for what (to me) is an encouraging blog!

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I didn't know it was called "Eco-Running".

Friday, June 06, 2008

According to SP articles, "Eco-Running" or "Eco-Walking" is when you pick up trash as you run or walk for exercise.
Unbeknowst to me, I've been doing this for quite awhile.
Apparently the #1 most common trash item picked up by people who do this is plastic grocery bags. The planet is covered with them.
Eco- running protocol demands that we carry these bags to a waste recepticle, and dispose of them properly. I have a better idea: recycle them.
Since I own reusable grocery bags, and bring them with me to the grocery store when I shop, I find that doggie doo-doo bags are in very short supply. Sometimes, I am pretty desperate for little plastic baggies with which to clean up after my dog. So, I've long since started scavenging those little buggers when I see them blowing around the neighborhood.
Today was a record day. When I left the house today to walk the dog, I took three bags. I needed one, and I came home with ten.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MIKEEO 6/7/2008 9:54AM

    I learned just recently about eco-walking and have been carrying bags with me in my jaunts around the neighborhood, people wave when they see me picking up trash along the roadway. Congratulations on the size 12, you have been, and will always be a source of inspiration...keep it Rockin Girl. emoticon

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SECRETFUN 6/6/2008 7:35PM

  good for you NB!

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PHEBESS 6/6/2008 12:17PM

    YAY for you for being an eco-runner/walker!!!!!!! And for cleaning up our planet. (I eco-walk the beach periodically - plastic bags blow in the water, turtles think they're jellyfish and try to eat them and suffocate on the bag when it gets stuck in their throat.)

It seems to be the day for garbage - DH is in court today, at a hearing in front of our local Supreme Court - they're defining "litter" and "spillage" and "waste" in a case where stuff fell or blew out of a truck.

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We Lose, They Gain Challenge

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I belong to a sparkteam called "We Lose, They Gain Challenge". Recently, one of our team leaders challenged us to post some personal goals. You'd think it would be easy, now that I've learned the power of goal-setting.
Today, I shared a triumph in the thread. Here it is.

Those pesky goals.
Those "one-day-I'm-gonna" ambitions.
Those "round tuits".

I have a few goals like that. They're always there on the back burner, waiting for me to get serious about them.
Well, I'm happy to report that I've been making progress on a couple of them:
1- less computer time, more outdoor exercise, and
2- an alcoholic beverage twice a week.

Don't laugh, those are really goals for me.

The first one, pertaining to the computer, is a serious health problem.
I became far more sedentary when my husband bought me my own computer. Prior to that, I'd been using the one in his office (when he wasn't in front of it), and nagging him to spend less time there. His response was to hook me up with lighting-fast fios and a super plush chair with wheels on it. That sealed my fate.
I started spending hours on end in front of my new flat screen. New shopping worlds opened for me, which was great because I was getting bigger than ever. I could spend the whole day sitting in my cushy new chair... and frequently did.
The second goal, pertaining to alcohol consumption, came about after reading a multitude of articles touting the benefits of a little light imbibing. Over the past 15 years, I've slowly become a teetotaler. Just remembering to buy wine, and uncork it at dinner time, has been a challenge for me that I never foresaw.

Folks, I'm getting better.
Not only did we have wine with dinner twice last week, but I'm back in the kitchen cooking again (to my husbands delight). I'm feeling courageous enough to risk the extra calories, and one of the reasons is the huge amount of time I'm spending outside, working and playing.
You see, my newly-built home office, beautiful as it is, just doesn't have the ability to suck me in the way my OLD office (a.k.a. the dining room) did. It's not conveniently located downstairs, beside the refrigerator and the television. In fact, it's pretty out of the way. So now when I go there, I go there to WORK, not to browse and click on plus-size clothing deals. My yard, which (I'm embarrassed to say) had fallen into disarray, is now looking gorgeous again, and strangers passing by actually stop and tell me so. For someone in the landscape industry, that's pretty big stuff.
So, I just wanted to say, thanks team, for helping me focus on these long-neglected goals.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SECRETFUN 5/29/2008 8:21PM


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PHEBESS 5/28/2008 8:37AM

    Hugs and smooches, babe - you are THERE!!!!! Healthy lifestyle, looking fab, moving and shaking your world!!!!!!!

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