All posts tagged family

Merry Christmas 2014!

Published December 23, 2014 by glaumland

christmas2014Merry Christmas from the Glaums in 2014!  This year has been an adventure with lots of new experiences and new friends.  Tony is still working for Burns & McDonnell as a substation engineer.  This year he was promoted to Associate—what an honor.  He’s traveled for work to New England, Illinois and St. Louis.  Tony’s gotten a little hunting and fishing in this year, and he enjoys it when the kids join him.  He had a big garden again, but the temperatures were so cool this summer that the big crops just didn’t do well.  However, we did have some wonderful fruit.  Tony found a motorcycle that he just couldn’t live without—he’s once again an easy rider, complete with a cool new black leather jacket!  The practice where I work was sold to a new owner/veterinarian; I am really enjoying working with her.  jenn_hogJennifer is a sophomore at Basehor-Linwood HS.  She is active in choir and plays the cello.  Last spring she was on the track team and ran 100m and did long jump.  She and Tony went to east Texas last June and they shot a wild hog—yummy!  Jenn enjoys being in youth group at our church and they went to the Ozarks for a summer trip.  Jacob is in the 6th grade at Basehor-Linwood MS.  It has been a big jump but he really enjoys the changes in classes and activities.  Jake still like computers, Lego’s and trains.  He is taking on more responsibilities around the house.  He’s grown A LOT this year (which is reflected in the grocery bill!).  jake skiWe took a fun vacation over spring break to Winter Park for the kids’ first ski trip.  They’re ready to go back again next year.  I traveled with our church group in July to Germany as part of a Luther Tour.  It was enlightening and entertaining; I can’t wait to go back and take some time to visit those places again.  In November, we spent the some time in Washington County visiting our new hunting friends from Texas—we had so much fun for a short trip.  Our families are doing great.  Tony’s parents enjoyed having Terry and family home this fall.  His mom had her knee replaced and is recovering very well.  My parents continue to stay busy.  They’ve joined the Sons & Daughters of the American Revolution and traveled a little to visit family and do genealogy.  We still have critters.  We lost our kitty Captain Lewis this year (15 yrs old) and sold quite a few goats.  Jenn’s pony Smokey Joe will be 33 next spring.  We added many baby chicks and finally Jake is getting to sell some eggs.  We think of you all often and the kids really like it when we tell stories.  You can still reach us at or see my facebook page for more photos.

The Glaums—Tony, Deb, Jennifer & Jacob


Softball & Hotdogs

Published June 1, 2011 by glaumland

I’m trying to post while waiting for Little Girl to start her game. Goofy Maggie, the crazy hound, decided to hop in the car as we were leaving to come. She’s pretending to be a farm dog, out running around and enjoying freedom, because the baby goats have been imprisoned in the dog pen until the get too big to escape from their pen.
So Maggie is sitting here with me at the game, and being a really good dog considering what a clown she is. I’m going to try to get a pic of her with her new cool summer hard.

It’s Snow Much Fun!

Published January 13, 2011 by glaumland

Little Girl has a big day today. Her class at school is taking a field trip to go skiing. It will be her first time and we were all excited for her. There’s some hilly areas north of KC, so it isn’t like she will be alpine skiing or anything, but it is probably a great place to learn. I can’t wait to hear her chatter about it later today.

The kids have been out of school for the past three days thanks to the snow and cold weather. Monday was the only bad day really, but county roads don’t get much work done, so we tend to have more snow days than the city schools.

Our yard looks snow-mageddon with tracks and trails everywhere. No pristine snowy beauty for us! Then yesterday Little Girl and her BFF (who’s currently hobbling around with a bruised knee) decided to do some crutch-racing around the yard. How funny!

Little Boy spent most of his time inside playing with his Lego’s and doing some science experiments. It’s fun to watch and listen to him pretend, as that is something that is only recent to his development. Now he’s figured out the next Lego’s that he NEEDS, so good thing he has a birthday coming up, it’s something for him to look forward to.

I didn’t get as much quilting done as I would have hoped. Never do with the kids around. I did get the blocks done for the next baby quilt. I’m doing an off-set cubby-hole with a Noah’s Ark print for the center, then coordinating colors for the blocks. I couldn’t really find any instructions, so I’m making it up as I go. Hopefully it works out OK.

The fabric is mostly black with a stripe of animals down either long side of the fabric. I’ve picked up some color from he animals to use as the edges of the blocks. It will be colorful. And unusual, I guess. But relatively easy and fun. Now if I can just keep those kids in school so I can have some time to finish.

Until next time…

Bitten By The Quilting Bug…Prognosis: Guarded

Published January 3, 2011 by glaumland

I’ve got 4 great-neices that are due for some quilts (actually, overdue as I had planned to get them done for Christmas…now shooting for Valentine’s Day). So I have the fabrics picked out and now that I’m looking through quilting books and blogs, I’ve gotten bit again. I’ll have to work fast to get this thing out of my system before my next class starts on the 18th.

I like the idea of the Crazy Shortcut Quilts ( My BFF used their ‘quilt as you go’ technique, finished one we started and gave it to me for my birthday.

The crazy quilt finished by my BFF.

It’s funny, but with indoor lighting it looked very homespun-y, but in the full sunlight its jewel tones were sparkling.

So I’m thinking that some or all of these little girl quilts will have to use this technique. We’ll have to see what happens.

Until next time…

To Hear Or Not To Hear…What Was The Question?

Published January 1, 2011 by glaumland

The year is brand new, but the jokes are not.

Little Boy in his flower child phase several years ago.

Little Boy is in a phase where he is telling jokes. Over and over and over again. And now that he is reading better, he is checking out joke books from the library. So at least we’re getting a few new ones thrown in with the old. Thank goodness.

Tonight, however, it wasn’t a joke that tickled our ribs. Little Boy was repeatedly asked a question and he wasn’t responding (he was in the middle of playing with his Christmas Lego’s). When we asked him why he wouldn’t answer he said…

His hearing aid was turned all the way down! Guess I had better invest in a new hearing aid or at least some batteries.

Until next time…

A Blast from the Past

Published December 31, 2010 by glaumland

Around Christmas time (before if I’m really on the ball) I work on our family newsletter and try to get our website updated. I made it in under the wire this year. Whew!

We’ve had some free websites, which is good for a start, but they really don’t give you much freedom for expression & design. So I’ve been looking at some alternatives. More on that later (I hope!).

Anyway, I decided it was time to update my blog…wow! It’s been quite a while since I last posted. Guess life has been pretty busy or I haven’t had much to say. Yea, right…like that has ever happened! Ha ha.

I started re-reading some of my older posts. What a gas. I’m amazed at some of the things I’ve written about and by some of the things I’ve written. Question is, though, do I have any more words that just need to get out? Sometimes I wonder.

This afternoon I was doing some cleaning and organizing (ok, I was looking for something I misplaced) when I came across a journal I had kept for a few months a couple of years ago. It was when Little Girl was a toddler and before Little Boy was born. What a treasure! So many wonderful stories and memories that have already faded.

So once again, I’m back to blogging. And I’ll make it one of my New Year’s resolutions. It just seems that keeping these ideas and stories alive for my loved ones (and anyone else who cares to read them) is to important to let pass. Here’s a quilt that I made for my Dear Parents for their 40th anniversary. It’s a Block-of-the-Month quilt from when I was in Olathe Quilt Guild.

Kansas BOTM Quilt I made & BFF finished

Well, guess I should keep looking for that lost item…oops, I mean cleaning.

Until next time…

Where To Find The Perfect Pet

Published April 23, 2010 by glaumland

I was perusing the HotAir website last night and came upon this teaser: “I loathe my cat.”,1,2,2#cat0

Of course, that topic caught my attention and in a short time I was able to read the entire passage. I was so astounded, I thought at first that perhaps it was a spoof. But, no, it was the real thing. And that is what’s scary and infuriating. So I did a little more digging…

The title of the article is “People with problem pets must make their own peace,” by AP stringer Leanne Italie. It is an interview with 5 pet owners who don’t enjoy their pets, and gives a few snippets of facts from the AVMA on pet ownership & adoption numbers, and also interviews ASPCA staffer/phycologist and purported expert on the human/animal bond Dr. Stephanie LaFarge.

The first person interviewed is New Palestine, IN free-lance writer Amy Best-Boss. It seems that her cat is having inappropriate urination issues, causing this woman to state that she not only ‘loathes’ the cat, but also ‘hates’ it. Boss calls it a “stupid, stupid cat” and despite all her efforts (changing litter boxes, changing litter, changing types of litter, using sprays & giving medicines), the cat “just really, really likes to pee.”

Obviously the cat has an issue. It could be physical, perhaps low-grade cystitis that isn’t getting addressed. Or arthritis that keeps the cat out of the litter box. Maybe it is mental. Maybe there have been some changes at home and the kitty is a little neurotic. Who knows? These issues can be tough to pin down, but that is why pet owners, especially those with problem pets, should have a good relationship with a veterinarian who wants to help work through these problems.

What disturbs me however is that Amy Best-Boss has Bachelor degrees in Journalism and Socialism, and a Master of Divinity Degree with emphasis on counseling. For someone who has chosen a path of caring for the emotional needs of people, it seems as though she is carrying around a lot of hate for her kitty. And that isn’t healthy, for anyone in that family.

Next the article tries to make martyrs of people who hate their pets:

Still, many cannot bring themselves to dump their wayward animals in shelters. Instead, they pay sky-high vet bills for intervention that does not work. They endure in-your-face barking rants in the middle of the night or are startled awake by the routine hacking of hairballs.

I happen to be one of those vets, and no, I don’t offer interventions. I offer quality medical care. Can it be expensive? Sure it can. Unless an owner has pet insurance to offset the costs, what you pay in a veterinary hospital is more akin to the prices that you would pay without human health insurance. Actually, considering the service that you and your pet receive, you’re getting a much better deal from your vet.

On difficult cases, providing good medical care is just as much an art as a science. That is especially true when your patient cannot tell you what is wrong, and unless you can prompt the client to give good information with thoughtful questions, the vet may have to make assumptions based on past experience. That’s the art.

The science comes in with the myriad of tools that we have to give us information on the pet’s health, tools like complete physical exams, blood work, urinalysis, fecal exams, and diagnostic imaging to name a few. Since the body is a complex organ, and since there can be multiple health problems occuring at the same time, it can take some time and money trying to find the correct answers for a particular pet.

We’re then told about a 16-year old cat that constantly wants in and out, whines constantly, and likes to have his food stirred around in his self feeder. My first thought is, “Congratulations! You have a 16 year old cat!” And perhaps because he is elderly, he may be having some signs of dementia and not quite knowing what he wants to make him happy and comfortable. But I bet he would like fresh food given to him daily rather than to eat stale food out of a self-feeder.

We’re told that the owner of Kitty, the elderly cat, is looking for “creative ways to ditch this cat.” Stating she is “a pet lover, but come on,” she has started a blog for people with “pesky pets.” If you visit the blog, you find that they don’t just want to have the warm, fuzzy stories about pets, but the REAL stories about how pets can ruin your life. A pet lover? Come on…

Next we hear from Dr. Stephanie LaFarge, a psychologist working for the ASPCA, about how venting your anger about your pets can be healthy. Additionally, she says,

Some people like to think they love their animals so much they are willing to be victimized by them.

So now an “expert” is telling America it is OK to vent at your pet (which in my mind isn’t but a few steps from being verbally abusive) because pets are out to victimize people. Where do you even start with statements like this? And from an “expert,” no less.

First, if you have that much anger and resentment towards your pet, you both need to have different living situations. It is NOT NORMAL and it is NOT OK. Find help. Talk to your veterinarian, your doctor, your pastor, a friend, a co-worker or anyone. Secondly, venting at your pet doesn’t do any good. Remember when Charlie Brown was at school and all he heard his teacher say was, “Whaah, whaah, whaah, whaah?” (I don’t know if I spelled that correctly!) Pets aren’t going to understand a single thing you say, but they will pick up on the stress and the emotions, which will create even more stress in the environment and possibly more unwanted behavior. Please don’t go there, despite what this “expert” says.

Secondly, too many people try to assign human emotions and behaviors to pets (anthropomorphizing if you want the big 50 cent word). Animals just don’t think that way. They aren’t out to punish people or get even or show their anger. If pets have undesirable behaviors, it is because: 1) they don’t know it is undesirable because they were never properly trained, 2) it’s normal for them and humans haven’t taken that into account when they decided to adopt a pet, or 3) something in the environment or within the pet has changed and they are simply responding the only way they know how. Again, talking with your veterinarian is a great place to start pinning down the causes of the unwanted behaviors.

(I’m sorry if my prejudice against so-called “experts” is showing. In my mind, having training in the human psychology field, a love for animals and a paycheck from the ASPCA don’t make you qualified to be an human-animal bond expert anymore than my DVM training, 20+ years in the field, and knowing how to put on lipstick make me qualified to do plastic surgery. I wouldn’t even be so irritated by Dr. LaFarge’s lack of eligibility, if it weren’t for her obvious lack of eligibility shown by her statements in this article and in her posts over at the ASPCA site. Go check them out for yourself and see if you agree. BTW – my constant advice to people – donate to your local rescue organizations and not the national ones if  you really want your money to go to good use. Just remember, TV commercials and slick-page ads cost big dollars.)

OK, back to the article. Next we hear about Jellybean, a female cockatiel who doesn’t like to be held. In my mind, no big deal. (Until recently, I had a female cockatiel named Roxie who hated to be held, although you could tempt her out of her cage sometimes. She was a rescued pet, not a performing one…) That’s the nature of cockatiels. We find out Jellybean likes to bite if you get her out of her cage. Well, OK, don’t get her out of her cage. That’s obviously her safe-zone. But then we learn that the owner isn’t upset just about the biting, it is also because they have shut the bird in a back bedroom with no company, and Jellybean screeches on Saturday mornings when they are trying to sleep in.

(Warning: SNARKY alert! I just can’t seem to help myself at this point.)

Well, DUH! Of course the bird is going to scream. Cockatiels, like other pet birds, are highly social creatures who need interaction. Jellybean’s Saturday morning wake-up call is probably something like, “Hello, is anybody there?” (OK, now I’m the one anthropomorphizing. And the cost per word has gone up to 75 cents.) It sounds like the owners have made half-hearted attempts to find the bird a home, but that doesn’t fly with me. There are so many rescue organizations, and Craig’s List, employees at vet clinics/shelters, and students around; there’s bound to be a home for Jellybean. IF, the owner is willing to do a little work, and IF, they’re more concerned about the bird’s welfare than themselves.

Next we learn about Phil, a cat that lives near Chicago that has hairball problems. And apparently “hates” the owner’s toddler, running from her and hissing. The owner tried to covertly swap Phil for his brother Morty who is “smarter” and doesn’t have a hairball issue, but the in-laws gave him back.

You know, it isn’t just cats who run from toddlers, some people I know do it, too. Ha ha. But the point is, it doesn’t sound like Phil has been socialized around the little girl, nor she trained to interact properly with the cat. It does take work on both sides, and for the safety of the girl, this should have been something that was addressed before she became mobile with out-stretched arms and grabbing hands.

Poor Phil. I’m not sure what makes him the “dumber” brother – not liking the little girl or yaking up hairballs. You know, for all of the humor that is based around this subject (and I laughed at the scene in Shrek just as hard as anyone), it really isn’t something that cats do for their enjoyment or our entertainment. Vomiting hairballs may be something as simple as a cat that ingests too much hair and needs grooming attention from the owner. Or it can be a more serious condition that needs medical intervention. Note to owners: there IS something that can be done, but you need to visit with your veterinarian.

Dr. LaFarge jumps in here again with this quote:

It’s very hard, when the animal does something we don’t like, to say why is he doing this to me, when in fact that animal may be just being an animal and fulfilling his own needs.

I have a problem with this whole idea of “fulfilling his own needs.” You know, pets put up with an awful lot of miscommunications and misunderstanding from their people. When animals do something that we as humans don’t like, it probably isn’t because the pet has gone decided to join the “me” generation or is looking for ways to fulfill its needs. Most of the time, any behavior issues I encounter with a client have more to do with the pet’s response to what is going on in the home; my note-to-self – always look for the contributing factors.

Finally, the article ends with the story of Bennie the border collie. These kind people found the dog after it had been hit by a car. Unfortunately, Bennie’s response to being rescued was biting, clawing and aggression in the car. The rescuer’s even admit to wanting to throw Bennie “off a bridge.” But now the owners realize that they shouldn’t fault Bennie for being hyperactive because, in their words, “he’s just a border collie.”

Saving animals is a good thing, but people need to realize that there is some knowledge and training that you should have before rescuing an injured animal. Pain and stress can make even the most docile animal respond aggressively and injure themselves and people. And think of the terror of being picked up by unknown people and placed in an unknown car; it’s no surprise the way Bennie behaved. That is why people should be cautious about picking up strange and injured animals. Animal control officers and other people who are trained in animal rescue know the dangers of the situation, not just for people but for the animals, too.

As for Bennie’s behavior, it sounds to me like he is a normal border collie, very intelligent and very high energy. Can that be a problem for some people? Sure, if you are trying to put a square peg in a round hole. Again, though, it isn’t the dog’s problem, it’s the people’s problem. There are many ways to solve this issue, and talking to a veterinarian or trainer is a good place to start. Finding a new home for a rescued animal can be challenging, but it is do-able.

I think you can guess by this point that I really wasn’t entertained or amused at this article. Trying to create entertainment by focusing on problems between pets and owners is not helpful to the pets or the people. Behavior issues are real problems and one of the most challenging areas that veterinarians and clients face. What really irritates me though is the efforts to justify violence and neglect against these animals by their upset owners. There is no justification and it is not funny.

For those people who want an easy pet that doesn’t require much attention or care and doesn’t interact with people, may I suggest a Chia pet. True, you may have to water it occasionally, but other than that and a window seat, you won’t have the problems of hyperactivity, hairballs or screeching. (I’ve never personally owned a Chia pet, so perhaps I am being a bit naive on their care.)

For those people who have a problem with their pet, get some help! There is plenty out there, and if you don’t have a relationship with a veterinarian, talk to your friends, neighbors and co-workers – someone is sure to recommend their vet. Don’t let your issues or your pet’s behaviors get to the point where it is causing strife.

Let me repeat for those who are hard of reading – there is no just justification for violence against and neglect of animals. For those people who think that this is a topic to be taken lightly, look at the statistics between violence against animals and violence against people. That should sober you up.

Until next time…