Volunteering, Kitty Cats, and a Ride on the Ice Bridge 2/19/15

Hi gang!  Is it C.O.L.D. where you are?!  We hit 36 this morning, but the wind chill knocked it down to 26.  Friday morning is supposed to be even chillier, and record lows could be set – according to our weather lady.  I know, I know.  Some of you reading this would kill for 26 right about now!  We watch all the weather reports about what’s happening up north, and we think about what you’re having to go through this winter.  Hurry up, Spring!

The Hortons have been pretty busy this week getting into volunteer mode!  Ted spent his first day in the Fort Matanzas Visitors Center on Wednesday, and I spent Tuesday afternoon photographing adult cats at the Flagler Humane Society.

You know how much Ted loved working in the Mackinac State Historic Parks Visitors Center each summer.  He got to talk, talk, talk about the history of Mackinac, and he loved meeting folks from all over the world.  Here at Fort Matanzas (story coming on the fort as soon as the weather warms up) the Visitors Center is very small, and each volunteer mans the Center alone.  A day includes greeting visitors, sharing a video on the history of the fort, answering questions, providing free tickets for the ferry which carries folks over to the fort, and selling books and souvenirs.  Ted has never run a cash register in all his 67 years, so that was quite an experience the first day – he got a quick 4-hour training session, and then he was on his own!

We’re both learning that living in a Florida beach town is good AND bad when it comes to volunteering.  It’s good because there are tons of senior citizens wanting to volunteer their time, and it’s bad because there are tons of senior citizens wanting to volunteer their time.  Finding an empty “slot” to work is difficult.  That is great for the organizations wanting volunteers, but having to get on a waiting list to work for free is a new experience!  I think Ted will be “on call” for a while – working when someone else can’t show up for whatever reason, and that’s fine – but he’s hoping for a regular spot soon!

When I submitted my application to volunteer at Flagler Hospital Flagler I was told there were no openings.  But – I got an email this week asking me to come in – slots had opened up.  So – hopefully I’ll be doing whatever they need me to do soon.  It’s all a process though – especially working at a hospital.  Lots of red tape – but that’s the way it should be in ensure everyone’s safety – so no worries!

Volunteering at the Flagler Humane Society is going to be my main focus – I think.  I spent three hours Tuesday taking adult cats – one by one – out of their cages into an empty “play room”.  I’d love on them a while, then put them down to roam and explore, while I sat on the floor and tried to capture a decent photo.  I learned quickly that photographing cats is SO MUCH different than photographing dogs.  You can get dogs to do a lot just by snapping your fingers to get their attention – or talking baby talk in a high, squeaky voice.  Cats could pretty much care less about any of that!

Beautiful Vincia

Beautiful Vincia – she’s a one-year-old.

Cute little Nala.

Cute little Nala – she’s one also.

Sweet Allie - a 12 year old owner surrender.

Sweet Allie – a 12 year old owner-surrender.

Maggie - watching folks walking dogs outside the window.

Maggie – watching folks walking dogs outside the window.

Love, love, LOVE this little 2-year-old.  He was Mr. Personality - his name is Crossfire.

Love, love, LOVE this little 2-year-old. She was Miss Personality – her name is Crossfire.

Ying Ying.

Ying Ying – seven months old.

I’m learning a lot about photography by doing this, but there is so much I don’t know.  There are literally dozens of black cats at the shelter, and trying to get a good photo -showing their personality – is very hard.  Studying up on this!

In case you’re wondering why I didn’t photograph dogs my first day:  1) I have to find someone to get the dog out of the kennel and take it outside.  I learned VERY fast I couldn’t handle even a medium size dog very well even on a potty walk – and trying to get a good photograph is going to require two people each time – one to walk the dog and me to take the photos  2)  It was raining on Tuesday.

I don’t think I even have to mention this, but I will anyway.  If any of the kitties or pooches you see here over the next few months reaches into your heart – and you realize you can’t live without it – just let me know!  I’ll be glad to get you in touch with the right person to start the ball rolling toward you giving one of these beautiful creatures a forever home!


This afternoon I received an email from a buddy who included a very recent video of a snowmobile ride from St. Ignace to the island on the ice bridge.  I settled back into my comfy chair and escaped to my magical island via this video and the beautiful music that accompanies it.  Thanks to Cal Kladder for sharing this Tony Baiardi (Images By Anthony) video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pa8xzS_VqCd&sns=em

Have a great rest of the week, and I’ll see you back here – good Lord willing – on Sunday.

God bless.

10 thoughts on “Volunteering, Kitty Cats, and a Ride on the Ice Bridge 2/19/15

  1. Those sure are some cute kitties and if I could, I’d take them all. You did a great job taking their pictures Brenda. Cats are not the easiest to get good pictures off. Believe me, I know. Glad that Ted got his volunteer job and I’m sure he will become a pro at that cash register before long. 😉
    Yes, the weather has been rediculous. I heard this morning on the radio that we have not been above freezing since Feb. 11th and probably won’t be till about the second week of March. 😦 Bummer. Where are you SPRING!


    • I had my first snowmobile ride on Mackinac during a winter visit, Pam. I even got to drive it . . . for about two minutes! A few years later, during another winter visit, I got to ride along with friends for a much longer trip all over the island – NOT across the ice bridge though. Just don’t know if I’d ever be brave enough for that!


  2. So happy you and Ted are getting busy with your volunteering and loved all the nice photos of the kitty’s! It’s funny how black cats and black dogs are the last to be adopted just because of their color. Hope there are many adoptions in the near future. Good job Brenda!

    Loved the trip across the ice bridge. I wondered how the ice looked and if it was passable once getting closer to the island with all the jagged ice pictures I’ve seen on MINV’s, but they’ve figured out how to move through and around it. Thanks for the ride!

    Well, we’re still in the deep freeze in Wisconsin, so definitely will be anxious for Spring. When it does warm up down there, send it our way. Take care and enjoy the volunteering!


  3. Your kitty pictures are purrfect! But seriously, they are! I had a kitty for 20 years and never got pics as good as yours. I especially loved Nala’s picture. Yes, I am a cat person! You will be a great asset to the humane society. It is cold here in Michigan, 5° for a high today and it’s supposed to be a -12° tonight. But the sun was shining today and if you bundle up, there’s no problem. I do feel bad for people who have to work outside though. I am looking forward to spring! Thank you for the Ice Bridge video. That looked like a very cold trip.


  4. My Grampa used to tell me a story about how cats get their colors, and seeing that picture of Crossfire reminded me of it. He said that cats are all white, and then God paints them with colors, depending on his mood and the personality of the cat. Some, he finishes in time and are solid colors, and some “ding ding ding” Coffee break! And that is why Crossfire looks like he has a black handprint on him:)

    Wow, that was a flashback story from the 70s that I haven’t thought of in a long time!

    As always, enjoying your stories:)


  5. Brenda,

    I’m so glad you & Ted have been selected for the volunteer “jobs”. I guess that’s what is meant by an oxymoron. Being the people persons and animal persons that both of you are you will soon be indispensable.

    I would love to be on the back of one of those snow mobiles making the ice bridge crossing. I think I would need to have someone properly dress me though so I didn’t freeze to death. Speaking of freezing, it would be easy to do tonight. My thermometer reads -11 right now before 9:30 PM. I think I’ll just go ahead and blame Hilde for that. I’m sure she sent it on east from her house in Illinois. Faye & I went into town this morning to run a few errands and while we were putting groceries in the trunk of the car, we just about froze our faces. Oh well, as unlikely as it seems now, our lilacs will probably be blooming in about three months or less, and although I really don’t want to wait that long, I will.

    Stefanie, thank you for that little story. I had not heard that before. Aren’t imaginations great, especially for grandparents and grandchildren. I still remember a few of the stories my grandmothers told my brother and me.


  6. Love the photos of the cats. You might try a feather, or a sparkly thingy on a stick (cat toy) to get their attention. Judges at cat shows do that, to see if they pay attention and are curious. But it looks like you did a great job on your own!
    We must be close to Michigan Pam – our predicted temps are the same. Supposed to break cold records for two days. . . .Frankly, I don’t see the need to break any records. It’s cold enough, already! Enjoy your 26 – we’ll get back up there next week or so. 🙂


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