Friday, June 29, 2012



In 2008 we were part of a rescue with more than 400 animals from a hoarder. One of them was an emu we called Yoda. When we first rescued him he was wild eyed and scared. We spent months showing him he was protected and loved and took very good care of him. He finally realized he was safe with us and started allowing us to pet him. Throughout the first year we bonded with Yoda and he would put his head on our shoulder and we would wrap our arms around his neck and snuggle him and he would snuggle us. He looked so intimidating and powerful to newcomers, but he was always gentle, sweet and kind!
Yoda was amazing; he had a game he played with our peacock, Jewel. The first time I saw them play I thought that they were fighting. I was working at my desk in my office that overlooks the barnyard, so I can see all the animals while I work and I saw Yoda chasing Jewel around the barnyard and thought that it didn’t seem right. I got up from my desk and was about to run out to stop them when they stopped, turned around and then Jewel started chasing Yoda. It was like they were taking turns playing chase! They remained playmates for the rest of Yoda’s time here.
Yoda liked men more than women. When our animal caretaker came to work everyday, Yoda would see his car and come running to the gate to wait for him. Yoda would follow him around and be by his side as he did his clean up and feeding of the other animals. Yoda didn’t pay much attention to women other than cuddling, but when I came into the barnyard with my hair up he was all of a sudden very impressed! Yoda would run over to me and look at me like, “hay, whatcha doin?” He would follow me around and then sit down on his elbows and creep up to me and posture like he was about to mate with me. I would explain to me that I was flattered, but married and walk away. He ultimately would grab the rubber band and pull it out of my hair, exposing that I was indeed a woman and then he would lose all interest, as he threw the rubber band at my feet.
Yoda was an amazing ambassador with the at risk kids we work with. The children were always intimidated by him initially, because he looked so reptilian and imposing, but after seeing how he loved to cuddle and hearing my explanation of how he is so gentle they would gather around and pet him and stroke his fluffy head and watch him fall asleep. It would always lead to a discussion about how it feels to be judged and how unfair it is to judge someone else. Yoda was clearly different than what he looked like and so are most of the kids we work with.
On Thursday morning, June 28 we woke up to Yoda coughing up blood from his mouth. We called our mobile vet immediately and were told that she was not working that day. Then we called our bird expert and were told that he was out of town for the day. We kept calling as many hospitals as we could think of and were told over and over again that they did not work on emus, or that they were closed for the day. Finally we got a hold of one of the pet hospital we worked with in the past, that works on birds and were told that they were off for the day, but that the doctor came into the hospital just for a moment to check on some animals. She agreed to wait for us and to treat Yoda. We carried Yoda into the horse trailer after explaining to him what was going on and where we were taking him. We cooled him off so he would be more comfortable for the ride and were on our way.
We arrived at the hospital and got him into an observation room right away. As the office staff brought in an estimate, we gave them permission to do whatever they deem necessary to save our Yoda and explained to them that we never make decisions for our animals based on money, only for their highest good. The doctor gave him a shot to sedate him and drew blood to send to the lab. Then they started a series of tests and x-rays to determine why he was bleeding internally. After the tests were done, there was still no clue what had caused the internal bleeding, the x-rays didn’t show any foreign object lodged inside or any holes, etc.
Meanwhile we kept calling different bird vets to see if any of them might have had any additional suggestions or experience with Emu’s. We kept getting the same answer; there was nothing more we could do. We did get one vet that said that he could use a scope to look inside but not until the next day. We would have to wake Yoda up, keep him at the vets overnight, and transport him to another hospital the next morning to sedate him again for a scope exam and perhaps exploratory surgery. The bleeding wouldn’t stop though, and the doctors said that there was no way he was going to make it through the night, so they suggested that the kindest thing to do was to let him go. They urged us not to put him through more steps, that if he was to be woken up, that he could suffer a very horrible death. As I sat in the hallway and cried huge sobs of grief they let Yoda go. Yoda left in about five seconds flat; there was no hesitation on his part. It was almost impossible to get my body, heavy with grief off the ground to get to the car to drive home. There was a hole in my heart that could not be mended.
Arriving home was hard because I didn’t want to see the barnyard without him, I didn’t want a Gentle Barn without Yoda. I wanted to look inside the white fence and see Yoda’s funny ballerina walk and see him run, his neck and head going one direction and his fluffy body going another. I wanted to kiss his fluffy head and hold his neck up while he fell asleep in my hands. I wanted to whisper in his ear how much I love him. I want to tell visitors on Sundays how he is a distant relative to the dinosaur and he has dinosaur feet and have the visitors gasp in excitement to meet him! How can I host a group of at risk kids without him? I will forever expect him to be standing behind me to grab my hair band and let my hair loose, exposing me for being a woman.
Yoda was not just an amazing bird, not just an ambassador, not just a teacher, not just our partner healing at risk kids, but Yoda was our friend! Jay and I are heavy with grief, devastated and inconsolable. We are trying to find our way to the gratitude of having met him and the miracle of knowing him and loving him, but it will take time, because for now we just feel a big gaping hole in our barnyard and in our hearts.

Friday, June 15, 2012


Bet you have been anxiously awaiting for the next chapter of this story…….
First of all, I want to say that I never got that $1 charged to my card to start the stupid program that salesman from hell tried to get me to sign up for where if I liked it I would have to pay $29.99 a month after 30 days and I would get $100 gas card whether I kept the offer or not…..may still arrive, but I have my doubts.   Honestly, this is for the best, didn’t want that stupid program anyways and I don’t trust that that $100 in gas is free……no, I don’t trust anyone!
So my tummy tuck belt has safely arrived.   For inquiring minds who are dying to know…..the second belt that I was so uncertain of ordering because they never indicated if it was free or they were going to charge you…..well, they charged me for that second belt…..$19.99! (really?!.....the bastards!)…..well, I knew it was a gamble when I said yes to that part.
So the belt arrives.   I read the instructions and I watch the DVD.   On the infomercial they said you have to apply the cream and wear the belt for 10 minutes only ONCE a day (I realize it was 4:30 in the morning when I watched this, but I know what I heard)…..when you read the instructions and watch the video it is two times of day you have to apply the cream and wear the belt for 10 minutes (this is no biggie……but they have already lied!)
So I applied the cream yesterday and put on the belt.   I wore it longer than  10 minutes (you can wear the belt for as long as you want and it is accelerated if you work out) and worked out at the gym.   I wore it all day today.   You apply the cream and let it dry, then put on the belt and do these abdominal exercises they show you on the DVD for two minutes and that is supposed to get this thermal cream working which is what is supposed to burn this belly fat…..honestly, I don’t feel the heat from this cream like they say I am supposed to.  
And I want instant results…..I know I have to be patient and will start seeing results within a month, but I want to see those results and I want to see them now!  Maybe it’s wrong of me to be so impatient, but I had to listen to all that bullshit from those salespeople so I think I earned the right to be impatient.
So I will keep you posted on my results.   Until then……….wish me luck!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Adding to my HORROR…….TUMMY TUCK BELT (.....PART 2......)


So this evening I get a phone call from the Tummy Tuck Company confirming my address, telling me my order is being shipped out, and to offer me some stupid Program where I will have $100’s in savings if I pursue it for only $1 and then additional $29.99 a month unless I cancel within a month…..the catch is they give you $100 gift card for gas (REALLY!......very suspicious about this) whether you decide to stay on the program or cancel it.   So she transfers me to a different representative…...
He gets on the line and confirms all the info the first girl did…..(GEEZ, SERIOUSLY?!) and tells me about the same program she did with the free $100 gas card whether I continue with their offer or not and THEN he goes on to give me an ADDITIONAL program with only $1 cost to me and then ANOTHER $29.99 a month where I will get a $25 American Express gift card unless I decide to cancel it in 30 days!   Now I lose it!  
I told him that I did not want these programs!   All I want is my order to be shipped to me and to get on with my life.   He tries to continue with his promotion and how there is no obligation and don’t I want a free $100 for gas.   Okay, if it is free, I do want that $100.  So I agree to the first program so I get that free $100 for gas (we’ll see if he is telling me the truth about it), but as soon as I get the program crap, I’m going to call that 800 number and cancel it.   The second program I have no interest in at all and cut him off when he tried to talk me into that one.
I just can’t believe they are offering to give all this free crap away….free gas, free credit card, a fricking cruise to the Bahamas!......nothing is free in this world and everything is a trick!   I can’t believe you can’t just order something, purchase it clean and clear, without being harassed and having people trying to talk you into more shit you don’t need!   I loath salespeople!   I don’t know how they sleep at night!

The Tunmy Tuck Belt (...PART 1...)----TEMPORARY INSANITY or good product?!

PART 1...........

Want to start out by saying that this is honestly only the second time in my life that I have ordered anything from the TV.   The first time I ordered a straightening flat iron for my hair and I brought it to my hairdresser to check out, she told me it was crap, and I mailed it back… maybe that time didn’t even count……who knows?!
So anyways, I’m up at 4:30 in the morning the other day and I turn on the TV.   They are showing an infomercial for the Tummy Tuck Belt, Miracle Slimming System.   The commercial featured real people who were not models or actors and seemed pretty convincing, or is it only because  it was 4:30 in the morning and I technically wasn’t awake and rational yet…..again who knows?
So this is how the belt works.   You apply this special heating gel to your stomach, wear the belt for 10 minutes (it instantly makes you smooth just wearing it, no little bulges or anything!) then take the belt off and the heating gel is now activating and burning the fat as you go about your day.    You are supposed to see results in 30 days or your money back no questions asked.
I want to say that I am a thin person who has always worked out and I guess I look okay for my age, but I now have this little muffin around my waist and I hate it!   I don’t know quite when it happened, but it is there.   It’s a small tiny muffin and I don’t plan on it getting bigger and obviously I want it to go away, hence ordering the Tummy Tuck Belt.
I also want to say that I am not a gullible person, I am actually very suspicious and I don't buy into all these gadgets and other crap they try to sell you on the TV. For some reason, I really liked this product and it looks like it will work.......or maybe it is because it was 4:30 in the fricking morning and I was temporarily insane!
So the belt is normally offered for 3 payments of $19.99 but if you order now they will pay the first payment and you only pay 2 payments of $19.99.   Sounds good to me, so I call.
The phone call…….it is all automated.   First they ask you what size you are and that sort of thing.  Then they get to the payment.   After the payment is when it gets complicated.   They ask if you want 1 or 2 additional belts so you have extras if your belt gets soiled.   Sure I do, but do I have to pay extra?   I’m not sure, I hate not knowing, but I really want extra belts if I can get them for free….what do I do?    I took a gamble and answered that I want 1 extra belt.   Now they ask you if you want a lifetime supply of this magic gel that is supposed to burn off the fat that comes with the initial belt….um….that would be a no! They try to talk you into buying some fat burning supplement. They ask you if you want to buy this special eye and face cream (oh my God, really?)…..that would be a no (even though I have a weakness for special eye and face creams).   Then they ask you if you want to sign up for some special kind of insurance service…. (WHAT!)…..that would also be a no.    Let me tell you that every time you decline the stupid recording comes on and tells you, “Even though I value your decision, are you sure you don’t want to blah blah blah!”….REALLY!, I said no already!
So I go through all the questions and I answer them.   Just want to hang up and then the final words come over the recording, “As a thank you for ordering today we are going to give you paid 2 day cruise for 2 to the Bahamas, all you have to pay is some docking fee or something or other, please wait on the line and you will be connected to one of our representatives……WTF! I’m scared, so I hung up.