Town Hall Meeting

We attended a town hall meeting with a representative from the US Postal Service….

Burkett’s Post Office is on the governmental chopping block.  It was not a pleasant meeting nor a pretty one…we’re pretty possessive of our local PO and postal employees, and we’re pretty spoiled to having our mail securely delivered to a building 4 houses down.  It’s great to be able to buy stamps, mail packages, pick up packages and visit with neighbors we otherwise wouldn’t see.  That’s the heartbeat of Burkett…and the PO is fixing to pull the plug.

According to the postal dude,  our mail could be delivered to cluster boxes on the street and we’d keep our address and the zip code.  BUT…for those who have mail order Rx and medical supplies, would you want those sitting in a locked box on a corner?  And if someone vandalized the cluster boxes, they would pull the boxes and we’d have to drive to Coleman for our mail.  That’s 36 miles round trip for us and more for a lot of other folks.  Another option would be to totally pull the mail from here and have boxes in Coleman. NOT.  And then,  we could have an option of putting a box across the street and having regular “curb” delivery.  We’d still have to go elsewhere for items that wouldn’t fit in the box (holidays are coming…orders = packages, gifts, large envelopes).  That’s not a viable option.  And in bad weather…what about the vehicles that slide off the slick roads and cream the mailbox? 

According to the postal dude, our mail service is FREE.  Wonder what part of  the $56.00 box rental fee he thinks is free?  Even if we have the cluster boxes, we’d have to pay the $56.00 because we’re rural…my housing tenants in Coleman have cluster boxes and they don’t pay a fee…their service IS free.  Last time I looked, it cost an arm and a leg to mail packages through the PO….or to mail a letter, postcard, envelope.  NOT FREE. 

He was telling us about how the PO service got into trouble – and why they’re broke.  They used to be funded by our tax dollars…then they privatized and no longer receive funding from Congress.  Supposedly they were over extended had to “borrow” from Congress,but they’ve reached the maximum to be loaned.  Now they can’t pay the employee benefits, salaries, retirements, so they’re having to re-organize.  That translates into cutting POs and ditching employees.  They’re already cut the postal workers retirement and benefits.  They’re looking at cutting 200+ distribution plants (to include Abilene, Ft. Worth and possibly Dallas) and over 3700 POs.  

What does that mean besides losing our PO?  It means Priority Mail could take up to 4 days rather than 2 and regular letter mail could take 5-7 days rather than 3 – 4.  Who knows what it would take for packages!

Yep, the internet and electronic age have cut postal business, but people will always need to physically ship packages…He kept harping on the convenience of buying stamps online or paying postage for home package pickup.  What he didn’t realize is that not everyone has a computer and can afford internet (this is a very poor area), not everyone has credit cards to use online.  We have no cell phone service and our computer is through the telephone line of a very unstable little telephone co-op with antiquated equipment. 

Can you tell that I’m not a happy camper tonight?  There were 42 PO boxes represented there tonight and no smiling faces as he was talking.   One of the questions posed was “what can we do to keep our PO?”  His answer, “I can’t tell you that.”  He was certainly less than helpful.    He did say that within 5-7 years, the PO wouldn’t function anything like we know it now.

Sorry for the rant, but I’m really upset with his information…or lack of!  This isn’t the type of change that I like.

Susan ~ Patchkat




Stashbusting Report

Ann from the Sunshine Quilt Guild (a Yahoo list) issued a challenge to make 12.5″ blocks from her UGLY fabric.  I pulled 7 or 8  fabrics from the stash and went to work.   I cut the uglystuff  into small pieces, then made crumb blocks using strips cut from my fabrics.   I have 20 blocks that still need to have the frames sewn on and fabrics cut for simple pinwheels from the rest of her ugly fabric.   I’ll try to get pictures tomorrow night.  I have totally run out of steam for tonight.

  •  Yardage purchased this week –0 yds
  •  Yardage used this week   2.5  yds
  •  Year to date purchased – 19.25 yds
  •  Year to date used (goal 300 yds) – 193.25 yds
  •  UFOs (goal 12) –  4
  •  Charity quilt tops made – ytd (goal 20) –  6
  • Charity quilts completed – ytd (goal 20) –  24

It’s been fun sewing this afternoon.    I used a little stash, made blocks, rearranged blocks on the design wall and sewed, sewed, sewed.  A friend sent appliqued chicken blocks and I received my appliqued cupcake swap blocks…also found the brown and yellow strip pieced blocks that I made ages ago.   That’s the makings of 3 more quilts…definately a great afternoon!

Susan ~ Patchkat

ApacheKat ~ Update

The lab work came back showing a simple bacterial infection…something that antibiotics should easily knock out.   Of the 3 different antibiotics currently being used, 1 won’t touch this bacteria…but the other 2 should.  Anyhow,  there are 2 more antibiotics that this bacteria is supposed to be very sensitive to…so that’s where we’re at now. 

They sedated her yesterday and lanced the 3 abcesses to drain.  She will be injected once a week with the new antibiotic and given the other daily.  She will remain kennelled to allow the abcesses to drain and dry.  I’m not to be handling her to medicate while she’s still draining. 

I carried her special handmade cat food in this morning and Apache was most happy!  Among other things, it contains boiled whole chicken ground with Complex Vit B, E, fish oil, and Taurin.  I don’t make it often as it’s such a mess, but I do make a lot at one time.  I store it in the freezer in tiny containers.  One container is enough to treat a sick kitty for several days as long as it’s kept refrigerated.

Where did the bacteria come from?  Cat bites? Claws? Her chewing on herself?  Since she’s been inside most of the time since she had the kittens, he thinks it’s most likely something she’s come in contact with outside.  And it could be as simple as getting poked and scratched with the outside vegetation!   More likely though, from a cat fight or even a tussle with a raccoon.  Needless to say,  she has sealed her fate to being an inside kitty.  Think that will suit her just fine.  We will need to get serious on running the raccoons away.  We don’t need them fighting with the kitties.

I’m praying the new antibiotics work well and am looking forward to being able to bring Apache home later next week. 

Susan ~ Patchkat




Clara Belle’s first trip to the vet ;-(

Little Clara Belle has been sort of “off her feed” for the last couple of days.  I loaded her up when I went to visit ApacheKat this morning (more on that later).  Some quick checks and all they could find was a slightly inflammed bowel, no bugs, no worms, no fever, and some minor dehydration.  Some subcutanious fluids and some kitty pepto to soothe the bowel and she’s back home.  Clara Belle was a little trooper.  Even rode well in the van.  We’ll watch her for a few days and continue giving her the kitty pepto stuff for a week.

Once I got her home and turned her loose outside,  her brother, Bozo took over.  He wrapped a leg around her and cleaned her face, head and neck.  What a comfort…what a loving brother.

THEN….after a few more sweet licks and lovings, he decided it was time for a little tussle… Bozo wrestled and chewed a little, but Clara Belle let him know in no uncertain terms that she wasn’t going to wrestle.  Bozo left and Clara Belle settled down for a nap.



Love to watch these guys scamper and play.  Better when they’re all healthy!  Hopefully,  Clara Belle will be up to snuff in a few days.

Susan ~ Patchkat

God’s Promises

No matter how blue things seem,  somehow, God always puts a reminder in my path!  We did have a tiny, tiny little rain shower…not even enough to really wet the ground.  No run off at all…but how wonderful to awaken to the sound of rain hitting the metal roof!!!  How great to have temperatures in the 80s…and how wonderful to head out for work and to see this glorious rainbow!

The rainbow is one of God’s covenants made with Noah after the great flood…God’s Promise In The Rainbow. Genesis 9:11-17

From the van,  I could see both sides of the rainbow and it was so moving, I had to stop and grab this shot.  You can see the rain showers falling to the left and right of the rainbow. 

Susan ~ Patchkat

How can you walk away?

 ApacheKat is still at the vet…and it just breaks my heart to walk away from her each afternoon. 

Still no lab results.  Guess they’ll call tomorrow if they don’t hear anything.   The antibiotics aren’t really making much difference that I can see, she’s losing weight, and her coat is getting ratty.  She’s not really keeping herself clean.  Can we say depressed? 


The vet keeps telling me what a sweet lover girl she is…and all I want to hear is that they can treat her and make her well. 

Think I’m becoming as depressed as Apache appears to be :-(

Susan ~ Patchkat

It just doesn’t pay!

This is the scene that usually greets Ernie on his return from the kitchen…

As he says, it just doesn’t pay to get up for anything, lol.  Blaze, Fraidy and PB are always vying for the warm spot on the recliner.  Looks like they won this time!  Sorry Ernie :-)

I’ve been working on cleaning out a stack of accumulated catalogs, magazines, sale flyers and other trash.   I don’t know how so much junk can accumulate so quickly.   It’s only going to get worse as the Holidays approach.

Still working on the next quilt binding.  Think it’s number 4 or 5.  It’s taking forever as my hand goes numb after a few minutes of stitching.  Probably because I’ve been on the computer so much at work, then using those same muscles to stitch.   Carpal tunnel is always with me on the left hand.

Did some quilting over the weekend.  Need to finish the last row and the border, then I can load another! 

Susan ~ Patchkat