Sunday, December 1, 2013

This time of year and what it means to me.....

MaryAnn Carroll
Good Morning, About a month or so ago, I reached out to all of my social network friends and acquaintances to help me furnish a room known as Mitzi's Room at the Central New York SPCA. This is one organization that I choose to donate to for my own personal reasons. When a request went out on Facebook and on our LMAJ blog for a set up like this, I got tons of positive responses:





I want to give a HUGE thank-you to everyone who helped. I came very close to the amount I needed to remodel Mitzi's Room. What once looked like this:



After a little work, while the cats took very little interest,




.... and the main builder my husband Bill assisted by my son Ben and his girlfriend Beth.....

and our grandchildren.....



...figured out what went where,


it was beginning to take some shape.






And thank-you to Nancy at Feline Snoozers for the many conversations that we had to get this right and for their very quick turn around in getting this built to what we wanted, as well as getting it shipped out in a timely manner.

I am the kind of person who likes to donate items needed rather than cash. I will donate cash sometimes if I trust the cause. In this day and age, you have to be so careful, since there are many out there who take advantage of the good will offered by others. One of the many things I like about donating to CNYSPCA is that they will actually share items needed on Facebook. That way I know what I am giving is needed and won't just go into storage.

The holidays are usually a tough time for me that I just push through. The commercialism is one reason I hate it, but probably my number one reason is that my Mom died 28 years ago 13 days before Christmas. It was sudden and she was only 53. The tree was decorated, the presents were wrapped and my first born son was only six months old. He was also her first grandchild. Our Dad had also passed away young, so it was down to my two siblings and me. It is now just my sister and me. For some of us, the holidays are not always filled with joy and excitement.  I do take time out to share in the joy and fun for my grandchildren, as I did for my own children when they were growing up. I guess you could say that I make the most of a time I could do without.

Today, I ask that you remember those who might not find these times quite as joyous as others.  One way I am hoping to make this time different is to encourage my own family to help those in need whether it be people or animals. Like anything that is new, there is a little controversy surrounding my request to do things differently.

There are a few exceptions to making crazy purchases with money that we don't have (if they choose to do it this way) and that is that buying or making handmade is totally okay and encouraged.

What do you do to make your holidays special? Has that changed over the years? I would love to hear what kinds of traditions you have.

And, as always, thank-you for supporting artists who create handmade with handmade,

MaryAnn

9 comments:

Jeanne said...

I LOVE this!I've never seen a pvc cat tree before. This is more an apartment though, isn't it? hehehe
Are these or something like them for sale? I'm thinking people with multiple cats would love to have one.

Keith@Vintage Crab Jewelry said...

I love the cat room! It's amazing how well they all get along. The design is wonderful, I love the cat beds at the tops.

Artisan Beads Plus said...

They're great! We had it set up in our house first. You can get them at http://felinesnoozers.com. They have a couple of color choices. The cats were climbing on them as soon as they went up! They would definitely work for people with multiple cats and they are made with indoor/outdoor material that can be easily cleaned, which is why they work out well for shelters too. We were going to try and build them ourselves, but it ended up not being a huge price difference and considering the time it would take, it made more sense to buy them. It is just a small online company that makes them.

Jeanne said...

Ah now I realized that the Feline Snoozers is the link for the cat towers. They have amazing products.

mairedodd said...

maryann,
this is just incredible! what you do is so inspiring, you and karen are such great examples of how people do make a difference. a moving and beautiful post. i have (shhhh) 5 cats who would be thrilled with this set up!

Michelle said...

MaryAnn,

The shelter (and cats) must be so happy to have these. What a fantastic product. I give you so much credit in channeling your grief for such a good cause.

-Michelle

Cory Tompkins said...

Thank you for doing a follow up post so we could see what you built for the kitties! I am so happy I was able to give a little to help out. My mother in law passed away on Christmas Eve 10 yrs ago, I was very close to her and I know what you mean when you say the holidays just aren't the same.

Patti Vanderbloemen said...

Always a day late and a dollar short, i missed reading this one yesterday! I gleefully followed along as you met your goal, and I could not be happier! This is totally awesome! I donate a minimum of 50 percent of my jewelry sales to a horse rescue that is near and dear to me. Since I have begun doing this, my life has a little bit more meaning. Bravo to you!!

Artisan Beads Plus said...

Thank-you for all of the comments and for sharing your own experiences :o) I think that anything we do (big or little) makes a difference. Patti, I so admire people that are able to rescue horses. I have always loved horses and used to beg for one when I was little. When I grew up, however, changed my mind when I realized how much work they are.
And.... don't worry, Maire, I will keep your secret! lol!

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