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Pets at Windemere - Please pass this on

Kitty Pirate
Originally posted by kylecassidy at post
I'd posted a few days back about the fire at the Widmere apartment building and the pet rescue that was going on. Things have taken an ill turn. While a number of missing pets have been spotted inside the building, in the windows of their own apartments, and in the building by security guards, the city is refusing to let rescue workers into the building and is scheduled to demolish it, with these pets still trapped inside.

I know the thought of someone taking a wrecking ball to my place with Roswell and the others still inside would be worse than losing any of my material possessions.

Time: Saturday, February 12 · 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Location 4800 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA
Created By: City Kitties Rescue
More Info One month after the fire, cats are STILL ALIVE inside the Windermere Court Apartments! Read more here:

Despite obvious signs of life inside, no one took action--not the owners, not L&I, not the fire marshal, not the insurance investigators who all had access to the building. Just two days after this disaster, fire fighters said there was nothing more they could do and no possibility that cats could have survived.

Now the Windermere owners claim that the buildings' exterior doors are sealed and that L&I won't allow anyone inside ever again--and yet a maintenance man, security guards, and insurance company investigators have accessed the building as recently as today, Wednesday February 9th. Meanwhile, the owners are moving forward with demolition, knowing full well that there are still pets inside!

If you think this is wrong, if you care about the cats inside and the people who want so desperately to get them back, if you want to let the City of Philadelphia know that it should never happen again...

Join former Windermere tenants, neighborhood residents, City Kitties, and animal welfare advocates for a peaceful rally and protest:

Saturday, February 12 @ 2pm
4800 Walnut Street - in front of West Philly High School, across from the Windermere
Bring friends and signs

Add me as a friend on LiveJournal, Add me on Facebook, Follow me on Twitter.

Dear GOP - the collective you are an Idiot

PIrate wench
Originally posted by ladyqkat at Dear GOP - the collective you are an Idiot
(Post originally seen in this post by [info]ramblin_phyl. I have been notified that it was originally posted by [info]suricattus in her journal post. The story and words are hers, but I do believe that it needs to go viral and that as many people as possible need to get their stories out there. Only by making a noise about this can we make a change in our society.)

There is a move afoot in the nation -driven by the GOP - to repeal the new health care laws, to protect corporate interests, to defend against fear-mongering (and stupid) cries of "socialism!", and to ensure that people are forced to choose between keeping a roof over their heads or getting necessary health care.

This movement is killing people.

Think I'm overstating the fact?

Ask the friends and family of writer/reviewer Melissa Mia Hall, who died of a heart attack last week because she was so terrified of medical bills, she didn't go see a doctor who could have saved her life.

From another writer friend: One person. Not the only one. That could have been me. Yeah, I have access to insurance -- I live in New York City, which is freelancer-friendly, and have access to freelancer advocacy groups. Through them, I can pay over $400/month ($5,760/year) as a single, healthy woman, so that if I go to the hospital I'm not driven to bankruptcy. But a doctor's appointment - a routine physical - can still cost me several hundred dollars each visit. So unless something's terribly wrong? I won't go.

My husband worked for the government for 30 years. We have government employee (retired) insurance. It is the only thing of value he took away from that job. His pension is pitiful. He still works part time. My writing income has diminished drastically. Our combined income is now less than what it was before T retired fifteen years ago. Inflation has diminished it further. In the last 30 days I have racked up over $8000 in medical bills for tests and the beginning of treatment. Our co-pay is 20% after the deductible. And there is more to come. Our savings are already gone. I have the gold standard of insurance and I still can't pay all the medical bills.

Another friend lost her insurance when her husband lost his job. She couldn't afford medication and ended up bed ridden for three months at the end of over a year of no job and therefore no insurance until he found work again.

It's our responsibility. All of us, together. As a nation.

EtA: Nobody is trying to put insurance companies out of business. They will always be able to offer a better plan for a premium. We simply want to ensure that every citizen - from infant to senior citizen - doesn't have to choose between medical care, and keeping a roof over their heads, or having enough to eat.

We're trying to get this to go viral. Pass it along.

My edit: I just received a letter that my Adult Basic benefits will run out at the end of February, so unless I qualify for Medicaid, I will be joining the ranks of the uninsured until I find a job that offers health care benefits. The cheapest "low income" option they provided was over $250 a month. When you have a chronic illness, things like this are fucking terrifying.

Going back to school and need help!

PIrate wench
I am (hopefully) going back to school in February for certification in Medical Front Office with Billing and Coding. I am currently unemployed and the school is a 60 mile commute round trip. I am running sales on both of my online shops indefinitely to stockpile some funds for gas money and other expenses, plus I'm going through an incredibly tough time financially right now. I lost the supplemental portion of my UC benefits at the end of 2010, which cut my monthly benefits received by $88. I have applied for food stamps but don't know if I am eligible or not (should know in a week or so). I will also most likely have to apply for emergency LIHEAP as I can't afford to pay my electric/heating bill. The UC is my only source of income right now - the soon to be ex does not have a job, has no income, and is not making much of an effort to find a job or another place to live, preferring to force me and his mother to pay for his expenses. I want to get the divorce finalized so I can get him out of the house (or save up enough enough money so I can leave) and move on with my life. Unfortunately, at this point, it may require an attorney to get that completed, as I've been trying for a year to file pro se with little success. Because of some complex issues, I don't think any lawyer is going to represent me without a retainer. Legal Aid does not handle divorce cases in PA. My house is also in foreclosure and a Sheriff's Sale is tentatively scheduled for March.
I also need to order a certified copy of my birth certificate for the application for federal funding (for the school tuition and expenses), and because I was born in NJ, an expedited copy is going to run me about $60 to obtain in time to complete the paperwork before school starts.

Jewelry, glass art, some kitty toys, and crocheted fingerless gloves are on the Etsy shop. The crocheted stuff and the cat toys will be transferred to Artfire when the listings expire. Use coupon code SNOWSTINKS20 to get 20% off your order.

My Artfire store is brand new and could really use some sales there to boost more interest in the shop. This shop features my uber-potent, 100% organic catnip herbal blend kitty toys. My friends have lovingly nicknamed my catnip blend "kitty crack," and swear that their cats that normally turn a nose up to plain catnip go nuts over these toys. They are sturdy and can handle rough play from a multiple cat household. My "research testing team" here in the household has yet to destroy one of my toys, while they immediately tear storebought toys to shreds. There is a storewide 20% off sale there as well - no coupon needed.

Custom orders are kinda iffy at the moment - it depends on what item you're looking at. Once school starts, I probably won't have time to do any custom work until after I graduate. Feel free to email or convo me with questions and I'll see what I can do.

Also, if you would like items from both shops, go ahead, place the orders, pay via paypal, then email me or convo me, especially if you have 2 different screen names for each site. I will then combine packaging/shipping and refund any difference over a dollar. If First Class shipping totals over $5, and the items will fit in a envelope or small box, I can upgrade the shipping to Priority Mail Flat Rate for $4.95 for the flat rate envelope, or $5.20 for the small flat rate box. Please indicate in your email if you'd like that option. I don't believe in upping my profits with inflated shipping costs. You pay what I pay. Shipping costs are bad enough without jacking them up. International rates I will probably have to email you with a correct price. Global Priority Mail is horrendous so I do try to ship those packages First Class unless you really want to pay the Priority Mail costs. A flat rate envelope/box is just under $14, FYI. First Class is usually much cheaper. Rates can be found at

I am also still running the Winter Charity Project through March and more info can be found on both sites.

And, I don't normally do this, but if you'd rather just donate a dollar or two, here's a button that links to my PayPal account. Even small donations add up, and I know money is tight for many people and buying things off the shops just may not be an option right now. If it will put you under financial strain to donate or purchase something, please, don't do it. A signal boost of the post will be more than enough and greatly appreciated.

Job Search Sites

PIrate wench
Since quite a few people are in the same boat I am, figured I'd post a list of the job search sites that the Career Links office gave me. Some you've already heard of, but guarantee there's at least a few you haven't. Will try to leave public so it can be crossposted.
Some are specific to PA but plenty more are national.

PA Career Link:
PA Civil Service Commission:
Commonwealth of PA Homepage:
Career Magazine:
Career Web:
Federal Gov't Jobs:
Federal World:
Food Service and Hospitality:
Get A Job:
Greater Philadelphia Hotel Assoc.:
Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance:
Help Wanted:
Higher Education:
Information Technology:
Job Circle:
Job Bank USA:
Job Information Center:
Jobs in Pennsylvania:
Journalism Jobs:
Law Jobs:
Medical Jobs:
Nonprofit Jobs:
Nonprofit & Volunteer Opportunities:
Part-Time Jobs: (Mostly retail)
Simply Hired:
Small Business Advice:

Career Links printed this out on 6/25/10, so if any of the links don't work, it's their fault. ;)

Snow Sale!

PIrate wench
Snow Sale! Use coupon code C2FFD6EBB7-08F3E14AC2 on Artfire to get 20% off the Naughty or Nice and Snowflake Kickboxer toys now thru 1/2/11. If you buy them today, that's 30% off with the 10% off sale on the entire store!

(post left public for crossposting)

Need help! VOTE!!!

Strawberry Shortcake
Artisan Socks is running a very cool contest on their Facebook page. People were invited to design outfits around their socks, with a budget of $250.00. The entries just went live, and the person whose outfits get the most votes, wins all of the outfits they designed. There are only 7 entries, and I'm one of them. Please, please, please, if you're on Facebook, please go over and vote, as I need at least 50 votes to stay in the running. Voting ends on the 19th, so there's not a lot of time.

Here's the link to the page:!/pages/Redondo-Beach-CA/Artisan-Socks/453716570051

EDIT: Please note - you will have to "like" the group page in order to vote on the entries.

The entries are listed in the comments section on the post: Contest Time!! VOTE VOTE VOTE!! You pick the winner!We will make 7 posts here each containing the wonderful and affordable 5 outfits our entrants made using our socks and clothes from around the internet all for under 250$. The set with the most "likes" wins the submitter all the outfits + the socks.

My entry is #1. It's also easy to spot because "freyasfire" is part of the URL on all the links. :)

They accidentally listed one of my outfits twice, so the missing one is further down in the comments, but keep the votes to the original comment. You vote by clicking on "like."

None of my clothes fit anymore, and I can't afford to buy anything new, not to mention that the cats have pretty much ruined nearly every decent pairs of shoes I have by peeing on them. Pleas e give me a great early Yule gift and vote, and please crosspost as much as possible. I'll even leave this post public so people can link to it.

Oh, and check out their website, too - they really do have awesome socks, and offer plus-size ones as well. :)

Thank you!!!

EDIT: I am currently holding on to 1st place, with a total of 6 votes. Please consider voting so I can keep the lead and get some much-needed clothes and shoes for Yule. Thank you!

2010 Winter Charity Project

PIrate wench
(reposting as a public post so it can be crosslinked easily)

Starting on November 11th (Veteran's Day), for every purchase of $20 or more(before shipping), I will purchase a skein of yarn that will be used to crochet either a scarf to be donated to Knit Your Bit (, or a small blanket do be donated to the Animal Coalition of Delaware County ( Purchases of $100 or more will earn 2 skeins of yarn and free shipping (shipping costs will be refunded via paypal)! All yarn purchased will be brands made in the USA.

If you'd like a scarf or blanket donated in honor of a veteran or a beloved pet, please mention it in the special instructions section when checking out.

First batch of scarves will be sent out on December 11, so they will be received in time for the holidays. Subsequent batches will be sent out either the 10th or 11th of each month through March 2011. Same goes for the blankets.

Knit Your Bit: "On the Home Front during World War II, knitting served as one more way Americans could support the war effort. The November 24, 1941 cover story of the popular weekly magazine Life explained “How To Knit.” Along with basic instructions and a pattern for a simple knitted vest, the article advised, “To the great American question ‘What can I do to help the war effort?’ the commonest answer yet found is ‘Knit.’” Thousands of Americans picked up their needles to knit socks, mufflers, and sweaters to keep American soldiers warm and provide them with a home-made reminder of home."

The current Knit Your Bit program provides handmade knit or crocheted scarves to VA Centers across the country. It was started in 2006, and so far, has received over 10,000 scarves from knitters nationwide.

Animal Coalition of Delaware County: "The Animal Coalition of Delaware County is a 501 (c) (3), non-profit, all-volunteer, charitable organization registered with the Pennsylvania Department of State that is dedicated to finding loving homes for adoptable, homeless pets. We are also focused on educating the public regarding the necessity of spaying and neutering pets and encouraging the humane treatment of companion animals throughout Delaware County and the Main Line and surrounding areas.

We are open 24/7! We are a virtual shelter. You can reach us any time, day or night, via the e-mail address on our web site or our phone # 610-876-1479. Our hardworking group is all-volunteer and all-foster, which means that the dogs, cats and rabbits in our care reside in the safe haven of a foster home until they are adopted, versus a cage like at a traditional shelter. We get to know our foster pets very well so that we can match potential adopters and pets during our screening and interviewing process prior to adoption. Being all-volunteer also means that we have very little overhead, so the donations we collect go directly towards providing veterinary care and adoption promotion for our pets."

I am currently known by the volunteers as the Blanket Lady, and have been told that the cats seem less stressed when given a homemade blanket to sleep on. The blankets are mainly used at the Adoption Center located at the Springfield PA PetSmart.

My Etsy shop can be found at

I also have a very limited amount of gift certificates available, but in order to list them on Etsy, they have to be for a designated amount. If you'd like one, please convo me on Etsy with the amount you'd like, and I'll set up a reserved listing for you.

****Signal boosting will be greatly appreciated.*****

So far, just with leftover yarn I have from previous projects, I have 6 scarves and 7 blankets made. I may even drop the first batch of blankets off early as I had a lot of yarn in holiday colors, which will certainly brighten up the cages at the adoption center. :) I would like to fill a good sized box with scarves before the December mailing date. Help me make some veterans feel a bit of love for the holidays, and give some warmth and a sense of security for animals waiting for a furever home. Thank you!!

Possible Temporary Foster Kitties

Broken Column
If neither Wayne nor I find housing right away, I will have to stay with my parents in NJ until I do, and I can't take any of the cats with me. Wayne can go to Florida, but he may not be able to transport what cats he takes right away. The ones I want to keep are my babies. Well, they all are, and it's breaking my heart to adopt them out, but these cats in particular are fiercely attached to me and I couldn't give them up even if I was living out of my car. Again, the post will be unlocked, but anonymous comments will be screened. Please crosspost. If these guys end up in the shelter system, I won't get them back.


Jastar is the matriarch of the herd at 10 years old, and since Wayne adopted her before we started dating, I don't really have the right to tell him he can't keep her. She is a sweetheart, and quite healthy for her age. In the photo, she is the cute black kitty snuggled next to Merlin. She will need a temporary home if Wayne cannot take her with him to Florida right away.


Bob is short for Big Orange Boy. He is a semi feral, and honestly, if I could, I'd rather find a permanent home for him where he can roam safely outside, yet still have some inside privileges. He is incredibly mellow for a feral, though it took over four years to get him to this point. I honestly don't know how he'd react around other people, so he may have to go with Wayne if a decent home does not present itself. I would rather he not stay in the neighborhood as there is a kid roaming around that likes to torture small animals (according to some other neighborhood kids), and we've caught him trying to come in our back yard a couple of times when Bob was sleeping on the step (yes we contacted the police, but they can't do anything without us finding out a name or address). He is also not fixed yet. It's been on the list of things to do, but the money just isn't there. I think he'll be far less territorial once he's fixed, and may be able to become a full house cat. I don't know. He certainly likes to sleep in the house. He also has a strange quirk - he only drinks from the faucet. One of the reasons he's sitting in the sink in the above pic. Go figure. We estimate he's at least six years old, but probably closer to double digits.

Diana, Dylan, and Didi

Diana and Dylan are brother and sister, who were adopted off a small farm up in Berks County. A week before they were scheduled to be fixed, we found out Dylan had a bit of a...fling with his sister, and his role as Uncle Daddy was born along with the litter of kittens. Didi was one of those. Her siblings have moved on to other homes, but she stayed with me. Diana came and got me when she went into labor, and insisted I stay with her as she gave birth. Diana used to be my shadow, and she still is, to an extent, but when Didi came along, she kinda took over. Diana still likes to curl up on my chest when she gets the chance. Didi gets the spot most nights if Gizmo isn't already there. Didi is also the only cat other than Bob that is not fixed yet. I will deal with that when I have the money. She gets a bit vocal if she goes into heat, but she does not pee on anything. She's just annoying. Luckily it's usually a quick heat, and fairly rare.
Dylan is a big goof, but oh so sweet. He gets along with everybody, but independent enough to not need constant attention. All three of them smile when you pet them on the head.


Anyone that has known me for a long time will remember that I had a cat named Lugh back in 2004. He was a tiny grey ball of fluff, and he was my everything. He slept next to me on the bed every night. He followed me around the house. He loved pasta, bananas, and I think even popcorn. He also turned out to be FLV positive - passed on to him at birth by his mother. He managed to live just past his first birthday before he went on to the rainbow bridge. I grieved endlessly for well over a year. I still cry when I think of him. His picture has a special spot with the ancestor pictures on my altar. mythandwonder was kind enough to paint a memorial picture for me. It was a tough, tough time. Then Diana and Didi came along, and things got a little easier. Didi came along a year later, and I was able to start healing.
Fast forward to June of this year. Wayne comes in to tell me that a neighbor has told him that there is a kitten crying underneath her porch, and as she is in her 90's, couldn't get to it. As I have told him numerous times that we simply cannot take in any more cats, I rolled my eyes and told him that if he went and got the cat, I was immediately calling ACDC to foster him. I was determined not to take in another cat. Wayne walks in, with a tiny grey and white kitten with HUGE ears. Oh no. This kitten proceeds to take to me like glue. No, no, no...... This kitten sleeps in the same spot that Lugh used to sleep in (and also on my chest), loves pasta with red sauce, and purrs like a Harley as soon as he sees me. Oh crap.
Do cats reincarnate? I don't know, but if they don't, this is one hell of a coincidence. Part of me thinks he might be better off in another home, as he's been making Didi a bit jealous, but Wayne told me that when I'm away for a few days, he sleeps on my pillow every night. I just....ugh. I just can't. I think he came into my life for a reason, and I can't ignore it.

So that's all of them. I will be much happier with this decision if they go to people that I know, that will love them as much as I do, and give them the care and attention they each deserve. With the temporary fosters, I will contribute to their food and care until I can take them back. I could care less what happens to me or most of the stuff in my house, but I'd never forgive myself if the cats are not somewhere safe. They are NOT just animals - they are my children, and I have to do what's best for them no matter how much it hurts me to do it.

The kitty post.

Broken Column
Making it public so people can link to it. Anonymous comments will be screened. All of the cats listed here will need permanent homes.
EDIT: I encourage people to link to this post. I really do not want to resort to taking them to shelters - I don't think I could handle that.


Willow turned a year old in May. I rescued him from one of the abandoned outbuildings at where I used to work. He was about 3-4 weeks old and had to be bottle fed the first week. He is now a very large, soft, and silly silver tabby cat. He has started calming down a bit since I got him neutered last month.

Merlin and Phoebe

Merlin is the big fat ginger and is approximately 6 years old. Phoebe is a typical tortie and is about 3 years old. If at all possible, I'd like to keep these two together, as they absolutely adore one another. Merlin lets Phoebe nurse on his neck. Merlin is a bit neurotic at times, but I think that's partially to over stimulation from being in a house full of so many cats. He can be a cuddlebug. Phoebe is very vocal, tends to be independent, but does like affection on her terms.

EDIT: Phoebe also made the homepage of I can Haz Cheeseburger back in April. I did not come up with the comment, but they used my pic.


EDIT: Odin is potentially spoken for at this time. 9/2/10

Odin is about 7 years old. He got his name from when he was rescued. Some of Wayne's coworkers found him in the Boscov's parking lot, dangling by his front paws from a pine tree. They managed to get him safely down, and brought him to us. What started as a underweight, very sick little kitten, has grown into a very happy, lovable, fat housecat. Odin is the sweetheart of the house. He welcomes all the new kittens and makes sure they're ok. He never hisses at anyone. He likes to cuddle on the bed and he is hopelessly addicted to catnip.

Athena and Akasha

Yes, they are sisters, both rescued from the Boscov's parking lot as kittens, living under one of the trailers. They are about 8 years old. Athena seems to be more human than cat, and likes attention. Both are a bit sedentary and have some minor skin issues (just flakes, no big deal). I'd like to keep them together if I can since they are older and would probably handle the transition better if kept together.

Moonstar (possible temp foster instead of permanent)

Moonstar is the oldest of the bunch at nine, and he might be another I just let stay with Wayne. I did not name Moonstar - the woman that originally rescued him did. She had rescued Moonstar's mother about two hours before she gave birth to a litter of kittens. The woman also happened to be a third degree Reiki master and supposedly attuned all of the kittens before she adopted them out. If you are not feeling well, Moonstar will come up and lay his paws on your head, or give you a back rub. I'm not kidding.
Moonstar did not react very well to the flea infestation, and has some scabbing on his skin. I'm trying to clear it up myself with wound spray, as I don't think it would be a good idea to have him put on cortisone steroids at his age.

I'll list the temporary fosters in another post - I need to deal with posting this one first.
PIrate wench

It's time we started taking care of the people who are essentially our elders and our scribes. Many of the pagan authors we have grown to love are unfortunately, getting older, and may very easily end up in the same boat as Isaac. This is simply not acceptable.

As Isaac put it: "Something that is perhaps more important than responding to one Pagan elder’s plight, however, is the now obvious and growing need to set up long term solutions to help all of us old coots who have worked so hard for this community. If we are to be a healthy and functional family of religions, we can’t just use up and throw away our elders, whether they are sages or crones. It is way past time to begin setting up Pagan Old Folks Homes and other Pagan charities all around the U.S., Canada, Australia, the Celtic Isles, and elsewhere."

We're all poor - nobody is going to argue with that. It rips me apart that I *can't* donate money to Isaac or other charities because it would put me too far in the hole with my own expenses. When I have it to give, I give it. Many of us feel the need to donate to disaster relief funds, but bear in mind that when a huge disaster happens, they have the backing of major groups like the Red Cross and other established organizations for a major part of their funding efforts. The authors in the Pagan community don't have that. There is no back up, and more than a few "famous" pagan authors have suffered through bankruptcy, homelessness, and astronomical medical expenses. We are quick to help people in other countries, but we hesitate when it comes to helping our own. We can't continue in this pattern if we want to survive. If the Pagan community NEEDS *COMMUNITY,* it's now.

Having said that, how would people feel about starting a non-profit organization dedicated to helping pagan authors in times of need? Isaac saw the need for it, long before he became ill with cancer. Would it not honor his life and his legacy to finally set up the system that he himself so desperately needed these past several months? Isn't it time we gave back - and took care of our elders? Yes the economy sucks, but this is the time when they need our help most.

In the meantime, if you have the funds to spare, please consider going to and making a donation in Isaac's memory. Isaac may be gone, but Phae is still here, and so are all of the medical expenses. The bills do not go away just because someone passes away. There is also a benefit concert in Piscataway, NJ, on August 29th. If you can make it, or at least donate some money, please do. At the very least, feel free to copy and paste this to your own journals, or write your own message. If we want to be considered a community, we need to pull together like one.

EDIT: I don't normally do this, but since this is something of importance, I am unlocking this entry. Anonymous comments will be screened. - JM