Rescue Journal

decisions, decisions, decisions.....

Carol  ·  May 12, 2008

we are fast approaching that very special june day when the incredibly generous and kind spectra energy staff and their families come here to build some needed project to help us care for the animals....they built our shavings bin 2 years ago and last year, the giant barn animal weather shelter that we partially closed in later to make the new barn. they are coming again this year and we have to pick our next project.

so far our "in holding pattern" projects include:

a roof for the shavings bin

a free standing roofed hay feeder for the field

an enclosed outdoor feline cat porch for the FeLV guys
or a proper memorial garden area for the saints that have passed away.

the project needs to be completed in one 6 hour hard work day (they send ALOT of people to help) and the materials cost around $3000 which their company donates.

so now i have to decide which ones are realistic time wise, which ones fit the budget, which ones will benefit the animals, which ones will help in caring for the animals, which ones will be fun and rewarding for the spectra staff to complete and then i have to pick one.
whaaaa, i don't know! help!



Too strange Carol... I was thinking of the same spot , for the same reasons & I love the idea of hand painted stones !!!


i thought about that but have decided against it for a couple of reasons...i did want it down by the pond cuz that is the dogs favorite place and murphy and wee hopeful bug are buried down there, plus all of the ashes we have scattered, we scattered in the bottom field.

BUT....we cannot afford to lose one square foot of grass or grazing or running space and i wanted an area fenced and separate from the rest of the busy world around here. i wanted a place to disappear from the real world and just remember those that passed from here. and i cannot steal from those that still are here for those that have passed.

SOOO....where do we have unused land? there is only one place i could find....there are some huge plus's to my choice of placement and there are some down sides that will have to be minimized by the design itself...but i talked to greg today and he helped me see that it can reasonably be done. so...the memorial garden will be in the fenced and over grown area near the road.

i can see will be private and peaceful...and i am thinking of handpainting small stones for each lost saint so we can once again hold them close in our hands.


I'm glad too ... I spent some time in the In Memory section in the photo gallery ... I'd was sad to realize that I'd forgotten some of those that have passed... a couple of them I had to struggle to find their name in my head...

So I'm hoping we have a way to have their names somewhere too !!

On Sunday Mornings at 9:45 the Abbey rings their bells, I can't wait to be sitting in the garden , sipping my Bailey's & coffee & visiting with old friends. Thanks Spectra for zeroing in on the Memorial Garden.


I'm glad the Spectra volunteers chose to work on the memorial garden. It was my favorite one, and just think of the lovely tribute it would be to the past SAINTS.


At Mountainview Cemetery in Vancouver, there is a newly established "Memory Garden" type area that was designed to recognize infants who were stillborn, or died very young. It was built in a dry creek bed and is heartbreaking and beautiful in its simplicity and grace. It is a small memorial, but people seem to be drawn to it. I'll take some photographs so that those of you who rarely, or never get to Vancouver can see how lovely and appropriate it truly is.


well...i gave the spectra folks a voice in this too, and i just got an email that says they would like to work on the memorial garden this now i have to decide where it should go and start planning it out.
OMG!!!! i am not creative, i can plan functionally but not artistically....this can not be one of my multipurpose, how many ways can you use this, duality projects.

and i promise before the summer of 2008 is over..., the shavings bin will get a roof ( we will buy a proper tarp until then), the americats will get a porch, jesse will get her own play yard....... and the barn guys will eventually get another feeder but maybe next year instead.


All of the suggestions are great and while I would love for the Americats to be able to go outside it sounds like there is a lot of work to be done before the walls go up. What I don't hear many suggesting is the cemetery. How many residents of SAINTS have passed this year alone? How cherished are their memories and their memorials? How many residents does SAINTS currently have? If the cemetery is the chosen project the benefit may not be immediately seen, but how about knowing that everyone is planned for? How about having a place that is built around the serenity, grieving, and celebrating of life that goes on by those left behind. I can't be there but my vote is for a lasting legacy and thought and planning for those still here. In life and in death SAINTS are cared for.


Just a thought, but could there not be a way to cover the shavings bin and create a sheltered hay feeder all in one fell swoop? Does the shavings bin require an actual roof, or would a large,free standing, sloped shelter keep the shavings dry? If so, could the hay feeder and shavings shelter not be one very big,long free standing structure? Is there room for the hay feeder right next to the shavings bin? Is it feasible at all, and could it be done for $3000?

I'm all for the Americats having an enclosed outside yard, but it sounds like the cost, in time and funds, just to get the prep work done, is insurmountable this year. But then again, who knows? Carol, you do have a way of getting things done, against all reasonable odds, so nothing is impossible.


One consideration might be which things require building permits and which do not - especially since building permits take time (and therefore might not be available by June, especially if any variance is needed) and cost money (which cuts into what is spent on the project).
Any enclosed structure (roof and walls) requires a building permit, even if it is just building onto an existing structure. For example, closing in a carport requires a building permit. I don't know if this would apply to any of the projects under consideration.
A "pole barn" type structure (eg. a roof held up with uprights, but no walls) does not require a building permit.

I add this from the voice of experience - having seen a relative get nailed on this issue once. The fine was hefty enough that he could no longer afford to close in the carport! And he had to demolish everything he had done, and forfeit the lumber.

Just food for thought.


I think the roof for the shavings bin or the free standing roofed hay feeder would be better ideas for them because i also think the outdoor cat porch would be too big of a project.


they will get their porch this summer for sure...but it is a pretty big project with lots of prep work prior to the actual building of it...including fixing up the siding and foundation, jack hammering out the existing cement steps that are in the way, leveling the new porch area and pouring a new cement pad, putting a new door in, cementing in the posts...and then the cat porch can actually be built...that is alot for us to do and pay for before mid june when spectra can come in and frame/wire/roof the actual cat porch itself.

see? this is why it is so hard to decide...the cats need a porch but can we get done what we need to get done in the next month so they can have one in june...i don't know.
i think it might be too much of a rush and a money crunch to get there in time.


Of course we all know my wishes... but the cat run would probably be do-able in a day & the roof for the shavings bin probably not. I'd like to explore Greg's idea a bit more & perhaps we can accomplish that on work-party day... which Nicole & I still have to pin a date down.

I have no computer at home right now.. so just used my lunch ( at 8 o'clock in the morning ) to catch up on the Blog ... hope I get my computer back soon.

Eva Stock

Hi Carol;

I think the best bet is whatever one lightens your workload especially in the winter and I agree the cats would be extremely happy, but you must consider the main worker, caregiver, and full time nurse in the equasion. You will figure it out. Eva


"an enclosed outdoor feline cat porch for the FeLV guys"
They need to feel the sun on their bodies, it's good for them mentally and physically.(says someone that loves sitting in the warm sunlight)

Francesca Wilson

Carol my vote would be for an outside place for the cats. Any ideas of a date yet - Don and I would like to help.


The catio Carol for the FeLV guys! Do the catio! The catio! They would LOVE it for the summer.