15% Discount

Lulu.com is having a sale of 15% discount off products from their bookstore. You can order any books or calendars and use promo code JANUARY15 at checkout. Offer is valid through January 27th, 2023.  

For Max’s standard color softcover (paperback) $22.92 USD – I am MAX (softcover) The discount would make this format $19.48.

For Max’s premium color hardcover $49.95 USD – I am MAX (Collector’s ed) The discount would make this format $42.46.

By the way, you can order ANY book or books to receive this discount. Perhaps there is another author to your liking. Lulu Bookstore

DON’T FORGET to add the promo code at checkout!

Cheers!

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New Year, New Goals

1/17/23 – Happy New Year!

Oh boy, it has been crazy here… I’ll skip whining about all the negative and get to the positives. Ruby Chin has gained a bit of weight and is getting more friendly. Smokey old kitty is hanging in there. Actually, all the critters and Max are doing fine.

I was given an Owltron security camera to review and I love it. So much that I recently purchased one. Now I can check in on the animals when I’m at work and even speak to them. It’s encrypted, motion detection & tracking, 2-way audio, supports a micro SD card or cloud storage, night vision, panoramic patrol, takes photos or video. I’ve been setting it for local recording of events (motion detection) and then continuous video. I wanted to make sure Ruby was eating but it doesn’t seem to recognize the chin’s movements even though they are about 8 feet from the camera. Whereas my Stealth wildlife cam outside can detect a mouse at that distance. Sometimes the cats don’t trip it either but but the other day I was at work and got one ding after another. I looked at the notifications and all I saw was Tigger kitty sleeping on the couch. Perhaps he rolled over or perhaps Lil Bun was running around his cage. Not sure. It does better in the daytime than in the IR mode. Maybe it’s better at picking up movement from a dog than a cat. It sure picks up my movement! I’ll be creating a video this weekend after I check out a few more features. Downside… no user manual. There’s instructions on how to set it up and that was easy but nothing about what icon means what on each screen and how to use it. They have a couple videos and FAQs that you have to find time to ask the right question for the right answer. I’m not a techy kind of person, so it takes me a bit longer to learn stuff. Plus, I’m busy and it would be more useful to have an online user manual that I can flip through and learn all the stuff. I mean it has a “siren” icon… what the heck? I’m not touching that! BUT it’s a peace of mind for me and I can check in on my home & animals. I mentioned to my contact that they should consider creating one for outdoors. Guess what? They are working on it already! Ok, now I will be able to spy on Max! Although, he sleeps all day. By the way, the videos and photos on the SD card are encrypted and no way of transferring them to your computer. I guess that’s a good thing but what if I want to share? Well, when I playback a recording, I just record it using the app, and then it’s saved to the album on my phone. Yay. Same goes for the photos of events (motion detection). Like this butt you see… Theo 😂 Video: Wildlife Bernie’s little Owl(tron)

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And in other news… Remember I told you that I wanted to do another version of Max’s book? I should say, another format. I’m working on the abridged version but it’s taking me longer than I anticipated. I had cancelled my Adobe software for editing pdf files and lucky me they offered me a lower monthly fee. So, I reinstated it for a year. Though, before the end of last year, I published another format of his book. Yes, it’s a softcover with standard color on lighter paper, and identical to the first. The best news, $22.92 (USD) in cost. So, his premium hardcover is still $49.95 but this is more affordable for his fans if they aren’t particular about the quality of the photos. Standard isn’t bad. They are still beautiful photos, just not premium on glossy thick paper. The abridged, of course, will be less than $22 since I’ll be downsizing the photos. That’s the tough part… deciding on which photos to delete. I love his photos! And more good news, my cousin Genevieve’s sister wants to translate his book into French. So, there’ll be a premium, standard and abridged in French. How exciting is that? I had to purchase 10 ISBNs but will need them. Every time you change the format, even if it’s just the cover from hard to soft, you need a different ISBN. Both books can be ordered on Lulu.com. This is what the page will look like when you search for I am Max. They use “paperback” but I prefer soft cover as it sounds more professional. I will update Max’s website with this information shortly.

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Lastly, as it’s getting late and I really need some sleep and I rarely get to bed before midnight anymore… here’s a photo of Max from 1-2-23. My camera has been repaired and is on its way back to me. I can’t wait. I’ve missed it. Hoping to get some good shots of Max. Although, the old one has been suitable.

Max 1-2-23

Merry Christmas

12-23-22: This weekend I plan on unplugging from social media…no Facebook, YouTube, emails, texting (except to my sisters) or anything! I need time alone. I would like to work on Max’s “mini me” edition of his I am Max book as I cancelled my Adobe subscription and won’t be able to edit the pdf after January 6. So, It HAS to get done. That doesn’t mean it will be published right away but the writing has to be completed. My life has been so hectic with work, animals and projects. Yes, this is one more project but it’s a priority. So, today, I created Max’s holiday video and it’s now live on YouTube – Max’s Holiday Greetings. Also, we are getting a flash freeze and I would be a bit miserable in the cold filming this weekend than doing it today. It was low 50’s and extremely windy but better than single digits or even teens as predicted forthcoming. So….Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Season’s Greetings, Happy Holidays, etc… 

Max Book – Version 2?

Help me out here…

When I chose to write Max’s story last year and it took me eight months to do so, I was thinking that the book would contribute to his legacy. He is, after all, the only ambassador for his species here in the Northeast. Yes, some zoos have lynx but Max travels our area to educate. He has a YouTube channel. You get a glimpse into his life like no other. So, I thought that a quality book with a hard cover and lots of beautiful photos would be wonderful. However, I’m hearing that the $49.95 price that I set last year is too expensive. Possibly. Owning a book on an animal like Max, I would think it would be priceless. I guess I’m biased. Last year when it published, the printing cost was $37.61 and I made a profit of $9.87. I didn’t believe that a profit of less than $10 per book was too much to ask as an author and as someone who has spent thousands of dollars on and for Max. Now, the printing cost has increased to $41.28. I don’t set the printing cost and Lulu Press is one of the lowest for printing books on demand.

My goal is to share Max’s story with everyone. So, yesterday I began thinking on how I could edit the book to make it more affordable. I would still offer the full version but I thought of condensing it. I can use the same size 8.5×8.5, eliminate the photo gallery in the back, reduce photo sizes and the number of photos per story. IF I can reduce it to only 80 pages instead of 159 pages and have a soft cover in place of the hard one, the cost would drop $20 per book. That means $29.95 retail price. It will still allow me a profit of about $10. 

It could be “I am MAX 2.0” with a black cover. The next book after which could be “I am MAX, the Story Continues” which will focus on the 2nd half of his life. If I ever find time, a children’s book…The Loving Lynx. 

This is where YOU come in… What are your thoughts about condensing his book to make it more affordable for people? I really want to know.

Thanks and Max sends his purrs.

New Site Design

About a month ago, I looked at my website on my phone and saw that the background was white with yellow text. Well, I designed it to be black with gold text and yes, it was like that on a desktop computer or laptop. It was hard to read on the phone. So, I decided to change the design. However, that meant going through every post and page changing the font color because it doesn’t change automatically. I had asked WP and was told changing the website appearance would change all the fonts but it didn’t. I have completed most of it and if you happen across a page with yellow or gold text, I apologize. I hope to have it fully completed in the next few days.

Goodbye August

9-8-22 – I’m not sure where August went. First it was my sister’s birthday, then a program on the 10th with Max, Smudge Hedgehog and Burt Parrot. The program went well but everything went downhill from there. Smudge started leaving her fruit untouched but would still come out for mealworms but that stopped on the 13th. I got her into the vets on the 15th because I had scheduled the chinchillas for an initial exam. So, I was able to bring her instead of them. Thank goodness I did or perhaps she would not have had a good last week. Seemed she caught a cold. I don’t believe from anyone because she was held with gloves and people only touched her spikes. I could have missed her slight behavioral changes before the 13th but she was always greeting me, so maybe not. She could have caught a chill when I started leaving the windows open at night for the fresh, cool air. It had been wicked hot for weeks and when we finally got a cool front, I was delighted. I took her outside on the 14th for sunshine and took photos. She seemed slow, wobbly but interested. Anyways, she first sneezed at the vets. Okay, we can give her fluids and antibiotics. She was a trouper. However, the vet noticed her heart was beating irregularly and surmised that she had heart disease and was missing teeth too. How could that be? She was only maybe 2.5 years old. I got Smudge in January of 2021 and was told she was “about a year old.” Hum, evidently that was wrong. Smudge’s cold got better but her heart seemed to be overworking. I thought she was taking a turn for the better when I caught her drinking water on the 19th. I guess not. On the 20th in the evening when I tried to medicate her, she refused. So, I held her and was talking to her asking why she didn’t want to take her medicine. She looked at me and took a breath. It was her last. I just stood there looking dumbfounded and kept calling her name. My head could not wrap around the fact that she was gone. Being the curious person that I am, I looked at her teeth and yes, many were missing or worn down. Smudge was an old hedgehog. Had I known she had heart disease from the beginning, perhaps, I would have prevented educating with her due to the stress and always have a warm pad for her to help with circulating. But darn if she didn’t move off that pad when I put it in that week. So, what the heck? Little prey animals mask their illnesses so not to look weak. I created a video of all my beloved animal ambassadors over the years and posted it on YouTube – Loved and Lost. It was sad and wonderful remembering all my little pals.

I got to meet a 1st cousin on the 22nd for the first time. However, she gave me Covid, and I came down with it on the 24th. I had to find coverage for me at the museum and had little interaction with the animals including Max. I was fearful one of them would get sick from me. I handled the cold part of it but the fatigue and muscle weakness wreaked havoc. However, since I had animals to care for, there was no lying around feeling sorry for myself. I continued to do my animal care as best as I could and took multiple breaks. I did catch up on my sleep which was a good thing! I lost my taste and smell 4 days into it, but it slowly came back a week later. As of this writing, I’m still coughing and have sinus issues but am negative. Heck, I was having those issues before Covid.

Let’s see. While I was out mowing the lawn on the 27th, I noticed my car in the garage leaking. Called for a tow that Monday and it went to the shop without me. Seems my power steering sprung a leak. It was probably a mouse! I hadn’t driven it since the 10th. I’ve been using mom’s car since it has less mileage. Well, that got fixed and I picked it up once I was out of quarantine.

On the 30th, we had a major rainstorm, and my house was hit by lightning. I don’t think it was a spike but more of an electrical flash. It sent the cable out which also works the phone line and three of my outlets went dead. Lucky, I flipped the breaker, and that took care of the dead outlets. It was a couple days for Spectrum to get to me to replace the fried DVR and Wifi router. My new phone/answering machine arrived on Friday but what I didn’t know was that the lightening killed the old phone, not just the power cord. I was listening to a message yesterday and it was all static. So, I’m thankful I didn’t send the new phone back when I purchased a new power cord. Though I now have an extra power cord! It also fried the power cord to LED lights in the kitchen. I know it could have been worse and for that I’m truly grateful. Imagine the cost of replacing Max’s meat freezers? Phew.

At times like this, I tend to forget that there have been good times, too.

I look back at some of my messages & photos to my sisters and friends. The 19th was a beautiful day when I sat on a bench at the nature preserve where I work and watched the bees pollinate. I watched a butterfly make it’s rounds to the plants and then stop for a drink of water in the bird bath. I remember thinking how lovely and wonderful nature is.

The morning of the 20th, I gave Lil Bun new flooring. Yep, I don’t get new flooring, but the rabbits do! This will make it much easier to clean up after them. I still need to do Poppy’s flooring which I will get to this weekend. It’s a bit time consuming with the cleaning the wood, cutting, and placing the vinyl squares and kneeling! I love the results. It will help preserve the wood base too. What you don’t know is this is my 2nd upgrade on their living quarters. Lil Bun would run and scatter poo, hay and litter outside his bars. So, I created a baseboard around the cage to keep in the mess. Poppy is not as messy. Lil Bun is a joy. Sometimes in the evening he runs circles in his cage. I usually put him on the porch to help him with his energy. I would put Poppy as well but he was neutered at the beginning of August and will still try to hump her. No, I’ll wait another month before I combine their cages into a larger one. Though I might have to get rid of the couch and rocker!

Max…last photos I took of him were on August 1st. On the 21st, I got a photo of him carrying around his purple puff ball like a baby and mewing. He then tried to hump it. OMG, that cat is so funny!

Good news, Ruby will sit on my shoulders and be okay if I don’t touch her much! Progress! The photo is from August 31st.

See, not all of August was a bust!

New Chins

8-18-22 – I have been so busy that I haven’t had time to post that I got two new chinchillas to be ambassadors for my program. I was told they were friendly. Haha. Where do I start? I drove 3 hours one way to pick them up from a guy who had more than the two. When I first contacted him, Coco had just passed away. He didn’t tell me how many he had but said there were male and females with ages from 4 months to 3 years old. The colors were beige, regular grey and black. I decided to wait to give myself time to grieve and decide which Saturday I would have time to pick one up. I did a lot of thinking and contacted others that had a chinchilla to rehome. One did not like to be held. I was told that the species didn’t like it. Ha! I had two chinchillas ever and both loved to be held. I decided that perhaps I should get two chins to keep each other company. When I was ready I contacted the gentleman again and he had two left and both were bonded. He said they were siblings. As for age, one was almost a year and the other about 1.5 years old. They were siblings? Both are standard grey. On July 9, he loaded them into my carrier and when I got down the road to a pitstop, I pulled the little one out. She was very squirmy and her fur was greasy which meant that she had not dust-bathed. I named them Ruby and Pearl as suggested by my good friend Christine. Ruby is the baby who had mats in her fur on her backside. Pearl’s fur was greasy but no mats. Ruby doesn’t know how to dust bathe but Pearl jumps right in. Both DO NOT like to be held and Ruby is a nipper. Yes, she bites. Pearl will lunge at me and try to bite me when I reach in. It takes a lot of logistics to fetch them. I’m thinking dropping a towel over and scooping them up will be the easiest. Sometimes Ruby will constantly squirm and nip when I hold her. Pearl is a little better about being held. Both will happily take a cranraisin (dried cranberry) from my fingers. I try to hold them daily and talk to them every time I walk by their cage. Neither are litter-trained and will pee on the shelves. Ugh! I decided that they needed a new cage. The one was 10 years old and the shelving had been chewed on by many. The new one was a little pricey but is perfect for them. I have seen them using the bottom tray as a litter pan on occasion. I mean, chins will poop everywhere and that’s fine. Their urine is strong and it needs to always be in the bottom tray and not on the shelving. Sooner or later, hopefully we’ll get there. Right after getting them home I took a comb to Ruby’s mat. Underneath the mats were sores. As of now, the fur has been growing back nicely. She also had a sore behind one ear which has healed too. Because Ruby doesn’t know how to roll in a dust house, I got a sugar shaker and will shake the dust over her and fluff her fur. This will keep her soft, fluffy and greaseless. Sometimes afterwards she will roll on the shelf to get the dust off. That’s how she should roll to get the dust on! Anyways, these two are challenging.

Coco Chinchilla

6/23/22 – It is with deep sadness to tell you that Coco crossed the Rainbow Bridge tonight. She had come down with a cold and being an old chinchilla, it took a toll on her little self. She was by far the best and the sweetest chin. Everyone who has ever held her, loved her. My heart hurts so much with losing mom in February and now sweet Coco. Smokey kitty will be 16 in July and I fear he will be next. 2022 has not been a good year so far.

Coco web pic