Sunday, January 30, 2011


Here he is. Whistler. The name originally came to mind because he sort of whistles when he whimpers, and it stuck because of our fondness for mountains! Whistler showed up in our yard after following our neighbors home for a block or so. He only had a metal choke collar on- no tags. We quickly took him to our vet to see if he had a microchip in hopes to reunite him with his owner. No such luck. The vet guessed he is between 2 and 3 years old and is some sort of hound mix. (That can be said of most stray dogs in western North Carolina!) I just love his curly, hound tail.

We've had Whistler for a couple of weeks now. No, we are not keeping him, but have been trying to decide how to find this regal, athletic canine a home. After taking him to the shelter to fill out a "found dog" report and putting him up on two other "lost animal" websites, his owner has yet to find/claim him. We are, however, happy to have registered him with Brother Wolf Animal Rescue here in Asheville. In fact, it is located just a few roads away from us. It is an amazing non-profit organization committed to creating a no-kill community. Brother Wolf adopted out almost 2,000 animals last year- more than the Buncombe county's animal shelter. That is amazing, and we respect them so much for their work.

If their adoption rate holds, Whistler will only be in our home for another week or so. Then a space will open up for him to join the pack at the shelter until he is found by his "forever" home.

Just wanted to share his sweet face with you.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Love on the Wild Side

Searching for a wild and unexpected Valentine's gift? Please consider "adopting" a red fox for your foxy lady... or perhaps a cougar for your, well, you get the point. The WNC Nature Center provides for the rehabilitation and continued care towards many important creatures of our area.
Among the many animals you can "adopt":
Grey Wolf, Red Wold, White tailed deer, Coyote, Bobcat, River Otter, Great Horned Owl, and the list goes on!

Nothing says "I love you" like supporting the survival of Turkey Vultures! And no, this is not a joke.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Hello all,

Kassie here.
I have had the privilege of volunteering at a local crisis ministry for the past 10 months. I help in the soup kitchen that helps feed 90 or so individuals in need, per day, in our area. Several of us began volunteering around the same time, and we quickly became the infamous "Wednesday Crew". We all just had a great connection, though we were an unlikely group of folks to be together. Among the crew was my buddy Frankie Palmer. We worked side-by-side assembling sandwiches, gathering groceries and stirring soup. Many days we would spend our time talking about the Lord- how good He is to us, and how much He has transformed us. Our crew worked hard, laughed hard and served one another gladly.

Frankie was a convicted felon. He was still in prison, but worked every day at the ministry through a prison work program as he was nearing the end of his 20-year sentence. I hate telling that to people. I know it is a huge part of his life, but I don't want to define him solely through the mistakes he has made. Ultimately, he is a soul sought out and redeemed by our good Lord. He wouldn't say he was a pastor, but he exercised many pastoral gifts in and out of jail. You couldn't be around him without hearing about the grace he has received from our Heavenly Father. You would also hear him humming old hymns, and almost always updating us on his beautiful fiancée whom he was giddy over and planned to marry within a few weeks of being released.

Every day after work, he would say, "Be good now." And I would chuckle at the irony, shake my head and respond, "I will. I will. See you next week." Last week, I received a phone call telling me that Frankie had suffered from a heart attack and died in his sleep. He had been out of prison for just over two weeks.

I have dealt with a lot of mixed emotions: Grief, of course, as I miss him and his humor... sadness of the timing of it all, and pain that his loving fiancée is left to a life on earth without him. And then there is incommunicable joy that Frankie has finally been released from the sin of this world and has been brought into ultimate freedom.

I have included a short video clip produced by Biltmore Baptist, the local church community that accepted, loved and mentored Frankie. Through it, you will meet Frankie and hear a bit of his testimony. It is my hope in sharing this that you will hear peace, gratitude and wisdom in his voice. It is also my hope that you will be encouraged by how far the Lord goes to reach the seemingly "unreachable" people in this world. Frankie has helped me change my perception of convicted criminals, but mainly, he has helped me see an even greater, more graceful God than I have understood.

Frankie's Story: