Friday, November 28, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving From Opie and Friends ! November 28, 2014

Thank you for saving lives!!!
Love, Opie

Thanks to YOU we all had a WONDERFUL and PEACEFUL ThanksLiving Day Feast with ALL our friends ....  Furry or Feathery ....  Thank YOU, we LOVE you all  !!!!

And now Have I got a SPECIAL for YOU !!!

Black Friday Food Bowl Buster - 20% Off All Donations !!!

20% Off Your Donation Shopping at Rikki's From NOW thru Midnight 11/28 Black Friday, we've got the best shopping idea ever. ALL donations -- no caps my friends -- ALL donations -- are topped with 20% .... YOU donate $80 and our Black Friday Donor drops in $20 .... The animals get FEED $100 of food !!!! Is this cool or what?? Spread the word .... Feed 'em all !!!

OH MY GOSH !!!!!   Rikki’s 20% off Donations Shopping Spree just got BETTER !!!!   How many folks on your Christmas list?  Tired of shopping, spending money on gas or postage, fighting over parking spots, getting mugged in malls?  Well ....  Look what we’ve got for YOU today, donations of $25 or more will get an email Christmas card from Rikki’s (or Thanksgiving if you prefer, just let us know which), tell us who it’s for, anything special you’d like us to say from you, their name and email address ... we’ll take care of the rest ....   AND it still qualifies for the 20% Off Your Donation Shopping at Rikki's From NOW thru Midnight 11/28 Black Friday, we've got the best shopping idea ever. ALL donations -- no caps my friends -- ALL donations -- are topped with 20% .... YOU donate $80 and our Black Friday Donor drops in $20 .... The animals get FEED $100 of food !!!! Is this cool or what?? Spread the word .... Feed 'em all !!!   AND get your Christmas Shopping ALL DONE TODAY with no trouble, no hassle !!!   Can you possibly think of a better gift to give someone than saving a life in their honor?

My Uncle Ron came by for Thanksgiving Nums yesterday and LOOK what he brought !!!!  

I sure think he wins Donation Dynamo of the Week !!!    Thank you Uncle Ron !!!
Remember Saturdays, like tomorrow, are Donation Drop Off ....  just top in at the Life Center and drop off some nums.  Mom requires that I also tell you we need cleaning supplies, like paper towels, bleach and laundry detergent.  But what’s really important if Fancy Feast for Opie, and tuna for the sick kitties in our hospital, and meat baby food tood.  Purina has been very nice lately and we have lots of daqggie nums in the pantry.  But we’d like to see the pantry filled up more for us cats.  Both canned and dry.  And the Guinea Pigs are asking for oranges !!  Thank you !!

Love you bunches,
I hope you had a great Thanksgiving Day !!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Beautifully renovated home in Alexandria

OPEN HOUSE  November 23, 2014    Sunday  1 pm - 4 pm 

Total renovation and upgrade, open spacious sunny, new kitchen, granite counters, stone backsplash, 42” cabinets, stainless appliances, breakfast bar, brick accent walls in breakfast room, living room and family room, new master suite, new baths, 2 full, 2 powder, 2 fireplaces, French doors, floor to ceiling bay window, 4 large window seats, huge back yard 38” deep, parking spot is owned, 2.5 blocks to rush hour Metro Bus, 2 miles to Van Dorn metro, NO HOA, no dues, no rules!   

From I395: east on King; right on Menokin; right on Van Dorn; left on Richenbacher; 5409 on left, parking spot out front is owned, on street same side is city permit, on street other side is open parking          

   5409 Richenbacher Ave, Alexandria, VA 22304-2036
                YOUR new address !

This beautiful home has undergone extensive remodeling, it’s almost a new home.

In so many ways better than a new home ! NO Homeowner’s Association, no dues, no rules !  Bigger than most townhomes being built today, a generous 21.5’ wide and 33’ deep, giving you over 2,000 square feet on three totally finished remodeled and immaculately upgraded levels.  And no extra charge for the brick on the front and rear !

In days past land was inexpensive, lots were bigger, townhouses were made bigger, and now YOU will benefit !  Every room here is larger, the back yard is a sumptuously generous, 21.5 feet by 38 feet, that’s over 750 square feet of beautiful back yard for gardening, relaxing and enjoying nature !!   Not something you find this close in very often !

Come ... take a tour thru the house with me !

Mmmm brick front, the mansard roof gives all the bedrooms gable windows with large window seats, perfect for soaking up the southern sun and catching up on your reading. 

Did I mention the fabulous close in location?   A mile from Seminary Rd and Van Dorn St.  Take Van Dorn 7/10th of a mile southwest, turn left on Richenbacher, cross Vail and Terrill and 5409 is your 4th on the left.  The parking area right in front of the house is OWNED and is your very own private space, and protected from the road by a grassy strip.  Street parking is by permit with the city, just register to get your sticker.  Parking on the other side of the street is open.  Enough parking for all your friends to come to your house warming party !!

The owner has lived here since 1986 and has loved this friendly neighborhood. He bought the home for it’s size, both inside and the huge private yard and he loved it for the close in convince.  That was a huge draw when he purchased and it’s appeal is even greater today. 

You’re only two and a half blocks to a rush hour Metro Bus line that goes to the Pentagon, that allows access to the subway to downtown or Tysons Corner area.  Just over 2 miles from the Van Dorn Subway Stop.  Close to grocery stores, drug stores and other shopping as well as restaurants; so much within a mile and a half. And easy access to interstate highways and public transportation. Many historic and cultural locations within easy access allowing for entertainment and education opportunities for everyone.

Look at that huge floor to ceiling bay window !!  It’s in the breakfast nook .. just wait till you see ....

Right here from the foyer you have your glimpse of everything new !  New ceramic flooring in the foyer, hall, breakfast area and kitchen and powder room.  All new hardwoods throughout.   Right off the foyer you have a generous coat closet and a brand new powder room.

Come on in the breakfast nook !!  It’s a lot more than a nook, isn’t it ?  Breakfast bar built in with the granite counters.  COUNTERS ... miles of counter space. Accent brick wall with ready mounts and electricity for a flat screen tv. You’ll always have good sunlight with the floor to ceiling 92 inch beautiful bay window, and it extends the room another 2 feet!

OK, I know I’ll never pull you away to see the rest of the house till you explore this fabulous new kitchen. 

Look what you get !
   215 square feet of fabulous kitchen
   26 linear ft of counter space giving you 59 sq ft of working space
   Granite counter tops with stone work back splash
   All new stainless steel appliances (GE Profile series)
   French Door 25 cubic foot refrigerator with in door water and ice dispenser
   Range hood with halogen lights and four speed fan
   30 inch self cleaning convection electric range
   Stainless steel tub dishwasher
   42” new cabinets, soft close drawers, wide pull out shelves, two corner lazy Susans
   Under cabinet dimmable recessed LED lights, great lighting for food prep, nice for night light
   LED ceiling lights with dimmer
   Ceramic tile floor in kitchen, hallway and powder room

I know the kitchen is hard to leave behind ... can you imagine the cooking you can do in this kitchen !!!    But let me pull you away and show you the spectacular new hardwood floors.

All new ... all over ... and aren’t they a pretty light wood ?

You have a generous 333 square foot Living and adjoining Dining giving you the space for your piano, to arrange a music alcove, media area, study nook.  The floor to ceiling brick working fireplace with slate hearth gives the area a warm glow.  French doors lead to your perfectly private and roomy back yard !  This is just what you were dreaming of, a big back yard, and the convenience of close in city living.  What a wonderful place to escape to !  Where is that hammock ?  

Step out on the Patio with me.  WOW !  So much room !  What do you see yourself doing out here next summer?  Parties?  Gardening? Hammock? Relaxing dinner? Morning coffee while listening to the birds sing?

I didn’t leave the patio furniture here cuz I knew you’d sit down and stay a spell ....  and I want you to see so much more this house has to offer ... come on ...

Back inside, here’s your Dining Room right off that beautiful Kitchen and with two large windows looking out to the greenery of your very own back yard !

Need a stop in the Powder Room before we head upstairs ?  All beautifully and tastefully remodeled in here too.

Come on ... up the sweeping hardwood stairs we go ......

Oh !  Look at that Master Bedroom !  Two big windows with generous window seats !  Beautiful brand new hardwood floors.  Not refinished, Brand New ! 

WOW - two 50” south facing window seats, what a wonderful place for that first cup of morning coffee, to read the paper  ..... wide enough for two ....  or long enough to really cozy up with a book.

Step around the corner here to the dressing area.  Three generous closets, two with sliding mirrored doors.  Enough space for you?  You don’t see this kind of spaciousness in homes being built today. 

And take a look at the all new bathroom !  Clever use of space with the packet door, don’t you think?  You have a sink, acres of counter, tons of drawers and cabinets here in the dressing area.

In the Bathroom we switch from hardwood to stone and ceramic.  Have you ever seen a lovelier shower ?  No no no ... hang on ... you can’t try it out just yet !   Another sink with more counter and cabinet space.

We’re only about halfway thru the house !

Two more bedrooms.. Generous.  Nice closets.   Wonderful Window Seats ! 

These rooms share a fully remodeled bath.

Kids ? Exercise room?  Office?  Craft room ?  What will YOU do here ?

You’ve already seen more space in this home than you will in most .... and there’s more !  Let’s head downstairs to the Family Room.

WOW !  This house is just full of WOWs.   The entire basement was just done in floating vinyl simulating hardwood ....  almost impossible to tell where the wood stopped and the vinyl started, wasn’t it? 

Your Family Room is HUGE ...  with a full brick wall, hearth and working fireplace.  And you get a walk out to the beautiful back yard.  This could be a spectacular multi media room, playroom, game room, plenty big enough for a pool table or ping pong.

New LED ceiling lights for no heat and low energy, with a dimmer in Family Room for romantic fireplace time or movie watching.

Oh, and did you notice all that build in storage?  Absolutely miles of shelves. 105 square feet of shelving to be exact. Room for big things, little things, holiday decorations, out of season items, and .....  Automatic lights that come on when you open either of the two storage area doors !

In addition to all the storage in the here ... look under the steps ... and they even finished the floor.  That’s the kind of love and care that was taken when this house was remodeled. 

So what do you think?  Ready to head up?  Need to stop in this lovely remodeled Powder Room?  Yes, a bathroom on every level sure makes it convenient for you and guests alike!

Oh, wait ... one last room ...  here is your Laundry and Hobby room !!  Beautiful floors, great lighting, nicely finished, beautiful floors.  Washer and dryer convey.  No dingy dark depressing laundry room in this house !!! 

So what do you think?  Is this home lovely?     Will your next address be 5409 Richenbacher Ave, Alexandria, VA 22304-2036?  Are you ready to move in?  Talk to your Real Estate Agent or call Kerry Hilliard at Rikki’s Realty at 540-854-6166 TODAY !

YOU could be living here by Christmas !   Imagine this home decorated for YOUR holidays !!

If you haven’t been inside to see this house yet, have your Realtor visit with you today !! 

Kerry Hilliard
Rikki’s Realty
MRIS MLS# AX8496598

PS: This home is seeking the purrfect new owner !!!    Ideal for pet lovers !!!  Spectacular kitty home, and great for your dawggie too !!  BIG beautiful sunny windows, four giant window seats, huge bay window, French door to giant privacy fenced back yard.  Easy clean all new hardwood floors.  Miles of granite counters in brand new kitchen. Best of all ... NO HOA, no rules, no dues !!!  2 blocks to merto bus, 2 mile to Van Dorn Metro Rail.  OPEN HOUSE, come by and visit, 1 pm - 4 pm Sunday, November 23, 2014 !!!   You won't be sorry !!!  It's really a very lovely home. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Good Morning Good News !!!! November 20, 2014

I just have to tell you a story from our first ThanksLiving Dinner in the 9th Life Center in 1999.  At that time only one room had much of a floor.  Did I mention when we got the place the fields were in corn,
Rikki’s First Sheep Escape

the front yard and barns were full of trash and appliances,

and the house was falling down? 

People would visit and say ... seriously .. YOU’re going to turn this dump into a SANCTUARY?   What kind of mess have you gotten yourself into? 
Do you have ANY idea how much HARD work this will take?  You’ll never make anything of this place. 

Well on that first ThanksLiving day the volunteers who’d made a vow to stick to it and to make a sanctuary happen had had just about a year of hard work, they’d cleared away all the garbage, dump truck after dump truck full, they hauled 32 rusted out busted refrigerators to the dump, they’d eaten a lot of corn cooked over a bon fire, they’d built a feral cat run,

Rikki’s First Family of Ferals

dog pens, a rabbit area and had fenced in a horse area for the skinny old horse found tied to the three legged picnic table that was our dining room. 

That first ThanksLiving dinner was in the evening, after dark, and after cold, cus we had to work all day caring for the animals
that were already calling Rikki’s home and so it was the “kitchen” which was for hoomans and animals,
where I had my desk,
we had a couch, a half functioning smoky wood stove for heat, cages for any sick animals, and the animals that came inside when they wanted, including Copper the horse, Claire the pig, Nanny the goat,
Babbs the sheep and Chuck the Rooster who’d occasionally like to squeeze in and cozy up to the wood stove. 
The next room over that had a very very sagging floor, very uneven, had blankets on the floor and was the cat room. 
The other two rooms had no floor and were unusable. 

Are you getting the idea of primitive?  There was probably 10 or 12 of us, including my Dad who loved working at Rikki's and would spend a month or two building things every year.  He and my mom had come for a visit, he'd stayed almost 3 months that year, sleeping with me and any others staying over in sleeping bags on the floor in that one room. 
My mom had visited often, but stayed in the Holiday Inn for a couple weeks, then gone home to her house with flush plumbing, and other such luxuries.  As much as she loved the animals, especially the cats, and for all the foreign and primitive places my dad’s work had her living, she was done with that.

That ThanksLiving dinner was probably most unsanitary by common hooman meal standards !!!  The most common phrase was, please pick up the cat and pass the dressing.  The delicious vegan dressing was in a big bowl with plastic wrap over it and Slinky the resident Chief Cat insisted on curling up and sleeping on that warm dressing. 
SLINKY, Rikki’s Original Kitty

Though the dressing really was fabulous, I think the driving force behind serving after serving was people loved watching Slinky being removed and then curling back up in the bowl and going back to sleep ... all while purring loudly.  

With most of the windows broken and clear tape over them, no insulation anywhere in the house, huge cracks in the floors and walls .... it didn't hold in a lot heat and was pretty chilly inside ...  the dressing was a really nice cozy bed.  Those of us who lived in sleeping bags on the floor only wished for something so warm. 
All our volunteer efforts had gone into building animal housing, there had been no time and not enough volunteers to bother worrying about “house” space yet.   By the time we hoomans got inside at night, we were totally exhausted and even a cold sleeping bag on a hard floor felt good for the few hours we wasted in sleep.  We had a sanctuary to build !!

The most remembered scene from that first ThanksLiving Dinner was when Slinky, after eating, if I recall, the vegan whipped cream off someone’s pumpkin pie, climbed to the top of the water heater that was also in that room, along with washer and dryer, and started gacking and did it right in one of Auggie's boots !!!!    

Auggie launched into a hysterical monologue complete with miming   
       .. with all this space 
              ....  in this entire place 
                          ...  and here comes this cat 

         ...  I got a twitch in my stomach 
                ...  I think I gotta gack 
                         ...  he looks around frantically 

            ...  no, not over there 
                  ... not on a floor that's bare 
                      ....  no, not where it's easy to clean 
                           ...  I want to find a place that's really mean 

          ....  where oh where shall I gack 
                    ....  WOW check out those boots !!!   

        But how tall they are 
             ....  how can I reach that high 
                 ... so I can gack up inside 

          ....   Ah I shall climb to the highest place 
                 ....  and pray that my aim is purrfect !!!!

All you have to say to anybody who was at that first Thanksliving dinner is "Auggie's Boots" and to this day they will go into a fit of hysterical laughter !!!

One person relatively new to animal rescue and who'd had volunteered a time or two on building projects, never been inside the totally falling down farm house,
that someday would be named the 9th Life Center, who hadn’t yet learned what really hard goal driven work to the point that nothing else mattered meant, had come dressed up like she was going to a formal dinner.  She immediately felt out of place with the rest of us in overalls and dirty jeans. 
She kept saying, Oh maybe I should go.  But she quickly fit in and had the time of her life.  Maybe more fun than all the rest of us !!   One of Slinky’s wives, Short Tail Mom, claimed her beautiful cashmere scarf and kept hauling it off to make a bed.  She gifted it to Short Tail at the end of the evening saying it was far better used as a cozy bed than a scrap to tie around her neck!   That volunteer is still a hard worker in the animal world today !!

This year’s ThanksLiving Dinner will be a far cry from that first one.  Though we will have critters about, Opie and Timmy and Sylvestra, Duke and Mr Turkey at the very least   .....  we now have the lovely Life Center.  The Life Center building is about 100 years newer than the 9th Life (which has had a lot of upgrades since those early days, so much so, that people who pop in like a blast from the past often ask, so you tore it down and built something new?), it has flush plumbing and a huge modern kitchen, central heat ....  Ohhh and a fireplace ... hey somebody ought to bring wood ,... or get out here and chop some ....  we’re yet to use the fireplace!!! 

ThanksLiving Dinner is Saturday, so this is it if you’re signing up to dine with us.  And if not, we pray you have a happy and safe for all species ThanksLiving Dinner where ever you are. 

Thank you for making Rikki’s what it’s become today. 
I knew together we would make that happen.  It’s taken a lot of faith from donors and a lot of hard work from volunteers. 
And just look where we are today!  1300 animals of 22 species who’ll never again know a cruel hand, hunger, or the feeling of being unloved and unwanted.

All because of YOU !!!!

Thank you !!!!   

I hope to see you this holiday season.  If you’re unable to stop in and visit with the animals you’ve built a home for, all these wonderful little furry and feathered friends who’s life you changed, would you please consider sharing what you are able with them? 
It is only thru your continued support that we are able to carry on, to feed everyone, to care for them, to pay for their medical needs.  There is no government funding, no grants, no support from larger organizations, it’s all here, just you and me .... doing what we can to change the world and to give our wonderful animal residents the chance at life they deserve.

Thank you for helping us,


PS We always spend your funds very wisely and frugally.  We buy the basic necessities, we buy generic in bulk, volunteers drive many miles, donating the cost of gas, to get the best deals, we use day old produce, recently expired products, others left over construction materials and recycled products. 

We don’t need luxury, we don’t need the best ... we just want to save lives and create a world of happiness and contentedness.

When we can meet our basic needs, we are happy ... so very happy.

Thank YOU for making that happen.

PPS Ya all remember to vote now, ok?  Rikki's Refuge, VA, USA in the Shelter Challenge !!!  Win nums for animals with just a few clicks !!
It’s very important -- with the advent of on-line contests -- we’ve come to rely on the winnings for an important part of our funding.  So PLEASE click every day !!!

This is YOUR Rikki’s Refuge !!!

Please Join us Saturday as we Celebrate Life !!