Monday, March 31, 2008

577 Days

Wow. Hubby and I could survive in our house for almost two years!

How Long Could You Survive Trapped In Your Own Home?
Created by OnePlusYou - Free Online Dating

Jeez. We do have a LOT of food. We have two fridges and an extra freezer in the garage. Hubby loves to order meats. :)

My only concern is not having enough dog food ... but I guess they could eat the meat too. Ha!

Poor Little Girl

My poor Quinn. She's such a sweet girl - always gives kisses (even when they aren't wanted) and loving to cuddle.

And keeping me awake all night. *sigh* I was ready to send her out into the kennel. :( She has always had a cough - practically since we got her in 2002. It sounds like she's got a popcorn kernel stuck in her throat and she hacks with her whole body heaving.

We've dealt with that issue and we give her half a pill (it's some sort of steroid) when it seems to get worse.

But now we're dealing with some other type of cough. It's horrible. We've already taken her to the vet - had ex-rays taken and blood tests. Nothing. It's not kennel cough. Her blood work was really good for a dog her age. The ex-rays showed some decent arthritis in her back (I've been massaging her back more now). But no reason for the extra coughing. And it does not respond to the same pills.

And last night it was nothing but coughing. It's a horrible hacking and heaving sound from deep in her chest. You can almost hear her wheezing. It's like she has some sort of allergy but it is only at home. When she's at daycare they tell me she doesn't cough and she didn't cough once at the vet.

I feel SO bad for her...I know how exhausting it is for us when we have a bad cough. I don't know how to help her. Rubbing her throat doesn't do anything to help. No wonder she's got so much extra weight on her - she is so tired all the time her metabolism is probably running on empty. My poor baby.

I'm going to call the vet again today. *sigh* The only thing I can think of is they will have to keep her for a day or more and see if she coughs there. Maybe even putting her under anesthesia (which I hate doing ... especially as she gets older) and look down her throat. :(

We started changing her food because it seems to me that this extra cough started after we changed her food to the Kirkland mature brand (I know...I know...not the best choice but we needed food). We're going to switch everyone over to the Solid Gold brand. And hopefully the B.A.R.F diet. We have to go super slow for Trooper because he has the world's most sensitive stomach and I don't feel like dealing with explosive diarrhea. (oh yes, it is very bad!) So far though we've got Quinn into a half Solid Gold and half Kirkland and I don't see a difference. I was hoping we could solve it through healthier eating.

My poor baby girl!!!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Dads Matter

I always read about deadbeat dads. Those who leave their families and don't provide any monetary assistance, let alone emotional.

But I truly believe those deadbeats are the exception. We hear about them more often because bad news sells better than "dad loves his kids" stories.

"A Dad is More Than a Paycheck" is a great reminder.

As someone who grew up without a father (through no fault of his own) I try to remind my husband about the value of a father (he doesn't talk to his). Once they are gone that's it...they are gone forever. It is amazing some of the things we get mad about and stay mad about - petty things and important things. They all seem trivial upon death.

I wish fathers and husbands were more valued today. It seems like some would rather relegate them to the dustbin of history. I believe that kids do best with a mother and a father. I know that I would have been better off with both parents - though my mother did the best she could given the situation she was dealt.

One day I hope to have children. Or at least one. :) And I think that my hubby is going to be an amazing father. I've seen him interact with my little cousins and he just naturally seems to "get" kids. And I plan to tell him often what a wonderful husband and father he is.

Sleepy Sunday

I'm getting ready for my big April event so staying home all day today. The TV is on. It's cold outside. But cozy inside. The doggies are chillin.

Trooper has been sleepy since Friday because he went to daycare. He must have played hard!

Kodiak has been enjoying the cold deck - even when it's wet! I wonder what he smells here.

And Quinn is just the princess as always.

Aren't those crossed paws the sweetest?!?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

I Love Harry Potter

I know...I'm obsessed. Just wait until the 6th movie draws closer. Although I was super disappointed with the fifth movie. They cut out way too much and changed details that are just too important for an obsessed fan like me.

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade

Photo Hunt - HIGH

I love these fun things I've been finding online due to EntreCard. I'd never know such things existed! [*Edited to I supposed to post photos from ME? These aren't by me...oops. I'll do better next week I hope!]

Photo Hunt is too fun. :) This week's theme is "high"...

Amazing Balloon Photo by Tracy Lee.
View more of her amazing work here.

Friday, March 28, 2008


I love to type and always have. Hubby makes fun of me and tells me that I must not actually be typing any words because my fingers go so fast. Oh yeah!



She's My Hero

I have found a lot of wonderful people and blogs online in the last few years. One such lady (I use the term loosely) is Rachel Lucas. Her blog is funny, witty, and laced with bad language (though that has lessened in the last few weeks).

She is so down to earth and logical and hits things right on the nail (usually). I don't agree with her 100% but when she makes blog entries like THIS ONE I want to find her and hug her!

Would Marilyn Monroe be a star today? Or would she be too fat? Look at those thighs! But she is gorgeous. And so is the winner of Miss Surrey to the left. She's a size 16.

I watch America's Next Top Model religiously. I love the show. But next week's preview shows the "fat" girl in the group being told that they have no clothes for a size 10 girl. WTH? What kind of message does that send to vulnerable and impressionable girls who have body image issues already? Even adult women seem to get sucked in to this thinking that they should be rail thin like a pre-pubescent boy. Even boys are starting to think it's "attractive" to be super skinny with no muscle (disgusting is what I call it!).

I started a program nearly six weeks ago called Fit Yummy Mummy (yes, it's designed for women who have had kids but it's not exclusive). I haven't blogged about it at all because it's a hard thing for me to do. Making the decision to start the program was HARD. I mean HARD. I had to take a "before" photo and it was one of the most humiliating things ever. Hubby had to take it. And then I had to look at it and shudder.

I had let myself go. Not because I've gained weight - that does tend to happen as one ages. No. I've completely let myself, my whole self, just deteriorate. I had stopped exercising regularly months and months and months (okay over a year) ago. We ate pretty much whatever we felt like it. Pizza? Sure. One for each of us. Ice Cream? No problem. There's a container in the freezer. Actually there's a couple of containers. I could eat an entire box of mac and cheese by myself and still want more.

I was tired all the time. I *might* have had one or two fruits/veggies a week. Not a day. A WEEK. We'd buy them but they'd just sit there and go bad. Pasta was an every night event. Usually with sauce. With some bread. And a dessert. Or I'd swing by the Mexican restaurant.

I cried the night I signed up for FYM. Seriously. I cried! Making the commitment meant admitting that something was very wrong with my lifestyle. It meant accepting and letting go of everything that gave me comfort and safety - everything "normal" and stable.

Grocery shopping has become a very different adventure. No more frozen pizzas. No more ice cream. If we want ice cream so badly we will drive to get it but will not stock it in the house. No more white bread, white pasta, white flour. A veggie with every dinner and lunch. Get rid of the sugar. Avoid processed foods. Of course, I'm still working on it ... change this drastic does not happen overnight. Hubby isn't always as cooperative as I would like. But since I don't buy most of the stuff he used to eat he doesn't have many options at home.

So far I'm down around 10 pounds...the first six melted away very quickly. But it's not just about the weight lost. It's about how I feel about myself. I'm not aiming to be a size 2 like I was in high school (looking back now I looked sickly and anorexic). I do want to be able to walk up a flight of stairs without having an asthma attack. And unload my car of groceries without breaking a sweat. It feels good to move through the workouts and find myself progressing.

But I'm not starving myself. In fact, the woman in charge of this program, Holly, will tell people to eat MORE because so many women think that the less they eat the better. That's just not sustainable or healthy.

It's not about meeting some "ideal" body type or looking like a stick figure (Paris Hilton no thank you). It's about being healthy and happy with my body. Even if that means being a size 10 - I'm okay with that. I was a size 14 when I started and if I never lose more than these 10 pounds at least I will be healthier. I'm eating better and exercising. That alone is an improvement. I have more energy (though I think I will always feel "tired" due to other factors) and my cravings for things have decreased dramatically.

I'm not perfect of course. I still love my diet soda but I've gone from drinking 4 caffeinated diet drinks a day to 1 1/2. I'm trying new things and discovered that I really like almonds (which I'd never eaten before) with raisins.

It's a struggle and it doesn't help when people think a Marilyn Monroe body is fat. Health and society's definition of "beauty" don't always coincide.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Old and New

I had an idea in my head for some jewelry ages ago ... I went ahead and started to create the pieces and then stopped. The project sat there for weeks ... and weeks ... and weeks.

So long that the silver started to tarnish!

Finally last week I picked up the pretty fine silver circles that I had hammered as if they were being made into rings and then textured all around. I bought some really neat green - brown peacock freshwater pearls in a flat disc shape at the gem show the other weekend.

And together they make a pretty and (I think) fairly unique design. :)

Sometimes I try to force myself to complete a design but it really does make a difference to wait until inspiration really hits.

Birthday Contributor Post - MiSpa

Mi Spa is an Indie bath and body business I discovered at least a year and a half ago, maybe even further back. I've ordered several times and their products are excellent. This yummy Mango Iced Tea is part of my Birthday Giveaway.

I'm not a big perfume person - I usually forget to even put it on. But she has a fabulous roll on perfume that is super convenient. I'm able to swipe it on my wrists before I get out of my car and head inside to work.

My scent is Peony Blossom. I also have the matching scent in a great pump bottle lotion that I keep at my desk. It's super convenient and it's non greasy and doesn't linger or stay sticky on my hands. I need it at work because our soap is so drying.

If you place a jewelry order during the month of April you'll get one of MiSpa's amazing soap samples as part of your birthday "party favor" pack (not to mention the 30% off!).

I Already Knew That

Your Inner Gender is Male

You are rational, matter of fact, and quite dominant.

You like to get things done, without any emotional messiness.

You truly don't understand most women. And you definitely feel more comfortable around men.

No doubt about it. You're a guy - at least on the inside.

Well duh. I've always had more guy friends than girl friends and when I'm not losing my emotions due to a manic episode I'm generally way more logical than not. Though those darn episodes have been a little too often lately.

Not An Animal Blog You Say?

So I've been super obsessed with animals lately - mostly dogs - and a few cats. Which is funny since the original intention of this blog was to talk about jewelry. Ha!

But April will be less focused on animals because April is going to be very very busy. I'm busy now getting ready for it.

Here's a hint for what's coming up ... less than one week away!!!

hee hee hee

Find out a day early by signing up for my newsletter. I think it's going to be a very fun month.

A Simple Click Goes A Long Way

Did you know that you can help feed an abandoned animal for FREE? It won't cost you anything. Except a click.

The Animal Rescue Site

Every click on the Animal Rescue banner provides 0.6 bowls of food. It seems odd that a simple click can help provide food but it's a program that works to feed those innocent animals that are abandoned every day.

So every time you visit will you please click? It only takes a second.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

White Rain's March right? The END of March. What the heck is it doing SNOWING?!? ROFL

I had to work late tonight and hubby called to find out where I was...and then informed me that it was snowing at our house (45 minutes away from work. So you can imagine that my drive home was a nightmare. It took about twice as long to get home but it was kind of fun watching the snow come down so hard and sticking on the side of the road.

I know that my doggies love snow. I was excited to get home and snap a photo of them in the snow. Trooper is the only one who would behave long enough to get a good shot.


I love my boy. :)

And this is what happens to Bamboo when covered in snow - and not a lot of snow for that matter.


On a Happier Note

I cannot express how much I love my dogs. We are in the process of switching their food from the just 'ok' Kirkland puppy and mature dog food to Solid Gold and BARF. It's going to be a VERY slow transition because Trooper has the most sensitive stomach evAR. Although licking out ice cream containers has never been a problem for him.

We aren't eating ice cream at our house anymore. :)

I know in my head that dogs aren't people but I swear they have souls. And individual personalities. Our dogs are our babies and I want them to be healthy and healthy for the rest of their long lives.

Quinn has coughing issues (allergies) and in the past we've treated her with Steroids, which have worked okay but do cause a little incontinence. The poor girl has no idea when she's leaking. It's cute but sad. So I am thinking that perhaps changing her food to something super healthy will help because her cough has now morphed and sounds a lot worse than it ever did. I prefer to not give her pills since there are side affects.


And of course Kodiak limps always and will have severe arthritis one day. Anything we can do to make him more comfortable has to be on our list of things to do. He's SUCH a happy boy!

Nah, nah, na na nah

He loves to have his ears scratched and even though we know he must be in pain he has so much energy and can still jump and run. Though after a day at daycare he can barely walk, he demands to go and howls when I only take Trooper.

I love my dogs and they bring us SO much happiness.

Can You Help?

I want to save them all, but I can't. And that fact makes me ever so sad that it tears at my heart.

Are you near (Georgia)? Do you know someone who can help? Who can adopt? Who can volunteer? Who can foster? Who can donate? Help rescue these wonderful creatures who have done nothing to warrant their abandonment. They only want to love you.

I need to stop reading about all the animals who need my help because I really should not be crying at work. People who torture animals deserve to have the same punishments inflicted upon them.

Wordless Wednesday

Originally uploaded by Rigor & Samnooshka

Wordless Wednesday

Do Spiders Have Souls?

Seeing a picture of a spider makes me shudder so you can imagine my horror when we find them in the house.

I've always been scared of spiders. I remember being at grandma's house in the basement and not even wanting to vacuum them up because I thought they'd crawl out and get me. They are revengeful little beasts you know! I can't even step on them if they're too big. The tiny ones are usually okay...but they have to be pretty tiny.

For some reason in the last few years Daddy long legs have stopped bothering me as much. If I see one in the corner I usually leave it alone. I hate mosquitoes more than the long legs so the spider wins in that instance.

But when one drops down in front of my face when I'm in the SHOWER - war is immediately declared. I about had a heart attack the other day. Not only did this stupid spider drop down did it TWICE! Like it was dive bombing me. I like taking long showers but this was not one of those days. I rinsed my hair and got out fast. Because I knew he was coming to get me again!

I use that Lysol Mildew spray after every shower - not a lot because it's super chemically but just a squirt on the nozzle. Well, this spider got a bath in this stuff and it proves just how dangerous chemicals are because that spider could hardly move after I sprayed it. Just imagine - frantic naked woman having near panic attack and spraying spraying spraying while trying not to get too close to the demon spider.

It's definitely dead and it took me awhile to find the dang thing. I was worried that it had survived and was going to attack again. I'm pretty sure though that I saw a leg sticking out from behind an older bottle of shampoo. Of course I'm not going to touch it - that's hubby's job. So for now I have a dead spider (shall we call him murdered? It was self defense!) somewhere above my head behind an unused bottle of shampoo.

If it had been a Wolf Spider I may have woken hubby up and forced him to do the deed. We have them and they have been found in three different rooms so far. They are far scarier than daddy longlegs (I can't even post a photo because just looking at them gives me chills!). The ones we have found so far have been well into the two inch range and dark brown scary monsters. And yet hubby still refuses to kill them. He traps them and releases them outside where they just crawl right back in when we're not looking.

They are nearly as bad as the black jumping spiders who are pretty tiny but super aggressive. They aren't scared at all and will RUN at you if you're trying to shoo it away. And they're tough too - squishing them is no easy task. And hubby thinks that flushing them will do the trick - but I always check the toilet before sitting down because you never know if one is going to crawl back up to get revenge!!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Learn a New Skill

Have you always wanted to create your own jewelry? Or have you created jewelry but want to try something new?

My good friend Jennifer Casady has created a tutorial for her signature freshwater pearl teardrops bracelet and is offering them up for sale in her Etsy supply store.

You can order the tutorial by itself for only $10 or you can order the full kit with all the materials included for only $49. You should have a basic understanding of how to work with jump rings and the tools needed for this design.

She's so great and I think you'll really enjoy her tutorials.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Perfect for Monday

Humorous Pictures
see more crazy cat pics

Another Monday Morning

Oh my gosh I cannot tell you how cold I am right now! It was definitely less than 30 degrees at our house this morning and the ice was thick on my windshield. I had to sit while it thawed. And I'm still not thawed out!

Though the cold does help to keep my eyes open since they are so heavy. I don't know why I feel so tired since I really slept well and hard. Maybe it's all the upcoming work I need to do that is pre-exhausting me! lol

My kitchen table is just about covered up with exciting stuff and I'm just waiting for one more shipment. Woohoo!!! I'll start working on my newsletter this week and get it sent off next Monday. Only one more week for everyone signed up. The rest of you will find out on Tuesday! Fun fun fun! :)

Not only am I getting ready for April but I have some new jewelry to add to my website ... oh and of course my "real" job is quite busy right now as well. I need a couple extra weekends!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

My Easter Egg Personality

What Your Easter Egg Says About You

You are whimsical, spontaneous, and fun loving.

You connect well with people, but nature is your true love.

Changing locations and scenery is important to your creativity.

You are inspired by the surroundings around you

Yeah...but tomorrow I'll be someone else!

Happy Easter!

Today is the celebration of Christ's resurrection from the grave. He was crucified and died to save us from our sins. Three days later he rose.

I didn't do anything for Lent this year...I'm not Catholic and Lent has never been something my family or church recognized. But two years ago I gave up chocolate ice cream. lol Of course I didn't give up ALL ice cream. Heh. My coworker gave up chocolate this year and today she'll finally get some yummy chocolaty goodness.

Today we are getting together with a few family members and going to Olive Garden (I hope they're open) but not going to Church. I haven't been to church in ages. It sucks because I loved going to church but it's more than 30 minutes away from our house and I hated going by myself when Nick was working. I loved singing the songs we had. Maybe one of these days I'll start going back. But after being gone for so long it feels really weird to go back.

But I do believe in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. I believe that Jesus died for our sins and we are saved. I believe in miracles and that everything happens for a reason - even horrible and bad things. I believe that God gave us free will and that believers are not mind-numbed robots. :) I believe that God has blessed me beyond all my wildest dreams and continues to bless me and my family.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Love These!

Okay...I'm not a super funky chick. I am very conservative in just about everything, including the way I dress and the jewelry that I wear. But I saw these Resin bracelets today being featured on Etsy's front page and was pulled in. They are gorgeous!

I do not understand how she can only charge $15 a piece. Seriously. I took a resin class a couple of weeks ago and did NOT like it at all. It is not an easy material to work with. I seriously ended up throwing away 99% of the pieces I made in the class. And I burned myself during class. I know some people are just naturals so Resinated must be one. I think she should be selling these for at the very least $30 each. I think she'd even sell more at that price...perceived value and all that.

Each of her hand crafted resin bracelets requires filing and polishing. Plus they are just fabulous!

Charging for your time is a very important aspect of pricing that many artists don't account for when thinking about their profit. Sure an item may only "cost" you $2 to make. (Just an example, I have no idea how much her resin bracelets actually cost to make.)

That is $2 in materials outright. Now ask yourself how long it took you to make that item. I've made some very complex pieces that didn't necessarily "cost" a lot to make but they sure took a lot of time and energy.

I harp on charging enough for your work because charging too little hurts you and other artists. Handcrafted work needs to be valued and the consumer sometimes needs to be reminded why it is worth it to pay a little more to buy directly from the artist as opposed to shelling out less at Target or Walmart for something mass produced in China.

Think about alllllll the other random expenses that we don't always consider when creating our pieces. I have invested money into so many things that don't factor in to my final "cost" of an item.

For example:
  • Business cards
  • Advertising
  • Professional Memberships
  • Tools Purchased (I have almost more tools than hubby)
  • Storage Containers and Bins
  • Plastic Bags for material storage
  • Work Desk and space taken up in my home (this does have a value)
  • Electricity used - not just light...when I use my drill or kiln (if I had one) and Tumbler, it takes electricity
  • Materials used that are hard to price like Liver of Sulfer and Solder that are hard to price per piece
  • Pens and Receipt Books
  • My Digital Camera
  • Time spent Photographing and editing photos
  • My laptop
  • Internet connection
  • Magazine Subscriptions related to my craft
  • Classes I take to improve or learn new skills
  • Oh and TIME
I'm sure there are tons of other things that people spend money on and don't take into account when pricing. I didn't even include packaging - that's another issue all together.

I know I'm guilty of not remembering to factor these costs in sometimes as well. But when you really write out all the things that "cost" us as artists you may realize that you're not making as much of a profit as you thought.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Foot In Mouth

I'm a pretty mouthy gal and sometimes say what's on my mind before really thinking about's been that way since I was a little girl. Just ask my mom.

I don't MEAN to hurt anyone's feelings. Ever. It makes me sick to my stomach and makes me want to cry (which I hate doing) when things I write or say are taken in a different way than I meant.


I'm glad it's Friday. I need to stay home and away from people for a few days.

Yeah, What She Said!


My family had not one dang thing to do with slavery, so far as I can trace my family back at least three generations on one side and two generations on the other.

My maternal grandfather's side was hella poor and has at least two Indian women mixed in...not exactly "proper" during those times.

My maternal grandmother's side was also poor and emigrated (is that the right word?) from South Dakota before WWII, after the Depression. I've seen some amazing pictures from way back when.


On my father's side I know much less except that his grandparents weren't even from this country! They immigrated (that IS the right word) from the Ukraine ... probably before WWII but I don't know exactly when. These were my paternal grandmother's parents. I know nothing about my paternal grandfather so I suppose he could be related to some slave holder. But for Pete if that has anything to do with who I am!

So I say hell yes to Rachel Lucas' reaction to the slick car salesman known as Obama. She says it so much better than I can.

My Fingers are Numb calendar says that the first day of Spring was yesterday. This morning I woke up to ICE on my car's windshield and by the time I got to work it was a toasty 35 degrees outside. What the heck?!?

Not that I don't love the cold weather. I just feel that if it is going to be ice cold it needs to at least do me the favor of snowing. Maybe it will snow on my 30th birthday! That would rock.

So to celebrate the Spring that hasn't truly arrived yet here are some fun finds.

How impossibly cute is this Ladybug Hair Clip made by Lili Bug Boutique?!? I don't know if I could pull it off though. Maybe if I were 5. I was a ladybug for Halloween once.

I do think that I could pull off this flippin' adorable Afternoon Tea Jacket...except that I don't drink tea. I'll check with Robin's Egg Pink to see if I can wear it while drinking Dr. Pepper.

And to get the birdies to flock add a new bird feeder to your outdoor decorations. I love this one by Kings Krafts. It is handmade AND he is reusing / recycling. Plus it is super affordable.

I think I can feel my fingers now. I hope everyone else is staying warm and dry!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Make Mine Chocolate!

I love Easter. Not just the whole message of Christ's sacrifice for us. But chocolate bunnies too.

My mom never would have bought me a live Easter bunny or chick. She wouldn't even get me a dog (I only wanted one for like 5 minutes before I remembered that I was scared of dogs!). But some parents seem to think it's a good idea to get their child a live animal to celebrate Easter.

How about chocolate instead??? Make Mine Chocolate is a campaign to educate people about what happens to those cute little bunnies when they grow up and aren't so cute anymore.

Parents need to decide if a Bunny is really the right kind of pet to get for their family and what it means to raise a rabbit responsibly.

Personally? I probably won't ever get my kids a rabbit...they freak me out! For some reason I'm always afraid they're going to bite me! LOL But feel free to send me a dark chocolate bunny. =)

My Life is Not So Bad

Sometimes I get down...sometimes I cannot help it because it is a chemical imbalance in my brain. But sometimes I just get regular depression like an everyday average Jane...a Pity Party we shall say.

And then I discover someone who has so much pain inside of her that I am amazed at her ability to continue on because I don't know if I could.

Do NOT visit her blog if you are sensitive to graphic drawings and language. Because this amazing woman was horribly abused and betrayed all through her childhood. Children should be loved and cared for - they should be able to rely on their parents to take care of them and protect them. She was not afforded this luxury.

I know that she is not alone in her misery. I know that things like this happen more often than any of us realize or maybe want to admit. I cannot even fathom how she has found the bravery to open her heart again! But seeing her photos with her Stefano make me grin like a fool. And her cats and "Apple" the dog are beyond adorable. Pets do give the ultimate, non-judgmental, and unconditional love.

I read through her ENTIRE blog. Seriously. All the way back to her first post. I just want to reach out and hug her ... and I hate hugging people. I hate touching people in general. My mom thinks that I was abused as a young child at a daycare. I don't remember anything. But I HATE to be touched - by strangers, by family. Except my hubby. I love my hubby and crave his hugs. And children. I love getting hugs from my little cousins. But anyone else...please don't get too close. It makes me cringe.

Please visit Art Constellation if you can ... her drawings are disturbing, graphic, upsetting, powerful, sometimes beautiful. Her words are scattered yet organized. If that makes any sense. They flow but they don't. Buy her art or a mug of Lloyd and help her get to Italy!

Sweet Kitties

Originally in my life I was a cat fanatic. I was terrified of dogs ... though I don't really know why since I only had a few 'incidents' with scary dogs. But they freaked me out.

My first cat was apparently brought in the house against my father's wishes. My mom says that he came home one night and tossed a little kitten on the table. Ha! Sounds like something hubby would do now. But of course it made us kids happy.

I remember when my kitty was under the deck and she wouldn't move. We think she got hit by a car but I was just a little girl (6 or 7) and kept trying to get her to eat. I'd bring her cat food and take it to her mouth. I even tried to feed her slugs! (What is it with me and slugs?!) She went to kitty heaven but I'm sure we got another one...unfortunately I don't remember much from that time in my life because it was right when my dad was really sick and dying.

After his death we moved from Port Angeles to Tumwater. One night when I was around 12 my mom came home from the grocery store and had a surprise for us. A kitten! I named him Izzy and he was my cat. He is still alive today! Which makes him nearly 18 years old. But he is going strong. My mom doesn't really keep him as a pet anymore - he's more like the neighborhood Tom Cat. He's been in lots of scraps as evidenced by his nose scars, but he has obviously won! lol And every time I come home he knows and recognizes me.

We had other cats (two others actually) when I lived at home but both of them died early. One in our driveway and my mom told us that she thought the other one must have gone somewhere to die because we never found him.

When I moved out on my own at the age of 18 I went to the pound and fell in love with a tiny little black kitten. They *said* that she was at least 8 weeks old...yeah not so much. I took her home and named her Jazmyn. She still needed to be bottle fed! Even today when she's really happy she will suckle on soft blankets while kneading her paws. It's so cute.

She doesn't get to come in the house very much anymore, but the other day the doggies were at the groomers and I let the kitties in to visit and lounge. They were in heaven. I miss having them in the house but their lives really do depend on staying in the garage.

Jazmyn was an only kitty for at least a year when I brought home the invader - Mischief. Another pound kitty. I have a hard time going to the pound and not wanting to bring home all the animals. Mischief was such a cute kitten and is still a gorgeous young man. Of course Jazmyn hates him...and anytime I'm actually in the room they fight like crazy. They seem to do okay together in the garage though...I rarely hearing hissing. :)

Michief is SUCH a cuddler. He's like a little blanket. I miss taking a nap on the couch with him on my stomach or cuddled in the crook of my knees. And I know that he craves more human attention. When he came in the house the other Saturday he jumped up on my lap just like old times and watched me on the laptop.

And of course guarded my laptop when I got up.

While both kitties are currently stuck in the garage, their story does have a happy ending! My mother in law is moving down to be closer to us and is getting her own little apartment. And as soon as she's all moved in and put together the kitties will be moving in with her!

I will miss them but the reality is that we are now a dog house and the cats ARE in danger whenever Trooper sees them. He goes into full predator mode and will not listen to me nearly as well as he needs to listen to the alpha. I can get his attention but never fully. And we already had one near eaten incident with Trooper and Jazmyn. It takes less than 5 seconds for him to kill - trust me, I've seen him grab a bird out of the air and snap it's neck in that time. For such a big guy he sure can move fast.

We try to keep them comfortable in the garage. It's a two car garage and we put a heater out there. Hubby put a bunch of blankets and pillows to make them a large bed and they have several 'real' kitty beds. As well as a cat tree, which will go to the dump after they move because it is trashed. We'll get MIL a new one for the kitties.

I am going to miss them but at least they'll only be 5 minutes away. And my MIL is really looking forward to having them. She is staying with us right now and has been going out to the garage to visit and pet them. They love the attention! And I know they will be so happy to be the king and queen of a new castle.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Mother's Day Approaches

Mother's Day is less than two months away - Sunday May 11. I admit I haven't really started to think about what to get my mother but I did already get something for my mother in law. Is that weird?

It's actually much easier for me to shop for my MIL than my mom. Why is that? I'm always seeing things and thinking "MIL" would love that! I bought her a paint kit from Costco over two weeks ago and it's in the closet waiting for mother's day.

My mom has all the jewelry she will ever need - she's always been one of my best customers. :) And yes, she does get a mommy discount. I have bought her lots of lotions and perfumes over the years. She doesn't really need candles or any foo foo scented things. And everything that she really needs she ends up buying herself.

So I'm sort of at a loss. If I start thinking about it now I may come up with something nice for her. Maybe a nice decorative pillow. Or a scarf. She is a scarf whore. Yes, I called my mother a whore but she said it first. She LOVES scarves. But seriously? How many can you really have?

I'd love to get her a handmade purse but that's sort of a personal underwear. They all fit a little differently.

And I'd buy her clothes but she's lost more than 130 pounds in the last year and I have no idea what fits her and how much more weight she may lose.

I'll be keeping my eyes open though and will definitely post Mother's Day worthy items I find out there. If I can't think of anything interesting for my mom at least I can help others do something special for theirs! :)

I like Zebras

Black and White. Classics. How could any animal be more perfect? Plus they're kind of like horses and I love horses. :)

Okay, so this purse is brown and white but the strips are right. And it's adorable! Made by J Jonni.

Okay, I didn't make these earrings but I would totally wear them! And I love Exclamation Point's interpretation of the French hook style earrings.

Super stylish and it looks warm too! This scarf made by Sweet Charlotte is fashionable and functional.

How adorable is this hand made rubber stamp!?! I am so envious of the skill it takes to carve things. Corrabelle does a great job.


Living in the Pacific Northwest is wonderful. Born and raised, I'm used to the weird weather, the rain, the clouds, the sun, the hail...that's sometimes all in one day. We don't get a lot of earthquakes, but when we do they are noticeable. Every once in a rare while we'll even get a tornado.

What really sets us apart though is the Cascade range which divides our state in half (East and West). Active volcanoes run up and down this range - Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Baker. They are all active volcanoes. While sleepy, they sometimes wake up.

In 1980 Mt. St Helens woke up with a fury. My mom was in Onalaska, a sleepy little town a couple hours south of Seattle, with me at her parents (my grandparents). She was also very pregnant with my little brother. She was leaving my father's mom's house and driving back to her parent's house when she noticed people standing outside their houses and staring up at the sky. She just about freaked out when she looked behind her and saw this...

Remember, this was still the time of the Cold War, and that does look an awful lot like a mushroom cloud. She seriously thought it might be a nuke. Her car radio was out - just static - so she was freaked until she got to her parent's house and found out it was the mountain.

Early in the morning on May 18, 1980, a 5.1 magnitude earthquake was recorded. The earthquake shook the mountain and the great force of the shaking led to an instant escape of very hot ground water and pressure. As the hot water escaped it melted the snow and ice and blew off most of the north face of the summit! The massive explosion and force of all the pent up gases and pressure gave way to one of the largest recorded landslides in U.S. history. The exploding steam that came out of the mountain added water to the avalanche which increased it's speed. As it traveled down the mountain, it took out entire trees and pretty much anything esle in its path. It had the consistency of wet concrete because of all of the debris it picked up, making this landslide very destructive. It filled the valley below with it's thick "concrete" mesh of ash, water and other pyroclastic debris. The avalanche caused a terrible and devastating flood and even clogged up the Columbia river making navigation almost impossible to boats and ships. U of O

I was two years old. I don't remember specifics, but I do remember it being very dark when it shouldn't have been. And I remember having nightmares about lava flowing and me floating on it. Come on, I was only two.

Prior to the eruption, St. Helens had been a beautiful towering mountain (see the first photo above). Afterward it was a desolate and wasted landscape. Everything was just gone.

We went camping and horseback riding on the mountain a few years ago. You can still see the trees laying down like that - like toothpicks. My grandpa told me stories of some friends who got caught in the ash and had to wade through several feet of hot mud, getting severely burned, and who are lucky to be alive today. I cannot even comprehend the fear.

Slowly life does return to even the most devastated areas. Our planet is ever changing, always adapting, and incredibly resilient. I don't believe that there's too much we can do to affect that.

On trips to Onalaska today, on very clear days, we can see the beauty that remains of this volcano. My sister in law has hiked it - just last year. But it is not completely asleep. And neither are the other mountains in this chain, which could also wake up at any time.