Monday, December 31, 2007

As the New Year Begins...

It is 11:28pm here in Key West, Eastern Standard Time. I am at home with my fiance, two dogs (one we are just dogsitting but considering purchasing), three cats, pet skunk, hamster and betta fish.

There are many things I wanted to accomplish before the end of the year: have my house clean, finish the calendars I make every year for my friends back home, register for school, get my Florida driver's license. I'm hoping to get all those things done in the next two weeks, the less I have to stress out about on top of wedding plans.

We are thinking about buying the chihuahua. It was hard to take him back to the pet store last week, and when I took Buster in to be groomed on Friday, the chihuahua went crazy when he saw him. When I brought him home tonight, he was just as excited to see Buster and leapt up and kissed him. Buster has been so good with the puppy, making sure not to step on him, letting him bite his ears, climb on his back, and generally harass him.

It's a tough decision. We're falling quickly for him and he's obviously bonded to us. Scott made the point the other day that we want a human baby and we keep bringing animal babies into the house. I think to an extent that all these animal babies with different schedules and dietary needs are good training for parenthood, not that I think parenting is or will be easy, I know better than that. Anyone who thinks they are fully "ready" for children is nuts.

Hopefully this year will bring us a chance to move to a more cost-effective home, more time with friends and family, and the chance to make some happy memories.

Friday, December 28, 2007

And Just Like That, It's Over.

Christmas came and went far too quickly. I suspect it has something to do with the fact that I worked on the 24th and the 26th, in addition to feeding and watering everything at the store on Christmas Day.

As a result of forgetting to water our tree a few days in a row, it has dried up pretty quickly and is shedding needles at a great rate. That, combined with one of the cats insisting that the tree-skirt is a good place to pee, has convinced me not to leave the tree up for all 12 days of Christmas as is usually my tradition.

Christmas Eve dinner was pierogies and apples with carmel and peanut butter for dipping (the apples, not the pierogies). After dinner we opened one present together, a coffee table book called SNOG: A Puppy's Guide to Love from my cousin Carrie. We read through it together and then Scott ushered me off to bed so Santa could come down our non-existent chimney.

Christmas morning we awoke fairly early to the sound of the Chihuahua barking in his kennel. We took a family walk with Buster and Cocoa Puff, (or McLovin, depending on the day) and the puppy pottied outside for the first time ever. I was very proud.

We brewed a batch of coffee and opened our gifts, beginning with the stockings for the animals. My stocking was filled with all kinds of goodies, the most popular being the yogurt covered pretzels that were gone by the end of the day.

Since I was on duty to take care of the animals at the store, I headed over around 10am and Ricky met me there. We managed to feed and water everything in about a half hour and then headed back to the house. I had invited Ricky, Debbie and Toni for brunch, which was a huge amount of scrambled eggs, sauteed veggies, and toaster waffles.

After brunch we watched "A Christmas Story" and then I took about a two and a half hour nap. Once I woke up we gathered the chihuahua and drove up to Cudjoe Key to my bosses' house, where we enjoyed their various animals and spent a couple of hours competing on an X-Box Karaoke game. We made it home at about 2am and I went to bed.

We miss the chihuahua. We're considering buying him. We're nuts.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas From Our Zoo

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house all the creatures were stirring and hoping for snacks.

Since there are three puppies not yet sold and the store is closed Christmas day, each of the three remaining went home with someone for two nights. I got to bring home the afore-mentioned Chocolate Chihuahua.

He has settled in just fine, decided his bed is a folded wool blanket beneath the coffee table, and already made the skunk jealous.

Stinkerbell has spent the majority of the evening pouting in her bed (in her cage by choice) and had to be bribed out once the puppy went to sleep.

The cats are pretty accustomed to new animals being brought into their lives now, Buster was the first major interruption in their cat-centric lives, followed by a Betta (a relatively mild distraction), Hamster and then of course, the skunk. When they saw the Chihuahua they just sniffed him and then retreated to a position with a good vantage point.

Buster immediately understood that it is a dog, very small, and fragile. He sniffed it and then wanted to play. He has been very careful not to step on the Chihuahua and was happy to share his toys and bed.

Since it is Christmas Eve, I decided they should all be festive. I know better than to try and put anything on Minx, as I'd like to keep my face intact, but I put a lovely velvet bell collar on Maui and then on Chou.

Maui was fairly tolerant, but very happy when Scott rescued him. Chou is reasonably used to being subjected to embarrassing fashion attempts. He sits calmly and only shows his displeasure by glaring at me.

Buster is very happy to wear his Christmas sweater, much to Scott's chagrin. Scott only allows the wearing of the sweater because Buster is visibly proud to have it on. When I bring it out of the cupboard he immediately comes over and sits at my feet, ready to be festooned.

Being in Key West, we are running our AC even on Christmas Eve and the Chihuahua got a little chill. I transformed an old sock into a sweater with a matching toque.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Deck the Halls

With something Furry...
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

This is a silver Chinchilla. He is one of two we have left at the store.

If you have ever felt a fur coat made of Chinchillas, you know how soft their fur is. According to Wikipedia,

"The international trade in chinchilla fur goes back to the 16th century. The fur from chinchillas is popular in the fur trade due to its extremely soft feel, because they have about 60 hair sprouting from each hair follicle. The color is usually very even which makes it ideal for small garments or lining of large garments, though some large garments can be made entirely from the fur. The pelt of a chinchilla is relatively small, so many animals must be killed to make a single coat. This fact led to the extinction of one species, and put serious pressure on the other two."

Fortunately we bring them into our store as pets, and we have the fun of getting to play with them ourselves. They are very curious, and like to nibble gently on things as they explore. This can include the tip of your finger if you are holding one, but it doesn't hurt.

Chinchillas are very clean, not requiring a water bath. A Bath House is placed in their living area and holds a small amount of Bath Dust. The Chinchillas get in the bath house and roll around until they feel they are appropriately clean.

I have to say, it's pretty darn cute.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas is a time for Reminiscing.

(there used to be a video here of The Swing Sisters...I think it expired.)

That's me in the middle. I miss this.

Friday, December 14, 2007

'Tis The Season...


To Piss. Me. Off.

Why would someone steal in the first place. Especially when they are GIVEN things to begin with? I do not understand this.

Perhaps the guilty party is a kleptomaniac. Whatever the reason, it puts a dent in my Christmas Spirit.

I wish that people that feel the need to steal would just admit it and avoid the situation that they steal from entirely.

Grr. And a tiny bit of Bah Humbug.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas is going to the dogs.


I don't usually go in for the small yappy dogs, but this chocolate chihuahua just cracks me up. He's in our "puppy window" with a jack russell, a papillon and a rat terrier. He is easily the smallest. The other day I saw the jack with a chihuahua front leg in her mouth, the rat terrier had a back leg, and they were dragging him across the floor of the window. He got up and ran right back for more.

Couldn't you just eat him? With whipped cream maybe?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Silver Bells

It's still happening. I made dinner for 3 and then baked a batch of mini-blueberry muffins.

Ack!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas...

...Let your heart be light!

Lights are still $2.50 for a box of 100 at the craft store, so I picked up two more in hopes that they will be enough to light the bottom 1/4 of my tree.

I wasn't off today, but I worked from 9am to 4:15pm and then came home and took a little nap on the couch and ottoman with Stinkerbell while Scott made dinner (YUMMY).

Then the spirit of Martha Stewart possessed me again and I went to three different stores, picking up pictures and supplies.

Once back at the house I put Mixed Nuts into the DVD player (it's one of my three* Christmas movies that I must see every year) and started cooking.

I made a gigantic batch of peanut butter cookies and a pan of "double-layer confetti brownies" with m&m's in them, wrapped some more presents, and did another load of dishes.

I don't know what's gotten in to me.

*The other two are White Christmas and Love Actually.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Here Comes Santa Claus...

Today was my day. I was off of work today and decided to make full use of it.

I planned to get up in time to have a shower and look presentable on meeting my bestie Steph for breakfast at IHOP. Scott set my alarm for 10 PM and I woke up much too well-rested at 10:59 with one minute to get to IHOP. I phoned Steph and made sure she was going to be late, then took the dog for a quick jog around the condos. I stuck a headband in my bed-hair (not the good kind of bed-hair, either) and jumped in my car to race to the restaurant.

Our house is on large concrete stilts, as we live in hurricane country. This is great if there's flooding, but not so great if you are backing out of the carport between the stilts and not very awake.

I shaved off my driver's side mirror. Didn't even leave it hanging. It lay pitifully in the driveway waiting for me to rescue it. After much swearing I collected the poor thing and headed off to pancake-land.

The night before last Steph helped me haul a Fraser Fir through the bushes between Home Depot and our house. Last night I bought some lights at K-Mart (the only lights that were left) and put them on the tree. I bought 8 strands of 35 lights each. They don't plug into each other and they only covered about the top third of the tree.

This morning after breakfast I went to the local craft store and discovered that they still have lights (lots and lots and lots) AND they are on sale! I got boxes of 100 light strands for $2.50 each! I then went to Ross and bought an ottoman. Not a Christmas thing, I know, but it's a very lovely ottoman. The cats especially are enjoying it.

Once I got home I lugged the ottoman out of my trunk and all the way up the outside stairs. I hit "shuffle" on my i-pod Christmas playlist then cleaned the kitchen and living room, did a load of dishes, three loads of laundry, put the couch-cover back on the couch, wrapped some presents, washed the tree skirt (a cat had peed on it), clipped some cat claws, set the table with a lovely silver table cloth and 4 place settings, took the dog for another walk, downloaded pictures from my camera and then uploaded them to Walgreens to pick up later, put two strands of lights on the tree (STILL not enough) and three strands on the exterior of the house.

And THEN, I made macaroni and cheese.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Countdown to Christmas...

Working retail during the holidays is crazy. I did it ten years ago at the GAP in downtown Portland, and our pet store on our tiny island is nearly as busy as the holidays approach!

Today we are getting baby ferrets and chinchillas (for those who've never met a chinchilla, I'll be posting pics soon. They're AWESOME.) and next week another round of puppies.

I've put together some gift baskets that will give customers the opportunity to save 20% on everything in the basket if they buy it as a whole, and we've decorated the store with lights, tinsel and so far, two trees.

I am sending out the first of my wave of Christmas cards today, and hoping we will procure a tree from somewhere soon. Scott's not interested in the fake ones, however practical they may be, so we'll see if we're going to get an actual fir tree or go with our potted palm like last year.

The chaos begins.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Snow Going

Thanksgiving morning sledding. This is a family tradition on my mom's side, at least for the last 5 years, maybe before that. All the boys (and me) trek up the Blue Mountains and spend the day carving a fantastic run.

It was so much fun to be in the snow. Everyone was concerned for my poor tropical thermostat, but I fared just fine until my toes got cold. Fortunately Don loaned me his snowboarding boots and they warmed up for a good hour or so.

Ultimately we had to pack up the toboggans, sleds, and innertubes and make our way back down the mountain. But first we had some fun behind the truck.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Skunks Get Lonely, Too.


When I arrived home late Tuesday night, the dog stood on his hind legs to hug me, the cats all purred. The hamster came out of her tubes in hopes of a treat, and the fish came to the surface in expectation.

But the skunk made my day. As soon as I opened the cage she followed me around the kitchen as I prepared my dinner, then lay on my feet until I was done eating and allowed her on the couch with me. She snuggled right up and didn't budge until it was bedtime.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Contacts: Don't Leave Home Without 'Em

On Wednesday my cousin/wedding coordinator and I drove to Walla Walla from Portland for the Thanksgiving holiday. She lives there, and I was visiting.

I have driven up the Columbia Gorge countless times in my life - I used to travel with my grandparents bi-monthly to visit my great-grandparents. I have lived in College Place and beyond and driven to Portland bi-weekly for choir practices and performances at my church. I-84 is so familiar to me that I cannot help but recall the many trip memories from my childhood every time I pass through.

My grandparents were teachers before their retirement and our journeys were always filled with lessons for me, usually math and/or constellations while I laid in the back window of their Volkswagen Rabbit.

Since this four-hour drive is old hat to me, I did not find it necessary to wear my contacts as I had no need to read the highway signs. Once we reached our destination in College Place, I dropped my cousin off and continued on my list of people to see all in the same evening. Having spent a good amount of time in College Place as a child, college student and later housewife, I can easily transverse the small town by landmarks alone.

My other two cousins and their families live in Walla Walla, which is a sister town to College Place and only really separated on a map. It was dark by the time I headed through downtown en route to the first of their houses and I was going on directions written on a napkin that I could not see because the borrowed Subaru had no dome light.

I wandered the neighborhoods near Whitman College before realizing that I had not gone far enough on Isaacs Street. I finally found Bellevue Street and made the correct left turn. I then began looking for an alley/driveway after the second house on the second block. There it was! I pulled in to my left and tried to figure out where to park. It took me two phone calls to figure out that I was supposed to be on the RIGHT side of the street, not the left. I came out of the alley, crossed Bellevue and parked behind my cousins house for a lovely 45 minute visit.

As dinner time neared it was my cue to move on to the next location. I had been instructed to take a right on Isaacs and then a left on Division, but was not told how far down to find Division. As I could not read the street signs until I was quite literally upon them, I soon found myself winding around Whitman College again, heading the wrong direction. I made another phone call and was set on the correct path. I had been told that if I got to the three-way stop I had gone too far, so of course I had to flip a U-turn when I hit it and finally made it to my dinner host's abode.

After dinner and much stress (Scott decided on Wednesday night to fly out to Portland on Thursday) to book an airline ticket, it was time to cross town again to the cousin's house I was staying at. I departed heading in the general direction of College Place, intending to zig-zag across Walla Walla and come back in on Rose.

As I took a right through a main intersection, the car fishtailed. Granted, it was well below freezing, but I thought for SURE the ground was dry. I gained control easily and took my next left onto what I thought was Rose. I began to hear the tell-tale thump-thump-thump of a flat tire. I pulled over and braved the cold to investigate. Sure enough, the rear left tire had blown out completely, I could stick my hand IN the tire at the edge.

I made yet another phone call for rescue and had to get out of the car and trot over to a street sign to read where I was. Apparently NOT on Rose and NOT in a "good" part of town. I locked myself in the Subaru and awaited my knight-in-shining-Camry (aka my cousin's husband).

The moral of the story is two-fold.
  1. Wear your contacts when driving, you silly woman.
  2. Double check the contents of your purse before you leave town with the keys to the abandoned car.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Heading Home...

My travels yesterday began when Scott dropped me off at the Key West airport. My flight was scheduled to leave at 4:22pm, so we arrived at the terminal at about 3:45pm. I unloaded my purse, pillow and suitcase from the car and then hauled out the big duffle bag from the trunk. At the last second I decided to grab the little neck pillow from the back window (you know the kind - all squishy and have names like SQWISHEE!) for some added comfort.

The pillow had been in the back window of the BMW for quite some time and apparently had melded to the upholstery. As I retrieved it, the casing tore and brought forth 3,496,872 little white SQWISHEE! beads. All. Over. The. Car. And my head. And down my shirt and pants and in my shoes. And in my pockets.

I took a quick moment to attempt to dust myself of the blizzard and then made my way into the building and to the ticket counter. I checked my bags and received a boarding pass, then made my way through security with about 5 minutes to spare before boarding.

In Miami I had about 20 minutes between flights and used it to hit up an airport Starbucks for a Venti Black Tea Lemonade. I sucked it down in about 10 minutes, boarded the next plane, and by the time my flight landed in Dallas, my bladder was in state-of-emergency mode. I was seated in the very back of the plane and was concerned that our late arrival meant I would miss my connection to Portland.

As I speedwalked off the aircraft, I found my next gate and was exceedingly grateful to discover that my next flight was also delayed. I waddled my thankful bladder to the nearest restroom with the intention of relieving my discomfort. I was carrying a large shoulder-bag and a full size pillow. The stall had one hook. Pillows are not made for hooks.

I hung the bag on the hook, undid my pants with one hand and then carefully held the pillow between my knees to er, do my business. It was then that I noticed that I had about 2 cups of SQWISHEE! beads in my nether regions. I'm sure a few were quite literally pissed away, but the remainder were not going down without a fight.

It is very difficult to remove something from that part of your anatomy with a full sized pillow held carefully between your knees.

I managed to eradicate most of the little buggers, and boarded the last flight hoping I had got them all.

When I changed my clothes for bed last night I shed about another 2.5 cups of beads on my mother's guestroom floor, thanks to the castaways lurking in my bra, scalp and navel.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

BTS: Chapter Two

I received a "transcript conversion" from FKCC for my time at MHCC, and it looks like several of my classes will count towards the certificate I'm planning to receive.

I'm going to obtain a Small Business Management Certificate program before continuing with an A.A.S. I think I can finish the certificate program in the time that we are in Key West, and I can then go on for an A.A.S. wherever I am.

Also a pleasant surprise was that I had a GPA of 3.45 at MHCC, the highest I've had in my school career.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Back To School: Chapter One

Officially I am planning to get an A.A.S. in Small Business Management. I thought it would be a good idea since I am managing a small business.

I met with my "adviser" today. He told me nothing I didn't already know and basically just talked about himself for a half hour. I learned much more about him and his family than the program, much less received any advice.

I have taken two quarters of college previously and am hoping that some of those credits will apply. At the least it looks like my "Intro to Business" course at MHCC in '97 is still good, and I'm hoping an AP English class in High School transfers as well.

I was expecting my adviser to advise me as to which of my previous credits were now applicable and which things I should start with. Apparently, I have to ask a different adviser to figure that out and I am on my own as far as what classes to take when.

Not that I'm complaining or anything. Ha.

I picked up the course requirements page and a course request form and will get into the 2008 class schedule to figure out what I want to take. I'm going to start easy since I'll still be working full time AND getting married during Spring semester.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Craaaaaaaaaap.

One of those days.

Dumb customers.

The skunk won't stay out of the dog food and the siamese keeps getting on the counter.

Blah.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Best Under Pressure

I'm nearly always busy - I have lots of projects half-done all over the house. Scrapbooking, blankets in the midst of being crocheted, a stack of books to put away...

But since I do better when I have too much to do, I'm going to take on more!

That's right - I'm going back to school. I've threatened it several times in the last 10 years, but it's actually going to happen this time.

I've applied, been accepted, gotten transcripts sent, established residency, and been assigned an advisor.

My next step is to meet with him and figure out if any of my old credits are still good (and when I say "old", I mean MOLDY) and then plug the classes I need into my work schedule.

Here we go again!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

From the Enquirer

I've noticed a few articles in the gossip mags lately about David Copperfield attacking some crazy female in a sexual manner.

I do not believe it.

Not because I am a die-hard Copperfield fan, but because I am convinced that David Copperfield is GAY.

P.S. In addition to missing my "L" and "9" keys, my space bar is on the fritz. Grrrrr.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

6 Things I Did Today...

...that most people don't ever do:

1) Wear a live skunk hat.



















2) Rehabilitate a Hamster that has been running loose in a pawn shop for a week.

3) Hold hands with a Scarlet Macaw.

4) Facilitate some inter-racial love.














5)Witness a turtle pyramid.














6)Put on socks and make hot chocolate because it was down to 76 degrees.

Friday, November 02, 2007

A Little Bit About the Past

You remember back when you were a kid and you thought about the year "2000?" I think I was probably in about 3rd or 4th grade when it entered my consciousness, and I realized I would be 24 in the magical year 2000. Considering that my biggest worries at the time were how to fend off my enemies and getting out of doing homework, I could not fathom what sort of worries could possibly beleaguer someone that old.

As it turns out, the year I was 24 was probably one of my most difficult. Shortly before my birthday I began dating someone I had been interested in about a year previous during one of the many "breaks" in a relationship with someone else (hereafter known as Guitar Guy). For some reason, we thought it would be a good idea to get married immediately. I was not pregnant and neither of us were in need of a green card, but we planned and executed a wedding in three months - complete with nine attendants each, two candlelighters, a ring bearer, a Bible boy and ten "snowflake chuckers" (it was a December wedding).

My husband thought it would be a good idea to move away from the community I had lived in the majority of my life, so we moved to Moyie Springs, Idaho. In January. With one vehicle. And no TV.

Our home was a beautiful little chalet that was open on the bottom floor with the exception of a bathroom. It had a door to the outside on all four sides of the house and a circular wrought iron staircase in the middle. The two upstairs bedrooms were mostly unusable because A) it is hard to carry furniture up a spiral staircase and B) it is hard to heat an upper floor with just a wood stove downstairs.

We placed our four-poster bed in the corner (see diagram) nearest the wood stove and lived miserably there for about two and a half months.

My then-husband had obtained a job before we moved and the place that was employing him had promised me one as well. They lied. I had nothing to do and no way to get there in any case, as he took the truck every morning.

I was alone from about 7 am to 7pm Monday through Friday. I read every book I owned within about the first three weeks. I was also on the internet a lot, as our cell phones only worked in one corner of the house, on a clear day.

I managed to disguise my despair to everyone but my mother, who flew to see us and told my then-husband that he had better move me immediately or there would be a dire situation. She was right. If not for adopting a cat that I spent all my time with daily, I don't know if I would have survived.

We moved to a trailer in Hermiston, Oregon in mid-March for about three weeks while we looked for a place to live in College Place, Washington. By this time we both realized that our marriage had problems beyond removing me from my environment, but he took a job that required him to be gone 4 to 6 nights a week and when he did come home I felt like he was invading my space.

I moved out and we decided to divorce right about the middle of April. I got a job back in my familiar neck of the woods and rented my first apartment of my own. I learned to deal with budgeting my finances and having full responsibility for myself.

I adopted a second cat (I got the first one when we split) and got back together with Guitar Guy (if the truth be told, I was not over him to begin with, one of MANY nails in our marriage coffin).

Our divorce was filed just before I turned 25, and was final in November. We were leading very separate lives by the time the first anniversary of our wedding rolled around.

It took me a long time to be able to tell many of my friends and family that I was getting/had gotten a divorce. I was so embarrassed to admit to so many of them that this thing I had attempted was a failure.

Now seven years later, I am glad for the experiences of that year, but would not want to re-live them for anything.

I am not afraid to get married again, and am anxiously waiting for April 12, 2008 to come!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Drive

Andy's flight was scheduled to depart Miami International Airport at 6:00am this morning. We decided to just stay up after the parade last night and drive up to drop him off.

We departed Key West at 2am and made decent time to Marathon - usually at least an hour trip I made in 45 minutes. Unfortunately the trend did not continue and we pulled up to the airport at 5:24am. Andy hurried to the gate but they told him it was too late to make his flight. We were already about a half hour back down the turnpike but turned around to hang out with him until he could get info on another flight at 8am.

Scott and I were both exhausted, so we ended up sleeping on the floor in the airport while Andy waited to find out his fate. Originally when they told him he had missed boarding his flight, they told him his only options were to wait until 8am to find out if he could get one seat on one flight scheduled for 11am or catch a flight from Fort Lauderdale for $750.

At 7:45am he went back to the ticket counter to plead his case and they found him one seat on a flight out at 1:29pm and charged him a $75 changed flight fee. He checked his bag and received a boarding pass for flights all the way through to Portland.

We got back in the Honda and headed down the Keys. We made it back home about Noon today and then sacked out for about 6 hours.

Thankfully I have tomorrow off as well to recuperate.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Meme

It's a silly word, but I like Jill, so I'm gonna do it.

The Pharyngula mutating genre meme. I like how Sona threw in the genealogy of it as well, so I'm going to give mine...

My Geneology:
My great8 grandparent is Pharyngula.
My great7 grandparent is Metamagician and the Hellfire Club.
My great6 grandparent is Flying Trilobite.
My great5 grandparent is A Blog Around the Clock.
My great4 grandparent is archy.
My great3 grandparent is Why Now?
My great2 grandparent is Over the Cliff, Onto the Rocks.
My great-grandparent is Notes From a Transitional Fossil.
My grandparent is Sona Says
My parent is South Bay Soliloquy.

Here is how it goes:
There are a set of questions below that are all of the form, “The best [subgenre] [medium] in [genre] is…”.
Copy the questions, and before answering them, you may modify them in a limited way, carrying out no more than two of these operations: You can leave them exactly as is. You can delete any one question. You can mutate either the genre, medium, or subgenre of any one question.
For instance, you could change “The best time travel novel in SF/Fantasy is…” to “The best time travel novel in Westerns is…”, or “The best time travel movie in SF/Fantasy is…”, or “The best romance novel in SF/Fantasy is…”.
You can add a completely new question of your choice to the end of the list, as long as it is still in the form “The best [subgenre] [medium] in [genre] is…”.
You must have at least one question in your set, or you’ve gone extinct, and you must be able to answer it yourself, or you’re not viable.
Then answer your possibly mutant set of questions. Please do include a link back to the blog you got them from, to simplify tracing the ancestry, and include these instructions. Finally, pass it along to any number of your fellow bloggers. Remember, though, your success as a Darwinian replicator is going to be measured by the propagation of your variants, which is going to be a function of both the interest your well-honed questions generate and the number of successful attempts at reproducing them.

Here are mine:

I am deleting the second question and will replace it with something else.

1.) The best male author in the humor section is: Terry Pratchett
2.) The best style of socks in leg-wear are: Knee Highs.
3.) The best innocent-sounding-but-not-so-innocent song in pop is: U and Ur Hand by P!nk.
4.) The best chick album in classical music is: anything by Bond.


To keep the meme alive, I'm passing it along to:

Kelsie Lou of Kelsie's Spot
Jim of Ninja of the Mundane
Kara of Spicy Princess

I doubt that any of them will do it but that's alright...

Chaos and Confusion

We have been trying to increase Stinkerbell's freedom. Her cage is not large and I do not want her to feel trapped in it or like being in it is a punishment. We feed her in the cage and her litter pan and water dish are there too, but I like to let her run around the house as much as possible.

Last night was her first night getting to stay up all night out of the cage. We got home around 1am, couldn't find her right away and were very tired, so I decided to just let her stay out and see what happened.

This morning I found my yarn bag dumped over and emptied. All the yarn was strewn in the direction of the couch, which is Stinker's favorite thing to hid behind. I had to move the couch to discover the blanket I've been working on - she had dragged the whole thing back there!

Just now when I made her breakfast, she didn't seem too interested and instead disappeared behind the couch again. That's when I heard a rustling noise and some crunching. I pulled the couch out and there she was, her entire front end inside a bag of Doritos. I do not know where she got them, but she was happily munching away.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Early AM Attitude

It's 6:00am on the dot. There is a skunk sleeping very sweetly in my lap. I am going back to bed.

This is not an hour that usually exists in my world... but my almost-husband got out of bed at 3am (I woke up) to get in the bathtub because he was having chills. I woke up at 3:30 and realized he was still in there and of course was sure he had drowned. He was safe but shortly after getting out of the bath he re-filled the tub with his dinner.

We just spent two hours on the couch letting animals have their therapeutic way with him and teaching him to breathe the square.

I guess this is a time when I am thankful I have had to learn some self-calming techniques.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Goombay!

Backstory: Andy is my co-house-owner, ex-roomate of 2+ years and Man of Honor for the wedding.

Goombay is the first part of Fantasy Fest. It takes place on Petronia street, blocked off from vehicles and lined with food and craft vendors.

"Goombay is a form of Bahamian Music and a drum used to create it. Its most famous practitioner in modern times was Alphonso 'Blind Blake' Higgs, who performed at the Nassau International Airport for many years.

Goombay, also spelled gombey, is a form of Bermudan music, drum and dance, and is related to the Bahamian style."

I picked up Andy from the Miami airport at midnight Thursday night and we stayed in a local La Quinta. I had worked a full shift at the store before driving to Miami and was quite tired, but we still stayed up until about 2:30am catching up.

At 3am my phone declared a text message. Again at 3:30am. At 7am, Andy's watch alarm went off. I thought I had turned it off but it screamed again at 7:05am. At 8:30am the cleaning crew knocked loudly on the door (despite the fact that we had placed the "No Moleste" in the key slot) and actually opened it as far as the bar lock would allow. At 9:30am I received ANOTHER text.

When my alarm went off at 10:50am I wasn't rested but got up anyway as we had to check out by noon.

My sense of direction is pretty good and I aimed for where I believed the turnpike to be. I was right on and we made the short hop to the Kendall area of Miami. We hit Old Navy, Michaels, Barnes & Noble, Macaroni Grill and then to the Dadeland Mall for Nordstrom.

Once we traversed side roads and made our way to Homestead (by way of the Miami Speedway) we got on US 1 and headed for Key West at about 4:15pm.

Even stopping for beverages and bathroom breaks we made good time and arrived at home around 6:45pm.

After about an hour and a half rest, we changed and climbed in the car to head downtown. It was starting to sprinkle as we pulled out of the driveway, but were undaunted in our goal to experience the smokey carnival atmosphere of Goombay.

Downtown Key West is overrun with tourists currently and we were forced to park several blocks from Petronia. By the time we reached the festival it was starting to rain in earnest but as it is still very warm here, it wasn't uncomfortable.

Our appetites were growing and we decided to press on through the increasing downpour to find a suitable place to eat. The majority of the crowd was beginning to leave to get out of the rain and we found a small overhang to hold our plates under while we ate. My sundress was soaked through but the short hair is not easily messed up in rain so we walked through the sheets of water and puddles at least 3 inches deep.

Once we reached Duval again we decided to find a place to dry out that was not air-conditioned and made our way to Kelly's.

It took about 2 more hours to get dry enough to get back in the car.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Clarification

I realize that there is a possibility that some of my readers may think that I don't want them to come to my wedding. This is not the case.

For those of you I've never met, I doubt you're expecting an invitation in the first place. Those people that read my blog that I actually know, will not only be invited but expected to come (unless you live too far away and can't feasibly attend).

I think that the problem will probably fix itself, considering the number of yes and maybes in my database totals 260 at most. More than likely 50% to 75% of these people will attend the wedding (130 to 195) and 80% of them will actually attend the reception (104 to 156).

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Dilemma

I am getting married in April (I was going to say "We are getting married in April" but didn't want any of you to think I'd gotten you into something you're not ready for...).

Scott and I both have a large number of very close friends and family.

We chose our reception location and it will only hold 120 people (Yes, it is a separate location from the ceremony, but the same day). I even asked if they actually count the guests and the answer was yes.

Is it remotely tactful to invite some people to the reception and not others? If so, how do I choose?

HELP!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Amateur

I enjoy taking pictures. I do not claim to be a photographer however, and with friends like Jim that have photography as a "hobby", I won't even claim that much.

Here are some favorites I've taken.

Maybe you will enjoy them as much as I do when taking them. If not, it's ok. I won't be a pistil.


Friday, October 05, 2007

Stinker on Parade

About three times a week I take Stinkerbell to work with me. She sleeps most of the day and I would rather that she be sleeping where I can give her some attention than at home alone when Scott is at his second job.

It's easier than you might think to transport a pet skunk. I'm sure Scott did not anticipate the many ways I would use my expensive Christmas present when he was picking it out last year, but it's the perfect size.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Man, I Feel Like a Woman

I had the day off today and enjoyed every minute of it.

I started off by sleeping in until about 9:30am. Truthfully, that's getting up early for me, since I get up at 10:30am on work days, but I went to bed at about 10:30pm last night and had plenty of sleep by 9am this morning.

I took a beautiful 45 minute drive up the keys to Nadine's salon and enjoyed a manicure and pedicure that lasted about two hours - it was absolute heaven. I have had acrylic nails for almost ten years, with only a few months off here and there to let things "breathe." I've had my natural nails for almost 5 months and finally had acrylics put back on today. She painted them a pearlescent orange and put little orange stones on the tips of my ring fingers. I feel very pimp, and October-Appropriate.

After driving home I took a two-hour nap with the cats and the dog and then I took a quick trip to the grocery store.

I invited my bosses over for dinner tonight and we had 3 courses. Salad, Macaroni and Cheese, and Key Lime Pie. The macaroni recipe is my paternal grandfather's. It's been pretty popular whenever I've made it in the past, so the decision to have a full on salad course was to keep us all from gorging ourselves too much on the mac.

Not only did I make a real dinner, I bought flowers at the grocery store and did some very martha-esque arranging. Individual orange gerbera daisies went in four tall shot glasses, and two small arrangements of red gerberas and orange mini-roses are sitting in two wine glasses.

We've done a decent job at keeping our house presentable in the last week since my cousins went back to Orlando, here's hoping it's a trend.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Incognito

I am secretly a rock star. The "regulars" know this, the "newbies" may not.

Both of my parents have music degrees. I have been able to sing as long as I can remember, and learned to harmonize very early as well. I started playing piano by ear fairly young as well, but my passion is singing.

About ten years ago I met someone that has always encouraged my abilities. He has been like a mentor to me since. The evolution began with him asking me to sing solos - covers of songs that I didn't think I had the guts to do but this is someone you don't say no to. Around the same time I joined a band - I was the only girl and wanted to be included. I began as backup singer and tambourine player and then drew on my beginnings with the piano and became a keyboard player.

Three years ago I started singing with two different groups. The first was Ella Mental, an acoustic trio. TJ and Megan played acoustic guitar and I sang and played percussion.

The other group was The Swing Sisters. Chelsea and I had been talking about our love of swing and big band jazz era music and wanted to start a group. We met Brooke thanks to an organization called the Dickens Carolers, which Chelsea and TJ both sang in. We asked Brooke if she would be interested in a Swing group and she was excited about the idea.

We began rehearsals in January of 2005 and our first performance was a private party on Mother's Day that year. We had ten songs memorized and choreographed, and were a big hit.

Our repertoire soon grew to about 15 songs by June, and we began performing monthly at a local jazz diner that had just opened. The demand grew quickly and by August we began performing twice a month on Thursday nights around 10pm.

By September we knew about 30 songs and were constantly improving our "moves" and learning new tunes.

In December we performed as the entertainment for my company Christmas party.

2006 found us in even more demand and we were moved to Friday nights at the diner, with an earlier call time. This brought us an even wider following and we performed by request for a couple of Saturday night parties at the diner to a packed house.

I met Scott in April of 2006 and moved to Key West in September, 2006. In between I continued to perform with The Swing Sisters (and Ella Mental, now performing once a month at a coffee shop) and we pursued lessons in improving our choreography and stage presence.

I have tried to take an attitude of "out of sight, out of mind" but I am grieving for my group. I was replaced, which I expected, and they are going strong, performing in several venues around town. I wish I could say that I would love to see them perform when I go home to visit, but I just can't bring myself to do it. I am jealous. I am still a little bitter.

I'm sure if I was regularly singing here I would heal, but it hasn't happened yet...

Skunk Central

Since we've been talking skunk lately - I'll fill everyone in on what it's like to HAVE a pet skunk.

This is her cage. It fits nicely between our entertainment center and the wall.

It looks pretty different now - this picture was from the first day she was home. The bed is now on the main floor, the inner ladder is removed and the hammock is gone. She wasn't getting the hang of the inner ladder and just sleeping on the floor - so I decided to just keep it one level for now.

Her litter pan is triangular and goes in the back left corner. She has a big ceramic water bowl in the front left corner and her blue bed is on the right side, underneath a big green plastic igloo she likes to hide in.

Skunks are nocturnal, so she's been sleeping during the day for the most part. I'm trying to get her to interact with me in hopes we can switch her schedule around, but I haven't tried too hard yet. Stinkerbell is only in her cage when we are going to be gone for more than a half hour or at night when we go to bed. That will probably change with time, but for now I want her to be able to really establish it as her space - her safety zone.

Feeding happens in the morning - anytime between 8am and 10:30am - and evening around 8pm. She's been pretty good about being patient, she likes to wait at my feet while I'm making her meal and then follows me back to her cage - she knows that's where she eats.

The Diet is a mixture of skunk food pellets (made by Exotic Nutrition), cottage cheese, and thawed or fresh veggies and a little bit of fruit. Initially the veggie portion was some mixed veggies (peas, green beans, carrots and lima beans) but she doesn't like the lima beans. I try to give her some variety at breakfast, lately a couple slices of yellow squash and green beans or peas and then the mixed veggies until they run out at night.

For snacks she gets a baby carrot or a couple of seedless grapes, we also have some dog treats that are made from dried lamb lung (sounds disgusting to me) that Stinkerbell and Buster both love.

The main hurdle is keeping her out of the dog dish. Buster is catching on that he has to eat while he has the chance because then the dish gets put up out of reach.

We do a lot of snuggling on the couch - she likes to lay right above our heads if she's not in our laps. She's been showing interest in toes - playfully nipping at them. We have to discourage this though, because even if it is meant as play, the teeth are pretty sharp and her bite will only get stronger as she gets older.

I have to schedule an appointment for her to be spayed soon, apparently skunks can develop nasty attitudes when they hit "puberty" (sound familiar to any moms of teens?).

I commented to Scott last night that Stinkerbell is easily the cleanest pet we own. She poops consistently in her litter pan, and cleaning it is far easier than cleaning the cat box or picking up dog poop outside. She is also the quietest pet. She doesn't whine like a dog or meow like a cat. Very peaceful in general.

Pet Skunks kick ass.

Monday, September 24, 2007

I'm Legal!

I received my Class III Wildlife License in the mail today!

I am officially the proud mama of a pet skunk!

Friday, September 21, 2007

A Big Fat Kick in the Pants

I love hosting visitors at our home. Living in Key West and having an extra bedroom with it's own full bath makes it a prime opportunity for friends and relatives to come visit at a reasonable price.

Even before I moved and before I bought my Vancouver house, I used to host a "Dinner Night" every Wednesday night for 10-20 people. I would plan the menu and do most of the cooking, instructing guests what to bring as contributions to the meal.

It's probably the Old German Lady living inside me - I feel the need to feed everyone or cover them with a blanket.

I've never claimed to be a clean housekeeper despite having frequent guests. All my life the only thing that has motivated me to clean my room (then house) was the impending arrival of a friend. My mom was quite exasperated at my version of cleaning my room (throwing all the crap in the closet or under the bed) and even when I went away to boarding high-school, having someone come stay with me was my only motivator to straighten things up.

Living in the opposing corner of the country from the majority of my friends and relations has given me ample time to let my housekeeping skills go totally in the toilet. Fortunately, beginning in February this year we've had guests from out-of-town nearly every month.

Tonight two of my cousins arrive and we spent the afternoon and evening cleaning up our house. I have to say it looks pretty good - especially since I bought a couch cover, new throw pillows and put up sconces that have been waiting patiently in the corner for months.

I'm glad I can be forced to sterilize the pigsty once in awhile, or Scott would probably leave me.

RWC #6

Good Friday Morning...

" The trenches dug within our hearts
And mothers, children, brothers, sisters
Torn apart."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Some People...


I was shopping today at a Winn Dixie. For those in the Northwest, Winn Dixie is pretty similar to Winco. It is very likely that a section of the store is under construction at any given time, and guaranteed that someone is shopping in their pajamas regardless of the time of day.

Today as I was exiting the store, a woman stepped on the scale in the cart holding area. She said "I lost 10 pounds!" I said "Nice!" before actually looking at her and then realized that she was pregnant. She said back to me "NOT nice! That's bad! I'm this pregnant and lost weight!"

I nearly bit through my tongue to keep myself from pointing out the fact that the cigarette in her fingers was probably not a good way to pack on the pounds. I also wanted to punch her in the face.

Am I going to hell?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Ode

I called my maternal grandmother yesterday to thank her for the very thoughtful birthday card she sent me.

It may be the first time I've called her in the year since I moved to Florida. When she answered I was surprised that she sounds old now.

Growing up I spent a lot of time with my mom's parents. My mom was an executive and traveled around the country a lot. Most of these trips meant that I stayed with my Grandma and Grandpa during her absence. When I was very young, I would spend the morning with a babysitter and then join my grandparents in the afternoon at the two-room school where Grandma taught 1st through 4th grade and Grandpa taught 5th through 8th. As I got older I stayed at the school with them all day, hanging out in the loft and reading or drawing.

At home with them, Grandma taught me to bake, crochet and sew. On trips to Walla Walla, Grandpa taught me to count and about the constellations. I recall many trips before the seatbelt laws came into effect where I laid in the back window of their Volkswagon Rabbit and gazed at the stars during the four-hour trip. We would take this same trip about once a month and then more frequently as my great-grandparents health failed. Driving through the Columbia Gorge holds countless memories for me and it is still a pleasant experience.

I learned to read early, thanks to my mom reading to me every night before bed and my grandparents doing the same when I stayed with them. My favorite book to have Grandpa read to me was "Nose Is Not Toes." Even now one of the first things he says to me is "Marisa, nose is not toes!" and giggles.

I learned to ride a bike thanks to my grandparents. They purchased a black and yellow boy's bike with training wheels at a garage sale and we began the process. I was horrified at first to have to ride a BOYS bike, but I got over it quickly. In later years I would have a bike at their house and the three of us would ride together. I was so proud that my Grandparents rode bikes at their age (I think they were probably in their late fifties or early sixties at the time).

I vividly recall the pattern of the linoleum on their kitchen floor. I remember the summer that they tore out the tree that had the three swings hanging from it's biggest bough and replaced it with a koi pond. The pond was finished just in time for my birthday party, and I was invited to swim in the pond with my friends before the fish were put in. I remember that my grandfather was an honorary member of the engineers club at Shady Dell, and they took us to ride the miniature trains often.

I was in still in elementary school when I grew taller than my grandparents. When I was in high school they moved from the house I had spent so much time in to one near some of my Grandma's siblings. Now our trips to Walla Walla were to see my grandparents, instead of with them.

About 5 years ago my Grandma was diagnosed with cancer in her abdomen. Right about the same time one of my very close friends who was only 25 was also diagnosed with abdominal cancer, but she was pregnant. My friend underwent mild chemotherapy and initially seemed to be responding well to the treatment. Because of this, I strongly encouraged Grandma to also have chemo. Sadly I lost my friend after 3 months of her battle, but Grandma went into remission. In the four years since she has 3 relapses and 3 more rounds of chemo.

I am suddenly faced with my grandparents' mortality. I am not ready. They contributed so much to my childhood memories and education, and I want them to meet my children and have my children have the opportunity to learn from them.

When they go I will not be ready, even if they are. I owe them an immeasurable amount of gratitude and can only hope that I have begun to express that to them in the time I have left.

Friday, September 14, 2007

RWC #5

As I sit on the couch, slogging through the Access database I'm using to create my guest list for the wedding, I realize it is Friday night.

Not that any of you have run breathless to your computer to see what brilliant brain stumping lyrics I'm going to quote today, but here they are regardless.

" And she's taller than most
And she's looking at me
I can see her eyes looking from a page in a magazine
Oh she makes me feel like I could be a tower
A big strong tower
"

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Hunting Season

I've decided to look for a new abode for our family. Our rent went up with our new lease and Scott wants to quit his second job so we can actually see each other.

Our friend-that-was-supposed-to-move-away-and-isn't has a house that runs him $1500 a month for two bedrooms, one bath. The kitchen is small but it has a very open floor plan that I like, and a fenced back yard that is enormous.

We looked at a house last night that's $1900 a month (we're now paying $2140) and it's cute, 3 bedrooms, one bath, but in a really junky neighborhood.

We're probably going to have to drive around the neighborhoods we like and hope for a "for rent" sign.

In the meantime, I need to get at least one renter in my house in Vancouver, preferably two. I'm going to revamp my old Craigslist ad and see what happens. I would rather have renters that I know, or that my current occupants know, but I guess I'll have to just see what I get and be choosy.

For those following the skunk saga, It's looking good! I'm in process of getting the Class III Wildlife license and last night a brilliant name came to me... Stinkerbell! HA HA HA HA HA!!! I'd probably just call her "Belle" for short. She's been pooping faithfully in the corner litter box I put in her cage, so that's one hurdle we were concerned about!

Our realtor (landlord's rep) came into the store a few days ago and I broached the subject of my skunk with him. He said "if you decide to keep it, I don't want to know about it." Not that I'm expecting any other landlord to be ok with a skunk, but it's worth a shot.

Now we have to negotiate the cage...

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Accident Prone

When I was about 3, I discovered the ability to jump off of things. You know how excited kids get when they find out they can leap from something on to the floor - it's very liberating. We had just arrived home from the hospital (I don't know why we were there) and I wanted to show off my new skill to my mom. When the side door of the van was opened I attempted a jump from the van to the sidewalk.

I landed on my head.

Back to the hospital we went and that was my first set of stitches, right in the top of my head.

In fourth grade I wanted to be cool like the other girls and do a "cherry drop" from the monkey bars. The idea is to start hanging from the bar by your knees, and by swinging back and forth, gaining enough momentum to flip and land on your feet.

I landed on my back with my left arm underneath me.

I wore a brace and ace bandage for a month for a "green-stick" fracture.

Sadly, I didn't grow out of this problem, it only got worse as time went on.

The summer after my freshman year in high-school, I was staying with my aunt and uncle for the summer. My aunt and I decided to ride our mountain bikes in to town to get the mail, and on the way back our final navigation was to cross a main road and then turn onto the street their house was on.

All I remember was waking up face-down in the gravel with my bike on top of me.

I was rushed to the emergency room in the cab of a truck that had stopped at the "scene", and I withstood the nurses scrubbing the gravel out of my face with a sponge. The on-call plastic surgeon sewed up my lip and I visited a dentist and ear, nose and throat doctor to make sure I hadn't screwed things up too much. It took a couple of months to heal, just in time for school.

During my sophomore year I managed to crash skiing and plant the end of my ski-pole into my face, and then a few months later bounce my face off the sidewalk while rollerskating.

My skull endured several other injuries during my high-school career, from having a friend lift me up to change a lightbulb and running my head into a nail to falling down the stairs carrying a laundry basket and landing with my cheek on a corner of the laundry bin.

I'm amazed I made it to adulthood in one piece, not looking like a plastic surgeon mistake, and un-brain-damaged.

Friday, September 07, 2007

New and Improved

As I enter my 4th decade, I decided to revamp my blog a bit. I've added links to other blogs that I enjoy regularly in addition to links to sites where I spend a lot of time.

My birthday was a fun day - I started the day itself with a trip to the vet for the dog and all three cats. Our vet of choice is over an hour away, and Buster was very good in the car with the three cats wandering around at will.

Chou and Buster had rabies boosters, Minx was diagnosed some antibiotics for a skin issue, and everyone was weighed and groped. Buster needs to lose about 7 pounds, and we need to start brushing Chou's teeth. Everyone else is in good shape.

I have always been able to trim the toenails on the boy cats, but Minx becomes a kitty-demon as soon as I try to hold her down at all. It took the vet, the tech and myself with a towel to wrestle each paw into position.

After arriving back home I took a nap, and Scott stopped at home between jobs long enough to give me my present, a video ipod! YAY!

I had many birthday cards and calls, and Scott and I began the skunk negotiations last night as well. I began the process of applying for a Class III Wildlife license today, since it is required to own a skunk and even if we don't keep her, it will look good on my resume as I am store manager.

RWC #4


It's 1:06am where I live... so here you go:

"... The winds of change are always blowing
And every time I try to stay
The winds of change continue blowing
And they just carry me away..."

And for those who are counting, the leader board reads:
Lou aka Mandy: 1
Jim: 1
Jill: 1

It's neck and neck and neck. That's a lot of necking, people. Let's concentrate on the music, shall we?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Birthday Bash

Just a quick rundown on my birthday celebrations so far...

Last night the bosses took Scott and I to dinner at a very nice restaurant in Key West - pics to come. BEFORE we left our house (they picked us up) they gave me my present.

I opened the very large gift bag to see a cardboard box. I opened the box and there was THE SKUNK!!! My boss GAVE me a birthday SKUNK!!

I'm thrilled and yet not jumping up and down yet because my boss didn't actually TALK to Scott about it first, so there's still some negotiating to be done.

In any case, Squirt has to live at the store until I get my Class III Wildlife license which would allow me to have her.

More soon...

Friday, August 31, 2007

Glamour Skunk

We have one skunk left at the store, I'm hoping the owner keeps her. She has been named "Squirt", despite being de-scented.

Every day in the afternoon I take her from her cage and snuggle her for an hour or two. She's usually pretty sleepy about that time and is very pliable. Yesterday she napped in the toy dog-bed on the counter while I ran the register. It was pretty fun to have customers place something on the counter and jump when they realized she was real and not battery-operated.

Skunk fur is much softer than it looks, I initially expected it to be wiry and somewhat coarse, but it is very thick and lush. When she is in her relaxed state, she is very happy to be stroked and scratched behind the ears. When she is hungry, she is on the prowl and a little sharp and pointy in the teeth department.

Since the store was slow and Squirt was amiable, we took the opportunity to "pimp her out."

A leopard-print bow in her hair and a faux-pearl necklace made her a very fashionable picture, indeed.

Scott has told me that I cannot bring home a skunk, and I know she wouldn't get along with the cats, but I love her none the less.

RWC #3

"...the happier we'll be."

There you go.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Rather Domestic

I'm feeling very responsible.
Since the end of my shift at work (at about 7:45pm) I have:
  • Bought enough dog food to last for about a month AND kitty litter
  • Took out the garbage
  • Went grocery shopping
  • Made and ate a sandwich
  • Made about a 1/2 gallon of salsa
  • Made filling for enchiladas
  • Emptied and refilled the dishwasher
  • Fed the dog and cats
I'm planning to get up early (for me) tomorrow and put the enchiladas together. Maybe I'll thrown in some laundry folding if I'm extra-motivated.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Drawing a Blank

I haven't had much to say these last three or four days, I've been getting lots of wedding stuff done. I found dresses for the flower girls and ring bearer (yes, a girl) at Ross for $9.99 and $24.99 when I was prepared to spend upwards of $50 on each!

I've also been going ahead with plans around the house since it looks like we won't be moving anytime soon.

Friday, August 24, 2007

RWC #2

It's almost 1am... technically Friday...

Song phrase for this week:

"dark behind it rose the forest..."

Hints to come in comments if needed, I'm off to bed!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

List This!

I am a list-maker.

At the moment I have countless lists going. I have an Access database of all the movies I've ever seen complete with the year they came out, lead actor and/or actress and director.

I have another Access database of our guest list for the wedding. An Excel spreadsheet for the wedding with several pages - budget, wedding party, locations, etc., a wedding planning book/filer with more lists and magazine cut-outs, and still another blank book for making random wedding lists off the top of my head that I don't think are ready to commit to the computer.

Over the years I have started several databases to catalog the books and cds I own, having to re-start them from time to time as I have had new computers.

In order to accomplish anything on my days off I have to make a list of things I want to get done. If I don't, I will wake up in the morning and honestly have a blank mind as to what to do for the day.

Awhile back I made a list of things I wanted to accomplish in my life. I've actually crossed many of them off, and such progress caused me to add to it.

I have to have a grocery list, or I will go to the store for lasagna noodles and come out with cheese, veggies, ice cream, toilet paper, milk, bread, garlic, veggie crumbles and no noodles.

I have a blank book for budgets, which I've also found easiest to keep my checkbook register in as well.

I have lists of all the states I've been in and all the states I have yet to visit. Last night I actually wondered if it would be possible to list all the people I know, personally, as aquaintences, whatever - just because it would be interesting.

When I'm at work I'll make lists of things I want to make sure get done before the end of the shift. I make lists from other lists. A list of books people have requested that we carry, a list of dogs people would like us to get, a list of things to go back later and make more lists from!

If I go on a trip, I start about a month before hand making a list of what I need to take. On two occasions I have decided to skip the list and pack "on the fly" and have forgotten underwear, socks, toothbrush (although I remembered the toothpaste!) and other various necessities.

I even have a list saved on my desktop of things to blog about.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Meet Mr. Fleabus

This is Buster.

Buster is a VERY good dog. He turned 9 on July 30th this year and has a few grey hairs in his muzzle and on his back.

Scott inherited Buster as a two-year-old. His previous owners could no longer take care of him and Scott was fortunate enough to have the right connections to take him in.

I met Buster when I arrived in Key West last year. He accepted me very readily and it was easy to teach him that although he had been trained to chase cats up until this point, the NEW cats are "babies", which translates into "something not to mess with."

He is very respectful and knows that when we are eating dinner he needs to be in another part of the house and not beg.

Buster is the picture of loyalty. If Scott or I even joke about chasing one of the cats, Buster gets between us and the cat and barks. It's far worse if we even joke attack each other - he gets up on his hind legs and boxes us.

He will never look the cats in the eye, he knows not to intimidate them. On the other hand, he will also let the Hamster sit on his head.

He is known as Buster, Duster Boggie, Buddy, and Brown Thing.

I am officially a member of the Boxer party.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

I Wish I Were a Cat

Sometimes it's hard not to be jealous of the fat fluff on my couch. Everyone loves him. He has won over people that don't even tolerate cats.

I would love to have people feed me, pet me and give me treats, be able to snort kitty weed, and watch the Hamster for entertainment.

His only concerns are if he is going to be allowed under the covers at night, and if he can commandeer the top roost on the cat tree.

He is fed a mixture of Eukanuba Lamb & Rice and Solid Gold Katzenflocken. Good stuff.

The Life of the Chou.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Reese's (New) Weekly Competition

I'll give you a phrase from a song and you name the song and if applicable, setting.

Here's the first one:

"...I'll never know what made it so exciting..."

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

And So What We Have Learned...

Today I learned about the lolrus and his bukket.

It's a fascinating saga, really. I had no idea.

My journey began on Slate, in an article about lolcats, which then led to the lolrus entry on urbandictionary.com and then on and on from there.

Poor lolrus.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Move!

Sometime in the next two to four weeks we will be moving. Our lease for the condo is up tomorrow (15th) and a friend of ours that has been renting a house is moving to D.C., so we're going to takeover the house.

I hate moving, but I'm excited about this one. The house has a fenced back yard which is FANTASTIC for Buster, and the house itself is very nice - the whole front room area is painted a dark red (which I love) and feels very open and modern. The only downsides are that there is only one bathroom (the condo has 2.5) and a very small kitchen. And no pool.

The condo is about 10 blocks from my work, and on the same street. The house is three streets behind the store and 2 blocks over. I won't have to tackle ANY main drag traffic to get there!

I suppose I'll live without the pool, I'll just have to go to the beach more often!

We'll most likely be in Key West for another year at least, unless something unexpected happens in Scott's job field and we are facilitated a move that is worth it. When that happens I would like to drive, as I enjoyed the cross-country trip before, but Scott wants to fly us and all the animals.

I'm hoping to rent a big Suburban or Van and just toss everyone in it.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Battle Rages On

Today, Buster had a date with Bernadette. I found 4 fleas on him yesterday, and the saying is that for "every flea you see, there's 100 you don't see."

I suspect that ratio is a little exaggerated when it comes to Buster, since he has short hair, but I didn't want to risk it.

I am washing all his bedding, our bedding, and the couch cover.

I don't have any fresh bites, yet.

So, Buster got groomed today and came home with a "Jazzy Dogs" bandanna. Bonus!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Smelly.

Working at a pet store I encounter many different smells on a daily basis. Some are pleasant (clean puppy fur, dried fruits and nuts) and some are potently terrible (skunk poop, dead fish).

In the last few days I have had several transportations into my childhood thanks to smells in the store.

  • Cedar bedding: reminds me of the summer I spent in Mt. Shasta riding horses with Meriah and Jason. At the beginning of the summer I couldn't stay on a horse even with a saddle, and by the end I could ride bareback on a horse that was trying to escape fireworks.
  • Scratch (chicken feed): takes me back to spending time on my cousins' farm in eastern Washington. The house was in the middle of wheat fields and was a true old farmhouse. We passed the days wrapped in our imaginations, putting on plays and circuses in the hayloft, and avoiding fire ants while exploring the drainage ditch.
What smells transport you to another time and place?

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Make Me a Samich!

My favorite food is cheese, and my favorite way to eat it is a grilled cheese sandwich.

I love sandwiches. I can usually find something to eat at any restaurant by choosing a sandwich.

When I was briefly attending Walla Walla College, the majority of my meals in the cafeteria (few, since I was a village student) consisted of a deli sandwich. Usually I chose Rye bread and slathered it with mayo on one side and cream cheese on the other. Then I would add cheese, tomatoes, sprouts and avocado when available. Tasty.

As a child, my parents would make hoagies and I learned to love Provolone and Pepperoncinis at an early age.

Last week Scott and I enjoyed lunch at Goldman's Deli, which is primarily a bagel shop and diner, and I had the veggie sandwich pictured above. It definitely ranks as one of the best I've ever had.