Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Why I love airports.

I know, I know. I'm weird. This is an established fact. The only reason why I'm writing about this is because my good buddy Jess is, at this very moment, writing about why she hates airports.

I love airports... probably because I love airplanes, and flying in airplanes. Peanuts! Miniature liquor! Hot towels! Amazing views! Skymall! Despite the brief discomfort of popping ears, I've always loved airplane rides. I love the feeling of being above the world, looking down and seeing little cars scurry around like bugs. I've been up in commercial airliners and private planes and have always had a great time. Even turbulence doesn't bother me. I remember being taken up in a small plane and being allowed to fly it for some sort of father/daughter bonding activity, though I do wonder if it was on autopilot at the time.

Airports themselves are fascinating little portals to adventure. I love the kitsch found in the gift shops, I love running down the moving walkways, I love watching the people. Funny hats! Flute players! Flight attendants prancing around in groups, thinking they're sooooo cool. Heck, I even like baggage claims - so many unique suitcases, and unique means of identifying said suitcases. I was in an airport in Amsterdam, and the airport was full of military personnel - armed to the teeth with AK-47's and scary knives. I tried to take a picture but they told me it was forbidden. At least, I think that's what they said - it was in a foreign language and they looked menacing and grouchy. It was great.

Perhaps this is all a result of my quiet, simple Midwestern upbringing. I rarely fly, so perhaps every opportunity to be on an airplane is more exciting than it should be.

I don't know. I'm only writing this because Jess beat me into submission. Thanks, mallow-roaster.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Hunter Jacques

This probably makes me certifiably crazy, but sometimes I invent conversations. Often these conversations are with the dogs and/or cats. This is a particularly good one from this evening.

"Actually yes, I did slay the beast with my own bare paws. Y you ask?"

"Because Pierre said you didn't."

"Well, Pierre is a liar liar cat on fire."

"But Pierre saw me take the turkey out of the plastic wrapping and hack it up for you boys."

".......... damn."

A bit of back-story. I know I've said that we feed our cats raw - but most people probably don't hack up the Thanksgiving turkey for their pets. Every year, Steve gets a free turkey from work. We've tried cooking the free turkeys, but they're tough and cheap, and never taste as good as the ol'Butterball standby. They're simply not worth the time and effort it takes to prepare them for human consumption.

I staunchly refuse to let any part of this turkey go to waste. Instead of throwing out the weight-bearing bones, I decided to toss them to the cats to pick clean. If there is a kitty heaven, Jacques and Pierre must think they've died and gone there... for they have gigantic bones to gnaw on for the next few hours.

Happy cats.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thankful 20-21

20 November 2011
I'm thankful that mouth injuries heal quickly. I thought I was going to have to go to urgent care and have my lip stitched, after Jayne bonked me in the face during Schutzhund training on Sunday. Monday night and it's almost sealed up, but I still feel I've got a marble in my mouth.

10 November 2011
Thankful that it's a three-day work week! Technically tomorrow is "Thursday" - most excellent!

I'm running out of photos to put on these Thankful entries. I'm guessing you don't want to see a picture of my nearly-chomped-through lip, so here's a photo of Jayne offering Kaylee a pile of toys and bones in exchange for a spot in the dog bed. Note how she has taken all his offerings and is still refusing to move. I took this photo just as Jayne realized his plan had failed, and now he had no bones or toys.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thankful 12-19

Holy crap, I've gotten behind!

9 November 2011
My HHR. It's been in the shop for more than a week, and I miss it terribly!

10 November 2011
Revy's cute little roo-roo howl. It's cute, and since I've been rewarding her for it... she's been doing it more frequently.

11 November 2011
Kaylee snuggles. She's the best lap-dog in the entire world.

12 November 2011
Jayne. He's such a special dog, I can't imagine life without him.

13 November 2011
My husband. Because while he can be a little annoying at times, he really knows how to cheer me up. Even if it means a stomachache later on... thanks for the 1lb bar of chocolate when I only asked for a Dove bar, buddy!

14 November 2011
It hasn't snowed yet.

15 November 2011
Shoot, I'm running out of ideas. Uhhh.... the post office? I love getting mail!

16 November 2011
All the opportunities I have to do fun stuff with the dogs.

17 November 2011
Illinois Doberman Rescue, for being such a beacon of hope to all animals - Dobermans mostly, but other dogs (and cats!) as well.

18 November 2011
The Ramones. Their music makes cleaning the entire house more bearable. Besides, scrubbing the bathtub is a lot more fun when you're singing at the top of your lungs "I wanna be sedated!"

19 November 2011
I'm thankful I'm at the end of this blog post. I'm tired!

Oh, and did I mention I'm thankful for puppies? Yeah, puppies are pretty cool.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Those of you not on Facebook, rejoice - this will not apply to you. I know it's childish to complain about anything that happens on a social networking site, but I've noticed a disappointing trend and it's time that someone said what so many of us are thinking.

Most Likes contests. Who likes 'em? Not I, said... me.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not blaming the businesses. I'm blaming the people that enter the contests and don't play nice. Apparently it's too much to ask that everyone act like adults, especially when it involves free merchandise. Over the past year or two, I've been able to identify the types of people that ruin fun Facebook contests.

1. The Smear Campaign
Some people rally against others in an effort to get votes for themselves. I don't understand it, I don't even have words for it - it's low, it's dirty, it's disappointing. If you can't win on your own merits, don't enter at all. There's no reason to drag others through the dirt because they threaten your chances of winning.

2. The Bleeding Heart
Having a sad rescue story doesn't make your dog deserve to win any more than the pretty purebred dog from a breeder. There are tons of dogs with horrible beginnings - yours is not unique. You can't assume that the other dogs in the running have had an easier time than yours. So please - unless the contest is specifically geared towards rescues, don't use your dog's past as a tool to guilt people into voting for you. Even worse is when this is used to guilt the businesses running the contests into giving you the prize anyway, even if you lose. Note: A subcategory of The Bleeding Heart is The Bleeding Heart + Smearer. The BH+S not only uses their dog's sad past as a way to garner votes, but trashes other dogs in the process. "You people shouldn't vote for that ugly Aussie, it's from a stupid evil show breeder - vote for Scruffy because he's a rescue found in a trashbin!" *

3. The Hoarder
Some people get all the luck. Over and over and over again. Common courtesy... if you win something, it might be nice to let someone else win the next contest. If you win a collar, please don't enter a contest for another collar - from the same company - less than a week later. Share the wealth.

4. The Clean Sweep
Some Facebook contests have more than one winner, for more than one category. Some people enter all categories and get angry if they don't win everything. Greedy much? Share the wealth.

5. The Professional
I understand that if you have a lot of friends, it's easy to win contests that focus on the Most Likes. What I find disappointing is when these "professional contestants" enter every contest they can find and then end up with a ton of free goodies. Meanwhile, everyday pets without professional portraits and "publicists" are being left in the dust. Share the wealth.

6. The Sore Loser
This is actually a blanket category that can - and does - include categories 1 through 5. Sore losers are the worst... newsflash, you're getting something for free. You aren't paying to enter, you have no claim to the prize. Don't complain to the business if you lose - It makes you look childish, and it's poor sportsmanship.

People... this all needs to stop. It's embarrassing, and it puts the businesses in an awkward position. They're trying to do something nice for their customers, and what thanks do they get? Snarky comments and nasty accusations of "not being fair."

Businesses... it might be nice to evaluate how effective these "Most Likes" contests have become. They used to be great, but they've turned into trainwrecks. The contests that really seem to work are the ones that don't rely on Most Likes, but rather the opinions of the businesses themselves.

As for myself... you won't see me enter any Most Likes contests anymore. I haven't for awhile, but not because I'm a sore loser - I just don't like asking my friends and family to vote for my own personal gain. Besides - to date, I have actually won a few Facebook contests, and I'd like to practice what I preach. This is me, sharing the wealth. ;)

* PS - I am in no way anti-rescue. I foster, I volunteer, I transport, I donate. I have two shelter kitties, and a puppy rescued from the streets of Mexico coming home soon. I just want to make that clear.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hodgepodge 4.0

When I was little, I thought the part in AC/DC's song Dirty Deeds was "Thunder Chief" instead of "done dirt cheap." I like my version better.

One time I ate so many grapes that I started hallucinating, lost all sense of direction and vomited on my great aunt. It was hilarious, in a distinctly horrifying and embarrassing way.

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On totally made my day. Thanks Mandy - hugs to you!

My car should be done late this week. Or possibly early next week. New fender, new wheel-well, possibly new bumper, and new hood. Antler damage. Excellent.

I'm beginning to miss having a foster dog in the house. I won't lie - it's a lot easier not having one - but I miss helping. This is probably brought on by the sad fact that Katie is at The Bridge now. Poor girl had a great 9 months, but I'll forever be sad that she never got her "forever home." It was nice to have known you, Mulberry Girl...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thankful 8-11

I hope you all don't mind that I'm not doing this daily. It seems to work better in batches, and lets me write about other topics on days I don't do Thankful.

8 November 2011
I'm thankful for my company, and the opportunity they gave me to work from home. I enjoy it - working in pajamas, getting to spend all day with the dogs, and of course the direct and indirect ways I'm saving money. It's a bit embarrassing to admit this, but I spent about $50 each week - just on food - at work. Omelette and hashbrowns, soda, and the inevitable trip to Starbucks was quickly nickle-and-diming me into the poorhouse. Cutting out more than $250/month for fuel has helped too. With my little deer accident on Wednesday, I've been able to keep on working - despite having no mode of transportation. Yeah. Pretty darn thankful for "WFH."

9 November 2011
I'm thankful for Aryn's internet savviness. Before this whole mess with the deer, we'd entered a dog show in Minneapolis. It seems a waste to discard our entries, so we're going to the show anyway. Instead of a cruddy, bedbug infested hotel room, Aryn was able to find a house to rent for the weekend for about the same price as said nasty hotel. Private rooms, fenced yard, hiking trails, a fully functional kitchen, more than one bathroom, wi-fi... it's going to be an excellent weekend.

10 November 2011
I'm thankful that all the dogs love each other. I don't know how or why they've bonded so closely, but they have - and I'm not about to argue with the amazing pack dynamic we've got going on right now. I just hope adding Tallahassee doesn't mess it up.

11 November 2011
I'm thankful that I'm a homeowner. Renting had its place in my life - and owning a home has not come without its share of frustrations and "Oh Shit Moments" - but as a whole, I really like our house. It's not perfect, but it doesn't have to be. It's ours, and we love it.

Even if the kitchen does still look like this. Yow. Holy mustard, Batman!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Buck My Life.

As of 6pm tonight, I am officially an Iowan. I can't believe it took me thirteen years of driving to gain my full Iowan citizenship.

I hit a deer with my car.

Before you ask, yes - everyone is okay. Everyone but the deer, that is.

If I'd hit it with an arrow or a bullet, I'd imagine my dearly departed grandfather would be very proud of my "bag." It was a big, robust-looking buck with a huge rack - I'm talking "decapitate that thing and stick it on the wall" huge. I can only imagine he's gone to the big cornfield in the sky, judging by how hard I hit him and how much of him was left on my passenger-side fender.

This sort of thing just happens in Iowa. Apparently November is the worst month for car-deer collisions, since Daylight Savings aligns the "commuting traffic" time with the "deer going about their bizniz" time. Yet another reason why I hate Daylight Savings.

I don't think the HHR is in too bad of shape. Luckily it has huge retro-looking fender things, and that's the only part of the car that seems to be damaged. If I'd been driving any other car, the hood, windshield and possibly the passenger-side door would be majorly messed up right now. Who knows, maybe Mr. Buck would have come through my windshield. You know what, let's not think about that. That's not a happy thought. We'll keep things positive, and say that my HHR did an excellent job of keeping me not dead.

Hopefully the auto-body shop has good news for me tomorrow. Either way, I'm guessing I'll be forking over my $500 comprehensive deductible. Hooray. I don't think I'll be buying any Christmas gifts this year. Thanks, Mr. Buck. You ruined Christmas.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Hodgepodge 3.0

What did people do before electric hand mixers? Did people just not bake at all? I don't own an electric hand mixer. Never have, and unless a relative buys me one for a gift-giving holiday, I never will. I've managed just fine without one for my entire adult life.

I love Parks & Recreation. It has the spark that The Office lost a few seasons ago. Ron Swanson is my hero.

Last time I did a Hodgepodge, I was complaining about the price of chicken. Hy-Vee must read my blog, because chicken was on sale yesterday for 99 cents per pound! I now have about three million pounds of chicken.

I often find myself needing a weekend for my weekend.

I house-sat/pet-sat for a friend recently, and this is probably my favorite photo I took while I was there:

The end, for tonight.

Thankful 7

7 November 2011
I'm thankful for... potatoes. Yeah, that's right, potatoes. I don't know what I'd do without them - they're a huge staple of my celiac diet. Bake 'em, mash 'em, put 'em in a stew... the possibilities are limitless with potatoes.

My favorites are the B-size yukon golds sold in bulk at the grocery store. They're cheap - 79 cents per pound - because they're not huge and plump. I don't care how big they are - they smaller ones have more flavor, and the skins are still thin enough to leave on without my husband complaining. Whatever dude - potato skins are nutritious!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thankful 5-6

Sorry, sorry, I was dogsitting this weekend so I didn't post Saturday's Thankful. Until now, that is.

5 November 2011
I'm thankful for people that understand my frustrations. It makes me feel like less of a horrible person when I have someone to commiserate with.

6 November 2011
I'm thankful for fall-time Daylight Savings. One extra hour of sleep makes me happy!

Also, puppies. I'm thankful for puppies. That goes for every day of the month.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thankful 1-4

Forgive me, I stole this idea from a friend on a dog forum. We all complain a lot, but truth be told there's a lot to be thankful for in this life. Every day this month, I'm going to post something I'm thankful for, and if you feel comfortable - I'd like you to do the same.

I have some catching up to do, so here's 1-4.

1 November 2011
I'm thankful for cool parents. They sent us an extremely thoughtful Halloween gift that shows how much they pay attention to what we like.

2 November 2011
I'm thankful for Revy's breeder - I couldn't have found a better corgi breeder if I'd tried. She has been 100% supportive of us during Revy's diagnosis and recovery. No blame, no excuses, no deflection, no denial - nothing but support. Kudos to the breeder that can do that.

3 November 2011
I'm thankful for friends that have faith in my artistic/photographic abilities, especially when I'm doubting myself. I'll admit, the big green monster comes out when people talk to me about photography equipment because I don't have the money to buy anything more than I already have - and what I have isn't exactly something to be "proud of." $400 may not seem like a lot of money to some of you, but to me that's too much to spend on a piece of photography equipment right now. I start doubting my abilities, because I get sucked into the false assumption that equipment equals talent. Those of you that snap me out of it... thanks. I really appreciate all you do to make me feel better about myself.

4 November 2011
I'm thankful that I know so many kind people that recognize a need and leap at the opportunity to make it right. I have to leave it at that, because it's sort of a secret... so here's a picture of a chocolate ghetto bunny. Heh.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

It's Official.

Texas A&M confirmed it. Revy is officially an EPI dog. Medical alert tag ordered, enzyme supplier found, kibble selected.

Once our bottle of Pancrezyme is gone, we'll be ordering the human equivalent (Pancreatin) from this site. It's what most EPI dogs are on, since it's drastically cheaper than the veterinary formula. Our food choices are as follows:

  • Natural Balance ALPHA Dog (any formula)
  • California Natural Grainfree (any formula)
  • Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream
  • Acana Ranchlands (we may try this - but the fat content might be too high.)

For training, we will be mixing up her food and putting in these refillable squeeze tubes. It'll make rewards a lot easier than spooning out the glop from a tupperware container.

Oh, the glop? Yeah... this is what it looks like:

Yum, delicious.

I'll end this with a bit of good news - since starting enzymes, Revy has gained 1.7lbs!