For work, I got to do a little Homestead farm tour! It was fun! I got to try all kinds of new fruits I had never heard of, take home a big ol' bag of avocados, and try locally-produced lychee wine. (And mango, and passionfruit, and carambola... All yummy.)
Today I'm feeling miserable.. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. After all, I pet two cats, four farm dogs, a donkey, a horse....
I really like Florida for this reason. An hour from South Beach, you're in a place that's so green and fruity that a little girl with us asked, while watching the trees go by outside the bus window, "Are we in Costa Rica?" :)
because i think his wife is pretty. is that weird?
but honestly, look at her. pretty in a wow-she-looks-sweet way. !
[this pic is one of a grouper being cleaned by a pederson's shrimp. i love it!]
I FOUND WAILEY!
he would've been gone two weeks on saturday, so, needless to say, i was getting very worried. i searched tirelessly for the first week or so.. then the depression of searching but not finding (you know, like fluffy) set in. i didn't want have another animal to sit and wonder about... where is he? is he ok?
it was confounding because there's no way he could've escaped from the yard; it's fenced in! bjorn could get out, because he's little and could fit through gaps, but there's no way wailey could. yet, after searching on both my and balu's parts, we couldn't find him.
then today, i got home from work and was doing my usual 6:30 routine: watching seinfeld. the one where george finds out that he is marisa tomei's time. ellie was in bed with me. he kept hopping over to the window, which isn't unusual. but this time, he looked down, to the ground UNDER the window, rather than up towards the birds. hmm! i thought and checked it out. sure enough, there was wailey, looking like he was trying to get himself stuck in a roll of chickenwire. i yelled out, "WAILEY!" and ran outside to scoop his dirty little self up.
so, he got a bath and a nice meal (with a banana on top!) and a stern lecture about never, ever doing that to mama again! YAY! i think he did just fine in the yard.. it's been raining every single damn day and he had a leaf stuck to his face, so i guess he found food. :)
i just checked on him again and he's ambling around the perimeter of the enclosure. i'm thinking i'll buy some wood and expand it out this weekend; i don't think happy tortoises busy themselves with trying to find a way out, so maybe he's not happy. i'll have to dig him a nice little covered burrow to hide in.
also, i got my wallet back. :) fabulous!
the guy who found my wallet works at an enterprise car place, so i went there to pick it up. he was gone when i got there, so i waited around a few minutes.. when he did get there, he said my wallet was at his place. ruh-roh. (seeing as how today i wore a dress/skirt for the first time in months, i was hyper aware of male attention; i had forgotten how much men like to see bare legs!) then i realized, wait, did i detect a hint of gay in that voice? sure enough, he mentioned his boyfriend. safe! anyway, so he pointed me to the car we'd ride in to run over to his apartment, "the focus," he said. "don't worry, it's not mine." i had to laugh -- "oh, he'll feel bad later when he seems me drive off in an old civic," from which a nice new black focus would be a huge step up.
anyway, that reminded me of this guy i went to school with a coupla years back, adam. he was this, i dunno, italian guy? nice fella. unexpected member of the honors program. we usually used to walk out to our cars together after class. he pointed out his car one night, a white ford focus. it was one of his job's perks; he was a salesperson for pepsi, so he got to use the car he drove for the job for free. the one downside? it had the pepsi logo on the side.
"big fan of pepsi, eh?" i kidded with him one night. "yeah, yeah, real funny," he answered. "my friends call it the cockblock on wheels." i still laugh when i think of that.
They're all polaroids. I think that has to get expensive, but it sure makes for some cool-lookin' pics.
Speaking of pics, I gotta send my camera in soon. I'm dying without it!
I think I blogged about these folks before.
They're off helping dogs in Peru.. It's truly amazing the awesome changes they've made in these dogs' lives. They intervene, then find new homes for the dogs, saving the sweet and beautiful (who knew?) dogs and adding happiness to the adoptive families' lives as well. They have a whole bunch more before & after pics (and stories) at Flickr. Check 'em out, then donate a few bucks to 'em. Go on now.
See this cat? If you go to its Flickr page, then go to the set named "Cat #4 Kin", you'll see that the first picture is of this cat on the street. This nice Junku fella took a cat in off the street and gave her a home.
Then you see pics of her sitting in laps.
Can you tell me why neither of my cats seem to trust me enough to, say, sit on my lap.. or lay on my chest/tummy, the way Suki did? I don't get it. They both love to be petted and scratched, but seem to draw the line at too much physical contact.
Someday I'll have a well-adjusted cat. Someday.
"The gorilla is threatened with extinction by the mid-21st century if poaching and destruction of its habitat continue at the current rate, the United Nations has warned."
Reading these types of things make me nauseous and teary-eyed. Can you imagine? That day, if we're lucky enough to be here, when the news comes out that there are no more gorillas, just as the other day it was confirmed West African black rhinoceros is extinct.. I can't imagine.
You know, the little black cat I adopted last April?
By way of an update, he's an absolute dear. There's the whole lizard-killing thing (which, knock on wood, hasn't happened for a few days; I usually am GUARANTEED a lizard head when I wake up in the morning), but he's sweet, pees where he's supposed to, and only rarely tries to gnaw on my hand. Also, he actually USES the window perch I bought the cats. I figured for sure when I bought it that it would be a waste of $20; after all, like kids, cats seem to be able to sense that you've spent money on something and quickly begin to play with the package it came in rather than that expensive toy.
Most mornings, Elliot's on my windowsill when I wake up, waiting until I look awake enough to snuggle on him a little. To make sure I notice him, he makes pathetic little, nearly inaudible cries for attention. After I scatch his head for a minute, I head to the bathroom to begin my morning routine, and he’s on my heels, still crying.
Kitten, on the other hand, trots off to her food dish the second I walk out of my bedroom. I’m a hand that feeds her, that’s all.
Anyway, as lovey as Elliot is, he’s still the goony cat I adopted, only now he’s a goony cat that will come out from under the bed. If you approach him, he runs away. In fact, he took to getting to go outside pretty well, but then I didn’t see him for, like, a week, save for glimpses of his shadow in the bushes. For a week, I had to feed him outside and never got closer than I would to a feral! He got over that, but he doesn’t yet seem quite convinced I’ve not just been fattening him up this whole time.
Today I got an email from Balu that he was able to pass Elliot in the hallway without the cat running away. I find it hilarious that, after a year and three months of doting and dishing out cans of that nasty, smelly food, Elliot’s trusting us enough to stay put while we *walk by* is worth a mention. :)
she apparently tipped a box over in balu's room and has spent most of her weekend there since. and look at how happy it makes her- she's doing happy paws in this here picture.
she usually sleeps in my room, or outside my door in the hallway, where she can lead me to her food dish in the morning as soon as i step out of my room. this morning, she was nowhere to be found.
of course, she was in her box. :)
Sadly, I got the ones that I had as a sample from work. Now I have to find where they actually sell it. Don't bother trying another brand; I did, and it was horrible.
The other night, after snuggling on the dog guests, I brought a salad into the guest room, where the tortoises were taking refuge from those dogs in the yard that I was worried may mistake them for chew toys.
I sat on the floor and watched Bjorn eat, and nudged Wailey towards the plate and held watermelon up to his face.
Kitten came in to investigate the smells of the guest room, since the door is usually closed. She stayed to watch the tortoise scene.
I smiled at them and then hopped up and went into Balu's room and announced, "Ya know something?" "What's that?" "I am completely amazed that people live without pets BY CHOICE."
Honestly - it just boggles me. And ME having pets requires that I walk around with the sniffles and a semi-itchy throat at most times.
To each his own, I know, but.. I can't imagine!
The folks of Beloit, Wisconsin, came out on a lovely afternoon to recreate Georges Seurat's famous painting.
It makes me smile. :)
So yesterday, when I got home, Balu had gone to class and the backyard was empty. The dogs had escaped AGAIN.
I got to have a little treasure hunt in the neighborhood for the dogs. It turns out some nice lady from a few blocks away saw them running loose, leashed them, and then went to find whose they were. I finally got in touch with her and went to her house to re-collect them; the red dog was too interested in the feral kittens she had outside her house to keep them there. Oh, she's one of those crazy cat ladies. ;)
I also found out that these dogs belong to someone, lord knows where. They're often seen running loose in our area.
Long story short, Balu fixed the couple of spots that could have been considered "weak" ones in the fence and the dogs were good all evening. I let them in for treats (cat food) and snuggling on the couch. I asked Balu if he'd take them out walking the next day by where I found them and maybe they'd sniff their way towards their house. That way, they could get home without us just having to let them loose near our busy roads.
We went grocery shopping and returned to find the dogs in the house, despite no obvious way of getting in. "You're magic dogs!" is all I could think. It turns out they came in through the CAT DOOR. It's just big enough for my little cats, so I'm quite impressed at that..
Balu was intent on not letting them sleep inside, so I put them out last night. Then it started to rain, so I grabbed a blanket, let them inside, and napped on the couch with them until the rain stopped. Then I ushered them back to the yard and went to sleep.
This morning - they were gone, again. Argh. Well, let's hope they found their way home and, if they don't, know where to come back for some dog food & Friskies. :) And let's hope their owners were scared a little by their evening's absence and try to make sure the puppies aren't by busy roads.
They're a couple of really nice dogs. The black dog ("Black Dog") is as sweet and mild-mannered as you could hope for. Seriously, I'd dog-nap him if he didn't have such a good buddy in the red dog (who GROOMS him, I'll have you know). The brown/red dog ("Red Dog") is off-limits thanks to her intense interest in my cats. She's a sweetie too, though, as long as you're not a feline. Proof: I let them eat some of my veggie beef jerky (haha - they loved it!) last night and each of them took it from my hand as gentle as can be imagined. Considering my cats will tear my hand off if I'm too slow putting their treats on the floor, I was touched.
This morning, I had to run to our office by my house before I went to the office where I work. I went to take my right turn on Peters Road and, doing my look-both-ways thing, noticed there were some dogs in the road off to the left. Two dogs, running confusedly. Cars were slowing down, swerving, but all eventually zooming by them. "Oh, wonderful," I thought.
I turned left and parked in the middle (turn) lane and put on my hazards. The dogs weren't too sure about me, so kept running back and forth. I clapped and patted my legs and yelled for them to come over. There was a pit-mix-looking brown dog and a nice little black one. As soon as the brown doggy came over, the black one followed. The brown dog jumped onto the hood of my car, the black one stayed at my feet, and I stood there wondering wtf to do.
"Alright, wanna go for a ride?" They both jumped in the car without hesitation. We went back to my house where I was hoping Balu would be willing to help me.
Of course, the brown dog immediately ran for Kitten, who arched her back, hissed, then darted for the tabletop.
Balu came out to see what all the commotion was about and, in between yells at the dog, I asked as sweetly as I could,' Do you want company for the day?"
Bless him, he's making flyers to post in the neighborhood and dog-sitting for the day. The dogs are a couple of little Houdinis, so I'm placing my bets that they've just escaped from someone's backyard.
In the meantime, I was late for work and worried about Elliot, who was in the backyard without me knowing, and who ran up a tree to get away from the one dog. From beyond the fence, I saw Elliot fall OUT of the tree and haven't seen him since. I know they usually land on their feet, but I'd feel much better to know that he was alright.
Life is full of excitement when you're friends with Stacey, right, Balu? :) First the ducks, now the dogs...
The other night, we were on our way to Sublime, a vegan restaurant Shannon had wanted to try out. We had to drop off Shannon's Rx for steroids (for sunburn) at the Walgreens on Federal & 26th (for you locals - between commercial & sunrise) to pick up after we ate. (For you non-locals, federal is one of our major roadways.)
As Balu pulled into 26th, we noticed a family of ducks on the other side of the street, taking up one of the two lanes of west-bound traffic. Luckily, people were swerving into the other lane to avoid them, but the mama and her eight baby ducks seemed intent on crossing over and there was NO WAY they were going to get across in one piece. Or nine.
I stepped out into the road to stop the traffic. One guy whizzed by me. The next car stopped. They honked at me, probably confused as to what I was doing. Then I ushered the ducks across the street and, as the previously stopped-in-the-name-of-ducks SUV driver drove by, she yelled, "Thank you!"
So now we're on the other side of the road and I'm wondering where the heck the ducks are planning on going from here. I ran down the street and saw that the water accessible there was NOT accessible to non-flying baby ducks; there was a ten-foot drop-off. Busy roads on all sides.
The mama and baby sucks had settled in by an empty swimming pool, so we kept our distance from them while Balu scouted the neighborhood in the Volvo for bodies of water - where did they come from? Where were they going? Balu found nothing, even with the help of a map.
After standing there for a few minutes, thinking carefully and sighing deeply, I finally said, "Okay, let's catch 'em." Dreadfully.
I had an idea of where they could go - my old office's corporate park had a nice little pond where I spent many relaxing lunch hours, breaking bread with the local ibises, softshells, and, yes, muscovy ducks. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muscovy_Duck
I failed horribly at my first attempt to catch the mamaduck. She flew into an empty swimming pool, then used the stairs to hop back out, which was entirely too amusing. I knew she wouldn't go too far, on account of her babies, and sure enough, she stuck around, despite my advances.
I caught her on the second or so try, horrified that I'd hurt her delicate wings or neck. We were in a backyard, by this time, and I was straddled over the mamaduck on the grass. Balu and Shannon went to work catching the baby ducks, ushering them over to the fence, where they were forced to run by me and I was able to pluck them up one-handed, the other hand on the mamaduck. The babies went into a big box that I think Balu got at Walgreens. For a minute, one of the babies went through a hole in the fence and I was TERRIFIED we had f'd up. Balu and Shannon went to work to catch it in the near-dark and were successful, thank god.
It's funny what a complete bitch drill sergeant I become in situations like this. I was barking orders out, trying my best to get Shannon and Balu to be good border collies, herding the ducks away from the gaps in the fence and exits from the yard. I trust their judgment and all, but in situations like this, being a "backseat driver" to make SURE things are going as you think they should is better - I'd rather offend someone than not offer a problem I foresee. I know how people sometimes hurt things they're trying to help, like all the folks that take in baby birds they find rather than leaving them to the mama birds, who are most likely keeping a watchful eye in a tree nearby.
At one point, someone who lived in the apartment complex came out to investigate what we were doing. "That duck belongs to the guy in apartment 1," he said. I sat there, still straddling mamaduck, and pondered this. "She's a muscovy duck. There's no water here. They were in the road and are lucky they didn't get hurt." A muscovy duck, for chrissake! The guy was being argumentative and annoying, so I tuned him out. At one point, Balu was helping me and the guy started in. When Balu turned to face him, I shouted, "Don't worry about the FUCKING GUY! WORRY ABOUT THE DUCKS!" I was just so terrified something would go wrong and we would leave the ducks worse off than we found them. That is just not acceptable. And poor Shannon. "RUN, SHANNON! GO THE OTHER WAY! IT'S GETTING AWAY FROM YOU!" She flipped me off a few times, but luckily I was too busy to notice. :)
After a nice no-a/c, windows-rolled up ride across town with a box of baby ducks in the back and a struggling mamaduck on my lap, we were able to let them go in a nice, quiet corporate park. I hated to let them out at night, but hoped they'd hunker down somewhere safe and be able to explore their new digs the next day.
Of course, they went straight for the road, which receives hotel & Bennigans-turnaround traffic, so we had to re-usher them to the pond. By the time we left, I was confident we had done as much as we could've.
We went back to the Walgreens to retrieve my shoes, which I had kicked off before I snuck up on the mama, and still made dinner at Sublime! What a fun hour!
In this photo provided by Jerry Patterson, a bear cub sits in a vintage red Buick convertible in a Lake Tahoe neighborhood, in Stateline, Nev., in this Sunday, July 2, 2006 file photo. The bear drew a crowd of spectators as it munched on barbecue-chicken-and-jalapeno pizza in the back seat of the 1964 Buick Skylark. It also apparently washed it down with a swig of a Jack Daniel's mixer, an Absolut vodka and tonic, and a beer taken from a cooler, the vehicle's owner said.
i took this pic last night with shannon's camera, in "fireworks" mode. hmm. anyway, first time on the beach for fireworks.. it was kinda nice. yay, photos :)
i may not be able to take pics for a while. the camera was working fine last night.. then today, i went to snap a pic of my burn and this is what i got. meep!
we're both a little burnt... shannon more than me. at least now she knows i wasn't just being a p.i.t.a. saturday when i kept telling her to put on sunscreen. the northerners just can't accept that the florida sun is DIFFERENT.
beach day saturday, yesterday was snorkeling and dinner in key largo.. today i'm working and shannon is relaxing in the air conditioning..
And, my god, has it been fun.
Balu & I have been taking turns torturing the cats with them. For added fun, I give the cats catnip before. Or rub the toy with catnip.
Kitten cracks me up. She alternates between wanting to kill it and being scared of it, as shown in this picture.
$5 at Target. Go buy one.