Thursday, May 31, 2007
  hi, i'm cute!

hi there!, originally uploaded by estacey.

So the kitties are growing and growing. They’ve each put about two ounces on already! 20% body weight gain in four days? I’d say they’re doing alright. :)
Strangely, Oreo is also gaining weight. Maybe she’s depressed because she hasn’t been coming in as much, so has turned to the food bowl (or, let’s be honest, more poor innocent lizards) for consolation. She’s welcome to come in, of course, but she hasn’t been crying at the window as much, probably due to the evil little furballs that have invaded the bathroom.

The kittens still have a really strong desire to nurse, even when they’re not hungry. It really bums me out that they don't have anyone to nurse on. Last night, Calico Kitty sucked on my hand for a good 10 minutes. I started to worry I’d get a hickey, but didn’t have the heart to make her stop.

Tomorrow, I have to fly out for an all-day meeting in Sarasota. I had to tap a woman at work to come feed the kitties mid-day for me. I’m happy she agreed, and actually likes the idea. She’s an animal person too. :)

Yesterday I took a half day off, on account of the headache that JUST WOULD NOT LEAVE. Laying in bed with the fan on was nice. I watched “Run Lola Run” finally, which was awesome, and four episodes of “Desperate Housewives” – they replay that stuff on, you know? I very very rarely watch primetime TV, but I like some of the shows, so it’s nice to watch them on-demand like that. The kittens snuggled and napped with me, which was nice. They need that lovey attention at their age. I like it too.

White Kitten hadn’t pooped yet, so I was getting worried. They say they SHOULD go every day, if they don’t go for four days you have to take them to the vet. Then finally last night he broke the seal, and has pooped three times in 12 hours now. He seems really pissed off to be doing it, which is kinda funny. “I don’t like doing it either, buddy, but you gotta!”

They have been SO good about controlling their potty habits. For baby kittens, that is very impressive. Not one accident, not on me nor in their nest. Except then last night Chris was holding Calico Kitten as he was falling asleep and all of a sudden asked, “WHAT IS THIS THAT’S WARM?” He claimed to not have been rubbing her belly, but I don’t know if I believe him.

Yay! It’s almost the weekend again! I don't think we have ANYTHING planned for this weekend - phew. I do think Chris wants to look at boats, but the rest is CHILL TIME. I love getting to just hang around. Maybe I'll cook something. Plant something. Finish some books. Yay! :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007
  home with a headache

hand, for scale (and scratching), originally uploaded by estacey.

with a kitten trying to nurse on my earlobe. :D

Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Total household animal count, as of 5/29

Fish: 1
Rabbits: 1
Tortoises: 2
Dogs: 3
Cats: 5(!)
Total 12(!)
wet wipe manifesto
found via kottke

omg, i'm tired. so so tired.
i slept from like 1-4 and then 4:30 - 8, with get-up-and-pee-and-rub-the-kittens'-bellies-so-they-pee-too wakeups, too.
this is the tiredest i been in a long time.

glad it's tuesday, at least. :) (you know, which is better'n monday.)
Monday, May 28, 2007

snuggly kittens, originally uploaded by estacey.

the white one.. well, the typical reaction so far is that the calico cat is cute and then i show the white one and there's a pause and a "aww, he doesn't look so good." i've definiely been worrying about little cupcake. they're such fragile little things, i knew right away that it was possible they wouldn't live without their mama.

not to mention, the pastor announced at the church service that there were two kittens in a box outside if anyone wanted to take them home. i assumed they were a couple of months old, like most cats for giveaway in a box. so after the service i go over and see THESE TINY THINGS and immediately i think that maybe that 1.5 hours was the difference between life and death for these critters, and chris and i had to leave right away to go find a petstore to buy some kitten formula. agh.

anyway, this white kitten, cupcake, i've basically had to force-feed. he'll eat a little and then totally lose interest. we're talking maybe 1/5th of what the other one gulps down happily. i can get a little more food in, but that's it - so he's been eating less than half of what the calico has.

well, tonight, i did their 12:30 feeding and, afterwards, the white kitten was still crying. walking around, crying. i said hmmmm, maybe he's gotten his appetite back so gave him another half-serving of food. he still seemed a little hungry but i figure i'll give him time for his food to settle and he'll be fine.

i'm just very, very happy - he just ate 1.5 servings, gulping it down hungrily, just like the calico does. :)

had to share. they may just make it! :) :)


oh so cute, originally uploaded by estacey.


they're so tiny. i need more pictures to reflect scale.


mrow!, originally uploaded by estacey.

they're doing okay. white one - cupcake - is actually better. he cried some today, fought a little.. better than yesterday, when he only slept.

i'm getting the hang of the feeding thing. i finally sat down and did the calculations and planning, with the help of a scale. the calico and white cats weigh 10 and 8 ounces, respectively.

they are so helpless, they really don't go to the bathroom on their own. they wait until i rub their bellies with a wet cloth, simulating when mama would like them. today calico had her first poop that way. that was a, um, surprise! later, she had explosive diarrhea (literally explosive) but was kind enough to wait until i was there to get it all over my pants. :) i guess it's a good thing she could hold it, and it also says something good about the consistency that it was able to shoot such a distance.

the calico is actually a lot cuter than the white cat, but they're hard to get pictures of. i'll keep trying.

they love their grey teddy, which i bought for the last kittens i had here (their mama was grey). they lay all over this thing, snuggle with it, etc. it's very cute. they've been moved to the bathtub, so they're in a good, safe place now.

i have a long night ahead of me - feedings in a little while, again at 12:30, again at 4:30 (a.m.!), before work, at lunchtime.......
man, having kittens is sure a lot harder than fostering a mamacat.

we went shopping and stuff today. got a rain barrel (woo woo) and a plant. this three-day weekend went way too fast.

for the second weekend in a row, i had at least one day ruined by a migraine. i think i'll be making an appointment with the doctor this week to see if i can get some good drugs for this. saturday, i woke up really thirsty and feeling not so great, so i probably should have taken it easy, but i soon felt really good and wanted to jog, so went for a long run with sebastian on the beach. i felt good afterwards, thought i would be fine.. a couple hours later, i felt the first sign. the rest of the day, i was a mess. mostly because i'm tired of having the headaches. it finally went away between 7 and 8 yesterday morning, but has been more or less threatening ever since, so i've been far from myself. it sucks.

okay, that's all. time to shower and feed the kits and get some sleep!

Sunday, May 27, 2007
  there were some kittens at the church today where the hoes' babies were baptized

and they're TINY.
a couple of weeks old, max.

i tried to find a rescue group with a feeding mama that could handle a couple of extra mouths... no luck. "you have a busy weekend ahead of you," one of the women said.

apparently it's kitten season AND the worst time for adoption, so everyone has lots coming in and nothing going out.

so for now, i'm feeding with a medicine dropper and rubbing their bellies to get them to pee. they can't even PEE on their own yet!

Friday, May 25, 2007
  Three-day weekend ahead!
Ahh! A long weekend! And we have no plans! Well, hardly any! Yay! :)

So far, we have plans to:

- Turn the Mercedes to the dealership. Two months early. It started being funny in the last couple of miles on the drive home from Orlando, which sealed the car's fate. It's a lovely car and a blast to drive, but a complete lemon. The last time it was driven, when Chris's sister and her fiance drove it to Orlando a few weeks ago, the convertible top got stuck in the "up" position and they had to take it to the dealership, get a loaner, etc. This time, the RPMs started going nuts. What-evah.

- Sunday is the Hoes' babies' baptism. I have to find something red to wear! After that, we're going to swing down to the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables. After Epcot, I'm dying to see more pretty plants. :)

- Go to the Asian market so I can get some jackfruit. It'll be canned jackfruit, but that is certainly better than no jackfruit. I also hope they have mangosteen! Or maybe durian. Also, go to Whole Foods Market as they have lychee fruit now! I think I officially have to accept that I am what is known as a foodie. :D

- Do some homework. But let's not concentrate on that... (Lord knows I haven't been!)

- We were going to do some shore diving this weekend, but the seas are not all cooperating with that plan, so instead maybe we'll just play in the pool with the puppies.

I'm very excited. :) I love time off!

You know what else I'm excited about? THE CAYMAN ISLANDS. Very, very excited. Yes, it's over two months away, but that doesn't mean I can't be all happy about it now, doing Flickr searches and stuff. :) The funny thing is, I never really thought about going there, but when Chris brought it up, I absolutely loved the idea. Especially now that I've researched it a little - it's absolutely gorgeous. Can't wait!


I was thinking about it the other day and, ya know what? I'm pretty damn happy. To quote Michael Bolton, love is a wonderful, wonderful thing. :) It's really quite amazing to find something that's exactly like it's supposed to be, if that makes any sense. :)
Thursday, May 24, 2007
  Mmm, cake!
First, let me say that this thing rocks:

this is the best thing ever
Someone got it for someone for Christmas (Patty for Chris? Da Bo for Patty? Who knows?) and it is excellent. It's angled, so you don't have to squat down to view the measurement markers from the side when you're measuring out ingredients. Highly suggested - and inexpensive! - gift for your favorite cook.

Anyway, yesterday was Chris’s birthday! So I set out to make him a cake from a recipe I found online. A mango cake! From scratch! My first ever from-scratch cake!

mango cakes

The recipe, I discovered partway through, wasn’t detailed enough for a novice baker like me, but I figured it out - after a panicked phonecall to a co-worker who was the only person I could think of that may know how to bake a cake! And I wasn’t huge on the frosting, and there wasn’t enough of it, so I ran over to get some of the nice, pre-made Betty Crocker stuff. It’s times like this I’m happy that walking to Winn-Dixie is a less-than-3-minute endeavor.

I used my frosting, mixed with chopped-up mango and chopped-up raisins, in between the two layers of cake. I wasn’t too sure about using raisins, as called for in the recipe, but tasted them with the frosting and it was pretty good. In retrospect, I may have chosen chopped-up mangos and chopped-up dried mangos instead – you need a change of texture and taste, but I don’t know if the raisins were such a good addition or not. Also, I would suggest mango NECTAR instead of mango JUICE as the juice is just not mango-y enough.

It was all topped with cream-cheese frosting. 150 calories per 2 tablespoons. Whoa mama! I can’t imagine my homemade frosting was any more nutritious, considering the ingredient list was: 2 sticks butter, 1 cup sugar, 1.5 cups cream, 1 tablespoon kahlua. :)

mmm, mess
What a mess!

I got done and cleaned the kitchen JUST in time for Chris to get home from the airport. We ate leftover yummy, yummy Chinese brought from Houston and cake. The cake was pretty good! The first taste, I was not too convinced, but I think the fact I had been licking cake batter and frosting for the past two hours had put me into sugar overload. It was good when I tried it a bit later, though. And definitely a learning experience! Most importantly, Chris liked it - and I don't think he was just trying to be nice. :)

the finished product
Finished product! I was supposed to use a mango and cut it up to arrange like flower petals on the cake. Have you ever tried to cut mango bits into flower-petal shapes? Yeah, no. So instead I just did this craziness with the fresh fruit.

one of the birthday cards
The animals got Chris a card! They're so sweet! Elliot was the only one who wouldn't sign it. The cats didn't do so well, but amazingly they left perfect little paw prints on the kitchen floor after these messy ones in the card. :D
Tuesday, May 22, 2007

some of the supplies, originally uploaded by ratterrell.

they say this is going to be a "more active than usual" hurricane season. this sucks. of course, that's also what they said LAST year and we had not one hurricane! *knock on wood*

chris got hurricane windows put in a couple of weeks ago, so that should be interesting. this is also an evacuation zone, so i don't know the deal with that, but for the minor storms we can stay here and watch it all through the thick hurricane-safe glass.

chris be in texas for his baby sister's graduation. there was a bomb threat, so they had to move location at the last moment. at least there was no bomb.

i dropped the one math class. i wasn't planning on cancelling my wisconsin trip for a midterm that could not be moved only because the teacher was being a hardass. and, guess what! that also means we can go to the caymans on the original weekend that worked out well for chris workwise - the day we leave also happens to be the exact day my other two classes end - and which also happens to be the weekend of our anniversary. :) so that's nice. best diving on the continent, they say.

aforementioned "busier than average" hurricane season had better not interfere, or there will be hell to pay.

tonight is a beautiful night. beeeeeeeautiful! SUPER breezy. ocean looked pretty scary, though. seas 6-8 feet!

alright, time to go to bed. all alone!


saw this on a website, originally uploaded by estacey.

  animal house
Last night, Sebastian was snuggling in bed with us. He’s definitely the most spoiled, but only because we can’t trust either of the other two to not pee in the bed.

So anyway, I got after Chris for messing with Sebastian when it was obvious he was tired. The last straw was when he dragged Sebastian up from by our legs to snuggle with him.

Chris responded, rather offended, that it was his dog. I said so what. Then he said Sebastian didn’t mind, that Sebastian loved him.

Then he asks Sebastian, who was at his side, “Sebastian, who do you love better? Sit by whoever you love most.” I am guessing he expected Sebastian to stay put and then he could do the Nelson-from-The-Simpsons “NYAH-HAH.”

Instead, AS IF ON CUE, Sebastian GOT UP and WALKED OVER TO ME. And then he planted his butt down on the bed. And then he looked back at Chris. I about died laughing.

Then Chris refused to talk to either of us. :D


Also, last night I took Sebastian for a jog on the beach and was able to LET HIM OFF THE LEASH. This is a first. I waited until we were away from a road entry to make sure he would be good, and he was. I was so proud, and it’s such a nice way to run – no tugging on the leash, no yelling at him to come – just a gentle, “C’mon!” if he starts to fall behind. Mostly, though, he just trotted along beside/behind me. It was very cute.


Also, last night, Kitten got up on the roof and cried and cried. That cat! She’s very cute, though. She came in the house and poked around last night, and that’s so cute to watch. And she’s much better with dogs than she used to be. Yay!


Also, I got Chris a fish for Christmas… a couple of months ago. A betta. This is because he used to have a betta fish, Buddy (the dog was named after him, so his real name is Buddy II), that was the best fish ever and would jump out of the water for his food. I always assumed that was a bit of an exaggeration.

But Chris trained the new fish, Buddy III, within a few days to jump out of the water for his food. Chris is in Texas right now so I fed the fish this morning. It was so funny! He ate it right off my finger, which was hovering OVER the water. He got one on the first try, but missed on the other two bits of food, so he got my finger instead. A betta bite! Ha, it was so cute!

Sunday, May 20, 2007
flickr set.

our drive to disney friday night SUCKED. two accidents on the turnpike, then heavy, horrible downpours. ahh, that was fun.

so saturday, we slept in, then we went to epcot. i didn't bring the good camera because i didn't realize there would be so much good stuff to take pics of, but there was - there was some garden show going on this month at epcot, so there were flowers and plants everywhere. i loved it! and had no idea what a plant nerd i was until that day. :) we have to take a trip to the botanical gardens in miami soon!


i thought this was really neat. gawd, i'm getting old.

i didn't know we had magnolias in florida, but they're everywhere in orlando. i loved it!

magnola, b&w

from the nemo ride:

on the nemo ride

we happened to be in the aquarium at the time of the dolphin show - so awesome. definitely a highlight. chris's leg wasn't well enough to go diving, and for about .5 seconds i thought i'd go by myself, then realized i really wanted him to be along, too, so said maybe we could do it next time. then we got to the aquarium and realized it wouldn't be all that great. so yay, good decision.

showin' off their teeth

now, if i were diving with the DOLPHINS.. different story. loved 'em. i seriously got all choked up at one point. such a nerd. :)

cuttlefish - i love these!

oh, how i love the cuttlefish.

these flowers are awesome:

passionfruit flower

chris bought four plumeria root things, so we can grow our own! i'm excited about that.


another cool flower:

pretty flower

then we spent a half-hour looking for the car in the parking lot - ha ha! neither of us paid attention to wear we had left it! mind you, the search was really, really funny.. for the first four minutes or so.

we lost the car!

that sucked, but it could have been much worse.

we met dean & meredith out for dinner & ice cream, which was nice. we were all tired, so scrapped plans to "go out" but they said we HAD to see this place named the "Dance Hall" or something. very sad, they assured us. and they sure did deliver.

this place was PACKED.

look at all those people!

the sad, sad dancefloor.

we all ended up dancing - save for chris. how could we not? they played "baby got back" which CHRIS HAD NEVER HEARD.


today, i woke up early - feeling good! surprise! so we went with dean & meredith to MGM. we ate and went on a few rides and the star wars simulator reminded me quite well that i had had a few vodka & cranberries the night before.

i loved the tower of terror. and the coaster was cool, too.

that aerosmith coaster

i'm a screamer. :) i think i screamed the ENTIRE TIME on the tower of terror. whoa, that was cool though.

it was something like this:

you go up 12 flights or 13 flights or something, and then they just DROP YOU. and then they do it again.

these things were everywhere, the whole time:


mating lovebugs. on our lunch table! mm!

dean was wearing his "sam: world's ugliest dog" shirt today. he felt very shown-up by this dude:

nice shirt!

the best part was that he was WITH HIS WIFE AND KIDS.

the guy with the t-shirt and his family


long drive home, but better than the 4.5 hours it took us to get there. very happy to see the dogs. very happy to be home. very happy to be going to sleep right now!
  haute crocs

new crocs, take 2 or whatever, originally uploaded by estacey.

they make their debut: mary-jane style crocs.

i think i've worn these babies every single day since i bought 'em. they're great - comfortable, and not AS ugly as the other kind. :)


chris & his bday gift, originally uploaded by estacey.

i got this for chris for his birthday, and had given it to him last week so that he had time to practice with it before his baby sister's graduation. it sat untouched for a few days, but he brought it to disney (i think to be nice). by the end of the trip, he was really, really excited about the camera - it has an awesome night mode, he got embarassing videos of us dancing ("the lawnmower" "the cash register" etc.), got the dolphins on tape, etc. so yay, i am excited! i done good!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007
  I loooooove math - love, love, love

So I’m taking two math classes, right?

The one is immediately a PITA. Why?

The one (long) weekend that worked well for Chris to go to the Caymans is the weekend of 8/4. I will be done with my other two finals on 8/1, but this other class I have to do my final on 8/4 or 8/5. I asked the teacher if I could take the test before or after this weekend, but he said no.

Also, the class week ends on Saturday. I have never had any other online class end on anything other than a Sunday. So, I missed the first deadline for the two quizzes, having done them SUNDAY instead of SATURDAY. Two zeros.

Also, I went to my calendar today with my Wisconsin dates and I see, oh, I have a midterm on 6/23. WHEN I WILL BE IN WISCONSIN.

My OTHER math teacher made the tests open for a week, so we could go in when we could. This is an ONLINE CLASS after all. I am hoping 6/23 is a start or an end date, but he hasn’t specified that. I just emailed him. I expect him to be uncooperative, as he was with the final. After all, this is just a computerized test, administered via computer in a testing lab. I am not missing any class meetings.

All these things together lead me to believe I should just withdraw. Guess when the last day to withdraw for a refund was? Yesterday.

Also, I need this class to be able to attend FAU next semester.

I am horribly upset. :(
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
  do expect a picture of me doing this.

GATORLAND 2006, originally uploaded by TC.

i think this was taken at the resort where we'll be staying.

  i liked this picture.

over bluescreen, originally uploaded by estacey.

although i should be a bit more to the right.

anyway, hi!

did you hear? miami's made #1 on the list of the countries' rudest drivers. yeah baby.

so this weekend, hmm, was pretty quiet. saturday, we all took the dogs to the doggy park. they, of course, enjoyed it. we had fun, too. :) then we took catherine & tim to the airport, i took chris to church, i went and bought some snazzy new crocs (pics to follow), picked up chris, we went to the hospital/whole foods together, went home, etc.

sunday, we went to the hoes to see the much-bigger and very cute wittle babies. nathan slept the whole time, but we got to take turns holding everett. i learned that chris is a baby hog. then we went to ihop, where it took, like, two hours to get some french toast & pigs in a blanket.

not very exciting, but this weekend is disney, so that's a good thing. i wanted to go diving in that huge aquarium, but poor chris's leg wound (bike accident) is still pretty, um, scary.

i guess that's it. :)

Monday, May 14, 2007
  really, time to get my passport

Time to get inside, originally uploaded by gemini spy.

chris wants to go to the caymans sometime this summer.


Sunday, May 13, 2007
  we visited the hoes today.

cute, eh? :)

Friday, May 11, 2007

yay, he's going to make it :), originally uploaded by estacey.

Last week I took a long (unpaid) lunch to take a little warbler someone had found stunned outside to the Wildlife Care Center. He was alive, but twitching. It was sad.

Then today, I heard a smack and went out to see what it was – it was a dead bird. Freshly dead. Another dead bird, of exactly the same kind, was right next to it, having died earlier. One of the office dwellers said, oh yeah, the birds are smacking into the windows – “worse than usual lately.” He hypothesized that it was due to the wildfires burning all over our state, making the air hazy and smoky. Really, much of this week it has smelled like a campfire outside. There was another one someone had seen hopping around in the bushes, so he made it (hopefully is just recovering rather than permanently crippled in some way).

So I go online and find these things – – and order a bunch. An hour later, another smack. AGGGH!

This time, the little guy must have been going slower because he was still alive. I sat outside and waited to see if he’d die – I’d hate to make a creature’s last moments any more stressful than they already are. He didn’t, so I brought him inside and found a box. He wasn’t doing so well – had one (or both) eyes closed, didn’t appear to be able to move, was gasping for air. I gave him some peace while I went outside and put bits of tape all over the windows so the birds could see them.

When I checked on him a bit later, he had perked up. I took his box outside, where he could be warm and waited a few minutes. When I checked again, he was squawking at me. Still didn’t appear to be moving well, so waited a bit longer. Opened the box, saw he started to flutter around inside. I opened the box and here he came! He sat there long enough for me to get some pictures. Then he fluttered down to the bushes, where I hope he makes a full recovery.

Please let this be the last bird that runs into our windows!!! They are just so tiny and precious – and what a senseless way to die. :(

Shannon "tagged" me. I'd send you to her blog, but it's password-protected.

I can't really tag anyone else because she tagged the only people I know that blog!

What were you doing 10 years ago?

I was a mere 19! I think I was living in La Crosse, doing the same thing as Shannon - working at The Company Store. I should have been going to school. My sister and I may have had a place together back then.

What were you doing 1 year ago?

One year ago? Probably diving a lot. :) Let's check the blog.. Oh! Today, one year ago, I was diving in Key Largo. :) Then tomorrow, a year ago, I started orientation at my new (current) job. I hadn't yet met my Chris (that's still 3 months away). I was just talking to Chris about that yesterday, how lucky I feel that I stumbled across him, and that he stumbled back. My life would be so incredibly different without him - most importantly, no Chris, and no dogs, no rides on The Dirty B, no Oreo coming to the window and crying to come in, etc. etc.

Five snacks you enjoy:

Wait, is this before or after raw food?

Before my attempts at raw:
1) Peanut M&Ms
2) Chips & salsa/guacamole
3) Any bastardization of the s'mores concept (graham crackers + nutella, etc.)
4) Cereal
5) Oh my god, trail mix!

1) A few almonds shoved into a pitted medjool date - it's like candy, really!
2) Fruit (bananas or something weird)
3) Coffee
4) Half a ProBar. I got, like, a case free from work.
5) Anything sweet and yummy that can be rationalized into the end of my day, when I've passed the eat-raw-until-dinner deadline: ("I ate nothing but salad all day, I'm ENTITLED to this piece of Snickers Ice Cream Cake!" or: "Melted carob chips can't be all that bad for you, can they?")

Five songs to which you know all the lyrics:
1.) ANYTHING by the Beatles
2) Anything by Billy Joel
3) Anything by the Dixie Chicks
4) "What I Love About Sundays" by Craig Morgan
5) (I know lots of songs by heart, actually.)

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:
1) Three words: Convertible Mini Cooper
2) Quit the job so I can devote my time to school, a nice big garden, diving, taking pictures, taking the dogs to the park, etc.
3) Lots of new lenses, books, flowers, and good food without sweating how much it costs
4) Many spring/summer/early fall trips to Wisconsin to see my growing nieces & nephew, and plane tickets for them the rest of the year
5) Make lots of donations, and maybe hire a sniper to take care of the seal clubbers

Five bad habits:
1) Procrastinating
2) Oversleeping
3) Neglecting things I should be doing in order to indulge myself and relax indulge myself (to sleep, to watch the tortoises eat, to take pictures, to lazily pet Oreo outside, etc.)
4) Swearing like a motherfucker
5) Coffee. Every freaking day. Yeah, my three-week leave from it didn't stick. I really plan on giving it up again. Soon. :D

Five things you like doing:
1) "Cooking" a.k.a. making a big huge mess and getting rewarded by something new & yummy at the end
2) Diving - I swear I'll get back to it someday!
3) Law & Order every Tuesday night
4) Getting to chill out on the weekends at home (pool, reading, playing with the dogs)
5) Taking my time to unwind after a stressful day, whether it's by bumming around at the bookstore, Targhetto, or my neighborhood (camera in hand)

Five things you would never wear again:
1) Um, socks with Birkenstocks
2) High heels on a daily basis - god, I'm getting old (but I do still love the heels!)
3) Cut-off, rolled-up jean shorts :)
4) Jeans with lots of little holes all over. Man oh man.
5) That really cute - but really short - work dress. I guess I'm getting more modest as I get older (and fatter!).

Five favorite toys:
1) My camera!
2) And my other camera - because point & shoots are indispensable!
3) And soon, once I get it repaired, my other-other camera - because it will take pictures underwater!
4) The laptop, as it is handy for downloading music, checking my trashy gossip blogs, and uploading pictures.
5) My food processor. :) Yes, I am such a nerd. I've actually been buying things like citrus juicers and garlic presses and fancy vegetable peelers lately. Such a nerd.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007

flower, originally uploaded by estacey.

chris bought me flowers this weekend.

they smell AWESOME.

  they love me, they really love me!

chris said, "do you want to know what happens when you go take a shower?" [in the bathroom off the master bedroom beyond this door.] "go get the camera."

there was this picture. chris said they stayed there until they all fell asleep.


they all got a bit of carob after i saw this picture, and an apology for trying to get them to fight into the dogfight/frisbee room rather than at my feet as i tried to chop veggies & watch law & order simultaneously.


what is THIS?

  look at these adorable little tomatoes

tiny tomatoes, originally uploaded by estacey.

they fell off, so i figured i would use them SOMEHOW.

it turns out they're grape tomatoes! i got to eat one today. :)

  Effing contractors

Chris's cluttered house., originally uploaded by estacey.

So this is Chris’s place, a while back.
Funny how much it’s changed – that far room is still empty (dog fighting room), but the dining room now has a lived-on table & chairs instead of that barstool.

The reason I am posting this picture is because he is in the process of getting hurricane-proof windows. This is awesome because, when we have a hurricane, we can watch it in all its glory right through the windows. No shutters. Weird, huh? Sadly, those pretty divided-up windows are going to be gone. I liked those windows. The bad/good news (depending on how you're feeling at the moment) is that we can no longer hear Oreo when she hops up on the windowsill and cries for us to let her in.

Now the part I’m posting about: contractors suck. They were supposed to start last Monday, maybe be done by Friday. Monday they called to say they wouldn’t show, so the dogs had to stay in their crates until I found this out at lunchtime. They were already sick of the crates from the week before, when they had to be crated due to the pool guy coming, the boat guy coming, and the fact that they chewed off parts of the not-yet-installed (and very expensive) windows. Tuesday they had to stay in their crates until the cleaning lady left them out after they called and said they wouldn’t be coming until Thursday. So then Thursday they worked on the place, who knows for how long. Friday they didn’t show until 4 p.m. THEY SHOWED UP AT 4 P.M. They worked for two hours and left.

Now, Thursday & Friday were one thing; Chris had those days off and was home for most of them.

However, everyone is working this week, and the window guys were supposed to come. And the dogs can’t be left outside; they need to be crated.

So yesterday, I had to DRAG Sebastian out of his doghouse, PUSH him into his crate.. Gretchey was whining sadly and barking at me after I crated them until the time I left the house, which I did nearly in tears because I felt so bad for making them stay in their small crates all long, boring day. I called Chris from the car, livid at the idea that the window guys would not show again -- if the dogs were in their crates all day for no reason, there would be hell to pay (hell hath no fury like a dog mama pissed). Chris went home at lunchtime to check on the dogs and the window guys were still not there. Thankfully, he thought of a solution: the dogs are now leashed up outside.

But oh my god the nerve of these window guys! In seven working days, they’ve special all of something like six hours there. !!!


raw dessert - mango pie, originally uploaded by estacey.

i had some mangos to use up last night, so i made this!

filling: 3 mangos food-processed, with one cup of cut-up bits of 10-minutes soaked dried mangos

crust: 1/2 cup medjool dates with 1.5 cups walnuts and 1.5 cups dried coconut.
i made the mistake of getting the low-fat coconut at the store a while back (made low-fat by steaming, which makes it no longer raw AND tastes bad), so out of desperation i opened up a fresh coconut and hacked out some of the meat. i think that helped. so i'd say food-processed fresh coconut would work just as well as dried!

topped with: strawberries, 3 kiwi fruit

it was yummmmmmmmmmy. i know i sound like a broken record, but it's just strange it's just raw fruit and nuts. as chris said, it tasted like a fruit tart. chris hates coconut, though, so next time i have to make it without that bit! i think i'll tackle the key lime mousse next. (made with avocados!)

after making this and finishing up the raw pasta, the kitchen was a huge disaster. at least most of the waste was headed for the composter - or the tortoises!

the disaster of the kitchen

who knew raw "cooking" could make such a mess? best viewed large. :)

  how cute is THIS?

chris & orzo & her tongue, originally uploaded by estacey.



the one pic from the black tie, originally uploaded by estacey.

yay, i'm done with school! for now! done-done!

friday after work i joined my baby & dean & meredith for a quick drink, then went home to "work on my speech." or, you know, what really happened: "avoid working on my speech until very late." i ended up just printing out what i had written the week before, read it out loud a couple of times and, well, that was it. :D no matter - i got a perfect score anyway. i'm starting to wonder if EVERYONE in the class got a perfect score, because it didn't seem too hard to achieve...

so anyway, saturday was the speech. then i hung out with the dogs at the pool, read a national geographic cover-to-cover, took a nap when the airplanes & landscapers got too loud to doze away outside.. i had a party to go to - alex's birthday party - but didn't end up going. i didn't have such a great day and was not up for socializing, especially when how it would go was unknown.

saturday night was the black tie! i completely gave up in advance on having my hair look nice or different, so i got ready in record time! and the hair ended up pretty nice anyway. :) chris was mighty cute in his tux, and mighty cute all tired as he was (someone drank a bit too much jack at the air & sea show!)... the black tie itself wasn't so bad. mike maroone & rick case (those names will be familiar to south floridians) battled out a couple of auctions, which i found amusing. the huizengas, at the end, matched the entire $38k the auction had raised. i saw wayne from where i was sitting, but couldn't zero in on marti, which was too bad 'cause had i ended up in the bathroom, i wanted to tell her thanks for, you know, BUILDING the humane society and all.

sunday, um.. what did we do? we went to the sto'. i bought a bunch of weird fruit for alex and dropped it off at his place as a gift. i made some raw marinara sauce. we went out for greek food - yum! i quickly finished up my stuff for film class - i got an 80% on the quiz for "invasion of the body snatchers" - which i never watched. ha! i got myself an A in that class. :)

last night i mandolined up some zucchini for tonight's dinner - stringed zucchini with raw marinara sauce. i gave chris a taste of it last night and he ate the rest of the bowl i had in my hand, so i think that's a positive review.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

air & sea show, originally uploaded by estacey.

so we didn't actually GO to the air and sea show -- well, chris did...
but we did watch from the front yard.. and i DID watch from the pool yesterday.. but anyway, quite strange to be sitting in your yard and see THESE things go by.

Saturday, May 05, 2007
  whoa mama, tired
so my speech is done!
now it's just a couple of low-key, last-minute things to do for my film class.... and i'm done!!! until wednesday, anyhow... :) but i feel very happy right now.

my speech class has so many cute people, i swear.

and we got done early, just in time for me to go with on the boat to go watch the air & sea show, but i decided against it. i be tired. it's too bad; patty's boyfriend was over, and catherine & her fiance (also a wisconsinite - we had a good laugh over the "uffda" and the "ja" stuff) are here. ah well...

i'm already in my swimsuit; i'm gonna go outside and nap and swim and read and play with the dogs and nap and swim and read. :) sadly, i don't know if i should get my hair wet or not; who wants to be working with freshly-washed hair when trying to look purdy?

i really should be playing with my camera (new lens), but.. no, i just want to nap. :)
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
  i want a dehydrator!

dehydrating, originally uploaded by ladymomma.

but they're a good $180.. arrrr..

anyway, hey! i got a B in math class! a B! i am so happy! mind you, i'm basically a straight-A student, so i should be disappointed with a B.... but it's math! MATH! :)

i got an 85 on the final. i was two points away from earning a B in the class, so he gave it to me. woo-woo!

and i just took the final for my education technology class. the quizzes for the class were respectably hard, and since this test was 100 questions long, i was worried. but, uh, the test was silly easy. i did it in about 10 minutes and got a 96%. most of the questions were along these lines:

"When planning lessons that use technology, teachers should not consider the skills and knowledge level required for students to start and complete the lesson successfully."


just a speech and a couple more movies and i be finee!

the kitties are adjusting to life at chris's just find. we keep finding them up on this wall thing outside. all three were on it last night. it's so funny how they so readily adapt to a new place and consider it home. i guess they don't really have anywhere else to go...

chris is used to picking up oreo all the time, and she purrs. tonight he gently picked kitten up and, for a few seconds, she was quiet. i was surprised. but soon enough, she started the kitten cry. he laughed and let her squirm out of his arms. "she's not anything like oreo," i said, laughing. "i guess not," he answered. what a funny little (miserable) cat!

ok, i am a-sleep as i type so it's time for a shower.

  this week (and weekend) need to be OVER
i am so so tired. no rest until this weekend.. my last speech is saturday, for which i am completely unprepared but can’t pay attention to until tomorrow night. tonight is my math final and then i have to come home and take another final that will take at least an hour. tomorrow night i do the cats, then have to come home for a speech class activity online at 9, then i have to work on my speech! friday night i finish working on my speech. saturday i give the speech. saturday night i have a black tie to go to with chris. sunday i have to do the last bits of stuff for my film class. at some point i want to go to the air & sea show with my babe.

for complete disclosure, i’ve been kinda unfocused about school the past couple of nights. i should have been studying math, but at this point i just kinda think i’m as ready as i’m going to be. i had to figure out a couple of things for the final, but beyond that i am going to have to depend upon what i already learned. we’ll see.

then my next round of classes starts on wednesday.. :( i was thinking they’d give us a week or so in between semesters, but noooooo.. luckily, i found out one class i was going to take this summer isn’t actually required, so i got to drop that. now it’s just three classes over the summer! when i say “just three” i’m being genuine, but really should be being sarcastic because it’s a pretty decent workload, considering the summer sessions are so much shorter. i am going to do a (normally four-month) american lit class in 1.5 months!

yesterday after i got home i went out to throw some compost in the bin and water some plants. then oreo wanted some attention, so i sat down on the front step to pet her. she laid at my side. i thought that looked comfortable, so i leaned back onto the pavement. fast forward 45+ minutes, i hear chris’s truck door slam – i had fallen asleep! thankfully the front step is pretty much hidden by plants and stuff, so anyone passing by wouldn’t have to know that i was asleep in the front yard. :)

still doing the raw thing – including snacks, until dinner, save for my daily coffee – and have kept it up since, like, last Monday. It’s actually not even hard. Today I overslept so didn’t get to make my customary fruit topping (almond butter & pineapple juice, food processed) so just ate fruit dipped in almond butter until I was satisfied. I like it, and like the idea of it – and that 2/3 of my meals are vegan, too. vegetarian is so not enough, but i just never had the self discipline to be vegan. yet, doing raw (save for raw cheeses, which i rarely bother with, or raw meats, which, yeah, no way) defaults to vegan.. yet doesn't feel like i'm depriving myself of anything!

last night, i had field roast for dinner.. i ate, like, half a loaf of it. that was a pretty fair dinner portion (two servings), but afterwards.. i felt so full. heavy full. i didn’t like it – and i think that’s the feeling i used to be aiming for! i think my non-raw dinners will have to be tempered by salad or veggies in the future.

yay! we're going to disney in a few weeks (diving at epcot? maybe!)
yay! we're going to wisconsin for a long weekend in june!
yay! my niece is visiting this summer!
yay! costa rica is quickly approaching.
yay! i'm saving for this lens and may be able to afford it by the trip! (awesome, but $800!)

I'm Stacey. I'm a 31(!)-year-old Wisconsin girl living in sunny South Florida. The highlights in my life are my lovely boyfriend, my aloof cats, my adorable/adoring stepdogs, my two lumbering tortoises, select family members, being outside, being underwater, taking pictures, yadda yadda. Stay tuned for lots of babbling!

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States


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Making a difference

A small boy lived by the ocean. He loved the creatures of the sea, especially the starfish, and he spent much of his time exploring the seashore.

One day the boy learned there would be a minus tide that would leave the starfish stranded on the sand.

When the tide went out, he went down to the beach, began picking up the stranded starfish, and tossing them back into the ocean.

An elderly man who lived next door came down to the beach to see what the boy was doing. Seeing the man's quizzical expression, the boy paused as he approached. "I'm saving the starfish!" the boy proudly declared.

When the neighbor saw all of the stranded starfish he shook his head and said: "I'm sorry to disappoint you, young man, but if you look down the beach, there are stranded starfish as far as the eye can see. And if you look up the beach the other way, it's the same. One little boy like you isn't going to make much of a difference."

The boy thought about this for a moment. Then he reached his small hand down to the sand, picked up another starfish, tossed it out into the ocean, and said: "Well, I sure made a difference for that one!"

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