Sunday, August 31, 2008

TINIEST, CUTEST LITTLE CHIHUAHUA, originally uploaded by estacey.

Isn't this thing just ridiculous? You can hold him with one hand, easy. God, I wish I could take him home.

Can you tell me who was there at the shelter with me assisting? Ha ha ha. :)

Saturday, August 30, 2008
  yay for the day
i put up the tiny pomeranian that is available at the shelter up on craigslist the other day. she's been there since i started volunteering, so she has been there at least a month.

two people wrote to me about her. i said i didn't know much besides what i learned about her while walking her -- that she is tiny, adorable, and prances around outside in the cutest way. also, her lower half is sparse when it comes to fur. (full disclosure, i figure.)

i also put 3 other dogs up...

well, the happy story that the pomeranian is no longer on the website, which means she's been adopted. sometimes they don't get taken down right away, so maybe one of the others have been adopted too; i can hope.

also, one of the dogs i put up interested this one girl, who went to the shelter and ended up leaving with a different dog.

so, thanks to craigslist, i have helped at least two very worthy little dogs find homes.

that makes me very happy. :)
Thursday, August 28, 2008
  The cutest moon you'll ever get.

Kalia butt!!!, originally uploaded by estacey.

(Chubby thighs included.)

anyone know photoshop?


i use the crop tool to crop a tiny bit out of a picture whose original size is 4288x2848. cropping to 4x6. seriously, a TINY BIT. now the picture size is 1728x1142. wtf? and ALL OF MY FILES ARE LIKE THIS NOW, everything i've processed.

please help me. maybe i need to start cropping to 8x12. ?

i gotta find me a PS forum.
  The difference a semester makes
Last semester, I was all prepared for school way before classes started. I bought new notebooks, binders, a planner, pencils, etc. I printed out a schedule of my classes that I had made on Excel so I could keep track of the day and time; professor; and room number.

This year? Monday night I put my two Tuesday classes on the BlackBerry calendar. One of them incorrectly. Tuesday, right before I left, I grabbed an old notebook from the closet. I took a pen from the stash of drug company pens in the truck before I went to class. I honestly did not know what my classes were as I was walking into them. I came into the one late, so I was thinking to myself, "PLEASE do not let her ask what class I'm here for, because I don't know." All I knew was FH-423. Not her name, not the class name - nada.

Reminds me of when I was taking classes at BCC, how after a few semesters I stopped buying books for a lot of the classes -- since I realized I didn't really didn't need them in certain types of classes.

I think I may have gone too far to the "eh" extreme this semester. I mean, I have an online course that I have to post a discussion for by tomorrow night and I still don't really remember what the class was. Ha.

Anyway. Classes are going fine. I signed up for a T/Th morning class, Lyrical Poetry of the Renaissance, so now I am gone ALL DAY those days. And, man, that class... I mean, I knew it was going to be a toughie (and when I say toughie, I mean yawny)... but this morning... whoa mama. I had this teacher for Shakespeare, though, so it's funny to see her and all her little quirks again.

I had really, really good news about school today, but before I say anything I have to talk to the school. If it works out: YIPEE! :)
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
  Oh dear.

Kyle looking handsome, originally uploaded by estacey.

This is my little nephew, Kyle. He looks much cuter in other pictures, but this one seems to accompany the post so much better. Get a load of that shirt!

Anyway, today Kamille told me this story...

His dad, Chris, gave him a dime. As he handed it over, he said, "Now, Kyle, don't you swallow this."

Whether it was just that Daddy's idea seemed like such a good one or willful disobedience, Kyle took the dime into his room and promptly swallowed it.

This reinforces an old saying.. well, one I made up, that I still haven't perfected the wording on: Kids are always trying to come up with ways to kill themselves, and they're just DARING you to let them. And that's true, isn't it? Hey, look, a bookshelf, I think I'll try to climb it! Hey, a pool! How about I fall in? Hey, some stairs! They look fun to fall down!

So now Kyle's parents are on Poop Watch 2008. Lucky them, right?

  First day back

and things are going swimmingly. Not.

I couldn't find my first building. Drove campus for 45 minutes before finding an info booth and asking. It was impossible to see from the road, and unlike as it looked on the map, I did not have to be on a Lee Street to get there. Aggh.

Next class? I was expecting linguistics, but the lady was talking about DDT. I was about 5 minutes late, so missed the passing out of the syllabus, etc.) Sure enough, I wrote down the building/room for my THURSDAY night class. Agggh.

So now I'm 45 minutes for my second class as well! :p

Monday, August 25, 2008
  Taste of the Keys
I didn't get many pictures, at all. This would be a combination of a Friday migraine (first one since, uh, before the Galapagos, so pre-May), sleeping in, and doing things where I dared not take my camera.

Man, I wanted some rooster pictures. I saw two mama chickens with their chicks, too, but had no camera. They will have to wait until next time, I guess. Here are the pictures I've uploaded so far. I may have a few more keepers, but I have no patience for going through them again right now.

Great Egret again

This egret had fishing line on his back. It pissed me off -- $&%(! fisherman -- but he seemed okay anyway. He was fishing (successfuly) and could fly, so let's hope it stays that way.

Water with lemon

Chris was out at the car looking for a sleeveless shirt (this will make a few of you giggle), so I amused myself by taking lots of pictures of our water glasses. I think our nice waitress thought I was silly. This was at the Green Turtle Inn. I have passed this place many times -- even stopped to get a picture of the sign as, at night, the turtle looks like it's swimming. But this is the first time I ate there. I was displeased to discover that they actually serve TURTLE there. Green Turtle Chowder. We both hoped it meant it was just a house specialty, so we asked. Farmed, the waitress assured, which did not assure much. Do we even farm turtles here in the States???

Chris on a trail

Walking the trail. (Cameraphone picture. I again love the BlackBerry. The pics ain't SLR quality, but it sure is nice to have a camera on you sometimes when you don't want to lug the big guy around.)

Me at Bahia Honda

Yours truly in dorky hat. (Cameraphone picture.)

Bahia Honda

This guy made me laugh a little. I think he knew I was taking his picture.

The Good Life

Pretty place, eh?

Pink flowers at the famous Key West cemetary

We went to the cemetary, but didn't stay long... it being high noon and melty weather and all. And Chris was getting bummed out by the graves. I did get some flower pictures, though. This place is legendary... colorful locals putting colorful stuff on their gravestones and whatnot. That will be for another time.

We saw an eagle ray off the old bridge

An eagle ray. A non-spectacular picture, but I took this thing from a BRIDGE, so what do you want from me??? ;)

It is SO SO SO pretty there. Hopefully Chris will have to cover that office again soon...
  I love the NYT
How many times have I said that on here? Well, I do. I also love my BlackBerry, which allowed me to read the NY Times during the drive back from Key West on Sunday.

I read snippets of the articles to Chris as he drove. Highlights were:

Heaven's Angels. If I were bigger, had more tattoos, and, well, a guy... Then I would totally be one of these fellas. They are big, bad biker guys with a big, big soft spot for the little furries. The story was great. Also, love the pictures.

Some Britons Too Unruly for Resorts in Europe. Now, I understand this story completely... When Chris and Beth came to visit, they acted exactly like the Brits on holiday were described in this article. Minus all the binge drinking and staying up all night and getting into fights. Um, yeah. Anyway, the article... awesome. A heartwarming quote: “If there’s a girl being sick in the streets, you see people helping her out,” she said. “We watch out for each other here.”

I leave you with some Shawn Johnson:

4'9", people! 4'9"!!! i watched some of the olympic gymnastics in wisconsin and just LOVED HER.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
  heavy sigh (back to the real world)
after months of being an unemployed bum, i am returning to the (semi) real world this week.

mondays are reserved for doggy (doody) duty. that lasts from 9 a.m. until early afternoon.

tuesdays and thursdays i'll have class from 2-7, more or less.

wednesday and friday are days i am at home (unless i pick up a wednesday night class to make it five; i am trying to work it out another way, though). this is a blessing! better than the MWF school schedule i had last semester. i had to sit some things out last semester, including a trip to key west that chris made... so having a long weekend every weekend, whether to devote to classwork or something fun like a trip, is awesome. i'm so glad the classes worked out the way they did!

this break hast been nice, i have to admit. galapagos were great. wisconsin, although a very long stay, was well worth it. even getting to go away for a long weekend to key west... all things that this freedom has allowed me.

of course, i have next to zilch for money. negative zilch, actually. (thank you, credit card companies!) that's not so good. with the return of classes comes financial aid, and that cannot come a moment too soon.

and while sleeping in is nice because it feels soooo niiiiiiiice, i feel uber bad for waking up after 10 every day. the return of a bit of structure will be good.

so yeah. big week over here. :)
  Bahia Honda, Florida Keys

Bahia Honda, Florida Keys, originally uploaded by estacey.

Saturday, August 23, 2008
  alive and well
yesterday we went to a late lunch with the folks from the kw office where chris spent the day. they were telling us which restaurants to try, where to go, etc. they asked if we had yet been to bahama village. we said no... or, we didn't think so. the one lady explained, "well, it's the part of town where the african americans tend to hang out." then there was a pause. "but, you know, it's safe and everything..." thank you for pointing that out!

um, let's see. so we went to lunch at this place that's popular with the locals. i had to take back my "don't worry about me, i can eat anywhere" assurance from earlier in the day when i saw the menu. my choices were: salad, peel & eat shrimp, or fried shrimp. i hate fried shrimp. i hate peel & eat shrimp (seriously, peel the legs off your food before you eat it? and i don't want to know what's in the VEIN, and i'm pretty sure i don't want to EAT IT). and as for the salad, i was HUNGRY. coming off a migraine, you know. but i didn't have any choices. the table shared an order of peel & eat shrimp. i ordered a garden salad. it was the least appetizing salad EVER - literally just a bowl of iceburg lettuce with two chunks of tomato on top. oh, and a side order of french fries. i ate a few leggy, veiny shrimp and a few french fries, and took about two bites of my salad... and that was it. on the way back to the office, i was at once both hot and cold, and was DYING to get out of the car. to not be surrounded by strangers when feeling so OFF, you know. we got into chris's car and i said, "i need food - now." a few minutes later, i changed it to: "you need to pull over - now." thankfully i made it into a restaurant bathroom before my whole lunch came up. this makes two restaurants in whose bathroom i have puked on that street, but the other one was at least due to alcoholic overindulgence. i'd much prefer that kind of puking over the kind caused by a headache and bad food. the only thing i could see eating after that experience was BREAD, so we stopped and got a loaf of cinnamon bread, which i have eaten in its entirety by now.

there are lots of stray cats in key west. they all appear to be well cared for, though, so i don't have to worry too much about them. that didn't stop me from going to two different stores here last night to find some food to feed to the girl that apparently lives outside this bed & breakfast. she was happy. i gave her some tonight, too, and she ate all of that, so then i gave her some salmon. spoiled. she came into the room last night for a minute... just wandered in. if it were just me, i would probably let her just stay for the night...

this town is WEIRD. i had to get a refill of imitrex yesterday. the walgreens on duval is only open M-F until 6 p.m. closed saturday & sunday. !!! (i mean, the store is open all the time, but those are the pharmacy hours.) so chris calls the CVS and asks what time the pharmacy is open until. "we don't have a pharmacy here," they answered. no pharmacy?! at the pharmacy?! the CVS also had no cat food. and no pop-top tuna, either. what kind of town is this!? great if you are shopping for beach towels or t-shirts that bash women, but not so great for most other circumstances, i think.

i've not taken really any pics in key west so far. i would like to get pics of the cats. mayber roosters. i saw a chicken today with chicks! maybe tomorrow. we're heading home early-ish, though. we'll see. i think we will make it to the graveyard, at least. maybe the hemingway house, to see more cats.

we went to bahia honda today. i loved it, as usual. i can't wait to take babies there someday.

ok, time for the sleep.
  Kalli's wittle feets

Kalli's wittle feets, originally uploaded by estacey.

Friday, August 22, 2008
  One of those weekends...
When I'm really lucky Chris does what he does. The doc who covers the Key West office is on vacation, so Chris is doing it. In exchange for a 5-hour, dressed-down workday tomorrow, his work is putting us in Key West for the whole weekend. Sweet, eh? We think so.

I do feel bad about the dogs. I see them one day then bring them to Patty's. Then again, she has the BEST YARD EVER, so I doubt they're crying in their kibble over me. Actually, the second I brought them into Patty's, Sebastian ran to the back door. Then he just sat there, pleading with his eyes: "You must let me out. Don't you understand? There could be DUCKS out there! Even an iguana! Maybe the neighbor dog will be barking furiously for no reason at all! I can join in! Pleeeeeease let me out?" Stacey who?

So anyway, we're at a B&B a couple of blocks off Duval. Tomorrow when Chris is at "work," I am gonna tool around town on my bike. Snap some pics, hopefully. Saturday or Sunday, we're going to my beloved Bahia Honda. Then on the way home Sunday, we're going to hit this wild bird sanctuary thing. Yay!

OK, I just had to lie a little to Chris a minute ago when he woke up and asked what time it was ("Like two," when in reality it's more like 2:40) so I think that means it's past bedtime. Even in Key West.

Thursday, August 21, 2008
  Beautiful baby Kalia

Beautiful baby Kalia, originally uploaded by estacey.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008
  Kelli and her new baby daughter

Kelli and her new baby daughter, originally uploaded by estacey.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008
  Goodbye to my girls

The Tilson Girls :), originally uploaded by estacey.

Today was the big goodbye.

Macy apparently didn't believe me & Amanda when we told her I had to go back to Florida ("Florida by the pool") today. She thought we were kidding. I guess that to a 2.5-year-old, an 11-day visitor starts to feel like a fixture in your life.

I gave her a hug anyhow and said goodbye. I gave her lots of kisses on her neck while we were hugging. "No moochers!" she yelled. "I don't like moochers!" Tough, I said. Then I gave Amanda a hug and moochers on her neck. :)

My leaving coincided with the time that Amanda had to walk Macy to the babysitter's, down the street. I waved and got in my car and started to drive away. I decided to do a U-turn so I could go beep at them as a last goodbye. I saw Amanda yelling at me as I drove, so I rolled down the window.

Apparently as I started to drive away, Macy finally believed that I was leaving. She started yelling, "Didn't say goodbye to Stacey! Didn't say goodbye to Stacey!"

So I got out of the car and went up to the sidewalk, where Macy broke into a full run with her arms outstretched. I picked her up and hugged her and said goodbye.

And this makes me tear up every time I think of it. Including now!

Monday, August 18, 2008
  How cute is my sister?

How cute is my sister?, originally uploaded by estacey.

They threw Macy a "summer birthday" in July. Her birthday is really in December... and I guess she was feeling left out, since Amanda, Kamille, and Kyle just had birthdays. So they got her a cake and gifts from the dollar store and threw a party. :)

Such a good mama!

  Told you.

Now I way me down to seep...
Originally uploaded by estacey

Sunday, August 17, 2008
So today I called United and changed my ticket to fly on Tuesday instead, to avoid this Fay thing.

Tonight Chris calls me and says that he doesn't think I have to worry about flying in tomorrow, based on the latest forecast.

The thing is, I didn't say goodbye to my sis or her kids, instead saying I'd drive up tomorrow with Amanda. Amanda already has agreed to give up a day of being surly around the house in order to accompany me. Also, I wanted to get more pictures of Kalia's tiny, perfect feet.

So I think I should just stay until Tuesday. But then the thought of not being home until 11 p.m. on Tuesday night makes me want to cry. Blah.

I should probably just suck it up and enjoy this one extra day here. But JESUS am I ever homesick. :(

In non-stupid-storm related news, Cute Macyisms:

Macy is only allowed one crayon at a time. Someone has to act as Crayon Cop anytime she is coloring, for if she was allowed as many colors as she wanted, one would surely end up rolling under the couch, and would soon after probably be used to draw on the walls. Macy knows this is the rule, but nonetheless always tries to appeal to the Crayon Cop to just sneak her a couple extra. So today Amanda was the Crayon Cop, and had to deny Macy's requests for extra crayons. Macy, decided to leave the pleading behind for another approach. We overheard Macy tell Amanda, "Amanda, caring is sharing."

She has a Dora potty seat. She likes to sit on it and read books, just like the grown-ups. She gets 2 suckers every time she poops. Sometimes as she is sitting there, trying to earn her a couple of suckers, she grunts, "I'm potty training!"

This is something like when parents tell you how cute their kids are, and what cute things they did, and it's totally boring and all whatever, right? Probably. But I would like to remember these things anyhow, so here they get written.

Also, I just heard her saying her nightly prayers and I'll be damned if that isn't the cutest version of Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep that I've ever heard.

Ok, off to lay me down to sleep. :)
#1. I posted those videos from youtube like 2 weeks ago and they're just appearing now. ???

#2. My flight is Monday. I dunno if I'll actually get to go home then or not. This is a tad worrisome. I miss home.

#3. My family!! Sis Kelli has been, uh, difficult. Moreso than usual. The other day we were supposed to call her at 9 (as planned) to finalize plans to get together with the kids that day. She didn't answer, and didn't call back until 11. Hurry, I said. At noon, I call and she still can't tell me WHEN she's leaving even. I tell her Amanda has to be home by 3:30 for something. She says Amanda should do whatever she needed to do another day. Impossible. She gets all pissy and hangs up on me. !!! Who does that, as an adult? Won't answer when Kamille tries to call. They finally talk later (Amanda's appt had thankfully been extended to 5:30) and she pissily agrees to come. We make her sandwiches, buy treats and toys for her son and head over to Goose Island. She never shows, and never calls. Macy spends half the time looking for her cousin Kyle so they can play.

This is the THIRD family thing Kelli has flaked on since I've been here. Apparently she feels bad; she's making something I like for the family picnic tomorrow. I just feel bad for her kid, having to miss out on all the fun we could have had. And I feel bad in general; I see my family 1-2 times a year...

Then tonight, I made sure we were back from Minnesota in time for my 8 pm dinner get-together with someone else in my family. Like, we pulled Macy off the swings at 6:30 so I could get back to La Crosse in time. And I got stood up. I had cereal on the sofa for dinner. (And Amish-made cherry pie. So I guess it wasn't really all that bad...)

Oh, and also my grandma probably isn't coming to the picnic tomorrow. She does everything with my one aunt, who isn't coming, so it sounds as if she won't come either. This will go over really well with the rest of the family, I predict.

It probably doesn't help that I'm PMSing, but I feel pretty near tears right now. Thank god for Kamille and her family, who gave me most of the moments that made this trip worth it. Including Amanda and her teenage hissy fits. Yesterday when Kamille told her to pick up the beach toys, Amanda exclaimed, "I hate you! You ruin everything!". I found that incredibly amusing.

At any rate, pray for me that I get to go home Monday!!

Friday, August 15, 2008
  Miranda Lambert - Me And Charlie Talking

I heard this song a couple of years ago on Yahoo! Music. I actually really disliked the song the first time or two that I heard it... And then around the third time, a switch flipped. I fell in love! Such a cute voice, such a cute song... I liked it so much, in fact, that I bought the CD. And I NEVER buy CDs anymore. This may have been the last one, in fact. Jesus. (I do keep meaning to buy Alicia Keys and M.I.A. though. Although I've downloaded everything I want, they're so good that I really feel like I should be PAYING them something.)

I never thought to watch the video until just now. Fairly boring video, but the girl is just so cute you can't help but smile. Also, she says ten like tin. :)


i hate it when i like a song and then watch the video and it's so dumb that it's all i can think about when i'm later listening to the song on the radio.

forever when this song comes on, i will picture this waitress (as if someone that pretty would be a waitress, anyhow) pouring coffee to the song's beat. whatevs.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008
  We went to the beach today.

Macy gettin' buried., originally uploaded by estacey.

Kamille had some shopping to do with Amanda, so I offered to pick up Macy from the babysitter early. We went to the beach at Goose Island, and Macy had a blast. We are now both dirty and exhausted. I think that constitutes a good day.

Saturday, August 09, 2008
  Fortunes from Great Wall restaurant
Kamille, to Macy: "Your greatest wish will come true." So what's your greatest wish?

Macy: Bananas!

Friday, August 08, 2008
  One more

Rose against sky, again, originally uploaded by estacey.

Got this shot right, finally.

  Kitten cuteness

Kitten v. Balloon, originally uploaded by estacey.

Tonight she started batting at the balloon ribbon. (Balloon = Gretchen's, from obedience class "graduation"). Thankfully I found the camera pretty quick and was able to snap this...

  My anniversary flowers

Chris & I been dating for two years as of this past Monday! Time flies! I've been taking pictures the past couple of days of my liles & roses and just LOVE THEM. They're good in person, too - the whole kitchen smells of the stargazers. I think I should start buying flowers every week so I have something this pretty to photograph.

I leave for Wisconsin tomorrow, for 10 days. I'm mildly freaking out. I am going to miss the dogs so so bad, Maggie particularly because she's my shadow and I don't know what she'll do without me to follow around the house. And I was all sad before Chris left a couple of weeks ago to go to Houston for two days, so imagine what I'll be feeling like after more than a week gone from home!!!

Alright, it's time to go pack now. I've been putting it off ALL DAY but there comes a point... I'm using our scuba backpack since it is the roomiest thing we have. :)

Thursday, August 07, 2008
  People, dig deep

People, dig deep, originally uploaded by Tequila&Donuts.

clever. :)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008
  The Girl in the Window
This story is incredibly, incredibly sad... This girl was horribly neglected until she was found at six years old. She was malnourished, wearing diapers, and couldn't speak. She thankfully found a good, loving home, and seems to be making strides towards a more normal life.

Dani's Story

This story got me checking out "Heart Galleries" on the web, and made me wish I could adopt one (or three) little kids. :(

via Kottke
  We've created a monster
Since Gretch is in obedience class -- graduation is tonight -- Chris has been practicing with her a lot. She has gotten quite chunky in recent weeks on account of all the rewards, so Chris was using dinner as a reward in the evenings: do a trick, get a few morsels of food.

Of course, Maggie and Sebastian are around too, so he's been working with them too. Maggie can really only sit on command, so Gretch will do these elaborate sit-down-roll-shake combos and then we'll have Maggie "sit!" so she feels included.

Well, last week Maggie wouldn't eat her dinner for me one night. The next morning, no breakfast. By afternoon, she still hadn't touched her food and I was worried. She had been chewing on a squeak toy the day berfore -- did she swallow some plastic? I called the vet and made an appointment for the next morning.

When Chris got home, he said maybe she just wanted the attention she gets when we feed it to her a few bits at a time, how he had been feeding them the whole week before. Sure enough, she ate the whole bowl of food when I fed it to her.

Now for about half of her meals, I have to sit down with her and feed her by hand. Today at first she wasn't really interested even then so I made her sit and said good girl and THEN she started to eat out of my hand.

What a funny dog, huh?
  Love and Jellyfish

Love and Jellyfish, originally uploaded by Ryan Brenizer.

OK, I'm a total nerd.. but...

This guy's pictures are just awesome. Really.

I wrote to him a while back, with a suggestion that the ladies in engagement sessions mind their handbags. See, in this picture, there was a little purse hanging from the lady's wrist. I thought it was distracting.

He wrote back, all genuine and nice.. (I worded my email very carefully since I know how touchy people can be, but I realized it probably wasn't necessary.) Thanked for the suggestion, and said that sometimes he thought the purses added another interesting visual element. I thought about it and decided that he was right, in some images, but it still bothered me in this one.

Tonight I was going through his most-popular images set and saw this picture. "Wasn't this the one with the purse?" I thought. Hmm. Well, whatever.

Then I went to the website - - to see how much this dude charges to do weddings (just curious!) and saw the original on the site's Home page. With a purse hanging there under the lady's arm.

And it somehow makes me feel good that such a great photographer agreed with me, at least on this one photo. :)

Monday, August 04, 2008
  This is my girl.

The pupper-wupper, originally uploaded by estacey.

She's the one I would take home in a heartbeat if only I could. I think I'll lobby on her behalf on Craigslist to find a home for her, at least.

So today I did the dogs again. 9-1. Then I stayed an extra hour to take some more pictures. As I was getting ready to leave, the lady asked if I could come back tonight. I was so, like, ummm... uhhh... I would really rather not? And then there was pressure to come back, if only for an hour. They had me on the schedule for Monday night, she explained. I went back and forth on it, saying okay, and then, like, hello - I'd already been there for five hours and they wanted me to come BACK? And today is our anniversary! Finally it turned out that they DID have someone to help tonight so didn't need me. But as she was leaving, the lady said, "OK, see you Wednesday!" I was like, WHAT?! I ended up calling the lady I originally had contacted after I left just to make it clear - I'm on the schedule for MONDAY MORNING, NOTHING ELSE. I did two days last week, as a favor, but I am not going to do that as a rule.

I mean, I really don't mean to be difficult or mean or anything else, but this was advertised as a TWO HOUR volunteering shift. It is more like 4-5. And that's actually OK, but I really don't need pressure to do MORE when I really can't or don't want to. I mean, the way it is, I didn't get home until 2:30 p.m. Smelly and needing a shower in a way you can't believe; walking dogs in 90-degree heat (and sun!) will get you that way. MY dogs had been locked outside/in the bedroom all day. I hadn't eaten since my morning bagel. I hadn't so much as stopped to pee since I left the house. I was covered in scratches from one of the dogs, had a throbbing lip from where another jumped up onto my face. So taking a shower and heading back out after 1.5 hours to get covered in dirt and worse all over again did not seem all that appealing. And good call, since at around the time they wanted me to go back in, I was deep asleep on the couch using Gretchey has a pillow. Doggy duty is exhausting, I'm tellin' ya.

I mean, it's quite weird really... I really do ENJOY my time at the shelter... but at the same time, I don't want to do it every day. I kinda feel like me ENJOYING this is contingent upon it not being overwhelming. I think I could handle going in for an extra hour or so here and there to help out, but that's as an "extra" thing, not an obligation.

I think the lady got my point. At least, I hope she did.

Let's end this on a happy note: LOOK AT THIS PUPPY! She is so smelly and dirty and sick too -- I had to wipe some boogers off her face and eyes before I took these pictures -- but my god is she a gem. Lays in my lap for belly rubs. And, I mean, look at her. SO cute. I hope she's outta there, right quick.

  More crap about dogs
Last week I brought a big bag of chewies to the shelter with me so they could all have one. Some of the dogs were super excited about it.. Others didn't care. The ones that liked them made it worth it, though. They JUMPED back into their cage after their walk instead of me having to nudge them in, feeling guilty.

There are all these little dogs in this gated-off area behind the counter there, five or so. It's nice because they don't have to be caged and can hang out with one another.

I had a few chewies left after giving to all the other dogs, so leaned over into the gated-off area to see if any of the little guys wanted one. As I was holding a chewy out, a tiny dog with no teeth ran up. I laughed at the idea that a dog armed only with gums would want a rawhide. But he took it. "Knock yourself out, fella," I said, laughing.

Here is Neko, from his Petfinder page:

Sunday, August 03, 2008
  I am SO vacationing there next year.

Guido Beach!

Via Noah Kalina blog. Noah describes it as Heavy Metal Parking Lot except with guidos instead of heavy metal and a beach instead of the parking lot. :D

Saturday, August 02, 2008


  So my idea...

Is to start a photography business, beginning with pets. See, the whole thing is very anxiety-inducing.. Under pressure to take good pictures and all. It seems to me that pet photography would be a good way to start. I'm not going to mess up anyone's life if I don't get good pictures of their retriever, unlike if I were to do, say, wedding photography.

What do you guys think? Would someone pay for the kinds of pictures I get of my dogs?

To be honest, I think I'd like being a photographer better than being a teacher. At the very least, maybe it'll earn me some money so I can buy some other lenses, which is impossible right now.

I know that I have it lucky taking pictures of Gretchen, since she sits and stays, which is why for practice I've begun offering to take pictures of other people's pets for free, to get some experience.

Also, I need a name for the business. Suggestions welcome. :)

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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