Tuesday, September 30, 2008
  Kitty plays red light green light

Jesus. I am watching the CuteOverload videos from the past few weeks (I get the email but never bother to go watch the videos) and I am laughing so hard. This one made me cry!

  Couric-Palin interview bit on Gawker
This makes my chest hurt.
  Grey kitten LOVES Maggie

Grey kitten LOVES Maggie, originally uploaded by estacey.

This is ridiculous, right?

  Mental timeline
8:00 p.m.: I'll be in bed by midnight.

10:00 p.m.: OK, no way will I be in bed by midnight. I guess I'll skip History at 8 and go straight to Poetry at 9:30.

3:00 a.m.: Yeah, Poetry ain't happenin' either. I'll be there in time for my test at 2.

5:00 a.m.: I hate life. (But the research paper and the PITA annotated bibliography to accompany it are done!)
  My version of Daily Style

Only for dorks.

The $18 Christmas ornament I bought at Fast Buck Freddie's in Key West. I love it, though. So now my contributions to the Christmas tree will be an octopus, a big gold leaf, and the entire family of Simpsons. :)

That store is pretty cool. It was recommended to us by a local, so I thought I would give it a browse. And what realization did I come away with after walking the store? That shopping is going to be so much more fun after I have kids. They had so much cute kid stuff! Chris is really excited about that too. ;)

Monday, September 29, 2008
  This teeny tiny frog took refuge from the rain on the office window last night.

I'm having a hard time getting clear pics with the 55mm macro lens I got recently, but I still like the pictures I get. :)

I guess that's where LOVE takes over the need for PERFECTION.

  OMG, entertainment!
I can't wait for the Palin-Biden debate Thursday night. That lady SCARES me. I thought she was real cute when she first came on the scene... The way she looks make you WANT to like her. But everything I've learned about her since? It's downright scary. All those lies. The fact she called for rape victims to pay for their own rape kits in her hometown. The abuses of power. The fact that she just got her passport for the first time LAST YEAR. (That's more or less when I got my passport too, so I ain't really rippin' on that.. But she wants to be VP for chrissake. Don't you need to know a little about the world to be a representative of us in it?) Also, the moose hunting thing?

Check out this video on It's the Couric-Palin interview. It's sad how close it is to reality...
  ScarJo married this over the weekend.

ryan reynolds, originally uploaded by MireilleLovelyWorld.

Lucky her, right?

Sunday, September 28, 2008
  Cats DO have feelings!

Kitten was all happy when we got home tonight. She does this funny purr-bloooop thing when she's happy... You know, as she's dancing around on the kitchen counter because we're pouring her fresh food. That kinda stuff.

Anyway, later on I left the office for a few minutes and when I came back, there was Kitten on the chair. Snuggled up, looking all cute. (She LOVES the chair. Chris likes to shut all doors to rooms not being used, but I make him leave the office door open just for her.)

Now, I'm not one to pull the species card when it comes to getting my way. I wasn't going to just MOVE her... But I really needed the chair back.

So my secret weapon? I pet her.

Anything beyond a head scratch will typically get her to high-tail it out of the room within about five seconds. So I rubbed her head, then her back. She stood up. Success! Almost... Then she just stuck her butt up in the air and I gave her a good base-of-the-tail scratch. She didn't budge.

Finally I pulled out all the stops and RUBBED HER BELLY.

Seriously, this is a cat that in the entire four years I've had her, I've been able to hold her in my lap exactly twice. Once because she was sedated (yet she still protested).

And you know what? She ENJOYED the belly rub. !!!

This MUST be because she has missed us so much the past couple of weeks.

But anyway, I needed my chair. So I picked her up, sat down, put her on my lap, and started lovin' on her.

She was off my lap and out the door within about three seconds. :D

  best place

DSC01010, originally uploaded by folkestonegerald.

This place is greeeeeat.

See, one of Chris's big complaints about traveling is eating so badly. And the poor guy... He was in west Florida one weekend, Boston the next, and is now in Key West. There's been very little home cooking, as you can imagine. So I said let's try that vegetarian place, which we did yesterday, and it was a big hit. They have a couple of fish dishes (Chris got something with tuna) and everything else is veggie. SO GOOD. I had the seitan peppersteak sandwich and MY GOD was it yummy. Oh, and sweet potato fries. And Izze pomegranate soda/juice/whatever. YUM. We ate there yesterday and today.

Plus, it's a cute place. I had fun taking pictures of the lights while at our table:

E F A C (or something)

Anyway, if you're ever in Key West, definitely check this place out. It's on Southard, right off of Duval.

Saturday, September 27, 2008
  Penguin-Vulture hybird

Penguin-Vulture hybird, originally uploaded by estacey.

Poor bird at the New England aquarium. Looks like a vulture, doesn't he?

  Only a few people will understand why I took this picture.

If just the D were lowercase...

Alas, it was $18. I didn't get it.

  Snuggly destroyers of hotel room bathrooms

Writing from Key West...

It is so pretty here. I seriously just love the aesthetics of this town. There are all these old-style homes here, white picket fences, front porches... Everyone has a swing or rocking chairs. Everyone has lush tropicals abounding in their yards. I took Maggie for a walk tonight for about 45 minutes and the whole time I just was in awe of how pretty everything is. (Maggie agrees. Apparently she doesn't want to soil this prettiness; she has only peed one time and we've been here for 26 hours now.)

The kittens have completely destroyed the hotel bathroom. It's the fault of their wet food, really, but DAMN. We gotta sparkle the place up before we leave or they won't let us come back.

I was letting them have the run of the entire place last night, but they promptly wedged themselves in the sofabed apparatus and it took entirely too much time and frustration to extract them... And when I found them, they were all sleeping so soundly, so content, oblivious to the fact I had been grumbling on my knees for the past 20 minutes. So now they have to stick to the bathroom and bedroom, which have no hazards for tiny kittens.

Speaking of cats, this town has SO MANY STRAYS. I brought food across the street (where we stayed last time) for my little Key West cat, but she wasn't there. I ended up giving it to two cats I saw down the street on my walk. Thankfully, it seems that people take care of the cats pretty well here; I saw two houses with dishes out for water and food as I was walking. And every stray I saw was well-fed. One as a chub, even...

But then right here next door, I saw one little cat with over really watery eyes. I felt bad, so I went back inside and got some of the kittens' Science Diet. I went back out with the bag and, as I was pouring the food onto the ground, more cats started to come out from the shadows. Soon, I was pouring food for EIGHT CATS. A couple were thinner than I would like, but they thankfully looked pretty good for street cats. I'll buy them some food tomorrow anyhow... I love helping the street cats, but giving them the $16-for-a-tiny-bag-of-food Science Diet is pretty painful.

Anyway, I mostly stayed in today besides some walks with Maggie, on account of crappy homework. Maggie loves it here. Every time I move in the hotel room, she runs over to the door, optimistic that we're going for another walk. Everyone on the street likes her, too, and everyone smiles and says hi. Well, the people who don't look terrified anyhow.

Oh, and I had two "well, duh"s on my idea that she has some pit in her, when people asked what she was. I am guessing the shelter knew very well that she had pitbull in her, but decided to not advertise that fact. I read something that only like 1/1000 pitbulls gets adopted from shelters. You can imagine what happens to the rest... And she may have been a little bloodthirsty shit when we first got her, but she's ridiculously sweet. She's still so awkward and skittish though. Last night when we were leaving, I had to go pick her up from the couch THREE TIMES to get her to come outside. At some point, I would put her down so I could carry something else and then she would run over to the couch and curl up into a little ball. I couldn't figure it out, then Chris reminded me that USUALLY she has to go into the bedroom to stay while we're out for the day. She thought I was going to make her go nigh-nights. (As if being in a king bed with the fan on and lots of chewies and access to the outside through a doggy door is REALLY all that bad.) I'm sure he was right, which made me feel bad. As if she curls into small enough of a ball, I won't make her go in the bedroom. Dork.

Tomorrow I hope to balance the work with the fun a little, since Chris won't be at the office here. Check out some of the touristy spots we haven't seen. Sunday I want to get up really early and take some pictures, like at sunrise. Looks like we'll be coming back in November or so, so that's something to look forward to.

OK, time for bed!

Friday, September 26, 2008
  DIESEL SAFE FOR WORK XXX HOLE_best vintage adult pron SFW

oh lord this is funny. found on

Thursday, September 25, 2008
  ain't no other man
can i just say that i totally, totally lucked out by finding my chris?

thank you.

seriously.. i was thinking about it this morning, driving to school. yesterday and today were just crazy... yesterday i had all this stuff to prepare for, today i had to go take a test at 7 a.m. with four (and change) hours of sleep. chris made dinner. chris even fed the kittens for me. and this morning, too, i asked as i was in a rush if he could feed them again. sure, he said. he goes in and snuggles with them and bottle-fed them the other morning before he went to work without me even asking him. mind you, he has told me it wouldn't be a good idea to foster more kittens after this (my allergies have been so bad with these ones that i honestly have basically had a cold the past couple of days; i wear a dust mask to play with them and clean up after them now). yet he's not punishing me for signing up for this extra responsibility i probably shouldn't have in the first place; he's helping me with it.

so yeah. i'm lucky. and i don't forget it.

tonight we head off to key west. bringing the kittens and maggie. haha! it's a pet-friendly b&b, so it's okay, but we're still sneaking the kittens in because i don't know if "pet-friendly" means you can bring FIVE ANIMALS WITH YOU. ha!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
  Pic from Hyannis

Pretty there, right?

I have a whole bunch of pics to mess with soon... I went Monday night to take pics of the same family as before. The sun was out on the drive, and when I got there, it got dark. So that sucked. But hopefully I got some keepers anyhow. I really need a zoom lens, dammit. I suppose I could put one on credit. But damn.

So the scare of the night: Last night I went to feed the kittens before bed. I thought they were all in their little carrier in the bathroom, as they often are. I leaned down on my knees to peek in and the glass table top thing we use to block off the bathroom door fell over, fell back. APPARENTLY the kittens were all under the nightstand in the bedroom and the dark grey one had come out to say hi to me and the goddamn tabletop fell on TOP OF THE KITTEN! I must've nudged it without realizing. She was squealing and kicking her legs. I got her out and then ran and got Chris.

The thing that kills me is that I was thinking before how I should take that thing outta there, worried it would fall over. But it's too heavy for the kittens to do anything to it, so I didn't sweat it. Being overthinking mom and all, you know?

Chris said just make sure she's acting normal, eating, playing, etc. And what did she do? Refuse food and went to sleep. She was SO sleepy. I stayed with her until she wanted off me, then stuck her in the carrier with her brothers and went to bed, hoping to GOD she was okay.

Today when I went in, she was rolling around on the floor with one of the other kittens. When I fed them, she ate the most wet food of any of them. THANK GOD. I never would've forgiven myself if anything would've happened to her.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008
  Taking a mental health day (to do homework - whee)
I made a list today of things coming up in the next week. It made me sigh a lot.

[this week]
Thursday: History test;
annotated bibliography due for Poetry class;
paper due for American Lit class

[next week]
Monday: Lengthy annotated bibliography for English Studies class
Tuesday: Research paper due in Poetry class;
test in American Lit class
Thursday: Oral presentation in Poetry class

The only class giving me a break is Linguistics. Sheesh.

Feel bad for me yet?

Anyway, I decided to skip Linguistics today since all the teacher does, honestly, is READ THE CHAPTERS ALOUD from our book. I can do that at home. Since I more or less didn't get home until 11 p.m. yesterday (from airport to home where I had time to take a shower only to class to take pictures to the airport to get Chris - phew!), and had to do homework once I got home, and had to get up at 6:30 to feed the kittens.. Um, yeah. I'm a little overwhelmed.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
  Thought of the day
This weekend has been fairly uneventful. It's been gorgeous -- like, PERFECT -- so I think we've been really lucky.

Yesterday I really only got a half-day here. See, I am CURSED when it comes to traveling. Something always happens! Last time we were in Key West, I got a migraine for the first time in FOREVER. (And last time!) When we were in Galapagos, well, you know... Now Boston? I got a case of cramps which caused me such pain that I can't even describe it. Chris was off at the convention center and I should've been getting ready, and I got as far as showered, but then they hit, after which I could seriously not get out of the fetal position. Bawling. Wailing. Pleading for the pain to go away. Thankfully they subsided, and then Chris brought me some good (OTC) drugs, and we headed out for Dunkin Donuts (you know that this is the place where DD was founded, right?) and a trip to "the Cape." I swear, though, I was shell-shocked for the rest of the day.

Onto today... One of the things I did was to go to the New England Aquarium. Got a sweet purse with whales on it.

Anyway, I was at the little exhibit that basically had local marine life in it. There was a lobster hanging out at the bottom of the tank. A lady in the cluster of folks next to me pointed to it and said, "Lunch." In the way you would see an octopus and say, "Look, an octopus."

Seriously, people. Seriously. That is so fucking stupid that it is, like, enraging. First, you're at an aquarium whose mission is to educate people in the hopes they will feel inspired to conserve: could we please pretend that the things behind the glass mean something more to you than as something to stuff your face with? Second, DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE HAVE MADE THAT "JOKE" BEFORE YOU? Do you think you're being ORIGINAL? Because you're not.

I swear, if I worked there, I would probably be roughing people up by now for saying things like that.

Tomorrow morning I get up god-awful EARLY so I can fly home. Take care of kittens. Go to school. Go take pictures of a lady's baby belly. Go pick up the dogs. That is all TOMORROW!
Saturday, September 20, 2008
  I TOLD you they were cute.

Thursday, September 18, 2008
  My day - and a few things learned
Today I woke up at my normal time, which would be fine if I didn't have four kittens to bottle-feed before I leave... I blame the fact that it is still dark when my alarm goes off (yes, still dark!) and I therefore innocently hit snooze without realizing how damn late it is.

So I was a good half-hour late to class. It sucked, esp. since I've been really good about being on time even though it is an 8 a.m. class.

Now the good part? I got to the classroom and it was empty. Apparently the professor cancelled the class. :) Good karma? Maybe.

But what does this mean? I have m-fing RINGWORM. No, it's not really caused by worms, but is certainly ring-y. And itchy. Five big spots. And not nice looking. I think I got it from the last foster kitten, and to prevent myself from giving it to the current ones, I'm covered in bandaids. And Chris has two (so far). Whee!

I realized a couple of things today:

1. Although I wail and holler about my Lyrical Poetry of the Renaissance class, I actually kinda like it. I'm not big on poetry, esp. not poetry that needs to be deciphered... and I just skim through the poems the night before class whereas I should be reading them carefully and taking notes and all that. I don't think that helps. But then I get to class and we closely read a few of the poems and I realized today that I really like that. What does this mean, who does that stand for, etc. Also, the teacher has read two papers so far in the term, and today she read mine. I didn't get mine back so thought something was wrong, and then she started reading it out loud. That was nice.

2. I really am dependent on my BlackBerry. How do I know? The trackball stopped working right today. It won't scroll left or won't scroll up or whatever the hell it feels like. I am SO FRUSTRATED. AGGGGGGGH!!!! Also, I never forget my phone anymore, EVER. I used to forget it like every other day.

3. It's nice to know stuff. Like, in History we had to learn about the whole Henry VIII era. I already knew much of it, thanks to the fact I took an interest in it a few months back and read a bunch about it. Then today we talked about it again in our poetry class: two of our poets were courtiers of Henry VII. I was all weirded out to recognize their names in our book. And then one of the things we are supposed to know for History is Francisco Petrarch and how he was the first humanist and wrote poems for Laura, etc. WELL, I've read his poems about Laura (too many), so I saw it on the outline and was like, "Done!" Or we compared a character named Prospero in a poem by Poe the other day to Shakespeare's Prospero in The Tempest, which I've now read for two different classes, so.. Well, it's like everything is overlapping, and I actually go into classes with some sort of knowledge base. It's nice!

Also, the cats are cute. I got a few pics today. I'll post soon.

Also, it's supposed to rain all weekend... but I'll be in Boston. Ha ha! :)
  I heart the truck / gas prices.
I've used $40 of gas since Tuesday. Whee.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
  they are about this age, within a week

Striking a pose, originally uploaded by estacey.

i am aging them based upon these pictures, so you can imagine how cute they are.

(see post below.)

guess who is fostering kittens, AGAIN?

a lady i used to work with found some, so who did she call? yep. moi.

they're about four weeks old and they're chubby and happy and healthy. what a change!

their mom was actually outside their house, she had been taking care of them like a good mama. but this was the first time they saw the kittens, and figured they should snatch them while they could. the mamacat is not only stray, but feral. this is the second litter of kittens they know about; they have one from her first litter.

i saw the mom as i was getting back into my car and i felt BAD. i went out to see if she would come to me, with her babies crying in the carrier i held. she cried back, but ran into the bushes. she was with what i presume to be the daddy.

i am loaning the family who had the kittens a cat trap so they can get her fixed before she gets knocked up again.

i'll get pics tomorrow. seriously, these things are ADORABLE. i have a home for one, so now just three to go. with as cute as they are, hopefully it won't be so much of a problem.
Monday, September 15, 2008
  Can I whine just a sec?
Yesterday: Was pretty lazy until after lunch. But then worked on stuff for the house from 12-5 or so. Then went straight to work on schoolwork until 12:30 a.m. Got to sleep at 2 or so.

8:15 a.m.: Woke up, got dressed, fed the dogs, drove to the shelter, etc.
9:15 a.m.: Arrived to shelter.
9:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.: Walked dogs outside. It was 90 or so degrees and sunny. You walk, then you pick up their poop.
12:30 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.: Took pictures of dogs. This involves tying them to a tree and clapping and making funny noises and running in circles around them in hopes that they'll look at you. Sometimes it works.
1:15 - 1:30 p.m.: Drove home. Stopped at Post Office.
1:30 - 2:00 p.m.: Showered, scrubbing hard in an attempt to get the dog shelter smell of me. It didn't work.
2:00 - 3:00 p.m.: Upload pictures, process pictures, get dressed, put dogs away, laundry, go to school.
3:00 - 4:00 p.m.: Drive to school, run to class.
4:00 - 5:20 p.m.: Attend Introduction to English Studies (apparently I should've taken this the first semester; oops)
5:20 - 6:30 p.m.: Fight my way through horrible 10 mph traffic on 95 to a place in Tamarac that was only supposed to take a half-hour to get to, to meet a guy from Craigslist to buy a micro lens cheap.
6:30 - 7:00 p.m.: Wait for guy. In a parking lot. With Sebastian. He pooped, and I had to pick up my 50th poop of the day. Yipee.
7:00 - 7:30 p.m.: Drive home.
7:30 - now: Ate dinner (bless Chris's heart; it was ready by the time I got home), read the rest of the FORTY PAGE POEM (that is in CRAZY OLD ENGLISH where everything is spelled funny and the guy even spells the SAME WORDS differently over the course of two lines; I counted three spellings for soccour, or souccor, or whatever it is; I only know the word's meaning from the Spanish socorro) I have to read for tomorrow, and dozed off. Realized I really have to do an assignment for tomorrow morning, so now it's 10 and I'm back at the computer.

Oh, and tomorrow? The day starts at 6:30 a.m. I'm in school by 8. I break at 11 in order to eat lunch and work out. Class lasts until 6:30 p.m., so I won't get home until after 7. At which point I have 40 pages of difficult literary criticism reading to do for Wednesday and lots more homework for Thursday.

I'm just TIRED. Tired. And I have SO MUCH TO DO. Living through this semester is going to be a feat. I had five classes in the spring too, but they weren't so work intensive. For example, the estimate the history teacher gives on how much time we should devote to reading each week? Seven hours. And, you know, normally I could skip it, but I do not in fact know, for example, when the House of Bourbon ruled in France as opposed to the House of Valois. So I have to learn it. Test next week!

And guess what? I am now at the level of English classes where you cannot turn to the Internet (to Sparknotes or Cliffs Notes or reading guides posted by friendly professors) for help. Joy. I mean, jesus, this 40-page poem? It is about the DEATH OF A SPARROW. Yes, a bird. The first half or so I understand. The first half.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
  About that time.
Today I read the NYTimes Most Popular articles, as I tend to do if I'm craving some good stuff but am too much of a hurry to browse around.

All this stuff about Sarah Palin? Well, it reminded me that I have yet to register to vote. (Actually, I'm registered, but at my old address, and there's no way I can find the time to get all the way to that part of the county on Election Day.) So I did that today. Because, you know, DUDE. People in this country scare me sometimes.

Amazingly, this video from SNL with Tina Fey as Palin sums it all up pretty well. I'd embed, but it crashes my browser to try.

Also, man, Alaskans sound like people from back home.
  So THAT'S what it's like being a parent...
So while I had the kittens here, I really had to laugh at myself.

See, I wanted to give the kittens something to play with. I was kinda scrounging around here for toys, hoping I could find something instead of having to go to the store and buy something. Kittens are playful, I figured; most anything can be a toy.

Only everything I would look at, I would immediately think of the ways that the kittens could hurt themselves with it. Somehow, I made a toilet paper roll dangerous in my mind, even though right now I can't fathom how they could possibly hurt themselves with one.

While at CVS buying the really sick one PediaLyte, I checked out the toys for babies. A play key ring was deemed unacceptable, lest they get their heads stuck in it. They got little mermaids to play with instead, which the dogs promptly disemboweled.

And then, all of a sudden, I thought to myself: OMG, this is what it's like to be a parent. Overthink and over-worry about everything!

On the subject of parenthood, I was walking the dogs the other night and I started thinking back on my dad's dog, Corky. She would go on walks with him in the country and always run way ahead of him. But every time a car drove by, she would run back to him, presumably to make sure he was okay. I remember my dad telling me about this quite clearly, and how it made him laugh so much. And then I was smiling, a good 20 years later. And then I started to think about how really insanely important it is to be a parent, to be a good parent. The little things you do and say, as you go about your life, are the things that are the foundation of your kids' lives -- things they'll think about for the rest of their lives. That's a big deal.

Also on the subject, my niece Amanda, when I have kids someday, is going to come help me during the summer. She already has it planned out: she said I should get pregnant next September so that she can come the following summer to help me with the baby. I told her she had better make sure she writes it all out for me so I remember. ;)
Saturday, September 13, 2008

loves the water, originally uploaded by estacey.

apparently me taking macy to goose island (a park in la crosse on the river with a little swimming area, playground, and beach) made a big impression - she is STILL asking if i can come back to take her there.

kamille says, no, she's in florida. macy says, then can't she drive here and take me to goose island? kamille says, no, you have to go in an airplane to go to florida. then macy asks if i can fly back in an airplane to take her to goose island.

from what i understand, she asks pretty regularly if stacey can take her to goose island. awww.

kamille is bringing the kids to come see me in april, and i'll take her to the beach then. the real beach. i fear that her little head is going to explode.

  Chris in Bahia Honda

Chris in Bahia Honda, originally uploaded by estacey.

Random pic, because why not? :)

I was going to update my blog last night, but our Internet wasn't working. It would seem that the guy who came from DirectTV to fix the HD yesterday uhh.. disconnected our Internet. Used those cables instead of putting in new ones. So now we have Internet, and no Law & Order. I mean, no TV. Bah!


The little black kitten is in his new home! The cat expert was at the shelter the other day when I brought the kitten in to be vaccinated and told me that the other lady's estimate on the kitten's age was about 2 weeks off. He was only about 4 weeks old when he was found! It complicated everything as far as the adoption went, but the new mama was so happy about getting him that she didn't care, so we met up yesterday and I handed him over. I'm sad I have no kitten to snuggle with now, but am so happy that he has a new home.

To reinforce my desire to not have to take him back to the shelter, a cat died the other night while I was there. This kitten was sick, but still had a lot of energy. He was clawing to get away from the lady holding him, and one of the volunteers agreed to foster him to make sure he was getting food. She set him back in his cage, then a second later, he cried, and then he went straight into the death gasp. We were all in shock. About 10 minutes later, he was dead. He went from normal (although, yes, sick) and energetic to DEAD in about 10 minutes.

The shelter does the best they can, but so many animals together like that... They all get sick. I hate it. So I'm glad the black kitten was spared that experience.

Not much else going on. Chris is out of town for a work thing... I didn't go because we're going to Boston next weekend and Key West the weekend after that. So me and the girls are chillin' at home.

I do have a couple of things on my mind I would like to write about, but unfortunately, when it really strikes me to do so, I'm too busy. Seriously, my weeks are crazy.

Monday, September 08, 2008
  as a sidenote

16000979, originally uploaded by Scary Windsor.

yay britney!

this was taken tonight! she really looks like she got her shit back together. which is great, 'cause i love britney, and for a while she was really worrying me. yay!

Sunday, September 07, 2008
  Daizy the diva

Daizy the diva, originally uploaded by estacey.

Today I took pictures of this nice lady's dog, Daizy. She's half Jack Russell and really lives up to the reputation.

I am doing this to start practicing photography on animals that are not owned by me and children not related to me.

And, man, was it good practice. Daizy was a way tougher subject than my dogs are... She spent half the time jumping up against me! It was fun, though, and her "mommy" is a sweet lady.

This coming weekend, if all goes as planned, I'll be snapping a pregnant woman with her child, and possibly husband. I'm really nervous about it, but excited too.

I really wish I had a better lens, though. I only have to save like $1700 to buy the one I want. ;)


Look at Gretchey's face.

The dogs are so scared of the kittens. It's very weird, considering how tiny and delicate the kittens are.

I guess I should say "kitten" now. The other one, the grumpy one, died. It came out of nowhere yesterday. Friday everything was good - they were both eating and happy and playing. Saturday he seemed okay, but then seemed to get really sleepy. He let me pet him a lot, and I thought maybe he was coming around to people.

Then the tiredness became limpness. I knew that was very bad. It became clear very quickly that he was not going to make it.. It's like he skipped sick and went straight to dying. So I just tried to make his last time comfortable. I tried to keep him warm and rubbed his head and his ears and, sweetly, his brother came and cuddled with us for a while. They always slept cuddling together, so I'm sure that was of some comfort. His mouth was hanging open and his eyes would go a little crossed... Then he would whimper every now and then, sometimes crying, which was really, really getting to me. I asked Chris what to do -- I knew it was hopeless, but at least I didn't want him to suffer anymore. But he said that the kitten was close to death, gasping every now and then just like people do when they're dying, so we just went back to bed and snuggled some more. It was horrible and sad, and felt really unfair. Now he's buried with his brother in our front yard. :(

It's so sad, but I take comfort in the fact that at least he had a nice last few days, eating Whiskas and snuggling with his brother. At least he didn't die in the gas station garbage can. Thank god for the lady who found them and brought them to the shelter.

Now it's just this guy. We're watching him very carefully, and he's getting extra attention; last night I slept in the guest room so he could sleep in my hair.

And now I feel even more like I owe it to this guy to find a special, loving home. We are not going to have a sad ending for three out of three.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Kyle & Macy, originally uploaded by estacey.

far from a perfect pic - it's blurry, kyle is covering half his face, etc... but it's just so cute otherwise.

one thing that is hard after you start trying to take your photography seriously is letting the way-less-than-perfect pics be "good enough." but then you remember why you started taking pictures to begin with: to capture images of the things you love. and i love these kids, blurry or not.

  colon blow and yooooooou in the mor-nin'
i was going to write a post about the fact that chris's friend's colon ruptured due to really bad constipation, but it kinda feels like TMI. he has a colostomy for now because of it. so i think that is enough warning to make sure you're going to the potty enough. because otherwise, YOUR COLON MAY RUPTURE. jesus.

so anyway...

next weekend we're supposed to go on a work trip to the west coast of florida.
the weekend after that, chris just found out he has to go to boston.
the weekend after that, they want chris to cover the key west office.
the weekend after that, nothing on schedule.
and the weekend after that, key west again.

it makes me tired just writing it all out.

i have some deciding to do. normally, i'd say sign me up for everything, but with all my classes and the dogs and all that to worry about, i think i should be a bit more conservative with weekends away. hmm. the big question is boston - is there anything there that i would really enjoy? i'd only have chris as a companion about 50% of the time. i gotta research it.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
so when i heard that this new storm named ike was out there, i figured it wouldn't give us any trouble. see, ike was my dad's name. i know it's not rational, but it's how i think.

well, looks like i'm quite possibly going to be wrong. it's a category 4 hurricane and is set to hit florida as a category 3. not sure where it'll hit exactly yet, but there is a good chance we'll have to evacuate.

i got to thinking... man, evacuation is going to be blast with THREE DOGS, THREE CATS, TWO FOSTER KITTENS, and TWO TORTOISES. !!! the entire back seat of the truck will be STACKED ANIMAL CRATES. thank god we'd also tow the boat, so we could put whatever we were bringing in the cabin.

we have hurricane windows and all, so we could probably quite easily leave the cats behind with some extra food, but.. it's category 3! i can't fathom it. let's hope ellie comes around; he's been avoiding the house ever since the kittens arrived.

jealous yet?
  the joys of pet ownership, etc.
today gretchey ate four little toy mouses. four. i saw her chewing on one, and told her to stop ruining all of the cats' toys, and then... gulp. i went to find the other three to put them out of harm's way and they were gone. dear lord. i also got them a catnip ball (yes, a catnip ball! made of pure catnip!) and it too is MIA.

this reminds me of a couple of weeks ago... we were driving back from key west and chris was talking to patty on the phone. i heard him say, "she did what? rolled on a dead crab? from the pool?" then: "and then buddy ate it?" maggie smelled so bad that when i went to pick her up, she was in a crate. apparently she was doing the maggie-licking thing, only instead of leaving just saliva, she was also leaving a horrendous dead-seafood smell on everything. including arms and necks and other dogs. dear lord. oh, also, by the time i arrived to patty's, gretchey had also found the remains and also took her turn getting stinky.

what is WITH DOGS?!

also, other news: i am switching my major to english. as long as i am not grossly misunderstanding something, that means i will finish in the spring semester. the summer term is my insurance, in case i can't get everything in next semester. THAT is why i am suffering through this starting-at-8-a.m. schedule this term, to make sure i really can get done. i didn't think i would finish until the end of next year, so i am EXCITED. i feel like i've been going to school forever (which i have). now, an end is in sight! and the english classes are so much better than the teaching classes. i had to do both for the english ed. major, but i have MORE english classes now... that is good. the prospect of just one semester to go after this had me bouncing around for days. (now i have to go knock on some wood, since my advisor appt isn't until october, so can't confirm my calculations until then.)

:) :)

also - the other two kittens are doing good. they love maggie, and she sits still while they crawl on her. it's mega cute. maybe i'll get pics tomorrow, since tomorrow is a no-school day.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
  oh goddammit
the sick kitten died.


i went to petsmart today and got him some nutracal (kitten version) and some new KMR, and a couple of toys for everyone. the instructions on the nutracal say to just put it on their paws or the tube it comes in and the kittens will lick it off, since it is "tasty" or whatever they call it.

the two non-sick kittens were licking it right off my fingers. the sick one, though? i could put it ON HIS MOUTH and he wouldn't make an effort to lick it off. i eventually mixed it with some KMR formula so i could use a medicine dropper to put some in his mouth. i gave him about a teaspoon of the mixture. when he would have it in his mouth but wouldn't bother to swallow it, so i'd have to move him to prompt him to do anything.. that's when i knew the situation was very grim. but i gotta stay optimistic when it comes to stuff like this. then i had to go to class.

while at class, i was thinking about how i should hold him tonight while i was reading. i've held him quite a bit, but not for prolonged amounts of time... and he was so sick, and probably would've taken comfort in a mama to snuggle against. the way it was, he seemed to prefer to lay on a towel with his head resting on the water bowl. really sad looking. so i figured i would try, put him on my lap in a blanket or something.

but by the time i got home from class, it was too late. poor little thing. i wish at least i would've been here so he didn't die alone on a towel...

the other kittens? they're doing great. i got the grumpy one to purr (once).

it's a bummer. it always seems like one kitten doesn't make it though. my first batch of kittens made it to 8 weeks and into their new home, and then the one died. one of oreo's died. one of the kittens from under the truck died when we had them here in the garage before they were adopted out. both of the kittens from church survived, thankfully.

so now i have to try to find them homes. i gotta give them back in a little over a week and the thought of just sending them back to the shelter without any prospective homes makes me feel really, really bad - there are just so many kittens there. i don't feel like they have a chance.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
  I have a second thing to talk about!

Happiness is..., originally uploaded by estacey.

Not dogs this time, but instead... cats!

I was on doggy doody duty on Monday and these people came to the back door of the shelter with a big Mt. Dew box. Inside? Kittens. It seems that they were on their way to the beach and stopped to get some gas and discovered kittens in the garbage can there. Like, right next to the pumps. The lady said other people were just ignoring them. Tiny kittens! Ignoring! So the shelter lady said she would take the kittens and she brought them inside.

I got to thinking about how it would be nice to take them home. The kittens are just so tiny and scared, trembling, and the shelter is SO LOUD. I moved them into a cage with their little Mt. Dew box to hide in (and hide they did) but kept thinking about them. So I asked if it would be a good thing to take them home until we go out of town next weekend. YES! was the answer. By then, they'll be old enough to vaccinate and adopt out.

It's just a perfect situation here for now. We never, ever use the bathroom off the one guest bedroom, and it has a bathtub with a door. So, they're in a room we don't use anyhow, and it's quiet and cozy in there. Plus, if we have them when they are old enough to jump, we can just shut the bathtub door.

They are just so tiny, and so dirty. They are going to be tuxedo cats someday, I gather... But right now all that stuff that should be white is a yellow-brown. They're filthy. I have no idea what happened to their mom, but I don't think she's been around for a while. They spent their entire day yesterday eating and sleeping.

So one of them is terrified of us. He hates us. He got away from me yesterday, and ran away, and threw a fit when I caught him. And then I noticed his little leg is all... I dunno, like the skin has been torn off? Chris cleaned him off and said hopefully he'll be OK, but it was worrisome. As of today, it looks better, and he's spunky and feisty, and he already has a belly on him. So that makes me happy; I think he'll be okay.

The second one actually likes me. She's the only one who has busted out a purr so far. She was mewing tonight, I think because I had just set her down. Sweetie. She is also a good eater. None of them have played though. Weird, right? Kittens that don't play. I guess they were too busy surviving to figure that one out. Hopefully soon they'll become happy, playful little cats.

The third one, though, is really, really in bad shape. Probably half the size of the other ones, and twice as dirty. You can feel every notch on his backbone... there's just nothing to him. I noticed he hadn't been eating when the other ones were, so I got my secret weapon: Whiskas wet food. The first two actually sat IN IT to eat it, and went crazy over it. The scrawny guy sniffed it and then laid down to go back to sleep. :( He doesn't have much energy, and has some green stuff coming out of his one eye. I gave them all baths tonight to make them a little less dingy, and afterwards he just plopped down on the towel. So sad. I gave them a warm head compress to snuggle with... which they did... Then afterwards, when I was holding the scrawny one, he just went limp in my hand. Eyes half open, but just limp. Poor little fella.

So I'm feeding him some kitten formula I have. Not exactly sure how much to feed, but I figure some nutrition is better than none; I give him as much as he'll take right now since he spits about half of it out. He hates me for feeding him, but that's okay. My reward for forcing his little mouth open is getting a peek at his tiny kitten teeth. I've given him a little Pedialyte too. I hope it gets him through whatever he's suffering through right now.

I took a few really bad pictures, but am so tired that I don't even want to think about loading up pictures... I was at school from 8 a.m. until 6:30 tonight, then came home and cleaned up the kittens' bathtub, and fed the little guy, gave them baths, etc. It was 9 before I ate dinner. I find this amusing because when I asked Chris if it was OK to bring the kittens home, I was like, "And they're old enough to feed themselves, so they'll be, like, no work!" Compared to the last kittens, you know. But tonight they were 2 hours of tending and 2 loads of laundry. No work, ha ha!

Anyway, say a little prayer or whatever for the little guy. I think he needs it.

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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