Not a lot going on at work today. I'm just going to work on the next bindery order. You know, the usual stuff. I'm sure that all the holiday planning will begin too. Got the student party and the staff party to start thinking about. I'm also going to try to do a little online shopping today. I love having stuff delivered straight to my door! Wheeee!!! Well, I'd better get going. I'll try to post another update today along with updating the photoblog too!!
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Isn't that picture hysterical????
Well, it's about that time isn't it? Here we are; the day before Thanksgiving. I seem to always enjoy the "eve" of holidays more than the holiday itself. I love the feeling of being on the edge of the excitement, when all of the gearing up is going on. The feeling of being right there as everything's about to happen. That's just me. I'm weird. I'm really enjoying today. I'm feeling better. I actually got some cleaning done last night. I hope to get a lot more done tonight too. I do have to stop by what has to be the craziest place in the world right now, the grocery store, sometime this afternoon. Casey has to work from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. tomorrow, so I'm going to make a special Thanksgiving breakfast for us to have before he leaves. I'm making breakfast sausage/egg casserole. It has eggs, sausage, cheese, bread, and dried mustard in it. It's really easy and very good. I'm making southern cheese grit casserole to go with it. For all of you non-southerners out there, here's what a grit casserole entails...think cream of wheat just not quite as fine grained:
SOUTHERN CHEESE GRIT CASSEROLE
1 C of quick grits uncooked
1 stick butter or margarine
1 tube Kraft garlic cheese
1 C milk
1/2 C grated parmasean cheese
Cook the grits according to package. When they're finished stir in butter and tube of garlic cheese until blended well. In a separate dish beat eggs and milk together. Stir into grit mixture. Pour into casserole dish and sprinkle parmesean cheese over top. Bake in a 350 degree oven from 50 mins. - 1 hour or until firm and cheese is brown on top. Serve and enjoy!!
I get hungry just thinking about it. Anyway, then I'll go on cooking whatever I'm assigned to take to the family gathering at my brother's. I have no idea what that will be until I talk to my mother later. When Casey gets home, we'll go back over and eat dinner together. I hope everything goes off well. At least I'm now feeling up to the task. I think Casey and I are going Christmas shopping, since we are both off on Monday. I've just got a few things to finish up work wise today. Then we are going to decorate the office. I'll be updating the photoblog today as well. I'll leave you all with a wish for a VERY HAPPY THANKSGIVING and a Thanksgiving dog story below. Enjoy!!
From the Humane Society of the United States e-newsletter today:
A Thanksgiving Tale: How Bob Got His Wag Back
By Brian Sodergren
Cut, bruised and flea-ridden, Bob was near death as he roamed the sweaty summer streets in 2002 around Norfolk, Virginia. Teased and kicked for months in his struggle for survival, the dog begged and rummaged for whatever scraps he could find—anything to satisfy his hunger and keep his filthy, emaciated body alive. Clearly unfamiliar with the dangers posed by traffic, Bob was nearly hit by a car one day in late August.
That same day, Bob appeared near the porch of some students from Old Dominion University (ODU) in Norfolk, poking around their trash for food. One of the students, as fate would have it, was driving the car that nearly hit Bob earlier. He instantly recognized the hound.
"He was real skinny. You could see all the bones," says Jon Ragan, a sophomore at ODU. "We took him in and let him sleep inside for the night. We were going take him to a shelter, but after seeing he had ID tags, we decided to call to let the people know we found their dog."
Upon calling the number listed on Bob's tag, Ragan made a startling discovery: Bob was a hunter's dog who was thrown to the streets months ago.
"He (the hunter) could care less what happened," Ragan says. "He said that they let the dog go so it would die—that he wasn't worth anything anymore. He told me, 'Why don't you let him go die?'"
Stunned at such heartlessness, Ragan and his friends were left wondering what to do. "We took everything into consideration," explains Ragan, "and decided to see what the veterinarian says first before we made any final decisions."
The students took Bob to the Norfolk Dog and Cat Hospital, where he was checked out by Traci Dixon, DVM. "He was all bones," the veterinarian says.
Upon their visit to the pet hospital on August 29, the students discovered Bob was actually a purebred English Coon Hound, approximately seven years old. Dixon found that Bob was covered with fleas, had hook- and tapeworms, was anemic, had an ear infection, and weighed only 43 lbs. The normal weight for a dog of his age is between 65–70 lbs.
In addition, Bob had a heart murmur and wasn't fixed. Dixon administered all of Bob's shots, treated him for his ear infection, de-wormed him, and gave him heartworm prevention medicine.
"When I saw him the second time, however, there was tremendous improvement," Dixon says of Bob's mid-September check-up. "On the recheck, he was at 60 lbs. and looked much better. The guys who brought him in were really nice. They were very concerned about the pet, especially one with all of those the problems."
When it came time for Ragan and his friends to pay the bill, they were in for another surprise. A woman in the hospital's lobby was so touched by their commitment to Bob, she offered to cover whatever expenses the students couldn't afford. It was a good thing, too, since the students couldn't cover all the vet bills. The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, ended up paying around $180, Ragan says.
Adding to the students' good fortune, the Virginia Beach SPCA offered to neuter Bob for free after hearing of the dog's woes and after learning of the students' financial situation.
"We have some leeway for people who can't even afford our low-cost spay/neuter fee. Depending on the circumstances, we try to cover it for them—sometimes we can, sometimes we can't," says Dale Bartlett, the community outreach director for the Virginia Beach SPCA. "Our No. 1 goal is to create more responsible pet owners. We want to encourage responsibility, given the staggering numbers of pets turned in to shelters each year."
Bartlett says the first thing people should do when encountering a stray dog is to check for a tag or other identification and figure out if there's an owner. If there's no owner, or if the owner is unresponsive like Bob's, people should contact their local animal care and control. Bartlett adds that if no owner claims the pooch, people should think about adopting the dog into their home.
Even though Bob did have a collar and a tag, his owners refused to take any responsibility for the animal, leaving a domesticated dog to fend for himself on the streets. These days, Bob doesn't look any worse for the wear. He's now healthy and living with his new college buddies at their Norfolk house. In fact, Ragan, who has assumed responsibility for caring for Bob, calls him a "perfect dog."
You could say Bob has much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, but perhaps we all do. We can give thanks that there are still people, selfless and generous, who want to alleviate suffering wherever they find it—even the suffering of a old hunting dog whose owner thought he had outlived his usefulness.
Brian Sodergren is a former Issues Specialist in The HSUS's Companion Animals Outreach section.
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
A friend of mine, Zinia, recommended a great site. It's called Enchanted Ceiling. There is a collection of photos of skies, clouds, sunsets, etc. There are some absolutely beautiful photos from all over the world posted there. The nice thing is everyone may contribute. So everyone, start snapping those pics! My first photo was just accepted by the site. To check out my submission click the icon below. Enjoy!
I must say that I feel much improved today. By the end of yesterday, I was feeling really crummy again. So, in a weak, pitiful moment I decided to call the doctor back. I told him that I felt some better, but it hadn't improved in the past 3 days. He told me that the flu had aggravated both my asthma and allergies and prescribed me a cortisone pack. He then told me I should begin to feel better post haste, and he was right! I've had this medication before, but I had forgotten how fast I feel better, when I take it. Anyway, I'm a bit sensitive to it and get a little jittery. I just kept laying there in bed, awake, last night thinking up every little thing I had to get done. I tend to feel like Superwoman, when I'm on cortisone. At least the coughing and sniffles have been fought back under control. YIPPEEE!!!
I did get to our monthly humane meeting. I felt like we got a lot accomplished. Turns out we did really well at the wine tasting. A friend of mine, Aaron, who is a professional web designer came and talked with us about building a professional website for our assocation. It went really well, and the board members are meeting to vote on it Monday. I've got my fingers crossed. The site will have a built in pet and mailing database, so it will help to streamline our operation. We are still on a paper system, and things can get confusing with so many volunteers handling different aspects of operation.
I'm hopefully going to get a lot done at work today. I have some textbooks to enter into our catalog and an order back in from the bindery to process. I gotta get a move on, because the week is short for the holiday. My coworker, Kim, and I want to have to tomorrow to get the holiday decorating done and do a little holiday-ing ourselves. I'm also hoping to get a little house cleaing done tonight. I never did get finished the weekend that I got sick. Gotta make way to deck the halls! Everyone have a great day! I'll be posting more ICE pictures at the photoblog today. Drop by and have a gaggle.
Monday, November 22, 2004
This week marks "that time of year again". I always try to remember to be thankful for all of the little blessings that I have in my life. It's so easy to get caught up these days with all of the "wants" that we have, that we forget to be thankful for what we do have. My list ticks off something like this: I'm thankful for my husband, home, family, job, enough food to eat, healthy pets, an animal shelter so the homeless animals have a place to go, same for all of the homeless folks. I'm also glad that I have happy, healthy pets. I'm thankful for all of the wonderful friends that I've met online through my blog here. I could go on and on all day. Everyone gets so caught up on the commercial aspect of the holidays, that I have to remind myself what really matters.
I'm still in the same state of limbo today with my sickness. I'm still sniffling and coughing, but I'm no worse either. I'm just ready for this to be over and done. I'm ready to feel good. I hope to feel good for Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday. Casey works 12 hours that day, so Mom and I are going to my brother's house for lunch, and then we'll eat again when Casey gets off from work. I'm also starting to think about all of the decorating and shopping that I need to get started and finished. It all seems so monumental, when you don't feel well. I just keep thinking that tomorrow I'll feel better. There's not a whole lot going on at work today. I expect that it will be pretty quiet with the holidays coming up. We'll see. Everyone have a great day! Leave a comment and let me know how you all will be celebrating Thanksgiving. I'll definitely be updating the photoblog a little later today. To get in the holiday spirit, I'm posting some pictures from last Christmas. All of these were made at the Ice Spectacular that was held at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville. They just turned all of their lights on for Christmas this past week. It is a sight to behold. Anyway, it was 30 below in the ice sculpture room, and we all were freezing!! Enjoy! TAH!
Sunday, November 21, 2004
Saturday, November 13, 2004
Last night, Casey and I met for dinner before heading home to Shelbyville. We ate at Demos' Steakhouse. It gets the award for best restaurant every year, and you just can't lose with the quality of the meal there. I had the blackened chicken pasta which was very tasty. Casey had the Kansas City strip. Both excellent meals. Afterwards, we did a little shopping. I managed to get myself a new winter coat, and none too soon I might add. It's a charcoal grey, wool navy pea coat. It's quite lovely, and I absolutely love it! Casey got himself a few sale items too. We dropped by Pet Land to see what they had. We always love to look at the puppies, although I DON'T agree with buying pets in pet stores at all!!! I do like to take them out and play with them. They had a beautiful little female schipperke puppy. She was very well behaved and absolutely adorable. She was a perfect miniature little Bear. I would have just loved to have stuffed her in my pocket and taken her home with me. I'm sure that I'll be going back to play with her again soon, until they sell her.
Tomorrow holds more housecleaning for me. Now that I've started on the back two rooms, I don't want to quit. I'll be watching the Titans play, while I'm cleaning. On Monday, it's back to Nashville. Mom's got to go for the ultrasound of her kidneys. All of her other tests have turned out fine, so if this one shows nothing they'll release her. I'm hoping for the best. We'll probably saunter around Nashville a bit and maybe do some shopping. Well, I gotta get cracking on all of this work stuff. Everyone have a great weekend!
Friday, November 12, 2004
A Canine Christmas Carol It’s Charles Dickens’ classic tale retold with a wink–and a wag. Designer Michael Allen dresses hand-painted resin dogs like characters from A Christmas Carol. The costumes are extraordinary, hand-stitched from luxurious fabrics and incredibly detailed. Each dog stands about 9"–14" high on a 61/4" diameter wooden platform. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good bite!
So cute, but so expensive at $70 a figure! I can dream anyway. I've got plenty of other cool decorations, but I'd love to add those to my collection.
Thursday, November 11, 2004
Got a lot of housework to get done tonight. We have to clean out from around our heating unit. We always store stuff pretty close during the summer, but tomorrow night is supposed to be the first big freeze around here, so I'm sure we'll switch it on just to knock the chill off. Work will be pretty much the same today. We are still getting ready for our big naming ceremony next Tuesday. It's clean, clean, clean, process, process, process around here.
Speaking of sleeping, here's an interesting little piece that I read here this morning, and I have to admit that I'm very guilty in this category myself:
Go Ahead, Sleep With Your Dog
And, no, we don't mean it that way.
By Emily Yoffe
Posted Monday, Nov. 8, 2004, at 7:45 AM PT
Listen to this story on NPR's Day to Day.
I sleep with my pets. For more than 20 years, cats have shared my bed. My late cat, Shlomo, used to spend the night perched on top of my head, and I found this purring beret deeply comforting. When I just had cats, it never occurred to me that having pets in the bed was anything more than a harmless personal preference. Then I got a beagle and discovered the issue of allowing your dog to sleep with you is deeply fraught. Supposedly, bed privileges destroy the owner's standing as pack leader. Allowing a dog in the bed, I learned, is a critical dog-rearing error, like giving brandy to quiet a cranky baby and ending up with an alcoholic teenager.
The dogma was everywhere. A recent Washington Post interview with a dog trainer stated that a dog in bed is "a sign the dog is completely in charge. Get the dog off your bed. It can make a bigger difference than anyone can imagine." How To Be Your Dog's Best Friend, the dog obedience manual by the Monks of New Skete, advises letting the dog sleep on the floor in your bedroom, but never in your bed. A dog trying to get too intimate should receive "slapped paws and a shove off"—not wholly surprising advice from celibate trainers.
Despite this, my beagle, Sasha, got the opportunity to settle in for the night when my husband declared he was evicting from the bed our two current cats, all 36 pounds of them. He explained, "In the middle of the night they run up and down my body, then they sit on my chest and crush it."
Since I am a light sleeper, I told my husband it was hard to believe his description of our cats' ramblings. Ever the considerate wife, I suggested he might be having nocturnal psychotic episodes.
"Do I have to install a video camera?" he said. "They march up and down my body like they're on a picket line, then they sit on me. They're driving me crazy."
A few nights later, cats still in the bed, I got up at 4 a.m. to go to the bathroom. When I returned, there was Biscuit, sitting in the middle of my sleeping husband's chest, peering into his open mouth as if about to perform periodontal surgery. Goldie was climbing up my husband's legs. I was shaken. It was painful, but I agreed the next morning to banish the cats to the basement at night.
That left an opening for Sasha. She liked to curl up like an armadillo between our pillows during the day, but we had always moved her to her crate for the night. Despite the warnings of provoking deep status anxiety (my own), I decided to let her stay in the bed. I figured it was impossible that Sasha could wreak more havoc than she already was; she obviously wanted to be with us; and I missed the cats. Except for the occasional bout of rabbit-chasing during REM sleep, she has been a quiet and companionable bedmate. While her daytime behavior seems no worse, I have been troubled that I might be making a mistake that could come back to bite me.
There is historical evidence that sleeping with pets is not necessarily aberrant behavior. According to The International Encyclopedia of Dogs, the xoloitzquintli, or Mexican hairless, was used in pre-Aztec Mexico as both pet and bed warmer (and dinner—let's not talk about that here). An account from a 19th-century explorer in Australia, as quoted in The Domestic Dog, describes how Aborigines were so devoted to their dingoes that the dogs were treated as members of the family and allowed to sleep in the hut. (The rock group Three Dog Night takes its name from the supposed Aboriginal practice of judging the coldness of an evening by the number of dogs required to keep warm.)
And here in the land of the electric blanket and the 600-fill goose-down comforter, millions of pet owners are, like me, sacking out with their animals. A survey from the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association found that about 62 percent of American dog and cat owners keep their animals in the house at night, and of those, about half the cats and one-third of the dogs spend the night on the bed. Dr. John Shepard Jr., a physician at the Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Center, discovered so many of his haggard patients slept with their animals that he did a survey to see how much the pets disturbed their sleep: About half the pet sleepers said their animal woke them nightly.
But here's the good news. My unscientific survey of veterinary behaviorists concluded that as long as your pets are good at sleeping with you, it's just fine to sleep with them. Pets are not going to get any uppity ideas just because you're all snoring together, they say. Dr. Marsha Reich, who has a private animal-behavior practice in Maryland, says she disagrees with the notion that your dog will try to dominate you if allowed in bed. "It has nothing to do with social status," she says. The dog, like the owner, just likes being cozy and having a soft place to sleep. "Unless a dog growls when you roll over, I don't have a problem with a dog in the bed."
Dr. Nicholas Dodman, author of If Only They Could Speak and director of the Animal Behavior Clinic at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, celebrates the "warm and fuzzy feeling" of all species curling up in bed together. This is not to say that some animals don't abuse the privilege. He tells of one couple who came to him after their Yorkshire terrier, who liked to settle in with the wife when she went to bed early to read, took to lunging at the husband when he arrived. There was an obvious solution, and the couple chose it: The husband moved to the guest room. When this proved maritally unsatisfying, they turned to Dr. Dodman. He says such animals have to be re-educated by being placed in a crate at night, or even attached to a dog bed with a long line.
The most common problem with sleeping with cats, says Dr. Lynne Seibert, a behaviorist at the Veterinary Specialty Center in Lynnwood, Wash., is—as my husband can attest—they don't sleep. "Most of the issues I see are about exuberant play," she says. "They've got a captive audience and end up pouncing and scratching." The usual cause is that the cats have been home sleeping all day, leaving them ready to party all night. Seibert recommends getting the cats more daytime stimulation and engaging in a play session with them before bed.
Dog trainer Kathy Diamond Davis, in an article at veterinarypartner.com, writes that there's no reason a well-behaved dog shouldn't sleep on the bed. However, she recommends having the dog trained to reliably obey a "get off the bed" command, to be used in particular for those moments when "people want to be intimate." (For couples who don't use that command, she does not deal with the psychological damage the humans suffer when they find even their most fervent lovemaking doesn't wake the dog.)
I was relieved to learn that Sasha can stay, but I realized, even if the experts had told me I shouldn't let her, it wouldn't have made any difference. Maybe some of us are just born with a desire to sleep with animals. (This could be a debate subject in the next presidential election.) Take my friend Nancy, who has slept with dogs since girlhood. So deep is this need that she and her husband spent years with their epileptic Dalmatian on the end of the bed. The dog regularly woke them in the middle of the night, in midseizure, flailing around and losing control of bodily functions. They became like paramedics, spending the night ever-alert so at the first twitch they could get the dog on the floor and covered in towels. Now Nancy has a Jack Russell terrier puppy. The puppy spends the night burrowed deep under their covers, attached to Nancy like a tick. Nancy is in heaven.
Emily Yoffe is a frequent contributor to Slate. You can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
I did end up getting my new tire yesterday afternoon. We were only able to get the one, because we got a really good one. We are going to go back Friday to have the other front tire replaced as well. Then we'll work on the back tires. Hopefully before Christmas, I'll have all new tires. Nothing but the usual work stuff going on today. I'll be updating the photoblog shortly too! TAH for now!
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
The wine tasting went over very, very well. Just with the preliminary numbers, I think we ended up doing better than last year. All of the volunteers did an excellent job, and the whole affair was wonderful. I did bid on a couple of items, but they went so high that I dropped the idea of bidding any further. I managed to get a few Christmas card sales too! We were packed wall to wall with people, so it seems we did well in the ticket sales. Two things, as far as decorations go, were my favorites. They had 2 big clusters of grapes made out of balloons, and the centerpieces all had pictures of our adoptable animals attached. It was all too cute! I feel, all in all, it was a HUGE success!! Pictures will follow this post. Don't forget to check out the photoblog. I'm putting some fall pictures up there too!
Don't forget to celebrate National Shelter Appreciation Week this week! Sometimes a simple thank you can do wonders!
Saturday, November 06, 2004
I have quite a bit to accomplish at work today as well. I have to get a whole bindery order entered and packed, as well as get the student assistants working on shelf reading and cleaning our area. We are having a big, official naming ceremony in 10 days. There will be over 200 guests coming to view our area. Talk about stress!! Anyway, I'm trying to get everything done on the "to do" list, so we don't get caught with any sudden suprises. I'm planning on updating the photoblog today with pictures from Bear's Halloween escapade. I have the camera with me, but I've come up and left the cords in the car!! SHEESH!
November 7th begins:
NATIONAL ANIMAL SHELTER APPRECIATION WEEK
So get out there and support your local shelter, shelter workers, and volunteers!
A new kitty quiz:
FEIN INNOCENCE KITTY -- You have the urge to
preserve yourself in the state of being free
from sin or moral wrong; you do your best to
remain lacking knowledge of evil. Actually its
an act, you just never get found out.
Kitty Attitude Test
brought to you by Quizilla
Friday, November 05, 2004
I also want to take a minute to tell you all that November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month. Pop on over to the American Humane Association or the Humane Association of the United States to see what you can do to help.
For cat lovers, I have discovered an excellent cat blog. It's called Cat-O-Bloggo. If you are a cat lover, this blog is for you. It's very informative and has lots of fun things to do, as well as great cat stories. Anyway, here's a little quiz that I got from Cat-O-Bloggo
You are a Random cat! Also known as an alley cat
or a mutt. You aren't given to high-falutin'
ways, but you're accessible and popular.
People love you for who you are, not what you
What breed of cat are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
Thursday, November 04, 2004
Today is going to be a very busy day. I've got all the usual humane stuff to catch up on for the past 3 or 4 days. I've also got LOTS of work stuff to catch up to get ahead for the weekend. My boss is contributing fall mums to decorate with at the wine tasting, and we are going to pick those up today as well. The 3 kittens, Nala, Phoebe, and Mr. Perkins are all going to be spayed and neutered today. So, I'll have 3 little groggy heads to deal with tonight. I gotta run. I'll have another update sometime today, hopefully. I'm also going to try to update the photoblog as well. TAH!