Mutts n' More

A Random Collection of Fur-Covered Happiness

Welcome!

You've happened upon a place filled with animals so cute and furry (or not) that they can brighten anyone's day. Their stories are often touching or inspirational and are sure to make you realize how important the animals in your lives are. Enjoy!

If you're looking for something a little more real and down to earth, then stay and read about the life of a lesbian couple with 14 furry and scaly kids who are just trying to make it through life's craziness together. It has its ups and downs and twists and turns but one thing's for sure: it's never boring!

Great Big Update

Howdy everyone! I’m alive and still in Wisconsin. Yep, we drove up on Thursday so we could surprise Nikki’s sister Emi and make it to the opening night of her musical at school. She seemed pretty surprised and happy when we got there. The drive up was long and crappy. All we had to eat the entire time was a Taco Bell because we forgot to get car snacks. On the way up, when we were just passed Cookeville we saw hundreds or even thousands of Subway wrappers scattered all over the road. I called my mom and asked her to look up the customer service for them because I figured they should pay to have it cleaned up. It was horrible to see because it was like it had snowed. Umm, the rest of the ride I was just cranky and complainy and Nikki’s so good for not hating me. I slept for awhile and listened to Great Big Sea on Nikki’s mp3 player and then we listened to my songs that I’d spent the day before putting on my Journey mp3 player that Nikki got me for Christmas. It’s a really good player ’cause it lasted for like 5 hours straight. Good stuff. Umm, yeah, so we got to Nikki’s house around like 10 or something and Spunky ran in and announced our arrival and yeah. I have no idea what we did that night. The next day we, umm, I don’t know what we did. We sat around and watched TV? Oh yeah, we went and got haircuts! Awesome, huh? Yeah, Nikki drove and she and her sisters and I went into town to sign up for haircuts and then we checked out GameStop and Petsmart while we waited. Then we got our haircuts and it was nice! At first I was worried because the people there gave me an uneasy feeling but it turned out fine. My woman talked about a time when she shaved her hair completely off since her mom had cancer. It was sweet. But yeah, Nikki’s cut lasted for like an hour but the woman did a really good job (minus a small section being too long on one side that Emi’s gonna fix later). But Nikki is really hot now, especially when she wears her glasses. Anyway, after we got our haircuts we went to visit Nikki’s Oma and Opa. It was cool ’cause we listened to them talk about family names and thousands of John’s and such. When we left there we went back to Nikki’s to eat a huge lasagna before we drove Emi to the school so she could get ready for her musical. Then we drove around and went to a small park and then to Dairy Queen where there was a gay guy behind the counter. Nikki noticed it.

Nikki Playing On a Swing - Cute!

Nikki Playing On a Swing - Cute!

Me Being Weird - Not the Best Shot But Very Funny!

Me Being Weird - Not the Best Shot But Very Funny!

Then it was off to Emi’s play which was okay. Emi was good in the parts she was in but overall it was kind of slow. I think it was just a bad musical to begin with (Anything Goes). Umm, after that Nikki and I tried to play some Outdoor Challenge on her family’s Wii but we couldn’t get the second remote to work so we couldn’t play together. Still, I had fun playing some of the games like the Mole Stomp. So yeah, now we really want a Wii.

Nikki & Emi After Her Play

Nikki & Emi After Her Play

The next day we hung around the house and Nikki’s friend Shelly came over with her new baby Noah. He’s a cute baby but he still doesn’t do much since he’s only a month old. Still, Nikki got all baby fever and wanted to hold him and all that. I held him for a little while, too, but it was hard to get in there between Nikki and her mom fighting over him. Pretty soon it was almost time to leave for Chicago so we all had some leftover lasagna and then Nikki, her dad and I left. They listened to Great Big Sea the whole way down and I thought lots about how I want to start some youtube videos starring Spunky. We got to the House of Blues around 6 and after waiting in line in the cold rain we got in and it’s pretty cool in there. It’s like 3 levels and the main floor is like a big open space with bars on 3 sides and the upper levels are like bar stools and such. Then there’s a couple booths on the upper sides as well. It’s cool. Anyway, the band that opened for GBS, something like Scynithe, was pretty good. The guy that played the violin was awesome and they all had good attitudes and really knew how to get the crowd going. The only part that sucked is that they took a long time between bands and everyone shifted around and we lost our spot because some stupid couple that was behind us stole our place when Nikki’s dad tried to get us a better spot. Nikki was brave, though, and shoved us in front of them again. Plus there was a woman there who kind of took care of us when we couldn’t see and made people move and stuff. When Great Big Sea came on Nikki was so happy that she cried and it was so cool because we were only like 15 or 20 feet away from them – seriously! I wish that I had known the songs more because I felt pretty stupid with everyone around me shouting out the words I didn’t know but they were still awesome! They got the crowd so pumped and people jumped up and down and clapped and all this stuff. Oh, and the floor there is like rubbery because when people moved the entire thing swayed and moved up and down like inches. It was like being on a boat! So yeah, I recognized some of the songs but all of them were cool and at one point the main singer had everyone in there singing oldies and 80’s like Bohemian Rhapsody and Summer of ‘69. It was awesome. They even came out for two encores of 2 songs each. My favorite part of the whole thing, however, was seeing just how happy Nikki was. She finally got to see her favorite band and it was more than she could have ever expected. The only part I regret is that I missed that my dad, Ted, had called and wanted to meet up with us. He had called and seen they had tickets, found out the metro routes and borrowed money for tickets. He had everything set! But I never noticed so he didn’t come. I didn’t find all this out until the next day but it’s enough to make me want to cry. I would have loved to have had him there. So yeah, that sucks.

The next day, on Sunday, we slept a pretty long time and then we sat around the house. We were supposed to leave that day but I told Nikki that we could stay until Friday if she wanted. That was, I figured, we could have a whole day or even weekend with my dad rather than just a few hours. So Nikki told her parents and at first they didn’t believe her but when she told them she was serious they practically jumped for joy. Seriously. They were so happy. So I called my mom and dad and told them and they were fine with it. I miss the kids, though. A lot. Umm, yeah, Sunday we just sat around, except for when we played Yahtzee, which, I must admit, is not my kind of game. It’s loud and it’s mostly luck and, I dunno, I prefer other kinds of games.

Yesterday (Monday) we sat around for a bit in the morning until Nikki’s dad took us and the pups on a walk. We walked maybe 3/4 of a mile up a road and back. The road was cool because it passed all these farms, including one with lots of cows and there was also a pond with geese and some sandhill cranes. I wish I’d brought my long lens so I could get some pictures. On the way back we walked around their neighborhood a bit and went to the lake and made Bindi fetch some sticks. The only downside is that we were walking into the wind in the beginning so I got an earache from it. Then we spent the rest of the day playing Wii. I’m not too good at it so I kept losing but I guess I’ll learn if I ever get my own – or rather Nikki and I get one. But yeah, it made us happy when we figured out how to play tennis on a team rather than against one another. We beat the pros! Umm, dinner was something or other and then I tried to go to bed early but I ended up watching lots of WifeSwap because Nikki found it for me.

Spunky & I On a Walk in Farm Country

Spunky & I On a Walk in Farm Country

Today we slept pretty late and then after me playing some Solitaire on Nikki’s computer for awhile we left for her friend Shelly’s house. We got some delicious KFC bowls on the way too! Lucky me! Since we got here we’ve been playing on the internet and watching TV. Shelly is fun and the baby is so cute and he makes lots of clicky noises. We even ordered and got some really good Pizza Hut pizza which made me really happy. And we watched some 70’s Show and the movie Speed which is really pretty crap. Haha. To think that used to be good! Anyway, I think we’re heading back to Nikki’s soon since we’ve been here too long. We don’t want to overstay our welcome, I mean. I don’t want Shelly to think we were just here to steal her internet because she’s really cool and laid back. And we both know way too many commercials. Heh, it’s nice here. But yeah, heading out soon so I need to add my photos and post this. It took me forever because there was lots to say and I spent most of the time here trying to find the best place to buy a Wii because we really want one now. We might be coming back here tomorrow to play Wii games with Shelly which would be cool. Have a good night everyone!

Nikki Playing With Baby Noah

Nikki Playing With Baby Noah

Dogism

Since yesterday’s post was so heavy towards the end and since I’m supposed to be getting last minute things ready for our trip right now, today’s post will be short and sweet. First off, here’s a cool little poem I found a few days ago through Dogster.

And now to make you smile even more, a silly picture of Spunky.

Spunky Being Ridden By a Bear - Cute!

Spunky Being Ridden By a Bear - Cute!

Have a great day everyone! I know Nikki will be very soon! More explanation later.

To Infinity And Beyond!

Today I have an interesting article I found on dancing black holes! Isn’t that awesome? Yeah, I thought so! Check it out here.

I want to know what happens when two black holes merge. Whole new galaxy or what? It causes a worm hole? A rip in the space-time continuum? Hehe. And since I find space absolutely fascinating, here’s another story about the black hole right in our own backyard: the Milky Way! And now for the obligatory beautiful picture:

Sorry if space isn’t your thing but I just love how endlessly beautiful and amazing it is. But of course, I wouldn’t leave you without a cute picture involving our amazingness: the kids. It’s another old one from back in Ashland over last summer.

Nikki, Spunky and I Enjoying Some Dairy Queen

Nikki, Spunky and I Enjoying Some Dairy Queen

Hope everyone’s having a great day!

Oh yeah! Your cause for the day. Which unfortunately may bring you down a bit. I just cried while reading this article. If it brings a tear to your eye as well, signing their petition may actually make a difference. Let’s get that Harb Seal Bill passed in Canada!

Isn’t that a face worth protecting? I love animals so much. I just don’t understand how people could harm them deliberately. It’s just beyond me. I can’t wait until the human species has evolved to be like, well, the animals. It’ll happen, and I hope someday soon. I have faith.

Make a Difference!

Hey everyone! Today started out rather tough because I was feeling sick and was in a grumpy mood but we (me, Nikki and Momma) came out to my gramma and grandpa’s and it’s been better since then. Actually, one part kinda sucked. Anyway, when we got here my grandpa went to Walmart and Nikki and I played on the Wii. I’m better at the shooting game but she and LS are better at the people finder one. Then my gramma and I played the shooting one and I beat her pretty bad but it’s cool because my gramma knows how to play the Wii! How many other people can say that? I’d bet not many. After my little cousin woke up, he and I played the tank game a bit and then we went downstairs to watch W. We didn’t finish it and so far I find it really boring. My mom and gramma like it thought.

When my grandpa came back he told me that one of my tires was completely flat. Great. So Nikki and I go out there and it turns out that it’s the valve that’s slit so there’s no way for us to fix it. So we put my spare on which is a real tire, not a donut, which is nice. My dad always gets me my tires from Discount Tire and they’re awesome because they have an 80,000 mile warranty on them. These tires are only 20,000 miles old so they’re covered and it’ll be free to get the one fixed and my tires rotated. Cool, huh? The only downside is that the nearest one to us is over an hour away but oh well. At least I don’t have to buy a whole new tire. Mine are nice. Anyway, it just sucks because I hate that so much bad stuff is happening to my car. First it gets hit sitting in a parking lot, then they don’t fix it right, then the skirt around the front tire comes out as we’re driving down the road at 70 mph, then the front light comes out of place, the passenger side mirror breaks internally, the fuel injector gets gunky and now this. *big breath* All in like 4 months. Blah. I just need more money to fix it all up again. Plus, I went out and sat in my little truck with Nikki and now I want to fix it up. I should probably just sell it but I couldn’t buy another car or truck with the money I got from it. It needs a new battery and some wires replaced in it but the tires and the transmission are pretty much brand new. If I could fix it up then I could take it down for my dad to use when we move there but then if I ever needed a truck we could trade cars for awhile. Plus, the truck has sentimental value since it was my first ever vehicle and it was my gramma’s and she gave it to me. So anyway, I’m going to have to think it through and make a decision.

Tonight we made some really nummy taco bean dip (which Nikki posted in her blog) and my gramma made chili. Spunky had lots of fun licking the mayo off of the spoons.  I stuffed myself on the dip and chili and Mexican cornbread. Now I’m on here real quick (yeah right) to share some links with you.

See, I forgot to tell everyone yesterday that I entered Spunky into the February dog photo contest at pamperedpuppy.com and while it didn’t win, it did make it into the honorable mentions. Yeah, there’s 150 honorable mentions, but they said they received over 1300 that month so I feel really good about that. The photo I sent in is one from Rock Knob in Duluth, MN where Spunky was being all super dog and I really love the shot. It’s up on my DA but I’ll post it here so you can see. Also, if you don’t believe me, you can see his honorable mention here.

Spunky Being a Super Dog

Spunky Being a Super Dog

I love this picture!

Also, I found a cool article about a bill recently introduced into Congress that could help save the wild horses of the American west.


Wouldn’t it be great if it passed?

And, if you feel like making a difference yourself, you could sign this petition about saving monk seals:

Also, I must say that I’m proud of myself for getting all these “fancy” picture links to work, with Nikki’s help of course.

Flashbacks

So I went from on a roll to passed out over the past week. I finally caught whatever Nikki had and while I’ve rested more than Nikki did, I still never really took a day to get over it. The first day I slept in late but then felt so guilty that I forced myself to get up. Probably a stupid idea. Even when people told me to take it easy, I just didn’t want to sleep since I always feel lazy anyway. So yeah, I’ve been partially sick for about 5 days now and it hasn’t helped my mood much. I’ve been really down and agitated. Of course the biggest problem is probably that I haven’t been sleeping enough. I’ve turned back into an insomniac. One night I stayed up until 5 watching a show on the real Moby Dick, talking about the Essex and all that cool stuff. The other nights we’ve just watched who knows what and stayed up until like 3. Yeah, I’m bad and generally keep Nikki up with me, even though she’s being so good and actually working on her site. It’s just always so hot in here at night (even though outside and the rest of the house is freezing) and my Restless Legs have been acting up. Nikki’s too. Not sure why because we haven’t been drinking lots of cokes lately. My guess is that perhaps it’s because we haven’t done much of anything since we’ve been sick walking wise. I mean, even going to a store stretches your legs some. Anyway, anyone out there know any more about this than we do?

Enough of the feeling down crap. I’ll switch to letting everyone know more about our vet visit. I know, some probably don’t care, but other do so yeah. All of the cats are now up to date on their rabies and feline distemper or FVRCP. I don’t know all that that stands for – maybe Carrie can tell me? Actually, I just checked the records and apparently Akima will need a booster for that one but Merlin doesn’t? I don’t get it. Help, anyone? Anyway, the vet and vet tech thought that all of our cats were really beautiful (they even said “Wow” when they saw Zane) and that they’re all healthy. Zane, of course, is overweight, but I’m not too concerned because he’s a good weight when he’s just with us – as in not here at my mom’s. He’s 14.9 pounds at the moment and Merlin is 10.8 at only 8 months! He’s developed a bit of a belly here too, but he’s also a growing boy and we think he’s probably end up even bigger than Zane. As a comparison, Akima, who is about 4 now, is only 6.2 pounds. That’s just how Wisconsin cats are. Akima is still doing really great with her recovery. She refuses to take it easy, though. We’ve had to lock her up a lot because of it. Seriously, by the second day she had already ripped out her one external stitch but luckily she didn’t open anything and so far it seems to be healing just fine. The other day she managed to make it on top of the 7-foot bookshelves in our room and this morning she was racing back and forth and back and forth across our floor. She’s gone totally crazy and she’s actually acting as if she’s in a permanent state of heat because she’s been very lovey dovey ever since. We joke that instead of removing her uterus, they added another one on accident. Right now she’s sleeping peacefully with Zane on top of some of our stuffed animals. Merlin, who has been a complete bastard lately, is actually resting right behind my laptop. I guess they all want to be around us today. As I wrote that last sentence, Rufus pushed the door open and came in to be with us as well. Everyone loves us, I guess. The only one we’ve really been having problems with lately is Spunky.

Yeah, he’s developed quite the attitude problem. He’s spoiled to death here by my mom and so he no longer thinks that he needs to listen to me. What’s worse, almost every look he gives me now is one of resentment, all because I refuse to give him a pepperoni every single time he comes in from outside or to feed him ridiculous amounts of food. He used to be happy with a “good boy” and a pat on the head but now he’s being beyond a diva and I find myself at a loss of what to do with him. He is seriously disgustingly fat because my mom doesn’t understand how to feed a dog that doesn’t self regulate. We’ve gotten into arguments over feeding that dog. She thinks that a cup twice a day isn’t enough but you know what, I know my dog and how much he needs to eat to be at a healthy weight. She thinks that a heaping bowl is a cup. Really, how hard is it? I finally got her to agree not to feed him at all (though she still gave him a little this morning) but the amount of people food he’s getting is also way too much. This morning he was given a huge pot of mashed potatoes. *smackes head* I don’t know what to do with him. He’s gross. He has NO waist anymore and his underside is flat rather than having the nice curve of his chest going up into a thin stomach. And I’m sure everyone knows that I don’t starve my animals. I know what a healthy weight is. That’s all I’m asking for. When we left Ashland he was at a nice 62 pounds. Now I’d be willing to bet he’s 75. Not even kidding, I can barely pick him up anymore. It’s just so frustrating!

Last night I had a pretty big breakdown where I cried really hard because all the guilt of my past animals came back to me. I truly feel like I killed some of my kids. A lot of my rats died from lice because I could never get rid of them. I didn’t bathe them enough. I basically just sat back and let them die. And then there’s the animals like Echo and Jingles where I knew they were sick but decided not to get them fixed. Granted, we were talking $100’s or even $1000’s but still, I feel like if I’d worked harder, I could have done it. Or I could have turned them into a rescue where they’d be fixed. I always felt that they’d prefer to stay with their family but I’m not sure. I cried for the animals that died in my hands and I cried for the ones that died when I wasn’t even there. Both ways make me feel guilty because both ways I either wasn’t there or didn’t save them somehow. Maybe it’s silly but that’s how I feel. I cried for animals that I killed when I was a kid either out of stupidity or, I hate to admit it, curiosity. I very seriously cried over two ants that I remember burning with a magnifying glass when I was maybe 11 or 12. What was I thinking? Why would I do something like that? Am I some cruel monster or are children really just that idiotic sometimes? I cried for so many things and for so many animals that I’ve lost in my life. I wish I knew some way to come to peace with the past but I just don’t know how. It’s a very heavy burden that I carry around all the time and it’s hard.

Maybe that’s why I feel so determined to make a positive impact on the world. I want to try and make up for some of the bad things I’ve done in my life. I know it will never erase them but perhaps it will help. I still really want to get that shelter animal site up and running. Nikki will help me with it someday. For now she’s busy being a productive person and putting happiness into the world. I want to be like her. Anyway, on that line of thinking, I want to try and figure out how to put up another set of links that will link to different helping the world sites. For instance, I’ve recently gotten really into Care2.com which is a site where people can make and sign petitions which are sent to different people in power mostly in the US but also other places around the world. I had signed some randomly every once in awhile when I came across them but now I’ve actually made a profile on there and have been signing a few each day. So maybe some of them won’t have any impact but I think petitions really can help affect policy if it reaches the right people and enough people are behind the idea. Most of the ones I sign deal with animals or the environment but you can search for different categories and really get behind what matters to you. I’m thinking about posting links to some of mine so people can go check them out and sign them if they want to. If you do join, feel free to look me up. My name is (come on, you CAN guess it correctly without me telling you, right?): forpawz. Below is a button that I found for one of the petitions I signed. Check it out and see if it’s something you’d be interested in getting into too.

And your photos for today are from awhile ago, when we were still in Ashland. I went through them just now and my heart melted. Enjoy!

Me and Baby Merlin Sleeping

Me and Baby Merlin Sleeping

Okay, my hair is icky, but it’s cute anyway.

Me Making Spunky Do Funny Faces

Me Making Spunky Do Funny Faces

He looks like a grumpy old man until you see his huge smile. I want that happy puppy back!

On A Roll!

So lately I’ve been trying to be more productive. Nikki has been being so good lately! She’s been working so hard on her new design site and it is SO CLOSE to being done! I can’t wait until she gets all the last little kinks worked out and opens it! It will be great! It looks really neat and professional and she has thought of absolutely EVERYTHING! I’m so excited and proud of her. Once that’s up and running she can focus more on making new themes which I think she really likes. I’m really impressed by her. Unfortunately, she’s also sick for the first time, pretty much, since we moved here. The warmer weather was really helping her immune system but something slipped by and knocked her on her butt. Or rather, it should have, but she likes to pretend like she’s Wonder Woman so she pushes herself and makes it worse. Like she said, though, she actually did take it easy today, with only minimal computer time and some knitting.

This past Saturday we went to Knoxville with my grandparents and Winnie. I really wanted it to be fun and some of it was but for some reason, the day was just kind of blah. We went to an Asian market which was cool but it wasn’t the one we were supposed to go to. Still, I bought Nikki and I some candy (Pocky and YanYan or something like that) and some orange drink she likes. We also went to Best Buy and played with the video games while my grandpa picked up his repaired computer. We also went to the pet store that Nikki and I went to on our anniversary/Valentine’s Day (oh crap, never wrote about it) and saw that the blizzard leopard gecko is still there but we didn’t get him. Finally, we ate at Salsaritas (like Chipotle) and went home. Actually, Nikki ended up getting sick at the restaurant so she didn’t eat. Poor baby. On the way back we talked about how the economy is crap and I think that led to us feeling down too. Umm, when we got back we watched some Academy Awards but once my grandparents left I stopped watching because I find that stuff boring. It was nice to play with Brody, though. I miss him.

So with the animal stuff I was talking about in the last post. Well, we decided to get that one girl ferret but when we went to get her, she had been sold ealier that day. It was a big downer. Then I fell in love with a cute little white with dusty ears and nose but we didn’t get it either. I wanted to but I knew we shouldn’t. It sucked, though, because there were stupid boys there that wanted to get the same little bunny and to keep it in a live trap. One even said he promised not to shoot it. Great. But yeah, we decided not to get any animals for now. I really wanted one since I had gotten into that new animal mode but I know it’s for the best. So instead of getting a new animal right now, I decided to spend my money on taking care of the ones we already have. Now, obviously I take care of them, but I mean routine vet care. I decided to go ahead and take the kitties in for their shots so they will be up to date on everything. This means I won’t have to worry about it when Merlin bolts the door and I can start volunteering at a shelter around here and I won’t put my own kids at risk. Spunky is all fine because he had to be up to date so I could work at the kennels. After the cats, we’ll just have to get Rufus up to date and then everything will be great. Umm, also, besides getting shots, I’ve decided to finally get Akima spayed. Now, before you get mad that she’s almost 4 and only now getting spayed, let me explain. Akima came straight from the pound in Ashland, not the shelter, so she wasn’t spayed when I got her. I was going to get her spayed right away but I got a bad feeling whenever I thought about her going under. I’ve learned to listen to my feelings so I waited. Then when I had no more bad feelings, the problem was that I had no money. I finally started making money this past summer but by then I thought I’d wait until we were here since the vets up there are corrupt and money hungry. So that is why she is getting spayed now. Tomorrow morning a little after 7:30 in fact. Queue me getting nervous. I always get nervous when kids go in and have to be put under. Of course I do. You worry about people too. But see, I’m also hanging under this huge cloud of guilt. I feel so bad that I waited this long. This is my baby and I feel like I’ve put her at huge risk because I didn’t just go ahead and do it when she was a kitten, before her first heat. If i had spayed her on time then her risk of mammary cancer would have been reduced by a huge amount. Now she’s just as susceptible as a non-spayed cat. Of course, she won’t be at risk for uterine or cervical cancer anymore but still. I feel like a failure. Nikki tells me that it was good to listen to my feelings but I still should have done it sooner. If my kitten gets that cancer later on in life I don’t know what I’ll do. Anyway, for now, I just want tomorrow to go smoothly with NO complications. Please keep her in your thoughts and send her well wishes? I truly appreciate it. It helped Gracie, after all! So yeah, tomorrow we drop Akima off at 7:30 in the morning and then when we go in to pick her up at 4:30, we also bring the boys and they get all their shots (or in Merlin’s case, start boosters). In total it’ll come to over $300, which sucks, but I want my kids to be healthy and safe.

Okay, now for the productive part. Most of you know, I’m sure, but I worked a lot today on defining and setting rates for different pet care services. (h njj                       ~Zane) If you haven’t already looked at it, I’d appreciate anyone else checking out my Livejournal: forpawz. I’m going to add more as I go along and I’ll be dropping off more flyers around town. Nikki made me really nice looking ones. Then it’ll just be up to the universe to hopefully answer. Anyway, I want to thank all of you for offering me so much support. I do get down and feel like I’ll never do anything but you don’t give up on me and when I put my mind to something, I can get it done.  ^_^

And now for your favorite part: the photos!

Drake Stealing Some of My Desert

Drake Stealing Some of My Desert

Nate Climbing the Bed

Nate Climbing the Bed

My Mom and I Grooming Rufus

My Mom and I Grooming Rufus

Giving Spunky a Manicure - Spoiled Pup!

Giving Spunky a Manicure - Spoiled Pup!

Akima Being Cute and Playing Around

Akima Being Cute and Playing Around

Again, please send Akima your well wishes. Let her heal quickly and be back to her cute little self very soon! I love you, kitten! And everyone, of course!

Oh My Aching Back!

So since I get so far behind in this blog because I’m slow at everything I do and not given the proper time to finish an entry I’m going to write things in bits and pieces until I’m caught up. You probably don’t care but hey, you can skip it. I want to remember so I need to write it down. It’s already faded. So here we go!

Okay, I never ever have time to write anymore. Which may sound weird seeing as I think I do absolutely nothing anymore. But that’s because I get trapped into wasting my entire day watching TV. The Tivo is an addicting agent, I feel. Seriously! I can use it and it’s cool so you don’t have to watch commercials and can see things you missed but people can become slaves to it as well. Okay, people, is it really necessary to save so much crap on your Tivo that even if you watched it 24/7 you wouldn’t be able to keep up? At some point you just need to let it go. Save your absolute favorite stuff and then everything else, especially the ones that repeat all the time, just try to catch it on live TV and if you don’t then just wait for the next time. I hate feeling trapped by a damn machine. It’s just like with cell phones. Technology meant to free us actually ends up enslaving us!

Enough of that. Things have been up and down around here lately. I love having my family around but it’s also really hard moving back in under someone else’s roof when you’ve been living on your own for 5 years. I want to be in control but I don’t really have any. I’m very particular about certain things (yes, perhaps too much so) and nothing here is exactly the way I’d like it. At least Nikki and I have our own room now. That’s right, we finally got down to work the other day with my mom and moved the couch, chair and big screen TV out of the room and into the living room. We were then able to bring our bed in from the front porch and garage and slept in our very own bed for the first time. It was nice, though I think we’re going to add some padding to it because the futon is slightly harder than we’d like. Anyway, there has been a lot of other moving and rearranging to try and accommodate us and this shuffling of room and while it’s slow going, it’s nice to see the progress. Our room feels more and more like our own space every day and it really does lift one’s spirits to have a place they can call their own. Of course, we still long for an entire place to ourselves (well, a roommate would be nice) but we’re trying to make due with what we have at the moment. I wanted to be here in Tennessee to have family around but it’s not exactly as I’d imagined. I still hardly see my grandparents and Winnie is barely around as well. Plus since we’re basically trapped here with no jobs and no friends, we get irritated with my mom just because we’re together too much. It’s crazy. How does that happen? I guess people, while social, still need time to themselves just to be.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Okay, so Christmas in Texas, right? Haha, yeah, that thing that happened 2 months ago? Here we go. So we left Tennessee pretty late the day after Christmas because, well, we always take longer than we mean to to pack up and get going. Plus my mom was finishing presents for my nieces and we were trying to watch Speed Racer before we left since it was from Netflix and my mom wanted to send it back. We ended up taking it with us. The car ride down was long and uncomfortable. We took my car but since I have poor driving vision at night (I’m fine in the dark but lights really mess me up for awhile) Nikki and I sat in back with Spunky in between us for the whole ride down. Spunky was pretty miserable and kept trying to make his way into the front seat and eventually ended up curled up in the floor. Yeah, you know how big Spunky is (at least through pictures). I still have no idea how he managed it but he did. Poor pup. The only nice part of driving down was talking with people and having Chik-fil-A for dinner. Their chicken sandwiches are good! So yeah, Nikki and I laid in a thousand different positions trying to sleep and while we did get some rest, it obviously wasn’t the best. We finally arrived in Austin (or rather Round Rock) sometime around 9 or 10 in the morning. We went straight to Courtney’s since we were all together and my dad wasn’t letting us stay with him anyway. He’s got no problem with me or Nikki or anything like that but he said his house was too messy. I think he hadn’t cleaned it at all since his girlfriend died which I can’t blame him for since of course he’d be depressed. Anyway, we got there and I got to meet my second niece, Emerson or Emmy, for the first time.

Isnt She Adorable?

Isn't She Adorable?

She was already 6 months old by the time I got to see her. That’s why I want to move closer. I missed Izzy growing up (she’s SO old at 4.5! ^_-) and I want to be around more for Emmy, plus get closer to Izzy. When Izzy was a baby, she thought I hung the moon. I was the coolest chick on the planet just because I could hold water in my hand. I love little kids and they love me. I think I make a good aunt. Anyway, I met Emmy and Izzy was really excited to see us. Spunky and Mia, Courtney’s dog ran around greeting one another and we were all just happy to be out of the car. We even went so far as to wake up Ryan, my brother. Heh. I called my dad to let him know we were there but we didn’t even see him that day. We just hung out at Courtney’s and played with their Wii and watched Ryan and Harry play some shoot-em-up X-Box 360 game. I’m not sure what we had to eat that night but I’m sure it was good and cost a lot. Yeah, it always happened like that. We ate out ALL THE TIME! Oh man.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So there’s your little slice of back story. Now for the present. We’ve been doing so much moving and rearranging and cleaning lately. Last week, my mom, Nikki and I were really cool and took down and hooked up the cable in our house all by ourselves. It was tough! We had to go into the basement, pull the cable down from my mom’s room, pull down the cable from the living room and then put the cable from my mom’s room back up through the living room. Tougher than it sounds because the cable in the living room is in the wall, not the floor. This means it had to go through insulation. At one point, the string my mom had been using to pull it up snapped and we thought all was lost but I wasn’t about to give up so I started pulling the insulation out of the wall until I found the cable. It was a good feeling!

Ah Yes, The Great Cable Caper!

Ah Yes, The Great Cable Caper!

Three days ago we moved chests and the sofa and tons of pictures and carpets and this and that back and forth across the house. In the end we had the living room packed in all tight so we could create more space in the new TV room. Nikki’s and my room was pretty messy, though, since all of our stuff got shoved in there to make room. Oh man was it a disaster! Anyway, we went to work on it and it’s now pretty nice. Yesterday my gramma and grandpa came over about midday because my mom had asked my grandpa to come help with a list of “chores”. It was all electronic or fixing things and he doesn’t mind because it makes him feel good and useful. Nikki and I ran around and finished setting up our room so we could show it off. After that my grandpa, Nikki and I went to Walmart (and a couple other stores) to buy some food and supplies for my grandpa’s fixing jobs. It was fun spending time with my grandpa and we kept teasing Nikki because she was practically falling asleep in the store. When we got back my grandpa taught me how to repair the vacuum cord that Brody had chewed through and my mom finished making her spaghetti. We had a nice dinner and after a couple 3rd Rocks my grandparents went home. After that Nikki and I were going to go to sleep but ended up staying awake for like 4 hours. Wanna know why? Because you guys told me to start a deviantART account and I listened. That’s right. I’m sure you all know by now, but my account there is forpawz (surprise, surprise). So yeah, I got sucked into DA and have spent the last many days browsing through tons and tons of artwork, especially photos. Oh man I am so blown away by these other people! They are amazing and I really wish I could learn tricks of the trade from them. The problem with it is that I look at galleries I like and favorite like half the pictures and then I see something really beautiful in those people’s favorites and have to open it which means I have to look at their gallery and then favorites and it’s like the damn Energizer Bunny. *shakes head* I guess you could say I’m addicted. Oh well. Today was nice. Nikki and I slept in a bit then Nikki worked a ton on her portfolio and making a new blog theme and such. She’s so good! She’s amazing, actually. And she possibly has her first client! Go her! I watched some of the Dark Knight and Grace Is Gone, a John Cusack movie so Nikki could have the time to get everything done. BUT! The fun thing today was that we took the puppies on an hour long walk and it was nice. It was warm and the sky was pretty and the dogs behaved really well. We took a different route than last time and figured out some of the back ways around here. We also thought about me trying to start a dog walking job around here for all the old people. That and my pet photography. I need to get better first though. Anyway, I loved the walk and it cheered Nikki and I right up.

Walking the Pups!

Walking the Pups!

Another story to remember from today? So Nikki took the three dogs out and then I hear the most pitiful meowing. I look over and Merlin is in front of the door meowing because he wants to go out and join the “other puppies”. It was such a sad little sound that I got up and took him outside in my arms so he could be happy. Such a silly kitten.

So there it is – a real live update! Now I’m going to go for the night and finish watching House. Good night everyone!

And now for more obligatory cuteness:

Merlin Doing His Best Sphinx Interpretation

Merlin Doing His Best Sphinx Interpretation

Am I a Deviant?

So I know I didn’t keep up with my promises of updating but I just haven’t been feeling right lately. That or I’ve been busy or too exhausted from being busy. Yeah, excuses, excuses. But there are tons of things I need to tell everyone about such as Texas Christmas (still!) and going and getting a puppy for my grandma, and exploring a really cool cove out by my uncle’s place, all the places we have as options for moving and there was something else, what was it? Oh yeah, going to the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Ha, I knew I’d forgotten something. ^_- So lots of cool stuff has happened but I’ve also been feeling off. It’s sad. Today was nice, though, because we went outside for awhile and the sun and warmth was great. We’ve also done tons of lounging around.

Sleeping With the Pups

Sleeping With the Pups

So just so people know, I haven’t completely blown my blog off. Today I opened a Flickr account and uploaded (or rather Nikki uploaded) all the photos I’ve posted in my blog so far. This trend will continue. I hope you’ll notice what a huge difference it made in how fast my blog loads. All the Nikon pictures were taking up way too much space so it was near impossible for the page to load. With the flickr account, the speed problem seems to be fixed. I will continue to upload photos to that account and link to them from now on. Of course I was wondering about the quality of my pictures since, well, why did I spend $800 on a camera to stick pictures on the web in crap quality? I want my pictures to mean something. Or rather I mean I want the camera to not have been a complete waste of money. I want to be a photographer but I’m not sure that’s really something I should pursue. Anyone can take pictures, right? I don’t know. Anyway, Nikki suggested I start a Deviant Art account so I can upload my best pictures and people can see them in high quality and in big sizes. I’m not sure, though. Again, I’m not an artist and I guess it just all comes down to self esteem or a lack thereof. Umm, so we’ll see where that goes. Also, Nikki is a sweetheart and is working on updating my blog layout so I can fit more onto it. Isn’t that awesome? I think so anyway.

And since my mind is dead but I know you’ve been missing cute pictures (*insert shout out to Jennifer and Carolynn here*) here are a few I’ve rounded up from our time here in Tennessee. Enjoy!

Here is a kerchief that Nikki made that turned out a bit too small for her to wear…

Its a Babushka Puppy!

It's a Babushka Puppy!

Merlin, our puppy-cat won’t stop bolting the door which is extremely annoying, as I’m sure you can imagine, so we decided to take him and dump him into the snow to see if it would deter him.

He Doesnt Look Deterred

He Doesn't Look Deterred

We should have known considering it didn’t help when we dropped him into an entire snow drift back in Ashland.

And of course, more lounging. I was crowded but happy.

They Love Me!

They Love Me!

Tennessee Christmas

Ha! I told you I’d update! Go me!

So, when we got to Tennessee, we ate and slept for awhile like I said. That was nice because sleeping in a car is crap – especially a car filled with scratching, gnawing, meowing, licking animals. Seriously, try it sometime. It’s not pleasant. Anyway, we didn’t sleep forever. Nikki would have, but I annoyed her to consciousness and we all sat around in the kitchen and talked. My mom made her delicious queso and after awhile my Gramma and Grandpa came over to see us. It was nice. We talked and joked and all and ate some good food. My grandparents had brought some sushi and shrimp so we ate that while my mom made Winnie (my sister) an Amaretto cake for her birthday which was on the 21st. Yeah, she was born on the winter solstice – cool, huh? Poor Nikki couldn’t eat any of the shrimp or sushi due to her shellfish allergy but my mom’s queso is the best. It was great seeing my grandma and grandpa and they stayed for a long time that night. I wished they could stay here but they live with my uncle and there’s no room for them here anyway. Heck, there’s no room for us at the moment. We have to do lots of rearranging to turn the TV room into our room and the dining room into the new TV room and such stuff. It’ll be lots of work but it’ll happen. Anyway, that night my dad made salmon and steaks for Winnie’s birthday and we sang happy birthday to her. The salmon was delicious, especially dipped in wasabi soy sauce. Oh man, now I’m hungry again.

The next day we went shopping at Walmart for new jeans for me and to get items for Christmas dinner and. . .  you know what? I have no idea what we did on Christmas Eve. None whatsoever. We hung out together and watched movie. Yeah! We watched The Librarian which turned out to be pretty good except for the fact that he kept saying things like “But that’s just a myth” when he’s the damn Librarian! Anyway, good series. Oh yeah, my mom made some sweet potatoes and an asparagus casserole thing and Winnie made homemade mashed potatoes. She peeled for forever! By the time we went to bed we had already said Merry Christmas to one another because it was past midnight.

Christmas Day we woke up kind of late and sat around together talking before we shared gifts. There weren’t a whole lot since we’re all pretty poor but my mom made everyone hats and scarves which took her absolutely forever to make. She’s really good at it. Nikki and I gave my mom, dad, and Winnie their snowmen with their dog pictures in them (Rufus, Spunky, Becky and Smudge, respectively) and they liked them. We then shared a story which I forgot to tell in my post the other day!

Nikki & Ash Scarves

Aren't We Just So Cute and Warm?

Such a Diva!

He's Such a Diva!

So when we were in Chicago and sitting around eating before my dad got home, we were feeding the dogs some scraps and the Little One asked where the other one was. We had Spunky, Becky and Hooch sitting at our feet. I told her that Becky and Hooch were the only ones that lived at the house. I told her that Smudge used to be there but that she’d died a few years ago. She then proceeded to ask me if she was bigger than the other dogs and black and I told her yes. Smudgie was a big german shepherd mix: a beautiful, wonderful girl. The Little One then told me that she had seen her when we first came in. She had been jumping up at the door, glad to see me. She then asked if Smudge liked Spunky and I said “No. Why?” and LS said Smudge didn’t look happy to see Spunky. See, Smudgie was always the alpha and she didn’t like it when Spunky would go by me because she thought I should only be hers, not Spunky’s. Man I miss her. And I wish so badly Nikki could have met her. I suppose in a way, though, she had. The Little One saw her. That’s amazing.

My Smudgie

My Smudgie

Anyway, my family thought it was awesome that she had met Smudge. My Gramma called a whole lot trying to get us to go over to my Uncle’s but we’re slow so we didn’t get there until like 2 or 3. We all rode over there in my dad’s truck so we were pretty squished but it was nice to be together. When we got there we greeted and hugged and watched my Uncle Bo and Garrett play the Wii that they got for Christmas. Then I got to work making my deviled eggs. My gramma and grandpa had already boiled the eggs so I just had to do the fun part. Nikki was my *can’t spell it* chef and my gramma and grandpa were my taste-testers. They both thought I did a wonderful job. Go me! When I finished that I helped my grandpa put some eggs in his gravy and stir it which seems like nothing but apparently he never lets anyone touch my gravy. I’m special, though. He teaches me his recipes and techniques. He even showed Nikki some tricks which proves he thinks she’s one of the family already. Oh yeah! This trip to Tennessee was the first time Nikki had ever met my grandpa. She likes him. So after all the food was made, we ate dinner. It was tons of food and delicious! We had turkey (with white sauce, of course), ham, green beans, mashed potatoes, deviled eggs, stuffing, hash brown casserole, sweet potatoes, asparagus casserole, pinwheels, delicious gravy and pies. Yum! After we were all stuffed we watched more Wii and Nikki and I got to play a little. Then my gramma, mom, Nikki and I ran downstairs to open presents and everyone followed. I got some awesome presents! I got 3 of my Ranma manga, a really cool painted sign, some dishes with different pictures of sushi and their names on it, a T-shirt from North Carolina and a set of Asian dinnerware to share with Nikki. From my Uncle Bo and Aunt Jen I got Coca-Cola pajama pants! The sign was a wooden sign that was painted that says “Be the kind of person your dog thinks you are.” It was funny because my mom had just opened a sign of her own that said “Home is where the DOG is.” and I said “Aww, we need one like that.” My Gramma pointed to one and it was our sign! I loved taking pictures of everything. After all the presents were opened, Gramma, Nikki and I snuck upstairs so we could eat the pies while everyone else was busy. It was funny. We were all sitting there just digging in by the time everyone else came up. There was more Wii playing but after awhile I went into my gramma’s room and she and my mom and I layed around and talked. Eventually we were joined by Winnie, Nikki, Spunky, Rufus, and my little cousin Will all piled onto one Queen sized bed. It was funny. I took my dad’s Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader and read random stories to everyone. It was pretty late by the time we left. We took food and a couple pies (which sadly have gone bad) home. When we were going to bed that night, Nikki handed me another present. I opened it and I got a Journey MP3 player! It’s so cool! It’s an MP3 player with the Journey logo on it and some Journey songs preloaded on it. I was happy.

The next day we left for Texas, but pretty late and that, my friends, is a story for another day. This one took a long time. I hope you enjoy it!

I’M ALIVE!

Hey everyone!

I’m alive! And I know I’ve been horrible and not updated. I got so overwhelmed at the end of moving. Nikki and I had a completely horrible day that was made worse and more complicated by different people and the circumstances we were in. But none of that matters because we are fine now. We’re better than fine. I think we’re doing really well. Being out of Ashland has really helped. Saying goodbye to the dogs was really hard, though. I actually cried at work when I was alone and saying bye to them all. It was so hard. And some of them seemed sad as well – especially Abby. I think she somehow knew. On my last day Lily’s mom looked like she was going to cry and gave me a big hug and said I’d better come back to visit. Abby’s mom said she’d miss me too and when I told Abby I loved her, her owner said “She loves you too.” Made my heart melt. Damn do I miss those dogs. Harder than leaving people for me. That’s just how I am.

Spunky in Snow

Enjoying His Last Snow Days

Leaving Ashland was hard and took forever. We wouldn’t have made it if my dad hadn’t come up with a trailer for us to fill up or if Nikki’s mom hadn’t brought their van. We have a LOT of stuff! You always just underestimate how long packing those little things will take. On top of that, the weather kept changing on us and we were told “You can’t leave.” “LEAVE NOW!” “No, wait, stay!” “Hurry up and come!” several times. Yeah, it sucked and we ended up staying a couple days past when we wanted to. Then when we finally did get set to leave, we go to start my car and it won’t. *bangs head into desk* It took us a long time to jump it – close to an hour in all. What a perfect start to the trip, huh? It was like 5 at night and we drove through a snow storm at like 40 mph because we couldn’t go any further and still see. Yeah. So it took us 3 hours to get somewhere that normally takes us 1.5 hours to get to. Then my dad told us that we couldn’t go any further because the weather was only going to get worse. Great. So we drive around the town for an hour buying hats and gloves and then finding a place to stay. We stopped 2 places and the woman at the second one was so nice. She took pity on us since she said she had 5 kids spread out over 5 different colleges so she gave us a great rate! In the end she gave us a $78 double bed room for $35! Isn’t that great? We felt bad since we had to lie to her – you know, since there was way more than a dog with us in that room. We darted around in the freezing dark bringing everyone in and they were loud and we barely slept, but it was nice to stop and have a comfy bed. The next morning we had to sneak everyone out in the daylight with the owners walking back in forth! I don’t know how we did it – we’re just that good.

*sigh* So that day we drove down to Nikki’s house, unloaded everyone again, and pretty much opened presents and everyone else went to bed. Nikki got some of the books she really wanted which made me happy. I got some stainless steel cups (which I hope to picnic with), a really cute book on wild puppies, some crayons and paper, and chocolate. The kids got some presents too – treats for the rats and bones for Spunky. I watched a really cool show on the Bible and the Garden of Eden on the History Channel. I love the History Channel!

Spunky Present

So Happy About His Present!

We went to bed later than we should have and got like no sleep because Nikki’s dad woke us up at like 6. Ick. We went to see Nikki’s Oma and Opa and then went back to her house to pack everyone up and then we headed to Chicago. The drive down was nice and short (yeah, 3 hours is short) and when we got there we unloaded everything from the van and Nikki’s dad left. We sorted through the stuff to decide what should stay and what needed to go and when my dad got back we loaded most of it up into the back of the trailer and some in his truck and left. I kid you not. We were in Chicago for about 5 hours before we headed off on the drive down to Tennessee around 7. It was nice to see Becky and Hooch and Gracie but I wish we’d had more time with them. Also, I got some great pictures in Chicago because there had been an ice storm the night before. It was beautiful!

Icy Branches

Icy Branches

The drive down went okay. Nikki and I took turns being middle and last in the train of cars. Oh, we’re also total nerds because we stopped at an “oasis” near Chicago so LS and I could do our Advent Calendars on Neopets. We missed 2 days this time, but we still got lots of cool stuff. Anyway, it got stressful being in the car so much. The cats drove me insane and I don’t know how many times I got clawed. I also had a hard time keeping the snake’s temperature regulated but everyone made it okay. We had to stop a few times to sleep at a rest stop for a few hours so we finally made it in to Crossville about 9 in the morning. >_< Exhaustion! Of course, being me, we had to eat before we could go sleep.

That night was a good night but I think we’re going to save those stories for tomorrow. This is long enough and I can’t think anymore. Plus we’re trying to help my mom with her paper for one of her Harvard classes. I’ll talk about the Tennessee Christmas tomorrow and then the Texas one the next day and we’ll be pretty caught up. Sound okay with you? Good. Now I get to be rewarded with WoW because Nikki said so. Go me! And in case you’re wondering what it looks like here, I’ll post an old picture from when we visited last spring.

Tennessee!

Tennessee!