Tag Archives: pets

A Goodbye and a Roadie

14 Aug

Our time with our Japanese exchange student has come to an end. We’re leaving in about an hour to take him to the airport. He became part of our family so fast! We will all miss him. I think he will miss our pets the most, especially the dogs. He spent a lot of time playing with them and enjoying their company.

After taking him to the airport, the Helvetican and I are taking advantage of his day off and taking off on a roadie. This time, we’re trying something new and venturing into the northern parts of the state that we haven’t seen. I’ll be back with photos!

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Catching Up

25 Jul

Time for another catching up post. At some point soon, I hope to find my rhythm again and get back to posting three times a week, but I need things to return to school-year-normal. Summertime-normal is always a madhouse around here. For now, here are a few random thoughts to bring me current…

The Helvetican and I went to see Dark Knight Rises last night. He picked it apart afterward, as is his nature. No, it wasn’t a perfect film, but I’m much more willing to suspend disbelief and just go with the world the moviemakers have constructed, overlooking bits of unreality in order to enjoy the created world as a whole. And it worked for me. I enjoyed the little twists, the touches like Scarecrow having an appearance, the overall darkness of everything falling apart with redemption well earned. Seeing what a toll being a superhero takes on a person was brilliant, and Christian Bale played it so well. Loved Bane (OMG, Tom Hardy put on some serious muscle for that!). Loooooved this take on Catwoman, now one of my favorite antiheroes EVER. Anne Hathaway was purrrrfect. (I know, lame, couldn’t resist.) And Blake, what a strong character. Great development through the film and a nice setup for him. Joseph Gordon-Levitt has grown into such a fine actor. I really enjoy watching his work.

Ok, enough of the fangirl moment.

The car is still in the shop, one week after it decided to die. Why? Because the darn thing won’t replicate the problem for diagnosis. It started up fine for the mechanic all through the next day until the final time he tried, then it failed to start. That was Friday. First thing Monday, he had the car on the equipment, ready to find out what the problem was…and spent all day Monday without being able to make it fail. Started perfectly every time. The check engine light had cleared itself and no code was in the memory, so we’ve got nothing to go on. Yesterday was a holiday here (Pioneer Day) so, naturally, the shop was closed. The plan today is to run the car hard, on the platform where they can simulate driving without going on the road, with lots of turning off and back on again. If it performs all day properly, we’ll all chalk it up to some weird thing that cleared itself out. I mean, what else can you do? If the car says it is fine, and it behaves fine, it must be fine, right? If there truly is a problem, I can only pray that it shows itself while hooked up to the equipment that will tell us what the problem really is. Cross your fingers for me, okay? Being down to one car is not fun, but I’d hate to get the other car back, only to have it strand us somewhere again.

The Trio, enjoying their new room.

Finally, I don’t think I ever mentioned the latest happenings with the bunnies. Our grand old lady, Brownie, passed away a while back. She was nine and amazed us all every day that she kept going. The Princess, the Helvetican, and I were all there with her at the last, so she was loved up to the end. She was buried between the two mates she had outlived. Her current mate, Smokey, moped around and grew very cranky. We knew he was a lonely bunny, but combining him with the remaining bonded couple didn’t seem like a good option. After all, the boys had their share of fights in the common bunny yard. We ditched both of the bunny condo cages, and gated off an otherwise useless alcove downstairs by the heater/water heater closet. I haven’t measured, but it’s a good 50 square feet or so. Plenty of room for three bunnies. It was a neutral space for all of them, no one had previous claim to it. They tussled a bit, establishing warren ranks, but only the first day. The three have lived in harmony ever since, and the two boys are best friends, while Miss Chelsea is the queen of all she surveys. So, no more lonely bunnies! It was a bit of a change for the Princess, though. It’s the first time in nine years that she didn’t have a bunny living in her bedroom. She had a hard time sleeping for a while because of the quiet.

Writing-wise, I’m working toward a magazine deadline this week, and doing programs for a local theater company production. I’m trying to scribble some fiction here and there where I can, but this may be a lost week. I should add some counters so you can see where I’m at on the books in progress. I’m also trying to clear out some nagging items-that-need-doing around the house before August 1. I’m doing Camp NaNoWriMo in August, trying to put out at least 50k words. That should be fun, working around our temporary exchange student who will be here for ten days next month. More on that later.

Have a great Wednesday! Be sure to pop in Friday when the Hero Hop starts!

Where did March go?

31 Mar

I can’t believe it is the end of March already. This year is just flying so far! The weather is gorgeous. The grass is just starting to green, the fruit trees are blooming, the aspens are budding leaves and showing their seed tails, the daffodils are cheerily bobbing in the brees, and the air is warm and scented with blossoms and soil.

I really want to dig in the yard today, but the first priority is spring cleaning on the house! I’ve convinced the teenagers that if we clean this weekend, they won’t have to do it next weekend, during spring break.

The happiest of all in my crazy household about the warm weather are the bunnies. They are house rabbits, but the big yard at the side of the house is fenced off specifically as a play area for them. The dogs are friendly with the rabbits, but they play rough, so the bunnies are better off in a secure yard. They went out yesterday  to enjoy the sunshine.

Meet the boys! Smokey Jr. is the gray mixed breed on the right. He is a rescue, found abandoned in a parking lot, covered with grease from hiding under a truck. Who knows where the paint on his ears came from.

On the left is Oyster, a black satin. Also a rescue, he came to us with cigarette burns on his neck.

Next is Chelsea. She is a chinchilla rabbit. Though she came from a pet store, she is truly a rescue as well. She’d spent her first year at the store, living in a plastic tub with a wire top that was too small for her to stand vertically in or even stretch out all the way. The store owner said the only people who wanted her were those looking for snake food, and she just couldn’t sell her for that. I’ll never forget putting Chelsea on the grass for the first time. It took her several days to learn how to be a free bunny, to run and jump and stand straight up, but the other bunns taught her well. Especially patient Oyster, who adored her until she gave in and bonded with him.

Finally, we have Brownie. She is nine, our oldest bunny. The rabbit life span is usually seven to ten years, so we’re grateful for every day she’s with us. She’s outlived two mates before her current love, Smokey Jr. Not that Smokey had it easy with her. Brownie made him beg for her love for a couple of months before she gave in and decided he was a good choice for a mate. Brownie has bad teeth that don’t align properly. Most rabbits will wear down their constantly growing teeth as they eat and chew on wood treats. Brownie’s teeth don’t wear down, so once a month she visits the vet to have her teeth trimmed.  Oh, in case you’re wondering, all of these rabbits have been spayed/neutered. There are enough homeless, abandoned bunnies in the world. We rescue, we don’t breed.

Time to take the bunnies out for more fun in the yard. How is your weather? Do you have fun plans for the weekend?

Thoughts on Twitter for a Monday Afternoon

13 Feb

I confess, I’m not accomplishing what I need to today. My natural circadian rhythm is that of a night owl. I’m always up past midnight, frequently much later. The problem is that I’m required by my needy dogs and the lives of my kids to live the schedule of a morning person. This equals a pretty regular lack of sleep.  Last night, I didn’t get to bed until 2:00 a.m. Needy dogs insisted I get up at 5:00 a.m. to feed them Scooby snacks and let the arthritic basset in and out for her morning constitutional, since the cold and the dog door don’t mix well for her.

So, staying focused today is a bit of a challenge. It is in this state of mind that I question the value of Twitter.

I’ve been using Twitter for a few weeks…attempting to figure it out and use it well, I should say. Practicing the etiquette of retweeting for folks in the hopes that some may reciprocate as needed. Learning the art of brevity to cover both my message and the desired hashtags. As I’ve gained more followers, and followed more people myself, I wonder if this isn’t just an exercise in futility.

There is a constant barrage of tweets coming in, which grows exponentially as I follow more people. How does one keep up? I pop in a couple times a day to see what’s happening, and there are just so many messages. I respond to ones that catch my eye, or retweet here or there without bombarding my own followers with too many RTs. Then I dash off one of my own.

Perhaps it is the lack of sleep making me grumpy, but I can’t help but think Twitter is mostly an exercise in tossing one’s own thoughts into the ether and hoping someone pays attention. At least with Facebook, there’s a reasonable expectation that SOMEONE will respond, even if it’s just clicking the Like button. Then you know you’ve been heard.

I don’t know if I’ll keep the Twitter account. I’ll try downloading Hootsuite, which I’ve heard is more helpful than TweetDeck for managing this social tool, and see if that helps. But I have enough things clawing at me for time and attention. Does Twitter deserve a piece of the time-pie? Do you use Twitter? If so, how do you manage it?

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