Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Atticus Update

Yes, we've decided to call him Atticus. I haven't really said much because a whole lot was going on with Atticus, the vet, the rescue and us last week. I don't know why I'm so surprised that we asked for a younger, healthy dog and we got an older, not healthy one. The same thing happened with Lulu in August from a completely different rescue!

At first we were angry because they lied to us and we were scared for Lulu. The vet wanted them separated ASAP (so Lulu wouldn't catch kennel cough--again!) and we had no way to keep them physically apart (so they couldn't breathe on or lick each other) and still give Atticus the care he needed. He had an awful infection where his incision was. He was fixed just 3 days before we took him home. On top if that he was burning up with fever. He was up ALL NIGHT coughing that Sunday--the day after we took him home.

I don't know what we would have done if our vet didn't step up to the plate. Actually, I know exactly what we would have done, we would have had to return him, pure and simple. We didn't want to. He didn't deserve to be shuffled back and forth again and we already loved him. We actually called up the rescue on Monday night and told them they had to pick him up. But they are all volunteers and no one could come and get him, we had to wait for the weekend and take him back ourselves. In the meantime, we had to keep him separate from Lulu--which meant he had to be kept at the vet all week. Such an expensive dilemma!

The next day we went back to the vet and we got his tests back. She could tell right away that he was older and she wanted to make sure that he wasn't so underweight because he had cancer--a common thing for Boxers. The tests showed no cancer, but the x-rays showed that his internal organs were much older than the rescue said (2 or 3) and more like what the vet had originally thought (6 or 7). She now tells us definitely 7.

Anyway, most of that's all over. Atticus has come a long, long way. His fever is gone. His infection is better. He's still sweet as can be. The vet has been feeding him AD pet food (the good stuff) and giving him his meds and keeping him for the boarding fee, rather than the hospitalization fee she would have normally charged. We are all so lucky.

The rescue owner called the other day and when she found out how sick he was and how long he's been at the vet, she tore up our adoption check. That made all the difference in how we felt about the rescue. I know this isn't the norm for them, but this dog fell through the cracks and this should never happen again. Atticus didn't deserve it. She even said they are going to change their policy. They are going to keep every dog they rescue at least a week to make sure that they can properly assess and care for them. If this saves the life of just one dog, or saves just one dog from all the pain Atticus went through, I'll be so glad. And I know it will help more than just one dog. Guaranteed.

That's all for now. Lunch break over.

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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Holiday Recipe Idea

No doggie update yet. I'm too tired to explain it all. I will in a couple of days... I just typed up this recipe to give to someone and I figured I'd share it with all of you sinceI had it handy.

I made this for Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit. I don't really like pumkin and I also don't like strong-tasting gingerbread (which the gingerbread mixes usually are) but I liked this recipe a lot. So did my family.

Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle
2 (14-ounce) packages gingerbread mix

1 (5.1-ounce) package cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
1 (30-ounce) can pumpkin pie filling (I used the one that was already mixed for a pie)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 teaspoon cinnamon
1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping (I used the large tub of Cool Whip Light)
1/2 cup gingersnaps, optional (I used them--the little crunch was great. Nilla Wafers would have been good too.)

Bake the gingerbread according to the package directions; cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the pudding and set aside to cool. Stir the pumpkin pie filling, sugar, and cinnamon into the pudding. Crumble 1 batch of gingerbread into the bottom of a large, pretty bowl. (I cubed the gingerbread rather than crumbling. It looks prettier in the bowl) Pour 1/2 of the pudding mixture over the gingerbread, then add a layer of whipped topping. Repeat with the remaining gingerbread, pudding, and whipped topping. Refrigerate overnight. Trifle can be layered in a punch bowl. Sprinkle the top with crushed gingersnaps before serving, if desired.

This recipe was great. I didn't have a trifle bowl, but I used one that's cylinder-shaped so all the layers showed beautifully. This would be a nice birthday cake alternative for people who like those split-and-filled bakery cakes that are all layered with cream and fruit and wrapped in a clear collar. You could substitute white or yellow cake and mix some fruit into the pudding instead and add fresh fruit to the layers as well. Or you might make it with choc cake or brownies, chocolate pudding and fresh raspberries. Yum!



Sunday, November 19, 2006

Our Boy

So far he has no name. He came into the rescue named Joe, apparently a very popular Boxer name. (Get it? Joe Boxer-- Har-dee-har!) To differentiate between him and the other Joes, they called him "The Average Joe." His foster mom wouldn't have any of that ("he's so not average!" she told us) so she named him Griffen. We're not wild about Griffen. Abner likes Atticus and actually, I do too, but we're still mulling it over. Any suggestions?

It's funny how it all worked out. We wanted to meet white Boxers, but they were all adopted. So, we asked to see some Boxers who liked kids, other dogs, were mellow and possibly liked cats. We met two, one very chubby and sweet (but we felt no spark) and one flashy and beautiful (again, no spark). Lulu got along with both of them, dominant with one and submissive with the other. Very interesting. We started to feel some stress and were mulling over if getting a second dog was such a good idea when the foster mom pulled up with a couple of dogs in her car that she said not only tolerated cats, but liked cats. Being that we do have a cat, we thought this was a good omen. So they brought Griffen out to meet us.

I cried when I saw him. His legs are all full of scars and, for the first half hour or so, he wouldn't even look us in the eyes. The shelter had picked him up in an area where many dogs are used to bait pit bulls for fighting and they think that's what happened with him. He was just this big, sweet bundle of love. His previous owners must have been so disappointed when they realized he wasn't a fighter and I guess they just dumped him or turned him loose. (Awful-disgusting-no good-rat bastards!) I believe there's a special place in hell for people like that.

Anyway, he looks us in the eyes now--and what big beautiful brown eyes he has. Today he gave me a kiss and I was just so pleased. It's going to take him some time to settle in. He's started coughing now--so I think he has kennel cough. Off to the vet with him tomorrow!
Current mood: a bit stressed and a bit worried too

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

It's a boy!

Isn't he grand? Lulu loves him. Wants to play with him all the time. He's still settling in. Not so playful yet. He's a very mellow gentle boy. He's a Boxer of the German variety--which, we're told, has Mastiff in the mix. He sure looks it with his big, wrinkly face and slightly droopy eyes and slightly jowely mouth. We love him already. He's real big on "the Boxer lean" too.
Current mood: happy & tired. Long day

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Friday, November 10, 2006

NaNoWriMo Day 10

Quick NaNo update: 5,360 words.

The people who are trying to "win" Nano need to have like16,500 words right now, but I'm cool with what I have. At least I'm writing. My goal is 1/3 of a NaNo win. A busy week ahead. We'll see how I do.

Current Mood: Sleepy...


Wednesday, November 08, 2006


I can't believe I didn't post yesterday! Election Day is huge at our house. HUGE! Like the World Series or the Superbowl are for some people. I've been interested in politics since I was about 14. I asked my mom what party we were and she said she didn't really know. So I did tons of research. It was the punk music I loved that got me interested in the first place. Bands like Crass had many political songs and I wanted to understand what the heck it was all about. I was more than ready to vote once I turned 18 and I haven't missed an election since. I called my mom the moment CNN announced we'd taken the House and screamed like a lunatic. She knew who it was, obviously. Did I mention I dragged her into politics with me? Yup, I sure did. Parents, let that be a lesson to you. You can learn from your kids too.

You can probably tell by the links on my Blog that I'm a Democrat. I lean pretty far left but I'm not a total Liberal. For one thing I believe in the death penalty (with DNA evidence, etc--I don't want any mistakes!)--so the liberals would never have me. I identify with Progressives or New Democrats on most points.

A big issue in CA was Proposition 85. I volunteered some time and money to the "No on 85" campaign and I'm more pleased than you can imagine that it didn't pass. I feel for the parents who want to be notified (I would too) but I fear for the girls from abusive homes that may take matters into their own hands more. Abortions with coat hangers and back alley abortions again? It could happen. So scary!

The other issue in the elections was (of course) the Dems taking back the House. I am so tickled pink I have been spontaneously bursting into song ever since last night. To be honest, I don't really want us to take back the Senate right now. I think the American people voted for change--and they want it NOW. I do too, but since President Bush has the power of the Veto, we won't be able to do all the things we want to do before the 2008 election. If we have control of the House and Senate, it will be very easy for the Republicans to turn it around and say, "You gave them total control in 2006 and what have they accomplished?" and then we'll lose in 2008. Hey, it's why they lost last night. They've had complete and total control for six years and they ran the country into the ground. The Dems have had no say in the matter.

I'd rather take baby steps. Nancy Pelosi set the tone last night in her speech when she said she wanted to work with the Republicans in a bi-partisan way. I'm all for that and I think America is too. Once they see she's not the Crazy Moonbat Liberal that the Republicans tried to paint her (and the party) as, they'll see they can trust the Dems. That's my hope, anyway.

Current NaNoWriMo Total: Still 1,670-- Will have more time to write now that the auction is underway and the election is over.

Current Mood: Jazzed! You all should have seen the hubby and I dancing around the room. It confused Lulu when he picked her up and twirled her around. Then she liked it and wanted to play. Yup! My little Bully-girl's a Dem. I knew it! ;)


Monday, November 06, 2006

The Michele Fund Auction is Underway!

Hi there!
I just wanted to post a couple of photos of Michele so everyone could see the person who our Fund is named after! The first pic is Michele and me at the RWA Rita & Golden Heart Ceremony in Reno, July of 2005. The second one is (obviously) a group of us at The Race for the Cure in February of 2006. Left to Right: Michele's wonderful husband John, Michele (Jersey Girl looking diva-ish in her pink ensemble), me and my mom Phyllis. I wish I had more photos to post, but I think that's all the photos of Michele I have saved to my computer.
Anyway, the auction is live right now! I hope you're all as excited as I am. I've already been outbid on the item I wanted. This means war! :)
Seriously, if you're new to the Blog, this auction is a fundraiser for Michele's medical bills for her breast cancer treatments, medication, co pays, etc. So it is a very good cause. We have 75 items and most of them would make fantastic holiday gifts. So, please check our auction out.
If the link doesn't work, please go to ebay and click on the link for Advanced Search (just below the search box on the top right) and where it says "From Sellers" click on "from specific sellers" and type: themichelefund in the box. This should pull up all 75 of our items.
Please pass this information on to your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers and thank you so much for spreading the word.
Current Mood: Hopeful

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

NaNoWriMo Day 5 & Sunday Brunch

NaNoWriMo: No words today either, but a great day nonetheless!

We drove up to the mountains to visit my aunt and uncle. (She's my mom's younger sister.) They moved to the mountans a little over three years ago--a few months before those awful So. CA fires. They almost lost their house in those fires. A scary time for all of us. Her children are grown and she and my uncle are just really fun people to be around. We all almost felt guilty not inviting other family members, but the couples dynamic was just too fun to mess with.

When we got there she'd made plates of hors d'oevres-- more than the 4 of us (actually 8 or 10 people) could eat for a meal. Then they announced that they had a surprise for lunch--and we'd thought the hors d'oevres were lunch! They took us a little further through the mountains to the lake, a boardwalk area and to lunch at a nice place with all glass windows. Almost all the booths in the restaurant were made out of little boats--you could see the boat's names painted on the back. It was so cool. We had a great Sunday brunch with more food than any of us needed--especially after all the snacks she'd put out.

When we got back to the house they took out bags of peanuts and put them on the balcony railing to make the squirrels come down from the huge oak trees all around the house. The birds flocked to their bird feeders--they have them all around under the eves and hanging off the balcony. I could so live there with all the wildlife at the door.

Michele Fund Update: The Michele Fund Auction is all ready to go! Tomorrow at 10 AM Pacific time is when it all starts. Yeah! Better update and some pictures tomorrow.

Current Mood: Happy


Saturday, November 04, 2006

NaNoWriMo Day 4 & Michelefund babble

I am a little sad to report that my NaNo total for Day 4 is 0. I thought I could take some a time to write today, but my computer was going too slow (I thought it was the ebay site at first) and it made my work on the Michele Fund Auction take much longer than I expected. Enter my fabulous husband who forced me to re-boot and cleaned out all the cookies in my trusty laptop and I was moving again! Yeah! I love you, honey!

No worries, though. 4 is my lucky number, and I feel very fortunate to have spent the 4th doing my part (I'm one of a group) to get this auction up and running. A special shout out to Robin, Dee, Heidi, Pokey, and my cousin Kristy, who helped me deal with all the silly ebay issues over the last couple of weeks and gave me much needed support. Smooches! And thank you to everyone else who's working behind the scenes organizing, e-mailing, donating, crafting, mailing things off or just spreading the word. We couldn't do it without you.

Please remember to spread the word about our Michele Fund Auction on your blogs, tell your family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, etc. We have many nice items that will help you with your holiday shopping. The Auction starts Monday. Check the Michelefund site and hopefully the link will be up and running. If not, go to ebay and write "TMF" in the search bar. All the item's names begin with the letters TMF (The Michele Fund).

Current NaNoWriMo Wordcount- 1,670 Words
Current Mood- Determined!


Friday, November 03, 2006

NaNoWriMo Day 3

Lunch break writing: 580 words. Not much to report other than the fact that I think my characters are talking in circles. They are dealing with a death, so I guess I need to feel out how each of them handles the situation. As with all my first drafts, much cutting/rewriting will be done after this is completed.

Current NaNoWriMo total: 1,670
Current Mood: Preoccupied. Time to get to work on the Michelefund listings


Thursday, November 02, 2006

NaNoWriMo Day 2

Much better today. Of course, I only snacked on fingerfood on my 1/2 hour lunch break instead of yesterday's knife and fork lunch. Much more writing is possible the snacky way.

Day 1- 310
Day 2- 790

Hopefully next week I'll have some time in the evenings--at least after election day. A girl's gotta help get out the vote...

Current NaNo Wordcount: 1,100 words

Current Mood: Fine & Dandy


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

NaNoWriMo Day 1

Not a huge day in NaNoland--especially considering the fact that the nano site tells you to start out with a bang because by mid-month you'll be dragging. On my half-hour lunch break I (ate lunch and) wrote 310 words. Not too shabby. I'm going to be busy for the next few days, so I don't expect to do much better than this for a while.

Baby steps...

Current Nanoword count- 310 words

Current Mood- Satisfied