Tuesday, July 31, 2007

How much is that apple in the window?

In the last few months, I've been thinking quite a lot about where my food comes from. Specifically, I've been thinking about how much money/energy is used to get my California cherries or Chilean clementines or Washington apples to the grocery store.

So as a book or article on the topic strikes my interest, I'm reading them.

When I saw this today, I immediately thought, "Well, the home owner's associations can't be happy!" I think the concept is interesting and could be pretty coool, if done well. (There's a chapter on a related topic in the book A Perfect Mess.)

I've also been reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. This book talks about the Kingsolver family's decision to live off the land for a full year. It's educational, interesting, well written... and FUNNY in places.

By the way, here's another book with a vegetable theme I recommend wholehartedly (forgive the 'Amazon.com'ian commercial): The $64 Tomato: How One Man Nearly Lost his Sanity, Spent a Fortune, and Endured an Existential Crisis in the Quest for the Perfect Garden. I read this book shortly after it came out last year. I don't recall if it dealt much with the virtues of growing one's own food, but it was a really good read.

All the books and articles have given me much... um... food for thought. I don't anticipate ever being able to grow all of my food or eat everything locally grown... but I hope to do better.

Need a job?

Here's an idea.

Work for "Diddy"!

Sunday, July 29, 2007


I am exhausted. And "peopled out." And "worked out."

We have had several crazy weekends in a row. And the next two weekends won't be any better.

Work has been insane. And the next six months (at least) won't be any better.

Stop this crazy thing!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Indian Springs, Weekend 2

Ed, Toby, and I had a great second trip to Indian Springs.

A sampling of the photos:

Elizabeth and me.

Elizabeth is always so proud of herself when she pulls herself to a standing position. :)

Sarah hanging out in the golf cart the family uses to travel around the campground.

Jacob checking out Toby. (It was hard to get pictures of Jake this year.)

We all went to Indian Springs State Park. The kids played in the creek. Toby and Ed hung out in the shade. Smart dog and human.

I absolutely love this picture of Ben.

This is the best picture I got of the three older kids together. In some ways, this is best. This is Jacob, Ben, and Sarah in their "natural" environment: busy, busy, busy.

Family Portrait 1 (Sarah is hiding.)

Family Portrait 2 (There's Sarah!)
I'm going to have a Photoshop master "blend" these photos, so we get the best expressions of all family members. Ah, technology.

I'm sad we likely won't see this great family again until this time next year, but I always value the time we have together. Leslie and Bryan are the only non-local (to me) college friends I stay in close contact with. They are forever friends... to both Ed and to me.

My trip to the vet, by Toby

A couple of days ago (I don't remember when), I ate part of a plastic cup. I got part of it caught inbetween two teeth.

It hurt. A lot. Mom and Dad took me to the vet this morning. See how worried they look?

The vet took good care of me. They took out the piece of plastic, took x-rays to see if I have anything in my system that I shouldn't (I do, but I think it will pass just fine), gave me some barium in case it DOESN'T pass and they have to do another x-ray, and checked my ears. I have a yeast infection in there.

So I have four different medicines (two for my stomach/mouth problem and two for my ears), special food for the next three or four days, and a $450 bill.

Mom and Dad really love me.

Now we're going to visit Leslie and Bryan and their family at Indian Springs. Fox has to stay home.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Toby ate something and it wasn't dog food

So Ed and I were in bed at just after 9:30 like all the cool kids on a Friday night, when Toby starting making weird noises. We discovered a piece of chewed up plastic in his mouth that has started growing into the gum. We can't remove it.

So, we gave him some Benedryl, he's resting comfortably (for now at least), and we'll be at the vet's first thing in the morning.

Here's Toby with his ice pack. It's getting a fair amount of use this week. Ed used it briefly on Monday when he had his surgery. Hopefully, I'm not next. :)

J.K. Rowling Interview on "Today," Part Two

Spoilers ahead: J.K. Rowling Interview on "Today," Part Two


I'm glad to hear who won the latest stage of the Tour de France, but how is the dog?

Priorities, people!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Four pets, one day

I don't think I've ever taken a picture of all four of our pets in one day. Today I did... and in their favorite places in the house, no less.

In alphabetical order (otherwise their feelings get hurt)...

Asbury in the bathroom... generally, she's in the sink... but sometimes she actually weighs herself.

Autumn under the bed in the guest bedroom. (She likes to keep a low profile.)

Mighty Fox on the landing at the top of the stairs--master of the manor.

Toby under the coffee table. He, too, likes to keep a low profile. And I think it's cooler down there. It's been his new hangout this summer.

I'm officially loopy now. Must go to bed.

J.K. Rowling interview on "Today" Part One

Warning: this interview, aired on "Today" on Thursday, July 26, 2007, contains spoilers about "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." That said, if you've read the book, there's some REALLY good stuff here, including what some of the characters are up to after the book ends.

Part Two airs tomorrow on "Today." There's an hour-long interview with Rowling on "Dateline" on Sunday, July 29, at 7 p.m. eastern.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Well this would suck!

Bummer... but, like Sarah's book adventure, something to tell the grandkids. :)

"Some Potter Fans Find Pages Missing"


At 6:25:12, I finished the last Harry Potter book.

What a wonderful book.

And there's more to come for fans of the Harry Potter books.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Ed's oral surgery

Ed had oral surgery today to remove tooth fragments from three areas of his mouth. The surgery went well, and after he heals he'll be able to get the rest of his dental work done, as finances and insurance allow.

After a quiet afternoon, Fox is back to his usual self, which means Ed is on the mend. (Pain medication and sleep are good things.)

This is the second time this year that Ed's had to have surgery. He has a screening colonoscopy yet to be done this year, but after that I hope we're done with surgery/anesthesia/sedation for awhile. These procedures are harder for Ed than for me, of course, but as a loving wife it's hard to see him in pain. The middle-of-the-night medication alarms aren't any fun either.

Here is Fox administering some TLC.

I never realized how long Fox's tongue is!

In other news, I'm still plugging away at the last Harry Potter book. I'm going to finish before I go back to work on Wednesday if it kills me. It might; I have about 500 pages to go. At least I'll have something to read when I get up at midnight to give Ed his meds. :)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Indian Springs, weekend one

Each year I, and now Ed, go to Indian Springs Holiness Camp Meeting to visit with Leslie, my best friend from college, her husband Bryan (also a college friend) and their four kids. I met their youngest, Elizabeth, for the first time yesterday.

We had a nice visit, but I'm beat.

Here are a couple of my favorite pictures.

Elizabeth Grace

Sarah the Jumping Bean

Leslie and Elizabeth

A blur: this is what life feels like when I'm with Leslie and her family. I can't imagine what life feels like for them. :)

Next Saturday, Ed and I will go back for the day and take Toby.


I hope the presence of the dog as a "prop" will allow me to get some pictures of the boys.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Possible (legal) sneak peak at HP book 7? (NO SPOILERS)

Found this on the Web. This may be a way to get a legal sneak peak (or sneak listen) of the new book.

J.K. Rowling reads from "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows"

Not sure if this will work, but it's worth a shot. Log on at 6:50 p.m. eastern (11:50 p.m. in England).

Not long now...


Thursday, July 19, 2007

I am blogging from my

I am blogging from my phone. Isn't technology grand?

Dear Internet

Dear Internet,

We have to stop seeing each other until I finish reading "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows."

It's not you. It's me. Well, actually it's news organizations like the New York Times and the Baltimore Sun publishing reviews three and four days before the book comes out that was the final straw. No place is safe.

See you early next week. I'm sure we can make the relationship work. I just need a break.

Much love,

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My apologies

My apologies to those of you with Bloglines, etc., for the duplicate posts as I update entries for various reasons. I'm still getting the hang of this blogging site. I'll get better at it soon. I promise. :)

Youngest AARP member?

Here's my official AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) membership card. Ed joined AARP last month for the discounts, etc., and spouses/partners become AARP members for free. My husband is "old," but I'm just 32. Does this make me one of the youngest AARP members ever?

Press release from Scholastic re: Pottergate (NO SPOILERS, of course)

NEW YORK, July 18 -- Scholastic has recently learned that some individuals have received copies of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" through the mail, beginning on Tuesday, July 17th, as a result of a breach of the on-sale agreement by the distributor, Levy Home Entertainment, and shipments made by DeepDiscount.com, a customer of that distributor. We are taking immediate legal action against DeepDiscount.com and Levy Home Entertainment.

The number of copies shipped is around one one-hundredth of one percent of the total U.S. copies to go on sale at 12:01 am on July 21st.

We are also making a direct appeal to the Harry Potter fans who bought their books from DeepDiscount.com and may receive copies early requesting that they keep the packages hidden until midnight on July 21st.

Scholastic is especially grateful to the other retailers and distributors for their careful attention to keeping the books secure until the release time and for planning thousands of spectacular midnight parties where fans will celebrate together. And we ask everyone, especially the media, to preserve the fun and excitement for fans everywhere.

The fans themselves have made it abundantly clear that they are looking forward to going to the midnight parties, receiving their very own copy of the book and finally getting to read the book they have so anxiously awaited.

Rebecca's commentary:
Hide it until midnight on July 21st. HA!

Harry Potter "oops" (NO SPOILERS)

Oopsie. There will be hell to pay, I suspect. (I hope.) I wonder who else this has happened to? (The subject of this article received his book from DeepDiscount.com yesterday.)

The spell is broken

From the Baltimore Sun.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Harry Potter book 7 (NO SPOILERS!)

O.k., apparently some folks have gotten hold of copies of the final Harry Potter book. I don't know if they've gotten them legally or illegally. I just wish they wouldn't post details. Isn't the waiting hard enough as it is?

I am so afraid I'm going to see something about the book before the book comes out. (Actually, in an attempt to keep Sarah spoiler-free, I did, but I'm trying to poke out my mind's eye so I'll forget what I saw...)

Less than four days. I think I can make it. Maybe. I hope. We'll see.

Picture from March

On March 8 (based on the embedded camera phone picture info), I came home from work and saw two cats sitting on our front porch.

Mama Cat is on the left.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The end of the road

After talking with my husband and the vet (all before 8:20 a.m.), we've decided to euthanize Mama Cat. She's so wild the vet can't do anything with her.

If they were to spay her, we'd have to keep her confined for 10 days at our house to allow her to heal. The vet is terrified that Ed or I would end up bitten, scratched up, or both.

It's breaking my heart (I've been crying for the better part of 30 minutes), but I think this is the best decision. The vet says they'll cremate her and spread her ashes, along with those of some other animals, on a nearby farm.

This is my first experience with euthanizing an animal. She wasn't even my cat. I don't even want to think about what it will be like when it is.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Cat cam!

See the bee on the "lip" of the cup of tuna?
Must see TV (actually, this is video input to the computer).
Here, kitty, kitty, kitty...

Still no sight of the kittens, but Ed and I are having fun with the camera Ed rubber-banded to the trap.

We're going to try for about a week and then return the trap. We can always get it back, if we need it. I'm discouraged that we can't get the kittens, but Ed points out that getting Mama Cat spayed will prevent perhaps thousands of unwanted kittens from being born. He also reminds me that we can't save them all, even if we had all the money in the world. I wish I could.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Mama Cat at the vet

This is Mama Cat at the vet. She's going to be in isolation until Monday.

At that time, they'll sedate her, bathe her, examine her, and test her for feline leukemia and AIDS. If she tests negative for feline leukemia and AIDS, they'll spay her while she's still sedated and keep her for a couple of days to recuperate. (If she tests positive, we'll have her euthanized, for her best interest and for the health and safety of other cats in the neighborhood, both pets and strays.)

If she is healthy, we'll release her in our yard. She's just too wild to rehabilitate. I was hoping this wouldn't be the case, but it is. If our neighbors don't want to feed her anymore because she's not raising kittens, Ed and I will be responsible for feeding her for the rest of her life. I don't like feeding "strays," but because we've made this choice for her, we need to make sure she stays fed. I don't expect we'll ever try to trap her again.

I'm relieved she's at the vet. They can take far better care of her than we can. I had a very difficult time putting food/water/litter in the box, and she knocked it over quite easily. I'll spare you the details, but let's just say she made a MESS in her crate in the 18 hours she was there.

As for the kittens, we've not seen a trace of them. It's rainy today, so we'll wait to try trapping them until tomorrow. Ed doubts we'll manage to get any of them, but if we do, we'll go through all this again.

I didn't think it was possible to have any more respect for people who do rescue as a full-time, yet extremely low-paying job, but I do. God bless 'em.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Rebecca, Cat Wrangler

Today, Ed and I started trapping a mother cat and her kittens. (We think there are four babies, but we're not sure.) We're going to get them spayed/neutered and either adopt them out or release them back in our neighborhood. (Believe it or not, with feral cats, this is the best option if they're not able to be tamed.)

Ed put a camera on the back of the trap and we watched on t.v. After a slight "tweak" we trapped Mama Cat in about five minutes. Here's a picture I took of the t.v. image of Cat Cam. Loving the digital camera.