Thursday, July 17, 2008

We had baby birds born on our screened porch...

... which was NOT the ideal place for a nest, but that's where the silly parents built it.

After driving the dog crazy for weeks of nest building... and sneaking in through the doggie flap Carl installed in the screen door... the parents tended their eggs without bothering us too much.

But, once the babies hatched, we had several days of random pooping, learning to fly, and Weimaraner torturing to contend with. We counted five babies, each learning to fly at a different pace. They've all left the nest now, only a few days of flight school. Mom and Dad seem to be vacationing in Europe, and taking a Caribbean cruise since the kids left home... we haven't seen them.

Aren't they adorable?

This is Bobhead.

Fuzzhead and Emily.

They left us lots of poop to clean up. Sigh. Fun never comes free, does it?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Gas prices are giving me heartburn...

... and what a wakeup call to see it in a color coded snapshot of the country. I cannot believe how high the prices are out in California, nor how low they are in Texas. Virginia looks pretty good, until you zoom in closer, and see that NoVA is pretty high. And what the heck is going on in Rockville? Yowza... red all over the place. Have to remember to tell Carl not to fill up over there.

Check out the tool... it's not a bad site for comparing stations, without having to go driving around, wasting gas, to do so.

Provided by
Click here to add this map to your website.

And now, for the best prices in the DC area.

Lowest Gas Prices in the Washington DC

Washington DC Gas Prices provided by

And the averages for Virginia, over time.

Price Trends for Virginia

Virginia Gas Prices Provided by

Thursday, July 3, 2008

RIP L.L. Bear... sweetest kitty ever to live...

So... it's been one of the worst evenings to date.

I'm sick. Claire has walking pneumonia.

About 4:30pm, the girls were playing with my kitty, Bear, and called me to help. The dog had gone after her. She was twitching. Turns out she was seizing. Turns out she had been sick for some time, and we didn't know.

We took her to the vet around 5pm. They stopped the seizures with valium. Told us they couldn't make a diagnosis. Told us it could be... a brain tumor.... lymphoma... a fungal infection... a bacterial infection... kidney disease... or several other differential diagnoses.

We'd need to drive her to the emergency animal hospital, where they would do an MRI, full blood panel... a cerebral spinal tap, and a lot of other tests... with no guarantee she could be treated or helped.

She was 16 years old. We aren't financially able to foot the bill for thousands of dollars of testing.

The vet had no prognosis... she said that seizures as Bear was having, in such an elderly cat are NOT GOOD. She offered little hope.

I couldn't get hold of Carl, who was at an appointment with a customer. So... I talked it over with the girls, but ultimately, I had to make the decision.

We had to let Bear go. We had to put her out of her misery. She was suffering so much. They had her sedated, but even so... it was clear she wasn't okay.

They could barely find a vein. They tried in her back leg, and got some of the sedative into her.

They tried then in her front leg, and got a bit more into her. Then they tried in her neck, but her blood pressure was so low, it wasn't perfusing the medication adequately.

The vet and I sat with her for a long while... and then she told me that Bear had nothing going on "upstairs" but her heart just wouldn't stop beating. So... she took her back to the treatment room to give her more of the sedative. She'd already been given 8 times the needed dose, but WOULD NOT GIVE UP. I'm absolutely amazed at how hard her heart kept fighting. She finally passed, and we said goodbye to her one last time.

The vet was very sweet, compassionate, and loving.

This has been one of the hardest things I ever had to do.

We will miss Bear terribly. She was an amazing cat. Since the day I rescued her from the Austin, Texas Animal Shelter in 1992... to today... she has been a loving, brave, strong, amazing friend.

Rest in Peace.... Bear.

Monday, June 9, 2008

GOTR Daisy Dash 2008

Claire participated in the Girls On The Run program at school this Spring. She has been training hard, with practice every Tuesday and Thursday, from 2:45-4pm. Coach Kori gradually worked the girls up, increasing laps, and building their confidence.

GOTR is more than an athletic program, it has a goal of helping girls work together, fostering a positive outlook, and increasing confidence and a sense of empowerment. I think it accomplished all those goals, at least for Claire.

The finale of the season was the GOTR Daisy Dash 2008, a 5K which drew about 3500 runners.

She was pleased at her performance during the race. It turned out to be a bit more then a 5K, actually measuring closer to 3.4 miles. She came in next to last at the practice 5K a few weeks prior, and on race day, beat out 5 other girls from her school, which was a feat for her. Managing her blood sugar on race day was a bit of a challenge for us all.

She's a champ!

Claire crosses the finish line in full sprint.

Daddy tags along at the finish line, losing by about a second to Claire.

Claire and Coach Kori.

Pics from the Girl Scout Father Daughter Dance

My oh my, they clean up so girly. Not the hubby, he cleans up manly. ;-)

Meg likes wearing dresses all the time, but this is a rare occasion for Claire. Wish Moms were allowed to go to the dance, I'd have loved to have gotten some candids of them dancing.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Cha cha cha changes....

I've said it before, and I'll certainly say it again many times before I die... I don't like changes. Well, that's not strictly true. I don't like changes that piss me off. Those that please me? I like those. And since we all know that the world revolves around little ole me... well... it should follow that changes that piss me off shouldn't have been made... right?


The changes to the feedback system at eBay piss me off. There. I've said it. Once upon a time, I had shiny happy numbers. Now, it looks pale and dull. There was a time when the average eBayer wouldn't buy from a seller with less than "body temperature," i.e. lower than 98.6. I just looked up a handful of my own favorite sellers, and a fair number had dropped below body temp... just as I have done. One neutral now brings me to 98.5.


Doesn't seem to be affecting sales much, for which I'm grateful.

Rant over.

Check out the shop!

Monday, May 5, 2008

eBay Shop

The eBay shop is seeing a lot more traffic, as our little shop grows.

Check it out!