Sunday, February 27, 2011

Happy Bunday!

Not much to say today except, dang she's cute!

Look at those back feet! (Lo, I have felt their wrath...)

Hope you had a beautiful Bunday!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Happy Caturday!

Oh, love, sweet love...

Mutual grooming is just too precious

Yes, they are brother and sister, but their love runs deep
(Pictures of them fighting to follow another week! Hey, siblings will be siblings!)

Maybe I should show them these pics when they are whapping each other with their paws?

And then the addition of RightHand's other love, F1 Racing. Beautiful.

Hope you have a love-filled Caturday!

Belated Friday Fotos

I'm back! (And belated, but what's new?)

Yes, my lovelies, I took the Bar, and I feel good about it. But only May 27th will tell!

Anyway, here we are at the end of another week, and you know the drill. Here are my faves, go here to pick yours:

Wow, things just aren't going well in the Southern hemisphere :(

I've gotta see this someday. Bucket list!

Um, cold. Verrrrry cold.
(And in Minnesota, of course! Been there, done that!)

Cool picture, but so barabaric.
(Which reminds me- huge kudos to Catalonia, which recently became the very first Spanish region to ban bull-fighting)

Oooo, raindrops on roses...
(You're singing, aren't you?)

Wow, researchers in panda costumes- fascinating stuff!

What a long, crazy week-- 'til next time!

Friday, February 18, 2011


If it isn't obvious already, I am on a temporary hiatus from blogging until after the Bar next week.


I'll be so happy next Wednesday night... and back in action soon after that!

Keep your fingers crossed for me, will ya? :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wedding Decisions: The Groom

Okay, so it wasn't really a hard decision, but one of the things we need for the wedding is a groom. :) RightHand is the one and only option, but I wanted to brag a little bit and let you know that he's the right choice. ;)

Why? Well, the list goes on and on...

1. The sweet little things

We painted our apartment back in the fall. I walked into the bedroom, which we were turning a minty green, to see this:

Simple but sweet, y'know?

2. His efforts and gestures

After we did said painting, our living room wall has been a more-orange-than-I-wanted-it shade of brown, and I've struggled with what to hang above the couch.

Like so

A few nights ago, RightHand told me to wait in our office for 15 minutes. I heard nails being hammered. I was worried.

But when I came out, he had bought and hung the perfect picture for the wall:

Naturey and helps it look more brown!

3. Animal Lover

How can I resist a man that has to have his picture taken with each of our cats on his birthday? :)


Gatty never really wants a hug ;)


4. More Little Things

After he came home from a business trip, I walked into the apartment, and right into this:

Gorgeous flowers, a cupcake, and a little baggie of Swedish fish
Heaven help me!

I could go on and on, but you get the idea. Goofy, sweet, thoughtful... I pick bachelor #1! :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Happy Belated Bunday

It may come as a surprise to learn that the common house rabbit (is there any such thing?) can be a bit, er, strong-willed. And bossy. Or at least Daisy is. :) Just very cat-like, you know?

So imagine my delight when she finally (finally! though briefly) used the bunny bed we bought her, you know, two years ago...

What an awkward pose, Daisy...

A closer look
("I'm just doin' this for you, Mom!")

Oh, the ears. Gotta love 'em

And the non-use of the bunny bed is really okay because, in true cat fashion of using something not bought for them, other somebodies love the bed:


'Til next time!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Unknown

As most of you know, I am an animal lover, through and through. Over the years, this love has led me to many activities and much knowledge.

Sometimes, as an "insider", I forget that the public does not share my knowledge (and I truly don't mean this in a "holier than thou way"!). It's okay. And it's why I'm posting this.

Most of you probably don't know that there are "underground railroads" of sorts, to get adoptable animals where they need to go (this is just one of many, I'm sure). Many of you likely don't know that there are feral cat colonies being maintained by incredible people, all around your community (and that's a GREAT thing!). And finally, many of you probably don't know that chimps are veterans of our Air Force and space program. It's true!

After receiving this incredible e-mail from Save the Chimps, I simply had to share Ham's story. Please read (you aren't going to believe this incredible story!), please consider donating, but most of all, please don't forget what you learn, and continue on to be an advocate for animals.

Remembering Ham,

50 years after his historic flight

Today, January 31, 2011, marks the 50th anniversary of the space flight of Ham Chimpanzee, who became the first ape in space. Save the Chimps marks this anniversary to honor Ham, his courage, and his unwilling sacrifice. The Space Chimps, or “Astrochimps”, hold a special place in the hearts of everyone at Save the Chimps. It was the plight of the Air Force chimps, the chimps used in the early days of space research, and their descendents, that inspired our late founder Dr. Carole Noon to establish Save the Chimps.

Ham’s story spans the globe and into the reaches of space. Born in Cameroon in approximately 1957, Ham was captured and brought to a facility in Florida called the Miami Rare Bird Farm. In July 1959, Ham was transferred to Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo, NM to be trained for space flight as part of Project Mercury. Ham at the time was known as Chang, or #65, and was renamed at the time of his spaceflight after the acronym for “Holloman Aero Medical.” Ham and other young chimps, including Minnie (the mother of two STC residents, Rebel and Li’l Mini) and Enos (the chimp who would become the first and only chimp to orbit the Earth), were habituated to long periods of confinement in a chair, and trained to operate levers in response to light cues. After 18 months of training, Ham was selected as the chimp whose life would be risked to test the safety of space flight on the ape body. On January 31, 1961, after several hours of waiting on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral, FL, 3 ½ year old Ham was propelled into space, strapped into a container called a “couch.”

Ham’s flight lasted approximately 16 ½ minutes. He travelled at a speed of approximately 5800 mph, to a height of 157 miles above the earth. He experienced about 6 ½ minutes of weightlessness. Incredibly, despite the intense speed, g-forces, and weightlessness, Ham performed his tasks correctly. After the flight, Ham’s capsule splashed down 130 miles from its target, and began taking on water. It took several hours for a recovery ship to reach Ham, but miraculously he was alive and relatively calm considering his ordeal. When he was finally released from the “couch” however, his face bore an enormous grin. Although interpreted as a happy smile by many people, Ham’s expression was one of extreme fear and anxiety. That fear was demonstrated again sometime later through an act of defiance. Photographers wanted another shot of Ham in his “couch.” Ham refused to go back into it, and multiple adult men were unable to force him to do so.

Unlike the rest of the space chimps, Ham was spared decades of biomedical research, but he did have a lonely existence for many years. He was transferred to The National Zoo in 1963, where he lived alone for 17 years, before finally being sent to the North Carolina Zoo where he could live with other chimps. He died 22 years after his historic flight into space, on January 18, 1983, at the estimated age of 26.

Ham’s flight is remarkable for many reasons. Ham not only survived the flight, but performed his tasks correctly, despite the rigors of space flight and the fear he must have experienced. His courage and heroism paved the way for Alan Shepard, Jr., the first American in space. But perhaps the most remarkable aspect of this story is often lost in all of the writings about Ham: he was a baby. If Ham had not been kidnapped and his mother killed, he still would have been nursing at age 3 ½, dependent on his mother for survival. “We should never forget that the individual strapped aboard that capsule 50 years ago today was, in fact, a child,” says STC Sanctuary Director Jen Feuerstein. “I can’t imagine a human toddler performing so admirably under the conditions that Ham endured. It says a lot about Ham’s character, intelligence, and bravery.”

Today we honor and remember Ham and all of the young chimps who suffered through the tragic deaths of their mothers and the transatlantic journey to the United States to become test subjects for space flight. Although Ham had no children, Save the Chimps is proud to have provided a peaceful retirement for other survivors and descendents of the space chimp program.

As Dr. Carole Noon once said, “They have bravely served their country. They are heroes and veterans.”

Click here to view the details of HAM's 18 minute ride through the heavens.

Thank you for your compassion and supporting the

work of Save the Chimps

(Story, graphics, and saved chimps courtesy of Save the Chimps)

Happy Caturday!

As I mentioned, I am suffering from craptastic sinus infection, so let's take a minute to reflect on some of the most blissful, cozy moments of my life:

Exhausted from the summer heat, but feeling loved
(How do I know it's summer? Why, look at Royal's dapper haircut!)

Lookin' good, buddy!

Daddy, you are disturbing us!

Oh, bliss...

Close-up of that bliss...
These photos make me feel so loved :)
(And hopefully Royal, too- I don't let just anyone sleep on my face! ;)

And here is yet a different morning!

And we were joined, as usual, by the bun (and her destruction)

Hope you have a cozy Caturday!

Belated Friday Fotos

Well, the streak has ended. Friday Fotos on a Saturday...I know- for shame! (To be fair, I have once again been attacked by a horrible sinus infection. Which really isn't fair at all.)

So, here are my faves (go here to choose yours):

This weather is just not okay!
My sister in CT has been experiencing what would normally be considered depression, schizophrenia, etc., but is actually what can only truly be explained as a proper response to the ridiculousness that some cities are experiencing!
If you don't believe global climate change is real, WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?

Love photos like this- symmetrical, colorful images of a normally average activity

Oh, Australia! :(

What's this?? An ode to my Daisy? Oh, it's just the Year of the Rabbit
(don't tell Daisy, please! :)

Wow- what an image of motherhood.
A breastfeeding break in a coal yard. Love it.

This photo terrifies me. You go to the grocery store, next minute you are under attack and bloody. You are in Afghanistan, but still...

I am obviously aware of the crazy events occurring in Egypt this week, but none of the photos of those events truly grabbed me. Would love to know if you find some provocative ones.

'Til next week!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wedding Decisions: Invitations

I may have mentioned this, but at the beginning of our planning process, RightHand and I decided what elements of the wedding were going to be most important to each of us, and thus more deserving of our resources (time and money). I chose photography (I had long been obsessed with this amazing wedding photography blog) and general decor (especially imagining the look of the tables at the reception, etc.). RightHand chose food and the honeymoon destination.

Well, little did we (okay, mainly I) know, everything comes to seem important as you choose it. Thus, we got caught up in the excitement of choosing invitations, but I think it turned out quite well.

In the beginning, we loved these, so so much (and basically anything and everything by Rifle Design):

But when we found it that it was about $2,000 for the custom illustration, we had to scale our dreams back a bit. (Ain't that always the way?)

I loved this kind of casual, adorable story-telling:

And the cute wording on this one:

(It says: "Alex and Meghan have been running partners, canine lovers, and beer connoisseurs…. Please join them…” )

So, I started searching the web for custom invitation-makers (there is probably a much fancier trade word for this- apologies!) in Atlanta. I found two, and the owner of one called me and lured me with a friendly attitude and the offer of a free consultation.

We went, and the rest is history.

Eberle Invitations has been absolutely awesome to work with, producing affordable (seriously! And relatively speaking...this is the wedding world, you know ;) actual CUSTOM invitations.

I can't share the invitations (they haven't been sent yet!), and please, please do not feel left out if you haven't received a save-the-date from us. We are having a very small wedding, and please know that you are still very loved. :)

Without further ado, here is the front and back of our save-the-date:

(Feel free to visit our wedding website- I worked hard on it! :)

(Return address edited to protect the innocent, but you can still see the cute birdy sitting on it :)

So very in keeping with our wedding feel and theme, and so "us". Perfect!