A few digital scrapbooking attempts...

Alright, so I'm getting better at this, but it's kind of hard and there is definitely a learning curve!  So far, the animals have been my muse, mainly because I have more pictures of them than anything else.  I'm wanting to make an engagement set, and a vacation set, but I need to find the right layouts first.


A week of firsts

I've finally discovered a hobby that doesn't completely overwhelm me!  Digital scrapbooking!  It really seems to be my speed...and I've figured out how to do it with Picnik, so that's great, because Photoshop in and of itself makes me want to bury my head under the covers and keep it there.  I can't do quite as much with Picnik as I can with Photoshop, of course, but I'm having a lot of fun with it.  And as much as I love manual scrapbooking, it really does overwhelm me.  So many choices, and so many events to scrapbook, and it takes soooo long.  And you have to go develop the pictures, and if you mess up, you're SOL.  I'll post some creations in the near future.

Thanks to a favorite dogblog of mine, Life with Dogs , I won my first ever online giveaway!  I won a glorious, seafoam green Expression Flexileash.  These aren't cheap!  I looked it up online, and they have a retail value of $39.99.  Not too shabby if I do say so myself.  Plus it's always fun to win stuff, and I never do.

This leash will probably be used primarily for Fiona, as she's the obstinate one who refuses to learn the command "heel".  You wouldn't think it to look at her, but to walk that dog on a leash is the equivalent of being pulled by a tow truck.  I can't count the number of times she's drug me across the parking lot.  Arley, on the other hand, was born to walk on a leash.  She walks in step with me without a problem, and we've never really had to train her.  Their personalities could easily be assessed by the way they walk on their leashes.  Headstrong and stubborn versus laidback and goes-with-the-flow.  Those are my girls!

 Another first this week: first real rescue!  Tomorrow, Shawn and I are headed to Effingham, Illinois to pick up Buster Brown, a gorgeous yellow Lab on his way to his forever home.  Buster is part of a "lab rescue train", he was adopted from Columbus, Missouri...all the way from Massachusetts!  In order to get him to the great Northeast, rescuers have put together a journey of legs that take Buster part of the way through his long journey.  We are leg 3 of Buster's journey.  The awesome rescue is helping to pay for the gas it takes to get there, so really, it's just a donation of time.  I saw the post on the Humane Society of Indianapolis's Facebook page, and I thought, what the hell?  I will feel a lot better about doing something like this than I would about sitting around all day.

Also, for those of you that aren't aware, the Northeast has much less of an unwanted animal problem because they have stricter spay and neuter laws in place.  As such, adoptable dogs and cats are in somewhat of a demand up there.  As such, devoted rescuers of animals help transport them to their new homes up north.  You might be familiar with Last Chance Highway, a mini-series featured on the Animal Planet that documented a similar thing.  Only that was on a much larger scale.

That said, I really, really appreciate the people in my life who don't chastise me for what I'm passionate about.  It's fine if you think I'm crazy, but please don't give me crap for it.  Please don't tell me how ridiculous I am.  There are many, many worse things about which I could be passionate. And no matter how trivial so much of the world deems it to be, to me, it's huge.  Helping even one dog get to its forever home gives me a high I can't describe.  Because being the voice for those who do not have one is what I believe in.  Because being the change is not just talking about it---but living it, too.  So that's why I'm doing it.  That's why I'm spending about five hours on the road tomorrow, devoting a huge chunk of my precious weekend to "just a dog" --- because, to someone in Massachusetts, he's more than that.   And I have barely even scratched the surface of animal rescue.  There are so many more people who do so much more than I've ever done--- who devote their lives to saving those "just dogs" and "just cats".  And to those people, I commend you, and hope to emulate that someday.

I'm going to explore this subject in more detail in other entry.   I'll also keep you posted on how our rescuers-down-under adventure goes tomorrow!

Meanwhile, my animals are being extra cute today.  So enjoy some puppy porn, and birdie porn, for those of you who fancy that sort of thing:

"I don't really like having my picture taken, so I'm gonna squirrel up my mouth and ruin the picture."

Archie is most proud of his vibrant colors when he's surrounded by the repetitive colors of fall leaves. And can I just say how proud I am of this picture?!

Always Looking Up: Adventures of Arley the Eternal Optimist

The neighbor's dog should bark more often, I'd get better pictures.
She really, really wants that ball.  But she is really, really too lazy to get it.


a list

1. I care way too much what other people think.
2. Everytime I sit down to write a blog post, I get interrupted.
3.  All I want to write about is dogstuff.
4. I can't stop thinking about moving to the country and starting a dog rescue. 

5.  No one reads this blog, and I prefer it that way.
6. I'm exhausted, and there just aren't enough hours in the day.
7. I'm too lazy to actually write a real post, so I'm just listing everything.
8.  I miss creativity via writing.
The end


Halloween Weekend

Quiet. Not a noise I hear all that often these days, and certainly not this weekend. Before I get into all that, I'm going to take a moment to savor the sheer...quiet of it all. Shawn has finally given up work for the evening and is passed out on the couch, beneath a blanket far too small for his long and lanky physique. I know this because his toes are peeking out of the end of it. We finally turned off the light next to Archie's cage, so he, too has retired to a peaceful slumber (and given us all a break from his squawking). Fiona and Arley are sleeping next to me, though they haven't retired for the night yet because they need to step outside and do their evening business. As for me, I have abandoned any hope of having a clean house with which to start the work week, and as such, have decided to put it off for another day and write a little.

We had a great Halloween weekend! Quite eventful, which I welcomed, for a change. Normally, I become quite grumpy if I don't get enough "me" time, which usually equates to "down" time. But we were busy and it was fun and the social obligations didn't feel as much like obligations, I just plain old looked forward to them.

Friday night we went to one of our favorite little pubs with one of our favorite couples: PJ O'Keefe's with Kelli & Nate. Love these kids. This particular pub is one that's in the suburbs of Indianapolis, so it doesn't necessarily attract a younger crowd (which is just fine with me as it was good conversations, drinks, and laughs we sought). Nevertheless, the four of us decided to dress up. I mean, how many times a year do we, as twenty somethings with lives and responsibilities, get to dress up in costumes and be characters of our choosing? So we dressed up. A sexy baseball player, a scarecrow, & Robin Hood & Friar Tuck all made their way into this suburban strip mall pub. And oh the looks we got from people! Lest I forget to mention it, we were four of the maybe five individuals in the whole place dressed up. Everyone else had likely come from work or was just boring and not lively and didn't get in the Halloween spirit. I like to think the looks we received were looks of jealousy, for being young, beautiful, and fun-loving. Pictures of youth that had passed them by...but it's likely that's a little dramatic.

Anyway, hours passed, we got used to the stares, and eventually it ceased to matter. We got drunk and we forgot the world existed for awhile, just us and our cast of characters, enjoying good drinks and good times with the greatest of friends.

...I spent most of the day Saturday trying to recover.   Meagan's little girl was with her daddy for Halloween, which sucks for her because she didn't get to take Amirah trick-or-treating, but was good for us because we got to get together and partake in weekend festivities together.  She and her boyfriend, Billy, joined us in our recovery efforts for the day, as they had also gone out the night before.  We went to see the last Saw movie, were pissed for a multitude of reasons.  The first being that our movie theatre wasn't showing it in 3D (big bummer!), the second being that the movie just all around was not good.  Gory, yes.  Realistic?  Not at all.  We spent more time laughing at the cheesy dialogue and terrible acting than we did actually being frightened or even repulsed.  Big disappointment there.

Later in the evening, Shawn and I had a couple of Halloween parties to which we planned to go.  The four of us got ready and began our night at Jenn's---taking pictures and bonding with her adorable new puppy.  We then went over to our friend Scott's house for a pretty badass Halloween party.  I don't recall a good portion of the night, though I do know that Shawn and I left for a brief period to go to another party we were invited to down the road---my friend and coworker Casey's house.  Good times all around.  Bonfires and beer and people in silly costumes---just can't quite go wrong there.

Back to Scott's house--- we played what seemed like several hours of flippy cup in which I determined that my flippy cup skills are significantly better than my beer pong skills, and that says nothing at all.  I reached a point in the night when I couldn't stomach the thought of anymore to drink and was, in all honesty, just very tired.  The good Friar drove Pocahontas and myself home, after which he fell asleep and Pocahontas and I ordered Cheesy Bread and had a very in-depth, drunken discussion about politics.  Ohhhh the memories.  It also occurred to me as I was typing this that I've spent the past four Halloweens with Jenn--- and our evenings usually always end in a similar way. 

I actually felt pretty good on Sunday.  I spent it lounging about in my pajamas, we also had our very first trick-or-treaters tonight!  Shawn even morphed back into Friar Tuck for the occasion.  Kinda fun, I must say!

I'll end on that positive note, and leave you with some pictures of Halloweens past:

 A witch and a Catholic school girl.  This was our sophomore year, also known as my first year as an IU student.  Epic. 
A devil and a bumblebee in Indy.  See that feather boa around my neck?  Jenn and Brian were still finding feathers from it a year and a half later.  Oops!
Our dogs hated us this night.  I loved that costume, though.  Almost everything was from Goodwill.  We enjoyed a fun-filled night in Broadripple shortly after this.  I became so inebriated that I attempted to pull the "do not park" covers from the parking meters and was threatened by a cop. 

Pocahontas, Firewoman, and Robin Hood ready for another fun-filled Halloween night. 

Happy Howl-O-Ween from my baby skunk!