Thursday, November 20, 2014

I saw something amazing......

It was advertised in the newsletter of the zoo..... Warhorse was going to be there for 30 minutes as an introduction to the show coming to our area in April of next year.

Knowing  it was a  “puppet” I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it blew me away. Having been around horses since I can remember, it didn’t take  more than a second to forget I was looking at a person-animated contraption. It moved like the real thing! It was incredible! You know it's not an actual horse, but the movements are so real.....



The sounds it made were dead-on, the movements that accompanied them, were a perfect match in timing as well as transferring what was going on. You could close your eyes, and see him move through the crowd, just by the sounds.... the sniff of discovering someone new, the little grumble of surprise when the person moved, the snort of anxiety when touched and the whinny that seemed to come from its toes....... awesome!!

I was too slow to catch the whole movement, but when "it" reared, everything was going in the right order, complete with the shifting of the hind legs to carry the shift in weight.



The crew was funny. They had a question/answer session with the crowd, and it was hilarious. They weren't making fun of anything, it was just the way they answered....
For example, they introduced themselves as follows..... (From right to left)


I'm the head, expression and sound starter since the horses' lungs are 3 times as powerful as a humans, we need all sets of lungs to make the sounds real. As I have direct sight of what is going on, I start most movements. You could say, I'm the brains.
Since I'm in the middle, I start the feet moving, in accordance of the head movements, so I'm the front legs, shoulders and take over the sound when the head runs out of air.
I'm the horses ass and also control the tail. I have to think real quick, because even though there is a certain script, that's not to say the the middleman starts out with the same foot every time... I also finish up the sound when the middle man runs out of air.

Since we have different tasks, different parts of our bodies cramp up, so at the end of the performance we are a pretty pathetic bunch.

They also explained that as a team, the puppeteers stay together, but the work is so exhausting that, to keep them healthy, there are 3 teams rotating  for the 7 shows per week. (In the actual show the horse also carries gear and a rider).

I'm not much for dressing up and "going to a show", but this coming April, you just may find me going to this.  I have the movie taped, and the "how it's made" documentary, but haven't had time (or inclination) to watch it... I have been waiting for winter, so I can bundle up on the couch, with a pot of tea........ It's coming...... I know it is.... Last night we had frost!

Even though this was the main reason for going to the zoo yesterday, I had to check up on my favorite animals. The zoo was nice and quiet, the weather was cold, but not so that it kept me from going. (It probably should have, because I haven't gotten warm yet, and I've been home for almost 24 hours. LOL!) There was no wind, it did not rain, but the sun didn't show its face either, and it was 42 degrees, so a little on the brisk side after all....... It was so relaxing though. I took the Ka, so I wasn't tired before I got there, but I still started off with a cup of tea, overlooking the safari basin. Believe it or not, I was the only one in the outdoor dining area, but it was so hot inside that I couldn't breathe.... Go figure! Than I started my trek through the zoo, with an eye on the clock so I wouldn't miss the WarHorse presentation. This was a little bit of downer, because I'm not used to keeping track of time when I'm there. Usually they have to drag me out, half hour after the joint closes......

The lynx kittens, aren't kittens anymore. They're nowhere near grown ups yet, but the fuzzballs I visited in June are definitely gone.

I didnn't get to see the wolves....  The night-cabins were closed, so I didn't think it was their choice, but so far, I haven't seen any of them since that first visit, when they were freaked out from the amount of people, and hiding in the back of the enclosure. I'll see them, I'm sure of that, I'll just have to keep going back..... probably over and over and over! :-)

The wolverines were ornery as ever towards eachother, but they were both outside. The male was playing, the female walked around close to the night hut.. I think it's the colder weather, and the fact that there were maybe 100 people in the zoo all day..... They still don't seem to like each other much, but the female at least came outside and at one point walked right up to the fence and looked up at me. So cool! At the end of their area, there is an elevated platform, with hanging chairs, where you can sit and watch (Or sit, spin and scream, depending on who's in the chair) and their night space is to the side of it. Every once in a while the female would go in for a bit, and the male would follow after a while, and they were fighting, screaming and hissing and you could feel the structure shake..... They were either having one heck of a row, or we're welcoming baby wolverines in about 6 months LOL.

AND, big news in the zoo was that there are, once again, baby lions! This time though, I think they got it right. The part of the path that goes by the lion enclosure was closed to the public. YEAH!!!! I was so happy to see that! They even turned off the loudspeaker in that area! The cubs were born on the 14th, and it is now the 20th..... I hope they make it this time. For their sake, I hope it's a mellow winter....

Well, that's it for me for now..... We have Sisterday planned for tomorrow, and I still have to sort the pictures I took yesterday. I think my camera is on the verge of giving up. It can't decide what shutterspeed it needs (2 pictures taken right after eachother, one is too dark, and the next is overexposed), and there are A LOT of out-of-focus pictures. (More than normal, and I DO have the antishake thingy set....) I hope it will hold out for a while yet. We just picked up the Neon from the shop, and there is NO way in hades that I will be able to afford a new camera in the next 2 years. This one shouldn't be bad though, it's only 2 years and a week old!

Have a great rest of the week, stay thawed, and don't forget to hug a loved one!

Hugs,
Pauli




Sunday, November 9, 2014

PARTY!!!

A personal one and a Birthday bash over at Ivy Scraps

She's turning 5 this month, and there's bunches of things going on


There's a bloghop, daily download and challenges, so there's something for everybody, and ofcourse there's the shop..... 
New things, pretty things, older things but mostly THINGS TO SCRAP THOSE PICTURES WE ALL HAVE :-)




I haven't scrapped seriously for a while now, and I'm not really happy about it. The computer problems have made it very difficult to sit and play without frustration, than there's the stress about juggling chores and aches-and-pains as well as jobhunting, getting the computer fixed and finishing the web-design course..... Should be fairly easy and straight forward. Get started, and don't stop until you're done, but somehow it doesn't want to work that way LOL.

I'll try and do better, on all fronts, but for now, I'm going to try and figure this computer out for about 30 more minutes, and than off to bed with hopes of at least 8 hours sleep. (I can dream, can't I?)

Don't forget to hug a loved one?

Hugs,
Pauli

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Apple! WHAT THE ....... ?


Well, finally got around to playing with the new and supposedly highly improved Mavericks, and I must say........ I am far from impressed!

It seems like Apple is ruled by a Microsoft reject these days. The features I used most, are no longer there, and IF they are there, they're no longer functional..... Case in Point: 
Dashboard: It used to be this nice see thru overlay of widgets, like currency converter, calculator, sticky notes, weather, college football scores and what have you.  The fact that it was see thru, made it functional. You could look at a list of figures that were on the desktop, and position the calculater in a way that you could see them, and add them up, or whatever you needed to do to them.
Sticky notes: You could easily copy what you needed on a sticky note, and deal with it at a later point. This was especially handy with research, because it worked just like a notepad.... a quick jotdown so you can use the information later.
Currency converter: Same thing, you're looking at different things on one page, and you can quickly and easily see if you're paying more or less than you thought. (This is especially handy for us, since we're trying to juggle expenses between currencies in which we get paid and currency we spend in))

The improved version, has a solid background, so you keep flipping between screens... At that point, you might as well keep a notepad handy. And I have one laying next to the keyboard as we speak!

The big surprise was that they completely took out the functionality OF THEIR OWN MOUSE AND KEYBOARD!!! The function keys no longer work! The sound up and down keys do all kinds of things, except what you'd expect, and the eject button...... has issues.  Awesome move there. 
The other thing that doesn't work anymore is the swipe function on the magic mouse. You used to be able to go thru finder windows, or any stacked part of programs (Safari, PDF's etc) and by swiping left or right on the mouse, you would move back and forth between folders/pages...... no longer, except within safari (sofar). So, in my humble and teed off opinion....... They went Microsoft! Put something new out there every couple of months, functional or not and please, never-mind the bugs, you'll get used to them......   However, the thing that they are very proud of improving, is synching between devices.... Whoopee! 
I agree, that  may seem very important, but what if you can't do what you need to on your primary device? At least you won't be able to do it on multiple levels? Interesting business plan.

I LOVE technology, I really do. I'm in awe of what is out there, and can't wait to see what's yet to come! But those personal computers..... It seems to me they're trying too hard to get something new out there even if it IS at the cost of the user.  I may sound old and grouchy, but can we have 2 versions of things? The crazy stuff for somebody who likes it, and the simpler things for others. Just give us options? 
I know that choices need room in an OS, but just an "either - or" option would be nice. I miss my function keys, I miss the swipe function (Swapping between several external drives in search of that one piece of information takes A LOT time if you have to use the back button!), and I miss that I can't do our books without having to find a calculator, and now have to print out the columns so I can tally them. There's probably features I haven't found, and will love, in time, but for now............. I'm not happy.

I am working at the computer a lot (a bout 90% of my play time is here, in one program or another), but I don't necessarily need to be in constant contact with the world, while freaking out when the internet quits, because I won't even be able to read a book!? Technology is awesome, but there is a limit. If technology does all the thinking, except for knowing which button to push to get a certain result.... were will we end up?  I catch myself when we don't have internet connection that I get fidgety, because there's something I want to look up, but can't. Or when we're in a strange city and we're trying to figure out if there's anything to do besides having a cup of coffee.... Or knowing Johnny-GPS is sending us the wrong way, but not having information that can save us a 3 hour detour because of it..... I get that. But being on a family outing and having everybody check mail every 5 minutes, and completely tuning out a conversation because they receive a text.... not for me, thanks! :-)

Well, that's it for me for today. I'm going to the store and figure dinner, maybe talk to the neighbor lady, definitely hug our fuzzy roommate, and after that....... who knows? I may pick up a book and read a while! LOL.

Don't forget to hug a loved one?

Hugs,
Pauli

Thursday, October 23, 2014

End of October already

We've been busy, flustered, frustrated, frazzled and what have you over the past few months, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and this time, I'm pretty sure it's not a freight train...... I hope.

The car is actually being fixed, as we speak! We got tired of the changing prices, estimated time of being done, and the "whatever" attitude at the dealer we had her, so I went looking "up north" where people are different, and you're more readily helped, even if you don't speak the local dialect.... We found this dealership in Eindhoven, and I explained what had happened with the car, and asked what they could/would do. To my amazement, he was very friendly, put up with my half Dutch half English car-part description and talked to me as if I was human.... Didn't dumb it down, didn't BS me, just told me what the going process was when they got a car in like ours. He quoted me 3 prices depending on scenario, and told me that just a second hand engine wouldn't solve our problem, and possibly would cost us more in the longrun, than putting ours through a check-up. So he gave us options.... unheard of! At the end of our conversation, I asked him how much difference there could be in the end estimate, and he sounded confused, so I told him, that where we had the car now, we were made to believe that we would have it back within a week or two, because they would be able to find a revision engine, in no time, than they needed time to put it in, and we'd be driving by the end of the month..... Once we got the car there, it dragged out to 4 months, with no idea where they would get a second hand engine, with a warrantee...... Not one that been gone thru, as they first promised, but one out of a wrecked car, and the warrantee being that it would start! and the quoted price of 4 to 600 Euro's fluctuated now between 8 and 1200...... He started laughing, and said he would put all we had discussed, with prices quoted, estimates and time frame (barring weird things happening, or parts not being readily available) in an email to me.  What do you know..... He gave a hoot.  I told him I would discus things with Mike, and we would get back to him. We set a tentative time and date he would pick up the car, so he could work it into the shop schedule, and I'd get back to him the next day.

The day before the car was to be picked up, we got a call from the garage we had it at, to tell us they had found an engine! SAY WHAT!? It came with a warrantee, as promised, and the grand total would be about 2500 Euro's, give or take a couple of hundreds. I told him that we had sold the car, and it would be picked up tomorrow, as I had already told him the week before and he started to argue that he had put time and effort in getting the engine, and it was a good engine, it came with the guarantee that it would start because it had run last week.... To which I told him that our engine had run up to the moment it quit, and that a guarantee that it would start, was no guarantee at all, and that with everything they had promised and renaged on, this was too little, too late.  So, he gave us a bill of a couple hundred Euro's for time spent and supposedly putting oil in the oil pan after they drained it to see if there were metal-shavings in it.  I couldn't figure out, if you are going to pull the engine, and replace it why you would want to replace the oil, if you're not even going to run the engine, but.... I didn't want to get slapped with a storage bill, so we  paid. When I came in to pay the bill, he told me that if he had known we were thinking of selling the car, he would have given us 200 Euro's for it.... HA!  It proved that it was exactly as Mike and I expected from this shysterbunch.... Drag it along, until you can pick up the car for next to nothing, fix it up, and sell it on.  NA-AH, no way, not anymore!  The funny part of it was, that he told me that "Even with a warrantee we would still have to pay labor if anything went wrong if we bought any car under 3500 Euro's. But we were the kind people that would always buy old cars, and try to get things cheap, so if we had sold the car, good luck finding another one that would run on our budget....." Nice, huh?  (By the way, if you're in this area, and looking for a car, give me a shout, and I'll tell you where NOT to go!)  We should have known better, because when we first got here, we looked at a car there, and when Mike told him the throttle AND the brake felt sticky on use, and the check engine light was on, we were told that "People like us, that had had a lot of old cars were more picky, and most of their customer would have never even noticed....... The upswing, in their eyes, was that they could fix it though, but it would add about 4 grand to the car! We ran, and should have kept running, but what do you do, if they're the only Chrysler Garage in a 150 KM radius.

On to better things though. Our new garage! They've had the car a little over a week now, and within a day, found out it wasn't the engine at all! It was the oil and water pump that were giving us problems. They also found one of the A-arms was broken. They did go thru the engine, and the engine is good. They give a 2 year warranty on parts and labor (so if anything goes wrong, we don't have to pay labor, or parts) and they have checked over the rest of the car for things to keep an eye on, and have found nothing....... YEAH!!!!  I don't know what it is about the cars here, but that's the second car that has a broken A-arm? In all our years driving in the states, we've never had ONE, not even on the trucks! (And I took the mustang successfully up dirt roads I tried later with the Jeep, and she wouldn't pull it.....) Must be all those darned turn-circles/round-a-bouts and tight corners..... :-) But, we should be good for quite a few years, after this.

Not sure if I mentioned it or not, probably not, it seems like forever that I was here..... Mike's brother had a stroke, so, even though we can't do anything about it or help in any way, you can't help worrying about him, and his family. Mike's sister has kept us posted, and last we heard, he was on his way to a rehab facility. Haven't heard from her in a while, so when I'm done here, I'll check in with her, see if all is going to plan.

Over the last month or so, the computer decided enough was enough, and couldn't remember how much free disc space it had... I took of about 300 Gigs of stuff from the 500 Gig drive, figuring it needed the breathing room and it came back within an hour that the disc was full, and it was going to shut down.... I emptied another 50 megs off, and it still showed it had 7 mb room available. We took it to the Mac store in Eindhoven, on our way to see my dad, and they couldn't figure out what was wrong, and why it was doing what it was doing, but they advised to upgrade to Maverick OS........... NOOOOOO!!!! I So didn't want to do that! I like everything about my Snowleopard, the way it works, the way it looks, the fact that the swipe mouse works between finder windows when I'm looking for things on one (or all) of my 4 external drives, and I've read nothing but bad things about Maverick, and you want me to voluntarily upgrade to it?  Well, no, not voluntarily, per se..... Mac is forcing the issue, by no longer putting out security updates, and by making nothing at all compatible with Snowleopard within 2 to 6 months........ So I upgraded, and I've been in computer hell ever since! It DID manage to find the 300 extra gigs on the hard drive, but it's a small price to pay...... Now, it won't charge the mouse, I'm arbitrarily being locked out of my drives, it didn't recognize one all together (I fixed it, but still) the passwords that were in keychain are the only ones it remembers, no matter how many times you change/update them, it keeps putting in the wrong ones, and they're already starting to push for people to upgrade to Yosemite......... It's like having Windows!  As an extra bonus.... I think the superdrive is going out. Every time I put in a disc, it sounds like you're trying to start a really grumpy old dirtbike! (Normally, I would say "beautiful sound", but not if it is being generated from a computer! LOL)

I feel like I've been godawful busy, although, if you ask me with what...... I couldn't tell you. I guess that's where the frazzled part kicks in. I have my check-up a week from Monday, and I haven't been feeling well, so I'm double in a panic. Perky scares the bejeebees out of me, because he is constantly sniffing and doing the mouth-open grimace face, on the spot where they took the first biopsy, and than he lays on it and purrs......... (not helping in the re-assuring department) and on top of it all, Mike has been having trouble breathing, and actually asked me to make a doctors appointment for tomorrow. He assured me it wasn't his heart, but he still feels as if there is a very heavy humidity in the air, and he isn't breathing well.

And I had to go thru this without my therapy of scrapping! Finally, over the last couple of days, I managed to play along in the Progressive Scrap challenge over at the Studio. Not on the regular schedule of days, but with A LOT of patience from Min, whenever I could play, but I got 'em done! Also entered the QP exchange. There were some REALLY NICE pages, so I hope they didn't change them before submitting them as QP. Go have a look in the gallery here




OH! I almost forgot!  Our KA got broken into..... Thankfully, they "only" broke the lock, so we can't leave anything in the car. (Haven't gotten an estimate on fixing it, we're a little short......)  We already had taken the stereo out of it, because it kept falling out anyway, so that's on the hatshelf of the coatrack in the hallway, so what they took, was all there was; the Fuelcard, and the parking permit for Market-day. Neither one is any good to anybody but us, because they are car/base/person bound..... If they were lucky, there was an old broken set of earbuds in the glovebox, but I don't think so.

If you're still reading...... thanks for hanging out with me! And at the same time, sorry for bending your ear this long. Writing the blog is totally opposite of sitting down and writing letters...... There, I think of all sorts of stuff I want to write down, and when I sit down to write come out with nothing as to here, I just sit down to drop a line, and keep everybody posted on what's going on in our little corner of the universe, and I won't stop yacking! LOL.

Well, I hope this found (and left) you in good health and spirit! Don't forget to hug a loved one, (twice if it's a fuzzy roommate) and take care. Hopefully I will be in sooner next time, with less to say :-)

Hugs,
Pauli



Wednesday, October 1, 2014

YUP! Still kicking :-)

Hi there,

Long time since I've been here, but I promise, I haven't been "idle" LOL.
Mike was off on vacation, and we had plans to go to the beach, Brugge, The Hague, take in some museums in Amsterdam, mainly The Nightwatch and coffee in a sidewalk cafe, maybe a canaltour.... you know, all the things the tourists come to Europe for. And than we found out that there were a BOAT load of activities planned for the 70th Anniversary of Operation Market Garden, and we replanned. We tried cramming every last little bit of things to do in the first week, but ended up doing only a couple, some because everything was going on at the same time, and we just couldn't catch it all, some because we couldn't get any informations as to where/when exactly and some, because we were just tired. LOL. I know Holland is not the biggest country in the world, but when you read: Round Canopy Parachute Drop in Veghel, it's still too big a territory to just drive 147 KM on the off chance that you're actually going to find them. The one group we thought would have an awesome programm to check out, was the worst in actually giving out information. The only people that actually got clued in to the when and where were the re-enactors. I hope the local area had better informaiton that was available to the public, otherwise, I don't think they got a lot of people visiting the site.

My brother-in-law was our main source of information, and he gave us some really good things to go see. One was the building of the Bailey Bridge over the canal in Son. We got up at 4, and were on site at 6. It was AWESOME!!! I caught some really nice pictures....



but I have to say, I'm not happy with the pages I made. The kit, (Boolands and the pictures deserve better, but somehow,  I don't have the vision to put the 2 together on one page. I'll work on them, and you'll see a better version, someday.

After Son, we were going to Groesbeek, they had the screens set around town, and a liberation museum, with a special exhibit on Market Garden. Well, when we got there, the town was not accessible because of Road Closures and the museum was open to invitees only, so that was a bust. After that, we were going to Grave to see the parachute drop at the bridge (according to the website) so we waited, and waited, only to get a text from my brother-in-law, how to get to the actual dropzone. We made it with seconds to spare, but it was cool to see them come down, and hear the roar of the old planes overhead..... A good day, but I could have done without the replanning. Saturday, we went to The Ginkelse Heide (Ginkel Heath) for a 1000 man round canopy parachute drop. It happened, but after we had left, because all indications were that they would not be able to make it. Oh well. Living where we do, there is a lot of history, and we'll just have to figure things to do on our own. 
It WAS a great week though. Saw a lot, learned a lot, and came away with a renewed intrest in my country's history. Not that I wasn't interested in history before, far from it, but having heard the stories my parents told us of what happened during that time, I never wanted to know anything about WW-II. In hearing Mike tell what he knew, without the "personal" interest, other than that his father was in the Navy in the Solomon Islands, and his stepfather was in the Army Air Force, stationed in England, and visiting the War Cemetery in Margraten and Bastogne has raised some questions I want answers to. 

Week 2 was to be "my" week of things to do, but we were both so tired, we went to Hilvarenbeek, Safari Park Beekse Bergen on Tuesday. First off, we sat in a traffic jam for an hour and a half, so we made it there, instead of at 10 when they opened right around lunch time. We took the boat tour first. We thought, to get a feel for what we wanted to go see more in depth, but it turned out, what you saw from the water, was not accessible by foot. It was cool though, so no regrets :-)  We took the walking tour back to the top of the park, and were debating if we wanted to expose our little gumdrop to having animals around it. Especially after we saw this sitting outside the gate. 




Mind you, the lady driving this, either can't drive worth a darn, or the animals use it for batting practice.... Either way, I'd prefer not to put ours in the same predicament.....  I DID like the paint job on it though. Once again proving my point, that whatever you put on a KA it always looks good! LOL

we were too late to do the bus tour, which would have put us out there with the grazing animals, so Mike swore to take me back in spring! I am going to hold him to that. Although I think we saw most of the animals that were on the walking tour, I want to spend a little more time, and do the bus tour. It's really cool. You park the car within the grounds, the gate to the car safari, is right off the parking lot, so you can do the car safari, at any time during the day (or twice, like my niece did) the boats afari and the bus safari are also included in the ticket-price, and there is no limit how many times you do what. So after you walk all day, you can take the bus back to the gate, or you can take the bus out to the bottom of the park, and the boat back up, in any possible configuration, only limited by the time you have in the park. It was fairly quiet, with only a couple of groups of kids going thru with such speed, I don't think they saw half of the animals. The areas where the animals are are quite natural, and sometimes you really had to sit and wait to see them, but it was nice to see happy animals, doing what they're supposed to. (like this lioness)



What was funny about the lions, was that a worker started work on the bridge right next to their area, and the 3 lionesses really got on the alert. 2 were coming in from one side, while the third boldly walked in plain view. Even the cubs were in stalking mode.... That's when you realize that they may be used to people, but they're not tame, by any means.... It was very impressive the see the change come over them form lazy overgrown house-cats, to full-on predators.

I have more pictures, but again... no Mojo to do them justice, so you'll see them, over time.

Friday we went to Leuven, with my sister and brother-in-law. First to see where they lived when they were stationed there for his work, and than to see the town. We have to go back, is all I can say! It was such a neat city. It's not small, but for some reason it has that small town feel to it. People are friendly, and very patient about tourist wandering about from one end of the sidewalk to the other, stopping at the oddest spots to either read a plack, guidebook or take pictures..... For lunch I had mushroom/beer soup....... I know, it sounded just odd enough for me to want to try. I need to find that recipe!

Saturday, we did nothing, because Mike had to go to work on Sunday (bad planning, I know) but even though it wasn't the "doing something every day, seeing things" vacation I wanted, it was good. It is very easy to reign in my wanting to go places, when I see Mike walk in pain, or see him so tired he is asleep at 8 at night.... maybe next year, if we can get into a healthy eating mode on the budget we have.

I DID manage to squeek by and get the Build A Book challenge done over at The Studio. As  promised, it has its own page on the blog. I didn't get to pick up any of the free kits, or even look at the freebies throughout the site, but that's ok. They'll have another birthday next year! LOL

It's time for me to get back to studying. I only have access to the exam until January, and I got stuck on the 5th lesson of 23, so...... I gotta do it. Don't get me wrong, I want to. It is very interesting, and if I can possibly make it a job, and work from home...... I'm home free! 

So, for now, I'm signing off. Glad I could talk to you for a bit. I have missed it, but there seem to be a limited set of hours in a day, and I'm chronically short!

Don't forget to hug a loved one?

Hugs,
Pauli


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

It's raining like a Banshee........

and I am LOVING it!

The last 2 weeks have been absolutely WAY to hot. Since my internal thermostat got busted, it can never be too cold to keep me happy. It's been close to 90 degrees in the house, so I've gotten into the habit of leashing up our fuzzy roommate and opening every window possible. This is how he spends most of his days......


He doesn't seem to mind, so it works for all of us. This side of the house doesn't get any sun till about 2 or 3, and until it does, that front door is wide open, unless there's heat coming in, but oddly enough, that isn't very often. After about 1 O'clock or so he usually wants off leash anyway to catch up on his other duties, like eat and sleep. LOL

 We had another fire across the way. They caught the little jerk that set them last year, and this one looked very much like them. I hope they at least picked him up and grilled him. The only person on the block that had NOT had his hedge burnt yet, took all of it out last Tuesday. I guess to eliminate more  damage. I think it's sad, but....... I kinda feel bad about this, that garden is sooooooo beautiful, it's a pleasure to sit in my chair in the morning and enjoy my coffee and enjoying the view.  It's also a lot less private for all concerned though. Used to, if I was in a hurry, I dared make the trip from the bedroom to the bathroom (thru the livingroom) after sun up, but now....... I get dressed first!  I'm sure it's the same for them, because we pretty much are able to see what's for dinner LOL.

Well, this doesn't look good! I started the first half of this post about a month ago..... Weather update.... it is cooling down nicely, thank you :-) but there is a catch to that. The geese have been traveling south for the last 3 weeks, and in driving to base last week, I noticed a lot of odd colored leaves. It's too early for fall yet according to the calendar, but I think Mother Nature may have other plans.

Mike has requested leave for 2 weeks in September, and boy, does he need it! The poor guy is so tired when he gets home, he's in bed by 8.30 and asleep at 8.31.  Starting September 14 they are having re-enactments of Operation Market Garden all over the area, so we're planning on doing a little bit of driving, and a whole lot of enjoying! There will be ample pictures to choose from, so I should be catching up on my scrapping thru October LOL.

The Ka is all fixed up, and street legal again, and now we're just waiting on word that the garage has found a descent engine for the Neon. Thankfully, we don't have to scrap it after all. As soon as we have all the details, dad will help us with the balance, but the rate things are going right now..... we'll have more than enough time to scrape the money together ourselves. It's going on 3 months now, and they have no clue where to find a replacement engine that comes with a warranty and has less than 200000 km on the clock. It's a drag to have to wait this long, but on the other hand..... we have time to save :-) and with the KA running, Mike doesn't have to leave the house at 5 to b at work at 8, and be off work at 4.30, to get home at 7....... So, things are looking up!

I've been kind of busy, with lots of stuff. Studying, keeping house (more or less), adjusting our diet to a more healthy one while trying to stick to a v e r y tight budget, and I managed to get a little scrapping done too! LOL.

To update this update..... It is now, once again, quite a while later than at the first 2 parts of this post. Internet has been absolutely impossible. It will connect, to immediately drop the connection. Provider states I "just" have to reboot the box. This means, turning of everything that is connected to it (tv, telephone, every computer that uses the wifi, dvd-recorder and x-box) as well as disconnecting them from the internet, so they don't immediately try to connect when everything is back on power, unplugging said appliances THAN, disconnect everything from the box, and finally, disconnecting the box from the power, not just turning it off, but pulling the plug from the wall. After this, wait 10 to 15 minutes, and reverse the proces. And you want me to do that everytime the internet goes out, which means by the time I'm done connecting the last thing, I can start unplugging from the beginning?! I really don't think so! It is a known problem, that has been going on since end of june, with not repairdate estimate given, and steadily getting worse. I politely asked the guy in customer service, whether I could pay part of the bill, since they were only providing part of the service, and (silly me, I was surprised) got hung up on..... Go figure.
They are waiting for the city to upgrade to fiber optic before they fix any of the bugs, but by than, we can also get one of the other company's that DO have consistent service,( and refused to service this area because they wouldn't be able to do right by the customers because of the bad cables......) to come in and provide service. Mike said to hold off, and see if/how de service improves after the upgrade, but I'm not sure. I guess I should give them the benefit of the doubt. You can't fix what you can't control, but than, they are the only game in town, know it, and charge accordingly.... 

Fire update...... They caught the little creten! It WAS the same kid that started the fires last year. He had gotten out of whatever custody they had him in 4 days before the fire...... I'm not sure the rehabilitation was successful.....

Vacation update: Mike is off. We went to my sisters for her birthday and since they were in town, we went by the parade of WW-II vehicles on their way to Nijmegen for their part in the re-enactment of Operation Market Garden (or, as the website for the festivities is called OMG2014) I have to admit, it's the easiest website to remember in a long time! LOL Tomorrow, we will be going to a Round Canopy Parachute drop at the bridge in Grave, but first to a big screen photo walk in Groesbeek, This walk has pictures from 1944 posted on billboards at the spot they were taken. It will be awesome to see the now-and-than images. And Saturday we're going up to Nijmegen to see the Waal Crossing with DUCK's (the land/water vehicle, not the bird) which will be also very interesting to see. They had one in the parade on Sunday, but it was on a trailer. Sunday, we're going to plan the second week of his vacation and the 28th it's back to work.
To make time management even more interesting, I signed up for Build A Book, over at The studio, and decided to do the hardest book I started on. Boo's. Our little fuzzy-butt-rescue. It has a deadline, and I need that for this one. SO, after October 1st, I will post the whole thing on it's own page, here on the blog.  The studio has a birthday, and there are all kinds of extra challenged, and I think a couple of great sales coming up, so go take a look, and join the fun! They'll be happy to see new faces, and show you around :-)

And now, I am actually going to hit PUBLISH on this puppy!

Don't forget to hug a loved one, be they fuzzy or human :-)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Tomorrow, the last 38 will come home.....

These last 3 days, I have been sitting in front of the TV, not knowing if I was sad, mad or both....
I think I'm both. News keeps calling this an accident. I wish they would call it what it was..... An attack. A senseless "see what we can do" attack, costing the lives of people that had done nothing, except book a flight.

I am sad, when I see the list of people. Whole families, wiped out.... for what? To prove a point?
My brother in law lost 2 colegues, my nieces boyfriend lost a fellow student, there are 2 families in one street who planned a vacation together.

Wednesday, when I saw the ceremony at Eindhoven Airport, I got chills, and I felt proud because it showed the country I love, is still the way it was when I left, even though it doesn't show on a daily basis. The care taken with the caskets, the protection from media intrusion of the family members.... and than, at the very end, the long line of hurst, traveling on a deserted freeway, with people along side the road, cars pulling over in the oncoming travel lanes to pay their respect. That's when it hit home, that there would be at least 160 more hurst following them....... and tomorrow, the last 38 will make the trip. According to the news, there may be more victims, but for now.... tomorrow will be the last flight in for a while. I hope identification will bring a little closure the the families and my thoughts are with everybody who lost loved ones.  Don't forget to hug yours?


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Quick update.........

Scrapping: Lots to play with, little to show, but I'm working on it! I promise!
Posted the Point In Time heritage challenge at the Studio 




Finished the page for One Step Beyond #18


Have to Contact a couple of designers I haven't heard from for a while......

Cars:  No change in grumpyness, no word from the welder, so we may still have to scrap the KA, and the Neon needs a new/refurbished engine after all. We're working on things, but I think Mike will be taking the train to work for a while........ The monthly bill for getting to work will go to160 Euro's (from 90$ combined gas and insurance)

Jobhunt: I ordered businesscards :-)  It's considered normal to add one to your resume/coverletter...... No clue why, because barely anyone wants snailmail anymore. It's all online forms, so the HR-bots can go thru the applications first, but I figured, I can carry them, and when needed I don't have to write my information on a napkin..... Showed the concept to my sister, and she said it "is me", so I hope that's a good thing...... (I'm not ready to hear the answer, so I didn't ask the question! LOL)

                                    

Downloaded a bunch of "helpfull hints" for over-the-hill jobseekers and some pointers to defeat the HR-bots and I'm working on translating my skills into something that is marketable here. 

Perky: Is currently "out like a light" and holding down the mouse with his paw, while his head is leaning on my wrist, so if the typing is lopsided....... not my fault, blaming the cat! ROFL.

Weather: Hot, humid, buggy and miserable. Thunderstorms were promised but failed to be delivered, so we're in for more of the same tomorrow..... thank god I don't have to go anywhere, so I can hang out under the cold water....... 

That's all I have to say....... time for bed:-)  I'm not saying anything about sleep, that would just be silly, but I can hope for it, can't I .....? 

Don't forget to  hug a loved one!

Hugs,
Pauli

Sunday, July 6, 2014

I'm torn

between "Happy Independence Day", and "Holy Crap, the year is half over with!"

Did I make coffee come out the wrong way? I did my job! ROFL

All kidding aside........ It's been a  heckuva year sofar. And the good news just keeps coming!
On the 28th, I made this page

 

Can you guess? YUP! I have a KA again........ I took the picture off the add, because we wouldn't be able to get the car before July 1st, because the lady that was selling is, still needed it until than.  So, Monday, we were surprised to be able to pick it up, but so happy. Until life insisted on putting in its 5 cents, that is.

- It started with taking the bus to base so we could pick up the paperwork, showing that we could even own a car (new rule). We stood at the gate near the busstop for 30 minutes, and nobody came to let us in. We didn't have a walk-in pass, and even though the office we needed to be in is run by the same people that man the gate at the front of the base........ you get it. Not interested. At this point we have 2 options..... Go meet the sellers, and take the argument when we go register the car on base, or miss the appointment by walking about 3 miles around the base and 1 mile back to the office, to turn around and do it backwards before meeting up another mile down the road at the post office..... No brainer, we kept our appointment.
- At the post-office the lady got a big smile from ear to ear, when she happily informed us, that we needed to go about 30 miles up the road to the import office......(new rule as of January 2014)
Mind you, I had called to base when we started looking for a car on the procedure, and nowhere in the conversation was it mentioned NOT to go to the post-office. As a matter of fact, I asked if there was a particular post-office this needed done at, and they said "as long as it's a Brunssum office, you're ok. They know what kind of paperwork to send up"
To cut short the transaction, we went to base to pick up the paperwork, because this was a whole new thing for us, and we had no way of coming back real quick to get it, if they played hardball. While there, Mike asked what the going to the import office was all about, and was told that it had been in place since the beginning of the year, but he didn't get more information.
- So 3 of us piled in the Ka, and her dad followed to base, and from there, he was the leader to where we needed to go. Getting to the counter after getting a number was almost immediately, but once she looked at the paperwork, she said, "I'll have to send this to headquarters, and when they get it back to me, I can finalize. I'l have to tell you though, that it will take at least half an hour, and sometimes 4, so if you want to leave, I'll call you when it's back" SAY WHAT!?
We had been running since we left the house at 6.30, and it was now 10.05. We didn't have our own transportation, so we really didn't have anywhere to go, and the seller didn't really want to leave and come back either, meaning..... we took a seat. She started shifting things around she had planned, her dad started conducting his business for the day, and Mike and I just sat and steamed :-) When we bought the previous KA, we went to the post office, showed ID, paid the 14 Euro's and walked out within 5 minutes..... went to base for another 10 minutes for their end of the papertrail, and we were good to go.

Finally, at 12.30 we got the go-ahead, with a twist (what else, right?) We only got part of the new paperwork, the rest would be sent in the mail. So, we wouldn't be able to register it on base until we got the whole darn code, we thought, and that started a whole new line of "not happy" in my head, but, at least we could take our car and go home, so I didn't say anything.
Mike wanted to stop by base, and see how that would work, and if we needed to do anything.... there was! The APK that was valid till January of 2015, needed to be redone, but on the upside, they could register it on base with the VIN#, and they didn't need the whole registration# either, just the plates, so we made an appointment for wednesday morning, and drove across base to get the APK done. It had been cleared, without any warnings till January, so what could possible come up!?

How about "Everything"!? It was rejected, and we were told the scrap value, as it sat on the lift, was about 200 Euro's. Not quite what you want to hear if you just paid out a good chunk of change. we were advised to take it back to the dealer, and when we said we bought it from a private party, they plainly told us we were screwed. So good to hear at that point!
They showed us where the A-arm was broken on the left, and the firewall was rusted thru on both attachment points, IF we wanted to put more money in it, but their advise was to basically throw it away, they could order the A-arms and put them on in about 2 hours, and that would run about 300 Euro's (Parts and labor) and they could give us the name of a welder, that could probably fix it, but they didn't know what he would charge. We took his number, called him, were asked to call back, left a message, and haven't heard back yet, so I'm thinking he's not going to do it.

Thursday, we went parts and service shopping....... A-arms range from 72 (parts store) to 297 Euro's (garage, excluding labor) EACH! Guess which ones we got!?  We also went by 2 garages, to see what the welding would cost....... Unbelievable, I think I'm going to re-school for welder! I can work 1 week a month, and come away with a pretty darn descent income!   One didn't even look at it, and said it would run about 6000 to do, the other looked at it with the car sitting on the ground, and him crouched behind the tire, and said it would run "at least 3000, because they would have to take the chassis off the frame, drop the drivetrain, get the peace of metal, and that would take 3 days, and he couldn't miss his welder for that long......" HUH!?  I almost suggested that I would come in and take it apart, if it would save about 2000 Euro's, but figured, why bother? Obviously, nobody is into fixing, just throw it away and buy new..... Riiiiiiiight, not on this family's income, you don't!

Monday, we have an appointment with a welder/mechanic, to see what he thinks, and he already said he would put it on a lift and take a good look, and we were invited to come and see what he did. :-)
(My kind of mechanic)

Barring weird things happening, this will take care of big ticket items for a long time. Brakes are good, and even if they need replacing, it will take us about a day to do it. The new tires are already on it, o we're good there for at least 2 years, the exhaust sounds good, but if/when it needs it, we can take care of that too. Engine will get a "look over" this thursday, I'll tune it up once the welding is taken care of, and Mike said he'd give me a detail-job as a belated anniversary gift........ so she'll even look pretty!
Even though the welding was not the reason it was rejected in APK, if I can see daylight where there shouldn't be, and it is anywhere near the engine, on the frame or where the wheels-are-attaching-to-the-chassis.......... I think it needs done now, not next year, when it IS the reason the car fails the APK. with 64000 KM on the clock, this car can be ours for quite a long time. It just needs some TLC, I just hope we have the coins to put into it.

Wanna hear some good news? The Neon has been at the garage for more than a week! I got worried, because they were going to call  before they dropped it off, and it has been almost a month, and I hadn't heard anything, so I called the garage where they were going to send it for information, because the insurance didn't know where the car was. The way things go here, you have maybe 3 days that the car can be on the lot, before they start charging storage fees....... So I had a little bit of a tizzy when he said they had had it for so long...... (once they start on a car, they don't charge storage, because it is considered "being worked on") The gentleman in the office said, they pulled the oil-pan, and there were no metal shavings in it,  and although he did agree that it does not sound good, they couldn't pinpoint where the  noise was coming from, so we're going up Monday to see what is going on there........  we were happy that it didn't look like the engine was completely gone, but on the other hand...... what's it going to cost, and can we afford to? Who knows..... As Mike told me when I was litterally scratching my arms raw from worrying....... Lets see what they say, and figure things out from there. It may be something we can do ourselves, or something that's not really involved/expensive to fix, once located.  I'll keep you posted.

Deep down, I'm still doing a happy dance about having "my" KA back, but right now, it's out-shouted by my panic about the cost. :-)

Worrying calls for relaxation, and relaxation calls for 1 of 2 things......... Kitty-hugs or scrapping. Since Kitty abandons me for the bed after 10PM, and I haven't really slept for 3 days....... Scrapping it is!

I played at the Studio in the Desktop challenge....... Man! I had forgotten how much fun it was :-)



However, Mike said he didn't appreciate staring into his face at 5.30 this morning........ go figure! 
I LOVE staring at his face at ANY time, and I even cleaned up my desktop, so I can actually SEE his face! Maybe that scared him, not seeing 300 icons thrown everywhere on the screen. He was probably worried that the computer fried.... YEAH! That must have been it! ROFL.

I've played a little with Boo's kits. Both are out by now, but for One Step Beyond #18, I'm trying to find something, and not succeeding, so I'll have to take a picture before I can call that one "done".

Pages below are made with In Her  Dreams.





I've been so tied up in knots, that I completely forgot to tell you that the wolf area opened up to the public last week!
Members could come in Friday night at 6 to check it out but I wasn't sure if the rest of the zoo was open too, so I took the bus up, around 3 and spend most of my time at the Lynx habitat. They had 3 cubs end of May, and they were soooooo cute! I was the only one up there for most of the time, because it was of and on raining pretty good, but I didn't care. One person came up, making a ruckus, and I was just about to ask why he was even up there, since he obviously wasn't interested in seeing the animals, when faith intervened....... I know, I'm awful, but I almost laughed, when he was being extremely obnoxious, talking loud, bumping me, because he wanted a better angle for his tripod, and he lost his solarcap off the camera. It went straight down into the pen, and before it had bounced once, 2 of the older males were on it. Stalking, slapping it around, testing if it tasted good...... And that's why I always have a scrunchie around my camera string and on my wrist. IF my hands don't want to work, atleast I won't lose the camera. I kinda felt bad, because it looked an expensive piece of equipment, and I DO believe it had a lens attached to it, but ...... I guess you had to be there. He left, cussing up a storm, but I didn't think he went to get a keeper to get it out, so I went and found one, only to be told that the keeper for the Lynx already left for the day, and the earliest they would be able to get it out would be Saturday, or Monday...... Nice to know that there wasn't enough interest to keep the animals from cutting themselves on glass to get somebody in there pronto...... You would think, if you don't do it for the customer, get it out of there for the animals?  Along with everything else, it DOES make you wonder what it takes to have a zoo.

Mum Lynx had a day-job  keeping up with the little ones. One was bound and determined to get in the water, and after pulling him off the edge 3 times, she got tired of it, and swiped him back on the grass with her paw, before picking him up, and dropping him on the farthest side of the habitat, only to come back to find these to pranksters doing the same thing..... After I went hunting for a keeper, I decided to go visit my wolverines until it was time for the wolf habitat to open. The park being almost deserted , because of the rain, I thought, they were a little bit more active than I'd seen them in a while. The female didn't really come out of the den, but the male was running, exploring and, something I had no idea they did.... climbing trees! I sat at the edge of the landing, in a hanging chair, just enjoying the crap out of the peace and quiet, when the chair began rocking like someone was shaking it. Looking up, there's a keeper standing there, with a big grin on his face..... "Park has been closed for half an hour ma'm...... I'll escort you out." But not until after he sat there watching the Wolverine with me for about 10 minutes :-)  I truly believe that the keepers care about the animals, but management needs to get their act together, and let them do their job the way it's supposed to be done, to the benefit of the animals in their care.....

It did confuse me though, because of the night opening, so I hung around in the courtyard to see what was going to happen, and at 6 I happily went back in with the rest of the membership people....   By 7 I had a global look at the new habitat, but with the amount of people, all sparring for a better view than the neighbor, but not being very neighborly about it.... I had enough, Drank a cup of tea while enjoying the Giraffe baby and took the bus home. Happy, tired, soaked... (Did I tell you it rained like a Banshee? LOL) and full of plans to come back soon, and look at the new things in peace....  The wolves are 2 year olds from the Zoo at my sisters place, so I had to tell her to come see them :-)  They're 6 brothers, so they are already a pack, of sorts, but they were so overwhelmed by the amount of people that they were huddled in the corner. One came over to the window while I was standing there, but he left pretty quick after I hit the shutter. They had only been in the habitat for a couple of days, and by 7.30, I overheard one of the keepers tell another one that they had admitted 2700 people to the zoo since 6PM, so I figured they were stressed. I quietly hoped for a little more rain, so they would get some rest..... 



Hope you are having a wonderful Independence Day weekend and don't forget to hug a loved one?

Hugs,
Pauli

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Just when you think it's safe to breathe......

Life hits the fan!  You would think we would know by now, or at least have an inkling when things go smooth not to think we're out of the woods LOL.

But..... we did, and Boy,weren't we!
We went on a quick trip into Germany last week to check out the newish Exchange on the base in Spangdahlem. We looked around and weren't all that impressed with the way the store looked, the employees, or the empty shelves, but we DID have an awesome lunch...... TACOBELL!  I know :-) but on a continent where Mexican food consists of tortilla chips, TacoBell is like a little slice of heaven. When we came out of base, we needed gas, so we went looking for the nearest town with a gas station, only to get the "CHECK OIL" light. We stopped, and checked, but it was full, so we sat for a bit, checked it again, and it still registered full, so we started the car, to be greeted by a really odd noise. So we turned it off again and called the insurance roadside assistance people. This was not an easy task. Not because the number wasn't readily available, or my phone wasn't working right, but because this girl couldn't figure out how to dial the number! LOL. You see, instead of 0 for international, and the country code, lose the first 0 for the city code and dial the rest of the number as given, they somehow managed to have a + in front of the number.......... I have looked at this since we came home, but I figured it just meant you needed an extra number if you called from out of country, never realizing that you actually DIALED the + and the number! DUH!

I sometimes really wished somebody would write a manual for people that haven't been here for a while. Since I speak the language (kind of) and grew up here, people assume I know these things! :-)

Well, once I figured that little bit of information out, we got a tow to Bitburg. Mind you, we called around 1, the tow got there at 4 and by 5.30 we finally got the ok to rent a car. At that time, we were told, it was not sure whether we would get the car home, or whether we would have to either get it there on our own dime, or had to turn it over to the insurance, in Germany. Mind you, we're now looking at walking 2 miles to the carrental place, 20 minutes before they're gone for the weekend, and a bunch of shit in the car that we're not sure of whether we ever see it again...... So we took my purse and Mikes tools out of the trunk and started walking. When we got to the carrental place, we found out that the car they had booked for us would cost us 150! Euro's for 24 hours. We also found out, that we would have to pay for it, because it was not covered in the insurance, even though it stated on the paperwork, that "repatriation of car and occupants" was a covered benefit. That was something we would have to clear with the insurance broker, we were told, but if we wanted the car we better decide fast, because it was already past closing. So we took the car, went back to base for more TacoBell, and started for home.
On the way, instead of smalltalk, we were figuring things out.... We would have to take the car back to Aachen, but we had transport home, because the train that runs thru our town, comes from there. We had no idea if the trip would cost 3 Euro's per person or 30, but we were in no position to check, so that went on the list of "to do's before the rental goes back"
We needed to go by base and pick up things Mike would have a heck of a time getting home on the train...... also on the list.
We needed to get cat-food (they don't sell the dry food here in town, and let's face it, me, carrying a 10 pound bag home on the train after which would come a 15 minute brisk walk, was just nog going to happen, so...... added that too.
There were a couple more things, so by the time we hit the house, we had a plan of attack for Saturday, and a train ticket for Mike to get to work on Sunday, and we would do more thinking when we heard back from the insurance (Which turned out to be Wednesday afternoon!)
Wednesday, we found out that the car would come home, but there was no indication who would pay for it. This needed to be decided by the insurance broker, who had left the office by the time the roadside assistants people called, and who will not be back in the office until TUESDAY! The Roadside Assistant lady did tell us, that it could take up to 3 weeks for the car to get here, so at least we knew that we would have to start saving our 1 and 2 Euro coins, so Mike could buy his way to work for that time frame..... (It's amazing what looks like progress, sometimes.....)
The paperwork from the insurance states that we were supposed to be able to get replacement transportation, but that question will have to wait with the one about who pays for things, until the insurance broker is in the office. I left a message on wednesday, didn't hear back from them, so sent an email on Thursday, and will call again on Tuesday at 9.30 when they get back in. (I have to make sure I call between 9.30 and 12.30,  or between 1.30 and 4.30 to catch anybody, but they usually just let it go to voicemail, and try to call back about 10 minutes before they close, so if you don't pick up, they're off the hook from calling back)  They've been good (as good as insurance will be) when we've had a claim, but it's unbelievable how much they don't know on things they really should, and how you have to hunt every little bit of information down, to get anything done. There's no volunteering of information, at any time, on anything. If  you don't think about it, you'll never know, unless you need to. This makes for some very interesting turns of events!

So that's been our week..............
Saturday, I turned Grump, and scrapped all day. Mike was looking for cars (IF we need a new car, I want my KA back!) and I got a lot done on the kits I was running behind on, so I will post those below. And than............ there was dinner! I'm not a bad cook, just a clueless one, obviously LOL. I have been wanting to make a quiche, ever since my sister bought me a springform. So yesterday, I felt brave, and started..... The spinach didn't work out, because between the paper and rocks that were in the frozen package, I knew, if I put it in the quiche, I wouldn't eat it anyway, so I unceremoniously dumped it in the garbage, and happily soldiered on with the rest of the recipe. I am a grown-up, I can adapt! HA! That thought only lasted until I poured the eggs in the dish, and it came out the bottom as fast as I poured it in at the top. Obvioulsy, you CANNOT replace a solid crust with potatoewedges!  So, it ended up being a not so bad ovendish, that had no particular structure what-so-ever. If I had just started out with throwing everything in a square dish, I would have been done about 2 hours faster LOL.

YUP! I'm done! Thanks for sitting thru this conversation, and if you  need a tylenol for that starting headache..... I totally understand! :-)

For the eye-candy and (hopefully) a treat after reading this far:

Final Day page of the Progressive Scrap over at The Studio.

This picture was taken thru a porthole at the aquarium. I was so happy it came out this way. One of the few that were completely in focus. I'll have to get some pointers from my sister how to get thru 5 Inches of plexiglass and still have everything clear in the pictures :-)

Boo's One Step Beyond kit #17. Coming out today.


This HAS to be my favorite picture of Jesse. There's just something about the whole thing, that makes me smile when I look at it. I'm sure you'll see it go by many more times......

Boo's kit Summer Whispers.

Two of my loves on one page....... Mike and Iris' :-) I'm not sure what happened to the color of the Iris when I merged the layers, but they were NOT this blue. They were more the color of the one on the bottom, but a little less bright. Sometimes, (and I'm sure its me "not getting something" about the settings) photoshop just seems to have a different idea what the end-page should look like than me. LOL

Because of You is the name of BooLandDesigns kit.

Boo's One Step Beyond #16, combined with page 18 from her  Photo-album series.

I hear a vacuumcleaner calling............... I wonder if it will stop if I don't react? Probably not! LOL

Don't forget to hug a loved one!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

What do you feed your pet?



I was doing a check on petfood recalls, after seeing an article on "Recent recalls", which turned out to be "not so recent" by the way.......   Somewhere buried on the USDA Website, I found this little bit of information that scared the stuffing out of me........

NOT KIDDING!!!!
WARNING: If you are a "visual" person, and kindhearted, you  may want to skip this post. It is not a pretty picture! I just don't think it is common knowledge, and it shocked me into posting this, just in case you want to know/think you should know, but didn't. 

I have to admit, I didn't want to know, I'm not happy I know, because it's one of those things you can't "un see" and I wish I could forget, but for the sake of our fuzzy roommate..... I needed to know!  For those not wanting to read past this part, let's just say this: Perky is a  V E R Y   finnicky eater, but I think he's going to have to get used to homemade.....


Diversion requests will be handled on an ad hoc basis. The *Center* will consider the requests for diversion of food considered adulterated for human use in all situations where the diverted food will be acceptable for its intended animal food use. Such situations may include:
a. Pesticide contamination in excess of the permitted tolerance or action level.
b. Pesticide contamination where the pesticide involved is unapproved for use on a food or feed commodity.
c. Contamination by industrial chemicals.
d. Contamination by natural toxicants.
e. Contamination by filth.
f. Microbiological contamination.
g. Over tolerance or unpermitted drug residues.
Some general policy issues to be considered while evaluating proposals for diversion of food considered to be adulterated to animal feed use are:
a. A seizure action and a voluntary request for diversion are two separate processes. A seizure action and a request for diversion cannot legally be processed simultaneously. No diversion request submitted under this guideline will be considered once a seizure recommendation has been forwarded to headquarters. If a seizure recommendation is withdrawn and if the requirements of this policy are met, a diversion request may be entertained. Naturally, a diversion-based means of reconditioning seized articles may be an appropriate means of meeting the requirements of a court-ordered consent decree arising from a seizure.
b. Diversion may only be allowed where there is a legally enforceable assurance that the subject foods will not be placed into interstate commerce before the request is approved and the products appropriately diverted (i.e., meats not under USDA detention but nevertheless containing illegal residues would be appropriate for seizure or state embargo but not for diversion if the meats were already shipped in interstate commerce). Accordingly, this policy will primarily apply to embargoed goods or bonded goods to assure adequate control of the adulterated goods.
c. Where diversion is legally appropriate, data are required to demonstrate that the diverted use poses no safety hazards to the animals consuming the diverted food and to the public who may be exposed to edible tissues of such animals.
d. The diversion policy does not sanction or authorize the blending of the adulterated foods, i.e., the policy does not authorize the diluting of an adulterated product to below a tolerance or action level.
*Material between asterisks is new or revised*
Issued: 11/1/81
Revised: 3/95

This is just as scary as the article I read a while ago, where "It is a general practice in the petfood industry to use cremains of pets not returned to the owner or euthanized at a shelter, as part of the mineral content in both dog and cat food"  This means (at least in my mind) that the "necessary" ash content in petfood, might just be Fido from next door........
HELLO!! that is cannibalism, and did that same "general practice" not orchestrate Mad Cow Disease?  I don't want to be an alarmist, but what the hell are we doing here? 

I have tried to be accepting of the labels that have "animal byproducts" and "ash" as their main ingredients, because, let's face it, you can't find petfood without it, but if table scraps are not good for our pets, how can something that's NOT good for us to the point that it should be destroyed, end up in their "USDA approved pet food"?!?!? 

I didn't want to ruin anybody's day, and if I somehow offended you by writing this, I sincerely apologize, but, like I mentioned before..... it scares me that, not only do we not know what's in our food, any label can be manipulated so it looks like there's nothing wrong, and it's perfectly legal to disguise things that way...... If it can be done in petfood, what do we not know about ours?!

More than ever, if you have a fuzzy roommate.......... Hug it tightly tonight!


This is the link to the petfood article that started this: petfood
In case you think it's a only a European thing......US link
This is the USDA article.... USDA