Tuesday, September 28, 2010

At a loss for words

I've just been at a loss for words lately. I haven't been able to get the words from my head to my mouth or from my head to my fingers.

Honestly, I've just been at a "total loss" for a few days now.

There are so many words in my head, many of them selfish, and they don't seem to want to cooperate with me or with each other.

My sister has a wonderful post though on her blog IT IS, WHAT IT IS. So, read her words for now and I'll hopefully be back here to post again soon.

In the mean time, I'll leave you with this picture.
Simply because I love it.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I'm Hatin' It!

Since Makena asked to become a vegetarian, I've been "reading up" on things. I'm a researcher. I enjoy researching. I want to know things. For years, I've tried to be conscious of the food that I buy. Not only for my family's health, but also for the animals.

I've also been a PETA member for many years now and fully support their actions. I only recently started reading their magazine, blog and joining their campaigns.

Wow, what an eye opener!

I knew about animal cruelty, but it just wasn't something I chose to know more about or stand behind. I obviously don't believe in it, for any animal (spiders are an insect tho, so that doesn't count. Sorry T), but "Wow" is all I can come back to.

One of their long running campaigns is the McCruelty Campaign. I have read about it over the years, but have still eaten at McDonalds. Why? I don't know! I don't like fast food, but sometimes I really just want a cheese burger. Luckily that only happens once or twice a year, and it's obviously not chicken (or meat for that matter), but I think I'm over McDonalds for good. Why support them when I can eat the yummiest turkey burger with Tillamook cheese from Burgerville - where they use local farms and sustainable products. And the shakes...oh that's an entire other post.

So here is some info on the McCruelty Campaign if you don't know about it. You can find more information at MCCRUELTY: I'm Hatin' It.

In the slaughterhouses of McDonald's U.S. and Canadian chicken suppliers, birds are dumped out of their transport crates and hung upside down in metal shackles, which can result in broken bones, extreme bruising, and hemorrhaging. Workers have the opportunity to abuse live birds, and birds have their throats cut while they are still conscious. Many birds are immersed in tanks of scalding-hot water while they are still alive and able to feel pain.

In 2000, following the launch of PETA's (original) McCruelty campaign, McDonald's made some basic animal welfare improvements. Since that time, the company has refused to eliminate the worst abuses that its chickens suffer, including abuses during slaughter. This cruelty could be illegal if dogs or cats—or even pigs or cows—were the victims.

There is a less cruel method of slaughter available today that would eliminate these abuses, yet McDonald's refuses to require its U.S. and Canadian suppliers to switch to it.

PETA'S McCruelty Campaign Timeline:

1997: Following the McLibel verdict, PETA writes to McDonald's asking the company to take steps to alleviate the suffering of animals killed for its restaurants.

October 1999: PETA launches its McCruelty campaign after two years of failed negotiations with McDonald's.

September 2000: Following 11 months of campaigning and more than 400 demonstrations against McDonald's, PETA announces a moratorium on its campaign after the company agrees to make some positive changes for farmed animals. This marks the first time in U.S. history that a major seller of meat agrees to make farmed-animal welfare improvements.

September 2000 to February 2009: PETA tries to work with McDonald's to modernize the company's animal welfare standards and make further improvements, especially regarding how its chickens are slaughtered in the U.S., but McDonald's refuses.

February 2009: PETA lifts its moratorium against McDonald's after the company fails to require its U.S. and Canadian chicken suppliers to adopt a less cruel slaughter method.

One piece of advice, don't read the PETA blog while eating breakfast. Also, KFC (which I've never liked) is as bad or worse than McDonalds. You can find more information on that at Kentucky Fried Cruelty.

I'm glad that you've made this choice on your own Pook and I'll support you as much as I can.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Great American Dine Out

September 19 thru September 25 is the Third Annual Great American Dine Out Week.

Watch this short video for more information. The video tells the story of childhood hunger in America, and what you can help do about it. The more you dine out, the closer we get to making No Kid Hungry a reality.

As Jamie will be out of town most of the week, I think Makena and I will dine out (and support this event) as much as we can!

Saturday, September 18, 2010


The other morning, I was hard at work sitting at my desk. (You may also say I was hardly working, but whatever.) For some reason, I felt like I was being watched.

I look out the window, nothing.

I look behind me, nothing.

Then I see the little peeper. A squirrel had climbed to the top of my Adirondack chair and was peeking in the window at me. I could just barely see him at the bottom of the window.

A few minutes later, I see him inside of my bird feeder, filling his cheeks!

I will also add that he had to walk past an actual squirrel feeder to get to this bird feeder. Apparently I need to take all of the yummy squirrel nuts out of it and replace it with bird food.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I've seen that movie

If you haven't ever heard me say "I've seen that movie", you probably will at some point. There are just a few things that I'll never do.

Well...because I've seen that movie.

  • I'll never stay in a hotel along a long strip of deserted highway. Especially when I'm the only one there.

  • I'll never go looking for a noise outside, in the dark, in my underwear.

  • I'll never put water on small, fluffy animals.

  • I'll never take my tiny flashlight, with very low batteries, into an abandoned building because I heard a noise.

  • I'll never stay at a cabin, on a lake, where people have been murdered.

  • You'll never catch me in a morgue alone, day or night. (Well...unless...you know.)

  • I'll never stay at a large, haunted hotel on a snowy mountain.

  • You'll never catch me playing with kids that come walking out of a corn field.

  • I'll never get drunk on a small, tropical beach with only the locals.

  • I often sleep with the sheets pulled up over my neck so that the vampires can't smell me.

  • If a comet hits Earth, I'm never coming up from my hiding place underground.

  • Pick up a hitch-hiker? Nope, never.

  • I'll never turn on all of the lights at an amusement park when there could possibly be zombies around.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Family Photo Shoot

Remember when I won that photo session package at the Relay For Life of Beaverton a few months ago? Well, we had our photo shoot today. Jennifer at All That Jazz Photography was wonderful! She started out as a dog/pet photographer, so we were happy to bring Moxie with us for our family photo shoot.

As I love to do, Jennifer took over 130 pictures during our 30 minute session. Jennifer prefers indoor shooting, in her studio, with lots of fun props. I prefer outdoor shooting where I have landscaping as a prop and natural light.

Here are just a few of my favorites...

Now I just have to figure out which ones I want to have printed and framed.

Friday, September 10, 2010

My Smart Fortwo BRABUS

The Smart Car was brought to the US a few years ago. I've always thought they were cute and knew that it would be great for the economy and our (Jamie's) wallet! Driving Makena back/forth to school puts an extra 25 miles on my truck each day. And when gas is at it's high, filling up the Tundra can cost a small fortune. (And yes, we need the Tundra. It hauls all of our other toys around and building materials needed at the lake. Plus, I LOVE it!) We work from home, so that helps, but the Smart Car is even better!

We rented one in Vegas a few years ago to see how we'd like it. And it's been on our minds since then.

Jamie was bored a few weeks ago (and we all know what happens then...) and wound up at the Smart Car dealership. It was then decided that we'd be getting one. So, on Wednesday we went back to the dealership to see if they had anything new in.

We knew we wanted a cabriolet and some other extras, but that was about it. There were 3 cabriolets to choose from, so that made the decision a bit easier. And, with Smart Car, you can't haggle with the price of a new one as they are all the same no matter what.

Then, there she was. A black Smart Fortwo BRABUS. The BRABUS is a limited production Smart Car, so there were only a few thousand of them sold in the US. This was the last one. And, this one is their "sports package" version. (Yep, you heard right; sports package.) It comes with leather & heated seats, a/c, MP3 aux, sport exhaust system, spoiler, alloy wheels, front & rear skirt and other fun gadgets. I knew right away that it was the one! Who wouldn't want the sporty-Fortwo?!?

We did a test drive and then Jamie says "Well...I think we'll take it!" "Okay!" says our salesman.
Then a couple of hours later, I was driving her home.

Here is a cell phone picture I took at the dealership. The Smart Car next to the Tundra. I just keep laughing...

I wanted a bright green or orange model, but Jamie said no way. Apparently he wouldn't feel comfortable driving around in a small, bright green car.

Black is more 'sporty' anyways, right? : )

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A day at the Enchanted Forest

When we went to visit everyone at River Bend last week, Makena wanted to go to the Enchanted Forest on the way home. With the time left in the day, we just weren't going to be able to make it. So, we planned to meet back up at the Enchanted Forest on Monday (Labor Day) to play before school started. The kids decided that it was also going to be our time to celebrate Makena's birthday.

Logan and Kallie were eager to get inside.

Then we held up the line a bit for a photo op.

TeaLee, Tracie, Ivie & Makena at the witch's house from Hansel & Gretel.

Ivie & Kallie with Jack & Jill.

Kylah & Ivie
TeaLee & Kallie
Dawn & Logan
Makena & TeaLee on a dragon ride.

Then the bobsled roller coaster. Dawn & Logan are in the back car.

Tracie, TeaLee & Ivie are in the back car.

Dylona, Kylah & Kallie in the front car.

Makena, Nikki and I skipped the roller coaster ride. It's not really our thing.

Lunch time!
The Haunted House, which Logan & Makena wanted nothing to do with.

I can always find something fun to photograph.

Then the smaller kids went on the Bumper Boats.

And to a small Ferris Wheel.

And on to the Frog Hopper.

Which they loved.

And finally on a train ride.

Before us big kids rode the Bumper Cars.

Kylah drove us around, and I'm pretty sure that we hit everyone!

The final ride was the Log Ride. This ride involves a roller coaster and water. Again, not really my thing, but Kylah asked me to ride with her.

I obviously had to go. (I know that I'm still the favorite Auntie.)

This is Tracie, Ivie, Kylah & I at the final drop.

aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh....I'm pretty sure that everyone heard us (me) screaming!

Then Dylona went with TeaLee.

The kids wanted to do some panning for treasure.

What a FANTABULOUS day at the Enchanted Forest!