Sunday, July 27, 2008

Blackberry is gone

She died today. I'm just heartbroken. Rabbit GI systems are sensitive and hers was no exception. I can't begin to imagine the house without her... she was the bossy bunny glue that kept us all in line. She saved my life 6 years ago, when I was in so much pain with no hope of recovery (stupid doctors!) and she kept me laughing when all I wanted to do was cry.

She taught me that bunnies are intelligent and playful. She also taught me that you may have to learn another language to talk to someone - just because they're different doesn't mean they have nothing to say.

I know she had a superb life (three obedient cats and staff to clean her litterbox frequently) filled with binkies and general happiness. Her death was not painful. And I love that she was getting more touchable, to the point that she would jump on the couch when I was knitting and demand a massage. :) I’ll miss her so much. Already do.

We buried her at Valley Forge in a gorgeous wooded area with deer and lots of bunnies. She likes lots of room to run.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Va Beach, and unbeaching the whale

My motivation is in high gear right now. I love everything about my life except for my weight, and that is coming off. As we all know but don't want to admit, there's no magic pill... it's all about consistently eating less and moving more. Which I have been doing. As a result, my clothes are getting looser. Yay!!

Last weekend Matt & I met my parents at their Virginia Beach timeshare. They have a cute 7th floor, 2-room suite with a balcony overlooking the ocean. We had a great time scarfing down seafood, walking on the beach, and creating Diet Coke geysers. We had such a blast that even the Man on the Moon was smiling.

I don't know what the heck my hair was thinking in that group shot.

Coming home: A perfect example of why I left Virginia. Note the close-shaved head with rattail, belligerent expression, wrist-on-wheel driving technique, homemade tats, multicolored POS American car. Behind him, one thing I do miss about the South: Waffle House! We didn't stop, though. See first paragraph. :)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Summer Reading

With all my patients "down the shore" as they say here, I've had plenty of time to catch up on my reading. I seem to be focusing between 1750 and 1900, but it's not intentional. Here are a few of my recent favorites:

1776: Historical documentary of this critical year. Also mentioned here.

Slammerkin: A slammerkin was a loose dress: It was also slang for a loose woman. An 18th century London girl turns to prostitution. Not for the naive, unless they're willing to be educated. An appreciation for fashion "threads" through the story.

Widow of the South: I picked this up from the Trade-A-Book pile at work when I had two minutes to kill. I was immediately sucked into the story and had to borrow it. Beautifully written!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

One of those meme things.

Terri tagged me!

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?
In 1998, I was struggling to make my first marriage work. Jon was a sweet guy but we were utterly unsuited for each other. He's a prototypical Taurus: Earthy, short-sighted, workaholic, loyal... at least he was. Then he kind of went nuts (PTSD from his time in the Army), started doing drugs and cheating on me. Anyway, in a last-ditch attempt to save us, I followed him from my awesome life and job at a women's gym in VA to Pheonix, AZ so he could attend motorcycle mechanic school. Two months later it was splitsville. I hated it there, but I met my amazing friends Tracy & Lisa, and my sublimely perfect-for-me husband Matt there. So THANKS, Jon!
I was working full-time as a certified personal trainer, and also attending school for my medical pre-requisites. With straight As, baby, despite my crazy schedule and divorce. And I climbed a mountain (Squaw Peak) every morning for a workout. Geez. What happened to HER?

2. What are 5 things on my to-do list today- not in any particular order?
Convince the Department of Motor Vehicles that Preston is a 1982, not '80 as his registration states.
Send broken camera back to eBay seller.
Get some exercise (daily).
Start sock project for this weekend's roadtrip.
Hold Killer Rabbit while feeding her treats (daily) in an attempt to train her to be a SnuggleBun.
Establish PayPal account for the Rose Family Clinic.
That's 6 - I'm a busy girl!
3. Snacks I enjoy:
I love licorice (avoiding it and other treats since I am losing weight and happy about that). Recent fave: 30 calorie popsicles!
4. Places I’ve lived:
Multiple places in NY, VA, AZ, OR, WA, and FL. Single residences in NJ, GA, and IA. I feel like I'm forgetting something. Oh - DUH! PA!
5. Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Beyond the obvious (set up my family and loved ones, etc):
Fund an elephant refuge,
Run a national campaign to increase awareness of OMM
Travel a LOT
Have a personal chef
Have a personal mechanic and a garage full of toys a la Jay Leno.
6. What are some jobs you’ve had:
Pizza maker, retail (software, jewelry, Nature's Gifts), professional outside sales, personal trainer, Domme, office manager, knitting instructor, and now acupuncturist.
7. Peeps I want to know more about:
I don't tag people... But if you are willing to play, consider [your name] here.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

No Rover, No Rover, Send Clover Right Over...

Still no sign of Shaun. The mechanic's been too busy to play with him. Grrr.

Denise fell madly in love with Clover and asked if she could have her. I wanted to say no, but Blackberry has been considerably less affectionate. I thought they were going to bond well but the tiny killer rabbit kept biting Clover's butt through the cage. Clearly it was going to be a long ordeal towards uncaged friendship with no guarantees of success.

Denise is perfect for her - sweet, maternal, playful, and generally wonderful. We brought her over last night, and WOW is that one happy bunny! Somehow she just knew she was Home. She instantly stretched out, feet sprawled and tail relaxed (bunny-speak for "I'm secure and content"). All evening long she was binkying, flopping, and generally amusing us with her joyful antics.

Lost: $200 (her previous owner kindly shared the vet bill with me), a skein of silk yarn, and lots of work.

Gained: The incredible experience of knowing we saved a life, and turned a lonely neglected bunny into a supremely gleeful one.

What an awesome deal! If only people were so easy to rescue, huh?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

What a difference 30 seconds makes!

Last night Matt & I went out on a date. I was working late, so we met at the theater near my clinic. Hancock is great! Funny and surprisingly touching. I love Will Smith, and Charlize, well, let's just say she's holding up her end of the marquee.

Anyway, coming home we took different paths. I was maybe going a little faster than usual... just a tad.... 80 doesn't seem outrageous when you're trying to beat your husband home to prove your route is quicker, does it? As I pulled off 202 onto the exit ramp, I heard a strange hollow screaming. Turned off the radio... no ... that's my car!

I was slowing down anyway (there's a stop sign at the end of the ramp), but I started to pull off to the side when SCREECCH!!! The wheels locked up and I skidded to a halt. The drive train was completely frozen. I couldn't even push it forward. Fortunately a Good Samaritan helped me push Gromit backwards off the ramp to get out of traffic. Then I had a 3 hour wait for a tow truck that could deal with nonturning wheels. Thus my post-date snuggle was preempted for a night of waving cars past and slapping at bugs, but at least I got an all-over check for ticks when I finally got home.

Gromit is now sitting at AAMCO, who rebuilt his tranny in March. Obviously something failed there, and they'd BETTER pay for it. Just a little earlier and I could easily have been killed on the highway. Yikes. As Gwyn said, who would finish my lace?

PS- Yes, I'm knitting! I've been monogamous with the Swan Lake stole - two pointy ends, with beads - so you'll have to be patient if you want to see an FO.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

OMG! There's nothing left!

Of Clover OR my wallet! $407 later, here's the "after" pic. The muttonchops are a riot. Don't you think they make her look like Wilford Brimley? Maybe they were afraid to do her face after 2.5 hours. Note Peachy's patented stop-drop-and-roll technique for making friends.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Lucky 4-pawed Clover

Ravelry's Catsnrabbits is the winner! I feel rather silly, actually, since Blackberry was named from Watership Down*, and when we got Hazel we immediately went to the same source. It was a disaster. Hazel and Blackberry were each convinced that THEY were Supreme Ruler and the other should DIE! The bites were vicious... fur literally flew. Hazel had to go. :(

Fortunately, Blackberry and the new girl seem considerably less interested in each other. We've set up multiple caged exposures, with treats to distract, and they've been fine. No grunting, no lunging, and only a few thumps the first time. YAY!!! I have hopes that soon they'll be friends. Fatcat is certainly fond of her.

But I digress! A yarny prize (with extras) is on its silky way to Miss Catsnrabbits (who is also named Sharon and lives close by). She pointed out that Watership Down contained an Angora doe who was rescued from a hutch! Her name is Clover.

Runners-up were Peppercorn and Anise. Love them both, but Clover was just too perfect.

Speaking of, she's at the vet's now getting shaved. They were concerned about her being so underweight (5.25 lbs instead of 7-9) but now that she'll be able to eat properly she should recover nicely.

Breaking news: The vet just called. They spent an hour shaving her, but she's stressed out and they want to stop for now. Poor bunny will have to stay overnight and get trimmed in stages. The fur is matted so tightly next to her skin that it's a real hassle to get at without cutting her. I'm glad they're being so careful - also glad that I got my stimulus check yesterday!

But I'm really grateful that Nancy happened to be moving and decided to rehome her. Poor girl could have overheated or starved to death. She's lucky indeed.

* Watership Down is, like Animal Farm, really about humans. I love it for the exploration of what happens when disaster strikes a community. Some panic, some act, some crumble, some become leaders or despots. Mr. Adams didn't really know rabbits, though. He claims they have no sense of humor. In his stories, the only laughing bunnies are insane. In reality, they have a riotous, teasing character. I suspect he only experienced them as prisoners in hutches, not whole happy beings. And the females in his stories exist primarily as baby factories. If you can ignore those problems, though, it's a great book.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Darn it, we're keeping her!

The heck with foster... She's hopped her way into my heart. And Matt's too. He's dubbed her Better Bun. Cute as that is, we need a real name for her. I like Abigail but he wants something different. Here are two more videos of her in action to assist you.
She's very active & curious, but laid-back. She's been great with the cats and even during the brief caged intro to Blackberry (other bunny). She uses her litterbox perfectly (thank you thank you thank you). She looks fake, as most Angoras do. The way her ears rotate and snap into position, particularly, makes us think of an animated remote-control rabbit (this led to the suggestion of Rachel, after the gyndroid in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, in which people keep robotic pets. It was made into the movie Blade Runner).

We have a sort of accidental "fruit salad" theme going with Blackberry, Peachy, and Fig. Our cars are named for Wallace & Gromit characters.

Right now she's horribly matted - her mouth was actually felted partially closed, which may explain why she's a bit underweight. After a few trimming attempts we've decided to take her to the vet for a thorough shaving & checkup (worms, teeth, etc).

The person who comes up with her name will get some delish yarn from my stash. I'll accommodate your tastes in fiber and color as best I can. You might even get some of my handspun. I'm working on a varigated gray angora/silk/merino blend from DragonFibers right now, which is quite appropriate! Non-knitters, I'll make something for you. :)

Yes, Matt said "She tasted my arm." They were little licky bunny kisses.

4th of July, 2008

Fireworks (more pics here) with Gwyn (brunette), Denise (blond), and Pheobe (tiny one). The highlight was the watermelon sorbet with chocolate seeds and a lime rind. Yowza!

In other iced sweet news, I was enjoying a popsicle, and the handle asked "What do you give a snake with allergies." Before I ate down to the answer, Matt, Gwyn & I generated the following responses:

"Vick's Viper Rub?"
"I don't know, is she still covered by COBRA?"
"Or some sort of sliding scale!"
"Maybe it's not really allergies, maybe he's got ereptile dysfunction."
"Did it aspirate something?"

The official answer: anti-HISS-tamines.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Rescue Bun aka What's Hop, Doc?

ETA: She's litterbox trained!
This rabbit needed rescue - what could I do? She's a 4 year old spayed female, very healthy and happy at first blush. She desperately needs a trim - most of that fluff is matted - but I think she'll be just fine.
Her name was Madeline, which we need to change because we already have one (Matt's older daughter). Since we acquired her on the 4th, in Philly, I'm thinking something Revolution-oriented. Betsy is too obvious. Suggestions? At the mo, leaders are Abigail (for Mrs. Adams) or Philly's own Esther Reed. She organized a group of shirt-making women to clothe freezing soldiers. Plus then we'd have an Esther Bunny (ha ha).

By the way - This rescue was intended as a FOSTER - so if you can take her or know someone who can, please do so before I fall too far in love. We probably don't need 5 pets.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Sparklies, part deux

Girlie joined us for this one. :)

Matt, a former advanced weapons designer, noted today that he "like[s] explosives designed not to destroy humanity, but rather make it go woooo!"

History, in perspective

You all know I'm a total history dork. It's not dry facts to me - it's life. When we climbed around on the USS Constellation, I was feeling the heaving waves, hearing the screams and shouts and booming cannon of a pitched battle at sea. Likewise, in Colonial Williamsburg I tried to imagine living in a fledgling colony. It was a comparatively well-to-do city by the time of the American Revolution. I'm guessing that it was a hard but generally good life... unless (of course) you were enslaved.

I just finished reading 1776 and loved getting to know General George Washington as a man. The more famous paintings of our Founding Fathers were done late in their lives, but forget the aged, severe geezers we know from school. Mssrs. Washington, Jefferson, Adams, etc were virile young men during the rabble-rousing that led to the birth of America. Take a peek at George in 1774 as captured by Charles Wilson Peale. By all accounts, our first Commander-in-Chief was superbly athletic, charming, and cut a dashing figure at horse. "Founding Father," yeah... more like "Who's your Daddy?!"