Monday, March 31, 2008

Coelogyne foerstermanni



Found in Malaysia, Borneo, Sumatra and the Moluccas at elevations of sealevel to 500 meters high up on trees in lowlands and lowland montane forests as a medium sized, hot growing epiphyte with narrow, cylindrical, tapering towards the apex, ribbed pseudobulbs carrying 2 apical, erect, lanceolate, acute, plicate, gradually narrowing below into the elongate, grooved, petiolate base leaves and blooms on an erect, basal, stout, to 16" [40 cm] long, many [8 to 15] flowered inflorescence arising on a mature pseudobulb and enveloped basally by several close, imbricating sheaths and has persistent floral bracts and simultaneously opening, fragrant flowers. from: http://www.orchidspecies.com/coelfoerstermanni.htm

Third photo: Beautiful 1yo Danica whom I understand is very sweet and needing a forever home.

First & second photos: One of the orchids I bought last week. Mine is not blooming and I don't have batteries for my camera (still) so I am borrrowing someone else's photo from the web. sorry, I can't find where I got them.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Weekend is Almost Over




The only good thing about Sunday night is that tonight at 8pm there is a movie about the Green River killer on Lifetime. Yes, I still have that morbid obsession with that whole story from when I lived in the Seattle area while it was happening.

Great weekend! Jerry's cousin Maureen was done from New Jersey/Philadelphia for a visit and stayed with Marge. On Friday night we went for Pizza and Working Cow ice cream at the Cone Cabin. It was a nice visit and interesting to hear about her trips to New York for plays and to meet her boyfriend's famous cousin Tina Faye - sounds like Tina Faye is a nice and intelligent woman. Getting to Marge's was another story - terrible wreck on the bayside bridge took over 20 minutes to cross a 3 or 4 minute bridge. The cars pulled over didn't look too damaged but plenty of emergency vehicles and lane closures. Saw some twisted metal in front of a van. Most interesting thing was that I was waved through by the police officer who pulled me over, but didn't give me a ticket (thank you), when my Dad was here. I was tempted to wave and say "remember me?" LOL

Next morning Jerry and I stopped at 7-11 and he parked next to a County Sheriff car and went inside. Shortly after that same officer came out and was getting in his car right next to me and I couldn't help myself this time - I did say "Hi, remember me?" He didn't but I told him that I saw him at that accident last night and he said it was a motorcycle and the fellow died. How sad for his family and friends. Too wierd to think that one minute you are alive, you attempt to change lanes, and then you are dead.

Mid day I drove Maureen and Marge to DSW - a HUGE shoe store (mom had to work). I bought two pairs because it's like the Home Depot of shoes. That night me, Jerry, Marge, Maureen, and mom all went to Spotos Steak Joint in Dunedin (attaching photo fro their wen site). Erica and Lee were suffering from alergies plus little Sarah cutting teeth with fever. Fabulous Filet Mignon as usual but someone tried to sneak sour cream into my garlic mashed -I didn't eat them.;) Better luck next time Chef! Last night sat on screen porch and listened to my radio shows on NPR by candlelight. Had nice long chat with friend in Seattle before calling it a night. Oh, and Eddie is backoutside and eventually forced Daisey out. The trauma of the bark thing mus tbe wearing off.

Today mom came over and we did her taxes and the majority of mine. Yuck even if you do get $$ back. We ran some errands, played around a little, and then when Jerry got home from work the three of us picked up Marge and Maureen and went to a family restaurant in Safety Harbor. Cute little downtown area and famous for it's Spa. I have "borrowed" a photo of the gazebo we could see out the window as we ate. I don't have batteries for my digi so no photos for me right now, too bad too, I have orchids blooming and bought two new ones last Monday but mums the word!

Oh, can't forget. Got a floating toy intended for the pool today at the Dollar Tree and it's been fun watching Eddie try to get that thing out of the pool. He won't go in and swim but he will get down on the steps. He did get it once but mostly as he paws it the things flips away. I want to get photos of that. Oh, and I can't leave you without a doggie photo from Ratbone Rescues.

Vickie


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Not Exactly the Desired Effect


So I bought this gadget that I heard about on Ratbone Chat. It is meant to stop dogs from barking without using a collar (I only use breakway collars on my dogs due to a previous incident with Ed's bottom jaw got stuck under Daisey's collar while they playing and almost killed her, really). Eddie is a very vocal fellow and I live in a neighborhood with restrictions and small yards. Plus, people spend a lot of time outdoors so when my dog barks it annoys people. Worse, when a neighbor's dog barks and makes my dogs bark then everyone including me is annoyed. Plus, there is this little piece-of-work dog that loves to run at our fence and get Edward going.

But, back to the story. So I hear about these devices you can put outdoors that emit a high frequency sound that humans can,t hear but annoy dogs. When a dog barks this sound goes off. I was thrilled! I went to PetSmart right away, picked out the one I wanted, and then discovered I needed a 9volt battery, which we didn't have, so my new gadget christmas-like excitement had to wait a day. Last night I had the device, the battery, and a door that wouldn't open. Finally when hubby finished watching his movie he opened the door on the device and we are in business now.

The thing (pictured) looks like a bird house (Or at least what a human thinks a bird house should look like. I believe a bird sees anything with the right size hole and comparment and at the right elevation as a possible bird house). Anyway, it was night when I put it out and turned it on. As explained on the box I could see the green light flashing. Didn' take long for the rat terriers to bark and I saw the flash of red light from the thing and two dogs trying to figure out what the heck happened! They circled around a little and then went in the house. Because I was outside on the screen porch they eventually came back out. Next bark, same thing only this time they woudln't come back out.

Now it is the next day, still daylight out, and I am sitting on the screen porch and the dogs are inside. They come out to do their business and then it is right back inside. Not exactly the desired effect. Oh well, at least I can enjoy the smell of the blooming jasmine.

Vickie

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday




Today we took MIL Marge to the Colonnade restaurant in Tampa for Easter dinner. This is probably Marge's favorite restaurant and I am all for it because it is primarily a seafood restaurant so there are lots of things on the menu I like. Plus, we all like the basket of mini muffins they put on each table:) Mom decided to stay home and rest this weekend because she will be working Mon - Sat next week. I am attaching photos of the inside and outside of the restaurant from their web site as well as a photo along Bayshore Blvd

We started with crab cakes as an appatizer. Their menu today had many additional items due to it being Easter. Which reminds me, we were expecting to wait but our timing was perfect. The first rush was ending and the second hadn't started yet. We even got a good parking space. Jerry & Marge ordered the leg of lamb dinner and I had scallops. The view is fabulous! Even leaving the restaurant it is gorgeous because of all the beautiful homes on Bayshore Blvd. In fact, HGTV has featured homes from that neighborhood on different shows. It's fabulous ata Christmas time.

Chloe seems to be improving. Ed is very playful like he has spring fever which is probably due to the awakening of hundreds of lizards. Daisey is my sun goddess and will actually leave her pack just to sunbathe on perfect days like this. I am getting blood all over the keyboard as I type because Edward broke a candle holder and I cut myself cleaning it up. Jerry and I were trying to work on a project to install more hooks and PVC coated chain for hanging orchids in the screen porch. Some of the old hooks from 4 years ago have rusted and broke off causing orchids to crash - I already have Eddie for that! Turns out the Makita had no charge so I have a little break while it charges.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Florida squirells and Chloe home from hospital

Went to breakfast this morning and then picked up Chloe from the vet. Chloe came walking in on her own and seeming much better - still off from normal self but much better. No more hung head and wild stare into nowhere. She actually seemed to notice things around her even though she didn't bark at the other dogs or people (yet).

They took four x-rays so I could see her enlarged heart. Is the size of tangerine but should be smaller than a ping pong ball. The x-rays confirmed what I have always thought - she has a collapsed trachia. She came to us with that & bad knees and, of course, her bad attitude that apparently there is no medication to cure.

Life is going to change around here on Monday. Vet says ok to let her still snack from the open food bowl over the weekend but by Monday try to have her eating mostly her new perscription dog food. She has 3 meds. I'm gonna have to get up an extra 15 minutes early each morning!

Anyway, we are home now and she is/was snoozing on my lap until a squirell attempted to get sunflower seeds from the bird feeder near the window and she actually barked! That is probably the first time in two week. Sure sign she has improved. Had to chase Daisey down to the end of the street. Was taking Eddie out for a closer view of the squirell when she got through the gate and ran off on me. Whew - she is in much better shape than me, plus she has 4 wheel drive!

Vickie

Friday, March 21, 2008

Friday




Went to dinner with Mom tonight but not exactly girls night out but more on that later. Need to catch up on Chloe. She spent the day and is spending tonight at Vet. They heard somehting in her lung or heart so she had an xray and turns out her heart is quite enlarged. She is now going to have to take meds for heart, arthritis, and her infection. Add to that perscription dog food. This will be the end of free feeding in our house - hopefully will help Eddie with weight loss as well.

Dinner tonight was fun and different. Instead of going into a restaurant we picked up dinner at a Philly Cheesteak drive up (yummy) so that we could dine al fresco with the rat terriers. We ate at a covered picnic bench in the park then went into the fenced dog area where Daisey and Eddie could run and play off leash. Another fellow there was telling us that his dog killed a wild rabbit in the park one time. A rabbit in the park would make Eddie's year!

We can't call it girl's night out because Eddie was with us! Oh, the photos are my sick Chloe in her western wear along with photos of D & E in thiers. I made these denim coats a couple years ago.

Vickie

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Evil Chihuahua Update (a.k.a. Chloe)




Just taking a minute away from working on a power point presentation for class final to share some more Ratbone photos and to update you on Chloe my evil chihuahua. She's had an off and on kidney/bladder infection for months. She gets better with antibiotics then gets it back again. To me it seemed as though she was having neurological problems because of this wierd stare and walks like she's drunk, sleeps too much, etc. Anyway, they grew a culture and took blood tests and determined the infection is in her kidney and liver and it is E-coli. I take to her the vet first thing tomorrow morning to be hospitalized with IVs. Poor thing.
Dogs are: Bossk, Tucker (only 5 months old and found abandoned in cold weather, lost an eye, and had BB gun shots), Grace, and Cayla. Can you believe humans can be so inhumane towards dogs? Ugh.....Vickie

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Traffic Jam

Yesterday I longed for my somwhat simple life in Kodiak. I miss Kodiak often but that usually refers to the people there. Yesterday it was the lifestyle. It took me almost an hour and a half to get home due to poor traffic conditions resulting from weather. I can deal with the weather but stop and go traffic for an hour and a half is awful. Sorry to whine but I truly believe we need to rethink transportation in this and many other urban areas that are so dependant on cars. I would LOVE some sort of monorail system like in downtown Seattle. I have some ideas in my head of how to a address fuel, trafffic, and pollution concerns while respecting the individuals need for convenience and privacy afford by a personal car. Someday I will draw it up and share it :) In the mean time, here's the precious new face at Ratbone Rescues - her name is Sydney.

Vickie

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Bomb Scare

Well today was not your ordinary working day. The Church of Scientology reported a suspicious package in the alleyway behind their building. Their building is behind ours (The City of St. Petersburg Municiple Services Center) and we share that alleyway.

This afternoon people started talking about all the public safety workers surrounding our building and speculation was a dissatisfied customer in permitting. Little later got word that they were not letting customers into the building, had stopped all but one elevator, and asked us to stay put on our floors instead of wondering around. This, of course, put people to looking on the internet to see what the heck was up and we learned of a possible bomb threat behind our building.

Shortly afterward we got word that people on other floors had been evacuated, some even coming to our floor. The internet said nearby buildings had been evacuated and it showed photos of a robot near the suspicious package (robot courtesy of the Tampa bomb squad). At 5pm most people high tailed it out of there because they were concerned and wanted to get home. A couple reps had late calls but eventually it was down to me and one other.

I had my stuff together to leave and spoke to the other employee and we decided we would walk to our cars together but I was oging to the restroom while she got her stuff together. I was washing my hands when "BA BOOM!" and I SHOT outta that ladies room and the other person came toward me with both of us saying "did you hear that?" I grabbed my stuff and we left in a hurry. We were just about at my car when I realized in the rush I left my keys behind. She was brave and went back into the building with me to retrieve my keys. We both left safely.

Of course police were everywhere and they were directing traffic instead of using traffic lights. They seemed to want to have everyone moving quickly out of the area. Got home and read that just after 5pm the bomb squad detonated the suspicious package that turned out to be a suitcase with clothing, a bible, and personal items.

The church had just lost their court attempt to get an injunction agaisnt some group protesting them so I see the comments area of the news sites is speculating that they did it to make their point that they were being threatened. I can't help but think it could have belonged to someone in the homeless population - there are lots in the area because of the public park across the street.

On to Friday!
Vickie

images borrow from TBO.com who got from news photographers - first is the robot brought in my Tampa bomb squad. The second is after the detonation.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Commencement

Guess who's going to attend a graduation ceremony?!? UOP is going to hold a commencement ceremony in Tampa about a month after I complete my coursework. I'm told they hold regional ceremonies and as luck would have it, Tampa is one of the venues. Not only am I going, but my Dad is gonna come too! The plan is for him to spend a week with us and a week with Aunt Flossie in Arcadia - she'll be 91 next month. Since it is an early morning ceremony and we want to go out to lunch after and maybe have a glass of champaign, plans are to rent a limo since Mom, Dad, Margie, hubby, me & Cousin Erica will be attending. There's probably room for another person or two if anyone is interested ;) I ordered my cap & gown this week and have attached a photo of it.

My friend C has a date tonight! You go girl. It's been a dating desert for almost a year and now she has several interested parties. I guess when it rains it pours. He's cooking for her so it will e interesting to see how it goes.

Watching the movie Disturbia as I type. If you haven't seen it, it's worth it. Interesting concept and well made in my opinion.

Chloe the evil chihuahua is having episodes again. Not sure what is going on but it appears neurological to me. Walking backyard, wild stare. She's had this sort of thing before and no clear indication as to what it is. She's old so I think I will leave her alone unless she appears to be in pain.

I gotta get a wreath on the door or I will ruin my reputation as the wreath lady. Thinking its a little late for my St Patty's so I'll just go straight to the Easter wreaths. Oh! Jerry's cousin Maureen is coming during spring break. She's staying with Marge. Am looking forward to her visit. She's fun.

V

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Friday/Saturday







Went to Carmalita's Mexican restaurant with mom last night for Friday night Girl's nite out. Cousin Erica was supposed to join us but was delayed and by the time she could leave, a storm came up and scared her away. It poured - our swiming pool is filled to the brim. First it blew all day then started pouring about 7pm I guess. By the time we left I had to wade through water to get to the car and my feet and shoes were soaked because the water came up to my ankels. Mom gave me her unbrella so I could bring the car around - I felt like a moving target with the umbrella because it was lightening fast and furious. I kept thinking of that movie where Alan Arkin didn't want to get shot so he ran 'serpentine". LOL I will take a photo of the pool tomorrow if I can remember. Not only is it full, it is filled with debris from the oak trees due to high winds.

After Jerry got off work today (Saturday) we took Marge looking for a 3-wheeled and pouch bearing walker. Didn't know that all the medical mobility stores close at 1pm on Saturdays. Oh well, we had a nice lunch at Perkins. Marge and I had clubs that were very good. On the way had hubby drive thru Sonic for a pineapple milkshake, I am bad.

School has been great really. Good grade and enjoyable class. Assignments not too difficult, reading is itneresting, and instructor seems to be a liberal grader :) Tema is ok too and that helps. Found out my nuddy that I've had 8 classes with won't be finishing the last class with me like we though due to some change in her schedule. Oh!!! Also found out that UOP is going to have a graduation ceremony in Tampa in June so I may actually be able to attend. I just assumed I would not be involved in any graduation festivities because I wasn't willing to fly to Phoenix. That would be cool not just ofr me, but for family who have also had to sacrifice due to my time spent on class instead of with them.

I will end this post with a couple dogs picture of Ratbone Rescue fosters available for adoption.

Vickie

Friday, March 7, 2008

Sunday, March 2, 2008

One more week closer to graduation




It feels as though my timeclock is now ticking away days until grduation instead of weeks and months - May 5th will be here before I know it. I already secured May 8 - 15th off but now Jerry has pointed out that is mother's day weekend so I am going to try to reschedule it for a week later which will cover Jerry's birthday as well. We are going to celebrate in Branson, Missouri. Haven't been there in years! Dad is trying to arrange the visiting into a mini Manning family union.

First photo - Jelly Bean. 12 wk, 4 lb cutie! Poor little fellow has underformed back legs, they are always a little bent, but it doesn't slow him down. He is being fostered in Indiana by a Ratbones volunteer.

Second photo - Rascal. 10 wk old energetic and cuddler pup. Sounds like he's a smart one too. He's being fostered in California and adoptable through Ratbone Rescues.

Third photo - Sara. This is one of least favorite stories where owners drop off their dog and its puppies to a shelter. While the answer is to HAVE YOUR PETS SPAYED Sara is now in the hands of Ratbone Rescues and looking for a family that will value her. Her California fosters say she is gentle, well mannered, and affecitonate. sounds perfect to me!