Saturday, December 24, 2011

Last Saturday

I spent part of last Saturday volunteering at Austin Pets Alive Tarrytown. It's a tough job, snuggling puppies and kitties. Oh yeah, and greeting the human visitors.

This puppy is Jett. He's a Catahoula-mix. I love him, but explained to him about the overcrowding sitch at the 1952 House. He's gonna find a great home... with someone else.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Weekend Guests!

Chad and I hosted the BEST weekend guests ever at the 1952 House Saturday night and part of Sunday: kittens! We babysat the little fuzzy sugarplums while their foster-mom partook in some holiday cheer. Honestly, the kittens were holiday cheer for me.

At 25 days old, the babies eat every three hours during the day and can go up to six hours overnight between feedings. Totally worth the slightly out-of-ordinary schedule: Mouse, Moonpie and Magee were great little eaters.

Kenji and Sonic (resident cranky cats at the 1952 House) didn't like the kittens much, but Marigold (old lady Persian cat) and Janie (just the best dog ever) expressed respectful fascination with the babies. Let the squee-ing begin!

Our guests fit into a tiny hamster cage!

Moonpie lounging with his tiny Teddy-bear.

Saturday, December 03, 2011


Learning a new script for a role/show I haven't done before is stressful. I try to pretend it isn't. Pretending doesn't work. Procrastinating also doesn't work.

Tonight I did a new show in San Antonio for a private party. All week I worked on the character and memorized lines. I assembled my costume including lots of accessories and a borrowed wig. I researched our client and the historic hotel which hosted our show, so I could throw in references to personalize the script.

I drove in Friday afternoon traffic for over two-and-a-half hours on rain-soaked roads with fellow actors who don't know the meaning of "use your indoor voice". Yes, white-knuckled the whole way.

The show itself was so much fun to perform. The audience thoroughly enjoyed it, and participated enthusiastically where they should. Several people approached me after the show to offer compliments -- always a welcome bonus to the paycheck!

Despite my ringing ears and headache from being trapped in a car with my fellow actors for over four hours today, I guess it was worth it. (And, yes, we made much better time on the return trip.)

Now that I have this "first" of playing a new role under my belt, I can sleep easier, breathe a sigh of relief and start reading a new book. *sigh* Now where is my favorite bookmark? You know, the one shaped like a kitten?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Out, damned moth!

Chad walked inside the front door of the 1952 House with Janie's faux-fur couch blanket, fresh from the dryer, draped over one shoulder. While still holding the security door ajar, he started doing a crazy dance and announcing in a panicked voice, "Oww! Moth!" Janie-dog and I gazed on in confused concern and no small amount of fear. Chad commanded, "Get the tweezers!" as he ran towards the bathroom, dropping Janie's blanket on a chair.

"What?!" I'm sure at this point it seemed to Chad as if I moved at a glacial pace, unwilling to render aid. I had yet to register what happened, or why I needed tweezers. "A moth flew into my ear," Chad fussed.

"Oh!...Oh, no!" I fussed.

Then I heard the awful noise of tiny wings beating rapidly inside Chad's ear canal. I couldn't see anything in Chad's ear, but I could hear it. "Oww! Get it out!" I tentatively put the tweezers near Chad's ear canal, but still unable to see the moth, decided not to poke the tweezers beyond where I could see. Chad told me to get a flashlight, which didn't help. Chad and I can't remember who decided we should put the moth out of its frantic misery with Swim-Ear drops, but we did. The poor moth died, but quit flapping its wings against Chad's eardrum, and quit traveling deeper into Chad's ear.

Let's pause for a brief public service announcement. As Chad and I learned from an Internet search conducted after the moth died, but while it was still lodged against his eardrum, if a bug flies or crawls into your ear, do not panic. (Much more easily advised than done.) Do not put tweezers or a cotton swab into the ear canal, as it may cause injury, and will likely push the bug deeper into the ear. One should seek medical treatment to remove the foreign object from one's ear.

However, if you feel ridiculous seeking treatment for a moth in your ear, you can try putting olive oil or baby oil into your ear to flush out the interloper. We tried olive oil with no luck. We also tried a warm water wash delivered via a nasal flush bottle from all sorts of different angles with no luck. Again, at Chad's urging, I tried (very gingerly) to tweeze the now-dead moth out of Chad's ear with no luck. Chad brought a different, brighter flashlight to try and help me see the moth with no luck.

I finally offered to take Chad to either the Emergency Room or the minor emergency clinic if we could find one that was open on a Sunday night. After a bit of hemming and hawing, more Internet searching, Chad finally said he would drive himself to the urgent care clinic. "You are not driving yourself! What if that moth wakes up?" I nagged.

Luckily, we were the only customers in the urgent care clinic. The receptionist didn't bat an eye when Chad announced his reason for visiting. The nurse and doctor delivered two warm water flushes before they could see the moth with their medical-grade ear-looking-tool. "I can see it!" announced the nurse with equal parts victory and revulsion. One more warm water flush brought the moth close enough to the ear opening for the doctor to grab the carcass with an intimidatingly long pair of snub-nose, tweezers.

Chad, the nurse, the doctor and I all gazed at the enormous, wet moth body on the medical tray. Gross and fascinating! The doctor smiled and told us that the cover of the urgent care textbook featured an illustration of a person with a bug in their ear, but that this was her first case of bug in the ear. After the nurse flushed Chad's ear once more to get out the moth dust, the doctor brought the textbook into the exam room for a humorous viewing of the cover. Chad's case, while highly unusual, was literally textbook cover material.

It didn't end well for the moth, but Chad feels much better now. He learned a valuable lesson not to dilly-dally near porch lights lest an unwelcome bug fly into one's ear.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dream House To-Do List

I'm watching Curb Appeal on HGTV as I fold laundry and iron this morning. Big mistake! It's giving me too many ideas for the 1952 House.


Replace parking pad with interlocking paver stones to match driveway.

Extend the covered carport so my car and Chad's new car can both be covered.

Replace carport columns.

Reorient carport steps to run parallel to living room wall with new railing.

Replace steps to front door with safer tread, evenly spaced steps.


New bathtub: Current tub isn't draining well despite interventions, plus the new glaze painstakingly applied four years ago is chipping and peeling.

New under-cabinet lights in kitchen.

Although, if we had enough money to do all this stuff, it might be better to just move into a house closer to downtown that already has more of our wish-list items such as a fireplace, indoor laundry room, automatic dishwasher and second bathroom. Off to buy a lotto ticket and look for a holiday job!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Give you one guess which one is mine and which is Chad's.

I Like Puzzles

Further proof of my semi-reclusive tendencies as evidenced by photos of puzzles Chad and I completed over the past few months. Both 1000 pieces each, thank you very much! Illustrations go much faster than photos.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Taking the 1929 Show on the Road

The Austin chapter of Murder Mystery Players takes the show on the road next Saturday, October 29 as we perform Death Plays the Market at the San Antonio Dave & Buster's. I love this show, partly because I get to wear a vintage, floor-length, jewel-encrusted evening gown complete with a tiara and fan. The mystery begins with the great stock market crash of October 29, 1929 and a scoundrel of an accountant.

This show is open to the public if you want to make a little road trip to San Antonio, or if you happen to be a reader from San Antonio. Dave & Busters San Antonio sits at the crossroads of I-10 and Loop 410 at 440 Crossroads Boulevard in 78201. Their phone number is 210-515-1515 if you'd like to call for reservations to next Saturday night's show. As soon as I have more details, I'll post them here.

We're also performing Death Plays the Market in Steiner Ranch next Thursday for a private party. Hooray, paychecks! I'll be able to afford a chandelier I've got my eye on for the dining room.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hopes, Fears and Dreams

Chad and I employ a few idiosyncratic (your SAT word for the day) conversation starters in our weird little lexicon (bonus SAT word for the day). In the past I blogged about "Do you like... stuff?", a quote from The Simpsons which aims to check one's general well-being and current interests. One of our other conversation starters, "Tell me your hopes, fears and dreams." dates back to our early dating days when I tried to make a semi-nonverbal, teenage male (Chad) talk about subjects outside of classwork.

A few days ago while walking our sweet, silly Janie-belle, Chad prompted me for my hopes, fears and dreams.

I replied, "Kittens."

"That's it. Just kittens?" he asked.

"Yes. I miss feeding the kittens at the bottle baby nursery, but the last time I went there were too many kittens. I got really overwhelmed when it took seven hours to feed 56 kittens. I know there are less kittens now. I might go back and volunteer again next week."

"We could foster some kittens if you want," offered my hero of a husband, Chad.

"Maybe after our fall family trip."

Should anyone ever accuse me of being a bad person for not feeling terribly maternal towards people-babies, please remember that I love kittens and puppies. I'll gladly awaken every two or three hours to bottle-feed kittens and puppies, to help them go potty, and to re-heat their warming disks or reset their heating pads. Helpless, furry orphans pull at me like nothing else. To each their own, right?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Donate to a Great Non-profit

Our sweet, silly dog, Janie Lulabelle-May, or Janie-belle for short, or Janie for even shorter, suffered some kind of injury while living on the streets. Janie limped on one of her back legs and her left eye rolled in its socket with icky discharge. She may have jumped from something high and landed badly, been glanced by a car or been abused. We don't know what caused the injuries, but we do know that the wonderful people at Animal Trustees of Austin gave Janie a Femoral Head Ostectomy surgery to help her hip heal and eye surgery to help her see better before we adopted her from Blue Dog Rescue. Thanks to Animal Trustees of Austin, Janie now walks two miles a day with no discomfort and has better use of her left eye. Thanks to Animal Trustees of Austin, Janie became an adoptable dog rather than a sad statistic of another dog euthanized at the shelter because her care would have been too expensive.

Click on the link below to join my fundraising efforts for Animal Trustees of Austin to help them provide low cost and free veterinary care. I'll also put a widget in my blog's sidebar so you can track progress towards my goal of raising $250 for Animal Trustees of Austin before November 13.

Thanks from me, Chad & Janie Lulabelle-May

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thank You!

Dear Birthday Bunny &/or Mother Nature,

Best. Gift. Ever.

Thanks so much for making it rain most of the day on my birthday! It was gorgeous and much-needed! I loved it.

Your pal,

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Dear Birthday Bunny,

Sorry for the late notice, but in roughly 48 hours, it will be my birthday. You knew that, right? Had it marked on your calendar with a big heart drawn in pink highlighter, I'm sure. It feels like my most recent birthday was just last month. Time flies when you're getting old!

Can you have a sit-down with Mother Nature and ask her to make it rain on or near my birthday? I'd love some rain, please! I'll also direct you to my fancy Wist gadget parading up the side of this open letter. Perhaps you noticed that I removed the cars from the list. I'm set for a car. Chad even got my current ride detailed so it shines like sparkle gel. I don't mind if rain gets on my clean car though!

The usual suspects appear on my plea for charitable donations: Austin Pets Alive, Capital Area Food Bank and Emancipet. This year, I'm adding a new charity to my list in your honor: House Rabbit Resource Network.

Thanks, Birthday Bunny.
Hoppy Trails!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

No BYOP Here

After exhaustive, dizzying discussions which Chad politely endured, I've decided not to host a BYOP (Bring Your Own Pumpkin) Party this year. The reasons for not hosting the party are many and varied. At the risk of sounding like "The Grinch Who Stole Halloween", I'll list my top three reasons.

1. Overall, less people carve a pumpkin each year at the BYOP party. Last year guests mostly stood around the kitchen or sat in the living room drinking and chatting. Which is fine, but kind of frustrating when I put so much time, thought, effort and money into throwing a pumpkin-carving party.

2. The record-breaking drought this summer left our yard with huge cracks, craters and exposed rocks, many opportunities to twist an ankle, or to trip and fall on one's face. I'd hate for a candy-fueled child to get hurt running amok in our yard. Plus the backyard isn't a pleasant place to congregate currently, unless you like the dust bowl aesthetic.

3. I just don't have the energy this year. I'm tired.

My curmudgeonly ways do not affect your ability to carve a pumpkin at your house. Have fun. Be safe. Send photos.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Car Chat

My first Saturday free from working in many months was spent test-driving cars with Chad. The day started with a slightly used 2011 white BMW 128i with 15K miles. I was bored. It drove like my current BMW. It had a backseat, but should not have. I'd rather make a few minor repairs to my current car than drop the major coin to drive a smaller version of my current car in a boring color. Plus the older man trying to sell me the car called me "young lady" which brought all negotiations to a screeching halt. You're not my (dearly departed) dad, and I'm not in trouble. Don't dare call me "young lady", unless I may call you "old man jerkface".

Next we popped up the block to the Mini Cooper dealership and drove the Mini Cooper S-coupe, or I should say Chad drove the six-speed manual. What a fun, gorgeous, FUN ride! I need more practice before I confidently drive a stick shift, but I'm in LOVE! No pretense, no fuss and no backseat, because who are they kidding?

Fed, caffeinated and properly medicated for allergies, Chad and I both had the energy to continue the test-drives at Volkswagen. I drove the 2012 Beetle. Charming exterior with glimpses of old-school Porsche made me drool just a bit. Unfortunately, the ride was bumpy with a bit too much road noise. Like the BMW 128i, the new Beetle has a nearly useless backseat, but for much cheaper than a BMW.

Chad test-drove a new GTI. (Full disclosure, Chad drove a GTI a couple of years in the past, and I loathed that car.) In a nutshell, I think we both found this newer GTI quick-footed, but claustrophobia-inducing with a rattly ride.

Verdict: I want to make a few minor repairs to my current BMW and leave well enough alone. I love the color of my current car, the handling, the safety features, the non-dead leatherette interior with a semi-comfortable backseat.

I want Chad to sell his car to buy a new Mini Cooper S-coupe with all the custom bells and whistles. He works so hard, and deserves to have a car that is both safer and much more fun than his current ride. Plus, I get to ride in the fabulous new Mini Cooper and learn to drive a manual transmission.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Seasonal Affective Disorder and the To-Do List

Here it is. That point in the summer when I'm so sick of relentless drought and record-breaking high temperatures that I wilt like the dead plants around my yard. I'm very tempted to hammer a "For Sale by Owner" sign into the front yard. Seattle sounds like a nice place to live. The plants there get plenty of rain! I enjoy clouds and cool temperatures!

To-Do List:
• Rip out all the dead plants from yard and planters.
• Rake and bag dead, dry leaves.
• Remove the dead baby tree from front yard, dead tree from back yard and dead bush from back yard.
• Replace the melted automatic timer for the landscape lighting.
• Be thankful our house was not affected by recent wildfires.
• Pray that some motorist or pedestrian does not toss a smoldering cigarette butt into our parched yard.
• Buy gravel and cacti for that huge patch of dry sand around our house.
• Buy "For Sale by Owner" sign at hardware store?
• Buy condo in Seattle?

Sunday, September 04, 2011

But we are...

When Chad feels stress in his jobs over the years, he often says, "We're not saving lives here," as a way of putting the situations into perspective. When I worked as a professional pet-sitter with The Furry Godmothers for a few years, I couldn't say that. The pets depended on Jody, Merry and I for food, water, medications and bathroom breaks / tolerable litter box conditions: life functions at or near the base of Maslow's Hierarchy. In my current position at the Tarrytown location of Austin Pets Alive!, I also can't borrow Chad's comforting phrase. If Shorey, Erin and I complete ten adoptions in a week to good and lasting homes, we've saved some lives. If I have a slow weekend like this past Labor Day weekend in which I don't complete a single adoption, I feel as though I'm failing to save lives, when I very much should be saving lives.

My terribly honest admission to you, gentle readers: in my next job, I don't want lives to hang in the balance. I just want to make things pretty in my next job.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Trunk Show!!!

Visit me Saturday at Austin Pets Alive Tarrytown from noon - 4:00 PM for a pet accessories trunk show! Saturday just happens to be the last day of Austin Fashion Week, and your fur-friend needs a new collar for the catwalk... or the dog walk. Speaking of dog walks, Lizziebees makes adjustable length leashes that match her fabulous collars! Feeling snoozy after all the social scene making? Greenpoints hooks you up with beautiful pet beds for catnaps and doggy dreams! Don't have a fur-friend? We can help you with that too. Cats, kittens and puppies will be on site and ready for adoption! Feeling peckish? Veggie Heaven donated catering, yum!

This Saturday 8/27 noon - 4:00 PM
Austin Pets Alive! Tarrytown
3108 Windsor Road
50% of all trunk show sales benefit APA!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Lady Gray Got Adopted!!!

Lady Gray got adopted today! I'm so happy for her and her new human! I got a little misty-eyed right after she left with her new human. I kept it together through her adoption process.

Congratulations, gorgeous! I'll miss you, but know this is the best thing for you.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Black Tie and Tails

Visit me at Tarrytown Austin Pets Alive! at 3108 Windsor Road this Saturday from noon - 5:00 PM. I'll give you a great deal on a sophisticated, stylish, sweet, mostly black fur-friend. Black is the new black. It matches everything.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Thai Food, Irish Book

I crave books like some people crave food. Lately I'm hungry for the new Maeve Binchy book. With the hotter-than-the-Devil's-crotch weather in Austin, I need to read about verdant Irish landscapes where it rains and people congregate in dark pubs.

However, my stomach wants Thai food, not Irish food. I think I can fill both the Thai and Irish bills if I get a meal at Titaya's and then cross the parking lot to Half-Price Books. Mmmm... yummy.

Friday, August 05, 2011

They Grow Up So Fast...

After only two days of going to work with me at Austin Pets Alive! Tarrytown, my sweet babies, Rowena and Raleigh, got adopted by a great family! I'm so happy for R&R and their new family, but I was hoping to keep the crazy-cute-kittens at the 1952 House for a little longer. *sigh*

The fabulous family also adopted APA! Tarrytown's resident loverboy, Shanti. Eight year old Shanti had a rough life as an outdoor cat before getting dropped off at the shelter. He has a funny bottom lip, a missing piece on one ear and some scars from past scrapes. Yet, he is the sweetest, melt-in-your-arms, affectionate, lanky boy cat I've ever met. And I've met a lot of cats.

Best wishes, fur-friends, to you and your new forever family! *sniffle*

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Foster Kittens!

A few months ago, when I still had the time and energy to volunteer for the Austin Pets Alive! Bottle Baby Nursery, I got to name a litter of tiny kittens that just arrived from the city shelter. The names all had to start with the letter R, because of the way we track kittens in the program. There was a fat little boy kitten with no tail who I dubbed Rounder, a gorgeous girl kitten with a nub of a bunny tail who looked like a Rowena to me, and finally a torbie boy kitten with a long tail, huge ears and a certain noble spirit who struck me as Raleigh. I fed the babies and filled out their charts. Whenever I returned to the nursery over the next week, I checked on "my" R kittens first thing.

The next week, the kittens went into a great foster home. Though I knew they were in good hands, I missed Rounder, Rowena & Raleigh. I got to see them when they were seven weeks old, because their foster mom scheduled a meeting with a potential adopter at Tarrytown Austin Pets Alive! A month passed, and all three were still up for adoption. How people could turn down these gorgeous, exotic-looking kittens, I have no clue!

Finally, sweet Rounder got adopted and went to his forever home last week. Raleigh and Rowena went on the waiting list to enter the Tarrytown cat adoption center, but their foster mom needs to start traveling for work soon. Rowena and Raleigh, now twelve weeks old, needed a temporary foster home. (I promise I asked Chad before I consented.) Two of "my" R kittens now live in the dressing room of the 1952 House! Temporarily, of course. They are so stinking cute!

Self-Assured Raleigh

Look at that fluffy tail!

Busy Rowena half-hops / half-runs. Must be that bunny tail!

Rowena says play, play, play!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Do You Have Treats?

Our Persian and our Pittie-Lab-mix: both princesses!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hijinks of Lady Gray

Lady Gray can open the sliding glass door to her cat enclosure. It takes time and determination, but she's opened the door once when Erin and I were working at Austin Pets Alive! Tarrytown, and once after hours.

When Erin arrived Monday to open the store / cattery, Oreo (one of Lady Gray's roommates in the "Ladies' Lounge" cat enclosure) met Erin at the front door. Oreo looked pretty pleased to be roaming free. According to Erin, "they had a grand old time with all of the little plushies" after raiding a basket of cat toys we sell at the store. Erin added, "I found the plush toys everywhere! Just when I thought I got them all, nope, there was another one. You could just tell the cats were having an absolute blast being bad."

That's Lady Gray for you. She's all purrs and adoring looks when you sit with her. However, Lady Gray also possesses a willful nature. I admit that's a quality I like in a cat. It keeps one guessing and laughing at the hijinks.

Sweet Lady Gray really wants some space to roam and a lap to call her own. I know it would be irresponsible of me to adopt her and add her to an already crowded house. I hope she finds a good home soon!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Save Me from Myself

I want to adopt Lady Gray. She currently resides in the Tarrytown Austin Pets Alive! cattery where I work. I love her so much. She wants nothing more than a good lap to lounge upon and a place where she can run around a bit. She could use some exercise. Some might call her fat, but I think of her as a sweet chunky monkey.

I get a little misty-eyed each time I put Lady Gray back into her enclosure. She loves running around the store and napping on a lap as we work on the computer. Lady Gray also likes to curl up on the retail shelves, and nearly got to spend the night outside her enclosure one night. We were closing up, and forgot she was out, because she was so quietly contented.

With all the cat & kitten adoptions discounted to $25 tomorrow at Austin Pets Alive, I'm SO tempted to bring home Lady Gray (a.k.a. cat #4/pet #5 for the 1952 House).

She has a cute way of drinking water too.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Day Off? Um...

Between auditions, my work with Austin Pets Alive!, dinner theater and volunteering with Austin Pets Alive!, it's been a while since I had an entire day off from work. However, the schedule page looks clear next week for some me-time! Hooray! I'm going to use that free time to eat some food -- seriously, my skinny jeans are baggy. I'll go to the gym. Maybe even start reading a new book. Yeah... that's how I roll.

However, before that glorious time off, I get to see LOTS of adoptions happen this weekend at Austin Pets Alive! Tarrytown! Visit me noon - 5:00 this Saturday & Sunday at 3108 Windsor Road. Special reduced rate of $25 adoptions for all cats and kittens plus all dogs over 35 pounds. Many thanks to our awesome sponsors at Frost Bank.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

No Time to Eat

My schedule has been nuttier than a fruitcake. I hate fruitcake.

However, my schedule should start to look more like chocolate chip cookies without nuts soon. Mmm... chocolate chip cookies without nuts.

My clothes are fitting more loosely lately, but I'm holding onto those bigger sized clothes for when I have some time to eat again.

I'm hungry.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

I Tried to be Reasonable

I tried to be reasonable and set my sites on an affordable car, but I just don't like affordable cars. I've come to accept this about myself. No Fiat or Mini Cooper in my future. Like a moth to a very expensive, well designed, shiny flame, I want another BMW.

My one concession: I'll downgrade to the 1 series this time with the 135i coupe. Now then, that's quite reasonable of me! And, vegetarian that I struggle to be, I'll opt for the vegan leatherette interior.

Off to buy a lotto ticket...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dorothy Rocks!

Dorothy is a ten-year-old volunteer who works with me almost daily at Austin Pets Alive! Tarrytown. She cleans the cat boxes, does dishes, sweeps, washes windows, fills bowls and snuggles the cats that are up for adoption. She also inspires me to be a better person. Below is an email she sent to everyone she knows.

Hi everyone!

I am a volunteer at the new Austin Pets Alive in Tarrytown next to Texenza Coffee on Windsor Road.

Next Thursday, June 23, 7:30 - 9:30 a.m., Austin Pets Alive will host a free "Cats and Coffee" get-together to introduce the neighborhood to the great kittens and cats of all kinds that need homes. I will be out of town next week, but really hope you will stop by and meet the animals and the women I work with -- Jenn and Lexa, the store managers.

If you are not ready to adopt a new furry friend, you can support APA by purchasing a cool T-shirt or other fun gift items (good for camp care packages!). Please say hi to all the cats for me!

Your Friend,

Monday, June 06, 2011

Almost Summer

Janie's summer wardrobe

fruits of summer

summer landscape

Friday, June 03, 2011

Give it to a Busy Person

Chad likes to quote his friend Steve, who is probably quoting some other person with this: if you want something to get done, give it to a busy person.

I'm experiencing a very different lifestyle since I traded volunteering many varied hours each week for getting paid to work mostly set hours each week. I sleep on a regular schedule now. I'm still a night owl, but I go to bed at 2:00 AM most nights, instead of 8:00 AM some days and 3:00 AM other nights. I shoehorn chores and trips to the gym into my schedule; rather than laying on the floor and fretting about stuff I should be doing whilst suffering serious sleep deprivation. I'm eating healthier, and dropped six previously stubborn pounds like magic.

I'm generally happier even though I complain about any grumps that visit my workplace. Yeah, former fellow volunteer, It's real easy to come in and criticize the paint job once it's all done. Where were you for the five weeks when I volunteered with only a few other people planning, cleaning, scraping and painting? Butthead.

Yesterday at work a teenage lady visited some of the cats we have up for adoption. She cuddled a nine-week old kitten on her lap while also petting a twelve-year old cat curled up at her side. The lady said to the cats, "I'm having the best day." I wanted to cry sappy tears of joy, but held it together.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Our (Totally Imaginary) Housekeeper

Good help is hard to find. In the past our (totally imaginary) housekeeper made the bed most days, vacuumed twice a week, kept framed items on the walls hanging straight, dusted religiously, usually stayed on top of the laundry and ironing, and emptied the trash receptacles most days. My only ongoing complaints centered around kitchen duties: the kitchen cupboards and refrigerator tended to be a bit bare coupled with a general lack of interest in planning meals.

There's been very little evidence of our (totally imaginary) housekeeper's work lately, which leads me to believe that she may have quit without even giving notice. The nerve! Leaving Chad to tend to all of her chores last weekend and many evenings this week. If only I could remember her name, I'd call her and give her a piece of my mind... not that I can spare a piece.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Light up my Life

This is the light I will buy for the dressing room with my next paycheck:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

You Are Cordially Invited

I've been painting, cleaning, planning, sourcing vendors and assembling IKEA furniture over the past month along with several other volunteers to prepare for the new Tarrytown Austin Pets Alive location to open tomorrow! You are invited to nibble some vegetarian appetizers, sip some bubbly (champagne or soda), shop some cute pet-related merch, meet some kitties that are up for adoption and bid on silent auction goodies at the grand opening celebration from 7:00 - 9:00 PM this Thursday, May 19. The festivities and new cattery are at 3108 Windsor Road in the heart of Tarrytown.

Here's the official link, and oh, lookit, you can donate some money while you're on that webpage!

This lovely cat adoption site and fun shop is also my employer as of Friday at noon. I'm breaking a couple of my own job rules by working retail for a non-profit, but I'm pretty excited and a bit nervous to be co-managing the adopt/shop. My co-manager and I have so much freedom and responsibility to run the shop and plan great adoption events for sweet pets. In addition to short-term resident cats up for adoption, we'll also have dogs for adoption at the Tarrytown location on most weekends! The shop sells dog bowls and beautiful locally made dog collars in addition to cute locally made cat collars, cat toys, pet beds, pet-themed jewelry, art and even pet-themed night lights that are locally made by a great glass artisan.

Drop by to say hi! I may be able to introduce you to your future furry friend and/or outfit your current fur-baby with a fab collar and bedazzle you with a pretty necklace.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Save the Kitties!

The kitten nursery at Austin Pets Alive is full beyond capacity with over 50 kittens and a few expecting mama cats. Please consider being a temporary foster family to a few kittens or to a pregnant mama cat who just needs a safe, clean place to have her babies. Mama cats do all the work as long as you keep them stocked with a blanket, fresh food, fresh water and a clean litter box. You can have some cuteness without the lifelong commitment by providing care for kittens and/or mamas until they get adopted to forever homes, or until they can move into one of the many adoption catteries around Austin.

Here's a link to the application to be a foster: click here.

Here's a link for more information: click here.

Here's a sweet blog about the kitten nursery if you'd like to help there: click here.


Thursday, May 05, 2011

Schedule Huggermugger Sans Big Payday

Between studying lines for dinner mystery shows, performing dinner mystery shows (or having them cancel due to lack of reservations at the last moment), pulling four to six hour shifts overnight at the bottle baby nursery, painting the new Tarrytown cat adoption center and lining up local retailers for the shop component on the new Tarrytown cat adoption center, I feel like I have a "real" job for the past few weeks. Except I don't get paid much in money, but instead earn feelings of accomplishment, kitten gratitude and self-confidence.

That said, I'm ready to start sleeping more like a normal person. I crave yoga classes to work out all the kinks in my shoulders, neck, right arm and back from many hours painting my own kitchen & the adoption center, and stomping around ballrooms in four-inch heels for dinner shows. And dare I admit my shallow want to earn some money beyond the very occasional dinner mystery paychecks and even more rare "use of image" checks that come in the mail from my agent? Yep. I dare.

I want a job that pays me some money. I do not want to fall back into old patterns of taking retail positions, professional marketing jobs or working for nonprofits. I want a job at a for-profit place that doesn't make me feel as if I'm selling my soul or selling out my ideals. I earned a bachelor's degree in Speech Communication, but I'm much more engaged when working with my hands and my brain; rather than dissecting rhetoric or writing speeches. I feel great accomplishment assembling items, organizing spaces, making things pretty and caring for animals. My top three dream jobs are set dresser, decorative production: such as upholstery or jewelry assembly, and retail display production (not interacting with customers; just making pretty displays).

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Paging Dr. Freud...

I don't personally endorse taking your mom to a murder mystery brunch for Mother's Day. It sends a strange message. However, I will be performing in a murder mystery brunch on Mother's Day. See the show and enjoy a yummy brunch. Maybe send Mom some flowers and don't bring her to the show, unless she just loves a good, silly mystery.

Click the poster below to make it bigger so you can get all the details.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Kitten Season = Volunteer Season

There are about eleventy hundred kittens being born at this moment. Some of them will end up at the kitten nursery where I and other volunteers will care for them until they can get into foster homes and/or get their precious selves adopted. Forgive my lack of blog updates. I'm either bottle-feeding or dishing up gruel for little scratchy puffballs of cuteness and neediness. Or maybe sleeping.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Puppy Love Update

The Austin Pets Alive puppies that we fostered for several days in January grew up to be teenage doggies. They both turned out gorgeous! Both were adopted.

Wendell found his forever family with his next foster home. His new mom volunteers with me in the Bottle Baby Nursery at APA. Wendell's new family kept the name I gave him, which honestly warms my heart.

Winnie, now known as Talulah, an equally cute and old-fashioned name, was adopted by a family in Lockhart. Look at those lovely blue eyes!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Goodbye Martian, Hello High Noon

Ever since the Martian (that's the name) paint went on our kitchen walls over four and a half years ago, I've thought it was too bright and garish. The wall color glowed and cast an acid green color onto other surfaces in the kitchen and hallway. The paint didn't match anything else in our house. While the Martian paint earned comments for uniqueness and bright saturation, I loathed it. I honestly think that paint made my skin look green whenever I entered the kitchen.

Chad and I finally repainted the walls High Noon blue this weekend. I love results of this repaint. It's bright yet calming. This color picks up the cool blue and gray flecks in the counter top and the cool tones in the kitchen tiles. This blue perfectly pairs with the aqua details in our long hallway rug and on the living room chair. *happy sigh* As an added bonus, when we pulled out the refrigerator, oven and hutch to paint the walls, we also scrubbed all the surfaces. Now we have an impeccably clean kitchen.

Monday, April 04, 2011

You're Here to What?

This weekend I spent some time volunteering at Austin Pets Alive for a special adoption event. I greeted people as they entered the cat building, which also houses the veterinary clinic for cats and dogs. Many people came to visit cats for possible adoptions. Some people brought foster dogs and cats to see the veterinary staff at the clinic. A few people arrived to pick up new foster pets to bring home with them for a while.

As another volunteer and I were standing at the main entrance looking over some paperwork, a cute young lady walked into the building. We all smiled at each other. I said, "Hi. Can we help you?" She replied, "I'm here to get busy." The other volunteer and I exchanged a glance that telepathically communicated, um, she's here to what? Then my brain kicked into gear and I realized that the cute young lady was here to get Busy, with a capital B. Recovering quickly from the awkward millisecond, I said, "Is Busy in the clinic right now?" Turns out, Busy was indeed a dog in the clinic, ready to head to a loving foster home. Busy... what a cute name!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


No, not me, Silly, but the quilt that I'm making out of some of Chad's old shirts with some new fabrics was featured in the Stitch Lab newsletter this week. I'm so proud that Leslie deemed my quilt worthy of the fabulous newsletter! I love the classes I've taken at Stitch Lab. I'll share more photos of the quilt when it is completed.

Our fierce little lap-kitty, Kenji, posed for this photo featured on our veterinarian's website! Choosing Kenji as a model was a bold choice for our awesome vet, because Kenji bites and growls like a poorly-socialized junkyard guard dog when she feels distress. Thank goodness, she smiled real pretty for her close-up!