30 January 2008

More Shelter Video

Tooling around on YouTube tonight, I another video for the Monmouth County SPCA.

Look really closely at the dog who appears at 00:28 - I'm almost certain that's Suki!

I nabbed her glamour shot off the SPCA's website when we adopted her and I'm convinced it's the same photo. I posted a comment on the YouTube page - hoping that someone will let me know if that is indeed her.

Henry had his 15 minutes of fame when he was talked up on The Pet Stop last year as part of the SPCA "where are they now?" segment, I suppose this is Suki's turn. Better not tell her though -- she might become more of a diva.

29 January 2008

Shelter Promo

A clip I found on YouTube for my local shelter - Monmouth County SPCA.

I wondered if any of our adoptees were in this vid - but they're not.

I wish I could give all these animals a safe and loving home... But since I can't I know the SPCA will give them time to find that forever home.

28 January 2008

Not Feelin' The (Craft) Love

I came home from my cruise all excited about getting back and playing with the beads, but I feel like I've slammed into a brick wall. I'm feeling ZERO creativity these days. I roll a few beads around in my hands, sort through the piles of lampwork and lucite (not to mention the polymer clay beads) and I'm just so uninspired.

I'm fighting with the new camera as well. Trying to figure out how to get good/better pics of my jewelry from it, but it's tough. In addition, it started acting up on the cruise, so I need to follow up with Canon and send it in for service. *sigh*

The day job has been stressing me out a bit - probably not conducive to coming home and letting the creative juices flow. I'm just trying to get through this week and then hopefully I can unwind a bit and get my craft on. I'm desperate to do something crafty that I'm even eying some of my abandoned cross-stitch projects.


On the bright side, Mark expressed interest in a vacation to Belize. (Yea, this gal's digging that.) So now the research starts. It ain't cheap to fly there (comparable to Europe), but it's so different than anywhere in Europe. I'm wanting to check out all-inclusive vacation packages. Like the idea of a combo jungle-beach trip. One thing I definitely want to do while we're there is cave tubing.


P.S. Henry's blood work came back - nothing to worry about. In hindsight, it probably wasn't necessary for the blood work, but at his age, I don't mind having it done annually to make sure everything's a-ok. Now we're gonna try the anti-inflammatory to see if it helps his mobility any over the next week or so.

Another dry night for those wondering... This late night potty run thing seems to be working. Not sure how long I can keep it up though.

26 January 2008

A Wee Tail

Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

Yesterday, I took both dogs to the V-E-T.

Suki's ears were bothering her again and needed to be cleaned. For some reason, I was under the impression it was an ear mite infestation, but it's not. Dr D was able to muzzle her and clean them out (again!) but recommended that we sedate her so that they can get in there and have a good look at what's causing the problem. I've been reading a bit online about ear infections and have a few questions to ask the vet when they call today.

I also took in Henry who's been having a 'wee problem' at night. In the past month we've tossed two dog beds and are on the verge of tossing a third if Nature's Miracle doesn't work wonders. (I'm loathe to toss out his $80 memory foam bed because it was wonderful for his achy joints, but if it reeks of dog pee, then out it goes.) Since I was taking in Suki, I called to see if I could bring him along.

He's got some neurological damage in his hind quarters -- he doesn't have the normal reflexes when the v-e-t turns his paw upside down. Most dogs will flip it over instantaneously, but not Henry. He's got a v e r y s l o w reaction time. Of course, this is something we've known about since we adopted him and it's not going to improve.

As for the incontinence, it's only at night while he sleeps. The v-e-t did take some blood to rule out any other issues (diabetes, etc.) and I should have those results today. If the bloodwork comes back clean, we're going to try him on a low dose anti-inflammatory, quick walk to empty his (seemingly bottomless) bladder before bedtime, and restricting his water intake after dinner to see if this helps or not.

He is an older dog (11 years is the estimation) and he's living the life of Riley at our house. But, I have seen him 'slow down' in the past few months. He's not about to kick the bucket, but he's aging. Yet for all his 'bad' days, he'll still have those moments where he acts like a puppy. Even yesterday on our walk he saw a rabbit and wanted to give chase. I had a hard time reining in this 38 lb dog -- when he wants to go, he develops Superman-strength.

This weekend I'm off to Joann's to look for some fleece and rubber sheeting. Our v-e-t recommended that I get some fleece for a bed for him - than it's easy to wash when he does have an accident. Another friend recommended the rubber sheeting for a layer of protection.I'm wondering if I can get the rubber sheet and make a "pillow case" to protect his bed. If I can rescue the memory foam mattress, encase it in rubber sheeting and then stack the fleece on top of it, that would be great. I might be pulling out my sewing machine and getting my craft on later this weekend.

Yes, I'll do anything for my dog.

24 January 2008

Gone to the Dogs

Compliments of Valerie of Valerie Beads - here's a photo of the custom pendant she did for me. Yep, that's la petite cujo, Snaggletooth, Suki.

I think she did a fantastic job of capturing Suki's personality, complete with the lolling tongue. (That's what happens when you only have three teeth.) I can't wait to see it in person. I'm gonna love taking my pup with me wherever I want.

I highly recommend Valerie's work. I'm a junkie for her polymer clay beads - available both on her site as well as in her etsy shop. If you're tempted to buy, do me a favor though - save a few for me.

Let's Talk About Books...

I haven't really talked much about my other passion - books - on this blog, but those who know me in real life know that I'm a bibliophile. The "recently read" section to the right over there is courtesy of LibraryThing which is where I've been cataloging what I've read/own for the past few years.

Earlier this year they started an Early Reviewers program where they partnered with publishers to get review copies of books out to LT users to read and review. To date, I've requested several and recieved a few. Who doesn't like free books?

Tipperary by Frank Delaney was the first book I received. I tried, but I had great difficulty following the story as it jumped between time periods. I eventually gave up.

The Pirate's Daughter by Margaret Cezair-Thompson was the second book received. I'm sad to say that it's still sitting on my dining room table unread. I guess this is a good motivation tool to get me to move it up closer to the top of Mt TBR. Perfect timing as I'm just finishing up another book.

This week, I received notification that I'll be getting two books.

The Moon in the Mango Tree by Pamela Ewen
The Translator: A Tribesman's Memoir of Darfur by Daoud Hari

Wow! Take about completely different genres. I'm thrilled to be getting both these books, but not sure which one I'm more excited about.

Tipperary is long gone (swapped on BookMooch), but if you're interested in any of the three remaining books, just leave a comment. It'll encourage me to read them more quickly than I otherwise would. Plus, I'll be glad to pass them along to someone else who's interested.

And if you're an avid reader/bibliophile and don't have an LT account yet, what's stopping you? Go on, sign up and catalog your library -- then check out the Early Reviewers offerings.

22 January 2008

Forty Things

Compliments of my fellow EtsyNJ Street Team member, Made by Melissa.

1. What is your occupation?
Quality Assurance and Compliance Associate by day;
Wife, dog walker, feline servant, and jewelry maker by night.

2. What color are your socks right now?
Socks? What's that?

3. What are you listening to right now?
Suki breathing heavily.

4. What was the last thing that you ate?
Salmon and rice pilaf.

5. Can you drive a stick shift?
Yes, I can.

7. Last person you spoke to on the phone?

9. How old are you today?
*mumbles* forty

10. Favorite drink?
Key Lime Martini

11. What is your favorite sport to watch?
Football - pro or college
Basketball - college (I live for March Madness!)

12. Have you ever dyed your hair?
Yes, but it's been a while.

13. Pets?
Dogs: Henry (SpanielX), Suki (PomeranianX)
Cats: Stanley, Sadie, and Lily

14. Favorite food?
dark chocolate covered caramels

15. Last movie you watched?
The Quiet Man

16. Favorite Day of the year?
St Patrick's Day - because it's fun to watch my husband pretend he's Irish.

17. What do you do to vent anger?
Scream, cry, throw a tantrum (when possible)

18. What was your favorite toy as a child?
Fashion Plates; Barbies

19. What is your favorite season?
Autumn - football, falling leaves, Halloween and my birthday. What more can a gal ask for?

20. Hugs or kisses?
Kisses from a really good kisser, otherwise hugs.

21. Cherry or Blueberry?
Neither really, but I'll eat blueberries if they're with strawberries, raspberries and cream.

26. When was the last time you cried?
This afternoon upon hearing Heath Ledger was dead.

27. What is on the floor of your closet?
Probably clothes, shoes, and Sadie.

30. Favorite smells?
freesia, cinnamon rolls, the ocean, skunk

31. Who inspires you?
My mom
My circle of friends who make jewelry and other crafty things

32. What are you afraid of?
Being alone.

36. Number of keys on your key ring?
Three - my car, two keys for front door

37. How many years at your current job?
Just over 5 years (and a couple months)

38. Favorite day of the week?

40. Do you think you're funny?
Not particularly, but I have my moments.


After I posted this - and received comments from y'all - I realised there were several questions missing. This is more like 20-some things than 40 things. Math never was my strong point - but then others just answered without counting the questions also. I'm not alone.

21 January 2008

Back to life, back to reality

Two days ago, I was basking in warm, sunny weather - 84F. It's a whopping 18F here this morning - not sure what the high is supposed to be. Whatever it is, it's just too darn cold.

On the bright side, at least it's not Green Bay.

20 January 2008

I ♥ Belize

Cruise 2008 - Day 4
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

I'm home from my cruise to the Western Caribbean (stops in Cozumel and Belize). A wonderful time - although it's damn good to be back in Jersey.

In short, I have NO desire ever to go back to Cozumel - unless Mark and I ever become certified to dive, but even that is questionable. However, I'm ready to turn around and go back to Belize in an instant. I fell in love with the country and want to see more. One day in port was simply not enough.

This picture was taken at Lamanai - one of the many Maya ruins scattered throughout the Belize countryside. We heard the howler monkeys as we were hiking though the site. We were lucky enough to "meet" a troop of monkeys (about 12) on this walk and several of us managed to get pictures of a couple of them feeding. Luckily they didn't pummel us with foliage or poop on us.

Lamanai was utterly fascinating. Unlike many of the Maya ruins I've been to in the past, which are a series of plaza squares, Lamanai is built along a lagoon. The jungle has reclaimed much of the site and only a few key buildings are excavated. According to our tour guide, there are over 1300 Maya ruins in Belize, but only approximately 13 are accessible to the public. I want to go back and see more.

Strangely, over dinner last night, as I was telling Mark all about the trip, he expressed an interest in going to Belize. But not on a cruise - he wants to fly directly there and spend a week. Perhaps we can make it happen!

Photos of the whole cruise are in my Flickr album now - feel free to look if you're interested. I got a little crazy with the sunrise/sunset photos - but the nice thing about digital photography is you can take as many as you want!

19 January 2008

Home Again

Cruise 2008 - Day 4
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

I'm home after sailing the Caribbean. This is a shot of the sunrise from my balcony the morning we were moored off the coast of Belize.

A recap of the adventure will be forthcoming. In short, I had a fabulous time, enjoyed the cruise experience, but I'm really looking forward to crawling into MY bed tonight and having my dog curled up next to me.

14 January 2008

Greetings from Florida

Just checking in from South Florida. Mom's here and we'll be leaving the hotel in a little bit to return the rental car and then head out to the port. Ship departs ~5 PM tonight and on Wednesday we'll be in Cozumel. Thursday's port is Belize, then we're home on Saturday morning.

Mark left early yesterday morning instead of today. The predicted nor'easter had him scared he'd be stranded in Florida if he kept to his flight this afternoon. He made it home by early afternoon yesterday. The nor'easter? A bust. Instead of the 6 inches or so, he got nothing. Nada. Bupkus. Just a bit of rain.

Mom and I spent the afternoon yesterday in Palm Beach. We took the Diva Duck tour - not as fun as the Duck tours we've taken in Pittsburgh and Seattle, but still fun. Most of this tour was spent in the water (Lake Worth Lagoon) and looking at the house of the rich and famous - Celine Dion, Merck, Phipps, the SlimFast guy, Marjorie Merriweather Post, just to name a few. Didn't see any Manatees in the water though. Bummer. A pleasant way to spend the afternoon in South Florida.

Anyhow, that's it until next week. I hope to be back in Jersey, well-rested and slightly toasted (I don't tan, so that's the best I can hope for) on Saturday night.

10 January 2008

All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go...

Although I'm leaving on a jet plane Friday morning, I know when I'll be back again. See y'all again on January 20th - complete with photos from Florida, Cozumel, Belize and moments on the ship.

Of my 'to do' list posted earlier, I managed everything except getting the Dramamine (can do that while I'm in Florida - there's a Walgreen's on every corner) and washing the dogs. Mark will have to deal with it until I'm back.

I'm taking 4 books with me, one cross-stitch project (the never ending tulips), and possibly a knitting project if I can bear working with yarn in the Caribbean. Mom's the 'expert' knitter in the family; I need help after doing the first row. Since I'll be with her, it might not be a bad idea.

So, until a week from Sunday - this space will be quiet. I wonder what my email and blog feeds will look like when I get back? Not to mention my DVR -- Idol, Comanche Moon and Law & Order. Gonna have to watch stuff quickly to get myself up to speed.

Now it's time to wash my face and hit the sack.

Ciao - Adios - Toodles!

One Day More...

Yep, only one day left of work. Have to assist with a client audit on Thursday, but come 4 PM or so - I'll be checking out and on vacation until I return. Heck, I still might be 'on vacation' when I get back - at least in my head.

Most everything is complete, I only have a few things left to do:
  1. Pack - temps are forecasted to be in the upper 70s/low 80s while I'm gone, so that means digging out the summer togs

  2. Stock up on necessary meds - i.e., Dramamine, Motrin. I probably won't have to use the Dramamine; simply knowing I have it will probably do the trick. Better safe than sorry. I can get motion sickness in car too easily these days.

  3. Wash the dogs. Yes, they're starting to stink again, so I'll be giving them baths tomorrow night when I get home. (Why do dogs think rolling around in smelly things is fun?)

  4. Pack the camera, my passport, and a crafty project. I'll have to search my cross-stitch stash to see if there's something I've got ready-to-go to take with me.

  5. Don't forget books. I figure I'll have some time to read poolside on the ship. But deciding what to take could be tough. Have to see what MMPB books I can easily tuck into my bag.

  6. Cancel the paper for this weekend, confirm last minute details with dog walker, double check all necessary bills are paid...
Whew! After 8 hours of my day job, I'm hoping this will take very little time and I can sit down and relax. I can hold off on #2 until we get to Florida for my pre-cruise weekend, but everything else will have to be done before I go to bed on Thursday. Friday morning will come early - too early. Who had the bright idea to take an early morning flight?

09 January 2008

Artist's Model - A New Breed

Originally uploaded by

One of my online bead buddies, Valerie, makes these fabulous polymer clay animal pendants. You can see the pendants she currently has for sale in addition to her awesome beads in her etsy shop. I've been in love with her work for close to a year now; ever since I discovered her by accident.

Yesterday I emailed her and asked if she would contemplate doing custom work for me - a pendant with Suki and her lolling tongue. She agreed and the emails went flying to hash out the details. This is one of the photos she is using to capture Suki's personality. There were actually two photos for her consideration. I told her to take them both and choose the one that works better.

While I'm excited to see what she comes up with, I told her I'm in no rush. I think it'll be fun to have a pendant of la petite cujo to wear. Of course, I might have to ask her to make one of Henry and the cats as well. Wouldn't want them to be jealous.

I'll be sure to post a pic of the final piece once I have it in my hands.


I was talking to a friend after dinner tonight and she commented when she saw this pic of Suki, she was reminded of Michael Jordan. Guess the pup has a new nickname - Air Suki. (Alas, her vertical leap isn't anywhere near MJs. If it was, I'd be taking her to Knicks' camp.)

08 January 2008


OSU False Start
Originally uploaded by

For those of you who didn't stay up to watch OSU-LSU game last night - this headline from the Columbus Dispatch says it all.

This born-in-Michigan gal is smiling broadly this morning. But she also knows that she'll need to tread cautiously around her co-worker who's an Ohio State alum today. Wondering if I can find my LSU gear this morning.

Chin up, Buckeye fans. There's always next year.

07 January 2008

Four More Days...

and I'll be on a plane heading south for a relaxing weekend. Then a week from today, I'll be jumping aboard a ship which will take me to Cozumel and Belize. I can't wait. I'm bursting with excitement.

Somehow, in the next 96 hours or so I have to pack my bags, finish laundry, ensure the dogs and cats have enough food, etc. and try to get my garage door's keyless entry pad working again. All this and work my day job as well.

Hurry Friday. I can't wait to be Florida bound.

04 January 2008

Studio Space

Studio/Craft Room
Originally uploaded by

Some of my friends were sharing their studio/workspaces with one another, so I figured I'd share mine.

My third (spare) bedroom has been co-opted into a studio/craft room for me. I love the sunny yellow of the walls - even on a gloomy day, this is a pretty cheery room.

The initial photo is my work table, where I spend many hours playing with beads and the like, and my oh-so-wonderful OTT lamp which I got for a steal at Joann.com. (Each year all OTT lamps are on sale 50% off for a month - I think it might be February. Couple that with a free shipping code and wham! I've accumlated about 4 of them throughout the house and absolutely LOVE them.)

There are more photos of the entire room in my Flickr album if you want to see the entire space. Currently it's in a bit of flux -- the white cubes you'll see are the permanent storage space. The bookcases and such will go - as soon as I (a) read all the books in them and (b) systematically rearrange the contents in the white cubes. I'm working on it - slowly.

Eventually we'll move the desktop into this room and the litter box will go back downstairs once Henry realises the cats are not squeaky toys - whenever that will be. (Funny - downstairs he could care less about them, but when he get upstairs in their domain, they are a lot more interesting.)

Anyone else want to share their workspace? I'd love to see pictures.

01 January 2008

Happy New Year!

NYE 2007
Originally uploaded by MarciNYC

We survived another year at the Count Basie with Southside Johnny. Photos are uploaded in my Flickr album if you're interested.

It was a great night. The show was simulcast on E Street Radio, so we were sort of hoping you-know-who might make an appearance. I don't know if he's on the road or just spending NYE at home with the family, but he didn't show. Nonetheless, it was a great time.

I took a ton of photos - some great, some not so great. And if you're wondering why there's a bajillion shots of Bobby... Well, I was standing right in front of him most of the night (at least from midnight on). I tried to mix it up a bit, but he was there most of the night.

Hope everyone had an enjoyable evening, however you chose to welcome in the new year. I'm really glad to have 2007 over with and hope that 2008 is filled with better things than the past year was.