Thursday, August 31, 2006
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Bridget's Alyssa was diagnosed with bone cancer several months ago. It is untreatable and she has been on medication to manage the pain. Last night she took a turn for the worse so tonight Bridget and Bill are going to say goodbye to her and send her on her way. Alyssa is their first greyhound.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
There've been times that I've thought I couldn't last for long
But now I think I'm able to carry on
It's been a long time coming
But I know a change is gonna come
This is something I have been thinking about lately. I spent probably an hour talking Jen's ear off the other night about it. I think that there might be a societal shift in the offing as far as animal exploitation goes. Now, I am fully aware that in our history, this is probably by far the worse time to be an animal.....almost 10 billion are slaughtered in our country alone each year. I can't even hardly get my mind around that number. That is billion with a B. It doesn't bear thinking about.
I gave up eating meat in 1993. I went vegan in the fall of 1997 (wow! 9 years!). I have seen a shift in the public. Yes, in a social event, a vegan is going to be odd man out. It still sucks to try to eat out sometimes. People still look at you like you are a tree hugging freak sometimes (well, I am a tree hugging freak but still.....you know what I mean). But it *is* getting better. I have seen this in the past 13 years. Grocery stores are carrying more natural food. There is a strong local agriculture movement. It is easier (not easy, but *easier*) to eat out. We are invited to a wedding in October that offers a vegan dining choice. There are major vegetarian magazines published. And I am starting to see some of the issues so dear to our hearts being discussed in the popular media.
In the past year, two of Newsweek's columnists have written positively about vegetarianism and animal rights, George Will and Rabbi Marc Gellman. Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser, published in 2001, indicted our food industry practices. Supersize Me by Morgan Spurlock was a documentary hit in 2004. What is amazing to me is that these aren't the 'usual suspects' with this subject matter. Part of what I fear is that things have gotten so bad that these people are compelled to speak out against the horror and travesty. They are not specifically advocating vegetarianism but argue more along the lines that our current system is out of control and we have to establish a more reasonable and compassionate model, for our health, our environment, our animals, our workers. But I don't care what their reasons are, I am happy they are speaking. They are reaching an audience that needs to hear what they say, an audience that might be receptive to the ideas if it comes from them instead of us. How does the saying go? It is always darkest before the dawn? As bad as things are now, I hope, hope, hope, that I am right and that the dawn is coming, that a change is gonna come.
Monday, August 28, 2006
They were approximately four years old and littermates.
They were so well behaved and sweet - they were no problem! They hopped right in the car and settled right down. Somebody is going to be lucky to get these dogs - they will be wonderful companions. It was a fun and rewarding way to spend a few hours on a Saturday morning. Frannie is the black tuxedo girl. She was very vivacious and outgoing. You could tell she never met a stranger.
Adam is the big brindle. He was also very friendly but a little more reserved than Frannie. He was very watchful and observant.
Whenever I do these hauls, I think what it must have been like for my two boys, coming off the tracks, being passed from car to car, volunteer to volunteer, in 1, 2 or 3 hour drive legs, making their way to our family and home. I wonder what they thought as it was going on, if they could somehow sense that their lives were going to be opening up and changing. I wonder if they remember that time of transition today and think back on it. Especially for Mal - he was brought over from Ireland to race and I often wonder how....probably by plane. Oh well, I would just love to know what goes on in their minds and what they really think :-)
Sunday, August 27, 2006
In our little greyhound community, there are a few things Cosmo is known for. One of those things is.....to be blunt......his poop ability. He is a good pooper. He poops a lot.
I looked in my rearview mirror, and, yes, Cosmo was pooping in my car. I guess he really had to go. He pooped in my car. And as I just said, he poops a lot. This time was no exception.
Angus, who, as a terrier, has never witnessed naughty behavior he didn't want to participate in, was in the back of the car and he launched himself like a bullet over the back of the passenger seat to the front. He did not want to be associated with that crime scene, in a way, shape or form. I holler at Cosmo to try to keep him from stepping in the pile but I really didn't need to. He was standing, frozen in horror at what had just happened, unable to move, in complete noncomprehension.
I pull over, hit the emergency flashers, grab a poopbag, some napkins and with the dog water supply, try to clean up as much as possible. We drove the rest of the way with the windows open.
We joined up with the group and had a great walk. Here are some pictures of Mo that Jen took Friday and I scarfed from her blog:
He is very handsome.....
The silly boy had been eating grass and left some hanging out the side of his mouth like a hayseed farmer....
Friday, August 25, 2006
We have a new member of our family (the Veg family!) Bridget of 5CrazyGreyhounds is giving meatfree life a shot. Yep, that is right, she is contemplating leaving the dark side and coming over to the light!!! If you get a chance, drop by her blog and lay on some words of encouragement.......we all know that these habits are hard to break and it is so good not to feel alone on this journey.......
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Candi's blog (caveat - I read Candi's blog everyday and love it......Holla Candi! I just found the pictures from her slide show to be such affecting and powerful images. They really felt like a knife in my heart - which is good because it means they will have the power to affect change in people)
Final Salute - Rocky Mountain News
When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts
and my own personal 'push a person over the edge' - Involuntary Marine Recall
Anyways, instead of the depressive wallowing, I am going to focus on the positive (Accentuate the positive, Eliminate the negative, Latch onto the affirmative.......not a bad theme song, heh?):
This weekend is the second annual Syracuse Vegfest. Gonna be there and it is gonna be great!
We have a day trip planned in September for the New York Farm Sanctuary. Gonna hang with some pigs and goats!
Dewey Beach in October. Gonna hang with the hounds!
And lastly, Eric's End of Active Service date is November. So long, Marine Corps!
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
So my boy is out and all in one piece.....my heart bleeds for those still caught up in the mess over there, carrying out ill-planned objectives for unjustified reasons and those trying to recover from their injuries and all the families left behind trying to get by, day by day, without their loved ones......... When I think of what is going on over there, it reminds me of the Thomas Jefferson quote, "Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep forever." I know he was talking about slavery but I think it can also apply to our country's recent misguided policies.
All of our pictures are packed away, but I came across this one of Eric with his cousin Kimber, up at my parent's house
And here are some from his Iraq deployment:
I could put a gazillion more up, because I just love looking at him. Instead though, just because I am (according to our illustrious Sec of Def, Rummy) a nazi/fascist appeaser, without a clear understanding of history, that believes America is the root of the world's problems and we should negotiate peace with terrorists, here are a couple of videos. Bruce Springsteen's version of Pete Singer's Bring Them Home, June 6, 2006 in San Francisco, CA.
And just because he rocks it, here is a video of Pete Seeger, doing his original:
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Due to a couple of unfortunate incidences, early after his retirement off the track, John was labelled a 'biter'. He was passed through a couple of groups, as people tried to work with him to avoid him being put down. Eventually, he ended up with Bridget and Bill and the rest is history. Being in a dog-savvy home, with lots of consistency, routine, affection and training increased John's comfort level and his days of acting out (towards people at least) are over. Dogs are another story but that will have to wait for another time :-)
We had him out in the back yard today and Jim was playing with him, getting him running
The maniacal growling you hear is from Angus who I kept a tight grip on.
Later on, as you can see, Angus was fascinated with the video!
That evening, we went out to a ballgame. Mal, Cos and Ang were shut up in a bedroom and John was left in the kitchen. Now, my dogs don't countersurf so I never think to clean off the counters and get all food put away. Guess what? John does countersurf.
While we were out, it seems John ate what he could get off the counter, 2 rosemary and olive oil bagels and 1 blueberry bagel, and then took what was left and stashed it in his bed!
What he has there is a bag with an everything bagel, a bag of oreos, a bag of dog food and an empty plastic bowl and napkin! Right now he is sleeping behind the couch and we can hear his grumbly tummy, making all sorts of noises, trying to digest his feast. He was a happy boy!
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Last night we met out for dinner. The runners had a card and a 'Great Coach Award' ribbon for me and they bought my dinner! :-) We ended up hanging out there for about 3 hours, just talking away. Everyone was full of excitement and anticipation for the race. The one thing I love about participating in this class is that the participants always build strong, lasting and supportive relationships amongst themselves.
Today, it started rainy and overcast. Perfect race weather :-) I arrived at the park to find Sue and her sister (who was not in the Y group but wanted to run the race with her sister) already there. Shortly, everyone else arrived, including Bridget and her husband Bill there to spectate (they were leaving for a weekend with family in PA right after the race).
The Willow Bay is always such a great race. It is a women-only race, very small but a great crowd. They also have lots of door prizes :-)
Everyone in the group finished and finished strong. Sue and her sister Theresa even took 2nd place in the sister/sister division! Results aren't posted yet but everyone finished with great first-race times. And not only did all my racers finish, but after the race, I found them all crowding around the future race applications table! I think it is safe to say that their first race was a positive experience for them and I am very, very proud of them all. Running is not easy and to see these women, start from nothing with only their own determination to keep them going is very inspiring to me. I took lots of pictures and they are on my website.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Not considered good news but I was informed that I will be attending a Tesla concert at the State Fair this year....Oh well, it will give me a chance to check out Jen's art entry (because I know it will be accepted, I know it will, I know it will.....)
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Wen and I were able to get out a lot at the beginning of the summer but now - she has started a new job and I am swamped. The summer of Wen and Trac was nice while it lasted LOL
The last hiking we did was last month up at Lake Placid which was great but it was dogless.... My letterboxing stuff is all packed away.... I haven't made any books lately outside of the aborted State Fair entry attempt that was disastrous. Jen keeps putting stuff and ideas on her art blog that are making me envious......
It will be nice when everything is settled and life is back to normal - just in time for prime fall hiking weather in CNY (at least until the hunters take over all the state land :-/)
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
The above is not me :-) but a photo from The Chicago Diner's website. Too cool- I am happy to have A home and the shirt!
Mally's teeth are not good. It is common for racing greyhounds to come off the track with nasty teeth. I think it is because the track diet is mostly soft food and the dogs don't get to chew hard things - Jen can weigh in on this, she probably knows. Mal is also 8 years old. To have a dental he would have to be anesthesized which I like to avoid as much as possible. Little know fact outside the greyhound community - because racing greyhounds are used to being handled so much at the track and because most of them have a natural placid demeanor, they usually don't have to be anesthesia for minor vet procedures. Mal has had staples with only local painkiller and he has been x-rayed, all with no anesthesia. I brush his teeth but that only helps so much. I give the dogs rawhide to chew, and while I think that helps their gums stay healthy, it doesn't help the teeth. Bridget's Rim has teeth as nasty as Mal's and they have improved vastly by chewing knuckle bones. So today, I stopped at the pet store and picked up some knuckle bones. Nasty, nasty things. I hope the dogs appreciate my sacrifice. I bought a bag of three for $9.99. One of them was the hugest thing I have ever seen!
You can get a sense of how big this thing is by Angus' and Cosmo's faces.
You know Angus was ready to light into this. Look at him licking his chops!
All three boys chewing away:
Of course, Mal got the big one but I don't think the other two were complaining. Angus took his under the coffee table as if that would hide him! By the way, I refused to touch any of them and handled them with the grocery bags. Bleech!
I have made my peace with this issue as much as I can. I am interested in how other's who strive for a compassionate life and have companion animals deal with this.
Friday, August 11, 2006
1. One book that changed your life:
Diet for a New America by John Robbins (this is the book that inspired me to go vegan)
2. One book that you’ve read more than once:
The Mirror by Marlys Millhiser (I love, love, love time travel!)
3. One book you’d want on a desert island:
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
4. One book that made you laugh:
Hmmmmmmmm, don't read many funny books - Maybe Bridget Jones' Diary????????
5. One book that made you cry:
The Ginger Tree by Oswald Wynd
6. One book that you wish had been written:
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
7. One book that you wish had never been written:
Hmmmm, another hard one, there are so many :-) The Left Behind books, any Danielle Steel, etc.
8. One book you’re currently reading:
Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
9. One book you’ve been meaning to read:
Remembrance of Things Past - Marcel Proust (all of it!)
Anyways, you knew it was coming so here it is:
Plantar fascitis is back - I couldn't run even if I could scare up the motivation to.
Nagging, sharp pain with inner right knee - this is new, who knows what it could be.
Carpal tunnel - both hands aching all day long even though I have been diligent wearing my braces to bed.
Sore throat - slight and nagging, going on about a week now.
Sinus infection - tell-tale signs arrived about 2 days ago
Sleep - finally had two nights in a row without waking up - Yay!
Maybe I will delete this posting when I get over my pity party :0)
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Seriously, greyhounds are sighthounds and are trained to give chase. They can be up to their full speed in three strides and that full speed can reach 40 mph. If one gets away, they are very difficult to catch. Greyhounds should always been kept securely on a leash or in a fenced area. In these pictures, Wilson is leashed and you can see his leash in the water if you look closely. Never take a chance with your hound - they rely on you to keep them safe :-)
And with the miracle of modern technology - actually she stood in front of her tv and filmed a vcr tape! - we now have one of Lucy's races on the internet:
It is a good thing that Lu and Cliff are cute enough to warrant all this video attention!
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
I love the one of Wil standing in the water. It was so hot that day. He stood there, literally not moving for almost 20 minutes. As you can see, both my boys were wiped out afterwards :-)
Anyways, Infinity was first finder and gave me a few things to change on the clues which I shall do today. And she also gave a shout out on the NY section of the AQ board. These stamps really are so awesome, carved by a local group of boxers. I don't think you will find any where else, a series this large (8 stamps) with this high a quality of carved stamps.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Anyways, now Cosmo has decided he likes the bathroom. All three dogs sleep in our bedroom at night - Angus in bed with us or his own bed, as he prefers, and the two greyhounds on their own dog beds. Now, every night when we head up to bed, everyone settles down where they are supposed to be. 2 minutes later, Mo will hop up and start pacing. He will go into the bathroom and start digging at the floor, trying to nest. Take a look in the picture - it's linoleum. Dig, dig, dig. He will come out to his bed, lay down. 2 minutes later, hop up and pace, his nails clicking on the hardwood floors and the bathroom linoleum. Finally, I get out of bed and haul his bed into the bathroom. He settles in his bed, most the time looking like a drunk college student with his head on the floor next to the toilet. In case, I miss his complete portrayal of contentment, he sighs and moans deeply. And then he sleeps all night through without a sound, lifting his head to observe us if any late night, ninja-move, contortion producing visit is needed to the bathroom. We now just automatically drag his bed into the bathroom every night when we go to bed.
Monday, August 07, 2006
Sunday, August 06, 2006
We have read:
On the Beach - Neil Shute
I am Legend - Richard Matheson
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - Mark Haddon
The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy
A Year of Wonders - Geraldine Brooks
A Northern Light - Jennifer Donnelly
Stranger in a Strange Land - Richard Heinlein (our current selection, which I must say I am enjoying more than I thought I would)
I would not classify all the books as great or ones that I loved. But, I can say that, no matter what I thought while reading them, I walked out of every one of our discussions with more appreciation and respect for each book. Listening to everyone's comments and views on each book deepened my understanding. They are quite the group of smarty-pants! It has been a great year for reading and I hope this continues for many more :-) Thanks everyone!
Budge came over last night to pick up the tables I borrowed for the garage sale. I poured us each a glass of wine and we composed an 'official' moderator email (pending Spark's approval, of course) to a miscreant on the e-group. Because of the booze, it remains to be seen if it will ever be sent but I do think it struck a highpoint in literacy and moderating for us :-)
Anyways, after she left, another glass and a half of wine was consumed. Now, the caveat here is I am a cheap drunk. Very cheap. As in snockered with 2.5 glasses of wine over 3 hours. It doesn't take much to get me blitzed. In fact, I read about a vegan wine tasting in a blog I check occasionally, Yeah, that Vegan Shit and I thought it might be a nice idea to have one when we got into the new house. Well, I am now reconsidering that idea. :-) Anyways, I was determined to cook and had my recipes all chosen and ingredients bought. So I started....
I made brown rice and asparagus and cannellini beans with basil from the FatfreeVegan website. I didn't have cannellini beans so I used great northern beans which substituted fine. Didn't have fresh basil or oregano so I substituted dried which also worked. Don't know why I didn't buy fresh....after all it is August in Central New York and the whole state is a blooming garden. I used brown rice and field blend of black and mahogany rice which really gave the dish a nice texture. This is the asparagus added to the rice to steam:
The beans cooked up really delicious. I don't know why I thought this would be a good picture (blame the wine!):
But here is a better view of them cooking (I don't know how an asparagus piece got in there - blame the wine again!):
I use Westbrae organic canned beans. They are superior in texture to regular canned beans.
Tofu was the accompanying dish to all this but I forgot to take a picture of it cooking (blame the wine!). I made Panfried sesame tofu from the Whole Foods website. Well, I didn't follow the recipe exactly as you were supposed to fry the tofu and then top it with a sauce. I dumped everything in the non-stick fry pan and cooked it all up. It actually came out quite good. The finished product:
The sous chef and floor cleaner:
And one casualty:
Cosmo has not run in over a month - it has been way too hot to get him out. He has been handing out lots of Momo enemas - as in any move we make, his head is right up our asses! :-)
I have no idea if I will be able to do the Willow Bay run in two weeks.
I have not cooked and we have resorted to eating what little vegan fast food we can find.
I find my life completely overwhelming right now but I am going to cook tonight. I am, I am, I am! I am making brown and wild rice with asparagus from Fatfreevegan site. My plan was to make this yesterday for Budge and Spark when they were over helping with the garage sale but that plan bit the dust and a cheese pizza and tomato pie (vegan, thank you very much) was brought home and devoured in record time! I thought this recipe had tofu in it so I bought a little extra today at the co-op but it doesn't. So I am going to make Pan-fried sesame tofu from the Whole Foods site. to go along with it. I hope it turns out ok. The last recipe from them kind of....well.....it bit the big one. Yuck. Zesty Quinoa with broccoli and cashews. It had sundried tomatoes in it and they were completely overwhelming. I couldn't even eat it. First recipe from them I tried that didn't work out. Hopefully it is an anomaly. As a service to my 2 readers, I will report back on the success of this recipe :-)
No garage sale today - we got rid of most of what we needed to and I am freecycling the remainders.
We have had some gorgeous days here the past 2-3 days. Beautiful, clear skies - reminding me of the mediterrean skies of Rome in August. It has been hot in the sunny but breezy and cool in the shade - PERFECT! Makes me happy to be in central New York.
The moving/storage unit will be delivered tomorrow and we shall start loading it. The dogs are a little hinky. I think they sense turmoil and our house is in such disarray.
Good new though....things should start happening fast and furious with the house. We bought a new fridge yesterday to be delivered right before we move in. And yes, thanks to Al Gore, we made sure to get one Energy Star certified :-)