Vanity, thy name is ParmaQay

What a Beautiful Face! Alright, I know she’s gorgeous… she may not look much like a bullmastiff yet, but she has such beautiful eyes! And what an expression!

So, I was not at all surprised to hear LB’s statment that I can’t get out of my head. “Vanity, thy name is ParmaQay”.

She caught her in the spare room (where she’s not supposed to be), staring Lovingly in the Mirror.

Culture Shock

I can’t believe I have to make yogurt again… I really can’t believe it…

With all three of the critters eating yogurt and my snacking on it occassionally, we have gone through 2 quarts of yogurt in 3 days…

Salton Yogurt MakerThree days…. The only thing that has saved my sanity is this little thing.

The Salton Yogurt Maker doesn’t do much other than keep your mixture at a consistent temperature, but that is the part that I usually flub up.

See, here’s how yogurt making works. You start with some plain yogurt with active cultures, like Dannon or Stonyfield and add it to a milk to make it, curdle and coagulate. The culture (ok.. lets be honest.. they are bacteria.. but no worries! They are the friendly and helpful type of bug) in the starter yogurt grows to turn your milk into yogurt.

Like any other bacteria, they need a certain temperature and a friendly environment. (This is why we keep our fridges at 40 degrees and keep hot things hot at a temp of at least 140 degrees. Don’t ever take a food safety course. It’ll be a week before you eat again… trust me on this one). For yogurt, your mixture needs to be at 110 degrees… prime bacteria temp!

Problem is if the mixture gets too cold, the bacteria take a nap.. if it’s too warm, it’s a permanent nap! I’ve tried stashing my yogurt mix in the oven with the light on, wrapped in a heating pad, wrapped in towels in a cooler… all that fuss and for $17.00 I can have it regulated for me. I’m telling you, this thing rocks!

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What’s with the bugs?

Ok, so on Tuesday, I was driving to work (yes, I do have a day job.. at least until the lotto commission decides to give me my money) and I see something in my side mirror.

Apparently a spider had taken the opportunity to build a web between my mirror and my door over the long weekend. (Nope, I did not move my car all that time… gas prices are a little to steep to be jaunting about over the holiday). Poor little thing! I felt so bad! She was flopping about in the breeze, all curled up in a little ball, hanging on for dear life! Fortunately, at the next light, she decided to crawl between the window and the door.

Dragonfly BraceletNow, I should mention that when I see something unusual, my first thought is always “What is the Universe trying to tell me?” My impression is that I need to learn to hang on when things get too rough, and learn when it’s time to bail! Pretty simple? Sure. But most messages are.

So now I’m thinking about bugs… I’ve been thinking about bugs all week. I gotta admit, I like ’em… I think they are nifty! On my drive home from work yesterday , I remember how I saw this really really really cool bracelet in the Pyramid Catalog and was bemoaning the fact that it was $89.95 and I shouldn’t really spend that $$ on something that I’ll probably lose. Sudden inspiration strikes! I’ll have it tattooed on my arm. Would probably cost me a bit more but I could color it the way I like.. and I’d never lose it..

As I’m driving, I’m contemplating this… should I really be spending money on anything right now? I’m still driving the SUV, mostly because I have no payments left on it, it still runs, and I can get two big dogs in it.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, on my busy urban street, a Dragonfly zooms over my windshield!

Message received.

You know you’re a dog person when….

All dates must pass your dog’s inspection

All of your clothes have dog hair on them, even when they come back from the laundromat or dry cleaners.

You get birthday cards for each of your dogs from family, friends, and the vet. (Bonus if you keep them on the refrigerator for more than a month.)

Every gift you ever get has something to do with dogs

Kiss your dog more than 10 times per greeting.

All your non-dog friends know to dress down when visiting your house

Books and movies are ruined for you if the dog references are incorrect.

Onlookers grimace at the sight of you sharing your sandwich with your four-legged pal, bite for bite

Call long distance and talk with your dog.

Dog hair in food is just another spice.

If you are cold, you put a Sweater on your dog.

Any conversation you’re having is effortlessly directed back to the topic of dogs

90 percent of your Internet connection time goes to the dogs (seeing what’s
new when you enter your breed into the browser, reading up on multiple
lists, checking out photos, sounds and faqs, etc.).
All kinds of things around the house are in need of repair, but the injured
dog you rescued by the side of the road requires immediate surgery and out
comes the checkbook

All of your charitable donations go to dog-related and humane society

All of your furniture came to you second hand or via curbside discard, but
your dog crates are top of the line, industry premium.

The rest of this can be found here

More Animal Relief efforts

This is a great list of ways to help! Thanks to Bark’s Blog for putting it together!

Cross-posted at The Bark’s blog ..

How you can help

We’re continuing to assemble information on those organizations (mostly large, but we’re starting to find out about some of the smaller ones now, too) that are helping animals in the disaster area. Before we get to that list, this link will take you to a story about corporations that have pledged to match donations to the relief funds. (Thanks to MSNBC’s Kim Campbell Thornton for the pointer.) You might work for one of these companies, or you might do business with them. In any case, it makes sense to check the list and see if you can double your donation with a matching grant. (If your employer isn’t on the list, ask your HR department if there is a matching grant fund at your company.)

Many, many thanks to reader Carol Sulanke at the University of Indiana for her efforts in collecting a lot of this information. It always helps to have a librarian on one’s side!
  American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Disaster Relief Fund (Providing direct support to help rebuild facilities and relocate animals)
  Alley Cat Allies (helping domestics, strays and ferals)
  "Hurricane Relief Update: Alley Cat Allies continues to take calls and e-mails from individuals and groups — all of them victims of Hurricane Katrina. We are working with other humane organizations and with our Feral Friends in the disaster area to find solutions. ACA staff members are assisting with all kinds of situations…"
  Humane Society of the United States (Rescuing animals and assisting their caregivers in the disaster areas)
  American Humane Association (Providing emergency animal services)
  American Kennel Club and Companion Animal Recovery (Providing animal recovery and supplies)
  North Shore Animal League America (Providing temporary shelter for pets)
  Louisiana SPCA (Rescuing animals in the face of the devastation)
  Noah’s Wish (Rescues and shelters animals during disasters)
  PetSmart Charities (Providing relief for the animals impacted by hurricanes)
  United Animal Nations (Providing emergency animal sheltering and disaster relief services)
  In Defense of Animals
  "Located in Grenada, Miss., IDA’s Project Hope sanctuary… Project Hope Director Doll Stanley and a team of four rescuers have gone to a massive staging area at the County Fairgrounds in Jackson to join in the efforts of Mississippi Emergency Response for Animals (MEPA) and the Disaster Animal Response Team (DART) to help animals there."
  National Humane Education Society
  "Help Us Help The Animals in the Hurricane Katrina Disaster: NHES provides over $5,000 to temporarily house and care for hundreds of companion animals coming from the epicenter of Louisianas disaster area. These funds were dispersed to the LVMA Dr. Walter J. Ernst Veterinary Memorial Foundation for distribution to myriad holding locations in Baton Rouge, LA, that are actively caring for hundreds of animalswith more coming in daily.  These companion animals belong to Hurricane Katrina evacuees who are not permitted to take their companion animals with them into human shelters…"
  Houston SPCA
  "The Houston SPCA … is preparing to receive hundreds more animal victims. The Houston SPCA has received more than 600 animal victims of Hurricane Katrina.  We opened our doors to 263 canines and felines from the Louisiana SPCA before the storm hit and now we have accepted animals from evacuees at the Houston Astrodome, Reliant Arena and George R. Brown Convention Center. We anticipate hundreds more in the coming days and weeks. Monetary donations
are most needed to help us care for the hundreds of extra animals in our shelter now and those we will be taking in and caring for in the coming weeks and months."
   Animal Rescue League of Boston
   "The Animal Rescue League of Boston is dispatching a team of highly trained animal rescue specialists to aid animals victimized by Hurricane Katrina. We are taking preemptive action positioning our team so that we can quickly get to the areas most effected by this disaster, said Nicholas Gilman, the Leagues Chief Operating Officer. Our team will be ready to respond with both manpower and equipment in the storms aftermath, Gilman added. …"

Also … has Snowball been found? The little dog separated from his little boy has become the focus of attention for animal-lovers. No confirmation yet, but perhaps a sign of hope.