Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dodger De Leon-Westmoreland Pied Piper

So this is Dodger.  I have known Dodger for three years.  The first time I met him he was a neighborhood cat with a flea collar and terrible fleas.  I thought "OK this is someones pet, I will just keep an eye on him."  Then he brought us his sister when we were feeding some homeless feral cats.  When he adopted out his sister I started looking for Dodger again. I saw him and he was no longer the fat, happy kitten.  He was a tiny, skinny cat with worms, fleas, and ear mites.  I took him in for long enough to treat him for everything and then let him go with a note on his collar:  "If you are not going take care of this cat I WILL."

Finally I start seeing Dodger again when he begins bringing kittens to our feeding area.  I remember sitting up in the middle of the night hearing his yowl.  I went downstairs and dodger was standing over a tiny grey kitten.  It was dead, covered in maggots, fleas, and obviously rolled by a car.  I took him from Dodger and said "Sorry Mister D he is dead."  Dodger looked at me and ran away.  I put the kitten in a box by the garage and heard his yowl again.  I turned to see him staring at me.  I followed him to a tiny skinny soaking wet and filthy kitten.  I scooped him up and turned to see Dodger watching me and then disappear.

The kitten died.  I found two more and both died.

I was feeling really low, and then my own cat Billy died as well.

I said I was not going to trap anymore, I was taking a break from the feral kittens. 

Dodger had other plans.

He first brought me twin tabbies, then Mama Siamese and her baby.

Each day he would watch for myself or my landlord to come home them one by one lead the kittens and their mother up to eat.

Enough was enough.

I trapped the tabbies, then Dodger.  Still working on trapping three other strays.

Dodger was not sure why he was suddenly inside.  It took him a day to let me touch him, another to let me pet him, and another to let me pick him up.  He has the tabbies with him and shares his food bed and considerable bulk to make them feel safe.

He is un neutered, and has clouding on his eyes and non reticulating second lids.  Same condition my tuxedo female has.  He does not see well and no one treated him from what I can tell.  He is covered with scars, has the thick coarse fur of an outdoor cat.  He let me clean his ears (mites) and I gave him a dose of wormer.  His teeth are not great but it is honestly a miracle in this neighborhood that he was not run over, or killed by a lose dog.

I went to the neighborhood I believed Dodger was from and knocked on every house asking if they were missing a cat.  A woman said that an elderly woman up the street had died and had 2 black and white cats and since the son moved in they were relegated to outside.

I told Chris about the situation and my landlord.  We agreed Dodger needs better care.  He is home.

He will never wonder where to sleep, or where his next meal will come.  He will never have to be sick and have no one provide help (we now have an emergency charge card JUST for the pets that has money put aside that can only be used at the vet)

He will be loved, spoiled, and all his "kittens" will be taken care of.

So that is the story of Dodger De Leon. 

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Long Overdue, My fave things of Summer and Fall

I have been trying to grow out my nails and my hair.  But due to being a demo chef I am constantly washing my hands, pans, and taking showers to wash away the grease, grime and sweat that comes with the food service industry.

Add 3 cats and a dog and I am up to my armpits in cleaning.

It was wreaking havoc on my already flimsy peeling nails and sahara dry hair.

So on recommendation by my nutritionist and some beauty blogger friends I began taking biotin, and Omega 3.6.9. as well as using Nail Life "revitalizer" original formula and Jojoba Tea Tree cuticle remover.

On the hair front I began to limit shampooing to twice a week using Paul Mitchel Tea Tree Shampoo and on other days when my hair felt dirty I used straight conditioner (Suave Rosemary and Mint) to "wash" my hair and then left a pea size amount of RenPure Organics "Help my pretty hair is parched!" on the ends of my hair from the ears down.

My hair definately went through a process of being MORE oily feeling during the first 2 weeks, then the ends began feeling fried once the weather heated up.

SO I added Vitamin E oil, Honey, Avocado, and Banana baby food mixed with conditioner on my hair every other week, and clarified my scalp on the opposite weeks with a 1/2 teaspoon baking soda mixed with a drop of shampoo and 8 ounces of warm water.

The result was that my scalp is no longer itchy, my ends are not as dry, my hair seems to be growing, and my face even looks better too!

Nail life I used 2 layers on bare nails, sometimes I put polish over it, sometimes I left it bare.  On the fourth day I removed all polish, lightly buffed the nails, shaped them if needed and reapplied the Revitalizer.  I noticed within a few days my nails were not peeling.  Then in a week that my nails were SIGNIFICANTLY longer.

On my second bottle of revitalizer I recieved a bottle of "Cuticle Remover" by the same Nail Life company.  I put a generous drop on my nail bed each night and massage it in, then follow with my normal Curel Fragrance free lotion.

I ave noticed my nails are getting long enough where "I" find them a little TOO long!  This NEVER happened before.

Despite Nail Envy using formaldehyde as a hardener I find that it does not make my nails brittle or dry, they are flexible but strong. And if I use it as a top coat my polish stays perfect for 4 days, even with the amount of washing I do.

So these are my fave things Nail and Hair wise.

Also I have been in love with Revlon Lip Butters I loved the color and moisture (sans stickyness) so much that I bought a tube for every purse!

I just bought Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Cleansing Bar and Old Spice Matterhorn 12 hour odor control with moisture.  I loved Old Spice Fiji 12 hour odor control with moisture so much I bought the deodorant. It is a green, earthy smell and from what I have smelled of Materhorn it reminds me of clean laundry, or clean cold air before it snows.

I will return to tell you if it lived up to my high expectations.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

How Billy saved my life.

I have had several people ask me WHY Billy is so near and dear to me.  I have beem hesitant to tell my story.  So let me just say that I had crippling anxiety and was afraid to leave my campus room in college.  I became obsessed with cleaning, organizing and straightening.

I could barely go to class much less sleep.

But my mother and best friend convinced me to adopt Billy because he didn't like anyone else, but immediately took to myself and my mother and best friend.

Because of Billy I stopped vacuuming obsessively (it terrified him) because of Billy I had to learn to leave my room, if only to get his food, litter, and toys.  Because of Billy I had to see my best friend who shared custody of him.  And because of Billy I had to spent a minimum of 30 minutes outside with him while he ran around on a leash.

I woke up, and went to bed only because He wanted me too.  I went to class only because he was allowed to come with in my back pack and the professors and other students loved him so much.

I got therapy because Billy ran away from me into the therapist main office and endeared himself to one of the counselors.

To this day I still speak with her and send her pictures.

Billy in short made me live my life, he saved it.

There is more to this story, but those are the highlights.  So because of Billy, I am a better person.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Insert title here

I am still alive.  I have just been trying like MAD to keep myself healthy and take care of myself.  Because I am on my feet for 26-48 hours out of the week and around all kinds of people (with my immune system of a wet hamster) I have to be cautious.

I have just reordered my supplements.  I am trying a fish oil supplement even though I HATE fish and am worried about fish burps.

My friend the nutritionist told me if I take my bromelein and eat something at the same time it won't happen.

So my immune system and anti-inflammation supplements are as follows:

Vitamin D
Omega 3-6-9 with flax and chia oils
Quercetin and bromelain Supplement
Vitamin E
Daily Children's Jelly Bean multi (because the only way to make me take them was to put them in jelly bean form)

I wake up when Crash does in the morning and take my supplements, then go back to sleep for a while until Doguchupra decides I have rested too long and he wants to do things/that I have to get up for work.

Then I take morning meds and eat some cereal with my dogzilla.  Feed Billy his slurry meat shake.  Finally I get dressed, put my makeup on, and either go to work, or get going on my other chores (Turtle, dog, cat,cat,cat,or cat, fish tank, plants, laundry, cleaning, to name a few)

So all in all I am here, I am just tired a lot and working a lot.


Sunday, May 06, 2012

Minnesota moonsick

The mundane bullshit in life is driving me partially insane.  My rational mind knows that "This too shall pass" but all I can think about is ridding my mind of this incessant clutter.

I need a break from this.  All this.  This extreme stress to be a good friend, a good partner, a good dog owner, a good employee, a good person.

I want to sit on the deck of my one room cabin, stare at the moon and stars and be still and silent.

Now as I watch the moon from my Urban perch, staring as the clouds race accross the sky, I wonder are they Minnesota bound?  Will those clouds make it all the way too the big sky, clear waters, and deep green of my home?

I hope they do.

Maybe born on those clouds my anxiety and stress will float towards home.  Lay my weariness to rest in the deep sacred depth of the great lakes.  Let loose my worries into an endless sky of stars so bright my chest clutches in memory.

If they can make it there, then so can I.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Big Changes

So I am now SIGNIFICANTLY over my goal weight.  Having pneumonia and giving up my gym membership really did a number on me.

I tried to work out at home but with a large dog, and three very curious cats and a fiance I could never relax.

I need a gym.  I need a place I can go, relax, and do my physical therapy.

I decided that I am accepting that I have a sugar addiction.  If there is sugary treats in the house, I want them.  I don't want to "punish" or "restrict" myself from foods I enjoy.  That said I need to limit my food splurges to ONE day a week and make it a day where I can burn off the splurge.

I am limiting my sugar, soda, carbohydrates not to get skinny, but because when I eat them I don't feel my best.  My body functions the best on low glycemic High Protein food.

Add in that I enjoy vegetables and a good cheese, oil, or piece of meat and well its not really punishing myself.

So my basic idea is:

1.  Always eat breakfast
2.  Be hydrated with water
3.  Check serving sizes and follow them, no eating out of the bag or 'guesstimates'
4. Don't eat after dark
5.  On Splurge days, Splurge early.
6.  Use protein not caffeine to get energy
7. Do at least 20 minutes of physical therapy and 20 minutes of vigorous activity a day
8.  Track your food with how you feel, find out what makes you more energetic, what makes you less.
9.  Try new things Kale, Swiss Chard I am looking at you!
10.  Take your supplements! 

Just little things I know.  But I am hopeful that it will slowly help me to become more healthy and cut my chance of diabetes.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

unpaid/unsolicited review: Topricin Topical cream

I have a spinal cord disease called Syringomyelia, as well as major degeneration, herniation, and spurring in most of my disc and vertebrae.  However, I also have a job in which I am required to stand on a concrete floor for 3 hours at a time.

Despite insoles, exspensive shoes, bath soaks, medications and massage I still had neuropathic pain in my hands and feet that kept me awake at night after a day of work.

So while at a grocery in, New York I was picking up a prescription and a friend working in the organic section heard my dog had a paw wound and gave me several samples of Topricin Junior to use on him, and several regular Topricin to use on me.

I was skeptical using it on myself, until I saw my dogs wound close up and heal in just 2 days.  So while getting ready for bed one night I saw the samples of Topricin and thought "Why not?" thinking if nothing it might moisturize but pretty certain a topical cream could not could help  my neuropathy.

It wasn't until 5 minutes after rubbing it in while holding my book I realized my hands no longer hurt.  Curious, I took another sample of Topricin and rubbed it on my feet and low back.

5 minutes later the pain in my heels and shoulders subsided.

I was impressed but wanted to see if it would work again.

So today (second day of being on my feet all day) I put it on my feet, shoulders, and low back.  Five minutes later my pain went from a 8-10 to a 4-10.  Color me convinced.

So my friends with Fibromyalgia, Syringomyelia, Neuropathy, or back pain give this a try it works.

This serious skeptic, is converted.

Learn more:

Monday, February 27, 2012

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What have I learned from being broke?

So having been virtually unemployed  for the past 3 years, feeling isolated from everyone I was almost in disbelief when things changed.

When I found out that I was officially going to begin my part time job I was overcome with thoughts of "Wow, now you will have money, now what??"

For me when I am suddenly faced with an influx of wealth the first things I used to think of was "What thing have I always wanted?" or "What would be fun?"  then the fiance and I were forced to live on 1500 a month and 200 dollars a month food budget for two people, a dog, three elder cats, and a foster cat.

Needless to say we had to get cheap and creative FAST.

Suddenly any influx of money was now "Cat food, Dog food, oil change, repairs" things like haircuts, gym memberships, clothes, dining out, and amusements simply were not part of the budget.

Date nights became making home made dinner and watching free episodes of south park online.

Haircuts became standing over newspaper while using clippers, scissors, and a ruler to cut each others hair.

Gym memberships became yoga while fighting for floor space from a 70 pound bulldog.

After about a year although I couldn't go out with friends to the bar (having long since deciding drinking was a luxury we could not afford) a year of home made birthday cakes, cheap but fun gifts for holidays (Like the paw print in home made play dough I made for my fiance's fathers day plaque)

Instead of becoming more and more frustrated with our lack of funds I found myself really seeing more "crap" I could do without.  I spent time donating bags and bags of old clothing to charity, went through all our old documents and papers to weed out what we had just kept "in case" threw out broken gadgets, toys, and chotchki's that we had held on to because someone gave them to us (I found a rooster from the dollar store and thought WHY did I keep this?) I gave away yarn, books, food, games, puzzles and more.

We started cutting out more things like driving by walking to the local coop for groceries.  Or using the bus to save gas, best yet riding our bikes to places within 3 miles of our house.

With the money we saved we survived the economic crisis.  Our animals ate better than we did, and we still managed to have fun and do nice things for each other.

So now that I have a job my friends ask me "What are you going to buy first!?"  I was speechless.

My answer?  Nothing.  I am happy that I learned to live so simply and frugally.  I like having my fiance cut my hair, I enjoy hunting at thrift stores for clothing, and I love having friends over for a home made meal on my vintage plates and stem wear that I inherited from my Nana. 

I am glad that I learned what really matters and how to recognize quality over quantity.  I don't think I would have ever been as grateful for what we have without having to had done without for so long.

Although, I would like to trade a certain outdated gazelle for a recumbent bike.  I guess no one is perfect.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Man shoots daughters LapTop

Full Episode here

This is a small Op-Ed piece in response to the viral video of a man shooting his daughters laptop.  There have been 50/50 responses to this video.  Some applaud the man and approve of his message to his daughter and means of conveyance.
Others like myself feel that there is a message here that is not being addressed.

The man begins by talking about how disrespectful and rude his daughter is.  Then goes on to be angered by her insensitivity, callousness, and language.  He appears to be in disbelief over his daughters sense of entitlement and stretching of truth.

He finally responds to her behavior by using a gun to shoot holes in her lap top.  He goes on to compares his own early life experiences as a model to show how grateful she should be that her life doesn't mirror his.

So why does this trouble myself and several other people?  First his daughter did not become a foul mouthed, spoiled, disrespectful young lady in a vacuum.  He himself is shown smoking, swearing, and publicly disparaging his daughter and responding to her relatively teen like behavior with violence.

He had parents I assume, and I also assume that those parents instilled a sense of money management, responsibility, and decorum.  I would also go as far as to hypothesize that his parents were much stricter and that he considers himself a better person for the experience.

My point is all the negative behaviors that seem to shock and amaze this father are learned behaviors.  Behaviors that this girl had to have exhibited before and not had proper parental parameters to correct them.

Further I would surmise that the daughters behavior is in fact a direct result of your parenting, and would suggest that the blame be at the minimum absorbed 50/50.

This father says after all he has done for his child he is angered and offended by her response.  I wonder if her response is that much different than any other teenagers.  I also wonder how many times in her life the father has indulged the child's whims.  She appears to have serious expectations, and in children, expectations are learned from our parents/role models.

To summarize, you reap what you sow.  However, what message  does shooting a laptop proves besides "If someone makes you angry, destroy something they care about".  It seems to me that this parental message may be similar reactions to his daughters.  Not the best lesson for what a person should do when faced with a frustrating situation.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Future of Movement

I am one of those people who will watch people dance for hours at a time. I am fortunate enough that my household growing up was one filled with music of all genres and involvement in music was mandatory.

The one thing that I never explored as a child was dance. I was an active child, embracing martial arts, and sports at a young age.

I always loved watching the dance team and competitve cheer leaders. Many times I would suggest music, do their makeup, and watch them perform silently wishing that I had the guts to learn some dance moves myself.

Years later I am still able to pick out runs, beats, and rhythems modern music has borrowed from the music I grew up appreciating. However I never did learn to dance.

Luckily having been thoroughly ensconced in the african american and gay community I began to see paralells between modern Hip Hop, and Afro Cuban dance that is becoming more and more popular as a medium. With shows such as “So you think you can dance” and international competitions celebrating Hip Hip, Beat Boys, House, Waacking, Punking, and Fusion styles it makes me wonder where is the future of dance? Is the future of movement in our past?

When I was working with some young artists they did everything they could to turn me on to new styles such as “Dub Step” and “Krunking” when I asked if it was similar to Hip Hop the look of pure confusion was comical.

The earliest forms of movement Afro Cuban celebrations religious or otherwise show examples of dance and movement that echo even to modern dance styles today. Waacking and Punking found in their infancy by early “Balls” held in the close knit gay community featured Vogueing, a dance style borrowed by such famous personalities as Madonna.

Even Krunking and Dub Step show moves that mirror traditional dances by peoples such as the Xhosa and Congolese.

Can one even dare make the connection between ballet and lyrical dance? I see similiarities.

So where does that lead us? Is the future of dance embracing singular styles of the past or fusing them together?

I can't answer definitively, I think it is like musical taste, a personal choice up to each individual to follow their heart.

Who knows what form of movement the future brings, as long as it celebrates music, tells a story, and brings joy I am just happy to sit back and watch what comes up.

Dog bits NBC reporter

OK.  I really did NOT want to go into this despite getting several phone calls begging me to “Call about the dog”
There are at least 3 people who have already agreed to take the dog and either rehabilitate him or let him live out his life in a controlled environment.
A news reporter friend who knows that I am a dog trainer who specializes in “at risk” dogs asked me my opinion.  And seriously I didn’t WANT to voice my opinion because so many famous trainers are already using this terrible accident to promote their own dog training and training accessories!

However, as someone who not only works with troubled animals but OWNS a dog who has serious anxiety issues I can’t stay quiet.

First, this owner had no sense taking a dog that had had such a traumatic event less than 24 hours previously, and take it to a crowded, unfamiliar, sound stage with people who had no clue about dog behavior.

Second, this dog gave more than adequate warning that he was not only riddled with anxiety but that something about the reporter was placing him on edge.

And finally, Who gets down on a dogs level, and sticks their face in a dogs face, then reaches for its throat area, and ignores every single warning sign from the dog?
So whose fault is this?  The humans.  ALL the humans.

Max will be taken care of and there is no way euthanasia is in his future.  However, there is a lesson here.
I myself was bitten in the face by a dog (in fact I have been bitten several times by a plethora of animals). 

As soon as it happened I wanted to punch myself for being such a pushy, cocky, idiot.  Dogs are not infants, they are not humans, they are dogs and as such they follow dog hierarchy, rules and behavior, not those anthropomorphic attributes we place on them

So Max, on behalf of trainers and dog lovers every where I apologize for your being put in this situation and we are on your side.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

American Bulldogs

I always say if I get another dog after Kayne Michael I will get a smaller dog.  But honestly I can't imagine haviing a small dog, or any other dog than another Bully.

But since Chris is certain Kayne is immortal we won't have to worry about that for a LONG time :)