Friday, May 30, 2008

Blog Fart!!!!!!!

Everyone has been asking me when I'll be posting something new on my blog. Well, I'm having what I've now termed, Blog Fart. It's like a brain fart, or writers block, but just for blogs. I know that I'd like to write about my two special needs nieces, but it'll be quite a bit of work to put together. Have to get my sister to upload her pics to Photobucket, and then I've got to write the darn thing in a way as to not depress people and myself too!

As of right now, I'm pulling a blank. I've been bitten by two yellow flies this past week and the suckers really really hurt. They're prevalent in Florida and have a bite similar to a horse fly. Ouch! The bite site (ooh, I rhymed!) gets pretty big, puffy, red, and super itchy. Even burns a bit. One bite is on the inside of my left ankle, the other on the top of my right foot.

Do you SEE why I haven't posted anything lately? Is this enough proof to you that I have the elusive Blog Fart? Oh! There was a big armadillo rooting around in my yard the other night and he was sooooooooo cute. It was too dark to get a picture of him and I couldn't get close enough without scaring him away. I just love 'dillos with their cute medieval-looking armor.

Okay, now at least I can say I wrote something, right?

Until next time, Justine :o )

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Got Fleas?

So, a few weeks ago, Jill had to be in Jacksonville for 5 nights because Gianna was having sinus surgery.  She didn't want to leave all 5 dogs home with Wayne so she asked if I could watch two of them; Liloh the tiny Chihuahua, and Reeses, the puppy Dachshund.

Of course I said yes, even knowing that neither one is completely house trained and I'd be giving my steam cleaner a strenuous workout.  I love dogs and in this rental house we're not allowed to have one, so this would be fun, right? Wrong!!!!!!  Every time I turned around there was another puddle or pile and one time I even stepped on it and it stuck to my big toe.  I screamed and the girls and Jimmy just sat there pointing and laughing at me as I hobbled to the kitchen to spray Fantastik on my poor poopy toe. Disgusting!
Now Liloh is just a really ugly dog.  I mean, butt ugly and is even bald behind her ears and her entire tummy.  But she loves me and she adores cuddling, so I was never alone on my bed.  I'm used to this with my cats, but at least they don't try sticking their tongues in my mouth.  Liloh, on the other hand, thinks this is rip-roaring fun.  And her breath!  Someone pass that dog a Tic Tac!  
So anyway, one day as I watched tv and communed with Liloh, I noticed something brown scurrying under her very white and very sparse fur.  Flea? No, can't be!  Not in MY house, said me!  But it was!!!!!!!!!!  EEK!!!!!!!!!!!!
 I called Jill on her cell and blasted her!  "Your brought me your dogs with FLEAS on them?  Are you nuts?"  "No", she said, "They were just treated a week and a half ago.  The flea problem is coming from your house!"  But how could that be?  My three kitties are indoor cats. They're all clean and beautiful.  They would never allow a flea on their pristine fur.
So, the five long nights pass, and Jill  picks up Her Poopiness, Reeses, and Her Peepeeness, Liloh.  Ah, dogs gone, fleas gone, this is GREAT!  Until one day when I was laying on the bed with Poo and noticed a little brown thing scurrying under her white fur.  Oh nooooooooooooooooo!  Can't be!  Not on MY kitty!  But yes, she was INFESTED with them.
 What seemed like hundreds of tiny little blood suckers were crawling all over my beautiful Siamese.  Did Jill do this to me?  Well, at first I thought so, until I remembered that two months ago Poo had escaped the house and was missing for three days, before Jimmy found her on the golf course.  And it never crossed my mind to treat her for fleas.  I was just so happy to have her back!
So, in the tub she went.  If you've ever been around an angry Siamese, I don't have to describe the noises coming out of her.  Positively eerie!  But she got her bath and hated every second of it.  Dead fleas all over the bottom of the tub.  
Next came Zoe, my feisty three year old.  

She put up a valiant fight, believe you me, but in the end, Mom won and she too was clean and missing a few pounds of fleas.
Now it was poor Simmie's turn.  I say "poor" because Simmie hasn't been looking well and has lost a whole lot of weight recently.  My baby barely fought me at all which I knew was a bad sign and knew that a trip to the vet the very next day was in order.
She was a sweetheart while being examined, poked and prodded, and it turns out she's got a very hyperactive thyroid which now has to be treated with medication twice a day for the rest of her life.  It was actually a better diagnosis than it could have been, so you won't hear me complaining.  And while we were there she was given a pill called Capstar, which kills all the fleas within 30-45 minutes. More pills were taken home for Poo and Zoe, plus Revolution flea treatment.  All three kitties were treated and seem to be completely flea-free now.
But what about the house?  Well, I flea bombed it today, but nearly caused a self-inflicted tragedy on myself.
 I had all three cats, plus their litter box out in the truck with the car turned on.  Kids were outside waiting for me to set off the bombs.  Madison's room?  Check.  Close the door.  Mikayla's room?  Check.  Close the door.  Next it's off to my room, close the door.  Family room, done.  But then I realized I was barefoot and that I'd left my shoes in my room!  Egads, it was so foggy by now but I had to have my shoes!  So I quickly ran into the room and got them.  But then I realized I didn't have a paper I needed to drop off while we were out, and went looking for it in the kitchen.  Then suddenly, my vision went wonky and the room started to tilt!  I was so scared but I forced myself to run to the front door.  If you've never seen a 200+ pound woman running, I've gotta tell you, it's not pretty.  But at this point, vanity was out and survival was in!  I got outside and just plopped my ass down on the first available surface and gulped in fresh air.
Long story short, (okay, not so short) I was okay, the kids were okay, and the cats were meowing like crazy, but it seems like we are now FLEA FREE!!!!!!!!!!!  Got sheets and blankets tumbling around in the dryer and tomorrow will have to be a big vacuuming day.  Oh, the joys of having fuzzy critters in the house!  It sure makes life interesting!
Until next time, Justine :o )

Caterpillars to Butterflies!

For Christmas this year, Santa brought something very cool for Madison.  A butterfly habitat!  Now, like many other great gifts, this one got shoved to the back of a closet, to be forgotten about for months.  But one day Madison brought it to me and asked when we could order the caterpillars.  Being the great mom I am , I immediately wrote out a check and put it in the mail. 

For weeks, each day Madison would check the mailbox and say, "Aw, no caterpillars!"  It seemed they would never come, but then lo and behold, one day they arrived in a tiny little box.  Inside the box was a special little clear cup containing the caterpillars that would one day turn into Painted Lady butterflies.

Now I've seen some pretty cool 'pillars in my time, but these were just, well, ugly! They were really small and black all over.  Madison, of course, thought they were adorable.  So, each day we would watch them eating the disgusting brown stuff from the bottom of the cup, and each day they got bigger and bigger and bigger, until one day, they all started attaching themselves to the top of the cup, encasing themselves in what I can only describe as a waxy-looking substance.  
Now it was time to remove the lid and attach it to the inside of the butterfly habitat and wait for them to break out of their cocoon.  This is what they look like as they're hanging there.  You'll have to excuse the white netting, as the picture was taken through the side of the habitat.

It's about a week later now and here's what we found!  Yes, it's really a butterfly!

We found out that if you don't have flowers to put in there for them to get some nectar, you can make sugar water and soak a cotton ball in it.  I haven't seen the butterfly go to it yet, but she sure does seem to like a slice of tangerine!

I've got more critter tales to tell, and these much less palatable, but you'll just have to keep checking back to see when I post about it!
Until next time, Justine :o )

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day

In celebration of Memorial Day, we were invited over our neighbors' house... the house of Chuck and Larry.  Yes, that should sound funny to you if you're a movie-goer!  Nevertheless, it's true, that's their names and they're just great!  Larry happens to be my hair stylist and is patently hilarious and sooooooooo flamboyant. I've never encountered Larry twice with the same hair color.  Two weeks ago it was white-blonde, and as you can see, now it's bright blue. Chuck, on the other hand, is quiet and reserved and does not in any way showcase his orientation.  They balance each other out like Oreos and milk.  Here's sweet Larry, holding one of his precious Cher doll collectibles.  I could do nothing but laugh when he came prancing out of the house with three of them in mint condition boxes!  When Jimmy, kidding, asked him if we could take them out so the girls could play with them, he nearly swooned!
It's not often my Jimmy gets to spend quality time with a gay couple, so for this outing he actually went out and bought a new outfit.  When he got home he told me, "I can't very

 well go the boys' party without an outfit, so I bought the mannequin!"  No, he didn't literally buy the mannequin, but he did buy all the pieces of clothing being displayed on it.  In other words, Jimmy was going to this party LAYERED.  He has NEVER in his life layered a shirt over a shirt and I nearly choked when he showed me these clothes.  I figured, maybe he thinks he needs to compete with Larry the fashionista?  Well, let him at it then!  Of course, we got to their house and Larry was wearing a ratty t-shirt and faded camo pants.  Larry's got nothin' on Jimmy!  Three snaps!

Madison was excited to go to Larry's house because Sasha, his business partner/salon owner was going to be there, and Sasha does Madison's hair. She was so proud to be able to show Sasha that her pink hair extension was still in, weeks after it probably should have fallen out!  Plans were already being made for our next visit to Fringe, and what we all wanted to do with our hair.  Mikayla hasn't had a trim in over a year, so that's a no-brainer, but she also wants a few blue streaks.  Come to think of it, so do I.  We'll just have to figure out whether we should strip and dye, or do extensions.  Madison has decided she wants purple for the summer.  I thought Jimmy could use some highlights, but Sasha nixed that rather quickly, saying that most guys who highlight their hair look like "wannabes".  
So, no blondies for Jimmy!

I left the party several hours ago, but Mikayla and Madison are still there playing Wii, and Jimmy is
still there... drinking.  Oh, the snoring I'll have to endure tonight!
One last thing before I go.  All I want to say is Woooooooooooo hooooooooooooooo to California government for legalizing same sex marriages!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! cool myspace layouts

cool myspace layouts

Until next time, Justine :o )

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Here's what's on my mind tonight.  At what age do we think it's okay to lose our parents?  Here I am, nearly 38 and the very thought of losing either Mom or Dad gives me chills up my spine.  I  mean I literally cannot imagine my life with them not in it.  I may only see them about once a month, but I cherish each and every minute with them, whether we're arguing over the color they painted their house (I think it's atrocious and they love it) or laughing over their crazy neighbor calling the cops on them because their hot tub makes too much noise... It doesn't matter what we're doing, I just love to be WITH them.  Sometimes Mom and I will just sit out on their back porch (what my father calls the Smokatorium) watching HGTV, or TLC's What Not To Wear and we barely talk.  Other times, you can't shut us up.  Mom wants to know if my sex life has improved, I want to know when she's going to let her hair grow out a bit.  This is about how our conversations go.

Then there's Dad.  Talk about a character!  Born and raised "the" Bronx, NY and standing at a petite 5' 5", he looks a lot like Danny DeVito from that wonderful, classic show, Taxi.  He's loud, he's obnoxious and isn't the least bit affectionate, but there's something so innately lovable about him all the same.  The stories he tells are enough to make you wet your pants!  Like the time when he was a young teenager and his father sent him up a tree to trim some branches with a saw.  Hack hack hack, back and forth the saw went, until yes!  He was almost through the fat branch!  But... wait!  Oh no!  He was SITTING on the branch he was sawing!  Oops, too late!  He and the branch went crashing to the ground.  Did he get sympathy from his father and grandfather who had witnessed it?  No!  His grandfather gave him a beating for being so stupid!  Sounds kind of sad now that I put it in words, but to hear my father tell it you'd fall off your chair laughing.

Or how about the one about the lady he worked with who always wore a turban on her head?  One day he finally asked her why she always wore one and she told him it's because her ears are exceptionally long.  Dad tells it something like this: "Her earlobes were so long that they nearly touched her shoulders, and each day she had to curl them up into a spiral and hide them under the turban!"  And he would say this with the straightest face, and to this day swears the story is true.

So that's just a little taste of what my Dad is like.  I guess most of this is on my mind because we just recently found out that he has prostate cancer.  The prognosis is good, in that it's only in a small part of the prostate, and thank God, it has not spread, but just the word CANCER is daunting, isn't it?  He will be starting radiation treatment in the following weeks, and I can only hope that his body won't react badly to it, and that the radiation will do its job to make my father cancer-free.  Anyone out there in blogland that believes in God, please say a prayer for my family.  Every little bit helps, I believe.

Until next time, Justine :o )
Never did I think the day would come that I'd start my very own blog.  But I've been inspired by so many incredible blogs I've seen, that I've decided to give it a shot.  It will probably be boring but I'm going to give it a try anyway!