Wednesday, June 27, 2012

We need your votes! Pretty please?

Toyota is doing something pretty fantastic right now. Each day for the next 55 days online voters will get to choose between 5 organizations that are up to win a new car. Every day a winner is chosen of the five organizations featured and voted on that day - and then the next day 5 different organizations are up to win! This has been going on since May and it's part of their Toyota 100 Cars for Good program. At the end they'll have given away 100 cars to 100 different charitable organizations that are desperately in need of them. I can't get over how awesome that is.

So here's my part of the plug: Today only, our Humane Society is up to win a Toyota Sienna. This is the only day that you can vote for them - and I wish I had gotten around to posting this sooner to give people more of a heads up (hindsight). If any of my readers could find some time to pop over before 11:59ET today and vote for the Franklin County Humane Society, I would appreciate it more than you'll know. It only requires that you have a Facebook account, be over the age of 13 and a legal US resident. All you have to do is log in to your facebook account and go to this link (which will not take you out of FB - the voting is done on a FB page):

I have also placed a widget at the top right of my blog page that you can just click to go right to the voting.

The reason I am asking this from you is that our shelter has had a tremendously rough couple of years. There are have been many changes with shelter managers, and conflicts amongst staff and board members - all this has led to the facility nearly being shut down several times in the last few years. Having not only managed to persevere and stay open, they have managed to cut their euthanasia rates from 60-80% at the end of 2010 to just 11% in the last 6 months of 2011! This is FANTASTIC news - unfortunately it doesn't mean the amount of homeless/feral/turned-in animals has gone down, it just means that they are doing what they can to house more animals in their shelter. They only have the funds to have a vet on staff one day out of the week, so most veterinary or emergency care for the animals is received through vets in town. Can I tell you that they are doing all this without any car? The only transportation they have to rely on is that of volunteers and employees to transport the sick or injured animals, transport to new rescues, pick up supplies, and just basically run errands for the business in. 

A new car would mean a world of difference to this organization, but more importantly it would mean the world to the animals of Franklin County - like this little girl that was brought in a couple weeks ago with a broken leg and horrible wounds to her head, leg and paw and needed a volunteer to drive her in to town for medical treatment

..or this girl that has a foster available on July 7th, but has no way to get to her new foster mom. So the Humane Society is putting the call out for anyone with a car that may be able to drive her where she needs to go....

Can you see how winning this car will help immensely?

Again, my friends, if you can find the time to pop over to Facebook today and cast your vote for the Franklin County Human Society, it would mean more to me than you can imagine.

Thank you so, so, SO much

Friday, June 22, 2012

And then I jumped over the moon...

I got some news last week that pretty much sent me over the moon. I was excited and shared it with my immediate peeps on Facebook - but then felt I should probably try to tackle it with a little more finesse and professionalism on the blog. You know, something other than "HOLY CRAP...!!!!". Unfortunately after a week of chewing it over I still can't calm my mind enough to think of a professional way to do it and it's killing me not to share (cause like I said, I'm over the freaking moon) so I'm just going to blurt it out in a very unprofessional manner :D

Remember this post about all the pom pom garland I made for that wedding about 3 weeks back? It was an order for 40 garland which consisted of 680 pom poms. Well, I heard back from the customer last Friday in an email. Basically what she said is that now that the event was over she could finally tell me that all the garland was used in Matthew McConaughey's and Camila Alves' wedding in Texas that just happened on June 9th!!!


I was freaking out as I read the email. I had absolutely no idea who the bride and groom were until then. She went into detail about how Camila had picked my product specifically for the color palate (soooooo cool to hear that) and how they were used in a luxury tent city that was made up for guests to stay in during the three day event. 

She was awesome enough to shoot some photos of the set up for me (thank you so very much, Sherry!!) which I simply cannot resist sharing with you

I'm unsure of the exact number, but there were around 40 air conditioned tents, and the garland was strung in between the tents. She also was kind enough to tell me in the email that everyone agreed the garland added quite a bit to the campsite and that it took away the 'army base' feeling of the tent hotel and really warmed it up. 

(This is me simply glowing right about now)

I'm so impressed with how the whole set up came out! It's gorgeous!

Glamping at it's finest!

There are a couple of websites that have aerial photos of the tent city, if you're interested you can find them here and here. There's even a teeny photo of the tent city in this weeks People magazine, which has full coverage of the wedding! I swear to you - pg 62 upper left hand corner! Yeah, I ran out and bought it like the total nerd I am. You have to look closely but you can see my garland hanging from the tents!

I was so thrilled to have (unbeknownst to me) been a teeny little part of such a fantastic event! Very, very exciting for my little shop. Thank you again, Sherry - it was an absolute pleasure!

Weeeeeeeeee! Okay. That was fun.

Seriously. That was fun.  ♥

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Harry the Common Grackle

Oh my. I have something much cuter for you today. :)

Found this little guy in our front yard yesterday afternoon. He'd either fallen or been kicked out of his nest and one of our neighborhood's numerous outdoor cats was stalking it, causing all the birds in the vicinity to go crazy. It was the sound of their incessant squawking that made me take a closer look.

Not sure if it's a male or female - too young to tell, but I can say that it's a baby Common Grackle. We have tons of those things around here - and well, there was one about to take my head off when I was taking photos of the little I kinda put two and two together.

Anyway, meet Harry.

That's what we're calling him.

I was worried for Harry, so I put him back on a branch in his little tree, where his mom and pops promptly came rushing over to count his little wings and toes...

...which were, of course, all there. I saved him from the cat remember? I'm the good guy.

Harry was a really cute little guy - even with his totally bare ass. He wasn't any where to be found this morning. So I can only hope that he figured out how to fly really quickly and the cats didn't get him.

Fingers crossed for you, Harry.  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mama Spider

Remember me mentioning that all the critters in our neck of the woods are rearing their pretty little heads?
Well, some of those heads are downright frightening.

One of the cat food bowls was accidentally left outside overnight and when I came out in the morning to get it, I found this little lady stuck at the bottom. She caught my eye not because of her size, which was decent (approx 1.25" long), but because the swarm of baby spiders she was carrying on her abdomen.

As far as I can tell, this is a female wolf spider, although she's on the smaller size. I'm pretty sure that is the only spider that carries it's young around. If anyone can make a closer guess as to the genus, I'd appreciate it if you'd drop me a note and let me know. I've sent her pictures in to What's That Bug, so hopefully they'll have an answer for me. I'm usually pretty good with being able to ID the bugs I find, but spiders stump me.

Until then, female wolf spider it is.

These are the little SOBs that immediately after moving here, had me standing on our coffee table screaming at 10pm while they raided our fridge for beer and chip dip.... I swear to you, they show no fear of humans. Couldn't care less.

I blew up the photos of her babies just to maximize the heebie jeebies. Now, imagine stepping on her and having tiny little spiders run every direction.

Mister Man ran into one that was much bigger than this about a year ago - I'm stealing this picture from his Facebook page

You can see that this one has babies on it's back also. He took this photo on July 27, 2011, so this time of year must be breeding season for them.

Anyhoo, just thought I'd share the joys of nature out here. I try to pretend like I hate it, but I'm the first one to shove a damn camera in it's face. :D

Still trying to figure out what that beetle I found is. Soon as I do....

'til next time...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Hey Pops...

Just wanted to say thanks for being you. You're a pretty fantastic cat and I like having you around.

I thought this year, since we're so far away from each other, it would be fun to thank you for some specific items that I have actual photographic evidence of (best torture I could come up with across the miles)....

So Pops, thanks...

for never dropping me....right?

for pictures like this...

for my insane love of the Incredible Hulk (and the fact that I still kinda dress like this)

for helping me out when I was having a rough one - there've been quite a few and you've been pretty awesome

for carrying me around amusement parks

for picnics and silly pets

for carrying me around Sea World and various zoos

for teaching me that snow doesn't need to be just fun
for all those really awkward family photos after the divorce

for all those really cool family photos after the divorce

for always making sure the train robbers held me up at Knott's Berry Farm...
or I could just say
for always making sure *cool thing happens* at *whatever cool place we went*

for my insane croquet abilities  (look at those faces - that's some serious business there)

for my obsessive photographic tendencies. After going through all these photos with me, my husband swears he now knows where I got it from.

So, basically, thanks!  And I miss you. Come see me. I live in Kentucky. 
I'll totally shoot you directions. :D
Happy Father's Day!


p.s. I threw in some misplaced modifiers just for you....see if you can catch them :)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Zale Lunata

The critters are rearing their pretty little heads now that Summer is in full effect!

Yesterday we came upon this Bark Mimic Moth that was resting on our kitchen door. I'm placing this guy in the Zale Lunata species. Please let me know if you think it might be another.

He's really nothing fancy until you stop and take a close look at him (I have absolutely no idea if this is a male or not....just go with it)...up close, he's strikingly beautiful. His wingspan was roughly 2".

If you look closely in the picture below - you may be able to make out a Fletch snoot pressed up against the glass.

He has a fuzzy little crown of scales around his head...

I was really hoping to get a better shot of it's little nose - which is just friggin 'eeeek!' - but the reflection coming through the door was simply too much for my little camera to take.

I'll be back later with this nifty beetle I found that was trundling around with some sort of mite infestation on him...but I have to figure out what he is first!

'til next time...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Dear Mr. Birds,

Stop eating my damn caterpillars!!!!  
I'd like to see one, just one, turned into something capable of winged flight.



This is the second White Tussocked Moth Caterpillar that I've found making a temporary home on the side of our house. I get kinda excited when I find them. 

See those little hairs (setae) all over his body??? They pull them out and spin them into their cocoon... 

In the picture below you can see his little brown hairs from his horns in the mixture - most of them are near the left side of the cocoon, the direction in which he was facing while spinning it.

But damn it all... 

The stupid birds got this one before he could finish his pupation. I think he was only up there for 3 days total - not enough time for him to change since it takes near two weeks for them to turn into the little moths.

There'll be others though...and seriously, there is a very full nest of baby birds in our eaves, so I can't really blame mama bird. Those little things get LOUD when they're hungry!!!

*just on a side note, if you ever come across one - avoid handling the caterpillar since contact with their little body hair commonly causes allergic reaction in humans which can lead to a stinging rash.

'til next time...

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Floatin' down a creek

I can't even tell you how much fun we had yesterday!!! 

We got together with some of our friends and went canoeing and kayaking down Elkhorn Creek, just a ways down the road from our place, for several hours. Such breathtaking scenery - it was amazing. I was flying high most of the day.

I ended up with a just a few pictures of the day - only brought my crappy little phone to take pics with because I was afraid my 'real' camera would end up in the water. For some reason, my little phone didn't save half the pics I took, so here's what I managed to save.

I freaking told you it was breathtaking!!! And this doesn't even show all the limestone cliffs!

Todd's view for the majority of the day - lucky man

I can't believe how handsome my husband is - he makes my little heart go pitter patter

Classic Keith Rowland Extraordinaire

Heath, Laken & Tasha on shore, with Matthew splashing around in the water during one of our libation breaks

This is what you get when you ask Mister Man to take a picture.
He's totally awesome that way. :D

It was the perfect day to go too  - cloudy at times, with lots of breeze to cool you down. The kids managed to catch a baby turtle (saw lots of them sunning on the trees in the water) and someone caught a baby snake (not sure who that brave pup was). We had libations (although almost not enough) and someone produced a  Mason jar filled with whiskey at some point - that went down too. We managed to have a good old time and probably scared away half the wild life with our whooping and hollering. The creek was a tad bit low in some places, so we had some fun getting stuck on the rocks...and my husband enjoyed making me squeal like a little girl by furiously rocking the canoe back and forth and almost pitching me into the water (telling me the whole time that 'we're just practicing').

I can't wait to go again. Mister Man has already been checking out used canoes and kayaks online.

So thank you VERY much Keith, Nancy and Heath! We had a great time and are going to make you take us again!

'til next time...

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Yep. Still here.

Hey there! Remember me??? Holy crap, a lot of my posts are beginning to start off that way! I've been a busy, busy little bee with a lot going on and had to step away from social networking for a couple of weeks. But I missed you guys! :D

One of the reasons that I've been absent is that I had a huge order come in through my etsy store. Huge by my little store's standards at least. A wonderful lady in Texas contacted me for some pom pom garland to hang in a wedding reception tent. It was my biggest order to date and I was so excited about it! Nervous (very nervous) and excited. The order was for 40 pom pom garland - which totaled 680 handmade pom poms. Yikes! I only had a week to get it done and my poor, poor little fingers look like sausages, but I am so happy with the results and the fact that I pulled it off! I can only keep my (swollen little) fingers crossed that it meets the bride's expectations. The customer told me she would send me some pictures of the finished reception area so that I can see what it looks like once it's all come together. Cannot wait to see them, and of course I'll share! :D 

In the meantime, look at the fun I was having!!!

Work area

Turned out to be 160 Orange, 160 Yellow and 360 Green

Shots of the partial order

There's a ton more to catch up on, but I'm about to throw my ass on the river in a I'm going to go get ready for that.

Hope all you awesome folks are having a nice weekend so far!

'til next time...