Thursday, July 23, 2009

Eyeball Milestones

In my life, because I am "sight challenged" there have been a few moments that were milestones.

I will go backwards.

Today, it became official that I needed bifocal contacts. This presents a problem because they don't make the blue ones in bifocals. So you know what I did. No, I don't even have to tell you. I stuck with the ones I have and will use "reading glasses" at least for the next year. I just couldn't give up the bright blue.

I suspected I might have some vision difficulties earlier this summer. I went to trim one of my nails and had to move it away to see what I was doing. Needless to say, it hit me like a ton of bricks when it happened. I was yelling, running around the house.

So now, let's go back to way back, when I first knew I needed glasses (or something to help me see). I would visit my mom, who lived out in the country. I kept running over turtles. Of course, each time it happened I felt horrendously horrible. So after the third turtle funeral, I headed to the eye doctor.

I sure hope I am done with all these eyeball milestones. I can't take another one.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Looks Like We Made It

That song just came in to my mind. By Billy Joel I think. And yes, I think we might have made it through. Through the constant fighting, clawing, and biting. No, not me and hubby. The puppies.

We ran upstairs to get a snack and left them sleeping down in the living room last night. When we returned, Raleigh had climbed up with Rio and they were snuggled in the chair together, sleeping.

Earlier today when I laid out a bit, they actually both walked over to visit on several occasions, together, and NOT one dragging the other by an ear, a tail, or a hunk of skin.

This is good. :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Boys, Pills, and Apple Pie

When we got Rio, he had kennel cough and we have been treating him for it with antibiotics. He really does NOT like things shoved down his throat. He won't eat regular people food, so forget sneaky into a piece of cheese, ham, etc. (We learned that the hard way - he spit it out and the other one got his pill one night.)

Anyway, so since the vet visit, they are both taking a different antibiotic for this to clear it up. We are on day three. Day one (which was actually day 5 for Rio of having pills crammed down his neck) was a nightmare. At 25 pounds, he can be a handful to hold and honestly can clamp his mouth shut and you can't open it.

Then "mommy" (that would be me) had a brainstorm. We don't want him to be funny about his mouth and ruin him for looking at his teeth so I had to come up with something. We had already tried dog treats, little reg. nibbles of food - nothing. Then I spy a lone cup of applesauce in the back of the fridge.

I mashed up the pills, put a teaspoon of applesauce in, mixed in a bit of water, warmed them in the microwave for seconds and "walla!" All pills going down "lickety split." (Pun intended :) They both LOVE it, so now we call it "Apple Pie Time."

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Dogs are Going Back

No, we aren't tired of them. We love them. But we figure this is a conversation they had last night about 2am.

Raleigh: Dang, don't these two ever sleep?

Rio: Yeah, I know. It's late. Talk about idiots.

Raleigh: And what's with all that banging and loud music? Do they really think they are cool or in a band or something? What a couple of dorks.

Rio: Huh, yeah, and I heard that blonde chick sings sometimes when they do this. I just don't think I can handle this. The pound was so much quieter, at least at night.

Raleigh: Yeah, it would get a bit stinky but I could sleep through that, but this? I'm with ya. Let's go back.

Rio: Maybe they will accidentally leave the gate open tomorrow and we can sneak out. Are you with me? We'll head back to the pound and get some much needed rest.

Raleigh: I'm there dude. Ready to head back to peace and quiet.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Hellhounds

They love to fight.

Wow, the two puppies are keeping us hopping. Rio loves to walk through plants and such. More like plow through, and he pretends to not hear us when we tell him no. Thank goodness his papa is bigger and much more strong willed or this little guy would turn out to be a terror.

He (Rio, not hubby) is also still having trouble with the laws of physics and hasn't quite figured out he can't walk on walls yet . . . I know, it's a long story and too confusing to try and even explain.

We made our first trip to the vet the other day - took two hours. But they were little angels. Really. Hubby and I were both shocked and wondered just who's dogs they were because they sure weren't the two we have had at home . . .

Raleigh is hilarious - he hides his bones in corners and nuzzles pretend dirt over them - in the house! He is also a stealer - anything Rio has, he wants. We also have a garden walkway that Raleigh had decided must either be a river or a lava flow - when playing and running he jumps over it every time.

Rio learned/taught himself a new trick - the big tub for water is big enough to get in and dig in. No lie, he is digging in water.

We just keep laughing at them. :)

We have also added middle names to them. Raleigh Ying and Rio Yang (we think yang is the bad element).

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Meet Raleigh, puppy #2

This is Raleigh. He's 5 1/2 months, curious, smart and likes to jump. This is maybe why he was a stray - he's eyed the fence a couple times already. Hence, he doesn't go out alone - at least not for a while till he is happy and comfortable here.
He plays great with Rio and is patient. Rio, on the other hand, is not nice, patient or kind. He is the one always attacking and raising his fur, but he's a bit smaller and just really doesn't like that he is overpowered.
Raleigh walked UP the waterfall this morning and Rio, trying to get to him, went around the top of the waterfall and into the flower garden and promptly fell off the retaining wall. Then a bit later Raleigh ended up with his front feet in the little pond and somehow managed to get himself out. Both boys are really good about staying away from the big pond, at least for now, which means Biguns is still hanging out on the dock.
Rawhide is working wonders for keeping them from playing/fighting inside. My house couldn't take the roughness they get into outside.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Meet Rio, Puppy #1

This little guy is a handful! He is just shy of three months, but that is the only thing shy about him. He is courageous, fearless, and just wants to be in your lap or near you, chewing on his toy. We picked him up from the animal control center yesterday. Believe it or not, he was a stray. Now how on earth someone would loose a tiny puppy like him is crazy. He was found with a collar on.

You might have noticed he has a number, 1. That's because puppy #2 comes home this afternoon. He was also a stray there and they seemed to get along okay, but Raleigh (puppy #2) is a bit older (5 1/2 months). He's a super smart puppy (already knows "sit") and very calm and eager to please.

This way we will both have a puppy and they will have each other.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Muny

Unfortunately, these are not my pictures. One is from pectonyte's photostream on flicker and the other had no one listed to credit.

What is it about the Muny that makes it so special?

First off, for those of you not from here, I better explain what it is. Way back when, 1904 exactly, St. Louis had a World's Fair, which was partially held in a place called Forest Park. The park is now home to the History Museum, the Art Museum, the Science Museum, the St. Louis Zoo, Steinberg Ice Skating rink, the Jewel Box (a large glass greenhouse) and countless other things for fun.

Not too long after the fair, (1916) they created an area for an outdoor theatre in Forest Park. This place is fabulous, and it's called the Muny (for short).

It's one of the few (if not only, not sure about that) outdoor theatres and obviously, they only run shows in the summer. With the plus of being outside, they are able to incorporate tons of things that you just can't see at an indoor theatre, such as fireworks, real helicopters flying overhead (for Miss Saigon), etc.

Last night, "Meet Me in St. Louis" was the show. It was great. We had perfect weather, fireworks, and a real trolley that turned on the turntable stage.

If you ever get the chance to go, I would really recommend doing so. Tickets are a variety of prices and there is even a free section in the back (yes, still). Often you can purchase tickets the night of the show at the main box office there, which is ornate and has fountains on both sides.

It's almost like stepping back in time :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Easy Cap and VHS tapes

About a year ago I bought this little gadget called EasyCap. It was $30 on ebay, brand new.
Unfortunately, it came with very little direction. They didn't include pictures for hook up, much less written directions.

But, I decided the other day that I was going to win and make it work somehow, which was actually quite the ordeal.

Hubby (thankfully) hooked up the tv and vcr and cables properly for me so all I had to do was plug in the little gizmo to the computer. Having done that, I should be able to save all my vhs tapes onto the computer and likewise be able to burn them to cds or dvds. (Which I felt I really needed to do as I have a box of home movies on Super 8mm film that I need to convert but finding a projector is not the easiest thing and they are super expensive on ebay and I only want to use the thing to transfer video, that's it)

Anyway, two hours later and I am still trying to get a movie onto the computer. I don't have the capture button they are talking about, I'm not sure the software is installed right, etc.
YOUTUBE to the rescue!!!!

There were several videos on how to do this whole process with the gadget. And I finally realized that I didn't have the correct software. I paid all that and didn't even get the right software with it?????

So, thankfully, I found a website where I could get the correct software. It wasn't cheap, but they offered a 30 day trial, which would be great for me cause once I get this done, I'm never doing it again.

I still wasn't able to get it working until I realized I had to change some of the capture settings so it would know where to get the "capture" from. I'll tell ya, this is not a project for the faint of heart or the easily frustrated.

Four hours later (it was a lengthy download) I have managed to get my first movie onto the computer.

In the second attempt, I ran out of computer space.

Then I had to start saving the items to the external hard drive, which will hold 150gb (thank goodness I bought such a large one!!)

Of course then I had the bright idea to burn them directly to a cd. But I had no DVD+r cds in the house. Hubby picked some up for me the next day and I have successfully transfered one from the external hard drive to a dvd. YEAH!!!!

Honestly, I just don't know why the software to make it work wasn't included (the people on youtube said theirs WAS included!) And I just don't understand why there are so few directions. It could have been way easier than it was.

I now have my wedding, some other silly stuff, my first scuba dive, and my trip up Dunn's River Falls in video files on my ex. hard drive. YEAH FOR ME!!!!

Here is the link to my first ever scuba dive, before I was even certified! I'm the one in the yellow headband looking like I don't have a clue :)
Part 1 -
Part 2 -

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Diagonals

I don't know what to call them - they are katy corner or catty corner or kity corner from us. They are across the street and up one house. Well, whatever.

They are an older couple, in their 70's I would guess. Maybe older. He met her in Germany during the war (WWII) and married her and sent her back here to live until he came home.

They are a riot.

She walks every day, at least twice a day, sometimes more. She still has a thick German accent. As she walks, she picks up trash in the neighborhood, puts people's newspapers up on their porches, and picks up limbs out of streets. She's quite entertaining to watch. She walks in all kinds of weather, so sometimes she wears a shower cap and other times she just carries an umbrella. If you pass her while you are driving, she ignores you completely. She must be in her own world.

In the meantime, her husband likes to take naps. He has locked her out of the house while she is walking on MANY occasions. And then he can't hear her when he is sleeping to wake up and let her in. So now she has taken to carrying a key. But it doesn't always help. The last time he locked the screen door. She ended up scaling her fence (mind you, she's a bit older) (because of course the gate to the back yard has a lock on it too) to get to the basement door which didn't have a screen door.

He is a grass cutting fool. If someone is out cutting their grass, he has to cut his. Even if he just did it two days ago. It's funny.

All in all though, they are very dear people. Good neighbors to have. They help the couple with 7 children by taking care of their dog. Even when they are home. They feed it scraps and give it water. The poor dog has a very sad life - never goes inside, is never played with, etc.

So now you've met the Diagonals.