Tuesday, April 29, 2008


(pending inspection :)) Updates soon!

Monday, April 28, 2008

I'm awesome

75 words


Weekend Update

I had a fun sleepover with my mom and sis at my house on Friday night. We ate muchos nachos and watched Juno, which I proceeded to watch 2 more times over the course of the weekend. EXCELLENT movie :)

I tried to spend Saturday doing next-to-nothing, and I was fairly successful. I had one more kinda lame assignment to complete and submit online, so I finished that about 24 hours ahead of schedule since I knew my Sunday wouldn't be quite so carefree.

On Saturday night, I babysat for my little 2-year-old next door neighbor and it was quite possibly the best babysitting experience of my life. Here's why: they asked me to bring Gabby! I couldn't believe it!! Gabby loves little kids and I fully trust her with them, and the parents must trust me a good bit for allowing me to do that. Gabby and Augustine spent the first half hour of the evening chasing eachother around the house. Then Augustine ate dinner and he quickly learned the trick to making Gabby totally happy: he kept "accidentally" dropping food on the floor :) After dinner we went to a little remote park. No one was there so I let Gabby run loose with Augustine. I haven't seen Gabby act this young in years: there is a little rock-climbing wall, much like this one:
Not only did she climb up it, she climbed DOWN it as well! She did this at least 30 times, as Augustine wanted to climb up it and then go down the slide over and over. Gabby would leap up it in two leaps, and then leap down it to meet Augustine at the bottom of the slide. It was so awesome to see her acting so young and spry :)

I went to church on Sunday morning and that was great as always. I babysat in Apollo Beach last night until 11 and had a wonderful time with my sweet twins, Christian and Sydney. Apollo Beach is near my parents house so I had a 30 minute drive home afterwards. Even though I was dead tired, my evening only got better. As I went in to check on the kittens before going to bed, I saw two little black dots staring at my from Pearl's pearly fur! HER EYES ARE OPENING!! Actually, Delilah was first. As of this morning, she has one bulging eye and another almost-completely open eye. Pearl has the cutest little dots, but there nowhere near fully opened. Toulouse has similar dots but much much smaller, and Angus has one corner of one eye slightly parted. But hey, all of them are on there way to being able to see me! Oh, and everything else in the world :)

Lastly, Toulouse, my little runty undercat, has a purr as big as his mommy's. He's the only one that purrs and it is the sweetest sound I've ever heard. Oh my gosh, can you even imagine me as a new mother? I'll be so annoying :p

Thanks for reading! I'll post pictures when all eyes are open!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

For Shelley!

I don't think this link worked in your comments but I really wanted you to see this picture, click on it to make it bigger:

Another video

Flora is rubbing all over the camera at the beginning of this one, she is so sweet! :)

My last attempt to share this video

Yay it's working! This video stars Toulouse. Toulouse is the little blackish runt of the litter, and I love this because he is totally dominating everyone in this video! He is normally the underdog -- er, undercat, if you will -- so this may have been his one moment of fame :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

"The wilderness holds answers to questions man has not yet learned to ask." ~ Nancy Newhall


Monday, April 21, 2008

a 9th pet???

don't worry, i set this one free :):)

Racism at its finest

I'm of course joking, but here's the thing about the kittens: no one who has expressed interest in having a kitten has mentioned any but the white kitten! It's unfortunate because they all need good homes and I am nervous that once the white one is gone, everyone will lose interest.

To remedy this, the white one is officially "off the market". I want people who are genuinely interested in helping these babies, and Flora, and who are more concerned about personality than looks. To be completely honest, I don't trust people who buy pets solely based on what they look like to stick with pet ownership when the going gets tough. This is a main reason for finding so many "pocket pups" in shelters. You know I don't take the responsibility of a pet lightly!

A quick science lesson!

This is for my concerned reader who is a doting mother herself :)

Generally, domestic cats (which include both house pets and feral cats) do not have a pack mentality like other animals. They hunt alone and fend for themselves. Mother cats will usually leave their offspring to fend for themselves -- also called "scattering" them -- as early as 12 weeks and as late as 10 months (sexual maturity). As much as I convince myself otherwise, cats and other animals are unlike humans because their instincts tend to carry little emotion. Just as her birthing them, caring for them, and being protective of them are instinctual, so will separating from them be. It's such a difficult concept for us to grasp, especially you mothers out there :) But it's the reality, and so it's best to think about the fact that without my and Divine intervention, the scattering would happen on Flora Avenue, right by the highway, instead of into safe and loving homes!

On that note, I think I have my first official adoption of one of the babies! They haven't picked one out yet but the mother of one of the sweetest boys in my kindergarten class says she wants one! The little boy has a twin brother and the mom is a vet tech so I can't think of a better home for one of my babies!! On the flip side, my heart sank for a minute, thinking of having to give up (and separate) my tiny furballs. But it is obviously what I will need to do; I can't very well have 5 cats :p I passed along my number to the mother and hopefully she'll come with the boys to visit the babies when they're a bit older, and pick out her kitten! I will likely send them to their new homes at somewhere between 8 and 12 weeks old. So I've got at least two months to love on them :)

One down, four to go! Remember Flora needs the loviest home. She is so incredible. I wish I could keep her above all.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Good News Train

"The house thing" should finally be happening!!!! Pending an inspection, which is a big "if" considering this is a foreclosure. It needs minor work but it is adorable and everything works -- electrical, plumbing, appliances... I love this house and can see me and my EIGHT PETS in it. I refuse to post pictures, however, until I have the key in my hand :)

In addition to this happy news, my new babies are doing great. Flora is such an incredible mom. As much as I love and adore all my current and previous pets, I have never had so much respect for an animal as I do for Flora. I can't stop thinking about what she went through all alone on Thursday night. She squeezed all four of those babies out of her, got them breathing, cleaned them, and has been protecting them nonstop ever since. Her crate is now in my bedroom so that she can stay cool and away from the mosquitos. Last night, I slept on the couch so that I could be with the pups and the kitties could have privacy. I woke up in the middle of the night with both girls stretched out alongside me and Fish on my chest. I have the most perfect life.

I have finished all school assignments and only have finals next week which should be a breeze. I will then be one-third of the way to becoming a teacher. It's amazing.

I knew it was all a means to an end, and the blessings of it all are pouring down all around me.

Friday, April 18, 2008

One reason I've been MIA

I want to tell you a short story about my last 48 hours:

As some of you know, I have been house-hunting in Tampa. While going to take one last look at a house in Seminole Heights before putting an offer in, I decided to check out another house nearby for one last time. There, I found a familiar face: a sweet stray kitty that I had seen twice before. This time was different because she was so FAT! When it dawned on me that she was pregnant, I just couldn’t leave her there. She came home with me on Wednesday night and I named her Flora after the street on which I found her. I have had a lot of cats in my life, and I have never known one to be so calm, so sweet, and so loving.

I took Flora to my normal vet practice on Thursday morning. I ended up seeing a vet I don’t like so much, and he was pretty adamant about wanting to spay her immediately. His words were “I’ll spay her up to the last minute”, thereby killing the babies. I could already feel the babies moving! He gave me an estimate of 20 days until they were born. He treated me like I was an irresponsible pet owner if I didn’t abort her litter. I left with the words “I’ll sleep on it” just so that I could get out of there. Happily, she was negative for both Feline Leukemia and FIV.

I settled her in last night for the long haul, planning on waiting 20 days and then fostering the kittens until they could be adopted. I placed my favorite shirt, my union shirt, in the crate with her because it smelled like me.

I went to check on her this morning at 7:30. She growled as I opened the laundry room door. That was strange because she usually meows with happiness when I come in. I uncovered the crate and lo and behold, I found four healthy, happy little babies! She gave birth to those babies 24 hours after arriving at my home.

I had to share this with you because it reminds me how everything happens for a reason, and how if we trust our hearts they will truly guide us. I believe that Flora waited until she felt totally safe and comfortable, then she let her babies be born. If they had been born where she was living at the time, underneath a 90 year old house, they would not have survived very long at all.

I have found a cat rescue who has agreed to spay all the kitties and find the babies homes, but I am going to try my hardest to find them homes myself. Let me know if you're interested!

Remember to trust your heart.

Monday, April 14, 2008

This photo was taken here in Florida. I feel that it truly encapsulates the silver lining that I see amidst all the chaos in my life right now. I love teaching and I know I'm darn good at it, so nothing else matters in the struggle to become a teacher. I want to thank those of you who read this and have shown your support!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Finally a reward

It's been a very very hard week on me: physically, mentally, and perhaps most of all emotionally. If felt like so many forces were working against me and I was desperately clinging to the concept of "an end in sight". Well, hopefully today is the beginning of the end, and I mean that in the best way possible.

I had my third and final observed lesson this morning at 9. I felt totally unprepared not because I hadn't worked hard on my lesson and practiced it, but because I was so emotionally drained that I couldn't fully concentrate on it at any time. During the lesson, the kids were not as well-behaved as they had promised to be. In the same breath, they were no worse-behaved than they are at most times. It's just that combination of struggling to maintain class control while being WATCHED by someone who is totally judging you.

In my mind, I was failing at a level I hadn't failed at all semester -- I felt this so strongly that at the end of the lesson, my classroom teacher came up to me and I started crying! She was so sweet, asking me why I was crying because I did a fantastic job. I told her I didn't want my supervisor to see me crying and so she let me duck inside her office for a moment. When I finally spoke with my supervisor, red-eyed with my tail tucked, I was in for the shock of my life.

After explaining that my tears weren't so much about the lesson as the build-up of crap (I'm sure I used a more "teacher-appropriate" phrase), she said she understood and then started off with something a little scary: "Jamie, you have really put me in quite the dilemma...." OH MY GOSH she needs to fail me but doesn't want to see me jump off a bridge? WHAT'S THE DILEMMA?!

She said "We really are told not to give 5's and I will just have to have a meeting with the program leaders to explain why I've given you almost all 5's." !!!!!!!!!!! I really couldn't make this stuff up if i tried!! I don't know what is wrong with this woman, but she is very insistent that I am perhaps the best intern EVER. She also had a discussion with my classroom teacher, who was concerned because she is also not to give 5's (she also has to assess me once at the end of the semester) but she doesn't know what else to give me. The supervisor told her not to worry about it and to go ahead and do it. Wow.

You guys don't understand what this means to me. I love teaching more than anything I've ever done in my life. I never knew it would be this amazing... so rewarding and, really, I've learned more from those little people than I could ever teach them. I cannot even believe that some people get PAID for this.

On the other hand, you can enjoy doing it and still not be good at it (prime example: my dancing). So to hear these women say these things about me -- even put themselves on the line for me when it comes to "overscoring" me: this cancels out EVERYTHING that has happened this week, including:

My awful professor saying something hurtful about me to my entire class.
Fish crunching down a lizard and then throwing it up in my kitchen.
Finding a stray dog only to have it jump my fence and run away before someone could come to help it.
Having my my work computer crash and not getting a new one till next week, leaving me useless at work but having to go nonetheless.
Having the DC event get cancelled which also cancels my free trip to visit my friends in Baltimore.
My boss being upset about the DC event being cancelled and taking it out on me.
Ava waking me up at 5am to tell me she peed all over the living room.
Cleaning up pee at 5am.
Having someone at work completely betray my trust.
Getting stuck in traffic and arriving late to class (I HATE doing this.)
Cleaning up Fish's poop stains from where he slid his butt along the floor.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I know it's been a while but the truth of the matter is that there are too many unknowns right now to sit down and write a fair and accurate update.

Just know that things are good -- not great, but good -- and after the month of April life should get significantly more bearable. Well, at least for a little while :)

Let me sum it up by saying: I have two weeks of classes left but at least 8 last-minute assignments to complete, and I have two major fundraising events for work, both taking place out of state, that I am largely responsible for making happen. The month of May has never looked so good.

Thanks for bearing with me :)