September 21, 2012

Traveling with Cats Part II

I knew there was going to be cat drama when Tzani woke me up at 6 am crying and would not calm down.  After a few hours, I decided to start getting ready to head out since Tzani was clearly not going to calm down so I might as well move out.

I started with my stuff and then I went to get the cats in their carriers and leave the hotel. Woudin was already packed up in his carrier; apparently he is fine with getting himself settled and having me shut the door. Tzani, on the other hand, was hiding at the end of the bed and under the blankets. I had to dig her out and then she stuck her front paws out in an attempt to prevent me from putting her in her carrier. I know it sounds funny and I laugh now but so aggravating when you have had less sleep than what you think is ideal and now your cat doesn't want to get in the carrier to go home. Tzani, I thought that is why you woke me up at 6 am!

I finally got them out the door and Tzani started crying before I even got to the elevator. She cried so much that she got Woudin started. They cried in the elevator, past the front desk (yes the manager looked at us as we went by), across the parking lot, and while I put them in the car. I then went to check out so we could roll out of Lincoln. After checking out, I got back in the car. CAT DRAMA. Tzani screaming her head off and Woudin crying like someone killed his best-friend probably because she was screaming like she was dying. I was away from the car for less than 10 minutes and I did say I would be back. Perhaps the next time I can just check us out and then get us all in the car.

Woudin's carrier is a medium dog carrier which only fits on the seat whearase Tzani's is a cat carrier which can sit on the floarboard. I could easily reach into Woudin's carrier and pet him and calm him down. Tzani, on the other hand, tried to escape from the carrier when I tried to pet her and calm her down. So I had to close her carrier back up and try to remain calm.

The attempt at calmness was in hope that my calmness could help soothe the irritated, elderly, kitty but no such luck. She cried the whole way home with brief periods of quiet and calm. Woudin, on the other hand, rarely said anything and pretty much slept the whole way back home.

Perhaps the next time we travel I can try to put them in the same carrier again. The last time I did this, when we moved into the country, Woudin started the excessive drooling thing which I thought was because he was too hot but the vet thinks it's anxiety and/or stress. Maybe if I put them in the same carrier it will be easier for me to calm them down and they can see each other and realize that we are all in this together.

September 20, 2012

Vacation Part IV: The Gardens

My last full day of vacation resulted from a miscommunication between me and my "godson."

However, I believe everything happens for a reason. Since I missed the trip to the Omaha zoo I decided to check out the Sunken gardens in Lincoln. There was construction around the garden so I parked in the Lincoln zoo parking lot and checked out the Rose Garden first.

                                                              Garden decoration

                                                Purple flowers for my friends Anne and Bonnie.

                         If you look closely you can see the Sunken Garden from the Rose Garden.

                                                   Entryway into the Sunken Garden

                                                               Close-up of the dome

I'm not sure you can call this "macrophotography!?" I spend a lot of time following this beauty around so I could get a good photo. I kept thinking "you really need to get a real job so you can upgrade to a Nikon and get some zoom lenses."

I tried to take a photo of myself; I wasn't going to show this picture but I actually like the composition! My face is almost perfectly symmetrical (don't look at my eyebrows) and then the foliage in the back just sets the picture up.

I asked a random stranger to take a photo of me next to one of the fountains. See I learned from not asking someone to take a photo of me and the newlyweds.

Pretty lotus in one of the water fountains. I decided to head back over to the Rose Garden to find my car but I was stopped by this plaque.

I looked at the plaque and I decided to just sit on a bench and rest. I sat there for 45 minutes; just me, the insects, the plants, and the Goddess. I didn't think about my thesis, looking for a job, trying to find a man so I can start a family, how irritated my major adviser makes me, my biological family, my "family" (I love you guys and gals), or anything else. I just sat still and watched the bees trying to pollinate the flowers and the herbivorous insects (grasshoppers) doing their thing. It was a spectacular 45 minutes!

September 19, 2012

Vacation part 3: the wedding

I had some wardrobe difficulties and traffic issues in getting to this wedding on time. However, I kept praying I would get there on time and I found out later that the grooms mother, one of my best-friends, kept praying that I make it in time for the reception. I love you "Lady V" but I was NOT going to miss this wedding and I didn't. :) It was very important to me to be there to show my love and support for this wonderful couple. I have missed out on so many things in the lives of my "children" and been there for so many others but this day was not a day I was going to miss!!!!!!

Okay so yes, I made it in time; I didn't see the parents walk to their seats but J., Jr. had me in my seat before the bride walked down the aisle. (whew, yes it was a close one; me always running on Indigenous time).

So here is where I admit that I didn't take as many photos as I could / should have but there are some memories that you can't have a photo of  as they are just in your heart.

One of those memories was the preacher talking about the statistics of divorce and how many people sitting in the audience may be thinking "how long will they last." NOT ME, I truly believe these two are meant to be together. They have already faced some difficulties and came out on the other side.

The second memory was the preacher asking the families to stand up. I wasn't sure what to do since I'm not biologically related to the groom although he does call me Mamma A or Mamma Angela and sometimes just Mamma. His mom looked right at me and raised her hand. I knew what she wanted so I was proud to stand up and make a vow with the rest of the family to support the union of J. and K.

Here you can sort of see J. walking K. down the aisle after being announced Mr. and Mrs.

After the ceremony, I got to see Lady V's sister T. for the first time in over 5 years. We have talked during that time but only though Facebook. It was an amazing moment; a fabulous hug!!!! She didn't recognize me and she said she wouldn't have even known it was me if I hadn't posted a picture of me in the dress earlier that day. Another memory which just can't be expressed via film.

Here you can see J. (Lady V's husband), Lady V, and their daughter B.

Here is K. and J. My only regret is that I didn't ask K. and J. to get in a picture with me but like I told him today he looked so exhausted. I wish I had asked for that picture but I didn't.

The last memory which as far as I know no one got on film or video is me getting the ladies, T. and Lady V., out on the dance floor to dance with me. That's right I got out and danced. I know some of you know I can dance but I tend to not like to dance in public since I think people are staring at me; I did notice a man staring at me but that discussion is being "held" with the "family."

As I was getting ready to leave, I said goodby to the bride and groom and had a quiet conversation with both of them individually. J. said to me, "I saw you out there dancing. Momma I didn't know you could dance; you got some moves!!!!!" Yes son, I can and I do but like your father said to me "I have to be comfortable with my surroundings" in order to let me be me!

I am very proud to say I definitely showed up for your wedding!


So there you go; there was a wedding and it was GOOD!!!!!

 I wish them love and happiness and I hope all their dreams as one come true!

September 16, 2012

Vacation Part II: Cemetery JOY!

So Friday morning, I thought I would take a look at the Lincoln attractions pamphlet which was in my hotel room. I found several interesting things here in Lincoln which is one reason I didn't go to the Omaha zoo today. On the list of things to "do" was the Sunken Gardens, the Lincoln Childrens Zoo, Pioneers Park/Pioneers Park Nature Center, and WYUKA Cemetery. The WYUKA cemetery was established in 1869 by an Act of the Nebraska Legislature. It follows the concepts "pioneered" at MT. Auburn Cemetery which is near Boston. WYUKA was Lincoln's first park and is recognized as a historic cemetery. As many of you know I used to go to cemeteries to take pictures. After I read the description of the cemetery I was inspired to check it out. So I located a map and decided to venture to the cemetery after the art museum. This first picture I thought my Manhattan Peps would find interesting. Umberger is the name of one of the buildings on campus; it was named after a benefactor. The other interesting thing about this headstone is the flowers engraved on the marble. There were many headstones with flowers on them.

This next picture was the top of a man's headstone. I found it very interesting; please tell me what you think.

I took a look online and found links for women in WWII memorials. I'm not sure if this memorial was meant as a tribute for those women but it is definately interesting. The next series of photos is one of my "tangents!" Maybe. I have always been fascinated with gravestones which resemble nature and/or have a brazier attached. As many of you know I have been pagan for many years and fire is frequently a part of ceremonies which involve braziers. I saw this gravestone from behind.

I took a picture from the front.

Then, I decided to take a look inside the brazier.

Yes, someone is using this brazier. I'm not quite sure what the orange, plastic stuff is all about but that is natural beeswax in the water. The water looks fresh not like rain water or water that has been sitting for awhile. I guess that someone is using this brazier for their ceremonies. I'm not opposed to this use as long as "it harms none." Next stop..........the wedding.

September 15, 2012

Vacation Part I: Sheldon Art Museum

Yesterday, I decided to spend my afternoon before my godson's wedding checking out an art museum and a historic cemetery. Since I had to upgrade to a more expensive motel in order to bring the "babies" I decided to go for thrifty i.e. "free!" The Sheldon Art Museum is free so off I went to brave downtown Lincoln. It was fairly easy to find the museum following MapQuest instructions and parking was easy to find. All the meters were covered to state there was no parking on Saturday, game day. The museum is located in the campus of Nebraska State. Signs were posted appropriately and there was a big head on the steps leading up to the museum.

Unfortunately, three fifths of their galleries were closed due to exhibit transitions. However, two of the galleries contained part of their permanent collection. They had pieces of art from several different time periods. Some of which I found more interesting in others. There were several oriental styled collage media paintings which I liked very much. They, also, had an Eisner on display. Unfortunately, they didn't have any of the pieces I liked in the form of a postcard or a book on their permanent pieces. I decided to check out the back of the museum for more sculptures. I found this women in a box which I thought was interesting.

I walked around the building and found a sunken area with a fountain. On the wall behind the fountain was this "sculpture." I took the picture and then approached the plaque which told me this was a piece of a banister from New Orleans.

Here is a close up on the detail of the banister.

As I was leaving the museum I thought I would take a walk a block over to take a closer look at a sculpture I had seen. Here is the front view.

Here is the back view of the sculpture. If you look closely you will see a black man in a cookie monster tee-shirt. He told me he was having a hard time being good because there are all these beautiful women around and I was one of them. Really, that's the best you can do? I digress.

There are two additional pieces with this installation. They are marked wife's lt and rt elbow. I couldn't find a good spot to take the whole installation; maybe I should have played with my panoramic but I was anxious to go to the cemetery.

September 14, 2012 August!

Yes, I know it's September but this story takes place in August and I'm just now reporting it. Yes, I know Halloween is next month but you all know that I'm all about Halloween every day of the year! I went to Council Grove to run some errands and meet a friend. We meet in the Apothecary which as a 50-75% off room which is were I found this treasure.
It was on sale for about $12 but was originally for $30. Isn't it lovely?
Yes, it lights up. :)
Lite in the dark. I'm trying to convince myself I don't need this to become a permanent piece of my everyday decor. I absolutely love it and I think it was a good buy.

September 13, 2012

Day Lilies

So the weather here has been quite unseasonable; it got warm in a hurry so the iris's bloomed early and now it's super hot with excessive heat warnings. UGH!!!!

However, I have made it out and about the yard to check out the blooming day lilies for your and my enjoyment!!!!!

Hello Yellow!

Yellow with purple triangles.


Yellow with a purple circle!

Technically the two with purple could be the same variety but I would like to think not; perhaps the Iris Maven will give us the answer.

Traveling with cats

So about a month ago I asked a student in our lab if she would be interested in making some extra money by watching my cats while I was in Nebraska. I, also, told her that if it went well I would ask her to watch them again when I go to an ESA conference in Tennessee. She agreed but I didn't see her until the day before I left for Lincoln which means the cats got to travel with me! Many of you know that my cats are not terribly fond of leaving the house. Tzani will cry the whole way; Woudin will cry and drool so badly that I think there is something medically wrong with him. Thirty minutes in a car with two crying cats can drive you insane. I decided to try to start out on a good note so I bought them toys from Pet Co and brought the toys home. I placed the bag on the floor while I tried to take care of some chores in the house.

Woudin found his toy, removed it from the bag, and started playing with the toy. Doesn't he look happy? I bet you are wondering about Tzani; have no fear I got her an herbal toy. It has a buckwheat center which can be warmed up to comfort an elderly cat. Sounds like it is the right choice her her, right?

She doesn't seem sure about how she feels about this "toy." I decided to put the toys away and keep working on my chores to get ready to go. I changed the towels in the bottom of their carriers and placed a pillowcase from my bed on top of the towels (thanks for the suggestion sister BG). After that I started getting ready for bed and look what I found?

I guess he was ready to go; I told him we weren't leaving until tomorrow (meaning today) but he stayed in his carrier. I woke up with him on the bed but after he ate he went back into his carrier. All morning he stayed in his carrier and Tzani hung around me. She would get upset when I took stuff out to the car but otherwise fine. When it was time to go they got a bit upset but seemed okay. The problems didn't start until we were in the car and moving. I thought having Woudin in the back seat where he could see me since he seemed more calm and Tzani in the front close to me would be a good idea. Tzani was okay and calmed down since I could open her carrier and stick my hand in to pet her. Woudin, however, was drooling like a cat with rabies. I was so worried about him that I missed my turn into Ogden to get gas.

I decided to pull over in Manhattan at the Home Depot and rearrange the cats. Tzani went onto the floorboard and Woudin came into the front seat. Woudin was drooling so bad I thought he might have a serious medical problem but when I opened his cage and started petting him he started to calm down. He continued to drool but it wasn't as bad except when I had to stop the car to get gas and to go potty. He drooled pretty badly for awhile after that but did calm down.

About halfway there, Beatrice, Tzani was vocalizing again. I swear she was saying "are we there yet and how much longer." She calmed down again but once we got closer to Lincoln she got vocal again; her carrier isn't tall enough that she can stand and stretch but Woudin's is so he is the lucky one.

The weren't happy with being in the bathroom while I got them situated in the bathroom (cat litter, water, but no food) and then got my stuff up from the cat. Yes, the cats are like the Marines- first in and last out. I'm sure you noticed no food; I left their container of food on the kitchen table at home (DAMN IT). I remembered everything but the food. Fortunately, there is a Pet Smart close by and it carries the cats food so I went and got them some food. I then went over to Walmart to get some groceries for my mini-fridge and supper for me. When I got back I let the cats explore the room.

Here they are checking things out; this is my stuff but that's not mine.

Tzani adapts better than Woudin; after she wandered around for awhile she decided to get up on the bed and hang out with me while I uploaded some photos for Facebook.

Woudin is adapting but he still hasn't made it up to the bed. Notice that he isn't drooling here. That stopped after we got up in the room and he was out of his carrier.  He is currently passed out on the floor curled up next to "his" cosmic banana (yellow thing in the photo) which is filled with the "best catnip in the world."  Tzani is curled up next to him; maybe they are waiting for me to shower and get ready for bed.