Friday, December 30, 2011

More 2011 Animal Victories


Just so you know, the 207K fine that Ringling received as mentioned in my previous blog, was for that one elephant. Never once were they fined for beating a chained baby elephant named Angelica with a bull-hook. Never once were they fined after an 8 month old elephant was euthanized because he broke his two back legs during forced training exercises involving bull-hooks and ropes wrapped around his trunk to force the maneuvers. 8 Months old. And never once were they fined when a lion baked to death in a box car. Still, that fine was the largest in history, and I call it a victory.

Also in 2011 we saw felony animal cruelty charges against workers in a lab. First of all, labs rarely get fined, sanctioned or shut down, let alone charged. Same for the workers, they are very protected. So this was huge.
Professional laboratory and research services shut down following the charges, closed their doors! Yay. What was going in you wonder?
The lab tested animal deworming medicines and other harsh pharmaceuticals, so the dogs and cats were constantly full of worms and treated with test medicine. Bad enough right? Wrong, gets worse. The workers charged,......females..... Were shown on camera kicking the dogs and cats, spraying them in the face with high pressure chemicals through a hose, dragged while cowering across the rooms, beaten with objects, slammed into their cages, thrown across rooms and forced to live years in cages with concrete floors. They were sick and infested with sores, only to be sprayed by hoses full of bleach to "clean" the runs they lived in but never got to run in. As I read more about this "lab" I discovered that not one lab worker has ever been charged with felony animal cruelty charges until these bitches were. Yay for 2011!

Soooooo whats the simple thing you can do regarding this particular victory?? Choose cruelty free products. Refuse to buy things tested on animals. I totally understand how hard that is, I do. But try. Become aware. Even if it just starts as one item, then grows to more. My son loves his Cars shampoo, and I buy it for him. But MY shampoo and body foo-foos are all cruelty free. Just do a little at a time. Try cruelty free laundry soap, or cleaning products, or even just hand soap. Something. Animals suffer because of us every day. Not just rats or mice, but puppies, cats, rabbits, dogs, monkeys.....

here is a LINK that will take you to a data base so you can see which products are or are not tested on animals.

It's Almost 2012!

I have been reading from a few of my friends on Facebook that they are certainly looking to get rid of 2011 and enter into 2012. Sorry this year was so crappy for them :-(

Ahhh, those Facebook friends – no idea their year was that rough, because they never say so in person when you see them. We should start doing that more. Just so each of you know, I would not stop being your friend if you ignored me in the store because you are having a bad year ha ha. I get it.

So, did anything good come out of 2011? Well heck yes it did! I am going to point out some animal rights victories that were, in my opinion, monumental. “What?” you say.

Yes, I love me some animals-all of them (except spiders). And even though I eat them occasionally (not spiders), I am forever trying to change that. It’s hard. But there are things I CAN do, and do do (do do..ha ha) until my life of vegetarianism kicks in again.

Let’s start with the circus. I despise the circus. And I do not attend, and will never ever attend. Not only is the thought of a clown getting all up in my face freaky, but I am not a fan of overpriced snacks and toys - or hot and muggy tents for that matter. We all know that elephants star in circuses all over the world. But they are not treated like stars, not by a long shot. They are transported in hot, sweltering crates, with unsafe locks or steel structures with no food or water until they arrive to their next place of torture. They are not treated for any illnesses they may have or wounds they may suffer. Not even simple oral medicines. They are constantly abused. I use that term lightly. They are stabbed with bull-hooks, they are shocked with cattle prods, they are chained for days on end with zero mobility and they are never allowed to rest. There is almost zero footage of elephants resting in hay or even STANDING in hay for their pleasure. They are only bathed to soothe the eye of the idiotic ticked purchaser, and never fully cleaned. The elephants are purchased as babies and beaten into submission. I have watched video of baby elephants being tied on all four legs and literally stretched in all directions until you can hear them SCREAMING in pain. Do not skip over what I just wrote because you can’t bear to read it. Read it. Those elephants screamed and cried in pain. While circus workers stood there, causing more pain. They do not live a life. They are suffering every single second of the day. There is no joy in their life, none. I am barley scratching the surface of what these amazing animals suffer. If you can honestly believe that they are not treated poorly and continue to attend, I feel so sorry for the animals that have to suffer because of your choice. So instead make an easy, simple choice. No more circus or show where animals are live entertainment. Please consider boycotting.

So how is all of this allowed you may ask? GOOOOOD QUESTION. The USDA is supposed to monitor these companies such as Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey but even their regulations are not up to date. But, in 2011 we finally saw the parent company of the 2 major circuses fined the largest amount in the Animal Welfare Act history……ready for it……. 207K. Yep, that’s it. For the torture and neglect of one elephant named Sarah who was suffering from illnesses that were going untreated. She was so weak she would fall over and be beaten until she got back up again. $207,000 is nothing to these companies who know YOU are going to buy their tickets. We need to stop attending the circus. The USDA is also the same branch that ALLOWS the purchases of these animals and is currently weighing the possibility of RB and B&B to purchase 9 more Bengal tigers from Africa.

Again, I am urging you to boycott the circus. If you want to take it further, contact me and we can contact the organization that brings the circus here yearly together. I have nothing against what the Shrine does for children, and I think they are great. But there is no need to bring the circus to Sheridan anymore - and I let them know.
Even though there are many strides that can still be reached when it comes to the circus, RB and B&B being fined, finally, was huge. It really was. Let’s hope 2012 sees the end of the circus or harsher penalties for these acts of cruelty.

I have to go for now, but I will post another victory for animal welfare tonight! Toodles!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Traditional Tastes

Christmas is this weekend. WEEEE!

In my family, our Christmas was always celebrated on Christmas Eve at my mom's house.
Those nights are so memorable for me for many obvious reasons.
Since we have had our son, we celebrate at my home and mom and brother come to us. I love having everyone over but there is always the feeling that something is missing. It's just not like at mom's house ;-)

Its all different now, but only because its a new tradition that takes getting used to. Also, my house tends to be a "tad" more chaotic than the calming lure of a mother's home. Also, my mom decorated the shit out of her house! Like, from the tree of course to changing her hanging pictures so that they were winter or Christmas photos! WHAT??!!! Oh ya, it was straight up Christmas in our house.

I can barely get my husband to take out our ONE Christmas tote to begin to decorate. But, some things will never change, it doesn’t matter where we celebrate.
For instance, my mom HATES, HATES and I mean HATES the movie "A Christmas Story." So naturally, my brother and I insist on having the 24 hour TBS feed playing at all times in the background on the TV. And about every 20 minutes we giggle when she grits her teeth and says, "turn that stupid movie off." Ha ha ha, never gets old. I just saw the commercial the other night mentioning the 24 hour marathon and secretly got a devilish feeling inside me that felt excited to torture my mom! What kind of daughter am I?!?!

Another thing that will never change is eating little smokies that night. YUM! I would seriously feel deprived if I could not eat those on Christmas Eve.

Another tradition is opening all of our gifts on Christmas Eve. SO FUN! One of the main reasons I love this tradition is because I like the feeling of opening gifts at night! Some recent Christmas mornings have not been a winter wonderland. Instead they were sunny, slushy and almost spring days. That’s not CHRISTMAS! But at night, all of that spring sunny lameness goes away, and everything is toasty and cozy- the way Christmas SHOULD feel. Then, Santa brings MORE for the morning. Its like a double dose of Christmas!

There are times where I thought it would be nice to go to the midnight service at St. Peters Church. But honestly, I like having my wine on Christmas Eve, and being there might ruin my buzz. Bad girl for even thinking that- I KNOW! Judge me now. But that does not mean my family doesn’t know the meaning of Christmas.

No wine for me this year L I have baby number 2 coming in about 4 weeks and apparently wine during pregnancy is frowned upon. So I will waddle around my house this year, picking up wrapping paper and reminding myself how lucky I am to have the most important people in the world to me share my home. I love this time of year, and I love the traditions that have come from it.

What are some of your favorite Christmas Eve or Christmas Day traditions?? I would love to hear them and why they are so special to you.

Merry Christmas to you and next year….this girl his getting her hot-buttered rum on!

Oh and holy crap! I almost forgot one of the best Christmas traditions of ALL TIME!


Seriously, this movie is stellar and if you are too lazy to post your favorite tradition, you at least have to post your favorite quote from the movie!

Love each of you!

Seriously mom.....get on board with this ;-)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Crafters: On Your Mark - Get Set - Give Me Ideas!

Ok you awesome ladies who read my blog.....

I have a plain jane white shadow box that is supposed to be a baby keepsake thingy. Not my style.

I want it to contain something GREAT! I want to craft with it or build something MAGICAL!

I want it to go in a small spot on the wall in my guest bathroom/laundry room that is almost complete. The room is a mix of clean and rustic with these colors.....

Post links to your idea under the facebook post with this blog post or post it here! I am on Pinterest if you want to pin to my board as well!

I am counting on you to give me ideas! The best idea I get, I will try to make!
Here is a similar shadow box to help you visualize your creation....that I am going to steal from you!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Who Are Your Facebook Friends?

We all know that I really put myself out there on Facebook. My status updates are rarely vague. I don't elude to an opinion or result, I just give it. I feel safe doing that because the people I have chosen to be "friends" with on Facebook are my friends in real life. They are people I like to be around or visit with if I see them.

I worry that connection gets lost in the Facebook translation. Has Facebook made it easier to be close, or has it pushed friendships apart?

I started thinking about this because I wonder if people are truly honest through their Facebook. The lives and family they portray can be the lives and family we choose. None of us post the bad photos, none of us say the bad or embarrassing news so are these people really your friends that you once knew? Or are they a facade version, something they WANT to be rather then what they are.

As a people person, I find myself wondering if their lives are so perfect at home and at work. If they are not, why cant it be shared? If I must get lost in the Facebook translation, I would much rather know what is REALLY going on with my friends.

When did it become taboo to discuss the difficult times in our life, or the hard ships? If you feel like you don't want to share on Facebook, then are the people you would potentially be sharing with truly your friends? Or just a collection that you have?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Things I Am Thankful For - My Style

All month long my friends on FaceBook have posted what they are thankful for in preparation for Thanksgiving. I personally enjoy the silly ones.
“Today I am thankful for a garage so I don’t have to clean snow off of my car.”
“Today I am thankful for wine from a box.”

Those are more my style.

It goes without saying that I am thankful for all the blessings I have in my life: a great family, health, shelter and enough money to buy food and luxuries. Still, I sat up the other night with a sick baby who wanted me to rock him in the middle of the night, and I realized that I need to mention and honor those blessings more often.

But you know I am gonna keep the wording more my style…..

THINGS I AM THANKFUL FOR (the mature list)

1. My kiddo. What a cool, cool kid I have! I know I am not like other moms when it comes to parenting. And I know I don’t feel the same way other moms do about being a parent. But my kid drives me and inspires me. I hear other moms trying to be so politically correct when they say, “I just could not imagine my life without my child.” (for some reason I say that with a southern accent in my head) Well let me tell you something - -I CAN imagine, daresay fear, life without my child and it would be the worst life imaginable. There would be no joy, because he brings it to me each morning, there would be no laughter because he makes sure I get huge doses daily, and there would be no learning, because he teaches me every day. He is my everything. Nothing else matters.

2. My husband who moved his whole life to live in America for me. Few can understand what that really feels like. He has never batted an eye, or resented me one day since he moved, and I know he never will. That man is solid, and I take him for granted too much. I would not make it one day on this earth without him.

3. My incredible mother who never judges me. And if she does, she saves it for later when I deserve to be judged. Strongest woman I know and if I could be even a tiny bit like her we could rule the world together. But for now, only she can. I am thankful she only gets slightly annoyed at my skewed curtains, when I know she really wants to scream at me for them or rip them down and make them straight.

4. My brother. No matter what, that kid makes me laugh. We ate together at Burger King the other day and he gave me the strangest look when I told him my son had never had a hamburger. He flat out told me I am weird, and that my kid NEEDS to have one. He will never censor himself with me, and I will never censor myself with him, and we will always be together.

5. My dogs. Some people have pets, I have furry family members. They are not pets, they are a part of our home (no really, their hair is on every square inch of our home ha ha). The joy that those 2 dogs bring to me is something I never expected. I expected my son to take my breath away, I expected to fall in love with him right away. I did not expect I would WANT to devote so much of my life to these doggies. They are complete chaos most of the time but the bond I have with them is something I am thankful for every single day. And those little brat-faces know it. They provide me with so much happiness.

Because of those 6 things and all they do for me, I am able to have and be thankful for: my home, my job, my friends and my sanity. Without those 6 lives in my life, there is no life for me.

THINGS I AM THANKFUL FOR (elementary list)

dishwasher, cars, leaf blowers (because raking leaves by hand is TORTURE), diaper genie-and diapers for that matter, pickles, the beach, good cheese, wine, Mike’s Hard Lime, and my iPad to name a few.



Do yourself a huge favor, especially if you have a busy life like mine, and take a minute after reading this to think about WHY you are thankful for the things we are so quick to say. It’s easy to say, “I am thankful for family.” Yes, yes, we know that, but WHY?