Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Well, if I've been absent for a few days, here's why: I'm Moving. Yes...Again! This time to a MUCH safer community that is gated, well kept, and has excellent reviews (if all goes well I sign on the dottled lines Thursday- please, please, please PRAY I get it!). I'm going tomorrow to break my lease at the complex I'm currently living at  for the time being- fee or no fee, it's worth it to feel safe again! This go-round I can't really pack/move anything myself since my neck & back were injured in that recent car wreck, so I will have to figure that part out (maybe getting a moving company to help out).

I have only been living in this apartment complex about 3 months and it has proven to be nothing but a crime-ridden roach motel with nice landscapping and thugs. It's an nightmare- non-stop break-in/s (both car and apartment), rapes, gang activity, you name it. Let's not even get started with the rude office staff, noisy upstairs neighbors, the insect issues, weird men walking around the complex at night, strange cars that constantly speed in and out, or the crooked "courtsey officers" who I'm pretty sure the majority of are in on the crime issues to begin with (only one of them is worth his weight in gold!).

As of this past weekend- Friday I got a notice on my door telling me not to "be alarmed" but that there have been more break-ins/crime in the complex...humm! Sometime between Friday night/ Saturday morning one of my neighbors who lives in my same area had her apartment broken into at night (thank GOD she works nights at FexEx & wasn't home when it happened!). Saturday night was the last straw- some thug was staring into my apartment window casing my home in addition to over 150 shady men that were outside of my complex fighting and carrying on (supposedly my apartment complex claims that they rented out the clubhouse to some people for a party and that they passed out fliers and postings on myspace inviting everyone- well their "party" turned into a gang initiation and happened to occur right by my apartment!). (2 of my neighbors and I watched it unfold as it was literally across from my complex. We made over 7 calls to the police department that night and Jack wound up comming over to my apartment to keep an eye out at 2:30am (with his gun in tow). The result of Saturday night was 12+ Memphis squad cars (and many more undercover cars), fighting, and me feeling even less safe than I already did before! I want out of this place before bullets start to fly..that's what it really boils down to. This place is a literally hell! I thought I was moving into a safer living arrangement when I came here 3 short months ago...little did I know that it would wind up being more unsafe and unpredictable. I am scared that my apartment or car will eventually be vandalized or I will be raped/killed the longer I stick around here, which is why I'm moving out ASAP. In the mean time I sleep with a gun on one side of my bed, a baseball bat on the other side, and Wasp spray on my night stand.

To say that I'm "frustrated" would be a huge understatement. This will be my 6th (yes, 6th) move in less than about four years. I am SICK of moving!!! All I want is a safe place to call home for as long as I want. I am soo sick of having to constantly pack up my life and move! I only moved into this apartment 3 short months ago and just got unpacked/ I have to pack up my life yet again and move....all while trying to do well in school/clinicals and while dealing with my injuries from the car wreck. It's irritating. I know God is good though and that He never gives us more than we can handle. Just pray I can handle all of this chaos! I know in the end though that it will be worth it to move into a safer place.

I went on Monday after class/studying to look at an apartment complex that I adore! It's gated, has great security, and I have friends who will be moving in there around that same time that I might be if all goes well (so that's also a great comfort!). (I have looked at others as well, but this one definitely seems to be the most safe and I can really see myself living there- there is also not a huge wait for the apartment I want unlike many other places had).  Tomorrow I only have time to break my lease at this complex before I go to lab/clinicals, so I will have to wait until Thursday morning to sign the papers at the other place- please say a prayer that nobody rents it in the mean time! I will update as soon as I know!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Cooper!!!

Today is a special day; it's my nephew Cooper's 13th birthday!!! I can't believe he's already 13! I remember it like it was yesterday when my sister Kimmy had him.The years seem like they're just flying by! He's been such a blessing in my life and I am soo happy to say this awesome guy is my nephew! Happy Birthday Cooper!!!

                    This is my favorite picture of Cooper & I!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

My Favorite Picks: Dog Days of Summer

Thought I'd start something new this week...I'm going to dedicate the next few blog posts to my favorite things that make life easier! I'll be dividing them into categories (makeup, candles/air freshners,pet supplies, cleaning products, cooking,etc). Today's favorites picks are top dog care products in honor of the dog days of summer!:

1. Premier Easy Walk Dog Harness - it's amazing! It keeps your pup from pulling at the leash (traditional harnesses actually encourage pulling and create a "sled dog" effect ;) This not only is the perfect harness for your pup- it also stays off of their sensitive tracheal area and rests instead on their breastbone which is much safer! It is also incredably easy to put on for walks- the band that goes around their waist is a different color than the band that goes around the rest of them so it's a sinch to get them ready for walks!

(This pattern is called "Silverado" and is the one I use for my pup)
2. Lupine Collars and Leashes....not only do they come with a life-time gurantee (Even if your pup chews it- they will replace them no questions asked!), they're very well made and also quite cute! (Memphians can get them at Hollywood Feed. I use the adjustable collar and the padded handle lead for my dog.

3. Nature's Miracle Advance Stain & Odor Remover: It works like a charm, need I say more?!?! You will never buy another carpet cleaner again!!

4. Grannick Bitter Apple Original Spray - works great when you don't want your dog/cat chewing up things in your home! It also works well as far as some obedience training goes too (mine gets a little spray in his mouth anytime he tries to snap or steal food/etc.) I also spray it on houseplants/etc to keep my pets away. If you have a stubborn chewer- they make stronger products.

5. Kong dog products- they seriously are the most durable! I like the classic Kong (left) because I can put puppy food/treats in it and give my dog something fun to work on when I have to leave the house. He associates me leaving with getting a treat/reward so it stays positive and he does not develop seperation anxiety issues. It's a win/win! The Kong Wubba toys are also a huge hit with Ranger!

6. Tire Biter Paw Tracks Dog Toys- This toy has been a huge hit for at least 3 dogs that I know of- my boyfriend's German Shepherd, Beau, my old German Shepherd, Hagan (who is in heaven), and my current Australian Shepherd, Ranger- this sucker is virtually indestructable!!! I highly recommend it for heavy chewers!

7. FURminator deShedding Tool - Worth its weight in gold! Seriously- you will never buy any other brush/comb again!!! (A little tip - you can find them cheaper online through or than you can most of the time in petstores ;))

8.  Outward Hound Treat N' Ball Bag - I have one very similar to the stripped one in the picture. It is fantastic! You can clip it onto your pants or your purse when you're out for walks in the park or petstore. It has a drawstring on the top so the dog treats stay fresh, you can put doggie bags in the side for your walks, and it has a mesh pouch on half of one side to put a tennis ball in. These are awesome little training accessories! (When I take my pup for walks/runs in the park, I typically have enough room in it to put a mini water bottle, my cell phone, my car key, and a few dog treats/bags so that I don't have to lug around my purse!

9.Top Paw Fragrance Sprays & Shampoo for Dogs: Vanilla Milk & Honey (Oh Baby, Sweet & Simple- puppy spray). This stuff smells SOOO yummy. It's inexpensive, safe to use on even the most sensitive puppies, and it makes them smell amazing! I use the puppy shampoo in the same scent as well!

10. Petsmart Frisbee's - Ranger has 4 of them (training him with them for agility/etc) They're a huge hit around here and you can find them for under $1 at Petsmart! :) They are fun to toss around and best of all my high-energy puppy gets the exercise and mental stimulation he needs from an interactive game of frisbee. (Side note- he is not a tough chewer as far as frisbees go- if you have have a dog that is- consider a more durable one from the Kong line of dog toys!)

11. American Kennel Club dog toys- When Jack got little Ranger for me, his Aunt Pam gave us an AKC squirrel dog toy- it has been Ranger's absolute favorite toy from day 1. He carries it everywhere, plays with it, you name it! The squirrel has been such a huge hit that I got him the "duck" as well. Both toys have yet to be torn up and are his favorites! I'd highly recommend them. They're well-made and durable! I think he enjoys them soo much because they sound and look realistic.

12. Doggy Treats/ Chews- I will combine my top dog treat picks and list them. When training a dog it is SOOO important to reward them and keep it positive. I give my dog treats for "services rendered" it is not a bribe, he has to earn them. Different levels of training/tricks deserve different rewards- the more difficult the task I assign him- the more incentive I give him by offering a variety of treats. :) Here are my top training treat picks!:

Nutro Natural Choice Crunchy Treats (berry) , Nylabone Zzazz! Edible Dental Action Chew

Pet Botanics Training Reward Treats, Gimborn Pro-Treat Liver Treats for Dogs (These are by far the BEST training treats on the market. You can cut them into small pieces too so that they tub lasts longer- they're worth every penny! I use them to reward with when I'm teaching an especially challenging trick/command.)

Nylabone Healthy Edibles Wholesome Chews

13. 21st Century Clean Ear - this stuff is fantastic at helping keep my floppy ear puppy infection/buildup free!

14. Bamboo Large QUADBRUSH Dog Toothbrush with Holder -This thing is awesome! I normally use it with a non-foaming dog friendly toothpaste. For the record- most dogs start to show signs of gingivitis by age two. It's preventable with properly brushing and will save you a ton of money as far as having your vet do regular dental cleanings!

15. Homeagain Pet Microchip -Aside from the obvious flea/tick/heartworm prevention (I recommend K9 Advantix, and Heartguard Plus for those), aside from spaying/neutering and properly vaccinating your pet- one of the most important things you can do is ensure that it always has proper ID on at all times. (Proper fitting collar and current ID tags.) Sometimes despite our best intentions though, dogs can get loose and sometimes they can manage to get out of their collars- this is where the microchip comes into play. Almost every single shelter/vets office across the country scans all new pets for microchips nowdays. They save lives and reunite pets with their owners. It only takes a few moments to microchip a pet, but the peace of mind it will give you can last a lifetime! I worked for Animal Control for quite a while and saw first hand the difference microchips make! If you want to do one thing and make one investment in your pet- please consider having them microchipped (and make sure you register it!). Even if you think your pet won't run away, you never know when a natural disaster will strike and it could come in handy (Many pets were reunited with their owners after Hurricane Katrina as a result of them being microchipped!)

Just another day in paradise...

What a week it's been- things have been soo stressful lately! There's a Phil Vassar song "Just Another Day in Paradise" that really sums up my emotions...even though it's been an insane week- I still have to remember to put things into perspective & count my blessings- family, friends, furbabies, school/clinicals, roof over my head, and Jack- my amazing God-fearing boyfriend that always seems to know how to magically make everything better even when things seem to be falling apart around me and I get frusterated. ( )

 Here's the low-down  (why I've been absent from blogging the last few days, please excuse the mini-novel and spelling errors (it's late and I've had a pain killer & muscle relaxer for my back/neck injuries!) :

Last Saturday I adopted Tommy & Cecilia- two very sweet special needs kitties- I may have them for a few good days or a few good years just depending on their health- eithor way, they're going to have a loving home!

Monday I made a good grade on an incredably difficult test! (Ya!!! I was doing a little bit of a happy dance that afternoon!)

Tuesday some horrid woman (with NO car insurance) hit my car on my way to was a nightmare. (I had the right of way and was going straight at a green light when she decided like an idiot to turn left and slam into the drivers side of my car). To top it all off- my insurance company is trying to give me hell- so that is NOT helping at all. (You better believe I have every last thing documented -reports, paperwork, pictures, estimates, etc..EVERYTHING and I'm getting legal advice) I'm just greatful that I was not severly injured and that I've had some loving friends/family help me out through this difficult week.

Wed & Thrs- chaos trying to figure out car rides/insurance,clinicals, etc- My sweet boyfriend Jack helped drive me around and tried his best to cheer me up- He always makes me smile, even on tough days when I'm frusterated and upset. He brought over "The Blindside" and "Facing the Giants" each night- both were wonderful movies and both had great messages!

Friday- spent ALL day at body shops getting estimates for my car (apparently, it's totaled) then I spent the rest of the evening visiting with my Dad and stepmom, Gina (who I haven't seen in years). It was great to catch up and try to build a relationship. Friday night I got to have a late dinner with my sweet boyfriend Jack- he's such a blessing in my life! :) My dad is being very kind and letting me borrow his truck until I get my car fixed- that's a HUGE blessing!

Saturday I made an emergency call to my doctors office (who is thankfully open Saturdays!) and was able to get in- I tried to tough out the neck/back pain I was having all week long from the car wreck- but it got to the point that I couldn't tolerate it anymore. Multiple x-rays later- I have severe sprains to my neck/back/ whiplash, and was having severe back & neck spasms so my doctor wound up giving me some medicine to help. I go back in a week for another x-ray and will potentially need physicial therapy as a result of the car wreck on Tuesday (yuck!). The one nice thing about that trip to the doctors office was stepping onto the scale and seeing that my latest exercise attempts had paid off and I had lost a little bit of weight! (Had to end that on a positive note!)

Sunday- well since it's technically after midnight- I spent quite a while chopping up some amazing fresh veggies and preparing a beef pot roast in the crock pot! I LOVE cooking when I have the time- it's soo theraputic when you've had a tough week! I can't wait to wake up in the morning and have it all finished! My sweet friend Rachel is comming over later today and I will be helping her plan her wedding. After that, possibly a double date with Jack and some friends of ours- if not, lots of studying and just hanging out with Jack instead- eithor way, I'm happy!

Now, here's the background on the two new furry additions (and the last ones until I move into a bigger place or create a clone of myself to take care of more;) )

Last Saturday I went into the local rescue my friend owns to adopt one of her special needs cats since she is having to likely close down her shop after years of operation due to lack of funding. (I used to work as a vet tech, so I didn't mind helping out with a special needs kitty- It is absolutely no issue for me to administer medicine or IV's whereas most people wouldn't be comfortable with that.) My friend is trying to line up over 100 homes right now for all of the cats in her care in the even that she has to close her doors. She has been in operations since the early 90's and has adopted out over 8,500 cats to loving homes. (If anyone wants details about how to adopt/foster- please let me know!)

While I was there filling out the paperwork on little Tommy (He is a gorgeous 8 yr old Maine Coon with the most outgoing personality! He is also in CRF (renal failure) and requires daily medication and IV's drips 3x a week.) a little decrepit looking kitty ran over to me- poor little lamb looks like she has one paw in the litter pan and the other in the grave. I picked her up to love on her while I filled out Tommy's paperwork, and long story short- 20 minutes later I never put her down and told my friend to get me another carrier haha...she is 20 years old and the only issue she has is gingivostomatitis (a bacterial infection in her mouth that she gets a shot for once a month.) Other than that she's in perfect shape- just needs a loving home to live out her golden days in. I wound up fostering them both for a week to see how they would acclimate into my home environment, but after the second day I made them both permenant ID tags. ;) They are both soo sweet and loving- they just needed a special home that would look past their age/medical issues and give them a good life, be it a few days or a few years.While I was driving in the car on the way home (in a deluge of rain nontheless) with them both, the Simon and Garfunkel song "Cecilia" came on over the radio, and stuck for the little 20 yr old kitty! I kept Tommy's name the same since it suited him and I named my sweet new girl, Cecilia. Welcome home Tommy and Cecilia! :) (They're both doing lovely by the way and get along soo well with my other pets. Tommy is a good little trooper about getting his regular IV drips too!

Cecilia (Some punk dumped her off in front of the rescue over a year ago- in the middle of January when it was below freezing outside...she's over 20 yrs old. I hope Karma bites someone in the rear end! This sweet girl will never have to worry about being abandoned in the cold again!) I will try to get more pictures of her once she is groomed- should be soon! :)

Tommy (He is quickly becomming my little shadow- he follows me around everwhere and constantly wants to be held. He is the most sweet, loving kitty ever! Mischevious as hell too! - He opens up EVERY cabinent in my kitchen/ bathroom when given the chance!)

Tommy & Ranger are quickly becomming best buddies!

Yes, Tommy and Cecilia are special needs- but they both deserve a good loving home to live out their lives in, reguardless of how long that may be. I would definitely encourage everyone who has the time, $, energy, love, and room to add a pet to consider adoping a senior or special needs animal. They can be just as loving as any other pet and giving them a good home is soo rewarding! As far as medical needs go- many vets will offer their services free of charge when you work through shelters/rescues to adopt.

For all of my Ranger of today, he's 18 weeks old and weighs 27.3lbs (that's over 5lb weight gain in two weeks!) and he had a blast in his puppy class today as well! He wound up doing his class at one Petsmart and then driving with my sister and I to the grand opening of the new one to visit Jack (he's working at the new store). We had fun visiting the new place and they had lots of nice give-a-ways! Ranger pretty much went everywhere with me today (2 pet stores, running errands, my sister's house, etc...I'm trying to acclimate him to as much as possible while he's young so that he will be a good pick for therapy work later on). He is becomming quite the frisbee dog too! I adore this little guys soo much and am soo happy to have him in my life!

18 weeks old
Ranger hung out with my sister's dog Bailey today
Ranger likes to hang out with my sister's Chinese Cresteds (Toby & Mac)

And to end on a bit of a funny note- apparently there is a mushroom growing in my indoor palm plant??? Not sure how that happened, but it looks kinda cute, so I left it alone!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend!

Pictures from Memorial Day Weekend with my family! (I'll edit and lable them later!):