Archive for April, 2007

My New Toy

Apr 19th, 2007 Posted in General Musings | no comment »

After about a week of doing nothing but comparing digital cameras, I finally bit the bullet yesterday and got a new Fuji Finepix S700 camera.

Since my friends are now going to be subjected to a constant flurry of pictures while I learn all the settings on this new thing (it’s a lot more detailed than my old camera), I figured I would take the opportunity to get some blogging in as well.  Misery loves company as they say 😉

So I have picked a few of my favorite pictures from my first test run to post here today.

First we have Orion (aka Smooshy).  This picture was actually taken in a room with NO lights on.  This is not postworked at’s straight off the camera.  I’m quite impressed with the flash capability on the camera so far.


Next up we have Obie. Obie has actually been a permanent resident for about 3 years, but I have never gotten around to making him his own page like the rest of the dogs. Obie is one of my infamous fear biters. Obie is not terribly enthused with cameras under the best of circumstances (part of the reason he’s never been given his own webpage) and his opinion has not changed. He was less than thrilled about the new camera and being “flashy thingyed” over and over.
For the curious, Obie is a lemon (he is a true other words he does not have black tips on his fur like a lemon sable) and you will notice that he lacks pigment. Lemon is an acceptable color in Papillons, but they are penalized if they do not have black pigment. I had never seen a true lemon in person until we got Obie.This next dog is Cajun and he is my seperation anxiety/thunderstorm phobic shadow dog.  Cajun is the only dog that, no matter what John does, loves ME best 😉  He can pretty much always be found near me. This picture is not flipped.  He was sitting at my feet, I called his name and when he looked back at me I snapped this picture.

Finally, we have Turner (aka Mr. Turner or Turnip Head).  Turner was our introduction to Papillons and he was purchased from a pet store. When Turner was younger, I wrote an article about some of the pitfalls you can run into with buying a puppy from a pet store.While one should never buy a puppy from a pet store (check my rescue page for information, links and stories about this topic), you absolutely should love your dog no matter where it came from.

Turner is definately a “favorite” here,  Just don’t tell the others that because they all think they are the favorite 😉

I’m sure in the following days, I will be posting more pictures as I learn the camera. Maybe this will be a good thing and actually get me blogging more regularly.

Storm Phobias

Apr 10th, 2007 Posted in Papillons | no comment »

Spring is upon us (although winter seems to be having a hard time letting go this year) and with spring comes thunder storms.

If your dog is not storm phobic count your blessings.  Since most of my dogs are rescues that were unadoptable to the general public due to behavioral or health related issues, I deal with a variety of issues on a daily basis.

Storm phobia was a new one to me, however.  When we got our storm phobic foster (now resident) we were not told he had an issue with storms.  He had an incredibly severe case of seperation anxiety which may have masked the phobia due to the conditions under which he was kept in the home he was in.

If you have a storm phobic dog, this article on storm phobias is a must read. Even if you don’t have a storm phobic dog, it’s a good read as you never know when you may end up with one.

I tried to manage my dog’s phobia for several years through a variety of non-drug means and it just continued to get worse.  Finally, when my other dogs started reacting to storms because the one was so stressed I said ENOUGH.  I made an appointment with my vet to get some kind of medication for him.

 Ironically, the day I decided to go with a medical intervention method of coping with his storm phobia, I found that article which just made me more sure I was doing the right thing.

Today it has been going on 3 years that we have medicated during thunderstorms.  We use Xanax and had to work on getting the dosage right, which did take a while because we only medicate during storms.

While Cajun is not thrilled with storms now, I no longer worry that he is going to have a heart attack during a storm.  He is able to lay quietly (panting) beside someone and he no longer tries to eat my carpet or tear down doors.

He also knows now that if there is a storm he is going to get a special treat and at the first sign of a bad storm will come running to me waiting to get his bite of squeeze cheese (which contains the Xanax, of course).

A few changes

Apr 3rd, 2007 Posted in General Musings | no comment »

Well, as often happens with this site, I’ve made a few changes.  I decided to try out WordPress instead of using for my adventures in blogging since I can install it directly on my site and not have to worry about being at the mercy of others in regards to changes I may not like.

I have moved most of my previous posts from the Blogger blog to this WordPress one, but there are a few missing.

Cafepress has changed their affiliate program and I am not happy with those changes so have decided not to sign up for their new program (which will be run through Commission Junction) at this point.

Sadly, that means that all the Cafepress designs, by my wonderfully talented friends, are no longer being highlighted in my blog 🙁  As I learn the ins and outs of content management with WordPress, this may change.  I would still like to show off all that great talent.

All is not lost though!  You can still find many of my friend’s wonderful art in their ImageKind galleries which are linked in the sidebar to your right (you may have to scroll down a bit to get to them).

WordPress seems like it will work out well for me and I’m sure there will be more changes coming as I get used to this new format and what all it can do. If you came looking for something specific, everything is still here, via the links across the top.

Exciting Press

Apr 3rd, 2007 Posted in General Musings | no comment »

(originally posted Jan 12, 2006)

I recently got a bit of press for my store, Critter Circus. I was featured in the New For You section of the January 2007 issue of Bird Talk Magazine.

My Stained Glass Pionus Parrot design was featured.

This design is based on my friend Anna’s Blue Headed Pionus Parrot, Indigo.

(click to enlarge)

Happy Holidays

Apr 3rd, 2007 Posted in General Musings | no comment »

(originally posted December 21, 2006)

(click to see full size card)

Wishing all my friends and readers a wonderful holiday season and a great 2007!

Thursday Thirteen–13 of my favorite scary movies

Apr 3rd, 2007 Posted in General Musings | no comment »

(originally posted November 2, 2006)

Well this probably should have been my Thursday Thirteen last week, but better late than never 😉

Things have changed a lot since I was a kid. My parents were very strict about my watching scary movies, I must admit now with good reason. When I was in about the 6th grade one of my friends had a movie party and we went to Invasion of the Body Snatcher (remake).

That movie scared the bejeezus out of me and I didn’t sleep for about 6 weeks after seeing it. I was horribly disturbed by the fact that the pods “got” you while you slept. It’s been about 27 years since I saw that movie and I still can’t watch it without it really freaking me out. I’m frankly not very comfortable even typing about it now.

Nowdays kids seem to go to those kinds of scary movies much younger. My son saw The Ring when he was 10 and I was horrified when I found out (he lives with his dad) and spent a lot of time discussing that he was too young to see that with his father. Then I talked to a friend that has a son the same age about it and she said all the kids see them nowdays.

I do think my parents being strict as I got older did fuel my love for scary movies in the end.

These are 13 of my favorite scary movies, in no particular order.

1. A Nightmare on Elm Street

2. Halloween

3. Evil Dead

4. Arachnophobia

5. Needful Things

6. Lake Placid

7. Child’s Play

8. Pet Sematary

9. Creepshow

10. Thirteen Ghosts (remake)

11. Army of Darkness

12. House

13. Children of the Corn

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Ruthie Memorial

Apr 3rd, 2007 Posted in Papillons | no comment »

(originally posted October 26, 2006 — yes I know the 26th is before the 31st…it’s been a long day)

 Just a very quick update that I did today.

We lost our old girl, Ruthie, on Mother’s Day this year. She was our first Papillon to cross over the Rainbow Bridge and we were deeply saddened by her passing.

Today I pulled pictures off the camera and there was a very nice one of the memorial stone we got to commerate Ruthie’s life so I put that on her page.

View Ruthie’s page.

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Spooky Thingys

Apr 3rd, 2007 Posted in General Musings | no comment »

(originally posted October 31, 2006)

Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year. I’m not very interested in most holidays, but how can anyone resist Halloween?

A whole month where you can find great choices on tv with all the horror movies!

I’ve been watching Monsterfest on AMC quite a bit this month. They have some oldies like The Invisible Man and Creature from the Black Lagoon to some of the more current favorites like A Nightmare on Elm Street and The Lost Boys

We recently went to see The Grudge 2 in the theatre. I find that the older I get the harder it is for me to watch scary movies (particularly ones with gratuitous gore) so I was a bit leery of seeing Grudge 2 on the big screen.

We saw the first one on DVD and that was creepy enough. I decided to throw caution to the wind and go and it was actually pretty good. Now if I could get John to stop going around the house making that creepy croaking sound trying to freak me out 😉

I actually liked Grudge 2 better than the first one. I won’t give much in the way of spoilers here for those who might want to see it yet, but I will say it was really confusing and didn’t come together until the end. I am sure we will be seeing a Grudge 3 in the next few years though.

Another current favorite is the new Showtime original show, Dexter. After seeing ads for it on tv, I decided to check out the books. I ended up reading both books in about 3 days after seeing the first episode of the series.

I highly recommend both the books and the show. The series was following the first book rather faithfully for the first 2 episodes, but now it has veered off from the books to a certain extent. It’s still very much an enjoyable watch though and I look forward to new episodes every week. I have not really been that interested in a tv series since Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

My final suggestion for good Halloween watching fare this year is another Showtime offering called Masters of Horror. It’s an anthology series in it’s second season and each episode is done by some of the greats of the horror genre. People like John Carpenter, John Landis and Tobe Hooper.

I missed the first season, but they have had a few of them on Showtime’s On Demand feature so I have caught a few eps that way and they are starting to come out on DVD now as well so I can grab them from Netflix eventually.

I have watched 3 first season episodes so far and liked them all. The new season just started so I haven’t seen any of the season 2 ones yet.

Be sure to stop back Thursday for my Thursday 13. I should have done this last week, I suppose, but this week I will be discussing my 13 favorite horror movies 😉

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Guestbook be gone!

Apr 3rd, 2007 Posted in General Musings | no comment »

(originally posted September 26, 2006)

Well after nearly 8 years, I have finally given in and removed my guestbook. While I enjoyed the many positive comments I have gotten over the years, it has simply become too much of a chore to delete the 5-10 (and ever increasing) viagra, porn, online gambling etc spam I am getting now.

If you are a legitimate visitor to my page and wish to leave a comment, please feel free to contact me via email as I would love to hear your comments.

Thursday Thirteen-13 things about me

Apr 3rd, 2007 Posted in General Musings | no comment »

(originally posted March 30, 2006)

Once again, my blogging has not gone well this week. Coming out of physical therapy on Monday, I was dead tired after walking to the car (part of the PT) and when I went to sit down in the car, ended up cracking the back of my head quite soundly on the car frame. The resulting headache has finally started to abate today so I’m taking a stab at my Thursday Thirteen!

Today I’m going to pick one of the things from my first Thursday Thirteen and since I’m still not feeling 100%, I’m going to pick the easy one:

13 Things about me

  • My name is pronounced Toll (think toll bridge, tole painting, toll house cookies).
  • I was named after a (now flooded) railroad stop in Washington State.
  • I have no clue what the origin of the name is, but there are a lot of things named Towal in Washington State, including a road and a county.
  • I met my husband online (in a Buffy the Vampire Slayer chatroom, noless).
  • I was disabled after a back surgery almost 9 years ago.
  • Before I was disabled I was a Paralegal.
  • My preferred dog breed is the Papillon and most of my dogs are rescues.
  • I played Everquest for about 6 years.
  • I started out doing graphics with Photoimpact and am now trying my hand at 3d using Poser.
  • I’m an only child.
  • My hobbies include: reading, crafts, computer games and online games, and maintaining my store.
  • I have 2 cats.
  • We bought our house based primarily on the wonderful backyard.