Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fairy Lights and Staying on the Path

It is an archetypal scene. The protagonist is on a quest or journey and must cross or go through a swamp. In some cases (the Lord of the Rings) the hero is lead by a guide in others the hero is on his/her own. In almost every case the hero is warned to stay on the path. Don't be drawn down false trails by swamp lights or fairy lights...they will lead you away from the path until you are lost or drown. In most stories there is a point in this journey through the dangerous swamp where the hero or protagonist, despite the warnings, becomes enthralled with the fairy lights and wanders away to a near death experience. (In Frodo's case in Lord of the Rings, he almost drowns before his stalwart friend Samwise pulls him free).
These scenes speak to real life. We are all the protagonists in our own lives. There are times when we know we have to stay a course or walk a certain path and even with this knowledge the fairy lights beckon.
I find "fairy lights" can be a good indicator that you are on the right path. I feel pretty firm with the path I tread right now and today I had a "fairy light" moment. I received a call from a corporation offering consulting positions for training professionals. On the surface it seems like the perfect job for me (bright and shiny objects distract easily). After a few moments of building excitement something told me to take a closer look. As I spoke with the representative from this company I began to see the truth behind the shiny light. This was far from the perfect job. It was a great way to spend a lot of money to get access to resources I could access other ways to be one of 6.000 people on a list that companies could call to consult for them. No guarantees, no regular checks, lots of start up cost. In other words the rep talked a great game but in the end, much like fairly lights, it was all a bunch of hot gas that could have easily lead me down the wrong path and gotten me stuck in the mud or drowning.
This experience reminded me I need to stay clear on my vision and path.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Phoenix Rises from the Ashes Again

We have continued to make custom jewelry and have relaunched our website.
We can custom design and make jewelry for anyone at very affordable rates.
Check us out and contact us if you are interested
Phoenix Rising Productions Jewelry

Monday, August 3, 2009

Back to school -- online

Today I am officially the newest graduate student at Hope International University Online. I am now working toward a Masters in Education. Classes start in a couple weeks. For now I'm all excited...I'm sure in a few weeks after diving in my enthusiasm will dampen a bit but I am really looking forward to learning again.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Workman's Comp Displays of Wisdom

Tara hurt her back at work unloading the delivery truck a few weeks ago. It hurt when she originally strained it but didn't seem life altering. Last week it really started to hurt to the point that she willingly went to the doctor.
Since the original injury is work related she contacted workman's comp. After the usual run around, poor attitude from the rep, disbelieving snide comments, etc. they set Tara up to go to their doctor today. Gave her an address in our town to get checked out.
This morning she goes to the address and finds..."For Pet's Sake Animal Hospital" The doctor they were trying to send her to moved offices two years ago. His old building is now a pet hospital....some times you just have to laugh...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Samwise the Defiant

Most commonly heard phrase in the house right now? "SAAAAAAMMMM....NO!"
He has turned into quite the little spitfire and has already established himself as the alpha cat.
He loves all the cat toys, attacking anything from plastic bottle caps to balls to shadows to the other cats to my feet to the phone charger to the lamp shade to oh just about anything.
And he is still well named because he shows no fear...he is immune to water spray and will stop doing what he shouldn't be doing for as long as it takes you to say "NO" before blithely continuing on.
My favorite bad Sam routine right now is his attempts to get on the kitchen counter. The house has an open floor plan so the space between the back of the couch and the edge of the counter is very small. If I am in the kitchen washing dishes or preparing dinner he will climb up on the back of the couch to watch and then ever so slowly try to inch up on to the counter. When the inevitable, "Saaaammmm...NO!" is uttered he quickly backs up the the back of the couch before resuming his efforts.
We have had to resort to shutting the bedroom door at night. I hate to do it but he does not sleep as much as most cats and spends most of the night attacking anything that shifts under the covers or trying to attack the lamp or phone charger on the night stand next to my head. So for now all three cats spend their nights in the rest of the house. as he calms a bit (hopefully) we'll try to let them back in.
He is really persistent..attacks lamp on night stand- gets picked up told NO and placed on floor...immediately hops up and attacks lamp again...repeat 12 times...he's like one of the moles from the Whack - A - Mole game... just keeps popping up again.
Samwise the brave, defiant, energetic and smart is truly a one-of-a-kind addition to our household.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Famous Losses

Ed McMahon passing was sad but not that shocking....
Farrah Fawcett was another loss that is sad but in light of her 3 year battle with cancer, not that suprising.
Michael Jackson is definately a shock.
May they all rest in peace...

Friday, May 29, 2009

Meet the New Addition

It's a funny thing. You realize when you lose a pet that you can never, ever replace them in your heart but oddly enough your heart can grow and have room to love a new one. Meet Samwise or Sammy our latest addition. He was one of 6 kittens that a local woman was trying to find a home for. He isn't all black, there is a white spot high on his neck under his chin and white hair in his ears.
We named him Samwise after Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. J.R.R. Tolkien described Samwise as the bravest character in the series and "stout of heart" and very loyal. Our little Samwise is very brave and virtually fearless and is already taking over the house. He has displaced Curious George from the top of the cat tree and Callie from the back of the love seat, attacks anything, never backs down and is very cuddly when he chooses to be.

Callie at first treated him like a day old kitten and George attempted to ignore him. Now they all play Thundering Herd of Elephants and seem to be getting along fine. Samwise initially was flea infested. The poor things first experience in our home was a Dawn soap bath in the bathroom sink and tweezers. He is flea free and fiesty now. The woman said they were 8 weeks old but judging from his size I would say he was closer to 6 weeks. He is litter trained and loves dry and wet cat food. He and George share the wet food in the morning.
Samwise is quite a delight to have around.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Max Cat Food Recall

We went to buy cat food on Friday and the shelves in PetSmart where the Max Cat formula dry food usually is were bare. We went and asked and associate and she explained that there was a voluntary recall on almost all Max Cat food due to potentially high levels of zinc and potassium in the food.
This hit us like a sledge hammer. We switched to Max Cat last year and last winter switched to the indoor weight loss formula (one of the types recalled). And a few months later Charles was starting to lose some weight. Then the week between Christmas and New Years when we had a house full he got kind of run down and a couple days later was jaundice and one day later we had to send him over the rainbow bridge. The vet stated there were a few potential causes for his condition and one at the top of her list? Zinc poisoning.
If you have any Max Cat food take it back to PetSmart immediately! They will refund your money, exchange it for a different brand or give you store credit.
We are now in the process of getting all our information in order before contacting the makers of Max Cat and processing through a lot of what ifs (like what if we hadn't switched food?). Charles was barely 6 years old. We can't change what happened but it brought the loss of Charles right back to the front. The paperwork we have on the recall states that to their knowledge no cats have died but I think it is more likely that more cats were like Charles...hard to figure out without expensive testing that wasn't going to save him anyway.
The Facts:
Nutro Dry Cat Food Recall began May 21, 2009. Contact Nutro customer service at 1-800-833-5330 or visit You can contact PetSmart at 1-888-839-9638 or on Twitter at @PetSmartTLC.
This recall includes just about every brand of Nutro Max Cat and Nutro Naturals brand cat food.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Wheel of Time Controversy

I am a big fan of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. There were 11 books plus a prequel written as of the time of the author's death in 2007. He was working on the final volume, tentatively titled A Memory of Light when he died leaving some extensive notes and sections of the book written.
Brandon Sanderson, an author and fan, was chosen by Jordan's widow to finish the book. Originally, the hope was to have the book published this year and have all the little loose ends tied up.
If you know anything about the series, Jordan wrote about many main characters and more than numerous smaller characters. There are almost too many plots and sub plots to count. In the past, every time a new book came out I would spend the months leading up to the release rereading the previous volumes. Sanderson began researching, rereading the original 11 books, reviewing Jordan's notes and preparing to write and realized the enormity of this project. He had two choices as an author:
1. Cram everything into one book, leaving many of the smaller loose ends unresolved and not giving proper due to some of the main characters and basically all of the smaller characters and plots.
2. Write it as truly as he could.
Sanderson chose to tell the complete end to the story, tie up all the loose ends, and try to stay true to Jordan's vision. He admits he can never really fill Jordan's shoes but he wants to do justice to the work. So now the whole think is looking to go upwards of 800,000 words.
The decision was made to split the final novel into three books for a few reasons.
1. Its been 4 years since the last book: we fans want to read something.
2. It is now too big to publish as one volume anyway.
3. The whole thing still isn't written though Sanderson is working his tail off and if we wait for him to finish writing it all and for it to be edited, etc, it could be 2 or 3 more years. He's written over 400,000 words to date and if you know anything about writing that is impressive.

I'm pretty happy with the decisions made all around. I commend Sanderson for being true to the work despite the enormity of the task. I'm happy they are splitting it. I want to read something soon.
It will be an epic end to an epic series instead of a cheap flimsy wrap up.

The Memory of Light is now coming out in three pieces. Part one: The Gathering Storm, will be out November of 2009 and I can't wait.
To Brandon Sanderson I say thank you for keeping the characters and world of the Wheel of Time alive to the best of your ability. And thank you for pouring your heart and soul into doing it right.
You can keep track of Sanderson's progress and get more info on his website:

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Continued Signs of Spring

My Black Pearl Slate colored Escape is currently a lovely shade of yellowish green. Spring has officially arrived with the OVER abundant production and release of tree pollen that has begun to coat everything.
At least the bare patches of my yard look like something is growing there since they too are covered in bright yellowish green pollen...