23 September 2014

A Happy Rescue Story

I've mentioned before that I volunteer to walk dogs at a local (local to me) rescue.  I love spending time with these dogs and it's so great when we get to see one of them get adopted (it's also a little bittersweet because we get so used to spending time with them and we miss them when they go).  One of the ones that has been there since I started volunteering was adopted over the weekend.  I had no idea that he has never been in a house before. He's spent almost his whole life in a cage.  Hard to imagine that such a happy dog had such a rough start to life.

Brolin (along with another dog that was with us, Zephyr) came into the Floyd Animal Control in Georgia, as a neglect case over 18 months  ago. They were driven in a transport to a rescue western Pa, where that rescuer had them brought to the facility where we board rescue dogs around June of 2013. However, the PA rescue group never made a payment for them at the facility, and so their future looked bleak. Rather than allowed the two dogs to be taken to Baltimore County Animal Control, AAHA (Adopt a Homeless Animal rescue) took them in, and paid to board them, as well as paid all of the costs of Brolin's Lyme disease and heart worm treatment.   Below is a  photo of Brolin  when he was taken into the Floyd Animal Control.

Poor neglected little fella
Zephyr was adopted a couple months ago.  Brolin, who absolutely loves people, loves to cuddle and give kisses, LOVES going for walks and is great on a leash...for some reason we just couldn't find a home for him.  I sent out word to people I know and asked my brother (who works for a vet and knows lots of dog lovers) to do the same. One of his colleagues picked up Brolin the other day and is already in love with him (no surprise there as he's a fantastic dog)!  He's now living large on a 8-acre farm and adjusting to the new experience of being in a house.  No more cage-life for this awesome dog!!

Brolin with his adopters when they picked him up.

I can't wait to go visit this sweet boy at his new HOME!

24 August 2014

Dirty Girls! - Sundays in My City

Yesterday my Mama and I did the Dirty Girl; which is a women-only mud run which raises money for breast and ovarian cancers.  My Mama's baby sister died of ovarian cancer 10 years ago come this December so Mama did it in her memory.  It was awesome seeing many older ladies participating.  Some of them skipped all the obstacles but I give them all the credit in the world for just walking a 5k in the mud!

It was Mama's first 5k and first mud run and she did GREAT!

Have you done a mud run or a 5k? Have you done one with your Mama?

Unknown Mami

18 June 2014

Guest Post at Angie Eats Peace

I'm guest-posting today over at Angie Eats Peace.  You might remember Angie as my Blogger Book-Swap partner a couple years back.  Her blog is always interesting with posts about travel, books, yoga and vegan eating, among other thing.  Angie is current gallivanting around Europe (a benefit of having a job with summers off!) and I'm jealous!!

Click here to check out my post there.

11 June 2014

I Drank The Kindle Kool-Aid - May Reads

I've been a die-hard hold-out against giving up my paper books for a long time. Last year, while on a trip in the Balkans (flying Ryanair which means I could only bring one book due to the extremely stringent weight restrictions) I was stuck with a book I did not like and not much else to do but read since I grossly over-estimated the size of the places I was visiting. 

Had I liked the book I would have easily finished it in two days.  Since I didn't, it somehow managed to last me almost the entire trip.  At dinner one night in Croatia I saw another traveler with an e-reader and I was jealous. She probably had lots of books on that thing, that thing that weighed no more than my one book, from which to choose and there I was stuck with a dud that I had to ration in order not to run out of reading material (even bad reading material) too soon.

My little brother got me a Kindle last year for solstice.  My recent trip back to the Netherlands was the perfect time to try it out (I hadn't used it really, up until then, because I have a lot of paper books waiting to be read).  About a week before my departure I finally made it to the local library and joined. The librarian assured me that downloading e-books from the country library website was easy.

Two days before leaving I logged onto the site. It was not easy. It turns out I had to first get some other program that would allow me to download the books. Then I actually had to find books that were available.  Many of the books I wanted to read either weren't available in e-book format or the e-books were all checked out (I didn't even know there was a limit on how many electronic copies could be checked out).

Finally, I managed to download two books:
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Wild, by Cheryl Strayed, about her adventure hiking the Pacific Crest Trail alone.

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Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell which I had recently heard about from Angie. I loved it!

Thanks to jetlag and being awake for hours on end in the middle of the night, I rather quickly finished those two books and went searching for more.  I found
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Zeitoun, by Dave Eggers, about one family's experience with hurricane Katrina (that's a gross simplification if I've ever written one!).
I didn't want to like the e-reader but I do.  I'm not using it here at home as I still have plenty of dead trees to read but I'm going out of town for work and will be searching the online library for books to take along.

Also read in May:

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I'm not a Luddite but I do crave a life with less technology and I found his experimental life one that, while maybe not entirely, I'd like to adopt.

What are your thoughts on e-readers?  Have you read anything good lately?

01 June 2014

A Visit Home - Sundays in My City

I got back last week from a trip back to the low lands. After living in the Netherlands for 3+ years it was a little odd to go back for a visit.  Odd in that I didn't feel like I was visiting. It just felt like I was back home. It's such a familiar place.  I don't have a lot of pictures from the trip since I mostly just visited with people but here are a few from Amsterdam (of course I went to Amsterdam!).

The World Press Photo Exhibit. My fourth year in a row.  Although this year it was at the Niewe Kerk (new church) as opposed to the Oude Kerk (old church).

I really liked the shadows on this already-interesting brick wall.

The visit was, of course, too short and made me long even more to return to life there.

Is there a place to which you long to return?

I recommend returning to Unknown Mami every Sunday for SIMC!

Unknown Mami

25 May 2014

10 Years - Sundays In My City

Ten years ago this weekend this lovely creature came into my life.

Our first meeting at the local animal shelter.  I went back the next weekend (this weekend, 10 years ago) and took her home with me.
Since then we've moved across the state, then across the country, then across the ocean and now back again.  That's about 10,000 miles of relocation!!  She's been there with me through good, bad, up, down and everything in between. 

Her face has gone mostly white over the years but she's still very young at heart.
Despite some age-related hearing loss she's still alert and ready to go.
And she loves her mama!
 So of course, this called for a celebration!

Tex heard there was cake and wanted in on that action!
Here's hoping we have many, many more years together!! Love you baby girl!

Linking up with Unknown Mami for Sundays in My City.  Click the button below and check it out.

Unknown Mami

11 May 2014


I went to Ghana last year to see one of my kids graduate (with a master's degree in mathematics and statistics...so clearly he's not my biological child!) except that the graduation didn't take place as planned.  There was a professor's strike and they didn't submit all the students' final paperwork to the graduation committee.  So sadly, I didn't get so see the ceremony.  But it did finally happen last month and he sent me some pictures of him in his cap and gown.  Proud mama here!

Gabriel with his sister, brother-in-law and nephew.  Ghanaians rarely smile in pictures. This is about as much as you get.

Congratulations Gabriel!
Linking up with Unknown Mami for the always-fabulous Sundays in My City.  Click the button below for more SIMC posts.

Unknown Mami

23 March 2014

Making Bat Boxes - Sundays in My City

The house into which I recently had my stuff deposited came with several mosquito catcher things in the yard.  After not dealing with mozzies for the last 3.5 years this was not an encouraging sight. My house in North Carolina had terrible mosquitos and I tried so many things to keep them away so that I could enjoy being outside but none ever worked (Hello 26 citronella plants with which I surrounded the deck!). 

So I asked a running buddy/DIY expert friend if she wanted to help me make a bat box and, of course, she not only said yes but searched for and printed plans and had all the needed materials (gotta love free scrap wood!) already on hand.  Bats can eat up to 1000 mosquitoes an hour (!!!) so encouraging them to take up residence near your home can be very beneficial!

Supervision provided by her dog, Gordon

I'll admit, I do not like using the nail gun!

Voila!  Don't they look fabulous?!?!  I love them!  For this region of the country it says to paint them a dark color but I really like the plain-wood look so I might see if it works without painting. Sheri said she's going to paint the Bat Symbol on hers! 

UPDATE: She did it!!

Now to figure out where and how to hang mine.  I'm super excited!  And it was a really fun project.  Here's hoping both of us have a mozzie-free summer!!

Find out what other creative endeavors are being undertaken by clicking but button below.

Unknown Mami

16 March 2014

Simple + Beautiful = Simply Beautiful = Slovenia - Sundays in My City

Back in September I took a trip to part of the Balkans (Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia Herzegovina).  The one and only time I rented a car on any of my trips and I drove from Croatia into Slovenia.  At first I was just planning to go to Croatia but when I looked at the map and saw how close Slovenia and Bosnia were I decided I had to take advantage of the proximity and visit all three. I would have taken the train or bus to Slovenia (I took the bus to Bosnia) but I decided I didn't want to go to the capitol and the only way to reach a small town was to drive (had I done a little more research I would have found out that Ljubljana, the capitol of Slovenia, is much nicer than Zagreb and swapped them on my itinerary).  The GPS decided I was going to take the scenic route and it was lovely.

Crossing the border...one of the few places that still has border control (which means it's one of the few places where I got a stamp in my passport!).


For more beautiful sights, check out the rest of the SIMC posts over at Unknown Mami.

Unknown Mami