July 31, 2003

A Bad Habit

I bite my nails..... I have been doing it for as long as I can remember. I can remember being little and my mom trying all the remedies to try to get me to stop. None of them worked. She even resorted to bribery at one point. I managed to grow them long enough to get the promised toy, but then I started biting them again. I've never had nails long enough to put on nail polish. They've always been jagged and torn. Today, they were at a reasonable length, and I chewed on them. *sigh* I know it's wrong as I'm doing it, but I can't stop. I think I have been biting them lately, because I have been a nervous wreck ever since my daughter got her Driver's License and has been driving alone quite a bit, these past few days.

Posted by Valkyre at 07:19 PM | Comments (0)

July 30, 2003

Summer Storm

We have been having some weird weather lately. It's been hot and dry these past few days. But, a couple of days ago, we were treated to a nice lightning and thunderstorm in the evening. This morning, it was cloudy and grey. I didn't think too much of it, I thought it was the clouds that come in off the ocean and burn off by the afternoon. I was wrong. As I was washing down the outside kennel runs, it started to sprinkle on me. I had just finished the last outside run, when it started to rain a little harder. It didn't bother me too much as I was going to go inside and wash down the inside kennel runs. Except, that I had to run outside to turn the hose on and off. I didn't think I would get too wet, since the distance was all of 10 feet. But, it was dumping buckets. I got drenched. By the time I finished, though, it had stopped raining and the sun came out. I don't know how many inches it dropped, but there were huge puddles everywhere. Oh, and it was humid after all that.

Posted by Valkyre at 05:49 PM | Comments (0)

July 28, 2003

One of the Scariest Times For a Parent

Now I know how my mom must have felt..... Helena, our oldest daughter, just took the car out all by herself for the first time. Coincidentally, she got her new Driver's License in the mail today. I called our agent and had her put on the policy immediately. So, she drove down to her friends house, about 5 miles away. I asked her to call me when she got down there. Of course, on one hand, I knew I would jump when the phone rang, because I was afraid that it would be her calling and telling me that she just got into an accident. But, she made it fine. Now, she has to drive back. And, she will be coming back at night. I've asked her to call me before she leaves, so I can wait up for her. I'm a nervous wreck. (By they way, she said she felt much more confidence in herself, because neither Mike nor I were in the car with her! LOL!)

Posted by Valkyre at 06:22 PM | Comments (0)

July 27, 2003

Sweet 16

Amanda, our "middle" daughter (and Mike's first), turned 16 on July 25th. But, since she was at a sleep over that night, she chose to celebrate it today. Since I work on Saturday. So me, being the world's worst procrastinator, didn't go shopping for gifts until today. Usually, I hate shopping. But, Mike came with me and we actually enjoyed the time we had together. We hit some stores and went to two different malls. The South Bay Galleria, which is close to where we live and the Del Amo mall in Torrance, which used to be the biggest in the United States until they built the Mall of America. After we went to the stores we needed to go to, we walked around a little bit just browsing a few stores. We started to get a little hungry, but none of the food stands look good. I really was thirsty more than anything, so we went to an Orange Julius stand. I used to love those. Neither of us had had one in years. But, the ones they made today weren't nearly as good as the ones I remember. Oh well, live and learn, I guess.

Posted by Valkyre at 04:10 PM | Comments (0)

July 25, 2003

A Long Day

Usually I get to take a break and have lunch anywhere between 11:30am and 12:30pm while I am at work. But today...... Right when I was finishing my morning work and getting ready to go to lunch, two emergencies came up. I helped tend to those. By the time I looked at the clock it was 2:45pm. I considered just working through until quitting time and going home and making something. (Today, of all days, I forgot my bag lunch). But, I realized that there was no way I would be able to make it that long without something to eat. So, I got in the car and grabbed a combo from the local Taco Bell. A taco, large burrito and Pepsi. I'm almost ashamed at the way I wolfed it down. But I was so hungry. And, that Pepsi was so nice and cold after sweating in the heat all afternoon. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day and no emergencies will pop up.

Posted by Valkyre at 10:19 PM | Comments (0)

July 24, 2003

This Might Prevent Tailgating

This looks like an authentic Oregon license plate. I could use one like this... It reminds me of a bumper sticker I once saw years ago: I have PMS and a handgun!

Posted by Valkyre at 10:05 PM | Comments (0)

July 23, 2003

Bring It On

This movie was actually better than I thought it would be. I remember when it came out in the theaters. The critics gave it pretty good reviews. So, when I was doing up a rental list over at Netflix, I added this. I finally got to see it last night. And, I liked it. It's about a fictitious high school in San Diego. Their football team sucks, but their cheerleading squad has won the National Cheerleading competition 4 years in a row. Kirsten Dunst's character has been made new captain of the cheerleading squad. She is hoping to take the squad to a 5th win at the nationals. But, she finds out that her predecessor had been stealing their prize winning routines from the cheerleading squad at East Compton High, for the past four years. There's a lot more, I don't want to give too much away.

Posted by Valkyre at 08:26 PM | Comments (0)

July 22, 2003

Dog Seizures

Well. I learn something new everyday at work. I've learned that some dogs can have seizures. Similar to epileptic seizures. A Maltese had one a couple of weeks ago. I brought her down to one of the owners who gave her some sort of supplement called Nutrical. For some odd reason, this seems to help. Then, I put her in a pet carrier and placed it in a quiet place. While she was having her seizure, the other dogs were harassing and barking at her, which doesn't help matters. I'm still not sure if they are trying to alert us to a problem or if they are expressing concern, or what. Well, today, while the owners were gone, a Yorkie had a seizure. I picked her up, took her away from the other dogs and stroked her and talked soothingly to her. Then, I took her down to the house and got out the tube of Nutrical. Just getting her away from the noise and confusion seemed to help quite a bit. While she was still shaking all over, violently, she was starting to focus on me. After eating the Nutrical, she calmed down quite a bit. I then put her in a carrier and put her in the puppy nursery, which is one of the most quiet rooms in the place. A half an hour later, I checked on her and she was fine. She seems to really like me now too.

*PLEASE NOTE! If you came across this entry because you put "Dog Seizures" into a search engine.... I am not an expert on dog seizures. I am only relating an experience I've had where I work. If you came across this, because your dog is having/has had a seizure, call your vet immediately. There could be several reasons that your dog is having one. In the meantime, hold him/her, stroke them and let them know that you are there for them. I'm sorry that I had to remove the comment section. This blog was getting hammered buy Spammers, and I had to close off the old entries from comments.

Posted by Valkyre at 07:50 PM | Comments (25)

July 21, 2003


I thought this was cute. My sister sent it to me in my e-mail this morning.

Posted by Valkyre at 09:33 PM | Comments (2)

July 20, 2003

I Got to Hold Her For the First Time

I finally got to see my nieces daughter today. This is Berlyn. I have written about her in previous entries. My niece brought her up to my mom's house today and I got to see her. My niece and her husband live in San Diego, which is about 2 hours away. Berlyn is still shy of 8 pounds. So, she weighs less than my daughters did when they were born. Helena, my first weighed in at 8 pounds, 3 ounces. Amanda weighed 9 pounds, 7 ounces. And Teresa was one ounce shy of being a 9 pound baby. Newborn clothese never fit my kids! LOL! My nieces husband is in the military and they will be moving to St. Louis in August. They will be there for 3 years. I am going to miss them terribly.

Posted by Valkyre at 09:24 PM | Comments (0)

July 19, 2003

Crack! Shatter! Panic!

I was cleaning out the large snake enclosures yesterday at work. This involves cleaning an empty one. Then, I move the first snake to the clean one and clean his. Then, I move the next snake down to the clean one and clean his, etc. When I am all done, I put the snake back into their respective enclosures. These enclosures are walled in on all sides, but the front. The front is made of small sliding glass doors. After I had put all the snakes back into their original enclosures, I realized, that in one, I had forgotten to put some items back. So, I went to slide open the glass door. And met resistance. What? I had no problems with it a few minutes ago. So, I put a little force on it. Nothing extreme. And, it shattered and fell into the enclosure. Fortunately, the snake was on the other side, so she did not get hit by any glass. I had a mental image of what would have happened if the glass had fallen on her. She may have panicked and started to writhe around and could have ended up getting cut. So, I moved her back down to the empty enclosure and cleaned up all the broken glass. This was not "safety" glass, which shatters into small pebbles. There were long jagged pieces all over the place. I started to panic then. "Oh no! They are going to be so mad at me!" I pictured the owners taking the cost out of my paycheck, etc. I was the only one there at the time. I had to wait for someone to come back, so I could tall them what happened. Their daughter pulled up about 5 minutes after I cleaned up all the glass. I walked out and told her what happened. Apparently, this happens once in awhile. Why? She went to the back of the room and pulled out another piece of glass that was already sized to fit. I didn't think to ask her what causes this. It could be that the heat from the heating pads and heaters make the glass brittle over time. I don't know.... So, all that worry for nothing! (I will be careful from now on and not force anything, even a little tiny bit.)

Posted by Valkyre at 07:25 PM | Comments (0)

July 15, 2003

Valkyre, the Snake Charmer

Did I mention that the place where I work also has reptiles? I really don't mind. I have a couple of snakes of my own. One, an Eastern King Snake. He's about 6 feet long and about 1 1/2 diameter. Today, I had to clean the enclosures of two much, much larger snakes. An Albino Burmese Python and some sort of Boa Constrictor. The diameters of these guys were about 5-6 inches. They are extremely gentle. I wasn't worried about getting bit. The one thing I was not ready for was just how strong they were in comparison to my little king snake. I was able to keep a hold of them though, and get the job done. They are both beautiful snakes.

Posted by Valkyre at 07:56 PM | Comments (0)

July 13, 2003

Pirates of the Caribbean

Mike and I and Teresa went to see this today. It was great! I really loved it! This was the only movie that I really wanted to see this summer. None of the other ones really interested me. But, I loved this one. Johnny Depp was great as usual. And Orlando Bloom is a hottie. I really think I am going to go see this one again. As, there was so much too take in.

Posted by Valkyre at 06:51 PM | Comments (1)

July 12, 2003

A Nice Benefit of This Job

A very nice benefit of this job. I've been losing weight. I've also been gaining muscle. I weighed myself today and noticed I had dropped about 8 pounds. This is after the usual "10 pound water weight" drop that most people usually lose when they start out on a diet or exercise program. I've also noticed that I am getting stronger. And, I am developing muscles in my arms. It may also have a lot to do with all the sweating I have been doing lately. I have been drinking so much water lately with the heat. But, I really like working around the dogs and puppies. They all have their own distinct personalities. And, I have a few personal favorites. I try not to get too attached to the puppies. They will eventually be found good homes and will go away. But, I still give them as much love and attention that I can. The dogs and puppies here have really good temperments.

Posted by Valkyre at 07:29 PM | Comments (0)

July 11, 2003

Toasted Jeep With Gasoline on the Side

Well, Mike and I and Teresa saw something odd today. We were on our way to pick up Amanda, our 15 year old, "middle" daughter. I pulled into a left turn lane and waited patiently for the light to change to green. Across from us, also waiting for the light to change, was a dirty, poorly running, 20+ year old Jeep Wagoneer. Mike commented about the large amount of black smoke pouring out of it's exhaust. It did seem a little bad. I was actually surprised the thing was running. It seemed like it took forever for the light to change. And, as we were sitting there waiting, I started to notice a smell like varnish. Mike noticed it too. It must have been the job. Gasoline that has been sitting in the tank too long will take on a smell like that. We were both looking at the truck then. Suddenly, there was a loud poof, whoosh, whatever, that came from the truck. I saw something burst from underneath. Next thing we know, the ground underneath the truck is on fire. Turns out, it was dripping the gas onto the ground. That's why I smelled the raw gas smell and not burning gas. Smoke started pouring out from under the truck and the flames grew larger. The driver seemed oblivious to all that was going on. People were honking at him and pointing at the fire. Right next to him was an ambulance that honked it's horn and put on it's red flashers. We finally get the left turn arrow. The drivers in front of me, and also Mike and I try to tell this guy to get out of his truck. Finally, he gets out and away from it. Plenty of drivers pulled over to help this guy, so Mike and I saw no need to stick around. Also, I'm pretty sure the ambulance people took care of it.

Posted by Valkyre at 08:39 PM | Comments (0)

July 09, 2003

Clear the Streets!!!!!

Just kidding! My oldest daughter passed her driver's test today and will be getting her driver's license in the mail in about 2 weeks. This is her second attempt. Obviously, she failed the first time she tried. That was about a year ago. She thought she had passed. The instructor had her out for quite awhile. But, when they got back, the instructor failed her. She practiced a lot since then. She really didn't seem to be in any hurry to get her license. School is within walking distance and she always bummed rides with friends. But, she will need a car for work, etc. We took the Escort down for the test. I took off early from work, pulled up in front of the house, washed the car down with the hose. (It was pretty dirty and covered here and there with bird droppings). My daughter cleaned the windshield, while I grabbed a couple of grocery bags and cleaned out the interior. While we were driving down to the DMV to take the test, we were cleaning the interior with Simple Green - All Purpose Towelettes. It was rather amusing. We would be waiting for the lights to change to green and here we are wiping the interior of the car down with these wipes. We got a couple of odd looks from other drivers. I told my daughter that it looked like that we had stolen this car and we were wiping off the 'prints. Even while we were in the queue with other cars, waiting for the instructor, we were still wiping off the dirt and dust. Anyway, that little bit of work made the car look that much better.

Oh. and for some reason, I had a giggling fit while we were inside the DMV waiting for her turn at the window. The place was crowded as usual. And the people who were waiting for driver's tests were getting mixed up with the people who were waiting to get their driver's license photos. Anyway, this woman comes out from behind the counter and starts talking in this thick German accent. She is telling people to get in other line, etc. Then, she walks over to this group of 2 or 3 people and tells them that there is. "No loitering!", and they must move! Then, she points at a sign directly about their heads that states in large white letters, No Loitering! I was wondering who the hell would want to loiter around the DMV? And those people standing right under the sign? So, I started giggling. And my daughter was jabbing me with her elbow and telling me not to lose it and embarass her. Fortunately, I had forgot to bring in the registration for the Escort, so I had to go out and get that thing. And, getting away from that whole scene calmed me down enough to where I stopped laughing.

Posted by Valkyre at 08:55 PM | Comments (0)

July 08, 2003

Turn by the Pink House

When I give people directions to our house, I like to give them landmarks. One of the best ones is on the southwest corner of our street. It was a garish pink house that stood out pretty well. Well, we may have lost that landmark. That house caught fire last night. I didn't know it until this afternoon when I turned onto our street. The first thing I noticed we the huge holes that had been chopped into the roof by the fire department. Then, I noticed that every window was broken, with the tell tale marks of smoke left on the walls above. From what I could see, the house seems to be a total loss. I don't know if anyone was in it at the time. If so, I hope they got out okay.

Posted by Valkyre at 09:14 PM | Comments (1)

July 06, 2003

One of the Benefits of Living in Southern California

...Or any large metropolis. One of the benefits of living in Los Angeles is having many of the same stores within a few mile radius. Example: I have been landscaping the front yard slowly. I have been buying these decorative stones to use as a planter around our pine trees out front. I had been buying them at a Home Depot that is slightly northwest of us, 2.4 miles away. I can only buy them 15 at a time, as 15 of them weigh in at 300 pounds and the Escort complains a little at that rate. I've already made two trips, one this past Sunday, the other 2 weeks ago, Sunday. Mike and I get up there today, and there were no more bricks at this Home Depot. No problem. There is another Home Depot that is 3.9 miles from the house. We decide to go there. But Mike wants to try one that recently opened about 9.3 miles away, but it's right off the freeway. They have been better stocked than the other ones since it is a larger store. So, we went there, and they had plenty of the stones. If any of the Home Depots panned out, we always have a Lowe's that is about 5.9 miles due south of here. No problem! (Mike just informed me that we will be getting a new Lowe's that will only be about 1 1/4 miles north soon!)

Posted by Valkyre at 07:12 PM | Comments (0)

July 05, 2003

Water! Water! *Gasp* Water!!!

Hee hee! Today was one of those days where Mother Nature reminds that you are living in a desert. Yes, it was a typical Southern California summer day. HOT! I worked today too. Since it's physical work, I was sweating like crazy. I work for an hour in the puppy nursery, which is actually heated quite nicely. Maybe in the cold winters, it might be appreciated. But, it was pure misery today. I had bottled water with me. But, it never seemed like enough. I kept drinking water. I still ended up getting a headache and felt dizzy later in the afternoon. I got rather clumsy and kept tripping over things. Anyway, after I got home and took it easy for awhile, I feel much, much better.

Anyway, one of Chloe's puppies died. Turns out it was the one I had found outside on the concrete. She may have actually left it out there on purpose, knowing that it was going to die. There was a problem with the umbilical cord. If it was infected, the infection will go up the cord and internal. Which is probably what happened. (There is a much more complicated explanantion, but that's the gist.) I'm still glad that I did all I could do on my part.

Oh, and a dog had an epileptic seizure today. Not much one can do. I just took her out of the run away from the other dogs and calmed her down. About half an hour later, she was fine. I guess this isn't too uncommon with some dogs. The things I learn there everyday.

Posted by Valkyre at 07:01 PM | Comments (0)

July 04, 2003

A 4th of July Surprise

Okay, so I had to go to work today. No problem. We weren't going to barbeque until later this afternoon, and we watch the fireworks at night. And, dogs don't really know too much, or care about holidays. They need to be taken care of no matter what day it is. I was cleaning the runs and was about to do the last one. As I was walking all the way towards the back, I heard the distinct "mewling" of a newborn puppy. Which was wrong! When we see a pregnant female, she is supposed to be put into the well heated nursery to have her puppies there. But, I could hear a newborn. I look down and on the concrete is a newborn pup. Umbilical cord still attached, along with some afterbirth. I picked it up immediately and held it against my body to help warm it up. As far as I knew, there were no pregnant dogs in this particular run. I had no idea whose puppy this was. I ran inside and looked around the inside run. Inside a rather large doghouse was the mother along with three other pups. Turns out that this was a first litter for this particular dog and she might now have even shown that she was pregnant. We got her and her pups into a nice clean area in the nursery. It's nice, quiet and warm there. I hope that all her pups will be okay. Especially the one I found outside on the ground.

Posted by Valkyre at 04:39 PM | Comments (0)

July 03, 2003

We Will Be Having Fun Tommorow!

Well, since I'm working now, I went a little crazy at the fireworks stand. I figured it was kind of a dual celebration. A new job and the 4th of July. I have to work tomorrow, but I don't mind. I will be off in the afternoon, and we will barbeque some top sirloin steaks, have some red potato salad on the side and hopefully, some corn on the cob. After that, when it gets dark, we will go crazy lighting fireworks.

Posted by Valkyre at 09:31 PM | Comments (0)

July 01, 2003

The Limey

Another great movie! I just got through watching it. Without giving too much away, I will use the description from the Netflix site, who I rented it from:

Wilson (Terence Stamp), a tough English ex-con travels to Los Angeles to avenge his daughter's death. Upon arrival, Wilson goes to task battling Valentine (Peter Fonda) and L.A.'s toughest criminals, hoping to piece together what happened.

It was directed by Steven Soderbergh who also directed Sex, Lies and Videotape and Out of Site. These two movies I also really enjoyed.

Posted by Valkyre at 11:35 PM | Comments (0)