Dec 21, 2009

UMSL vs Webster

I'm not going to Webster this January. I lied. Instead I am going to UMSL. The reasons why are many, and overall I am happy about my decision. To make me feel a bit 'happier' with all of this I'm going to outline pros and cons vs Webster and UMSL.

Webster Pros - - -
Intellectually I think I would have been a good fit. Small classes in a liberal arts college was exactly what I was looking for. There was something very charming to me when it came to Webster, before I even thought people needed to go to college I can remember driving past it and thinking that there was something prestigious about Webster. I loved the old buildings, the small student population, and the location location location.

Webster Cons - - -
The cost. I was prepared to pay the price of Webster when I was under the impression that I was getting a superb education. But when I hear Webster's own advisors tell me their science department is "subpar compared to most local high schools" I just couldn’t justify spending 25 K there anymore...and while we're talking advising let me tell you something. Webster's sucks, hard. Their advisors are not real advisors, as I found out the hard way. They're professors that just lend a helping hand. They have less of an understanding of requirements than I do, and their advice differs between person to person on things like which classes can be applied to your degree, and how long it will take you to graduate. They lost my transcripts several times, getting anyone to follow up with you was a struggle, and I just had an overall feeling of sloppiness when dealing with them. Also, classes were dropped willy-nilly, and a lot of the required classes that I needed were only offered every other semester, which was a huge deal in how long it would take me to graduate. Also, they really made me feel kind of shitty when it for transferring from a community college. One of my advisors didn't want to accept a class that was transferable from my transcripts because, well, I took it at STLCC…

UMSL Pros - - -
Cheaper, like half as much as I was planning to spend at Webster. They're a large university with a lot of opportunity to get a really decent education. I loved all of my advisors; everyone was extraordinarily helpful and willing to show me exactly where I needed to go and what I needed to do. They worked some real magic to get me in as quick as they did, and a lot of people bent over backwards for me. I recognized the gesture and was thankful for it. I really felt like they cared about my education, and cared about working with me. I know they get paid to do that, but that is a large part why they do their job so well. They have paid advisors that know their department’s degree’s and know what it is they’re talking about. It seemed like UMSL is way better equipped to deal with someone that is not an A-typical student. The only thing I missed out on were quite a few of the scholarships that I would have been eligible for since I was enrolling so late, but my Biology advisor is trying to work some voodo on that for me to see if I can squeeze into any. He was thrilled to have me in his program and had nothing but compliments for me when he saw my GPA and some of the professors I’ve had at STLCC.

UMSL Cons - - -
So. Far. Away. It's a 45 minute drive on a good day, and OMD the campus is HUGE. Some of my classes will have more students than I graduated from high school with. I know I'll get the hang of it but I feel a little overwhelmed with how big everything is there. Also, when I have a few hours down time between classes, I’m going to be stuck on campus. There will be no driving home to let my dogs out and eat and unwind. And this is pretentious of me, I know, and I’m kind of ashamed to write it…. but while I was at STLCC I met a lot of people that were transferring to UMSL and I would look at them and think to myself… I do not want to be them. They were just caricatures of college students, and I thought them to be exasperating and simple. They weren’t there to learn, they were there to try and have sex and scrape by with the lowest GPA possible to keep from getting expelled. I think that has been my biggest hold up with UMSL when it comes down to it. I don't want to be that person that is going to UMSL, so I’ll have to be that other person that is going to UMSL.

So, now that I've had a few days to chew on my decision, I'm feeling good about it. I'm going to get out of UMSL what it is I put into it, and I have really high expectations for myself. I think I made the right choice in switching from a major in math to a major in science as well. (for those of you that didn’t know) Though I love math, I think I would be sick of it in 5 -10 years, whereas with science thing are always new and changing. Plus, planning math lessons vs planning science lessons....well...there is really no comparison
…oh and the best part about UMSL…they don’t start classes till the 19th! Whee!

Dec 11, 2009


Today, I graduate from STLCC with my Associates of Arts in Teaching. I have a big exit interview that I have to undergo with the head of the educational department, and then I'll be free! Well, at least until January 11th, when I'll be starting Webster. Wheee, I love change! There is something deeply satisfying in shaking things up a bit in life and taking on new challenges.

Between graduating, having our 3rd annual friendmas this weekend(including our new and wonderful friends, the Elbows), the wiener wonderland holiday partay (up to 60 people and many more wieners coming), 24 hours of Christmas music (Brett has been ready to murder me since Oct), a fabulous husband (minus his awful taste in holiday music), and my herd of long dogs, and I'm feeling pretty good about life.

Oh, and for those of you with a long dog owner on your christmas list I just had to share this one thing. Check out this adorable bracelet you can order from Sky Mall.

Nov 15, 2009

I refuse to let her win...

For all of the incredible professors I have had at STLCC, one particular professor is really getting under my skin. Not only do I not mesh with her personally, I find her teaching to be god awful. An example? She harps on us for 10 minutes about using correct grammar on our papers...because we’re college students and should know better and she can’t believe how dumb and lazy and not smart all the college students at STLCC are…..then has stupid mistakes like this in her rubric:

"Points will be deducted error in grammer, usage, capitalization and punctuation."

Grammer? Really? Where the fuck did you get your degree?
Then she sends out this gem to us regarding our online quiz:

"Please make sure to spell and use correct capitilization on this quiz. The computer will mark your answers incorrect if you do not spell the answers correctly and use correct puncutation.

As college students and future teachers, it is important that you submit work that is indicitive of a highly education person."

Why yes, thank you, I will make sure to spell…and while I’m on a f-ing roll, it’s capitalization, punctuation, and indicative you silly woman. I would get it if it was an English course, really I would… and writing like a college student is important, but this is Educational Psychology, and that old saying about not throwing stones while living in glass houses could not be truer in this situation.

Add that to her being constantly 15 + minutes late, accusing me of plagiarizing a lesson plan in front of the entire class and saying that the only reason that she could not prove it was because I must be “net savvy,” being generally unhelpful, unapproachable, and argumentative and I’m ready have some form of a conniption. (Oh, and for the record when I say argumentative what I’m really saying is she cannot stand me in any way, shape, or form and has made that painfully obvious to anyone who’s around.)

Whatever lady, the feeling is mutual at this point.

It is taking every bit of my very small self control to not mark all of her mistakes in red, document every nasty and inappropriate thing she has said to me, and hand a copy of them to her and her supervisor at the end of the semester. Yes, I can be that petty if one drives me to be, and I would take a lot of joy in doing just that right about now. Just sayin'.

Nov 9, 2009

Woman trips over long dog, and dies.

Bitsy Boo, what two brain cells collided this morning that made you think it was a great idea to suddenly stop and turn sideways when I was walking behind you? This gives me about .04871 of a second to divert my walking trajectory or else end up face planted on the floor because, in case you didn't notice, you are the PERFECT FUCKING HEIGHT for tripping over. You're like an absurdly shaped, poorly designed ottoman manufactured just for causing your people to fall flat on their faces.

Not that this just happened or anything.


Nov 2, 2009

Uh, I'm not dead.

I'm alive, really I am. Same old song and dance from and life have completely taken over. Speaking of school, I was accepted into Webster U for a duel bachelors degree. Yay for that. In two years I'll have my BA in Mathematics and Secondary Edu. In two years I'll also have more student loans than I want to think about right now...but besides that little part, I'm as excited as can be.

Okay, enough about me. Here are the cute dog pictures you really care about. They're a bit fuzzy since they come from my phone but you get the idea:

Zoe and Trevor, hating life in general

Zoe. Zoe's tongue.

Cousin Maude

Cousin Maggie

Cousin Sophie

And a very pathetic quality picture of Bisty Boo in her Hippo. The blue bloomers that went under the tutu was the best part of it.

I'm really confused as to why it's already November. It seems like this year has just whizzed right on by. It's a bit overwhelming sometimes, but I've been assured that this is just... part of getting older. Whatever, it blows. I was much happier when summer lasted FOREVER and things seemed epic and never ending. All that being said, time better hurry the fuck up so I can watch New Moon. I am stupid excited about this movie. The trailers for it look incredible, and I don't even care that Jacob Black used to be shark boy, he makes me think dirty dirty things about him.

I'll try not to be a stranger, but life does happen. Till next time!

Sep 14, 2009

Not so much a lady...

and you thought she was a perfectly adorable little ball of dough didn't you? See... looks can be deceiving. She's rotten I tell you, simply rotten.

Sep 1, 2009

Clean Eating

I'm not one to diet. Actually, I'm pretty sure I would die if I was ever on an actual "diet." There is a rebellious part of me that would immediately bake and consume a whole chocolate cake if someone attempted to restrict my consumption of food, in anyway....But I am interested in eating better. I've always been mildly obsessed with good, real food and cooking it. (By cooking I really mean eating)

Anyways, my point? I eat too much. I eat amazingly well thought out, unprocessed, real food, but none of that really matters when I eat enough for 5 people.

So I'm going to try to monitor my portions a bit better using a program called Clean Eating. Never heard of it? Here's a bit from their website:

"Clean Eating? It's simple, really. Consuming food in its most natural state - or as close as possible to it - - is the soul of clean eating. It's not a diet; it's a lifestyle approach to food and its preparation, leading to health, well-being and a lean look."

Sounds pretty sweet to me. I'm all about organic food that's good for the environment. I'm always trying to find the best ingredients and that fine line between the healthiest and best tasting food out there...and this seems like a good way to combine those two things together and control my obsessive need to eat.

Am I doing this to lose weight? No. Let me make this clear...I LOVE MY BODY. All of it. I'll love it when I look thin, I'll love it when I'm heavier... that doesn't matter to me. What really matters to me is fueling my body in the best possible way and being a health minded person. I think that's crucial. After all, this is the only body that I have. I can't trade it in.

I'll try not to over-run my blog with a bunch of boring "what I'm eating" crap, but I'll let you know how it's going. More importantly, I'll let you know if I fall off the boat and fully expect a thorough ass kicking from y'all.

<"( );::::::;~

In dachshund news....I think I'm keeping my latest foster. I haven't told this to my husband yet...but I'm pretty sure he agrees with me. Last night we were sitting in bed with the dogs and he started talking about how this foster dog that we have ''must have THE BEST home ever, and how we wont let him go unless the place is just PERFECT...because he's the sweetest, bestest, cutest little boy ever, and by golly just LOOK at him!" I'll just wait for it to be his idea before we really talk about it...thank goodness he doesn't keep up with my blog ; )

Sigh. 5 dogs? Really...?

I also had so share some adorable pictures from a recent fun day we had out at Purina Farms. These pictures were taken by the very talented photographer, Bettina Woolbright. The weather was, glorious. We really deserved a good day of weather seeing as every other event that we had was rainy / freezing out. I lurve earthdog so much, I really really do. I'm excited for fall because some of the members have promised to take me out with them when they do field work.

Aug 14, 2009

Earthdog Video

This video was filmed at the Memorial Bash put on by Missouri Earthdog, a club that I am on the board of. The Bash is held at Purina Farms in Grey Summit, Missouri annually. The video gives a nice overview of what earthdog is, and some of the different events that you can participate in with your dog at an earthdog trial. Though the video primarily focuses on Terriers, Dachshunds are well represented at earthdog events...I swear! Enjoy!

Go to Ground Video

Jul 25, 2009

Remembering Daisy

My good friends JoRhon and their furchild Sophia said goodbye to Daisy today. For those of you that didn't know her, know that Daisy was an amazing little creature. Her and Bitsy looked so much a like, and I always joked that they were powdered sugar obsessed sisters...

I can't give Daisy any better of a tribute than her human already has. Feel free to read all of the details about Daisy, including her healthy love of chicken, here.

Daisy, you will be missed, more than you could possibly know.

Jul 23, 2009

Thinking thin has paid off!

Ladies, ladies...there is plenty of Taj to go around.
Wow...two months can really fly by. I'm not sure if you remember, but two months ago we started watching Taj and Raja. Also, two months ago Taj started thinking thin! Today the boys go back home but I had to share with you Taj's results.
Want Cookies. WANT!

You gives me cookies now? K tnx bi.

I is not a HippoTajamus, I has been thinking thin!

There is still a lot of Taj to love, ladies. Don't worry.

Unfortunately, with my mad scramble to get ready for vacation and the brief period of 10 dogs in my house, I did not get a chance to do a final weigh in with him. I'm bumming about that. My guess is that he lost 5lbs or so, and that he's at about 15lbs. Much better than the 20 1/2 lbs he started at. He is also 17 1/2" around his chest, way down from the 19 1/2" he was. He's now 15" around his waist....down from 17 1/2"!

We all joked that Taj was at fat camp.

Taj hated thinking thin in the beginning, but now he's reaping the rewards of being a skinny minny. For one, he can see his penis again...and well...I don't have to go into detail as to why that's a good thing. Also he has a lot more energy. He run run runs after the rest of the pups in my house. He can also lift his leg up high to pee on things, instead of barley getting it off the ground...and the best part? For each pound that he looses YEARS are being added to his life. Having something happen to one of my kid's (and Taj and Raja would be one of my kids) back is my biggest fear in life. Though being at a good weight doesn't guarantee that a back injury wont occur, it sure as heck doesn't hurt.

Now we joke that Taj will need a Taj tuck for all of the extra skin he has. Heh. We crack ourselves up.

Oh man, I'm going to miss waking up to this every morning. :*(

Jul 20, 2009

My excuse?

This is the reason I have not been able to addition to my 4 hounds, I am dog sitting 4 pooches and have 2 fosters. If I don't post in a while, call the police. Every now and again I catch them in a little hurdle, plotting. They are plotty little things, after all. Eventually their collective 10 brain cells will collide and they will come up with an elaborate plan to capture me as their hostage. I have a sneaking suspicion that their master plan is world domination, but I'm sure they'll settle for lots of treats.

The police would come in to find me tied up and with them dancing an angry Indian war dance around me.....

Jun 24, 2009


So what happens when six naughty dachshunds rub their six naughty braincells together and collectively decide that it would be a GREAT idea to roll in something disgusting? They end up getting a b-a-t-h.

Mom, help us!

We is being tortured. Hurry, what's the number for 911?

While Brett and I were gardening we decided to let the herd-o-doxs "charge up their sunbeams." Charging up sunbeams is a very important part of being a dachshund... sunbeams give lazy dachshunds just enough energy to wake up from their 14 hour nap to make it to bed. Whew. Hard work.

Charging up sunbeams is one of my pack's favorite pass times, and cousin's Taj and Raja seem to enjoy tanning their tummies too. For the longest time, everyone was lying there dead to the world but Neville.

Neville has a little quirk when he charges up his sunbeams. He loves to walk from the sunshine into the shade of the tree and back again. (He's still building up his sunbeam tolerance.) On Neville's 5th trip into the shade I noticed him sniffing something. Whatever Neville was sniffing he liked it enough to want to smell like it so he started rolling with gusto.

Rolling is something that most dachshunds do sometimes...and I didn't think too much of it. (This would be the "ironic" part of the story)

We was framed. Honest.

So anyways, Zoe saw her brother's feet in the air and decided to go investigate. Zoe also thought it would be a great idea to roll in Neville's wonderful find! Two rolling dachshunds promptly caught the attention of the rest of the herd and they all ran over to see what all the fuss was about.

At this point I'm curious to see what they're rolling in. Normally what they find is nothing that I can see or smell, and is no big deal. This time however, they found frog. Dead frog... and oh my dog did it stink.

They were so proud of themselves, till I started running the water. Now I have six wet balls of angry running around my house.

Unamused Taj, is unamused.

May 31, 2009

Biggest Loser, Dachshund Edition

Hi Mom! We miss you!
Taj and Raja are staying with me for two months this summer. They're great little long dogs, and total joys to have at our home. Raja is 2, black and tan, and loves to play. Neville and Raja are pretty much BFF. Taj is a four year old red dachshund, and a spitting image of Dyllan in his younger days. Well, as far as personality goes.

You see, this post is mainly about Taj. I have been thinking a lot about Taj since the last time he's come to stay. (I watched them for a month last summer). I love Taj, and there is a lot of Taj to love in return. Taj, well, he's overweight. Dachshunds so easily become obese. They're almost like freaks of nature. They love food, and love attention. If they have a mind to, they can break even the most cold hearted dog hater into giving them a scrap of food.

Taj would never use 'sad dog' routine to get food. Never.

Since Taj needs to lose some junk in the trunk, and I love walking, I've decided to document our progress on here. I have two whole months of walking, portion control, and activities planned out of Mr. Taj. I'm calling it the ''Biggest Loser: Dachshund Addition." Taj, I love you so much, this is why I'm doing this for you. I think your parents will get a kick out of watching your progress on here as well! I'll do weekly weigh ins for Mr. Taj and measure his girth as well. Maybe we can get him into a medium puppia harness by the time his family come back home.

For any of you that would like to join me in getting your chubby dog svelte for the summer, let me know how you're going about it. If you own a dachshund it's extra important to keep them slim because of their fragil backs. When you add the risk of heart failure, diabetes, arthritis to the joints, and a slue of other heath concerns, there is never a better time than now to get your pooch fit and trim. You can add years to their life, and there is no better reward!

Please to have no walks? I didn't sign a contract for this!

Tonight I weighed him in, and here is where we stand:

Weight: 19 lbs
Girth around ribcage: 20 1/2 inches
Food: 1/2 c of California Natural. 1/4 c per meal.
Treats: 1 Zuke's Hip Action treat, per day.
Supplement: I started him on the Zuke's Hip Action treats to help prepare his joints for the upcoming exercise.
Exercise: None, I gave him the weekend off

Day 1

It grew! It really grew!

As promised (a month ago) here are some pictures from our garden.

Where we dug up the rocks to plant.

A neat shot of water resting on our red cabbage.

Our surprise blueberry! We didn't know that our blueberry bush had flowered. This little guy was hiding there the whole time.

Tomatos that we'll be enjoying later

You can see our blackberries growing!

I cannot tell you how ridiculously excited I have been about my garden. I feel like these little plants are a part of my family. Our zucchini and peppers have started flowering as well. This might just be a success!

May 29, 2009

All jacked up

This past weekend, Missouri Earthdogs put on their annual Memorial Day Bash. At the bash you compete in events such as go to ground, barn hunting, and lure coursing. It's pretty much the best thing ever. One of the highlights of the event is the lure course racing. Jack Russell's come from all over to race, and dear lord, those dogs can fly. If you ever get a chance to see an event like this, go!

You can see a video of some different racing events here, so you can get an idea of what the Jacks can do.

For the past three years, Mo Earthdogs has included dachshunds into their events. My short legged little kids could never race like the Jacks, but they still enjoy chasing the lure. This year a local photographer captured some great pictures of the dachshund racing. Now, I particularly want you to pay attention to frame 55 and frame 56.

Bettina Woolbright Photography

Yes, , that is Neville. Neville had never seen hurdles before, and came to a dead stop in the middle of the race. It was the funniest thing I have ever seen. While the Jacks launched themselves over the hurdles like little springy showoffs, Neville had to boost himself over We call the dachshund lure course racing the 'comedic relief' of the trial. To make matters worse, Neville's girlfriend Stella beat him in hurdles and flats. Heh.

To make up for our less than spectacular racing results, Zoe took the championship title in Dachshund Go To Ground for the third year in a row. She also championed in dachshund barn hunting, and completed her AWTA Certificate of Gameness. This meant to much to me, especially after almost loosing her this spring. Way to go Zoe. Neville ribboned a few things too, but I didn't write it down and I'm not sure what ribbon went to what event. I would be the worst mother, I swear.

Dyllan and Bitsy were amazing cheerleaders....Bitsy actually lost her voice by Sunday.
(My dream come true...)

Also, Taj and Raja are here! I don't think I've introduced Taj and Raja to you yet. They're two spunky little dachshunds owned by my good friends. They will be spending two months with my herd this summer while their people go to India to visit family. They were just dropped off today and I'm watching Neville, Taj, and Raja chase each other all over the house. I LOVE these dogs...they are quite the little characters. We will be having lots of adventures with them over the next two months. As soon as I remember to buy batteries for my camera I will do a proper introduction.

I'm also working on a project I've been thinking up for Mr. Taj on the blog.....more to come on that later. ; )

May 20, 2009

Oh, hi there!

me: I have not forgotten about you. Promise! I have just been busy.

You: No excuse.

me: You're right! But I started gruelling summer courses for school?

You: No excuse.

me: Okay...but I grew a strawberry in my garden! Can I bribe you?

You: Strawberries are delicious...mmm...what will you be making with your strawberries?

me: Strawberry. Only one has grown. But I'll share!

You: One strawberry is not going to be enough.

me: But Bitsy severed her cruciate ligament?

You: No excu....her what?

me: Her Cruciate ligament. Her doggy equivalent of an ACL.

You: The Boo? Really... that poor old girl. What on earth have you been doing with her since you've been missing? Throwing her down stairs?

me: No, no, no, I did not throw Bitsy down the stairs. She jumped in the garden and has been hobbling around since. Not bad hobbling, just kindof limpy, you know. She wasn't really committed to acting like she was really hurt so I kindof didn't believe she had hurt herself too bad.

You: Bitsy was limping and you didn't address it?

me: Well, sometimes she can fake hobbling for attention. I took her to the vet though! Yesterday!

You: When did this happen again?

me: mothers day....ish....

You: That was....10 DAYS AGO!

me: Yes, yes, I know. But she wasn't committed to being hurty. She was just a little hobbly, not even all the time! She fakes sometimes!

You: and the vet said....

me: Well, that she snapped her cruciate..


me: Heh, oh, well it means that it's not connected anymore.

You: I hate you.

Anyways, so yeah. Bitsy totally severed her cruciate ligament on Mothers Day, and yes, I feel like a total asshole for not doing something about it sooner. She was favoring the leg, but never seemed to be in a ton of pain. I have Rimadyl at home for occasions such as these, and I medicated her, put her on strict R&R and gave her some time to get better. After a week she was no worse, but no better, so I decided to take her in to WGAH to see Dr. Britt.

Dr. Britt put Bitsy on her side, fiddled with her leg, and said, " Her cruciate ligament has been severed. I can't believe she's walking!" Needless to say Bitsy Boo has a very high pain tolerance. One that allows her to walk, hop, and ruff-roo her little heart out when she should be doubled over in agony. She's such an amazing little dog.

We talked extensively about the risks of the corrective surgery vs the benefits of the surgery and have decided to treat the leg holistically. She's 13, an anaesthetic is risky enough on a young healthy buck. (Dr. Britt was shocked that Miss Boo was 13. She would have guessed her to be 9, as peppy as she is.)

Oh, and she has incredible teeth thanks to this amazing gel we've been using daily called PetzLife. I have no stock in this company, but seriously, both Dyllan and Bitsy look like they've had a dental thanks to this stuff. It's so simple to use, you just swab some on their gums with your finger right before bed, and before you know it your dogs teeth will be sparkling white. I swear, I've seen it myself. Also, it's all natural. If you're local you can purchase it at any of the four Treats Unleashed stores in the area. If you're not local, contact them on where to purchase it. Really, it's worth its weight in gold. Buy it.

Apr 30, 2009

We lost a bit of sunshine today

Hi friends,

Every once in a while I have to post about something that isn't fun to write about. Today is one of those days. Today my good friend's, The Elbow's, lost their beautiful little dachshund to a horrible accident. Sally suffered an intestinal blockage earlier this week, and when the vet was running tests, she aspirated a significant amount of barium. Sally's blockage resolved, but unfortunately Sally's lungs weren't able to function properly, and Sally passed away late this morning.

She was the happiest dog I have ever met. Ever. On a scale of 1 to 10 she was easily a 27 and 1/2. She was that dog that everyone loved the second that they saw her spotty little cow butt start wagging.

So this is my tribute, to our gal Sal. It is so little for one so great. Sally, you will be missed. In your short time here you have touched so many, so very deeply. I know the otherside of the rainbow bridge is brighter now that you're there and I'm lucky to have you there to greet my furchildren one day. They will have a friend to show them the ropes and help them find the warmest places in the sun.

Apr 28, 2009

And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva...

For the past few days I've been watching The Kate's Stella and Maude. You guys might remember Stella from when I first went to get her from the Humane Society. Yeah so, let me tell you a little story about love, in pictures.

The end.
Honestly, Stella and Neville are in love. It was the most adorable thing that I have ever witnessed. I would crate one, and the other would lie outside of the crate digging at the door and whining for the other. They played for hours, and then I would find them spooning. They groomed each other. They shared toys. I mean, come on. My teeth hurt from watching them it was so sweet.
I took Stella back to Kate just a bit ago, and I came home to a very frantic Neville. He's *bolting* from room to room looking for her. Really. He's diving in and out of crates and he keeps running under the couch (her favorite hiding spot). He's crying. Neville never whines. Not even when we're leaving, but he's whining now.
There is nothing more amazing than love.