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Monthly Archives: June 2011

During the winter…… during a routine trip to the shelter to pull dogs I ended up in the cat room.  BIG MISTAKE for a softie.  It is a room with maybe 50 small wire cages each holding one cat, the slightly larger cages hold two.  It was overwhelming.

I must admit going into this room was a mistake, my heart sank and I wanted to take them all home……..or at least let them all out.  🙂  I LOVE dogs but I also love cats.  I am always worried about bringing a cat to our house because of the dogs.  Not so much that the dogs would harm the cat, but more that the cats would hide under a bed in fear of a house full of dogs.  I dont want to traumatize the little buggers.

I walked through the cat room slowly, reading the cat cards on front of each cage….Name, age, reason for surrender and often a little something about the cat.  “Boo’s” card read, “Likes Dogs”.  I said to myself “LIKES DOGS?….Yeah, but what about 5 of them? Bet you wouldnt like 5 of them….”  I kept walking, observing, talking to them….wondering who had been there the longest.  Boo had been there over half a year…..I couldnt fathom being in that tiny cage for 6 months, only coming out in a small cardboard carrier for the cage to be cleaned.  Cats have always represented free spirits to me and all of those cats being confined to such a small space just broke my heart.

Now, this shelter loves it’s cats, dont get me wrong….they have a ton of them, and they run a prison cat program…….an awsome program, however all of those cats in those cages really hurt me.   I found out from my friend who pulls from that shelter more than I do, that the cats who had been there the longest were in a different area.  She said, “If they live here more than a year, they go to the cat room”.  Cat room?  *I wanted to see the cat room.

The cat room was a small room, with a window that faced the entry of the shelter, and a screen door that faced into the shelter lobby.  It housed maybe 10 plus cats.  They had scratching posts, beds, toys…….but I couldnt stop thinking about the fact that they had all been there a year or more.  I imagine that room felt like a mansion compaired to the tiny cage that had housed them for a year, but even the cat room felt small to me.

I slid through the entry door, holding back a cat who was just waiting to escape, and sat in the middle of the floor. I quickly became the most interesting thing in the room to most of the cats.  They had to sniff me and check me out one by one.  One hissed and skurried off, but most were interested in me long enough for me to pet them and give them a little scrach behind their ear.   Upon approval most slinked off to a favorite blanket or spot, however one remained……purring loudly and kneeding my Carhart jacket all over.  I mean it was a full on love fest in the cat room.  I sat in the room for almost an hour and was loved on the entire time.   I asked one of the girls who worked there how long this cat on my lap had been there and said said, “Oh I think 3 years or so”………I said, ” THREE YEARS???”

My heart felt like it rolled out of my chest and into my lap.  Three years in the shelter waiting on a family.  I couldnt belive it. 

Someone brought a dog into the temperment test it with the cats while I sat there with a cat on my lap (2 feet away) and she never flinched.  She gave a hoot less about that dog, turning her attention and glaze back at me with that squinty eye look that only a cat lover understands…..She said, “Oh I already love you” and continued kneeding me. 

Juju at home

My friend returned to the cat room and said “who’s that on your lap?”…….I just smiled and she said, “Is she going home with us too?”  I said “Yep”…….”Her and a black cat named “Boo”. 

So now I guess you can call me the cat Rescue Mama now too….. 🙂

Vacation always makes me “check” my life….. what I really want out of life and somehow always reminds me where I’m heading…… just always seems to give me a fresh perspective and I NEED that.

This past vacation (returning less than a week ago) did just that……….I traveled with two of my girls and enjoyed them immensely.  I stayed at my favorite Bed and Breakfast in Key West (The Angelina Guest House) flew straight into Key West and instead of renting a car, we rented bikes.  Key West is bike/moped friendly and to be honest you would have little use for a car if you stay in the heart of Key West as we do.  It is really hard to find a parking place and moving about on a bike or moped on the island is clearly a better choice.

I personally enjoy the pool the most at the bed and breakfast……….I miss having a pool and there is little more in life that I enjoy more than floating around in the pool on a hot summer day, with a cocktail in hand.  I make sure I am in the pool daily while there………actually we normally swim at night, and having the pool area and palm tree’s softly lit with just the perfect amount of lights makes it just that more enjoyable.  The ocean breeze, the hammock and the warm pool make the perfect outdoor getaway for me.  I enjoy it so much.  ~And miss it when I return home.

I must say that part of my draw to the Keys is the ocean.  Sure there is ocean all down the East Coast that I love but I am drawn to those beautiful turquoise blue waters that make snorkeling ideal.  I have been drawn to the ocean since I was a small child and that draw remains with me to this day.  Often on facebook I post “The Ocean is calling me”………and I mean it.  It truly is.  Being on or near the ocean makes me feel complete.  When I am away from the ocean I miss it to my core.  As much as I love it, I have a healthy fear for it as well.  I remember sleeping in the cockpit of the boat and looking out to the pitch black ocean at night and feeling how powerful it is………so powerful it’s downright scary.  That being said there is nowhere on earth that the sky is so big and beautiful and full of big bright stars than when on the ocean.  It’s hard to look out over the ocean and not put things into perspective.



Key West is full of diverse people and I love that.  The only two main drawbacks to Key West is #1, the cost of living is really high and #2, Tourism.  Tourism is I believe it’s nearly 85% of the economy so I guess it’s sort of one of those necessary evils  that people just HAVE to deal with there….it is an ugly truth about Key West that is very unappealing to me and I’m sure; to many of the people who live there.  You can avoid the touristy places like Duvall St, etc. but you can’t avoid the tourist on the street.  They are everywhere.  They often make any travel on the island either highly annoying or downright dangerous.

None the less, I miss it when I’m away………and I imagine one day you’ll find me right down there on a boat somewhere….. where the highway ends and the sun sets over the ocean.  I may never fully understand shy, but for some reason Key West is always calling me……..


Sierah and I picked up Devon the other day to bring him home for a cookout.  We had just gotten done with a photo shoot with ptwo boys for Senior photos.  (Sierah is huge help when able to go with me so I drag her along when ever I can.)  I personally find boys harder to shoot.  They are often times really stiff and are always worried about looking to feminine.  *eye roll.
So on the way home Devon says,” I want you to take some photos of me Mom”…..I say “Right now?”………..he says “Yeah sure”……..I say “Do wanna jump for some photos?”….He was like “Sure why not??”……..Music to my ears so we just stopped at this random spot off of Broadway St on the way home and they jumped, over and over again…..PHEW they were tired and my face hurt from laughing……We came up with some fun stuff…..this was my favorite photo of the two of them jumping together.


 I’m not 100% why but people seem to love the jumping photos I take, and I have even had people say, “Before we finish the shoot I want to do a jumping photo”….lol……So they jump and I shoot……Here are a few of my favs (Other than the first photo, that is my most fav jumping photo ever and it’s of my son Devon………he’s got “ups”  🙂   Plus there is something just cool about that photo.

Here is Daisha jumping……..I just wanna know how can you be beautiful and jump at the same time?  Well, just ask Daisha, she knows how……..

Oh and Taryn, after her photo shoot was over we had to do a few jumping photos with her as well…..She looks like she is just floating along…..lalala

It’s a fun photo that makes me smile every time I see it.  🙂   We laughed the entire time we took these…..
Here is one of Sierah after we left a tatoo convention that was a total dud………we decided to do some jumping photos cuz I liked the lighting in the convention center…..the jumping photos we took were way better than that old stupid convention…….
SO if you have a camera, and you wanna have some fun……..find someone to JUMP! JUMP! for ya!  You cant help but laugh!