Monday, January 14, 2008 --- Experiencing Bloggus Interruptus...

Dear Friends,

I have been neglecting all of you. It is true. Things have been a little hectic since I started my new job -- and when one is no longer freelancing from home, it is hard to keep up with a blog as easily as before. Once things have settled into more of a routine, I plan on getting back to posting regularly. But for now, I am experiencing Bloggus Interruptus.

Please, bear with me... Thanks!

-- The Butterfly

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Wednesday, December 5, 2007 --- Today's Question: Whether to shit or go blind?

See that beautiful tree with its orange and red leaves? Up until this morning, that tree was merrily going about its business believing that it was still Fall in Virginia. It has been so warm here, that our leaves changed very late and have been holding on to some of the trees longer than usual. But this morning, we had our first snow of the season...and let's just say that the poor tree doesn't know "whether to shit or go blind..."

It is very odd to be looking at the colorful foliage covered with snow...but the contrast sure is lovely!

I thought the berries on this tree were pretty, surrounded by the fresh new snow...Needless to say, it is a perfect day for hot beverages and wood burning in the fireplace.

Welcome Winter! You are beautiful.

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Friday, October 19, 2007 --- I must have you, Lime NmG...I love you!

Oh, if only I were independently'd be on your way from Ohio to my loving arms NmG! *sighs*

See what this little cutie is all about at the Myers Motors website.

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Thursday, August 30, 2007 --- What has been going on in Butterfly's cocoon?

As you all know, we put Trudy to sleep on August 13, 2007. She was cremated on August 14, 2007...and, we got her ashes back the following weekend in this pretty little box -- which is now on a shelf in our living room. It came with an engraved name plate which we affixed on the inside of the lid. We have been missing her terribly, but we are glad every day that she is no longer suffering.

As a household, we will always have a hole in our hearts for Miss Trudy. The boys were missing their sister...Peanut, especially, was walking around meowing and howling, looking for Trudy for days. We still miss her non-stop purring, her instant appearance whenever you called for her, her love of tuna water, her insatiable need to rub her cat lips on us when she wanted to be pet... We have ALL needed some cheering up...and, we had an available spot in our place to offer someone special a new home! So...

...Meet Nutmeg! It was a difficult choice, but this little bundle stood out from the crowd at PetSmart's Adoption Day as the best candidate to join our little, not-so-little family. She's very outgoing and she has a cool orange spot on her head. The boys accepted her relatively easily -- we only had them segregated for one day!

Jackson offered to give her a wash off the shelter a rather untraditional manner!

You can see that Peanut is pretty oblivious to her presence when he is sleeping with his dad...

...And, after a rough start of throwing up whenever he looked at her...from fear(!)...Noodle is now able to take a nap with her on the sacred chair...

Her first major act of mischief??? Eating through the wire on these headphones for her Daddy's XBOX 360! Surprisingly, Daddy was not that upset...probably because it gave him the perfect excuse to buy the better X2 wireless headphones from Turtle Beach...

Vive l' XBOX 360!
Merci beaucoup, ma petite Nutmeg!


We also just got back from Connecticut and visiting Mommie Dearest for a Belated 4th-of-July-Birthday Celebration -- she's a Firecracker Baby! Here we are in the dark making motion trails with our super-long sparklers. You can see some of our other fun with explosives on her blog.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007 --- In Sunnier News...the Foetus Update!

My good friends, Michael and Lori, recently sent me this updated ultrasound picture of the foetus, also known as Nicholas. Yes, it is a boy-foetus!

Enjoy rolling around in that amniotic soup, my friend, covered with a cottage-cheese-like substance...Soon enough, you will be here in the real world with the rest of us, wishing you could go back!

It is hot today! I am thirsty:

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Sunday, August 5, 2007 --- I have CANCER...Hear me ROAR...With lesions too big to IGNORE...And I know too much to go back an' pretend!

Okay, so this photo is from a better time in Trudy's life...when she still had all of her fur intact...But, the sentiment is the same!

The video [click on the image when you are done reading] is from yesterday -- Jackson got in trouble for chasing his sister out of her little cardboard-box-tray-thing (from the recent canned cat food purchase) -- which she has been enjoying sitting in lately. And yes, I know, the apartment is very messy at the moment...what, with all the kitty nursing we have been doing...and not wanting to upset her with the vacuum! We will be cleaning TODAY because I can not stand it anymore! The man would be fine with living in squalor -- so long as he can play XBOX 360 -- which he is welcomed to return to just as soon as we straighten this place up a bit!

Ugh. Double Ugh.

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Monday, July 30, 2007 --- The ultrasound verdict is in...

Well, things are not good with ChooChoo, but this is not terribly surprising to me. I was prepared for that...and really, an answer does make us feel better, even if it is not a nice answer...because we can feel secure in our decision...that we are going to do everything possible to keep her comfortable and happy until she is ready to go. But we are not going to intrude, biopsy, chemotherapy, etc. We want her remaining time (weeks?) to be happy and calm -- minimizing her stress for whatever time she has left before we put her to sleep.

The official situation:

1)"Bullseye" lesion in right lateral liver lobe, extending through to the right middle liver lobe. Multiple other 1-2 cm lesions throughout 3 other liver lobes, all of similar appearance, most likely, with her history, age, and clinical signs, this is carcinoma or other type of cancer. 2)Abnormal left wing of pancreas with dilated pancreatic duct. 3)Left kidney has a focal lesion of hypoechoic tissue, similar in texture to the liver lesions, concerned that this represents spread from primary process in liver. 4)Asymmetric thickening of the duodenum, mass-like appearance with enlarged mesenteric lymph nodes.

I made a little video of her when we got home to show how she is doing at this point -- still feeling pretty bright and happy (you can hear her purring in the video!) You can click on the picture below to go to the video page and watch it...We want to document a little bit each day of her so that we have some stuff to remember and be able to watch our cute little girl's videos in the future, when she is gone. ;-)

UPDATE: When the man got home around 10PM from his class, he fed everybody wet food for dinner...and Trudy ate normal cat food with all the boys on her own!! She actually kept eating after everybody else had walked away. And then, just before he went to bed, we took her temperature to see if she still had a fever...BUT, she had a normal 100.8F temp -- which means that she does not have an infection -- she was just VERY stressed at the vet's office (there, it was about 104.5F which is about 2 degrees over the high-end of normal). We did not give her the antibiotic shot (I will ask the vet tomorrow if they want us to give them to her, but I think probably not if she has no fever...) We prepared her B12 shot, but we had to wait a little while to give it to her -- because she was busy eating her normal wet cat food, again! With the B12, hopefully this eating trend will continue. The more she eats, the better she will do for a while longer, while her liver still functions. Of Course, at the first hint of any pain or change in attitude, we will know it is time. For the time being though, she is feeling pretty good and hungry ;-D

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Monday, July 23, 2007 --- Trudy is home again...and boy, is she happy about it!

"Mommie, look at what THEY did to my fucking leg! I look like I am wearing one of those ridiculous Chewbacca fur boots that Hollywood bimbos like Pam Anderson wears!! Ugh...Thank God I am home where it is QUIET so I can get some sleep tonight. You are not taking me back there, are you??"

Here are her sweet little bones. We got a cd with her Xrays on it that we will need to show to the specialist who will be doing the ultrasound exam on her liver. We are still not sure if we are going for that exam -- making the appointment, but depending on how she appears to be doing with her medications, eating, etc. if we feel that she is going downhill fast...we would rather humanely intervene than take her for more tests and upsetting poking and prodding. So, we are letting her feelings and behavior be our guide. And, so far, she is much improved from her hospital stay. She was pumped full of good medicines, nutrients and fluids, which plumped her up a bit. She's still skinny, but she is no longer scary-skinny. She was eating well for the vet techs (at night mostly -- she's a midnight muncher, I guess!) When we got her home, she calmed down very quickly from her traumatic car ride and she ate about 1/3 (!!) of the man's grilled chicken breast that he shared with her -- Papa is so nice! He won't share his fries with her Mommie, but for ChooChoo, he will give her the chicken out of his own sandwich...We were amazed at how much he got her to eat. Then, she went and munched some dry food, too! If her energy level and appetitite are any indication of the future, she may have some potential to get better from whatever this liver problem is. We hope so. Tomorrow morning we continue with her pills -- fun! fun! But, we are very happy to have her back and she's very happy to be back...and not have an IV in her leg anymore.

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Sunday, July 22, 2007 --- Trudy-the-Cat is in the hospital for the weekend...

We visited our girl today -- and she was very happy to see us! But, obviously, not happy about being at the hospital. She was drooling like crazy when they brought her in for her visiting time. After a few minutes, she calmed down and was a non-stop purring machine.

[As I am writing this, the vet tech called to give us a status report and said that she pretty much drools the moment they approach her cage because she knows something is up when they do. They are giving her Pepcid to help with her drooling...guess that should dry her mouth up a little? Who knew.]

I will go back to see her tomorrow, poor thing. We left her a care package of her favorite new foods du jour -- #1 Fancy Feast with Gravy -- #2 Whiskas with Gravy (in a pouch.) We also left her a package of Whisker Lickin's treats, Chicken Flavor. Hopefully, if they are trying to have her eat solid foods, they will have more success with ones we know that she likes. We shall see.

Here is her intravenous pump thingy -- that's about $150 right there in her leg...Woohoo! She is still jaundiced -- the insides of her ears are yellowish. But her energy level is still pretty high, which is somewhat good, I guess? It is hard to sleep at night without her frequent visits to the bed to say "hi" -- we really would like her to be home again, but hopefully the fluids, meds, etc. will make the hospital stay a good thing for her. Wish her luck!

Posted by Picasa

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Wednesday, June 6, 2007 --- Totally tired, but satisfied for the moment with the web...

YUP, she's UP!

WWW.LIZZIESUE.COM --- check it, Bitches!

In other news, a dissatisfyingly low number of my invites signed up for's so easy to use and fun --- works with IM, web, Mobile texting, and MacUsers can use a nifty application called Twitterrific so that they can Tweet (and get tweets) right from their desktop! Not to mention the neato Twittervision where you can watch what people are doing in real-time, all over the world on a GoogleMap/Twitter interface. I mean come on, was on NPR, so you know it has to be cool!!!

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007 --- Michael and Lori's little fetus...awwwww :)

This is my friends' (Michael and Lori) new baby fetus! Very exciting ;) Looks to me to be the size of a small kitten at this point...since Lori is not very far along at all.

Congrats to my good friends on their evil seed! Can't wait to inspect it for suspicious birthmarks....

love ya, V

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Tuesday, February 6, 2007 --- Trying out video posting...and a little current events.

In an effort to test out my video posting skills, here is a clip from the documentary, Mary Anne and the Villages. This is a feature-length documentary that my longtime friend, Michael Bridenstine, wrote, directed and produced about his mother's move to The Villages gated-community in Florida. Aside from being extremely funny on a mother/son level, the documentary also examines the pros and cons of these 55+ communities and Michael's feelings of ambivalence regarding his mother's choice to move into one.

I have also chosen to feature this video because of the recent tornado events that actually hit this very community...blocks from his mom's house! Luckily, Mary Anne's house was not hit, but her friend's house lost its roof...sucked right into the twister!

For more information about this documentary, please feel free to contact Michael at his website,

Be safe and be well folks!

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________ - THE BUTTERFLY BLOG - Copyright ©2007 Vanessa Lee Hamlen. All rights reserved.

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I am a graphic designer. I love animals and have quite a few pets. There is a frustrated DJ inside of me --- hence, my ongoing obsession with making music mixes.

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Musical Goodness

-- Music from Butterfly's personal library --

LORI'S LABOR: A collection of 6 unique playlists with varying intensity and mood for your listening pleasure! I created these original mixes for my friends to use during the labor and delivery of their first baby, Nicholas.

You can visit their blog here: ---> The Bridenstines!

Listen to my comical, purposefully nasal, total HAM-job submission to the 2007 Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert in the mini-player above!
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