Wednesday, February 27, 2008 --- I don't know how to balance blogging and a job outside of the house...I'm a failure!

I am having a bitch of a time trying to balance blogging and working outside of the house. It sucks because I was so regular with I just feel like a failure who can't manage her time. But the thing is, I'm doing laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, etc. with whatever free time that is not taken up by sleeping and watching the few highly necessary television programs we like to watch each week. Ugh! In addition, I have a freelance website job going on -- for a certain Pilates studio in New York -- which I am very excited about -- but again, less free time for me and me-blog when I get home each day. Ah, well.

The other thing that has made me actually avoid blogging is my ongoing frustration with Blogger mistreating me and my post publishing process. I know that the best solution is to migrate to dynamic blogging (i.e. Wordpress) -- and I WILL do this! But, F*CK! I just don't have the time right I avoid...because Blogger can't piss me off if I don't blog!

One thing that we have been having fun with is KITTY CAM. I got a web cam for Christmas (which works independently from a computer -- just hooks up to our home network) that allows us to watch our cats when we are not home...or when we have our backs turned and we want to see what those little f*ckers are doing when we are not looking. Plus, their Grandma really likes to check in on them from Connecticut -- just to see how fat they are or to watch them playing. I don't know why I enjoy this so much, but I do. It's like I'm producing my own Feline reality tv show! Here are some still shots from the KITTY CAM as an animated GIF -- of Noodle the Cat.

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Saturday, October 6, 2007 --- Apparently, this is a good place to take a nap...

The bigger Nutmeg gets, the more things she gets into. Not only did she jump into the tub while I was taking a shower today, but she also likes to take a break in the sink periodically. In some ways, this lack of fear with regard to water is a good thing. It means I have very little trouble bathing her when necessary -- because I like to bathe me some cats. Contrary to popular cat-belief, spit does not clean everything well, especially when that spit smells like cat food...

"This carpet has a funny flavor!"

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007 --- My Favorite Little Munchkin Came For A Visit This Past Weekend...Isabella!

The man's niece came with her parents this past weekend and we had a lot of fun with them. She terrorized the cats, of course. She also loved the playground in our complex right outside the front door. She's a jungle-gym-climbing-machine! I can not get over how big she has gotten -- she's almost 3 years old (November) -- and looks like an actual kid now!! It seems like she was just in diapers...

Trying to settle down from a hyper period of cat chasing...

In search of those cats...I have a rainbow string, kitties!

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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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Monday, August 13, 2007 --- Trudy's Last's a sad day indeed.

These are the last two pictures I took of Trudy...We are very sad, but doing okay -- because we know that she is no longer in any pain. Honestly, I think she was ready. She actually seemed relieved as the vet started the injection into her IV catheter. She went quietly (except for the purring) with the vet and I petting her and talking softly. The man stood outside and cried privately...he doesn't handle these things well ;-)

This beautiful girl will be missed every day. Luckily, I shot a bunch of videos of her to help us remember and smile.

[ You can click this picture of Trudy taking a nap on her Mommie to see her last video clip. ]
Current Mood:

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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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Thursday, August 2, 2007 --- Childhood memory migration...from a stuttering, shy attempt at blogging in 2004.

When I first became interested in this whole blogging thing, I was strictly a reader. I tried to start a blog, but did not feel I had the stamina to keep up with it. Growing up, I never kept a journal -- beyond a few isolated entries in notebooks here and there, sometimes years apart. I did write letters to friends pretty often. I guess something of a "journal" was given away in the letters I wrote.

The other problem was a feeling of shyness. Not sure I wanted to blog, to share. It felt weird. So, I gave it up right away.

But today, I was feeling struck by the fact that my entries on this blog, while plentiful, were more often than not, fluffy? Not always. I do try to keep things funny for my own sake. I try to say something, even something silly, or just a notation of something interesting I saw elsewhere, as a time-capsule of "self" an exercise in sticktoitiveness. To say, "I DO have the stamina!"

I thought back for a moment, back to my few feeble attempts at an anonymous blog. I re-read my few entries (posted and not posted) and felt almost perplexed -- "Who is this person? I wrote that?" And so, I decided to dust one of them off...because I thought it was funny, but also very telling. To those who know me really well, it speaks so innocently and simply, but peculiarly accurately, of the person I am today. What do I mean by this? I see the seeds of my current self in this childhood joy of feeling chills from spider-like tickling...and my selfish, demanding nature with regard to things being done "properly!"

Early childhood inventions: The Tickling Machine

As a child, I built the following engineering masterpiece:

Using several Tinker Toy sticks, I attached a rubberband to each one, knotted and fitted at the end of each stick - tight enough so that they did not slide off. This formed a loop on the end of each stick by which the individual stick could be hung. A much larger, "master" rubberband was threaded through these loops and looped through itself to tie the grouping off - into a sort of "key chain" of sticks.

I then presented my father with this bouncing windchime of sticks and rubberbands. In addition, I offered my bare 5-year-old back to him and demanded to be tickled with the instrument. My father required extensive training before he mastered the desired effect I had envisioned for the apparatus...namely, chills.


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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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Thursday, July 26, 2007 --- One of my most treasured a coffee can.

This lamp, which sits amongst my plants in our living room, is one of my most favorite possessions in the world. Which is sort of funny, because it is basically worthless on a "parts" was made from a coffee can, a piece of wood, a bulb socket and some wiring. One of my parents' fellow hippie friends made it for us as a gift when we lived in Sacramento, California. I don't remember who the person was -- because I was only a baby at the time -- but, I have loved this lamp my whole life. And last year, my mom let me take it home!

We recently replaced the wiring to ensure its continued safe use in our home. I never get tired of seeing the beautiful swirly patterns it makes all over the ceiling and on my plants. It just goes to show you, recycling can be beautiful! ;-)

Anyone else out there have a monetarily worthless, prized possession? Why not tell me about it in the comments section? I would love to hear from you! :-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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Tuesday, June 26, 2007 --- Oh, man...This site is right up our Hermanitis-Alley!

butterfly has sent you a clip...

butterfly's Message:
Bookmark this site ASAP for your daily dose of hilarious passive-aggressiveness.

Sadly, I see a lot of my own behavior in some of these notes --- I always thought my well-thought-out-zinger signs in the work bathroom were a proactive public service to an invisible brown-bomber (and other, more unmentionable bathroom crimes!) Personally, I think leaving one's waste in the toilet for others to view is rather passive-aggressive, but apparently I am the passive-aggressive one! Who'da thunk it?

Get Clipmarks - The easiest way to email text, images and videos you find on the web. It's free!
Sent with Clipmarks

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Monday, June 11, 2007 --- We're mad as hell...and we're not going to take it anymore!

And now...





In your ASS, LIONS!!

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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, May 8, 2007 --- Video from the CrazyCatPeople in Vermont :)

Check these crazy critters cute!

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Tuesday, February 6, 2007 --- Time for more of our favorite blonde...Isabella!

Because Alf's niece is such a ham...I thought it would be fun to share some Isa-belly Birthday footage! Enjoy...

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Thursday, January 25, 2007 --- Maximizing our efficiency...Noodle says, "what the heck is this?"

We have temporarily changed the appearance of our fireplace...and it looks kind of strange...but we sure are toasty!!

It has finally gotten cold in Virginia and we were using the fireplace daily, but we were getting tired of lugging wood home every other day from the clubhouse. And then, after constantly having to run the heat in the apartment for very long periods of time to heat up the living room and the bedroom (at opposite ends of a long 4-room external-walled apartment) we got sick of how much electricity this was wasting. I realized that we were spending the majority of our time in the living room because it was the warmest I partially closed off the rest of the apartment, turned off the heat, took out the very efficient space heater and decided, we are only going to use electricity to heat this one room (rather than 4 semi-used rooms) and stay there. Then, I got the great idea to hang a mylar blanket in front of the fireplace to reflect our heat back into the room (instead of losing it through the drafty fireplace) --- and let me tell you, WE ARE TOASTY!!! And using less electricity. Al Gore would be so proud of us. Of course, Noodle wants to know what the heck did we do to his fireplace?? [No more sooty paws for you, mister --- at least until the mylar comes down!]

Noodle and Jackie love their pass-thru --- it really is the best way to watch everything that is going on in the kitchen. Especially in the sink!

And so, our large family is warm on the couch futon by night and doing our work on the laptop in various corners by day. When we are not using the bed, the cats have decided to implement a quadrant strategy to divide the space fairly --- no touching, please.

Goodnight everybody!

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

Would it kill ya?

What I Am Doing...

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About Me

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.

Recent Posts


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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where i vent my spleen
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