Friday, March 27, 2009

Getting Stuff Done...

Since Rommel was promoted two weeks ago, he has spent an average of twelve hours a day at work, not including the lunches, dinners, and drinks with clients. He reminded me that I married an advertising man and part of his job is to mingle, etc., and it requires long hours. I completely understand, but I will admit that I was getting used to him being home by six everyday and having more time together.

But anyway, all this extra time has given me a push to get things done. First on the list was the tortoise enclosure. People who know me know that I constantly rearrange things and that even includes the backyard. I moved both enclosures to the other side of the yard and put a shorter fence around them. The only problem was the potato vine growing along the fence that prevented me from putting them side by side. So I was on a mission to build a "bridge" between the two that the tortoises would actually use and would keep them safe. I began the project last week, but about twenty minutes in, the lid to the enclosure fell and hit me in the back of the head. Not good. It's made of four two by fours and very heavy. Rommel would not let me out of his sight the rest of the evening and his mother gave me a lecture about doing those kinds of jobs myself. Who else would do them then?

So I threw myself back into the project a couple of days ago. After breaking several jigsaw blades and breaking part of the fence when I fell over it, I finally finished.

I will admit that it is hard to tell what the enclosure is really like in the pictures. But you can clearly see where I fell over the fence and broke it. One side is completely open to the elements so they can lie in the sun all they want. The other side has a lot more covering to get away and bury themselves at night. A small bridge connects the two and there are also plenty of places to crawl into for hiding.

It is a good thing that I finished it when I did because it is getting warmer out and the tortoises are getting more and more active. I actually thought they were beginning to fight due to lack of space because Squirt kept biting at Daisy's feet. Well surprise! It turns out that Squirt is actually not a girl; Squirt is a boy and he was trying to mate with Daisy. We mistook Squirt's concave stomach for a sign of him being female, but apparently you can not usually tell which sex a tortoise is until they are at least five inches across. He is still smaller than five inches, but he has developed a spur at the end of his tail which allows the male to keep hold of the female during mating. But Daisy is not interested and my sister, the animal expert, says it is extremely difficult to get tortoises to successfully mate. Thank God! No little tortoises running around. Two is more than enough.

I have also done quite a bit of work in the garden over the last two weeks. We were a little worried that our peach tree had died over the winter because you do not get many trees losing their leaves in California. But one little leaf showed up the other day and now the tree is covered in blossoms. It is absolutely gorgeous!

I planted green bean sprouts and cucumber sprouts. I think it might have been a little early for them to go out because the cucumber sprouts have already perished. Some of the green beans are hanging in there though. I still have a few sprouts inside under the heat lamp I can plant if they do not make it, but hopefully I will not have to.

I planted some sweet bell pepper sprouts in pots because last year it took me a few tries to find just the right spot for them to thrive.

My sugar snap peas are doing great. They even survived a small rain storm the other day. As long as things keep going the way they are, I think we are going to be eating sugar snap peas all summer.

I still have tomato sprouts that need to go out, but they are still to small and fragile. That's all the gardening I plan to do besides are existing flowers, but it is still more than last year.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

My children...

When it comes to my pets, I imagine that I am like one of those parents who must show everyone they run into the fifty pictures of their kids that they carry in their wallet . I love to talk about my pets and show off pictures, although I never them with me. But I am also surrounded by animal people most of the time, so they love to hear the stories, just like I love to hear theirs.

Basically I am trying to say that I post a lot of pictures and stories of my "babies". They are my children and always will be, even if I do have children one day. So if you do not like animals, go to another site.

Anyway, we bought Sunny a new bed the other day because it was rather cold and she usually begins the night by sleeping on the floor. She eventually moves to the bed, but I did not want her to be uncomfortable on the cold floor, especially since she is getting older. I found the perfect giraffe print bed and she looks absolutely adorable in it. Of course, she only sleeps in it ever now and then, apparently preferring the cold floor to a warm bed.

Then there are Daisy and Squirt, the tortoises. I feel so bad that they have had to stay inside 24/7 due to cold weather, but it will soon be warm again and they can bury themselves in fresh dirt all they like. Until then, they are in love with their heat lamp, which they bask under most of the day. I gave them a bath yesterday afternoon (tortoises usually do not drink water, they absorb it through their skin). I wanted to make sure I did it early enough that they would have plenty of time to get toasty again under the lamp. They crawled around in the tub for about twenty minutes then scattered as soon as I put them back in their cage. I walked in a few minutes later to find this scene:

Squirt decided he wanted to be closer to the heat lamp, so he climbed on top on Daisy. I am sure she will be very happy when they move back to their outdoor enclosure which is four times the size of their indoor cage and she can get away from him.

Glendale Downtown Dash

We have been trying to come up with alternative ideas for advertising at work and when I saw the brochure for the second annual Glendale Downtown Dash, I knew it would be perfect. At first I was just thinking we could put a team together for the 5K, but then we decided to sponsor a booth too. Eventually it ended up being two coworkers, my husband and I competing in the 5K, working a booth for about seven hours, and putting together six hundred gift bags filled with hand sanitizer, small hardware related items, and a coupon. It was a lot of work, but it was totally worth it. We were supporting stroke awareness and the community, while advertising the store.

Angela, Karolina, Rommel and I ended up placing 777 - 780 out of 992 participants which was not bad at all considering we walked the whole 5K. What's funny is that the race was the same distance, if not less, than what Rommel and I walk every evening, but for some reason this seemed more difficult. If you ask me, it was the mile markers along the way telling you just how small of a distance you have walked up to that point. Or it could have been the runner who passed by us three times before we passed the finish line.

The booth was crazy because we were one of the few giving away free stuff. Rommel yelled out the word free and people came running. Angela and I went to grab something to drink and by the time we came back almost everything was gone. We actually had to close up early because people started leaving once the race was over and they had seen all the booths, which was fine with me because we were able to make it to the farmers market we go to every Sunday.

In the end, we had an excellent time and are planning to participate again next year whether it is for work or just for ourselves.