Saturday, May 31, 2008

just catching up

Hi everyone! Hope you're enjoying the weekend. Wow, where did this past week go??? Time is flying, and tomorrow is June.....already! June 1 also marks an important date for us here in's the start of hurricane season, which lasts through November. After enduring Hurricanes Frances, Jeanne, and Wilma in recent years, we're hoping for a calm and uneventful season in 2008.

Sal and I had a bit of a worrisome week with our pups. We were awaiting results of tests for Aruba; we were worried that she had a bladder infection. But, she's fine, thankfully! Then, I found a lump on Buddy's leg. Given his history with a cancerous tumor on his ear, we had it checked ASAP. The vet did some preliminary testing and thinks that it's just a fatty mass, but we're now awaiting final lab tests to confirm her hunch. We're hoping that Buddy is OK.

We're also getting ready for our much-anticipated trip to Alaska! Lots of planning and packing to do. We'll be leaving soon and I plan to blog from the road, so stay tuned in June!

For my pals who love scrapbooking, I have the pleasure of taking 2 workshops with Tim Holtz tomorrow at a local scrapbook store. He's a BIG celebrity in scrapbooking circles, and is a super-fun, super-creative teacher. I'll be sure to post pics of the projects that I create.

Bye for now!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

ladies & gentlemen, start your engines!

Hi everyone.....hope you're enjoying the long holiday weekend.

Tomorrow is the 92nd running of the Indianapolis 500 race. It's a special event to me and Sal.....we lived in Indiana for 7 years and, like all Hoosiers, it became part of our lives every May. In the late 90s, before we moved back to Florida, my parents came up for a visit and Sal, my Dad, and I went to the was a blast, a terrific experience! We had great seats in the 4th turn. But what's perhaps an even more special event than the race itself is on the Wednesday prior to the race, "Community Day". They open up the track to the public and we were able to meet the drivers, tour Gasoline Alley and the pits, and best of all, take my Eclipse for a spin around the track! It was a thrill and I'll never forget it....even though I was allowed to go only about 10 mph.

I hope you'll join me and Sal as we tune in on Sunday. The race officially starts at 1:00 PM Eastern on ABC, but the festivities begin earlier on ESPN2. Here's the race schedule. And out of the 33 drivers, there'll be three women in the starting lineup this year. You go girls !!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

local dog attacked by alligator

Poor Rennie, my gosh! This sweet dog was attacked by an alligator in rural Palm Beach County yesterday. Why do people allow their dogs near bodies of water that could, and in Florida often do, have alligators in them???

She's now receiving care at Paws2Help, an animal shelter in West Palm Beach.....she'll need surgery on a leg that's broken in 3 places and on her jaw, which is broken in 2 places. Sal and I visited Paws2Help not long ago to help another dog, and we could see that this shelter struggles financially. But it was evident that they are so caring, and we know that Rennie will pull through! To read updates on her condition, to send Rennie and the shelter staff a get-well wish, or to donate to the shelter for her care, click here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Extreme Makeover: Manatee Edition

17 years after its original release, The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) recently unveiled a new design for the Save The Manatee specialty Florida license plate. Ta-dah!
It's beautiful, I love the color scheme (very tropical), and I especially love the message it sends. The Save The Manatee plate is one of 109 different specialty plates available in Florida (wow). In 2007, it ranked number 6 in sales, behind plates for "University of Florida" (at # 1).....what??? UF over manatees???.....and "Protect The Panther", "Protect Wild Dolphins", "Helping Sea Turtles Survive" & "Florida State University". Over 559,000 manatee plates have been issued since 1990!

Appropriately, the unveiling took place at Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, a refuge and home to many manatees.

Contrary to popular belief, the Save The Manatee Club does not receive any of the plate revenues (the SMC is completely donor-supported). Instead, plate proceeds are deposited into the Save The Manatee Trust Fund, which is managed by the FWC. The trust fund is the source of monies for Florida's manatee-related research and conservation management activities, including rescue and protection measures.

I currently have the previous, original edition of the manatee plate on my car:

It's equally beautiful. It was one of the first things I did when we moved back to Florida in 2000.....I went to the DMV and ordered a Save The Manatee plate, and had it personalized to say AMO FLA, which translates to "I Love Florida" in either Italian or Spanish. I'm a Florida gal and I was back baby !!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

a new leash on life

An uplifting story about wheelchairs for disabled animals aired on The Today Show this morning. A company in
Massachusetts, Eddie's Wheels, makes custom mobility carts for pets. And not just for dogs & cats....they've been made for rabbits, goats & alpacas too!


Sunday, May 18, 2008

still tickled "pink"

Hello, here I am, finally back online....Sal and I were celebrating our special anniversary and then we came back and got swept back up in the realities of life (car repairs, know how it is....).

But we had a wonderful time on our getaway! Thanks for your guesses about our, I like how you think, Claudia! Bermuda was a terrific guess, and I wouldn't have minded being there! But we were celebrating somewhere just as special. We stayed at the Don CeSar Beach Resort in St. Pete Beach, also known as the "Pink Palace" of Florida. It has a remarkable history, please take a moment and visit their website if you can. It's also interesting to read about where its name came from and the other pink beach hotel that inspired its famous flamingo color.

We had a wonderful and romantic stay! Our beachfront room offered a breathtaking view of the pools and the beach, and glorious sunsets that we enjoyed from our balcony.

As we entered our room, I immediately noticed that Sal had the florist deliver a gorgeous arrangement of tropical flowers (my favorite!) that were waiting for me. Awww....

We had beautiful, sunny weather the whole fortunate! I played in the pool and we strolled on the beach. Just relaxed and enjoyed being together.

On our anniversary day, May 12, we commemorated the approximate time that we became a couple, around 4:15 PM, 20 years ago. We captured the moment on camera on the resort's large clock, affixed to its lavish (pink) architecture, facing the pools.

On our last morning there, my parents joined us for breakfast. They live only about 15 miles from the resort, so it was a nice opportunity to enjoy a get-together. Kind of an extension of Mother's Day.

Thanks for sharing our big day with us! And after 20 years, Sal, I'm still "tickled pink" that you're my "boyfriend"! {XOXOXO}

Have a great week!

Monday, May 12, 2008

20 years ago today.....

Today is a really special day for me and Sal! Yes, it was 20 years ago today that we became a couple! We started dating on May 12, 1988. It all happened during an afternoon study session at our college library. I told Sal that I would probably be dropping the (one) class that we were taking together that summer, and he got upset and slid a note across the table to me that said "...I'm in love with you, please don't drop this class....". And you know the rest of the story....I married him! So today we're in a really special location to celebrate.....I'll reveal photos and details later this week. So fun and romantic! Gotcha guessing, don't I ??? Here's a hint: I'm looking at waves and sand as I blog, and I'm tickled pink to be here! Where In The World Are Susan & Sal ? {smiles}

Hope all the moms out there had a wonderful Mother's Day. We celebrated with our Moms....we brought flowers to Sal's mom and he made a yummy ravioli lunch for her. I took my mom to her favorite quilt store, Rainbow's End Quilt Shoppe, with a giftcard that we gave her to go on a shopping spree there. It was fun to browse through all the gorgeous fabrics!

Have a great week ahead!

Monday, May 5, 2008

tragedy at the Derby

A beautiful horse, Eight Belles, died on the track shortly after the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. Perhaps you hadn't heard? That's because the press was furiously covering the victory of Big Brown, while she was laying in agony elsewhere on the track. I applaude People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) for not allowing this tragedy to slip under the radar.

After the race, she collapsed from 2 broken ankles......and was euthanized right there on the track. Among other questions, PETA has launched an inquiry about whether she was injured before the finish, but was "whipped" into continuing. PETA is seeking a ban on whipping, limits on races and the age of racehorses, and a move to softer, artificial surfaces for all courses. And they want the jockey suspended.

I have mixed feelings about animals as "entertainment". Certainly, I find the circus abhorrent. However, venues like Sea World arouse my inner conflict on this issue. While it has been documented that the park's treatment of the animals is by no means despicable, I cannot help but assume that an orca would rather be swimming in the Gulf of Alaska. On the other hand, I appreciate how interaction with the animals gives the public an educated appreciation for them. And an awareness of their plight in the wild. I'm particularly aware of the benefits that manatees have received from Sea World.....the residents at their manatee exhibit are ever-changing because they are rescued manatees that are undergoing rehabilitation, courtesy of the park's experts, facilities and resources. And then they are released back into the wild. Because of this exhibit, public awareness of manatees has increased dramatically.....people from Ohio and wherever now know what a manatee is and that they're endangered, and why. So, I believe that although Sea World is a for-profit organization, they have some noble motivations.

The Kentucky Derby, however, is nearly 100% motivated by money. OK, and tradition. But is the public ennobled by seeing horses run around a track? I doubt that most who won Big Bucks by betting on Big Brown were concerned with the suffering and loss of Eight Belles as they counted their winnings. And I doubt that if there were no monies at stake, that many spectators would be interested in this race at all. And there would be no race. And no potential for horses to die this way.

I did not watch the race, but was appalled when I heard the news later. This is not an isolated's the second consecutive year that a horse has died as a direct result of injuries sustained in the Derby. Remember Barbaro last year?

I'm with PETA on this.....

Saturday, May 3, 2008

happy National Scrapbook Day!

Today's the first Saturday in May......which is National Scrapbook Day......happy cropping and shopping to my scrappin' friends! Enjoy! {smiles}

Friday, May 2, 2008

thank goodness for my TV's PIP

Wow, what a fun morning! As indicated in my post title, I've been really utilizing the picture-in-picture feature on my TV......On one channel, I had The Today Show going since Matt was live in this year's final Where In The World is Matt Lauer? destination, The Seychelles, a remote island chain in the Indian Ocean, about 1,000 miles off the east coast of Africa. What an incredible place, it looks like a magical paradise! Sal - we're definitely going sometime! I love how they describe it as a place that's "more about scenery than sightseeing".

And on another channel, I was tuned in to QVC since they were having a scrapbooking extravaganza! Attention scrapbookers - they're featuring lots of new and fun stuff.....more shows are scheduled for this evening. Happy shopping today!

Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Matt's day 4 destination

What an interesting segment Matt hosted on The Today Show's series Where In the World is Matt Lauer? this morning. On day 4 of his whirlwind tour of the world he's in Istanbul, Turkey. So exotic! Would love to visit sometime. I really enjoyed learning more about Whirling Dervishes and the famed Blue Mosque.

So, where will Matt turn up for his 5th and final destination this week? Here's a clue for tomorrow's locale: Many come here to see the natural wonders but the national symbol is for your eyes only.

Have a great day!