Thursday, February 25, 2010

it's Angela's special day!

Happy birthday today to Sal's Mom! She lives in Gulfport, Florida.

We wish you a day of FUN & SMILES, Mom! :-)

Susan, Sal, Buddy & Aruba

the dilemma of captivity

I am deeply saddened by the tragedy at SeaWorld yesterday. It's such a loss all around ... the death of a dedicated, animal-loving trainer and a reminder that the instincts of wild animals are unnaturally suppressed in a captive environment.

I was reminded of my post back on May 5, 2008, where I raised the question of animals in captivity, including at places like SeaWorld. It's a struggle in my mind ... you know how it's my mission to speak up for the voiceless animals! I surely recognize the benefit of public awareness of these amazing creatures, and how it leads to protections for them in the wild. After all, when it comes to animal welfare, education & awareness can open our human minds and hearts to compassion & empathy.

But perhaps the price that captive animals pay for the sake of our "education" is too high? It's my understanding that killer whales are no longer captured and brought into captivity, which is good news. Nonetheless, I question the psychological trauma that these complex creatures must feel living in anti-social, confined conditions.

And since my 2008 post, I've been to Alaska. And I saw orcas in the wild, swimming contentedly with their pods in open waters. They are curious, playful, and obviously enjoy being social with their family. They came over to our boat to have a look AT US !!!
How can this scene be compared to a lonely tank? Let's re-think the concept of captivity.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

baptism scrapbook page

Hey there, hope you're enjoying the weekend. Seems like it's COLD almost everywhere in the U.S. right now, yes even here in Florida!

I'm making good use of my "indoor" time since it's chilly outside. Our friends' son will be baptized tomorrow, so I whipped-up a scrapbook page for them in celebration of the big occasion:
I went with a palette of aqua, light olive green, and chocolate brown. Love that color combo! And I thought it was masculine while avoiding the predictable shades of blue. Of interest to my sb'ing pals ... I stamped the word "baptism" with Technique Tuesday's Piccadilly alphabet (extra large). I thought it was a nice font choice for this layout.

Here are a few close-ups of the details:
I used Martha Stewart's arch lattice edge punch on the photo mats (love Martha's punches!):

Hope they like it!

Friday, February 12, 2010

be their Valentine

Ah, Valentine's weekend is upon us! Hope you have something sweet planned.

And if you've been considering adopting a new furry friend into your family, now's the perfect time! Starting today, and continuing through Valentine's Day Sunday, PetSmart is teaming up with local animal shelters to host a "Second Chance For Love" National Adoption Weekend at their stores. This charity has placed over 4 million (!!!) animals in forever homes.

I'm proud to say that our sweet Buddy was adopted from the Indianapolis Animal Shelter at a PetSmart adoption event!
Go HERE to find a PetSmart near you. And thanks for sharing your love with a homeless animal in need! :-)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Canada: hosting the Olympic Shames 2010

So the big day arrives tomorrow ... opening ceremonies of the winter Olympic games. How exciting!

But I can't bring myself to be proud of Canada, the Olympic host country.
What they're not advertising is that as the Olympics end, their country's annual BARBARIC seal hunt will begin. Again. They just won't stop! All that animal suffering, and for what? The same old thing ... Canadian dollars. Money. Apparently there's still a demand for the fur and skin of helpless, defenseless seals. And Canada steps right in to fill it. SHAME !!!

Many of us (me included!) thought the NFL was wrong in supporting player Michael Vick after his admitted horrific dog abuse. Yet, we let an entire country's government slide for these horrific (just use your imagination!) seal abuses. Why is that???

Please go HERE to sign a pre-written letter to the Olympic Committee and the Canadian Prime Minister, voicing your disapproval of the hunt. No matter what your stance is on PETA, this fight isn't about them. It's about innocent animals who live on the ice as nature intends, only to be clubbed to death. I personally can't imagine dying that way! Can you?

Maybe, someday, Canada will listen to us and stop the BRUTAL slaughter. I know that this isn't the most pleasant topic to read about on my blog. But it's important, and hopefully, I won't have to write about it in the future.

On behalf of the voiceless animals, thank you!

Monday, February 8, 2010

super Super Bowl, not-so-super ads

So how was your weekend? Did you watch the Super Bowl? We did!

Sal and I aren't sports fans ... at all. Except for the Olympics and the Super Bowl. We pull out some snacks and watch the entire game. Even the pre-game kick-off show! We enjoy the festivities, and this year the game was here in SoFla, which made it a little more exciting.

The game was great! That interception/touchdown play by the Saints was the best of the night. Having lived in Indiana for 7 years, we were behind the Colts, but it was nice to watch the Saints win their first Super Bowl.

And from previous posts, you know how I see advertising as a potentially brilliant art form. I love, love, love a good ad! But during this year's game, the ads were, um ... disappointing overall. Most were lame, ordinary, less than clever, not funny. Those ad agencies did not impress me. If I had to pick a favorite though, it was the Google ad. Simple and effective and kind of sweet, it kept me watching because I wanted to see where they were going with it. The worst ads were by Doritos. Awful, in poor taste, bordering on offensive. If you missed any of the ads, or want to watch them again, they're all HERE.

Have a great week ahead,

Saturday, February 6, 2010

it's Deborah's special day!

Happy birthday today to my sister-in-law, Deborah! She lives in Gulfport, Florida.

We wish you a day of FUN & SMILES, Deborah! :-)

Susan, Sal, Buddy & Aruba

Friday, February 5, 2010

it's Sal's special day!

Happy birthday today to my dear husband, Sal !!!

I wish you a day full of smiles! :-)

Enjoy !!!

Love you lots,
Susan (and Buddy & Aruba too!)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Google love

If you went to the Google search page yesterday, you might have noticed this:

My Mom pointed it out to us (thanks!) because this picture has REALLY special meaning to me & Sal. The Norman Rockwell image that Google incorporated into its logo is the same image that was on the very first card that Sal, my then-brand-new-boyfriend, ever gave to me (nearly 22 years ago)!

Oh, that sweet boy and girl huddled together ... and do you notice the adorable beagle that's with them??? Wow! We of course had not yet talked about adopting a beagle at that very early stage in our relationship, but that's exactly what happened 7 years after we got married! Buddy joined us in the 'family photo'.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

taxes. done.

It's that time of year again ... the Tax Man cometh.

Yesterday, I dug out all of our documents and decided to get cracking on our '09 taxes. I got on a roll, and just kept going. And finished! I e-filed last night, yay! So nice to have that task out of my hair.

Just an FYI if you haven't done your taxes yet, and if you have donated toward the tragedy in Haiti (or intend to before March 1) ... the IRS is allowing us to deduct those charitable contributions on our '09 taxes! That's right, you don't have to wait until filing your 2010 return to claim them. Go HERE for all the IRS rules and regs. This is awesome, because it will encourage even more donations.

And then there's the FUN part --- the REFUND! If you're expecting one, check out the IRS's Refund Cycle Chart to estimate when the $$$ will arrive in your bank account or mailbox. Another way to get the status of your refund is the Where's My Refund? page on the IRS website.

Happy filing,