Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Gettin' Ready for the Drumstick Dash

On Thanksgiving morning, Ryan and I are participating in a fundraiser for the homeless in Indianapolis. We get to chase a turkey!!!! What we do with it if we catch it is beyond me, but hey it's for a good cause!! Believe it or not, I'm getting my lazy bum out of bed to do this at 9:00 AM so we should be back to Aunt Jan's in plenty of time for dinner!!
Here's a little info about what we're doing:
The event benefits the Wheeler Mission Ministries... Since 1893, Wheeler Mission Ministries has been addressing the cares of Indianapolis¿s poor and needy. Every year, without regard to race, creed, color, or national origin, Wheeler provides more than 226,000 nutritious meals to hungry men, women and children. In addition, more than 52,000 overnight stays are furnished to homeless and untold thousands of household items articles of clothing are distributed to those in need. Through our Food Pantry, more than 30 tons of food is distributed annually to families in need.
I'm always up for giving my time to a good cause, and what better day to do it than Thanksgiving. If nothing else, I know I will benefit personally just from knowing we did a good deed. It's time for us to be thankful for all the wonderful people and things we have in our lives. Now it's our turn to give others something to be thankful for as well!!
See ya on Turkey Day!!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Loretta Lynn in Nashville Indiana

For years, I have loved the movie Coal Miner's Daughter. Mostly because of all the good times I had with Andrea and Aunt Sissy watching it when I was a kid. It seemed like we used to watch it every single night when I lived with them. I think I could have quoted about 3/4 of the movie by the time I was seven.

Needless to say, I was absolutely thrilled when I found out she was touring this fall and winter and coming through Nashville, Indiana. I bought tickets as soon as they went on sale, and Ryan and I have been looking forward to this ever since.

We took off for Nashville Saturday afternoon with little Delilah in tow. Our friends in Indy, Matt and TeShannah were baby sitting her for the weekend. She loves to see her little friend Dobe, their min pin. Plus, we are always looking for an excuse to see them........we love Matt and T!!!!

It's starting to get cold outside, so little Delilah wore her new pink winter coat. Isn't she precious?!?!?

Anyway, we dropped her off in Indy and were planning on going to Bloomington to our hotel first. It was much cheaper to stay in B-town than Nashville, so we chose the cheap route. Originally we had planned on visiting the Oliver Winery again, but we realized we had forgotten our corkscrew and we already own about five, so I wasn't about to buy another one for one bottle of wine, so we scratched that plan. Got into Bloomington at about 4:00 and the show didn't start until 8:00, so we decided to head down to the campus and drive around. Neither one of us had been through there for a long time. It was kind of fun. Reminded me of partying down there when my friends were all still in college.

Had to take at least one picture of me and my baby dressed up together :-)

We stopped and ate at Coach's and had some huge delicious burgers..........Good Stuff!!! By the time we finished eating, it was about 6:30, so we decided to head over to Nashville.

It was about a twenty minute drive straight down state road 46 which was where our hotel was. We got to The Little nashville Opry at about 7:00 and could feel the excitement as soon as we pulled in. We saw Loretta's tour bus parked next to the building and decided to park in the back so we would have to walk past it to get in. We got excited for a minute walking by because we heard someone yell out of the bus about "getting something Ya'll!!" We thought it was Loretta for a minute, but it turned out to be her daughter Peggy. The funny thing was: at the time, we didn't have any idea who she was.

When we got inside, we looked around at some of the old country music memorabelia they have all over the place. It was fun to see how many old stars have come through over the years. When you walk in, it feels like you've just traveled a few hundred miles south, and maybe even a few years back in time. Everyone sounds like they're from the south, and the Southern hospitality was abundant everywhere. Eveyone was so kind and excited. Even the older folks understood our excitement, and didn't get upset when we were up taking pitures, dancing or just plain yelling. It was great!!

We had no idea how much this show would be family oriented. I guess knowing a little about Loretta, that shouldn't have surprised us. First, a really pretty young lady came out on stage to talk to us and ask us if we were getting excited yet. Then she proceded to talk about the movie Coal Miner's Daughter giving us all an idea of exactly how accurate it was. Finally, this pretty little thing introduced herself as Loretta's daughter, one of the twins, Patsy. I instantly squealed with excitement!! Then I laughed at myself.....

She and her sister Peggy sang a few songs to open the show for their mom. Sorry for the lack of quality photography that night, but my cheapy camera only got a couple decent shots for me. But hey, it's better than nothing.

After they finised, their older brother, who is back on tour with them after being kicked off not long ago by Loretta for his drinking antics on stage, came out and sang two songs and then introduced his mom to the stage.

I nearly broke down sobbing when she appeared. It was so awesome to see her in real life and up so close!! It's crazy how emotional it made me. She looked gorgeous!!

She came out in the most fabulous dress I have ever seen. Now, mind you, I would never be caught dead in it, but for Loretta Lynn, I would expect nothing less. My pictures don't do it justice, but I did find some photos from that night of her in that dress:

After singing a couple songs on her own, her son Earnest Ray joined her in one of the duets that she and Conway Twitty did. I wish I knew the name of it, but I don't. I guess I don't make a very good reporter, huh? At one point they got so tickled about something that couldn't stop laughing in the middle of the song. Of course, the band kept playing which made them laugh even harder. It was really sweet to see the family so involved with one another. It was almost like sitting in the middle of a giant family reunion.

This is Earnest Ray doubled over laughing while he should've been singing. She scolded those kids on that stage just like they were five years old. It was so fun.

Anyway, Loretta had some trouble with her blood pressure before the show, so we were all very understanding and accepting of the fact that she wanted a chair on stage. She sat through several songs, but it didn't matter a bit. She told us that her blood pressure rises a lot when she is nervous, and after all these years, she still gets nervous coming on stage in front of people.

Everything she said just seemed so sincere. She seems like the most down to earth person even after all her fame and fortune. That's what I love about that woman!!!

After choosing the first couple songs, she pretty much left it all up to us. She said to us "Well, what do ya'll wanna hear? Just holler 'em out and we'll do our best to remember 'em for ya!!" I wanted to hear "You ain't Woman Enough to take my Man," so I hollered it out just like she said to and she answered my request just like that. I was so happy. Other folks yelled out their requests and she just kept belting them out at our request.Her back up singers came out and sang two songs while Loretta just sat on her chair resting and listening to them. When they finished up, it was time for the big finale...........I kind of wondered going into the show if we would hear "Coal Miner's Daughter" for the last song. We did. It was the greatest day ever!! I have never enjoyed country music so much as I did this night with Loretta Lynn. We all know I've had my day with some country. (I actually think I am just now topping my number of country concerts vs. my number of rock/jam band concerts...........don't forget, I WAS engaged to a bull rider for crying out loud!!!)I don't think there was a single song that I was hoping to hear that she didn't sing. It was almost as if I wrote the setlist myself. We got to hear a lot of good ones such as "Honkey Tonk Girl," "One's on the Way," "The Pill," "You're Looking at Country,"and "Van Lear Rose." I couldn't have been happier.We got out of the Opry pretty early for us. It was only about 9:30 or 10:00, so we decided to hit up a liquor store and just go back to the hotel and get SAUCY!!!! We had drinks AND cable TV. Who could have possibly asked for more?

Ryan bought himself some beer, as usual, and since we didn't have a corkscrew, I had to turn to my only other option when it comes to drinkin'.................J├Ągermeister . Before the night was over, the label was stuck to the hotel mirror instead of the bottle. So, in my drunken state, i thought it would be super cool to take pictures with it on there. Well, you can see how brilliant that idea turned out to be........lotsa yellow blur to see. But really, does it look like I care?Nope, not one bit...................

Good times once again with my baby and some live music. I am very thankful to have the ability to get out and enjoy life so much. I never thought life could be this much fun!!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Cuz!!!



Friday, November 07, 2008

A Puppy Mill Puppy's Story

Ryan and I are planning on attending and helping with a protest in Indy next month for puppy mills.

Puppy mills are where dogs are bred purely for profit. The conditions in these places are awful. Multiple dogs are often placed in kennels together without enough space to even turn around. Most females are bred during each and every heat cycle. The dogs are left to lie in their own excrement and some even have excrement falling from cages above them from other dogs. Most of them can't even walk on grass or walk at all because their feet are so badly deformed from standing on wire cages all their lives.

The dogs are sometimes inbred and it is very common for dogs to have congenital abnormalities because of the breeding habits of the owners. The dogs with the congenital abnormalities are sold off as quickly as possible so the new owners will have spent their money before they even realize it. Many pet stores, especially large chains such as Petland and Uncle Bill's in Indy, get a good majority of their dogs from puppy mills. This is why people are so often suckered into buying a sick dog without even knowing it.

So after doing a little research. I came across this story that I found very touching. As I get more specific info about the protest we are particiating in, I will let you guys know. In the mean time, please take the time to educate yourselves and anyone you may know who is considering a new pet. Adoption is the best answer, but there are plenty of breeders out there who are not in the puppy mill business. All you have to do is research the breeder a little. Two of the main things to consider is: are the breeders willing to let you see the conditions the dogs were born into? And are you able to see the parents? If the answer to either one of these questions is no, then there is probably a reason.

Some of the photos after the story are graphic, so watch the little ones as you scroll down. There may be images you don't want them to see.

I don't remember much of the place where I was born. It was cramped and dark, and we were never played with by the Humans. I remember Mom and her soft fur, but she was often sick, and very thin. She had hardly any milk for me and my brothers and sisters. I remember many of them dying, and I missed them so.

I remember the day I was taken from Mom. I was so sad and scared, my milk teeth had only just come in, and I really should have been with Mom still, but she was so sick, and the Humans kept saying that they wanted their money and were sick of the "mess" that me and my sister made.

So we were crated up and taken to a strange place. Just the two of us. We huddled together and were scared, still no Human hands came to pet or love us. So many sights and sounds and smells! We are in a store where there are many different animals! Some that squawk! Some that meow! Some that peep! My sister and I are jammed into a small cage. I hear other puppies here. I see Humans look at me through the glass. I like the "little humans", the kids. They look so sweet, and fun, like they would play with me! All day we stay in the small cage, sometimes mean people will hit the glass and frighten us, every once in a while we are taken out to be held or shown to humans. Some are gentle, some hurt us, we always hear "Aw they are so cute! I want one!" but we never get to go with any of them.

My sister died last night, when the store was dark. I lay my head on her soft fur and felt the life leave her small thin body. I had heard them say she was sick, and that I should be sold at a "discount price" so that I would quickly leave the store. I think my soft whine was the only one that mourned for her as her body was taken out of the cage in the morning and dumped.

Today, a family came and bought me! Oh happy day! They are a nice family, they really, really wanted me! They had bought a dish and food and the little girl held me so tenderly in her arms. I love her so much! The mom and dad say what a sweet and good puppy I am! I am named Angel. I love to lick my new Humans! The family takes such good care of me, they are loving and tender and sweet. They gently teach me right and wrong, give me good food, and lots of love! I want only to please these wonderful people! I love the little girl and I enjoy running and playing with her.

Today I went to the veterinarian. It was a strange place and I was frightened. I got some shots, but my best friend the little girl held me softly and said it would be okay. So I relaxed. The vet must have said sad words to my beloved family, because they looked awfully sad. I heard Severe Hip Dysplasia, and something about my heart... I heard the vet say something about back yard breeders and my parents not being tested. I know not what any of that means, just that it hurts me to see my family so sad. But they still love me, and I still love them very much!

I am six months old now. Where most other puppies are robust and rowdy, it hurts me terribly just to move. The pain never lets up. It hurts to run and play with my beloved little girl, and I find it hard to breathe. I keep trying my best to be the strong pup I know I am supposed to be, but it is so hard. It breaks my heart to see the little girl so sad, and to hear the Mom and Dad talk about it might now be "the time." Several times I have went to that veterinarians place, and the news is never good. Always talk about Congenital Problems. I just want to feel the warm sunshine and run, and play and nuzzle with my family.

Last night was the worst. Pain has been my constant companion now, it hurts even to get up and get a drink. I try to get up but can only whine in pain. I am taken in the car one last time. Everyone is so sad, and I don't know why. Have I been bad? I try to be good and loving-what have I done wrong? Oh if only this pain would be gone! If only I could soothe the tears of the little girl. I reach out my muzzle to lick her hand, but can only whine in pain.

The veterinarian’s table is so cold. I am so frightened. The Humans all hug and love me.They cry into my soft fur. I can feel their love and sadness. I manage to lick softly their hands. Even the vet doesn't seem so scary today. He is gentle and I sense some kind of relief for my pain. The little girl holds me softly and I thank her, for giving me all her love. I feel a soft pinch in my foreleg. The pain is beginning to lift, I am beginning to feel a peace descend upon me. I can now softly lick her hand.

My vision is becoming dreamlike now, and I see my Mother and my brothers and sisters, in a far off green place. They tell me there is no pain there, only peace and happiness. I tell the family goodbye in the only way I know how-a soft wag of my tail and a nuzzle of my nose. I had hoped to spend many, many moons with them, but it was not meant to be. "You see," said the veterinarian, "Pet shop puppies do not come from ethical breeders." The pain ends now, and I know it will be many years until I see my beloved family again. If only things could have been different.

(This story may be published or reprinted in the hopes that it will stop unethical breeders and those who breed only for money and not for the betterment of the breed)
Copyright 1999 J. Ellis

Monday, November 03, 2008

Halloween.................GOTTA LOVE IT!!!!!!!

The puppies got us all started off right on Friday with their own costumes. Franklin was a penguin, Delilah was a witch, and Jerry.......well, he was just a weiner!!!!

A bunch of friends came to West Middleton for Halloween to celebrate with us, and naturally, we had a blast!!!!

Matt and Liz rocked the army gear!!!

Dave and Kelly were the Big Bad Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood.

I don't know this lady's name, but bless her son's heart...............He has bigger boobs than I have ever dreamed of having!!!!

Aunt Cindy and I were the dalmations. It got awfully hot in there!!

This chick rocked the Amy Winehouse look really well. LOVE IT!!!!!!!

Big Bad Wolf wants him some Bunny..........YUMMY...............and yes, that IS Ryan as the horny bunny :-)

One of few group pictures I got:

L-R Me, Liz Giblin, Nick Bankowski, The Easter Bunny, AKA the horny bunny, AKA Ryan, Bobby Blue is hiding in the back, Big Rob Bankowski and Big Pam Bankowski are up front.

This is my dad's old buddy, Jimmy Jones. He plays the guitar and is always ready for some fun!!!

Then we had Aunt Flo. It was much better seeing her for fun than it is during that special time of the month:-)

My man Marcus was an Indian chief.

We had lots of good food for the night, but with all those people, it came down to slim pickins by about midnight. I don't know who did it, but someone showed up really late with bags and bags of Taco Bell. I could've just kissed 'em!!!

Oh yeah........Dancin' Doggie was having fun by that time!!!!

Saturday night, our friends Eric and Abby Springer had a Halloween party also. Our friends Matt, Liz, Dave and Kelly from Indy all stayed in Kokomo for the day Saturday and continued to party with us another night.
Matt and Liz looked great as Sonny and Cher.........Nice stash LIZ!!!!

Saturday night, Ryan's bunny suit was a little too soiled to go out in public, so he then became the Easter Bunny dressed as Santa who was also celebrating St. Patty's Day. Confusing, I know, but amusing.....yes indeed.

My Dalmation suit was also pretty trashed after Friday night, so I threw some crazy stuff together and went as Mick Jagger's girlfriend. No, David Bowie is NOT Mick's girl, I am. But, David IS my girl:-)

Ryan taught me to respond to people by saying "I'm Mick Jagger's girlfriend, who the hell are you," in a British accent whenever anyone asked who I was. So I threw the attitude around all night. It was fun!!

After spending a little time at Eric and Abby's, we went to Hacienda to see our neighbor's band play. It was pretty funny because we were the ONLY people dressed up in the whole place. After all, Haloween was over. But that didn't stop us. Shoot, if I could come up with a reason, I would dress up crazy every day. It's so much fun!!!

That horny rabbit just wouldn't keep his hands off of me!!!!

Ryan literally got on his knees to praise Big Rob as he sang a couple songs with the band. It's great to get out and support the local music scene. Especially when they're all you're friends and neighbors!!!

This poor guy wore himself out. It must've been all that dancin' and humpin' and drinkin' and humpin' and eatin' and humpin' and, well, you get the point.
Hope you all had half as much fun as we did!!!!!