Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Mom is in town

I haven't mentioned this turn of events yet because I've been so busy, but my mother is in town visiting for a few days. It's been a great visit so far and I've gotten a pretty good idea of what life is like for her at the moment. Let's just say it's CRAZY hectic...but then that seems to be how mom likes it! She is a professional handler/manager of show poodles and is on the road ALOT.

Not only that, but she is the phone queen to be sure and listening in on her conversations are quite comical to me. You see mom is a poodle officiendo to put it lightly. She has been in the poodle business for almost 16 years now and she knows dogs. I mean it! This woman eats, sleeps, and breaths poodles!

Here's a sample of what I hear on mom's end of a typical phone conversation with one of her peeps:

Mom:"This dog was originally owned by so and so and has color in the silver, cream, chocolate, black range, going way back and so and so was just devastated when she spent a fortune getting her bitch bred to this sire and only got three boys out of it, and they are all black!...It's just awful I tell you, just awful!..."

It goes on an on like that about bitches and sires, and colors, and who did this and who did that, and who owns who and what everyone is doing and where everyone is, etc... Her conversations are like foreign lanquage to me most of the time because she talks the dog show world lingo to all her doggy friends and clients. She is managing several people's dogs at once right now, and has the phone constantly in her ear. I realized that she is THE person everyone wants to talk to when they want the latest scoop on whose who in the poodle world, and what's what in the arena, yadda yadda yadda...

I am not a near experienced enough writer to portray all the nuances, but I hope you get the gist. It's been a ride since she has arrived. You just have to experience her for yourself to get what I mean. My mother is a character and a bit wacky too. I say that in the most loving of ways of course.

Btw, she gave me quite a start with her arrival. I didn't know she was going to show up on our doorstep since she wasn't able to get through to me over the Thanksgiving holiday to let me know. When we arrived home late in the night, there she was. At the time I didn't know it was her though! All I could tell was there was a strange van backed up into my driveway with the doors open. I seriously thought we were being robbed. I mean who wouldn't think that right? You drive up to your house after being away for five days and it's in the middle of the night and there is a van backed up to your house with it's doors open and no one in sight. What would you think? I was much relieved when she came around the corner of the van as I sat there dialing the police. I laughed out loud when I saw her and said "Oh! It's just my wacky mother!"

Monday, November 28, 2005

Ten Thousand Waves

This is one gorgeous place to go visit if you ever find yourself in Santa Fe NM. Here is a link to their website so you can see for yourself how beautiful this place is.

I can't recommend this place enough! It's quite special and I had the most wonderful experience there. For one thing, it's a clothing optional spa and I've always been a nudist at heart. This place was right up my alley! The tubs were in the most serene and beautiful surroundings and the amentities were fantastic.

I hope you will take a look at the link and read up on this place to get an idea of my experience there. I will post my own pics(no nudes sorry)soon. We tubbed in the women's only tub and as we left someone came in with their pet great dane. What a huge but beautiful dog it was. So calm too. Don't worry, dogs are not allowed in the water ;). I rather enjoyed talking to some of the locals there and out of towners too. The water was great, the weather was very crisp, and the people were equally lovely and hospitable.

Home again!

Over the Thanksgiving holiday we went to Santa Fe to visit family and have a nice little trip. I actually had a pretty good time and look forward to visiting SF again in my future. For one thing, there is much window shopping to be done, and more hot tub soaking at 10 thousand waves, which is this way cool place. More on that later...

Santa Fe is mountainous and this used to be a concern of mine, because the last time I went before this trip, I had a panic attack while driving up into them. Needless to say it was a harrowing experience for me that left quite an impression. Perhaps maybe a fear of hights is responsible. I seem to be more paranoid about hights these past couple of years for some reason. It wasn't always such a problem.

Thanks to a friend of mine who is a doctor, I was able to seek out a temporary cure for the problem. She told me about a little something called xanax and I made an appt. with my doc who gave me a prescription for it. The drug is supposed to help one relax and prevent any anxiety. Basically it can zing you out a little and make you not have a care in the world. I imagine for larger doeses that could be the case more often than not. But for me I only needed a small dose and experienced little side effects. Good thing too. It worked like a charm and I'm happy to say I don't fear mountains near as much anymore, at least not for now. We'll see how I do next time. Hopefully I won't need a little happy pill anymore for mountain treks.

It's Official

I'm a newly ordained minister! What I need to do now is read up on performing secular weddings and such. Soon hopefully I will be able to start advertising my services.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Impromtu Marriage at My House

Last night during Godless Gamers, we were all sitting around playing a game called Clash of the Gladiators when all of sudden I realized two people sitting at the table were getting married! It's true I swear it. In fact, it was half way over before I even realized what was happening.

Brother Paul(Paul Wilson), who happens to be a dear friend of ours, is an ordained minister. He's an atheist, but heck no reason to let that stop him from getting ordained! Anyway, the happy couple are Charles and Crystal Tabony. They must have just gotten a marriage license and happened to have it with them at gamers. I'm guessing that they mentioned this and Paul probably said something along the lines of why not marry right now? Obviously Charles and Crystal thought that would be nifty and that's what happened. Short vows were said, and that was that! I have to say that this happening right at my own dining room table and with such spontenaity is one of those really cool moments in life that I hope to always remember. They asked me to sign as one of their witnesses. How cool is that?!

We congratulated Charles and Crystal and carried on with gamers with a new festivity. It was a great time for all. As the couple was getting ready to leave, I gave them a small wedding gift...a set of four tumbled marble coasters that I had made. It's handy being a crafty stamping kinda gal. :)

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Goodbye Lostris

Some of you probably don't know this, but I was a very big fan of a game called Diablo II. This is a multi-player online game that can be played on the interenet or an intranet...whatever the case may be. It's a great game I think and my husband got me very hooked on it before I had my son.

We played the heck out of that game and I had built a character to be reckoned with. Her name was Lostrs, a 78 level sorceress who could kick major ass. I loved playing her character and I was proud of the care and time spent creating her. Many hours of game play were required to get her to the level I had her at and with the skill set and great armor, etc..

Well, today I learned that I no longer have her character in my hard drive. The computer she was on, was re-formatted and neither I nor Russell thought about her when we did it and of course she wasn't backed up either. A hard lesson to learn let me just say. Especially since I was the one telling everyone else to be sure they were backing up their computers. I generally do a back up now, but wish I had been more diligent back then. So, as a result of forgetfulness, Lostris is no more. *sniff sniff*

The fortunate thing is that I can build a new sorceress and can get her to a high level too if it becomes that important. I don't know if I'll play long term anymore, but do like the nastalgia of playing an old game every once in a while.

Friday, November 11, 2005

An amazing thing happened

I've had a connection with someone that I don't even know because of my blog. Here's what happened:

At the message boards I'm so hooked on, everyone was posting pics of themselves and their families. I couldn't get a pic to size right for the boards, so decided to just post a link to my blog instead so everyone can see what I and my family look like.

Well it wasn't long after I had posted that link that I got this private message from a fellow Splitcoast member:
Hi. My name is Ester. I was reading the posts where everyone put up their pictures(in the CE forum). Anyway I followed your link to your blog. I live in Ft. Worth and my hb is an avid fish lover too. I read about your grandfather on your blog and am wondering if your grandfathers name is J. Holbert Smith? I'm not sure if I got the first name correct but the last name is Smith.

If he is, my hb knows who he is. I don't know if you know but they took down the Aquarium at the Ft. Worth Zoo. Maybe a couple years ago now. Yeah, my hb was really really bummed. All the fish were distributed. I know some went to Dallas and to San Antonio. I can't remember whats there now, its been awhile since I've been to the zoo.

Sorry this got long, I just meant to ask you 1 question.

Wow! Isn't that something? She IS talking about my grandaddy.

So I replied back to her and here is our following correspondance:

OMG!!!!!!!! YES!!!!!!!!! My grandaddy was James Hulbert Smith! Wow, this is a small world isn't it? How well did your husband know him? Grandaddy was so special. I loved him dearly. He was more like a dad to me than my grandfather. I sometimes think he had celebrity status in Fort Worth! There wasn't anywhere we went where he wasn't known by someone and people were always waving at him and saying hello and vise versa. What is your husband's name? Oh and Grandaddy spelled his name Hulbert. You were close.

It's been a couple of years since I was at the FW zoo and I'm crushed to hear they took away the aquarium. That was a special place to me for obvious reasons. I don't understand why they did that! I'm so glad I have the great memories of that place one can take that away. I wonder now if there are any surviving fish from Gd's tanks. Probably not. Nothing lives forever.

Wow Ester, tell your husband I said hello! Thanks for pm'ing me! Let your husband know I'm happy to talk about fish anytime he wants.

Ester's reply:
going back in time
My hb(Larry Wright) read your blog and yelled out "I know that man, her grandfather". This may get long but here it is.

This happened about maybe 25 to 30 years ago. My hb thinks he was about 12 (he's almost 42 now). He had some stingray fish he put an ad in the paper he was trying to sell. Your grandfather answered the ad and went to Larrys' home to see them. Your grandfather came over with his mom, my hb remembers her too. He bought 2 stingrays and invited my hb and his mom to go to his home to see his fish. My hb says he was in awe of the den. He remembers it like it was yesterday. He was describing everything to me. He asked when did your grandfather pass? He often thought of him and what had happened to him. He says he was a very kind man and wished he had known him more.

I don't remember why they took away the aquarium at the zoo but I do remember thinking they were crazy. It seemed to be a huge attraction. I had never seen fish so big. Before I met my hb, fish were just something pretty to look at. Now I know they're so much more. My hb has always had aquariums. Right now we have 4. The largest is 190,100,55,29 and a beta bowl. We have all kinds of fish. Right now the oldest ones we have may be about 7 years old.

My hb is crazy about fish. I was talking to some one on the board awhile back and told her how his dearest fish are in our freezer. He can't part with them and so he puts them in freezer bags and there they are. Actually he can't fathom just throwing them away and he won't bury them because our cats would probably dig them up. At least that's what he says but why is it only the most precious ones that go in the freezer.
Okay this is getting long. I'm glad you have very fond memories of your grandfather. Both of mine died when I was a little kid. As an adult I understand how much I missed because of that.

My last reply:
Wow, I'm just amazed by your story and I have to say I got VERY choked up reading it to my mom. Especially the fish in the freezer part! I just about fell out reading that part because Grandaddy did the same thing! I can't help but wonder if your husband got the idea from him. Granmomma thought GD was NUTS for keeping his prized fish in the freezer lol! Me and my sister used to ask him all the time to unwrap one and show it to us and he was pretty thrilled to do so...too funny. No telling if that memory would have ever surfaced again in my mind had you not mentioned what your hubby did. Thank you for that.

It's such a connection you have no idea! I wonder if at some point I ever crossed paths with your husband. He isn't much older than I am...just a couple of years. Me and mom both think his name sounds very familiar. Where did he go to school? Did you grow up in FW?

I remember those sting rays!! Grandaddy sure did delight in those things. He used to get this boyish excitement when ever the rays would bury into the sand and was always drawing my attention to it lol. What a trip.

It's so amazing after all these years your husband remembered GD and by name even! I love it that he remembers the fish room too. It had an impact on everyone who walked into it though.

I wish your husband could have known GD better too. He was the friendliest man I've ever known and so funny! It was a terrible blow when he died. It was sudden and it happened about three or four years ago.
The doctors think he had some kind of stroke or heart attack. Not sure exactly. He went fast though and didn't suffer much.

He had a really great life with many adventures. I'll be writing about him on my blog if your husband is interested.

If Grandaddy knew this person had contacted me, I bet he would have gotten the biggest kick out of this story! He'd be just as amazed as me probably. :)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Garden

Of course it doesn't always look this good. But when I have time to work in it I can manage to make it look pretty decent and grow some things worth eating.

Meet the "girls"

Lola and Anastasia are our pet cats. Lola is dark as midnight and Anastasia is more of a calico tabby looking thing(pictured left). Both were rescued from the side of the road on different days. Russell and Ben were out for a walk when Russell found Anastasia. She was mewing by herself and very small. He picked her up or rather chased her a bit until he could grab her and brought her home. I took one look at her and instantly fell in love. She was absolutely darling and there was no way I could give her up. We determined that she was either a ferrel cat or someone abandoned her since she was out by a busy road.

My daughter told the neighbor girl about her and both the mom and the girl came over to see the new little beast. They agreed that she was very cute and glad that Russell brought her home. We all figured that if she did belong to someone in the neigborhood, they didn't care much about her or else she wouldn't be out by the side of the road like that. We declined to put up signs, but did watch to see if anyone posted a lost kitten sign around the area we live in. No such signs ever showed up.

So we had ourselves a new pet and life was good. The end.

Well not actually... A couple of days later, the neighbor showed up on our doorstep with a little dark bundle of kitten love! It was instant heart string pulling all over again. Lola was found in the same vicinity as Anastasia and it was obvious that they were siblings. So of course we had to take her in too because that would have been just wrong not to. Poor little kittens...I wonder what became of the rest of the litter. Hopefully they didn't meet a nasty end and I'm glad we were able to save the two we did.

Quickly both kitties became adjusted to life in the Glasser household and have been wonderful feline companions ever since. They are both the fluffiest cats I've ever owned, especially their tails! Each cat has a unique and wonderful personality and they are both a constant source of entertainment and affection. Ben loves having pets and is pretty good around them which is amazing for three year old standards. He particularly loves Lola because she will allow him to pet her, and she seems to be fond of him as well which helps. Anastasia isn't so keen on Ben but it's not surprising. He has done his share of torment like only a three year old can dish out. The surprising thing is that he won Lola over! I feel in time he'll do the same with Anastasia.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

New Fish!

Some background:
My grandfather was an avid and knowledgeable fish hobbyist. He used the den in his house on Colonial Parkway in Fort Worth Texas as his fish room. The den was a very large room that housed up to 20 or 30 tanks at one time. Some of the tanks were HUGE and in them were rare and mysterious fish from all over the world varying from quite small, to a foot or more in length. When the fish outgrew their tanks, off to the Fort Worth Zoo they'd go, where I'm certain some are still living. I'll never forget the wonderful hum and humidity of Grandaddy's fish room. It was such a nice place to relax in and I believe he had one of the best fish collections any private individual could have.

Grandaddy(GD) traveled abroad on many occasions and went all over the world. During his travels he would pick up a few fish here and there that were considered hard to get and sometimes rare. I'm not quite sure how he got them into this country, but I do believe he smuggled them in on some occasions. He did trading with the Fort Worth Zoo and often acquired interesting species that way and they in turn acquired interesting species from his collection as well. Speaking of Interesting, his brother Gordon was also a fish enthusiast but he kept saltwater fish. I remember a nurse shark in particular that I was fascinated with. That shark was almost 4 feet long and awesome to watch when it fed. I'll talk more about the saltwater fish later. Grandaddy only kept freshwater or brackish water fish with cichlids being amongst his favorites. They are indeed a very interesting species to watch and are much as fish can be I suppose. He even kept Piranhas at one point!

As a little girl I spent many hours with GD helping him with his fish. I helped feed them, clean tanks, doctor them, etc...I learned quite a bit but no where close to the amount of knowledge that he had in his head. Often I kick myself for not taking notes and asking more questions than I already did, because now he is gone and I can't. I totally enjoyed spending time with him and have the best childhood memories of those fish tanks and the man keeping them.

Every weekend GD would take me and sometimes my sister Lynn out to the country to a bait and tackle store where he'd buy bags full of minnows(feeder fish). On the way there he would entertain us with songs and amusing antics. He'd often make a fool of himself by acting like a deranged person in front of old ladies! It used to embarrass the heck out of me and Lynn, but we loved it all the same. I could go on and on about stories of GD and the crazy stuff he did, and I'm sure at some point in time I'll get around to writing about them. For now, I want to get back to the fish!

Now you have a little background of my love of fish. I think it's in my blood and I love these animals every bit as much as GD did. As I mentioned before, I have three tanks now. One is a 45 gallon tank that houses 10 fish. There are 9 cichlids in that tank and one plecko(algae eater). Of the cichlids in this tank I have two yellow labs, three Jack Dempsys,two jewels, and two pale lavender cichlids that I don't know the names of yet. Then the next tank I have is a 20 gallon tank that right now houses a powder blue socolofi. He is a bit larger than the other cichlids and a menace to them. So he is by himself until the others get bigger and can hold their own. Then I will put him in the 45 gallon tank. This fish is a soldier and has survived a long time. Right now he is battling ich(a parasite that attacks freshwater fish), but that is almost all cleared up now.

The last tank I have is a small 10 gallon tank that is currently serving as a nursery. One of my close friends named Cindy is also a fish enthusiast. She has two jewel cichlids and two convicts, that are breeding pairs. I have many of the jewel babies in the 10 gallon...about 70 or 80 of them...and one convict baby. The convict is older and bigger and mainly keeps to itself and is darling as can be. There were other convicts too, but they died because I didn't know what I was doing. I've since learned how to take care of fry(baby fish)and will soon be giving fish away! I'll keep a few of the babies for myself though, especially that convict! I've grown attached to the little cutie.

I have plans for a very large tank in my bedroom. I want it to be about a 150 gallon tank and it will fit nicely along one of my bedroom walls. It will be a cichlid tank too and I have to save up my money for it. This is not a cheap hobby unfortunately. Oh how I wish I had some of the old fish tanks from Grandaddy's fish days. Heck for that matter I wish I had some of those fish! I will have to visit the FW zoo and go see one of the fish there that I recognize as being GD's. The fish I'm talking about is an Arawana that I would recognize most assuredly and last time I was at the zoo it was HUGE and very much alive. That is for sure a special fish and I watched it almost on a daily basis as a girl. Makes me teary eyed thinking about it because it is so sentimental.

When I have my 150 gallon tank set up, I imagine that I will probably put a couple of the larger fish species in with the cichlids. I might even get my own Arawana and probably a clown knife too. I hope to make some fine childhood memories for my own children to reflect back on when they are adults. Maybe they will love fish too and want to keep some for their own when they are old enough.

Yay I have my own blog now!

I've been wanting to journal for some time now and keep thinking I'll get to it but something always distracts me. No telling how many cool things I wanted to write about that I just forgot in time. I decided to get serious about journaling and not let things get in the way anymore because I hate forgetting stuff and want something for my friends and family to enjoy later. I was going to build a website for that purpose, but that proved to be way too much work and time consuming! I want to be able to come in and write things as they unfold with ease. Seems these days that is the only way to get it done.