October 31, 2011

Finding Char-mo

 Today I thought I would give a quick biology lesson on the elusive hybridized creature char-mo, that can only be found around this time a year.  A char-mo is a cross between a blue guppy fish (similar to Nemo in the pixar movie) and a Boston terrier puppy named Charlotte.  What makes this animal so rare is its ability to breath and move around on both land and in water.  It is a very friendly creature but it can be shy and spends most of its time under water.  Today however I had the privilege of having one follow me on my walk through the neighborhood and I thought I would share my experience with you.

 This is a 3 foot high cute little witch statue to put candy on or even a pumpkin.  The first few times I walked by this with Charlotte she hated it.  She would stop and growl as we passed.  She would also keep a healthy distance between her and the witch, making sure never to take her eyes off the witch in case she was to cast a spell.

 To make matters worse for Charlotte, after she finally faced her fear and bravely walked by the witch with only a glance at her to make sure she wouldn't move, a few days later the people who put the witch in the yard added more, even scarier decorations.  When Charlotte saw this she was so petrified she would NOT cross this yard no matter what I tried.  I had to pick her up and carry her across while she never took her eyes off the objects in the lawn.  Once she was passed she acted like it was no big deal, brushed her shoulders off and kept walking.

 No wonder she was so scared with body parts and snakes all over the place.

 Another fun house in the neighborhood decorated for Halloween.  The glowing skeleton arms are my favorite part.  Surprisingly this house didn't bother Charlotte to walk by.

 A mummified bear.  He's so cute.  Every time a walk by he is dressed in a new accessory even when its not Halloween.

 There it is!  A Char-mo!  This one let me get up close and take its picture.  She looks very puffy and good for cuddling.

Another photo of char-mo.  I decided to catch her and put her back in the sea where she is certainly more comfortable.  Below are a few photos of her in her natural environment.

Hanging out on the ocean floor looking for food.  I'm not sure what they eat in the wild but the one I saw sure did like dog biscuits.

A rare glimpse of a Char-mo breaching the ocean.  She must be saying goodbye and that she enjoyed our walk together.  Maybe we'll meet again on Halloween sometime in the future.


Charlotte and Jess

October 30, 2011

A Stroll Through Diagon Alley

This afternoon Rachel, Brandy, Phil and I attended the OSU Symphony Orchestra's Harry Potter Halloween event at the LaSells Stewart Center.  The event included a pre-concert stroll through the lobby which was turned into Diagon Alley complete with Harry Potter vendors, live owls from the Chintimini Wildlife center, refreshments from the Leaky Cauldron and wands for sale at Olivander's Wand shop.  We took lots of photos and had a blast looking at everyone else's costumes.  We even were sorted into Hogwarts houses by the sorting hat.

Hurray for Harry Potter!

I found this advertisement for the concert online and thought it was great representation of the Daily Prophet.

Inside Diagon Alley.  There were tons of people milling about.  They sold out of tickets by the time we arrived on campus.  Luckily Rachel bought us tickets on Thursday just in case this were to happen.

 They had great decorations through out the alley.  This painting and candelabra were outside the concert hall.

 Stirring a cauldron full of delicious butter beer while this couple take a break from shopping in Diagon Alley.

 I found Dumbledore standing in the alley and took the opportunity to introduce myself.

 Rachel getting sorted.  She was placed in the Gryffindor House as we expected.

 Brandy was placed in Slytherin House for the second year in a row.  She wasn't that happy but the sorting hat doesn't make mistakes.

 "Not Slytherin, not slytherin."  Phil was whispering right before being placed in the Hufflepuff House.

 I was so excited.   I belong to the Ravenclaw House.  I think it suites me.

 Inside the concert hall.  The stage was beautiful.  There were forest trees painted on the backdrop.  It felt eerie and peaceful at the same time.

There were even suspended candles floating  in mid air through out the concert hall.

 During the symphony, actors would read aloud the winning letters from the Harry Potter contest.  People wrote very nice letters to the characters from the books and the winners won free tickets to the event.

 At the end of the symphony everyone took a bow and waved their wands goodbye.

 This guy was dressed in a unicorn horn.  A very loooong unicorn horn.

Jail Break

Last night after we came home from the Zombie Party I walked into the living room and just stood there thinking that something didn't look right.  After a split second I realized I was looking at Buddy the black bunny in the middle of the living room while Charlotte was in the bunny pen looking up at mom and Bunny girl was no where to be scene.  I realized that they bunnies figured out the weak spot of their pen and escaped while Charlotte took the opportunity to raid their pen for any treats or goodies they might have.  I decided to leave them out of their pen for the weekend since they worked really hard to get out.  They look so happy lounging in the living room in front of the fireplace. 

 Cocoa and Oreo early this morning outside their pen.

Charlotte and her bunny siblings.  She loves them so much.  If only they played with her, then she would be content.

As a side note, the bunnies are eating cranberry treats, not other treats, I promise.

When Zombies Attack!

Normally, I'm not into dressing up in costumes or characters for Halloween (unless Harry Potter is involved).  And I usually don't go out on Halloween weekend because crowds of scantily dressed drunk people in costumes is not my scene.  But last night some friends were having a zombie themed party in South Town that sounded like lots of fun.  The last few months we have been watching zombie horror movies and tv shows.  I've been so involved in zombie entertainment that I walk around town picking out safe spots to escape from zombie attacks and avoiding areas where they could jump out from the shadows.  So when Oz mentioned his friends from work were having a zombie party I got really excited to join the fun.

 Oz went as a Lost Boy from the classic 80's vampire movie.  The wig totally tops off his undead outfit.

 Whitney came over to get ready for another party.  She went as a mauled cub scout. Her scratches and gouges looked completely real.  She looked great with all her gore and blood.

 Uh Oh Whitney, you better run for your life, a zombie from the 50's wearing a poodle skirt is about to attack!

 The zombie party was awesome.  Bre and Mike really carried out the theme of surviving a zombie attack.  Their apartment was turned into a zombie barricade.  They boarded up the windows and doors to keep out unwanted zombies.  They also had zombie survival tips written on the wall around the apartment.

 Looks like the safe place to be to survive.

 I didn't quite make it to become a survivor.

 Don't worry everyone, Peter Parker/Spiderman will save us from the zombies.  Jesse put a lot of work into his costume.  It looked awesome.  Especially his camera that he fit into a larger camera box and had it actually work to take photos.

 Poor Bill Murray.  If you haven't seen Zombieland yet, I highly recommend it.

 There was also a scavenger hunt involved.  I loved that every item had to be related to surviving a zombie Apocalypse.   Great tips to keep in mind for when the zombies ever do take over for real.

Oh boy, I was slayed with a trident by a vampire.  Well, my short zombie life was fun while it lasted.

October 24, 2011

Customized Pet Dining Station

 A while ago I had the idea of using an unpainted skateboard and turn it into a dining station for Charlotte.  Before I left for my trip in September I bought a skateboard and two metal dishes for her food and water.  Since I don't have a saw to cut the slots for the dishes or any tools to add legs, I brought my supplies with me on my trip and had my grandpa Dale help me assemble the pieces.  He cut the holes out and attached some legs he made from a black walnut tree he cut down himself. 

This is what it looked like right after my grandpa finished building the station for me.  Then I started to customize it with red hand painted chrysanthemum flowers, little Boston terriers cut out of newspaper and a front shot of Charlotte wearing a crown of yellow pearls and her name underneath.  I love the way it turned out.  It looks amazing and 100% unique. 

 A side view of one of the Boston Terriers with wings.  The pattern on each side of the Bostons are slightly different.  I used Charlotte's actual black and white markings for all three of the Boston Terriers because I wanted it to be completely custom for Charlotte.

I might try and sell these and customize it for each pet owner.  I just need to get my hands on a saw and a couple other tools to cut the holes and add some legs.  But in the meantime Charlotte will look really cool with her dining dish.
 Charlotte the Queen

She loves it...well it might be the peanut butter I bribed her with.

October 23, 2011

October Gardening

Last weekend I worked in the garden and got it ready to put to bed for the winter.  At 8 AM Charlotte and I were outside cleaning the spent plants in our pots, planting spring bulbs, hanging up bird feeders and re seeding the lawn.

I moved the pole with the bird feeders closer to the porch so that I can bird watch from the couch.  Before it was hidden around the side yard but now that the birds are returning to the yard for fall and winter I wanted to put the feeder where I could easily see it and the birds that land on it.  Last winter I would unintentionally spend hours bird watching, waiting to see a new species or one I hadn't seen in a while.

Next, I cut down the dead flowers and perennials from summer and replanted my pots with daffodils and tulips for the coming spring.  I only cut the summer plants back to the soil level.  I left the roots in the soil so they would come back early next summer.

In this area, I planted tons of daffodil bulbs I dug up early this fall from the area I put in the rock path to the back gate.  I was to lazy to actually dig any holes to replant the bulbs so instead I scattered them along the fence and buried them in 6 inches of soil I stole from the empty raised beds that I won't fill until next spring.  The bulbs should be fine.  I used the same technique last fall and the bulbs came up just fine.  I really only have to worry about Brett the squirrel finding them and digging them up and moving them to a new location.

While outdoors I felt a tickle on my foot and found a honey bee on the edge of my shoe.  I delicately picked him up and found him a new home in the flower pots.

Charlotte is watching me stick the bee in its new home.  (Can you see the old plants I cut down in the pot?  They looked pretty hideous right before I replanted them with bulbs.)

Charlotte making sure her little friend is comfortable in her new home.  Charlotte is always so thoughtful taking care of others, just ask the bunnies.

Another view of the potted plants.  I moved a few more containers on the porch.  In the spring I will have a very pretty view of the garden and all the colors of the season. I put some fall pansies in the containers.  They will bloom all through winter and long into spring. I also put a bird bath near the porch hoping to draw in some thirsty birds to my viewing area.

This is the apricot sunset blend I picked out from the garden store and put in the large blue/green pot.  I really like these colors and think it will be a nice combination come spring time.

In the smaller pots I filled them with white daffodils and these ice cream tulips.  They were somewhat expensive but I'm very excited to see what they will look like when they are blooming.

Charlotte watching the birds outside from the bedroom window
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