Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veterans Day 2015

It's Veterans Day. 
Southern Fried Pugs mom here. 
Some of you know that I was in the Air Force. I am not a combat veteran. I only went overseas for three weeks to support a training mission to Egypt. It was an awesome experience. 

I served for 10 years. The Air Force helped shape me. It helped change me from an idealistic, naive, somewhat entitled, privileged white girl to a more focused, more disciplined woman. 

I still have a spirit of idealism, but it is tempered with reality. I learned balance (ok, still learning). 
I learned leadership, what good leadership looks like and what an absence of leadership looks like. 
I learned how to work as part of a team. 
I learned how to follow. That wasn't easy. 
I learned when to follow and when to lead. 
I learned about how to be a good supervisor, how to motivate people, different kinds of people. 
I learned that if you take care of your people first, they take care of their job which lets you do your job. I learned that you have to be flexible and adaptable, yet prepared for anything.

I am proud to have served my country. 

There are serious problems and mistakes have been made, but this is my nation. I am not a blind patriot. I am not a mindless flag waver. I am a person who gave 10 years of my life in service to my country. 
I would do it again. I am one who still serves, just in a different capacity. 
I am not posting this to ask for thanks for me on Veterans Day. Most veterans will be a little embarrassed when you do thank them. 
In 2015, we've come a long way in appreciating veterans and their service. 
I ask that you look around you for other veterans who blend in. 
Don't just thank a vet on Veterans Day. 
Thank them all year long. 

Senior Airman Ramsey, circa 1997

Saturday, October 10, 2015

A fellow blogger in need

When you join the blogging community, you start building a network. You get a comment on your blog so you go visit that blog. Then you click on a link that another blogger is following. Pretty soon, you're connected to blogs all over.

That's how I found Our Forest Haven. Naturally, there was a pug connection. Donna wrote so lovingly of her home in the forest and her adorable pug Douglas. We became blog friends. She has inspired me to find my own forest haven somewhere. Somewhere warmer than Canada though.

Donna and her husband have a farm in Canada for misfit animals, as she calls them. A blind ram named Braveheart. A pony no one wanted. Prairie dogs that people abandoned. For the last few years, Donna has been suffering with health problems. She's had a few surgeries and been on some medications that help, then knock her down. Then she was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. Kevin had been doing all the work with the sheep and goats with help from Jim. Before she got so sick, Donna was right there with them. It had been killing her to have to stay in bed, but that's what illnesses do to you.

Last week, Donna lost her husband to a heart attack. It's just hard to process this, and it's not even my life. I read about it on Calamity Acres, thanks to Mary Ann.

One of Donna's friend's has set up a Go Fund Me for her. If you can, please consider a donation to a fellow blogger. If you can't, maybe you can share it on Twitter or Facebook?

Let's surround her with love as much as we can. We may not be near her physically, but we can send her love, peace and comfort. We can wrap her in a blanket of pug hugs.

Monday, October 5, 2015

We're ok!

Fortunately, the hurricane moved east! 
That still left us with the nor'easter (kind of like a hurricane in that it's a system instead of a storm that rolls in and out, but it's not tropical) to deal with. 
We are still dealing with high tides and winds, but overall, we're ok. 
We slept through most of it. 
It's super soggy here, there's branches to clean up, 
but it could have been SOOOO much worse. 

Any good juju you were sending our way, please redirect to South Carolina. They are dealing with catastrophic floods. We are used to floods. It's called Tidewater here for a reason. 
This is a once in 1000 years flood for them. 
We pray that all the people and animals can get to safe, warm and dry places. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

We interrupt our regularly scheduled blog post…

We had yet another bit of mom's New York adventure scheduled for today. However, the weather has other plans.
We have not one but two nasty weather systems in our future. First, a nor'easter is bringing us lots of rain and storms. Two, a little hurricane called Joaquin may cause us some trouble. 
It's too early to tell where Joaquin will make landfall, but this is what it looks like as of 6 pm on Sept 30. No bueno.

Yes, Norfolk (where we live) is right in the bullseye. 
Our local weather team is predicting a poopy outcome overall. 

But we'll see. Who knows what will happen in a few days time? 
In the meantime, our supplies have been updated. We have oodles of potty pads in store. We are as ready as we can be. Think good thoughts for us and our city. The biggest impact will likely be damage from falling trees since the ground is saturated from lots and lots of rain. That could mean power outages and damage to buildings. 
It's the price we pay for living near the wild and wonderful Atlantic.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Next stop, Central Park, Apple Store and the Library

The Met is right next to Central Park. Mom got lunch at a falafel cart (so NYC) and ate it in the park. Then a stroll through some of the park. 
 The reservoir
 The APPLE STORE! MECCA FOR APPLE NERDS! It's a glass cube on top.
 You take a windy ramp down into the actual store (on the left). No time (or money) to visit. 
 The Plaza! Did not see any pugs. 
 Practice, practice, practice did not get her to Carnegie Hall. It was a car! Comparatively speaking, it's a small building for such a huge piece of history. 
 This is the New York Public Library. Mom knew better than to even step foot inside. All those books? She'd never come out. 

Mom knew better than to pose in front of Patience. Fortitude is more her speed. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Mom had basically one full day in NYC. First stop, the Egyptian wing of the Met. Unbelievable.
Mom at the beginning of the Egyptian wing. 
This is the temple at Dendur. It was moved from Egypt, stone by stone. It was in an area that would become flooded after building a dam in the 1960s. 
 Four statues of the Goddess Sakhmet
 Statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III

 Graffiti! Can you believe that people vandalized this ancient wonder? 

 The Sphinx of Hatshepsut  Hatshepsut was a female Pharaoh. This statue is made of granite and was smashed into pieces. The archaeologists put it back together again. Simply amazing. 

Outside the museum

If you ever get a chance to visit the Met, do it. It's donation based (which is great for people on a budget). If you are a history or art nerd, you can spend a lifetime in there. Mom only got about an hour, but it was worth it. If you can't make it to NYC, visit the website. Much better pictures than mom's and fascinating facts. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

U2 in NYC!

Part one of more than 100 pictures in 2 days! We promise not to bore you with all of them. 

In July, mom abandoned us to go to New York to see a concert. Can you believe it? 
Obligatory bathroom selfie
She took Amtrak (which was so much nicer than flying although it took a lot longer). She got two nights free in a swanky hotel in Chelsea, courtesy of our vet bills. She uses this one credit card for our vet visits which earns her points. Enough points=free nights! 
It looks like magazine.  
Madison Square Garden! 
 Some Irish band
 Yup. She was that close. 

 Outside the Cambria Suites. Two thumbs up! 

 The hotel was in the Flower District. 
A block from a subway stop, about 7 blocks from Madison Square Garden. 

If you are *actually* interested, you can see mom about the 3 minute mark in this video. Look for the hot pink shirt on the right side of the screen near the stage. That's her!