Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Landry Update!!! The Hope Contiunues!

For those who are not familiar with Landry's story click here and here.
For quick reference, this was Landry when they found him in late July:

This is Landry now!!!!!!!!!

Thank you Abba Lawrence with TIGR for saving Landry!

All photos by Abba Lawrence.

Remember, Landry still needs a forever home!

Contact TIGR for info!

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Great Mood Tracking/Symptom Tracking Websites

For those of us who are Bipolar, mood tracking can be a very valuable tool. There are many ways to do this on your own but there are some great websites that can help you do it as well. Even better, it's free! The first is MoodTracker it's pretty much just as it sounds. It's pretty simple but not very customizable, what you see is what you get.
The second PatientsLikeMe  has a broader scope that is really about tracking symptoms for everything from mental illnesses to chronic physical illnesses. It is very comprehensive and customizable. You can add your own sypmtoms to the list among other things. Plus, it has a bit of a social networking type feel to it. You can also add cargivers to it so that family members and doctors can keep an eye on your tracking as well. You have to maually add those folks to your site and give them permission to see your info, so you have complete control of the situation.
Both sites also help you monitor your medications and both will give you graphs and printouts of you moods over time and in relation to your medications. PatientsLikeMe has graphs that are more comprehensive becaue you can track an enormous amount of information. You can print these graphs to keep for your records or to take with you to Dr. appointments. Both sites will even allow you to set up notifications so that remiders can be sent to you via email.
Hope someone finds this helpful!
Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone!

Are You Taking Your Medication?

One of the reasons I don’t tell people about my Bipolar Disorder is because I hate, Hate, HATE it when I am upset and someone blows me off because of the fact that I am Bipolar. It’s as if my feelings don’t matter because of my Bipolar Disorder. Now, sometimes I admit that I may be irrationally upset about something, but that doesn’t mean that it hurts any less simply because the feelings and reaction are irrational. But sometimes I am rightfully upset for a rational reason and still people blow me off because of my disorder. There is nothing more frustrating and hurtful and I have no idea how to handle those situations. It just makes the situation even worse by upsetting me even more than I was in the first place.

The absolute worst is when I get upset and someone asks “have you been taking your medicine?” There are not words for how upsetting it is when people say that, especially when I am specifically upset with that person because of something they did. When people say that it’s like they are saying “I have done nothing wrong so you can’t possibly be upset with me, therefore the reason you are upset is your fault somehow which must mean you are not taking your meds.” I just want to respond with “yes I have been taking my meds which mean you really are an ass who has done something exceedingly rude and insensitive that has truly hurt my feelings.” Ugh! I hate being Bipolar!

(Please note however there is a difference when a close friend or relative comes to me after seeing me deteriorate over a period of time and calmly talking to me about whether I am taking my meds or if I need to have a med adjustment.)

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone, Even Those Who Have Asked Me If I Am Taking My Medication!

Ugh! Sarah Palin Has a New Book Coming Out in November.

Apparently I have been living under a rock, or maybe I just don’t care, but Sarah Palin has a new book coming out in November. This will be her second book in what, 2 -3 years? I am surprised she actually has that many viable thoughts in her head.

I just don’t understand what it is about her that so many people love. She’s an absolute train wreck, the Brittney Spears of politics. Of course, we only have John McCain to thank for creating this monster. If he and his people had just done a tiny bit of digging they would have realized that Sarah Palin had no business being a VP candidate. Katie Couric was able to demonstrate that fact in less a few hours worth of interviews, but Mr. Maverick and his entourage were apparently focused on something other than brains, qualifications, and experience. Hmmm, what does that leave us with? Ah, yes, beauty. Sarah Palin was a beauty queen, was she not? Do I really believe that was all they cared about, no, but my God what were they thinking?! I honestly don’t see what they thought qualified Palin to run beside McCain as VP. It can’t just be about the vagina factor because there are plenty of qualified women out there who could have run with McCain, and if it was about looks I am sure that at least one of those more qualified women was pretty. After all, the number of women more qualified than Palin is quite high. =

There is still buzz about her running for President in 2012. I truly can’t comprehend a world in which any sizable group of people would believe that Palin has the qualifications to be the President of the United States of America. Hopefully I won’t have to even comprehend a world where Sara Palin would even make it to the primaries because I don’t think I could stand having to listen to her any more than I already have to, or suffer through her dominating any more of the news cycles than she already does.

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone, Even Sara Palin!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Little Ricky Update

Little Ricky is doing MUCH better. His soreness and limping are gone. The bruises are fading as well. Thank goodness. I was getting worried about him. He is a doll and such a lover. Human contact seems to be the most important thing to him. Even food seems less important to him that being with his human buddies. My hubby and I can't even go potty without him crying for us. Even when we are in the shower he wines until he figures out that we are behind the shower curtain. I am unsure yet whether or not it may be a case of separation anxiety. That is something we will have to keep and eye on.
He goes in on Wednesday to get neutered and then he will be moving to a different foster home. I am going to miss this little guy!
Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone!

Super Saturday - Sophie Scrapbook Project

Went to see my Aunt Lynn today and we completed another scrapbook project. I had a blast! I have wanted to do a black and white project for a long time and saw the paper we used for the background the last time I was over at my Aunt’s and knew that would be the background for the project. Adding the red to it was completely unexpected and an idea I got from my Aunt. We actually put the flowers together ourselves and made the butterflies as well. We even added little wire antennas to the butterflies.

This isn’t the best photo in the world as I took it with my iPhone. I will add a better one later.

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Another Wonderful Friday (Doctor Visit, Dinner and Movie with My Aunt)

My doctor's appointment went very well. She changed my meds without giving me any trouble. Now we wait and see how it works.
Tonight I went to dinner with my Cousin and Aunt. We had a good time talking and catching up. After dinner we did a bit of shopping and then my Cousin needed to get home to the kids (and to bed, she is less than 2 weeks post-op). After getting my Cousin home, my Aunt and I went to see Eat, Pray, Love. It was really good. I immediately bought the book once we left the movie theater (Hooray for the iPad!). I can't wait to read it. Since it is a story about personal discovery and spiritual journey I think I will get much more out of the book. I hope to write more about that in the future.
For now, I am off to bed!
Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Worried About Little Ricky

Little Ricky is still really sore today. He was limping again this morning and I have to be really careful if I pick him up because he still cries out in pain if I’m not. His bruising is the same, no worse, no better. I worry about him. Not sure yet if a trip to the vet is called for, but keeping a close eye on him. I am a worrywart so my thoughts go straight to possible internal injuries and broken bones. Later today I will give my rescue rep a call and see what she thinks. I am guessing that since he isn’t lethargic and still willing to try and play he is going to be fine and there are no “real” injuries. It’s hard to tell with dogs. The reason I am so worried is we had a little girl come through rescue several years ago and she had been attacked by another dog. Half her poor leg had been ripped off! She had been taken to the vet immediately after the attack by the owner was triaged. When rescue got her we took to have the rest of that leg amputated. While she was on the operating table she passed away due to internal injuries. We were all shocked and devastated because she was acting like a normal little doggy right before we took her to the vet. She was very social and ate and seemed fine (other than the leg of course). Plus the vet that triaged her did catch any signs of internal injuries (I don’t know the vet that triaged her so I don’t know if they were incompetent or if the owner didn’t want any real testing done or what). Granted Little Ricky’s case was obviously not as severe as there are no open wounds and he has all of his appendages, but I still worry.

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone!

Meds Continued

Follow up on Wednesday’s Meds Blog:

I have an appointment today with my Psychiatrist to discuss taking me off the Lithium and putting me on something else that will “play nice” with the other meds my PCP is wanting to put me on. I am a little anxious about the appointment. That is nothing new though. Going to the Dr. always makes me anxious. I don’t get as anxious these days for mental health appointments so today won’t be too bad. Regular medical appointments send my anxiety through the roof however. I dread having to see my PCP again when/if we get my Lithium changed, but I am trying to just focus on today. At least this evening will be fun! My Aunt, Cousin and I are having dinner and a movie tonight! That will help get my mind off things.

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Little Ricky is Back! Had a Greyt Evening with My Aunt!

My Aunt Lynn and I had dinner at Chipotle after I got off work. As always, it was wonderful and we talked and talked! After dinner we went and picked Little Ricky from his current foster home. This is a little guy my hubby and I picked up last month from a kill shelter in Oklahoma. He stayed with us for about a week before moving to another foster home (We were already full and were only supposed to do his transport from Oklahoma but got to keep him a bit longer). Today his foster mommy called me and was very worried because Little Ricky and one of the other bigger Iggies in the home had quite a scuffle. Little Ricky was not picking up the social cues that the other dog was giving and Little Ricky's foster mom was worried that there would be a repeat scuffle. We decided that Little Ricky might do better back at our house so my Aunt went with me to go pick him up. (Again there was lots more talking! Shock!)
Poor Little Ricky got his clock cleaned pretty well. He has a pretty good sized bruise on his ribs and he was limping earlier. He is also pretty sore and I have to be careful how I pick him up or he lets out quite a good yelp or Iggy Scream. None of this gets in the way of his sweetness though. Giving kisses is still his most favorite thing to do. I swear this is the sweetest little guy we have had and that is saying something because we have had some sweet little babies come through here.
After we dropped him off at the house my Aunt and I went to the bookstore and looked at books and talked some more. It was really nice. We are going out to eat and to a movie tomorrow night and my cousin is going to join us. My Aunt and I are so excited.
Here are a few pics of our sweet Little Ricky!

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone!

Greyt News!

Maya, one of the 29 Greyhound/Greyhound Mixes seized by FWACC in July was just adopted!!!!!
Thank you TIGR (TX Italian Greyhound Rescue) for taking her in and getting her well so that she could find a forever home!

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone!

Update on the FWACC Dogs

Here is an update on the Greyhound/Greyhound Mix dogs recently seized in Fort Worth. There was one seizure of 28 dogs in late July and then another seizure of 11 dogs earlier this month.

GALT posted this on their Facebook page earlier today:

From the original FWAC seizure of 28 hounds, GALT's six surviving greyhounds are improving - Max, Ella, Pico, Charlie, Nate and Nicole. They will begin their treatment for Babesia within the next 7 days. Their oral medication has been extended for an additional 2 weeks. Of the 11 greys from the second FWAC seizure, 5 are with GALT, 5 are with Greyhounds Unlimited, and one is with It's A Grey Area. GALT's adults Jitterbug, Red and Sweet Pea are being closely monitored each day for any signs of illness. All suffer from Ehrlichia canis and Babesia canis. Jitterbug is heartworm positive and also has positive titers to Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Medication has been started on all three adults. Two puppies, Bessie and Delilah, are being treated for symptoms of upper respiratory infections, with the hope that it is not distemper. Their conditions are guarded and they are being monitored closely. Please continue to send your positive thoughts for all of these greyhounds to improve and survive the terrible existence they have endured.

The Officers, Directors, and Committee Members of Greyhound Adoption League of Texas, Inc.

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Well I am back in another tough spot with my meds. One of the meds I am on is Lithium. Last week while at the doctor I found out that I have another medical condition that requires me to go on medication. The problem is most of the medications that I can take for that condition are not meds that I can take while on Lithium. This is going to require that I see a specialist, and if a medication is found that I can take with the Lithium it will require a great deal of monitoring. Just the thought of all of that monitoring makes my stress level skyrocket. I am seriously thinking about calling my Psychiatrist and having her take me off of Lithium and put me on something else. Anyone who is on meds for mental illness knows that this is not as simple or as safe as I have made it sound. I am truly sick of taking meds! I hate this. Why can’t I be normal? I don’t know what to do. My next appointment with my Psychiatrist isn’t until 9/20. I am thinking about calling and trying to get that appointment moved up. Ugh!!!!!!!!

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone!

My Inner Battle With Religion

I’m not here to try and talk anyone out of their religion. If you are a deeply religious person or have a really strong faith I don’t encourage you to read the rest of this blog. If you are teetering and unsure of your faith PLEASE stop reading! I don’t want to be even the slightest bit responsible for you losing your faith. Frankly, if I could go back to the days when I had blind faith in God and in the Bible, I would. There was a lot of comfort in prayer, faith and believing that the “all powerful” has your very own best interest at heart, but I have crossed the line of disbelief and sadly I don’t think there is a way back to the other side. It’s not that the God that I believed in wouldn’t take me back, it’s just that once you are in the place I am in, belief in God and the Bible are just no longer possible. It’s kind of like when you were a child and learned the truth about Santa. Were you ever really able to believe in Santa again? Didn’t your disbelief only grow stronger as each Christmas passed?

I don’t know. I know I am no scholar. It’s also confusing because this day in time you can find a way to twist facts to fit your opinion so that it would take someone who was truly a scholar to unravel the “truth” you have created. UGH!

Plus, it just doesn’t seem fair or make sense to me. Take for instance a situation I encountered the other day. A coworker was all excited and praising God because she had asked God to help her find a file that she had misplaced, and sure enough, she found it. It wasn’t even all that important of a file. No major consequences would occur if the file had not been found; it would have simply been an inconvenience. This whole thing struck me as odd. I had just read a book called Half The Sky which spoke about the plight of many women in Africa and Asia. There are millions of women living in horrendous circumstances, and God took the time to help her find her file? Really? What does that say about the women who remain in those horrendous circumstances? What about those women who are lucky enough to get help of some sort? Does that mean that God cares less about those women who did not get help? Were the ones who got help better people? Did they pray harder? Was their faith stronger? If the answer to those questions is yes then that means that those who still suffer and haven’t gotten help are bad people and don’t have strong enough faith? All of that just sounds so harsh and cruel. Some may say that those who get help are children of God and that is why they got help, because God helps his children, but how cruel is that? Didn’t Jesus teach us to be kind to our enemy? So would God even be taking his own advice if he let those who are not “His Children” suffer?

This always gives me a headache and leaves me quite melancholy so I better stop for now. This is a HUGE subject to tackle and I can’t do it all in one post.

Again, I am NOT trying to talk anyone out of their beliefs. If my blog leaves you questioning your beliefs even in the tiniest of manners please don’t read it. I honestly am not trying to make you an unbeliever.

Also, I am medicated, tired and my thought are racing so please excuse grammatical and spelling errors and any sentences that are incoherent.

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Gratitude Perspective 8/24/2010

Today while I was cursing the public bathroom facilities at work I found it a perfect chance to practice the Gratitude Perspective. Suddenly, mid curse I remembered the fact that there are millions of girls in Africa who are unable to go to school because they don’t have things as basic as maxi pads and tampons. They also don’t have a place at home or school where they can take care of those monthly issues. That means that if they were in school (which most can’t afford), they would have to miss one week a month because of their period. They would fall behind so much that they would eventually have to drop out, or the school would kick them out due to absences. So while we curse the “monthly curse” we can at least be thankful that we have a grocery store aisle full of tampons and maxi pads to choose from. Plus, we have feminine spray, feminine wipes, Pamprin, Midol, and most important of all CHOCOLATE!

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Birthday Reflections

Since it’s my birthday I though it might be good to reflect on and really look at what I have to be thankful for. I wrote about the Gratitude Perspective a while back but haven’t touched on it since. It’s not that I haven’t been thinking about it or trying to practice it, I just haven’t really been able to figure out how to fit it into a blog post. However, with it being my birthday it seemed like an appropriate time to stop and reflect.

First of all, my biggest blessing is my husband. If it wasn’t for Jeff I don’t know what shape I would be in. He is truly my rock. I have never felt as though I deserve him but I can’t even put into words how much I love him and appreciate him and all he does. Then, I have my doggies who give me so much joy. We are so lucky to be in position to have our furbabies.

Just in the past few months I have been able to reconnect with my Aunt Lynn and cousins, Gwen and Vanessa. I haven’t talked with them in years and it has been wonderful catching up, remembering good times and creating new memories.

I also think it is import to look at those things that we all often take for granted. The fact that we both have jobs is amazing, and the fact that we work in a country that protects workers from exploitation and inhumane conditions is something we don’t always remember to be thankful for. I am lucky to work in a beautiful, climate controlled building, and I am rarely ever expected to work more than 40 hours a week. While as a social worker my wages may not be on the high side, I am still able to put a roof over my head and can afford to find transportation (be it owning a car or using cabs or public transit) and feed and clothe myself. With my hubby’s income we are able to live what most people in 3rd world countries would consider a life of luxury. Heck, people in this country might feel the same way. We have air conditioning and heating, indoor plumbing, electricity, cable TV, internet, iPhones, computers, an iPad and so on. We have A LOT to be thankful for.

To top it off, I had to go to my first therapy appointment with my new insurance and found out that ALL OUTPAITENT MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES are covered 100%, therefore there is NO COPAY! This includes my Psychiatrist appointments and my therapy appointments! That is HUGE for us because my mental health Dr. visits are what cost us the most as far as health care costs. That was probably the biggest birthday present I got today. Of course, even with copays I am thankful to just have health insurance especially when many don’t. Plus, there are even more people throughout the world that don’t even have access to basic medical care. When I say basic medical care I mean that there are large numbers of people in Africa that DIE from diarrhea. The likelihood of that happening to any of us is almost nil. Hell, my dogs get better medical care than many of the people in third world countries.

Another thing that I often feel grateful for is my education. There have been many clients on my case load over the years that either could not read at all or whose reading skills were at a level with which they could barely function in society. I am so thankful for the opportunities that I have had to further my education and better myself. I am no where near the smartest person or most educated person on the block, but I have had opportunities that many will never get and I am forever grateful for that.

I have lived another year and hope to live another more. Maybe I can make this the year of gratitude.

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Random Opinions

Thanks to my wonderful Vicodin my head feels like it's in the clouds. I have so much I want to talk about today but I just can't really get my thoughts to transfer into written word very well. Here on some thought snippets I am hoping to expand on later:

Why is it when a group of people simply want equality some automatically begin to fear a hostile takeover by that group of people?

It is funny to me how so many want to eradicate the concept and practice of Separation of Church and State so long as Christianity is the only religion being unified with government. I guarantee you if a Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Wiccan or any follower of a religion other than Christianity was to question the concept Christians would suddenly practice strict adherence to the concept of Separation of Church and State.

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Thanks Followers!

Wow! I am up to 5 followers. It shocks me that there are even 5 people who care about what I have to say and are willing to put up with my rants, even if 3 of them are family members. Thanks everyone!

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone!

A Happy Tale - Milo Got Adopted!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Milo found his furever home today! He was put on Petfinder Thursday and Dawn emailed me Friday and said she already had someone contact her about Milo. I was excited but wasn’t counting on it panning out. Those in animal rescue understand what I mean. We are forever getting people interested in dogs that change their mind or don’t meet adoption requirements. So I got Milo all ready this morning and took him to the Adopt-A-Pet event that the Coppell Humane Society was having today. I had honestly forgotten about Dawn saying that there was anyone interested in Milo. When we arrived at Petsmart the family that was interested in him was already there waiting for us! They had gotten there about 30 minutes before the event even started. When Milo and I came around the corner where they were waiting they looked up and exclaimed “It’s Milo!” Dawn came over to introduce us and let me know that she had already checked vet references and everything checked out great. She then let us all go to the back so that Milo could meet the family and their terrier mix, Lucy. Everyone hit it off instantly. Sweet Milo never even made it to one of the show crates. I can’t believe how fast he went! Amazing! Here is a picture of Milo’s new Mommy and Furiend. I love a happy ending!

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone, Especially Milo and His New Family!

Dinner and an Urgent Care Clinc Visit...It Was Going to be Dinner and a Movie

I am a bit loopy on pain meds tonight but I hate to go a whole day without posting something. Plus, this evening was a bit crazy.

I went to dinner with my Aunt Lynn but afterward ended up in the urgent care clinic. I hesitate to tell this story because I don’t know that everyone will really understand that what happened was our fault and not the dog’s. Last Sunday my hubby and I had a sweet little Italian Greyhound that we were overnighting. The poor little dog had a broken leg and had been through a whole lot that weekend. He was scared, tired and in pain. Jeff picked him up (while standing) and the little guy got scared and tried to jump from Jeff’s arms. NOT GOOD! He surely would have broken another leg and further damaged his broken one. Both Jeff and I panicked and grabbed for him. In all of the commotion the little guy bit my thumb and bit through the thumb nail. It hasn’t been getting any better and when my Aunt Lynn saw it at dinner she was positive that I should have it looked at. Since it was already 6pm and a Friday we ended up at Care Now. They gave me 2 shots and then gave me a prescription for pain meds, antibiotics and Naproxen. I almost had a heart attack when the Dr. said I would have to fill out some form that would be sent to animal control for follow up. Thankfully my Aunt was thinking quicker than I was and told the Dr. that we don’t even have the dog anymore because it was a rescue situation. Thankfully the Dr. assumed that I no longer knew where the dog was and decided to forgo the paperwork. WHEW!!!!! I swear I was already planning on ways to abscond to Canada with the little guy. Thank you Aunt Lynn!

Well I am off to Vicodin Dreamland.


Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

More From Sarah Palin Regarding Dr. Laura

So Palin didn’t stop at Tweeting. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Here is what Palin posted on her Facebook page regarding Dr. Laura’s current debacle.

Does anyone seriously believe that Dr. Laura Schlessinger is a racist? Anyone, I mean, who isn’t already accusing all conservatives, Republicans, Tea Party Americans, etc., etc., etc. of being racists?
Adversaries who have been trying to silence Dr. Laura for years seized on her recent use of the n-word on her show as she subsequently suggested that rap “artists” and other creative types like those producing HBO shows who regularly use the n-word could be questioned for doing so. Her intention in discussing the issue with a caller seeking advice was not to be hateful or bigoted. Though she did not mean to insult the caller, she did, and she apologized for it. Still, those who oppose her seized upon her mistake in using the word (though she didn’t call anyone the derogatory term) to paint her as something that she’s not. I can understand how she could feel “shackled” by those who would parse a single word out of decades of on-air commentary. I understand what she meant when she declared that she was “taking back my First Amendment rights” by turning to a new venue that will not allow others the ability to silence her by going after her stations, sponsors, and supporters.
I, and obviously many others, have been “shackled” too by people who play games with false accusations, threats, frivolous lawsuits, misreporting, etc., in an effort to silence those with whom they disagree. That’s why I tend to defend people who call it like they see it while others stop at nothing to shut them up. I learned this valuable lesson when the partisan obstructionists in my state tried to shackle, bankrupt, and destroy my family and supporters, and my record, with endless frivolous litigation when I returned from the Vice Presidential campaign trail. In order to shake off the shackles they wanted to paralyze us with, I handed the reins to another, much like Dr. Laura is doing, so that these obstructionists who hated a Commonsense Conservative agenda wouldn’t win. I didn’t retreat; I reloaded in order to fight for what is right on a fairer battlefield. So, more power to someone with good intentions who refuses to be shackled by their detractors when they are falsely accused of being racist.
Dr. Laura did not call anyone or any group of people the n-word. Curiously, the same criers over this issue didn’t utter a word when White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel called a group protesting the Obama Administration’s actions, “f***ing retards.” When this presidential spokesman uttered this term I commented that the President would be better off not including Emmanuel in his circle of advisers, and my opinion was based not just on the crude and disrespectful term Emmanuel used to label people, but because he too often gives the President very poor advice. I was called intolerant and narrow-minded by many on the Left for commenting on that issue. Many of these same Leftists are now spinning the Dr. Laura issue into something it is not. As usual, their hypocrisy and double standard applications are glaring.
- Sarah Palin

With regards to this bullshit about Dr. Laura’s First Amendment Rights having been trampled on, Jessica Yellin from CNN said it best “there’s no inalienable right there to a radio talk show.” In other words the First Amendment does not state that people have to like Dr. Laura, her stupid show, or anything that comes out of her mouth!
As for Dr. Laura being on the air for decades without ever saying anything derogatory; that is a misstatement depending on who you are and what your beliefs are. I personally have been offended by Dr. Laura on many occasions, as have many others; she just happened to finally cross the line that she had been dancing on these past few decades.
Palin’s issue with Rahm Emanuel calling someone a “f***king retard” and using that as a comparison to calling someone the “N” word is flat out stupid. Sure, calling someone a retard is not nice but it doesn’t compare to calling someone the “N” word. No one has been lynched, beaten, or enslaved because they are mentally retarded. Calling someone retarded doesn’t imply the violence and hatred that calling someone the “N” word does. And I don’t really care that she didn’t actually call someone the “N” word. I don’t think she (being white) has any business using the word, much less 11 times in the same sitting. Plus, was the use of the word the only thing wrong with that whole tirade? No! The poor caller called in for personal advice, not for Dr. Laura’s philosophical opinion about the use of the “N” word among black people. The fact that Dr. Laura thinks that you shouldn’t enter into an interracial marriage if you are too sensitive about race issues is just as offensive as her spewing of the “N” word. And yes, it is my opinion that she did indeed spew!

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone!

Palin Tweets Her Support for Dr. Laura

Sarah Palin never ceases to disgust me! I seriously would not have expected her to support Dr. Laura in her racist tirade and spewing of the “N” word. Apparently our little Tweetheart decided to shout her support for Dr. Laura from the Tweet-tops by posting these two tweets:

Where to even begin? First of all, no one is saying that Dr. Laura didn’t have the right to say the idiotic things she said. She has every right to be a racist and ignorant bitch. I don’t see her going to jail for saying anything she said, or being sentenced to a beating on the steps of city hall. Constitutional obstructionist? Really? Just as Dr. Laura has the right to say what she wants doesn’t mean we have to like and support it. Sponsors have a right to drop a client if they don’t like what the image the client is projecting. I have the right to not listen to her show if I don’t like what she has to say. Being a celebrity is about getting people to love you (or hate you) so much that they want to listen to you on the radio or watch you on television. Dr. Laura was able to get a fan base (which scares me quite a bit), but as with many celebrities the spotlight fades for some reason. For those like Dr. Laura and Mel Gibson they just happened to pull the plug on their own spotlight. Now Dr. Laura is mad because people and sponsors are dropping her and moving on. She should have thought about that before she opened her mouth! This is not about first amendment rights or the constitution. No one is telling her she legally can’t be on the air, it’s just that what she said was so offensive no one wants her on the air anymore.

What gets to me the most is Palin’s statement about activist trying to silence Dr. Laura and how it isn’t American. WHAT?! Activism is as American as it gets! Having a group of people join forces for a common purpose and speak out about it is a celebration of the First Amendment in the purest of forms. Nothing shows the power of the First Amendment more than that! I think Palin and Dr. Laura are just pissed because this time the activists’ voices are finally louder than theirs.

Read more about this at The Huffington Post.

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Hope Continues - FWACC Cruelty Case Partial Update

This is Landry. He is one of the 29 Greyhound and Greyhound Mixes that were seized by the Fort Worth Animal Care and Control in late July. (Link 1, Link 2, Link 3)Landry was taken in by Abba Lawrence with Texas Italian Greyhound Rescue. From the moment TIGR and Abba laid hands on Landry his suffering was over. Landry has since had surgery for the many warts that had taken over his mouth and is being treated for an infection on his cheek that has left a hole in it. He has also gained 15 pounds!

Pictures can do his story more justice than words.

This is Landry when he was found.

This is Landry now! It brings tears of hope and joy to my eyes. I love you Landry and I love TIGR and Abba for saving him!

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone And Especially LANDRY!

Too Cute...Is This a Deer or a Dog?

I got this in an email so I have no idea who these folks are or who the photographer is but this made my day and I just had to share!

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone! And some Deer kisses too!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


An example of part of the Vision and Mission Statement from a 501(c)(3):

"-We will be dedicated to pluralism, service, arts and culture, education and empowerment, appreciation for our city and a deep respect for our planet.
-Uphold respect for the diversity of expression and ideas between all people
-Cultivate and embrace neighborly relations between all, fostering a spirit of civic participation and an awareness of common needs and opportunities
-Connect communities to global ideas and trends
-Commit to social justice, dignified human development and spiritual growth for all
-Establish a state-of-the-art green facility that will serve as a model and inspiration for sustainable space, helping to advance sustainable living in urban contexts
-Empower our communities with the skills and knowledge they need to advance in their various life stages
-Provide financial assistance for those in need, offering subsidies for our programming and scholarships to reach new audiences and further our vision"

This is part of the Mission and Vision from a 501(c)(3). Sounds good doesn’t it? Would you volunteer? Would you support it? I would.

This is from the Mission Statement and Vision of Park 51. That is the “Muslim Center” being built near Ground Zero. Would you still support it? I would.

Those that are associated with Park 51 are NOT the same as terrorists that tore apart New York. Saying that Park 51 should not be built near Ground Zero because the terrorist responsible for 9/11 claimed to be Muslim is like saying that Christian churches shouldn’t be built in a predominantly black neighborhood because some KKK members claim to be Christians. I seriously don’t understand why people can’t understand that all Muslims are not terrorists.

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone!

Darn, Dr. Laura Quits!

For those that haven’t heard, Dr. Laura is quitting radio. Unfortunately, she isn’t going to quit talking period. Her latest gripe is that her first amendment rights to free speech have been trampled on because of the outrage that resulted from her verbal diarrhea that included the “N” word. Ummmmm…last time I checked the fact that people are aloud to be pissed at a radio host for being an idiot is part of their rights to free speech just as it is Dr. Laura’s right to say stupid shit. I don’t see any government officials coming to throw her in prison or sentence her to death for stating her opinion. She is still aloud to read, write and say what ever she wants, but people have the right not to like it. What it sounds like to me is that she wants some constitutional amendment that requires people to like and agree with what she says. Sorry, Dr. Laura but that’s the beauty of America. You get to say what ever you want and I get to think you are an idiot and a bitch for having said it.

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone! Yes, even to Dr. Laura.

Why Not a Niche Blog?

Many times I have heard and read that it is best to find a niche when creating a blog. I really mulled this over a lot but I just couldn’t reduce myself to just one subject. There are too many sides to me and too many things that I feel passionate about. In no way can I simply write about my Bipolar Disorder as if that is all there is to my life, but I also can’t write about my life in dog rescue, my family, my opinions, or my work without talking about how my Bipolar Disorder effects them. Plus, this is simply who I am. I am constantly all over the place, pouring my passion, heart and soul into the many different things that are important to me. So, I hope you don’t find my blog too disjointed, incoherent or disorganized but it’s really just who I am and sometimes my life can be just that. For that reason I am going to try to be good about labeling my posts and keeping my posts to one subject a piece. That way, if you don’t really give a shit about my random opinions you can skip that and go straight to my posts about dog rescue or Bipolar Disorder. I hope that helps.

Happy reading and blogging!

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone!

Meet Our Current Fosters!


Sweet Boy Rocco came to us from the North Richland Hills Animal Shelter. When he arrived he has a terrible case of Kennel Cough that was dangerously close to turning into Pneumonia. He went through 3 different rounds of antibiotic to clear it up. Sadly, that was not the end of his troubles. Rocco also tested positive for Heartworms. On July 26, Rocco was treated for his Heartworm infection and continues to recover. Once he has recovered a bit more he will get neutered and have a dental done. Then his next stop will be to his forever home.
Rocco is a laid back boy who fit in almost instantly. He gets along with all of our dogs and does not seem to have any behavioral issues. Rocco is going to make one forever home wonderfully happy!
For information about adopting Rocco contact IGCA Rescue of Texas or email me at skittleiggyluv@yahoo.com

Meet Shandy!

Shandy is a sweet and talented girl who loves her humans! She has Canine Discoid Lupus which can be treated with medication when she has flare ups. It mainly effects her nose which will begin to scab over when her condition begins to worsen. Due to her condition sunblock is a must even for short periods of time in the sun. She also has a condition called facial muscle atrophy. At this time it is not causing her any discomfort, pain or problems.
Shandy is a playful little gal and athletic as well. This girl can clear a babygate with no problem and will do so in a heartbeat to get to her beloved humans. Her other talent is catching Cheerios and other small bits of food in her mouth when tossed to her.
Shandy is friendly to kids, small and large dogs, and cats. She is a social butterfly and often takes center stage when around groups of people.
She loves to burrow like most IGs but blankets are not always enough for this little gal. She likes to burrow under stacks of pillows and even burrow under the pillow top mattress pad on the bed so it is suggested that you always preform an "iggy check" before sitting down or laying down on piles of pillows and blankets or before climbing into bed.
For information about adopting Rocco contact IGCA Rescue of Texas or email me at skittleiggyluv@yahoo.com

Milo is a wire haired Pug-Chihuahua Mix. He is a friendly and sweet boy who is good with small or large dogs as well as cats. His favorite spot is next to me (his foster mom) on the couch and he prefers to sleep in bed with his humans. After living with Italian Greyhounds he has also learned that being under the covers is quite cozy as well. Even though he is a small dog his bark is robust and he is very good at letting his humans know if he hears something outside. This could be problematic if living in an apartment. When Milo came to us he caught on to the whole “potty outside concept” very quickly. He is very good about going to the door and scratching at it or whining when he needs outside to go potty. While he has not spent a lot of time with children he has always done very well with them when he is around them. Milo has always lived with other dogs so it is unknown how he will do as an only dog. I am pretty confident that if he was an only dog in a situation where there were humans home most of the time he would do well. It is not known how he would do as an only dog in a home where the humans were gone for long periods of time on a daily basis.
If you are interested in letting Milo adopt you please contact the Coppell Human Society or 972-462-1121. You can also email me at skittleiggyluv@yahoo.com.

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone!

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Scrappy Cottage

Here are some pics of my Aunt Lynn's Scrappy Cottage. I just LOVE this place. She is so talented. Yes, she decorated this herself.
Be sure to check out her blog The Scrappy Cottage and her gallery at Scrapbook.com/myplace!

Saturday With My Aunt Lynn

Saturday was as awesome as Friday evening. I spent the day with my Aunt Lynn. We went to lunch and then went back to her house. Her husband built her a tiny little cottage in the back yard that she uses for scrapbooking. It is soooooo adorable. She is a master scrapbooker! You can see some of her stuff on her blog The Scrappy Cottage. While we were playing around she showed me this canvas project she did where she basically scrapbooked on a canvas (like one would use for painting). I was floored. It was such a great idea. What a unique way to display family photos! She was kind enough to help me create one. I had so much fun. This is a picture of it that I took with my iPhone. The picture does not do it justice.

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone!

Videos of the Rescued Greyhound/Greyhound Mixes

Here are some videos of the dogs from the blog post regarding the 29 dogs seized in Fort Worth last month.
These are NOT easy to watch!
Video 1
Video 2
Video 3

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone!

A Dog's Forgiveness

On Sunday a group of dog lovers gathered to mourn the loss of four Greyhounds who suffered and died due to the cruelty of humans. Thankfully their last few days on earth were spent with those who saved and loved them, and now miss them with all their heart. I told the story of the 29 dogs that were seized by Fort Worth Animal Care and Control in my blog last week. For those who didn’t read it, it is sufficient to say that these dogs had suffered neglect so bad that four of the 29 could not be saved. It was the worse neglect that many seasoned dog rescuers had ever seen. In a touching article written by Jeffrey Weiss for The Dallas Morning News he said “A criminal investigation is still ongoing, but it was clear that the surviving greyhounds had already forgiven humanity. Four were brought to the service. Nate, who had been covered by 2,000 ticks when rescued, wagged his tail and licked the hand of a friendly stranger.” His statement about how these abused dogs had “forgiven humanity” struck a powerful chord for me. As rescuers we get a chance to witness this forgiveness often and for me it never ceases to amaze me. That forgiveness is one of the things that helps rejuvenate us. Nothing gives me more hope and joy than the unconditional love of a dog. There have been so many fosters come through my home who have been given no reason in the world to love or trust me, but they do. The somehow forget the abuse and neglect they have suffered at the hands of humans. There is no anger, no revenge, no passive aggressiveness, no cold shoulder, no ultimatum, just wagging tails and kisses. If only we humans were as good at this as dogs are.

I saw a quote the other day. I don’t know who it was by but it was perfect:

“To err is human,
To forgive, Canine”

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone! And some wonderful dog kisses too!

Crash and Burn

Well my mania was short lived. This is typical though and doesn’t surprise me. It’s always amazing how suddenly my manic episodes end. It is like a light switch. I was literally flying high just an hour before and then suddenly it all crumbled. This morning I was two and a half hours late for work and I am completely non productive. This morning was so bad I actually had fears of hospitalization playing in my head. To top it off, this week is a crazy busy week and I really don’t have the energy to deal with it all now. A lot of it is a product of my overextending myself while manic.

I had a fabulous weekend though. I will blog about that later because I don’t want to mar the telling of it with all of this shit about depression.

I just want to go home and go to bed! What is worse is that I am already behind at work because of my mania fueled blogging last week. If I had the vacation time I would take off, but I used most of it several weeks ago when I took vacation. Of course if I was off I would just sleep the whole week away but I’m not going to be productive awake, just miserable, so what’s the point?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I'm 31 and I'm Scared of the Dark

So I am blogging and Facebooking away and suddenly the electricity goes out. It's 2:00 AM so it is DARK and SCARY! I actually started shaking. LOL! Part of it has to do with the fact that the hubby is at work so it's just me and the doggies, but still, I'm a grown woman. Thankfully the outage was short lived. Now I'm off to find a flash light, just in case.

It's Been a Great Friday the 13th!

I had a fabulous evening with my Aunt Lynn. We had dinner and talked then went to the bookstore and poured over books about blogging. I haven’t had someone I could talk to like I talk to her in a long time (besides the hubby). The amount of acceptance and understanding that she shows is amazing. What it really crazy is that I really feel like she “gets” me. We stayed at the book store until it closed looking at books and talking about stuff. It was so nice. We both are trying to figure out this whole blogging thing. It looks like I am going to have to give the whole Wordpress thing a little more thought. This is something that will actually cost some money to set up. I don’t think it is a huge investment, but it’s an investment none the less. There is also the problem of know-how and I am not convinced that I have the know-how just yet. The only problem is that the longer I wait to make up my mind the harder it will be to “switch” over. Plus, I have to really figure out if this is a fleeting obsession or something that will stick. I hate the thought of spending any money on this if I am not going to stick with it. WAIT! I just had a realization! I have already showed some improvement with my obsession issue without realizing it! Normally I would have bought every book I saw at the bookstore but I didn’t buy one single book. I would also normally have just jumped into the Wordpress thing without even researching it and not thought twice about spending money on it. Wow! Now I just have to figure out why I was able to control the obsession more than normal. Don’t get me wrong, I am still losing sleep over this and my level of productivity has taken a dive, but I think there has actually been a bit of progress!

Tomorrow I am going over to my Aunt’s house. I am excited. She has the coolest scrap booking room. It’s actually a separate small building in the back yard. I haven’t seen it in person but I have seen pictures and it is so beautiful! I just can’t wait. She calls it the Scrappy Cottage. Isn’t that adorable!? It’s the name of her blog too. She does the most amazing scrapbooks and posts some of them on her blog. There are also pics of The Scrappy Cottage too. Amazing stuff!

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Still Blog Obsessed

Last night I didn’t sleep much even though I took my meds like I was supposed to. I just couldn’t quit thinking about my blog and trying to get Wordpress going. There is just so much more I want to be able to do with my blog and Blogger isn’t letting me do it. The problem is I don’t think I know enough to do what I want to do. Ugh! Later I am going to run to the bookstore and skim through Wordpress for Dummies. If it looks like I might be able to make sense of it I will go ahead and buy it. That might be a dumb idea but at least it’s the weekend now so if I stay up all night in a manic-obsessive fit it won’t be a big deal. What makes all of this even more stupid is that I will probably only ever reach a total of 10 followers, but I guess our blogs are just as much for us as they are for the rest of the world.

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Laura Schlessinger and The “N” Word – I Can’t Believe We Actually Have To Have This Conversation!

You all can thank Laura Schlessinger for this rant-post.

In case you haven’t heard Ms. Schlessinger went on her own rant the other day about the unfairness of black people being able to use the “N” word without consequence, whereas “if anybody without enough melanin says it, it’s a horrible thing…”

Really!? She actually needs to have this conversation?

The reason it is ok for a black person to use the “N” word is because it allows the black speaker of the word to take back the power of the word. When a black person utters the “N” word they are taking the power away from the white racists who uses it to demean, intimidate, terrorize and torture. It is VERY loosely related to a fat person calling themselves fat vs. some skinny bitch calling the fat person fat. Of course, that is a trivial correlation because the last time I checked no one was lynched for being fat, but you get the point.

Even if all of that talk about “power” is bullshit, it comes down to the simple rule of “two wrongs don’t make a right”. Let’s pretend the black rappers who use the “N” word are wrong. Does it make it right for a white person to run around saying such a hatefully charged word that we all know hurts those to whom it is directed simply because “he said it first!?” Are we toddlers?

I will never understand why this is so hard for people to understand. It shocks me that this is something that anyone has to explain or talk about.

And for the record, I am white and I am fat.

For full audio and a transcript of Laura Schlessinger's rant click here. The idiocy does not end there.

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone!

A Story of Horror, Remembrance and Hope

Last month, on July 8, Fort Worth Animal Care and; Control seized 28 dogs from a Fort Worth home. One of the dogs was a Saluki, the others were Greyhounds or Greyhound Mixes. Their condition was described as “appalling and shocking” by a GALT representative. Some of the dogs weighed as little as 35 pounds. The heaviest weighed in at 51 pounds! Greyhounds and Salukis are LARGE BREED DOGS! For the sake of comparison, our own Retired Racer, Buddy, weighs in at around 75 pounds. These precious dogs were covered in fleas and ticks. It was said that one dog had abound 1,500 ticks on his body. Yes that is Fifteen Hundred! Most, if not all, have tick born diseases, intestinal parasites and are anemic. Most of the dogs have pressure sores, some that have become infected. To make matters worse, later in the week another dog was discovered who was sick and emaciated as well.

Thankfully, 7 wonderful rescue groups stepped up to foster these suffering dogs:

Greyhound Adoption League of Texas took 10 dogs.

Greyhounds Unlimited took 8 dogs.

Texas Italian Greyhound Rescue took in 6.

All Breed Rescue of Texas took in 2.

Collin County Humane Society took 1 dog.

Salukie Tree of Life Alliance took 1 dogs

It’s a Grey Area took 1 dog.

These groups are absorbing vet bills that could range in the thousands of dollars for EACH DOG! It is going to take most of these dogs up to 4-6 months to recover and be ready for adoption.

Sadly, not all of the dogs have made it. At the time of this post at least four of the sweet babies have passed away. GALT will be having a memorial service on Sunday for those who have passed.

I can not understand how any human can sit by and watch any creature suffer in any manner. Thankfully, the human that was responsible for all of this suffering will be held accountable.

Tears flow as I write this. I look at my precious Buddy and I can not imagine him emaciated, covered in pressure sores and ticks. My heart breaks at how much these poor babies had to suffer, but thankfully there is hope. These sweet babies will have a second chance thanks to these rescue groups who are giving their time, money, homes and hearts to these dogs. Never again will any of these dogs want for a home, food, a soft place to lay or someone to love them. Their lives will only get better from this day on.

For more information and videos click here.
For more information about the dogs who did not survive and the memorial service being held on Sunday click here.

Below are just a few pictures. In the fourth picture you will see some tube sticking out from the poor dog. Those are to drain puss from where the tick and flea infestation has been so bad. The 2nd and 3rd pictrues are NOT of a dead dog even though that is what it may look like.

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone and Everydog!

Manic Rambling

Well it is safe to say that blogging is my new “Bipolar Obsession”. This of course is not a technical term by any means. It’s just what I call the phases I go through where I get completely irrationally obsessed with and hyper focused on something. When this happens it is almost all I can think about. I lose sleep because of it and if I do sleep I literally dream about it. These obsessions happen in my manic and mixed states. I think I am bordering on manic at the moment. A lot of sleep was lost last night while I tinkered away here on my blog. I even skipped my Seroquel last night because I knew if I took the dose it would knock me out and my blog fun would end for the night. These obsessions drive me crazy (Quite literally, I guess). I knew I was in trouble this morning when I ended up with a glitch on my blog after tinkering a little too much. There are actual physical reactions I have when things I am obsessing over go even a little bit askew. My tummy starts to hurt and I can feel my pulse rate soar. It wouldn’t surprise me to find out that my blood pressure goes through the roof too. Sad to say, I haven’t been productive at work this morning. The glitch is finally fixed and I am hoping that blogging about all of this will allow me to move on and get some stuff done. Ugh!

What started it all was that I wanted to try and customize the template some more so I went to some websites and found a few templates and tried downloading them but they all had small glitches in them that were driving me crazy. With all of the downloading and deleting and redownloading I must have really pissed my blog off. My blogs were posting 2 or 3 times and the widgets and gadgets that were causing it were not giving me the option to delete them. I ended up having to start over in a way. Hopefully you won’t notice a difference in the blog because I basically gave up and tried to go completely back to the original design.

I also played around with Wordpress last night. Boy was that engrossing. It’s not quite as easy to navigate as Blogger/Blogspot but it seems as though you can customize it a great deal more, which it right up my alley. The only problem is that it adds a lot more fuel for my manic fire. If I am not careful I may end up with a full blown meltdown.

Yes, that’s right folks, a full blown meltdown over a fucking blog. That’s the story of my life and my Bullshit Bipolar Disorder. I am still trying to figure out the psychology behind such irrational meltdowns and still fiddling with cognitive and behavioral therapy techniques to work through the irrational torment that comes with these obsessions, but I haven’t got it figured out yet.

The first order of business tonight will be to take my blasted medicine so that I can get some sleep. I still can’t believe I got so caught up in my irrational thoughts and behaviors last night that I talked myself out of taking my meds. You think I would have learned by now.

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Thousand Sisters by Lisa Shannon

Since I read a lot I figure I might as well blog about what I am reading. Who knows? Maybe I can inspire someone else to pick up a book.

Last night I finished reading A Thousand Sisters by Lisa Shannon. This is a subject that is becoming increasingly near to my heart for many reasons. I was first introduced to the plight of women in Africa and Asia in the book Half the Sky that I mentioned in yesterday’s blog. This book continues on that path.

Lisa, the author, was a stock photographer with a comfortable little life in Portland, Oregon. She was watching Oprah one day, I know it sounds a little cliché but bare with me, and saw a segment on the horrible conditions in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the amazing work Women for Women International is doing to aid the Congolese women and other women around the world. She decided that she MUST do something, and do something she did. After deciding to sponsor several Congolese women (called sisters) through Women for Women International she decided she wanted to do more; so she founded Run for Congo Women with the expressed purpose of raising funds and awareness of Women for Women International and the women of Congo. Soon after she decided she needed to do even more. Lisa then packed up her normal life and her camera and headed to Africa. She meets some of her “sisters” along with many other Congolese women. Struggling through language barriers she collects the stories of these women and their families and retells them in her book.

While it’s not the best written book you will ever read, nor is it the most informative on the subject, you will still be inspired. The simple prose of the book is a testament to the simple woman who wrote it, but that is what makes this book work as an inspirational work. The reader can connect with Lisa in a way that they often can’t with other activists and writers. Lisa was a “regular” person with a job, boyfriend (who leaves her during this journey) and a house. She wasn’t rich, she didn’t have a degree from an Ivy League school, she didn’t have a little black book of important, political or celebrity connections. What she did have was courage, determination and compassion. If this book doesn’t inspire you to sponsor a woman through Women for Women International or at least spread the message then you might need to go to the local ER because you don’t have a pulse.

You can find the book here. It is available in a Kindle Edition as well.

Click here for Women for Women International.

Click here for Run for Congo Women.

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Gratitude Perspective

Last year I read a book by the name of Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDun that gave me a whole new perspective on life. The book showed us the lives of many women from Africa and Asia who are living in horribly dire circumstances. We are talking about circumstances most of us in the United States have never witnessed. Story after story is shared of women suffering without running water, sewer systems, and electricity. Some have a makeshift tent for a home, others are “lucky” enough to have a one room hut. Many of these women and their children survive for months on what we in the United States eat in one week. There is no health care, and I don’t mean that they have no health insurance, I mean there is not a doctor, much less a clinic or hospital within any reasonable distance. Babies and adults DIE of diarrhea. As if this all isn’t bad enough, then you add to it the violence these women face. Many women have stories so brutal they make the slasher films of Hollywood look down right G-rated. Basic education is almost unheard of. Girls and boys getting an elementary education is something celebrated with the same enthusiasm that we use to celebrate the completion of a doctoral degree. Even then, having the ability to read or write doesn’t mean there is anything to read or anything to write on or with. Even if one does have the supplies with which to read and write, one probably doesn’t have the freedom to read and write what one wants. What makes all of this even more astounding is that this is not the overblown stories of an unlucky few in far reaching areas of African and Asia. These are the everyday stories of MILLIONS of people.

Now let’s compare that to my situation right this second. At this moment I am sitting at a desk in an air conditioned building. There are bathrooms just down the hallway and I have clean running water available at one of probably 30 sinks in my office building. I have a job in which I am guaranteed certain rights to not be overworked and exploited. I have a college degree and can read and write whatever I want whenever I want. There is no fear of being raped, beaten or thrown in jail simply for what I read or what I write on my blog or on Facebook. My opinions fall from my mouth and fingers on a daily basis and my biggest fear is someone leaving a nasty comment on my Facebook page. There is so much food available to me that I have a severe weight problem. Most of us eat because it tastes good, not because we are hungry. Medical care is just a phone call, car ride, or ambulance ride away. The likelihood of me dying of diarrhea is nil. Even if I lost my job and home right this second there are still homeless shelters to go to that are like living in the lap of luxury compared to circumstances described in the beginning of this post.

I call this my Gratitude Perspective. When I am really low or frustrated I try to compare whatever situation I am in to the circumstances of the women in Half the Sky. It never fails to bring about some sort of attitude adjustment.

Here is a link to the book discussed in this post.


Also, you will find a link for the Half the Sky website in my links section. PLEASE take a second to check it out. You can find a ton of information there as well as links to AMAZING charities dedicated to helping the women of the world. One of my favorites is Women for Women International. There is a link for WFWI in my links section as well.

Tiny Giraffe Kisses to Everyone!

Monday, August 9, 2010

My VERY Unpopular View On Illegal Immigration (Please don't shoot me or my tiny Giraffe!)

I am sure that if I were someone with a lot of readers I would get a TON of hate mail after this post but I just can’t keep quiet. I feel that being a social worker gives me a different perspective to put on the table. Plus, I don’t understand this outright anger and hatred that I see directed towards illegal immigrants. Also, I am not saying that nothing needs to change. I just believe we should take a more compassionate approach. After all, this country was created by immigrants. Unless you are a Native American you ancestry is made up of immigrants.

I often wonder to myself if those who are the most vocal about the issue have ever spent any real time with illegal immigrants. My suspicion is that the answer to that question is no, except for maybe the lawn guy that they gladly pay only $30 do the lawn knowing (whether they want to admit it or not) that he is an illegal immigrant and that is why he is charging $30 and not $100 like more professional lawn services would charge. More on that later.

The biggest problem most people have with illegal immigrants centers around taxes. It is often believed that illegal immigrants pay absolutely no taxes what so ever. While this might be true on the federal level there are still local sales taxes and property taxes that they pay just like citizens do. For those that are not aware, Texas does not have a state income tax. We have chosen to pay local sales taxes that usually hover around 8-9%. Then we pay property taxes that fund our local schools and other local and state expenses. Therefore it is not possible to get away with not paying taxes on a state level. That means that the illegal immigrants who are sending their children to school are NOT getting free ride in the public school system because whether they rent or own the property that they live on they are paying property taxes (believe me, the landlords and leasing companies are not picking up that tab whether you are illegal or legal). These property taxes and local sales taxes also help fund the County Hospitals where a lot of the illegal immigrants get the “free medical care” they allegedly get. These local sales taxes and property taxes also partially fund Medicaid and other welfare programs in the state of Texas.

As far as federal taxes I don’t know what the answer is. Almost all of the illegal immigrants I have talked to have no problem paying federal taxes they just don’t know how to go about doing it with out the risk of deportation. They didn’t come here with a grand scheme of tax evasion. They came here desperate to make a better life for their family. And while many will cry “it’s the principle of the matter,” let’s face it; what they would be paying in income taxes is pretty menial considering the horribly low wages they earn. What most illegal immigrants would pay in a lifetime of federal income taxes is not even 1% of what quite a few people get in tax breaks every year.

Then let’s looks how almost everyone benefits from the low pay that illegal immigrants get. Lawn care, construction, immigrant farming, restaurant service, and house cleaning are all just some of the areas where a large portion of illegal immigrants work for lower than standard wages. Some of this goes on behind the scenes so that we aren’t overtly aware of the fact that we are paying less for services and products thanks to an illegal immigrant who is willing to take less pay than the average American. So don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are not in some ways benefiting from illegal immigration.

You also have to look at why they have come here. They come here out of desperation. Are they living the American Dream once they get here? NO! They make little to no money and barely just get by and yet this is better than where they came from! Really stop and think about that for a moment. You work for minimum wage, or less, doing hard labor for well over 8 hours a day and often 7 days a week. You most likely rent a house or an apartment that is in disrepair. Your kids may have health care but you do not. If you are sick or hurt you deal with it and go to work anyway. And all of this is BETTER than where you came from! If you were living in a situation where no matter how hard you tried you couldn’t make enough money to feed, house, and clothe your family what would YOU do? You could do nothing or you could cross the border into a country that has EVERYTHING and promises the American Dream.

Also, let’s not forget that it’s not quick, easy or cheap to become an American Citizen. I think some people have the idea that you go through a process much like we go through to get a driver license to become an American Citizen, but this is not the case. It is a long drawn out and expensive process that many with college degrees find daunting. So imagine if you are from another country just desperate for a better life for your family.

I don’t expect to have changed anyone’s mind on the issue but I hope that I have shown some folks a different perspective, one of compassion and understanding.

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone!