Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Maybe she wants a baby

My cat, that is. Man, I really need to put a picture of her so you can have the "full effect." Anyways, she's this 20+ pound, black & white, long-hair cat, and her name is La Reina ("The Queen," but we just call her Reina--or fattie). She has this thing with R's dirty socks (not mine, & not clean). You can always tell when she's doing it because she makes this unbelievable, miserable moan-cry, it's like "MMMWWWRRRAAAHHHH, MMWWRRAAHH!!" You're like "what the heck?" and look at her, she's carrying a sock (R's, dirty) in her mouth. Once she knows you're watching, she drops it and lays next to--or on top of--it. She'll stay by it for 5-15 minutes, then get up and forget it's even there. She does this at all hours of the day and night! And, when we're gone for the day, she still does it! I'll come home after work/school and find 4 or 5 or 6 socks scattered all over the house! I tell R that if he would just put his socks in the dirty hamper she'd stop, but you know how guys are! And, even on laundry day (after I thought I found all the dirty socks), she still manages to find at least one more (maybe under the bed--or maybe she has a hidden stash somewhere?)!!
Oh, yeah, when my MIL kept her during our vacation, Reina would do the same thing with her socks (again, only dirty).
Is this abnormal behavior? Is there something wrong with my cat? She was almost 6 months old when we got her, then had her "fixed" at 8 months--so she's never had kittens. Sometimes I think she might be sad because she never had babies? But, she hates other cats (besides my other one--her "sister"). Has anyone ever seen or heard of this happening with other cats? It's not a problem, just really, um, weird. (You should see the look on guest's faces when they first hear & see this!)

Monday, September 26, 2005

Glad I picked the OTHER Trailer Park!

This picture is on the front page of our local newspaper. Check out the link for more info. Photos by Brian Hawkins and Becky Wilkes/SDN

Around 3pm yesterday, a tornado touched down in a central subdivision of Starkville, then cut diagonally through campus. It finally ended here, at the University Hills Mobile Home Park on the eastern edge of Starkville City Limits.

Fortunately, nobody was critically injured, although several students are now homeless. I'm sorry about the damage that these homes suffered, and for the people who lost parts of their homes, and cars.

And, I'm glad I chose to live in the OTHER Trailer Park!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Puppies! Puppies!

Yes, that's me, puppy-sitter, extraordinaire. This weekend I am keeping 2 puppies (Cinnamon is a year-old husky, Ginger is a 9-month-old lab) at my house. Now, let me explain, I love animals. In case you haven't heard me mention it before, I have 2 cats, a bird, 2 turtles, 3 fish, and a dog (he is currently living with my grandma, due to the size-limitations of my house and yard-restrictions of the neighborhood). I am definitely a cat person, but dogs are okay (usually).
My dog (Guapo) will be 4 in January (we adopted him from the Humane Society when he was 8 weeks old), but he has not lived with us since this past January. He is a med-sized dog, we were told he was a terrier-mix, but he looks JUST like this. This breed of dog is called Kromfohrlander, and I'm convinced that is what he is. Well, he's a very excitable, energetic, and fun dog--you'd think he was still a puppy, the way he acts. But, he is also well behaved. He was housebroken in 1 week, trained to stop barking/crying at 2 weeks, and learned commands (sit, down, wait, get in bed, good boy) by 2 months. He jumps all over the place, but never on people or furniture, he just bounces a lot (like Tigger). I love this dog! I'm trying to convince R to let me bring him back's just hard because Guapo really is an "outside" dog and we're not allowed to keep them outside in this neighborhood (come on, really, it's a Trailer Park!). I had many dogs growing up, my parents even have their 2 dogs: Gordo (15-year-old Bassett Hound) and Pinta (9-year-old austrailian/german shepard).
The whole point of this is to talk about the 2 puppies I'm watching. They are two of the strangest dogs I have ever seen. Cinnamon is not as bad as Ginger (I know, these names are terrible). See, their owner keeps them in a kennel almost all the time. They both stay in a 2ft x 3ft wire kennel (yes, together), and are let out for a few hours a day (to run around the house), and taken out 4 or 5 times a day to "do their business." Neither of them are disciplined: They jump on people, they jerk on the leash, they cry and whine when they're separated, Ginger barks and cries for attention, they don't know basic commands, and I don't think they even know their names! I've only had them since yesterday afternoon and I'm already going crazy! Ginger was barking, barking, crying, howling until 12:00 last night! And, when I was eating breakfast this morning, sitting on the couch, she was barking and crying for attention! I rolled up a newspaper and smacked the kennel (I put them in separate kennels) and told her "NO!" and she just looked at me like "What? What's that?" and kept on crying! I have to take them out separately, too, because Ginger pulls the leash a LOT! That is one of my big doggie no-nos! And if you drop the leash they'll go running off. I tried yelling for them (to come to me, or stop, or something), but they just kept running! I wouldn't spank them, because they're not my dogs. But, I am going to ask T (their owner) if he'd be interested in giving me a few weeks to TRAIN them (no restrictions) and turn them into brand new dogs!
And, I'm curious about something, do y'all use corporal punishment (spanking)? Guapo was spanked a lot as a puppy, but he was also praised a lot! He knows if he's done something wrong (it's the same with the cats). Not only do these dogs not know discipline, they don't understand praise, either. When they go outside and "do their business," I say "Good Girl, what a Good Girl!" But they don't even look at me, or wag their tails, or anything.
Hmm, I don't know. It's just weird. I know how my dog is, and I guess I kind of expect other dogs to be like that, too. But, like I said, even my cats understand discipline and praise--like if one of them is on the kitchen table--I look in her eyes and say "Now, you KNOW you aren't supposed to be up there! You better get down!" And, usually they do. If she decides to be stubborn and "ignore" me, I give her a little smack on the behind and TAKE her off the table.
I think of my pets like they're my kids, and I don't think I'd want someone telling me how to "raise" them. But my babies don't misbehave, tear things up, and annoy everyone! T is a very close friend, though, so I think I'll bring up the subject with him and see how he takes it. I'm not very fond of these dogs, but I hate to see perfectly beautiful animals "go to waste." I can just picture Ginger in a few years--a full grown lab--jumping on people (maybe T will have kids by then?), still chewing things up, and just not very enjoyable company. And, T is so busy catering to Ginger that he doesn't notice that Cinnamon isn't eating (she's very thin) and she's being neglected.
I just feel bad for the dogs. I wish everyone could have wonderful pet companions! But, I do know that some animals and people are just not compatible. Before Guapo, we tried "rehabilitiating" a Dachshund that was almost a year old. He had never been housebroken, trained, or socialized--that was tough! We only had him 1 week--and there was NO progress! By that point, his behaviors were so ingrained that he would have never been a good "inside" dog.
I know I'm not a professional, but I think my record shows that I have some idea of what I'm doing. I just hope I can apply these same skills to my children one day! Like my pets, I want them to be disciplined and polite, and still know how much they're loved!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

I'm #1

Okay, so I googled myself yesterday and I Am Number One! Yay! Isn't that cool? Now I don't have to keep reminding my mom what "blogspot" I am. Yes, she actually asked me to send her the link again ("Mom, it's just http:// my name") . Then I have to have the conversation about "What is a blog?" "It's like an online journal." "Oh, so, do you really want 'people' to read personal stuff like that?" That's an interesting question. See, I really intended to use it for my family members (they live all over the country) to keep in touch with what's going on in my life. Of course, I think it's cool that fellow-bloggers read and comment, too. But, above all that, it's something for ME. I like to talk, I like to share stories, I like to get input, validation, and tidbits from other people's lives. I haven't written in a diary in many, many years, so Allow Me My Blog.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Key Words

I've heard of people finding blogs by "Googling" (can you belive that word can be used as a noun or verb) certain key words, so this got me thinking about what key words I'd like to be found under. Maybe if I put them in my posts a lot I will be at the top of a Google search? First, I'd like to be first under my own name: Celina (but I'm too cheap & un-dedicated to buy a domain). Or Phelps, my last name (married). Celina Phelps. That has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? Celina. Phelps. I'd also like to be recognized for my academic achievements at Mississippi State University. MSU, Mississippi State University, is an awesome school. I've been enrolled at Mississippi State for 6 1/2 years! In December 2006, I will have my Master's of Science from Mississippi State University. I am also proud to call Starkville my home. I've lived in Starkville, MS longer (continuously) than any other place (6 years). Yay Starkville! (AKA Starkvegas, Starkago, StarkAngeles). Dean Koontz is my favorite author, so I'd like to be noticed for my dedication to his work. I own every Dean Koontz book written (save 2 or 3 children's books--that I am currently looking for on Ebay). I love Dean Koont's writing style! Check out the Dean Koontz website for sneak-reads! When not reading Dean Koontz, I love to watch General Hospital on ABC. My grandma used to watch General Hospital, my mom used to watch General Hospital, and (thanks to my sophomore-year roommate) now I watch General Hospital. Unfortunatly, school and work tend to disrupt my viewing schedule, so I only get to watch General Hospital a few times a month. But, I do check the recaps every 2 weeks or so. If you're interested in General Hospital and discussing Carly (I don't like the new girl, she's really ugly) & Sonny's current drama, Emily & Nickolas being meant for each other, how much Georgie & Maxie have grown over the years (they've been played by the same kids since the late 80s), how wonderful it is that AJ is finally gone, or Jason's HOTNESS, please, feel free to comment! What else? I think those are the big ones. I have many other interests, but I wouldn't necessarily want to be associated with all of them. Besides, Celina Phelps, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS, Dean Koontz, and General Hospital are all topics that I can really talk about!

Friday, September 16, 2005


1.Why do diet cokes (pop, soda, carbonated beverages) taste so bad? I don't drink cokes that often anyways, but R decided that we should only buy diet (he drinks a LOT of cokes), so I am stuck with them. And, I really just don't like how they taste. I will bring one into work with me & sip on it ALL DAY! I guess that could be a good thing...since he drinks 6-8 cans/bottles a day.
2.Why does driving take so long? I'd really like to get down to Gulfport to visit mom & Amanda (& to see the hurricane damage--I admit it, I wanna "rubberneck" too)...but it takes 4 HOURS to get down there! Plus, we'd be driving in an uncomfortable truck w/o cruise control or A/C...It's just not much fun.
3.Why does R have to work on Saturdays? The poor guy never has a 2-day weekend to enjoy or get stuff done around the house. It kind of works out, though, b/c I can use Sat as MY day (for relaxing, housecleaning, etc). They gave a new guy at work Sat. off b/c "he is a newlywed & would like to spend time w/ his family." Uh, hello, R has been there for 3 years...he's a newlywed & I would like to spend time w/ him, too!
4.Why do these idiots in our neighborhood think it's "so cool" to zoom down the street on their bikes (motorcycles)? Of course, they can avoid the speed bumps by going between them. We have a lot of kids & pets in the neighborhood & it's only a matter of time before someone gets hurt!
5.Why do I feel guilty for having an "easy" job? I have to use my brain (problem solve, study for tests, concentrate, etc) more than my body (physical labor), but I feel guilty for complaining about how tired I am at the end of the week (I also do 95% of the housework). R has a very physical job (moving, stocking, unloading, & delivering furniture), then comes home & works on things around the house (fixing trucks, renovations, yard work). I have worked HARD to get to graduate school (I have a 4.0 gpa), I keep a very clean house (most of the time), and I usually help him with the "things around the house." So, why do I feel guilty (when I sleep in an extra hour or 2, kick back to watch tv after work, don't want to cook dinner, etc)?

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

What a Handy-Man I have

Richard is just the coolest guy, ever! Today he has:

1.Wired the shed (1-220V outlet, 3-110V outlets, an overhead light, and a switch).
2.Fixed my muffler. The clamps had fallen off (when?), so he bought new ones yesterday & replaced them this afternoon.
3.Vacuumed the carpet. He had his hair cut last night, so he cleaned up all the hair from the floor.
4.Offered to cook dinner. He took chicken out of the freezer and will cook for me tonight.

And, today is supposed to be his day off! What a great guy!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

A walk down Memory Lane

Ok, so I've already posted on "memories" and "lasting impressions," but this is really interesting. On Sunday we started moving things from (rented) storage to (new) shed. I had 2 BIG plastic bins labelled: Celina's Keepsakes. I knew that I could consolidate those down to I sat on our driveway for several hours digging through piles of memories--choosing things to keep and things to throw out (finally). This job has been on my to-do list for years. Of course all our neighbors were driving by & rubber-necking (maybe they think we're having a garage sale), so I was a little self-conscious. Anyways, I found a few things that I would like to mention.
1.Corsages from 9th & 10th grade homecoming. These were individually wrapped in ziplock bags with the dates (nov. 95 & 96, respectively) and the dates (KD & BL, respectively).
2.Calanders from 1991-1998. As I got older, I strayed from writing in a diary to writing things on my calander. ("LH hugged me today" "Mas sat by me on the bus" "BL called at 8pm" "BS gave me a ride home", etc.)
3.Ugly stuffed animal (I say "animal" because I really don't know what it is) that was given to me from a "Secret Admirer" in 6th grade. He knew my locker combination (I swear, I never told anyone) and left me notes, a ring (probably took it from his mom), and this "animal." I never found out who he was.
4.Melted candles. What made me think that all those "smell-good" candles could survive storage in a 100+ degree, 50%+ humidity shed?
5.Shoebox full of letters. I will throw them away soon, I just want to read some of them first. I think these partially cover 6th through 12th grades. Oh, the drama!
6.Pom-poms from 8th grade football game (I wasn't a cheerleader).
7.Name cards. The kind you get with graduation invitations and pictures. I had like 50 of them.
8.Receipts and ticket stubs. From movies, plane tickets, ski lift, Hard Rock Cafe NYC, dinner after Senior prom, etc, etc.
1.Diploma. Yes, I have my high school diploma. And, yes, it is kept in storage with all the other "stuff." What purpose does it serve anyways? Now that I have a B.S. (and soon an M.S.), what do I need this for? Oh well, it's staying.
2.Rudolph and the Fraggle Rocks. These were given to me for Christmas when I was 4. Rudy was the one I snuggled with at night, while Red and Boober mostly sat around the room. Of course, those two had to be kept separated. The person who gave them to me told me that they had to stay separated or they would fight. Even to this day I have them packed with one at the bottom of the box & one at the top.
3.Diaries. Maybe one day these will be dumped, but for now, they stay. I have the idea that one day when I have a pre-teen daughter she might like to read about my pre-teen angst.
4.Strawberry Shortcake and The Ice-Cream blanket. I don't know when I got these, but I was very little. So, again, one day I will have kids (maybe one will be a girl), and these would be nice to "carry on." I also have a(n) Unicorn Blanket from way back, but I use this one almost daily.
5.Yearbooks. I have 6th through 12th, plus freshman & senior years of college--yearbooks. Oh, the agony of looking at my old school pictures!
6.Metals and Awards. TaeKwonDo yellow belt, 2nd & 3rd place medals from colorguard, 2nd place spelling bee, Honor Roll certificates, etc. I don't have many, so I can keep all these.
7.Pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. I used to have a complete picture-taking fetish. These Stay. Hey, maybe I will scan some & post them. Anyone interested?
1.Band Drill books. Why do I have these? I will never march to "Wizard of Oz" or "Camelot" again. High school is over, Celina, get rid of them. But they represent all the hard work we put into those shows. And how my life revolved around band!
2.Button Collection. When did this start? I had a piece of material (pink with a black cheetah on it, about 3ft x4ft) thumbtacked on my wall. One day I started pinning things to it. From the zoo, mall, D.A.R.E., Girl Scouts, picture-buttons, "sheriff's badge," museums, etc. Maybe I should just pick out a few that I really like & throw out the rest?
3.Stamp Collection. I have a nice stamp-collecting book with some really old ones (probably bought at a yard sale or something). I also have some stamp-sets from the post office. Are these worth money? Hmm, maybe I can sell them on EBay.
4.Variety of Stuffed Animals. Some are old, some young. Some have sentimental value, some are just cute. But, are they worth holding onto? I will have kids one day. For now, they're not taking up much space & they aren't very heavy, so I'll hang on a little longer.

Whew! And guess what? I got everything to fit in ONE bin!

Friday, September 09, 2005

My Little Toyota

Man! I love this truck. My little 4x4 Toyota (1988) has been "out of commission" for the past 2.5 weeks thanks to my wonderful husband. Maybe I'll talk more about it later, but really, I just wanted to say that it is finally back together and driving good. I also wanted to mention this awesome website forum I found. These people are awesome! I wish I had found them sooner, but anyways, they've been a big help with "troubleshooting" and I really appreciate it. If you have a Toyota truck and you're looking for help, or just curious about a community of people who LOVE Toyotas--check it out. I'm looking forward to the next 200,000 miles with my "little Toy."

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Fall is Coming Soon

Already I can feel the cooler temperatures. It's okay to leave the front door open and the A/C off. Nice breezes circulate from under our new shady deck and ruffle the cats' fur. The Bulldogs won their opener game (38-6). The truck is back together (oh, did I mention that Richard took it all apart 2 weeks ago?) and running pretty good. I've been crazy-busy for the past couple of weeks. Between cancelled school (due to hurricane weather), holiday weekends, getting into the rhythm (hey, that word doesn't have any vowels-weird, I never noticed before) of starting classes, not having a vehicle to get around town, random club meetings, and spending too much money on parts for my truck...I think next week will finally let me start a "routine."

I like to have a plan. You know, I want to know what the days' agenda is--before the day begins. Yesterday I thought we would be okay. Both vehicles were running, Richard would take mine and I would take his. He leaves, an hour later I get up, shower, dress, ready to leave--he has ALL of our keys. I can't drive. I call our friend (the one we can always rely on), but he's not answering. So, I walk. I get about 1.5 miles down the road (about 1/2 way to campus) when someone stops and offers me a ride. I was still 15 minutes late to class. After my classes, I walk 1 mile to work. Thanks, Richard. I really needed the exercise. Then I had a meeting at 5:30. This morning went better, and I had my first exam (Biochemistry, yuk). It wasn't bad, but the teacher is good. It was all multiple choice, though, so I'm sure I did fine. Today I have another meeting at 5:15. Tomorrow will be okay. Saturday is my housecleaning (and laundry) day (Yay, fun *sarcastic*).

Sunday, oh Sunday--the possibilities are endless. Really, I hope we do one of two things: We need to finish painting our shed/deck/roof overhang so we can put down the deckboards. We also need to clean out our old shed and rented storage (these will be empty by the end of the month). It really all depends on how Richard is feeling, how late we sleep in, and how well we get along. (We tend to argue a lot on Sundays--our only "whole" day together.)

I'm crossing my fingers that next week will get "back on track" and I will be able to actually have a routine...I need order, organization, and plans.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

We're Okay, But They Need Your Help

By the time Hurricane Katrina reached 300 miles inland (read: Starkville, MS), it was still classified as a category 1 storm. Living in a 30-year-old trailer is good for saving money, but not so good in severe weather, so Richard and I "battened down the hatches" at home then went to our friend's apartment. It's not anything great, but it has solid walls, a foundation, and other buildings around it. Campus closed down at noon on Monday and Richard was let go from work around 1. He came home and said "let's pack up to leave." He wanted to go somewhere else. We decided on TR's because it was safe enough and we'd still have stuff to do (instead of being bored all evening). By 2 we were safe and sound in the apartment watching the news and weather channel on satellite TV. The power went out around 3, and Richard and I were expecting to eat Twinkies all night, but nope, TR had a better idea: pork chops, mac'n cheese, and baked beans. So they decided to run up the road to get our camping stove. About 5 minutes after they left, I was standing in the doorway watching the crazy big winds blow the trees around when I heard a loud CRACK! Uh-oh! I closed the door just in time. Crack, Swoosh, Bang...the big pecan tree out front had split and a 1-foot (diameter) limb broke off, slid down the side of the house, and almost blocked the front door (all the attached branches were enough to fill up the 20ft x20ft front yard! Then another CRACK! The big oak tree (2ft diameter) out by the driveway was splitting (it broke just above the base 5 minutes later). I called the guys and told them what was going on and to BE CAREFUL! They made it home safely and we cooked up chops on the charcoal grill, the power came back on, we checked out the weather and news, and ate dinner. By 10 the weather had mostly calmed down, so we decided to check out our house to see if we could go home. It was fine (really, no damage at all!) so we stayed.
Mom-in-law, sister-in-law, and the boyfriend had left for Florida (stay with uncle and gramma) on Sunday, so they were okay. They went back to Gulfport Monday and said mom's apartment (about 20miles north of the beach) was okay. We haven't heard much else from them.
By now I really can't watch too much of the news--it's absolutely heartbreaking. I've lived a lot of places, but now I realize that Gulfport really is home. I know that I won't stay in Mississippi, but I always had the idea that one day I'd bring my kids here and show them all the places I used to hang out. I'd say "kids, this is where your dad and I had our first date" and "This is where we first kissed." You know, things like that. But now, all those places are gone. Completely wiped out. And nevermind that, I know what the coast used to look like. And when I see the pictures...I know what should be there....houses, apartments, roads, hotels, casinos, gas stations...Fun Time (where we always play goofy golf), Pirates Cove (the best roast beef po'boys)...The Hard Rock Cafe (brand new hotel/restaurant/casino--that never had the chance to open)...and hundreds of beautiful century-old antebellum homes surrounded by majestic oak trees. We'd drive down Highway 90 "ooh-ing" and "aahh-ing" at all the plantation-style homes or stop at the casinos to drop $10 in the slots. Now that's all gone.
But worst of all are all the people who are now homeless. So many people have lost their belongings, their homes, their lives. Imagine, wherever you live, that half of your town was completely wiped out. Imagine that a massive blizzard buries half the town--collapsing buildings, destroying roads, then flooding everything when it all melts. Imagine that a string of tornados rips through, throwing cars and houses all helter-skelter, then it rains, drowning out all the damaged buildings. Imagine an earthquake, ripping the earth open, so that half of a city falls into the depths and entire city blocks dissapear. Imagine a volcano erupting, flowing hot lava burns the city down, while slowly descending ash lays a suffocating blanket over everything. There is no electricity, no fresh water (or hot water), no clean clothes. Non-perishable foods and a borrowed roof keep you functioning. How long could you last without a car, a phone, internet, air conditioning, TV, a hot shower, shoes, warm food, a soft bed, clean underwear? It could happen anywhere. Don't ignore these people in need. Do something. One day it could be you. Go to your local Red Cross. Give an old blanket, some clothes, a few dollars, whatever you can. Every little bit counts.