my new (dead) roommate

When I came out of the bathroom this morning after my shower, THIS was outside the door:

huge dead spider

I guess now that I’m living in a basement, this is the kind of roommate I can expect. Luckily, it was dead. And judging by the way Delilah was proudly hanging around and trying to play with it, I think she was the murderer.

I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a spider that big inside a house in Virginia before. It had some pretty sizable fangs, so I really hope it didn’t bite her. Judging by the fact that part of its face was smashed in, I’m thinking there might have been some biting involved. My poor kitty!

But I’m glad she was there to protect me in the night from this big, bad monster.

2013-08-26 07.39.29

Seriously gross.


10 things that make me happy

Day 14 of the Blog Every Day in May Challenge is “Ten things that make you really happy.” I like this one, so I’m playing along! (Some of Jenni’s prompts are hard!)


Ten of the many things that make me really happy (in no particular order) are…

1. Rainbows.

2. Elephant & Delilah.

3. Crossing something off my to-do list. No matter how small the thing.

4. Weekends.

5. The Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA. (And any animal ever, really.)

6. Reading DIY + design blogs.

7. Exchanging jokes with my dad. And all silly conversations with my dad + my sister. It’s like a secret club that only we’re allowed in.

8. Any sweet, sour, tart, gummy, or chewy candy. Especially: microwaved Sour Patch Kids.

9. Things that are blue.

10. P.

I like this game. 🙂 It’s nice to focus on the little things!

D&E: An A to Z Bonus Post

Since my theme for the A to Z Challenge is travel, I also wanted to feature the lovely ladies who are always waiting at home for me when I return. 🙂

Delilah and Elephant!

Delilah on the left, Elephant on the right

Delilah on the left, Elephant on the right

Technically, Delilah belongs to my sister, while Elephant is mine. We adopted them from the SPCA in March of 2007, during my freshman year of college. I had to live mostly away from them until I graduated in May 2010. Now, my sister is away at school, and they live with me! I can’t even imagine not having them around. They bring so much happiness to my life.

Ellie on the bathroom counter: she loves drinking and playing with the water from sinks

Ellie on the bathroom counter: she loves drinking and playing with the water from sinks

Tell me that’s not just the prettiest little face you’ve seen all day!

Delilah taking a cat-nap on my sister's bed

Delilah taking a cat-nap on my sister’s bed

They’re both good study buddies…they helped me get through grad school!

Delilah "helping" me write a research paper

Delilah “helping” me write a research paper

Elephant hitting the books

Elephant hitting the books


just checking some email

just checking some email

I love knowing that every time I come home, they’ll be waiting for me! Elephant typically runs to the door to greet me and tell me about her day (she’s incredibly vocal), and Delilah always requires a cuddling session when I’ve been away for longer than a few hours.

these faces say: "welcome home! we've been keeping your bed warm!"

these faces say: “welcome home! we’ve been keeping your bed warm!”

So those are my girls. They’re the very best.

an update on parasites

Since I gave the kittens their Advantage on November 30, I’ve seen a huge difference. Elephant’s scabs are 100% cleared up, and I rarely see her scratching. I’ve been vacuuming often because I’m insanely paranoid that there are flea larvae living in my carpet (so gross), but I’ve actually been seeing more adult fleas than I ever saw before. (Before I took Elephant to the vet, I had never seen a single flea and was shocked to hear their diagnosis.) This morning I saw one on the shirt I put on after my shower. I found one on my hand during my drive home from Farmville this weekend. It’s pretty nasty to discover a bloodsucking bug crawling on you. Ugh.

The up side is that at least the Advantage seems to be working: the fleas are everywhere except for the cats, and they haven’t been biting me. I’m hoping that with their food source cut off, they’ll start to die off in massive numbers soon.


I’ve never written on here before about my two beautiful and perfect children!

This is Elephant. She’s my baby. She is gorgeous and headstrong and independent. She is just like me, and that’s why I love her.

Ellie in the kitchen

Ellie in the kitchen

Elephant is the type of lady who always lets you know where you stand with her. If she doesn’t want to be touched or held, she’ll let you know. If she doesn’t like you, she runs away. She’s very up-front with people. I like that about her.

This is Delilah. She is the cuddling queen. She’s never met a person she didn’t like or a lap that she couldn’t sit in.

Delilah in the jungle

Delilah in the jungle

She is simpleminded and non-judgemental. She just wants to love and be loved. Delilah technically belongs to my sister, Karen, but they both live at home with me these days.

Anyway, to get back on track, Elephant has been really itchy for several weeks; to the point that she’s scratched herself so badly that she’s got scabs all around her neck and at the base of her tail. I finally took her to the vet today, and as the vet and the technician used a comb to look through her mane at the scabs, a FLEA jumped off of her and onto the table!

I feel like the worst mommy on the planet. We’ve lived in this apartment since August, and that’s the only possible cause I can think of. They’re both indoor cats, so there must have been another animal in this apartment before us. I’m mortified to think that it took three full months of itching and suffering before I noticed that there was something wrong with my poor babies.

Elephant does really badly with being put into the traveling cage, and she screams and moans every time. She was very embarrassing in the vet’s office, because she was loud the entire time. Everyone in there felt bad for her and kept talking to her to get her to calm down. Once we got into the exam room, I let her out, and it was like a switch flipped. She was loving and calm and curious–she was rubbing herself all over me, exploring the room, and even jumped up into my lap several times. All of these things are completely out of the norm for her. All in all, she did an amazing job at the vet’s office. She ended up having to get a rabies shot, some other annual booster, a shot of steroids to help with the itching, and a dose of Advantage.

I also got a dose of Advantage for Delilah, and I applied it once we got home. I vacuumed the whole apartment on the vet’s orders, and will continue to do so several times a week for the next few months. I’m hoping this will get cleared up quickly, but I’ve been doing some Googling of fleas, and apparently they multiply like crazy. I can’t imagine how I haven’t seen any around the apartment–either on the cats or on myself–but I’ll be on the lookout from now on.

In closing, here’s one of my all-time favorite commercials.