Monday, December 29, 2008

Top of the Stairs

Middle of staircase
Originally uploaded by runaroundrachel
The top of our stairs was this weird little mantle that I didn't really like... I wasn't sure what to do with it. I bought these bird prints on Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley the last time I was home and I was hoping that I could use them in the living room. They didn't look good in there, so I had them just sitting on the mantle- I put them up and they look amazing!

Tile tile tile tile! Our mudroom was UGLY before...

We decided that our mudroom was ugly! We put down the sticky tiles and one day left Beans in there, and he chewed some of them up... which led to them all coming unstuck and making our floor look like we lived in a barn.


We got a little xmas money from some glorious relatives and decided to use that toward buying some tile. We noticed a little shop near our house that had just opened called Builders Supply that buys out builders bulk items at a fraction of the cost. We went in and they had the most beautiful porcelain tile at .69 cents a sq. ft. We couldn't resist. We bought enough to do our kitchen as well. The price we spent on tiling our kitchen and mudroom was the amount we had allotted towards just the mudroom.


Anyway, Mark is still downstairs getting the rest of the thin set on, but tomorrow is grout day! Here is the progress thus far...


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Shark Water the Movie

Mark and I just finished watching the documentary Shark Water ... I had no idea the cruel and nasty fishing methods employed to kill sharks and take their fins for a tasteless soup in Asia. Sharks are truly amazing, and very necessary to the ecosystem. I have always had a loving relationship with sharks, swimming with them in the ocean, and respecting them. It breaks my heart that so many species of sharks are now endangered (great white, whale, etc.)

Please watch this movie, and boycott all restaurants that serve shark fin soup!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Hammy really is this cute!

Hammy modeling
Originally uploaded by runaroundrachel
Merry Christmas from Hammy, Sassy, Slappy, Pokey, Beans and Pumpkin Pie!!!


I have to say that I agree with Rachel 100% about our trip to Omaha. Big surprise, I know... We had a great time there! The zoo was amazing! I thought that it wouldn't be as impressive in the winter, but it really was. I can only imagine how cool it is in the summer when all the beasts are out. It's hard for me to pick a favorite exhibit, but I think I liked the indoor desert dome thing the best. The animals were so close... some didn't even have netting or cages. After the zoo, we went to find food. We were sad that the Italian place was closed, but I thought the meatball grinder more than made up for the disappointment. The sandwich was huge! I managed to eat the whole thing and also had a bite of Rachel's slice. I would definitely eat there again... we actually played around with the idea of ordering a whole pizza to go for our ride home, but because of the snow we really wanted to get moving. I was able to visit all three record stores in the 2 block radius and they all were really good. WAY better than anything we have here in Kansas City. My only complaint is that they didn't carry much of a selection of old records... I was able to find some great soul 45's that I will be posting on my record blog soon. Over all it was a really nice trip. It was great to get out of town and away from the dogs for a little while (sorry dogs). Rachel posted a good amount of pics, so the only one I'm going to add is a picture of my cool beat-up record from the antique store.... It was only 2 bucks!
Speedy West and Jimmy Bryant 2 Guitars Country Style:
Speedy West and Jimmy Bryant

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to all...

And to all a goodnight!

Hope everyone enjoys their holidays! I cant wait to post pictures of today's festivities!

Omaha or Bust...

Mark and I took an amazing road trip 2.5 hours north to the beautiful and amazing city of Omaha, Nebraska. We weren't sure exactly what to expect being that Nebraska is one of the reddest states in the country, but a blog I read wrote up a pretty neat artsy summary of Omaha, and I was intrigued.

I have spoken to a few people, mainly guys, on Omaha and they all told me "YOU HAVE TO VISIT THE ZOO." Never in my life have I been told to visit a zoo by more than one guy. I did a little research on the zoo and it was just recently voted by readers digest as the best zoo in the country. Which I think is a pretty monumental achievement.

We started our trek on Monday morning, stopping at a cute little antique mall in b.f. Missouri. I bought a weiner dog salt and pepper shaker, Mark bought a beat to crap record... all in all, a success!


We had perfect weather all the way into Omaha, and went promptly to the Omaha zoo. It was only $11 to get in, and everything is inside. We were able to see the desert dome- its the world's largest indoor desert. It was NEAT! We spent a long time walking around in there. You can see more pictures on our flickr site It was amazingly beautiful inside, with a desert climate. We were one of maybe 10 other groups in the entire dome... it was nice to be alone most of our tour. It pays to be able to go on a Monday before xmas in the middle of -2 temperatures. :)

Our next stop was the aqarium. It has the largest tunnel in the US. It was 70 feet of acrylic dome that you can walk through that was full of sharks, fish, rays, turtles, coral, it was beautiful. Mark and i spent some time just hanging out in there. We were able to be in there alone, which was amazing!
We had a ray just playing with us, it would get right up on the glass next to us and sort of follow us. The sharks were full of personality too, and spent a lot of time showing off how beautiful they were. There was a neat jelly fish exibit in a tube with a black light on them. A penguin and puffin exhibit. The penguin were laying eggs while we were there, but we didn't get to see it.

We got back on the road and we had an idea about stopping at a restaurant we saw on Diners Drive-ins and Dives. Its an Italian joint that makes their own sausage and ricotta cheese daily... it looked AMAZING... of course we got there and the place was CLOSED! D'oh! We decided to just hit a local pizza place that we saw on the blog.

We drove into Old Town Omaha to find the pizza place and it just so happened that the record store Mark wanted to go to was next door. We went to Zio's pizza, which is a local favorite. We ate pizza and Mark got a meat ball sandwich and they were both awesome.



We walked around Old Town and went into a ton of cute boutiques and record stores. Mark bought a few records, I got the new Belle & Sebastian cd. We wandered to the next street and saw an antique mall, which we wandered through. We hit a few more stores and walked out side and it was a blizzard. We were inside for maybe 10 minutes and came out to an inch of snow. We promptly got in the car and began our drive home.


We drove 35-50 for the first 60 miles of our trip because of the harsh snow. Once we got into Missouri, the snow miraculously stopped and the weather was perfect.

It was a good day!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Here is a slide show of some of the pictures from the OK bust-

My boy Ted

Originally uploaded by mabbrgallery
I love Ted... I named this one too :) He is the biggest cuddle bug on earth. Mark and I will be bringing him into our home to work on his initial rehabilitation.

Old Man Winter

Originally uploaded by mabbrgallery
I cant remember this guy's real name... but he is one pathetic little guy. I guess living your entire life on the end of a chain will do that to a dog :(

Pumpkin Pie

Originally uploaded by mabbrgallery
One of my favorites of the 11 MABBR was able to take in. She is scared, but sweet as pumpkin pie... I named her :)

The Oklahoma dogs have arrived!

For those who care to witness the dogs that MABBR took in please visit our page-

Here are a few pics of the dogs that Mark and I will be working with over the next few months to get them into an adoptable mental state. I know that this blog has a lot to do with dogs, but that is a huge priority for us, and we spend a lot of time each day working on rescue stuff.

Just today, Mark and I were able to get a dog into a foster home :)

Please visit for more details of what our rescue is up to, or to donate much much needed funds to care for these poor animals :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Originally uploaded by Gertrud K.
Happy Hanukkah to all of my wonderful Jewish friends and family members!!!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Yogurt Making!

Mark and I go through a couple tubs of yogurt each week. I decided that I wanted to start making our own yogurt, like people do in Europe. Its great, creamy and we can control what goes in it!

Snow Dogs 2

Originally uploaded by runaroundrachel
Beans loves to eat the snow :)

Snow Dogs

Originally uploaded by runaroundrachel
The dogs love the snow!

Snow in December

Originally uploaded by runaroundrachel
Its snowing here. Its been snowing all day, and all night. Its beautiful, its clean, and it looks amazing.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The film Milk by Gus Van Sant

Mark, Nicole and I went to see Milk last night, the movie about Harvey Milk's rise to be the first openly gay politician in the US. I am a huge fan of Gus Van Sant movies (Good Will Hunting, Elephant) and I was pleased with the way he portrayed each of the people in the movie. I was saddened by one fact that he blatantly left out- the fact that Dan White tried to also assassinate Willie Brown (a black assemblyman, later becoming SF Mayor) but missed him by a matter of minutes. I felt that this fact was quite relevant.

The movie was wonderfully done, quite accurate, and beautifully shot. Sean Penn, Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin and James Franco were wonderful.

Its a scary reminder sometimes to see that the fight we're all fighting for basic human equality has been around for a long long time. I thought it was relevant that many of the black people in SF supported the gay rights movement, whereas now, there seems to be a different stance. I'm proud to be from SF, but I would be scared to know how my grandparents thought about all this happening in SF at that time. Im sure my Portuguese catholic family wasn't the most open minded.

I just read a really great article by Newsweek:
The article makes a case for gay marriage in the bible... I hope more people start to see that Jesus would embrace the gays/lesbians and include them, rather than hate them.

*stepping down from the soapbox*

Friday, December 12, 2008

Missing Florida

Originally uploaded by runaroundrachel
I am missing Florida. I am sick of the cold. Oh Missouri, why do you have to be so mean! Its supposed to be 65 on Sunday, and drop down to 14 at night!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Nelson Atkins Museum

Originally uploaded by Neal1960
No joke, this is 2 blocks from our house. Sometimes I just sit here and think how much I love where we live... and then I remember we live in Missouri... what a shame that Kansas City is stuck in such a closed minded area of the country.

Pit bull bust news story

Sorry- I thought everyone was aware of the circumstances of the pit bull bust in OK, just south of Wichita, KS.

Wichita Man Could Face 96 Counts of Animal Abuse

Posted: Dec 3, 2008 12:38 PM

By Denise Hnytka (KAY COUNTY, Oklahoma)

He was banned from owning pit bulls in Kansas, so a Wichita man takes the animals across the border.

An anonymous tip leads Kay County, Oklahoma investigators to a farmhouse near Newkirk, where they find a case of animal abuse larger than they know how to handle.

Behind this Kay County farmhouse is something veterinarian Seletha Sanders never expected to see.

"Not this," she said. "It's a little more severe than I anticipated."

A pit bull tied to a chain no more than three feet long, another shivering in the cold and another cowering inside a barrel. Sanders doesn't know the last time any of these dogs were fed or how much longer they could have survived.

"They really need some help," said Sanders.

One desperate cry seems to speak for all of them. All 96 of them.

"It's sick," said Sanders. "Sick, very nauseating."

96 pit bulls.

Their owner told the Sheriff's office that he breeds the animals for sale.

"But the sales have declined," said Undersheriff Steve Kelley. "Nobody is buying pit bulls, so he's stuck with them."

He says some of these dogs have been here as long as five years. You can tell by how deep the path is that they've worn from running around the same circle for so long.

Investigators document each of their conditions as Sanders carefully examines them.

"A lot of them you can't get close enough to touch," said Sanders.

There are so many the Sheriff doesn't know what to do with them, because besides their health conditions, re-socializing them is another challenge.

"There are not a lot of homes that will be open to adopting a dog with issues," said Sanders. "Breed is not the issue. It's just that these dogs have some baggage."

The baggage stacks up to possible criminal charges for the owner, most likely 96 of them.

For right now, grocery stores are donating bags of food to feed the dogs. The Sheriff's office is looking for places to house them. They've put in a call to the same animal rescue that took care of dogs in NFL star Michael Vicks's dog-fighting case.

The suspect in the Kay County case is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.

You can direct questions about how you can help the dogs by contacting the Kay County Sheriff's office at (580) 362-2517.

Monetary donations are also being accepted. Send checks to:

110 S. Maple

Newkirk, OK 74647

Write "dogs" in the memo line.

Sad Scared

Originally uploaded by vortexgirl13
Another Nicole shot

starving puppies

Originally uploaded by vortexgirl13
Another brilliant shot by Nicole

Poor baby

Originally uploaded by vortexgirl13
Nicole Cawlfield, my good friend, is a professional photographer, and I think her photos are amazing. This one just touched my heart.

Oklahoma Dog Fighting Bust

Originally uploaded by vortexgirl13
Well we got word that a man was arrested with 107 pit bulls on his property that were tied to chains. A group of MABBR folks went out there to assess the situation and start working with other groups to get as many of these dogs saved as possible. Nicole, me and a group of others are heading down on Saturday and Sunday to continue working with these poor animals. We may be bringing some home to MABBR if we get the court order allowing us to remove them from the situation. Lets just pray that we're able to save the animals that are worth saving. So far so good...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Equality Rally

Originally uploaded by runaroundrachel
I don't know if I already posted a picture of us at the equality rally. Gay rights is something we're both very passionate about. This picture is a bunch of members of our dog rescue participating in the rally. We get a lot of support from the gay/lesbian population and we truly appreciate them.

Snow Berries

Originally uploaded by runaroundrachel
I dont know why, but I just love this picture. I took this today with the snow freshly fallen. It was almost like a dream... and then the dogs came crashing into me and got me dirty!


Originally uploaded by runaroundrachel
We saved a 4 week old puppy from a freezing cold yard where he and his siblings were living in a box. Their mother had abandoned them because she was starving to death, and one of the pups had already died. We were able to save 3, and the others... we're not sure what happened. The scumbag who had them was going to "sell" them... who in their right mind wants a pit bull lab mix?

Anyway, this is Hamilton aka Hammy or Hamster in his xmas sweater. He is now 6 weeks old :)

O christmas tree, O christmas tree!

Originally uploaded by runaroundrachel
Mark and I decided to support a local farmer and get a real tree this year. We drove out to the middle of nowhere Kansas to an adorable tree farm with lots of little kids. Honestly, we were the only people there without kids, but we walked around a little bit, picked a tree out together, brought him home, and voila A TREE! It smells good, its fresh, we cut it down ourselves, and we supported local farmers... All in all, it was a great day!

Dogs in the first snow of the year

Originally uploaded by runaroundrachel
The dogs enjoying the first snow of the year. Beans is on bed rest as you can tell by him walking calmly to the yard to use the restroom... I swear to god this dog will never heal...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

2008 Year in Review

2008 has been a full year. We have been blessed with health, love and stability. Here are a few highlights!

Mark lived out his fantasy by attending spring training in Florida.

We ran a St. Patrick's day 4 mile run in the snow. We both finished!

Rachel graduated from UMKC Law ( with a Juris Doctorate.

Rachel's entire family (minus Mickey) flew out for the graduation festivities.

Rachel began work with the Dakota Indian Tribe doing research at the National Archives

Mark's sister Lisa married Mike Billings in a beautiful ceremony in Oakland, CA. The family was there to witness, support and love them. We wish them the best in their new life together! (and we LOVE Mike)

Mark made the "all-star" team on his weekend baseball league.

Slappy & Beans graduated from PetSmart dog training in Intermediate and Beginning classes.

Rachel went to Connecticut to visit her dear friends Jessica and Aaron in their beautiful new home. They all visited NYC, saw the statue of Liberty and ate amazing arepas.

August 4th, 2008 was our 1 year wedding anniversary.

Rachel began her Master's in Library Science (MLS) at Emporia State University (

We went on a honeymoon (finally!) to Daytona Beach, Florida and it was AMAZING!

Mark began and finished his 5th of 10 trimesters at Cleveland Chiropractic (

Rachel began a weekend job working at Rockhurst University, a jesuit school in Kansas City. (

Beans began seeing a behaviorist for his anxiety problems and is no longer scared of strangers.

Lisa & Mike came to visit for the first time!

Mark finished his baseball season with the highest batting average on the team!

We attended the 75,000 people Barack Obama rally in Kansas City. It was amazing!

Mark passed his first round of medical boards!

We adopted an 11 year old pit bull named Sassafras (Sassy) who lost her home due to Breed Specific Legislation.

We bought a 2004 Honda CRV

The election was bittersweet, Obama won, yet Prop 8 passed in California banning same sex marriage. We feel that the sancity of our marriage has been threatened now that hateful people can define marriage for some, rather than accepting love for all.

We attended the national protest of the passing of Prop 8 in Kansas City.

Mark grew a mustache for Movember (

Mark won a scholarship at school for a written essay and grade point average!!!

So far thats about it!!! Ill keep this thing updated from now on! :)