Sunday, March 26, 2006

Missing Blogger.....

A Quiet Moment

Where oh where has Astaryth gone....
Oh where oh where could she be???

Well, the short answer is that I've been VERY busy in the real world. The long answer?

Let's start with my work schedule. Now, I'm one who LIKES to work 10 hour days. You do four 10 hour days and then get a long weekend! I like long weekends. But, when you work for a company that does 8 hour days five days a week and they get a bunch of work.... Well, we have been going in at 6 am and getting off at 4:30 pm five days a week and then doing some work on Saturday also. (53 hours last week and 54 this week total!) Add to that the Sunday feeding of the horses at my boarding barn and you have quite a full week.

But Wait!! That's not all! G went and got a different job. We have been doing the whole visiting, interviewing, filling out paper work for that. It took us about 6 weeks to go from "Hey that might be fun" to "O.K. I've got the job". It is requiring us to move, and because we are in a lease, he went up there last weekend, and I am staying down here with all of the animals till the end of May, when I too will move. Now, the move isn't far, just 3 hours north, and we are still in Florida, but we ARE going to be crossing that line into the part of Florida that actually gets things like freeze warnings! Brrrrrr! I wanted to know why, if he was going to get a different job, it couldn't be farther SOUTH, but apparently I was ignored. We first thought about 'breaking' our lease and paying the penalty, but it turns out the penalty is 2 months rent.... and our lease is up in 2 months. We decided economically it would be better if I stayed here and kept my job till the lease was actually up

So, in addition to having already worked 53 hours that week, I also had to make 2, yes -2- trips to the new place to get him settled in... followed by 54 hours of work this week. Needless to say, I have been working, sleeping, taking care of the pets and if I'm lucky, reading my e-mail and maybe a couple of journals.

Now, I know the next question... What is he doing? He has returned to working for the company that owns the show we worked for while we were traveling on the road. They have a retirement facility for their animals that are too old to work anymore where they go and live out the rest of their natural lives being cared for by some really nice people. I know a lot of people have the idea that animals that 'work' for a living are just discarded when they are injured or too old to work, but not by this organization. They consider their obligation to that animal to be from the time it enters their care till it has passed away, and they go out of their way to make their retirement years a pleasant experience.

Some cool aspects of this: When we toured the facility the day G was offered the job, we found that he knew all of the elephants there from working on both units of the show. He also had 'met' the other animals at one time or another. Most of the animals at the retirement facility are elephants because they have such long lives in captivity. So, G's new job is to feed, care for, and find ways to entertain these older elephants. Pretty Cool, huh?

Now, for the good parts! Once we are moved, I'm not going to have to work as much! I will probably pick up a couple of things part time to stay busy, but I won't be doing the 40 hours a week thing anymore (unless I want too!) G. wants me to look into going back to school, and I am considering the options. I'm thinking a combination of online and traditional would work best for me. Also, I am looking forward to having more free time to really play with my camera and do some other fun things I've been putting off due to lack of time/energy.

And, you will probably be seeing more, not less, animal pictures as I still have lots of friends at the Zoo where G was working, and the area we are moving in to puts me centrally located for 2 -other- zoos! Plus, I am moving into a more rural area with all of the animals THAT implies! So, I am pretty excited about the opportunities for animal photography I am going to have. In addition, I would like to try some macro stuff with flowers and butterflies and the like. All in all, I think the move is going to turn out to be a good one for both of us.

I have spoken with G this last week.... Now, I left him up there with NO phone, NO cell, and NO computer access.... He still manages to call me every evening to "make sure I am doing o.k." {snort} The first time he called I was sitting on the couch with my Chinese take-out, holding the remote and watching a movie I had been wanting to see..... I wonder who we have to worry about "doing o.k." by themselves {LOL} ... anyway, I have spoken to him, and so far he LOVES it.

Oh, and the picture at the top of this entry is one of my favorites of G. and one of his 'girls' out on the unit. Since it is a favorite of mine, I'm sure some of you have seen it. Don't worry.... I have a few new pictures sitting on the hard drive that I plan on posting as soon as work let's up and I can do the required cropping, fixing, and finding appropriate links for them.

And, THAT is the long answer to the question of the missing Blogger known as Astaryth!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


One more strawberry picture.

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Last Wednesday I decided that I would dip some Strawberries in Chocolate... MMMMMMmmmmmmmMMMMM!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

It's Winter Time in Florida........


What does that mean? Well, winter time in the rest of the country brings you pictures of snow, children sledding, trees covered with ice, the world dressed in white..... But, not down here. Here, at least the part of here that I wander thru on a daily basis, winter consists of fields and fields of... Green!

The picture above is of the same field that I took a picture of when everyone was showing pictures of fall. Then, it was a bleak field of black plastic... what a difference a couple of months make!

I live in the center of what is called 'The Strawberry Capital of the World'. And these fields are full of beautiful, red, luscious strawberries. The place I live in is even called Plant City! This weekend begins our annual Strawberry Festival. It will run for 12 days... 12 days of carnival rides, musical entertainment, and.........

Strawberry Milkshakes
Strawberry Shortcake
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Elephant Ears... with Strawberry topping
Funnel Cakes... with Strawberry topping
Fresh strawberries in a cup with whipped cream

Good thing I Love Strawberries!