It was one humdinger of a week in the USA. The Boston Marathon bombing, then the gigantic fertilizer plant explosion just two hours north of us here in West, TX – a place we frequent on many a road trip, and then the manhunt back in Boston. What a week. And that sentence right there, well I’m grateful that I can say that. It was one week. One day of fear. I am so thankful we live in a place where a statement like that is a big deal. Last night at the Boston press conference with commissioner Edward Davis, they mentioned that it was a long day of terror. But it was a day, and now it’s over and the sun has come up again.

sunset

We’re so lucky to live in a country where a few days of terror is so rare it makes global headlines. We are lucky to have people who rush forward to help instead of hiding behind doors. We are lucky to have the government we do that allows us access to the media and local resources. We are lucky to live in a free country. We are so very very lucky to live in a place where we are woken up by alarm clocks and not bombs, where our police are there to protect us not take from us, where our president talks about his love for diversity and his pride for the people he governs. My heart goes out to those who aren’t so lucky, to those who live in this terror every day, for weeks, months, years. My love to all those who are not so fortunate.

Meet Sir Gawain – the Scaly Knight

If you follow me on the twitter, then you’ll have already been introduced to this face. But if you haven’t… join me in welcoming the gloriously beautiful Sir Gawain the Scaley Knight into our family menagerie.

gawain02
Photo by Lee Jaszlics.

He is a Hogg Island Boa, roughly 5.5 feet in length, and about 6 years old. He belonged to my best friend Lee, who is moving to Australia, so he was recently rehomed to me. He’s absolutely beautiful and I find myself constantly drawn to his amazing colors – and he always has such a smug smile. Especially after he’s eaten.

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Photo by me.

Like that. That right there. So smug.

As for an update on the rest of our menagerie, we recently lost the very last of our rats to old age. Artemis outlived her sister by many months and was, what the vet said, a miracle rat. It’s odd not having any more little ones in our house, but Ash and I both work now so it’s hard to give them the time they deserve. Total we have four dogs (2 belong to family members but are staying with us for the time being), seven cats (one is a foster), and one snake. Almost a normal amount.

Right?

Hope y’all are having a wonderful weekend! Happy Saturday! Oh and don’t forget, I still have FIVE spots open for the Design Coyote New Year Sale! Get a cheap WordPress or Blogger design before they run out! Be well!

Second Inauguration & Happy MLK Day!

Patriotic Nikki - Photo by Ashley Niels
Nikki on the National Mall – Photo by Ashley Niels

Four years ago I was on the national mall with millions of other people watching Obama be sworn in as our president. It was the most thrilling & inspiring event I’ve ever witnessed and I’m so thankful we got that opportunity to be there. I still hold that day in my heart – not just for the historical moment itself, but because out of all those millions of people, there was only one rude person. The rest were downright amazing. It’s incredible the things that bring complete strangers together and how, even on the coldest day of the year when everyone is cramped and freezing and uncomfortable, strangers will open their hearts to each other and go out of their way to help those who need it. I know where I wish I could be right now. I think Martin Luther King Jr. would be proud to share this day.

Happy MLK Day and Happy Inauguration Day, everyone!

Moustaches for Movember!

It’s the month of November and y’all should know what that means! It’s time for MOVEMBER!!!

What It Is

If you have never heard of Movember, here’s a quick description from the Movember website: “During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces, in the US and around the world. With their Mo’s, these men raise vital awareness and funds for men’s health issues, specifically prostate and testicular cancer initiatives.”

Why I’m Doing It

And it’s not just for men (obviously, otherwise why am I writing this?). Women can sign up to support the cause by becoming a Mo’Sista. Which is what I’ve done and it’s my second year in a row doing it. Last year I raised over $100 for cancer research and this year I want to go even higher. I’m doing this for all the men in my life, but in particular, a few very close male family members who have fought the good fight against cancer (you know who you are – I love you!). I’m also doing this for the women in my life – because regardless of what type of cancer you may have fought, every cancer is bad. And there are some very very close women in my life who have battled this foe (some have won, and some have lose). This is for all of them. And all of you.

What I Need From You

Support. Whether that comes in the form of sharing my page on Facebook or Twitter or through emails to friends or whether it’s in the form of a $1 donation – every little bit helps. You can find my public Mo’Space here. At that page you can comment on my page and give me shout-outs, you can find Share buttons to promote my cause, and you can also donate directly to me (the donate button is right under that awesome photo of me with a moustache).

What else can you do? You could sign up as well! Whether you’re a Mo’Bro or a Mo’Sista, you can join the site and support the cause. You can find out more about the whole Movember movement and where the funds go by checking out their about page.

Conclusion!

To wrap up this long-winded post, if you can, please donate even $1 to my mospace page – it’ll go a long way. If you can’t, I totally 100% understand and ask only that you share this in any way you can, whether it’s online or through word of mouth. I’m taking this campaign and running with it this year and I need your help.

Have ideas for me? Want to tell me I’m awesome? Want to tell me I’m ridiculous-looking in a moustache? Comment and let me know. I’d love to hear any feedback you may have.

Happy Movember!

Today is Voting Day here in the US. A lot is riding on this election. A LOT. From finances, to medical bills, to gender equality to civil rights. It’s an important election. Here are a few thoughts I jotted down last night before going to sleep.

“The closer we get to tomorrow, the meaner and more cruel people on Facebook become – on both sides. I’ve started blocking quite a few people from my News Feed because I’m sick of the hatred being thrown around. Stop talking and act. Go out and Vote. Stand up for what you believe in. Do good, live your life well. That’s what counts. Don’t get mean. Love.

As for me, I’ve just had to stop thinking about tomorrow. You all know my side. You all know who I voted for. You all know who I love and what I stand for. Regardless of who wins, the aftermath is going to be filled with angry, hateful people. Regardless of who wins, remember this. We’re all humans. We all have responsibility. We all have a commitment to this earth and to our fellow people to put as much good into this world as we are able. We are all still Americans. We are citizens of Earth. We are pieces of the same universal stardust that make up our existence. We are the SAME.

Just remember that.”


Me in January 2009 on the National Mall waiting for the inauguration of Barack Obama.

No matter what happens, I will continue to fight for what I believe in.