2014 March for the Animals

PicMonkey Collage2In a few weeks, George, the dogs, and I are walking in the 2014 March for Animals to help the animals at the SPCA of Tompkins County. (You can see how much the dogs loved it last year!) We hope you will help us change the lives of homeless animals by sponsoring us in the March.

The SPCA, the nation’s first no-kill shelter, provides adoption services, educational programming, and cruelty investigations. It was through the SPCA that we adopted our beloved Norman. With donations like yours, the SPCA is able to continue its lifesaving work. Your generosity allows the SPCA to:

  • Save dogs from high-kill shelters in other communities by bringing them to Ithaca for adoption
  • Provide medical care for dogs and cats that have been victims of animal cruelty and neglect
  • Perform spay and neuter surgeries for low-income community members
  • Conduct SPCA summer camps to teach youth about animal care and kindness to animals

This year, the Ellis-Nosis family wants to raise $500 $800 for the SPCA. We hope you can help us by donating any amount. You can donate online through Firstgiving. You can also send a check made out to the SPCA directly to me (email me for my address). Or if you are local, join us in the March, which will be at Cornell Plantations on October 4.

Thank you so much for helping us help the animals!

Slaid Cleaves

slaid cleaves in syracuse On Friday, George and I drove up to Syracuse to see Slaid Cleaves in concert as part of the FolkUs Fall series. I saw Cleaves when I lived in Oklahoma, either at the Blue Door or the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival (~1998 to 2003). This was the first time since then that he’s performed anywhere near me. I was so very excited to see him, and the show did not disappoint me. I enjoyed all the between-songs exposition. I always enjoy music a little more if I know the backstory.

Broke Down is still my favorite of his songs. It’s one of those songs that every so often I’ll realize is playing in the back of my mind. I also love Horseshoe Lounge. Be sure to check out those songs as well as Cleaves’ latest album, Still Fighting the War.

Green Doghouse Challenge

I saw this press release today and had to share it. I hope someone I know will enter. It sounds like a wonderful opportunity to showcase green building technologies while supporting the SPCA of Tompkins County!


Image courtesy of suphakit73 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

to benefit Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County
and the SPCA of Tompkins County

The annual Ithaca Area Green Buildings Open House is one of the premier events of its kind in the country, showcasing two dozen homes and businesses that feature both cutting-edge and traditional, time-honored green building methods, materials, and technologies.

In conjunction with the SPCA of Tompkins County, the first animal shelter in the nation to receive LEED Silver certification, we’re bringing the green to our four-legged friends, with a challenge to build the ‘greenest’ doghouse in Tompkins County. We invite you to design and build a doghouse using principles of sustainable building. Doghouses will be on display as part of the 2014 Ithaca-Area Green Buildings Open House Weekend (Saturday & Sunday, October 4 & 5, 2014) and will be auctioned as a joint fundraiser for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County and the SPCA of Tompkins County at the opening party at the SPCA of Tompkins County on Friday, October 3rd.

Important Dates
September 12th – application due and team materials packet last pick-up date
October 1st – doghouses to be delivered to SPCA of Tompkins County
October 3rd – GBOH weekend opening party, with silent auction of the doghouses
October 17th – all doghouses must be removed from SPCA property

Design Specifications

  • Your house should have outdoor functionality. This means it should have a roof and should be waterproof.
  • You may use any durable materials, whether recycled, reused, or purchased. It is highly recommended that you use materials that cannot be easily destroyed by dogs or Central New York weather.
  • While there are no dimensional restrictions, your doghouse must be movable. The doghouse must be able to be transported to the SPCA and the buyer must be able to transport the doghouse to his/her home.
  • Please consider using one or more of the following ‘green’ features in your doghouse:
    o Blown cellulose insulation
    o Local materials
    o Reclaimed or salvaged materials
    o Living roof
    o Non-toxic finishes
    o Passive Solar
    o Rainwater catchment system

Guidelines for Entry

  • This competition is open to all individuals, students, businesses, and other groups.
  • The non-refundable entry fee is $25. The first 6 entries received will be reimbursed with a $25 gift certificate to Agway TrueValue for use on the building of your doghouse.
  • Enter online here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1KvAmPuE9YyaPjnCyhPEhBjpTnTf4CPlvbUWwzHnZcEc/viewform . The application and entry fee are due by 4 PM on September 12th, 2014. Gift certificates should be picked up by that date.
  • All entries must be complete and dropped off at the SPCA of Tompkins County on Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 between the hours of 12 PM and 6 PM. Entries will be displayed during the Green Building Open House Tour on October 3rd-5th at the SPCA. Once dropped off, all entries become the property of the SPCA of Tompkins County until they are auctioned off to buyers. The SPCA of Tompkins County reserves the right to reject any participants’ entry.

If you have any questions, please contact Mila Fournier or Guillermo Metz of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County at 607-272-2292 or at ymf5@cornell.edu or gm52@cornell.edu

Watch this!

Happy Valley (BBC Series) DVD cover George and I just finished viewing the 6-part series Happy Valley which was originally broadcast on BBC and is now available in the United States through Netflix. As Sergeant Catherine Cawood, Sarah Lancashire gave a brilliant performance. The series is very satisfying because of the interesting characters as well as due to the narrative pacing. One episode depicts the experience of depression better than any other tv show or movie I’ve seen. (Melancholia may be close, but that movie is so surreal, it doesn’t have the same impact as seeing it in Happy Valley.) An overarching theme relates to responsibility for one’s actions and the consequences for those actions, and how each character addresses this is very interesting.

At times, I couldn’t understand the dialogue. It reminded me of a movie, maybe a documentary, set in England that Anna and I watched back in our Chicago days. Although it was an english-language film, the particular dialect of the characters required the film to use subtitles. In this case, though, the difficulty had less to do with how the characters spoke and more to do with how I process sounds.

I was very glad to learn there will be a second season for the drama.