i've been on this weird genealogy kick lately.

i've always been a little fascinated with history...and since genealogy is like history about myself, it's doubly awesome. :P

my dad and aunt have did a lot of family research. i remember as a kid going to libraries with my dad and finding ways to entertain myself while he looked through old library newspapers and documents on microfiche. at that point i didn't really see the appeal.

but along with the library of my dad's books that i recently inherited, there were also some family history books that i've been looking through when i can find a spare moment.

combine that with getting hooked on who do you think you are, and i think i'm officially becoming a genealogy nerd.

so far some branches of my family have been traced back to the 1600s...but not to countries of origin...though it looks like i'm a typical american mutt. lot's of german, irish, english, a bit of french, a bit of native american, etc... and who knows what else!

i've been trying to get shomik to look into his family background too...but he doesn't see the point. even though he's not as mutsy as me, you still never know what you'll find!

there aren't as good of records in india, but shomik's family all lived in the same house together in west bengal for about 200 years, so that's a start.

i think maybe the main reason genealogy fascinates me is because i'm intrigued by the spirit of adventure.

i admire people like my husband even today who leave their home land in search of better opportunity...that takes guts.

but i can't even imagine the courage it must have taken hundreds of years ago. before skype, photographs, and airplanes. when you didn't even know if you would reach your destination alive, or ever see your family again.

honestly, i don't know if i could have done it. i would have needed a very strong reason.
maybe they did have very strong reasons? i guess i just want to know what those reasons were.

since i've been talking about my mutsy dog this week, i just thought i'd take the opportunity to share about some dogs that really stole my heart on our trip to india.

the indian street dogs. or pi dogs.
pi being short for pariah. pariah meaning outcast.

by their name, you can tell that not many people take them in as cuddly house pets. but the streets of mumbai are filled with them. scrappy little dogs who clean up after society.

these dogs are 10xs smarter than any dog that i know. the can cross indian street traffic better than i can! they may be smarter than me. i've literally seen them look both ways and weave the traffic like frogger. it must be due to generations of natural selection.

they stay out of peoples way...just lurking to find some trash to eat, or a shady spot to sleep.
many of these dogs have seen a lot of abuse. they cower if you reach out your hand to them.

however, i also found them to be some of the sweetest and most gentle dogs i've ever met.
i would freak out my inlaws in india by trying to pet every street dog that i saw! most of them, even though they were wary in the beginning, would be so happy for affection once they learned that i was their friend.

so my husband and i decided that we're going to be advocates for these dogs. there are probably billions of these sweet and intelligent street dogs in india, yet no one wants to adopt them. if people get dogs there, they will usually import a pomeranian or some kind of foreign breed. and most of those breeds are not at all suited for life in the indian subcontinent like the pi dog.

pi dogs are hardy. and cute. and smart.

so anyways, that's my two cents on that issue. if you live in india, please adopt a pi dog. even in the US, muts are awesome people.

i would say that the pi dog of the USA these days is probably the pit bull. of course they don't roam the streets here, but they're kind of the social dog outcast. people have bred them for the wrong reasons, and given them a bad rep. if you go to an animal shelter, the majority of the muts you see look like they have a bit of pit mixed in.

bindi is kind of a social outcast mix. there's no way of knowing her true ancestry, but to me she looks like a mix of pit and pi dog. but i'm telling you, even though she is the biggest and strongest, she is also the sweetest and gentlest natured of all of our dogs.

with her surgery and being in pain this week, it's really had me thinking about God.

weird and random? yes, maybe. that's how my mind works.

i was reading a book last year though by one of my favorite authors. cs lewis. he was talking about the problem of pain...on how God can allow it. he said (in a much more eloquent way) that maybe sometimes it's like when you take your pet to the vet...

you know that the pain is going to make your dog better. the pain will lead to it's healing. but there's no way you can tell your dog that. there's no way that they would understand. all they can know is the pain that they're feeling now. that something horrible is happening to them.
all they can do is trust you.

but i still feel awful seeing my pet in pain...pain that it appears that i'm the cause of....even if it's for their own good. i can't explain it to them. it makes me wonder if God ever feels the same way.

or what if God made us responsible for these creatures to give us some kind of window of understanding...to try to explain these things to us in just some small way?

who knew how bad a vet could botch a spay?
well, unfortunately we found out. and so did bindi.

bindi is the pup that we found, and fostered, and then ended up keeping for ourselves. she's a bundle of mutsy energy and fun.
but not so much today.

she was spayed more than a year ago, when she was just a 6 month old pup. but then a few months later, she went into heat!

i asked our vet about it (not the same vet who spayed her), and he said that a small piece of her ovary was probably missed in the spay, which releases enough hormones for your dog to have a heat, even if they can't get pregnant.

so yeah, each heat cycle is messy. blood drops everywhere. gross.
but if bindi couldn't get preggo, then we didn't see the mess as good enough a reason to have her put under again and go through all that. and a heat only comes twice a year anyhow.

well, at least that's how we felt...until she had a false pregnancy.
bindi basically thought she was the mama of four squeaky toys and a bone for a couple weeks. she could go no where without them, and would groom them and talk to them. it was really adorable and sad at the same time.

so we called the animal hospital who did the spay.

they told us that the vet who had done the operation was no longer with them *ahem*, but that next time bindi went into heat to bring her in. if there was a small piece of ovarian tissue left in there, then during the heat would be the most likely time to find it since it would be swollen.

so...of course bindi started her heat this time during icemaggedon.
the vet was closed all last week, but we were able to get her in first thing yesterday.

a normal spay incision is 1-2 inches, but since they didn't know where a piece of ovary might be floating around, so they had to make a 7-8 inch incision to do an exploratory surgery.

what they found made me seriously question the sobriety of the original operating vet.

they found half her uterus, plus both her ovaries!

i cannot imagine how someone could take out half a uterus and call it a day! missing a small piece of ovary is something i could maybe understand, but not this!

anyways, bindi is hopefully all taken care of now. the animal hospital is of course covering all the expenses...i think they're eager to smooth things over.

poor baby. seeing her down makes me so sad.
our dogs are like a part of our family. seriously our furbabies.
i imagine someone will get extra spoiled this week.

day 4.
are you tired of hearing texans freak out about winter weather yet?
if so, then you might want to turn back now.
don't say i didn't warn you...

do you remember what it looked like outside yesterday?
here's a quick reminder.

a couple inches of just solid ice on the ground.
but this morning when we woke up, it looked like this!

the mailbox was really our only indication of where the sidewalk and street are.
if it's going to be crazy cold, then it might as well look awesome! i love it!

what you're looking at is about 6 inches of powder snow on top of a couple inches of ice.
a texas driver's worst nightmare.

but fortunately we weren't driving...everything was closed for the 4th consecutive day.
so it was our dream!
we have spent today totally appeasing the inner child. :)

when my husband and i were kids, i grew up near houston, where the closest thing to snow i ever saw was maybe a quarter inch of ice, and shomik grew up in the even hotter mumbai (bombay back then), where 65 degrees is freakishly cold.

so today was probably the first time either of us have been legitimately sledding.
i know...it's really sad.
but today we made up for lost time. i'm sure our bodies will hate us in the morning.

we trekked down the street to a golf course...which happens to double as a hilly sledding wonderland. and yes, we're using a dog crate liner as a sled...don't judge.

i don't think the dogs were quite as into it as we were...
but trust me, it was magical.

day 3.
the ice isn't melting.
more snow expected tonight.
the city is getting restless...facebook is getting very active.

sometimes i think God wants us to slow down a bit though.
besides the cabin fever setting in, the change of pace has been a nice break.

so what do you do when you're iced in for 3 days and your street looks like a frozen pond?

well, it's been nice to seriously catch up on some computer work. laundry. make lots of comfort food. do house chores. spend an ungodly amount of time on facebook. self clean the oven. (which i now know is a bad idea when it's too cold to open the windows). drink hot chai. watch netflix. sit by the fire. bollywood booty. (yes, that's an aerobic video! haha). snuggle with the dogs. rarely shower. and live in pajamas...sexy.

our furthest slippery slidey trek has been across the street to the grocery store for some more firewood.

oh, and taking the dogs for some iditarod style potty walks.

it's hard to believe that just this past weekend it was 75 degrees.
if it really snows tonight, you better believe that i'll be doing some sledding in a laundry basket tomorrow.

you gotta love the weather in texas...and if you don't, then just wait a minute and it will change. :)

the icepocalyse has hit texas, so i'm taking the opportunity of being house bound to think about a few things that i don't normally get time for.

one of my goals for this year was to start shopping with coupons.

i've been meaning to do it for a long time actually...but i never wanted to be one of those people.

you know who i'm talking about. they take 2 hours to check out because they bring a whole file folder of coupons to the grocery store...and then they pay with a check. old school.
they're a dying breed, but somehow they always end up in front of me in the grocery store line.

but since nothing thrills me like saving moolah, i had decided to try out this lifestyle despite the social stigma.

so today i was checking out the coupon policy for my local grocery store online, when i saw this!

maybe i am just totally out of the loop. very likely.  but i had never heard about this kind of coupon technology!

at grocers with reward cards, you can actually add the coupons to your reward card online before you shop so that you don't have to be a clipper! (or a line holder upper)

then the savings automatically applies to the couponed item you buy!

it's a new age of couponing people. i'm excited.
i may not be a clipper...but now i'm a clicker! :)
who knew.

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