Sunday, February 27, 2011

Carnevale di Venezia

This morning Dan and I hopped on the train and went to Venice.  Carnevale is annual festival and starts 2 weeks before Ash Wednesday and ends on Fat Tuesday.  From researching online, carnevale “was a time for celebration and expressions throughout the classes, as wearing masks hid any form of identity between social classes.” 

We couldn’t believe how packed the train station was when we got off the train. We knew it was going to be crowded, but it literally took us a good 10 minutes just to get out of the train station. We looked at the program online and knew we wanted to head to San Marco Square to see The Flight of the Angel. I guess that’s what everyone wanted to see because after fighting our way through massive crowds and stand stills…when we finally got to the last hallway to enter the square, there were policemen standing there not letting anyone in.  We tried another way, same thing, they were telling people to turn around. Here are a few pictures of how crowded things looked.

This picture was coming out of the train station…one of the least packed areas of the day.


Walking through the streets of Venice. This area wasn’t as bad either, at least we were moving at this point.


Yes, at some points we were stopped, people touching you from all directions, it was insane. Not to mention the elbows and shoving and people stopping right in the middle of the way…I wasn’t too happy at this point. LOL.  I don’t like being in large crowds with rude people, but regardless as to where you are…you have a large crowd, it’s going to be like this.  Once we got to the close to the square and they made us turn around, we went through some back ways to avoid the crowded areas.  This is when we took the time to start taking pictures of the costumes because it wasn’t so crowded and we had some personal space.  The costumes were amazing, there were many that we saw that we didn’t get pictures of, but here are some pictures of the ones we did get.

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Oh, I forgot to mention. While we were at stand stills in crowds, people were also throwing confetti everywhere. This was awesome, people were so happy doing it, it was fun to see. Everywhere we walked, the streets looked like this.

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This car freshener guy stopped to pose when he saw me taking a picture. His buddies are in the background checking out their reflections in the glass.


Everyone was staring and laughing at these two when they went by. They were handcuffed together with a heart hanging from the chain. They also have heart shaped wings.


Many people had these afro wigs on. This one was about 4 times bigger than all the other ones we saw.


The people watching was definitely the most interesting part of this trip.  It’s still going on through next weekend, so if we want to go again, we will hang out on this shopping strip, avoid the crowds and just get pictures of the people in costumes.  On the way back to the train station there was a woman with a few of her paintings set up.  We really like one, so we got it. It’s our first purchased piece of artwork here, so I’m pretty excited about it. We have to get it framed and all, but here is a picture of it. It’s an oil painting.


Some friends of ours here have some amazing paintings that they bought in Venice, I LOVE them. I need to find that guy and buy some.  He doesn’t have a store, he just sits in a spot on the street. Hopefully it’s the same spot as where our friends bought their paintings so we can find him. After Carnevale, we will have to go search for him.  I also want to go to the islands around Venice too, haven’t done that yet.  It’s a good thing we still have 2 years left here. 

Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Getting Better

Shae is starting to get better, she still goes through little bouts where she isn't feeling well and just seems miserable, but they usually only last a few hours. She is going through one right now :( She starts shaking, usually vomits and you can hear her stomach going crazy. This one has been lasting a little longer than normal, it's already been going on for over 4 hours. She will be doing really well, eating and drinking normal and then this happens. We are almost done with her medications too, so I don't know how all that is going to play out. I know it's going to take a while for things to get back to normal, but it's now been 2 weeks she's been sick. She is now on a new food, Royal Canin Gastro-Intestinal, that should make things a little better for her too, eventually. For the last week I've been giving her boiled chicken because it's easy on the stomach. We will see, hopefully she will be back to normal soon.

Not too much else going on. On Saturday we did some spring cleaning upstairs, spent a lot of time doing that with the windows open airing things out. Dan has had homework all weekend, so he's been busy doing that and I finished booking hotels for when our family comes to visit.

Carnivale in Venice will be going on soon, so we will be going to that probably next weekend to check things out. Later this afternoon we are going to head to ipercoop in the mall to do some grocery shopping. We don't shop here too much, but really like to! We try and shop here a few times a month, I love getting food on the economy, it's just more expensive because they have a 20% sales tax on everything. Yikes.

I hope everyone had a great weekend! Hopefully I will have some more interesting posts soon!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Still here....I Think

What a week..

On Tuesday my dog, Shae, started getting sick. This happened last year at this same time, just not this bad. If you are grossed out by poop and puke, now would be the time to stop reading. I won't get too graphic.

Tuesday afternoon I got home and took Shae out. I noticed she pooped 2 times while out there, which she doesn't do too often, but I didn't think anything of it. She comes back into the apartment and she pukes, like 3 times. Thinking now, maybe her tummy is upset, not really sure what's going on, then she runs to the door to go outside again. So, this time I got down with her and she has to poo again. Sure enough, loose stool with blood in it. This is what happened last year, they did an IV right away and put her on meds thinking it was irritable bowel or colitis possibly from stress. I called the vet on base and of course there are no vets there for the whole week, which seems to happen often. So, I figured I would call a vet the next day and see if I can get her in. Then I started to notice welts coming up on her snout, so I was now worried more than I was before. I got the number of an American vet that has lived here many years and texted him (it was his cell number and I felt bad about calling) and told him what was going on and if he had any openings the next day. He wrote me back and told me he could see her the next morning. That night things got worse, she was vomiting so much, probably 15 times during the night, her loose stool with blood turned into bloody diarrhea and she went out about 15 times during that night. I think I got an hour and a half of sleep that night. I took her to the vet the next morning, of course she seemed more perky there (a friend here that is a vet said it was the adrenaline), but he thought she had some kind of gastritis, he told me to hold her food and water and he gave her an antibiotic shot, antiemetic shot and a shot of benadryl for her snout. He has a basic clinic, so no labs or diagnostic tests were done, just an exam. We came back home and she was still just acting weird. She would start shaking, then run in her crate and usually puke. Just not herself. The antiemetic shot he gave worked great, she didn't throw up from the time we got home until 745am the next day. She did however, continue with the pooing. That night (3am) she started getting red around her eyes now and that concerned me. By this time the vet asked to be my friend on facebook, so I shot him a message asking him about it and he wanted me to bring her in and he would take a look. He now thought she got into something or is allergic to something in the apartment, but nothing has changed. He gave her some more shots and sent us back home and wanted us to come back around 5pm. When we got home she was vomiting a lot again and just getting really fatigued. This whole time I was talking to our squadron commanders wife through email, she was an emergency vet in the states, and she told me that I absolutely need to get fluids in her. I texted the vet and asked him when I brought her in that night if we could get an IV going so she could get some fluids, he wrote back saying we should do that and get blood work. I was getting ready to leave and he called and gave me the name of a clinic about 10 minutes away from where we live, they could do everything there. If I went back to him, he could draw the blood, but he would then have to send it out and we wouldn't get results for 2 days or so. So, I took her to this other vet and they got her blood drawn, which wasn't easy with how dehydrated she was, and also started an IV in the leg. Blood work came back, no infection, everything was normal except her potassium was a little low from vomiting so much, so they hung a bottle of electrolytes. They also wanted to do an xray because she was pooping and puking all over the place there, they wanted to rule out obstruction along with other things. X ray showed inflammation in her stomach and intestines, so they gave her some antibiotics through her IV along with a shot for nausea. The vet was great, there were many works she didn't know how to say in English, but between the two of us, we got it figured out. I was there 4 hours that night. I went back the next day at 9am so they could give her more fluids and they also wanted to do an abdominal ultrasound to make sure nothing else was wrong. They hung the electrolytes and let them go in very slow so she could get hydrated, they also hung an antibiotic to help with her gut. At 4:30pm she got the u/s everything, besides the inflammation of the lining of her stomach and intestines, were normal. 9.5 hours later we were headed home. Her diarrhea continued, but not as bad. She did throw up at the vet that morning, but at least that was somewhat under control. I went back yesterday (Saturday) and they checked her out and gave me medications for her. They gave me an antibiotic pill (had 2 antibiotics in one), Zantac for her stomach and a liquid for her nausea. They gave me food to try and feed her, but she wanted nothing to do with it, along with the chicken we tried giving her, she wanted nothing. So, I've been feeding her chicken flavored baby food through a syringe for the past few days, along with water. I was worried that the antibiotic was going to make her stomach upset, especially with barely any food in there, but it didn't. This evening around 5pm she ate a few bites of her food (thanks to my cat Eddie who was by her dish and she got jealous.) She only ate a few bites which was perfect. She still doesn't want to go outside when I ask, I have to pick her up and take her out there, but this last time she came in and actually ate some chicken as a treat. She seems to be getting much better, I am also having to give her benadryl because something is making her itch like crazy. She's been a trooper throughout the whole process. It's been a long, exhausting 4 days. I take her back tomorrow for a check up.

I got out her records because I wanted to check when she got her vaccinations last year and how long it was before this occured at this time last year. She got her shots on 1/26/10 and this happened on 2/5/10. This year she got her shots on 2/1/11 and this all started on 2/7/11. I can't help but think it's one of the shots. I asked the squadron commanders wife (the vet) about this and she said it is a possibility. She she definitely thinks there is a correlation between the two, she is going to try and find articles and send them to me. She said it would be best for Shae to get the 3 year shots, so she doesn't have to get them as often and to premedicate her with a steroid and benadryl and to give them a week apart. They gave the 3 year DA2P shot, but only the 1 year rabies. They like giving the 1 year in case you have to leave out of here for an emergency. Animals are required to be vaccinated at least 10 days prior to travel. So, they want to make sure there will be no problems there. Amy said she knew many people who couldn't vaccinate their dogs because of reactions, but I don't know how that's legal? I will have to look into it, because I sure don't want this happening every time she gets shots.

Sorry for the long post, run on sentences and mistypes, I'm pretty tired, but have been catching up on my sleep. Italy hasn't been nice to us when it comes to our pets, that's for sure. Let's hope she continues to get better! I will keep you posted!

This is a picture I took a while ago. She has never sat on the couch like this and I thought she looked so funny.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Beautiful Evening, Beautiful Morning

Last night I was waiting on Dan to get home, I looked out the window of our living room and the sky was beautiful. Here are some photo’s.



A lot of times it’s hard to capture all the color that was in the sky…It was even more colorful that what the pictures show.

Then, I got up this morning, looked out the same window and could see the sky had some pretty colors in it again. So I went upstairs to the front bedroom to get a good look at the sunrise.


It doesn’t last for long, maybe 15 minutes then all the colors are gone.  Absolutely beautiful though, I love taking pictures of beautiful skies. Especially beautiful Italian skies!

Friday, February 04, 2011

Shae made a new Friend

Shae has always been a Momma’s girl and I think she always will be.  Occasionally, she will go sit next to Dan, or on him, but it’s very rare.  Usually, when she does this it’s because she’s scared of something (thunder, fireworks anything loud). 

This dog is silly, she’s scared of her own farts…and this is why I think she went to Dan last night.  She was next to me sleeping, then all of a sudden jumps down and runs to Dan.  He started picking on her, like always, so I grabbed my camera.

This was before he started picking on her…I guess he wants the “not so thrilled to have this dog next to me” look in this picture.


Video of Dan playing with her


And this is where I tested her to see what was really going on.  She gave me my answer. Silly girl.

I love having pets…they keep us entertained.  I loved having them when Dan was deployed…they were my little family Smile

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Lovin’ the Sunshine!

When we found out we were moving here, I wondered what the winters would be like. I knew they didn’t get much snow, but I didn’t know if they saw much sun in the winter.  The day we arrived it was a beautiful day and we were told we were lucky because the last few months have been dreary and rainy.  Being here almost a year I think I have a good feel of what the weather is like, yes, there are a lot of days where you don’t see the sun, or it’s raining, or it’s foggy, or even hazy…but there are some beautiful days like today as well were the sun is out in full force. I love it.  It just makes my mood much better, I love when our apartment has a lot of light flowing though it. The weather is supposed to be nice for the next 9 days or so, so I am looking forward to that.

Not too much going on here, the animals had a vet appointment this morning to get the shots and check ups. Shae got her nails trimmed since she doesn’t let us do it.  I bought one of the peticure things a few years back, she doesn’t even like that.  Now that her nails are nice and short I am going to try and work with her at least one a week to maintain the length. Hopefully she will get used to it. 

Here is Shae, it’s a dark picture, but with the flash on, her eyes glow too much.


Last week I went to IKEA and got a little run that I liked.  We ended up putting it in the little room where you walk into our apartment.  It’s funny how animals know when something is there that wasn’t there before.  The whole apartment is hard floors, we’ve been looking at rugs for a while now, but can’t think to spend the money on a nicely made rug.  When Dan deploys next he is going to look because on his last deployment they were the same rugs, but instead of 900 Euro they were like 7$200.  The one I bought at IKEA is machine made so it was only 50 euro and I love it! So does Mr. Eddie!  He loves hanging out here.

This picture he was trying to get the dog wound up and when she would come towards him, he tries to get as flat as he can ears and all. His ears are up a little in this picture, but it’s funny, I think he actually thinks he can blend in. He is 20 pounds…I don’t think he realizes that though.


Here is another day he was just hanging out here


He is so cute, I love taking pictures of him. He is such an interesting cat too, always up to something.  I love that he is the kind of cat that loves his belly scratched, he loves to lay on his back with all 4 legs in the air…he is such a laid back kitty.

Here are some pictures I took the other night of him sleeping on the floor on his back.



Some pictures of him loafing on the couch


My older cat Sassy sleeps a lot. She is a beautiful cat herself, but she’s an old lady (I’ve had her since I was 9 years old). She loves sleeping in this dog bed on the dog bed. I felt bad for the animals because there is nothing but hard floors here, so I bought these beds for them. Sassy is the only one who uses them…and Shae sometimes, but not often.


I am going to start volunteering for the Red Cross, there is an orientation on the 15th that I am going to go to and get going with that. Hopefully jobs will find me that way. That’s how I hear it works anyway, when there is an opening for a nurse position, they go to the volunteers first, that’s why there are never any postings online.  We will see how it works out! 

That’s about all that I have been up to. I hope everyone is enjoying their week!