Monday, December 31, 2007

12/31 What a year

Of course this is the time for reflection. My life has changed so much in the past year.

Toward the end of 2006 I quit a job I loved in order to do disaster work. Because the pay was low, Rob and Beata offered me a place to stay. So temporarily I went to NC and stayed with them while I did disaster mental health work for the Red Cross.

At the beginning of 2007, that's where I was. My "stuff" was still in storage in Milwaukee, but my body and heart were in NC. A friend recommended I apply for a job as the state director for disaster services for Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response in Mississippi.

Mississippi? I couldn't imagine myself living there. Mississippi? A horrible literacy rate, horrible poverty rate, horrible history of race relations. Mississippi?

But the job description intrigued me. So I applied.

In January they flew me to Austin to meet with the vice-presidents. Then they flew me to New Orleans and Biloxi to meet with the director of Lousiana and the guy who was leaving the Mississippi job.

In February I was working for the Red Cross at the Ground Hog Day Tornadoes in Florida, when I got the call offering me the job. By then I'd decided I wanted it, so I said yes.

March 1 I began by flying to Austin for orientation. The next weekend I drove from NC to Biloxi, MS. My home for the first week was an extended stay hotel, then for the next month I stayed in an RV. I bought a house immediately and closed on Friday the 13th of April.

The week prior to moving into my new home I drove back to NC to pick up my new puppy. Quincy is a full-blooded yellow lab and absolutely beautiful. I'd been able to pick her out when she was 10 days old prior to leaving NC. She stayed with me in my RV before moving into the house.

In August, I took Quincy to the Humane Society and let her pick out our next puppy--a chocolate lab mix named Cookie. It was so cool letting Q pick out her sister.

So many changes in such a short time--WI, NC, MS, Red Cross, LSSDR, hotel, RV, new home, puppy, puppy.

Surprisingly I absolutely love the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The view is absolutely breathtaking and the people are lovely and warm. It's so different from what I imagined.

The job is as well. I know how to do disaster work. I know how to manage a not-for-profit. But I think I was ill-prepared for this job. Tomorrow it will be 10 months since I began. After a lot of rocky places--some self-inflicted, some caused by others--I'm comfortable with the job. I finally understand more about the construction end of things, and I'm more familiar with how case management runs in long term recovery. There are four different boards of directors that I sit on, and this keeps me well-informed about what's happening locally and state wide. But I have so much to learn, and this job keeps dosing out humility in huge bunches.

Working for a faith-based organization is good in so many ways. We can pray anytime we want, and we often do before meetings. That's helpful because we deal with so many difficult situations. It's not just the lives of our clients that I'm talking about, although that is so very important. After all, it's been 2 1/2 years since Katrina and thousands of folks are still in the formaldehyde-infested FEMA trailers. Others live in unsafe homes that has mold everywhere. Still more are homeless--entire families who were barely scraping by prior to the storm are now without shelter. It's so sad, and there's so much work to do. It's especially hard because most of the US thinks that the Gulf Coast is recovered from the storm.

But I'm also talking about our staff members, many of them storm survivors too. They not only deal with their own issues of lives irrevocably changed but they help others as well. That takes such incredible strength.

The heartening news is that, even though many DROs (Disaster Relief Organizations) are gone because of diminished funding, there are still many organizations working to repair the damage. Nothing will ever be the same, but we're striving for the "new normal."

I live in hope. Hope that the remaining funds will be well spent for low to moderate income people, those without insurance or with cowardly insurance companies that refused to pay for wind and flood damage. Hope that current DROs will be able to remain beyond when the federal funding for case management stops on March 31. Hope that our dedicated and impassioned staff members take good care of themselves in preparation for more hard work. Hope that politics--both governmental and religious--doesn't get in the way of us providing good service to those in need. Hope that another hurricane season will come and go without event. Hope that courageous people, like those in the Steps Coalition, continue to stand up to injustice and hypocrisy. Hope that God answers our prayers.

12/31 Family stuff

Sorry I haven't posted for several days, but I'm staying at my sister, Jan's. She lives in the country and has dial up connection. She's ordered DSL but it hasn't been turned on yet.

So I'm sitting in a coffee shop in Quincy. Free wi-fi is a good thing. :)

I'm catching up on some work while Jan is working at the clinic this morning. Jane is off, but don't know what she's up to. I've been here since Friday and everything is going beautifully. Jan and Tim are always so welcoming and loving to me. It's such a treat to stay in their beautiful home. Friday night we just relaxed and played some games. Saturday we went shopping with Jane and her daughter Sarah. I got a few after-Christmas bargains. Saturday night all the siblings got together, without kids. We ate at Sprouts. It was a lot of fun. Several of us went to the Elks afterward, where we met up with True and Pat (a cousin and her husband).

Sunday Jane, Jan, and I went to Mass together. Then last night Jane and her family came for dinner, and so did Kris and her boyfriend, Brian. Kris is Jan and Tim's daughter. Also, Tim's Uncle Bill joined us. Caught up with the cast of characters? Just wait--there will be tons more tomorrow at Joe and Cindy's house.

Tonight Jane and her family, and Kris and Brian are coming again for dinner and games. I'm looking forward to it. But of course the reason for my visit will happen tomorrow--on New Year's Day. More on that later.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

12/26 Home again

Flew into New Orleans and drove back to Biloxi. Woke up at 2:30 AM (central time) so I've already put in a full day. Am catching up on some email at the office, and will pick up the puppies at 4. Looking forward to that. I've really missed them.

Yesterday was a great Christmas. Beata, Rob, and I all took part in the cooking (with Bea doing the most). Tom, Catherine, and Beata's friend Tina came for Christmas dinner. It was delicious and I'm still full.

After they left, I packed up, then Rob and I played some more cards. I had trouble sleeping, and when I woke up I heard Dr. Tran crying for me. I'm really going to miss that kitten.

I'm also going to miss the rest of the zoo--Bobby, Bella, Chilli, and Billi. And of course--Rob and Beata. They were so sweet to me the whole time I was there--making Christmas extraordinary.

(Oh, I talked to Jill and the kids yesterday too. Can't wait until my trip to Los Angeles so I can hug those sweeties.)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

12/25 Merry Christmas

A very merry Christmas to all! We had a delightful evening full of good food and lots of presents. I woke up at 6 AM, because Dr. Tran was purring and was sitting on my chest. What is this kitten going to do when I'm gone and she can't wake me up any more?

Here's hoping that you and yours have a wonderful and blessed day.

Monday, December 24, 2007

12/24 Achoo

My eyes are watering and my nose is running. Nope I'm not sick. It's just that a certain cat slept on my face for a while. It happened this way...

At 6 AM I got up to goo to the bathroom and Dr. Tran kept putting her paws under the bathroom door and crying. I let her come back to my room with me. She climbed on my bed and sat on my face. Just as happy as she could be. I moved her, but she ended up sleeping on my cheek. And she purred so loudly that I couldn't go back to sleep. So here it is Christmas Eve and I couldn't even sleep in. Fine with me though, because I love that little kitten.

Yesterday was another good day. We left at 12:30 to go to Linda's house for Sunday dinner. Tom, Catherine, and Judy were there--everyone from when I lived here. And Linda's son and daughter-in-law, Jason and Christy, were visiting. The food was tasty and the company was fun. I really enjoyed meeting Jason and Christy. They have two dogs--a yellow lab and a Newfoundland. They foster dogs for two rescue organizations, and the Newfie was a rescue that no one wanted. They said he's just a perfect dog though.

Their lab Rocky does what's called "dock jumping." It's a contest where the dog jumps off a dock after a toy, and the distance covered is measured. I'd never heard of it but Rob said I can catch it on ESPN 2. I know that Quincy would love it, the way she feels about water. Cookie is so dainty when it comes to getting wet or dirty, that she wouldn't go for it at all.

After the get-together, Rob, Beata and I went to the Airborne and Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville. It was quite interesting and covered the beginning of Special Ops (the OSS during World War II) up trhough current times. We also saw a few movies, one was made like a ride where the chairs go up in the air, vibrate, and it's like you are actually experiencing what's on the screen. It was a good afternoon.

We got home around 7:30 or so--after Rob and I went grocery shopping. We have all the food we need for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so Rob and I don't have to leave the house today. Yay.

Poor Beata has to work. I'll be napping, trying to make up for the early rising caused by the nefarious Dr. Tran.

Catherine and I at Linda's house

Me, Beata, Tom, Judy, and Linda

Rob and Judy

Beata and I at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum

Sunday, December 23, 2007

12/23 Another wonderful day

We had fun yesterday and hardly left the house. Rob and I played games most of the day, including online poker. And we played lots of cards, especially Spite and Malice.

Beata had to work from 11-7, so we went to Maurice's so I could buy a pair of jeans. Beatka is a great salesperson. I left with five items--jeans, shirt, camisole, necklace, and earrings. And no buyer's remorse.

I made dinner. At Rob's request I made sloppy joes. Yeah, a real gourmet meal. Made some vegetarian sloppy joes too. We stayed up until after midnight playing poker.

And I didn't wake up until 9:30 this morning. Can't believe I slept 9 hours.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

12/22 Yesterday was a long day

It's the last time I'm going to drive to the New Orleans airport to save $150. It wasn't worth the aggravation. I had to get up at 4 AM and drive in horrible fog all the way. Plus it took me more than 20 minutes to walk from my car to the ticket desk. Nope. Not again.

But it was all worth it in the end. My flights were on time, and we experienced no problem. Flying on Friday was smart because Saturday was supposed to be the most crowded flying day. Everything was comfortable for me.

Rob and Beata were at the airport when I landed, so I didn't have to wait. It was wonderful to see them. We stopped at the Something Shiny Diner for a late lunch. (Forgot the first word of the name.) It's an old-timey railroad car type diner, the outside made of metal, and shiny as all get out. The inside was old fashioned too with cool booths, and miniature jukeboxes in each one.

When we got home I was so happy to see the zoo. Bobby, Bella, Chilli, and Billi were all happy to see me. And Rob made a deal with Beata on the way home--she could keep the kitten if they named her Dr. Tran.

Beata said yes of course. When we got there it was neat to meet the little cutie. Then I saw the Dr. Tran videos on You Tube. Oh my they are hilarious. If you're interested just go to You Tube and search for Dr. Tran.

Rob keeps quoting the videos and now I know why. I'm quoting them too. :) And what a hilarious name for such a little kitten--she's only about six weeks old.

Last night Rob and I played Sequence. He won. Then we played online poker. We both won. Pretty cool. He came in 5th in his tournament and I came in 3rd in mine.

Today Beata works from 11-6. I'm going to her store later to buy some jeans. I definitely need some.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

12/20 Rain rain go away

Wow, it's been pouring all day. There's hail right off the coast but that hasn't hit us. Thank God. I've done a lot of driving today (and eaten a lot of holiday fare). But luckily I managed to traverse the worst of the huge puddles without problem.

The roads are hazardous too. But the good news is that it's almost done. And when I take off tomorrow morning for North Carolina, the weather is supposed to be perfect. That certainly makes me smile.

The puppies are at Pampered Pets and I miss them already. Tonight I must do laundry and pack. And clean dog hair off the Christmas presents I'm taking with me on the plane.

Can't wait to see Rob, Beata, and the zoo. It'll be great!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

12/19 My office

I stopped by my office today for a millisecond to pick up some papers. As I walked in I noticed a sign on the Director of Case Management's office that said, "Office for rent. For details, see State Director." I laughed so hard and thanked Willie (our Admin Asst) for making me laugh.

Then I got to my office and saw another sign, "Office for rent. For details, see Administrative Assistant."

That really cracked me up.

Normally I am in the office a lot more than Maria. She supervises people in three different locations (in two counties) and is always on the go. Since the holiday season started however, it seems like I'm always traveling from one meeting to another. I look forward to a day after New Year's when I can sit in my office and work.

Today, in two separate meetings, I pulled out my laptop and answered some emails. It really helped reduce my stress level, and I caught up a little bit.

Tomorrow I'm in my office from 8:30-9:30 and that's it for the entire day. Then the next day I leave for NC. (Yay for that.)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

12/18 Good, bad, sad

The good is I'm just about done with my Christmas shopping. Also, it's good that I'm leaving in a few days for Christmas with Rob and Beata.

The bad is that I was in meetings all day and didn't get any real work done. Am too tired to do any tonight.

The sad is that Dan Fogelberg died. I fell in love with his music (and him) in 1978. The first album I bought was the one he did with Tim Weisberg--Twin Sons of Different Mothers. It remains one of my favorites, even though it's mostly instrumental.

He wrote one of the most romantic songs of all times--Longer Than...
(Sorry, I know I don't have all the words right.)

Longer than there've been fishes in the ocean
Higher than any bird ever flew
Longer than there've been stars up in the heavens
I've been in love with you.

I'll bring fire in the winter
You'll send showers in the spring
We'll climb through the falls and summers
With love on our wings

Taller than any mountain cathedral
Truer than any tree ever grew
Deeper than any forest primeval
I've been in love with you

Sunday, December 16, 2007

12/16 Christmas presents

Just returned from Caroline's. It was fun, and I made out like a bandit.

Genia me a beautiful blue silk scarf. Can't wait to wear it--it's gorgeous.

Cyndi gave me the cutest stone coasters--they have Texas Hold'Em and cards on them. Love them.

Caroline put together a bag of goodies--what a nice surprise. Bones for my dogs, candy, a Christmas kitchen towel, two decks of cards, a huge cookie, some chilli sauce, a magnetic shopping list, Santa earrings, and a "casino collection" which included six hors d'ouerves picks and a holder for them.

What a fun evening!

12/16 Funny video

Thanks to Dave. I stole this from his blog. Be patient--you have to watch nearly two minutes before it gets funny. :) - Watch more free videos

Saturday, December 15, 2007

12/15 Google Reader

I meant to talk about this last week. My friend, Dave, mentioned how much he likes Google Reader, so I subscribed. It's a way to organize all the blogs you read. It tells me when they are updated. That way I don't have to go to Rob's blog every day to see if he posted, when we all know he does it once or twice a year. (This year he made a liar out of me and posted three times, I think.) Anyway, now I can subscribe to more blogs and other things, and it doesn't take any time at all to keep up with them.

12/15 No more anonymous

No more anonymous comments for me! I turned on the new Blogger feature where anyone with an "Open ID" blog ID (from Blogger, AOL, Wordpress, etc.) can leave a comment. And anyone with a Google or Yahoo ID can leave one too. So if you have a blog identity anywhere, or you have a gmail address you can leave a comment.

Please don't let this stop you from leaving a comment. It's quite easy to register. This is one way I can stop spam comments without having folks go through the confirmation process of trying to figure out what the heck those letters and numbers are.

I've been wrapping presents to take to NC and to Quincy. And also a few to take to a gift exchange at Caroline's tomorrow night.

Soon I need to get the dogs out for their walks, but right now they're both sleeping, so maybe it would be a good idea for me to lie down too!

Friday, December 14, 2007

12/14 Meetings

Spent all day, yes all day, in meetings. Luckily the ones from 10-4 were in a building one block from the water with an unobstructed view, so I was able to do some dynamite daydreaming. One week from today I'll be in NC with Rob, Beata, and the zoo. Can't wait.

But I already feel guilty about leaving my pups for so long. As I sit here in my office they are both asleep at my feet. Just like kids they are so cute when they are asleep.

Tomorrow night I have a Christmas party at Genia's and Sunday night there's a gift exchange with my card playing buddies at Caroline's. Monday night will be the only night I'll have free after tonight. Guess that'll be a gonzo laundry and packing night.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

12/12 Busy and nice

Today was a decent day. I had to attend a training in the morning and give a training in the afternoon. The good news is that the afternoon training was cancelled, and in the morning training no one else showed but me. So the instructor taught the 4 hour class to me in 2 hours. I had plenty of extra time today.

Then it was a case manager's birthday so I joined a group for lunch.

Tonight I rushed the dogs home, then went to choir practice. It was cut short too because the organist couldn't make it.

So time was my friend today. I like it when that happens.

Now the doggies and I will watch the finale of America's Next Top Model.

Monday, December 10, 2007

12/10 Summertime

That's what it felt like. It was nearly 80 and after the early morning fog lifted it was so clear you could see forever. Driving along Beach Boulevard all the way to Bay St. Louis was an even bigger treat than usual.

And when I got to the funders' table at the Long Term Recovery Committee it was rewarding when my company was the only one that could pay for a certain item. It was only $300, but no one else was authorized to purchase it. It was the high point of my day.

Tomorrow is a Christmas party at Camp Biloxi. Everyone's bringing a gift and we're playing Dirty Santa. (Sounds naughty, huh?) But it just means that you can take a gift that someone else has already chosen.

Then tomorrow night it's cards at Caroline's. That's always fun.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

12/9 Presents

I shopped for more presents today. Chose two angels from the Salvation Army in Bay St. Louis, and bought presents for two girls. One is very young and wanted a Bratz doll, so I got her that and a beautiful, fluffy pink robe to surprise her. The other girl is a bit older and wanted a DVD of High School Musical. They won't be in the stores until Tuesday, so I got her a gift card for it, and also bought her a beautiful pair of pink pajamas.

This felt better than all the other shopping I've done. There's so much need all over the world, but we really see it up close where we live. (A collective "we," not just me.) It's everywhere, isn't it? We can't fix it all. But the little bit we can do is at least something....

I loved Mass today. We sang some beautiful songs, and afterward we drew names for our Christmas party. I won't be here for it, but wanted to participate anyway. After that I went to the rectory to meet Brother Gene's Labrador Retriever, Pepper. Pepper is 10 years old and is so calm and well-behaved. Some day.... :)

Planted some pansies while my dogs were being walked. Hope they "take." They've been sitting outside waiting to be planted since Jan was here. Today was actually hot--not warm, hot. So it was a good day to be out.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

12/8 It's those days....

Yesterday was my brother John's birthday. Today is my brother Joe's birthday. Tomorrow is my brother Jay's birthday, and my son-in-law Todd's birthday, and my ex-husband's birthday.

Here's a general HAPPY BIRTHDAY to all!!!

Genia came over tonight and helped me wrap presents. Sorry, guys, they weren't birthday presents.

Time's passing so quickly....

(Oh, it was 80 today, and will be in the 60s overnight. Not too shabby.)

Friday, December 07, 2007

12/7 I've been absent

Sorry for the scarcity of blog entries, but I've been working late every night. It just seems there aren't enough hours in the day. And when I am finally finished working, I play with the dogs. They miss me. And I sure miss them. Wednesday night they had to stay at Pampered Pets because I couldn't get there before closing. So last night I made sure I picked them up and brought them home before going back to work.

These pictures are of my dining room and kitchen. The table isn't my regular one but the one I put up when people are coming over to play cards. Rob put up the shelf which contains some of my lovely items from Okinawa, including two beautiful tea sets from Rob and Beata.

Monday, December 03, 2007

12/3 In the 30s tonight

Guess I should stop bragging about the weather. :) It was in the 60s and sunny today, but tonight is supposed to be about 35. I brought my outdoor plants inside, just in case. And Quincy ate some of them. Yeah. Luckily I don't have any poisonous ones.

This is the closest I've ever come to smacking her. Boy was I ever mad. Then I found the plant in another room. She hadn't eaten it; she just played with it. I was a little less mad, except now I have mud strewn about. That's nothing new of course.

Have been working tonight (work-work stuff), so I better get back to it. More pictures tomorrow.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Saturday, December 01, 2007

12/1 70 degrees in December

My home office was basically just a big closet until Rob came and helped me organize it. I'm grateful beyond words. (The TV, printer, and phone are on the desk. Everything but my laptop.) Still some boxes under the desk, but I'll take care of that soon.

Friday, November 30, 2007

11/30 Still more pics

Quincy fitting in a tight spot when we were putting up the tree

My house

A sad saloon in Bay St. Louis

A familiar sight--No Trespassing sign and desolation.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

11/29 More pictures

Some of the live oaks that died were sculpted beautifully by an artist with a chain saw. (Yes, they are really called "live oaks.")

My beautiful kids.

11/29 I won't kill it

My sister Jan brought me a plant. Beautiful baby tears. I've had this plant before and love it, but always kill it.

This one sits on my kitchen window sill and still looks perfect. The problem begins when it starts getting a little leggy and I try to replant the ends. Supposed to be easy and for most people it is--just pinch off the ends and put them in the pot. But somehow I kill it.

The reason it's important is that this plant is from my Grandma's plant. She always had beautiful baby tears around the house. When she died we all got a plant. Some people, like Jan, were able to keep it going, and she keeps giving offshoot plants to plant killers like me.

Thanks, Jan. I love having a part of Grandma Bozie in my house.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

11/28 I miss you, Mom

Even though Mom's been gone for 27 years ago, I still really miss her. My brother Joe wrote a great blog entry about Mom today. So I'll be lazy (and tired) and just refer people there.

Didn't get home until 7:30 tonight, so it was a long day.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

11/27 Photos

A series of pagodas on a fishing dock.

And the Hard Rock guitar at the casino.

King Neptune lost his arms in the storm.

Finally, here's a Katrina Cottage--many of the survivors are given that after the FEMA trailers are removed.

More photos later.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

11/25 Not much time

Need to get some sleep. Rob is downloading his photos for me, and I'll post some tomorrow. But for now I have to catch some zzzz's.

He was absolutely awesome today. Rob did so much work around my house; I can't believe it's the same place.

I took him to the Beau Rivage tonight for dinner--the seafood buffet. He was suitably impressed, and did some damage.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

11/24 It's really Sunday

What fun we've had. Today we drove around and enjoyed each other's company. I showed Rob all the devastation from Ocean Springs to Waveland, and he is angry that our country doesn't realize all the work yet to be done. But we managed to have fun despite the storm's ravages.

After the drive we went to High Cotton to eat. I had my usual friend green tomatoes and Rob enjoyed a seafood platter. We went to Lowe's afterward and got stuff to work on the house. Then we re-cleaned the place and my friends came over at 7 to play games and cards. They just left. And it's actually Sunday instead of Saturday. They loved Rob and he loved them, so it was a successful evening. And both Quincy and Cookie were so well behaved.

Tomorrow we're putting up my Christmas tree and cleaning out my office. He's also going to put down some boards in my attic so I can store things there. Lots to do tomorrow and we'll celebrate our good work by going to the Beau Rivage for the seafood buffet tomorrow night. Should be another wonderful day.

Rob is super, and it's such a pleasure having him here.

Friday, November 23, 2007

11/23 Rob's here

He arrived at 2 PM. He absolutely loves my house, which makes me smile idiotically. I made dinner and then we've been playing games for hours. It was really fun.

The dogs adore him and he says the feeling is mutual.

What a wonderful treat to have my son here.

Tomorrow we're going exploring and tomorrow night friends are coming over for games. Both Rob and I love cards and other games so I think it will be a fun night.

I promise to take pictures tomorrow. For now, I'm beat. Love to all.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

11/22 Happy Thanksgiving!

So far it's a quiet day. Just talked to Jill for a few minutes. They're expecting lots of folks from her Dad's side of the family. There will be nine people and two dogs. Quite a crowd.

I'm going to Genia's today for dinner at 3. Should be fun. I'm taking Grandma's Holiday Salad and a sweet potato casserole.

Still lots of work to do here at home to prepare for Rob's arrival tomorrow. But unfortunately the barometer is dropping and I have a splitting headache. Hope it goes away soon.

In the meantime my dogs and I are napping. That's what holidays are for--that and overindulgence in the food department.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

11/20 My big news!

(Rob, the day I picked out Quincy--when she was 10 days old.)

Rob is going to visit me from Friday until Monday. I'm so excited. Not only will I get to see my wonderful son, but he's going to do some chores around my house--saving me some money.

A huge thank you to Beata for loaning him to me. Unfortunately she has to work (drat that retail job!), so she can't come too. I'm going to miss her but it will be super to have my son here.

Saturday night I've invited over my card playing friends to play games becasue I wanted them to meet Rob.

Can't wait.

Monday, November 19, 2007

11/19 Love/hate relationship

I love computers. I hate computers. Both statements are true.

Our internet is working but email is not. That's because we have to use a vpn (virtual private network) to sign on. The vpn switch that we connect to in Austin is down.

I hate being so dependent on computers. I love what computers let us do. I hate/love computers.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

11/18 Bill Moyers on PBS

Bill Moyers did a wonderful piece on the Mississippi Gulf Coast recovery, or the lack of it. This is the written piece, but the TV show was both wonderful and extremely sad. This describes eloquently why we will be working here for a long time.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

11/17 Word games

(The dogs earlier today. They seldom walk on the floor--they just go from furniture piece to furniture piece.)

Just got home from Genia's. We played two games I brought back from my Words weekend in New York. Everyone had fun--Genia, Caroline, Lorena, Cindy, and me. And everyone did well; we took turns winning which is always nice. :)

I left my puppies for 4 1/2 hours, and they did super. Eli walked them tonight so they were tired, which I appreciated. Of course they are wide awake now, so I'll have to stay up for a while. Maybe I'll play some online poker....

Tomorrow I have to clean the house plus have a few hours of work-work to do. So I can sleep in a little if I need to. (And by the looks of the dogs' energy levels right now, I may have to catch up on sleep tomorrow, because it doesn't look good for tonight.)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

11/15 Dogs get exercise

Eli, a neighbor boy, said, "I'll run with your dogs every day for $10 a week." I said, "You got a deal." We settled on $1.50 per time because I'm not home seven days a week. So tonight he rang my doorbell, and the dogs went crazy with happiness. He took them one at a time and ran around the block twice with each one of them.

I walk them, but there's no way I could run with them.

Life is good, and the dogs are sleeping.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

11/14 Rob's birthday

How can my sweet little boy be so old? He's 36 today. Seems impossible.

I have so many happy memories with Rob. Some not so happy--but those fade a lot faster, which is fine with me. He's made me laugh for 36 years, and I hope he makes me laugh for 36 more.

Happy birthday, honey. I know it's going to be wonderful since your sister arrived today. It was good talking to you, Beata, and Jill this morning. Wish I could be with you all, but I know you'll have so much fun.

Looking forward to seeing you at Thanksgiving, no matter where we end up. :) Love to you all, Mom

Editing to say: For more on Rob's birthday, and a few pictures, go to my brother Joe's blog.

Monday, November 12, 2007

11/12 Home with some tired puppies

Quincy and Cookie have been asleep for hours already. Apparently they played really hard while I was gone--there were four other labs there over the weekend. So they had lots of big dogs to play with.

I got home around 5:30 with the dogs, and it felt good to come home.

The weekend was great though. It was so worth the money it costs. The presenters were so wonderful, witty, and downright funny. I especially enjoyed Bob Mankoff, the cartoon editor for The New Yorker, and Ira Glass, from This American Life on PBS and Showtime. They were both funny in person as well, and so nice. I got to talk to both of them, but spent more time with Bob, because his wife Corey and I hit it off, and we spent time chatting.

And it was great spending time with my friends Gloria, Larry, and David. Gloria was part of the program so I didn't get to see her as much as I would have liked. DF and I had fun together. It's always good to spend time with good friends.

I especially enjoyed that a few other participants thought we were married. It sure made us laugh!

Now, it's back to my regular life--must go to work tomorrow.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

11/11 It's quiet now

All my friends and acquaintances are gone. But that's okay. I can use the quiet. It's been quite a weekend.

Yesterday our speakers were superb--Bob Mankoff, the cartoon editor for the New Yorker had us guffawing with his presentation on humor, especially cartoon humor. He and his wife Cory are really nice. I spent some time with Cory, just chatting. She was interested in the work I'm involved in.

A woman named Sue (I forgot her last name) spoke about gestures, and everyone had fun with that.

In the afternoon we played board games. I won at our table and got to take the game home. It's called Word Sweep and is so much fun. My fear is that no one will want to play it with me, except Rob. It's a great game though, and won't be re-gifted since I want to keep it. :)

The meals were all great and we got to choose from the buffet or order off the menu. I sure ate too much, and there were always several desserts to sample, including the chocolate fountain.

After dinner Greg Pliska had us running all over this huge, old hotel for a treasure hunt. You had to solve some very challenging puzzles to find the answers. My team came in 14th out of 24 (only 19 were able to completely finish). I attribute our late showing to the fact that we were the old codgers. David (my friend who often comments here), Joe (a friend of friends), and Jane and John Williams (he's the executive director of the National Scrabble Association and she is a vice president and someone I'm happy to call my friend). Jane ended up not feeling well, so it was the three guys and I. We had a lot of stressful fun competing. Wish we'd done better, but I was just so damn proud we finished. It was really difficult, and went from about 9:15 PM until after midnight.

During the day I was interviewed by a couple (Jennifer and Matthew) who are doing a documentary called Jokes My Grandma Told Me. They were basically interested in family humor. So I had a lot to tell them. :) They are interviewing a lot of people, and it was fun. Made me miss my siblings though.

Then about 20 of us stayed up late playing word games. I made it until after 2 AM and am proud of myself for keeping up. David and Dave (a great guy from Madison, WI) played until 4 AM or so, along with some others.

Will post about today later.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

11/10 Fun fun fun

I backdated a few hours so this will show up on Saturday, but it's actually close to 2:30 AM on Sunday.

My flight was more than four hours late on Friday, because of navigation problems with the first plane. We tried to take off, had to abort, and then sat on the runway for an hour. I slept through it all. Hell, I was tired! It's rough getting up at 4 AM.

At Newburgh airport I checked in to get my subcompact car and all they had was a Lincoln Town Car which I got for $30 per day. Not too shabby. And I'm glad I had a big car as it started snowing or freezing rain or something as I drove up the mountain.

The weekend started on Friday night with dinner and some games. My team won Scrabble Scramble--how could I lose with DF on the team? We all won a prize. I ended up with a Scrabble mug which someone will surely get for Christmas. After the organized activities we stayed up late playing games. I managed to stay awake until 1:30 or so, and then hit the hay. Dave and some others stayed up until 4. I would have never made it.

This morning I got up at 7 and met friends for breakfast. Will post tomorrow about the rest of the day. It was a lot of fun, but I'm yawning. Love to all.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

11/8 One year

One year ago today I left Milwaukee. My trip took me back home to Quincy, IL for several days. Then I drove to NC, arriving on 11/14, Rob's birthday. Rob and Beata opened their home to me for a few months while I did disaster mental health work for the Red Cross.

I stayed there until March 1 when I began the job with LSSDR in Biloxi.

Can't believe it's been one year since I left Wisconsin. One year since I've done stand-up. One year since I've done sketch comedy with BroadMinded. One year since...lots of things.

But I'm not sad. I miss all those things certainly, but I love where I am and what I'm doing.

Tonight though I miss my puppies. Am leaving very early tomorrow for New York, so I had to put them in the kennel already.

This weekend will be a ton of fun. Am going to Mohonk Mountain House in the Hudson Valley. Will try to post while I'm there.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

11/6 Bye bye Jan and Tim

Some shrimp boats in the Ocean Springs harbor on one of the bayous. These boats were everywhere and were so cool. Tim bought 30 pounds of fresh shrimp from one Vietnamese woman who was from a town near where Tim served. A nice coincidence.

Many beautiful homes can be found like this--on stilts. FEMA determines the required elevation.

Jan and Tim left early in the morning. It was wonderful having them visit and we sure had lots of fun. I miss them already.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

11/4 Another good day

We had lots of fun. I'll post photos from yesterday later, but here's some of what we did today:

Here's Jan reading a marker. Notice there's no deck below her? This is a the Gulf Islands National Seashore and they haven't repaired the fishing dock yet. But our Jan was brave.

Mary Mahoney's was closed today but we managed a picture anyway. The tree is called The Patriarch and is over 2,000 years old. A sign on it says, "I was alive when Jesus walked the earth." It's a huge tree. But look at the second tree. You can hardly see Jan, she's so small in comparison. These live oaks are amazing trees.

The picture below is of the Katrina Memorial in Biloxi. It was built by the ABC show--Extreme Makeover Home Edition.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

11/3 Busy day

Jan and Tim got in on time last night and got to meet three of my friends. And my dogs were very happy to have new folks to attack with love.

This morning we took Quincy and Cookie to the kennel and then drove along the Mississippi Gulf Coast toward New Orleans. Jan and Tim both seemed to enjoy the beauty of the coast while being saddened by the devastation.

We decided to drive down south of New Orleans to the end of the Mississippi River. The drive was too sad, full of refineries and poverty. So we happily decided that the French Quarter was the place for us. We walked for hours, and drank for hours too (or so it seemed). But it was a very enjoyable day. And Tim got thrown a lot of beads because of his willingness to expose his breasts.

Jan and Tim both just went to bed, and I'm going to head to mine soon. We laughed at how old we are.

I'll miss having my puppies with me tonight.

Friday, November 02, 2007

11/2 Waiting for Jan and Tim

They'll be here later tonight. In the meantime I'm having friends over to play cards at 7 and they'll leave after meeting Jan and Tim. (That doesn't sound nice, does it? Didn't mean it that way.)

Today I went over the bridge. I got choked up but still couldn't wipe the smile off my face. It was slow, only 35, and crowded--because lots of people are going across just because they can, but it was still wonderful.

Went to a house blessing today and it was so moving. It was a house our construction crew rebuilt. Lovely, and the owners were very grateful.

Met a dog there that I fell in love with. Her name is Honey. She's a seven month old golden retriever and is so calm and sweet. She's trained already as a therapy dog. Her owner is one of our staff and she had to get trained too. Amazing. Just amazing. This puppy was not distractable at all. She'll make a great therapy dog, and will work in nursing homes and at disaster sites. A welcome addition.

Gotta go--have to finish cleaning the kitchen and then I'm (finally) done.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

11/1 Hooray for the bridge!

The Biloxi Bay bridge is open, meaning it will take me five minutes to cross. Currently it takes 15-20 to go around. Believe me, I am thrilled. I haven't crossed on it yet because the celebration was on the bridge all day. Tomorrow, though, I'm on it.

I have to go to the Red Cross office in Biloxi tomorrow and will take the bridge for the first time. It will be thrilling.

Yeah, it doesn't sound like much, but it's been down for 2 1/2 years (drat that pesky Katrina). This is huge!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

10/31 Trick or Treat

My outside light is broken--or maybe just needs a new bulb. I'll check it tomorrow. But what it meant tonight is that only one group of kids was brave enough to ring my doorbell. Guess I'll be forced to eat a lot of candy. Oh, well.

Last night Genia and Caroline came over and we played Canasta. I'd gotten the rules from the internet. Haven't played Canasta in years, but it was so much fun.

Tonight I went to choir practice and it had been canceled. No one bothered to call me though. It upset me a bit, but it felt good to come home and relax with the puppies.

Jan and Tim will arrive late Friday night. The plan is for us to go to New Orleans on Saturday, the Mississippi Gulf Coast on Sunday, and Mobile, AL on Monday. I have to work Monday afternoon, so this will work out well. They'll leave on Tuesday morning after an all too short visit. But it will be great to have them.

Today it was 80 degrees and sunny. An absolutely perfect day. For the weekend it's supposed to be in the mid to high 70s and partly sunny. No rain is forecast. I sure hope it stays that way; it will be wonderful sightseeing weather.

Monday, October 29, 2007

10/29 Me and the dogs

I never say I am the dog's "mom." Never. It kind of makes me shiver when people say that too much about their animals. Yet, yesterday when both my dogs posted I found out that they see me as their mom. Didn't know that before.

So I guess I'm their Mom. Hope Rob and Jill aren't going to be jealous.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

10/28 Cookie here

Don't know why Quincy got to go first. I'm the oldest. She's six months younger than I am and just because she picked me out at the Humane Society she thinks she's the boss of me. Mom says she has a hard time taking pictures of me because I'm always too close to her. I love her so much and know that she needs me to be close all the time. She and Quincy saved my life and so I want her to know I'm there for her.

Here's about me:

1. I am sweet. Really, really sweet. When you meet me I am shy and my tail is between my legs, but it's wagging while it's there. I like people and I like other dogs.

2. For someone so sweet it might surprise you that I chew up everything I can. Mom keeps me in a crate while she's gone because once I ate through an electric cord and she doesn't want me to get hurt. Isn't she the best?

3. I like the crate so much that I sleep there at night. The door is open so sometimes I jump on the bed with Mom and lick her nose while she's sleeping. She says, "Oooh, gross," but she laughs and hugs me. So I think she really likes it.

4. I had a rough life before I came here to live forever. It's too hard to talk about but I'm what they call a "stray." I lived out in the woods and was really hungry. I eat like a little piggy Mom says. But I've gained weight and now I'm beautiful again.

5. Quincy is white and I'm a beautiful chocolate brown with red glints. They say I'm a chocolate lab mix, but no one (except me) knows what I'm mixed with. I've heard Irish Setter, pointer, Weimereiner, and more. But I'm not telling. I just look like a miniature chocolate lab. And I'm special.

6. They named me Cookie at the Humane Society. Mom didn't like it at first, but decided to keep it because I'm smart and already knew my name. Now she loves my name because she loves me.

7. I love wrestling with Quincy. She is so much fun and loves to play with me. I let her think she's the boss, just because it doesn't matter.

8. I wish I could meet the rest of my family. Mom says almost everyone has a dog. It must be a wonderful family, Rob and Beata have three dogs. And Mom said they saved all three. Wow. Jill saved her dog Sadie too. I know they'd love me if they could meet me.

Guess I'm talking a lot. That's because Quincy is taking a nap and I can finally get some attention.

This is a picture of me trying to find a new place to dig. I didn't know Mom was so close. She's very tricky and stops me from digging. I still love her.

I know Quincy tagged most of the family dogs but I'm tagging Kirby, Bailey, Storm, Maggie, and Ellie's brother whose name I can't remember.

They don't have blogs but they could talk to me in the comment section. Wish I could meet them. It's good to have a family.

10/28 Quincy here

A friend of Mom's--Carolyn from Texas--had her Siberian Husky Shelby post a blog. So Mom decided I should do this. Here are the rules:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. List eight (8) random facts about yourself.
3. Tag eight dogs at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving them a comment on their blogs.

My random facts:

1. My name is Quincy. Mom named me that because she's homesick for her hometown of Quincy. It's kind of a silly name but I answer to it. She got me when I was eight weeks old. I was beautiful.

2. I love my Mom but she's a pushover most of the time. She tells people she's the boss but we know who really is.

3. I have the softest fur ever. It's true. Just ask me.

4. I'm probably the whitest yellow lab you've ever seen. It makes it more fun to roll in the mud. That's my favorite thing about our yard. There's lots of muddy spaces. Mom pretends to be mad, but I just jump right into the bathtub and that makes her laugh.

5. I know how to behave, but sometimes choose not to do so. I love playing with toys and have chewed up every toy Mom bought me. Except for one--Mom said she's going to buy lots of them so I can have one wherever I go. (Oh, Cookie chewed up the seatbelts in the backseat. She's bad.)

6. I'm 8 1/2 months old and 68 pounds. Mom doesn't like to weigh a lot, but I do. It's fun growing bigger and bigger. Mom calls me Marmaduke sometimes because I look like the Great Dane in the comics.

7. I was glad when we adopted Cookie. She's okay, because she knows I'm the boss. I like wrestling with her.

8. I have a "pelvic bladder" which means I have to go to the bathroom a lot. Mom doesn't get mad that I wake her up in the middle of the night. That's one of the reasons I love her.

I have to tag eight dogs---here they are: Sadie, Bobby, Bella, Chilli, Rocky, Max, Ellie, and Cookie. (Don't feel left out--the rest of the family dogs will be tagged in Cookie's blog.)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

10/27 Late night run

Played cards tonight at Genia's with Caroline, Cyndi, and Genia. It was fun--played 500 rummy. On the way home I made a late night run to WalMart to get dog food. We were completely out. Now I'm wrestling with the dogs and will start snoring soon, I'm sure.

Cards and WalMart--those were the highlights of an otherwise boring day.

Friday, October 26, 2007

10/26 Stuff

Stuff: I hit my head really hard last Saturday in Charlotte and am still having headaches. I'm thinking I should go to the doctor. There's a small dent in my skull.

Several years ago I hit the exact same spot. It's really embarrassing, but I closed the back of a Chevy Tahoe on my head. Have no idea why I didn't think the thing would hit my head, but it did. And it will hurt every now and then, but nothing major.

Now, with hitting the same spot, it just hit me--maybe I shouldn't use that word--it just dawned on me, that I should probably go to the doctor.

Other stuff: My pups are so darn cute.

More stuff: Weighed them today and Cookie is 48 pounds (up 7 pounds) and Quincy is 68 pounds (up from 60). Heavyweights--but Cookie looks positively dainty next to Q. They are both slender, which makes me happy. Slender but big.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

10/25 A short note

Jill and her family are fine and everything is back to normal at their house. The kids are back in school so Jill is able to go back to her office to work.

I'm so grateful that the fire has been contained and they are all safe.

Two other things:

The bridge between Biloxi and Ocean Springs is going to open up November 1. There are going to be big parties on both sides of Biloxi Bay. So traveling will be easier while Jan and Tim are here.

Also, instead of possums on the road here, there are dead armadillos. Funny, I'd always thought of armadillos as only being in Texas. Maybe that's where the live ones are--the deads one are here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

10/23 More on the fires

This morning Jill emailed to say that the fires had moved away from her home. Then she called to say she's in her house watching them bulldoze up on top of her ridge--they were trying to make it barren up there so there would be nothing for the fire to gobble up.

That sounded all well and good--prevention is the key, right? Then I went to and used their virtual earth to see where the fires actually were. There's one right across Interstate 5 from Jill. Less than a mile away. At least that's the way it looks. I can see Jill and Todd's house, and there's a mark denoting where the nearest fire is.

Monday, October 22, 2007

10/22 California's burning

So much to write about and not a lot of time.

Several of the horrible California fires are near Jill's house in northern LA county. The kids' school closed and their daycare had voluntary evacuation, so Jill took off work and took the kids home. They can't play outside because of the smoke.

Jill had an emergency bag packed and is prepared to go if necessary. Todd is on a business trip, so she is alone with the kids and the dog. But she is a competent and strong woman and I have confidence she will handle everything.

She writes to the family frequently to keep us informed, plus she's called to talk to me. It's scary thinking of my "little girl" and grandkids being out there, but I believe her when she says she's taken all precautions. She has an evacuation plan too, and friends she can stay with. (Sounds suspiciously like hurricane evacuation.)

I love them so much and am glad Jill is so together.

More later on the North Carolina experience.

Friday, October 19, 2007

10/19 What a great day

Rob, Beata and I woke up at 4:30 because my stupid alarm went off. Rob went to the gym to work out while Bea and I went back to sleep. At seven we had breakfast--some yummy pastries from Panera Bread. Then it was time to say goodbye to Beata.

Rob drove me to Charlotte. It was a nice, uneventful trip. What a pleasure it is to spend some uninterrupted time with your adult kids. We really missed Beata though. But she was out earning money.

When we arrived in Charlotte I got to check into my hotel room right away which made things a lot easier for us. Then we met up with my friend, JC, a gal I wen to grade school and high school with. The lunch wa so enjoyable. Joyce and I always have a laughfest when we're together. I'm really a lucky bug to be able to travel and catch up with people who mean something to me.

Rob left around 2 and I had a conference call with coworkers at 3. It lasted until 4:30, but my first meeting here started at 4. So for a half hour I attended two meetings at the same time. It was pretty confusing, but I managed. Thankfully I remembered to keep my phone on mute most of the time.

Tonight was good--we had a team leader meeting and then an all Crew meeting. This year I'm a division leader which is a step up--not in glamor or coolness, but in responsibility. I like it though. The Avon Breast Cancer Walks not only do a tremendous amount of good, but they are fun and addicitng as well. Gotta run--I'm hungry and tired.

Be nice. And no talking politics while I'm sleeping.

(As I type I'm sitting next to a handsome young man, Joshua. What a little cutie.)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

10/18 I arrived

My connecting flight was canceled so I arrived in NC a few hours late. Rob picked me up in Raleigh and we had a fun drive to Sanford. Beata arrived shortly after we got home. She made a delicious dinner and we relaxed afterward.

Bea made a confession to me--she confessed that she can't wait to become a citizen so she can vote. And she's decided to be a Democrat. I whooped with joy. The two of us against the rest of the family. YES!

The zoo were all thrilled to see me. Since I miss my dogs, it's nice to have three of them fawn over me.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

10/17 Packing up

Lots to do at work today, then the landlord sprayed for ants and the smell gave me a horrible headache. So I had to leave around 4, but that's okay. I had lots to do at home too. Am packing for my trip. It's not so easy--everything, including my sleeping bag and mat, have to fit in a duffel bag. So I have to stuff everything for Thursday through Sunday.

I can't wait until tomorrow though. I haven't seen Rob and Beata since May and it'll be wonderful to see them.

But I miss Quincy and Cookie already. What a wuss.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

10/16 More fun

Just got home from playing spades at Cyndi's house. Five of us played for a few hours and it was great. Now it's time to play with my dogs awhile before hitting the sack.

Monday, October 15, 2007

10/15 Cookie news

I tried walking the girls together again tonight, but it didn't work. Sigh. I walked them separately and that worked out fine.

Later, they went out in the backyard and got muddy. (Again? Still?) Quincy did her usual thing of coming inside and jumping in the bathtub. The miracle occurred when Q jumped out and Cookie jumped in. Yep, for the first time I didn't have to fight Cookie to get into the tub. I tried to reinforce that behavior as much as possible. Hope it happens like that from now on. She may weigh only 40-some pounds, but it feels like more when I'm wrestling her into the tub.

So much to do to get ready for North Carolina. I'm doing laundry now. Tomorrow night is cards, and Wednesday night is choir practice. I leave really (really) early on Thursday so tonight is really the only night I have to prepare.

Knowing me, though, I'll finish late on Wednesday night. Ms. Procrastinator!

10/15 Leaving Thursday

I get to visit Rob and Beata on Thursday and part of Friday. Am flying to Raleigh and will stay at their house overnight. Then on Friday they're driving me to Charlotte, where I'll participate in the Avon Breast Cancer Walk. I was asked to be the Operations Division Leader for the crew and said absolutely yes.

It's a great event, and my sisters, nieces, friends and I go to the Chicago one every year. My sisters and I have done it for the past six years and over the years others have joined us. It's such a wonderful time. Even though we're all so busy--especially Jan who walks the 40 miles--we still get to spend some quality time together and I cherish it.

This one won't be as much fun as Chicago because they won't be there, but it's a worthy cause and I'm looking forward to it.

Plus it will be super to see Rob, Beata, and the zoo. Haven't seen them since early May when I drove back there to pick up Quincy. She was eight weeks old at the time. And about eight pounds. Now she's eight months old (tomorrow) and more than 60 pounds. How time flies!

Can't wait to see two of my kids!!!!! I could use the hugs.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

10/14 Weather, etc.

I took the pictures yesterday when we went to PetSmart.

I absolutely love this weather. It's really cool at night 50s and 60s and it's been sunny and in the high 80s during the day. Wonderful.

I've slept most of the weekend. What a waste, but it felt great. And I was able to walk both dogs at the same time for about a half block. Can't believe what a feeling of accomplishment I had. A neighbor kid was on his skateboard, so that was too distracting and I couldn't walk them anymore. But it was a good start.

Today at church it was fun to sing in the choir. I cantored a bit, so got a small solo. We're supposed to sing at the cathedral sometime in the near future. I love gospel choirs.

Friday, October 12, 2007

10/12 Fun

Went to Genia's after work and taught some other women to play Texas Hold'em. Unfortunately, only one of them is gifted with card sense. I just dealt so I could teach. It was a lot of fun though. I always have a good time with this group.

We decided that we're going to start playing cards every Tuesday. The woman who hosts will decide which game of cards we play. Cindy is hosting Tuesday and I think she'll have us play canasta. Angie can't commit because Paisley has homework and school commitments. But there will be four of us. Don't know how long it will last, but it sounds like a good idea and should be fun.

The pups were thrilled to see me when I got home, and of course they weren't ready to sleep so we played a while and now I'm beat and want to sleep.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

10/11 Yuck

Some days just suck. The bad thing about this one is that it went very well until this afternoon. I let one thing get to me and it's just stuck in my brain.

Is it all right for me to hate someone? No?

Okay, I'm glad I believe in a merciful God, so I know I'm forgiven. And I'll go back to "not hating."

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

10/10 I survived

...but cheated just a little. I left the first webinar early and went to a meeting. Willie, our admin assistant, sat at my desk and finished the webinar and conference call for me. All the material was emailed to me afterward so I didn't miss anything.

Then tonight I did my 5:30 conference call in my car right outside of church. It ended early at 6:10 so I wasn't even really late for choir practice. Everyone was still chatting and not singing yet when I joined them.

So everything worked out okay. I'm in a good mood, but tired. And have to be at a photo op in Gulfport at 8 AM, so will need to get up a little earlier tomorrow.

At choir I found out we're singing at the cathedral at the end of the month. I'm pretty psyched.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

10/9 This is crazy--I've overcommitted

Don't know how I'm going to do this, but here's my schedule tomorrow:

8:30-10 Casework meeting at Camp Biloxi
10-12 COA Webinar in my office in Ocean Springs
11:30-3 Steps Coalition meeting, downtown Biloxi
2-4 Conference call and webinar in my office in Ocean Springs
5:30-7 Conference call with Avon Breast Cancer Walk
6-7:30 Choir practice

Wish I had an identical twin.

Monday, October 08, 2007

10/8 Monday, rain, dogs

More baths for Quincy because of the rain and mud.

I have the cleanest dogs in the world.

Cookie is clean because she won't go out in the rain. So I put her on the leash and drag her into the backyard. Then she rushes her dainty little body back into the house.

A few minutes ago I noticed Cookie didn't have her collar on. I found it in Quincy's mouth. It was a lifetime guarantee collar that was bitten in half and Q was happily munching on it. Well, at least I'll get my money back, and luckily I had a spare collar.

The pictures are of them pretending to be guard dogs. They're actually curious dogs, always climbing on top of the couch to see what's happening. In this case it was a telephone repairman. Luckily they don't bark at people, just stare at them. :)