Monday, April 30, 2007

4/30 Another Quincy day

She slept well again last night, only waking me up once. I worked for a while at Jan and Tim's while Quincy played with Alfie and Rocky--both miniature dachsunds. Then I went to Joe and Cindy's to pick up a power cord for my work laptop--stupid me left it in Mississippi. Got to talk to my nephew Cody for a while, which was nice.

Since around 1 I've been working at Kris's house. The great thing is that it's such a comfortable place, and is nice and cool with the ceiling fans going. Q is sleeping on the couch next to me, and Max is sleeping on the bathroom floor. I scared Max. Thought I'd let him out and he tried to run to the front yard, so I yelled, "Max, NO!" very loudly. He's a huge golden retriever but is such a gentle soul. So my yelling scared the hell out of him and he's been wrapped around the toilet in the second bathroom. I feel awful and didn't know he'd be so upset at me yelling no. Poor Max. He's such a sweetie.

A few other pics:

Jer, Sarah, Quincy, Bailey, Max at Quincy

The Avon walkers on a training walk--Jan, Beth, and Kris

Sunday, April 29, 2007

4/29 Quincy in Quincy

Will post pictures as soon as I get them from Jane.

The trip here was 13.5 hours instead of 12. Q was in the back seat, with her doggy seat belt on, and barked whenever she had to go outside. The only problem was that people kept making over her whenever she was out. It was sweet but slowed down the trip home. :) I finally had to tell some bikers that they had to quit the baby talk because I needed to leave.

She acts like she feels fine but was urinating a lot. Not in the car, and not in the guest bed at Jan and Tim's. But everywhere else. Last night though she only had to go outside one time during the night, which was very nice. And it wasn't even Quincy that woke up--it was me. I had to go, so woke her up accidentally. Ah, well, it worked out fine. She's on this antibiotic regimen for 14 days this time. Hope it all works out well. I hate it when she acts sick. Luckily that wasn't often.

In early June we're doing the Avon Breast Cancer Walk again. Jan, Kris, and Beth are walking. Jane, Deb, and I are crewing. They are on the medical team and I'm incident response. Am looking forward to spending time with them. This is our sixth year and it's such a pleasure to do it. I even love sleeping in tents. Today we went walking. The walkers are going at least five miles. Jane, Sarah, and I walked Quincy, Bailey, and Max about six blocks total to Quincy University and back. Q was absolutely done at that point. She's passed out now near my feet. I'm typing from Kris's house. Unfortunately I can't get online from Jan and Tim's. They have a gorgeous house out in the country and I'm relaxing so much, it's unbelievable.

Will work all day tomorrow, then go to Panera Bread at some point during the day to sign on their free wireless while I eat lunch.

Friday, April 27, 2007

4/27 HOORAY! Thank you God!

Her right kidney is really weird, but it seems to be working okay, and my vet said she's not an expert on these tests for puppies so she's sending the ultrasound to the Mississippi State vet school. But for right now I can pick up Quincy and drive to Quincy at noon.

I'm so grateful. My little puppy is okay for now, and we'll find out more when Mississippi State reviews the tests.

More later. Have to get back to work.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

4/26 Poor, poor Quincy

I took her in this morning to be checked because she had a low grade urinary tract infection last week. The vet called me and said that, although the blood in the urine is gone, her white count is through the roof. So high that she can't even count it.

She x-rayed Q and saw that both of Quincy's kidneys are malformed. She asked lots of questions about how often Q urinates, etc. I was able to say that she hasn't had an accident all week, except she's a poop machine and sometimes will do that in the house. The vet will do like an IVP, putting dye into her veins so she can see more about her kidneys, and they'll also do a blood test.

Well, after I hung up I started crying. My only family here in Mississippi is very ill. The blood count and malformed kidneys really frightened me.

Later the vet called back and said the good news is that the kidney function (from the blood test?) is really good. But she can't do the "dye test" because Q is full of poop from stem to stern. I laughed and said tell me something I don't know.

They're keeping her overnight so she will be fasting, and will do the test at 8 AM tomorrow. I'll hear from the vet right away. And will post when I can, or will get a family member to post a comment. I called a few people so I could cry to someone--my brother-in-law Pete, my colleague Henry, my son Rob, and daughter Jill. It's good to have people to talk to.

I've been so busy that I haven't even been able to blog, but this was so important I wanted to get it out there so people could pray, send positive vibes, or whatever.

Monday, April 23, 2007

4/23 What a busy day!

The Senior Leadership Team is visiting from Austin so I spent all afternoon and evening with them. They are staying at Camp Victor tonight and Camp Biloxi tomorrow night. It's so much fun showing off what we do. I'm so proud of our volunteer camps and all that they and our staff accomplish.

I left Q home this morning since I had to go to Pascagoula for a meeting. Four hours later I came home to a crate that the poop machine had been busy in. That's what I'm calling her at the moment. Didn't have time to completely clean it up since I had to rush to the state office. On the way there my boss called and said they'd meet me at Camp Victor. So I brought Quincy with me and she behaved perfectly. I put her in the Site Director's office. She'd been there before when Pepper, Jon's dog, was there. So she was so happy to be there. She played and slept, with no barking, for five hours, so I was very proud of her.

Tomorrow, the Leadership Team is working on a site with a team from Camp Victor. I'm going to go at some point and "catch them" working, so I can take some pictures. Should be fun.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

4/22 Bite me!

Yeah, that's what Q keeps doing. She thinks I'm a giant chew toy and teething ring. It'll be nice when she gets rid of all her razor-sharp baby teeth.

We went out for breakfast yesterday. I sat outside so Quincy could be with me. It was not a very relaxing meal because every single person had to stop and play with her. It's great to have a beautiful and friendly dog, but I don't get any privacy when I'm out. Is this what it's like to be a celebrity? :)

Right now she's attacking the doorstop. She found out that they move when touched so every doorstop in the house has become a toy. I've had to take off the little white rubber ends because she takes those off and chews on them. I'll put them back on when she loses interest. IF she loses interest.

This morning we walked around the circle (a block or so). This was the longest she ever walked without stopping. Felt like it was a big deal.

Have lots of LSSDR work to do today so need to get going....

Friday, April 20, 2007

4/20 Home with Quincy

She was thrilled when I picked her up at the vet's today. But not as thrilled as I was. It was great to have her back home. She's still on amoxycillin for her urinary tract infection, but the doc said she was fine.

I put away five boxes tonight, but the place doesn't look like I even made a dent. The boxes must have reproduced while I was gone. I plan to do more tomorrow, but also have to do work work. I was able to set up the wireless DSL today and am excited about that. No excuses now. Can have both my computers hooked up at the same time.

Gotta run. Dog's gotta go outside.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

4/19 Silent Auction

Am sitting in my hotel room waiting for our IT department to call me. My Blackberry and my laptop are both experiencing problems today.

Last night went out to dinner to Pappadeaux with many LDR state coordinators from all over the place. Of course there weren't many vegetarian choices in a Cajun restaurant but I had a really good salad, baked potato, and of course fresh-baked bread. Delicious.

There was a silent auction yesterday to benefit National VOAD and I made a few bids. I got a small umbrella from the Humane Society and the piece de resistance--a framed poster of Hurricane Katrina. The beauty of it though is that it's made up of tons of very small disaster pictures. From far away it looks like a regular picture. As you get a bit closer it looks like a puzzle. Close up you can tell what it is. Can't wait to hang this in my office. BUT have to get it home. Will go to a MailBoxPlus to ship it. Hope it's not horrifically expensive. It's sure lovely though.

Also bought a beautiful piece of pottery that looks like it's antique. But it's freshly made by a Navajo artist. So lovely and will go perfectly in my living room. Love to all.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

4/18 A touching, moving day

It started after breakfast with some keynote speeches from Japanese members. To hear them talk about what they've learned from us over the years about how to mobilize volunteers was very moving. And a few of them were choked up when they spoke about the Virginia Tech tragedy. I found it so touching that I got teary-eyed too.

Then so much information all day about disaster work. I'm in sensory overload. Tonight several of us are going out to dinner, but it will be for business. All the agencies that also function as affiliates of the national Lutheran Disaster Response.

What was cool for me is that I saw so many people I knew from when I was at Red Cross HQ in DC and also people I worked with during the Florida tornadoes.

This is a valuable week for me, but I can't wait to get home. So much to do.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

4/17 Still in Albuquerque

This morning Sandra and I went to the Rio Grande Valley State Park. She ran and I walked for 50 minutes. Felt good. It was a beautiful, sunny, and cool morning.

Then to the conference. Amazing that all these people do disaster work. Many of them are volunteers and all of them are truly dedicated people.

I've been working in between sessions. Unfortunately work doesn't stop in Biloxi simply because I'm not there.

Gee, I miss Quincy.

Monday, April 16, 2007

4/16 In Albuquerque, NM

It's just as cold here as it is in Biloxi but should be 70 tomorrow. That'll be nice. Back home there were horrible thunderstorms on the Gulf Coast.

Great to be here but the timing is bad. Wish I was back home--with all the stacked up boxes and my little puppy. It was hard taking Quincy to the kennel for a few nights, but it had to be done. I acted like it didn't bother me so she wouldn't sense I was upset. As it was, she happily went with the tech. Just like sending your kids to kindergarten for the first day.

What a blessing to be in my own home!!!! A new washer and dryer are being delivered on Friday and I hope to have some guys out to give me an estimate on the fence. Then I need some yard work done--and fire ant hills removed, but after that I'll need to stop spending. At least until something else pops up.

And to the world's unfathomable how humans injure humans. 33 people dead and we'll never know why. I have a feeling someone at this conference will address the issue. And I wouldn't be surprised if some attendees left to help deal with the aftermath of the tragedy. This conference is NVOAD--National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

4/14 Spoke too soon

The puppy had several accidents in the house. And we have such a nice big yard. Guess it was too good to be true.

Closed on the house yesterday. (Thank you, God.) I am thrilled beyond belief in my little nest. Quincy loves it too. She has a huge crate that she can grow into, and sleeps in there at night and when I'm away for a while. So far I haven't left her for more than a few hours. What a blessing that she can come to work with me occasionally.

Next week I'm in Albuquerque on business and she'll be in a kennel. Makes me sad, but I know I'll have a good time.

Just took a pair of pants to Kim's Alterations because a seam had unraveled and she charged me one dollar. I love this place.

Thunderstorms and tornadoes are everywhere so I can't stay on long. Unfortunately we have a celebration barbeque in 45 minutes. I'm afraid that it's going to be an indoor event. But that's okay. As long as the tent doesn't blow away, we'll be fine. It's to celebrate a big undertaking with Habitat for Humanity International. We'll be working on a big project with them for two years and it's awesome. So many people will be served, and that's what it's all about.

Am in my office because, although my DSL is turned on at home, my equipment is outdated. (Oh, my brothers would have a field day with that line.) UPS won't deliver until Monday and of course I'm out of town. Bad timing on my part, but that's life.

Next on my agenda at home--besides putting stuff away--is getting a fence and getting someone to work on my lawn. It looks like it's been sodded but is very uneven and mostly weeds. There's also a big fire ant hill in the yard and they'd kill Quincy if she ever got into the hill.

That's it. The storm's here. Love to everyone.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

4/12 Great news!

Yesterday, Paula, my agent called and said, "Good news, you can move in the house." I had to sign rental papers since we didn't know yet about the closing. She'd told the seller's agent that my moving van was driving in circles trying to decide whether they would unload at the house or at a storage place.

It was probably one of the most stressful days of my life. And the rent is just awful. BUT I'll get it back at closing. They are so sweet after all.

The woman returned to Milwaukee from Mexico and they are closing today at 4. We're closing tomorrow afternoon.

I've been praying a lot--even saying that I'm okay if it doesn't go through. Yet I really love this little house. It's just perfect for me, except for that dratted small living room. Plus the doors are narrow and we couldn't get my sofa bed into a spare room. So it's stuffed in the living room with other stuff. And they did damage to my house and sofa even getting it in there. Guess I never thought to measure doors, huh?

But that is small small small compared to how happy I am. Quincy seems to love it too. There's certainly a lot more room than in the RV. Right now I'm in the RV getting the last of my stuff. I'll return tonight to watch Survivor. :) Really I'm going to return to clean the place because it's being moved tomorrow to Camp Biloxi so Maria, the Case Management Director can move into it. It's a very nice RV. But I'll be thrilled to be surrounded by my own "stuff."

Paula gave me a housewarming gift--a very nice microwave. I really needed one since there's no built in. A perfect present.

More later. Gotta run.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

4/11 From bad to worse to semi-okay

I'm in the house, but am renting it at an exorbitant fee. Movers had problems. I'm sad. The last I heard they still haven't located my buyer in Milwaukee--here's hoping she hasn't committed fraud. The last anyone talked to her was Monday. She was in Mexico and frantic because she couldn't get home because of being bumped from her plane.

So I'm paying two rents. The only good thing is that I'm in the place. Maybe I'll get squatter's rights.

More tomorrow. I can't connect from home yet, even though DSL is there. I don't know where I packed my DSL "stuff."

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

4/10 No time to blog

Work is crazy busy plus I have to walk the dog every few hours. That does give me a nice break though.

Looks like things will work out for Wednesday. I'll write more about it as it happens.

Monday, April 09, 2007

4/9 Good news bad news

The good news is that Quincy slept 7 1/2 hours last night. Wow, what a nice surprise. Still no accidents either.

The bad news is that the closing has to be postponed. The gal buying my condo is stuck in Mexico. The airline overbooked and she was denied boarding. So she can't be back to Milwaukee until tomorrow and won't make the closing. Has to be postponed until Wednesday. Hope it all works out. Nothing I can do about it.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

4/8 Easter at home

The weather here has been pretty spectacular since I moved. But last night I had to turn on the heat as it got down in the 30s. Unbelievable. Rained all night too. The good thing is that Quincy wasn't scared of it and went outside to do her business. We went to sleep at 11; she woke me up at 2 and at 6. Both times she went right to work outside. I'm still amazed at her ability to know what the outside is for. :)

She's not had one accident with me yet. I am having her sleep in a crate at night, which is probably the secret. Thought I'd let her sleep with me last night but she kept thinking my ankles were a teething ring. Ow. Those little teeth are razor sharp.

At 8 we went for a long walk around the RV park. Long is a relative term--it was probably two blocks but it wore her butt out. She fell asleep immediately when we got back inside so I took the opportunity to leave for a little while. When I returned I opened up the crate she crawled out and kept sleeping. She's still napping on the floor. What a cutie!

As promised here are a few details from the trip yesterday. The 12 hour trip took 15 hours because of several factors. I took another route to miss the Masters' Golf Tournament; there was a huge traffic jam in Atlanta because of a Braves' game; and I stopped 80 gazillion times for Quincy. She was awesome. Didn't make a sound until she had to go to the bathroom and then she'd start whining. There were no false alarms either. We'd play awhile every time we stopped so she'd get tired again. Worked perfectly.

After 12 hours of driving she started HOWLING. I thought, oh no, here she goes. We stopped and she immediately went to the bathroom as soon as her feet hit the grass.

At one rest stop this guy got out of his car and said, "How much will it cost me to get that dog from you?" I told him he didn't have enough money. All along the trip people kept petting her and making over her. I loved that, but she's a puppy and has to concentrate on the job at hand. Still it was very cool.

Many people remark that she looks just like the puppy on the commercial. And I sing it to her all the time--"There ain't no bugs on me. There ain't no bugs on me. There may be bugs on some of you mugs, but there ain't no bugs on me. "

Saturday, April 07, 2007

4/7 Quincy's home

We just walked in--after a 15 hour excursion. Right now she's playing with a tennis ball (thanks, Rob) while I try to catch up on email before I pass out. Tired. Yep, that's me. Tired.

Details tomorrow.

Friday, April 06, 2007

4/6 Quincy, at last

When we pulled in the parking lot I told Rob I felt the same way I felt when I picked him up. He didn't seem to appreciate the analogy.

She is beautiful. Janae cried when she handed over Quincy. It seems that since she was so much smaller than the others that they put her in the house two weeks ago, and everyone fell in love with her. At Rob and Beata's Bobby and Chilli kept sticking their noses in her butt. Bella ignored her. Rob and Beata love her already too. Here she is in all her glory.

4/6 A HUGE warning

Never try to find a motel near Augusta, Georgia during Masters' week. I left work early and planned to drive 7 hours. Ended up having to drive 9 because I drove through Augusta. Ever been laughed at by a motel clerk? No, not for any nefarious or sexual reason--simply because you dared to ask for a room when it was Masters' week. I had to drive past Columbia, SC to find a place.

I plan to leave early tomorrow morning and drive the whole way home because I have Quincy now. Will post pictures of the little sweetie in a minute.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

4/4 Working from home

I've already accomplished so much and have a trash bag full of "stuff." Also, on a personal note the moving company will deliver my furniture April 13 or 14. This is great because originally it was supposed to be the next week and I'll be in New Mexico then. The best news is that it's only going to cost $388 more than it would have cost to ship it to Quincy; 750 miles for that price. Not bad, huh?

As I'm going through all this material, I'm re-reading the information about Katrina's impact. It's so much more meaningful to me since I now live here. Perhaps I'll post some of the statistics when I get a chance.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

4/3 Another full day

The day whizzed by. I stayed in meetings or "putting out fires" all day so didn't do any of my regular work. Decided to stay home tomorrow and work. I'm finding it almost impossible to dig in at the office. When I close my office door the cold air return doesn't work and my office gets overheated. So if I work at home at least I'll be able to both stay cool and stay focused.

But as I tell everyone--being this busy is good job security. :)

I brought home a stack of paper over a foot high. My goal is to get through it all tomorrow. I'll read, file, pitch, or act on it...but by gum, it'll be gone.

Monday, April 02, 2007

4/2 More...

The best news is that my nephew is home and fine. Luckily it was something they could fix right away.

Work was so, so, so busy. I wasn't able to get to my planned work until nearly 5 tonight. I decided to work from home one day this week and one day next week so that I finish some tasks that are overdue. There are some really wonderful people working for our company. I feel so blessed to work with them.

Just got some good news from my realtor. The tenant in my house will be gone by Good Friday. They'll have the house cleaned on Saturday, so I will definitely be able to move in on Tuesday, April 12. Well, I won't have any furniture yet, so will probably wait several days before I move in "for real." But I'll be able to take some of my stuff over there and clean out the RV to just essentials. This makes me smile.

Oh, and we had more than 3 1/2 inches of rain when those thunderstorms came through yesterday. Amazing.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

4/1 No April Fool's joke!

I need to build an ark. Fast. I'm afraid this RV is going to float away soon. Let me start at the beginning.

Woke up at seven. After my shower I drove to Coffee Fusion (near my new home) to check out the coffee and breakfast fare. It was good. Ate a nice breakfast then went to the grocery store to stock up. As I arrived at my car it started raining and my phone rang at the same time.

The rain wasn't bad, so I said hello to my sister, Jan, as I loaded up my car. Sat in the parking lot to chat and the rain started pouring. Finally I started driving when the rain seemed to let up a bit. Got to the drawbridge over the back bay and the rain became a deluge. I was still talking to Jan and finally realized she wasn't there.

I'd been chatting about the downpour and the drawbridge and the back bay and how pretty it all was even though I could barely see, and the whole time we'd been cut off. Called her back and she was laughing. Seems we'd been talking 29 minutes already when cut off. I described the drive and how the roads were getting flooded--different from home where we have storm sewers in the streets. By the time I got to Beach Boulevard the water covered my tires halfway. I started laughing, albeit a bit hysterically.

Finally pulled off Beach and drove a little north on the peninsula to Pass Road. Thought it would be better, but it was worse if anything. Jan was laughing at me because I was still doing this excited, nervous laughter. And was afraid to stop because didn't know if I could start up again. When I got to the RV park it was deep water, but I managed to pull into the park. There was a guy--looked like he was playing in the gutter, something we loved to do as kids. Turns out he was working on clearing a small drain in the road.

My driveway is a tiny bit higher than the road, so it's not badly flooded, and the door to the RV is only about two feet from my car door. Still I got soaked unloading the car, even with an umbrella. I'm so happy to be back in my little nest. I unplugged my computer, but the connection is wireless so am still able to get online. Right now we seem to be in a little lull, but we've had several different thunderstorms pass through so I don't know if it's finished yet. Wow--what an adventure!

Got some bad news from Jan too. One of my nephews is in the hospital. Hopefully he'll go home today. I'd written up all the details and then realized they were private and I wouldn't want to do anything to embarrass him. I'm praying everything turns out okay.