Friday, August 31, 2007

8/31 A good day

The dogs are having fun, but Q keeps barking. She alternates between wanting to go out and wanting Cookie to play tug-of-war.

This morning I went looking for a new office. Our current lease is up next month and the rent is being raised. So I found this great spot in Ocean Springs that we'll probably move into in mid-September, if everything works out. Hope so.

Cookie is well on her way to become the alpha dog. First of all, Quincy doesn't much care. Secondly, we were just outside and we heard a cat howl really loudly. Q came right back to me and sat on my foot. And Cookie ran all around the perimeter of the yard, barking at the "bad guys."

8/31 DDD

DDD=double doggy diarrhea. The vet told me that excitement or anxiety can cause diarrhea. So I'm hoping this is over. It happened last night. Q had a small mishap--the first accident at home since she was sick some weeks back. And Cookie went overboard with the poop. But this morning they both pooped outside. And no pee accidents, so I'm grateful for that.

Cookie and Quincy are absolutely having a ball. They played so much and both slept all night. Q went to the bathroom floor to begin her night as always. And Cookie jumped up on my bed and curled up right into my arm. It made me think about what her life must have been like on the street. All alone and hungry. (She ate like a little piggy here.)

Cookie slept with me all night, and Q joined us for a while. Then Quincy fell off the bed in the early morning hours. Pretty funny.

Right now they are playing well together. Normally at this time Q demands all of my attention. She has so much energy in the morning. Cookie does to, and so they are having a ball. But C is insecure and keeps coming back to make sure I'm still here. I hope this works out--the only thing will be housetraining. So far, so good (except for the DDD).

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

8/29 Early early day

Got up at 4 AM, picked up Heather and Mark at 5:15 at their hotel in Gulfport and we made our way to the Gulfside Assembly in Waveland. The church itself is completely gone, but God made a perfect cathedral for us. The sun rose over the eastern part of the Gulf as we gathered together, to commemorate the second anniversary of Katrina. Most religions were represented--many Christian denominations as well as Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist. The service was inspiring and I felt such solidarity with everyone there. It was so worth getting up that early.

Afterward we went to the Waffle House for breakfast. It's the only restaurant open in that whole area. And it was absolutely delicious. Following that we had a staff meeting in Long Beach, and had lunch there with the case managers. Then 30 miles to Ocean Springs for our last meeting at Camp Victor before the hospitality portion moves to another not-for-profit. Got a lot accomplished.

Left there at 4:50 PM and I was knackered to the bone. Stopped at the grocery store, since it's a ton easier to do without dogs. :) Can't wait to pick them up tomorrow evening and bring them home. I really miss Quincy, and am dying to get to know Cookie.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

8/28 Cookie

Yep, that's her name. She is absolutely adorable! Such a sweetheart and so loving. Or maybe that was the anesthetic. :)

She and Quincy had a great time in the back of the SUV though, and I think they'll be great friends--sisters even.

Unfortunately neither one of them are home with me. I worked until just a little while ago. My boss is in town and we had lots of meetings. So Q is spending two nights at Doggy Day Care, and Cookie is staying at the vet's. She's got to be kept quiet for 7-10 days, and Doggy Day Care would definitely rip out her stitches. She'll get to go there during the day beginning next week.

For now, I'm beat. I have another long day tomorrow. Have to get up at 4 because we're going to a sunrise service in in Waveland, MS. Tomorrow is the second anniversary of Katrina. And Waveland is the first place Katrina hit in Mississippi. Waveland, Bay St. Louis, and Pass Christian are still virtually leveled in many spots. It could have happened yesterday by the looks of things. So sad. So much to be done. I'll report back on the service.

Monday, August 27, 2007

8/27 A big change

Got a call from the animal shelter and was told I need to pick up the dog tomorrow. This causes me many problems. First of all, she just had surgery today and I can't take her to Doggy Day Care tomorrow. Secondly, I have to board Q tomorrow night because I have to go to a Sunrise Service on Wednesday. So poor little new puppy--I'll take her from the shelter and take her to a kennel. That will just suck. But there's nothing I can do about it. I tried to get the shelter to keep the pup for two more days, but they are overcrowded and have no room for her.

Poor little Cookie or Luxi or nameless one! (I'm going to make my final choice when I see her again. I decided not to automatically saddle her with an odd moniker.) I only spent a few minutes with her the other day, and am not fully tuned in to her. Hope everything goes well at 7:15 tomorrow morning. Will let you know.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

8/26 A quiet weekend

Just finished cleaning out the dogmobile. After 2,000 miles of driving on our vacation, the car was one hairy mess. Now I need to prepare it for a second dog. So tomorrow I'm taking it for a thorough cleaning, and am putting down the back seats so there's room for two dogs. I'm kind of excited.

But if I had my way, I'd take the puppy next door. She's the one that Q loves so much. They dig toward each other all the time. I brought her over to play yesterday and the two of them had a riot. They played in the pool and ran like crazy throughout the yard.

The neighbors have this beautiful little pup chained outside all the time. She's lonely and she's hot, and needs some attention. I'm not saying they are mistreating her, she always has food and water and a really long chain, but she gets no socialization. I never see anyone talking to her or petting her. And it makes me so sad. I'd take her in a heartbeat.

Ah well, none of my business I guess. And Luxi will be with us soon. Yep, Luxi is short for Biloxi. (For you Yankees, the "lox" in Biloxi is pronounced "lux."

Saturday, August 25, 2007

8/25 New family member

We adopted another dog today. I let Quincy make the final choice. Wanted a dog that was a little older, although those puppies were so tempting and so adorable. We settled on a chocolate lab mix. She's about a year old and was a stray. She's a lot smaller than Q, so it's obvious she's a mix.

They named her Cookie but I'm going to change it. Couldn't bring her home yet since she has to be spayed. We'll get her sometime next week.

Quincy and the "unnamed one" got along just fine. But if it doesn't work out I have seven days in which I can make an exchange. I would hate to bring a dog back, but will do so if necessary.

Can't wait to bring her home. It will be good to have two dogs. And I think at some point I'll go for three, and will stop there. But for now, two will do.

Quincy loved it at the Humane Society of South Mississippi. It's a huge beautiful facility with a big gift shop and lots of fun things. It doesn't look like a "dog pound" and is pleasant. Lots of people made over Q, which always makes her happy (me too).

Friday, August 24, 2007

8/24 Lots to do

Yesterday was so busy but it was a really good day. I finally have an administrative assistant and he is great. In a few days he's become indispensable to our office. Plus he's a really nice young man. My fear is that he's too good. Maybe he'll become bored with this job. We'll see. For right now we'll enjoy the fact that he's good.

Today I have to take a display to a statewide event. Luckily it's in Gulfport, the next town over. And happily, it's Friday. Tomorrow there's so much to do here at home, and I have a party to go to tomorrow night. Play games and drink beer? Sounds like my family. Am looking forward to it.

Quincy's whining so I better get her outside.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

8/22 Home at last

I can't remember the last time I've been this tired. Arrived at work from the airport around 11:30 or so and my brain was in such a fog. Ended up coming home and trying to relax. I couldn't sleep but was able to unwind. Spent some quality time with my dog, read a while, did some work on the computer, now I just need a good night's sleep and I should be back to normal.

Normal. Whatever that is.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

8/21 The day is long

My meetings went so very well in Austin. We accomplished a lot. Unfortunately I missed my connection in Dallas/Fort Worth and am at a Baymont Hotel near the airport. Am very tired because I didn't sleep last night.

Looking forward to going home. How did I ever travel every week when I was a trainer for CPI? I loved it at the time, and still enjoy traveling. But can't imagine doing this all the time. Guess age is catching up with me.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

8/19 Busy

Took Q to the kennel today because I have to leave town before it opens in the morning. I miss her, but it's kind of fun to be able to fold laundry without a dog "helping" me.

Spent five hours in the office today. Got a lot done, but there's still tons to do before I meet with my boss and her boss on Tuesday. Hope to get stuff done in the hotel tomorrow evening.

Hurricane Dean looks like it's headed for south Texas. They sure don't need more rain. But we sure don't need another hurricane in Mississippi either.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

8/18 A big nothing

Today was just that. I've been so frazzled, so took off for the day. Absolutely, positively took the day off.

All I did was sleep, wait for the guys to deliver the daybed, and do one load of laundry.

What a great, nonproductive way to spend a Saturday.

Friday, August 17, 2007

8/17 It never stops

Yesterday and today I presented workshops. Yesterday's went extremely well. Today's not so much....the air conditioning went off and the venue was steaming. Plus for a brief time it seemed like Hurricane Dean was turning northward, so I ended early.

Back at the state office we had a hurricane preparedness meeting and went over our hurricane response plan. So much work still to be done, but we've done a lot already. Of course we're hoping that Dean dissipates and doesn't hit anywhere else, but we're certain we don't want him here.

Tonight a bunch of friends went to Caroline's for dinner. She has a lovely old home near the beach in Gulfport. It was spared major structural damage. What damage was done has been repaired, and the place is beautiful.

I'm exhausted though and came home early. Q was good while I was gone--no damage, no accidents. Life is good.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

8/15 It's never normal

The meeting in Jackson was long but very productive. Q ended up with an ear infection from swimming, but I got medicine and she should be fine soon.

Today was NUTS. I had two different board meetings as well as interviewed a new admin assistant. Still managed to find time to do some office work. What a brutal day, and it's not over yet.

Tomorrow and Friday I'm giving 8 hours worth of workshops each day. So it's going to be hard to get other stuff done. Virtually impossible. And Monday I go to Austin. So it's obvious that I'll be working this weekend. But I'll get to have Quincy with me, so that it will make it a little more easy to take. :)

I love this job, and will be able to slow down a little bit late next week. At least that's my hope.

Time to give Q her meds.

Monday, August 13, 2007

8/13 Hot tomatoes, thunderstorms, and the best dog in the world

Jan gave me wonderful fresh tomatoes and they keep popping open in the heat (yes, I do take them into the hotel room with me). So I've been eating the ones that won't last the trip. Not a bad deal. They are delicious, Jan.

The trip TO St. Louis was easy, the hotel was beautiful, the kids had fun, Quincy was well-behaved, Jill and Todd got there on time, both of them loved Quincy. All was perfect---UNTIL, the perfect storm appeared at 2 AM. Cut out power to more than 50,000 customers, including our hotel. The lightning and thunder woke me up, and Q just raised her head and went back to sleep. But I knew that if the power didn't come back on it would get awful hot in there. Plus we were on the 4th floor.

I didn't go back to sleep and it got hotter and hotter. Took a bath by the light of the computer. Packed by the light of my phone. Woke up Todd to help me carry my stuff down. When I looked in their room everyone was covered up, and I was sweating. Those damn Californians.

Anyway, I made it out of there and am now in Jackson, MS. Q is in a kennel because I have to work, but I'll pick her up after the meeting tomorrow and we'll finally make it home and to our "normal" routine. Can't wait. More later.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

8/12 Fresh tomatoes and hot weather

It is absolutely miserable outside. So hot that I can't even enjoy walking my dog.

The good news is that Jan picked a ton of fresh tomatoes for me to take back to Biloxi. I'm thrilled about that. Have been eating fresh tomatoes practically every meal and now I have a lot more to continue that tradition. :)

Today the kids rode the tractor with Jan and a four wheeler with their neighbor Randy. So they had a great time. I picked up Quincy and she indeed did run around crazily for a few hours.

The kids didn't want to say good-bye to Jan and Tim. They loved their time visiting, and can't wait to go back.

Our trip to St. Louis was uneventful. All three of the kids (Kayla, Hunter, and Quincy) slept for the whole trip, and woke up three miles from the hotel. This hotel is nice. It's across the street from the airport, which is nice and handy.

Q just ate a half bar of soap. Can anyone say "more diarrhea"?

Jill and Todd landed in Orlando and we spoke to them. They should arrive a little after 9 tonight. The kids are thrilled. We have adjoining rooms which is very nice. In a few minutes we're going down for "cocktail hour" where the kids will have free soda and appetizers. We had such a HUGE lunch at Jan's that I believe the appetizers will be enough for dinner.

I have a new GPS. It is absolutely awesome. It also functions as my phone, so that is handy. My new toy is giving me tons of fun. Hope to figure out how to use all the functions. Blame Tim for me buying it. He let me use theirs to go to the vet, and I was hooked.

Thanks, Jan and Tim. I had a wonderful vacation. Now I just need to sleep.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

8/11 Lots happening

It's been an amazing time. Right now I'm at McDonald's with the grandkids. They finished breakfast and are playing while I try to catch up a little.

Can't remember if I mentioned the lovely flowers that Rob and Beata sent me for my birthday. Amazing. And some of them are still beautiful more than a week later.

We've seen lots of our family especially Jan, Tim, Jane, Sarah, and Jordan. It's been great. Jan and Tim are just wonderful to let us stay so long. Jane has been incredibly generous with buying the kids things and supplying an extra duffel bag to put them in for the trip. :) Jordan and Sarah have been such big helps with watching them.

Swam every day but one so far. Yesterday we swam twice so that made up for the one day we missed. Hunter's had a few meltdowns where he cried for his mom, but it hasn't happened for several days. In fact now he calls me mom, I hope that doesn't worry you, Jill. Both kids want to live with me now, I think it's 'cause I told them you're never coming back for them and you don't love them anymore.

Okay, the truth...they really miss you, but there's no crying anymore. They are having such a wonderful time swimming every day, being with family, and enjoying "vacation rules." I told them that when we get to the hotel in St. Louis that their vacation rules are officially over and that we need to get them back into "mommy and daddy rules" so that when Jill and Todd walk into the hotel they won't be horrified at their children's behavior. Truth be told, Tim and Jan both say that Kayla and Hunter are very well behaved and polite, so that's very good to hear.

I put Q in the kennel a few days ago. She's such a HUGE puppy and I wasn't having a relaxed time just worrying about the damage she could do at the new house. She is completely housetrained at home (except for the unfortunate diarrhea incident--no fault of hers), but has managed to pee several times on the expensive living room carpet. Plus she enjoys Jan's flowers--a bit too much. So tomorrow morning we'll pick her up and bring her to the house so she can run around outside for a few hours before taking off for St. Louis. I'm much less anxious. The kids are easier to watch. :) We leave about noon tomorrow and will stay at the hotel. Jill and Todd get in at 9:30 so the kids will be anxiously waiting for their arrival.

The following day Q and I leave early for Jackson MS. I have a meeting in Jackson on Tuesday, so will put Q in day care there while I work. Tuesday evening we'll head for home, and that will be a welcome occurence. Have to rest up from my vacation.

Today will be fun though. We're having a family picnic at Jan and Tim's lots of folks are coming and we'll swim then have a feast. Can't wait.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

8/7 Time flies, etc.

On August 2, I turned 60. One of the worst birthdays in my life. Not because of my age--that's never bothered me. But because of Quincy's diarrhea.

Yep. It started the evening of August 1. Luckily she was able to run to the door and we had no accidents inside the house. Until in the middle of the night I heard a loud SQUIRT and woke up scraeming, "NOOOOOOO!" It took a good portion of the rest of the night to clean the carpet, then clean my rug shampooer.

Woke up at 3:30 after only a few hours rest. We drove to Jackson MS, making many stops along the way. I dropped her at a vet/kennel while I went to a meeting at the MEMA EOC (Emergency Operations Center). Told the vet that instead of just boarding her, she needed to be seen.

My wild dog just loves kennels and vets. She bounds into those places like she bounds everywhere--with joy and enthusiasm. God, I love her!

Turns out she has a lower GI infection. More meds to the tune of $125. After my meeting Q and I took off for Quincy, IL. We stopped VERY frequently. Ended up staying at a Drury Hotel in Cape Girardeau, MO. Thanks, Jill, for making the reservation for us. Turns out that all Drury Hotels are pet friendly. And the place didn't smell at all. This means I'll definitely stay at that chain frequently.

Got to Jan and Tim's in Maywood MO, right across the Mississippi River from Quincy on Friday, the 3rd. Quincy absolutely loves their property where she can run all over the acreage. Their two dachshunds run hot and cold in their feelings for her, but she seems to like them a lot.

On Saturday I drove to St. Louis to pick up the grandkids. (Left Q at a kennel in Quincy so Jan and Tim didn't have to worry about diarrhea.) It was wonderful to see Jill and Todd, but my heart exploded with joy to see Kayla and Hunter. My nephew Jordan went with me to help out and prior to the kids' arrival, he and I spent time at a Mexican bar and restaurant with my friend Joe.

We got back to the Quincy area around 8:30 or so. Jan and Tim had other guests too, so it was a wonderfully crowded house. I kept Q in the kennel overnight because there were a lot of little kids at Jan's, plus a new puppy. Crazy--but fun.

The kids and I have been swimming daily except for today. Swimming in the pond in the country is absolutely superb. Quincy loves it too. She is having the time of her life.

Must run. Most of the big family is meeting at Kelly and Todd's for pizza at 5. Tomorrow is shopping with Aunt Jane, and Friday is going to Mark Twain Cave with the kids. Jordan has been a real godsend with the kids. Can't believe I just said that. But he has been awesome.

And I owe so many thanks to Jan and Tim for their patience with the kids, the dog, and me.

Wish I could have gotten more work done. My vpn (virtual private network) won't connect and our IT department hasn't gotten back to me about it. Have worked nearly all day though. Just wish I could send the emails via my computer instead of Blackberry.

Much more, much later.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

8/1 Almost time

Almost time to go out to dinner with my friend Bill from Milwaukee

Almost time to finish packing for my trip

Almost time to wake up (3:30 AM) to drive to Jackson for a meeting

Almost time for Quincy to go to a kennel in Jackson

Almost time for my vacation with my grandkids

Almost time for me to turn 60