Sunday, September 30, 2007

9/30 Nothing exciting....

Nothing exciting happened today, except Tommy came to cut the lawn. The place always looks so good afterward.

The pups are asleep and I will follow soon. They got me up at 5:30 this morning, and we'll get up at 6 or so tomorrow, so I'm beat.

9/30 Finally--the lullaby

I was able to find the video that Rob and Beata's friend, Kellie, suggested. Thanks, Kellie. It's so cute and is a man singing a lullaby to the tune of Pachelbel's Canon in D. I don't think I'll ever listen to that beautiful piece of music the same again. :) Pretty cute!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

9/28 Failed

I posted this hilarious video from youtube, but they pulled it from youtube because of copyright infringement. Too bad. It was a woman singing every line mothers say to their kids to classical music.

But alas, it's no more. And I got to laugh at it, and you didn't. Too bad.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

9/27 Dogs and me and work, as always

I know these pictures are a bit boring, but the dogs were wrestling so much outside in the dark and making so much noise that I just aimed the camera and clicked. They do this thing where they each bite the other's ear and then they have each other. But neither can move. It's hilarious. They are at a standoff and neither one wants to let go. I couldn't catch them doing it, but caught them once when Cookie let go first.

Today was another stressful day at work--nothing bad happened, but it was just stressful. I still haven't unpacked my office and can't wait to get that done.

Can't believe it's almost the weekend already. This week has flown by.

9/27 Jill and Todd

Today is Jill and Todd's 10th anniversary. It seems like such a short time ago we gathered on the beach at Carmel, CA for the beautiful, simple ceremony. The day was gorgeous. But I remember asking Jill, "What happens if it rains?" She said, "Then we'll get married in the limo." What a great attitude!

Happy anniversary to a wonderful couple! And thanks for giving me the best two presents you could ever give me--Kayla and Hunter. Love you all.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

9/26 I love my dogs

I had a rough day. Had to stay at the new office all day by myself waiting for technicians who never showed up. Everyone else went to help the caseworkers move to their new place. So at least it was quiet, but sure was lonely.

But I picked up my puppies and they immediately cheered me. It's great to get that unconditional love. We got home around 6, I gave them their dinner, made my dinner, and by the time I was done eating they were sleeping. Michelle and Leo at Pampered Pets said both of them played hard today. Their Weimereiner friend was there and they all got worn out.

Quincy's passed out on my bathroom floor. She can see my bed from there so will open an eye every now and then to make sure I'm still typing. And Cookie is sleeping on my bed. Her favorite chew toy is close by but she can't be bothered because she's comatose. Aren't they cute?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

9/25 Moving day and dogs.....

First the dogs. They were at the vets yesterday and got weighed. Cookie is 46--up three pounds since we got her. And Quincy is 59. Up 51 pounds since I got her. :)

Today we moved to our new office, and then we had an emergency conference call for hours and I didn't put anything away in my office. So tomorrow there's a ton, ton, ton of stuff to put away. Plus regular "stuff" to do.

Q only had to have one bath today. That's because every other time she went outside I was right at her side, saying NO every time she went toward the mud.

We're now watching Tropical Depression 13 in the Gulf.

Monday, September 24, 2007

9/24 Lots going on

The day at work was busy, busy, busy. And tomorrow I move my office from Biloxi to Ocean Springs. So lots of extra work to be done. I blanked out my calendar to devote the whole day to moving.

Tonight was a special choir practice because the choir is going out of town to perform for the weekend. The musical director said that he wished I were going with them because I pick up the harmony easily and have a good alto voice. So that felt good to hear.

The pups have been crazy again tonight. They always are nutso when Doggy Day Care is closed (Sunday and Monday, plus I don't take them on Saturday). I'm glad they're back playing with their friends tomorrow. They'll be much more settled tomorrow night. Yay.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

9/23 Rainy day fun

It rained all day today. The puppies were good while I was at church but when I got home they were ready to play. After a bath because both of them got in the mud in the backyard, they just both went crazy in the house. Didn't hurt anything, but they were wild.

After they'd gotten muddy I opened the door, yelled at them, and Quincy went into my bathroom and jumped in the bathtub. Can't get her to stop jumping on people, but she jumps into the bathtub without being told. Pretty funny.

Cookie doesn't like the bathtub as much as Quincy, but she tolerates it. Right now they're wrestling on my bed, but at least they are clean. For now.

I watched a Food Challenge on the Food Network this afternoon. It was a challenge on making Mac and Cheese. They all looked so good--I made some myself. Used some shredded cheese I had (Colby, Monterey Jack, and Cheddar), and I had bought some fresh Asiago, so I grated some of that in the roux. It was really good. Luckily I made a lot of it, so I'll have some to take to work for lunch.

Guess that's it. Not a lot happening on this rainy, gloomy, muddy day. Singing in the choir was fun though.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

9/22 The storm didn't come--yet

We're very grateful that the tropical depression did not turn into a tropical storm. I still have the 10 AM conference call--I guess there might be something else brewing for next week. I'll find out.

Here are some pictures from young Paisley's birthday party last week.

I tried to post some pictures from the dumpster diving episode yesterday but they were sent bitmap for some reason and I can't change them to jpg or gif, so they won't post. I'll try to figure out something else.

Friday, September 21, 2007

9/21 It always changes

The caseworkers can't move today because their new offices aren't finished. So we have utter chaos here in the old state office. The only constant here is that things keep changing. :)

Because of the approaching tropical storm we are extra busy today. I'm sneaking a few minutes while munching on a sandwich. This will be my first tropical storm since moving here. I'm so grateful it's not a hurricane. So many people haven't recovered from Katrina. There are thousands of folks still living in FEMA trailers--much of the country doesn't realize that.

I'll be so happy to stay home with my pups tonight. I have flashlights and batteries and a radio that you can crank up, so I'm prepared for some power outage. I don't really expect much of anything to happen where I live, but we all know it's better to be prepared. The advisories call for 40-50 mph winds and some coastal flooding. I'm eight miles from the coast, so I have my fingers crossed on that.

Will have another conference call tomorrow with a guy from the National Weather Service. He was most helpful this morning.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

9/20 Whatever normal is...

It's back to normal at the house. The dogs are playing crazily, eating ice, wrestling, coming up to me for some affection, then back to the craziness. It's business as usual. Yay. I sure missed the little farts.

In the picture they're sitting and waiting for a treat--the only time they sit still together.

Today was so busy and went by quickly. A colleague and I were with a VP from Austin until after lunch today, then I had to go to Hancock County for a meeting. That took up the rest of the day.

Tomorrow morning I have a breakfast meeting with someone who is the executive director of a foundation that gave us some grants. Afterward, it's back to the state office where I'll help the caseworkers move to their new digs. Maria, Willie, and I will move on Tuesday to our new office in Ocean Springs. So much to do...I'll probably work over the weekend some. But Saturday is dedicated to doing some work at home.

Sunday will be church, then I'll come home, get the puppies, and take them to the office with me. That will probably stop them from writing comments on my blog.

(Can't wait to sing with the choir on Sunday.)

Oh, keep watching the weather. We're getting a little nervous about what's brewing in the Gulf.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

9/19 Dogless

The dogs are at the kennel because I had a late meeting and just got home. I'll pick them up tomorrow after work.

Right after work I went to choir practice at church. It was awesome. And the director told me I did a great job as an alto. The choir is going to Detroit next week to sing at a major event. Didn't catch the details because I had to leave early to go to a dinner meeting at 7:30 at Mary Mahoney's.

It's an old, old French restaurant with a 2,000 year old live oak tree in front of it. (Nope, the restaurant isn't 2,000 years old, just the tree.) The food was great. We have a visitor from Austin here, and wanted to take him to this restaurant. It's our favorite for new people to experience.

I miss my puppies. Hope I can sleep without them trying to push me out of bed.

Monday, September 17, 2007

9/17 Dinner Impossible

Robert Irvine, the chef from Dinner Impossible on the Food Network, is cooking dinner for volunteers and staff at the Salvation Army place (called Yankee Stadium) in Biloxi. I went there for a while and it smelled awesome. But my dogs had been alone for 5 1/2 hours and I needed to get home. Drat!

But the primary foods were meat and seafood; at least what I saw and smelled. There was a tremendous seafood gumbo being prepared, and I saw ribs and chicken. It will be on TV during the Christmas holidays. That will seem funny because we were all sitting there sweating. :)

Prior to that I had another function to go to and they had baklava. Omigod, I love that stuff. Luckily it's always cut in little pieces since it is so rich. Had two of them.

Got a lot done at work, but problems keep popping up. Guess that's the nature of the job. Lots of stuff going on. This Friday the caseworkers move to their new location, and next Tuesday I move to mine. There will only be three or four of us in the state office in the future, since our case managers and construction folks are stationed at the camps now. It will be quiet. No excuses for not getting my work done--well, except that I'm not in my office all that much. :)

Oh, Quincy did fine for the time left alone today. I figured out that Cookie is the destructive one--chewing cords and my clothes. And poor Cookie had an accident in the crate today. That really surprised me. Anyway, tomorrow they're back to Doggy Day Care. Hooray.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

9/15 Saturday, beach, mud

This morning was good. I picked up Genia and we went to breakfast. Then we got "the girls." Q and C were both happy to see Genia--she's a real dog person, so they love her.

We took them to the beach and the dogs had a ball. Genia kept Cookie and I played with Quincy. I'd bought a 25 foot training rope, so Q was able to play in the water until she was exhausted. Great fun!

Today was Mississippi Gulf Coast clean up day and the beaches were just full of people picking up trash. The good news is that there were plenty of people and not a lot of trash.

Last night I had to leave Genia's party abruptly when my shoulder started hurting pretty bad. Today it felt okay again, until after I got back from the beach. Then it started hurting again. Can't wait until it gets back to normal.

It sucks being old.

Friday, September 14, 2007

9/14 A fun party

Paisly's 13th birthday party was so much fun. There were no other kids there, but she didn't care. She had a ball and was very surprised. After a great meal, topped off with cake and ice cream, she opened presents and then we played games. Everything went well, we all had a good time.

UNTIL Lorena went home. She lives in the same apartment complex as Genia (where the party was held). So on her way home she said she'd throw Genia's trash in the dumpster. A few moments later she knocked on the door, walked in, and she was deathly pale. She said, "You guys will never believe what happened. I threw the trash in the dumpster and my cell phone went with it."

We were all shocked, but giggled. And Genia, after imbibing a few glasses of wine, yelled, "Let's go dumpster diving." Luckily there were cameras, and people brought them outside. Lots of really funny pictures were taken. Can't wait to see them. Most of them are Genia's butt with her legs being held by Lorena and Paisly. We all laughed so hard we were crying.

Tomorrow morning I'm picking up Genia and then we'll get Quincy and Cookie and take them to the beach for a little while. The dogs will LOVE it!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

9/13 Another busy day

Got lots done, although half of my day was spent at a meeting in Hancock County, well at least in traveling there and back. It takes almost an hour each way.

After I picked up the dogs and got home it started to rain--bad! Remnants of Hurricane (now Tropical Storm) Humberto. Glad it didn't hit us. But the rain is welcome--except that my dogs like mud too much. So I watched them closely tonight, and I didn't get any mud in the house. Hooray!

Jill and the kids called tonight and I got to see them on webcam. Kayla hadn't seen Cookie yet, so she wanted to see her, and she fell in love.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

9/12 Busy

Today I got so much work done that I feel great. Well, also I worked until 9 PM last night to catch up on email.

I think I'm going to put the dogs in the kennel overnight on Friday since I'm invited to a party at Genia's. I always have to leave early to get home for the puppies. But this time I want to stay later. I'll make it up to the pups by taking them to the beach the next day. Genia said she'd go with me as I've never taken both dogs before and don't know if I could handle them. It's hard enough just having them both on leashes normally, but near the water would probably be impossible. It should be fun.

Both dogs are absolutely dog-tired. (Clever, huh?) They fell asleep around 8 so that means they'll be up before 6. Guess I should get to bed soon.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

9/11 Memories

Six years ago today we were in shock. Our world changed, and it will never be the same. A friend's husband was in a building attached to the twin towers and his building went down too. But fortunately he escaped. Yet before we knew that, we all prayed and waited.

Such a sad, sad day.

Today I attended a workshop on Vicarious Traumatization--how helpers and caregivers get traumatized even though they weren't at the original event, and what to do about it. It turned into more of a group therapy session than a workshop, but was very helpful. Every day we see staff members struggling. Some of them are hurricane survivors too, but still help others. They are great.

Yet, I often talk to individuals and am struck by how fragile we are, as well as how resilient and strong. I know it sounds like a contradiction but that's what I see. People are on the edge, yet they continue to do excellent work.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

9/9 I can't believe it

I'd forgiven Cookie for the glasses and Quincy for the mud. My friends and I had fun. The dogs were tired and slept all night.

This morning they woke up at 5:30 to go out, then we went back to sleep until 7. Everything's perfect so far.

While my coffee was brewing I thought I'd like down for a few moments. I swear it was less than five minutes.

Got up and Quincy dragged a big present to me. I couldn't figure out what it was.

Oh shit! Linoleum! About two feet by six inches.

There was a small hole in the linoleum in the kitchen. One of many "dings" the movers made. She apparently just bit at it and pulled. There wasn't time for her to work at it in a deliberate way.

Yes, I'm mad. And yes, Quincy's still alive.

I've been wanting to replace the cheap flooring and carpet throughout the house. Just not yet.

Guess I'll have to up the schedule quite a lot. Sigh.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

9/8 What a damn day

You know I was having company today. Well earlier, I was feeling some residual effects of the pain meds, so took a long nap. When I finally started cleaning the house, I didn't have much time to play around.

First Cookie destroyed my glasses. This was the only thing she's ever destroyed besides her own toys. I cried out loud. Both dogs came to comfort me. It wasn't fair, because I couldn't stay mad at her.

Then Quincy came inside totally muddied up from head to toe. It rained hard and she managed to find all the mud holes. So I threw her in my tub and bathed her. For the next few times I took her out on a leash so she wouldn't get in the mud.

When it was about 15 minutes before my friends were to arrive, I let Q out without thinking and damn, she did it again. Only this time the mud was even in her eyes. God, I was mad! She jumped in the empty tub without me telling her to. Usually she waits until the water starts running, but not this time. She knew.

Despite these problems I had fun playing cards with Genia and Caroline. I'm teaching them to play Texas Hold-em. It'll be awhile before they are ready for a tournament, but it was fun. I plan to play in a tournament at the Hard Rock Casino next Sunday at 3 PM. My first one at a casino. Should be fun.

Friday, September 07, 2007

9/7 Fun

Today was good. I left the dogs alone from 9-1, from 1:30-4:30, and from 6:30-9:30. And they both did so well. They made a mess of my bedroom--a total mess. But they just tore up their own toys, and nothing of mine. So I can't complain. Except I'll have to buy more toys. :)

Tonight I went to dinner with a friend and then to the Hard Rock Casino for a while, where I promptly lost all the money I'd set aside for gambling. Gone. Ah, well. There'll be another time.

Tomorrow night I'm having people over to teach them how to play Texas Hold'em. Then Sunday I have a BBQ to go to. But next Sunday I'm going to enter a poker tournament in the afternoon at Hard Rock. I'm excited about that.

9/7 Life looks good

I slept most of the day yesterday, and still slept all night. Guess that medicine affected me. Wow. Can't believe I slept so much.

Cookie's eyes are much better already--after just four doses of the eye stuff. Now Q's eyes are leaking, so I'm giving her the med too.

Am so glad the meds are pretty much out of my system. It's nice to be able to think clearly, to not sweat, and to not have a headache.

Okay, time to work.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

9/6 Falling apart

The pain meds caused a bad reaction. Throwing up, dizziness, and headache--worse than the original symptoms. :) So I quit taking them. This morning went to work for a few hours, but had to come home.

Plus Cookie has conjunctivitis.

It's a strange world when Quincy is the healthiest one in the house.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

9/5 A pain in the neck

Finally called the doctor today after being in pain for weeks. My admin assistant threatened me. He's a former Marine and said he was going to call my son and let him know I wasn't taking good care of myself. That scared me enough to make me call.

Funny thing was--my doc is out of town for a week. The doctor on call told the nurse to call in some pain meds for me. I'm buzzing but the pain isn't gone. If it doesn't feel any better in a few days I'm to call back in.

I re-injured it lifting my couch on Sunday. I feel so grateful though--I have some great friends here who have offered to help me in any way I need it. My house is so messy though that I refuse to have anyone over to help. Will wait until I feel a bit better and will try vacuuming again. When I did that on Sunday it made it hurt worse.

What a dork!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

9/4 It flew by

I can't believe how the day flew by. I was so incredibly busy that it feels like I didn't accomplish anything, although a lot got done. Tomorrow will prove to be the same I fear.

Today was Cookie's first day at Doggy Day Care. They said she was really friendly, but that she barked all day long. Sure hope that improves. Wouldn't want her to get detention.

Some good news. I think I mentioned that I'm going to work at another Avon Breast Cancer Walk. This one is in Charlotte in October--I'm going to be the Operations Division Leader, which is a role I've played elsewhere. But the good news is that I'll get to see Rob and Beata. I'm flying in a day early and will stay with them. Then Rob will drive me to the site in Charlotte. So I'm thrilled to be able to see some of my family.

Monday, September 03, 2007

9/3 A fun bbq and a bad body

I had a good time at my friend's house. The food was good and the company better. Looking forward to the next time we get together.

I didn't stay long because I sprained my shoulder and neck again. It really, really hurts. And it's sure hard to have these big dogs on leashes. So I'm going to have to be careful.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

9/2 Quincy is smart and I found a church

Quincy is a freaking dog genius. She and Cookie have been fighting over a chew toy all day. I've made them take turns with it, but it's not easy. And I put it away while I was at church so they wouldn't fight over it. (They really ARE like sisters.)

But Q figured out a brilliant maneuver. She goes to the door and barks. I open the door. Cookie runs out. Q stays inside and takes the toy. She's an evil genius. (Just noticed that she always wins at tug of war too, because she uses her front paws to help pull. Evil genius I say....)

I went to Mass at Our Mother of Sorrows. It's a tiny little white wooden church in the middle of East Biloxi. Brother Gene said it's about 90 percent African American. The other 10% is white and Vietnamese. It's run by the Redemptorist priests and brothers. They have another one a few blocks away that is 90% Vietnamese. (And about a mile away is the Vietnamese Martyrs Church which is Catholic too. Lots of Vietnamese shrimpers live in the area.)

I enjoyed the service. The pastor, Father Steve, seems nice. And Brother Gene is sweet. So I'm going to join the parish. It's been five years since I've joined a parish, but it's time to get back in the swing of things instead of just hit and miss on church going. So this week I'll become a member of OMOS.

Mom would say that I just made Jesus smile.

9/2 Hurricanes, etc.

Am getting ready for church and looked at the Hurricane Center of NOAA online. I hadn't even heard of Hurricane Felix and it's already at Cat 2. Looks like it's heading for Mexico and turning north for Texas. Of course, the path can change drastically. I'm keeping my colleagues in south Texas in my prayers. Sure hope this one dies out before it hits land in Mexico. But there's slim chance of that.

And there's a tropical storm off Baja California, plus another one in the Atlantic. Things are heating up. So far everything looks good for us here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. But you never know....

My pups are having fun playing with their toys. But I have to wash my bedspread a LOT because that's their favorite playground. This is just like having two toddlers. Except they can't really talk. Except Quincy reminds me of Lassie. She does communicate. She'll bark and go to the door, so I know she needs to go out. She'll bark and put her nose in the empty water bowl, so I know to fill it up. She'll bark when her toy goes under furniture and I'll know I have to get it out for her.

The cool thing is that she'll come to wherever I am, bark and wait for me to follow her. Of course I often say, "What is it girl? Is Timmy in the well?" Aren't I original?

Gotta run. (Oh, the pups slept until 6:38 today. It felt like I was sleeping in.)

Saturday, September 01, 2007

9/1 Boring

Today was boring and absolutely wonderful. I'd decided to clean today, but after the pups got me up at 5:18 AM I was tired all day long. Well, at least until my two-hour nap this afternoon. It was fun--both pups curled up with me and napped as well.

So tomorrow I have to clean. Am going to Mother of Sorrows church for Mass. I've been wanting to check out this place. It's downtown and is attended by all different races, most notably Vietnamese. I also understand there are many homeless who attend there too.

Then after Mass, cleaning.

Today the pups were fun. Only bad thing is that they won't eat out of the same bowl. Cookie is possessive of her food. I can understand why. I don't have to worry about them biting anyone else though, because they both gobble down the food so fast it's almost like magic. Abracadabra, the food is gone.

The neighbor puppy finally made it under the fence into our yard. She was still connected by her chain to her own yard. I unhooked her and let her run with my dogs and they had fun. Then I brought her home and told her owner what she'd done. He covered up the hole and shortened her chain so she can't reach the fence. Now I feel horrible. I hate that she's chained up to begin with, and now the chain is shorter. Wish he'd get his damn fence done so the dog can run. He's been working on it since April. Raven is an adorable puppy. She's lonely, but has a great temperament. Ah well, there's nothing more I can do about it. Except I did say I'd pay for a doggy door to be put in the fence between our yards as soon as he finishes his other three sides. I think that will stop the digging.

While I sit here typing, the pups are behind me on the bed asleep. They play hard, but I hate that they are sleeping. That means I'll be getting up early again. Maybe I'll wake them up.