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. :)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

10/7 A minor miracle

I walked Quincy around the block. No big deal. Been done many times before.

But I also walked Cookie around the block. I used the techniques my pal taught me. Cookie pulled on the leash every now and then, but it was nothing compared to the psycho pulling she usually does. Amazing. And then, after a bit she stopped totally stopped pulling and just walked at my side. The exception was when we got to my driveway. Then she got semi-psycho again.

When she pulled I stopped and corrected her. She waited patiently until I started moving again.

Yes, it was a minor miracle. Now I have no excuse to not walk the dogs.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

10/6 A good Saturday

I cleaned most of the house today--everything but my bedroom and bathroom and perhaps I'll hit those tomorrow.

Quincy's had three baths today because it rained so much yesterday. Of course she's taken mud baths all day which caused me to do the inside baths. But I do love how she'll jump inside the bathtub as soon as I point. She knows when she's in trouble. Unfortunately there's a mud trail across the carpet in my bedroom. I'll hit that tomorrow too. Thank heaven for carpet shampooers.

A friend walked Cookie tonight and taught her not to pull. I hope it "takes." He uses the Dog Whisperer techniques coupled with some other training methods, and it looked great. It started raining so I didn't try tonight, but will after Mass tomorrow.

Friday, October 05, 2007

10/5 Phone, computers, and security

I'm thrilled. We have phones on our desks, computers that hook to the internet, printers on our desks. Sure, the network isn't working--that is, we can't print on the network printers yet, so that's why we're using small printers on our desks. But I know it's just temporary, so there are no complaints at all. DB came from Austin and has worked two days on the state office alone.

This afternoon he went to the new casework office. I was ecstatic because the poor case managers in the new office have been without computers and a land line for over a week. Their new office is small, but it is lovely and the construction guys did a great job on it. But somehow there's a problem with the phone lines and the internet connection. I know it'll get fixed, but I feel so bad for the caseworkers, having to wait another day.

DB is staying in town over the weekend, so it will be great if we have their office done by Monday. Here's hoping....

Then he needs to go to the other camp and work on the new casework offices there. So DB certainly has lots to do in the days he's here. We're very appreciative that he was sent all the way from Austin to help with this.

Soon we'll all be set in our new offices.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

10/4 Poor, poor Cookie--poor, really poor me!

As soon as we got home tonight Cookie's face swelled up and she got hives all over her head. I called the vet but they'd closed. Then I called the Emergency Vet. They told me to bring her in. By the time we got there the hives were all over her body, and she had a fever.

She got stung by something apparently. So after a shot of benadryl and prednisone she's a bit better. But her right eye is still swollen. Poor, poor Cookie.

And after I paid the bill--poor, poor me.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

10/3 New title

As of today I'm State Director of Disaster Response. Formerly I was State Coordinator. It's not a promotion, just a title change more reflective of what I really do.

Mark, a VP from Austin, was in today and we had some meetings. Will do so tomorrow morning too. Then off to Hancock County in the afternoon for an LTRC meeting (Long Term Recovery Committee). Lots going on.

But I've set aside all day Friday to put my new office into shape. Boxes are piled everywhere and I need to get "moving in" finished.

Damn, I miss my dogs. They're staying over at Pampered Pets because I thought I'd be gone late tonight. But I got home pretty early--but still too late to pick them up. Doggy Day Care closes at 6. Will someone please stand at the back door and whine to go outside? Then I'll feel better.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

10/2 Office stuff

I worked in the office all day. It was good except things kept happening and I wasn't able to get things put away or organized. Tomorrow a VP will be visiting from Austin, so we'll have other stuff to do. I've set aside Friday to finally put away the boxes full of "stuff" in my new office.

And I wasn't bothered by ants today. There are still welts on my left arm and my feet, but nothing new today. Yay for that.

Tomorrow or the next day we'll have guys in to set up our computer network and phone system. I can't wait.

Monday, October 01, 2007

10/1 Time is going fast

They say when you're over the hill you pick up speed. That is certainly true in my case. Time has been passing so quickly I can't believe it.

It's like today didn't even happen, it went by so fast.

At the end of the day I picked up the dogs and took them to my office so I could work late. First Cookie peed (she's been under sedation earlier in the day for a tear duct flush). Then I got attacked by ants at my desk. The new office is infested. On the way home Cookie pooped ALL OVER the back of the SUV.

So tonight flew by too since I spent a good part of it cleaning upholstery.

She's sleeping now, so I'm hoping the sedative will help her sleep all night. The vet said they just gave her what they would normally give a chihuahua-sized dog, but apparently it's done her in quite nicely.

Hope it's done.