Wednesday, December 31, 2008

12/31 New Year's Eve

Jane, Pete, Sarah, Joe, Cindy, Cody, Eric, and his girlfriend Julie just left. We played Wii for quite a while. I had a lot of fun, especially making fun of everyone. My animals are up late, so I hope they let me sleep in the morning.

Happy new year everyone. Just 50 minutes in advance.

Monday, December 29, 2008

12/29 Mud puppy

That's what they call crawfish or crawdads on the Gulf Coast. But it's also what I call Gussie. He was outside much too long yesterday and when I finally found him he had been wallowing in the mud caused by the runoff from our sump pump. My mostly-white dog was totally black. And he was having so much fun.

I was angry. Cuss words and "bad dog" emanated from my mouth. Then I started laughing. What else could I do? It was so funny.

I took a picture with my new camera, but must have erased it, because I sure can't find it. Too bad.

So I put him in the tub and the first thing he did was shake. I got him wet and he shook again. There was mud all over my bathroom. I had to laugh again.

Luckily the maids came today. I cleaned it up as best I could and they did the rest.

Now I have to go outside with Gus just to make sure he stays away from the sump pump pipe.

Note: I'd appreciate it if you'd read today's article. Thanks.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

12/28 Back to work tomorrow

These days off have been super. I've gotten to spend a lot more time with my family, which I really enjoy. A few of them have been stopping by to visit and play Wii. And we've been going shopping and out to eat. All the things I love to do. :)

Today is busy busy busy. Have to put all the Christmas stuff away because the cleaners will be here tomorrow. Yikes. Such a mess. There's no where for them to dust because every possible surface is covered with "stuff."

If you get a chance, please check out my daily column.

Friday, December 26, 2008

12/26 An almost perfect Christmas

The only thing that would have made it better is if my own kids and their families were with me. Other than that it was wonderful.

Christmas Eve at John and Paulette's new home was so much fun. As always it's great for so many of us to get together, plus there was actually enough space for us. Didn't feel crowded at all. Two highlights of the evening. One, when Aiden and Ty got in the "Christmas closet" and opened presents from their brothers' stockings. They can't read so luckily didn't pick their own. Second, was Joe's line, "I said bidet, sir." Of course it's not funny reading it, but we even laughed at it again last night.

Christmas Day the sisters got together at Jan's which has become a tradition. I rode with Jane and Pete and got to bring Gussie with me, which always makes me happy. Uncle Bill was there too, with his wit intact. :) The meal was superb, despite the fact that my cranberry salad didn't set. We ate it all anyway.

Of course I talked to my kids and grandkids yesterday, which made the day even more special.

Last evening, Jane, Sarah, Jordan, Joe, and Eric came over and played games. Joe hadn't played Wii before, but he's so good at video games that he caught on right away and did very well. It was fun.

Thanks, everyone, for all the thoughtful gifts, but mostly for the gift of the time we spent together.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

12/23/08 The good, the bad, and the fattening

The good is that I WON THE FANTASY FOOTBALL LEAGUE. It's made up of comedians across the US. They've kept me in because I've been in it several years. I finished third once, but this is awesome.

The bad is that I got stuck in the ice yesterday at Alpha Dog. Elizabeth's husband helped me get out. The "badder" is that I got stuck there again today. Had to call a tow truck (thank you Auto Club). And the tow truck got stuck too. I laughed so hard. Was there 2 hours which wasn't too fun, but still it was funny.

And the fattening was we had a going away lunch for a staff member. Oh my heavens! Still haven't had dinner tonight because I'm kind of full. I'll eat something or else I'll wake up in the middle of the night starving.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

12/21 Video from You Tube

I got this from a friend on Facebook and it's wonderful. About Jesus, and the season. Hope you enjoy it. (It's nice and short.)

Oh, I published another article, this one about Nontraditional Holiday Traditions.

Friday, December 19, 2008

12/19 A Blah Blog

Ever since I started writing the column my blog has suffered. Many of you are probably smiling at that. But tough--here I am.

Things are going well. I love the writing and have been getting a good response. Nothing like having a huge family. :)

But alas, I fell today on the ice--right in front of my house. The roads are okay right now, but the sidewalks are treacherous. Of course it felt like slow motion, of course I cracked my sidewalk, of course every muscle hurts.

But the good news is that I didn't re-injure my back. The pain there is just muscle stuff from trying not to fall. What a joyous afternoon--came home after a Christmas lunch to let Gus out and kaplowee. Down for the count.

So after I write my article for today, it's going to be bed and a heating pad. 'Cause now it's the weekend and there are Christmas presents to be purchased. :) I just received $600 unexpected dollars from various sources, and still haven't been paid from yet. So it's going to be a good Christmas, although most of this will go to buy a plane ticket for LA. Gotta see those grandkids (and Jill and Todd of course).

Must start writing. Love to all. (Ouch.)

Monday, December 15, 2008

12/15 Lots more....

First of all I just posted a new article: Everything I know about gas caps I learned from Vanna White.

Secondly, my Manny Pacquiao article got picked up by his fan site in the Philippines. As of noon today I had 4500 hits. I'm unbelievably surprised. Didn't think they'd pick up my article since the title started with "I don't like boxing." I'll find out tomorrow morning how many total hits I got for the day. Pretty exciting stuff for someone like me.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

12/14 Christmas tree tragedy

I had a wonderful time at my department Christmas party. We played the Wii Guitar Hero and sang karaoke. Great fun.

I came home and began writing my article for last night. I heard a crash. One of the cats (I think it was the baby) climbed in the tree and the whole thing came crashing down. Ornaments and tree parts (an artificial one) were scattered everywhere.

It was so depressing (and it was so late by then) that I just went to bed and picked things up this morning. Haven't put the ornaments back on the tree. Just can't make myself do it.

Those animals are lucky I love them.

Friday, December 12, 2008

12/12 Back home and happy

I was so happy to see my animals. I'm serious--I missed my pooch and kitties. Thanks to Cindy for checking on the cats--I appreciate you so much.

Gussie is sleeping on the floor next to me--being at Alpha Dog always wears him out--and the two cats are jumping over him and climbing on my desk. The cats were thrilled to see me. I wasn't so thrilled. They knocked over the lamp in the living room. I'll have to climb over "stuff" to right it. And of course I was thrilled to see them, just not the almost-damage.

Published a new article tonight. Thanks so much for your support by you checking out my writing. I got nice kudos from my channel manager and he mentioned me in an email to all the health writers nationally. Felt pretty good.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

12/11 Still in St. Louis

I'm at a fancy hotel and in a great training program, but I want to be home with my dog and cats (and my Wii). :)

After our sibling lunch on Sunday, I'm inviting any and all over to play Wii. I do need some competition, you guys. Jeff and Deb, if you come please bring your Wii remote(s). I have two.

Just posted another article. My channel manager just called me. The article tonight is something he suggested, and he called with another good idea. I'm going to write about Manny Pacquiao who just defeated Oscar De LaHoya. Why would I write about this? Because Josh suggested it. And he hasn't steered me wrong yet.

In the meantime I'm still on antibiotics, still coughing, but plan to be totally well by Saturday when I have a work Christmas party.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

12/10 You won't believe this....

But I got contacted by Fox News in New York City to be a guest on their show tomorrow and they wanted to know if I could get to NY. (I think they were paying for it, not sure.)

This was all because of my article about Oprah's weight and how she's now my best friend. I was so excited, but they changed their minds because real news intervened. They did say they may come back to this, but I'm not holding out much hope.

I'll just try to keep writing articles about offbeat things in the news and see what happens.

Thanks a million for your support. Love you.

(Read my column, please...)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

12/9 Oprah and me

Published an article tonight on Oprah and me and what we have in common. Hope you read it and enjoy it.

The class today was good, but I've been teaching this course since 1984, so it's a little boring. No fault of the instructor. She's great. It's just redundant as hell. But I have to take the course in order to be able to teach again.

My back did fine until the last part of the day. Told my instructor I'd have to sit out part of the class tomorrow--the part that requires being restrained.

The room is fantastic though. This hotel has thousands of rooms and only 47 of them occupied. So I have a mini-suite. Absolutely gorgeous.

Monday, December 08, 2008

12/8/08 Travel

Drove to St. Louis today. Will begin a CPI recertification class tomorrow. It will be weird. I worked for the company for 10 years, until 10/06 and I taught this class since 1984 where I worked, so it will be odd to have a "young whippersnapper" teach me. :)

And I'm so grateful my back is good. I'm getting off the pain pills, so I have to be careful of what I do, but that's okay. I'm in a real good mood about my back.

Went to my doc yesterday because I have a sinus infection. What a horrible time to be away from home, huh? But the hotel offers me sleep without having to take care of my animals, or without laundry, dishes, etc. So it's kind of nice being somewhere where people take care of you (for a price). Room service guy, Willie, brought me soup and grilled cheese, but threw in tea and lemon at no charge. What a sweetie!

Time for the shower, and then to training.

Oh, what I discovered about my column on If you don't post every day your ratings don't stay high. So I hurried up and posted last night. We have to post four times a week, but I'm going to try for more. I want to earn a little bit of money.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

12/7 Trying to get things done

Am on my last two loads of laundry. I finally put some ornaments on my Christmas tree. Can't put the angel on without help however. Am trying to get some things done since I leave tomorrow for five days. Have to pack tonight and have to grade papers. But what I really need to do is just lay down and try to get better. I didn't sleep much last night, but did doze today a bit.

Gussie and Allie have been friendly and fun today. Bozie is kind of hiding out. I think she's a little jealous. But at least she isn't as guarded with the new one as she was yesterday. It will just take a while I guess.

Will stop at my doc's office on the way to work and see if I can get fit in. Sure hope so. This thing won't go away.

As a side note, I'm in the playoffs on my fantasy football team (am #1 in our league). Am playing the 8th guy and he's tied with me right now. Sure hope I catch up. I've done well all season. Would hate to lose in the first playoff game.

12/7 Don't get in the doghouse

I absolutely loved this. Men, take warning.

12/7 Lots of things

First of all, happy birthday to my brother John. You're really old!

Secondly, Bozie REALLY hates Allie. Hope that changes soon.

Thirdly, my email is screwy.

And lastly I cannot breathe. Just thought I'd get it in there. I'll have to stop by the doc's tomorrow because I leave tomorrow night for St. Louis.

Omigod, Cindy, I forgot to ask you to come over once during the week to check on the cat(s). Allie likes people, not shy like Bozie. But maybe Bozie's bad habits will rub off on her. Who knows? I'll call you today.

Not a smart time to get a cat, I know, since I'm leaving. But she attacked me with love as I got close to her cage. She's three months younger than the dog and cat--four months versus seven months. I'll celebrate their birthdays together.

I have lots of work to do today--laundry, cleaning up, decorating tree, writing and posting a column, reading and grading 10 papers (each 5-7 pages long). What I really want to do is get a cup of tea and then go to bed. Or else play Wii. I think that would be a good antidote to a sinus infection.

Okay, I'm rambling. Sorry.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

12/6 New member of the family

We stopped at the Humane Society today and I came home with another kitten. Her name is Hazel Alice and am calling her Allie.

So I have Grandpa Gussie (Gus), Grandma Bozie (Bozie), Hazel Alice (Allie). The dog loves both of them but the two kittens aren't friendly yet. I'm sure it will happen soon.

Jane, Jordan, and Sarah stopped by for a while this afternoon and played some Wii games. We had a really good time. Then tonight Sarah and I went to see Twilight. It was really REALLY good.

Now I'm going to continue my coughing regimen. I'm going to set a world record.

Friday, December 05, 2008

12/5 A Wii night

I finally had some energy tonight and put together my Wii console and games. It was difficult because the TV in the living room is so big and I had to plug things in in the back, but I was able to rotate the TV on the table without doing any lifting. I was very proud of myself.

Created two avatars--Jer and Jerilyn. The first one is blonde, the second one gray. The blonde ended up with age 70 on the fitness test and the gray one was 45. Made me laugh. It was sure fun playing, but it will be more fun when people join me.

I have bronchitis again. Am coughing up wondrous things. And the grossest thing of all (don't read if you have a weak stomach)--at the end of the work day I was doing family therapy and trying not to cough. My eye itched and when I pulled my hand away from my eye--it was full of the same gunk I've been coughing up and blowing out. It was the grossest thing I've ever seen. Guess that means I must have a sinus infection or something, so should go to the doctor. Probably will.

Also guess this means I'll have to cancel my invitation for family to come over on Sunday to play games. Maybe my two nurse sisters, brave souls both of them, will still come and play games with me. Although I'm gross, I feel fine.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

12/4 One of the top health writers

For I'm one of the top health writers nationally. I told you it pays to have a big family.

Top Health Examiners

1. Pennsylvania Health Examiner
2. Mental Health Issues and Rights Examiner
3. N.Y. Wellness Examiner
4. Chicago Mental Health Examiner
5. L.A. Hypnosis and Health Examiner

Thanks, guys. You're awesome.

12/4 I'm a homeowner again

After a series of mistakes, mishaps, and miscommunications I finally own my home. Kris and I met at 4 PM yesterday at the abstract office, and they didn't have the paperwork yet from my incompetent mortgage closer.

Despite that, we finished before five. Kris and I hugged outside in the snow and we both said, "Finally." I've lived here eight months already.

We're both very pleased. She's been a great landlord, don't get me wrong, but I want this tax help.

My little cottage was built in 1896, making it 112 years old. (I'll make it's birthday be 12/3/1896--that'll be easy to remember. The third of December is when I bought it.)

We both would have loved to have celebrated with nice dinner and drink, but I had to get to QU and teach the last class of the semester. It went really well.

Cindy did a great job with Gussie while I was gone. And, Cin, thanks so much for putting some salt on my back walk. I wanted to buy some, but couldn't carry it. Anyway, thanks a lot.

Gussie was at the groomer yesterday. I finally found one I like--Buttons and Bows and 24th and Spring. They're open from 6:30 AM until 2 or so. So it's easy to drop him off before work and pick him up on my lunch hour. They did a great job on the "face, feet, and butt" grooming. Yep, I left the rest of him long-haired for now. Figured he had a built in winter coat as a lhasa apso, so I'll take advantage of it. He not only looks like an Ewok, he blends in with the snow and it's hard to see him at night in the back yard.

Yay. I own my home. Love to all.

PS--don't forget to read my new Mental Health Column.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

12/2 Wii and WHEEEEEE!

I looked all over town for a Wii today. Finally a guy in a department store said, "Go to Game Stop. They're the only place that has them."

Sure enough, they had about 20. So if anyone in Quincy, IL is looking for a Wii, just go to Game Stop. They have all the accessories too--except of course for Wii Fit, but they should be getting more in soon.

Plus, I just published another article. I'd appreciate it if you'd check it out. Thanks.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

11/30 Welcome home

Gus just peed on my bed. Yep. This is a dog who would never pee in the bed he sleeps in. It's almost like he didn't even know it happened. Normally when he has to go outside he growls at me (like it's my fault or something). But not tonight. So consequently my sheets and blankets are in the washer. I've put on clean sheets and luckily Bea and Rob gave me a new blanket. So I'll still be able to sleep.

Lucky also that he peed on top of the covers so it didn't go down to my new mattress.

Think he's paying me back for being gone so long? :)

Speaking of that, I thought the kitty would be mad that she'd been left alone in the house for five days. But she was so happy to see me. She's more affectionate than ever. That makes me smile.

I missed both my animals so much. And I'm happy to be home. Even though Gussie wet the bed.

Oh--Elizabeth gave him a bath, so when I picked him up he looked adorable. But one foray out into the wet backyard turned him back into the dirty bird he always is. Wish he'd stop eating mud. Sigh.

Anyway, I had a perfect time with Rob and Beatka, but I'm so happy to be home. Joe and Cindy, thanks a million for getting the mail and newspapers and for taking care of my sweet kitty.

By the way, I posted a new article today on

Saturday, November 29, 2008

11/29 Poker fun

Last night six of us played poker. Pia won and she was ecstatic. Afterward we sang karaoke. What fun.

Today's my last day as I leave extremely early tomorrow morning.

Rob and Beata have been wonderful as usual--kind and fun.

Friday, November 28, 2008

11/28 Twenty eight years ago today

our Mom died. For beautiful tributes, check out my brother Joe's blog. He nails the sentiment just right every year. I'm so lucky to have this family.

I miss you, Mom. Still.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

11/27 Happy Thanksgiving

What a wonderful day! There's so much to be thankful for, not the least of which is being with my son and daughter-in-law. The food is delicious. The company even better. Plus they gave me my Christmas present early--and we're playing with it.

I've wanted a Wii since they first came out, and we found the last one in this section of North Carolina. What fun! And such generous souls. I'm a lucky bug.

Some of their Danish friends came for dinner and we had a great time. They have a Wii at home, so they were able to show us some of the finer points of the games.

Tomorrow night other friends are coming over to play poker. Can't wait. I can use a little extra money. :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

11/24 Soon

I'm so excited. Will now leave at 3 AM on Wednesday (okay, am not excited about that part). But I can't wait to go to Rob and Beata's home. It's such a lovely place and I'll really be able to relax. Can't wait.

But I'll miss my Gussie and Bozie so very much. Wish I could drag both of them with me.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

11/23 What fun I had

Today was fun. I went with friends to Troy, MO to meet up with tons of other friends from the REC program. REC is Residents Encounter Christ and is a prison ministry program I used to be involved with when I lived her in Quincy and also in St. Louis. Today was the 25th anniversary celebration, so a perfect time for me to see old pals and catch up on everything.

I ended up singing with my friend, Joe, and also with several women pals. Ate way too much, and brought home some great bread from St. Louis Bread Company (known as Panera Bread elsewhere).

Joe and Cindy, I have some foccacia bread for you. Thanks a million for taking care of Gussie in my absence. I know he loved it.

Friday, November 21, 2008

11/21 More work news

I've got an additional job, as soon as I clear the background check. Since I've been cleared by the FBI for my full-time job, I'm not too worried.

I'm going to be writing for It's a series of websites sponsored by the examiner newspapers (like the San Francisco Examiner, etc.). I'm going to be the Chicago area Mental Health Examiner. And yes, I'm getting paid. Not much at all, but I am getting paid. The more "hits" my site gets the more I make. So I feel fortunate I have such a huge family. Too bad most are illiterate. (Just trying to see if you're paying attention.) :)

I'll let you know when my site goes up, but you can check out the regular websites now at You'll probably get sent to the national site first until you tell them you are from Illinois. I'm really looking forward to this. I'll write three or four short articles a week. I should begin next week. I'm excited!

Tomorrow Gus and I are going into the office so I can finish some paperwork, then Jan and I are going to a craft show at QHS sponsored by the Quincy Service League. Should be fun and I'll be able to buy Christmas presents. Yay.

Now it's dinnertime. Yum--cheetos.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

11/19 Wednesday again

One week from today I'll be in North Carolina with Rob and Beata. For some reason I thought they were coming to Quincy for Christmas so I didn't do Christmas shopping for them. But Rob said they hadn't planned to come, so now I have to frantically search this weekend for just the right gifts. Hard enough to do anyway, but in a time crunch it's even harder.

I can't wait to see them. It'll be so nice to have another mini-vacation. Sure wish I could take Gus with me though. I'll miss him terribly.

Took the day off work because of a medical procedure so it was a wonderfully lazy day--just me with Gus and Bozie. I loved it, and the rest felt great (emotionally, not just physically). Tonight I'm teaching a class at QU but it won't be full-length.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

11/18 Fantasy Football

After last night I am now number one in my fantasy football league. I am definitely doing a happy dance. My team--the Quincy Puppies--is on top. Yay. Lhasa Apsos RULE!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

11/16 Cindy and Kirby

Cindy called and said Kirby felt bad about what he did and would like to take Gus for a walk. I said fine, especially because I was tied up with the QU class.

When they arrived Cindy handed me a bag of homemade doggy treats. She'd gone to the craft show and bought them, replacing the ones that Kirby ate with gusto. So now he'll still get his Christmas present from Gus. :) Thanks, Cindy. And thanks, Kirby.

11/16 Dear Kirby

Joe and Cindy's dog, Kirby, spent some time alone at my house. I didn't think that he'd be able to get through the broken baby gate that keeps Gussie in the kitchen. When my sister Jan and I got to my house after a fun get-together at Joe and Cindy's we noticed my curtain was gone from my front window. At first I said, "Oh, that darn cat." But then I remembered she can't climb curtains anymore because of having her front claws removed.

Then we noticed the gate was down and lots of papers strewn about in the dining room. I started laughing and couldn't stop. Kirby had gotten into many of my shopping finds that I'd left on the dining room table. Among those finds were two bags holding about 15-20 "homemade" dog treats that I'd bought at a holiday gift show. Some of those treats were for Kirby anyway, but he just helped himself to all of them. (I think Joe said that Kirby had gotten sick when he got home. I was laughing so hard I don't know if that's what he really said, I couldn't hear him.)

My only fear is that Joe and Cindy won't let Kirby come over anymore. And I don't want that to happen. Omigod, it was good for a laugh. I love that dog.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

11/15 On the news

Gussie and I were indeed on the news tonight. He looked so cute. And I looked--well, I looked like me, old and fat. But very happy. :) If they post it on their website I'll embed it here. Love to all.

Here's the url for the copy, but the video isn't posted. Too bad. Maybe later.

11/15 I hit the family jackpot

I'm always wanting to be with family on the weekend and I really hit the jackpot today. I spent all afternoon with Jane and Sarah, having lunch and shopping (lots of that). Our lunch was free because it took so long to get to us. That was cool.

And in about an hour and a half I'm going to have dinner with a huge bunch of family. Yay. I love it.

This morning Gussie and I went to the Padua Pet Parade at Quincy University. KHQA-TV interviewed me, while holding Gus, and it's supposed to be on the 10 PM news tonight. In the middle of the interview Gus jumped out of my arms, so we'll see if they air it. :)

It was a fun experience, even though it was mega cold and windy. I look forward to doing this again next year. It was a fundraiser for the Quincy Humane Society.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

11/13 Fun evening

We had our company annual dinner tonight and it was nice. Held at Tony's Old Place, the food was spectacular, as was the company. I sat with people from my area and they are so nice. Finally met three husbands of my colleagues and they are not only sweet, but handsome as well. One guy (Bogdan) is from Poland so I called Beata and then gave the phone to him. They chatted for several minutes in Polish. Beata loved the surprise. :)

She and Rob are leaving early tomorrow morning for California to visit Jill and John (Rob and Jill's dad). I'm very happy they are going so everyone in John's family can meet Beata and vice versa. And tomorrow is Robbie's birthday, so that will make the trip even more special.

More later.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

11/2 Gus's surgery

It was only $50. Yep. $50. That's why I love Western Illinois Vet Clinic. That and the fact that my first visit I noticed a vet had a big black eye. He said, "Yep, a horse kicked me."

They're real country veterinarians. (Like the ones you go to in Palmyra, Jan.)

Joe and Cindy got rid of all my leaves today. I appreciate it so much. (We talked about it in a comment on a previous blog entry. Gussie loves you and so do I.)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

11/11 All's well with Gus

His surgery yesterday was so successful that he even went to Doggy Day Care today. I thought I'd have to keep him at home. Nope. He was his cute little self right away. I have to put antibiotics in three to four times a day, but he's pretty good about letting me do it.

Joe and Cindy got back tonight from Silver Dollar City. They brought me some apple butter. Yum. Thanks so much. I love me some apple butter. Welcome home.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

11/9 More excitement

Went to lunch at Panera with Jan and Kris. We didn't get to visit though because lots of people were waiting for seats so we ate and ran. It was still nice to go to lunch with them.

Now I'm working on my QU class while watching the Rams get slaughtered. And I'm number 2 in my fantasy football league, but will probably lose today. Hate that, because I've been doing really well.

Joined Twitter today and it's kind of fun, but another excuse for me to waste time online.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

11/8 Gus again

Gus's cherry eye is still here, so if it stays just a few more days we'll be able to get the surgery done. It's scheduled for Monday morning, so I have my fingers crossed.

He went to work with me today, which he does every Saturday. I really enjoy having him with me. He calms me a lot.

I'll spend all day tomorrow on the QU class, but will do that from home, so he can "help" me out then too. :) But I'll have football blaring while I work.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

11/6 Gus

I was told that when Gus's cherry eye returned they'd do surgery. So I took him in yesterday for the surgery and they couldn't do it because there was only one doc. They made an appointment for Monday and I said it will be gone by then. And sure enough it was gone today.

But when I picked him up from Alpha Dog tonight it had reappeared. Poor puppy, but I sure hope it stays until Monday so we can get the surgery done.

11/6 A quick rule break

I know I'm not talking about my back pain on this blog anymore but I wanted to give you some good news. The radio wave procedure that the doc did last week on one quadrant of my back has actually worked. Of course I'm thrilled. And we just need the procedure done on the rest of it.

He can't do the whole back at once because the procedure itself is so painful (in his words) that people can't tolerate it. So he has to divide it up. As with everything else at the pain doc, it's not "curing" the problem but making the pain go away is good enough for me.

If this will only work elsewhere it will change my life for the better.

Doc said it will last from six months to two years. Sounds like good odds to me.

Okay, I'm moving my "bitching and moaning" back to my other blog. Love to all.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

11/5 What I hate

Why can't people just disagree about politics without putting other people down? Does it make you feel good to call other people names? What do you get out of it? I honestly don't understand.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

11/4 Vote

I cried when I voted today. Everyone knows I'm an Obama supporter, but no matter who wins, this is a momentous day and a momentous election. We're lucky.

To lighten things up a bit, listen to this video--especially if you enjoy Les Miserables. This happens to be my favorite song from that musical, but it's set in Obama headquarters the day before the election. Jan, I know you'll like it since you love the musical as much as I do.

Thanks to my friend, Nancie, for this video!

Monday, November 03, 2008

11/3 Gus again

So he woke up this morning and the cherry eye was gone. The gland is no longer swollen, and even better--he looks like a little cutie again.

I'm a little frustrated though. He only has the problem on weekends, and during the week (when he could have surgery) he's fine. Odd. Maybe it's because he's with me all weekend. I might be the cause. Yikes.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

11/2 Poor Gus (again)

His "cherry eye" is back, and both eyes are just oozing gunk. I know it's not contagious, but poor little guy looks awful. He's the cutest dog I've ever had, and right now he doesn't look like it.

I feel so bad for him. But I hope it's still there tomorrow so I can take him in for surgery. If it goes away again, we'll have to wait until it reappears.

Poor guy. He's scratching at it by rubbing his head on the carpet, but his great spirit remains. He's friendly and fun, so I'm grateful for that.

I'm a lucky bug.

Oh, and Kayla's ankle is fine. She was only on crutches for three days, and did play soccer this weekend. How wonderful that the damage wasn't great and that she recuperated quickly. What a cutie pie.

More good news--I have Chicago for my fantasy football team and they started today with a sack AND an interception and resulting touchdown. That sure makes me smile.

I'm working on my class in my office while the game is playing about two feet away from me. A good afternoon.

Sure wish someone in the family was going out to eat this evening though--oh, and that they would ask me to join them. Anyone? Bueller?

Friday, October 31, 2008

10/31 I'll fire my plumber

First of all I'm grateful for the work my (free) plumber did--but leaving the door closed to the utility room is not a good idea. The cat had no access to the litter box. So far I haven't found any surprises in the rest of the house, but who knows.... :)

Anyway, Tim, thanks for fixing the leak. I do appreciate it.

Gussie and I are waiting for trick or treaters. He's wearing a Halloween scarf that he got the last time he was groomed. And he looks so cute. But right now he's passed out on the floor after being at Alpha Dog today. He is also filthy, but I'm too tired to bathe him. Time enough for that later.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

10/29 House woes

Mortgage company called with little things that must be done to the house before closing. I told them to email it to me because I'm old and can't remember things on the phone. So that's what they're doing.

Plus the toilet in the master bedroom is leaking. Luckily it's clean water from the tank. I turned off the water, but can't get down to tighten the bolt. I told Kris I think she can do it; that we don't need to bother her dad with it. If I could bend well, I could do it. My animals liked it because it was another place they could get a drink of water. Unfortunately it soaked the old carpeting in there and it smells nasty. Guess I'll have to get the carpet cleaners in again--between that, Hunter's vomit stain, and Gussie's pee stain.

But at least we're getting close to closing on the house. That'll be nice. I'll have to find my own handyman however. It's easy when someone else is responsible for it. :) But I can't wait until it's all done. One less thing to worry about.

Monday, October 27, 2008

10/27 Too much

Too much to do. Work is requiring a lot of time and effort and it wears me out. I sure do enjoy the therapy part of the job though. I saw a new patient tonight and it's interesting to figure out the diagnosis and then come up with a treatment plan (with the client's major input).

Gus was thrilled to see me tonight and so was Bozie. It's nice to come home to pets when theyappreciate you. :)

Thanks for the photo, Beth. I just love it. This is one happy dog.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

10/26 Soup and stuff

Made some spinach and potato soup and I always love to have that on cold days. It's both tasty and low calorie. For a while I took Gussie to Starbucks for me to do some work on my QU class. But it was so windy, even though it was sunny, that I put Gus in the car with some treats and went inside. Drank some wonderful hot green tea while I worked. Felt bad about Gus though.

Spent some time playing with him at home though, so I think he's happy.

Went shopping with Jane at CJ Banks. Everything was 40% off, so it was well worth the trip.

Back to work tomorrow. I've got myself double booked for therapy sessions at 4 tomorrow so I sure need to get that straightened out.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

10/25 A good long walk with Gussie

The breast cancer walk was great today. The weather was perfect, the leaves were beautiful, and Gussie was well-behaved. We met Jan and Kris at 9 AM and the walk started around 10. I thought Gus and I would only do two miles because we usually only walk one mile, but we ended up doing all three. I sued my walking sticks and they really made a difference. I was so proud of both of us. He did get tired after about two miles and he just stopped abruptly which was hilarious. I think Cindy said he's done that with her before.

I ended up carrying him for about a half block and then he was ready to go again. I felt proud of both of us.

Tonight we went to Matt and Beth's for a fall fiesta. What fun! I brought Gus because he loves their kids and the feeling is mutual. They have a huge huskie named Storm and he is so calm and sweet with the munchkins. The kids played well and Beth had craft tables set up for them, and the evening culminated in a hay ride and hitting a pinata. Beth made it herself. She is so great with kids and so very creative. There were tons of kids there and every one of them had a great time. Most of them are still there, but Gus and I got tired. :)

Friday, October 24, 2008

10/24 Breast Cancer walk

Tomorrow Jan, Kris, and I are doing a local breast cancer walk. It starts at Washington Park and the walk goes to Madison Park and then returns. That will be such a beautiful walk, since Maine Street is full of lovely trees, most notably maples that will be gorgeous.

In the afternoon we're going to Matt and Beth's for a "fall fiesta." They're accepting food donations for food pantries, so that's a really good thing. It will be fun to be with family and friends too.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

10/23 Gus

I know some people are celebrating their anniversaries today, and I'm sure Joe will honor them. (Happy anniversary, you guys!) But today is about Gussie. :)

He's six months old today. Can't believe it. He's still an adorable little critter and I'm crazy about him.

His mom gave birth last night (C-section) to several more little lhasa apsos, and there are three white and black ones. Gus was the only one in his litter. So this is big news. Wish I could have another dog, but I can't. One dog and one cat is plenty.

Happy six month birthday, little Gussie boy. You make me happy.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

10/22 Dog poop

What a way to start the day! I was going out the front door this morning when I smelled an unmistakable odor. Yep--I'd stepped in dog poop. Dear Gussie left me a present in the dining room, an unusual occurrence. I was in a hurry to get to an appointment so just kicked off my new athletic shoes and put on my (very) old ones.

I still love the little crapper, but it wasn't love at first step this morning, that's for sure.

I'm going to have an easy, relaxing day at home with the animals today and then will teach tonight at QU. Sounds like a really good day to me.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

10/21 GREAT news for YOU!

I've started another blog for all my bitching and moaning about pain. So you never have to read my whining anymore. You probably can't contain your happiness, right? Well, it's the least I could do for you. You've been reading this blog since December of '03. (Well, my Adventure blog from 12/03-6/04, and then this one after that.) I had to pay you back for your faithfulness. :) So this blog will go back to it's usual boring repertoire. No need to thank me.

Little Gus is just adorable. He passes out the minute I pick him up from Doggy Day Care. What a cutie. Elizabeth said she had to give him a bath because he was so dirty from digging in the mud and eating it. Does that remind you of another dog? Quincy used to do that all the time.

It's always an early night around here after Doggy Day Care. He is just plain worn out.

Today went fast at work and tonight I'll again spend time at the computer working on my QU class. I'll have time tomorrow as well since I have to stay home and rest after a procedure I have to have. (I didn't mention "pain," just said I'm having a procedure.)

My dear, beautiful, eight-year-old grand-daughter Kayla sprained or strained her achilles tendon while playing soccer. I feel so bad for her, but must confess she looks adorable with her crutches. (Hi, Kayla.)

Monday, October 20, 2008

10/20 Work day

Today just sped by. Can't believe how fast days happen when you're busy. And tonight I worked on the QU class. Gussie wasn't too happy about not getting a walk. But at least he goes to doggy day care tomorrow, so he'll have a wonderful day there. :)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

10/18 A good day

I went to the Hannibal Folk Life Festival with Jane and Sarah. We met Jan and Kristen there. It was really fun. Jane made me take my walking sticks, and I'm so grateful she did. There was a lot of walking and it was painful after a while. So it was a good idea.

The day was super. After Hannibal we drove through Pike County to see the leaves. They weren't at peak yet, but it was still a lovely drive. We stopped in Barry to look at some crafts and we ran into Joe and Cindy--a really nice surprise. Then we drove on to Pittsfield where I bought two cool things for my back yard. Can't wait for spring to come so I can display them. :)

Then Jane, Sarah, Pete and I went to Cassano's for a quick dinner. Yum.

Now I'm home with sweet Gussie and Bozie and will have a very quiet night. Tomorrow I have to work all day on the class for Wednesday night. Love to all.

Friday, October 17, 2008

10/17 Nothing much

A busy day at work and I'm glad it's over. Gus and I will have to go in tomorrow to finish some stuff, but it shouldn't take too long.

Made my flight arrangements today to go to NC for Thanksgiving. It will be fun, but I'll sure miss little Gussie while I'm gone.

Guess that's it for today. Boring, I know.

Oh...wait...big news is that St. Joe let Gus out over lunch today because I had a meeting that was scheduled at the last minute. Thanks, St. Joe.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

10/16 Misc

I got a beautiful picture frame with family engraved on it for Boss's Day. It's gorgeous and I appreciate it so much--also the funny card that came with it. Made me chuckle.

Gussie is so cute in his "shorn" state, but now that the weather is cold I almost feel guilty about having him shaved. Guess I can let his hair grow again until spring. We'll see if I'm patient enough.

Last night I started teaching a new course--Social and Cultural Conditions. It's going to be a great class--10 students who are near graduation. It's a senior level course. Last night started well, and I sure hope it continues.

Today I saw my doc--my bronchitis is totally gone. Yesterday I saw a neurosurgeon. He said my spinal stenosis was bad but he's seen worse. :) He also said I will need surgery some day because it's going to keep getting worse, but that I'd know when I need it, and then he'd do it. So that sounds like a deal. I'll hold out for a long, long time. :)

Decided today that I'm going to walk in the Avon Breast Cancer Walk, instead of working on the crew next year. I'll do my fundraising and my training. And if I can only walk a few miles, then so be it, but I'm going to do my best to walk the whole way.

I really miss my kids. It was amazing how sweet they were to me. The only bad thing was that when I had to go back to doing things for myself, my back started hurting again. However, I'm used to it again, so things are back to normal. :)

Love to all.

Monday, October 13, 2008

10/13 Story of Gus

I took Gus to the vet for his surgery for "cherry eye." When we got there the malady had disappeared. Doc said to wait until it comes back--and it definitely will. While we were there I said we might as well get him groomed, so he is back to his adorable, skinny self.

Will try to post pictures as soon as I can hook up my phone to my home computer. Problems there.

Had a rough day physically at work. My brother Joe helped me to carry out the yard waste tonight. I really appreciate it, Joe.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

10/12 More family pics

I miss my family already, but I know they were all happy to arrive home. Here are a few more pictures:

Saturday, October 11, 2008

10/11 Pictures of my loved ones

I'll write words later. For now, the pictures will tell you how happy I was that my family was here.

One happy grandmother

Beata and Jill

The gang--

A very proud and happy mother.

Jill, Kayla, and Hunter

Rob and Beata

Hunter and Kayla

The gang--Rob, Beata, Jill, Kayla, Hunter, me, and Gus.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

10/7 So happy

Hear that purring sound? It's me. I'm so happy my family is here. Physical health has been really rough lately, but who cares...I'm in Grandma and Mommy heaven. No time to post anything original, so will copy what I wrote to my writer friends.

"Kids arrived Saturday. Am in nirvana.

Too much to write about, but some up and down news from the pain doctor.

Met with him late last week and was scheduled for another procedure today. My kids went with me. I got to watch it on the xray. Before he began the doc said, "I'm changing my mind. We can't do the blah blah blah. Your arthritis is so severe I can't get in between the bones." Imagine how sad I was to hear that.

Then he said, "So we'll move on to the next procedure." He did a test today to see if I would response to a radio wave procedure on a filament, like a nerve, next to my spinal cord. I had to wait about a half hour and he said if the pain was at least 50% better, then we could schedule the full procedure. Imagine my sadness when the pain in my buttocks was still horrible. Then he remembered that I had had lots of pain in my sacroiliac, and he hadn't done the test there. Turned out the place he'd done the test was totally pain free.

So Wednesday Rob and Jill will accompany me for the full procedure, which should help significantly with the pain.

I'm full of hope.

By the way, doctor's first name is Omid, which is Persian for hope.

More on family later."

Then today I wrote:

"We have tons of pictures and will post them soon. Right now I'm struggling a bit with my back.

Everyone arrived around 5:15 PM on Saturday. I had most of the relatives at my home already, so it was a noisy, wonderful welcome. Saturday was such fun.

Sunday we had our photos taken about an hour away in Missouri. They didn't turn out as well as hoped because the overcast day turned into bright sunlight, but it was the only time we could schedule. Those are the ones I will post in a little while.

Sunday night we had a wiener roast at my brother's cabin--an hour in the other direction. The kids drove kid-sized tractors and had a ball. The food was excellent, as well as the company.

Yesterday we went shopping for a 22 inch monitor for my laptop and some other office items, for the work I'll be doing for Rob and Beata's company. Before that we went to the clinic for the procedure that I already wrote about.

Last night Rob met up with his best friend and they sat and talked until midnight. The rest of us just relaxed and enjoyed the kids.

Today we are running errands, getting a few more things for my home office--a printer, fax, and copier combo and Office '07. Yay, fun stuff. And tonight we're going to my sister Jan's for dinner, so this will be another good day.

Tomorrow is another procedure followed by rest and teaching at the university.

Thursday we're going to Nauvoo, IL--historic in the Mormon faith. They've reconstructed a village from that time and it's such fun. The kids will love it.

More later. Love to all."

I promise pictures very soon.

Friday, October 03, 2008

10/03 Much better news!

I don't have pneumonia, which is great news. So here's hoping the damn bronchitis goes away soon.

And I met with the new pain doctor and for the first time I really have hope. He is going to do a new procedure on Monday. It's similar to an epidural, but the needle goes on the individual facets of the spine. He's also going to do something with radio waves on a nerve running next the spinal cord.

And for a change, I won't have to ask someone to give me a ride back from the procedure--my kids will be here. That'll be nice. So Monday is going to be a quiet day rather than an active one. But one day out of seven won't be bad.

The doc asked me what I wanted to do (activity wise). I said I wanted to do the Avon Breast Cancer Walk (40 miles). He asked when it was and I told him June. He said, "Okay."

That gives me hope.

In the meantime I slept all afternoon, which felt good. Tonight I'll use the nebulizer for the bronchitis and try the tens machine for the back pain. I got it from the physical therapist this morning. It's a personal version of the machine the therapist uses. Pain doc said that it works more for muscle pain and not the kind I have, but that anything (but surgery) was worth a try.

There's still lots of work to be done around here, but I may have my family make their own beds. That will help. Joe and Cindy came over and helped move stuff after the carpet cleaners were here. Jane is going to go grocery shopping with me tomorrow. So everything will be ready when my kids arrive.

I can't wait!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

10/2 Don't bother reading....

it's just more about sickness.

Doc listened to my lungs and said, "We need to get an xray." I didn't even ask why, since I know several people who started with bronchitis and ended up with pneumonia. Don't know if I have it or not, guess I'll find out in a few days.

I have a nebulizer now and am using that four times a day. And doc told me I couldn't work for a few days. He even wrote it out. In order to be able to take off tomorrow, I worked until 7 pm tonight. Am pretty tired.

Because my back hurts so much worse I have an appointment tomorrow morning for physical therapy and then with the new pain doctor.

Have some different meds. Just hope I feel better by Saturday. At least bronchitis isn't contagious, so that's good news. :) Love to all.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

9/30 My bad news

My back hurts as bad today as it ever has. It's as if I've never gotten any treatment. I'm depressed and even angry. I'll get over it, maybe after I have a nice meal.

Now who's going to cook it for me? Ha, that was funny wasn't it.

I'm going to make dinner as soon as I relax a little bit.

And, family, I'm going to need help putting furniture back, after the carpet cleaners moved things. Love you.

Monday, September 29, 2008

9/29 Talked to my bro

It was wonderful. He sounds like himself. (Thanks, God.)

Tomorrow the carpet cleaners come and my car gets detailed. I feel so exquisitely CLEAN.

Have been having a really rough several days with my back. Don't know what to complain about--the back or the bronchitis. Since I can't decide, guess I won't complain about either one. :)

Time for dinner. And then time to play with sweet Gussie. I can't take him for a walk again today, which makes me feel guilty, but at least I can play with him. And tomorrow he'll go to doggy day care, where he'll get plenty of exercise, leaving me guilt free.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

9/27 Wonderful news

The news that outshines everything else this week is that my brother is home from the hospital and doing well. We are all so incredibly grateful.

As for cold is bronchitis and I'm on tons of meds so should feel fine soon. As long as I'm well by next Saturday when company comes, I'll be fine.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

9/25 more ugly

My brother is still in the hospital, and that makes me sad.

Now, the whole left side of my face is in pain. It must be a sinus infection or ear infection. I see the doctor tomorrow morning. Hope to have good news to report.

Gus and Bozie are spending the night at the vet's. They came through surgery really well, so that's good news at least.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

9/24 Good bad ugly

The good is that my relative came though surgery like a trooper. He is strong and solid and I'm so grateful. Will protect his privacy and not give details of his surgery and his identity, but we shed tears of gratitude.

The bad is that the surgery took more than 5 hours, and because of delays we were at the hospital in Springfield for over 11 hours. Yikes. A long day. But our relative slept through it all. :)

The ugly is my throat and ear. Omigod. But luckily I felt good all day and just relapsed on the way home.

Time for bed.

And tomorrow both my animals get fixed. Poor babies.

Monday, September 22, 2008

9/22 Another busy day

Work was extremely busy and topped off by going to the adolescent psych ward to consult with some admissions. Then bought dog food, cat food, cat litter--such excitement, can you bear it?

Luckily Jan stopped by to put some boxes in the shed so she was able to get the 20 pound kitty litter out of the car. It also felt good to have company. I've been kind of a leper since Thursday night. But I feel so much better today and of course I'm thrilled about it.

Sending lots of love to someone who's having surgery tomorrow. You're in my prayers. Love to all.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

9/21 Walked

Yep, Gus and I just walked a mile--and I didn't take a walking stick. After about a half block I realized I should have it because my back hurt and I was feeling unbalanced. But I chose something straight ahead of me to focus on and it helped.

As far as my cold--it's a lot better today. I'm still going between sweating and freezing, but that will pass. Need a nap now because the walk took it out of me. :) Lazy butt--but I can't help it. This cold is just plain stupid. It not only makes me cough and snort, it makes me tired.

I'll be better by tomorrow, and that's a guarantee. One more day of rest and fluids should do the trick. (Gus is already asleep from the walk.) :)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

9/20 Not much new

Still sick. But I'm getting better I'm sure--I now have antibiotics and a fierce cough medicine (thanks, Jane and Jan). Slept most of yesterday and a lot of today, so that's got to be doing something good for me. Took Gus for our usual Saturday morning Starbucks excursion, and instead of going in to work, came home and slept again.

My nephew Cody took Gussie for a walk this afternoon. That's about all the exercise the dog's gotten for a few days--he and the cat have been sleeping with me all day. They sure are sweet.

In about an hour or so the entire family will meet for my sister-in-law Paulette's 60th birthday party. I know they'll have a wonderful time, even if the life of the party can't attend. :) Sure wish I could go, but Typhoid Mary needs to stay home.

I should start feeling normal by tomorrow (whatever normal is).

Oh, found out last night that my daughter-in-law Beata has pneumonia. I feel so bad for her, but glad it's getting taken care of now. They're coming to visit in two weeks so she should be all better by then. I can't wait to have a full house--with Rob, Beata, Jill, Kayla, and Hunter. It's going to be great.

Friday, September 19, 2008

9/19 Score: Cold 1, Jer 0

Finally gave in and am staying home from work today. I hate hate hate missing work but since I ran a temperature yesterday I don't want to make anyone else sick.

And unless a miracle happens this also means that I have to miss a big family gathering tomorrow. That REALLY upsets me.

But the GREAT news is that my brain MRI showed that I have one and that there are no signs of tumors or potential aneurysms. I'm very grateful. What did show was that I'm a compassionate, brilliant, talented, and humble human being.

Actually it showed the changes that come with age. And since we know I'm old, that came as no surprise.

Guess it's my meds causing the balance problems, which is what I was hoping for all along. Love to all...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

9/17 It never pays

It never pays to say your back feels good. Because immediately it will start hurting in a revengeful way. Take my advice.

Still have my cold--blah, blah, ho-hum.

Had my MRI and it will be read today and the doc will probably dictate tomorrow. My doctor will probably have it tomorrow, which means my sisters will have it a few minutes earlier and they will call me with the good news. I'm going to win the "white spots on the brain" contest. It's an aging thing. And most likely nothing else will be wrong. I'm adamantly convinced it's my meds causing the balance problem. Saw my doc when I was visiting with Jan and he said the St. Louis neurosurgeon recommended surgery--same thing he told me.

Saw Lesa, the lady who adopted Quincy and Cookie. She told me wonderful anecdotes about them. I'm so happy they are so well-loved. But I still tear up when I think about them. Thank God it's only when I'm alone. The dogs have become outside dogs of their own volition--they really don't want to come inside at all, in fact they sleep outside now. I told Lesa they may change their minds in winter. These dogs are used to Mississippi winters. We'll see.

Guess that's it. I teach tonight so will go and prepare. (Jan and Jane, it was nice to see both of you today at the clinic.)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

9/16 Just call me snot-faced

Or drippy-nose, or sneezy-head, or Dopey. Wait, not the last one.

I'm kind of scared I'll start sneezing during the MRI tomorrow. That would really be awful.

Today has just not been a good day. But Gus is happy. He was at Doggy Day Care and is passed out already. "A tired dog is a happy dog."

It'll sure be an early night for me-I'll go to sleep right after Biggest Loser.

Oh, and my pre-approval expired. About two days before I got the down payment money. Amazing. But the GREAT news is that the percentage went down from 6.7% to 6.0% Can't complain about that. My new approval will be done ASAP.

Monday, September 15, 2008

9/15 Still sick

But now I can talk. Too bad, huh?

Wanted to come home early today. Thought I'd gotten enough done to leave at noon, but I was dead wrong. Remembered a lot of work I had to do before a meeting tomorrow morning. I stayed at work until 6 PM, but still am not done. I hope to be able to finish everything tomorrow before the meeting, but I doubt it. I'll try though.

I don't feel well enough to take Gussie for a walk and that certainly makes me feel guilty. But he goes to Alpha Dog tomorrow so he'll get tons of exercise. He sure loves it there. And Wednesday night he'll probably get a long walk with Aunt Cindy. So guess I shouldn't feel too guilty.

9/15 Weird but funny

Check this out. Face hair styles.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

9/14 What a day

First of all, I can't talk. Jane and Pete came over yesterday afternoon to watch something I'd taped. I felt fine then. A little off balance, but no pain. Then about an hour after they left two strange things happened at the same time--I lost my voice and my back started hurting. Both things are still around.

Of course they aren't related, but funny they happened together.

I haven't had a cold this year, so maybe that's what's happening. But I have a giant case of laryngitis and Gussie just stares at me and cocks his head when I try to talk.

Remember all the trouble I had with Quincy rolling in the mud, and jumping in the rain puddles? And attacking the water that pumps out from the basement? I thought I would have no problem with my little Lhasa Apso. Well, I was very wrong. He ran around in the rain like Q used to do--positively dancing. It was so cute. Then he rolled in mud puddles. Not so cute. AND he attacked the water coming from the sump pump. Definitely not cute. I had to chase him (not easy in my stupid condition). I swear he laughed at me. What a mess. But of course I laughed too.

Some fun news. A guy I worked with at ComedySportz in Milwaukee is now a regular on FOx's MadTV. So look for Eric Price. He is a riot. I'm so happy for him.

Friday, September 12, 2008

9/12 Dinner, etc.

Had dinner tonight with Jane and Pete, and Deb. Then I was a designated driver for Jane. I don't know if she really needed one, but I was happy to do it. It's always fun to get together with family.

But the animals were sure glad when I got home.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

9/10 Lots of stuff

Tim, Jan, and Cindy all did very kind things for me today. After dropping off my car at Dan's Auto Shop, Tim gave me a ride to work. Jan took me out at lunchtime to pick it up. And Cindy walked and played with Gussie so I could go teach. Thanks to all three of you.

Tomorrow my car gets new front brakes and new tires. The rest of the work will be done next week after all the parts come in.

I'm absolutely exhausted--today was the most stressful day ever at work, crisis after crisis after crisis. So I just dealt with one at a time and did the best I could.

Next Wednesday I get a brain MRI. Hope they find one in there.

Monday, September 08, 2008

9/8 More teaching

Just got notice of a new class I'll teach at QU, beginning the end of October. It's Social and Cultural Issues. I'm really excited about this one since the topic is on that interests me a lot. In the evening courses the classes run for 8 weeks instead of a whole semester, so from Sept through Dec there are two classes that people can choose. So I'm very pleased to have another one to teach since I'm really enjoying this new adventure.

Work was hard today. I only took 1/2 hour for lunch, just ran home and let Gussie out and then went right back. Too much to do. Luckily I enjoy the job.

It's hard to work like this though because of how I feel. Yuck. Jan came over and let Gus out too and she carried out my heavy trash and recyclables. Thanks so much, Jan. Tim's going to take my SUV for another estimate on Wednesday. Thanks, Tim. You guys are really helping me so much and I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

9/7 My big excitement

was running into Jan and Kris at the grocery store. Wahoooo!

Unfortunately I'm having a bad day, so that took all the energy I had. Came home and slept--sweet Gussie right beside me.

All I have to do yet today is put things away so the cleaners can clean tomorrow. Wonder if I can handle the excitement?

Last night was fun though. Went to dinner at Cassano's with Jane,, Pete, Jordan, Sarah, Joe, Cindy, John, and Paulette. Yum.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

9/6 Off to work with Gus

Well, the animals woke me up at 6 like they always do. They seem to think that weekends are no different than weekdays. But boy am I tired.

And I'm upset that I forgot about the QND-Palmyra game last night. Some of my family go to the games and I was so excited to finally be living in Quincy and being able to attend the QND games. Wish someone had reminded me. Don't they know I'm old and forgetful? Well, at least QND won and that's the most important thing.

Pretty soon I'll begin our Saturday ritual. After showering and getting dressed I'm going to go to work. On nice days Gus and I stop at Starbucks and sit awhile and read (I do, he doesn't) but it's really foggy today. Maye it will clear up in a little while.

Guess that's it. Nothing exciting. And I don't think it's going to be warm enough to go swimming. Too bad. I always look forward to that.

Friday, September 05, 2008

9/5 Gus and doggy day care

I had a bad day but Gussie sure didn't. They said he had a wonderful time at doggy day care at Alpha Dog Training Center. Am so glad he loved it. He was with four Boston Terriers that look like quadruplets. Jesse (Elizabeth's husband) said he had several inquiries about Gus. I said, "I hope you told them he wasn't for sale." :)

When we got home, I sat down and had a good cry. Gus came up and put his paws on my lap so I picked him up. He was so comforting that it was hard for me to stay sad. So I didn't. :)

Am going to lie down before dinner. That will help. And I think I'll make fried green tomatoes again tonight. That's all I had for dinner last night and it was an absolutely superb meal. Thanks, Joe and Cindy, for the green tomatoes. Don't cut down your plants without warning me, because I'll take some more. Yum.

Love to all.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

9/4 Ugh, yikes, shit, etc., plus good old Gus

It would cost $2200 to get my car completely fixed. Of course that's at the Kia dealer and I know it would be cheaper elsewhere. But's going to be a hell of a lot no matter where I take it. The three seatbelts in back cost $500 alone. (Yes, Quincy and Cookie cost me a lot....)

I'd be better off buying a new car. But... (insert all the reasons I can't afford to buy right now).

Tomorrow Gus is going to Doggy Day Care for the first time. I'm going to Springfield all day, so it'll be nice that no one (Jan) will have to put him out over lunch time. I want him to get used to the place because in a few weeks I'll be in St. Louis for four days and nights, and he'll stay at the same kennel. I think he'll love it there. Tomorrow is supposed to rain so they put all the little dogs in the training room with a door open so they can go outside when they need to. Gus will have a ball playing with lots of other dogs.

Last night was a stitch. When Cindy was walking him I drove by and parked at QU. He saw me and went nuts. In fact he even got loose from Cin and ran after me. It was so cute. He really wanted me. But of course Cindy was able to get him back on track after I gave him some attention.

Not feeling too good, so after checking the computer, will go to bed. But Jill has given me a super idea. Her company, Advanced Bionics, made an instrument for pain, that's inserted right under the skin. You use a remote control and it works just like the treatment I got at physical therapy. There's a new pain doc in town at QMG who uses it. We'll see if it's a possibility. I'd love to have another option besides surgery.

9/4 No major news

First thanks to Jan and Cindy for taking care of Gus while I was gone. He loves both of you, that's obvious.

Doc said I should think about surgery. No surprise. He also said that if I live 20 more years he is confident I'll have the surgery sometime because of the severity of the stenosis. I wasn't planning on surgery but if I need to have it sometime it would be smart to have it younger rather than older, I think. Will see another neurosurgeon in October.

Am in a hurry. Will post more details after work.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

9/2 Brother and stuff

One of my brothers had cataract surgery today and is doing very well. It's so good to hear that he already sees the improvement. Hooray for that!

I go tomorrow to St. Louis. Am looking forward to seeing the neurosurgeon since I fell twice yesterday. Once at Jan's and once here. The fall at Jan's was definitely from the imbalance issue. The one here was aided and abetted by dog food on the floor. Just what I needed. After I was done crying and cussing, I laughed. Had to. I fell so hard that gas exploded from my body. Luckily no one was around and my animals weren't close enough to be killed by the explosion. Gosh it was funny.

But it sure hurts today.

And I found out today all the work that my car needs. Omigod, I might as well buy a new one. Sure hope it makes it to St. Louis and back. Forgot to ask the mechanic about that. Oh well...I'm sure it will. (I'm an optimist, remember?)

Just went over to Joe and Cindy's to get some tomatoes and Cindy asked if she could take Gussie for a walk with her dog Kirby. Amen and alleluia. Thanks, Cin.

Monday, September 01, 2008

9/1 Labor Day without labor

Had a wonderfully lazy day. After sleeping in (okay, after waking up at 6, letting the dog out, feeding both the dog and cat and then crawling back into bed), Gus and I went to Jan and Tim's around 1. We swam all afternoon and it was great. Gus is so beat that he's snoring away at my feet.

Last night was fun too. What started as just a few people coming to Jan and Tim's for hot dogs ended up being a huge gathering. Almost everyone came and the food was super. Of course everyone brought a dish so there was plenty to choose from.

I'm incredibly blessed.

Will continue with my labor-less day. Am really tired so will join Gus in the snoring department before too long.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

8/31 Our life in Quincy

is good. We're planning a family picnic today at Jan and Tim's. We're going to swim in the afternoon (including Gus) and then eat. It will be so much fun because we always have fun when we're together.

Yet, I received two emails from national Red Cross asking for me to go to the Gulf Coast to help with disaster mental health. Do I want to go? Hell, yes. Can I go? No, damn it.

My job is still too new to allow me to be gone for two to three weeks. I would go without pay (like I did with Katrina/Rita/Wilma in 2005), but it's the newness which makes it impossible. Plus I'm still down three staff and we're all doing extra duty.

Yeah, my back is an issue too. Can't really see me living in a shelter at the moment (unless I absolutely had to).

But I can't get the people out of my mind. Although the news is focusing on New Orleans, I know the same thing is happening in Mississippi. My friends are staffing shelters, even though there's a mandatory evacuation. They'll be there until the end. And they'll be working up to 20 hours a day.

Yeah, I'll definitely have fun today--but the Mississippi Gulf Coast won't be far from my thoughts.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

8/30 Kick Ass Blog

My friend Nancie nominated me for a Kick Ass Blog award. So here it is:

Kick Ass Blogger Award

And I have to nominate five others. I nominate my brother Joe, my niece Kelly, my niece Beth, my brother Jeff, my nephew Adam, my nephew Eric, my niece Jenna, my daughter Beata, and my son Rob. Think that's enough? I nominated more than five because I didn't want to leave any family members out. And I can guarantee none of them will post it.

I love them anyway.

Friday, August 29, 2008

8/29 Three years

Three years ago today Katrina hit. And people are still trying to rebuild their lives.

Now Gustav is on the way. Let's keep the Gulf Coast residents in our prayers.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

8/28 Busy

Time is just flying by. The class at QU went well again last night. And work is extremely busy, but I love it. Just wish I felt better. Next Tuesday will go to St. Louis to the neurosurgeon. Hope to hear something that will help.

Gotta run. Gussie needs me.

Okay, I'm back. Talked to Genia in Biloxi. She's in charge of the Harrison County evacuation shelter. And the coast has a mandatory evacuation coming up tomorrow or the next day. Sure wish I could be there helping. They are definitely in my thoughts and prayers. They don't need a repeat of 2005.

We do have our own drama and adrenaline-producing stuff going on in my current job too. Guess that's why I like it so much.

Monday, August 25, 2008

8/25 Why?

Saturday and Sunday I felt absolutely remarkable. No pain at all except for three or four intense attacks that lasted only minutes each. Same this morning. But after lunch everything started again.

I don't know what I did wrong, if anything. But it is sure depressing. Maybe it's because I felt so good that I didn't use my walking stick. Perhaps I overdid it. Who knows.

Or maybe it's because I forgot to sacrifice a chicken.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

8/24 Happy Sunday

With one major, but mercifully brief, exception, I've felt good all day. This has been the best day ever as far as back pain goes. So this is what normal feels like. For five months I've forgotten. Am so very grateful for this good day. Am hopeful for many more.

Gus and I swam with Jan and her neighbors today. Gussie is very friendly to everyone, so he's welcome in the lake.

Now I'm starving, so better cook some dinner. Love to all.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

8/23 Good news to share

I'm feeling much better. Don't think the pain will ever go away unless we can deal with the cause of it. But I'm able to walk a mile (with Gus), and the pain is manageable.

So I'm very pleased with the results of the epidural. Since I'd been complaining for five months, thought I'd share the good news.

And 28 years ago today I married John. I can't believe it was that long ago. Wow. Next week it will be 41 years since I married Phil. Amazing how time flies.

And now I'm really pissed. Right after I wrote I good I felt the stabbing pains began again. They are bad and will last from several minutes to a few hours. The good news is that they don't happen as often and in between them I feel pretty darn good.

Gussie and I are off to Starbucks for coffee. Love to all.

Friday, August 22, 2008

8/22 Weekend, yeah!

I'm really looking forward to the weekend, and spending more time with Gus.

Today I attended a workshop on Autism and it was really good. I also hired the second of five people that I need. So all in all a good day.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

8/21 QU

My first evening teaching at QU went really well. I loved the small class size, and the classroom itself. It's called a "smart room." I open it with a computerized key fob. It's programmed just for me. The front of the room is full of built-in equipment that is state of the art. I loved it.

Looking forward to next week.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

8/20 Gus--before and after

The after pic isn't good because I could only get his face. Wouldn't stand still--until my phone's battery went dead, and then he was a cutie. But you can still see how short his hair was cut. He looks adorable.



I'll take one later of his body which will really show his "shorn-ness."

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

8/19 YUCK!

I just hate that I fell yesterday. Makes me so mad that I have to use the damn walking stick(s). But at least they'll stop me from falling again. My back does remind me that I fell--guess that's what made me mad; I thought the epidural was working, and then splat! Ah well, what can you do.... No big deal in the scheme of things.

Tomorrow night I teach my first class at QU. I'm excited and nervous. Dear Cindy is letting Gus out for me tomorrow after work.

Oh, and Jan rescued me today. Someone set an appointment for me to interview someone at noon, and I had another one at 1 PM. Had to pick Gus up at the groomer's by 1 PM, and Jan was able to do it over her lunch hour. I absolutely hated to ask her but was so stuck. She's an angel.

Spoke to Rob for about an hour tonight. How wonderful is that! I love it when my kids and I both have time at the same time to talk.

Okay, back to preparing for my class. Love to all and prayers for those who need them.

Monday, August 18, 2008

8/18 Pride goeth before a fall. Splat!

Just this morning I finally started feeling pretty darn good. Then at noon I lost my balance and fell. So yeah, I'm really mad.

Came home at 2:30 and put on the heating pad. But before I did that, I stopped to buy my own walking sticks so I can return the doctor's. They're really expensive, but they will be worth it if I can prevent another fall.

But damn....

Sunday, August 17, 2008

8/17 Good walks

Gus and I just returned from our second walk of the day. This morning we walked a mile and this evening we walked 2/3 of a mile, so I'm feeling pretty good about that. And he always makes friends along the way. I'm so glad he loves people (and dogs too).

Now it's back to work on the curriculum for the class that starts Wednesday evening.

8/17 My beautiful Polmark d-i-l

I call my daughter-in-law, Beata, a Polmark because she grew up in Poland and lived in Denmark as a young adult. But right now, she's really worried about her homeland. Read this:

Russia: Poland risks attack because of US missiles - Yahoo! News

Friday, August 15, 2008

8/15 Hallelujah!

The epidural hurt a lot more than the first one, but the doc was funny and fun. He put in a lot more medicine (steroids included). Jane and Jan were there the whole time and the doc said that if it hurt too bad it was Jane's fault.

Afterward Jane and Jan took me to lunch which was sweet of them. Then before taking me home we went to John and Paulette's new house and we got a grand tour. John and Matt were working hard and the place is looking great.

Right now I'm feeling a little "weird," but there's not much pain. Tomorrow I should be able to have my normal routine. I have high hopes that this epidural is going to work. I'm very lucky and very blessed.

Thanks, Jane and Jan, for being there for me today.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

8/14 Something good

I went to orientation tonight for adjunct faculty at QU. I'm pretty excited about teaching there.

But the wonderful news is that I get free use of the gym and athletic facilities, meaning I have use of an Olympic size pool one block from my house. How cool is that!

Tomorrow morning I go to Blessing Hosp (at 14th) to do a consult on a young patient, and then to work for a few hours. I'll leave at noon to go home to prepare for the epidural.

It's going to work this time. Yes it is.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

8/13 Surrounded by saints

Jan stopped by at lunch and took care of Gus. Cindy picked him up after lunch. When I got home at 8 PM Joe and Cindy brought Gus home and also gave me a huge salad and a huge brownie. As I said, I'm surrounded by saints.

And St. Jane is doing taxi duty for my epidural on Friday, although Jan said she may go too.

Here's the non-saintly part. They're going to go to lunch while I'm having my spine stuck with a needle the size of Cleveland. Ah well...

8/13 Off to Mattoon

Have to go to Mattoon today to get trained as a trainer for a certain test we administer when we're doing our crisis screenings. It'll be a long drive about 7 hours total for a three hour training. However the only other one is in Chicago, and that would take even longer. So Jan is letting Gus out over lunchtime and Cindy is letting him out after work.

I'm very lucky to have sisters who love dogs (and me). Thanks, Cindy and Jan. I love you.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sunday, August 10, 2008

8/10 Bye bye, Charlie

They picked him up a while ago and Charlie (now Harley) is well on his way to Springfield. Although I did my share of crying and will miss the little critter, this is the right thing to do; and I know he'll be in a great home.

Andrew and Sarah are a sweet couple. And Barb, Andrew's mother, is a dog fanatic like me and she will give them any help they need with him. In fact, Harley will live with Barb and Bill for the first week and a half or two weeks while Andrew and Sarah prepare for their first house. Right now they're in an apartment and can't have dogs.

Can't wait to get pictures from Harley in his new home.

I think Gussie will miss him more than I will.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

8/9 Goodbye Charlie

I brought Charlie and Gus to our family reunion and several different families were interested in adopting him. Even though I didn't bring him there for that reason, it did seem like the right thing to do. It will mean I'll only have to lean over half as many times as I do now. I'm trying to do whatever I can to feel better.

I'm going to miss Charlie tremendously. His personality is so beautiful and his face adorable. But having Gus and Bozie will be sufficient.

Charlie is now Harley and will live with Andrew and Sarah a little north of Springfield, IL. They're getting married next year. Sarah fell in love with Charlie immediately and Andrew soon followed suit. Who wouldn't love the little sweetie? :) They changed his name because Andrew's boss's name is Charlie. But it sounds the same, so the puppy won't be confused.

They'll pick him up tomorrow as they head out of town. So I have tonight with him. And yes, I'll cry. Can't help it--that's who I am.

The family reunion was so much fun, and the dogs were very popular. They're exhausted and passed out immediately after we got home.

Friday, August 08, 2008

8/8 Happy birthday to Jane

Of course Joe has blogged Jane's birthday, but I wanted to acknowledge it too. She's born in 54 and is 54 today. Also today is 8/8/08--what a special day.

Can't wait for all of us to spend time together tomorrow. Love you sis.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

8/7 Pasta sauce

Tonight I had pasta with a sauce made from tomatoes from Joe and Cindy's garden, green pepper from Jan's garden, and onion from HyVee Market. Yay. And yum.

Saturday is the Kuhlman family reunion, and I'm really look forward to it. My family is hosting it this year and I'm going to orchestrate some very special Olympic games--the kind you can play from a chair. I'll report about them afterward.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

8/5 A really down day

Don't know why, but I didn't have one pain free moment today. It was rough. All I wanted to do was go home and lay down, but I couldn't. Pain influenced every action, and I found it difficult to even think.

Sure hope tomorrow is better...

Monday, August 04, 2008

8/4 I love my kids

The housekeeper came today during lunch to give me an estimate, and it's really reasonable.

So I called Rob and Jill and told them the price and said we'd split it three ways which is what I thought we decided. Jill just emailed me to say they'd talked and they are splitting the cost so that I'll have no worries.

Amazing kiddos. They grew up great, despite everything I did to screw them up.

I love you so much, Jill and Rob (and your spouses too for agreeing to this).

Sunday, August 03, 2008

8/3 Fun and more fun

Gus, Charlie, and I swam with Jan, Kris, Brian, and Rocky today. It was relaxing and wonderful.

My brother Joe blogged a bunch of pictures from my birthday and they cracked me up. The pictures were taken by my great-nephew Blake. He's five years old. (I think I got his age right.)

Saturday, August 02, 2008

8/2 Yes, Joe, it IS all about me

Today turned out better than I could have even hoped. Jan picked me up for Mass and afterward we went to Gem City for dinner. There were sixteen family members there and I couldn't stop smiling. Thanks, Jan, for buying my dinner. And also for the fresh vegetables from your garden.

And thanks to Kris and Jan for making my cake. OMIGOD it was so tasty. I would have loved to have more but John ate it all.

Kris and Brian gave me a lovely bouquet of flowers in such a cute vase. Hard to describe, but they were ceramic frog boots. If you want to see the vase, stop by anytime.

Cindy and Joe gave me a frog votive candle holder and a cute vegetarian cookbook.

Jordan, my godson, gave me a new swimming suit. How did you ever guess my size, Jordan? :)

And Blake and Ty made me beautiful birthday cards---Blake drew a picture of Gus on his.

Everything was just perfect. My children called me, and Rob/Beata sent a package that hasn't arrived yet, so I still have someting to look forward to.

After dinner nearly everyone came over to my house to visit for a while. We drank beer and played with the puppies. Then we watched Wipeout and I Survived a Japanese Game Show--two of my new favorite silly shows.

Matt and Joe put my new license plates on, which I really appreciate.

Sorry if there were gifts I forgot to mention. I'll have to look through things in the morning to make sure.

Thanks to everyone for making my 61st birthday memorable. Hope some of you can join us at Jan's tomorrow for swimming. Love you all.

8/2 Another year

Can't believe I'm 61. I'm officially as old as dirt. But it feels good.

Thanks to all the family members who called and wrote. I'm very lucky to be in such a family. I'm looking forward to seeing many of you at dinner. Love, Jer

Editing to say thanks to Cindy for surprising me and my refrigerator with tomatoes, corn, and potato salad. It will be perfect tomorrow. Love you.

Friday, August 01, 2008

8/1 Nothing much

Called Jane a little while ago. They were in Rockford, driving back to Quincy. I'm sure they'll be happy to be home.

Lots to do this weekend. I have to prepare for the class I'm going to teach in a few weeks. Plus tomorrow I have to celebrate. Ha.

Editing at 9:30 PM to say that Pete just called and they'll be home in a little while. Everyone is doing well and they had lots of fun.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

7/31 Say hello to Charlie

Yep, Snickers is now Charlie. For some reason I found it hard to remember the name Snickers. So he is part of the Grandpa Gussie clan now. Grandpa Gussie's first name was Charles. So both dogs are named after my great grandfather. Sorry, Sarah, but Charlie fits the little critter. And he's getting used to his name quickly.

My boss is taking on call responsibilities for me from Friday night until Sunday morning, so I won't have to be on call for my birthday after all. That makes me happy.

Jane sent me a text message today saying they are leaving Wisconsin tomorrow morning. They've had a great time.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

7/30 Another saint

I think it's Cindy. Someone (was it you, Cin?) left three ears of corn and several fresh tomatoes. Oh, and the corn was already cleaned. So guess what I had for dinner...yep, all of the corn and two of the tomatoes. I'm still smiling.

So thanks a MILLION!

My puppies and kitten have been so entertaining tonight. I've really enjoyed watching them.

My birthday is Saturday. I told Jan that I just might want to go to her house and swim with my puppies, then relax on the porch afterward. Quite a lot of excitement for such an old broad.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

7/29 From tears to laughter

It was the worst day since before my epidural. At work I was able to keep tears at bay because I was so incredibly busy. When it got really bad I went into the bathroom and made faces at the mirror. It helped me not take myself or my pain so seriously.

Rob called late in the day and I was able to confess to him how I really felt. I called Jan on the way home, and was able to be cool on the phone.

At home I immediately went to bed, and the tears flowed. Jill called shortly afterward and could tell I'd been crying. But I told her that I'd gone from tears to hysterical laughter because of my animals. They were just hilarious. The funniest thing was when Bozie tried to jump off the bed but couldn't because Snickers had her tail in his mouth. He wasn't biting hard because she wasn't meowing, but it was effective nonetheless. Gus just watched with me.

God it was funny. And I enjoyed trying to explain it all to Jill.

What wonderful kids I have--they call to check on me every few days, sometimes every day.

I'm feeling a little bit better. Have been in bed since I got home, plus I took a pain pill.

I'm so glad I have these animals. They are so fun to come home to.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

7/27 Saint Jan

Saint Jan came by again today and worked. First we went to Mass and then Tim, his Uncle Bill, Jan, and I went to lunch at Mike's in Liberty. I hadn't been there before and the food was really good. Am so glad we went.

Tim is putting a new roof on the garage before I buy the place. It leaks every time it rains, so they said they'd do it before I even moved in. (Honestly, it wasn't my idea.)

Saint Jan cleaned my horrible utility room and then the kitchen floor. I'm really grateful to her. Now I can contact a cleaning company to get an estimate on cleaning the place on an ongoing basis.

I'm really embarrassed about my inability to do much around the house, but even when Jan was here I had a really bad "attack" or whatever it is my spinal cord does to me.

Today was one of the worst days I've had in weeks and I'm damn pissed off about it. Not that it helps or anything, but makes me feel more powerful. :)

The dogs got into the litter box and ate poop. Thought that would make everyone sit up and take notice.

Friday, July 25, 2008

7/25 A BEAUTIFUL video--made me cry

Once upon a time, two friends, John and Ace, adopted a lion cub who was later named Christian. They played with the little guy, exercised him and loved him like family, but eventually, Christian grew up to be too large to care for and his keepers were forced to give the cub up and reintroduce him to the African wild. A year later, when John and Ace went to visit Christian in his natural habitat, they were warned he would no longer remember them, for now he was wild. Check out the moving reunion (and how hot the hairstyles were back in the '70s)!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

7/24 More of the same

Am so busy at work that I feel I'm spinning in circles.

Anyway, the neurosurgery place at Wash U called and said my appointment is on September 3 in St. Louis. I'll have to rearrange some stuff, but that's okay.

The weather is icky and so is my mood. Maybe it's because I feel like I'm running through mud today--lots of effort but not a lot accomplished.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

7/23 Puppies and doctors and stuff

Today Gus and Snickers are at the groomer's. They're getting a "face, feet, and butt" trim. So they'll still be nice and fuzzy and adorable.

Got a call from Wash U Medical Center in St. Louis to screen me for the neurosurgeon appointment. Now they'll give the info, plus the MRI results, to the doctor there and they'll call me back with an appointment. There are no choices about date and time. So I'll wait...

Also, we're setting up the next epidural. They'd told me I may need more than one. Unfortunately I was only pain free for one day and it started to get worse day by day.

So there it is... but tonight I'm having potatoes, sweet corn, tomatoes, and cucumber and onions. And yeah--it's going to be great.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

7/22 Givers (them) and Taker (me)

Jan gave me cucumbers and zucchini from her garden as well as some perfect tomatoes. Today she dropped off some green beans that I didn't know she was growing. Joe and Cindy had already given me some cabbage and last night gave me yummy tomatoes from their garden. One of them didn't even make it to the fridge. I ate two for lunch. Also they gave me some banana peppers that I added to a pasta dish yesterday--it already had Jan's zucchini in it. Omigod--I'm in the land of fresh vegetables and I'm in heaven.

On the way home from work I stopped to get some fresh sweet corn that Jan had told me about. Another omigod! I can't wait to eat again. That's how good the corn is.

Gave Joe and Cindy some too because I have a feeling I'm going to be getting more tomatoes.

I think my favorite meal is fresh tomatoes, fresh corn, and new potatoes with freshly made iced tea. I know I'll think of more, but right now that's my idea of the best meal ever.

Monday, July 21, 2008

7/21 Part time job

Just got hired to teach at Quincy University as an adjunct. Will be teaching Wednesday evenings beginning in August. This class is called Introduction to Professional Issues. It's an entry level class for people wanting to major in Human Services. I'm really excited about it. It's only two blocks from my house, and this would be a super retirement job to have on an ongoing basis.

In the meantime, dogs are doing well and I had so much fun swimming with them yesterday at Jan and Tim's. The little critters got so tired out they slept from 5:30 PM to 5:30 AM. I had to wake them up to get them to go outside to pee.

Guess the pups and I should swim every day, huh. Good for all of us.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

7/20 Givers

Yesterday my sister Jan cleaned my house. It was such a selfless act of love and touched me deeply.

Because of the pain I'd had, my whole sense of self changed. Instead of just not doing what I couldn't do (lift, vacuum, sweep), I didn't do anything.

While Jan cleaned, I organized. Her daughter and future son-in-law helped her carry items to my shed (built into the old garage).

My house is livable now. And I can invite people over instead of being afraid someone will stop by.

Jan is absolutely tremendous. What has someone done for you lately? Unexpectedly or planned, doesn't matter. Just tell us what someone has done for you. It will make us all smile.

Friday, July 18, 2008

7/18 Act quickly

Family, I'm falling in love with Snickers. You better act quickly if you want him. It won't take long for him to be totally mine.

Bozie loves both dogs and plays rough with them. But when she's tired of it, she climbs the gate and goes to the living room.

A drug rep took some nurse practitioners and nurses to Maya last night. I was invited to join them because some other nurses couldn't make it. It was the day after Jan's birthday, but Jane had arranged for her to get the birthday treatment anyway. Omigod this was fun. She seemed to enjoy it too. And to top it off, the fried ice cream was delicious.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

7/17 Lots of GREAT news

I took Gus outside at 6 AM as always and thought, "Something's different." And it was--I was totally pain free for the first time in almost four months. It felt weird at first.

After my shower, when I started moving around a lot more, little pains came back--but if my worst back pain was a 10, this is a 2 or so. Nothing that will stop me from doing anything.

I actually wanted to call in sick and clean my house. The house is the worst it's ever been in my life. So I'm anxious to rectify that, but the prospect of doing it all is daunting--therefore it's going to be one room at a time.

The TAB (talented arrogant bastard who did my procedure--no names) said it may last for hours, days, weeks or even months. But he was really negative about the ultimate success. Guess what? I wanted to slap him but didn't let him drag me down. He also acted like all my answers were wrong. "If I do this with your leg, it's supposed to hurt. But it hurts when I do this, and it's not supposed to." That kind of thing. I know he had to give a negative spin on the ultimate success so as to not get my hopes up, but still....

Anyway he's talented. And I feel really really good, and am incredibly grateful.

Thanks so much for all your support and love.

AND--I'm getting Gus's brother. Yep. He's the last one in the litter and they don't want to advertise and they just want to be done with puppies. So I said I'd take him if he was free. And he is. :) I get him today. Anyone in the family want to steal him?