Friday, February 29, 2008

2/29 Wow, busy, busy

Didn't blog yesterday because I spent the night at the Beau Rivage Casino and Resort. Was on the planning committee, and also a presenter, for a conference we held today. And they ended up having an extra pre-paid hotel room from someone that didn't show up. So Genia and I took it. What a fancy, schmancy hotel. I loved it. The bathroom had a huge shower surrounded by clear glass. And also a gigantic soaker tub. It was great.

Today the conference went so very well. My presentation seemed to be well-received. Genia was awesome in hers. So we felt pretty darn good. About 300 people were there. Nice group full of committed disaster workers.

Tonight Genia had a party at her place. We played Cranium and I laughed so hard I snorted.

Just got home. Tomorrow morning I pick up my dogs. Sure miss them. Lots to do this weekend.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

2/28 Can't sleep

The dogs woke me up at 4:30 to go outside. They came right back in and went to sleep, but not me. I haven't been able to go back to sleep. My mind is just racing--so much to think about, so much to do. I have to put the finishing touches on my presentation for tomorrow. There are going to be around 300 people there, and we are talking about the importance of funding case management. Some federal folks will be attending, and it's vital they hear us.

Then of course there's all I have to do with the house and other items to get ready to move. I'm so excited, yet know there's a lot of work ahead of me--not the least of which is driving to Quincy with both dogs. Last time I drove to Quincy in August, Q was six months old and I didn't have C yet. Now Q is one and C is 18 months. They'll take up the whole back of the car, plus I have to take at least two suitcases, a big bag, dog food, toys, water, computer case, purse, and a dog crate. Oh my. I have no idea how I'm going to get everything in the car. But I'll do it. Everything always does work out, even when it seems impossible. I just want to have enough room in the back of the car so the dogs can at least move around for the 12-15 hour drive.

Lots of fun things to look forward to also--I'm going to be home for Easter. Plus family members are arriving on the 9th. I love to show off the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Besides the devastation still in evidence, there's incredible natural beauty. It'll be fun to have them here.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

2/27 Tired but happy

Met with the new painters last night. They are great guys. Both teach and coach at a middle school and both have been teaching for 25 years. I'll get the estimate today or tomorrow. They'll even come back in to touch up after the floors get finished.

I've got everything arranged, including someone to clean up at the very end--because I'll be gone. This has taken a lot of orchestration, but here's the schedule:

3/17 and 3/18 Movers move
3/19-3/23 Painters paint
3/24-3/27 Floorers floor
3/28 Cleaner cleans
3/28 House goes on the market officially

Throughout--payor pays. Yes, it's taking some money but it's going to be the best looking house in the subdivision and that will help sell it. Someone (who shall be nameless) said I should paint the place myself to save money. I'd love to do that. But I've never done it before, plus I work until 3/20 and am leaving that same day. (Have to be at work in the new city on 3/24.) There's absolutely no time to (a) learn how to paint and (b) actually paint.

This move is happening incredibly fast. I told Rob that I see the effects of stress on me. But I'm doing the best I can. And at least this is good stress.

I'm a lucky bug.

Monday, February 25, 2008

2/25 Some things are done

Well, I'm having the movers pack me. The price was right. They're packing on the 17th and loading on the 18th. I'll stay at my friend Caroline's house from the 17th until the 20th. Then the puppies and I will take off.

Elliptical guy has to return during the first week of March to install a new motor.

Paint guy didn't work out. Have to find another one.

Realtor was awesome, but I knew that. She's the one I used when I bought this house.

Floor guy will be here at 5:30 and friends will be here at 7 to play cards. Two of them have to work tomorrow night so we switched our card playing to tonight.

Guess that's it for now. Lots to do. Have to file a homestead exemption. Forgot to do that. It will help the next owner on their taxes.

Then there's my actual job. :) Guess I have to keep working.

Something cool happened though. I got interviewed last week by the local TV station--I think I wrote about that. Well, the reason I got interviewed is because I asked a question of the main speaker at another conference last week, and I invited him to a conference this weekMississippi Gulf Coast. Well, the bigwig is actually going to show up. Chutzpah pays sometimes.

2/25 What I learned

What I learned is that my dogs do not like to be cooped up when visitors are here. The Sears guy is here working on the elliptical, and I put my dogs in the office with lots of toys and treats. In about 30 seconds Q started barking and C started crying. Oh my. I tried putting them outside but I knew that eventually I'd get complaints about Q's barking.

So here I sit with the dogs in my office while the guy is working on the exercise equipment.

It's a good place for me to be though because I have to turn on my work computer and get to work.

Lots of visitors today. I'll sign on later with more doggie reports. You do find that interesting, don't you?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

2/24 More cleaning

Last night Genia and I had fun at the movie. Definitely, Maybe is definitely, not maybe, worth seeing if you like romantic comedies. We both thoroughly enjoyed it.

Today is cleaning again. Am tackling the kitchen floor and my bedroom and bathroom. The three most "doggy" rooms in the house. Right now I'm in the office typing this, and they are lying at my feet. Sweet, sweet dogs. But that will change once I get up again. They'll follow me around and want to "help" in their unique doggy way.

Yesterday I realized what a time crunch I'm under. Two weeks from today my company arrives (YAY!!!!!). And they leave the following Thursday (13th). The next Thursday, the 20th, is my last day at work. Yikes. I just have three and a half weeks until I leave. Sure hope I can get everything done.

I have five people coming by tomorrow. Paula, my real estate agent; a painter for an estimate; floor covering estimate; moving estimate; and a guy to fix my elliptical trainer. It's going to be busy. Plus I need to actually work in the midst of it. And the dogs can't be at doggy day care because they are closed on Mondays, except for boarding.

Yikes. I'm stressed--but this kind of stress is great compared to the stress of not having a job to go home to. :) And I really can't wait until my family comes to visit.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

2/23 Trying to clean

It's not easy with two "helpers." Now they're outside in the mud, and I'll have to clean them off. But they sure amuse me.

I put a baby gate in the hallway so that when I get the living room cleaned it will stay clean for a few days, but little Cookie jumps over it as easily as if she were walking. I had tried using two kitchen chairs. They worked for Q but Cookie crawled through the legs. So after the baby gate didn't work I put kitchen chairs in front of it. Cookie still jumped it. She's something. I'm afraid I'll have to put a six foot privacy fence around Kris's yard because Cookie will be able to jump over the small fence on the west side. Oh well, that's what you get with big dogs.

They're both worth it. (Since I wrote that I've given Q her first bath of the day. Can't wait until the grass grows back. Here it not only dies in the winter, it disappears. Now it's starting to show again because it's been so warm. But there's still more mud than grass.)

Tonight Genia and I are going to see Definitely, Maybe. I love Ryan Reynolds, and Abigail Breslin too. Caroline is in New Orleans with her Mom for the weekend, so Genia and I will have to eat popcorn alone.

Friday, February 22, 2008

2/22 75 degrees and storming

It's a waste of a perfectly fine day. Seventy-five degrees--that's my perfect temperature. But it's storming. Tomorrow and Sunday will be either sunny or partly sunny, but only 65 degrees. I shouldn't complain since my family is still in the throes of winter.

Because of the rain the last several days Quincy has gotten lots of baths. She loves the baths as much as she loves rolling in the mud. Cookie isn't a bath fan, but will jump in the tub just because I tell her to. She's a good girl, but still kind of skittish about things. Luckily she loves people as much as Quincy does, so I never have to worry about that. Plus she's a great "early warning system" when people are coming to the door.

So much to do to get ready for the move, but that will make the time fly. Of course, I don't want it to fly too much because there's not much time yet. I sure hope I'm able to get everything done. I'd given notice that my last day of work would be 3/21, but found out that's Good Friday, so it's holiday here since we're a faith-based organization. So that will give me an extra day to get home. I can leave early that Friday morning and arrive in Quincy 12-15 hours later. Both dogs are good travelers, but Cookie hasn't traveled more than an hour or so at one time. I've got my fingers crossed. I've asked either Caroline or Genia if they want to drive with me, to help with the pups. That way they can meet "the family" up close.

We're having a case management summit at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino next Friday. I'm going to do a small part of the presentation, and I'm stoked about it. Should be a good conference.

Quincy's graduation from dog training is next Thursday. Unfortunately she and I can't be there. I'm going to be spending the night at the Hard Rock Casino with Caroline and Genia, because C got a $59 rate. It's the night before the conference. I'm having a private training for an hour for Cookie. She's a well behaved dog except on the leash. She pulls more than any dog I've ever had. It's almost like a compulsion to be somewhere. Poor thing. She pulls so hard that her belly almost touches the ground. It's hard on me too, so I'm hoping Erika (the trainer) can do some magic.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

2/21 Time? Anyone have time?

I can't believe all the stuff I have to do prior to leaving here on March 21. Oh, my.

Today I found out that CitMortgage doesn't do bridge loans, so I'm in process of getting a pre-approval letter, so when the time comes, it won't take long at all to get the mortgage. In the meantime, if my home doesn't sell before I leave, Kris will rent to me until my house sells.

Even though the market is rotten elsewhere, it's still pretty good here, because of the storm. So I'm pretty confident that it will sell within a reasonable period of time.

It's raining horribly here, and I have to take Q to dog training class tonight. But it's supposed to be beautiful over the weekend--70 and sunny. Yay.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

2/20 Chocolate cake and champagne

What in the world would possess Genia and Caroline to surprise me with champagne and chocolate cake?

Could it be that I got hired today?

Yep. I'm going to be working as a therapist for a mental health center in Quincy, IL beginning March 24. Am I thrilled? You betcha.

If all works out as planned, I'm going to buy my niece Kris's house when I get there.

So much to do between now and the 21st, which is my last day at work. One month from tomorrow. Wow.

Thanks, Genia and Caroline. I had a really fun evening.

(Oh, and I kicked their butts at spades. It really is my lucky day.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

2/19 Grieving

It's funny how diverse we are culturally. It shows up in millions of ways--how we treat the common cold, how we discipline our children, and how we grieve, for example.

Today I attended a Mississippi funeral. The deceased was an elderly woman whose one goal was to get back into her home before she died. It didn't happen. Her death saddened an entire community, but her dying without her home also saddened those of us in the long-term recovery field.

Her caseworker is a dear friend of mine, and is suffering greatly. We wonder how we could have done thins differently. Could we have made a difference in whether or not this matriarch was able to return home.

Too late for those second guesses. We need to move on, and ensure this doesn't happen to any other people on the coast.

Ah, but this began with a sentence on diversity. The deceased left behind a huge family--four children, many grandchildren, many great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren. What a beautiful legacy. And the church was full of other relatives and friends who loved her.

Throughout the service you could hear wailing coming from one or more of her daughters, and one very close granddaughter. It didn't seem odd or out of place at all. And I thought how wonderful it was that folks can express their emotions so readily. That if someone wanted to scream and cry they did so.

If someone did that in our German Catholic community back home, people would think they'd gone off the deep end. We stuff our big emotions, and in my family especially we cover them with jokes. How I would have loved to have wailed at my Mom's funeral. She died way too young and it was more than sad.

Right now, I want to scream as well--for several reasons--not the least of which is grieving for my job and the jobs of others. Grieving for the clients whose homes are not yet rebuilt. Grieving for the 11,000 families still in FEMA trailers.

Wishing things were different.

So I stuff my emotions, and soldier on. Looking for a new job, a new home, a new life.

Just as sh!! happens, so does grace. Grace happens. That is what I'm counting on.

Monday, February 18, 2008

2/18 Home again

Yesterday it rained most of the day. The wind blew and we had tornado watches all day until 8 PM. But we had a short period of time when it was nice, so we walked along the beach and picked up shells for Genia.

The rest of the day we played cards, read, slept, and ate. All in all a perfect day. Yeah. I needed relaxation, and yesterday filled the bill.

We left Florida around 9 AM because I wanted to be at work by noon or so.

It was a near-perfect weekend. I'm so grateful to Caroline and her aunt. What a beautiful home, and Aunt Webbie is a beautiful lady.

But I'm glad to be home, with doggies all over me. It feels good.

Pictures later.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

2/17 Having fun and I won

First of all, for those who couldn't get to the video--it aged out. Just go to and do a site search on Krystal Allan. The video I'm in does show on the list. It's the one with the name Donald Powell in it.

Yesterday was a really good day. After a nice relaxing breakfast, and a few moments of enjoying the surf breaking outside the windows, we took off. Genia, Caroline and I went to Niceville where Caroline used to live. We saw the condo she still owns, plus her previous homes--all lovely. We met up with her friend, BJ, and got haircuts. (She's a retired hair stylist.) Went to lunch at Camille's at Destin. It was a quaint little spot with great sandwiches. We sat outside and enjoyed the beautiful weather.

Afterwards, BJ had to leave, and the three of us drove to Grayton. It's a beach village with trendy little shops. Bought a few cards and that was it. As we were walking back to the car we heard some awesome bluegrass music coming from a bar. We peeked in, and it was a live band, so we sat for a few minutes and listened to their last two songs.

Driving home we stopped at a fish market to get red snapper for everyone's (but me) dinner. The parking was weird and Caroline got the car stuck on a median. So I "unstuck" us while they bought the fish. We do have pictures of both driving incidents. I just don't have the connector with me to get the pictures on my computer. Will upload them when I get home. Pretty funny! Poor Caroline.

We had a marvelous meal, and Aunt Webbie loved it too. Pan seared red snapper, baked potatoes, salad and garlic bread. Yum. Tonight they are having steak on the grill. I'm making grill potatoes and asparagus. Yum again.

Last night we played cards again, of course. I did indeed whup Genia's butt. I won at both spades and Spite and Malice. The first night was Genia's, last night was mine, so tonight must be Caroline's turn.

Right now Caroline is sitting on the deck, alternately reading and watching the surf. I'm in the living room doing this, and watching the surf. Genia is upstairs in our bedroom, reading and watching the surf. Aunt Webbie is working on Sudoku--which I'll do when I'm done here.

As you can tell, we decided today was going to be total relaxation. No "have to's." Just enjoy the beautiful ambience of Navarre Beach and our lovely temporary home. Tomorrow it's back to reality, and I don't really want to go there. Sigh.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

2/16 Florida notes

Arrived yesterday afternoon to Navarre Beach, where Caroline's aunt lives. Before going to her home, we stopped to eat at Sailors' Grill. Unfortunately the driver of our vehicle turned too quickly, and instead of going into the parking lot, drove into the sand. Even though it was an SUV we couldn't get out of the sand, and in fact kept digging in deeper. We decided to leave the car there and see if someone in the restaurant could help us.

We ordered our food and drinks, and noticed a handsome man sitting at the table next to us. One of us asked him if he could help. He said yes right away. Caroline and I went outside with him, and two young men stopped by just as we were trying to decide how his truck should pull us out. They helped the other guy (retired Air Force guy named Bob), and in just a few moments we were on solid ground. We were extremely grateful that it was so easily done, and we promised ourselves we'd be a lot more careful in the future.

We then arrived at Aunt Webbie's, and I was (and still am) flabbergasted at the beauty of her home. First of all it's right on the beach and it's absolutely gorgeous. Aunt Webbie is 94 so she stays on the first floor in a really nice bedroom with an en suite bathroom. Upstairs is the real master bedroom, but they turned it into a dorm for all the visitors they get. So Genia, Caroline, and I are sleeping in twin beds in the master bedroom. It's got a HUGE deck overlooking the Gulf, and the biggest bathroom I've ever seen. Can't even begin to describe it, but it is ultra cool. There's another bedroom upstairs with two double beds in it, and another private bathroom.

Everything is tastefully decorated with a definite beach theme throughout. Aunt Webbie is delightful and so bright and "with it." A lot of fun, and very gracious. We all had cocktails together, and after she went to bed the three of us played spades. Genia won every game. (I hate her. Hate her.)

Tomorrow I'll post about today and another driving faux pas. Hilarious. And later tonight, I'm going to whup Genia's butt in spades. My turn to win. Yes, it is.

2/16 Happy birthday, Quincy!

Yep, Quincy is one year old today. Can't believe how time has flown. I'll post pictures of her once I get back home.

Later I'll try to post about our wonderful trip here in Florida. Can't even begin to describe the GORGEOUS home we're staying in--right on the beach.

By the way, go to and go to "More News and Videos" or something like that. Then click on Krystal Allen reports on Donald Powell's visit to South Mississippi. It's not too long, and I'm interviewed. Tried putting the link here but can't do it.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

2/14 On TV again

I was interviewed today by WLOX-TV during the conference. A small part of the interview was on the news tonight. It should be on their website tomorrow, and I'll post the url.

The conference is good, and I'm learning. But it's really hard for me not to feel incredibly sad. The need is still there--all over the place--but the money isn't. What are these people going to do when many not-for-profits close? It's rough and it's going to be rougher.

Tonight at dinner I was asked to give the blessing, so I sat at the head table next to my young friend, Jay. After the meal I thanked him for being my Valentine's date.

Tomorrow the conference ends in the early afternoon, then Caroline, Genia, and I are off for Florida. Hooray!

2/14 Valentine's Day

I received a valentine card today. Surprised me. Very sweet. Also got an email from a former beau.

Anyway, today and tomorrow I'm going to a conference--MSVOAD (Mississippi Voluntary Agencies Active in Disaster). It'll be informative and also enjoyable since all my friends are going. Yay for that. After the conference ends tomorrow Caroline, Genia,and I are going to Florida for the weekend. It will be a cheap trip too, as we're staying at Caroline's aunt's condo--right on the beach. The bad news is that rain is forecast for the whole weekend. That's okay because the weekend is all about relaxing, and that's what the three of us need. I'm really looking forward to it.

Then back home to work on program closure and the all-important job hunting. I'm still hopeful about Numero Uno, but received a no-thank you letter from the hospital back home. It makes sense though, because it was for hospice and I don't have any experience in that area.

One thing about Numero Uno that really excites me is that besides outpatient counseling, I would be on call for crisis work at the emergency department of the hospital for individuals with mental health needs. This is right up my alley because of my experience with behavioral health in St. Louis, and of course my crisis and disaster work. I've decided I can live on the salary negotiated, even though it's about 58% of what I make now. It will be hard, but I can do it. Plus they pay a productivity bonus,and I'd work hard to earn that.

Guess you can tell I'm kind of psyched about moving home. I absolutely hate leaving here, I love the place and have such great friends. But I miss my family terribly. More later on old-lady angst.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

2/13 Mardi Gras pictures

Me, drinking wine

Genia with her favorite boa

Lorena with some BIG beads

Paisley and Angie

Me, Caroline (crouching), Genia, Lisa Ann, Angie, Paisley, and Lorena. I had so many beads that I literally couldn't take them off. Lorena helped me.

It was a great day at my very first Mardi Gras parade.

2/13 Excellent news

Nope, not about my job search, although the interview went very well and I feel confident.

But my sister, Jan, s-i-l Cindy, and nephew Eric are coming to visit me next month. Plus a b-i-l (Tim) and another nephew (Cody) may join them. I am beyond thrilled.

Gotta run to a meeting. Will post some Mardi Gras pictures tonight.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

2/12 Thunderstorms and scary stuff

The weather is wild at the moment. Still really warm, but lots of thunderstorms and tornado watches. It's been warm and sunny all through February so far, but this is a big change.

Keep your fingers crossed. I have a job interview by phone in a few minutes.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

2/10 Queen Quincy

She's got her paw on top of the bone. She knows that Cookie will try to steal it as soon as she notices Quincy is sleeping.

2/10 A near-perfect day, continued

Mass was wonderful today. A new member of the choir--a man in his 80s--sang Amazing Grace as a solo. It was moving and beautiful. Then I found out I was going to have a solo. I was excited and nervous. But it went really well (thank you, God), and several people stopped me after church to tell me how much they liked it. It was really humbling though, because there are so many beautiful voices in the choir.

Okay, back to yesterday. Genia joined us at Hard Rock. Originally we just wanted to sit on their patio and enjoy the perfect day. But we noticed the pool was just down a set of stairs. So we ended up at a table by the pool, surrounded by palm trees and very close to the Gulf. What a location!

We sat and chatted for quite a while, and enjoyed our Starbucks.

Rosemary and Lorena then left (Lorena is young and has a--gasp--boyfriend, so she had to go meet him).

Genia, Caroline, and I stayed at the Hard Rock. Genia and Caroline won and I, of course, lost.

Then the three of us went to Genia's and played cards, ate pizza, and watched the original War of the Worlds.

I got home around 11:30 and slept like a baby.

See why it was a near-perfect day?

Adding some pictures:

Above is Lorena.

Below is Caroline.

And this one is of me and Rosemary.

2/10 A near-perfect day

Yesterday was wonderful. It started with a relaxed morning playing with my dogs. Then I took them to the kennel to stay overnight. I wanted to spend the day doing things with my friends and I knew I wouldn't be home until late. It was cool, and my guilt was relieved, when we got there. Two of Q and C's playmates were there and were spending the night too. Maya is a beautiful Weimereiner, and I forgot the other one's name but she's a combination of a yellow lab and a pit bull. She's quite lovely and very friendly. So the four "girls" were going to have a slumber party.

So that freed me up to have a day out with friends. Caroline and I went to the driving range and it was great. It had been a while since I had my golf clubs out. It felt good to be doing it, and I look forward to playing golf with her.

Then she and I met up with Lorena and Rosemary at the Vietnamese Seven Martyrs Catholic Church for a Vietnamese festival, celebrating their new year. Oh my, we ate so much food. I had a vegetarian soup with noodles and vegetables. These huge piles of vegetables came on the side and I added them bit by bit and savored every morsel. The others were able to share their dishes and seemed to enjoy everything. Rosemary then ordered three desserts that we all sampled. Interesting and very different. Fried bananas (yum), a sesame seed encrusted bean paste (very good), and a pudding-like substance with four different kind of potatoes in it (I didn't like this one).

Also there--a sight to behold. A Vietnamese priest sang. He got up with a microphone and really got into. Found out afterward that he was selling his CDs there as well. Wonder if he was a performer prior to entering the priesthood, or if he still did this. The pictures on the CDs didn't show him in his Roman collar.

It was such a beautiful day that we didn't want to go home yet, so we went to the Hard Rock Cafe to sit outside and have coffee. Oh my, it was absolutely lovely.

Okay, have to get ready for church, so I'll finish this post when I return.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

2/9 The job picture

Numero Uno guy said that I'm to talk to the HR director soon about job details, salary, benefits, etc. If all sounds good, then I'll be interviewed by phone. I know Uno, so a phone interview is fine. That's great because it'll save me both time and money since I won't have to fly to Quincy for the interview.

Then I got another email from Uno saying his brother, Numero Dos, had a position opened that would fit me. I know Dos as well, and it feels good that there's someone else interested.

Who knows how this is going to turn out. But I absolutely want to move to Quincy if at all possible. The job with Uno really appeals to me, and I'm praying the salary will be enough to support me and my dogs.

I'll keep you updated.

Friday, February 08, 2008

2/8 Another miracle

I was gone for five hours tonight and I'd left Cookie out of the crate again. Once more the dogs were perfect. I'm so grateful. Guess they behave better when I'm not here. Kind of like when my kids were little.

Played cards with Genia, Caroline, Lorena, and Rosemary at Genia's house. We certainly laughed a lot, which is exactly what I needed.

One of the funny things (and you probably had to be there to appreciate it): Genia is ALWAYS saying completely random things. While playing cards she looked at one of the cards on the table (it was a jack) and said, "I've never known a guy named Jack, and I think I need to meet one." She then issued a challenge, but started by saying, "Don't say no; it's a waste of time. You know I'll eventually convince you to do it."

So here are her rules:

1. This has to happen after dark.
2. Most of us have to be there.
3. We have to be drinking.
4. We must go up to a guy and ask, "What's your name?"
5. If he says his name is Jack we must immediately say, "Want to buy me a drink?"
6. Only then can we explain the contest.
7. First one to find a Jack and ask for a drink wins.

What does she win? Oh, there's no prize.

Yeah, that's our Genia.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

2/7 A long day

Just returned from a great, but grueling, training session with Quincy. She learned some really cool stuff, and I really hope I can keep it up. Plus I made arrangements to take Cookie for a one hour individual session to deal with her horrific pulling on the leash. I'm sure looking forward to getting her broken of that.

Today was busy, but tomorrow will be even more so. Lots to do.

BUT I did hear from one of the places I applied to in Quincy. They want to set up an interview. To say I'm psyched is definitely an understatement.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

2/6 Ash Wednesday

The day flew by. My boss is in town from Austin and we went to mass together after work, since it's Ash Wednesday. Because I had so much going on I wasn't able to pick up the dogs so made arrangements for them to spend the night at Pampered Pets. It's way too quiet here without them.

After mass I stayed for choir practice and it was just what I needed.

Tomorrow I get to ride to Bay St. Louis. That's always a treat--the trip is entirely on Beach Boulevard. Love it.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

2/5 Mardi Gras and I was scared

No, I wasn't scared of Mardi Gras. But, until today, 5 1/2 hours was the longest I'd left the dogs in the house alone. Today it turned out to be more than 7 1/2 hours, so yes, I was scared. Plus, I'd left Cookie out of the crate because I don't like to leave her caged up for that long.

So I said a prayer as I opened my bedroom door. And guess what--they were nearly perfect. Certainly no bathroom accidents. And was I ever pleasantly surprised! The only thing they did wrong was take a few things out of my bathroom wastebasket. And one of them (I'm sure it was Cookie) chewed on the toilet paper.

It was a perfect ending to a super day.

Mardi Gras was a riot. Five of us (me, Genia, Caroline, Lorena, and ) met up with Angie and Paisley on the parade route. We got there very early and had lunch. Then we sat and people watched. What a hoot.

This was my first Mardi Gras parade and I loved it. I had so many bead necklaces on that I almost lost my balance. Really. And when I tried to take them off I couldn't do it. Laughed so hard that it made the task impossible. Lorena finally helped me and it felt great to get those beads off. But I was still laughing.

Now I'm home and am going to do my last night of wallowing. Will post parade pictures when I get them from Genia.

Gosh, I love my dogs. They were such a surprise!

2/5 Fat Tuesday

It's odd to be off work today. But because Mardi Gras is such a big deal down here, the employees voted to have this day as a holiday and forgo Memorial Day. It felt weird to work Memorial Day. But the payoff happens today, so it all evens out.

Last night I went to see The Bucket List with Caroline and Genia. It was hilarious and touching. Just loved it.

In an hour or so I'm leaving for the Mardi Gras parade. We're all meeting at Genia's and car pooling because parking is at a premium. Will report later.

Monday, February 04, 2008

2/4 Work is good for the soul, and the psyche

I feel much better today. Working is a great medicine.

Pampered Pets is closed today so the pups were home this morning, but this afternoon I brought Quincy with me to the office. She's a lot more antsy than Cookie was. Drove by the vet's to get some meds and weighed Quincy. She's only gained 2 pounds since Rob was here at the end of November--she's 78 1/2. I sure thought she'd be more than 80 by now. But what was funny is that she's 20 pounds heavier since the last time I brought her to the vet's.

Just gave her an almost empty jar of peanut butter. That should keep her busy for a little while.

Tomorrow is the last day of Mardi Gras. Am going with friends to the Biloxi parade. We're having a picnic so I get to use a really cool little cheese board set that I got from Jim and Karen at Christmas. I'm taking cheese, crackers, and beer. Genia's taking wine, chicken salad and something else. Others will fill in the blanks with chips, bread, and other items. Should be a fun day. I just hope Doggy Day Care is open so I don't have to worry about going home to let the dogs out. Everything is closed here on Fat Tuesday.

Not this weekend but the following one, I'm going on a road trip to Florida with Genia and Caroline. I absolutely can't wait--a totally relaxing weekend with no responsibilities except to have fun and relax. Yay.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

2/3 Wish it was still blah

It's so nice outside, and so dry, so while I blogged I left the back door open. I looked up and Q was on the camel colored sofa and had mud all over it. And I do mean ALL over it. Apparently she found the one mud puddle left in the yard.

Thank God for a carpet and upholstery cleaner. So that's how I'll spend the next hour or so. I bathed her first, and now must bathe the couch.

2/3 Blah....

Today I slept, watched movies, slept, played with my dogs, and slept. I'm awake now to watch the Super Bowl. A very blah day.

Last night was fun though. It was just Genia, Caroline, and I at Caroline's house but we laughed so hard we all three cried. That's what I call a good laugh.

Back to work tomorrow.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

2/2 Groundhog Day

On my brother Joe's blog people are posting quotes from this movie. We have many cult favorites in our family--the most notable one being Tombstone. But I'm watching Groundhog Day right now and laughing--at the same old stuff. :)

Today I had lunch with Caroline and tonight we'll play cards at her house.

But other than these items, I'm feeling depressed. There it is.

Like I said yesterday, I've definitely decided to stop being depressed and only look forward as of Ash Wednesday. Will it work? I sure hope so. It has in the past; but it's been a long time since I've been depressed like this. 1992 to be exact. It worked then....

Friday, February 01, 2008

2/1 Can you believe it's February?

I sure can't.

It's Mardi Gras season here but I haven't felt much like celebrating. But Fat Tuesday I'm going to a parade with Genia and Caroline. We're going to do some drinking and dancing, and I said I'll threaten the floats, "If you don't throw me some beads I'm going to show you my ----." I think that threat definitely ought to work.

Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and in the high 60s. Instead of going to a parade, I'm going to work on my taxes and maybe have lunch with Caroline. There's a new restaurant nearby that is my favorite--High Cotton. I love their fried green tomatoes.

Then tomorrow night some of us are getting together for games, so it should be a good weekend.

I decided I'm going to begin serious job searching and serious "thinking about selling my house" on Ash Wednesday. Seemed appropriate.