Sunday, March 30, 2008

3/30 Sunday

Went out to lunch yesterday with Jane, Pete, Jan, Deb, Joe, and Cindy. It was nice; I always enjoy spending time with family.

The fence is a mixed lessing. The good thing of course is that I no longer have to go outside every time the dogs do.

The downside is that they want to be outside all the time. I'm worried about all beautiful bulb plants that are already starting to bloom. If the dogs eat them or dig them up, Jan has threatened to dig them up and take them to her house. I definitely don't want that to happen. Kris has always had a beautiful garden in the back yard.

Speaking of Kris, she had a lot of toys stored in the shed and told me I could have anything I wanted for my office. So I took a few stuffed animals, two chairs, and tons of blocks. Cindy bought something for me, and I can also go to Kelly's to pick up some stuff, so I ought to be pretty well set. I'd like to get a few dolls, but can buy them if necessary.

Okay, back to work.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

3/29 Brrr

It's been really cold, but thank heavens it's sunny. They're putting the gates on today, and then my fence will be complete. This morning I've been putting away items in the house and the dogs are driving me crazy because there's a squirrel in the tree in the front yard. They've not experienced this before.

The other things that drive them nuts are rabbits. Until here they'd not even seen a rabbit much less have them in the yard. They follow the trail around and around and around. Mind you they are on a leash, so I'm going around and around too. C'mon fence!

Went out to dinner last night with my sisters and their husbands, and a friend Debbie. They'd been setting up for the monster garage sale to be held today. Their proceeds will go to our Avon Breast Cancer Walk in Chicago. I can't help because of all the "stuff" to do in the house. But I'll probably join them for lunch when they're done at one or so.

Guess that's it. Back to work.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

3/27 Rain, dogs, pain, work, fence

They started on my fence today, but only got the posts up. It's been raining all day, so I'm surprised they even got that far. Hope the rain stops tomorrow, but it's not supposed to.

Just got home from work. I sat in on four therapy sessions today and got to participate a little. It was great. I begged for toys from my family to stock up my office. Apparently I'll be seeing more children than I originally thought.

The dogs stayed home all day today. (I stayed for a while this morning because the AT&T guy came to fix things--my DSL is now working, HOORAY!) They were alone for seven hours though and did fine. I'm grateful. Tomorrow they go to doggy day care to get nice and tired.

The pain in the title is my hip bursitis, and also a recent back injury from the silly stupid poopy Cookie. She has yanked me around as if I were a marionette. Amazing, she weighs 45 and I weigh considerably more, but when she sees rabbits she goes crazy. So I'm drugging up and going to bed.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

3/25 Survived second day

Today I learned so much. At the end of the day I did a crisis call with one of the supervisors. We went to the emergency room and did an evaluation of a patient with mental illness. There's certainly a lot more for me to learn, and I'm nowhere near ready to do this alone yet. It's not because I can't do it, it's because there are SO MANY DAMN FORMS to fill out. Yikes.

A recap of my first night here--I promised to talk about the gifts waiting:

Joe and Cindy left a bottle of Asti Spumonte, two wine glasses, and a laundry basket full of food and paper products. What a wonderful surprise.

Jan and Jane bought me a gorgeous plant.

Jane and Pete got beer, wine, wine glasses, bottled water, and rolls from the best bakery in the world--Underbrinks.

I'm sure I forgot some stuff, because they were so generous. It sure gave me the best ever welcome home.

Monday, March 24, 2008

3/24 Not unemployed

:) My first day at my new job was today. I think I'm going to love it, but my head is absolutely spinning. There's so much to learn. But it will all come back to me, and I'll settle in rather quickly I think.

The funny thing is that I know so many people there. Worked with many of them years ago at Chaddock, and others I know from activities I was involved in when I lived here.

The dogs had fun at Alpha Dog, but came home muddy because they dug all day. Elizabeth said she went out to stop them at least 10 times today. They were trying to get to some birds. Yay for mud. Thought I left it in Biloxi.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

3/23 Happy Easter

Went to mass this morning with Jan and then went to her house for Easter dinner with her family and Jane's. Delicious food. Nice dogs. Fun card games.

Am now home with my pups.

Snowed last night and at 5 AM when I took the dogs out, they were jumping around in it, catching snow flakes with open mouths, just like kids. They ate it off the ground too. Just what I needed when all I wanted was for them to do their business and let me go back to sleep. :)

Last night was fun. Dinner and drinks at the Abbey for Eric's birthday then everyone came over to my messy house. We had a ball though.

Too tired to write much. I need to take a nap before I get busy putting more items away.

I start work tomorrow.

Friday, March 21, 2008

3/21 New home, same blog

Have to hurry. I'm signed on to a neighbor's wireless. Don't know who. Can't connect to Joe's across the street, so I'm "borrowing" someone else's. Can't get my own to work at the moment. Will try again tomorrow.

The trip up here took less than 14 hours, and that's with a 90 minute stop at a vet's in Jackson, MS. The dogs were very anxious and uncomfortable so we got them sedated a bit. They were out like lights. And it made the trip easier on all of us.

When Genia and I (and two very groggy dogs) got here there were so many wonderful surprises waiting for us. More about that tomorrow.

For now--all my stuff was delivered and we are safely ensconced in our new home. The dogs are not used to all the traffic. We lived in a very quiet area, plus they had the privacy fence. Here it's very noisy--close to a busy street with a gas station across the back alley. The dogs won't even go to the bathroom. Yikes.

More tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

3/19 I'm done

The day started out sad but ended up great. I went to my empty house and put the trash at the curb. Then I went to work, talked to my boss via phone, and turned in my computer equipment and phone. Sad.

Following that I went to a board meeting where the Interfaith Disaster Task Force gave me a gorgeous pottery bowl, made from Mississippi mud. It is fantastic, and I will always cherish it. I promised not to use it for popcorn. :) It came from the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum and was made by a local artist.

Then I went back to my house to put the trash can back near the house and saw that the painters had been really busy already. It's like it's not even my house anymore.

I joined the casemanagers and some other staff at High Cotton for lunch. It was a really nice celebration, and they gave me a lovely piece that has two pictures of the staff on it, and an Irish blessing. I will cherish this as well.

So now I'm back at Caroline's doing laundry and starting to pack up for my trip tomorrow. I'm looking forward to picking up my dogs since I haven't seen them since Saturday.

Oh, I almost forgot. Last night was crazy fun. Our card-playing group met for the last time (with me in it). After we played for a few hours they brought out this HUGE wrapped box. When I opened it, I noticed there were many smaller presents inside. Genia explained the significance of each gift--most of which were hilarious. The one that made me cry is a gorgeous calendar with pictures of Biloxi's Gulf Coast. They also gave me Biloxi t-shirts--one has three drunk frogs on it and it says "Toadally Wasted." Funny. I also got a round pillow that says World Poker Tour on it. Made me laugh, but I'll use it. I got a beautiful glass frog wind chime. And a CD with some memorable pictures on it. Genia also knitted a lovely scarf for me so I can ward off the northern cold. One of my favotie gifts is a placemat with three Care Bears on it. Each one bears a name--Caroline, Genia, and Lorena--and it says Best Friends. I'm going to frame it and hang it up.

What a great group of friends I have. I'm such a lucky bug.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

3/18 On the truck

Everything is out of my house. Everything, that is, except the tons of dog hair left behind. Oh my. And to my embarrassment, there's plenty of dog hair being transported to Quincy too.

But the wonderful news is that my stuff will be delivered on Friday. Yes, this Friday. My shipment was last on, first off of this truck. I'm beyond pleased. This means I won't have to take a day off from work without pay in order to be there for the delivery. The cable guy is coming Friday too. Other than having a huge mess, I should be good to go. The phone is already turned on, and I'm calling water and electricity tomorrow to get them in my name. Got a text message from my niece Kris today with the necessary phone numbers.

Things are progressing. And I'm anxious to get going. It's going to be hard to leave here, but I can't wait for the next chapter to begin.

Monday, March 17, 2008

3/17 Happy St. Pat's Day

Yesterday was a significant day in many ways. First, my dad would have been 83 years old. Second, Quincy turned 13 months old and Cookie turned 19 months old. Third, my friends gave me a wonderful party. Caroline hosted it but Lorena and Genia worked so hard too. The food was fantastic, and although the turnout was small, it was perfect. The people I wanted to be here were here.

I slept well last night at Caroline's. She has a marvelous guest room, and it's amazing how well you can sleep when you ahve a good mattress. Guess I have to finally get a new one once I get settled in Quincy.

I ate so much yesterday at the bbq, but we have so much food left that Caroline and I will eat hamburgers (and veggie burgers) again tonight. Yum, yum, yum.

I woke up at 5:30 this morning and got to my house before 7. The packers got there at 8:30 so I had plenty of time to finish up the few things I had left to do. Paula, my realtor and friend, came by at 10 and I signed some papers. There's now a lockbox on my house too.

The movers finished packing at 2, and they will return tomorrow around 8:30 or 9 to load up the truck. I still don't know when they'll deliver in Quincy, but the driver should be able to tell me tomorrow.

This is really happening. My house is a blur of boxes, and no longer seems like my home. It felt good to get it done though, and to get back to Caroline's. I spent the rest of the afternoon playing with her cats until she got home from work. Caroline is getting her taxes prepared right now, so I'm taking the opportunity to update my blog. More tomorrow.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

3/15 Lots of work

Am getting things done in order for the movers to come on Monday. Caroline came and helped me for a while.

Took the pups to the kennel this morning. It made me sad to realize that last night was indeed the last night they would stay here in the only home they've known. I'll just hope that dogs are as adaptable as children are.

Tomorrow is my going away party, so I have lots to do in the morning before the barbecue at 3.

Am tired and will relax now, and finish up tomorrow.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

3/13 They're gone

Jan, Tim, Cindy, and Eric left this morning at 5 AM. I miss them already.

Yesterday we spent the whole day in New Orleans. We started with a trip across Lake Ponchartrain. Someone said the bridge was 26 miles long, but we haven't verified it. But I'll tell ya--that sucker is LONG. Eric and Jan took some wonderful pictures and Eric is going to post them on his website.

Then we took the streetcar through the Garden District. We walked around and found another cool cemetery. A cemetery gave us a tour. He was a real character and we got to see an open above-ground grave. Very fun.

Afterward we went to the French Quarter and spent the rest of our time. We ate at the Gumbo Shop and ended the day with begnets and coffee at Cafe du Monde.

Gotta get ready for work. I'll post some pictures when they send them to me.

I miss you guys! Thanks for coming.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

3/11 Another great one

We went through Alabama into Florida. Went to Pensacola Beach and it was absolutely beautiful. Eric took so many great photos, and I can't wait until he posts them on his website.

Tomorrow we're going to New Orleans again. Right now I am super-tired so will hit the sack. Am looking forward to another fun-filled day tomorrow.

Monday, March 10, 2008

3/10 What a day!!!!!

We all got up early and began our journey at Waffle House--a real treat for Cindy and Eric since they'd never been to one before. Then we drove west on Beach Boulevard, all the way to New Orleans. What a jaunt!

In N.O. we went to one of the above ground cemeteries and also went to Musicians' Row, a rebuild project spearheaded by Harry Connick, Jr.

On the way home we stopped at High Cotton Grill for a very late lunch. By the time we got back to my house it was almost time for Lorena, Genia, and Caroline to come over. We played cards for a few hours. It was a good time. And after they left, Jan, Cindy, Eric and I played euchre. It had been a long time since I'd played, but it came back to me pretty quickly.

And one of the best parts of my day was getting my car detailed. No dog hair, at least for a few days.

Tomorrow we're driving to Mobile and will take the car ferry over Mobile Bay and drive to Pensacola, Florida. Lots of beauty on the way.

The most important thing is that Eric is having a great time. And he's taken some wonderful pictures.

Oh, I almost forgot--Genia knows Eric's girlfriend. She went to high school with Genia's daughter. Un-freaking-believable.

More fun tomorrow.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

3/9 They're almost here

They should be here in about two hours. I'm going to take a shower and then eat some dinner, 'cause they're eating on the road. Can't wait.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

3/8 Preparing

Last night Caroline called and said she and Genia were on their way to the Ruby Tuesday's near my house and why didn't I join them. Why not indeed. I threw away my peanut butter and jelly sandwich and said good-bye to the pups. Because I'd taken a few bites of my sandwich I wasn't extremely hungry, so I got the salad bar and a margarita. Yum on both.

Got home and vegged, knowing that the weekend would involve lots of cleaning. This morning I took the dogs to the kennel because I'd planned on shampooing the carpet. However--the only grocery store near me (where one usually rents carpet shampooers) is Walmart and they don't rent them. Yikes. So I'm doing the few "baddest" parts with my spot cleaner, and my carpet looks like it has some disease that causes spots.

I hated to spend money on it anyway, because all the carpet is going to get torn up very soon when the new stuff is installed. Ah least it's only mud and not yucky stuff.

Genia and Caroline are coming over tonight to play cards. I wanted them here instead of going to their houses because that way I can work longer. Yeah, I know I'm not working now...quit being such a smartaleck.

Okay, back to the lovely carpet. (Do you recognize sarcasm when you hear it?)

One day until my family arrives. Nine days until the movers arrive. Things are happening.

Friday, March 07, 2008

3/7 I'm not perfect

Hope you're not disillusioned, but I'm not perfect.

Besides arthritis, I have bursitis in my shoulder and hip. Plus my right leg is a half inch shorter than my left one. Additionally I have a hernia. But it's not a problem, as long as it doesn't strangle the internal stuff that's involved. Then it's a medical emergency. I am not supposed to lie on my right side. Plus I should either have a bigger bed or not let my dog sleep with me. (My bursitis flare up is because of the dog.)

Other than that, I'm perfect.

Oh, and there's good news. Genia is indeed riding to Quincy with me. Hooray! I'm very happy. And secondly I got my pre-approval on my mortgage in Quincy. Called Kris and she's happy too!

Now all I have to do is sell the Biloxi house.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

3/6 A few changes

First of all I changed my last day at work. It's now Wednesday 3/19 instead of Thursday. I want to leave Thursday morning when I pick up the pups at the kennel and just head on out.

And Genia might be riding with me. She's from Belleville and the dogs love her, so she is strongly considering going with me. It would be such a big help with the dogs, and my stress level will go down about 80%. Hope it works out.

Caroline called and she's having a goodbye barbecue for me on the 16th. I'm looking forward to it, providing my house is ready for the movers. They come the next morning, so I'll have to have everything ready so I can enjoy the party.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

3/5 Hancock County LTRC

Today I drove to Bay St. Louis along Beach Boulevard. About an hour drive and one that I used to take twice a week. Today was my last trip to the Hancock County Long Term Recovery Committee as a board member. It was certainly a bittersweet trip. On the south the gorgeous Gulf with the bright sunshine glinting off the waves and the sand. On the north pockets of devastation still lingering but the warm, dry weather brings lots of construction.

It had been more than two weeks since I'd driven the route, and already I can see the difference. It's a wonderful feeling! There's so much yet to do, but I leave that to others. It's out of my hands.

But the meeting was fun, because they had a good-bye cake for me and a thank-you card. It was both humbling and gratifying. I'm really going to miss these people.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

3/4 Laughed until I cried

Quincy in the muddy backyard

Quincy and Cookie didn't even need to be told to get into the bathtub. They knew.

Q has such a beautiful white coat, but is almost completely covered in mud. It doesn't normally show on Cookie very much. Today it did. Unfortunately you can't get the full effect from these pics taken by my old phone.

3/4 Storms, etc.

I was up most of the night with the puppies. The thunderstorms were huge and fantastic, but kept waking up Quincy. Poor Cookie was already awake. She gets really scared during bad storms. Plus she had diarrhea. Q has the tapeworms and C has the diarrhea. Go figure. (Cookie didn't have an accident however--just had to go outside every half hour or so until around 4 this morning. I'm proud of her for not messing in the house.)

I'm waiting for the Sears technician to arrive. (Insert doorbell sound.) He's here now, and we have two new motors plus other parts. So the elliptical should be entirely fixed today. That makes me happy. Now that it's fixed it's time for the elliptical to be moved to Quincy and to not work again.

I forgot to post this. But when I was leaving the conference at the Beau Rivage last Friday I saw an old guy with a Packer hat on. I said, "Go Pack!" And told him I lived in Milwaukee for 10 years. Asked him where he was from and he said, "Eagle River." I screamed a little and said that's where my son-in-law is from. Asked him if he knew the Potrykus family. He said, "Sure, Doc's my dentist." Doc is Todd's older brother Neil. Eagle River is a small community, and the world is a small place.

Monday, March 03, 2008

3/3 Tapeworms

No, not me. Quincy. Poor thing. I brought both dogs to the vet today for their ears. Thought they might have an infection, but it was just lots of wax. But while there I asked her to just check them out since we were moving. Found out Q has tapeworms. And the only way you can get them is by eating fleas. Neither of my dogs have fleas. So she either got them at doggy day care or her training class.

And she's lost three pounds since two weeks ago, so I feel bad. She's on meds now and should be fine soon.

Cookie's fine.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

3/2 Brothers and sisters

After instant messaging with my sister-in-law Cindy today, I got to thinking about my brothers and sisters. I'd saved this quote from a while back and it seems to fit.

"To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts...we live outside the touch of time. Clara Ortega

I know it's a little schmaltzy, but it's heartfelt.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

3/1 This month

As my s-i-l, Andrea, reminded me--I'm going to be living in Quincy this month. I can't even believe it. One week from tomorrow my family is coming. Two weeks from Monday the movers are coming. In two and half weeks I'll be leaving. Wow. And I haven't done much yet. So--bye bye.