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?