Tuesday, December 30, 2008


One of the best things about having Bailey around is the funny things she does daily to make me laugh.

She loves squeaky toys. Unfortunately, she destroys them within 30 seconds of play so she doesn't get them very often. The funny part: she carries the toy around in her mouth, making it squeak. Then she whines in response. It's like she is having a conversation with the squeaker, or maybe singing along with it... Whichever, it's the only reward we can use to get her to "speak" on command.

She is also very observant. She knows what her world looks like and when something is different. It takes her a bit to adjust to any changes. Early this fall, I found her looking out the window near her kennel. Her hackles were raised and she was growling and barking like there was an intruder in the house. I looked out the window to try to figure out what it was. I saw nothing. I figured it was a squirrel or something that was long gone. So I let her out. She ran full speed to the center of the yard and barked and circled a spot on the ground like it was the most offensive thing she had ever seen. So I went to investigate. Here is what I found:

A mushroom, people... seriously... apparently it popped up over night...

This yesterday morning, she did it again... hackles and all. I couldn't figure out what she was so upset about. I let her out and she flipped out, barking and growling... I bought a new brand of trash bags and there was an unfamiliar color sitting at our curb... a black trash bag, people!

I guess that's a guard dog for ya.

I wonder why she wasn't phased by the Christmas Tree....?

Saturday, December 20, 2008


After that month of daily posting, I am suffering some severe writers block... so here is a cute e-mail I received from "Nancy" a while back. Hope you enjoy:

Where do pets come from?

A newly discovered chapter in the Book of Genesis has provided the answer.

Adam and Eve said, "Lord, when we were in the garden, you walked with us every day. Now we do not see you any more. We are lonesome here, and it is difficult for us to remember how much you love us."

And God said, "I will create a companion for you that will be with you and who will be a reflection of my love for you, so that you will love me even when you cannot see me. Regardless of how selfish or childish or unlovable you may be, this new companion will accept you as you are and will love you as I do, in spite of yourselves."

And God created a new animal to be a companion for Adam and Eve.

And it was a good animal.

And God was pleased.

And the new animal was pleased to be with Adam and Eve and he wagged his tail.

And Adam said, "Lord, I have already named all the animals in the Kingdom and I cannot think of a name for this new animal."

And God said, "I have created this new animal to be a reflection of my love for you, his name will be a reflection of my own name, and you will call him DOG."

And Dog lived with Adam and Eve and was a companion to them and loved them.

And they were comforted.

And God was pleased.

And Dog was content and wagged his tail.

After a while, it came to pass that an angel came to the Lord and said, "Lord, Adam and Eve have become filled with pride. They strut and preen like peacocks and they believe they are worthy of adoration. Dog has indeed taught them that they are loved, but perhaps too well."

And God said, "I will create for them a companion who will be with them and who will see them as they are. The companion will remind them of their limitations, so they will know that they are not always worthy of adoration."

And God created CAT to be a companion to Adam and Eve.

And Cat would not obey them. And when Adam and Eve gazed into Cat's eyes, they were reminded that they were not the supreme beings.

And Adam and Eve learned humility.

And they were greatly improved.

And God was pleased.

And Dog was happy.

And Cat didn't give a hoot one way or the other.

Monday, December 15, 2008


My MIL and FIL were sitting at their table chatting. During the conversation, my FIL got a pill out for Geronimo and laid it on the table to wait for the dog to walk by.

My MIL looked away for a minute. When she looked back, my FIL tossed a pill into his mouth and took a drink. She figured he had grabbed an aspirin and didn't think anything of it.

About 30 seconds later:

FIL: Did I just take that pill?
MIL: You took something...

They called the vet to see if there would be any problems or if they needed to visit a doctor. They were told that the meds were the same used on humans.

Vet: Keep an eye on him. If he starts barking, call me back.

So they laughed about it but my MIL still kept an eye on him just in case.

A few hours later, they were driving up the road. My MIL asked if he was feeling ok. In true FIL fashion, he turned to her and barked...

Thursday, December 11, 2008


A lady at my church is expecting her third child. She and her OB/GYN are on very good terms and easily joke about all kinds of stuff throughout her exams.

She decided to get him a Christmas gift but was not sure what would be the most appropriate. So she did some digging on the web and found a brand new speculum pretty cheap.

When it arrived, she added some pipe cleaners, a small red poofy ball and some googly eyes and transformed the boring piece of medical equipment into a reindeer ornament... I wish I had a picture...


Bailey's weight has been fluctuating lately. We switched her food to the adult formula right after her first birthday so that may have something to do with it. She was 78.5 on the 7th.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I Did It!!!

I did it!!! Thirty posts in 30 days! I can't believe it.

So I kept my promise and posted each day during the month of November. I decided to keep this blog going. It helps me free my brain and keeps me from having to repeat my stories a million times...

Thanks for putting up with me this month. The plan from now on is to post once a week. Sometimes I will post more, sometimes less. I will try to keep my rambling to a minimum.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Nani Part 2

We lost her on Sunday, Mother's Day. I had to take a final the next day. Let me tell you how fun that was... or not. I could have postponed it. But I wanted to get it over with so I could have the rest of the week to deal with family stuff.

On Monday, I went with my parents to set up the arrangements. We put together the obituary and chose a casket... that was probably the most surreal experience of my life.

BB flew in Wednesday night. Thursday evening we had the visitation at my parents' church. Friday was the funeral. The whole thing just didn't seem real. I saw people I hadn't seen in years. I saw people I will probably never see again.

Lunch was served at the church afterwards. We sat around and told stories and relived memories for a good part of the afternoon. It was actually pretty nice.

It's been months but it's still not sinking in that she's gone. Little things remind me... I call my parents' and no one answers. I turn onto their street and she isn't sitting on the porch. Just this week I was putting together my list of Christmas gifts to buy... the list looks very short with out her on it.

I miss her.

Friday, November 28, 2008


Patience doesn't always pay off.

I am a scrapbooker. I love designing layouts and the cutting and pasting of pictures and embellishments to display the events in my life. There is a group that gets together once a month through my church and we crop for 6 or 12 hours depending on the month. There are also scrapbook stores that hold their own crops as well. I try to crop once or twice a month and I love it.

I am a perfectionist when it comes to my layouts. I want the titles and any other words on the page to be uniform and clean. I usually plan the layouts before hand and use my computer to type and print out captions and titles for the pictures I want to do before each crop. But that isn't always possible. I can use stickers and chip board letters to spell things out, but there are always so many left over that I can't use and it's frustrating to throw any of it away.

A couple ladies at the church get-together have die cutters and a Cricut machine I can use. But they are not always there every month and they don't always bring all of their supplies. So a lot of time I am suck organizing layouts and never getting anything put together. So I decided to purchase a Cricut machine for myself.

Now these machines are not cheap. The one I want is portable and runs anywhere from $200 to $250. I have seen them on sale for $189 down to $169. Last year, I found out after the fact, on Black Friday, a local discount store had them for $119. So all year I watched and waited. I saw the typical sale prices and had to keep telling myself to be patient and that they were bound to have a similar sale this year.

I was patient. I held back. I was so excited when Thanksgiving finally came and I could search the ads for my long awaited prize. And it wasn't there. What was there was the model that was twice as big as the one I wanted. Not nearly as portable, that model runs $250 to $300. It's down to $199 today. Still a good buy but not what I want.

So here I sit, eating my breakfast and bidding on the one I do want on e-bay. I could have done this a lot sooner and saved myself the aggravation. But that would have been too easy. And I guess I like to do things the hard way.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Merry Turkey Day!

Wishing you and your's a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


We lost our grandmother on Mother's Day this year. This will be our first Holiday season without her.

So, here is the story: She was 94. According to my dad, she had been diagnosed with congestive heart failure and was only expected to live about another 6 years. That was 15 years ago. So we had been on borrowed time for a while.

Throughout 2007, she had been in and out of the hospital 3 or 4 times, each time to treat the fluid building on her lungs. The funny thing was, if you asked her, she would say she felt fine even if you could tell she was struggling to breathe. Her only complaint seemed to be her eyes. She was addicted to word search puzzles and she couldn't do them if her eyes were acting up that day. Breathe-schmeethe, she just wanted to do her puzzles!!!

Now, she was a sharp lady. She had her moments, according to my mom, when she could tell she was regressing a bit. But she was still with it. She took care of herself. No dementia or anything like that, so we were very lucky.

When she was admitted on May 9th, we all thought it was just another trip to treat the fluid. I worked my "fun job" on Saturday downtown and swung by to see her that evening when I got off. Again, she seemed to be struggling to breathe but when I asked her if she was having trouble, she said "no" and that she felt fine.

I gave her her Mother's Day card that night because I was supposed to spend Sunday with my husband's family and I wouldn't see her again until Monday when I returned to work at the hospital. My little brother and I had made her a coupon good for dinner at one of her favorite restaurants. I slipped it into her card and when she saw it, I told her we'd be going later that week after she got home. She didn't seem very excited and I thought that was a bit strange. Maybe she knew she wouldn't get to go.

So we had a nice chat and before I left, I asked her if she wanted me to bring her anything on Monday. Her response: "a puzzle book." I told her I would bring her one, that I loved her, and that I would call her the next day. I have her a hug and I left.

Early Sunday morning, my mom called and said we needed to get to the hospital. So I jumped out of bed, threw on some clothes and left for the 45 minute drive from my house to the hospital. I got there in 35 minutes.

When I got to her room in the ICU, I could tell she was already gone even though she still had vitals. They had her on an oxygen mask and the respiratory therapist was fiddling with the breathing machine. I recognized her from the NICU so I said hello. She looked surprised to see me and I explained that this was my grandmother. She apologized.

I beat my parents there so all I could do was sit and hold her hand. She kept trying to take the mask off and I kept telling her she had to leave it on. I knew they had been talking about a breathing tube and my parents had refused. They knew that if they made the decision to intubate, they would eventually have to make the decision to extubate and that would excruciating.

After what seemed like an eternity, my parents showed up. My mom took charge and asked them to remove the mask and put her back on the nasal oxygen. She told her that she was going to see Jesus really soon but I don't think she understood. I sat beside her and held her hand. I told her I loved her and watched her vitals.

We called my baby brother (BB) who we knew would not be able to get there and held the phone up to her ear so he could talk to her. We weren't sure if she even knew what was happening until we took the phone away. Then she said, "Tell (BB) I love him." Those were the last coherent words she spoke.

The time passed in a fog for me. Part of me wanted her to just go and not prolong the inevitable. Part of me wanted to sit with her forever. I knew her mind was pretty much gone. Her oxygenation levels were so low that there was no way she was really aware of what was happening.

As time passed, my mom would notice things that seemed to bother her and would ask for them to be removed. First it was the blood pressure cuff that automatically did it's thing every few minutes. Then it was the IVs and other tubes. Finally she was down to only the nasal cannula and the sensors that monitored her heart beat and pulse ox.

My little brother (LB) and SIL were on their way but they live an hour away and we didn't think they would make it. So at one point, we held the phone to her ear so he could say good bye as well.

So my mom and I sat there and held her hands and talked to her. My dad hung out in the background. He was probably in shock.

Finally, her heart rate slowed and then stopped. As soon as it hit zero, my mom and I were on our feet, pulling off the last of the sensors and cannula.

The nurses came in to clean her up and I stayed with them while my folks went to wait in the waiting room. One of the nurses I had known since I was 15 so it was nice to have a friend there helping take care of the end of life necessities.

When she was all cleaned up, I combed her hair. My parents came back in with LB, SIL, and a few close cousins. We chatted about the arrangements for a few minutes, gathered her belongings, and left. The last things I grabbed were the comb and her clipboard with the pen and half finished word search attached.

Having my brothers there would be the only thing I would have changed if I could. She went peacefully holding my mom's and my hands. She didn't suffer. She was aware of what was happening until the last 12 or so hours so that was a blessing.

More to come...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I had dinner with my hubby tonight. It was nice. We went to a cheap pizza place we both like. We always end our meal there with a cone of soft serve ice cream. For whatever reason, he never eats the very bottom of the cone, he always gives it to me. He says it's because he doesn't like it but I think he knows it's my favorite part.

It's nice to just hang out with him. His job recently changed so we actually see each other almost every night of the work week. We are spending more time together now than we have our entire marriage. Its a little scary, though... we can only spend so much time together before we start arguing... Same goes for me and all my friends. :-)

But so far no arguments. Maybe we just really missed each other. Maybe we have learned which buttons not to push.

Regardless, I am enjoying our new-found time together. I hope he is, too.

Monday, November 24, 2008


So I am 2 days and 6 chapters into Twilight and I am hooked. I can hardly put it down to eat, sleep, and work.

It is a very easy read and is very much like the movie. A few minor characters were either left out or merged into one for the movie, but that's about it.

Unfortunately, the library did not carry the series so I had to break down and buy the book... it was only $9 at a local discount store so not too bad.

I also heard on the radio this morning that "the powers that be" got the go-ahead to make teh second book, New Moon, into a movie as well, so I have that to look forward to.

I am off to have dinner with a bunch of friends from church. See ya tomorrow!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


We started Bailey's new class tonight. I am pretty excited about the prospective tricks she is going to learn. It's clear that this is a step beyond the general obedience classes.

Today, we worked on "Crawl" and "Say Your Prayers". Crawl wasn't too bad but the praying one is going to be difficult. She has to put both paws up on a raised surface and bow her head. We have worked very hard with her to get her to keep her paws on the ground so this is gonna take some work.

We weighed her today as well. A few weeks ago, she was 79.3. Today, 78.8. We recently switched her to the adult dog food from the puppy formula so that may have something to do with it. I will be interested to see where she finally levels off.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


One of the things I inherited from my mother is the love of reading. From the time I was very young, I remember my mom reading to me. Picture books with few words when I was really young and chapter books as I got older.

I am a fan of fiction. After all the books I had to read for school, reading to learn or gain information is out. I read for pleasure, to escape, to be entertained.

One of the things I really like to do is read books that are made into movies. The first one was The Clan of the Cave Bear. I watched the movie at a friend's house and when I learned it was a based on a book, I asked my grandmother to buy it for me on our next trip to the mall. I was young and it was huge so my mom read it to me, editing out the graphic violence that she felt was not appropriate. And we fell in love with Jean Auel together. I've read the series 6 or 8 times. I'm sure my mom has read it more.

When the Harry Potter books came out, I had to see what all the fuss was about. I read them and loved them and have read them a few times as well... about when the next movie is about to come out... so I will be due again soon since The Half Blood Prince is due in theaters in July...

Last night, my husband and I went to see Twilight. With all the talk about that series and the Sookie Stackhouse novels, I, again, had to see what all the commotion was about. So, I watched a bunch of True Blood episodes and made my husband take me to see Twilight. I am still not sure what all the fuss is about with True Blood, but Twilight was pretty good.

So, because its almost Christmas, I am off to the library to check out the book. I felt there were a lot of questions left unanswered and I am interested to see what was left out of the movie.

Friday, November 21, 2008


We lost our grandmother on Mother's Day this year. I have been meaning to post about it but I have not had the time to devote that I feel that post deserves. And, I have been avoiding it... I haven't cried in a while and I'd like to keep it that way. The holidays are going to be difficult enough this year as it is without adding to it...

Last year we had just lost Gizmo. This year will be our first without Nani.

Maybe next year we'll get a break.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I took a quick run through a couple of malls today to see what was out there and hopefully get a few gift ideas in the process. I was not very impressed. But I did find a few things for myself...

I live in a pair of knee-high black boots. They have a pointy toe and a 2 1/2 inch heal. I have had them for a few years but they still look great. Except just last weekend I noticed that the heal is worn down to the nail on both of them :-(

So I went browsing and found a pair I liked... but they are more than I normally would spend. Not an outrageous amount or anything, we're talking about less than $100, but still.

I also found a purse I just love!!! I have fallen in love with a designer but I can't bring myself to pay that much for a purse... again, we are still talking about less than $100, but I find it hard to part with that amount of money for myself this time of year...

I asked everyone today to send me their wish lists so I can get started on my holiday shopping... I hope they all get back to me soon before I lose all self control...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Party Hardy

We had a Halloween Bon Fire and weenie roast back in mid October. We invited about 100 people, which included most of the nursery staff at 2 hospitals, a bunch of my husband's co-workers, half of the people we invited to our wedding, and all the neighbors on our block. We expected about 40-50 people; about 30 showed up.

We set up a heater on our back porch and had the bon fire going out back for those who wanted to hang outside. We also had a bunch of camping chairs set up in our great room for those who preferred to stay inside.

My husband worked really hard on the decorations. We spent almost $200 last year on all the clearance items and I don't even want to think about what he spent this year on the finishing touches. Our backyard was turned into a graveyard with headstones and a fog machine. We turned our pool table into a tomb with cob webs hanging from the lamps above it and a skeleton laid out underneath. We had a giant spider web and spider hanging from the track lighting and plastic wall hangings that made the room look like a castle dungeon. And outside, all along the driveway, we had chalk outlines of bodies complete with pools of blood and all. I am kicking myself now for not taking enough pictures.

The highlight of the evening was when a bunch of people, including my husband, decided to play on our fire pole.

Background: the people who lived in our house before us had an authentic fire pole installed the ran from the loft above to the bar below in our great room. There is a little door that opens from the loft so you can slide down the pole just like a fireman.

So a bunch of people decided it would be a good idea to go down the pole. Which was fine until some genius decided to go down upside down. They spotted each other, though, so it ended up being pretty entertaining.

And then one guy went down without a spotter. He hit the terracotta tile floor with a loud bang. Then he just crumpled at the foot of the pole. I thought he broke his neck. He laid there for what seemed like forever before he started to stir. I am sure it was only a few seconds because if it had been longer we would have had time to shake off the shock and run to his aid. So he righted himself and was laughing as he did so we all knew he was alright. Later he said he heard a loud bang and thought "what the heck was that?" a moment before the pain hit him...

He ended up being fine and I think everyone had a fun time. My husband is already planning the changes for next year. So if you know me personally, keep your Saturdays in mid October free...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Giving Back

My husband has had a love of hockey since he was a kid. Where he grew up, you either ran with the gangs or you hung at the "ice terrace" so he chose the latter.

And he is great with kids. When we first started dating, I baby sat a lot. He would go with me and play with the kids, keeping them busy, while I got dinner ready and cleaned up after the kids. We made a great team.

So I don't know why it surprised me when my husband started coaching a little league hockey team. A large indoor ice complex was built on the southern part of the metro area a few years ago and since then the little leagues have exploded. And when a couple buddies asked him to help out, he agreed.

I can't wait to go watch a game!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Weekend

I am exhausted.

I nannied all weekend and they wore me out. I got them off the bus on Thursday afternoon and didn't get home til almost 8 last night.

Friday they went to school and I went to work for a while, then to an interview... let's hope they like me more than the other 2 candidates. Friday night I let them stay up as late as they wanted which meant about 10:15 after we read s bunch of books.

Saturday we went to a free arts and crafts place and had lunch at a place that has a train deliver your food. Then we walked around the mall both places were attached to and played in the toy stores for a while before heading home.

Again, I let them stay up late and we all passed out around 10:00. Later that night, the little boy came into his parents' room where I was sleeping and crawled in to cuddle with me... I fell back asleep and woke up again when I heard more footsteps headed toward the room. I figured it was the little girl coming to join us... but it was a grown man who walked in the door!

Their parents had come home early. Dad crawled in bed on the other side of the little boy but there was no sign of mom. So, a bit creeped out, I got up to look for her. When I found her, she explained that their office had been broken into the night before. They had gotten in town around 3 that afternoon and had dealt with the police most of the afternoon and evening before going out for drinks with friends. They had intended to stay at a friend's house that night but after a few too many drinks, they decided to just get a ride home...

They ended up wanting me to stay all day Sunday so I could take the kids to a local pizza place that had an arcade attached. They had to go back to the office to meet with a computer guy to figure out if any protected information had been downloaded within the last 48 hours.

So it was almost 8 pm before I got home...

I need another weekend!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

More Training

I have decided to continue with Bailey's training. She graduated from the Advanced Class in August and since then we have really slacked off... she is still very well behaved and still knows a bunch of commands but I want more.

The goal is to get involved with a local therapy dog group. To take part in the program I am aiming for (children and teens in a psychological rehabilitation center), she will need to know a few tricks. She "dies" when we shout "BANG!" (not appropriate for the target audience) and can "pound it" when we offer her a fist. But we need more...

So we start next Sunday.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Financial Peace

If you have not heard of Dave Ramsey, you must be living under a rock. He is a syndicated radio guy who talks about money management and budgeting. Check out daveramsey.com for more info.

There is a class he offers called Financial Peace University. You can take it through any small community group. When I heard it was being offered at my church, I signed up.

I am about halfway through it and I think it's great. The lessons are funny and informative and I learn something new every week. I really liked the lessons about insurance and investments.

His site offers personalized budgets that help you see where your money goes and a program that calculates your debt-free date. Most folks find this empowering... my date was set sometime in 2023 due to my enormous amounts of student loans so it wasn't so empowering for me...

But overall I really like it... it gives me hope...

To quote the man himself, I am hoping it teaches me to "live like no one else so I can LIVE like no one else."

Friday, November 14, 2008


So during the concert between songs, one of the members told about the differences between touring now and the tour they did in 1990. Like how the fans were either sporting pregnant bellies or drinking beer. Some more than others...

There were some rowdy drunk girls in front of the people next to us. They kept leaving to get more beer and spilling half of what they brought back on the people in front of and next to them. The ladies in front of us actually complained to the ushers 3 times before they finally did anything about it. And when the girls were being escorted out (to clapping from those of us around them), one of them tossed what was left of a beer on one of the ladies who complained.

Later I thanked one of the ladies in front of us. She said, with the breath of an over-filled ash tray, "I just didn't want to go home to my kids smelling like beer."

I guess we all have our own priorities...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Young Love

I first fell in love with the group we went to see Tuesday night when I was 12 1/2. I went to their concert when I was 14. I paid $21 for the ticket then. It seems the only thing that has changed in the 18 years since they were here last is the ticket price. But the show they put on was worth every cent of $70 I paid this time around.

I was excited but I didn't realize how much until they actually took the stage. And when they did, I was transported back in time and I was 14 again. I screamed and sang along to all the old songs and never once thought about putting in the ear plugs I had tucked away in my purse (The hearing health care provider in me be damned!)

The girls I went with made it even more fun. We had a fabulous time and the show was amazing! The pyrotechnics and the fog machines and the costume changes were fantastic. It was worth every penny.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Happy Birthday

Guess who turned one year old today...

I spent the day at home recovering from the concert I attended last night. I had not had a day off to do nothing in a long time...

So I did stuff around the house all day. I finished taking down the decorations from Halloween, lugging 5 full totes out to our garage. I did 5 loads of laundry, actually putting everything away which never happens. I changed the sheets and pulled out the electric blanket. I packed for my weekend since I leave tomorrow straight from work to go nanny for a friend who is going to Vegas for some much needed fun. I emptied and reorganized my purse. I learned to use a new camera. I piled firewood outside our front door so we don't have to walk out into the driveway every time we need a log. And I emptied and reloaded the dishwasher.

I am the least domestic person I know but if I was actually a stay-at-home wife, I could really be a great homemaker. Too bad I have to work... I am amazed at the stuff I got accomplished today!

Anyway, Happy Birthday Bailey Grace! Momma loves you...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Tonight I am going to a concert with a few girl friends. It's a group we were all crazy about as young teens who are attempting to make a come-back.

When I heard they were coming, I asked one of my friends if she wanted to go. When we were 14, I got to go to the concert when they were here but she had been very ill and missed it. She said no so I just forgot about it.

A week later she calls me. "I was flipping channels and came across their new video. All of a sudden I was 14 again!" So we got tickets.

So I am off! Tell you about it tomorrow!

Monday, November 10, 2008






I am 1/3 into this and already I have run out of things to talk about. I have a few more stroies to tell but I am just not feeling them for today.

It's Monday... the first day of my busiest week outside of work ever. Tonight, my cell group from church meets. It only meets 2 times a month and the last meeting was canceled due to illness so I don't really want to miss this one. Tomorrow night, I am going to a concert with a few girl friends... should be fun. Wednesday night I am in a class at church. It's Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and I will not miss that. Thursday night, I begin a weekend of nannying fun... I will surely have some funny stories to tell about that.

So I am sorry I am just not feeling the creative juices needed to tell all the stories that need to be told... I will try harder tomorrow.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


We lost our little Gizmo one year ago today. I can't believe its been that long. After we lost her, she used to visit me in my dreams a lot. It's been a long time but she showed up there again last night.

It was a huge two-story dog park, kinda like a mall with 2 levels where the 2nd story overlooks the first but with real trees and real grass. I was up on the second story looking down onto the first when I saw her running determined down the length of the park. I rushed along the 2nd story and down the stairs at the end of the floor. When I got to the bottom, she ran across my path and I scooped her up and hugged her. My husband walked up to us but he didn't believe it was her. I showed him her collar and bell and he said, "It is her!"

We loved on her for a bit but she did not seem to be anywhere near as interested in us as we were with her. It was like she couldn't wait to be let back down so she could be on her way.

So we said our good-byes and let her go. She ran off like she'd never been interrupted.

Now I am not saying I know anything about dreams or the afterlife of pets, but I can't help but think that the dream was her way of telling me that she is happy where she is now. That she has moved on and so should we.

I still miss her and I am sure my husband does too. But the pain has faded. She still holds a very special place in our hearts. She will never be forgotten.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

NIght Out

Last night my husband and I went out on a date. We had tickets to see a popular comic at a large venue in the city and the plan was to go to dinner before hand.

Dinner was great. Then we drove downtown. When we got there, the place looked deserted but it looked like folks were parking in the lot adjacent to the venue. When we pulled into the lot we were approached by a parking attendant. He told us the show had been canceled and that there was no reschedule date. We were to return our tickets to the place of purchase for a refund.

We were so upset. We decided to call around to the local comedy clubs to see if anyone was playing. All we found were folks we never heard of, expensive tickets, and/or show times that would not allow us to get there in time. Disappointed, we decided to just go to a movie.

We saw Role Models with Paul Rudd and Sean Something (Stifler from American Pie). It was hilarious! I don't remember when I laughed that hard. The little kid was a riot! Walking out, I told my husband that was how his kid was bound to act. His response: "Yeah, we'll probably spend a lot of time up at the school..." We had a good giggle over that as well.

We decided to stop off at a local bar for a drink before we went home. While we were there, I noticed a bowling video game in a corner and challenged him to a game. We ended up playing 4 because I beat the pants off him and he kept wanting a rematch.

So even though the night did not go according to our plan, we had a great time. And I was keeping up on my vow to play more often :-)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Hubby's Hobbies

Although this happened many months ago, I saved the story just for when I needed a post and could not think of anything good to write. Some of you have already heard the story, but most of you have not. Please enjoy:

One random Friday night, my husband went out with a buddy to a race track... while he was gone, we lost power in the neighborhood... not good when you have a 450 gallon saltwater fish tank that needs a functioning pump to survive. Luckily, the power came back on soon enough as to not do any damage.

A few hours later, as I am about to step into the shower, I hear water running even though I haven't turned it on yet. I decided to investigate. To my horror, I discovered the source of the sound was a waterfall splattering onto the living room floor... The tank was overflowing!!!!

I quickly sent my husband a text message (since he couldn't hear me at the races) to tell him what was happening while I frantically searched for the outlet to unplug the malfunctioning pump and stop the deluge... said outlet is hidden behind the wall the tank is built into. There are 4 power strips behind the wall with about 4 or 5 plugs in each so I started flipping switches until I heard the water stop... all the while water was pouring out of the tank (and all over me) and I just prayed that I didn't get electricuted...

Meanwhile, I get a text from my husband that says "Unplug it from the wall"... hmm, didn't think of that :-{

After all was said and done, I had a pool of water that stretched from the tank to under the living room furniture... about 100 square feet... thank God for tile floors.

So every dry towel in the house later (except the one I saved for the shower I still hadn't made it into) I realize that all the blinds in the living room were still open... the lights inside were on... it was dark outside... and since I was about to step into the shower when the fiasco began, I was still in nothing but underwear and flip-flops...

I hope the neighbors enjoyed the show...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Fairy Tale

I mentioned a few posts ago that although I knew my husband from high school, we had never dated. Today I will tell the story.

I was a sophomore. It was fall and I had just ended a year long relationship with a boy who emotionally abused me. I was one of the smart kids who clung to the fringes of the "in" crowd by my fingernails. Although I was not a part of it, I had a friend or two who were part of that longed-for clique.

Shortly after the school year began, I crossed paths with the dreamiest boy I had ever seen in real life. Blonde, blue eyes, and a crooked, mischievous smile that could melt even the coolest of hearts. He was a senior, on the football team, and he was a part of the "in" crowd.

I asked around and learned he was dating a girl I had despised since 6th grade (very stuck up without the looks to back her up) and I could not believe it. She was the younger sister of one of the boys in the "in" crowd although she herself was on the fringes with me. I never in a million years would have believed I had a chance with the popular guy so I just admired him from afar.

Early that winter, I found out he was going to play baseball on our high school team. The team was in need of a score keeper so I jumped at the chance to be close to him even if he didn't know I existed.

That spring during one of the games, I started chatting with a guy who was more my league and we ended up dating of and on for the next 3 years. He knew I had a crush on the other guy but he, like myself, never thought anything would come of it.

Early that summer, I got a job at a local pizza place as a hostess. And to my surprise, my crush was working in the kitchen! So I found reasons to talk to him when ever I could. Still never believing anything would ever happen between us. We became the "co-worker" friends who speak and get along well on the job but never speak outside of work. Eventually, he moved on and so did I.

Over the next 7 years, we ran into each other twice. Both times, he was with a girl, but both times he said "hi" and we made small talk for a few minutes before moving on.

Then, in late 2001, I ran into him again. It was the Saturday before Christmas. I had been out dancing the night before and had stayed with a friend because I had too much to drink. When I woke up and was headed home the next morning, my friend called me and begged me to bring her some food. She was working at a jewelery store at a mall on that side of town and they were too busy for her to take a lunch. So my hair plastered to my skull (due to the cowboy hat I wore and sweated profusely in the night before), raccoon eyes, glittery club shirt and all I headed to her rescue. Although I very clearly had not made it home from the night before, I was on the other side of town and did not think I would run into anyone I knew.

I was not 10 steps into the mall when I noticed my high school crush walking toward me. I knew I looked like hell but there was no way I was going to pass up a chance to say "hi". He was polite and friendly and walked with me to the place my friend was working. He was just as dreamy then as he had been when we were in school.

We walked back to the entrance chatting and then he walked me to my car. I gave him my number, never thinking I would hear from him again. We said our "good-byes" and I left.

He called the next day. We went to a movie and then to dinner. We talked about all kinds of stuff and had a really good time. Our second date was the Christmas Eve service at my parents' church. As we walked in, he confessed, "I haven't been to church in a long time. I hope the building doesn't fall down."

Two months later we were looking at rings. Two months after that, we were engaged. A year later, 4 days after my oral exam for my Master's Degree, we were married.

That was 5 1/2 years ago. This Christmas we will have been together 7 years... we will be married 6 years in May.

He still doesn't believe that I had a crush on him. A few years ago, we were tailgating at a college football game with my mom and baby brother (BB). BB asked how we got together so I told him the story. My mom overheard. Shocked, she said to my husband, "You were why she joined the baseball team? I knew there was a boy involved but I never knew who!"

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Quality Time

With all the hours I've been putting in lately, it has been really hard to find time to hang with my husband and Bailey. My hasband and I did have dinner together twice last week though and we even went to the movies. That was really nice.

But poor Bailey has really been neglected. We used to go to the dog park 2-3 times a week. Now we are lucky if we get there once a week. Although my husband has been home a lot more than me, he is not a dog park kinda guy. Now don't get me wrong, he plays with her a lot. She bounds around the yard while he mows or fiddles in the garage and when they play with each other, they really wear each other out. But time with Mom has been scarce.

So last night, we played. I left work early so there would be enough daylight to spend an hour at the dog park and she had a blast. You could tell how excited she was when we turned down the street. I thought she was gonna wiggle right out of her skin.

After she played, we came home and she got her first bath in what seemed like forever but was really probably 6 weeks or so (a really long time considering she used to get a bath once a week.) Then we cuddled on the couch and watched Finding Nemo together. No there are no kiddos in the house, I just like the movie and Monday's suck as far as TV is concerned.

Quality time with Mom rocks!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Now I am not the most politically informed person but I am adamant about exercising my right to vote in every election and on every issue. Too many people sacrificed too much for that right for me not to take advantage of the privilege.

I can honestly say, though, that I have no idea which presidential candidate I will cast my vote for. I am totally torn. When I weigh all the issues, it comes up as a draw... I hate all the negative ads and the phone calls. I hate having to choose between the lesser of 2 evils.

I wish there was a decent Independent candidate who could shake this country up. When I was in college, I used to think that eventually, enough people would decide they had had enough and vote for the Independent. Then the US could get a complete overhaul. But now I am realistic enough to see that if I voted that way, I was just tossing my vote away.

So still no solution. I know it is my responsibility to educate myself so that I can make an informed decision. But I just don't have the time or the desire to do so. My husband is a talk-radio addict so he is pretty informed. Since we've been married, I have been deferring to him. He explains the issues so that I can see how they will effect us personally. I typically ask him how he thinks I should vote and then follow through with his suggestions.

But this time I am not sure.

Please remember to vote today no matter what or who for.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Our "Little" Girl

Bailey and I paid a visit to the place where we did all her training yesterday. I had been there to purchase food a couple of times since Bailey's advanced class graduation in August, but she had not been.

Everyone was so happy to see her. She had pretty good manners considering we hadn't been to the dog park first to run off some energy. And we hit a milestone: we purchased her first bag of adult formula dog food.

Since we hadn't been there together since August, she had not been weighed since then. She was 73+ pounds the last time she was weighed. I knew she had grown some since then but I had no idea how much. She won't be a year until November 12th so I was sure she still had some growing left to do. When she got on the scale, I could not believe what it read. Our "little" girl weighed in at 79.3 pounds!!!

And my husband swore he didn't think she would hit 80 pounds...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Play Time

I spent Saturday afternoon at the funnest birthday party I have attended in a long time.

The husband of a friend of mine from church turned 30 on 10/30 so they had a party for him Saturday afternoon. The thing is that he is the very definition of the phrase "a kid at heart" so they had a party that was suitable for a 10 year old.

They had a cook-out, cake, presents meant for a ten-year-old, a neighborhood scavenger hunt that we did in teams (girls against boys, of course), and a pinata. I have not had that much fun since I can remember. When my husband turned 30 four years ago, I planned a surprise party for him. I was fun, but nothing like this.

It got me thinking about some of the fun things we used to do as kids that we only do sparingly as adults, like going to amusement parks, miniature golf, bowling, and going to the zoo. Why don't we do these thing more often? And I am talking about doing this stuff as a couple or on a date, not with kiddos in tow.

We work so hard that when we finally get a day off, we spend it working on the house or just relaxing on the couch. But I think it's important to work a little "play" into our lives, too.

I think I am going to make a real effort to "play" more often. I hope my husband is up for the fun...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Family Dynamic

I tend to talk a lot about my family so I thought I would give those of you who don't know me a little background.

I have been married for about 5 1/2 years. Although I knew my husband when we were in high school, we never dated. But that's a story for another post so I'll just say that we are 2 years apart in age and were married when we were 26 and 28 years old.

For those of you who do not know, my baby brother (BB) is 22 and is a Marine serving in Iraq. I will refer to him as my BB for the duration of this blog due to the fact that I also have a little brother (LB) who is between us in age. He is married and he and his wife are expecting their first child in March. They live in a city about an hour away from the home we grew up in, and where our parents still live.

Growing up, we had a charmed existence. Dad worked, Mom stayed home, and Nani (our paternal grandmother) lived with us. So we were a 2 income family in a 3 parent home. Nani worked at a restaurant in the evenings so my parents had time to themselves after dinner before us kiddos came along.

We recently lost Nani. She passed away on Mother's Day this year. That's also a story for another post.

My folks still live in the house we grew up in. Mom is slowly going through things, though. She is preparing for the day when they do decide to put the house on the market, which I can foresee happening in the next few years.

My husband's family also lives fairly close. His grandmother lives pretty close to my parents. His mom and step dad live about halfway between us and my parents. It's really nice having everyone so close. We are very lucky.

I sometimes wonder what I did to deserve such a great family. My folks, although we have our differences, are very supportive and sacrificed a lot for me. My in-laws are almost too good to be true. I enjoy the holidays with my side of the family playing cards and board games together. And I am content hanging out with my MIL doing a puzzle or just watching the dogs play.

I may not know why I have been so blessed but I make sure I thank God for these blessings every time I pray.

Friday, October 31, 2008

I Promise

I owe my few but faithful readers a huge appology:

I have been so crazy with work (50-60 hour weeks but wow that OT is nice) that I have really neglected everything that wasn't necessary for survival. I eat, sleep, work, and try to spend what little time is left with my husband and Bailey.

So I am sorry.

To make it up to you and to challenge myself to see if keeping this up is something I really want to do, I have signed up to do NaBloPoMo. If you are not familiar with the blogosphere, it means "National Blog Posting Month" which means that I have committed myself to posting every day for the month of November.

That's right. I promise to do it. I do not promise that the posts will be good. But a lot has happend lately and I think I can come up with something each day with out too much trouble.

So, see you tomorrow :-)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Hook, A Brain, A Trick

Work has not gotten any better since the last post. In fact, it's gotten worse.

During the first week with NC I was told that if I had any problems with anything I was not to vent to any hospital staff, but to one of my supervisors. So when I had an issue with someone who was over both myself and my supervisors and I knew there was nothing I could do about it, I vented to the supervisor I felt I connected with the most. Two days later, the person I vented about showed up. (Keep in mind that the office these people work out of is a 2 1/2 hour plane ride away.) Then she proceeded to tell me how unprofessional and disrespectful I was and that if I ever said anything about any of my superiors again, I would be terminated immediately and she would not have to give a reason why. Oh, yeah... we were in a busy hotel lobby when this conversation took place... and I am "unprofessional."

It took every ounce of self control in me not to throw the 4 inch binder I had in my arms at the time right in her face... I wanted to break her already crooked nose, I was so angry. My response: "I was doing what I was told... I am sorry if you felt I was being disrespectful... if that had been my intention, I would have said it all to your face."

Two weeks later, during a conversation with the supervisor who narked on my vent, she asked me how things were going. I told her the I was upright and breathing and that was as good as I could give her:

Sup: Well you know you can talk to me if you need to.

Me: No, actually I can't, because if I say something you don't like, you'll run and tell (hook nose) and I'll get fired.

Sup: You can still talk to me, you just have to watch what you say.

I just said "no thanks" and told her I'd text her when I got to my next site.

I have a call into NC HR to speak with someone about the whole thing... if they want to fire me, I'm taking hook nose with me...


Bailey was 73 pounds last time we weighed... her growth is slowing down, but her intelligence keeps growing...

She gets 6 cups of food a day, 3 in the morning and 3 in the evening. The other day, I was filling her bowl one cup at a time. She watched me put one in, then the next... as soon as I put the third cup in, she got up from where she was lying and walked over to eat... she waited until the 3rd cup to come eat... too smart.

And the trick she learned in only an hour's time: to play dead. I tell her "Bang!" and she walks in a circle all dramatic and such, then falls down on the floor... sometimes, her head barely hits the floor when its back up looking for the treat she knows must follow such a performance :-) She has the dying part down, but the actual part of looking dead seems to be a bit of a challenge...

Still, I am proud...

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Time Management And A Ladder

I want to apologize to my few loyal readers for taking so much time between posts lately.... I started training with NC and those were the longest 2 weeks of my life... Then they left and it got worse...

We went live at 2 of the hospitals I cover on July 15th, one site without a full staff which I didn't know about til I showed up on the first day... who in their right mind does that? Especially when the largest of the hospitals they are taking on isn't set to go live til September? It makes no sense... so I trained with them for 2 weeks then on Friday 7/25, they left me to it and went back to the regional office, which happens to be a 2 1/2 hour plane ride away.

That Sunday, I had a screener at one of the hospitals text me at 8 am to tell me she had a fever... so I had to go in... It's happened before and on a bad day it took me maybe 30 minutes per baby... but with a new machine on which I did a total of one baby during the training and all the extra paperwork required, it took me 5 hours to do 4 babies... absolutely ridiculous!!!

Then this last week, each day I had to go to the understaffed hospital to screen, then perform the administrative duties I was hired to do for NC, then cover the main hospital that isn't yet a part of the NC system... I usually work 35 hour weeks... I worked 50 this last week... and because the time was split between 2 different companies, I won't get overtime... luckily, I am currently hourly at both so I will still get paid for all 50 hours... However both companies are refusing to pay for my mileage, which is part of my compensation package with each, because I an traveling between companies, not between sites for one company... WHAT A NIGHTMARE!!!


Last weekend, my husband and I were out on the water for a local festival and water ski show when we tied up the boat with a few others. On one of the boats in the make-shift barge, there were a couple dogs who kept jumping in after a ball their owner would throw out in the water... I watched them closely for a while and noticed that both dogs USED THE BOAT LADDER TO GET OUT! That ladder can be difficult for a human to use, so canine use was impressive... I decided if they could do it, so could my dog.

My mom came out to the house today and we took Bailey out on the boat. I dropped her in off the side closest to the ladder and guided her around to it. I then took her front paws and held them on the top rung of the ladder until she got her footing and could lift herself the rest of the way out of the water. With my help, she did this 4 times over the course of 4 hours and each time she found her footing quicker and quicker. I was so proud.

She still isn't a fan of swimming but she loves the water and is learning to get out on her own...

On 7/27, Bailey weighed 71.5 pounds... I can't wait to see what she weighs tomorrow.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Disappointment, Swimming, And A Puppy Serenade

I have been training with NC all week. It has been a brain fry if I ever saw one...

As for my ladies, 2 were hired on at the main hospital, 1 was hired by a hospital I don't cover, and 1 was not hired at all. They said she didn't interview well and that she had an attitude.... I think she was just reflecting back the attitude of the person interviewing her, as well as expressing her frustration at the unreturned phone calls and e-mails and the 2 phone interviews when she got stood up...

It's gonna be emotional when I have them all over for the screener BBQ...


Bailey Loves playing in the water a the dog park. She splashes on the rocky beach and playfully jumps around til the water is almost up over her back... But she doesn't swim. She stays where she can touch.

We recently got a new pontoon boat which I am learning to drive. Bailey likes to stand up front and feel the breeze in her face... She does it all the time with my husband. But the other night I was driving and she was getting very close to the edge and was pawing at the water... I told my husband to put her life jacket on because she was making me nervous... he told me to slow down if I was that uneasy, and because I am still learning, I did... but I did it too fast... and Bailey flew off the front of the boat...

I threw it into neutral and my husband flew to the back of the boat... she was swimming but instead of doing the typical doggie paddle, she was just splashing with her front paws. She was moving forward but she was too freaked out to use her back legs. He went halfway down the ladder and helped her into the boat when she finally got to it. We put her life jacket on and went to a cove to drop anchor so we could swim some more... we didn't want her to be afraid of the water... He lowered her in and had her swim to me and she did okay, still splashing around. Then he pulled her back in and jumped in himself... while I was drying off, Bailey got too close to the front edge again and fell in as she was turning around... she did okay that time, too.

And the next time we went to the dog park, she was splashing around in the water again... still only where she could touch, but that's enough for me...

AND she was 69.6 lbs. on 7/13... she is getting so big!


This is the sweetest thing I think I've ever seen:


You'll have to copy and paste it because I still haven't figured out how to make it a link...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


We met some friends at their campsite the other night... here are some of the funnier things overheard while we were there:

"Daddy, are you drunk?" said by a 12 year-old girl after her dad tripped over the wood pile in the dark...

"Daddy, she's growing boobs!" said by a 9 year-old girl after the 12 year-old said "ouch" while they were rough-housing with their dad...

"I know what a porno is" said by a 12 year-old boy who happened to overhear a conversation he wasn't meant to... followed by "My mom and I can talk about stuff like that..." Nice to know they have such an open relationship...

"I peed all over my flip flop" said by a 6 year-old girl after her older sisters tried to teach her to squat in the woods...

It was definitely an entertaining evening...


Bailey weighed 65.1 on 6/22... I haven't weighed her since... we start her Advanced classes on the 7/13 so she be weighed again then.

Hope you all had a good 4th!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Road Rage

I have horrible road rage. But I have been working on controlling my temper behind the wheel. So here goes:

Dear lady at the gas station:

I know sorting your mail is important to you, but there is a time and place more appropriate than in your car, beside the pump, after you're finished pumping gas, when there are lines at every other pump 2-3 cars deep.

Next time, please try to be courteous to those around you and separate the bills from the ads when you get home.

Dear gentleman in the 1st position in the left turn lane at the green light,

The line of ten cars behind you honking their horns are not trying to say "hello." In case you've forgotten, green means "go".

Next time please try to pay attention so that more than just your car can get through the intersection.

Dear lady in the same spot as the gentleman above,

Were you happy about being left in that position by the guy right before you? Those same horns are honking at you now. You are just asking for someone to attack your car with a baseball bat.

Next time, please forgive the guy who was in front of you and let the folks in line behind you through the light as well.

Dear lady in the monster car-boat,

You are lucky that my reflexes work faster than my thought processes. Seeing as you did not signal or check your blind spot before entering my lane with hardly an inch to spare, I should have just hit you instead of slamming on my breaks.

Next time, please signal and/or check your blind spot just in case it's me again because I could really use a new car.

Dear playboy in the vibrating clunker,

Not everyone in traffic wants to hear your music. If you are looking to impress people, a muffler and a new paint job would have been sufficient.

Please call me in 5 years so I can fit you with $4000 hearing aids which are not covered by health insurance.

Dear teenage boy with the buzz cut,

If you haven't noticed, you don't have much hair. So no matter how many times you run that large brush through it, it isn't going to look any different than when you rolled out of bed this morning.

Please remember that it is not safe to cross the street and brush you hair at the same time.

Dear Lord,

Thank you for supplying my needs for transportation. And for the patience you give me while driving in traffic so I don't snap and commit vehicular homicide.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Some Things Never Change

Remember this?

Some things never change:

Friday, June 20, 2008

Fire Starter

I guess I lit a fire under some big-wig gulus yesterday.

The ladies who work for me have just about had it with the NC and the HS not communicating with them. So I sent this e-mail to their supervisor at the hospital and CCed each of them:

"I just wanted you to know that we may lose all of our techs effective July 1st if they don't hear something soon...

They have mentioned to me that they feel they are just being strung along and they have other things they could be doing with their time if they are not going to be hired on by NC.

I can't say that I blame them. They have been extremely loyal and dependable for years and now they were led to believe they would at least be interviewed for the openings with the new company and that doesn't seem to be the case."

Within an hour I had an e-mail from one of my techs which I forwarded on to their supervisor. It was kind of long but here is a short excerpt:

"I left a message with the gal who contacted (another one of the ladies) last week and still haven't had my phone call returned. I certainly thought that I would have heard something by now. If we know that they are not going to consider us for any NC positions, it is in my best interest to be done by July 1st. It's not worth my time to continue with this job if it isn't going to continue past this summer... We are essentially being forced out for no reason after years of employment - I have contacted an attorney in the employment law area to find out what my rights are... Thanks again for trying to help!"

Less than 2 hours passed when I got this (excerpted) e-mail from one of the HS department big-wigs:


[This] e-mail is to provide you with information about the contract with NC and what this will mean to you.

I spoke with the Director of Women's and Children's Health for the HS today. She is the leadership individual responsible for final decisions with NC, along with the Vice President of Women's and Children's Product Line for the HS. In our discussion today I was informed that the contract between NC and HS has yet to be signed, and transition to that service will not be before September 1st.

Please contact [Jane Doe] in HS Human Resources for any questions and concerns you may have regarding your employment with the HS.

We hope you will keep your PRN roles with our Newborn Hearing Screening Program at least until the Hospital transitions to NC. HR and I can discuss PRN opportunities within our department or even in other departments if you want to review maintaining employment with HS after NC contracting is implemented.

I am speculating that NC has not finalized their staffing plan and their staffing needs for this campus site yet, and that is probably why you haven't heard much from them so far re: any open positions. From personal experience, I do understand that 'not knowing' is stressful; I am sorry this is a stressful situation.

I am your resource if you have questions."

I got a phone call this morning from the NC with apologies and reassurances that all the ladies will be contacted for interviews on Monday.

I guess we'll see.

The funny part is that NC still believes they are going live with the HS on July 15th, even though the folks at HS responsible for the contract have set the date as September 1st.

I will try to have more Bailey stuff for you next week.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Space Cadet

I think I am losing my mind.

Monday, I left my work ID at home. This doesn't sound like too big a deal but since I work with newborns and the units are so secure, it is a huge pain in the gulu. I had to check in with security and turn in my driver's license so I could get a temporary ID with access to the mother-baby unit and the intensive care nursery. I hadn't forgotten my ID since my first month at the hospital 3 years ago.

I also forgot to put deodorant on that morning... luckily, I keep some in my desk so tragedy was averted.

Tuesday, for some strange reason, I took my make-up bag out of my purse and put it in my desk. So Wednesday morning when I went to get ready, I realized I didn't have any make-up to put on. Again, not too big a deal. I got going so early that I would have plenty of time to throw on some powder and gloss when I got to work. However, when I got there, I realized I left my ID at home again... my keys are attached to my ID. So I had no way to enter the building (so no make-up) and when I got to my other office on the same campus, everyone asked if I was feeling okay... I don't use a lot of make-up but apparently it makes a big difference in my appearance.

Later that morning, I was walking down the main hallway of the hospital pushing my little equipment cart, off to see one of the very few adult patients I am responsible for. Without warning, I see one of my pieces of equipment fly off the front of the cart and smash into 4 pieces on the floor. I was able to fit all the pieces back together, and, only by the grace of God, it still worked.

I planned to take a half day so I headed home right after lunch. I routinely set my cruise control for 5-7 miles an hour over the speed limit. I was going with the flow of traffic when I started up a large hill. When the cruise is on, the car automatically speeds up a bit on inclines in order to keep it at the speed it has been set to. The car next to me had slowed down just a bit due to the hill. As I came up over the top of the hill, I was just passing the car next to me when he slammed on his breaks. The next thing I know, there are flashing lights in my rear view. I pull over and the cop tells me I was going 60 in a 45! WTF?!?! It's 55 through there... He writes the ticket for 50 in a 45 but still... (And when I drove thru the same area this morning, I saw the signs... it goes from 55 to 45 for about a mile then back to 55... traffic sucks through there and I watch the cars around me, not the speed limit signs...)

That was my second ticket in 3 weeks. The last one I just paid because I hadn't had a ticket in 15 years... now I'll have to get a lawyer for this one so my insurance doesn't go up or get canceled.

Where has my head been?

I feel like I am barely functioning in a dream-like state. You know what I mean... like when you are dreaming and you know you have to be somewhere or do something and all these things keep getting in your way and holding you up so you never get there. Or am I going crazy?

It's been here:

I wish something would happen for the ladies who work for me... The NC stood one of them up for a phone interview and won't return any of the other's phone calls. I think they may all leave July 1st if they don't hear something soon. And I can't say I blame them. They have been so dependable and loyal for years and now they are being forced out. One of the ladies recently told me it actually costs her money to work for me... with gas so high, she spends more to get to work than she makes while she's there. Now that's dedication!

I pray a lot. I pray a lot anyway but I have been praying a lot more lately. It is all out of my hands. There is nothing I can do about it. So I just pray that they are taken care of and that everything works out for the best...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Busy Busy Busy

So much has been going on:

First, I received an offer from NC which matched my current pay. They also informed me that the position was "non-exempt" which, from their explanation, means that although it is a salaried position, I will eligible for overtime if I go above 40 hours per week.

The only problem now is that the ladies who work under me were supposed to be interviewed for the screener positions with the NC. However, when my future supervisors called to set up the interviews, my ladies were told to only interview if they were interested in a weekend or "as needed" position as the weekday position had already been filled. But when I asked them, my future supervisors told me no one had been offered the job. So someone is lying to me and I really don't think it's my ladies.

Second, Bailey is growing like a weed... she was 63.1 lbs on the 1st, 63.2 on the 8th, and 64.4 on the 15th. I have a feeling she will be 68 next week.

This past week, I volunteered at the vacation bible school (VBS) at the church I've been attending. It was a lot of fun but since I worked every day then spent every evening from 6 to 9 at the church, I was wiped out by the end of the week. I tried to leave work early each day but something always came up... I had to go to an interview, meet with a banker about the loan we just took out for our new boat, go to another interview, take Bailey to the dog park (because holy psycho dog when we don't get enough exercise, and with me being gone most of the week she was lucky I didn't forget to feed her!) etc. etc...

Over the weekend, I did 59 hearing screenings in 4 hours at a local health fair, spent a couple hours on our new boat, called my dad to wish him a happy Father's Day, went to a bachelorette party, went to church, took Bailey to her obedience class, and went to dinner with my in-laws.

I need a vacation... but alas, this weekend I have a "thank You" dinner for the VBS volunteers on Friday, a wedding AND a work function this Saturday and Bailey's last "intermediate" class on Sunday... I don't think I have a break until July 4th. And I have to judge our community dock decorating contest that morning and I am having people over that afternoon and evening...

I really need to learn to say "NO"

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Working Girl Worries

So this company that the hospital is contracting out to has been dragging it's feet with my offer. They called me a few weeks ago and asked me to travel to another city to train on the equipment they use. My reply: "So I guess I got the job?" Their reply: "Well, yeah, but (the other contact person with the company) will be calling you later this week with an official offer."

So I waited. Then my grandmother passed away that week (I'll talk about that in a later post) and they knew it so when I didn't hear from them that week, I figured they were just giving me time to mourn and be with my family.

Then the next week came and I still hadn't heard anything. I was supposed to leave town for their training the following week and I still hadn't received an offer. Then I got a call from them saying they had not forgotten about me but there was a hold-up due to my salary. Apparently, I make quite a bit more than they normally pay for the coordinator position. They apparently have never employeed an audiologist for this position... so they were having to cut through a lot of red tape to match my pay. I asked if I was going to have an offer before I went to the training and they said probably not. I told them I was not comfortable with that and they agreed to just train me on site when they started the program at the first of my 3 hospitals.

The next day, in chit-chatting with one of my supervisors, I learned the powers that be (PTB) at the hospital had sent an e-mail to my current supervisors saying I had received and accepted a job with the new company. I was LIVID! So I sent the following e-mail to the PTB at the hospital, both my contacts at the new company, and CCed all of my supervisors at the different locations I work:

Hello All.

I am writing you all today because I am becoming very uneasy about the transition of the Newborn Hearing Screening Program from the hospital system (HS) to the new company (NC).

Here are some of my specific concerns:

1. The "go-live" for (the first hospital) is the first week of June and I still have not received nor accepted an offer for the coordinator position with NC. Yes, I have been told I have the job, but that's the extent.

2. I was recently reimbursed by HS for my Fall 2007 tuition. The rules regarding this state that I must remain a HS employee for 12 months following reimbursement or the amount will be deducted from my last pay check. Since I am not leaving HS by choice, will some other department absorb it? If not, how will I be compensated?

3. I have accumulated a significant amount of extended sick leave (ESL) time. I recently learned that it is not paid out when employment has ended the way PTO is. Since I am not leaving HS by choice, is it possible to have the time paid out as well? If not, how will I be compensated?

4. I contribute to a 403b retirement plan and I have been receiving the matching plan through HS. Because I have been an employee for less than 5 years, I will lose the money contributed by HS. Again, since I am not leaving the HS by choice, will I be able to roll the entire amount into a new account? If not, how will I be compensated?

Thank you for your time.

The PTB forwarded the e-mail on to the hospital HR and I waited to hear back.

The start-up was set for Tuesday, June 3rd. On Wednesday, May 28th at noon I received an offer from NC. It was for a dollar less per hour than I currently make. They also wanted me to work 40 hours (I currently work 30-35 so not too big a deal) and I would be salary instead of hourly. So they want to pay me less, want me to work more hours, and then not pay me for overtime if I work more than 40 hours. Then they told me they need an answer by the Friday the 30th or they would "be forced to go with (their) other candidate."

So here I was, with my husband out of town, being expected to make a life changing decision with 48 hours notice. WTF?!?!?

I still had not heard from HS HR so I was even more freaked out. I went straight to the HR offices and demanded to speak with someone. I was in tears by the time someone was able to see me. I told them about the offer from NC and asked them all the same questions from the e-mail... they were not able to give me any answers at the time but promised to get back with me soon.

That's when I decided to get some professional legal advice.

The following day, my immediate supervisor told me HS was not able to do anything about the 403b matching money (not to big of a deal) but that they were willing to forgive the tuition reimbursement AND PAY OUT MY ESL!!! I will have 150 hours by the time this all goes through so that is HUGE!!! I was ecstatic! And I was ready to accept the offer with NC. But before I left the office, my supervisor told me the HS PTB were currently in negotiations with the NC PTB to try to get me the extra dollar an hour!

Friday, I was supposed to accept/decline the offer from NC. I was still a little uneasy about it since I still had not been able to discuss any of it with my husband. But before noon, my supervisor told me the HS PTB told the NC PTB that they were to give me more time, that 48 hours was not enough time (especially when they have known for months what was going on).

So I called my contact at NC to let them know I wanted the weekend to discuss it with my husband. I could not get a hold of them so I was freaking out again. I left messages on their cell and work phone. Then I called my other contact with NC and told them what was going on. They tried to reassure me and said they would try to get in touch with the other contact.

Then I went into an interview with a completely separate company, because, hey, I have to cover my gulu in case this all falls to pieces...

When I got out of the interview (which went great, by the way), there was a message saying the "go-live" was postponed and to not worry about anything. They told me to take the weekend to talk to my husband and that they would give me a call sometime the following week.

So here it is, the following week and I am waiting to hear from someone... anyone... from the HS or NC...


Bailey is 63.1 lbs. I predict she'll end up around 75 when all is said and done. And my husband didn't think she'd break 60.... :-)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Bragging Rights

Bailey completed her first 5k on May 10th.

It has been months since I really ran any distance so this was a challenge for both of us. We ran and walked off and on throughout and we probably ended up running about half the time...

The funniest part was about a half mile before the finish line and Bailey decided she was done. She stopped to poop and then I thought she was looking for a place to potty when she just laid down... She got up again pretty easily and finished okay but we were both pretty tired.

After the run, they had contests for Best Trick, Best Kisser, Biggest/Smallest Dog, Best Costume, and Owner/Dog Look-a-Like. I was so proud... Bailey won the Best Kisser contest!!! She got this huge prize pack with treats and a nice bowl and a gift certificate for an embroidered collar and leash.


On the 18th, we went to another event where they had agility clinics, microchipping, and other dog related activities. We did the agility clinic but Bailey wanted to lay down in the tunnel instead of running through it.

After we played in the make-shift off-leash dog park area for a while, I took Bailey to see what all was involved in earning the AKC Canine Good Citizen award. Again, my blogging skills are lacking so you'll have to Google it to see what it's really all about. Basically, it's the first step to becoming a therapy dog, but you don't have to take it that far. And you know what? My little over achiever passed the test and earned her CGC on the first try! She is just 6 months old...


My husband insisted a couple weeks ago that Bailey wouldn't break 60 pounds. I told him he was nuts... she was not yet 6 months old and she was 54 lbs already.

She weighed in at 58.8 lbs on the 18th at 6 months-1 week. My guess is that she will be around 75 lbs when she's done growing.

Friday, May 9, 2008

When It Rains It Pours Part Two

To catch you up:

My job is being contrated out so I am losing my job and waiting to hear if the new folks are going to hire me to do the job I am currently doing or not.

Frig/freezer and stove die on the same day.

Car is hit in a parking lot after purchsing a mini-frig to tide us over.


Still waiting to hear about the job.

Frig/freezer came back on. I still won't use it for anything other than a pantry until we can get someone to come look at it. However, half the places I tried said that since it is currently working, they could only guess what was wrong. They suggested I wait til it dies again, then call them. Wonderful... it could be months.

Girl that hit me in the parking lot? No current insurance coverage. And I only have her name and (incorrect)insurance contact info. I have her license plate, too, but since it happend on private property, the local police will not pursue her. They said it was my insurance company's job to track her down. Which means my insurance will go up...

I am on a roll:

I got a flat tire yesterday. Sucks, but no big deal... just had to change it. Except that the spare tire was also flat. I just drove it to the nearest gas station and aired it up there...

We had our neighborhood garage sale last weekend and when it was over, we donated what was left to a local charity who provides our neighborhood with a drop-off spot each year. After we loaded our 7 trash bags full of clothes, a couch, a queen-sized head board, a shelving unit, and 2 boxes of other stuff, they refused to give us a receipt.

Signs of the light ahead:

After 5 days and multiple phone calls to the local charity and our neighborhood association, the charity finally agreed to give us a receipt after my husband threatened to go to their wearhouse and go through all 20+ trucks, one by one, to find our stuff so we could take it to someplace who would issue us a receipt.

In spite of all this, I am still smiling. When the spare tire was flat, I just laughed... because what else could I do?

I have decided God is defeinately testing me. I just wish I knew what it was that I had to do to pass.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

"Night Of The Twisters"

Do any of you remember that book from childhood? I think I read it 3 times.

Anyway, we had some severe weather come through a few days ago. I was watching TV and all my fave shows were broken into because of all the tornadoes and severe t-storms that were making their way through our area.

Most everything was way north of us but I told one of my neighbors that if the sirens went off, I was coming over. We don't have a basement and the closet that had been designated the "tornado closet" the day we moved into the house was now full of items for the care of my husband's 450 gallon fish tank, including a smaller "frag" tank.

So about 9:30 I was laying in bed watching the reports and the storm was looking like it might clip our little community. All of a sudden, the TV screen went blue (like the "blue screen of death" that you get on computers) and a voice came over the air that said "This is the (local) fire department. Please take cover immediately." So I jumped up and threw on some slippers and headed toward the door. By the time I grabbed Bailey's leash, my neighbor was banging on my door. The sirens were going off as we walked out the door.

I sent my husband a text message to let him know where I was since he was at work. I got a text from a girlfriend who lives 45 minutes southwest of us saying "Tornado heading your way!" My neighbors still had power so we kept watching the weather reports for about 3o minutes. Then all of a sudden everything was over. The sirens went off, the weather people were like "its over, see you later" and the regular programming resumed. So Bailey and I went home.

With a fish tank as large as ours, there is a lot of background noise in our house. Since I knew we were in for some more severe stuff later that night, I left my bedroom window open so I could hear the sirens if they went off again. Our house is semi-subterranean so my husband told me to take shelter in the bathroom that is mostly under ground if we had anymore warnings. I left the TV on in the bedroom and Bailey and I went to sleep.

About 2am, I awoke to a soft growl from Bailey. I wasn't sure what she was growling at until I realized the window was still open and the roar coming from outside was just like the "freight train" I hear folks describe after they have been through a tornado. I pulled Bailey up next to me and covered us with the blankets. There was no way I was gonna walk through our living room with the large glass fish tank if there was a tornado about to hit. The TV folks were not reporting any rotation at the time but they said they had reports of 70-80 mph straight line winds.

I laid there with my dog and waited for the storm to pass. There was lightening and thunder and rain that went sideways, but no sirens or actual tornado warnings. But the sound of that roaring, steady-state wind will be with me for a long time.

Here are some pics of the damage 4 blocks from the home of a co-worker:


52.1 lbs on 5/4