Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What. A. Day.

I got everything done I needed to get done – and frankly, I'm stunned!

Doctor's appointment first thing in the morning, then checked in at work, then my landlord called and said the plumber was at the apartment next door RIGHT THEN, so if I wanted him to address my problem, I needed to go RIGHT THEN. So I did, and I stood in the driveway with Hobie sweating like a freak for at least a half an hour while he did his thing in my apartment. (Since Hobie hates men, I have to get him and vacate the house for stuff like that. The pest control man and I have each others' cell numbers!) When I came in the house to get Hobie, though, he greeted me by throwing up at my feet in the hallway. He doesn't normally do that on command, so to speak, so I don't know what's up there but I hope it resolved itself! It was almost like he was saying "Hi Mom! Here's something else for you to clean up before you leave!! Thank God I have really good carpet cleaner.

Once that was done, I went back to work to grab all my stuff (didn't realize the plumber would take that long) and raced to West Point, where I stood outside and sweated some more while a bike tour came through town. You can read about that at I met Millard Fuller in 2003 when he still was with Habitat for Humanity. Another reporter got to meet former President Jimmy Carter, who also came through town, and I admit, initially I was jealous. Now I firmly believe I got the better end of the deal!

Swung back by the office and called CSX to report a broken railroad crossing I'd passed on the way in and made sure I had everything I need to write the bike tour story on my laptop this afternoon. Then later I'm headed BACK to West Point for a meeting tonight. I just hope it's inside, with air conditioning.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Good News!

My house is no longer a Superfund site – or a science experiment! I'm not totally done, but the bathroom, bedroom, kitchen and hall closet are all clean. It was long overdue. Now I just have the dining room and living room left to go – although I did get the living room to the point where the mess I made from the Great Receipt Hunt of '08 is picked up and I can see the floor again. One trash can outside is now full (Mom would be so proud, I threw away 6 pairs of shoes) and now I'll be filling the one that belongs to the empty apartment next door. 

Now the question is, will I be able to take enough Advil to be able to sleep tonight? I'm already hurting!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

NASCAR update

Can I just say, I would LOVE to see someone OTHER than Kyle Busch win a race? It's not that I'm not a fan of his (although I'm not) it's just a little boring to watch a race and have it end the same way every week!

Is that too much to ask??

Update – Sunday night: FINALLY. Someone else did! Never thought I'd say this, but thank you Jimmie Johnson!

Friday, July 25, 2008

No more excuses

OK I have to clean this weekend, I cannot put it off any longer. See, Monday is the day we turn in our monthly mileage and expense reports at work. A while back I bought a card to go in the camera that belongs to the office. I spent a good part of tonight turning half the house upside down looking for the receipt! It's only $12, but hey, that's $12!! Considering our mileage reimbursement is only a whopping 27 cents a mile – yeah, I know – $12 is a lot of money!! That's almost two trips to Hogansville – ha! 

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Something to think about

I make it a point to limit contact with anyone under the age of 18. So I was a little surprised when something a 14-year-old wrote made me want to be a better person. 

My friend's daughter also has a blog and my friend sent me her latest entry. It's about being grateful. Two weeks ago, the girl had spinal fusion surgery to correct scoliosis, terrifying enough but made moreso by a heart condition she's had since birth. She is doing well. And despite the routine trips to the heart doctors (and now, spine doctors) she's put up with all her life and other limitations that've been handed to her, she feels grateful. When her mother asked her if, given all her challenges, she felt that life had treated her unfairly, the girl made a face and said, "Why would I think that?"

My friend said, "Oh, I don't know, it was just a conversation starter!" It hadn't even occurred to the girl to be upset about everything she's had to overcome. When she found out her surgery had to be moved up and she'd be unable to participate in sports this year, she cried, as you'd expect any 14-year-old to do. Then she got over it with a quickness I don't see in most 30+-year-olds I know. Myself included. 

Her blog talked about how she lived in America and had a roof over her head and water "purified 10 times over" to drink and how, if she lived in Africa, she'd likely be dead or crippled for life. And it was all genuine, she didn't do it to impress or kiss up to anyone. 

Makes ya think, doesn't it?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ahhh, hurricanes....

It's hurricane season and we've made it up to D: Dolly. I've said this before – and I know people think I'm batshit crazy – but I sort of miss hurricanes. 

I'm sure if I'd lived any closer to the beach than I did in North Carolina, I'd feel differently, although an hour and 15 minutes away turned out to be plenty close enough more than once. 

I guess, being a reporter, a hurricane (or other such disaster) is a huge EVENT. Everything else goes out the window. Reschedule that council meeting, cancel that festival and for the love of God, let the kids out of school – although one superintendent I covered famously waited until the *night before* to call school off, the storm practically was *there* when he finally decided. That's the night another editor of mine came up with his famous phrase: "People are stupid. That's MY motto."

I've also found that hurricanes (and other disasters) are great equalizers. When the power goes out, it's out for everyone. When the storm floods the roads, *no one* is getting in or out of town, no matter how special you are. 

I don't know what I'd do if my North Carolina town got hit by a major hurricane again, although I know the odds are great that it will happen. When my homeland (Illinois) got hit by floods last month, I nearly lost my mind wanting to be there. There's part of me that *still* wants to go up and see the aftermath, if I didn't know that my mother (not to mention my BOSS) would shoot me. 

Monday, July 21, 2008

Hobie loves the bank

It's a day or two late, but I have to tell this story. My mileage check came Saturday morning, so I put Hobie in the car and headed for the bank drive-through to deposit it. Hobie loves any trip that's not to the vet or groomer, and he's quite fascinated by the fact that the lady on the other side of the glass talks to him. He climbs up in my lap – yep, all 60 pounds of him – to get a closer look.

Well, I can never change banks, because they've started handing out dog treats at the drive through!! How cute! These were heart-shaped, and Hobie's usually really picky about treats. In fact, he won't usually take a treat unless it comes from "Mom." Or whomever just walked him, if I had to have someone else do it. He doesn't take candy from strangers, what can I say? 

I put it on the seat with him and started the drive back – I figured I'd just give it to him when we got home. Well, apparently, he just needed to "warm it up" first – he sat on it for a while, then he started looking for it and ate just about all of it! I found a little piece in the seat this morning, I guess he's saving that for his next trip!

One more thing

I parked in the pregnant/moms with kids spot at Kroger today. And it's the second time I've done it. Hope I don't get a rumor going!!


It's Monday morning and I *need* to get ready for work, but Hobie is passed out next to me on the couch and I'm just sitting here staring at him, thinking about how damn cute he is!! 

Is this what it's like when you have children??

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I'm back!

So, loyal readers (all two of you!) may have noticed this blog was untouched for a couple of days. Well, we had a technical issue, that being my neighbors' wireless was down for two days! No, I'm not *stealing* it, they let me hook on with their knowledge and blessing. Still, I felt weird crossing the driveway to let them know I was no longer able to take advantage of the free service! It was fixed this morning though – I think they had to reset their router, at least according to *my* diagnostics! – so, we're back! 

Anyway, I figured this was a sign that I should take the weekend and finally clean my apartment, which I've needed to do for a while, now. Instead, I stopped at the bookstore and got two books to get me through the weekend! I finished them last night, so thank God, the Internet's back up! I have to say though, the first book was a biography of the two brothers who run the "Time Bandit," one of the boats on the Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch." Don't know if you've seen it, but this show definitely is "must-see TV"!! The other book is called "Look me in the Eye!" and it's written by the brother of Augusten Burroughs, one of my FAVORITE authors. This book is just as good, it's about his brother's lifelong struggle with Asperger's Syndrome. It also gives a different (slightly) account of the brothers' childhood, which Burroughs has documented in his books, most notably "Running with Scissors" which was made into a movie. 

As far as other things that happened while I was "away," I went Thursday to the visitation and Friday to the funeral of a lady in West Point who was a fan of my writing, even before I knew who she was. "Mama Dot" was a sweet lady and I'm glad I got to go and honor her and spend time with her family. She left me a message one day not too long ago, complimenting me on a story. I saved it (I try to save all my "good" messages) and I'm very glad I did. 

Thursday, July 17, 2008

On the yard....

My landlord finally had our grass cut today. Thank God, it was about up to my knees! From the way the yard looks now I think the crew is going to have to come back tomorrow and bale it.

Hobie's fine. Today.

Hobie managed to get through the night without needing to go to the vet. I'm still sort of surprised. I'm not kidding when I say he's NEVER spontaneously stopped on his own – without the help of tranquilizers!! (Yes, he's 60 pounds, so it's always a *race* to get him back to the house before he passed out totally and I have to carry him!)

If he had gone to the vet, it would be his second trip in a month. His last visit was July 3. That came about after he'd been shaking his head excessively for a while. Both my neighbor dogs have gotten burst blood vessels in their ears doing that, so I kept telling him to stop it. Hematomas are messy, not to mention expensive to fix! Then I got a letter from a friend who said her dog was shaking her head, so they went to the vet and the dog (Lucy) had a yeast infection in her ears.

Ick, I know, but I thought, "Hmm...perhaps I should get Hobie checked out." Since I was facing a long holiday weekend I didn't want the poor baby to suffer any longer, so when I left work I loaded him up in the car and took him to the vet as a "walk in." It's not a walk-in clinic, but I am a regular customer, and it's not like I was asking for minor surgery. Anyway, sure enough, "raging yeast infection." Vet's words. 

I felt SO BAD for not taking him sooner. Can you imagine – all that itch and no opposable thumbs!! But after a week of twice a day "flushes" which he hated, and subsequent ear massages (which he loves) he quit shaking his head. I suppose he's forgiven me.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Oh Hobie, not again

My dog has gastric reflux. Yeah, I know, only my dog would have gastric reflux. He makes this noise like he's choking and, oddly, licks the carpet. Or eats grass if we're outside. Usually, I have to take him to the vet immediately to get it stopped. No matter what the time of day. Or night. Luckily, I have an awesome vet. 

I just took him out and he started making the noise and eating grass. Oddly enough when we got inside he stopped and even ate something. I swear, that is the first time that's happened. I must be living right lately. And thank God, because I don't have a spare $150 sitting around to pay for his "off-hours" visit to the vet. I'll be keeping an eye on him tonight, though.

Here we go....

My very first blog! I hope this works! I finally got a computer so I can do this at will now. Blogging at work wasn't exactly optional.