Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Interview Update

All of a sudden it has turned into a crazy interview week. I had a phone interview with a firm called Crowe Chizek yesterday, and they want to bring me in for an in person interview - tomorrow. Yeah, tomorrow. And Friday - did I mention Friday? They want me to interview with 2 groups - one only available tomorrow, the other only available on Friday.

So my recruiter told them Thursday afternoon was out, that I had another interview at 1PM. What do they do? Schedule the interview from 8-11AM, knowing I had another interview at 1. I don't really feel like I am in a position to say no at this point, but come on - they have no idea if my afternoon interview is three hours long. Thankfully, I expect it to be only about an hour, but that is still a lot of interviewing.

So we will see. I have printed everything out and looked at it. I have to be downtown my 8AM ready to be interrogated. I have not been up and functional at 8AM for awhile, so this will be interesting. Sleep is at a premium these days, and I am sure tonight I will be awake most of the night worried about oversleeping. Mel and I (Mel W.) are meeting for drinks tomorrow night before softball, and I am sure I will need one at that point. I have not seen her in so long I am not sure what she looks like.

So off to my beauty rest. Please continue to pray to the job gods for me..and for my agility instructor who was laid off last week also. No bones about it, it just plain sucks.

Comforting Noises

So for those of you that have frequented my McMansion, you know the OSU airport is right in my front yard. Many people ask me if I am afraid a plane will crash on my house. The truth is, even though I live so close to the airport, if they land on my house, then they missed by a long way. A really long way! And if they crash on my house while I am in it, my ticket is punched and it is time for my heavenly reward.

Now, that does not mean I do not get nervous from time to time...there was one time where a Lear jet came in for landing and he was WAY lower than he should have been. How do I know this? I have been in one and have landed there for one, but often see them come if for a landing on a daily basis. So last night, as I am laying there, I hear these popping noises, sounds like a ca backfiring. As I listened a little closer, it was very obvious this was a plane, backfiring its way to the runway. Obviously, everything was fine, but you can bet today I am paying a little closer attention to the overhead traffic! (as one flies overhead now)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Family Time

Last Tuesday, my cousin and her kids came to town. Remember that little baby that used to come to our games? Baby no more, she is 12 yrs old and is taller than I am. Her 10 yr old sister is right behind her.

It was great to have them here. This has become an annual trip that takes place before going to a camp for surviving families of fallen officers (family camp). The camp is outside of Milwaukee. Last year, Michelle drove up - her first and last drive. This year, they flew.

We did all kinds of fun stuff. I had a few interviews mixed in, but my mom came and took them and they got to visit in Marysville. We saw Mama Mia, went to the zoo, had a family bbq, visited the baby, worked on inventing the newest jelly bean for Jelly Belly (they live close to the Jelly Belly factory) as well as inventing the newest burger to be served at Red Robin. That contest includes a trip to Orlando for the winner and he burger being served in all Red Robin restaurants for a year, with part of the proceeds going to charity. I will not divulge the future winning recipe so as to maintain the integrity of the recipe. I do have to say, I was pretty impressed with Jen's creativity...the burger sounds YUMMY. Once the contest is over, I will divulge and you can try at home, but all I can say is that her burger kicks the 2008 winning burger's booty!!!!

So my house is really, really quiet again. Michelle and I had lots of opportunities to visit and catch up, and it was really good for each other. We did get our girls night out, and went shopping at Easton. Michelle discovered the bliss of designer jeans - she put on a pair of Lucky brand jeans and they fit her like a glove! She was not ready to spend the money on them that day, but I do think that Lucky brand easy riders are in her future, she looked fabulous in them. The steal of the day was a pair of jeans we both bought at White House Black Market...$30!!! Marked down from $90. Super cute and fit like a glove...

Tonight, my friend Michelle invited Chelsie and I over to play with her fur children, Tad and Belle, both yellow labs. Her husband is out of town, so we grabbed some food, took the dogs for a walk and then went home to a glass of vino. It was exactly what I needed.

I cleaned out my desk this weekend and am working toward finishing up the items I need to finish. I am nearing the home stretch on the interview process for the job I want, and I should know by this Friday. I will not sleep again until I am gainfully employed - the physical aspect of this is definitely catching up to me. I am nowhere near as motivated as I once was to do yard needs mowed and all the linens from this past weekend need laundered...but, not really motivated. I am sure I will kick it into gear. I have had a couple of rough days, so I am hoping the next few get better.

All for now...little Belle and I are off to bed. She had a grand old time chasing Tad, and wore herself out so much she had to go into rest period in the park.....

Sunday, July 27, 2008

To each his own, but....

Today, I ran into Chipotle for lunch. I decided today was the day to clean out my desk and do some things I needed to do in the office - this coincided with lunch, and Chipotle sounded like a winner. (plus, I was there and back with my lunch in less than 10 minutes)

The guy in front of me ordered a steak burrito with extra hot sauce...which is fine, but then ordered pineapple orange juice with it to drink. Um, GROSS? Is there something about the mixture of hot sauce and fruit juice that enhances the taste of the burrito???

I guess different folks have different strokes. :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Searching, Searching, Searching....

Today, I had a lunch interview - this was the follow up to the phone interview from last week. I thought it went really well. I got a meeting with the VP out of it, and know I am on the short list of candidates. I hope this is the one where I come out on top. We met at Columbus Brewing Company in German Village - had not been there in awhile, it was yummy. Cousin Michelle warned me, get something easy to eat. It was the guy that spilled ketchup all over his light colored shirt....I got penne pasta. Very easy to eat - loaded in butter, but it was tasty.

Today, on my way to my lunch, my friend Bill called me. I know Bill from soccer and play softball in the church league with him. We were talking and he said I will say a prayer for you and then he said, You know what? Let's just pray now. So we did. I also came home to a card from one of my BFF's, Adrienne in California. I definitely needed that. Thanks to all my friends and family, esp my parents and little brother, for their support. It has been a rocky road.

I am on my way out to my parents to get cousin Michelle, tonight is our annual girls night out. Grammie came and loaded Michelle, Amanda, Jennifer and Chelsie into the car and took them to Marysville for lunch, so they could see John, Karla and Kaitlyn. Amanda and Jen are spending the night at my parents, and are going swimming with Joe's neighbors kids (the Holdens) Michelle and I are going to Easton to SHOP!!!! It is so beautiful we decided it was necessary to walk around. Easton has all the high end shops we can gawk in....

So that is the update. I need to water a few plants and then I am off!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Job Search Update

Tomorrow, it will be 2 weeks since I was laid off. I have been into work twice and have done a few things, but am really lacking motivation there. I will get everything done a need to next week - my cousin and her kids are coming tomorrow and I intend to spend some family time with them.

My moments of melt down are fewer and fewer. I had one last week as my recruiter scheduled an interview for this week when family is here - it was right as I was about to walk out the door to meet with my attorney friend to talk about my termination agreement. I got over it on the way to lunch.

Last Friday morning, I met with another recruiter, one that placed three of my friends from Deloitte. He presented an opportunity at a company that is not on my target list, but he is looking for me. I have a follow up lunch meeting on Thursday, from my phone interview last week. Hopefully something will pan out here shortly.

I am beginning to feel the physical effects of the stress - I again slept a majority of the afternoon, and now need to kick it in gear a little. I need to do a few things around the house before my cousin and her kids get here tomorrow. The shower in the happy bathroom does not get used much, so it needs some sanitation and I need to remove the K9 fur from the carpet. A few things to do tomorrow, and then they will be here. I am really looking forward to it - my cousin and I have developed a really bad habit of talking half the night away over the past 2 yrs. This will be year three of their annual trip out here...hard to believe. They will be headed to Milwaukee after visiting us, to be campers again at COPS kids camp. It is a camp for kids who have lost parents in the line of duty. Hard to believe it has been 2.5 yrs since Mike's accident.

So that is the update. Off to scrub toilets. :)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Happy Brithday Maggie!

Today is the 13th anniversary of my mom's 50th birthday! Happy birthday Mawgwit!!!


Today I was in Walmart and nearly fell over when I saw the cost of razor refills. I had a coupon for some refills called Venus Embrace - I should have known they would have been ridiculously expensive based on the $2 coupon in the paper. A 4 ct cartridge was $14 - SERIOUSLY? I even took a look at the disposable kind to see how much they were - I can't use those pink things, they tear up the skin on my legs, and a package of them was like $9. But $14 for 4 cartridges??? Really? Or am I just cheap?

Status Update

While I am out pounding the pavement trying find work to support this household, Chelsie is more concerned about her afternoon nap. She is a big fan of the sectional in the basement (as am I - it would be in the living room if it fit). Apparently, she is confident that there will continue to be food in her bowl on a daily basis.
The latest fad in headrest fashion is grampie's feet (please ignore the socks and sandals). She was very good to grampie today and sat next to him on the couch and let him pet her ears.
As of day 9, here is the status. I have had three interviews this week, with another one scheduled next week. I may have a second interview with the VP of a company I interviewed with this week in Indy - the job is here in Cbus, but this guy's office is in Indy and either I can wait to meet with him until the end of the month or get my butt on over to Indy and meet with him. I am thinking if I show them I am willing to make the drive, it will show them I want the job - and I do. I had lunch with my lawyer friend and we discussed my term agreement. I have a meeting with another recruiter in the morning. I have been working to complete my transition responsibilities. I took the dog for a walk, finally went to the grocery store and played 2 softball games tonight.
I guess that is pretty much status quo for me - all action, all the time. But is it good to be busy and to be getting out of the house on a regular basis. Unfortunately, it is the middle of July and too friggin hot to walk the dog as much as I would like - otherwise, she would be loving this, as I would walk her little legs off to clear my brain.
It is way, way past my bedtime - sleep is still at a premium these days - so I am off to get my beauty rest. Happy Friday and happy weekend!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


This afternoon, my parents sent their dog Buckeye to the rainbow bridge. We got Buck 2 weeks before I graduated from HS in 1993 - my aunt got 2 puppies from a litter near her vacation home in Big Bear and gave one of them to us. Buck was a squirming little 3 lb ball of fur that had more personality than most people I know. He lived until the ripe old age of 15.

Over the past nine months or so, his health had really started to deteriorate. We were very fortunate to have excellent vet care for him. However, something went very wrong last night, and apparently became very demented today. My parents took him to the vet, and there were not a lot of options. They were unable to see our regular vet - which may have been a blessing, as the doctor they saw was able to put some objectivity (with an appropriate amount of sensitivity) into the situation. My parents were strong enough to make the decision that any measures they took to prolong his life at this point would be for their benefit, and not his. Obviously, we are all very upset by this - my mom figured they have had dogs for the last 36 yrs and when they wake up tomorrow, they will not have one. Also, the doctor they saw called our regular doctor after all this happened, and she personally called my parents to offer her condolences. Dr. B is top notch.

So it has been somewhat of a tough week. Please keep my parents in your thoughts - this is hard on both of them, but very hard on my dad. He loves all our dogs, and gets very upset very easily when something happens them. I think eventually they will adopt another pooch, but I am not sure when. Any dog would be lucky to be a dog in my parents house, and I know our vet will help them find a special dog that deserves a great life in their house.

Round One of Interviews

I am happy to report that round one is OVER!!! Both went very well and I am excited about both opportunities. One is with a regional public accounting firm, in the internal audit practice, which is different from my old public days. I would be involved in a number of different parts of the internal audit practice, including business development, which is something I have not done before. Business development in a regional firm is a little different than in Big 4, which I definitely was not cut out for!

The second opportunity is with NiSource, our local gas company. This role is an internal audit manager, which is similar to my current position. I would have full management capacity over the staff and limited travel. There would be much more of a learning curve in this role, primarily because the utility industry is very highly regulated and I would have to learn a completely new industry. But they were very interested in my resume and experiences, and would like me to meet with the VP next week. A big plus for this is the the need for such services and commodities really is not going anywhere. I also liked the fact they are willing to support training, additional certifications and even higher education if I wish.

Tomorrow, I have an exploratory interview with Nationwide for a potential position in the office of Controllership. It is a relatively long interview, 4 hrs, but it will be a good experience. I put on some make up and my power suit today - have not really had makeup on in the last week!

As it is a beautiful day today, I am going to do some yard work. Tonight is hospital and agility night, and I am definitely looking forward to that. Amazing how time changes perspective. A week ago at this time, I was shell shocked, feeling sorry for myself and very hurt and angry. Many people have told me that when one door closes, another opens - which I knew to be true, but in the moment, it is somewhat difficult to see that. I am confident that in the not too distant future, I will have a job - even if it is not one of the opportunities above. I was talking to Belinda this morning and commented to her that this morning was a real turning point - I was pretty sure I had a good resume, the question always being is it the right resume for what the employer is looking for. I realized this morning that I do have a lot of great things on my resume, and that some time along the way, I will indeed get a job.

I am now looking to finish up my responsibilities at Cardinal - they are not too voluminous in nature, primarily consisting of completing performance evaluations for my team and finishing up some projects in the end stages. I will also try to meet with my team and answer any questions they might have - I am certainly in a much better place to do that now than I was before this. One thing I have learned from all of this is how important it is to keep your networks and to be constantly improving yourself from a professional perspective. I had a few things on my resume that are turning out to have a fairly big impact - at the time I did them, I knew they would be beneficial, but I had no idea how valuable they are turning out to be.

And with that, the mower is calling my name - and Chelsie is thanking god that I am going outside so she can get back to her nap.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Dlilgent Student

I have spent the better part of the afternoon being the diligent student researching the companies for which I have interviews with power suit is all ready to go and I may even take a jaunt downtown to make sure I know where the parking garage is. Seems that downtown is always under construction, and I don't want to be the idiot late for the interview....

Sunday, July 13, 2008

MACH or Bust

Resting on the couch with her "Change in Class" ribbon. This club had pretty up town change in class ribbons, as you can see.

This weekend, we visited the lovely metropolis of North Olmstead for a show sponsored by the Cleveland All Breed Training Club. It was a great trial - in an indoor soccer facility, VERY air conditioned, nice crating space. We ended up staying at this crappy little Motel 6...sleep was a little rough that first night, but we worked it out the second night. Lots of noises made one barky lab. I told her if she did not shut up, we were going to get kicked out...
We had a good weekend, going 3-4. Our first run was an absolute train wreck, due to handler error of course. At that point, I wondered if I had made a mistake in trying to compete this weekend. I was pretty upset and stressed out all week, and I knew she was feeling it too. But I spent some time just cuddling with her and we worked it out and had a great jumpers run after that. The first course this morning was a really fun course, and she absolutely nailed it. We needed a Q this afternoon to get out AXJ (first excellent jumpers title) and she nailed that too. We had a tricky entrance into the weave poles, which she hit spot on and then we just had fun after that - for our efforts, we were awarded our title, and a pretty nice ribbon to go with it. This club had some pretty good toys for Q's - I got her this string ball that should provide plenty of opportunity for her to whack herself silly. I will try to have the camera on hand to get a video of her "killing her toys dead".
While I was gone, my parents and brother painted my garage, despite me specifically telling my dad not to, so I could help them. My layoff has been very hard on them, as they feel pretty helpless in the situation. Again, I cannot imagine going through this without them. I had a lot of time to think while driving, and read an encouraging article on Saturday night in one of my accounting magazines about the qualities of a good employer. Before anyone says anything about reading an accounting magazine, I am trying to push through as much continuing education as possible to my former employer. I recently paid my Ohio Society of CPA's dues ($285) - on Friday, I paid my Association of Certified fraud examiner dues ($150) and my Association of Certified Public Accountants dues ($200). You can see how that adds up...CPE is important because I need to certify my continuing education at the end of the year because I need to renew my CPA license. If I read this particular magazine, take a quiz and pay $30, I get 2 hrs of CPE. The more I can do now they can pay get it.
The reality of unemployment is setting in, I am not worried about what I will be doing tomorrow or when my first meeting will be. I still have a few things I want to discuss with my direct boss, but I have decided I will say my peace with him and be done with it. I know I will not be going in Tuesday or Wednesday, and have not decided if I will be going in tomorrow. I do need to spend some time with my team, probably on an individual basis, but I have the next few weeks to do that. I am still experiencing the moments of stability vs instability, and I hope that will subside shortly.
I hope everyone had a good weekend. Stay tuned, the saga continues.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Day 2.5 of unemployment

At the end of day 2.5 of being unemployed, I have 2 interviews set up for next week - while it is nice, I will not sleep easy again until I have a job.

I spent the better part of the day sleeping. I was back to being emotional again this morning, and was tired, so I gave in and slept. Little Belle was compliant with my request to cuddle, and at one point, laid right next to me, nose to nose. Yard work is very soothing for me, so I mowed the grass and tended to my flowers this afternoon, and felt better after that. I met my friends Dianna, Michelle and Sara at a cute little place called the Worthington Inn for happy hour. It was very healthy and exactly what I needed. After coming home, I took little Belle for a walk and talked to her grammie for the entire hour duration of the walk.

I am going to work for the first time since being laid off in the morning. I am not sure how it will go - earlier today, I thought I might have been ready, but not so sure about it at this exact moment. I need to go in and meet with my boss (NOT the one who canned me) and see what he needs me to do, and face the rest of the staff. I think this whole situation will have a lasting impact on me, as I am not sure I will ever feel fully secure in a job again.

Tomorrow, I am having lunch with a friend who is a labor attorney, she will review my severance agreement to ensure it is reasonable and there are no hidden whammies in there. I have softball at six and then we will be heading up to Cleveland for an agility competition - all very normal stuff in our lives, which is important right now. Yesterday, when I told my parents, they asked if I was still going to Cleveland, I said yes, I needed to get out of the house. I am trying to maintain a sense of normalcy, but I have to admit it is somewhat of a challenge.

I know it has only been 2.5 days, but I am definitely still on the roller coaster. While everything you read tells you this is not personal, it sure feels personal. I think I would feel better if there was at least one other person in my department that got laid off, but there is not, as the other 2 positions eliminated were open positions not filled. I am also feeling today that part of the reason I was the "chosen one" is because my boss probably felt I was the most likely to land on my feet somewhere else. It still doesn't help, but I am definitely convinced this played a role in the decision to eliminate my position.

I know everyone is off in every different direction, so have a great time and be safe. Hopefully, Chelsie's mom can handle her in a jumpers run this weekend...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

In the blink of an eye...

Above phrase patented by Jodi Tucker.

And an accurate phrase it is. On Tuesday morning, after a nice 4 day weekend, I walked into what I thought was a career discussion meeting with our department vice president. He had a whole other agenda; his words were simple, direct and devastating:

"As you know, there have been some cuts, and your job has been eliminated".

I cannot begin to accurately describe my feelings over the past few days. What I can tell you is that there has been an extensive amount of research done on this topic - and it was all research done well. I have read through all the pamphlets they gave me about dealing with job loss, layoffs, and all the related feelings that come with it. I have experienced many of them over the past few days, including but not limited to:

- Anger, humiliation, betrayal
- Stress, headache, stomach ache
- Sleepless night, lack of focus

Tuesday was very emotional, today I am very tired. My neck and shoulder had been acting up before yesterday's turn of events, so I went and saw my doctor today to get something to ease that, and help get some consistent sleep. I went out and got some fresh air on a walk with my baby angel and by riding my bike. Chelsie was quite the snuggler yesterday when her mom needed it...and returned to being her normal self this evening when she ate the leftovers of my dinner while I was in Target getting my prescription filled. (I had gone out to dinner)

I would be dishonest if I said I was not looking, however, until you have this happen to you, it is not something that really can be explained. Everyone I have told has had the same reaction - Are you serious? I chuckle to myself and wait to hear the question. On a positive note, I have one interview set up for next week, and hopefully will have another set up after tomorrow. My recruiter has been fantastic and had made a lot of contacts on my behalf.

I am incredibly lucky in all of this to have top notch support from family and friends. I spent the past 20 minutes on the phone with the CFO of one of the businesses I work with - her business is being merged with a segment in San Diego, and she is not willing to relocate until her kids are out of HS, so she is in the same boat as I am. Many of my coworkers have emailed me to make sure I was OK, my cousins have called me, my labor lawyer friend has agreed to look at my termination agreement, I am having drinks with a couple of friends tomorrow...I finally told my parents this afternoon, and feel so much better. My mom was on her way back from Cali yesterday and I did not want to drop it on her before she got on a plane, and quite honestly, I was not emotionally ready yesterday. Of course, they were upset for me - wanted to know if they should come up and take me to dinner. God love them. :) I am very, very lucky to have them here - this would be so much worse if they weren't.

At 9:30 yesterday morning, when it was all done and I was beginning this process, I noted to myself this would be a period of tremendous personal growth, and that journey is just beginning. Again, I cannot describe all the feelings that come with this, but I am trying to feel and accept each one for what it is, deal with it and move on. I am sure I will land on my feet, but the interim period is very stressful.

Thank you to everyone for their support.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Um, your smoking a cigar in front of dad????

For those of you that know and love big Bill, you know he is a pretty straight laced guy. However, in his retirement, he has really loosened up. For example, on their trip to Alaska a couple of summers ago, he went white water rafting and halibut fishing. On one of their many cruises, he signed up for private ballroom dancing lessons - I was so shocked I asked my mom what she had done with my dad.

Well, it reached an all time high last night. My brother had a little get together - and for those of you that know and love Chelsie's uncle Joey, you know that he is not the straight laced individual that the other three Paloney's are!! Along with some moderate alcohol consumption (ok, maybe a little more than moderate) was some cigar consumption. I think my mouth dropped open a mile wide when I realized my brother was smoking a cigar in front of my dear old dad...and my dear old dad really had no comment about it...I am not sure which was more shocking, the fact that he did it or the fact that my dad had nothing to say about it!!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Life Returns to Normal

Hello everyone,

I am happy to report my dog life has somewhat returned to normal. Mom FINALLY went back to work and there were no visitors today. We even went to Dodd Hall tonight, where I worked diligently for 2 hrs.

Upon our arrival, my fan club was there to greet me...nurses Misty, Lisa, Marilyn and John. I even got to see nurse Leonard, whom I love, but we only see him if we go on Thursday. He loves me dearly and tells me what a good job I do.

The halls were sort of quiet tonight, but it still took us 2 hrs to get to everyone. Our first patient was an older gentleman, who told me how healthy and beautiful I was. He just thought I was the greatest thing. Well, in my opinion, I am!!!

One of the patients we saw tonight, Mrs. Johnson, is the mother of one of mom's coworkers. I got to see Sara and meet Mr. Johnson, they are nice. Sara's mom seems to all of a sudden have a number of issues, so Sara is spending a lot of time at Dodd. Last week, we could not go in her room, but this week we could. Mom visited with the Johnson's for awhile, I had to lay on the floor and be still. I do not like to lay on the floor and be still.

Its funny to see people react to me sometimes...they think they are crazy because "they thought they heard a dog in the hall!!!" Sometimes, I get a little excited and whine, and patients can hear me. We went into a room with a wonderful family - a dog loving family - and they were so excited to see me. Mom kicked the lady's son out of his chair so I could jump in it, and the lady just rubbed my ears, it was so nice. That family has brown labs, and I decided their place might not be a bad place to go. They have lots of land and....A POND!!! They were nice people...loved all over me.

We also met another nice family. The patient's son (I think it was his son) works at Hocking Correctional Facility. HCF is part of the prison program for CCI, and CCI dogs are raised in that prison. My friend Keyton, a golden retriever career change dog who lives with mom's friend Kim, was raised in the Ross County Correctional Facility. He thought I was pretty neat, as did his dad, the patient. This man was so happy to see me, he cried. The phone rang, and he told every one on the other end that he had a special visitor, a black lab "that was so calm and sweet, you would love her". They were a nice family.

I also made one more person cry, this time is was a lady maybe in her 50's. I think she thought she was seeing things when she saw me! Her husband was staying on a cot in her room and there was so chair, but nurse Marilyn went and got us a chair so I could go up to the bed. This lady was really good at scratching ears, I sat there for a long time and let her scratch my ears, while her husband took a picture. I will see her again Tuesday night.

Nurse Marilyn said that Mr. K stopped up to see them Monday, he had a Dr. Appt. She said he was moving around very well and was in good spirits. Mrs. K told nurse Marilyn that all Koz could write about was Chelsie. Apparently, Koz used to get pretty restless in the evenings, but did much better the nights I was there.

After 2 hrs of work I was exhausted. Fireworks are going off, but mom is close by, and she sprayed some of my calming spray on the bed to help me sleep. I even saw the anit anxiety drops nearby, but I don't seem to need them. The whole family, Scoobi included, is on mom's bed, and I hope she turns the light out soon.

Happy 4th everyone. Be safe, be happy.

Very Sincerely,

Chelsie Belle

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Lab Looking for New Home...

My abused, under-loved baby irritated she would not even look at me...

Dear friends,

Please take this as my formal complaint about my household for the past three days.

During the last three days, my naptime has been virtually nonexistent. Mom was home all day Monday and Tuesday while the sprinklers were put in. Did I tell you that is a very annoying process? There were people going in and out of my house, ringing my doorbell, and utilizing loud, heavy machinery to cut up my toilet. Worse, mom was constantly moving around - and, to add insult to injury, had turned off the AC. Thankfully, last night she came back to her senses and turned it back on. I was able to sleep in peace on the vent in the bedroom.

I breathed a sigh of relief this morning when she FINALLY left for work. The day was all mine..until suddenly, out of nowhere, Uncle Johnny and Aunt Karla appeared...with this THING in a car seat. Really mom? Not only was there a baby in a car seat, Uncle Johnny and Aunt Karla left..and the baby stayed!!! Mom was holding this baby in her lap on my couch...REALLY???? She finally put the baby in the bedroom (on my bed) and paid attention to me...

If anyone needs a loyal, loving companion, I am considering making myself available until my mom sees the error of her ways and once again becomes immediately receptive to my dog needs. We will give her another shot - the baby is gone, the sprinkler installers did not come back today and we appear to be back in our routine. I just wanted to put a little feeler out there in case anyone was looking.

I am signing off now, as I am very tired due to lack of a nap for the last three days.

Very Sincerely, from a lab who needs some love,

Chelsie Belle

Babysitting Kaitlyn

This afternoon, I babysat John and Karla's baby. John is my cousin, which would make Kaitlyn my second cousin. This was their anniversary, and the first time both mom and dad left the baby at the same time. Karla was very organized - she had a detailed list and plenty of extras in the diaper bag. 10 diapers, 2 blankets, enough formula for 6 feedings, Tylenol, name it, it was there.

I had her from about 1:30 until 7:30. Karla said between 2 and 2:30 she would be hungry and she was. After that, she slept from about 2:30 until 6, as depicted below (between 2 of the 11 pillows on my bed!!!) I was starting to I wake her up to feed her??? It's been 4 hrs...isn't there a cardinal rule of "never wake a sleeping baby?" I moved her from the bed into the car seat, thinking that would wake her up - nope. About 30 min later, I saw her eyes open and seized the opportunity - she sucked down 4 oz in about 10 minutes! After she was done eating, we had a diaper change and were looking at each other on the couch when the doorbell and dad were back!!! My mom said - Don't be fooled, they are not always like this. Yeah, no doubt. I told John and Karla she was perfect little angel...followed by "HAVE FUN TONIGHT!!!
Kaitlyn Vada sleeping on my bed...born April 16, 2008.


The sprinklers are finally in...and worth every dollar I paid for them. I was walking around watching them adjust the final settings, and as I watched each zone go off, I knew more and more this was $$ well spent. I have 7 zones that go off in succession (I don't have the water pressure to have them go off all at once) for as long as 20 minutes and as little as 8 minutes. My yard is somewhat torn up, but when you have heavy machinery like this going over it, its impossible for it not to be. Matt, the main installer guy, just told me to have the sprinklers come on every day for the next 2 weeks and it will come back. My yard guys told me the same thing when the skunks destroyed my yard in the fall, so I am about 2 weeks away from a beautiful yard that I am not dragging a hose all over...project WATERING began at 3AM this morning and I did not hear a thing!!!

Seeing this thing roll across my yard was very stressful for me. It shook the whole house when it started up close to the house..they didn't trench it, they did something like pull the tubing under the ground with the hook thing...CP, maybe Tim can explain it better???
All that tubing is now in my yard....

Location is key...this one goes out into the center of the yard - right where the sun bakes the grass all day.

Destruction machine in the back yard. They took one set of tires off the machine and removed my gate to get that thing back there. The back looks worse than the front, probably because it is smaller.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

We have WATER!!!

The sprinklers have successfully been installed!!! It was a terrifying experience - those of you that know me know I have an up close and personal relationship with my yard. To see the heavy machinery rolling across my yard cutting into sod was very hard..but the guy told me just to water it and it would come back. They are set to start going off at 3AM tomorrow morning.

I do have pictures, but am too tired to post, I will try to do it tomorrow. Chelsie and I are off to bed.