Monday, September 29, 2008

Order, Order

Not the best lighting, but hopefully everyone can see the organization...a calming effect came over me tonight when I pulled into the garage and there was not CRAP everywhere...

Not Once, but Twice

While I was at work, Chelsie went to bed...not once, but twice. Apparently, she was tired.

First, in Mom's bed....
Then in the Buckeye room
Sign me up for this life! Where is she now, you ask? On her end of the sectional in the basement..

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Girl Tools

As a girl home owner, I am very proud of the "girl tool crib" I have created over the past 4 years. About 6 mos ago, I got fed up with not being able to find something when I went to look for it, so I went and got a rolling cart, got rid of all my nasty tools, and put everything in one place. This has been good for my obsessive compulsive need for order.

I have filled it with all kinds of things - wrenches, pliers, cordless drill and nice drill bits, channel locks, utility knife that will cut your fingers off, 2 hammers...and the list goes on and on. I also have one of those Black and Decker picture hanging levels, and it is AWESOME. However, tonight, I added a new tool I had never heard of - nut drivers. Anyone have any idea what those are?

Well, I used it tonight to fix my dryer vent. The dryer hose had been coming undone for some time now, and when David and I were in Home Depot today, I said something to him about it. I had all the proper clamps and had the right idea on what to do, but I was having a hard time getting the screw on the clamp tightened. This infuriated me to no end, as I knew what I was doing was the correct way to fix it - and you all know how I get when I can't do some home maintenance deal that I know I should be able to do. So David said I needed nut drivers to do this - of course, you had to buy them in a set, so I now have 7 nut drivers (and have no idea when I will use them again). However, the dryer hose was fixed in about 15 minutes.

I also utilized some REAL MAN tools this weekend - my brother came over to help me hang shelving in my garage and brought his Makita drill. This thing is WAY more powerful than my little Black and Decker, and had no problem putting three inch screws into studs. The garage looks AWESOME and there is SO MUCH ORDER in it. I got a few looks from my brother about "its just a garage" when I did a few things - the one that took that cake was to wipe the dirty fingerprints off the tracks (they are white) I took some grief for that. But there is so much order in my garage, I love it. Its the first place I come into at night...and if that is a mess, is it any wonder I get all jumpy??

Camera battery ran out, so no photos...but I am now in the office that is COMPLETELY out of order, so I am off to get the Xanax.


Agility Weekend

Hello friends,

This weekend, I had a competition at the Sports Barn at Easton. Mommy likes the Sports Barn a lot, she does not have mulch in her toes at the end of the day.

On Saturday, I ran like a rock star. I had my own cheering section - Natalie, Jeff and Naomi came to watch me, and I could hear Naomi cheering for me. During my warm up, the were watching me from the view above, as there is upstairs seating. They watched my standard run, and folks, let me tell you, I was awesome. Mommy complained about the course, said it was "Choppy" - and it was. But lucky for her, I am a good dog and was awesome. Naomi came to visit me at my crate after my run, and I was happy to see her. I also ran very well at jumpers, and got a Q and MACH points there. Yes, folks, that would be a double Q for me.

Today, friends, was a little different. We got there and my friend Dash came out to greet me and told me to get in there, they were running our class. Well, they were - and our turn was in 4 dogs. For the past 2 days, they have run the FAST class, and we did not participate - and they did not run it today. Maybe my mom could read the entry form? Really lady? So anyway, she watched for a few, and I was all jazzed up - and got a little bit of a correction to settle. This rattled my mom and she lead me to the wrong end of the tunnel - Jesus lady. To make matters worse, she then got lost and we got another off course. Thankfully, we found our way, I ran like a champ the rest of the way and got my cookies at the end of my run. Next time, read the entry form, mom - sheesh. You ruined a perfectly good opportunity for another leg to my MX and more MACH pts because the course was EASY BREEZY.

To prove I am as awesome as I say I am, I nailed the jumpers course, which was also "choppy". No good flow and my mom was telling me what to do the entire time. Jeez lady. But I did it, and then ran over to Jill and Mrs. Birkinbine (Jill's mom) because we had left my cookies with them.

In the end, I ended up with one double Q, 1 leg to my MX and 2 legs to my MXJ. I now have 7 of 10 legs for my MX title, and 5 of 10 legs for my MXJ (last titles before MACH). I earned 10 MACH pts yesterday and 4 today. In total, I have 4 dbl Q's and 78 MACH pts. I will take it.

On top of this all, mom got distracted with garage organization and did not feed me until 9PM. Good lord! I am now finally able to relax and mom is downstairs working on the computer. I have had a busy weekend, so I am off to bed.

Have a great week!

Very Sincerely,

The Chelsie Belle

Friday, September 26, 2008


First the Olympics were impeding on my sleep, not it is college football. I was up until almost 1AM watching the Beavers of Oregon State DEFEAT the Trojans of USC. Oh yes, it was AWESOME!! Maybe now Lee Corso will shut up about how good USC is - um, can we say Oregon State was UNRANKED??? And that the last time an unranked team had beaten the top rank team was in something like 1968? What a distinction for USC to have.

Lee Corso, hush up - I can't wait to hear you eat your words tomorrow on College Game Day. Pete Carroll and the Trojans - how was the ride down from the top???? Not that I am passionate about college football or anything...

BTW - they have re-dug a ditch for about the third time and are moving the same pile of dirt they moved yesterday for about the third time as well. All those grimy little construction workers are right outside my window....

Thursday, September 25, 2008

"Go pick a guy off a construction site"

This is direct quote from my lovely brother. One of my brother's finer qualities is his ability to come up with some pretty good one liners - many of them not appropriate for this site, so I will spare you all.

Anyway, this quote came during a conversation about one of my relationships - it was in this conversation that he not only informed me I needed to quit dating divorced men, but that I should "go pick a guy off a construction site or something". Seriously? I had no idea he paid attention to my dating life in such detail.

So yesterday I was carrying in a wedding gift for a co-worker getting married on Saturday. The area around my office is under massive construction - and will be for quite some time, so grimy little construction workers are crawling around everywhere. The construction has now moved into an area where I literally have to walk right through it to get to my office. I have befriended a few of the workers, and yesterday this was the conversation that occurred with one of them:

Worker - Is that for me?
Nicole - Only if you want to get married.
Worker - Let me call home and ask my wife.

Meanwhile in the background, there is this other dude jumping around waving his hand saying I'll get married...

Maybe I should look around and "pick a guy off a construction site"?? Or maybe it is totally pathetic that I am even considering this? Either way, I smile when I think about both scenarios....

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

How the Candidates Match Up

During election season, I always get confused about what everything means. I found this gallery on CNN that does a pretty good job of explaining each candidate's HIGH level position of key elections issues. Hope it helps!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday Night Visit to Dodd

Hello friends,

I hope this finds everyone doing well. I am doing very well tonight, resting comfortably against three of mom's 11 pillows in my nice air conditioned house.

As it was Monday night, it was my night to go visit patients at Dodd. We were there from about 6:45 until 8 tonight. While we saw a fair number of people, there were also a fair number of people with their lights out already. It is getting darker earlier these days and we got there a little later because mom had to stop and get Chipotle (she claims she was going to pass out if she did not eat).

As usual, I did very good work, and was not subjected to any grooming procedures tonight, even though mom says I am in desperate need of a pedi. We got to see a draft of the poster Heather is putting together - it is actually about treating depression in elderly patients, and she has listed pet therapy as a type of therapy to deal with this. Mom told me tonight I was a very good dog and that she was proud of me.

We are off to sleep, so pleasant dreams to everyone...maybe I will have a dream where I am chasing my toy out of a pond tonight!

Very Sincerely,

The Chelsie Belle

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The gifts that keep on giving

While mowing the grass this afternoon, I picked up a half full yard waste bag to dump some grass in...and what do you think was underneath it? You guessed it, to my horror, more little maggoty you know whats. I was going to try and call around to get a few estimates, but I am thinking Lonnie and friends are going to be out here ASAP. Gentle readers, have I told you how FOUL these little things are???

HAPPY HAPPY HOME OWNERSHIP...but I still love my little castle.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Prozac Please - Update on Basement

The desk piled high with piles of mail....for those of you that willingly accept my OCD tendencies when it comes to having order in my life, well, you know this is making me crazy!
And the blessed hole in the is going to be there for awhile....
On Thursday, Lonnie from Columbus Pest Control paid me a visit. He was the one who cured my carpenter bee problem in the spring...after he left, they started dropping dead on my deck, which was an indication of success in my mind. I had high hopes that he would find the source of the problem. He did not let me down.
After showing him the scene of the crime, we determined the problem was actually a drain pipe out in the mow strip, the strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street. There is a noticeable change in elevation in the grass - the thought is the the pipe going from the downspout to the street is not functioning properly and is not allowing water from the downspout to drain out to the street properly. This caused the water to back up into the pipe (all the way up the grass to the back of the house) and cause the concrete block in the basement to become damp, as the downspout sits right outside the portion of the block wall that became wet. The wood studs became wet and termites started eating them and the moldy drywall was how the problem became evident to me. How did we determine this? We stuck the hose in the downspout - had the pipe been functioning properly, water should have shot out into the street. It did not, so we stuck the handle of a rake into the pipe near the street (where we thought the problem was) and sediment and water came gushing out. That, along with the noticeable change in elevation in the grass, was fairly indicative of a problem. I think maybe if you look at the McMansion at the bottom of the blog you can see the fall off in the grass I am talking about...
So now what...first and foremost the termite issue needs to be addressed. It will be by far the most expensive piece of this whole thing. I am going to have to get those termite spikes around the house - they are baited and monitored for feeding, so that as long as there is evidence of activity, the spikes are baited. Unfortunately, termites are the gifts that keep on giving - when one colony moves out, another moves in, so ongoing treatment of the problem is necessary - and also because when the time comes for me to leave this house, I will have to disclose how I addressed this and I don't want that to be an issue. The upfront cost is about $1500 for 2 years and then about $300 per yr after that. I have heard this seems high and that you can treat them yourself, but this is one area where I am not ready to self medicate - the $1500 up front is chump change as opposed to trying to repair a support beam in the future should the maggoty little you know whats try and eat them...the pipe is shallow and should be easy to fix, given the strong evidence of the location of the break. The blessed hole will have to stay open until there is no evidence of termite activity, as this corner will have a termite treatment station. Drywall will eventually have to be repaired, but brother Joe can do that.
So while I am not thrilled about the termites, it is definitely better than my original thought of black mold (the mold on the drywall was black in color). Yeppers, Meg, open up the wallet and pout the money out. But I would not have it any other way, as I love my little McMansion....

Thursday, September 18, 2008

OSU Med Ctr Volunteer Dinner

Last night was the medical center volunteer dinner. As I was not able to go last year, this was my first experience with the event. It was wonderful.

As I checked in, this girl said to me - Oh! You are the one with the dog! I loved the picture you sent in. She loved it so much we made the slide show that played during the meeting!

One of the things that was really neat was to see all the stories of the volunteers. There are so many volunteers throughout the entire medical center - The James, OSU East, Ross Heart Hospital, University Hospital (Rhodes/Doan). We were at a table with 2 James volunteers that had given over 1000 hrs of service for the year - now granted, these ladies were retired, but 1000 hrs is still a lot. The volunteer management group is constantly looking for new programs for volunteers to participate in and are focused on improving patient care and experience while in the medical center. It was also really neat to hear why all the volunteers volunteer - many of the James volunteers were cancer survivors themselves. Being as you can't have a live plant in the James, we will never volunteer there.

I was also amazed at the positive reception I received for our work as Pet Pals. I took one of Chelsie's leashes so she was there in spirit, and wrote on my name tag that I was a pet pal and drew a paw print. There is talk that maybe the pets in the pal teams might get to come next year! The Volunteer of the Year at OSU East was actually a pet pal team, Noel the Boxer and her handler. Best laugh of the night? A University Hosp team whose dog is named Joe Boxer. And he was adorable.

Overall, it was a very positive experience and I am proud to be part of the volunteer team at OSU Medical center!

Why Do I torture myself?

Can you all remind me it is not a good idea to look at the value of my 401k right now?????

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tuesday Night Bright Spot

While last night had its challenges, there was also a bright spot. My little intolerant princess actually played with another dog! This couple has this 7 month old yellow lab named Hudson they walk through our neighborhood. HUDSON IS A BIG BOY - 72 lbs at 7 mos. Huge. Tank. Way bigger than Chel. They were walking him last night and she took off after him - usually, she just ignores dogs going by. Well, he wanted a piece of her and she a piece of him. She played with him and played with him. He got a little aggressive and his owners were worried - I told them don't worry, she will put him in his place and she did. But they still played - laps around the yard, romps, pouncing. I loved it. She had slobber neck when they were done. Not that she is mean to other dogs, she just, well, ignores them. Maybe last night she will see that the other puppies aren't so bad at all.

Maybe she was telling me she wanted a brother?

What Termites Look Like

I think the title says it all. The above picture is the end result of about 4 hrs of destruction before termite infested supports removed....disgusting destruction....

On Sunday, I decided to rearrange the chair and bookshelf in my office. While doing so, I noted what appeared to be mold in the corner of my office - black in color at that. It was in the same place where my cat peed a few years back - we bleached, cut out drywall and sealed before recarpeting, more than enough, we all thought. Chelsie sometimes likes to "help" by closing doors, and closed the door to the unfinished part of the basement where the cat box is. Scoobi has never gone anywhere else in the house...which is why we have multiple cat doors now, to keep Chel out of the basement when I am not home...

David was a fantastic sport tonight and helped me investigate the issue. Upon removing the baseboard, we discovered the drywall was very damp. After cutting away the first piece, I about had a heart attack when these maggoty looking little things were running around everywhere. I spared my readers the picture. Anyway, it appears the corner of the basement is damp and had dampened the studs, making it ripe for termites. What we also found is that the construction of my basement is not up to par with what we are used to - the framing was clearly inadequate. At any rate, there are three separate issues - the termites (symptom or cause - I believe symptom), drywall (purely cosmetic) and damp concrete (main issue in my opinion). While I was not happy to see the termites, I was very happy it was NOT black mold and that we had done an adequate job in addressing the cat urine issue. Truth be told, I think the cat situation made me more aware of that corner and lead to early detection of the issue.

The end result? Exposed brick in my office, floor to ceiling and 2 feet each direction from the corner. Two nasty, termite infested studs in my yard, treated with peroxide to kill those little beasts. And likely a few thousand dollars to properly address it all. My first call tomorrow will be to Lonnie at Columbus Pest Control...he did a wonderful job in the spring killing the carpenter bees eating my deck. Oh, the joys of home ownership....

It is pretty easy to see which 2 boards were the tastiest. As the 2 still against the wall had evidence of being eaten, we cut out to the next stud - thankfully, the damage seems to end there.

Tools of the trade - hammer, sledge hammer, drywall saw, drywall knide, prybar, screwdriver and three bags of trash.

The two culprits prior to us realizing the extent of the damage. The one to the left is the yummy one. The white stuff is the Styrofoam insulation - no wonder I freeze my a** off down here in winter.

Termite evidence in the "insulation". I am so grossed out by the fact this filth was in the space in which I live, breathe, eat....nasty.

This was the view that made us realize there was probably more to this than meets the eye.

Photos of What Ike did in Dublin

This is on Godown Rd, between Bethel and Linworth - OSU airport is to the left.
A pretty good indication of why people in this area do not have power. This is right across the street from the tree above. I drove by this area tonight and it is pitch black. AEP is hoping to have everyone up by Sunday. I have a great appreciation for my power tonight - and my own bed, when I eventually get in it.
A house in my neighborhood.
A house on my street. We walk by it all the time. No damage to house, people are fine - tree fell the right way.
Three houses away from me....

Monday, September 15, 2008

Feeling Very Fortunate

I have just learned one of my co-workers in Northern Indiana (near Merrillville, 40 miles from Chicago) lost him home in the storm. Apparently he lives near a river and the levy gave out - his basement filled and water was chest high in his main living floor. He has three small children and wife, and all made it out unharmed - physically. Thankfully, he has flood insurance.

Also, my department has a team in Houston - we are unsure of their status at this point. I met them a few weeks ago and they are both very intelligent, so hopefully they had the good sense to leave.

Loss of power is small in the overall scheme of things.

Ike, Ike go away...


Yesterday was unlike anything I have ever been in...I feel like I must have had my head buried in the sand not to know it was coming. It was incredibly windy all day, and seemed to get worse as the day progressed. About 3:30 - just as I was turning the hair dryer on, the power went out. I was actually supposed to go to Atlanta last night, but ended up not going - I am not typically a nervous flier, but I would have been a nervous wreck last night - it was not safe to be out driving around, let alone flying (at least in my opinion!!) The airport was a mad house - cluster is not even the word that can begin to describe it. I was on Delta - as we were standing in the mother lode of all lines, there was some girl from Delta telling us there were no flights going out that night, that there were sustained winds of 65 mph. They gave you an 800 number to call to reschedule - and the people on that end had no record of any flights being cancelled or delayed. 40 feet away, the agents behind the counter were sending people to the TSA bag check - seriously, what was it????

End result was me going home - they could not get us on a flight until Tuesday, and with the conference we were supposed to go to ending Wednesday, it made no sense for us to go. Back home in the 65mph winds. Actually, out to find gas and D small feat. Took me over an hour and I finally got both in Powell. After that, on to Marysville, to get the baby angel and deliver the batteries to my parents.

As I said, this was unlike anything I had ever seen. I have no power, 2 of my coworkers have no power and my parents have no power. My brother, who lives about a mile from my parents in the same development, does have power - Chel and I spent the night at Uncle Joey's last night. The power supplier for my parents, Dayton Light and Power, have sent a significant portion of their crews to help restore power in Texas, and it could be as long as three days before their power is on. There are a number of trees down in my neighborhood, but thankfully, my house is fine. The wind blew my BBQ over and made a mess of my yard with leaves, but other than that, I am no worse for the wear. I did leave little Belle home with all the windows open, it is only supposed to be 70 and when I got into work about 20 minutes ago, it was barely 60.

I think my dad is going to try and get some ice for me today...if he doesn't, I will be heading out early to try and deal with this stuff, and maybe trucking back out to Marysville. My poor staff person is getting married on 9/27 and had a branch on her roof and another tree dangling over her house....craziness. In all the years I have lived in Ohio, I have never, ever seen anything like yesterday. If I am ever anyplace where a hurricane is coming, I will unquestionably leave...

Pictures to come. Ike, Ike, go away.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Random thoughts after my visit to the mall....

On Friday afternoon, I decided to go and get a pedicure. I am going to some utility training in Atlanta this week (doesn't that sound like a page turner!) and my VP is going with us. I decided that if I had any thoughts of wearing open toed shoes, I needed a pedi. So, off I went...and came back with these thoughts:

1) DID MACY'S REALLY HAVE THEIR CHRISTMAS STUFF OUT? Is it some other month of the year and not September? What about Halloween, Thanksgiving or anything else in between??? I am not a scrooge, but jeez....isn't it a little early?
2) Could the chick in the nail place be any harder on my little tootsies? My toes look great, but I cannot say it was the most relaxing pedi I have ever had. The color on them is is a red OPI color called "The Thrill of Brazil". Once I saw the name, I knew it had to go on my toes. I seem to pick colors because of their names - the deal on the blue paint on my kitchen walls was sealed when I learned its name...Lost Atlantis. How cool are these names???
3) Even though I really wanted a pedi, I sort of felt guilty about spending the money on myself...until the attendant from the Shell gas station came in for a polish change on her toes and a balance. I figure if the gas station attendant was OK with, I should be too. Odds are I can probably afford it more than she can, so I should get over it...
4) Did I really just go into Forever 21?
5) Did I actually just buy something in Forever 21?? Leggings at that??? I think I might be slightly embarrassed....the rubber will meet the road when I actually wear them - if they end up being house clothes they were only $4.50, so no big loss. Of course, the exact reverse could happen...I might actually decide I look HOT in them and wear them in public. No one hold your breath on that!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

My Home Maintenance Nemesis

Earlier this year, my blazing intelligence was on display when I improperly attached the door to my furnace after looking at the condition of the filter inside it. The end result was that it was 59 in my house and I had to pay $100 to have someone tell me I just needed to attach the door.

Well, it was time to look at the filter on Tuesday night, I went down and measured the filter and came home with a brand spanking new Arm & Hammer air filter. I changed it Wednesday night, with careful attention to the manner in which I attached the door. As it was a little cooler over the past few days, I turned the AC off...but yesterday, it crept up to 76 in the house. I keep the temperature in the house between 72 and 75 (via a programmable thermostat - if you don't have one, buy one, it has had a significant impact on my energy costs), so it should not have been 76 in the house. I decided last night I was too tired to deal with it, so I turned the fan on and went to bed - and when I woke up this morning, it was now 77 in the house. Insert expletive. So at 6:30 this morning, I went down stairs and started messing with it...I made a few attempts and FINALLY got it right, as evidenced by the fact the unit started up after slamming the door on there a few times. I started my day frazzled by my HVAC incompetence, but that quickly changed to a feeling of victory when it came on. I managed to prove I was smarter than the HVAC.

Taken from the trials and tribulations of a stubborn, single female homeowner.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Changing Times

For the first 7 years I my career, I spent a fair amount of time downtown. Deloitte's offices are in the National City building downtown, at 3rd and Broad - a stone's throw away from City Center.

During our college years - esp when I lived in the dorms - I remember taking bus #2 down High St to City Center (and other various establishments along the way). I remember the first time I went in the fall quarter of my freshman year - it was to buy a winter jacket. What an experience that was - a California girl buying a winter jacket??? That first winter I spent in Ohio was one of the coldest winters on records - Ohio State closed due to an ice storm, where we literally had sheets of ice all over campus. To add insult to injury, we had the 7-9AM practice time slot. THAT SUCKED, gentle readers!!! Thankfully, I found a nice warm coat in American Eagle at City Center...

My new office is just a few blocks away from City Center, and we ventured up there today at lunch. Bad idea - there is nothing left there, save food fast food type of joints. Tuttle, Polaris and Easton have just wiped it out. As we passed by the stage on the ground floor, I had memories of the children's choirs that used to sing there at Christmas - a bunch of us from Deloitte used to go over and sit and watch them during the holiday season...but no more. I guess times change, but it was somewhat difficult to walk through there and just see how it has deteriorated into nothing...

On a positive note regarding change, Buckeye Field is undergoing some dramatic changes. I promise to take some pictures and post them soon.

TGIF - Thursday Night Burn Out

Its funny how your body knows when the fall is coming. During the summer, I LOVE being active, being outside, playing ball, etc - but tonight, this Thursday night, I am completely wiped out. Maybe because it is dark when I get up and then dark at like 7:30? I was literally mowing the front yard in the dark the other night - would not have been surprised if there had been a big miss there....

This week was a go, go, go week...Monday we did Dodd, Tuesday yard work, Wednesday soccer and agility, tonight softball (thankfully only one game) I am definitely looking forward to weekday soccer and softball ending. I will probably play three days of indoor soccer in the winter, but 2 of those 3 days will be Friday and Sunday - it is the weeknight stuff that is killing me. Did I mention I was working in between?

Chel was an active participant in all the activities as well. I would say that Wednesday was her most active day, chasing the ball at soccer and then on to agility. Mom rewarded her with some Timbits on the way home, the empty peanut butter jar and then the empty yogurt container from getting her kongs ready.

The remains of the peanut butter jar. When she has the jar and I walk anywhere near her, she turns and walks away from me. One time, she even took the jar on the bed. I drew the line there and told her to get that thing off MY bed.

What happens when you run around chasing your ball like a complete psycho. The toy she is laying on was supposed to be for her cousin - it was on the counter so my parents would know to take it home. Now, granted, Chel did win this toy at the agility trial this weekend (you get a toy for every Q) but being as we have 2 laundry baskets full of toys, giving one to her cousin was not going to hurt anything - apparently, she did not agree. My mom called and asked - Was the green moon toy for Ella, because it is in your bedroom! This incident further supports the necessity for my OCD tendencies surrounding housekeeping. I have a counter surfer...There was some sort of insect buzzing around her head tonight that caused her to dive under the coffee table...I was sure she was going to bonk her head, but she didn't. Good thing the slate tables are harder than her head.

I think I have finally become smart enough to figure out how to put a video in here. Note the complete focus and determination here - all while laying on her black kong. I love how she uses her paw to position the jar, so she can stick her whole face in the jar, literally...hopefully, grammie can use this as evidence to grampie that she is not starving...I never knew plastic was so appetizing!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Rough night in the halls of Dodd

After a 4 week hiatus, we returned to Dodd Hall tonight. Our visit lasted close to 2 hrs tonight.

As the title of this indicates, this was probably one of the hardest nights in my volunteering career at Dodd. We came across a patient that had obviously been in an accident of some sort, based on the neck brace that covered her neck, going all the way to the back of her head - looked very uncomfortable. She had a friend with her, but the friend left to go get her some clothes at Target for PT. She was a new arrival, from a hospital in Kentucky, and had endured a 4 hr ride in an ambulance back to Dodd. She is from Marysville.

We were chatting, and she said she also liked cats - what she said was she preferred cats to dogs and wanted to know if there were any cats at Dodd. I said probably not - the litter box was dangerous to sick people who had immune system issues. I made some comment that some people were sick in a different way than she was - that is was obvious to me she had been injured in some sort of accident. That's when she dropped the bomb - that while her injuries were bad, they were not the worst thing that had happened. Her husband had not survived the accident.

This was a middle aged couple, he was 47, I am guessing she was about 45. They were in a motorcycle accident in Kentucky, on their was to a NASCAR race in Bristol, Tn. They were riders for 25 yrs - the bike they were on was a Honda Gold Wing. Apparently, they were ~50 miles from their last stop when all of a sudden, at 70 mph, her husband slumped over on the tank. She asked him if he was OK - and he said no. The last thing she remembers was the guard rail on the right side of the road. They were ejected from the bike ~60 feet into a ravine. The bike, with a trailer attached, veered across the highway and hit the left guard rail and finally came to rest again on the right side of the road. Miraculously, no other cars were involved - and a bunch of cars who had seen the accident immediately pulled over and started looking for the couple.

It appears the husband had a heart attack - talk about lousy timing. It is a miracle the wife is alive - and she knows it. Both were wearing helmets and riding clothing. The first flowers this lady received at the hospital in Kentucky were from the first car that stopped to help them.

I was in tears with her - I cannot imagine the physical pain she is in, but the emotional pain as well. The only thing I could think of was what this woman was going through - having to deal with her recovery, they death of her husband and the manner in which it happened. It was very upsetting to me. She is in the top three of the most difficult situations emotionally for me to deal with - she, Kim Weaver (20 yr old aneurysm patient, who is doing very well, by the way) and Mr. Koslow (cancer patient).

On a positive note, nurse Heather has been working very hard on preparing some materials on animal assisted therapy for a conference in October. She found 2 patients tonight who agreed to sign a waiver of confidentiality so their picture could be taken with little Chel. Heather got some great pics tonight of Chel interacting with the patients. I will see if she can send them to me.

So Dodd sort of put a damper on my spirits tonight. But I know all the patients loved our visit, so it was a good thing. I will have a hard time getting this lady out of my head while she is in Dodd. I think it is going to be a long night is thundering and Chel is already agitated....

Monday, September 8, 2008

Recent Home Improvements

I am thinking that maybe "improvements" is too strong of a word - I think the word improvements implies ripping things out, gutting...there was DEFINITELY none of that involved.
First upgrade is a flat screen in the bedroom. I had the TV from when I lived in So Cal...I think I got it when it was 12. It was this big TV that sat on the armoire - and sort of overtook the room. This is a 26 inch Vizio LCD - my mega Costco purchase. A shout goes out to Natalie M for alerting me to Costco's electronics selection (TV was $100 cheaper at Costco than all the major box stores). Another shout out to Natalie and Jeff for putting it on the wall for me - trust me, they are future HGTV Stars in the making.

Maybe this will push me over the edge to HD TV and a DVR? Don't hold your breath.
Since I no longer have a headboard, I decided that $14 was a cheap alternative to make my bed more interesting - the lifts raise it up 7 inches. It is a long way up for Chelsie, we will see how it works out. They also have 5 inch lifts, and I am thinking that might be a better solution. I made sure to get the nightstand in the picture so you can see how much taller the bed is now. Maybe I will sleep better in it?


My mom got this shirt for me from JC Penney - nothing is more true during football season in Columbus, Ohio!!! After Saturday....I was so stressed out on the way home from Cleveland, I could hardly listen to the game!

OSU Sports Hall of Fame Induction 2008


Every year, the Men and Women's Varsity O Alumni Boards induct former athletes into the OSU Sports Hall of Fame. There are certain criteria that each board evaluates and then we vote on which athletes should be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Former softball players include Krinon Clark, Shauna Bowman Miller and Anna Smith-Ferrara. I am sure I am forgetting someone...

The festivities include a lunch for us to get to know the women, where the master of ceremonies, Barbie Tootle, asks them a bunch of questions for info at the induction ceremony on Friday night. Lunch this year was in the Geiger room at the Schott. I unfortunately had to cut out early to that, as I had ethics training I needed to go to (I am in a re certification year for my CPA and needed this course - trust me, I would have rather stayed where I was!)

In addition to the Hall of Fame honorees, we also have 2 special awards we present. They are the Barbie Tootle Spirit Award and the Phyllis Bailey Career Achievement Award. Barbie bleeds scarlet and gray, and is a legend of her own at OSU. She retired as some sort of special director to the President when Gee left the first time, and has gone back on a part time basis since Gee's return. Thirty seconds around Barbie and her love for the Scarlet and Gray is infectious. Phyllis Bailey is also legendary in her own right - she saw so much change in the field of women's athletics in the 40+ years of service she gave to our fine university. She was legendary in the establishment of women's sports at OSU before and after title 9. The award we named in her honor reflects the accomplishments of women both in and out of their athletic careers. Ms Bailey is still alive and well, and participates in both lunch and dinner on induction day.

As for the induction ceremony, this year it was at the Blackwell. The University does a nice job on this event. Guests who made appearances included Jim Tressel (current OSU FB Coach), Archie Griffin (Currently in charge of the OSU Alumni Association and former 2 time Heisman trophy winner) Gene Smith (Current Athletic Direction of the finest university in the land) and finally, our university's leader, President E. Gordon Gee. Each made about a three minute speech and congratulated the inductees - I tried to record it on my camera, but the sound was muffled. Gee apologized for his perceived tardiness - apparently he was off massaging Beanie's foot. He should have been talking to the team as a whole based on their performance on Saturday!!!

Friday September 5 was the 2008 induction. Among the honorees was my former roomie in the dorms, golfer Amy Langhals. Amy was the Big Ten freshman of the year and throughout her career, was critical to the success the golf team is now enjoying. She played on the tour for a few years, but a car accident rendered her a back injury that ended her professional career. In the spirit of giving back to the university, Amy is in her second year as the assistant coach of the women's golf team at our Alma mater. Amy is the youngest of 8, and the whole Langhals tribe came down to celebrate the event. Her coach even had most of the team come - they are back early as they are leaving for a trip to Scotland this coming Friday. Good year to be on the women's golf team. Coach Tressel thanked Amy for the assistance she has given him on his golf game!

At any rate, congrats to Amy! This is truly an honor that was well deserved, and I know Amy's family and team were very proud of her. The class of 2008 included:

Maxi Meissner - Rowing
Amy Langhals - Golf
Krista Keir - Track and Field (throwing)
Megan Mirick - Lacrosse (1st womens lacrosse player to be inducted)
Carolina Moraes - Synchronized Swimming
Isabela Moraes - Synchronized Swimming

**Note on Carolina and Isabela - they were undefeated in their career. OSU has a dominant synchro progam. Currently, the twins work on a water show at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas.

Enjoy the photos!

Nicole and Amy sporting Amy's plaque
Old roomies from Mack Hall - yep, we lived in the Virgin Vault!!! (all girls dorm)
Football team arriving at the Blackwell. These young men are enormous in size. They were carrying their game day dress clothes and they were HUGE!
Women's Varsity O Board

P.S. to previous post

Meaghan's poison ivy was was AWFUL. I saw what was left - just a tiny little scab in the bend inside of her right elbow. I also saw what will likely be a scar - it was huge, on her forearm, through the bend in her elbow and part way up to her shoulder. After seeing it, its no wonder she probably went through a bottle of calamine lotion a day. Looked like a serious case of road rash. I would say her description of "miserable" is probably an understatement of how she felt, I can't even imagine. Its hard to describe unless you can actually see what it did to her arm. Thank god it was only as bad as it was on one arm and not both.

Good thing she is tough. :)

Cleveland Trial

After an atrocious day of handling by the handler on Saturday, we rallied on Sunday with a double Q and 16 MACH pts - 12 on standard and 4 on jumpers. The 4 pts we earned on jumpers is a record for us - we are not super fast and the jumpers times are much tighter than the std times. To put it in perspective, we finished in 36 seconds, while I saw a border collie finish it in 22 and change - now granted, this is one of the top border collies in the area, but you get it.

On Saturday, Chelsie had a beautiful standard run - little turkey broke her start line stay both days in standard, and mom was NOT happy about that at all - she was really flying! She flew through all the obstacles up to the table, and obediently got on the table when asked. Most dogs hate the table because they do not like to stop during a run. We have to sit on the table for 5 seconds...which to date, has never been a problem - until the handler calls the dog off to early. I usually keep my hand up to tell her to stay, and then position myself toward the next obstacle. I dropped my hand too early, and she came off the table. The rest of the run was beautiful and I apologized to her and told her I would be a better handler for her. This did not ring true in jumpers, as I moved too far laterally while she was in the weaves to set up for the jump after the weaves...and she popped out on the 10th weave. UGH. MOM SUCKED!!

On Sunday, though, we fixed it. She still broke her start line stay on the std run, but kept it in the jumpers run - which was mission critical to the success of the run. I was probably about 50 feet from her and had to position myself just so, because there was a tunnel staring her in face I needed to block. I was very, very proud of her on Sunday, and for her efforts, she was rewarded with an empty ice cream cone and some of my McFlurry.

Thanks to Meaghan and Alexis for coming down to watch us! Thank god they came on Sunday when we ran good and not on Saturday...they got to see just what a good dog Chel was, as she saved me a few times in the run they saw!!! Next opportunity for MACH pts is 9/27-28 at the Sports Barn at Easton. Put it on your calendar to come watch!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008


As we enter the trial in Cleveland this weekend, we have earned 2 double Q's (qualified in both standard and the jumper runs on the same day) and 48 MACH pts. Now, we still have a ways to go - 18 double Q's and 702 MACH pts, but being as the first trial we could earn MACH pts was in July and the first trial we could earn double Q's was our last trial in August, we are doing pretty darn good. I am very proud of my little girl and how hard she works for her mom.

We have a trial in Cleveland this weekend - the last time we were in Cleveland I had just been laid off and was an emotional wreck. Thankfully, things are back on track and I will be in a much better state when we go up there this weekend! Let's just hope she is too - this was the trial that she threw up in the car at...ALL OVER THE BACK SEAT!!! She had class last night and ran her sets very well. AKC has decided to change the distance between the weave poles from 22 to 24 inches, which helps us considerably in how fast we can move through them. Her little lab paws were on fire last right as she consistently ripped off all 12 poles in every pole set last night.

Grammie is coming on Saturday, and is going to video us. I will try to see if I can get it on here, but no promises. Megs, we will be competing at the North Olmsted Soccer Sportsplex, so if you are looking for free entertainment, stop by.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Full Service Parents - Missions Successful

Just spoke to mom...status:

1) Bed - made
2) Sprinklers - adjusted
3) Gas company gone
4) Globe off fan
5) Pictures at home
6) Grill tank to be refilled (forgot that on earlier post)
7) Dog spoiled rotten

No, gentle readers, they ARE NOT for hire!!! So, so helpful...esp for a control freak task master.

Off to our night with Bryce and Teagan!!!

Random Photos from the Weekend

Here are a few random pictures from our weekend. Nothing too exciting, in fact, very uneventful would be the right term to use for it! I need another long weekend...anyone else feel the same way? Probably the most exciting thing I did was book travel for turkey day - the parents are going on a cruise from Rome to Ft Lauderdale, so Joe and I are going to Cali. to have turkey with aunts and cousins. Along the way, I am stopping in Reno to see Jodi and FINALLY meet little Dolan James (who is ADORABLE after his first haircut!!!)
Sporting a new cover for my center console. Chelsie has left her mark (aka some scratch marks) so grammie made us a console cover and put Chel's name on it. Not spoiled too much, are we...
The brown dog...if she wants to sit where you are sitting, she will sit on you. I told her to back off, I would share but I WAS NOT getting up.
Happy 30th birthday brother!
Mom and Chel, taken for submission to the Pet Pals volunteer office. I was mad at myself because I forgot to take her Ohio State bandana with us...ugh. This was in my parent's front yard.
Uncle Joey giving the puppies some treats...I had stopped at Tim Horton's and had gotten the girls some Timbits (donut holes) Our dogs are starving, can you tell?

Full Service Parents

In case there is any question about how "well taken care of" I am, here is what my parents are doing for me today:

1) The gas company (my current employer) is replacing something on my meter and need in the house. My parents are spending the day up there.
2) I took some stuff to get framed and my dad is picking it up for me.
3) The sprinkler people are coming to adjust the sprinklers today - a few too many brown spots for my liking. My dad will address my concerns (off the 2 sheets of paper I wrote them down on) with the sprinkler people.
4) The globes on the fan in the living room are clear...thus the light is BRIGHT. (Becky, I was going to say "blinding"...but thought better of it!!) I have asked my dad to take down a globe so I can go to Home Depot and get frosted ones to help with the glare.
5) My bed linens are in the laundry...and my mommy will cycle it through the washer and dryer and then make my bed.
6) Chelsie Belle will receive undivided attention from her grandparents.

I fully admit that "well taken care of" might be an understatement...spoiled might be more accurate...god bless the parental units.