Saturday, January 31, 2009

Saturday chores

I haven't managed to make it to the movie today (hopefully tomorrow), but I have gone to the grocery, done laundry, taken Lola on a walk, watched the backlog on my DVR, decorated for Valentine's, and finally organized the entry closet. Not an exciting Saturday, but at least I managed to tick off several things on my weekend "to do" list.

I'm very pleased with the entry closet. You'd really think that I live in some very cold place based on the large quantities of winter accessories that I own! I also had a couple of shelves left for some Lola accessories organization too.

Blogs are always better with photos, so here are a couple of the progress with my closet and the decorations.


Front Decorations
Backyard Decorations
This year's addition to the decorations...garland for the mantle
Valentine's Tree

It was a little sad pulling out my Valentine's decorations because a large portion of my decorations broke a couple of years ago in what I call the "Garage Cleaning Debacle of '07"!

Brian & Abby's Uncle

Brian's Uncle Louis was involved in a hunting accident last week where he was shot. He is in the hospital in Houston. He needs lots of things right now. The doctors are tending to many of his needs (one of his docs is Dr. Red Duke), but there are others that we could help out with. Most importantly is prayer... please pray for Uncle Louis and his family, along with his friend Greg who was with Louis at the hunting accident. Also, Louis has received many pints of blood (52 at last update), so they are asking everyone to donate if possible. If you are a donor, send me an e-mail and I will get you the info to give them so that the blood gets credited to Louis.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Big Weekend Plans

Okay, not really... I don't have big plans, but I do have some things I would like to accomplish. I'm too tired to have BIG plans. I taught class from 5:30 until 9:40 last night. I didn't get home until 10:00 and had to be right back there at 8:00 a.m. this morning! I am starting to think this semester's class schedule is for the birds! Anyway, I'm still getting used to it, so I'm too tired to do much this weekend.

Movies: I have a list of a zillion movies I want to see, but right now, I'm trying to focus on seeing as many Oscar nominated movies as I can before the Oscars actually happen on Feb. 22nd. Out of the 5 nominated films, I've only seen one... The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. So as you can see, I'm not very close to my goal! I think I'm going to see The Reader tomorrow. I read the book way back in law school and don't remember many details (which is perfect for viewing the movie because they always screw them up anyway when they are based on a book!). I think I'm going to brave the crappy movie theatre here in McK because they are super cheap and they are actually showing The Reader. Otherwise, I have to drive to Plano and pay about 3 times as much to see it. What is dodging a little gang activity compared to saving gas, money and drive time, right?

Chores: Of course I have my usual weekly piles of laundry that need to be tended to. I also hope to do some organizing of my entry closet. I bought a hanging shelf that I'm hoping to organize winter accessories, rain accessories, etc. on so that they are all right there with my coats and jackets. Sounds exciting doesn't it! (Actually I am kind of excited about getting organized)

Watch shows on my DVR: I'm a little behind for the week, but not as bad as it would have been if there would have been a full schedule of new Thursday night shows this week.

Walk: I think that all the cards may align this weekend to take some walks. My back is probably feeling good enough to walk, Lola is definitely feeling well enough, and I think the weather may be nice enough. Yeah!

You will notice that while most American's will devote time this weekend to the Super Bowl, I have not included that in my plans. I will not even watch for the commercials. I may tune in to the half time show to see Bruce Springsteen, but that is going to be the extent of my watching.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ice Day

Well it took a little longer to hit than they predicted, but the ice storm '09 hit just in time to get me out of class on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning!

My dreams of sleeping in were killed by a cute little white dog. First let me start this tale off by saying that Lola was very sleepy last night until I said "go get in your kennel". She always runs right in but not last night. For some reason she had it in her head that she was going to sleep with me last night... guess she was making up her own set of "ice day" rules. Finally, I got her in her kennel and after a few moments of expressing her displeasure, she was fine...until 6:00 a.m. Then I heard a little dog crying pitifully. I came and let her outside. She didn't care for her super crunchy yard and had a hard time finding just the right place to go potty. Then she ran inside and ran into my room, hopped up on the bed, curled up and sacked out. Man was she sawing logs! I of course, never successfully went back to sleep!

If you live in this area and missed watching Channel 5 this morning from 9:15-9:40ish, then you really missed something. They were watching a live shot of some mix master in Ft. Worth. People were sliding all over. Channel 5 called TXDOT and they finally brought in a sand truck, but it was hilarious until they did that. They were nicknaming the cars and I guess some people were getting calls from friends or family asking "is that you in stuck on the highway that I'm watching on t.v.?" because people started sticking out their arms waving at the camera. It was a real debacle, but I just couldn't stop watching!

I have done some reading, tv watching and baking of Magnolia cupcakes today. The courthouse decided to open at noon even though every single school in the county and the City had closed all day. I had a jail plea scheduled for 1:00, but had to call and tell them to reschedule to tomorrow. If you've been to my house you know, I have a SUPER steep driveway. Also, it isn't on the right side of the house to get much sun until late in the day. So, when I would have had to leave for the jail, I was really afraid I would have ended up in my neighbor's house!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Hibernation

Well they are predicting one of the worst ice storms in several years to hit in a couple of hours now. I'm really a bigger fan of snow, so I'm not real hyped up about it. I'm really hoping that I don't have to get out and drive in it. So, as long as they cancel my classes tomorrow night and Wednesday morning, I'm good to go. Actually, I could use a couple of days off. I know, I know, it is only Monday! Well this weekend I had quite a list of tasks to accomplish around the house.

My house was beyond a disaster zone going into the weekend. In fact, I accidentally left my garage door (and thus the door from the garage to my house) open when I went to my classes on Thursday night. When I got home I went in to search and see if I'd been burglarized. When I got into my bedroom and bathroom, I thought to myself that it was very sad that if I called the cops right then, they would have thought that a burglary in fact had occurred and my house had been ransacked! No Kidding! I had suitcases in the floor. Piles of both dirty and clean clothes in the floor. The place was dirty...hadn't been thoroughly cleaned in I don't know when (probably since the last time I was griping about having to clean on my blog!). To top all that off, I still had an undecorated Christmas tree standing in my bedroom, two rubbermaid containers of Christmas decorations stuck under the desk in my bedroom, and two Christmas trees (in six different parts) piled in the corner of my garage!

So, though I severely lacked the motivation this weekend, I could no longer live like this and worked on both Saturday and Sunday to rectify this dire situation! I was successful, but didn't get much rest, thus my desire for a day to do nothing but rest.

Tonight I went to dinner at III Forks Steakhouse. A big lawfirm in Dallas paid for my dinner because they are thinking about starting a Criminal Law section and wanted my expertise (he he! Once I heard I was getting III Forks for free, I didn't bother to tell them I'm not an expert!). After dinner, I decided that I had in fact feasted like I was about to enter hibernation. I guess if it really ices us in, I won't really need to eat for several days! I had the III Forks salad with greens, granny smith apples, pecans and crumbled blue cheese for starters. I had the 8 oz. fillet mignon "oscared up" with Bearnaise sauce, asparagus and lump crab meat on the top. Finally I had some cream brule'. SOOOOOO YUMMY!!!! There really is nothing like eating darn near $100 worth of food! Now if only I can manage to sleep for a couple of days!

Friday, January 23, 2009

More New Orleans tales

Okay, first I have to say that per Lisa's request, I have changed one of the "what I'm thankful for's" from That "I" wasn't shot in NOLA to that "We" weren't shot in NOLA. Lisa pointed out that I should have been thankful neither of us were the murder victim as that would have really put a damper on my trip if she had been killed!

So here are some more NOLA tales...

On Saturday night we looked and looked for some good music (our favorite piano bar didn't survive post-Katrina). We went from place to place, but never found any that was great. We wondered all the way down to the end of Bourbon St. (at Canal) and there was a brass band of at least a dozen members playing in the street. They looked like a high school band and let me tell you they were FANTASTIC! They had a huge crowd gathered around them and a bunch of people dancing in the street. It was great fun and definitely worth the price of the trip alone!

Also on Saturday night, as we walked down Bourbon Street, we saw a three legged dog, a miniature horse and a drunk woman wearing a dog collar being led by a leash...ALL WITHIN ONE BLOCK. Now that is what you call one freaky block! Sunday we encountered a guy from Scotland wearing a kilt. It was really quite daring, as it was very breezy that night. I told Lisa that it was such a shame we hadn't seem him on Saturday night on the freak block. I told her that I might just embellish the story and add him to the block story, but alas, I think the block was freaky enough without adding Braveheart to it!

Finally, like that wasn't enough action for Saturday night, there was a murder on Dauphine. You should have seen the look on Lisa's and my face when we heard that on the news. You see, our hotel was the Dauphine Orleans and which street is that located on, that's right Dauphine! Since returning back home, we have seen an article where they caught two of the kids (15 yrs old) who are responsible. They had sketches that were made that helped identify the kids. I told Lisa tonight, "You know, I swear I remember seeing those kids on Saturday night," to which she replied "I thought so too, but thought I would sound crazy for saying it!" I do swear that I remember seeing those kids because I thought they looked way too young to be down on Bourbon and way too gang-bangy to be there!

There is just something about being without a hotel room that makes you feel homeless and despondent. Every time I think it is a good idea to book a return flight late in the evening so that we get an extra day, it ends up being kind of a crappy day. This trip was really no different. Aside from being homeless after noon on Monday, other things didn't really work out our way either. We had planned to visit two historical homes in the Quarter and also the Ursuline convent (oldest building in the Mississippi Valley). Well wouldn't you know but the homes were closed because of MLK day (but didn't have that info posted anywhere!). So our day was kind of screwed up. We walked and walked until my ankle was about to crash. We finally decided to go see an IMAX movie at the Aquarium. We used my fairy godmother (iphone) to find out what movie was showing when. We settled on the 3:00 viewing of Hurricane on the Bayou. It was really good and discussed the impact of the diminished wetlands and how they cause the hurricanes to be more severe in NOLA.

We went back to the hotel to get our bags on Monday after eating an early dinner at K-Paul's. I went to the bathroom while Lisa handing the valet the tickets for the luggage. Just as I was coming out of the bathroom, Lisa said "Watch my stuff" and headed to the bathroom. About that time, the valet came up to me and said "Your cab is here and I'm loading your bags". I said "Hold off on these pink ones (mine of course) because I need to find something." I dug around for my car keys so that I had them when we landed in Dallas and also looked for our boarding passes we printed out on Sunday night. Then I gave him my bags to load. Lisa came out and said "where are my bags?" to which the valet and I replied "in the cab". We had the zaniest cab driver, Marco, aka: Dr. Love, who never shut up the whole way. We got out at the airport and he opened the trunk, only to reveal my two bags. I give Lisa lots of credit because she didn't loose it near as much as I would have expected. I got on the fairy godmother (again, my iphone) and called the hotel, spoke to the valet, told him to get the bags on a taxi ASAP and get them here. After several conversations, the bags were put in a cab and sent to the airport. We got them within 30 minutes and the hotel picked up the tab (after we told them they were going to, of course). You see the problem was, when the valet checked our 4 bags on Monday morning, they gave us only two claim tickets. He pulled my bags, saw one of the numbers and assumed the the carry-on hooked over the handle must be the second bag! Note to all travelers, never get into a cab unless you actually see your bags in the trunk!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New Orleans

I arrived home from New Orleans on Monday night about 11:45. Tuesday was so busy with meeting my Dad to get Lola, inauguration watching and starting the teaching of my classes last night and this morning, that I'm just now getting to post New Orleans stories and photos.


Here is the story that accompanies the photo below. Lisa and I went to a restaurant that I normally LOVE on Saturday night, Brigtsen's. It is not even in the quarter, but down at riverbend, so it is really out of the way, but they have a yellow fin tuna TO DIE FOR! Always have had it...every time I've been there, every time my parents have been there, every time we've had friends go there...not Saturday night though. I cannot describe how deflated I felt as I read that menu (not only was I not going to get my dish, but had wasted a $20 cab ride there and a $20 cab ride back)! After settling for a far inferior dish for dinner, Lisa and I decided we weren't in the mood for dessert right then, but thought a Moon Pie later would be fantastic. Lisa and I, both being good southern girls, LOVE us some Moon Pie!



Later that evening we started ducking into every store in the Quarter that sold snacks and sodas in the search for our Moon Pies....couldn't find a one. I decided we would walk down and cross Canal to go to the Walgreens...which ended up being closed! We walked across the street into a liquor/convenience store that had the loudest gangster rap playing you've ever heard. I went to the snack aisle and saw a Moon Pie box. When I pulled it out, there was one moon pie and two that had been demolished by I'm not sure what, but am guessing rats. Lisa said, "we can't get that one" and I replied, "i believe this is the last moon pie in new Orleans, so if we want moon pie, we're getting it!". Just to clarify, I checked and it appeared to be still sealed. So below, is the photo of the much sought after Moon Pie!


Below is Lisa after we hit up Harrah's Casino! I wish! There was a huge art expo in NOLA that ran from November to this past weekend. It was called Prospect 1. This was one of the exhibits displayed in the Old U.S. Mint down in the Quarter.

Below was one of my favorite pieces of art. This was upstairs in the Mint. The tree was going through the piano and what you don't get from just the photo is that the piano was playing music.
Not that I'm an art expert of anything, but I quickly became quite the critic. I decided that everything that is multi-media art using dvds and projectors is not art, but is instead complete crap. There are several minutes of my life that sadly I am not going to get back from viewing this junk! Below is something that I'm not so sure is really art, but I liked it a lot. This was a room filled with these things coming down from the ceiling. It was just really cool and kind of like a fairy room. Someday you will come to my house and find that I have been bored and done this in my spare room!

Now we are to Sunday. Lisa and I had a Jazz Brunch at Commander's Palace. Here we are riding the streetcar on the way back to the hotel for a clothing change so that we could go look at more of Prospect 1.


Sunday we took the free Prospect 1 shuttle down to the Lower 9th Ward...partly to see the art, partly to explore L9. Below is one of the exhibits in an L9 building. Every room in the upstairs of this building was "wallpapered" in this industrial paper that an artist had painted in NYC. The only thing that was painted on the sight was the light green paint. Each room was covered in this bayou scene.

Seeing the art in the L9 was really cool because most of the artists, while not from NOLA, had spent time there and were inspired by what they had seen there. Normally when we see art in a museum it is removed from the inspiration, but here, it wasn't.


Below was kind of a malfunctioning piece of art. This was a public restroom down in L9 that was located in what was a park or recreation area. The artist tore down the wall that separated the men's and women's room and had a fountain flowing up from the ground right in the middle. The fountain wasn't working on Sunday. The point was suppose to be the rising water there surrounded by the walls still marked with the flood lines. If you look closely on the light blue portions of the wall, you can see the various flood lines where the water rose and the settled. It is kind of hard to see, but the lines go all the way above the blue paint.

Another piece in the L9.

After Katrina, the flooding in the L9 was not caused by failures in the levees like in other places, but because a boat that wasn't tied up good, broke free, and then crashed through the levees along the Industrial Canal. The flooding was much worse in the area closest to the Canal and not as bad towards the River. The area near the River flooded, but because it is higher ground, the flooding receded more quickly.


This was one of the homes closer to the Mississippi. Not devastated, but still not inhabited. You can tell from the markings that this house was searched for bodies on September 10th by the DEA and no bodies were found inside.

Below is a photo of the L9 close to the Industrial Canal. You can see where there were once many homes side by side, and now, nothing.

Another photo of once was a heavily populated street in L9

Below are some photos of the "Brad Pitt" homes. Not where Brad and Angie live (they live down in the Quarter on Decatur at Governor Nichols), but the ones Brad is involved in building down in L9. I thought more were built, but there are really aren't that many yet. You can check them out and get more info about those green homes at www.makeitrightnola.org




On the last day, I couldn't resist taking this photo. I already have a ton of similar photos, but it is just too beautiful.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What a Country!

Whether you supported Obama or not, I'm not sure how you can go through today and not think to yourself "What a Country!".

Many people get wrapped up in the person in office (I'm saying person, because someday I truly believe that a woman will be elected). There is no disputing that it is an awesome thing that we have now sworn in our first African American President some 45 years after a reverend from Alabama spoke about the dream in almost the same exact spot. There is no denying that it is wonderful to see the passing of the torch from one generation to another. But most awe inspiring to me is not those facts, not who the person is, but that we passed the torch with no bloodshed. So many places in the world, leadership does not pass from one person to the other like ours did today.

Our blessing as Americans is a system that has worked exactly as those brilliant Founding Brothers hoped and planned that it would over 200 years ago. Today and every other time that the torch is passed, I think more Americans should reflect on the miracle of Philadelphia and that amazing document which is our Constitution and those wonderful men who wrote it.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Check-up

Today was the day for Lola to go to Wichita Falls for her check-up. Most dogs that have been through her ordeal don't want to go back into the vet clinic, but not Lola, she was super excited as soon as we pulled up! Everyone at the hospital got to see the real Lola today, not the sick Lola they were used to...today she was freshly groomed and super spunky and talkative!

Because her progress had been so good, they just did blood tests instead of another ultrasound. When the results came back, Joe (our vet) couldn't believe it. He was amazed. He said that he could tell that all of her organs were functioning better and as far as the pancreas goes, some pancreatic enzyme that they measure was off the charts the other day (which I guess 1500 is where they stop measuring and her's was even higher than that) and today it was 500 which was perfectly normal!

Now she may be able to have her bladder stones removed as early as March instead of the 5 months they thought a couple of weeks ago.

I met my Dad in Henrietta for the Lola handoff. He hadn't been home long before he called to see if Lola could eat rawhides. I of course said, "NO WAY!". He said Lola went outside and found one that Milly had taken out to hide and brought it in, but he took it away from her. Poor Lola, I'm sure she thought she had found quite the treasure only to have it taken away!

Well off to finish some work that needs to be done. Then maybe I can figure out what to pack.

-Off to NOLA

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Getting Ready...

Well, not really. I should be getting ready for my trip to New Orleans, but I've been procrastinating.

I just found out (Thanks Abby) that we are lucking onto a great art exhibit in NOLA called Prospect 1. It closes on Sunday, so we will have Saturday and Sunday to see it. Several of the installations you can walk to, but others you can take a free shuttle service to them. Several are in the lower 9th, which of course really excited Lisa and I (I'm sure much to the dismay of our family). We both can't wait to go see the reconstruction that is going on in the Lower 9th. Maybe we will run into Brad and Angie since they are doing their big project there...wouldn't that be exciting!

This is apparently a really big deal...it was even written up in "New York Magazine". Lisa and I have a way of dumb-lucking ourselves into these large "art events". When we were in NYC 4 years ago, they had just put up the huge art installation "The Gates" in Central Park that people from all over the world were flocking in for.

I still need to do some laundry so I have clean clothes and have NO idea what I'm packing. Tomorrow is going to be mostly a waste with the travels to the vet in WF and then leaving Lola with her granddad. I HAVE to get all packed tomorrow though because I'm leaving the house at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday to catch our 7:30 a.m. flight (seemed like a good idea when we were booking it!).

On an iphone sidenote, I'm LOVING my iphone. I love several of the features that I didn't even know about when I purchased it yesterday. Lisa has just requested that I download an application called "Lightsaber" for our trip to NOLA. If you turn in on, it will turn your phone into a lightsaber (like from Star Wars) and makes sounds like lightsaber fighting. I told her that I thought that might be a little too nerdy for me, but she said "Oh no, if we start getting mugged in NOLA, you can turn it on". I said "Lisa, it's not a REAL lightsaber! It won't really work!" To which she replied, "No, but they will think we are crazy and everyone is scared of the crazies!". So on that logic, I just downloaded it (primarily because it was free).

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

iphone

Well for all the money I saved yesterday, I guess I rewarded myself with a splurge today! In reality it was a business paid for splurge. I got an iphone.

I wasn't going to get the iphone because I didn't want to pay the extra service charge on a monthly basis, but once I discovered that so many of the other phones required extra service if you wanted to utilize their features too, I broke down and did it.

One thing I really wanted to do was be able to get and send e-mails from my phone. I thought that would be helpful both personally and from the business side of things. I've also been wanting another ipod so that I could have one for the house and one for the car, and this solves that problem too. The other good thing is that when I go walking, I will have both (I usually leave my phone at home because I don't want to keep up with both).

I'm currently downloading my music playlist on the iphone and will probably spend the remainder of the evening playing with all the stuff it does. Oh, and of course I have a cute hot pink case for it too!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tuesday's Deals

Today I had no court settings and no meetings set until 4:30, so that meant that today was my day for running errands. And let me tell you, today was a day for deals!

I had to go to Frisco because my college e-mail account password had expired and you can't change it unless you are on a computer at the college. Once done with that I headed to Hobby Lobby and bought some ribbon I needed for a valentine's day decoration. I got that for half price...the deals begin.

I stopped by Sam Moon because I told Lisa I would pick something up for her and I also wanted to look and see if they had any cute "carry-on" type bags for my trip this weekend. I got a really cute giraffe print with hot pink trim bag (while this wasn't on sale it was cheap because it is after all Sam Moon...so I'm still counting it as a deal).

Then I went to the mall. I didn't so much get deals there but had some successful returns. I exchanged a soap at B&B works that I didn't like the scent of. I also returned a bra that I bought back in the summer and had decided I really didn't like, but then it started falling apart, so I will be getting a gift card in the mail from Gap for $40, so that is kind of like a deal.

Then Jennifer and I headed down to Dallas to the Harold's clearance center. They are in the last 6 days and everything was 80-90% off and if you purchased 8 or more items, you got them an additional 40% off. Jennifer got 6 things and I got two skirts for the summer, so we combined our purchase to get the additional 40% off. All total, Jennifer and I got 8 pieces for $65 (and one of her's was a jacket). One of my skirts was regular price $88 and I paid like $5, and the other was $78 and I paid $4. Now those are deals!

Then I went and got a deal on my hairspray I needed...buy 2 get 2 free (making them 50% off each) but wait, there's more (I sound like a tv ad, don't I). I had a $3.50 off coupon, so it was even better of a deal!

On the way home, I stopped by Swoozies and picked up some invitations that Abby wanted me to grab for her...70% off.

So this was my day of super deals! Love it!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Monday all Day!

Today is the day after the Globes, so I have to give me recap of things I liked, things I disliked. Loved, loved, loved that Kate Winslet won two globes last night. Have loved Kate for years (since "Sense and Sensibility") and though she has been nominated several times, has never won. I was very pleased that "John Adams" won almost every time anything from that was nominated. It was simply fabulous! The only downside to "John Adams" winning was that it beat out a nomination from "Recount" which was also great. I'm sad I hadn't seen more of the nominated movies, but that gives me a goal moving toward the Oscars.


Today is also a day when I think my job sucks. I found out that a client that I represented killed herself. More distressing is that I represented her in a CPS action where the state had removed her kids. She really hadn't done anything major to cause any harm to the kids, so I fought for months and months and finally got her the darn kids back. Then I find out today that she killed herself in her house with her kids present. So glad I fought to get those kids returned so that they can now be scarred for life!

I need a vacation... good thing one is scheduled for this weekend!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Golden Sunday

I'm so excited because tonight is the Golden Globes. I LOVE the Golden Globes and last year they were cancelled due to the writers strike, so it has been a while. I'm trying to get all my chores for the day done so that I can enjoy them tonight. I love watching the red carpet before hand and the entire awards show.



I've made some progress this weekend with my list of "to do's"... 2 of the 3 tress are undressed and taken down. I just have to finish taking down the decorations in my bedroom and then my house is Christmas-free again.



I've also started the process of revising a syllabus for each of my three classes. I wanted to be done with that well before now, but as you know, some things came up over the holidays and well, nothing went as planned! Hopefully I will be done with that today also.



For a Lola update: Her appetite has completely returned to normal. She loves the newest of her new food. She also has plenty of toys drug out, so that is also a good sign that things are returning to normal around here.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Finally, Christmas!

A little late, but I guess better than never! Here are our Christmas photos...

Below is actually a photo of Christmas Eve. Lola keeping watch over the stockings.
It's finally Christmas morning! Lola waiting patiently to see what Santa brought her!
Lola and her Santa loot (unfortunately all of her favorite treats that Santa brought aren't on her new restrictive diet, so they were returned to Wal-Mart yesterday!)


Milly opening her stocking stuffers.



Milly and her new hedgehog toy.


Mom's side of the family came for lunch. Here is Lola and her great-grandma, Raenell.


My grandma Raenell and me--Stuffed from a great lunch (thanks mom!)
My grandma was getting a real treat from my grandfather... A surprise trip to Maui (her dream trip). To unveil the surprise, we bought her several things to take on the trip and wrapped them all separately (travel bags, hawaiian shirts, etc.) Here she was unwrapping the flip flops that we bought her. I'm sure she thought we had all lost our minds as she unwrapped present after present of random out of season gifts!
Here she is with the BIG UNVEIL! See her surprise and disbelief!
Still in disbelief with tears in her eyes. Everyone was choked up including my grandfather, who according to my 9 year old cousin Gracie, even had tears in his eyes (so Gracie gave him credit and shouted "You ROCK Papa!")


Below is my little cousin Maddie showing off her new Tech shirt. This girl has seen the light! She was a Texas fan (boo!) until a week before Christmas when she came home and announced, "I LOVE Texas Tech! That is where I'm going!" She instructed her Dad to throw away all her Longhorn gear and buy her a Tech shirt. Smart girl!

Spunk-o-meter

I would say that Lola is about 95% on the spunk-o-meter, that being up from about 90% yesterday. Yesterday, she pulled a couple of toys out of the toy box and played for a bit. She also was very interested in her favorite night pass time of ratting outside (looking for rats along the back and side fence).

Today, she has chased three squirrels out of the yard, played with her toys some more, and got paper out of the trashcan while I was away and shredded it like a canine paper shredding machine!

She has been eating pretty well, so I went and bought a new kind of food that she is eating (because of course she doesn't like the $25 bag of food I purchased last week from the vet, but now prefers the kind she was getting at the hospital during this last 5 day visit!). The vet says that the more she eats the quicker she should heal up, so I think that is a good sign too.

We are still dragging to get back on schedule after being out of town for so long unexpectedly. It would be a little easier if I hadn't been down in my back for about 4 weeks now, but I've found a new over-the-counter drug that is helping a bit, so maybe I will be able to make more progress this weekend. Last night I caught up on laundry and I have now taken down the outside Christmas decorations and put them up. I also have taken down all of the random Christmas decorations throughout the house and have them placed back in their storage containers. I still haven't taken down the three trees or ornaments on them, but I figure I will get there when I get there. At least people who drive by don't know how behind I am and most other people don't know (well of course unless they read my blog!).

I'm anxious to change the background on my blog, but where I get my backgrounds is under construction, so changes will come hopefully soon!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Milking It

Anyone who thinks that dogs don't have the ability to reason and manipulate should totally meet Lola!

First, a little background to this story... Lola has always slept in a kennel which is located in my living room. ALWAYS. There had been two nights prior to this illness that she had been allowed to sleep in my bed. The first time was the very first night I owned her. I tried to get her to sleep in the kennel that night, but since I had yet to purchase earplugs for my roommate and myself, that turned into an impossibility. The second night had been the night she got home from the hospital during her HGE bought when she was just over a year old. Then of course she slept with me when she was home last week because she was so sick.

Lola loved her kennel. She often would go get in even before I told her to. Usually when I hit the off button on the remote, she would make a dash to her kennel.

Okay, so back to last night... I said, Lola it's time for bed. What did she do? She made a dash into my room! Then she came back into the living room and I thought, "she's come back in for the kennel." Nope. She ran back into the living room, looked around, found her little pink elephant, Ellie, ran and grabbed her and ran back into my room where I found her standing by the bed looking up, with Ellie in her mouth!

She knew that since she just got out of the hospital, I wouldn't boot her out of bed! When she is sick, she is a good sleeper. She sleeps in one spot at the end of the bed. Last night started out the same way, but every two hours she walked up to my head and gave me a kiss. I think she would wake up and just wanted to make sure she wasn't dreaming, but in fact she WAS at home and WAS in bed with her mommy!

Tonight, will be a different story for Lola I'm afraid. It seems as of right now, she is fit enough for the kennel!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Fluff Mama







Here is a side by side comparison of the Ugg Fluff Mama boot and Lola's legs. Doesn't it look like she is wearing a pair of Fluff Mamas?

Home Sweet Home!

Well Lola and I truly understand the saying "Home Sweet Home"! We arrived home about 1:00 this afternoon and I'm not sure who is happier to be at home, Lola or me!

I went to WF yesterday morning and got her to eat some. Our vet wasn't there yesterday, so I didn't really get to speak with anyone for in detail updates. I went to run a couple of errands and then saw a movie to kill some more time. I then went back to the clinic later in the afternoon and got her to eat some more. Lola was definitely ready to go home yesterday. They had moved her to a bottom kennel and she kept jumping over me and running for the exit!

This morning I was using the "thinking positive" technique and packed all my stuff in the car before heading to WF. When I got there she was again more than ready to leave. Our vet was back and he said that she could go home today. We left with three kinds of medicine (one for nausea, one antibiotic and I believe that the third is pepcid). I'm going to take her back next Friday (the 16th) for the vet to check her pancreas and her blood sugar level. He wants me to really watch her water intake and peeing levels because he is concerned about diabetes.

Lola and I are stimulating the economy, one vet visit at a time!

(I'll hopefully post some photos later... Blogger's system seems to be having a "internal error" that is preventing me from posting photos right now!)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

No Go Today

I called the clinic this morning and they said Lola can't go home today because she didn't eat yesterday. I'm going to go up in a little bit to see if I can get her to eat.

I really wanted to go home today, but I do want the vet to keep her until he knows she is okay to go home. I don't want a repeat of last weeks dismissal and then return!

I will post more when I have actually seen her.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Monday

I drove up to WF in icy conditions this morning to check on Lola. She was happy to see me again. If I stopped petting her, she would paw at me or headbutt my arm to make me start up the petting again. She even talked to several of the dogs who walked by.

She had quite the exciting Sunday evening (possibly early Monday morning)! She pulled the IV out of her arm AGAIN. As if that isn't enough, there was some sort of burglary at the clinic. Someone broke in and got to their safe. Thankfully they didn't steal Lola (though as Lisa pointed out people usually only steal healthy pets)! Lola and Elvis the cat were the only witnesses though. No report yet on whether she will be subpoenaed to testify!

Speaking of Elvis the cat, there is a really cute cat at the clinic who is in need of a home. I would take him if I was in the market for a cat and didn't have so many allergic people around. I'm trying to talk Lisa into adopting him as a playmate for their cat Metarie, but since she doesn't want Metarie on most days, I'm guessing that will be a no-go. So, if anyone wants a cute cat named Elvis, let me know and I'll hook you up!

The plan was to leave Lola off the iv fluids today and see how she did. Maybe she will be released tomorrow.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Good Sunday

The vet called this morning, but since I'm in the land of no AT&T cellphone signal, it went straight to voicemail. ARGHHHH! He said in the message that there weren't many changes and Lola had eaten a little bit this morning. He then went on to say that he would be back at the clinic at 5:00 if I wanted to visit. Have I mentioned that I love this guy? I was so excited that he offered me the opportunity to visit today!

I was of course there at 5:00 on the dot, just as he was walking in. Lola was so excited to see me! She was super spunky today...Almost just like the normal Lola! I took her on a little walk and she gave a little growl at the other dogs she saw. When we came back into the clinic, she jumped up on one of the techs there.

As far as eating goes, the vet tried her on dry food this morning. He said that she tried to eat a stray piece of popcorn that she found on the floor this morning, so that was an indication that she might have a bit of her appetite back. I was able to feed her several handfuls of food. The vet was very excited about how much she ate and how much energy she had, so he said no surgery for a feeding tube tomorrow. As long as she keeps this up, that won't be necessary.

She had to get a shot in the butt to keep her from being nauseous. She also had to have her IV redone because she had pulled it out at some point today, but the vet said she is a trooper and a tough little girl and never cries of whines when they are doing something to her.

I'm going to go back in the morning on a multi-function trip... Milly to the groomer and then to the vet clinic to try and feed Lola again.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Saturday Report on Lola

The vet called and woke me up this morning, which gave me a heart attack. He said she was no worse, maybe a little better. He wanted me to bring some chicken to see if she would eat.

I got up there a little after 10:00. Lola was very alert and greeted me with a kiss and wagging tail. She is the only pup with a baby in her kennel (her toy pink elephant "ellie"). She also was giving Ellie kisses. No go on the chicken though. The vet came back and talked to me. He said that he didn't believe this episode was life threatening. He said that he believed she was going to pull through. He said that this will probably be a life long challenge for lola (a troubled pancreas including possible diabetes) and will require a strict diet.

I went and killed a little time and then stopped back by about 12:00. She still wouldn't eat the chicken. After giving her a million kisses, I left for the day.

The vet explained a little more about the feeding tube. He said that it would be just temporary and that they would insert it into her lower intestines (i think lower). I guess she is too nauseous to want to eat and this will get her nutrients until she feels like eating.

Keep praying. Tomorrow is my sad day where I can't go visit, so I won't know anything until the vet calls.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Friday Afternoon Update

Lola seemed to be feeling better today. She had chased a squirrel out of the yard, greeted me at the front door when I returned home from a meeting and even jumped up on the couch, but then I noticed that her skin looked yellow. I called the vet again and he said, yep, bring her in.

We threw things in the car and headed for Wichita Falls. I wanted to go back to this vet because I didn't want to have to reinvent the wheel at a vet in McKinney. We got there about 2:00 and the vet had left to go to a funeral. I went to Target to get some items I realized that I had forgotten (underwear, deodorant, etc.). When I got back to the clinic, our vet had returned and done an ultrasound on Lola.

He said that her pancreas is very enlarged (possibly a tumor, though I guess it is hard to tell the difference on an ultrasound). She is yellow because her pancreas is so enlarged that it is cutting off a valve or bile duct in her gallbladder. He believes that she has chronic pancreatitis as opposed to acute pancreatitis. This means she has probably been sick for a long time, but just coped with it and didn't really show any symptoms. He said that chronic is easier to treat, but that it takes longer to get them well because they have been sick for so long. If we can get her over this episode, then she will have to be on a special diet to help prevent further flare-ups.

He is changing the fluid that she is being given as well as her antibiotics. They have shaved her other leg and she looks like she is wearing fluff mama boots on her front legs (for those of you not up on fashion, these are very furry Ugg boots that go up to the knee for humans).

She will be there all weekend and more than likely, they will probably do a little surgery on her on Monday and insert a feeding tube.

Keep praying for my Lola. She needs it desperately.

Friday Morning Update

I spoke to the vet in Wichita Falls this morning. He was having a tough time making the call about whether I should bring her back in. He decided to double her dosage of antibiotics for this morning and this evening. If she isn't better then I will take her in to WF tomorrow morning. Our vet is the one on call all weekend. He said because she hasn't gotten a lot better that she has basically narrowed it down to the pancreatitis because she would have been better faster with the HGE.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

NY Day Lola Update

Well, today's not a good day for Lola either. She doesn't have as much energy as she did a couple of days ago, but then that is probably because she isn't eating. At around 5:00 p.m. we reached the 48 hour mark of NO FOOD! So, after trying everything I could think of to get her appetite back (including the new addition of scrambled eggs today), I resorted to cramming food down her throat and holding her mouth shut until she swallowed. This was successful in getting down about 6 pieces of chicken, probably about a tablespoon of scrambled eggs and maybe about 2 teaspoons of hamburger meat. I have to say that she wasn't loving it. I'm hopeful that maybe a little bit of protein in her might get her a little more energy for tomorrow.

I'm wondering if her antibiotic might be making her feel nauseous. I plan to put a call into the vet as soon as they open in the morning to see what can be done about her hunger strike.

 

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