Monthly Archives: February 2007

Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

 
That’s a perfect description of yesterday. It was the kind of day where you want to holler at the boss, kick the computer, and just go home early.  The kind of day where you take two steps forward on one project and three steps back on a different project.  The kind of day where you want to go home, snuggle with Hubby and the dogs and eat Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies until you spoil your dinner. 
 
The boss kept coming out of his office very three minutes with a new project, letter, document that he needed me to handle. 
 
The computer guy called for the conference call with me and the boss to schedule some work that needs to be done to fix the slow performance problem with the boss’ computer. 
 
I got a shipment from a vendor that I didn’t order and don’t want and discovered that I would have to pay shipping to send it back to them. 
 
I tried to fix a mistake that the office manager in our other office made last month when entering something into the accounting software and discovered it wasn’t as easy a fix as I thought it would be.  That’s when I decided to let her fix it herself.  Chances are I’ll still be looking at this error six months from now. 
 
The printer decided that it didn’t want to print while I was trying to get all the letters that the boss had given me.  When it started printing again it would print one line of gobbledygook on a page . . . for over 60 pages.
 
I’ve been waiting for two days for the phone company to fix a problem with the fax line – which also happens to be my office DSL line.  They decided to shut down the line for repairs in the middle of the printer fiasco.   
 
All of this happened between the hours of 1:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.  I ended up with a brain freeze where I couldn’t process any more information and I couldn’t remember all the things that needed to be done.  What I really wanted to do was to smack the printer, throw the fax machine across the room, and run screaming from the office.  What I did was eat some Chips Ahoy cookies, drink a Coke, mutter under my breath and count the minutes until I could go home. 
 
When I got home I was greeted by two adorable faces that were happy to see me.  I played fetch in the yard with them – and managed not to slip on the huge patches of ice still in the back yard.  I watched Luci scoot down the hill in the back yard on her back.  She was trying to do a snow angel and her wiggling sent her head first down the hill.  Blacky was smart enough to stay on the deck and watch her  . . . . while I was doubled over laughing hysterically at her. 
 
After that we went inside and watched TV until Hubby got home from his night class.  Had a quick supper.  Watched American Idol.  Discovered that I’m not as smart as a 5th grader and then went to bed hoping and praying that tomorrow (today) would be a better day. 
 
Today is better.  The sun is shining.  It’s supposed to be 50 degrees outside today.  Best part of all . . . boss won’t be here until about 11 a.m.  I’m enjoying some peace and quiet and a cup of hot chocolate before the craziness starts again. 
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Peeps, Baby Binks, and Peanut Butter Eggs

 
It’s still cold here.  Today’s high will be barely over freezing.  The snow has been melting this week and has turned into a nice glaze of ice.  I’ve skated down the hill in the back yard more times than I can remember.  Blacky and Luci think I’m playing but I’m really just trying not to fall down.  Luci tried to do a snow angel this afternoon and slid down the hill on her back.  Yes, I laughed really, really hard.  The weather geeks are calling for freezing rain and sleet for tonight and tomorrow and a possibility of snow on Monday and Tuesday.  Winter isn’t over for us yet.
 
But I do have some hope that spring is just around the corner.  I did the grocery shopping this morning and saw a very happy sight.  Sure signs of spring that always put me in a good mood.  I saw Marshmellow Peeps, Baby Binks chocolate bunnies, and Reese Peanut Butter Eggs.  Yes, they had the Easter Candy out!  Happy dance right there in the candy aisle.  
 
I bought a 4 pack of pink Peeps bunnies.  They are sitting on the counter in the kitchen.  Just seeing them makes me smile almost as much as eating them.  I bought one Reese Peanut Butter egg . . . I bought only one because if I bought a bag of them I would eat them all in one sitting.  I looked at the Baby Binks chocolate bunny and decided that I’d wait until a little closer to Easter before I bought him.  Same concept as the peanut butter eggs .  . I buy it now, I eat it now.  
 
As I was walking out of the grocery and out to the car I saw the ultimate sign of spring.  Beautiful little Girl Scouts selling cookies in the lobby.   
 
I wonder if anybody noticed the happy dance I did on my way out to the car? 
 
 
 
 

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He’s Got Issues

 
I’ve been trying all week to write a blog entry about Blacky and his trip to the vet last weekend.  I know what I want to say, but I’m having a serious case of writers block on this subject.  This is my third attempt at writing this entry.  I can’t figure out why I’m having so much trouble . . . so please bear with me. 
 
First of all, Blacky’s fine.  There wasn’t anything seriously wrong with him.  No infection.  He didn’t eat anything that didn’t agree with him.  No parasites.  No obstructions or tumors.  The vet called it "stress colitis" . . . which is fancy talk for something in his life has stressed him out to the point that it caused him to have runny poo. 
 
What could be causing my boy dog so much stress to give him runny poo?  Believe it or not, it was the large quantity of snow that we got during that major storm last week.  We got 8 inches of snow mixed with an inch of ice.  As you may already know, Blacky has hip dysplasia and arthritis in his back legs and has had it for about 6 years now.  He gets around okay 99.9% of the time but doesn’t really have much muscle tone in his back legs anymore.  The lack of muscle tone is what makes it difficult for him to get around in the deep snow . . . and what caused him so much stress.  He was a little tentative and cautious when he was out in the yard and he wasn’t able to get comfortable enough to do his business.  Add a rambunctious little sister that just wants to play and you can see why the poor boy was stressed.  We haven’t had this much snow in a couple of years – and a couple of years ago his muscle tone was a lot better.  He used to love to run and romp in the snow.  I think he was very surprised that he couldn’t do that anymore. 
 
The vet gave me some meds and some special "bland" food to help soothe his irritated system (which he hates).  She told me that he’d be back to his normal self in a couple of days.  She was right.  The poo problem was gone after a couple of days on the meds.  The weather has turned a little warmer and the snow is starting to melt in the back yard which makes it easier for him to get around in the back yard.  I just have to make sure that when (or if) we ever get that much snow that Hubby and I shovel out a special spot for him to go potty.  Hubby will love it . . . yet another reason to get out the snow blower! 
 
I’ve always known that Blacky’s hip problems were going to age him a little faster than normal.  I just wasn’t expecting to start thinking about these things when he’s only 8 years old. 

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The Big Thaw

 
The temperatures are above freezing for the first time in weeks!  The snow is melting.  The back yard is going to be a swamp, but I promise I won’t complain this time.  Luci is having a wonderful time finding the tennis balls that were buried under all the snow.    
 
I’ve stopped wearing two pairs of socks every day and have started wearing my lighter sweaters.  I don’t feel like I have to wear 20 pounds of clothes just to keep warm.  I’m still wearing my long johns, though, and will continue to do that until probably April. 
 
The Dog Mobile is also thawing out, too.  Even though she started up on the first try every day, this latest stretch of extremely cold weather was pretty hard on her.  I never realized how badly the weather had affected my little Dog Mobile until today.  There have been some strange things going on that Hubby and Repair Guy have told me are caused by the weather.  The electric door locks will lock by themselves . . . usually when I’m warming up the car to come to work.  (That’s why I always carry a spare key!).  Hubby didn’t believe that I wasn’t accidently hitting the lock when I got out of the car . . . until it happened to him!  The "check oil" light will come on and then go off at odd times.  We check the oil and the oil level is fine – and I just had the oil changed a month ago, so I know it’s not dirty.  Repair Guy said that the extreme cold will affect the oil sending unit and make it come on even if there is nothing wrong with the car.  The left turn signal was flashing in double time – but the right turn signal and the hazard lights are fine.  Water had apparently gotten into the flasher and then froze.  Once the flasher thawed out, it started working normally.  For now, all the little quirks have stopped . . . .
 
Spring is about a month away and I’m counting the days.  You know it’s been a long winter when you and your car get excited about the warmer weather!  

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Now That Was Interesting

 
I’ve lived in this same area all my life.  I’ve made the same commute back and forth to work every day for the past three years.  I should know this area like the back of my hand . . . and I probably take the view for granted.
 
Not today, though.  Because of the warm temperatures we had yesterday and the fact that we still have a lot of snow on the ground, we had some major fog this morning.  Visibility was 0.0 miles.  Yes, that’s right.  I couldn’t see a thing.  To make it even more fun, it was a freezing fog.  That just means that the air temperature was below 32 degrees so the moisture in the air froze to everything.  The trees.  The car.  The sidewalks.  The road.  Black ice everywhere.  
 
After my trip to the vet with Blacky during a snowstorm on Saturday morning, I felt brave and left the house this morning confident that I could make it to work in one piece.  I made it to work in one piece alright.  Didn’t slide off the road.  Didn’t fall down in the parking lot.  Got the crap scared out of me when the other cars were zipping past me at 60 miles an hour when I was only going 50.
 
But the thing that made the trip really interesting was the fact that I had absolutely no idea where I was.  I could see a little bit of the road ahead of me.  I could see the stoplights in plenty of time to stop.  I could see the highway signs in plenty of time to make my exits.  But I couldn’t see any of the stuff I normally see on my way to work.  The sod farm.  The water treatment plant.  The trucking terminal.  The Children’s Hospital at the exit I take to get to the office.  If it wasn’t right on the side of the road, I couldn’t see it.  It was like all my usual landmarks had disappeared. . . .
 
Just a very strange way to start the day. 
 
 

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Facing My Fears

 
You might already know that one of my big fears is driving in snow.  I’ve lived in Ohio all my life, so driving in the snow should be no big deal for me.  I’ve always been very fortunate to have dependable cars that get me through the snow without any problems but I’m still scared that I’m going to slide off the road or get stuck in the snow somewhere.  I’m also very afraid that somebody is going to be driving too fast and crash into me or have a crash in front of me that I’ll have to swerve to avoid – and then I’ll be stuck in the snow. 
 
Another one of my fears is having a car wreck when I have the doggies in the car.  It might just be my imagination, but seems like there are more instances of somebody pulling out in front of me suddenly, stopping suddenly, or otherwise doing something stupid when I have one or both of the dogs in the car with me.  Ever since I’ve owned a dog, I have a recurring nightmare of being in a car wreck where one of the dogs is seriously injured.  Maybe it’s not so much a fear . . . but I’m certainly more cautious (and more than a little nervous) when I have Blacky and Luci in the car with me.   
 
Today I had to face both of those fears at the same time.  We got a couple inches of snow Saturday morning and I needed to take Blacky to the vet.  I seriously considered not going, but I really needed to get a refill of his arthritis meds and Blacky was having an episode of the runny poo that needed to be checked out.  Our vet is about 20 minutes away from the house and the road to the vet is in a rural part of the county.  It’s usually one of the first ones that they clear, but I still get nervous when I have to drive on it during the winter.  Hubby did everything he could to boost my confidence and tell me that I wouldn’t have any problems.  Ultimately, it was my "mommy instincts" that kicked in and made me go.  My boy needed me and I wasn’t about to let him down.  Once I got out on the roads, they were a little snow covered but I could tell that the plows had been out and that it might not be as bad as I feared.  I kept repeating to myself the whole way down that I had to do it for Blacky.  
 
We got to the vet’s office without any problems.  We got Blacky checked out and he’s going to be fine.  (That’s a story for another day.)  By the time we got on the road to come home, the sun had come out and was melting some of the snow on the roads.  The drive home was actually less scary than the trip to the vet. 
 
I am proud of myself for facing my fear yesterday.  But I didn’t do it alone.  I have to thank Blacky for giving me the courage to even get out and try. 
 
 
 

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I Gotta Clean What?

 
Did I ever mention that the Dog Mobile is the fancy schmancy version of the 2003 Ford Focus wagon?  It has the fancy tinted windows, the fancy sporty luggage rack, the cool stereo with CD player, and the fancy wheels.  Fancy open wheels that you can look right through and see the brakes. 
 
Hubby and I spent the day on Wednesday digging out the Dog Mobile and His Truck.  Made sure they both started.  The Dog Mobile had snow half way up the tires.  When I first looked at it I thought it was going to take us forever to get it out of the snow bank.  With Hubby’s snow blower and a little bit of muscle on my part with a shovel, it didn’t take too long before we had the Dog Mobile ready to go.  It started up on the first try.  I cranked on the heat to melt some of the snow on the windows and on top of the car.  Let it run for a while to make sure that everything was nice and warmed up and would be ready for me to drive to work on Thursday morning. 
 
Thursday morning everything seemed fine.  Dog Mobile started right up.  Heater cranked up to knock off the ice that formed overnight.  Off I went to work.  Everything was fine until I hit the highway.  That’s when the car started shaking like I had a flat tire.  I stopped to check the tires and they were all fine.  Got back in the car and drove some more.  Still shaking.  Curse and swear.  Curse and swear.  I drove the car to Hubby’s work so I could tell him about the problem and see what we needed to do to get the car fixed.  He called Repair Guy to tell him about the problem and Repair Guy laughed and asked one question.  "Does she have snow in her wheels?"  "Uh, yea, I do"  "The snow is causing the tires to be out of balance and that’s making the car shake.  Get rid of the snow and the shaking will stop."  Hubby and I looked at each other and had a "D’Oh" moment.  We raced out to the car to clear out the tires.  After seeing all the snow packed into the tires – especially the rear tires – I can understand why the car was shaking like that.  After we cleaned out the tires I took off again for my 30 minute drive to work.  Sure enough, that was the problem.  Not one single shake all the way to work. 
 
Now write this down and don’t forget it. . . . snow packed into your fancy open wheels will take the tires out of balance.  After a major snow storm, you have to clean your wheels or you’ll shake your teeth right out of your head.  You better believe it’s one life lesson I’ll never forget. 
 

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