Tuesday, September 30, 2008


The sound my brain made by the end of the day yesterday. Ugh, what a long and gruelling day! Unfortunately, I don't think my interview went very well; they drilled me with questions and actual written exams, much of which were WAAAY over my head. At least now I have some new things to study and maybe I will be better prepared for my next interview. I should hear back from them by Wednesday or Thursday, so at least I won't have to wait very long to find out, one way or another. . .

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Interview and Agility

Well, my interview in KC is tomorrow. It'll be a long day; my flight leaves Houston at 8:35 AM and my return flight gets back into Houston at 8:24 PM. When I get to Kansas City, around 10:30, I will first go have lunch with three people, and then after lunch I will interview with FIVE different people! Sounds lovely, doesn't it? NOT!

On the agility front. So far, all the local trials through mid-October I know of have been cancelled. In fact, this weekend should have been our first trial of the season, and Holly's first trial ever. Facility destroyed, facility being used as a staging area, multiple club board members with their home destroyed; these are all different reasons that I have heard that have caused the cancellation of different trials. Houston/Galveston is a bit of a depressing place to live right now.

On a more positive note, Leaps n' Bounds re-opened classes this week. They still have a lot of fences down (I feel sorry for the residents behind the LnB facility, they've got a front row view, from their kitchen, of all the classes) and of course, like everyone else here, they have huge piles of collected limbs and partial trees. But the rings are cleared and the equipment is whole! Holly, and especially Mikey, were soooooo thrilled to go to class this week. Mikey was on FIRE! I've never seen him run so fast, and it's not like he's slow to begin with! The course was a twisty, turny, challenging, but also fun, course. It's a real mental challenge for me to run two dogs with such different needs and strengths on the same course. We had an awesome time!

Except for the mosquitoes! Which should be a post by it's self! Millions and millions of coastal mosquitoes were blown in by Ike. They're a different kind of mosquito than what we normally have here; much, much bigger, and it actually hurts when they bite! You literally can't go outside without being swarmed, yuck!

Enough for now, I've got to finish getting ready for tomorrow and get to bed early; my alarm clock is set for 3:30!

Holly and Mikey say 'Hi'.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Geez, I couldn't come up with a title, at least not one that didn't involve any bad words.

I was laid-off on Monday. Actually, the entire science team was laid-off. And the company's group insurance plan will be cancelled on the 30th, meaning no COBRA will be available. I spent a good part of the day yesterday on the phone trying to find out about getting an individual insurance policy, but with every company, as soon as they found out I have an autoimmune disease, they said they either could not offer me a policy at all, or could only offer a policy that did NOT cover my rheumatoid arthritis. Texas does have a health insurance risk pool, which I may be able to get insurance through, but still, d'oh!!!

In many ways it was a relief to have been let go, since the company ran out of money months ago and we haven't received our paychecks on time since then. And, good news, I will be interviewing for a position in the greater Kansas City area next week (wish me luck!). And, as much as I am stressed and worried, and stressed and worried some more, you can't possibly live in the Houston/Galveston area right now and not have a sense of perspective. . .

And, I promise I will post pictures from our trip to the Frio soon!

The town of Gilchrist before hurricane Ike

And after

Bolivar peninsula, before and after hurricane Ike

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Hmmm, the police are walking around the building across the lawn from me, I wonder what is going on?

The woman across from my parents who's house flooded during the storm came back from where ever she evacuated to yesterday, and I spent the day helping her boyfriend move furniture and rip up carpet (since there were no other men for most of the day, and I am strong, even with my RA). My working washer and dryer were put to use morning until bedtime, and I have one more load going this morning. Mostly clothes, but also one load of stuffed toys that were soaked, but very important to her little girls. She has lost a lot, but we also managed to salvage a lot. My experience as a mold investigator years ago came in very handy yesterday. Unfortunately, she leases the house from a couple that lives in Singapore, so some of the clean up has to wait until she hears from their insurance company.

This morning I'm off to my parents house to help them clean up the debris in their front and back yard.

I did manage to get in touch with the accounting officer at my work yesterday. Cell phones still aren't working for the most part. I got her husband at home in the morning, and then talked to her in the late afternoon. A group went in yesterday to consolidate our specimens into a single freezer to conserve on gas in the generator, since gas is still hard to find and there are long, long lines at the very few places that have gas. In any case, I told her I would wait for a call from someone to know when I should report back to work. We agreed that until the power is back, there's nothing anyone can do. I'm frustrated that no plan was in place for a crisis like this. I've tried the home phone number for the guy that works for me (the woman that had worked for me resigned two weeks ago), but never got an answer; so many people don't have old fashioned lands lines any more.

I also got to one of the open grocery stores around here yesterday. You wait in a line outside, and they let you in after two shoppers have come out. The stores are on generator power, so it's pretty dark inside. No dairy, no meats, no bread, no frozen foods, and only a handful of produce (a few melons, strawberries, and potatoes, which luckily everyone was walking past, so I was able to get some fresh). Since going on a grain-free, 'paleo' diet, fresh veggies are the mainstay of my diet - canned veggies now.

So, that's the scoop for now. We're all showing signs of stress, including all the dogs. Maybe after the first push of getting things done, we'll have a bit of a breather before going back to work. Holly and Mikey missed their morning walk yesterday when I got the call that the woman with the flooded house was back. I'm going to make sure they get their walk every morning from here out, if possible, since I think exercise/normal routine should help their stress levels.

Holly and Mikey say 'Hi'.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Power is Back

At my place only. Based on what I've heard on the radio the past couple of days, I'm one of four in the southeast Texas area to have power.

I came back to my place late Saturday afternoon (I've been taking 'notes' on my laptop the past couple of days, which I will post eventually). My complex came through the storm pretty well, and all of the windows in my apartment are intact, yay! My parents place survived the storm well too, although some of their neighbors didn't do as well; one house across from my parents, a single mom with two kids, in particular, filled with water early Saturday morning.

The power went out at my parents at 6 am Saturday during the height of the storm, and they are still without power. I was amazed when mine came back, since we've been hearing on the radio that Montgomery county would be without power for up to three weeks, because a couple of power stations where destroyed, plus all of the downed trees on lines, plus downed poles.

I'm currently freezing jugs, large tupperware containers, and trays of ice in my freezer for my parents and their neighbors, although I don't suppose many of them still have perishables. I know I hauled the entire contents of my freezer, and all the perishables in my frig (except veggies), out to the dumpster yesterday because everything was barely cool to the touch. On the other hand, my mom has a nicer frig than I do, and some of the stuff in her freezer is still frozen, so maybe that's the case with some of her neighbors.

My dad is coming to get the ice I am making and with the items left in their freezer, plus all of my mom's and my Enbrel (our injectable rheumatoid arthritis drug that has to stay refrigerated). Thank goodness my power came back on before we lost the Enbrel, since it costs a fortune for a one month supply, and we don't know when we will be able to buy more either.

And then I'm off to go help somewhere, since I am one of the privileged few to have power to come home to; oh, and since I've never heard from anyone in my company, I guess I should call someone to find out what is up with work.

I'll keep in touch as I can. Bottom line is me, my parents, and all of our dogs are fine, which is more than many people in southeast Texas can say. Keep this region in your prayers. . .

Saturday, September 13, 2008

We Still Have Power

Yay! It's 1:10 in the morning and we still have power here. The wind gusts are getting ferocious, and we've had some light to moderate rain. The edge of the eye wall is almost to Galveston. And boy! is it a huge eye! We're keeping our fingers crossed that this isn't going to be quite as bad as we had feared. We still have to get through the worst of the winds that are near the eye wall, and honestly, I can't remember what time the eye is supposed to get here. We're all getting soooo tired and sleepy. . .

Friday, September 12, 2008

Battened Down

Well, I'm over at my parents and we've had dinner (and the dogs have had theirs) and gotten ourselves organized (sort of) and we're battened down. I didn't leave my place until almost 4 o' clock; I had a hard time making myself go.

It's about 9 o' clock now and we're starting to get some really strong wind gusts (according to the news coverage, about 40 mph gusts in this area); strong enough that I'm not letting the dogs into the back yard on their own to relieve themselves anymore, but instead taking them on leash just outside the back door, for fear of falling limbs. Of which we have had none here, so far; however, there was a little boy in Houston killed tonight by a falling limb, so better safe. We still haven't gotten a single drop of rain.

According to the news, the power is out in Galveston and many of the other coastal communities, as well as a few areas in south Houston. Based on the radar, it doesn't look like Houston has gotten any rain yet either. The coastal areas are starting to get bands of moderate rain. The current forecast calls for the worst of the hurricane force winds to reach to this area around 3 in the morning, continuing to around 11 o' clock in the morning, or there abouts. Supposedly, the eye will pass directly over us here, at which time it should become completely calm; it could take up to five hours for the eye to pass over. The winds should be back to 'normal' by around 4 pm.

If things get really bad and the windows start to go, we're going to hunker down in the hallway. We've got water, flashlights, batteries, a hand crank radio, and the dog's crates ready to stuff in there; it will be very, very. . . cozy.

So, that's the scoop. I'm worn out with getting ready, and my rheumatoid arthritis is really flaring up (surprise, surprise - not!). I think the waiting is driving us all a little crazy, particularly because we have had the all the hurricane news coverage on in the background constantly since yesterday afternoon. . .

Preparing for Ike

Thank you for all the birthday greetings and good wishes!

You can watch live streaming video that I am currently watching on our local abc station, here.

Yesterday we moved all of the agility equipment from my parents backyard to their garage, plus doggie swimming pools and lawn furniture and potted plants and odds and ends; I prepared my back porch yesterday evening. I finished preparing my front porch this morning and started packing to go to my parents house (Misty's ashes, all my hard copy photos, important papers and documents, plus dog food, meds, clothes, etc.). I've moved a few things that I can't take into my bathtub hoping that they will stay dry if the windows blow out. I'm going to get a bite to eat and finish packing shortly, and lastly move my couch into the hallway with the bedroom doors closed and put a few things in the kitchen. Hopefully they will be semi-protected if the windows blow out. We have been told to expect at least 100 mile per hour winds in this area. It's scary to leave everything and not know how long I will be gone, or what to expect when I come back. My parents house is only five miles from my place.

It has just started to partially cloud over in my area in the last half hour; all morning here it has been sunny and pleasant with a light breeze. Galveston island is already beginning to flood. Not from rain, which they really haven't had yet, and not from surge, which is not due for another 10 plus hours, but from high coastal surf being pushed up from the storm. It's hard to imagine how bad it will be when the storm surge actually arrives. One of my old favorite haunts with my old dog, Misty, is Surfside, down coat from Galveston; apparently the entire island of Surfside is already under water.

I'll keep you up to date as long as we have power.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Go Away Ike!

Guess what I'm getting for my birthday tomorrow? I hurricane!?!

I've got tons of photos from our trip to the Frio last weekend, I will post them as soon as I'm able.

Keep your fingers crossed for all of us here in the Houston area, as we are expecting hurricane force winds as far north as my neck of the woods.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

We're Outa' Here!

I know I haven't been posting much lately. Honestly, I've been trying to think as little as possible the last couple of weeks. Go here to read about it; I'm soooo done with it all. It's time to pack it all away in an air tight box for the weekend.

Yay! Our vacation is finally here! We're leaving tomorrow morning for a long weekend of fun, sun, hiking, bird watching, river tubing, raft floating, reading good books, watching the stars, and above all, RELAXATION! Holly and Mikey have had their food, chewys and blankies packed for days now and we can hardly wait to smell and the new smells, eat deer poop, and jump in the river!