sunflowery's Diaryland Diary

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No, My First Name Ain't Aim

Scenes from Hurricane Ivan?

No. These are pictures of the flood in Austin, MN...home of your very favorite canned lunch meat, Spam. And the next town East from the town I was born in. They got more than 12 inches of rain and the Cedar River flooded. There were rapids and high speed currents flowing where streets and sidewalks used to be. Crazy, no?

Bob's dad lives near Mobile, AL and had not been able to evacuate since his wife had just had surgery and was home recouping. We hope they came out OK after Hurricane Ivan.

I can't believe how nice our weather is today. Monday and Tuesday, the weather was like summer...a welcome guest unwilling to leave. But Wednesday was totally reminiscent of winter in February. It was cold, windy and blustery. Today is the perfect Fall day...cool with a hint of warmth and beautiful golden sun.

This morning I had the honor and privilege of meeting Kitchenlogic for coffee. (On the day the Diarist Award Winners were officially announced, no less! I was having coffee with a winner!) It's the first time I have ever met an online journaler in person and I was kind of nervous. I wondered if we would meet and then just sit there twiddling our thumbs, not knowing what to say. But I needn't have worried. Kathy is super nice and very good at putting a person at ease. I feel bad because she asked me a lot of questions about where I came from and my family and I didn't reciprocate. Of course, we didn't have a lot of time as I had to be at work by 11, but still. I am hoping that we can do it again sometime...maybe this time over cocktails. Hee.

You know, if it's not one thing, it's another. Last month, the "thing" was my health. I was really, really sick. Disturbingly so. Thankfully, I have good doctors and pretty good insurance. But I was gone from work for over a month. Yesterday I received my paycheck and it was about 3 times less than I normally make. Today, I got paid for the second half of the month (I am supposed to be paid on the 15th and 30th, but because I was gone, they paid me up to the end of the month.) and the check was only for a whopping $100. So of course now the peace Bob and I felt over my returning (and, in fact, burgeoning) health has given way to sheer panic and worry over our finances and bills. We know it's just money and we will get through this. Eventually, once all my short term disability has all been figured out, we will get the pay issue all evened out. But Short Term Disability also only pays 60%. Yikes. Thank God I am back at work full time next week. I am also going to try to load up on overtime if at all possible.

Thankfully, we had a little bit of money squirreled away and saved so we could get away to WI this weekend. We are going to visit my family and I am really looking forward to it. It's been too long since our last visit. We are going to leave as soon as I get off of work and should be at my folk's house by 8. We are going to go to my oldest nephew's tackle football game. He is in 4th grade and so excited about being in tackle football. He wears a helmet and pads and everything! We are also going to see their new house. I bet it's very nice. I still can't help wishing we lived closer. But as I told Kathy this morning, moving to Southern WI would be complicated for us because all of Bob's doctors, the MDA, and his equipment rental places are all here...as is my bariatric surgeon. I just don't want to have to put Bob through all those tests and check ups again just so I can be closer to my family. Maybe some day...but certainly not now...not unless something drastic happens.

This is out of nowhere, but this happened to me at work today and I have to talk about it. One of my BIGGEST pet peeves is when people shorten my name into my nickname, Aim, when I don't know them from Adam. It's one thing if my family or close friends do that...in fact, I like it then. But when I introduce myself to you and you begin to call me Aim...that drives me crazy! A banker did that to me today and I wanted to end the call as soon as it happened. It's happened to me before and I've done nothing...just let it go. But today, I actually corrected the banker and said, "It's Amy, actually." and they said, "What did I say?" and I said, "Aim" and they said, "Oh, sorry...same thing, though." It's so not! It happened on The Apprentice last week too. That young whippersnapper Andy was talking to Trump about his manager, Pamela and he began to refer to her as Pam. Did she tell you her name was Pam? Did she tell you to call her Pam? I don't believe so. I believe her name is Pamela. I just think it's the hight of rudeness. Do you automatically call every Jonathan, Jon? Every Robert, Bob? Every Angela, Angie? Every Jennifer, Jennie? I only do that when I've been given permission to do so. It just drives me crazy. And it's not like Amy is so stinking hard to say.

Congrats Kathy!

-------------------------------------- About a Year Ago Today: September 15, 2003: Long Story About a Small Cat

So, we had a very busy weekend.

Friday night I got off of work and went to Petco to get some kitten replacement formula and a dropper with which to feed our baby squirrel.

When I got home, I went right to the patio where we were keeping the squirrel and when I reached in to get him, he felt all cool to my touch. I told Sweet Baboo that I thought he might be dead. SB said he couldn't be, that the kids had just been by and were petting and holding him and he was fine then. But then he came over, took Baby Squirrel from me, looked him over a bit and said, "you're right honey, he is dead." I couldn't help it. I teared up right away. The thought of that poor baby and what he had overcome to get to us and how he was all alone and probably very afraid. It just made me so sad. I was sad most of the rest of the evening.

Sweet Baboo said that we would still go to the Humane Society the next day so I could love on the animals. It had been our plan to take the squirrel to the wild animal rehabilitation center at the Humane Society and then go to look at the kitties to see if there were any that struck our fancy.

We ended up going to the Humane Society around 4. It was really busy. All the cats and kittens they had on their websight were already gone. There were only 2 or 3 kittens there. One was all black, one was black and white and one was a gray tabby. The gray tabby had HUGE feet and ears. People were swarming all over the kittens, so I decided to show some love to the cats.

Right when we walked into the cat room, there was a cute little white and brown tabby girl who was very vocal and made her need for love known. I picked her up and loved on her a bit. When I put her back in her cage, she turned around and hooked her little claws into my finger as if to say, "You MUST take me home with you!" She was very cute. I also loved on an all white male cat, an all gray male cat, a pretty (but fiesty) female calico cat and a beautiful tori cat. Sweet Baboo was getting bored, but I wasnít done yet. I still hadn't felt THE LOVE one gets when you know you have found the right cat. Even though we were only looking and hadn't planned on getting anything that day.

I walked by a cage where a cute, thin, little siamese mix was sleeping. I opened the cage and she just looked at me and yawned. I reached in to pick her up and she just continued to lay there. I picked her and started to stratch her ears and she just rested against me as though she were in heaven. I brought her back to where SB was sitting and he said he thought she was cute. We sat there petting her and she just rubbed her face on our fingers and enjoyed the loving. At one point, I took her into the bonding room and played with her. She had had a litter of kittens not too long ago and had been fixed as well, but she was frisky and playful and kind of curious. SO CUTE! I have to say, I fell in love with her.

It was almost time for the shelter to close so we made our way to the dogs because we love us some doggies too. Strangely, there weren't very many dogs there, which is actually a good thing. The ones that were there were cute beyond belief! Just 1 or 2 lab mixes that were big and lovable.

When we got home, SB did some looking at our finances. He found that we had a little extra money and could probably swing getting the kitty if she were still there the next day. He warned me that there would be some belt tightening to be done if we were to pursue this to the end. At this point, I didnít care. I wanted this little girl kitty.

Sunday dawned bright and beautiful and I couldn't wait to get my kitty. Unfortunately, we had to get some groceries first. We hadn't gone grocery shopping in months! (Oh, we had done the occational trip to the store to get bread/milk/pop/ but not the big grocery shopping excursion.) We had a haul. Once we got it home, we had to put it away and then refigure our budget and finances. Finally, around 2, we were able to go get our kitty.

We got to the shelter and I practically ran to the kitty room. I went right to the cage where my pretty girl had been the day before, but she wasnít there anymore! My heart dropped to my gut. I felt tears welling up. I turned to SB (Who had just caught up with me) and said she wasnít there. He encouraged me to look around because so often they move them to clean their cages. So I half heartedly looked at the cats in the cages. I checked each and every cage out and each one showed me my sweet kitty was not there.

Finally, I got to the last row and at the bottom cage my heart stopped. There she was! I grabbed her card and opened the cage and picked her up. She nestled right into my chest and bunted her head against my hand. We put her in the holding cage while we filled out all the paperwork.

While we were filling out the papers, a gal walked by and said, "That is the ugliest cat I have ever seen!" Not 2 minutes later, another walked by and said, "That is the most beautiful cat I have ever seen." She is distinctive, thatís for sure. Her markings are called torti-point and she has clear blue eyes. Sheís just a dear.

We paid for her and took the cardboard box they put her in out to the car. SB drove while I held her on my lap. She seemed fine, though not altogether happy about the confinement. I opened the box lid and she poked her head out and watched the world go by as we drove her home.

She uttered a few mews, but no cries, no yowls, and no hisses or growls.

We got her home and before Maisey was aware, I put the cardboard box in our bedroom and shut the door. I arranged the bathroom for our new kitty and put Maisey's stuff in our kitchen.

Once everything was arranges, I let our new kitty out of her box and left her in our bathroom.

SB and I decided on the name Daisy for our new kitty. We know Itís cheesy because it rhymes with Maisey, but she is so a Daisy. You have to see her for yourself.

Once Maisey figured out there was another animal in the house, she got kind of freaked out. She cried and howled and yowled at the bathroom door. Her tail got all puffed...like a racoon's and she hissed.

All that racket must have scared Daisy because she didnít come out of her box for a long time. SB and I took turns going into the bathroom to comfort her over the course of the evening. She became more and more comfortable and began to eat and use her litter box.

When we went to bed, Maisey was sitting right in front of the bathroom door, just staring at it.

This morning SB was going to take Daisy to get declawed. We know there are people out there who equate this with removing a cat's fingers, but Maisey is declawed and we canít intoduce one cat with claws to another without...itís not a fair fight. Besindes, both cats are indoor cats and will not be spending time outside unless they are on a harness and lead. Anyway, the vet said to bring her in tomorrow instead and he will see to her care. So we get another night with our new baby before her declawing.

Here is some interesting news. When I called to check our voicemail messages this afternoon, there was one from channel 5 news reporter Kristin Steiner! Apparently she is interested in doing a story on SB and how his former employers screwed him over. Plus I think his story is good human interest. She is doing some research and asked us to send her all the stuff we had sent in to the Department of Human Rights last year. So, SB's former employers may be held accountable after all!

Thanks for reading.
September 16, 2003: Cats Meeting For the First Time

Yesterday was a pretty good day. Work wasÖwork. Glad it is there, but it was somewhat blah. I also had to contend with some sassy bankers. This one woman called me for the rates for one of our products and when I gave her the tools to figure out the monthly payment herself, she snapped that she didnít have time for that and it was my job to do that for her. Yeah, she is the banker and I am supposed to figure out her rates and do her rate conversions for her. Okay. I was somewhat cranky after that call. Once I gave her the figure, she just hung up on me. Yeah, manners peopleÖlook into them.

I left work and went to the super pet warehouse to get some kitty litter. Now that we have more than one cat, we will have to buy litter in super bulk. I got the 30lb bucket (3 lbs free!) of multi cat formula. Geez, they make it sound like it will be scented with the scents of a million white orchids. I bought unscented and all I need it to do is clump and not stink. Hope it works. The books say you are supposed to have a litter box for each cat, plus one. I donít think so. I am not scooping 3 litter boxes. If they canít do their business is 2 boxes, they have no business doing business with us. I think one box per cat is quite enough. I am pretty anal about keeping their boxes clean too, so I donít think we will have any problems.

I made tacos for dinner and they were so yummy. Sweet Baboo was cute about it too. He went on and on about how good the meal was and how great it was that I came home after a long day of work and made him a hot, yummy meal. Itís about the easiest meal in the world. You just heat up the meat, add the sauce stuff, warm the shells and set out the fixings and viola! Hot, yummy meal, no muss, no fuss. Itís his turn to cook tonight, but he will most likely make frozen pizza because we are going to an informational meeting at our apartmentís main office at 7. I get off work at 7, so will be a little late. We are going to learn how to earn a $100/month rebate off our rent towards home ownership. I hope itís a legit thing and not some crooked scam. I hate wasting my time on that stuff.

After dinner, we decided to let the cats get to know each other. SB opened the bathroom door and let Daisy take her time exploring. At the time, Maisey was looking out the sliding glass door, watching the birds eat from the bird feeder. Daisy explored the kitchen and hallway before Maisey noticed the bathroom door was open. Daisy was in the kitchen when Maisey decided to check out the now empty bathroom. As Maisey explored, Daisy came out from the kitchen and sat in the hallway watching Maisey sniff her blanket, eat her food and scratch in her litter. When Maisey turned around and saw Daisy there watching her, she jumped and then hissed.

Daisy is a pretty mellow and laid back cat, but she gave Mais a couple of good hisses herself. They are funny kitties. They want so badly to check each other out, but are so defensive when one or the other gets too close. Maisey even got jealous because we were petting Daisy. We would pet Dot and then reach to pet Mais and she would hiss at us. The rest of the night, Daisy laid on my stomach while I watched TV and petted her. She was one content kitty. Maisey would walk by and look and sniff, but pretty much left her alone. Daisy would watch her, but didnít really react at all, feeling very safe and sound on top of momma. At bedtime, we put Daisy in the bathroom and gave Maisey free roam of the apartment again. After all the lights were off and the bathroom door was shut, Maisey went right up to it and gave it one final big hiss, just to get in the last word.

Sweet Baboo took Daisy to the vet today. She got a full exam and will get her claws taken out and then will be home again on Thursday. I cannot wait. I miss her already.

Thanks for reading.

5:30 p.m. - Thursday, Sept. 16, 2004
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