Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Quick "Pea" Update

Our Annual Conference starts tomorrow--oh the horrors!! Okay, I may be overdramatizing a bit. Luckily the conference is here in DC so no traveling involved--Yay! It all starts with a board dinner tonight. I had planned this so long ago that this morning I had to go through weeks of emails to find the one that lists what we will actually be eating tonight as I long ago forgot what I ordered! How does this sound:
Grilled breast of chicken with asian bbq sauce and palm sugar roasted chili prawns in a lemongrass-coconut sauce served with jasmine rice and green papaya slaw

Chocolate pear cake with chocolate dipped strawberries
I told the kitties that I'd be very late in getting home tonight, most likely around 10:00. I made sure all their dry kibble bowls were filled to the brim before I left.

Today marks the second three week period that Sweet Pea has not bled. I'm not sure if I ever mentioned to you all that Sweet Pea has had a growth on his neck for the past five or so years. My prior vet felt it and said it was just a fatty tumor and to keep an eye on it. Well, it has never grown nor shrunk in all this time. The tumor is on the right side of Sweet Pea's neck and with the bleeding from this mouth only happening on the right side, my vet would say on one hand it makes sense that it's coming from the tumor but honestly, Sweet Pea should be gagging with the blood coming up from the throat. AND, since the trachea and esophagus are on the left side of the neck, my vet couldn't figure out if the tumor was bleeding, how the blood would get into the throat in the first place! Confused? Well, that's why I never mentioned it before. I just didn't think the two were related. Well, this weekend I was feeling Sweet Pea's neck and guess what? I could no longer feel the tumor!! I've tried since then and still can't feel it. I'm quite shocked. Unfortunately with the craziness at work right now I can't bring him in this week but I'm definitely bringing him in next week for the vet to examine to make sure I haven't missed it. If the tumor is indeed gone, well then, I think the mystery may well be solved!! I'll say I'm cautiously optimistic.

Energy and personality-wise, Sweet Pea is still his crazy wild self, constantly begging for treats, etc. His latest craze is that whenever I'm looking out the front storm door, he gallops over to me, jumps up and puts his front paws on my legs and starts whining to be picked up. I'll pick him up and let him watch all the birdies flying and leaves falling. At 14 pounds, I can't hold him indefinitely and he certainly makes it known that he is NOT happy when I want to put him down. Let's just hope he stays this way!!

Okay, back to work! Board members should be arriving throughout the day. I'm always fearful that I'll get a call that someone has arrived and has no hotel room! Honestly, I've had nightmares about it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Truly Remarkable Film

"The Way We Get By" is a film that is part of the POV (Point of View) series on PBS. The first broadcast was last night (Veteran's Day). I laughed and cried throughout the entire 90 minutes. The film is about a group of around 30 people in Bangor, Maine who greet every inbound and outbound military flight coming and going to either Iraq or Afghanistan. The greeters are at the airport at all hours, day and night to welcome the troops home. It focuses on three elderly greeters, Jerry, Bill, and Joan. I've attached the trailer, but you can go watch the entire film online. Please do. I just went to the PBS POV website and you can enter your zip code and they will tell you when the story will be aired again. It looks like it will be aired a number of times--at least here in the DC area. For those of you in the DC area, WETA-26 will air it at 10:00 pm tomorrow (Friday, November 13).

The Way We Get By - Click to Watch the Trailer

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Frightening Reminder

Right now, we here in the Washington DC area are being inundated with news stories about the upcoming execution tonight of one of the DC Snipers. For three weeks in October of 2002, Washington, DC, Northern Virginia and suburban Maryland were literally held hostage by random high-powered rifle shootings. It could happen any time of the day or night. People were shot doing the most mundane every day things...filling up your car at gas stations, mowing the grass, sitting at a bus stop, walking to school, or walking to your car in a Home Depot or Michaels Craft Store parking lot.

I really can't explain how terrifying this was to everyone. Gas stations along major roads put up large white sheets blocking the view of the pumps from the road. Schools were in constant lock down mode with all evening and weekend activities canceled. I remember sitting in my car at my grocery store early on a Saturday morning, straining to see if I could spot anything past the parking lot into a little stretch of woods, then saying a little prayer and making a dash to the store. On a week day I was getting ready to go sign papers for the refinancing of my house. I had my dog Jiminy back then and she would spend the day with my neighbor two houses up from me. I walked out of my house around 9:45 and the street was completely empty, not a soul was out. Normally, I wouldn't think anything of it, but it was very disconcerting to say the least. My heart was racing as I clapped my hands for my dog as she took off running to my neighbor's with me not far behind. Another time I was late getting home from work. After I arrived home, I would go to pick up my dog from my neighbors. That night my neighbor whipped open the door in a panic thinking something had happened to me. One Saturday night a friend and I were going to have dinner at a local salvadorian restaurant. Since the restaurant is on a busy crowded street, I always parked across the street in a parking lot of a paint store. Well, there was a white paneled van parked in the lot and my friend refused to get out of the car (this was during the time when all white paneled vans were suspect). I was not too concerned but I could not budge my friend. We ended up going to a different restaurant. Wow, just remembering and typing all this is raising my blood pressure!

I have to say that even though I'm a big opponent to the death penalty, I'm just not feeling too much sympathy for this particular case.