Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A dear friend of ours has been suffering from severe vertigo issues for a few weeks now. She finally went to see a doctor about it today and learned some amazing things. Apparently, we have calcium crystals in our inner ears. When they become loose and move about, a sensation of vertigo results. This condition is easy to treat, and now she feels great! But to recap: today my friend learned that her marbles were loose. I could have told her that!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Greetings from Virginia! Ellie and I flew up here this morning from New Orleans. Luckily, the weather that just left the Gulf Coast didn't catch us. It was raining here, but nothing more serious than that. We used the grey day as an excellent napping opportunity! Now we're here with the Mimi and are set for some big fun! Only two more days before Markus joins us! Hooray!
We're so happy that our good friend Mary is doing so well. We're sure her healing will progress even more smoothly now that temptation has left the building. She wasn't supposed to lift anything heavier than 10 pounds for 6 weeks. Ellie weighs 21 pounds. What do you suspect Mary was doing when Jennifer wasn't looking?
As life would have it, we have another dear friend scheduled to undergo surgery tomorrow. He seems well taken care of though, so we will keep him in our thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Good thing we didn't get too uppity about our tide-turning festivities.
The contractor didn't work today. We were supposed to meet today, but that didn't happen either. He is sick and had a doctor's appointment. But we're handling it. We're cool.

We're keeping our fingers crossed anyway. The contractor doesn't realize that tomorrow is my last full day in town, so let's hope he manages to keep our meeting then!

As an aside, today was another GORGEOUS Southern fall day here in Ocean Springs. Temperature around 70 and sunny, clear blue skies. We took a drive along the beach and stopped at the harbor to visit some friends.

And last but not least, we drove past a Katrina demolished beach house that sported a spray-painted warning: NO TRESS PASSING
Does this mean wig swapping is out?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Could we be witnessing the turn of the tide?

Item #1:
The contractor is at work on the house in Ocean Springs! He has been working every day for nearly two weeks since I called and made it clear in my best junior-high-school-teacher, not-taking-any-more-crap voice that he best get busy. The foundation should be completely repaired before I leave on Wednesday if all goes well. Of course, he doesn't know I'm leaving Wednesday. It helps keep him busy if he thinks I could pop in at any moment. Let's be hopeful that phase 2 (porch and roof) will actually progress after I'm gone. He claims that the foundation was the only part beyond his control, since his crew can do everything but that (thus he had to contract that out and therein lay the problem). I won't hold my breath that the rest will progress smoothly, but I am hoping to be pleasantly surprised.
Yesterday, I priced new kitchens. Dad's appliances all need replacing and the cabinets sustained water during Katrina...besides, it hasn't been updated since it was built. Time to redo! Now, I had heard through the home repair grapevine that the kitchen is the most expensive room in the house to redo, but I had NO IDEA what that meant until I sat down with a kitchen guy yesterday and worked up a quote. Keep in mind that I selected fairly mid-range items from cabinets to appliances. The ballpark was between $15- and $25 THOUSAND DOLLARS! YOW! No wonder Dad never updated it. Holy moly.
The foundation doesn't cost that much.

Item #2:
We got the house we wanted in The Hague! I have been so excited about this that people assume we must be buying. NOT SO! It's a rental, folks! But here's the thing... Since August 27, 2005, we have not lived in a place we actively chose to live. Katrina sent us to Houston for a few months, where we had a very temporary-feeling apartment furnished primarily by our generous friends' furniture. We moved to Qatar, where after spending almost two months in a hotel (longer for Markus), we were forced into a company house we didn't want...and even that was temporary because the company told us we would move to a different compound in a year if we had stayed. Then we move to The Hague, look for homes, find one that really suits us...and are denied it by HR. Well, denial can return to being a river in Egypt, happy campers! HR caved (why, we may never know) and gave us permission to (shocker!) choose our own residence! We already had a stellar estate agent on our side, and she secured the house for us right away! As soon as I get back, I will post pictures for you to see. FABULOUS location...and TWO guest rooms, so bring it on, people! We want to see you!

Just so we don't get too carried away with our tide-turning festivities, our air freight still has not arrived from Qatar. Air freight items are those items you want right away but cannot carry on the plane. It takes typically 2-3 days for shipment and then maybe a few more for customs on the other end. Our air freight was packed on October 2. It is now November 11th, and we still don't have it. It contains cold weather gear and all documents for my father's estate. LESSON LEARNED. Irreplaceable items MUST be hand-carried in the future, regardless. Meanwhile, Markus is freezing his stubborn heinie off in the cold, waiting for the air freight to deliver his coats, sweaters, and long underwear. I am less affected by this. It's November in Mississippi and we have the A/C on.

Ellie continues to walk like no tomorrow. Yesterday, she took to running away from me at top speed in stores. When I followed asking where she thought she was going, she shrieked with maniacal laughter and gained speed. At least I know we will be getting plenty of exercise from here on out.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Last night, Jennifer and Ellie trekked over to New Orleans to attend the first meet-and-greet with her fellow Muses. For those of you who've missed this important detail, JENNIFER IS RIDING IN MARDI GRAS IN NEW ORLEANS THIS YEAR! Woo-hoo! Mardi Gras parades are done by krewes (clubs for Mardi Gras). My favorite parade for years has been Muses, the only all-women (and diverse!) krewe! Muses puts on an AWESOME parade. While they roll a few days before Mardi Gras, they really mark the start of the better, more elaborate and fun parades. A couple of years ago, Markus and I agreed that the best way to show my enthusiasm would be to join and toss my hat into the ring for upcoming riders. This year, it's my turn! Muses is set to roll on Valentine's Day (possibly up for a date change...keep checking back), and I'd love to see as many friends and family members out there as possible!
Last night was the first opportunity I've had to meet the other ladies on my float. Just about anyone can tell you that getting a bunch of women together with food and wine can make for a crazy affair. I am happy to report that the Muses I met must all be completely insane...it looks to be an amazing year! I can hardly wait to get rolling!
A very on-top-of-it girlfriend has just pointed out that we have reached the one year anniversary for this blog. Blitzpampers has been on the web and sharing our stories for a full year now! We'd like to thank all of our dedicated readers as well as our occasional blog-checkers. Your comments and feedback make it all worthwhile...which brings up a good point. Where are all the comments and feedback? We know you are reading this, people! We'd like to hear from you!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

This is one little kitten I'm sure Markus will allow me to keep. Isn't she beautiful? Hope you all had a happy Halloween!