Thursday, September 14, 2006


My my my...I cannot believe this is my fifth post, and have yet to display a picture of my sweet furry baby. I've mentioned Dexter in previous posts, but haven't explained who he was! In July of 2001 I went to PetsMart with my close friend Marci so she could look for a job. While we were there I decided to look in on the animals that were for adoption. I wasn't actively looking to get a pet, although I'd been wanting a cat for some time. My parents had discouraged me from adopting, thinking it would be too much trouble, that he would escape and I wouldn't be able to go after him, stuff like that.

I had always wanted a black and white cat. Not exactly sure why, just loved the "tuxedo" look. There was a small black and white kitten in one of the cages, very meek and wanted NOTHING to do with me. The handler pulled him out and handed him to me. He struggled and I gave him to Marci, and the kitten struggled harder and went back into the cage. I thought, gee whiz. Must not want to get adopted much!

There were some older cats and several dogs there, and I thought to myself, well I don't need to adopt a cat anyway. Maybe Mom and Dad are right. As we started away, I saw out of the corner of my eye a little orange fuzzball going to town playing with cat toy in his cage. He was having all kinds of fun. He was the cutest thing I had ever seen. I asked to hold him, and the handler pulled him out and placed him in my lap. The little furball looked up at me with these golden eyes and my heart turned to mush. I almost started to cry. I said to him "Oh yes, you are mine."

It was the fastest decision I have ever made. I gave the handler fifty dollars, and I had an eight week old kitten. I guess the hardest part was breaking the news to my mom, who was shocked, yet it only took her two seconds after seeing him to fall in love, just as I had. Here is a picture of him as a kitten, he loved attacking my feet:

That was 5 years ago this summer, and now Dexter is a huge 13 pounder, with a giant fluffy tail, and large fur filled paws. I am sure he has some Maine Coon in him, but can't be sure how much. His name happens to be the last name of a great friend of mine, Rob Dexter, bass player and lead singer of Kabang, a local Orlando band originally from New York. Rob seems honored, although he and Dexter have never met. Someday I hope to introduce them.

I consider Dexter to be my child, and I am his mother. I love him more than I ever thought I could love a pet. I have never once regretted adopting him. He is my BABY!!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Weekend in HELL

OMG living in Florida can really bite if you don't have air conditioning. Sometime late last week, my air conditioner decided it would commit suicide and leave me without the cool air it had given me since I moved in to this house in 2002. I noticed Thursday night that something was not right, considering I was sitting in my kitchen sweating, and I was not doing anything but watching tv. When I came home from work Friday afternoon, I looked at Dexter and said "HOLY CRAP is it hot in here!!" Dexter just laid there as if to say, "Shut up Mom and do something about it! You dont have a fur coat on!" The thermostat said it was 88 degrees in there. UGH.

I called American Air and Heat and cried "Oh Im so glad I got a hold of you!" The receptionist heard the desperation in my voice and said "Oh dear it sounds like an emergency!" I replied "yes it is hot as hell in here!" She laughed and said she would get a hold of the tech and see if he could make it out to me that evening. Unfortunately it seems everyone's air conditioning was on the fritz because he had 3 more appointments and wouldn't be able to come to my house until the morning. OH NO! So I asked when he could be here and she said first thing in the morning.

Chuck arrived at 8:30 Saturday morning, and had bad news for me. Apparently the compressor was "grounded" which means there was a short in the wiring, and it was tripping the breaker. I could have the compressor replaced (for around $1700) but since my system was six years old and also a crappy contractor unit (from the initial building), I might want to consider replacing the entire system. Well, this had been suggested to me last year, but I was an idiot and decided to wait.

I told Chuck "I want the new system!" He laughed and said good idea. He was very friendly, even for someone who had been working like a dog for the past few days on very little sleep. He went out to the van to do the paperwork and told me to prepare my self because he hadnt passed CPR yet. I told him as long as it wasnt over $10000 it would be ok. LOL He said oh of course it will be under that! (It was actually under $5000.)

The only bad part was that it couldnt be installed until this morning. So for the rest of Saturday and Sunday I had every fan in my house on high, and sprayed myself (and Dexter) with water. Mom (God bless her) came over despite the heat and kept me company. It could have been worse, it could have been in the upper nineties. Saturday night it came a huge storm, and cooled down to the mid seventies. Sunday was ok, but not as stormy. But it never got oppressive, and I didnt pass out. I did have some trouble breathing, but nothing scary.

This morning around 9:00 two nice young guys came and installed the new system. While they worked I watched MSNBC's rebroadcast of the Today show from 5 years ago of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I was at work on 9/11 five years ago and did not see the news as it happened. My best friend Patsy in Atlanta Georgia called me to tell me the Twin Towers had been hit by planes. I'll never forget being so scared for our country. I think about the families of those people who died, both in the buildings and the planes, as well as those on the ground and the rescue workers who were killed while trying to save lives. Even after all these years, it still is a shock.

The two guys worked quickly and by 12:45 it was installed, and I wrote the big check. I could already feel the cool air filling the house. AHHH. Dexter seems content again. And I am not a sweaty mess anymore! THANK YOU AMERICAN AIR AND HEAT!!!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Meeting goes well, despite shortness of breath

The meeting I had this morning went well. I actually sounded like I knew what I was talking about! I became seriously short of breath as I was leaving, however. I'm not used to going places by myself anymore, and even the shortest of distances is hard for me to push myself in my wheelchair. So as I left the meeting with a huge headache I called our secretary and told her I would be in at 1 pm, that I was going home to lie down. I went in around 1:20.

I am so disappointed in my lack of endurance anymore. It used to be I could go to the mall alone and biff around all by myself. Now I need help just to go to the store. I guess it all stems from the hospitalizations I've had for respiratory failure. The last one I had in 1998 almost killed me. I was in ICU for weeks. I don't think I will ever be able to be independent again unless I get a power scooter. And I'm not emotionally ready for that yet. But I am tired of having to wait until Mom comes over to go to the store, and I can't ask my friends to help me, they all have lives too.

Oh well. At least I'm still able to work. That's important!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day Wknd

Ah yes, a wonderful 3 day weekend. Got to see my friends Rob, Steve and Rich play on Saturday night at Kitty O'shea's, a great little bar near Disney. Had lots of fun. Two of my closest friends who have been estranged for several years actually got along. It was great, because I have felt like I was in the middle, trying to be friends with both of them.

Mom came over as usual, and we got to spend some time planning our trip to Chattanooga, TN and Georgia. She also fed her little muscovy duck family (the third little group of babies in 2 years) and we had two peacocks join in. My back yard is like Wild Kingdom sometimes. There are several older Muscovy ducks who always stop by along with a strange black and white duck we've nicknamed Oreo.

Unfortunately the weekend is almost over and work begins again tomorrow. I have an early morning meeting at the City of Winter Springs with the Development Review Committee for one of our latest townhome projects. I am sittting in for my boss who is on vacation for two weeks. I am so nervous, afraid they will ask me questions and I will look like a dip. But we reviewed the comments before he left, so I am sort of prepared.

I wanted to do some sewing this weekend, but had to take my Designer SE to the dealer because the needle threader is broken. My favorite sales lady Donna tried to fix it for me there but was unable, so she will take it to her husband who is the tech for the dealer. At least she tried. I also dropped off my serger which isnt working right either.

I still have my Designer 1 so I may go in my sewing room and use it, but Im exhausted after washing my hair. Tough being a respiratory patient.

More later...