Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Birthdays and Hurricanes -- and Cocktails!

Moogie's Mansion is all shuttered up.  It's dark in here!

I spent my 2005 birthday in Little Rock, having evacuated for Katrina.  That's one birthday I'll never forget.

Pepper and I were just strolling down memory lane, trying to recall what we were doing when Hurricane Gustav blew in about this time in 2008. 

He was still running Disaster Management for Entergy back then (as a secondary responsibility to his regular position -- his last billet with Fifth Army was pretty much the same thing, except that the Fifth Army's responsibility for the Northcom region encompassed most of the central portion of the United States instead of just southeast Louisiana;  Entergy had flown him back to Baton Rouge from our evacuation in 2005 to manage the post-Katrina recovery as military liaison.  He apparently did a good job because they kept going back to him for subsequent storms -- and Russel Honore still gets on his last nerve.  Long story.), so he headed to the state EOC (Emergency Operations Center) in Baton Rouge while I loaded the car with a whole lot of stuff, plus three dogs, and set out for Little Rock.  In contraflow, the pace of which made snails look like Speedy Gonzales and his amigos.  The trip that usually takes 7 hours took more like 12, and there were no bathroom stops for the first 7 or 8 hours.  And I saw the remains of an enormous snake on the road, which meant that I had the heebie jeebies for the remainder of the trip.  And I had to walk three cranky dogs when I gassed up in Tallulah.  On my birthday. 

It turned out that Gustav hit Baton Rouge instead of New Orleans, and Pepper was stuck there.  Then, it tracked up into Arkansas and dumped a walloping amount of rain on me.

And Ike hit a week or so later, so I just stayed in Little Rock. In a house with three people, one bathroom, and four dogs.

Last year, TS Lee hit the weekend after my birthday, while our downstairs air conditioning was out of service.

We've decided that we're tired of celebrating my birthday in the company of hurricanes and tropical storms.

I think we deserved the fancy cheese tray during Cocktails with Isaac yesterday evening.

And , I think I really hope that Entergy doesn't call Pepper back from retirement to do one more round of consequence management, disaster or otherwise!

I think cocktail hour might arrive a little early today.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Isaac, the Unwelcome Guest

The timing is pretty lousy.

Pepper spent the morning nailing shutters closed while I picked up outdoor knick-knacks.  The generator is primed and non-perishable foodstuffs are at the ready.  We're going to Lowe's this afternoon to pick up a few solar lights -- they work great when the power goes out at night. 

Then we wait.

And try to keep a sense of humor:

But, the lousy timing -- the anniversary of Katrina -- is pretty bad.  I had to re-schedule my hair appointment!!

Cheers, y'all.  Keep us in your positive thoughts, please.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Change in the Wind at Moogie's Mansion

Did you fear I'd vanished from the face of the Earth?

No such luck, guys. 

The process of Pepper easing into retirement has been anything but easy so far.  Even so, we are both beginning to adjust.

Except for that part about him being in the house. All. Day. Long. 

Every. Day.

Now that he has gotten most all of the home repair projects done, he now spends most of his time sitting in front of the desktop (he had to give his laptop back to the company) while he works on his new gig -- performing and developing labor relations as a contractor.  This last part gives me very little computer time, so I've been following blogs and stuff on the iPad, but I don't have the correct app to allow me to do my own blog posts with pictures and stuff.  Moogie is not very Apple savvy, as Elder Daughter regularly points out.

Fortunately, there is a storm brewing in the Gulf, so that has focused his attention on getting the generator in shape in case (hopefully not!) it is needed in the next several days, and that means I get some quality computer time!  Quality, but apparently not much quantity -- I just heard him pull into the garage, so I'd better get this finished so I can "help" him with this latest project ( read: observe, praise, and troubleshoot). 

I ran across this clever little post at International Liberty this morning and thought I'd share:

"The Difference Between Liberals, Conservatives, and Texans

You’re walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small children. Suddenly, a dangerous looking man with a huge knife comes around the corner, locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, raises the knife, and charges. You are carrying a Glock 40 and you are an expert shot. You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family. What do you do?
Liberal’s Answer:
Well, that’s not enough information to answer the question!
+ Does the man look poor or oppressed?
+ Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack?
+ Could we run away?
+ What does my wife think? What about the kids?
+ Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of his hand?
+ What does the law say about this situation?
+ Does the Glock have an appropriate safety built into it?
+ Why am I carrying a loaded gun and what kind of message does this send to society and my children? Is it possible he’d be happy with just killing me?
+ Does he definitely want to kill me or would he just be content to wound me?
+ If I were to grab his knees and hold on, could my family get away while he was stabbing me?
This is all so confusing! I need to debate this with some friends for a few days to try to come to a conclusion.
Conservative’s Answer:
Texan’s Answer:
BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! click (sounds of reloading).
Wife: “Sweetheart, he looks like he’s still moving. What do you kids think?”
Son: “Mom’s right Dad, I saw it too…”
Daughter: “Nice grouping, Daddy! Were those the Winchester Silver Tips?”"

I like it! 

I also see a new laptop in our future.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Checking In

Still around -- doing the Moogie thing with baby Jack and his parents. Also dog sitting Zeus while Younger Daughter and SIL#2 are taking a long overdue vacay. As I posted on Facebook yesterday, I feel so very needed and important!

Pepper has nearly killed himself patching and painting and packing and getting Moogie's Mansion in spiffy condition to put on the market.  The sign went up in the yard a few days ago.  Mixed emotions.

We're all overdosing on Olympics.  Waiting for Mitt to take off the gloves.  And walking on crunchy grass. Holy cow! It's just ridiculous! I even heard on the radio news today that the Mississippi River is so low that commerce is being affected in the whole basin.

Oh. And the Honey Badger has been kicked out of the Tiger Den.  Sorry, Andy!  It looks like Bobby Petrino is working an apology strategy. Could be interesting. Sorry I'm not linking -- I'm still on the Apple (iPad) learning escalator.

And tired.

But, the little stinker is cuter every day; now starting to make, and hone in on, eye contact. Holding and looking at him is the very definition of awe.  My Daddy got to meet him today.  There were 4 generations in the same room!  A miracle unparalleled.

And, three of those generations graduated from the University of Arkansas! WPS!!!!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Family -- Wow!

Moogie and Pepper are thrilled to announce the arrival of grandson John Michael  ("Jack") on Thursday, July 26, 2012, at 11:55 a.m.. He weighed in at 8 lbs 3oz, and stretched 21".  (Big, healthy boy!).

ALERT -- childbirth stuff! (recorded mainly as a memory aid for Moogie)

We finally got them out of the hospital and home yesterday.

It seems that Moogie passed along a bizarre genetic defect to Elder Daughter that allows the placenta to grow into the uterus, and usually that means that a part of the placenta gets torn off and remains there after birth, to be sloughed days later.  For Moogie, having a positive Rh factor, this was mostly an inconvenience plus a little extra cramping and excessive blood loss. For Elder Daughter, however, it was a bit more problematic.

It also seems that Pepper passed along a negative Rh factor to Elder Daughter, but she didn't pass it along to Jack.  That meant that the retained placenta fragment was leaking Rh Positive fetal cells into her bloodstream. All that, added together, caused a perfect storm threatening to reject future pregnancies that involve an Rh+ fetus.

So, after consults with specialists and professors and colleagues, the docs kept Elder Daughter hospitalized, and did a DNC on Sunday to remove what they then assumed was the last of not-sloughed retained placenta to stop the flow of Rh positive fetal cells. That turned out to be good all the way around, even if it did send Moogie into weepy spasms because her seriously fatigued and weak 31year old baby girl was going under general anesthesia; the DNC stopped a week-long, in essence, labor trying to get rid of that last bit of placenta. And it gave them more time to wage the Rh war.

To win that war, Elder Daughter would have to endure additional RhoGRAM injections of a bazillion CCs, every 6 hours, for 42 hours.  Fortunately, the injections could be administered by IV push instead of shots (fortunate because tthe shots apparently really hurt!).

It turned out that the Rh numbers after the last planned injection were nearly perfect, but not 100%, so the docs decided to give her one last dose of the R stuff on Tuesday.  But they didn't make her stay in the hospital or go to their office to do another analysis of her blood levels because they were confident that all will be well.

So, Elder Daughter's new family got to go home Tuesday afternoon to introduce the canine children to the human child.  As Moogie remarked, the pups have a new pet!

No one on the maternity floor, or within the doctors' experience, had ever experienced a rising measure of positive numbers postpartum following a few extra doses of RhoGRAM. Daughter's nurses had never experienced administering more than one RhoGRAM shot to an Rh- mom, and Daughter experienced  a total of seventeen. So, it looks like the arrival of Baby Jack will be documented in medical literature.  The docs are already gathering data to help defuse future perfect storms for many Rh- people.  And that's a good thing.

But, in the here-and-now,  Moogie is grateful to a loving God that we have an Elder Daughter, a Jack, and the promise of future Elder Daughter-lets. 

Meanwhile, welcome Baby Jack, and thank you, God, for the countless blessings!

I'm On the iPad, pics to follow.  He's a cute little stinker!