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9/30/14
Turned off the AC, opened the windows. Today is officially the last day of "monsoon season" here in Arizona, and it's been absolutely perfect yesterday and today. After Saturday's storm (which some people are chalking up to a tornado!), it's been nothing but blue skies and puffy clouds. Cooled off quite a bit, too. I love this time of year. I have a three-day mid-week weekend coming up at the end of October, already booked a room up in Oak Creek to go leaf-peeping in the canyon.

Eight days for my birthday package to get to Costa Rica. Next time I'll try a regular package, see if it gets there any faster. Dad and I have been Skype-ing, which is much more fun and affordable.

100 days til Mom retires. Not that she's counting or anything.

9/28/14
Slow day at work, which gave us plenty of time to admire the fallen tree and make a set of fake legs to put underneath it, in a Wizard of Oz way.

I'm worn out from lugging sandbags. The half-season finale of Outlander will have to wait til tomorrow. Tonight I'm watching Derek Jeter's (NOOOOOOO!) last farewell game. I was up late last night (maybe that's also why I'm worn out) watching his last Yankee Stadium game (NOOOOOOOOOO!), and tonight I'm watching the last game of the season. I'll miss you, Derek.

9/27/14
FLOOD! Get the ark! We got flooded out at work today. Tons of rain. One of the giant trees in the courtyard came crashing down - luckily, two seconds *after* my aide and I passed by it while we were sandbagging the doors. In retrospect, we probably should have done the sandbags before it started raining, but eh. So we got totally drenched. One of my residents was kind enough to lend me some dry clothes afterwards. Our boss and maintanence team came in to help with the sump pumps and the bailing out of the dining room.

9/24/14
Happy birthday to Dad in Costa Rica! My "priority mail" package, which I mailed a week ago, still hasn't arrived.

Max is slowly finding all the good hiding places in the house. Knock on wood, there haven't been any hissyfits or fights, and they're all sharing food and litterboxes without any argument.

9/23/14
I love showing off AZ to friends and family. My former coworker and her husband were out visiting from NJ this past week. They spent a week in Sedona and now are in Scottsdale for this week. We met up this morning to go to the Desert Botanical Garden, which is one of my favorite places in Phoenix. They're totally loving their trip, which makes me happy.

So since I was already downtown... I realized that my "cat number" is five. I went by the Arizona Animal Welfare League, you know, just to snuggle the kitties. And now my family has been increased with the adoption of Max, a seven-year-old giant orange fluffball. He's adorable, and snuggly, and a total lap cat. My other cats are cautiously sniffing around, as we speak. Even Marvin's behaving.

9/17/14
I had a date with Buckeye traffic court this morning (from getting pulled over in June for allegedly speeding and allegedly not-stopping at the stop sign), but the officer failed to appear, so the judge dismissed the charges. Our legal system at work. Stood up by a cop.

Since I was already in downtown Buckeye, I stopped in to see the financial lady at my doctor's office. They still hadn't corrected my bill (it had $100 "office visit" charges for when I stopped in for labs and the echo, which I had asked to have removed), so I asked if I could wait while she re-calculated my bill. Got that paid off, and now between that, the car bill, and the vet bill, I am officially broke until payday. This coming paycheck will go to Visa and my BofA credit card, both of which are up near their limits, and the following paycheck will pay the mortgage.

I think we're coming to the end of Monsoon Season, and hopefully on to cooler weather - this week the temp is supposed to be under 100 all week. Eve and I are planning to start walking in the evenings once it's cool enough to tolerate. Rained today, nice and cool, so I opened the windows in the back of the house to get some fresh air in. The cats are going wild. When it's cooler, I'll let them out in the yard.

9/16/14
I'm glad I came home with two days off before I have to go back to work. It's like a post-vacation vacation. The cats are figuring out a new hierarchy with Pippin gone.

Supposed to rain again this week - the flooding last week has cleared up, and now another hurricane is hitting Cabo and headed towards Tucson and Casa Grande. I never heard of hurricanes hitting the Phoenix area until now. I bet it has something to do with Eve and I both being in the same place. Bring on the rain.

9/15/14
My NJ/NY trip went by in a heartbeat. My friend Peter surprised me with Legends Suite tickets to the Yankees game on 9/11. The tix included dinner at the Legends Restaurant, which was buffet-style, with lobster, sushi, waygu beef, steak, salad, pasta, dessert... you name it. And since Peter works with Steiner Sports as a client, we ate with Brandon Steiner and Steve Costello, the folks who run it. I must say, it was a lot classier than sitting with the peasants up top (oh wait, that's me, a peasant).

The rest of the trip was just as enjoyable. Hit the Met, the Cloisters, had food with Uncle Charlie and Aunt Joan, the rest of mom's family, Tesse, Ann et al. It was nice to go home - probably the last time I'll see the house I grew up in.

9/6/14
Oh my Pippin, I will miss you so much.

She was fine when I came home from OCC, but then Thursday night she curled up in a ball and whimpered. I couldn't get her to eat or drink, and she wobbled on her feet when I stood her up. She spent the night on my bed, and even let Marvin snuggle her without hissing. Yesterday I called the vet on my way to work, and the earliest appt they had was this morning at 8.30am. I wanted to leave work early last night to check on her, but as luck would have it, the night sucked and I didn't get home til 11pm. I was up most of the night snuggling Pippin, who didn't feel any better. We went to the vet this morning, and did some labs (unnecessary in the end) and an x-ray. The vet came and told me that when they positioned her for the x-ray, they saw that her belly was bruised all over, which meant she was bleeding internally. Long story short, she had a mass in her abdomen which must have burst and caused the bleeding. No way to treat it.

So rest easy, my Pippin.

9/4/14
To celebrate working six very long days in a row, I escaped up to Oak Creek Canyon for two nights, to sleep near the creek with the windows open, and the sound of rain hitting the roof. It was a lovely 76 degrees up there. I did some roadtripping around Clarkdale (a little town full of Craftsman bungalows!), Cottonwood and Jerome, did some holiday shopping.

My friend Peter surprised me with tickets to a Yankees game at the Stadium - to see Derek Jeter one more time before he retires. I was thinking it would be at the end of September, but we're actually going to the game on 9/11. So... flying home on Tuesday morning, coming back next Monday. I'm looking forward to seeing as many friends as I can, but I have no set plans for anything yet.

On my way home from Oak Creek Canyon, I stopped to get my car's oil changed. During the checkup, they found a leaking water pump and some worn out spark plugs. Sigh. Eve is being kind enough to drop me off and pick me up at the airport, and I'm going to drop off my car at Ford on the way, so they can tune it all up while I'm away. I love my car, and keeping it maintained is certainly cheaper than spending $30K on a new one, but still - it was out of the blue.

-catherine

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