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Highs and lows of life this weekend ...with photos


a.m. My dog began acting so oddly I was concerned enough to call the vet. They squeezed me in for the morning appointment and I called my friend to take Persistence, and completely dropped everything planned for the morning.

HIGH: Haven't thought of one yet.

LOW: Dog is sick and my day was shot.

noon After a thorough examination by the vet, the dog is declared to have tumors and we get an immediate referral to a surgeon.

HIGH: The location of the tumor gives a hopeful possibility that it is benign, or at least not the most aggressive cancer. The vet is highly entertained by my story about Fuqua (that's Few KWAY not fuck WA) Street confusion. He said that story beats his former non-native favorite which was Bexar (that's BEAR not BEX arr) County confusion.

LOW: My doggie is sick. My doggie needs surgery. My doggie is uncomfortable. My beautiful chocolate only 7 years old Lab might have cancer. And we are going to have to schedule surgery, which probably costs as much as human surgery. There goes ANY home renovation. Here comes debt. We are so stressed out about this on so many levels it's not even funny.

Want one more level? Because it's so easy to make this all about me, my dog and I have tracked symptoms and this causes me to worry about my own body. With my own tumor situation and medicine nightmare of last summer so fresh in my mind, I am extremely anxious and want to go get a full body scan right now. That's not selfish or paranoid. Oh no.

And you know I am sitting here thinking about how the dog and I were perfectly healthy until we moved to Toxic Town. It's nothing short of sad and ironic that every time I get a beautiful reminder about how awesome this town is and how much I like it here, I get a slap in the face about how deadly it is, too.


p.m. The husband and I got all fancy pants and went to a posh black tie gala at the swank Hilton Americas hotel. His company had taken two tables---up front mind you---and we had a nice view of the Muy Importante local senators, congressmen and women, famous people in some form or fashion and business leaders.

Jon told me it was tacky to act like paparazzi and photograph the rich and famous so I haven't got any clicks of that. After a while, his boss/coworker/project manager and his wife and Jon and I abandoned the party. The four of us went to the top floor where there is a bar that offers a panoramic view, not of downtown, but of the flat suburbs beyond.

HIGHS: I had a hot dress I really liked and cool shoes that didn't hurt or slip (learned my scuffing lesson after New Year's Eve). Also on the list is overhearing other refugees from the galas enter the bar and say, "I've never seen so many second wives in one place! There's a lot of...extra frou frou going on here tonight. That's...surprising, here in Houston. I mean, if I were in Dallas I'd expect it, but in Houston? That's a shock, all this OCing." New verb: to OC, as in to be dedonculous in one's over the top attire and attitude. However, the real high point was that it was a nice evening out, full of stories I can't tell, which wouldn't be half as entertaining as they are to me and people who know the people. (So don't feel too cheated.) I can tell you that Jon danced one nice, slow, romantic dance. That may just have the the ultimate high point.

LOWS: Although this could be a high depending upon your point of view...there I was, in cocktail dress, hose and heels vacuuming up another Persistence disaster. She was tired, and trying to stay awake and Jon and I were occupied getting ready, so...there went another bag of tortilla chips all over the floor. I definitely needed to vacuum it so the dog, the sick dog, didn't eat the chips. It was a real Barbara Billingsley moment.

The other potential low---although again this is possibly a high depending upon the angle you look at it from---was knowing I was staying out way later than I'd meant to (hello, welcome to 2 a.m.) when I had a big to-do to go to the next day. But it was fun.


Photo op at in-laws when dropping off the kids...

The view in front of me at the table...

The view from the bar (I had to use the back of my chair as a tripod, so...slack...)...


Saturday, of course, was Mama Drama Con Queso II (check out the guest list...and I think even more than that came!). It was quite a crowd! The challenge was trying to chat with many great bloggers live in this area and are really cool.

I was lucky to sit at a table with Kyla, Monica Danna, Dr Miggy, the OPMom gang, and Texan Tiff and her husband. I think Happy Katie might have been at our table because there was a high chair there for her baby, but as those of us with toddlers understand, she didn't get to sit much, hence my confusion.

My tablemates kindly tried to explain Twitter to me, since I signed up and haven't figured out what it is, or how to work it, since. They made it sound very cool but I quickly realized one needs High Technology to work it. And I, Luddite that I am, have only a really old desktop computer.

Monica graciously talked shop with me a bit, and Carrie from OpMom generously encouraged me in my rants about public education. We shared many of the same thoughts on the issue, and plan to talk further. Kyla was her usual funny and nice self and kept me laughing.

Otherwise I reconnected with bloggers I have met before, met new ones, traded a few cards and quips, and had a great time. There were peanuts, circus peanuts, photo bloggers, tech bloggers, political and popular culture bloggers, mom bloggers and so on.

HIGH: Pretty much the entire event. Although, it might have been Michelle alerting me to the wedding cake sculpted to look just like the bride, with Monica and Laura assisting in the description. My contribution was the incredibly intelligent question, "What flavor was it?" I hear this happened in Dallas, which actually? Explains everything.

LOW: Being a half an hour late when I meant to be half an hour early. I was bringing the sign-in sheet and people were counting on me. I, of course, was, as usual, completely and utterly lost trying to find my way to Houston and then utterly lost in Houston. I used the Emergency Mom Phone to call my husband half a dozen times to figure out where to go. Luckily, Jenny (The Bloggess and Mama Drama) and Kyla know me and my Houston Navigation Problem, so when they were looking for me and wondering where I was, Jenny sagely said, "Oh she's fine, just completely lost." Laura (Blog Con Queso and co-founder of sk*rt) wisely advised me to buy a GPS and make my life easier.


Margaret Sally holds up the circus peanuts (with Mark, Jenny, Erica, and Kyla)

A bit of the crowd...

Jenny, Me and Kyla...

For more photos, check out Ed T's blog.


a.m. Persistence joined us in bed at 3:30 a.m. and she and I tossed, turned, snorted, snuffled, snored, and coughed our way to 6 a.m., whereupon we gave up and came downstairs. She cuddled with me and gave me kisses. She really does have the sweetest personality and heart. Just...busy.

HIGH: Jon made breakfast and entertained the kids so I could have my two hours (seriously TWO HOURS) to write this post (adding photos and links take FOREVER...this is easily double my usual time). Cuddle time with Persistence.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Copyright 2007 Julie Pippert
Also blogging at:
Using My Words
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Liv said…
never seen so many second wives? um, yeah, make note to self: their first ones were smart enough to leave them.

(wow, i crack myself up on a Sunday morning)

(oh, crap!! i could become one of those one day!)

(strike that. i'll be quiet now.)
I am so sorry about your little doggie. I'm anxiously waiting to hear about the tumour, and I'm hoping that it is benign and operable. And...after that...that it isn't stupidly expensive. Your lab is just beautiful in those pictures, and I hope everything works out well.

You had a busy weekend,, social, social. The picture of you and your husband is beautiful! I'm glad you had a good time.

Great to hear the blogger meet was awesome - I highly recommend a GPS, as I, too, used to be hopelessly lost anywhere and everywhere :)

Anonymous said…
Our beloved Mutt has had three, count em, three surgeries in the last year and a half so I am feeling your financial pain. But we love our pups, don't we?
Anonymous said…
ARGH! I want you to move out of Toxic Town!!! I know it is not my place to say, but if it is unhealthy...

Anonymous said…
Wow Julie, I am so sorry about your dog. What an unexpected situation.

I enjoyed your gala review. I don't know what it is about Houson/Galveston and their love of formal events?!?! My husband has never donned a tux so often! I bet all of the first wives were in Galveston, eating at the Pelican Club and returning to their beautiful houses in Pirate's Beach.

I am so sorry that I missed yesterday's fun! If you got lost on the way there, there would have been ZERO hope I would have found it. I am SURE that I would have ended up in Waco by accident. Whoops, that was where we were SUPPOSED to go before our college kid changed her mind and decided to leave tomorrow. ARRGGHH.

You can Twitter me @expectingexec. No fancy equipment needed to use twitter. You can even use your cell phone to keep in touch. I love it.

Thank your husband for the 2 hours this morning. It was good to catch up with you! Hugs- EE
Anonymous said…
Julie, I'm sorry your dog is sick. I am always amazed how much more emotion I feel about my pets' illnesses and ailments than I thought I would. I hope everything turns out to be A-OK.
Julie - I am so sorry about your doggy! I am super emotional about my 10 year old pup. She's had 4 surgeries and continues to have every problem under the sun.

Cool events, my you are social!
Kyla said…
Your poor puppy. When KayTar gets sick like this (respiratory junk, different from last week's virus) and she goes so downhill, it always reminds me that this probably isn't the best environment for her little body. Sigh.

Saturday was fabulous. After MCDQ, I came home, cuddled with the kiddos for an hour or so, dropped them at my parent's and went to a yummy dinner with Josh. Saturday night was pretty much like every other night, KayTar sick and us accommodating it.

Today? BubTar has a bit of an attitude and KayTar's feverish. Ahhhh, parenthood. ;)
Kyla said…
Oh yeah, I LOVE your dress and you and Jon look great as gussied up!

And the ladies in that last photo? HOT! LOL.
Kyla said…
(as=all, duh Kyla)
First of all - I am truly sorry about your dog. That sucks royally on so many levels.

Second of all - I hate the fact that you guys have such a cool get together down there and I can't be there. Wouldn't it be sweet if we could just go wherever we wanted whenever we wanted? Oh well...
Girlplustwo said…
you guys make me want to live in texas. and i am so so so sorry about your beloved dog.
Suz said…
You look absolutely amazing! There's something that just rocks about staying out late and drinking a little bit. It sort of clears the head, I think. I'm sorry about your poor puppy. It's so hard when pets are sick.
Melissa said…
Prayers for your poochie! Sick pets are no fun. :(

And I'm sorry I missed yesterday, too. But Thing 2 got third place in the Pinewood Derby, so it was kind of worth it.

Looks like you had a great weekend! Enjoy the day!
Aliki2006 said…
I am so so very sorry about your gorgeous dog--I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for him...

Lovely highs, difficult lows...
I'm so sorry to hear about your puppy....I can't even imagine how difficult that must be fore you!

I pray for good news for both you and your dog!

You look FANTASTIC in that picture!

I am so jealous that you get together with other bloggers...I wish I lived closer so I could come and party with you you all! :)
flutter said…
ooooh doggy!

Look at you three gawjus bloggy mamas! What fun!
ewe are here said…
"I've never seen so many second wives in one place!" That made me snigger...

And you look wonderful in your 'hot dress'!

Looks like you had a great time with the fellow-bloggers, lucky you!
Anonymous said…
Wow. I was hoping that Lawyer Mama had cornered the blogosphere on sick pets today. I'm so sorry, Julie. That is stressful in a thousand ways, and so infuriating, too...when you consider the very probable cause of it all.
Anonymous said…
Wow. I was hoping that Lawyer Mama had cornered the blogosphere on sick pets today. I'm so sorry, Julie. That is stressful in a thousand ways, and so infuriating, too...when you consider the very probable cause of it all.
Magpie said…
Complicated weekend. I hope your dog is okay, and you looked swank in your fancy dress with that guy in a tuxedo!!
SciFi Dad said…
I am so sorry to hear about your dog. Hopefully it all turns out OK.

Sounds like an eventful weekend. (If it's any consolation, Saturday morning/Friday night I was up at 1:40am for the day, more or less.)

So was the blogger thing like a dinner party or something? "At my table"? Up north all we do is pick a bar to meet at!
Kellan said…
So sorry to hear that your sweet dog is so sick - he is beautiful! Great pictures - sounds like a great weekend - overall. Take care. Kellan
I'm so sorry about your dog. Fingers crossed that the tumor is benign.

You look gorgeous in that photo!

As for Houston, I've never gone there without getting lost. Ever.
so sorry to hear about your pooch... I hope all goes well. ANd damn, you look good in that dress!
Mayberry said…
I'll be thinking lots of good thoughts about the pup...

meanwhile, you look smokin' in the picture from the black-tie gala. Like, 2nd-wife smokin'.
dharmamama said…
What a beautiful dog! I'll send some reiki his way. Such a sweet pup. (Are you sure it wasn't delayed after-effects of the streusel?)

And you *do* look wonderful in that dress.
Karen Jensen said…
That is one fine looking doggie. I will hold him in the light. And I'll have Alice and Dinah think good thoughts about him, too.
painted maypole said…
wow. i am tired just reading this. and I thought I had a long, hard weekend. never mind.

your poor dog. We are on our 6th cat, so I know this pain and turmoil. one of our cats (the first 5 were all my husbands when we got married) got REALLY sick one month after we were married, and had to go to the kitty ICU. there went all sorts of plans we had for our new home. I used to joke with my hubby that our tiny cat was our new china cabinet, and she darn well better start carrying around the dishes. They sat in boxes in the corner of our dining room for another 2 years.
kirida said…
Why aren't there more photos of you, Julie? You look great in that dress!
I'm so sorry to hear about your dog, my thoughts are with you!

VERY nice views. You looked gorj!

TWO hours to write a post? Oh my! This would be why my posts are short and often disjointed, I never get a block like that! Mine are always interrupted....not complaining though cuz the interruptions are always cute! Ok, almost always!
Michele said…
That cake totally freaks me out. I've with the guests who couldn't even think about getting hear that thing. Freaky.
niobe said…
Keep us posted on your poor dog. Except (and that's a big except) for that, your weekend sounded fabulous.
Poor, sweet doggie. Keep my posted.

PS. Me = drunk eyes.
Slackermommy said…
I'm so sorry about your dog. We went through this last summer. It was gut wrenching. It's so hard to see our beloved pets suffer and like you we did everything we could for him.

Looks like a fun party. Texas has a lot of great bloggers!
anne said…
So sorry to hear about your Lab. I'll send doggie mending vibes your way.

As far as the cost, would it be any cheaper to take him to a veterinary school for treatment? Maybe check with A&M?

What fun the rest of your weekend seems! Especially the blogger shindig.
Unknown said…
yikes tumors. My lab at 12 has developed fatty cysts. They look weird but are harmless.
I am sorry your town is so toxic, but what great material as a writer?! ( bright side )

I don't get twitter either- though I do pop in on some celebs- and might put it on a newer phone.
great photos of your weekend
Debbie said…
you look so pretty in those photos. I wish I had time to do more than skim this post, but I won't lie. I didn't really read. Just looked and envied.

You smashing thing, you.

Kat said…
Busy, busy weekend!
I am so sorry for your doggy! He is beautiful. And 7 is so young! The hubby and I always say we are going to get a chocolate lab when the boys get a bit older.
Anyway, I hope everything turns out ok.
Great pics! You look fabulous! I love your dress. It sounds like you had an amazing night.
I'm pretty jealous that you have so many bloggers in your area. I must live in the bloggy boondocks over here. ;)
Monica Danna said…
Awesome to meet you, Julie! and i do hope you found the bride cake picture!
and by the way, keep us posted on your pooch! Completely in our prayers (yes, me and Cammie say prayers for doggies all the time!!)

Great to meet ya!
Jenn said…
that was a very, very busy weekend!

I hope everything goes well for your Lab - he's lovely.
atypical said…
Many doggie hugs coming your way.

As usual, I have more to say, I just don't have time to say it. Just know my thoughts are with you (and I even understand the superstition of mirroring).


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