Archive for the 'Work' Category

Shower shots

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

Not THAT kind!

My local readers know that my technician, Jen, is grossly pregnant right now, and about to pop at any moment. We just hope, for her sake, that it isn’t quadruplets! Our CPC crowd had a shower for her last week at the Oasis in Littleton, and we had a very nice time. If that little boy EVER runs out of onesies, it won’t be our fault!

Here are some photos of the happy event:
3-28-08-3.jpg 3-28-08-1.jpg 3-28-08-2.jpg

3-28-08-4.jpg 3-28-08-6.jpg 3-28-08-5.jpg Just in case you weren’t certain how happy Becky is that SHE’S not the one having the baby!

3-28-08-7.jpg The prized Vera Bradley diaper bag from Natalie

Selfishly, I’m only posting pics of Jen with the gifts I got for her…

3-28-08-8.jpg 3-28-08-9.jpg 3-28-08-10.jpg  Jen is SO excited to receive yet another incredibly adorable little boy outfit.  I hope she enjoys it now.  Once they get out of infant sizes, there are no more cute outfits for little boys.  Even finding separates nicer than jeans is a real challenge.  After lots of searching, I now have several nice church outfits for Will, but there’s no way I can put him in a different cute little outfit every week like I do Anna. 

Almost Friday

Friday, February 2nd, 2007

It’s been a slow week from an Anna standpoint.  My associate is off on a well-deserved vacation, so it’s been a very busy work week for me.  Anna’s even had to come to work a couple of times so Joe could head off to class while I finished up with cases.  Tomorrow’s the last full day, and Dr. P comes back next Monday, so I can go back to my normal schedule.  Our veterinary emergency group has been going through some painful transitions as well, and several meetings and less-than-pleasant faxes have been required to get it all sorted out.  I’m ready for a bit of a break!

Anna had a routine checkup with our doctor today.  Everything seems to be just fine.  We’re putting off any more vaccinations for now (thank heavens!)  She is supposed to have her blood lead level tested at the age of two, so she’ll get her vaccine titers checked at the same time.  According to the doctor’s office’s measurements, she actually shrunk since her last visit.  Pretty funny.  Our measurements at home show that she’s grown a little less than an inch, and she’s put on about 4 pounds since she came home.  She’s just doing so well right now.  She’s OK with mama or baba, and is behaving like a normal toddler.  I still can’t get her to sit still and listen to a story, so I try to talk to her and sing to her as much as I can so she’ll have an easier time picking up the language.  She’s really stopped talking Chinese, so I’m hoping English will just start pouring out of her mouth soon!  I’m getting tired of not having any idea what she’s saying.  Although, my sister talked to her for a couple of minutes today, and claimed that she could clearly understand several phrases.  I was holding the child at the time, and I didn’t hear those things, but maybe she really did say them.  Apparently I need to hire my sister as a Chinese baby interpreter!

Friday the 12th – Whew!

Friday, January 12th, 2007

I just realized how close I came to being on call on yet another Friday the 13th!  However, I typically find that calls are goofier when there’s a full moon.  So far, it’s been a night of people calling about problems with stray cats, for which they have no interest in taking any financial responsibility.  I love those calls. 

Miss Anna’s had a pretty good couple of days.  Yesterday, Joe had to go in to the clinic to work on some year-end tax business with Renee, so I had Anna for the day.  After lunch, we decided to go on a shopping trip, so Anna and I bundled up and drove down to Kohls in W. Lebanon.  She behaved very well as long as I kept feeding her cookies.  But, boy, can that child pee!  She slept like a log all the way down in the car, and when we got there, I carried her into the store, and couldn’t figure out how my arm got all wet.  After we went to the bathroom, I found that her diaper was completely soaked, as was the seat of her pants!  And this is a modern, disposable diaper!  I suppose it must have managed to run out the leg, too, because I didn’t think you could actually saturate those things.  She peed right before we left the house, too.  Good thing I always take a spare pair of pants with me.  Anyway, we had a good time, and she never mentioned Baba all day.  She was happy to see him when we got home, though.  And Joe was happy to have had the better part of a child-free day.

Today, I was at work all day.  Anna got to come in for a couple of hours, because Joe had a dental cleaning today.  It was the second such trip for her in a week, as Joe had a false alarm last week (the dentist’s staff thought it was pretty funny that he showed up a week early!)  He claims it was just a trial run to see how it was going to go.  So, I met them outside, carried Anna in (no crying), took her to Auntie Renee (no crying), said goodbye to Joe (no crying), left her upstairs with Renee (no crying) and went back to work.  Renee took her down the street to one of our 4 Chinese restaurants (in a town with a population of 6000) and fed her fried rice and moo goo gai pan.  They got back just about the time Joe was done with his appointment, and I got to say goodbye to my baby.  All with no crying!  Kind of a landmark.

Because of all the activity today, she missed her nap, so she’s already sound asleep in her carrier in Joe’s lap.  He thinks it’s great, because he can play his computer game to his heart’s content, and she can’t reach anything on his desk. 


Saturday at the office

Saturday, December 30th, 2006

Another 2 day post for me.  Sorry I can’t seem to get to the computer every night anymore. 

Yesterday was another day off for me, so we started out leisurely, sleeping in, and completely frittering away the morning, as we are wont to do.  Joe had a Border’s reward certificate of a significant amount, so we headed down to W. Lebanon, NH, to spend it.  We had lunch first, and Anna charmed the pants off of an elderly couple sitting near us, grinning and waving, cooing, the works.  Maybe she just likes old people.  Anyway, she was a pill for Joe at the bookstore.  She didn’t want to ride in her stroller, she didn’t want to be carried, she just wanted to run around and rearrange books, etc.  He was pretty frustrated by the time he ran across me, and she just threw herself out of her stroller into my arms.  She didn’t behave any better for me, but I guess she was as tired of him as he was of her.  Next we went to Kohls, and Joe did a few laps of the store with her.  She was pretty amusing, doing a strip tease act most of the time.  At one point she managed to get her pants halfway down and her overshirt off, all while strapped in the stroller.  This from the little girl who can’t figure out how to undo Dressy Bessy’s big buttons.  Finally he just let her out so she could run around.  She ran back and forth from him to me, picking up miscellaneous bits of paper, counting “one”, “two”, and generally being cute. Joe didn’t think she was so cute, but I was just so thrilled she was willfully interacting with me, I didn’t care.  After a late dinner at home, Joe said she slept straight through the night for once.

Today, I worked in the AM, and Joe had to come in to help Renee do payroll and get the year-end tax checks written, etc.  Anna had to come along, of course, and she keeps one of us occupied full-time.  After that was done, we decided that since we were out anyway, we might as well fix a few things up at the clinic.  I went out and did a little grocery shopping and picked up a few supplies while Joe had Anna napping at the clinic.  Then I took over the babysitting while he worked on the plumbing and the dryer a bit.  I think Anna spent more time in time-out than out of it today.  Between Renee leaving, and then Joe running in and out, she was distraught most of the time.  But we survived, and I’ve got her in the baby carrier this evening as I type, trying to calm her down enough for sleep.  She’s sort of whining herself to sleep right now. 

Joe’s a bit frustrated with her right now.  He thinks she’s backtracked to her China days since the family left, but I think she’s just coming out of her shell more.  She’s not showing such an obvious preference for Joe anymore, which means she is occasionally showing a preference for me.  I’m not complaining.  The psychology of what she’s been through is so complicated, I could spend years trying to figure out what’s going through her little brain, and why she’s reacting to each situation as she does, but I’ve about decided it doesn’t really make any difference what the reasons are.  We just have to roll with the punches and keep our responses to her loving and consistent. and I’m pretty sure it will all work out. 

12-30-06-1.JPG It was really cold yesterday (single digits) so I made Anna wear a cap.  She was awfully cute, but she couldn’t see.  Fortunately, she wasn’t required to walk anywhere.  We all know fashion triumphs over function any day.

12-30-06-2.JPG 12-30-06-3.JPG Here’s my little movie star, modeling her shades.

12-30-06-4.JPG She was still in the “strip to my diaper” phase when we got home.  It was so silly that Joe and I thought we’d play along, so we all took our pants off and stood in our chairs.  She thought that was pretty cool.

CPC Christmas

Sunday, December 17th, 2006

I didn’t get to post last night because we had our annual work Christmas gathering at the Grand Depot in Littleton, our most favorite restaurant.  Master Chef Rick Tilton and wife Pat take very good care of us every year, and we had a fabulous dinner.  Miss Anna went along, and behaved admirably for a baby forced to sit and be a grown-up for almost 3 hours!  Here’s our annual photo, after a bit of retouching to remove the scary red eyes from my two most demonic staff members, Jill and Jen, and now my daughter as well!


The next photo is from last year’s party.  They were complaining last night that they hadn’t seen it, so here it is for them to enjoy.  Joe and I were definitely at our most balloony last year, so we’re not so proud of that.  We look a lot better this year, don’t we?


This morning, I decided Anna should wear her Christmas outfit to church because next week, she’ll be wearing her beautiful little white Chinese dress for her baptism.  We made a grand entrance because we were our usual few minutes late, and everyone’s eyes were riveted on Anna.  She behaved pretty well during church again, although you can tell she’s feeling a little more comfy there.  She’s chattering a bit, and isn’t afraid to yell when she wants more Cheerios!  It’s kind of fun with strangers around, because she will come to me to be held if she’s afraid.  She wouldn’t do that when we first came home with her, so she’s definitely making progress.  Or I am, or something like that.  I didn’t get any photos at church today; we were just too busy there.  We had a potluck, then choir rehearsal for me and a quick voter’s meeting for Joe.  Joe joked that Anna was the first woman to make a motion at a Wisconsin Synod voter’s meeting; I guess she made some exclamation that was soundly approved.  I don’t know if she got to vote or not.  I took a couple of photos when we got home, but she was cranky already, having slept all the way home.  The first picture shows her outfit the best, but she’s already starting the whiny cry in that one, so I put in another one where she’s holding Joe’s hand, just starting to think about crying! ;-)

anna-12-17-06-2.JPG anna-12-17-06-1.JPG

We’ve got a busy week coming up.  I’ve got a young lady coming to clean in my house for the first time tomorrow morning, so I’m a bit nervous about that, and Joe and I have been busy all afternoon trying to pick enough stuff up so she can actually get at the surfaces to clean.  Mom and Dad fly in on Tuesday, stay the night in Manchester, then come up to Littleton on Wednesday, and will be here slightly over a week.  Mom will be helping out a lot with Christmas preparations, and Dad will be actively spoiling his new granddaughter. I hope he can remember her name better than he does the cats’ names. :grin:  Sister Nicki and BIL Tony will be flying in Thursday evening.  Nana and Nono Casciari and Uncle Jon and Aunt Eileen will be coming up on Christmas Eve and staying for Christmas dinner on Christmas Day.  Anna’s big event is at the Christmas Eve service in the late afternoon.  Mama will be very busy that day, as she is playing the piano for the service and directing her choir as well.  And trying to keep from spilling something unattractive on HER beautiful white Chinese gown before the baptism!

Thanks so much to Pat and my Mom and Marion for suggestions after my last post.  I just want to do everything the best I can for Anna and our relationship, and I want to be able to let family members and close friends help out and be close to her as well.  I’m glad to hear everyone thinks that’s alright.  She’ll figure out how important the Mama is at some point!


Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

Yippee!  We passed our AAHA evaluation with “flying colors” today!  Our practice consultant was very complementary, and was very impressed with all the preparation we did.  She was actually moved by some of the documents we had written, such as our vision statement and core values, and spoke to us in such glowing terms that it actually made me cry a little. She assured us that she could tell that we were a very high quality practice, and we were doing a wonderful job for such a small practice. 

I’m so proud of my staff for all their hard work getting ready for this, and for all the wonderful things they do every day to make the practice run smoothly and professionally.  I’m so grateful that Joe and I have been able to create a workplace environment where they can take pride in their jobs and shine at special projects like this as well as their everyday tasks.  Kudos to Becky, Diane, Jackie, Jen, Jill, Dr. Priscilla and Renee!  Thanks for everything!

Now, I can focus on the travel plans to China I need to be making ASAP!


Tuesday, October 17th, 2006

People in the veterinary biz will know that AAHA, or the American Animal Hospital Association, is a certifying group that publishes standards of accreditation that far exceed those required by state laws or the AVMA for the operation of veterinary hospitals.  Our clinic is a member of AAHA (one of only 14 in the state of New Hampshire!) and we’re very proud of that.  We have had a 4 year certification, and we are due this year for renewal.  The “inspector” is scheduled to arrive next week, and we’re all in a tizzy, to say the least!  We’ve been working on getting all of our pieces and parts up to snuff for the last year or so, so there’s not that much to do, other than spiff up the place, but it still feels like we’re rushing to get things done at the last minute.  Today we had a cleaning day, and all the staff worked hard to get all the hairballs and dust bunnies out of the crevices.  We’ll do a minor clean-up next week before the actual day, and then we’ll be ready!  I think we’re in fine shape for passing, and I hope our inspector does, too.  Being a member of AAHA assures the public that we have a dedication to practicing a high standard of medicine, and are willing to put out a lot of effort above and beyond what’s required of us to accomplish that.

For those interested, AAHA’s site for pet owners,, can be found here.  For those with nothing better to do with their time, you can find our clinic’s website here.

Welcome, Renee!

Tuesday, September 19th, 2006

Renee Casciari, Joe’s big sister, just arrived in Littleton this weekend.  (She actually arrived with a lot of Joe’s help with the moving truck, etc.!)  She is going to take over the role of practice manager at Companion Pet Care.  Her duties will include bookkeeping and payroll, human resources, inventory control, marketing, and anything else I can think of that isn’t getting done right now.  Tomorrow (actually later today) will be her first day on the job, so there will be lots of training!  She has plenty of small business experience, having run her own shop for many years, but the veterinary business will be new to her.  We’re so excited to have her here! 

On-call woes

Sunday, September 3rd, 2006

My associate and I ended up with Labor Day weekend call duty this year for our veterinary emergency co-op.  We have 6 participating clinics in the area, and we share call duties on weeknights, and rotate weekends.  There are 6 major holidays that we rotate, as well.  I’ve been on-call since yesterday morning, and my associate takes over at noon today.  At least it’s raining today (naturally, it’s a Sunday, and I might otherwise have been able to get some painting done on the outside of the building!) so hopefully it won’t be so busy.  Yesterday was an absolute nightmare of phone calls.  I received 20 calls yesterday alone!  Not many of them were actual emergencies that needed to be seen, but as you can imagine, having to talk 20 different people through their animal crises can be rather exhausting.

This morning I’ve only had to talk to 3 so far, and I was able to give a good report to the owner of a hospitalized case, so it’s a good day.  I’m looking forward to handing call over to my colleague soon!

What do you call …

Monday, August 28th, 2006

Two days of rain in a row?  Here in the Northeast Kingdom, we call that a weekend!  Actually, we got away with only one day of rain this weekend (Sunday), and Saturday was a beautiful, partly cloudy, upper 60’s sort of day.  That gave us a great opportunity to do a little more painting on the front of our clinic building.  We’re still trying to get ready for our certification visit from the American Animal Hospital Association, a group we are proud to belong to.  They keep us on the straight and narrow, and help ensure that our standards of practice are uniformly high.  So, we spent all of Saturday afternoon scraping loose paint off of the spindles on our entrance railing, and putting a coat of primer on them.  We’re still not quite done with the whole railing, but when that’s finished, we can move on to the window and door trim.  Yippee!  At least staying in Littleton all afternoon gave us the perfect excuse to have lunch at the Italian Oasis, one of our favorite spots.  We’re only allowed one “real” meal a day on our diet, so it’s quite a treat to get to eat it at the Oasis. 

 If we can only get another 2 or 3 weekend days without rain, before the snow flies, we might be able to get the most urgent of the painting done!