Friday, December 27, 2013

Turn out the lights ...

 ... the party's (almost) over!

I hope everyone thoroughly enjoyed -- in his or her own fashion -- a wonderful Christmas!

Ours was certainly made brighter by Encouraging News from DH's oncologist the day before.   Baring any unforeseen 'uh-oh's', they don't want to see us again until March!   
Recalling Tom's original diagnosis, I can't begin to describe the enormity of our relief.   
....then again, I hadn't counted on the army of angels who've held us up! :)

My FB pal, Danny, sent this link just the other day.   At the time, I supposed there wasn't enough time to spend 6 minutes sitting, watching a film about gratitude.  This morning I watched.   Then twice, three times.

Silly lady!   Looking back, I've probably wasted more time telling myself, "I don't have time"!
So, the party's nearing a conclusion, and I'm left to consider its parting gifts.   

Before saying "bye" ... and speaking of gifts, here's a poser:  

Is it just me, or does anyone else wish Victoria's Secret would go away ..... like far, far away?   
I'm not sure about you or your circle of friends -- but (aside from Cher) I don't know any 60-something gals who boast perfectly flat abdomens and anorexic hiplines. 
God bless hubby, I'm sure he thought his was a sweet gesture - but even the more "matronly" pajamas (can I use that word in conjunction with VS?) came up only to the top of my (not-so-anorexic) hips.   
Return-to-sender and happily, no feelings were hurt!   

Right now, I'm enjoying the sweet gift of not setting foot outside in two days.   Let the crowds thin a bit, then I'm planning to have a whee old time buying something really risqué .... like a new coffee maker!

Hugs from Phoenix!


Sunday, December 8, 2013

This, that and the other

So much do ...
yet, I'm sitting here like a clump of clay with a smile on my face, acting out "Doe, a deer, a female deer" for the thousandth time.

While my voice should never be mistaken for that of a real singer, of late I can't stop singing!  Around the house and in the car ... up n' down the aisles at Target (my home-away-from-home).   

Blame it on the holidays, you say?   Okay.
.... but how can I explain some of the weird lyrics coming out of my mouth, like a Dickins' apparition or something!?

"John-Jacob-Jingleheimerschmidt .... thatttttt's my name, too!"

... or, "From the land of sky-blue waters, comes the beer that's so refreshing, Hamm's, the beer refreshing ..... Hamms."   

Does this sort of thing ever happen to you?   ...and should I be concerned that I recall all the words?   LOL.  (For the record, my parents enjoyed a beer now and then, but never purchased Hamms.)

Little things mean a lot, don't they?   
Last Friday, for instance.   I'd taken the day off work, presumably to clean house and start decorating.    Instead, I felt this honest-to-goodness need to visit Hallmark.  
Mind you, the closest free-standing store is nearly 25 miles away, but it had probably been 3 years.   Hey, some folks like Disneyland.   Me, I get a case of "glad-all-over" at Hallmark.

Poor Tom.  By the time I wandered out, he'd fallen asleep in the car -- but still felt up to having lunch at Cheesecake Factory.   Talk about another "glad all over" spot.... goodness!
Almost heaven ...
OK.  It's impolite to stare, but I couldn't help stealing glances at the couple seated alongside Tom:   Nicely dressed, mid-60's perhaps: they sat, just staring at one another.  Not angry, just indifferent.   I don't think a single word passed between them.   It just felt sad, you know?
Lots of time I'm prone to start imagining all these scenarios about others' lives.  But this time I was too busy enjoying "RJ"..... that almost-extinct species of waiter:  listener, informant and entertainer!  His opening salvo?  "I really shouldn't be so nice to you, since I hate your guts already."   (We were wearing Auburn Tigers hoodies; he's a "Bama" fan.)

Ya, little things mean a lot.  
There's dirty laundry waiting and decorating's not begun -- but it feels like Winter outside (humor me!), and the puppies are rolling around my feet like a couple of fools. :)  
Please don't get me wrong; I don't want to come off as some kind of Pollyanna.  There's plenty to concern myself with - both in the workplace and here at home.   
The deterioration of DH's hip has made it almost impossible for him to accompany me to the store w/o using of those little electric scooters.   We thought cortisone injections might provide some relief - but they don't mix with the blood thinners.  So, Tom's scheduled for another PET-scan next Friday, then we're to learn the results on (of all times!) Christmas eve.  

For right now, life is pretty some of that OK.  
Nevertheless, your prayers and positive thoughts are most appreciated!     

Hugs from Phoenix,


Friday, November 29, 2013

Blame it all on my roots .....

As some may recall, holiday dining has always presented a special challenge to DH and me:

His Midwestern recollections center on the Traditional feast - enjoyed by extended family .... whose numbers frankly frighten me.  (LOL)

... vs. my regarding Thanksgiving as a chance to dress up and go to a Nice Restaurant -- anywhere turkey's NOT an option!   I can still hear my father saying, "Lum works so hard all year; I don't want her working on Thanksgiving."   

Since Tom's feeling much better and expressed his desire to "do" a turkey this year, I was like, "Why not?  We'll invite a few friends and family and have a great time."   (Come to think of it, this was said in the same mind-set when I suggested two puppies weren't much harder than one!)

Together with his best buddy's SO (aka, the Stepford wife), he planned the menu ... while I polished the house within an inch of its life.   (Always our deal: he cooks, I'd rather clean any day of the week!)

Just didn't anticipate my nearing a total meltdown when the guests threatened to out-number the available plates and utensils ... when the 3 and 4-year olds ran screaming around the great-room chased by two hyped puppies ... when DH and G retired to the next room to toot their sax and keyboards ... and I learned my coveted pumpkin pie "wasn't."   (Instead, two apple pies, because in the words of the Stepford, "Tom doesn't like pumpkin.")

The GOOD news, since the only menu items that looked good were asparagus and croissants, I actually lost a pound!

The bad?   I'm thinking there's an apology in store to the Stepford.   I've not yet figured it out ... and hoping you (or you, over there?) can help?

B's really a sweet lady.  To tell the truth, I'm probably a bit intimidated by her poise and abilities.   (I only call her the Stepford, on account she waits on "G" all the time, much like a servant.   They'll both be sitting in the living room .... he'll tell her to fetch a cola ..... and she brings it to him on a tray!   Seriously!!!!!)

Anyway.   It was cute watching "B" and DH putting the finishes on our dinner.  
Until much later when she began clearing and rinsing dishes.   (You know how everyone has his-or-her little "that's it!" buttons that shouldn't be pushed?    That's mine.)

Ambling over, I suggest she sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee with the rest of us.
5 minutes later, she's putting food in containers and I'm chewing the inside of my cheek.  
Once more, nicely .... "My turn."

Finally, when she started loading the dishwasher I pretty well lost it :(
and quit asking her to step out of the kitchen.

DH just doesn't get it, but I need to feel like I'm contributing something.

How about you?   Do you resent or welcome having someone help with the clean-up?   

Not OURS, but I couldn't stop laughing when I spotted this out on FB!

In all seriousness, I realize how much we have to be thankful for this season.     While I've been known to mutter, "This is the worst year of my life" .... there have been blessings as well.  

A day late, perhaps, but want to give thanks to each of YOU for filling my personal blessings basket this year!

Hugs from Phoenix,

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Coming around again

Hello friends ....   how are you?

Not sure what happened to the month of October!?!
.... only that it sped by while I was having Fun / feeling Frustrated (work) / Frustrated (puppies) / and plain ole' Dis-couraged.  We won't dwell on that.

First, and BEST-est!!!
 ... after 5 long years between visits, my dear gal-pal Debbie arrived mid-month for a sweet stay.   Some may recall, this is the same person who came to visit in '08 from St. Pete, FL -- travelling a whopping 3 hours a day!   

This time, she arrived healthy (yea!) ... chauffeured by her sister and BIL and their gentleman furball, Snowy. 

LOVE that smiley face!
Happiness = good friends and warm puppies .... x3!
Crockpot chocolate cake .... yummmm!
Nice try, Deb ...
but she's too big to smuggle out under the hat! 
For two people who've little-to-Nothing in common, it's crazy our friendship's lasted so long.   Not sure what I bring to the table, but realize she compels me to be a better sort ..... and I can't stop smiling.      
I mean, for all the surgeries, therapy and continuing pain she's endured, Deb's still one of the happiest folks I've ever known.   Funny?  Gosh, we laughed 'til our faces hurt! 
In other news ...
The pups are growing at a ridiculous rate and getting into EVERYthing.   Ya, that's the tip from a door-stopper Macie swallowed one morning.  Not sure if this "souvenir" wasn't the vet's humorous (?) take on the Tooth Fairy.                         
Some days (well, most days) I look out on our "Sanford & Son" décor and shake my head.  Then, I realize how much those rapscallions have done to lift Tom's spirits.    Have to admit, they make me laugh as well.... like this "accidental-eyes" image I caught Halloween eve.  
So!   November's finally arrived .... my FAVORITE month, ever! 
I'm feeling the tug to do some baking and crock-pottering ... something DH regards with amusement .... but really, what harm can come?  :) 

Hugs from Phoenix!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Reasons to smile!

Good Sunday evening friends!
For a few days now, I've been bustin' my buttons to share ... but Life kept getting in the way!  

... Tom's long-awaited meeting with the oncologist on Tuesday turned out more wonderful than I dared dream!   We arrived wayyyy early -- which if anyone knows DH, is an anomaly in itself.   

After being ushered into the little room, we sat.   And sat.   And stared at the ceiling... and the floor.  Everywhere but at each other. 
Then, when Dr. Choi walked in with the magic white piece of paper, all he's wanting to talk about is music and geckos and "stuff."    Just when I thought I was gonna bite through my tongue, he paused and smiled and said of the PET-scan:  "Fantastic!   A lot of it has disappeared."

Here's Tom and his onc-nurse, "Sergeant San."   What a treasure, that woman!
If anyone looks closely, ya' those are tears in his eyes!

A later visit with the pulmonologist confirmed, while the cancer is still there, there's no spread and best of all, no immediate plans for more chemo and/or radiation.   Dr. S. said, "Go on and get out of here.  Don't bother me unless you've a problem!"    (Sounds harsh, but that's his humor and we love him!)

Of course, this news called for another cupcake supper!

In other news ....
We've officially gone over the deep end.  

Some months ago when well-meaning friends suggested we get another dog -- to aid in DH's therapy -- I couldn't ..... wouldn't entertain the idea.
When I carelessly mentioned that conversation to him a few days later, I fully expected he'd echo my feelings.  "Like another hole in my head" comes to mind.

Well, you know what happens when someone says "never"!  

In fact, I think it was me-- when we couldn't decide which puppy we liked best --  who said, "Let's get both sisters.... how much trouble can that be?"

Oh, but the universe is showing me.  Every day, in every way.  (Banging head against wall over here.) :(

They're ridiculously adorable ... and best of all, DH is a whole new person around them ... he's head over heels in love.
Me, I hope to fall in love again.    'Just can't get past Caraleigh.   ...Or maybe, I'm just afraid of losing my heart again and having it smashed to bits.  

At any rate, please meet Macie Ann and Grace Guca ... 9 weeks old today.  

..... More about the girls later.

For now, I just want to thank each and every one of you n' yours for the prayers and heartfelt wishes you've extended on our behalf.   While we're not out of the woods by a long shot, this was a good week.

I hope each of your coming days is very blessed, as well!

Hugs from Phoenix,



Thursday, August 29, 2013

It's a Girly Thing

So, I just discovered another definition of courage:

Right there, in front of God n' everybody in the superstore, a young lady sat bare-faced waiting for the cosmetics guru to begin her "make-over."


In my youth, I'd have probably traded a body part in exchange for a pretty face.   (No, it never occurred to me that real beauty comes from within.  I'm kind of slow on the uptake that way.)

I know it's ridiculous to hang onto old insults ... but I still recall an awful "come as you are" breakfast in my early 20's.  Evicted from my comfy bed by members of a social club I'd recently joined, neither I or other newbies were given benefit of lipstick or a comb, even.   I'm sure we were a "sight", but it hurt so bad when I was voted, "Ugliest."
(No, I never went back.)

In the ensuing years, there've been more misses than hits .... and plenty of pictures to laugh over decades later!
Still, I'm more than loathe to step outside without make-up.   "At least give me a chance to draw on some eyebrows?"   
I know it's a big "no-no", but there's nights I still go to bed without washing my face.    At this point, there's little can be done to repair the damage save a skilled plastics man!

A dear blog chum has, however, convinced me to finally start applying sunscreen.    But that didn't come without incident:

In a mid-guided notion that more is better, I massaged that potion onto my face and neck ... with vigor.   Meanwhile, the steam from the shower provoked little beads of perspiration ... which quickly multiplied ... dripping in my eyes.  Burn!
Nearing panic -- without stopping to wash my hands -- I decided to take out my contact lens.
... and spent the next 10 minutes hopping around, clutching my eye sockets and wondering how in the heck I'd managed to live this long.

Live and learn!

Has anyone else a bashful face?   I'd love to know if you've any funny stories to share on the way to your close-up!

Me and my oldest granddaughter ... a long time ago!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Update ... and stuff :)


OK, I've got to stop.   Stop obsessing how to craft an interesting/witty/thought-provoking, NON-pity-full post ... and just chat.

For those who've wondered, DH is doing great. 
Actually, he's feeling great today

Unfortunately, I'm learning the hard way (that) can all change without warning.   Sometimes the endless uncertainty and depression seems more real an enemy than that which lurks inside....
then come days I'm inclined to forget there's anything wrong. 
Yes, I should just absorb the good times and be happy in the moment.  Instead, I'm usually on edge, waiting for the other shoe to fall.

Yesterday we found out DH's second PET scan has been scheduled for September 16.   Crazy, but my legs felt like rubber for a few minutes after the call!    At least we'll finally get some answers ... just have to wait for our quarterback (aka, oncologist) to call the next play.

OK, that's it on the health-front.   As a GM used to remind us, "It is what it is."  
.... while I'd be over in a corner grinding my teeth.   Like oil and water, pragmatists and I often butt heads.

I'm making an effort to become more sociable ... and flexible (Gumby-envy).  Baby steps, but surprisingly enough we've not been disappointed!

We've broken bread with friends ...
Sherry and I already know and love one another,
but our fellas had never met. 
Luckily, they seemed to hit it off immediately!
I so hope we'll have more opportunities to spend together!
Let's see ...we also accompanied our sweet neighbors to their church the other night.  I have to admit, when I found out their minister was giving a speech and slide presentation on his mission trip to Africa, I groaned a little inside.   Weekdays, I'm up at 4:00 ... most reluctant to do Anything that involves wearing shoes or making polite conversation after 9:00.
You know what?   He was so charismatic and the narrative so fascinating, I was startled when it came time to leave.    
I even took a break from the office last Monday and we headed to the casino!   I don't dislike casinos, per se ...I just don't get it.  ('Just as soon drop dollar bills in the toilet and hit "flush".... in the comfort of my pj's!)

Anyway, it was delightful to finally meet and visit with our FB pal, Danny -- recently liberated from his 15-year gig at the now-defunct KOY radio.   He still hosts a weekly gathering dubbed "Club 55+" with a fun band, "Route 66."
Wow.  When Danny sang "I Love You Arizona" I think everyone sat up a little straighter.   All the same, I was reduced to giggles watching him queue up the lyrics to "Misty" off his iPhone.   Tom had to remind me, "Just because someone plays it all the time on the air, doesn't necessarily mean they know all the words!"

So!  Life goes on.
... not the most exciting share, but wanted to let you know we're still here ... perhaps on the sidelines ... but cheering all the same!

Please keep well!

Hugs from Arizona,

Thursday, July 18, 2013

John and Schoep ... a love story

Quoting from a web page last August ...
"On Tuesday, July 31st, photographer Hannah Stonehouse Hudson took a photo of a friend and his dog.  That friend was John Unger, and that dog was Schoep. 
Little did either of them know how much of a difference that photo would make."

Like thousands of others, I was immediately taken by their story:
Schoep falling asleep every night as he was carried into Lake Superior to soothe his arthritic bones. 

It's my understanding, unsolicited donations began pouring in from across the globe -- allowing Schoep (and many others!) to receive laser and other healing therapies.

Schoep celebrated his 20th birthday just last month.
(What's that, 140 in human years?)   

Then today, John's message on Face Book ....

"I Breathe, But I Can't Catch My Breath..."

 Schoep passed yesterday
more information in the days ahead
Poor DH had to be taken aback by the sight of my tears when I walked in the door.  
'Suppose the reason I decided to write tonight, is my astonishment at the coming together of mankind. 
I mean, short of a beloved monarch, I wonder how many messages of condolence or "likes" would anyone expect?   
'Just checked, and in the 2-1/2 hours since that post appeared, there have been nearly 30,000 messages and 12,000 "likes."   
Sure, we're prone to argue or point fingers over politics n' "stuff" .... I'm right there, with ya!
But then, we're softened by a silly love story between a man and his dog.  
... which really wasn't so silly at all.  

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Color me, "excited" to finally participate in Joyce's weekly meme! (Why, just saying "hodgepodge" out-loud is FUN to pronounce!)
Without further ado ...
1. Picture postcards were first printed back in the mid-1800's and deltiology is the official name for postcard collecting. When did you last send a postcard?  Receive one? Do you save postcards sent to you? Do you collect and/or send postcards when you travel?
As a child ... while on family vacations, my folks would purchase postcards and have me write a message .... then send to our own address back home. 
In later years, it was fun to read my oversize, crooked print, informing myself I was having a good time!!
Today?  The only time I might buy a postcard would be to capture a scene (that) my own little Kodak couldn't begin to replicate.  I figure it's a wee price to pay for someone else's expertise.

 2. What treat do you most like to indulge in while on vacation?
OK, my first response was to say, not having to make the bed.  Then, I realized that would only drive ME crazy.  I'm not much of a housekeeping fuss-budget, but I can't stand an unmade bed.
I think the sweetest pleasures are being able to dine at odd hours and take naps at will!

 3. Are you good at hiding your feelings?
Ah, my Achilles heel!  I've always struggled not to wear my heart on my sleeve, or be overly concerned what others' think.
Nevertheless, it's critical I remain composed in the workplace.   DH and I've always been each other's confidants -- but since he's taken ill, I think it's important I stay upbeat.  
Only around a few trusted friends (and of course, through prayer) do I feel free giving free rein to my emotions.

 4. Does your town/city/county still deliver telephone books to your home? Do you check the yellow pages when searching for a local business number or has the internet replaced the phone book in your home?
I'm definitely an internet junkie.  Phone directories are so annoying!

 5. Would you rather be first or last?
Hmm, there's several ways to interpret this.  I had to sit back and ponder this one.
I'm not particularly athletic or extroverted, so we can eliminate "first."
(There's no option for middle-of-the-pack, is there?)
I think if one's observant and will learn from those who've gone before, being last can be a good thing.

 6. July is National Park and Recreation Month (in America, but everyone can still play along)...where and when were you last in a park?  Did you participate in any recreational activities while you were there?
A few years ago, my DIL, the grands and I enjoyed a girls' excursion to the Grand Canyon.   It was such fun witnessing their reactions to what the 13-y/o had assumed was "just a big hole in the ground."
Our schedule didn't allow for any hiking, etc. but the girls hopped around the rocks like mountain goats .... while I cringed on the sidelines.

 7.  What was one of your worst ideas?
Funny you should ask!

   Bargain-brand cereal and sandwich spread make for a pretty revolting breakfast.

 8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Now, I'm beating myself up for waiting 'til after work to share a random thought.   Rather than face Joyce's wooden spoon (lol!), I think this sums it up nicely.   
Then again, tomorrow's another day!    Have a great week, everyone!

Friday, July 12, 2013

'Twas a Very Good Year

Does anyone recall that news morsel circulating last year ... asking the American public, "What was the best year of your life?".

Instinctively, to no-one in particular, I responded:  "1983."

To those "in the know" (lol), 33 y/o

.... a few weeks later I read (that age) was the #1 answer!

Must admire one newscaster who shared his personal philosophy, "Right now is my best time!"
...But darn, how I struggle to embrace the present!

Looking back ... sure I've regrets.  Doesn't everyone?
All the same, I'm not sure I'd trade these skid marks for another go-round.
"Decade of the bubble", I call it.  Physically and financially comfortable ... but spiritually bankrupt.

Nope, I wouldn't go back.

One of my associates -- a breast cancer survivor -- recently spoke of her ordeal, calling it "the darkest days of my life." 
Then, flashing her signature smile, Coleen continued "... but I wouldn't have traded it for the world.  Tho' the old shoes no longer fit, I've met the most incredible people, and had the most amazing experiences!

As if the Universe were trying to hammer home the point ....
last evening I encountered a really cheery gal in the check-out line.   Company policy mandated her asking for my driver's license before ringing up a bottle of wine; and of course, we chuckled at the obvious irony.

Yikes (times infinity)!!!!!!!

"Fun, isn't it ... being carded and feeling like a kid again?", she asked.
"Oh no!" (I replied)
... I wouldn't dare go back again."

She seemed genuinely curious, as if looking for a secret.  "You know, almost every one of the older people I've met say the same thing!"

If-n you don't mind my asking, what was the best year of YOUR life?

....Would you want to go back again?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Cupcakes, battleships ... and stuff

Happy Birthday America!
Why, hello again!
Isn't it high time I stick my toes back in the water?
But first, I want to send the biggest hugs I know how... for your prayers and well-wishes.    The outpouring of support DH and I've received from Blogland is a bit overwhelming ... and I've no words to adequately express our gratitude.
Tuesday morning, Tom's finished his 2nd round of chemo (with few ill effects, thank God!) ... and is looking to "graduate" from simultaneous radiation therapy by mid-month.
Granted, our story's probably no different than the thousands of others who've walked this path.   Still, I never envisioned the spirited, good-natured fella I know and love turn into an angry someone one minute ... frighteningly depressed the next.   Not sure if I wasn't more concerned (make that, terrified) about the disease, or DH's attitude ... reluctance to eat ... to just engage.
Then, early one morning I stumbled out of bed and into the kitchen .... and discovered DH sitting nearby with a bowl of potato chips wearing a big smile.
As is to be expected (I suppose), there've been infuriating ups n' downs since then ... but the ups are more and more frequent.   Woo-hoo!
In answer to those who've asked, the most his doctors will say is, "You're progressing exactly as expected."  There's simply no answers to be had at this time; at least until month-end when the doctor orders another PET or similar lookie-loo.
Meanwhile, we celebrate the GOOD hours ...
and some cupcake love!
Hugs from NYC
Speaking with "Alabama son" last month, Troy mentioned  a "little something" included in my Mother's Day card.   When I began to protest -- isn't that what moms do? --  he interrupted, "But, there's strings attached to the check."  
... and went on to explain:   "For every new beginning, for every milestone and hurdle crossed, please, Mom ....go buy a cupcake.   Stick a candle in its center, then each of you make a wish."  
Isn't that neat?   Ya, I've a pretty awesome son.
DH says, "I look like ET!"
In an effort to play along with the rules, we've only observed 8 cupcake suppers so far ... and just about exhausted our local supermarkets' offerings.   Between my work schedule and medical stuff, I've little time (and less patience!) to explore the Valley's noted confectionary spots.  
So, it's off to the World-Wide Web!!!   
French Toast ... yes!
Does anyone else recall these folks being featured on Shark Tank?    I've not yet placed an order, but will definitely share a review ... once we've made up our minds! 
Finally, I want to share a few scenes from a great Father's Day morning ...
Grandpa Tom, (son) Tommy, Mitchell, Audrey and Vivian
Lovely DIL, Shaunna and Viv
Mitchell's a quick learner!
I get a peaceful, easy feeling ....
Thanks for sticking by our sides ... and through this post!   I'll be back!
Wishing everyone a fun and SAFE Independence Day.   
Hugs from Phoenix,

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Makes me smile

Just the other day I watched in amusement as my boss (the GM) walked by my desk, dragging an oversize Samsonite and golf bag.

Seems she'd chosen an inopportune time to use the ladies room...for on her way back across the crowded lobby, a guest tapped her shoulder and asked that she "take care of" his luggage.   OK, then!

That reminded me of a long-ago incident involving my sweet mother:  
84 years young, she'd just deplaned from a long flight; and as was the custom, looked about for her wheelchair transport and a Sky-Cap.  
Seeing neither -- but not wanting to be a bother (that was momma!) she set out in a slow, careful gait to baggage claim.

But!  Then came a touch on her elbow and the welcomed wheelchair.   Momma's "Sky-Cap" waited patiently until her luggage was located.  With few words exchanged, he proceeded to wheel her outside, placed her bags in the trunk and after assuring himself she was comfortable, accepted a crumpled $1 bill.  

Exiting the airport, her driver couldn't contain himself:
"Lady, I don't know who you are, but you must have made quite an impression.   Why, that Captain not only flew you here, but pushed your chair and carried your bags."

Naturally, she was mortified.  But as my co-worker would say, "He was raised right."

It's a bit nice on this Mother's Day eve to look back and chuckle (vs. weep).  


May I share another favorite memory?

Invariably, tomorrow my son and I will remind each other of the last Mother's Day visit we made to Outback Steakhouse in Montgomery.   How mother looked forward to enjoying a margarita!   Still, none of us guessed the effects the alcohol would have on her tiny, fragile self.   When the server came to take our order, mother sat up straight and announced in a loud clear voice, she was having the "Outhouse Special."  

Bless her heart, the waitress didn't blink an eye.   Another one, raised right.

Whether you're observing a busy Mother's Day with family ... or more quietly via your memories ... I hope your Sunday is wonderfully satisfying!

Hugs from Phoenix!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Ironic ...

So, it just occurred to me I began the new year focused on feeling Grateful.
Well, I suspect the Universe said, "let's see about that."

Here, only a month ago when I was wallowing in grief over the loss of Caraleigh, another enemy was at work behind the scenes.   

Last Thursday, we learned DH has lung cancer.   Obviously, we're both devastated; still waiting on results of today's PET-scan to determine the stage and plan of attack.

As you're so inclined, please keep us (him) in your thoughts and prayers.

Thank you, and God bless.

Hugs from Phoenix,
Myra (aka Mevely)

PS -  Once I get my "moxie" back, I  hope to start re-visiting each of your little places in the sun.   Bear with me, OK?   

Monday, March 25, 2013

Of Spring ... and Speed

Happy Spring!  

Except ...having spent the last decade in the desert Southwest, I'm convinced (that) Springtime is a myth ... showing up for a week; perhaps two.  

Nevertheless, DH and I agreed something Must.Be.Done about the storm-ravaged hibiscus before the weather gets much hotter.  Hubby went to get his shovel.  
Then, "Come look!"

I probably left the plant "as is" for empathy!

 Do you see what I see?
Even while I'm reluctant to let go of Winter, I'm awed by new life forms ... and the sheer resiliency of Mother Nature.  ('Still working on the gratitude part, but suspect it, too, will come around in time.)
* * *
So wish I were able to reach out across the miles and give ya'all a big HUG.  Your condolences and personal stories have touched our hearts.   It's still darn difficult to get up, put one foot in front of the other and a stick a smile on my face ... but in large measure, it's YOU who make it so worthwhile.
Now!  Are you ready to see some funny pictures?   (Those of you FB friends already know where this is going .... don't you?)
DH may be embarrassed to admit it, but deep down the man loves NASCAR.   So for his birthday last month I gifted him one of these itty-bitty scale race cars, with a note attached, asking, "Would you like to take a ride?"
So Saturday was "D-Day", and DH was literally floating on air!  I was a bit surprised how many folks our age were there, eagerly waiting their turn. One sweet little old lady just cracked me up, lamenting her hubby's fate and wishing she had a bottle of wine to calm her nerves.  

Wardrobe malfunction!

"Snug" is an understatement .... he said it gets WARM in there!
The Wallace team was so incredibly professional and  focused on safety.   I didn't realize, even their helmets are buckled to the car!

Um, I'd forgotten these cars don't have DOORS!
Phoenix Int'l. Raceway's not one of the SUPER-speedways, but DH was still able to experience the "NASCAR experience" at 150+ mph.
After, I asked:  "Did the driver say anything to you?"    "Yes, just once: 'Hang on." :)  
Thank you, Rusty Wallace for creating such a FUN experience for all the little kids posing as mild-mannered senior citizens!

Have a great week everyone ... hugs from Phoenix!


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Celebrating Cara

13 years ago today ... in those fuzzy moments between slumber and awareness ... I wished myself a "Happy Birthday" --  and resolved to find Caraleigh.  
You see, I'd longed for a little companion for years.   That is, of course, when my life became perfectly aligned.  (right....)  
I'd always known the little stranger would be a "Caraleigh."
... that she'd possess a sweet disposition, sleep in her own little bed and obey my every command.
Well, 1 out of 3 isn't so bad.   I still smile remembering the early days when my boss asked, "So, which one of you is the 'alpha'?"   (Umm, it ain't me, babe.)
Funny face!
Shortly thereafter, DH and I met, moved across the country and were married ... and I slowly learned to trust another to love and help care for my most precious possession.  
As is expected in canine years, my girl began to slow.  She had to be lifted beside me ... on the computer, while reading or simply cat-napping.  
A trip to the vet confirmed a heart murmur and meds were given.   No real cause for alarm, so they said. 
But early Tuesday morning, I spied Cara gazing this way and that ... seemingly at nothing.   "Are you looking at angels, baby?"    Had I known of the anguished telephone call I'd be receiving in a few hours, I'd never have left for work.    
Friends, I'm so sorry for this self-serving pity-party.   Perhaps, in time I'll take it down.  Right now, however, I can't recall a time when my heart's been so shattered, and I feel a Need to write.    
These last few days, I woke-up  ...  surprised and a bit disappointed that I did.   
Yet, I realize it's me who needs to heed the reminder I'd speak to Caraleigh every morning we were together:  "We give thanks to Mr. God for this new day, little girl ... let's rejoice and be glad in it." 

June 20, 2000 - March 12, 2013


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Flashback Friday

.... er, Saturday!
I'm a bit tardy arriving at Miss Martha's party, but didn't want to miss the opportunity to share a few of my favorite memories.

My sweet bloggy friend, Charlotte, says it so well:  ".... I still can't get over how fast a week goes by.  Not just a week, but a month, a year, a lifetime."

This same weekend, 18 short years ago, my granddaughter celebrated her 1st birthday at my mother's in Port Charlotte.   It meant so much to mother that Sarah was baptized into her church that beautiful Sunday morning!

The quality of this photo is poor, but it remains one of my favorite images!

Besides the baby doll, mother gave my son and Lois a lovely diamond  (which belonged to her own mother), asking that it be given to Sarah when she turned 18.  

Today, my granddaughter is a lovely, soft-spoken young woman who still lists "going to church" as one of her favorite activities.  Knowing that, I figure my mom's up there busting her buttons!

Happy, happy birthday .... and so very many more!

Hugs from Phoenix!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Say what?

Do you enjoy talk radio?    As a rule, I try to avoid listening.  Invariably, I wind up getting angry and/or overly- emotional.

Who needs more reasons to stress, right?

Other days I can't resist.
Sure enough, one topic recently piqued my interest:  Whatever happened to the phrase, "You're welcome"?

Before you get to thinking, "Uh-oh, here goes Miss Manners."
... these are the same hosts who, a few months ago, believed the term, "thank you" was being used too often.   Go figure!

Me?  I'm plenty guilty of saying, "You betcha!" ... "No prob!" ... "Anytime!", in response to others' thanks.

But for the life of me, I couldn't recall the last time I said, "You're welcome"!
To these informal-ized ears, that sounds rather archaic.

But feeling archaic myself lately (lol), I made a conscious effort.
...and discovered the words flow off my tongue easier if add one little word -- and  a smile: "You're most welcome."

While I sometimes get the odd look, I think it's becoming a habit.

Are there any "lost" expressions you'd like to see coming around again?

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Grandpa's dash

"I really should leave well enough alone."  
....  that's what I tell myself most days.

Then, there's those times I indulge in the fanciful.
You know that game?   "Living or dead, who'd you most like to invite for dinner?"  

That would be my paternal grandfather, the Rev. Franz E. Willer (ca 1877- 1944).
I'd raise a glass and just ask, "What happened?"

Graduation from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO

Obviously, I'm not the only one who never knew a grandparent.  But what gnaws at me, is not knowing what went on inside that dash ... between Franz' dates of birth and death.

Growing up, I suppose my cousins and I were too self-absorbed to wonder why Grandma Willer -- or our parents for that matter -- never spoke of him.    Not a word.
Except(!) for my having discovered a "post-it" note tucked inside my father's wallet after his death ... detailing the location of his father's grave-site.

Later, the cousins and I'd share our suspicions.   The most widely-held scenario involved (gasp!) a female parishioner.    

I like to believe he was terribly misunderstood ... cast out by my prideful grandmother.
An affair of the heart?   Ya, that's it.

So, I'd really appreciate your unbiased opinion.

I've a cousin-in-law, recently retired from the ministry, who's a bit of a historian.    His wife (my fav cousin)  tragically passed a few years ago, so Gary and I've never met.
Is it folly to ask him if Sue, perhaps, had any insight or stories to share?

...or, am I better leaving well enough alone?

* * *

Happy to sharing with sweet Martha at Flashback Friday.

Hugs from Phoenix!