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,