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Yard Work

Today was all about the yard.

160 some odd wall pavers and caps for the front of the house to build our raised bed for the tropicals have been ordered.

Also ordered are the lumber and decking supplies for the rest of the deck around the hot tub.

Wednesday our driveway will look like a lumberyard. 

We also finally dug out a seriously ugly weigela from the front of the house and planted 45 daffodil and 40 tulip bulbs. They may get moved after blooming next spring when we landscape the front of the yard, but for now there will be wonderful early season color to brighten our moods after months of gray to come. 


Helping save a rescued Dalmatian

I don't do usually do this kind of thing, but if anyone has even $5 they'd like to spare to help a rescued dog, Dutch, get the medical treatment he needs, his family would be more than grateful for your help.

They gave up getting a puppy to take in a neglected and abused Dalmatian, but after bringing him home they found out he has heartworms and the treatment for it is $1000. The rescue organization paid for the diagnostics ($400) to see if he was otherwise healthy enough to survive treatment, but the family needs help with the $1000 or they are going to have to put him down.

Here is a link to his page on LJ: Click Here

The rescue link is here with a link at the end of Dutch's story if you wish to donate: Click Here

Thanks everyone.


Please...stop playing it!

I would love it if I NEVER heard Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" on the radio again. (Along with anything by Kei$ha or whatever her name is....) Is there a song you'd love to have dropped from the radio for eternity?

Various FB Posts

Just a moment ago: Great weekend. Mississippi Street Fair with friends, dinner and games with even more friends, a beautiful Sunday morning in the dog park with "the boys," a good workout, then off to play tennis (or what we call it when we stumble around), and now grilled adobo salmon and asparagus.

2 Hours Ago: Is it me or did the Dutch play some rather nasty (i.e., physically aggressive and not in a good way) soccer?

2 Songs I've been listening to lately...

This is an old song of his, but it never fails to give me faith and hope when things get rather heavy.

This is a "chill" track....I love how it takes me someplace new every time. Where does it take you?


The Gulf is home to 27,000 abandoned oil rigs...like the one BP was trying to "temporarily close" when it burst and the government is doing nothing to check on them. This is flipping scary.

Click HERE for the AP Article


SPORTS: America's Religion

LeBron James....a TV show to announce which team he's going to?

Please, America...don't tell me you're a Christian nation when your real idols are sports figures. They have been for decades. And basketball?! All that matters are the last 4 minutes of play. So why not shorten the games and not pay 100 billion dollars per player and use that money to do some good...like have good schools!

Are you serious?

So, I didn't post this on Friday because I chose to celebrate the happy moments this weekend...

My father called me in the middle of my morning on Friday when I was leading my first photography summer camp. I figured, "There can't be any more bad news." Wrong. 

My father called me to say that my sister's dog, Ellie, Adelaide's sister, died. So within the span of 9 days, both dogs, who are siblings passed away. I couldn't have predicted this, but it reminds me of spouses who depart near each other, like their souls are just ready to meet again.  

I guess my brother-in-law in Iraq took the news pretty hard. On top of being gone so long and losing his father earlier this year, missing his family and not being home with his family when the dog he's had for 12 years passed away. 

Happy posts will come later this week, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed. My 95 year old grandmother is having surgery this week...please let that go well! SHEESH!!!!


Adelaide - Thank you my dear friend...

Rest in peace big girl. Thank you for being such a beautiful friend for 13 years. I'm sorry I couldn't be with you to kiss you goodbye, but know that part of me was with Mom and Dad as they held you. You were...there aren't enough words. Just, "Thank you." One day I'll hug you again, I promise. 


A few more...

I will keep this one short. I've spent most of today sobbing off and on. I called home to wish my father a Happy Father's Day and halfway through our conversation he told me he had bad news. Adelaide, their dog, wasn't doing well and might be put to rest tomorrow.

When I say, "their dog," it's a bit more complicated than that. My ex (Steve) and I had three beautiful Briards, two of which were Adelaide's parents. So yes, Adelaide was born in my house. I raised her as a puppy. She became our 4th dog. As did a sibling from another litter, Moose. Adelaide had a sister, Ophelia (Ellie) that went to Florida with my sister. I only raised Ellie for 8 weeks, but she remained part of the family and I saw her every time I visited my family. Adelaide however stayed with me for 2 and a half years. She became my favorite, and we became inseparable. 

Then the problem arose. We had 5 dogs, 5 dogs who decided they needed to rearrange the pack order. Adelaide was out of luck. She was picked on non-stop. She spent her time outside on top of a picnic table to get away from them. When she was inside she spent her time either between my feet under my desk or in a room away from the others. It was too painful to see. She needed to find a new home, and I prayed it would be someone I could trust her with. Thankfully my parents knew her, loved her, and said they'd love to have her in their home.

When the weather was a bit warmer so she could fly, I flew her to their home. The entire time on the plane I was nervous, hoping she was okay, wishing I could tell her what was going on and that she shouldn't be scared. I wanted to crawl into the belly of the plane and just hold her. The day I left her with my family and flew home to Colorado I was devastated. I couldn't let her go. My parents felt guilty for taking her from me. I had no choice, so I gave her one last hug and cried the whole way to the airport. 

Every time I returned to Florida it was like I was returning home from college. She'd run out of the house and go crazy, running, jumping, bumping into me. We'd collapse on the driveway and wrestle and share the love. I looked forward to seeing my family, but what I always looked forward to the most was her running out of the house and seeing me that first time. I spent whatever time I could with her. In fact the photo I have for this entry is me spooning her, both of us sound asleep on the floor. 

For more than 2/3 of Adelaide's life she's lived with my mom and dad, but you'd never know that in my heart. 

So today when I heard that she was suddenly unable to use her back legs and would just whimper and look at everyone it just, well, I don't have to say it. The doctor on Saturday told my parents over the phone that she's lived years past her expected life time and it was time to think of what's best for her. Everyone was at my parents house and she was alone on the back deck, a fan on her to keep her cool because she couldn't come in to be with them. That image alone...I couldn't talk any more. 

Added to that was that because she's too big for my family to move, people were going to come to the house on Monday and "take her." The idea of strangers taking her without my family ripped me apart. If there was ever a time in her life she needed to be held and loved with people she knew, people who could thank her for so much joy and love, it was now. The idea of her facing her last moments scared and alone was unacceptable and just wrong. It would be an insult to the love everyone feels for her, no matter how hard it would be for them. I wasn't there for one of the dogs Steve and I had when she had to be put to rest. I've regretted that ever since. 

I sent a long text to my family telling them that they owed it to her to be with her should that time come. To my surprise, my father sent me a short but beautiful email. He promised that no matter what would happen he would be there for her. Thank you Dad. Thank you. 

Last I heard from my family my brother and sister-in-law brought her into the house. They managed to give her a bath so she was clean and pretty for everyone, and had her lying comfortably in the family room with everyone. (Everyone but me...sorry, but I should be there for her... or at least I really want to be to say thank you for so much. Matt offered to fly me down last minute, but I can't.) My parents are also taking her to the vet to get a second opinion and a fresh exam. I know they will do what is right for her, they are humane and too loving to put her through pain, but even with the second opinion my heart tells me that it's only a matter of time now. 

Added to this I found out that my sister's dog, Ellie, Addie's sister isn't doing well. She's not as bad off as Adelaide right now, but her time is coming as well. My sister hopes she makes it to Thanksgiving when her husband comes home from Iraq, but it seems unlikely. When I fly to see my family this Thanksgiving it's going to feel very different without them to greet me hello. 

I know that for now Addie's comfortable and with family who's loving her more than before, but I know what's coming. And that is breaking my heart. 

And death comes knocking: Mike

The other day I saw an email in my Facebook inbox. The name took me by surprise. It was an old friend/acquaintance from a rather tumultuous period of my life. For many reasons we went our separate ways. The last time we were in contact was probably close to a decade ago. Curious, I clicked his message. To my surprise he searched me out to let me know that my ex(?), who is also his friend, had died from a sudden heart attack. 

I don't even know how to write what my reaction to this was. 

On one hand I felt far removed from the news, enough to make it a bit surreal. Mike and I have not been "together" since 1993 and the numerous times we tried to restart our friendship failed for many reasons. On the other hand a sense of guilt set in because the last two times Mike reached out to me I simply turned the other cheek. No matter how much time passed our conversations were stuck in the past; the times we spent together and his wanting to bash my ex (the man I left him for). When it didn't go there, it often became sexual, something I was not interested in engaging. Even despite this, I feel a bit sad that I didn't reach back. 

The question is why? I think the reason stems from the fact that every time Mike and I tried to make it work his life was stuck, for whatever reason he was unable to or maybe subconsciously unwilling to do what he needed to find happiness. The peacekeeper and caretaker in me wanted him to find it. I wanted to know that at some point in his life he was able to let go of any past wounds or limitations he had in place for himself and be happy. His death came far too early in his life and I hope in some ways, in the years we haven't talked, that he found some...but the pattern in his life that I've known says "no."

There's also the sadness I feel for his mother. She was in a very emotionally unhealthy relationship for years, and her second son was emotionally and in many other ways an emotional and financial "leech." Mike was the only healthy relationship she had in her immediate family that I was aware of. Now in her lifetime she's had to bury her husband (early), her son (early), and some memory tells me something happened with Mike's brother. 

Finally, there's the issue of Mike was really an ex or not. It was a very, very strange and emotionally tumultuous period of my life. Nothing started honestly (his doing), and nothing ended honestly (my doing). I will write about this at some later date, but I can't think about my relationship with Mike without thinking of some of the emotional manipulating that was done at the start of our friendship. This only adds even more conflicting emotion to the news of his death. 

As time goes by I'll put this in more perspective for myself, but when all is said and done, I hope Mike has found peace in his next great journey. 



Dog River Hike Peak

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October 2010



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