Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Just Sharing
Dogs, in my experience have an inherent sixth sense into human emotions, far more so than people.

A prime case is Sir Winston. As many of you know, who arereading these words, Sir Winston came into my life as a rescue. The Lhaso-Apso/angel mix was dangerously close to death when I adopted him. His undernourished, frail body covered in overgrown matted fur epitomized the term pitiful. Yet, in those deep set brown eyes, that unblinkingly stared at me, I saw a glimmer of hope. He has never proven me wrong yet. Within weeks he transformed into a healthy, loving and treasured companion' and his weight doubled. That was two and a half years ago.

Over the past year, my life has suffered many set backs. I amin a middle of a highly emotionally charged divorced, lost my home, and I almost lost my father to a staph infection that went rampant. My father's infection ended up bursting both ear drums and took root in his ears, nose and throat. That pushed my 82 year old father to the brink and he spent three weeks in an intensive care unit. This was followedby several traumatic weeks in a nursing hospital and then ultimately home.

I took it upon myself to move in with him and be his caregiver. We both appreciated he would get better attention, and be more comfortable, both emotionally and physically, in his own environment.

Naturally, my two dogs Chester and Sir Winston were also relocated. It was a test of wits for all of us for those first few days. Anyone who has experienced a similar situation can attest that it taxes the bounds of sanity on a daily basis. However one common thread seemed to hold us all together -- Sir Winston. Oh, trust me, my beloved Chester also paid his part' but Winston seemed more in tune to the seriousness of my dad's condition. It was ten days into his recovery when it happened. My fatherfell while attempting to use his walker in the middle of the night. All, he wanted to do was go to the bathroom. He is fiercely independent, and naturally having to rely on someone else for even the basics is damaging to his pride. My father fell and fractured his hip. Due to his other health concerns it was several days beforethe doctors dared to risk surgery. And even then I was warned of the risks involved. He suffers C.O.P.D. and is on blood thinner due to heart arrhythmia.

The surgery was successful and he was swiftly moved into a rehab center.

It was on the second day there that I noticed a contented Pug on the lap of a smiling patient as she was being pushed about the facility.

The next day I decided to take Sir Winston. The fuss began as soon as we entered the facility. Or letme rephrase that. The attention and fuss began to be centered onWinston. It seems everyone he encountered was left with a smile on their face. Be it administrators, nurses, physical therapists, and, most significantly, the patients. Naturally, I allowed Winston to return the love he was receiving. It took me twenty-five minutes to make it in to see my father. My father, not one to normally show emotion, grinned from ear to ear like a proud grand parent with a new born baby on show. On today's visit, after taking another twenty plus minutes to get to my father, he was in the physical therapy room. Once again, Winston became the center of attention as he went from one patient to the next. He took it all in stride -- in fact I swear my little dog was grinning himself. It seems as if I have an unofficial therapy dog on my hands.

Technically, I don't think he is supposed to be there. But when the staff sees the joy he brings to everyone they obviously approve. Winston made several new friends today -- all of whom are looking forward to seeing him again tomorrow' and the next day. I suspect my visits to the rehab center are going to get longer and longer. I, for one, am happy to do it, and I know for a fact that SirWinston is as well.

Credit for this goes to-- P.S. Gifford

Hope you all enjoyed this one.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Best Husband Award & Davenport Trip

Tonight we decided to have McDonalds. (I always get the new Mac Wrap, it is small but enough for me with a lite yogurt or jello). Dave went and got it. I hate onions, but this is SO FEW, and w/out onions, it's dry....usually I can't tolerate onions, but these I can)....Dave gets no onions). Well, he got them for me. I was furious, beyond what I should be (Mad as hell, threw a hissy fit) (& went to McDonald's to get my own regular Mac snack!) Dave's car was in the drive (I forgot about that, mine was in the garage, and I had to back down the drive. As usual I make sure I clear the snow blower on the right side of the garage. BUT, because I was mad, I go ZOOMING out of the drive and ?????????????? You got it......I scraped Dave's car with my left front mirror. ALL THE WAY down the side of his car. Just because I was mad he didn't get my Mac right. Holy smokes. I told him immediately when I got back because 1. I can't not tell him stuff like "Dave what happened to your car???????????"==Fake it.) And, #2 I was guilty! Really he couldn't have been harder on me than I was being on myself.

Well, this has a happy ending. I stated to try to get it off, but Dave got some polish or scratch stuff he had in the garage and proceeded to get it ALL OFF! Hallelujah! Praise God! But I learned a valuable lesson, don't take your anger out by going fast, (look what happened.)

Hot temper tantrums don't solve anything, and I hope you don't have to wait until you are 60 to find this out (or learn it the hard way). We have a fairly high deductible on the cars, and on our fixed income, It would have been very difficult for us to come up with the deductible cash to fix it!!

He spent 5 days in Davenport, IA trip seeing my friends, as we weren't able to get ahold of his brother! It's pricey to motel it for that many nights, and eat out, etc. But he knew I needed to see my friends. (It had been 10 yr since I had been in Davenport, (*Dave had been periodically on for business and so he's seen some friends and family then.) Bless his (Dave's) heart. We lived there for the first 19-20 yr. of our married life, and Tim grew up there. The trip was good for us, especially me, we went by every place we'd ever lived and saw a few of my dear friends--Besides we went to our "surrogate niece's" wedding (One of my lifelong best friend's daughters, a friend I worked with for years and am very close to got married.) That wedding definitely was priceless, and worth the world to both of us, to see beautiful Christina's big day! (For me to see my friend Tory, who, like her daughter, is as beautiful on the outside as she is on the inside, and for me to spend time with my one my oldest Best Friend (over 45 yr.), Lynn.

Then, a BIG added BONUS: We also were able to stop and see Tim, Patti and our grandkids on our way home! Joe has the neatest toothiest smile and is now a toddler not a baby (16 mo. old) he still has a halo in tact! Jack is becoming so grown up (He's so funny, and smart, and I enjoyed watching some episodes of "Curious George" with Jack in the bedroom. He explained the stories to me. He's so enthusiastic talking a mile a minute....and then boom, all of a sudden, he is sound asleep. I just laid there looking at him. Thinking of how blessed we are to have him. And the years turned back, Jack reminded me of a little boy who once was small, named Tim who used to wear a baseball hat whether awake or asleep, too! Oh, the Grandchildren are darling, and precious and growing up so fast! We got to see their new dash hound puppy, Betty. She's super cute! With a great personality! Tim and Patti were great hosts & Besides cooking a great supper, Patti gave me a beautiful silk scarf she got for me when she was in India for work a few months ago. They always make us feel so welcome!

About my mishap: I know I probably wouldn't be that nice. His car may be just an Impala, but it's loaded and a beauty AND MORE importantly- The first car he ever paid off!

So! Now, don't you think I am lucky? Remind me of this IF I complain about him. :)

Had to brag, but in reality, I am honestly just very thankful. that Dave is like he is (a nice guy) & to God because this wasn''t worse than it was! I was lucky this time. It's never dull living with me. If you actually read all of this, thanks, you must indeed really be a good friend to me as I try to be to you!

Safety First, Be careful, cuz cars are expensive & lethal weapens.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Good Life: Adding the Final Touches

A Good Life: Adding The Finishing Touches

by Lynne Wisman
Sunday June 24, 2010--SOURCE:The Globe Gazette (Mason City, IA)

To my dearly beloved children:
In your eyes and heart I am a very special person because I am your Mother. I'm grateful for that! I feel the same about you. You are special and I have invested much in you, including all of my love. It was a wonderful journey composed of good and bad calls and lack of sleep. It was worth everything we put into it.

Now it's a different journey. This journey is for your father and me. We've spent a lifetime taking care of other people. The rest of our lives will be labeled, "Ours."

Let me explain why I'm telling you this:
We want you to understand why we sometimes say no.

No, we don't want to do that this weekend. No, we're not coming over. No, we're not going to "Grab a plane." No we're not going to take care of the grandchildren. No, we're not going to babysit your dogs. No, we don't want to go on a cruise. No, no, no."

Don't mistake the word "no" for "They don't love me." We do love you. You truly will never know how much. But here's the thing: You are too young to recognize the sound of a ticking clock. We recognized it long ago.

An alarm goes off one morning and it's a wake up call. The message is straightforward: Time is evaporating faster than an out-of-control train, and it's taking us with it.

Parents sacrifice everything to raise their children. You know that, for you have children of your own.

We not only raised you but some of your friends as well. We took care of pets, helped our parents, did volunteer work when it was necessary and a thousand other things required to keep a family well-balanced.

It was the most worthwhile job we've ever had in spite of living in a human zoo. We loved it even when the power bill was out of sight because curling irons were on 24/7, and when we lost our hearing because your digitals were torqued to the max.

We loved it through trikes and bikes, boyfriends, girlfriends, proms, thousands of sporting events in the rain, and a complete depletion of financial resources.

They were such good years and today we have beautiful young adults that we are proud to present to the world. Society wants and needs young adults that will make a difference. Society not only got what was needed, we gave it to them in spades.

That was then: It was yesterday, last week, last decade, last time. It was our final contribution.

Today society can stuff it. And you, my darling children will eventually understand the evolution of attitude in relation to time: What is left is for us. We earned it, it's ours, and we're going to take it.

Life is short and there are no guarantees. With evaporation of time comes a do-it-now urgency.

This doesn't mean we are trading you for something else. What we are doing is taking time for all of the things we never had time for until now. Your father and I are putting the finishing touches on a good life.

I know it's surprising, but we've finally grown backbones and learned how to say, "No."

We don't want to hurt your feelings, but for us it's very much about the value of the days that are left.

We know that you love us enough that you will forgive us when you find we are set in our ways and stubborn beyond belief. It comes with the growth of backbones.

One day you will look upon this time and realize ours was a surgical division from past responsibilities, not a psychological division from you.

Loving you is the greatest of joys.

Looking forward to the rest of our lives with a freedom we've never experienced is a gift we owe to ourselves!

One day, you too will receive this gift. Use it as we intend to use ours, to celebrate the past and to step into the future.

We will always love you. You are the greatest gift of all!