Wednesday, April 7

April in Arizona

The only thing that coulda made this better are my pals and a pony keg.

Sunday, February 14

Meanwhile, back at the blog

I decided to write about my cancer adventure on Shades of Blue. This blog will be for everything else. Try to keep up with me.


Saturday, February 6

2009 Part I

Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Matters of the Heart

Hi! Just home from a lovely 3 day stay at the hospital for a fucking HEART ATTACK. No shit! I had my 5th round of chemo last Wednesday, and by Saturday was starting to feel some minor side effects (joint pain, fatigue), but by the afternoon my chest was so tight I couldn't stand it. My jaws ached, and my arm was totally weak, I couldn't even lift it. I called my oncologist, but some douchebag was on call who told me "it doesn't sound like your heart, it's probably indigestion or stress, so take a Xanax and some Pepto and call me back in an hour".

Um......Say what??? Fuck THAT. Now, I'm no doctor, but I definitely know the classic symptoms of a heart attack. Ten minutes later I was in the E.R. having an EKG. The doc says "you know what's happening, right? You're having a heart attack." I KNOW!! I'll tell ya, when you're having a heart attack in the E.R. you become VERY popular. EVERYBODY swarms all over you. After lots of meds, a cardiac cath, echo-cardiogram, chest x-rays, CT scan, EKGs, blood draws every hour for 3 days, and some very lovely pain meds- I am home. I feel okay, just kind of shell-shocked. I have 4 new cardiac meds. I'm trying them one at a time so if there's a reaction I know which one to blame.

They don't know what caused it- chemo is a possibility, family history, smoking, cholesterol, stress (ya think???) are all contributing factors. I have to see the cardiologist before my next chemo because he has to clear me for it.

I don't know how much more of this I can take.

Thursday, April 23, 2009
Chemo #1- so far, so good
Yesterday was my first chemo treatment. I was pretty anxious about it; in the past month since the surgery I've been pretty good, but yesterday morning I was all bunged up about it. That could have been from the massive amount of steroids I had to take the night before and again that morning, too.
Rock Star took me to treatment on the bike. It's a 25 mile ride up to North Scottsdale to my doc's office and the traffic was good. It really calmed me down. We got there and he stayed until they got me hooked up. I got more steroids through the IV first (they are to prevent allergic reaction, but they really jack you up). Then, they put Zofran (anti-nausea med) and Benadryl through the IV for 30 minutes. Then they gave me a small dose of Taxol (the chemo drug). I tolerated it fine- didn't even feel it going in. I'd had all kinds of weird dreams about that.
I had a big, comfy armchair, my MP3 player which blasted Kid Rock when the Taxol started), I started my Journal, talked to some nice patients about treatment and sipped on my Power Ade (blue, of course). My friend Kimmy, who works in the office complex where I was at came to visit me on her lunch hour, and then my sister came over an hour later. I got to walk outside with my IV pole and sit in the sun (twice). I ate cheezy crackers and mini Baby Ruth bars (sweet). You see those ribbons on the wall? Those are the Graduation Ribbons, and we get to sign them on our last day of chemo treatment. Each loop of bow and all 12 of the 4 foot streamers are signed on these two. One of the patients today is the first to sign the 3rd bow. I'm gonna sign that one, too, in August.

All in all, it was a pretty good day. I had no problems, the chemo nurse absolutely rocks, and I felt great. They said any side effects would start in about 24 hours, but I may not get sick at all. I have a lot of anti-nausea meds here should I need them but so far, so good. I made us all a steak dinner last night, with baked potatoes and a salad. I ate it all.

I'm going back to work on Monday. I'll work as much as I can between treatments. Thank you for your prayers and love. I know it made everything go right yesterday.

Love to all.

Saturday, April 18, 2009
And so it begins
I start chemo on Wednesday. I'm trying to learn as much about it as I can so I'll be prepared, but there are so many things I don't know. I have lots of medication to help me through it so maybe it won't be so bad. I have good people looking out for me and ready to help in whatever capacity I need. I am so lucky to have them.

This all happened so fast that I didn't have time to think about it or process any of it. But now it's all kind of crashing down on me. So much to think about and try to plan for, but a lot of it is still unknown. Sometimes it overwhelms me. It's a scary thing, but I am still not afraid. I have referrals for support groups, counseling, advocacy groups, etc. My church is supportive and I have a lot of people saying prayers for me, which gives me great comfort.

I'm determined to get through this. What's 6 months in the grand scheme of things, anyway? It's gonna SUCK, and I know it. But I'm strong, stubborn, and have a lot to live for.The love of my family and my faith in God keep me focused.

I will survive.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009
20 lbs in 20 days.
Not that I was trying, but I'm 20 lbs lighter than before the surgery. I just can't eat more than 4 bites at a time. When you can only get down 4 bites of something, you become real picky about what to eat. Hmmm, do I really want those chips?
pateeta (or what's left of her)

Sunday, April 05, 2009
10 days post op (warning- graphic photos!)

Feeling much better today. I have some GNARLY new scars! 14 inches on my belly, an abdominal port that's attached to my left lower rib, and chest port for future chemo. They don't hurt and my abdominal muscles are working fine but my back is killing me because I can't sit up or lie down comfortably yet. Wah. :(
Sweet, huh?

I'm getting a little stir crazy here at home. I miss my Big Black Dog- he's staying at Brojito's house for awhile so he doesn't kill me with 90 lbs of pure Labrador love. I did visit him the other day, though. We were so excited! He took it easy with me, with Bro at the ready to yank him off me, should he need to. He didn't.

Rock Star took the Boyo to Cycle Fest the other night, both of them sporting pink bandanas in my honor. Can you believe it? There were some comments, but my Beautiful Son just said "Hey, they're for my MOM!" (with blue fire shooting from his eyes) and was left pretty much alone after that. I am so proud of him.

I called my rheumatologist while I was in the hospital to let him know what was going on, since he never could figure out what was wrong with me. All I can say is that right now, my joint pain is GONE. (along with my ovaries and my spleen, and some other parts I didn't know I had).

Anyway- back to life as I know it, whatever that is. I'll be starting chemo soon so am bucking up for that. I'm trying to do the math about the wedding and the chemo- 26 weeks til the wedding, with 18 weeks of chemo leading right up to it. How long does it take for hair to grow back? The Britney Look was SOOO not what I was going for in the wedding pictures- but we'll see what we see, I guess.

I need some biscuits and gravy.

Thursday, April 02, 2009
Words alone. . . . .

Cannot express my gratitude for the outpouring of love and support from those who love me. To my wonderful family, my Rock Star, my friends, coworkers, employers, casual acquaintances and even complete strangers who took time to say a prayer, send a card, flowers, or the gift of your good thoughts for my cancer ordeal- THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART. With your support, and the grace of God, I will survive.

I love you all.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Pateeta, on her 48th Birthday

My office threw me a great party today. There were 48 balloons in my office, a red velvet bundt cake with cream cheese icing from my girls, flowers, cards, Starbucks cards, PLUS a big-ass white cake with purple flowers and strawberry filling from my docs, so it wasn't all bad. (not that I got to eat any of it)

I saw the oncologist today at 4:00. WOW, this dude doesn't fuck around.

I'm having open abdominal surgery TOMORROW for ovarian and (Surprise!) abdominal masses. God, the fun never stops at La Casa Pateeta, let me tell you. The surgery will be anywhere from 2-4 hours, and start (somewhere) between 2 and 5pm because he already has a full surgery schedule in the morning. He'll implant an intra-peirtoneal catheter for later chemo treatments. I'll be in a brand new, state of the art hospital and I won't be discharged until Monday, but I'll be attended by the best gyn/oncologist in the Valley. They better have WiFi, is all I can say. I missed my birthday dinner because I had to start my liquid diet/bowel prep as soon as I left the office, so I'm a little cranky. Beer is clear, right?

My Girl is driving down from Flagstaff with The Baby tonight, and my whole family and my Rock Star will be there with me tomorrow. I believe in God and I am not afraid, but please say a prayer for those who love me that they may have the strength to endure whatever may come.

I love you all.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Haven't got time for the pain
I don't know what the heck is wrong with me, but it's not getting better. Joint pain? Psshht, big deal. Ice it, wrap it, Motrin it, should go away, right? Sadly (and painfully), after a month of an ER visit, PCP visit, Rheumatologist visit, a gallon of blood tests, back to the PCP, anti-inflammatory drugs, narcotics, steroids, much distress and NO ANSWERS- My joint pain has spread to almost ALL my joints. It migrates. It HURTS!

Today I looked like a big dork with my right wrist and right ankle braced (it hurts to move them much), but the topper was the lime-green splint on the middle finger of my left hand because that finger is frozen in a claw. If I was left handed, I'd be DONE. Luckily, my knees don't hurt this week, and my elbows have somehow been spared from this very weird, very sudden, very painful arthritis-like attack... thing... that's happening to me. I feel old and decrepit. And very, very cranky.
According to some of the tests done, I do NOT have Lupus, Valley Fever, Gout, Strep, Pneumonia, Thyroid problems, Fibromyalgia, etc. I have, however, been exposed to Parvo (WTF?) at some time or other, and several other test results were off the charts but not specific enough to pin down something like Rheumatoid Arthritis.

At work today, one of my docs said (jokingly), "You could have syphillis!". And I thought, "Yes! If I just had SYPHILLIS, then I could get a shot and it would be cured!". I never thought I'd be wishing for something as simple as syphillis. I can't be taking Vicodin and Prednisone forever. I just want someone to tell me what's wrong and make it go away. How am I gonna put together a million sunflowers for my wedding if my hands don't work? I don't have time for this pain.

Please let it be syphillis.

Sunday, January 25, 2009
There are a lot of holes in the desert

Some, you never think about. We rode down to Green Valley yesterday with the Foothills H.O.G. Chapter to tour the Titan Missile Museum. The TITAN Misslies were built during the Cold War to deter a nuclear attack on the United States. (meaning: Everyone knew we had them, so don't EVEN think of trying to nuke us!) I never paid much attention to all that when I was a kid; it was just "boring war stuff" to me. Hey, I'm a girl.

But now, thinking about the reasons for it, and the possibilities it averted- (and actually seeing a genuine Titan Missile (e.g. nuclear BOMB) it's horrifying and mind numbing.Of course, it's disabled, (really?) but going down those 50-odd steps deep into the ground

to see the control center

the shock absorbers

and the blast doors
and thinking about life-as-we-know-it disappearing in a flash of light makes me wonder:
just how many MORE holes are in the desert?

2008 Stuff

Monday, November 03, 2008
In fact, the whole weekend rocked! The Halloween party Friday night at Famous Wing's (now known as Darwin's) with costumes (I was Zorro), my Konni Girl, good food, Blue Moon beers, the Just Passin' Through Band playing - a good time was had by all.

Saturday afternoon My Girl and The Baby came down to visit. Miss Em is sassy, full of mischief, bossy and sweet-just like her mother. We had fun in the short time I saw them (it was last-minute, and I already had a lot going on this weekend). Hopefully, we'll make a trip up to Flagstaff soon to hang out longer.

Saturday night at The Ox with the Just Passin' Through Band. I used to go to The Ox about a million years ago when it was called The "I' (1983). I can tell you, the clientele sure has changed. Tweakers, Geeks and Freaks, Fruits and Nuts, and Flip-Flop Drunkards were all in attendance. Well, I guess the clientele hasn't really changed all that much, now that I think about it. But, hey- the music was good, I got to dance and drink Blue Moon (my current favorite) and kiss on my Rock Star during the breaks.

Sunday- Oh, Happy Sunday! Got up late (stayed up late!), had the $2 breakfast at Wing's (Darwin's), then headed out of town to go see my Shanny Girl. What a gorgeous day! It's still 80 degrees on November 2nd. We took the back roads to Tucson instead of the boring ride down I-10. We passed through beautiful desert, cholla jungles and almost got eaten by dingos when we stopped to rest for a minute. I saw what looked like partying in the cemetaries that we passed and thought "Wow. I haven't partied in the cemetary in AGES! Is this a holiday?" I forgot that it was Dias De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Dur.

We rounded the Catalina Mountains coming into Tucson and just had to check out the little yard sale in the Circle K parking lot- they were closing up by then and the only interesting thing I saw was a bird cage. But I couldn't see myself riding on the back of the bike with a damn bird cage swinging in the wind. I took lots of pictures from the back of the bike.
We finally got to where Shannon was staying. She met us out in the driveway, and I was blinded just by looking at her. Her radiant beauty will knock. you. dead. She pulled me off the bike and gave me a quick hug. Then she shoved me aside, hopped on the bike, grabbed Rick around the waist and yelled "Let's GO!" haha, funny girl!

We had a short, though entirely pleasant visit. We met her friend Lisa, who is recovering from a stroke. With Shannon taking care of her, I wouldn't be surprised if Lisa was up running marathons within 6 months! Truly, an amazing thing to witness is Shannon's dedication to people.

We sat around the table and had beer, some kind of chocolate turd-looking-thing she and Jack had made (RAW, of course, but better than real brownies), some killer mint chocolate chip ice cream (also RAW), lots of laughs, music- her Granny's very own "My Child Has A Billy Goat" and other hits by the famous Maddox Brothers and Rose, and a little Jeffrey Steele. We looked at pictures and reminisced about Jackson and our friends, who are scattered worldwide. Shannon's boys (Lane, Garret and Jack) are beautiful, healthy, polite, sweet and all-around great kids. They are a true pleasure to be around, much like their mother. Shannon tried to send me home with a pumpkin but I wanted to take Jacky instead. At least he is bendable-and on the bike, that is important.

Those that know her know that to be anywhere near Shannon is like being in some sort of magnetic force field. You have no resistance to her charm, her wit, her biting sarcasm, and the love she oozes from every pore. She is a force to be reckoned with, and I pity the fool who is too stupid to realize it. She's also a pole-dancing stage whoor, but who can blame her? If I looked like that. . . . . LOL

So, be JELL-ASS, my friends, that I got to immerse myself in the aura and sweetness of Shannon Rose. And you didn't. And I had a lot of TOP quality time with my Rock Star. Good times, Baby. Good times.

neener neener
5:25 PM

Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I carry your heart
by ee cummings

 carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)
i am never without it (anywhere i go you go, my dear;
and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet)
i want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant,
and whatever a sun will always sing is you.
here is the deepest secret nobody knows:
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;
which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart.
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

You know who you are.
10:41 PM

Friday, October 10, 2008
My poor little Pony
Some Bee-yotch stole the tail light covers off my Mustang! I walked out to my car yesterday at lunch and noticed that the back of my car looked wierd. At first I thought my bumper had been ripped off, but it was the tail light covers! Both sides looked nekkid! Bare bulbs hanging there! WTF??? Immediately I scanned the parking lot to look for the thieves (the filthy little thieves) but there was no one around. Well, if this don't beat all, I thought.

I called around to parts stores, junkyards, checked on Ebay, etc. looking for replacements. It's an old and crappy Mustang, but it IS still a Mustang, and parts aren't cheap- even plastic tail light covers. So now I have the ghetto red tape on it so I can drive without being rear ended cuz someone doesn't see my brake lights, and Randy from The Mustang Shop has ordered me a new set - $130!!! But the junkyard wanted to sell me ONE old cracked one for $50, so I guess I'm getting a good deal for new.

1:55 PM

Sunday, October 05, 2008
I think that maybe I WILL just have that breakdown. You know, just to get it over with. I've had so much happening lately- so many changes and so much stress-I held it all in and kept going because I had to, but now I feel my control slipping away. Nobody's here, just me and my big black dog. I'm sure he won't mind if I weep uncontrollably into his soft furry neck.

He loves me like that.
2:45 AM

Saturday, October 04, 2008
Trying to get my Zen back
It's been exactly one year since my last serious breakdown (my Boyo left, the BF moved out, and my Mojo was dying-all in the same week) so I figured that I was due for one, but somehow I made it through this past week on pure determination and adrenaline. I HATE MOVING. With a passion! Had problems with my new apartment (ants, management issues, etc.), problems at work (busy as hell, backed up, and the new girl just doesn't know how to STFU- she may get my boot up her ass very soon).

I'd like to thank my peeps: My Mom, My Bro, My Rock Star, and My Konni Girl for helping me through it all. I owe you guys BIG TIME! And thanks to Ambien I was able to get some solid sleep last night. Disclaimer: whatever I say in an Ambien trance can't be held against me. I'm lucky if I even remember that you called.

Now the work week and moving stress are over and I'm just trying to decompress. The Rock Star is out of town for the weekend and the Boyo is gone again for Fall Break , but the dog finally pooped, the ant problem is fixed, I have many bottles of good stuff to drink and I'm slowly getting my stuff unpacked and trying to get my groove back. But I'm bored. And I'm lonely.

Woe is me.
8:00 PM

Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Sunday, Sunday
Sunday was a beautiful day. I went to church with the Rock Star. I did! I know all you non-believers are shaking your heads thinking "what shenanigans is she gonna pull next? Pateeta in a church??? Did the roof cave in?"

I haven't been to church in a long, long time. My parents weren't church-goers and I started going on my own when I was a kid. When I did go, I usually felt better afterwards but I guess I never really "got" what I was supposed to get. I've visited a lot of different churches trying to get some perspective but I stopped going because I got tired of them bashing other churches or religions, and I didn't like the feeling that I was being judged when I walked through the door. That, to me, wasn't what it was supposed to be about.

It was a perfect day; warm, clear, and traffic was light as we rode out to the far west side of the valley. We were dressed in jeans, boots, bandanas and baseball caps. I had nothing on my mind but the wind on my face, how pretty the mountains looked and how good it felt to be on that bike with him. I didn't think twice when he asked me to go with him a few days earlier, I just said "yes"- because I want to be part of his world. But when we pulled up to the church I got nervous. Really, really nervous. What if they didn't like me? What if I tripped walking through the door? What if I looked. . . . bad? All hat-haired, wind-blown, scared, unsure, just.....wrong??? What if they knew just by looking at me what a horrible person I really was? That I hadn't been to church in years and I had no business being there??? I knew it wasn't a firing squad, but it had been awhile, ya know? I was sure my church-card had long since expired. And organized religion freaks me out -there's so much contradiction. What could I believe?

He had told me what to expect (like, DUH, it's church); music (with a band!), talking, some prayer, nice people, regular church stuff (with a band!) but I still wasn't sure. I'm such a dork sometimes, I swear. Some of you would never know how insecure I am, being the boisterous goofball in-your-face crazy girl that I show you. I can bounce into a group of complete strangers practically screaming "HERE I AM!" but let me walk into a church and I become a mouse. A squeaking, shy, scared little mouse. (unless it was for my daughter's events)

Well. I thought we'd sit in the back, nice and quiet where nobody could see me- but nooooo. Right to the front he took me. Great, I thought. Dang. Nothing like jumping right in. And guess what? The roof didn't cave in. I didn't fall down. I didn't emabarrass anyone. I met some nice people and nobody gave me the stink-eye. Church surely wasn't like I remembered it; this was modern, with comfy seats, A/C, a coffee bar, and they had a band! (yes, I'm still trippin' on the band, among other things.) It was all very casual and comfortable and the pastor was cool and said some great things that really woke me up, and I didn't feel bad not being "dressed up for church". And Rock Star squeezed my hand and smiled at me every now and then, which did a lot for me.

This is probably not a big deal to most, but it was to me. It wasn't what I saw there but what I heard and how it made me feel. I felt really good about the whole thing, and being there with him was very special. I was so glad he asked me to go with him. I don't know if I can thank him enough for that. It made me think about a lot of things, mainly that I've been brain-dead for too long. I've made a lot of bad decisions in my life and I want and need something and someone to believe in. I have let so many people let me down so many times, including myself. I am not the person I want to be, or the person I should be.

We spent the rest of the day together on the bike, meeting up with his friends and stopping for a drink here and there. Then we went back to my house and watched a movie with the Boyo (who thinks the Rock Star is hilarious- I think it's mutual). It really was a perfect day.

The only constant thing in my life is change. I feel like good things are about happen for me and it's time to pull my head out and let them happen. Je suis prest. Thank you Baby

Big Love
5:40 AM

Sunday, September 21, 2008
Pirated! Yarrrrr......
Great party last night! Went out with Rock Star to a Pirate Party at his bar and met his crazy friends. Good tunes on the juke box, great costumes, way too much ARRRRGG! and YARRR! and way too much whiskey for me- I should put my hat back on to keep my brains from leaking out. A good time was had by all.

Why is the rum gone?
12:00 AM

Sunday, September 14, 2008
Procrastination at its finest
How many boxes have I packed so far? Well, um...... I had to, um, let's see..... I had to go and sign my new apartment lease! Yeah! That took an hour and a half. Then I had to go pick up Jessie from Denny's and take her home. Then I had to go to Safeway and buy many bottles of alcoholic refreshment to get me through the packing. Then I had to swing by the apartments again. Then I came home, unpacked the groceries (many bottles of alcohol), took many minutes eating a bologna sammich and drinking a bottle of Harp lager. Then I had to check email cuz I was sure that Rock Star sent me something. (he did). And then I got caught up in an email frenzy with some friends, had to post on a couple message boards, then had to watch some videos on Youtube. Oh damn. My beer bottle is empty. BRB.

Okay- got a new beer. I put a pork roast in the crock pot earlier- the smell is driving me mad with hunger. I'll have to go and pick at it in a little while. Chongo is begging me to take him out. I think I'll actually walk him instead of letting him out in the yard. That should take at least an hour, right? After I finish this new beer that's what I'll do. Oh, hey! Awesome song on the radio! I'll have to get up and shake my groove thing. Nothing like a little exercise to get me motivated, right? Oh no! I just looked into the dining room. There are a stack of (empty) boxes in there and I could swear they just shifted. They actually look closer than they were a minute ago. Could they be stalking me? If you don't hear from me soon, make sure to check the boxes. I'll probably be stuffed inside of one of them.

Help me
9:47 PM

Sunday, September 14, 2008
9 Boxes
Moving SUCKS! And now I promised to pack nine boxes today. NINE BOXES!! What was I thinking?? It's Sunday! Time to go back to bed and see what happened in that crazy dream I was having. (too bad we can't TIVO our dreams, huh?) Time to laze around and NOT watch football. Time to read 6 chapters in both the books on my coffee table- Anthony Bourdain's "The Nasty Bits", and the first Twilight book I got from Cassie. But noooooooo. Where are the Moving Faeries when you need them? I did have a really awesome morning and an excellent breakfast with the Rock Star, but now I'm a football widow and have to go pack nine boxes.

4:09 PM

Thursday, September 11, 2008
Old School
I love networking sites, whether it's MySpace, Facebook, Classmates, etc. I get to reconnect with old friends from my other lives. A couple weeks ago I met up with someone I hadn't seen in 25 years. We've both grown up a lot since we saw each other last. I think he rocks. Oh, wait-he does! He's a Rock Star now. And I always thought he'd be a manager at Burger King.

8:36 PM

Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I have to move again.
Ya know, it seems that the only constant in my life is change. Damnit. A year after the BF moved out, I find that I just cannot afford to live in this BigAss house by myself. But hey, at least I lasted another year on my own. That's something to write home about.
I'll be moving back to my old apartments at the end of next month. It was a good place for us when we left Chicago almost 4 years ago and they'll take my big black dog. The rent is cheaper, I won't have to take care of the yard anymore (this one is HUGE) and I'll have the pool right off my patio again, so it ain't all bad. But still, I'm sad. I loved this house. On the other hand, my kid is great, the job is good, the sun comes up and I wake up breathing every day.

It could always be worse.
2:56 AM

Sunday, July 13, 2008
Old Guys
I went to my Mom's house today because an old friend of my Dad's came by. My Dad passed away 24 years ago, and that was probably the last time I saw Larry, too. I was expecting to see the big, long haired, fully bearded man with the brown, twinkly Santa Claus eyes that I'd known since I was very small, but the guy I saw was OLD, bald, toothless, and much, much smaller than I'd ever expected. You forget how time passes, and people you don't see much over the years change so much! Kids grow up, and grownups get old. My dad would be 77 years old now if he'd lived, and he'd probably look like Larry did.

Larry was still the same guy though, happy, full of shit, and rambling on about a thousand different things at once. He offered me his bottle of tequila, and though I'm not usually known for drinking tequila on a Sunday morning, I accepted his offer and sat down at the table with him to chat. It seemed like the friendly thing to do, right? We talked about this and that, and he kept laughing at me and my sister, saying we still had the same shit-eatin' grins that we had as children. "Of course we do, are we not Bob's daughters?" we joked.

I never really got to know my Dad as an adult. I was just 23 when he died, and had not lived at home for several years before that, so it is always enlightening to hear about my dad as a man and a friend from someone who'd known him for so long. I felt my Dad there in the room with us today- watching over us, his daughters with the shit-eatin' grins.

I miss him.
9:30 PM

2007 Stuff

Saturday, November 17, 2007
Uh Ohh, Chongo!
Today I got tired of moping around and crying about my dog. Yes, I KNOW it's only been 4 days. Yes, I'm still devastated. Mojo can never be replaced, but I needed to fill the giant, gaping hole in my heart that was left by Mojo's passing. Ya know, it wasn't only me that was hurting. Though Mojo was MY dog, my Boyo was having a hard time, as well. So we went to the pound today to let a dog pick us out. We spent a good 2 hours there. There were a LOT of Chow Chows, Pit Bulls, a few Rotts, some Shep mixes, Lab mixes, a few little yappy-lappy dogs. Of course I was drawn to the black Labs. In particular, one of them couldn't take his eyes off my kid. We went back again and again to see this dog. His name was Champ and could be adopted TODAY!

Well. . . . . . Dang! Today! Like, right now! So Boyo and I conferred (like for about 2 seconds), took the dog out to introduce ourselves and hang out for a bit. Then we filled out some paperwork. He was surrendered by his previous owner just this week. HIS LOSS. I signed my life away, paid some fees, and we are now the proud people owned by a 3 year old black Lab! He's fixed. He's microchipped. He's goofy as hell. We have changed his name to Chongo. It fits. He's claimed the loveseat as his own. He likes pizza. And beer. He's a sloppy drinker, though he hasn't started slurping out of the toilet yet.

We're all very happy
11:07 PM

Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I’ve lost my Mojo
Mojo- my precious big black dog became an angel today. He has blessed my life for 12 years. I got him when I was pregnant with my Boyo. He's been with me through some very tough times. He was sweet and goofy. A bigfooted, black-spotted tongued, HAIRY, noisy, so so soft and warm, sloppy, toilet-drinker. I swear he could smile.
Mojo had a lemon-sized tumor growing in his sinuses that had no symptoms until 2 months ago. The only sign he had was flinching when I reached to pet his head. The vet thought it was his ears, so we spent 2 weeks cleaning gunk out of them. Then he bit a hole through his lip and it got infected. Then he started blowing bloody goobers and snot out of his nose. Then he had a cracked upper molar and lost 3 other teeth when they pulled that out. This all happened in the past 2 months. I only found out 2 days ago about the tumor when I took him back for head x-rays. In TWO DAYS my dog became incapacitated. The vet said it was a very fast growing tumor and had a very poor prognosis. Well no shit. 2 days is not enough time to prepare to lose someone so precious. Is there EVER time?

This morning I took him back to the vet. I laid on the floor holding him while the vet prepared his shot. Mojo went peacefully. I am not so peaceful.

I can still feel his heart beating.
10:11 AM

Sunday, October 14, 2007
Blast from the past
It happened again. Out of nowhere (a.k.a. MySpace) I get a message from a girl I knew when I was FOURTEEN years old, and we lived in California. We hung out at the pool at Rusch Park. She was on the swim team and I was on the dive team. We were typical young teenage girls who still read Tiger Beat Magazine, and listened to the Bay City Rollers. This was while I was still pure, and unsoiled by life and the bad habits I'd pick up not long after that. I haven't seen, heard, nor thought about Kelly in over 30 years, but tonight she brought it all back to me. Thank you, Kelly.

9:17 PM

2006 Stuff

Wednesday, November 22, 2006
What is beautiful to you? I was watching a video of my niece's wedding. As she was dancing with the man she married, I was overcome by the yearning and tenderness in her face as she looked at him. At that moment, Annika was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen because she was seeing the most beautiful thing SHE had ever seen.

There's a lady at my work. She is adopting a baby soon and she gets the same look on her face when she talks about the baby. Her face softens, her eyes and her smile absolutely DAZZLE you, and it squeezes my heart and puts a lump in my throat to see her like this. Such happiness exudes from her at those moments.

I believe that everyone is born with one beautiful thing. We need to recognize that beauty, whether it be a physical feature (their smile, their eyes, their hands, cheeks, lips, feet) or something within that is not immediately apparent until you get to know them.

In some, it's a thought, a word, or the passion they show when they are driven by something. Sometimes it's the look on their face when they speak of or think of something they love. I look for it in everyone. I usually find it.

10:34 PM

Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Ashes to ashes. Dutchy to dust.

I sit here with the ashes of my friend in a container on my desk. Even though her father took half of them back to London, there is still quite a lot there. I heft its weight in my hand- about 3 lbs. I checked. It looks like beach sand with small shells in it.

In the near future I will drive out to Lake Havasu to London Bridge (which is THE actual London Bridge built in 1825 in England, but when it started to sink into the Thames River they disassembled it and sold it to some schmuck in Arizona, then built a new bridge in London). Wanna buy a bridge?
Anyway- within the container of ashes of Sarah is another, smaller container. In it are the ashes of her mother, which I found while cleaning out Sarah's apartment. I will mix these ashes with Sarah's. While I'm standing on London Bridge, I will think about my friend and all that she meant to me. Then (when no one is looking, cuz in some places it's frowned upon to be flingin' ashes around) I will fling a few handsful of her ashes into the wind. She'd like to be flung, I think, as that's the way she lived her life- by flinging herself into it.
Sometime after my trip to London Bridge I will take her to San Diego, as that was her last trip with her friends, and also the place of my childhood so it is very special to me. I will sit on the beach in Coronado, at the tide pools behind the Del Coronado Hotel (which, by the way, are also where MY ashes are going some day). I will look out at Point Loma, and watch the Navy fighter jets flying overhead. I will send some of her ashes into the waves in the California sunset, as California is the first place she came to after leaving Jolly Old England.

Finally- in March 2007 I will travel to Jackson, Mississippi with the rest of her. I will bring many of Sarah's cherished things to give to some of her many, many friends. We will have a memorial to our friend, Dutchy. We will laugh, remembering how funny she was and all the goofy shit that she pulled. We will cry, as she has left this world and her loss is felt deeply.

These ashes are not all that I have left of my friend. Her biting humor, her wit, her charm, even her bitchiness were all packaged up into one small bundle of dynamite- they are a part of me and will stay with me forever. Especially the time she called me a "stee-yew-pid COW". lol

Rest in Peace Dutchy.
8:46 AM

Sunday, June 25, 2006
That last night
So. It's taken me awhile to write about her. It's been 3 weeks since she left this world. My sleeping friend. I was with her the night before she died, as I had been almost every night for the past month. She went into Hospice shortly after my last post. She was there for maybe 2 weeks, then her dad came over from England and took her back to her apartment to care for her there.

Her birthday cards from 2 days earlier were still sitting on her night table. I got to hold her hand and tell her how much I loved her. I thanked her for being my friend. I played Moon Dance and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road for her while sitting in her room that last night. I kissed her goodbye. My little friend, so full of fire and spunk is gone. I wonder where she went? Does she see? Does she know? I want to think that she's gone 'somewhere'.

Her father will give me half of her ashes to put in places that were special to her here in the U.S. The other half he will place on a special hill overlooking London where Sarah played as a child.

I miss my friend. She was only 45, and I loved her.
9:03 PM

Friday, May 05, 2006
My Sleeping Friend 
I tiptoed into the hospital room on little cat feet, so as not to wake her (which is totally unlike my usually boisterous self). I stood there quietly and just watched her. Breathing. Absorbing the force of her. As quietly as I could, I puttered around her room, adjusting her blanket, straightening her cards, arranging her chapstick and green jello just-so on the tray. Untangled a few tubes. All the while watching her out of the corner of my eye.

Then I sat in the chair berating myself and wondered why I haven't been a better friend to her. How, in this year after moving back to Arizona when my marriage fell apart and I was trying to get my life back together I didn't make the time to drive up to see her more often. It's only 25 miles. I know I should have. I've seen her maybe 10 times in the last year, and this is COUNTING the last 3 times in the hospital.

We think we're going to live forever. So we think we have time to do it later, call her later, next week, next month, just....... later. We don't. I prayed she wouldn't wake up and see this sorry-assed excuse for a friend that she has. But I also prayed that she would. I want to tell her that I'm sorry. I want to tell her that for the rest of her life she can count on me to be there. That she still makes the meanest tea and toast in the world that'll cure any hangover. I want to tell her that she's changed my life and my kid also thinks the world of her. I want to tell her that I love her.
My sleeping friend is. . . . . terminal.
10:47 AM

Sunday, March 12, 2006
Took the boyo to see Nickelback on March 3rd at Glendale Arena. His first concert! After a $6 hot dog, a $5 coke, $8 worth of chicken strips and fries, an $8 beer for me and a $6 slice of pizza we were ready to rock!

He enjoyed the people watching, snickered and snorted at some of the things people were wearing, and at one point said "Look! Hooters!" causing me and everyone within earshot to rubberneck at him, and then to look for the 'hooters'. Then he laughed and pointed to the flashing sign for Hooters. He got a good yuck out of that.

The first band was Trapt, which he likes, then Chevelle came on and he only liked one song. Then Nickelback came on and just rocked the house with "Animal". I swear, the look in my kid's eyes when the giant fireballs went up was priceless. He was diggin' it! He especially loved how everyone stood up and sang Photograph and How You Remind Me together. The video screens gave him a good view of what he otherwise couldn't see on the stage.

We came out of the show with some free water bottles, a Nickelback poster, our ears ringing, and a great memory of his first concert, not to mention the REAL hooters he saw on the video screen when they lit up the crowd. I know HE'LL never forget.

8:38 PM

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Well, God!
I've been a Grandma for 3 weeks now. It's all been a blur. No sleep, constant joy, or my ears cracklin' from The Bebe screaming. She is LOUD! My boyo just loves, loves, LOVES her- how can he not, he is her UNCLE now. He's trippin' on that.

My girl is such a beautiful new Mommy. I am so proud of her. And so frustrated with her sometimes! I know she wants to do it all herself (as usual- "No! I do it!" hahaha) and it's hard for her to take advice. But I'm her Mom and of course I know everything about everything and what's best for her. LOL  Besides, I've done this a couple times before.

I am blessed.

2:02 PM