For Chip: He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion. —Unknown

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Passing of Joanne

My mother keeps asking me why her friend Joanne had to die.  Joanne seemed so healthy and full of life.  She helped everyone that was in need. She offered to take  my mom to church, and helped her with other errands because my mom cannot drive.  

I told my mom what she told me when I was a little girl.  We never know from one day to the next what may happen.  Many events transpire and we do not always understand.  In the end it all balances out. Even though we do not understand some of the events we must remember that God is in control. We take things as they come, and accept them and move on.  

My mom asked several women in her Sunday School class if they knew of anyone that could give her a ride since Joanne's passing.  Several women almost gritted their teeth.  They said in a  hateful voice that they said they knew of no one that could help.  Then three of the ladies surrounded me and said they thought I needed to take my mom home with me.  The funeral was about to start and I was shocked at how rude women were that had never met me. My mom had one hearing aid missing and could hear nothing they were saying.  I thought if these ladies thought they were Christians, or if they should be standing in a church of God they were sadly mistaken. My mother had taught Sunday School in that church for fifty years and did not deserve that treatment.  

Just as I felt emotions of rage and weeping a nice man came to talk to me.  His name was Ray and he offered to take my mom to church every Sunday.  My mom could not hear what he was saying, but he said he would always call ahead to verify if they needed to miss church.

So there is good and bad.  There is a balance.  And God does provide.  RIP Joanne.  She was a wonderful friend to not only my mom but many others.  

Friday, August 30, 2013

For The Love Of Chip

How long will I grieve over my pet?  I do not understand the tremendous grief one encounters over losing a pet.  I remember taking him for a walk in freezing weather.  I did not want to go out in the cold and wind but I did it to make him happy.   He looked so sad if I did something without him. Animals are so in tune to your behavior that they have really good instincts on what will happen next. He was like a child waiting to go get ice cream or a ride in the car.  I frequently took him to a park where we could walk by a creek.  He loved getting a drink, but was never too happy about getting his paws wet.

Chip has been always afraid of bad weather.  He needed to be with someone when it was stormy.  Much like a little child he never seemed certain that he was safe during thunder and lightning.  He became restless and appeared worried. He would try to rest but he never could relax until the storm passed.

I wonder if he knew death was imminent.  I suspect animals are in tune with declining health and possibly accepting of the next steps that follow. Death should be a relief to an injured or unhealthy animal.  However, the pet lover is unable to accept the impending death.

Is grief this difficult with humans?  I remember crying for days when my dad died. As I held my head down at the funeral I remember watching tears bouncing off my dress as I refused to look up.  Pet death is a different type of grief. It seems more hopeless and more child like.   It is difficult to work effectively because I keep tearing up. Carrying a Kleenex is a dead giveaway that I might crumble.   All the good memories come rolling in, and if  I give too much thought I start to cry.

I hope this pain is over soon.  I did not know his death would have such an affect on me.  Animals are such needy creatures for food, exercise, and love.  It makes them seem so vulnerable and more like children.

I think I have found true love with my pet.  I do not think I have ever felt such emotion with anyone or anything before other than my children.  He cannot be replaced, and I do not want another dog to take his place. It would just seem wrong and unfair.  Pets are truly a gift from God.  They love you unconditionally.  I hope Chip knew how much he meant to so many people.  For now there is no joy without him.  Thanks to James Coleman for this wonderful gift.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

She Talks To Angels

Challenges of Going Home


  • There is no Internet and surrounding networks require a password.  Why did I bring a laptop and iPad?
  • I pretend to be a psychic and start guessing network passwords.
  • There is no cable, and all that is left is the basic converter box.  How many people own these boxes?
  • Are there any English TV programs in Houston?  Everyone speaks Spanish including religious personalities.
  • Why do the speakers on the new TV sound like tin cans?
  • My mom is watching channel 61.  It is a shocking Hispanic "Jerry Springer" program.  Contestants are in front of a chain link fence wearing thongs and cutlets.  A stripper pole is strategically placed for those contestants that want 15 minutes of fame.
  • Old photo albums look appealing.
  • At 7:00 pm. the drapes will close tightly and overlap so that nothing inside is visible to the outside world.
  • The security alarm is set at 7:00 pm.  If you want to take a stroll or get something out of your car it is too late.  Lock down has been established.
  • Are you ready for bed?  Really?  It is only 8 pm.
  • Let's watch the twenty year old VHS tapes again.  I prefer channel 61.
  • Have some cantaloupe.  I never liked cantaloupe and still do not care for it.  Whiskey is starting to sound appealing.
  • I am becoming anxious and claustrophobic with the drapes closed.  
  • I keep driving by my in-laws house even though they are gone. I keep thinking of the wonderful roast and gravy I had there.  I critique the new owners as substandard in comparison to my mother-in-law.
  • Watching my mom fumble with cash instead of a debit card is frustrating.
  • The recommended gas station is scary.  When you get out of the car people start harassing customers as they fill up their gas tank. 
  • Attending the church reunion is a challenge.  Everyone looks different, and you are relieved there are name tags.  "Who are these people?"
  • Refusing to use the drive through pharmacy seems archaic. 
  • I am ready to visit the neighbor that takes his dog to a psychic.  The dog needs a different color harness because he does not like red.  The dog can not see the harness but now wears green. The session reveals pains, and injuries from the dog's previous owners.
  • I am dreading my next trip to Lubys.  I have no appetite when I walk through the door.  My daughter-in-law refers to one choice on the LuAnn platter as the "square" fish.
  • Realization that techie parents would be a plus.
  • Your phone becomes a lifeline that provides Internet access until a return to the real world.
  • The old bed feels comfortable except for the visual that dust mites are swarming everywhere.
  • Spirits lighten upon entering the drive-through line at Shipley Donuts for hot donuts.  
  • Count down to departure.  

Dead Man's Will

While facing many trials there is one thing I cannot deny.  My mom is the best friend, advisor, and encourager that I could have.  She provides hope, faith, and love. I have been blessed by such wonderful parents.

Enrique Iglesias - Stand By Me (LIVE)

Confidentiality is a virtue of the loyal, as loyaty is the virtue of faithfulness
Edwin Louis Cole


Mercedes sat near the window of the dingy restaurant contemplating all that had happened.  She reached down to pick up the small vase of  pink carnations and held them close to her face.  The flowers were beautiful but there was no hint of  sweetness.  She could still smell the room where she had played her first piano recital.  The auditorium was icy cold and had the scent of a flower shop.   The faint fragrance of  different varieties of flowers lingered from all the corsages and adorning flower stands.  She had worn a turquoise formal dress with a series of netted ruffles.  She thought she looked beautiful, but was petrified of the task of performing.  She was only 5 years.

Why was there so much confusion in her life?  She could not believe the preceding events of heartache, fear, and  disappointment.  She tried to be positive but she needed to break away and escape.  Bora Bora looked beautiful in the movie, Eat, Pray, Love. Was fleeing possible?  She needed to vent her emotions, but found it was always others that shared their secrets and concerns with her. 

People always trusted her.  One of her female co-workers had  told her how she had been shocked by another male co-worker telling her he loved her. The female co-worker had young children and there was no way Mercedes would reveal that information to anyone. 

She enjoyed hearing the stories but sometimes it was troubling.  One friend had told her intimate details about her current love interests and details of a perverted sex life.  Another friend told her the reason she was so energetic and able to paint all night was because she was on speed.  Then there were the deep dark secrets one acquaintance had told Mercedes.  She said she could trust Mercedes because she gave off good vibes. Mercedes did not flinch as she heard the bazaar details of inappropriate ethics.

She was shocked when an old family friend  confessed that  she had a distaste for her husband.  The woman showed anger as she discussed her situation.  The friend wanted to tell her more but it was making Mercedes feel uncomfortable and she quickly changed the subject.

Maybe it was a gift?  Why did  people find a particular person  trustworthy enough to confide in so easily. In most instances the people she met on a plane, or in daily circumstances would tell her the most interesting details about their life within minutes. Therapists do this for a living, but some personalities just happen to be in the crossfire of people's emotions.

Sometimes no answers are needed, but just someone that can be trusted to confide in. Mercedes needed this too but sunk back into her chair and sighed.  The thoughts of the little blue dress made with love by her mother gave her comfort and strength. She felt content just to keep everything inside and share her thoughts with no one.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Katy Perry and John Mayer have a new song out called "Who You Love" but I believe Katy Perry's song is much better and probably going to be a hit.  It's a great motivational and possibly exercise song.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Back Off Ryan Culberson - Real Housewives of Orange County

What is wrong with Ryan Culberson on Real Housewives of Orange County?  There was a winter wonderland party at Vicki Gunvalson's house where Ryan (Vicki's son-in-law) lives with Vicki's daughter Brianna.  Lydia McLaughlin who is one of the reality stars asked her mother Judy to attend Vicki's party.   Judy was verbally attacked by Ryan for propping her feet up on the couch.  We could hear the dialog but could not see the interaction of  the parties.    Judy refers to herself as a "stoner", and is a product of the hippie days.  She does not mind admitting that she still enjoys living in the land of bunnies with a whiff of weed from time to time.  How bad could a woman be that uses "fairy dust" to wish people good luck? 
A few months ago I  saw fairy dust sold in a quaint little shop in Boston.  Fairy dust is not cheap, and a sprinkle of it on your friends could either make your friends very happy, or question your mental stabilty.

Judy is a beautiful 64 year old woman who is very sweet and calm.  Her prescription for life  might make us all a lot calmer.  I really like this woman, and was appalled to hear Ryan spewing nasty words at her.  Judy did ask who he was which really made him hit the ceiling.  I do not know what is wrong with this guy who is a marine and is serving in Afghanistan.  However, I do not believe he will be with Brianna much longer.  Ryan and Brianna have a beautiful baby boy, but if this guy does not get his temper under control he looks threatening to his wife and child.   He has already been divorced at his young age,  and it would be helpful to Brianna to find out if he has had previous anger issues.

Meanwhile Ryan and Brianna have been dictating who Vicki can date.  They live in her house but try to run her life using the "grandchild card".  If they dislike something they tell her they will move out, and she will not have daily contact with her grandchild as she does now.  Ryan is paranoid and  believes Vicki's house is in enemy territory.  He views himself as the protector of the home.  Brianna should insist that he is evaluated and gets help.   It is admirable that he is serving in the military, but a disgrace to treat any woman in such a crude way and inappropriate way.
Staged or not it makes me thankful for a sometimes uneventful day.  :)  Maybe a little fairy dust would be a good thing.

Monday, August 5, 2013

James Gandolfini aka Tony Soprano

Why is there  an intense attraction to deceased celebrities rather than admiring them while alive?  I have been fascinated by James Gandolfini since his death in June 2013 in Italy.  I inadvertently recorded his interview with James Lipton on  "Inside the Actor's Studio".  I used to find Lipton's program annoying, but I frequently find myself in tears when he asks a question that exposes the raw emotional side of an actor that is rarely revealed.  He must be a genius because most of his interviewees rarely skirt the question and come clean with their emotions.  He was able to bring out heart wrenching  emotion from Spike Lee.   Lee was in tears as he explained how his film was subsidized by contributors that knew they would never get a return on their investment.

I loved the Sopranos excluding the horrific violence that occurred on a weekly basis.  I disliked the way women were treated except for Tony's mother and wife.  Those two women could cut Tony down with little effort, and their strength made them attractive. Lipton illustrated through pictures how Edie Falco could convey a message with no dialog.  Mr. Gandolfini explained how the violence sometimes made him feel rotten, and struggled for days after a scene.  He let the audiences know he experienced   doubt when he felt inadequate to play the character or a scene.   It was necessary to step back and redo something if it could be done better.  Admitting his shortcomings to others makes him seem so vulnerable, and reveals a likable trait in an actor.

Lipton asked if Tony needed to be overweight.  He explained that he cannot portray Tony in the right way if he is too thin.  Tony has a certain swagger and sits a certain way when he is on the heavy side. James  Gandolfini likes Tony's character because he  has no religion, no government, but lives by a code of rules.  The actor explained that he was frequently complimented by other mob bosses on a job well done.  A "Don" called to tell him that he should never wear shorts to a barbecue as he had done in the pilot.

James Gandolfini received other accolades for movies that he made.  He  had no desire to play an attorney or doctor.  He wanted to play parts that exemplified his parents who were hard working blue collar workers.

He talked about losing sleep when he needed to appear angry in a scene.  He sometimes put a pointed rock in his shoe and wore it all day.  He said by the end of the day he would be so angry that he could project a ruthless side very well.  He noted that he had received therapy as a result of the Sopranos.  His work with the psychiatrist in the series known as Dr. Jennifer Melfi (played by Lorraine Bracco)  helped him work out some of his problems.  He said the two of them had a weird relationship, and he learned a great deal  about himself because of the scripted therapy.

James Gandolfini was one unique actor identified by his physique.  He told a student  never to worry about their looks and just go with what they have.  No changes necessary. His words of wisdom were inspiring and helpful to young actors.  His life was cut short and he still had a lot to give.  Mr. Gandolfini died enjoying his son, career and family in Rome. He did leave this world on top, and will be an admired actor indefinitely.  His next movie will be released in September with Julia Louis Dreyfus titled "Enough Said".  He was asked what he would like to hear God say at the pearly gates.  His answer was "Take over for a while.  I will be right back".  RIP James Gandolfini 1961-2013.


Bill Withers - Lean On Me [with lyrics]

George Michael - One More Try

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Stewards of God Versus Liberal Views

For those of us that believe good deeds will add extra points in heaven, I witnessed a great example last night.  I met a friend at her church for an event called Family Promise.  I had no idea what it was about and showed up while everyone was having dinner.  I noticed that a few of the people were slightly unconventional, but was unaware that these people were homeless. There was a mother and her young daughter having dinner.  The child was energetic and beautiful with beads and a black tutu. She ran up and gave me a hug.  The thought of this child being homeless was quite disturbing.   

My friend had supplied a complete dinner with a delicious assortment of food and dessert.  The Family Promise participants must have a job and are allowed to stay at the church for one week.  Then they move on to the next volunteer facility.  Stewards of the church help sponsor this program by volunteering once a month.   Church members use their time, talents and treasure for the love of God and their neighbor.

I am embarrassed to say that I probably am not generous  enough to spend the night at church with people I do not know.  It also takes time and money to prepare a large meal for a group of people.  It was very touching to observe these strangers being taken care of so lovingly.  

It was ironic that one of my friends posted this statement on Facebook yesterday. The posting said,  "He's got it right.  Thanks to Being Liberal for this one."

My Facebook friend does not attend church and would be unaware or skeptical that many church's assist non members facing poverty.  While helping my friend clean up,  I thought about the ladies' that had slept with the homeless people the night before.  The overnight arrangements did not look very comfortable, and there are no shower facilities.  As I walked away I imagined that these volunteers would receive a special reward in heaven.  They are truly compassionate, loving and have a genuine faith.  It must be a God thing that I can call them my friends.

Acts 20:35

English Standard Version (ESV)
35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’