Saturday, May 25, 2013

Casinos, Cupcakes, and Conversation

Hello, peeps.

I am still on vacation.  I know.  Crazy, right?

Where did I leave you?  I was headed to the casino in my last post I believe.  Well, that turned out to be a lot of fun.  I lost about $40 out of my Winnings Fund that I keep set aside strictly for gambling.  So, that was a no harm, no foul.  When you consider that was an entire day's worth of entertainment and tons of fun... well, it was money well spent:)

After that there was a Rehearsal Dinner.  The most notable thing from that event was the CUPCAKES.  You read that right.  Hand to God, I ate the best cupcake I have ever had in my entire life at the Rehearsal Dinner.  It was so good, I ate a second one.  Sooooo good.  I should have taken a picture.  However, I was in a state of delirium and didn't think of it.  My nephew's wedding was the next day.  I will write more on that later.  A lot more going on at that event than awesome cupcakes.

We are now visiting my mom's best friend, my uncle, and all of the rest of the family that live in these parts.  So, there is rather a lot going on every day.  Ironically, even when there isn't... it feels like there is.  You know what I mean?  Yeah, like that. You know how easy it is with a best friend to pick up a conversation, even though a year or more has passed, just like you talked yesterday?  It's not like that with certain members of your family.  Just sayin.'  Not naming any names, but there are some people in my family that are all lit up when THEY are talking, but as soon as you or anyone else says something, it's like you can see the light switch turn off.  Let me tell you, spending time with those folks make for very long days.  On the other hand, it does make you appreciate other family members all the more.  So, everyone is good for something.

Anyway, we are waiting to get past the holiday before we make the long drive back south.

I think we will probably spend a few days in Georgia once we start moving that way, visiting with old friends who live there.  Hey, why not?  So, it could be another week before I actually sleep in my own bed again.

If you are traveling this Memorial Day Weekend - be safe out there. 

image found at
(not the amazing cupcakes I referenced in this post.... clearly)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Okay, peeps, here's the scoop: I am on vacation.  As in gone.  Meaning not at home.  My internet time is down to extremely limited.

I spent all day Monday and Tuesday in the car.  Good times.

Today was spent at the zoo with the family.  Reminded me that the last time I was at the zoo was in the summer of 1999 in Berlin.  This time was better since I could read the signs.  Well, maybe not.  The animals were all sleeping on this trip.  It was hot as heck and they were all snoozing.  In 1999, I couldn't read squat but the animals were all out and about.  Turns out the monkeys act the same in every country.  That show is X-Rated and not really appropriate for children.  I kept expecting parents to say to their kids, "Moving on.  Nothing to see here."  Several times when the monkeys were "getting their groove on" I heard five and six year old's ask their parents, "What are they doing?"  I never did quite catch that answer.  I think it was something like "Frazzle Dazzle."  Yeah, you had to have watched the Thursday post to appreciate that one. Moving on...

Tomorrow we are driving approximately three hours to get our groove on.  Say what?  We are going to a Casino.  That is my idea of a Good Time.  Unless your heart sings to the sweet sounds of slot machines, rolling dice, and the tick of a roulette wheel, you have no idea what I am talking about.  However, I walk in the doors of a casino and my heart begins to pitter pat.  You maybe needed to read my V is for Vegas post to better appreciate this paragraph.  Anyway, there is nothing like the sight, sounds, and smells of a Casino.

What does this mean for Thursday?  Probably not a Here's To You post.  That's what.  I am beat.  I haven't read anything in days.  I don't have time to read anything now.  I have to go to bed in order to get up early for our early Casino Run.  Even though next week I will still be on vacation, I shouldn't be quite so busy.  I will keep you posted.

Until then, consider me Gone.  However, I still Love You Like Mad!  Here's some music to get you through...

image found at

Thursday, May 9, 2013


SURPRISE. Drum roll please. It is once again HERE'S TO YOU THURSDAY. Yes, you read that correctly.  HERE'S TO YOU THURSDAY is back on Thursday.  For those of you unfamiliar with the once again weekly HERE'S TO YOU THURSDAY posts, I bet you're wondering what is going on.   Well, peeps, let me give you the skinny on this event...

This is a weekly event landing typically on Thursdays.  The best (or worst) part is that I am not going to explain why I chose "whatever" footage for each of you. If, you watch your footage and are scratching your head at the end, well that means I didn't do a very good job. However, all is not lost. You can email me at and ask me what I was thinking when I chose that particular piece of footage off of youtube and connected it to you. And then I will tell you. Then I will start sending up prayers that I haven't offended the crap out of whoever is on the receiving end of that Because, honestly, I will tell you right now... I admire all of you enormously so I really hope that doesn't happen.

Also, this is not an exclusive venture by any means. I hope that you will take the time to watch ALL of the footage because I don't pick bad footage:-) I also hope that you might check out the blog of the person I dedicated the footage to because they are pretty darn awesome. If you haven't figured this out yet... I pick the footage based on something that you've written or something that I've gleaned from your personality. Think on that for a while... If you are having trouble watching the entire video (meaning it is being cut off on one side), click on it a couple of times and it will take you straight over to youtube. If you click on the four squares at the bottom corner of the video, it will enlarge it to fill your screen. The escape key will bring it back to normal size. The back arrow will bring you back to my page.

Now, let's get this PARTY STARTED!!!!

This one is for everyone:

This one is for Jasmine at A Yellow Rose of Texas:

This one is for JJ The Disconnected Writer:

This one is for Al Diaz at Father Dragon Writes:

This one is for DiscConnected:

This one is for Shoes at Red Shoe's Chronicles:

This one is for Christine at A Deliberate Life:

image found at

Monday, May 6, 2013

For My Broken Heart

In February of 2000 I began having dreams of a puppy.  Our family had dogs when I was a growing up, but I had never had a dog as an Adult.  Suddenly, I am dreaming about this Very Specific Dog out of the blue.  It plagued me to such an extent that I began to go to shelters in every place I worked.  I was a commission sales person and traveled for my job.  I was looking for a Puppy In My Dreams.  I didn't expect to find it right away.  I tracked her down in Aiken, SC.  She was adorable.

She was so tiny that she fit in my hands.  She was found outside an office building in the downtown area all by herself.  Hand to God, I don't know how one of those employees didn't snatch her up then and there.  But, I think she was destined to be mine.  So, that is how that happened.  Anyway, she was only six weeks old and precious as could be.  I paid the fee, signed the documents, and took her home.  Shelby.  The Princess Dog.

She was smart as a whip.  She learned commands easily.  Sit.  Down. Stay.  Roll Over.  She wanted to please.  The first time someone threw a ball that dog was hooked.  Ball was her new favorite pastime.  She could play Ball forever.  Was there anything more important on earth than playing ball?  I think not.  Running second to ball was Chase.  You chase me. I chase you.  It really didn't matter.  The game could turn on a dime.  Shelby was the Master of "The Pivot."  She also had the advantage of being able to run under small places to gain the advantage.  One smart cookie, that one.

Last year, she was diagnosed with cancer in her front leg.  The only thing the vet knew to do was to amputate the leg.  It was an agonizing decision.  However, she recovered amazingly well.  She was walking the same day.  Ball was no longer a part of her daily life.  She could no longer pivot on a dime.  She would try and fall.  However, she would bounce right back up and keep going.  It was a lesson to anyone who watched about how dogs don't wallow there - and a smart person doesn't either!  She inspired me every day.  Her gait, post-surgery, resembled a bunny hop.  She did better running than walking, and was still a force with which to be reckoned.

About two months ago she stopped eating regularly.  We have been having Dog Problems Galore here.  Our other older dog, Molly,  is in Kidney Failure and also not eating on any sort of regular basis.   Shelby seemed to be just Persnickety about her food.  So, we began a campaign of buying new food to tempt her palate.  It simply didn't occur that there was more going on.  She would start to eat again... and then stop.  The Stops got worse.  She started losing weight.  This was getting serious.  We bought canned food.

Last night she stopped moving around altogether.  Mom and started feeling around on her and the shoulder area where her leg was removed was noticeably distended.  Whenever we even lightly touched it, Shelby yelped in pain.  Mom says to me, "Has it been like this long?"

"It can't have been too long because we both hold her and rub on her fairly frequently."

Cancer.  When it comes back, it comes with a vengeance.  It had been working on her from the inside out.  We just misread the signs.  Now, the outward signs are coming fast and furious.  This morning that protuberance is Significantly Larger than it was last night.  It is growing at a phenomenal rate.  It is doing what Cancer does.  When I was sitting with My Sweet Girl this morning, I could tell that she had trouble breathing at one point.  Given that they amputated her leg out to the shoulder.... that means the tissue extending into the lymph nodes was likely affected.  And it spread into the chest cavity.

While Mom was at her doctor appointment, I picked her up and carried her outside and laid her under the tree in the shade.  She enjoyed all of the smells.  I wanted her to have good memories.

Then we packed her up and took her to the vet's office and said our Goodbyes.  I love you Shelby.  You will always be my Princess Dog.  Please keep my daddy company and  make him throw the ball for you in Heaven.  I will see you when I see you.  You'll always be My Best Girl.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Reflecting on the A to Z and Life After A to Z

Check out my cool new badge.  What badge, you say?  I am talking about the graphic displayed above that indicates that I survived the A to Z Challenge.  I posted something in April for every letter of the alphabet, Monday through Friday.  I actually did it.  On the day.  And all of my posts were geared toward my THEME of Passions, Phases and/or Life Lessons.  Let me tell you (now that it is over) that it was touch and go round about the letter "T."  I ran out of pre-written posts, I was tired, life was knocking on my door, and I really wasn't sure I was going to make it.  However, it all turned out pretty darn awesome.  Of course, now I feel like something the cat dragged in.  Ooops.  I am skipping ahead.

I want to take a minute (or two) to reflect back on this challenge.  A few people that I regularly follow were already participating in the Challenge.  That was nice.  I started following some new blogs, and a few blogs started following me.  Some were consistent.  Some were not.  Hey, that is how this blogging thing always works out.  I think we are always looking for the blogs that have subject content we are actually interested in reading.  So, to all of those readers, old and new, who stuck it out with me, I am continually inspired by your ability to give great comment.  I look forward to cementing our blogging relationship in the future... when I get my head reattached to my body.  Ooops.  More on that later...

Alex J. Cavanaugh, who I have been following for quite some time now, and he I, had a Super Awesome Theme this time for the A to Z.  It was kind of like a Here's To You on Steroids.   (Apparently Alex figures out a way to showcase fellow bloggers with this challenge every year.  I am only using the Here's To You as a reference point for those of you who didn't visit Alex's blog during the challenge so you can kinda/sorta imagine what this was like.  However, he in NO WAY got this idea from my little ole blog.  Moving on...)   For each letter he picked out a movie and a song that started with that letter.  He then chose a character from said movie that reminded him of a blogger buddy and linked them in to the post.  He then posted their photo and said something nice about them to direct traffic to their page.  On top of all that, there was trivia every day.  I don't know anyone who is better about supporting fellow bloggers than Alex.  He selected me for the letter "Y."  Yep, right when I was spiralling out and going into freefall, Alex chose me.  That, my friends is LIFE.  Hahahaha.  However, I wouldn't change a thing about it, since this blog spends half its life that way.  I wouldn't want anyone to think there is false advertising going on here.  Thank you, Alex, for picking me for the letter "Y" even though I have no idea WHY you would!

One last shout out to Arlee Bird who started this whole challenge in the first place.  There were plenty of other helpers.  If you are interested in any of the details, check out the A to Z site.  It will be happening again next April.

I think I mentioned that I have been having some difficulty getting my self together after the the A to Z.  Yeah.  Something like that.  I remember when I first started this blog.  I blogged daily.  I spent several days doing some head scratching over that one.  How did I do that?  Then it occurred to me.  I had NO followers.  I didn't know how to follow anyone for at least two months.  I think I had nine followers for about four months.  Now, nine blogs I can keep up with fairly easily.   ::aaah, it is making sense now::

What is in store for the future?  I really want to get back to the Inspirational Song Saturday posts.  I think I am going to do a list of all the features already done, so that you can link back to them.  They are all 80s artists and how well they worked MTV.  Of course, this is strictly from my perspective.  I want your opinion, too:)  And I really miss my HERE'S TO YOU THURSDAY posts.  I thought about trying to get one out this past Thursday, but I wasn't prepared.  I have been hunting and gathering for next Thursday, though.  No doubt, I will sprinkle some Random Thoughts in between these events.

Ever since the challenge I have been feeling like I've been stuck in second gear.  Anyone else?  Because of that, THIS SONG won't get out of my head:

image found on facebook, naturally