Monday, November 30, 2009

The Need to Tinker

There are few, if any, cars on the road that were manufactured in the year I was born.  I'll bet that you can say the same.  The cars that were built in that year that are being driven need constant tinkering to keep them running.  Bob is convinced that like an older automobile that his body needs periodic tinkering to keep it "on the road".

Take for example the recent run-in with skin cancer which resulted in a face peel which at this very moment sees Bob with a forehead and a nose beet red, crusty and bleeding in spots.  Now that's what I call tinkering at it's finest.  It's going to be a good thing or so I'm told - - - worth the hassle.  I'll be glad to be able to be seen in public again.  Looks like that's going to happen in January.

Then Friday Bob has symptoms of a stroke.  That's right.  The left side of Bob's face tingled off and on.  That's a sign of a major stroke.    I think, "Shit, more tinkering".

A trip to the E.R. at the local hospital.  Have you sat in an E.R. waiting room lately?  It's terrible.  Mostly plum packed full of losers that made loser choices that earned them a trip to the E.R.  One guy had his hand wrapped in a towel having just stuck it in the radiator fan blades of car.  A woman with a barf bag moaning loudly.  There were a few others who sat quietly and thought about the what came next in tinkering to keep them up and running.

There were tests.  There was an M.R.I.  There were talks between three physicians as to how to best tinker with Bob.  There were talks of keeping Bob for a few days.  One physician asked Bob, "Do you like hospital food?"  Now that's a tinkering question if I ever heard one.  Hospital food is not conducive to tinkering.  This I know.

At the end of four hours in the E.R. there were no answers but only questions.  The MRI didn't reflect any bleeding in and around the brain.  Blood tests were good.   So in the spirit of tinkering and practing the art of practicing medicine there will be more tests this week.  Ultra sound on the arteries in the neck.  Contrast oriented MRI.  Investigate the possibility of Bell's Palsy.  Tinker.  Tinker and more tinker.   

Over the past few days Wifey is nearly beyond herself thinking that Bob will drop dead at any moment.  I tell her that Bob is not going to go that easily . . . that it's going to have to take a lot more than this to put me down.  Wifey halfway believes me and frankly I halfway believe me, too.  I'd feel a lot better if there were more cars on the road that were made in the year I was born. 

This will be a week for tinkering.  Keep Bob on the road.  And keep Bob on the water sailing. Tinker.  Tinker.  Tinker.

As George Burns once said, "If I knew that I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself."

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Too Smooth 4 Sailing

Yesterday on the lake:  76 degrees.  Not a cloud in the sky.  Absolutely no wind at all.  Flat water lake surface.  It was way too smooth to sail.

Since there's no wind we motor out to the middle of the lake.  Wifey curls up on the deck and takes a nap.  I screw around with the sails actually thinking that I can get the boat to move without absolutely any wind.  Three other sailboats sit just like we're sitting.  We wave at each other.

After her power nap Wifey hands me a plastic tumbler filled with liquid.

Me:  What's that?

Wifey:  It's Coke.  I thought you'd like it in a glass.

I take the Coke and pour it out over the side of the boat.

Wifey:  What's that all about?  I take the time to get you something to drink and you pour it out?

Me:  That was one of the tumblers that I took a leak into the other day.  I just couldn't pee over the side and I didn't want to use the head.  It was handy so I peed in it.

Wifey:  I am thinking you would have let me drink out of that damn thing and not said one freaking word.  You'd do that, wouldn't you.  And peeing in drink cups.  That's so very wrong, Bob.

Bob with a big smile on his face.

Me:  As Capt of this boat I can very well pee anywhere and in anything I want.  And yeah, I probably would not have said anything . . . think I'd want to be killed over something like that?

Moral of this story:  While sailing with Bob open your own drink cans  and never EVER drink out of any cups or tumblers.   Nothing is sacred on the good ship Sparkle Plenty.

On this Thanksgiving Day I am thankful to be able to live to tell this story.  Yes, Wifey would have killed Bob dead over a plastic tumbler used to pee in.

Happy day to each one of you!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Done Deal

It hit 77 degrees in Cowtown yesterday.   That broke a record for the warmest temperature in Cowtown for November 24th.   Today will be close to that but no record.

This morning:

Me:  Time for some sailing today.  Weather's right.  There will be some wind.  Let's go do it.

Wifey:  That would be good for my spirit.  I need that.

Me: Done deal.  Let's hit the lake around noon.

If Thanksgiving day is anywhere near today's weather we'll sail before putting that very delicious looking prime rib in the oven.   'Tis the season to still be sailing. 

Anchors aweigh, Matey's!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Should Have Known Better

Grace spent the night last night.  She asked if we could go out to dinner at Red Lobster.   Grace just loves shrimp and sees the ads on TV with the RL plates loaded with the stuff.  She just has to go.

Last meal I had at the RL was shit.  That was a couple of years ago.  I should have known that shit doesn't turn to roses overnight and brought shrimp from the market to eat at home.

We both order off of RL's wood fired menu:  Sirloin steak with skewered shrimp.  Popcorn shrimp was the only shrimp on the kid's menu (and Grace doesn't like popcorn shrimp) so we planned on sharing our meal with Grace.

Server:  Would you like baked or mashed potatoes with your meal?

We both choose baked with condiments on the side.

Salads arrive.  Mine has obviously sat in it's bowl in the refrigerator complete with dressing for quite some time as the dressing was had sunk to the bottom of the bowl and the lettuce was sticking to the bottom.  This should have been an omen.  Even Olive Garden provides a fresh bowl of greens and tosses it at the table.

Main course arrives.  Steak.  Check.  Shrimp on skewers.  Check.  Baked potato with condiments on the side.  Check.  Mashed potatoes, too?!  And no vegetable?!  This makes no sense.

The steak is over seasoned.  Big time.  A lot of spice and too much pepper.  The skin of the baked potato has been coated in salt and oil and is inedible.    I summon the wait person.

Me:  There's no vegetable with either of our meals.

Server:  Doesn't come with vegetables.

Me:  You're kidding.  In an age where obesity is rampant and this is RL's contribution to stop it by serving no vegetables and two starches?

Server:  That's how it comes.

Me:  And we asked for baked potato which is here but both plates have mashed on them.  Why?

Server:  The wood fired meals come with mashed potatoes.

Me:  So why did you ask if we wanted mashed or baked?

Blank stare from the server.  She's obviously tired of Bob's questioning.

The bill comes.  We complain again in regards to the meal and the over seasoning of the steaks.

Server:  It's new seasoning and that's how it comes.

You'd think at least one meal would have been comped.  Nope.  $54 bucks to eat shit.  I should have known better than to come back to a place where it was nearly guaranteed we'd have a terrible experience.  Eating at RL is just awful.

We leave and drive home.  I get on the Internet and write to RL regarding our experience via their website.  It probably won't do any good to complain 'cause it didn't do any good last night.   I expect nothing nor do I want it.   With the good that they serve how RL stays in business is beyond me. I've definitely had my last meal there. 

Consider yourself warned.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Post Script

Grammy # 2 died late Saturday.

She was 60 years old not 62.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Life is not always fair

Gracie's other grandmother (The mother to Gracie's mom) checked into the hospital last week.  Grammy #2 wasn't feeling well.  The first hospital she checked into couldn't find anything wrong and passed her over to an assisted care facility for some rehab.  That didn't work out as Grammy #2 still didn't feel right.  Time for a second opinion at another hospital.

Second hospital did tests.  And more tests.  At the conclusion of the tests it has been determined that Grammy #2 at age 62 is dying and nothing can be done to reverse it.  That has come as quite a shock to everyone except Bob.  Life long habit of smoking.  Life to extreme excesses.  Grammy #2 has done a number on herself.  I hate being right.

There's a vigil at the hospital.  Family members take turns sitting with poor Grammy #2 who most likely won't live the week out.  Unfortunately - or maybe fortunately, Grammy #2 is so doped up she has no clue who is sitting with her and what time of day it is.  The medical staff feel it's better to keep her pain free as they opine that it's much more difficult to achieve that level if left un-medicated and alert.

I've cried over this.  But the tears were not so much for the dying but for those soon to be left behind.  The tears were also in memory of how each of our parents died and the effect their loss had on both of us.  Years later those wounds still sting.

Why is it that we know death comes sooner of later and that the process of birth/life/death/infinity woven into our existence . . . that's we're so unprepared for it?  When death knocks on the door it often comes as a shock.  A surprise.  We're ripped to pieces.   The general sentiment is that life can be so very unfair. 

I wonder if in her last hours if Grammy #2 is going over her life and answering fundamental questions.

Have I lived fully?

Have I loved well?

Have I just been taking up space?

One would hope or pray that the answers could come up, Yes, Yes and Nope.

What would your answers be?

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Revelation

 It's coming.  I just know it.  The revelation will come if not this year then certainly in the next.

Grace:  I know there's no Santa Claus.

Me:  How do you know that?

Grace:  Someone told me at school and then I asked my mom if she was Santa.  So now I know there is no Santa Claus.  Santa is mom and dad.

I've thought a lot about the deal about whether there is or is not a Santa.   Probably spent more time thinking about that when I should have been planning the next move in the stock market.  Knowing Grace is going to come up with the revelation that there is no Santa I want to be prepared.  You see, I believe in Santa.  I do.  And no seven year old kid is going to convince me otherwise. 

Me:  Grace, there is a Santa.  There is.  And I believe there is a Santa.

Grace:  Papa!  Not really.  Have you ever seen the real Santa come down the chimney and put presents under the tree.

Me:  Yes, Papa....I believe in Santa and you should too.  No, I've never seen Santa come down the chimney and put presents under the tree. Do you know of anyone who has?   But before you answer that I want you to think about something.  You believe in God and and you believe in Jesus.  Right?

Grace:  Yes, I believe in God and Jesus.

Me:  Have you ever seen God or Jesus or do you know anyone who has seen them?

Grace:  No one ever told me that before.  Maybe they have.

 Me:  But even though no one has ever seen God or Jesus they still believe in them.

Grace:  That's because they are real.  Santa is not.

Me:  Ahhh, that's where you're wrong.  Just because you've never seen Santa doesn't mean that we should not believe in him.  Believing in Santa is believing a part of the spirit of Christmas that brings families together to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  Jesus is the reason for the season but Santa also makes it a special time for families to join together.  That's why I'll always believe in God, Jesus and Santa. 

Grace will probably not know what to think or say right then.  But then neither does any member of the family know what to say when I expect this personal belief of mine with them. 

Grace just turned seven.  I'm hoping for at least one more year of innocence on the topic of Santa.  There are too many harsh revelations in this life that are tough pills to swallow for our youngest.   I am hoping this one stays in the bottle for a little while longer.   I hate the thought of once more being the only one in the family who believes in Santa Claus. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Don't know what to think
 Dermatologist appointment this morning:

Me:  Lab results should be back.  Were the edges of the biopsy clear?

Dr:  Nope.  

Me:  Oh, great.  Now what?

Dr:  I think that I got all of it.  Let's continue to treat the area with Alvara (topical treatment designed to remove pre-cancerous growths and eliminate basil cell carcinoma).  Time will tell.

Me:  So, how will I know if time will tell?  Will the lesion surface if it continues to grow?

Dr.  It's likely that it won't surface and that it will burrow further into your nose and into your respiratory system.  That's if it comes back and we don't detect it.

Me:  What about surgery?

Dr:  You wouldn't like that.  It would leave you with a huge dent in your nose and scarred.  Surgeons operating on this area tend to take more than they should.  Stupid practice but nonetheless it's done more frequently than not.  It would not be pretty.  If it were me I'd do what's just been recommended.  Ointment.  Watch the area carefully.

There's no choice but to play the hand that's just been dealt unless I go under the knife.   Honestly, I don't know what to think or what to do.  It's hard to fathom how such a small thing can become life threatening.



I'm on them.

The photo:  Taken professionally of Wifey and Gracie.  They're sitting on the boat having another one of their girl to girl conversations. 


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Crabby Tuesday

I'm crabby:  I can't see a damn thing.  The visit to the optometrist yielded a new prescription for contact lenses which I'm wearing right now.  Left eye bumped to a 4.0 with the right 50 leaving me with blurry distant vision.  The screen of the computer is blurry.   Back to see the optometrist this afternoon.

If there are mistakes or if some of this post doesn't make sense it's because I can't see what the hell I'm doing  Bare with me.

I'm also crabby over this:  Spaghetti for a Thanksgiving Feast?  Each year at this time Gracie's school invites parents and relatives to join the students in a Thanksgiving feast complete with turkey and all the trimmings.  This year the cafeteria manager decided for lord knows what reason to serve spaghetti instead of turkey.  How un American is that?!  I knew that broad was a commie bitch in disguise!

Bob's really crabby about this:  Then I learn that we're billions in debt to the Chinese all thanks to bailing this and that out.  If that's not bad enough there's the trade deficit between the U.S. and China.  The experts say trade between the two countries should be a buck in and a buck out.  Doesn't work that way.  China's sending shit loads of their goods here but only allowing a trickle from the U.S. to enter their country.  So we're being double screwed by China.

Bob is crazy crabby here:  If we fought World War II like we're fighting the war in the Middle East we'd all be speaking Japanese or German and driving cars manufactured in their countries.  Well, this is half right.  Won the war but lost the battle of vehicles.  My thoughts are that if you're going to fight a war then fight the damn thing and be done with it.  Civilians in the way?  That didn't stop Give 'em Hell Harry when he ordered two big ones to be dropped on two Japanese cities.  That didn't stop the Allies from firebombing a half dozen cities in Germany and Japan.  So now we don't do that and the big wigs wonder why we can't win a war in the Middle East.    Gotta do what ya gotta do if you're going to fight a war.  If you can't or won't do "that" then don't get in the middle of a war that you don't plan on winning.

Bob is hiding out and crabby because:  My forehead looks like I've got jungle rot.  Red.  Blotches.  Crusty skin.  Open sores.  All thanks to my dermatologist.  I've been invited to a few functions this week which I have begged off.  Can't stand being seen like that.   And we're not even half through the process of peeling a couple of layers of skin off.  Shit.

It felt good to get that load off my mind.  But I'm still crabby.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hut, one, two, three, four, HUT!

 It's Veteran's Day.  I'm a veteran and don't feel like celebrating.  The local Elks Lodge will toast the veterans with a shot of cognac promptly at high noon.  I ask, why in a time of "war" toast those of us who served and lived to tell about it?  Toast those fighting on the front lines and pray that they come home to tell about it at a future Veteran's Day celebration.

I also don't feel like celebrating or making a big deal of this day as back then serving was something everyone who was able (and not chickenshit) did.  A stint in the military was the law of the land.  Those who served and were lucky to come out of Viet Nam alive finished their tour of duty and got on with their lives.   For me, no thank you's are necessary.  It was the price of living in a Democracy.

One good thing about Veteran's Day:  A cable channel or two will run war movies all the live long day.  Whoo Hoo!  Break out the beer and the buffalo chicken wings.  Put new batteries in the remote control.  We are going to war on TV today.  It's going to rain so that's the perfect excuse to plop my fat white ass in front of the TV.  Gotta wear my combat helmet . . . break out the .45 sidearm.  Cradle the M-16 in my lap.  I'll be good to go.  Lock and load, people.  Lock and load.

Here's Gracie wearing Bob's military uniform.  Last week she begged me to dig it out and I did.  Damn uniform reflects a back in the day Bob.  It's a size 37.  Check your closet.   Anyone you know with any meat on their bod small enough to wear a 37?   Good lord, no!  I was all of 140 pounds.  5'10"  A lean, mean, fighting machine.  Perfect fit for a size 37 uniform jacket.  

Meanwhile, pray for our troops and forget those who been there, did that and served their country in the process - - - as well we should have.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Grace turns seven

Last weekend Grace turned seven.   Most of the kids in second grade turned seven long ago and are about to or have already turned eight.  Most definitely Gracie is the youngest kid in second grade at her school.  That said, even though the youngest she can run with the best of them.

She opened the gifts from us on Friday at our home.  On Saturday she had her party at her mother's home complete with most of her BFF's and other relatives. 

As you see below, Grace just had to sit with her very best boy friend.  She has it all figured out that they're getting married after college and having a slug of kids.  Tell me, just where do kids come up with this stuff at age seven?  Our rant to Grace remains the same:  Do the high school thing.  Then college.  Grad school.  Well paying job with a future.  Grow up, become a mature woman.  Play the field.  Date only those with their shit together with a great job and money in their wallet.  Go from there.

Life plays out differently.  First off, who listens to their elders anymore?  Life's errors could be avoided if they would only listen to those who have been there and done that. 

Hmmmm.  Like you and I really listened to our elders back in the day?   Learning the hard way is how life usually plays out for most of us.  Growing up it was pretty much my deal to screw things up.  Dad used to say, "Bob, you just can stand prosperity.  You always mess up a good thing."   Many of life's lessons for Bob was learned from the school of hard knocks.    Even then I often still didn't get it and I'd go back for more messing things up.   Why would I expect Grace or anyone else to live the first part of their lives any differently? 

Grace's after high school education has strings attached.  We've set aside a sum of money adequate for her to go all the way through grad school and then some but with conditions not mentioned here.  Use your imagination.  If you know Bob you know well what the conditions will be for Grace to receive her college money. 

College isn't for everyone.   If Grace decides not to take that path and be happy doing something else so be it.  We'll be happy with whatever she does and where ever she ends up.  The good Lord willing, I'll be there to enjoy that.

Great Poi Dog Pondering song from long ago. Needs some help though . . . muddy sound needs help from the EQ on your computer to lighten it up.

Bob's Thanksgiving turkey is featured dancing here (about 2:15). :) Check it out. It's a natural thing.......or is it?

Monday, November 09, 2009

'Tis Nearly the Season
 Reading the daily edition  of the San Francisco Chronicle has been a habit since age 10.   Something for everyone.  Read the Chronicle and you can bet that you know what's going on here, there and everywhere.

In reading Sunday's paper I paused on an article written about a San Francisco company, Good Vibrations.  Good Vibrations sells mostly vibrators.   Surprisingly this firm has a CEO.  I don't know why that this was surprising but it was.  I usually equate CEO with companies like Ford, General Electric and what have you . . . not with something like Good Vibrations which sells sex toys. 

The article had a bent that even in a recession bound economy vibrator sales is humming.   And I quote G.V. COEO Jackie Strano:

"We're not necessarily recession-proof because we reply on manufacturers and distributors.   Things have taken a little hit but we're definitely better off than the auto industry.  If you're going to be in industry, this is the one to be in."

Now there's a thought.  Maybe I can buy a used ice cream truck and sell vibrators door-to-door.....Bob would truly be the Good Humor man.  I'd paint, "Let Me Go Ahead and Make Your Day Vibrator Company" on the side of the truck.  Bob would have a new shelf life.

CEO Jackie continued, "But yeah, money's tight.  If people are going to spend their dollars, they want to know it's a good product.  People are staying home more, so we've directed more marketing efforts towards cheap date nights - - - for the price of a movie and dinner, buy a vibrator, stay home and have fun."  Spoken like a true CEO of a vibrator sales company.

 I don't even have to ask.  I know well Wifey's answer when asked this question.  Her choice between a vibrator and dinner and a movie out is obvious.  Go for the dinner out, see the movie and to hell with something that goes buzz in the night.  I would think that most wives would go for a night out, too.  And that's the name of that tune.

The photo here?  Bob, Wifey and Gracie on the good ship Sparkle Plenty.  It's the one being used on our photo Christmas cards this year.  After all, 'tis nearly the season, isn't it?  46 shopping days until Christmas, people.  Get out out there and buy, buy, buy!

Ho, ho, ho!  Happy Monday!

Friday, November 06, 2009

There's a damn hole in my nose!

A month ago I wrote here that my dermatologist had ordered up a $500 prescription of ointment.  When applied twice daily the ointment causes the skin to peel.  The idea is to eliminate the need to burn off pre- cancerous skin growths by removing them this way.  If done right they'll not come back again.

This morning I checked in my the dermatologist.

Doc:  Looking good.  Stop applying the ointment until Monday then start up again with once a day application and not twice.  Don't want to over do it.

Me:  Like I don't look bad enough?  My entire forehead is red with welts on top of the pre-cancerous growths.  Bob is definitely looking like a Leper.  Before I go would you look at an area on my nose.

Doc after looking at it:  "How did I miss that?  Did this just happen or have you had it for a while.

Me:  For a while.  It comes and goes.  I thought that it was a broken blood vessel.

Doc:  It's cancer, Bob.  You have options:  Radiation.  Freeze it and hope that it doesn't come back.  Apply the ointment you're using which might do the job eventually.  Or, cut it out.

Me:  What would you do?

Doc:  If it were one of my family I'd surgically remove it.

Me:  Slice and dice time, Doc.  Slice and dice that baby.

The procedure seemed to last forever.  First the injection of Novacaine smack dab into the nose.  He scraped and scraped.  And he burned and burned to stop the bleeding.  I just love the smell of burning skin in the morning.

Doc:  It was definitely cancer.  I got all of it and then some.  The lab report will let us know if I'm correct.

Now we wait to see if the growth comes back or if the lab finds that there's more of the growth to dig out.  I hate to think what the next step is if one of the other happens.  The Dermo says that he got all of it and then some.  Judging by the hole in my nose there's was plenty of "then some".  It's a pretty big dent in Bob's nose that's half the size of a dime and very deep.

Today Grace's school is honoring men and women who served in the arm forces.  There's an assembly with lots of singing with veterans in the spotlight.  I was going.  Was.   Bob's looking a bit too grotesque to be among 600 kids.  Think I'll sit this one out.

All said, I'm not really sweating this one out.  I'm thinking that it's all good.  But in the back of my mind there's this little voice that makes me worry just a bit about what could come next.  Worrying never helped anything.  And it won't help here, either.  I've got to quiet that voice in my head.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

10 Items or Less

I caught a recent film the other evening on HBO: 10 Items or Less.  Morgan Freeman was the principle actor.  Cute film.  Not a lot of plot.  Bob's kind of movie. 

At one point in the film Freeman asked a female character to name 10 things she liked about herself and 10 she didn't like.  Then he rattled off 10 and then the other 10 on the opposing side.  I had to laugh that one of the 10 things Freeman liked was a good bowel movement.  Gee, did you ever look at life in a way that it was important to have a good bowel movement?  Eat your fiber and then it's no big deal. 

What would be your 10/10 like/dislikes?  I wouldn't name the bowel movement as being one of the 10 but something that would make my list would be having my shit together.   That's a work in progress so that's something not yet ready for this list  . . . at least not yet.   Always able to wrangle an income tax refund.  Uncanny ability to hit all green stop lights makes me smile.  The unconditional love of Wifey.  All things likable. 

Dislikes:  Let's not go there.  Focus on the positive this morning and not the negative. 

I have no clue on where this topic is going or where it should go.  It's been that kind of week:  Loose ends with nothing coming to fruition.  That's why there have been no posts here.  Bob can start but can't finish.  I'll leave it to you to finish what I can't.

I spent a large part of yesterday on the boat.  Cleaning.  Fixing.  Charging the batteries.  Bleeding all over the inside of the boat after being sliced by a sharp edge.   Enjoying the peace and the activity of the birds that you see here that are perched on the boom just outside the marina.  Cormorants.  They love fish.   The fishermen hate them.

The Parks Service was in the middle of a control burn on the south/east end of the lake.  Smoke billowed in the air and for a time went in the opposite direction of the marina.  Later in the day the wind changed directions and thick white smoke covered the lake and the marina.    That's when it was time to call it a day and head for home. 

This morning we visit the studio of the photographer who did the photographs of us on the sailboat.  She'll review them with us and help us to decide which would be best for framing.  Grace arrives on the school bus a little after two.   Soon afterward it's off to her singing lessons.   It's a busy day and as always time will fly.  Time and this life goes so very quickly.  I just wish that it didn't.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Letting Go

Last week was a tough week on friends.

First Lorna.  We met in junior high school and remained close throughout the years.  In high school Lorna wrote each one of my absence notes.  I could come and go at will knowing that there would be no unexcused absences or "cuts" because mother Lorna would make certain there was a note justifying why I was not in school.  Doctor, dentist, illness, whatever a legit excuse allowed me to do just about anything other than go to class. If my mother submitted a note for one of my absences it would have been called a forgery by the school office.  Lorna even signed my report cards that were returned to school.  Mom and dad only saw the bogus report cards that Lorna helped me to prepare . . . all with very good grades.

Over the years we called, e-mailed and occasionally got together.  We were usually always in touch.  Last week Lorna succumbed to lymphatic cancer.  Her family said that her illness was overwhelming and the fight futile.  Lorna thanked her physician for all he had done relaxed and died.

Donna, and I became friends when we served together on the local draft board.  Bet you didn't think there were any such animals anymore, did you....Well, there are functioning draft boards in every town all set to call up eligible men (and maybe women) should the need ever arise.

Like Lorna, Donna and I remained in touch usually e-mailing and every once in a while calling each other.  Donna was always fun, a tough cookie, a civic leader whose motto was, "I don't lean.  I push".  And that she did.  Friday Donna died from the liver cancer than had spread throughout her body.  Knowing Donna she was pushing and not leaning until the very end.  She was not one to let go.

Both of these ladies will be missed by friends and family alike.  And if I said that I wasn't more than a bit heartsick today I'd be lying. 

The untimely passing of two friends is a reminder of our own mortality.  Like it or not one day my number and yours will come up.  That's life.  That's what we signed on for.  Letting go and accepting that principle is a tough one.  We'll always be here, right?  Always.

With this in mind . . . that nothing is forever . . . there are basics rules of the game of life.  You know them well or at least you should.   Live life to the fullest, love and laugh abundantly.  Live joyfully. 

And don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out. . . .

BTW:  Taken yesterday this photo are of the docks at the marina . . . just past where Sparkle Plenty is berthed..  It  was 76 degrees, very little wind and sunny.    We'll be sailing later today as the weatherman has promised the same weather.  Time to get out there and just do it.

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Whiskeytown Lake, Very Northern California, United States