When Love Hurts

Our son Chris with our granddaughter Violette

Our son Chris with our granddaughter Violette

Our granddaughter, Violette has been in a Boston hospital 2800 miles east of us for several days. All the tests are showing numbers that are way above the normal range. The doctors don’t know what is causing her excruciating pain and the high numbers. She is only eleven years old. This should not be happening to our baby girl.

She got to go home yesterday while they wait for more test results to come in. I am praying that Mom gets some much needed rest.

My first impulse was to jump on a plane and go home, but Steve is much wiser than me. He pointed out that going home right now may not be the best course of action. Crying in front of Mom, Dad, and Violette may not be helpful.

Violette’s Mom, Katrina, has been wonderful in keeping us updated about everything as it happens. Her reports have kept me sane. Anxious, helpless, sleepless, but sane.

Every time there is any speculation of what Violette may have, I rush to Google to read whatever I can find about the ailment. That is probably not a good thing.

I debated about writing this post. One reason may be to let you know that living in Las Vegas is not all bright lights and fun times. We are still real people. We have to deal with broken water heaters and refrigerators that don’t refrigerate. There are details of life to be faced, just like everywhere.

Mostly I am writing this post to say thank you to everyone for your support. Your thoughtfulness, your kind words, your prayers are all appreciated.

We have two great sons. We thought we had hit the jackpot when they arrived. Then our three exceptionally wonderful grandchildren came into our lives. Violette, Cindy and Harold give us joy beyond measure.

Yay! I just talked with Violette on the phone. She said she slept well last night, home in her own bed. She still can’t walk and is in a lot of pain, but she is home waiting for more test results.

Please continue to keep her in your prayers.

Mom Pop Pow – Where You Can Do It If You Try

 

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Happy Birthday Corky Eden

Corky

Today is Corky Eden’s birthday. We celebrated at our house last night with a birthday dinner.

Steve and I planned the surprise event a few weeks ago. We cleared the date and the details with her husband Mike first and got his buy in and participation.

We had a fun time planning and then actually putting everything together. Steve and I were very, very busy.

Corky Surprise

You can see by the tilt of her head and the smile on her face, Corky was surprised when she walked though the door. She thought only she and Mike and Steve and I were going out for dinner. She didn’t know we were having a party.

Corky Cake

Corky liked the home made angel food birthday cake. It tastes good and is practically calorie free.

While we were having cake and coffee, I realized that Steve and I probably had more fun than Corky. She was the birthday girl, but she only got to have fun for a few hours. Steve and I got to have fun planning a preparing for a much longer time. Doing something nice for someone really does give a lot of payback. Thanks Corky.

Happy Happy Birthday Corky. Have a great day.

 

Mom Pop Pow – Where You Can Do It If You Try

 

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Wait – Life is Good

Eyes

 

The loud, obnoxious ringing of the house phone awakened me at 2:30 AM, that is in the morning, middle of the night time. Steve was gone and the hall light was on. I bounded out of bed to see what was happening.

It was the alarm company on the phone telling us that the water alarm was triggered. I rushed to the garage to find Steve and see in fact that the hot water heater was putting out water – in the wrong places. Fortunately for us, it was a slow drip.

After drying everything, as best we could, we went back to bed, but sleep just isn’t the same after an emergency.

When daylight came we called the home buyers protection company to send help. A gentleman came several hours later to assess the situation. He filled out the paperwork and said he would see us on Friday to install a new water heater. That is two whole days away. Well in reality, it is only one full day away and many hours on either side.

While we are waiting, we will continue to sop up the water.

It was while I was doing my turn, that I thought of the homeless people. Many of them would be happy to have a home with a hot water heater – even if it is broken.

Our friend, Mark Horvath, works tirelessly as an advocate for the homeless. He has dedicated his life to speaking for the homeless. He told me when he doesn’t seem to make any progress, he would like to quit and do something else, but he can’t. He says if he doesn’t speak for the homeless, who will.

No one wakes up in the morning and says, I hope my water tank will break today. No one wakes up and says, I think I would like to be homeless today. My heart breaks when I hear the stories of the homeless. If you want to know what I mean, check out http://invisiblepeople.tv/blog/

On the bright side, Mark Horvath, has motivated people and groups to help the homeless. One story that made me excited was about the homeless and the community garden. A group of homeless people got together and planted a garden. The produce from the garden is given to the local soup kitchen to feed the homeless. I think that is a great idea on so many levels.

There are many ways to help the homeless, but handing out sandwiches is not one of them. If you would like to know how to really help the homeless, read Open Our Eyes: Seeing the Invisible People of Homelessness
I learned so many surprising facts.

With hope in my heart and a bucket and a sponge in my hand, I will return to my life. I am thankful to have a home.

In the words of Mark Horvath, “If you had three wishes, what would they be?”

Mom Pop Pow – Where You Can Do It If You Try

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Happy Birthdays

 

Happy

Yesterday was my birthday and oh what a glorious day it was. My day started with hundreds of Twitter greetings from around the world. This happened as a result of our son Chris encouraging folks to wish me well via his Sunday news letter.

 

I didn’t get to say thank you to everyone because Twitter shut me down several times during the day. If I didn’t say thank you to you personally, please accept this THANK YOU.

 

Friends and family called. Some people sent paper cards. Some folks sent electronic cards.  Some sent electronic messages. It was a day of joy as I shared smiles with everyone who crossed my path.

 

We went to dinner with friends. We went to another friends house for cake and coffee. It was a wonderful day.

 

Nothing is better than a birthday greeting, unless it is a smile every day. I think if we smiled more, there may be less strife in the world. Happy people make me happy.

 

I thought you may enjoy one of the birthday greetings I got from my family.

Card

The inside says: Happy Birthday from me, my friends, and friends of friends.

 

Let me know when it is your birthday so I can send you a greeting. If you don’t like birthdays, just send me a smile.

 

Mom Pop Pow – Where You Can Do It If You Try

 

 

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Do As I Say

Live

If you were to follow my command, you would live, love, laugh and be happy. You would celebrate life and find joy to share with those around you.

The other day, I wrote a post entitled, My Brother Died. I wasn’t looking for sympathy. I wanted to say, call those people in your life who you maybe haven’t talked with for a while. My brother was fixing breakfast for himself and his wife when he fell to the floor and died without warning.

The post turned out to be a tribute to my brother. I received expressions of sympathy from friends and family all over the world. I am so thankful for all those messages. They filled a void I didn’t even know was there.

His Wishes

 
Before my brother died, he told me he didn’t want a funeral or any type of service. I challenged him. I told him of the “many” studies that have been done about the need for services of some type. The ceremony provides closure I explained. It is most important for children – specifically his five grandchildren I pointed out.

He said he didn’t care. He didn’t want any services of any type. The living, including his grandchildren, could deal with it any way they choose.

He said that six months or so after he was dead and buried, if people remembered who he was, they could have a party in his memory.

That was pretty much the end of our conversation. I learned he told his wife he didn’t want any services. He also told her if she did not follow “his wishes” he would haunt her for the rest of her life.

I thought that only means, there would not be a public service. The immediate family would get together. That is only natural. Right?

Grieving

 
While I was waiting for news of the final arrangements, I checked the flight schedules, cleared our calendars, reviewed the clothes we would take, etc.

I talked to family and friends. We shared memories of my bother and soothed each other. Each conversation ended on a good note because we knew we would see each other soon.

When I finally got the details, I learned there will be no services of any type. I didn’t think that meant there would be nothing. No family get together? No, there will no services of any type!

What Benefit Does a Memorial Service Provide?

 
Steve and I talked about the many funerals or “celebrations of life” as we like to call them, that we have attended. The gathering of friends and family give strength to the ones left behind. Memories are retold. Current events are shared. People get updated. It is all good.

I stopped writing at that point. I was having difficulty articulating what I wanted to express. Then I read the following comment on My Brother Died from Emeri Gent [Em].

“Losing good people is never easy at any time and where a good person is lost, the mark of that person leaves an unfilled space, death cannot take away the goodness, but it does leave a vacuum or a hole.

Death provides love its greatest test, the grief we feel, the tears we shed, the loss that inherits our bones – this is love speaking and you have shared that love – and it is exactly at times of great loss that we become the greatest champions of love.

For those who feel the loss, do so because they are feeling the love – and if we are not numb to that, if we can express that, then in a peculiar way we can remember not simply the brother we have just lost, but the fullness of every ancestor that has passed the flame of love between every generation.

When we are open, we experience the natural humanness of those who come to comfort our pain – but the grieving process is natural also and I find that the private moments in times like this offer us a different type of space, one we can accept as much as we accept the generosity and love of others.” Emeri Gent [Em] 

Choices

 

This event caused Steve and me to talk and make choices. When I die, Steve can have a big party. Not an expensive reception, but an in house gathering. If you can’t make it to the celebration, leave a memory on the obit page. Everyone can get together and rejoice. They can sing as if no one is listening. They can dance as if no one is watching. Live every day as if it were your last.

And The Beat Goes On

 

Live, love, laugh and be happy. Share your life and your joy with others. Who knows what tomorrow may bring.

 

Mom Pop Pow – Where You Can Do It If You Try

 

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My Brother Died

Lions

Tuesday mornings will never be the same. That is when my oldest brother and I used to chat on the phone. We carried on that tradition for many years.

During that time, we talked about our lives and our children. We shared the details of their growth, their accomplishments, their everyday lives.

We lived close enough together that we got to attend the momentous occasions; the school plays, graduations (There are more now that graduations start at the kindergarten level.) We got to rejoice at the weddings and college graduations, book reviews, house warmings, baby showers and birthday parties.

Tuesday mornings we talked about the weather, aches and pains, and we laughed or exclaimed about what the kids said. Then we laughed or exclaimed about what the grandkids said.

My brother had a loving wife of 43 years, two lovely daughters, a handsome son, and five outstanding grandchildren.

His greatest passion in life was food. I think every conversation we ever had ended with him talking about food. He waxed and waned about the recipe and how he came to acquire it. Some of his recipes had long stories attached to them about how he had to sweet talk them from the lady who owned them. Of course he promised those Great Dames never to share the recipe she entrusted to him.

He would often tell me how he had to alter a recipe to make it just right. His wife is rather “picky” in her food tastes. He would giggle when he told me he minced certain ingredients into her food to provide the flavor she liked.

His biggest joy was fixing a dish that people enjoyed. His younger daughter always requested macaroni and cheese for her birthday. Mother always got the material gift, but Daddy prepared the meal of choice for each child. That was his personal gift.

When she was grown and had children of her own, my brother said he could not understand why she still requested macaroni and cheese for her birthday. “Because it is so good” I told him. From experience, I can tell you, my brother made the BEST macaroni and cheese in all the land.

My brother had a life time love affair with food. The good part was that he shared that love with everyone he met.

I have two other brothers. I sometimes smile when one will call me and ask about the well being of the other. I suggest that he call his brother. He always says he will.

Today when I called to deliver the news that our brother had died, my little brother said “But I never had a chance to call.”

Do you have any calls you want to make now?

Mom Pop Pow – Where You Can Do It If You Try

 

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All About Me

Me

The other day the normally beautiful blue skies of Las Vegas were the angry grey you see in the picture. Not only that, Steve said there was a public health advisory that we should stay inside to avoid the pollutants in the air. I was not a happy. I wanted to go swimming. Swimming was enjoyable and had improved my health.

It seemed no sooner had I experienced those thoughts that I was overcome with a great sense of shame.

The grey skies are a result of the fires at Mt. Charleston. Over 42 square miles of forest lands have burned. 500 people have been evacuated from their homes. Firefighters are exhausted. Animals are fighting for their life. The fire, that started from a lighting strike, rages on. At least another five days are needed before anticipated containment will be reached for this fire that started on July 1, 2013.

All this tragedy and I am grumbling because there are grey skies in my back yard and I can’t go swimming. When I realized how selfish I was, I began to think of ways I could help and what I could do to contribute.

After I stopped beating myself up, I began thinking. Maybe many of our thoughts start as very personal before we start thinking of others. Then I remembered her smiling face. Her name is Amy Clover.

Strong

I became acquainted with Amy at the World Domination Summit. She gave a one minute speech. She is young, bright and full of energy. I was fortunate to spend a little time with her later in the day. I checked out her blog at Strong Inside Out.com. It is worth a click just to see her beautiful smiling face.

Amy Clover has an inspiring story to tell. She tells it all. How she nearly committed suicide and how she worked her way out and up to the energetic beauty she is today. She also invites you to join her.

Me, yes, it is all about me and what I can do to help others live, love and be happy.

Mom Pop Pow – Where You Can Do It If You Try

 

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The Masterpiece

Masterpiece

I arrived just as Jackie Lea Shelley presented Chris Brogan with the watercolor portrait she had drawn of Chris with Harold cradled in his lap. The watercolor was a perfect rendition of a picture Jackie had seen on the internet. I was as enthralled with the picture as I had been with the first Monet I had seen in person.

Jackie was happy that we liked the portrait. She was even happier that she had completed the work. She explained that she had been working on the picture for two years, but had been unable to get Harold’s face just right, but she kept trying. It was only the day before the presentation that she was able to complete the painting to her satisfaction. In other words, create a masterpiece.

She went on to explain that she had been suffering painter’s block – like writer’s block, for two years. She just couldn’t complete anything. Then in the last week, she had completed five paintings. Thank you Jackie Lea Shelley for not giving up. You truly are a great artist. She was so happy and full of energy. Her sparkle was catching.

Chris was very pleased with the painting. Then our eyes met. Chris had recently told me that he prefers all things digital. That way he doesn’t loose the picture. He doesn’t bend it. He doesn’t spill something on it. Then he said the most beautiful words, “Mother, would you like to keep this at your house in Las Vegas for me?” “Of course son, I would be delighted.” My heart nearly burst with joy.

The next day I saw Jackie and told her that Chris would never have gotten the painting home in one piece. She smiled and said she knew a woman would step in and take care of it for him. She was so gracious and delightful. She was glad that I so happy with “The Masterpiece.” When you come to visit, you can see the great work for yourself.

Mom Pop Pow – Where You Can Do It If You Try

 

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Liz Strauss Birthday Celebration and Art Show

Welcome

 

Thank you for joining us in the Liz Strauss birthday celebration. Her birthday is actually on July 3, 2013, but we decided to celebrate all week. Serve yourself some refreshment and get ready to enjoy the show. You will have the opportunity to give Liz cards, flowers, and other gifts after the presentation. Be sure to leave your greetings in the comments section for Liz to see.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Liz is one in a million. She gave me special permission to show some of her work so I don’t have to put the copyright mark on each picture.

On a clear day you can see the sun

On a clear day you can see the sun

When Liz takes a picture, she claims it by giving it a title that is just right. All the titles are Liz originals.

Beautiful

Beautiful

As you can see, this picture is just so breathtaking, the one simple word “beautiful” describes it very well.

Blue Velvet Dawn

Blue Velvet Dawn

Liz gets up early in the morning to capture the first light of day. These very early morning pictures are some of my favorites.

Sun 6:32

Sun 6:32

I marvel at how Liz comes up with so many different titles for her pictures. I do enjoy the beauty of each one, but I also enjoy the captions. Often the captions point out what I may not have seen the first time around.

Cloud birds flying in the morning sun.

Cloud birds flying in the morning sun.

At first glance, did you see the cloud birds flying in the picture?

Hope is a Rising Sun

Hope is a Rising Sun

Hope is what we are all feeling for Liz as we wish her well in her fight to recover from cancer, a broken shoulder and a broken hip.

Oh wow! Yes, you can!

Oh wow! Yes, you can!

I love that Liz always has words of encouragement.

Morning light floating on blue.

Morning light floating on blue.

All of these early morning pictures are just a little different.

The sun takes ownership

The sun takes ownership

Like the sun, we have to take ownership and never give up.

Blue black and sun!

Blue black and sun!

You could say, Liz is a little black and blue right now, but we will be her sun.

Make the sun your crystal ball.

Make the sun your crystal ball.

Make the sun your crystal ball. Wow! Great words to go with a great picture.

Good day sunshine.

Good day sunshine.

Every day needs a little sunshine.

X Marks The Sun

X Marks The Sun

Wow! How great is this for sunshine in your day.

Spotlight sun

Spotlight sun

This is one of those pictures that make you wonder.

Sun rays captured

Sun rays captured

This is another picture that makes me say WOW!

Skewered sunlight

Skewered sunlight

Wow! I never tire of these pictures.

Sunstroke

Sunstroke

Sunstroke

Zen sailing in my mind... again.

Zen sailing in my mind… again.

Zen sailing in my mind… again.

An exclamation point written by the sun.

An exclamation point written by the sun.

I am not sure I would have seen the “exclamation point written by the sun” if Liz had not shown me.

The gnome visits the harbor.

The gnome visits the harbor.

This is pure Liz.

Feel the heat on the water

Feel the heat on the water

Sometimes, when pictures look similar, Liz puts on a new title and makes them totally different.

Sun like Saturn

Sun like Saturn

The title, “Sun like Saturn” says it all.

The return of the boats

The return of the boats

In addition to the sun, Liz showed us the boats returning to Belmont Harbor, Chicago.

Sunlight On Fathers Day

Sunlight On Fathers Day

This is one of her latest offerings from June of 2013.

Wild alien sky

Wild alien sky

Love the picture and the title.

The duck floating on the cloud

The duck floating on the cloud

One of my most favorite pictures is “The duck floating on the cloud.”

Sunset like sand across the sky.

Sunset like sand across the sky.

The texture of this picture amazes me.

Golden Sunset

Golden Sunset

When I look at this picture, I hear music.

Walk Out To The Sunset

Walk Out To The Sunset

This is the end of our show. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed presenting it.

In lieu of an actual birthday card, flowers, or gifts, you can give Liz a birthday gift by donating to the Liz Strauss Fundraiser. Just click the button below.




 

That is a place where we can give Liz help with all the medical bills that keep accumulating. America is said to have the best medical service in the world, but, it is also the most expensive.

Every donation will be appreciated. Do you know that the pedestal base of the Statue of Liberty was paid for by very small donations.

Thank you for joining us. Have a bright, sun shiny day and don’t forget to leave a comment for Liz.

 

 

 

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