Tuesday, September 4, 2012

His way

July 31st was my dad's 61st birthday. He was in intensive care with a breathing tube down his throat dying. He kept trying to pull the tube out and ultimately succeeded.

Wrought with pain, he communicated intermittently through a foggy drug-induced haze. His liver no longer functioned and the rest of his organs were fast failing. The doctor gave us no false hopes and the nurses did their best to make him comfortable.

He was able to be himself, at times, when the drugs wore off enough, joking and making us laugh. He told us what he wanted when he was gone, right down to the "gathering" at my brother's house where we could serve finger foods.

On August 9, we were with my dad until the normal time visitors had to leave. It seemed he waited for us to go home, and fell asleep that night for the last time. It had been three years since the doctors gave him two years to live unless he got a liver transplant. 

He was so tired. My dad was a busy man who always said he'd rest when he was dead.

Rest in peace, daddy. I love you.

My dad didn't have to die. If there had been a liver available from a donor, he had a very good chance to have a longer life. If you aren't an organ donor yet, go now and get more information and get registered. Thank you...now go hug your parents and your children...

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Softball and the Olympics

Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you know it's Summer Olympics time. We've been enjoying an occasional Olympic event; gymnastics, swimming and the tandem diving was amazing.

We can't help but feel an emptiness as we watch. The sport we've spent years watching our daughter play, supporting her and encouraging her to do her best and maybe she can go to college and perhaps the Olympics someday, is no longer in the Olympics.

Softball should be in the Olympics.

Girls don't have the same post college opportunity that boys do. Professional softball doesn't pay even close to what their baseball counterparts make. Did you even know there was a National Pro Fastpitch League?

The only reason pro softball has gotten any notoriety, other than the millions of females who play and love the game, is because of the Olympians who have chosen to play in the league. We know who the players were on the Olympic teams and many of them have a job year- round with ESPN or they have endorsements.

Will the pro fast pitch league continue to grow if women's softball doesn't get the exposure it once did in the Olympics?  Perhaps at a snail's pace.

Softball not being in the Olympics is like taking a giant leap backwards for the sport. Everything the Olympians did to glorify the sport is nullified. It's a slap in their faces and a smack down to the young athletes who dream of a future in fastpitch softball.

*For more recent information with answers to why softball isn't in the Olympics anymore as well as the efforts to get it reinstated, check out the following article in the Chicago Tribune and this one in the LA Times.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Food photos are so Pinteresting

I spend about a half an hour a day looking at Pinterest links. It's a great way to relax. I do think I'm a little addicted, but there are worse things I could be doing.

I knew nothing about Pinterest until I was given an assignment to find out what it was all about. I wrote this article about my first experiences on Pinterest back in March. 

I like the final paragraph; 
"Since I was a little girl, I’ve loved flipping the pages of catalogs and magazines. Pinterest is like finding little photographic dreams and pinning them to your wall."
I have 27 boards to pin on. My favorite board seems to be Crazy Food! which currently has 234 pins on it. I pin most of my food porn, with the exception of slow cooker food which goes on It's a Crock! and cheesy, delicious food which goes on Why Do I Love Cheese So Much?

I have a whole board dedicated to Beverages and there are a few food items on the Things in a Jar page.

I almost forgot my Yum!!! board, which is dedicated to my most decadent, favorite dishes even though the cover photo is of yummy Iron Man himself, Robert Downey Jr. I felt it was totally appropriate.

Based on my favorites, I must dream about food nothing but food. I also have my On the Road board where I post all my travel planning, camping and places photos. I guess there's food on that one too, camping food.

And then I have my Feeling Good! board with all my exercise, skin care and healthy snack food ideas.

I also have boards called In the Kitchen, Outside, In the Yard and Books (This is very serious stuff).
  1. I prepare food in the kitchen
  2. I BBQ outside.
  3. We picnic in the yard.
  4. I collect cook books.
Wow. I think I have an addiction and it's not Pinterest. I'm going to create a new Get Your Butt Off the Couch! board right now. Maybe I can stand and pin... 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Time is on our side

We enjoyed a fancy yet relaxed evening at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse for our friend's birthday the other night. They plan something special with their friends every year. On the ride home it hit me how long we've been enjoying their birthday rituals. I found myself saying, "Eight years. My how time flies."

Like a broken record,I'm saying those words a lot, lately.

My daughter made me say it last week. She was buying groceries on her own for her first camping trip with friends and without us. She's less than six months from being an adult and she's got more smarts than most 30-year-olds I know. When did this happen?

It seems like just yesterday it was me turning 18 and getting ready to take on the world.

Reflection is important, but living in the past is dangerous so I'm glad I don't do that...much. Some of it makes me sad, much of it makes me smile with satisfaction.

I prefer to look to the future and make plans, but that can be dangerous too.

A line from the song "Beauty School Drop-Out", from the movie Grease, just popped into my head "...You've got the dreams but not the drive..." Unfortunately that's what happens too often for me.

Or I have the ideas, the dreams, but not the money. Makes me want to knock over a Bank of America or at least a Quickie Mart.

This whole time thing can be tricky. It's a balancing act of past-present-future.

My daughter told me not to worry too much about what's going to happen in the future because you'll miss out on what's happening today. Did I mention she was smart?