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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Mommy Is Just Not Okay In The Head

Behind Stripes and Spots

Mommy sent Daddy away. I mean it. She sent him away for real and he was gone a very very long time. She was bragging about sending Daddy away and she said she did it because she loves him. And I think she’s confused in her head too because she said she wanted him to get a vacation away from wheelchairs and inside hotel rooms with bars in the bathrooms. Daddy doesn’t use those things SHE does! How is sending Daddy away...for a very very long time…giving him a break when it’s stuff he doesn’t use? I can tell you that Daddy doesn’t worry about wheelchairs and hotels with bars when she isn’t there, that’s for sure!

When Mommy sent Daddy away she was all alone. She shoulda thinked about that before sending him away. Mommy got a visit from a friend who saw her pictures of me on Facebook and wanted to meet me just in time so she had someone there when Daddy was gone. Boy was she lucky that happened! I’m so very lucky too because this wasn’t just a new person who brought medicine or a package or even stopped in to fix something. This visitor was KELLY!

I like meeting new people but Kelly is so much more than a new person! I liked her right away and couldn’t help myself from following her everywhere. I had to tell her about my house and my sisters and my Daddy who Mommy sent away but I just knew he’d come back because wishted he could see me and how I love my Mommy but she’s so mean to Daddy making him go away. Do you know what Kelly did? She petted me and said stuff like “Oh, I know baby.” She just gets me.

I stuck with Kelly as much as I could after I found her. I followed her everywhere and curled up to sleep with her. What a guy to do when mean old Mommy sends your Daddy away, right? I was lucky that Kelly came into my life! I mean what if Mommy sends me away because I don’t use a wheelchair and she wants me to have a break, right? I’ll just run away to Kelly.

Then last night I heard a sound I membered from a very very long time ago. Mommy and Kelly were inside but the door opened. IT WAS DADDY!!!! I KNEW he was gonna come home. He HAD to come see me! I was the very first purrson he said hello to the very first scritches he gave. I’m THAT important to him, Marco number one! After he pushed me in the house he said hello to everyone else, even Mommy! After she sent him away he even hugged Mommy and gave her cookies to share with MY Kelly.

My Daddy is such a great guy. He even acted like he was glad not to hafta have a wheelchair or bars in the hotel all the very very long time he was gone. I think next time I‘ll send Mommy away and just stay with Daddy and Kelly.

Monday, September 8, 2014

It's Gonna Be A Great Week

Good Monday! A little variety is a good thing now and then. Saturday morning David left on just over a week’s vacation. I didn't. Yesterday Kelly arrived with her bags for a long stay. Oh nothing is wrong, this was all quite planned this way.

First thing’s first Happy Birthday to Carla! Our middle child is 6 years old today! Okay, we don’t know the exact day but she was born in September in 2008. We gave her the 8th because that was Carl Yastrzemski’s number and she was named for him.

An important part of chapter one of the book I haven't written yet, The Proper Care And Feeding Of Your Caregiver, is making sure the caregiver gets the rest they need. To borrow a tern from my most beloved book of all think, the seven habits of highly effective people, make sure your caregiver, sharpens the saw, or get pre breaks to relax and rejuvenate. When your caregiver is your spouse, that means that sometimes travel needs to be that spouse and his/her friends without you. Of course in my case at least it means I need a babysitter while my spouse is gone. That's where the ever important best friend comes into play!

This week David is chasing trains. Sometimes he's meeting up with other railfans sometimes solo, and calling me to say goodnight and tell me how the trains were today. Yes, he reports that he misses me, but he needs some time to not worry about wheelchairs at break stops or accessible rooms at hotels. It also helps me receive a little stress relief knowing he’s getting that time to recharge. The “sharpen the saw” concept is that if a saw isn't sharpened, renewed, it does at do its job well anymore, it doesn't saw wood. If a Hum an doesn't rest and renew they don't work as well either.

Kelly is officially my PCA, personal care assistant, right now. She's helping with pretty much everything this week. Yesterday we were on the bus at 1 headed to Books, Baked Goods, Crafts and Fun at Paws and Whiskers, the annual open house. We came home with some books, sweets and silent auction winnings as we left a nice donation for the cats! It was a decent haul more than I could have brought home alone. Groceries will be interesting this week as I’ll likely have more bags than usual there too. Of course groceries will have to be from the froo-froo Kroger this week. Gotta have that girl time at Starbucks you know!

We really took no photos yesterday as day one together was talking, lots of buffs who needed to catchup talking. I see much. coffee and talking today too! Although we can talk about rocket science over coffee, it wasn't required to predict that part of our day,

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Book Review: Last at Bat by Mark Donahue

Finished August 30, 2014

Brief synopsis at Google Books

LAST AT BAT is the story of a man who refused to give up on his God-given talent and of the small South Carolina town who conspired to grant him a second chance. It is a story of resilience, redemption and enduring love.

My review at Good Reads

My cousin, one of the ones who recommended David Baldacci to me, brought this book with him when we met in Cincinnati for a baseball game and loaned it to me. Another friend of his is waiting for the book after me, so I made it the next book in the queue for me. I will say that when you've been reading using an ereader for a few years a hard cover feels mighty strange in your hands!

3.5 of 5 stars

The book is fiction without a doubt. There is absolutely no possible way the main points in the book could have happened and that did interfere with me really enjoying the story at first. The two main characters are same person and both are dead and play baseball for the Cincinnati Reds. I'm not going to explain that because I do recommend the book for the right readers. If you're not the right reader for the book you won't care what that confusing sentence meant anyway. The story jumps around in time a little, but no more than necessary to give historical facts and it takes place in an unspecified time in the future. I will note that the Houston Astros are still in the National League and division rivals of the Reds, which they were in 2009 when the book was published. The book gets an extra star from me because of the mention that Pete Rose's number is retired.

Last At Bat is a romance novel for men. That's what I got from it and about half way through the book when I came to that realization it became a much more enjoyable book. There are not graphic sex scenes. Science tells us women like those but men prefer visuals for that. What a man would look for in a romance hero is that he is an incredible athlete, smart, good looking and everyone loves him on the field on off and he can woo a woman with words and a look even if the gorgeous but completely down to earth woman believes he's not her type. Meet Dylan Michael. A romance hero for a man would also be strong enough to face the most horrendous physical challenge and beat it out. A devastating physical trauma is something he can overcome with sheer determination and an undying spirit and he'll be physically better than he was without losing the brains and charm that everyone loved before. Meet Matt Wolf.

Can a man be on top of the world, fall completely down and get back up to the very top? When it’s obvious that he was cheated and is an innocent can a man morally evade the law after a conviction and win? Can a man lose the love of his life hoping to find her again and have her sacrifice whatever is necessary to be with him? Can the rekindled romance only be possible with the help of a dog? It's a romance novel, of course it can!

Should you read this book? If you like baseball, fantasy and would just like to see number 14 on the wall of retired numbers at Great American Ballpark in print, yes you should read this book. Although I will recommend that you read it in the off season when the Cubs are unbeaten and could win the World Series and any dream can come true.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Book Review: The Camel Club by David Baldacci

Finished August 24, 2014

Synopsis at Good Reads

Existing at the fringes of Washington D.C., the Club consists of four eccentric members. Led by a mysterious man know as "Oliver Stone," they study conspiracy theories, current events, and the machinations of government to discover the "truth" behind the country's actions. Their efforts bear little fruit --- until the group witnesses a shocking murder ... and become embroiled in an astounding, far reaching conspiracy. Now the Club must join forces with a Secret Service agent to confront one of the most chilling spectacles ever to take place on American soil --- an event that may trigger the ultimate war between two different worlds. And all that stands in the way of this apocalypse is five unexpected heroes.

My review at Good Reads

3.5 of 5 stars

Don’t think that only three and a half stars when I’ve given most of the Baldacci I’ve read five means I was displeased or disappointed with this book. I enjoyed the read but I wrestle with the believability a little. I like fiction that I think about after I finish reading and wonder what would it be like, how would I react if it happened to or around me because it’s entirely possible something similar could happen. I really dislike fiction that has gaping holes in the believability or mentions supporting “facts” that just aren’t possible. The Camel Club is neither of those. It was a gripping and exciting read but it left me unsure of how I felt about it after I was done.

The characters were well-developed and the action scenes were great. Maybe it’s just that there were a lot of characters that didn’t have huge roles, but this is the first of a series and maybe other characters will play a bigger role in subsequent books in the series. The plot was intense but I’m just not sure how believable all of the instances in the series of events are. There were too many super heroes/super villains and while they weren’t the stars of the book, for me they did introduce a difficulty to accept them or how anyone could defeat them.

In reading some other reader comments I was a little disappointed that so many interpreted that explanations of Islam in the minds of terrorists in the book were Baldacci’s support of either the religion or the terrorists. My interpretation of those instances in the book was to understand how followers of Islam can be made to believe that terrorist actions are justified. I don’t think there would be enough of any group that harmed others if the members of that group couldn’t justify it with their own beliefs. That’s true for any group and any set of beliefs not just Islam and not just extremists. That being said the understanding of the mental justifications and mental baggage of all the characters is why, in spite of some beyond believable events, the book made sense.

I will read he next book in this series.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Last of Leo

It’s August 20 and only a few days of Leo left! Last year I expanded Nanifest to include any plans made during the festival week as a Nanifest Event. This enables me to celebrate with more of my family of relatives and friends since I can’t drive out to see them anymore.

I mentioned a while back that part of Nanifest this year is that I no longer drive, officially. On my birthday this year my last driver’s license expired and I replaced it with a State ID. It was a funny bit of irony there. When I renewed the license I had three years ago I used the walker when I went in to the BMV. At that time I was able to load the walker in and out of the backseat of the Camaro so I could use it to get to places once I drove there. I could still drive okay, but walking I couldn’t do without assistance. The clerk at the counter looked at me and the walker and asked if I could still drive. Well, I got there, didn’t I? I assured the clerk that I drove fine; I just needed the walker to walk. With a little trepidation she said okay and proceeded with the eye test. When I went in at the end of July to trade my last driver license for a state ID I got from not one clerk, but that clerk’s supervisor as well the question “Are you sure you want to give up your privilege to drive?” WAY different reaction to my identification situation than 3 years ago! I told them, from the seat of my powerchair, that TARPS got me here because I don’t drive, I can’t drive. I also added that I don’t drive FOR the other drivers. Yeesh; it was as hard to quit driving with a wheelchair as it was to keep driving with a walker. I haven’t driven in 2 years and I don’t have a car and the state of Ohio has finally let go. It’s a good thing they did the kicking and screaming about me not driving because while I scream just fine, I’m not up to the kicking part.

Naniday Breakfast
Double Chocolate Frosted Donuts!

There are two essential components to Nanifest in addition to as many of my people as possible. Those are ice cream and baseball. There was plenty of ice cream, all within my daily or weekly Weight Watchers point allowances. There was even ice cream and baseball together. I talked about stopping at Graeter’s with Rob and K, Rob insisted it was his Nanifest treat. I bought a Blue Bunny cone from a rest area machine on actual Naniday since the ice cream and fudge place at the rest area in Indiana was closed by the time we got in there, but Naniday started with David getting me 2 especially good double chocolate frosted donuts at the Dunkin Drive through near our hotel. We’d done a long weekend in metro Chicago chasing trains and seeing a day game the day before Naniday at the Kane County Cougars. Since we’d been to the West Michigan Whitecaps earlier David has now been to all the Midwest League stadiums I have and we have only the Wisconsin teams and Bowling Green Kentucky to have been to every Midwest League stadium!

 In the 10 days from August 8-17 I saw 4 baseball games, 3 of the Major League! David and I saw the Reds and Marlins in Cincinnati on the 8th and the Mariners and Tigers in Detroit on the 17th and we joined Rob and K for the Red Sox and Reds on the 13th. The 16th, last Saturday was the Strike Out MS dinner and ballgame in Toledo and I went to that while David was working. That game was a sellout and after dinner and a little talking about the Self Help Group I lead I went down to get closer to the game. Our area of seats didn’t really have enough wheelchair spots ad I like to be closer if I can so I went solo. The saddest part of that stretch was that the team I was rooting for lost every game! I did get 2 games with fireworks after, one that made my husband and cousin happy and one that let me see “My Mariner,” Austin Jackson…sniff, sniff…and at least Austin’s team won!

My Mariner (sniff)

After the Tigers game we went to Pop’s house for the second annual Leo Birthday Banquet. Pop grills a fantastic dinner and Aunt Judy, August 18, and I share the cake! We shared a birthday dinner last year and it was very cool, so when Pop asked about birthday dinner this year I suggested that it was a great idea to do it for both of us again. I think it’s going to be a regular thing now! Three of Aunt Judy’s grands, my cousin Lisa’s kids, were there to help eat the cake and ice cream, I mean celebrate, too. I wanted a photo of the Lovely Leo Ladies for my scrapbook and asked the kids to help “make their grandmother beautiful.” Aunt Judy never likes her photo taken because she is never happy with her look in photos. I got some nice candid photos of her at Christmas a few years ago and discovered the secret. I asked the kids to stand behind Pop when he was taking the picture and just be goofy for her and make her smile. It worked! She even said she liked the picture!

Lovely Lionesses

Marble cake with fantastic fudgy frosting. My piece was 26 points and pretty much replaces the 2-scoop waffle cone for the week. (But a new week starts tomorrow!)

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