October 13, 2017

For the second year in a row, the Cubs won a playoff series. Now, to win the Pennant, now called the National League Championship Series, they have to beat the Dodgers. Oy.

Well, they killed the Dodgers quite handily this season, perhaps they can win the NL championship.

I watched all games with my friends Diane and Darell. We call it dog baseball, because we have three dogs between us. Ivy loves to run on their lawn like a nutcase. We had been to the dog park earlier in the day, but she loves to slide around on the lawn. I don’t have a back yard, I have a patio home, which is her dog pen complete with covered patio and regular professional pooper scooping.

Back to the Cubs. You have to understand how the Cubs have influenced the personalities of all its fans. We are tough, unstoppable, resilient, and diehard fans. Heck, how do you think Ivy got her name? The Cubs won the 2016 World Series on Nov. 2, and it was time to bring Ivy home on the 8th. In case you don’t know, the outfield brick walls do not have protective mats, they are covered in Ivy, planted by baseball legend Bill Veeck.

I’ve written about the Cubs before, and how the Cubs have molded my life, but for them to get where they have a second year in a row, I thought it would at least be worth a mention.

Oh, and by the way, Mr. President. I’m sorry to hear you talk to yourself. Sad. You told us you had talked to the president of the US Virgin Islands. Well, dumbass, YOU are the president of the VI.

Confusion: Today is Friday!!!!

October 6, 2017

Boy am I confused. Perhaps my brain is on freeze mode due to the upcoming Cubs v. Nats games for the NL East championship.

My friend, Colleen and I went to the movies noonish, and saw Stray. Ok, it was a memoir of a dog, true story. Can’t help thinking that if this was such a good story and movie-OK, not great, then my book should do well.

On the way home, saw school busses, and was really confused. It’s Friday, Friday, Friday.

Another thing that has me in idiot mode is that the Cubs, my beloveds, start their 5 game run for the NL East championship. The Rockies, by the way, blew it to the Dodgers in the Wild Card. So the Cubs are at the Nats today and Saturday. If they win both or just one, they have a chance of victory at home! Remember, the World Series was won in Cleveland. So Tuesday and Wednesday are home games. Then Wednesday off, and the final game if necessary in Washington.

Two years in a row to be in the playoffs. Wow. I have our pizza ordered to pick up at Papa Murphy’s, and am taking Ivy to Diane and Darell’s house. Better TV and some company. I took Ivy to the dog park to blow off some steam, and wouldn’t let her lie down in the mud and put her face in the water bowl. One bowl was set up on a bench. Good dog. I always brush her with a slicker and a comb in the parking lot before she hops into her car crate.

The Broncos have their bye week Sunday, and the Cubs have a travel day. My date book is wide open to look at it.

The weather is turning bad, and my 65th birthday, Tuesday, is supposed to be the worst day of the week. Oh well.

I hope my Monday afternoon volunteer spot from 3-6 is up in the air. The Cubs play at 2pm. Choices must be made.

Ivy, Want a Stick?

September 29, 2017

One way to get Ivy to leave me and a guest alone is to say those words. Ivy’s favorite chew toys are Bully Sticks. I would never do rawhide again, as one of my huskies, Keli, nearly choked to death.

Bully sticks practically dissolve when chewed, they taste good to the dog, and they keep them busy when I am trying to unsolved the mysteries of “The Cloud”

Remembering Dr. Herbert Zipper

April 13, 2017

As an elementary school student, our school had an orchestra come to the gym to play for us. Its conductor and director was Dr. Herbert Zipper. While I did not care for classical music when I was little, there was a certain magic to sitting on a gym floor and listening to fine music.

Little did I know that Dr. Zipper was a Holocaust survivor, imprisoned at Dachau, was bought out by his father, then went to the Philippines to start an orchestra there. When the Japanese invaded, he was again imprisoned.

After the war, he came to America to do what he loved best: teach others to love music. One of the places he came to live was Chicago. He started the North Shore summer music program, and gave those school concerts among all the other things in his life.

I had no idea that his story was turned into a book, then an Academy Award nominated documentary. I got the documentary yesterday, and sat spellbound watching this great man’s life unfold where previously I just thought of him as the man who led the school gym concerts.

The title is appropriate, as Dr. Zipper was born in 1904, and lived into his 90’s. He was still working at the age of 92. The title of the DVD is a little different than the title of the book. I highly recommend watching it.

Never Give Up: The Twentieth-Century Odyssey of Herbert Zipper.

Thank you, Dr. Zipper, for being a survivor with a tattoo who led generations of people on a path to music appreciation.

Drinking Out of the Trough is the Title of My First Book!

March 11, 2017

Yes, campers, I have finally taken the plunge and written a book. It’s undergoing editing by the wonderful Judy Fort Brenneman of Greenfire Creative, LLC.

After eight years, I have a new puppy, a delightful Goldendoodle named Ivy. She is six months old. Her breeder, Cathie Crosby of Placer Goldendoodles picked her out for me as a good match. Ivy is a delightful little soul.

I gave the pup Ivy for a name because my beloved Chicago Cubs won the World Series in 2016. Ivy covers the outfield walls at Wrigley Field. I got Ivy 6 days after the series, and today we celebrate four months together. She’s been through two puppy classes, and will take the Canine Good Citizen class to become a therapy dog when she turns one year old.

More later.

One year

June 16, 2010

Saturday marked one year since Earl passed away. The past year was one of the worst, if not the worst, year in my life. It didn’t have to be so bad, but there were some ugly dynamics with his family. Everyone handles grief in his or her own way. For me, I was OK until August. I gave his mom Earl’s beloved 2000 BMW Z3 roadster. She had purchased it for him in ’04, I think because I had bought myself a new Mercedes. Who buys an adult child a new car? He did love it. We thought she had bought it for herself, as she came home in it. But she titled it in Earl’s name only.

When Earl died, the car became mine. That was pretty much it. There was no estate filed for probate. He counted on inheriting from his mother, who is a real estate tycoon. We rented the house from his parents. She wanted the car. I think she thought since she purchased it, it was hers, but she put it in his name only. Had she put in in joint tenancy, it would have been hers. I, being nice to a mother who lost a son, gave it to her. Gifts should be given with no strings attached. That’s when things turned south, and much hate came my way. To this day, no one in his family except his mom has called or written. Not even last Saturday. Even his mom stopped calling, which I appreciate because I feel that a family I loved has become toxic for me, and I don’t need that while picking up the pieces of my life.

I planned a nice adventure for myself for last weekend. I needed a few more CE credits for my vet license, so I headed down to San Antonio. I stopped in some little towns to look for antiques. I think Franklin discussed this. I took Earl along with me in spirit. I know he would have loved the Alamo. He was fascinated with all things military and Western.

True story: Earl went to register for the draft when he was eighteen in 1970. The woman in Laramie asked him if there was any reason he could not serve. He told her he was going down to Denver for a kidney transplant the next day. The woman rolled her eyes as if to say, “Yeah, right.” Earl always said the military wouldn’t take him if he bought his own bullets.

Back in 2007, when everyone was getting married on 7/7/07, we were invited to his classmate’s daughter’s wedding in Riverton, Wyoming. I was looking forward to going. Earl had just had back surgery on the 2nd, and didn’t feel he could withstand the long drive. We canceled. I think that was the beginning of the end. He ended up having another, more extensive surgery on the same area of his spine, but recovered quickly. From the operation, that is.

He did manage to ride again, and we rode all summer in 2008. Earl did all the chores he loved to do around   El Rancho Pig Sty-o. Both horses had been gravely ill during the winter, but recovered quickly to be ridden that summer not only on the flat at the state park, but also up in the mountains. We had really never done much mountain riding with them. We had Hannah only two years, at age four, when I fractured my hip. I had to get my leg in top shape, and Hannah had to mature to climb mountains.

I look back on that summer and realized it was Earl’s last summer. The horses were healthy, the Wonder Husky didn’t have cancer yet, and the cats made us laugh on a daily basis. I firmly believe that the day you die is pre-determined by G-d. Now that my physical meltdown is gone, the one year anniversary is past, and his family is out of my life, I’m feeling pretty good. The Grief Monster will visit from time to time, but I know this is normal. I love my new home as the cats do. The town is nice, and I am ready for school. The horses are well, even though they are not with me, and I miss them. Fort Fun is home, and time will tell where I end up. I will try to savor each day. I hope you will too.


April 14, 2010

The streets of Heaven got a brand new angel on Saturday. My pediatrician and Highland Park neighbor, Dr. Mark F. “Doc” Canmann passed away at nearly 100.

Doc and his wife, Margie were so special to all the neighborhood kids. Their yard was the one where all the kids gathered every evening to play. Margie served lemonade, Doc put together toys, and both played with all of us.

It was Doc who came by in his convertible Bonneville to gather us up to go to the Good Humor man for ice cream on a hot summer night.

When I came home for the first time from college, I had been exposed to chicken pox. They emerged the day after Christmas. Although my father was a physician, Mom asked Doc to stop by on his way home. I will never forget that this was the sickest I had ever been. I remember Doc walking in, washing his hands in the powder room, then turning to me, lying on the couch in the my most pathetic pose and saying to me laughingly, “Chicken pox!” The way he said it is imprinted in my mine.

Doc was extra special to my sisters and me, as our father did not live at home. Doc paid extra attention to us. We had a father figure and role model only two doors down.

I last saw Doc in October of 2004. My hip was fractured, and I was about to go back to work. My cousin, Barbara, was getting married, so I took a trip of freedom. Earl did not go with me, as it was the weekend of the CSU-Wyoming football game.

I spent a day roaming around the North Shore visiting the former neighbors. I stopped in on my friend Linda’s parents. They lived next door to me while we were growing up. Stan and Janet told me Doc and Margie lived just around the corner. I called, and Margie said to come on over.

Doc looked great for being in his 90s, but he was deaf, and didn’t participate in the conversation much. It was so good to see my beloved friend.

Doc married Margie late in his life. She was 20 years younger than he. She was the pretty young mother on the block. They had two great kids, Mac and Lisa, for whom I babysat. Tragically, Mac was on a business trip to Rio de Janeiro, and tried to help a woman being mugged on the beach. He was shot in the head and died instantly. Since this was only a year after my sister was killed in a car accident, it hit home too hard. Natalie was 27, Mac was 26.

I don’t know what plans there are to honor Doc’s life yet, but I don’t think there is any house of worship large enough to fit in all of “Doc’s Kids.”