28 January 2009

maybe this will work...

i figure i'll just fly away with frankie singing about exotic locales when i get overwhelmed by all the remodeling in the new house. of course, my bentman, walt, jax and kris have to come too! what do you think?!!! enjoy the day 'cause tomorrow will come sooner than you think!
oh yeah, click on the title for the song of the day!

26 January 2009

More pics of starting remodeling....and me still smiling.

Newest Project for 2009

We are moving. Kris's job at Dow has transferred her to LaPorte which is a very long way from Lake Jackson. Sooooo.....after talking it over with Nancy, we will rent and move into Marie's house which will make Kris's drive only about 30 minutes. We have already rented our home to Kris's co-worker and they will be moving in here on the 1st of March. Then, when I get into Tomball's vet school, I will only have an hour to commute on the toll each way. Better than 2 hours each way every day and having to live in the motor home somewhere over in Tomball during the week over the next two years of school. Yuck. Also, Marie's pups, Bridgette and Corky will get to stay in their own home and adjust to new experiences and puppy brothers, Bentley, Jax and Walter.
Sooo........we are remodeling Marie's house before we move in. With the expertise of Nancy, Kris, Kris's Mum and me, we are laying new tile and painting the entire inside of the house. Tired already! But it's starting to come together and I will post before and after pictures. WooHoo. Here's what we started over this last weekend. I learned to lay tile and kinda liked it. I think if I did it for a living, I'd have an excellent bum and killer thighs! Hmmm...something to think about. More to come!

23 January 2009

Celebrating Marie's Life Today

We went to Marie's house today to meet her niece Nancy and others of us who loved her to celebrate her life and the memories she gave us to cherish. After the service at the church, we loaded back into the limousines and went to Forest Park Lawndale for the military honors and internment with a dove release. Afterwards a small group of us went to eat at Kenny and Ziggy's, we laughed, ate lots of pickles and good New York style deli food. These pictures are of our day honoring our beloved Marie. I'll leave you with a quote of Marie's words of wisdom for all of us to live by,
"I have friends who scrimped and saved all their lives so they could retire to have fun and travel, only to find that they were too old or sick by then to do it. Don't wait! Don't waste your chances! Live your life and spend your money travelling, and having fun now, while you can." Marie Mariano

20 January 2009

puppyboys bentley and walter and me

Bentley Beargrass in his domain!
Rays of sunshine on my face!
That's love, huh?
It's hard taking pics of you
and your boys by yourself.
Walter the Handsome!

Another beautiful star in the sky....

If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to the man. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons of the Earth. ~Chief Seattle of the Suquamish Tribe, letter to President Franklin Pierce
I finally met Marie Mariano this past summer after hearing about what an amazing person she was through Kris and Laura for the last nine years. They had come to know her through Assisthers, a group of volunteers we work with here in Houston. Marie is actually one of the founding volunteers. The stories they passed on to me and others about her life were incredible and almost unbelievable. When it finally came time for me to be in her life and she in mine I had no doubt that they were true.

Marie was one of a kind but hopefully God didn't break her mold when she was created for this world. We need more like her in this life on planet Earth. Marie was born in Pocatello, Idaho and when her parents died at a very young age, she took over the rearing of her siblings because she didn't want them to be split up amongst other family members. She told me stories. Hard stories about barely making it; odd jobs and about itinerant farm jobs that she and her siblings took in the summers. When asked by the farmer what they wanted for pay, Marie asked for food so they could get through the long, hard winters. Marie told me a story about a mobster (not a very nice guy on the surface) that watched over her and her siblings on the sly. He made sure they had the coal needed for the hard winters so they would stay warm and not freeze. Marie always knew it was him because she'd heard he was kinder than he looked but didn't let his secret out in the town they lived in. It would have ruined his reputation. She told me that she still prayed and thanked God for him at the Catholic Church she attended.

Marie had a great respect for the Native American culture and was a Public Health Nurse on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation helping deliver babies and learning midwifery. She told me a story about Ernest Hemingway during Hurricane Ike this last fall. Apparently he wanted to go hunting for trophy heads where she was living at that time and somehow she had been volunteered to be his guide since she was an experienced hunter and knew the land. Marie had nothing but disdain for trophy hunters being a lover of nature herself and formulated a plan of her own. She knew he liked to drink a bit so Marie took Hemingway way up a mountain and gave him plenty to drink. She told him tales of her adventures and he never sobered up enough to shoot a single thing. Got him stinkin' eye drunk, she did. Sly and smart and maybe a little wicked!

Marie went on to begin service in the Army Nurse Corps and served in the Korean War. So many stories she told and I didn't even write a single one down. When she finished her tour of duty, she settled in Houston and got her Master's Degree in Nursing at the University of Texas and specialized in Neurological/ Neurosurgical Nursing for over 30 years at Methodist Hospital. Marie retired and went on to volunteer with Casa, a special hospice for AIDS patients and gave each of her clients the special care and light only she was capable of.

My friend Marie was an animal lover of huge magnitude and gave generously of her time and money to the local Humane Society and the national chapter through the years. Many an animal came to her door for food and shelter. She didn't care what breed or species they were, she never turned them away. It was as if they knew an angel lived there. Marie always took the strays in to the local shelter and had them spayed, neutered and updated for vaccinations. If they needed to stay awhile she let them- until a forever home could be found. Marie was her own rescue organization and all the creatures loved her. Marie's Schnauzer, Corky and Basset Hound, Bridgette will live with Kris and I along with Bentley, Walter and Jax. We promised her they'd be with humans that loved them after she went on. Little Bit, her mean, bite your finger off Chihuahua is now living with her Vet. and is as happy as he can be per Marie's request.

Marie loved to bet, well let me say what it really was- she love to gamble. On football and boxing. She even had a bookie. Actually she had more than one in her lifetime but one was murdered or something. She was a little worried I think for awhile but we told her who would believe a sweet eighty-six year old Catholic lady would be involved in that kind of pastime! So she got herself a new one and was back in business. Back during the hurricane she and her pups came to stay with us for a few days. Apparently the gas company had blown a main line directly behind her home trying to fix it after Ike rolled through. Her smallest pup, Little Bit (nicknamed Little Bastard cause he was so mean) needed a bath and big time nail clipping. I volunteered knowing he'd bite the holy crap out of me but he was tearing her skin on her arms up really bad. Marie said she'd pay me but I said no way. So she bet me I wouldn't be able to bath and clip his nails. Well, he's so tiny my smallest muzzle wouldn't even fit on him. So Kris helped me and an hour later he was done. Not too bad but not fun. Here comes Marie waving a fifty dollar bill saying I won but I said, "oh,no- I didn't take that bet!" I really didn't know if I'd be able to finish what I'd started. So Marie said she'd take that fifty and bet it on a fight and double it. Which is what she did. A month later I'm having the worst week at school and dealing with crap from my ex and I go to my 4-runner after school and realize I have a message on my phone. It is Marie telling me she's doubled my money and what did I want to do? Bet it on another fight in December or for her to send it to me? Well I laughed till I cried that afternoon in my truck. She was a character I'll never forget. Of course I called her and told her that I hadn't taken that bet but she could bet it all and we'd see what eventually happened since she was so stubborn. And of course she sent me a check in December from the last fight!

I think Marie was ready to go on to Paradise to see her beloved Sarah and other family and friends, both two-legged and four-legged. She talked about it often to those that listen. She also talked to me about my dream of working with animals. I told her that I'd wished I'd known what my passion was earlier in my life so I wasn't getting such a late start on it and she replied that it didn't matter. As long as I found what made me happy and complete was what was most important. Do it now, not later was her motto. This coming from a woman who'd climbed to the top of Mount Ranier for nothing but the sheer adventure made me feel
right with myself. Marie's encouragement has helped me to continue to explore my path with school and where my path may lead me.

I miss her but know she is at the Rainbow Bridge with her loved ones. I'll see her again one day when it is my time to fly.
Marie Mariano born June 5, 1921. She lived life exuberantly till
December 24, 2008
when she left us to go on to Paradise.
Till then....
Love to Marie and thanks for the memories.

14 January 2009

and i'm not being funny...

"Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace." - Milan Kundera (b. 1929) Czech author, critic

i just realized that i've had god in my life for quite awhile now. i didn't recognize it though, and it was right there in front of me.
i thank you creator of all
i promise to pay closer attention to my lessons of life
Sir Luke the Duke- In Paradise July 5, 2007
Missing you.

09 January 2009

Kisses and love to Mercedes

Mercedes the Beautiful Airegirl

Today my partner Kris and I went to pick up Mercedes in Angleton from her family who chose to surrender her to Airedale Rescue. Mercedes is fourteen months old and on her second home. Her most recent family acquired her from a guy over in League City back in August/ September. Not so sure about him but I'm thinking he wasn't that great as he wouldn't give them any sort of papers, vet. or otherwise regarding her background. Seems to be the case a lot. Oh yeah- she's never been spayed either. "Deep Growl" from me. These other people had an Airedale for twelve years that never ran off of their property, even without fencing. hmmm. Rare, especially for a 'Dale. But they were lucky for the most part. They loved their girl from the sound of it but unfortunately she succumbed to cancer. The family thought Mercedes would be like their previous girl but no, she wasn't. She likes to run and play with all the farm animals on their road and even gets along with the chickens and had made friends with the donkey. Good so far? Well, she started running off for a day or two at a time, then longer periods and more frequently. They couldn't fence in their property- I don't know the exact reasons. Started keeping her tied on a chain on the quite large back deck so she'd stay at home but we all know that's no life. The family did the right thing and called our Texas team to make arrangements for Mercedes to find a perfect forever home where she'd be safe and loved.

When we went to pick her up this morning I didn't know what we'd find. Would it be a sad and broken 'Dale tied to a tree; a wild and crazily exhuberent puppygirl with no training; you never know. But Mercedes is the prettiest, sweetest, goofiest, kissy, well-mannered for a happy go-lucky goober-head puppygirl that you could ever want. The lady and her husband had bathed her but she still needed a better bath as she was pretty stinky and we could smell her from the back seat and I could feel things on her that I was hoping weren't ticks! They weren't. Sooooo......

I'd found a walk-in doggie wash down by the medical center the other day online and decided she was getting a good bath before we took her to Houston for her Vet. appt. and surgery so she'd be clean and lessen the risk of infection. So we said our goodbyes (Kris was worried the lady would cry and then she would start crying but it wasn't too bad) and we were off on the adventure. She rode like a champ; just like she'd been on done this long distance ride thing before. Of course she hasn't. It takes us about an hour to get into Houston from the coastal area where we live and from where Mercedes had recently been living.

The Scrub-A-Dub Doggie Wash is a cool place. I got great ideas for my own bathing and grooming area which will come eventually. Mercedes bathes and blow dries like an old timer and I was able to bring in my own tools and shave her belly and personals. Uh, oh. A little swollen on the belly and her teats/ nipples seem funky and protruding. We were afraid of this but we'll know for sure by tomorrow from the Doc. Her hair is wiry and she has a lovely hard coat unlike my Bentley's. His is beautiful but soft and curly. After I dried her she looked like a wooly bear cub and smelled like cuke-melon and gave us the most wonderful all-over face kisses.

Then we were done and it only cost 16 dollars and I used almost 4 bottles of shampoo and the owner let me use her powerful dryer and everything! Off to the other side of Houston to meet Ellana at the Vet. and poof-- our little adventure was over much too quickly. Sweet and sad. Would love to be able to foster her but we can't because we're in the middle of moving closer in for Kris's job transfer and my Vet. Tech. school location in the Fall. Sucks. But the right situation will present itself eventually, it always does. Though I did find out that Kris is an Airedale magnet. Of course Bentley fell in love with her but this goofy Aire-girl fell for her too. Kris told me that this Rescue stuff will be hard for her to participate in but she's good to go knowing it is for the greater good and is a big part of my heart and life.

Bentley still needs a big 'Dale to play with. I just don't play bitey-face that well with him and God knows I try. The little chihuaha's are too small and he only gets to play with his buddy Kobe in Austin every couple of months. But we'll be closer in to Houston where there are dog parks and we'll be closer to the other Airedale people so he can meet new friends! "Soon Mama," Bentley tells me.

I was sad leaving her, Mercedes, today at the Vet. but she will do just fine I know in my heart. I wish I could take them all but it's not a perfect world, is it?


08 January 2009

No silence....

I found this on Dogster and found it really disturbing. Then I searched and found the original and was even sadder.

Adaptation of the original:
When they came for the pit bulls, I remained silent; Surely these dogs deserved death! When they banned the rottweilers, I remained silent; Who needs these dogs? When they came for the guardian breeds, I did not speak out; My dog was not one of these. When they came for the large dogs, I remained silent; My dog was small. When they came for all dogs, there was no one left to fight with me. Matrix adapted from Niemöller

The original and a bit of info concerning the author from http://aworldofexperience.blogspot.com/2006/10/martin-niemoller-early-supporter-of.html
An early supporter of Hitler, by 1934 Niemöller had come to oppose the Nazis, and it was largely his high connections to influential and wealthy businessmen that saved him until 1937, after which he was imprisoned, eventually at Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps. He survived to be a leading voice of penance and reconciliation for the German people after World War II. His poem is well-known, frequently quoted, and is a popular model for describing the phenomenon of social chaos, as it often begins with specific and targeted fear and hatred which soon escalates out of control.

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out. posted by Jim Burton at 6:15 AM

Speak out and fight for what you believe in. For what is in your heart. Never lose hope that we as humans can make a difference. Don't ever assume that someone else will fix the problem. Then it becomes too late...